The Jeremiad

Back in 1990 my wife and I took a three month trip to Mexico to help decide if we were really called to be missionaries, or merely had a burden to help people. The difference is critical. But while there, I recognized that Spanish speaking people had problems pronouncing my name Jerome. They don’t use the “J” sound in Spanish and the letter “E” is pronounced as a long “A” is in English, and there are no silent letters. So my friend there, a native, suggested I use a Spanish version of Jerome. He suggested Jeremiah or Geronimo (Spanish for Jerome, Goyaałé in Apache).  Jeremiah was the prophet that dared to warn Jerusalem about a coming disaster. Well, I chose Jeremiah because it was biblical, and for several months was known as Jeremiah—or “Jeremias” in Español. We were not called to be missionaries, and ultimately satisfied our burden with annual trips delivering medical care to impoverished indigenous people in the Sierra Nevada mountains—ironically the same range where Geronimo found refuge.

But the other day I found myself saddled with the Jeremiah complex. This time it is not simply making my name easier to say. I have been posting short warnings on Facebook (a site which most of my family reads vigorously) about the economic situation. I started the day the “satan signal” appeared. I just thought that was very interesting and people might be curious and open to hear about FED manipulation and the PPT. Each time I begin preaching, I have certain relatives to tell me to stop being a gloom ‘n doomer. (I shouldn’t have had that beer before I sat down to write my last Facebook post). My mother says it makes her sad when I get negative. Other friends do not comment at all, but hit that “like” button each time I mention the weather, tell some outdoors hiking or camping story, or talk about something from my academic research. They like the professor, but not the economic forecaster.

Each time mom mentions my “negativity” about the future, she also reminds me of how well a family friend “Bruce” has done in investing and quotes something profound he says. This week it was this gem: “Stock market volatility is normal.”  I like Bruce and he has done very well, but he profited on land speculation in Phoenix in during the boom years, then invested in large apartment complexes. He has done quite well. So that makes him an expert in all things financial, including stock markets. Well at least that is how mom tells it.

I think Jeremiah previously learned the lesson of Jonah. It’s even worse to NOT go tell the truth to someone. But he still found trouble for telling the truth—thrown into a cistern by the king. So I have to keep telling the truth, somehow, in a way that doesn’t come off as doomin ‘n gloomin. I’d like to stay out of the family cistern.

Jeremiah’s life and message has morphed into a speech genre known as the Jeremiad.

"I tell you the truth in Christ, and I lie not. Unless you repent, you will all be damned."   --George Whitefield  1740

Its basic structure is to point out wrongdoing, declare it as an affront to justice, and warn of the disastrous consequences if we do not change. This genre of discourse is firmly fixed in the human psyche. Politician use it. Gold bugs use it. Many classic fairy tales and other cultural myths use this structure. Ayn Rand’s fine book was intended for this purpose. I count her as a modern Jeremiah. My mother even preached me her own Jeremiad, warning me that If I continue being negative, I’ll be unhappy and develop health problems.

The solution I see is to reverse the Jeremiad; instead of sin and punishment, speak of mercy and duty. We should thank the Almighty for his mercies—that we have time and insight into the economic problems, that we have a “gift” of low metal prices, lower real estate prices, falling costs on many items as well as cheaper labor to help build and outfit a safe location for future life. We should thank God and then recognize our duty to take action. This site has been a fabulous resource for discussing plans, hearing from people who are raising goats, chickens gardens, even quail, people building greenhouses, solar systems, generators, and other self-sufficiency devices. The forums are here, the expertise is here, a private messaging system is here (all free, I might add). And the regulars on this site are willing to share knowledge, links, and experiences.  

You’re right mom, I shouldn’t be so negative, I should get more active. I should take the name of Geronimo and help my clan and friends to resist the evil invaders of our land and keep our way of life, rather than be defeated and relocated to FEMA camps to the reservations where we would depend on the government for our livelihood. Alas, that even in Geronimo’s day, many Apaches chose to support the US government against their own people, and many others sheepishly relocated to miserable reservations at the first request. Not enough followed that inspired leader.

