Reading time: 9,720 words, 35 pages, 23 to 39 minutes plus videos.
A long winter dragged into a late spring, so there’s a lot of ground to cover with a gloomy outlook and lots of ugly graphs in the forecast in this global economic collapse update.
Stock Market Crash Alert
First things first. I’ve been telling you for months not to panic out of the rising stock markets, “don’t fight the Fed” and other central banks whose cash injections to their crony bankster buddies are propelling stock markets to dizzying heights. Actually, priced in gold, stock markets have been crashing since the year 2001 but that’s another subject.
However, I am now issuing a stock market crash alert. There are so many commentators calling for a stock market crash this summer that it may become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Stock markets rarely crash in summer. They usually crash in fall so I may be early.
Warning: I am usually early in my predictions but it’s better to be months too soon than a day too late. I’m not an accredited financial advisor so I cannot give you investing advice but I can tell you what I’m doing. I am lightening up on most of my equities except for some recently purchased, incredibly cheap gold & silver mining stocks. They may get hit during a crash but they’re already so low they won’t go much lower so the risk is minimal. Govern yourself accordingly.
Bond Market Crash Alert
Never before have I had two crash alerts in the same post. This is certainly a sign of the times!
Bonds (debt) are the largest bubble the world has ever seen. Bubbles burst. The bond bubble has begun to burst.
The price of bonds and bond yield (interest rates) are inverse to one another. If one goes up the other goes down. Yield has been close to zero for a long time. However, interest rates on bonds are starting to climb.
Michael Craig, Portfolio Manager at Sprott Asset Management says, “We are entering a generational bear market for bonds. Investors should reduce allocations to index bond funds. Clients should consider adding positions to ‘go anywhere’ bond funds that have the flexibility to increase their cash levels and potentially short bonds where appropriate.”
The chart above shows the recent rise in interest rates.
This also spells disaster for governments and their enormous debts. If they cannot keep interest rates down, the interest carrying cost on government debt will skyrocket. This means less tax revenue will be available for education, fixing roads, social welfare, etc. as more tax revenue is diverted into paying interest to the extortionist banksters.
Post-It Note Bubbles & Crises
To illustrate how much global economies have deteriorated, the picture below is a Post-It note I stuck to my computer monitor in 2007. That was so long ago, the glue dried, the note fell off and I now use tape to keep it on as a reminder of where we are and how little has been fixed.
As per that ratty Post-It note, in 2007 we had bubbles in:
– U.S. dollar
– global debt
– stock market (equities)
– government debt
And we had crises in:
– sub-prime mortgage
– bond insurance [a large part of derivatives]
How much has changed? Well, the U.S. and southern Europe housing bubbles have burst, sending economies into a tailspin. Canada and Australia are about to burst. The commodity bubble is less frothy but although commodity prices have declined from their peaks, they are still at historically high levels compared with consumer purchasing power and this contributes to stealth inflation – that’s REAL inflation hidden behind a façade of fictitious government statistics.
And, the U.S. sub-prime crisis has done its dirty work but too late to have prevented over a quadrillion dollars of worthless derivatives that are now propping up shaky banks’ balance sheets and that central banks are buying at face value in exchange for cash so their bankster buddies can speculate in market casinos. If any of this does NOT concern you, please share whatever it is you’re smoking.
However, these problems been replaced with a global currency war that no one officially admits, a slowdown in China as well as other emerging markets that is about to impact resource nations like Canada, Australia, Brazil, Norway and Russia; a trillion dollar U.S. student debt bubble and the largest bubble in history; a bond bubble.
Looming on the horizon are trade wars and the “forever’ war on terror. So that’s three down, four up and two more to go. That’s NOT an improvement; it’s continuation of the collapse I warned about more than 5 years ago.
To make matters worse, both global debt and government debt have increased exponentially, the U.S. dollar bubble has only a few years left, the credit crisis is worse as banks still aren’t lending to small businesses (the real driver of our economies) and we no longer have to worry about confidence because there’s none left.
Never underestimate the importance of confidence because it is the foundation of law, government, finance and our economies. The whole house of cards rests on confidence. We need to be confident that laws will be enforced, that contracts will hold, that currency has value and that financial instruments are more than just worthless pieces of paper.
Unfortunately, law enforcement is becoming the jack-booted thugs of the wealthy and the enemy of ordinary people. Contracts are becoming meaningless as Jon Corzine who robbed the clients of MF Global is still a free man and the Cyprus bank bail-in has become the prototype for similar legislation elsewhere (including Canada). Currencies are being devalued and financial instruments, the life-blood of the world of finance, are turning into toilet paper.
So, if you think that things are better now than six years ago when I pasted that Post-It note, then that’s some really powerful shit you’re smoking!
Here’s a video with 3 minutes of clarity from Ron Paul & Jim Rogers at the recent Sovereign Man conference that sums up what I’ve just covered..
Bail-ins Coming to a Country Near You
Both the United Kingdom and the U.S.A. are proposing Bail-in legislation (Cyprus-style). This means depositor’s money will be at risk. Get your money out of the matrix or risk losing it by having it turned into worthless financial instruments with fancy names signifying nothing (toilet paper).
According to the Wall Street Journal, in their article, “Deposits Guaranteed Up to $250,000—Maybe: What does it mean to be ‘Backed by the full faith and credit’ of the U.S.?” May 28, 2013
“The International Monetary Fund has tracked 147 banking crises since 1970. Around the world there have been more than 250 defaults on government debt since 1800, an average of about one sovereign default per year.
“The U.S. has had two housing finance disasters in the past three decades alone, the Savings and Loan Crisis of the 1980s and the subprime mortgage crisis that began in 2007.
“Yet one peculiar characteristic of deposit guarantees in the U.S. is not as well known or appreciated as it should be—especially as federal debt reaches stratospheric levels. When Congress created the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in 1933, the fathers of the Banking Act assured the public explicitly that the federal government, i.e., taxpayers, were not on the hook for losses to depositors.”
