Robert Wiedemer: Awaiting The Aftershock

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Adam Taggart of Peak Prosperity,

Bob Wiedemer, author of the best-seller The Aftershock Investor: A Crash Course in Staying Afloat in a Sinking Economy, regards the 2007 puncturing of housing market prices and the 2008 financial market swoon as the precedents to two much larger and much more dangerous bubbles.

These more pernicious threats are the dollar bubble ("printing money") and the government debt bubble ("borrowing money"). While both are expanding at a sickening pace, in the near term they deceptively make things seem much better than they are.

But, like all bubbles, they are unsustainable. And when these collapse, they are going to take the entire financial system, and very possibly the currency, with them (a.k.a. the "aftershock")

Bob predicts the rupture of both these bubbles will most likely happen in the next 2-4 years and accelerate astonishingly rapidly once it begins. Part of the reason for this is that the Fed, now boxed in by its committed course of action, will print like mad to slow the process down -- which ultimately will serve instead as fuel for the fire. This will be the point at which the Fed loses control of interest rates.

Wiedemer is fairly confident that the Fed is well-aware of this dire probability, but finds itself increasingly stuck to avoid it. At this point, the major financial markets (stocks, bonds, housing) are so dependent on Fed liquidity that any efforts to withdraw the punchbowl will send prices lurching downwards, threatening the weak global economy. It's now a binary choice between damned-if-it-does and dammned-if-it-doesn't.

As Chris summarizes, the Fed's main strategic consists completely of "hope". It's backup strategy? "Panic" 

Not surprisingly, Bob and Chris discuss the wisdom of focusing on preservation of purchasing power, and positioning one's financial assets safely before the aftershock arrives. For many, that will include working with a financial adviser who understands the nature of the risks in play and can help you allocate your assets accordingly (a reminder that we know a few, if you're looking).

The main thesis in Aftershock is that these bubbles – this dollar bubble and this government debt bubble – will burst. It is not as if it will not burst for 15 or 20 years. We say it is somewhere in two to four years. You need to be prepared for it.

The debt will always be funded as long as the Federal Reserve stands willing to buy all the bonds that the government sells. At some point, that creates inflation: that pushes up interest rates. The Fed will fight those interest rates going up. At first, they can do it. They just print more money. That keeps interest rates down, but ultimately that inflation will force them up. We cannot just pull the money out and raise interest rates now; it's going to pop the real estate and stock bubbles.


What is going to happen is the Fed is going to lose control of those interest rates. When you print too much money, it gets you control short-term, but it is a recipe for losing control long-term. With those interest rates going up, what is going to pop? The stock market and real estate bubbles. All of that is what kicks off the big problem going forward. Normally you would say the bond market is going to be the problem, but I would tell you that it is actually going to be more stocks and eventually even real estate combined. Then ultimately, the bond market starts to go down, and down quickly once it starts.


When the dam finally breaks, it will break quickly. Literally, it is in a matter of months or certainly no more than a year once it really starts to go.


You get very, very high inflation. We could have stock market holidays and things like that.


The big difference between now and the depression is that the government is also in trouble at this point. We are really not going to have a huge failure until the government kind of comes to its wits' end. It will, but it comes as a last massive orgy of money printing to try to save everything - unlike anything you have seen yet. QE1, QE2, QE3 is nothing like what the Fed has to do when this thing starts to fall. They have to print, buy, and buy, and buy, and try to keep up the falling house. They will not be able to do it, but that will be the reaction.


Then at some point, it is not going to work and the whole thing goes.

Click the play button below to listen to Chris' interview with Bob Wiedemer (40m:50s):

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Silver Bug's picture

We won't have to wait long. The Central banks are rapidly leading us into the next crisis.

prains's picture

RELEASE THE KRA........oh....we already did that



Media today is for folks who cannot do critical research and thinking on their own. Even with the power of the Internet to fill in the blanks.

  Politicians are the fall guys and janitors for the Powers That Be.  It doesn't matter what color they paint their ties with, because they answer only to people with a net worth measured in billions who want to keep it that way. 