But in this century, the future is not so grim. it is a small minority attempting to control overwhelming majority of the middle class. They must employ propaganda and lies to succeed. The impoverishment of America is also part of the plan—because those living on government largess will resist being weaned from their mama. So we still have a chance to win. Our pb stacking rights will impede government oppression;  our right to free speech can keep us encouraged and linked together, perhaps even counter the propaganda barrage—if we can hold onto these rights.

Man of action or talk. Geronimo* was a man of action, Jeremiah a preacher who told the truth. As a professor, I talk too much AND DO TOO LITTLE. I could use more balance in my life. My prepping has been slow and tedious as I am pulled aside to do my job at the university. I have to get my home to a state of self-sufficiency more quickly during this gift of time. We are a year behind schedule now, and I again thank God for the gift of time. But I have to get my hiney in gear, stop spending so much time on Facebook and other blogs (that probably means this one too) and get to work. 

As for facebook, I’ll quit writing scary economic warnings there as I have my Friday afternoon beer, and instead write stuff that offers a vision of hope, for those who have ears, and simply invite people to contact me privately if they have economic concerns. If I can be inspired by my namesake, then my actions could make a difference.

I stopped by a website of our old friend yesterday after hearing that he was railing against anyone who suggests that gold is worth owning. Gee, I felt like the guy on Monty Python that wandered into “Abuse” when he just went there for a good argument. Apparently, if you think owning metal is a good idea, and say so, you are a charlatan now, even though many there are gold owners. When I clicked back over to this site, I had to chuckle at Marchas’ dart board. (Edit: The other readers posting in the comments section were polite and fair with me.)

I have been shocked at the pounding the miners are taking. I keep cost averaging in with my retirement account, but this recent beatdown has taken JNUG to half its value of the last time gold touched 1180

I better stop writing and get outside to finish digging and installing the drainage line to collect rain water at the back of the house on this gift of fine, warm, sunny, morning weather.

Well, that’s my view as this morning. Chin up. Do something today that helps you sleep at night.

*    Goyaałé   (Geronimo is what the Mexicans called him) was a “war shaman” who led a small band of his people in resistance against the US and Mexican government, trying to preserve their freedom and life along the Arizona- Mexico border. They were never defeated, but finally negotiated an honorable surrender. The US broke their promise and shipped Goyaałé   and his warriors as prisoners to Florida.


squib's picture

always love your posts

Doc, thank you!!!

ata's picture


(Squib was first) back to the drawing board!Goyaale.jpg

ata's picture


Nice looking leg for a guy who walks through cactus most days.

lnardozi's picture

Something bad COULD happen

But it won't, because I have this plan. Also, I have a plan B, in case plan A fails. And I have plan C, which gives me time to come up with plan D, just in case plan B fails.

Yes, I live on half of what I make, just in case. I don't feel the loss of the fancy new car because I drive a disposable. If it costs more than X to fix it, I just get another disposable. No, I don't think it's weird at all. My wife, my kids they live the same way - we don't have a lot, but we don't need a lot. If I have to leave for a year to find work, they can live off what's saved up.

Meh. So long as they're safe and provided for, the rest is just details.

DeaconBenjamin's picture

China launches direct trade between yuan, Singapore dollar

• China on Monday announced direct trading between the renminbi and Singapore dollar beginning Tuesday.

• The announcement by CFETS extended the yuan's list of direct onshore trade to more major currencies

• The move is also expected to help Singapore in its bid to become a renminbi offshore center.

BEIJING, Oct. 27 (Xinhua) -- China on Monday announced direct trading between the renminbi and Singapore dollar beginning Tuesday, marking another step toward internationalizing the Chinese currency.

The announcement by China Foreign Exchange Trading System (CFETS) extended the yuan's list of direct onshore trade to more major currencies, including the U.S. dollar, the euro, British sterling, Japanese yen, Australian dollar, New Zealand dollar, Malaysian ringgit and Russian ruble.

The move aims to boost bilateral trade and investment, facilitate the use of the two currencies in trade and investment settlement and reduce exchange costs for market players, the CFETS said in a statement on its website.

The move is also expected to help Singapore in its bid to become a renminbi offshore center.

