PROGNOSIS: NEGATIVE

If you are one of those people that is burned out on bad news or extremely susceptible to the opinion of others – look ye away now.

I have held out a long time, since I was 12 years old if I am being honest, but I am finally ready to say it. I think we are well and truly fucked.

By ‘since I was 12’ what I mean is this. I have always been haunted nagged by the sinking suspicion that something really bad is coming.  Not uncommon, I know. Clearly, directly tied to my childhood insecurities that I could not shake even through to adulthood.

These insecurities took on the form of zombies coming for me. Despite my best attempts at running, or barricading, the relentless tide of creatures who do not respond to rational thought or action eventually get me. This scenario colored my actual life in that I became a prepper, a conspiracy nut, and more than a little paranoid.

I have already tried to temper these traits by consciously tethering myself to reality and would religiously claw my way back to an even keel.

Recent events have sent that boat right of the trade routes and into uncharted waters.

Don’t get me wrong. I DO NOT THINK WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE OF COVID19.

It is the economic consequences of the last two months and the foreseeable future that have finally made me let me write a piece like this.

I get my information from all over the place. I am a news junkie. Mainstream news, a few journals, reddit, and a very international facebook family to name a few sources. Varied and not too unreliable (in the aggregate).

We have passed a point of no return as far as I am concerned. Too much unemployment coupled with ill conceived and carried out monetary countermeasures.

As examples, Hedge Funds were allowed to get PPL loans. Employees are mad at their bosses for being retained through PPL because they could make more on unemployment. The final batch of stimulus checks is due to mail out the week of September 11th. These are stupid and/or pointless gestures. 

A soon to be new normal that will all lead inevitably to economic ruin.

I am not convinced it will all happen, but I think we might be looking at a varietable nightmare of cascading events. A commercial real estate collapse, a new housing market collapse, rent strikes, a collapse of Airbnb/VRBO. The collapse of tourism in general, but Las Vegas and Disney types specifically. The entertainment industry, particularly movies and sports. Personal bankruptcies, credit card and home loan defaults. Not enough was done to save small business. Lots of people without work and not enough of the right kind of jobs that will continue on in the new normal. I think currency problems are so complicated that I am not even sure if I mean inflation or deflation or loss of the dollar as a fiat currency. Disruptions in commodities and energy that I have not even flushed out. A whole bag of woe.

In order to put some context to my litany of calamities, The Cheesecake Factory is forgoing paying rent this month. Bonds and stocks are heading in the same direction instead of their normal inverse directions. Oil futures are in the negative.

Don’t get me wrong, we will muddle through this economic disaster.

But the dream as we know it is forever disrupted. The paths to financial independence have been altered and I am not sure where I see a new path. Cash, stocks, property – any one of these could end up being a shit bet.

Hang on to your Hats!

3 thoughts on “PROGNOSIS: NEGATIVE

  1. I don’t think this will be a thing at all for early retired people who have already achieved all the wealth they need. In fact we will likely be presented with great bargains for real estate, luxury cars, all kinds of things that mainstream consumers might struggle to afford in the future. But for a lot of regular people who have not hit FI with a big margin yet, or maybe never planned to, life may be different/worse from now on. I think the virus has just sped up some things that were already going to hammer the middle class, huge national debt, dying retail sector, jobs being automated or offshored. All trends that have been going on for over a decade but that this crisis has accelerated. It certainly shows that becoming financially independent, and then some, is going to be very important going forward. But it may also be much harder to achieve.

Let's get things nice and sparkling clear