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I don’t usually make specific forecasts, but if you look in the rear-view mirror long enough you get a pretty good sense of the direction we’re headed in 2014. I don’t have a crystal ball, but I do understand trajectory. The future will become a lot more interesting than anything you’ve ever seen. At times it will be frightening, but there will also be opportunities for those who are prepared.
By ‘prepared’ I mean doing the things I’ve recommended the past six years. Regular readers are familiar with the litany: reduce debt, get out of debt, stay out of debt, get out of the banking system, stockpile food and essentials, buy gold & silver (especially silver), etc. etc.
If you’re a debt-slave living paycheck to paycheck, you don’t have much time left to prepare. You also don’t have any more of my sympathy because anyone with a pulse since the 2008 economic melt-down should have woken up and smelled the coffee by now. You need liquid assets (cash) to be able to take advantage of forthcoming bargains and you can’t do that if you’re sinking deeper into debt.
The forecasts below are divided into short term (2014) and longer term (beyond 2014)
– Freedom will continue to erode as Big Brother governments enact more restrictions on liberty.
– One of those restrictions will be currency restrictions. Capital controls will become more prevalent making it more difficult to ‘internationalize’ your money out of the country. HSBC bank already initiated restrictions and then rescinded them (practice run?) in the face of consumer backlash. Even China whose banking system seems to be running dry enacted several days of so-called “system maintenance” at its central bank. That should open the eyes of those who think a corrupt communist oligarchy will save the world. And, again, I admonish you to get your money out of the banking system. What are you going to lose at zero percent savings rate?
– We’ll see further signs of the dwindling power of the once-mighty Amerikan empire. The elite wanted a war in Syria, but the people overwhelmingly said ‘no’.
– We’ll also see further signs of the dwindling power of the elite as the riots and protests we already see in Egypt, Thailand and the Ukraine spread to other countries.
– Bricks & mortar retailers like Best Buy, Target, Sears, Radio Shack and Barnes & Noble will continue closing less-profitable stores and reducing employees to cut costs. As Michael Snyder rhetorically asks, “How Will The Economy Improve In 2014 If Almost Everyone Has Less Money To Spend?”
– The failure of Obamacare will become more evident as more people including lefties realize they’ve been stung with the old bait-and-switch tactic.
– The failure of President Obama will become more evident in 2014. On Thursday, Jan. 30, like the old King Canute who was unable to stop the tide, Obama told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Thursday that 300 of the country’s largest corporations have signed onto a pie-in-the-sky White House plan to stop the tide of unemployment. Didn’t work for Canute. Won’t work for Obama, but it’s great publicity for an empty suit.
– More unrest – it’s not just the public failures and incompetence of Amerikan leadership in the Obamacare disaster, the government shut-down, the debt ceiling fiasco and the aborted attack on Syria, but world-wide we’ll see more unrest, riots, revolutions and civil wars as more governments are seen as incompetent and incapable of dealing with ‘the Greatest Depression’ in history.
– Gerald Celente is predicting that, “around March, or by the end of the second quarter of 2014, an economic shock wave will rattle the world equity markets.”
– The war against crypto-currencies like Bitcoin will continue as more people awaken to the rapacious nature of central banks and try to get out of failing fiat currency systems.
– Open-source technology like 3-D printing will expand into unbelievable areas including human body parts.
– 2014 will also see more open Chinese acquisitions of global assets like mines, land, factories and real estate for however long they can keep their banks afloat.
– More small proxy wars, but no major World Wars just yet (at least not in 2014), but much saber-rattling for the ass media to sensationalize when they aren’t distracted by Justin Beiber or Rob Ford (watch out for those Canadians!)
– Information warfare will continue. The internet will not be shut down (yet), but whistleblowers will become increasing criminalized as governments expand penalties and censorship.
– False flag shooting and bombing events orchestrated by an increasingly desperate elite will continue although they have been largely ineffective in herding people to the elite’s will. Last week, Before Its News published an anonymous letter outlining a ‘false flag’ plot to blow up the Superbowl. I considered it too over-the-top to take seriously. Then, this week, the FBI announced that, ‘“Homegrown” Terrorist Most Likely Threat to Super Bowl, Says FBI’. WTF? Since when does the FBI pre-announce a terrorist threat except for creating ‘plausible deniability’? Last November’s “Grid Down” training was an opportunity for a false flag event but the blogosphere was all over it so such an operation was out of the question. However, now there’s very little attention paid to this latest threat. Yes, it’s still over-the-top (so was 9/11), but I’m glad I’m not going to the game and, instead, I’ll be watching it on TV with friends. We are long overdue for another 9/11. I hope I’m wrong.
