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Thursday, May 18, 2017

More cause, more effect

The ever-astute Pat Buchanan knows how the trends are flowing:
You’ve written much about your worries about how demographic changes will negatively affect the nation. What do you think is the political effect that will come from this? We are currently seeing the rise of the alt right, left-wing violence…

If you see more of the cause, you will see more of the effect. How dumb can these people be. Take a look at what’s happening in Europe. You have secessionist movements in more than half a dozen countries. You’ve got nationalism across Europe, you’ve got ethno-nationalism, you’ve got pro-Russian governments rising, autocracy is more attractive to people.

People got to take a look. This isn’t because a couple of guys have been preaching something for a few years. We’ve been predicting it. It’s the events that matter. They decide things. When we ran with these issues in the 90s, you had tremendous support, but the thing people said was what we’re doing right now isn’t that bad so let’s stick with this.

If you don’t address the causes you will get the same results,  and I don’t understand people who don’t realize that.
This is precisely why I have been pointing out that the continued rise of the Alt-Right to ascendance is not merely likely, it is inevitable. Mainstream conservatism not only has no answers for the problems caused by demographic changes, it is part of the problem.

I can't stress this enough: civic nationalism has failed in the USA. The second immigrant wave destroyed the political foundations of the state, and now the third immigrant wave has destroyed even the semblance of a nation. It's not even remotely possible to dispute this any longer; those who continue to try will only sacrifice their own credibility and become increasingly irrelevant.

As I mentioned to a friend yesterday, my observations tend to be on the early side of the trends. If we were to compare this to the global financial crisis, we're probably at around 2003. Right now, people can see the equivalent of the rise in housing prices, but they can't yet grasp its link to the global financial system. In the same way, people can see the tens of millions of immigrants, their children, and grandchildren, but they can't yet grasp their link to the dissolution of the nation-state.

But they will. They absolutely will in time.

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73 Comments:

Blogger ZhukovG May 18, 2017 5:51 AM  

They will understand in time. But not in time. There will be war.

A 1990's New Age Cultist, clutching their healing crystal, was on a firmer scientific foundation than Civic Nationalists.

Anonymous Rocklea May 18, 2017 5:54 AM  

"When we ran with these issues in the 90s, you had tremendous support, but the thing people said was what we’re doing right now isn’t that bad so let’s stick with this."

So far so good:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7GP3l5znc8

Blogger Lazarus May 18, 2017 5:56 AM  

And you get involved in a couple more wars over there, the American people will rise up against the Republican Party and throw them out the way they did in 2006 and 2008.

But they don't get thrown out, they just change roles.

Oh, the futility.

Blogger Lovekraft May 18, 2017 5:58 AM  

Canada's upcoming 150th anniversary is going to be laying on the multicultural/diversity propaganda pretty thick. Thankfully I don't have cable (goodbye America gives me enough glimpses of that).

If asked, I would state that what Canada means to me is: constantly being reminded that my culture is toxic and the smug faces of those who plan on replacing me and those who virtue signal it. And some beavers and hockey, I guess.

Blogger JACIII May 18, 2017 5:59 AM  

Word of the day: Rodomontade. Pat is sharp. How did he never make it to the top job?

Anonymous burgmeister May 18, 2017 6:08 AM  

Macron just said that 'we need to reform the EU (centralisation)' to fight off Populism.

Yes, he really did.

Blogger pyrrhus May 18, 2017 6:27 AM  

People are not ready to deal with the "rough beast" that is slouching toward Bethlehem. Many will not be ready even as it happens.

Anonymous 0018 May 18, 2017 6:32 AM  

JACIII wrote:Pat is sharp. How did he never make it to the top job?

Because he was too early. Scroll down and read the words at the very bottom of the page.

Blogger Samuel Nock May 18, 2017 6:32 AM  

Friends who still cannot get over how right I was about Trump, are now trying to show I am wrong because there is "chaos", or Trump may be impeached, or whatever.

What they don't get, and why I have basically have given up talking to normies, and as Vox so eloquently points out in this post, is that Trump doesn't matter. Le Pen doesn't matter. Farage, May, Putin, Orban, Macron etc etc etc, do not matter.

Events are what they are. The trends are what they are.

Alea jecta est.

It was jecta back in 1965.

Blogger Phillip George May 18, 2017 6:33 AM  

populism Vs democracy.
I don't think schizophrenia can have a better banner.

The problem with democracy is that an idea might become popular.
Democracy works perfectly well if we only allow any one outcome.

Finally this is all predicted. Laodicea means democracy. Look it up. It works, it really does, if and only if your science acknowledges God, and you invite Him into your assembly. How America started is the only way it can survive. The empty chair at town halls is for the Holy Spirit. Only God can bless.

Blogger Samuel Nock May 18, 2017 6:35 AM  

@8 "Scroll down and read the words at the very bottom of the page."

Nice!!

Blogger VD May 18, 2017 6:40 AM  

Pat is sharp. How did he never make it to the top job?

Too much too soon. Also, IQ communications gap. Trump is very rare, being a man who can communicate across the 30-point gap. Bill Clinton could too, but he was a shameless liar, so it hardly counts.

Blogger Shimshon May 18, 2017 6:45 AM  

"...we're probably at around 2003..."

Given the two-election cycle prediction, that makes sense. I was in the US in 2003 and the difference was that then the mood was euphoric. From a distance, I'd say it's more resigned now.

I remember catching up with an old friend on that visit (in May). He put a bid down on a house in Bel Air for $30K above asking, and his offer was still only fourth. I knew right then that things were not going to end well.

Blogger OGRE May 18, 2017 6:45 AM  

I'd consider civil war a distinct possibility in the not so distant future. But I think the more probable result is dissolution of the federal government either though economic collapse or secession.

One thing that does give me hope is that across the great expanse of the United States the population remains for the most part homogeneous. Its in the major cities, several regions on the southern border and in florida, and in various small pockets throughout the states where the multicultural peoples begin to outgrow the Americans of European descent. I could drive from the Outer Banks to Boise and not come across anything more than a handful of people whose families haven't been here at least 3 generations. Its my hope that those states that have not been so infiltrated can--either together or separately--carry on the American heritage.

Anonymous basementhomebrewer May 18, 2017 6:51 AM  

OGRE wrote:I'd consider civil war a distinct possibility in the not so distant future. But I think the more probable result is dissolution of the federal government either though economic collapse or secession.

One thing that does give me hope is that across the great expanse of the United States the population remains for the most part homogeneous. Its in the major cities, several regions on the southern border and in florida, and in various small pockets throughout the states where the multicultural peoples begin to outgrow the Americans of European descent. I could drive from the Outer Banks to Boise and not come across anything more than a handful of people whose families haven't been here at least 3 generations. Its my hope that those states that have not been so infiltrated can--either together or separately--carry on the American heritage.


Except they have a plan for that an it is already taking root. HUD housing and "refugee" relocation under Obama had prioritized suburban and rural communities. Trump has yet to reverse that and damage continues to be done.

Blogger Stilicho May 18, 2017 6:53 AM  

Oh people see this more easily and clearly than the financial crisis. Every time a dindu approaches them or their family in public, they see it. Every time a Hindu shows up at their workplace with an H1 B, they see it. Every time Jorge and Yolanda and their innumerable brood clog the aisles of a local store, they see it. Every time burka-clad haji incubators are wandering around public spaces in a flock, they see it. It makes people uneasy on a visceral level in a way mere economic matters never could. Which is why the state media try so desperately to hide such matters: if it were reported honestly, they couldn't hide the sheer enormity of it any longer. But that moment is passing anyway as the problem intrudes into every corner of the country. At a certain point, even the most obtuse observer has to ask himself: who am I going to believe: the globohomo corporate media/govt, or my lyin' eyes? So, if you want to compare respective levels of awareness, compare the rise of the Austrian school to mainstream awareness in response to the financial crisis to the rise of the alt right. The rise of the alt right is more widespread and much more rapid. It's as if it is 2006 in economic terms and half the country is getting away from debt and buying gold. Not in large amounts, yet, but large numbers of people are aware and beginning to glimpse the coming reckoning.

