Whom will you help? And how much will you be able to?
by Adam Taggart
Friday, June 3, 2016, 9:40 PM
Our resources are finite. Most of us don't feel we have all that we require to meet our own needs and goals. And the best-laid preparations of the most planful of us can suddenly become woefully insufficient if too many unexpected family, friends and neighbors show up demanding our charity. » Read more
As we write about the risks of our over-indebted economy, of our unsustainable fossil fuel-dependent energy policies, and our accelerating depletion of key resources, it's not a far leap to start worrying about the potential for a coming degradation of our modern lifestyle -- or even the possibility of full-blown societal collapse.
Sadly, collapse is not just a theoretical worry for a growing number of people around the world. They're living within it right now.
This week, we catch up with Fernando "FerFAL" Aguirre, who began blogging during the hyperinflationary destruction of Argentina’s economy in 2001 and has since dedicated his professional career to educating the public about his experiences and observations of its lingering aftermath. Given his first-hand experience with living through, and eventually escaping, economic collapse in South America, we asked him to offer his insider's perspective on the current crisis in Venezuela, as well as the devolving situation in Brazil. » Read more
To preserve capital, you need to outsmart the monkey
by Charles Hugh Smith
Friday, March 11, 2016, 3:16 PM
In the lunar calendar that started February 8, this is the Year of the Red Monkey. I found this description of the Red Monkey quite apt:
"According to Chinese Five Elements Horoscopes, Monkey contains Metal and Water. Metal is connected to gold. Water is connected to wisdom and danger. Therefore, we will deal with more financial events in the year of the Monkey. Monkey is a smart, naughty, wily and vigilant animal. If you want to have good return for your money investment, then you need to outsmart the Monkey. Metal is also connected to the Wind. That implies the status of events will be changing very quickly. Think twice before you leap when making changes for your finance, career, business relationship and people relationship."
What motivates a populace to rebel against a regime?
by Charles Hugh Smith
Friday, February 26, 2016, 11:48 AM
Fisher found that a wage/price cycle often ends in transformational social upheaval. While proponents of his model have a wealth of historical examples to draw upon, they miss a key factor: the vulnerability or resilience of the nation-state facing crises.
Some nations survive invasions, environmental catastrophes, epidemics and inflation without disintegrating into disorder. Something about these nation’s social/ economic /political order makes them more resilient than other nations. So rather than accept the proximate causes of disorder as the sole factors, we should look deeper into the social order for the factors behind a nation’s relative fragility or resilience. » Read more
As we’ve been warning for quite a while (too long for my taste): the world’s grand experiment with debt has come to an end. And it’s now unraveling.
Just in the two weeks since the start of 2016, the US equity markets are down almost 10%. Their worst start to the year in history. Many other markets across the world are suffering worse.
If you watched stock prices today, you likely had flashbacks to the financial crisis of 2008. At one point the Dow was down over 500 points, the S&P cracked below key support at 1,900, and the price of oil dropped below $30/barrel. Scared investors are wondering: What the heck is happening? Many are also fearfully asking: Are we re-entering another crisis?» Read more
The pattern here is one of rapidly slowing economic activity and mounting pain starting “from the outside in” as emerging markets and the poor people within the core countries bear the brunt at first. Things always get rolling to the downside starting with the weakest, peripheral elements first.
Copper and oil are providing very clear signs that economic activity is not just slow, but in rapid retreat. Wal-Mart tells us that its shoppers are having trouble. The fresh all-time lows in a variety of currencies, plus massive weakness in others, is telling us that the virtuous portion of the liquidity cycle that the Fed, et al., unleashed on the world has entered the vicious part of the cycle.
The pain will spread to the center with increasing speed. The main question is if the authorities can stop that before the momentum becomes too great to halt? And what will happen if they cannot?
The oceans are facing numerous difficulties including pollution (especially from farm run off), over-fishing, and dragnet methods that ruin innumerable other things besides the targeted catch -- but all of that pales in comparison to the problem of ocean acidification. » Read more