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This will be my most controversial post.

You can disagree with what I write but no ad hominem attacks please.

I heard this on the podcast, money for everyone by David Stein.

It goes like this. There is a lot of hysterical about the national debt. A reasonable national debt is a good thing, because it puts money into the economy, and we can have growth. Say, we ran a surplus, that would mean that say 10 billion dollars was leaving the economy. Therefore, 10 billion less would be spent, and So companies would either lower there prices, or cut production. That would eat into their profits. Therefore, there would lay off people, and they would have less money to spend, further lowering profits, and causing more layoffs. That is why a national debt is a good thing. What is not good is when too much money goes into the economy. That causes too much money chasing not enough goods, and you get inflation.

Also, the govt. can create as much money as it wants, so it can always pay its bills.
There are two strong pieces of evidence for this.

First, I heard the national debt is killing us in the 1970s. That was almost 50 years ago, and nothing bad happened. Second, the treasury bill is considered to be risk free in all the economic models. If the debt was such a problem, it would not be considered risk free.
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IMO, the biggest debt issue is the unfunded liabilities of things like Social Security and Medicare.

But, I suppose those can be canceled at any time...

They've already reneged on so many promises to veterans.
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The National Debt Is Now More Than $22 Trillion. What Does That Mean?
https://www.pgpf.org/infographic/the-national-debt-is-now-mo...

The Peterson Foundation is a good place for unbiased (as far as I can tell) information on the National Debt.

Enjoy,
Brian
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A reasonable national debt is a good thing,

I think the key item in your remark is "reasonable".
I have a book on my to-read bookshelf called “A Free Nation Deep in Debt: The Financial Roots of Democracy”.


the govt. can create as much money as it wants, so it can always pay its bills.

No. Innumerable example in history show this is not the case. Latest example is Venezuela.


I heard the national debt is killing us in the 1970s. That was almost 50 years ago, and nothing bad happened.

1) While passing the 5th floor, the guy who jumped off the Empire State Building was heard to say "So far, so good!"

2) "Something that can't go on forever.....won't."

3) "There's a great deal of ruin in a nation.”


the [US] treasury bill is considered to be risk free in all the economic models.

"The standard is the alternative." It is considered to be effectively risk-free because SO FAR it has been. And SO FAR, it has been safer than any alternative.

The long-term average for US GDP as % of World GDP is 29% (currently about 25%). The US GDP is more than the total of the next 4 countries. In economic terms, there is essentially the USA and a bunch of also-rans.

Aside: I have recently been reading a lot of Pacific WW2 history, and watching a number of WW2 historical videos & movies, including a number sourced in Japan (and therefore showing Japan's viewpoint). Japan was literally insane to have declared war on the US. In terms of military power, Japan had just about no more than what they started with. Every loss of a capital ship--aircraft carrier, battleship, destroyer--was irrecoverable. They did not have the materials, steel, etc. to build another one to replace the sunk one.

The US actually built 48 new carriers _during_ WW2. Japan only had 17 total, and many of those were just converted vessels that had a flight deck tacked on.
The US built 24 Essex-class carriers, every single one of them was built during the war.

It is quite likely that the US economy, and hence the US Treasury debt, will be the big kahuna for a long time. Probably past any of our lifetimes. So....nothing that we need to worry about.
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My un-credentialed guts tell me you are largely correct. While it might be of some concern the ongoing hysteria is just fake-o-rama for political purposes. But, as someone else stated, the word "reasonable" is important.

Also, I think to make the whole thing work it relies on the U.S. dollar being the World's reserve currency. I could be wrong or I might have the debt thing criss-crossed in my mind with something unrelated but which concerns the Dollar as World's reserve currency.
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e govt. can create as much money as it wants, so it can always pay its bills.

No. Innumerable example in history show this is not the case. Latest example is Venezuela.


But an example of going the other way is Japan which has printed money and experienced defalation. Does anyone know why the different outcomes for printing money?

Craig
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It is quite likely that the US economy, and hence the US Treasury debt, will be the big kahuna for a long time. Probably past any of our lifetimes. So....nothing that we need to worry about.<?B>

I hope you are correct. I plan to live a while longer and I have lots of grandkids.

