Published Monday through Friday about 8
AM Central Time Except Holidays Depending on my mood...
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Although I am loathe to do Saturday updates, specially since I
am working on vastly more important things like this weekend's
Peoplenomics update (The REAL Problem of 2012 which is a
chapter in my new ebook "The Crash Handbook"), there are a
number of reader complaints/observations worth sharing, although
most are distractions.
1. "Your .PDF of the Coast to Coast show is completely blanks -
can you fix it?"
No. That was created using current software. The
folks who have not been able to open the .PDF, as far as I've
been able to figure, have older versions of Adobe Acrobat Reader
installed. A free update from
www.adobe.com should get you
current and reading.
2. "You didn't mention the failure of you Dec. 10-12 earthquake
in your 'predictions report'.
Correct: I did, however, cover that on the air with
Ian Punnett as our "Worst Prediction of 2008" and made two
points (from my notes):
"We expected a December 10-15 ‘twin quake’ and that was
simply a bad read on our part"
And... "What we got was a lot of' financial earthquake’ and
‘after shocks’ language around the breaking Bernie Madoff
story that happened at the same time as the
isolation/shutdown of the Pacific Northwest - just a case of
getting pieces right but not the whole"
3. Here's a dandy email: "You still are trying to take some kind
of false credit for predicting some kind of incident on 07
October 2008. Your .PDF which lists 2008's "accomplishments"
puts the Icelandic bank failures at 06/07 October 2008.
NEWSFLASH -- they were precipitously failing a WEEK PRIOR the
failures did NOT begin on 06/07 October 2008. Another NEWSFLASH
-- They still are. Again, you had the trend but you faltered by
listing a specific date and time."
WTF is this? First,
the wording of the prediction from Jan 2 2008:
See slide # 3, October 2008 prediction, fourth bullet point: "May
be a global replay of what the 1932 bond crash in the Great
Second, we refined this to a roughly Bell curve distribution
around Oct. 7th. That's a distribution centered on
a date. Now, look at Wikipedia's entries for
September 2008 and there is no reference to "global
financial crisis." Now
look at the October entry below it. There are three
references including the October 7th loan of $4-billion to
Iceland by Russia to bail them out as they experienced a
national financial failure.
I have informed the individual that it is not my role in
Universe to engage in further debate on this, and despite that I
have received yet another insulting email criticizing the
accuracy of the prediction made 10-months in advance.
As evidence 'you weren't right' the reader quoted news
item about a smaller $600-million loan from the week
before Oct 7th was attached.
Lemme see here: Jan 2 a year ago we point to Oct '08 and
the large-scale crisis. Mid summer we refine it to October
7 as the peak of a distribution. And non-subscriber
(without access to all the data) claims a minor article appears
the week before and that somehow invalidates 10-years of work in
a new area of science? OK, sure...whatever
No we don't get everything and, as demonstrated in the
Madoff case, this is only a fledgling science prone to errors.
Fine so far... But then I get this:
"My version agrees with the
facts; YOURS does NOT. It always amazes me that when one is
caught as a liar that he considers the claims as
"trivialities" and takes umbrage at being caught!
Too bad you lack the honesty and
good moral character to admit when you are in error. A
mistake has grown into a lie! You should be ashamed of
yourself! Trouble is, your lack of good moral character
probably immunizes you, like Bill Clinton, from personal
Lemme see: No contribution to development of the technology,
argumentative wrong-headed self-righteous criticism, personal
insults... Yep: Congratulations! Junk mail filtering
This brings up a very important point about personal energy:
Although this site is largely focused on the uncertain/cloudy
future, it is nevertheless positive in that it's all
about coping and preparedness for whatever may come.
don't mind questions and trying to help when someone disagrees
but I draw the line at self-righteous personal attacks.
Here's an example of a thoughtful email:
"Hi george, Love your site except the last couple of days. I
really don't like your tone towards Israel. The only reason
they are bombing Hamas is they are shooting misses into
Israel. I was a volunteer at an Israeli army base for 3
months in 05. Everyday before work they would give us a
quick news and weather update. ANd everyday several rockets
fell in Israel In 05 after Israel left Gaza and even removed
Israeli's and left business Gazans were lobbing missiles.
How many years would it take you to respond if it was
somewhere in Texas? How many thousands of rockets would it
take for you to respond. The Israelis want peace. They have
given up acres of land, which when you live in a tiny
country, means just a little more security, to prove it.
Arabs that live in Israel have a better life and more heath
benefits and rights than arabs anywhere else, OH except
those that are on the top of the heap. The IDF calls on the
phone and warns civilians where they are going to strike,
but that is not why suicide bombers carry cell phones. We
live in a time when evil is called good and good evil.5
times a day I could hear the Muslim prayers from the base I
worked at in Israel. How many Jewish prayers do you think
you can hear a day in Saudi Arabia? Which side are you on
answer is complicated, so bear with me. Simply: I am
terribly disappointed in both sides and consider myself
on neither. That deserves some discussion as I am not an
Egyptian (which administered Gaza prior to the 1967 war).
I am not Israeli (which has administered it since the 1967
Six-Days War). And I am not Palestinian.
terms of the timeline here, we are now, as the AP puts it, in "Week
Two of Israeli blitz on Gaza with no end in sight."
When it comes to geopolitics, I a consider myself akin to the
American Whig Party...
Whigs supported the supremacy of Congress over the Executive
Branch and favored a program of modernization and
economic protectionism. This name was chosen to echo the
American Whigs of 1776, who fought for independence, and
because "Whig" was then a widely recognized label of choice
for people who saw themselves as opposing autocratic rule."
plenty of that autocratic rule stuff going around, in case
you've lost count of the Executive Orders and Signing
Statements. And Executive-run agencies which claim powers
to violate our Constitution more or less on a whim.
I see it, we live in an age where complexification rules and any
simplicism of complex events into "You're either with us, or
against us" as the Decider put it, denies the fundamental
complexity of the world.
a macro-level, the Middle East Wars (which are part and parcel
of what I refer to as the "Manufacturer's Resource Wars")
are a combination of resource grabs (oil and drugs) and
employment programs. Yup, in a sense Jihad may be viewed
an employment program, but in a sense, so is Iraq. Even the
Crusades and be looked at as an economic initiative.
don't like war - anywhere. You know what's the most
war-promoting country in the world? The Netherlands.
How'd I figured?
you look at
top weapons exporters here and
population over here, you can see that between 2000 and
2007, the Netherlands increased arms exports by 5.23 times.
$82/per capita of weapons exports
Now, to their credit, Israel's exports are down 26%; they are #
5 on a per capita basis at $37.47. The US exports from
2000 to 2007 are about even and we do $24.97 per year of arms
exports per capita.
Anyway, my point is I don't choose to be on any side of
war. It's a business and one I don't choose to support.
Don't misconstrue: I will defend America.
Globally, arms sales are up 61% among top exporters since 2002.
This is global economic progress? I just get bummed out
about it...I'll try to be a little more Hoo rah! about it.
The Crash Handbook
Part 1: "Ready Or Not..."
The little ebook I wrote called "How to
Live on $10,000 a year...or less!" has been incredibly successful.
No, it hasn't been stocked by Amazon, nor has it been picked up by a
major publishing house. But it's been successful by the number
of lives it has changed & improved; things publishers and retailers
may give lip service to, but when comes right down to brass tacks in
publishing, everyone's got to make a buck, and that's cool.
I'm undeterred from my personal mission, however, which is to open
people's heads a bit, give them new ways of looking at old problems,
and above all remind people that the only wealth that survives death
is the bank vault of riches between your ears. If that vault
is empty, then Life hasn't been properly lived. So over the
course of the coming month or two, we'll step back far enough from
the theoretical trading and investment side of Peoplenomics to
address the nitty-gritty of "Whatcha gonna do when?"
Because that "When" is getting really damned close now.
What is better
New Years Card?
Why, sending an email to everyone in your 'contact' file and
tell them about
www.urbansurvival.com of course!
"Live on $10,000"
What? You haven't ordered the ebook "How to Live on
$10,000 a year -- or less"? Suit yourself. We're all
going to live it shortly, anyway. I just thought you might
like a heads up by reading about how to do it before you get
pink-slipped. But, suit yourself OR visit
www.liveontenthousand.com or, click one of the following
Yep - still possible. I also took a bit of additional
material that was pertinent from recent issues of Peoplenomics
and included them. The whole thing runs about 65 pages,
but it gives you a vision of how to not only live on the
aforementioned dollar amount, but also how to migrate up the
economic foodchain if you make a little more than that and do
some active savings...
