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2013 – Dense Fog Turns Into Toxic Smog

Tyler Durden's picture




 

Submitted by Jim Quinn of The Burning Platform blog,

In mid-January of this year I wrote my annual prediction article for 2013 – Apparitions in the Fog. It is again time to assess my inability to predict the future any better than a dart throwing monkey. As usual, sticking to facts was a mistake in a world fueled by misinformation, propaganda, delusion and wishful thinking. I was far too pessimistic about the near term implications of debt, civic decay and global disorder. Those in power have successfully held off the unavoidable collapse which will be brought about by their ravenous unbridled greed, and blatant disregard for the rule of law, the U.S. Constitution and rights and liberties of the American people. The day to day minutia, pointless drivel of our techno-narcissistic selfie showbiz society, and artificially created issues (gay marriage, Zimmerman-Martin, Baby North West, Duck Dynasty) designed to distract the public from thinking, are worthless trivialities in the broad landscape of human history.

The course of human history is determined by recurring cyclical themes based upon human frailties that have been perpetual through centuries of antiquity. The immense day to day noise of an inter-connected techno-world awash in inconsequentialities and manipulated by men of evil intent is designed to divert the attention of the masses from the criminal activities of those in power. It has always been so. There have always been arrogant, ambitious, greedy, power hungry, deceitful men, willing to take advantage of a fearful, lazy, ignorant, selfish, easily manipulated populace. The rhythms of history are unaffected by predictions of “experts” who are paid to spin yarns in order to sustain the status quo. There is no avoiding the consequences of actions taken and not taken over the last eighty years. We are in the midst of a twenty year period of Crisis that was launched in September 2008 with the worldwide financial collapse, created by the Federal Reserve, their Wall Street owners, their bought off Washington politicians, and their media and academic propaganda machines.

I still stand by the final paragraph of my 2013 missive, and despite the fact the establishment has been able to fend off the final collapse of their man made credit boom for longer than I anticipated, they have only insured a far worse outcome when the bubble bursts:              

“So now I’m on the record for 2013 and I can be scorned and ridiculed for being such a pessimist when December rolls around and our Ponzi scheme economy hasn’t collapsed. There is no disputing the facts. The economic situation is deteriorating for the average American, the mood of the country is darkening, and the world is awash in debt and turmoil. Every country is attempting to print their way to renewed prosperity. No one wins a race to the bottom. The oligarchs have chosen a path of currency debasement, propping up insolvent banks, propaganda and impoverishing the masses as their preferred course. They attempt to keep the masses distracted with political theater, gun control vitriol, reality TV and iGadgets. What can be said about a society where 10% of the population follows Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga on Twitter and where 50% think the National Debt is a monument in Washington D.C. The country is controlled by evil sycophants, intellectually dishonest toadies and blood sucking leeches. Their lies and deception have held sway for the last four years, but they have only delayed the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. They will not reverse course and believe their intellectual superiority will allow them to retain their control after the collapse.”

The core elements of this Crisis have been visible since Strauss & Howe wrote The Fourth Turning in 1997. All the major events that transpire during this Crisis will be driven by one or more of these core elements – Debt, Civic Decay, and Global Disorder.

“In retrospect, the spark might seem as ominous as a financial crash, as ordinary as a national election, or as trivial as a Tea Party. The catalyst will unfold according to a basic Crisis dynamic that underlies all of these scenarios: An initial spark will trigger a chain reaction of unyielding responses and further emergencies. The core elements of these scenarios (debt, civic decay, global disorder) will matter more than the details, which the catalyst will juxtapose and connect in some unknowable way. If foreign societies are also entering a Fourth Turning, this could accelerate the chain reaction. At home and abroad, these events will reflect the tearing of the civic fabric at points of extreme vulnerability – problem areas where America will have neglected, denied, or delayed needed action.” – The Fourth Turning – Strauss & Howe

My 2013 predictions were framed by these core elements. After re-reading my article for the first time in eleven months I’ve concluded it is lucky I don’t charge for investment predictions. Many of my prognostications were in the ballpark, but I have continually underestimated the ability of central bankers and their Wall Street co-conspirators to use the $2.8 billion per day of QE to artificially elevate the stock market to bubble level proportions once again. If I wasn’t such a trusting soul, I might conclude the .1% financial elite, who run this country, created QEternity to benefit themselves, their .1% corporate CEO accomplices and the corrupt government apparatchiks who shield their flagrant criminality from the righteous hand of justice.

Even a highly educated Ivy League economist might grasp the fact that Ben Bernanke’s QEternity and ZIRP, sold to the unsuspecting masses as desperate measures during a crisis that could have brought the system down, have been kept in place for five years as a means to drive stock prices and home prices higher. The emergency was over by 2010, according to government reported data. The current monetary policy of the Federal Reserve would have been viewed as outrageous, reckless, and incomprehensible in 2007. It is truly a credit to the ruling elite and their media propaganda arm that they have been able to convince a majority of Americans their brazen felonious disregard for the wellbeing of the 99% is necessary to sustain the .1% way of life. Those palaces in the Hamptons aren’t going to pay for themselves without those $100 billion of annual bonuses.       

