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Off The Cuff: Demoralization Is Our Enemy

More and people are desperate for agency & hope
Thursday, March 14, 2019, 8:11 PM

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

  • Horsewhipped Markets
    • The authorities are driving them higher, not fundamentals
  • The 1% Is Abusing Its Advantge
    • And the 99% is beginning to get angry enough to matter
  • Demoralization Is Our Enemy
    • People are desperate for agency and hope
  • Where The Freedom In This Story Lies
    • Letting go of what's no longer working & adopting better models

It's house-cleaning week here at Peak Prosperity as Chris and I hit the annual Summit At Sea, at which we're presenting faculty. We had a lot to get done this week as we scrambled to get ready to set sail, and here's a solo Off The Cuff Chris recorded that should have been published Monday.

It's just as relevant and hard-hitting these few days later, after more horsewhipping of the markets (e.g., Powell, Yellen & Bernanke on 60 Minutes), more revelations that the elites exercise privilege to protect their advantage (e.g., college admissions bribes), and more rendering of the social fabric (e.g., yesterday's mass shootings in New Zealand). The status quo is destined to break, and what's going to get us through the aftermath will be the courage to adopt new models to replace today's broken ones.

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's other premium content. » Read more


Requirements For Any Kind Of Credible "New Deal"

Here are the policies Peak Prosperity endorses
Friday, March 8, 2019, 8:50 PM

Executive Summary

  • The key incentives to align to direct our efforts intelligently towards the key goals we want to achieve
  • The specific national policies Peak Prosperity advocates
  • Common sense guidelines for ecological sustainabilty, social justice, and addressing wealth inequality
  • Adding your ideas to this list

If you have not yet read Part 1: Deconstructing The Green New Deal, available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

At Peak Prosperity we’ve outlined a very large set of the problems (which have solutions) and predicaments (which only have outcomes to be managed intelligently or otherwise) that our socitey increasingly will have to grapple with over the next few decades.

Given the late stage of the present set of circumstances, we strongly believe that everybody should attend first and foremost to their own resiliency efforts. It means donning your oxygen mask before helping others get theirs on.

Everyone reading this should take the steps outlined in our book Prosper!: How to Prepare for the Future and Create a World Worth Inheriting to get your own house in order.

Done that? Then move onto helping those around you: your friends, your wider family, and your fellow community members. 

But what happens after all that? What are the critical steps we as a society should take to sufficiently and sustainably deal with the problems and predicaments facing us?

Here's what we propose... » Read more


Off The Cuff: Bad Assumptions = Bad Outcomes

Both the market & the Fed are making dangerous assumptions
Tuesday, February 26, 2019, 6:08 PM

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

  • The Market Is Making Some Dangerous Assumptions
    • Right now it's confident the Fed won't hike this year. But will that be the case?
  • A Rate Surprise Would Shock The Markets
    • But the massive rebound seen since Jan supports hiking
  • Higher Rates Would Help The Fed Address The Coming Recession
    • Yet another reason rates can still go up
  • But There's No Guarantee The Fed Can Ride To The Rescue
    • One day its stimulus will stop working, no matter how large

There's been a lot of releases from the Federal Reserve lately which Chris and Wolf deconstruct here. Wolf is of the mind that the markets are interpreting the Fed's recent dovish moves as complete capitulation. He's not so sure about that -- he thinks the Fed will raise rates if given the opportunity. And the massive market recovery since the start of the year is giving it more and more validation for further hikes. So Wolf warns that the market could be in for a nasty surprise should the Fed hike later this year. 

But he also warns that the Fed is guilty of making some shaky assumptions of its own. Here he explains why its stimulus playbook may not work as expected when the next recession arrives:

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Tuning Into Reality

Here's the hard data that they *don't* want you to see
Friday, February 22, 2019, 7:16 PM

Executive Summary

  • The central banks are the key players at this stage. When they fail, the system will fail.
  • How today's Frankenmarkets are poised to collapse
  • Where we see the most convincing signs that the global economy is now falling into recession
  • Why we should expect bad times to lead to even worse decisions

If you have not yet read Part 1: We're Living In 'The Groundhog Show', available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

The reason I still get angry and frustrated from time to time is because we’re just wasting very important time and resources that really ought to be dedicated to other pursuits.

