Apr 13, 2020

More Monetary Madness

With each passing day of the coronavirus crisis, it’s become more obvious that we can’t remain in this state of lockdown. The damage already inflicted on the economy is tremendous. We are still seeing record moves in the financial markets that are off the scale.

Oil prices spiked 25 percent after President Trump tweeted that Saudi Arabia and Russia would cut production by 10 to 15 million barrels per day. Incidentally, it was the biggest one-day percentage surge in the price of oil in history.

The Treasury currently has a record cash balance of $750 Billion. After a historic flood of bill issuance, the money will be issued to taxpayers. On the down side, the nation’s debt went from $23 to $24 trillion, which is the quickest time it has gone through a trillion-dollar milestone.

On Mar 26th, there was an unprecedented 3.3 million surge in initial jobless claims; a week later came an even more unprecedented report, adding a stunning 6.648 million in initial jobless claims. Last Thursday there were another 6.9 million people filing jobless claims. Before this coronavirus mess, the old record was half a million in a single week.

In the space of three weeks, 16 million new Americans are claiming unemployment benefits. The peak total number of people drawing unemployment in the Great Recession of 2009 was 6.35 million.

The Fed has announced it will buy investment-grade corporate debt for the first time in history. The Fed also announced that it will be directly buying investment-grade corporate debt ETFs. It has also launched a plan to buy US debt directly from foreign governments.

The folks at the Fed are of the belief that they can print an unlimited amount of dollars. “There is an infinite amount of cash at the Federal Reserve,” Neel Kashkari, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of  Minneapolis, told Scott Pelley of CBS on March 22, adding: “We will do whatever we need to do to make sure there is enough cash in the financial system.”

After just passing the $2.2 trillion stimulus package, lawmakers are realizing they need more money. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is floating ideas including another direct payment to Americans, expanded paid sick leave and infrastructure projects. This Democratic-led bailout will likely have a price tag of $1 trillion.

Key Republicans are signaling that they may not be willing to accept another major spending measure. Some analysts suggested that Republican reluctance to spend on public relief may not persist if, as expected, future reports continue the trend of enormous increases in unemployment and declines in economic growth. If unemployment hits 15%, we’ll likely see bailout four followed by bailout five.

The issuance of vast amounts of money has negative consequences. The FT reports that Chase has temporarily stopped accepting applications for small business loans outside the government’s Paycheck Protection Program. A Chase spokeswoman told the FT that the bank was now devoting all of its small business underwriting resources to processing these applications and had “temporarily suspended” taking other applications from small businesses. The bank was continuing to process non-PPP applications already in train, she said, and would revisit the issue of new applications at a later date.

I witnessed the decline in civil order with my own eyes. Last week I was standing in my front yard and heard four loud bangs. I looked up into the trees on a nearby hill and saw four flashing cop cars. That was the first time in my life that I’ve witnessed a shooting at a crime scene. I fear Benton, AR, is soon going to sound like the fourth of July on any given night.

Covid-19 has lit the fuse on an economic-debt time-bomb. I think a bigger bomb that is going to hit the global economy is the sudden loss of millions of Christians in the rapture. The world will be in total chaos, and people will be ready for any leader that promises to restore order.

“And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?” (Rev 13:1-4).

— Todd

Who to Believe…

Depression, a deep mood of foreboding, is never far away in times like we’re enduring right now. There are so many different takes on COVID-19 that it’s impossible to form one’s own thoughts on matters involved. The claims and suppositions concerning prospects for the future are so varied—and, in most cases, so terrible—that some are driven to suicide.

Therefore, it’s difficult to get our brains around the severity, or lack thereof, of what we face. It is even harder to discern fact from fiction—or worse, truth from deliberate misdirection. But the information on coronavirus and all attendant to it keeps coming at us, and those informed are deeply affected by that information—psychologically, spiritually, and even physically, in some cases.

Anyone listening to the daily briefing by the Trump administration and its highly regarded medical authorities staff is hard-pressed to get a handle on which way this disease is headed. It is even more problematic to try to determine what the economic picture will look like in the coming weeks and months. Will the pandemic pass, or are we melting into a situation that will devolve into national and world depression—one from the likes of which there is no chance of recovery?

Will, as the president hopes, there be a turnaround by the middle of the year, with medical breakthroughs and the virus dying in the heat of the summer months? Will business rebound from almost total shutdown to people going back to work and the economy soaring again to a time of boom? Will social distancing and sequestering in our homes get rid of the virus?

