Thursday, January 18, 2018

The Daily "Near You?"

Bolton, United Kingdom. Thanks for stopping by!

"Martial Law by Executive Order"

Benito Mussolini defined Fascism as the "merger of government and corporatism." We've witnessed the financial rape of this country by the banksters and their co-conspirators in the government, who have failed to prosecute a single case against any of the Too Big To Fail swine, despite outright theft of trillions of dollars. We've all seen, and many have experienced, job loss from offshoring companies to third world countries for cheap labor and tax avoidance. We know of the totally pervasive spying/surveillance on Americans by the NSA and every other alphabet agency, recording and searching literally every single electronic communication in the country, and the world. We know Congress is worthless in protecting our interests, just well dressed cheap-money whores only interested in "campaign contributions" and getting themselves re-elected to the Big Club in DC. 

Look around... what's it look like to you? What about the 2,770 armored personnel carriers purchased by Homeland Security, which also bought 2 billion rounds of ammunition? Or the troop and materiel movements all over the country? Do you doubt for one second who will be on the receiving end of all that firepower? Or the 800 very real FEMA camps all over the country? Who do you suppose will populate those? Martians? So, they finally got what they wanted, absolute power unrestrained by law, and the total, "legal", destruction of your rights and liberty. "Freedom and Democracy", those worthy fables so beloved by the American masses, are dead, and have been for a long time. Now it's "legal." And before your eyes glaze over and you recite, mantra like, "Oh, that could never happen here..." read the whole "Martial Law" post. Guess what? It HAS already happened here... - CP

"Martial Law by Executive Order"
by Jim Garrison
"President Obama's National Defense Resources Preparedness Executive Order of March 16, 2013 does to the country as a whole what the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act did to the Constitution in particular- completely eviscerates any due process or judicial oversight for any action by the Government deemed in the interest of "national security." Like the NDAA, the new Executive Order puts the government completely above the law, which, in a democracy, is never supposed to happen. The United States is essentially now under martial law without the exigencies of a national emergency.” Update December 21, 2017: "President Trump Declares National Emergency Over Global Rights Abuses and Corruption." Read the entire post here:

“When They Come For Your Guns, You Will Turn Them Over”

Folks, these are police... cops... 
They could fight, and win, a war with this stuff...

“When They Come For Your Guns, You Will Turn Them Over”
by Jim Karger

“When they come for my gun, they will have to pry it out of my cold, dead hands,” is a common refrain I often hear from the Neo-Cons when there is a threat, credible or otherwise, that the US government is going to take their firearms. And, when I hear this crazy talk, I agree with them openly. “You are right. They will pry your gun from your cold dead hands,” which I often follow with the question, “And where will that leave you except face down in a pool of your own blood in the middle of the street, just another dead fool resisting the State?”

This is not a question they are comfortable with, if only because the intent of their saber-rattling was to imply they would fight to keep their weapons, and win. Nice fantasy. It’s not happening… they will take your guns, and no, all your Second Amendment bluster aside, you are not going to do anything about it.

If the federal government decides to disarm the public, and when the increasingly-militarized police force rolls down your street after a not-so-subtle request that you kindly turn over your firearms and ammunition “for the common good,” it will be nothing less than suicide by cop to do anything other than what you are told.

The militarization of US police forces is ongoing and escalating. Many cities and towns now own tanks, armed personnel carriers, even attack helicopters, and almost all are outfitted with military weapons not available to the general public. And, it is not just your hometown cops who are getting new boy-toys. The military itself is buying up weaponry not just for use in the current or next scheduled war, but to deal with the likes of you, citizens who don’t seem to understand that the Bill of Rights has been overruled, and that specifically includes, but is not limited to, the right to protest and engage in civil disobedience. Also ignored (as if it didn’t even exist) is the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 which generally bars the military from law enforcement activities within the United States.

According to Public Intelligence: “…for the last two years, the President’s Budget Submissions for the Department of Defense have included purchases of a significant amount of combat equipment, including armored vehicles, helicopters and even artillery, under an obscure section of the FY2008 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the purposes of ‘homeland defense missions, domestic emergency responses, and providing military support to civil authorities.’ Items purchased under the section include combat vehicles, tanks, helicopters, artillery, mortar systems, missiles, small arms and communications equipment. Justifications for the budget items indicate that many of the purchases are part of routine resupply and maintenance, yet in each case the procurement is cited as being ‘necessary for use by the active and reserve components of the Armed Forces for homeland defense missions, domestic emergency responses, and providing military support to civil authorities’ under section 1815 of the FY 2008 NDAA.”