Do you think the 170% increase in the S&P 500 has been accidently correlated with the quadrupling of the Federal Reserve balance sheet or has Bernanke just done the bidding of his puppet masters? Considering the .1% billionaire clique owns the vast majority of stock in this corporate fascist paradise, is it really a surprise the trickle down canard would be the solution of choice from these sociopathic scoundrels? Of course QE and ZIRP have impacted the 80% who own virtually no stocks in a slightly different manner. Do you think the 100% increase in gasoline prices since 2009 was caused by Bernanke’s QEternity?  

Do you think the 8% decline in real median household income since 2008 was caused by Bernanke’s QE and ZIRP policies?  

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Do you think the $10.8 trillion stolen from grandmothers and risk adverse savers was caused by Bernanke’s ZIRP?

Was the $860 billion increase in real GDP (5.8% over five years) worth the $8 trillion increase in the National Debt and $3 trillion increase in the Federal Reserve balance sheet? Was it moral, courageous and honorable of the Wall Street plantation owners to syphon the remaining wealth of the dying middle class peasants and leaving the millennial generation and future generations bound in chains of unfunded debt to the tune of $200 trillion?

My assessment regarding unpredictable events lurking in the fog was borne out by what happened that NO ONE predicted, including: the first resignation of a pope in six hundred years, the military coup of a democratically elected president of Egypt – supported by the democratically elected U.S. president, the rise of an alternative currency – bitcoin, the bankruptcy of one of the largest cities in the U.S. – Detroit, a minor terrorist attack in Boston that freaked out the entire country and revealed the Nazi-like un-Constitutional tactics that will be used by the police state as this Crisis deepens, and revelations by a brilliant young patriot named Edward Snowden proving that the U.S. has been turned into an Orwellian surveillance state as every electronic communication of every American is being monitored and recorded. The Democrats and Republicans played their parts in this theater of the absurd. They proved to be two faces of the same Party as neither faction questions the droning of innocent people around the globe, mass spying on citizens, Wall Street criminality, trillion dollar deficits, a rogue Federal Reserve, or out of control unsustainable government spending.

My predictions for 2013 were divided into the three categories driving this Fourth Turning CrisisDebt, Civic Decay, and Global Disorder. Let’s assess my inaccuracy.

Debt

  • The debt ceiling will be raised as the toothless Republican Party vows to cut spending next time. The political hacks will create a 3,000 page document of triggers and create a committee to study the issue, with actual measures that slow the growth of annual spending by .000005% starting in 2017.

The government shutdown reality TV show proved to be the usual Washington D.C. kabuki theater. They gave a shutdown and no one noticed. It had zero impact on the economy. More people came to the realization that government does nothing except spend our money and push us around. The debt ceiling was raised, the sequester faux “cuts” were reversed and $20 billion of spending will be cut sometime in the distant future. Washington snakes are entirely predictable. I nailed this prediction.

  • The National Debt will increase by $1.25 trillion and debt to GDP will reach 106% by the end of the fiscal year.

The National Debt increased by ONLY $964 billion in the last fiscal year, even though the government stopped counting in May. The temporary sequester cuts, the expiration of the 2% payroll tax cut, the fake Fannie & Freddie paybacks to the U.S. Treasury based upon mark to fantasy accounting, and the automatic expiration of stimulus spending combined to keep the real deficit from reaching $1 trillion for the fifth straight year. Debt to GDP was 104%, before our beloved government drones decided to “adjust” GDP upwards by $500 billion based upon a new and improved formula, like Tide detergent. I missed this prediction by a smidgeon.

  • The Federal Reserve balance sheet will reach $4 trillion by the end of the year.

The Federal Reserve balance sheet stands at $4.075 trillion today. Ben is very predictable, and of course “transparent”. This was an easy one.

  • Consumer debt will reach $2.9 trillion as the Feds accelerate student loans and Ally Financial, along with the other Too Big To Control Wall Street banks, keep pumping out subprime auto loans. By mid-year reported losses on student loans will soar and auto loan delinquencies will show an upturn. This will force a slowdown in consumer debt issuance, exacerbating the recession that started in 2012.

Consumer debt outstanding currently stands at $3.076 trillion despite the fact that credit card debt has been virtually flat. The Federal government has continued to dole out billions in loans to University of Phoenix wannabes and to the subprime urban entitlement armies who deserve to drive an Escalade despite having no job, no assets and a sub 650 credit score, through government owned Ally Financial. It helps drive business when you don’t care about being repaid. Student loan delinquency rates are at an all-time high, as there are no jobs for graduates with tens of thousands in debt. Auto loan delinquencies have begun to rise despite the fact we are supposedly in a strongly recovering economy. The slowdown in debt issuance has not happened, as the Federal government is in complete control of the non-revolving loan segment. My prediction has proven to be accurate.

  • The Bakken oil miracle will prove to be nothing more than Wall Street shysters selling a storyline. Daily output will stall at 750,000 barrels per day and the dreams of imminent energy independence will be annihilated by reality, again. The price of oil will average $105 per barrel, as global tensions restrict supply.

Bakken production has reached 867,000 barrels per day as more and more wells have been drilled to offset the steep depletion rates of the existing wells. The average price per barrel has been $104, despite the frantic propaganda campaign about imminent American energy independence. Tell that to the average Joe filling their tank and paying the highest December gas price in history. My prediction was too pessimistic, but the Bakken miracle will be revealed as an over-hyped Wall Street scam in 2014.

