Figured it Out - Bail-Ins are for Amateurs
Fiat paper schemes always end with the currency devaluing to zero, worthless. Along the way, though, through the years, history teaches us that those in power, that is, those issuing the worthless colored paper, always resort to trickery, deceit, then war all in an effort to remain in power.
Recently, we have seen, as was done in Cyprus, and has been commented upon by many pundits, and can expect the banking institutions that are too big to fail to resort to outright theft of depositor funds to remain solvent. Remember, to a bank, a deposit is a liability, which must be repaid.
We have also seen countless schemes whereby the big institutions holding onto deposits, or investors' cash, have simply rehypothecated, or pledged the same funds time and time again as collateral for loans, which are then used to speculate in the markets or with exotic derivatives. Anyone need a refresher course need only google MF Global and Corzine for an in-depth lesson.
Of late, there has been open outcry, that it is impossible to earn large, crazy wealthy sums simply from creating a business and selling products. No, something more is required to get one's hands upon generational wealth. That "something more" requires one to embrace the paper fiat scheme, and immerse oneself.
This concept of wealth creation being possible only from immersion into the paper fiat scheme, whether through investment banking, stock trading, hedge funds, buying and selling paper assets, speculating on commodities, what not, has attracted the very best and brightest. There is no comparable upside income potential, aside from crony capitalism and generational wealth that can be earned from political favors. However, that career path and trajectory are beset by extreme odds against success.
As a result of this obvious path to extreme wealth creation, naturally, those seeking such fabulous riches are irresistibly drawn to the financial sector. In this sector, all that matters is "scoreboard." It is not how hard one tries, or that one put in a good effort, or that one acted with high moral character, or honor, or any of the imbedded, traditional values that made the USA great long ago. Instead, the extreme short term time frame, 3 months, and an objective financial bottom line are the measuring sticks of success or failure, where coming in soundly within the bell curve is tantamount to an admission of mediocrity and necessarily, failure, because there is no incentive for any market participant that rewards mediocrity. None. In the end, it is all about the bottom line.
In this paradigm, then, naturally, rewards are doled out to those that succeed, that is, who do better than their peers, some of the best and brightest that have ever lived. Who among such a rarified breed, is going to be content as a middle-of-the-packer, when to enter the industry one must abandon any pretense of morality? Easy! NO ONE!
Based on this reasoning, then, those who do not share the financial industry type value system, cannot fathom the most basic understanding of what is driving the system, nor what to look for in predicting outcomes.
Like Mr. TF, who correctly, and for years, has predicted short and long term physical metals prices, based on his understanding that the commodity spaces are manipulated, once one embraces that concept, radical as it seems, and as unbelievable as it is, then making sense on the charts is, as TF so aptly notes, not too complicated at all.
In that spirit, I offer up a thought experiment that lead me to a conclusion that I believe explains a plausible end-game, slow burn, that is not at all a collapse, but is instead an orchestrated, but not controlled, descent of fiat towards its ultimate value of zero. Of course, this entails substitute currencies, under central control, likely backed by something of value. What that is is uncertain for now, but will reveal itself as time passes.
For now, let us turn to the facts upon which I base this analysis and conclusion.
What started me down this path is the seeming impossibility that regular folks in the USA will tolerate any such bail-in nonsense. I was bolstered in this thinking the other day at a local gun show I attended. I went to get a feel for the mood, and see whether the market had corrected back to normal following the Sandy Hook story. I believe strongly that it was staged, designed to usher in massive gun control, but failed as the powers that be realized that the red states are just not going to part with their guns. The puppet masters misread their abilities, and their puppet politicians could not complete their masters' tasks. Gun control failed for now, but as normal, will creep up time after time, as marginally, regular people lose interest, and the slick politicians erode rights at the margin. As I type this, California is looking to enact laws that allow family members to rat out a loved one, and enable authorities to seize firearms. No due process, screw the Second Amendment. This marginal erosion of gun possession rights is coming to every single place, eventually. Count on it.
Anyhow, back to the story. So, I am at the gun show, and I see table after table of guns, ammo, as far as the eye can see. Production has never abated, and people are buying hand over fist. New market suppliers are springing up in the face of increased demand. Supply and demand forces are working as should be, unlike in the physical precious metal space . . . But, I digress.
As I took this scene in, I became instantly struck by the likelihood of anyone in that building accepting some government decree taking any portion of anyone's hard-earned money, stored at a local bank. Not a chance in hell that the regular folks just meekly take losses like that. No way.
The regular folks are SEETHING. Washington politicians do not see it, nor do they want to see it. When Obummer comes to Los Angeles, traffic is snarled all day. Folks are PISSED OFF. It reminds me of the simmering racial tensions following the Rodney King video beating. It was all there, right out in the open, but most people did not want to talk about it. In mixed company, no one dared mention it. I was lucky, I had friends from all walks of life. I heard a total disconnect between my reality, and the reality of those less fortunate. We all remember the riots in Los Angeles in 1992. Koreans, armed, on rooftops, gangs of black youths rampaging, National Guard, fires, riots, lockdowns. OJ Simpson ripped open the wounds for more pain. Nothing was solved. Look what happened to OJ after a two-bit burglary in Las Vegas? Think the public is dumb, or disengaged? Not a chance. They are just uninformed, because their sources of information have been feeding them a massive daily infusion of brainwashing. Call it MOPE, or spin, or misdirection, whatever, the fact is that the truth has been withheld from the masses, deliberately.
