200430 Way ahead

No charts or quips today. IF there was ever a time to be glad you are not a Mayor or a Governor of a US city or State- today is the day. Imagine for a moment we are just that. Since our Egos are large- lets be Governors. Choose your State!

First, we fellow Govs are facing a healthcare crisis of rather epic proportion. We have some decision making authority- but we all know that our Constituents have no savings. So, while closing everything makes sense- the fact is that our citizens cannot afford that. They have rent, car, tax, grocery, healthcare, cell phone, cable, gas, electric and a myriad of other bills to pay. As Governors, we cannot afford that either- since we never planned on paying unemployment benefits to 20% of our population in 2020.

Remember so very long ago (3 months) when the economy was rolling, tax receipts were excellent and it was the best economy, ever! Today, we know that the US Federal Government has no plan to help & wants to pin all the blame on our rosy expectations for tax receipts on us. Well, wasn’t our models for tax receipt based on USG projection? How/ when did we become the stupid ones? To pay what we owe- we now need to fire our State Police, teachers and other first responders. Oh, bills versus public safety- that’s not a choice anyone should have to make!

What to do? The absolute truth is we all want to keep each and every one of our Registered Voters and their kids safe and sound. Not just for the cynical reason that they are Registered Voters. But, that’s a part of the equation. Keeping the State economy shut down is (for lack of USG support) becoming untenable. The State has interest on Bonds to pay. Salarys to pay. And, landlords & mortgage companies have to get paid. Landlords must get paid simply so they can pay the banks that hold the liens on the property.

If you are a renter, be thankful! You can walk away from this mess and buy an RV or a tiny home!

There is no person more delusional (IMO) than a person with a mortgage who calls him/ herself a “homeowner”. A homeowner with a mortgage owns absolutely nothing. Zilch. They own a dream. The bank owns the home. They are nothing but a glorified renter with far more net worth… skin-in-the-game …than a renter. No one can wave a wand and wish away the pandemic. And more to the point of the post- no one can wave away the feeding of the credit (Ie, Loan / debit machine) that underpins modern monetary constructs.

The machine will hunt down and evict / foreclose on those that cannot pay the bills. Far too many “Homeowners” are about to find themselves homeless than I am willing to admit to myself. What is coming for them is awful. It is not safe to be a State or municipality, either. Bankrupcy is hunting you- relentlessly. Particularly in the Red States where the majority of taxes that fund those governments are from Property and not Sales tax. Yes, I know publicly many Republican State leaders are laughing at the fix that New York and NJ are in- but if we could waterboard them, they would admit the truth that they know the axe is about to fall on them.

Since we now know, as Governors, that the Federal Government is going to 1) Not help in the COVID fight and 2) let our States go bankrupt- we need income & Sales taxes! We are clearly all alone in the fight… so all of us Govs MUST now concede and send people back to work- many in unsafe conditions. We can pin hope on scientists and pharmaceutical companies that they will develop a miracle cure soon. Hope. It was beaten into me in Ranger School that hope is never a planning factor. That said- I hope they pull it off.

Ok- down to basic “Squad Level Tactics.” What should you do to protect you and yours?

