Monday, April 25, 2011

It's the end of the world as we know it.....

....and I feel fine.

No, really. I do!

One might find that hard to believe in light of some rather grim outlooks regarding the American economy and its currency.

In short, as trader Dennis Gartman noted Thursday, "the rout of the US dollar" is in full effect.

"Panic dollar selling is setting in," Gartman, a hedge fund manager and author of "The Gartman Letter," wrote in his daily commentary. "This may carry farther than any of us dream of or, worse, have nightmares of."

How low can it go?

Rick Bensignor, chief market strategist at Dahlman Rose in New York, said the dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of select other global currencies, has scant technical support "that has any meaning" between its present level and the historical low of 70.70.

I'm far from an economic guru, but that sounds pretty perilous. Why there's even speculation that America's standing as the world's top economic juggernaut will come to an end about the time the next Presidential term is concluding.

The International Monetary Fund has just dropped a bombshell, and nobody noticed.

For the first time, the international organization has set a date for the moment when the “Age of America” will end and the U.S. economy will be overtaken by that of China.

And it’s a lot closer than you may think.

According to the latest IMF official forecasts, China’s economy will surpass that of America in real terms in 2016 — just five years from now.

Put that in your calendar.

It provides a painful context for the budget wrangling taking place in Washington right now. It raises enormous questions about what the international security system is going to look like in just a handful of years. And it casts a deepening cloud over both the U.S. dollar and the giant Treasury market, which have been propped up for decades by their privileged status as the liabilities of the world’s hegemonic power.

And said status is about to change, and no one seems to really care ---- especially those in Washington.

There is now, according to S&P, "at least a one in three chance" that American debt will be downgraded from its top-notch status over the next two years – which would be a first in modern times.

A New York Times/CBS News opinion poll has also suggested the US public is now more economically pessimistic than at any time since President Barack Obama's first two months in office in early 2009 – when the country was still caught in the "Great Recession".

Amid renewed talk of a "jobless recovery", the number of Americans who think the economy has deteriorated spiked by 13 percentage points over the past month. Congress, meanwhile, is locked in a bitter dispute over the federal government's ability to make ends meet.

By all means, read all three articles, especially if you think things are rough at this point in time.

Now, as I mentioned at the outset, I feel fine in spite of all the dismal economic forecasts. Is it because I believe a Reagan-esque type President will be elected in 2012 and team with a GOP majority in Congress to implement......BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

Darn! I almost got that out with a straight face.

Fact is I have little to no faith in beltway politicians. The stupefying unwillingness to implement meaningful spending cuts in this time of economic turbulence isn't going to be overcome any time soon. After all, too many members of Congress (as well as President Barack Obama himself) have re-election campaigns to worry about.

So why exactly do I feel fine? Simple. I believe what is says in the book of Matthew, chapter 6, verses 19 thru 21: "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

Moths? Vermin? Thieves? Definitely words which can be used to describe today's politicians, no?

I digress.

So am I saying that I am going to shirk my commitment to my family and kiss off estate planning altogether? Of course not. Biblically, it says one is worse than an infidel if one does not care for his children's children. But all the "riches" I have has been due to the blessings of my Heavenly Father. As such, I use the resources with which he has blessed me and sow back into His kingdom through various avenues (church, charity, etc.). As it says in Luke 6:38 "Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

In the Old Testament, God Himself lets you know that investing a mere 10% in His kingdom will be the best investment you could ever make. What I love most is He almost dares us to do this so He can prove it works. Malachi 3:10: "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it."

Sounds like an investment plan I can get behind!! I know one thing for certain: I've NEVER heard that kind of guarantee from a financial planner or stock broker.


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