Sailing to Disastrium: What’s Past, Passing, or Yet to Come

Phoenix Capital Research's picture

At the
beginning of 2010, I forecast the following ten items would occur that year:


increases in volatility

Fed to continue its bailout efforts but in a more subtle “behind the scenes”
manner (less public bailouts, more non-public lending windows/ purchases of
Mortgage Backed Securities/ etc.)

market potentially struggle to a new high (potentially 1,200 on the S&P
500) sometime before March 2010 (this is negated by any major negative catalyst
e.g. a sovereign debt default, major bank going under, etc.)

the market peaks, a serious, VIOLENT reversal followed by a volatile roller
coaster ride downward for the first half of 2010 culminating in a Crash

sovereign defaults and credit rating downgrades

states to beg for bailouts or default on their debt

municipal bond Crisis

rates to rise or inflation to break loose

credit bubble to pop (Chinese real estate is trading at completely unaffordable
levels based on Chinese incomes) resulting in Chinese stocks and Chinese real
estate plummeting

10) Civil unrest in the US


#’s 1, 2, 3,
7, and 8, were dead on. #’s 5, 6, and 10 were half on the mark (technically we
had rating downgrades but no defaults, US states have started issuing IOUs but
have yet to beg for bailouts, and civil unrest is occurring in pockets of the
US but has yet to go mainstream). #’s 4 and 9 were completely off.


All in all,
I give this forecast a B+. It was generally correct with few outright failures.
However, I don’t consider it “A” material since the market predictions (Crashes
in the US and China) were flat out off by a mile.


This was
largely because I underestimated the Fed and Central Banks’ abilities to restore
confidence and kick the can down the road. In some ways, this was impossible to
predict (no one but the chosen few on Wall Street have direct knowledge of what
the Fed will do ahead of time). Still, I should have erred on the side of
increased moral hazard, manipulation, and intervention. After all, these
elements have been the dominant theme of the financial markets ever since the
Financial Crisis began in 2007.


In plain
terms, I believe that the reason the markets have held up despite overwhelming
evidence that the US economy is in a Depression and the fundamentals are
collapsing is because all the “powers that be” have a vested interest in
maintaining the myths of control and security in the financial markets.




1)   The
politicians NEED things to continue as they were if they want to remain in

2)   The
bankers NEED things to continue as they were if they are to stay in power/
collect their ridiculous salaries

3)   The
central banks NEED things to continue as they were if they are the maintain
their power/ control/ prestige

4)   Money
managers/ Wall Street NEED things to continue as they were if they are to keep
their jobs/ collect their ridiculous salaries (consider the tens of thousands
on the Street who lost jobs during Round One of the Crisis from 2007-2009).


This is why
the next Crisis, while obvious and staring all of us in the face throughout
2010, failed to fully grip the market. It’s why stocks and the like swallowed the
European collapse, US Depression, Flash Crash, and more without REALLY falling
off a cliff.


However, all
of this cannot last forever. The Fed’s actions, while dramatic, have failed to
address the structural issues of the US economy and financial system. Those
structural issues are, excessive debt, accounting fraud and corruption.


At some point
in the future, these structural issues will surface again and grip the
financial markets. When they do, there will literally be nothing the Fed can do
to stop a full-scale collapse. The reason for this is that the Fed has already
exhausted its arsenal of tools fighting the Financial Crisis from 2007-2010.
Indeed, the only tool left is additional QE, which will eventually result in
the US Dollar following in the footsteps of the Euro.


In plain
terms, the system is broken. Everyone, including the Fed, knows it. The
financial world has collectively chosen to ignore this due to political
pressure and career pressure. However, this will not last forever. At some
point something will give and we shall once again enter Crisis mode. I know
this. You know this. Even the most aggressive bull knows this deep down but
believes he or she will be able to get out before it happens.


