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Some Themes To Watch In 2014

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Charles Hugh-Smith of OfTwoMinds blog,

Propaganda, phony fixes and more debt can only cover the widening gap between fiscal reality and official fantasy for so long.

So what else besides the potential for another global financial meltdown bears watching in 2014? Here are a few worthy prospects. Continuing our end-of-the-year tradition of exploring themes that have disruptive potential in the coming year, Gordon Long and I discuss a half-dozen such topics in 2014 Themes: CHS with Gordon T. Long(28 minutes).


My short list is centered not on one-time crises or potential black swans but on long-festering systemic problems that cannot be fixed within the current status quo, and thus they are destined to continue eroding systemic resilience. Kicking the can down the road and phony accounting "solutions" fix nothing, and so these systemic problems will eventually explode into crises that cannot be tamped down with the usual fiscal and monetary tricks.

Student loans and the impossible-to-solve conflict between skyrocketing local government pension and healthcare costs and delivering services to taxpayers/residents are both prime examples. Something's got to give in both of these bubbling pressure cookers, and propaganda, phony fixes and more debt can only cover the widening gap between fiscal reality and official fantasy for so long.

Five years of phony fixes have gotten us to 2013; I doubt the same illusions and tricks will get the global economy through 2014-2015 unscathed.


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Thu, 12/26/2013 - 20:51 | 4278085 Muppet Pimp
Muppet Pimp's picture

Obama is here to help the middle class by crushing their wages through unfettered immigration and amnesty, then he will claim the evil corporations are at fault and if only he can have greater control over the economy that he can fix it.  And the big multinationals will thank him by handing over huge amounts of cash to democratic bundlers who smile with glee while sending out mass emails to supporters claiming that they have their best interests at heart and that they should support a bigger budget for more social programs to soothe the pressure they feel on their balls which are being crushed between the millstones of immigration and inflation. 

All the while white papers will be passed around inside the FED and Ivy Leagues talking about what sort of immigration quotas will be needed to assure wages stay stuck at 1970's levels.

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 20:57 | 4278094 zaphod
zaphod's picture

This is the most accurate prediction I've seen for 2014. 

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 22:12 | 4278189 Muppet Pimp
Muppet Pimp's picture

Here is a paper from 'Foreign Affairs' that discusses the use of immigration as a 'relief valve' that the FED reccomends to keep a lid on wages.  The FED supports keeping a lid on wage inflation while simultaneously advocating price and asset inflation.  The FED and our congress critters via their multinational puppet campaign financiers seek nothing more than the unmitigated destrution of our middle class.

A key passage:

Although the high-tech sector is the most sensitive area, all immigrant workers help keep inflation from picking up -- and keep the Fed from raising interest rates.

So the takeaway here is that so long as you allow unfettered immigration, you can expect no more in wages and no interest on your savings. 

Here is another quote:

Absent this immigrant labor pool, the U.S. unemployment rate, instead of hovering around its current historic low of four percent, would in fact be much lower.

Apply this to today, with higher unemployment and the politicians, particularly those on the left have the gall to tell us this will be a good thing for the middle class?  This will only be good for the breadlines the leftist politicians wish to create, so that they can grow our government, grow our debt, and punish our middle class even more, so that the low information types will look to them for solutions?  Have we gone mad?

In summation The Beatings will continue until morale improves.

Fri, 12/27/2013 - 05:01 | 4278654 lewy14
lewy14's picture

Great link, Animal - thanks.


The ultimate resolution of a debt crisis is to assign losses, and the assignment of losses is always a political issue.

The PTB are using this respite from the crisis to accumulate power over the people, and so gain the ability to assign the ultimate losses to us.

"The System" will survive just fine. The rest of us? Not so much.

Fri, 12/27/2013 - 07:19 | 4278703 negative rates
negative rates's picture

There is a reason why we have been admonishing to end the Fed, but it mostly falls on deaf ears unless screamed at from time to time.

Fri, 12/27/2013 - 09:02 | 4278771 Spanky
Spanky's picture


For stating the obvious and profound...

The ultimate resolution of a debt crisis is to assign losses, and the assignment of losses is always a political issue. -- lewy14

Fri, 12/27/2013 - 08:25 | 4278749 starfcker
starfcker's picture

how about we change that summation to the beatings will continue until the stephan-gotz richtors of the world expire from massive internal hemmoraging. i'm no advocate of violence, but some of these people just make me sick. they are truly committed to destroying civilization.

Fri, 12/27/2013 - 08:54 | 4278769 Spanky
Spanky's picture



The Foreign Affairs link and quotes -- long considered internationally as the "unofficial voice" of US government policy, whose parent organization was originally endowed with Rockefeller and Morgan money...

The Beatings will continue until morale improves. -- Muppet Pimp.

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 21:04 | 4278092 Ignatius
Ignatius's picture

Entering the endgame in this 'Age of Advertising'?

Nothing is done in the name of its real agenda.  Nothing.  Nothing of consequence, anyway.

Over time this has a corrosive effect on our entire culture.

The 'war on drugs' is a war on the small time operators.  Monsanto wants to 'feed the world', but sets a course to obtain a rentier's position on our major food stuffs.  The 'Affordable Care Act' is anything but.  'National Security' is the cloak and dagger to conceal treasoness corruption, etc..

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 22:35 | 4278296 max2205
max2205's picture

Even AAPL manage to close up ~10% this year.....mazing

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 21:12 | 4278127 no life
no life's picture


Thu, 12/26/2013 - 21:20 | 4278153 q99x2
q99x2's picture

Pretty good presentation.