Blogger pyrrhus May 18, 2017 6:55 AM  

The last episode of 'Fargo', Season 3, has an amazing speech by the British bad guy financier, given to the president of the company he is taking over. He says that the billions of poor people of the world are on the move, and that ultimately they will rob and murder anyone they can identify as wealthy. Hence, the purpose of great wealth is to enable you to disappear, and visible signs of wealth, like expensive cars, are suicidal....This from Hollywood!

Blogger Stilicho May 18, 2017 7:01 AM  

The basic psychological problem with many civic nationalists is that they think they have to be civic nationalists because their great grandparents immigrated from Germany/Ireland/Italy combined with the seductive, though false, personal example of their family integrating and becoming "normal" patriotic Americans without recognizing the negative changes wrought by such mass second wave immigration.

Anonymous Rocklea May 18, 2017 7:10 AM  

The left invites multiculturalism to destroy the host. The civic nationalist accepts multiculturalism so long as they behave like, and are, the host. Which is more honest?

Blogger Al From Bay Shore May 18, 2017 7:18 AM  

I want to make certain that I am of the same understanding insofar as the waves of immigration are concerned:

First Wave: Mostly Western and Northern Europe - Late 18th to mid 19th centuries
Second Wave: Many from Eastern and Southern Europe - Mid to late 19th to early 20th
Third Wave: Mostly from Latin America, Asia, and Africa - Late 20th to present

Is that correct?

Blogger VD May 18, 2017 7:36 AM  

Is that correct?

Yes. The waves of settlers and colonists prior to mid-18th century are not "immigrants". They did not join Indian tribes and become citizens of Indian nations.

Blogger Dirtnapninja May 18, 2017 7:37 AM  

The elites can see it. They just dont care. They are betting that the white right will raise a bit of a ruckus then roll over like they always do. Then they can finish erasing the culture, and rule the reconstructed post-west forever.

Blogger Shadiley May 18, 2017 7:43 AM  

I popped into Al-Calgary recently for supplies. The good news is just over the mountain you have lots of guns and many hungry grizzly in between.

Anonymous polarbearballs May 18, 2017 7:47 AM  

I had an occassion to have an accidental, brief, and somewhat anonymous conversation with one of the typical middle age white female, the kind that was republican in 1984. She had two sons, husband, and claimed she lived in Bed-Stey (however it's abbrev) before moving to Albany a few years ago for her husband's work. She talked about how hard it was to get your kids into charter schools, applying each year--and how she loved diversity and all that...I just asked soft-light red, probing questions, like "well, why ARE all the schools in NYC bad, they have tons of money" etc.

I kept gently probing over every point and virtue signal she gave, and to listen to her mental/logical gymnastics was amazing--but I could totally SEE she was self-pilling (long before this conversation) but had the vestiges of a deep need to apologize and virtue signal for her obvious choices (to be around white people).

Experience was sending her daily red pills, but she was and may remain for a couple years, at that point where she had to counter signal to her lifestyle to feel good about her choices. I passed no judgement other than asking questions that left her bumbling for words--at one point, you could see her face betray her words--when she simply wanted to say, "because black people...and i want to be around my own, it's easier, safer, etc"

Blogger Shadiley May 18, 2017 7:58 AM  

Methinks some of that "institutional racism" (like the kind that kicked the 1488ers out of Bonner's Ferry) will have them back in containment zones (cities) in about 12-18 months.

Anonymous Jay Will May 18, 2017 8:12 AM  

"Hence, the purpose of great wealth is to enable you to disappear, and visible signs of wealth, like expensive cars, are suicidal....This from Hollywood!"

Peter Sutherland has disappeared. No report he's dead, nothing, suddenly stopped tweeting and can't find anything tracing him. The super rich give signs the way animals give signs, a storm is coming if they are off into hiding.

Blogger dc.sunsets May 18, 2017 8:17 AM  

The value of being early in seeing what is coming varies inversely with HOW early, and if you're too early, the value is negative.

I call this the Chicken Little effect, because the sky really looks primed to fall.

The only thing worse than being blindsided is issuing warnings & undertaking preparations so far ahead that one's credibility is shot & preparations eroded from carrying costs.

History, I fear, plays out too slow for the wise, then too fast for all.

Blogger dc.sunsets May 18, 2017 8:25 AM  

Civic Nationalism is the coat-and-tie version of insanely elevated social mood. It's Leftism for those who can't go Full Retard due to intolerance of the cog-dis required.

The stock market might as well be an EKG of Civic Nationalism. I still expect it to have a heart attack sooner or later, but see my comment about timing above to infer how well that's working for me.

Blogger Red Bane May 18, 2017 8:35 AM  

Mmmm..So the US is no longer even "a semblance of a nation" but France, as a nation, will somehow politically prevail over the Musulman invaders. We'll see...

Blogger Mr.MantraMan May 18, 2017 8:37 AM  

Pat had a hand in shooting the empire in its foot. He takes over the Reform Party against Perot's wishes, tanks his campaign and Bush wins a squeaker. Bush a powerless dupe of deep state gets sucked into a Halliburton enrichment war, to keep the peasants in line helps kick in the housing bubble. Housing bubble creates the collapse of 2008, we elect our fist foreign president and him and his gang continue the looting at an accelerated pace, giving it a sheen of legitimacy.

Pat I think needs to use that amazing intellect to ponder can the American Empire be stabilized or will its foreign rulers completely loot it and will the American Nation resurface or be subsumed by the barbarians.

Blogger VD May 18, 2017 8:41 AM  

So the US is no longer even "a semblance of a nation" but France, as a nation, will somehow politically prevail over the Musulman invaders.

France has a chance. The USA does not.

Anonymous Cassandra May 18, 2017 8:45 AM  

I took a major short position last august- have the financial scars to show for it.

My timeline is the next ten years, so I'm not in any hurry...I figure my vindication is just beyo d the horizon...

Blogger Gaiseric May 18, 2017 8:52 AM  

Red Bane wrote:Mmmm..So the US is no longer even "a semblance of a nation" but France, as a nation, will somehow politically prevail over the Musulman invaders. We'll see...
France is still majority French. By a much, much greater margin than the US is still majority American. Americans have had their very identity stolen from them, and we can't even admit openly to BEING a nation.

Anonymous Ominous Cowherd May 18, 2017 8:58 AM  

dc.sunsets wrote:The stock market might as well be an EKG of Civic Nationalism. I still expect it to have a heart attack sooner or later, but see my comment about timing above to infer how well that's working for me.

You are betting in the financial markets that the financial world will end? You can't collect if you win a bet that the world will end.

I suggest putting capital into tangibles which exist independent of financial markets. Investments which look good now, and will still exist after you are proven right.

VD wrote:France has a chance. The USA does not.

France seems to be one nation, from over here. The US empire is made up of several nations. That would seem to be the difference: France can pull together, maybe, but the US can only pull apart.

Blogger dc.sunsets May 18, 2017 9:02 AM  

The USA was never a nation, any more than the Native American Tribes were "a" nation. They were nationS, as are we. Even "white people" are not intermarried enough yet to rub out the lines between us, descended as we are from geographically distinct ancestral populations.

The problem is, entirely new nations were imported in Imigration Waves 2 and 3, so instead of four or five nations in 1900, the USA is now seven, eight, ten or more (depending on your preferred boundaries, e.g. are Japanese and Chinese really ONE nation when in the USA?)

That we're all shuffled together like a deck of cards doesn't change this ONE BIT. My WASP parents had NOTHING good to day about Roman Catholics, even if they lived on the same street. The abrasiveness of those relationships was only ignored due to rising social mood (and the rising comforts and pervasive distractions it produced.)

