Financial Apocalypse? What Financial Apocalypse?

60
Sat, May 3, 2014 - 3:29pm

Oh those Doomers! You know who I'm talking about! Those negative people who are constantly fear-mongering about the end of the world. Going on and on about how bad things are going to get, and how awful life is going to be in the future. Why, at their worst, Doomers are painting a picture of a world in flames!

These Doomers are so obsessed with their fear-mongering that it has almost become, well, cultish.

If you didn't know any better, you'd almost think they wanted it to happen.

At their worst, the Doomers seem to be profiting off of their fear-mongering, and encourage people to go out and spend extra money on things like water filtration, solar panels, and even (ugh) reusable menstrual pads.

The fear-mongering has gotten so over the top, that now our youth are beginning to suffer severe anxiety because of it.

You know who I'm talking about, right?

I'm talking about climate change activists.

Ha! Bet you didn't see that one coming, did you?

It is funny, because preppers and environmentalists do have a lot in common - both value living more sustainably, but for different reasons. But for whatever the reason - well, there is a good reason - preppers get maligned as being crazy whackjobs, while environmentalists are today's cowboys in white hats (except, well, they wouldn't actually be a cowboy, because that's racist, and a white hat is most definitely racist!).

The difference between a "crazy prepper" and an "enlightened environmentalist" is primarily media spin. The media mocks and scoffs at anyone who voices a concern about our future financial stability - or should I say, financial sustainability? - while climate change is the "acceptable" bogeyman of today.

Please be clear, I am not intending to bash environmentalists here. I used to be an active volunteer for Heal the Bay in Los Angeles, and my activities included taking water samples from the hills in Malibu above the polluted Surfrider Beach, and educating children on the local watershed.

Conservatives who completely deny the impact of people's behavior on the planet irk me. The air and water in Los Angeles is very polluted - each day, the morning dew would deposit particulates of smog on anything left outside. I regularly had to check the Beach Report Card before going surfing, because I did not want to be swimming in bacteria-laden water.

After taking a tour of the Hyperion sewage treatment plant in Los Angeles, I have a tremendous appreciation for waste water recycling technologies. People have no idea how much crap - literally - gets processed each day in these facilities.

It's a lot easier to deny the impact of humans on the environment when you live in a rural area surrounded by a lot of pristine land. It's another thing when you are in a city covered in smog and trash.

Try telling people in China that air pollution isn't an issue. We simply exported our industrial problems over to them, along with our jobs. (However, I'd like to point out that there is a huge, massive difference between airborne particulate matter and carbon dioxide.)

The Devastating Effects of Pollution in China (Part 1/2)

All that said, I believe the media has been hyping up climate change - and to the detriment of more practical environmental concerns such as, where on earth are we going to put all our trash? What are we going to do with our waste water? Climate change is the acceptable hysteria of today. And it makes for dramatic news stories when tornadoes hit.

Furthermore, if there was more money to be made in the trash business, then I suspect you'd be hearing more about our hidden trash crisis on the news. But it's a lot easier for the banking cartels to pocket a lot of money off of carbon credits than trash. Meanwhile, Al Gore has made a mint off of books and documentaries, all the while jetting around to his various mansions that could collectively provide energy for a small city.

And who wants to deal with trash anyway? Climate disasters are not only spawning entire home-grown industries of storm chasers (which, I confess, I love to watch), but make for damn good disaster movies. Trash? Not so much.

Trash: Boring and Gross

Storm Chasing: Exciting

Escaping the largest EF5 tornado in history - El Reno, OK - full dashcam sequence

The thing is, here in America, we are at a decades-long low for tornadoes and hurricanes. My simple theory is that the seeming increase in environmental disasters is more due to the 24 hour news cycle and increased suburban sprawl. When there were fewer people living in places like Oklahoma and Alabama, the tornadoes had fewer targets.

Still, seeing pictures of houses blown away tugs at the heart strings, and it is a lot easier to get people to understand the dangers of extreme weather than extreme financial policies. Weather is tangible - we all experience it every day - whereas money, as much as we have to deal with it every day, is still somewhat ephemeral and hard to grasp on a large scale.

Certainly, political activists often decry poverty, and when it comes to raising money for food aid in Africa, photos of starving children with big black puppy dog eyes is another puller of heart strings.