Or will the disease be without cure or preventative vaccine for months and years, bringing death and economic devastation never before experienced by mankind?

It’s all out there in the minute-by-minute briefings and reports. It is there in the ever-present punditry on networks and through cable channels. It is, in playing with a line from Dickens, the worst of times that might once again be the best of times.

Also, the obverse is there in the blogs, news reports, and opinion pieces from many sources that cut pathways of information through the blogosphere and other alternative media. This is the worst of times, period, and the good times are almost certainly gone forever.

Just a cursory look at a couple of the worst-of-times forecasts—feared by some to never end—can indeed produce a near incapacity for hope of recovery.

  • The coronavirus is all part of the Cloward-Piven Strategy to collapse America. COVID-19 is, the blog writer declares, part of an eight-step plan from leftists/socialists Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven from 1966 that was designed to destroy the US from within.

The writer gives the eight steps of the plan, asserting that it is being currently implemented. He concludes, I take it, that all elements of the plan have either happened or are currently being exponentially exacerbated by this present crisis.

  1. Taking control of the nation’s healthcare
  2. Increasing the level of poverty so people must get assistance
  3. Increasing debt to an unsustainable level so taxes can be raised to meet the crisis
  4. Getting rid of private gun ownership so the police state can be created
  5. Massively increasing the welfare state, taking control of every aspect of US citizens’ lives (food, housing, and income)
  6. Taking over education, controlling what people read and what they learn about the nation (revision of history)
  7. Taking over in area of religion, removing prayer and any mention of God
  8. Dividing the nation into classes, pitting one against the other so one must provide welfare for the other. (Taken from Rapture Ready News, April 4, 2020, Geoffrey Grider, “Now the End Begins”)

The writer further declares:

[Steps] 1-5 and 8 are being executed right now in how our government is reacting to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, with steps 6 and 7 already having been implemented since 2008. The American economy is being split into pieces right now by the combination of a $2 trillion bailout with more coming, Americans under stay-at-home orders, and with more people right now on unemployment in two weeks of the coronavirus crisis than in the second year of the Great Depression of 1929.

America as we know it cannot and will not survive a three-month lockdown, it will fall and there is no question about that.

  • The Coronavirus is part of China’s plan to defeat America. Another writer believes the COVID-19 crisis is a setup to bring down the much hated America and its leading role in the world. The writer writes that China accuses American soldiers of deliberately introducing the virus in China, as part of Chinese plans to give cover for the coming attack on the US.

 The communist regime, so it goes, will soon attack infrastructure and other American assets in cyberspace and elsewhere. That government has begun, the writer declares, to blame America for the pandemic, thus to have a reason that justifies the inevitable attack when it comes. This, he believes, will then escalate into a military action, and this nation’s internal forces, who are traitorous to America as founded, will do all they can to prevent America’s defense against the Chinese assaults. This is because these revolutionists believe the United States is at the root of all the world’s problems in one way or the other.

It is certain that the dire, apocalyptic, warnings far outnumber the hopes for recovery from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic—either the health effects or the economic effects. Many among those who study Bible prophecy believe the Tribulation, itself, has begun. The end of the world is upon us.

But, Jesus told His disciples—and us by extension—that for believers (such as those immediate disciples who were just about to go into the Church Age or Age of Grace) that the end wasn’t yet.

The Lord prophesied that before the era of Tribulation comes, believers will live during a time when all the signals He foretold will BEGIN to come to pass (Luke 21:28). He told believers to look up and lift their heads in anticipation when these things BEGIN to come to pass, because He, their Redeemer (the blessed hope). was coming to rescue them.

He even told us what that time will be like. It will be a time of buying, selling, marrying, planting, and building. He said nothing of worldwide depression. It will be just like the days of Lot when He will next “reveal” Himself in a spectacular moment. It will be a time of extreme wickedness, but with commerce and even hedonistic pleasures humming right along. That’s what Lot’s day was like, we know, from reading Genesis chapter 19.

It cannot be claimed, and I certainly do not say, that things right now look in any way rosy. They do not. I fully understand the reasons for many at this moment fearing the nation and the world will at any moment collapse into apocalyptic rubble.

But I prefer to believe Jesus and His promises over any news report, ideology, or religious wind of doctrine. He is our One, True Reliance.

He has promised to keep His own out of the time of Tribulation (Revelation 3:10).

I hope you, too, are comforting yourselves with these Words Jesus gave the Apostle Paul to write:

Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ. (Titus 2:13)