– Gold & Silver prices bottomed in 2013 and prices will end 2014 higher than they began the year. Someday, we’ll look back and wish we had bought more when it was so cheap.
– Peak Stock Markets – 2014 will see peaks in nominal equity prices. Nominal means ‘not adjusted’ for REAL inflation (if they were, they actually peaked in 2000) but from here on, stock markets are going down. It will become more evident that massive central bank manipulation of markets creates confusion, uncertainty, destabilization and an inevitable correction. You know they’re manipulated markets when technical analysis no longer works.
– Morals will continue to collapse in Amerika and the rot will spread world-wide. When shame disappears by posting ourselves nude on social media and one of the most popular recent TV programs, ‘Breaking Bad’ turns a morally degenerate High School chemistry teacher into a meth manufacturer and some kind of a neo-hero, then we are sliding down the slippery slope of moral depravity. 2014 will continue that slide into barbarism.
– Cops as thugs: Paul Craig Roberts talks about the days “there were no reports of police beating up teenage girls and women or body slamming the elderly. To comprehend the degeneration of the American police into psychopaths and sociopaths, go online and observe the video of Lee Oswald in police custody in 1963.”
“Oswald was believed to have assassinated President John F. Kennedy and murdered a Dallas police officer only a few hours previously to the film. Yet he had not been beaten, his nose wasn’t broken, and his lips were not a bloody mess. Now go online and pick from the vast number of police brutality videos from our present time and observe the swollen and bleeding faces of teenage girls accused of sassing overbearing police officers.”
– Emerging Market Meltdowns – as global economies circle ever closer to the drain and central banks (particularly the U.S. Fed) roil markets by tapering QE (a bit less government counterfeiting) all the ‘hot money’ (liquidity from previous QE) seeking yield in a low interest rate world that previously piled into Emerging Markets (3rd world economies) are now bailing out of these markets and seeking safety in the U.S. dollar. This volatility will increase in 2014 providing both opportunities and danger for sophisticated investors.
– Emerging Market interest rate increases – adding to the 3rd World pain, the governments of Turkey, India, Brazil and a string of emerging market countries are tightening monetary policy to halt capital flight thus raising the risk of a vicious circle as their debt problems increase with higher interest costs. This increases the risk of a ‘blowback’ effect on developed nations in 2014 where we’ll find we’re all in the same boat. John Rubino says, “just like subprime mortgages, the most leveraged and/or badly managed emerging markets have begun to implode, threatening to pull down everyone else.”
– Taper Taper – for the second month in a row, the delusional U.S. Fed that thinks printing counterfeit money solves problems has reduced its purchase of toxic paper from $85 billion a month to $75 B and now $65 B. However, it’s still bloating its bloated balance sheet although not quite as fast. Second, the Fed realizes QE no longer works as advertised. And last, but most important, the resulting turmoil in 2014 will be so great they will resume with a new shock-and-awe debt monetization plan albeit by a different name than ‘QE’ rather than admit the idiots haven’t a clue what they’re doing. As Bill Fleckenstein said, “Last year was a year of fantasy where people were willing to suspend disbelief. This year is going to be the year of reality. Reality, to me, means lower stock prices, weaker bond markets, higher metals prices, and more turmoil.”
– Disappearing Private Pensions – Don’t forget Poland’s so-called ‘pension overhaul’ (confiscation and conversion to government debt) in 2013 because 2014 will see more countries doing the same on the pretext that the governments know best what’s good for you. If you agree with that, you’re reading the wrong blog. According to Zero Hedge the U.S. is next. Or as one Zero Hedge reader commented (paraphrased), “If you like your retirement account, you can keep your retirement account. With the government.”
– Disappearing Public Pensions – as ‘Rolling Stone’s’ Matt Taibbi reports, “All across America, Wall Street is grabbing money meant for public workers.”
– Disappearing Middle Class – the increasing gulf between incomes of the disappearing middle class and the wealthy will become ever more evident in 2014.
