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Elliott's Paul Singer Reveals The Thing That Scares Him Most

Tyler Durden's picture




 

When it comes to market experts with decades of insight, we will pick soon to be Second Admiral of his own sovereign navy (comprising of privateered Argentinian schooners, Belize catamarans, and soon, Greek Made in Germany submarines), Elliott's Paul Singer, over those of any fly by night TV talking head, or "information arbitrageur" whose only 'alpha' in the past decade was courtesy of expert networks. The same Paul Singer whose outlook on what the next crisis may look like we posted yesterday.  It is the same Paul Singer, who three weeks ago was a headline speaker at the Archstone Partnerships annual meeting, in which speech he laid out not only the biggest threat facing America - namely the arrogance of the United States "by not realizing that in today's world... you have to be attractive as a country [because] capital will go where it's welcome", but more importantly, the thing that keeps him up at night: "The thing that scares me most is significant inflation, which could destroy our society."

In other words, one of the best and brightest investors in the world, is most terrified by the one thing that every central-planning dispensing economist says will never happen: hyperinflation. Our money is certainly not on the economist theoreticians who could never foresee the second great depression their lunatic policies drove the entire developed world into.

Extracting the key parts from Singer's speech. Highlights ours

Let me make a few comments and observations on the current investment scene. I said before that every once in a while things really are “different this time,” and I thought of a metaphor earlier that might be useful to illustrate an important point. Let’s do a thought experiment: Let’s make believe we are in 1960 and sitting in Germany, and we are a group of German investors and businesspeople, about the same ages as the people here today. The group would be people who had seen the most astonishing changes in the underlying conditions of investing and growing capital—a complete evaporation of savings from 1914 to 1923; complete destruction of society; and a complete change in governance from 1943 until after the War. Keep that image in your mind when you come back to 2012 in New York City today and realize the basic terms and conditions of everybody in this room have not really changed over your entire career. There have been booms and little crashes, you’ve made money and lost money, some people were wiped out and others became wealthy, but the elections come every four years, power is transferred peacefully, and taxes go up or go down.

 

It concerns me that we might be entering a period—we have to think about this possibility—when the basic terms and conditions of owning capital, making a rate of return, and keeping the money you earned might be in the process of changing. Charles Krauthammer said some time ago that most of American political life is between the 40-yard lines and that this crowd, which has been elected for another four years, is kind of at the 30-yard line. I had thought about it at the 10-yard or 5-yard line, but Charles is more mature than I and I’ll accept what he said. But I’m very concerned about class warfare generated from the top, about the possibility of an extended period of lacking strong economic growth. I think economic growth could be easily achieved in the United States at greater levels, and I’m quite concerned that the current prospects, beyond the so-called “fiscal cliff” and a deal on taxes and spending cuts, will be an extended period of low growth and possibly a recession, the continued bashing of money and success and very large tax increases.

 

I want to call to mind a micro choice that I think is relevant. If you lived in the upper Midwest, you’d know the difference between Indiana and Illinois. You would know Indiana welcomes jobs and businesses, and finds ways to work with businesses; and Illinois is on a slide to Hades. Illinois—and I suppose Michigan, too—is doing everything possible to support unsupportable expenses, structures and make thing miserable for taxpayers.

 

By the same token, I think America—and this goes beyond President Obama’s administration—has been quite arrogant for a long time by not realizing that in today’s world, where many countries around the globe can turn out products and services more cheaply than America, and where America has lost so many industries and jobs to other countries, that you have to be attractive as a country. Capital will go where it’s welcome. It is subject to an understandable rule of law, regulation, fair and attractive taxation, and the quality of life. I’m afraid of that, because when you look at the sweep of the booms since the Internet boom and monetary policy, and the extremism that has become embedded in current monetary policy, the United States, Europe, the U.K. and Japan, you do see extreme monetary policy.

 

They say this is not massive money printing, but first they are wrong; and second, monetary authorities in the United States did not see the crash coming and the unsoundness of the financial system. In fact, right up until the crash they were saying that nothing like what happened could ever happen. So money printing and zero-percent interest rates, which have distorted the economic recovery and the landscape in the United States and Europe, have become a substitute for sound, pro-growth, fiscal regulatory tax policy. As a result, they say they are not concerned about inflation. This monetary policy, $3 trillion of bond buying in the United States, $3 trillion in Europe and another $2.5 trillion to $3 trillion in Japan, is unprecedented. It is not the case that they know the ultimate inflationary potential when this low-velocity money gets back into the system and acquires some velocity. If and when people lose confidence in paper money because of repeated bouts of quantitative easing and zero-percent interest rates—it could happen suddenly and in a ferocious manner in the commodity markets, in gold, possibly in real estate—interest rates could go up at the long end by hundreds of basis points in a very short time.

 

I’m quite concerned as a money manager that we have to manage money, not just for the boundaries of what’s in front of our faces—maybe we’ll have a little tax increase or not, the fiscal cliff, or the stock market might go up or down 10% or 15%—but for a basic shift. The thing that scares me most is significant inflation, which could destroy our society. Frankly, in my view the recent election has diminished the probability of a strong resurgence of growth, and I’m quite concerned. Others are concerned about the course of the next 12 to 24 months in terms of growth, taxation, regulation and social unrest, a resurgence or larger version of bashing anyone who has made money or makes money and not paying their fair share.

Or, perhaps, the developments over the past several months were geared with precisely this outcome in mind: because there is nothing quite like "social unrest" to resolve decades of untenable economic and monetary imbalance build up...

 

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Mon, 12/10/2012 - 15:11 | 3049251 Landotfree
Landotfree's picture

"They say this is not massive money printing, but first they are wrong; and second, monetary authorities in the United States did not see the crash coming and the unsoundness of the financial system."

He is confused, they(?) certainly know the crash is coming as the Fed was put in place for this exact purpose, to hit max potential.

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 15:14 | 3049265 Silver Bug
Silver Bug's picture

Sadly his greatest fears are due to come true if Central Banks continue on the money printing path they are on. Let's face the facts, they are going to continue until it blows up in their faces. It is QE to infinity. Hyperinflation is assured.

 

http://jamesturkblog.blogspot.ca/

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 15:24 | 3049273 Landotfree
Landotfree's picture

"It is QE to infinity."

No such thing unless the Fed has acquired unlimited power.  Man is able to get to 60-80 years or a generation or so, some empires even survived through multiple cycles before their final result.   

There is nothing the CBs of the world can do, other than to slightly effect and slightly delay the final solution to the equation.    I do get a kick out of people thinking there is some other conclusion to using the equation.  The system DEMANDS exponential growth, you either use it and supply the growth or you collapse.   The equation should not have been used if this final result was not desired, too late to cry about it now. 

Crying about what the CBs are doing is a waste of time, use the equation this will be the final result.  We all have choices but it seems Man continues to make the same choice. 

"Oracle: Seems like everytime we meet, I ain't got nothing but bad news. I'm sorry about that I surely am, but for what it's worth...you've made a believer out of me. Good luck, Kiddo."