  • The home price increases generated through inventory manipulation in 2012 will peter out as 2013 progresses. The market has been flooded by investors. There is very little real demand for new homes. Young households with heavy student loan debt and low paying jobs will continue to rent, since the oligarchs refused to let prices fall to a level that would spur real demand. Mortgage delinquencies will rise as job growth remains stagnant, leading to an increase in foreclosures. Rent prices will flatten as apartment construction and investors flood the market with supply.

Existing home sales peaked in the middle of 2013 and have been in decline as mortgage rates have jumped from 3.25% to 4.5% since February. New home sales remain stagnant, near record low levels. The median sales price for existing home sales peaked at $214,000 in June and has fallen for five consecutive months by a total of 8%. First time home buyers account for a record low of 28% of purchases, while investors account for a record high level of purchasers. Mortgage delinquencies fell for most of the year, but the chickens are beginning to come home to roost as delinquent mortgage loans rose from 6.28% in October to 6.45% in November. Rent increases slowed to below 3% as Blackrock and the other Wall Street shysters flood the market with their foreclosure rental properties. My housing prediction was accurate.

 

  • The disconnect between the stock market and the housing and employment markets will be rectified when the MSM can no longer deny the recession that began in 2012 and will deepen in the first part of 2013. While housing prices languish 30% below their peak levels of 2006, the stock market has prematurely ejaculated back to pre-crisis levels. Declining corporate profits, stagnant consumer spending, and increasing debt defaults will finally result in a 20% decline in the stock market, with a chance for losses greater than 30% if Japan or the EU begin to crumble.

And now we get to the prediction that makes me happy I don’t charge people for investment advice. Facts don’t matter in world of QE for the psychopathic titans of Wall Street and misery for the indebted peasants of Main Street. The government data drones, Ivy League educated Wall Street economists, and the obedient corporate media propaganda apparatus declare that GDP has grown by 2% over the last four quarters and we are not in a recession. If you believe their bogus inflation calculation then just ignore the collapsing retail sales, stagnant real wages, and rising gap between the uber-rich and the rest of us. Using a true measure of inflation reveals an economy in recession since 2004. Whose version matches the reality on the ground?

 

Corporate profits have leveled off at record highs as mark to fantasy accounting fraud, condoned and encouraged by the Federal Reserve, along with loan loss reserve depletion and $5 billion of risk free profits from parking deposits at the Fed have created a one-time peak. The record level of negative earnings warnings is the proverbial bell ringing at the top.

http://pragcap.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/bear1.jpg

I only missed my stock market prediction by 50%, as the 30% rise was somewhat better than my 20% decline prediction. Bernanke’s QEternity, Wall Street’s high frequency trading supercomputers, record levels of margin debt, a dash of delusion, and a helping of clueless dupes have taken the stock market to another bubble high. My prediction makes me look like an idiot today. I’m OK with that, since I know facts and reality always prevail in the long-run. As John Hussman sagely points out, today’s idiot will be tomorrow’s beacon of truth:

“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. There’s no calling the top, and most of the signals that have been most historically useful for that purpose have been blazing red since late-2011. My impression remains that the downside risks for the market have been deferred, not eliminated, and that they will be worse for the wait.”

  • Japan is still a bug in search of a windshield. With a debt to GDP ratio of 230%, a population dying off, energy dependence escalating, trade surplus decreasing, an already failed Prime Minister vowing to increase inflation, and rising tensions with China, Japan is a primary candidate to be the first domino to fall in the game of debt chicken. A 2% increase in interest rates would destroy the Japanese economic system.

Abenomics has done nothing for the average Japanese citizen, but it has done wonders for the ruling class who own all the stocks. Abe has implemented monetary policies that make Bernanke get a hard on. Japanese economic growth remains mired at 1.1%, wages remain stagnant, and their debt to GDP ratio remains above 230%, but at least he has driven their currency down 20% versus the USD and crushed the common person with 9% energy inflation. None of this matters, because the .1% have benefitted from a 56% increase in the Japanese stock market. My prediction was wrong. The windshield is further down the road, but it is approaching at 100 mph.

  • The EU has temporarily delayed the endgame for their failed experiment. Economic conditions in Greece, Spain and Italy worsen by the day with unemployment reaching dangerous revolutionary levels. Pretending countries will pay each other with newly created debt will not solve a debt crisis. They don’t have a liquidity problem. They have a solvency problem. The only people who have been saved by the actions taken so far are bankers and politicians. I believe the crisis will reignite, with interest rates spiking in Spain, Italy and France. The Germans will get fed up with the rest of Europe and the EU will begin to disintegrate.

This was another complete miss on my part. Economic conditions have not improved in Europe. Unemployment remains at record levels. EU GDP is barely above 0%. Debt levels continue to rise. Central bank bond buying has propped up this teetering edifice of ineptitude and interest rates in Spain, Italy and France have fallen to ridiculously low levels of 4%, considering they are completely insolvent with no possibility for escape. The disintegration of the EU will have to wait for another day.

Civic Decay

  • Progressive’s attempt to distract the masses from our worsening economic situation with their assault on the 2nd Amendment will fail. Congress will pass no new restrictions on gun ownership and 2013 will see the highest level of gun sales in history.

