The Wisdom Of Looking Like An Idiot Today

Tyler Durden's picture




 

Submitted by Adam Taggart of Peak Prosperity,

IF you can keep your head when all about you 

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

But make allowance for their doubting too;

 

- opening stanza to Rudyard Kipling's, "If"

So, let's say you're a prudent person who has concerns that our economy isn't 'recovering' as robustly as you'd like.

Perhaps you still remember the speed and depth of the 2008 credit crisis' arrival, and its toxic impact on asset prices, jobs, and overall trust in the financial system. Maybe you took notes during the preceding tech and housing bubbles and their aftermath. If so, you likely swore that "Never again!" would you put your wealth at risk during such obvious times of public mania.

Chances are, you've probably logged a lot of hours over the past several years on the Internet trying to read the economic tea leaves more closely. Are things becoming more stable, or less? What are "safer" measures for protecting and building wealth than simply putting all your chips into the paper markets (stocks & bonds) and real estate?

As a result, you've probably had a smaller percentage of your wealth in the stock/bond markets over the past few years than your peers. You probably also own some gold and silver, likely having bought much of it between 2009-2011 with the stock market collapse still fresh in your memory. Chances are also good you've made a series of "preparedness" investments (stored food, etc) as an insurance policy in case really tough times were to break out. Most of your family and friends didn't take these steps, nor are particularly interested to talk about your reasons for taking them.

So, if this sounds at all like you: five years after the 2008 crisis, how is the "prudent" strategy looking today?

Looking Like An Idiot

As one who took similar steps, I'll confirm it looks pretty lousy to the casual observer.

Stocks & Bonds

There has been an absolute party in the stock market over the past two years. The S&P is up nearly 40% (!) since early 2012 and has almost tripled since its 2009 lows. It's been nearly impossible not to make money in the stock market recently (unless you've owned mining shares).

Bonds have remained at historically-elevated prices. And although 2013 has seen prices come off slightly from their highs, prices are still substantially above pre-crisis levels.

The pumped-up performance of paper assets here is of course due to the staggering amounts of new money the Fed has been creating since 2008. Starting with a balance sheet of $880 billion pre-crisis, the Fed has since expanded it by an additional $3 trillion. In less than 5 years. And it's continuing to expand to the tune of $85 billion (some calculate $100 billion) per month.

Most of that money sits in excess reserves enriching the banks at zero risk, at high hidden cost to the public (a rant for another day). But enough of it is sloshing over into the markets where it does exactly what excess liquidity always does: rise all boats.

So, if you decided to stay out of the markets, you've watched the party boat pass you by. They say "Don't fight Fed" and so far, the Fed is indeed winning. In reality, it will likely prove to be the Charlie Sheen version of "winning", but to the casual observer whose 401k is up 20% this year, the Fed definitely appears to be playing the better hand.

Real Estate

How soon we forget. Home prices have resumed climbing at historically-aberrant rates. The Case-Shiller home price index just reported that, year-over-year, its national home price index grew by 11.2%.

A number of markets have re-entered bubble territory. San Francisco, where prices are now higher than at their 2007 peak, saw a 26% year-over-year increase in average prices. Las Vegas, the poster child for housing prices excesses six years ago, saw a 29% average price increase from 2012 to 2013.

The tell-tale sign of an overheated housing market -- house flipping -- is back.

If you've been holding off on purchasing real estate (as I have) -- expecting a stumble back into recession, or higher interest rates, could bring prices down to saner baselines -- again, you're watching prices get away from you.

Precious Metals

Ugh. There's no denying it has been a very rough two years for gold and silver holders. As I'm writing this, gold and silver are dropping to near 4-year lows.

For those burned by the last crisis who purchased precious metals near their zenith in 2011, hoping to protect the purchasing power of their capital -- the nauseating declines since early 2012, especially in silver, have done anything but.

Those who bought PMs pre-2008 enjoyed a long stretch of validation while prices appreciated year after year. With a material percentage of that appreciation now gone, and month after month of relentless losses punctuated by vicious price smashes, it's harder to feel as smart as it once was.

But it's maddening. With the $3 trillion in new currency recently created by the Federal Reserve, shouldn't precious metals be appreciating? Wildly? Isn't that their central promise: to hold value as the purchasing power of paper money inflates away? But instead, they're decreasing in dollar price, even as the money supply continues to expand. How is that possible? 