  1. If forced back to work- demand safety.
  2. Make hard choices. Sell stuff. Get out of debt. For the love of God- do it- now! If you do nothing else! Get out of debt and do NOT invest in debt instruments, or REITs, real estate or crazy high PE companies like Tesla. Debit is a trap that is about to shut. If you own Real Estate, seriously consider deleveraging!
  3. Start a garden. Raise veggies. Its not just a huge $$ saver- its fun for you and the kids!
  4. Observe Denial. You will see it in friends and family who believe this Pandemic is not a game changer. They will truly and honestly believe their idea of “normal” will return. Bet on it, not returning. Not due to COVID directly. It won’t return because the credit markets are going to collapse under the weight of bad loans and nothing in the future will resemble the old normal.
  5. Do not fall into old bad habits. Save every penny. IF the only thing you learned by sitting at home for a month was that 20% of your spending was wasteful- you have learned a life lesson that you shouldn’t soon forget!
  6. Get a tiny bit of Bitcoin and maybe some Alt Coin ( ETH, LINK). Whatever suits your budget, your risk tolerance. There are a lot of downsides to Crypto- but at least most of them are free of inflation risk. The US Govt is printing money right now like crazy men. Simple law- supply and demand. The US Dollar is becoming, every day, more worthless. Soon STUFF will be currency.
  7. Sell dumb stuff you own to people that still think that times are soon returning to normal. All the crap you got lying around. NOT stuff you might really need. Just the ancillary things. Your heart will tell you what is needed and what is expendable
  8. Buy some silver coins. Silver is insanely cheap right now. Go to a local coin dealer and do not believe the fraudsters on TV. There are some legit internet dealers but a local guy is a resource to cultivate. At about $15.50 an OZ, you should be able to get some silver dollars at about $21 per coin.
  9. Demand on silver coins is high & it is pushing the premium (Delta between Physical silver and retail coin price higher- go with god! Remember that modern silver US dollars are 99% silver. The older stuff before the 1970s was ~75% silver. Thats because they actually were in circulation and needed to be harder. I am NOT a coin guy- so before you go off half cocked- do your own Due Dill.
  10. When Jewelry stores open in your area- buy 18K gold chain and high quality silver chain. If they are strapped for cash, the premium mentioned in #9 will be much less.
  11. ANTICIPATE an October resurgence of COVID. It will be the stake in the heart of the credit market. The 2008 crash began in March. We limped along until September. Most folks remember Sept 08. They ignored March 08. That was the warning shot. Do you remember March/ April 2020? What more of a warning shot across your bow do you need, dumbass!
  12. Every action you take, every penny you spend should be done with forethought. What is best for you? Your family? Plan, plan, plan.
  13. POST LOCKDOWN PARTY: Let all your friends and family get as stupid as they want in the coming weeks. We are either approaching Half Time or the First Period Break.
  14. Pandemics generally resemble NFL Football (2 halves w/ a halftime) or, like the Black Death… Hockey That is 3 ‘game on’ periods and two breaks. We are either at Half Time, or end of the 1st Period.
  15. If there was ever a time TO GET STUPID (forgive the Caps) this is not it! Let others do stupid. This is the time to find stuff on the shelves ( Flour, yeast, TP) that were in short supply, and may be again. Did you learn that there are times in life where stuff, and not cash, was king??
  16. Time to buy a freezer and fill it with protein. The more people party- the more opportunity exists for you to plot and plan your way ahead! When the party is over they will swap really, really, good stuff for a pound of hamburger. Read stories of the Great Depression. Men sold cars worth $1000 for a weeks worth of meat and potatoes to feed their families. A thousand back then is over 100K now. The citizens of the US have 80 years of proof they can waste anything and everything without consequence. That “proof” is about to be proven false.
  17. Buy Mason Jars and food storage systems. Buy as many as you can afford. More than you need. It will be the TP of 2021. Mason Jars are cheap now. They will be gold as families across the nation take all they have learned from the last 6 weeks of social distancing and decide to declare their own food storage independence. For 2 generations, food storage was a power held by grocery stores. Their is a shift in that cycle of dependency coming. In fact, there is no reason why anyone with access to a 10th of an acre of land ever had to be or ever should be dependent on a grocery store. See #3. See YouTube. You can do this! It will taste better and be far more fun!

Don’t waste halftime by going to the beer stand like a fan. You are not some old fat fan! You are a Player! This is your life. You pretended pre-COVID you were a fan of some game. In Post COVID world, you are either a Player or a Victim. There are no ‘fans’ of COVID-19. Take that from a guy who lost some dear friends in the past month.

Use this coming half time to make adjustments against the opponent you face. Be your own Governor. Or, choose to lose. Your choice. Either way, my best to you!