Since total bank risk greatly exceeds both the deposit insurance funds AND the entire government’s ability to guarantee everything, it’s the ultimate “con” game. Deposit insurance is designed to inspire CONfidence. Confidence is a feeling. Feelings can change when impacted by reality. They can change fast.
Stable Canadian Banks Bullshit
Canadians who think “it can’t happen here” will be in for a nasty surprise when it does. Many Canadians still mistakenly believe that Canadian banks are “solid’. Canadian banks are not solid. They are also on a fractional reserve system like all other banks world-wide. A ‘bank run’ will result in a ‘bank holiday’ as happened many times in many countries throughout history.
There WILL BE a global banking collapse. It has already started with small banks (think Cyprus) and will spread to ever larger ones. The small banks will be “saved” by stealing depositors’ money but the collapse will spread through globalization’s interconnectedness until it hits a bank too large to bail. Then the entire global banking system will collapse in the blink of an eye.
Here’s a video about Canada’s banks being bailed out during the financial crisis
Study Reveals Secret Bailout to Canadian Banks
All five major Canadian banks were bailed out to the tune of $114 billion. That works out to 7% of Canada’s GDP or about $3400 for every Canadian. To put that into perspective, if the same were to happen in the U.S. with ten times Canada’s population, the bailout would have been $1.14 trillion.
Also, if you doubt that the banks don’t own us, consider that the total amount of the last bailout was MORE than enough to have bought all the stock in the banks. In other words, we, the taxpayers could have been the new owners. So why didn’t that happen? Because they own us and the politicians. The banks run the show. Bank CEO’s are the highest paid CEO’s in Canada. Not surprising they still received obscene levels of bonuses for having robbed Canadian taxpayers. As George Carlin would put it, “they own YOU”.
If the banks got into trouble once, they’ll get into trouble again and very soon. Two possible triggers are:
1) housing crash caused by the Canadian real estate bubble bursting
2) the next recession for which we are overdue since they occur every 4 or 5 years
Except, next time they won’t be bailed-out, they’ll be bailed-in with depositor’s money. More on this below.
So where’s your money? If you ain’t got it, then you ain’t got it. I keep only enough in the system to pay bills. So, if you want to donate your hard-earned cash to the black-hearted banksters, then keep it in the system where they’ll steal it. There are few things I’ll guarantee but I guarantee they will steal your money. Otherwise, why would Canada have bail-in legislation?
In case you haven’t seen 12 year old Victoria Grant’s YouTube video explaining Canada’s Corrupt Banking System, here it is:
The US, England, Canada, and New Zealand, have announced similar ‘bail-in’ policies like Cyprus. This is a sign that a collapse is both probable and imminent. By the time you realize you “should have” removed your deposits from the banks and credit unions, it will be too late.
Do you still have money in a Canadian bank or Credit Union? As reported in Bank Run Alert and in Bailout News Misdirected ALL banks worldwide are in trouble. Governments can no longer ‘bailout’ the banks so they are now resorting to ‘bail-ins’ by confiscating depositors money. That means YOUR money if you have money in the bank.
The top of page 145 (PDF page 155) you’ll see that they’ve legalized bank deposit confiscation in Canada like they did in Cyprus. .
Amerikan Suicides Increase
Washington’s Blog in a report titled More Americans Committing Suicide than During the Great Depression says, “Higher Numbers of Americans Take Their Lives than During the Depths of the Great Depression.”
The population of the U.S. is higher now than during the Great Depression and the suicide rate (number per 100K) is not yet as high as during the Great Depression but the rate is climbing. The sheer number of suicides, however, is shocking as it has surpassed the Great Depression.
ShadowStats Real Economic Numbers
The financial ass media spin, distort and censor reports about the real condition or our economies. They use governments’ fictitious and fudged statistics. If more investors saw the real numbers they would run away from depreciating fiat currencies and bubblicious bonds and into real assets like gold, silver, food commodities and farmland.
Central banks have injected tens of trillions of dollars trying to juice economies into real recovery. Of course, the result is inflation which fictitious government statistics try to hide. Don’t forget that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.
Not only are the authorities insane, they’re incredibly incompetent. They think this downturn is no different than past post-war recessions and the solution is the same; government borrowing and spending. Except they’ve been doing this longer than any time in history and it still isn’t working.
The reason it’s not working is because this is NOT a typical post-war recession nor is it a typical business cycle down-turn. If it were, we would be well past the recovery stage by now and our economies would be booming.
We are sliding into a Greater Depression caused by a major credit crisis that is exacerbated by a major confidence crisis. We are in the clutches of insane Central Bank serial bubble-blowers whose one-track feeble brains know how to do only one thing; print more and more money.