I have seen many things that have appeared to be doing well & then turn on a dime.
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... the word "reasonable" is important.

reminds me of a recent visit & the word "usually" was used. I said that is the word "usually concerns me.
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Also, the govt. can create as much money as it wants, so it can always pay its bills.

That's true only as long as everyone is willing to accept that money as payment. Not too long ago the British Pound was a universally accepted currency, until Britain was no longer an empire and a super-power. And then no one wanted their currency any more.

China is on the way to equal the U.S. as an economic super power in the next decade, and to surpass the U.S. after that. Once that happens, the dollar will be at grave danger of losing its status, either gradually, or very suddenly at a time of financial crisis.

If the debt was such a problem, it would not be considered risk free.

"Risk free" is a concept of economic theory, not of reality. The dollar is not risk free in absolute terms. It is only (almost) risk free compared to other things. Once it loses its standing as the preferred vehicle for international commerce it will also cease to be "risk free".

Elan
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I heard the national debt is killing us in the 1970s. That was almost 50 years ago, and nothing bad happened.

1) While passing the 5th floor, the guy who jumped off the Empire State Building was heard to say "So far, so good!"

2) "Something that can't go on forever.....won't."

3) "There's a great deal of ruin in a nation.”


Nothing bad happened? In the mid 1970s, my property tax was $800/year. Now it is $6642/year, so the value of the dollar, using the property tax standard, has dropped 88% in that time. Gasoline prices in those days were about $0.60/gallon, and now about $2.40/gallon, so the value of the dollar, using the gasoline standard, had dropped about 75% since then. In about 1976, Berkshire-Hathaway stock was going for about $89/share. Now they are going for $303,000.00, so the value of the dollar, using the Berkshire-Hathaway standard, dropped almost 100%

4.) "A debt that cannot be paid, won't be paid."

Printing (counterfeiting) the currency to pay it with is the same a defaulting: a hidden tax on all those forced to use that currency.
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I think to make the whole thing work it relies on the U.S. dollar being the World's reserve currency. I could be wrong or I might have the debt thing criss-crossed in my mind with something unrelated but which concerns the Dollar as World's reserve currency.

Exactly. Just how long do you suppose the world will use the US dollar as the reserve currency? Right now, Russia, China, and perhaps India, are dumping US treasury bonds and putting their reserves into physical gold (and silver in the case of India). They no longer trust the US dollar as a store of value (i.e., purchasing power). Now this change cannot happen overnight, but over a period of 10 years, a lot can happen.
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Just how long do you suppose the world will use the US dollar as the reserve currency?

As long as the US is the strongest economy in the world.


Right now, Russia, China, and perhaps India, are dumping US treasury bonds and putting their reserves into physical gold

"Dumping" US treasury bonds for physical gold means getting rid of a thing that pays a return for something that pays no return and is burdensome to hold. And those T-bills have to be held by _somebody_. An asset doesn't care who holds it. Makes no difference to the US or the world economy if a Treasury bond is held by China or by Lower Slobovia.

And physical gold/silver has the same basic characteristic as any other thing we call money. It is only "money" to the extent that somebody will exchange a useable asset for it (oil, food, microwave oven, etc.)

I came across an interesting quote recently: “power resides where men believe it resides.” Same applies to money. A thing is money when people believe it is money.

US Treasuries will be bought by people around the world as long as people believe it is the safest place for their money. How many people are rushing to buy China Treasury bonds? (Does China even have bonds?)

Russia ... China

Really? Who believes anything that China reports about their economy? Fools?
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Really? Who believes anything that China reports about their economy? Fools?


https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.MKTP.PP.KD?end=2...

I don’t know where the World Bank gets its information, but they believe that using purchasing power index, the GDP of China surpassed the United States in 2013.

Using the dollar, the GDP of the United States is still greater, but if trends remain in place, this will change before 2025.

I submit that the dollar as the reserve currency is the reason the U.S. still has the largest nominal GDP because the dollar is the reserve currency and the dollar is not the reserve currency because the United States has the largest economy.

In fact, it is possible that the dollar and the place of United States power is now at a While E. Coyote moment and is standing in the air off the edge of a cliff.