As I watch the US electorate recklessly lurch from one emotional outrage to another, I truly wonder if this is really just the emergent outcome of how events spread virally -- or if it’s not something more intentional and sinister. Is this all a program designed to keep people revved up but pointed in the wrong directions?

So if you find yourself increasingly feeling that things are really off track, that’s probably because you’ve also been paying close attention to the news. Whether by design or default, this doesn’t speak well to our ability to rally effectively to address the many massive predicaments society faces.

As an ex-Facebook executive said about the nefarious aspects of the social media phenomenon he helped to create, “No civil discourse, no cooperation, misinformation, mistruth; you are being programmed.”

That closely matches what I am seeing in the online world now. And it’s really unfortunate, because the stakes are so high. We really need to begin preparing for a very different future.   

Which is hard, if not nearly impossible to do in a fractured and polarized world such as the one that’s been emerging over the past few years.

The central banks are at the very center of it all.  The financial markets have taken on a new significance in the world and are now one of the prime, if not the prime, signaling mechanisms used by central planners to communicate with the world.

So it's critical to understand that the most important factor in play is... » Read more


Off The Cuff: When Does The System Break?

Where's the line where inflation will become hyperinflation?
Wednesday, February 20, 2019, 2:13 PM

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

  • When Does The System Break?
    • When will (hyper)inflation become the greater risk?
  • When Will The Central Banks Lose Control?
    • Their intervention is becoming increasingly desperate
  • Recession & Debt Exhaustion
    • These are limits that can't be 'printed away' forever
  • The Rise Of Authoritarianism
    • More countries are giving the State more power

One of the most frequent questions we're asked here at Peak Prosperity is: When does all this blow up? When do the sins of the past -- rampant debt/deificit spending, monetary meddling, cronyism, lies & propaganda, resource despoilage -- catch up with us and force a day of reckoning?

Well, in this week's podcast, Chris and John Rubino bravely attempt to answer. Their conclusions aren't pretty; it's better we be forewarned of the risks than slam into them blindly.

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's other premium content. » Read more


You vs The Recession

To fail to plan is to plan to fail
Friday, February 8, 2019, 7:23 PM

Executive Summary

  • The limits to central bank money printing
  • The key indicators signalling recession
  • The growing fractures in the US economy & housing market, Europe, China & global trade
  • Stepping out of the recession's path

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

Here in early 2019 the central banks have already caved to the market’s December 2018 weakness by printing more money, softening their plans for reducing their balance sheets and delaying the already timid schedule for introducing new interest rate hikes.  They are panicking early and often and seem inordinately afraid of any sort of downturn in stock prices, which is a concerning matter in itself.

So our asterisk on this claim of ours that a recession has arrived is contained in the phrase “until and unless.”  Until and unless the central banks reignite their QE booster rockets, and do so in larger-than-ever quantities, and do so by giving money to the common people (not the banks), we think that the die is cast.  The recession has arrived. 

Perhaps we should introduce a second idea which is contained in the phrase “they can until they can’t.”  The central banks managed to get a bounce in the equity markets through a combination of easing financial conditions, as they say (i.e. throw more money to the markets), and jawboning. 

This was sufficient to get a relief bounce in equity and bond markets, but it did nothing to alter the many recession indicators we’ll track for you below.  The central banks can still move the markets with their words and deed.  Someday, perhaps soon, it will be shown they can’t.  They can move markets until they can’t.  Other such times of the central banks being overwhelmed by the movement of the market tides were in 2000 and 2008.

What sorts of things could or will swamp the levitating effects of money printing?  One is a full-blown recession that ends up crushing the various crevices that central banks cannot directly control via printing such as real estate, consumer sentiment, and zombie companies’ ability to meet debt payments.

Another is a deflationary event that sweeps across overleveraged debt markets and causes the very worst sort of damage to a debt-based money system built on leverage; a decline in the amount of credit outstanding from one period to the next.  In other words, another 2008-2009 type of event.

The central banks can control things until they can’t.  That’s what history says.  Perhaps something more fundamental has changed since that allows them more complete control than ever, and perhaps we should always have a few of our chips placed on that possibility, but otherwise it’s not different this time and the central banks will once again discover that credit bubbles are really fun on the way up and utterly destructive on the way down.