With that in
mind, I’m preparing 2011’s forecast to be published next week. For now, I will
simply state that I believe this year will be the year that the can cannot be
kicked down the road any more. In the last six months, the Fed has gone from
pumping $10 billion of liquidity to $25 billion in liquidity into the system
per week. I believe that before we get to $50 billion per week the system will have
broken down again. Given the current pace of things, this should hit before the
end of 2011.


So for now,
enjoy your New Years’ celebrations. In 12 months’ time, we’ll all likely be
looking back on this time with nostalgia, not because it’s a great time, but
because it will prove to be a better time than what’s coming.


Happy New




PS. If
you’re like me, you’re probably worried about the future of the stock market.  And if you have yet to take steps to
prepare for the Second Round of the Financial Crisis… I highly suggest you
download my FREE Special Report specifying exactly how to prepare for what’s to


I call it The Financial Crisis “Round Two” Survival
. And its 17 pages contain a wealth of information about portfolio
protection, which investments to own and how to take out Catastrophe Insurance
on the stock market (this “insurance” paid out triple digit gains in the Autumn
of 2008).


Again, this
is all 100% FREE. To pick up your copy today, got to
and click on FREE REPORTS.


publish a FREE Special Report on Inflation detailing three investments that
have all already SOARED as a result of the Fed’s monetary policy.

You can
access this Report at the link above.













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steve from virginia's picture

NOTE; hyper-inflation is almost impossible in the USA. Why?

 - Almost all US public and private debt is of short maturity. As it is renewed (rolled over) in an hyper-inflationary environment lenders demand more interest to compensate for the money cost. The result is indexing @ the short end of the lending curve which eliminates hyperinflation's debt- liquidating characteristic.

 - Hyperinflation is not simply rising prices but a time- factor dynamic where wages and prices increase along with money supply/velocity. US aggregate wages are declining rather than rising as they are in China.

 - Hyper-inflation is impossible with money value pegged to crude oil. At a high- enough nominal crude price the economy crashes destroying demand for crude and reinforcing the crude value of the currency used to purchase it. This has happened over and over again since 1980 and happened as recently as 2009. It will happen again; the higher the crude price during the current 'spike' the greater the crash.

 - High oil prices are deflationary as they allocate flows of funds toward energy consumption away from other uses such as paying wages. We can drive cars or have jobs, that is the choice. As long as Americans keep reaching for the car keys deflation will intensify along with joblessness.

 - When oil shortages appear in the USA -- the Department of Defense suggests 2012 -- the ability to service debt will vanish causing debt contraction, deflation and institutional failure. Debts will simply be written off, repudiated or forgiven.

 - NOTE! Inflation is the natural outcome of business expansion and the creation of money and credit needed to fund that expansion. Hyperinflation is the arbitrary increase of the money supply by the Establishment, done to steal the value held by holders of currency (savers). Hyperinflation is simple theft.

 - In the US there are many means to steal from citizens: foreclosure, debt collections, currency traps, bank failures, market swindles. Decades of these 'disciplines' have left most Americans flat broke and have little savings to steal.

 - Unless Establishment money enters circulation there is no hyperinflation. Money held as reserves will remain as reserves as these are some dude's 'wealth' hiding in plain sight. Deflation exists when bank reserves exist as currency.

 - Hyperinflation is taking place right now in China with large savings (for the government to steal), labor shortages and a massive flow of capital into that country's money supply.

 - Deflation is also part of the business cycle as credit that has expanded past the ability of business cash flow to service must be written off and destroyed. This credit destruction includes transformation of credit- derived liabilities into reserves.  This shift is what QE2 is all about, enriching bankers.

 - Too much QE does not enrich bankers so there is a limit to QE. Remember, the bankers own the Fed.

akak's picture

NOTE! Inflation is the natural outcome of business expansion and the creation of money and credit needed to fund that expansion.

 Paul Krugman, your mother is calling you!