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 15:28 | 3049307 Pladizow
Pladizow's picture

In modern history hyperinflation has only occured where there has been an alternative to the local currency.

This alternative has traditionally been the dollar.

What happens when there is no "percieved" alternative?

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 15:32 | 3049319 Landotfree
Landotfree's picture

What people call hyperinflation to me is usually credit worthiness.   The system is not hyperinflating, it's barely even inflating.  

The term "hyperinflation" to me is just a term the CBs want the sheeple to hear to convince them to spend and borrow, thereby extending the system to max potential.   

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 15:39 | 3049336 MillionDollarBonus_
MillionDollarBonus_'s picture

Reasons why trickle down economics doesn't work:

  1. Businessmen only care about profits, not helping their fellow man
  2. Businessmen hire people overseas at low wages instead of hiring more deserving workers who were born within the geographical borders within which the business was registered. If you want to hire low-wags monkeys then set up your business in their country. Americans deserve unconditionally high wages. We shouldn't have to compete with foreigners.
  3. Contrary to what free market economists believe, the rich don't just trickle their wealth down to the poor - they just keep it for themselves (surprise surprise) and refuse to share. 
  4. Lloyd Blankfein and Jamie Dimon are out to get us with their derivatives. Credit Default Swaps are the single most pressing issue in my personal life right now. Every day I worry about when I might encounter a Credit Default Swap and how this will affect me. There is nothing productive I can do in my personal life until government regulators create legislation banning this exchange of cash flows.
Mon, 12/10/2012 - 15:49 | 3049394 CommunityStandard
CommunityStandard's picture

You are (surprisingly) correct that trickle down economics doesn't work, but your reasons are wrong.

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 18:13 | 3049927 akak
akak's picture

Of COURSE "trickle-down economics" works!

The ruling elite piss on us ... and it trickles down.

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 18:31 | 3049985 willwork4food
willwork4food's picture

Fiat 'golden showers'?

I feel dirty...

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 21:17 | 3050469 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

only thing that trickles down is shit from above.

 

 

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 22:07 | 3050584 markmotive
markmotive's picture

You want hopelessness-driven chaos?

You want to drive people into underground economies?

You want every man for himself?

THIS is what it looks like:

http://www.planbeconomics.com/2012/12/10/this-is-what-a-lawless-society-...

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 22:42 | 3050676 dougngen
dougngen's picture

markmotive,

excellent video! who does not belive gun ownership is paramount? show them this video and have them explain how it couldn't happen in Philly or Oakland.

police can't protect you just take the report after your dead!

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 01:04 | 3051094 tsx500
tsx500's picture

.....or Detroit or Shitcago or Miami  or  . . . . . . . . . .      

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 19:42 | 3050171 Ookspay
Ookspay's picture

What would you call it when the government takes less of my wages and I use that money to hire a landscaper or build a swimming pool or eat out more often? Trickle down does sound tacky, how about we call it capitalism?

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 20:14 | 3050288 ZeroSpread
ZeroSpread's picture

akak for You and all other Burns fans - Simpsons explaining the Fiscal Cliff.

 

-->    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c91usT4P1u0     <--

 

 

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 20:49 | 3050393 Captain Kurtz
Captain Kurtz's picture

Guys, he's clearly being sarcastic.  You just have to read more than 3 words before commenting.  Cmon the whole bit about Americans deserve higher wages and if you want a monkey go incorporate then hire them in that country, have to admit was pretty funny.

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 16:02 | 3049467 trav777
trav777's picture

THEY keep THEIR wealth for THEMselves...jfc, sounds downright diabolical!!!!!11 HOW DARE THEY KEEP THEIR WEALTH FOR THEMSELVES?!?!?!

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 16:08 | 3049496 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Those banks would have gone banrupt if they hadn't forced Congress and the WH to give them bailout after bailout.  They aren't wealthy, they are just plain fucking thieves.

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 16:38 | 3049619 trav777
trav777's picture

Surely; and without the Fed backstopping the MMs, the entire financial system would have collapsed.

There really weren't any good options.  As we speak, the Enterprises are the sole player in the 2ndary mortgage market; there is no private sector to speak of.  I can show you their white papers.  The Fed along with the USG, are the only source of credit growth.

I already told you people this stuff a year ago or so, before it was patently obvious.  Or maybe it was 3 years ago on TF...who can remember?  The Fed has no choice but to print the coupon.  There is no organic source of credit growth but the system MUST grow or else it will collapse quickly.

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 17:15 | 3049760 economics9698
economics9698's picture

 "The thing that scares me most is significant inflation, which could destroy our society."

No shit?  Really.

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 21:21 | 3050476 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

inflation? give me a break. that is man made phenomenon.

 

what scares me is really the willfully ignorant sheep who enable such ordeal.

 

black friday sale on some junk you don't need, hollywood propaganda of fake reality on TV for christmas with gladiators with football, and it is all good.

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 23:21 | 3050817 Vendetta
Vendetta's picture

He's a rocket scientist obviously

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 18:05 | 3049915 flattrader
flattrader's picture

Geez, the stink around here was finally starting to fade...and now you're back.

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 21:26 | 3050492 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Its like deja pew all over again.

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 21:29 | 3050495 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

you mean Deja Jew ?

 

 

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 21:35 | 3050508 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Trav's not a Jew.

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 18:55 | 3050037 walküre
walküre's picture

The collapse will still come and I welcome the day it happens. It turns pussies into men and princesses into women. A good collapse and cleanse is required once in a while to ensure our future isn't completely retarded and redundant. There are way too many spoiled idiots in this world today.

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 22:06 | 3050580 Uncle Sugar
Uncle Sugar's picture

How about the banks and insurance co's that needed the bailout were broken up and sold off to the banks and insurance co's that played it straight and didn't need a bailout?

Instead, we all got to chip in to make Jamie and Loydd whole for par.

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 16:44 | 3049637 kliguy38
kliguy38's picture

concise, accurate, and appropriately descriptive.... arrow up

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 22:44 | 3050681 dougngen
dougngen's picture

forced???? oh you mean bribed

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 16:17 | 3049524 Fishthatlived
Fishthatlived's picture

"Trickle down" is not and has never been an economic theory.

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 16:33 | 3049596 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

Workers should compete globally to offer their labor at the lowest cost to capital. That is real competition. Race to the bottom, bitch.

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 18:31 | 3049983 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

You know... "Right to Work"

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 21:25 | 3050488 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

because you need the constitutional rights to be able to shovel shit for min wage.

 

and this "right" is reserved only for illegal aliens.

 

 

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 21:34 | 3050505 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Shovel shit...funny you should bring that up...O'Barry's dog walker makes 100k...google it ;-)

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 18:12 | 3049936 forwardho
forwardho's picture

Someone switched MDB's koolade with a placebo.

