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The End Of An Era

Tyler Durden's picture


Authored by Dr. Tim Morgan, Tullet Prebon,

The economy as we know it is facing a lethal confluence of four critical factors – the fall-out from the biggest debt bubble in history; a disastrous experiment with globalisation; the massaging of data to the point where economic trends are obscured; and, most important of all, the approach of an energy-returns cliff-edge.

Through technology, through culture and through economic and political change, society is more short-term in nature now than at any time in recorded history. Financial market participants can carry out transactions in milliseconds. With 24-hour news coverage, the media focus has shifted inexorably from the analytical to the immediate. The basis of politicians’ calculations has shortened to the point where it can seem that all that matters is the next sound-bite, the next headline and the next snapshot of public opinion. The corporate focus has moved all too often from strategic planning to immediate profitability as represented by the next quarter’s earnings.

This report explains that this acceleration towards ever-greater immediacy has blinded society to a series of fundamental economic trends which, if not anticipated and tackled well in advance, could have devastating effects. The relentless shortening of media, social and political horizons has resulted in the establishment of self-destructive economic patterns which now threaten to undermine economic viability. We date the acceleration in short-termism to the early 1980s.

Since then, there has been a relentless shift to immediate consumption as part of something that has been called a “cult of self-worship”. The pursuit of instant gratification has resulted in the accumulation of debt on an unprecedented scale. The financial crisis, which began in 2008 and has since segued into the deepest and most protracted economic slump for at least eighty years, did not result entirely from a short period of malfeasance by a tiny minority, comforting though this illusion may be. Rather, what began in 2008 was the denouement of a broadly-based process which had lasted for thirty years, and is described here as “the great credit super-cycle”.


The credit super-cycle process is exemplified by the relationship between GDP and aggregate credit market debt in the United States (see fig. 1.1). In 1945, and despite the huge costs involved in winning the Second World War, the aggregate indebtedness of American businesses, individuals and government equated to 159% of GDP. More than three decades later, in 1981, this ratio was little changed, at 168%. In real terms, total debt had increased by 214% since 1945, but the economy had grown by 197%, keeping the debt ratio remarkably static over an extended period which, incidentally, was far from shock-free (since it included two major oil crises).


From the early 1980s, as figs. 1.1 and 1.2 show, an unmistakeable and seemingly relentless upwards trend in indebtedness became established. Between 1981 and 2009, debt grew by 390% in real terms, far out-pacing the growth (of 120%) in the American economy. By 2009, the debt ratio had reached 381%, a level unprecedented in history. Even in 1930, when GDP collapsed, the ratio barely topped 300%, and thereafter declined very rapidly indeed.

This report is not, primarily, about debt, and neither does it suggest that the problems identified here are unique to the United States. Rather, the massive escalation in American indebtedness is one amongst a host of indicators of a state of mind which has elevated immediate consumption over prudence throughout much of the world.

This report explains that we need only look beyond the predominant short-termism of contemporary thinking to perceive that we are at the confluence of four extremely dangerous developments which, individually or collectively, have already started to throw more than two centuries of economic expansion into reverse.

Before the financial crisis of 2008, this analysis might have seemed purely theoretical, but the banking catastrophe, and the ensuing slump, should demonstrate that the dangerous confluence described here is already underway. Indeed, more than two centuries of near-perpetual growth probably went into reverse as much as ten years ago.

Lacking longer-term insights, today’s policymakers seem bewildered about many issues. Why, for instance, has there been little or no recovery from the post-2008 economic slump? Why have traditional, tried-and-tested fiscal and monetary tools ceased to function? Why have both austerity and stimulus failed us?

The missing piece of the economic equation is an appreciation of four underlying trends, each of which renders many of the lessons of the past irrelevant.

trend #1 – the madness of crowds

The first of the four highly dangerous trends identified here is the creation, over three decades, of the worst financial bubble in history. In his 1841 work Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, Charles Mackay (1814-89) identified a common thread of individual and collective idiocy running through such follies of the past as alchemy, witchhunts, prophecies, fortune-telling, magnetizers, phrenology, poisoning, the admiration of thieves, duels, the imputation of mystic powers to relics, haunted houses, crusades – and financial bubbles.

A clear implication of Mackay’s work was that all of these follies had been consigned to the past by intelligence, experience and enlightenment. For the most part, he has been right. Intelligent people today do not put faith in alchemy, fortune-telling, witchcraft or haunting, and – with the arguable exception of the invasion of Iraq – crusades have faded into the history books.

But one folly remains alive and well. Far from confining financial bubbles to historical tales of Dutch tulips and British South Sea stock, the last three decades have witnessed the creation and the bursting of the biggest bubble in financial history.

Described here as ‘the credit supercycle’, this bubble confirmed that one aspect, at least, of the idiocy identified by Mackay continues to wreak havoc. Insane though historic obsessions with tulip bulbs and south seas riches may appear, they are dwarfed by the latterday, ‘money for nothing’ lunacy that, through the credit super-cycle, has mired much of the world in debts from which no escape (save perhaps hyperinflation) exists.

Perhaps the most truly remarkable feature of the super-cycle was that it endured for so long in defiance of all logic or common sense. Individuals in their millions believed that property prices could only ever increase, such that either borrowing against equity (by taking on invariably-expensive credit) or spending it (through equity release) was a safe, rational and even normal way to behave.

Regulators, meanwhile, believed that there was nothing wrong with loosening banking reserve criteria (both by risk-weighting assets in ways that masked leverage, and by broadening definitions of bank capital to the point where even some forms of debt counted as shock-absorbing equity).

Former Federal Reserve boss Alan Greenspan has been ridiculed for believing that banks would always act in the best interests of their shareholders, and that the market would sort everything out in a benign way. But regulators more generally bent over backwards to ignore the most obvious warning signs, such as escalating property price-to-incomes ratios, soaring levels of debt-to-GDP, and such obviously-abusive practices as sub-prime mortgages, NINJA loans and the proliferation of unsafe financial instruments.

Where idiocy and naïveté were concerned, however, regulators and the general public were trumped by policymakers and their advisors. Gordon Brown, for example, proclaimed an end to “boom and bust” and gloried in Britain’s “growth” despite the way in which debt escalation was making it self-evident that the apparent expansion in the economy was neither more nor less than the simple spending of borrowed money.


Between 2001-02 and 2009-10, Britain added £5.40 of private and public debt for each £1 of ‘growth’ in GDP (fig. 1.3). Between 1998 and 2012, real GDP increased by just £338bn (30%) whilst debt soared by £1,133bn (95%) (fig. 1.4).


Asset managers have a very simple term to describe what happened to Britain under Brown – it was a collapse in returns on capital employed.

No other major economy got it quite as wrong as Britain under Brown, but much the same was happening across the Western world, most notably in those countries which followed the disastrous Anglo-American philosophy of “light-touch” financial regulation.

trend #2 – the globalisation disaster

The compounding mistake, where the Western countries were concerned, was a wide-eyed belief that ‘globalisation’ would make everyone richer, when the reality was that the out-sourcing of production to emerging economies was a self-inflicted disaster with few parallels in economic history. One would have to look back to a Spanish empire awash with bullion from the New World to find a combination of economic idiocy and minority self-interest equal to the folly of globalization.

The big problem with globalisation was that Western countries reduced their production without making corresponding reductions in their consumption. Corporations’ outsourcing of production to emerging economies boosted their earnings (and, consequently, the incomes of the minority at the very top) whilst hollowing out their domestic economies through the export of skilled jobs.

This report uses a measure called ‘globally-marketable output’ (GMO) as a metric for domestic production, a measure which combines manufacturing, agriculture, construction and mining with net exports of services. By definition, activities falling outside this category consist of services provided to each other.

At constant (2011) values, consumption by Americans increased by $6,500bn between 1981 and 2011, whilst consumption on their behalf by the government rose by a further $1,700bn, but the combined output of the manufacturing, construction, agricultural and extractive industries grew by barely $600bn. At less than $200bn in 2011, net exports of services did almost nothing to bridge the chasm between consumption and production.

This left two residuals – domestically consumed services, and debt – with debt the clincher. Between 1981 and 2011, and again expressed at constant values, American indebtedness soared from $11 trillion to almost $54 trillion.

Fundamentally, what had happened here was that skilled, well-paid jobs had been exported, consumption had increased, and ever-greater quantities of debt had been used to fill the gap. This was, by any definition, unsustainable. Talk of Western economies modernising themselves by moving from production into services contained far more waffle than logic – Western consumers sold each other ever greater numbers of hair-cuts, ever greater quantities of fast food and ever more zero-sum financial services whilst depending more and more on imported goods and, critically, on the debts used to buy them. Corporate executives prospered, as did the gateholders of the debt economy, whilst the vast majority saw their real wages decline and their indebtedness spiral. For our purposes, what matters here is that reducing production, increasing consumption and taking on escalating debt to fill the gap was never a remotely sustainable course of action. What this in turn means is that no return to the pre-2008 world is either possible or desirable.

trend #3 – an exercise in self-delusion

One explanation for widespread public (and policymaker) ignorance of the truly parlous state of the Western economies lies in the delusory nature of economic and fiscal statistics, many of which have been massaged out of all relation to reality.

There seems to have been no ‘grand conspiracy’ here, but the overall effect of accretive changes has been much the same. In America, for example, the benchmark measure of inflation (CPI-U) has been modified by ‘substitution’, ‘hedonics’ and ‘geometric weighting’ to the point where reported numbers seem to be at least six percentage points lower than they would have been under the ‘pre-tinkering’ basis of calculation used until the early 1980s. US unemployment, reported at 7.8%, excludes so many categories of people (such as “discouraged workers”) that it hides very much higher levels of inactivity.

The critical distortion here is clearly inflation, which feeds through into computations showing “growth” even when it is intuitively apparent (and evident on many other benchmarks) that, for a decade or more, the economy has, at best, stagnated, not just in the United States but across much of the Western world. Distorted inflation also tells wage-earners that they have become better off even though such statistics do not accord with their own perceptions. It is arguable, too, that real (inflation-free) interest rates were negative from as long ago as the mid-1990s, a trend which undoubtedly exacerbated an escalating tendency to live on debt.

