black swan

When a Black Swan Flies Over Wall Street’s House of Cards By Jerry Kroth

A black swan is Wall Street lexicon for an unpredicted event. The author of that concept, Nassim Taleb, opines that most of the major moves in stock market history originated as black swan events coming out of nowhere, with a random, stochastic disorderliness that pushes markets into wild gyrations and implosion.

But subliminally, everyday, CNBC and Bloomberg market mavens reassure us that the market hovers only a few percentage points off all time highs, that unemployment is moderating, and projected GDP, if not robust, is certainly positive.

Still, outliers like Ron Paul endlessly pontificate that we are living in a fairy tale house of cards.

The Fed has pumped about $4.6 trillion into our economy—“quantitative easing,” a term Ron feels is printing money out of thin air. What bothers the former Congressman is that the Fed won’t submit to a real audit, and he suspects it is hiding something far darker. “If the Fed has nothing to hide, it has nothing to fear.” [1]

So what is it hiding? The Fed may have surreptitiously lent $16 trillion to foreign banks completely under the radar and without any approval of anyone. Says Bernie Sanders “No agency of the United States government should be allowed to bailout a foreign bank or corporation without the direct approval of Congress and the President.”[2]  The Fed may have done exactly that.

Just to keep these numbers in perspective, the total value of the entire U.S. economy, $17.4 trillion, is less than what the Fed may have been printing, unaudited, and all by its lonesome since 2008.

U.S. total public, personal, and corporate debt is now $60 trillion, [3] and to a few cognoscenti, there is a palpable sense of teetering. Puerto Rico is running out of cash. Illinois struggles to pay pensioners while avoiding insolvency. Detroit is already in receivership. Irvington, Harrisburg, Oakland, Providence and a host of other municipalities are close behind.

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