Presentation on theme: "The Coming Economic Storm. The Bible says a wise man sees trouble ahead and prepares for it (Proverbs 22:3) We must be like the men of Issachar who knew."— Presentation transcript:
The Coming Economic Storm
The Bible says a wise man sees trouble ahead and prepares for it (Proverbs 22:3) We must be like the men of Issachar who knew their times and knew what to do (1 Chronicles 12:32a) In the past, God’s love for his children has caused him to warn them of coming calamity (Noah, Lot, Rahab - ancestor of our Lord). The great destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 and Jesus’ words in Matthew 24:15-25 warning his disciples to protect themselves. –Notice, Jesus warns his disciples to flee to the mountains during the destruction of the temple. We know the Romans destroyed the temple in AD 70. This mountain place is later described by Josephus as Pella where King Agrippa gave the disciples of Jesus Christ safe passage. King Agrippa was well acquainted with the teachings of the Jews and seems to have been favorably impressed with Christianity through Paul as Paul gave his defense in Acts 26:1-32 It is interesting to note that three years prior to the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70, there was a rumor of war in Judea. In A.D. 67, a year after the Jewish revolt, Vespasian came to conquer Judea. It never materialized as Vespasian had to return to Rome to become emperor after Nero committed suicide. During this time many false Christ’s arose in Jerusalem. He sent his son Titus in AD 70 to finish his work and a great famine ensued during his siege of Jerusalem. Jesus again gives clues to his disciples to be aware during these times that Jesus’ prophecies had shown to be true (verses 4-8)
The six years leading up to the destruction of Jerusalem was one of the greatest persecutions Christians had ever experienced. Jesus words in verses 9-14: 9"Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
All these warnings were designed to shelter the children with whom the Father loved. Notice Jesus’ detailed warnings he gives. Whenever judgment came, Jesus said to clear out, seek cover, get out of harms way. Is there an application for us?
Could a major calamity be on the horizon for another one of God’s chosen people, The United States of America? The signs are all there for great financial difficulty ahead for our country, a kind that we have never seen before, a kind much worse then our Great Depression of the 1930’s. If we listen to him, and him only, it is clear that he has in the past warned his people to stay clear of His divine judgment on the nation’s sins cradling his movement. Christianity is his movement and the US is now that cradle. As you will soon see the United States is under severe financial judgment for gross financial immorality and that judgment is now upon us.
You may have heard of some of these facts Unfunded debts the US has promised to pay – $77 Trillion and climbing fast Dollar plummeting 8% in the last six months alone, 12% for all of 2007 Annual trade deficit – $1 Trillion, and rising geometrically. China $300 Billion Official Government Debt – $9.1 Trillion, and rising geometrically Annual interest - Official Government Debt - $430 Billion, rising geometrically Oil smashing $100 a barrel. Gas at the pump going up. $4.00 a gallon soon. Prices at stores going up. Price of commercial fertilizer up 100% by summer. Gold smashing through $850 an ounce and holding Financial Institutions writing off billions of sub-prime mortgages. $100 Billion in Treasury Auctions in early November, only $6 Billion sold Fed pumping millions (printing money) into the banking system Unstable OTC Derivatives of $650 Trillion. Exchange derivatives - $314 Trillion Arabs and Chinese purchasing US Assets in distress (Citibank, UBS) And the list goes on (add your own area of concern, it might relate)
The primary reason for God’s judgment will be, among other things, legal counterfeiting. The complete debasement of our currency by wanton printing by the US Treasury acting in concert with the Federal Reserve will be shown as the primary catalyst for our financial destruction.
What does this all mean?
Let’s look at two of the above bullet points Oil smashing $100 a barrel. Gas at the pump going up. Prices at stores going up. Part of the price increases you are seeing where you shop relates to the higher cost of fuel in transporting those goods to you. Oil will not be going down. Why? The debasement of our currency and increased Asian demand for fuel.
Will the price of fuel ever go back down? No. Countries have ceased buying our new debt in large measure. We are printing money to pay our debts and whenever a country does that, prices of assets which are impossible to increase (such as the US creating money by printing it) go up. The price of oil is going up because our dollar is going down. Our dollar in 2008 will accelerate it’s depreciation. It is unavoidable. What are the moral ramifications of God’s judgment with legal counterfeiting? Unfortunately, we are going to have a front row seat seeing His justice meted out and it is the nations around us which will be his primary instrument of that judgment.