And, they are not just arming cops and weekend warriors for domestic purposes. Active duty Marines are now being trained for law enforcement operations all over the world (of which the US remains a part) specifically to deal with civil uprisings, and the US government knows that civil uprisings are coming to a town near you just as soon as the fantasy of a healing economy is shattered, the US dollar fails, and unemployment goes to 30%+ in real numbers.

And, to you tough-talking Neo-Cons with your AR-15 rifles and a few thousand rounds of ammo, here is the reality: they will take your guns, and no, all your Second Amendment bluster aside, you are not going to do anything about it. You are not going to take on a platoon of Marines with state-of-the-art automatic weapons and the best body armor you cannot buy protected by armed personnel carriers and attack helicopters unless you choose to die that day - for nothing. You will either be in the country or out, and if you are in, you will stay in and you will comply. That is your choice… for the moment.”
Mr. Karger's opinions are of course his own. Some may disagree...

"Since When?"

“Since when have we Americans been expected to bow submissively to 
authority and speak with awe and reverence to those who represent us?”
- Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas

“Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.”
 - Albert Einstein

“Financial Feudalism”

“Financial Feudalism”
by Dmitry Orlov 

“Once upon a time- and a fairly long time it was- most of the thickly settled parts of the world had something called feudalism. It was a way of organizing society hierarchically. Typically, at the very top there was a sovereign (king, prince, emperor, pharaoh, along with some high priests). Below the sovereign were several ranks of noblemen, with hereditary titles. Below the noblemen were commoners, who likewise inherited their stations in life, be it by being bound to a piece of land upon which they toiled, or by being granted the right to engage in a certain type of production or trade, in case of craftsmen and merchants. Everybody was locked into position through permanent relationships of allegiance, tribute and customary duties: tribute and customary duties flowed up through the ranks, while favors, privileges and protection flowed down.

It was a remarkably resilient, self-perpetuating system, based largely on the use of land and other renewable resources, all ultimately powered by sunlight. Wealth was primarily derived from land and the various uses of land. Here is a simplified org chart showing the pecking order of a medieval society.

Feudalism was essentially a steady-state system. Population pressures were relieved primarily through emigration, war, pestilence and, failing all of the above, periodic famine. Wars of conquest sometimes opened up temporary new venues for economic growth, but since land and sunlight are finite, this amounted to a zero-sum game.

But all of that changed when feudalism was replaced with capitalism. What made the change possible was the exploitation of nonrenewable resources, the most important of which was energy from burning fossilized hydrocarbons: first peat and coal, then oil and natural gas. Suddenly, productive capacity was decoupled from the availability of land and sunlight, and could be ramped up almost, but not quite, ad infinitum, simply by burning more hydrocarbons. Energy use, industry and population all started going up exponentially. A new system of economic relations was brought into being, based on money that could be generated at will, in the form of debt, which could be repaid with interest using the products of ever-increasing future production. Compared with the previous, steady-state system, the change amounted to a new assumption: that the future will always be bigger and richer—rich enough to afford to pay back both principal and interest.

With this new, capitalistic arrangement, the old, feudal relationships and customs fell into disuse, replaced by a new system in which the ever-richer owners of capital squared off against increasingly dispossessed labor. The trade union movement and collective bargaining allowed labor to hold its own for a while, but eventually a number of factors, such as automation and globalization, undermined the labor movement, leaving the owners of capital with all the leverage they could want over a demoralized surplus population of former industrial workers. In the meantime, the owners of capital formed their own pseudo-aristocracy, but without the titles or the hereditary duties and privileges. Their new pecking order was predicated on just one thing: net worth. How many dollar signs people have next to their name is all that's necessary to determine their position in society.

But eventually almost all the good, local sources of hydrocarbon-based energy became depleted, and had to be replaced using lower-quality, more remote, harder-to-produce, more expensive ones. This took a big bite out of economic growth, because with each passing year more and more of it had to be plowed right back into producing the energy needed to simply sustain, never mind grow, the system. At the same time, industry produced a lot of unpleasant byproducts: environmental pollution and degradation, climate destabilization and other externalities. Eventually these started showing up as high insurance premiums and remediation costs for natural and man-made disasters, and these too put a damper on economic growth.

