Reading time: 5,245 words, 15 pages, 12 to 20 minutes.
Eight years ago, I wrote, “Every day more holes in the financial system are uncovered causing more panic in the financial world. Expect to hear many soothing words from politicians and the media. They will try to downplay the problem to avoid panic. However, the longer it takes, the harder it will crash and the more pieces we’ll have to pick up. We will be watching this slow-motion train wreck for many years.”
A year later, global financial systems blew up. Central banks created unprecedented amounts of money out of thin air, but this only provided liquidity and didn’t fix global insolvency (‘We’re broke; keep the cash coming’.)
Now, this ‘slow-motion train wreck’ is accelerating. Summers are usually a quiet time with many people at the cottage or beach, but tremendous turmoil is underway as economies and financial systems slowly grind down.
a) Greece – this serial defaulter has been much in the news lately. See below for more details how the ass media is keeping us distracted from more important issues. Greece is not one of them.
b) Cyber-warfare with the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), United Airlines and the Wall Street Journal all going dark on the same day. Yes, we’re told they were all computer glitches, but only a fool would believe so many major outages on the same day are coincidence. We’re enduring trade wars, currency wars and now undeclared cyber-warfare.
c) China & Shanghai stock markets are crashing. This is the second largest drop in their history. It is the ‘hard landing’ I forecast for this command economy run by bureaucrats who cooked their statistics for years. The contagion has already spread to European stocks as you can see in the chart below.
d) Commodity prices are collapsing. More details below.
f) Brazil’s credit-rating downgrade threat is a danger sign.
g) ‘Jade Helm’ 15 began July 15 with major military drills in various U.S. states that the ass media deliberately under-report as only 1,200 participating. In fact, that’s unlikely to be the number for even one state and, given the vast number of logistical sitings around the U.S. and Canada, the actual number of military personnel will be in the tens of thousands.
h) NORAD has moved back into EMP-hardened Cheyenne Mountain.
i) The United Nations is going to launch “The 2030 Agenda” at a major conference September 25th to 27th kicked off by none other than the Pope outlining a template for governing the entire planet. While Agenda 21 addressed the environment, 2030 Agenda according to Michael Snyder “sets ambitious goals for areas such as economics, health, energy, education, agriculture, gender equality and a whole host of other issues.” I don’t know about you, but this centralized-planning scares the crap out of me.
j) Amerikan election theatrics have ramped up with the Republican nominations, mud slung from both sides and ‘the Donald’ providing some welcome humor. I’m reminded that a Political Science professor, when asked how he votes replied, “I never vote; it only encourages the bastards.” Someone else said that if voting made a difference, it would be illegal.
k) Although the Baltic Dry Index of ocean freight rates has improved somewhat, container freight rates from Asia to Europe crashed 23% in one week. This leading indicator signals a major economic downturn in Europe. How’s those Russian sanctions working for you?
l) It’s no surprise that Standard & Poor’s downgraded the Eurozone’s creditworthiness.
m) The Daily Impact writes, “So back to the global caldera: Now that China’s bubble-ized stock market is in mid-crash,, Europe is suffering a sudden unscheduled disassembly, America’s oil-fracking miracle is imploding, Greece, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Egypt and others are on the brink of default — now that mainstream, sober Bloomberg Business is running a headline that says, “Good Luck Finding a Place to Hide as Global Markets Crumble” …”
Europe is a harbinger of the future for the West.
Expect both economic and political totalitarianism to overtake Europe first and then spread to the rest of the Western world. At the same time, the Elites are losing control so they will become more desperate, reactionary and murderous. Democracy as we know it is doomed. Anyone standing out will become a ‘whack-a-mole’.
Whistleblowers will be labelled terrorists and either jailed or exterminated. Someday this blog will go dark so don’t assume that hundreds of these articles will be accessible forever. Consider downloading what you find useful such as Survival & Emergency Preparedness and Nuclear Disaster Japan containing many tips for surviving radioactive contamination.
The War on Cash
Have cash on hand, not in the bank or a safety deposit box. Cash in a bank or credit union account will be subject to bail-in (legalized theft). Safety deposit boxes will become inaccessible. I keep only enough in a credit union to pay bills. We’ve already seen bank closures (“bank holidays”) in Cyprus and Greece. This was followed by ATM’s limited to a small daily withdrawal and long line-ups.