Obama and his gun grabbing sycophants attempted to use the Newtown massacre as the lever to overturn the 2nd Amendment. The liberal media went into full shriek mode, but the citizens again prevailed and no Federal legislation restricting the 2nd Amendment passed. Gun sales in 2013 will set an all-time record. With the Orwellian surveillance state growing by the day, arming yourself is the rational thing to do. I nailed this prediction.

  • The deepening recession, higher taxes on small businesses and middle class, along with Obamacare mandates will lead to rising unemployment and rising anger with the failed economic policies of the last four years. Protests and rallies will begin to burgeon.

The little people are experiencing a recession. The little people bore the brunt of the 2% payroll tax increase. The little people are bearing the burden of the Obamacare insurance premium increases. The number of employed Americans has increased by 1 million in the last year, a whole .4% of the working age population. The number of Americans who have willingly left the labor force in the last year because their lives are so fulfilled totaled 2.5 million, leaving the labor participation rate at a 35 year low. The anger among the former middle class is simmering below the surface, as Bernanke’s policies further impoverish the multitudes. Mass protests have not materialized but the Washington Navy yard shooting, dental hygenist murdered by DC police for ramming a White House barrier, and self- immolation of veteran John Constantino on the National Mall were all individual acts of desperation against the establishment.  

  • The number of people on food stamps will reach 50 million and the number of people on SSDI will reach 11 million. Jamie Dimon, Lloyd Blankfein, and Jeff Immelt will compensate themselves to the tune of $100 million. CNBC will proclaim an economic recovery based on these facts.

The number of people on food stamps appears to have peaked just below 48 million, as the expiration of stimulus spending will probably keep the program from reaching 50 million. As of November there were 10.98 million people in the SSDI program. The top eight Wall Street banks have set aside a modest $91 billion for 2013 bonuses. The cost of providing food stamps for 48 million Americans totaled $76 billion. CNBC is thrilled with the record level of bonuses for the noble Wall Street capitalists, while scorning the lazy laid-off middle class workers whose jobs were shipped to China by the corporations whose profits are at all-time highs and stock price soars. Isn’t crony capitalism grand?

  • The drought will continue in 2013 resulting in higher food prices, ethanol prices, and shipping costs, as transporting goods on the Mississippi River will become further restricted. The misery index for the average American family will reach new highs.

The drought conditions in the U.S. Midwest have been relieved. Ethanol prices have been flat. Beef prices have risen by 10% since May due to the drought impact from 2012, but overall food price increases have been moderate. The misery index (unemployment rate + inflation rate) has supposedly fallen, based on government manipulated data. I whiffed on this prediction.

  • There will be assassination attempts on political and business leaders as retribution for their actions during and after the financial crisis.

There have been no assassination attempts on those responsible for our downward financial spiral. The anger has been turned inward as suicides have increased by 30% due to the unbearable economic circumstances brought on by the illegal financial machinations of the Wall Street criminal banks. Obama and Dick Cheney must be thrilled that more military personnel died by suicide in 2013 than on the battlefield. Mission Accomplished. The retribution dealt to bankers and politicians will come after the next collapse. For now, my prediction was premature. 

  • The revelation of more fraud in the financial sector will result in an outcry from the public for justice. Prosecutions will be pursued by State’s attorney generals, as Holder has been captured by Wall Street.

Holder and the U.S. government remain fully captured by Wall Street. The states have proven to be toothless in their efforts to enforce the law against Wall Street. The continuing revelations of Wall Street fraud and billions in fines paid by JP Morgan and the other Too Big To Trust banks have been glossed over by the captured mainstream media. As long as EBT cards, Visas and Mastercards continue to function, there will be no outrage from the techno-narcissistic, debt addicted, math challenged, wilfully ignorant masses. Another wishful thinking wrong prediction on my part.   

  • The deepening pension crisis in the states will lead to more state worker layoffs and more confrontation between governors attempting to balance budgets and government worker unions. There will be more municipal bankruptcies.

Using a still optimistic discount rate of 5%, the unfunded pension liability of states and municipalities totals $3 trillion. The taxpayers don’t have enough cheese left for the government rats to steal. The crisis deepens by the second. State and municipal budgets require larger pension payments every year. The tax base is stagnant or declining. States must balance their budgets. They will continue to cut existing workers to pay the legacy costs until they all experience their Detroit moment. With the Detroit bankruptcy, I’ll take credit for getting this prediction right.   

  • The gun issue will further enflame talk of state secession. The red state/blue state divide will grow ever wider. The MSM will aggravate the divisions with vitriolic propaganda.

With the revelations of Federal government spying, military training exercises in cities across the country, the blatant disregard for the 4th Amendment during the shutdown of Boston, and un-Constitutional mandates of Obamacare, there has been a tremendous increase in chatter about secession. A google search gets over 200,000 hits in the last year. The divide between red states and blue states has never been wider. 

  • The government will accelerate their surveillance efforts and renew their attempt to monitor, control, and censor the internet. This will result in increased cyber-attacks on government and corporate computer networks in retaliation.

