Charles Hugh Smith

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The Pin To Pop This Mother Of All Bubbles?

A worsening shortfall in new credit creation
Friday, June 16, 2017, 7:23 PM

Global macro economic data has been weak for many years, but there’s now a very real chance of a world-wide recession happening in 2017.

Why? A dramatic and worsening shortfall in new credit creation. » Read more

Insider

Off The Cuff: The Demise Of The Current World Order

A worldwide reset is approaching
Friday, June 2, 2017, 4:00 PM

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

  • History Is Full Of Cycles
    • 80-year & 240-year being the most dominant for empires
  • At The Cycles End
    • The US is at the end of both a 240-yr AND 80-yr cycle
  • A Global Reset
    • Given the huge distortions, a worldwide reckoning is overdue
  • What Will Emerge From The Ashes?
    • Will the new order make better decisions?

This week, Chris and Charles look across the expanse of history, at past empires and the paths they followed as they collapsed. They see many signs that the current world order is reaching its last moments before something new emerges -- likely out of the chaos of a systemic reset.

Before that happens though, the current system needs to topple under the weight of its shortcomings, one of which is the concentration of wealth and power into fewer and fewer hands. Charles explains where to keep our focus:

90% of our entire income, national income, and interactions are with a handful of cartels. Which we now have new ones. We've got Google, which is essentially a monopoly. We have Facebook, which is a monopoly. The dominant players are Apple, Netflix. The usual crowd. Amazon. They are so large, so wealthy that they're basically so far beyond competition that they're a monopoly. Once they start lobbying the pay for play democracy we have, then they're really going to be unassailable. Once they learn the tricks of the insurance companies and the military industrial complex and higher education, then they're going to build a regulatory moat that no one can get around, on top of their other advantages.

We've got for profit cartels and then we have the central state. Which is married to the cartels -- because they both need each other, they feed off each other. Those are failed models. Those platforms are going to unravel

Click to listen to a sample of this Off the Cuff Podcast or Enroll today to access the full audio and other premium content today. » Read more

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How Long Can The Great Global Reflation Continue?

And what will happen when it ends?
Friday, May 19, 2017, 8:01 PM

Given the extraordinary failure of both Keynesian stimulus and private-sector credit growth to create a self-sustaining cycle of expansion whose benefits flow to the entire workforce rather than to the top few percent, what can we expect going forward? Can we just keep doubling and tripling the economy’s debt load every few years? What if household incomes continue declining? Are these trends sustainable?

In the near-term, is this Great Reflation running out of steam, or is it poised for yet another leg higher? Which is more likely? » Read more

Insider

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Off The Cuff: Sowing The Seeds Of Our Self-Destruction

Our broken culture is failing us and our progeny
Thursday, May 4, 2017, 4:11 AM

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

  • Our Sick Culture
    • Disconnected and depressive
  • We Are Deficient In Meaning
    • More & more of us live without purpose and value
  • Emotional Resilience
    • Each of us has the ability to chart a better course
  • Engaging Others
    • How to help others break free, too

This week's Off The Cuff takes a more existential turn, as Chris and Charles focus on the many broken elements of today's culture, and the toxic effects they have on our quality of life. With so much social disconnectedness and disappearing prosperity, more and more of the population is simply surviving as opposed to living.

To have quality of life, it is becoming more important than ever for each of us to become the captain of our own destiny, and seek to break out of the current our culture is dragging us along with.

Click to listen to a sample of this Off the Cuff Podcast or Enroll today to access the full audio and other premium content today. » Read more

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Off The Cuff: Weariness Everywhere In The Markets

The support underlying today's sky-high prices is faltering
Thursday, March 23, 2017, 4:43 PM

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

  • Weariness Everywhere In The Markets
    • The post-election price support is evaporating
  • Confused Leaders
    • Chris recaps his latest meetings at the U.N.
  • Boomer Guilt
    • Divisions between the older haves & younger have-nots are growing
  • Banks & Government
    • A partnership of evil

Charles returns to Off The Cuff this week to note the recent lack of vigor in today's financial markets. Does it portend a turning point?

Click to listen to a sample of this Off the Cuff Podcast or Enroll today to access the full audio and other premium content today. » Read more

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ASCE

Off The Cuff: Our D-Minus Infrastructure

We can hardly afford to maintain it, let alone rebuild it
Tuesday, February 21, 2017, 6:21 PM

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

  • The War Within The Deep State
    • Which regime will triumph?
  • Our Crumbling National Infrastructure
    • Can the American empire still afford itself?
  • How The Oroville Dam Is An Omen
    • Systemic collapse always surprised with its swiftness
  • The Wrong Mindset
    • Our leaders aren't incented to care about preserving what we have
Insider

The Class War Playbook

There won't be one class war, but many
Friday, February 10, 2017, 9:16 PM

Executive Summary

  • Why the woes of the middle class will worsen from here
  • The tax-burdened middle class vs the "dependent" class that pays no taxes
  • The pinched middle class vs the gluttonous plutocrats
  • How the many ensuing class wars will end

If you have not yet read Part 1: The Coming Class Wars, It's Time To Worry available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

In Part 1, we briefly surveyed the nature of class war in advanced capitalism, starting with the Marxist analysis that such conflict was inevitable. We then moved to the present: the Grand Truce that produced the middle class is eroding, social mobility is declining, and a sharp economic and cultural chasm has opened between the unprotected working class and the protected upper-middle class.