Consider Shadowstats.com summary of the REAL numbers versus the bullshit “official” statistics for the U.S.. John Williams’ ShadowStats calculates statistics the way they were calculated in the 1980s and 1990s before the government’s bullshit campaign began cooking the numbers. Below are the Bullshit numbers vs Real numbers
Bogus Official Numbers vs. Real Numbers
Annual U.S. Consumer Price Inflation reported March 15, 2013
1.59% / 9.62%
U.S. Unemployment reported April 5th, 2013
7.6% / 22.9%
U.S. GDP Annual Growth/Decline reported March 28, 2013
1.67% / -2.20% (i.e., Negative 2.2%)
Below are more ShadowStats recent summaries
April 24, 2013
– First-Quarter Durable Goods Orders Contracted at 1.6% Annualized Pace
– Home Sales Activity Constrained by Consumer Liquidity Woes
– GDP Revision Games Monetary Base Tops $3 Trillion
May 3rd, 2013
– Employment and Unemployment Data Were Nonsense:
The Economy Remains in Serious Trouble
– April Unemployment: 7.5% (U.3), 13.9% (U.6), 23.0% (ShadowStats)
– Annual M3 Growth Holds at 4.3%, Monetary Base at 14.7%
May 10, 2013
– Federal Debt Ceiling Suspension Only Goes through May 18th
– State-by-State ShadowStats-Alternate Unemployment Measure Ranges from 8.0% in North Dakota to 35.4% in Nevada, California at 30.8%
May 13, 2013
– April Retail Sales Gain Was Statistically-Insignificant, Annual Growth Still Signaled Intensified Economic Downturn
– Dollar Fundamentals Remain Abysmal
May 24, 2013
– Revised Durable Goods Orders Showed a Weaker „Recovery‰
– Home Sales Remained Stagnant
May 30, 2013
– $25 Million Shy of New Debt Ceiling, U.S. Treasury Holds $16.1 Billion, About One Day‘s Worth of Regular Operating Cash
– Since Onset of Expanded QE3, Fed Has Monetized 73% of Net Public Treasury Debt Issuance, Should Hit 100% by Mid-July
– Fed Locked into Quantitative Easing for Foreseeable Future by Economic Woes, Banking System Difficulties and Treasury Borrowing Problems
– Narrowed Budget Deficit Forecasts Reflect One-Time Accelerated Tax Receipts, ‘Dividend‘ Payments and Overly-Optimistic Assumptions, Economic and Otherwise
– Developing Washington Scandals Could Impair U.S. Dollar
– General Outlook Has Not Changed
Japanese Kamikaze Quantitative Easing
Insanity knows no national boundaries. Japan, the world’s 3rd largest economy has been in a depression since 1990 (23 years!) when they were the world’s 2nd largest economy. They have now embarked on a “Quantitative Easing (QE) money printing scheme that is proportionately twice as large as the Amerikans have attempted.
QE hasn’t worked for the U.S. nor the first nine or eleventeen times it’s been tried in Japan, so now they are going “Banzai” – it didn’t work before but now they are going to do LOTS MORE of the same thing that didn’t work before. I wonder what they’re smoking.
Once again we see the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. It’s also a sign of desperation. Japan has a very real demographic problem. The bulk of their population is aging and retiring. Until now, much of Japanese government debt (bonds) has been held by its own citizens as savings. Now that many are retiring, they will be cashing in their bonds to finance their retirement.
Japan is doing a Banzai Hail Mary Pass. It’s one last desperate attempt to stimulate the dead corpse of the Japanese economy back to life before bond selling exceeds bond buying. The Western ass media’s eyes are on the travails of Europe but the collapse won’t start in Europe. My money is on Japan. Correction: my money is NOT on Japan if you know what I mean.
Why QE Does NOT Work as Advertised
The Daily Bell says about neo-Keynesianism that they, “hav[e] shown nowhere in the civilized world that government can create an expansion out of a depression simply by printing money. Given its total failure and the loyalty it enjoys, nonetheless, among top political and business leaders, we are not surprised it is receiving another go round in Japan.”
Jim Sinclair said the Cyprus ‘bail-in’ might be a scare tactic to push money out of the banks and into the economy, stocks and bonds. He said: “So it seems we have a last ditch effort to change the effects of QE, where we have only gotten a sideways movement in economic indicators to some sort of an uptrending line. It’s a huge gamble because if it doesn’t significantly impact the economy, it will clearly weaken the banks which are already weak in the first place… The reason it will weaken the banks is if the banks lose deposits of cash and near cash deposits, the strength in assets of the bank are reduced while the liabilities remain the same. So this is a huge gamble, an attempt to resuscitate the economics around the world with the risk that they are setting up another banking crisis…” So the catastrophic danger here is if the central planners fail they will have totally run out of tools and this thing will implode because they will have inherently weakened the banking system at the most inopportune time. This is one of the most dangerous and potentially fatal gambles in history.”
Remember, we have NEVER been here before. The Elites are desperate and scared shitless. There is no play book for this. They’re winging it. They haven’t a clue what they’re doing and judging by their lack of success since the two Bear Sterns’ hedge funds imploded in 2007, they will fail at this as they have everything else.
It’s not a conspiracy. Never attribute to conspiracy what is, in fact, utter stupidity.
By the time the idiots realize Keynesian tricks don’t work, the global economy will be a smoking ruin.
If the idiots think that by making bank deposits dangerous i.e. bail-ins or QE devaluation that people will spend, spend, spend the economy back to health; it ain’t workin’. I for one am putting my money under the mattress (figuratively speaking, of course) and converting it to real assets that desperate governments can’t get their hands on.
Then too, nothing in politics happens by “accident”. Our Lords & Masters would not hesitate to destroy us in order to save us. I wouldn’t put it past them to engineer a catastrophic collapse to frighten us into giving up more of our sovereignty and freedom (whatever’s left of it) to join the larger collective. This is not conspiracy. This is human greed, avarice, lust for power and stupidity; all the hallmarks of government. This is why government, ANY government is inherently evil. It starts out small and benign, and then grows like a malignant cancer until it destroys its host and itself in the process.
This is why you must protect yourself; keep your assets off the government’s radar; even to the point of using social media sparingly. Text and photos of vacations and new cars, boats and other toys can come back to bite you. Rest assured, the taxman is combing Facebook and other social media for signs of wealth they can accuse you of hiding. Never forget that the taxman has more power than even the police. Your so-called ‘rights and freedoms’ mean nothing to the tax department. By the time you’re lucky enough to win an appeal, you’ll be penniless.
Great Depression Unemployment Bullshit
For a couple of years I’ve come across oblique references that the unemployment rate during the last Great Depression was actually less than the general consensus of 25%. I haven’t written about it until now as I haven’t been able to substantiate it. I’ve now located that information.
First, there’s a lesson here: never trust general consensus as it’s usually wrong. Second, keep in mind that there were no unemployment statistics kept during the Great Depression so unemployment was estimated long afterwards. And third, the Great Depression lasted about twenty years so the 25% number is suspicious because one would expect unemployment to vary from year to year.
