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

Gold Dog
May 4, 2014 - 2:20am

My Dear Turdville

Please excuse my absence, I have many pieces on my chessboard that need attending to. I do check in most days to read a couple of the lead articles and cudos to all the wordsmiths! My plan is to report in after the great "life change" is farther along. Let it suffice for now that I have been doing well on my RSIWilders trades and much less well on long term investments in raw materials production investments. I miss almost each and every one of you. Love, Dog

Safety Dan
May 4, 2014 - 2:43am

Gold, SDR and The Future

Gold And The Special Drawing Rights (SDR): 1969-Present Go to the link for the charts and more info..

Gold and the Special Drawing Rights (SDR)

There is no doubt that our actual international monetary standard based on the US dollar, in place since the breaking of the Bretton Woods accords in 1971, is living its last days. What will replace it?

On August 15, 1971, Richard Nixon, United States President, addressed the nation announcing the “temporary” suspension of the dollar’s convertibility into gold. In the address, he also stated, “In full cooperation with the International Monetary Fund and those who trade with us, we will press for the necessary reforms to set up an urgently needed new international monetary system.” Forty years later, nothing has been done. The « temporary » suspension has become permanent. Since 1971, the world is operating on a dollar system solely based on the integrity of the U.S. debt. Excessive debt, especially in the United States but also in the rest of the world, has just reached its limits. The 2008 crisis was just the start of the end game.

In chart #1, we can see how foreign currency reserves are distributed at the IMF since 2013. We observe that the US dollar, at 64% of the total, and the euro, with 25%, largely dominate. In 2000, the dollar reached a maximum of 71% of the reserves.

Chart #1 : IMF Foreign Reserves by Currencies (COFER)

Gold

Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) were created by the IMF in 1969. Originally, the value of an SDR was defined as equivalent to 0.888671 grams of fine gold (0.028571oz) which, then, was also equivalent to a US dollar (1oz of gold = 35 SDRs = US$35). Anyhow, after the gold exchange standard, commonly called Bretton Woods in 1973, SDRs have been redefined as a basket of currencies, today comprising of euros, Japanese yens, British pounds and US dollars. The SDR rate in US dollars is posted every day on the IMF’s website. It is calculated as being the sum of a specific amount of the four currencies in the basket, rated in US dollars based on the exchange rate fixed at noon, each day, on the London market.

Chart #2 : IMF’s Special Drawing Rights (SDRs)

Today, since December 2010, the value of one SDR equals the sum of 0.423 euro, 12.1 yens, 0.111 British pound and 0.66 US dollar. On February 21, 2014, one SDR was worth $1.542905, an ounce of gold was worth 857.75 SDRs, and it was worth $1,323.25. This clearly shows the devaluation of paper currencies compared to gold since 1971 (-2,450.71%).

Chart #3: Gold vs Special Drawing Rights Gold in SDRs

According to the statutes of the IMF, member countries are forbidden to tie their national currency to gold. This is the reason why Switzerland was forced, when it became an IMF member in 1992, to abandon its 40% gold coverage of its currency which was until then written in its Constitution. SDRs are neither a currency, and neither are they IMF-issued credits. It is rather a potential claim on the free-floating currencies of the IMF members. China is the only one of the six large world economies whose currency (Yuan) does not have reserve currency status.

It seems that there are secret negotiations going on at this moment under the auspices of the IMF and the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) in order to prepare for a new international monetary system. Many scenarios exist, from creating an international paper currency, still based on a basket of currencies like the SDRs (chart #3), but that would include the Chinese Yuan and other currencies from developing countries (Russian ruble, Indian rupee, Brazilian real, South-African rand), to an SDR that would also include a percentage of gold (charts #4 and #5). Robert Mundell, Nobel Prize laureate in economics, was already proposing an international currency in 1998, the INTOR, comprising 50% of gold and a basket of paper currencies (chart #4), while Dubai’s DIFC, in a 2010 study, was proposing 20% in gold.

Chart #4: Robert Mundell’s INTOR

Chart #5: « Hard » Special Drawing Rights of the DIFC

Robert Zoellick, former chairman of the World Bank, in a Financial Times article in 2010, was also proposing an SDR, but tied to gold. It looks similar to what existed when the dollar was linked to gold before 1971. Bank of China’s governor Xiaochuan is proposing to develop SDRs as a « super-sovereign » reserve currency, disconnected from any particular country and able to remain stable on the long term. In view of the massive gold buying from China, it is obvious that a link to gold is part of China’s strategy.

