Big Thinkers: Orlov's Book and Current Events - Part 1

Thu, Sep 5, 2013 - 12:47am
The Sky is Falling! Or is it?
Dmitry Orlov’s 2013 book “The Five Stages of Collapse – Survivors’ Toolkit” is required reading. I do not say that lightly. It is a must read; do not delay. It is here:
and there are reviews posted for those inclined. I am not doing a book review. I am trying to pin down a realistic time-line, and the markers of same, in order that we all can prepare accordingly. Nothing I have read to date is as well analyzed, or presented, so for that, I am in awe. But, naturally, I have my own thoughts as to the reality that all five stages of collapse actually occur. So, this is Part I. Part II will be next Wednesday, as it all should make more sense as the Syrian situation unfolds.
From the introduction of the book through the afterward, the book is mesmerizing both in its insightful analysis, and its use of examples. It is full of humor, too. While I quarrel with the constant references to global warming–I am not a believer in that theory at all–the book is simply astonishing for its clear, yet compelling, observations. Oh, did I mention that Mr. Orlov was born in Russia, having moved to the United States as a teenager? Or that Mr. Orlov is an engineer with skills in many fields including high energy physics research, e-commerce and Internet security? Or that Mr. Orlov traveled back and forth to Russia repeatedly to observe the Soviet collapse during the late 80s and mid 90s?
All of these facts cement his credentials for me, and makes this book such a compelling read. I find it extremely important that we examine Mr. Orlov’s prism through which he views the world, because he alone seems to have the unique insight to have synthesized a world view based on personal experience as well as his education and obvious intellect. One can quarrel with his conclusions, but they are based on solid facts and experiences completely foreign to me that is for sure. Hence, I absorbed the book in rapt fascination, and I now look at the world events with a nod to the possibilities that Orlov’s predictions are accurate.
Mr. Orlov was born in Russia during the Cold War era. It is fascinating to think that he then left Russia and moved to the United States, where he then got to play video games, listen to Western pop-culture music and watch Hollywood movies. Certainly he had a taste of hard living in Russia, compared to the easy life in the United States. This had to have played a huge influence upon young Orlov.
Then, as the communist experiment began its death spasms, Mr. Orlov’s family and friends and he himself were there to witness them all to include the collapse. Personally, I remember being in an airport in Alabama at the time watching CNN showing images of the Soviet Union collapse on the video monitor. It was unbelievable, shocking–I was a former soldier, inculcated to hate the evil empire, they were the enemy dammit!; yet, my plane still showed up and left on time and I got to my destination. No one seemed to mind, or notice, and life just went on.
So, it’s not like the collapse of the fiat system in general and perhaps the USA in particular will be any life altering universe changing occurrence, although it will probably feel like that to many who are directly, initially affected. No, what Mr. Orlov writes about is a steady progression of a decaying, deteriorating, behemoth of a system, which announces its deterioration in measurable, meaningful ways. It is no mystery, nor should it be.
Anything which by definition that is unsustainable will come to an end. There is no sane person presently arguing that the current fiat system is sustainable. So, the fiat system will end, and the question then becomes what will it look like when it does start to end? Can the eventual collapse be stopped mid stream, like a magic stick save? How will we know the collapse is upon us? If the collapse is gradual, then how long will it take? What should we expect, at any given point in time, then, along the collapse continuum?
Mr. Orlov provides all the tools to reach conclusions and answers for all of these questions in detail and with examples from history. He adroitly describes an orderly process marked by five discrete stages of collapse, not all of which necessarily must occur, but which stages will occur in progressive fashion should efforts not be made to stave off the final, ruinous, back to the Stone Age collapse.
Those five stages are, in order, (1) Financial Collapse; (2) Commercial Collapse; (3) Political Collapse; (4) Social Collapse, and finally, (5) Cultural Collapse.
