The World is Broke(n)!
by Dene McGriff
Money is in the news. The Federal Government needs money. The States are broke and need more money. Cities and counties are going broke. Businesses are going broke and closing down. Countries are going broke. Banks are broke. And “we the people” are broke. But wait, isn’t that what bailouts are for?
Sorry, people aren’t being bailed out. Neither are governments, or businesses. Greece isn’t being bailed out. Neither is Spain. The Banks are being bailed out. Who was bailed out after the housing bubble popped? Home owners? No, the banks that made risky loans were bailed out. Did Greece receive any money from bailouts? No, the banks that loaned money to Greece were paid the interest Greece owed them. Only the banks were “bailed out.”
If people realized what was really happening, you would really have a “Tea Party” protest! People are being ripped off and don’t even know it! Eventually the governments go deeper in debt so they cut their budgets and increase taxes, causing the economy to slow down even more. We have bought into the idea that we solve the debt problem with more debt. Is that even logical? The sick idea that the government creates wealth by taxing the people more to redistribute wealth to the poor is ridiculous! It has never worked. Europe is falling apart and America is running headlong down the same path trying to catch up and become a proper welfare state!
In the middle of this mess, we have the central banks – cartels created to protect the banks interests. The central banks print money so countries can spend, going deeper in debt in an effort to stimulate the economy. They are doing their job! Central banks control the money supply for the country. They also loan money to member banks at practically zero interest. These banks in turn are supposed to loan money to businesses and individuals so the economy keeps growing.
But banks have learned a better way to make money. They no longer loan money. What is five or six percent when they can multiply money a thousand fold in the financial markets? So the banks cleverly package their debt and sell it off to other banks, pension funds and investors. Every time the instrument changes hands everyone makes more money. How could this system possibly work? Is there an end to this seemingly endless game of creating more “money instruments” and passing them along?
Have you ever seen someone go to a gambling casino with the idea that they want to gamble just a little? The next thing you know, they have been cleaned out of all of their cash, but they see people winning around them. They are sure they can recoup their loss and maybe even make a killing. All they need is just a few good hands and a little streak of good luck. After all, a $100 bet will get you $200 back. A dollar jackpot could win thousands of dollars. Have you ever seen the progressive slot machine called Big Bertha? The numbers keep getting bigger and bigger – displayed on the top and if you get the big jackpot, you could win millions! Other people sit and play video poker and other games – their eyes glazed over, their arms pumping. The more desperate loser (and I have seen this happen) may put up his house or car as collateral, thinking they could hit the big one. Cards, craps or roulette go in winning and losing streaks. You see someone win ten hands in a row and then lose it all and then some. Ultimately, the “house” always wins.
Years ago I thought it would be fun to learn to count cards in Black Jack. I did it twice and won big both times proving it was a system that worked. But the second and last time I went, I met several people who had lost everything they had, including their families to gambling and were still hooked. I never did it again. People, banks and governments can all be addicted to gambling and spending. No one wants to get out of debt the hard way – by paying it off!
Our government has quietly been changing the rules. Banks have become the highest stakes betting casinos and they are betting your money, risking your retirement and future. Banks have more “traders” than “tellers,” and they are all sitting at their computer screens betting on winning not just a few percentage points by loaning money but multiplying it by thousands of times. That is why a single rogue trader can bring down a bank like Barings which was established in 1762. A few years ago I wrote an article titled “Derivatives, Fascism and the Almighty Dollar”. The amount of money in the “Derivatives Casino” now exceeds a quadrillion dollars, many times all the money and assets in the entire world. The losses at JP Morgan Chase or in countries like Greece or Spain far exceeds the hundreds of billions they admit to but goes into many trillions of dollars. Ultimately, they are not just too big to fail, there isn’t enough money in the entire world to save them!
Casinos are rigged to win and banks count on the system being rigged so they always win. Back in the 30s the government let banks fail right and left. Now the banks in collusion with the banking cartel known as the Federal Reserve and your government have rigged the system in their favor. They get the government to use taxpayer money to save them. So far it has worked. But what if the rigged system breaks down? Some banks have played the derivatives “casino”, made a few bad bets and lost all of their money! This is a very complex subject but banks don’t have much money to begin with. I explained the process in an article titled Modern Alchemy.