Cheers
Qazulight
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It is likely that ever increasing national debt will eventually lead to a burst bubble and deep economic problems. But when? Who Knows. Japan has shown that debt can get very large in a developed country without catastrophe. Since I have a finite lifespan I am not worried at the moment

https://www.principles.com/big-debt-crises/

Ray Dalio has written an excellent book about debt. Investors should read it. One thing he talks about is whether the debt is in the country's own currency . At the core paper money and credit is based on belief and faith and I see no sign of that breaking down, people are eager to accumulate paper $.
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because it puts money into the economy,

I disagree, it put's IOU's into the economy. The people owed are in many cases our adversaries which then wield undo influence into our policy making. This is NOT in our interest. It also puts the government rather than the people in the position of picking winners and losers in the economy. GM, Solyndra etc vs. unknown entities not created as a result.

Now a reasonable short term debt with mandatory concrete plans to retire it may be good for other reasons such as funding national emergencies.
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Nothing bad happened? In the mid 1970s, my property tax was $800/year. Now it is $6642/year, so the value of the dollar, using the property tax standard, has dropped 88% in that time. Gasoline prices in those days were about $0.60/gallon, and now about $2.40/gallon, so the value of the dollar, using the gasoline standard, had dropped about 75% since then


This is by design - and I would argue a good thing. Inflation is required to keep the economy growing. At 2% inflation we would expect the dollar to lose about 65% of its value every 50 years. At 3% it would lose about 80% of its value.

In about 1976, Berkshire-Hathaway stock was going for about $89/share. Now they are going for $303,000.00

While inflation might seem like a killer for savers; the above statement shows just the opposite - those that saved and invested ended up way ahead.

tecmo
...
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Myanticipated Social Security payments have already been cut twice as compared to my older siblings' and cousins'payments: I will have to work more years to receive smaller monthly checks.

Government debt has real-world effects. Trump's increase in the debt has accelerated when Social Security and Medicare can no longer pay out promised sums so further hidden and not-so-hidden cuts in Social Security await.

The government does not have to default on the debt for the debt to cost us more than the debt itself.
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"Government debt has real-world effects."

Foliofn has its advantages. GBTC is now window tradeable. One of Bitcoin's main goals was to prevent your money from being wasted away from government mismanagement of money. It has a fixed supply.

For those who are willing to listen, part of my mechanical rebalancing will now include GBTC. One of mine includes a fixed mix of EDC, UPRO, DRN and TMF.

DoesMIWork
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The government does not have to default on the debt for the debt to cost us more than the debt itself. It might be pointed out that a government that has debt in it's own currency never has to directly"default" (ie bankruptcy,) it can just" print" more money. Not like Russia , Mexico etc, which owed money in other currencies .Inflation is the usual and easy way for first world governments to default. Since we have been having near constant inflation in the US except for the 30's, that process is an ongoing one.
The mainstream economists are convinced that some magical number of inflation, maybe around 3% is a good idea, and politicians love the idea of getting the credit for doling out goodies now and paying for them when somebody else is in office. So it is built in to the System.

Longer term running constant inflation may be like trying to build a house using rulers that continually shrink in length.But we invest in a relatively short term world ,especially if we are in our 60's and older.
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Debt is OK as long as it is spent wisely. Problems arise when debt is looked at as free money. More government debt crowds out private investment. This only works when the spending is done well. Spending on infrastructure is good. Spending on unneeded wars or pyramids is bad for the long-term economy.

govt. can create as much money as it wants, so it can always pay its bills.
No. Innumerable example in history show this is not the case. Latest example is Venezuela.
But an example of going the other way is Japan which has printed money and experienced defalation. Does anyone know why the different outcomes for printing money?


Most of Japan's debt is held by Japanese citizens. Instead of sending a tax bill to rich Japanese citizens, the government gives them a bond. Same transfer of money, just different accounting. Venezuela suffers from the oil curse. When oil prices fell, the government could not support its ambitious social programs. I think the key is that Japan has a robust economy, has made efforts to control spending, and is full of workers willing to work hard. Venezuela depended on easy oil money with no other economic activity to diversify the risk of falling oil prices.

I am early in reading 'Big Debt Crises' by Ray Dalio which discusses the different types of debt crisis: deflationary and inflationary. Dalio looked at debt crisis over thousands of years, and compiled summary statistics on the the different types and phases. One key measure is debt/income.

