Guest Author - Tony Daltorio
It's bad enough that middle-class Americans have been forced to bail out the greedy ingrates on Wall Street. But now Uncle Sam is hatching plans to raid Americans' retirement savings too.
According to media reports, both the US Treasury Department and the Department of Labor plan to stage a public comment period before implementing regulations that would require US savers to invest large portions of their 401k savings plans and Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) into annuities or other "steady" payment streams backed by long-term US government bonds.
There is only one reason why the US government is contemplating such a move. That reason is that the nation's creditors - foreign nations in Asia, Europe and the Middle East - think that long-term US government bonds are a bad bet and don't want to buy them anymore. There have been some recent Treasury bond auctions where foreign interest has been practically nil.
This is very serious since the US government is facing at least a $14 trillion fiscal hangover and the government needs to sell Treasury bonds, without raising interest rates, to keep the country running.
So like a grifter who is down to his last dollar, the government is hoping to get its greedy hands on the hard-earned savings of the American people before they realize that they've had the wool pulled over their eyes...again.
It makes sense if you're the US government. Facing increasingly skeptical overseas buyers, the government is changing tactics and targeting the biggest pile of money available, as a means of dealing with its fiscal follies - the $3.6 trillion sitting in US retirement plans.
The US government can see the financial train wreck that will occur if nothing is done. But instead of taking responsible actions, the government is rushing to crack open the safe that holds Americans' retirement money before anyone realizes that they have been robbed.
The government is betting that the American people will be too stupid to realize that purchasing long-term US government bonds right now is financial suicide for anyone who does so.
With interest rates being held down around zero per cent thanks to the incompetence of the Federal Reserve, there is only one way interest rates can go from here - up. And if interest rates go up, that means the value of long-term bonds goes down and down a lot. Poof - there goes most Americans' retirement savings.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of "The Black Swan", said that "every single human being" should bet that US Treasury bonds will decline in price. He cited government policies and in particular the policies of Fed chairman, Ben Bernanke. I firmly believe that Mr. Taleb is correct.
I hate to keep harping on the same subject, but the absolute worst possible thing investors can do now is to own long-term US government bonds. I urge everyone to contact their Congressperson and stop this outrage before the government cracks open the safe containing everyone's retirement savings.