Population growth has its penalties too. You see, bigger populations translate to bigger population centers, and research results show that the bigger the city, the higher is its energy use per capita. Unlike biological organisms, where the larger the animal, the slower is its metabolism, the intensity of activity needed to sustain a population center increases along with population. Observe that in big cities people talk faster, walk faster, and generally have to live more intensely and operate on a tighter schedule just to stay alive. All of this hectic activity takes energy away from constructing a bigger, richer future. Yes, the future may be ever more populous (for now) but the fastest-growing form of human settlement on the planet is the urban slum—lacking in social services, sanitation, rife with crime and generally unsafe.

What all of this means is that growth is self-limiting. Next, observe that we have already reached these limits, and have in some cases gone far beyond them. The currently failing fad of hydraulic fracturing of shale deposits and steaming oil out of tar sands is indicative of the advanced state of depletion of fossil fuel sources. Climate destabilization is producing ever more violent storms, ever more severe droughts (California now has just a year's worth of water left) and is predicted to wipe out entire countries because of rising ocean levels, failing monsoon seasons and dwindling irrigation water from glacial melt. Pollution has likewise reached its limits in many areas: urban smog, be it in Paris, Beijing, Moscow or Teheran, has become so bad that industrial activities are being curtailed simply so that people can breathe. Radioactivity from the melted-down nuclear reactors at Fukushima in Japan is showing up in fish caught on the other side of the Pacific Ocean.

All of these problems are causing a very strange thing to happen to money. In the previous, growth phase of capitalism, money was borrowed into existence in order to bring consumption forward and by so doing to stimulate economic growth. But a few years ago a threshold was reached in the US, which was at the time still the epicenter of global economic activity (since eclipsed by China), where a unit of new debt produced less than one unit of economic growth. This made borrowing from the future with interest no longer possible.

Whereas before money was borrowed in order to produce growth, now it had to be borrowed, in ever-larger amounts, simply to prevent financial and industrial collapse. Consequently, interest rates on new debt were reduced all the way to zero, in something that came to be known as ZIRP, for Zero Interest Rate Policy. To make it even sweeter, central banks accepted the money they loaned out at 0% interest as deposits, which earned a tiny bit of interest, allowing banks to make a profit by doing absolutely nothing.

Unsurprisingly, doing absolutely nothing proved to be rather ineffective, and around the world economies started to shrink. Many countries resorted to forging their statistics to paint a rosier picture, but one statistic that doesn't lie is energy consumption. It is indicative of the overall level of economic activity, and it is down across the entire world. A glut of oil, and a much lower oil price, is what we are currently witnessing as a result. Another indicator that doesn't lie is the Baltic Dry Index, which tracks the level of shipping activity, and it has plummeted too.

And so ZIRP set the stage for the latest, most queer development: interest rates have started to go negative, both on loans and deposits. Good bye, ZIRP, hello, NIRP! Central banks around the world are starting to make loans at small negative rates of interest. That's right, certain central banks now pay certain financial institutions to borrow money! In the meantime, interest rates on bank deposits have gone negative as well: keeping your money in the bank is now a privilege, for which one must pay.

But interest rates are certainly not negative for everyone. Access to free money is a privilege, and those who are privileged are the bankers, and the industrialists they fund. Those who have to borrow to finance housing are less privileged; those who borrow to pay for education even less so. Those not privileged at all are those who are forced to buy food using credit cards, or take out payday loans to pay rent.

The functions which borrowing once played in capitalist economies have been all but abandoned. Once upon a time, the idea was that access to capital could be obtained based on a good business plan, and that this allowed entrepreneurship to flourish and many new businesses to be formed. Since anybody, and not just the privileged, could take out a loan and start a business, this meant that economic success depended, at least to some extent, on merit. But now business formation has gone in reverse, with many more enterprises going out of business than are being formed, and social mobility has become largely a thing of the past. What is left is a rigidly stratified society, with privileges dispensed based on hereditary wealth: those at the top get paid to borrow, and get to surf on a wave of free money, while those at the bottom are driven ever further into debt servitude and destitution.

Can NIRP underpin a new feudalism? It certainly cannot reverse the downward slide, because the factors that are putting limits on growth are not amenable to financial manipulation, being physical in nature. You see, no amount of free money can make new natural resources spring into existence. What it can do, however, is freeze the social hierarchy among the owners of capital—for a while, but not forever.

Everywhere you care to look, the ever-shrinking economy eventually results in populist revolt, war and national bankruptcy, and these cause money to stop working in a number of ways. There is usually devaluation, bank failures, inability to finance imports, and the demise of pensions and of the public sector. The desire to survive causes people to focus on getting direct access to physical resources, distributing them among friends and family.