And Bitcoin! From almost out of nowhere, a new alternative currency skyrockets from nearly valueless to (briefly?) match the price of gold. It's like adding insult to injury for the 99.9% of precious metals holders who don't also hold Bitcoin. How can the world suddenly wake up to the advantages offered by non-fiat currency and yet still treat the granddaddy of sound money like kryptonite?

Sentiment

In 2009 and 2010, those of us who had warned our friends of the lurking risks in our economic and financial system suddenly looked like geniuses, instead of the kooks folks had dismissed us as. Now, we're back to being kooks.

A chart Chris has been sharing recently with our enrolled members shows that at no time in the past 30 years has sentiment been this bullish. Not even during the Internet stock mania of the late 1990s:

 

Faith in the current system is as high as it has ever been, and folks don't want to hear otherwise.

This extreme optimism extends beyond the Economy. In the Energy sphere, in news headlines discussion of the "shale miracle" is still omnipresent -- without, of course, any mention of net energy, extraction costs or depletion rates. In the Environment, coverage of the real-time collapse of key fisheries or water shortages likely to impact food production rarely get any mainstream notice.

In short: if you're one of those people who thinks it prudent to have intelligent discussion on some of these risks -- that maybe the future may turn out to be less than 100% awesome in every dimension -- you're probably finding yourself standing alone at cocktail parties these days.

The Madness of Crowds

Charles MacKay's excellent classic reference book Extraordinary Popular Delusions and The Madness of Crowds explains the nefarious nature of public manias: they strive to suck in as many participants as possible before collapsing.

We are seeing classic signs of the abandonment of concern by the public in favor of not missing out on 'easy gains'. In addition to the examples mentioned above, signals that the fear trade has given way to the greed trade are abundant these days:

  • Stock chasing - here's a quote the WSJ recorded from an actual retail investor buying shares on the first day of the recent twitter IPO:  "I messed up not buying any Facebook so I want to get some Twitter. I'm just buying because everyone's talking about Twitter". Not because of its product (which she admitted she didn't use). Or its business model (which has never been profitable and unclear if it ever will be). The purchase decision was made purely based on hype.
  • Priority abandonment - at Peak Prosperity, we speak with professional financial advisers frequently. The advisers we know best focus on risk mitigation and remain skeptical of the sustainability of the prolonged market rally. Many of their accounts signed on after 2008, clearly declaring that they prioritized protection of their capital over everything else. Yet a growing number of these investors are watching the continued rise in financial asset prices and are now pushing for more aggressive management. They're abandoning the prudence that was so important to them just a few years ago.
  • Bear capitulation - the path to a bull market peak is littered with the carcasses of bearish analysts that dared to challenge its rise. As the % bearish Investors Intelligence chart above shows, there are few bears left to be found anymore. Just last week saw a major defection from the bear camp, with the perennially critical Hugh Hendry throwing in the towel, exclaiming:

"I can no longer say I am bearish. When markets become parabolic, the people who exist within them are trend followers, because the guys who are qualitative have got taken out."

"I cannot look at myself in the mirror; everything I have believed in I have had to reject. This environment only makes sense through the prism of trends."
 
"I may be providing a public utility here, as the last bear to capitulate. You are well within your rights to say ‘sell'. 
  • Warning sign dismissal - it's not as if there aren't clear alarm bells being sounded by the very experts the public looks to for such warnings. It's just that these warnings are being ignored by the market. No one wants the party to end:

"All markets are bubbly"

- Bill Gross, Nov 29 2013

"In many countries the stock price levels are high, and in many real estate markets prices have risen sharply...that could end badly. I find the boom in the U.S. stock market most concerning,"

- Robert Shiller, Dec 1 2013

"Now, five years later, signs of frothiness, if not outright bubbles, are reappearing in [at least 17 global] housing markets"

"What we are witnessing in many countries looks like a slow-motion replay of the last housing-market train wreck. And, like last time, the bigger the bubbles become, the nastier the collision with reality will be."

- Nouriel Roubini, Nov 29 2013

When this latest global asset bubble bursts as Roubini reminds us, by definition, it must; the public will cry "Why didn't anyone warn us?" The media will reflexively utter "Nobody saw this coming". But the truth is, there is evidence galore for those who choose to look for it.