According to the arrangement, China's interbank foreign exchange market will kick off direct trading between the yuan and the Singapore dollar via spot, forward and swap contracts.

With direct trading of their currencies, China and Singapore will be less dependent on the U.S. dollar to settle bilateral trade and investment deals.

DeaconBenjamin's picture

Bank of China to win approval for yuan clearing in Australia

imageBEIJING/HONG KONG: Bank of China Ltd's Sydney branch is set to win regulatory approval to begin clearing trades in Chinese yuan, according to sources with direct knowledge of the issue, paving the way for Australia to become an offshore hub for the Chinese currency.

The sources said China's central bank will award the mandate to Bank of China, the country's fourth-largest bank by market capitalisation and the world's biggest player in cross-border yuan transactions.

Yuan clearing banks not only make cross-border yuan payments more timely and convenient, but increase the awareness of yuan usage among local companies and help yuan deposits to accumulate in a country.

Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) Deputy Governor Philip Lowe said in July that the central bank was working with the People's Bank of China (PBOC) on a memorandum of understanding that would allow a clearing bank to be selected this year.

DeaconBenjamin's picture

Indians prefer gold, mutual funds for investments

The report revealed that considerable percentage of working women preferred investing in the stock market as well through mutual funds schemes.

Indians love gold. But interestingly, mutual funds too are fast gaining popularity as an investment option. According to a report by ASSOCHAM, while gold continues to be a safe bet, Indians are also returning to the stock market for higher returns following a buoyancy in the equity market in the recent times.

"The middle class families are investing in gold as the reliable and stable bet while some of them are also returning to the riskier option of the stock market, enthused by a runaway rise in the equity market in the last one year, especially after formation of the new government at the centre," said DS Rawat, general secretary of the industry body.

The report revealed that considerable percentage of working women preferred investing in the stock market as well through mutual funds schemes like Systematic Investment Plans (SIP) for quicker returns.

According to the study, about 72% of the respondents preferred gold as an investing option followed by shares and mutual fund schemes in this festive season followed by extra earnings from bonuses. On the other hand, 62% of corporate seconded the equity markets for investment because there is an easy availability of advisory consultants who they can rely on for guidance.

"They are now focusing on investing in gold and stock markets rather than in traditional channels of investment like post offices, fixed deposit and PPF promoted by the government," added Rawat.

Nevertheless, Indian investors still practiced investing a portion of their funds in the traditional options as these assured safe returns.

Interestingly, analysts noted that while investment in gold may seem as a good option, it may lead to a riskier situation in the overall economy in the long run. "Gold imports rose by 450% in September which is actually worrying as this would add substantially to our import bills. Rising imports have caused concerns among the policy makers while the government is mulling import curbs again," noted Rawat.

Imagine if 72% of Americans preferred gold as an investing option.

Motley Fool's picture

Dr Jerome

Fwiw, I used to be quite pessimistic about the future, and I did find it depressing.

However my outlook has changed. I am very positive about the future, despite the fact that there will be a hard period of adjustment. 

I now view the future as bright and full of promise. In fact, I think we are about to enter a 1000 year golden era. 

Marchas45's picture

@Dr. J

Lol yes I read your back and forth on the other board and I was impressed by SOME of what Ophelia Balls had to say and I said SOME (Peacemaker of sorts).

Myself I don't like negativity and I tend to shy away from it as I don't like people getting hurt by ech other, as the old saying go's "They Know Not What They Do"

Anyway enjoyed your story Dr. J Have a Great Day and Keep Stacking

sierra skier's picture

It is a fine line to walk

It is a fine line to walk between sharing what we read and know with folks who refuse to remove their head from the sand. There are ways to get them thinking and bring their awareness about but you need to ge ginger about upsetting their world too much at a time.

So many friends scoff at information I presented that I have had to go about awakening folks with much more discretion. Some folks just do not wish to know about the bad things going on and desire to be blind.