RockyRacoon's picture

My suggestions for 2011:  Buy physical gold and silver.   Seems to have worked well so far -- until it doesn't.   I think we'll get some good indicators as to when the strategy loses its shine (pun intended).  Yeah, I know....  I'm simple-minded.  So?  You expect more from a furry animal?  We tend to hoard shiny things, and we use paper to wipe our butts.

AnAnonymous's picture

And kill gold miners in the process.

steve from virginia's picture

I don't know why Graham Summers' nonsense is posted on ZH. Howabout this, instead:


sandorgb's picture

thank you. this is why i read the comments sections. for posters like you

apberusdisvet's picture

It all comes to an end when the rest of the world issues a big FU to the USD.  The only question is when?  The key player will be OPEC denominating oil in another currency or basket of SDRs, gold, whatever.

The FED obviously feels that the US military umbrella will keep the Saudis (for one) in the camp.  That' probbaly why Iran hasn't been nuked already.  The "threat" keeps the Saudis in line.

DeadFred's picture

First time poster. I had similar predictions at the start of 2010 and lost a lot of money trading them.  About November I came to believe the rules of the game are now different and changed my views. I came up with some predictions based on my new rules. Assuming TPTB actually can move things where they want how do they address the game killing problems in the economy- government debt, over leveraged real estate and underfunded pensions (unemployment is a symptom not a problem)? My answer was inflation and manipulation of the stock market to unrealistic highs.  Dropping the dollar to 10 cents moves the debt from impossible to doable, no one would opt out a 5% mortgage when inflation moves home prices higher and a new loan would be in double digits, and the s&p at 1900 makes the pension plans solvent and brings a flush of capital gains to the hard hit state budgets.  I think the gov made a deal with the big trading banks in exchange for them forgoing the profits from the great crash of July or November the FED would pay them off through POMO and give them front row seats on the market bubble. I even came to see this manipulation as a positive thing. The system, which was heading for a cliff, keeps working. The only downsides I see are turning the market into a joke and the destruction of the dollar and the US as a superpower. My guess is TPTB want the last two anyway.  Any thoughts? Do they have the power to pull this off? If so what's the best way to play it?

Silversinner's picture

Lot of calculation would make more

sense when it would be using shadowstat

numbers calculated in troy ounces of gold.

for instance;Dow up 10%nominal ,

Gold up 30%,real inflation 8% means

dow down 28%!!This looks like a crash

to me.You get more extreme picture using

silver or last 7 years numbers.

SheHunter's picture

"It’s why stocks and the like swallowed the European collapse, US Depression, Flash Crash, and more without REALLY falling off a cliff."

And what really is different this time?  If anything the market is even more global with every country scratching their neighbor's back.  No country wants a financial money is created and can continue to be created so long as countries give the subtle nod to each other to stomp their feet and make a pretense of anger while agreeing the printing is better than market armageddon. I agree volatility will increase and flash crashes are likely and social unrest will increase.  But global market success does not rest on main street comfort in any country.  So be nimble in the market, play the volatility and be as self reliant as you can be both in your financial and personal life.

max2205's picture

Resolution. The only day trades I will make will be oil USO via uco / sco

SheHunter's picture

Resolution, cont:  only day trades;  do not use stops;  uco/sco; lvs short or long; and for another week or so play the volatility in mcp and ree.  May be able to keep small overnights in TNA/SDS before too long. 

bronzie's picture

"However, all of this cannot last forever. ...

At some point in the future, these structural issues will surface again and grip the financial markets. When they do, there will literally be nothing the Fed can do to stop a full-scale collapse. ...

In plain terms, the system is broken."

blah, blah, blah - all of this has been true for most of the last decade

buy my financial newsletter and let me state the obvious for you ...

Sudden Debt's picture

My bet:


1. Chinese inflation will cause higher export prices

2. US and EU trade deficit will will skyrocket followed by a implosion

3. Oil will go to 120 in 2011 and together with food prices will cause a 7 to 9% inflation.

4. As most companies are sitting on massive stocks, this inflation will first offer the a profit in the first 2 Q's as they sell those of  but will implode as salaries need to go up.

