Let’s identify and understand the problem.
Make no mistake, this problem is a trifecta of bullshit.
First, I’ve been outspoken about how corrupt Wall Street is, but feel that I may have been too nice, accepting, and soft in the past.
Second, our Centralized Banking (AKA The Federal Reserve) is a major culprit of chaos, confusion, and definitely inflation.
Finally, and of course, last but not least, I don’t want to leave out the Government (they are only like 30,000,000,000,000 in debt). That is an awful lot of zeros.
It takes 32,000 years to count to a trillion (I know because I googled it).
Do you know what was going on 32,000 years ago?
An ice age… maybe?
Neanderthals roamed the earth… I think.
Joe Biden had just been born.
And when I say the government, I am also including big corporations that fund the campaigns of the most corrupt and put their profit and agenda in the gray area, the area of force and fraud as well. These companies are having unprecedented profits right now, thanks in large part to government policy and complicity.
And this $30 Trillion in debt is only the beginning. When you consider other government obligations, i.e. social security payments, pensions, etc. the number at least doubles or maybe triples.
There are Three Stooges devaluing our money, our way of life, and responsible for rigging the game against the working class:
- The Federal Reserve (Centralized Banks).
- The Government (and corporations funding the fraud and corruption).
- Wall Street (Investment Banks)
Our everyday banks have failed in the past, and yet here we are again. Yes, these highly regulated organizations (to make us feel safe) where we store our savings.
Are they actually safe or have we been indoctrinated to think they are the best way to store our money?
Remember the last time there was a massive bank failure?
The Great Recession of 2008 left us with stories of Wall Street and Bank executives getting huge bonuses on the backs of taxpayers giving 5 trillion plus during the bailout.
There was plenty of wrongdoing, yet no jail time (well, one person from Wall Street went to jail, but only one).
So, what is happening now?
And why is this happening again?
Why do banks end up going broke, insolvent, or at least in need of government assistance to stay afloat?
Well, these same banks were ridiculously profitable recently when interest rates were low. They could borrow/rent money in savings accounts or money markets for 1 percent (or less) several months ago and sell that same dollar for 3 or 4 percent (with mortgages) or 12 percent or more for credit cards.
That is an impressive and massive markup.
Going from 1 to 12 is like being able to rent something for 100 dollars and turn around and charge 1200 dollars for the same thing. 1200 percent return on that spread.
Wow. Thanks the bank.
Why do they make so much? And what they make is minimal compared to the institution that controls the money supply, the central banks AKA the Federal Reserve.
The bank you deposit checks into made those massive returns, all for being an intermediary.
A middleman for savers and borrowers.
And we used to get a toaster, but now just a sucker, dumb dumb.
But it gets worse, thanks to the policies of the Federal Reserve (established in 1913, which is neither federal nor a reserve). The Federal Reserve, again, is private centralized banks and the private (not government) people who own them.
The richest people on the planet, so move over Elon and Jeff Bezos. As MC Hammer would say- you can’t touch this. You are small compared to an owner of a central bank like The Rothschild family.
So a huge part of inflation has come from something that was born in a very basic way, in the 1800s, (to deal with bank runs) but then revolutionized and popularized by the Federal Reserve- Fractionalized Banking .
This modern-day banking system was invented off of Jekyll Island (talk about a monster with Jekyll and Hide) just off the Georgia coast. It was kept secretive for decades and is part of why inflation exists today.
Fractionalized banking allows a dollar to be used more than once, simultaneously.
Yeah, when you make a deposit of your money in the bank, they can lend that money out (minus a reserve requirement which fluctuates). When the bank lends that money to the next person, that person gets to deposit the money in any bank, your money, and the bank can then lend it out again (minus the small reserve requirement).
Essentially the same dollar is getting lent out… wait for it, wait for it… (cue the Lebron James Miami Heat championship prediction)… not one, not two, not three, not four… yea, they can lend it out multiple times, the same dollar, over and over – welcoming much higher inflation into our economy.
And during Covid, banks were given massive amounts of money through another Federal Reserve-invented strategy, creating hyperinflation, called Quantitative Easing (QE). Now that is a made-up bullshit name that could have just as easily called fucking your money.
QE added at least 40 percent more to the money supply.
Banks were given massive liquidity infusions through QE to lend out at low-interest rates, and instead of lending that money out, they used it to provide more safety and liquidity for them. And it was safer for them, initially, but quickly the government spending and Quantitative Easing party created inflation, putting the banks at risk.