When this Long Boom ends, people will suddenly discover all sorts of intolerably abrasive things about those who differ from them. Skin color will be the easy one, but if this ride goes as deep into the Valley as it rode high into the clouds, skin will be but the first divide over which violence occurs.

I wonder if owning property in a couple different places might be a "good prep," given that it's impossible to know where one's tribe will be once the ride through the Valley is over. [No, OST I believe in keeping ones powder dry in preparation for buying when blood really is running in the streets.]

Blogger Johnny May 18, 2017 9:22 AM  

A good model for our future is what happened when the Spanish Empire fell apart. The Spanish left behind numerous multi ethnic class based societies. At the top were the Peninsular Spanish who ruled in the name of Spain. Next up were the full blooded Spanish who often held property. Below them the 'half breed' masseto population who were roughly the middle class, and then the native Indians.

When the empire fell apart the Peninsular Spanish pulled out leaving pureblood Spanish in charge. Next came habitual instability because the different classes never got along, Always there was an aggrieved party and governance was commonly oppressive and corrupt. With no consensus there was no real chance for good governance. And this situation sustained. Many of the Latin countries are still screwed up internally.

Anyway, I regard the shall we say, the Spanish outcome, to be the most likely for us. More likely than some kind of breakup of the country or a more explicit separation into race groups than we currently have. And as for a foretelling, we are halfway there already.

Blogger dc.sunsets May 18, 2017 9:26 AM  

@34 Ominous,
1. I don't expect the ZA (zombie apocalypse) so no, I don't expect the death of existing contracts (which is basically what the monetary-financial system constitutes.)
2. I do believe that the NORMAL course of things is for a "correction" to undo the froth of the prior final rally within the larger wave up. For me, this means that the entire wave from 1974/82, built ENTIRELY on the largest credit inflation in human history, should be wiped away. This puts our DJIA, currently above 20,000, back in triple digits. I may be one of a handful of people who think this is remotely possible (excepting those who think we'll have a ZA.) I don't bet against markets, however. Shorting is mathematically a crappy bet (markets can theoretically only lose 100%, but can rise infinitely, so the short's gain is limited while the potential loss is unlimited.)

IMO, you're making a common error. Everyone seems to think that they can "own" something and benefit by being early, then watch the rest of markets melt down, and come out ahead.

The rub is that EVERYTHING but a dollar is priced in dollars. If I'm right, and the credit inflation of the last 36 years largely is wiped away, both wealth (in nominal prices) and the money supply will fall by amounts not seen in centuries. The phantom wealth represented by any chart of total credit market debt (and the mass-minded sugarplums of intangible markets like stocks) should just melt away.

During that time, holding onto dollars should be very, very difficult. Most "dollars" are actually a form of an IOU-dollars. Hard money advocates correctly note that a dollar is an IOU as well (a "note," AKA a debt security) that promises to pay....a dollar (don't you love tautologies?)

If the denouement of this vast rise in
--credit
--debt
--belief that common stock in the aggregate is worth however many $Trillion and commodities are worth in the aggregate however many $Trillion
ends up seeing those BELIEFS melt down by 95% or more, you must remember that a meltdown in price is the inverse of a rise in the purchasing power of the monetary unit (a dollar.)

We see this in oil, which is real "stuff" and the single most important feedstock to our modern life. If OIL can melt down from $147/bbl to $30 (or lower), why on Earth would anyone think the same thing can't happen to AAPL, AMZN, NFLX, etc.? The latter don't sport even a fraction of the REAL value to anyone, anywhere. They are intangibles, their market caps are nothing but expressions of groupthink.

I subscribe to a theory positing that none of this is under anyone's control, and that it's entirely the result of spontaneously ordered waves of mass emotion (sort of; the processes precede emotion, much less rational cognition.)

This means that efforts to prevent, forestall or soften any of the process are themselves just part of the larger corrective event. The destination for everything cannot be changed. I may not know in advance, for certain, what that means, but time after time after time we see the same thing in history, and people "back then" tried to do the same stuff people promise to do now. We haven't changed one bit, except to be even more collectively besotted with hubris.

tl;dr version: I don't short (any more. I learned the hard way that my ability to time this is crap.) I also don't own much. I hope to preserve what little I have. I wish I could stop worrying about it, and endeavor to busy myself with other, more important, local endeavors.

YMMV.

Blogger dc.sunsets May 18, 2017 9:38 AM  

@34 Seriously, if you have a notion of a yield-producing asset available today whose yield will continue during tumultuous times, won't be subject to confiscation by a factious polity, won't be subject to destruction by a rampaging mob and doesn't risk being worth 10% of its current nominal market price in a few years, I am quite interested in your view.

I'm a glass-half-empty kind of guy. All I see are alligators everywhere I look. We live in a time of over-capacity in every industry I can imagine.

Anonymous Grayman May 18, 2017 9:53 AM  

@14 Ogre

I'd consider civil war a distinct possibility in the not so distant future. But I think the more probable result is dissolution of the federal government either though economic collapse or secession.

That is functionally civil war. The only difference will be the rapidly shifting alliances between factions and how foreign nations get involved. Make no mistake, foreign nations will get involved if for no other reason than the significant threat the US arsenal may present to their interests if the wrong groups gain control of key assets.

Blogger Robert Divinity May 18, 2017 10:09 AM  

The parallels between contemporary America and the Soviet Union in its last days are numerous. The civic nationalists are very much like the few actually committed communists before the USSR collapsed: absolutely certain history is on their side even though the implosion is well underway.

Anonymous Grayman May 18, 2017 10:09 AM  

@DC 35

I wonder if owning property in a couple different places might be a "good prep," given that it's impossible to know where one's tribe will be once the ride through the Valley is over. [No, OST I believe in keeping ones powder dry in preparation for buying when blood really is running in the streets.]

Under that degree of social discord title to land will be mostly meaningless for at least a short period. Under those conditions it will be force of arms and acceptance by the local community. As things settle down possession will we 9/10ths of the law, setting the basis for the reformation of orderly system....

@DC 37
If we accept your proposed view one solution would be to "build local" in a location you think is relatively stable for your "potential" future tribe.
Start doing a fair sized annual garden, take up target shooting and occasional hunting/trapping with some local friends, play some airsoft. Work with your local community to build/discuss "natural disaster" response plans.
In your proposed scenario those community connections together with a reasonable degree of local self sufficiency will likely be worth more than a stack of gold bars, at least during the chaotic transition period. That said, i'm sure none of this is news to you.

That being said I would prefer the rapid dissolution, "rip the bandaid off" scenario as opposed to 50 years of slow stagnant social decay. The slow decay scenario is what concerns me as that can truly destroy a people.

Anonymous Grayman May 18, 2017 10:15 AM  

DC @35
A follow up thought. Real-estate titles are so FUBAR from the securitization shenanigans with housing in the US that any significant financial chaos could force the recognition that a significant % of existing titles are meaningless. If the whole robo-signing and REIT mess was actually held to the law a huge % of homes sold in the last 10 years no longer have a valid title.
Things go hot and chaotic and good luck to the bank who tries to claim a home in some random town 500 miles from their office. In those conditions even local law enforcement, whatever form they are in wont blink an eye at the "homeowner" suggesting that rule 5.56 and rule .308 state the home is theirs.

Anonymous BBGKB May 18, 2017 10:21 AM  

Multicultural- the belief that someone from a nation with a higher murder rate than its average IQ will enrich us.

The left invites multiculturalism to destroy the host. The civic nationalist...behave like, and are, the host. Which is more honest?

Only the elite of the left knows it will destroy. I was at a gay pride festival when the kindervasion was going on & there was a booth for foster parenting Honduran child refusegees. I went up and said "Maybe it would be better for STR8 people to care for Honduran kids, Honduras has the highest murder rate in the world & these kids will grow up to be more violent than your average antique owning gay couple can deal with". Everyone there believed in magic dirt.

