Yes. Global Systemic Collapse is coming into view.
We’ve all sort-of known that the world has been living on borrowed time. But, like that Library book you kept forgetting to return, we have skipped the actual doing something about it. “Such a small daily fine, after all.”
So, we have cheated, cajoled, polarized, and differentiated to the point where the insanity is pervasive and leadership absent. Saw the clown posse’s who go to DC poor and “for the people” only to be sent packing over time, returning home to live in the lap of [unearned] luxury.
What happens along the way is Money.
We idolize it. We have dispatched reason. We pretended widespread libel and slander on social media was OK. Thinking that somehow Marxist polarization leading to burning cities and riots over crime was all OK and righteous.
It wasn’t and it’s not.
Neither is the “invention” of more than two dozen claimed genders any sort of solution to what ails us – the whole World. Simple economics provides clear, unequivocable guidance, but like the administration of a parent’s tough love, we have gone en masse to hide from Justice and Adulthood.
So, rather than rail (just yet) about how the market is due to rally today and how Bitcoin clawed its way back over $30-thousand so Big Players can sell to the weak some more, we will offer a handful of simple concepts that may help your mental health remain balanced. In acrophobic times.
Books 1 & 2: Michael
The late (2014) Michael C. Ruppert. First notable book was “Crossing the Rubicon: The Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil.“. The second? “Confronting Collapse: The Crisis of Energy and Money in a Post Peak Oil World.”
Although a Los Angeles police officer and investigative journalist, Ruppert looked at the world – almost as a cop would a crime scene – and came to the obvious conclusions. We live in a closed system and we’re in a kind of human algae bloom.
As he outlined in Rubicon, this leaves a terribly messy position for governments. How do you “manage the bloom” to a happy outcome is one way of thinking of it. Because the “bloom” is supported almost entirely by energy. Cheap, abundant energy.
The problem for government bureaucrats?
- “Apportion dwindling resources among competitors, some of whom possess nuclear weapons.
- Maintain and expand their control over enough of the oil and gas remaining to ensure their global dominance and maintain order among the citizens of the Empire;
- Simultaneously manage a global economic system, made possible by hydrocarbon energy, that is collapsing and in which the growing population is demanding more things that can only be supplied by using still more hydrocarbon energy;
- Acknowledge that they cannot save their own economy without selling more of these products;
- Control the exploding demand for oil and gas through engineered recessions and wars that break national economies;
- • Hide the evidence that they are systematically looting the wealth of all the people on the planet — even their own people — in order to maintain control;
- Maintain a secret revenue stream to provide enough off-the-books capital for the purposes of providing themselves a distinct economic and military advantage, improving their technological posture, and funding covert operations;
- Repress any dissent and head off any exposure of their actions;
- Convince the population that they are honorable;
- Kill off enough of the world’s population so that they can maintain control after oil supplies have dwindled to the point of energy starvation. “
A few of our readers – like the Ecuador Ex-Pat – reading the future in a similar way and decided to move elsewhere so as not to be in America when the bottom falls out. Which – if you believe the indicators in financial markets and secular news flows – is inching closer by the day.
Especially telling, we think, is the motivation of the U.S. and NATO to foment a direct regional nuclear conflict with Russia over Ukraine. The use of nuclear weapons will likely dwarf the social control powers of government to stifle dissent many generations beyond the simple “lock-downs” (and banishment of people questioning crooked data) that resulted from Covid.
While Rubicon lays out the issues clearly enough, it’s in many ways only an update to the government control (and subjugation of the Electorate) that was contained in the early book by Leonard Lewin “Report from Iron Mountain on the Accessibility and Desirability of Peace.:” Which is a whole $1.99 for Kindle.
The problems are the same at any “moment of crisis.” As it doesn’t matter a lot whether the crisis is genuine, or as with the Gulf of Tonkin II lies, or the rationale for expansion of Ukraine warfare is honest, or not.
There is an agenda in play and it’s simple-enough: We are in the period familiar to long-time Peoplenomics subscribers called the “Manufacturer’s Resource” wars.
These will – out of mathematical necessity as my DSP/PhD pal Jas notes – have to continue until a systemic equilibrium is re-established for a much lower population over a wider range of technologies.
Ruppert’s Rubicon is the “differentiate diagnosis” of a kind of global cancer. His “Confronting Collapse” is an attempt to frame the denial processes ahead.
Since we love problem solving templates, we can see the world as just not becoming aware that the attending physicians are having a conference about (world residents) and we fear the worst upon their return to announce findings. The useful read here will be “On Grief and Grieving: Finding the Meaning of Grief Through the Five Stages of Loss“
Because that’s how the world will likely fare as we move into an increasingly bounded future. Stages of Loss. We’re pretty sure that Failure of Money, Failure of Energy, Failure of Leadership, Failure of Hope, and Failure of resources will be staged ahead.
