Ripening Times #9
What came first—money or debt? Most anthropologists claim that money came first. As mankind became more sophisticated and “advanced,” money was invented. So go their theories, further adding that mankind originally was comprised of “hunter-gatherer societies” that had no use for money. Such views are not Biblical.
What came first? Without a doubt, debt.
While there is no Biblical record of Adam having either borrowed or lent money, it can nevertheless be said that everyone is born with an innate sense of debt. From the beginning, we owe our Creator (this being called primordial debt). Mankind naturally has a sense of what others may owe to them. We all keep a private register in our minds as to who owes what.
So, it is not surprising that Assyriologists (these being anthropologists that study ancient Middle Eastern history) discovered that complex credit/debt systems existed well before the invention of money.
The topic of debt imbalances is, therefore, an old one. Living in a world of Mammon—the world of Money—and given the ingrained human proclivity to pursue riches and money, the topic of debt is a crucial one. It plays a key role in the cosmological story of mankind. It is, therefore, also a key topic of Bible prophecy.
In this two-part series, we will lay out the case as to why debt is a “ripening sign” of prophetic significance.
New Concepts of Debt in the Modern Era
An astounding philosophy is sweeping the world at this time. Global policymakers have found reason to want worldwide debt to soar. Actually, they are actively urging governments, corporations, and households to increase debts all at the same time … virtually without abandon. We would say that these policies are both desperate and risible, were it not for the coming tragic consequences and nefarious agendas.
We have many times written about the new wave of policymakers who are promoting what has been dubbed “Modern Monetary Theory” (MMT). It is gaining many adherents these days. (The most recent article on this topic was published in the October 2019 issue of MCM under the title, “Prophecy and Future Cash Flow: The World Economic Saga.”)
What is MMT? Actually, it is not a new idea nor a sophisticated one.
The biggest motivating idea behind MMT is the more people spend and consume with debt (whether consumer, corporate, government), the stronger will be the economy, household earnings, and corporate profits. It is even suggested that debt issued by governments (and bought by the central bank with fiat money) can be permanent … without harm and never to be repaid.
Anyone with a bit of common sense will see through the MMT gambit right away. The whole program requires massive issuance of new debt and massive increases in government deficits. Yes, in short, this is the new wisdom according to its promoters.
Will this tactic of pump-priming economic growth work? For one, say the experts, the funds being borrowed will have a powerful impact upon spending. Second, there is no need to worry about soaring debts these days because interest rates are very, very low, and population growth is flagging worldwide.
The usual side-effect of such reckless policies is rising inflation (possibly explosively). However, here we are told that this is not a serious risk. Were there to be a virulent outbreak of inflation, we are assured that policymakers will be on guard.
However, we have reason to be skeptical. Many classical economists have warned just how deceitful and invasive is the nature of inflation. Its many manifestations are difficult to discern … if at all. The venerated economist Ludwig von Mises warned that inflation has all kinds of pernicious effects. It is like a chameleon.
As it is, economists have overlooked some of the biggest inflationary trends of all time. Consider the steep rise in the cost of retirement in recent years. Very few policymakers have recognized this to be a pernicious form of inflation. Yet, the proponents of MMT confidently coo and coax that they can foresee and forewarn of its dangers.
Admittedly, we have grossly simplified the nuances of MMT. Economists are still trying to agree on its common definitions. Nevertheless, the alluring core of MMT’s supposed new wisdom is that high debts are not to be feared. Rather, they are beneficial … serving as a sort of economic savior for mankind.
In the face of criticism, MMT promoters make the case that debt increases are only intended for a short period of time. The massive debt hikes are being pitched as “temporary.” This reminds of a quip by the late Milton Friedman—a very influential economist: “Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program.” The second reason has already been mentioned. We should not be troubled, apparently, because we can rely on wise policymakers to be on guard against any future harm.
Why this rapid shift in thinking? “There is no alternative” (TINA).
Consider that at the start of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) 12 or so years ago, many economists were still of the opinion that debts must first decline before new economic recoveries could begin anew. That was the typical pattern observed in past centuries following financial crises. But, worryingly, this did not occur in the post-GFC period. Viewed on a worldwide scale, debt levels did not decline. So, what to do?
This predicament spurred policymakers to find a solution that we see today: The most politically enticing option to deal with problems is to defer them into the future. And so, debt is now soaring higher. Only a little more than a decade after the GFC, a completely opposite view is now being sanctioned and recommended by eminent economists.
As the situation exists now, with global debt levels already at all-time highs, the world finds itself reliant (addicted) upon continued borrowed economic growth. Why? Because there really is no possibility of reversal. The solutions to do so are much too unpalatable for politicians to carry out. And so, the world has entered upon a path of no return. This alone suggests prophetic significance: Today, there exists a world with record amounts of debt that is on an irreversible trajectory. Its final impact can only be of Biblical proportions, which aligns with Bible prophecy.