Banks put a substantial amount of the QE funds into low-interest rate, fixed-income investments like US treasuries.
US Treasuries are seen as some of the safest fixed-income investments due to the unlimited taxing power of the US government. But, when interest rates rise, the price of these treasuries falls if you need to liquidate them before maturity .
Let’s give an example – if you are investing money, would you rather get 2 percent or 6 percent? Easy, 6 percent (that is, if the risk is equal). So, if a bank has really low-interest rate bonds in a time of rising interest rates, they have to sell them at a discount to match the interest the new bonds are paying.
When the news hits of the bank having some trouble liquidating funds for depositors, today’s internet spreads the news at an unprecedented rate and all clients of the bank find out and rush to get their money out.
But they don’t have all that money in the bank. Not even close.
Try to go get more than 3,000 dollars in actual cash from your local bank.
Want to really freak them out, ask for 75,000 in cash like I instructed one of my clients to do. That took multiple banks, over multiple days, while signing multiple documents. So yeah, the money isn’t in the bank, it is in treasuries. It is in loans to other customers in the form of mortgages.
And raising interest rates, was created as a response to battle inflation. The Federal Reserve was largely responsible for inflation, and they were allowed to then create policies that helped reduce the problem they largely created.
The Fed increased the interest rate and put the bank’s investment capital at risk during a run on the bank. The inflation happened in large part because of Quantitative Easing combined with the Government spending money and handing out money they didn’t have (debt).
QE and Fractionalized Banking contributed to inflation through the Fed, then the Fed raised interest rates to battle inflation. It feels a lot like that scene from Fight Club where Edward Norton is punching himself to frame his boss for beating him up. A bloody mess, self-imposed.
Inflation destroys trust… and it should.
We work and store the value of our work with money, then inflation devalues our purchasing power and our humanity in the process.
This man-made, artificial creation becomes the loss of value.
Born of Quantitative Easing (QE), fractionalized banking, and government borrowing & collusion, with no value exchange.
Just poof, invented money, devaluing our existing dollar by making it available at seemingly no cost, to the institutions we trust the least.
The Government (and large corporations). Federal Reserve. And Wall Street.
You know, Wall Street. The inspiration for the least inspiring movies: Wall Street. A movie about legalized white-collar crime. Wolf of Wall Street – white-collar crime, but more drugs. Boiler Room, The Big Short, Margin Call, and the list goes on.
The low-interest rate environment, along with a flood of printed money going to the banks (QE), created an additional risk and cost to be paid by… you, the taxpayer. The government spends more to protect the banks that are losing money, the banks are losing money in part to rising interest rates and the risk it poses to their existing assets, and you clean it up with the taxes you pay.
This is the wrong kind of charity. This is like rewarding your children for bad behavior. Showing them there is no consequence or responsibility, creating a spoiled entitled brat. Yeah, don’t worry, someone else will clean it up. Yeah, we are that someone else.
Free has never been so expensive.
And if that isn’t upsetting enough, this will continue to be reported in half-truths at best.
You will hear about money being lost, but money wasn’t exactly lost, it instead was transferred to the richest people on Wall Street.
Yeah, money isn’t lost, it is transferred but reported as lost. It doesn’t vanish or disappear, it appears in someone else’s bank account.
This is where the wealth gap continues to widen.
And the government thinks the solution is to tax the rich? Hardly.
The solution is to follow the money, follow the fraud, and demand accountability, legally.
If you want to tax the rich, tax the central bank. Tax the Wall Street execs that perpetuate losses and fees without consequence. Tax any “public servant” of the government that goes in poor and comes out rich.
The Three Stooges want you to think the entrepreneur is the enemy.
Entrepreneurs don’t have lobbyists and aren’t massive contributors to elected officials so they can be owed favors.
That is reserved for the biggest publicly traded companies that are working directly with the government. The ones that are in your mutual fund. Yeah, the ones we unintentionally vote for with our dollars.
If you are familiar with selling short, derivatives, swaps, etc, these are strategies of betting and leveraging that destroys the wealth of hard-working people as it is extracted from your home to some massive conference room in a building in NYC. Sucked out of the accounts and into the pockets of Wall Street. The very few take from the many, the unknowing.
This game is rigged.
