Chaos continues to spread throughout the world, and America’s weakened economy seems less and less equipped everyday to handle it. And situations may worsen soon. Carol Roth, financial expert and author of ‘The War On Small Business,’ joins Glenn to discuss the ripple effects China’s recent COVID lockdowns AND Russia's war in Ukraine could have on the rest of the world’s food supply. ‘We have a 30 day window,’ Roth says, to turn things around. Otherwise we may see massive food shortages in certain areas of the world, then increased chaos, and possibly war….maybe even world war. In this clip, Roth and Glenn discuss the possible scenarios to come…
TranscriptBelow is a rush transcript that may contain errors
GLENN: Carol Roth. She is the author of The War on Small Business, a former recovering investment banker, as she likes to say.
More and more experts are saying that the U.S. is headed towards a recession. I wanted to get her look at that today. Welcome, Carol.
CAROL: Hey, Glenn, how are you?
And I'm so bummed to hear that Stu spent his vacation, thinking about economic collapse. He's supposed to go to the spa, do some water-skiing.
GLENN: So, you know, in your book, The War on Small Business, you talk about all the things that, you know, the Draconian things that our government did to shut businesses down. Small businesses, et cetera. Also, they did all of this extra spending, and everything else.
And here we are, at the end. And they were trying to avoid a recession. And it looks like we'll get one anyway.
CAROL: This is the key point, Glenn. I'm so glad you brought it up. Because not enough people are speaking about this. This was all for nothing. We were told, we're going to support the market by printing trillions. We're going to throw trillions, into relief. We're going to make all of these decisions. And it's going to help the economy. Well, where are we?
We saw a historic transfer of wealth, from Main Street to Wall Street. Now we're seeing Wall Street giving those gains back. We have huge amounts of inflation. The consumer is hurting. And at the end of the day, we will have an economy, that if it doesn't hit recession, certainly is limping along. So they did all of these things for the outcome, they were ultimately, going to have to go through anyway. It was all for naught.
GLENN: So, Carol, I don't think people understand what is coming yet. And I don't know if you can explain it. This is just my -- just common sense here. Looking -- China is so backed up. What we went through, when we closed our ports. And stopped shipping things.
That was -- that was nursery school, it seems, compared to what we will be seeing, on the horizon. When does this shutdown of any boats, going to and from China, when does that hit us?
CAROL: Well, I certainly think that it has hit us already. And, you know, it will continue to bleed into the numbers.
I think the big question with China, is what's next for China. And what's next for the world. And that's sort of the -- the outside case sonar. There's a really bad case here, that I hopefully, wouldn't want to start with. Sort of the possibility, versus the probability of some sort of a war scenario.
GLENN: Wait. Wait, wait. Why do you say that?
CAROL: Well, if you look at the unrest that's been going on. I certainly don't think that that was just coming out of nowhere. I think the chaos is intentional. I think food insecurity and the starvation of hundreds of millions of people, are going to end up leading to unrest. And we have about a 30-day window. It may or may not know, that the farmers in Ukraine, have been planting and trying to get this wheat crop. Yes. To be able to come to market. The problem is that the Baltic Sea, which is where all the cargo containers are shipped out of. Is completely surrounded by the Russian Navy.
So that has been to come out by about the middle of June. And if we don't, that will send out a domino effect, through all different kinds of countries. You're already seeing a little bit of that like in Sri Lanka. But you will see Kenya. You will see Lebanon. You will see Chad. You will see Nigeria. You will see Cameroon. You will see all these places, with huge populations in many cases, not be able to see their population. We know that that is going to lead to unrest. Many of them, actually, have a lot of weapons.
So what does that mean? They're likely to do. They'll probably try and infringe on somebody else's food supply. And it will just end up in this spiral. Or if we have one of the folks in NATO, try to get involved in this Baltic Sea situation. And Russia doesn't go for that. That could happen. There are so many different moving parts.
And story in the Wall Street Journal over the weekend, is that China is telling members of the Communist Party, to pull everything they have, investments, real estate, from foreign places around the world. Why, Glenn, would China be shoring up the Communist Party, not having exposure to assets around the world? Well, you can connect those dots, right?
