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puglogic
7-19-11, 3:47pm
I'm trying to assume that everything is going to be fine even if the US Congress doesn't come through with some kind of agreement on the national debt. As we all know, predictions if they DON'T range from "no impact" to "end of the world" :D

My financial advisor called me (CALLED me) and asked to move everything that's in money market accounts into cash instead. She cited the fact that during the 2008 crisis several of the worldís largest money market funds began to melt down until the government stepped in and bailed them out...this time around there won't be anyone to do the bailing. Also, money markets often engage in derivative trading which adds another layer of risk.

So I moved it. And I'm thinking of keeping some cash in the house, just in case something really stupid and unforeseen (and very unlikely!) happens.

Anybody else doing anything to prepare for a worst case scenario? Or am I the only one going all chicken little on this? :)

benhyr
7-19-11, 4:52pm
My plan is to appear as poor as possible so I'm not first in line for the guillotines.

But, seriously, if moving to cash lets you sleep better at night then that's a good move. And, having some cash on hand is never a bad idea. Although, frankly, in a worst case scenario, that cash becomes worth much less as it's only backed by the full faith and credit of the US. You'd likely be better off having gold or euros on hand. Or, in a truly worst case, ammo and food.

I've made no adjustments to my asset allocation which is heavily weighted towards stocks.... but I do have a garden and lots of neighbors that don't look terribly bloodthirsty.

Fawn
7-19-11, 9:02pm
Well, I have some sunny ground in the back yard to grow food. And a house w/ a fireplace, so I can burn the neighbor's houses when it gets cold, and a semi-marketable skill in a crisis (nursing/medical knowledge.)

Honestly, when the Apocolypse occurs, I hope that I am at the epicenter. I really don't want to have to deal w/ fear-filled people who have forgotten their humanity.:|(

puglogic
7-19-11, 10:11pm
Although I'm not a true Doomer, I'm sort of a "demi-doomer" or "doomer lite" :) So we have those bases covered, in case things turn sour. Some food in reserve, big garden, good skills, big dog, etc. And we have a good little community too, mostly smart, friendly people who actually seem to like each other. Did I mention the hundred pounds of potatoes I'm anticipating this harvest season? (Yay!)

No, mostly I'm just trying to anticipate any temporary disruptions - while hoping there will be none. And, of course, wishing I didn't have a mortgage. Sigh.

SoSimple
7-19-11, 10:19pm
Dual citizenship in two other countries, one of which we can drive to. A large savings account. Some precious metal jewelry. That's about it. DH would fare better than me as he's 100% healthy, pretty much, and good with fine motor manipulation (he used to repair motherboards, for example). I'm strictly soft skills and computer skills, and after 6 weeks off my meds would probably be in too much pain to do much of anything. So maybe I'll stock up on sleeping pills as well as dried beans.

ApatheticNoMore
7-19-11, 10:24pm
Don't have any money market funds, have some cash-ish funds in the 401k I'm not sure what they are :). Have U.S. cash, some international cash, PMs, some stocks (of which I have reduced my holdings a lot, much of what is left in stocks is retirement funds plus stuff I'm not allowed to sell right now). I've done the community building stuff. Those are the best doomer preps I can make. I'm also looking for a job since an income would be nice, haha :D (my looking for a job has nothing to do with the national debt of course, but I do fear the unemployment rate getting even worse for various reasons)

What are good skills for a crisis? I'm not really sure. I'm not going to become a nurse, I didn't choose to become one in a "capitalist" economy, I'm unlikely to become one in a post-"capitalist" economy.

puglogic
7-19-11, 10:49pm
Re: jobs....I saw this and thought it would be fun to take:
http://www.postpeakliving.com/sustainable-post-peak-livelihoods#

Rogar
7-19-11, 11:08pm
I think at least for the short term everything will be OK. Inspite of the self centered partisan bickering, I think the politicians are aware of the high risks of not coming to an agreement and something will give before the deadline. I hope, anyway. I'm staying the course. As for the long term, I'm a little less hopeful.

Spartana
7-19-11, 11:14pm
Ammo. Lots and lots of ammo - and the home address of everyone who is stocking up on food :devil::laff::laff:

shadowmoss
7-20-11, 9:54am
I'm already living in a 3rd world country (which would feel the effects much less since, frankly, there is less to lose down here), and working for the US military. If I ain't safe, I figure I've given it my best shot. Most folks here out in the mountains don't have electricity or running water now. I have a couple of water purifiers and it's the rainy season here. As for food, well, I need to lose some weight anyway...

loosechickens
7-20-11, 2:45pm
I talked with our broker yesterday....we tweaked a few things, sold a couple, bought a couple of things, but not because of "impending doom", but more because one investment had a nice gain and not likely to have much more upside, traded for a couple that seem undervalued.....

