US National Debt – A Different Perspective

Armstrong Economics Blog/Uncategorized Re-Posted Mar 24, 2023 by Martin Armstrong

In 2010, Barron’s wrote a piece on me effectively laughing at my forecast that the share market would rally to new highs. What seems to inevitably unfold is this notion that whatever the event might be in motion, the mere thought of a reversal in trend appears impossible. When the press disagrees with Socrates, I know it will be the press who is wrong. And because they end up being wrong, of course, they cannot print a retraction so they will just pretend you do not exist rather than admit – Sorry, we were wrong. The Dow made that new high above 2007 by February 2013. That was 64 months from the October 2007 high.

I have been in the game for many years. With each event, it appears to be like Groundhog Day. They pop their heads out and declare they do not see their shadow, so the entire world will disintegrate and that is always based upon opinion. It is never backed by real analysis. Just the standard human trait of assuming whatever trend is in motion, will remain in motion.

Being an institutional adviser, I have never had that luxury. We have had to deal with some of the biggest portfolios in the world. They want accurate forecasting, and it has to be long-term – not day trading. They are not interested in the typical headlines of doom and gloom that the press love to print with every financial event simply to get readership. That is all they care about. It has been the financial version of the fake news.

When we step back and look at this favorite fundamental that people beat to death to predict the end of the world, the national debt, and the collapse of the dollar. Little did they know that the increase in National Debt during the 2007-2009 Financial Crisis was supposed to bring down the sky and end the existence of the dollar. We can see the sharp rise in debt simply made a double top with the Financial Crisis of 1985.

It was that previous 1985 Financial Crisis that set in motion the Plaza Accord which brought together the central banks creating what was then the G5 – now G20. Of course, like every government intervention, the side effect was the 1987 Crash and their attempt to reverse their directive at the Plaza Accord became the Louve Accord. When the traders saw that failed, the collapse in confidence led to the 1987 Crash.

It has always been a CONFIDENCE game as I pointed out with the 1933 Banking Holiday previously. In this case, the failure of the Louvre Accord which came out and said the dollar had fallen enough, once new lows in the dollar unfolded and the central banks could not stop the decline, led to financial panic by 1987 which manifested in the 1987 Crash.

This chart shows the quarterly change in the National Debt since 1966, Here you can see the 1985 and 2008 Financial Crises were on par. Neither one ended the dollar no less the world economy. So when I warned the share market would rally and make new highs and Barron’s laughed in 2010, I said the same thing after the 1987 Crash and people laughed.

In fact, on the very day of the low, I said this was it and that we would rally back to new highs by 1989. That was perfect and the market responded to the Economic Confidence Model (ECM) which has been published back in 1979. This was more than simply forecasting the 1987 Crash and the very day of the low. It clearly established that the ECM had revealed that there was a secret cycle behind the appearance of chaos even in economics.

Larry Edelson was actually a competitor at the time. But Larry respected that the forecast from the model was far beyond what people would ever expect. If we are ever going to advance as a society, we have to stop the bullshit and understand HOW markets trade and WHY. Larry did that. He understood that the model was something larger than just personal opinion.

Even those claiming to be using the K-Wave cannot make real forecasts. The basis of Kondratieff’s argument came from his empirical study of the economic performance of the USA, England, France, and Germany between 1790 and 1920. Kondratieff took the wholesale price levels, interest rates, and production and consumption of coal, pig iron, and lead for each economy. He then sought to smooth the data using an averaging mathematical approach of nine years to eliminate the trend as well as shorter waves. Kondratieff thus arrived at his long-wave theory suggesting that the economic process was a process of continuous waves of boom and bust.

Kondratieff’s work was compelling and contributed greatly to the Austrian School of Economics that first began to develop the concept of a Business Cycle. The general central principle of the Austrian Business Cycle Theory is concerned with a period of sustained low-interest rates and excessive credit creation resulting in a volatile and unstable imbalance between saving and investment. Within this context, the theory supposes that the Business Cycle unfolds whereby low rates of interest tend to stimulate borrowing from the banking sector and thus then result in the expansion of the money supply that causes an unsustainable credit ­source boom which leads to a diminished opportunity for investment by competition.