Why Is the Middle Class Eroding?

The big question is: why is the middle class eroding? Why is the longstanding accord between labor and capital breaking down? 

Peter Turchin’s recent book Ages of Discord sheds light on the historical context.  History’s economic and social cycles can be divided into two fundamental phases: integrative eras in which cooperation between competing forces is rewarded and disintegrative eras in which cooperation dissolves into conflict and discord.

Turchin’s analysis identifies three key drivers of social and economic disintegration:

1. An over-supply of labor that suppresses real (inflation-adjusted) wages

2. An overproduction of parasitic (unproductive) Elites

3. A deterioration in central state finances (over-indebtedness, declining tax revenues, increase in state dependents, fiscal burdens of war, etc.)

It’s clear that globalization, open immigration and automation are generating an oversupply of labor that is suppressing wages, especially for the lower-skilled work force (the working class).

The entitled upper-middle class that expects... » Read more

Insider

Walt Kelly

Off The Cuff: Meeting The Enemy

A hard look in the mirror
Tuesday, January 24, 2017, 1:45 PM

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

  • The Intelligence Wars
    • When everyone is pointing fingers, whom are we to believe?
  • The Need For Humility
    • Our current hubris is destroying the systems we depend on
  • The Enemy
    • Is our our "neo'" agenda, whichever side of the aisle it's on
  • Fixing Our Broken Healthcare System
    • Reform needs to start with our own behavior

"We have met the enemy and he is us"

~ Pogo (Walt Kelly)

This week Chris and Charles hold up a harsh mirror to American society. So many of the long-term predicaments we face are issues of our own making, pursuits that benefit an elite few at the expense of the rest of us. The good news here is that we still have time to dramatically improve our odds of a better future by choosing to make different decisions going forward. The all-important question is: But will we?

Click to listen to a sample of this Off the Cuff Podcast or Enroll today to access the full audio and other premium content today. » Read more

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Off The Cuff: The Global Flow Of Money

It's determining the price of everything right now
Thursday, January 5, 2017, 6:42 PM

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

  • Cultural Capital
    • How will those around you react during a crisis?
  • The Fragility Within Our Centralized System
    • Lots of dependencies that can fail & bring the entire system to a halt
  • Musical Chairs
    • Who will have to eat the bad debts when the can can no longer be kicked?
  • The Importance Of Global Capital Flows
    • They're determining the price of everything

As 2017 kicks off, Chris sits down with Charles to discuss some of the big themes likely to drive events in this new year. The two focus on the growing instability of our centralized systems -- economic, energy and otherwise -- and pay particular attention to the impact that the huge pool of money sloshing around the world is having on prices everywhere. Right now, that flood of capital -- out of bonds and into stocks, the dollar, etc -- is the primary driver of prices. Of course, this should make us ask: what will happen when those flows change direction? Or instead of continuing to grow, start receding?

Click to listen to a sample of this Off the Cuff Podcast or Enroll today to access the full audio and other premium content today. » Read more

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Off The Cuff: Roasting The Media

Now clearly one of this year's biggest turkeys
Thursday, November 24, 2016, 5:48 PM

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

  • Merchants Of Fear
    • Scare tactics abound these days
  • Paid Shills
    • There's an agenda behind the messages we receive
  • Persuasion & Propaganda
    • The "news" is attempting to trigger specific responses
  • An New Era Of Fascism?
    • If you look at the definition, it seems we're not too far off

First off, very happy Thanksgiving wishes from Chris and me to all our Peak Prosperity readers! We hope each of you is having a wonderful day of gratitude with people you care about. Despite all of the challenges and predicaments we discuss on this site, there is much in this world to be thankful for.

Now, in an entirely different tone, Chris and Charles work up some heat in this week's podcast, as both of them excoriate the degradation rampant in today's media. Rather than serving as a Fourth Estate, holding up truth to power and prioritizing truth and accuracy above all else, today have have a captive system serving the interests of political power (the State) and moneyed interests (corporations). As a populace, we are only as well-informed as our information is valid. How can we act effectively (including voting) when we can't trust the sources of the information we receive? 

Click to listen to a sample of this Off the Cuff Podcast or Enroll today to access the full audio and other premium content today. » Read more