When estimating the Great Depression’s unemployment rate, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) economist Stanley Lebergott INCLUDED government employees (for reasons not explained). As government employed about 6% of the workforce, this means that the revised ‘consensus’ unemployment during the Great Depression would have been 19%, not 25%.
Furthermore, Christina Romer a former Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers as well as others have found flaws in Lebergott’s numbers. Washington Blog states that,” the calculations of economists such as Michael Darby are more accurate.”
Below are Lebergott’s number compared to Darby.
Year Lebergott Darby
1929 3.2% 3.2%
1930 8.7% 8.7%
1931 15.9% 15.3%
1932 23.6% 22.9%
1933 24.9% 20.6%
1934 21.7% 16.0%
1935 20.1% 14.2%
1936 16.9% 9.9%
1937 14.3% 9.1%
1938 19.0% 12.5%
1939 17.2% 11.3%
1940 14.6% 9.5%
Now consider that John Williams of ShadowStats calculates today’s U.S. unemployment at 22.3%. That’s higher than 11 out of 12 years charted by Darby. In other words, today’s U.S. unemployment rate is HIGHER than during the Great Depression.
See the chart below for official (bullshit) U3 (narrow), U6 (broader) and ShadowStats REAL unemployment.
ShadowStats unemployment rate is the blue line on top. The U.S. SUPPOSEDLY recovered in 2009. If so, it’s been a very jobless recovery. It’s not a recovery; it’s a Depression!
Top 1% Only Half the Problem
Much has been said and written about the top 1% of income earners garnering an increasingly larger share of wealth versus the remaining 99%. While true, it overlooks the other half of the equation.
Since 1999, the wealth gap has also widened between those with college or university degrees and those with only a high school diploma according to a New York Times article
The 1 Percent Are Only Half the Problem.
Since the leftish “Grey Lady”, the New York Times is one of the Power Elite’s mouthpieces, one is tempted to ask what social ‘meme’ is being pushed especially since the article lacks statistics on this income disparity. With U.S. student debt levels exceeding the one trillion dollar mark, this would be a continuation of the push to increase student debt to even higher levels into bubble territory.
One is tempted to as ‘why?’ One reason would be to keep students out of the labour market and that would help fudge the unemployment numbers. Another reason is the old saw: “gold is for kings, silver for commerce and debt for slaves.” Since U.S. student debt is difficult to discharge in bankruptcy, an indebted population is more docile and less likely to revolt. It’s worked so far.
Mad Max Class
I do not foresee a Mad Max world although there will be more areas (think Detroit) that will sink to Mad Max depths with the elimination of services (street lights, policing, sewers, water, etc.) and increasing lawlessness, gangs and violence. However, what we WILL see in much of the world is a new definition of class.
One of our predominant Western myths is that we have classless societies. I hate to burst your bubble, but we have always had classes and we always will. Most of us simply haven’t been trained to notice yet we are subconsciously aware of it and more so in some areas like Europe.
I remember visiting my uncle, a doctor in Germany. My brother, sisters and cousins were strolling along a farm road with my uncle. I wanted to take a picture of them in front of a combine with a handful of farmworkers. By the time I had adjusted the manual settings on my camera, the farm workers had moved off to the side to remove themselves from the picture of the “good doctor’ and his family. And yet, if I had asked them about class distinctions, I’m sure they would have said there were none.
By ‘class’ I mean more than just the ultra-rich at the top, a huge middle class in the middle and the invisible poor at the bottom.
The middle class has never been a homogenous majority although the era of cheap credit and increasing debt that has now ended gave us that perception. The increasing income disparity between college/university graduates and high school diplomas discussed above is just one of the ‘divides’ that will become more apparent in the future.
Another ‘divide’ will be the working poor. As more manufacturing is off-shored, the demand for and the salaries of ‘knowledge workers’ will increase. The wages of unskilled or semi-skilled workers will continue to decline especially when impacted by the stealth inflation of essentials like groceries and gas.
The chart below shows that labor’s share of the national income is the lowest it’s ever been since statistics began in 1950 – that’s more than 60 years ago.
David Rosenberg who prepared the graph above is wishfully thinking that a trough has been reached. I’m not so optimistic as I foresee a continuing decline.
Demographics (always underestimated), will also make class distinctions more apparent. As more Boomers reach retirement age, some will continue working longer out of necessity but no one lives forever so the eventual demise of this large sector of our population will increase the ‘brain drain’ making knowledge workers in even greater demand.
We have seen this disconnect between required skills and job openings for some time now as shown in the chart below.
Not surprising, the incompetent public
indoctrination education system is failing to forecast needed skills.
As a result of continuing economic deterioration, we will see three very distinct classes.
1) The “invisible” ultra-rich hiding behind stone walls shielded from public view
2) The well-to-do technocrats who administer what’s left of the economy
3) The great mass of dumpster-diving, desperately poor that are no longer invisible but will constitute the great mass of humanity.
Gold & Silver Smack-down
Gold and silver, as I said recently, have been hammered hard. Central banks and their bankster handmaidens are desperate to prop up their failing fiat currencies so they need to attack and discredit their enemy: gold (& silver). This should not be a surprise. It should be a call to action, though. You should be backing up the truck and loading up on these precious metals now that the banksters have put them on sale at a price we may never see again.
Goldman Sachs (the “Vampire Squid’) alerted their investors to short gold. This added to gold’s selling pressure.
George Soros, who single-handedly broke the Bank of England and made billions in the process is also proclaiming the end of the gold bull market. He sold his gold months ago and publicly admitted it. He’s doing to gold what he did to the British pound; short selling it to make money on the way down except with a twist. You can bet that when the price of gold turns around, he will already have backed up HIS truck and bought more gold and at a cheaper price.
