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PeakProsperity.com

Energy Is The Non-Negotiable Element Defining Our Future

As goes energy, so goes wealth
Friday, April 20, 2018, 8:05 PM

Executive Summary

  • What the Laws of Thermodynamics tell us about Energy
  • How those same Laws then apply to the Economy
  • Why the science convinces us a "forced economic contraction" is in our future
  • What we can choose to do about it

If you have not yet read Part 1: The Economy Is Cooked, available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

One of my bigger 'learnings' from writing The Crash Course in book form was the deepening of my appreciation for the utter importance of energy to our way of life and to the process of creating (and maintaining) wealth. 

I spent time reacquainting myself with the laws of thermodynamics and came away with a far more focused view of the predicament in which we find ourselves.

I know that 'using the term thermodynamics' may sound awfully bookish or geeky, but it's by far the most important concept if one wants to understand the role of energy in our economy and why our economy will almost certainly fail to operate well in a world of declining net energy.

The laws of thermodynamics have never been violated by humans, not even for a millisecond.  Just like the law of gravity, they just exist as something we can either pay attention to, or not.  Our choice.  But they cannot be violated. At least, they haven't yet; so betting on a future where such laws have been repealed by human ingenuity would not be, shall we say, a sound wager.

A problem with the laws of thermodynamics is that they require a little bit of study to understand and they are loaded with wacky jargon which masks some very simple ideas.  Gravity is easy - all one has to do to appreciate it is get a few feet off the ground - the farther the better - in order for the reptilian portions of the brain to kick in and take over and make you very, very aware of gravity's potential consequences. Unfortunately, the laws of thermodynamics are less obvious, and we don't have a hard-wired evolutionary pathway that will force awareness upon us.  We have to come by an appreciation of the laws intellectually.

The first law simply states that.. » Read more

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Off The Cuff: Silver Set To Soar?

An epic short squeeze looks to be in the making
Friday, April 20, 2018, 1:24 AM

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

  • Crazy Like A Fox?
    • Evaluating Trump's colorful record so far
  • Silver Set To Soar?
    • An epic short squeeze looks in the making
  • Commodity Complex Break-Out?
    • Rising oil prices are leading the way
  • Beware The Bitcoin?
    • Reasons to proeed with caution before re-entering the crypto space

PeakProsperity.com's gold & silver analyst joins Off The Cuff this week to discuss his tingling spider-sense, which is predicting a price breakout in silver.

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.
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What To Prepare For

The paths a confrontation with Russia is most likely to take
Friday, April 13, 2018, 7:45 PM

Executive Summary

  • Projecting the 5 most likely outcomes from the current standoff with Russia over Syria
    • Level 1: Conflict avoided
    • Level 2: Limited skirmish
    • Level 3: Escalated regional conflict
    • Level 4: War
    • Level 5: Things go nuclear
  • The truly crazy option to keep our eyes out for
  • Why preparing now is an absolute must

If you have not yet read Part 1: The War Machine Springs To Life Over Syria available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

NOTE:  If you've not yet read our special report on how to prepare for an outbreak of war with Russia, or could use a refresher, please do so before reading further.

In that report, you'll find that “war” may mean anything from a trade war to cyber-attacks to an actual shooting war. Due to that broad spectrum of possibilities, preparing for a US/NATO war with Russia must include everything from the basics (food, water, fuel) to holding some cash out of the banks (in case they stop working for some reason), to having a modicum of physical gold and/or silver bullion handy.

Here are the base level preparations you should have in place regardless of what sort of war comes along:

  • A minimum of three months of food for your family plus others.  You decide how many others that might be.  A couple of close friends?  Half your neighborhood? 
  • Water filtration devices capable of filtering one gallon per person, per day, for three months.  You may have to buy extra devices and/or filters to accomplish this.  If you do not have access to your own water (well, nearby pond, lake or stream), then stored water sufficient to last several weeks.
  • Cash out of the bank that can cover three months of living expenses.
  • A bug out bag pre-loaded with your most valuable documents, irreplaceable pictures, medicines, weapons & ammunition, some cash and some gold/silver bullion.  As the natural disasters of late have shown, you never know when you might have to pick up and flee with little/no warning. 
  • All the basics in case of a nuclear exchange or a grid-down event that causes nuclear plants to overheat and explode as happened in Fukushima.  Dosimeters/Geiger counters, plastic sheeting, tape, and disposable coveralls and facemasks. Read our complete report on the topic here.