Click here for the page with more details on it.
week's report is here. For
back issues of this site, click here. (Goes back to
January 2, 2009
Coast To Coast Annual
Click here to download the Coast To
Coast AM radio show notes in which Cliff's 2009 predictive
linguistics outlook is summarized along with a few of my
personal 'things to be watching for'. Ian Punnett did a
really good job of it, too...lots of guests with lots of
predictions. Quite interesting.
Quick! Hide Your
Yeah, I know - six months ago gasoline prices were north of $5
some places - and since the election was coming, along with the
economic collapse, gas prices have been cratering. Down to
around $1.66 a gallon nationally, last time I checked.
But if you think this is an opportunity to 'make back' some of
the screwing at the pumps earlier this year, think again: "Panel
wants fuel taxes hiked to fund highways."
This is exactly the kind of Depression Inducing Half-think
crap (can't think of a more polite word, sorry) we've come to
expect from Washington.
First, to raise the tax on diesel will take even more truckers
off the road and will drive up prices of goods.
Second, it will push the cost of commuting to work back
up. Third, why can't government cut back on wasteful
spending in its own ranks? They behave like it's OK for
working people to have their hours cur, but what about
government? Where's government's 10% cuts and 4-day weeks?
Those of us writing the checks want to know!
And fourth (this is my pet peeve) we see a tax hike so the
slimeballs in office can do what? Sell off more
publicly funded highway projects to private greed-driven
corporations which in turn will put in toll booths?
Notice how no one is arguing that roads should only be operated
by not-for-profit organizations? Nope - goes to outfits
with ties to the elite, 'natch. Even royalty/bloodline
freaks of southern Europe I hear....
The predictive linguistics are very clear: 2009 is a year
of transformation and a 'fuzzy/global' soft revolution.
But given enough stupidity on the part of policy makers,
that 'soft/fuzzy' could turn really hard and really ugly.
Here's my new bumper sticker: "Watch the botch."
The Global Depression
economy shrinks at 12.5% in 4th quarter". West coast
port trade is adown about that much. Anyone connecting the
dots besides us?
One reader apparently is...sending in this email:
"The story below has me wondering what will China do with
all it's unemployed people. Seems like wars are often used
in situations like this. What do you think?
desperation as China's exports drop"
That's one of the points I made to
Ian Punnett on CoastToCoast last night. We were talking
Russian (Igor Panarin's) prediction that the US would likely
break apart or experience some kind of revolutionary change due
to the economic implosion this year..
My point to Ian was that Panarin's
thinking that other countries will have enough 'energy' to spend
exerting 'influence' over other countries - like the US West -
ignores the notion that globalism fundamentally means there is
no safe place for capital to hide during economic chaos
A Chinese-dominated West? A
European dominated Atlantic Northeast? Where are those
regional trade powers going to be getting energy and goods to
keep their own houses in order? No, I think this soft
revolutionary change coming will be much more global and
Just as globalism on 'the way up'
made all countries 'winners', the collapse of the consumer
economy (and its Services Sector bubble), will likely beggar the
What I characterized as the
Third-Worldization of America will really be a global affair, so
when you read about things like
Russia and Ukraine fighting over natural gas now, it's just
foreplay to the main events to come soon enough.
I look for resource warring and
sparring to spread such that over 2009 your personal experience
of the Year of Transformation will vary by where you live.
The Midwest may have grains, but no veggies. California
may have veggies but no power. The Pacific Northwest may
have power but no grains or veggies - that kind of circularity
applied globally. And the shortage of clues in Washington
will intensify the mess, of course.
Oh well, stuff happens, right?
keeping mum of 2009 market outlook" says this morning's NY
Post. Well sure: Like I was raised, "If you can't
say something nice, don't say anything at all..."
Israel has killed more than 400 in Gaza. Are they like
trying to hit some kind of number, or is there a metric of "How
many dead equals a 'win'"?
Number of wounded is over 2,000, too. So folks get to
sit back and guess as to when enough will be enough. But,
obviously, we're not close yet. Maybe it's 1,000 dead?
At what point does the world label as terrorists those who bomb
places of worship? It's a question worth asking because as
the AP reports
"Israel targets Gaza mosques used by Hamas." Which
brings up the
discussion about whether it's cricket under the Geneva
convention to target places of worship and civilian
populations...The IDF claims missiles were stored there.
Might be ending soon, though: gold's down.
MSM is reporting "Gaza's
rocks put Israel's nuclear plant in battle zone." No, Dimona
hasn't moved, it's still 42.1 miles from Gaza and earlier the
same media outlet reported the Iranian-made Fajr-3 rockets had a
range of "more
than 30 miles" ... not more than 40. Whips up
emotions, though doesn't it? Mention of 'nuclear plant'
and 'missiles'? Where's my KI pills...
Israeli PM Ehud "Olmert
vows 'iron fist' against Hamas." So is it Truce or
61-dead in a Thai nightclub fire...police looking into it.
Given the recent political turmoil in the country, I find myself
wondering about this one..
Murder Rates Drop
An ABC report has it that "Some
big cities see homicide rates drop in 2008." While it
seems like good news, I wouldn't count on it staying low for
long. As the layoffs come along this year and the rising
unemployment rates, I expect lawlessness, and particularly
street robberies to spike. It'll be interesting to see how
that portion of the stats will play out...
The Future's a
There's a thoughtful piece in the Wall Street Journal this week
Gambling continue to Grow? All bets are off..."
Best I can figure, gambling is on the skids - and it may never
recover. Not only does the
"Slump mean identity crisis for Las Vegas", as the
Washington post reports, but a story earlier this week that
Housing Prices fell at their fastest pace in October (the
most recent figures) included this remark: "Prices in Las Vegas
and Phoenix, where developers built subdivisions stretching into
the desert, fell by nearly a third in October from 2008. "
As the predictive linguistics work out of HalfPastHuman notes,
America is about to undergo a major transformation. I
expect a large part of that will be to return to some thrifty
Yankee ways. Gambling, and it's mis-named 'investment'
analogs have likely run their course.
There's simply not money to waste in most households, along with
too much employment uncertainty.
Folks that haven't saved for 'rainy days' are feeling the first
drops. So are the gambling Mecca's.
--- snip and save section ---
The Ice Worm Cocktail Story
As a newcomer to a remote Air Force site up in the 49th state
back in my youth, I was treated to a fine blend of humor and
hospitality arriving at Murphy Dome AC&W site, some 30-miles
outside of Fairbanks. The site's not there any longer,
but you can still see
pictures of it here. I ran the 'microwave shack' for a
defense contractor, and it's located just below and to the left
of the high power acquisition radar dome in the upper left of
My first day on site I wandered into the officer's club (at age
19 I was a GS-14 equivalent) and announced myself as "George the
microwave tech rept." Properly introduced to Colonels King
& Hillis as "George-wave", I got around to learning how to put a
checkmark next to my name on the honor-system bar tab.
Scotch was 2-bits a shot - and you just put a checkmark down
each time you poured one, and that was that. The count
seldom came up short.
After a couple of checkmarks, I forget which Major it was came
over and asked if "Are you a real Alaskan yet?"
Puzzled, I had to confess that I had no idea what he was talking
"Have you had an ice worm cocktail yet?"
Well, no, since I'd been in Alaska for all of about 3-weeks at
that point, and all that was spent in the basement of the
StratCom building at Fort Rich during Operation Snowtime that
year, and after that barely managing to learn what an Alaskan
calls a Black-Label Sandwich is (a shot of Johnny Walker Black
and a bottle of Carling Black Label beer chaser), I admitted
this was a new one on me.
The Major disappeared into the mess for a few minutes and
returned with a glass of brown somethingorother which had what
looked like a pale bluish-purple purple worm down at the bottom
After a couple of minutes of having the anatomy and behavior of
'ice worms" explained to me, along with a detailed description
of how they could 'eat a mans guts out if not properly killed' I
was offered the glass with the 'ice worm in it' and all eyes
focused on me around the room while I decided on the risks of
drinking the somethingorother with the worm in it.