If anything I dramatically underestimated the lengths to which the United States government would go in their illegal surveillance of the American people and foreign leaders. Edward Snowden exposed the grandest government criminal conspiracy in history as the world found out the NSA, with the full knowledge of the president and Congress, has been conspiring with major communications and internet companies to monitor and record every electronic communication on earth, in clear violation of the 4th Amendment. Government apparatchiks like James Clapper have blatantly lied to Congress about their spying activities. The lawlessness with which the government is now operating has led to anarchist computer hackers conducting cyber-attacks on government and corporate networks. The recent hacking of the Target credit card system will have devastating implications to their already waning business. I’ll take credit for an accurate prediction on this one.   

Global Disorder 

  • With new leadership in Japan and China, neither will want to lose face, so early in their new terms. Neither side will back down in their ongoing conflict over islands in the East China Sea. China will shoot down a Japanese aircraft and trade between the countries will halt, leading to further downturns in both of their economies.

The Japanese/Chinese dispute over the Diaoyu/Senkaku islands has blown hot and cold throughout the year. In the past month the vitriol has grown intense. China has scrambled fighter jets over the disputed islands. The recent visit of Abe to a World War II shrine honoring war criminals has enraged the Chinese. Trade between the countries has declined. An aircraft has not been shot down, but an American warship almost collided with a Chinese warship near the islands, since our empire must stick their nose into every worldwide dispute. We are one miscalculation away from a shooting war. It hasn’t happened yet, so my prediction was wrong.

  • Worker protests over slave labor conditions in Chinese factories will increase as food price increases hit home on peasants that spend 70% of their pay for food. The new regime will crackdown with brutal measures, but the protests will grow increasingly violent. The economic data showing growth will be discredited by what is happening on the ground. China will come in for a real hard landing. Maybe they can hide the billions of bad debt in some of their vacant cities.

The number of worker protests over low pay and working conditions in China doubled over the previous year, but censorship of reporting has kept these facts under wraps. In a dictatorship, the crackdown on these protests goes unreported. The fraudulent economic data issued by the government has been proven false by independent analysts. The Chinese stock market has fallen 14%, reflecting the true economic situation. The Chinese property bubble is in the process of popping. China will never officially report a hard landing. China is the most corrupt nation on earth and is rotting from the inside, like their vacant malls and cities. China’s economy is like an Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 coming in for a landing at SF International.

  • Violence and turmoil in Greece will spread to Spain during the early part of the year, with protests and anger spreading to Italy and France later in the year. The EU public relations campaign, built on sandcastles of debt in the sky and false promises of corrupt politicians, will falter by mid-year. Interest rates will begin to spike and the endgame will commence. Greece will depart the EU, with Spain not far behind. The unraveling of debt will plunge all of Europe into depression.

Violent protests flared in Greece and Spain throughout the year. They did not spread to Italy and France. The central bankers and the puppet politicians have been able to contain the EU’s debt insolvency through the issuance of more debt. What a great plan. The grand finale has been delayed into 2014. Greece remains on life support and still in the EU. The EU remains in recession, but the depression has been postponed for the time being. This prediction was a dud.

  • Iran will grow increasingly desperate as hyperinflation caused by U.S. economic sanctions provokes the leadership to lash out at its neighbors and unleash cyber-attacks on Saudi Arabian oil facilities and U.S. corporations. Israel will use the rising tensions as the impetus to finally attack Iranian nuclear facilities. The U.S. will support the attack and Iran will launch missiles at Saudi Arabia and Israel in retaliation. The price of oil will spike above $125 per barrel, further deepening the worldwide recession.

Iran was experiencing hyperinflationary conditions early in the year, but since the election of the new president the economy has stabilized. Iran has conducted cyber-attacks against Saudi Arabian gas companies and the U.S. Navy during 2013. Israel and Saudi Arabia have failed in their efforts to lure Iran into a shooting war. Obama has opened dialogue with the new president to the chagrin of Israel. War has been put off and the negative economic impacts of surging oil prices have been forestalled. I missed on this prediction.

  • Syrian President Assad will be ousted and executed by rebels. Syria will fall under the control of Islamic rebels, who will not be friendly to the United States or Israel. Russia will stir up discontent in retaliation for the ouster of their ally.

Assad has proven to be much tougher than anyone expected. The trumped up charges of gassing rebel forces, created by the Saudis who want a gas pipeline through Syria, was not enough to convince the American people to allow our president to invade another sovereign country. Putin and Russia won this battle. America’s stature in the eyes of the world was reduced further. America continues to support Al Qaeda rebels in Syria, while fighting them in Afghanistan. The hypocrisy is palpable. Another miss.

  • Egypt and Libya will increasingly become Islamic states and will further descend into civil war.

The first democratically elected president of Egypt, Mohammed Morsi, was overthrown in a military coup as the country has descended into a civil war between the military forces and Islamic forces. It should be noted that the U.S. supported the overthrow of a democratically elected leader. Libya is a failed state with Islamic factions vying for power and on the verge of a 2nd civil war. Oil production has collapsed. I’ll take credit for an accurate prediction on this one.   

  • The further depletion of the Cantarell oil field will destroy the Mexican economy as it becomes a net energy importer. The drug violence will increase and more illegal immigrants will pour into the U.S. The U.S. will station military troops along the border.

Mexican oil production fell for the ninth consecutive year in 2013. It has fallen 25% since 2004 to the lowest level since 1995. Energy exports still slightly outweigh imports, but the trend is irreversible. Mexico is under siege by the drug cartels. The violence increases by the day. After declining from 2007 through 2009, illegal immigration from Mexico has been on the rise. Troops have not been stationed on the border as Obama and his liberal army encourages illegal immigration in their desire for an increase in Democratic voters. This prediction was mostly correct.

