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Guest Post: Keeping Capital in a Depression

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Doug Casey of The Casey Report

Keeping Capital in a Depression

Nothing is cheap in today’s investment world. Because of the
trillions of currency units that governments all over the world have
created – and are continuing to create – financial assets are grossly
overpriced. Stocks, bonds, property, commodities and cash are no
bargains. Meanwhile, real wages are slipping rapidly among those who are
working, and a large portion of the population is unemployed or

The next chapter in this sad drama will include a
rapid rise in consumer prices. At the beginning of this year, we saw the
grains – wheat, corn, soybeans and oats – go up an average of 36%
within one month. In the same time frame, hogs were up 30.7%. Copper was
up 29.1%. Oil was up 14%. Cotton was up 118%. Raw commodities are the
first things to move in an inflationary boom, largely because they’re
essential to everything. Retail prices are generally the last to move,
partly because the labor market will remain soft and keep that component
down, and partly because retailers cut their margins to retain
customers and market share.

We are in a financial no-man’s land.
What you should do about it presents some tough alternatives. “Saving”
is compromised because of depreciating currency and artificially low
interest rates. “Investing” is problematical because of a deteriorating
economy, unpredictable and increasing regulation, rising interest rates
and wildly fluctuating prices. “Speculation” is the best answer. But it
may not suit everyone as a methodology.

There are, however,
several other alternatives to dealing with the question “What should I
do with my money now?” – active business, entrepreneurialism,
innovation, “hoarding” and agriculture. There’s obviously some degree of
overlap with these things, but they are essentially different in

Active Business

Few large fortunes
have been made by investing. Most are made by creating, building and
running a business. But the same things that make investing hard today
are going to make active business even harder. Sure, there will be
plenty of people out there to hire – but in today’s litigious and
regulated environment, an employee is a large potential liability as
much as a current asset.

Business itself is seen as a convenient
milk cow by bankrupt governments – and it’s much easier to tap small
business than taxpayers at large. Big business (which I’ll arbitrarily
define as companies with at least several thousand employees) actually
encourages regulation and taxes, because their main competition is from
small business – you – and they’re much more able to absorb the cost of
new regulation and can hire lobbyists to influence its direction. Only a
business that’s “too big to fail” can count on government help.

clearly a double-edged sword, but running an active business is
increasingly problematical. Unless it’s a special situation, I’d be
inclined to sell a business, take the money, and run. It’s Atlas Shrugged time.


entrepreneur is “one who takes between,” to go back to the French roots
of the word. Buy here for a dollar, sell there for two dollars – a good
business if you can do it with a million widgets, hopefully all at once
and on credit. An entrepreneur ideally needs few employees and little
fixed overhead. Just as a speculator capitalizes on distortions in the
financial markets, an entrepreneur does so in the business world. The
more distortions there are in the market, the more bankruptcies and
distress sales, the more variation in prosperity and attitudes between
countries, the more opportunities there are for the entrepreneur. The
years to come are going to be tough on investors and businessmen, but
full of opportunity for speculators and entrepreneurs. Keep your
passports current, your powder dry, and your eyes open. I suggest you
reform your thinking along those lines.


two mainsprings of human progress are saving (producing more than you
consume and setting aside the difference) and new technology (improved
ways of doing things). Innovation takes a certain kind of mind and a
certain skill set. Not everyone can be an Edison, a Watt, a Wright or a
Ford. But with more scientists and engineers alive today than have lived
in all previous history put together, you can plan on lots more in the
way of innovation. What you want to do is put yourself in front of
innovation; even if you aren’t the innovator, you can be a facilitator –
something like Steve Ballmer is to Bill Gates. It will give you an
excuse to hang out with the younger generation and play amateur venture

This argues for two things. One, reading very broadly
(but especially in science), so that you can more easily make the
correct decision as to which innovations will be profitable. Two,
building enough capital to liberate your time to try something new and
perhaps put money into start-ups. This thinking partly lay in back of
our starting our Casey’s Extraordinary Technology service.


the days when gold and silver were money, “saving” was actually
identical with “hoarding.” The only difference was the connotation of
the words. Today you can’t even hoard nickel and copper coins anymore
because (unbeknownst to Boobus americanus) there’s
very little of those metals left in either nickels or pennies – both of
which will soon disappear from circulation anyway.

previously dismissed the foolish and anachronistic idea of saving with
dollars in a bank – so what can you save with, other than metals? The
answer is “useful things,” mainly household commodities. I’m not sure
exactly how bad the Greater Depression will be or how long it will last,
but it makes all the sense in the world to stockpile usable things, in
lieu of monetary savings.

The things I’m talking about could be
generally described as “consumer perishables.” Instead of putting
$10,000 extra in the bank, go out and buy things like motor oil,
ammunition, light bulbs, toilet paper, cigarettes, liquor, soap, sugar
and dried beans. There are many advantages to this.

As these things go up in price and you consume them, you won’t have any
resulting taxes, as you would for a successful investment. And you’ll
beat the VAT, which we’ll surely see.