They are doing their best to persuade precious metal owners to sell. Why? First, by selling, it drives prices lower thus making their worthless toilet paper money look like it has value. And, second by driving prices down, they can buy gold cheaper.
China and Russia have been increasing their gold reserves for years. They are reducing their U.S. dollar reserves by converting them into gold. They can’t do it all at once. That would drive down the value of the U.S. dollar thus reducing the value of the Chinese and Russian U.S. dollar reserves. It would also increase the price of gold at a time when they want to buy more. So China and Russia are performing a balancing act by slowly converting their dollar reserves into gold.
That conversion is your opportunity to load up on gold and silver. You can’t fight the Big Boyz but you can do what they’re doing. First, do NOT panic and sell your precious metals. Second, buy more now that it’s cheap.
None of the world’s major problems have been solved. This gold smack-down is temporary. Gold & silver will again rise in price. Some day you will look back at this time and wonder why you didn’t see the obvious.
U.S. Debt Ceiling suspended
RT, in the article Ceiling suspended: US takes on $300bn in new debt after hitting $16.7 trillion says, “America’s ticking debt bomb has been reset. Washington has suspended the debt ceiling, setting a date, and not a concrete dollar sum as a deadline, an unprecedented first in US history.”
“Citing ‘extraordinary measures’, the US Treasury has further delayed tackling America’s debt, and will wait until Labor Day, September 2nd, to revisit the burgeoning crisis. The ceiling has been lifted, and the Treasury has promised it will keep cash pumping into government spending programs beyond the debt limit through a series of emergency cash tools.”
In other words, the lid is now effectively off the debt ceiling. There is no longer any pretense that the money printing (QE) will ever stop. Government debt is now on steroids. Is it any wonder that interest rates are starting to climb, signaling the beginning of the bond bubble burst?
RT reports in Obama: ‘There is no debt crisis’ that the U.S. is $17 trillion in debt, but President Obama says there’s no reason to worry.
After the story above, only a psychopath like President Obama could say with a straight face, “We don’t have an immediate crisis in terms of debt … In fact, for the next 10 years, it’s gonna be in a sustainable place.”
Left unsaid is “sustainable for who?”
U.S. Money Printing on Steroids Bullish for Gold
There is no doubt that there will eventually be much higher inflation considering how much money is being created out of thin air by ALL the world’s central banks. To see a visual representation of this is startling. The U.S. is a good example although the Japanese, on a proportionate basis are set to overtake the U.S.
In the last seven years as Fed Chairman, Ben Bernanke has printed
more money than the entire history of the U.S.A. over the previous 230 years. Remember, credit and debt are flip sides of the same coin and our fiat currencies are conjured into existence through debt. From 2006 to 2013 the U.S. debt exploded from $8.4 to $14.8 trillion while GDP rose only from $13.4 to $16.4 trillion. This astounding amount of debt vs GDP can be seen in the graph below.
Debt (in red) increased 100% while GDP (in blue) increased only 22% (and that’s if you can believe government’s cooked statistics).
This is all the more reason to hang on to your gold & silver because, as you can see from the chart below, debt and gold rise exponentially notwithstanding volatility in the short term (they’re on sale right now but availability is limited and requires patience).
In the chart above, gold (in yellow) aside from a frothy run-up in 1980 and a following over-correction, tracks the exponential increase in debt (in blue).
Gold Bugs Just Don’t Get It
I keep reading commentary how certain inevitable events (usually inflation) or central bank actions (QE to infinity) will make gold bugs happy because the price of their favorite shiny yellow metal will increase dramatically. Those commentators just don’t get it. It doesn’t matter how “high” the price of gold (or silver) goes. Whether the “price” of gold goes to $2,000 or $5,000 or $10,000 an ounce, one ounce of gold will still buy the same stuff next year as one ounce buys today as one ounce bought a thousand years ago.
The reason for that is very simple. Gold, as I’ve said many times, is NOT an investment. It is NOT a commodity. It IS money. Can it be any more plain and simple than that? Gold and silver are money.
Price and value are two different things. As Warren Buffet said; price is what you pay. Value is what you get. The value of gold remains fairly constant over time. An ounce of it buys the same thing today that it bought 100 years ago or 200 years ago or 1,000 years ago or 2,000 years ago. The “price” is simply how much paper money it takes to buy an ounce of gold. Since paper money is slowly and constantly devaluing due to inflation, it takes more paper money to buy an ounce of gold. But the value (purchasing power) of gold (aside from short-term “price” fluctuations) remains fairly constant over time.
Addictive Central Bank Money Printing
There is considerable concern about the effect of the gargantuan size of central bank stimulus. Mike O’Rourke of JonesTrading says that central banks, “created a ridiculous situation where the entire market is just obsessed with every utterance from central bank chiefs, sucking away the oxygen from the real issues that should actually be driving markets.”
Gee, Mike, I’m glad you finally woke up and realized we no longer have markets; we have nothing but manipulation and intervention. He quotes Fed Ben Bernanke ten years ago, “I worry about the effects on the long-run stability and efficiency of our financial system if the Fed attempts to substitute its judgments for those of the market. Such a regime would only increase the unhealthy tendency of investors to pay more attention to rumors about policymakers’ attitudes than to the economic fundamentals that by rights should determine the allocation of capital.”
Gee, Ben, I’m sorry to see your justifiable worries coming true but aren’t you pointing the finger at yourself? We have met the enemy and he is us. Central banks have created the very condition that he worried about ten years ago.
In the 1970’s, Fed Chairman Arthur Burns kept interest rates too low, too long. The result was inflation that his successor Paul Volker fought with painfully high interest rates. Today, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke has kept interest rates too low and even longer than Arthur Burns. See the chart below.
The most worrisome difference is Paul Volker applied painfully high interest rates at a time the economy was stable and strong, and although his cure caused a short term recession, we quickly recovered once inflation was wrung out of the system. Today, the economy is neither strong and nor stable. It is weak and fragile. Ben Bernanke’s successor will have a stark choice to make.
