Guest Post: The Status Quo's Fundamental Paradigms Are Broken

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Mon, 11/15/2010 - 16:06 | 728216 Azannoth
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I have only 1 question, what happens when you get a run on the reserve currency ?

Mon, 11/15/2010 - 16:59 | 728383 redpill
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Holy shit I was looking at that and then the giant fucking clown face clicked right in, WTF!

Mon, 11/15/2010 - 17:55 | 728582 Thanatos
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Hey, even Thanatos has a sense of humor.

Besides... Nothing is scarier than Nukes and Clowns combined!

Mon, 11/15/2010 - 17:17 | 728457 Jake3463
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Anyone know what people did when the denari couldn't buy shit in 410 AD?

Mon, 11/15/2010 - 21:09 | 729103 Diogenes
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The Empire collapsed and the Dark Ages began.

No more central government, trade nearly disappeared along with law enforcement and other government infrastructure. Instead you had local feifdoms and baronys, always vaguely hostile to each other and usually a war going on someplace.

The peasants survived by growing what crops they could and lowering their standard of living to homespun clothes, locally grown turnips and barley bread. No more imported wine, silks, and such sophisticated luxuries.

Basically Renaissance Fayre meets Mad Max in a hippy commune.

 

Anyone who had gold and silver, had the only real money. If he could hang onto it. Some of the best relics in museums came from hordes of gold and silver that were buried for safe keeping at this time and never recovered. Other than that, land and cattle were wealth. The right ancestry, a horse, and good weapons and you were in position to acquire wealth. Once you got it, you built a good strong castle if you wanted to keep it.

And of course this was the great era of the Catholic church. When everything goes to hell the people turn to religion and the church was ready to fill the power vacuum left by the collapse of the civil and military authorities.

 

Mon, 11/15/2010 - 23:25 | 729497 TexasAggie
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since our LSM keep informing us that the recession is over, on Sunday, traveling from Houston to Schertz, I counted 20 billboards on IH10 from MP 832 to 599 (Marion), and 5 billboards for rent on TX 78 from Marion to Schertz.  Also, in Katy, 3 sidings at the Katy yard were full of cars (4 sidings available).  Also, on Fox Business today, they had a trucking report which I missed, but I think it was not good.  Do BO where is the recovery - in yours and JB's heads?

Tue, 11/16/2010 - 03:46 | 730058 Broken_Trades
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Katy mall has been on the decline since 2008.  Theres a lot fo empty retail space in there now.

Mon, 11/15/2010 - 17:50 | 728575 JohnG
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TSHTF.

Mon, 11/15/2010 - 16:08 | 728222 Duuude
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"New applications of technology and new social/economic models (both localized and international) will have to be developed, tested and adapted which require less energy and resources."

 

"The guy with the bigger club wins"

 

There, I fixed it fer ya.

 

Mon, 11/15/2010 - 16:11 | 728229 painequalschange
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"That which cannot continue will stop"

Does that imply "that that which can continue will not stop?"

Mon, 11/15/2010 - 16:14 | 728234 Bruno the Bear
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I love the smell of broken paradigms in the morning.

Mon, 11/15/2010 - 16:29 | 728258 whatsinaname
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you arent talking about the 30year bond paradigm this morning are you ?

gotta have quite a few in a fix I guess..

Mon, 11/15/2010 - 16:20 | 728245 CH1
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when presented with factual evidence that their core beliefs are wrong, humans respond by clinging even more tightly to their fallacious beliefs.
I think that is precisely the reaction of the global Status Quo.

 

YOU NAILED IT!!! Well said.

Mon, 11/15/2010 - 16:22 | 728247 Cognitive Dissonance
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Damn you Charles Hugh Smith, damn you to hell. Now you've gone and popped all my bubbles. 

Na na na, I can't hear you.

Mon, 11/15/2010 - 16:43 | 728304 DoChenRollingBearing
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I figured to find you on this thread Cog Dis!