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 18:25 | 3049949 tenpanhandle
tenpanhandle's picture

 

 

 

1. Businessmen only care about profits, not helping their fellow man.

Everyone is a profit oriented business person when it come to their own efforts at wrangling an income (of any sort) be they an expert welfare recipient, or a  purveyor of their own labor or an entrepreneur.  Human nature dictates that everyone wants to profit from their action. I'm not being a cynic but a realist. Profit can range from money received in exchange for labor or product to how little work can be expended for any particular income.  In a soviet era gulag, I mean collective farm, where all potato diggers are paid the same, the digger that receives that wage for the least amount of digging is making the biggest profit.  When the number of people who measure their profits in "how little work is expended" reaches a majority it then becomes a race to the bottom. 

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 20:43 | 3050371 object_orient
object_orient's picture

Interesting interpretation of "race to the bottom"

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 04:46 | 3051312 sadmamapatriot
sadmamapatriot's picture

You're on a roll, MDB! I did not know you liked derivatives.

(Yall know he is always sarcastic, right?)

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 15:45 | 3049376 Nostradamus
Nostradamus's picture

Hyperinflation is credit worthiness?  You clearly either have no idea what you're talking about or failed to properly define your terms so that others can understand what you're saying.

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 15:50 | 3049392 Landotfree
Landotfree's picture

Clearly you do not understand the system.   I assure you the system is not hyperinflating, matter of fact it came very close to hyperdeflating in 2008-2010 even without a hyperinflating stage.   

It's over, it does not matter if you believe they will just start sending you checks, that period will be short lived I assure you.   

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 15:58 | 3049449 Nostradamus
Nostradamus's picture

No one here has suggested that the system is hyperinflating, only that the U.S. dollar is likely to be hyperinflated by the Federal Reserve, given its current and projected policy.  The system did come close to collapsing in 2008, but it didn't because the Federal Reserve printed money and gave it to the collapsing entities which were the pillars of the system.  The Federal Reserve's response to that crisis, which continues to this day, is a good reason to presume that they will ultimately hyperinflate the U.S. dollar.  Hyperinflation will collapse the system.

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 16:05 | 3049478 Landotfree
Landotfree's picture

"Hyperinflation will collapse the system."

So expanding and collapsing mean the same thing.   

The system will collapse just like all the prior ones, failure to expand at the rate needed.  In Roman Empire days, the silver mines were not able to produce at an exponential rate, Roman Empire was unable to expand further, population went from 1-2m in Rome to like less than 50k.  Nothing inflationary about it.

Your definition or words is the equilavent of saying black and white are the same.  Inflating means to expand or increase, collapse is usually decrease.   

The system will certainly collapse instantly if you remove the Fed, matter of fact, stop all credit creation ie dollar and your ATMs will stop working tomorrow.   


Mon, 12/10/2012 - 16:13 | 3049510 trav777
trav777's picture

you are mixing 2 sets of arguments; don't do that.

Hyperinflation as a purely monetary phenomenon is shorthand for worthlessness of the sovereign notes.  Typically, this comes from overproduction, but overproduction with respect to demand.  Value collapse can occur without printing as long as demand falls faster than production.

The Roman Empire deflated but its currency did not become more worthful.  This is the locus of the disagreement between you and those who take issue with your premises (which are mostly correct).

It really doesn't matter to anyone the form of the Destroyer, what matters is "what do I do about it"

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 16:19 | 3049535 Hulk
Hulk's picture

Welcome back man !!!

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 16:27 | 3049563 centerline
centerline's picture

Hypertiger.  So far, can't fault the logic... just get caught up in the house of mirrors constructed around the basic truths.  So many people gaming the systems with and without respect to the math.

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 18:33 | 3049991 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

I see you got time off for "good behaviour" or some such...

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 20:53 | 3050406 object_orient
object_orient's picture

...and immediately sets to work on the low-hanging fruit

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 20:49 | 3050384 Errol
Errol's picture

The debasement of Roman coinage was simply a response to a deeper, unsolvable problem.  The Roman system was powered by slave labor, which was fueled by agricultural production.  As they ran out of "cheap" slaves and arable land (supply lines got longer and longer, potential slaves were more warlike), they were faced with contracting resources but a growing population.

The current industrial system is powered by fossil fuels.  As we run out of cheap (easily accessed) oil and coal, we too are faced with contracting resources and a growing population.  Just as the Romans, we can try this and that and the other thing, but reality just isn't impressed.  We can manage the contraction, that's about all we can do.  Believe it or not, the central banks are doing what they can with an impossible situation.

Prepare accordingly.

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 22:36 | 3050640 F. Bastiat
F. Bastiat's picture

Carbon is one of the most abundant (4th) elements in the galaxy; as are carbon-based substances.  In fact, if we look at where true modern technological innovation has occurred, most of it has been driven by our extraction of carbon fuels.  Particulary in the last decade, here in the states united, with horizontal drilling and fracking.

Due to these technological advances, solely driven by the private sector, America is once again poised to become the world's leading producer of carbon fuels.

The biggest threat to mankind today is not energy production, but that so many are so easily fooled by the primitive counter-liberty, counter-prosperity, counter-humanity superstitions still dervived from the spectre of marxism and preached incessantly by the feeble minds of the mass-TV-media and the public "education" system.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:32 | 3051669 Maghreb
Maghreb's picture

Again we have the peak oil argument. Again I will say you are using the argument of scarcity to cover for what amount to massive malinvestment and corruption. keep in mind before the Empire fell it almost collapsed due to massive wars that were sparked when the Roman's tried to enforce their currency on other nations. Read between the lines in the New Testament and the accounts by Josephus and Tacitus and you will see ever increasing economic controls causing devastating poverty, oppression and wars. The entry of  Pompeii into Jerusalem to "protect" the kingdom. The famous Census that led to Judas of Galilee revolting the same year Jesus was allegedly born. The demand that taxes be paid in Roman currency that sparked the revolt that led to a million dying in the seige of Jerusalem. There was little "Peak" anything back then but a huge amount of corruption. I would argue slavery was being used to prop up the financial system. The Roman's needed a choke hold on the various parts of the empire to hold it together. Slavery was a way of keeping Labour resources firmly in the hands of Roman's. How could you rebel when your nation was fed by grain surpluses grown by cheap slave labour abroad? Even if you tried to fix this situation, you had to pay crushing taxes to Rome. Look to Greece and you'll see the same situation playing out.

Oil scarcity is being used the same way that the Romans used slavery (Cheapest of Labour) and grain (control fo the food supply). In modern terms Oil is far better than either of these because applied in the correct sectors it does wonders for both magnifying the power of Labour and food production. Whether oil production is falling or growing is a moot point. As the U.S empire grows it will require tighter and tighter controls over more and more people. For humanity and individuals to avoid the horrors of a similar collapse both energy scarcity and imperial style corruption will need to be resolved. I think though things will fix themselves in the same catastrophic manner they did centuries ago though. No one walks away from the throne Get ready for another Quietus. 

