Society is drunk on debt.
Access to credit is soothing… at least in the beginning. It makes you think you’re richer than you are.
Consumption is great, we’re told. The more, the better.
After all, it keeps the economy going, right?
Well… there’s some truth to that.
But unless you can print away your debt like the U.S. Treasury does (which, I’ll venture to guess, you can’t), the banks will come after you eventually.
They hook you on debt… and then you better be ready for what was in the fine print of that loan you bought your boat with.
In other words…
You need to be very aware of what the banks do.
Particularly at this stage of the 18.6-year real estate cycle.
Not only does this affect your own business and investment decisions, but it provides clues for you to monitor as the cycle turns.
The banks’ “credit cocktails” will be the best and strongest ones you’ve ever had. They want you to stop thinking and black out on debt.
They won’t tell you how you’ll feel tomorrow.
It’s not all gloom, though.
Because I’m not a “gloom and doom” kind of guy.
But instead of preaching about financial responsibility, let me show you the market advantage you can get once you have the knowledge only the real estate cycle can provide.
I’ve raised this issue here before.
It’s All about Big Tech
The tech giants’ biggest effect on this current cycle will be their pivot towards becoming some of the nation’s biggest lenders.
We are talking about Apple, Google’s parent Alphabet, and Amazon, to name just three.
When they started dabbling in finance and credit, traditional banks’ first instincts were to simply shrug their collective shoulders and continue on their merry way.
Banks really didn’t care too much about the type of customer experience you enjoy (or not) with them. You had no choice, so you had to stick with them.
Well, you know those days are gone forever when you see articles like this below.
Source: Financial Times
There’s nothing like having the rug pulled from under your feet to get banks to finally change.
So, what’s going on? From the above article…
America’s largest banks are preparing to fire the latest salvo in their efforts to defend their turf from Big Tech groups. JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and others, next year plan to launch Paze: a mobile wallet that will connect directly to the credit and debit card accounts of 150mn customers.
The app will be operated by Early Warning Services, a bank consortium group that already runs payments app Zelle.
If you can’t beat them, you join them.
On the surface, it makes total sense. Everyone has a bank account, and everyone today owns a mobile phone.
So, merge the two. Presto. The problem is that companies like Apple and Google have worked out how to do it without the banks.
And so we see the need for banks to partner with the tech giants instead of simply ignoring them.
Hence, the Paze wallet… one wallet to rule them all. Allowing current bank customers to do all their normal banking via their mobile wallet.
Here’s the real issue here. And why your knowledge of the history of the real estate cycle sets you above 99% of market participants.
Regulators are already worried about these fintech partnerships and how such tie-ups could open the banks and the U.S. banking system to bad actors.
Showering you with more debt, as I described above, would be even faster and more convenient. And AI-powered algorithms will make sure that you’re at your maximum affordable (or barely so) debt at all times.
But there’s another danger.
Innovation like this also creates an equal and unwanted consequence, at least for regulators.
A way to bypass the rules.
The history of the real estate cycle in the U.S. is replete with these scandals. Using innovative new ways to lend and create credit always ends badly when the bust comes.
Because only then do the lengths that these banks went in order to outmaneuver authorities and avoid oversight truly come to light.
By the time the cycle turns and the “credit hangover” happens, it will be too late.
Because the banks and the tech giants are far ahead of the government in exploiting every technical and behavioral weakness people have.
How many times did you check Facebook, Instagram, X (formerly Twitter) or other preferred social media today? Exactly.
It is time now in the current cycle to see the seeds of this emerge. And here it is.
You see, banks aren’t doing this to offer their customers the best digital help they can.
There’s something else at play here…
Your personal information.
But I’m running out of space here…
In the next issue of Cycles Trading, I’ll tell you how exactly the vicious alliance of Big Finance and Big Tech will push the current 18.6-year real estate cycle to extremes never seen in history.
Editor, Cycles Trading with Phil Anderson
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