C. H. Smith writes a compelling story that is hard to refute.  I suppose the only topic he may be wrong about is that I think China will blow up somewhere between now and then.  Historically China blows it just as they are heading to becoming No. 1.  Lots of problems in China too, something that the MSM does not write much about.

Since it looks like nothing constructive will be done here in the USA re deficits, we have to look out for ourselves.  That means doing the mental spade work you have often recommended.

Oh, and buy some gold too.

Mon, 11/15/2010 - 17:21 | 728373 Cognitive Dissonance
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I figured to find you on this thread Cog Dis!

Based upon some troll comments lately I'm a ZH whore. Which means I'm everywhere and anywhere you want me and I work real cheap. Looks like I can retire at the top of my game.

Now if someone would be so kind as to explain to me how the ZH pension works I'll be moving on. I've got my 2 years in. :>)

Mon, 11/15/2010 - 18:34 | 728653 Miles Kendig
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Based upon some troll comments lately I'm a ZH whore.

Cog, since when were you overly concerned with trolls?  I can't speak to your retirement plans.  However I can say that my retirement has been made far better by your contributions and I am sure this sentiment is shared by at least one or two others around here.  I can only hope that you find yourself similarly situated.  Best as always and thank you -

Mon, 11/15/2010 - 16:23 | 728250 Robslob
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And now a word from our sponsor Ben Bernanke:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdED3rVgIu4

Mon, 11/15/2010 - 16:28 | 728255 Quixote2
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Some Thoughts on Money and the Future

I have been trying to get my brain around the future of money, gold, debt, our government, etc.

Gold, money, fiat, inflation, deflation, etc

Gold and silver are money, the constitution defines the dollar in silver.

Fiat money is debt, generated out of thin air by borrowing by individuals; businesses; and local, state, and Federal government agencies.  The Fed issues generic notes or electronic notations for this debt where the generic note has no distinction between the landscape laborer who bought the $300,000 house with nothing down or the US Treasury.

Deflation is a reduction of money in circulation with a resulting reduction in prices due to less money available.

The amount of gold and silver (money) available in circulation is falling.

The price of stuff (commodities, stocks, food, real estate, etc) is falling when priced in gold or silver (money).

The price of debt notes (including fiat) priced in money is also declining.  Or, gold and silver (money) is increasing when priced in fiat units.  Or, in other words, the real rate of return on fiat is negative.  Zero % interest rates with approximately 10% inflation (my assessment).  Thus gold with zero dividends or interest appears to give a positive 10% return when priced in declining fiat.  Any excess return on gold over the negative real return of fiat (on a global fiat average) is due to speculation and might return to the mean.

We are in deflation/depression as in the early 1930’s when we were on a money (gold) standard.  We are currently in an era of deflation/depression when viewed through the lens of gold/silver money.

Because the money (gold/silver) price of fiat is declining faster than the money (gold/silver) price of stuff, the price of stuff in fiat units is increasing.  This price increase in fiat units is price inflation and often confused with the economic term of money inflation or the increase in money (gold/silver) in circulation.  Thus, we are experiencing fiat price inflation while we are in deflation/depression.  There is nothing that says we cannot have hyper fiat price inflation while we are in money deflation and depression (see Zimbawe).

In the future, guaranteed Social Security benefits will be reduced to 50% (your contribution) the other 50% (employer contribution) will be used to fund means test SS payments.  The reductions will be 5% per year over a 10 year period with the existing Federal Reserve Bank fiat system.

Medicare benefits will be reduced, and price schedule based on taxable income and a means test (net worth statement).  Some life extension procedures will be based (denied) on age.

 

How to fix things in the future

Issue treasury gold certificates at $1 per mg of gold, $1,000 per g of gold, $31,103 per troy ounce of gold.  Issue silver certificates at $50 per g of silver, $1,555 per troy ounce silver.  Let the market sort out if you want to carry Federal Reserve notes, treasury certificates or metal coins in your pocket or in your mattress. 

