Paul Guerra Profile picture
Oct 30 81 tweets 49 min read
🧵 Is the American Dream dead? - a tweetstorm

This is a brain dump of .@RaoulGMI's 30+ years of knowledge, how the world works, and how his macro framework fits into it all ⤵️
1/ There's no denying that we're in a mess!

By the Law of Unintended Consequences, every time we try to fix A, we create problems B, C, D, E, etc.

We hardly understand these new problems unless there's hindsight to connect the dots...

So, how the hell did we get here?

Let's start by looking at the peak of the #British Empire:

It was the world's largest realm. But as with every empire, trying to control so many people across the globe has its price & #debt weakened its structure...
3/ Towards the late 1800s, the British started a series of wars with #Germany, the rising power in #Europe.

The British already defeated the Spanish, French & Dutch, but were struggling to meet the German rise.

Suddenly, a major unintended consequence occurred...
4/ The shooting of Archduke Franz Ferdinand took the world by surprise and with it, unraveled the biggest bloodbath in all of recorded history- #WorldWarI.

This was also the end of the Ottoman Empire...
5/ The rise of technology brought a level of warfare never seen before: planes, tanks, & heavy armor obliterated everything around them.

~20 million people died.

So what happened after #WWI was where it really all began... And that's The Treaty of Versailles...
6/ The big nations negotiated the peace terms for WWI

One of them was that Germany had to pay a historically ginormous compensation for the damage done to #Europe- $21 billion

In modern-day #money, it's somewhere around half a TRILLION dollars

An unpayable amount of capital…
7/ #Germany starts trying to pay its debt in the 1920s but simply can't.

What's their solution? Debasing their #currency.

This led to the collapse of the German economy due to #hyperinflation.

Who emerged from this crisis? Adolf Hitler...
8/ The British were the first to abandon the #GoldStandard in 1931. Then eventually, pretty much every country left.

#FiatCurrency was used to fund warfare.

Soon enough, people started defaulting because the cost of war is the most expensive thing governments ever spend on...
9/ We have so much #debt today due to the cost of wars we fought and we could never pay the bills for.

Then? #WorldWarII occurred and here's where the Titanic hit the iceberg so to speak.

The death toll was ~70 million, which is nearly three and a half times that of WWI...
10/ After that, the 🗺️ retools its infrastructure & becomes globalized; as opposed to being empire based, it evolves as a rule-based global order system:

1944 Bretton Woods- tying all currencies to the dollar
1946 UN
1947 General Agreement Tariffs & Trades
1949 NATO
1957 EU
Small RECAP up to this point:

The collapse of the British Empire -> WWI -> Rise of Hitler -> WWII -> The World Reshapes its Whole Infrastructure

By the way, massive kudos to .@Breedlove22 for picking Raoul's brain in such a masterful way!

Alright, let's continue...

#WWII ended and there was a shock that brought the next thing.

It's probably something you haven't thought about before.

After the war, people went ecstatic, had tons of sex, and created the largest #population boom the world has ever seen...
12/ In the US alone, 78 million people were born in a 20-year period, a 40% growth.

That same period marked a 30% increase in the global #population & we got #fiscalstimulus at unprecedented levels.

That, plus the Marshall Plan of rebuilding 🇩🇪 & 🇯🇵 created the 1950s boom...
13/ .@RaoulGMI thinks that the 50s & 60s were the last #GoldenAge we ever saw. Why?

1) Real #wages were rising 🚀
2) People's standard of living was exceptional
3) Technology developed in warfare turned into consumer goods i.e. cars & washing machines
14/ Between 1967-75 the average #babyboomers are in the #workforce, creating its highest increase in people ever

Two things happen:
- Prices explode
- Largest demand shock

Supply can't catch up w/ demand & #oil, #commodities & the price of everything going through the roof...
Not everything has to go through the roof:

.@RealVision used the October 1987 crash anniversary as an excuse to slash prices & offer their biggest discount EVER!

Until tomorrow get 50% OFF 2-year memberships (don’t pay anything else until 2024) 👇👇
15/ The US can't deal w/ twin deficits & be gold-pegged. They're losing gold supplies & the dollar is too strong.

So Nixon walked away from the #GoldStandard in 1971.

A fiat money system happened due to rising #inflation, the #population boom & emerging pressures...
16/ By 1986 the last #babyboomers enter the workforce & we get this period known as The Great #Inflation

.@RaoulGMI claims this to be a demographic phenomenon that can be proven in every chart

His thesis: No matter what you're pegged against, you get the same #demand shock…
17/ With so many people around, naturally, prices rise. They never fall but yet, they stabilize. The real problem is that #wages stopped going up!

In real terms, since 1975 wages have gone up 0.3% a year for the median American!