We rode through the 2008 unpleasantness by staying invested, trusting in our allocation and diversification, and would do the same now. If they do really shut down the government (which I don't believe will happen, as I think the grownups will wrest control from the fringes and not let it happen), there will be no real safe havens for money, anyway, at least for awhile.

Better to just go for a swim, take a nap, read my library book and recognize that we were happy when we didn't have any money, we were happy when we had more than we have now, and we'll be happy, hopefully, in the future, irrespective of what the markets do.

We're healthy, owe no money to anyone, probably won't find ourselves penniless even if the worst happens, have lived very simply before and could again, so am not all that concerned.

Although our broker said he's spending a lot of time "hand holding" of his investors this week, for sure........

Alan
7-20-11, 4:25pm
If they do really shut down the government (which I don't believe will happen, as I think the grownups will wrest control from the fringes and not let it happen), there will be no real safe havens for money, anyway, at least for awhile.

Just out of curiosity, who are the grownups I keep hearing about? Is it the ones who believe that we can continue spending at the insane levels we've become accoustomed to, or is it the people who believe that we must put a stop to it?

benhyr
7-20-11, 4:40pm
Just out of curiosity, who are the grownups I keep hearing about? Is it the ones who believe that we can continue spending at the insane levels we've become accoustomed to, or is it the people who believe that we must put a stop to it?

It'd be the sane ones on both sides of the aisle that agree we need to not cut our nose off to spite our face. They do exist!

eta: has anyone proposed real fixes like cutting military spending or have both factions been equally paid off by the defense industry? raising SS full retirement age, means testing for SS, etc? Raising taxes across the board?

eta2: Since 1962 the debt ceiling has been raised 74 times. 10 of those times happened between 2001 and now. 8 of those were under Bush with the House and Senate Republican leadership providing an unqualified "yea". So, how is it that, just now, after 49 years including years with control of both house and senate and control of the white house, some on the Republican side are just now saying... "hey, this spending thing shouldn't equal more than this income thing." If you're expecting me to trust that this is anything more than political grandstanding, you're going to have to make a strong case.

Two wars unfunded by tax increases, a significant tax cut, and new medicare legislation (Medicare part D) were all brought forth and passed while Republicans controlled at least the House and Presidency and never had a minority in the Senate. They had significant opportunity during this time to reign in spending and ensure taxes matched obligations. Why was this not a priority then or any of the previous 74 times? Why is it suddenly an issue now but wasn't in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, or 2007 when McConnell, Boehner, and Cantor all voted for the debt increase?

Alan
7-20-11, 5:58pm
It'd be the sane ones on both sides of the aisle that agree we need to not cut our nose off to spite our face. They do exist!

eta: has anyone proposed real fixes like cutting military spending or have both factions been equally paid off by the defense industry? raising SS full retirement age, means testing for SS, etc? Raising taxes across the board?
I don't believe one side has proposed anything specific at all other than raising taxes and demagoguing the oppositions proposals.

The closest that side has come to doing anything that resembles a budget over the last two years was to present the President's proposal, which increased the national debt by $9T over 10 years, and then not give it a single 'yea' vote.

It seems to me that one side has done absolutely nothing to get us back onto a sustainable path and yet is somehow still comfortable considering it's representatives as the "adults". - And what seems even stranger to me it that in a forum such as this, where the focus is simplicity and sustainability, those personal principles are so easily thrown out the window when it comes to government.

But in answer to your question, yes, the Ryan budget addressed some of those issues, and he is now represented by the "adults" in their commercials as pushing an old lady over a cliff. In a climate such as that, I find it hard to believe that anything good is forthcoming.

benhyr
7-20-11, 6:16pm
But in answer to your question, yes, the Ryan budget addressed some of those issues, and he is now represented by the "adults" in their commercials as pushing an old lady over a cliff. In a climate such as that, I find it hard to believe that anything good is forthcoming.

I don't think his plan offers up any sort of military cuts. It does call for decreasing the increases, but that's not a cut, that's shadow reductions that I heavily expect both sides to play. He also doesn't touch SS or Medicare for quite a while. That's not a workable solution.

The Republicans also need to accept tax increases. They somehow decided Grover Norquist was their constituent and not the other 300 million people in this country. This is not a workable solution.

The bottom line is that we need to both raise revenue and cut spending... across the board. Either we can't pay for two wars and 150 military bases; SS has to become a safety net that everyone pays into and few collect from (or it's abolished altogether, but you have to be as uncaring as me to not really mind people starving if they can't make it); and taxes have to go up for everyone. Or, we need to magically get the unemployed 10% of this country back to work and paying into the system.