Physical gold and silver will find its way to the treasury to be converted into coin of the realm.  Most people will be content to carry and spend treasury certificates in daily commerce instead of the easily lost/misplaced gold coins of great value.  The Federal Reserve note will find its real value, approximately zero in the market as people convert to treasury certificates.  This proposal has the benefit of effectively eliminating the Federal Reserve Bank printing worthless fiat.  The treasury gold and silver certificates are freely converted between certificates and metal and back.

Previous loans, obligations, and notes made with Federal Reserve Notes are paid back with fiat notes.  Future loans or obligations are specified in notes or certificates.  The loans owed to China are paid back with fiat notes.  They can be purchased in the market with gold or silver certificates and will approach their inherent value.

China is not singled out, all past obligations made in fiat FR Notes (including home mortgages and all other countries) are paid back in Federal Reserve notes purchased on the market (the political third rail of Social Security gets special consideration).  Future wages are paid in treasury certificates and the banks can readily do an exchange value to fed reserve notes similar to your purchases in Euros or other currencies.  The US will operate for a period with two currencies in circulation.  If I had to guess, today’s value would be approximately $20 in Fed notes equal to $1 in Treasury certificates.  One day’s pay at minimum wages would be roughly equivalent to one gram of silver or a $50 silver certificate.  (The pre 1965 dime, containing 0.0715 troy ounces or 2.224 grams of silver, would be worth $111.18.)

The new treasury certificate currency requires controls to be fully backed by metal in the treasury without any fractional reserve trickery.

The banks and previous lenders get paid back in the currency they loaned out, Federal Reserve notes, they are not cheated.  The notes were originally generated out of thin air and to thin air they will return.  The banks are saved from the mortgage foreclosure mess as the underwater debtors can make their payments with treasury certificate wages converted to FR notes for payment.  Unfortunately, the value of the too big to fail banks will drop approximately a factor of 20 (shed crocodile tears here).

For the complainers of windfall profits.  The increase in gold and silver prices will be taxed at the collectible rate when the investments (include mining stocks) are converted to treasury certificates (40% or so taxes).  The net 60% windfall will probably pass into an inheritance and have another 50% federal tax, thus less than 30% net into the economy stimulation.  The supposed windfall achieved by mortgage holders paying off their previous loans at approximately 5 cents on the dollar would be taxed on any gain from the date of the act incorporating gold/silver certificates currency to the date of the real estate sale.  The capital gain would be calculated in terms of treasury certificates and taxed at the rate of gold collectibles.  Approximately 40% of the real estate gain due to change of currency would go to the government.  If part of an estate, some inheritance taxes might also apply.  If the sale is to move to another house, the tax cannot be rolled over but paid at the closing.  The sellers can use the remaining approximately 60% less fees to pay the new required 20% or greater down on the next house with the provision that payments are calculated assuming a single wage earner.  House prices will return to the previous nominal standard of a loan approximately twice the buyer’s annual gross wages.  

Most pensions will result in the purchasing value of their payouts reduced.  The amount of the reduction will depend on the investments in the pension plan.  Fixed income assets will decline, stocks will probably ultimately increase in price.  The pensions have the requirement of minimum payout of benefits in FR notes.  With stock asset increased prices, the payout will be greater than the minimum of previously quoted FR notes but will be less than the same dollars in treasury certificates.  Below a to-be-determined payout the pension is nontaxable, in excess of that value the income is taxed at the collectable rate.

Social Security.  50% of your social security is paid in treasury certificates instead of FR notes (the special political consideration for reelection purposes).  The 50% employer contribution from the past and in the future is used for means testing social security payouts in excess of your 50% contribution payout.  The value increase of treasury certificate over FR note social security payments is treated as taxable income.

Medicare.   Medicare benefits will be reduced, and price schedule based on taxable income and a means test (net worth statement).  Some life extension procedures will be based (denied) on age.