As for the likeliest outcomes to expect from this flare-up in Syria, we calculate them as follows... » Read more

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6 Essential Strategies For Prospering Through The Next Crisis

Be one of the few positioned to prosper when crisis hits
Friday, April 6, 2018, 11:32 PM

Executive Summary

  • The trends that have driven the past 10 years are now ending/over. Ride their reversal wisely.
  • Crisis can destroy or magnify your prospects. Your decisions today will control which outcome you experience.
  • In many cases, you need to do the opposite of what the 'herd' is doing
  • The 6 essential strategies for prospering through the next crisis

If you have not yet read Part 1: This Is The Turning Point, available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

Strategies For Prospering Through The Next Crisis

Those with the open-mindedness, courage and optimism to adapt in time will be far less impacted -- and indeed, will have much better odds of coming through this transition the better for it. Amazing opportunities will arise during this time to increase all aspects of your wealth (yes, money -- but also in all the other important Forms Of Capital, too).

Don’t count on currency “money” retaining its purchasing power. 

States (governments) always follow the same pathway: when financial promises can’t be kept, states debauch/devalue their currencies as a politically expedient short-term solution.

But alas, just like central bank stimulus, the short-term expediency becomes the permanent policy, and the unintended consequences start piling up, for example, a loss of trust in the state’s currency.

I see Venezuela’s destruction of its currency as the canary in the coalmine. The first canaries to drop lifeless from their perch will be non-reserve currencies.  Then the weakest of the reserve currencies will be over-issued (via credit rather than actual money-printing) and then even the mightiest will collapse.

Many people reckon the US dollar (USD) is the weakest, and perhaps they’ll be right, but I think the Chinese yuan (RMB), Japanese yen and EU euro will lose purchasing power first.

The RMB isn’t actually a “real currency,” it’s simply a derivative of the USD via the official peg. As for becoming gold-backed, please examine any chart of Chinese debt issuance (all of which is currency) and then compare that to... » Read more

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Dreamstime

Off The Cuff: The Coming Crisis Is Not Only Inevitable, It's Needed

We'll be better off for it (if we survive it)
Thursday, April 5, 2018, 11:22 PM

In this week's Off The Cuff podcast, Chris and John Rubino discuss:

  • Manipulated Markets
    • The plunge protection team is not sidelined yet
  • Manipulated Politics
    • Trade, and possibly kinetic, wars are being engineered deliberately
  • The Silver Lining Of The Next Great Financial Crisis
    • It should put us on sounder footing, if we survive it
  • Positioning To Profit From The Next Crash
    • There are asset classes and trading strategies that hold great promise

John Rubino delivers a hard-hitting rebuke of the current debt-based global fiat money regime, along with its current massive volumes of money printing, and explains why he not only predicts the system must crash, but that we'll be better off for it (should we survive it).

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.
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Everything Is Suddenly Deteriorating, Fast

Is this "it?" It's sure looking like it may be.
Friday, March 30, 2018, 8:37 PM

Executive Summary

  • Geopolitical unity is fracturing as countries are forced to compete more
  • LIBOR is signaling a credit emergency in Europe
  • The market is sending signs a major war and/or a major recession may be imminent
  • The last remaining heroes for risk-on capital, the FANG stocks, are quickly becoming villains

If you have not yet read Part 1: The Future Ain't What It Used To Be, available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

The central banks of the world have failed: colossally, completely and dangerously.  Yes, they will try to rescue the “markets” once again, as they did in 2011 and 2016 when things similarly looked to be falling apart.

The reason they might not be able to succeed this time?

They are out of maneuvering room. 

Nothing will happen if interest rates are clubbed back down a percent or two.  To do that, though, would require the same sort of lock-step coordination as prior times.  The ECB, BoJ and Fed would all have to operate seamlessly again. 

The most immediate of my concerns, even more than the tech-wreck that began a few weeks ago, is the rise in the LIBOR interest rate.  Why?  Because trouble always moves from the outside in.

Let’s do the math  With $350 trillion worth of assets tied to LIBOR, that means each 1% rise in the LIBOR rate translates into $3.5 trillion dollars of increased interest costs.

LIBOR is now at its highest rate since 2009, and it's spiking for reasons nobody can fully explain. In my mind, higher LIBOR means that there’s less trust and/or liquidity in the system.  It also means borrowing costs are heading up for... » Read more

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Off The Cuff: The Fed May Be Less Worried Of A Stock Plunge Than We Think

As long as credit flows, it's OK with lower stock prices
Tuesday, March 27, 2018, 2:53 PM

In this week's Off The Cuff podcast, Chris and Axel Merk discuss:

  • Dissecting Last Week's FOMC Meeting
    • Powell definitely seems different from his predecessors
  • Why The Fed May Not Worry About Stock Prices
    • All it really cares about are functioning credit markets
  • How Sick Is Europe?
    • Very, but it can linger a long time
  • The Prospects For Gold
    • Well-poised to outperform other assets this year

In the wake of last week's FMOC meeting, the first one for new Fed Chairman Jerome Powell, our site's central banking expert Axel returns to the podcast to share his assessment of the banking world's newest sheriff. Axel believes, as a lawyer (unlike his academic predecessors), Powell is fairly unconcerned with economic theory or asset prices. What he cares most about is regulation and the continued functioning of markets. So as long as credit -- the lifeblood of the global economy -- is flowing, he may not care much where prices end up...