The Wisdom of Looking Like an Idiot Today

The other key characteristic about popular manias/bubbles is that they collapse suddenly. Much more swiftly than they took to build.

The resultant carnage catches the masses like deer in headlights. The Kubler-Ross stages of grief begin quickly, and since Denial is Stage 1, most folks delay taking action out of disbelief. Soon Bargaining is reached, and they continue to delay reaction as prices continue falling - praying for the chance to get out if a reversal would just happen. It's not until Acceptance that most will take action, selling after the down draft has largely run its course.

Here are some useful stats to keep in mind that show how sudden and savage the 2008 market collapse was:

  • Week of Oct 6, 2008 - the Dow Jones drops 18%; its worst week ever in terms of both absolute and percentage loss
  • March 6, 2009 - the nadir for the stock market. By this date, 5 months after the crisis began, the Dow was down 54% since October

The takeaway here is that the wealth destruction caught most investors flat-footed. Most were unprepared -- both psychologically as well as with their portfolio positioning -- to react.

Many investors thought themselves savvy and nimble enough to avoid the losses they ultimately suffered, telling themselves a similarly ill-fated narrative as Charles Prince told his shareholders:

“When the music stops, in terms of liquidity, things will be complicated. But as long as the music is playing, you’ve got to get up and dance. We’re still dancing,”

- Chuck Prince, Citigroup CEO, Jul 9 2007

Most readers remember how Citigroup's price dropped from over $500/share when Prince made this comment, to $10/share in March 2009. Prince was booted from his CEO role in late 2007 due to emerging losses resulting from the bank's MBS and CDO positions, investment classes which proved to be at the heart of the 2008 crisis.

So, a smart question to ask at this time is: is the moment in time we're in today closer to January 2006, when there were several years left of exuberance to ride? Or are we more like September 2008, poised at the precipice?

A smarter answer is: there's no way to know with acceptable certainty.

Like grains of sand piling up or snowflakes falling on a cornice, we can assess the growing level of risk, but we can't identify the grain of sand or snowflake that will cause the eventual cascade. We can't predict the collapse timing with confidence. We can -- and will -- continue to make our best educated estimates; but the exact timing is unknowable.

So, given that fact, as John Hussman so pithily captures, bubble markets force us to make a choice:

The problem with bubbles is that they force one to decide whether to look like an idiot before the peak, or an idiot after the peak. 

And so your choice is upon you. Look at the evidence around you -- a movie nearly identical to one you saw in 2008 and in 2000 -- and either decide to party with the herd while the music plays (look smart today), or park yourself in safety now (look smart tomorrow).

Since the timing of the next correction is unknowable, the prudent choice is obvious. But it's not easy for all the reasons mentioned at the start of this article.

A helpful question to ask yourself is: if I could talk to my 2009 self, what would s/he advise me to do?

For most of us, our past self, recently reminded of the anguish of wealth destruction, would say "Run to safety!" at the first whiff of anything bubblicious. Research has shown that when the chips are down, the benefits of loss aversion are always preferred to the joys of gain.

Don't put yourself in a position to relearn that lesson so soon after the last bubble. Exercise the wisdom to look like an idiot today.

The Need For Discipline is Greater Than Ever

OK, so what should today's "idiot" focus on doing?