United States balance of trade and industry.  This is an effective factor of 20 devaluation of the dollar and the price of imports will spike up until other countries devalue a comparable amount.  The US government should start a program to rebuild infrastructure and US manufacturing.  We should immediately offer assistance (tax rebates) in retrofitting automobiles, trucks, etc to dual fuel natural gas and require all new autos, trucks, etc to be dual fuel natural gas within two years.  We should start a national program to convert our rail system to electric within 10 years and include high-speed passenger rail.  We should require all government purchases to be greater than 80-90% domestic manufacture.  We should significantly increase tax on corporate profits derived from US corporate foreign manufacturing imported into the US.  We should provide incentives to take back manufacturing and jobs within the US borders.

Mon, 11/15/2010 - 16:49 | 728329 whatsinaname
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Yes the dollar deval is a great incentive provided by our Messiah to get jobs back. Kudos!!

Mon, 11/15/2010 - 17:29 | 728509 rlouis
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A well thought out solution to something. But, no mention of the military industrial complex which supports the empire, and which has arguably lead to our downfall as much as any entitlement program. Or the reality that we have not been a nation of either law or justice for a long time; the government operates for the benefit of the well connected.  I don't think there can be a 'just' solution to national bankruptcy until there is accountability for bribery, corruption, and theft at the highest levels of government and TBTF banks - and considering that we haven't been able to accomplish meaningful campaign finance reform doesn't give much hope for that excepting public outrage forces some sacrifical turkeys.  That being said, I'm sure a number of your tax observations will play out. Thanks.

Mon, 11/15/2010 - 18:23 | 728633 mnevins2
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"We should provide incentives to take back manufacturing and jobs within the US borders."

I read/skimmed everything in this comment and thought "nothing new," but then I came upon the  last sentence and I thought to myself:

BINGO!!!!

If we don't do this - we're in deep(er) doo-doo.

Tue, 11/16/2010 - 05:10 | 730117 jeff montanye
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i'm don't know about much of what you comment, but the tax aspect re: gains seems a bit incomplete.  even if the bush tax cuts are not extended, heirs receive a stepped up to date of death cost basis for capital assets so no "capital gains" or "collectibles" tax would be paid on prior gains.  in addition, the first $1.2 million of estate value would be tax exempt.  obama's (current?) proposal is to increase that to $3.5 million with the rate after that 45% and date of death cost bases.

Tue, 11/16/2010 - 08:19 | 730184 Disambiguation
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Quixote2,

 

The vast majority of gold is held by the exact same group of power players currently in control. Will changing to a gold/silver standard reduce their ability to manipulate the system?

Tue, 11/16/2010 - 08:19 | 730185 Disambiguation
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Quixote2,


The vast majority of gold is held by the exact same group of power players currently in control. Will changing to a gold/silver standard reduce their ability to manipulate the system?

Tue, 11/16/2010 - 11:04 | 730726 Quixote2
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The gold price basis for treasury certificates is arbitrary, make it $311,000 per troy ounce.  The key is to get the Fed out of generating fed notes out of thin air and charging interest for life to a debt slave.  Enable the treasury to generate the nations currency and the treasury to collect the interest payments instead of banksters.

Mon, 11/15/2010 - 16:32 | 728264 samsara
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Thanks TD for this one by Charles.   The nice thing about his articles besides the graphs and illustrations is the fact that he is Peak Oil aware and incorporates that into his articles about the problems we face and the proposed solutions by the average pundit/economist.

If a thinking person just gazed at the "Growing Gap"  graph,  you will understand at the most base level that "Game's Up".   Notice all the discoveries in the 1960's, when Ghawar, Bergan et al were discoverd, and the spike in the 1980's when the north slope and north sea were dicovered.

BTW, the North Slope (ie Alaska Pipeline) used to pump up to 3 million bpd thru the pipeline.  It is just north of 500,000 bpd now, and just a tad lower and they will have to shut it down.  Not enough pumping thru to keep it flowing in a liquid state.  Oh, and the North Sea is virtually gone too. 

