Insider en Preparing for the Coming Breakdown ]]><h1>Executive Summary</h1> <ul> <li style="line-height: 19.5px;">The boom in fossil energy has allowed us to enjoy a stability that we may not be able to maintain in the future</li> <li style="line-height: 19.5px;">As society erodes, power concentrates in those intent on grabbing it</li> <li style="line-height: 19.5px;">Nurturing cultural capital is key to maintaining freedom and fairness</li> <li style="line-height: 19.5px;">Strategies for reducing your risk to societal breakdown</li> </ul> <blockquote><p><em>If you have not yet read <a href="" target="_blank">Part 1: Rising Police Aggression A Telling Indicator Of Our Societal Decline </a>available free to all readers, please <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>click here</strong></a> to read it first.</em></p> </blockquote> <p>Now we need to prepare those people who live in borderline uncivilized nations, which include the US, Mexico, much of South America, and a few European nations for what is coming next.</p> <p>Ask yourself this:<em> If tensions are this bad now, while relatively abundant resources exist, how bad do you think they&rsquo;ll get during the next economic downturn or financial crisis?</em></p> <p>One of the core predicaments is that the future simply cannot be more wonderful than the past in terms of ease of life and living standards. The pie is no longer growing like it used to, and someday it will begin to shrink.</p> <h2>My Monkey Brain</h2> <p>I have a confession to make. I react strongly to injustice. It simply makes my blood boil. Writing this article has been one of my less fun adventures in a while because of all the horrible injustices I had to wade through to assemble it.</p> <p>For a long time I thought that my angry reaction to injustice had to do with old childhood slights around unequal Christmas gifts or something, but I&rsquo;ve since learned it&rsquo;s a more primal reaction than that.</p> <p>Or perhaps I should say <em>primate</em> reaction.</p> <p>Watch how Capuchin monkeys react an unfair situation and if you are like me, you&rsquo;ll...</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Insider breakdown chaos Collapse culture society Fri, 24 Apr 2015 16:18:58 +0000 cmartenson 92428 at Off the Cuff: Our Culture Is Failing Us ]]><p>In this week&#39;s Off the Cuff podcast, Chris and Charles Hugh Smith discuss:</p> <ul> <li style="line-height: 19.5px;">Broken Markets <ul> <li style="line-height: 19.5px;">When all signals are false, how does one invest wisely?</li> </ul> </li> <li style="line-height: 19.5px;">The Decline Of Culture <ul> <li style="line-height: 19.5px;">A fundamental crisis within Western society</li> </ul> </li> <li style="line-height: 19.5px;">The Decline Of Civilization <ul> <li style="line-height: 19.5px;">We are on a track to repeat history, and not in a good way</li> </ul> </li> <li style="line-height: 19.5px;">Crafting A New Narrative <ul> <li style="line-height: 19.5px;">What should a more functional society aspire to?</li> </ul> </li> </ul> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Insider Charles Hugh Smith civility civilization culture HFT Off The Cuff police Fri, 24 Apr 2015 02:15:11 +0000 Adam Taggart 92429 at Deluding Ourselves ]]><p>Once you understand the role of oil, you cannot walk around or travel anywhere without seeing its massive impact on our lives.&nbsp; Whether it&rsquo;s the year-round abundance in our grocery stores or it&rsquo;s the endless traffic jams in every city across the globe, every single day of the year, you see oil&rsquo;s effect in and on our collective lives.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Insider economy EIA energy mexico North Sea oil Mon, 20 Apr 2015 21:50:55 +0000 cmartenson 92408 at The Future Of Interest Rates ]]><h1>Executive Summary</h1> <ul> <li style="line-height: 19.5px;">Why the Fed may no be able to raise rates from here</li> <li style="line-height: 19.5px;">Will the Fed go to negative interest rates instead?</li> <li style="line-height: 19.5px;">Why the next recession will limit the Fed&#39;s options greatly</li> <li style="line-height: 19.5px;">Why it may well be too late for the Fed at this point to act</li> </ul> <blockquote><p><em>If you have not yet read <a href="" target="_blank">Part 1: Has The Fed Already Lost?