First of all, through God’s infinite grace and mercy, he has shown us in the past that he will give us time to prepare. He gave the Judean Christians three years to get ready. How much time do we have? We don’t know. Don’t fret, cast all your anxieties upon him because he cares for you (I Peter 5:7).
Second of all, you need to realize that this is happening beyond your control. As men, we have been conditioned in the USA to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps in the time of financial calamity and somehow gut it out based on hard work, our talent and training and God’s gifts to us. Relying upon God is a maturity point for us. Some of us are there, some of us are getting there, and some of us are not. We are entering into a scenario which changes everything. People will be losing their jobs, losing their money, losing their minds and blaming themselves all the while, not realizing their problems have nothing to do with them. It will be what is called a systemic structural failure with our financial system. Our assumptions of how we will be living in the future will change. Blaming oneself for this calamity will many times be a counterproductive thought process.
One of the points above might appear to you as preposterous.... Unfunded obligations the US has stepped up to the plate for – $77 Trillion. What does that mean? It means that the US Government has promised to pay $77 Trillion dollars to its citizens and others for one reason or another (medicare, social security, treasury bonds, treasury notes, treasury bills, etc... ). The US Government has $77 Trillion dollars in outstanding IOU’s. This amount is impossible to pay, and there is no way to decrease it and we cannot keep growing this debt indefinitely... and the day of reckoning is not far because of the sheer hugeness of this liability and its geometric rate by which it is increasing.
You might respond by saying, “Ok, maybe the US Government has $77 Trillion in debt, but if the US Government has assets totaling close to or more than that, the Government is basically solvent, or at least if they are not solvent, if they are running an annual surplus, they will eventually erase their negative equity if there is any”. Ok, let’s look at the income statements and the balance sheets of the US Government. And while we’re at it, let’s look at the collective financials of all US citizens, all US Municipalities (and all the local and regional independent government structures – school boards, transportation authorities, water authorities, etc.), and all the governments and authorities of all Fifty States. This should give us a total national financial picture.
Note: Total Federal Liabilities Exceed Total Federal Assets by $9.2 Trillion. This does not include Medicare and Social Security Obligations ($9.2 Trillion in the RED) Sources: Page 45 Page 68http://www.fms.treas.gov/fr/07frusg/07frusg.pdfhttp://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/z1/current/z1.pdf
Note: There are no assets in these Social Insurance Trust funds, only IOU’s ($77.4 Trillion in the RED) Source: Page 26http://www.phil.frb.org/econ/conf/forum2005/Smetters-Assessing_the_Federal_Government.pdf
Note: Total State and Local Assets Exceed Total State and Local Liabilities by $2.0 Trillion. ($2.0 Trillion in the BLACK) Sources: Page 66 (For Inventory and PP&E Figures ) Page 76 (For Retirement Assets and Liabilities)http://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/z1/current/z1.pdfhttp://www.census.gov/govs/estimate/0500ussl_1.htmlhttp://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/z1/current/z1.pdf
Note: Total Private Citizen Assets Exceed Total Liabilities by $47.8 Trillion. ($47.8 Trillion in the BLACK) Top 1% own 50% of the wealth. Top 20% own 80% of the wealth. Bottom 80% own 20% of the wealth ($9.5 Trillion). Bottom 20% have no wealth. Source: Page 61http://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/z1/current/z1.pdf
SUMMARY US Federal Government including the FED ($9.2 Trillion in the RED) US Federal Government Social Insurance ($77.4 Trillion in the RED) US State and Local Governments ($2.0 Trillion in the BLACK) US Private Citizens ($47.8 Trillion in the BLACK) US Private Citizens (bottom 80%) ($ 9.5 Trillion in the Black) Note: This information comes from the most authoritative Government Sources and is believed to be the most optimistic. Corporations were not included because they are represented as ownership interests with the three “performing entities” (Federal Government, State and Local Governments, and Private Citizens). Foreign ownership in US corporations is ignored to isolate US National Wealth.