This game destroys lives, robs people of energy, and freedom, and continues in a chaos of confusion and complicity.
Ok, so I talked about voting with our dollars, and here is where we have been complicit.
Dollar-cost averaging into retirement plans fueled by mutual funds.
27,000,000,000,000 dollars are in mutual funds.
We are buying stocks all while there are dark pools where these Wall Street criminals can buy at different prices for themselves, or use supercomputers to skim money through flash trading, or Wall Street selling off something they know is worthless before the public catches wind of it… you get it.
We know this instinctively, intuitively, but we have been indoctrinated that investing means buying stocks and bonds. We think of investing as putting money with a local financial advisor, not Gordon Gecko.
Investing has become as synonymous with stocks as Kleenex is synonymous with tissue.
Branded in our brains. Burned into our thoughts.
We have also been convinced investing is so complicated (this is intentional) that we don’t have the time or know how to figure it out. This has led to a place of abdicating responsibility and handing our money over to the wolves as we become prey to those without morality.
Those that thrive on power and the hunger of taking all they can with no consideration for humanity.
Look, I know why we hand our money over to investments we barely understand, we buy into stories from salesmen that are rarely true, and people who NEVER have had our best interests at heart.
It happens with the middlemen.
The unsuspecting, the don’t ask questions and instead study salesmanship over the technical analysis or numbers, financial advisors- good people carrying out bad ideas. Their pay structure blinds them to the truth. Their livelihood is predicated upon peddling risk to the busy, and the uneducated.
They spout ideas like dollar cost average (which has been proven to be ineffective and inefficient). You hear them spew the ideas like you are in it for the long haul (yeah while Wall Street wipes out a large portion of your return). Or reiterate that high risk equals high return (they forgot to say, you take the risk and Wall Street gets the guaranteed return).
Again, these are just part of it.
Want to find out just how good they are?
See how much your advisor can tell you about mortgage-backed securities or collateralized debt obligations or derivatives, and their role in the 2008 collapse.
Or ask them about the impact of dark pools or flash trading on your return.
Have them show you an investment bank recommending to avoid or sell during an IPO (its always buy).
Have them explain how stock buybacks from Quantitative Easing worked and whom it benefitted most.
When they tell you 6-10 percent is a good return on your money, ask them what banks are making through fractionalizing or what the spread is on the bank’s money.
Handing your money over every month requires you to be complicit with volatility, loss, risk, non-performing fees, and the like for all of the bad actors and ideas in Wall Street to work.
Wall Street continues to use confusing terms where people rely on salespeople posing as planners that do the work because it pays enough commission, leaving them blind to the problem.
This is not capitalism, this is cronyism and corporatism.
This is theft, but not plain and simple. IT’S COMPLICATED, like breaking up with someone you love but don’t want to hurt. But the Three Stooges don’t really want to help, instead they want to hurt us and only love what we do for them. They tell us they are looking out for us, but only looking out for themselves.
All of this is made possible with complicated verbiage and high commission for the army of advisors to look the other way. This may seem dark and bleak, but there is a better way, there are solutions. But it begins with responsibility and opting out of corruption (as much as you can anyway).
If money is a man-made tool of exchange and designed to more efficiently trade with one another, when we merely add more money (QE) without value, it effectively robs our purchasing power (AKA inflation). If money represents value and we increase the money supply without increasing the value provided, it is a watering down of the soup. It creates inflation.
And when we allow for policies and financial products to reroute gains to the few, at the expense of the many, we lose.
So, when Quantitative Easing (QE) added at least (it may be much more) 40 percent more money to our money supply, how did that happen, and at what cost. Just added. Printed? Added to computer screens? Either way, it massively impacts the value of our money.
What is next? What will they invent and sell us as a solution?
BTW, where did most of the money go from Quantitative Easing?
Well, disproportionately the Quantitative Easing money went to banks and Wall Street investment banks.
Not to the main street in your town.
Not to the poor, the disabled, or the mentally ill needing it the most. And not to the unique, boutique businesses that were deemed non-essential during Covid or most small businesses.
Instead, it went to the publicly traded chain stores, deemed essential services, that were making money, a lot of money, during Covid.
So, with Quantitative Easing (QE) did the banks lower interest rates?
Well, a little, but not to the degree the federal reserve rate was lowered to help the banks. Helping the banks more than the people making deposits in them.
A bigger spread.
Oh, and what did Wall Street do with the money?