Having been raised proper-like, Pappy had allowed me to sample
comes with a worm in it, and so I figured this worm
couldn't be much worse than that. I hoisted the
'ice worm' and then spent another half hour hearing stories of
folks who couldn't be forced even at gunpoint to down the
concoction. Turns out some drink and then 'lose the worm'
within minutes, too.
This weekend being the end of the Holiday season, and since
Elaine may not read my column today (she was up part of the
night because I was on CoastToCoast last night) I may have to
bless her with an East Texas variation on the ice worm story.
Having folks over and wanna have some fun? You're welcome
to play along...
I'm thinking, given our farm critters, that a 'goat worm
cocktail' might be kind of interesting.
Not saying you should engage in this kind of playful
mixology, but if you happen to have a bottle of gravy
browning, and maybe some grape juice for good measure, an Xacto
knife any old piece of leftover spaghetti noodle can be turned
into a fine imitation of a worm.
Feeling really creative? Wide spaghetti (of the sort used for
Stroganoff) can be crafted into other buggy shapes, too.
Cottage cheese curds dipped and briefly dried can be turns into
other (how do I say this at breakfast?) challenging garnishes.
Might want to wear eye protection. There's always a chance
the goat worms or ice worms will be returned - via
software glitch that occurred on some (30 gb) versions of its
Zune product should be self curing as the date rolls past
Send snip and save items to
--- end snip and save section ---
Wednesday December 31, 2008
Last Day Trading
What's about to be revealed, at the close of trading today, is
the real nature of what a multi-billion dollar industry insists
is "investing" in paper assets. It's generally not,
of course, really investing at all. The more
precise word is gambling.
One definition of investing does like this:
"An asset is
usually purchased, or equivalently a deposit is made in a
bank, in hopes of getting a future return or interest from
The definition of gambling is quite similar is many regards:
to wagering money or something of material value on an event
with an uncertain outcome with the primary intent of winning
additional money and/or material goods."
The difference is so slight that it demands honest discussion.
Gambling is differentiated by two things: hopes of perhaps
a higher return than an investment, and over a shorter
period of time.
I looked at a couple of the indices last night after the close
and got to wondering if it's really honest anymore to call
allocating money into paper assets - like the Dow Industrials
(directly through shares, or through a third-party for the
weaker willed - those things called mutual funds) - 'investing'.
When December 31 rolled around last year, the closing Dow was
around 13,265. The Dow is down this year
34.65% going into today's session.
You may have noticed that I often call the paper assets trading
"today's action". Perhaps you're not awake enough
to understand the subtlety of my word choice: 'action' but it's
a common phrase in Las Vegas and other gambling Mecca's:
is a general gambling term which refers to the total amount
of money bet in a specific period of time. Ten bets of
15 dollars each is $150 of action."
If percentage of return and shortness of time
define 'gambling' how does an honest and introspective
individual look at the NYSE this year: Was it 'gambling"
or "investing"? I'd argue for the former.
If a nearly 35% drop in average share price on the Dow isn't
gambling, consider these numbers:
The S&P 500 closed last year about 1468 compared with
yesterday's 890.64. A decline of 39.3%.
The NASDAQ Composite closed last year at 2652. It closed
yesterday at roughly 1551. That's a 41.5% decline.
You might want to ask yourself "What's the threshold? When
does investing become gambling?"
My view is that ship has sailed and that anyone who
doesn't understand that paper is a gamble needs to have
their head examined.
The actual returns are much worse than these, of course, because
we also have to look at how the House has rigged the game.
Monetary Inflation is alive and well. A friend mentioned
to me that "Social Security benefits are going up about 4.8% for
2009 payments...isn't that great?"
No, not really, because it means (loosely) that the purchasing
power of the nation's money has fallen somewhere between 4% and
5% overs the past year. While the last month has been OK
at the store, on average, prices for 2008 were up as reflected
in the Consumer Price Index.
I frequently look back at the stock market's real all-time-high
- which came in the Spring of 2000.
On April 10, 2000, the Dow closed at 11,287.
Flipping over to the Minneapolis Fed Inflation calculator,
top right side
at this link, and putting in 2000's Dow figure, we see that
for the Dow to have stayed even on a purchasing power parity
basis it would have to soar to 14,131.60. OK, add in
something (4.3-4.8% for 2008 inflation if you want)...but let's
not get depressing in our quest for knowledge here...
Now, to be sure,
the Dow closed at 14,087 on October 1st of 2007, so on
an inflation-adjusted chart, the Dow has almost completed what
technical analysts could point to as a 'classic
double top formation'. Care to guess what happens
Of course, that doesn't bode well for people who insist on
throwing their money into paper assets because while the first
week or 10-days of the New Year might seem like just a
test of the recent lows, by the middle to end of February, we
ought to have taken them out (decisively) before we get
the arrival of inflation from there through the late days of
spring, if my read of things is right. (No, not investment
advice, just how I may place a couple of commodity bets...)
Gold, meantime, which closed out last year around $833.75 seems
destined today to fulfill its traditional role as a 'holder of
value' and seems destined to end the year up[ a modest 4.3%
which is guess what? About the most recent 12-months
worth of inflation. Gee, look surprised. Gold up
for the year...while paper crumbled. Who told you?
The problem of building personal net worth is ever so
complicated against this kind of background. For an
'average' investor, who would have made market-tracking returns
- not only was there the roughly 40% decline in the
market but there were those fund management fees on top of
Which is why I told you I was parking some dough in Savings
Bonds back this summer, because I just knew down in the
gut that when the government changed the limit on how much an
individual can buy in savings bonds, dropping it from a maximum
of $30,000 a year to just $5,000 a year per taxpayer, that the
reason government was doing that was probably because it would
be a 'best bet' - and can't have too many people playing 'safe'
and winning now, can we?
Honestly, I don't trust government when it comes to money for
the simple fact that government turned over control of the money
supply to the bankers cabal at the (not really)
Federal Reserve in the wee hours before Christmas in 1913.
The banksters have watered down the money's purchasing power so
far that if you had saved $100 in 1913, in order to buy the same
goods and services at the beginning of 2008, you would
have shelled out $2,177.78.
Worse: Since the price of gold (a placeholder for
purchasing power over thousands of years), we could add another
roughly 4% to that figure to account for 2008's inflation
of the money-supply. That won't show in the Fed numbers until
new calculations are put up, usually around February or so.
$2,264.89....or, to look at it another way, your money has only
4.435% of its purchasing power compared with when
the bankers started their slow-motion coup d’état. That a
buck is worth less than a nickel isn't supposed to register.
So don't feel bad if your 401(k) got its ass kicked this year.
You're playing in a rigged casino and paper is gambling.
It's just they use really fancy markers.
Now, to be sure, there may be some fat paper profits ahead in
2009. I'm planning on bagging a bunch of dough in trading
because I think I've got a reasonable outlook put together here.
But I'm only looking at trades that can return 4-10 times
my risked capital and if you infer that limits me to options,
you're darned right.
One reason I can even contemplate such a thing is that
the volatility index, the VIX, has come down a fair bit over
the holidays. I reckon when it gets down into the 30-35
range, then it might be time to plunk down a few bucks.
Even more appealing are commodity options and if I can pick a
sweet spot where there's low option premiums, a last-gasp run up
in the US dollar, and dire predictions about the economy such
that oil takes out $30 on the downside, then a bounce that could
follow oughta just pour out profits. Can you imagine the
leverage of commodity options, bought super low, when the market
turns as the coming make-work programs spur demand, the US
dollar declines overseas, and the current glut at Cushing dries
up a bit? Makes me positively giddy.
But not yet. Timing is everything - and this is pure
If there's one lesson I've learned in 2008 it's that I need to
do a better job of using stops. I can see a number of
trades where I could have (and should have) locked in profits,
but I let things ride far too long. Not the first guy to
do that, eh? As much as I hate 'mechanical trading' it
helps to remove testosterone from the equation. Perhaps
saltpeter in the milk before trading?
As usual, we had a pretty good 2008, but let me remind you
Seeing that there were 'hard times ahead' for the country &
economy since 2002, we bought real estate which appreciated
- not the other way around. That continues to pay off.
We have shunned any purchases that we can't pay cash for.
If the money's not in checking, we don't spend it.
There's no credit card debt here. Rates over 30%?