Pining 4 the Fjords's picture

"...I should take the name of

"...I should take the name of Geronimo and help my clan and friends to resist"

Law professor Glenn Reynolds wrote a couple of posts recently touching on this theme, and it really struck me as true.  His basic thesis was that the Pre-Modern social contract essentially held that each man was expected to support and defend his clan (or neighbors) and family, and even kill others when necessary in the cause of protecting "his own kind".  The virtues of honor and courage were an essential part of this contract.  But for modern state-level civilizations, the social contract has been changed to "if you submit to the power of the state, act peaceably and abjure violence, and agree to the state's monopoly on violence (if you cease these clan feuds, honor duels, and "local level "eye for an eye" justice etc), then a competent state apparatus and police force will keep your clan and family safe in return".

He suggested that with every instance of the state clearly demonstrating that it is acting in its own self-interest while working against the interests/wishes of the citizenry (passing Obamacare despite majority disapproval), with every instance of the state elevating it's own ideology over our very safety (refusal to police the borders or halt flights from ebola areas), or even using its vast resources directly against us (IRS targeting, NSA spying), then the modern social contract is broken.

A state which kicks 2nd graders out of school for drawing a picture of a gun, while simultaneously releasing into society thousands of illegal alien criminals who were wanted for murder, drug offenses, robberies, etc. is a state that is no longer upholding its part of the bargain.  The citizenry might therefore be wise to return to the pre-modern social contract.

Find a clan, and protect it fiercely.  Great post, Doc!

Maximillion's picture

What a refreshingly excellent post

Great post and relevant to what we've all no doubt experienced from those we try to enlighten.

On the bright side Open Interest in Silver on Friday was only a couple of thousand short of its all time high once again, so at least we should get some sort of resolution regarding price direction this week.

argentus maximus's picture

Hi Dr J. Nice essay

Hi Dr J.

Nice essay thanks.

It's a fact that many people are not able to prevent a fair evaluation of a difficult future from being "depressing" to their psyche. They seem to not be able to generate optimism via a process of confronting problems and overcoming then, this leading to a more problem free after period.

And that's why CEOs get surrounded by "yes men" (leading massive corporations to self combust) and why politicians lie to the voting masses.

"Don't tell me the truth, tell me what I want to hear instead" appears to be some kind of a modern mantra.

Unfortunately it is likely that people overall need to lose more before they will be capable of getting more realistic. And since evaluation precedes decision, and decision precedes action, this particular runaway train still has nobody putting their (group) restraining hand on the brake lever. So far anyway.

WineGuy's picture

Denver Dave's Website?

Is anyone else having difficulty bringing up Dave Kranzler's website? I hope he hasn't been "Harvey Googled Organ" 

thurd aye's picture

All cool,bar F***book,cant

All cool,bar F***book,cant stand the thing.

thanks Doc,good one again.


Turd Ferguson's picture

That is an excellent comment, Pining


And a great addition to this excellent post from DrJ.

Thank you both.

erewenguy's picture

The problem with being THE

The problem with being THE Jeremiah is that God told him in advance that the more he spoke, the less people would hear him, and yet he was ordered to speak anyway.

Up until later when it was indeed too late. He then spoke comfort to those in captivity.

I'll assume Motley is saying that now that he is prepped, he is ready for what is coming. I'm reasonably satisfied with my preps for myself, however, my children don't take the present state of affairs too seriously. I fear that my clan (as Pining refers to them) is not as ready, so the preps continue. Oh well, "put on your own oxygen mask first before helping others" seems a necessary step in emergencies.

I too have spoken out on FB about the current and coming state of affairs but now feel that that time is past. Nothing more to be said. If anyone had ears to hear, they would hear, but many openly ridiculed what was being said. This time of quiet for me will be spent finishing preps as I see are necessary.

Far from washing my hands of the matter, I have repeatedly sought direction on what to say, if anything, but for now silence is my assignment.

Dr Jerome's picture

I am enjoying reading the posts today

Marchas, you inspire me.

Deacon, those step by step Chinese moves with currency deals are significant. thanks for posting.

Motley, you always give me something to think about. glas to hear you are prepped

Pining, great summary of the clan worldview. Our second amendment suggests our founders understood it as you explain way and did not expect the state to take over the role of protector, let alone betray us.