1) Increasing interest rates will destroy the economy as well as the government with its enormous debt.
2) Avoiding high interest rates will cause hyperinflation.
In other words, we’re damned if they do and damned if they don’t.
In a free market, price controls are not necessary because the market will find the correct price of everything. If a price is too high, substitutes are found which reduces demand for the high priced item thus lowering its price. Or, the high price attracts competition which increases supply thus again lowering the price. Low prices work in the opposite direction.
Central planners CANNOT set proper prices regardless how many PhD’s they have. Centrally planned economies result in distortions and poverty. Think Cuba, Venezuela, Argentina, North Korea and the former Soviet Union.
When central banks set interest rates, they are setting the price of money. Central planning does NOT work. The chart below clearly shows that periods of low interest rate policies have always led to excess, malinvestments and bubbles.
Conspiracy theorists might even claim that it’s all a diversion. Investors are so focused on central bankers’ prognostications and subtle nuances, they fail to see the rapidly approaching cliff. As the exposed Wizard of Oz said, “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.”
Yes, boys and girls, what’s left of our economies are so broken and circling ever closer to the drain that our hapless leaders are putting on a blackface minstrel show to divert ADHD investors’ attention from the real matters at hand; namely our collapsing economies, increasing debt, lack of effective leadership, cronyism, corruption – as I endlessly repeat myself.
U.S. Housing Recovery Bullshit
The Elliott Wave Theorist reports
“Headlines proclaim that the real estate market is recovering. ‘Best market in five years,’ say the statistics. It’s a true statement. But to understand how misleading it is, look at [the chart below]. The latest recovery has taken … one-family home sales back only to the levels of prior recessionary lows. Had these measures fallen straight to current levels from 2006, people would be calling it a deep slump.”
Poverty is Good for the Planet?
Just when you think you’ve heard it all – how about “poverty is good for the planet”? I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.
Stock Market Advantage asks, Is the Retirement Crisis Really a Crisis?
“However, is this really a crisis?
“Seniors having less is actually good for the environment, as their carbon footprint is on the decline. The bottom 90%, whose economic influence wanes, drive around less, are forced to monitor their electricity consumption, and so forth. The top 10%, whose wealth continues to increase geometrically, can travel a limited amount and consume only so much steak and lobster. Is it not a good thing for the sustainability of planet Earth that wealth gets re-distributed from prospective retirees to the Wall Street elite?
“Also, many seniors short on retirement funds will be forced to continue working, which may actually be good for their physical fitness, well-being and sense of worth. Where is the crisis?”
Reinhart & Rogoff Scandal
Harvard economists Reinhart & Rogoff published that there was a negative correlation between public debt and economic growth. Some errors were found in some of their work but, the scandal has morphed into a straw man fallacy
Two of the important conclusions they reached.
a) Debt to GDP ratio in excess of 90% causes a 1% drop in GDP
b) No country ever survived long term with the ratio greater than 90%
Their work has shown to be sloppy by excluding New Zealand (hardly a major country) and a formula error on their spreadsheet makes one wonder if anyone with brilliance ever came out of Harvard. In any case, governments are now using this as an excuse to continue expanding their debts as well as imposing austerity
Canada is an instructive example. The Canadian government under the Chretien Liberals Minister of Finance, Paul Martin, successfully cut spending to reduce the deficit. What the ass media usually omit is this was done after the economy had already recovered and GDP was growing at 5% per annum.
So the first conclusion (a) isn’t a hard and fast rule in cases where an economy is on the mend.
However, we shouldn’t overlook the second conclusion. Almost all governments worldwide have ratios in excess of 90%. Furthermore, none of them have economies that are on the mend.
So, as sloppy as Reinhart and Rogoff’s work was, their conclusions are still painfully instructive.
Are You Still Watching the Ass Media News?
If you answered yes to the question in the title, take a look at this short video.
Mindless Media Parrots | Brainwash Update
I liked the part where economic factors may take some spring out of the Easter Bunny’s step this year.
U.S. Employment Report Bullshit
Agora Financials’ 5 Min. Forecast says “On the surface, it was a sunny report: 165,000 new jobs in April, a bit more than needed to keep pace with population growth. The U-3 unemployment rate dipped to 7.5%, the lowest since December 2008.”
“Back in the real world, unemployment measured the way it was during the Carter administration — and the way John Williams at Shadow Government Statistics measures it today — ticked up to 23%. That’s an all-time high.
“But even in the official numbers, there’s a fly in the ointment: average workweek. This figure ticked down from 34.6 hours to 34.4.
“I understand there are costs to health care reform,” says Tara Sievers, “but it is surely not the intent of the law for employees to lose hours.”
“Ms. Sievers works part time for the city of Long Beach, Calif. She’s one of 1,600 part-timers whose workweek has been shaved to 27 hours or less… thanks to the law whose name carries an ever-increasing burden of irony — the Affordable Care Act.
“The law requires large employers offering health insurance to include part-time employees working 30 hours a week or more,” explains the Los Angeles Times. “But rather than provide health care to more workers, a growing number of employers are cutting back employee hours instead.”
“Like the city of Long Beach. It’s slashing payroll hours to avoid new benefits costing up to $2 million next year.
“Big restaurant chains, retailers and movie theaters are starting to trim employee hours,” the paper goes on. “Even colleges are reducing courses for part-time professors to keep their hours down and avoid paying for their health premiums.” Research from the University of California shows as many as 2.3 million workers nationwide are at risk of losing hours thanks to the new law — which will do nothing to bring this number down…”
“The City of Long Beach is hardly alone. The Commonwealth of Virginia is doing the same. So is the Regal movie theater chain.
“That will be a widespread strategy,” Dede Kennedy-Simington of Polenzani Benefits tells the Times. “Employers will be making sure their payroll system can flag when part-time workers are getting close to the cap they set.”