  • Cyber-attacks by China and Iran on government and corporate computer networks will grow increasingly frequent. One or more of these attacks will threaten nuclear power plants, our electrical grid, or the Pentagon.

China and Iran have been utilizing cyber-attacks on the U.S. military and government agencies as a response to NSA spying and U.S. sabotaging of Iranian nuclear facilities. Experts are issuing warnings regarding the susceptibility of U.S. nuclear facilities to cyber-attack. If a serious breach has occurred, the U.S. government wouldn’t be publicizing it. Again, this prediction was accurate.

I achieved about a 50% accuracy rate on my 2013 predictions. These minor distractions are meaningless in the broad spectrum of history and the inevitability of the current Fourth Turning sweeping away the existing social order in a whirlwind of chaos, violence, financial collapse and ultimately a decisive war. The exact timing and exact events which will precipitate the demise of the establishment are unknowable with any precision, but there is no escape from the inexorable march of history. While most people get lost in the minutia of day to day existence and supposed Ivy League thought leaders are consumed with their own reputations and wealth, apparent stability will morph into terrifying volatility in an instant. The normalcy bias being practiced by an entire country will be shattered in a reality storm of consequences. The Crisis will continue to be driven by the ever growing debt levels, civic decay caused by government overreach, and global disorder driven by resource shortages and religious zealotry. The ultimate outcome is unpredictable, but the choices we make will matter. History is about to fling us towards a vast chaos.

“The seasons of time offer no guarantees. For modern societies, no less than for all forms of life, transformative change is discontinuous. For what seems an eternity, history goes nowhere – and then it suddenly flings us forward across some vast chaos that defies any mortal effort to plan our way there. The Fourth Turning will try our souls – and the saecular rhythm tells us that much will depend on how we face up to that trial. The saeculum does not reveal whether the story will have a happy ending, but it does tell us how and when our choices will make a difference.”  – Strauss & Howe - The Fourth Turning

 

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Tue, 12/31/2013 - 21:51 | 4290096 MisterMousePotato
MisterMousePotato's picture

And a very Happy New Year to you, too!

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 22:08 | 4290116 DavidPierre
DavidPierre's picture

More Strauss and Howe mumblings Quinn!

Since you are so stupid about just one day in September, 2001 why should anybody care what you think about an entire year?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=21pPpYw_axQ

Wed, 01/01/2014 - 08:32 | 4290585 22winmag
22winmag's picture

Thanks for the link.

 

My thoughts on 9-11 exactly.

Wed, 01/01/2014 - 12:29 | 4290840 CH1
CH1's picture

Thanks for the predictions AND reviews, Jim.

It's very nice to track success, failure, and, hopefully, to figure out the why of both.

Wed, 01/01/2014 - 10:23 | 4290639 Laughing Stock
Laughing Stock's picture

Yup!

"And now we get to the prediction that makes me happy I don’t charge people for investment advice"

...and, now queue the excuses for sucking monkey balls

Quinn is just another Mr. Hair On Fire blovating ZH douche...I guess it takes all types

 

But in the end....ZH is still one of the best...at least it makes ya think...sorta, kinda


Wed, 01/01/2014 - 13:01 | 4290899 indygo55
indygo55's picture

Anyone who parrots the goverment position on 911 is captured one way or the other by the state. 

Wed, 01/01/2014 - 15:18 | 4291188 Rafferty
Rafferty's picture

My view as well.  Anyone who fails this litmus test is not to be trusted.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 21:55 | 4290097 666
666's picture

I'm optimistic, too!

Wed, 01/01/2014 - 11:09 | 4290679 old naughty
old naughty's picture

I thought not dealing with the cause of dense fog only happens somewhere in Asia, no?

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 21:56 | 4290104 Luckhasit
Luckhasit's picture

Don't worry buddy.  Everyone on ZH is hated and scorned because we like to face reality and not watch reality shows.  The only TV i watch is sports and I keep my ass at home, even when I was working.  I've no interest in joining the masses as the Gov preaches sunshines and rainbows.  

There is a shitstorm comin. 

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 22:15 | 4290132 zer0concerns
zer0concerns's picture

My fellow ZH'ers, learn to stop worrying and love the financial bomb.

I AM SATOSHI BITCHES!!!

Wed, 01/01/2014 - 02:33 | 4290437 Never One Roach
Never One Roach's picture

Speak for urself Luckhasit. I never miss an episode of Duck Dynasty or a Kim Kardashian special on TV.

Wed, 01/01/2014 - 18:08 | 4291547 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

it's the Winds of Shit! The Shit Barometer's about to burst

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 22:01 | 4290107 loveyajimbo
loveyajimbo's picture

Well...  shit.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 22:04 | 4290114 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

Meh. Happy New Year too. Save the Champagne for when Wall Street and Washington finally blow up the bubble they claim to want to blow up...."the one in treasury bonds."

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 22:04 | 4290118 Gmpx
Gmpx's picture

Optimist or pessimist, please stop using financial graphs and numbers. Do not you people know that finance is not a science? Why all the graphs and numbers then?