Volume Savings –When you buy a whole bunch at once, especially when Walmart or Costco has them on sale, you’ll greatly reduce your cost.

Convenience –You’ll have them all now and won’t have to waste time getting them later. Especially if they’re no longer readily available.

are hundreds of items to put on the list and much more to be said about
the whole approach. The idea is basically that of my old friend John
Pugsley, which he explained fully in his book The Alpha Strategy. Take this point very seriously. It’s something absolutely everybody can and should do.


the last generation, mothers wanted their kids to grow up and be
investment bankers. That thought will be totally banished soon, and for a
long time. I suspect farmers and ranchers will become the next paradigm
of success, after being viewed as backward hayseeds for generations.

isn’t an easy business, and it has plenty of risks. But there’s always
going to be a demand for its products, and I suspect the margins are
going to stay high for a long time to come. Why? There’s still plenty of
potential farmland around the world that’s wild or fallow, but politics
is likely to keep it that way. Population won’t be growing that much
(and will be falling in the developed world), but people will be
wealthier and want to eat better. So you want the kind of food that
people with some money eat.

I’m not crazy about commodity-type
foods, like wheat, soy and corn; these are high-volume, industrial-style
foods, subject to political interference. And they’re not important as
foods for wealthy people, which is the profitable part of the market.
Besides, grains are where everybody’s attention is directed.

there are other reasons I’m not wild about owning any amber waves of
grain. Anything you want to plant will practically require the use of a
genetically modified (GM) seed from Monsanto. I’m not sure I really care
if it’s GM; all foods have been genetically modified over the millennia
just by virtue of cultivation. And $1 paid to Monsanto typically not
only yields the farmer $5 of extra return, but produces lots of extra
food – which helps everybody. But I wouldn’t be surprised if someday the
giant monocultures of plants, all with totally identical purchased
seeds, don’t result in some kind of catastrophic crop failure. This is a
subject for another time, but it’s a thought to keep in mind.

any event, agricultural land is no longer cheap. But I don’t suggest you
look at thousands of acres to plant grain. Niche markets with niche
products are the way to fly.

I suggest up-market specialty
products – exotic fruits and vegetables, fish, dairy and beef. The
problem is that in “advanced” countries – prominently including the U.S.
– national, state and local governments make the small commercial
producers’ lives absolutely miserable. Maybe you can grow stuff, but
it’s extremely costly in terms of paperwork and legal fees to sell,
especially if the product is animal based – meat, milk, cheese and such.
Niche foods are, however, potentially a very good business. Eternal
optimist that I am, I see one of the many benefits of the impending
bankruptcy of most governments as again making it feasible to grow and
sell food locally.

Above all, though, this isn’t the time for
business as usual. You’ll notice that “Working in a conventional job”
didn’t occur on the list above. And I pity the poor fools working for
some corporation, hoping things get better.


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Wed, 04/13/2011 - 20:59 | 1167432 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture


100 Items to Disappear First                    Load up!
Wed, 04/13/2011 - 21:03 | 1167448 russki standart
russki standart's picture

Time to leave the US....we are so screwed.

Wed, 04/13/2011 - 21:24 | 1167513 Long-John-Silver
Long-John-Silver's picture

The Philippines is a good place for escape. The only requirement to stay as long as you like is maintaining $10,000 in a Bank account. It's for the use of the government to deport you if necessary. Other than that you can start a business or work with no restrictions. The people a wonderful and the cost of living is very low. The only thing to watch for are Muslims and we all know why.

Wed, 04/13/2011 - 22:08 | 1167615 Spirit Of Truth
Spirit Of Truth's picture

What virtually everyone here fails to comprehend is that these cycles of greed and fear, hope and despair, are not restricted to financial and economic affairs.  Here's a quick for instance.  I noticed some 20 years ago that reversals from psychologically important thousand marks in the DJIA are often associated with historical shocks:

In October 1973 when the DJIA reversed from 1K, it was associated with the Arab-Israel Yom Kippur War and OPEC oil embargo.  When the the DJIA reversed from 3K in mid-summer of 1990 it was associated with Iraq invading Kuwait and the Persian Gulf Crisis that year.  When the DJIA reversed from 10K in early-September of 2001, 9/11 followed.  Most recently, when the DJIA reversed below 12K on March 10th, it was followed by the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis in Japan.

These cycles are cycles of history and all that is involved IMHO.

"Capital preservation" might prove to be a moot point if I'm right about the scale of the next major wave down:

Wed, 04/13/2011 - 22:17 | 1167656 BKbroiler
BKbroiler's picture

I indict you with 4 counts of lame.

1) nothing to do with post you replied to

2) rambling about some grand global cycle

3) linking twice to spot

4) starting with "what virtually everyone here fails to comprehend"

FAIL. be good or be good at it.