  Politics has degenerated into a horrifyingly expensive little bloodless gladiatorial verbal lying contest prior to a rigged vote done for the most part on electronic voting machines that are pathetically easy to trick fuck into producing the desired result.  The country has been bought and sold, along with everything in it including you and me.  We are owned. 

  Representation for the People, by the People, died a homicidal death at the behest of power and money a long time ago.  All we have been experiencing since is the slow relentless consolidation of power and control ever since. Divide, and conquer.  It really works !

  We are divided, conquered, and the apple is in our yappers, with the spit shoved up our asses, and getting closer to the fire each and every day. 

  Hopefully real Americans prevail before the Powers That Be have roasted our asses, eaten the bones clean, and start fighting over the scraps.

  The only thing between us and the end of freedom and democracy is the Constitution Of The United States Of America. I may be overtly optimistic, but I believe that honor, truth, justice, and proper political representation can be achieved. How it occurs and when, is the real question.

  Why ? Because the folks who love power and control like meth or heroin addicts love their drugs aren't gonna let go easily.  Okay, back to your regularly scheduled programming.


rbg81's picture

There are some interesting points here:

1.  The only reason the current deficit is affordable is because the Federal Reserve has driven UST rates effectively to zero and will keep them there as long as it possibly can.  How long is the question, but I think 2-4 years is probably on the low side.  It is not just the Federal involved here, it is the entire Establishment, including the Media that is working to hold up the crumbling edifice.  And they will use ALL tools at their disposal, including declaring honest Economists and Financial Bloggers enemies of the State.

2.  But...they can't do it forever.  When the Federal Reserve loses control of interest rates, the jig is indeed up.  If interest rates on the 10 yr UST even double, the debt will consume all tax revenue.

3.  What will make this WORSE than the Great Depression, is that the US won't, at that point, be able to spend any $$.   The entitlement state will collapse and the Government won't be able to provide for all the clients its been cultivating all these years.  The Government credit card will be maxed out and chaos will reign.  And it won't just be in the inner city.  It will be everywhere.  It will be civil war and effective dark ages for 1-3 decades.

 4.  For you Gold bugs, it won't matter.  All that will matter is guns and ammo.  Who that has the most wins.

Winston Churchill's picture

Add fuel to that list.

Gold is for the other side of the hell you so accurately predict.I also see chaos

spanning several decades.But after only a few months the population will decrease

by 75% thru' starvation, and rampant epidemics.

I wish I was twenty years younger, or older at this point.

Sooth's picture

When Germany couldn't pay its external debt and the Weimar hyperinflation followed, German society didn't break down completely. The producers still produced. In effect, producers were able to barter their skills and products for a little while until the new Reischsmark  was introduced.

The Germans did, however, elect a vegetarian war hero who loved animals and made good speeches. Some bad things followed from that, true.

I don't think the Western world has ever seen hyperinflation in a welfare state before. It will be interesting to see how America and Europe's non-producers deal with it.

ElvisDog's picture

I agree with the thesis but I suggest that the timing is unknowable. Those calling for the Fed to lose control of interest rates always underestimate how long the Fed can remain in control. Denniger was sure it would happen by 2012. Same with Kunstler. I wouldn't bet my assets on the 2-4 year timetable of this post.

rbg81's picture

I too think the timetable is unknowable.  If things even seem to start spinning out of control, even a little, all the pressure of the Establishment will be brought to bear to squelch the problem.  The stakes are just too high for it to be otherwise. 

Ultimately, I think we will end up with one currency for the entire world managed by the UN.  Money will be what they say it is.

knukles's picture

This be what gold's for.

Hulk's picture

ye matey, ye be one period too heavy...

Mae Kadoodie's picture

Here's what happens when your gold doesn't fall overboard-    

knukles's picture

Q:  What the fuck were they doing with $11,500,000 of gold on a fishing boat?
A:   Just waiting for an accident to happen?

Oh Jesus....

And then the cops get involved.
On a fishing boat?

cranky-old-geezer's picture



This be what gold's for.

Storing wealth in gold is a wise countermeasure for the printing bubble, but when that bubble bursts, the relatively peaceful society you live in will burst with it because the "dollars" everyone else has will be worthless, along with any "dollars" you have.