Boomerang by Michael Lewis is an entertaining light read about how different countries responded to easy credit. "Icelanders wanted to stop fishing and become investment bankers. The Greeks wanted to turn their country into a pinata stuffed with cash and allow as many citizens as possible to take a whack at it. The Germans wanted to be even more German; the Irish wanted to stop being Irish."
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Foliofn has its advantages. GBTC is now window tradeable. One of Bitcoin's main goals was to prevent your money from being wasted away from government mismanagement of money. It has a fixed supply.

That might be a main goal, but the execution has been terrible. Bitcoin is down more than 50% vs. the USD, which qualifies as hyperinflation. That is officially Not Good.

On the flip side, the fixed supply means ultimately it should be deflationary, which isn't good either.
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"That might be a main goal, but the execution has been terrible. Bitcoin is down more than 50% vs. the USD, which qualifies as hyperinflation. That is officially Not Good. "

Everything depends on when you bought and when you sold. You could make that statement about anything- even AMZN.

From https://cryptoslate.com/us-dollar-lost-99-value-against-bitc...

"The price of the world’s largest cryptocurrency increased by almost 170,000 percent in the past seven years, which caused the United States dollar to lose nearly 99.99 percent of its value against BTC."

How do you top that???


"... the fixed supply means ultimately it should be deflationary, which isn't good either..."

It has reached that point yet. In addition, BTC is divisible up to 8 decimals. USD is only two and Gold isn't divisible by that much by weight either.

Even by just plain diversification alone, it should be somewhere in your portfolio. It is the ONLY FREE lunch in finance.

DoesMIWork
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"... the fixed supply means ultimately it should be deflationary, which isn't good either..."

This is something both supporters and detractors of bitcoin didn't anticipate. While the supply of BTC is fixed, the supply of cryptocurrencies isn't. Any idiot can create a new coin anytime he desires (literally; you or I could download pre-written software and issue our own coins whenever we wanted).

So instead of a government being able to inflate the currency, "the market" itself is capable of doing so. What the long term effect of this is remains to be seen, but you can definitely bet on volatility.
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Everything depends on when you bought and when you sold. You could make that statement about anything- even AMZN.

That's true enough, but AMZN isn't money and we're talking about currency. Our financial system, and really all financial systems even ancient ones, is based on the ability to buy now, and pay later. Wages, mortgages, credit cards, etc. are all based on the notion of future payments.

Question: How do you set someone's monthly wage in Bitcoin? You can't, because their wage would be different every month. You can be paid in Bitcoin, but the wage has to be set to a stable currency, like dollars.

"The price of the world’s largest cryptocurrency increased by almost 170,000 percent in the past seven years, which caused the United States dollar to lose nearly 99.99 percent of its value against BTC."

How do you top that???


As a trade, that's hard to top. As currency, it is a complete horror show. Let's say five years ago you got car loan priced in Bitcoin, and the car cost, say 50 Bitcoin, which you pay off in installments. But now that same car costs only 4 BTC. You lost your shirt, and the guy selling the car got fabulously wealthy. The only logical thing to do in a deflationary environment is not spend money, because prices just keep getting cheaper. Bitcoin's built-in limit is exactly what you don't want in a currency.
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"As currency, it is a complete horror show."

Even if you were *completely* right about deflation, and it's uses as a currency, BTC has *another* engine- gold replacement. The "TAM" for BTC is just insane.

"At current prices, if Gold holders divest 1% into Bitcoin, the price of one bitcoin would be $5,002." The article was written in 2/26/17. The price of gold was about the same then as it is today. (https://bitcoinist.com/bitcoin-price-match-market-cap-gold/)

Inevitability- ALL of our wealth will pass on to the younger generation. They will inherit the earth. Here's what *they* think gold vs BTC:

According to Nate Geraci, president of the ETF Store, an independent investment advisor. He revealed in a Bloomberg TV interview that his millennial clients are clamoring to hold bitcoin in their portfolios .. He said,

"“When we talk to our younger clients – we have a core gold allocation in our portfolios, and they’ll ask about that and say, ‘What about crypto?’ And if you talk to, primarily millennials, and ask them which they prefer, bitcoin or gold, it’s a landslide. It’s not even close, it’s like 90% prefer bitcoin.”