4. Salaries won't follow inflation and cause another real estate and credit crisis as people will be living on savings.

5. Asia, Africa will start to show uprisings because of the rising commodity prices causing interantional trade to suffer even more.

6. Terrorist actions will again start to take center stage.

7. EU will need to start centralising taxes and will start making drafts to do so. This will scare of the market because this will cause massive austerities to be taken in large countries.

8. Spain will have failling bond auctions at the end of Q1 till the end of the year.

9. Greece will default

10. Another series of Lost will be made and tell the story about the flash back of the flash back about a alternate universe.

Eally Ucked's picture

@1 I agree + Chinese will allow their currency to appreciate more than last year in order to fight inflation. That wont impair their ability to export but will cause inflation problems all over the world.

@7,8,9 We will start to see first attempts at debt restructuring mostly in Europe and in US at state and local level.

Ben will be buying everything in sight. 

RockyRacoon's picture

Ben will be buying everything in sight.

Once the Fed is stuffed to the gills with every piece of crap in sight, what will be the outcome?  I mean "come out" in what way can they exit their positions?   There used to be talk of how to do that but we don't hear much in the way of exit strategies any more.

JimmyTheHand's picture

I say at least $125-130 on oil and that we get that by March/April. We have record cold in a lot of places and the Saudis aren't even going to entertain the idea of upping production until June. They could call an emergency meeting, but I doubt they will. They just want to amass gold as quick as they can. Oil is their current "store of wealth", they are just converting it to another "store of wealth". Of course the Saudi King passing away could turn their world to poop real quick, that could be a black swan event that could lead to a lot of actions around the globe if his descendants don't react quickly or intelligently enough.

Africa is constantly uprising. That what happens when you are in a constant state of disaster. For the most part they are dependent on foreign aid, which is only a temporary fix. Africa won't realize it's full potential until long term investments are made and fully funded.

Bubbles...bubbles everywhere's picture

In a week this information will not be a forecast; it'll be insider information. 

nathan1234's picture

Timing is the most difficult thing in my opinion. I am nearly always right in my predictions but never on the timings. What happens i find is

a)that the knowledge we have is far ahead of the market and we tend to react far sooner.

b) The people like to live a world of hope and optimisum and not face upto realities till it is too late.

c)The investors think think they are clever and can exit before a collapse. They DO NOT understand that when a collapse occurs in a financial market, the drop is extremely steep andthey can get wiped out.

d) The Governments and the (ir) media ensure that only false data and info are given to the people and keep them in a drunken stupor.

Any Government that keeps the truth from the people who elected them deserve to be sent to the firing squad. No one asked them to be there. If power and money were the things they wanted , they should pay the price. Mistakes can be made by anyone but when they resort to lies and camafoulage they should be shot. They took an oath to protect their constitution and their people and have become traitors for which the only justice is to face the firing squad.

Clapham Junction's picture

So, you're a strict Constitutionalist?  Just round 'em all up, and shoot 'em?

Try the reverse on for size, "any citizen that spreads lies about the government should be shot."

(edited out, too insulting.)

JimmyTheHand's picture

I'm a Constitutionalist. Forget rounding them up and shooting them, just vote them out. If they corrupt the voting process or refuse to leave office then we have the obligation to forcefully remove them as citizens of the United States. By forcefully I mean physically removing them from their comfy little offices (some offices do suck) there in Washington and placing them in the street. What they do after that is up to them as they to are citizens rather than representatives after that. Some should be legally tried and punished for crimes by our Justice department though.

Armchair Bear's picture

As long as the people receiving extended unemployment, welfare, food stamps, and cushy government jobs (and unions) can vote, voting them out is difficult to impossible. 