Fiscal figures, too, are heavily distorted, most noticeably in the way in which quasi-debt obligations are kept off the official balance sheet. As we explain in this report, the official public debts of countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom exclude truly enormous commitments such as pensions.

trend #4 – the growth dynamo winds down

One of the problems with economics is that its practitioners preach a concentration on money, whereas money is the language rather than the substance of the real economy. Ultimately, the economy is – and always has been – a surplus energy equation, governed by the laws of thermodynamics, not those of the market.

Society and the economy began when agriculture created an energy surplus which, though tiny by later standards, liberated part of the population to engage in non-subsistence activities.

A vastly larger liberation of surplus energy occurred with the discovery of the heat engine, meaning that the energy delivered by human labour could be leveraged massively by exogenous sources of energy such as coal, oil and natural gas. A single US gallon of gasoline delivers work equivalent to between 360 and 490 hours of strenuous human labour, labour which would cost perhaps $6,500 if it were paid for at prevailing rates. Of the energy – a term coterminous with ‘work’ – consumed in Western societies, well over 99% comes from exogenous sources, and probably less than 0.7% from human effort. Energy does far more than provide us with transport and warmth. In modern societies, manufacturing, services, minerals, food and even water are functions of the availability of energy. The critical equation here is not the absolute quantity of energy available but, rather, the difference between energy extracted and energy consumed in the extraction process. This is measured by the mathematical equation EROEI (energy return on energy invested).

For much of the period since the Industrial Revolution, EROEIs have been extremely high. The oil fields discovered in the 1930s, for example, provided at least 100 units of extracted energy for every unit consumed in extraction (an EROEI of 100:1). For some decades now, though, global average EROEIs have been falling, as energy discoveries have become both smaller and more difficult (meaning energy-costly) to extract.


The killer factor is the non-linear nature of EROEIs. As fig. 1.5 shows, the effects of a fall-off in EROEI from, say, 80:1 to 20:1 do not seem particularly disruptive but, once returns ratios have fallen below about 15:1, there is a dramatic, ‘cliff-edge’ slump in surplus energy, combined with a sharp escalation in its cost.

Research suggests that the global average EROEI, having fallen from about 40:1 in 1990 to 17:1 in 2010, may decline to just 11:1 by 2020, at which point energy will be about 50% more expensive, in real terms, than it is today, a metric which will carry through directly into the cost of almost everything else – including food.

crisis, culpability and consequences

If the analysis set out in this report is right, we are nearing the end of a period of more than 250 years in which growth has been ‘the assumed normal’. There have been setbacks, of course, but the near-universal assumption has been that economic growth is the usual state of affairs, a rule to which downturns (even on the scale of the 1930s) are the exceptions. That comfortable assumption is now in the process of being over-turned.

The views set out here must provoke a host of questions. For a start, if we really are nearing a cliff-edge economic crisis, why isn’t this visible already? Second, who is to blame for this? Third, how bad could it get? Last, but surely most important, can anything be done about it?

Where visibility is concerned, our belief is that, if the economy does tip over in the coming few years, retrospect – which always enjoys the 20-20 vision of hindsight – will say that the signs of the impending crash were visible well before 2013.

For a start, anyone who believed that a globalisation model (in which the West unloaded production but expected to consume as much, or even more, than ever) was sustainable was surely guilty of wilful blindness. Such a state of affairs was only ever viable on the insane assumption that debt could go on increasing indefinitely. Charles Mackay chronicled many delusions, but none – not even the faith placed in witchcraft – was ever quite as irrational as the belief (seldom stated, but always implicit in Western economic policy) that there need never be an end to a way of life which was wholly dependent on ever-greater debt.

Even to those who were happy to swallow the nonsense of perpetually expanding indebtedness, the sheer scale of debt – and, relevantly in this context, of quasi-debt commitments as well – surely should have sounded  warning bells. From Liverpool to Los Angeles, from Madrid to Matsuyama, the developed world is mired in debts that can never be repaid. In addition to formal debt, governments have entered into pension and welfare commitments which are only affordable if truly heroic assumptions are made about future prosperity.

At the same time, there is no real evidence that the economy is recovering from what is already a more prolonged slump than the Great Depression of the 1930s. We are now more than four years on from the banking crisis and, under anything approaching normal conditions, there should have been a return to economic expansion by now. Governments have tried almost everything, from prolonged near-zero interest rates and stimulus expenditures to the creation of money on a gigantic scale. These tools have worked in the past, and the fact that, this time, they manifestly are not working should tell us that something profoundly different is going on.

The question of culpability has been the equivalent of Sherlock Holmes’ “dog that did not bark in the night”, in that very few individuals have been held to account for what is unarguably the worst economic disaster in at least eighty years. A small number of obviously-criminal miscreants have been prosecuted, but this is something that happens on a routine basis in normal times, so does not amount to an attribution of blame for the crisis. There has been widespread public vilification of bankers, the vast majority of whom were, in any case, only acting within the parameters of the ‘debtfuelled, immediate gratification’ ethos established across Western societies as a whole.

Governments have been ejected by their electorates, but their replacements have tended to look very similar indeed to their predecessors. The real reason for the seeming lack of retribution is that culpability is far too dispersed across society as a whole. If, say, society was to punish senior bankers, what about the thousands of salesmen who knowingly pushed millions of customers into mortgages that were not remotely affordable? The suspicion lingers that there has been a ‘grand conspiracy of culpability’, but even the radical left has failed to tie this down to specifics in a convincing way.

The real causes of the economic crash are the cultural norms of a society that has come to believe that immediate material gratification, fuelled if necessary by debt, can ever be a sustainable way of life. We can, if we wish, choose to blame the advertising industry (which spends perhaps $470bn annually pushing the consumerist message), or the cadre of corporate executives who have outsourced skilled jobs in pursuit of personal gain. We can blame a generation of policymakers whose short-termism has blinded them to underlying trends, or regulators and central bankers who failed to “take away the punch-bowl” long after the party was self-evidently out of control.

But blaming any of these really means blaming ourselves – for falling for the consumerist message of instant gratification, for buying imported goods, for borrowing far more than was healthy, and for electing glib and vacuous political leaders.

Beyond visibility and culpability, the two big questions which need to be addressed are ‘how bad can it get?’ and ‘is there anything that we can do about it?’

Of these, the first question hardly needs an answer, since the implications seem self-evident – economies will lurch into hyper-inflation in a forlorn attempt to escape from debt, whilst social strains will increase as the vice of resource (including food) shortages tightens. In terms of solutions, the first imperative is surely a cultural change away from instant gratification, a change which, if it is not adopted willingly, will be enforced upon society anyway by the reversal of economic growth.

The magic bullet, of course, would be the discovery of a new source of energy which can reverse the winding-down of the critical energy returns equation. Some pin their faith in nuclear fusion (along lines being pioneered by ITER) but this, even if it works, lies decades in the future – that is, long after the global EROEI has fallen below levels which will support society as we know it. Solutions such as biofuels and shales are rendered non-workable by their intrinsically-low EROEIs.

Likewise, expecting a technological solution to occur would be extremely unwise, because technology uses energy – it does not create it. To expect technology to provide an answer would be equivalent to locking the finest scientific minds in a bankvault, providing them with enormous computing power and vast amounts of money, and expecting them to create a ham sandwich.

In the absence of such a breakthrough, really promising energy sources (such as concentrated solar power) need to be pursued together, above all, with social, political and cultural adaptation to “life after growth”.


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Sat, 01/26/2013 - 20:56 | 3188435 IridiumRebel
IridiumRebel's picture

Lotta chart porn tonight.

Sat, 01/26/2013 - 21:31 | 3188502 true brain
true brain's picture

No worry on the energy front. Just liquify 4 billion extra people on this planet and you'll get 8 billion barrels of oil; cut down comsumption and create extra energy at the same time. win win situation if I ever saw one.

Sat, 01/26/2013 - 21:39 | 3188510 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Not to mention a lot of PROTEIN...


Soylent Green is PEOPLE!... Think about it though... Only 1% of the 'Soylent Green' proteins are KOSHER... [Either somebody is FUCKED ~ or some 'rabbis' are going to make a FORTUNE declaring SOYLENT GREEN kosher]

Just saying... [Don't worry folks ~ francis_sawyer is only here to provide MIRTH amidst the ABSURDITY of potential outcomes]...

Sat, 01/26/2013 - 21:44 | 3188525 espirit
espirit's picture

Another doom and gloom PHD analysis?

Did this guy just now take the redpill?

Sat, 01/26/2013 - 21:48 | 3188529 espirit
espirit's picture

BTW - Put me down for two "Mirths".

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 04:11 | 3188809 old naughty
old naughty's picture

End of genenerations of bankers.

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 08:24 | 3188886 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture



Can we just get this over with already? I've got a thing.


Who the hell is paying for all these bailouts again?

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 10:31 | 3188974 JungleJim
JungleJim's picture

U !

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 17:30 | 3189514 All Risk No Reward
All Risk No Reward's picture

I'd like to make clear what a bailout really is.  Nobody in the "establishment" will tell you because they value their publicity and their paycheck of valuable Veritas.

Before describing the essence of a bailout, I'd like to describe how the money system works without the "bailouts."

I'm part of the "money definer and creator" class.  Society, incuding government is not.

We will keep this simple to cut through the complexity that is used to deceive the masses.

You are society that needs money and I'm the class that will define it and provide it...  at interest because I defined money as debt.

I lend you $20 @5%.  In one year you owe me $21, but you only have $20 (that's all I gave you).  There are three ways in which you can pay me back, should CHOOSE to let those I've SUBJUGATED pay me back.  Maybe I just want the collateral and I won't let you pay me back. No, not now.  I want more debt to steal more later.