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.
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Dreamstime

A Primer On The Essentials For Your Will & Living Trust

Key considerations for your estate plan
Friday, March 23, 2018, 9:58 PM

Executive Summary

  • Creating (Or Reviewing) Your Will
  • Creating (Or Reviewing) Your Living Trust
  • Other Key Complementary Documents
    • Advance Health Care Directive
    • Power Of Attorney

If you have not yet read Part 1: What Will Happen To Your Assets When You Die? available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

If you're married, have children, or if your assets exceed your debts, having an estate plan in place is highly advised, as detailed in Part 1. In my opinion, not having one is just plain irresponsible, and unjust to those you'll leave behind when you die.

Here in Part 2, I'll walk you through the key elements to consider including in your will and living trust, the bedrock components of most estate plans. This information will be useful whether you already have these legal documents in place or not.

Before I do though, let me make a few things absolutely clear. This is NOT personal legal/financial advice. I'm not an estate lawyer nor a tax accountant. And while much of the material presented below will be applicable to the vast majority, your own unique personal situation may require customizations and complexities that are best determined by a licensed professional. Also, estate law differs from state to state. So treat the direction within this article as instructive education only.

As always, we recommend working with professional advisers when building important legal/tax/financial plans customized to your own needs and objectives. When the stakes are high, the relatively small fees you pay for expert advice is well worth the price.

As an FYI, Peak Prosperity's endorsed financial advisor is well-versed in the estate planning process. If you'd like to tap their expertise about your personal situation, or enlist their guidance in determining how to select the right estate law and tax professionals to help you, you can schedule a free consultation with them here.

Suffice it to say, we recommend your estate plan, however it ultimately gets created, undergo review by a professional before you finalize it. Am I being excessively repetitive here in order to drive this point home? Good.

With that clarification, here's what you need to get started... » Read more

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The War Drums Beat Louder

The military-industrial complex requires a foe
Wednesday, March 21, 2018, 1:43 PM

Since publishing my recent critique Russia Did It!, with all of Europe now backing the new 'dodgy dossier' episode, and Russia's ambassadors and foreign minister unable to to even have a reasonable dialog, I observe that the possibility of war between the West and Russia sadly continues to increase.  

As in 1911, there are a lot of inexplicably dumb reasons for all of this, so let's pick them apart one by one. » Read more

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How To Prepare For War (Updated)

There is much you can (and should!) do
Friday, March 16, 2018, 7:04 PM

Executive Summary

  • How to Prepare for:
    • Trade War
    • Energy War
    • Financial War
    • Cyberwar
    • Grid-down attack
    • Conventional Shooting War
    • Nuclear War

If you have not yet read Russia Did It! available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

Note to all readers: This is an update of a report that first appeared back in June of 2016. Some of the content is identical, but much has been updated. I was going to write it all fresh, but after re-reading this I find it too relevant to re-write. The original article is here.

As a preamble, I need to note that I do not enjoy or derive any satisfaction from writing about or spending time on figuring out how to dodge the worst impacts of human behavior. War sits right at the top of my ‘BAD IDEAS’ list. War should be the very last resort after all other diplomatic efforts have failed. I am sorry that I have to spend time writing this report, and I am sorry that you have to spend time considering it.

As predicted, sadly, tensions between the west and Russia have only escalated over the past several years, not deescalated. The West has a serious bone to pick with Russia and nobody has yet been able to rationally explain to me what that might be.

I happen to think this is all about bruised neocon egos over Syria, but others think this is just military industrial business being waged in typical fashion.After all, $700 billion defense budgets need justification, don’t they?

But it really doesn’t matter what the explanation is; at this point we have to accept that geopolitical tensions are at a dangerous point and that war with Russia is a distinct possibility. As prudent adults with families to protect we have to do our best and respond appropriately.

The laundry list of things we need to consider doing is extensive.

A ‘war’ between Russia and the US/NATO could range from a very minor skirmish fought over some relatively meaningless items of trade (already underway), to an attack on financial markets, to a conventional shooting war of limited duration, all the way to an all-out nuclear exchange.

Given that wide range of possible outcomes, what can we realistically do to prepare?

Quite a lot as it turns out.

Luckily, most of the preparations are similar to those you should be undertaking anyways, war worries or not, so they won’t cost you much extra in terms of time or money.

What you end up doing depends on which sort of war you consider most likely, where you happen to live, and your means. So let’s consider the range of possibilities here... » Read more