Many people would stop using their cards they just took a
few moments to realize that their are paying twice as
much for something if they put it on plastic and pay
those horrible interest charges.
We have continued to upgrade our property. More
fencing, better land management, home improvements (like a
new central a/c system) and so forth. Wherever
possible, we do the work ourselves. Just as an
example, Elaine's rework of the kitchen counters cost us
less than $100. The bid to have 'professionals' come
in and do the work? North of $1,500. And that's
We made a major (nearly $20k) investment in solar energy,
again, steered by the concepts of self-sufficiency and
independence and reducing future cash flow demands.
The ideal would be to reduce monthly cash obligations to nearly
zero. If you grow some of your own food, n o trips to the
store. If you grow your own power (and you have a
grid-tied inverter) power bills shrink. If you improve
your own home, you get some relaxation and skills build not to
mention increased value.
And I think that's what most people forget when they see all
those fancy ads for investment houses on television. Those
outfits are trying to lure you with the same 'grabbers' as the
casino industry, but without the floor show and great buffets.
What they are not telling you is that investing (of the
non-gambling sort) is all about one thing - and one thing only:
building your personal net worth.
It doesn't get you one step close to financial independence to
make 20% in a paper market if you pay 3% back in management
fees, another few percent in taxes, and then bump up your
lifestyle/spending habits such that at the end of the day you
have nothing to show for it.
On this, the last trading day of the year, I reread the
predictive linguistics outlook, look at Landry's outlook and ask
myself one simple question: "What do I really need
that's going to probably be a lot more expensive in 2009 than it
was in 2008?"
go fire up the rototiller, and turn over the soil again.
When a 'basics of life' word like rototiller isn't even
in my Microsoft FP/Office 2007 dictionary (it offered 'rot
tiller' and 'retailer' as alternative choices), I figure
society's preoccupation with high tech has gone way too far; and
a focus on the basics of independence and self-sufficiency seems
the soundest bet to be made in this here rigged casino.
Christmas, Redder New Year
More summary stories are coming out about the terrible Christmas
shopping season. One report figures
73,000 retail locations will be shuttered in '09.
Crimes in Progress?
You need to click over to
commentary this morning on manipulation of the silver market.
(click Ted Butler commentary on the left menu once there).
A quote from the article:
"There continues to be an extraordinary "net short
concentrated position" in the silver futures market. The COT
report indicate that 2 large US Banks held short positions
that total 25% of the annual silver supply. This pattern has
been ongoing to a severe degree for the entire 2008 year and
even years prior. "
Gee! Imagine that! Trying to suppress PM (precious metals)
prices...who'da thought? Don't want people getting out of
crooked currencies, nossir, can't have that, huh?
This doesn't even touch on the other precious metals scam:
trading of paper mini-contracts but not making them
'deliverable' physical unless three mini's are presented
at the same time...which takes as much dough as a full contract.
See how they 'make paper' and smash the underlying metal demand?
LOL... don't get me started on how the PowersThatBe are trying
to scare people away from the metals markets, because we don't
have all day here...
Worth a read: The Jerusalem Post's story "IDF
launches YouTube channel."
Meantime a reader says he's expecting a flashpoint between
Israel and Iran over humanitarian aid:
"Dear George, I couldn't help but notice that Iran sent a
ship last Saturday full of humanitarian aide to the
Palestinians, complete with 10 doctors. It is due to arrive
12 days after it left. After what the Israeli military did
to the last humanitarian aid ship yesterday, it should be an
interesting development when the Iranian ship arrives. If
Israel attacks it that may be the catalyst you were worried
about. To tell you the truth I couldn't care less if Israel
got whipped again. I am no Hamas lover, but it seems like
Israel wants to steal other peoples land, and then claim
moral superiority when they wont give ground, quite
literally, in negotiations. Lebanon, Syria, Gaza, and the
W.Bank. Geez...I thought we had problems playing nicely with
others! If we one day find that Canada, Mexico, Cuba, etc.
are lobbing home made missiles at the U.S. on a daily basis,
it probably has something to do with what we did, not just
Ramming seems to be the likely outcome,
after the ramming by the Israeli Navy of a relief boat earlier
A point/counter-point to ponder is the issue of
disproportionate use of force, on the one hand, and the
death toll which is quickly approaching 400 Palestinians.
linked by Times to McCain sues paper." $27-million at
Carolyn Kennedy's latest tour getting bad reviews as she
goes after Hillary's seat.
Former state AG Roland Burris has been named to fill Obama's
senate spot. The Blagojevich merry-go-round continues. If
you listen closely, you can hear the calliope of this circus,
--- snip and save section ---
Back to Long
A curious email from a reader:
"Subject: Rich's Rule of
Hey, I just had a realization:
some folks are cold sometimes, and some hot sometimes. Some
just can't seem to live happily in an ever-changing environ
without changing their clothes, putting blankets on and off,
jumping in the pool, changing this and that, etc etc. You
know the type.
My amazing new realization: this
happens because they don't insulate themselves well enough
By extension, I will say they
play the game of the nation -- or are drawn to view the game
and buy into the game sponsors' products. They don't do the
hard prepwork that makes them INSULATED.
I am going to develop my Rich's
Rule of Powerful Frugality right now.
It flies in the face of the US
consumerism. Ready? I'm not. First an explanation:
Point at hand, and root of this
realization: I am wearing my new thermals. They are THICK,
poly, thick, and, ummm..... thick, and you know what else?
They didn't roast me in Wal-Mart, or the library. Nor in the
house. And outside in the wind they kept me warm while I was
changing my oil in the last hour or so. I was wearing these
things everywhere today. In fact, I have been wearing poly
things nearly every day since the average temps outside hit
50 or so.
Why is it that I am so tolerant
of not only cold, but heated areas as well -- all while I am
wearing this sealgear which on other bodies would cause
irritation and discomfort if worn inside a warm house?????
Answer: It's because I am used
to the world inside them sealgears.
Yeah, I know I complained about
them being TOO warm not long ago. I'm now used to them.
Dig this. My body is 98 degrees
or so. In my thermals, it is 98 degrees or so. Thermals
don't make me hot anymore. Outside in the ripping winds, bod
is 98 degrees. And moving about, they are part of my system.
As my frugal system, they breathe away any slight moisture.
Inside, outside, leave me alone.
(I'm 98). (Sorry, Mr. Daltrey!)
Rich's Rule of Powerful
Frugality accepts that if you have varying needs you aren't
unusual. But if you bow *AND* cater to them tiresome needs,
you will never be comfortable everywhere without too much
support BAGGAGE (for these trying times). You will always
need to have this or that -- blankets, less blankets, ice
water, better whiskey, heated seats, big TV's, mistresses,
crack, automatic weapons, etc.... You see my point? BAGGAGE
ON YOUR BACK and in your wallet. You like baggage? Fine. Not
me. I have a Rich life and am going to continue to trash my
baggage at least until this economy turns around (key, for
those coming to this party late).
Keep it simple. Work it down.
They say it only takes six weeks to change your taste buds.
Ask who "they" is and I'll tell you I don't know, but as
someone who has forced change in habits over the past years
I think "they" is me, and I have changed, and that's good
enough for me IMNSHO.
The point I am trying to share
is FINALLY here:
Bundle up, folks. It's gonna be
a cold one and I'm not talking about the season. Get used to
it now. You'll be better off later -- while your competition
is struggling. "What competition" you ask? I hope you are
lucky and don't have any......
Peace and love **and insulated
durability** to each and every one of ya (cuz I love you
all, I hope you know)
Hmmm...not sure what to make of this. I don't own any
long-johns and even after living on a sailboat in the Pacific
Northwest for 10+ years I still seldom (if ever) even wear a
T-shirt except in summertime. Still, an interesting
thought: How cool could the house get and us still be
comfortable with a set of 'woolies' on?
George, Would you consider (continually) posting on your web
site in current year dollars the price that spot gold would
have to reach (i.e. ~$2,400) to exceed the old 1981 high.
People need to have that number in their face to be smacked
out of the complacency that even $1,000 an ounce is some
kind of too high price. You might also put side by side with
it the DOW inflation adjusted price, again, to smack
JoesephSixPackski upside the head that no matter what the
DOW looks like, it is in fact another phony number. Thanks
sure...$800 in 1980 applied into the Fed Calculator (right menu)
gives $2,093.20, which with 4.3% for the year of 2008 would put
gold around $2,183.20.