A decoupling from productivity growth starts...
18/ An overcrowded workforce resulted in competition for #wages, so they stopped going up!

The #babyboomers were promised the #AmericanDream, as the #boomers had it in the 50s. They never got any of it!

They got a world where their #fiatcurrency was being gradually debased...
19/ You are poorer in the future if assets rise but your #wages don't because assets are used to store #wealth for future consumption

Then, the #population got split into percentiles & the lower one sought 0 wage increase

The average worker saw a 33% wage increase in 30 yrs...
20/ People were promised a dream that NEVER happened!

They live in the world's richest nation and yet never got any of it.

They've been bombarded w/ stories of the beautiful rich getting richer & they're like: "WTF happened to us?"

Of course, this drives #populism...

Reagan & Thatcher came along & the latter figured that a conservative voter is usually a homeowner because they're more tied to the economy

So she targets & offers labor voters houses at ridiculous underpriced rates.

A great idea at the time, but...
Thank you for getting here! TW has a 25-tweet limit/thread. Check the REPLIES to this last tweet to keep going

Want full context? Watch .@RaoulGMI's deep dive w/ .@Breedlove22 👇

I've been following RP for a couple of years & this is his best thesis IMO!
22/ The issue is that she turned low-income people into debtors. Reagan realizes that #credit is his solution. Some key events take place:

- Massive deregulation in credit #markets
- Wall Street boom
- An unprecedented financialization of the 🗺️
-Accesible pension system
23/ People start investing in the markets & stock prices go up. Now they afford less w/ their hourly wages!

Property prices also go up because now people have access to debt

The result? Nobody can afford anything & everyone's in the hamster wheel running & playing catch up...
24/ #Gold & #equities hit all-time highs, but people's purchasing power was at all-time lows versus every asset (except #oil, which can be produced constantly).

People kept buying more equities through the pension system, but it becomes harder to make sizable investments...
25/ They made it easier: #IndexFunds emerged but it creates more of a loop.

Then #healthcare starts exploding! Why? Well, 78 million Americans were in the healthcare market at the same time.

So, what's the solution? People keep borrowing more money to fill the gap...
26/ People thought they were doing the right thing: borrowing $ to keep their standard of living.

The #credit bonanza in the 80s led to the 1987 crash because everyone wanted their piece of the pie of the American Dream- to be rich!

But they weren't rich, they were in #debt

The desire for more #debt ended in the liberalization of #WallStreet & free markets, which really meant that Wall Street had all the power & it became the center of the 🗺️ economy.

Global financial centers & manufacturing didn't matter anymore...
28/ The Berlin Wall falls and communism with it. #China starts opening up & #Russia starts participating in the markets.

A lot of #immigration flooded #Europe.

This was followed by a golden age in the #commodity markets...
29/ In 1995 the World Trade Organization was created with the intention to liberalize markets.

Now the already surplus American worker is competing against the global worker who's cheaper.

Plus, the silicon chip & the computer rise, replacing jobs at every level...
30/ So now we have labor arbitrage with perverse incentives.

The rich got filthy rich because they had the lowest cost of wages in the world to manufacture goods that they sell to the population in the US & Europe, while your wages never went up again!...
31/ Also, during the 87' crash, Alan Greenspan hit the panic button and cut #interestrates to stabilize the terror (never done before!)

We had no recession, but its unintended consequence was that it suddenly became a tool in the central banker's box...
32/ By 1998 we started building up gigantic leverage in the #emergingmarkets

They start crashing. #Thailand was first & then others followed. Their #StockMarkets fell 90% in USD terms

.@RaoulGMI on this: "the exorbitant privilege of being the US, is you have the currency"
@RaoulGMI 33/ In the Asian crisis, the dollar exploded, became scarce & nobody could pay their debts!

Greenspan cut rates twice, the world stabilized & the banking system was saved

Hence, nobody wants to invest in emerging markets & the largest US #stockmarket bubble in history begins...
34/ As stock prices kept rising, the #babyboomers lost faith in the #stockmarket for a decade.

They wondered "How the hell are we going to retire?"

So, it starts again! Now it's the #propertymarket turn, and the only way to buy it is with leverage...
35/ Meanwhile, the labor force participation rate had a brutal peak. Besides the #babyboomers, women joined the workforce in record numbers.

Why? Living costs went up so people were forced to have double-incomed households!

It lasted until 2000 when tech gutted their jobs...
36/ As #babyboomers hit their 50s in 2000, labor force participation falls & with it the velocity of money.

The older the population gets, the less money circulates. And when you retire, you spend even less.

What happened next? The #Fed turns ON the money printing machine...

