Saturday, October 3, 2015
to my offer in the post titled, "How to Prepare for the Coming Financial and Economic Crash", dated Monday, September 28, 2015. Thanks, too, to those of you who later had kind remarks relative to the Guide. That makes the effort of constructing it worthwhile.
p.s. As you probably know by now, I'm fairly certain that the Crash already has started. It may take a few months or even a year to reach critical mass. Good luck to us all if my best guess is correct.
Wednesday, September 30, 2015
This will be short. For decades, I've been an informal student of economic systems, and in particular, Free Market Capitalism. From all I've read and seen, there is no such thing in the world today. Perhaps in the days of Adam Smith (the 1700's) it existed, but no longer. Even in the mid-to-late 1800's, during and shortly after the Industrial Revolution began, Free Market Capitalism was gone. That can be shown quite easily.
1. The great railroad barons, such as Cornelius Vanderbilt and Jay Gould, essentially were given large tracts of land on both sides of the rail tracks by the Gov't. That's not Free Market Capitalism (FMC)...it's Crony Capitalism.
2. The tycoon banker, J.P. Morgan, sometimes would lend vast sums of money to the Fed Gov't. That's not FMC either. That's also Crony Capitalism.
3. The great steel entrepreneur, Andrew Carnegie, was known by his critics as the "Crony Capitalist".
Today in the USA, and all countries with an intrusive central bank, Free Market Capitalism does not exist. The proof of that is simple. When interest rates essentially are set by central planning bureaucrats in, for example, the Fed Reserve--- instead of by the Market--- that's not Free Market Capitalism. The fact is, we have a Mixed Economy in the USA. So do almost all "democracies" in existence, including the social democracies (or democratically socialist countries) in Scandinavia and the rest of Europe. I'm not saying that's good or bad; it's simply a fact.
My point here is this: I believe Capitalism is a great economic system, but Free Market Capitalism is no more. I'm really tired of the so-called "Right" claiming they practice FMC (as opposed to "Socialism"), and the so-called "Left" claiming that most of our ills are due to "Capitalism". Neither one is correct. Some of what Big Business practices is Capitalism, some is Crony Capitalism (aka, Fascism), and some is Socialism. The same is true of our Gov't. As to the Left's claims, many or most of our ills are due to Crony Capitalism and super-huge companies that may as well be monopolies. That means the Gov't (Republicans AND Democrats) is partially responsible.
We definitely live in a Mixed Economy. For example, we do have some Capitalism (mostly in the SMALL Business sector), but we also have not only the Fed Reserve interfering with the Money Market, but we have the V.A. Health Care System (a good thing), as well...which is pure socialized medicine. The patients go to Gov't clinics/hospitals where they are treated by Gov't employees who use Gov't equipment and Gov't-purchased medicines. Except for a small co-pay, it's all paid for by the Gov't.
Capitalism is here to stay, but it's not Free Market Capitalism. It's a mixture of this and that. Even China is embracing Capitalism to some degree. Russia is now Crony Capitalism gone wild. So to those on the Right, I would suggest this: stop complaining about Socialism; we've had some degree of that in this Land for a long, long time. To those on the Left, I would suggest: stop complaining about Capitalism; it works, we've had some degree of it for a long, long time, and the problem is Crony Capitalism. If you know what that means, then you know that the Gov't is a big part of the problem.
Not only my opinion. Be well
Monday, September 28, 2015
I've written a concise Guide (15 pages, large type) with the title above. [The Table of Contents is found below.] Sometimes I copy things I've written elsewhere and post them here. Unfortunately every time I do that, the copied piece does not paste correctly onto this venue. To get it readable requires a lot of editing. Due to time constraints, I can't do that amount of editing for 15 pages; therefore, I'm offering the following alternative.
If you're interested in having a copy, email me and I'll reply with the file attached. There's no cost to you whatsoever. This blog doesn't have thousands of readers at any one time, so I should be able to handle any requests. [In 8.5 years (or so), there have been only about 44,500 pageviews. I suspect that's because most of my posts irritate both the "Right" and the "Left". :)]
For a copy, email: AbstractCowboy@gmail.com . Title your email: My Order.