1. Work for me, earn $1 within a year's time and then give me the $20 + $1 you earned from me.

2. Sell me $1 worth of assets within a year's time and then give me the $20 + $1 you earned from me.

3. I print up another $20 bill, with the exact same problem, making the first $20 easier to pay off BUT CREATING AN EXPONENTIAL DEBT GROWTH CURVE.

The bottom line is I run this B*.  You all are puppets are on MY STAGE.  I run you little people like milk cows.  My corporate fronts, where I store much of my wealth, is essentially tax free while the small business employer is taxed 50% or more.  Oh, my society engineering Foundations are tax free, too.  Taxes are for sheeple who think those with trillions who pay almost no taxes are "stupid."  Oh, the folly of the ignorant.

OK, the stage has been set to understand a "bailout."

I create $20 @ 5%, stick it in my back pocket (or in my corporate front) and then bill your financially, ignorant *ss $21 in a year's time EVEN THOUGH I GAVE YOU NONE OF THE MONEY!!!!!!

Beinig a con man, I will tell you I'm doing it for your own good - so the good times can roll for you.

That only works because you don't understand the system.  And when someone explains the nature of the system, you will simply move on and pretend it isn't true...  at least 90% of you will here on Zerohedge.  In the "real world," it is more like 99%.



Now, get back to work for me or sell me more stuff, neo-slave!  I NEED MOAR OF MOAR!!!

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 17:02 | 3189491 All Risk No Reward
All Risk No Reward's picture

Wishful thinking.  The international banking cartel is several steps ahead of almost everybody.

Most people assume "the fall-out from the biggest debt bubble in history" is bad for the banksters.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The bust stage is when they wipe out the monetary wealth of the common person and buy up the planet for pennies on the dollar.

Remember, they are too big to fail and you are not.

When everything fails, they will live on and eat you for lunch.

They own trillions in cash (more looted every day - they are looting, not trying to restart something which a 5th grader knows can't be restarted) and trillions more in debt.

Once the Muppet Face Ripping operation is over, they will then turn their cash into ownership by taking the nation into receivorship and buying what's left for pennies on the dollar.

Then they might hyperinflate, but to the 10s, if not 100s, of million homeless and the new normal debt serf, it won't matter much - they will have been looted clean.

"Ownership society" (bankster handmaiden Bush phrase, as opposed to the many bankster handmaiden Democratic quotes) indeed.

Make no mistake, the receivorship of the nations is part of the bankster plan for world control through inextinguishable debt.

We know what they are doing.  What will we do?  Spead the word so that Vicchy Media support becomes the kiss of death to a political candidate or an economic prognosticator.

Debt Money Tyranny

Oh, and Section 2A of the Federal Reserve mandate makes that second chart prima facia evidence of a crime beyond all doubt.

Money and credit aggregates were taken "exponential to" the long term reality of production - and the law demands that they be kept "commensurate with."  If the law were followed, there would be no bubble that is about to asset strip society blind and rip the faces off of current and future Muppets.

If you want to know hwo the dElites think of you, review some history.  if you are lazy and don't want to read history, you can Netflix "Ironclad."

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 08:34 | 3188892 Notarocketscientist
Notarocketscientist's picture

Instead of demonstrating your obviously low IQ why don't you pick a few points in the author's argument and address them?


Sun, 01/27/2013 - 09:35 | 3188936 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

"But blaming any of these really means blaming ourselves..."

Uh, no, in fact, it doesn't.  People hold leadership positions for a reason, and it isn't so they can ride around in limos.  The "leaders" have failed.  And we have tried to replace them, and they respond with tyranny to avoid replacement.  We can clearly see that they are enriching a small minority.

Any attempt to blame me for their obvious failings will be resisted by me to the best of my ability.  I accept no blame for any of this.

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 14:52 | 3189323 Lost1
Sun, 01/27/2013 - 14:56 | 3189333 balolalo
balolalo's picture

"Did this guy just now take the redpill?"

Earth is not going to look prettty when we are at 5-1 EROEI rate or less.  This guy is hoping to get NEW people to take the red pill.  The only way we get out of this economic/environmental disaster is for people to either wake up.... or die. 

I would prefer people wake up and work toegther, because a mass die-off would not be fun. 

Sat, 01/26/2013 - 21:37 | 3188512 Kimo
Kimo's picture

Does this mean Apple is still a generational Buy?

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 05:20 | 3188834 Boris Alatovkrap
Boris Alatovkrap's picture

BTFD before is SHTF!

Sat, 01/26/2013 - 21:39 | 3188513 Pure Evil
Pure Evil's picture

8 billion barrels, what's that, about a year supply of gas in the US?

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 12:42 | 3189106 BobPaulson
BobPaulson's picture

it also reduces demand considerably. hence the beauty of vivoleum.

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 11:19 | 3189026 Silver Bug
Silver Bug's picture

The debt bubble IS going to pop. It is only a matter of time. Make sure your holding gold and silver tight when it happens.


Keep Calm and Slave On, must see.

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 23:13 | 3190237 TuPhat
TuPhat's picture

True brain? or Zero brain.  Since the human body is mostly water and doesn't have as much volume as a barrell of oil, how do you come up with two barrells of oil per person?  Will you please volunteer to be one of the first ones liquidated.  That would at least increase the average inteligence of those of us still here.

Sat, 01/26/2013 - 20:59 | 3188439 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 Tyler "won" me over at "Aggregate Indebtedness".

Sat, 01/26/2013 - 21:10 | 3188459 IridiumRebel
IridiumRebel's picture

I love "aggregate"......I love "denouement" too! 

Sat, 01/26/2013 - 21:11 | 3188468 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

I read the thread. Aggre/Gate stands.

Sat, 01/26/2013 - 21:02 | 3188451 not fat not stupid
not fat not stupid's picture

I'm pretty sure this guy didn't get laid in high school.

Sat, 01/26/2013 - 21:04 | 3188454 IridiumRebel
IridiumRebel's picture

It's the work of the "non-laid" that gets us others laid......

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 08:26 | 3188888 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture



I'm pretty sure this guy didn't get laid in high school.


He studied in high school...which is why you should probably listen to him.

Sat, 01/26/2013 - 21:12 | 3188470 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

Humping is nature's way of bringing another useless idiot into the world.

Must create Idiocracy.

Sat, 01/26/2013 - 21:31 | 3188505 Pure Evil
Pure Evil's picture

You fool, you're already living in an idiocracy. Exactly how do you think Obama got elected, then re-elected?

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 08:28 | 3188889 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture



Which is why you should train yourself to be able to operate in damn near any environment.

Sat, 01/26/2013 - 23:53 | 3188675 upWising
upWising's picture

“We have reason to believe that man first walked upright to free his hands for masturbation.” 
– Lily Tomlin

"Things are going to get a lot worse before they get worse."
– Lily Tomlin

"If I had known what it would be like to have it all - I might have been willing to settle for less." 
– Lily Tomlin 

Sat, 01/26/2013 - 21:04 | 3188457 Cabreado
Cabreado's picture

When we reach a critical mass of self-absorption in places of influence and control,

it will fall down, by definition.

It always did.


Sat, 01/26/2013 - 21:09 | 3188466 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

need to be pursued together, above all, with social, political and cultural adaptation to “life after growth”.

it's like... afterplay or something? like the cudling after sex?


I don't do that stuff. I'm also lucky my wife is either. She always reminds me even! She always says: NOW GET OFF ME! after sex.

Sat, 01/26/2013 - 21:12 | 3188471 IridiumRebel
IridiumRebel's picture

Reminds me of the joke:


"What's a girl from West Virginia say after sex?"


"Get off me daddy, you're crushing my Marlboroughs."

Sat, 01/26/2013 - 21:29 | 3188485 Tinky
Tinky's picture


Sat, 01/26/2013 - 21:34 | 3188506 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

Reminds me of the joke comparing Mick Jaeger and a Scotsman.

Mick says, "Hey you, get off of my cloud"

Scotsman says, "Hey McCloud! Get off my ewe."

Then again, my maternal Grandmother's maiden, and married name was Ferguson.

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 00:52 | 3188725 Seer
Seer's picture

Had to thank you for that laugh.  I'd never heard this before.

Sat, 01/26/2013 - 21:14 | 3188474 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

Barney Frank is nicer than your wife?

Sat, 01/26/2013 - 21:35 | 3188509 Pure Evil
Pure Evil's picture

You are lucky so far. She could be calling from her worthless boyfriend's bedroom asking when she can expect to receive the alimony and child support checks.

I know a guy at work that's being squeezed exactly like this. My advice is don't get married or divorced in New Jersey.

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 09:17 | 3188923 overmedicatedun...
overmedicatedundersexed's picture

good, but never state the evil never spoken of cia deleted ..tariff economy pre 1913, a fed .gov limited not by income taxes [now spent all of that and on to fiat debt infinity] but by tariff many fewer wars would we have had, how much less centralized power in dc...cause and effect I say yes.

Sat, 01/26/2013 - 21:21 | 3188487 GS-DickinDaMuppets
GS-DickinDaMuppets's picture

WOW, this bird is so full of sh!t the tribal Indian Chief is going to name him "Walking Eagle".

QUOTE: " In the absence of such a breakthrough, really promising energy sources (such as concentrated solar power) need to be pursued together, above all, with social, political and cultural adaptation to “life after growth”. "

Doin' GOD's work...GS-DickinDaMuppets

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 01:34 | 3188755 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

I anxiously await your own article in rebuttal.  Be sure to include some supporting graphs as well.

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 09:33 | 3188931 Karlus
Karlus's picture

Yeah, my lib spidey sense tingled here.

We have quite a bit of Natty to fund our next energy boom. We are also big babies when it comes to nuclear reactors. Im not suggesting we put them on the coasts to get run over by tsunamis or anything genius like that, but there are safer designs than pressurized water reactors.

Anytime people start up with the solar or wind crap, i know they are not science/economics minded or they would know about the economics and how those dont pay out. Its liberal arts/ polsci guys that say "just make it work."

Finally, its a liberal credo to "learn to accept less." Sorry, Im into trying to make the pizza bigger with innovation rather than dividing slices from a shrinking one.

