The Golden End Game – A Thought Experiment
Part One of Two
With limericks by The Limerick King
This is part one of a two part exploration (part two found here) into what the world might look like after a total or partial collapse of the currency/economic system from the perspective of holding Gold. As the title explains this is a thought experiment, not a dissertation filled with footnotes and references. Consider it one man’s flight of fancy, so take what you need and leave the rest. Anyone who claims they know what will actually happen is a fool greater than me.
As markets are starting to sink
The end could be here in a wink
So should I prepare?
Should I even care?
My PMs will save me!!! (I think......)
(The Limerick King)
When I first entered the business 20 plus years ago the firm I started with had a mentoring program that paired the fresh faced rookie with a veteran for the first 6 months. The idea was that for a piece of the action paid to the veteran from the rookie’s commissions, the veteran would offer hands-on review, insight and support. While some on both sides of the office divide groused over this arrangement, from management’s point of view it made all the sense in the world because now the office was raising the rookie, not just one or two managers.
I found the mentoring system to be beneficial simply because I was coming in quite a bit older than the younger shark chum fresh from the diploma mills. Most of them felt they had the world by the balls, thus as long as they showed up the (fiat) spice would flow. But I knew these financial chop shops had a tendency to chew up the rookies, and then spit them out once they’d been used and abused. Since I didn’t want any part of the rookie churn and burn I relished the chance to work with a veteran and develop good habits early rather than be left with trying to break many bad habits later.
Luckily I was paired with an old pro who quickly took a shine to me and showed me the ropes, spending far more time with me then he was ever compensated for. In fact the experience re-invigorated him and he went on to become the top producer of the office two years running. The more I learned the harder he pushed, reasoning that since I knew this, I damn well better know that. So he took most of his compensation in the form of my spilled blood and an inner satisfaction that he was making his mark. For me, the processes, morals and methods he taught me are still paying sweet dividends two decades later.
One of his demands was the weekly ritual of a portfolio review of each holding in every client account. When Friday came round he insisted I justify why this or that position was in a client’s account and quite frankly it drove me crazy. I would complain that we had done the same damn thing every week for months and not much had changed. So why was he still asking me the same questions again and again. And every time I complained he would respond with a question of his own, often dramatizing it by looking out the window or throwing the Wall Street Journal on his desk. Prove to him that the world was the same one that existed when we reviewed the accounts the last time.
And of course he was right; the world was not the same and often quite different from week to week. This trial by fire is something I still force myself to go through every Friday afternoon. Knowing the client and the world situation, if I can’t justify the position, why the hell is it still in the account? But of equal or greater value to me were my mentor’s questions each time I tried to add a new position to an account. I hated his probing and poking and often I took it personally. And that bastard knew where all my buttons were and delighted in pressing every single one until I finally wised up and stopped letting him goad me.
After we had discussed why I was adding the position, and well before I was allowed to call the client and make the pitch, he always had one final question for me. How was I going to dispose of it if things went wrong in a hurry? Or in his words, “What’s the end game on that?” At first I felt his question was downright stupid and my rote answer was always that I would cross that bridge when I got there. But he never let me get away with my intellectual laziness and he’d ask the same question 6 different ways until I saw all the possible pitfalls based upon the knowledge I had at the time.
I can still hear him today. “Don’t ever take on a new position until you have thoroughly considered how you will dispose of it under the worst of conditions.” It forced me to look beyond my nose and consider how circumstances change, and with those changes the ability to sell something that, while saleable today, might not be tomorrow. Liquidity and desirability can dry up quickly and always when it is least convenient to you and your client. This perspective broadening exercise was extremely useful beyond my business world because it can and should be applied at all (not just major) life decision points.
As this Keynesian game nears an end
And the Banksters can no longer lend
What will we all treasure?
Will gold be our measure?
Or the love of our family and friends?
(The Limerick King)
So……what’s the end game here folks? Regardless of whether we are USA centric or more globally focused, the fact is that we ‘own’ a political, economic and social portfolio that is the foundational basis not only of our wealth and investments, but of our very lives and those of our family, friends and neighbors. So have we done a fearless and thorough portfolio review or are we simply buying Gold and other precious metals, along with guns and various food stuffs, and hunkering down to wait out the storm?
I don’t pretend to have all the answers, let alone the proper questions. So don’t look to me for instructions when the T-1000 HFT bots crest the ridge and cream our asses. But a little proactive introspection is well warranted here considering we are now entering uncharted territory. And it is uncharted territory; at least for plebs such as you and me, even though there have been fiat currency collapses throughout history. This time really is different (as were all the other times for each generation caught in the middle) if for no other reason than the massive use of financial leverage combined with the humongous explosion in global population over the last 100 years.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m basically a hard asset guy at this point in the great unwind. But as I have said in the Zero Hedge comment section several times before, it’s one thing to grow and/or protect your assets and wealth in Precious Metals (PMs) (and other hard assets) and another thing entirely to move those assets to the next game board when this one is reset, replaced or recreated.