Wed, 04/13/2011 - 22:45 | 1167714 Spirit Of Truth
Spirit Of Truth's picture

I'll accept your critique.  However, my point is this. Those who frequent this site are fixated on Mammon for the most part, thinking that this is what life is all about (e.g., gold, silver, etc., being the final storer of "value" rather than life itself).  I dare say a dramatic upset of this perspective is what is in store for this world whether I, you or anyone else likes it or not.  That's why it's important to note how the cycles of hope and despair, which are ultimately cycles of sin and redemption IMHO, need be understood for what they truly are.

Wed, 04/13/2011 - 23:07 | 1167736 BKbroiler
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Wed, 04/13/2011 - 22:55 | 1167738 BKbroiler
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Wed, 04/13/2011 - 22:55 | 1167740 BKbroiler
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Wed, 04/13/2011 - 22:54 | 1167741 BKbroiler
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Wed, 04/13/2011 - 22:54 | 1167742 BKbroiler
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Wed, 04/13/2011 - 22:56 | 1167743 BKbroiler
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Wed, 04/13/2011 - 22:55 | 1167744 BKbroiler
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Wed, 04/13/2011 - 22:56 | 1167745 BKbroiler
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Wed, 04/13/2011 - 22:55 | 1167746 BKbroiler
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Wed, 04/13/2011 - 22:55 | 1167747 BKbroiler
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Wed, 04/13/2011 - 22:55 | 1167748 BKbroiler
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Wed, 04/13/2011 - 22:58 | 1167749 BKbroiler
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Wed, 04/13/2011 - 22:56 | 1167750 BKbroiler
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Wed, 04/13/2011 - 22:53 | 1167751 BKbroiler
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Wed, 04/13/2011 - 22:54 | 1167752 BKbroiler
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Wed, 04/13/2011 - 22:52 | 1167753 BKbroiler
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Wed, 04/13/2011 - 22:54 | 1167754 BKbroiler
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Wed, 04/13/2011 - 22:51 | 1167755 BKbroiler
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Wed, 04/13/2011 - 22:51 | 1167756 BKbroiler
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Wed, 04/13/2011 - 22:53 | 1167757 BKbroiler
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Thu, 04/14/2011 - 12:04 | 1168997 falak pema
falak pema's picture

You'd win the Oscar for best visual stutter! like the King...

Wed, 04/13/2011 - 22:52 | 1167758 BKbroiler
BKbroiler's picture

wow. massive FAIL on my part. sorry.

Wed, 04/13/2011 - 23:43 | 1167851 WaterWings
WaterWings's picture

A new record!!

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 00:37 | 1167919 Creepy Lurker
Creepy Lurker's picture

LMAO! A fail so epic, it's almost a win.

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 02:55 | 1168011 Mark McGoldrick
Mark McGoldrick's picture

wow. massive FAIL on my part. sorry.

That was simply ridiculous.

The return key is NOT a toy. If you're going to be so wildly incapable of controlling your fingers, I would encourage you to consider voice-recognition software for posting. 


Thu, 04/14/2011 - 03:31 | 1168027 chumbawamba
chumbawamba's picture

I suggest you use a Speak & Spell.  That's more your medium.

I am Chumbawamba.

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 04:56 | 1168063 OldPhart
OldPhart's picture

I'll honestly declare that I'm a dumb ass....but some of the vid's wasisname linked up were intriguing (hey, in the unlikely case that you are drunker than I am..the spell checker fixed my typo of dumass)  I found a couple fo the videos intriging (not spell-checked) 

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 11:01 | 1168747 Tenma13
Tenma13's picture

Thats what an online stutter looks like. lol

Wed, 04/13/2011 - 22:49 | 1167761 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

Oh, pshaw.  Buy silver and hang on with both hands.

I gotta do this here/now, for all you buyers of silver and might have your contact info at APMEX.   There are 25 ounces of silver in these sets.  This is less than $40/oz for .999 silver.  This is a set of 5 ounce "quarters" (that's what they call 'em).

Article from Mint News Blog:

2010 ATB Silver Bullion Update

APMEX has made their remaining allotment available, but only to certain people who have been selected to receive the opportunity to purchase them.

According to emails sent by APMEX, there were 18,000 requests to order the coins. They selected 3,500 email addresses and provided these people with the opportunity to purchase one of 3,100 available sets. The coins are encapsulated in PCGS "Choice BU" holders and priced at $959.95 per set if paying by check or wire, or $988.75 for payment by credit card. For the group of selected email addresses, orders must be placed by April 15, 2011, midnight CST.

Their product page can be found online here. As mentioned, only those 3,500 people selected by APMEX can place orders. A reader whose email was not selected reported that the order cannot be completed at step 2 of the checkout process.

Wed, 04/13/2011 - 23:38 | 1167847 Pool Shark
Pool Shark's picture


Not quite as easy as buying 'melt value' proof silver quarters from the US Mint, but still appreciate the link Rocky...


Thu, 04/14/2011 - 03:18 | 1168022 Dez Rodgee
Dez Rodgee's picture

Dillon Gage has them for $937 including shipping.  The only bad thing is that they only accept wires.

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 08:27 | 1168247 Vlad Tepid
Vlad Tepid's picture

Yeah, I got that email, did the math and said "Wow!  I'll take .999 for less than spot!"