Governments want to eliminate cash because they cannot control what you have in your wallet or under the mattress. By making it digital, they can control withdrawals, what you spend it on and they can eliminate bank runs. The state of Louisiana has already banned cash at flea markets and yard sales and Denmark is the first country to propose banning cash. This is why the smart money is getting out of cash by buying rare art, numismatic coins, stamps, precious metals, antiques, rare cars, real estate, etc.
Capital controls will be imposed to restrict, then prevent the movement of money out of countries. Anyone with wealth, especially Amerikans in their surveillance state, would be wise to ‘internationalize’ some of it if you haven’t already.
Try to have at least enough cash on hand to cover one month’s worth of expenses. Three month’s would be even better, but I’m not holding any more than that because cash will have a limited shelf life in the event of an economic collapse before becoming entirely useless and then only gold and silver will have value. In a utter collapse, only food, water and survival skills will have value. Not every country or region will go through all these stages. Some will fare better than others.
Gold & Silver
Gold & silver are on sale. How much cheaper they’ll get is difficult to predict. The Chinese stock market bubble is bursting and they are selling precious metal to cover margin calls. This won’t last. However, increasing capital flows from emerging markets to the apparent safety of the U.S. dollar (the least ugly horse in the glue factory) is causing the U.S. dollar to rise while simultaneously causing other currencies and precious metals like gold and silver to fall. This hurts the U.S. economy
with reduced export revenue.
It’s difficult to say how low in price gold and silver will fall in price until we reach the ‘puke factor’. Fed Chairperson Yellen is again promising to raise interest rates which is bad news for precious metals. We’ve heard this promise more than six years now. They cannot willingly raise interest rates without increasing government debt levels and hastening the collapse of economies, but that doesn’t stop them from continually trotting out this bogey-man or the incompetent ass media from mindlessly regurgitating it.
When buying precious metals, expect to pay a hefty premium because the so-called spot price is determined by ‘paper’ Exchange Traded Funds (ETF’s) which do not have the physical backing to meet redemptions. This make ETF’s (along with much else in the financial world) as phoney as a three dollar bill. They’re a casino for speculators so you’ll never redeem them as physical gold.
Remember too, that gold is for the wealthy. Silver is for the rest of us. It’s unlikely you’ll go shopping for groceries with a one ounce gold coin (how do you make change from that?) but you will be able to with a one ounce silver coin once paper currency is no longer accepted. Stick with coins (bullion is for the wealthy) such as the American Eagles or the Canadian Maple Leafs rather than private mints as they are more acceptable.
As I’ve said before, ignore the ‘gold bugs’ and their “going to the moon” mantra about skyrocketing prices. Gold and silver are not investments. They’re money and insurance against the ravages of currency devaluation, government stupidity and capital controls.
I’ve been saying this for years and we’re fast running out of time. First, pay down your debts. Then stockpile food, water, weapons, essentials and cash. Only then, buy gold and silver. Don’t put all your money into precious metals. Consider between 5% and 25% depending on your aversion to risk. In a worst case scenario, you may only be able to use them in a black (underground) market. In a total collapse scenario, food, water and survival skills will be more valuable than gold because you can’t eat gold.
Taxes, Taxes and More Taxes
Taxes will increase to ever more painful levels just as currency debasement and tax increases hastened the downfall of the Roman Empire. In fact, taxation became so onerous that Rome enacted laws against citizens renouncing their citizenship and selling themselves into slavery. How desperate is it that slavery becomes more enticing than so-called freedom if freedom condemns you to tax slavery?
The consequences of our slowly failing fiat currency systems (money printed out of thin air) are similar to Rome’s coinage debasement. Rome kept increasing the base metal content and reducing gold and silver content in coins until “bad money chased out good money”. People would spend their debased coins and save their good ones. Many Romans buried the good ones in jars in their garden waiting for good times to return. They never returned. Today, the Roman coins we uncover are usually high in gold and silver content while the existing debased ones are worn out from constant circulation.
