A Repeat of the First Great Economic Collapse?

By Andy Snyder
Founder, Manward Press

Market Trends

Editor’s Note: The essay below comes from our friend Andy Snyder, the founder of Manward Press. He’s concerned about, well, your money.

Right now, central bankers across the world are running a dangerous “race to the bottom.” Vast sums of wealth are on the line. And just about everybody involved seems oblivious to the painful consequences.

The last time this happened, it ended in calamity…

Sure, markets have hit all-time highs throughout 2017. And unemployment is the lowest it’s been since the Clinton administration…

But Andy offers a sobering perspective on where things could go from here…Read on.

– Patrick Little, Managing Editor

The fear of a meltdown is high. After nearly a decade of the Federal Reserve dumping money into the economy, killing interest rates and flat-out slashing the value of our currency, the economy remains on life support.

Even as she attempts to pull the plug, Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen admits that each breath is a miracle of modern monetary science.

Most folks wise enough to pay attention know you can’t pull the economy in one direction without something being pushed in the other. Trouble will eventually head our way.

They have an inkling of what’s ahead but aren’t quite sure.

To truly understand where it might come from, we must study our history. After all, nothing Yellen and her crew have done is new… They’re not that clever. Far from it. They’re merely ripping off one of the greatest economic scams in history.

(Trump’s new pick for Fed chairman, Jerome Powell, has consistently voted the same as Yellen, so don’t expect any major changes in 2018 either.)

In fact, they’re modeling what we believe to be the first major economic collapse. It’s not something that gets talked about often, but it’s eerily similar to what’s happening today.

It’s called Kipper and Wipper. And it slammed the German states in the early 1620s.

Cutting Corners

We could write essay after essay on the cause and effect of the German meltdown and eventual fall of the empire. But we don’t need to. It’s all really quite simple.

The many states (there were nearly 2,000 of them) and the many rulers of the region were preparing for battle. The Thirty Years’ War was getting hot.

As all power-hungry rulers are wont to do, the royalty funded their war by taking from the commoners.

In this case, they didn’t levy taxes or sell some bonds. They were much more covert. They aimed at the currency

You see, rulers of the time weren’t quite devious enough to figure out the idea of a fiat currency. They could only dream of issuing money backed by nothing more than their word (oh the wars they could have started). Their money wasn’t even backed by silver or gold. It was silver and gold.

German currency at the time was no more complex than a precisely measured chunk of precious metal. Mainly silver.

Unlike in the modern monetary system, rulers couldn’t simply dump new bills into the economy. They couldn’t fund a war by printing money to fund their own debt (what’s happening all over the world today).

Instead, if they wanted to add to the money supply, they had to add to the silver supply. Not an easy feat today and even harder in 1620.

But the rulers were in power because they were smart and cunning. They quickly realized they could trim just a wee piece of silver from each coin and melt it into more coins.

Voilà… the first form of quantitative easing.

It’s Happening Again

As the furor of war grew, more and more states in the region got in the game. They funded their fight by clipping the edges of their coins.

Soon, a sort of carry trade not all that different from what we see today erupted.

Savvy traders would take debased coins from one country and convert them into good coins from the next. Then they’d haul the good coins back home and sell them for a premium, loading up on more bad coins.

The cycle worked great… until it didn’t.

Soon enough, the rich got much richer and the poor got much poorer.

Countries raced to devalue their currencies faster than others. Inflation began to soar. Angry mobs took to the streets.

The folks who were hurt the most weren’t the rulers who eventually lost power. No, they were the everyday folks who relied on the economy to survive. The folks hurt the most were those who couldn’t sustain themselves and were dependent on ordinary wages.

Their income didn’t change, but the value of the coins on payday did. They could no longer afford food, and they didn’t have the land or the know-how to grow food on their own.

Countless people suffered – all because their rulers had bills to pay.

Our point here is quite simple…

What happened during the Kipper and Wipper crisis (which literally translates, by the way, to “tipper and seesaw” – for what coin dealers were doing with their scales) is not all that different from what we’re seeing around the globe today.

Countries are racing to debase their money. They’re racing to undercut the values of their trade partners’ currencies. And they’re printing bad money to pay for good money.

If the input is the same… the output must be the same.

To believe anything else is plain ignorant.

As modern investors, we must understand our not-so-modern past. If not, we’ll fall for the same traps and wind up in the same situations. Economic collapse is not something reserved for the history books.

Look around you, and see what’s happening. It’s eerily similar to what happened some 400 years ago.

Fight against it. But first, prepare for it.

Be well,