The past few days have been particularly unsettling for me. I had J.G. Banks of probate infomercial fame at my house for a couple of days last week. Jim and I have been friends for going on 20 years. We caught up on old times and then got into the financial mess. After sitting up late one night discussing the mess, it was like telling ghost stories. Neither one of us slept well.

The news certainly doesn’t tell you the full truth, or maybe not even any part of it. The feds don’t say it. The bankers and Wall Street crooks aren’t admitting it. So, you have to read between the lines. The subprime mortgages are just the tip of the iceberg. There are ten times that many default credit swaps, derivatives, and other junk out there that the greedy financial gurus have thought up and sold to line their pockets. That stuff hasn’t hit the fan yet. When it does, the subprime mortgage stuff will smell like a breath of fresh air compared to how bad all this other stuff will smell.

Then there are the entitlement programs. No it isn’t just welfare. It is the social security (insecurity) and the mediwhatever stuff. There is a 53 TRILLION dollar obligation there over the next couple of decades. There isn’t enough money in the United States to pay that. There certainly isn’t any money in the federal piggybank to pay that. The piggys have been counting on the fact that as they spent your tax dollars to get them reelected nobody noticed, and of course the piggys that created the mess will be long gone by the time we have to pay the piper.

Jim and I tried to puzzle out what we should do. Pay off all our debt? Keep cash? Buy gold or silver? The list of what do you does is very long. Then you try to come back to reality. We’re still sitting out by my pool on a wonderful night. Is the press just smearing it all over to get Obama elected?

I do remember when I first got married in 1973 we were in a recession. Apparently it was a pretty bad one. At 20 year old, I didn’t know what a recession was. I just knew we didn’t have much money, but we were happy. I remember listening to the radio stations every night in bed. They all agreed that the US economy was toast. Our currency was soon going to be worthless. Everybody had to buy gold and silver. We actually took the little bit of “savings” we had and bought sliver. We still have it; I think. I know we never sold it, because it has never gotten back up to the price we paid for it. There were silver dimes and quarters. We remember putting them into a safe deposit box, but as we discussed yesterday, we have no clue which bank it was in. Kristy will start hunting it down.

We got through that one in 1973, and I assume we will get through this one. Jim and I discussed how proud we were of Americans, and we are still betting that there are enough of us who actually work and believe in the American dream to keep it alive through the bad economic times and the socialist attack that is coming.

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