Martin Armstrong said it well “Governments everywhere are in trouble thanks to decades of corruption and socialism. Taxes have only risen, never declined, and laws are enacted so if you do not pay, they just come and seize your property for taxes. In reality, you do not own your home, rather you occupy it for as long as you can afford the taxes. [Modern] Rome is going the way of Detroit – corruption and declining tax revenues in the face of oppressive austerity.”
Greece and the Eurozone
The ‘end of the Eurozone’ has been predicted since the Maastricht Treaty was signed in 1992. It hasn’t happened yet. It may not happen for a long time yet. However, the Eurozone will continue to painfully tear itself apart for a long time. The Southern periphery countries will struggle with enormous debt and pointless austerity that serves only the bankster overlords.
Greece has been all over the news. It’s ‘saved’, then it’s not. They’ve reached an agreement, then it falls apart. This will drag on for a while yet as the ass media use Greek theatrics to divert our attention from our own crumbling economies.
Greece is a serial defaulter. Their free-loading government borrows to pay for unaffordable social programs and early retirement pensions, then defaults on the debt and borrows more.
Some people, like Gerald Celente in the video below, are outraged that the Greek government went against the Greek peoples’ vote against austerity. The “end of democracy!”
Excuse me? The only reason it was put to a vote was their idiot Prime Minister Tsipras assumed they’d vote FOR austerity. Oops! Besides, debt slaves are in no position to dictate to their creditors. If this is the end of democracy, the Greeks ended it themselves by willingly accepting debt slavery. Let this be a lesson to all of us.
Few Greeks pay taxes and the government turns a blind eye. Tax evasion is a national sport in Greece, yet some Greeks are rushing to pay taxes before they’re due to avoid losing their cash from expanded capital controls and bank ‘bail-ins’. Zero Hedge reports, “When Greeks start clamoring to pre-pay their taxes, you know the end is near.”
The Germans are tired of supporting the moochers. The European Union (EU) has no mechanism for ‘firing’ a country, but they’d love to see a voluntary Greek exit (‘Grexit’) so they’re imposing unconscionable terms on the Greeks hoping they take the hint and leave.
However, a Grexit might spark other exits such as Italy, Portugal, Spain and eventually France; all of which have enormous and unsustainable debts. This would doom the EU. They want an end to the ‘Greek problem’, but they don’t want the contagion to create a domino effect where everyone questions everyone else’s credit and starts another major financial crisis.
They also don’t want citizens to realize the EU was created by the politicians entirely for the politicians’ benefit and was never intended to serve the citizenry. They don’t want people to see that any ‘emergency’ funding or bridge-loan to Greece will simply repay the IMF, the European Central Bank, other creditors and bond-holders. Greeks will never see a penny of it, but their penury increases with every loan.
Greek banks have opened after being shuttered for weeks but only for deposits and account transfers but no withdrawals except a tiny amount from ATM’s. Beware: that giant sucking sound will soon come to a country near you. Get your money out of the system and under your mattress or someplace safe while you can because they’ll throw all of us under the bus before the bankster overlords take any losses.
John Rubino of Dollar Collapse believes the Greek crisis was engineered to force full-scale European integration. I’ll leave that to future historians to debate. One thing is certain: as day-to-day life becomes grimmer, we will see more radical political parties emerge and gain power much like the Nazis in Germany and the Fascists in Italy prior to World War Two. Remember, history doesn’t repeat but it does rhyme, especially now as we enter another Fourth Turning, each one of which gets worse than the preceding.
J. H. Kunstler wrote, “When the utopian project of the European Union fails, as seems likely now due to the sovereign debt fiasco, I suspect that we will see a renewed effort to defend national cultures — French, German, and all the rest — in a manner that has a great potential for turning ugly. Financial failure means the death of the current banking system and the disappearance of massive notional wealth, and if that isn’t a recipe for extreme nationalism (plus xenophobia) than we are truly blind to the lessons of history … I think we will live to see an era of mass expulsions, fair or not.” In other words, it’s going to get real ugly and America with its own massive illegal immigration problem will not be immune to this pain.