"We are in the early stages" and the FED is going to absorb the student loan losses.

Great. Now if they would have said that Fannie May will start accepting student loans as down payments on new homes. I would have been in heaven.

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 21:22 | 4278159 ZeroPoint
ZeroPoint's picture

Move to a small town if possible, where your vote counts as to where the tax money goes. I love my town. Taxpayers vote down 80-90% of every overpriced 'initiative'.

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 22:19 | 4278259 Muppet Pimp
Muppet Pimp's picture

The Chamber of Commerce is spending $50 million to stifle the Tea Party who may scuttle their plans of working with establisment Republicans (Democrats are already all aboard) to crush wages with unfettered immigration:

Can you hear me now?  The establishment which consists of members of both parties is being funded by business interests to crush the middle class.  Free markets and secure borders are the answer, not big government, not unions, not more wage crushing immigration. Hello people!

Fri, 12/27/2013 - 00:53 | 4278520 Greenskeeper_Carl
Greenskeeper_Carl's picture

I agree with a lot of what you say, but I don't want an even more militarized border. One day, those may well be used to keep you, your family, and your wealth inside that super secure border you desire. I would rather see us dismantle the welfare state that encourages these people instead. If we stop providing food stamps, housing, medical care, and our schools to these people for free, the ones that just want to sponge will no longer have the incomtives to hop the fence because we will no longer provide all their needs for free, but the ones who actually want to work still will, and I have no problem with them. In such a situation, coupled with free markets and getting rid of things like NAFTA, we would encourage the best and brightest to come here, since maybe then we would actually be the land of opportunity again. The way it works now is the worst of both worlds, but more freedom and a smaller govt is the answer, bit a bigger fence with more Gestapo agents

Fri, 12/27/2013 - 09:13 | 4278783 Spanky
Spanky's picture

I'll second Carl's thoughts and add that we ought withdraw our overseas military as well. Perhaps, freed from the yoke of our military domination, people in other countries might well be able to politically and economically order their lives as they see fit, rather than as Wall Street and Washington desire it... Just consider what's coming our way (here in the states) as the ultimate form of blowback. After all, we've been perfecting our dark arts since the Spanish-American War.

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 22:23 | 4278263 Chupacabra-322
Chupacabra-322's picture

2014 More

Illegal wars of aggression
More Criminal arming, funding & training via the Criminal State Dept / CIA via Turkey, NATO & Saudi Ariabia.
More NSA- Illegal Global espionage, data mining & Sping.
More Militarized Authoritarian Fascist Totalitarian Police State
More unemployment.
More loss wages.
More criminal Presidental Executive orders
More crimes from DHS, DOJ, BATF, CIA, FBI, IRS, Federal Reseve, CONgress.
More wealth transfer.
More fake economic numbers.
More Monsanto
More criminal Supreme Court decisions.
More economic Bankster terrorism
More Criminal CIA drug running money laundering through the TBTFBankster tax payer bailed out Criminals.

More of the same.

Fri, 12/27/2013 - 00:58 | 4278522 Greenskeeper_Carl
Greenskeeper_Carl's picture

I was gonna up vote you because you are probably right, but then I wanted to down vote you cuz that shit is depressing as hell, so in the end I did neither....

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 22:52 | 4278325 NIHILIST CIPHER

chupacabra   +1          Exactly.

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 23:06 | 4278368 itstippy
itstippy's picture

Conspiciuous consumption by Middle America will collapse in 2014.  It will be considered "uncool" by America's youth, and the young set the trends.  

Parents won't be expected to shell out $5K for their daughter's wedding dress and $50K for the wedding.  The daughter won't want such a wasteful display, and her bridesmaids will be in no position to spend hundreds of dollars for gowns anyway.  Weddings will be much more subdued affairs, to most peoples' relief.

Funerals also will be frugal.  Spending $20K on a casket to stick in the ground will be socially gauche when the grandkids need money for school and the friends & neighbors attending the funeral are all in financial straights.  More cremations & elegantly understated urns.

Fewer $100,000K motor homes, $25K motorcycles, $25K speedboats, $10K snowmobiles, etc.  "Power Sports Centers" will die as wasteful use of precious gasoline becomes a social no-no and aging boomers finally realize that borrowing money to buy youngfolk toys won't make them young again.

Fri, 12/27/2013 - 01:00 | 4278525 Greenskeeper_Carl
Greenskeeper_Carl's picture

Non of those things are going to happen as long as interest rates stay this low. People can still buy dumb shit with cheaply financed debt, and since that is all that's keeping this facade going, I don't think they will be allowed to rise any time soon.

Fri, 12/27/2013 - 10:04 | 4278859 Toolshed
Toolshed's picture

You obviously don't get out much........or have a daughter.

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 23:46 | 4278440 NIHILIST CIPHER

It's their (ruling elites) football and their rules,or lack thereof. If they say day is night then so be it. All markets are manipulated by them to have the outcome they's a club and you and I are not in it. Just moar of the same for the sheep.

Fri, 12/27/2013 - 05:55 | 4278673 devo
devo's picture

If anything bad happens taxpayers are bailing it out, so just buy investments and don't worry so much.

Fri, 12/27/2013 - 10:18 | 4278878 The worst trader
The worst trader's picture

First quarter will be painfully enough for Yellen to double down on QE. BTFD second quarter and don't worry be happy.

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