Mmmm..So the US is no longer even "a semblance of a nation" but France,

The Crooked Eye Clinton archipelago could be devastated by the food stamp system going down and a few bridge collapses at the same time. Atlanta showed us it only takes a crack pipe to burn down an interstate bridge.

1. I don't expect the ZA (zombie apocalypse) so no, I don't expect the death of existing contracts

There have been times when no one was able to trade even without zombies. During the great depression the elite took out full page adds to get people to put more money into the system because they couldn't extract any more.

won't be subject to confiscation by a factious polity, won't be subject to destruction by a rampaging mob and doesn't risk being worth 10% of its current nominal market price in a few years

If you are expecting a market collapse you could do worse than a pickup truck full of physical silver. Getting yourself self sufficient or off grid will pay off for the rest of your life, perhaps a nice earth bearmed greenhouse, with a woodburning rocket mass heater under the growbed, & an olla watering system to provide you with tomatoes in January when JIT shipping fails.
https://srsroccoreport.com/paper-vs-physical-the-amazing-amount-of-leverage-in-the-silver-market/

Anonymous Sub May 18, 2017 10:30 AM  

@38

First off, I would like to thank you for your comments here and elsewhere on the web dc, other than VD and John Michael Greer, I think you have as good a grasp of "the big picture" as anyone I've read on the net. If you ever decided to put your thoughts into blog posts I imagine you would find a readership quite rapidly.

Being rather pessimistic myself, I also find myself wondering if there is any asset that can offer protection from what is coming. I tend to spread my rather limited wealth(as someone still pretty young, and foolish enough to go into theoretical biological research for a career)into as many places as I can, both physically and in terms of asset classes. I tend to think that the stock market will go down in a series of 15-25% drops over a period of years to decades rather than in one big burst, so I buy a small amount of options against the index funds each year as insurance in the hopes that there will be someone left to pay out on them, but as you said timing is everything, so it's never much of a position. Having some cash and hard currency in multiple locations also seems prudent, although subject to confiscation, and my employer forces me into a 401k so some exposure there. I don't know that any of these things has much of a chance of maintaining much value in a widespread meltdown, I just hope there is some of them keep some value.

I once read a novel by Dan Simmons on a long airplane ride set in the near future USA, where old cash dollars were incredibly valuable due to rarity after a currency swap by the govt., and new dollars were toilet paper, doesn't seem incredibly far fetched in this era of digital wealth, but who knows.

I think you are correct about being too early having negative value, my wife definitely is more skeptical about my investing ideas after years of my going on about the insanity of the current economy, although she is smart enough to see the value in having good food supplies and money outside of banks and computers.

I think Grayman has probably the best idea of it, as seen in Chris Martenson and other's writings, that self-sufficient community is going to be the only investment that actually does very well going into the long decline. The question is how long can such communities hold out in the face of Section 8 enrichment if TPTB can hold this thing together for another decade or two.

Blogger dc.sunsets May 18, 2017 10:32 AM  

@ Grayman, re 42 I'm afraid I'm far too antisocial to build such alliances. I fully recognize the need to do so, I just really detest too many people to pull it off. It's a handicap.

I, too, tire of the drip-drip-drip water torture of this slow-mo barge trip. If it takes decades I'll be too old to survive any significant hardship. That's the breaks.

Re @42 The clouding of titles by MERS during the REIT SNAFU 15 years ago has, as you note, never been properly settled. Elevated mood has put all this on the back burner, and political bribery by banks has produced a few headlines of "The Storm Has Passed," but as with so many other things, I believe we're just in the eye of the hurricane. All those titles are still clouded. When push comes to shove, reconciling who really owns what will be THE dominant activity of a future period.

At some point I expect squatters' rights to at least attempt a comeback. FWIW, I paid off my mortgage long before MERS. My title is pristine. Then again, I live in a state likely to raise taxes enough to drive real estate values down to where they cross below annual property tax bills.

Anonymous Grayman May 18, 2017 10:34 AM  

BBGKB

perhaps a nice earth bearmed greenhouse, with a woodburning rocket mass heater under the growbed

WORKING ON THIS RIGHT NOW!!! Its my summer project and being built into a south facing slope.

Anonymous Grayman May 18, 2017 10:44 AM  

@DC

The clouding of titles by MERS during the REIT SNAFU 15 years ago has, as you note, never been properly settled. Elevated mood has put all this on the back burner, and political bribery by banks has produced a few headlines of "The Storm Has Passed," but as with so many other things, I believe we're just in the eye of the hurricane. All those titles are still clouded. When push comes to shove, reconciling who really owns what will be THE dominant activity of a future period

In many cases the banks made a point of destroying the original paper work intentionally and as such their is no way to legitimately rebuild the title. In the case of REITS, the construction of the REITS was even more more obscured.
A few years ago i came across an article where some finance guys tried to trace REITS all the way through the chain of custody to show who the legitimate title holder was. Long story short the finance guys said you functionally couldn't do it. There were to many duplicate claims and destruction of original paper work, no wet signatures.
I'm not suggesting that is the case with every mortgages but it does seems to impact a vast majority that have transacted in the 2000's including refi's.

I have had to push myself to build the social connections but have seen it start to pay off in lots of little ways. It has become a positive feedback loop for me. I suppose the difference may be that i'm a few decades behind you and have young children that need to be considered. The timing of all this is likely to be such that it has a major impact on their world view, having seen the last glimpse of sunset on the empire just as it collapses under their feet.

Blogger Johnny May 18, 2017 10:44 AM  

Grayman wrote:DC @35

A follow up thought. Real-estate titles are so FUBAR from the securitization shenanigans with housing in the US that any significant financial chaos could force the recognition that a significant % of existing titles are meaningless. If the whole robo-signing and REIT mess was actually held to the law a huge % of homes sold in the last 10 years no longer have a valid title.

Things go hot and chaotic and good luck to the bank who tries to claim a home in some random town 500 miles from their office. In those conditions even local law enforcement, whatever form they are in wont blink an eye at the "homeowner" suggesting that rule 5.56 and rule .308 state the home is theirs.


Hey, give me a break. Really. It is not going to happen that they will let titles be de-legitimized, unless it is somehow expedient for government seizure, and that will happen only if the instability is so great that ownership itself is irrelevant.

Blogger Johnny May 18, 2017 10:48 AM  


@38 dc.sunsets
Unless we go full bore socialist-communist and it sustains, holders of real assets will take initial huge losses in market value followed by huge gains in market value with the return to stability.

Safety? I don't know. Hold some low volatility asset in the stock market, and then try to decide what to do next in the case of a large market decline? Historically we have been more stable than the rest of the world, but if the problems develop here and are internal, then I suppose an activly managed internationl fund that runs mainly on interest or divident return, not price appreciation.

@35. dc.sunsets
To rework your viewpoint a little:

By my lights all paper money is an IOU. When it it is issued by being borrowed, what we do, it is an interest free loan to the issuer. Otherwise when spent as in used to buy things for the issuer of the currency, it is something close to theft, or more accurately a kind of embezzlement.

The modern tendency when gov's get in trouble is to by one means or another to have a financial expansion. That commonly damages the value of the currency with inflation and complicates borrowing owing to soaring interest rates.

Also, given the current circumstance and debt overload, some sort of social instability is all but a given. Holders of real property will do well or be minimally damaged if they can manage to hold on and we return to stability, and only the very alert who are also financial traders will come out holding dollars or dollar denominated assets. Plus debt holders will do well if they can can hold on, as the real value of outstanding debt will go way down with the inflation.

Anonymous Grayman May 18, 2017 10:55 AM  

@48 Johnny

Hey, give me a break. Really. It is not going to happen that they will let titles be de-legitimized, unless it is somehow expedient for government seizure, and that will happen only if the instability is so great that ownership itself is irrelevant.

