The Federal Reserve Has Declared the Winner in the Generational Financial War

"So dig this everyone. We can spend as much money as we want on anything that we want. We'll just get our kids to pay it off man. Far out!*
“So dig this everyone. We can spend as much money as we want on anything that we want. We’ll just get our kids to pay it off man. Far out!”*

Sorry baby boomers but you are killing us. You enjoyed an economic rising tide for pretty much your whole lives (a tide which today’s young adults can’t even dream of)  and, well, if you haven’t squared yourself away financially by now (I am speaking generationally here) I don’t have a whole lot of sympathy. The money is running out. Sorry. I’m not inclined to run my financial life and that of my country into the ground just because you’ve been “promised” a certain standard of living.

It sounds harsh, and perhaps in some ways it is. But you’ve gotten the breaks. You got to party. You guys divorced each other, did blow, and leveraged the country to meet your “needs.” Now my generation has to clean things up and put things in order, like adults.

My family, and the families of my children will feel your profligacy for pretty much the rest of their lives. You boomers will be long gone but your debt won’t be.

But hey, live for today right guys? Your kids? Hey, screw them you’ve got to look out for NUMBER1!

(From Of Two Minds)

4. Inflate bubbles in housing, stocks and bonds to boost the value of pension funds, retirement accounts, and government tax revenues from capital gains by pushing interest rates to zero and extending credit to speculators, financiers and marginally qualified borrowers.

The Federal Reserve has clearly chosen #4 as the only politically palatable solution. While asset bubbles create the politically positive illusion that pension funds can pay the benefits promised, retirement accounts are swelling in value and tax revenues are rising thanks to higher property taxes and capital gains taxes, this legerdemain comes with a heavy price:

Younger generations are either priced out of assets such as housing or they are forced to buy assets at inflated prices– prices that will inevitably implode as these stupendous speculative bubbles pop. When the bubbles pop, the young people who bought into the illusion that asset bubbles can expand forever will be underwater, and not for a year or two but for a generation.

The system rewards silence and complicity. Everyone bellying up to the social welfare trough is implicitly encouraged to support the Status Quo, lest their share of the swag be diminished. That the trough will collapse is not important to each beneficiary; what’s important is that their share of the swag is not diminished, even if cuts are the only sustainable way to save the programs from collapse.

I am a Baby Boomer, and in 4 short years I will be entitled to belly up to the trough and extract hundreds of thousands of dollars in open-ended benefits (at least for Medicare). I have long proposed that the Boomers collectively fall on our swords and accept the draconian cuts necessary to align our benefits with the cold reality of declining wages and employment.

If only other boomers would listen to you Charles Hugh Smith. That would be the ADULT thing to do. I don’t have much hope on that front though.

Click here for the article.

*I will say that the world does indeed owe the baby boomers a debt of gratitude for creating some amazing music. 1966 to 1974 was pretty much the golden age of rock. I do appreciate that. Too bad all the debt and statism had to come with the Crosby,Stills, and Nash records.