Why doesn’t the system work? Let’s say a bank lends a billion dollars to buy single family homes. They take all the mortgages and package them together. They then sell and resell these packages. Some are credit worthy and others not so much. Here’s what happened. Interest rates fell and people who had no business buying a home were enticed to buy. Homes went into foreclosure. Housing prices dropped. The owners were underwater owing more than the home was worth. It made no sense to keep paying so the banks ended up with a house that was no longer worth the loan amount. The banks dragged their feet rather than selling the house and taking the loss because the “paper” has been leveraged and sold. They couldn’t afford to take the loss. Eventually the financial instruments (a fancy world for the mortgages that had been packaged together) became worthless as defaults grew and housing prices dropped. The original mortgages packaged in the derivative securities had been inflated many times over by being sold and resold. The original billion dollar package may have grown to a hundred billion. Where is the money? It’s not there and never was. If the debt in all these “financial packages” were to be settled, the amount owed would be astronomical! This result would be bank failure – thus, the bailouts.
So where did the money go? Good question. The purchasers of the derivatives – investors, pension funds, cities, states and businesses who thought the high return was great – are holding nothing but worthless paper. The banks tell the government and the Fed how bad the situation is. They threaten a banking Armageddon so they get bailouts. To add insult to injury, the brilliant “banksters” who caused the problem to begin with pay themselves big bonuses. “We the taxpayers” are left holding a bag full of higher taxes and inflation (deflation in the value of the dollar).
You may think this problem can be easily solved but the numbers are astronomical. The banks owe far more than the paltry $16 trillion they have been given in the past four years, more than the GDP of the whole United States! The real size of the problem is many times that size so let’s get into derivatives for a moment with an article I wrote back in 2005.
The Money Casino
You may not realize it but there is a money casino where the stakes are in the trillions! The world GDP is somewhere around 38 trillion dollars (now over $50 trillion), but there are some high rollers out there gambling with our future. These are known as derivatives–a $248 trillion-dollar market! Warren Buffett, the second richest man in the world believes that “Derivatives are financial weapons of mass destruction, carrying dangers that, while now latent, are potentially lethal.“
What are derivatives? A derivative is like a bet. A derivative “derives its value” from another asset. It is like covering a $1000 bet with only $10! If you lose, you have to come up with the collateral to cover the bet. Or better yet, you put up a few thousand dollars to make a billion dollar wager. This is a high stakes game and during the 1990s there were some notable losses from derivatives.
Barings Bank was a stuffy old British Bank founded in 1762. In 1995, a 27 year old trader named Nick Leeson, speculated in derivatives and ended up losing $1.3 trillion, the entire asset base of the bank, bankrupting Barings Bank. A few years later, a hedge fund named Long Term Capital Management (LTCM) nearly went broke but was bailed out by the Federal Reserve. The fund had $4.8 billion in assets but managed a portfolio of over $200 billion and derivatives with a “notional” value of one and a quarter trillion dollars with total derivatives of four trillion. It was run by two Nobel prize winning scientists but they lost control by making some bad bets. Orange County in California lost two trillion in a derivatives scandal – this is still small compared to what could happen.
Bailouts are not without precedent as you may recall the $32 billion Savings and Loan bailout in the 80s. But the derivative market is nearly 250 trillion – seven times the world GDP and many times greater than all the “money” in the world. There isn’t enough money in the world to bail out a big player.
Thirty percent of those derivatives are held by just three banks: JP Morgan Chase, Citibank and Bank of America. The number one bank, JP Morgan Chase Bank has 43 trillion dollars in derivative exposure – more than the entire GDP of the entire world economy! Chase is in a precarious position. It lost billions in bad loans to companies like Enron, Tyco, Global Crossing and countries like Argentina. This sets up a spiral. The bank’s Standard & Poor’s rating keeps dropping. As Chase’s fortunes keep falling, the rating drops, it has to put up more cash which makes matters worse and causes a liquidity crisis. Banks are interlinked by various derivative positions so if one falls, it will bring the others down like dominoes. If you happen to be a bank and your credit rating drops, the bank has to put up more cash collateral to increase the marker (in book making parlance).