All of those scenarios pre-suppose preparations, along with an international conference, before a major monetary crisis occurs. Obviously, the current system has been quite profitable for the United States, and that it does not wish for profound changes. « The dollar may be our currency, but it’s also your problem ». This U.S. position, aptly expressed in 1973 by John Connally, U.S. Treasury Secretary, in a speech to Europeans, still seems to be predominant today.

If a monetary crisis and a crash of the current fiat system based on debt occur, then the chances of negotiating a solution will become thinner and thinner, and a de facto standard will impose itself. What will it be? It is the one already here, in the shadows when everything is fine, and shines when disaster strikes… and that has been there for 5,000 years: gold that is (or gold and silver).

According to a study from the OMFIF: “The role of gold is likely to be bigger in the transition period to a multiple reserve currency system than when such a system is in existence; in both cases, it will be greater than today.”(1) Also, “History shows that the fall in the value of one reserve currency does not necessarily translate into a rise in the value of others. Instead, turbulence for one reserve currency may well spell turbulence for all, prompting markets to seek a non-currency safe haven. The answer, usually, is gold.”(2)

Jim Rickards, author of Currency Wars, states in an article, “When all else fails, possibly including a new SDR plan, gold is always waiting in the wings as a stable, widely accepted store of value and universal money. In the end, a global struggle between gold and SDRs for supremacy as “money” may be the next great shock added to the long list of historic shocks to the international monetary system.”(3) Gold’s role will be much more important during the transition period to a new international monetary system than afterwards.

As far as I am concerned, I cannot conceive, just like General de Gaulle, president of France (in his 1965 speech, at the end of the « gold exchange standard »), that « there might be any criterion, or standard, than gold. Yes! gold, that is never altered, that can be made into bars, ingots or coins, that has no nationality, that has been held, eternally and universally, as the most excellent unalterable and fiduciary value ».(4)

Throughout the centuries, in countries being much different, economically or politically, whether the price was fixed or free, gold has maintained its real value and has remained constant despite significant fluctuations over short periods.

Gold Standard – 1kg – 51.9 cm³

“The main thing we miss today is universal money, a standard of value, the link between the past and the future and the cement linking remote parts of the human race to one another.”(Robert Mundell) (5) The world is in need of a monetary standard that would be constant in time and space, like the meter (distance), the liter (volume), the kilogram (mass), the hour (time) or the degree Celsius (temperature), and would be linked to others (e.g. 1kg/51.9cm³).

It is impossible now to know what system will be chosen, or which one will impose itself, because it all depends on the chain of events that will trigger the end of the current « dollar » system based on debt (mainly U.S. debt). The United States will be the last country to accept a reform that would eliminate the « exorbitant privilege » (6) offered by the present system, and it will make no proposition to stray from the current system. This system maximizes its stronghold. It is however certain that the gold price will rise sensibly until a new monetary system is in place.

ivars
May 4, 2014 - 5:18am

Continuation on Ron Paul and USA isolationism impossibility

Already Romans knew that to have peace and prosperity in the Center of the Empire You have to place legions at the utmost borders of Your interest sphere ( In Roman times it coincided with direct geographical limits but NOT with citizenship limits of the Empire- as it is now in the case of the USA) and spare nothing to maintain your ability to prevent threats to Empire in those outposts.

To increase revenue for the center as governance gets more complex and maintenance of military You have to expand the Empire ( USA since its beginnings) . Once expansion stops, Empire starts to collapse, from peripheries, ending in the destruction of the center. Rome started to lose peripheries from 117 AD onwards (according to devaluation of Roman currency vs Western Empire reserve currency it corresponds to year 1850 in current cycle around the time of biggest extent of British Empire (including subjugation of China after Opium wars) , 2014 corresponds to 281AD) to others but it vigorously defended them. Had it not, it would have perished much earlier.

So defending peripheries of the USA empire is vital to the medium term survival of its center- citizens who as any imperial center enjoys the spoils either in form of wealth, expensive form of governance-democracy ( which is oligarchy as its ruled by money) , and peace. USA lead Western Empire includes Europe and Japan directly . Nothing new in this approach. Peripheries that GUARD the interests of the center are in the state of permanent war, open or behind the scenes.

The rest is utopia. The faster the USA insulates itself, the faster Western Empire that forms its perimeter will collapse, and in the end USA may continue to exist like a Byzantine Empire in best case- a decaying local power to be overrun one day by more powerful rivals like China. These developments does not happen fast, but surely.

As to the founding fathers, the key reason for unification of states and writing of constitution was to take over money supply control from individual states and distribute resources via central executive authority. Of course such logical centralization stabilized the country, but it was not democratic at all. Big difference between words and deeds as always in history of republics. Words to please the masses, deeds to allow elite to control key resources.

Like this discussion. Pretty lively.