Wed, 04/13/2011 - 22:57 | 1167762 BKbroiler
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Wed, 04/13/2011 - 23:00 | 1167763 BKbroiler
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Wed, 04/13/2011 - 23:00 | 1167764 BKbroiler
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Wed, 04/13/2011 - 23:00 | 1167765 BKbroiler
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Wed, 04/13/2011 - 23:01 | 1167766 BKbroiler
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Wed, 04/13/2011 - 23:03 | 1167767 BKbroiler
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Wed, 04/13/2011 - 23:01 | 1167768 BKbroiler
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Wed, 04/13/2011 - 23:02 | 1167769 BKbroiler
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Thu, 04/14/2011 - 12:09 | 1169033 falak pema
falak pema's picture

If you did this to your lady friend in bed she would give you the oscar of rapid fire bunga bunga frustration of supine female in dire expectation.

Wed, 04/13/2011 - 22:49 | 1167770 BKbroiler
BKbroiler's picture

I hear ya, dude, but the cycles article ran like, two weeks ago on this site and it made a little more sense than yours.  And with the "hope and dispair" and "sin and redemption" talk, you're starting to sound like Patrick Swayze in Donnie Darko.

Wed, 04/13/2011 - 22:53 | 1167774 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

Patience, Grasshopper.

Wed, 04/13/2011 - 22:59 | 1167788 BKbroiler
BKbroiler's picture

"I swear baby, this has NEVER happened to me, I'm just nervous"

It's a sign.  Time for me to STFU for the night.

Wed, 04/13/2011 - 23:02 | 1167795 DavidPierre
DavidPierre's picture


No shit...Sherlock!

Wed, 04/13/2011 - 23:31 | 1167836 Spirit Of Truth
Spirit Of Truth's picture

Odd things happen when the truth be told.

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 06:23 | 1168096 Bendromeda Strain
Bendromeda Strain's picture

Yeah, when you can get anyone to agree with McGoldrick, it's time for a vacation.

Wed, 04/13/2011 - 23:58 | 1167873 knukles
knukles's picture

Eyes bugging out, sweating profusely, peripetetic..... 
Golly gee whiz.....

Hubba hubba hubba obbittie obbittie ob

Buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzitt  tt t   t        t

Wed, 04/13/2011 - 23:07 | 1167801 Fish Gone Bad
Fish Gone Bad's picture

I will have to guess that you are not talking about me then.  I always thought people who visited ZH were just well adjusted people who were looking to hear something other than the crud CNBC spits out.  Perhaps everyone is not as pleasant, charming, or as happy as they could be, but that is what makes a community.  Chumbawumba might be an outlier though.

Wed, 04/13/2011 - 22:41 | 1167721 samsara
samsara's picture

The Philippines is a good place for escape.

Except for the phrase that I think in a few years will be the scariest thing to have some one say to you.

"You ain't from around here are ya ?"

(Spoken in the local dialect)


Wed, 04/13/2011 - 22:58 | 1167782 Matto
Matto's picture

That's why its always a good idea to interact with and give back to the local community you are inhabiting. And don't act rich.



Wed, 04/13/2011 - 23:12 | 1167809 Fish Gone Bad
Fish Gone Bad's picture

Don't act rich. 

This is always good advice.  I think it might be an offshoot of the "shark rules".  For those not familiar with the shark rules, here they are (as I remember them):

1.  When surrounded by sharks, act like a shark.

2.  When surrounded by sharks, don't bleed.

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 12:14 | 1169048 falak pema
falak pema's picture

and when surrounded by scared minnows?

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 06:03 | 1168085 FEDbuster
FEDbuster's picture

I thought running for "office" might be a sensible alternative, but I have an aversion to pitchforks and guillotines.

Wed, 04/13/2011 - 21:25 | 1167522 ZerOhead
ZerOhead's picture

Add a twenty or forty foot steel shipping container to the list at @$1,500 to $3,000 delivered and call it a day!

Nice list my furry friend!

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 09:42 | 1168489 treemagnet
treemagnet's picture

I've got 65 brand new 20's that I rent - and to sell when the folks are losing it.  But they won't sell for $2,500 I assure you....and it'll be in gold or silver.

Wed, 04/13/2011 - 22:37 | 1167704 Michael Victory
Michael Victory's picture


Wed, 04/13/2011 - 23:04 | 1167797 HK
HK's picture

Rocky, good list.  I saw that list when I was prepping for the pandemic.  I used it as a basis for prepping and have about 75% of the items.  I found the other items are either N/A (no thermals in Hawaii), not practical (don't have the space for firewood and the association would grumble) or couldn't afford it based on cost/benefit.  Good part is that the preparations will work in a pandemic, tsunami, earthquake, hurricane, financial collapse etc.  One thing that I'd like to add is to have a plan, the first warning signs of TSHTF and I have a list of priorities and stores to hit to top off.  When the swine flu pandemic first started up in Mexico, I was sick as a dog, but dragged my ass out of bed and made two trips to Costco, filled the gas barrel and propane tanks, got a bunch of seeds and grains.  Was pretty much ready to ride it out then as I am now. 