We could easily be world leaders in biosciences and automation if we wanted. But it seems like the biggest barrier is our pols. There is no reason wars need to last decades. Conquer them, put in te puppet and pump the oil. If the puppet gets froggy, put in another one that looks just like him. I frankly dont give a damn about seeing burkahs with purple thumbs.

/rant off

Sat, 01/26/2013 - 21:40 | 3188520 Tom Green Swedish
Tom Green Swedish's picture

Great Article.  When is armageddon?

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 05:55 | 3188841 andrewp111
andrewp111's picture

Whenever Islam is re-united under a single Caliph and musters The Army of Islam, 200 million strong, to march on  Israel. The Battle Of Armageddon takes place in the valley of Megiddo in Israel. I think the nuclear destruction of Iran and elimination of the Shia is a prerequisite for Armageddon, because  Islam cannot be unified until the Shia are eradicated. So once Iran is destroyed, Armageddon will follow in 5-15 years.

Another sign (or recipe) for The Battle of Armageddon is the construction of the Third Temple of David. My guess is that the Dome of the Rock will be destroyed in the coming war with Iran, and then Israel will rebuild the Temple.

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 08:26 | 3188887 Popo
Popo's picture

Buddha didn't say anything about any of that.  What planet are you from?

Ohh... you're one of those.

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 10:00 | 3188939 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture



Clearly you're how many F-16s and M-1 tanks can we put you down for?

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 10:37 | 3188983 mess nonster
mess nonster's picture

Oh... so Scofield DID eat your brain. Or was it Hal Lindsey?

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 15:34 | 3189373 WT Sherman
WT Sherman's picture

Andrew, funny thing is that all the incoming lead flying in from the Islamic fanatics in Gaza and other hostiles around Israel might take out the Dome of the Rock without the Jews lifting a finger....of course Israel will still get blamed, first by the muslims, then by Obama.

Sat, 01/26/2013 - 21:57 | 3188535 WT Sherman
WT Sherman's picture

Excllent article IMO.  In the grand scheme of things life for most of earth's occupants has always been a bucket of shit.  Most American citizens and those of Western demoracies of the past 150 years or so have been lived vastly exceptional lives compared to most people that have struggled to survive on this earth.

Maybe we're about to find out how tough life on earth can really be.

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 00:37 | 3188715 Seer
Seer's picture

I've had a pretty good idea.  My wife is from Manila (old school frugal).  Sadly, many there will struggle as the "excess" (garbage) is reduced because initial/primary consumption will drop.

If I were religious I'd be praying for everyone.  As it is, I'll just say best wishes to all... it's going to hurt.

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 02:48 | 3188782 BooMushroom
BooMushroom's picture

There are multiple generations of people who have never eaten fresh food, who have never gone a day without HFCS, and who have never grown a single pea of their own food.

They won't know what to do, and will probably go to the store, stand in front of the empty shelves, and demand food that simply isn't there.

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 08:53 | 3188905 Tango in the Blight
Tango in the Blight's picture

And when they finally figure out that there won't be any more food they will riot and murder other people for a can of beans. It will not be pretty.

If you can move away as far from densily populated areas as possible.

Some of you rich guys maybe have a nice penthouse in NYC or whereever, you don't want to be there when the mass of people without food for even one day. There won't be any more champagne and caviar for you as well, you're not worth more than the EBT crowd then.

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 09:34 | 3188935 Karlus
Karlus's picture

Its just like every zombie movie Ive seen. "beannns, beannnns."

Just need to find Will Smith to save us all.

Sat, 01/26/2013 - 22:08 | 3188552 ramacers
ramacers's picture

oh what tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.

Sat, 01/26/2013 - 22:25 | 3188593 AgAu_man
AgAu_man's picture

Must post blog before crowd moves on to next article of the hour... ;-)

But Porter Stansbury assures us that we have oodles of cheap energy for decades! ;-)

Sat, 01/26/2013 - 22:43 | 3188618 michael_engineer
michael_engineer's picture

What a great article!

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 09:15 | 3188917 Bob
Bob's picture

Funny, I wondered if maybe you had written it!  I recall reading your piece a few months ago in the user archives, great text and video (I even saved the link):

Damn, access is now "forbidden."  What's up with that?

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 19:59 | 3189506 michael_engineer
michael_engineer's picture

This article does sound very similar in ways to the article you refer to. I like to think its a sign that in ways my contributions and economic and philosophic musings here on ZH have had a positive and beneficial impact on some readers and on economic conversations and considerations. Thinking of economics with engineering insights is thought provoking in ways and may be closer to truth and reality than pure economics is. I personally have benefitted from reading materials at websites like, and The Crash Course and just about all of Gail Tverbergs columns.

I am not sure why that articles access is now forbidden. Maybe I struck a nerve somewhere along the way, is my guess on that. Maybe someone at ZH could send me an email regarding it. I'd be interested in ways.

But I also have some very big fish to fry on some other things. I have two children that I am trying to quickly build valuable skills for. And I have an iPad app in development that morphs any mathematically describable shapes to any others in very fun ways. See this link for some early video of the app :
The app is much further along than this now but it is not yet in the App Store.

Best. --

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 21:27 | 3189987 michael_engineer
michael_engineer's picture

Even another article today lends credence to part of the now forbidden articles analysis that indicated it would be hard for the general public in some world locations to recognize that they may be better off than they would have been without their social dramas due to possible weak economies resulting from structurally constrained resource inputs.

Sat, 01/26/2013 - 22:54 | 3188630 itstippy
itstippy's picture

Excellent article.

Linking corporate executive compensation to stock performance also played a major role in the current focus on short-term results vs. long-term planning & positioning.

The "Shareholder Revolution" demanded "performance" as measured by current-quarter profits and stock price.  An executive who could jigger current stock valuation higher got huge performance bonuses and stock option gains.  This is not good for longterm strategic corporate planning.

Couple that with corporate raiders looking for fat leveraged-buyout opportunities and you've got a recipe for disaster over time. 

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 00:28 | 3188708 DR
DR's picture

"Excellent article"


If your ready for more and you don't have a date for tonight....



Sun, 01/27/2013 - 03:18 | 3188796 Seer
Seer's picture

Yes, this is what people should be referring to.  It's the complete document, which goes in to a bit more depth.

Man do these guys nail it!

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 10:35 | 3188978 cosmicinsight
cosmicinsight's picture

Subtle transition is underway from the old normal to the new normal.It will be disruptive and painful for society as whole affecting more profoundly and less absorbing for segments according to their vulnerability to debt.For those higher up and in policy shaping roles,the effect could be cushioned by kicking the can a bit further down the road.For the change to be seemless and painless the society as a whole has to grasp the dire situation and curb its excesses.Then collectively seek real growth not the hyped one.

Sat, 01/26/2013 - 23:04 | 3188638 jplotinus
jplotinus's picture

It's Saturday night for crying out loud. And, a full moon too. That article was too long :-(

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 09:12 | 3188920 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture



Here's your can go now.

Sat, 01/26/2013 - 23:52 | 3188670 upWising
upWising's picture

“We have reason to believe that man first walked upright to free his hands for masturbation.” 
– Lily Tomlin

"Things are going to get a lot worse before they get worse."
– Lily Tomlin

"If I had known what it would be like to have it all - I might have been willing to settle for less." 
– Lily Tomlin 

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 00:47 | 3188720 Seer
Seer's picture

My favorite, though it seems to have several slight variations is:

"No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up."

And then there's this quote from Woody Allen, which is similar the to second Tomlin quote you provided:

"We stand today at a crossroads.  One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness, the other to extinction.  Let us hope we have the wisdom to make the right choice."

Sat, 01/26/2013 - 23:52 | 3188673 Milestones
Milestones's picture

I have beeen on ZH almost 3 years and I wiould have to say this was one of the most thoughtful and thought provaking article I have read here. Barvo sir. You have done well.           Milestones

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 00:41 | 3188716 Seer
Seer's picture

It's pretty much as I've been saying for a LONG time, only he does it without cussing :-)

But, yeah, as far as hitting the bulls-eye I think that this one scored a direct hit, more dead-center than anything else I've ever read on ZH (and there's been pretty darn good stuff, but nothing that could find its way to challenge the very underlying fabric of "economics").

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 01:37 | 3188754 Hubbs
Hubbs's picture

Sounds a lot like Chris Martenson's

Still pissed that the stock market keeps going up. Where did I read/hear the comment tonight ?


the stocket market  (hmm at first I thought it was a typo , but rhymes with rocket, so'll I'll leave it) is to the upper 1% like the EBT is to the bottom 99%.  A pacifier.

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 00:42 | 3188717 OldTelem
OldTelem's picture

Thank god my ex-husband had a very tight fist. He taught me the way to keep from being overwhelmed by debt, although my natural tendency was to have big consumerist desires, which were almost never realized. As a result, I pay off my credit cards in full when they send me a bill, and I paid off my mortgage. Two weeks later my house burnt to a crisp, but that's another story.

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 00:50 | 3188723 Seer
Seer's picture

You sound like my ex!  But I know you're not her because she's never had a credit card (neither have I); and, she still has a mortgage (though now, at least, it's on viable land).

Sorry to hear about the house.  Never seems to fail that no matter how well you plan something has to come along and throw a brick at you.

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 00:53 | 3188728 cbxer55
cbxer55's picture

I do not have a single credit card, and don't want any. But I'll suffer for all the fools who overindulged just the same.

May the fleas of a thousand camels infest your armpits in rush hour traffic.

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 01:01 | 3188734 vote_libertaria...
vote_libertarian_party's picture who's winning American Idol?

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 10:21 | 3188968 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture



Some chick with a really smart dog I think.

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 01:13 | 3188744 q99x2
q99x2's picture

Ok so now can we have an open source monetary system or do we have to wait for the suicide bankers that have taken over the US to destroy Washington DC as well. I can wait.