See Richard Heinberg's

The end of growth

<SNIP>

As early as 1998, petroleum geologists Colin Campbell and Jean Laherrère were discussing a Peak Oil impact scenario that went like this. Sometime around the year 2010, they theorized, stagnant or falling oil supplies would lead to soaring and more volatile petroleum prices, which would precipitate a global economic crash. This rapid economic contraction would in turn lead to sharply curtailed energy demand, so oil prices would then fall; but as soon as the economy regained strength, demand for oil would recover, prices would again soar, and as a result of that the economy would relapse. This cycle would continue, with each recovery phase being shorter and weaker, and each crash deeper and harder, until the economy was in ruins. Financial systems based on the assumption of continued growth would implode, causing more social havoc than the oil price spikes would themselves generate.

<SNIP>

http://www.energybulletin.net/stories/2010-11-12/end-growth

Mon, 11/15/2010 - 17:21 | 728475 trav7777
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one quibble:  the major discoveries of the 60s were Prudhoe and N. Sea.

Ghawar and Burgan were discovered in the 30s and 40s.

The largest discovery since the 70s was Cantarell, and once it peaked, it crashed.  One must pray to whatever God you believe in that they all don't decline like that.

Unfortunately, one of the biggest fields ever, Burgan, peaked around '05 and has seen 14% YoY decline rates.  This is incredibly bad.

It's very important to not look at in-place reserves for late discoveries, as the production figures of fields like Tupi and Carioca will be laughably small compared to production figures of older fields of similar stated reserves.

Mon, 11/15/2010 - 17:28 | 728504 samsara
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I stand corrected Trav, (it was a quick from memory).

True about Bergan and Cantarell.

And I agree with your main point, It's all about Flow Rate.

Makes little difference if you have 10 million in the bank, if you can only withdraw 500 dollars a month eh?

If someone mentions Reserve Size, you know it's a red herring...

 

Mon, 11/15/2010 - 17:59 | 728592 trav7777
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what's worst is when they purport to DIVIDE reserves by consumption and get "lifespan."  I even had it out with a pipeline engineer on that one, who cited that the tarsands would last the US 50 years or something.  As if you could flow 18mbpd from them simply because that is the math of reserves/consumption.

The tarsands would last the US a couple hours a day is my response. 

Mon, 11/15/2010 - 18:23 | 728632 Spalding_Smailes
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http://www.eia.doe.gov/pub/oil_gas/natural_gas/analysis_publications/ngp...

 

A friend of mine sells dynamite in the pipeline industry. I guess they are working on a major line now coming down from Canada. Will be interesting how this plays out in the future ...

 

Tue, 11/16/2010 - 05:14 | 730118 jeff montanye
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thank you for that cogent point and your expertise generally.

Mon, 11/15/2010 - 18:36 | 728661 Citxmech
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Otherwise known as the "bumpy plateau" [although you could also picture the whole economy  packaged into a box marked "fragile" and dropped down a verry long flight of stairs].

If there's one good thing about the whole peak oil debate is that we should get pretty irrefutable confirmation one way or another within the next 10 years or so of where we're at on the curve [in case the current state of affairs isn't enough evidence for you].

 

Mon, 11/15/2010 - 16:35 | 728274 francismarion
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Charles Hugh Smith, who always seems to hit the nail on the head, says in this posting that 2017 is the beginning of the time of greatest likelihood of war between the US and China.

On Nov 10, 2010, a Song-class Chinese submarine surfaced between Japan and Taiwan, in the middle of a twelve-ship battle group, literally right next to the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk.

That was the day after the missile contrail, later discredited as an aircraft contrail, was spotted fifteen miles more or less off the coast of California.

Message received.

Mon, 11/15/2010 - 17:12 | 728427 Tortfeasor
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The event you are talking about happened in 2007.  You just happened to read the article about it on Nov 10, 2010.

Mon, 11/15/2010 - 17:37 | 728532 francismarion
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Thanks tortfeasor.

Good ol' Google.

 

Mon, 11/15/2010 - 17:37 | 728533 francismarion
francismarion's picture

Thanks tortfeasor.

