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Prepare For The Global Deflationary Deluge

The 2008 crisis was just a warm-up
Friday, September 23, 2016, 5:23 PM

Executive Summary

  • Why the debt market is the powder keg that will blow things sky-high
  • The most dangerous asset bubbles to watch and avoid
  • The implications of a collapse in the bond market
  • Where will money then go?

If you have not yet read Part 1: Hell To Pay available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

Economic Deformations

The big problem with central bank policies, besides driving the largest wealth and income gaps in all of recorded history, is that they’ve massively deformed the financial and economic landscape. 

Too-cheap money has distorted just about everything, and has badly warped corporate incentives. There’s literally no place one can look and not find an economic or financial distortion.  “Gains” (such as they are) have gone to holders of financial assets, and corporations have opted to buy back their own shares and to not re-invest in property, plant, equipment or people. 

All of this will work right up until the day it doesn’t. And then we'll experience a financial and economic crisis likely to be the largest we ever live through.

And these distortions are not only everywhere, but they are all at record levels.  As in never higher in human history. 

Just looking at the corporate data alone ought to scare the pants of off every investor on the planet... » Read more

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Off The Cuff: Making Sense Of The FOMC Decision

The likely impacts of this week's Fed and BOJ (in)actions
Wednesday, September 21, 2016, 11:33 PM

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

  • Fed In A Box
    • At this point, stalling is Yellen's only option
  • Boneheaded BOJ
    • Now trying to undue the damage of its recent NIRP policies
  • Blind To Bubbles
    • Central banks are unwilling to admit they're the cause of the problem, not the solution
  • Bad Policies
    • Capitalism is getting destroyed (and a bad rap) by central banks run amok

In the wake of the closely-watched announcements by the BOJ and the Federal Reserve, Chris and Axel sit down in this meaty discussion to pick through the particulars of what this week's announcement mean. In a world where everything hangs on the decisions of an elite few central banks, this is one of the more important podcasts we've released in a while. » Read more

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Off The Cuff: Boomers vs Millennials

Society is pitting their interests increasingly at odds
Monday, September 19, 2016, 1:38 PM

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

  • Boomers Have Everything To Lose
    • They cling to status quo to deliver promises made in the past
  • Millennials See Nothing To Gain
    • The future they're being asked to inherit appears bereft of value
  • Bridging The Generation Gap
    • How to replace strife with support
  • The Importance Of Mentoring
    • An age-old model need perhaps more now than ever
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The Keys To Prosperity

How to work the macro trends to your favor
Friday, September 9, 2016, 8:26 PM

Executive Summary

  • What are the big systemic trends that will impact our personal prosperity?
  • Realizing why the future will have less of everything
  • Strategies for thriving with less
  • The importance of owning & managing capital

If you have not yet read Part 1: If Everything's Doing So Great, How Come I’m Not? available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

In Part 1, we asked 30 questions as a means of assessing whether individuals and households are doing better or worse than they were 10 years ago (2007) and 16 years ago (in 2000)—before the dot-com meltdown recession and the Global Financial Meltdown recession of 2008-09.

Identifying Systemic Trends

These questions attempt to sort out generalized decay that affects everyone—declines in purchasing power, quality of goods and services, etc.—from declines in individual/household health, well-being and financial security.

The questions also attempt to sharpen our awareness of systemic trends: are our prospects brightening or dimming? Are government services improving or declining as our taxes increase?

General trends manifest in different ways in each community/region.  For example, the city and county of San Francisco is booming, with strong growth of population (866,000 residents), jobs, rents, housing valuations and tax revenues. Yet even as the city and county of San Francisco’s annual budget swells to an incomprehensible $9.6 billion—larger than the budgets of many U.S. state governments, and four times the annual budget of the city and county of Honolulu, with 998,000 residents—the homeless problem in San Francisco becomes ever more intractable, intrusive and disruptive, despite tens of millions of dollars devoted specifically to improving the options available to the homeless.

This is an example of larger trends that manifest in one way or another in the majority of communities: increasing costs and complexity, diminishing returns on money spent, frustration by taxpayers receiving unsatisfactory services as tax revenues increase, and problems that continue to worsen regardless of how much money is thrown at them.

