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8.10.22 - China’s Looming Baby Bust

Gold last traded at $1,793 an ounce. Silver at $20.68 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices traded steady Wednesday following a July monthly CPI of 8.5% and a sharply weaker dollar. U.S.stocks rose after a key inflation reading showed a moderate slowdown for rising prices.

Gold: A No-Brainer -Seeking Alpha

"Gold and gold miners have been controversial investments over the last several years. Despite its substantial run-up from late 2018, gold has primarily traded sideways and has underperformed most major stock market averages over the previous few years. Therefore, many investors view gold as an unnecessary investment or a hedge that may or may not pay off.

However, gold is much more than a hedge. We are witnessing the highest inflation in decades in the U.S. Additionally, the U.S. national debt is sky high and is likely only moving higher. The Fed's balance sheet is remarkably bloated, and while the central bank is raising interest rates now, it may have to reverse policy sooner than expected.

Gold gets no respect from the market, is an unloved trade, and has been a hated investment for years. Now, the market is substantially behind the curve on gold and gold miners.

One of the greatest investors of all time, Benjamin Graham, said that the market is a voting machine in the short term but a weighing machine in the long run. The market has been voting negatively on gold recently, but the market should begin weighing the yellow metal soon, and the price of gold should go much higher.

According to Mr. Graham, the intelligent investor is a realist who sells to optimists and buys from pessimists. Many pessimists have been selling their gold mining shares lately, and quality gold miners should appreciate considerably as gold surges in the coming years....

Moreover, we witnessed remarkably oversold technical conditions, as Gold's RSI dropped close to 20 for several weeks, illustrating panic and capitulation-like market conditions. Gold may have put in another long-term bottom and could continue rising, possibly to new highs....

The price of gold will probably move much higher once the weighing begins. Once we apply a similar 550% (monetary base expansion) appreciation to gold's price of around $800 in 2008, we arrive at a gold price target of approximately $5,000. This mark is the level gold could reach within the next several years, providing significant upside potential for gold investors."

panda Baby bust: China’s looming demographic disaster -The Spectator

"This week, the world is gripped by the risk of conflict between the US and China. The People’s Liberation Army has fired live missiles into the Taiwan Strait in retaliation for US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei and those who fear that China vs America is the next world war see Taiwan as a flashpoint. Some analysts imagine a repeat of the Cold War: two countries, two rival political systems, vying for world economic supremacy.

China’s dominance is inexorably linked to the size of its population. It has long been the world’s most populous country. A technologically advanced society, with a great army of young workers and soldiers, is inevitably a power to be reckoned with. Only three years ago the UN predicted that in a decade China would reach a population peak of 1.46 billion. But what if these forecasts are dramatically wrong? What if China’s sabre-rattling masks a fear of a demographic collapse – a baby bust?

According to a new UN report, China’s population growth has collapsed by 94 per cent, from eight million a decade ago to just 480,000 last year. What’s particularly worrying for Chinese leaders is that this means a rapid reduction in the working population.

The previous set of projected figures suggested that by the year 2100, China’s 15- to 64-year-old population would be 579 million. This has now been revised down to 378 million, a 35 per cent fall. If this prediction plays out, the implications for China – and the rest of the world – could be brutal.

Today, every 100 working-age Chinese need to support 20 retirees. If trends continue, by the turn of the next century, every 100 workers will have to support 120 retirees. This means China will have the largest drop in working-age population among any of the G20 economies by 2030, with more than 23 million fewer Chinese. In percentage terms, Japan and South Korea will shrink even faster – but they became rich before birth rates began plummeting.

China likes to talk a tough game. But the demographic crisis means that there is a question over the way in which China could sustain any military attack. Part of the reason for Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine was a calculation that soon the Russian army wouldn’t have the manpower for a full-blown war. Xi Jinping faces a different dilemma – can the People’s Liberation Army continue its shift from a force based on sheer numbers to one that is smaller and relies on technology first and foremost?....

The baby bust is real and, as the CCP has found out, while you can force families not to have more than one child, you can’t force them to have more than one."

The Agenda behind Climate Change Catastrophism -Mises

"Democrats on Capitol Hill are pressuring the Biden administration to declare a climate emergency, voicing their doomsday predictions that without immediate action to curb and ultimately end our dependence on fossil fuels, 'the planet' and, by implication, every living creature that inhabits it, will die. 'If we don’t really begin to lower emissions, this planet has no chance,' said Representative Alan Lowenthal, a California Democrat.

