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The People Rise

Understanding the 'Yellow Vest' protests
Monday, December 10, 2018, 4:17 PM

The protests in France are extraordinary for their breadth of popular support among the people of France (roughly 75% at the last poll). And for their emotional intensity.

The people of France are pissed off.

This is exactly the sort of social unrest that will erupt more and more frequently around the world if the economic and political elites continue to behave as they have. Wealth and power have been stripped from the public and been concentrated into the hands of fewer and fewer people.

The imbalances are extreme and obscene. The elites, living in their own bubbles of exclusion, seem to be utterly clueless about the effects their actions are having on the psyches of the billions who outnumber them.

In other words, history is repeating itself. » Read more

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What To Do Now That The Big One Is Here

Bubble pop AND recession? Huge risks ahead.
Friday, December 7, 2018, 6:07 PM

Executive Summary

  • The warnings signs that have our full attention & why
  • What the yield curve is telling us about the next recession
  • What indicators to watch for in the markets over the next few weeks/months
  • The steps to take right now to prepare

If you have not yet read Part 1: Bubble, Meet Pin, available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

The simple and sad truth is that it’s not different this time.  Everything that was wildly over valued will drop in price - just as with every previous bubble bust in history. The appearance of economic health that was expensively and lavishly placed on the national credit card will evaporate as the bills come due.

The long-awaited correction has arrived.

We're confident in saying this now because there are too many recession indicators to ignore, the major central banks are not positioned to resume additional QE measures, and political and geopolitical tensions are rising that handicap the sort of well-coordinated sovereign partnerships necessary to rescue things from here.

In other words, there’s nowhere for the financial markets to go besides down.

Sure, they'll gyrate along the way; but following a long series of lower highs and lower lows. If we’re lucky.

If we’re not, we could see the sudden kind of dislocation that closes markets, borders, and distribution systems.

Because you’re reading this, you're among the few who can hear this message. More will wake up to it once the panic starts, but for now it’s still a tiny crew who can manage to hold this information in their minds and still move on with purpose through the world.

Now looking towards the immediate future, Who typically gets slammed first and most severely when a credit cycle ends? The answer is clear: it's the... » Read more

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Reality Bites!

Why the markets suddenly can't seem to rally anymore
Tuesday, December 4, 2018, 9:24 PM

I’ve monitored numerous online investing chat boards for a long time. "Average Joe" traders have been licking their wounds since the October correction, but they've been trying to remain bullish. Many were excitedly talking about their dip-buying “strategies” as recently as yesterday as the Trump-Xi trade "agreement' euphoria hit the tape.

But now? After todays’ nearly 800 point drubbing on the Dow and far worse percentage losses on the Nasdaq and Russell 2000, I’m seeing people starting to throw in the towel. » Read more

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Off The Cuff: Are The Fed Rate Hikes Ending Early?

Decoding this week's Fed update
Sunday, December 2, 2018, 3:07 PM

In this week's Off The Cuff podcast, Chris and Wolf Richter discuss:

  • Are The Fed Rate Hikes Ending?
    • Decoding Powell's latest guidance
  • Lower Oil Prices Are Not The Boon Most Are Expecting
    • The implications are mixed
  • The Housing Market Continues To Soften
    • In many markets, we're now clearly past the top
  • GM Layoffs Are A Sign Of What's Coming
    • Cost-cutting is the next corporate wave

The minutes from the latest Federal Reserve meeting were released this past week and saw much scrutiny by those hoping for an early end to the Fed's program of interest rate hikes. After the ugly market drop in October, the Fed has come increasingly under political criticsm and pressure to slow/stop its pace of tightening.

Many were cheered to see Chairman Powell's declaration that rates are now "close" to his goal of "neutral". So far, pundits and the markets are interpreting that as a dovish moderation of Powell's original plans. Stocks and bonds jumped at the news.