Alan
7-20-11, 6:26pm
Why is it suddenly an issue now but wasn't in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, or 2007 when McConnell, Boehner, and Cantor all voted for the debt increase?

Harry Reid in '06:
"Raising debt limit last thing we should do, will weaken country, hurt economy."

Barrack Obama 06:
"The fact that we're here today to debate raising America's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. Leadership means 'The buck stops here.' Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better. I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America's debt limit."

Welcome to the United States of Hypocrisy. Brought to you by: NewsCorp

Zigzagman
7-20-11, 6:48pm
SS has nothing to do with our present budget deficit - it is a trust fund that is funded by payroll deductions. It can and should be easily fixed by changing the ceiling for SS taxes.

All of the sudden we find ourselves, once again, being led by the "Gang of Six", much like the infamous healthcare deal. IMO, it is nothing more than capitulation by both political parties. This kind of crap is exactly what got us into our present situation.

Cut military spending, tax the hell our of the top 5%, and deal with Medicare and SS fraud in a real and meaningful way if you really are serious about our fiscal problems.

I am beginning to wonder if the American public has simply given up or is just deferring hard decision to our elected officials?

What the heck had happened to the young people of this country? They are being herded around like a bull with a nose-ring - wake up, these crooks will lead you down the primrose path quicker than a duck on a junebug!

Peace

Alan
7-20-11, 6:56pm
SS has nothing to do with our present budget deficit - it is a trust fund that is funded by payroll deductions.
Peace
That fund was raided years ago, current payroll deductions cannot fund current expenditures so, the balance is funded out of general funds which absolutely does contribute to the deficit.

benhyr
7-20-11, 7:01pm
That fund was raided years ago, current payroll deductions cannot fund current expenditures so, the balance is funded out of general funds which absolutely does contribute to the deficit.


SS has nothing to do with our present budget deficit - it is a trust fund that is funded by payroll deductions. It can and should be easily fixed by changing the ceiling for SS taxes.


You're both right! That's how awesome SS is.

For a good breakdown, Wikipedia has two scenarios: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_Security_Trust_Fund#An_Economic_Perspective _on_the_Structure_of_the_Social_Security_Trust_Fun d

loosechickens
7-21-11, 12:25am
Alan, the "grownups" are the ones who understand that the raising of the debt limit is to honor debts WE HAVE ALREADY INCURRED. It isn't to "keep spending", it is to pay the bill for the credit card balance that we've already run up.

It's about honor.....the country's honor......that we pay our debts. As we have since the very beginning of the republic.

I saw this today in BusinessWeek, and it illustrates to me, what the grownups of BOTH parties recognize, as do all honorable people who believe in paying their debts and not just walking away from them because you're shocked at how much they've added up to.

Does that mean that we shouldn't rein in spending? No. Does it mean that we really also need to look at raising revenues, and undoing some of the tax breaks and loopholes, especially for those who can well afford to pay a little more? Yes. But....neither of these things really have anything to do with raising the debt limit, which is merely paying what bills we already owe

What it DOES mean is that an honorable person and an honorable country pays its bills. I especially liked this paragraph in the article:

It’s an odd way to show fiscal discipline. It’s as if you went to the bank where you are behind in your mortgage payments and said, “Look, I’m sorry, but I’ve just been borrowing too much and wasting it on stupid, needless purchases. So as of now, I’m going to stop paying what I owe. Aren’t I wonderful for getting my appetites under control at last?”

Read the entire article. Very informative.

http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/the-debt-debate-what-about-honor-07212011.html

iris lily
7-21-11, 1:12am
... So, how is it that, just now, after 49 years including years with control of both house and senate and control of the white house, some on the Republican side are just now saying... "hey, this spending thing shouldn't equal more than this income thing." If you're expecting me to trust that this is anything more than political grandstanding, you're going to have to make a strong case...

The Republican side is seeing that the jig is up. There was MUCH uneasiness among Republicans during President GW Bush's terms, and in his last term, it was downright unhappiness with the persistent spending of Big Gov't. Rebellion has been brewing for a while now. Perhaps it will come to naught and will be in the end as you predict, just political posturing.

Alan
7-21-11, 7:46am
Alan, the "grownups" are the ones who understand that the raising of the debt limit is to honor debts WE HAVE ALREADY INCURRED. It isn't to "keep spending", it is to pay the bill for the credit card balance that we've already run up.

It's about honor.....the country's honor......that we pay our debts. As we have since the very beginning of the republic.

I saw this today in BusinessWeek, and it illustrates to me, what the grownups of BOTH parties recognize, as do all honorable people who believe in paying their debts and not just walking away from them because you're shocked at how much they've added up to.