In turn, this causes market mechanisms to become extremely opaque and distorted, and often to stop functioning altogether. Under these circumstances, how many dollar signs someone has next to their name becomes rather a moot point, and we should expect the social hierarchy among the owners of capital to become unstable and capsize. A few among them have the talents to become warlords, and these few fleece the rest out of existence. But overall, in a situation where financial institutions have failed, where factories and other enterprises are no longer functioning, and where real estate holdings have been overrun by marauding mobs and/or invaded by squatters, one's net worth becomes rather difficult to compute. And so we should expect the org chart of the post-capitalist society, in spreadsheet terms, to look like this. (“#REF!” is what Excel displays when it encounters an invalid cell reference in a formula.)
A good, precise term for this state of affairs is “anarchy.” Once a new, low level of steady-state subsistence is reached, the process of aristocratic formation can begin anew. But unless a new source of cheap fossil fuels is somehow magically discovered, this process would have to proceed along the traditional, feudal lines.”

Free Download: Rainer Maria Rilke, “Letters to a Young Poet”

“Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act,
 just once, with beauty and courage.
 Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, 
something helpless that wants our love.”

Freely download “Letters to a Young Poet” by Rainer Maria Rilke here:

"Your Life..."

"Your life is inescapable. Unless you decide to escape it."
- David Levithan

"'It's All A Lie' - Self-Reflection At The Twilight Of The American Empire”

"'It's All A Lie' - 
Self-Reflection At The Twilight Of The American Empire”
by Mike Krieger

"There is a true law, a right reason, conformable to nature, universal, unchangeable, eternal, whose commands urge us to duty, and whose prohibitions restrain us from evil. Whether it enjoins or forbids, the good respect its injunctions, and the wicked treat them with indifference. This law cannot be contradicted by any other law, and is not liable either to derogation or abrogation. Neither the senate nor the people can give us any dispensation for not obeying this universal law of justice. It needs no other expositor and interpreter than our own conscience. It is not one thing at Rome and another at Athens; one thing today and another tomorrow; but in all times and nations this universal law must for ever reign, eternal and imperishable. It is the sovereign master and emperor of all beings. God himself is its author, - its promulgator, - its enforcer. He who obeys it not, flies from himself, and does violence to the very nature of man. For his crime he must endure the severest penalties hereafter, even if he avoid the usual misfortunes of the present life."
– Marcus Tullius Cicero

"American influence abroad, as defined by the power and status of the U.S. empire, has been in consistent decline for nearly two decades now. Indeed, when the history books are written it’ll be clear that the dotcom boom and bust at the end of the 20th century marked the peak of U.S. imperial strength. Shortly after that bubble burst our nation was faced with the brutal and traumatizing 9/11 attacks, and the overreaction to this event unleashed a mass insanity across the American public from which we have never recovered.

Specifically, the attacks of September 11, 2001 were ruthlessly and immediately exploited by degenerate power hungry charlatans in D.C. and elsewhere to fear-monger an entire country to give up liberty in exchange for a promise of safety. With that devilish bargain our society committed cultural suicide.

As is so often the case with such terrible events, the worst of the worst took charge within our government and began to define the cultural narrative in fascistic terms. These sociopathic war mongers saw the terror attack as an excuse to advance their twisted imperial ambitions abroad, while also earning a fortune pursuing unconstitutional surveillance “opportunities” at home. This Owellian death spiral has been ongoing for over sixteen years now, and doesn’t skip a beat irrespective of who sits in the Oval office. It’s an unaccountable, corrupt and nefarious beast consisting of government, intelligence agencies, mega corporations and Wall Street. This is late-stage U.S. Empire, and it’ll consume everything it can in its path before coming to its inevitable end.

The American people have been fed endless lies for a very long time, and while people are starting to wake up, too many continue to fall for the same old deranged partisan nonsense. Obama was supposed to save us from Bush, then Trump was supposed to save us from Obama. Half the country now prays for some yet to be determined Presidential savior like Oprah to come rescue them in 2020. This is the definition of insanity.

The only way we’ll recover as a nation is if we take a long hard look in the mirror and see how stupid, arrogant and destructive we’ve been since 9/11. One year into the Presidency of Donald Trump, a person Democrats have labeled a Hitler-esque Putin puppet, and 55 Democrats (including Nancy Pelosi and “resistance” hero Adam Schiff) voted to give him and Jeff Sessions more unconstitutional surveillance powers over the public.