'We have a few years left and that’s it. The planet is dying.' This dire assessment and apocalyptic warning echoes Al Gore’s 2006 book and documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, and his subsequent statements that climate inaction would cause the complete summertime meltdown of the North Pole ice by 2013.

Even though such ridiculous predictions as Gore’s have been put forth and have been proven false, it appears that, thanks to the rise of 'stakeholder capitalism' and the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Index, climate change catastrophism’s heyday has finally arrived.

It becomes necessary, therefore, to address it directly. This does not necessarily mean readjudicating the climate change science, since others have done well to subject the narrative to withering critique and debunking. Critics have raised the following issues with climate change catastrophism:

-the previously peddled 'crises' of global cooling, acid rain, and ozone layer depletion, which proved to be unfounded;
- the complete dismissal of the benefits of fossil fuel use;
- the failure to acknowledge that fossil fuel–powered technologies significantly mitigate the effects of climate emergencies;
- the fact that deaths from extreme weather events have decreased during the so-called climate emergency;
- the fact that solar and wind energy technologies, after fifty-plus years of development, are far from capable of replacing fossil fuels;
- the disingenuous use of the coldest period in the Holocene as the starting point for measuring rising temperatures;
- the manipulation of surface temperature readings to counter satellite readings, which show no significant recent warming;
- the exaggerated synthesis of scientific studies by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the further exaggeration in disseminating synthesized findings to the public by designated 'experts' and the media;
- the IPCC’s hiding of its raw data and methodology, its blocking of outside investigations attempting to replicate its results, and its blocking of climate change–skeptical scientists from publishing their findings in peer-reviewed journals ('Climategate')....
- the strong likelihood that warming is not necessarily negative at all but may, in fact, be positive;
- the well-known greening of the planet due to increased CO2 levels and the benefits derived thereof, including for agriculture and cooling;
- the fact that there is no known optimal or “natural” global temperature, even if global temperatures could be accurately measured, which is doubtful.

This is but the skeleton of a body of reasons for concluding that climate change catastrophism is overwrought and hyperbolic, if not based on outright fraud."

Biden needs to stop stock trading in Congress -MSNBC

"Two days before the House was scheduled to vote on a bill concerning the domestic semiconductor chip manufacturing industry, Paul Pelosi, the husband of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, sold $5 million worth of stock in chipmaker Nvidia.

Speaker Pelosi, D-Calif., denies having shared nonpublic information with her husband, but it doesn’t matter whether Paul Pelosi had inside information about the semiconductor bill or not. It looks awful.

It’s important that Congress pass a law prohibiting its members and their spouses from trading in individual stocks while in office. For years, such reform has faced considerable resistance from members of both political parties, including the speaker, but it is necessary if public confidence in Congress is to be restored. Democrats have been discussing a plan to introduce such legislation this month.

The problem that Paul Pelosi’s trade illustrates isn’t new. As far back as 1789, members of Congress traded in securities affected by their official duties. This included the states’ Revolutionary War debt securities that members of Congress furiously bought up on the market at a fraction of their face value before passing a bill, the Assumption Act, paying off these same debt securities at full face value. Sen. William Maclay of Pennsylvania complained at length about this and other unethical conduct in Congress in a diary.

Fast-forward 230 years. Thanks in part to our campaign finance system, which gives wealthy candidates an advantage, we have a Congress full of multimillionaires, many of whom trade in stocks while they vote on bills, conduct investigations and perform other official duties that affect the value of those stocks.

Such trading is a crime for unelected officials in the executive branch. The law imposes criminal penalties on nonelected federal employees who participate in government matters affecting their financial interests or the financial interests of their spouses. That includes matters affecting stocks in their portfolios.

Such a conflict of interest can be a felony for every federal employee except the president, the vice president and members of Congress, who passed the law making it illegal for other federal employees to perform official duties that make them richer."

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8.9.22 - Inflation Reduction Act to Double IRS Audits

Gold last traded at $1,794 an ounce. Silver at $20.49 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices rose Tuesday ahead of inflation data and a weaker dollar. U.S. stocks fell after after another chipmaker warned about tough times ahead.

