February 4, 2016 at 12:18 am #47054
It all depends upon your definition of collapse. The last couple Presidents playing fast and loose with the Constitution does not constitute collapse in my book. It is change, dangerous change I’ll agree, but change nonetheless. Should the stock market take a major 1929 style tumble triggering a depression, there would be lots of economic hardship and dislocation, but it is not the same as collapse. Collapse is when the very underpinnings of a civilization cease to function. No matter the politics in DC or the hardships a depression would bring, if the lights are still on, the schools open, police are on patrol, grocery store shelves are stocked, the snowplows are operating, trains/buses/planes are moving people where they want to go, the gas stations and hospitals are open, social security checks and EBT deposits are going out on time we have not collapsed. We are not even in the process of collapsing at this point. I will only go as far as saying that the developed world is increasingly fragile and that technology has increased the risk of collapse, making collapse frighteningly possible should the right triggering event come along. As we sit here today that triggering event has not come and we are not in the midst of a collapse.February 4, 2016 at 1:07 am #47056
From my viewpoint, I expect that the list of systems that will still be operating (transportation, food, law enforcement, etc.) is not realistic. The city we are essentially tied to in this area, cannot afford to pay police decently and there has been a major exodus from the PD. And the criminals know it, as evidenced by their stepped up activity. City services have already been curtailed in major ways, and there is significant talk of raising taxes. Businesses are closing, and a nearby military installation is in the process of losing a very, very significant number of personnel, both military and civilian. That equals payroll that is no longer available to the community, and the spiral continues. Houses are up for sail all over as people are trying to get out, yet property values have gone down significantly, so people can’t sell and replace anywhere else for anywhere near the same money. Foreclosures, already a significant factor in lowered home prices, will ramp up significantly as the jobs are lost. Some larger companies are closing up shop in the local area and moving operations elsewhere. And I’m not sure what’s going on, but a couple of YouTube videos I saw recently about Wal-Mart shelves being significantly understocked for extended periods, has been going on here as well – for quite a while. I can’t find any credible explanations for it.
So with reduced police protection, increased crime, significant job losses, significant empty housing (including nice neighborhoods), reduced city services, and increasing unemployment, that takes down the tax base, further hurts the government’s ability to do what it’s supposed to do, and the spiral continues. While some areas in the nation aren’t experiencing this – yet – the macroeconomic factors are looking less and less good, and the political machine is entirely out of the hands of the population, effectively, at both the national and state levels. That’s why I see a shell that looks intact, but is “in the midst of collapse.” The supporting stucture is simply not there – a Twin Towers that’s had its support weakened to a point where one more failure internally leads to a pancaking downward very rapidly.
I guess we’re just looking at it differently, but still seeing many of the same fundamental problems. Could it go on for a while yet? I suppose. But not indefinitely. The brilliant (but unfortunately largely unknown) music artist, John Hartford, wrote a song years ago that contained the following words: “Oh, when my body stops, my brain has to slam on its brakes, will it skid on a few more feet before it crashes?” We’re almost at the body stopping and the brain slamming in its brakes stage, but the sliding stage may look like it’s still going for a little while at least.February 4, 2016 at 2:52 am #47057
An ambitious new participant in the field of “extreme” sports volunteered for the latest stunt, in order to gain “street cred.” The assignment was to leap off the observation platform of the Empire State Building, into the street below, equipped with nothing but a microphone, with which to report his observations to the broadcast audience.
As he plummeted, picking up speed, the announcer asked, “How’s it going?” “So far, so good,” were his last words.
Sufficeth it to say that social, political, and economic conditions are not evenly distributed. Some areas are chaotic, and some are almost serene. The collapse Is clearly under way, but the speed and intensity vary from place to place.
Cry, "Treason!"February 4, 2016 at 2:57 am #47058
GS, your description of local conditions sounds like your area is undergoing a significant economic disruption which is something that has happened in many places throughout history, not unlike the old mill towns in the Northeast and Upper MidWest when the factories closed, yet not even during the 1930’s depression could it be said that the country collapsed. Economic shifts are never even in depth or duration. There are still McMansions, new stores & restaurants, and new schools getting built in the suburban area my daughter lives in down in North Carolina but those are just local conditions which are good. Here where I live the population is slowly dropping but that is part of a larger national shift from rural areas to urban/suburban areas. Falling population does eventually trigger big changes but only in extreme cases such as Detroit does it trigger collapse.
