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"You know what? It doesn't matter. None of this—this so-called 'money'—really matters at all. It's just an illusion," a wide-eyed Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke added as he removed bills from his wallet and slowly spread them out before him. "Just look at it: Meaningless pieces of paper with numbers printed on them. Worthless." According to witnesses, Finance Committee members sat in thunderstruck silence for several moments until Sen. Orrin Hatch finally shouted out, "Oh my God, he's right. It's all a mirage. All of it—the money, our whole economy—it's all a lie!"


For decades municipal bonds have been considered one of the safest income plays on the planet. These bonds are not backed by the Federal government (with its printing presses). We all know about California's problems. California represents 13% of total U.S. GDP, is the seventh largest economy in the world and has well over $500 billion in total debt outstanding (largely muni paper). The fact of the matter is that we are on the verge of a muni bond crisis.


In order to stay afloat the US Government has been refinancing debt that comes due, simply stated, it issues new debt for debt that matures. A record drop in  foreign holdings of U.S. Treasury bills in December sent a reminder that the government might have to pay higher interest rates on its debt to continue to attract investors. The Treasury Department said foreign holdings of U.S. Treasury bills fell by a record $53 billion in December. That topped the previous record drop of $44.5 billion in April 2009. Now you can see the problem.


The estimated liability in the global derivatives market is 1000 trillion dollars.