It’s so obvious these dishonest politicians in government are constantly lie to you, but many people simply refuse to admit it. The public loves to be endlessly conned along silly, tribal, partisan lines rather than admit that the rot isn’t partisan, but systemic. All sociopaths in D.C. have to do is tweak the message a little every four years to get people frothing at the mouth for a new savior. The reason we can’t have nice things is because too many of us are so completely gullible and easily manipulated by power-hungry crooks we paradoxically call “leaders.” The only thing these people are leading us into is a gigantic ditch.

Earlier this week, I came across the following tweet 
and it summed things up perfectly for me:
All these leaders, whether they’re politicians in government or CEOs at mega corporations, they’re all lying to you. Things are not well and won’t get better until we grow up, take responsibility and stop being conned. If you don’t know who the sucker at the imperial poker table is, it’s probably you.

This is why I spent so much of the last year writing about how important it is to focus on yourself. As individuals, we can’t control outside events and we can’t control the consciousness of others, but we can get ahold of our own minds and affect the world around us through our own actions. If enough of us focus on that as opposed to spending all our energy on external drama, things will get better.

Whether we think it’s a good thing or a bad thing, the U.S. empire is rapidly fading into the sunset. The signs are everywhere and are undeniable at this point. I don’t say this to fear-monger, but because I think it’s crucial people aren’t caught off guard by how much the world will change over the next 5-10 years.

As was the case with 9/11, it’s when we’re blindsided that we’re most easily manipulated by bad actors who want to control and take advantage of you. Let’s not be blindsided again.”

"How It Really Is"

"The Great Reset"; "Cascading Defaults"

"The Great Reset"
by Bob Moriarty

January 15, 2018: "The "Everything Bubble" is bursting. This is going to get ugly. I suspect it began with the top in Bitcon and the other 1300-1400 related pseudo currencies back in December. I did an interview in the first week of December where I said Bitcon was in a bubble. I believed it would do the same thing every other bubble in history did. It was going to crash and take all the money of most of the investors. The piece was posted on the 10th of December. When I did the interview, Bitcoin had been going virtually straight up for months and was about $16,858, a new high.

The interview allowed for comments. There were 136 in total. I just went through them to read what people were saying. 65% were convinced I am nothing but a senile old man long past his prime who doesn't understand that "This time it's different." That may well be true, Barbara reminds me half a dozen times a day I'm a senile old man. She may well have a point. But as I pointed out in "Nobody Knows Anything," "This time it's different" is the bell they ring at the top of every bubble. The book has been out for almost two years now and it's still selling hundreds of copies a month. There must be something to it.

I did yet another interview on Bitcon and the pseudo currencies that went up on the 13th of December and I made it perfectly clear that we were at a top and the bubble was about to burst. I made an interesting comment that can only be appreciated in hindsight, "If Bitcoin is $50,000 in a month then I'm obviously wrong. I'm either right or I'm wrong, it's really simple. But I've never seen a clearer bubble than Bitcoin, this makes the Florida land boom and even the dot com bubble look tame by comparison."

John McAfee made an even more interesting comment quoted in the same article that will grow with time when he said, "Bubbles are mathematically impossible in this new paradigm. Gold is laughable compared to cryptocurrencies. How do you fractionalize gold? How do you ship it? It's physical so how do you safely store it. It was good for people 3,000 years ago. Today it is inherently worthless. Soon it will drop in value as crypto currencies climb."

It is a month later. One of us got it dead right. And regardless of McAfee's IQ or wealth for him to say, "bubbles are mathematically impossible in this new paradigm" goes beyond stupid. That is shit house rat crazy. He needs to go to Amazon or any bookstore and spend $15 to learn about bubbles in history and how human behavior never changes.

Bitcon topped at $19,343.04 on the 16th of December. The other 1300-1400 frauds topped a week or so later with a total market cap of over $840 billion. That money is on the express train to money heaven as I write.

My regular readers know I am a firm believer in the value of the Daily Sentiment Indicator and of the COTs in predicting tops and bottoms. I wrote about gold and silver nearing a bottom in early December. We had it. Gold and silver have been on a run since.

We have a very interesting situation in that the DSI is now flashing warning signs of a tradable top in the S&P and Nasdaq. The DSI broke into the 90s a week ago and have gotten as high as 95 since. Given the potential for a pin pricking the Everything Bubble, taking some money off the table might turn out to be a very good idea. I see a turn downward within days. Nothing goes up forever. I'm not saying it's an all time high, I am saying that sentiment is warning us of shoal waters ahead and we could have a major correction.