We think the next recession has arrived and that it’s going to be a real doozy in terms of creating financial market panic and losses.

Specifically, you need to watch out for... » Read more


Off The Cuff: Further Exploring Our Collapse Trajectory

Chris builds on the insights of his recent report
Thursday, February 7, 2019, 3:57 PM

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

  • The Immorality Of Central Planning
    • The banks are stealing our future
  • The Poor 99.9%
    • The system is now geared solely for the 0.1%'s interests
  • Our Money Or Our Lives
    • The real damage is happening across our critical ecosystems
  • This Will End
    • Remember that collapse is a process. And local mileage may vary.

Chris recorded this podcast shortly after completing his recent report on the in-process collapse occurring in the key systems around us. Economically, envrionmentally, socially -- it's happening everywhere. Chris spend an hour exploring the collapse dynamic further, ending with this succinct prediction...

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's other premium content. » Read more


Off The Cuff: A Brightening Future For Gold?

It's finally breaking out of its consolidation phase
Thursday, January 31, 2019, 3:49 PM

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

  • The Complete Sham of Corporate "Earnings"
    • Now an art of putting lipstick on a pig
  • The Growing Revolt
    • Everywhere you look, the Establishement is being increasingly questioned
  • The Empire Digs In
    • More, and more secretive, measures are being past to protect its advantage
  • A Brightening Future For Gold?
    • It is finally breaking out of its consolidation phase?

The price of gold has long been in a consolidation phase, and it now seems to breaking out to the upside. There are both fundamental and market-driven reasons for this.

On the fundamental end, supply is becoming a real issue. And with the Powell Fed completely caving to the markets, expectations of a more 'dovish' Fed policy going forward is also adding wind to gold's sails.

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's other premium content. » Read more



Facing Reality

Only those willing to see things as they are will prosper
Friday, January 25, 2019, 10:19 PM

Executive Summary

  • We are fighting (i.e. losing against) exponential functions on multiple fronts
  • Social unrest (e.g. Yellow Vests) is a spreading symptom that collapse is accelerating
  • Which path will collapse take?
  • Preparing for the future of "Less"

If you have not yet read Part 1: Collapse Is Already Here, available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

The reason I write and speak and sometimes travel to talk about The Three E’s – the Economy, energy and Environment – is because I hope to reach those who are ready to listen…and to then act.

Typically, I find that I am reaching people with a certain level of economic and professional success in their lives (many doctors, engineers, architects and lawyers in my audience) and who have the entirely-too-rare ability to face difficult information square on.

One of the more important principles concerns exponential growth, which has a nasty habit of speeding up towards the end.  Those numerate among us grasp the serious implications of exponential growth quickly and easily. The rest of us have to work a lot harder to understand, which is why most of the masses never do.

In the world of finance, exponential (or parabolic) growth always ends badly for the last investors in. Just ask those who bought into dot-Com stocks or Bitcoin near the highs.

However, where any of today's inflated prices go from here is not subject to traditional analysis.  Everything depends on the actions that the central banks will take from here.  Will they print more?  Undoubtedly. 

How much more suppression of the price of gold will the authorities demand?  As much as necessary to keep unwanted attention off of their policy errors.

Looks, what I’ve learned from investing is(...) » Read more



Off The Cuff: The People Are Rising Up Against The Elites

The working classes have hit their breaking point
Friday, January 25, 2019, 12:12 PM

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

  • Class Warfare
    • Growing tenions between the rural/worker vs urban/financier classes
  • Why The Yellow Vest Movement Matters
    • It represents a populist anger brewing around the world
  • Financialization & Globalization Are The Disease
    • They give the elites tremendous advantage over everyone else
  • The Empire Is Striking Back
    • The global establishment is squashing unrest by every means it has

Chris continues to track the Yellow Vest protests across France Europe because it's representative of a populist ire festering around the globe. Decades of financialization and globalization have created a parasitic elite class that is bleeding the working classes dry.

France is emerging as ground zero for a rebellion against those elites. And the Establishment Empire is doing all it can to suppress the movement before it catches fire in other countries, as it is already threatening to elsewhere in Europe. How soon until we see folks don their own yelow vest in the US, UK, Canada and Australia?

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's other premium content. » Read more