&nbsp;</a>available free to all readers, please <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>click here</strong></a> to read it first.</em></p> </blockquote> <h2>What If The Fed Isn&#39;t Actually Able To Raise Rates From Here?</h2> <p>Let&rsquo;s start with a look at the history of the Federal Funds rate (the shortest maturity interest rate the Fed directly controls).&nbsp; Alongside the historical rhythm of the Funds rate are official US recession periods in the shaded blue bars. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p class="rtecenter"><img alt="" src="" /></p> <p class="rtecenter">Chart Source:&nbsp; St. Louis Federal Reserve</p> <p>Of course there is one striking and completely consistent historical commonality in the behavior of the Funds rate over time.&nbsp; The Fed has lowered the Federal Funds rate in every recession since 1954 at least.&nbsp; There are no exceptions.&nbsp; You can see the punchline coming, can&rsquo;t you?&nbsp; Just how does one lower interest rates from zero to stimulate a potential slowdown in the economy?</p> <p>Of course in the banking system...</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Insider banks Brian Pretti central banks Fed Federal Reserve interest rates NIRP recession ZIRP Fri, 17 Apr 2015 19:36:15 +0000 Brian Pretti 92347 at Off the Cuff: Hot Money, Cold Econony ]]><p>In this week&#39;s Off the Cuff podcast, Chris and Brain&nbsp;Pretti&nbsp;discuss:</p> <ul> <li style="line-height: 19.5px;">Global Capital Flows <ul> <li style="line-height: 19.5px;">The hot money is fleeing Asia and inflating Western assets</li> </ul> </li> <li style="line-height: 19.5px;">What Recovery? <ul> <li style="line-height: 19.5px;">GDP growth appears to be returning to 0%</li> </ul> </li> <li style="line-height: 19.5px;">What Will Happen When The Fed Raises Rates <ul> <li style="line-height: 19.5px;">Or better put: can it raise rates without destroying the economy?</li> </ul> </li> <li style="line-height: 19.5px;">Lack Of Competent Leaders <ul> <li style="line-height: 19.5px;">Those making the big decisions are not the ones we want making them</li> </ul> </li> </ul> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Insider Atlanta Fed Brian Pretti capital GDP GDPNow Off The Cuff Thu, 16 Apr 2015 18:28:44 +0000 Adam Taggart 92374 at Ocean Acidification: An Ecological Nightmare ]]><p>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.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Insider carbon CO2 crisis ecology environment ocean acidification Tue, 14 Apr 2015 01:10:05 +0000 cmartenson 92351 at Off the Cuff: That Sinking Feeling... ]]><p>In this week&#39;s Off the Cuff podcast, Chris and John&nbsp;Rubino&nbsp;discuss:</p> <ul> <li style="line-height: 19.5px;">The Police State <ul> <li style="line-height: 19.5px;">Too much evidence to ignore</li> </ul> </li> <li style="line-height: 19.5px;">How Low Can Interest Rates Go? <ul> <li style="line-height: 19.5px;">Looking for the limits to&nbsp;NIRP</li> </ul> </li> <li style="line-height: 19.5px;">That Sinking Feeling.... <ul> <li style="line-height: 19.5px;">Why the next economic bust is going to be just horrible</li> </ul> </li> <li style="line-height: 19.5px;">Oil <ul> <li style="line-height: 19.5px;">What the heck is going on in that market?</li> </ul> </li> </ul> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Insider bonds civil liberties incentives John Rubino negative interest rates NIRP Off The Cuff oil police state Fri, 10 Apr 2015 20:24:19 +0000 Adam Taggart 92321 at The Future of Money ]]><h1>Executive Summary</h1> <ul> <li style="line-height: 19.5px;">Money functions as a store of value and a means of exchange, but it&#39;s possible to have 2 forms (or more) of money simultaneously serving as each</li> <li style="line-height: 19.5px;">Having complementary forms of money can provide more resilience to a monetary system - history has a number of examples of this</li> <li style="line-height: 19.5px;">A key success factor of such systems is that the forms of money are NOT issues and controlled by the State</li> <li style="line-height: 19.5px;">Which new forms of money will arise when the current State fiat money regimes fail</li> </ul> <blockquote><p><em>If you have not yet read <a href="" target="_blank">Part 1: The Fatal Flaw Of Centrally-Issued Money </a>available free to all readers, please <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>click here</strong></a> to read it first.