I'm not suggesting it is LIKELY only that it is possible if we see the degree of collapse/chaos that DC described.
As it stands many banks cannot legally prove they own these homes, there have been multiple cases of this and the courts simply refuse to hear the cases. There was a big push around 2010 - 2012 to get people to re-finance ASAP because that re-established the title chain.

If is fact that a large % of title transacted in the 2000's were functionally impaired / delegitimized. It was collectively ignored because it would have imploded the system if they suddenly clouded owner ship of a huge portion of real estate that was highly leverage in the market place through REITS and other instruments. It would have collapsed Real estate, the banks, and the economy as a whole.

Blogger dc.sunsets May 18, 2017 11:00 AM  

During the great depression the elite took out full page adds to get people to put more money into the system because they couldn't extract any more.

Damn those prudent people!

@44 Sub Even commenting here is an embarrassing illustration of weakness on my part. I consider it a vice, something my self-improvement plan struggles to eliminate. I like to think it's a form of social camaraderie, but I'm just fooling myself.

Another vice with which I struggle is trading. My education on trading (and forecasting) came at an astonishing cost. Though I've paid $$,$$$ for trading mentorship, tried half the systems on the market, played everything from mutual funds and metals to futures & options and I'm not particularly stupid, I finally closed my last trading account last week. I can't help but fight the tape. It's apparently in my bone marrow and cannot be overcome. Better to take 1% in a bank CD than keep upping my capital loss carryover.

Other people may get it. I'm sure tens of millions of middle-class people sit on millions of dollars of capital gains just by doing what the herd's shepherds told them (Buy, Never Sell, Dollar-Cost-Average, The Only Risk of Markets is Being Out Of Them.) I most certainly don't. And I suspect I'm among the few who can admit that. When the time comes, history shows that a tiny few get out before the fall. Even fewer make money on the downside, and most of those are so besotted with their "brilliance" that they quickly give it all back and then some (been there, done that TWICE.)

I spend a lot of time talking with my wife. Such conversations allow me to work out in my mind concepts that are otherwise too complex for me to simply ruminate about. Commenting on a few websites seems to have the same effect; I'm able to fine-tune my own thoughts on various topics of interest to me.

I'm not sure letting others see the inside of that cognitive tunnel is anything more than a contribution to the ocean of Doom Porn already available on the Web. Fair warning.

Blogger dc.sunsets May 18, 2017 11:41 AM  

@49 Johnny, It all comes down to premises (as always.)

Is the USA as "powerful" (economically, financially, militarily) as it seems? I have no way to know.

Can a mass-psychological firestorm of the kind I envision occur? It surely would be the Panic of All Panics, I'll grant you that. It's something for which there is no modern precedent, but then I believe the same holds true for this vast city of iCASTLES-in-the-sky we call the modern economy.

I do quibble with your historical perspective.

While polities usually try to inflate their way out of major messes, ours is a system that already did so, only using credit. My foundational premise is that it is IMPOSSIBLE to inflate your way out of a mess in the presence of an unprecedentedly VAST debt market. My next premise is that you cannot issue bonds to pay bonds in a rising rate environment, and my next premise is that no one controls interest rates; they are set by the herd's perception of the 1) demand to "rent" money--which is mostly credit today-- and 2) the collective trust that holding an IOU is not volunteering to be robbed (by inflation or rising rates, which are not the same thing.) Zero interest rates paradoxically tell us that the demand for money is basically zero. That's the "price" of the Federal Reserve Banking System's product. Sucks to be them.

For me, we already HAD our inflation. We HAD our Wiemar Republic. Instead of wheelbarrows of cash to buy a loaf of bread, we have 1001011010101010's of credit/debt to buy Congressional re-election, AAPL, Light Crude, 1 Rockefeller Plaza, WaPo, etc. while exported industry & imported workers keep the CPI and wages stagnant.

I thus reach the polar opposite conclusions to yours. Owing debt will be catastrophic. Owning debt risks a collapse in its value, if not outright default. Owning stocks, bonds, real estate, commodities and metals risks seeing their nominal prices do what they did in 1930-32, only worse. (Gold held its value then ONLY because it was defined by legal fiat in terms of dollars, AKA it was PRICE CONTROLLED. While the DJIA fell 80%, many stocks went to ZERO and never came back.)

My view takes into account the rising tide of people who can't find remunerative work. It takes into account the legions of college grads with no marketable skills but crushing debt burdens. It takes into account the rise of automating jobs out of existence (which should CRUSH monetary velocity.) It notices that when credit is too available, firms that should go out of business are able to keep borrowing to keep their doors open, which weakens well-run competitors and contributes to massive over-capacity (which must be wiped out sooner or later.) It recognizes that the problem is TOO MANY PROMISES of FUTURE CASH FLOWS to be sustained by an eroding capital structure.

Above all, it recognizes that after 36 years of Congress learning to throw borrowed money at every political faction and not needing to tax in order to do so, those political factions turned into VAST ARMIES of employees in Medical Services, Higher Ed, Welfare Administration (both gov't bureaucrats and ostensibly "private" contractors), the entire FIRE economy, etc. 90% of whose jobs depend on this addiction to the Crack Cocaine of exponentially rising borrowing.

Do Americans have a "right" to medical care, higher ed, etc., etc., etc., or are we just addicted to "put it on my tab, bartender!"

Something's going to give. I predict the Greater Depression, kicking off with a deflationary event 2-5 times that of 1930-32, possibly followed years or decades later by a Full Zimbabwe Currency Hyperinflation, which in its final stage will see the break up of the USA into smaller political entities.

In the meantime, Spring is in the air. I think I'll go enjoy it in my back yard and take a break from my Walking Dead mindset.

Anonymous Bellator Mortalis May 18, 2017 12:00 PM  

The world is complicated. Our mental models of "what will happen" based on historical events often fail. Certain kinds of science fiction may have better predictability. For example, if you look at "Burning Chrome", "Neuromancer", and "Blade Runner" not necessarily from the technology perspective but from the societal aspects we see societies that are very fragmented, high tech in rural areas, people who have loyalties to corporations or private associations rather than nations, etc.

The current US model is the cities are the Blue State, and the non-cities are the Red State. But cities are no longer necessary for 21st century civilization. And the debts are mainly city debts -- public employee unions, EBT card carrying dysfunctional underclasses, masses of public employees.

Yet rural areas per se are not utopias -- see low wages, meth users, inbred low IQ cast offs who are predominantly white people (see images of "Walmart People" - seriously put that into your browser and select images).

I believe we will see situations like for example: Illinois goes bankrupt, the national government won't cover the debt, so Illinois reverts to being a territory from being a state. Debts wiped out, but no representation in Congress, e.g. they become Guam. Chicago outer ring suburbs build a fence around the inner suburbs and the city. The city itself fences off the problem areas (south and west) while the center and north become even more prosperous.

You can imagine your own scenarios. I believe the future in the USA will be more "cold war" within society than hot civil war, with complex multiple social groupings existing within geographical proximity of each other. A heavily armed populace with a "Venetian Republic" flavor.

Blogger James Dixon May 18, 2017 12:12 PM  

> I wonder if owning property in a couple different places might be a "good prep,"

Rental property, definitely. Even undeveloped land might be OK. But anything developed that's not occupied will likely be confiscated in the environment you envision.

> This puts our DJIA, currently above 20,000, back in triple digits. I may be one of a handful of people who think this is remotely possible (excepting those who think we'll have a ZA.)

The previous great crash only wiped out 90% of the market's value, so I'd guess the low 4 digits, but other than that we agree.

> ...if you have a notion of a yield-producing asset available today whose yield will continue during tumultuous times, won't be subject to confiscation by a factious polity, won't be subject to destruction by a rampaging mob and doesn't risk being worth 10% of its current nominal market price in a few years, I am quite interested in your view.