Gold Price Forecast - Double-Top May Hold Further Upside For Now -Daily FX

"Gold starts the week pretty much unchanged from Friday’s closing levels with the precious metal changing hands around $1,775/oz...The closely watched UST2/10s yield spread is currently quoted around minus 40 basis points, a strong clue from the fixed income market that a recession is on the way in the US, whatever definition is used.

On Wednesday, the latest look at US inflation will be released for the month of July. Core inflation, y/y, is expected to nudge 0.2% higher to 6.1%, while headline inflation is seen 0.4% lower at 8.7%, according to market estimates.

The recent uptick in gold cannot disguise that the precious metal still remains in a downtrend off the March 2022 high. The series of lower highs and lower lows remain in place, while in the short-term the $1,795/oz. double top will be tough to break pre-US inflation. Short-term support is seen at $1,763/oz. and $1,753/oz."

inflation The inflation problem nobody is talking about -Washington Examiner

"Voters rank inflation as their top concern as prices continue to rise at the fastest pace in 40 years . And though the inflation conversation tends to center on consumer goods and energy, something else has become much more expensive than before: job qualifications, especially for work in the public sector. Rolling back an overreliance on college degrees can help.

Employers increasingly equate college degrees with job readiness, even for jobs that do not need that investment. When employers require degrees for low- or middle-skill positions, the resulting phenomenon is called 'degree inflation.' These positions have not required college degrees in the past and have not seen an increase in job responsibilities. Instead, possession of a college degree has simply become the primary box to check.

It should be no surprise, then, that public sector employment has failed to return to pre-pandemic levels. While barely one-third of the U.S. workforce possesses at least a four-year degree, over 60% of state government jobs require one. Considering college tuition has risen nearly five times faster than other consumer goods over the past 50 years, degree inflation causes increased vacancies for employers and traps strong, qualified candidates beneath a 'paper ceiling.'

To combat degree inflation, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan removed college degree requirements from over half of the state’s positions, expanding work eligibility to more than a million workers in the state. These newly eligible candidates, called STARs (skilled through alternative routes), are active in the labor force, have on-the-job training, and are competitive candidates. They simply lack a college degree.

Maryland expanded work eligibility for jobs apt to draw from the STAR labor pool. Most of the positions are in IT, administration, and customer service, fields for which STAR candidates likely have the requisite experience.

The problem of degree inflation extends beyond the public sector. There are 71 million STARs in the nation, more than half of whom are overqualified for their current positions, according to Opportunity@Work, a nonprofit group that aims to remove barriers in the labor market. With over 11 million current job openings in the United States, allowing the consideration of STAR candidates alongside traditional college graduates could triple an employer’s pool of eligible applicants."

U.S. Lawmakers Look to Digital Dollar to Compete With China -WSJ

"Lawmakers are pushing the Federal Reserve to move swiftly toward issuing a digital dollar, to combat steps from China and others they say could one day threaten the U.S. status as the global reserve currency.

The bipartisan group of lawmakers, including Reps. Maxine Waters (D., Calif.) and French Hill (R., Ark.), has sought for the U.S. to counter global competitors launching digital versions of their currencies. The House Financial Services Committee, which both serve on, might vote on related legislation as soon as next month.

Ms. Waters has framed competition over new forms of central-bank money as 'a new digital assets space race.' The Biden administration and the Fed don’t share a sense of urgency.

Unlike private cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, a Fed-issued central bank digital currency would be backed by the U.S. central bank, just like the Fed backs physical currency.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell has indicated the central bank isn’t in a rush, as it confronts inflation and a slowing economy. Mr. Powell has said it is more important to get the digital dollar right than to be first to market, in part because of the dollar’s critical global role. He has also said the Fed won’t issue a digital dollar without support from elected officials. The White House has largely remained neutral on a digital dollar, with President Biden ordering a study to determine its implications for issues such as economic growth and stability....

For about a century the dollar has reigned supreme as the world’s most important currency, prized for its ubiquitous acceptance in almost any transaction from a cup of coffee at the neighborhood diner to a sale of bonds in Hong Kong and elsewhere abroad. There is now a serious debate about whether that status could be threatened by the march of technology and if, in response, the dollar needs to go digital.

A digital dollar could provide a new option to the way consumers pay for products and services. In addition to using a credit or debit card - or Venmo or Apple Pay - individuals would have a digital version of cash on their phones that could be used anywhere, likely through existing financial firms. That could lead to faster, cheaper and safer payments and make paper currency obsolete."