So we see by the most optimistic numbers available from our government, we are $36.8 Trillion in the hole. Our hunch is this is higher. Also, if you take out the top 20% wealthiest American’s out of the equation, the type that could get out of the country if the going got real bad, add another $38 Trillion to your figure. So how big is a Trillion dollars anyway?
A Million dollars in tightly bound $1,000 bills would produce a stack four inches high. A Billion dollars in tightly bound $1,000 bills would produce a stack three hundred feet high. A Trillion dollars in tightly bound $1,000 bills would produce a stack 63 miles high. 77 Trillion dollars in tightly bound $1,000 bills would produce a stack 4,851 miles high, or to put it in another way, $1,000 bills tightly stacked all the way from Los Angeles, CA to Boston, MA, and then back to Dallas, TX. If you were making that trip by car with all that cash lined up ahead of you, and you flung open your car door for three seconds at 60 mph to grab all you could, your take would be 600 million dollars. Problems of this magnitude cannot be fixed in the proper way (simply paying our debts) without triggering a deflationary depression (prices going down, unemployment going way up, businesses bankrupt on a large scale). Since no one wants to be tagged with the title of “the pin that popped the balloon”, we are currently in an inflationary delay tactic, one of the government perpetually printing money delaying the inevitable, making the problem when the balloon finally pops much worse. As the old saying goes, “One who mounts a tiger, may not dismount”. Don’t fool yourself however, eventually the tiger will throw off most of us who are unprepared and feast on our country inflicting untold pain (metaphorically speaking of course).
We won’t even begin to talk about the $650 Trillion Derivative Market yet... this market is unraveling... with sub-prime mortgages the tip of the iceberg. And what about our $77 Trillion dollar unfunded Social Security and Medicare costs?
$77 Trillion divided up between every man, woman, and child in the USA is $256,666. Approaching $1 Million per family, less than one percent of the population can afford to pay this. This debt absolutely cannot be paid the conventional way. The settling of this problem will cause great stress in the system to resolve. Source:
But how could the government have gotten us in this position? Karl Marx probably had the best simple answer for that. He observed, “The capitalist form of government is not a government that will survive over the long term, for once people realize that they can vote money from the treasury, they will bankrupt the nation”.
As far as the United States is concerned, we will see that ignoble prophecy, from that discredited of all characters come true. Marx’s belief was that this would happen far sooner than it finally will. He will be off on his timing by a sizeable amount of years, but he will be right in his final analysis. God help us if we can remain a democracy through all of this. There is absolutely no way to stop this most sinister of all economic realities for our beloved country.... and that is either
HYPER INFLATION DEFLATION STAGFLATION
We are not sure how all this is going to shake out, but we do know the path will follow one of these three trails, a combination of two, or a combination of all three, with the three acting together, in short succession, or in a longer linear sequence. These are very difficult things to predict. We are not sure when it is going to happen, it may be imminent, it may be a few years down the road, but God’s judgment is upon us and we need to be ready. As time passes, it is going to be easier to understand the sign of the times, but it will be more difficult to do something about it. The time to act is now.
What is Hyper Inflation? Hyperinflation is inflation that is "out of control," a condition in which prices increase rapidly as a currency loses its value. No precise definition of hyperinflation is universally accepted. One simple definition requires a monthly inflation rate of 20 or 30% or more. In informal usage the term is often applied to much lower rates. The definition used by most economists is "an inflationary cycle without any tendency toward equilibrium." A vicious circle is created in which more and more inflation is created with each iteration of the cycle. Hyperinflation becomes visible when there is an unchecked increase in the money supply or drastic debasement of coinage, and is often associated with wars (or their aftermath), economic depressions, and political or social upheavals. It is important to realize that hyperinflation is generally a choice of the sovereign who is in control of the currency. It is a choice taken when the alternative (deflation) is deemed not as acceptable, mainly because the lesser pain of paying the piper now (deflation) is not as preferred as the much larger pain of paying the piper later. Hyperinflation is the ultimate manifestation of denial of the magnitude of gargantuan debt and how to deal with it within large macroeconomic systems.