Send snip and save items to
end snip and save section ---
Tuesday December 20, 2008
Markets Marking Time
Since the Dow hasn't bothered to come through with my projected
low - which might be as low as 4,000 - I got to wondering if I
was completely whacked/out of my mind. So I picked up the
phone after the market's little decline on Monday and dialed up
Robin Landry's office.
"So what do you make of this here pig...?"
"The first thing George is that the bottom is NOT in
contrary to what you're hearing on television."
"I didn't think so, either. So how's it look to you?"
"The indicators that I use are still saying that we have a
fifth wave down. What's changed since our last
conversation is that they're now telling me that we have
reached the minimum of the fourth wave upside bounce and
that we could turn down into the fifth wave at any time.
I suspect that with the holidays and the low volume and
everything, that we will gyrate up and downs in a sideways
move for a little while longer and create a triangle.
That in turn oughta break to the downside at least the 7,400
But, as you and I have discussed before, the fifth wave over
the last few years has tended to be the longest and thus,
the possibility of the 5,800 level is still feasible.
"We're synched up there - how about a timeframe?"
"I believe that if we break down into this fifth wave that
it's going to be only an event lasting 2-6 weeks at most.
What has been interesting to me is the happenings over the
last three days in the Middle East: That has caused the oil
to rally a little and gold to rally somewhat and if the
fighting spreads, then the alternative view I have for gold
and oil in the short term would probably change to bullish.
But, that would fit in with the fifth wave decline.
However, if the market goes down in the fifth wave, and the
oil prices are still not able to rally, then the negative
forces of deflation are even greater than I thought.
The supply in Cushing Oklahoma, which is the storage for
many of the oil futures, is at (or real near) maximum
capacity and I hear that there are tankers out at sea
floating around full, taking their time. So the
'normal' market reactions may not happen."
"Why wouldn't the price of oil keep dropping - just the Middle
East jitters in the medium to longer term?"
"Yes. As long as we have the excess capacity and
inventory it means that in the near future the prices of oil
will, if they rise at all, will rise very slowly.
I am concerned that the fighting, according to my sources in
the Middle East, could get out of hand and escalate.
If it does, then the Iranian situation could really blow up.
The reason I bring this up is because for the first time in
a year or so, we now have the Middle East background causing
uncertainty on top of the global economic uncertainty.
Remember: It's never the events that you believe are
going to happen that cause the market to respond in a
certain way; it's always something out of left field.
"True enough...I'm a life-long left-field watcher
myself...What's your top couple of candidates for 'left field
events' that could put a stake through whatever's left of folks
"If Iran does get involved and it begins to spread, and they
are further along in the developing of a nuclear weapon, we
will all be in deep, deep trouble.
Israel, as everyone who reads news of the region knows, has
been practicing their 'going it alone' strategy. If
that happens, then the Dow will go down. The question is how
far. Of course we'd likely see a big run to
Treasuries, and gold may go down initiative. I'm
watching the trendline on gold from it's recent high.
We're close to hitting it now. I believe it will take
a very drastic event in the Middle East to cause it to break
through to the upside from there, though.
If gold breaks out, then I will go long gold with a
very close stop. The oil trade, on the other hand,
with this large a supply picture, is going to be much more
difficult unless we start seeing the market acting in
anticipation of a cutoff of supply.
All in all, it points to a very difficult next couple of
months as I see it.
And what happens after we hit either the 7,400 or maybe down
into the 5,800 range, or my nightmare 4,000 drop?"
"I believe we are going to have a rally that will be a real
barn burner. It will be volatile but very rewarding
for those who have the stomach for the volatility. It
will last at least into March of April and possibly into
July and August, but that will depend on the domestic
And that in turn may be driven by what's happening in the
As a side note, it's interesting to me that when the
market makes dramatic declines the email requests I get for
advice and assistance rise dramatically. However, once
the market starts going sideways or seems like it's
stabilizing the calls and emails slow down.
It's like people are hoping it's over. What they fail to
grasp I believe, is the magnitude of the current situation.
Responding when things get bad is exactly the
wrong thing to do. Getting advice and assistance
in rebounds and the quiet periods to prepare and avoid the
next decline is the wiser choice. But, that's human
nature, as you know..."
Ah yes...those pesky humans again. Darned if the world
wouldn't be a much better place if we had a lot fewer humans,
though I'm not inclined to be the first to go any more than the
My friend Roger Reynolds has a further advisory out which is of
"IN MY OPINION, A FEW DAYS AGO THE LONG TREASURY BOND GAVE A
REVERSE WAVE SELL. IT HAPPENED LAST WEEK. I BOUGHT TBT
TODAY. YOU CAN ALSO SHORT TLT "if" YOU ARE A SHORT SELLER.
WHY WOULD LONG BOND INTEREST RATES GO UP AND T BONDS DOWN???
MAYBE LOTS OF REASONS, BUT THE CHART SAYS IT'S COMING.
Investors doubt the accuracy of reverse wave signals unless
they study them. But, remember that the DOW gave a reverse
wave sell two days after the all time high in Oct 2007. "
In yesterday's note, Roger said he was watching 6-stocks that he
thought were pretty good. Here's his email address to send
your queries to:
Readers of our subscription newsletter Peoplenomics will
remember that a long while back I wrote a 'heads-up' paper
called "Death by J.I.T." which dealt with inflexibility of the
supply chain when things get dicey for the economy in general.
Well, lookie here, now: "Toyota
may modify Just-In-Time to ease Supplier Shock".
I'll just go over here and carve another notch on the pistol
handle, what's left of it...
The Gaza Distraction
The year-end stories about millions having their 401 (k)
programs wiped out by the crashing stock market, down 40% (plus
or minus a six-pack) is being shoved off the front pages by the
Israeli attack on Gaza. Headlines like "Defiant
Hamas hits Israel with dozens of rockets" should not come as
much surprise after 300 Palestinians were killed in the
fighting. This is not 'turn the other cheek' stuff.
What's being pushed into the background is the whole perilous
state of the global economy and headlines like "Holiday
sales drop to force bankruptcies, closings" or the
Chinese report that the US lost international standing in 2008
while Russia gained...
For that matter, the USA socialist/bankster coup is going along
almost unchallenged, except by a few in the Republican National
Committee who are skeptical of the bailouts. Must be those
darned Constitution readers again...
Oh, and speaking of the coup - you did see this morning where
GMAC is being thrown $6-billion tax dollars - just as
I told you to expect when the (not really) Federal Reserve
granted bank status to GMAC in the wee hours before Christmas?
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to GM, huh? GM gets a
$1 billion loan to invest in GMAC....
I've been flooded with emails about the "Attorney Registration &
Disciplinary Commission listing for president-elect Obama's wife
Michelle which notes that
last year registered to practice law was 1993. Seems
to buzz is trying to imply something nefarious. But, when
I looked at her work history, Wikipedia notes that starting in
1993 she was in a position administering not lawyering:
1993, she became Executive Director for the Chicago office
of Public Allies, a non-profit organization encouraging
young people to work on social issues in nonprofit groups
and government agencies. She worked there nearly four
years and set fundraising records for the organization that
still stood a dozen years after she left."
What it reads is that she stopped practicing law voluntarily
(probably because of malpractice insurance requirements)...but
if you want to go chasing after theories, have fun. There
are more important stories on our radar...like the Second
Depression, just to name one. The record says "Public
record of discipline and pending proceedings: None.
I've turned on a 'garbage filter' to take out emails about
On the other hand, it looks like
Dan Rather's lawsuit against CBS (which involved purported
special treatment of George Bush in the Texas Air National
Guard) will be going to trial in early 2009.
That oughta be worth firing up the popcorn for...
Mountains? Seneca Guns?
While the linguistic work has lately been filled with imagery of
'dancing mountains' a number of readers have
noticed that the seismographs around Yellowstone have recorded
80 minor quakes over the past few days. Dancing
mountains linguistics fill underway? Could be...
But what was the loud boom in Mt. Pleasant South Carolina?
Channel 2 Charleston report is here... Sonic boom?
Maybe....but I for one hadn't noticed before that
USGS talks about 'Seneca Guns". Hmmm...