The Inflation Reduction Act would double IRS agents and audits — but superrich aren't real targets -New York Post

"The Manchin-Schumer 'Inflation Reduction Act,' which could clear the Senate this weekend, is supposed to raise tens of billions of dollars by adding $80 billion to the IRS budget and hiring as many as 80,000 more auditors and agents.

The plan is estimated to double the number of Americans audited each year. To quote the Church Lady from 'Saturday Night Live': 'Well, isn't that special?'

Most of the money raised from these audits won’t come from the superrich or multibillion-dollar corporations — both well-stocked with accountants and tax attorneys to fight IRS allegations.

Small-business owners and upper-middle-income workers will likely be the targets. The woman who runs an accounting firm or a restaurant won’t have the resources to fight the government in tax court.

This proposal comes just a year after the IRS’s latest scandal, with agents illegally leaking millionaires’ and billionaires’ private tax-return data to the media.

We all want Americans to pay the taxes they owe. But this plan is a brutal way to make that happen.

The bill is also counterproductive: It would add new green-energy tax write-offs and other loopholes to an abstruse 30,000-page tax code.

All this enforcement activity won’t raise nearly the money Congress hopes it will. The backbone of our tax system — as almost all IRS commissioners have noted - is voluntary compliance from the 150 million American workers and businesses that file returns each year."

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8.8.22 - 2023: Will the Fed Cut Rates?

Gold last traded at $1,787 an ounce. Silver at $20.60 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices rose Monday on momentum buying and a weaker dollar. U.S. stocks rose on investor earnings optimism and confidence in a mild recession.

Gold's industrial uses, Gold will integrate with blockchain technology -Cavatoni/Kitco

"Gold nanoparticles can integrate with chemotherapy for cancer treatments. The McLaren F1 sports car uses gold foil in its engine bay as a heat deflector. And gold is used in semiconductors for cellphones and computers.

These are just a few of the surprising industrial applications of gold, said Joe Cavatoni, the World Gold Council's Head of Global Sales and Regional CEO.

'You don't have an iPhone unless you have gold, you don't have an iPad unless you have gold,' he said.

Cavatoni also said that The World Gold Council hopes to use blockchain technology to track and trace gold transactions, so that consumers can be certain of gold quality and sourcing. ...

The World Gold Council recently released its Golden Thread documentary series, which can be viewed on YouTube. Presented by BBC presenter and mathematician, Dr. Hannah Fry, the series examines the various uses of gold in religion, art, science, and industry.

'We're really proud of the work the team did to put The Golden Thread series together,' said Cavatoni. 'Everyone thinks, in particular in North America, about futures contracts, about the next three months, about investment, and they worry about the price [of gold]. But what people are really missing is that gold is everywhere.'"

money Beware Money Pox! -Bonner Research Partners

"And what’s new? Oh no… not again! The New York Times:

'As Monkeypox Spreads, U.S. Declares a Health Emergency - President Biden’s health secretary on Thursday declared the growing monkeypox outbreak a national health emergency, a rare designation signaling that the virus now represents a significant risk to Americans and setting in motion measures aimed at containing the threat.'

'We’re prepared to take our response to the next level in addressing this virus, and we urge every American to take monkeypox seriously,' the health secretary, Xavier Becerra, said at a news briefing

Not a single American has yet died from monkeypox. Millions die each year from murder, suicide, disease, heartbreak and old age. Why make a federal case out of the simian pox?

Oh, dear, dear reader… you know as well as we do. Emergencies… alarums… war - each one is a call to arms… and an excuse to spend money. The feds love 'em all....

As we saw earlier this week, major trends get underway in confusion and contradiction. Mr. Market seems to make a point of keeping investors guessing. Years go by and they guess wrong about what is afoot. It is only after the fact that we see the long, broad strides of a primary trend.

Looking back on the last 42 years, you’d have to be blind to miss it. Paul Volcker tamed inflation. Interest rates fell from 1981 until 2020. Falling interest rates meant that you could refinance - your home, your business - every few years… borrow more and more… and still have lower monthly payments. ...

The Fed giveth; the Fed taketh away. And there will be Hell to pay.