We already see (after Ruppert’s denial work) how the ongoing collapse of Bitcoin and the Crypto’s began to work out this week.
The horrific policies of the Biden administration have – for now – virtually guaranteed famine and energy shortages. Victoria Nuland and the serial war neocon crew are pressing hard to sell the Bad Vlad scapegoat. Even as the megalomaniacs within the EU and NATO attempt to hornswoggle and bribe a “second tier of NATO” into existence.
Desperate politicians in desperate times will “screw the pooch and sell the pups” to get further along the intractable timeline. Negligently leaving America’s borders open, to ensure calamity at home will follow.
The upside? We will move in the coming half-dozen years, or so, into the 1974 Club of Rome report (*and Georgia Guidestones) 500-million global population level – where equilibrium is thought to live.
The problem has changed a bit, though most in media haven’t read the more recent 2016 “One Hundred Pages for the Future: Reflections of the President of the Club of Rome.” At $73-bucks for Kindle the agenda may be safely published in plain view. Only the inductees at Davos are likely to be new readers.
The Sheep don’t read, let alone think deeply on what they have.
Diamond: Book of Jared
Quite literally. Two books by the legendary historian Jared Diamond figure into our thinking around here. “Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed” was a real cornerstone for us.
The first couple of chapters relate to change and farms. Since we had already made a commitment to going rural when Collapse came out (2011 for paperback) it was really more confirmation than anything.
The second chapter is a kind of comparison with farms, survival, and society, during earlier times and in other places of collapse.
Then Diamond roles with a second collapse-themed book: His 2019 “Upheaval: Turning Points for Nations in Crisis.” Again, we are awed by his scope. But I was left a biy “hungry” in the sense that he doesn’t zoom down to the population/energy equation as much as I would have preferred.
A richer template might have been Joseph Tainter’s discussion of how the Anasazi of the American Southwest were driven to amalgamation and extinction by the arrival of desertification.
Chapter 3 (“Study of Collapse”) in The Collapse of Complex Societies (p.52) is where the Anasazi discussion picks up).
However, it’s not a fault of Diamond in any way; it’s that his job (in history and anthro) is to observe and report events in situ rather than trace back to causative roots. Which is why this deep discussion today. People need to wake the fuck up a bit and figure out how The World is going to tackle this monumental problem.
The Book of Jas
The third touchstone this morning was a delightful conversation with my (deflationist) pal Jas Jain.
For newish readers, when comes to pushing out numbers, with the exception of Howard, Jas is without peer in data. A PhD in digital signal processing and an armload of patents for a company whose name rhymes with Crisco who is now retired and living out at the “end of the string in a (once) golden state.
Jas is smart. When he labels America as a land born and bred Dopes, there’s reason for his views. I won’t be able to reduce his insightfulness to a quote – our discussions are much broader than single-issues.
But being retired – and with a keen interest in history – his lookahead view is worse than horrific.
- We are only at the very beginning of collapse now.
- Policies that are killing energy and food are likely to turn recession in Q3 into Depression. That’s not only because of drought but also because of unfunded future liabilities.
- Sure, when the stock market is going up, retirement funds (like CALPERS for example) can proudly boast how smart they are. But when – paraphrasing here – “As tech blows over and change roars through the economy, how will public pensions around the country fund themselves?” he wondered. The simple answer is they won’t and they can’t.
Overnight, a follow-up email places much of the blame on the US Fed:
“Executing a Soft-Landing May be Beyond Our Control”
That is the latest blabber from the mouth of Chairman Powell. He knows, just like BoE, that it is impossible to control the inflation without the recession, especially under the current conditions. He is signaling the stk mkt that mkt going down is part of the price of controlling the inflation after he was six months late in tackling the problem because he wanted to get reappointed, which he did in January, before he started to tackle the problem in earnest. Politics of power results in bad bad things.
A BAD political system guarantees bad outcomes!”
And, in case you haven’t noticed, we have a real “shit-for brains” political system where both parties have been hijacked by financial interests, but of course that part is self-evident.
The only question – and this really harks back to the first two chapters of Jared Diamond’s book comparing farm and rural collapse over history – is how the bulk of Americans will fare.
We talked extensively over lunch back in 2005, or so, when we were “doing our Burbank studio” period. We outlined the general strategy the “data was driving us to consider.”
Its worked out well – and again to paraphrase (because I’m not that smart) Jas had some forward estimations to consider:
“I figure where you and Elaine are, your risk of attack and losing it all to marauding gangs will be maybe 5-percent. Out here (in the golden state) where I live – I’m the last house at the end of the road – I figure my risk is about 20 percent. But people who live in core cities? They are likely in the 70 percent and higher risk category when the Depression really settles in – say 2023.”
I can’t argue with him. The data is there, and the data is robust. Jas is without a doubt expert in pulling “signals out of noise” and figuring out what they mean.