Again, I am not saying a collapse is not possible. We are at greater risk than perhaps we’ve ever been in for one to happen. I’m just saying it hasn’t happened yet, nor are we seeing the kinds of widespread societal infrastructure breakdowns that would accompany it.May 7, 2016 at 3:48 pm #48661
Economists Cringe at Trumps Bond Proposal (AP)
In the event that the us economy crashed. Donald trump has floated a recovery plan based on his own experience with corporate bankruptcy. Pay America creditors less than full value on the us treasures they hold.
The yield on a 10 year treasury note is about 1.8 percent a figure that would shoot if trump pursued this strategy.
The Obama collapse. The borrowing has accelerated beyond belief.May 7, 2016 at 4:13 pm #48663
WalMart shelves not being full is nothing new.
Their “just in time” ordering system and adaptation of their inventory count, to eliminate overstock and help keep loss down.May 7, 2016 at 5:05 pm #48665
Brulen, the problem is that Trump is at least trying to propose something, while the establishment continues to operate in a literally make-believe world. “If you add up all the cash sitting in Americans’ checking and savings accounts, you get $11.1 trillion. But according to the Federal Reserve, there are only about 1.4 trillion ‘paper’ dollars in circulation in the U.S.” (Casey Research quoting Federal Reserve figures) That would mean that if just a little over 10% of account holders showed up and wanted their money out, it would be physically impossible to give it to them – it doesn’t exist. It’s all “electronic,” meaning it exists only as pixels on a computer screen or ink on a paper printout. There’s no gold or silver backing a single dime of our “money.” Thus the statement that we’re quite literally operating in a make-believe world. (Note that those $trillions don’t even begin to include the “assets” in other types of accounts such as mutual funds, annuities, government accounts, the Federal Reserve’s massive supply of U.S. debt, foreign holders of U.S. debt, etc.)
And John Boehner’s replacement, Paul Ryan, who promptly rocketed the debt up another $2 trillion or so back in December, simply added to the unreality of what people walk around accepting as reality. It’s a massive virtual reality game, and almost nobody perceives that they’ve got VR equipment over their eyes and in their ears – they think it’s all “real.”
Add to the idiotic insolvency of every bank in America (and probably everywhere else in the world) the following: the Federal Reserve holds about $2.5 trillion of the debt, and the Social Security “trust” fund holds another $2.8 trillion. Ask yourself where the Fed got the “money” to “buy” any of that debt? Of course we know where the Social Security Administration got the money to “purchase” all those U.S. government bonds – it went from our paychecks directly to whatever other government program it was diverted to, and a computer entry was created out of thin air to “credit” the SSA with whatever “equivalent” number of $trillions of dollars the politicians decided looked good in their “trust” fund.
It’s all words in news stories, numbers spit out of a computer onto a screen or paper statement. So, ANY statement that seems to offer a fix is just mere words. And therefore any argument about whether it will work or not, is equal to the system itself: absurdly unreal. It doesn’t really exist.
I find it interesting that in an ironic sense, Trump is proposing something that could actually be a partial reset, while wiping out many of those carefully crafted illusions of “money,” “value,” and “worth.” Yes, the people would get paid in reduced delusion-dollars, but in the process, those “bonds” also get wiped off the books, and are no longer an obligation of the government (i.e. that fraction of the debt disappears). But would Trump’s plan “work?” Of course not – it’s still “paying” for non-existent assets with simply a reduced amount of non-existent money. It’s just that his unreal plan beats anyone else’s unreal plan since the days of Ron Paul’s proposed real plan that would have had predictably catastrophic consequences (which he acknowledged – it’s just that they would have been less catastrophic then, than they would be now, because no one listened back then).
Bonds are owned by all pension plans (municipal, corporate, you name it), virtually all mutual funds, the reserve funds of all insurance companies, etc., etc., etc. – in other words, massive “institutional” investors that affect virtually every living, breathing person in the civilized world. The domino effect, one way or the other, WILL be a collapse. We just don’t know when. I’m just not sure why a comment now about a 3-month old observation about Wal-Mart shelves is even relevant in all this. All I know is that I’m sitting here LMAO at those media pundits and “economists” that criticize this particular plan by Trump, when their only alternative is to create even larger unreality (which is itself an unreal and absurd concept). How does one create “nothing,” let alone make it bigger?May 7, 2016 at 6:20 pm #48667
GS i would think more than 1.4 trillion in cash, how long has the fed been printing money for the banks…that was not just digital, yes they replace old bills but without audit how does anyone know?