Add infrastructure and hire people – not really.
They did however do a lot of stock buyback with the money, adding to their riches with this free-to-cheap money.
And while the government did send checks to most Americans for a while during lockdowns, which for some was desperately needed, most of the “FREE MONEY” landed in the wrong hands. With the government incentives, it was given to businesses (and people) that didn’t need it.
Foolishly, the CARES act added a lot of tax incentives to businesses through Employee Retention Credits (still going and not needed for so many) and gave PPP money to businesses that were thriving off of the Covid environment and didn’t need the handout, so thanks.
Shake Shack got PPP during skyrocketing profits – really. Even Tom Brady and Kayne got millions from PPP (Karma is a bitch). Thanks, Uncle Sam. Maybe that is the uncle that shouldn’t be invited back for Thanksgiving dinner.
And with all the “FREE MONEY”, the unintended consequence happened with the difficulty of hiring and keeping employees for the biggest employers in the world, small businesses, because many figured “why work” when money was free.
Why work? Because the FREE MONEY is debt that will eventually need to be paid for through taxes or increased income to battle inflation.
I can appreciate that lots of people have shitty jobs in this world.
Taking them away from their family and many are simply exhausting.
To a small degree, I get it. I washed cars and mowed lawns for years- no fun.
Plus, there are lots of people who are underpaid and underappreciated, but the answer won’t come from a government mandate.
Yeah, fuck freedom, let’s trust big brother to handle this. Well, big brother is controlled by big corporations and private bankers too often.
So, what can you do about it?
It is time we start trusting ourselves.
Investing in ourselves.
Doing what we can to be responsible for ourselves and add value to other people.
The government, the fed, and Wall Street cannot steal your Mental and Relationship Capital, if you know and invest in your value. If you invest in yourself. If you focus on connection with others and value creation over victimhood, scarcity, and the news cycle.
The good news is, look no further than the mirror.
The solution is within and only needs to be remembered.
You can recapture time when replacing complaining with creation and connection.
This blog definitely started with calling out what is, and that can be perceived as negative news. But progress starts with honesty. Life and the action we can take improve when we are dealing with reality. With reality, we can make better choices rather than being held captive by the cloud of confusion.
Wealth is not built through complaining and it isn’t built through sleepwalking either.
So, yes, we will still have to pay for the sins of the Federal Reserve, Wall Street and, the government’s past. It would have been even worse if technology didn’t aid, but technology isn’t the whole solution.
For some, you may great intentions that led to mistakes by funneling money into retirement plans. That money can be put to better use because you don’t have to participate in the Wall Street scheme.
When the dollar is a byproduct of value creation, of exchange, of serving others and solving problems through human actions, wealth is built. Everything else is smoke and mirrors, robbing us and devaluing human beings.
Inflation is truly theft. Silent but deadly, like a rotten fart.
So, if money is potential energy, inflation reduces our stored energy, our capacity to tap into other people’s energy, as it destroys our purchasing power.
If we make our choices about something being worth it or not in the moment, based upon what we pay, but that pay becomes worth less in the future, we are misled and misinformed. Possibly taking precious time from what we value the most, family, because of the promise of a better future.
But that future is devalued with inflation.
So, now it is time for appreciation.
Appreciation for who you are and what you are capable of.
This is the key to growing wealth- appreciation.
It begins with the most precious forms of capital, hidden potential, and knowing your value.
1. Mental Capital is your ideas, knowledge, wisdom, strategies, and tools. It is like those old commercials with semi-famous actors- “the more you know”. Develop your skills. Put money into your abilities to earn more income rather than sacrificing your life for the next decades hoping to retire. If your investments are outside of your Mental Capital, your knowledge, or doesn’t support you in gaining new knowledge to make better choices, it isn’t investing, it is gambling and speculation. Instead, ask yourself how you can reach the most people and most deeply impact those you serve. Begin with building a solid financial IQ so you can opt out of the trap and into a better life. Grow your Mental Capital and you can minimize risk and maximize return.
2. Relationship Capital – This is the most useful, yet underutilized capital in the world. It is stored as goodwill and equity. It is people, networks, organizations, friends, mentors, and our family. We all have hidden and unutilized capital. Tap into it by knowing what you want, asking for support, and adding massive value. Invest in your relationships. Who are your advocates, referrers, and biggest supporters and fans? Find the Catalysts, the ones that will speak your praises, connect you to opportunities, and leave you uplifted.