Table of Contents
Part I--- Causes
Brief History of Underlying Factors....1
Summary of 2007-2008……………..2
Part II--- Steps to Prepare
The Problem with Mega Banks………5
Will Any Bank be Open?…………….6
Will Paper Money be Any Good?.........7
Commodities, Tangible Assets………8
Part III--- Going Forward
We the People………………………..14
The subtitle of the Guide is:
A Bit on the Causes,
Lot on How to
Weather the Storm
A Very Concise Guide
I'm still of the opinion that a severe Crash may or may not happen, but it seems logical to me (given current conditions) to prepare for one. Even if it doesn't happen, 99% of the commodities I suggest that you stock up can be used by you & your family in the future. If the Crash does occur, then you'll be better prepared to handle it than a lot of other people. Preparing is a win-win situation. By the way, the Guide is much expanded from my last post...and includes a lot of that post in a small section of the text. Finally, sometimes emailing a document messes it up for some reason. I've emailed the Guide twice so far, and both times some of the page numbers (found at the top of each page, not the bottom) were somehow out-of-place; nevertheless, the text was completely readable & the Table of Contents still worked.
Thursday, September 17, 2015
Let me state up front, I'm not an economist or monetary theorist, or anything of that sort. I rely upon a wide variety of those people (their writings & interviews) for information; that variety stretches all across the political spectrum. This is not a "Right-Left" issue. Also, any conclusion from anyone regarding an economic crash really is nothing more than an educated guess; no one knows for certain (despite what they might say) until after the fact. Nevertheless, things are not looking good, as follows.
1. China already has started dumping the dollar.
2. Japan (one of our staunchest allies) is setting up a currency swap agreement with Russia...totally by-passing the dollar. Trade between those countries will be in rubles and yen.
3. Several other Asian countries are setting up currency swap agreements amongst themselves...totally by-passing the dollar.
4. The BRICS countries have launched their own development bank.
5. China and Australia have set up a currency swap agreement...by-passing the dollar.
6. India and Japan have done the same.
7. China has set up currency swap agreements with several countries.
It seems clear that many countries are sick & tired of the U.S. Govt's Financial & NeoImperalist Hegemony. This could very well mean the end of world reserve currency status for the dollar.
1. All the analysts I've read or heard agree that stocks & bonds here are highly overvalued; to a slightly lesser degree, so is real estate. These same analysts say that the Fed Reserve has been propping up the financial & real estate assets for years with QE and essentially ZERO % interest rates, but now the Fed basically is out of tricks. If they raise rates to where they should be, the Recession will slide into a full-blown Depression; if they don't, the Asset Bubble will burst...as all bubbles eventually do.
2. The Fed Reserve is monetizing our debt. Since the Crash of 2008, it's the Fed who has been buying the majority of U.S. Treasury Bonds. Foreign gov'ts no longer are as interested in financing our debt as they once were. Monetizing our debt is not sustainable.
3. As stated in a previous post, the prices of gold and silver (to a lesser degree) are being manipulated by Mega Banks and Mega Hedge Funds in order to give the dollar the appearance of being strong. Some evidence suggests that Gov'ts also are involved in this price manipulation. Keeping the prices low via manipulation of the Futures Market is a priority for the Oligarchs.
4. The real unemployment rate in the USA is estimated to be somewhere around 20%, not the 5.X% reported by the Gov't & the Corporate Media.
5. Most of the money pumped to banks via QE is either still sitting in the banks OR it was invested in no-job-producing ventures, such as foreign currencies, bizarre financial derivatives, physical gold, and physical silver...as well as the Futures Market. Put simply, the Fed saved the Mega Banks rather than the economy.
6. The Global Debt Bubble now is about $200 trillion...and ready to burst.
7. It's estimated that the Financial Derivatives Bubble is about $1.25 quadrillion... a bomb that may or may not eventually explode.
None of the above is good news. The global economy appears to be imploding.
Even if the dollar's world reserve currency status ends, though it would collapse our economy, it wouldn't be the end of the world (so to speak); however, the road to recovery would be long and extremely difficult. A few analysts are predicting that we will be bartering in commerce for a time; I think that could happen, but it's not for certain. Nevertheless, just to be safe, I see a few things that people would be wise to do.
1. Get out of any MEGA Bank, ASAP. As pointed out in a previous post, in the event of a crisis they will be BAILED-IN. Your money will be confiscated..."legally". That's according to the latest G-20 Agreement signed by President Obama...late last year.