Again I got nothing against you Peak Oil people. I'm 95% sure you are correct about growing scarcity but the central banks are not doing anything good for anyone. If this system fails a new one can take its place. Perhaps in a sudden catastrophe, perhaps in a well thought out gradual transition. Humanity has always done this. The Central banks are simply buying time and feathering their nests. Even if Oil was cheap, (I don't think it could ever be with the wars it seems to spark) we would only be in a slightly better situation and have slightly more time.

 

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 16:17 | 3049518 Sophist Economicus
Sophist Economicus's picture

Hyperinflation of the currency DUE TO A LACK OF CONFIDENCE, NOT increased demand ALWAYS leads to a collapse (depression).

 

Rome had a hyperinflationary event as their currency was debased (soldiers left their posts and let the 'barbarians' in.)    The OFFICIAL roman currency was worthless,, their people starved and their economy and society collapsed.

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 16:25 | 3049558 Landotfree
Landotfree's picture

The roman currency was not worthless... they were not producing enough to met the needs of expansion ie interest... the silver mines were not able to produce at an exponential rate.  

 

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 16:31 | 3049581 centerline
centerline's picture

Coins were phsycially devalued by using less and less actual silver content.  Now done digitally.

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 16:45 | 3049640 Landotfree
Landotfree's picture

Actually, from what I read they started chipping the edges off the coin to make new ones.   The silver mines were not able to expand at the needed exponential rate.   If their system ran on dirt they would have eventually ran out of dirt.

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 16:50 | 3049671 akak
akak's picture

Landotfree, you are showing your ignorance again.

Coin clipping was a method of stealing thin shavings of silver (or gold) from the unreeded coins of the pre-industrial era practiced by individuals, NOT governments, who had no need to steal shavings from their OWN coins --- they could, and did, just use proportionately less silver (or gold) in the coins in order to debase their precious metal content while trying to pass them off at their same face value.

Exponentiality had NOTHING to do with the Roman currency collapse of the 3rd century --- debasement as a direct result of chronic governmental (and societal!) overspending and indebtedness did.

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 17:12 | 3049749 Landotfree
Landotfree's picture

"Exponentiality had NOTHING to do with the Roman currency collapse of the 3rd century"

You call me names and you say the above.   It has everything to do with it as they were unable to exponential growth they attached interest to their medium of exchange.  Their currency did not collapse their system did.

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 17:25 | 3049788 akak
akak's picture

Landotfree, you know, personally I like to be at least somewhat well-versed on a topic before publicly commenting or expounding on it, lest I make ignorant statements and claims that might later prove embarrassing.  But I guess that is just my own preference.

You clearly have no idea what you are blathering about here.  There was NO debt attached to Roman currency whatsoever, as there is to our fiat currencies today, as the Romans did NOT issue bonds, fiat currency, or otherwise engage in long-term governmental debt as we know it today.  Expenses in a given year had to be paid in that year, period.

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 19:57 | 3050042 Hacked Economy
Hacked Economy's picture

Go easy on Landotfree, akak. He's incorrect, but at least he appears to WANT to be informed on the subject, so let's help him out a little.

Some coin-clipping did indeed occur, and it was part of the overall process of coin debasement over a 200-or-so year period, but it alone wasn't responsible for the eventual fall of Rome.  The truth is that a number of factors led to the eventual "sacking" of Rome in the early 5th century, and I'm sure many here on ZH know what those are.  In a nutshell, the early Roman Empire (just before the time of Christ) was a true war machine in expansion, but had more or less reached its maintainable limits by the 3rd century.  The former glories of Roman conquest had faded, and the Caesars and Emperors were engaging in personal projects that required tons of money that the declining revenues (loot from conquered enemies) couldn't support anymore.  So they began raising taxes on their own people, clipping coins (to a degree), changing the metalurgical content of their coins to cheaper substances, etc.  Inflation began to creep in, and the masses eventually became angry when they realized what was happening.

To appease the masses, the rulers diverted attention from the problem(s) by providing immediate relief and entertainment for short-term political survival.  And this is where the term "bread and circuses" comes from.  Much like what's happening today (Obamaphone! DWTS!!)

As the economy became fragile and the social structure began to show signs of crumbling, many people simply left the cities and moved out beyond the Empire's borders (into the Barbarians' areas) to escape the taxes and confiscation.  Even the soldiers in some areas deserted their posts.  By the time the Visigoths ventured down into Rome in 410 a.d., the city was only a shadow of its former glory, and easily conquered.

Bread and circuses, people.  Please don't look behind the curtain...move along, move along...get your EBT card on the way out.

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 20:55 | 3050410 Captain Kurtz
Captain Kurtz's picture

There sure was.  The ability to mine that silver was gained through the practice of Nexum.  Furthermore, funds used for military expansion came at a price, despite the booty which assuredly was marginally declining as enemies became smarter and ironically less abundant.  What im getting at here is basically dont be so negative towards someone trying to participate just because he or she may not abide by your textbook or interpretation of something that nobody on this blog personally witnessed (not that if they did it would change anything).

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 18:25 | 3049967 Tango in the Blight
Tango in the Blight's picture

I have a Roman denarius from the reign of Emperor Trajan (who ruled from 98 to 117) which contains about 3 grams of silver. I payed 10 British pounds for it on eBay (about 16 US dollars).

About a century earlier some guy named Judas was paid 30 denarii for betraying his friend Jesus. So he was paid about 300 GBP for it. Yah right, I guess silver was worth much more in those days. I guess there wasn't a Blythius Masterius in the Roman Empire.

 

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 21:17 | 3050468 CPL
CPL's picture

Money then was not nearly as common as barter was.  The majority of the people around might save 4 denarius in their lifetimes.  Obviously they made it because we are here by hook or crook.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 14:11 | 3052426 Diogenes
Diogenes's picture

And it was the denarius that evolved into the penny. The first pennies were made of silver, about 1.5 grams of it, worth about 1 British pound today.

Back then there were 240 pennies to the pound of silver. So, since 1300  the British government has clipped 239/240ths of the value of their currency.

And that is the lowest rate of inflation of any country. Most other places, the currency has gone to zero several times.

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 17:43 | 3049590 akak
akak's picture

Landotfree, respectfully, you do not know what you are talking about.

The silver denarius of the Roman Empire was steadily debased (diluted with copper, to be exact) in the 2nd and 3rd centuries, as the empire faced chronic financial shortfalls due to their massive military spending and payments to India, Arabia and China for imported luxuries (hmmm, sound familiar?). 

Eventually, Roman silver coinage, and the money economy itself, almost ceased to exist, as the Roman state took over more and more economic power via direct control of the means of economic production and distribution, while forcing millions into servitude and outright slavery via increasing and onerous taxation (again, any of that sound familiar?).

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 09:41 | 3051556 Captain Kurtz
Captain Kurtz's picture

in the 2nd and 3rd centuries, as the empire faced chronic financial shortfalls due to their massive military spending and payments to India, Arabia and China for imported luxuries (hmmm, sound familiar?)

