Zero Interest Rates Mean Zero Interest In Middle Class

Posted: May 09, 2012 12:01 AM

The financial markets have been a playground for a small select few. 

Not because they’re smarter, more experienced, or even better at what they do but because a group of bankers and politicians decided their own interests should come first.

Due to ZIRP (zero interest rate policy), seniors, retirees, and pretty much any recipient of fixed income were forced to take risks never before contemplated. 

However, if they wanted to make a mortgage payment or a nursing home payment, keep the lights on, or even have a meal, they had to forgo the safe haven of savings accounts, treasuries, and even CDs. 

In order to achieve a cash-flow, they had to buy stocks, junk bonds, and foreign debt.  The justification by the central bankers was that Armageddon was starring us in the face, and the bankers had to be saved. 

The incompetence in the corporate world and the risk takers in the financial world got a free pass as they were not allowed to experience the normal economic cycle.  Therefore, economic contraction was not even in the cards. 

Unfortunately, that choice was a zero-sum game.  Where there are winners, there are losers.  Just like a minimum wage part-time job replacing a triple-digit income professional job counting as a one-to-one exchange in the government’s statistics, so to does the decimation of the middle class at the expense of the elite count only as a net neutral occurrence. 

One group wins and one group loses (+1-1=0).  Millions of people worldwide are experiencing the end result of a policy that will keep a few in caviar and champagne while others wonder where their next meal is coming from. 

The last time we witnessed such a spread between the “haves and have-nots” was in 1929. 

Inequality has a way of working itself out in the end.  It happened in the 1930s, and so to will it now. 

The destruction of the markets will quickly equalize those who have gained at the expense of others. 

Jobs will disappear, careers ruined, and fortunes lost as the elite endure the end result of misguided Keynesian policies. 

Not only will this occur in far away lands, but also right here at home in the good old USA.  For the past few years the average citizen of the world, from Greece to China and from Portugal to Egypt, has been struggling to survive, never taking anything for granted.  Now the bankers and politicians are about to experience the same scenario. 

Will they have the same survival skills? 

I believe they are about to be confronted with two extremely important age-old questions:  Can I be standing when it’s every man for himself? 

And, why not enough lifeboats? 

It will be very interesting.