The Biggest Financial Bubble of All Time
I have just finished a chapter for one of Terry’s future books. I hope the publish date is soon, because my initial working title was the Coming Fiscal storm. I had six months to write the chapter, so there was room to change my approach of a coming monetary disaster to a process that is currently playing out.
One of the most amazing things about this current monetary crisis is how quickly our national debt has risen. In total we have allocated around $3 trillion to fight the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown. From May 3 to June 3, the official national debt increased by $1 trillion, which is five times faster than the previous record for debt creation.
With COVID-19 virus cases spiking, there is talk of going back into full lockdown mode. Apple corporation has already decided to close some of its stores in hot-zone areas. President Trump and key senators are talking about sending out a fresh round of stimulus checks.
The Federal Reserve has been keeping the party going by buying up the nation’s new debt. The Fed even found a way to skirt laws that barred the purchase of corporate bonds. From the moment the Federal Reserve announced how it would buy bonds for its $250 billion Secondary Market Corporate Credit Facility, something seemed amiss. The central bank has already granted it the ability to buy individual corporate bonds by creating a complex set of rules and terms for its activity.
The Fed last week unveiled an entirely new class of eligible assets called “Eligible Broad Market Index Bonds.” This was little more than a workaround for issuers being forced to certify that they’re in compliance with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. The Fed will simply spend what it feels is needed to fix the economy.
Another indication that we are in the king of all bubbles is the wild fluctuation of many stocks. The Hertz car rental company has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company stock dropped down to 56 cents, and then it began to soar as day traders pushed up the price to $5.50. Hertz received approval from a bankruptcy judge to sell up to $1 billion of common stock to take advantage of its recent share rally.
At the same time, Hertz warned that there was a significant risk that shareholders won’t receive recovery under the Chapter 11 proceedings and that its “common stock will be worthless.” The plan was scrapped when it became clear there would be lawsuits once people realized they bought worthless stock.
Nikola Motors is a Tesla competitor with zero revenue. Unphased investors have nevertheless piled into the stock, sending the company’s valuation soaring to well above $23 billion in just three months on public exchanges. CEO Trevor Milton says the new stockholders “don’t care,” and neither does he.
“They care more about the environmental impact of what you’re doing,” Milton told CNBC in an interview. “‘Oh, you’re six months or eight months from revenue?’ They don’t care. They’re like, ‘you know what? You’re changing the world. You’re going to reduce emissions more than anyone else. We’re invested into you.'”
Chesapeake Energy Corp is preparing to file for bankruptcy in the coming days, making it the largest oil and gas producer to unravel after an energy market rout caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. The Oklahoma City-based company is in the final stages of negotiating a roughly $900 million debtor-in-possession loan to support its operations while under Chapter 11 bankruptcy-court protection, two of the sources said. The company is reeling under a mountain of debt totaling more than $9 billion.
Chesapeake Energy’s stock should be trading very close to zero at this point. It remains around $11 per share because, like with Hertz stock, people have completely lost touch with financial reality.
The current bubble environment takes on a supernatural dimension when one considers what China has accomplished. No other nation on earth has increased its national currency to such a high level, and it plans on more money printing. China’s central bank governor Yi Gang said that China will keep liquidity ample in the second half of the year.
In order to boost its stagnating economy, China is about to unleash a historic credit injection: Yi said that new loans are likely to hit nearly 20 trillion yuan ($2.83 trillion) this year, up from a record 16.81 trillion yuan in 2019, and total social financing could increase by more than 30 trillion yuan ($4.2 trillion), or about 30% of GDP. A similar number for the US would be about $7 trillion, which is more or less what the US deficit will be over the next 12 months.
There is no doubt in my mind that God is in full control of the global economy. Even the most godless economist should have some wonderment over why the world grows more financially distressed without descending into total chaos.
“The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil” (Proverbs 16:4).
Time to Assess
We’re well past April 15 and tax time, which was delayed this year because of COVID-19. However, time to assess came. It always does. Two things are inevitable in life, the saying goes—death and taxes.
However, these aren’t inevitable in terms of believers in Jesus Christ. In the case of death, not all Christians will experience it. In the case of taxes, there is a generation of believers that could miss paying them. In both cases of death and taxes, it depends upon the Rapture.
Christians will leave the planet in an instant, being changed while alive into immortal bodies. And, if that glorious event occurs before the due tax date, they will avoid having to file tax information. Two good reasons for making sure you go in the Rapture, wouldn’t you agree?
It would be a welcome thing to not be required to deal with how much we owe Uncle Sam. I make the jest in order to lead into another sort of assessment that must be made. It is best to make it now rather than later. It, again, is wrapped up in the Rapture.
The thrilling moment when Christ calls the believer in the air, there will be an assessment. Everything done during life on earth will be looked into by the Lord Jesus Himself. There will be no mistakes in His heavenly audit.
Now this is where Christians become nervous. Will everything I’ve done be flashed upon a Jumbotron screen—the good, the bad, and the ugly?
Take comfort: Nothing bad or ugly will be on that heavenly display, as I believe the Bible teaches. Only the good things done in this life will remain on that screen.