 

No it doesnt sound familiar.  The dilutive effect of QE is not endogenous, it's exogenous.  Meaning as the FED buys newly printed bonds, the bonds held by the Chinese, Japanese et al. are DE-VALUED not inreasing.  Plus we're not really exapnding our empire right now...

 

 

 

"the Roman state took over more and more economic power via direct control of the means of economic production and distribution while forcing millions into servitude and outright slavery via increasing and onerous taxation (again, any of that sound familiar?)"

 

Please elaborate, the last time I checked the was a big huha about the govt taking PARTIAL ownership of GM, thats a far cry from owning means of production

 


Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:48 | 3051718 Maghreb
Maghreb's picture

If you can legislate entire sectors of the economy out of existence by making them uncompetitive and then buy them up with tax payer/printed Fiat you can take over the entire means of production very very easily. Don't follow the legislation and you get shut down and put in prison, can't compete and you go out of buisness. The Independent existence of the private means of production is becoming more and more contingent on political institutions every day.

British East India company is a very good example. Private buisness that to remain profitable had to take over a big chunks of India. After shit got out of hand during the Sepoy Rebellion the crown effectively took over India and made subjects of hundreds of millions of people by extreme use of violence. This is why there needs to be a strong divide between private and public institutions.

 

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 16:29 | 3049573 centerline
centerline's picture

There were also other issues.  Religion played a role to some degree - although my memory of cause and effect as well as timing is bit rusty.  There was also an issue of social complexity... systems that became fragile as a result of this.  Quite a few parallels to modern times.

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 20:44 | 3050374 Cloud9.5
Cloud9.5's picture

Weather may have written the final act.  http://www.lpi.usra.edu/meetings/impacts97/pdf/6019.pdf

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 23:17 | 3050799 F. Bastiat
F. Bastiat's picture

And the faith and confidence in the regime of Frank Marshall Davis Jr. equates to?

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 16:16 | 3049519 Nostradamus
Nostradamus's picture

Since context is something you seem to ignore, I'll rephrase that statement to "Hyperinflation of the U.S. dollar will collapse the economic system of the U.S. and, by extension, the entire Western world."  Continued credit expansion will eventually result in a total collapse in the purchasing power of the currency.  A total collapse in the purchasing power of the currency is currency hyperinflation.  A society in which the currency has hyperinflated will experience an abrupt and catastrophic decrease in economic activity. 

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 16:32 | 3049586 Landotfree
Landotfree's picture

"Continued credit expansion will eventually result in a total collapse in the purchasing power of the currency."

Without credit expansion the system will collapse as you still owe the interest for which the credit was never created.   It's a one way system.  What you are suggesting is a collapse.  

The system demands expansion, without expansion it starts to collapse... that is what happened in late 2007.   Lehman would have been allowed to BK and the ATMs would have stopped working the next day.  Of course the currency will become worthless but not for the reasons you specify, you are focused on the symptoms prior to collapse and not the problem.   The problem is simple, if you attach interest to the medium of exchange you'll be lucky to get 60-80years or a generation.  

I dare 20% of the US population go to the bank tomorrow and try and withdraw all their money, the banks will be closing the doors at 9:15am for a lack of federal reserve notes. 

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 16:51 | 3049672 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

"The system demands expansion, without expansion it starts to collapse... "

-----------------------------------------------------

The corrupt man-made eCONomic system does.  Good luck with such things in the physical world.  Ask yourself, why does Nature always win and continue on?  It does so because there are real consequences for bad behavior or irresponsible choices.

Wake us, when such laws return to the bogus monetary and fiscal system we have now.  When they do, prosperity will return, not before.

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 17:14 | 3049757 Landotfree
Landotfree's picture

"It does so because there are real consequences for bad behavior or irresponsible choices."

I agree.

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 17:30 | 3049814 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Numerous people and sites have been very concise in pointing out precisely who and what entities have profitted from the bubbles on the way up and the way down via the regulatory capture they have over the people's  "representation".  Execute these people publicaly and watch "markets" stabilize.  Unfortunately, I must use quotations since the "mark to fantasy" accounting gimmics must also be destroyed before you see the return of true price discovery.

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 23:18 | 3050805 F. Bastiat
F. Bastiat's picture

The "Gods of the Copybook Headings" can only be denied for so long.

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 16:35 | 3049609 dmger14
dmger14's picture

True.  The catalyst will be loss of confidence, leading to velocity as foreigners and US citizens alike spend money to get something real for it before it's purchasing power diminishes further, leading to more inflation and a self-reinforcing collapse in value/rise in general price level.  If you cut workers' pay by 10%, they'll throw bricks through your window.  But inflate the money supply 10%, and most won't even know what happened.  That monetary inflation, chosen as the path of least resistance and the way to keep things "normal" as long as possible, will lead to foreigners kickstarting the velocity as they spend dollars back into the US, which will awaken the sheeple here and be hard to dial back.  With constant debt to be issued and rolled over, the Volcker bullet to control inflation no longer exists.

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 17:43 | 3049854 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

History shows that you are correct over and over. When supply lines break, shit gets real, not before.  Yes please, go ahead, rise rates, I double dog dare you motherfuckers.  

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 19:46 | 3050104 Hacked Economy
Hacked Economy's picture

Yeah, that's what concerns me.  Not a comet or some zombie-virus, but something as realistic and probable as a supply-line breakdown.  Remember when fuel prices skyrocketed back in 2007 and diesel in Europe reached the equivalent of US$ 11.00 per gallon?  Truckers went on strike all over the map and simply refused to deliver goods until the .gov would step in to (artificially and stupidly) bring prices back down.  The movement of distributed goods slowed down and consumers grumbled.

We've all said it before, but it bears repeating:  When people will trample each other (or shout death threats like the "I'll stab you" idiot this year) for some made-in-China junk they don't need, imagine what'll happen when there's a serious economic rumble and just 10% (!!!) of the trucks shut down.

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 21:30 | 3050498 Calmyourself
Calmyourself's picture

Exactly, supply chains, if you want a sign, a signal to batten down the hatches make friends with a truck driver.  When the supply chain gets sticky, habitually late deliveries, no loads for trucks or no trucks for load you should get concerned.  Hyperinflation is simply a psychological phenomenon in which ordinary people realize their money is fiat and panic and will exchange more than normal in a bidding type process.   Governments choices are limited by that point.  The current administration will eventually realize their war on the productive of any income level will backfire. Timeline, your guess is as good as mine...

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 22:48 | 3050693 dougngen
dougngen's picture

Your a gd genius gump

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 00:12 | 3050943 cranky-old-geezer
cranky-old-geezer's picture

 

 

(sigh) How many times do I have to explain this?

Inflation and deflation are monetary terms, not economic terms.

If the economy is expanding, that's the correct term, expanding, not "inflating".

If the economy is contracting, that's the correct term, contracting, not "deflating". 

Using inflation and deflation when describing the economy just confuses people. 

Don't feel bad though, PhD economists use those terms incorrectly.