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 08:24 | 3188747 CaptainSpaulding
CaptainSpaulding's picture

Oh well, It was nice while it lasted. i grew up in the 70s and I loved every minute of it. I hope heaven is like the 70's where everything was so good. It was the best time to be alive. Amen

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 09:49 | 3188943 Vagabond
Vagabond's picture

So your favorite days were when you were able to live large at the expense of the future, but didn't know it?  Take the blue pill.

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 02:28 | 3188777 Oreilly
Oreilly's picture

The article itself has some worthwhile points to think on, but what's with the two point exponential extrapolation on the energy returns chart?  Things are pseudo-linear up to 2010 and then all hell breaks loose past 2020.  You don't do your arguement any favor when you use trend analysis that would have gotten you failed in first year statistics.  You only think it makes your predictions better to ramp up to catastrophe using no data, but it actually makes the rest of the article all the weaker when you do so.

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 03:15 | 3188795 Seer
Seer's picture

You're not thinking big enough...

I'll toss this at you, it's MY personal coinage: Economies of Scale in Reverse

EVERYTHING is a parabolic curve, well, if its origins and buildup are parabolic then it's a certainty that it continues to behave that way, and, well, the down-side pretty much looks like the up-side.  So, yeah, they're pretty much correct (again, contemplate on what the Economies of Scale in Reverse means/would look like- we have been pretty well indoctrinated with the notion that economies of scale produce only "positive" things [it was never signed, so the assumption was always that it could only be POSITIVE- OOPS!]).

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 03:36 | 3188801 imapopulistnow
imapopulistnow's picture

An analysis for the purpose of promoting an agenda.  The initial points are valid although the 6% annual change in inflation adjustments *but not the premise) is an urban myth outlyer. 

the globaliztion point is a valid perspective but only on one side - unfortunately our side. I suspect a billion plus or so newly created middle classers in China and elsewhere would have a different perspective on the destructive nature of globalization. 

the energy point does not follow logically and seems to be agendized to promote the need for alternative energy as if fossil fuel extraction is a hopeless cause because of rising extraction costs.  Productivity and efficiency gains (energy to GDP) are not acknowledged.

Its purpose may be to midlead, or more likely, its author unconsciously force fitted a future scenario that was consistent with preconcieved biases.  Very common and difficult to overcome.

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 08:43 | 3188885 strangewalk
strangewalk's picture

Agreed, it's the responsibility of American workers to loose their jobs, wreck their families and shatter their communities so as to raise living standards in tyranical, despotic shit-holes on the other side of the world whose own governments never cared enough to try managing it themselves.

I lost my job to outsourcing--but I don't care--since I'm not paying taxes, we can just take the money from your kid's education to pay for my new life on the dole.     

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 02:55 | 3188784 blindman
blindman's picture

re:publica 2012 – Eben Moglen – Freedom of Thought Requires Free Media

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 03:18 | 3188797 blindman
blindman's picture

27 January 2013
Edward R. Murrow: Good Night, And Good Luck
"All I can hope to teach my son is to tell the truth and fear no man...
If none of us ever read a book that was "dangerous," had a friend who was "different," or joined an organization that advocated "change," we would all be just the kind of people Joe McCarthy wants...

The only thing that counts is the right to know, to speak, to think — that, and the sanctity of the courts. Otherwise it's not America.

No one man can terrorize a whole nation unless we are all his accomplices."

Edward R. Murrow, speech to his CBS News staff, 1954" jca


Sun, 01/27/2013 - 05:53 | 3188840 bank guy in Brussels
bank guy in Brussels's picture

Great quote from Ed Murrow ... but sadly since then, the US courts have totally died, so indeed it is 'not America' anymore

Today US courts have the CIA's Google Inc. as their partner, to totally erase the truth about US judges from the internet

Here in Brussels is a political refugee from the US who barely escaped alive from threats to kill him by friends of the Bush family and bribed US federal judges ... Google also pays ad cash dollars to anyone who will print lies about him, while Google blocks the victim from replying

Live Photo: Google Inc. Caught Censoring EU Search Results on US court corruption (for USA - CIA)
Google Internet Censorship - Censure d'Internet par Google - Internet censuur door Google

Articles on US court corruption often censored by the CIA's Google - Goog usually 'erasing' all the websites of this US refugee who risked his life to try to support the US Bill of Rights

Foreign Companies Face Risk of US Court Corruption:
Doing Business in the Big Bribery Nation

America's Corrupt Legal System -
A Danger to Visitors, Travellers as Well as USA Residents

Americans Murdering Their Judges, and the US Crisis of Judicial Corruption

'Ex-Agent: CIA Seed Money Helped Launch Google', retired intelligence agent Robert David Steele interviewed by Paul Joseph Watson, and speaking of the CIA's Dr Rick Steinheiser and his connections with Google:

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 09:32 | 3188922 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture



Here's a great quote from Walter Cronkite......on video no less.


"I'm Glad To Sit On The Right Hand Of Satan"



Sun, 01/27/2013 - 12:10 | 3189073 blindman
blindman's picture

re:publica 2012 – Eben Moglen – Freedom of Thought Requires Free Media e-media/

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 12:16 | 3189079 blindman
blindman's picture

Eben Moglen on Facebook, Google and Government Surveillance

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 13:48 | 3189203 Seer
Seer's picture

I agree about the quote from Murrow, but this all targets human action.  As the underlying paper/report states:

Third, there has been a failure to grasp
the most critical point of all, which
is that the economy is an energy
dynamic, not a financial one.

This is the SINGLE most import element for people to focus on (or, perhaps not- the less people doing so means that I have an advantage over them in seeing this).  No matter how "civil" we wish to be, how we would look to be forthright and adhere to human laws, it all pretty much goes out the window if/when we lose the energy side of our great existence; that is, our entire economic construct lies on a key natural resource that is in decline.  Human nature GUARANTEES that we'll employ more deception in order to ensure our personal claim on scarce resources: and, actually, this is how ALL of nature works.

Survival instincts trump human constructs (such as "human law").  Rocks and scissors trump paper, always...

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 04:08 | 3188808 SpykerSpeed
SpykerSpeed's picture

Thorium nuclear energy and bio/nanotech can drastically improve our lives over the next 20 years, as well as the rapid advance of computers/smartphones/internet devices.  Bitcoin is another technology with massive potential.

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 09:36 | 3188937 Byte Me
Byte Me's picture

Thorium cycle +++ (but CANDU may still be more realistic - just NEVER let the Japs use either)

Bio/nanotech ++-- (seriously, the military have first dibs on ALL techadvance. So, we're in good hands there....)

Bitcoin (neutral) (bitcoin "production" already being offshored to PRC - surely you received the memo??)


The very best option available to the 99.9% would still be to homogenize the 0.1% that perpetrated this shit and deposit their worthless remains on the surface of Venus.

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 14:00 | 3189228 Seer
Seer's picture

Did you not read the part in the article that states (and is in agreement/supported by history) that it's VERY doubtful that we'd be able to bring anything online in LESS than 20 years?

Have fun telling the starving masses that they'll have to starve MORE so that "the people" can have thorium reactors.  We KNOW that it'll be the very same people who have surfed on top of the masses continuing to do so.  Do people really believe that the masses won't retaliate by trashing any such "innovations" (which they see as only benefiting the elite)?  Take a look at what's happening in Mali.  This is how it's going to go down.  No matter HOW great something will be we'll see greed spawn revolts against any possible "solution" (fuck, people have made all sorts of idiotic claims for the sake of denial about the decline of energy for many years- abiotic oil is one such whopper; we no longer have ANY credibility in delivering any message of "salvation").

"rapid advance of computers/smartphones/internet devices"

Like we need MORE?  iPhone 26?  And when the VAST majority of humans on the planet have never made a phone call or touched a computer (as it is) it's all going to get better because a handful of elite white kids can have version 26 of iCrap?

"Bitcoin is another technology with massive potential."

Potential for WHAT?  Deception?  Go talk to the "terrorists" in Mali about how likely they'd be signing up for this: look at what "the System" had produced up to this point- one huge fucking economic scam- and ask yourself whether you think people would trust yet another "gift" from the white elites.

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 04:27 | 3188816 TNTARG
TNTARG's picture


"Governments have been ejected by their electorates, but their replacements have tended to look very similar indeed to their predecessors."

That's one to be revised.

I've heard some governments have been ejected by killing the head, by coups, by "parlamentary removal", by election's frauds, by forcing ressignation (in the "developed world" the last was Berlusconi, I think right after Papandreou) just to install the "appropriate ones" to secure control remains in the hands of... Who? Bankers are not to be blamed? 

And about energy... Please, those who celebrate the golden age they've lived do not forget at what expenses that was possible.

I have this slight perception that the analysis is just a bit distorted by taking for granted things that can be strongly objected.

As for solar energy it's not the only alternative available.


Sun, 01/27/2013 - 09:11 | 3188918 eddiebe
eddiebe's picture

Mr. Morgan raises important points, but obviously doesnt factor in or even suspect the dark hand(s) steering the worlds governments and their populations towards total servitude.

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 14:07 | 3189241 Seer
Seer's picture

"And about energy... Please, those who celebrate the golden age they've lived do not forget at what expenses that was possible."

How does one utilize energy from one's "memory?"

"I have this slight perception that the analysis is just a bit distorted by taking for granted things that can be strongly objected."

A politician couldn't say things better!

"As for solar energy it's not the only alternative available."

And that would be, what?  Keeping something in your backyard that you're not telling us?

For the sake of discussion, "alternative" basically means "replacement."  Do not confuse something being able to produce something with it being able to supplant the existing store of energy that was accumulated/formed over the course of billions(?) of years.  SCALABILITY.

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 14:19 | 3189263 TNTARG
TNTARG's picture

Just to mention one:

Quote: "Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said: "Marine power is a growing green clean source of power which has the potential to sustain thousands of jobs in a sector worth a possible £15 billion [US$23 billion] to the economy by 2050."

Multiple sources and of course, research because we have huge marine coasts down here. The quote is from

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 14:34 | 3189299 TNTARG
TNTARG's picture

And... we hardly need most of the energy we're squandering.