The same lying traitors who lied America into useless and expensive wars in Iraq and Libya on behalf of a foreign power are now trying to drag the US into another illegal war of aggression against a sovereign nation that has done nothing to us. Iran is not the enemy of the United States. It certainly is not the biggest source of terrorism in the Middle East and is far too well defended to destroy without using nuclear weapons. They have no nuclear weapons program and we know it.

As a guy who flew 832 missions in Vietnam I can state with absolute certainty that an attack on Iran by the US would not only fail it would start World War III and probably destroy all life on Earth. Now that would be stupid.

Russia and China are tired of dealing with an out of control country run by a pompous narcissist with the emotional maturity of a ten year old who thinks you can conduct business on a cellphone via Twitter. Every institution in America is in a state of failure. The education system doesn't work, the medical system is utterly flawed and no one is interested in fixing it. The legal system is a joke where the FBI convicts Martha Stewart of lying about a stock sale on the basis of an unrecorded and unsworn conversation yet Huma Abedin lied to the FBI under oath about not backing up classified emails to her husband's computer and faces no charges.

We have direct evidence that the FBI deliberately leaked classified information in an attempt to rig the last election in favor of Hillary Clinton and no one cares. How much more corrupt could the United States possibly become?

I have no inside contacts with the Chinese or the Russians. But I can say with great confidence that neither country shows any inclination to allow the US to blow up the world for no particular reason other than that Donald Trump was bored of playing with his cellphone. I do have contacts in the US who have suggested to me that a military attack against North Korea by the US was planned for a March date. It fits and I believe it.

So this past week China fired a shot across the bow of the US ship of state. Bloomberg reported on the 10th of January that officials in China were thinking about reducing or stopping the purchase of US government bonds.

Well folks, the day that happens the bond market implodes and takes the world's entire financial system with it. Everyone in China and the US are now trying to walk back the comments in fear that even the suggestion would destroy the world's financial system. But Trump has certainly changed his tune about how his dick is bigger than Fatso's and is now thinking talk-talk makes far more sense than war-war. I have little doubt his tone on Iran is going to be toned down as well.

The bond market will regress to the mean of far higher interest rates one day. That may be next week or next year but when the bond market crashes, as it must do, we are going to have a worldwide reset of the financial system.

For the average American couch potato uninterested in what goes on in the real world, the overpaid Divas of Hollywood have embarked on a witch-hunt of monumental proportions against some men in particular and most of them overall. In a town swimming in a cesspool of gossip we are assured that these women were either raped by Harvey Weinstein or are now shocked, shocked we hear to learn that he abused the casting couch and his position. They prance up the Red Carpet in their $10,000 scanties wearing fewer clothes than your average pole dancer and whine about how terrible it is that men see them only as sexual objects.

It's time for an IQ test. Can you spell HYPOCRISY? If we are in the regime of absolute truth I'd like to know just how many of the divas balled a casting director for a better part. Sexual aggression works both ways. A casting couch requires a minimum of two or it's nothing but masturbation.

The sea of debt the world is awash with requires a reset. It may be now. At the very least, the US needs a wakeup call, it's embarrassing that the corruption is so total and so invisible to those participating.”
Followup interview January 17, 2018:
"Get Ready For A Cascading Default From The Crypto Crash"
by admin

"Bob Moriarty: Crowd behavior never changes. We’ve had a crash, we’ve had a dead-cat bounce and the dead-cat bounce failed. Yet everyone is sitting there believing we’re going to go back to $20,000, $50,000, or $500,000 because their favorite guru told them it’s going there. People always fall into the bubble trap. The reason why I wrote my book "Nobody Knows Anything" is to explain what a bubble looks like. This is the biggest bubble in history. There’s so much fraud involved in cryptocurrencies it’s absolutely staggering. Guys who could have sold at $19,000 are going to hang on and one day they’ll be thrilled to sell at 20 bucks.

CEO Technician: The crypto mania has had every single ingredient for a major bubble, including the gurus. The faces of Bitcoin/Cryptocurrencies are arguably James Altucher and John McAfee. Both of these guys have played this cryptocurrency mania like absolute masters. McAfee in particular has engaged in what I would consider highly suspect behavior including accepting large payments to tout small coins and ICOs on his Twitter account. It doesn’t seem like he’s done much due diligence on many of these coins and his track record at this point is quite poor (he triggers a sharp rise in price initially only to see many of his picks make full round trips, or worse).