OK, DC knows most of this, but a brief recap for newcomers.

There is no such thing as a risk free investment. There are only relative degrees of risk. Everything you can buy can either go up or down in value. Real estate, stocks, bonds, precious metals, you name it. Everything has been shown over time to have risk. And if you really think our government has the ability to ever pay off our current $20T in acknowledged debts and cover those government bonds, I have some prime real estate for sale cheap.

As DC effectively notes in passing, almost anything can be confiscated. Gold, silver, land, you name it. The only thing that can't be confiscated is your knowledge, and time has a way of rendering even it less valuable.

Even an investment that goes up in value does you no good if you can't claim that value when you need it. If you can't sell to reclaim your gained value, what good does it do you when you need the money?

So, not for the first time, allow me to recommend Harry Browne's Fail-Safe Investing as a quick primer on some of the best ways to reduce the relative risks of investing: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B003JMF4GG/

It's somewhat dated at this point, but the basic concepts are still valid.

So, what to do? Well, the most common answer given here has historically been guns and ammo, and it's a valid one. You have to be able to defend what you own.

The second most common answer would probably be land, especially arable land. Land that produce enough to feed you, your family, and some neighbors will always have some value. Rental properties would probably be a strong third, as they can produce income (assuming anyone has to money to pay the rents).

The third most common answer would be gold and silver. Those have been recognized as money for as long as we have records, and that's unlikely to change. You can either buy physical coins/bullion or you can get the paper versions depending on exactly what scenario you envision. It might be wise to do both.

Finally, if you put money in the markets, diversity is your friend. Things like total stock market and total bond index funds give you the best diversity with the lowest cost. For the type of scenarios we're talking about you want income, so if you buy individual stocks you want to try to pick up stocks paying a good dividend at depressed prices, as that gives you the largest margin of safety. How to find such stocks is a subject which can and has filled a multitude of books. A good website to peruse for ideas is Seeking Alpha (https://seekingalpha.com/).

More esoteric investments products are outside my bailiwick, though we do own a couple of preferred stock funds.

Blogger dc.sunsets May 18, 2017 12:56 PM  

@54 James Dixon,

Your approach does typify an enlightened attempt to cultivate an anti-fragile wealth deployment scheme, IMO. One key is, in my view, to eschew the temptation to trade; it is Human Nature 101 to buy when a trend seems most likely to continue (just before it reverses) and sell in capitulation just before the low (and ensuing rally.) I've met few people who were naturally predisposed to avoid this, and I've yet to find it can be learned.

As you allude, the underlying goal is to buy low and sell high, while avoiding confiscation or destruction in between. The idea is to buy what is out of favor now if you expect it to be in favor when you need to trade it for something else. This everyone knows.

Today, what is out of favor? Stocks? Hardly. Bonds? Not with yields still near multi-generational lows. Commodities? Maybe. The CRB index hit almost 480 in 2008, and now sits at 180, having hit 160 about 16 months ago. [In my Deflation scenario, it's simply reflecting the first wave of things to come, and will travel far lower when the money supply overtly contracts, but that's just me.]

There is only one thing that everyone agrees is offal, an "asset" to be traded as soon as humanly possible for something--anything--else. I leave it to the reader to conclude what that might be.

This is why I'm stuck. Every dime I squirreled away was "kitchen table" money, taken from my PAYCHECKS and set aside. I have utterly zero realized or unrealized capital gains to form a cushion. If I buy something--anything--now, if it drops $0.01 that's money I chose not to enjoy in the present, not some phantom "came from nowhere, goes back to nowhere."

This, plus banking losses from fighting the trend numerous times in the past, makes me so risk averse that I can't touch any of it.

All investment advice today is based on premises I simply don't share. The dominant view is identical, to me, to Leftism. It rests on a belief in unlimited resources and continuous compound growth. From an investment standpoint, I'm almost alone in my yellow pill, when everyone else is a deep shade of green pill.

PS: Farmland is still near record prices; guns and ammo are in such a glut that fine quality S&W pistols are available almost free (low $200's until the rebate expires) and I figure people might someday come to gun shows ready to trade their multiple-lifetime-supplies of ammo for scarce dollars to pay their heating, food and fuel bills.

Someday I might be looking for like-minded souls who want to invest in The Red Pill RV Park, situated on a lake, containing enough farmland to feed all the residents, where the RV's sit on concrete pads under which are two side-by-side shipping containers buried and fitted out as storm/bomb shelters. [I can't afford a decommissioned missile silo, sadly. More like a redneck version thereof. Backup plan is to seek investors in The Red Pill Motel and Bar, a restored Howard Johnson from the 1960's and right across Route 66 from the Stucky's.]

Anonymous LIbertarian Ireland. May 18, 2017 1:24 PM  

Talk of economics - may find interesting. Red pill tinge to it I find

http://atom.singularity2050.com/

Blogger dc.sunsets May 18, 2017 1:25 PM  

Paradoxes suffuse reality. One of my favorites is that it is impossible to have a really big market decline unless everyone believes it's impossible.

Lows occur amidst capitulation, and capitulation is actually relatively easy to see most of the time. I swatted up a chart in March of 2009 labeling it as "either there's one more marginal low to come, or the rally has already begun." The low of 2009 had occurred a week earlier. I simply believed the Big One (down) had started, and I didn't want to be long a market in a downtrend.

Needless to say, I was half right, and it was the half-wrong that hurts.

What did 2000 to today teach everyone, pro and novice? NEVER. EVER. CAPITULATE. Markets always come back, and if you sell, it will be certain that you'll miss the (guaranteed to happen) ensuing rally.

This has taught every person above the age of 7 and below the age of 99 to never capitulate.

Stocks down 20%? Don't sell. Down 40%? Don't sell. Down 50% (like in 2007-2009?) DON'T SELL! In fact, BTFD YOU MORON!!!! Plow ALL you can beg, BORROW or steal into as many options or futures as you can, because baby, your ship is about to come IN!

The two utterly essential preconditions to an historic market collapse are now in place (the other being an unprecedented buildup in non-self-liquidating debt.) Will a rendezvous with the inevitable be put off forever? IDK.

1930-32 saw a 90% decline in stock AVERAGES (which delete the firms that went bankrupt and thus understate the "break even" period of just riding out the decline.) I still think the largest credit bubble and asset mania in history merits a larger figure, more like 95-98%. The credit expansion of the Roaring '20's was delimited by the fixed monetary system. Full FIAT money is rocket fuel to the imaginations of the masses, who came to believe in the magic of exponentially rising wealth. Well, that magic is mass psychology and nothing more.

Down 50%, up 50%, down 50%, up 50%, down 50%, up 50%, down 50%, up 50%, down 50%, up 50%, down 50%, up 50%, down 50%, up 50%, down 50%, up 50%, down 50%, and what do you have cumulatively?

A 95% decline. Any market that actually looks like that, however, will cause some people to bail at the intermediate lows and re-invest near the intermediate highs (Human Nature 101) so their cumulative experience will be to be wiped out long before the final bottom.

We live in perhaps the most interesting period in modern history, but the weirdness is so pervasive and so persistent that discussing it is like (you guessed it) describing "being wet" to a fish.

Our great-great-great grandparents would look at each and every one of us like we were total lunatics.

Anonymous polarbearballs May 18, 2017 1:31 PM  

53. Bellator Mortalis "cities are no longer necessary for 21st century civilization."

TOTALLY TRUE. I think that every time I trudge into my nearby one, that other than public servants serving the entire state or fed, and the few attorneys and hi-end (for show) businesses, cities are essentially a facade organ, made up of a patchwork of white commuters who, at least in some part, "serve" someone (as public employees..dubious as that claim may be), and mostly blacks who basically do nothing but live off the dole, even if someone in the family is a so-called "public servant" it is merely the fig-leaf to an extended generation, sideways (siblings, cousins) and downwards (kids, granddindus, great granddindus even) that live off a hybrid of the one or two black female specimens "working', while the rest use food stamps/EBT, and govt supplements to pay the rent, electricity, etc.

