The U.S. Current Debt Reaches $20 Trillion!

Chuck Butler’s: A Pfennig For Your Thoughts  

September 12, 2017

* Monday was a “dollar day”

* With the brunt of its move VS euros

* Credit card debit nears $1 Trillion! 


Good Day.. And a Tom Terrific Tuesday to you! Boy, am I ever “draggin’ the line” this morning, and I have no idea why! I slept fairly well last night, but this morning, is a different story… Oh well, chances are that this will be short-n-sweet this morning, given my state of mind.. But we’ll see, won’t we? HA! Mamma’s Pride greeted me this morning with their song: Blue Mist…  Mamma’s pride was a St. Louis group, so that song may not be well known nationally… But, it’s a good one!  

The dollar came roaring back yesterday, and brought the euro back to the level it was trading before the European Central Bank (ECB) meeting last Thursday. This was strictly a “buy the dollar” event yesterday, because things in the Eurozone are quiet. The Dollar Index, which as I’ve explained previously, is heavily weighted with euros, rose in the past 24 hours from 91.50 yesterday morning to 91.89 this morning…  That’s a significant move in the index number, folks, and in reality it’s all tied to the dollar/ euro cross.  

The proof is in the pudding folks, because as I look at the currencies this morning, the Aussie dollar (A$) is still holding to its gains made on Friday, and kiwi is cooking with gas this morning, reaching 73-cents! The Canadian dollar / loonie holds its gains at .8250, and the Petrol Currencies push the currency appreciation envelope across the dollar’s desk.   

There is some noise coming from the U.K. where the BREXIT talks continue, and apparently, things aren’t going very smoothly… The Bank of England meets this week too, but there’s nothing going on here. I surprised that sterling has held its gains, with the noise from the BREXIT talks, but, I guess until we find out the color of the talks, there’s no reason to panic… 

Euros and Gold took the brunt of the dollar’s rally yesterday…  From what I saw in the Gold trading yesterday, the shiny metal got off on the wrong foot yesterday, and “the boys in the band” decided that it was an excellent time to put the pedal to the metal and sell some Gold short using the paper trades… 279,000 contracts were traded yesterday in Gold, which isn’t as bad as 353,000, but darn near it! As they used to say on the farm, I’m so close to you, I could spit in your back yard!  All I can say is that this action by “the boys in the band” is giving everyone that has been procrastinating when it comes to buying Gold, an opportunity to buy at cheaper prices this morning…

 I read a piece from James Rickards yesterday, that confirmed my thoughts for the direction in the price of Gold… He sees a major repricing of Gold coming…  If you’re hesitant about that, I suggest you check it out, because it sure makes sense to me! In his book, A New Case For Gold, which is an update from the original by Ron Paul, he takes you through the steps… Check it out!     

OK… Yesterday, I mentioned that last Friday, the U.S. Consumer ran their personal debt up to $18 Billion in July, from $12 Billion in June. I have more details on that in the FWIW section today, so stayed tuned, for that!

But first, let’s take a trip to the U.S. Data Cupboard, which, oh, no! It’s empty again today! Well not really empty, there just isn’t any “real economic data” to talk about, and we won’t see any until Friday morning… But there’s two new pieces of data that will print today… These ought to be quite interesting, as the first one will be the Median Household Income for 2016… It’s expected to be $50,516… No growth there…  And the second piece of data is the total of uninsured citizens in 2016, which is expected to be 29 Million…   Shoot Rudy, it could end up being that many in Texas and Florida as they attempt to dry out from recent hurricanes.  

Well, I received a notice yesterday that the U.S. had crossed $20 Trillion in current Debt…   Now, there, doesn’t that look impressive? $20 Trillion…  NOT!  I don’t like to play politics here, so I’ll just say we can blame both parties for this…  But, I will point out that the last 8 years we saw more debt added than in any other 8 year period in our history, and the momentum for more debt is adding strength…  My good friend, and former colleague, Chris Gaffney, sent me a cartoon that about said it all, with the Capitol building being held up with playing cards, and a voice caption coming from the building saying, “It’s OK, we’ll just raise the debt ceiling”…  

I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed when it comes to technical stuff, and our tech team sent me the instructions for adding media to the Pfennig.. I read them and put them aside, for I knew I would never get “there”..  Otherwise I would have just posted the cartoon I just described, but NOOOOOOO! Chuck is too old school to figure out how to do that!  And there’s something to be said about being an old stick in the mud, old school person, isn’t there?  OK, be nice… HA!  And with that, I had better get this out the door and go back to bed!  

To recap… It was a “dollar day” yesterday, and most of the move against the currencies came VS the euro, for the other currencies held their gains from Friday, but not the euro, which saw the 1.20 handle lost and the single unit end up trading in Thursday’s clothes before the ECB meeting, that sent it soaring.  Gold got of on the wrong foot on Monday, and that gave “the boys in the band”  the idea that it was time to “pile on” , which they did, and Gold ended up down $19 on the day!  UGH!   

For What It’s Worth… Well I teased you a bit above with a small preview of what I would be featuring in the FWIW section today… This is an article that appeared on  about the Consumer Debt in July that posted an $18 Billion figure, and can be found here: 

Or, here’s your snippet: “With credit card data in for Q2 2017, American households look to once again be on a collision course with the ever-elusive $1 trillion goal that narrowly escaped their clutches in 2008.  With nearly $940 billion in credit card debt outstanding, 2Q 2017 marked the second highest consumer revolving debt balance since the previous peak in 2008.  Per WalletHub:   

All of which adds up to nearly $8,000 of credit card debt per household, up 5% YoY versus flat-ish wages. Of course, the more surprising component of the 2Q 2017 credit card data is not that banks continue to trip over one another for the ‘opportunity’ to underwrite Americans’ purchases of fidget spinners, but rather that they continue to do so despite the rather ominous recent rise in charge-offs.”

Chuck again…  Well, apparently, rising credit card debt and delinquencies have something to do with the stagnant wages, rising health-care costs, and rising rents…   The link above takes you to the article which has some very revealing graphs that illustrate the problem with rising credit card debt… check it out!  

Currencies today 9/12/17… American Style: A$ .8025, kiwi .73, C$ .8248, euro 1.1948, sterling 1.3250, Swiss $.9574, … European Style: rand 12.9507, krone 7.86, SEK 7.9785, HUF 256.38, zloty 3.5568, koruna 21.8328, RUB 57.19, yen 109.73, sing 1.3467, HKD 7.8131, INR 64.02, China 6.5171, peso 17.74, BRL 3.0901, Dollar Index 91.89, Oil $47.81, 10yr 2.15%, Silver $17.86, Platinum $988.02, Palladium $940.14, and Gold… $1,330.30  

That’s it for today… You know there are days like this, when there’s just not that much going on, and so we take them for what they are and move along! I’m still all by myself here at home, and I can’t tell you what I did yesterday, because I don’t recall what I did! UGH! My beloved Cardinals get back on the ball diamond tonight, and start these last twenty games, 2 games out of the division lead. And they have 7 games left with the division leader… Could there be some magic in these last 20 games?  I guess we’ll see! The Counting Crows take us to the finish line today with their song: Mr. Jones..   I hope you have a Tom Terrific Tuesday, and please Be Good To Yourself!