"And I beheld, and heard the voice of one eagle flying through the midst of heaven,
saying with a loud voice: Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth....
[Apocalypse (Revelation) 8:13]

Monday, September 26, 2016

Beware of What You Wish For, as You’re About To Get It.

Beware of What You Wish For, as You’re About To Get It

Andy Hoffman 

The trading day just ended, on what may be the penultimate week of “normalcy” for generations to come.  Frankly, I have never been more scared, as the certainty of my views has never been more powerful.  Which are, that nothing – not Central banks, governments, nor any “supreme manipulative power” – will be able to stop the unstoppable tsunami of political, economic, and monetary reality that has already engulfed large swaths of the “emerging” world; and currently, is heading for the “developed” world full bore, like a runaway train down an icy mountain, loaded with nuclear explosives.

To that end, today’s topic is as “philosophical” as anything I’ve penned, which I believe is appropriate given the circumstances – as it’s one thing to speak of what will be, and another to experience it firsthand.  Which is exactly what I think everyone reading this blog is about to live through – as a new, terrifying “normality” replaces what we have known throughout the entire post-War era.
Economically, we are unquestionably – on a worldwide basis – living amidst the weakest conditions since the Great Depression.  Which sadly, is not only plunging steeply downhill, at a rapidly accelerating rate, but features the triple-barreled terminal dangers of historic oversupply; unprecedented, parabolically-rising debt; and relentlessly hyper-inflating currencies.  And oh yeah, 7.4 billion people fighting to survive in a world of rapidly declining employment opportunities; rising inflation; and non-existent savings.  Frankly, I’m exhausted with documenting the countless economic “horrible headlines” each day – like the Cass Freight Index plunging to nearly its 2009 financial crisis low – so I’m going to take a pass for a day.  Other than to say, that today’s reality-exposing crude oil plunge – based on news that my vehement prediction of NO DEAL at next Tuesday’s Algiers producer meeting will in fact be the case – may well be the straw that breaks the financial markets’ backs.
As when oil inevitably – and perhaps, imminently – crashes below $40/bbl; and potentially, $30/bbl; the wave of defaults will be at least as devastating as the 2008 subprime mortgage crisis.  As this time, not only corporations, but sovereign governments themselves will collapse – in the case of the already unstable Middle East, potentially catalyzing World War III.  Let alone, “other” modern-day lending catastrophes like “subprime” student and auto-loans, high-end real estate, and countless corporations that borrowed cheap Central bank “money” to buy back shares at historically overvalued prices.  And oh yeah, I’d be remiss if I neglected to note that the New York Fed, today, dramatically reduced it’s (soon-to-be-further-slashed) 4Q GDP “growth” estimate to…wait for it…1.2%!
Politically, the hell that is about to rain down on the world will be no less devastating than the worst instances of 20th century authoritarianism – and in some cases, 19th century and earlier.  Former “first world” nations will no longer enjoy such privilege, yielding massive declines in the standard of living – that frankly, could never be imagined a few years back, even at the bottom of the 2008 financial crisis; or, for that matter, the immediate aftermath of 9/11.  Japan will literally plunge from the first world to the third; “commodity currency” nations will experience hyperinflation; and Europe will become a neo-feudal hell – potentially, far sooner than most can imagine, given that Deutsche Bank of Germany and Bank Monte Paschi of Italy are literally on the verge of collapse.  Which, if one or both go, will be the equivalent of a nuclear financial explosion.
And yet, the U.S.’s decline will be the most spectacular.  Not because its standard of living will be the world’s lowest – as likely, it will remain amongst the highest.  However, the scope of its decline will be the largest, given that the U.S. standard of living – like its PPT-supported financial markets – is more “overvalued” than any other, relative to its true equilibrium level.  In other words, as the dollar’s “reserve status” dissipates, Americans will be forced to accept the reality that not only are they broke, but their “money” is worth far less than they thought.  And oh yeah, the world will no longer “subsidize” its undeserved largesse, so we will be forced to dramatically downsize our lives.  Which, given that the average American already has no savings, will result in a dramatic expansion of the Nanny State; and in turn, exploding authoritarianism, and equally virulent monetary inflation.
In other words, beware of what you wish for – as even if you have been wise enough to protect your financial well-being with Precious Metals, or any other asset deemed to have “safe haven” status,” the positives associates with financial salvation may well be offset, or even overwhelmed by, the negatives associated with a world of 7.4 billion people gone mad.  To wit, there is no precedent for a “debt jubilee” this massive – which frankly, makes the October 2nd expiration of the 2016 “jubilee year” that much more interesting, and terrifying.  Or, for that matter, a global fiat currency collapse, in which all 7.4 billion people will be negatively affected – politically, economically, and/or socially.  And I do mean all.
That said, my principal role in the alternative media – aside from my job as Marketing Director of one of America’s oldest, most trusted bullion dealers – is to warn you of the financial ramifications of what’s coming.  Which, after 27 years in the business world, I can only be confident in physical Precious Metals to provide.  Yes, I own a small amount of Bitcoin, as long-time readers know well – but given its limited track record, it is still just a speculation; as opposed to gold, silver, and to a lesser extent, platinum, which I know will protect me.  And trust me, now that even MSM propaganda rags like the Wall Street Journal and New York Times are actively lambasting Central banks – shortly, to be followed by CNBC – it’s only a matter of time before everyone realizes the system is not only rigged, but collapsing.  And thus, that physical Precious Metals provide the best chance of financial survival.
Before I go – to get some well-deserved rest, before what may well be a turning point in financial history – I figured I’d list, chronologically, the events most likely to catalyze the “Big One,” in the next two weeks alone.  Which sadly, represents a mere fraction of the potentially negative catalysts out there, many of which haven’t yet surfaced.
  1. September 24th – Obama’s decision to sign or veto JASTA, the Justice for Sponsors of Terrorism Act
  2. September 26th – First Trump/Clinton debate
  3. September 27th – Algiers Oil producer meeting
  4. September 30th – End of U.S. fiscal year – will there be a fiscal 2017 budget?
  5. October 1st – Chinese Yuan inclusion in SDR currency basket – will they announce increased gold reserves?
  6. October 2nd – End of the biblical “jubilee year”
  7. October 7th – September NFP Report
  8. October 8th – Deadline for Italian Parliament setting the date for this Fall’s Constitutional Reform Referendum
  9. ???? – Deutsche Bank, Monte Paschi, Greek “bailout” discussions
Reading this “list of terror,” you can see why I’m so scared of what coming – potentially, as imminently as it is inevitable.  And thus, why I more vehemently than ever, advise you to PROTECT YOURSELF, and DO IT NOW!