Another way to see through the government bullshit unemployment numbers is to look at the number of people who have left the labor force. See the chart below.
Worse still, the length of unemployment time has increased as the jobless take longer and longer to find new employment in the chart below.
These are all very ugly charts. They do NOT portend a rosy future
Still More Economic Bullshit
An International Monetary Fund (IMF) study queries whether blanket curbs on banks are worthwhile. But they added that the proposed reforms would not have prevented the crisis at Lehman Brothers in September 2008, the event that brought the global financial system to the brink of collapse
What utter bullshit! The entire global financial system BROKE in 2008 and the whole world saw the giant Ponzi scheme that it had become. The Lehman collapse was simply the trigger that set off a BROKEN global financial system. It’s not the trigger that exploded but the whole global financial powder keg. The global financial system cannot be repaired. It is collapsing before our eyes.
Panic-stricken governments have been printing historically unprecedented amounts of money and keeping interest rates at unprecedented zero levels for an unprecedented length of time. How many times must I repeat the word ‘unprecedented’ to convey the concept of ‘never before in history’ have we ever seen this.
The global financial system has been collapsing for 5 years now although some analysts say the real downturn began as long ago as the year 2000. I foresaw it and warned everyone I knew the year before the so-called ‘financial crisis’ in 2008. So did many other ‘nutcases’. Few listened to them, too.
Here we are five years later and NOTHING has been fixed and we’re about to slide into another recession that’ll be longer and deeper than the last one except we are NOT coming out of this one. The end result will be a lower standard of living for everyone although some people will fare better or worse than others. What happens to you will depend on many variables such as:
• how prepared you are,
• how diversified your investments are,
• how much wealth you’ve hidden from the clutches of governments,
• where you live
• how much real money (gold & silver) you have,
• how much support you have from family and friends and
• how much you’ve unplugged from the matrix.
Stock Market Bullshit
The DOW, the S & P and other stock markets are supposed to be rallying. That’s more bullshit! The indexes are rallying. The indexes are the scoreboard. The scoreboards are as phoney as a three dollar bill and as open to manipulation as every other economic indicator. They’re “painting the tape”. It’s like holding a match under a thermometer and pretending it’s getting warmer.
MarketWatch, in Lack of growth in the Dow reaches dire stage looks at the real numbers behind the index. For the valuation of the companies that make up the DOW, there have been “two consecutive quarters of no growth in the Dow. Both the fourth quarter of 2012 and, thus far, with 25 companies reporting for the first quarter of 2013, the Dow has had no growth for two consecutive quarters.”
In the most recent reporting season Caterpillar Caterpillar -0.25% and Exxon Mobil -0.59% had the worst revenue growth rates, with declines of 17.3% and 12.3%, respectively. The links above default to daily charts. Click on the ‘3Y’ (3 year) below the charts to see the decline.
Another way to see this is to compare the New York Stock Exchange to the ever-expanding Federal Reserve’s balance sheet in the chart below. All that stimulus and money printing has really done nothing.
The MarketWatch article goes on to say that, “in the fourth quarter of 2012, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had negative earings-per-share (EPS) growth and revenue growth of less than 1%. Thus far in the first quarter of 2013, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has had EPS growth of about 1%, but revenue has declined by 2.65%.”
“One might also suggest that without aggressive share-repurchase programs, the EPS results would be far worse than they are because the actual earnings in real dollars is declining for the companies that comprise the index. In reality, for two consecutive quarters, the Dow has actually been contracting.
“This information may surprise some investors because when earnings are reported, they are always compared to analyst estimates, and investors sometimes forget to look closely at combined year-over-year growth rates.
“For the Dow, year-over-year quarterly growth rates have been steadily declining since 2010. After the credit crisis, the growth rates were phenomenal, but those were compared to horrible results posted during the crisis, comps were easy, and earnings were just recovering from that meltdown.
“In addition, every quarter since 2010 has seen lower and lower year-over-year growth rates for the companies comprising the Dow, and now year-over-year growth rates have reached 0%.”
Then too, consider that these are nominal statistics and when you factor in the REAL inflation rate, or priced in gold, then all Western stock markets are shrinking.
Inflation Statistics Bullshit
The “Big Mac Index,” has tracked the price of a McDonald’s Big Mac at restaurant chains across the world for several decades. According to Before Its News,
“Because McDonald’s caters to tens of millions of customers yearly and offers food at a fairly low cost compared to others in the food service industry, it is a fairly insightful gauge of consumer activity.
“According to the Big Mac Index, and contrary to the government’s claims of stable prices, since 2003 when the Federal Reserve really began cranking hundreds of billions of dollars into an already troubled financial system, the price of inflation is more than double what is being claimed.
“The Big Mac has gone up by over 6% per year, yet the government claims CPI is only 2.5% per year. So something’s wrong. Either something’s changed at McDonald’s, or something has changed in the way we report inflation. And I trust a hamburger more than I trust the U.S. government.
“That price [of the hamburger] went up in line with the CPI for sixteen years, and then in 2002 they started to diverge.
“What’s the explanation?
“Look at the chart below, and you’ll see that the divergence started taking place when the Federal Reserve started expanding our monetary base after the 2002 crash (with the largest spikes occurring after the 2008 crisis) and when the U.S. government turned to tripling our national debt.”
And, below is Peter Schiff’s take on it.
Big Mac Index Exposes Flawed Inflation Data
Predictions, Prophecies and Prognostications
– A FaceBook posted sex assault at Canada’s Humber College is only one of a multitude of incidents of social breakdown that are increasing as economies and morals collapse. And this, in Canada; a kinder, gentler, supposedly civilized country.
– Demographics are always overlooked. A huge contingent of Boomers are retiring. They’ll be selling their homes with few young buyers so real estate prices will drop. Retirees on pensions have less income so they’ll spend less and consumer economies will continue to deteriorate.