</em></p> </blockquote> <h2>Separating Money&rsquo;s Two Functions</h2> <p>Money has two basic functions: it is a <em>store of value</em> (that is, it holds its purchasing power long after you obtain it in trade for goods and services) and it is a <em>means of exchange</em>: there has to be enough in circulation to grease the exchange of goods and services.</p> <p>Though we are accustomed to one form of money playing both of these roles, there is no reason why each function can&rsquo;t be served by separate kinds of money&mdash;that is, one for exchange and one as a store of value.</p> <p>This is precisely what we find in the historical record, where bills of exchange, letters of credit (in essence, <em>credit money</em>), paper chits from retailers and other ephemeral means of exchange greased trade while gold and silver or other scarce materials served as stores of value.</p> <p>As anthropologist David Graeber established in his book <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;index=aps&amp;keywords=1612191290&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=peakprosp-20&amp;linkId=ZXPFK4BWAOZ3IQJ3" target="_blank"><em>Debt: The First 5,000 Years</em></a>, money arose not from barter&mdash;the usual assumption&mdash;but from the rise of credit-based exchange and debt recorded on clay tablets, notched sticks or parchment.</p> <p>In Graeber&rsquo;s view, the key feature of money used for exchange is that it <em>always has an end buyer</em>.&nbsp; The intrinsically worthless chit issued by a retailer can serve as money through dozens of transactions because everyone trusts that the issuer&mdash;the retailer&mdash;will accept the chit as being worth an established amount of goods, i.e. purchasing power.</p> <p>If Joe&rsquo;s Market issues a chit that can be traded for a can of beans, you and I can exchange that chit as payment of debt or purchase of some other good or service because we know we can always exchange the chit for a can of beans.&nbsp; The chit serves as money.</p> <p>When gold and silver were scarce in...</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Insider Bitcoin Charles Hugh Smith cryptocurrency gold money Thu, 09 Apr 2015 18:02:49 +0000 charleshughsmith 92314 at The Fed Is Destroying the World One Saver At A Time ]]><p>I must confess to a deep-seated anger at just how insultingly stupid the world has become. As a sufferer of crisis fatigue I can be caught exclaiming&nbsp;<em>You have got to be kidding me!!?</em>&nbsp;several times per day, or perhaps shouting&nbsp;<em>How dumb do they think we are?</em></p> <p>Three choice outbursts came last week as I read&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Bernanke&rsquo;s new blog</a>&nbsp;and came across statements like this one:</p> <div>&nbsp;</div> <blockquote><p>&nbsp;</p></blockquote> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Insider banks Ben Benanke Chris Martenson debt Fed Federal Reserve Manipulation money QE savers wages wealth Tue, 07 Apr 2015 04:25:59 +0000 cmartenson 92293 at Off the Cuff: The Great Global Economic Slowdown ]]><p>In this week&#39;s Off the Cuff podcast, Chris and Mish&nbsp;Shedlock&nbsp;discuss:</p> <ul> <li style="line-height: 19.5px;">Economic Slowdown <ul> <li style="line-height: 19.5px;">Economic growth is fast disappearing all across the world</li> </ul> </li> <li style="line-height: 19.5px;">The Evils Of The Banking System <ul> <li style="line-height: 19.5px;">Corrupt &amp; corrupted; we need a return to old-school fiduciary stewardship</li> </ul> </li> <li style="line-height: 19.5px;">Chicago Blues <ul> <li style="line-height: 19.5px;">A case study for the fraud &amp; rot soon to appear in cities across the US</li> </ul> </li> <li style="line-height: 19.5px;">Fracking&#39;s&nbsp;Legacy <ul> <li style="line-height: 19.5px;">From poisoned water tables to earthquakes</li> </ul> </li> </ul> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Insider central banks Chicago economy Fracking Mish Shedlock Off The Cuff Fri, 03 Apr 2015 05:57:11 +0000 Adam Taggart 92260 at