Over the past decade, a fractious geopolitical environment has come into view. Why? A number of reasons, but mainly because global economic growth has slumped. Major economic players are jostling for a greater share of world trade, water rights, and whatever else is valuable. They are threatening each other … also becoming more nationalistic. One needs no imagination to see the parallels in animal behavior. Consider the Australian spadefoot frog. When water is plentiful, all is fine and placid. However, once the water puddles begin to dry up, the tadpoles become cannibals … eating each other. It is similar with the hippopotamus. When they are enjoying marsh vegetation and deep rivers, they are mostly peaceful. However, once the waterways dry up, they become a heaving mass of ill-tempered creatures.
Given these unstable economic conditions, central bankers are desperately trying to solve the world’s economic problems. It has been over a decade since the traumatic Global Financial Crisis (GFC) struck the globe. Yet, they remain perplexed. Once the financial bloodbath of the GFC meltdown had been staunched, policymakers were optimistic that the worst was over. Soon would come a recovery period of growth and prosperity … or so they thought. However, to most everyone’s surprise, that was not the outcome. Policymakers discovered that they needed to continue pump-priming … meaning trying to stimulate economies in various degrees by suppressing interest rates and supporting bond markets.
What do we see a decade later? Even the U.S. Federal Reserve is worried about another economic downturn, and is again lowering its administered interest rates. More shocking is to observe European interest-rates dropping to new lows. Nay, they have dropped to the lowest negative rate level on record. Imagine that some $13 trillion of the world’s government bond market is priced for underwater yields. No doubt, most readers may be scratching their heads trying to imagine a negative interest yield. Were you to make a deposit, say, Euro 100, in a German bank, this institution would likely ask you to pay them a quarter of a percent or so just to hold your deposit for a year.
Does this all make sense? We will say, yes, though we originally were as surprised as everybody else when this condition first appeared. We say yes … but only because mankind has made some perverse choices. What is unfolding therefore is logical given the misleading perspectives and choices that are being adopted by humanity. We will explain further.
In the meantime, policymakers think they have a new solution—Modern Monetary Theory (or MMT). What is it? It is a group of aggressive monetary and budgetary measures. The only thing modern about this collective group of policies is the level of chicanery. In reality, MMT is just a new name … new wine put into old wineskins, so to speak. And, the outcome will also likely be the same as always … split wineskins.
But that is not to say that such policies do not have consequences or impact. They do. Very simply explained, MMT argues that as long as inflation rates are low and non-threatening, governments can run large budget deficits. The reasoning is that government debt can be perpetually forgiven (notionally at least) by having the central bank buy up the debt.
Such monetary policy is very similar to “money printing,” the difference being that the money is being spent by the government. Anything paid for by the proceeds of borrowed government money—even perhaps the lowering of personal taxes—will almost certainly boost spending. That will stimulate economic activity. After all, what government of elected representatives will not spend free money? Most households, too, will tend to spend their income-tax refunds. Therefore, these new MMT policies can achieve the appearance of success, at least for a period of time.
But, doesn’t all this debt-financed money—actually, money from thin air that will never be paid back—have any consequences? Yes, very definitely, there are critical consequences. And, that is where the chicanery comes home to roost. The longer-term consequences are ignored … not disclosed. Everything in this world has a consequence. God is not mocked. So says Galatians 6:7: “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.” So it is with monetary policy.
The most worrisome side-effect (consequence) of the MMT schemes is that it leads to a greater hoarding of wealth. The ultra-wealthy class will continue to become wealthier. Why? There are a number of links, but we will keep our explanations simple. Government deficits provide a profit boost to the corporate/business sector. Senior executives and stock owners therefore stand to benefit from gains. However, the vast majority of citizens do not have large stock holdings. They do not gain from this rise in stock prices. To the contrary, labor in general is squeezed in its share of national income.
As such, we can document that the rich are getting richer … in fact, there is an increase in the wealth of the super-rich. These individuals can become very powerful, pushing their interests with politicians and people that manage the capital markets. This leads to plutocracy. We would wager to say that America and other nations are well on the road to plutocracy. What is very interesting about these developments is that the Bible says these exact same conditions will become very pronounced in the last days. We will refer to the supporting Bible references in the conclusion.
The Imperative of Cash Flow
Just where do we find the sources of new wealth today?
The Bible says that the love of money is the source of all evil. In our modern day, we could rephrase this to “the love of future cash flow is the motivator of virtually all economic life … and evil.” Whether we consciously know it or not, most people will tend to direct their lives according to the sources and prospects for future cash flow.
While this is understandable, few people really grasp how powerful are the global forces behind future cash flow. Given the concentration of wealth that we see in the world today, there are very big players that muscle their way into new cash-flow channels.