Can the MMT promoters instill any confidence? Would blind faith in their statements be warranted? One only needs to look at the track record of policymakers and central bankers over recent decades to answer this question. Was it not just a decade or so ago that the great Global Financial Crisis (GFC)—which ushered in the greatest economic recession since the 1930s—was blamed primarily upon over-indebtedness and the incompetence of macro-economists? How then do macro-economists and the promotion of even higher debt deserve any credibility today?
This revisionism of policies that is now underway reminds of a parallel situation: when Apostle Paul commented upon people’s preference: “[…] they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they […] shall be turned unto fables” (2 Timothy 4:3-4).
In a sense, the same is happening in the fields of public financial policy globally. People (including proverbial Wall Street) will favor any policy that slakes their desire for short-term profits, financial prosperity, and deferring problems to the future.
The economic lockdowns triggered by the massive, fear-driven hysterics surrounding the Covid-19 outbreak grease the slide into even more debt. Increases have literally mushroomed since Covid-19 came on the scene. Government fiscal deficits are blowing out, and central banks are expanding (inflating) their lending to levels no one would have imagined just a year ago.
According to estimates from S&P Global Ratings, total global outstanding debt—including that of governments, corporations and households—is to rise 10% to $200 trillion, peaking at 265% of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2020 year-end.
Can amounts this large be imagined? It will continue to rise rapidly as policymakers rampage ahead with MMT actions.
Debt: Reaping What Is Sown
We must collectively ask the following question: What will be the consequences of all the above-mentioned debt actions? Remarkably, very few of the promoters of MMT seem to acknowledge any serious dangers. This could not be more misleading.
First, one must recognize that for every lender, there is a borrower; for every creditor, a debtor; for every buyer, a seller. If debts are rising in a credit-based system, then so must also wealth (whether paper-based or tangible). For every person becoming more indebted, some other party is increasing its wealth.
Ultimately, therefore, high debt levels also produce a skewed wealth distribution … namely, the rich becoming richer. On the other hand, the poorer (those relatively poor) become more “captive” over time. These imbalances are already at extremes and will continue to widen. (See the articles in the MCM issues of August and September 2019, entitled “Ripening Times: An Endtime Wealth Explosion.”)
Prophetic Significance of Debt
We ask: Are these enormous debt developments that we see in the world today part of an end-time footprint … a “ripening” of the times? We must answer carefully, as prophetic interpretation down through the centuries has tended to be influenced by recency. Prophecy interpreters would often read their present era into the Bible.
Purely on the basis of simple logic, we have already concluded that the world’s debt imbalances are of “Biblical proportions.”
We will answer further: Based on the evidence, we are definitely convinced that mankind’s dealings with debt and credit have a cosmic timeline that will play (and are playing) a critical role in the Last Days.
If so, how close is the world to facing the economic and financial upheavals prophesied for the Last Days? Here we must provide a cautionary answer.
We can have no way of knowing the world’s exact position on this prophetic debt timeline. When mankind gives himself over to delusion, there is no telling just how severe and bizarre conditions might yet become. In addition: “[…] God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie” (2 Thessalonians 2:11).
The Cosmic Timeline of Global Indebtedness
Is our era’s explosion in worldwide indebtedness of prophetic significance? We have said yes. However, we have yet to fully provide our reasoning.
To begin, we must recall a bit of history.
Living in our current pocket of time early in the 21st century, we may like to think that conditions of today have always existed. We might also believe that our current political economics are so much more enlightened than they were millennia ago. We, therefore, may imagine that the credit and debt dynamics of today have always been that way. But to believe this would be wrong.
Crucially, the basic creditor/debtor philosophies that dominate the current world system originated in the Roman Era. Indeed, much of the world today is modeled on Roman-based systems and philosophies.
Creditor relations were very different before that time.
In the Roman system, the creditor tended to come out on top. Roman laws protected the lender. Debtors were systemically oppressed in favor of the creditor.
When debts rise to such high levels that households become trapped and economies begin to falter, little relief is provided to the borrower. Eventually, a perpetual poor class would form.
But, as mentioned, this state of affairs did not exist from time immemorial. Indebtedness was handled very differently in earlier times. Whenever debts became unsustainable or oppressive, a debt forgiveness (Jubilee) would be announced by the ruler.
This is a new finding of great significance. Amazingly, Assyriologists in recent decades have discovered that debt forgiveness (also called a Clean Slate Law, debt amnesty, or Jubilee) was a normal practice in many societies before the Roman Era. Accounts from ancient Babylonia Akkadia, Sumer, Ur, and other Mid-East societies all mention debt jubilees.
This debt reduction policy, archaeologists have learned, was more the rule rather than the exception. This would not be the first time that a commonly held belief is discovered to be wrong, thanks to new archaeological discoveries.
In Part II of this series, we will prove why it is the Roman-based financial system that will be judged. Its growing global oppression is a ripening sign of prophetic significance.
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.
Contact Wilfred at: email@example.com