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Off the Cuff: The Cost of Comfort

Is perhaps too high a price to pay
Thursday, May 28, 2015, 8:04 PM

In this week's Off the Cuff podcast, Chris and Charles Hugh Smith discuss:

  • The Cost Of Comfort
    • We are ruining ourselves in the name of convenience
  • Prospering By Borrowing
    • Nearly all of our industries are unsustainable
  • Our 'Monocrop' Economy
    • It's single-track focus ignores the complexity of reality
  • Creating A New, Better Narrative
    • Join Chris, Becca & Charles Eisenstein

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It’s Time to Stop Treating Our Soil Like Dirt

We're destroying an invaluable resource
Tuesday, May 26, 2015, 10:34 AM

In the recent podcast with Paul and Elizabeth Kaiser, the owners of Singing Frogs farm, they told a tale of success that begins and in many ways ends with their soil.

It's a model we need to pay close attention, to as I think it’s safe to say that the vast majority of farming across the world right now is based on the practice of plowing up fields and is therefore based on the practice of slowly but surely ruining the very bottom of the food pyramid. » Read more



Suicide By Pesticide

What the honey bee die-off means for humanity
Friday, May 22, 2015, 10:18 AM

As you are aware, honey bees have been suffering from something called colony collapse disorder. In practice what this means is that the bees simply vanish from their hives leaving behind their most precious worldly possessions, honey and larvae.

Killing off organisms in an ecosystem using indiscriminate biocides is quite literally a slow form of suicide for us humans. As within, so without.  You cannot poison and kill of the world around you without poisoning and killing yourself.

Simply put: We are killing ourselves. And the data is literally horrifying. » Read more



Off the Cuff: It Takes A Pillage

How financial system fraud has worsened post-2008
Thursday, May 21, 2015, 3:21 PM

In this week's Off the Cuff podcast, Chris and Nomi Prins discuss:

  • It Takes A Pillage
    • How Wall St fraud has only worsened since 2008
  • Moral Hazard
    • Central banks are enabling the bad actors
  • The War On Cash
    • What the implications of ZIRP and NIRP are
  • Get Ready For Volatility To Return
    • Market gyrations from here are baked in the cake


Navigating Safely In The Coming Era Of Volatility

To avoid them, you have to first understand all the risks
Wednesday, May 20, 2015, 8:42 AM

Executive Summary

  • Central planners are showing increasing signs of insecurity in their ability to maintain control
  • Credit default risk is on the rise
  • So are geo-political and economic risks
  • Manipulation continues to muddy price discovery
  • Crime & fraud have rotted the core our financial system
  • How to tread carefully in these markets

If you have not yet read Part 1: 4 Factors Signaling Volatility Will Return With A Vengeance available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

When stock markets keep racking up records, it’s hard to imagine steep downturns.  Yet that’s precisely when caution is required, particularly when volatility is rising and risk factors are not subsiding.  What I’m about to say is not to scare, but to help prepare, you.

Recall that two years after achieving a then historic high on October 9, 2007 of 14,164.53, the Dow plunged by more than half to a March 2009 12-year low of 6,547. The value of US stocks dropped from $22 trillion to $9 trillion. Why? Because of a confluence of risk-laden events pelting people and markets. From the housing market drop, to the failure of Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers, to the unraveling of CDOs, to the obscene amounts of leverage and fraud everywhere, volatility escalated and liquidity and confidence dove. Banks entered self-defense mode, turning to governments and central banks for lifelines.

The fix of subsidized private banking was in. It still is - seven years later. There’s nothing comforting about that. It took another five years, until March 5, 2013 for the Dow to top 2007 levels. If you’re an individual, say with a pension or college tuition to pay, you’ve got to have an iron stomach to deal with that kind of chaos. You’re going to want to protect your money from the possibility of a next time. Now is a good time to start.

Today’s markets have not bubbled on organic or sustainable growth, they have been propped up by unprecedented, globally coordinated central bank policies that flooded the financial system with cheap money and like a giant financial vacuum cleaner hoovered up debt securities from big banks through massive (QE) easing programs.

Market volatility, though low compared to 2008 days, has nonetheless been inching up. It will continue increasing due to... » Read more


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A Promising Framework For Developing Independent Income

And the time to start is now
Friday, May 15, 2015, 3:56 AM

Executive Summary

  • The most common sources of independent income in America
  • Independent wealth is concentrated in the hands of a few, but it doesn't have to be that way
  • The promise of the Mobile Creative Model for developing independent income
  • The importance of beginning to develop multiple streams of income now, before crisis hits

If you have not yet read The Self-Employed Middle Class Hardly Exists Anymore available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

In Part 1, we looked at a variety of IRS and other data to conclude that about 15% of the workforce of 145 million earns some self-employment income, but only 15% of those earners (4 to 5 million) made enough to support a middle class life. Of these around 3 million are estimated to be self-employed professionals. Punchline: very few Americans are able to afford a middle-class lifestyle without working for corporations or the government.

In this Part 2, we examine the primary sources for developing independent income, defined as income that is not paid directly by the government or Corporate America or their pension funds (public and private). 

The Primary Sources of Independent Income

Thanks to the complexities of U.S. tax law, specifically, how the tax code treats various kinds of income, we have a reasonably precise snapshot of earned and unearned income. We can identify the primary sources of independent income as... » Read more



Off The Cuff: The Deathtrap of Over-Financialization

How its metastasis has killed the global economy
Thursday, May 14, 2015, 4:00 PM

In this week's Off the Cuff podcast, Chris and Brian Pretti discuss:

  • The Over-Financialization Of The World
    • It's the cancer that's killing the global economy
  • The Fed's Failure Is Becoming More Apparent
    • Deteriorating data and bubble-prices
  • Chicago Blue
    • What it pension woes mean for the city, and the rest of America
  • Trouble Brewing In The Bond Market
    • This is where the real carnage will happen


Get Ready For Sky-High Taxes

As the pie shrinks, the taxman will grab for more
Tuesday, May 12, 2015, 9:39 AM

At some point in the arriving future, there’s plenty of economic pain coming either to the taxpayers when the I.O.U.s come due, or to the hopeful retirees to whom much has been promised. » Read more


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Off the Cuff: Bankrupt State Pensions

Illinois shows us what to expect in the coming future...
Thursday, May 7, 2015, 11:18 AM

In this week's Off the Cuff podcast, Chris and Mish discuss:

  • Illinois' Staggeringly Underfunded Pensions
    • To the tune of $40k per household
  • Broken Promises In-Waiting
    • Many other states are in the same bad shape
  • The Pin Moves Closer To The Bubble
    • Growth is vaporizing despite record stock prices
  •  Keep A Close Eye On Bond Yields
    • Flashing warning signs that investors are getting nervous


You Are Living Two Lives

…And it’s eating you alive
Tuesday, May 5, 2015, 12:30 AM

When our team is delivering a seminar, we hear a lot about where people really are.  We create a safe and inviting place for people to talk about what lurks in their hearts and minds.

I want to talk about one of the more common themes we encounter, one that has been growing in both frequency and urgency. We call it "Living Two Lives". » Read more