Argentus, Thanks, the groupthink you describe is destructive ultimately. I need such warnings. In my view, the climate here allows intellectual dissent. We have tolerated and discussed with several here more recently that would have been shouted down in the early days.

NW VIEW's picture

@ Dr. Jeremiad

That is a great topic for discussion.  One comment on your one liner:

"The solution I see is to reverse the Jeremiad; instead of sin and punishment, speak of mercy and duty."

If the pressures of your family and the world drive you to this position, your family will soon see you on the t.v. with ratted hair, a three thousand dollar suit, a pulpit, and preaching the prosperity gospel.    jmo

Klingon's picture

Denvr Dave

I also get a "This website has expired" notice. I hope Turd has a backup somewhere outside the US that he can switch on at a moment's notice. (not that I am a conspiracy theorist :))

Dr Jerome's picture

what's the deal with preacher hair anyway?

NW, You describe my dream to the letter! cheeky  One of my students some years ago referred to this guy and said he wears a "hair helmet." 

I was talking with a friend last night and we both agreed that modern preachers feel great pressure to "tickle the ears" of their community, so as to attract more people and keep the church continually growing. I would conclude that the prosperity gospel is part of that shift. Big churches take big money and I suspect drive more away than anyone can count.  Part of the deal, I presume, is the need to look distinct or unique, to set oneself apart. These days, I get suspicious if a minister's hair does not grow that way naturally, and requires styling time before public appearances.

Turd Ferguson's picture



His new, permanent site is here:

NW VIEW's picture

Missionary Jerome:


When our children were young, we played much  of Keith Green's music and we still are moved by it today.  We really miss him.  So I brought up one of my favorites this morning to play at the picnic table for the Saturday morning gathering. This song was rattling in my head as I climbed out of bed on Saturday:

Keith Green - To Obey Is Better Than Sacrifice



Safety Dan's picture

Dr J great piece. Here's some

Dr J great piece. Here's some interesting new info.. 

When Stress Tests Fail - Italian Banks Are Collapsing

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 10/27/2014 - 09:28

Despite the ban on short-sales - which has never worked in the past to do anything but instil fear in traders' holding long positions - Italian banks are in free-fall following the utter failure of Draghi's stress tests to encourage confidence in the European banking system.


Given the post-"whatever-it-takes" world of domestic sovereign bond-buying, it is no surprise that Italian govvie risk is jumping higher and the FTSEMIB is plunging.


Keg's picture

What do you do after the end of the great Keynesian experiment?

Great post Dr. J. 

To a great extent, I now just keep my thoughts to myself.  I grew tired of trying to help those that are only interested in superficial things.  And always being the negative guy.  

Now I am thinking about how I will react to these same people after the end of the great Keynesian experiment.  At a minimum these people will have lost a significant percentage of their wealth.  It could be much worse.  Part of me will want to say a great big "I told you so."  But I will try to resist that.  If you have preserved your wealth you may be able to buy up assets cheap.  Will that be seen as taking advantage of others?  If it gets really bad, how much of your supplies will you be willing to share?

I was told that my grandfather bought a tractor from a neighbor during the great depression.  The neighbor was plowing with mules as he had no money to put fuel in the tractor.  The story is that my grandfather did not want the tractor but it was his way of helping his neighbor.  The neighbor got some much needed cash without having to accept charity.  Many of us may be facing similar issues in the future.

Maximillion's picture

One should never give up telling others what one believes

My opinions are mine and I still believe in making them heard just in case they're correct. I'm never forceful, or feel the need to rant, and am always willing to listen to anothers point of view. With the amount of disinformation and misinformation IMO, that is fed to the public however, combined with the fact that most of Joe Public will only ever be interested in the next paycheck period, it will always be far easier to remain quiet than speak out.

On the brighter side it means I can steadily accumulate, within my small means, as a hedge against the result if I'm correct in my beliefs. That way if I'm wrong, and the current system continues, then so what, my eccentric story becomes a family heirloom discussion point in generations to come, with no harm done. Xmas time's approaching and another handful of small Silver trinkets will be given to those I love, each with their own historic story, which is a far better way of educating people the gentle way without rants IMO.