Specially the people in that advanced, Western World but not only.

You know? The article sounds like supporting  alleged Bilderberg's plan to reduce human population. I've been earing rumors and reading statements from Prince Phillips duke of Edimburgh, Bill Gates, Ted Turner and awesome people of the kind.

Yeah, I know. However...


Mon, 01/28/2013 - 01:07 | 3190510 Seer
Seer's picture

"The article sounds like supporting  alleged Bilderberg's plan to reduce human population."

That YOU read into it thusly is because that's what you're looking for.  And if true, what are you going to do about it?  Push "alternative" energies?

Sorry, but this is passive aggressive behavior.  Get right out here and lay it on the line!

My arguments are front and center (I am sitting on NO "investments," I support no group, I am not looking to make a dime off anything nor am I "set").  I say fuck your passiveness and fuck the Bilderbergs (and the notion that they really have any way to pull off any mass murder)!  FUCKING MOTHER NATURE IS GOING TO DO IT, and paranoid fuckers (folks misdirecting from the REAL issues) are going to ensure that this does in fact happen.

You can spin things however you want, but the FACTS are there- FINITE PLANET cannot support perpetual growth.  TPTB, most of them, probably understand this fact- this does not, then, make them conspirators to kill off masses of people, no, the sanctioned (supported by "We The People") "terrorist" campaigns are how populations are being reduced, though the loss of human lives are collateral damage of the aim of securing (dwindling) resources.  The people you fear need not lift a finger- we'll fucking mess it all up, and ourselves, all on our own (because rather than chasing the future we chase these bastards, and never get there).

ALL WARS ARE ABOUT RESOURCES.  Until the non-TPTB can get this fact we're going to be chasing their tails while they continue to ride on our backs.

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 00:57 | 3190493 Seer
Seer's picture

More folks looking for research handouts.  YWAN...

And, really, with shipping going down the drain ( why fucking bother?

Take existing energy and apply it creating "alternative" energy that will power ships that remain docked?

How is this going to help profits/bottom lines?

I'm thinking that you really didn't comprehend what this paper is all about.  Shipping when there's no consumers?  When all else takes too much energy to be deemed profitable?

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 07:01 | 3188854 Colonial Intent
Colonial Intent's picture

Obama Socialist kidnap daughter from loving father

He admitted to St. Paul police that he had pointed the gun at his wife and daughter but said it wasn’t loaded and he had checked the chamber beforehand.
Sun, 01/27/2013 - 09:43 | 3188929 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture



Thanks for your application to write for Pravda......we just don't think you're ready yet.


Besides...we're sorta pro 2nd amendment should have applied 20 years ago.

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 08:08 | 3188876 strangewalk
strangewalk's picture

Those simplistic, tunnel-vision economists who somehow still defend the incomprehensible stupidity of globalization under the dishonest mantra of “Free Trade is Always Good (even when it’s clear your trading partners are conducting mercantilist driven, economic warfare against you)” might, but no doubt won’t, benefit from a purview of this analysis.  

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 08:11 | 3188879 Grand Supercycle
Grand Supercycle's picture

Wile E Coyote sell off awaits...

As mentioned – central bank intervention prolongs and postpones but can not oppose natural market forces indefinitely.

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 08:32 | 3188891 Notarocketscientist
Notarocketscientist's picture

Great article.

But CHEAP ENERGY is not the solution - it only accelerates the disaster.

We've had cheap energy for 100+ years and look what it's gotten us - 7 billion people raping the earth's finite resources - fish will be gone in a generation... imagine desalinating the oceans for fresh water to bloom the desert - that will only result in even BIGGER populations.  Which puts even heavier demands on our increasingly scarce resources.

A new source of energy would kick the can - but it would not solve the problem



Sun, 01/27/2013 - 09:41 | 3188940 Karlus
Karlus's picture

Make the drive between Dallas and San Antonio. Tons of land.

Im not making a case for more people, just to say our country has lots and lots of the most important Tell that to Japan or Europe

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 10:46 | 3188990 TNTARG
TNTARG's picture

I think the article is not regarding the US but the World. However, it's a West centered vision. I also live in a country which is basically self sustainable and capable to feed 7 hundred milion people. But nobody is safe under the Western paradigm.

On the other hand, it's absolutely possible to organize us in a better and perfectly viable way of living: It should involve, however, the whole Humanity instead of being settled at the expenses of the rest of us all, as it is and was to carry out the "developing" of the so called "First World". 

The first and most important thing to do is stopping wasting resources by killing people and devastating the environment on invented, stupid and sucidal "wars on terror" and other barbarian actions in progress.

Americans and their allies should stop the madness but there's no sign of mental recovery in the "leaders" of the "developed world" with the Nobel Price President of the most powerful death machine ever built bombing and contaminating here and there, and a bunch of idiots accumulating for themselves more wealth that they could spend in 10 generations.

Sadly their stupidity has been driving us to this point so there's little hope those powerful guys can do any better. One example just to expose their kind of "brightness" on decision making:  The japanese government. Quote (about radiation) "They have also multiplied by 20 the maximum doses recommended by specialized international organizations: 20 mSv per year in Japan and only 1 mSv in the rest of the world." (

This kind of assholes are perfectly capable of killing us all (including themselves!) before we come up with a better paradigm.



Sun, 01/27/2013 - 14:25 | 3189275 Seer
Seer's picture

"I also live in a country which is basically self sustainable and capable to feed 7 hundred milion people."

Your country could stop all imports and exports and continue, even with (perpetual) growth?

"it's absolutely possible to organize us in a better and perfectly viable way of living"

Yeah, I do that with my animals... and then I eat them.

Who the fuck is going to be responsible for doing the organizing?

And what is "better" and "perfectly viable" as pertains to "living?"

Again, what about growth?  And, what about the carry-on effects of what humans have done so far?

"Americans and their allies should stop the madness"

Did you miss the points made in the article (in the full paper) that this isn't something NEW?  It's HUMAN NATURE, and it's based on human deception.  We have a mass psychology at work in which we believe that there are infinite resources available (esp energy).  "Americans and their allies"may be the most visible/blatant engagers of self-deception, but that don't mean that others aren't also doing it (anyone promoting "growth" is participating in self-deception, perhaps just not as gregariously).



Sun, 01/27/2013 - 15:03 | 3189344 TNTARG
TNTARG's picture

Infinite energy resources nop. It was estimated that the sun will last approximately 10 billion years.

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 15:54 | 3189401 Seer
Seer's picture

"Infinite energy resources nop. It was estimated that the sun will last approximately 10 billion years."

How do you people continue to survive thinking in TWO dimensions in a THREE dimensional world?

WTF is the RATE of consumption?  And what is the rate in the GROWTH of consumption!

Fuck, I give up arguing with TWO-DIMENSIONAL thinkers!  You're like my ex, whom was always thinking that MORE money needed to be brought in and made no effort to understand expenses!

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 22:36 | 3190158 TNTARG
TNTARG's picture

"Two-dimensional thinkers"? You don't know me. You shouldn't insult people just because they don't agree with you.

I know for a fact that this World is absolutely sustainable for we the 7 billion people. Thing is, it's not likely to be sustainable, let's say, the "western way" (you know what I mean) but I hardly believe this is what most people want. 

I'm not willing to throw myself into armageddon theories without thinking specially when they come from people who made a living (and huge wealth) by dealing with hedge funds, private equity and real estate funds.

See, I read this: "The economy as we know it is facing a lethal confluence of four critical factors" and I think about who is "we" and what economy is he referring to. There's no such thing as ONE ECONOMY. Economy is a social science (many have forgotten about it and here we are) and should be properly approached. What in the hell means "The economy as we know it"? And for whom the bells ring? For Tullett Prebons?

And it's me who is thinking in two dimensions...

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 01:35 | 3190538 Seer
Seer's picture

"You shouldn't insult people just because they don't agree with you."

And I should do so because?

Sorry, but it's got nothing to do with ME and everything to do with logic and reason.  And with this I do challenge thee to show that thee are not a two-dimensional thinker .

Let's take your rip-roaring come-back:

"I know for a fact that this World is absolutely sustainable for we the 7 billion people."

That there are now 7+ billion people on the planet is in fact a fact.  Very good on this point!  Now then, perhaps you can entertain me by quantifying the "sustainable" part.  Is this for today?  For next year?  For HOW LONG?  The ancient sunlight and endowed soils are depleting by the day...

OK, I'll just punch though it all and stat that NO number of humans can exist on this planet forever.  I'm assuming that you understand that inconvenient fact that the sun will one day burn out.  Clearly THEN life on earth is going to be problematic.  What I point out here is that your statements of absolutism are groundless, AND, dangerous (fail logic).

Again, for HOW MANY YEARS?

And, what about that little fact that humans tend to multiply?  Are you setting the limit at the current 7+ billion?  Or, are you going to say that there's no limit? if so please clarify so that I can analyze that.

"There's no such thing as ONE ECONOMY. Economy is a social science (many have forgotten about it and here we are) and should be properly approached."

What they're saying is that the "economy" is basically been made up out of pure fiction.  Yes, it's stated as though there's only one "economy," but, as they state clearly (and repeatedly), they are referencing the US, UK and western economies (the dominant ones, whether we want to admit it or not).

If the "economy" that you have in your head differs then let's hear about it: but, really, that's not likely what is driving all of this shit.  If it relies on growth, which, as the authors state as being tightly connected to energy, then the undeniable fact that perpetual growth on a finite planet is not possible would shut it down.

"What in the hell means "The economy as we know it"? And for whom the bells ring? For Tullett Prebons?"

How about thinking outside of yourself?  It's the economy that you and everyone else is tied to.  We're NOT talking about an alternative.  The authors are pretty clear to define what they are talking about.

"I'm not willing to throw myself into armageddon theories without thinking specially when they come from people who made a living (and huge wealth) by dealing with hedge funds, private equity and real estate funds."

But you're willing to throw yourself into theories about "alternative" energies from people who are raking in lots of money (and have produced no real scalable solutions)?