2. Keep some amount of ready cash stored at home...or somewhere nearby & always accessible.
3. As much as you can, accumulate some amount of commodities*** (including food) that might be used for trade. That's not to say you need to go to the extremes of some of the "Preppers" out there, but it seems prudent to position yourself so that you could survive for at least a few months. IF there is a huge Crash, it might take that long (or longer) to get some sort of monetary system up & running...some consumer liquidity in place.
***Commodities for barter would include: OTC medicines, water filters, food seeds, long shelf-life foods, firewood, toiletries, gasoline & oil, silver, common calibers of ammunition, various tools (hoe, shovel, etc.), warm clothing, solar energy components (if possible), fresh produce (if possible), blankets, alcoholic beverages, & yes, even tobacco, food animals if possible (chickens, goats, etc.), & others. Pick & choose. Some, such as seeds, toiletries & water filters, take up little space. [I suspect that I've missed some of the best items for bartering...do some research on your own.]
I realize all this sounds rather pessimistic. I see it as being realistic. Many economists, monetary theorists, money/portfolio managers, financial analysts, etc. agree that we are facing the distinct possibility of a major financial/economic Crash much worse than 2008 sometime relatively soon. Some of them predict no later than the end of 2016. These people span the entire political spectrum, so I don't believe this is political, partisan propaganda. Most of the works I've studied are not by people selling gold or silver...or anything else, not even a book. That suggests we should pay attention to what they're saying. Again, though, remember that it's all an educated, best guess. No matter what they say, none of this is guaranteed to happen. Nevertheless, it very well could happen. As the Boy Scouts say, "Be Prepared".
Not only my opinion. Be Well
Sunday, September 6, 2015
9-11 will be here shortly; perhaps we briefly should reflect upon it. I'm talking about the one that happened in the USA, not in Chile in 1973 (that one essentially was engineered by Henry Kissinger). I'm no expert in these matters, but I do have a Science background (both academic & practical) and am thoroughly familiar with the Scientific Method of Inquiry. The paragraph immediately below summarizes the craziest 9-11 conspiracy theory I've seen thus far...
Nineteen losers armed with box-cutters conspired to outwit & outmaneuver the entire U.S. Gov't Defense, Intelligence, & Security apparatus...and were successful. Now that's a doozie of a theory. Every poll I've seen indicates that slightly more than half of American adults no longer believe it.
I'm not going to re-hash all the contradictions in that theory. We've all seen them in documentaries and/or read about them in articles and books...ad infinitum. Much of the information was from reputable individuals or teams, both in the fields of Science and the Military. Most likely, none of us ever will know the full story of what happened (and why, and how) on our 9-11...but I'm relatively sure about one thing--- the Govt's version of the story really stinks.
Some people appear to believe there are only two choices relative to an explanation of what happened. According to them, either it's the way the Gov't described it OR our Gov't did it. Either one of those could be true, but those certainly are not the only choices. Please, think. There are probably at least a dozen other logical possibilities (not necessarily probabilities). Here's just one, as follows.
A few people, some high-ranking military or ex-military and police, claim that the Israeli Mossad somehow was involved. There is a little evidence supporting that hypothesis, but it is far from being conclusive. Before you completely poo-poo the idea, however, consider this. In the 1940's, the Brits essentially were driven out of British Palestine due to the terrorism perpetrated by the Jewish Irgun (founded in 1931 by a group of Haganah commanders). The well respected Menachem Begin was Commander of the Irgun (which split from the Haganah) and ordered armed resistance to the Brits...including the bombing of the King David Hotel. Brit Military Headquarters were there. [One country's "Terrorist" is another country's "Freedom Fighter".] To this very day, two things generally are recognized about the State of Israel & its leaders: they are masters of Black Ops; and they will do anything to protect their State. I'm not necessarily denigrating them for that, rather just stating what many consider absolute facts. Though not proof of anything, it's also true that Israel has benefitted greatly post-9-11.
I don't know exactly who was responsible for our 9-11, but it should be obvious that the investigation (though appearing otherwise) was badly flawed---from start to finish. IF the Fed Gov't (at the highest levels) did pull the wool over our eyes regarding 9-11, that's tragic; but what's also tragic is that they do it regarding mega bankers, the economy, employment, health care, war, monetary policy, fiscal policy, elections, and on & on. It's known as "molding the public mind" via Edward Bernays style Propaganda. Both public & private Oligarchs consider it an absolute necessity in a "democracy".