As long as the Fed sticks with the anti-inflation program the primary trend should be roughly equal and opposite to the last 40 years. That is, asset prices, now high, should fall. Interest rates, now low, should rise.

Does the Fed have the backbone to follow through?"

Reality Catches Up -Collaborative Fund

"An asset you don't deserve can quickly become a liability.

Maybe your portfolio surged during a bubble, your company hit a monster valuation, or you negotiated a salary that exceeds your ability. It feels great at the time. But reality eventually catches up, and demands repayment in equal proportion to your delusions – plus interest.

These debts are easy to ignore because they are often repaid in the form of self-doubt and crushed morale. But they are very real, and when you understand their power you become careful what you wish for.

Companies should want the valuation they deserve, and not a penny more.

Workers should want a salary that matches their skill, and nothing more.

Families should want a lifestyle they can sustain, and nothing higher.

None of those are about settling or giving up. It’s about avoiding a certain kind of psychological debt that comes due when reality catches up....

The question is how do you define 'deserve?' I don't think there’s an easy formula, especially in a world driven by stories and feelings vs. cold calculations.

But Bill Gates had it right when he said success is a lousy teacher, because it makes you forget how the world works. That’s especially true when all you focus on is the 'success' - the higher stock prices, the higher valuations, the more social media followers – and not the earned work that goes into building enduring success."

Why We Expect the Fed to Cut Interest Rates in 2023 -Morningstar

"We expect the Fed will pivot to easing monetary policy in 2023 as inflation falls back to its 2% target and the need to shore up economic growth becomes a top concern. The full analysis is detailed in our 2022 U.S. interest-rate & inflation forecast.

Interest rates. We project a year-end 2023 federal-funds rate of 1.75%, compared with 3.25% for the consensus. Further out, our 2026 and long-run projection for the fed-funds rate and 10-year Treasury yield are 1.75% and 2.75%, respectively. We do, however, expect rates to dip below these levels in 2024 and 2025 as monetary policy leans accommodative.

Inflation. We project price pressures to swing from inflationary to deflationary by 2023, owing greatly to the unwinding of price spikes caused by supply constraints in durables, energy, and other areas. This will make the Fed's job of curtailing inflation much easier. In fact, we think the Fed will overshoot its goal with inflation averaging 1.4% over 2023-26.

The inflation analysis is critical to our near-term projections for GDP and interest rates. If inflation becomes much more entrenched, the Fed will have to engineer a sharp short-run recession by hiking interest rates much higher than we expect....

Long-term forces - far outside of the control of the Fed - have acted to push down interest rates in the United States and other major economies for decades.

In other words, the natural rate of interest has shifted downward because of demographics and slower productivity growth, among other factors. These factors will keep interest rates lower for longer."

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8.5.22 - U.S.-China Tensions Push Gold to 1-Month Peak

Gold last traded at $1,774 an ounce. Silver at $19.89 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices fell back Friday as better-than-expected jobs data boosted the dollar. U.S. stocks fell as investors feared upbeat jobs data may force the Fed to more aggressively boost interest rates.

Dollar dip, U.S.-China tensions push gold to a new 1-month peak -CNBC

"Gold prices climbed over 1% to hit a fresh one-month peak on Thursday underpinned by a retreat in the dollar and U.S. Treasury yields, and as investors kept a close tab on U.S.-China tensions....

'As of late, yields are coming down slightly, that has been along with the dollar's recent weakness one of the key benefits to gold,' said David Meger, director of metals trading at High Ridge Futures.

The dollar’s retreat bolstered gold’s appeal among overseas buyers, while benchmark U.S. Treasury yields also slipped, reducing the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.

'We’ve seen some rising tensions between the U.S. and China, so one additional reason why gold has been well supported coming into the morning,' Meger added."

homes Home Sellers Cut Prices as Housing Market Cools -WSJ

"There are a lot of unhappy people in the housing market right now. Among the most miserable are sellers realizing they have listed their properties too late.

For much of the country, real estate had been on a tear since the start of the pandemic. Home prices are up about 44% over the past two years, according to Redfin.

But prices have cooled lately and many homeowners are coming to grips with the reality that they may not get the same prices their neighbors did. Roughly one in seven homes on the market had a price reduction in June, according to Realtor.com. That is nearly double the rate of one in 13 homes a year ago.