Without taking too much time to restate history, we all pretty much know that the financial collapse is occurring as we speak, with the first hint and outward manifestation of financial collapse occurring in 2008 and continuing ever since. Here is what Orlov says about Stage 1, the Financial Collapse: “Faith in business as usual is lost. The future is no longer assumed to resemble the past in any way that allows risk to be assessed and financial assets to be guaranteed. Financial institutions become insolvent; savings are wiped out and access to capital is lost.” [p.14].
At this point, I firmly believe that the financial collapse is ongoing just as described, and accelerating. Understand that the process of the ongoing deterioration of the system is a gradual marginal process, and that there is no definitive point in time when there is at one moment a blissful, peaceful feeling that everything is perfectly fine, and then at the next moment there is sudden chaos and anarchy with rioting in the streets and images of roving bands of thugs streaming across our televisions. Instead, the financial collapse will continue its progress marginally, inexorably, step-by-step until such time as there is a commercial collapse. This is a completely different viewpoint I had when I first came to tfmr. I initially felt that collapse was IMMINENT!! Grab the weapons, food, water and gold/silver, time to bug out!
Well, I was dead wrong. Stupidly so. But how could I have been so misguided? Was it gullibility? Madison Avenue marketing? Human nature normalcy bias?
Whatever. Only now, I see things in a different, more analytical light, thanks to Mr. Orlov’s writings. Make no mistake, though. It is crystal clear that the Financial Collapse is ongoing, right now, leading soon enough I believe, though gradually to Stage 2, Commercial Collapse.
Understand that Santa told everyone to get out of the financial system. Cyprus banks initiated the bail-in. The ground work has been laid out. It is all legal and all the details worked out. Plenty has been written about the pending stealing of funds on deposit at banks, retirement accounts, name it. Look at what is happening in Argentina. If those Argentinian bond holders are stiffed, then that supposedly valuable New York paper is not so valuable now, is it? All of this is coming to pass as predicted, and the signs are obvious to anyone who wants to look.
The fiat system is broken. Risk assessment is now based on predicting the words of the Fed bankster in charge, then front run on huge computers to shear the sheep of fractions of pennies. The worlds’ unregulated derivatives dwarf the world GDP. A small hiccup will destroy the entire scheme, overnight. We are there.
This leads us to Stage 2, the Commercial Collapse. Orlov says this: “Faith that the market shall provide is lost. Money is devalued and or becomes scarce, commodities are hoarded, import and retail chains break down in widespread shortages of survival necessities become the norm.” [p.14].
It sure does not look like this Stage yet to me, but it sure seems damn close, too. But, by looking closely, the Syrian situation is telegraphing the proximity of when this Stage will occur. Many, many commentators have weighed in about Syria, and how the whole military situation, the bombing, the invasion, the troops really point in one direction;
The US President, a laughing stock, says at one moment that Syria crossed a red line, but now tries to wiggle out from under his own words, like a hack criminal defense attorney arguing for leniency for his recidivist client. The Syrian distraction is just that, a ruse. The real reason, they say, is resources, namely, gas pipelines to feed the industrialized world in general, and to perpetuate the governing structures of some middle east countries. So does this not seem to point towards the imminent arrival of Stage 2? Soon enough we will know.
Believe what you want to believe, but the next Stage, Commercial Collapse, knowing it is upon us, preparing do deal with it and live through it, is damn important to survival of us regular folks that is for sure. It is also after this Stage that I believe that a concerted effort to become politically active and strive for limited government will have the biggest effects.
So, for now, I leave you with this Part I and invite comments, criticisms, and the like. Try to focus on Orlov’s definitions of the first two Stages.
Next week I will dig into Stages 3-5, and evaluate details as well as strategies for rising up and making a difference for Stage 3. I would not be doing all this analysis if I did not believe that there is a possibility for real reform during Stage 3. So, I am not totally a doomsday believer I once was, but things sure look grim, so don’t let up on the preparation effort that is for sure.