And "burst" is a good choice of words.  It'll happen suddenly.   Yes the currency is losing value slowly now, if you consider 15% / yr to be slow.  But there will be a final total collapse and it will be sudden, pretty much overnight. People will wake up one morning and their "dollars" will be worthless.

So gold won't be your savior.  I'll preserve your wealth thru a currency collapse, but you'll have to figure out how to live when society breaks down totally.

Bobbyrib's picture

Aftershock liquor..shit was disgusting.

Kitler's picture

That makes sense since Aftershock is aftershave containing 50%+ sulphuric acid by volume...

Papasmurf's picture

Goldschlager is much better. It is the anti-dote to Aftershock.

OutLookingIn's picture

Staying Afloat???

Ain't gonna happen!

All boats will be taking on water.

Just that some will sink outa sight and others will be awash.

aymankkhlifat's picture

more to watch next days ,,thanks

Yen Cross's picture

 Prohibition "bathtub Gin"... History repeats more insidiously then before/

Oquities's picture

the alcohol prohibition was overcome during the depression years and the marijauna prohibition is falling in Depression II.

valley chick's picture

The main thesis in Aftershock is that these bubbles – this dollar bubble and this government debt bubble – will burst. It is not as if it will not burst for 15 or 20 years. We say it is somewhere in two to four years.

Can this actually sustain for 2 to 4 years???? 

JPM Hater001's picture

Never underestimate the lunatic action to prolong the inevitable.

snaphooker's picture

Humanity is the real bubble

mayhem_korner's picture



Lack of critical thinking.  Eventually reality will pop that one and then it's head for the exits time.  The "this-can't-be-happening" mindset will be pervasive and indicative of the en masse lack of awareness.

Incubus's picture

Ah, succint.

That's what I've been trying to say, with all of my wordiness, for almost 2 decades, and you got the point across in one sentence. kudos.


I guess too much philosophy gives one too much of a big head.

s2man's picture

Things that can’t go on forever, don’t - but they can sure take a long time about it.
Peter Brimelow

kaiserhoff's picture

A black swan is by definition unpredictable, but pressures are building in unexpected ways.  The dam might break if:

Some poor slob gets tired of waiting for payment from Cali, Spain, Greece, whatever, and a local judge declares constructive bankruptcy/default.  Would never withstand appeal, but after the bank run, who would care?

Bernanke runs out of shit to legally buy.  This is comic/tragic but he may be getting close.  The fed's purchases could easily dry up liquidity in some bond series, and all hell breaks loose.

The ag sector begins to shut down.  This is intriguing because farmers and ranchers can't easily adjust to rapid inflation.  They are pissed, nervous, and stressed, but gubbermint programs make it relatively safe and easy to go into hibernation.

I'm sure the ZH crowd is aware of other disasters in waiting.  Bug, meet windscreen.

upWising's picture

POOP == meet propeller

EXCREMENT == meet whirling blades

JPM Hater001's picture

"A black swan is by definition unpredictable,"

Predictable to whom?  This shit isn't that hard to see coming.

Al Huxley's picture

Agree, this is more like predicting winter in September.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Collapse.........or crumble?

imbrbing's picture

I have yet to see a house of cards slowly hit the floor when it falls. Everyone of them end up laying flat in a matter of less than a second.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

There is nothing more certain that the absolute certainty of ones beliefs. That is not to say that the world's socioeconomic systems are not fragile and decomposing. But what exactly do you suppose is keeping them supported and in place, at least for the moment? 

If you said it was the Fed or the banksters or the various dependent-upon-unlimited-fiat-injections world governments I would argue that the ultimate strength of any complex system is the faith and belief the dependent participants have in that very same system. That faith comes from you and I and the guy down the street, not from the Fed, the governments nor the banksters. They do not create our faith and belief, but rather that are the recipients and abusers of our faith and belief.

So when we measure the fragility of any socioeconomic system we must actually measure the strength of those who support it. After several generations of conditioning and increasing dependence upon the very system you are now claiming will collapse quickly and completely, may I suggest that faith and belief, and ultimately the false hope that it engenders, will die a long and hard death.