But that does not translate into a clamor for sound fiscal policy. If anything, it engenders the opposite - a populace who is demanding that we "do" something about the poor, which generally includes spending more on them. But how to get people to understand our precarious financial position when it comes to national debt?

How about a chart? Wasn't the global warming hockey stick chart effective in scaring people about climate change? (And isn't it interesting how climate scientists get the benefit of the doubt when their charts don't pan out, much more so than financial analysists? Hmm.)

Sure, we can show people graphs of U.S. debt, but concepts like "Debt to G.D.P. ratio" are a bit difficult for the average person to fully grasp. And it's just not "sticking." Maybe the debt chart needs a cute PR name attached to it. Instead of "hockey stick chart" maybe it needs to be named something like "volcano chart." You know, once it hits its peak, it's going to explode.

Mt. St. Helens Eruption May 18, 1980 720p HD

(By the way, Mount St. Helens is becoming active again. If that blows, that should give CNN something to focus on once the missing plane story is past its already overdue shelf life.)

Now, there are certain people who may have previously considered themselves "Doomers" of a sort, who waited around for a big financial apocalypse, and it did not happen on their timeline. Now they mock and make of fun of anyone who has not woken up to "reality" like they have. If anything, these people are probably the biggest critics of anyone who is still waiting for the End of the Keynesian Experiment. They think they have gotten smarter than you.

I will say, that waiting on a big apocalypse, whether environment or financial, is probably a wrong way to focus time and energy. It's not likely to happen with a big bang.

In my mind, the financial apocalypse is already underway.

We have a record number of people out of the workforce in America. Sure, on the surface, life goes on, but what about the people you know? In my immediate circle of friends and family, I know far too many people who are on the verge of disaster. One friend just told me that she and her family (of three children) had to do rice and beans for dinner. My stepfather's granite business was hit hard by the 2008 financial implosion and has been barely hanging on. People are taking on additional jobs to make ends meet.

The problem with a quiet financial apocalypse is that - unlike a hurricane - it does not provide an opportunity for Jim Cantore to show up in a blue rain slicker breathlessly reporting about THUNDERSNOW!!

Jim Cantore 4 Thundersnow Reactions

Sure, 60 Minutes might do an occasional sob story about a family on the brink, but it's still an individual pain being reported - not a collective horror like an environmental disaster.

Now, what can we do about it? Certainly, in the short run, we can try to warn family and friends to be more prepared. Most are probably not going to listen. When they do run into personal financial trouble, they are going to want more government to fix it, and they won't understand how our financial policies are causing our spending power to weaken dramatically.

For the long term, I think it's time people starting building up alternative economies for themselves. While I'm not suggesting "black market" per se, I think we need to start thinking about networks of local producers who can start creating opportunity despite whatever stupidity is going on with the central banks and deep state apparatuses.

Bill Whittle suggested this idea after the 2012 election. I realize for some of you he might be too conservative, but try to set your partisan leanings aside and think about what he's really saying here. We need to come up with alternatives and stop waiting for the politicians to change things, because they won't. They profit too much from the dysfunction.

A New Beginning...

We complain a lot about the government doing this and doing that, but we still continue to give our power away to them. With the quiet financial apocalypse already under way, we need to start figuring out creative ways to create something new and better outside the existing system.

Maybe it's as simple as bartering with friends and family.

Whatever you do, smart small but think big.

Stephanie blogs sporadically at a number of websites, including Freeople and Free Thinking Christianity.

About the Author

  60 Comments

lnardozi
May 3, 2014 - 4:21pm

First

The thing about prepping is... you're fighting inflation! Not the fancy BLS kind that doesn't exist - I'm talking about half gallon of ice cream that now only weighs 48oz and costs $3 more. Plus, there are MAD savings to be had if you get a business license and buy at places like Restaurant Depot. Used to paying (recently) $3 for a 4lb bag of sugar - I just got 50lbs for $19. I have 5 gallon buckets with gamma seal lids - ALL our staples, meat and frozen pruducts are bought there now. Remember $3/lb bacon? It still exists there - shoot, there's $1.89 bacon but I feel rich enough to pop for the $3 stuff!

Urban Roman
May 3, 2014 - 4:36pm

Good essay, stephanie.

Good essay, stephanie.