I see and hear a great deal of cognitive dissonance in many of the articles and comments discussing PMs as the best vehicle to use when moving to dry land……….that is, when dry land finally does rises from the ocean floor to form the new capitalist capital called Atlantis Redux. I find that many are kind of fuzzy on how the actual transition/transaction will go down and nearly all just sort of insert “and then a miracle occurs” at some point in the discussion when they recite the precious metals (PM) mantra.
Let’s just say for a moment that our Gold, Silver, Platinum and Gold-plated Tungsten have all quintupled in price (as measured in whatever fiat is the favorite at the end) and we are now all sitting pretty. Do we really honest-to-God no-fingers-crossed cherry-on-top believe that the powers-that-be will simply allow us to mosey up to the cashiers cage and redeem or convert it all for whatever monetary unit reigns supreme? Really? Because from my point of view it’s just crazy talk to assume that the enemy of the state (Gold and other PM’s) will be welcomed home with a warm welcoming embrace.
Now before you bite my head off (remember boys and girls, this is just a thought experiment) understand who this essay is directed towards. Or rather isn’t directed towards. If you are capable of purchasing several LBMA Gold bars and are able to store them overseas and you can easily relocate yourself to where your Gold is, then this rant really isn’t directed towards you. While you may not be a power-that-be, you are in a class above the middle class regardless of your protestations to the contrary. I’m not saying you don’t share many of the problems others are facing, only that you have a great deal more flexibility to deal with them.
In the same respect, if you own several Gold Eagles and a couple hundred ounces of Silver, then you are also not to whom I’m speaking. Most likely you will run under the radar because your small amount of Gold and Silver is being held in the form of the U.S Eagle coin which, while not exactly produced as a numismatic, is a US Mint produced Gold and Silver coin that is considered US legal tender. So from my point of view, if Gold and Silver Eagles are held in small quantities, they will not be considered an investment, but rather savings or collectibles.
The people I am talking to are those who are converting a substantial portion of their investable assets into physical Gold. Or who are selling other assets or breaking qualified retirement accounts (IRAs, 401(k)s etc) in order to purchase relatively large amounts of physical Gold and Silver, though the focus of this essay is Gold. Their intent is not only to grow their PM assets, but to carry the bulk of their wealth over to the Promised Land when the current Ponzi Empire crashes and burns.
You know who you are and unfortunately so do the government goons if you have ever bought any quantity of Gold from an established dealer with a check, a cashier’s check, wire, electronic funds transfer or other traceable method. And because of Check 21 everything is traceable nowadays (even cash within a few degrees of separation) if you used one of these instruments to gather the cash.
The End Game is here so I'm told
Will the last valued asset be gold?
If so, keep it tight
From the thieves in the night
For they know every ounce that you hold
(The Limerick King)
Where I have a problem with the logic used by some is this. There seems to be a general consensus that Gold is the arch enemy, the Kryptonite if you will, of the out of control fiat creation by central authorities in order to extend and pretend while looting the executive bathrooms of the Gold faucets and monogrammed bathrobes. This understanding, along with a host of others, is always proffered when explaining the reason behind PM manipulation and the entire PM paper racket. And I don’t necessarily disagree with this general supposition.
What I don’t get is the idea that if Gold has been considered ‘contrary’ or ‘dangerous’ to the unfettered debasement of fiat in the past and present, thus the reason for the manipulation, then why would this suppression and resistance to the ‘Golden enemy’ by the powers-that-be suddenly disappear precisely when the powers (or more accurately their agents and puppets) are desperate and have the most to lose? It is clear to me, and judging by the comments clear to many others here on Zero Hedge, that these guys and gals play for keeps, consistently pushing nearly all their chips to the center of the table in an endless game of bluff and intimidation.
More important to me, at least for the purposes of this essay, is that those lovable sociopaths would rather burn to the ground than play to lose or walk away. This, by the way, is precisely why they rarely lose. They play for keeps and they’ve been doing so for thousands of years. They not only have the power, but they know how to use the power they have. Meaning they are ruthless cutthroat bastards who see you and me as cattle to be consumed or beasts of burden to be used. And I’m being kind for the sake of the weak stomachs among us.
As best as I can tell the general assumption is that when the partial or total collapse comes (not if because we are talking worst case scenario here) the failed powers that be, perhaps inspired by some public hangings and decapitations, will pack up their lawn chairs and vacate the levers of power, allowing more responsible adults and even some advanced children to take over and save the day. Or at the very least, the expectation is that the new kids on the block will clean up the mess left behind by those traitorous bastards and that they will do so in a reasonably fair, open and egalitarian manner. Let me take a moment to collect my thoughts before rendering my opinion on this matter.