The chart shows American bank derivative exposure and almost 60 percent is Morgan Chase! Their exposure which was only 26 trillion dollars in 2001 and has grown to 43 trillion today! It is not being alarmist to say that this is a time bomb waiting to go off – enough to bring down the global economy. If Morgan Chase were to fail, a chain of interlocking commitments would break down and other major banks would topple. This would bring down not only banks, but your house, retirement, investments, and possibly even your job. A failure of this size would dwarf any smaller failures that have gone before. LTMC only had a little over a trillion in derivatives. Banks the size of Chase, Citibank or Bank of America would be too big to bail out.
The housing market is also tied in. It is well known that real estate loan giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are heavily into derivatives. Fannie Mae is the second largest corporation in America in terms of assets and the largest source of home mortgages. Freddie Mac buys mortgages and securities and passes them through as securities and debt instruments to the capital markets. For every $1 they have on their books, they have a $1.70 in derivatives. The danger comes if the market moves against them.
Easy money and foreign investment have kept corporate America, including Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae liquid. In Japan, where the interest rate has been zero for many years, investors borrow for nothing and invest in long term equities which has kept the real estate market booming. Japan is beginning to raise rates at the same time interest rates are rising in Europe and America as a reaction to the inflation caused by the increase of the money supply (printing money out of thin air). Other countries take their trade surplus dollars and buy treasury bonds and dollars (to buy oil with). This comes to about $3 billion a day flowing into the U.S., keeping the 30 year mortgage at record low levels even as the Fed continued to raise rates. But Japan is beginning to raise rates. Iran is switching oil to the Euro. Asian countries which have historically supported the dollar are beginning to diversify their portfolios (meaning they are buying less dollars). Nearly everyone agrees that it is not a sustainable trend for America to absorb over 80 percent of the world’s savings to pay for our trade and government deficits, now amounting to over a trillion dollars a year!
Since that was written, we have seen the housing bubble pop as American homeowners lost about half the value of their homes. The meltdown of 2008 was related to the housing bubble and derivatives. The banks and investment houses bundled home mortgages into derivative packages and realizing the size of the risk, bought insurance called “credit default swaps”. Then we saw the bailout of the largest insurance company in the world, the American International Group (AIG), which would have failed if not for the bailout. AIG had been selling default swaps that insured bank derivative losses. The fact of the matter is, AIG wasn’t bailed out but by saving AIG, the bailout saved Goldman Sachs, German, French, American and English banks to the tune of $182 billion dollars. AIG had a $1.6 trillion derivative problem and the bailout prevented it all from unraveling.
At the same time some of the oldest and most revered money houses such as Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns failed, along with the largest mortgage company, Countrywide, and many smaller mortgage companies and banks. These failures were derivative related. One day, like a tightly wound ball of yarn, the bets unravel. They represent debt that has to be paid. The only problem is there isn’t enough money or assets in the world to settle these derivative bets. The casino analogy is quite accurate. Rather than learn our lesson, the amount of derivatives has continued to grow since 2008 and is now near $1.4 quadrillion according to recent analysis:
If you add up the value of every stock on the planet, the entire market capitalization would be about $36 trillion. If you do the same process for bonds, you’d get a market capitalization of roughly $72 trillion.
The notional value of the derivative market is roughly $1.4 QUADRILLION.
I realize that number sounds like something out of Looney tunes, so I’ll try to put it into perspective.
$1.4 Quadrillion is roughly:
- 40 TIMES THE WORLD’S STOCK MARKET.
- 10 TIMES the value of EVERY STOCK & EVERY BOND ON THE PLANET.
- 23 TIMES WORLD GDP.
The European Union is buried in debt. There is only one European Central Bank which is the only entity that can print the euro. So how do member countries get money? They issue bonds which banks package and sell to investors. This is known as “sovereign debt.” As the debt grows, so does the risk and the greater the risk, the higher the return and the higher the interest rates. Eventually this becomes unsustainable. The burden of the debt falls on the citizens. The bailout money goes to the banks to pay the interest on the debt. What a deal for the banks! The people lose once again.