I have to crack up at all these pro-blacks and "black Israelites"...we may ALL be far from the from these days, in knowledge and skills, but seriously, black people could not figure out how basic things if TSRHTF. And they would, per Africa IQ, be murdering each other at incredible, never before seen rates.

Anonymous Grayman May 18, 2017 1:54 PM  

DC,

I'm no finance guru, but what I choke on is the fact that the markets are by and large predicated on fraud at this point. From the removal of Mark-to-Market to the housing mortgage debacle to any other number of scandals that are now SOP. Hell, most of the high frequency trading segment is blatantly illegal as a large portion of it is just fancy front running with bad faith bids. Why in the world do I want to voluntarily swim in that pool of sharks?

Anonymous Sam the Man May 18, 2017 2:40 PM  

No one has mentioned this so I will. It seems to me we run the risk of almost all law dropping away if we come to the next crisis:

Gun holding by Americans we are told by the press is at an all time low, yet the numbers of arms being sold is higher than ever, firearms attitudes are more favorable then ever, total stock of arms now exceeds the US domestic population.

Now in the past laws to restrict arms seem to have been obeyed. Not any more, as NY, CA, CT, MA and MY have found with their anti-arms laws in the last 5 years. No one trusts the government to protect them at this point. Most of White American homes are set up with no thought of security. The changing color of the US population means almost all folks not into the thug life are being forced to think about things they did not have to 2 decades ago. Productive folks are all thinking of the predator class and making steps to deal with such should they show up on their doorsteps.

For a large part of the population they simply have no alternative to looting if the EBT/social safety net fails. They literally have no skills or ability to supply labor with much value at all. At the same time they are feral, full of resentment and with a false sense of their own power. The white population seem weak to them. They are seen by many as being ready for an opportunity to get back at those they see as their enemies (productive folks)

The security forces to maintain order are around 1 in 350 people, or around 910,000 police for a nation of 322 million. Unlike the military there is virtually no reserve force for police, other than perhaps the National Guard/Air Guard/Naval Militia/State Guard of around 350,000, (many of who are also police), which takes the ratio to 1 policeman/guardsman to 265~270 people.

The criminal/predator population of the US can be estimated by the reported crime rate 2859/100,000/year or around 9.2 million if each event was a single criminal. Given around 6.9 million folks are currently in jail or under probation agreements, that figure is likely a lower estimate. In any case it is around 10 criminals for each police man, or around 1 to 7.5 if we add in the state forces which could be deployed to maintain security. In any large disturbance the police are insufficient, we have seen this in the 1992 riots and in the recent withdraw of police from political protests in 2016/2017.

All it would take is some kind of disruption in the EBT benefits for a week or the political protests to become more widespread and all havoc could break out. The productive folks have had it with the dependent and predatory class, the underclass is seathing with resentments against the folks who have something. The country is sitting on an ample supply of arms and ammunition to let whatever action needs to be carried out to be carried out.

It is almost like a powder keg. All that needs to happen is the fuse be lit, what follows in beyond anyone's guess.

Anonymous Sub May 18, 2017 2:40 PM  

@dc.sunsets

There are worse vices than spending time commenting on blogs-like spending time lurking on blogs and not contributing to the conversation as I usually do.

Your "yellow pill" doom porn would be a nice change from the typical "hyperinflation now, buy gold" stuff that comprises most of what's out there. You were the first person I can remember talking about the "social mood as dominant force" idea around the alt-o-sphere, and now I see that "social mood" phrase up in comments at different sites all the time now. Also, the fact that VD let's you run with your particular monomania when he typically cracks down on them so hard seems like validation of your hypotheses from a very smart guy to me, although I'm sure he'll contradict me if that is not accurate. I think time will prove you correct on the bond market reversal(you've certainly converted me from my gold bugging), but we'll just have to wait and see. Guessing you're also correct about where the smart money looking to own everyone is hiding right now also, and it's not in the stawks and bonds racket.

I'm not terribly surprised to hear that you've gotten sheared in the markets to the point of being gunshy. If you go contrarian before the herd, it's pretty easy to get run over. I feel the same way to the extent of not investing anything beyond the mandatory 401k deduction, and my anti-SP500 bet each year, which I concede is gambling just as much as betting that couple hundred bucks on black 26.

In the end I guess all anyone can do is put their trust and faith in God, no preparation is possible if you get caught in the wrong place at the moment this all goes down and a vibrant mob decides to roast you on a spit.

Anonymous Grayman May 18, 2017 2:59 PM  

@59 Sam

Which brings up an interesting point; If someone is serious about hurting the US, they dont hack the banks or the DOD. They Hack EBT and keep it down for at least a week. The only target more effective would to be access to the power grid to intestinally imbalance it and burn subsequently burn our large chunks of it.

Its hilarious in an ironic sense that Hacking EBT is likely to be more effective at damaging the US than sneaking a nuke into a US harbor. Not as psychologically impacting, but loss of EBT would be much more damaging as it hits every major urban center simultaneously and current JIT supply chain stocks would last about 24 hours.

Blogger dc.sunsets May 18, 2017 3:14 PM  

@ Grayman, To me, the interesting part is that the legerdemain in the markets is a bottom-up affair. None of the games would exist if not for the consent of market participants. Think about that for a bit.

People are (unconsciously) optimistic and trusting. They want markets to go higher, and when regulators remove impediments (even those whose purpose is to PROTECT investors from con artistry) they celebrate. When the mood is positive, all efforts to drive prices higher are lauded. When the mood inevitably turns, every one of those efforts is reframed, and people are OUTRAGED. If you read newspapers from a period of rising mood vs a period of declining mood, it's quite transparent how the same data elicits different reactions. Go back and read what was Top Of Mind in March 2009. The sky was about to fall and the Monetary Masters were fit to be lynched. It was (in hindsight) a bottom. Now, we make celebrities out of Fed Governors and lax regulators. Is it a top? We'll know in hindsight.

Firms that front-run trades are ignored as long as prices move higher, too. Wait until that is ALL reframed if stocks collapse anywhere NEAR what I deem possible.

@60, Sub, I can't speak to VD's preferences on his blog. I can say that all of my "social mood" stuff is lifted directly from Robert Prechter, Jr., or it's my personal application of what I take from Prechter's work. I take no credit for the lions' share of what I write about socionomics. I do take the blame for what passes for "red pill" comments. In my experience, the Socionomics Institute is still pretty much embedded in the Blue Matrix (which is itself a paradox, unless it's simply self-preservation.)

Blogger dc.sunsets May 18, 2017 3:18 PM  

@ Grayman, before you point out the metals markets' sins, I aver that they are small markets where gaming the futures markets is just a subset of the intangibility of stock index futures.

Metals enthusiasts err when thinking that those markets should reflect honest relationships between silver, gold, platinum, etc., and the number of contracts extant. In point of fact, all of those markets are just colors painted on the casino chips, and the casino chips (contracts) are as hollow as "real" chips are cheap plastic (and banknotes are high-cotton-fiber paper with no intrinsic value at all.)

There's no "there" there everywhere you want to turn. But it's been that way for most of my life, so thinking this condition can't keep going has been a sucker's bet.

Mood has no limit.

Anonymous Grayman May 18, 2017 3:45 PM  

DC 63

I feel the fool as well for not putting logic aside and jumping in on the housing bandwagon when multiple family members were pushing me too. Honestly they made a good chunk of change while I sat there counting pennies because I didn't want to play in what was obviously a manic market at best when a heart beat got you a 700K NINJA loan.

