JARED KELLY: How bad are you predicting this crisis will be?
RON PAUL: Infinitely worse than the crisis of 2008. And that's because it won't just be a banking and mortgage problem... but a full-blown "currency crisis"... the likes of which we've never experienced in this country.
The savings of millions of people could be wiped out, overnight. The stock market could crash by 50% or more. The way of life we've enjoyed as Americans for fifty years could come to an end. It's not a question of "if" this will happen, but "when."
JARED KELLY: Why now? Why are you speaking out about this prediction today?
RON PAUL: I'll tell you why. Because most Americans don't have a clue about what's going on. Most people have no idea that in the past six years, we've created $4 trillion new dollars literally out of thin air. At the same time - since 2006, we've doubled our national debt.
I've said hundreds of times throughout my career in the House: 'Prosperity cannot be created out of thin air by a central bank.'
The people running our country today are living in a fantasy world - and if you're not careful, YOU and millions of other everyday Americans will pay the price. The Middle class could be wiped out
JARED KELLY: What'll be the biggest impact of this crisis?
RON PAUL: Well, sooner than most people think, I predict we'll see people losing confidence in the U.S. dollar... as a simple result of investors around the world realizing our currency is no longer the "safe haven" it once was.
And when the currency collapses, nearly everything else will go with it... stocks, bonds, commodities... you name it. When you destroy a currency you can destroy the entire economy.
You can destroy the whole nation. The middle class gets wiped out. The way you live, work, travel, retire, and invest in America - everything is going to change. Some of it in ways most people can't even imagine.
JARED KELLY: So essentially, you're predicting the entire U.S. financial system will collapse. As someone who's spent 22 years in Congress - what do you think the immediate impact would be on the Federal government?
RON PAUL: Well, I'm fearful of it, Jared. For one thing, it makes it a lot harder for our government to borrow money and pay interest on all the debt we've racked up. Or to expand the welfare state. Or to station the U.S. military in 140 countries. But forget the government. The real concern is what happens to everyday Americans... especially the middle class.
JARED KELLY: How so?
RON PAUL: For the everyday American, if the government's broke... all your wealth - all your savings - will be put in jeopardy.
We'll see massive changes to our retirement system and Social Security. I wouldn't be surprised at all to see the government take over people's 401(k)s and IRAs.
JARED KELLY: Why?
RON PAUL: Because doing that would essentially force people to buy worthless government bonds - whereas investors in the free market wouldn't touch 'em.
In fact, I think we're likely to see huge tax increases and even a "wealth tax", a fee on all your savings and valuable assets.
JARED KELLY: A "wealth tax"?
RON PAUL: Absolutely, anything is possible. It's only going to get worse. When this currency crisis hits, the government's #1 priority will be to control the existing supply of capital. We'll see all kinds of new laws and rules about what you can do with your money. Where you can put it... where you can move it.
And of course, we'll see a massive inflation - when all those trillions and trillions of newly printed dollars make their way into the economy. It's going to be especially rough on seniors or anyone who relies on the government for income.
COLLAPSE OF THE U.S. DOLLAR
JARED KELLY: But inflation isn't really the main worry, right? We've had inflation before back in the seventies...
RON PAUL: Well, for starters it'll lead to a total breakdown of the stock market. Imagine 2008, Black Monday and even the Crash of '29 all happening in a single day. The middle class will be wiped out.
But you're right. In a certain sense, what really worries me isn't necessarily a stock market crash. The real killer will be the effect of all this on our society and our liberties.
JARED KELLY: You mean unemployment...?
RON PAUL: No, it goes deeper than that. When you destroy a nation's money, you destroy businesses. You destroy friendships and families.
Faith in money is critical to a free society. Without it, you can forget about businesses and commerce. And you can forget about any sense of normalcy.
People won't have any clue what to do when there's a line around the block just to access the ATM - or when banks start shutting down. They won't have any idea what to do when stores stop accepting dollars as payment. Or when no one's willing to make a loan anymore.
JARED KELLY: So you're predicting social unrest...
RON PAUL: Definitely. I think we'll see problems in the big cities, especially... In fact we're already seeing the beginnings of that. Ferguson... The riots in New York... Detroit...