As the truth leaks out, gradually, as it always does, people are slowly, ever so slowly, becoming aware. The gun crowd gets it, for sure, hence the effort to secure firearms and ammunition. Those red state voters understand that their colorful scraps of banker paper do not by as many rounds of ammo as they used to. The solution for them is not to complain about auditing the FED, or of returning to sound money, away from fiat. No, not at all. Heck, most of them know Fiat as a break-down prone Italian sportscar. Audit the FED? FED who? What's an audit? Like the IRS, and produce receipts? What?
Anyhow, the simple fact is that people know to spend their banker paper on durable goods. They got taken to the cleaners on the housing bust, so many people are wary, and renting. People are not foolishly taking on debt to buy the latest consumer good, either. Most people who need a flat screen TV, have one. New car? Maybe, but more likely is they are making do with less, repairing their things that break rather then replacing them with new. So, the people are aware and reacting, just not in ways politicians want them to react.
Which leads to the next huge understanding I reached. It dawned on me that there really are very few retirement options most people have. The wealthy do not worry, as they are invested in paper assets. They, by and large, see nothing, because they have reached success, and will do and say what it takes to keep the status quo operating, as they have benefited from it. They do not want change. The poor have no delusions of "retirement." Every day is a challenge. They are already getting government benefits, and they too want the system to remain intact. These are the great masses that make up the Free Shit Army. These are the voters coddled and coveted by those in elected office. These lower information voters are not at all going to do or say anything that upsets their free government transfer payments. If anything, they will complain and demand more, under various MOPE scenarios based on division and class envy.
The middle classe, though, is wholly dependent upon their pensions, whether from their 401k's, or their union pensions, or their govt pensions, what have you. The days of buying and holding, saving, and living on interest, are long gone, and are never coming back anytime soon. We all know this, as do all the overlords and secret back room meeting bosses. They know full well that the system is collapsing, in real time, and are desperately trying to keep it together.
They have seen fiat paper schemes implode, and are anxiously attempting to find a solution to the existing mess. For this, there is no doubt.
Only recently, though, did I see something that caused me to understand just HOW those banksters are going to pull of the greatest scam ever.
Remember, they cannot simply bail-in the Americans, because there will be massive uprisings, and there will actually be consequences. There are just too many guns, and too many pissed off, seething angry people who will, at the first chance, become active, violent, and will enact real reforms, with death and suffering as a result for many of the wealthy. For this, I have no doubt at all. There are not enough police personnel to quell the uprisings, and further, many of the local police forces will be taking care of their own families. I know this personally, on a big scale, and I also know that the powers that be know this as well. There is no delusion amongst the central planners that massive civil unrest will spell doom for those in charge.
As a result of this, and based on what transpired and is transpiring in Argentina, over the default on bonds, and the financial engineering that underlies that whole mess, I believe with 100 confidence that the end game scenario is going to play out in this fashion, as follows:
(1) Pension funds will be financially engineered such that the workers that have contributed their wages to the pension fund, will be given massive haircuts, on order of at least 50% or greater, both in the holdings of the pension fund, as well as upon payout based on the diminished holdings;
(2) The funds stolen by the pension fund managers, will be used to capitalize the TBTF institutions, keeping the system afloat;
(3) Because the pension funds will be, essentially raided, the workers will demand safeguards in the future, which the politicians will be only too happy to grant, thus requiring pensions to no longer invest in "risky" things like the stock market, or CDO's or any of the wall street financial schemes, but instead to invest in "safe" long term government bonds;
(4) After most of the pensions are looted, and the balance of funds are now invested in government bonds, there will be a currency reset, and the value of the pension funds that were converted to govt bonds will be further eroded, and of course,
(5) None of the pension funds will have invested in hard physical precious metals, which will explode in value to the upside.
(6) Anyone riding the bull this long will have amassed generational wealth, provided their family and friends still even talk to them.
If anyone doubts the premise of the very first point above, that is, that pension funds will be stolen by way of sophisticated financial engineering, then to those people, I ask them to please read this excellent piece over at nakedcapitalism: http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2014/08/much-short-position-paul-singer-take-argentina.html
The bottom line from the nakedcapitalism piece is that the workers, who contributed to their pension fund, had their funds stolen from them through outright theft by a corrupt fund manager, who also invested the funds in a high yield scheme whereby the pension fund was left holding the bag on worthless CDO's.
See, the crooks at the top are not going to just plainly "take" the money. No. They will use arcane concepts, driven by classic human emotion, like fear and greed (hat tip, Argentus for his great post on this recently), and will engineer turnover of the fund investments such that the poor, dumb workers end up taking the losses. The gains of course, all went to the corrupt, TBTF banks, which silently "hypothecated" the funds in the normal course of business and "thems is the breaks!"
This scenario will take place over years, not days or months. The system will hold together until it doesn't. But so long as it does, it will be a slow, gradual descent, marked by the occasional failed bank, headline, and then back to bread and circuses.
Remember the Greek bailouts? What happened to that? See what I mean?
Please, whatever you choose, prepare accordingly.