The World has a rich history of Hyperinflation – it has happened before... even very recently Inflation : A German woman feeding a stove with currency notes, which burn longer than the amount of firewood they can buy. A 500,000,000,000 (500 billion) Yugoslav dinar banknote circa 1993, the largest nominal value ever officially printed in Yugoslavia, the final result of hyperinflation. A 500,000 Cruzeiro banknote, issued by Brazil in If exchanged, would be worth R$ 0.18 in Every few years the currency was renamed, and three zeros dropped from the bank notes. A 1960s Cruzeiro is now worth less than one trillionth of a US cent, after adjusting for multiple devaluations and note changes.R$
Unfortunately, in modern history, the countries who have hyper inflated were small potatoes compared to what we in the United States are about to experience if we go down the Hyperinflation road None of these relatively recent hyper inflating countries were the financial engines of the world. The pain through hyper inflating their currency was largely inflicted upon themselves. In our case, it is very hard to predict what exactly will happen, but it won’t be pretty since the dollar is so central to world commerce. Note... the countries who lend to us will not be happy with our decision to hyper inflate, since our debt to them will devalue significantly with every wave of hyperinflation. The problem with us devaluing their debt will be the least of our problems however... something much more sinister will overwhelm us.
There is a break down of the last remaining strands of a country’s moral fiber in a period of un-mitigated Hyperinflation
What Does This Mean?
The greatest thing that runs the risk of overwhelming us is ourselves during hyperinflation
What Do You Mean?
If the southside of Los Angeles burned down their neighborhoods over a court case, how do you think they will react when the dollar is eventually worthless? There may be some sort of solution to all of this, but it is not obvious, and the transition to whatever it is, if it even exists will nevertheless be turbulent.
We have history that shares how group dynamics evolve when hyperinflation takes hold of a society. Basically, when the ultimate authority is committing the ultimate financial sin of debasing the currency at will, the last remaining respect towards that authority vanishes. People no longer have a good sense of what right and wrong are. When expectations of our magnitude are dashed within that environment (our spoiled American Culture).... God help us.
But wait a minute, saying that the US Dollar will become worthless is really a bit of a stretch isn’t it? I mean come on, that’s more along the lines of a fairy tale that I can’t hardly believe...
Believe it... Since 1900, the value of the dollar has been reduced by 97%, in other words, today’s 1 dollar bill is only worth 3 cents in 1900 money. The last stages of the value of a currency being devalued and becoming worthless happen much faster than the first stages. We are on the last stretch.
How will I know this to be true, “that our currency will be worthless relatively soon”?
This will happen relatively quickly. From the beginning of 08 when this presentation was prepared, it may take a few months, not more than 3 years from now you will see a severe drop in the value of our currency. Hopefully it will take at least 3 years in order for us to have more time to prepare. Keep watching the price of gasoline. It is not going down, it is going up. It is not going to go down again unless we go the severe contractionary deflationary road and other countries join us on that road. Why? Other countries with currencies more stable than ours are increasing their demand for oil. They are outbidding us for oil, and for us to keep up with them with our ever decreasing value of dollars, we have to increase what we are willing to pay. When you see the price of gasoline going up very quickly by large amounts, the end is not far. Already countries holding our currency are getting rid of our currency in favor of more disciplined currencies. This will add to the increase of the price of gasoline much faster.
How has our currency been devalued? By the creation of what is known as “fiat” money, money which is printed and declared to be money by the sovereign printing it. Fiat money has no tangible backing such as Gold and Silver as the dollar was backed by 100 years ago. Fiat money is created so that sovereign governments have more short- term control over their economies. This philosophy always comes at a cost however. Eventually, unless there is a contraction plan (ceasing the printing of money), because of our money and banking system, a country who systematically debases it’s currency in trying to stimulate it’s economy eventually debases the currency into worthlessness. It has to.... the credit hungry machine it creates in the process has to be fed. (see
Look for natural deflation (stagflation) to set in initially as our economy goes into an initial recession which will see select rising prices (oil) but select falling asset values (housing)... and then an inflationary response from the FED. Ben Bernanke has said he will avoid the Japan deflationary debacle of the early 1990’s by a more liquid monetary expansion policy earlier in the recession process. Whether or not the financial markets cooperate with him is anybody’s guess.