The housing market isn't deflating, it's contracting.  Falling home prices isn't deflation, it's just falling prices.  "Collapsing" might be appropriate in places like Detroit.

Bonds losing value isn't deflation, it's losing value, or "collapsing" if value is falling fast ...what happened in '08 incidentally.  MBS started collapsing in value, not "deflating".

If a stock drops in price, nobody says the stock is deflating, they say the stock (price) is falling.

Severe economic slowdown isn't deflation, it's depression. 

What we have now is inflationary depression.  Inflation (currency) during an economic depression.  Wild out-of-control currency printing (and debasement) creating artificial buyers (the Fed) trying to keep the bond market from collapsing, while the underlying economy IS collapsing, ok, just shrinking (not "deflating").

Yes we can see hyperinflation during an economic depression.  That's what happened in Wiemar Germany ...and Zimbabwe too.  Massive currency printing trying to make up for falling economic activity.   Well, not actually, more like massive currency printing to fund rapidly escalating debt, which grew more rapidly as the currency lost value, a vicious escalating cycle that goes parabolic.

 

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 00:15 | 3050979 akak
akak's picture

Thanks, Cranky, for your lucid and on-point post.  I too get riled up every time I hear or read some moron glibly misuse, misunderstand, and muddle the terms "inflation" and "deflation".

Wed, 12/12/2012 - 21:20 | 3058000 cranky-old-geezer
cranky-old-geezer's picture

 

 

Thanks akak. 

Gosh, that handle reminds me of "Mars Attacks" :)

 

Wed, 12/12/2012 - 21:33 | 3058014 akak
akak's picture

LOL!

The first time I ever saw anyone actually shoot food from their nose while laughing was during the movie "Mars Attacks".

Ack ACK ack ack, ack ack ack ACK ACK!

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 15:49 | 3049389 johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture

what scares me is that no one with the ability to actually do ANYTHING, actually will

and once everything is completely broken, in attempting to patch it up, will somehow manage to make it worse

 

and at some point during all of this underwear theft in attempt to prop up the system which has always been broken, will manage somehow to institute ever greater theft from the common man, and ultimately totalitarianism

thats what the fuck i'm worried about

 

steal underwear--->totalitarian state...ftmfw

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 22:01 | 3050565 Umh
Umh's picture

That is why I retired. I don't know about Galt, but if all hell is going to break loose why be shoveling coal into the engine of destruction.

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 18:34 | 3049992 alangreedspank
alangreedspank's picture

Of course CBs want you to hear about inflation when they are busy coming up with all these inflation calculations that ignore actual inflation.

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 20:02 | 3050261 Hacked Economy
Hacked Economy's picture

I have no idea what you wrote in your comment, and I have no interest in even looking.  I simply saw your animated avatar and busted out laughing.  I get an image in my mind (a rather unpleasant one, but hey) of you doing the same thing naked at your keyboard while reading everyone's posts here.

Yuk.

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 21:01 | 3050425 ZeroAvatar
ZeroAvatar's picture

LOL, alangreedspank, I just saw the 'Johnson' for the first time...............

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 18:36 | 3049995 LostAtSea
LostAtSea's picture

Yea, who would ever question the worthiness of a single plantinum coin, with $1 TRILLION stamped on it. It's worth that....right? right???

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/12/07/could-two-pla...

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 22:12 | 3050594 Umh
Umh's picture

It's like that heavy pocketful of gold Matt Nesto spoke of in his dreams.

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 15:43 | 3049362 Seer
Seer's picture

1) All fiat dies;

2) There will always be something else that people find as an alternative (as long as they are alive);

3) Growth WILL end (well, it has already ended, what hasn't yet occurred is people understanding this fact).

I think that people KNOW what matters.  We ought to stop pretending that we can avoid the realities and get on with taking care of business (and I'm really hoping that we move forward with the clear understanding that perpetual growth on a finite planet is a BAD idea/system).

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 15:51 | 3049409 johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture

infinite growth

finite planet

fail

+1 seer

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 22:53 | 3050718 dougngen
dougngen's picture

the solution to your math problem

infinite growth +finite planet/wholesale destruction and death=

more infinite growth

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 14:24 | 3052501 Diogenes
Diogenes's picture

finite planet + human inventiveness => doing more with less => progress => growth without limit NOT infinite growth.

Compare 1912 Model T, cost $850 or one year's pay for a working man, 4 passenger car, top speed 40 MPH, cruising speed 25, 17 MPG. Usually worn out after 5 years or 20,000 miles.To modern economy car, $15000   4 passenger, top speed 110, cruising speed 70, 40 MPG. Usually worn out after 20 years or 200,000 miles. Also infinitely safer, more comfortable, etc etc.

It should be possible to live  better than we did 100 years ago while consuming less than 1/2 the energy.

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 16:13 | 3049508 Peter Pan
Peter Pan's picture

The fuel for hyperinflation is money printing on a large scale but the spark that ignites that fuel is a widespread and sudden loss of confidence in paper currency.

People are simply not aware of the massive amounts of debt out there that do not attach to anything of real value or which attach to assets of severely diminished value.

Thank God the masses are concentrating on short term survival and entertainment because if they ever woke up to what the long term outlook is like there would be bedlam.

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 22:51 | 3050705 Walter_Sobchak
Walter_Sobchak's picture

tout va bien aujourd'hui que c'est notre illusion

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 00:54 | 3051068 cranky-old-geezer
cranky-old-geezer's picture

 

 

sudden loss of confidence in paper currency.

It can be sudden, but it can be slow loss of confidence too, sorta like what's happening now.

Yea I suspect the Fed will drag this out long as possible.  A slow disgusting slide, currency slowly losing value, till it goes parabolic right at the end, and that's when you know it's the end.

People are simply not aware of the massive amounts of debt out there

They don't need to be aware of it.  They're well aware of (rising) prices at the grocery store.  That's what really matters.

They may not know what "inflation" means.  But they're experiencing inflation as we speak. 

They may not know what "hyperinflation" means.   But they'll experience it eventually.

 

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 16:43 | 3049635 hoos bin pharteen
hoos bin pharteen's picture

The "alternative" people would turn to, even in a one-fiat currency world, would be hard goods.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 03:03 | 3051116 cranky-old-geezer
cranky-old-geezer's picture

 

 

Yes, it reverts back to barter with hard goods, and governments hate barter because they can't track it and tax it ...why I believe a cashless society is coming ...which still won't stop barter, it'll increase barter actually ...and they'll try to criminalize it of course.

It just hit me.  That's where this is all heading.  Some sort of worldwide SDR system after USD collapses, likely blamed on counterfeiting (when the Fed is doing all the counterfeiting).  

There's no SDR paper currency nor coins, it's all electronic. 

Damn, that's gotta be where this is all heading.

It explains why big banks are selling all the trash paper to the Fed they can, filling up those reserve accounts with dollars.   There's gonna be a currency exchange at some point, dollars for SDRs (or whatever the new cashless currency is).  That's what those trillions of dollars sitting idle in those reserve accounts is for.