I DON’T THINK SO!
Why am I so confident of this? Well, from studying history of course. And by history I mean good old fashioned world history dictated and approved by the Empire for high school or college textbooks. You see, from the perspective of long term history, while we may have a new production company and support system for the global Ponzi screenplay, as well as fresh faces to fill the role of puppets, enablers and useful idiots, and even a (relatively) new political system to emotionally and culturally unify us all as we labor away in our hamster cages, the Ponzi is at its central core the oldest con in the books.
Essentially we are all experiencing plantation living at its highest and most efficient evolution to date, where the sole purpose of our existence is to serve our immediate masters who then serve their masters who then serve their masters in an ever narrowing pyramidal hierarchy. This goes on until it reaches the point where at the top we find several hundred to a thousand elite scattered across a number of blood-line families that share the power and spoils. And there is serious evidence available to be examined by the determined researcher that there might even be another level (or two) above that.
BTW for the most part, but with certain exceptions, you will not find these elite of the elite on any list of richest people in the world. I personally suspect that many of those who you do see listed are in fact the public caretakers of the wealth of others and who are paid handsomely to play the role and weather the slings and arrows of public scorn in exchange for growing the assets and guarding the anonymity of the real owners of Mother Ship Earth.
The Powers That Be are concealed
Their identities won't be revealed
They will hide from the light
And continue their fight
Until all of our fates have been sealed
(The Limerick King)
History is full of examples of crumbling empires and nearly all of them seem to share several characteristics. First and foremost in my mind is that regardless of how dire things may seem to be, the collapse progresses much slower than expected. It always seems like today’s bad news signals the end of the world as we know it….until tomorrow’s even worse news hits the ticker.
Grab Mr. Peabody and fire up the WABAC (pronounced ‘wayback’) machine to travel a few years into the past, say to 2007, and consider some of the headlines we saw and the reactions they provoked. What were considered Earth shaking events back then are nearly routine today, no big deal really. This is a severely misunderstood and underappreciated, and thus under weighted, counter balancing force to the general insanity level. The (normalcy bias) force is strong in you young Skywalker.
I suspect this isn’t so much because the powers that be are holding it all up, but rather it is the common folk living on the ground floor of this insanity that are doing the heavy lifting. Never underestimate the desperate desire of those who are chained to the plantation to preserve that plantation even when it would be easier and saner just to walk away. This Stockholm syndrome conditioned mind is of course exploited by the masters to rape and pillage long past the normal or even expected expiration date of the Empire.
Also, collapse (partial or total) is a relative term. For the financial elite, politically powerful and top tier business people, collapse is just another word for a really severe business cycle downturn. When conditions become harsh, the script is always the same. Shed useless eaters, strip all usable assets and sell the estate to the last of the greater fools, then move on to a more favorable business location. So by the time the barbarians are at the gate, the rich and powerful are long gone and have stripped most of the wealth from the kingdom.
In the modern era this means that the rape and pillage of the middle class is the purpose and eventual outcome of any severe recession/depression. So of course it is the purpose of the ongoing collapse. See ‘The Great Depression’ of the 1930’s for the Cliff Notes on the coming fun and games…exponentially escalated by $708 Trillion (notional value) in derivatives. But always remember that the explosive firepower released back in the 1930’s is nothing compared to the massive potential energy that is about to be released. The real purpose of can kicking is to try to slowly release that energy rather than to allow it to go BOOM all at once. Consider it a form of extended game play for the elite.
When the global reset is complete
And the Kleptos are in full retreat
Secure family and friends
For their game never ends
And they'll never accept their defeat
(The Limerick King)
The true powers that be have a long history of backing all sides in nearly every conflict or collapse. So it is not a stretch to assume they are supporting the very barbarians who are beating the door down while also relocating their kin from the collapsing empire. If you spend any time studying the blood lines of the rich and powerful, despite our general indifference to this seemingly inconsequential subject matter, to Earth’s owners the blood lines are carefully massaged, managed and manipulated in order to maintain a balance of power and influence among the bickering kings and queens. Do not underestimate the utmost importance of blue blood hierarchies or of the interconnected web between supposedly bitter enemies and plantations/countries. If it is important to them, then it should be considered life and death to us.
Inside the sprawling plantation the conditioning of the slaves is ongoing and ever changing and relies heavily upon the older, more experienced slaves to indoctrinate and condition the new ‘volunteers’, thus cementing the bond that is often expressed as nation or community…..or more properly ‘misery loves company’. For several thousand years religion was the center of the indoctrination process and controlled by the blue bloods, all of whom had no aversion to donning priest’s robes to spout the all important rites and rituals. A close inspection of history shows that while the vehicles of power shifted and morphed, the methods used and the personalities involved always remained the same.