Why the Sub-prime mortgage mess? Because the securitization model of "originate and distribute" meant that banks were not carrying the credit risk - they earned fees in the transaction - and thus did not care about the quality of the lending. There was a whole chain of financial intermediaries who were earning such fees without bearing the credit risk: the mortgage broker was paid a fee and maximized its income by having a larger volume of mortgages; the originating bank was packaging the mortgages into MBS and getting a fee without bearing the credit risk; the investment banks were then re- packaging these MBS in various tranches of Collateralized Debt Obligations or CDOs (and sometimes into CDOs of CDOs, or CDOs of CDOs of CDOs, i.e. CDOs cubed) and getting a fee; the credit rating agencies had serious conflicts of interest - as were giving their blessing and mis-rating these MBSs and CDOs with higher ratings than warranted - as they were getting a fee from the managers of such instruments; the regulators were asleep at the wheel as the US regulatory philosophy was a free market laissez-faire fundamentalist ideology. Finally, the final investors who were buying these MBS and CDOs - the alleged guardian of market discipline - were greedy and believed the misleading ratings of the rating agencies. So everyone in this credit house of cards chain was getting a fee and not holding the credit risk; while the final investors were greedy and clueless as it was near to impossible to price these new complex exotic illiquid derivative instruments.
In a decision piggy-backing on Judge Boyko’s recent Deutsche Bank ruling, Judge Rose has thrown out another batch of foreclosures, making the following summary remarks:recent Deutsche Bank ruling “This court is well aware that entities who hold valid notes are entitled to receive timely payments in accordance with the notes. And, if they do not receive timely payments, the entities have the right to seek foreclosure on the accompanying mortgages. However, with regard the enforcement of standing and other jurisdictional requirements pertaining to foreclosure actions, this court is in full agreement with Judge Christopher A Boyko for the Northern District of Ohio who recently stressed, ‘That the judicial integrity of the United States District Court is ‘Priceless.’” The ruling is another HUGE victory for consumer advocate attorneys and homeowners in general. Jacksonville Legal Aid attorney April Charney remarked to us regarding the two Ohio decisions: As to the real ramification of the Ohio decision, aside from slowing the foreclosure trains, is that the fact that there were no “original” assignments rendering the sales of the mortgages to the trusts, in violation of the true sale obligations imposed by securities law. ” From: %e2%80%93-27-more-foreclosures-dismissed/http://iamfacingforeclosure.com/blog/2007/11/16/the-judicial-integrity-of-the-united-states-court-is-%e2%80%9cpriceless%e2%80%9d- %e2%80%93-27-more-foreclosures-dismissed/ What this means is that mortgage backed securities, if not accompanied by an actual mortgage may be worthless. Good for the consumer, bad for the long term health of financial institutions with hundreds of billions in Mortgage Backed Securities
Florida School Fund Rocked by $8 Billion Pullout Amid Defaults By David Evans Nov. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Florida local governments and school districts pulled $8 billion out of a state-run investment pool, or 30 percent of its assets, after learning that the money- market fund contained more than $700 million of defaulted debt. ``Knowing other people were pulling out, and that word was spreading, we looked at the potential for a run on the pool,'' said Orange County's Moye. Should the withdrawals continue, Florida's pool may have to consider filing for bankruptcy protection. The Florida pool's $900 million of defaulted asset-backed commercial paper now amounts to almost 5 percent of its holdings. The state appears to have breached the trust of the investors by putting money in new kinds of debt its managers didn't fully understand, in their search for higher yields. &refer=home &refer=home
What is the most honorable way out of this mess? How would God lead us out of this? Do not be a man who strikes hands in pledge or puts up security for debts; if you lack the means to pay, your very bed will be snatched from under you.... Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will serve before kings; he will not serve before obscure men. (Proverbs 22:26-27, 29) "The borrower is slave to the lender" (Proverbs 22:7a).
The most honorable way out of this is for our Government to pay the debts we as a populace have elected our public officials to accumulate for us.... they gave us something for nothing... gave us benefits for which have not had to pay for and we should begin a process to reverse this. What would that look like for us if suddenly our public officials decided to make good on all our debts? First of all, they probably could not get re-elected, but setting that aside, what would happen if we as a nation decided to do the honorable thing and pay all our debts?