  • Build cash - it not sexy. And it's not fun to see the dollar price of nearly every asset known to man escalate while you hold cash. But bubbles are designed to take as much as possible from as many people as possible. During the popping of a bubble, the real wealth (underlying assets like companies, land, minerals, etc) doesn't vaporize like the high prices do. Those assets are simply transferred at a lower (more attractive) price to those people who still have money. Be one of those people.
  • Hold onto your precious metals - I know. It's painful right now. For most PM owners, just hold onto what you have right now. Those with stronger stomachs should be dollar cost averaging in. Remember the fundamentals for owning gold and silver have not changed AT ALL over the past few years. Stay largely with physical bullion. Don't speculate with the mining stocks at this time unless you're a risk-junkie (or masochist?) and then only with money you can afford to lose.
  • Scout out locally-based hard asset investments for the future - Once this bubble pops, higher interest rates and lower prices will result. Look around your local area for assets (businesses, housing, farmland, livestock, etc) that you would consider holding at least a percentage ownership in. Calculate what price would make you an interested investor. While that price may be years away, when the impact of a market correction hits, you'll be poised to move ahead of the other savvy investors to secure the opportunities you want (and play a role in stabilizing the community in which you live).
  • Design your trading plan for a market down draft - what steps will you/your financial adviser take if the market starts cratering? If you don't have a plan in place currently, now is the time to design it. Will you employ stops? What "safe assets" will you move to? (Treasurys, cash, other currencies?). Will you strictly be a sidelines observer, or will you take any active short positions on the downside? Will there be opportunity to generate income using vehicles like covered calls? Whatever makes sense for you, devise your strategy in the calmness of today vs on-the-fly while the markets are melting down around you and everyone is panicking. And if your financial adviser is unable to provide you with a comforting answer as to his/her strategy for captaining your money through another 2008 (or worse) correction, we have a few recommended advisers you may want to consider talking with.
  • Build your roof while the sun is shining - so many of the most valuable investments are not financial (emergency preparedness, energy efficiency, community, health - to name just a few). Use the gift of time we have now to invest in expanding your degree of resilience. If it's been a while, take a fresh skim though our What Should I Do? Guide to identify any areas you aren't satisfactorily prepared in. These are the investments where its infinitely better to have in place "a year early vs a day late"
  • Increase emotional fortitude - being "wrong" in the eyes of society is trying. And stressful for many, especially if your partner or others of those close to you don't share your views. Keep learning by reading this site and a wide range of others including those with opposing commentary. Develop your opinions based on the data you determine is most accurate -- your ability to stand resolute against popular sentiment will be grounded in your confidence in the "big picture". Seek support from the thousands of other Peak Prosperity readers who are wrestling with the same issue set you are, by participating in our Groups. We created them to help people support each other both virtually and "in person" within their local communities.
  • Develop an income loss plan - if we're correct in our prediction of a major down draft, a return to deep recession is likely, and with it, a return to higher unemployment. Loss of income is a stressful trauma, especially if it happens unexpectedly and is compounded by a hobbled job market. Take some time to assess your job's level of vulnerability to another recession. If it's higher than you'd like, ask yourself what you would do if a sudden layoff occurred. Start doing the work now to at least sketch out the path you would take if that happened. And if possible, develop some relationships or related skills now that would give you an unfair advantage should you ever need to head down that route. The first third of our book Finding Your Way To Your Authentic Career has a number of exercises that provide useful guidance for those looking to do this.
  • Develop an income enhancement plan - the resilience that comes with multiple income streams really helps you sleep at night, as you're less vulnerable to having your entire life upended if a sudden pink slip appears. Also, having extra income to direct to other goals (retirement, education, homesteading, etc) enables you to hit them faster. We're all busy, but thinking creatively for a moment, what could you start doing today to secure extra income streams in the future. This is a topic that Chris often helps folks think through in his consultations.

Essentially, the approach here is to dismiss what is not in our control and focus on what we can best do with what is. Be practical. Be prudent. Be dull to those watching you from the dance floor. 

John Hussman signed off his latest report with the advice: "Risk dominates. Hold tight."  I agree. Now is the time act with the courage of our convictions.

As Kipling put it at the end of his poem:

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To serve your turn long after they are gone,

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch,

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,

If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,

Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,

And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!

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Tue, 12/03/2013 - 14:59 | 4210970 Canadian Dirtlump
Canadian Dirtlump's picture

All part of being shunned as a conspiracy theorist, something I know all too well. I have said that when some drone is presented with "conspiracy theories" by someone who has "woken up" they can do 2 things. Think the person is crazy and then write them off, or anchor themselves to the notion that they know that person isn't crazy and do some research. My brother thankfully falls into the latter category.

 

Great post because when this thing blows, it's gonna be ugly.

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 15:12 | 4211006 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

..... and probably quick.  How many have their "Sell" button on a hair-trigger right now?  Won't take many fingers hitting those buttons to turn it into an avalanche.

Everyone thinks they're faster on the draw than the other guy.  Everyone's depending on it.  I bet most will find out they're not fast enough.