Does that mean that we shouldn't rein in spending? No. Does it mean that we really also need to look at raising revenues, and undoing some of the tax breaks and loopholes, especially for those who can well afford to pay a little more? Yes. But....neither of these things really have anything to do with raising the debt limit, which is merely paying what bills we already owe

What it DOES mean is that an honorable person and an honorable country pays its bills. I especially liked this paragraph in the article:

It’s an odd way to show fiscal discipline. It’s as if you went to the bank where you are behind in your mortgage payments and said, “Look, I’m sorry, but I’ve just been borrowing too much and wasting it on stupid, needless purchases. So as of now, I’m going to stop paying what I owe. Aren’t I wonderful for getting my appetites under control at last?”

Read the entire article. Very informative.

http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/the-debt-debate-what-about-honor-07212011.html
Yes, but the thing is we don't need to stop paying our debts, that's where the demagoguery comes in. We just need to stop adding to them.

It can be done, we just need the will to do it before we add so much that it is no longer possible to live up to those responsibilities. Just look at what's happening in parts of Europe to see our future if we don't take steps now.

puglogic
7-21-11, 9:47am
Perhaps this thread should be moved to Public Policy. It's turned into one of those conversations.

simplelife4me
7-22-11, 10:11pm
Yep, this thread is politics and not so much personal finance.

Life_is_Simple
7-24-11, 4:30pm
Yep, this thread is politics and not so much personal finance.
It started out personal finance, and I was glad to see the topic. Then I had to ignore the last two pages.

gimmethesimplelife
7-24-11, 6:10pm
Let me know if you would like this thread moved, I am off to work right now but when I am off later tonight I can come back and perhaps move it - and learn how to do it, too.....Interesting thread, btw! Rob

Zigzagman
7-24-11, 6:45pm
I went to 75% cash in my equities allocation this last May (sell in May...) and am waiting on a significant downturn in order to get back in. I also sold some of my bonds and went about 7% GLD and GDX (gold and gold miners). Since my retirement I have survived two significant stock market downturns and I am just not willing to take another chance on another.

My biggest dilemma now is when to get back in the markets (I need to make money on my investments in order to help fund my retirement.) In two more years I will be SS eligible so that help. I have never been conservative about anything in my life but the fear of going back to work has forced me to be cautious. Pretty Sad.

As a side note - I thought this (http://www.kiplinger.com/magazine/archives/i-bonds-trounce-bank-yields.html#comments) was an interesting piece about I-bonds. They are currently paying 4.6% for the next 6 months. They combine two rates of interest: a fixed component, currently 0.0%, and an inflation component, currently 4.6%, which resets every six months. You must hold an I-bond for 12 months before you can redeem it, and you lose the last three months' interest if you cash in your bond before five years. Not sure what the future will bring (increased interest rates, another market drop, etc.) but unless something changes such as QE3, etc. I am keeping my powder dry. Although I might not make as much as I would like 2-3% is better than losing 10% and then waiting years to get back. At 60 I would much prefer to sleep well and not have to worry about going back to work.

Peace

frugal-one
7-24-11, 8:41pm
zigzagman... when you say cash do you mean money market fund or ??? I am in the same boat as you. I have probably too much in cash (cds, savings accts, money market funds at brokerage). I am still in the market somewhat but nothing compared to a few years ago. I retired the end of February 2011 and am very fearful too. I hope never to work again. I have always handled my money thinking no one will watch it like I will but lately I am not sure what is the best strategy. You are right when you say this is sad!

Zigzagman
7-24-11, 9:01pm
Yep, In my case I mean FTEXX. I have a CD ladder with Penfed which I use to fund my present retirement needs. I have it set up so that I have a CD that matures every Jan. for my next year expenses (supplement to my pension). That will last me past my eligibility for SS - so hopefully things will change a bit. I have every intention regardless of the economic environment to buy some dips in dividend paying blue chips in the next 6 months. I think the last quarter will be better for lots of reasons. But it is just a WAG.

With regard to retirement....relax and enjoy. There is no better feeling than to wake up and do anything you desire - that is what you worked for. Congratulations and good health!

Peace

loosechickens
7-24-11, 9:24pm
One reason we've stayed invested and are trusting in our diversification mix (as we did in 2008, to good results), is because, really, if the U.S. defaults and starts a chain reaction of foundations crumbling in financial systems, what would being in cash matter? Because it would be likely that interest rates would go through the roof, inflation would catch on fire, and daily your cash would be worth less. Not to be doomsday scenario about it, but really, there ARE no safe havens, in an investment or money sense, to me.

I cannot believe that Congress would be so irresponsible (even the House Republican freshmen ideologues) as to quite possibly plunge the world into another Great Depression, if the full faith and credit of the United States of America (which is, after all, the reserve currency for the world) is called into question for the first time in our history. Truly epic, and nobody really knows whether or not it would cause a death spiral which would make the whole system crumble. No point in having stuff in FDIC insured accounts if the whole system goes. What would the money be worth?