Current Economic Collapse News Brief

The Elite Are Ready To Create Chaos Across America 


What If We're In A Depression But Don't Know It?

Submitted by Charles Hugh-Smith via OfTwoMinds blog,
If it isn't a Depression, it's a very close relative of a Depression.
Just for the sake of argument, let's ask: what if we're in a Depression but don't know it? How could we possibly be in a Depression and not know it, you ask? Well, there are several ways we could be in a Depression and not know it:
1. The official statistics for "growth" (GDP), inflation, unemployment, and household income/ wealth have been engineered to mask the reality
2. The top 5% of households that dominate government, Corporate America, finance, the Deep State and the media have been doing extraordinarily well during the past eight years of stock market bubble (oops, I mean boom) and "recovery," and so they report that the economy is doing splendidly because they've done splendidly.
I have explained exactly how official metrics are engineered to reflect a rosy picture that is far from reality.:
What's the Real Unemployment Rate? That's the Wrong Question September 14, 2016
Fun with Fake Statistics: The 5% "Increase" in Median Household Income Is Pure Illusion September 19, 2016
Here's Why Wages Have Stagnated--and Will Continue to Stagnate August 15, 2016
Could Inflation Break the Back of the Status Quo? August 5, 2016
What Happens When Rampant Asset Inflation Ends? August 4, 2016
Revealing the Real Rate of Inflation Would Crash the System August 3, 2016
Inflation Hidden in Plain Sight
I also also asked a series of questions that sought experiential evidence rather than easily gamed statistics for the notion that this "recovery" is more like a recession or Depression than an actual expansion:
If Everything Is So Great, How Come I’m Not Doing So Great? September 12, 2016
Rather than accept official assurances that we're in the eighth year of a "recovery," let's look at a few charts and reach our own conclusion. Let's start with the civilian labor force participation rate--the percentage of the civilian work force that is employed (realizing that many of the jobs are low-paying gigs or part-time work).
Does the participation rate today look anything like the dot-com boom that actually raised almost everyone's boat at least a bit? Short answer: No., it doesn't. Today's labor force participation rate is a complete catastrophe that can only be described by one word: Depression.

Wages as a percentage of GDP has been in a 45-year freefall that can only be described as Depression for wage earners:

Notice what happened when the Federal Reserve started blowing serial asset bubbles in 2000: GDP went up but wages went down. Is this a recession or depression? It's your call, but if you're the recipient of the stagnating wages, it's depressing.

Meanwhile, the top 5% who own most of the assets that have been bubbling higher have been doing great. The Depression is only a phenomenon of the bottom 95%:

Look at the rocket ship of corporate profits. What happened around 2001 to send corporate profits on a rocket ride higher? The Fed happened, that's what:

Here's the Fed balance sheet: to the moon!

Free money for financiers and corporations fueled the stock market buyback boom:

Which fueled the stock market bubble:

Is the economy in a Depression? Not if you're a corporate bigwig skimming vast gains from corporate buybacks funded by the Fed's free money for financiers.
But if you're a wage earner who's seen your pay, hours and benefits cut while your healthcare costs have skyrocketed--well, if it isn't a Depression, it's a very close relative of a Depression.