GLENN: Gosh, Carol, that is -- that is terrifying. Terrifying. And that -- does that mean here in the United States, all of the land and everything that they own here. They're telling their people, even here, pull it out?
CAROL: This is -- what I read in the journal. There's a piece I will send it to you, because I'm sure you will want to take a deep dive into it. But it sounds like, because of the sanctions that happened with the freezing of not only Russia's reserves, but the confiscation of all of the oligarch's assets. That they're now warning everybody. It doesn't mean that these folks are actually going to comply and do it. And they don't have relatives and Shell companies and what not. That just sends a signal to me. Why would they not want that exposure, unless they were planning to be aggressive and worried, that we might put some kind of sanctions on them. And why would we put some sanction on his China. The whole situational is just -- there's this outlier, you know, within some period of time, that's a bad scenario.
GLENN: So the news that I saw this weekend, is the State Department. Now, the Pentagon is denying it. But the State Department is out of control. The State Department said, there are plans for the U.S. to sink the Russian, Baltic fleet. I mean, that is absolutely an act of war if we're even just helping them target these things. But that seems more probable, if we are looking at the world starving to death.
CAROL: Yeah. It may be trading one level of war for another level of war. And I'm certainly no foreign policy expert. So I'm saying this just as a person reading the news, not with anybody that has any special insight. But that may be what they're thinking. They need to clear that path. They need to get that food out, because the scope of war, that they might have with Russia and all the folks who are aligned against Russia, in trying to starve people, versus the scope that follows these countries around the world, are based in starvation. That may be the tradeoff. Hopefully, they have a month. Some sort of diplomacy here, would go a long way. And I remember when we had a president, that was really good at that. We didn't have these kinds of issues.
GLENN: I will tell you, I've talked to a friend in some place in Africa. And he said, we are not being trained for war in Ukraine.
We are being trained to protect the governments in Africa. Because they're going to -- they're all going to come down. That kind of chaos -- first of all, that's not what our military should be doing. But this kind of chaos, what will that do to us?
CAROL: Yeah, unfortunately, that's the kind of scenario, because of the proximity. Not for us, but for our allies to the centers of all these things happening. It seems, when we have these really big wars, all the roads lead back to Europe. And Europe is in already a bad situation. So it seems like that may be the convergence of where that is. And we get dragged in potentially that way. And we all know that war is not a good thing for our national debt. For our community. For our economy. There's no good comes out of it. But it certainly seems like, that the powers that be that want to create chaos and support some sort of dislocation in the world. That they're doing a really good job of sussing that out right now.
GLENN: So I said on the air, last week, I'm not -- I would just like to have in the next five years, I would just like to have the money that I -- that I currently have. I don't need to make, you know -- I mean, I would love to make for my retirement, you know, investment that -- that grows.
But I'm so afraid. And I've heard this from so many people. They have no idea, if you leave it in the bank, you lose. If you leave it in the stock market, you're going to lose. At least in the short-term. If I'm 20, or 30, you know, I leave it in the stock market. But if you're my age, going on 60, you're not leaving it in the stock market.
But where do you put it?
CAROL: You know, this is a conversation that is being had. You know, with everybody. Even people at the top most echelons of society, that have all kinds of cash, and will really be in a fine place. Don't have the perfect idea, where to put it, because of all those risks. And certainly, again, this is not financial advice. But there are, you know, some things that you can be at least researching and thinking about.
One thing I wrote about on TheBlaze site a couple weeks ago, in response to a question, Glenn. Was something that is a savings bond called I Bonds. I don't know if you've heard of these. But this is a government series savings bonds, that sort of combines a face value and an inflation-adjusted parameter to it. And it adjusts every six months. But right now, it's at 9.62 percent, and that will adjust based on inflation. Now, the rub is, if you go online, and I believe it's TreasuryDirect.gov. You have to open an account with the Treasury if you want to do it online. The cap is $10,000, per Social Security number per year.