Since this is *still* an MI board, I'm merely "insisting" that BTC should be in some sort of periodic rebalancing of an asset allocation scheme. Here's my first shot, using portfolio anaylzer:

https://www.portfoliovisualizer.com/backtest-portfolio?s=y&a...

DoesMIWork
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"And if you talk to, primarily millennials, and ask them which they prefer, bitcoin or gold, it’s a landslide. It’s not even close, it’s like 90% prefer bitcoin.”
...
BTC should be in some sort of periodic rebalancing


You've never heard of the term "fad"?


Crypto-currencies are not an asset class. I can't see how they are substantially different from a foreign currency. Except without even the nominal backing of a government.

=============
I read up a little bit on this "The ETF Store" that this Nate Geraci founded founded. It's no different than any other fee-based investment advisor outfit, other than their schtick of investing in ETFs instead of individual stocks or mutual funds.
Next bear market, they'll be gone. Especially if their primary clientele is young people ("millennials").
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He revealed in a Bloomberg TV interview that his millennial clients are clamoring to hold bitcoin in their portfolios .. He said,

"“When we talk to our younger clients – we have a core gold allocation in our portfolios, and they’ll ask about that and say, ‘What about crypto?’ And if you talk to, primarily millennials, and ask them which they prefer, bitcoin or gold, it’s a landslide. It’s not even close, it’s like 90% prefer bitcoin.”


Goes to show that new suckers are born with every generation.

Elan
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"Goes to show that new suckers are born with every generation."

From https://yaledailynews.com/blog/2018/10/16/report-reveals-tha...

"But Yale is not the only university that has placed a bet on digital currency. Earlier this month, The Information, a technology-oriented news outlet, reported that the University’s peer institutions, including Harvard, Stanford and MIT, have also invested their endowments in cryptocurrency funds."

Are those endowment funds suckers too? That's institutional money! And Facebook??? I guess they are suckers too.

https://www.engadget.com/2018/12/21/facebook-digital-currenc...

DoesMIWork
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"And if you talk to, primarily millennials, and ask them which they prefer, bitcoin or gold, it’s a landslide. It’s not even close, it’s like 90% prefer bitcoin."

Of course. Most investors, particularly inexperienced ones, chase the latest craze. That doesn't mean it's a good investment. When a new craze comes along, they'll be on to that, and when they lose a few percent of their net worth, they'll panic and bail out, just like they always have.

"But Yale is not the only university that has placed a bet on digital currency. Earlier this month, The Information, a technology-oriented news outlet, reported that the University’s peer institutions, including Harvard, Stanford and MIT, have also invested their endowments in cryptocurrency funds."

You left out this little tidbit from that article:

96 percent of endowments and foundations do not invest in digital currencies. (emphasis mine)

Further, from https://www.cnbc.com/2018/10/05/yale-investment-chief-david-... :

Crypto is a tiny allocation in Swensen’s nearly $30 billion portfolio. (emphasis mine, and Swensen is the manager of Yale's endowment fund)

I'm curious how tiny, but my brief googling hasn't turned up an exact (or even approximate) percentage.

That's institutional money!

You say that like institutional money is infallible. You know what else institutional money was invested in? LTCM. Wonder how that worked our for them...

And Facebook???

Facebook's case is completely different, they're not investing in a cryptocurrency, they're creating their own and it's a stable coin tracking USD. Completely different use case, completely different dynamics.

I fully expect cryptocurrency to be in general use at some point, but not as an investment. Most people won't really have any idea they're using it, they'll swipe some sort of card or tap an icon, some magic they don't understand and don't care to will happen, and they'll be allowed to walk out of the grocery store with their groceries (in other words, pretty much like what happens today). If, behind the scenes, some banks exchange some cryptocurrencies, who really cares? It will matter as much as what DBMS the banks use.

Yes, in the short term, if you're smart and careful, you can probably make some money off of it. But you can also lose a lot too.

Brian
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"Crypto is a tiny allocation in Swensen’s nearly $30 billion portfolio. (emphasis mine, and Swensen is the manager of Yale's endowment fund)"

Crypto is still at a tiny base. It does not take much to move the needle. At 1% replacement of gold, BTC is $5000. As you said, institutional money is at basically zero. If they come in at 1%, this puts BTC at about $13,000. This is like going into UBER as an angel investor, before the institutions come in.