In my mind, the financial apocalypse is already underway.

True dat. It is more like a drought than a hurricane.

Never makes the news, just grinds on and on. Boring to watch. No zombies stumbling around.

Which sort of begs the question of "prepping". Because prepping for a quick dip is very different than prepping for a dark age.

Bugzy
May 3, 2014 - 4:51pm

Yes

Just take back control. Stop looking for someone better to elect to give your control over to. Just do your own self reliance. Make politicians irrelevant.

OR

Stop waiting for the system to collapse and for it to stop looking after you. Make the system irrelevant.

DayStar
May 3, 2014 - 4:57pm

Harvey's Up! (TFMR)

Unabridged Harvey: https://www.tfmetalsreport.com/comment/617790#comment-617790

  • GoldCore: Italy’s central bank, the Banca d’Italia, has recently published an important document detailing the storage locations and composition of the country’s gold reserves. The document confirms that Italy’s gold is held across four vault locations, three of which are outside Italy. This is a significant announcement given that the Banca d’Italia is the world’s third largest official holder of gold after the U.S. and Germany. Italy officially holds 2,451.8 tonnes of gold, worth more than €72 billion (US$ 100 billion) at current market prices. In the detailed three page report focusing exclusively on its gold reserves (and only published in Italian), the Banca d’Italia reveals that 1,199.4 tonnes, or nearly half the total, is held in the Bank’s own vaults under its Palazzo Koch headquarters on Via Nazionale in Rome, while most of the other half is stored in the Federal Reserve Bank gold vault in New York. The report also states that smaller amounts are stored at the Bank of England in London, and at the vaults of the Swiss National Bank in Bern, Switzerland.
  • Harvey: Today was the first day back for the physical price zones for gold and silver and the buyers were waiting in the wings. As soon as the bankers pushed gold down to $1280 and silver to $18.87,on the jobs announcement, there was a massive demand for these metals as the London fix approached. Our banker friends were buried today. Physical metals are scarce as we witness gold GOFO rates go deeper into negative territory and thus official backwardation. Silver is also in backwardation (SIFO). Gold and silver today certainly got a lift from the chaos inside the Ukraine. The GLD inventories lowers by 2.7 tonnes of gold (now stands at 787.94 tonnes) despite the fact that gold remains in backwardation from one month to 6 months out. It is within a whisker of backwardation going out for one year. The silver inventory at the SLV tonight rose by an astonishing 4.198 million oz and stands at 10,309.67 tonnes.
  • Chris Powell: In commentary today Euro-Pacific Capital's Peter Schiff muses about growing suspicion that the gold market is manipulated by central banks and their associated bullion banks. and he even argues that investors should welcome gold price suppression as an opportunity to obtain metal at a discount to its true value. Gold investors who died cheated out of a free-market price for their metal and gold investors who are not likely to live forever may not be terribly encouraged by Schiff's rationale. And since the Western central bank gold price suppression scheme is the keystone of a policy of rigging all major markets, adherents of free markets generally and the progress they have accomplished for humanity may not rejoice all that much either.
  • Alasdair Macleod: Normally a prolonged period of low interest rates stimulates demand for bank credit to finance consumer demand. This time the signs are that a prolonged period of extremely low interest rates has failed to stimulate much more than asset prices. There are now signs that the global economy is stalling and there will be no boom, because consumers are already maxed out. Signs that the US and global economies are now stalling raises the possibility that zero interest rate policy is going to be with us for many years yet. As long, that is, as price inflation remains subdued. This is where monetary policy will come unstuck. The purchasing power of a currency can vary independently from economic demand, giving rise to stagflation. Technically this is inflation in a stagnant economy reflecting a change in preference against money in favour of goods.