– US credit rating agency wars will continue undermining other country’s economies. China’s sovereign credit rating is cut from AA- to A+ by Fitch Apr 9, 2013. This is like the psychopath that tries to make himself look better by degrading everyone else. The Amerikan government’s incompetent stooge rating agencies fail to understand that as a rising tide lifts all boats so does a falling tide lower all boats.
– Infrastructure will continue to breakdown for lack of funds for maintenance. There were three oils spills in the U.S. and a train derailment in Canada all in one week, sinkholes swallowing cars in major cities and a glancing blow to a girder by a heavy-haul trucker
collapsed the Skagit River bridge on I-5 in Washington state .
– Cities are broke so there will be more cut-backs, fewer police and more crime. “911 Dispatcher Tells Woman About To Be Sexually Assaulted There Are No Cops To Help Her Due To Budget Cuts.”
– Asset bubbles get larger and larger and burst more spectacularly than the last one. The largest bubble in all history is governments’ bond bubbles. When they burst (they all do) it will destroy global finance. Interest rates are already starting to rise so the collapse has begun.
– More individual banks will collapse until they all collapse. It’s not a matter of ‘IF’, it’s only a question of ‘When?’
– Each new round of QE is less effective at stimulating the economy; it merely increases the size of the debt bubble.
– The Powers-That-Be (PTB) are trying to scare us out of gold and silver. Why? Because they want gold & silver for themselves and they want them cheap. They realize their fiat currency hoax is nearing an end and they’re trying to convert their worthless money into assets of value like gold and silver. Central banks, banksters and the wealthy all want gold and silver but they won’t publicly admit it as it would drive up prices. Do NOT sell your precious metals no matter how low they go. Use price drops as a buying opportunity.
– Quantitative Easing (QE) will continue (perhaps by some other creative name) but, endless money printing will continue to feed inflation so standards of living will keep declining. Jim Sinclair calls it “QE to infinity”. Central banks lie and tell us they’ll stop when economies improve. Economies won’t improve and even if they did, they cannot stop QE to infinity, They will continue conjuring money out of thin air until it all collapses.
– Stock and bond markets will crash;
– There’ll be more bank runs and bank holidays;
– Credit will be unavailable;
– More QE money printing;
– More individual and corporate bankruptcies;
– More cities, states, provinces, hedge and pension funds in trouble;
– Futile but painful wage and price controls will drive trade and barter underground into dangerous black markets;
– Unemployment will increase;
– gold, silver, and commodity prices will skyrocket;
– Increasingly desperate governments will do increasingly desperate things to help themselves and their crony bankster buddies, but will hurt you thus creating more social unrest, rioting, demonstrations, chaos, widespread looting, murder and mayhem unlike anything seen in the West. When you see rioting in Sweden HERE and HERE, the mothership of socialist utopia, then you know that nowhere is safe.
– History doesn’t repeat but it does rhyme. The collapse of past empires foretells our own future. Economic collapse is followed by Great Depressions. Desperate governments then take desperate measures like QE. Then we see currency wars and currency devaluations like we’re already seeing with the U.S., the EU, China and Japan. Trade wars will lead to real wars which we also see in our “Forever Wars” on terror. Currency collapse leads to economic collapse. The continuing decline and disappearance of the middle class will lead to two tier societies; the ultra-rich and the desperate poor.
– David Rosenberg of Gluskin Sheff prepared the slide below that suggests investments to make for the future as we transition from low interest rate policies to high interest rate policies.
He also prepared a slide below showing investment themes to avoid in a future stagflationary environment.
I’ve been closely tracking this downward trajectory for more than six years now. Depressions last about twenty years. This is no ordinary Depression. This is a very painful collapse and economic re-adjustment. Are you prepared?
Even within the class of the poor there will be gradients. Our standard of living will collapse, but some more than others depending on their individual situations.
Over the last several years of research I’ve uncovered steps you can take to minimize the pain. We cannot stop this slow-motion train wreck but, we can get out of its way.
– Accept and learn to understand this collapse. Denial is your enemy.
– Unplug from the matrix. Don’t just turn off your TV; throw it the hell away. That will encourage you to develop REAL sources of news instead of being led astray, or worse yet, led to the slaughter.
– Get out of debt as much as possible because in future your earnings will decrease but the prices of essentials will increase.
– Convert at least 10% of your assets to a mixture of gold & silver.
– Make a plan and try to cover as many reasonable contingencies as you can imagine. Don’t just think about it; record it, put it in writing and don’t just save it on your computer. Print it. What’ll you do when the electricity goes out?
– Form a team with family and friends to help with the planning. The greater part they play, the more ideas you’ll get and the less stress everyone will suffer when the inevitable happens.
– Don’t expect to convince stubborn people in denial.
– Loose lips sink ships. Keep your preparations a secret.
– Prepare yourself mentally for the unthinkable; you are going to lose some of your loved ones. Unbearable as that seems, you must include that in your planning.
– Work on your attitude. The most important attitude is NEVER GIVE UP.
– Prepare to be adaptable. Nothing ever goes according to plan but with a plan you can change it. Without a plan, you’re flying in the dark by the seat of your pants in panic mode under great stress and it’ll be too late to make a plan.
– The last half of Beware Your Dangerous Normalcy Bias covers these points and many more and in much more detail. The situation is not hopeless and you are not helpless. There is much you can do to get out of the way of this economic slow-motion train wreck. But, YOU have to DO IT. Neither the government nor anyone else will do it for you. And, the more you do, the more you practice, the easier it gets.
Are you prepared?
Remember the mantra:
We cannot borrow our way out of debt.
We cannot spend our way to prosperity.
We cannot pretend our way out of trouble.
June 2, 2013
Your comments are WELCOME!
If you like what you’ve read (or not) please “Rate This” below.
Lengthy comments may time-out before you’re finished so consider doing them in a Word doc first then copy and paste to “Leave a Reply” below.