The metals are a ride as well. A friend had a respectable amount of personal wealth in the form of gold bars held in the custody of MF Global, that just disappeared. He recouped some of the loss but was still left with a big gaping hole at the end of the day. And no criminal charges, yet multiple bars that he has audit receipts for just disappeared from a controlled vault.
At least in a casino they ply me with free drinks while they steal my money.

Anonymous BBGKB May 18, 2017 4:03 PM  

The only thing that can't be confiscated is your knowledge, and time has a way of rendering even it less valuable.
Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag,
https://www.paladin-press.com/product/Ragnars-Guide-to-the-Underground-Economy/Financial_Freedom

Gun holding by Americans we are told by the press is at an all time low, yet the numbers of arms being sold is higher than ever

I was holding on to a whole bunch of guns until the lake dead beaver boating accident happened.

All it would take is some kind of disruption in the EBT benefits for a week or the political protests to become more widespread

Hopefully it happens during the wintertime so nigglets don't leave DieVerseCities. TRUMP should pass an executive order now forcing FAKE NEWS to show 8 unedited seconds before a cop shoots a black if the video is available to prepare for this upcoming hot summer.

form of gold bars held in the custody of MF Global

Just think of how much people would bid if Corzine's episode of "Don't Garrote Fewer Felons than A Faggot" was auctioned off. I already had to agree to lose to PUTIN on Soros Clan Week.

Blogger James Dixon May 18, 2017 4:10 PM  

> One key is, in my view, to eschew the temptation to trade;

Something like 60% of our investment money is in a simple index fund in an IRA. Another 10% is sitting in the bank in a money market account for emergencies. Another 10% is in a second IRA that's in slightly more risky funds with better yields.

The remainder is in a trading account that's our "play" money that my wife and I use to buy stocks. We buy stocks we like and we only sell them if they cut their dividend or they change significantly in some way. Examples? Sovran Self Storage merged with Life Storage and took their name, giving up years of branding. We'd owned them for something like 10 years, but that's not something the company we originally bought would ever have done. We sold them. A regional bank we own has merged with a bank in the DC suburbs. They're no longer the company we bought, and we'll be selling them when the time is right. At least two other companies have been bought out from underneath us and taken private. We owned Kodak for a few years and sold them when they cut their dividend. We lost a fair chunk of our investment on the sale, but where's Kodak now?

> Today, what is out of favor? Stocks? Hardly. Bonds? Not with yields still near multi-generational lows. Commodities? Maybe.

Agreed completely. Stocks as a group are simply too high to offer any margin of safety. If you're in your twenties and the market drops 50 (the recent amount) to 90% (the Great Depression), you have time for them to come back and to rebuild what you lost. If you're even in your 40's, much less your 50's, you don't. I've been *very* selective in what I've bought over the past year and it's all money that was already in the market in one fashion or another and has been for years.

I run a stock screen every week or two looking for out of favor stocks that meet my criteria. I'm lucky to find more than half a dozen at any given time, and they're mostly companies I wouldn't touch with a ten foot poll (does anyone really want to invest in Barnes and Noble right now, to give one example). I don't know enough to evaluate individual bonds, and the aggregate yields are simply too low to give a margin of safety.

> This, plus banking losses from fighting the trend numerous times in the past, makes me so risk averse that I can't touch any of it.

You know your limitations. That puts you miles ahead of most investors.

> This has taught every person above the age of 7 and below the age of 99 to never capitulate.

If I could anything remotely reasonable in CD's at a bank, over half of our money would be there right now. The best I can get locally? 1.45%. In that regard though, the question is whether money in the bank is any safer than money in the markets. It wasn't in the Great Depression. Whether it is now is anyone's guess.

> In the end I guess all anyone can do is put their trust and faith in God

In the beginning, in the middle, and in the end. Nothing on this earth is guaranteed.

Blogger James Dixon May 18, 2017 4:15 PM  

> At least in a casino they ply me with free drinks while they steal my money.

If you go in knowing what you plan to lose it's an entertaining way to pass the time.

Anonymous Sub May 18, 2017 4:48 PM  

@62 dc
Thanks for the pointer on Prechter. His theory seems to describe what we're seeing right now very well, looking forward to reading his work later. I hope you didn't take the monomania comment as a criticism, it wasn't intended as such, I just have noticed you talk about this subject a lot when I see your comments here or over in the unz.com econ articles.

@64 Grayman

Was in Vegas visiting my sister a couple weeks ago, and the casinos are stingy with the EtOH lubrication these days. I'm guessing we al are going to need to get used to a lack of lube from TPTB. Feel your pain on not jumping in housing back in 2009, but won't be surprised if 5 years from now that feeling is reversed.

@66 James Dixon

"In the beginning, in the middle, and in the end. Nothing on this earth is guaranteed. "

Agreed. It's something I need to keep more in mind when thinking/discussing the state of "the big picture" on this material plane, it's a little too easy to get stressed out over and it leads to doubting in God's plan instead of trusting what He has in store.

Also agree about the bank CDs, I'm not that old yet but I can still remember when sticking money in something as simple as a savings account could get a decent return, it's terrible that nothing short of the Wall Street casino will get you even a few % anymore.

Anonymous Ominous Cowherd May 18, 2017 6:17 PM  

dc.sunsets wrote:@34 Seriously, if you have a notion of a yield-producing asset available today whose yield will continue during tumultuous times, won't be subject to confiscation by a factious polity, won't be subject to destruction by a rampaging mob and doesn't risk being worth 10% of its current nominal market price in a few years, I am quite interested in your view.

I have bought some rural land where I plan to retire. I've found a job that lets me live on it now. I have bought some heavy equipment. I have a little gold, a little silver, a little more brass and lead. I have enough food to keep me eating for a little while. I have farmer friends whom I am able to help out now and then. I am buying some income property.

I don't really expect the financial markets to evaporate, but after the Great GM Bondholder Robbery, MF Global and the Sentinel Decision, I expect that any one financial asset or account can easily go to zero with absolutely no warning. I'm looking for tangible things that don't depend for their existence on the promises of others. Things that I can own and take delivery of that make sense for me now, and will continue to exist even if another Corzine gambles and loses with my brokerage account.

I really don't care about the dollar value of any of my assets. I care about their utility to me, and the purchasing power they represent. For liquidity I keep a modest stash of dollars in a credit union, and a modest stash of dollars under my mattress. Everything I'm buying I will either use, or is likely to be useful to others, or both.

None of those things I'm getting into are safe from all eventualities, but most of them will come through most disruptions short of a zombie apocalypse. Remember what King Solomon said: Divide your portion into 7, or even 8, because who knows what's coming.

Anonymous Ominous Cowherd May 18, 2017 6:50 PM  

Grayman wrote:A friend had a respectable amount of personal wealth in the form of gold bars held in the custody of MF Global, that just disappeared. If you haven't taken delivery, you don't own it.


Every fiat currency goes to zero in time. When my grandfather was a young man, he followed the harvest one summer, about 1904 or so, tramping about between jobs. He told me that he could buy a pie and a pot of coffee at farmhouses for a nickle. Per the official stats, a dollar today will buy what a nickle bought in 1913, but grandpa's experience suggests that we've lost way more than 95% of the value a dollar had back then. Our money is well on its way to zero without any zombie apocalypse.

dc.sunsets wrote:Our great-great-great grandparents would look at each and every one of us like we were total lunatics.

My grandfather was middle aged when the Great Depression started in 1929. He had grown up hearing about the Financial Panic of 1873, and he experienced the Panic of 1907 as a young adult. My parents grew up during the Great Depression. I probably have a different viewpoint than most folks today.

Anonymous Marvin Boggs May 18, 2017 8:30 PM  

@4: the one good thing about multiculturalism here in Canada, and it really is a booby prize, is that it has shown me very clearly the truth that not all cultures are equal.

Some days I really wonder what happened to the country in which I was raised. It seems to have disappeared.

Blogger Daniel May 18, 2017 8:57 PM  

Spaniards people suck

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