By Anthony J. Mountjoy
We all know that when something is over valued it becomes debt rather than asset. Depending on the level of over exposure one might lose ones hand or ones head. Yet, today we look around and seem to be doing what everyone else is doing so why are things going so wrong? When did our businesses and careful financial planning (often under the care of so called professionals) degrade to the level of poorly run casinos. Everyone in one room, doing the same thing most of the time...losing.
It's been said by smarter men than I that life is ultimately a tragedy and that knowing this forces one to accept the supremacy of comedy. So it was that Shakespeare taught us that laughter is all that is left in the face of such absurdity and yet that very fact makes laughter the most valuable thing there is.
If this is true then perhaps the investor class will soon evolve a sense of humour because their bank balances are getting more laughable by the day. Right along with the financial prospects of the rest of us after having spent so many years coupling our every financial transaction to the stock society whether we liked it or not.
Canada hit record personal debt to income ratio in 2015 at 164.6 per cent. That means that Canadians owe just under $1.65 for every dollar of their disposable income. In her entire history, Canadians have never owed so much and made so little.
But our net worth is higher too, you say. A whole 1.8% increase, that's more even than the 1.6% debt ratio increase. Don't be fooled, my friends. I call this "hide the ball with the articles of financial authority". Welcome to the world of misleading numbers and the economic planning based on them!
How can you be worth anything if you owe more than you have and your assets are debt because you don't own them yet? That's just logic. That 1.6% adds interest payments based on a principle which can be any number, and yet is conveniently ignored by a focus on net worth. It contributes to inflation, which again devalues the currency so the 1.8% isn't really as much as you think it is when it comes time to actually spend it.
Further more, classic investment opportunities are denied our young people because interest rates are so low, allegedly to help those with debt already. When interest doesn't generate profit for a bank then it has no choice but to demand upfront collateral for big items like houses that an increasingly narrow segment of our population can afford while simultaneously driving desperate people to low dollar loans at sharkish terms.
Suddenly we have an epidemic of 25-30 year olds still living with their parents on maxed out credit cards. 40 somethings having to bring in a room mate again. Extra hours covering every spare shift a buddy can offer and watching the price of bread and milk bump up a dime every 6 weeks or so. Sound familiar?
And possibly worst of all, it encourages people to believe they are more fiscally solid than they really are so that they keep their money circulating in the systems run by the same institutional powers that set it up this way in the first place.
This is soylent green, people, wake up and take control of your money again or for the first time! Stop investing in a financial circle jerk presented via lazy susan for your glutinous convenience. Start buying real things from real people. It's time to own stuff again and its time to know who made it for you.
Insurance is not the same thing as accountability so stop thinking about covering your ass and start thinking about your country and the people you love cause they are the ones being hurt by these economic viruses and as with all viruses, we are the material of our own destruction.
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