 

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 15:11 | 4211023 Pladizow
Tue, 12/03/2013 - 15:26 | 4211088 ParkAveFlasher
ParkAveFlasher's picture

Three words to describe ZHers: Uruguayan rugby team

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 15:30 | 4211108 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

You mean survivors against incalcuable odds?  Yep.  Sure are.

Oh, you meant the cannibalism thing.  Sorry, I'm not "biting" on that one.

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 15:35 | 4211131 rfaze
rfaze's picture

If you can keep your head when all about you are lossing theirs YOU JUST DON'T UNDERSTAND THE PROBLEM!

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 15:55 | 4211213 Headbanger
Headbanger's picture

"Stupid is as stupid does"

There, somebody had to say it...

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 16:03 | 4211235 Badabing
Badabing's picture

 “Faith in the current system is as high as it has ever been, and folks don't want to hear otherwise.”

Back in 2009 I was considered a whack job deserving ridicule and a tinfoil hat.

But as the shit storm got worse I didn’t look so bad, people at parties would ask my opinion and we would have an intelligent conversation. Now I all I hear is “what’s happening with gold and silver” presented with a I told you so face on.

My answer is a question, what do think costs $85,000,000,000 a month?

We are now below the production cost of mining PMs, no doubt the big miners will get subsidized by the printing press while buying up all the little guys. Just like the banks did back in 2009, and how do they do it? By cheating that’s how. TPTB have the technology to do what ever they want, including ending the world as we know it.

When you get a chance, check out this chart with real time ticks on the right;

http://www.usagold.com/gold-price-live.html

Look at the way the western worlds currency’s and PMs are sparkling! Back in 2009 ticks came in a lot slower but today TPTB have the Algo’s working full time holding off the financial end of the world. You’ve  got to have “FAITH” for that. While we all know, that one day, we’ll be thrown back into the dark ages.

Is that when the hangings start? I wonder.   

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 16:17 | 4211296 Drifter
Drifter's picture

“Faith in the current system is as high as it has ever been, and folks don't want to hear otherwise.”

Fine, let 'em go down with the ship. 

I don't care about educating anyone anymore, not even relatives. 

And I won't be there to help 'em when they get wiped out.  That's the other resolve you have to make.  They're on their own, sink or swim, tough shit, you wouldn't listen when you had the chance.

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 16:44 | 4211357 Ham-bone
Ham-bone's picture

If there is any market left in this "market"...this utter capitulation of all bears, utter leverage of all bulls...the belief that Dow XXX is truly achievable and likely...that is the sign we r done (if this is a "market")...but it likely keeps going cause it ain't a market but a tool

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 17:15 | 4211473 TeamDepends
TeamDepends's picture

Oh boy!  We generally agree with your sentiment, but what if it's the females in your clan that just aren't getting it?  We have tried and tried and tried to wake them up but it ain't happening.  Call it normalcy bias or whatever, but we are starting to freak out just a little.  Please, we are not even remotely misogynist, but the ladies around here simply will not look at the bigger picture.  MsCreant, anybody, got any advice?

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 17:42 | 4211575 Ham-bone
Ham-bone's picture

Let them not get it...your marriage is more important than your worldview...unless your marriage sucks then have at it.

None of us knows how, when, or in what order things could take place. 

All you can likely do is take very sensible actions (have a big pantry...not a doomsday cellar; explain there are four types of investments and wise to own all four (PM's, RE/CRE, stocks/bonds, cash) and make the case to own minimum of 10% of each...you will be miles ahead of most but not busting your marriage.  Try not to sound like some messianiac psycho bout it all.  Shouldn't be hard to explain why less debt is better than more.  All pretty conservative thinking.  Anyway, good luck.

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 20:23 | 4212072 Drifter
Drifter's picture

Let 'em go down with the ship. 

Hubris is equal opportunity, non-racial, non-gender, etc.

If it's your wife, she'll pull youi under with her, maybe drown you trying to stay afloat herself.  Most women have no loyalty in a crisis.  Glad I'm divorced, best thing with what's coming.

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 15:13 | 4211024 Canadian Dirtlump
Canadian Dirtlump's picture

I think, perversely, this self aware computer network of skynet trading has made it tougher to even have a crash.... but, when it finally does come and it will, when you have sell orders moving at the speed of light competing to get out the door, it will be spectacular.