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 07:57 | 1168179 Waterfallsparkles
Waterfallsparkles's picture

I would add a Gasoline Powerd Chain saw.  Stock up on 2 and 1 oil, extra chains and a sharpener.  You would need this to cut wood for heat or a fire.

Wed, 04/13/2011 - 22:19 | 1167439 BKbroiler
BKbroiler's picture


Wed, 04/13/2011 - 21:05 | 1167445 max2205
max2205's picture

Thanks for calling the bottom

Wed, 04/13/2011 - 21:07 | 1167455 callingnew
callingnew's picture

maybe we can plant some useful things in our gardens now instead of wasting resources stupidly maintaining lawns. if the neighbors don't like it then f***em.

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 10:58 | 1167973 baby_BLYTHE
baby_BLYTHE's picture


Wed, 04/13/2011 - 21:14 | 1167483 Long-John-Silver
Long-John-Silver's picture

I have a small machine shop behind my home. I mostly used it as a hobby for many years. Suddenly and without any effort on my part I found myself covered up with work. Word got around that I could make or repair parts that no one else would bother with. I've always bartered for my services. Take for instance the Farmer that needed a new shaft made for a combine that the manufacturer no longer supports. He comes over with the appropriate bar stock that needs to be machined and brings along a side of beef that's already frozen. A few hours later he leaves with the replacment shaft and I've got a freezer full of meat.

Wed, 04/13/2011 - 22:06 | 1167622 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

You are going to be in high demand and college graduates with worthless degrees will want to apprentice with you.

Trades are beneath the dignity of most of the college bound until they realize the income potential.

Wed, 04/13/2011 - 22:40 | 1167713 Long-John-Silver
Long-John-Silver's picture

I'm already in high demand. It started in 2008 with the economic crash. People wanted to keep what they have instead of buying a new replacement. It's fun for me and I get stuff in return.

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 08:38 | 1168267 Vlad Tepid
Vlad Tepid's picture

That was one thing that tipped me off to the whole "impending collapse" thing.  A friend of mine from high school's dad had a small rural machine shop and always struggled to put food on the table for his family (9 kids didn't help).  I always askedhow he was doing and in 2008 he started getting so busy he took an apprentice (god knows the high schools aren't teaching the kids the things they need to know) and the shop was always lit until the wee hours.  Good tip off, that.  I owe one to Old Man Vander Wal.

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 09:12 | 1168377 WarProfiteer
WarProfiteer's picture

What sort of set up do you have? That is if you don't mind talking about it. Thanks.

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 09:04 | 1168353 GreenSideUp
GreenSideUp's picture


Bravo to you!!  I'm begging my kids to learn a trade.  

Wed, 04/13/2011 - 21:22 | 1167511 RobotTrader
RobotTrader's picture

Right now, my cost of living is pretty much bare bones.

McDouble cheeseburgers are just $1.00 a piece.

Big Macs just went on sale, 2 for $3.50

Subway regularly has sandwiches for $5

I buy 16 oz. Monster Energy and 32 oz. Gatoraid bottles for a buck apiece all the time.

The only thing I  "splurge" on is my $3.25 Cafe Mocha at Starbucks every morning.

Food costs could triple, and it would barely dent my budget.

And thanks to my UGA purchases last year, my gasoline costs are pretty much capped at $3.00/gal. for the next 5 years.

And my income is up an average of 20% per year the last 5 years.

Wed, 04/13/2011 - 21:30 | 1167536 Infinite QE
Infinite QE's picture

"16 oz. Monster Energy"

Better add kidney replacement costs to your budget. India and the Philippines are the cost leaders in this category.

Wed, 04/13/2011 - 22:00 | 1167611 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

I cant find monsters for a buck.
But i do find them necessary.
They are the most expensive energy
Drink in my area at 2.29 but they have ample amounts of the expensive ingredients and definitely work.

Wed, 04/13/2011 - 22:04 | 1167621 Infinite QE
Infinite QE's picture

Go to pure green tea. Those energy drinks are kidney time bombs.

Wed, 04/13/2011 - 22:08 | 1167629 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

I need the ginseng and all the toxins to get thru my day.

Wed, 04/13/2011 - 21:58 | 1167606 Bastiat
Bastiat's picture

And my income is up an average of 20% per year the last 5 years.


Now just stay away form shorting PMs and you may be able to afford real food in another year or two.

Wed, 04/13/2011 - 21:57 | 1167609 hack3434
hack3434's picture

You eat like shit...

Wed, 04/13/2011 - 22:10 | 1167634 BKbroiler
BKbroiler's picture

Ha!... perfect, nailed it in four words.

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 06:29 | 1168097 Bendromeda Strain
Bendromeda Strain's picture

I could have done it in three...

Wed, 04/13/2011 - 22:56 | 1167775 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

You are what you eat.  In his case cheap and easy.

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 09:41 | 1168484 nodhannum
nodhannum's picture

OMG!  I just found out that I am a pussy, Rocky.