As more homeowners weigh cutting prices, they face several difficult decisions at once. They could need to cut prices once or even several times. Eventually, the seller may need to accept less than they feel their home is worth or choose to take it off the market and try again when conditions improve....

Jennie Jackson, 33 years old, listed her three-bedroom Las Vegas home for $465,000 earlier this summer. In March, her neighbor sold a comparable home for about $485,000, she said.

Over the course of about 35 days, she cut the price three times. She recently accepted an offer for about $405,000.

'I thought this may be the highest offer I’ll get so let me get out while the going is good,' said Ms. Jackson....

Homes that have been on the market for three months or longer are reducing prices by around 11% from the list price, according to the National Association of Realtors.

'The days of bidding wars and homes selling for tens of thousands of dollars over asking are over,' said Daryl Fairweather, chief economist at Redfin."

Surprises? Not Many -The Big Picture

"We enter the dog days of summer with markets coming off of their best July in years. There is some hope that the lows set in June will be 'the bottom' and that markets can return to their prior upward bias.

Plenty of skepticism remains that it’s this easy: Markets have seemingly discounted a mild recession already but nothing more serious; the 2/10s yield curve has inverted a little more deeply than last time; CPI comes out next week, providing a fresh hint as to where inflation is, and what the Fed might do at their September meeting. If all goes well, perhaps all the optimism is warranted.

And yet . . .

There are lots of ways this rally can peter out. The biggest concerns are corporate revenue and earnings. All things considered, they have been holding up rather well. It appears investors are relying on earnings to stay robust even if the economy suffers a short, shallow recession....

My worry is not Q2 earnings but rather, Q3: As we have discussed repeatedly, consumers and businesses have shown continued strength throughout the first half of the year. The concern is the impact of the aggressive FOMC tightening cycle. The dynamic results of these changes were not felt in the first two quarters of the year. The consecutive negative GDP prints were more a technical combination of inventory build, trade, a strong dollar, and high inflation than an actual contraction of economic activity.

But that was before we had two consecutive 75 basis increases in rates - we went from zero a year ago to 2.25-2.50% from what was effectively zero prior to March of this year. And that is before we ended quantitative easing (QE), and replaced it with quantitative tightening (QT).

September is when we could see preannouncements that are rather ugly. It’s a bit too neat to expect an October revisit of the lows as the FOMC’s overtightening impacts corporate profits, but that is certainly one possibility."

What's Lacking Right Now Is the Fed's Will To Act -RealClearMarkets

"The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC) was empaneled to have the final say on the 2008 panic. A political affair though not necessarily partisan, its true purpose was to get the public to stop talking about the disaster by appearing thorough, to dissuade regular folks from asking more questions before someone might eventually hit upon the right ones.

Judging from history’s response to the government's conclusions, the effort was extremely effective having produced that very effect. More's the pity.

To this day, ask the average American what had gone wrong back then and ninety out of a hundred will tell you subprime mortgages, the dirty recklessness of greedy Wall Street bankers. The odd ten leftovers will scream conspiracy.

FCIC’s work left no doubt subprime was its members’ conclusion, too. Having interviewed more than 700 witnesses, entered millions of documents into evidence, the lengthy final report used that very word 784 times.

That’s been the idea from the very start, though ironically perhaps the most famous crisis-era statement was Ben Bernanke’s in March 2007 before Congress, 'At this juncture, however, the impact on the broader economy and financial markets of the problems in the subprime market seems likely to be contained.'

Having been made to eat those words, the Federal Reserve’s Chairman would then say to the FCIC several years later that:

'Prospective subprime losses were clearly not large enough on their own to account for the magnitude of the crisis. Rather, the system’s vulnerabilities, together with gaps in the government’s crisis-response toolkit, were the principal explanations of why the crisis was so severe and had such devastating effects on the broader economy.'....

As always, you needn’t take my word for anything. The discussions, documents, and material are all freely available, those specifically about the Global Financial Crisis as well as in the decades leading up to it. GDP or market charts prominently bent right at 2007-08 can be found - even for Russia - from practically any source.

What’s lacking is nothing more than the will to act, to actually learn what 'the system’s vulnerabilities, together with gaps in the government’s crisis-response toolkit' is really all about, and what it still means, sadly, for all of us fifteen years later. Social breakdown and growing chaos or political danger didn’t come out of nowhere, we know where and particularly when it all went wrong."

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