Financial Disaster

The current path to Financial Disaster seems to be imminent.  Today the Fed did not raise the interest rate.  This seems to be a repeat of what happened in the President Dwight D. Eisenhower era.  But the economy was stable during that time and President Eisenhower wanted stable interest rates so the Federal Interstate road system could be built at a reasonable cost. 

Normally interest rates are raised to either 1)  Stave off inflation or 2)  Create an incentive for foreign investors to bring foreign currencies into our markets in order to stimulate the economy.

If we have inflation – well our prices at the pump are going down because our economy or the strength of the dollar is a little bit better but we still need a lot of strength in our currency.  When I am talking with taxpayers they still have not seen a turn-around for them personally in the economy.  New jobs have not been created lately but jobs are on the decrease.  This is only from a recent vantage point however.  I am not seeing any signs of inflation as of the last two months. 

If I was a foreign investor would I put money into U.S. currency or into another foreign currency.  The dollar rate between foreign currencies and U.S. currency has been getting closer as of lately.  Some currencies have been remaining relatively stable between the U.S. and the foreign currency.   Canada has been having a wider spread.  If the dollar increases in value the Canadian currencies decreases in value.  Canada’s economy is extremely dependent upon wood, natural gas, and oil.  As the price of gas goes down the price of the Canadian dollar goes down against the U.S. $.

I believe in the economy everyone should be looking at solid industrialized currencies even if only an investment in a bank CD is the ultimate individual investors objectives.  As our world shrinks our needs to know what is happening must expand.  No longer can an investment or should I say a stashing place for cash have no due diligence basis.  Every aspect of the investment field is suspect to needing a knowledge base and a complete understanding of the integral variables in other types of mobile investment strategies.  This strategies of speculative, junk status, emerging markets, gold, other metal, commodities, derivatives, options, futures, real estate, land, tax liens, and etc. all are part of what the banks look at when determining what the CD rate will be.  Then again add the same mix put from every major country in the world and how their economies are moving.

With the recent disasters in the Mortgage, Investment Banking, Banking, and soon to be Life Insurance fields caution is all around us. 

If another bank fails I believe it will be purely from a bank run and not a balance sheet bailout problem. 

WAMU has a CD for 8 months @ 4.25%.  Is this a warning sign or is it a way to get fixed cash amounts into the bank.  Are they expecting their balance sheet to have problems for the next six months and then everything could be great after that.  Or do the banks need to publicize their income and profit reports monthly and the balance sheets monthly for assurances to the banking investor of the solid nature of a particular bank.  Then again I do see other banks offering something similiar to this also.  FDIC insured to $100,000 and FDIC insured to $250,000 is just fine but if insolvent I believe no interest is paid for about 6 to 9 months.  And if it is then it does or would take about six to nine months for the FDIC sytem to straighten the system out. 

I really do see this entire system being created by Senator Biden and his change to the credit card system.  After the bankruptcy change old credit cards which were not submitted to the bankruptcy system would have had a large default rate.  If you cannot pay your credit cards you will pay your mortgage first.  But the credit cards now are allowed to boost your interest rate up to a high of 29% and this is even if you have not missed a payment on your credit card.  The your ARM is coming due and you try to refinance and with all of the credit card debt and missed payments many homeowners are now going to pay an extra premium because of their credit cards.  A decrease in value of the credit cards and the new mortgage cannot absorb the credit card debt and then a larger interest rate is charge.  Can’t refinance and can’t sale a home.  This really does sound like stalemate from a chess players standpoint.  But this is not just a game. 

My solution would be to undo the credit card debt laws and eliminate the credit cards.  If a law creates chaos and the law was lobbied by an institution then the instituation must pay the price.  If a taxpayer cannot repay credit card debts and redo a mortgage then the credit card debt should be completely forgiven up to the point of the new re-assessed value of the house. 

The IRS has values and formulas for basic standards of living.  These formulas could be used as a backup in determining if a taxpayer is insolvent.  The bankruptcy courts also use a system to determine if someone is insolvent.  This could be used as well. 

The assumption when the house of purchased was that the homeowner would be able to pay the mortgage with everything being equal.  Whether the homeowner was under a 30% or a 35% or a 50% or higher income equation on the original mortgage then this could also be the criteria for determining the value of the amount which should be required to be paid.

Watch out for the falling economy even if you are only investing in CDs.

I thing before this is all done foreign governments will have to send money to U.S. credit card holders.  They probably would have to send this to credit card companies as gifts to pay off maybe $2000 in credit card debt to the creditors.  Above that the debtor would have to pay.  For instance, it may be in China’s best interest to get the U.S. economy going again by sending money to the U.S. so they can keep their people employed.  Just a thought and I doubt this will happen.

Maybe a mattress is the only sound investment these days.

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2 Responses to Financial Disaster

  1. Great post. I will read your posts frequently. Added you to the RSS reader.

  2. You know, I have to tell you, I really enjoy this blog and the insight from everyone who participates. I find it to be refreshing and very informative. I wish there were more blogs like it. Anyway, I felt it was about time I posted, Ive spent most of my time here just lurking and reading, but today for some reason I just felt compelled to say this.

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