So while I will not argue that the death spasms with be sudden, violent and most certainly unpredictable, the faithful, facing the black abyss of self sufficiency and self reliance, will beg to be saved from themselves, thus supporting a doomed system long past it's perceived expiration date.

Long live denial.

kaiserhoff's picture

Well said, CD.  In the financial markets, being three years early already feels a lot like being wrong.  That's one reason why I like searching for the trigger that brings this shit down, but to be honest, some of it is probably mental masterbation. 

SeattleBruce's picture

"may I suggest that faith and belief, and ultimately the false hope that it engenders, will die a long and hard death."

Excellent treatment of this CD.  May I also say, we're in the middle of that long hard death, and it's not hard to see the symptoms of the terminal illness and in fact 'free enterprise' as an ideal may only have lived briefly to be replaced in turns with all sorts of manipulations caused by people's greed.  But this morphed system, kept alive by various machinations - military industrial complex, 'great society liberalism' - is terminal.  As all are saying, the ultimate death and burial may well be sudden.

What concerns me is how we move forward - those of us who survive.  What will assert itself into that vacuum (and what a vacuum it will be)?  I rather like this idea of non-debt based money, and it's attendant accountable form of government, tied to specific economic targets (tied to the greater good):

I think we do well to begin dialoguing about what things will look like in the reset and how we can assert (goodly) influence on its outcome.  Otherwise the outcome will be as complete a disaster as the death itself.

polo007's picture

A Senate Republican aide tells Breitbart News, “It’s clear that the White House is becoming increasingly comfortable with the cliff dive. They’re just not engaged. They’re less engaged than they were two weeks ago.”

JPM Hater001's picture

I am working on my theory of everything...

It says why engage in cliff avoidance when that is the idea

Right Thelma?

magpie's picture

Dunno, Mr. Market and his special year-end dividends seem to agree.

fonzannoon's picture

what difference does the cliff make? it's more about the debt ceiling. once the repubs cave and eliminate it we can see how fast this ferrari can go before we hit the brick wall.

Yen Cross's picture

 I'll get with ya Fonz/ I'm retarded with the Z/H forum thing. Didn't forget about ya brotha :-)


fonzannoon's picture

hey no sweat man. All the best to you.

debtor of last resort's picture

Christmas would be the ultimate timetable to adjust to normality.

logicalman's picture

Go with the flow - Dec 21 - just for fun.

Pretend the Mayans knew more than they did.


imbrbing's picture

Bob Wiedemer, author of the best-seller The Aftershock Investor: A Crash Course in Staying Afloat in a Sinking Economy,

I bet those on the titanic had the correct advice to "stay afloat"...hah. If there IS NO MORE ECONOMY when it blows how does this work?

I am readying myself as if the boat will be at the bottom of the lake. If it doesnt, then I will be fine. If it does, none of us are not

going to be completly wet and utterly cold.

kill switch's picture

Next two to four years????


I'm sick of this fucking creeping delay!!! I give it 8 months, why? why not!! Look around.

dark_matter's picture

Yea, let's have it tomorrow. Bust or bust.

ShrNfr's picture

Ya know, despite the wail, Faber states that stocks are not that bad a place to hide in a hyper-inflation. You have to be careful to pick your time, but when a load of bread costs three wheelbarrows of money, who made out better? The guy with the fiat currency, or the guy with the bakery? Just don't pick stocks in the service industries though. They will get flattened. Metals are nice, and gold/silver is easy to store, but people make things out of oil, copper, nickel, natural gas and coal. When we hyperinflate, it will be obviously the death of our status as a reserve currency. That will be globally nasty. As a matter of fact, the simple belief that we will cease to be the reserve currency in the short term may be the match that tourches this off. "Old dollars for new Yaun", "Old dollars for new Yaun", ...

logicalman's picture

Anyone who didn't fail basic math has to know that the whole Ponzi MUST fail at some point.

When TSHTF paper will revert to its true value.

In Laos at the end of the Vietnam War, the locals were cooking leaves over paper money - Leaves were the only thing even close to food for many. The only value of said paper, at that point was its calorific value.

Plan accordingly.