Stormlight

126
Sun, Dec 29, 2013 - 12:53am

As I dismounted from my bike to walk around to the back porch to drop off the paper (as per the client’s instructions), a peculiar feeling came over me. It was almost as if time had somehow miraculously slowed down around me. The light changed, from a dreary and overcast grey to something quite difficult to describe: luminescent and softly bright. I could hear (and picture in my head) each rub of the cricket’s hind legs individually – and its sounds were short, tentative. The dragonfly buzzing in the garden seemed to slow to a hover. Birds, though visible in the surrounding trees, were both stationary and silent. The feeling was one of both serenity, but also of heightened awareness – each blade of grass and tuft of the dandelions stood out in sharp contrast. The plants and tree leaves glowed in a myriad distinct shades of green. It was as if everything had been dipped in glow-in-the-light pigment. The air around me had taken on a beautiful, golden hue. Not too much light, it felt like sunset in mid-afternoon – yet my surroundings stood out in sharper relief than if it had been high noon in the Caribbean on a cloudless day. It was as if I’d taken a drug enhancing sensory perception – even the smells and physical textures seemed more vibrant, easier to discern.

Unbeknownst to me at the time, I had just experienced my first (remembered) encounter with stormlight. The sky had been covered with leaden grey storm clouds above the entire town, but near the edge of the horizon, the late afternoon sun shone through under the clouds. I imagine the effect was both due to the refraction effect of coming at such an angle through the atmosphere, but also a result of the light-rays bouncing under the thick, impenetrable cloud cover. I marveled at the beauty of the phenomenon (which of course I can’t fully convey now) for too long – the pending thunderstorm caught me out long before I could get home from my paper route. As I poured out the water from my sneakers (at least there was no hail that time), I wondered why and how the world could look so fundamentally different just by virtue of the angle of lighting.

(photo credits: left - Thaddeus Roan: Storm Light at Sunset; right: Joseph Rossbach: September Sunrise)

That afternoon’s experience presented itself a few more times in my life – most recently earlier this week. But these days the experience is associated more with foreboding than beauty. I cannot help but be reminded of a feeling that the relative calm we are experiencing each day is merely the last bit of calm before the inevitable storm, that gathers more ferocity and size with each day that its arrival is delayed. All of the wonderful colors and textures that stand out in unparalleled contrast do little to prepare the observer for the fact or the intensity of the downpour and maelstrom that is to follow.

I often feel that the extent of the details we have collectively been able to unearth regarding how the world really works is in part due to the fact that this expectation of impending calamity is shared by millions, if not billions, across the world. Some people have already built, fortified and double-checked their shelters. Others go about their days without anything but the faintest subconscious inkling that anything out of the ordinary is happening. And some seem intent on flying a kite with antennae and/or a large key attached… But ultimately the potential energy being built up stretches the facades and stage sets, creates ripples, cracks and tears in the canvas. While we very much ‘see through the glass darkly’, we ARE afforded glimpses with ever increasing frequency of what is behind the scenes. Despite my innate sense of curiosity and desire to learn, I am becoming used to the idea that 'knowing it all' may not be possible.

The storm has been gathering apace for a while now, the half-life of crises ‘resolved’ has been just that – the time elapsed between major global economic upheaval and/or large-scale wars grows shorter with each go-around. Whether this next year truly IS the time for the heavens to open and the deluge to start is yet to be seen. But insofar as a next ‘trough’ seems inevitable to me, I’ve really stopped trying to follow and guess the daily gyrations of metals for a while now. The prices of gold and silver will be relevant when they become indicative of the depths of the waters around us, until then they are part of the scenery intended to shield our unprepared eyes from the reality. For the moment, I believe the time is to be right, and sit tight. There are now SO many situations that can be expected to tip over at any moment, that it hardly seems worthwhile to expend additional energy searching for and painstakingly exploring FURTHER black swan candidates.

(photo: Todd Stradford: Too Big for Beavers)

As this bold new year approaches, I will be spending more time focusing on the rest of the preps:

  • Skills that are marketable/useful under a variety of circumstances
  • Alternative revenue streams
  • Options for bug-out (route, conveyance, destination)
  • Self-sufficiency in terms of food and drink (LOTS of work still to do on that front)
  • Options for bug-in (suitable homestead, equipment, other heavy metals)
  • Network of like-minded, dependable and self-sufficient peers

My reasoning here is that there is no real way to truly anticipate the EXACT sequence of events and precise constellation of circumstances we may encounter. As many on this site have said before me, being flexible, adaptive and prepared for a variety of eventualities is a reasonable approach to a set of known uncertainties. Lacking the clarity of vision of a true oracle, my approach is to basically reduce my dependence on the current paradigm. If nothing else, I may gain a greater freedom and independence that I would value anyway. Whether next year brings a true TEOTGKE moment, or more of the grinding downward spiral, every day that the storm does not come is one which can be spent in preparation, and in enjoying the (potentially dangerous) beauty of the moments before the storm.