Wed, 04/13/2011 - 22:59 | 1167790 azengrcat
azengrcat's picture

Your diet is straight from Idiocracy.  Perhaps your battle station is too:

Wed, 04/13/2011 - 21:43 | 1167580 mayhem_korner
mayhem_korner's picture

 “Speculation” is the best answer. But it may not suit everyone as a methodology.


First order of business is liquidity.  Gotta be able to wade through the swamp that we're going to be thrown into if you're gonna make hay on the other side.  Diversified holdings of fiat, PMs, barter goods, shells (not pasta), etc.  All within reaching distance...

...then spec 'til the cows sheep come home.  Smaller, highly-leveraged bets for me.  I've been rolling 1-2% in Eurodollar puts that should pay handsomely once the banksters exhaust their defense against increasing T-yields.

Wed, 04/13/2011 - 22:13 | 1167637 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

At least you list a specific.spec you are in and why. We have some robo pretenders who never mention any investments nor their basis in real time, only after the fact.

Wed, 04/13/2011 - 22:35 | 1167703 mayhem_korner
mayhem_korner's picture

I'm a macro-guy, not a red-bull-an-hour trader.  Won't take a bet on the Yanks scoring in any inning, but will go long on the over for them to win 85+ games.  Market-makers can't price in the true risk premiums for deferred macro events like fiat collapse (they wouldn't make a market).  Yet everyone sees it coming.  So stick with the undeniable force of gravity and be patient - like manning a tree stand in deer season.

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 08:34 | 1168260 Ricky Bobby
Ricky Bobby's picture


Wed, 04/13/2011 - 22:59 | 1167787 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

I think my entire life history has been recorded on ZH over the last 1 yr, 35 mos.

I'm currently a coin / stamp dealer and am surprised at my own breadth of experience in other careers and avocations.

All I gotta do is excerpt my ZH posts and have them printed for an autobiography.

Wed, 04/13/2011 - 23:12 | 1167818 bmwm395
bmwm395's picture

 I have bin having  a lot  of fun playing poker. I have actually made a little bit of money playing. Maybe when everything goes wild wild west on us. I can be a poker player.

Mom would be so proud.

Wed, 04/13/2011 - 22:05 | 1167623 defencev
defencev's picture

It is interesting that Doug Casey reserves for himself Extraordinary Technology

Service while sending the rest of us to the caves (with hoarded beans and nickel dimes).

In my opinion, it is an extreme example of unacceptable elitism and demonstration of incredible disdain to "stupid masses" the only purpose of which should be to enrich "talented" charlatans like Doug Casey and much less talented immitators like Simon Black.

Wed, 04/13/2011 - 23:08 | 1167807 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

I ain't qualified for no fancy-smansy Extraordinary Technology investing nor foreign stashing of assets nor dabbling in the arcane arts of foreign exchange markets.   All I know is precious metals (the real thing) and gardening and such.   But I don't begrudge those with the superior financial skills.

Wed, 04/13/2011 - 22:11 | 1167631 monopoly
monopoly's picture

WE have to get Robot additional income so he can eat like a human being. Almost made me sick reading about his diet. Poor bastard.

This is all really getting old don't you think. And it can go on for a while longer before it all blows up. Just gotta be patient.

Wed, 04/13/2011 - 22:18 | 1167658 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

Have you noticed robo never mentions entry and exit points in real time? I believe he eats dollar cheeseburgers. I dont believe for a second he is a successful trader, but he had me fooled for a while.

Wed, 04/13/2011 - 22:34 | 1167705 samsara
samsara's picture

Robo?   You mean Ramora?

Wed, 04/13/2011 - 22:58 | 1167786 Matto
Matto's picture

RoboTrader Vs. RobotTrader. Obvious pisstake.

Wed, 04/13/2011 - 22:13 | 1167636 Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

The Author says the economy is going into collapse mode and then turns around and suggests: "... up-market specialty products – exotic fruits and vegetables, fish, dairy and beef."  Who will you be selling to?

Wed, 04/13/2011 - 22:23 | 1167671 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

Boutique or artesanal food is still a growth industry. For many it is a philosophy of life worth the sacrifice.

Wed, 04/13/2011 - 22:24 | 1167683 Infinite QE
Infinite QE's picture

Probably some sort of barter deal. Swap some labor time for heritage tomatoes, etc.

Wed, 04/13/2011 - 22:38 | 1167709 knavechild
knavechild's picture

I think radioactive fruits qualitfy as "exotic", so he may have something here.

Wed, 04/13/2011 - 22:41 | 1167718 Infinite QE
Infinite QE's picture

Shit. I thought he wrote `erotic' fruit. Some sort of hybrid of viagraberries or something.

Wed, 04/13/2011 - 23:39 | 1167850 Doña K
Doña K's picture

My hubby tells me that some mushrooms make you see nice dreams. That should be a niche market. 

Wed, 04/13/2011 - 23:42 | 1167856 Doña K
Doña K's picture

And how about the lotus eaters in the Odyssey. What was that about? Some Turkish delight?  