But Wolf and Chris aren't so sanguine. Wolf explains below why he's not convinced Powell's plan is much changed, and he and Chris later proceed to identify all the ways in which higher interest rates are still likely in our future:

Click to listen to a sample of this Off the Cuff Podcast or Enroll today to access the full audio as well as all of PeakProsperity.com's other premium content. » Read more

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thrivepoint.com

How To Manage Conflict & Build Relationships That Last

And how to put these techniques into practice in your life
Friday, November 30, 2018, 10:45 PM

Executive Summary

  • The Foundation: funding your Emotional Bank Account
  • The Gottman framework of The Sound Realtionship House
  • The Gottman Method: the 9 Components Of Relational Health (very meaty)
  • Putting these techniques in practice in your own life

If you have not yet read Part 1: Dealing With Disagreement, available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

"Process is everything", says Gottman. Change the process, change the outcome.

So, if you're experiencing frustration or unwanted friction in relationships that are important to you, how should you go about changing your process in order to enjoy a better outcome?

The Gottman Institute has created a progression to follow, distilling decades of insights from its couples research into an intuitve framework that's easy to understand and remember. It's called The Sound Relationship House.

Each "floor" of the house represents an essential component of relationship health. Progressing upwards from one floor to next fortifies relational bonds and makes it harder for confict to weaken them when it arises.

But, as with any house, a strong foundation helps. So before we tackle the Gottman progression, it's essential first to build your relationship house on solid ground.

Setting Your Relationship Up For Success

We mentioned in Part 1 that repair during and after a fight is the key relationship success.

But to repair well, your partner needs to be receptive to your efforts. What's the best predictor of receptivity? A flourishing Emotional Bank Account.

The Emotional Bank Account is a concept developed by the Gottmans to convey the importance of building up goodwill between you and your partner in advance of problems arising. When there's a reservior of "emotional savings" already in deposit, a relationship is more able to withstand any given challenge of the moment. But if the account is empty, even small annoyances can trigger the 4 Horsemen.

"Bids for connection" are what add and subtract to your emotional savings. Partners are making these bids all the time in a relationship -- preparing a meal for someone, sharing news or an idea that interest you, reaching out for physical connection, listening attentively.

When we respond to a bid from our parnter -- clink! -- we've just made a deposit. And when we ignore or react negatively to a bid -- poof! -- a withdrawal's been made.

Investing in your Emotional Bank Account takes work. Gottman observed that long-term happy couples exhibit a ratio of 20:1 positive-to-negative interactions on any given day. That's because failed bids withdraw more savings than successful bids deposit (i.e., you need multiple positive interactions to offset a single negative one).

And when altercations arise, you still need to work on making those deposits in the heat of the moment. Those same long-term successful couples maintain a 5:1 ratio of positivity to negativity during conflct. Those in unstable relationships, on the other hand, typically display a 1.25:1 (or worse) negativity to postivity ratio when fighting.

They key here is to work on developing...

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deltanewsandreview.com

Off The Cuff: A New Liquidity Crisis?

The evidence is mounting
Thursday, November 29, 2018, 3:03 PM

In this week's Off The Cuff podcast, Chris speaks on:

  • Gratitude
    • A key element of Emotional Resilience
  • "But Technology Will Solve Everything!"
    • Here's why it won't
  • Housing Market Woes
    • We're on the downward slide now
  • A New Liquidity Crisis
    • Stap in. It's going to get bumpy

Recording on Thanksgiving, Chris reflects on all we at Peak Prosperity have to be grateful for. One of the biggest blessings is the clarity to see things as they are, not necessarily as we wish they would be.

This may have been the last Thanksgiving in a while when the world economy remains stable. It's increasingly looking like we are the terminal end of the third credit cycle in as many decades. The ending of this one may indeed prove much more disruptive than the previous two. 

Which is why those of us currently tracking developments will be much better prepared for what's to come than the general masses. As Chris advises, be prepared to provide insight, stability and support to those in your life who get caught flat-footed when the next crisis hits.