There are many causal factors driving these trends of decay, rising costs and diminishing returns: a state-cartel system of regulatory capture that enforces cartels and limits competition; rising complexity of regulations that result in reduced productivity and higher costs; a “vetocracy” (Francis Fukuyama’s term) in which special interests can veto any measure with their political clout that impinges on their wealth and power; central bank monetary policies that enrich the wealthy and strip interest income from everyone else; and government manipulation of statistics and markets to manage perceptions—in effect, ignore your lying eyes and believe us: everything’s going great!

Then there's the shadowy monster in the room... » Read more

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Off The Cuff: Paradox!

There's a crazy mismatch between reality & what we're told
Friday, September 9, 2016, 3:10 PM

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

  • We Increasingly Live In A Paradox World
    • What we're told increasingly doesn't match what we see
  • The Politicized Fed
    • The evidence is clear the Fed definitely follows a political agenda
  • The War On Cash Intensifies
    • Ken Rogoff's "less-cash" proposal
  • The Peril Of Underfunded Pensions
    • A time bomb ticking loudly...

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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This Is How Sentiment Shifts And Markets Crash

Once faith in the Fed is lost, things will get ugly fast
Friday, September 2, 2016, 4:47 PM

Executive Summary

  • The Facebook legions rip the Fed to pieces
  • The WSJ joins in the attack??
  • The 'smoking gun' showing how the Fed's only priority is to serve its banking masters
  • Why a revolt against the Fed is necessary, inevitable and just

If you have not yet read Part 1: Sorry Losers!, available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

Facebook Fed Farce

The Fed, surprisingly, has a Facebook page.  While it’s not surprising that they have one because every organization is aware that they need a ‘social media presence’ it is surprising that the Fed seems to be completely unaware that Facebook is a social networking site, not a policy regurgitation platform.

Well, the Fed put up its policy aims and the responses from the public were consistently brutal or delightfully snarky. 

But I did not find a single one, out of hundreds, that was complimentary of the Fed or in any way demonstrating that the Fed has any sort of credibility left with the public.

These are priceless: » Read more

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Off The Cuff: Should The Central Banks Just Buy Everything?

That's what they're on their way to doing
Thursday, September 1, 2016, 7:19 PM

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

  • Should The Central Banks Just Buy Everything?
    • Is that the plan? What would happen?
  • Turning Japanese
    • Japan is leading the way by monetizing all its assets
  • Putting The Fed On Trial
    • Chris fantasizes about holding up the mirror of truth to power
  • The Next Interest Rate Move
    • Up or down?

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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The Pension Time Bomb

Devastating shortfalls are manifesting everywhere
Monday, August 29, 2016, 7:39 PM

Among the many losers picked by the Fed (in favor of rewarding a very tiny and wealthy minority), perhaps the greatest victims are pensions.

Pensions have to make a couple of key assumptions.  One is how long you expect your cohort of pensioners to live. The second is the rate of return on the funds.  On both counts, pensions have been wrong, and wrong again.

People keep living longer and pension fund returns keep underperforming.  » Read more

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Off The Cuff: There Is No 'Market' Anymore, Only Manipulation

The big players push prices around at will
Saturday, August 27, 2016, 6:19 PM

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

  • There Is No 'Market' Anymore
    • Prices are fully manipulated these days
  • Missing Alpha
    • Since it's only liquidity that matters, portfolio managers are feeling the pressure
  • Malinvestment
    • What you get with too much cheap money
  • The Feds Facebook Fiasco
    • The public is waking up to the ills of central banking

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 Limits Of Financial Gimmickry

When it comes to real world problems, it solves nothing
Tuesday, August 23, 2016, 1:49 PM

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

  • From Flowers To Floods
    • How climate variability is impacting all of us
  • Not All Crises Are Equal
    • Some have fixes, some don't
  • Resilience Is Key To National Security
    • Regenerative regimes will win out over extractive ones
  • Incentives Matter
    • Without the right incentives, failure is inevitable

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