  • Bill Holter: Those with precious metals will not be allowed to feel like "they won" until "winning" doesn't matter anymore...survival will. Yes, precious metals will be wealth and this wealth will allow you to do some things that others without any wealth will be able to do (like eat), but you will not be "wealthy" in today's current sense of the word. You may, probably even will, have more purchasing power than currently, but I believe that your "options" to spend your wealth will be far more limited than they are today. We are on the cusp of something that happens every 200 years or so, the changing of the guard or more specifically the reserve currency. I can envision maybe even up to 20 years of chaos and uncertainty until a "new world order" truly becomes ironed out. Wealth will obviously be a good thing to have, truly "enjoying it" will be whole 'nother story in my opinion.
  • Zero Hedge: A leaked recording by the vice-chairman of Vanke Group (China’s biggest property developer), confirms, as The Telegraph's Amrbose Evans-Pritchard reports, what the bears have been saying for months, 'it is a dangerous bubble, and already deflating'. Mao Daqing's words, translated, are ominous: "In 1990, Tokyo’s total land value accounts for 63.3% of US GDP, while Hong Kong reached 66.3% in 1997. Now, the total land value in Beijing is 61.6% of US GDP, a dangerous level... China has reached its capacity limit for new construction of residential projects... and I don’t see any possibility for a rise in home prices." Housing inventory is exploding - and as Mao concludes: "housing production per 1000 people reached 35; even when the housing market is hot, no country has a figure of greater than 14 - this should cause alarm."
  • Thina Margrethe Saltvedt and Aurelija Augulyte: Russia is important oil and gas supplier to Europe. Disruptions to Russian oil flows will have huge impact on oil prices. Embittered political climate, oil prices at USD 150/barrel and high financial market uncertainty can tip EU back into recession. Oil price spike and flight to safety a recipe for broad-based USD strengthening and lower global rates. US shale oil or SPR release will not prevent oil price spike. Oil prices have increased by more than USD 2/barrel today as tension in Ukraine has escalated and raise concerns about the risks of disruption in Russian energy exports. There is a risk that the security situation in the east Ukraine will worsen even further ahead of the 25 May elections. A sharp rise in oil prices – if prices remain elevated for a period of time – will have a negative effect on economic growth and in a worst-case scenario push the EU back into recession.
  • Zero Hedge: While everyone is by now fully aware just how dependent Europe is on Russia's energy supplies (and most are aware of the "nonsense" that the US will fill any gap if Russia steps up its actions - which Barroso said wouldn't happen because "Russia has self-interest not to play the energy card") but few are truly aware of the scale of contagious debt-driven defaults that could occur if the US (and a reluctant Europe) decide to undertake more aggressive economic sanctions, which, as Germany's Europe minister stated today, "are on the table." Europe's domestic bank exposure to Russia shows Roth's warning that Russia's retaliation could mean "anything is possible," is a major problem for the Germans, Italians, and most of all - The French.
  • Dave Kranzler: The US economy is a house of cards. Every aspect of it is fraudulent, and the illusion of recovery is created with fraudulent statistics – Dr. Paul Craig Roberts. While mainstream America will be greeted with news about the huge number of new jobs “created” in April, the truth is that the number of people employed in this country declined in April – by a significant amount. In addition to nearly one million people “disappearing” from the labor force, the Government’s nefariously fraudulent “birth/death” model plugged 234,000 jobs into its statistical model. Given the natural monthly growth of the population in this country, and given that over a million workers either disappeared down the rabbit hole or were fabricated by the Government statisticians, it is likely that April in actuality experienced a big decline in jobs.
  • Andrew Ross Sorkin: Bank of America disclosed on Monday that it had made a significant error in the way it calculates a crucial measure of its financial health, suffering another blow to its effort to shake its troubled history. The mistake, which had gone undetected for several years, led the bank to report recently that it had $4 billion more capital than it actually had. After Bank of America reported its error to the Federal Reserve, the regulator required the bank to suspend a share buyback and a planned increase in its quarterly dividend. While regulators still believe Bank of America has sufficient capital, the disclosure of the accounting error will most likely add fuel to the debate over whether the nation’s largest banks are too big and complicated to manage. The error also raises questions about the quality of Bank of America’s own accounting employees, who are supposed to present an accurate financial picture of the bank’s sprawling operations to the public and regulators each quarter.