I Run Bartertown
May 4, 2014 - 6:18am

Ivars

Oops, my response was intended, and fit better, with your post here:

https://www.tfmetalsreport.com/comment/255773#comment-255773

ivars
May 4, 2014 - 7:10am

@IRB

Well I disagree. You can not run away from your past, and as USA greatness is based on Empire nature of its hold on the world via Western Empire and control of money supply, what could be a result of isolationism is completely different from what is today.

While You may prefer that state others will not hesitate to use the diminishment of Western Empire periphery and then center. There is no status quo ..there is only dynamic status quo when from both sides pressure is applied. If one side starts to shrink, it will have to get even more militarized or expire. History teaches that cheapest way is proactive playing of strategic game and elimination of strategic dangers, not hoping for last battle of defense when the war is brought to your territory like a walled city that is surrounded from all sides. Sounds reasonable for me that strategic game (I think that is what You call meddling) has to be played including the whole board, not just in one corner.

Otherwise You lose. Empires collapse anyway, but even that is negotiable , how they collapse and what is left. Putting head in the sand does not help to make the right move.

buzlightening
May 4, 2014 - 8:55am

Speaking of DOOOOOOM rant

on any and all? From Lindsey Williams site:

Elite Instituting Drastic Measures Immediately…

By James Harkin on Friday, May 2nd, 2014 | 17 Comments

Pastor Williams just emailed me something I should share with you all immediately…

“A while back I mentioned that my Elite friend was traveling for a few months. He and his wife JUST arrived back home. I just received an email from him. It was startling beyond words.

HE SAID -“The Elite are instituting drastic measures which will be implemented IMMEDIATELY. The world as we know it will never be the same again. Expect catastrophic events in the monetary world, nature and the Elite EXPECT DIVINE REPROCUSSIONS.”

I will try to get my friend to elaborate more.”

I will add more when Pastor Williams knows more…

- See more at: https://www.lindseywilliams.net/#sthash.rRklT9GW.dpuf ..............................................................................

Well, you don't need to be a prophet to read the signs of the times. Even a person with little effort to get outside the fane stream media box, would know we're being herded into places where we can be corralled; slaughtered and milked like the stupid sheeple we are. So who really isn't aware on this turdville thread the EEE are poised to serve up mutton; sheeple being invited to dinner and we're the main course. Saw it coming right off years ago. Now the dinner bell ringing louder and longer than before. It's all escalating to some grand mal EEE seizure. Just stay out of the way of the sheeple stampeded over the lemming cliffs. NO FEAR FOLKS. Action cures fear and there's little more one can do than have your self sufficiency economic life boats ready to launch. Yes! Prayer is effective when you get on your knees to depend on God, but once off your knees depend on yourself. Knowing in full confidence your prayer is heard. God will take you by the hand and lead you to safely to a place of refuge. God gives no answer to prayer, except He prepare a way for you to accomplish what He has commanded you to do. My suggestion is just do and you will know God is behind your action. Something about doing, before knowing your faith is made full. You do and you know God has answered. Faith is not to have a perfect knowledge but hoping for that which is unseen being true. You gotta act before you know God truly is leading you by your hand to safety. Don't get all bent out of shape if the road is hard you're asked to take. Children of Israel had their backs entirely against the red sea before it was parted. It may appear you're being brought to some dead end but don't lose faith. God is more powerful than all the EEE combined worlds without number. Plant the seed of escape through fasith in God as our forefathers, if you haven't already. Know it's all part of the plan; Gods PLAN to free all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people His way and not any other way.

Bugzy
May 4, 2014 - 10:37am

Superb pice on inside info from the Pastor

Let me guess, send him money to find out more?

Food for the SRSRoco me thinks

John Galt
May 4, 2014 - 10:48am

Latest Lindsey Williams Doom Rant

So, we are told there is an urgent message from the Pastor because the Elites are doing something immediately, and then all we getis crickets.

Why the delay? An urgent message should take no longer than a 30 second clip. Does a 2 hour sermon need to be created first? Or has the shipment of the latest doom & gloom DVDs been delayed by the trucker strike in Long Beach?

May 4, 2014 - 2:20pm

Lindsay Williams Hoo-Ha

Nothing against Lindsay Williams, but he seems to me to be constantly posting these DIRE WARNINGS OF IMMINENT DOOM!!! that end up causing a lot of people to roll their eyes. We've been hearing for years now that the elites are going to be pulling off something big and massive and horrifying. I'm not saying something bad isn't going to happen. But how many Lindsay Williamses actually predicted 9/11? (Other than the Lone Gunman television show and an obscure magazine shot in an episode of The Simpsons?)

Magpie
May 4, 2014 - 2:20pm

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