Who the fuck are YOU?  Does it really matter to someone like me?  FUCK NO!  What you say, what your arguments are (and any facts [which I'm not seeing any being presented]]) ARE pertinent.  I don't (often) do what so many others here do, engage in character assassinations- it's a waste of time (and childish).  People die.  Ideas/thought live on.  If Kissinger had any meaningful, factual information of use I would use it, despite the fact that I detest the fucker.

I am not willing to throw myself into the "cornucopian" theories, as these are the predominant themes presented from our current leaders (they promise everything, not matter if it's possible or not), especially when we need only look at EVERY piece of media and see them profiting...

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 11:27 | 3189031 TimmyM
TimmyM's picture

Just don't make that drive on a holiday weekend! It ain't what it used to be.

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 14:16 | 3189259 Seer
Seer's picture

"Make the drive between Dallas and San Antonio. Tons of land."

Because land is "open" that don't automatically mean that it can be made productive (and to any scale that YOU might think it could- if you think it could then buy some and make money!).  Perhaps one could create a parking lot; or, one could plop housing developments there as like around Las Vegas, but that don't mean that it can support people long-term (the article notes the short-sightedness we've had; given a short enough time-frame just about anything is workable): think supply lines.

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 09:57 | 3188951 Vagabond
Vagabond's picture

We must seek equilibrium.

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 14:27 | 3189283 Seer
Seer's picture

Sadly, I'm afraid, we don't have a clue as to what it is.  IT, however, is sure to find "us."

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 15:19 | 3189358 mkhs
mkhs's picture

Don't wory.  It will find you.

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 08:40 | 3188895 Chartist
Chartist's picture

Yes, we sacrified a whole generation of good paying jobs which got shipped off to China.  But, i believe we are going to see a burgeoning middle class in China which will benefit everybody.  Of course, that will mostly benefit my young children while the current middle class from the rust belt realizes a rising misery index.

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 09:39 | 3188938 falak pema
falak pema's picture

lets not mix cause and effect. To put it simply, the 7 billion population is the result of human innovation based on the natural riches of the world. Cheap energy, abundant arable land, the seeds of mass agriculture and then the industrial revolution that racheted up the exponential growth and the consequent hangover today as we run out of cheap energy and limited RM.

First consequence : our previous model is INOPERTATIONAL unless we find a source for new energy at acceptable  price/productivity trade off. This is the challenge of today as the ecological degradation means it has to be "clean energy".

Second consequence : our demographics are compromised; 10 billion becomes a problem if the energy crunch based on cheap peak oil is the future. We have no viable alternative as TMI in 1979 and Fuku have destroyed our belief in boiling water with nuclear deadly sparkle.

Third consequence : Our super consumer model is unsustainable based on these projections as we cannot pollute the planet and denature the earth of its abundant crust of oil/gas and metals without inordinate consequences for our own species. 

Apart from the legacy of past economico-financial-politico-social crisis currently, we face the redoutable challenge of the future as described in terms of asymptotes  above.

This article says the essential : the world has to change its paradigm from uncontrolled consumerism where we guzzle 90 million barrels of oil for NOTHING in pure waste, to something more sustainable.

We will be on that Noah's ark of old if we don't read the writing on the wall of our current momentum; and this goes beyond current crisis of finance; its crisis of civilization. 

Not that I am a biblical man in substance but biblical lessons have the intuitive wisdom and flavour of what is our true conundrum, without the dogmatic finger pointing to Armageddon leading to the final resurrection and man's deliverance from this material existence on the day of redemption.

I stay agnostic on that plane and believer in man's non fatalist destiny. 

This analysis of the coming age paradigm is something worth delving into. Its true gold.



Sun, 01/27/2013 - 10:25 | 3188971 Inthemix96
Inthemix96's picture


Your comment got me thinking back to "Live Aid" back in the early eighties, for the plight of the famine victims in Ethiopia.

I can remember vividly the pictures of emanciated women with a plethora of children to support all in the same situation.  The Brits donated millions to the cause, and what happened?  Nowt, thats what happened, god knows how many of them poor fuckers left this mortal coil in anguish and starvation and still things stay the same.

I guess what I'm getting at is greed knows no bounds and human stupidity the same, be thankfull of what you have now because who knows whats coming our way.

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 10:37 | 3188976 falak pema
falak pema's picture


That story beckons an image to my mind, a true humanitarian and iconic woman of our past times : Audrey Hepburn, who spent so much of her energy on that mission to bring the plight of those children front stage to first world. 

We should never bow to stupidity nor forget those who went out of their way to do the opposite. 

She was something...ethereal fairy and queen. And, she got laid! 

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 11:09 | 3189017 Inthemix96
Inthemix96's picture

I truly believe falak that a time will come when the honest, decent and moral folk will overturn this cart and return to some sense of normality.

I really do believe it will happen.  We cant go on like this friend, we really cant.

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 14:48 | 3189320 Seer
Seer's picture

We're completely torn by compassion.  It's the greatest conundrum that there is.  If we provide "aid" we will only likely be able to do it for so long, and then what?

Think Green Revolution.  We cranked up agricultural production only to see it decimate land/soil.  One day, when mechanized, chemicalized farming can no longer be afforded it'll be one big POP!  And for all those "we'll switch to a [yet to be "discovered/invented"] alternative" folks out there- good fucking luck finding any such solution to depleted soils (NO ONE THROUGHOUT HISTORY has been able to do this- the ONLY "solution" has been painstaking work and time, means that won't be available in the future, as they are not now only possible by the good graces of cheap fossil fuels).

My wife is from the Philippines.  I have a bit of an understanding of the precariousness of the "poor."  The Philippines, as do other countries, includes remittances from abroad as GDP.  In the case of the Philippines it's 10% of GDP!  Care to guess what happens when jobs decline outside of the Philippines?

On the whole humans are consuming more than is sustainable.  Scattering the "wealth" around doesn't change the over-all picture, no more than the notion of spreading risk around was supposed to cure the problems of "risk."

Don't get me wrong, I am more than pained by the notion of folks starving: it's why the only thing I can look to do in my remaining time on this planet is to move to produce food (and, I am pained here as well knowing that only a hunter-gatherer mode of living is likely truly sustainable- I'm not ready/able to live as such).

If there's some undeniable/quantifiable proof of my assessment being wrong I'd be happy to hear it.  I just think that the significance of this is FAR to great to be waving magic wands or stating feel-good phrases (not like I would object to these IF they had a positive effect).  Always ask what the consequences of being wrong might be: the Green Revolution just might turn out to be the biggest (ultimate) failure in human history.

On top of all this is the notion that we've ALWAYS pursued growth.  One cannot "stabilize" in the face of growth: "sir/madam, all is fine, your cancer is stabilized AND growing!"

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 10:48 | 3188999 joego1
joego1's picture

Very good article. I see globalization as the biggest problem in the short run. Americans need to demand viable local economies if they are to survive. I think we can solve our energy problems over time if we can avoid major conflicts. Our delusion with telling ourselves lies about our current situation is a serious problem which needs to be solved soon. Unfortunately it won't change much until we suffer some sort of shock. I expect that to be another financial melt down of some sort. ZH readers need to galvanise into a political force with some excellent plans coming out of the crisis when people will be looking for solutions. How can we do that?

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 10:49 | 3189000 Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

Pretty good up until the statement:

...expecting a technological solution to occur would be extremely unwise, because technology uses energy – it does not create it.

Technology has always solved our energy problems and always will.  For example, if technology can boost the efficiency of a PV cell to 50% all of our energy problems are over.  That's an absolute given.


Sun, 01/27/2013 - 15:01 | 3189338 Seer
Seer's picture

The statement was a non-sequitor.  Or, at the very least, fails to introduce the notion of quantification.  Your reply, however, fails 100% on the quantification side of things.

"if technology can boost the efficiency of a PV cell to 50% all of our energy problems are over.  That's an absolute given."

HOW MUCH ENERGY DOES IT TAKE TO PRODUCE THAT 50% increase in efficiency?  Do we have enough energy to create REPLACEMENT sources? (keep in mind that any energy used here would have to be removed from the existing stream of uses)

Also, how sure are you that we'd have enough surface area on the planet to generate the required energy NEEDS (which you do not account for)?  Can we do this all in your YARD? (the point of this question is to force quantification- clearly your yard couldn't do it)

Further, you do NOT account for growth.  And it is this very point that gets you a big FAIL! (given a short enough time-frame [think integral calculus] just about anything can be seen as approaching zero, even growth)

Not that it matters but for abstract logic thought, but be careful about assuming that intercepting solar energy won't have some side effects.  As a farmer I KNOW that it's important that soils achieve proper temperatures in order to grow things.  A test of this can be made by placing a bunch of reflecting surface around a plot of land and then measuring the soil temps; compare this to soil temps in the plot without any reflective surfaces.  It is IMPOSSIBLE for this difference to NOT be measurable: if that were the case then the earth's weather systems wouldn't exist, as all surfaces would respond the same to their surrounding (different) masses.

Of course, those same minds that said that it didn't matter for nukes to be built near coastlines ([and] earthquake zones) would tend to pass over any such attempt to quantify anything that might detract from their profiting.

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 21:18 | 3189957 Cloud9.5
Cloud9.5's picture

If Custer had only had assault rifles, but the technology arrived a little too late.

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 11:02 | 3189013 BubbleSurfer
BubbleSurfer's picture

Although updated for our decade, pretty much every point made in this essay was made in a book called 'Future Shock,' written by Alvin Toffler in 1970. This is not to say that it's invalid, only that Toffler made the same observations a generation ago.

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 15:24 | 3189365 Seer
Seer's picture

Are you're presenting a book review?  What about YOUR view?

IMO it seems like you're making a subtle attempt to ridicule.

Not to say that you're an idiot...

Re-read the above sentence for FULL effect.  What was YOUR reaction?

"This is not to say that it's invalid"

You see, if he were alive today Edward Bernays would smile on you and think of you as a viable student.