Here is a chart of the business cycle that was created by a farmer named Samuel Benner. Benner based his work on Sunspots, which actually incorporated solar maximum and minimum that today’s Climate Change zealots refuse to consider. Nevertheless, someone manipulated Brenner’s work and created a chart to try to influence society handing it in with a wild story to the Wall Street Journal published this cycle on February 2nd, 1932, when the market bottomed in July 1932. Still, nobody knew who had investigated this phenomenon in 1932.


When I was doing my own research reading all the newspapers to understand how events unfolded, I came across this chart. I found it interesting that during the Great Depression people were reaching out and some began to embrace cyclical ideas. The problem with both Kondratiff and Brenner was that the period they used to develop their cycles was the 19th century because the real Industrial Revolution was unfolding and in the 1850s, 70% of the civil workforce were all in agriculture. Consequently, if you constructed a model based entirely upon one sector, it would work only as long as that sector was the top dog.

Being a historian buff, it quickly hit me that NOTHING remains constant and that the economy will ALWAYS evolve, mature, and then crash and burn. Where agriculture was 70% of the workforce in 18590, it fell to 40% by 1900, and then down to 3% by 1980.

Just look at energy. The earliest lamps, dating to the Upper Paleolithic, were stones with depressions in which animal fats were burned as a source of light. In cultures closer to the sea, they began to use shells as lamps which they would burn at first animal fat. Clay lamps began to appear during the Bronze Age around the 16th century BC and the invention quickly spread throughout the Roman Empire. Initially, they took the form of a saucer with a floating wick.

We even find Roman oil lamps as luxury items crafted out of bronze. There are collectors of terracotta oil lamps for there is a vast variety of motifs. There is everything from dolphins, and various entities, to erotic oil lamps, which may have been used in brothels. The point is, if you constructed a model on oil, you would have surely accomplished similar results to Kondratief and Brenner.

Then of course, just as the energy moved from animal fats to vegetable oils, by the 19th century it returned to whale oil which was extracted from the blubber. Emerging industrial societies used whale oil in oil lamps and to make soap. However, during the 20th century, whale oil was even made into margarine.

Then the discovery of petroleum and the use of whale oils declined considerably from their peak in the 19th century into the 20th century. Ironically, it was fossil fuels that probably saved whales from extinction. Hence, now we are entering a period where they deliberately want to end fossil fuels and move to solar and wind power. Obviously, just a cursory review of energy reveals the problem of basing a model on the current energy source or major economic industry. Things change with time.

This Just In – Western Nation Central Banks Organize to Provide Daily Liquidity of Dollars in The Event of Contagion Bank Collapse

Posted originally on the CTH on March 19, 2023 | Sundance 

This is rather remarkable and tells us something about the current status of the “western” financial system.  The last sentence in today’s announcement from the FED is particularly laughable.   Check this out [Source]:

That last sentence is nonsense.   When was the last time the ‘central banks’ worried about the supply of credit to households and businesses?  Total and complete nonsense. What they are worried about is the need to have readily available dollars, faster, to backstop banks that are supposed to be holding deposits.

Nothing quite inspires ‘global banking confidence’ like the need to swap dollars rapidly, from country to country on a daily basis, because the amount of currency in bank, within any western nation, at any given time, might disappear.

Yesterday’s monologue from Neil Oliver, and the recent personal banking story that structures his comments, is standing as eerily prescient right now.  SEE BELOW:


“This just in.  Everything is fine… the liquidity of the Western banking system has never been stronger”… “Look over there folks, Trump indictment, nothing to see here folks… move along now”…

C-Level Executives Sold Shares Weeks Before SVB Failed

Armstrong Economics Blog/Corruption Re-Posted Mar 13, 2023 by Martin Armstrong

A bank failure of this proportion has not been seen since 2008 when Washington Mutual failed. The majority of deposits in Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) are uninsured, meaning the FDIC’s $250,000 protection does not apply. Uninsured depositors will be provided receivership certificates and should receive an advanced dividend this week. The FDIC must sell off the remaining assets of SVC to determine how much it can provide to those uninsured depositors. The FDIC is encouraging borrowers to continue paying their existing loans. The bank was said to host $209 billion in assets and $175.4 billion in deposits as of December 2022. Washington Mutual held around $307 billion in assets when it went down.