Bob Moriarty: The amazing aspect about cryptocurrencies is that it’s an unregulated space and all of this is legal. It’s legal fraud. There is a tremendous amount of fraud in cryptocurrencies, it’s absolutely staggering.

CEO Technician: So we’ve seen a nearly 50% decline in total crypto market capitalization and a nearly 50% drop in Bitcoin from its all-time high, how far can Bitcoin fall? How much more money can be shaved off the total crypto market capitalization?

Bob Moriarty: Do you happen to recall what the Dow Jones Industrial Average was at the peak in 1929?

CEO Technician: I think it was about 300.

Bob Moriarty: Very good. It was just over 380. From October 1929 to July 1932 the Dow fell 89% to 41 in July of 1932. A typical bubble will result in between a 85% and 95% decline. Bitcoin is going to drop 85%+ and if 50 cryptocurrencies end up surviving and having any long term value I would be surprised.

CEO Technician: If this unfolds as you say it will the pain from this will be widespread and deeply felt. There are many people involved in cryptocurrencies who have never invested in anything. What will the net impact be upon the broader markets (stock market, commodities, etc.) and how does a crypto crash affect precious metals?

Bob Moriarty: I don’t know actually how much real money went into this bubble. While it’s accurate to say US$830 billion was the total value at the peak, it was $830 billion of paper. Every transaction is done on the margin so while transactions may have taken place at levels which equated to those valuations, it doesn’t mean $830 billion went into the market to create those valuations. US$830 billion in paper assets is basically going to evaporate and you might end up with US$50 billion in assets when it’s all over. The danger now is that you could get a cascading default.

CEO Technician: What does that mean exactly?

Bob Moriarty: A cascading default which is what happens when people get wiped out in one investment they tend to not pay out on other investments. We have had people borrowing money to buy cryptocurrencies including through credit cards, taking mortgages on real estate, and through exchange margin debt. There could certainly be a knock-on effect throughout the economy as the bubble unwinds further.

CEO Technician: If a crypto investor liquidated their portfolio completely here what should they do with the cash? Buy gold?

Bob Moriarty: The Daily Sentiment Index is flashing a warning signal for gold right now. The best place to keep cash right now is in cash. The stock market is about to fall off a cliff and cash is a good place to be. This is the great reset and Bitcoin could be the pin that bursts the “everything bubble.” Cash is a great place to be right now. If we got one more washout in gold & silver the decks would be clear for a fantastic rally in precious metals.

CEO Technician: So you don’t mind holding the US dollar here?

Bob Moriarty: No, not at all.”
Related:

And why is this important? "The issue of liquidity is not a small one. Investors mistakenly assume there is ALWAYS a buyer at the price at which they wish to sell. This is wrong. While the answer is “yes,” as there is always a buyer for every seller, the question is always “at what price?” 

At some point, that reversion process will take hold. It is at that point where the storms all collide into a massive wave of panic driving selling. It will not be a slow and methodical process, but rather a stampede with little regard to price, valuation or fundamental measures. It will be the equivalent of striking a match, lighting a stick of dynamite and throwing it into a tanker full of gasoline.

Importantly, as prices decline it will trigger margin calls which will induce more indiscriminate selling. The forced redemption cycle will cause catastrophic spreads between the current bid and ask pricing for ETF’s, junk bonds, and option pricing. As investors are forced to dump positions to meet margin calls, the lack of buyers will form a vacuum causing rapid price declines which leave investors helpless on the sidelines watching years of capital appreciation vanish in moments.

Don’t believe me? It happened in 2008 as the “Lehman Moment” left investors helpless watching the crash. Over a 3-week span, investors lost 29% of their capital and 44% over the entire 3-month period. This is what happens during a margin liquidation event. It is fast, furious and without remorse."

"The More I See Of Man..."


"The more I see of Man, the more I like dogs."
 - Madame de Stael

"Stocks Could Fall 80% from Here”

"Stocks Could Fall 80% from Here”
by Bill Bonner

Like a ‘Closing Out Sale’ that never seems to end, people are beginning to think that this ‘Stock Market Surge’ may not be totally on the level. Unlike an honest bull market, it may never end…

Classic top? But in many ways, it looks more and more like a classic top. Stocks keep going up…and more and more investors, getting in the mood, think they will go up forever. The last time we saw anything comparable was at the end of the 1990s.