--- snip and save section ---
About this 'time' yesterday, I was remarking on how there should
be more attention paid to how 'apparent time' is running
compared with clock time. The distinction being that
'apparent time' is what is experienced by humans while
mechanical time is what's experienced by (consciousness-lacking)
quartz crystals and free-running stable oscillators and
Small sample numbers, but 70 said timer ran slowly and they were
more productive, while only 43 said the opposite. No
change showed up in 51 cases.
We should o another one of these polls in a week or so, to see
if the numbers change around much.
A number of reader comments:
"JB Priestly addressed some of your "time" issues in a book
titled "Man and Time". If you can find a copy, it addresses
these questions about the aspects of time, psychological and
mechanical, and which if either is real? There are a lot of
the same observations that you are making."
"Rudolf Steiner talked about this in relation to winter and
summer. in winter the hours in a night are much longer - so
that winter nights always seem to be a long time, while in
summer the hours in a day are longer - long summer days.
Much more than related to sunrise and sunset - the actual
hour is longer. Hope that makes sense. I'll see if I can
track down the reference."
"Terrence McKenna has a rant somewhere out on utube on the
end of time membrane ripples(waves) heading "back" this way
causing increasing congruence/incongruence with ripples in
our "current" consensual reality that increases as we move
through time....this may be a way of looking at the phasing
we feel at particular moments as the ducks line up or they
don't (but they do appear to be getting bigger) and the
subsequent shift we feel - like standing in a downpour and
getting the sense that we're falling up - gotta stay away
from the brown acid."
"I understand the 'car crash' analogy, having been in one
myself when i was 18, and i just get a strong sense that
we're heading into some sort of 'event' that we cannot yet
conceive of or describe. Like we're about to hit something
big, but it's heading towards us so fast that our brains
haven't caught up with the events unfolding yet."
Feedback/Attention Deficits Department
Boy, sometimes I wonder if readers actually absorb any of
what I write on this site (free, I might add) when I get emails
"Dear Mr. Ure, Why is it that you and the other alternative
economists have an impossible time addressing the
possibility of a massive interest rate hike taking place
sometime next year to protect the solvency of the US Dollar
and to prevent a US Govt. debt default? Alan Greenspan even
predicted in his autobiography that "we will see a return to
double digit interest rates in the near future." Once again,
your silence on this issue is rather stunning. ARE YOU IN
DENIAL?? HAPPY NEW YEAR!!"
DENIAL???? Are you nuts? Can't you read? I've
been writing for months that we're in housing-driven deflation
now and that government overspending will flip us into
hyperinflation as the dollar dies, which is something I've been
writing about for YEARS.
How many times do I have to mention that the dollar is only
worth about 4.5% of what it was worth when the Fed was created
for people to 'get it'?
Hells bells, Reader, this is probably the ONLY site you'll run
across that says "Hey! There's likely to be a swing from
low interest to growing appreciation that there may be a
depression going on, and further, that the reason I am
looking at buying things over the next couple of months
(and locking in a low interest rate should I decide not to write
a check for whatever) is precisely because I expect that by next
summer, all this funny-money being printed up for the bankster
bailout will cause a fall in purchasing power of the dollar
overseas which means rising prices in the domestic USA
Sheesh!! Don't you read what I'm writing here? I've
been parked (with some portion of my assets) in a Treasury
Direct account (to avoid systemic bank risk) and I've been
promoting the hell out of gardening and self-sufficiency for
three reasons: Systemic risk, quality of food, and
likelihood of higher prices! OMG, how much more clear can
Silence on the issue? What the hell do you think I'm
holding gold and silver for? Why would I be pimping the
precious metals if the longer term outcome was deflation?
The trick will be to catch the Big Changeover....maybe in the
Why have I mentioned how many times that stair-step locks
down as interest rates fall makes sense to mortgage holders?
Somewhere along the line I even mentioned that the one real
estate loan we have (under $25,000, LOL, just so we keep some
kind of credit profile), was refi'ed down 3-months back when
rates crumbled? Why am I considering the new Solstice
hardtop (with turbo and LNF package (a kind of stage 2-lite) kit
if/when GM comes up with buyer incentives in February that
include zero percent interest?
Doesn't that sound to you like 'lock (in) and load (up)
thinking? Isn't that how one deals with a swing
into hyperinflation? Isn't opting out of the system
with your own food and energy supplies a strategy, too?
Who put in 2 KW of solar power this year to get part way to
power independence? Hello?????
Who is always mentioning his commodity guy JB (817-717-5489) and
commodity options? Why would I buy commodity call options?
Think hard now....
Handy me my coffee, wouldja? Let's see what else is in the
poison-pen emails this morning, shall we?
Oh here's another dandy...
"I have enough of reading your self indulgent hogwash . I'd
rather listen to Rush Limbaugh who tells the truth . Its a
shame that someone of your prejudice , narrow mindedness and
inability to comprehend the truth or unwillingness , to be
involved in a project as important as the Web Bots , but
that's America and why we're gong down the drain . The wrong
people , like you , are involved in important segments of
American society and are helping bring this nation down .
You and your radical nonsense are just as much to blame as
the people you blame . Its hard to believe that anybody with
an IQ above 40 would continue reading your garbage . Your no
different than MSM that you constantly critisise."
Let me see: I write about how to live on less, publish a
FREE site (since 1995), have saved families literally
millions of dollars and 30,000-50,000 people a day visit
here of their own free will. Add to that I support my
local food bank, have a pretty clear course ahead in terms of
general direction I expect the economy to go, and publicly
discuss what I'm investing in.
Did I mention promoting the green lifestyle and bogslife?
Or, that I'm trying to 'buy American", or that I'm for a strong
country, sound currency, minimal foreign entanglements and won't
support any party that is run of graft, payoffs from lobbyists,
and can't even build a border fence in eight frigging years?
Did I mention household-level agriculture?
My radical nonsense? Do you mean because I can read and
support The Constitution? Or, because I can read one of
the rule books of life that mentions "Thou shalt not kill" and
doesn't list little countries with big oil or drug resources as
exceptions? Bad on me, huh, for being anti-genocide, and
pro honest money?
The "wrong people" like me? (an MBA, 15-years in major
market news management, SDX and other awards, and 30-years in
general & sales management of mainly successful companies
doesn't count?) Not sure who you'd offer up...some neocon
publisher's columnists, perchance? Put on your jackboots....
Wait! Why am I engaging in a worthless debate? I
should just say: "Ya'll rush off and have fun listening to
whichever MSM groupthinkers you want...." and let it go at
A couple of people have asked for more details about the Captain
Jack appearance of chief time monk Cliff of
tomorrow night. This note from his cohort has a few more
"Igor here. clif will be on the Paranormal radio network
with captain jack on New years eve. I think it is from 6:30
pm pacific time to 9:30 pm. But not sure about the time.
Probably best to check that on the captain jack site.
No. I don't know what jack is captain of.
Here are some of the links I have
Time Caller Line >> >> 312-239-8902
Weasel Words Dept.
keep getting emails about the tax 'rebate'...like this one:
"From beginning of page 6 of 1040 instructions for 2008:
"Economic stimulus payment. Any economic stimulus payment
you received is not taxable for federal income tax
just saying this (one more time): If you got the tax
rebate, your amount due IRS will be that much higher than if you
didn't get the tax 'rebate'. It can be weasel-worded both
ways - which is what we get when we send 99% lawyers to
Washington to 'represent' us, OK? I'll let you know if any
of that changes in TurboTax, but that's how it works on my
copy... If you think it was 'free money' you don't have to pay
back, send us $1,200 right now because my tax form says I now
get to, in effect, payback the 'rebate' which was really nothing
more than a 'cash advance' which Uncle now wants back. OMG
how dense are we?
Sense snip and save items, bottles of fine booze, heritage
seeds, classic ham radio gear, and prepaid phone cards to
email@example.com... OK, just
kidding about the phone cards...
end snip and save section ---
Monday December 29, 2008
Beneficiaries of War
It's such a short point - but so obviously true - that I almost
feel it's condescending to mention it to you because
I reckon you're old enough to figure out that part of how the
world works is the network of industries that profit on misery.