– Disappearing Savings – savers will continue to be losers in 2014. Although treasuries/central banks are slowly losing the long end of the yield curve, the interest paid to savers will continue near zero, accumulated capital will continue being debased at an ever faster rate and investors will continue chasing yield in risky, destabilizing markets. Investments will continue to be casino gambling.
– More Government Insanity – or as Michael Pento says, “These zombie-like economies cannot grow in a healthy manner because they suffer from asset bubbles, high inflation, interest rate volatility, and currency instability, along with high levels of corruption, regulations and taxation. Therefore, the prescription offered by politicians is more government spending and further central bank intervention in money supply growth and interest rate manipulation.” Remember, insanity is doing the same thing over and over and hoping for a different result.
– More Currency Devaluation – in another example of government insanity, governments world-wide will continue devaluing their currencies against one another in a desperate ‘race to the bottom’ in which no one wins. This suicidal lowering of currency’s purchasing power destroys middle classes (consumers), discourages foreign investments and productivity gains, destabilizes economies and increases debt and inflation. We never learn.
– War, War & More War – as much as I dislike believing in another major war, Martin Armstrong’s chart below is eye-opening. The cycles of war happen about every 25 years. The last major conflict was between Russian and China in September 1989, so 25 years later make it 2014 and time for the next one.
Long Term Forecast – Beyond 2014
– Regional governments of the Middle East, created by the Anglo-Americans out of the carcass of the Ottoman Empire after the First World War, will continue to dissolve and re-arrange themselves along ethnic/linguistic lines to reflect the culture of its citizens as the declining power of the West fails to prevent these re-alignments. In short: more turmoil.
– Corporate CEO’s are hard to find and the search will get harder. “39% of Canada’s mining executives will retire within 5 years” says the Mining Recruitment Group. On the other hand, that’s an opportunity for up-and-coming Exec’s.
– The Deviant Investor says, “governments around the world will scramble to locate and nationalize assets in order to maintain their power for a while longer. Capital controls and financial repression via artificially lowered interest rates are already in place. Pension plans, savings accounts, and IRA and 401(k) plans seem vulnerable to partial confiscation, bail-ins, or mandatory investment in government bonds. Such confiscations and bail-ins have already occurred in other parts of the world and could easily happen in the United States.” On the other hand Martin Armstrong predicts that 401k’s will be safe for 2014, but “it does not appear that this seizure will emerge until 2016 or 2017.”
– Tapering the endless counterfeiting will slow the money printing as well as slowing global economies which, despite central bank delusions about a recovery, are still in depression so gold prices will rise well above $2,000 and into the stratosphere.
– Global Warming Hoax – the number of people who disbelieve the global warming / climate change hoax will continue to increase as more people realize it’s just a money grab by greedy banksters and a tax grab by desperate governments unable to rein in their runaway spending.
– Peak Shale – shale oil and gas, while a short term blessing, only delays the inevitable energy crunch. The depletion of shale reserves is measured in a handful of years and some of the first wells are already dry. Meanwhile, we’ve put off the day of reckoning by loading up on large, heavy vehicles which the manufacturers are only too happy to build for us as there’s more profit in large than small vehicles. So much ‘big iron’ on the road will run into a wall of reality with lower energy supplies and higher prices. We never learn.
– Persistent Unemployment – despite the government’s bullshit employment statistics,
Viable Opposition says that persistent unemployment is the new norm and that, “the Fed has backed itself into a policy corner and the federal government has backed itself into a debt corner, it seems more likely than ever that the American job market is experiencing a new reality of chronically high background unemployment.”
– Rise of the Robots – yes, some manufacturing is returning from Asia but the bad news is it will be done by robots. In future, expect that more jobs will be automated especially driving of trucks, buses and cabs. The technology already exists and it will be safer and cheaper than human drivers. This will add to persistent levels of unemployment.
– The Fourth Turning – in Old Thinker News, Daniel Taylor sums up Strauss & Howe’s message, “All of the indicators are in front of us. The new generation has forgotten the lessons of the past. An entrenched elite is refusing to back down. The global economy is teetering on the brink of collapse. The human capacity for intuiting danger is raising red flags across the board. Resistance is growing. The cycle is repeating.” In other words, rinse; repeat, because we never learn so here we go again.
It’ll be interesting to review these forecasts at the end of the year. I hope I’m wrong in all of them.
Thursday, January 30, 2014
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