What's the downfall of Democracy?  "Rarely have democracies survived beyond 200 years. Why do democracies fail?   Two of the major reasons are: 1) democracies generally progress through an initial period from bondage to spiritual faith escalating to the point where the citizens become totally dependent on the government to where they eventually revert back to bondage, and 2) once the democracy shows signs of prosperity, citizens vote themselves generous bounties from the public treasury.  Does this not sound familiar? "

Constitutional evaluation of the corruption in politics would demand that the Treasonous Senators, Representatives, Presidents, Vice Presidents...and the FED - be executed.


In 1792 the U. S. Coinage Act was passed by Congress. It invoked the death penalty for anyone debasing money and provided for a U.S. Mint where silver dollars were coined along with gold coins beginning in 1794. The text of Coinage Act of 1792 states: “The Dollar or Unit shall be of the value of a Spanish milled dollar as the same is now current,” that is, running in the market, “to wit, three hundred and seventy-one and one-quarter grains of silver.”

To repeat, A“dollar” is a silver coin containing three hundred and seventy-one and one-quarter grains of silver — and it cannot be changed by constitutional amendment, definitionally, any more than the term “year” can."

AnAnonymous's picture

As long as the people receiving extended unemployment, welfare, food stamps, and cushy government jobs (and unions) can vote, voting them out is difficult to impossible. 


1) democracies generally progress through an initial period from bondage to spiritual faith escalating to the point where the citizens become totally dependent on the government to where they eventually revert back to bondage, and 2) once the democracy shows signs of prosperity, citizens vote themselves generous bounties from the public treasury.  Does this not sound familiar? "


1-Probably more an attribute of an empire.

2-Well known propaganda bit.

Yet quite easy to proof check. Enfranchisement is often determined by law. Which gives a direct means to number the population of voters.

From which voters who lost their voting right for various explanations.

This gives the voters total population A.

Once done, and after checking elections in various countries in the West, it gives that people are elected by 20-35pc of A. Which is rescaled to an absolute majority by neglecting non voters. 

Most democracies around the world are already in a mode that exclude the quoted demographics from voting.

Something else is happening and the story of the majority, poors or stuff like that voting themselves priviledges is one tired propaganda.

I wish propagandists could come with renewed propaganda instead of hammering worn out bits.

Propagandists should allocate resources to craft propaganda and good one if possible. 

New_Meat's picture


"... voting them out is difficult to impossible. "

Ya, Bawney had a real challenger,  got reelected with ignition of the unions who stayed home and didn't support Marsha Coakley.

- Ned

Clapham Junction's picture

Municipal bonds-best contrarian play for 2011.

Start small and add as things get crazy.  Do it through an advisor you trust.

Expecting the retards to junk this like mad, the worst thing would be to get a lot of "you know, I was thinking the same thing."  

Mr. Anonymous's picture

I was thinking along the same lines for a contrarian play.  Best trade in the world is long Detroit munis.

akak's picture

And Saddam-issued Iraqi victory bonds too!

Janice's picture

You know, I was thinking the same thing. 

With everyone pulling out of municipals, those conservative cities/counties/states should be okay financially, but with all the bad press, may wind up having to float bonds at a higher rate just because investors are risk adverse. 

Also, there is no way in hell that the Feds/States/Counties allow them to fail.  The Fed will print money and the States will let it  trickle down.  A little known fact .... the State of Florida bailed out Miami in the '80s but in exchange, forced them to clean up the corruption and keep it to a minimum. 

The biggest thing to watch out for is the notes to the financials.....if there is a Goldman, Morgan, et. al. interest rate derivative mentioned in the financials, then the government officials were hoodwinked through their ignorance and they will bleed taxpayer's money.  Read the retirement notes see if the benefits were funded in the previous "good years".

The biggest concern would be inflation & currency risk.  If the inflation rate is too high, then the interest would not be sufficient to cover the loss of purchasing power...same with currency debasement. 