I don't think this is going to happen. To play Russian Roulette with the world's financial system to make some polititcal points is insane, and hopefully, cooler heads will prevail.

SoSimple
7-24-11, 9:49pm
I don't think cooler heads will prevail. We have a valid discussion that needs to be held (too much debt), but to not raise the debt limit is irresponsible. Yes, we could simply pay our creditors, but I think that what many seem to forget is that the markets will be carefully watching what we do and don't pay. Right now, the impression outside of the US is this:

1. a dysfunctional government that can't tackle a crisis effectively and make hard choices when, good god, even GREECE was able to do so, and
2. that we can't pay our bond holders *and* our internal obligations.

Neither of these are good for the standing of the US as the holder of the world's de facto reserve currency. Imagine if the markets were looking at an equivalent situation with, say, IBM. How do you think their stock would fare?

Who should not get paid? That's really the question if we don't raise the debt ceiling and want to avoid default on our bond obligations. FWIW, I personally think that there should be an across the board 5% cut in payments to everyone. (I have no idea if that would cover the shortfall) Then we'll see if spending cuts alone are really the way we want to go.

Alan
7-24-11, 10:09pm
I cannot believe that Congress would be so irresponsible (even the House Republican freshmen ideologues) as to quite possibly plunge the world into another Great Depression....

Those freshmen ideologues are probably the only force working to ensure that we never go into another great depression. I suspect that after this bit of political window dressing has played itself out, you can thank them for their efforts.

Zigzagman
7-24-11, 11:00pm
One reason we've stayed invested and are trusting in our diversification mix (as we did in 2008, to good results), is because, really, if the U.S. defaults and starts a chain reaction of foundations crumbling in financial systems, what would being in cash matter? Because it would be likely that interest rates would go through the roof, inflation would catch on fire, and daily your cash would be worth less. Not to be doomsday scenario about it, but really, there ARE no safe havens, in an investment or money sense, to me.


LC - You're probably right ;) but I'm just not gonna take the chance. I am tickled pink that I have regained most of my losses from the 2008 crash (exception of not making any real ROI for the last 3 years). When I retired in my early 50's I thought I had a pretty good margin for error built-in, just in case but with my healthcare expenses going up almost 500% (company quit covering dependents) my margin for error has pretty much gone. At this point I have to be extremely frugal and not take chances. I have never been a market timer but I am willing to change my ways just as insurance until after this mess passes. I am hoping to be able to buy back in as enough of a discount in order to make up for such poor performance YTD. I just hope this is not the "new normal"!

I think it is shameful that retirees and those on fixed income are paying the biggest price for the corruption and greed of the last decade but "Whatcha gonna do?"

Peace

dmc
7-27-11, 11:02am
My last full year of work was 2006, I worked part time in 2007 since the company I worked for asked me to stay around and help in the transition of my replacement. With the drop in 2008 I held off on any big purchases, no new cars, boats, things of that nature. I had already gotten more conservative in my investments and I have several years of expenses in cash to keep from having to sell stocks if I don't want to. With what I feel are low interest rates due to QE, I have been getting out of bonds. No big changes, but I have more cash on hand than usual. The only thing I have bought recently is the Proshares short 20 yr treasury fund that Peggy brought up in one of her post. Its not a large investment, but it seams to make sense.

If interest rates go up I'll start putting more cash to work. Stock's will probably drop as will bond funds, but in the long run there is always a way to make money. Or things will drop in price as many won't be able to purchase luxury items. My net worth is higher now that its ever been. I'm still living below my means. If stocks drop 50% or more I'll still be fine.

I'm 54 so I'm a ways off for any government benefits. But I never counted on them anyway.

freein05
7-27-11, 11:36am
I have been accumulating cash also as bonds mature I leave them in cash. My broker called the other day about all of the cash I have in my account. I told him I am not doing anything until Washington gets it's act together if ever. You also have the European issue which could affect US investments. So I feel now is not the time to be investing.

Cash is King!

dmc
7-27-11, 12:04pm
Cash may be king, but the dollar is losing value. I am starting to look more at hard assets. I'm not loading up on gold, but I know some that did at around $1,000 and are looking good now. The best is as always to be diversified.

Remember when Canadian money wasn't worth as much.

Spartana
7-27-11, 1:29pm
Does anyone think that this will effect Treasuries/Fed. Bond Market if we default? Will they become valueless or lose alot of value? If you had alot of your investment income in treasuries (say your 401K) would you move it? Where to? Something like insured IRA CDs? Will the FDIC countinue to insure bank accounts up to $100K? What about old savings bonds - I or EE bonds? What do you think?