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 15:41 | 4211048 Ham-bone
Ham-bone's picture

I've been nailing the idiot thing my whole life...it comes so naturally.  Like I was born to do it!?!  Can't wait til being an idiot is cool and I'm the first there on my block.

 

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 17:40 | 4211577 max2205
max2205's picture

If it goes up tem moar years, we all will look stupid

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 16:12 | 4211258 RaceToTheBottom
RaceToTheBottom's picture

"moving at the speed of light competing to get out the door, it will be spectacular."

I think that we will get some records then. 

Even people who consider themselves bears are talking like 5-10% is all that could happen.  I suspect that will happen before opening...  And accelerate from there.

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 17:20 | 4211490 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

Those who didn't learn from biggest financial crisis since the 1930's shouldn't cry later.  Sleeping well at night knowing that you're ready for the next big one is priceless.

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 16:08 | 4211263 Emergency Ward
Emergency Ward's picture

Nobody, noooobody beats the HFTs.  Direct fiber-optic links to the heart of the exchanges, nano-second arbitrage......

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 16:32 | 4211333 August
August's picture

>>...when this thing blows, it's gonna be ugly.

When this thing blows it will be... Biblical. And ugly.

(hat tip to Mr. Bill Murray)

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 17:38 | 4211566 bwh1214
bwh1214's picture

I go with, make sure the people close to you know what your thoughts are including predictions.  After that there is no point, beyond some reminders, of beating a dead horse. right now they may think your crazy but after some vindication the will come around and then look to you for guidance.  If you push to hard you will drive them away.

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 18:09 | 4211672 yofish
yofish's picture

In the 70's, behind every rock, there was something conspiratorial to me. I bet the farm on silver and merely had to wait 40 years to not be laughed at by my friends. And, it turns out that the cabal the Nixon was the head of in my delusions, was merely a bunch of clowns. 

My advice is read that poem for it's wisdom and forget everything that you 'think' you know. If you want to wait 40 years to crow, best to you. 

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 15:01 | 4210982 Colonel Klink
Colonel Klink's picture

Wut?

I know nuthzink!

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 15:04 | 4210985 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

So, basically,  wait and buy the really really really BIG fucking dip.

It looks like BTFD is all there ever was.

(Disclaimer:  I'm waiting to BTRRRBFD)

(Disclaimer 2:  I'll probably wait to long to actually buy tho.   Then I'll just wait for the really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really BIG fucking dip)

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 15:11 | 4211017 Skateboarder
Skateboarder's picture

Next BTFD is the last BTFD. ;)

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 15:35 | 4211130 walküre
walküre's picture

Ask yourself this question. Would you have bought the dip in tulips when their price crashed? How many did and how did they make out after buying? Probably buying turds was equally effective.

Lots and lots of tulips out there in the investment fields. MOST WILL TURN OUT TO BE JUST TURDS.

The only dip I'm buying is in precious metals, land and livestock. Once the paper blows, the paper queens cannot reflate for a very long time. During that very long time, people still need to eat and trade and have an economy.

I welcome the opportunity for the real forces of nature and a real market to establish. The weak paper weaslings will be jumping from windows because that is all they can do. The future will have no place for weaslings and their paper or for that matter their crypto wealth. BTC's porn star will be crying the blues.

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 15:46 | 4211179 ZerOhead
ZerOhead's picture

I wonder what a good horse might be worth in an apocalyptic collapse scenario.

Just in case those few gasoline tanker trucks don't make their meagre deliveries outside of the Hamptons...

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 15:50 | 4211197 walküre
walküre's picture

What you want is a younger horse with some training to ride. Heavier horses to pull wagons or heavy equipment. Oxens will do as well for that part. Land is necessary to keep the livestock fed.

I don't know about calling it an apocalypse. I think it's a long overdue rebalancing of priorities. Hollywood, Wall Street and DC might face starvation. It would be their apocalypse. To me personally it would be a welcome challenge where I can apply myself and my skills and meet guys that are cut from the same cloth. Paper pushers and pencil grenadiers could line-up for a job with a shovel or pitchfork.

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 16:18 | 4211297 F22
F22's picture

I'll call it "Obamageddon"

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 18:21 | 4211711 yofish
yofish's picture

Why do so many of you here that have reasonable sounding plans ruin the suggested intelligence that that might convey by saying stupid wishful shit? 'Paper pushers and pencil grenadiers'? Really!  And you now are a keyboard grenadier, congratulations. 