I hope everyone’s holidays were rewarding and peaceful, and I look forward to celebrating the coming New Year with all of you.

(photo: Ian Plant: Storm Light - Reynisdrangar, Iceland)

PS: I did not have a chance to read ZH today before posting this, but apparently the storm/water theme seems to be circulating in the collective unconscious today: Obama's Hawaiian vacation, and William Banzai's 2014 forecast.

There is also an intriguing article on the seats of global power and the pivot points between them -- as a preview from the latest Thunder Road Report. Last but not least, ZH appears to have picked up (and elaborated on) the Turkish petrogold story in light of recent government developments in Ankara (as we discussed here last week).

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ancientmoneysilver2013
Dec 30, 2013 - 1:58pm

@silver2013 re: Lindsey Williams' link . . .

I don't know if he has good inside info or not. He has made a living doing this for awhile, so he must have some good access to inside baseball.

Anyway, I finally got a few of the new half-gold C-notes that came out a month or two ago.

I wonder if it make sense to spend the old ones (or trade them in) and keep the new ones? It sure looks like they are telling me there is going to be partial gold backing of some sort. I'll bet they don't allow a Fed/Treasury audit though.

Just "trust us" that the gold is there. Deep storage gold--not yet mined, but hey, that's a cinch!

ancientmoney
Dec 30, 2013 - 1:52pm

@DeaconBenjamin re: the gold coins you posted . . .

sure look like the foil-wrapped chocolate coins you can buy in a candy store. Take a close look (yum!!):

silver2013
Dec 30, 2013 - 1:30pm

Ivars i hope you are correct

Ivars i hope you are correct with your prediction. It give me more time to prep since im not ready for whats coming.

silver2013
Dec 30, 2013 - 1:28pm
Down RangeBasil
Dec 30, 2013 - 1:27pm

Basil

"Geez - Jackass is called jackass for a reason. It's because he's a he's a jackass, as are most of the PM perma bulls who have been flat wrong for years now."

Seems to me that 2013 was the first downturn in PM's in several years!

Kinda sounds like YOU are the Jackass!

ivars
Dec 30, 2013 - 1:10pm

@silver2013

You mean paying interest at 4-5% ?

Well USG can and will default on FED. That will reduce debt to 15 trillion. Of course, such event will raise UST 10 year yields to 6-7% but also free about 2 trillion USD. With 2 trillion, USG can finance its deficit even with 4-5% interest for 3 years- as it is mostly old debt that makes the average interest. UST yields will not increase more as USG debt will be capped for 3 years at 17 , 3 trillion as it is now/will be at February 7th.

Now that brings us to 2016 , end of. Elections. What could happen next:

a) China starts to sell its gold due to recession and persuasion by intl capital as China will be needing 6-8 trillion USD in public debt not to fall in recession which would cost its leadership its heads probably, old Maoists coming back; If USG can get hold of that gold, any increase in USG gold holdings will reduce interest rate on its debt, and basis behind debt, so may be it can start borrowing again. That would leave things largely unchanged if flow of gold from China to the USA is big enough? USG needs may be 2000 tons a year to increase debt by 2 trillion a year. 20% more gold, 10% more debt, for some time.

b) USG can move to government issued money - no FED- and with that money - not debt based- pay down its debts - of course such printing will give them only 6 years lifeline and huge inflation- or pay down part of debts and resume debt money. As USA will print and repay debts yields will move down but value of USD as well.

version b is not good for bankers so is less likely, since with USD devaluation and low yields all debts will evaporate, like in Weimar- creditors lost 80% of their wealth ( top 10 %) ,the rest lost nothing if they did not have to exchange some furniture for food.

I see no big problem for yields to go up for 3 years to 6-7% after selective default and paying deficit by borrowing 2 trillion again below current debt ceiling. May be not to FED..or may be even to FED, but most likely to Japan, China etc - big holders of USG debt who will be very afraid that their holdings will lose value, so will by UST to pop up its value.