In fact, if you could have invested in just one class of
business from mid 2001 I'd just have to venture that the
arms/defense/'security' industries as a group would likely be up
around the top of the pack. If I had no moral scruples, of
course, which I do, so I didn't. (That to complicated for
With that apology-in-advance out of the way, the morning
headlines certainly fit the mold:
jumps to near $40 as Israel-Gaza clash widens". "South
Korean weapons sales top $1 bln for first time." "Sources:
US to arm local Afghans." Makes you proud to be a
human, doesn't it? A certain pride, perhaps in knowing
that the "IAF
uses new US-supplied smart bomb" in the conflict?
But come on, what do you want? Blood or profits?
Pick one, but not both.
And then there's the matter of the Gaza situation escalating
into a genuine regional conflict - which may see Gaza becoming a
'kindling' event. Iran 'orders
Muslims to defend Palestinians' and then there's a Debka
spokesman in Tehran: Iran has began preparing operations against
In Gaza with more than 1,000 wounded so far with
death tolls over 300 reported and of these,
50 civilians, the only unanswered question is whether Israel
follow up with a ground attack.
And even more to the point, what will this evolve/kindle/expand/
or morph into next? Best I can reckon, this is just a
'going away present' from the neocons and a stake through the
heart of any serious Middle East peace initiatives.
It's not all bad news of course. You'll find the
occasional headline like "Bomb
survivors seek to end nuclear arms" but last I heard, it
hasn't emptied the parking lots
So what's an investor to do? Watch gold soar and currencies decline?
rises as Gold reaches 11-week high on Middle East tension"
says one report while another offers some insight into Russia's
financial woes as "Ruble
falls to record low versus Euro as Russia weakens defense."
Coupled with the intractable US position in Iraq,
the increase of Afghan troop levels by another 30,000, if
you like investing in the death industries, it doesn't get much
better than this.
Or does it?
to Save the Economy
The latest outbreak of warring and killing is a convenient
distraction from the underlying ills of the economy and fits in
uncomfortably well with my observation that just as the US
economy was cratering in 2001, along came the events of 9/11 and
that conveniently spun the U.S. economy on a dime by giving the
country a fabulous new growth industry overnight.
And so, with reports out that "Discounts
not enough to revive online retail sales" this year, or that
survey shows gloomy US retail sales" and with all this
against a background of "Wall
St. faces record losses in last week of 2008", I'll trust
your good judgment to determine how much of the world's current
events are really as 'spontaneous' as the rip & read news
headlines might lead the shallow-thinkers to believe.
Can't speak for you, but there seems to be a rhythm to it all, a
beat, a cadence, a cycle, and perhaps an arrangement beyond
Yup, a last ploy of the greed oriented parties to push
and spin the reality of Peak Everything: Waking Up to the Century of Declines
and the start of the Second Depression.
I wonder if the PowersThatBe, who have gotten a would-be
second FDR have read
FDR's Folly: How Roosevelt and His New Deal Prolonged the Great Depression?
It's on my reading list.
Of course the reality of the markets being down ~40% for the
year will be hard to 'cover' no matter how many war headlines
come along. Still, it provides a break in the economic
drama, pulls attention off the Madoff case, and will from
an historic perspective make it feel like the pending 4-6
million new unemployed that will hit the rosters in the New Year
are somehow the work of the democorps. It isn't.
The problems of the world are vastly complex, interrelated and
bounded. The Western globalist crowd is trying quiet
desperately to mix just the right amount of socialism with 'laissez
faire' capitalism thinking that will let them continue
to milk the system for power and money. But, in fact, it's
like mixing vinegar into milk...everything curdles.
Don't take my word for it, though. Stick around and watch
2009 because what the linguistics team calls the Year of
Transformation should be (here comes the bad pun of the day)
Layoff Festival Plans
No 'way out' of this one: "Pros
say: Employment collapse is coming" says a CNBC post.
Gee, gosh, oh really?
We finally got linguistic 'fill' on the twin quakes language
that we've been waiting for. A note from Cliff to
subscribers lays it out this way:
It is possible you may receive
this email twice due to subscription lists.
Well, the 'twin quakes' language
has struck with a vengeance. In the source articles from
China, the earthquakes are repeatedly referenced as 'twins'.
So, looks like that language has indeed surfaced. This is
just a quick update to set that linguistic structure to
95,000 affected by twin
"From correspondents in Beijing
Agence France-Presse December 27, 2008 09:13pm ? CHINA says
more than 95,000 people have been affected by two
earthquakes that rattled south-west China's Yunnan province.
Nineteen people were injured, including four seriously, in
Friday's twin quakes, the Xinhua news agency said today,
citing the Yunnan provincial civil affairs administration.
Nearly 10,000 people were evacuated and were unable to
return to their homes on Saturday, according to Xinhua. The
two quakes, with magnitudes of 4.3 and 4.9, struck in the
early hours of Friday in different parts of Yunnan.
Meanwhile, a quake of magnitude 4.0 hit in neighbouring
Guizhou province on Friday, with no casualties reported,
Xinhua said. "
We will be running the data sets
into processing as of late today, so there is some
expectation that the Part Zero report may be posted early.
We will let you know."
You noticed the earthquake swarming in Yellowstone?
Normal or something pending? Time will....
Subscription information about the next predictive linguistic
run is here. I expect the timing will be better on the next
run because of some technical changes - usually not off by two
weeks on an event in modelspace like [twin quakes], but I think
it may have had something to do with keeping the data streams up
to capture the tipping point area from October 4-10 when the
global economic slip happened as any Icelander knows.
Schedules: Cliff will be doing a two-hour guest
appearance with Captain Jack New Years Eve. 10:30 to 12:30
Central Time - you do the math. And, I'll be doing a short
update on the outlook for 2009 with Ian Punnett on Coast to
Coast AM Where January 1 runs into January 2... And, only
for subscribers to
a draft of the outlook for 2009 that I wrote for
Coast to Coast's After Dark newsletter.
I Must Be
Speaking of Iceland a second ago, here's a mystery I am trying
to sort out. I start with the headline that
"Iceland not using IMF money to strengthen currency" which
seems to suggest that Iceland hasn't needed the dough to
stabilize the krona. OK so far?
But then comes the headline that the "Icelandic
government take stake in House of Fraser owner Baugur."
So let me see if I have this right: The PTB in Euroland
crush the Icelanders, bust up some banks that aren't playing by
PTB banking rules, and then lend Iceland $2.1 billion.
Then, the Europowers turn around and give the Iceland government
an ownership in a retailing outfit in a debt swap? 'Nother
shot of Jack, please?
The UK "government may acquire a stake in Baugur in return for
the cancellation of some of its debt with state-owned banks,
under one plan to help the troubled company."
Baugurs is a troubled company? As in 'US automakers are
So does this mean the Crown or the PTB orchestrated part of the
Iceland financial attack at some level to bailout some powerful
folks at Baugurs, and will Iceland use that IMF credit facility
on the pretext that owning an interesting in a UK retailer will
help the krona? Where's that damn shot of Jack!!!?
I must be seriously thick-headed...because this story sounds
screwier than the Madoff-SEC was just asleep at the wheel
stories... It may take me some time this morning to pencil out
who is owing who what, but this is slipperier than Arkansas real
estate developments back in the days of...oh, what's the point?
My friend Roger Reynolds has a new advisory out. Don't
think he'd mind my sharing it - usually a very good cross-check
on my thinking:
1)Please go to
www.thewallstreettrafficlight.com and read the
December analysis. There is a book by the same name that
anyone really interested in the analysis might read. The
probability numbers listed are scary.
2)Robert Prechter, the editor of Elliott Wave, recently made
a talk to the Georgia (USA) state legislature. He suggested
RADICAL financial changes in state and local governments. He
also said that the "new deal" changes done in the 1930's
were radical at the time. His presentation showed that
consumer confidence it highest at market tops and lowest at
market bottoms. BUT, CONSIDER, WHEN CONSUMER CONFIDENCE IS
HIGHEST IS WHEN THE MEDIA IS TELLING EVERYONE TO BUY.
3)Gold metal was up over 20 on friday and is up another 20
in early far east trading. WHY??? it seems the excuse is the
Israel/Gaza fighting. Perhaps!!! But, is this not supposed
to be a gold/silver bull market???
4)Three to four years ago the number of real estate agents
in the USA was growing so fast that IF it had continued for
a couple more years then there would have been more of them
than school teachers. Yet, manufacturing jobs were falling
seemingly just as fast. Manufacturing jobs were going
overseas. Yet, to turn the US economy around, then the real
estate agents must get jobs in manufacturing. How many years
will it take for that to happen???