Central bankers knew the trick after the 87 crash: rates to 0

"What else? Let's print $$"

Because money printing sounds bad, they called it "quantitative easing" so people won't realize that if there's too much of something it becomes valueless...
38/ In a #debt crisis, you can't have the collateral go to 0 & half of the banking system was using mortgages as collateral.

So, to prevent that, they needed to "build" the collateral.

Monetary printing becomes a thing in trying to offset an aging population...
39/ However, that currency debasement is making you poorer!

Debasement is a deceptive animal that makes it look like the value of assets is going up, but it's the value of the denominator that falls.

2012 was the final push off the edge of the cliff to #populism everywhere...
40/ #Europe almost lost its entire banking system & the #Euro

People take to the streets protesting against the state, they're angry, and get split (as always) into left and right

They want to blame somebody, so they start blaming each other!

Then, Facebook goes mainstream...
41/ Facebook was the perfect place to polarize & divide everybody.

And you throw in the Russians who understand this, so they start using bots to drive people even further apart.

The social contract has failed!...
42/ A new question arose: why is healthcare so expensive?

Because the #babyboomers are into their aging phase & becoming ill.

If you report a robbery 4 months in a row, your insurance goes up. So once again, it's a result of #demographics.

#Millennials got killed by this...
43/ Many people (especially in Europe) grew up in a world of free education.

That was taken away from the #Millennials to pay the exorbitant #debt of the #babyboomers

The result? Force up education costs & throw the next generation into an abyss of debt with ridiculous rates...
44/ #GenZ is smaller, so it's cheaper. Meanwhile, 2 things happened:

- 86 million #Millennials left university
- The #babyboomers can't afford to retire, only the rich can

So now you have the 2 largest demographic bubbles in the labor force at the same time & tech is 🚀...
45/ Parents competing w/ their kids for jobs is the result of the demographic boom that came out of WWI & WWII.

There's always a #debt bubble somewhere. We had 2008, then #studentdebt, & now we have the corporate debt bubble.

$GE & $T are examples of zombies swamped in debt...
46/ We entered the pandemic & the #Fed saw that if we have several #debt bubbles (government, household, corporate & financial) the collaterals can go down and it's game over!

We're moving from a 🗺️ of supply/demand to one of central bank policy

This is the game we're in now...
47/ With C-19 the 🗺️ stopped. The government & #Fed crossed a Rubicon by deploying a never seen fiscal stimulus & buying corporate #bonds

It was a horror story, but it worked, "we're all saved"

But really, we're now experiencing its consequences. Talking about self-deception...
48/ The average Joe & Jane have lived a lie, thinking they made it

The result? They're more likely to take similar/more extreme actions next time (leverage) & the loop keeps happening!

There's a total separation between economic reality & perception driven by money #debasement.
49/ Another unintended consequence was that everybody capped #bond yields, which is another way of financial repression!

They try to run #inflation hotter than bond yields to deflate #debt away & pay the issues caused by the #population boom.

Bond yields are never going up...
50/ We're all in this boat together!

The #centralbank can't press the reset button now. They simply can't.

It's like the #Argentina crisis, which would mean a total wipeout of household, corporate & government net worth...
51/ [PART 6: #Bitcoin]

In 2008 #SatoshiNakamoto published the #BTC whitepaper, defining an era.

People started to figure out that the #Fed has this little trick called money #debasement, which hides reality.

People start looking for alternatives to stop getting screwed...
52/ The traditional answer was #gold, but it did an ok job & the elephant in the room is that #millennials can't generate wealth, so it became a pointless choice

#Bitcoin comes along & changes the equation! People start adopting it & understanding its values & universal scarcity
53/ .@RaoulGMI on #Bitcoin: "#blockchain allowed the secure recorded ownership of everything where it was traceable to who owns what.

That was the problem that we had: nobody knows who owns what in an over-levered financial system"...
@RaoulGMI 54/ People realized there's a need to do things differently; a consensus that's more distributed & transparent for #market actors

So if the base layer of your collateral is being relented or reused, when it all goes wrong, the #blockchain has recorded every single transaction...
@RaoulGMI 55/ Practical example: With insurance, let's say #California has an earthquake.

Who's double insured? Who's claiming what? Nobody knows any of that stuff in the current system where all is a mess!

The rise of #crypto becomes obvious & necessary. So there's a migration...
@RaoulGMI 56/ .@RaoulGMI speaking to corporate treasurers:

"You need #Bitcoin on your balance sheet because it has 2 benefits:

Exponentiality- the call option on the future, the network effect & it's got the other side of the equation, which is it offsets #debasement. Gold has only 1"...
@RaoulGMI 57/ [PART 7: The Exponential Age]

This endless loop of demographics #debt, trickledown economics & rate cuts, all lead to more debasement.