About the Author


DayStarargent rampant
Sep 6, 2013 - 12:32pm

RE: What Am I Missing?

Argent, what you are missing is the Fed is trying to kill us, not help us. If they had used TARP to bail out Main Street instead of Wall Street, they could have paid off most private debt and the economy would be booming.


Hunt brother
Sep 6, 2013 - 12:22pm

SVLC Silvercrest Mines is worth at least $5

N. Eric Fier, President and COO stated; "This delineation drill program at Santa Elena was immensely successful. With this program, we drilled the known portion of the deposit at approximately 35 metre centres, announced revised reserves and resources, extended mineralization beyond our current reserve boundary and identified three new zones, El Cholugo, El Cholugo Dos and the newly discovered Tortuga. The recently announced results of the revised underground reserve and resource estimations have extended the current mine life to a minimum of 8 years. Our underground ramp has progressed beyond 1,500 metres in development length. We have intercepted the Main Mineralized Zone underground and extracted approximately 8,000 tonnes of ore from the 625 metre level. The conventional mill construction and underground development currently underway are setting the stage for the successful expansion of the mine with an anticipated significant increase in metals production starting in 2014."

Drill intercepts continue to expand the mineralization along the Main Mineralized Zone (MMZ) which remains open laterally and to depth. Intercepts are up to 100 metres beyond the boundary of current stope designs and reserves estimates. Most notable are the multiple high grade intercepts to the east and depth including;

  • SE-13-144; 9.2 metres grading 4.83 gpt Au and 171.4 gpt Ag including 0.8 metres grading 30.20 gpt Au and 638.0 gpt Ag
  • SE-13-152; 15.0 metres grading 4.03 gpt Au and 243.2 gpt Ag including 2.0 metres grading 17.5 gpt Au and 664.0 gpt Ag
  • SE-13-160; 13.3 metres grading 3.52 gpt Au and 136.2 gpt Ag including 4.1 metres grading 6.46 gpt Au and 133.6 gpt Ag
  • SE-13-166; 11.7 metres grading 3.97 gpt Au and 189.5 gpt Ag including 5.0 metres grading 8.10 gpt Au and 334.4 gpt Ag
  • SE-13-175; 8.8 metres grading 1.91 gpt Au and 70.6 gpt Ag including 2.0 metres grading 6.70 gpt Au and 226.1 gpt Ag
Mr. Fix
Sep 6, 2013 - 12:22pm

Something that is relevant:

Even though the talk of war seems to have little to no effect on the markets, in fact, they are obviously moving counterintuitively, hence, the entire concept of cause and effect has been removed from the markets.

The United States government is doing what it can to provoke a war in the Middle East, and the Russian president has promised to retaliate.

In the end, I do not believe that this has anything to do with Syria whatsoever, it is about creating a hot war with Russia, and it is a war that our government intends to lose.

As I updated my current running thesis a couple of days ago, ( the United States government is carefully considering every action, and designing it to have the worst possible outcome for the United States),

this war will be no different.

Analyzing the markets by running the numbers is a completely pointless pursuit.

When you look at the bigger picture, and the current psychology of the psychopaths in charge, it starts to paint a clearer picture, losing a hot war to Russia will probably crash the US economy, and that is not an unintended consequence.

I propose that any scenario that includes a long slow decline will be out the window when the first shot is fired.

Sep 6, 2013 - 12:20pm
argent rampant
Sep 6, 2013 - 12:18pm

Fed the guv's biggest creditor

along with Social Security "Trust Fund" which is neither trustworthy nor a fund. So anyway my question is this -and I know we've discussed it here before and DPH I think you have opined that this will happen -

What's to stop the Fed from at some future point simply forgiving the government debt? They purchased it with imaginary money created with keystrokes. That money has already been spent into the economy and has been disbursed throughout millions of bank accounts. That's a done deal. So, just wipe out the government debt by writing it off the Fed balance sheet and who cares? They suffer a huge paper loss. Again, who cares? What am I missing?

Mr. Fix
Sep 6, 2013 - 12:10pm


Excellent analysis.

I think the numbers are meaningless now, but they will continue to be more so, as more people wake up.

Sep 6, 2013 - 11:56am

Bond rate situation

The 10Y yield has little to do with historic rates. It has everything to do with the CURRENT STATE of the markets. Extreme overleverage, extreme margin debt, Quadrillions of dollars in interest rate sensitive derivatives etc. Combined with years of ZIRP having established floors and ceilings.

I am surprised some of you fell for vapid arguments like "interest rates have been higher in the past" silliness.

Anyway I still encourage people to consider there will be no "crashes". Just look at data out of China. Its extremely faked. The US is no longer any better or different than China no matter what the propaganda or jingoism of the day says. The Fed will eventually own so much the treasury market that they have it cornered, they can probably make it "say" whatever they like at that point.

The real "crash" will be when no one actually takes the 10Y yield seriously for determining other rates. Stop thinking conventionally. The markets are dead people. Dead. Your correlations are already failing and and are going to fail even worse as time marches on. This is because they were not causitive but just strongly correlated as the markets go through their long slow death these correlations break down as no longer operate off of anything other than bullshit.

The "crash" will not be in numbers it will be in confidence and belief. The crash will be a disconnect and disregard that anything of this crap has any meaning or causation. The Fed won't let the bond market crash and the more they don't let it, the more divorced from reality it will be and the more useless it becomes.

Sep 6, 2013 - 11:42am

THE JUDGE!! on Syria

Video unavailable
Sep 6, 2013 - 11:41am

Significantly larger attack =

I am afraid......a significantly large false flag.....the only thing that will provide cover for WWIII. Two ships bumping in the much overcrowded Mediteranian will not suffice.... We are seeing a much higher % response against this military action on what is considered weak/inconclusive evidence. Do not be surprised by what occurs. IMO.

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