What it comes down to is that people are going to be very, very unhappy when they turn on the TV one morning and hear that their life savings is suddenly worth a fraction of its former value.
If investors around the world lose confidence in the U.S. dollar, the prosperity we've enjoyed since World War Two will essentially cease to exist. Our governments on both the Federal and State level could temporarily shut down. Businesses will close their doors. The price of things like milk and bread could skyrocket.
The U.S. dollar is built entirely on confidence. If that confidence dissolves, so does everything else.
JARED KELLY: And that's the weakness of "paper money"...
RON PAUL: Right. You see, governments have the power to declare paper to be "legal tender" - but they do NOT have power to give that money value.
And this is something the politicians won't tell you. I know... because I spent twelve terms in Congress fighting the people who control our monetary policy.
JARED KELLY: In fact - the threat of a currency crisis is what first drew you into politics back in the 1970s, is that right? When President Nixon took the U.S. dollar off the gold standard in 1971, you became a Republican candidate for Congress. You served on the House Banking Committee... where you blamed the Federal Reserve for inflation and railed against banking mismanagement as the cause of the Savings and Loan Crisis.
RON PAUL: That's correct. The Federal Reserve should be abolished. The average American doesn't have a clue just how dangerous and corrupt the Federal Reserve system really is.
Today, we've essentially embarked on an out-of-control experiment with our currency, printing absurd amounts of money out of thin air... and borrowing so much that we can never, ever hope to pay back our creditors.
Do you realize it took our nation 216 years to rack up $8.5 trillion in debt... and then just 8 more years to double that amount?
"BIGGEST FINANCIAL STORY OF MY LIFE"
JARED KELLY: Let me ask you this... You served on the House Banking Committee... the Committee on Foreign Affairs... and you sponsored over 600 legislative bills.
Why aren't you back on Capitol Hill, trying to spread your message from a Congressional office?
RON PAUL: Because I'm finished with Congress. For me this has nothing to do with politics or fundraising. It's the biggest financial story of my life, which I've been tracking my entire career... And now that it's finally here on our doorstep, I just want to warn as many people as possible.
The simple fact is, the more people who prepare themselves, the better off we're all going to be. The fewer people relying on the government to fix this problem, the stronger our country will turn out in the long run.
Because believe me, the government won't be able to do a single thing about this crisis. Remember, they're the ones creating it!
And remember this too: By the time we see a full-blown currency crisis, it'll be too late for you to protect yourself. The Government won't warn you or save you. And I say that as someone who's met with every U.S. President of the last 40 years, and every Fed chairman.
I remember I once rode alongside President Reagan on his helicopter - Marine One. And the subject of what's happening to our money came up. And he told me, "Ron, no great nation that abandoned the gold standard has remained a great nation."
I also confronted Alan Greenspan about this. And he told me he still stands by his original thesis - which was published decades ago. He wrote: "In the absence of the gold standard, there is no way to protect savings from confiscation through inflation. There is no safe store of value."
JARED KELLY: But you're through with Washington now.
RON PAUL: Yes. My years of fighting in Washington are over. I don't work in Congress anymore. And I'm not making any more runs at the Presidency.
And that's why, today, all I can do is spread this public message right here, right now, for anyone who's reading this.
AMERICA IS HEADED FOR DISASTER
JARED KELLY: And you're convinced these problems can't be fixed from the inside, by our elected officials...
RON PAUL: I tried to change the policy myself from the inside for 22 years! Believe me, I tried.
And my conclusion is that there's absolutely no hope for the Fed or the government to conduct responsible monetary policy. I've spent decades grappling with Fed officials in committee meetings and at lunches, and private discussions with Fed chairmen. The problem is that our government cares very little about the basic laws of economics. They have very little understanding about how a free market works
RON PAUL: I'm talking about the consequence of printing paper money with no regard whatsoever for the value of that money. You see, governments can fool people for a while by printing paper money, but in the end, it's inevitable that trust in the money will be lost. Without trust, paper money is nothing. Trust in the dollar is absolutely required for it to keep its status as a vehicle of economic exchange. And we're already starting to see that trust fall apart in billions of dollars worth of transactions with more than 10 countries around the world.