The central planners’ hubris is more evident every day. We saw them fail in the USSR. We see them failing in Japan, now in its third decade of economic depression. They’re failing in Europe and in the U.S. and most significantly, they’re failing in China. Even Canada, long seen as a bastion of stability, is now in its second quarter of recession with more pain to come. Welcome to the new world-wide depression.
Canada’s Next Recession
Canada’s recession in 2009 was short and relatively painless because Canada, as a resource nation, benefitted from growing China’s insatiable appetite for raw materials. China’s demand and the high price of commodities buffered Canada’s 2009 recessionary winds.
That has all changed. The slowdown of China’s economy has greatly reduced demand and commodity prices have crashed. Billion dollar oil projects are cancelled. Lay-offs in the oil patch have started and will spread. A radical re-focus Home Capital Group, Canada’s largest non-bank mortgage lender (think “alternative” mortgages) indicates Canadians are maxed out on debt. The Bank of Canada has already reduced interest rates twice this year and is running out of ammunition at the zero bound.
On last week’s Chinese stock market crash, Macleans, August 10, 2015 writes, “More unnerving: The slide came despite heavy-handed efforts by Beijing to staunch the bleeding, suggesting the all-important Chinese economy may be in worse shape than we’ve been lead to believe. If that’s the case, Canada could be in for a lot more pain, as global commodities prices continue to swoon, taking our resource-focused economy down with them.”
Extreme weather doesn’t help an already ailing economy. A vast bloom of toxic algae off the West Coast has reached epic proportions threatening what little remains of the fishing industry. Drought in both Canadian and the U.S. West has spawned hundreds of forest fires and is driving the price of feed hay to exorbitant levels and literally driving cattle to slaughter and ranchers out of business.
**Alert** expect beef prices to skyrocket before next spring.
Hey, in case you blinked and missed it; that was the good news. Buy beef now before prices go up. Systems, however, will continue to grind down.
Command Economies Don’t Work
Winston Churchill is often claimed to have said “democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others that have been tried.” The same can be said for capitalism; it’s the worst form of economics except for all the others. In other words, despite capitalism’s faults, other economic systems are far worse. Theoretically, the others sound wonderful, but their unintended consequences are horrible.
I cringe whenever I hear someone say that capitalism has failed. I reply. “What capitalism?” We haven’t had any semblance of free market capitalism since most of us were alive. We have crony-capitalism (oligarchic favoritism and state interventionism) and we have most global economies operating as command economies where inept government bureaucrats rather than free markets decide what to produce and at what price.
If you think government bureaucrats can run economies, keep watching as all the global economies collapse one after the other just like the Soviet Union did. The Eurozone is a case in point that proves unelected bureaucrats couldn’t run a lemonade stand.
Another example of the bureaucratic idiocy of command economies is New York panel recommends $15 minimum wage for fast-food workers. Raising the minimum wage sounds wonderful except for the unintended consequences.
No one was ever intended to support themselves on only one part-time, fast-food, burger-flipping job. So what happens when you raise the minimum wage by a large amount?
a) more mechanization is introduced. There’s already one machine that can make 160 burgers an hour. And, France has already introduced touch-screen ordering.
b) more mechanization means fewer workers.
c) fewer workers means more unemployment.
d) three cheers for command economy bureaucrats!
Quantitative easing and zero per cent interest rates (ZIRP) for an unprecedented eight years have failed to restore what we once called prosperity. It’s not capitalism that has failed; it is the command economics of neo-Keynesian pseudoscience that has failed.
Typical government ineptitude; solving one problem creates more problems requiring more government intervention thus creating ever more problems. The real solution, of course, is to leave the free market alone to set wages. If wages are too low, they can’t hire anyone so they’ll have to raise wages. Too high and they can’t compete with competitors so they’ll have to reduce wages or staffing levels. The free market finds its own equilibrium. Governments screw it up.
In 2009, Congress pressured the FASB to allow financial institutions to value their assets at ‘book value’ (what they paid for them) rather than ‘market value’ (what they could sell them for). This ‘pretend disease’ has spread widely. James Grant writes that, “A team led by Ben Whipple at the University of Georgia sifted through 130,000 earnings announcements US companies filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission in the 10 years till 2013. They found a persistent rise in unorthodox reporting. In 2003, 22 per cent of the filings featured “pro forma”, non-GAAP measures of financial performance. By 2013, 49 per cent did.”