"According to Bloomberg, the tech giant is developing a "stablecoin" that will give users a way to transfer money via its encrypted mobile messaging service WhatsApp. Stablecoins are tied to the US dollar and are meant to be more, well, stable and resistant to volatility than bitcoins."

We all know that blockchain is a very inefficient database. HOWEVER, when it comes to money, it's an excellent way- everyone has the same record- full disclosure for all to see. Nobody can change the records without changing *all* of them. As BTC gets bigger and bigger, it gets harder and harder to change a record. When FB wants it to use it to transfer money, you can be sure BTC will participate in one form or the other. Aha! It gives some legitimacy to BTC as use as a currency, doesn't it?

Back to MI, my last month's came in at -9%. What about yours?

(GBTC was up over 40% during the same time frame, which gave me a net positive for the month. I am only trying to help!)

DoesMIWork
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Facebook's case is completely different, they're not investing in a cryptocurrency, they're creating their own and it's a stable coin tracking USD. Completely different use case, completely different dynamics.

Another aspect of the difference that is Facebook: it's not Facebook doing the investing/creating/tracking, it's Zuckerberg. He owns the controlling interest in Facebook, and by a large margin; whatever Facebook does is Zuckerberg doing it through his Facebook instrumentality.

Facebook isn't institutional investing, it's individual investing.

Eric Hines
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"But Yale is not the only university that has placed a bet on digital currency. Earlier this month, The Information, a technology-oriented news outlet, reported that the University’s peer institutions, including Harvard, Stanford and MIT, have also invested their endowments in cryptocurrency funds."

Are those endowment funds suckers too? That's institutional money! And Facebook??? I guess they are suckers too.


Yes. Call them suckers, lemmings, whatever you want. One of the important lessons I'm sure they teach those young genius endowment managers at Harvard Business School, is if you want to keep your job don't stick your neck out too far. Go with the herd. If everybody's investing in it, invest at least a little bit into it too, so nobody can blame you for missing some fabulous investment. And if it fails, you can point out that everyone else made the same mistake.

Elan
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< I am only trying to help!>

Of course you are, & you always have, &, so–it seems to me–is almost everyone here...one of many reasons I've stalked this board for so long. So thanks!
I've traded smaller amounts of cryptocurrencies, & even transiently some BTC futures, made a little, lost a little. Probably made a "little bit of a little" more. But as I think Jim suggested a while ago--just for fun. And that little anecdote adds exactly nothing to this much more informed & erudite discussion, which I enjoy, even tho maybe a little bit OT?...or not?
Thanks, as always, for everyone's input.

:-)Shawn
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When FB wants it to use it to transfer money, you can be sure BTC will participate in one form or the other.

I can? I'm actually pretty sure of the opposite. The BTC blockchain is too slow and expensive (even with hacks like Lightning) for the billions of tiny payments Facebook wants to facilitate.

It gives some legitimacy to BTC as use as a currency, doesn't it?

No, it points out the flaws in BTC as a currency, which is slow, expensive, extremely volatile, and deflationary (and of course a ridiculous waster of energy). If BTC was such a great currency, Facebook would just use it as is, but they're not, they're developing their own.

Back to MI, my last month's came in at -9%. What about yours?

I'd have to do some spreadsheet work to figure it out exactly because I normally don't care about a month's performance, but eyeballing it, it looks like two screens down ~10%, two screens up a little less, so maybe down 4 or 5%. But, who cares? It's a month. If you're going to go with what performed well last month, why not XRX, which was up 68.83% in May (and I could only find top performers for the S&P 500, I'm sure there were non-S&P 500 stocks that went up much more in the month). And if you're cherry picking dates, how about the year starting 2017/12/16, where BTC lost 83% (what do you think all those millennials begging to have BTC in their portfolios would do faced with an 83% loss?)

Like I said, short-term, money can be made (and lost!) from trading cryptocurrency, and long term cryptocurrency will have a multitude of uses, but I don't see BTC surviving longer term in any significant fashion. It's kind of like the first (or maybe second or third being BTC isn't the first cryptocurrency) personal computer. It was an awesome achievement for it's time, it should be fondly remembered, but you aren't going to run the global financial system on it.

Brian
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First, my apology for being so late to this thread.