Tons of people and businesses will be completely screwed over. Who could have seen it coming? Silicon Valley Bank CEO, CFO, and CMO sold off millions in stock over the past two weeks. President and CEO Greg Becker sold 12,451 shares on February 27 for $3.6 million at $287.42 per share. Later that day, he purchased options for the same amount of shares at $105.18 a piece. He did the same thing in December 2021, as this is not an uncommon albeit unethical practice. Banks commonly trade against their own clients. Becker sold about $3.57 million worth of SVB stock over the past two weeks and is now making TV appearances saying he did not see this coming.

There were signs of trouble, but the talking heads said otherwise. Forbes even listed SVB Financial Group as #20 on its list of America’s Best Banks in an article published on February 14, 2023. Talking/screaming head Jim Cramer came out last month to say that SVB Financial would become one of the top performers on the S&P. This is why you cannot listen to information based on biased opinions. I hesitate to call this negligence technical analysis.

Companies are now at a complete loss, many cannot make payroll, and this situation will only worsen once the uninsured depositors realize their IOUs are worthless.

Beyond Hubris – Joe Biden Says He Takes No Blame for Inflation

Posted originally on the CTH on February 3, 2023 | Sundance

Not only does the buck not stop with Biden, the installed occupant of the White House refuses to admit the buck even started with him. It did!

During remarks to the press today, even Brian Deese looked stunned as Joe Biden incredulously claimed he didn’t cause the rampant inflation that is crushing middle class Americans. Oh, he started it alright…. He not only started it, but he also created it.

The combination of the January 2021 immediate move to block any domestic energy development, in combination with the April 2021 unneeded explosion of deficit spending triggered both a supply side and demand side inflationary impact; with the former continuing to put massive upward pressure on prices still. WATCH:

The lies from the lying, liar who lies, just flow so easily from his mouth.

A pox on all their houses.

War & Real Estate

Armstrong Economics Blog/Real Estate Re-Posted Feb 3, 2023 by Martin Armstrong

Hello from Europe and a hopeful new year.
In WW2 in Athens, people were exchanging their apartments for a few liters of olive oil, hence real estate went really down.
The short question that you can answer even with a yes or no:
If this year’s aggressivity in terms of war actions will rise, what happens? Will real estate fall on the first stage and then – due to governmental actions – will rise again?
It is a bit confusing while I am trying to understand the mechanism… economy is not simple at all.
Thank you.

ANSWER: The real truth about real estate and war, declines the closer you get to the action. When we look at our models for European real estate, it clearly shows 2023 as a directional change and it appears to be heading into a Panic Cycle for 2027. Our leaders project like we should all go charge into Russia and defeat it in a matter of weeks or just days. Besides the fact that they never discuss that civilian deaths are twice as high as military, they also never talk about how the net worth of everyone in Europe will decline. Your house will decline in value for (1) people are not interested in buying a new home in times of uncertainty, and (2) interest rates will rise sharply due to inflation which is also part of the war cycle.

Lydia, in modern Turkey where coins were invented, shows the impact of war. It was Lydia v Person (Cyrus the Great) and we see the very first debasement in recorded history which accompanies war. The coinage was debased showing roughly a 25% devaluation in the purchasing power during the 6th century BC.

The Peloponnesian War in Greece saw the Athenian Owl reduced from silver to bronze and just silver plated. We find the same trend in Rome. There is NEVER any exception to this rule.

Beware, as the West insists upon expanding this war, you are sacrificing all your life savings in real estate for the political nonsense of our leaders in Europe as a whole. They are true war criminals. They could settle this in a day. Just honor the Minsk Agreement.

