By all rights, we should be in the Greater Depression right now, not still looking for it to develop over the next couple of years.
I’ve been telling you about this “Big Ugly” that’s set to visit the generation since 1997, so some skepticism on your part is, indeed, warranted.
Nevertheless, my buddy Robin Landry up in Shawnee, OK, who’s one of the best technical analysts ever, figures that his worst-case numbers (which in the very long term put the Dow at levels not seen since the early 1960’s) will be along sooner than later.
We passed an important milestone with the ^TNX (CBOE 10-year Treasury) trade” Landry’s immediate concern is that we have already set up to take out the “2-handle” (e.g. the TNX trading at under 2%) But the real worry is that the 1-handle (an interest rate of one percent) will be taken out as well.
And this morning, with oil now down under $50 bucks in a convincing way, we have to sit back and review harsh realities around here.
Landry expected $80 oil would pause at $75…and that didn’t happen. We then took out $70, then $60, and now $50. The reason to hope oil will stop at $40 on it’s wan to the $30-handle is what, exactly?
We can already sketch in some of what the “NEW – New Economic World – will look like. It just won’t be pretty:
- In the 1930’s depression “job sharing” was a common feature. Today, we’ve already half-shot that gun with so many part-time jobs without benefits.
- Ditto in the front-end of the 1930’s government was actually solvent. Today, we’re sitting on a stack of bills for free lunches that total just a bit more than our National Product annually.
- And unlike the 30’s, we’ve been holding shooting wars about every six months over in the sandbox countries, so we’ve spent a lot of resource there.
Looking ahead, to the end of this month, the Fed has a terrible problem: If they attempt to raise rates, it will collapse the “employment recovery.” But, if they lower rates, it will send the message that deflation is really here and that will spook the markets into a 4,000 point collapse before summer.
Their choice might come down to another quantitative easing because easy money is what had been holding up oil prices. Without more QE, we could see not a 30 but how does a $20-handle on oil sound?
Our government folks are showing their lack of common financial sense in foreign policy: Take the Russia “sanctions” for example. This is driving the Russians into a 4 to 5% drop in their GDP this year.
You don’t really think a nuclear-armed, serious player is going to just roll-over and honor the Nobel-winner and his posse, do you?
Hell no: Russia and the bomb-lusting government of Iran have both announced that they will be pumping more than ever. Repeat after me: The Player’s just been played.
Now we see no restraint on the Saudis, either, as they want as much dough as possible since they are writing the checks for the Global Caliphate to be set up. You don’t really think that mosque-building world-wide was strictly for fun, do you? No sir.
All of which makes dandy strategic sense, if you can still stand looking at the world as a 12-sided chess game where all the players are using slightly different rules. It’s how the world really works. The Saudi version of “win” is different from the Russian version of “win” – and so forth. Which leaves each of us to look for the next capture en passant and try not to be swept up in the passing.
How do we manage that little trick?
The Major Systems of Life
Count them up: There are just seven of them: Food, shelter, energy, transportation, environment, finance, and communications.
If you are able to provide for minimal levels of each of these items, your life will go on just fine, no matter how nutty the world around you becomes.
Just last night, my son called me up to inquire as to whether he could move down here to the Texas Outback (bringing a wife with him…he’s still running filters on that process) so he could build his own house.
As he explained it, none of his friends knows how to do bupkis – and he wants to pick up the old man’s ability to pour concrete, run wiring, do plumbing, put on a roof, and so forth without paying of government along the way.
Oh, sure, building codes are nice (and we follow them – or better) but it’s the seeking permission part that gets him.
He’s seen us put in a simple (works great) septic system. It cost next to nothing: $750 for a large tank, another $350 in drain field and supplies plus $300-bucks in rental for the backhoe. They are great fun to run, by the way.
All perfectly legal in Texas because if you observe 100-foot setbacks from property lines, have more than 10-acres, and other fine print, and no one complains of smells and such as you’re doing it, the process is easy-peasy. But the cost differential is huge. A commercial septic is on the older of $18,000. I know because I priced it out.
This is sweat equity. Get used to it.
If you’re going to elevate yourself from the “run of the mill masses” who do nothing but play video games and RENT THEIR LIVES from da Man, then you’re going to have to figure out how the real game of life can still be played to win.
OK, he gets that with a house. If you build your own, it will be easy to keep it in good repair virtually forever because you will have intimate knowledge of how it works. And you’ll have both the sink wrench and basin wrench instead of needing to call a plumber.
And when comes to food? You’ll be able to grow your own.
“Dad, what’s this Homesteading stuff I’m hearing about?”
Late-comers to the party, son.
We’ve left a few back issues from our old Independence Journal site up over at our www.ruralpioneer.com website, but right now everyone with two flower pots and a home-schooling book thinks they are a homesteader.
As we edge closer to the financial brink we will add content over there, but in the meantime, how to design/build a grid-tied solar power set-up is covered in our www.peoplenomics.com library which is almost 700-back issues deep and only maybe 50% of that is economics.
Still, the point of this morning it to try and figure out how to reduce your outgo, build your income, and try to avoid the position of believing too much about what people tell you the future is going to be like. They’ll be wrong.