Zigzagman
7-27-11, 1:55pm
The current FDIC insurance limit on bank deposit accounts of $250,000 is now permanent. On July 21, 2010, President Obama signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act into law which made the limit permanent. Prior to the passage of this law, the limit was set to drop back to $100,000 per depositor on January 1, 2014.

How will Treas./Bonds be affected? Who knows? everyone seems to expect a rise in interest rates of about 1% which could affect the bond and stock market but so far the markets have pretty much ignored the total mess. I personally think the equity markets would be affected the worst because they are usually driven more by emotions that Treas. or bonds but I really don't know!! Usually what I think will happen is exactly opposite of what does!

Peace

freein05
7-27-11, 2:00pm
Bank FDIC insurance is paid into a fund held by FDIC by the banks they insure. So it should be safe. From what I understand interest on Fed notes and bonds will continue to be paid. Treasury decides who will be paid and they seem to have put interest first. Politically that might be good for the administration. When people don't get their SS checks there will be a lot of pressure on congress to do something.

loosechickens
7-27-11, 2:16pm
Surely, at least in the short term, values of Treasuries would be affected, although certainly don't think they would be valueless, but I did hear this morning that folks trading in the futures market and backing up their trades with Treasury bonds are now being required to put up more, because the trading companies are discounting the Treasuries by about 12%. I'm not sure I have it straight as I was only half listening, so don't depend on it, but the gist seemed to be that values of Treasuries would fall if Congress didn't get their act together, so were not as valuable as collateral.

Almost surely, if the government goes into default, interest rates would rise, which would drop the value of bonds, but if you are depending on the bonds for the interest, I suspect that even if interest WERE defaulted, it would be short term, and ending up being honored.

I'd worry way more about rising interest rates causing inflation because everyone will pay higher interest on borrowing, which will increase costs to businesses, who will pass along those costs to the customers, causing inflation, and inflation is the biggest enemy of bond investments by far.

In the end, nobody really knows, because in the entire history of the U.S., there has never been a situation like this, with a real possibility of this country defaulting, which will roil the world markets and economy in ways that we can't even imagine.

I suspect myself that the worst effects would likely be a big drop in the markets, both the bond and stock markets, rising interest rates, being thrown into an even more serious recession, possibly even leading to a world depression if the world economy no long trusts the U.S. dollar, a weakening dollar, which will make your dollars worth less when you buy imported goods, certainly big blows to the jobs market which is anything but healthy right now already, and most probably finding ourselves in a period of "stagflation", where inflation happens, prices spiral, at the same time the economy is in the doldrums, there is high unemployment and increasing misery in the lower and middle classes, while the superrich, who have been hedging their bets continue to increase the percentage of the world's wealth that they hold.

JMHO, and certainly, everyone should know, I'm no economics expert, but do read a lot, and it doesn't look good right now. We don't hold any Treasuries at the moment, although we have a few bond funds that I am sure hold them, and over recent years, have moved more and more globally in our investments, and are just spread out over a number of types of investments and will hope for the best,.

dmc
7-27-11, 2:39pm
I'm sure interest will be paid. I'm also sure the congress and the president will continue to receive their pay and benefits. Air force one will still be flying. SS checks may be held up and parks will be closed. State funding will probably also be held up. As Free stated, this will cause most harm to the people and they will start complaining. No one really has the guts to address the real problem with out of control spending. If we are currently borrowing more that 40 cents on the dollar, at what point is it to much? Can interest rates go anywhere but up anyway? If we don't start addressing our spending problem now, when interest rates go up we won't be able to service the debt.

freein05
7-27-11, 2:48pm
Flying to las Vegas today. That is my real back up plan. All of my winnings will be used to buy gold and ice cream. I never lose. If you believe that I have a bridge to sell it is gold in color and connects San Francisco with Marin county.

dmc
7-27-11, 2:55pm
Good luck. The ice cream sounds good. Maybe you should buy some before you start winning.

ButterflyBreath
7-30-11, 2:41pm
Iím glad SOMEONE is talking about this. My closest friend doesnít think anything is going to happen. In short, I donít agree with much of any of his economic/political solutions. But thatís ok.

Whatever happens, whether it be like Y2K or a full blown crisis (have to focus on basic needs like food, water, medication, shelter, etc.) Itís NEVER wrong to learn self-sufficiency skills and also have a garden. I have been working on this for a few years now and I can make soap, laundry detergent, toothpaste, I screen print by hand, I am learning to garden (unfortunately I can only container garden since I donít have land, but I know people who do and will need help). I have been learning to cook from scratch for about 5 years now. I have kept my life simple. I have some debt Iím working on but itís not as bad as some people. I so badly wish I didn't have debt. Some school loans, some car loan, and I just incured a $4200 ER bill.

