Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Still Going South

I took a break from (you know what) and checked the world. Looks like the Dow and other market indicators haven't found their bottom yet. The reality is that no one actually knows where that is. While the much heralded 'bailout' didn't seem to make a dent in the overall trend it is really not hard to understand when you look at the big picture and the big picture is very scary indeed.

The last financial report from Uncle Sam in September last year showed that the nation's real debt is actually about $53 trillion as of the end of the last fiscal year. Yesiree Bob that $700 billion is chump change compared to what we really owe. That figure BTW is the sum of our public debt which includes accrued civilian and military retirement benefits; unfunded, promised Social Security and Medicare benefits; and other financial obligations. Don't forget that we have been putting $10 billion on the Visa every month since then and continuing to issue T-Bills and borrow from the Social Security Trust. The U.S. is not alone as a bunch of other countries are in similar shape. A whole lot of us have been living a little "high on the hog" for way too many years.

Something has to give and this might be the turning point but no one really knows. All I can say is that I am going back to putting up apples and thinking about getting back out in the back 40 and getting the garden ready. Not a thing I can do about it right now. My retirement is committed to mutual funds both domestic and foreign and it is too late for me to fret about that. We need to figure out how our grandparents made it through the depression that is for sure.

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