Consider the most recent example of a tsunami-like cash flow eruption. It was the smartphone boom. It was enormous, to the point that just a few companies who exploited this trend now represent as much as 10% of the value of some countries’ stock markets. Trillions in worth was created. But, the hunt goes on: Where are the next cash-flow waves expected?
That’s the question that any business analyst or senior corporate executive must determine an answer to. Most analysts anticipate this will apply to the “Internet of Things” … namely, the global communications and information infrastructure. Companies providing network and internet communications systems stand to boom. They already have. As such, a brutal competition is under way. There are no rules. Why? The potential for value and wealth gains are so great … perhaps $100 trillion and more!
One contender in this competition is Huawei (a Chinese firm). It appeared to be headed to take the lead in this industry, cashing in on the “Internet of Things.” However, the stakes are so great, this company has been thwarted by Western nations who want to capture some of the anticipated cash flow themselves (particularly so the US).
Without a doubt, the potential of big money attracts diabolic-like and brutal forces. The World of Mammon is assuredly more ruthless than the illustrated instinct-driven behavior seen in nature’s battles for survival of the fittest. Many wars have been fought over opportunities for economic growth and future cash flows. Sadly, that is the history of mankind.
The Next Cash-Flow Surges
One prominent analyst with BlackRock (one of the world’s largest asset managers) makes a case for sources of future cash flow. Consider that, already, the value of the Internet today exceeds that of the entirety of global real estate. Furthermore, the Internet is expected to increase to a value of $550 trillion over the next decade, approximately 2.5 times the value of real estate.
Ponder this: Google today offers a lot of free services to its users. For example: free maps, free email, free web search. What would people pay for these services if they were no longer free? Particularly GPS services (geo-positioning system that uses maps) could be extremely valuable in a world of driverless cars and more Uber taxis. Other sources of potential future cash flows include water, property underneath major urban centers, and alternate energy sources. The “big money” in the world is positioning themselves for these potential cash flows.
What is notable about economic developments unfolding today is that changes are transmitted very rapidly. Information-intensive services face no shipping costs, nor large capital requirements. The penetration of these services or devices can be very rapid. It took a century of automobile manufacturing before there were enough autos and trucks registered equivalent to one per person. By contrast, the smartphone reached a 60% adoption rate in only little more than a decade. Indeed, as the end of the age approaches, change itself is accelerating. Suddenness is a mark of that era (see Zephaniah 1:14, 18).
Seeing the monumental narrowing of wealth ownership in the world today (with much larger heaps yet possible with future cash-flow surges) and more inventive monetary policies, can we connect these trends to the last days? After all, these are unprecedented trends of human choices about finances and economies. Our answer: Yes, this writer believes that there are too many parallels with Bible prophecy unfolding today for these to be the result of simple chance.
That said, we cannot (and should not) speak with any certainty as to specific timing of a specific prophecy. This is impossible, apart from recognizing a season. Moreover, the Bible warns us not to do so. “Do not go beyond what is written” (1 Corinthians 4:6).
However, collectively and seasonally, we do identify a world that is “ripening” for the final fulfillment of prophecy. (Please see the previous articles in our series on Ripening Times.) These trends are all unprecedented and are in alignment for a prophesied time where “[…] truth was thrown to the ground” (Daniel 8:12), and “deceit [caused] to prosper” (verse 25).
Thoughts to Ponder
Does the Bible anticipate and warn about an endtime boom in commercialism, materialism and greed?
Monetary corruption is being coordinated around the world as never before in human history. The Bible warns repeatedly about malfeasance. God expressly and often says that He “hates” dishonest scales. Numerous times this is expressed in the Bible.
Apostle James speaks of hoarding in the last days: “Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on you […]. You have hoarded wealth in the last days” (James 5:1, 3).
Also, we see evidence of other dramatic economic distortions in the Book of Revelation. Consider Revelation 6:6: “[…] Two pounds of wheat for a day’s wages, and six pounds of barley for a day’s wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine!” This prophecy gives evidence of severe income and wealth imbalances.
In conclusion, MMT is just one of the stepping stones toward delusion and the final outcome of judgment that the Bible sees unfolding in the Tribulation period. In the meantime, earthly consequences will continue to worsen so long as the Lord tarries.
In this age where pursuit of “future cash flow” defines a frenzied world, the Bible has something to say to Christians:
“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you’” (Hebrew 13:5).
Wilfred J. Hahn is a global economist/strategist. Formerly a top-ranked global analyst, research director for a major Wall Street investment bank, and head of Canada’s largest global investment operation, his writings focus on the endtime roles of money, economics and globalization. He has been quoted around the world and his writings reproduced in numerous other publications and languages. His 2002 book The Endtime Money Snare: How to live free accurately anticipated and prepared its readers for the Global Financial Crisis. A following book, Global Financial Apocalypse Prophesied: Preserving true riches in an age of deception and trouble, looks further into the prophetic future.
You can contact Wilfred at: firstname.lastname@example.org