Having made the rash decision of taking my e-trading account to 75% cash on Friday, I decided to relax and open my brain and think about what is really going on with the US economy. For some reason, I had a flashback to my youth, when my parents took me to Times Square. I remember my father pointing out the massive signage that counted the US national debt, and recall way back then how stunned I was at how fast the debt was climbing; it was in the billions, then.
Now it's in the trillions, and climbing at more than $1,000,000 every five seconds.
Yesterday, as I was trying to wrap my brain around the "Things-Are-Getting-Better" versus "No-They-Are-Not" debate, I thought of that debt clock, and decided to Bing "US National Debt Real Time."
I was led to the following website: usdebtclock.org
Here's a summary of what I found, year-to-date:
-US National Debt is $11.65 trillion, or $38,091/person
-US Spending is $2.427 trillion, or $8,072/person
The largest budget expenditures:
-Defense/War Spending is $407.37 billion
-Social Security is $400.8 billion
-Medicare/Medicaid is $388.34 billion
-The interest payment on the debt is $294.77 billion
The clock also has the number of "officially" unemployed at 14,611,726, and the "actual" unemployed count of 18,591,843. The clock states that we are nearing $60 billion traded to the OPEC members, and $145 billion overall for imported oil.
If the above numbers do not scare you into a martini-gulping stagger, then what follows will. According to the "clock" the US government bailouts are currently $11.882 trillion. The loss of national household wealth is $12.11 trillion, and climbing $100,000 every two seconds. The "Cramer-sheeple" who claim housing has already bottomed are obvioiusly misleading you.
But the last number, the one that shook me to the core, the number that I find excruciating and frightening and maddening and outraged, is the Estimated Currency and Credit Derivatives: $644.520 trillion. And going up by 1 million dollars every five seconds.
Further, the clock shows that the unfunded liabilities are at $58.9 trillion. That figures to be just short of $192.000 per person. This includes the unfunded Medicare/Medicaid liability of $39.36 trillion, the Social Security liability of $10.7 trillion, and the Prescription Drug liabiltiy of $8.56 trillion.
Maybe my Friday decision to take profits and go to a large percentage of cash was a wrong one. I've never played the short ETF's; they go against my positive and bullish way of thinking. But soon, maybe as early as Monday, for the first time, I will begin to establish those positions.
Nowadays, you don't have to travel to Times Square to see that clock. You can see for yourself these terrifying numbers at:
Disclosure: I own no short ETF's, yet.