3. Quality of Life – You are your greatest asset, not a bond, stock or piece of real estate. The more you invest in yourself, the more you build a life you love, and when you take back control of your finances, the more energy you will have for the things that matter and will increase your enjoyment of life. Find your sanctuary, the place you can think without the noise of the world, without the narrative of social media, or anything that distracts you at the expense of listening to yourself. You may want that sanctuary as things continue to deteriorate with the policies I’ve already discussed. Have real assets and find ways to be more self-reliant. I can hunt and fish. My wife is learning more about gardening. We want healthy food and we want to provide for ourselves the next time prices skyrocket or supply chain is constrained.
4. Recapture Cash – Keep more of what you make without cutting back. Plug financial leaks and stop overpaying for tax, interest, non-performing investment fees and improper insurance design. This is about being efficient and savvy with your money, leading to boosting your bottom-line.
5. Lock out the Wolf – Remove, reclaim, and rejoice by taking all funds back from Wall Street. This is your money, not theirs. Take your stand against flash trading, and stop encouraging and allowing dark pools, or giving them access to steal your money when the shit hits the fan. Instead, pay off high-interest loans and discover your Investor DNA. For some that might be real estate, for others, it may be a business, and even for others, it might be creating intellectual property. You can build assets with your abilities. My assets are my books, this blog, my comedy show, my one-man show, this website, my Catalyst relationships, my cabin. It took me years to find what investments make sense for me. It wasn’t oil and gas, or commercial real estate, or mutual funds, or individual stocks, or real estate funds. I made lots of mistakes to get here, but the biggest one was greed combined with a lack of accountability. No one will care more about your money than you do. So, stop handing your money over to institutions that do the opposite of what they tell you and set you up for failure.
6. Create Economic Independence – Cash flow, cash flow, cash flow. Find assets that produce cash flow. When your cash flow covers your expenses, you have more breathing room. You have more choice and less stress.
7. Cash Flow Banking – Store your wealth in a place that is protected from liability, tax-advantaged, available before 59.5, and with a multitude of benefits that creates downside protection, reducing risk. I don’t use banks for anything more than the minimal necessary funds for monthly transactions (bills, payroll, etc). For sure the maximum I would ever have in a bank would be the FDIC insured amount and keep the rest in Cash Flow Banking – download and read What Would the Rockefellers Do at GarrettGunderson.com/wwbd for more info on how that works.
8. Bitcoin – If you need the money today or do not have any extra cash, this is not for you. This is something that will be highly volatile and with plenty of mixed reviews in the media. Like it or not, this is an answer to central banking. This creates transparency with an open ledger for transactions, is easy to move, decentralized, and is an answer to runaway inflation. There is plenty more to say, but that will be for another day. This is to plant a seed of possibility and consideration. I’d also mention I own lots of Ethereum as well.
This is a good sampling of strategies, but if you’d like more, my YouTube channel is dedicated to these solutions. If you would like to explore them in more depth just click the icon in the author box below.
If you are tired of being a host for the leeches to live off and if you are done letting them extract your value and the extinction of your purchasing power, let’s take a pledge.
It begins with responsibility.
Leave behind the lies. It isn’t too complicated or it won’t take too much time.
You do have time to face your finances. You just have to give up the things that no longer serve you. Stop watching the news for one or take a break from social media or Netflix for a while.
Take that time for self-care and growth instead.
It is time to stand up for yourself and take back control of your finances and life.
Can I get an AMEN?
If so, if you are with me, here is the Producer’s Pledge and the beginning of the Financial Responsibility Movement (FRM).
- I am my greatest asset
- I invest first, foremost, and always in myself
- I will consider quality of life in my financial choices
- I will consider peace of mind when investing and avoid investments that create fear and scarcity (economics and peace of mind must be in harmony)
- I do not fund other’s dreams before knowing and investing in my own
- I will create a life, career, and purpose I do not want to retire from
- I will utilize a team, but never relegate to or rely upon Wall Street or one individual for my financial health life and success
- I will not expect people to care more about my money than I do
- I will no longer diversify into investments outside of my knowledge, or Investor DNA, before I am economically independent
If you are in. I’m not selling anything, just type IN in the comments.
Say this pledge, internalize this pledge, and live this pledge.
It is time to have a plan, have the final say in that plan, and follow your plan.