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Many happy returns (to Uncle Sam).  Now that the 2016 tax season is officially over, my mind wondered over to thinking of where does all that money go.  Its practically impossible to tell these days, but another thought came to mind, and that is the national debt.

If you’ve never seen the U.S. National Debt Clock, then you simply must visit the site by clicking here.

Its mind boggling.  Utterly mind boggling.  This site shows you the running totals of more than 50 financial metrics concerning our nation’s finances: and it ain’t pretty.  The running total at the top left of the site is usually the most foreboding for viewers.  Its the running tally of our U.S. National Debt.  When I started writing this post, it stood at $19,880,075,148,000.  That’s nearly $20 TRILLION dollars.  I’ll include the updated tally when I am ready to post this article.

Down at the bottom right you will see our U.S. Unfunded Liabilities which at present is more than $105 Trillion.  What are “unfunded liabilities”?  This the total of federal worker’s pensions, V.A. benefits, Social Security including Medicare Parts A, B & D, all of which are unfunded.  That means there is not enough money to pay these obligations in the future.  But that isn’t the figure that gives me greatest pause.  Its near the dead center of the screen and titled “Currency and Credit Derivatives 2017“.

What’s that?  Remember what brought down the economy in 2007 and 2008?  Yes it had a lot to do with the housing bubble, but that was just a part of it.  It all stemmed from something called “Credit Default Swaps”, which are basically financial bets on stocks placed by big investment firms, banks and insurance companies for which they expect a hefty payout when the bets they’ve placed are called in.  Trouble is, the figure is presently over $625 Trillion.  Back in 2007, the total was a tenth of this figure.  Back then we learned the phrase “too big to fail”.  If the banks were so big back then and so critical that they should be bailed out, where do they stand today?  They’re far bigger and more in debt and more exposed in Credit Default Swaps.  The fact is, when the stocks underlying these bets tumble (and they will), the investment banks don’t have nearly the assets to cover their obligations.  None of them.  Not one.   What happens then?

Whatever happens then, it will be too late to be buying a bugout or off the grid property to run to.  Better to get prepared today while the sun is still shining.  At Retreat Realty, we are here to help forward looking people find a safe, stable place to call home in the midst of economic and societal unrest.  Call us today to get started looking for the perfect western North Carolina mountain retreat.  Oh, by the way, in the time its taken me to write this post, the national debt climbed another $21,198,000.  Make that $21,209,000.  Nope, $21,214,000……..