  • Antal Fekete: What appears as naked short selling to silver analysts is really the activities of "bulls in bear's skin". It is the tip of the iceberg that can be seen. What is not seen, the bulk of the iceberg, is the dynamic hedging of ever increasing gold and silver hoards through the option-writing activities of the principals who want to stay anonymous. They are actually quite happy that the analysts believe, and spread the belief, that they are naked short. The longer they can keep the "cover" of being "naked", the better it is for their operations. Writing options on gold and silver hoards is a strategy that is becoming more widespread with the passing of every day. It is important because it hastens the gold and silver basis to go negative. It hastens the advent of permanent gold and silver backwardation. It hastens the dawning of the day when the regime of irredeemable currency will give up the ghost.
  • Gerald Celente: There will be an economic collapse by end of 2nd quarter. There was only 0.1% GDP growth 1st quarter. Interest rate is zero interest so it discourages savings and fuels the stock market. Currency devaluation is like hyperinflation, but the currency is devaluated. We had 14 year low for new mortgage application, because the mortgage rate went up, but it was only 100 basis points. When interest rates go up, the economy goes down. Demand for gold is at all time high. The stock markets and libor and forex and gold are rigged. They keep gold down to keep interest rates down. Timing is the hardest part, because you don't know what they are doing behind the scenes. For example, who could have known they would come out with the QE program?
  • Jim Rickards: The dollar is going to collapse, and what I mean by Collapse is a loss of confidence. It has happened already three times in history (1914, 1939, 1971). The first two were because of world wars and the third one was when Nixon closed the gold window. We didn't all go live in caves when it happened. [DS: It is true we did not go live in caves during those wars, but much of the world was destroyed, and the elites did not have as a corollary objective the destruction of most of the human race]. Cyber attacks are a great threat to the financial system. The Ukranian and Russian hackers could shut down the NYSE. Of course the US hackers could shut down the Russian stock exchange, but the Americans have more to lose.
  • Marc Faber: I travel a lot, but I would say that I don’t see a meaningful economic improvement anywhere. In fact, when I travel throughout Asia I see economies that are no longer growing. ...If central banks argue that we need an inflation rate of 2%, then I could argue that maybe it would be better to have deflation of 2% - 3% per annum every year because if prices went down for food, energy, healthcare and so forth, then the typical household would be better off because it would have more money to spend. And taxes have been going up for most people. They may not see it, but each time they use a public service, whether it’s a train from (point) A to (point) B, or a toll road, or a tunnel fee, they pay much more than before. I think the central banks are supported by the media, and the talking heads of mass media, they always kind of support what central bankers are doing when in fact, because of the money printing the typical household is being hurt.
  • John Embry: Janet Yellen is Ben Bernanke lite. She said due to the sub par jobs recovery they were going to keep interest rates at low levels for the foreseeable future. The stock market responded favorably to that, and naturally the gold market was knocked down, but the fact is her statement is wildly bullish for gold in the long term. They cannot remove the punch bowl without sending interest rates much higher in the US and the impact would be extreme.
  • James Wesley Rawles: Unfortunately, in an urban environment, you can do everything right, but if you’re neighbors can’t adapt, you’re going to end up just as dead, because… the sanitation situation is going to be horrendous. And, if people are going door-to-door kicking in the front doors of houses, eventually they’re going to get to your house. If it’s that bad, if it’s a total worst case, your chances are not that good hunkering down in place. You may beat the odds, but I would rather be somewhere else, frankly. If you live in the city you’re in the same situation as probably 30% or 40% of my readership, so don’t feel like you’re alone. There are a lot of people that would love to relocate, but either for financial reasons, or family obligations, or work obligations, or health considerations they have not.