Good ol' Google.

 

Mon, 11/15/2010 - 17:25 | 728493 trav7777
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Minor quibble:  there is an unstatably VAST difference between maritime and wartime ASW.  Anyone thinking subs can operate with impunity during war is a fool.  They will not be surfacing near anything.

Operating a sub when surface ships and ASW helos are actively looking for you is a completely different proposition.  Nevermind the destruction of your sub yards.

Mon, 11/15/2010 - 22:11 | 729288 Non Passaran
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Search for "carrier killer" and then think again.
Five (or seven, as the case may be) years from now the situation will be very different from now.

Mon, 11/15/2010 - 22:13 | 729291 Non Passaran
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Search for "carrier killer" and then think again. Five (or seven, as the case may be) years from now the situation will be very different from now.

Mon, 11/15/2010 - 18:42 | 728683 Citxmech
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I'm guessing we will have a multitude regional proxy wars over resources before we'll have a standup fight between China and the US.  If the US and China ever go into a hot conflict, we're all going to be in some seriously deep sht.

Mon, 11/15/2010 - 16:36 | 728281 HarryWanger
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Can argue with many points here but merely have to point to one thing only that today is showing: strong dollar across the board and rising stock market. Last time this happened last year, the market rallied hard until year's end with the dollar rising. 

Mon, 11/15/2010 - 16:54 | 728354 samsara
samsara's picture

Ah, comeon HW, at least argue the "Growing Gap" graph with me.  It would seem easy for you to refute since it is only based on 50year geological history. 

Surely you can point to HUGE, I mean HUGE discoveries,

You haven't even mentioned Bakken in SD to solve all are problems...

I bet if they came out and said that an asteroid would hit earth in  10 days, you would still say there is time yet to make money in the markets.  

Psst, Wanna buy my seats on the Fan Tail Harry,  I'll give'm to ya cheap....

Mon, 11/15/2010 - 18:02 | 728594 PolishHammer
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That said, you're spot on Harry and asteroid...but that's why he's worth reading.

 

Cause you know, the people here would hear about asteroid gonna hit in 100 years and they would just buy gold and ammunition and hide in the hills while the "sheeple" would drink fine spirits and party with whores.

Mon, 11/15/2010 - 18:37 | 728667 Miles Kendig
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Harry, I have to hand it to you.  You are supremely consistent in your commentary and there can be no question that you have a pair of solid brass. Agreed or not in perspective this cheers is for you.

Mon, 11/15/2010 - 20:55 | 729072 fiddler_on_the_roof
fiddler_on_the_roof's picture

I was expecting this. I am waiting for  S&P=1200 and DXY=100 in less than a month. If DXY does not reach that high, S&P should compensate for that. I could be wrong but that is my calculation.

 

Harry : It looks like you will win your bet for $100. I am in your camp.

Mon, 11/15/2010 - 16:37 | 728285 hugolp
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Absolutely brilliant.

Economist should ditch forever the notion that GDP = growth. Its stupid.

Mon, 11/15/2010 - 18:47 | 728695 the rookie cynic
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Yes, exponential growth is impossible in system with finite resources.

But until then…repeat after me: growth at all costs, growth at all costs, growth at all costs! We chant it over and over to the Keynesian High Priests that have become gods unto themselves.  Just one problem. Nature, the ultimate lender-of-last-resort, has a balance sheet problem: depletion.

The powers-that-be deny all this. They are a bunch of greedy cowards.

Wake up fellas. Growth is now a curse. In a finite system, exponential growth is a oxymoron.

Contrary to what they preach in Washington and Wall Street, our current economic system destroys the basic resources it depends on to survive. 

They don’t get it. By making us slaves to growth, they force us to commit environmental, and by extension, economic suicide.

 

http://therookiecynic.wordpress.com/2010/10/12/your-lethal-education-par...

Mon, 11/15/2010 - 20:54 | 729067 hugolp
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You did not get it.

The problem is that increasing the GDP does not necesarely mean growth. Thats the point.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!