That is possible. Probably interest payments will move up may be 100 billion from current - was it 400 bilion/year- USD but that will not kill USG.

As i mentioned Britain also screwed it in 1797, in a very similar way.. but after 24 years it moved to gold standard as it obtained gold . USG could do similarly- these guys will not give up easy.

For version a) here is a nice quote from freegold originator Another- posted in 1997:

Quote:
The banks must sell all the gold they have to keep the system together. And once it is all sold and the financial markets implode the nations will use "whatever force is necessary" to pull the gold back in! That action in and of itself would show the true value of gold money!

World is in this stage now. CBs have sold all what they could sell and lend and now they will use whatever force necessary to pull the gold back in. We are seeing it in Turkey, Thailand, India, soon Vietnam. Next and biggest target is China.

Key Economic Events Week of 9/21

9/21 8:00 ET Goon Kaplan
9/21 10:00 ET Goon Evans
9/21 Noon ET Goon Brainard
9/21 6:00 pm ET Goon Williams & Goon Bostic
9/22 10:30 ET Chief Goon Powell on Capitol Hill
9/22 Noon ET Goon Barkin
9/22 3:00 pm ET Goon Bostic again
9/23 9:00 ET Goon Mester
9/23 9:45 ET Markit flash PMIs for September
9/23 10:00 ET Chief Goon Powell on Capitol Hill
9/23 11:00 ET Goon Evans again
9/23 Noon ET Goon Rosengren
9/24 1:00 pm ET Goon Bostic #3
9/24 2:00 pm ET Goon Quarles
9/24 10:00 ET Chief Goon Powell on Capitol Hill
9/24 Noon ET Goon Bullard
9/24 1:00 pm ET Goon Barkin again & Goon Evans #3
9/24 2:00 pm ET Goon Bostic #4
9/25 8:30 ET Durable Goods
9/25 11:00 ET Goon Evans #4
9/25 3:00 pm ET Goon Williams again

Basilsilver2013
Dec 30, 2013 - 1:03pm

@silver2013

/sarcasm_on

Well if golden jackass reckons there will be a currency reset in 2014, he must of course be correct, just as he has been correct with all his other predictions over the last few years.

/sarcasm_off

Geez - Jackass is called jackass for a reason. It's because he's a he's a jackass, as are most of the PM perma bulls who have been flat wrong for years now.

silver2013
Dec 30, 2013 - 12:46pm

Plus lindsey and golden

Plus lindsey and golden jackass both think currency reset in 2014. Lindsey thinks within 90 days.

silver2013
Dec 30, 2013 - 12:44pm

@ivars. I just cannot see usa

@ivars. I just cannot see usa paying its debt with 4 or even 5% without breaking them. The stock market lost 17 trillions in a few months. Its taking all this time and printing to catch up to its lost level. Americans have about 17 trillions in savings/ invested. The feds could easily gets all of its money back bu simply taking ovet those funds. Americans screwed because thats all they have fiat promise paper.

Bugzy
Dec 30, 2013 - 12:37pm

Riddle me this NSA

Allegedly, The Boston bomb was carried out by Chechnian terrorists. So obviously the NSA are listening very deeply to Chechnian terrorists, to keep us all safe right? Well…. two bombs just went off in Russia from… wait for it,,,,, Chechnian terrorists! So.. either,,, the NSA did not pick up this threat. Making them a useless bag of poop. Or… The "terrorists" communicate in a way which flies beneath the the NSA radar… meaning the NSA is a useless bag of poop. Or…. The NSA knew in advance, that Russia was to be attacked, and chose to say nothing…. meaning the NSA are complicit in the mass murder of innocent civilian life. Meaning poop, or similar. So, they should obviously be disbanded as they are either completely ineffective or murdering scumbags. I invite any NSA employee to come here and debate me. I was hoping you were watching, but I have my doubts. Bugzy.