For example, China's also beginning to trade directly with Germany, Brazil, Russia, Australia, Chile, India, and South Korea. ALL outside the U.S. dollar.
THINGS ARE NOT BACK TO NORMAL
JARED KELLY: Dr. Paul... Some politicians might say, "What about all the positive steps we've seen in the economy in recent years?" The market's up 200% since 2009. Real estate prices have rebounded. At a glance, many people believe America is back to normal...
RON PAUL: Don't believe it.
The problem is, these politicians typically look in the wrong places for evidence. The Consumer Price Index, for example. You can't rely on a report like that because the numbers simply aren't believable.
Whatever you might think about the market and economy - whatever political party you affiliate with- you can't afford to ignore the possibility that things are NOT back to normal in America right now.
After all... can things really be "normal" when, roughly 75% of Americans have been living paycheck to paycheck?
Can things really be "back to normal" in America when the number of people on food stamps has doubled since 2008... and when HALF of all children born today will be on food stamps at some point in their life?
Or when the "too-big-to-fail-banks" that got bailed out in 2008 are now 37% larger than they were back then?
Can things really be "normal" when our country's money supply has increased by 400% since 2006 - all just printed out of thin air?
It's like something out of Weimar Germany... or the last 20 years in Zimbabwe...The U.S. Gov't will not protect you
JARED KELLY: Do you have an exact date when you believe the crisis will hit?
RON PAUL: No. No one can tell you exactly when this new crisis is coming. Not me... not anyone else. The point is simply that what's going on today certainly isn't "normal."
And it's guaranteed to end in disaster. People are going to lose a lot of money. They aren't going to understand exactly how it happened, but they're going to be angry... and they'll act on that anger in very predictable ways.
JARED KELLY: So you believe the bull market we've experienced in recent years is all just "smoke-and-mirrors" by the Fed? And most of the government reports we have to listen to are misleading?
RON PAUL: Yes. What's inflating the world's equity markets today is the intentional and insane behavior of our political leaders and central bankers. And when these people make mistakes, they're big mistakes. They're not little mistakes civil society and private markets can fix.
Like I said, America is NOT immune to the laws of basic economics. And we're NOT the first country who's tried printing massive amounts of money as a way of cleaning up a financial mess. It never works.
In fact, over the past 100 years, the type of debt crisis we're facing here in America has appeared in Germany, Russia, Austria, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Poland, Japan, China, Greece, Ukraine, Italy, Ireland, Portugal and Spain.
And in every single case throughout human history, printing more money has NEVER solved the problem, EVER... and has always led to severe consequences for ordinary citizens who found themselves unprepared.
JARED KELLY: But what about all the positive steps we've seen in the economy in recent years? Isn't there a chance that a lot of these concerns may not surface at all?
RON PAUL: I don't think it's a positive step when 52% of all American workers make less than $30,000 a year by one recent measure. Do you?
And I definitely don't think it's a positive step when every single hour of every day, the U.S. government spends about $200 million it doesn't have.
It's precisely that sort of fiscal mismanagement that caused me to sever all ties with the Republican Party in 1987 and run for President the following year.
THE TIPPING POINT FOR AMERICA
JARED KELLY: OK. Then let me ask you this... What'll set this whole thing off? Where's the tipping point?
RON PAUL: The tipping point happens when people lose confidence in the U.S. Dollar... and when that happens, interest rates will rise dramatically.
And I believe it's going to happen sooner than most people think.
Think about this: Every two months, the U.S. government borrows more money than the combined annual profits of the 100 biggest publicly traded companies in America. Does that sound sustainable to you?
JARED KELLY: But at this point, that's completely "normal" for America, right? The world already knows we have a huge debt. How is that new?
RON PAUL: America can't be a debtor forever. It can't be "normal" that we owe more government debt than any country in the history of the world. It can't be "normal" that we have more debt than every country in the European Union, combined.
Granted, we've been hearing about this stuff for years. But what's new about all this is that the COSTS of MAINTAINING all that debt are about to skyrocket.
Again, you can't put off paying your debts forever. It always catches up to you. It's not a question of "if" but "when."
JARED KELLY: Well, but paying interest –
RON PAUL: Hold on. Think of it like this: The Fed has manipulated interest rates ten times since August 2007, from around 5% to between zero and 0.25%. OK?