And, governments have grown so large, so intrusive and so coercive they’ll continue screwing up and screwing us rather than let their bankster buddies suffer the consequences of their stupidity. They’ll tax us to death and plunge us into a Greater Depression that’ll make the last Great Depression look like a walk in the park.
Collectivists & Oligarchs = Parasites
A couple of comments below from a Black Listed News article titled US Middle Class Stays Dead: Homeownership Drops To 48 Year Low; Median Asking Rent Soars To All Time High demonstrate the debilitating ‘Collectivist’ mentality that already infests us and will only increase after the shit-hits-the-fan. These idiots don’t understand that government is the problem, not the solution.
Ed Smith •
Sociologically, the greedy profiteering from rentals will not end well. Either the rents will come under government-legislated rent controls or the landlords will be effectively replaced by government officers. Housing prices must become more affordable, meaning their values (and prices) must fall or currency inflation must rise to meet the lowered value at the same dollar price. We’re in for some interesting times, folks!
The USSA requires more Habitat like companies that bring aspiring home owners together, not to pay the outrageous prices that the master race has imposed on them, but to build houses for themselves at near actual cost of construction.
Nearly all construction workers are now undocumented aliens who would be glad for short-term contracts.
Home ownership always was about conserving wealth for other needs than that of lodging. Of all the morally-sick blood-suckers preying on real humanity, “rentiers” figure amongst the most vile.
As more collectivism permeates our society with command economies, increased regulations and more intrusive laws, the longer it will take to rebuild after the economic collapse. Producers, being vastly outnumbered by takers (zombies) will simply withhold their efforts when it no longer makes sense for them to support the zombies and have nothing left for their efforts. In such warped times, dictators promising the moon will destroy what little is left of our freedoms. And, in the end, they take us to war to cover their sins. We never learn.
And, it’s not just the zombies at the bottom, but the oligarchs (the 0.01 %) at the top who are the parasites destroying our economic body and turning a financial crisis into a full-blown depression aided and abetted by the stupidity of governments, politicians and their ass media lackeys.
From the Guardian article titled Wealth doesn’t trickle down – it just floods offshore, research reveals. “The world’s super-rich have taken advantage of lax tax rules to siphon off at least $21 trillion, and possibly as much as $32tn, from their home countries and hide it abroad – a sum larger than the entire American economy.”
Michael Krieger writes, “Whenever you hear politicians talk about taxing the wealthy they mean the suckers in the top 10% who are not politically-connected oligarchs. The super rich will never be touched by such legislation. They will always have loopholes available to them. This is why the statement “we need higher taxes on the rich” is basically a bullshit political talking point.”
Some recovery this is! That’s because it’s not a recovery. It’s the continuation of an economic depression that began roughly in the year 2000. This one chart below shows the decline in home ownership in the U.S., belies the Amerikan supposedly strong and recovering economy.
Unprecedented low interest rates for an unprecedented length of time and creating enormous quantities of money out of thin air merely kicked the can down the road. Reforms were never made, banks are larger and debts have increased. We’re seeing the consequences of excessive liquidity (‘printing money out of nothing’) turning ordinary levels of capital flows into tsunamis thus creating the next in an endless series of bubbles, this current one being an over-supply of oil.
Commodity prices rose largely due to China’s expansion and, now that China’s chickens have come home to roost, commodity prices are tanking along with commodity-companies’ fortunes. The rout probably isn’t over yet. A few headlines below:
In the meantime, we get ass media propaganda bullshit below based on lies, accounting gimmickry and stock buy-backs.
“Dollar up as US economy improves”
However, neither the stock market bubble nor fraudulent corporate earnings are an indication of an economy’s health or improvement. They serve to line the pockets of the super-rich 0.01% since few ordinary people still own stocks and, as most brokers will tell you, the ‘retail trade’ is dead.
The effect of the commodity rout will soon be seen in the stock markets.
In the chart above, stocks (in red) have tended to follow commodities (in blue) for at least the past 25 years.