NW VIEW's picture

Dr., the "Hair Helmet".

The real EE of this world has given many the gift of wrapping themselves  in sheep's clothing but are usually just plain old wolves.  They feel the great need to '"stand out in the assembly".    Priestly robes, turned around collars, red vests, ratted hair, makeup, and anything else to make a distinction between the sheep and the clergy.  (I will stop here before my rant).

"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, pretenders (hypocrites)!  For you clean the outside of the cup and of the plate, but within they are full of extortion (prey, spoil, plunder) and grasping self-indulgence."   Matthew 23:25

realitybiter's picture

99 again

During the dotcom boom my GF at the time, now wife btw, came home from her dotcom company and exclaimed, "we had an exciting meeting with the CRO to day.  He says that he met with the VC's and in order for us to succeed we need to take more VC money and lose more, in order to look more attractive to ultimately succeed."  I suggested, as Josie Wales said, "losing ain't much of a way to winning...."

That was about 6 months before all doors closed on that enterprise.

On such a sea we now find ourselves afloat.

I gave up

a long time ago trying to sound any warning.  All it did was mark me as a crazy idiot.  So I just keep my trap shut and occassionally ask questions, "so how is that going to end well?"

The puzzled look us enough..

I read today that Apple is shutting down beats.  They paid 12,000 dollars EACH for the 250,000 customers beats had.  Those customers were paying $100 a year.  Thats $25 million a year.  AAPL paid $3B for $25,000,000 of income.  No unique technology.  What was it worth $100m?  200?  This smells like a rotten, buddy, buddy deal to know, give a buddy an exit.

Apple Inc. to Shut Down Beats

Very symptomatic of the end.  Giving friends inflated deals, with inflated stock for deals worth FAR less always happens at the tippy top.  WTFDJK?  (did Jeremiah)

Safety Dan's picture

"This week I received a

"This week I received a "monograph" for review from an unlikely, politically removed scientist. It was plainly titled "Summary of Ebola Virus Disease," and written in exhaustive scientific detail. The author was Dr. Steven Hatfill.... You don't want to panic people; but people aren't stupid...."


For 4.1 percent of patients, the period between exposure and onset of the first symptoms is longer than 21 days.

Around 13 percent of infected people in the current outbreak did not have a documented fever, according to a New England Journal of Medicine report last month. As Hatfill noted in his manuscript, researchers studying an outbreak in Uganda in late 2000 reported that "the commonest symptom … was fever, but this occurred in only 85 percent of the cases.” Another study of that outbreak found fever in only 88 percent. A study of the 1995 outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo found fever in 93 percent of the 84 people who died.

On the second or third days of symptoms, about half of patients develop a skin rash on their face and chest. That coincides with a generalized inflammatory response to the virus in the person’s blood. The blood pressure drops dangerously low. As the virus continues to replicate, the person’s immune system goes further into overdrive. Some of the immune cells receive false signals from the virus that tell them to kill themselves. And so they do. As in AIDS, a person’s white blood cells are destroyed, and the immune system bottoms out. Then comes the bleeding.

realitybiter's picture

On the preacher toupe

My business partners and I often giggled about fellows we met with silly tops.

"A man that can look in the mirror, every single morning, and go out in public looking so silly, lies to himself.  And if he lies to himself, he will lie to me."  Pass on that guy.

I interviewed a guy with plugs and his hairline above his forehead looked like a recently planted rice paddy.  I never heard a word he said....all I could think was, "dude.  how do you do it?  Every day, you lie to yourself..."damn that looks good?"

Just shave the damn thing.  Most chicks dig it....and the only ones that are still into your hair HAVE to be well into their 60's now.  just sayin'...

Tesla earnings coming out Nov 5.    Hmmmmmm.....Another NFLX in the making?  It seems to me that the market is at that point where we bounce around, erraticly jumping higher, stall, then smashed lower lows, as things disappoint....huh....cheaper oil is not the best thing for battery operated cars......

Oil:  At these prices ALL the frackers start shutting down.  If demand is so doomed that the world doesn't need the frackers production....the money printers are going to go absolutely crazy bonkers.

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