Gold v Digital Fiat & Marxism

Armstrong Economics Blog/Gold Re-Posted Feb 2, 2023 by Martin Armstrong

QUESTION: Hi AE…so gov’t “money” (fiat currency) will become just some abstract floating measurement of value, an electronic entry in an electronic account in the cybersphere. As these various so-called gov’ts become less reliable, even between themselves, do you see the possibility of them simply skipping their phony currencies, & trading directly in gold. Russia could ship a specific quantity of crude to China, for a specific amount of gold bars. Your argument about the impracticality of a gold-backed currency makes sense, but what about large transactions being settled in gold?


ANSWER: The entire problem that people do not grasp with regard to any return to a gold standard is that if the money supply is FIXED in any way, that necessitates the collapse of SOCIALISM. The two are directly linked. Politicians only know how to run with deficits. Vote for me and I will give you this or that!

The Bretton Woods gold standard collapsed because they FIXED the price of gold at $35, but they continued to print money far beyond the supply of gold at that fixed price. In addition, you have a business cycle. There will be times when no matter what the money might be, there will be boom times when the value of money declines and the asset values rise.

This argument over gold v fiat is absolutely just nonsense. The wealth of any nation is the productive capacity of its people. For centuries, the business cycle has existed and that is the entire cause for the “inflation” in assets when money declines in value, and then the “deflation” in assets with the value of money rises. Arguing over what we use for money will NEVER stop the business cycle.

The cycle is also in part driven by all governments. It becomes a drug of power that is abused. It would not matter what we use for money right now, they want to create World War III so they can default, and escape from the abuse of this Marxism that they have turned into a system of borrowing every year with no intention of paying anything back. But we have reached the confrontation between Keynesianism where central banks are expected to prevent inflation by rising interest rates, but that has no impact on the government which has become the biggest borrower in the system.

We are going BUST not because of the money we use, but because of the abuse of power in government which has always existed since ancient times.

Trust me. Forget gold standards. They will never work because all governments act only in their own self-interest. You should have learned that with COVID. They will never admit any mistake EVER! It is far better to keep gold on our side of the table and we can then use it as a hedge against governments. They are seeking to move to digital currencies ONLY so they can track when you hired the 16-year-old girl next door to babysit for you so they can go after her for the government’s 50% share.

Even Bitcoin is fiat. There is no backing. People have dived headfirst into cryptocurrency on the entire proposition that they are limited. All they have done is proven my point. Money, historically, has been everything from seashells and cattle to bronze, silver, and gold. Of all the various forms of money, only bronze and cattle had any real commodity value based on utility.

The Egyptians really invented paper money for the farmers would deposit their grain and receive a receipt which was a bearer instrument used in trade. They also used raw metal, not coins, and traded based on weight, as it stated in the Bible. Here is a piece of pottery from Egypt recording a complaint about taxes written in Greek. It stated the sum amounted to a total of 90 talents of silver with 15 talents of tax on the transfer of land – 16.6%.

For thousands of years, Egypt had no coins until it was conquered by Alexander the Great, and upon his death, his general Ptolemy I (305/304 – 282 BC) took the throne and it was his Greek line from which Cleopatra VIII came – not Egyptian.

Our system is starting to implode. Never in the history of human civilization have governments demanded taxes on income requiring reporting every year. This was the gift of Karl Marx. Just as this Egyptian tax on the transfer of land, we see that property taxes and a form of sales tax were the norms.

The American Constitution was intended to give thenational government greater power to raise revenue because the previous Articles of Confederation had been a fiscal disaster. Nevertheless, most people remained fearful of taxation by governments. Indirect taxes were to be the way to secure our liberty from tyrannical governments. It was generally understood that indirect taxes meant taxes on consumption like a retail sales tax and/or excise taxes on imports. It was believed that indirect taxes did not lend themselves to abuse by tyrannical governments. Consequently, the general belief was that “direct taxes” has to be taken off the table. Incomes taxes, throwing out the window of all the wisdom of the ages, were imposed by the new age of Marxism in 1913.

Our computer warns that 2025 will be the turning point in Marxism.