New_Meat's picture

You know, John Ryding was saying the same thing on Bloomberg on Friday.  Whistling past Whitney's graveyard by talking about muni-revenue bonds (e.g. PA Turnpike) while ignoring CA, IL, RI, NY, etc. State G.O.s

Sometimes, they have the podcast on the free side, all of them on the paid side.

So the fiscally responsible will have to pay up for the spendthrifts?  Maybe, not sure how long that would last, though.

Happy New Year,

- Ned

Mr.Kowalski's picture

I completely agree with your overall assessment, but your overall grade should be closer to a C. But on a long enough timeline, each and every one of your predictions will pan out. I think I did a little better than this last year:


Azannoth's picture

Yes it's amatter of 1 - 4 years and all shit will break loose, just enough to get prepared

Clapham Junction's picture

Prepared.  OK.

That means you'll be rooted out in 2 days instead of immediately. 

I guess it is worth it. the way, I know about a 400 million people with the same secret plan.

akak's picture

Hey The Clap, has anyone ever told you that you are quite an obnoxious asshole?

After reading your tripe in this forum over the past few weeks, I must congratulate you on having graduated to my elite "Always Flag as Junk" list.

jedwards's picture

You are giving yourself too much credit in  your self-analysis.

#1 - you were half right, because the VIX increased from 22 to about 45, but most of the year was easily below 25.  There was no massive increase.

#2 - you were right

#3 - you were half right, it reached its new highs at the end of April, but then made more new highs at the end of the year

#4 - you were half right.  it did go down after the peak (this is an obvious statement, otherwise there would be no peak), but there was no crash.

#5 - you were half right .  no defaults, but plenty of downgrades.

#6 - you were wrong

#7 - you were half right.  there's certainly a muni-bond selloff, but it hasn't turned into a crisis yet.

#8 - you were wrong.  interest rates are lower today than they were at the beginning of last year.

#9 - you were wrong

#10 - you were wrong.  There was no such civil unrest that was unusually worse than any other year.

I would give you an A for effort, but a D for tradeable predictions.  You were relying heavily on debt causing a discernible problem in 2010, but it didn't.  Governments were able to continue sweeping this problem under the rug for another year.

pat53's picture

Exactly, a "B+" for the accuracy for these predictions is like giving a weather man an B+ for calling for sunny weather when it actually rained ! Your predictions sucked, plain and simple !

IslandMan's picture

AAA+++ for a clear, concise, accurate assessment of his self-assessment.  You would, of course, fail on Wall Street.

AnAnonymous's picture

Debt will not show in any devastating matter as long as the resources to maintain the Ponzi exist. It wont happen in 2011. Nor 2012. Nor 2013.

As long as going deeper into debt is a physically possible action, debt will not show in any damaging way this site is used to broadcasting. If you can go deeper into debt, you can allocate the debt to "repaiment" to cook the book.

But, on the contrary, expect moves to consolidate the possibility to go deeper into debt.


All in all, I give this forecast a B+.


That is the spirit of the Western world, self critism, a major part in the so called critical thinking way.

Was told to help to investigate the truth.

Usually devolves in a manner to control how your own performance is to be assessed. Therefore a much more convenient way to lie.

I had the chance to evolve in fields where self criticism was employed.

Smart people behave the way this guy did: when their work is miserable, they acknowledge a few points down to up their own credibility and get away with the general picture.

Stupid people try to paint everything is correct, destroying their credibility in the making.

Sincere people giving a fairly balanced assessment of their performance are generally consider a threat, as they look like operating against the general rules, that is about pretending not being being (US style)

It is both way too. The reception depends on the sense of membership, whether or not the  person is part of the gang.

I saw people being humiliated for upping an average performance (6 correct out of ten) to eight while others who got 4 correct out of 10, upped to 7, given a green light and applause.

Self criticism is an utter failure in its out proclaimed objectives but yields important information on the personality of people and whether or not they are part of the gang.