COVID HAS TRIGGERED THE NEXT GREAT FINANCIAL CRISIS | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

COVID HAS TRIGGERED THE NEXT GREAT FINANCIAL CRISIS

SOURCE: CHARLES HUGH SMITH VIA OFTWOMINDS BLOG
What's left are the 'fatal synergies' of soaring debt and leverage, diminishing returns on stimulus, the substitution of credit for savings and the coming deflationary tsunami that pops all the speculative bubbles.

Imagine a once modest but sturdy home built near a cliff to maximize the vistas. Over the decades, the foundation slowly degraded and the house moved imperceptibly closer to the unstable edge of the cliff. Those who observed the slippage and the potential for eventual disaster were either derided as alarmists or ignored.

Given the enviable location and views, the home rose in value and a series of increasingly gaudy additions were added, completely obscuring the once-modest exterior with cheap imitations of long-lasting, time-tested materials (plastic trim and brittle fake-marble veneers). The foundations of these ostentatious additions were slapdash, shallow and poorly made, as the goal was not durability but appearance.

The low-quality additions accelerated the slide to the unstable cliff edge, and in 2019 the viewing deck broke away and crashed into the canyon below. The repairs were hasty and the residents were assured all was well--in fact, better than ever.

In 2020, the weak foundation of the gaudiest, lowest-quality addition crumbled. The response of the owners was to fill the widening crack in the decaying structure and spray on a new coat of paint. There--good as new, the residents were told.

But this was not true. The house is now teetering on the precariously unstable cliff edge. Ironically, the vast majority of the residents have moved to the game room, which is now cantilevered over thin air. The slightest movement will tip the entire decayed structure over the cliff.

That decayed, precariously unstable structure is the U.S. economy, and Covid was the catalyst that nudged the economy right to the edge.

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