Not only my opinion. Be Well
Wednesday, September 2, 2015
Shortly after WW II, the Financial Sector made up about 3% of the U.S. economy. Today it's just under 10%, but accounts for more than 30% of all corporate profits in this country. In the past, we had Finance Capitalism in this Land (relative to the Financial Sector). Banks, especially large ones, served a useful function by financing businesses and their expansions...thus creating new jobs. Now we have Casino Capitalism. Large banks put their (and your) money into bizarre financial derivatives and bets in the Futures markets. Estimates vary, but approximately $1.25 quadrillion in derivatives now are out in the marketplace. That amount is many times more than the GDP of the entire world. That's insanity, and puts us all at risk. Worst of all, that activity does not finance new businesses, expand old ones, or create any jobs.
On top of that, at the G-20 Meeting late last year, new rules were promulgated allowing 30 mega, international banks to be "Bailed-In" in the case of a financial crisis. That means those banks can appropriate the funds in YOUR accounts if they get into trouble. They simply seize your money. Supposedly then, FDIC Insurance bails you out...covers your losses, or more accurately, the theft of your money by the bank. Unfortunately, the FDIC "kitty" is only about $46 billion, while the deposits covered are in the trillions. The Fed Reserve could conjure-up the difference, but might not because that would make the dollar even weaker during an ongoing Crisis. [By the way, G-20 Rules are not a Treaty. The only approval necessary is that of the Executive Branch.] The new rules don't specify "depositors" or "bank customers", but rather the bank's "creditors". The largest bunch of creditors a bank has is made up of its depositors (customers). Whether you know it or not, every time you deposit money in a bank you are loaning that money to the bank. Your checkbook or savings book is the bank's I.O.U. So in those transactions, you are one of the bank's creditors. According to the G-20, your funds now can be appropriated by the bank if that bank is in crisis.
You might ask, how can this be? The G-20 was formed after the last Crisis and created a Financial Stability Board...a "financial regulator". They make the rules, and the G-20 leaders (of countries) usually go along automatically. Whether they fully understand the rules or not, leaders such as our President sign on the dotted line...with no approval of Congress. Needless to say, the process is in no way democratic.
Coupled with all of the above, in the last few years several mega banks (the corporations, not individual executives) have admitted to criminal manipulation of foreign currency exchanges, civil sub-prime mortgage fraud, other frauds, and of course, there was the Barclay's Bank LIBOR interest rate scandal. Some analysts have described these new moguls of Finance as thinking of themselves as Financial Gods and Masters of the Universe. Their hubris is incredible. They all need to be taken down about 100 notches.
You might ask, so what, what effect can I have on these conceited "investment" bankers? I would say, plenty. We could have a great effect if all or most (or even many) of us would boycott mega banks... ASAP. With the elimination of Glass-Steagall by Bill Clinton, Repubs, & Dems, the conceited mega bankers can & do gamble with your money. If their bets go radically wrong, they now can (with the blessing of the G-20) simply seize any money you have in their bank. Get out of all mega banks, NOW. Patronize your local bank; they'll be more than happy to have you as a customer. If at all possible, cut up your credit cards issued by mega banks. They borrow money for as low as POINT 25 percent (.25%) interest. What do they charge you? Credit cards are a racket.
The so-called "investment" banks are not that for the most part...not anymore. These mega banks are gambling in the stock market on Futures and Derivatives. Their (& your) money goes into foreign currencies, foreign capital investments, derivatives, and other no-job-creating ventures. They are gambling not only with individual depositor funds, but also with pension funds, and those of cities and counties. They sometimes bet against their own customers. They don't even especially care about the bank for which they work...it's all about getting rich quick, or richer. Financial analysts, meaning those who study the Financial Sector, mostly all agree that (in general) mega banks are parasites on our economy. We really have two separate economies in this country: the one representing & serving most of us; and the one representing & serving the mega banking Oligarchy. They are vastly different. When the highest levels of our Gov't report that things are improving in our economy, they aren't talking about the economy in which most of us find ourselves.
Mega banks should be broken up. They are parasites on the rest of us.
BOYCOTT them. Start now...for the sake of future generations, start now.