.@Breedlove22 asks a brilliant question here: "Is there an incentive embedded in all this for #population reduction?"...
58/ .@RaoulGMI: "Of course, there is. Why do you think the population is reducing everywhere?

What is about to happen is the exponential age where tech takes over everything, every lower & middle-income job, & half of the high-end jobs.

This is the problem we have to solve"...
59/ GDP per capita explodes because the #population shrinks. #Millennials & #GenZ are not having kids, they can't afford them.

It's already happening in #Japan & #Europe. The global population will keep declining for a few hundred years.

Robots are going to replace humans...
60/ There's some potential optimism on the horizon:

The formation of online nation-states, which are communities (i.e. #Bitcoin).

Once #Facebook gets its own currency & money system, with 3.5 bn people aboard, it'll become the largest complex adaptive society- a nation-state.
61/ This is all going to the #Metaverse.

.@RaoulGMI: "The metaverse is discovering the Americas again, or even a new solar system.

If you think of the world, it's constrained by its own GDP because of humans, productivity, and resources. And the Metaverse has none of that."...
62/ The #Metaverse allows people to earn incomes in a world free of constraints & #debt

A new world of #crypto that allows us to create our own worlds in the way we want them.

Interact w/ each other in digital rooms & yet we can be spread all around the real world...
63/ The real world is quickly becoming like a video game (some #simulationtheory believers might agree).

A fourth turning is brewing where we'll interact digitally with like-minded people, that's not new.

Now, a full immersive #metaverse experience is 15-20 years away...
64/ In the meantime, we have a battle of making #crypto mainstream without being overregulated by governments.

We've also got these controversial central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) which in theory give governments the opportunity to fiscally stimulate in a fairer way.
65/ If we all take our money out of the system, which is their collateral, there's no money or velocity in the old system, & it moves to the new one.

That's what we saw during the explosion of #NFTs.

A vibrant economy where people speculate, take risks, & go full-degen...
66/ They won't have a choice but how they stimulate the markets

How to stop people from revolting? Give them money by redistributing capital to wages/labor

The progressive left will be hard to beat because 86M #Millennials are pissed because they want their American Dream...
67/ According to .@RaoulGMI we have to go towards UBI whether we like it or not until we can replace that income.

#Millennials tend to be more progressive & they want the opportunities that their parents got, so they're going to force by voting power, progressive policies...
68/ Regardless of your political/economic affiliation, that's a possibility because the nostalgia of the 1950s & the structure of the right doesn't play to the young.

A big fourth turning change that happens in Raoul's thesis, is that pretty much everybody shifts left...
69/ Consider owning your identity online!

Digital identity is going to become important when we move into the #metaverse.

Right now, we're being exploited by monopolies that profit from the use of our identity.

Those gains need to be shared; a capitalist version of UBI...
70/ Another thing to pay attention to is the tokenization of communities

It allows you to invest in culture & earn different forms of income from experiences- all digitized!

Also, RP believes that everything digital will go to 0 in cost of production, including electricity...
71/ The green energy revolution & its technology will drive the cost of energy to zero!

What does it mean for the world?

It'll power the #Metaverse. unleash intense productivity & provide global prosperity as we've never seen before.

Also, the #population will shrink...
72/ By the time the #babyboomers die in the next ~20 years, the US #population will shrink as Europe's, Japan's & China's.

In the next 30 years:

- Electricity cost goes to zero
-Less population
-GDP per capita going up
- Robots are doing the work

Let that sink in .@elonmusk...
@elonmusk 73/ A deflationary future sounds great, but the issue we need to solve is that this needs to be shared w/ the population

If .@elonmusk (no offense) or whoever builds these things owns all the robots, they'll have all the power & money

The free market ain't going to solve it...
@elonmusk 74/ Who owns #AI & the robots?

If we replace all mankind's productivity, how do humans get $?

People can earn in the #metaverse, but there's artificial intelligence there too- It'll be an arms race

👇 Check out .@RaoulGMI's mind get blown by .@EMostaque
75/ With zero-knowledge proofs, we can remain anonymous in the #metaverse & move around w/ an avatar.

We can have multiple personas (man, woman, animal, etc.) independently of our state ID.

It's going to have such a profound impact on the idea of identity & nationalism...
76/ Why people hate on.@elonmusk, #Bitcoin? Fear of the unknown

Humans will live up to 150 years & with future free energy & lower cost of living, we'll need a purpose!

People find purpose in their job, but w/ that gone, we'll have to adjust.

The fourth turning is happening...
@elonmusk 77/ If we can change #money, it's going to change nation-states, humanity, society, demographics, & everything!

Thank you @Breedlove22 & @RaoulGMI for this superb work!

The best way to get the full picture is to go & watch this full discussion on YT 👉

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