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 22:27 | 4290127 DavidPierre
DavidPierre's picture

Quinn enjoys deep-throating all the bullshit and numbers put out by the United States of Assassination.

He still hasn't rapped his pea-brain around one single day in 2001.

http://www.corbettreport.com/911-a-conspiracy-theory/

Quinn does not believe in SCIENCE!

http://www.ae911truth.org/en/home.html

 

Wed, 01/01/2014 - 08:37 | 4290589 22winmag
22winmag's picture

I must say... someone can be dead right on a multitude of issues, but if they deny the truth about 9-11, they are useless.

Wed, 01/01/2014 - 10:14 | 4290635 Obese-Redneck
Obese-Redneck's picture

This clown is half wrong admittedly, then when he's really wrong he bends it so that some halfwit says ,ok I'll give it to him. For example on Egypt. Morsi was an Islamist from the beginning,he gets overthrown by Mubarak supporters, who were secular, and he says he nailed it , pfffft. Maybe this flies down at the corn hole coffee shop. Also, why don't the red stater salt of the earth types stand up? Are they all bought by Wall Street? I don't think so.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 22:59 | 4290203 Emergency Ward
Emergency Ward's picture

Hockey-stick graphs are crowd-pleasers.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 23:20 | 4290240 Gmpx
Gmpx's picture

Some prefer middle finger bar graphs. Weekly bar graphs if 2 weekend days are not counted often look like that.

Thu, 01/02/2014 - 04:12 | 4292671 satoshi101
satoshi101's picture

That's an excellent point.

They used to say "When in doubt mumble", ... Now you can just say "When in doubt, post graphs, and better yet post an algebraic expression and you will go over the mind's of 99% here.

***

reality is always simple, but con-artists always profit by obfuscating the most simple truths

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 22:29 | 4290146 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

   That's an "Refreshing" comment?  ummm < no ~~~  " Dark Day in Little China" ?

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 22:27 | 4290148 Peter Pan
Peter Pan's picture

Will there be a collapse or will "they" manage to deftly turn the USA into a North Korea where humans will be successfully stunted both physically and mentally and where the all seeing, all powerful machinery of evil parading as "government" sits atop the rotting pile of civilization.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 22:28 | 4290151 dick cheneys ghost
dick cheneys ghost's picture

Banks are borrowers not lenders..............the fuckin debt does not even exist, its just an accounting trick dreamed up by the rothschilds to collect the 'interest' or to steal the labor of a country..........

The debt clock is a hollywood prop to get the sheeple to pay the income tax.....

''The problem is not Government debt per se. The real problem is that the $70 trillion in G10 debt is the collateral for $700 trillion in derivatives…''

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 23:12 | 4290172 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 Go home Ghost.

  Dick, seriously? I'm not being rude. What exactly do you bring to the party?

 I won't be presumptious. What Dick? Do you bring to the party?

  Start a fire Dick! Draw me a chart Dick?  Do anything Dick?

 Over my last 3 years on Zero Hedge I've contributed Dick! Drawn charts, educated myself Dick. Shared my learnings and wealth Dick! Where have you been in 2 years and 33 weeks Dick?

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 23:42 | 4290288 NIHILIST CIPHER
NIHILIST CIPHER's picture

yen        Show Dick some respect.

Wed, 01/01/2014 - 01:25 | 4290388 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 NIHILIST CIPHER    > Guruda shitism  23 weeks 6 days of blobism chinism .  Ass wiping roadside chinism, blobbing ZH.

Wed, 01/01/2014 - 02:03 | 4290423 NIHILIST CIPHER
NIHILIST CIPHER's picture

Geruda is a asswipe troll, but you are just being an asswipe tonight. Why the attacks on Dick? And on me for that matter?  FUCK YOU AND HAPPY NEW YEAR YEN !!!!!!!

Wed, 01/01/2014 - 02:20 | 4290428 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

  You're a little ass wipe troll! You know nothing of the coversation and have no business discussing it. Get back on your big wheel and peddle home basement baby!

   It's unfortunate that you're brain still hasn't fully  developed {flight vs fight} skills.

Wed, 01/01/2014 - 10:51 | 4290663 GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

Time to switch brands, Yen.

Wed, 01/01/2014 - 12:37 | 4290855 CH1
CH1's picture

Look at the time stamp. I think Yen was a little bit lubricated. :)

Wed, 01/01/2014 - 18:03 | 4291541 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

I know who got tungsten for Christmas...

Wed, 01/01/2014 - 06:31 | 4290534 dreadnaught
dreadnaught's picture

DIck Cheney!?!?-nope he's still a Dick

Wed, 01/01/2014 - 07:29 | 4290543 Setarcos
Setarcos's picture

You do get your panties in such a twist and obsess about how long others have been registered to comment on ZH.

Very childish, like a four year-old's false pride in being older than a three-year-old ... especially if the three-year-old just happens to be more advanced and the four-year-old has an inferiority complex ... which you seem to have in spades and compensate for by both bragging about your own achievements and belittling others, to boost your fragile ego.

You have many of the traits of a sociopath.

BTW I have been registered with ZH for 2 yrs &  25 weeks.

You? 3 yrs & 3 weeks.  So you are  30 weeks 'older' than I am in ZH, though unless you too are 70 years of age and have travelled and read widely, it's possible that I know a lot more than you do in general.