Damn, I just figured it out. 

And anyone who doesn't have a million dollars to exchange a thousand to one for the new cashless currency is gonna be SOL.

Yep, the Fed will end alright, dollars will disappear from the scene, but we'll all be paupers instantly when it happens.  Poof, just like that.

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 15:49 | 3049398 Nostradamus
Nostradamus's picture

There may be no perceived alternative until an alternative becomes mandatory for commerce to occur. When fiat currency becomes worthless, something will emerge as a medium of exchange. Something tells me it won't be barrels of crude oil.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 01:29 | 3051133 tsx500
tsx500's picture

something tells ME it'll be something that has withstood and worked for thousands of years ..... something 'barbarous' if you will ......  ?

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 15:53 | 3049423 Global Hunter
Global Hunter's picture

"What happens when there is no "percieved" alternative?"

I can think of alternatives: booze, cigarettes, boom-draw, bullets, gold, silver, cattle, goats, fire wood, sugar, salt off the top of my head

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 18:29 | 3049978 catacl1sm
catacl1sm's picture

Don't forget chickens. They are multi-purpose after all.

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 22:15 | 3050601 Umh
Umh's picture

That sounds nasty.

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 18:35 | 3049989 akak
akak's picture

I might accept the gold, silver, goats, or firewood, but I'll pass on the salt off the top of your head.

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 20:17 | 3050293 IrritableBowels
IrritableBowels's picture

Don't forget the Velcro gloves.

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 16:49 | 3049660 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

"No alternative": disagree. Weimar age farmers bought additional tractors, lawyers and doctors bought farmland, everybody was in stocks, collections of rare stamps, objects of art and antiquities flourished, and, and, and. No state can seriously suppress "moneyness", even in prisons.

reminds me why so much propaganda is spent on painting such an hellish landscape on all things beginning with eur

even when totally out of whack and easily debunked

---------
Artitcle's
"geared with precisely this outcome in mind" eh? Two words: Nixon 1971. Extrapolation to present.

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 17:15 | 3049754 GCT
GCT's picture

Spot on Ghordius the smart people always moved into tangible assets.  The key was defending the assets like farm land or land with clean potable water.   

If the faith is lost in the dollar something else will replace it.  It will get ugly for a time but a person with hands on skills will likely do better then someone that cannot do anything.  Barter and blackmarket is already thriving.  The author does mke a good point if you produce these days, the MSM and others want to make you out to be a criminal because you are not doing enough to contribute to the government.  Give me a break.

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 17:26 | 3049796 TuPhat
TuPhat's picture

I keep a week's supply of "non perishable food" on hand for hurricanes (crackers, granola bars etc.).  I go through it once a year and replace most of it because it has become barely edible or not edible at all.  A few years ago I happened across an old box of 22 ammo I had bought as a teenager.  It was over 20 years old.  I took it to the range and fired it.  Only 2 misfires, you get that with a new box sometimes.  My conclusion: have enough food on hand for emergencies but do not consider it as a store of value.  Ammunition on the other hand is both an alternative store of value and can be very useful when things get bad.  (I have larger calibers than .22).  Of course gold and silver are always good.

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 18:32 | 3049982 Marco
Marco's picture

Stocking so much food which goes bad in a year is like using paper cartridges (which won't last 20 years either). Use sterilized food stored just like your powder, behind a barrier of metal.

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 18:38 | 3050001 akak
akak's picture

The simple, and obvious, solution to the food (non-)problem is to rotate your food, eating the older as your replace it with newer.

My God, does this even really need to be pointed out?

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 19:38 | 3050156 Hacked Economy
Hacked Economy's picture

Only one week?!!?  Egad, man, that's child's play.  You should have a *bare* minimum of one month for yourself and your family under your roof.  Three months is better, because if the SHTF and you really do need to go for an entire month without being able to re-stock from the grocery store, you'd better believe your neighbors (who might also only have a week's worth of food in their pantry like you do) will be needing it, too.

Some food for you, and some for barter/trade/charity.  Let's say you have a natural disaster and your neighborhood is S.O.L. for two weeks.  If you have extra on hand, you can help out your elderly neighbor with some extra toilet paper, or the young family across the street with some food and water.  Be discreet about it, of course, so you don't become known as the General Store on your street, but it'll go a long way to build good relationships with your neighbors, and they'll remember it after things get back to normal.  For example, good neighbors watch each other's homes (for burglars, etc.) without even being asked.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 00:19 | 3050989 TuPhat
TuPhat's picture

I may have around a year's supply but if total destruction happens to my house it would be wiped out.  The week's supply is just a small amount that I can grab and run with if I have to.  If we all knew what was going to happen for sure we could prepare exactly what would be needed.  Trying to be ready for almost anything isn't easy.  If I could keep on top of it and rotate it, then maybe I wouldn't lose any to aging.  In the real world I have to work and there are a thousand reasons why I don't get around to it in a timely fashion.  At least I have something ready.  BTW I have watched the show "Doomsday Preppers" and I'm not a nutcase like they portray those people.  Most people who really try to be prepared don't advertise it.  They especially would not let a TV show film their preps.  I bet ZHers don't advertise where they keep their gold to anyone except maybe when it's at the bottom of the lake.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 00:38 | 3051024 akak
akak's picture

 

BTW I have watched the show "Doomsday Preppers" and I'm not a nutcase like they portray those people.

I am convinced that the people highlighted on that program are portrayed as "nutcases" for a good reason --- to discredit and demonize ANYONE who would prepare for ANY calamity in ANY way as "wackos" and "fringe" and "terrorist sympathizers", etc.

The so-called National Geographic Channel has become NOTHING but a propaganda arm of the US government and powers-that-be, as most of their programming currently consists of pro-establishment, anti-liberty series which continually attack and demonize all those outside of the "mainstream", such as marijuana growers and users, "preppers", and so-called "hoarders", all of whom have television series expressly devoted to painting them as wackos, nutjobs and borderline criminals.

What the fuck happened to you, National Geographic?  Exactly when did you sell your souls to the Devil?

 

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 01:41 | 3051148 tsx500
tsx500's picture

you are so RIGHT ON about the NatGeo channel... I finally came to the exact same revelation just a few months ago, about how they intentionally portray these 'Doomsday' preppers as wackos .... if you watch that show and look for it, it's so blatantly obvious.    

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 11:24 | 3051830 Maghreb
Maghreb's picture

They do quite few articles about Afghanistan and Iraq some are from returning Vets. Usually looking on the brightside of the war on terror.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 05:48 | 3051332 Nostradalus
Nostradalus's picture

F my "neighbors". They just live next door...

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 19:50 | 3050207 klockwerks
klockwerks's picture

Sorry, I consider it a "store of value" as I do have to eat and others do to. It goes without saying that ammo, water, silver etc are also very important for preparing for whatever does happen. A weeks worth assumes you will be able to buy food after that week but I would not want to count on that. I would prefer to cover all my bases and figure on worst case scenerio.