Interest Rate Hike?
Central banks, particularly the U.S. Fed have been talking about interest-rate hikes for six years now. Their zero interest-rates have created serial bubbles. The housing bubble burst in the U.S. and stock markets are the latest bubble. Raising rates significantly would collapse economies so they’re caught between a rock and a hard place.
They think they need to symbolically raise rates a tiny amount in order to lower them again to stave off the next downturn. They’re insane if they think symbolism will accomplish anything. Rates can’t be raised high enough to make a lowering effective. That demonstrates how far they’re out on a limb.
Let’s mix one more metaphor (to rocks and limbs) and that’s a balancing act. The Fed latest of six year hints is a possible rate rise in September, yet every time they do more than hint, the stock markets have a heart attack. So, they need to raise rates a tiny bit for a brief period while not rocking the boat and hopefully this symbolic ‘easing’ will fool everyone and accomplish something. If you think command-economy bureaucrats can successfully do this, I have a bridge I can sell you. Cheap!
Watch Out for September & October!
Note, too that this magic act is supposedly happening in September when so much else is culminating: including the Pope’s U.S. visit and Martin Armstrong’s forecast of the “Big Bang” major sovereign debt default on September 30/October 1st. Jim Sinclair is still predicting the ‘Great Levelling’ in 2016 and the ‘Great Reset’ in 2020. In other words, the world will painfully shake itself apart for the next five years.
As well, Armstrong writes about “France imposing restrictions on cash in September, and even in Germany the laws that protected about half a million people so-called dachas there in East Germany expire. To date, a law protecting the tenant against dismissal by the municipality will also expire October 3, 2015. Everywhere we look, there are changes coming to a head, right down to the U.S. Federal budget with 2015.75.”
Many doom-pornsters are forecasting gloom this fall. Richard Russell warns that stock markets will give a ‘head fake’ with temporary higher prices that will attract the dumb money, then “This brief breather will be followed by an historic bear market that will tear apart the current economic system.”
Bill Fleckenstein warns that “I don’t think there’s going to be any painless back door.”
Larry Edelson warns that,
“a financial catastrophe is beginning now and will reach critical mass this fall … On October 7, 2015, the first economic supercycle since 1929 will trigger a global financial crisis of epic proportions. It will bring Europe, Japan and the United States to their knees, sending nearly one billion human beings on a roller-coaster ride through hell for the next five years. A ride like no generation has ever seen.”
John Hussman warns that, “We simply have not observed the market conditions we observe today except in a handful of instances in market history, and they have typically ended quite badly.”
Doug Casey warns that all the insane money printing will lead to a “catastrophe of historic proportions.”
Egon von Greyerz starkly warns that “we will see twin $200 trillion debt and $1.5 quadrillion derivatives implosions. That will lead to the most historic wealth destruction ever in global stock, with bond and property markets declining at least 75 – 95 percent. World trade will also contract dramatically and we will see massive hardship across the globe.”
In his article They will say “YOU WERE WARNED”! Bill Holter lists more than a dozen warnings of impending doom from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Bank of International Settlements (BIS).
Natural foods reports an increase in preppers’ stockpiling in, Food storage supplies running out nationwide as citizens prepare for September events. I sense that people feel that something big will happen soon.
Those of you with a conspiratorial bent can consider the admittedly rare fourth in a series of blood moons (lunar eclipses) with six full moons in between happening on September 28 and the seventh of seven-year Shemittah cycles. Personally, I’m immune to conspiracies, as is Martin Armstrong although I do appreciate the power of self-fulfilling prophecies where, if enough people believe something, it increases the odds of it happening.
The video below briefly covers 27 things that will happen in September / October 2015.
This seems like an unusually large number of planned events in so short a time. Can’t wait to see the unplanned ones with the flutter of black swans’ wings this fall.
What to Do?
If you haven’t already started to prepare, you’re running out of time. The bare minimum you should have is
– Food & water
– Gold & silver
– 3 months cash
– Good friends & trustworthy neighbors
– Positive attitude
We’ll be watching this slow-motion train-wreck for a long time while the TeeVee keeps telling us everything is grand.
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.
August 9, 2015