Back to the OP. First, I heard the national debt is killing us in the 1970s. That was almost 50 years ago, and nothing bad happened. Second, the treasury bill is considered to be risk free in all the economic models. If the debt was such a problem, it would not be considered risk free.

Being of an advanced age, I too remember the 70's, and I have no recall of debt being of much concern in the 70's (IIRC, a few percent of the budget went to pay the interest on the national debt). I'm not saying there was no concern - my parents, who went through the Great Depression and fought in WW2, saw the debt through a different lens - namely that the immediate post-war debt was a larger percent of GDP that it is today. Still, they were encouraged that the impact of the debt on the budget steadily decreased through their lifetime.

https://www.usgovernmentspending.com/debt_deficit_history

John Mauldin readers should be somewhat familiar with a 2011 book by Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff entitled 'This Time is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly'. Rather than rely on anecdotal stories or talking head opinions, my recommendation would be to examine the data assembled in this scholarly work and draw your own conclusions.

<soapbox> Hint: some of you may join me in worrying about something over which we have no control. And I'm too old to pick up a pitchfork and demand that government change. But I do vote. </soapbox>

Charlie
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"I normally don't care about a month's performance..."

I don't know about you, but my screens underperformed in bull, bear for over ten years already. My MI has only beaten the S&P only two or three times over the past ten. I doubt I'm the only one to see this sort of underperformance, judging by the decreasing number of posts per week.

"The BTC blockchain is too slow and expensive (even with hacks like Lightning)..."

>>>>TOTALLY UNTRUE.

From: https://medium.com/meetbitfury/using-the-lightning-network-v...

"One of the ways to enable more transactions, without sacrificing security, is the use of payment channels like the Lightning Network.

Using the Lightning Network, people will be able to send bitcoin transactions to each other on a second layer above the Bitcoin Blockchain. The specific details of their transactions will not be recorded individually on the Bitcoin Blockchain. However, key details and cryptographic confirmations of the transaction amounts will be recorded on the Bitcoin Blockchain. This means these users still benefit from the longevity and security of the Bitcoin Blockchain while being able to send and receive payments much faster."

"...the increasing levels of competition between Lightning Network nodes (the people/entities who would process transactions) would drive down fees on the network to close to zero.

As the network continues to grow, many of these smaller transactions that take place on the blockchain can be offloaded to the Lightning Network, thereby freeing up space and demand on the blockchain. This means that the Lightning Network might be able to handle thousands, if not millions, of transactions before a single transaction has been broadcasted to the Bitcoin Blockchain."

" If BTC was such a great currency, Facebook would just use it as is, but they're not, they're developing their own."

Companies (or banking conglomerates banding together such as the one JP Morgan wants to do) like that have an ulterior motive. They want to have some sort of centralized control over their own crypto, like many of the other cryptos out there, such as XRP. The internet was invented by the US military. If one site gets nuked, the command system would still be there to retaliate effectively. BTC is decentralized. It is controlled by no one. Even if you gain control of 51% of the network and make yourself "rich" by changing all the previous transactions, it would be self defeating. You'd make BTC worthless, causing you to lose all that money and power to control the network in the first place.

Decentralization is critical- who *really* controls your money, you or your bank?

DoesMIWork
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This has gone wildly offtopic from an already offtopic thread, so I'm going to drop out. Obviously others are free to continue the discussion if they so choose.

Brian
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Hitler.

There! That should finish it.

Cheers
Qazulight
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Hitler.

There! That should finish it.


It does not. You have to call someone that, or compare someone to him to end the thread. And in any case, you automatically lose the argument.
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<< And in any case, you automatically lose the argument. >>

Godwin's Law:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin's_law


Alan
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But in fact some people are very much like Hitler ,and saying so should not lose any argument. Stalin was even worse but seldom gets mentioned, maybe because so many in the media and academia were full of praise for him at one time. Then there's Po Pot...
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Hitler.

There! That should finish it.


Godwin's Law: "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1"

Corollary to Godwin's law: "When a Hitler comparison is made, the thread is finished and whoever made the comparison loses whatever debate is in progress."

Corollary to the corollary: "If the Hitler reference is made solely for the purpose of ending a discussion, it cannot end the discussion."

Elan
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Corollary to the corollary: "If the Hitler reference is made solely for the purpose of ending a discussion, it cannot end the discussion."


LOL

Cheers
Qazulight
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