Note: This article is courtesy of Iris.xyz
By Sara Grillo
How many people think that in our lifetime we will never see another Lehman Brothers?
Despite the optimistic forecasts that economists are gleefully singing based upon positive jobs and GDP data, the system is still broken. Leverage is still spectacularly high both here and in Europe. The emerging markets, specifically China, are evolving into a state of debt overhang that will be problematic inevitably. The next crisis will begin in those emerging economies and the contagion will spread to the United States, a reversal of how the last one happened.
And when it does hit, here’s why we are going to be worse off than in 2008.
One reason is that there are simply not many levers left to pull. What is the Fed going to do, keep printing trillions of dollars? We’re already in an inflation death spiral. This could actually break our currency. Secondly, the source of up and coming prosperity is not equipped to handle another downturn. The Millennials, Generation X, and Generation Y (whatever you want to call them) have not yet shored up enough capital to survive another bout of unemployment. The boomers are retiring and who is going to buy their homes, their cars, their businesses?
The final factor is downright terrifying. Electronic currencies like Bitcoin are not regulated by the Central Bank. It’s used for online payments between individuals – it’s Internet money, so to speak. These transactions happen as fast as email and in a flash could accelerate the speed of crisis from a minor shock to an all out collapse.
So what should everyday people be doing now to protect themselves in advance?
1) The first thing is preparation of capital. Stow away as much cash in your 401(k)’s, 529’s, IRA’s, savings accounts, etc., as you can and invest it as wisely as you can in income producing assets that will be recession proof. Think twice about gambling with your retirement money.
2) Secondly, strive to earn as much as you can while you have a job. Now is not the time to be complacent. That doesn’t mean to simply ask your boss for a raise. Find a way to get connected to a higher stream of income at your job, either by building more relationships, gaining new skills, or even switching employers.