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 18:54 | 3050035 JLee2027
JLee2027's picture

In modern history hyperinflation has only occured where there has been an alternative to the local currency.

This alternative has traditionally been the dollar.

What happens when there is no "percieved" alternative?

 

Silver coins will quickly become the alternative. Thank you Bland-Allison Act. There are maybe 300-500 million Morgan Silver dollars estimated to have survived. Plus American Silver Eagles. I think we'll be fine...assuming you have a "stash".

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 20:34 | 3050344 Errol
Errol's picture

Pladizow, I quite agree.  Even if and when oil exporters stop accepting dollars for oil (truly THE END), the average Joe in the US will still be using dollars.  What else are they going to use?  If there is enough deflation, maybe clad coinage.

As it stands now, the world's central banks are trying to keep even with the deflation as defaults cause imaginary "wealth" to evaporate.  Japan has been doing this for a couple of decades now.  Not so much inflation, eh?

The central banks can do anything they want; they are merely managing the contraction that is inevitable and inexorable as conventional (inexpensive) oil production continues its unstoppable decline.  Humanity's ability to prevent the effects of real world events via abstract finance is much more limited than everyone wants to aknowledge.

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 23:00 | 3050739 dougngen
dougngen's picture

you ever buy a steak in Japan. only $75,000

http://www2.econ.iastate.edu/classes/econ355/choi/jprice.htm

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 15:28 | 3049318 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

"unless the Fed has acquired unlimited power"

When was the last time anyone kept them in check?

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 15:45 | 3049361 Landotfree
Landotfree's picture

About 83 years ago.   The restructuring of the global financial system 1929-1944, but it actually started before that.

God, the Universe, whatever... has it's own way of doing things, not much I can do about it.  Not the first cycle, we'll see if it's the last... I doubt it.

 

The Architect: The matrix is older than you know. I prefer counting from the emergence of one integral anomaly to the emergence of the next, in which case this is the sixth version.

*Again, the responses of the other Ones appear on the monitors: "Five versions? Three? I've been lied too. This is bullshit."*

Neo: There are only two possible explanations: either no one told me, or no one knows.

The Architect: Precisely. As you are undoubtedly gathering, the anomaly's systemic, creating fluctuations in even the most simplistic equations.

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 16:16 | 3049520 trav777
trav777's picture

my problem with that sequences was that Keanu lacked the acting chops to plausibly appear capable of that type of deductive analysis

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 16:45 | 3049646 Landotfree
Landotfree's picture

I agree.  :)

Otherwise the films are great for understanding systems.

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 15:15 | 3049266 slaughterer
slaughterer's picture

What if the thing that scares Paul Singer is the thing that is scaring nearly everybody?

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 15:18 | 3049288 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

OT but CNBS just had some guy on (last name Prezza?) who so nonchalantly discussed the stuff above and more I was completely shocked. If I find the vid I will add it. But for the first time in a while I was not marginally dumber for having that stupid channel on...

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 15:23 | 3049298 americanspirit
americanspirit's picture

What if the thing that scares Paul Singer isn't scaring anybody because they can't or won't admit that it is there? Kinda like hiding under your blankey so that the big bad wolf won't be able to find you and eat you. THAT's what scares me.

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 15:51 | 3049407 Seer
Seer's picture

One shouldn't run around being scared, as it's counterproductive.  Yes, many of those in denial are going to cause quite a disturbance; like a tree falling in the woods- standing the heck back is the best strategy.

I burned by allotment of energy "warning" people.  At some point one has to realize that there are many that cannot be reached, many who fight to their deaths in order to hurl themselves over the cliff (this suicidal societal programming is something to marvel at).

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 16:06 | 3049486 Global Hunter
Global Hunter's picture

Seer, great post, relevant to me.

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 21:49 | 3050527 klockwerks
klockwerks's picture

I guess it sucks to be them then

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 15:47 | 3049379 Seer
Seer's picture

Losing his "job"...

That's why we need to stop all this fawning over talking-heads and "money managers" and get to doing actual work associated with living within the means of this planet (this is going to be the toughest thing humans have ever faced, when viewed at the scale we're at now [it's happened before, and while many have suffered, this time it'll be very visible to a HUGE number of humans]).

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 17:18 | 3049769 GCT
GCT's picture

Most people do not have a clue even after the MSM has now coined the phrase to make our messiah and chief look good. That requires critical thinking and research skills.  We cannot have that now can we! After all reality TV is on after nightly news.

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 15:17 | 3049282 trav777
trav777's picture

The Fed was put in place to make money for lenders, geez. It's really banal. Sorry to disappoint the trilateratti moonbats, but it's really simple and actually quite vulgar at its core. What worries me is the proliferation of idiocy and magical thinking; tho I see that ZHers have at last accepted the growth asymptote that I had to hammer into you cretins over the course of years.

The only route out of this maze, and by that I mean we escape destruction...are hail maries we're not even saying.

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 15:26 | 3049308 akak
akak's picture

Oh fuck --- like Jason in the innumerable "Friday the Thirteen" flicks, he's back!

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 15:27 | 3049314 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

lmao ;-)

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 15:37 | 3049343 akak
akak's picture

Suddenly, I am feeling like a bagholder again.

 

(A "bagholder" whose holdings are up over 70% in the last 30 months, that is.)

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 15:41 | 3049354 trav777
trav777's picture

50 by next week, "tops"

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 15:44 | 3049363 akak
akak's picture

Your myth, not mine.

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 15:56 | 3049441 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Silver has doubled since Traz joined ZH.  Still he hates on it.  Trav is the greatest "Bob" of all time.

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 15:47 | 3049380 Bay of Pigs
Bay of Pigs's picture

Sweet, trav and  Robo are back. Now all we need is bob dabolina and genemarchbanks and we're back in business.

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 15:50 | 3049405 trav777
trav777's picture

<shrug> I guess the traffic was down...quality of commentary sure as hell has been.

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 15:52 | 3049414 chumbawamba
chumbawamba's picture

Shut the fuck up, you stupid fag.

If you have hair on your balls you will come to chat and face off.

I am Chumbawamba.

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 15:54 | 3049425 trav777
trav777's picture

come where, mendicant?

what next, you gonna challenge me to a facebook status-off?

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 15:58 | 3049448 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

ZH has a chatroom now.  Come on in, we can find out how smart you really are.

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 16:00 | 3049454 chumbawamba
chumbawamba's picture

He's a sad nigger.  He'll never show.

-Chumblez.

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 16:18 | 3049530 trav777
trav777's picture

a chatroom...LOL

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 16:36 | 3049608 chumbawamba
chumbawamba's picture

For the record: Trav came to chat, but he missed the part about needing to have hair on his balls, so he left after only a few moments.  He will be missed.

-Chumblez.

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 16:39 | 3049621 chumbawamba
chumbawamba's picture

Maybe he can come back after puberty.

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