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

352
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.

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  352 Comments

Hunt brother
Sep 5, 2013 - 7:10pm

3 percent and operation twist...

During operation twist, Bernanke was selling short maturity notes and buying longer maturity bonds. This allowed the Fed to temporarily manipulate the long bond yields and mortgage rates lower. The Fed owns these long bonds and is taking losses as yields rise above 3 percent.

Longer maturity bonds are risky investments. The Fed is taking a beating on their highly leveraged portfolio. The market has figured out the government is printing money to buy their own debt.

Long Term Capital blew up in 1998 under similar circumstances. LTCM was bailed out to stabilize shaken markets.

How will Bernanke's 3.5 trillion junk pile be bailed?

treefrog
Sep 5, 2013 - 7:12pm
¤
Sep 5, 2013 - 7:13pm

Quisp

That's funny!

I wonder what she has in her hand? A butterfly or an insect of some type?

She's holding it like she doesn't want something to get out.

abyc
Sep 5, 2013 - 7:16pm
So It Goes
Sep 5, 2013 - 7:17pm

The day's musings

I am on staycation here in So Cal. And by the way it is unseasonably hot.

I went to my LCS this morning. Business has been slow - presumably last month's volatility of the metals is to blame. Everything is available, and premiums for bullion are not too high. Numismatic pieces on the other hand still have a much higher premium over spot. Just a couple folks there - one guy was buying his brother a wedding present and did not have a clue what to buy - I think his budget was $5,000. A woman was trying to sell apparently fake silver proof Peace dollars. The most experienced salesman was showing her a 90 degree angle on the rim of a genuine proof Franklin 1/2 dollar. He told her that the rims on the proofs should be the same and that they weren't. No "Hardcore Pawn" incident occurred.

The Ammo Store - across the street - was busier. There are still limits on Ammo. Eg. 12 gauge buckshot is limited to 5 boxes (125 rounds) - and priced at about $1/Ea round.

BTW, the US Mint closed the sale of Reverse Proof 1 oz Buffalos today. 45,912 are listed as sold. I already noticed a couple of sales on Ebay labeled "First Release PCGS RP 70" going for between $2100-$2150. That means the seller got in at $1640 at the first moment of opening and had them sent directly to PCGS. (20,000 + were sold the first day and if unopened would be PCGS eligible). I don't know what PCGS charged, but the seller's profit was probably $460+. Just a couple days' outlay of cash - about 28% profit. Nice job. It is tough to play the US Mint - you typically only really make out when the Mint unintentionally effs up. This sale was clearly advertised in advance.

Keep stacking and watching for clues.

So it goes.

Bohemian
Sep 5, 2013 - 7:19pm

To be fair --

The German security services, BND, informed German politicians before the G20 meeting, that they HAVE proof that the attack was orchestrated by the Assad's army. They have their own NSA, so -- they have recorded some phone conversations over there.

https://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/syrien-bnd-faengt-beleg-fuer-giftgaseinsatz-durch-assad-regime-ab-a-919965.html

There are other, more specific articles on this subject, in Der Spiegel.

maravich44George Clooney
Sep 5, 2013 - 7:25pm
¤
Sep 5, 2013 - 7:33pm

Diplomacy Escalation: Russia Mocks Britain

Russia mocks Britain, the little island

Russia mocked Britain today as “a small island no one listens to”, sparking a diplomatic spat with David Cameron.

The Russian official is also said to have joked about Russian “oligarchs” buying up large parts of Chelsea and other upmarket London districts. Photo: HANDOUT

9:15PM BST 05 Sep 2013

The Prime Minister insisted that Britain remained a major world power.

Tensions surrounding the Syrian crisis boiled over at a G20 summit in St Petersburg. Mr Cameron has backed calls for military intervention in Syria after the Assad regime allegedly used chemical weapons.

Mr Putin has opposed intervention and questioned Western claims about the attack. Britain has faced questions about its role and influence in the world since Mr Cameron was embarrassed by last week’s Commons vote to rule out a military strike against Syria.

Dmitry Peskov, Mr Putin’s official spokesman, is said to have highlighted that embarrassment, telling Russian journalists that Britain was now diplomatically irrelevant.

Britain is “just a small island … no one pays any attention to them”, Mr Peskov is reported to have said. The blunt remarks appeared to realise British fears that the Russians would use the St Petersburg summit to upstage Mr Cameron over his criticism of Syria, Russia’s closest Middle Eastern ally.

The Russian official is also said to have joked about Russian “oligarchs” buying up large parts of Chelsea and other upmarket London districts.

The remarks, which were reported by the BBC, could not be verified, but were apparently accepted as genuine by the Prime Minister in a BBC interview.

In the interview, Mr Cameron angrily rejected the Russian dismissal of British influence. “I don’t accept that for a moment,” he said, insisting that Britain remained a power in world affairs.

“Britain will be one of the leaders in bringing forward plans for a peace process for Syria,” he said. “Britain will be leading the argument across the globe for continuing to respond strongly on chemical weapons.”....(more)

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/10290243/Russia...

argent rampant
Sep 5, 2013 - 7:42pm

@Quisp & DPH

Thanks, Quisp, I thought someone needed to put a clever caption on that pic. DPH ; I had exactly the same thought, that she chad aught a Russian grasshopper or something.

argent rampantBagOfGold
Sep 5, 2013 - 7:47pm

@Bag Of Gold - I'm sorry,

no matter how many times I look at that picture, I'm still not in there.

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