Not only my opinion. Be Well
Thursday, August 27, 2015
Open to anyone who knows how to do "library" research, public sources are revealing at a rapid rate how/why the Oligarchs (public & private) are getting extremely worried. I don't have the time or energy to delineate all their areas of concern, but here are a few.
There is a peaceful, popular uprising going on there right now. For the time being, its focus is on corruption in the Gov't, a gov't backed by the highest levels of the USA Gov't. The worry is that if the Guatemalan Gov't topples, focus then may shift to the dark deeds of the current President back when he was a CIA operative, a Colonel & later a General in the Guatemalan Army & Intelligence Service, and led Death Squads which slaughtered Mayan people in Guatemala. The pretense for the slaughter was that the Mayans were the Boogie-Men of Choice back then, communists. This was all fully backed by the U.S. Gov't. & Reagan.
The Fed Gov't here has had Guatemala as a pet project ever since the early 1950's, when Edward Bernays was hired to develop & implement his unique style of propaganda falsely showing that the democratically elected President of Guatemala was a Communist. The guy wasn't a Communist, but he was overthrown. The old United Fruit Company then essentially ran Guatemala for years & years. Now we have the corrupt President of Guatemala, the Oligarch Molina (the former Death Squad Colonel), being propped up by the Obama Administration. Public and private Oligarchs always are concerned when it looks as though some Populist movement may be successful in installing a genuinely democratic government. I say "genuinely" because simply having elections doesn't guarantee a democracy.
2. Black Monday---
Monday, August 24, 2015 the Wall Street Market opened and lost 1,000 points in short order. It recovered about half of that by day's end, but Wall Streeters and the Fed Gov't were shaken to the core. The President's Working Group on Markets (or some similar title, can't remember), the so-called "Plunge Protection Team", made valiant efforts to help...largely to no avail. The Fed Reserve, part of the Team, did what it could but with little effect. The Corporate Media presently are claiming that the situation is now essentially back to normal...but that the Market remains "volatile".
Volatile, indeed. According to several reputable analysts (e.g., Paul Craig Roberts and James Rickards), the Stock Market has been enjoying an "Asset Bubble" that is propped up by the Fed Reserve...and the Ponzi Party is almost over. What the Oligarchs are worried about is as follows: 1. the elephant in the room--- the Bubble of the $1.25 quadrillion worth of bizarre financial derivatives floating around out in the marketplace, 2. the gargantuan amounts of currency being pumped into the world monetary system, and 3. loss of confidence in the dollar. The number one priority of any U.S. Administration is to preserve the perception that the dollar is strong.
3. The Exposure of Gold Price Manipulation---
Revelations of this manipulation have become more numerous recently. Not only are central banks, mega commercial banks, and mega Hedge Funds manipulating the price of gold (keeping it from rising), but now (according to James Rickards & others) the evidence strongly suggests that the highest levels of governments---including the USA---also are involved. [This is not news to those intimately involved in the gold market.] The demand for physical gold is through the roof, so much so that the available supply is almost completely dry. That means the price should be through the roof as well, but (given today's inflated dollar), it's not. Hmmm. Oligarchs need to keep the price of gold relatively low because a high price indicates that the dollar is weak. That's the very last perception the Oligarchy wants out in the world.
Along with the idea above, the Oligarchs are worried that their "Recovery" Propaganda is failing. It's becoming more obvious every day that we still are in a recession...and that a depression may be close at hand. Some analysts claim that the coming economic collapse will make the 1930's look like a picnic. I don't believe that any prognosticator can say such a thing with any degree of certainty; nevertheless, even I can see that things are not looking good. Despite what our Gov't reports, unemployment is relatively high, quality jobs are evaporating while inferior jobs proliferate, the prices of goods & services steadily are creeping up, Wall Street remains a giant casino, wages essentially continue their 30-year stagnation, the 700% rise in income (over 30 yrs) for the upper crust continues, "Free Trade" Agreements on steroids (which offshore manufacturing & jobs) are being pursued by Repubs & Dems, and many of the WORKING poor still qualify for public assistance programs. The Corporate Media say that the "Recovery" still is "fragile". It should be obvious that there is no Recovery. We're still in a recession...and sliding rapidly into a depression. Of course, that only applies to the Poor and Middle Classes. The Oligarchs (the top 1%, or some say, the top one-tenth of 1%) are doing just fine.
Not only my opinion. Be Well