Click to listen to a sample of this Off the Cuff Podcast or Enroll today to access the full audio as well as all of PeakProsperity.com's other premium content. » Read more

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Easy Come, Hard Go

The key 7 crash/recession-watch indicators to track closely
Friday, November 23, 2018, 5:51 PM

Executive Summary

  • What to expect now that the decade-old credit cycle has entered a downturn
  • How bad will things get economically?
  • Why today's lower oil prices will make things even worse
  • Our key 7 crash-watch/recession-watch indicators to track closely

If you have not yet read Part 1: In Gratitude – Peak Prosperity 2018, available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

A credit cycle is a lot of fun for an activist organization like the Federal Reseve whose prime mandate is to assure that banks are healthy and skimming tons of profits from society.

On the way up everybody is cheering your brilliance at engineering such amazing times as the “roaring 20’s” and more recently the “twinkling teens.”

And on the way down?  Well, that’s when you ‘tut-tut’ noises about the unforeseeable nature of market downturns and you plot out the next round of funny money to be printed and thrown in the general direction of your main customers, the big banks.

We’ve just begun the downturn phase, and it won't end until and unless the central banks reverse their current tightening policies and return to QE.

Asset prices have only just begun to correct and fall (more on that below), which means there’s a lot more pain in front of us before anything like a recovery can be expected.

By the way, that last bullet point on the right: “focus on cutting costs”? That's a euphemism for “firing people.” 

Again, the reason for bringing all of this to your attention is to make you aware of where we are in the process. I want you to be properly oriented so that you can safeguard your own wealth (especially financial) and therefore be in a position to help others.

If this goes as badly as I think it will, we're all going to know people who get really hurt. Jobs will be lost. Savings will bewiped out. Dreams will be shattered.

So, has “it” arrived?  Is the long-awaited big correction upon us?  The answer to that is now... » Read more

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Off The Cuff: The United States Of Anxiety

A frightened nation is easily manipulated
Friday, November 23, 2018, 2:53 PM

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

  • Fraudulent Markets
    • Justifying today's valuations requires more and more absurdity
  • Rampant Risk
    • We're too fearful of the small risks and too complacent of the big ones
  • Con Job
    • A complacent populace is easily manipulated
  • The Need For Hard Truths
    • Our savalation lies in our willigness to face reality as it is, not as we wish it to be

This week's discussion takes a fascinating turn into the psychological mindsets that are limiting society right now. Namely a willful blindness to the systemic risks we have created (too much debt, asset price bubbles, etc), paired with an anxiety over much smaller issues that keeps us as a populace meek, fearful and easily controlled. To break this cycle -- or to deal effectively with the system once is breaks -- we'll need to return to a more stoic and honest cultural mindset, one that can handle facing the hard truths.

Click to listen to a sample of this Off the Cuff Podcast or Enroll today to access the full audio as well as all of PeakProsperity.com's other premium content. » Read more

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Charles Hugh Smith

Thanksgiving Day Only: PP Subscriber Discount On New Charles Hugh Smith Book

47% off
Thursday, November 22, 2018, 4:20 PM

Frequent contributing editor Charles Hugh Smith has graciously included Peak Prosperity premium subscribers in the VIP launch sale for his brand-new book.

Just for today, you can purchase his new release Pathfinding our Destiny: Preventing the Final Fall of Our Democratic Republic at his wholesale cost -- 47% below the listing price.

Tomorrow, Black Friday, will see a similar short-lived deal for the general public, but it will be more like 20% off. So if interested, take advantage of this offer now. » Read more

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Bitcoin Breakdown

Full crypto melt-down in progress
Monday, November 19, 2018, 1:23 PM

Led by Bitcoin, the cryptocurrencies are breaking down.

After experiencing a months-long boring wedge formation, things have finally gotten interesting again for Bitcoin, et al.. Unfortunately for the HODL'ers, it's to the downside.

Seen in closer detail in this chart, it looks like Bitcoin is now... » Read more