There is a tremendous amount of debt all over the planet – corporate debt, government debt, local debt, personal debt, bank debt, not to mention the so-called unfunded liabilities (also an international problem) of retirement, medical care for the poor and elderly, unfunded pensions, etc. Nearly every country in the world is having the same problems that we are but their problems are much worse. The government “solution” is to print money (increase the money supply), both in cash and credit markets and just spend, spend, spend. Debt is parlayed and expanded in the form of derivatives. One would think that since the 2008 meltdown fiasco we learned our lesson, but we haven’t and the derivative debts continue to grow exponentially. The world is awash in funny money – fiat currency with no backing, but rather than causing hyperinflation, we see deflation which is the financial enema solution to excess liquidity. Dead broke businesses, banks and factories go out of business and local governments and countries default (just don’t pay their debt). The irony is that the world knows that America will never default and that is why the dollar is golden – even if they have to tax and take away nearly every dollar earned. Nations flock to buy US Treasuries. They can’t get enough even when they make nothing on them. Those are the facts.
Look at Europe. Greece already received $153 billion and now the Eurozone and IMF are providing another $152 billion. Where does that money come from and who benefits? It comes from tax payers. The bailout doesn’t go to the Greek government. It is just passing through to pay the banks the 14% interest Greece already owes on their $476 billion in original debt! This guarantees another default which will filter back through the banking system in Europe, the US and other countries. Greece is very small potatoes. It is 38th in size, $318 billion in 2010, whereas Italy is 10th and Spain 13th in size with a total economy of nearly $3 trillion. Looking at it another way, the chart on the right shows the size of country debt by GDP. We hear about the PIGIES all the time (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain), but look at the other countries that are in equally bad condition. Countries like the UK, France and Germany are the ones providing the loans to the PIGIES, but when the PIGIES default, who will cover those countries? Guess who will be left to save them all? Only one guess is allowed.
Analysts know that Italy and Spain are close to default and may soon be followed by England and France. It isn’t a matter of the amount of debt. Japan and the U.S. have shown that they can and will pay it back. It is whether they can finance the debt and at what price. The U.S. and Germany finance their debt for practically nothing (in the 2 percent range) whereas the PIGIES are paying all time highs of 14 to 30 percent. These are holes they can’t dig out of and as one country after another defaults, Europe will be torn apart. But will the Euro die? Probably not. Once the PIGIES drop out of the EU, then the EU will survive. The PIGIES will default, flush the debt, reorganize and rebuild. I would like to emphasize at this point that Europe and the rest of the world will look, perhaps grudgingly, to America to save them and establish order.
Since this was written, the situation has become more serious. Europe doesn’t even have enough resources to save Greece which has the GDP of Philadelphia! If Europe can’t save a tiny country like Greece, how does it expect to save countries such as Italy, Spain and France – all of whom are going down the same road to insolvency? Italy and Spain are ranked the 8th and 12th by size of the economy, and England and France are the 6th and 5th largest respectively. The big question is does Germany want to throw their own hard earned money away to save countries that don’t exactly have a history of financial responsibility? Does it really make sense to try and hold the EU together when there are such disparities in wealth?
Please look at this fabulous article which illustrates so well the gargantuan size of the problem.
So where does that leave America? Again, I wrote this a while ago but our politicians pretend that debt doesn’t really matter.
America and the Debt Crisis – Smoke and Mirrors!
America has a debt problem, no doubt about that and neither party faced it. The so-called $4 trillion in cuts are not cuts at all. It is not a cut in spending but a cut in the increase. The deficit was slated to double from $14 to $28 trillion over a ten year period. The agreement was to cut that increase in debt back to only $10 trillion. The graph on the left shows the growth in the national debt through 2020 at that rate. It shouldn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that this is not sustainable. One lesson we should have all learned from the recent debt ceiling debate, is that if the rating agencies downgrade the US economy, we pay a higher interest rate on our debt. Let’s look at some round numbers for a moment. If we say that our national debt is $14 trillion and we pay two percent on that debt that makes our debt payment a mere $280 billion and everyone agrees that is okay. That represents about eight percent of the total Federal budget. If interest rates rose to historical levels the interest spent on debt would triple. This would be debilitating. What would we cut?