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 19:27 | 4211926 walküre
walküre's picture

In between working with my two hands, I come in from the cold and post. Everyone but you seems to understand what a "paper pusher" is supposed to mean. We have too many useless paper pushers that are employed by one gigantic bureaucratic nightmare.

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 20:03 | 4212030 Nobody
Nobody's picture

The folks in Hollywood, DC, and WS will have a true shock when they jump into their jets to scoot down to the Caribbean to their fine, big houses only to find out that those islands don't produce food and the only drinking water comes from diesel fired RO plants.
Out of the frying pan, into the fire!
There is no such thing as a Fiscal apocalypse! (Yeah, Right)

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 15:48 | 4211185 ZerOhead
ZerOhead's picture

Agreed...

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 16:44 | 4211364 ShorTed
ShorTed's picture

Like BTFATL (Buy The Fcuking All Time Low)?  I'm ready!

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 17:55 | 4211601 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

Buy the last dip with what? King Dollar, the self devaluing whore of babylon everyone is running from?

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 15:15 | 4211037 Vampyroteuthis ...
Vampyroteuthis infernalis's picture

Exactly. Wait for the moment to buy. As someone once infamously said, "Buy when there is blood in the streets, even if it is your own blood."

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 15:25 | 4211077 El Hosel
El Hosel's picture

Really BIG fucking dip? Like Gold? Like Grains? Like Silver? Like the companies in those sectors?  http://finviz.com/futures_charts.ashx?t=ZC&p=d1

http://finviz.com/futures_charts.ashx?t=ZW&p=d1

http://finviz.com/futures_charts.ashx?t=SI&p=d1

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 15:03 | 4210987 frankTHE COIN
frankTHE COIN's picture

I concur. We all looked like Assholes in 1999 and mid 2007 for being short. But it always found its way to working out.

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 15:03 | 4210993 Kreditanstalt
Kreditanstalt's picture

"Income enhancement plan"???

WHAT "income"?

And - similarly - I'm tired of hearing "investors in X or Y should consider taking profits now"...WHAT "profits"?

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 15:05 | 4210995 AngelEyes00
AngelEyes00's picture

https://www.google.com/#q=dow

Dow down 135 points!  Starting to dump.

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 15:07 | 4211003 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

Just investors taking profits.

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 15:16 | 4211042 Vampyroteuthis ...
Vampyroteuthis infernalis's picture

Time to clean out the muppets before the end of the year run.

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 16:24 | 4211309 Uncle Remus
Uncle Remus's picture

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 15:06 | 4211005 10mm
10mm's picture

I said it a thousand times. The day it comes when i walk down the street, grab a drink at the local tappy, be a guest at a get together and the conversation becomes what we know as "FACT", not conspiracy,it will be too late.

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 16:10 | 4211279 CvlDobd
CvlDobd's picture

I thought that day was here with the Snowden revelation. I thought my "HAHA I told you so!" moment had arrived.

Long story short. It hadn't, no one gives a fuck about anything!! The political elites can get away with anything right now and that scares me.

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 18:03 | 4211640 Real Estate Geek
Real Estate Geek's picture

Same experience RE Snowden. The response from two colleagues was especially frustrating because each said "So what? We already knew that." To which I replied, "Bullshit. People like me suspected it and people like you called me a conspiracy theorist."

I should have saved my breath. It was like water off a duck's back.

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 15:10 | 4211016 jeditolstoy
jeditolstoy's picture

We live in bizarro world, where up is down and down is up. Believe in yourself. We're not the crazy ones; they're the insane ones. Hold your ground. Know your points. And use their craziness to your advantage.

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 15:14 | 4211032 BandGap
BandGap's picture

It can be difficult in the face of all the sunshine being blown up people's asses these days.

But I have stacked away, gotten to be a decent shot and generally stay grounded. I suggest others do the same.

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 16:23 | 4211307 WarPony
WarPony's picture

Up is down and left is purple, and my tin foil top hat and tails still fits fine!  But in a crazy world, to be sane ...

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 17:52 | 4211617 CHX
CHX's picture

Sane is insane in a crazy world.

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