Classic example: The US Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook does not use the word “robotics” to describe the future of automation. The word robot is used a few places, the the world they are describing? Pure fiction and not a very good guess. They still project a huge increase in carpenters, for example, which means they miss the social reality scene completely.
the LBGT movement means a lot of historical singles are happily coupling and that takes less square feet. And childless unions sort of impact school and teacher projections, you think?
Someone in government “gets it” but then turns on a policy of Stupid by importing illegal high-risk kids with a propensity to gang and tosses them into the works in every major city.
Trust you saw the report that 700 miles of US border with Mexico is still ineffectively managed?
Trusting the future to government is like trusting the hen house to a dog that’s being used in LSD experiments. Which is why, to our way of thinking, the closer you can get to freedom now the more you might be able to enjoy down the road.
Given that it’s now the first week of August 1927 (with a chance it’s August of ‘29) we should mention that the main point of this morning’s ramble is to alert you that the Fed could do something really stupid at the end of the month.
With the 10-year note headed for 1.5% (my consigliore’s model) or at least down to the 1.75% range, you really need to figure out which part of the coming soup kitchen’s you wish to occupy.
Here are your choices:
- You can be a small-scale farmer and sell whatever is excess at rock bottom fair prices to the soup kitchen.
- You can manage or cook in the soup kitchen
- Or you can be in line to eat.
To me, this don’t sound like a terribly difficult problem to solve. We’ve already decided (back in 2003 when I finished up my next-to-last big turn-around project) that when financial engineering collapses, the wise person will have a water source and the 4-Gs: ground, gun, gold, grub. Toss in a tent and a few tools and that’s how America was hacked out of wilderness.
OK, that and screwing the First Peoples over, but that a two beer discussion for another day.
For now, the only question is: How long do you rent your life and do you ever go out and own it?
You can either voluntarily reduce your lifestyle on your own terms (as we have done), or you can wait for financial engineering to collapse and trust da Man to do it for you.
Which either makes us crazy, or just not very trusting of people with poor track records of getting things right.
Computer’s ARE Out to Get Us
Some reader feedback on our adventures with our media computer/Win 7 attack:
Oilman 2 contributes this map which shows the computer war in near real-time. (Awesome find!)
Grady at our future-predicting web-scanning project (www.nostracodeus.com) offers this:
My anti-malware program caught an interestingly named Russian site in the scans yesterday:
Reader Rick (here in The Republic) offers this (with no warrantees from me!):
George, you may not know it but I am a reseller for Bluecoat https://www.bluecoat.com . They have a free Web filter program called K-9. You can download it here for free: It has NO adware etc. Bluecoat gives it away for free because it passes the URLs that people use to the Global Threat Analysis system (WebPulse) they use in their commercial products. All of their products send url requests to this system and it goes out to those sites and automatically classifies them for over 80 different classifications with up to four possible classifications per site. So, if K-9 asks WebPulse what a site is and it does not know, it checks the site and if the automated analysis is not 98% sure it knows it flags for a human to look within a few hours. In the meantime it classified as “unknown”. The best way to keep viruses out of your system is to not go to the sites that have malware and viruses and not click on email attachments you are not sure are okay. The K-9’s use of the WebPulse system gives you the benefit of the analysis of many high end security products without having to buy them. It will even provide negative day malware prevention and protect you from “good” sites that have been infected by using Dynamic Link Analysis to check all references in a Web page and block the bad stuff but still allow the good stuff. I could go a lot more into this but I hope you get the picture. Use the software to block categories like Suspicious, Malware Sources, Child Pornography, Hacking, Non-Viewable/Infrastructure, etc. It has a full set of reports and can be set up to “bark” when an attempt to go where one should not happens. (Great for monitoring kids.) Here is where you can check the rating of any particular site: https://sitereview.bluecoat.com. You are rated as:
The page you want reviewed is https://urbansurvival.com/ (Check another site)
This page is currently categorized as News/Media Last Time Rated/Reviewed: > 7 days
P.S. No, K-9 does not slow your browsing down noticeably.
Reader Dan has a plan:
Have you ever considered running virtual machines? If one gets hacked you just restore the virtual machine and presto chango. Not totally invulnerable but perhaps worth exploring.
AND last, but not least, the I-Ching’ish way subjects pop up around here at just the right time to help someone continues unabated:
“Thanks again for the remarkable timing of your post, George. Went to task manager and found CPU usage at 50% by jusched.exe (Java) when NOTHING was being done on my computer, and also that 3 G had been ate up from my hard drive just since this morning’s cleaning. You pointed this piece of the puzzle out just in time and happened to be exactly the issues I was having with mine. Makes you wonder when Java (Oracle) has that window that opens up and says “running on billions of devices worldwide.” Kind of scary when you think about it.
Yep – I keep Java and Activex disabled on our core/business machines around here. And we don’t let anything except the trusted AV program do self-updates.
There’s entirely too much trust of government and software.
Looking forward to chatting with George Noory on CoastToCoast tonight. I will likely post a few “show notes” ahead of time… Loved the “hollow moon” discussion overnight.
Just enough time (if I don’t proofread this morning’s column) to go make a batch of cottage cheese pancakes before elbowing into the real news.
Peoplenomics tomorrow, but more free-for-all here Thursday morning before markets open…
Write when you break-even