Then, it was the tech-heavy NASDAQ that had caught fire. It burned hot from 1995 to 2000, with prices up five times. But then, when there was no more furniture to throw onto the fire, it quickly went cold. The NASDAQ fell 80%; the ashes remained cold for the next 10 years.

The flames were only rekindled after the Fed and other central banks added $15 trillion to the world’s supply of dry tinder.

No ordinary market: This was one of three incidents over a 20-year period that reshaped popular attitudes to money, investing, and the markets. First came the ‘Black Monday’ crash of 1987. Then there was the aforementioned collapse of the NASDAQ in 2000. Finally, the crisis of 2008–09 further drove home the point: This is no ordinary stock market. Until 1987, the best way to make money in the stock market was to do careful research and find good companies selling for less than they were worth.

After 1987, the value of this kind of fundamental analysis fell. It didn’t matter anymore how much something was worth. The stock market was no longer functioning as a market for stocks, carefully discovering what each and every one was worth. Instead, it was reacting to something else. And by 2009, fundamental analysis was no longer helpful; it was, in fact, counterproductive. The more research you did - to identify value-rich companies - the worse your portfolio would do.

This may seem impossible. But that is what happened. Value-rich companies with low price-to-earnings (P/E) ratios and little debt underperformed the go-go leaders of the growth genre. 

Mr Luskin’s maths: This phenomenon was inadvertently described in last Friday’s Wall Street Journal. Donald L Luskin, a macroeconomic forecaster, wrote an enthusiastic editorial in which he argued that stocks may be high, but they are going much higher because ‘policy changes augur much better earnings in the coming years’: ‘As in 2009, the economy is facing a fundamental turning point driven by profound changes in economic policy. Once again, it’s policy, not valuations, that is determining stock prices.’

Mr Luskin did the maths. At a corporate tax rate of 35%, a dollar of corporate earnings turns into 65 cents after Washington takes its cut. At the new 21% rate, the same dollar becomes 79 cents. That’s earnings growth of 21.5%. If we were advising Mr Luskin, we would suggest he put his calculator down and put on his thinking cap. Out of whose pocket cometh that extra 14 cents? You will say, ‘It comes from the tax cut.’ But since the feds won’t forego a single penny in spending, we must assume they will get it from somewhere else, right?

Where? Corporations, as proponents of the tax cut were quick to point out, do not pay taxes. They just collect them. The money either comes from their employees, their shareholders, and/or their customers. So if the shareholders and/or the employees get 14 cents more, it is almost a dead certainty that the customers will get 14 cents less. Then who will buy the corporations’ products and services?

(Yes, we are aware of the Laffer Curve…and the theory that there is an ideal tax rate out there at which the feds maximize their income, often by lowering tax rates. But first, there is no evidence that it is true. Second, even if it were true, there’s no reason to think the new tax rate is any better than the last one. And third, it seems unlikely that further stimulus, at this point in the business cycle…after $10 trillion of Fed stimulus since 2009…will produce much of anything…except, maybe, more money for shareholders and corporate insiders!)

Rockstar central bankers: So yes…Mr Luskin could be right…as far as his maths and his logic take him. But transferring wealth to shareholders and bondholders is what the feds have been doing for the last 30 years, ever since former Fed chief Alan Greenspan invented the ‘Greenspan put’. By slashing interest rates and talking up the market, Mr Greenspan guaranteed that stocks wouldn’t go down too much, or stay down too long. The Greenspan Era represented a fundamental and dramatic turnabout for the Fed.

America’s central bank was meant to be - and had been - a mostly passive institution. Few people knew who the chairman of the Fed was; few cared. The Fed was not meant to guide the economy…and surely not to enhance it. Instead, it was supposed only to guard against excesses, as Fed chairman William McChesney Martin put it, by ‘taking away the punchbowl’ when the party got too hot. But Mr Greenspan was determined to be a rock star. Instead of taking the punchbowl away, he added more booze!

Stocks went up for the next three decades…as more and more alcohol got dumped into the punch. And now, look around: The world has $233 trillion in debt. Interest rates are barely off the floor. And as much as $11 trillion of debt trades with negative yields. So when the current tightening cycle causes the next crash…the feds will panic, as usual. And, as usual - having learned the lesson over the last 30 years - investors will buy the dip, confident that the feds will come into the market with their cheap sauce. But this time, the bottles will be empty.”