Closer to the modern era, there was a shift to the sharing of power between religious centers and blue blood families who presided over kingdoms. Again, there really wasn’t a divide, only the public appearance of division. Mom usually decided which son became King and which became a Cardinal or Pope, thus assuring her it all remained in the family.
Over the last several hundred years the center shifted once again to the façade of central governments organized under ideological memes such as democracy, communism, socialism and of course the more traditional blue blood families aka Kings, Queens and royal families, sometimes along with a quasi democratically elected congress designed to create a false sense of self control for the naïve native slaves.
Regardless of the method or ideology used today, they are all simply more sophisticated methods to organize and exploit the plantation and nothing more. In much of the so called ‘free’ world today, giving the slaves the illusion of freedom of (limited) choice has been found to dramatically increase productivity. An intelligent plantation manager will allow any work rules as long as they still maintain order while increasing efficiency because strip mining the human and mineral resources of Earth is the one and only goal of the ruling elite.
Preserving your wealth can be fun
The first thing you'll need is a gun
Trust no one you meet
Each night soak your feet
Just in case it is prudent to run
(The Limerick King)
Regardless of whether the financial elite remain in place or move on during or after the collapse, there will still be some type of procedure set up to exchange the old slave script for the new slave script. Without a doubt there will be different tiers or exchange rates depending upon which social and/or economic class you reside in. And rest assured the transition will not be fair and it will be used to extract whatever remaining wealth the middle class still holds. This is a given, but it will not be readily obvious or even visible since most of the dirty work will occur behind closed doors and well in advance of the general scrum.
There is also no doubt, once again predicated by a careful reading of history, that regardless of the leadership actually holding office, when the gates are busted down (or as is more likely the case pulled down from within, often via false flag attacks), in order to placate the increasingly restless slave population, fresh faces will magically appear from the cloning rooms to offer stirring speeches and heartwarming platitudes about how all the slaves must engage in mutual sacrifice and work even harder to ensure that the elite make a clean getaway before the cleansing fires are set and the system is finally rebooted. I can’t wait for the games to begin because I still have more cognitive room left over for that hope and change thingy.
Every crumbling Empire always reaches into the same bag of tricks when the heat is on and the slave nation becomes restless. After all, the elite must maintain order so that the fleecing can be completed. ‘Order’, especially near the end of the End Game, is usually maintained by a heavy handed police and/or military presence via outright martial law or the stealth version implemented by (executive) decree. Let the head bashing begin. Desperate puppet leaders will most certainly do desperate things, first to maintain their own illusion of power, then just to save their asses. Count on it.
Two tricks of the deception trade that often work hand in hand are scapegoat harvesting combined with war mongering, which usually leads to out-right-war in order to deflect attention and blame those evil elites over there and their supporting band of vicious baby eating enablers, indentured servants and wage slaves. And while it might be an old trick, even the oldest, it still works every single time it is used because we slaves would rather support the devil we know then to take a chance and actually live free. Spend enough time in a locked cage under dehumanizing conditions and the jailer no longer needs to lock the door anymore. We slaves will keep ourselves just fine, thank you very much.
While I could extend this list of common denominators for several more pages, let me cut to the chase and list the one commonality that is near and dear to my heart and the core function of every central government that administers the (crumbling) Empire……..to be a blood sucking parasite. The bottom line is that governments, Kings and religious orders do not ‘produce’ anything nearly equal to their consumption no matter how you measure it, unless you have been drinking their Kool-Aid. These entities will consume from all sources using one or more of the following strategies; regulation, taxation and ultimately confiscation.
In Chapter Two we will examine the third method as the end game worst case scenario draws ever near.
Special thanks to The Limerick King for his wonderfully apropos limericks. It is an insult to describe the process of condensing complex subjects into 5 lines of prose as ‘writing’. The term ‘stupid good talent’ just begins to scratch the surface of what The Limerick King has to offer. Thank you TLK.
I also wish to thank Dagny Taggart for the ongoing and wonderfully diverse conversation that always leads to further inspiration. Thank you Dagny.
PS: For those who just can’t get enough of The Limerick King, below please find some more of his work that just couldn’t be fit in. Momma always told me never to waste a single mouthfull of The Limerick King.
To those who think gold is the cure
For everything fake and impure
You may get your wish
If gold catches fish
By making an outstanding lure
As the great global reset draws near
Consider the things you hold dear
Will others agree
With the value you see?
If so you have nothing to fear
My wealth is so precious to me
Without it I just couldn't see
Life would be dour
I'd lose all my power
I'm spawn of The Powers That Be...