Think all the wars over seas they dont take electronic payment, all the back door deals guns for $$ drugs for $$ if drug industry is 44+ billion not like they keep profits in digital, Warlords dont keep digital currency only solids… let alone alot of non anglo american people retain large sums of cash as part of cultural and past experiences.May 7, 2016 at 6:45 pm #48670
I have no idea, Namelus – you very well could be right. I’m just going by the “official” figures from the Fed. And everyone knows they are accurate and don’t lie.
Still, even with all the rest that might be “out there,” it isn’t available to the banking system to resupply the banks so they can keep depositors happy and avoid unimaginable bank runs. I saw that happening in the 80s during the S&L crisis. People were coming in (particularly the older folks that lived through the depression) withdrawing huge sums of money (but stupidly then going across the lobby and putting it in their safe deposit boxes). Brinks trucks were arriving multiple times during the worst days, for the sole purpose of resupplying the S&L with cash to keep the natives from becoming too restless. It worked, and most people had no idea just how bad the crisis really was.May 7, 2016 at 11:08 pm #48674
A country proceeding along a route to a predicted catastrophe. Good luck. Actually the dispute between Ryan and Trump is funny. The little kid Ryan is running a cool aid stand offering people money to buy his kook aid. Trump comes up and says Ryan if you want to be in business you have to charge for your product. Ryan replies … I borrowed the money from you trump for a start up.
LoLMay 8, 2016 at 3:31 am #48684
It’s a massive virtual reality game, and almost nobody perceives that they’ve got VR equipment over their eyes and in their ears – they think it’s all “real.”
Reminds me of a poster I saw back when virtual reality was a new concept: two similar side-by-side photos of the same dowdy old woman, one, sitting, sour-faced under the typical beauty shop hair dryer, the other, in a VR helmet, with an expression of joy and wonder on her face, with the legend,”Virtual Reality, Because Reality Sucks!
So whenever the fedgov needs $$ to cover the fact that they’re beyond broke, they mortgage the future of the unborn still further, borrowing bazillions of unreal $$ from a private bank they sanctioned, which has nothing real to lend to begin with, for which they will keep us just barely able to function, if at all. If that isn’t “virtual reality,” it’s the next worse thing. Beam me up!
Cry, "Treason!"May 8, 2016 at 11:21 am #48685
The stock market is an even bigger virtual reality game with values determined by “guidance”. Where exactly this guidance comes from is sort of a mystery. You have to trust its in the ballpark … somewhere. One day they pump and dump, the next it’s pump every hour like its a top ten record. When dcaprio played the wolf of Wall Street I thought it was so funny, but really its scary. He pulled it off though. Federal budgets and omnibus spending bills. That’s got to be completely illegal. Once 500 million was a lot and then 1 trillion, now 2. Maybe it’s a virtual reality of virtual reality. 10, 20, 50 trillion budgets next.
May 8, 2016 at 8:30 pm #48689
- This reply was modified 5 years, 4 months ago by Brulen.
Once 500 million was a lot and then 1 trillion, now 2.
Reminds me of Sen. Everett Dirkson: “A million here, a million there, pretty soon, you’re talking real money.”
(Ahhhh…. The old days. Men like Dirksen, Goldwater, and the like – when you could own your own business and it was treated as private property. True liberty is far too frightening a concept now days.)May 8, 2016 at 10:41 pm #48690
The comments following the article are interesting as well.May 9, 2016 at 2:10 am #48694
The comments following the article are interesting as well.
Wow! A bit of a gold mine in the comments. I watched almost all of the Trader21 lecture (sampled a bit from about the 1/3 to 1/2-way point, then 100% of the 2nd half).
Very insightful, good documentation going back far enough to establish patterns, not just the usual “this looks just like what happened in Year X, therefore it will turn out just the same” cr@p. I found the idea of perhaps a basket of currencies for keeping the cash to be an idea that has made sense for a while now. But one would have to watch the video in order for that to make sense. Suffice it to say, this guy certainly has a good handle on the various markets, doesn’t like what he sees virtually anywhere (markets or locations), and is largely in cash – awaiting the opportunities that he makes a good case for. But implicit in that is a very ugly scenerio, and the $US doesn’t seem to be a good place to be (it’s already starting to break from its recent high around 100 – and it seems to be staying on a downward trend, not just a brief correction).
Anyway, enough technical stuff. Thanks for the link, and pointing out the comments. I also noted that Trader21 mentioned the exceptional low of the Baltic Dry Index in his presentation. I don’t know who he is, but he seems to have quite a bit of respect, and he presents well. (It’s all English subtitles unless one speaks Polish.)
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.