The "it hasn't happened yet, so it's unlike to happen in the future" argument/position is easily derailed.  Just because one hasn't had cancer yet it does NOT prove that they will not.  Up until it happened in the US in 1970/1971 the doubters of M.L. King Hubbard's peak oil theory were putting up the same "it was forecasted a generation ago!" rebuttal: these people grabbed the money and ran off (hid behind other schemes or retired and died comfortably).

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 08:13 | 3190828 BubbleSurfer
BubbleSurfer's picture

You have both completely misread what I wrote, and rebutted an argument I didn't make.

Not to say that you're a flamer...


My point is not that this essay is invalid, but that it's unoriginal; as is your boring attempt  to pick a fight.

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 11:24 | 3189029 mess nonster
mess nonster's picture

Excellent article, especially the EROEI, which is spelled P E A K O I L B I T C H E Z.

Seems we have two options,  a-la Woody:

1. One World Centrally Planned Government and Economy.

"You- live. You- die! On a 1/14 ratio, former to latter. Lethal injection too expensive, lead is cheaper, you'll just feel a little pop behind your ear, but starvation is cheapest, just put them in a pen and don't feed them until they're all dead.

2. Continued status quo free for all, in which consequenses amount to the same, except maybe the survivor/casualty ratio is closer to 1/9, due to the chaos of the hunger-fuelled bloodbath.

Oh, damn, I forgot about all those 450 nuke plants, and in the confusion, so did everyone else, but they didn't forget about us.

That ratio is looking closer to 1/100, and who wants to be a survivor in a radioactive wasteland?

Just trying to be positive!

Oh, right. Sorry.

Thorium nukes and concentrated solar energy, combined with new laws against usury and the prosecution of all bankers as guilty of crimes against humanity have both stopped the debt crisis and the energy crisis. Abundant free energy allows for the use of safe hydrogen cars, which are non-polluting, and the levels of prosperity world-wide have gone up so dramatically, that everyone spontaneously limits themselves to zero-population growth- all families are two children, max.

All barbarous relics, such as internal combustion engines, crude oil, guns, and gold, are displayed in holocaust museums across the globe.

The ratio of poets to workers is 1/1, and each is given a status equal to the other. Political offices are merely used as tell-tale traps for emergent sociopaths, who are institutionalized as soon as they win the election. Once re-educated, many of these become excellent musicians and/or poets.

The population naturally declines, within 20 years, to a manageable level of around three billion, and vast areas of the earth are voluntarily set aside as nature preserves. Those who do not fit in well to modern society are free to join primitive tribal structures and live off the land in stone age simplicity within these vast preserves. This cuts down on psychiatric problems and most violence.


Sun, 01/27/2013 - 15:31 | 3189370 Seer
Seer's picture

Seems perfectly do-able! </sarc>

If I were to take the counter-argument that many have used to deny resource depletion, I'd have to say that this could NEVER happen because it has never happened in the past and that others have made this claim (basic premise of it) for thousands of years! (mixture of <sarc>)

I find that the infinite-world/technology-will-save-us-all folks are quite good at practicing self-denial.  Pretty easy to do, all one needs to do is to NOT think about the unthinkable: heck!, after all, what sense does it make to try and think about something that's unthinkable? </sarc>

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 11:34 | 3189034 Mad Muppet
Mad Muppet's picture

All I can say is thank God for ammo cans and mylar.

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 12:16 | 3189080 smacker
smacker's picture

"...the massaging of data to the point where economic trends are obscured..."

I believe this is a far bigger problem than many people realise.

Any analyst with an IQ bigger than a boot size will tell you that trying to measure anything using measurement points and data which at best is irrelevant and at worst corrupt, will never tell you anything useful. How can any government implement good policies based upon this farce?

But this is what has evolved over a number of decades. Official government stats have been bastardized by the political elites and their number-crunchers to the point that they never tell you what's really going on. Several examples are: CPI, GDP, sovereign debt levels and unemployment figures. There are plenty more.

The elites have constructed a system of the real world that we all live in and The Matrix which they've constructed and is intended to mislead and fool MSM and voters.

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 15:38 | 3189378 Seer
Seer's picture

"Official government stats have been bastardized by the political elites"

Ever consider that they were voted/place in positions of power for This very reason?

Further, how come no mention of the bastardization by the PRIVATE sector?  Again, the Fed is PRIVATE, and it's the consolidator of all this is PRIVATE in the way of finance.

"The elites have constructed a system of the real world that we all live in and The Matrix which they've constructed and is intended to mislead and fool MSM and voters."

Yeah, it's called perpetual growth on a finite planet.  It makes us all feel good, until, that is, it doesn't...

The KEY point of the article, which is a bit hard to pull out (because there's so much other good stuff), is that the bubbles are necessary to float the elites.  The entire notion of stratification DEMANDS that there be bubbles: there is NO adjustment because the System is working just as it has always been made to work; the "problem" is only seen when the winds pick up and the curtain gets swayed to the side and we see the men behind it- the winds die down (because the masses can't stay focused) and the curtain covers things back up and the game continues.

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 17:46 | 3189538 smacker
smacker's picture

You may have missed the central point of my earlier comments, which were about official govt stats and the way they've been bastardized by the political elites, usually to hide the truth.

Most people don't understand stats. So, I don't think we vote for political elites for them to bastardize the stats. It's the other way round: the elites bastardize the numbers to fool us into believing how well everything's going, and then we vote for them because we think they're doing a good job.

On the private sector...yes of course they do it too, but usually for different reasons.

I see this topic has now been posted about on ZH:

Great minds think alike ;-)

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 18:51 | 3189616 Seer
Seer's picture

"You may have missed the central point of my earlier comments, which were about official govt stats and the way they've been bastardized by the political elites, usually to hide the truth."

Trust me, I didn't.  And, really, I think that we're saying the same basic things.  I was just trying to point out that we sometimes look to ascribe failings to institutions when in fact it's a failing of human nature (which really doesn't have any means for real corrective action).

"the elites bastardize the numbers to fool us into believing how well everything's going, and then we vote for them because we think they're doing a good job."

I'll concur with this as it stands! :-)

"On the private sector...yes of course they do it too, but usually for different reasons."

Same results though.  It's ALL about retaining a position of power (being recognized as lotto winners picked to ride the surf of the bubbles).  If one looks at all the lobbyists in DC, however, it's hard to imagine that it's really the dog that's waging the tail: as such I'd still think that the most power is driven through the PRIVATE entities (when the banksters [Fed et al] jumped up and told the US govt that they'd blow it all up if they didn't get their bailouts, well... actions speak pretty loudly]).

Again, pretty petty differences here.  In my mind I caution about instilling in the rooting class out there (popular opinion) a false target.

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 05:53 | 3190741 smacker
smacker's picture

Yeah, I agree with you. My earlier comments were obviously limited to the issue of official government stats which have become of little use due to manipulation & distortion of the basis of measurement by the political machine over the years. But of course this is not limited to a single political party and, as you say, the bigger issue involves the private sector too.

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 12:16 | 3189082 shovelhead
shovelhead's picture

No worries,

Our friends at the CDC/ NIH are busy working on that problem with the weak lethality of Avian/swine flu. Once they can insure a 40/60% mortality rate our problems will be solved.

You're gonna love it down on the farm. A nice simple life.

Plenty of tallow for candles.

Sure, a few of the old timers will be jealous of the folks in the big house having electricity but envy will disappear as they die off.

Now eat your porridge and get back to work.

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 15:29 | 3189368 TPTB_r_TBTF
TPTB_r_TBTF's picture

The End of an Era:

huge blast at Iran nuclear plant


The United States recently added a weapon that officials believe could do significant damage: the “Massive Ordnance Penetrator,” a bomb that is designed to attack deep, hardened sites.  NY Times

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 15:44 | 3189385 Seer
Seer's picture

It's the male thing to do!  Build stuff and then blow it up!

The "civilized" people (the "good guys," the ones that bring us modern finance) people build energy plants (containing built-in failures, or not) and the "uncivilized" people (aka "terrorists/bad guys") try and blow them up.

The "civilized" people (the "good guys," the ones that bring us modern finance) "remove" the "plants producing WMDs" (aka "energy plants") that the "uncivilized" people (aka "terrorists/bad guys") built.

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 22:05 | 3190087 TNTARG
TNTARG's picture

Plus... Something I don't like about this:

Tullett Prebon is one of the largest inter-dealer money brokers in the world.

Among other things, "Tullett Prebon Alternative Investments ( provides its institutional investor base with the opportunity to access primary and secondary markets in all types of alternative investments such as hedge funds, private equity and real estate funds."

Meaning: Is Tullett Prebon free of particular interests, objective enough for us to take seriously into consideration their men's assesments, theories?

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 00:45 | 3190474 Seer
Seer's picture

And what about you?  Do YOU have an agenda?  You've been dogging the fuck out of this (and getting shit horribly wrong).

How about you present some sound reasoning against anything that they present?


I don't fucking care about the messengers, as they distract from the information that IS of importance.

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 07:04 | 3190779 TNTARG
TNTARG's picture

What about me? "Dogging"! Wow!

I'm a free person, independent, not government, not working for any corporation at all! In fact, I've created my own business, enough for me and 155 employees. An advice: always look at the messenger and the source of the message. It's crucial. We always need to consider the author's purpose. What is he trying to convince you about? Why did he wrote the piece? What do he (they) want you to think, to do, as a result of the reading? What unsaid, unstated contents are in it (implicit contents)? How the explicit and implicit content affect you an others?



Tue, 01/29/2013 - 00:12 | 3193867 Seer
Seer's picture

You have challenged NO position taken by the authors.  Yet, you feel content in stating that they are wrong because of their business, or, perhaps, because their message isn't what you wanted to hear?

You have managed to turn this into a discussion about me (and you) rather than the content of the article (actually, the discussion should be around the COMPLETE content of the PAPER itself, as it contains much more detail).  If this is what you pass as critical thinking then I will be sure to not invest in your company (as I know the outcome).

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