And then if you do the electronic -- the paper piece, which you can do through the IRS. It's S a 5,000-dollar cap. That at least -- if you have a few years. Because you get a penalty. And it gets after -- you have to keep it in for at least three years. And it does readjust. But if you want to have at least some inflation protection, you find look into something like that, certainly as a hedge to your portfolio. As we've talked about many times. Having, you know, precious metals. Having gold and silver as a hedge. Particularly for that downside scenario. I think is really important. If you have the opportunity to invest in property and land. Some land has tax benefits. I talked to a tax attorney. That's an opportunity.
GLENN: I have to tell you, I think most people are starting to now say, how am I -- Carol, let me take a quick break. Let me come back, and ask you: What does it mean to our economy? If we hit 6-dollar -- which I think we will, this summer. Six-dollar a gallon gasoline. If we hit nine, $10 a gallon of diesel, what does that that do? We'll be back in just a second.
GLENN: We're talking to Carol Roth. Carol, if we have 6-dollar a gallon gasoline for three months, I don't know how the average person makes it.
CAROL: Yeah. It's a really tough scenario. And it's tough on an individual level. And it's tough on the entire economy, which has a spiraling impact. Because we have a 70 percent consumer-based economy.
They are assuming, the fact that we're going to avoid a recession, on the back of the consumer. Which means that your savings are going to go down. Your debt is going to go up. And so they save the economy, by putting the consumer in a bad position.
GLENN: All of --
CAROL: And that's just completely not okay.
STU: I want you to explain that. Say that again. Because I think people really need to understand. The idea of not going into a recession, the fed is intentionally, impoverishing the average American.
That's their -- that's their plan.
CAROL: Yeah. Yes. It's on the back of you. They're looking to the average American consumer, to save them from what they have done. Either way, it's a bad outcome for the consumer.
But if you save them, it's because you have wound down your savings. It's because you've increased your credit card, and other debts. In order to continue to spend, so they can say, look, we were able to save the economy. So it's on your back. We are the ones that are carrying them. And they are not being held accountable, for all of this damage, and all of this destruction, that they have done, with what was entirely intentional, and entirely unavoidable.
GLENN: So I learned this during the collapse of '08. That the West is not mathematically built to -- to tolerate 100 to $120 a barrel for oil, for very long. The whole thing, just all the math just starts to fall apart.
I don't know what we're paying per barrel. But I know what gas is costing. And when -- when rich people are saying, holy cow. The average person is counting their pennies and their nickels and their dollars. And deciding, where to go.
How long does this last before your -- you're spending all your money, just on food and gas?
CAROL: Yeah. I think this is the question of the haves. And have-nots. And we've talked a little about this before. Is that the economists. And the books at the bank, when they talk about the consumer, you know, that's a composite. That's an average that is brought up by the very wealthy that are doing very well. But for, you know, the average American, they're not going to be doing well. And we've already started to see this in the numbers from places like Target and Walmart. In the last quarter. We're sitting on this quarter right now. This is last quarter. People are starting to make these tradeoffs. The things they absolutely need to have. Versus the things that they would like to have. And I think unfortunately, for many Americans, that's going to be the scenario for quite some time. You know, definitely this year. Probably into next year. And depending on what happens on a geopolitical front. Maybe even longer, is that you'll be focused on the necessities. The things that you need to get by. And the rest of that, will go by the wayside.
The only -- the skinniest kid at fat camp, bright spot here, Glenn.
GLENN: The dollar --
CAROL: Well -- in a recession, Glenn, that actually works against us.
GLENN: Okay. Oh, yeah. True.
CAROL: But of all the things that we have, where there's a supply and demand imbalance, at least in food, we may not have choices here. But at least there will be something to eat. That supply/demand imbalance around the world. Again, as we talked about before, means there will be other people, who are facing the same kind of issues. And they're not going to be able to eat.
GLENN: And that includes everybody south of our border. And with an open border, it could get very ugly, very fast.
Carol, thank you so much. I appreciate it.
I think the thing that, really, we all need to take away is the next ten weeks, is crucial.
Do -- does Ukraine -- do the farmers get all of that food out into the Baltic Sea, without Russia obstructing it, or us going to war? If they don't, there is going to be massive starvation in Africa, and all kinds of chaos. So the next ten weeks, pray for the Baltic to open up. So we can get that food, to Africa or wherever it needs, in peace.
Carol Roth, thank you so much. We'll talk again.