He wrapped up – and again paraphrasing – with the view that:
“When the money dries up – probably next year – people will have no idea how to cope. You’ll see defined benefit plans failing. Pensions will have to sell stocks and bonds to raise enough money to fund retirees. That will lead to a huge wave of home sales as the market implodes. ,And when government Social Security has to be cut, people will have to find new ways to live. No one is ready for it.”
Yet, for more than 20-years, that’s what this site has been all about. Another Housing bust is coming. Selling now and renting is nothing to be dismissed.
The Gray Cardiff Housing bubble book (1979) was a major warning. But now, in Chuck Marunde’s book “The Coming Real Estate Crash in 2022: Avoid Buying or Selling At Precisely The Wrong Time” we can see how millions of Americans will likely lose their life’s work.
Just this morning, NPR is sounding the alarm in Home prices could fall in some cities following sharp increases.
When the economy fails now, so will the income needed not just to make the mortgage payments, but also the taxes and utilities as well. Unless you have anticipated and followed our recommended track preached here for 20+ years.
Downsize and downscale ahead of time. There will be only minor adjustments from there. And your economic worries will relate to whether a handful of national banks fail and whether the Treasury can keep the financial underpinnings of America intact.
Now we’ve gone and put another Peoplenomics length thinking piece out there.
Oh, should mention BTC hyped it’s (buy the dips, dips!) way back over $30,000 overnight. But even though Coinbase Customers Sue Over Stablecoin That Was ‘Anything But’ the reality is the only ones to get rich when the lawyers come out is what? Other lawyers. Still, can’t blame people for being mad when they realize they’ve been played for fools and suckers.
We have used the phrase digital tulips for how long now?
Summarizing the Future
A strong rally is due at the open this morning. Nothing would thrill (or scare) us more than a day-long rally kicking off from these levels:
My orange target zone isn’t going anywhere until we have a rally above the lower trend line. Again, in the pipe dreams in lieu of rational thinking department, a hard sell-off early next week and then a playable rally into options next week would really make our number.
Might even work into Memorial Day after that. Since pre-holiday rallies are a common enough feature of markets. But, we shall see – this is never advice.
Trade Cost Numbers
Too early for Sanction Idiocy to really impinge on the Hopium smoking, but here we go just out:
“U.S. import prices were unchanged in April, after increasing 2.9 percent in March, the U.S. Bureau of Labor
Statistics reported today. Higher nonfuel prices in April offset lower fuel prices. Prices for U.S. exports
advanced 0.6 percent in April following a 4.1-percent increase the previous month.
The price index for U.S. imports was unchanged in April, after rising 6.8 percent over the first quarter of
2022. U.S. import prices have not recorded a monthly decline since the index fell 0.4 percent in December
2021. Prices for U.S. imports advanced 12.0 percent for the year ended in April, down from the 13.0-percent
increase recorded last month. (See table 1.)
Fuel Imports: Import fuel prices declined 2.4 percent in April following a 39.2-percent increase from
December to March. The decrease in April was the first 1-month drop since the index fell 7.7 percent in
December 2021. Lower petroleum prices in April more than offset higher natural gas prices. Despite the
decrease in April, import fuel prices rose 64.3 percent over the past 12 months. Petroleum prices fell 2.9
percent in April, after advancing 19.4 percent the previous month. In contrast, natural gas prices increased
6.8 percent in April following a 9.5-percent decline in March. Petroleum and natural gas prices rose over the
past year, advancing 63.0 percent and 102.2 percent, respectively.
Next month bears watching and sanction impacts will roll in harder but the strong dollar (for as long as the Fed has balls to raise rates) will offset a bit. Bets?
Next week should be a lot of fun. Retail Sales Tuesday will be a real canary in the coal mine.
In the Shorts
NATO’s land grab (*Sweden) will put more pressure on Putin to go nuclear. Russia-Ukraine war live updates: Kyiv holds war crimes trial for Russian soldier; Sweden eyes NATO benefits. But when you get through the (ast. sec state for NuWars fog): In Sweden, misgivings over rushed debate to join NATO. It’s the bum’s rush, oh my.
Liberals defending the wrong borders continues. A border security expo in Texas echoes another exposition 5 decades ago. Ukraine means more than Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California, does it? US Border Patrol budget is $4.9 billion. And Buyed-dem wants $33 billion for Ukraine? FMTT. Vote ’em all out!
Do-overs for losers are here: Daywatch: Illinois will stop collecting debt from students who have been ticketed for truancy – Chicago Tribune
Climate Hysteria and X-Class Fears
All overblown if you can read charts:
Planet X…blah, blah, blah. Hysteria sells, though…
Table Walk Delayed: Elon Musk says Twitter deal ‘temporarily on hold’ | AP News.
Off to rock the weekend. Peoplenomics tomorrow – and ShopTalk Sunday – see you then.
Write when you get rich,