5)Christmas retail sales show to be down about 8 percent.
The financial world assumed that when consumer spending went
to 70 percent of the economy that this was normal. For the
last 5 years I have said that it was abnormal. Normal was
about 65 percent. BUT, were you investing in the early
1970's when it went down to 60 percent??? In my opinion, 60
percent is where consumer spending is now headed. Which
companies will go bankrupt and which survive???
6)Did you read the article on how hyperinflation occurs???
As I understand it: In a bad economy, the govt continually
pushes money into the system to try to "fix" it. Consumers,
who are scared, save the money instead of spending it. So,
consumers start to build large cash balances. At some point
consumers lose confidence in the govt and in the paper
money. Consumers then try to spend the saved cash on
"things". BUT, production of things has been slow causing
the prices of available things to soar. ie--hyperinflation.
No one can know the "trigger points" of these events, BUT we
know the govt spending/consumer saving is in it's early
7)Do you believe that SMALL GROWTH STOCKS will always lead
the market??? I am following about 6 small growth stocks
that have average sales gains of 100 percent year over year.
Half of them are priced over their 200 day moving average.
Much stronger than the typical stock. E mail me to find out
8)Elliott Wave's market analysis is that the Nov low was the
bottom of a wave 3 down. The DOW would now be in a wave 4
triangle. When this triangle (think trading range) is over,
then the dow will go to a new low. After the new low, then a
big rally can occur. BUT FROM WHAT LEVEL??? WHEN/WHERE--BIG
On my schedule today: Chat with Robin Landry to see how he's
reading market direction - more on that tomorrow if we can hook
--- snip and save section ---
Maybe its because I chat so much with the chief time monk at
HalfPastHuman, but lately I have become a bit worried about
'time speeding up' simply because it pops up in our discussions
as something to pay attention to in 2009. I figure it may
have something to do with the approaching 'singularity' but
whatever it is, don't feel like the Lone Ranger if you start to
notice the same thing.
tock...tick: Extra second added to 2008" says a headline
about the leap second added on to the end of 2008.
As you wrap up the year, we've got a little project for you:
Start doing some benchmarking of 'apparent time'. This
assumes that you have sorted out the difference between
'apparent time' and 'clock time'.
Clock time is when you have a mechanical or digital device which
cycles at a predetermined rate. When you run a production
line in a factory, for example, I wouldn't expect there to be
any measurable time differences. In 2008 and 2009 you
should still be able to run 'x' units per 'time unit' just fine.
But, where things seem to already be changing is in the passage
of 'apparent time'. You know the type? Apparent time
is the dilation of time in the split second before your car is
hit in an accident you see developing. It's the stuff of
'life passing before your eyes' as you face a situation where
serious personal injury is involved.
I've been doing a lot of thinking about this lately. Some
days it's like apparent time is running fast and on other
days (like today so far) apparent time runs slow.
On a day when 'apparent time' is running fast, I 'run out of
time' on project after project. Simple 3-minute phone
calls eat up 15-minute blocks of my schedule. A trip to
the coffee recycling station (bathroom if you're still asleep)
seems to take 20-minutes instead of 2-minutes. That kind
On days when 'time is running slow' - like today - I've gotten
most of the day's report done a half-hour earlier than usual.
Same number of words, same number of emails scanned, it's just
that things seem to be working super smooth on my end.
The 'dance with time' is a two-way street. It could be
that on 'slow time' days, I'm just running super-fast and at
peak efficiency. The flip slide is that on 'fast time
days' I'm running at half-speed or something.
I haven't found any site that polls and tallies this problem of
some days having a different time-base than others, but it would
sure make one hell of an interesting study. Wouldn't it be
nice to know on a near real-time basis if the day was "normal"
or if a particular day is going to 'whiz by because time is
running fast/you're running slow" or if instead, 'time is
running slow/you're running fast"?
Make one hell of a fine web site...I'll put it on my to-do list
Heck of an interesting notion.
Let me test something out here. About half way through
today, please click on one of the following two links to vote on
how 'apparent time' seems to run on Monday December 29 for you
(VOTE) Apparent time is slow or I am
running very fast today.
(VOTE) No change, you're nuts
(VOTE) Apparent time is running fast or I am
running very slow today.
Please leave the subject line unchanged so my email router will
tally things up for me - thanks...
If the rest of the day runs like this (apparent time is slow/I'm
hyper productive) it'll be interesting to note if it's a group /
global phenomena or just a localized event. Might even
lead to 'time mapping' which would really be (as folks from the
70's would put it) tripsidaisical.
A reader wonders:
I just had a very chilling
thought that i wanted to throw out there to you because you
are a very smart person and I would really like to know what
your opinion on this thought is.
We all see something very bad
coming for America, I have read what you have said on your
webpage I am subscribed to and even before that the news you
gave at urbansurvival.com...everyone senses very dark times
are ahead of ous...including the webbots which are not even
human. But what if, what if the webots were here for a
reason, to feed into a theory and help to deceive a more
mass crowd of people. Think about this, right now more and
more Americans are starting to believe there are horrid
scary times ahead for america, including the webots. It has
put us all in survival mode, made us all start thinking the
end is upon us. Im thinking you are on that page, as am I
and many other people around the world that are seeing
everything that is unfolding, not only in our country here
but in the world in general.
But think about this...what if
Barack Obama comes in and saves our country like 100 percent
without failure....what if he comes in and makes America the
superpower it was again, it will make the supporters trust
him more solidly and it will make his doubters, even his
harshest critics praise him and belive in him, they will
begin to think he is a miracle (you and myself included...we
both see horrid times ahead including the web bots...but how
amazing would it be if someone came in and saved us from
this horrid divide?) Everyone would be behind him and the
superower that is America will be supporting whatever
decision he makes, much like a dictator...and isnt there
much evidence about the end of the world coming in 2012? The
only way to distract the people that are starting to see it
is to suck them in, truly make everyone in society believe
on all tangibles that we are doomed then miracously the
calls this person makes saves our country completely. Now
think about how you me and all your subscribers are thinking
these times are coming and we are all preparing for them but
then all of a sudden, this new president takes over and
fixes everything beyond belief....on a really scary level
almost everybody will be hooked and be 100%behind whatever
his plans are....Including you and me.
I hope i dont sound crazy, this
is just something that has ran into my head and think is
very capable of happening, but most anybody i would say that
to would think i am crazy, lock me up and throw away the
key...however after reading many of your articles I can see
that you are a very smart and deep thinker, and hope that
maybe this makes sense to you and I am not crazy...after all
anything is possible."
No, I doubt that it would/could happen. There are likely
far too many large-scale dynamics already in play such as the
huge hole in federal budgets that can only be financed away
through inflation, the continuing decline in consumer spending,
I know you've got the list.
I think what you're maybe tripped over is the 'save us' gene.
That's the denial gene's first-cousin that says "Something will
come along as save us..." In the meantime, I'll be out in
the garden working on food, thanks. You have heard the 'three
boats' joke, yeah?
Let me know when my tax burden has been cut, Americas troops are
home, the dollar holds its value, and the gap between the haves
and have nots narrows. Then we might have something
to talk about. But in the meantime, I'll keep working on
Plan B, while there's time, thanks.
Send snip and save items to
--- end snip and save section ---
Once upon a time, a long while ago, I observed during my quest for
'truth' in economics, that the PowersThatBe, the talking heads on
the teeve, and the other information sources that actively engage in
the programming of humans not to think, had conveniently swept
several trillions of dollars that disappeared in the Internet
Bubble's bursting (since spring 2000) under the rug. Surely,
it wasn't unnoticed by the thousands of people who called brokers
and said "Where is my money?" "Gone, but hang in there as
you're a long term investor!" was about all they heard back.
But, the truth
of the matter is that this chart shows what your account would look
like if you have taken a few thousand dollars and invested equal
amounts in the Dow, the S&P 500, and the NASDAQ Composite in the
waning days of 1999. It's not a very pretty picture, and it
sort of gives away the other side of the story. You know, the
one that no one has an interest in telling, because it's a truth
which shows the amazing coincidence of the timing of 9/11, the
disappearance of naked shorting evidence and all, along with the
impact of The Wars which have managed to keep the economy out of an
earlier depression than the one expected by me by late 2008.