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The year starts out on a good note

Thursday, January 1, 2009, 5:01 PM

We received a kind offer from a woman (who wishes to remain anonymous) to donate a 3-month subscription to someone in need.

We’ve had a number of requests for assistance that we’ve collected over the past few months, we put all these names into a hat and had our daughter Grace (age 8) select a name at random.

The lucky winner was Sharon Sotis who wrote in saying:

I have watched the crash course and come to your site just about daily to
keep up to date on the economy and read the forums. I have started to
prepare myself and my 6 year old daughter to be more self sufficient,
cutting back on expenses etc. I have been telling others to watch and
trying to enlighten as many as I can. At times I feel like Noah before the
flood. :)

I would love to become a subscriber to your site, but as a widow living on
social security, who stays home so I can homeschool my daughter, the cost
is prohibitive to me. I know you need to charge to help offset the cost of
the site, but wonder if you ever offer subscription free of charge to those
who are willing, but just not able to pay?

Happy New Year Sharon and congratulations!

And Happy New Year to everone else!



Daily Digest - Jan 1

Thursday, January 1, 2009, 1:24 PM
  • Americans Under 70 May Find 2008 Was Their Least Favorite Year
  • US stocks suffer worst year since Great Depression
  • Piggy banks fly off shelves in freshly frugal U.S.
  • The Wave of the Future?
  • Chief justice: Inflation outpacing pay for judges
  • Deregulator Looks Back, Unswayed
  • Mortgage 'Cram-Downs' Loom as Foreclosures Mount
  • Mortgage rates hit fresh 37-year low
  • Stop the Presses...
  • Government aid could save U.S. newspapers, spark debate 

What's the plan?

Wednesday, December 31, 2008, 3:56 PM

A Summary

Many people have asked us, "Where are the large-scale solutions to all these problems you have described?" and  "What should we do as a nation to avoid the seemingly inevitable consequences of this fiat money system?"

The lack of promotion of a large-scale solution set reflects a deliberate act of strategy rather than negligence. We believe we must reach a critical mass of individuals who have an understanding of the ideas presented in the Crash Course, before any national or global solutions will even be possible.

Because we are still quite far from this tipping point of understanding, this website continues to focus primarily on educating people and helping them move from denial, to awareness, to understanding, and then towards actions rooted in a sense of personal responsibility.

Once we have achieved a critical mass of people who understand the issues and have taken responsible actions as a result, solutions will find more fertile ground in which to take root.  Many people have already reached this place of understanding and assumed personal responsibility for their futures, but this site is organized around the principle that most have not.


Daily Digest - Dec 31

Wednesday, December 31, 2008, 10:42 AM
  • Companies force workers to take unpaid vacation
  • Breaking Up Is Harder to Do After Housing Fall
  • Plan B for the Not So Wealthy
  • [Updated] Air-Pocket Watch: November Hotel Occupancy
  • GMAC to loosen criteria for loans upon bail-out
  • The governments of China and Japan are the only support for the dollar

Real business is hard work

Monday, December 29, 2008, 11:13 PM

Here's a very interesting observation put out by the great writer and very observant economic and social commentator Charles Hughes Smith.

Productive and Unproductive Capital
Honestly, it's much easier to sit at a desk at home and gather long-term capital gains (which may or may not be productively invested) or tax-free earnings than put up with the guff of real business. And if this is the case, then who's going to risk everything to hire people and "get America working again"?

This is why I predict 30 million formal jobs will be lost in this Depression; it's no longer worth it in terms of risk/return to start businesses when everyone is sucking real businesses dry and leaving rentier capital lightly taxed and lightly regulated.

The above is the summary of an essay which points out that over time we've structured our economy and society such that non-productive capital (passive bond and financial investments) are treated with kid gloves by our rules sets and tax codes while using the same capital to run a real business exposes one to all sorts of headaches and additional taxes that do not apply to "rentier capital".

So why bother?

I can tell you from my experience, this rings true.  The amount of paperwork and forms and rules and taxes that my state of Massachusetts applies to my simple business are extraordinary compared to squaring up my investment and trading accounts at the end of the year.

Some of the rules are baffling and maddening as if designed to be cruel and arbitrary.


Daily Digest - Dec 30

Monday, December 29, 2008, 8:18 PM
  • Video, Jim Rogers: "Prepared for the Worst"
  • 200+ Homes for under $1,000.00
  • US consumer confidence plummets
  • Market Wrap Week Ending 12/26/08
  • Energy dispute over Rockies riches
  • Holiday Sales Drop to Force Bankruptcies, Closings
  • "When", not "If"
  • GMAC to Get $6 Billion Aid Deal
  • Case-Shiller Index Shows Sharpest Home-Price Declines in Sun Belt
  • Case-Shiller Price Index (October)
  • Banking Industry Sinking Faster Than Government Can Bail?
  • Information Warfare and the Wall Street Journal's Demise 

Announcing the Chris Martenson Podcast Series

Monday, December 29, 2008, 1:47 PM

I'm writing today to introduce a new product that we're introducing this week, The Chris Martenson Podcast Series. The new audio podcast format will give paid subscribers the opportunity to ask Chris questions and get them answered in a regular program that will follow the format of a radio talk show.


Daily Digest - Dec 29

Monday, December 29, 2008, 1:29 PM
  • As if Things Weren't Bad Enough, Russian Professor Predicts End of U.S.
  • How Iceland Collapsed, (video)
  • Crisis deepens in Japan and China as Asian exports plunge
  • Cars leaving lots without drivers
  • Cars pile up at the wharves (video)
  • Fifty Herbert Hoovers
  • Venezuela to seize gold concessions as oil falls
  • Private Equity Firms Are Near Deal to Buy IndyMac
  • Kulongoski to pursue mileage tax
  • 21 Dumbest Moments in Business 2008

Daily Digest - Dec 28

Sunday, December 28, 2008, 1:54 PM
  • By Saying Yes, WaMu Built Empire on Shaky Loans
  • A Marshall plan for the united states?
  • Economy sheds light on old habits
  • We're All Socialist Now...
  • Autoworkers Union Keeps $6 Million Golf Course for Members at $33 Million Lakeside Retreat
  • A Wish List for Commercial Real Estate
  • Downturn Ends Building Boom in New York 
  • How Did We Get to the Moon? (Video on how humans make financial decisions)

New Martenson Report ready

Saturday, December 27, 2008, 7:54 PM

In this report for subscribers, I explore a remarkable article by Mr. James Grant that appeared in the December 20th edition of the Wall Street Journal. I found it remarkable because Grant correctly identifies the Fed as the source of current economic troubles and makes the case that, under a gold standard, we might have a different set of troubles, but we wouldn't be facing an extinction-level event for finance. With the deft use of historical examples, he makes a strong case that our current ills stem from very common mistakes that have plagued central banking ever since it was first invented. I expand on several of his arguments to steer towards the conclusion that inflation lies in wait.

Link to the new Martenson Report