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Key Economic Events Week of 9/21

9/21 8:00 ET Goon Kaplan
9/21 10:00 ET Goon Evans
9/21 Noon ET Goon Brainard
9/21 6:00 pm ET Goon Williams & Goon Bostic
9/22 10:30 ET Chief Goon Powell on Capitol Hill
9/22 Noon ET Goon Barkin
9/22 3:00 pm ET Goon Bostic again
9/23 9:00 ET Goon Mester
9/23 9:45 ET Markit flash PMIs for September
9/23 10:00 ET Chief Goon Powell on Capitol Hill
9/23 11:00 ET Goon Evans again
9/23 Noon ET Goon Rosengren
9/24 1:00 pm ET Goon Bostic #3
9/24 2:00 pm ET Goon Quarles
9/24 10:00 ET Chief Goon Powell on Capitol Hill
9/24 Noon ET Goon Bullard
9/24 1:00 pm ET Goon Barkin again & Goon Evans #3
9/24 2:00 pm ET Goon Bostic #4
9/25 8:30 ET Durable Goods
9/25 11:00 ET Goon Evans #4
9/25 3:00 pm ET Goon Williams again

Key Economic Events Week of 9/14

9/15 8:30 ET Empire State and Import Price Idx
9/15 9:15 ET Cap Ute and Ind Prod
9/16 8:30 ET Retail Sales
9/16 10:00 ET Business Inventories
9/16 2:00 ET FOMC Fedlines
9/16 2:30 ET Powell Presser
9/17 8:30 ET Philly Fed
9/18 8:30 ET Current Acct Deficit

Key Economic Events Week of 9/7

9/9 10:00 ET JOLTS job openings
9/10 8:30 ET Initial jobless claims
9/10 8:30 ET PPI
9/10 10:00 ET Wholesale Inventories
9/11 8:30 ET CPI
9/11 9:45 ET Core CPI

Key Economic Events Week of 8/31

9/1 9:45 ET Markit Manu Index
9/1 10:00 ET ISM Manu Index
9/1 10:00 ET Construction Spending
9/2 8:15 ET ADP employment
9/2 10:00 ET Goon Williams
9/2 10:00 ET Factory Orders
9/3 8:30 ET Initial jobless claims
9/3 8:30 ET Trade Deficit
9/3 12:30 ET Goon Evans
9/4 8:30 ET BLSBS

Key Economic Events Week of 8/24

8/24 8:30 ET Chicago Fed Idx
8/25 10:00 ET Consumer Confidence
8/26 8:30 ET Durable Goods
8/27 8:30 ET Q2 GDP 2nd guess
8/27 9:10 ET Chief Goon Powell Jackson Hole
8/28 8:30 ET Pers Inc and Consumer Spend
8/28 8:30 ET Core Inflation
8/28 9:45 ET Chicago PMI

Key Economic Events Week of 8/17

8/17 8:30 ET Empire State Manu Idx
8/17 Noon ET Goon Bostic
8/18 8:30 ET Housing Starts
8/19 2:00 pm ET July FOMC minutes
8/20 8:30 ET Jobless claims
8/20 8:30 ET Philly Fed
8/20 10:00 ET LEIII
8/21 9:45 ET Markit flash PMIs July

Key Economic Events Week of 8/10

8/10 10:00 ET Job openings
8/11 8:30 ET Producer Price Idx
8/12 8:30 ET Consumer Price Idx
8/13 8:30 ET Initial jobless claims
8/13 8:30 ET Import Price Idx
8/14 8:30 ET Retail Sales
8/14 8:30 ET Productivity & Unit Labor Costs
8/14 8:30 ET Cap Ute and Ind Prod
8/14 10:00 ET Business Inventories

Key Economic Events Week of 8/3

8/3 9:45 ET Markit Manu PMI July
8/3 10:00 ET ISM Manu PMI July
8/3 10:00 ET Construction Spending
8/4 10:00 ET Factory Orders
8/5 8:15 ET ADP employment July
8/5 9:45 ET Markit Service PMI
8/5 10:00 ET ISM Service PMI
8/6 8:30 ET Initial jobless claims
8/7 8:30 ET BLSBS for July
8/7 10:00 ET Wholesale Inventories

Key Economic Events Week of 7/27

7/27 8:30 ET Durable Goods
7/28 9:00 ET Case-Shiller home prices
7/29 8:30 ET Advance trade in goods
7/29 2:00 ET FOMC Fedlines
7/29 2:30 ET CGP presser
7/30 8:30 ET Q2 GDP first guess
7/31 8:30 ET Personal Income and Spending
7/31 8:30 ET Core inflation
7/31 9:45 ET Chicago PMI

Key Economic Events Week of 7/20

7/21 8:30 ET Chicago Fed
7/21 2:00 ET Senate vote on Judy Shelton
7/22 10:00 ET Existing home sales
7/23 8:30 ET Jobless claims
7/23 10:00 ET Leading Economic Indicators
7/24 9:45 ET Markit flash PMIs for July

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