All this and more on...

The Harvey Report!

https://www.tfmetalsreport.com/comment/617790#comment-617790

DayStar

May 3, 2014 - 4:59pm

Another great post!

Really well done, Stephanie. And you are absolutely right about the numerous similarities between preppers and Eco/sustainability folks- tons of common ground, regardless of the divisions the media tries to create. I recently met a very "crunchy" young woman who runs a small organic farm with her family- eco sustainability, organic, heritage veggies, turning fields by hand instead of gas tractor, the whole route. We had a ton in common and really enjoyed talking and sharing ideas. Great young lady. She and her family are well-prepared, even if she wouldn't use those words.

sierra skier
May 3, 2014 - 5:03pm

OH,, 2nd

I love reading Stephanie's posts. I used to surf the Malibu and surrounding beaches in the mid sixties after body surfing since the late 50s in the area. We spent lots of time at the beaches growing up. Being from the Valley and living on top on the first foot hill to the west we used to watch the plume from the Budweiser plant in Van Nuys rise, swirl a bit and drift towards the golden state Freeway.

China has inherited many of our jobs and industry but has failed to control pollution or even attempt to visibly. By not dealing with the costs of pollution they can manufacture goods for less along with their lower labor costs. The Chinese folks have benefited from the jobs but continue to pay a huge price in pollution and related health issues.

I am a firm believer that the humans have over populated the holding capacity of our environment through cheap energy. This is a large part of the reason for pollution and the upcoming shortages we will see in oil, phosphorus, water and other vital needs.

Thanks Stephanie for another interesting post.

BTW. We experience Thunder Snow here, not often but usually at least once every winter. They shut down the ski lifts when that occurs.

Mr. Fix
May 3, 2014 - 5:05pm

I would take “ the fifth”, but this topic is just too juicy:

“Financial Apocalypse”? That's the least of it! There's just too many things going on converging all At once.

A big one is the weather manipulation, epic droughts being caused where we grow our food, freak snowstorms that kill hundreds of thousands of head of cattle, I'm glad you mentioned “thunder snow”, I had a lot of that in my house this year, in fact, the weather was far more damaging than usual. Just look at what happened to some of the southern states in the past week, for example, Pensacola Florida getting 9000 lightning strikes in just 15 min.

only yesterday, I woke up to 30°, and by the afternoon it was 80° I have no doubt that the weather we are experiencing has been specifically designed to cause as much damage as possible.

one aspect of “Armageddon” will definitely have to do with an extreme lack of food, and probably water.

Let's not forget radiation, it's not just Fukushima, our storage facilities are leaking everywhere, the build up of radioactive debris at each and every nuclear power station is a disaster if nothing bad happens, and the cataclysm if the grid fails, or just about any other “false flag” to turn a nasty situation into an extinction event.

How about the crap in Ukraine?! Apparently the banking cartel is going all-out to start this war, and Vladimir Putin may very well be put in a position where he loses all faith in his own people if he does not at least appear to stand up to them.

How about all those biologically engineered diseases popping up all over the place?

Nothing like ushering in Armageddon with a good pandemic.

There's always GMO, nothing like distributing poison in the food supply.

And of course, no decent Armageddon scenario would be complete without a complete currency collapse, used as a false flag to usher in a brand-new worthless digital currency, much easier to trace every transaction, in fact, no sale can go untaxed anymore, the ability of government to steal from the populace will be airtight.

None of these trends can be turned around without good men standing up and saying no, “I will not comply”.

Unfortunately, we still need many, many more well-informed enough to be able to make such a choice.

In the meantime, we keep stacking, and get ready for the inevitable.

PS, how did DayStar jump in my place while I was editing?

I know I started out fifth, by the time I wrote my "doomer rant", I was only sixth.

that's never happened before, it must be a harbinger of things to come.

elpicador
May 3, 2014 - 5:40pm
Nana
May 3, 2014 - 5:49pm

Greed Is Their Creed

This is part of the reason we are where we are today. The politicians (gang of 545). The CEO's of major companies and their board members... This even applies all the way to the so called charities and many so called humanitarian organizations as well as many "churches". The other aspect is TPTB, they have wealth galore, more than they could ever spend in a few lifetimes, they have so much wealth they have moved on to a power control trip, literally. Of course there have always been a smaller group that have controlled many aspects who hide behind the scenes. They are the truly dangerous ones, dangerous in every way to mankind yet most people do not even know they exist. Then you have the bottom tier of people who believe they are owed everything from cell phones, food stamps, paid housing, free medical care and on and on (nothing is free even thou they believe it is). Is it any wonder how we got here....since the fall of man..... Personal solutions: start caring for your fellow man. Pay it foreword, if you see someone who needs a helping hand offer your assistance. If you have a neighbor who is elderly or handicapped or has a hard time getting around, take them dinner once a week, offer to take them somewhere they need to go, offer to do their laundry, cut their grass, shovel their snow. Pay it foreword, change the world one person at a time....

Undecided
May 3, 2014 - 5:51pm

Ocho

Mucho

edit 10 again its all happening so fast

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by It'stheBankers, Aug 24, 2019 - 10:04pm
by jack3617, Aug 24, 2019 - 9:04pm
by Marcus, Aug 24, 2019 - 8:58pm
by mavens, Aug 24, 2019 - 7:15pm
randomness