I donít own anything, and if things get bad I can go help others since I donít have children. I have a little medical experience. I have my passport if I need to leave the country quickly.

Just bought $90 of food, mostly canned and dried. I did that in case prices go up moreso than we wonít have a food supply because between me and my roommate it prob wonít last more than 3 or 4 weeks. If there is a scare though I donít want to be anywhere near a grocery store.

I recently bought a Brita Filter and 3 filters, which will get me to 6 months. I will strain water, boil it, and then brita it. That will do it, right? Make it safe?

simplelife4me
7-30-11, 5:32pm
There will be an agreement very soon. I don't doubt it will happen before the weekend is over.

ButterflyBreath
7-30-11, 10:45pm
Yay! I hope so, but at the same time I look forward to the day when we run this country responsibly. So even if they come to agreement, there's still a lot of work ahead of us.

Alan
7-30-11, 11:14pm
The problem will only get worse until we get more fiscal conservatives in office. It's looking better and better for 2012.

Zigzagman
7-31-11, 12:27am
http://juanitajean.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/tmdow100709.gif

ApatheticNoMore
8-4-11, 6:46pm
Any financial preparations in case there IS a debt solution? Oh boy .... look at that market.

Really I only believe we can do what we can actually do in whatever circumstances we are in, hopefully have diversified assets oh and an income would be nice (it's a form of diversification :)).

Lainey
8-4-11, 9:33pm
http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2011/07/the-chart-that-should-accompany-all-discussions-of-the-debt-ceiling/242484/#.TjAdwwz_Cx4.facebook

we can't afford any more of these fiscal conservatives.

peggy
8-4-11, 10:31pm
http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2011/07/the-chart-that-should-accompany-all-discussions-of-the-debt-ceiling/242484/#.TjAdwwz_Cx4.facebook

we can't afford any more of these fiscal conservatives.

Amen to that! And just where are all those jobs that are supposed to be created by giving the wealthy tax cuts? Every time they are given a tax cut, the nation loses jobs, while the deficit grows even larger. The whole, 'Tax cuts create jobs' is one of their favorite lies to feed to the uninformed. The sheeple are too lazy, or ignorant to actually learn the truth. And vote against their own best interest. But hey, soon enough a democrat will come along to lay the blame on. The right sure do know their base. People who won't bother to follow the money, so to speak, to see where the real blame is.

LDAHL
8-5-11, 5:25pm
The sheeple are too lazy, or ignorant to actually learn the truth. And vote against their own best interest.

Bad, bad America! You obdurately reject the guidance of your intellectual superiors, and persist in refusing to vote your interests as they explain them to you. When will you understand that the more property that can be wrested from private hands and wisely invested by government, the more prosperous we will be? The rich arenít like fossil fuels; theyíre a renewable resource! And why this superstitious dread of debt? What have future generations ever done for you anyway? If itís all that big a deal what your children will think of you, weíll give you free contraceptives and abortions on demand. Problem solved!

Weíre trying to create Utopia here, or at least Denmark, and you want to quibble over a few paltry trillion? 97% of scientists agree that government must grow for happiness to increase. Anyone who disagrees is ignorant at best, or in the pay of the plutocratic conspiracy at worst. So let our aspirations and the debt ceiling rise to Heaven (speaking purely metaphorically of course, we wouldnít want to imply such a place existed). Listen to President. Finally, finally become worthy of his leadership.

Alan
8-5-11, 9:14pm
Bad, bad America! You obdurately reject the guidance of your intellectual superiors, and persist in refusing to vote your interests as they explain them to you. When will you understand that the more property that can be wrested from private hands and wisely invested by government, the more prosperous we will be? The rich aren’t like fossil fuels; they’re a renewable resource! And why this superstitious dread of debt? What have future generations ever done for you anyway? If it’s all that big a deal what your children will think of you, we’ll give you free contraceptives and abortions on demand. Problem solved!

We’re trying to create Utopia here, or at least Denmark, and you want to quibble over a few paltry trillion? 97% of scientists agree that government must grow for happiness to increase. Anyone who disagrees is ignorant at best, or in the pay of the plutocratic conspiracy at worst. So let our aspirations and the debt ceiling rise to Heaven (speaking purely metaphorically of course, we wouldn’t want to imply such a place existed). Listen to President. Finally, finally become worthy of his leadership.

lol, you nailed it.

peggy
8-6-11, 2:46pm
Bad, bad America! You obdurately reject the guidance of your intellectual superiors, and persist in refusing to vote your interests as they explain them to you. When will you understand that the more property that can be wrested from private hands and wisely invested by government, the more prosperous we will be? The rich aren’t like fossil fuels; they’re a renewable resource! And why this superstitious dread of debt? What have future generations ever done for you anyway? If it’s all that big a deal what your children will think of you, we’ll give you free contraceptives and abortions on demand. Problem solved!