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 08:40 | 1168279 Vlad Tepid
Vlad Tepid's picture

I prefer the lotus eaters from Robert Howard's Conan...more compelling story.  And fewer cyclops.

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 12:29 | 1169121 falak pema
falak pema's picture

I love the bit about Ulysses tied to the mast...unlimited possibilities for hungry sirens like turkish delight eaters.

Wed, 04/13/2011 - 23:25 | 1167834 Calmyourself
Calmyourself's picture

Organic Gorgonzola.. I saw that too.

I don't give a shit if your living under a bridge you will pay, hell sell the kids for organic Gorgonzola, great on cardboard lightly singed cardboard mmm. That's my plan..

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 03:06 | 1168018 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

I think "up-market" is a nomenclature error since Doug is getting away from his traditional fare.  I think more appropriate delineations might be horticultural vs. agricultural products for those with experience growing things, or high $/kg vs. low $/kg products for those with a more finance oriented background.  It is difficult to generalize production options for newsletter purposes since production options are determined by the local climate of the reader.  To use an age old example- compare the price for high-quality frankincense & myrrh (not the domestic google crap) with the price for soybeans or corn. 

Wed, 04/13/2011 - 22:15 | 1167651 cxl9
cxl9's picture

Today you can’t even hoard nickel and copper coins anymore because (unbeknownst to Boobus americanus) there’s very little of those metals left in either nickels or pennies

Who you calling "boobus"? Get your facts straight. The 1946-current U.S. nickel contains both copper (75%) and nickel (25%) and presently has a melt value of about 6.8 cents. Nothing wrong with hoarding nickels as a hedge against both inflation and deflation.

Wed, 04/13/2011 - 22:26 | 1167680 Ted K
Ted K's picture


Anyone who calls this the "Greater Depression" obviously didn't live in the late 1920s or through the 1930s, and apparently can't read a grade school history book.  Maybe Casey is the type whose Daddy got him a cushy spot in the Army reserves where he knew he'd never be called up because like Republican VP Dick Cheney: "I had better things to do in the 60s than fight in Vietnam,"

Casey, learn about how hard the Great Depression was for the World War 2 Generation, as you truly have exhibited in this post with your writing what the prototypical "Boobusamericanus" really is.

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 00:48 | 1167930 UncleFurker
UncleFurker's picture


But you speak as though it's over or not going to get worse.

Things are only just getting started.


Thu, 04/14/2011 - 01:53 | 1167980 baby_BLYTHE
baby_BLYTHE's picture


Thu, 04/14/2011 - 06:13 | 1168093 FEDbuster
FEDbuster's picture

Ted K, you ain't seen nothing yet.  2008 was just a commercial for the show that has yet to air. 

Concentrate on the three B's, beans, bullion and bullets.

Wed, 04/13/2011 - 22:31 | 1167695 unclebigs
unclebigs's picture

So this Idiot is betting on the world's population getting wealthier and eating better food.  LMFAO!!!  I have 1,000 ounces of silver for you Dork.





Wed, 04/13/2011 - 22:33 | 1167697 Gold Dog
Gold Dog's picture

As for others I know not.

I have hedged with 1:1 out of the money puts on ALL of my longs.(Including what I would of had in my stack if the canoe didn't flip.)

Pre-EDIT They were 10 to 15% out of the money with June and July expirations.

Just sayin,


Wed, 04/13/2011 - 22:39 | 1167712 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

Growth industries will also include : the vices. Hard times are always prime time for gambling, the sex trade, illicit substances, loan sharking and protection. For a fee you can enroll in my online vice management university and obtain a degree that will get you off and running. Yes, now days you need a degree for everything. 

Wed, 04/13/2011 - 22:42 | 1167722 Infinite QE
Infinite QE's picture

Will I be a vice president then?

Wed, 04/13/2011 - 22:44 | 1167730 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

Miami vice president

Wed, 04/13/2011 - 22:54 | 1167777 mayhem_korner
mayhem_korner's picture

Spot on.  I'm stashing cigs and I'm a n-s.  They're denominated nicely - singles, packs, and cartons.  And I can roll tobacco in fiat for the more discerning of the nicotine-deprived.

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 12:31 | 1169136 falak pema
falak pema's picture

how about fight clubs in coliseums then we'll be really true romans...thumbs up and thumbs down for vice clubs! No limits!

Wed, 04/13/2011 - 22:52 | 1167771 Testosticor Fan...
Testosticor Fantastiballs's picture

Black beans are actually quite healthy and can still be had for < $0.75/can (my grocery store in Texas has them at $0.57/can).  Might be something to stock up on.

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 00:15 | 1167894 steve2241
steve2241's picture

Black beans ARE healthy. But not after they've been put in a can.

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 00:21 | 1167900 reader2010
reader2010's picture

"Those who speak don't know. Those who know don't speak." - Lao Tsu

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 01:41 | 1167968 tiger7905
tiger7905's picture

Latest from Martin Armstrong on what it might be like on the other side of inflation.