The more you tax, the more you grow government, the more of the GDP allocated to government, the smaller the productive economy and the higher the tax rate to pay for this massive debt. This is why some legislators are screaming about debt and wanting a balanced budget! The “compromise” reached by Democrats and Republicans did not limit spending but merely the size of the increase in deficit spending.
So what does this mean? Bottom line it means massive tax increases if the administration has its way or massive cuts in government programs such as the military, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and education.
The question you all may have is how did we get into this situation? Where has all the money gone? What about the stimulus and bailouts? According to Bloomberg News in 2008, the total bank bailout amounted to $8.5 trillion. According to the first audit ever done in the 99 year history of the Federal Reserve, they loaned over $16 trillion to US and foreign banks. Now think about it, the federal banking system is run by a private banking cartel called “The Federal Reserve” which oversees our financial system made up of dollars – those little greenbacks that are backed by the “full faith and credit of the United States of America.” We’ve heard those words before but what do they really mean? “We the people” are the ones backing these huge loans. Please read this article about the “Greatest Bank Robbery”. For more information on the Federal Reserve, please see the article I wrote some years ago.
Banks aren’t going broke. We the sheeple are. Whether in America or the Eurozone, the people are not being helped and they are ultimately paying. The government doesn’t get anything. All the money goes to the banks. Banksters are robbing the world blind and getting away with it. They have the freedom to lie, cheat and steal. The so-called “central banks” around the world are nothing more than cartels that rig interest rates and manipulate prices and markets. They have the power to send oil, real estate or food prices soaring or plummeting. People are being stripped of their savings. Jobs are disappearing for good and all government can think to do is increase taxes.
Poverty, uncertainty and unrest are the result of these failed economic policies. Now we have class warfare and racial strife (because racial minorities are significantly worse off). People vote for the dole, only to emaciate what is left of the economic system. Money is diverted from productive activity to the welfare state. Almost all wars are economic and we haven’t seen the last of them.
Human government has not shown the foresight, intelligence and maturity to honestly solve any of these problems. They are content to leave them to the next generation.
Back to the question, “Where did all the money go?” Let’s go back to our original analogy. The poor sop goes into the casino and loses everything. But the casino is deeply in debt because of high overhead, the decreasing number of tourist/gamblers who have less money to burn. The casinos owe banks and investors who have packaged and resold the debt many times over in the derivatives market casino. This is just an example of what is happening across the economy.
The debt keeps growing with each transaction and multiplying. What started out small grows from $10 million to $100 million to billions… until it can’t be saved. The greedy investors who organized the whole scheme deep in their hearts knew that the bets were too big to cover and in the end, they were just that – bets! So what happened to the money? It was never really there in the first place. There was the loan and the value of the building – known as collateral. Say you had a chain of institutional investors ten or more deep. As each took their cut, the debt grew and grew. The only thing to do is keep the chain together and never let it break. If the AIG chain had broken, the bailout would have gone from the billions to the trillions!
That is exactly what they are trying to do with the bailouts right now, but once the game is revealed for the fraud it is, it begins to unravel and you begin to lose an investment bank (e.g., Lehman Brothers) here, a mortgage giant there (e.g., Countrywide) and they are liquidated paying off pennies on the dollar if that. They are gone! We have actually done far more damage trying to save business and banks than letting them fail or be reorganized, the natural healing process that allows free economies to readjust and thrive.
At the country level, countries default on their debt all the time. In the past few years many nations have defaulted on debt – Russia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Argentina, the Ukraine, etc. They experience a few years of pain. Some are ostracized by the world community, but they eventually restructure and work their way back into the world economic community.
We have been living beyond our means, and that includes individuals, families, business, state and local governments and countries. The Greek goal of retiring at 50 with full pay sounds good, but they can’t afford it. Nor could Europe’s socialist states support all of the entitlements. Nor can the United States as big and powerful as it is continue to go into debt at these unprecedented levels. It isn’t just the national debt of $16 trillion, but the unfunded liabilities which is over $110 trillion! Now we have ObamaCare – debt increasing at over a trillion a year going out the next ten years. The US has had its credit score downgraded for the first time in history. Even Germany has been downgraded. What does this mean? It means that even the credit rating agencies agree that the current trends are not sustainable. I know I use this word “unsustainable” way too much – even my word processor tells me so…but do you know what that really means? It means we can’t keep going down this path without hitting the proverbial brick wall!