We’re trying to create Utopia here, or at least Denmark, and you want to quibble over a few paltry trillion? 97% of scientists agree that government must grow for happiness to increase. Anyone who disagrees is ignorant at best, or in the pay of the plutocratic conspiracy at worst. So let our aspirations and the debt ceiling rise to Heaven (speaking purely metaphorically of course, we wouldn’t want to imply such a place existed). Listen to President. Finally, finally become worthy of his leadership.

...or, you could simply READ the health care reform act, and take a simple economics class. But if that's too difficult, just keep watching Fox. They are more than happy to tell you what to think.

LDAHL
8-7-11, 10:20am
...or, you could simply READ the health care reform act, and take a simple economics class. But if that's too difficult, just keep watching Fox. They are more than happy to tell you what to think.

I read the abridged version. Stephen King should be so terrifying. Solid new spending offset by wishful thinking about cost offsets. New taxes, rationing, price controls and a whimsical interpretation of the Commerce Clause to make us all mandatory participants. It offers the President two political advantages: he can peddle waivers like pre-Reformation indulgences, and it's structured so that the bills won't come due until after the next election. It would take a simple economic class indeed to induce me to buy this flapdoodle.

I have to wonder where this comically unwarranted assumption of superiority the Left clings to so tenaciously comes from. There doesn't seem to be much probitive evidence for it. All I'm seeing is this b-movie narrative of armies of zombie voters beguiled by the great Svengali Fox.

LDAHL
8-7-11, 12:06pm
lol, you nailed it.

Carver Mead nailed it years ago when he said "We depend on the innovations of the citizens of a free economy to keep ahead of the bureaucrats and the people who make a living on control and planning. In the long term, it's the element of surprise that gives us the edge over more controlled economies."

peggy
8-7-11, 3:25pm
I read the abridged version. Stephen King should be so terrifying. Solid new spending offset by wishful thinking about cost offsets. New taxes, rationing, price controls and a whimsical interpretation of the Commerce Clause to make us all mandatory participants. It offers the President two political advantages: he can peddle waivers like pre-Reformation indulgences, and it's structured so that the bills won't come due until after the next election. It would take a simple economic class indeed to induce me to buy this flapdoodle.

I have to wonder where this comically unwarranted assumption of superiority the Left clings to so tenaciously comes from. There doesn't seem to be much probitive evidence for it. All I'm seeing is this b-movie narrative of armies of zombie voters beguiled by the great Svengali Fox.

Do you have a link to that abridged version? I'm wondering where you read it. It's all in how it was presented to you, you know. it wasn't designed to kick in slowly over time just so nothing would happen until after the next election, rather it was designed that way to allow all concerned to adjust and prepare for it. A really smart, RESPONSIBLE way to enact it, don't you think? But not bumper sticker quick enough for tea baggers.
Do you have young adult kids? Or maybe someone you know or a family member has young adults of this age. Not really kids but not really settled into a career either, especially in this economy. I do, and one of the first benefits of the health care reform act was to allow me to carry my kids on my insurance policy until they turn 26. This gives me peace of mind and gives my kids a little more time to get settled into a good job with benefits so they can get their own health care. Didn't cost you a dime.
My brother, who is as dense as a brick, will now be able to get health insurance for his disabled young adult son who up to this point was medically supported by their state/government (however he never saw this as the government supporting him..republican mental disconnect) Here is a guy who I know would like to accept even a portion of his sons medical insurance but was unable to up to this point.

Mangano's Gold
8-7-11, 4:48pm
New taxes, rationing, price controls.
So, are there real new taxes, rationing, and price controls...or are the "cost offsets" wishful thinking, as you indicated in the previous sentence?

Sorry, I don't mean to nitpick, but to the casual reader your impressive vocabulary (and colorful use of the language) could obscure your jumbled analysis. A for style, F for content.

benhyr
8-7-11, 9:06pm
Carver Mead nailed it years ago when he said "We depend on the innovations of the citizens of a free economy to keep ahead of the bureaucrats and the people who make a living on control and planning. In the long term, it's the element of surprise that gives us the edge over more controlled economies."

And yet no one really seriously rallies against our centrally planned economy running under the auspices of a free market. When people talk about dismantling the Fed, then I'll get interested.

benhyr
8-7-11, 9:08pm
I read the abridged version.

I've read through the full version. It's a really quick read. But then, I like being an informed non-voter ;)

Personally, I'm not a fan of the health care bill, but then I'm not a fan of people or taxes and whatever helps lower either is ok with me.