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 02:09 | 1167988 Problem Is
Problem Is's picture

"I’m not sure I really care if it’s GM; all foods have been genetically modified over the millennia just by virtue of cultivation."

Inaccurate and Asinine Statement
This guy is fucking wrong. Genetically Modified is at the molecualr level.

Genetically Modified: An organism whose genetic characteristics have been altered by the insertion of a modified gene or a gene from another organism using the techniques of genetic engineering.

Another "expert" who doesn't know his ass...

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 04:52 | 1168056 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

The statement is entirely accurate. Molecular level? Dna is also a molecule. Inserting new gene sequences into dna is genetic engineering. The product of this newly inserted gene is rna which produces a new protein not normally found in the organism. This protein may increase disease resistance or change growth charavteristics.among other things.

My wife has done gene insertions and i have studied biochemistry in medical school. The concerns about gmo have been exaggerated.

Of course what is scary is that anybody with my wifes skill level and 100,000 dollars could insert a hanta virus gene or hemmorhagic fever gene into hand.foot and mouth disease virus. Now u have a highly infectious killer. The fact that it is easy in concept means some crazy man will try it eventually.

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 05:21 | 1168073 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

By the way i cant spell anymore due to 20 years of dictating notes. I tried cursive for the first time in 20 years. Like a nine year old!

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 08:58 | 1168342 GreenSideUp
GreenSideUp's picture

Concerns about GMO exaggerated?  And you know this how?  Are you God? 

The very way Monsanto has developed and forced the use of Round-up Ready (also their product which, until just a few years ago, they held exclusive patent on the active ingredient) corn, etc., government in tow to make it so, is enough for me to be very skeptical.  Ever heard of unintended consequences?  Mother Nature has a tendency to do some pretty hard smack-downs.

And then you contradict your statement by saying someone will eventually insert killer diseases into DNA.  Eventually?  You don't think someone isn't already testing such a thing for a bio-weapon or population control?  

Call me paranoid, but I'd prefer that food be left the hell alone.  

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 07:46 | 1168155 Burnsy
Burnsy's picture

Doug Casey is brilliant. However, I beg to differ on the point of nothing being cheap. Geothermal is cheap. ("cheap, cheap, cheap, cheap, cheap. It's oh so cheap it's free." -Rick Rule).



Thu, 04/14/2011 - 11:16 | 1168831 cdhtexas
cdhtexas's picture

I am a life-long hayseed and take exception to the fourth paragraph, under the subheading of Agriculture, where you make a very irresponsible or uninformed comment about GM foods or GMO Genetically Modified Organisms. You stated that GMO’s were the same as what nature has done for thousands of years. This is patently incorrect.

Nature cannot cross genetic restrictions like Monsanto. Nature is held in check. Look what happens when you cross a Jack with a mare. You end up with a “hybrid” that cannot reproduce (the odds of a mule being fertile are 1 in about 2 million) or won’t reproduce itself (if a mule does reproduce at all it would be a horse.)

GMO foods are destructive to the environment in many ways the least of which is providing genetic pathways for diseases and pests to cross “nature’s” boundary. The tomato with the human growth gene and the human survival gene may provide pathways for plant borne viruses and bacteria to cross to mammals. Or, the new Super Salmon which is part salmon, part cricket (the insect not the cigarette lighter) and an eel.

The most important to young people is the fact that GMO foods have been clinically proven to cause sterility in whatever species feeds upon them. In as little as 4 generations the species can all but be wiped out from eating GMO foods. Naturally occurring species of like kind will also be extinct. It is predicted that in 40 years naturally occurring salmon will have disappeared.

It is more than just giving the Devil (Monsanto) his due ($1.00 by your example) and reaping $5.00. It is about keeping the future save for your children, grandchildren and beyond. It is also about the right of the individual to plant and eat what he or she wants to and not whatever Monsanto says you must. It is about the founding principle of a sovereign human being deciding the course of their own life.


Fri, 04/15/2011 - 22:34 | 1175144 D1eeeeeNAHHHHH
D1eeeeeNAHHHHH's picture

I love the article until it talks about monsanto.  He neglects the overall long term cost of monsanto.  Their seeds are for one planting only and don't reproduce.  One bag of regular seed by far outpaces monsanto's seeds. 

A friend of mine planted carrots in his front of his bay window.  Before winter he harvested the seeds.  One little bag became about 1000 bags worth.

It's like eating McDoubles.  Sure their a buck and do the job.  If you're hooked on the convience of it and prices move up you're stuck and will struggle to adjust.  You will be addicted to easy food or in this case easy seeds.


Mon, 04/18/2011 - 23:05 | 1182734 cdevidal
cdevidal's picture

"I’m not sure I really care if it’s GM; all foods have been genetically modified over the millennia just by virtue of cultivation."


Sounds logical, but it's just big seed company propaganda. It has never been possible, nor will it ever be, to cross a lobster with corn as they're doing in labs. In the year GM soy was introduced to the UK, soy allergies went up 50 PERCENT.


Great article otherwise.

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