All sin, you see, has already been dealt with by the Savior—the Lamb of God, when He hung upon that old rugged cross at Calvary. He forever did away with our sin when He said: “It is finished” and gave up His life, commending His Spirit into the hands of the Heavenly Father. The bad and the ugly were forever forgotten at that moment—that is, for those who accept Christ’s sacrifice that day some two thousand years ago.
The assessment that will be made when we stand—probably kneel—before our Lord at the bema seat judgment will involve works we have done on earth that are outside consideration of sin, which, as noted, was forever forgotten at the cross for the believer.
Motive is what will be assessed at this eternal moment.
Now, we might experience a minute of regret that we didn’t do more for our Lord. There is debate among theologians about that matter.
The Lord—the perfect Auditor—will assess whether what we did in this life with regard to certain heavenly parameters was to please Him or to satisfy our own desires.
Now, I realize that this brings up many more questions than it answers. It seems simple enough on the surface. Good works will receive rewards—even crowns. All works not done with proper motive will be burned by Heaven’s fire of righteousness in some way, as I understand what the Bible tells us.
But, this whole matter of the judgment seat of Christ—the bema—warrants an in-depth study in order to come anywhere close to comprehending this magnificent moment of assessment by the God of creation.
An upside to this heavenly assessment, as juxtaposed against hanging around planet earth to pay our April 15 confiscatory taxes to Uncle Sam, includes that, rather than have to pay, we will be paid for services rendered to Heaven’s great causes.
The constant thought near the front of our considerations while living our increments of life should be that this assessment could take place following the next click of the second hand, or our next heartbeat. Once the Rapture calls us to be with our Lord or death does so, our time to earn heavenly rewards will be a closed matter. The time for doing what we do here in genuinely wanting to please God will close, and we will look into the omniscient eyes of our Savior.
As I indicated, the matter of the bema judgment is not simple. It warrants study. Fortunately, God’s Word provides much to teach all we need to know about this subject.
Looking through my computer files is what prompted me to think on this matter. However, I believe the Holy Spirit did the true prompting in impressing that it’s time to assess. The file I found gives a good, solid study outline for this assessment.
I might have put this together some years ago myself, I’m not sure. But I believe it is rather from Dr. Harold Wilmington, a great teacher and Bible scholar at Liberty University.
Carefully go through these scriptural truths to more fully understand that coming assessment of your life before the bema.
Things on which Christians will be judged at the judgment seat of Christ:
- How we treat other believers—Hebrews 6:10; Matthew 10:41–42.
- How we exercise our authority over others—Hebrews 13:17; James 3: 1.
- How we employ our God-given abilities—1 Corinthians 12:4, 12; 2 Timothy 1:6; 1 Peter 4: 10.
Add to these Scriptures Jesus’ teaching of the Parables of the ten pounds (Luke 19:11–6) and the talents (Matthew 25:14–29).
Each believer has at least one talent—1 Corinthians 7: 7, 12:7–11; Ephesians 4:7; 1 Peter 4:10.
There are 18 of these gifts—Romans 12; 1 Corinthians 12; Ephesians 4.
It’s up to each believer to find/discern his or her gifts.
- How we use our money—1 Corinthians 60:2; 2 Corinthians 9:6–7; 1 Timothy 6:17–19.
All belongs to God—1 Peter 18–19.
- How we spend our time—Psalm 90:12; Ephesians 5:16; Colossians 4:5; 1 Peter 1:17.
- How much we suffer for Jesus—Matthew 5:11–12; Mark 10:29–30; Romans 8:18; 2 Corinthians 4:17; 1 Peter 4:12–13.
- How we run the particular race God has chosen for us—1 Corinthians 9:24; Philippians 2:16, 3:13–14; Hebrews 12:1.
- How effectively we control the old nature—1 Corinthians 9:25–27. Greek word adokimos, “castaway,” means “disapproved.” It means self is disapproved. Paul wanted to keep his old nature in check, as seen in 2 Timothy 2:15; 1 Corinthians 16:3; Philippians 1:10; 1 Thessalonians 2:4.
- How many souls we witness to, and win to Christ—Proverbs 11:30; Daniel 12:3; 1 Thessalonians 2:19–20.
- How we react to temptation—James 1:2–3; Revelation 3:10.
- How much the doctrine of the Rapture means to us—2 Timothy 4:8.
- How faithful we are to the Word of God and the flock of God—Acts 20:26–28; 2 Timothy 4:1–2; 1 Peter 5:2–4.
What will be the results of the judgment seat of Christ?
Some will receive rewards—1 Corinthians 3:14
Bible mentions at least five rewards:
- The incorruptible crown, given to those who master the old nature—1 Corinthians 9:25–27
- The crown of rejoicing given to soul winners—Proverbs 11:30; Daniel 12:31; Thessalonians 2:19–20.
- The crown of life, given to those who successfully endure temptation—James 1:2–3; Revelation 2:10.
- The crown of righteousness for those who especially love the doctrine of the Rapture—2 Timothy 4:8.
- The crown of glory, given to faithful preachers and teachers—Acts 20:26–28; 2 Timothy 4:1–2; 1 Peter 5:2–4.
Looking around at the stage-setting for prophetic fulfillment that is moving in convergence and at a pace that is stunning, it is certainly time to assess!