How can a rate near 0% last forever? It can't.
So ask yourself: What happens if the average real interest rate goes up? I'm not talking about skyrocketing rates of 10% or so, which aren't hard to imagine. I'm talking about if rates just go back to "normal." What if the rate ends up being just 4% annually? How does the government pay off all our debt?
Do you realize that even if we paid it off over 30 years, at 4% we'd end up spending $58 trillion just to simply repay what we owe right now? If the rate ends up at 6%, we'd spend $102 trillion.
How do we pull that off?
JARED KELLY: Well, a lot of this stuff is just mismanagement by politicians, right? Isn't there a chance the rest of the world might, I don't know, cut America some slack and wait around for a new administration in 2016?
RON PAUL: No, that's not how international credit works. Ten different countries have already signed deals to begin phasing out the U.S. dollar as the basis of trade. And you definitely can't wait for politicians to solve the problem.
Our net public debt has more than doubled since two years BEFORE Obama took office. OK? This is years and years in the making. The politicians can't solve this problem. There's no chance they'll work this out. It's too late.
And as far as the world cutting America slack, you have to remember that the entire concept of money is based upon soundness. The promise of "value. "That's what money is all about. You've heard the expression "good faith"?
JARED KELLY: Sure.
RON PAUL: If we don't make a good-faith attempt to pay back our debt, nobody will loan us any more money. And printing even more money makes the problem worse.
And that's because the entire idea of honest money developed naturally to replace bartering... so that farmers didn't have to walk around with a bag of potatoes anytime they wanted to buy something. Right? Paper money is a PROMISE that something of value is tied to it, like gold. We left the gold standard decades ago. So the U.S. dollar is only as good as the FAITH people have in it.
And that confidence is already starting to crumble...
RON PAUL: Exactly. And when money can't be trusted... the price signals in markets all around the world can't be relied on anymore. Which makes it harder and harder for people to exchange labor and capital internationally. The entire system breaks down as a result of the inevitable mistakes people make investing and saving their money.
The scary thing is that many people in America, including almost every politician in Washington, don't understand this - because the U.S. dollar has dominated the financial world for more than 50 years.
CRISIS COULD HIT ANY DAY NOW
JARED KELLY: OK. So, to summarize: You believe all the trillions of dollars of new money being printed by the government will cause a massive devaluation of the dollar on a scale we've never seen before. People could lose the bulk of their savings in a matter of hours. And most people will be completely surprised.
RON PAUL: For some people, the only warning you're going to get is me sitting here right now and talking to you. You won't hear about this on the news until it's already happened. And the government won't say a word. It would cause a panic. And yes, the crisis could arrive literally overnight, as it did in Great Britain in the 1970s.
We're already seeing the warning signs. The Fed itself has announced that since 2003 the exchange value of the U.S. dollar has plummeted by as must as 20%. The IMF has proposed an entirely new world reserve currency system.
Even Warren Buffett - a man who built his fortune on the strength of America - has moved something like 70% of his remaining government fixed income investments into foreign currencies.
JARED KELLY: Dr. Paul, you have a unique record in Congress. You never voted for more debt... you tried to audit and abolish the Federal Reserve... and you refused to vote for anything that didn't strictly adhere to the Constitution. Isn't there anything that monetary experts or fiscally minded politicians can do to stop this crisis from happening, to prevent this tragedy before it's too late?
RON PAUL: Theoretically, maybe. But they won't do it for political reasons. No way. The actions of the Fed and the last two White House administrations have gone beyond anything I could've ever imagined or fought in Congress. It's too late.
I fear there could be civil unrest. Massive unemployment. A huge drop in stock prices. Great destruction of wealth. The erosion of personal liberties. Vicious capital controls. The suppression of privacy. Authoritarian clampdowns. Bank and brokerage closings on a massive scale. And ultimately - a major crisis as the U.S. dollar is rejected for almost any non-paper alternative.
And believe me, I'm not trying to scare you. At this point in my life, all I want is for Americans to wake up, pay attention - and realize the logical conclusion of what our government is doing today.
The only question is: Will you take the steps necessary to get ready?