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November 22, 2016 | Washington’s $35 trillion “Debt Bomb” Is Going to Blow

Is an American author of books and articles on economic and financial subjects. He is the founder and president of Agora Publishing, and author of the daily financial column, Diary of a Rogue Economist.

BALTIMORE – The mainstream press is focused on Donald Trump’s selections of his key staff.

So far, our name hasn’t come up.

These choices – of his captains and majors – are thought to be especially important. Because Trump has spent his career in private business, not in government… in New York, Florida, and New Jersey, not in Washington, D.C.

So, now that he is marching on the nation’s capital, he is going to need lieutenants who know their way around town.

There is also a presumption that the president-elect lacks firm ideas about what he wants to accomplish… and how he will do it.

Aides and Adjutants

“Make America Great Again” is a campaign slogan.

It leaves plenty of room for interpretation. And the people mugging with Trump at his golf resort in New Jersey are the ones who will do it.

Mr. Trump may be a great negotiator. He may be an excellent businessman and showman. He is certainly a gifted persuader and standout brand promoter.

But with so many activities to tend to, and such a famously short attention span, it would be surprising if Trump had time to wonder about America’s money system.

With so many posts to fill and so many key aides and adjutants needed – not to mention strategy and tactical decisions to be made – Mr. Trump will not have the time to think too much about the nation’s money system or the people in whose hands he entrusts it.

He will need someone to advise him. Most likely, these candidates will not be chosen by Mr. Trump, but by other advisers who have his ear.

Inevitably, he will be introduced to people who have a reputation in their fields… perhaps people with a Ph.D. following their names… or perhaps people who have proven they know something about making money, with stellar careers on Wall Street on their resumes and vacation homes in the Hamptons on their credit reports.

Mr. Trump will have no reason to doubt them; it will be clear that they know their stuff.

And without puzzling it out himself, he will have no way of knowing whether their knowledge is based on self-serving claptrap… or genuine insights and experience.

Too bad.

Whizzes and Consiglieri

Will any of them mention that America faces a debt bomb of about $35 trillion (the excess debt load, by our estimate, that the economy is now burdened with)?

Or that it is likely to blow up on his watch? Will any of them tell Mr. Trump that he was right… that the whole system is corrupt?

These elite bankers and financial whizzes – consiglieri to U.S. presidents of both parties – prevented it from exploding for an entire generation.

They did so by adding gas.

They made money easier to get. But it was a new kind of money based on credit, not on output and real wealth.

Their friends, concentrated on both coasts, got this new money in the form of higher asset values, higher salaries, and higher bonuses. The middle class got lower wages and more debt.

The system is rigged in favor of the Establishment that runs it. Voters couldn’t sort out exactly how… or precisely who… had done it. They had no more time to figure it out than their champion, Donald Trump.

But they knew they were being ripped off by their own elite.

Parasitic Elite

Nations have elites because they are useful.

There are things – such as a money system – that an ordinary person shouldn’t have to figure out.

He should be able to go about his business, depending on the great and the good – from private and public sectors – to make sure these things are handled properly.

Of course, he wasn’t born yesterday.

He knows that power corrupts. And he expects the elite to use its positions to enrich itself. Maybe the insiders skim 10%; he is willing to put up with a little self-dealing if it helps things work better.

But sometimes elites become parasitic. They don’t stop at 10%. They take 20%… or 40%… or more.

And they rig up the system so completely that an honest working man finds it difficult to get ahead. In the U.S. today, the top 5% – the financial elite – have taken nearly all the income gains so far this century.

How did they do that?

In his 35-minute conversations with each of his elite job aspirants, we doubt Mr. Trump will find out.




The original article can be read here

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November 22nd, 2016

Posted In: Bill Bonner's Diary

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