It should be obvious to us all. Can you as an individual go into debt month after month, year after year and get away with it? Of course not! Neither can a business, a city, county or state. But a sovereign nation gets away with it because they can go into debt indefinitely (well sort of) by issuing bonds, treasury notes, printing money, etc. But even that has its limits. The traditional escape route is for the country to inflate away debt and pay it off with devalued currency. I have pointed out many times in my writings that the greatest tax any of us pay is inflation. Our dollar is worth about 2 percent of what it was worth when the Federal Reserve was created in 1912. A dollar is worth one tenth of its value 50 years ago. The house my parents bought 65 years ago in California for $10,000 is not worth $500,000 today because it is bigger, newer, better or in a great location. That is the inflation tax! It is a silent killer that robs from everyone. It leaves you with the illusion that you are making more money when in fact you are earning less. Even by lying government statistics adjusted wages have been going down for the past 40 years.
So what can government do? They should cut taxes and the size of government. They should streamline regulations and encourage growth but they probably won’t because that would decrease the importance of the politician and the bureaucrat. Instead, they will probably print money, go into more debt and deflate the value of the currency and pay off debt with cheap dollars. The only other option is to default and incur the wrath of China, Japan, Europe and the rest of the world who expect to be paid a fair amount for their loans, money we took and spent. That will never happen.
Let’s be honest the U.S. government is not likely to do anything. We are just too short sighted. Back in the 1980s the Minister of Health in El Salvador told me that the present government didn’t really care that the millions of dollars we were loaning them would have to be repaid some day with principle and interest. They could spend it now and someone else would have to pay it back later. It’s really not their problem. So much for human nature!
Unfortunately, there is no happy ending. There aren’t enough Ron Pauls around to change the course. The older generation apparently doesn’t really care about the younger generation coming up, all protestations aside. Putting it simplistically, the banks have the money which the government gives back so they can get more. They are into sustaining their own jobs, doing more, delivering more services, making the people more dependent on them. They know it won’t end well but don’t care. Gee, maybe some charismatic leader will take control and fix things? At least that will be the selling argument. Friends, not to be paranoid, but I think we are being set up and this will not end well.
The bottom line for those who know and follow Christ is that, like Abraham “He waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” (Hebrews 11:10) “Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach. 14 For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come.” (Hebrews 13:13-14) The world can’t be fixed. We can obsess about it but it won’t do any good.
The reason I have been writing about the economy so much for the past ten years is because it illustrates so well how out of control the world is, how it is hurtling toward disaster. It isn’t just broke! It is broken! You can look at the world from any perspective. The traditional family is falling apart. The world is headed toward financial disaster. We have built such a complex, global apparatus. We get our fruit from Chile, our cars from Germany and Japan, our winter vegetables from Mexico, our clothes from the cheapest producer of the moment and most everything else from China. Debt and irresponsible monetary policy are about to throw the world into the final major depression. In all likelihood, this will derail our fragile production and delivery systems. War in the Middle East could disrupt our oil supply and send fuel prices soaring. An EMP (electromagnetic pulse) or even a solar flare could disrupt our satellites and power grids causing the nation to grind to a halt. Just one crisis could disrupt our complex, interconnected system throwing this sedate, civilized society into utter chaos.
Jesus was asked, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.” (Matthew 24:3-7)
It is hard to conceive that this world can go on “business as usual” much longer. If what Jesus said is true, and I believe it is, the smartest thing we can do is to pay attention to what He says, quit worrying about all the problems of this world and begin to prepare for the times that are coming and the glory before us. I have posted a free novel on line, Book 1 of “Gideon Chronicle” in which I deal with issues that soon may be upon us. Why are Christians misunderstanding prophecy? Why are they so vulnerable to deception? What should we do? Bury our head in the sands and trust God that everything will work out all right? Gee, maybe He is warning us for a reason…
Copyright 2012 Dene McGriff