The honorable thing to do is to follow God’s will and pay our debts. Making this decision would immediately send us into a deflationary contraction as a significant amount of excess capital would go to pay obligations and no longer fuel our growth. Our dollar would grow stronger and inflation would slow significantly.... but, a depression similar to the one experienced in 1930 would result.
We will receive more blessings from God as a nation if we take this road. In a democracy such as ours, this may be impossible to do... to have a constructive public discourse led by true patriots who wisely make a decision to pay our debts. Our collective national mantra in difficult situations to our policy makers is “Make the pain go away”. That making the pain go away comes in the form of money creation. Money creation is like an addicting drug... the more we receive, the more we need.
The private sector still has to cooperate with the financial authorities to make sure easy money circulates through the economy. Business must invest in job creation, banks must lend money, consumers must still spend money. If any one of these three private participants don’t do their job with the monetary authority pumping out the money, then the third most sinister of all scenarios results.
Stagflation is the worst of both deflationary and inflationary scenarios. With stagflation you get rising prices, typical of inflation, with falling asset values and wages failing to keep up, typical of deflation. Our current policies of consuming our seed corn for relief now is leading us to this unhappy state of affairs - Stagflation.
Stagflation has a higher likelihood of happening other than Hyperinflation. Why? In order to have hyperinflation, you have to be able to boost wages to keep up with rising prices. In our present economy and government structure, it would be extremely difficult for the monetary authorities to exert pressure on businesses and the ensuing help the businesses would need from the monetary authorities to keep wages going up with the rate of rising prices we are going to have. To achieve hyperinflation, we as a country would have to undergo a major paradigm shift which would be nigh impossible under our current system.
This leads us to believe that we are looking at Stagflation HOW DO WE SURVIVE OR PERHAPS EVEN THRIVE DURING A STAGFLATION, OR EVEN A DEFLATIONARY OR HYPERINFLATIONARY SCENARIO?
Working on that presentation currently
These are an example of things that our group is dealing with and trying to figure out for your benefit: There is a line of argument which says that because money will be literally disappearing as loans default and new loans are not taken out, inflation in the money supply will fall, which means that prices will fall, and thus this proves that we are going to suffer a deflationary collapse instead of an inflationary collapse, where prices go up and up. On the face, this seems to be a compelling argument; the money supply will fall as loans go bad, which means consumer prices will fall. And with loans going bad, nobody is going to either make a loan or take one, and so the money supply will not grow and will in effect defeat inflation. This presents a real difficulty for the inflationary collapse of the dollar scenario, because the intrinsic strengthening of the dollar in a major fall in the money supply seems so compelling! Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital, writes on this: “Many mistakenly believe that when the U.S. economy falls into recession, reduced domestic demand will lead to falling consumer prices. However, what is often overlooked is the fact that as the dollar loses value, the rising relative values of foreign currencies will increase consumer demand abroad. As fewer foreign-made products are imported and more domestic-made products are exported, the result will be far fewer products available for Americans to consume. So even if the domestic money supply were to contract, the supply of goods for sale would contract even faster. Shrinking supply will be a major factor in pushing consumer prices higher in America.” The bottom line is, while prices may go down in a contracting money supply, spot shortages of important items will start to appear, something we have never really seen in modern America before. Peter Schiff again explains “The big problem politically is that hyper-inflation may superficially appear to be the lesser evil. If asset prices are allowed to collapse, ownership of those assets will pass to our creditors. If instead we repay our debts with debased currency, we retain ownership of our assets and shift the losses to our creditors. Since American debtors can vote in U.S. elections and foreign creditors can not, the choice seems obvious. Of course there are some American creditors as well, but since they comprise such a small percentage of the electorate, my guess is that their losses will be seen as acceptable collateral damage.” In this scenario, the “good of the majority” is paramount over the desires of the minority. In a hyperinflationary scenario, when the bottom half of all taxpayers ranked by income pay no income tax at all, while the top 1% pays more than half of all income taxes, and the fact that almost half of the people in the USA receive money directly, or indirectly, from the federal government each and every month, you see a classic fight building between populist politicians and the Fed, which have traditionally been the allies to get us into this mess in the first place.
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