Thu, 01/02/2014 - 04:09 | 4292669 satoshi101
satoshi101's picture

Why Can't We all just get along and love each other?

Isn't that what 'Fight Club' was all about guy-guy love?

Anybody that last's more than 2+ weeks here is an insider, and anybody with less than 2 weeks has no shit on his nose.

Me thinks when you see people with more than a month here bitching about who has been here longer, your really seeing bot's talking to themselves.

The majority of daily commenter's with zero to say is 100% ZH-BOT.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 23:42 | 4290289 therevolutionwas
therevolutionwas's picture

A gun to the head is the "prop to get the sheeple to pay income tax..."

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 22:53 | 4290187 Professorlocknload
Professorlocknload's picture

Are we going to die?

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 23:03 | 4290213 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 I would use the term " Inflection", to define 2014.

Wed, 01/01/2014 - 00:04 | 4290317 Professorlocknload
Professorlocknload's picture

+ Like!

Wed, 01/01/2014 - 01:27 | 4290392 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 Even better NIHILIST CIPHER  23 weeks 6 days of Chinese PBoC shitism disinformationism! Blobbingisms.

Wed, 01/01/2014 - 10:24 | 4290643 astroloungers
astroloungers's picture

in the long run

Wed, 01/01/2014 - 13:53 | 4291001 logicalman
logicalman's picture

Yes, just most of us don't know when.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 23:30 | 4290268 Big Johnson
Big Johnson's picture

Guess I picked the wrong day to quit sniffing glue.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 23:33 | 4290273 Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

I was hoping for some celebrity predictions ... Miley Cyrus runs for the Senate, Justin Beiber shaves his head and goes native, etc.

 

Wed, 01/01/2014 - 13:43 | 4290986 el Gallinazo
el Gallinazo's picture

Miley Cyrus and Anthony Weiner do a hit video together?  The new duo is stage named The Mile Long Weiner.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 23:48 | 4290291 NIHILIST CIPHER
NIHILIST CIPHER's picture

With Zero and the Wookie still in the house, Jamie and Lloyd still on the street, and Nancy and Harry still on the hill, I'd say it's a sure bet 2014 WILL SUCK ASS.

Wed, 01/01/2014 - 02:21 | 4290393 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 Keep blobbing You Nork ass wiping blobism plant!

  NIHILIST CIPHER     23 weeks 6 days. Blobism basement riding girlie boy.

 Oh wait your "Dick Asswipes" new condom buddy reincarnate.  Welcome back Francis~~~ Let the Cheese Pope'ry begin.

Wed, 01/01/2014 - 06:50 | 4290510 Setarcos
Setarcos's picture

What a wonderful way you have with words and ad hominen attacks.

Of course it would not occur to you that NIHILIST CIPHER could have been reading ZH for years, before actually registering to post ... oh no, just dash off a string of insults generated by your own prejudices and blinkered perceptions about other people.

I recommend that you get a mirror.

Wed, 01/01/2014 - 11:33 | 4290710 i-dog
i-dog's picture

@ NC & Setarcos: Do not feed the troll. YC is an 'agent' and is only going after NC because he speaks too much truth here. YC, on the other hand, is full of shit.

Wed, 01/01/2014 - 12:34 | 4290853 headhunt
headhunt's picture

Amen brother (or sister)

2014 will be kick ass - let's hope its not ours

Thu, 01/02/2014 - 00:43 | 4292521 zebrasquid
zebrasquid's picture

I hope that the mid term elections give us some chance to turn the country around.
Hopefully those of you who think the elections don't matter, because both parties are equally bad, will go vote against incumbents, if nothing else.

We need to clean house and bring new people in..the Incumbent Party is the real enemy.

Wed, 01/01/2014 - 02:22 | 4290430 q99x2
q99x2's picture

Oh man I'm so happy. I thought we'd all be dead by 2014.

The bankers are putting up the drones in anticipation of bombing US citizens now. It won't be long.

Wed, 01/01/2014 - 13:55 | 4290628 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

Every cloud has a silver lining.

Oh wait, thats a reflection off a Hellfire.

Wed, 01/01/2014 - 13:42 | 4290976 el Gallinazo
el Gallinazo's picture

Drones are a distraction.  Most of the deadly shit they are fucking us with kills us a lot more slowly than a Hellfire missile.  Like the huge Fuckyoushima radiation set to hit the West Coast full blast in the first quarter, the toxic metal oxide nanoparticles in the chemtrails (which they are now starting to admit under the nom de plume of geoengineering), and GMO's.  Anyone who eats anything, plant or animal, out of the Pacific is either suicidal or a moron.  Back to drones.  One must wonder who gets the naming credit for Hellfire missiles and what it really signifies. Probably a group think at a Bohemian Grove human sacrifice ritual.

Wed, 01/01/2014 - 13:55 | 4291004 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

Look up the Hellfire Caves in the UK, meeting place of the Hellfire club.

I guarantee that was the inspiration for the name came from.

Sends a chill down your spine just driving by it.

Bohemian Grove is just the latest name in a long 'tradition' of sacrifices.

 

Wed, 01/01/2014 - 08:36 | 4290582 22winmag
22winmag's picture

Let's keep it real. Newtown and Boston were staged, made-for-tv events.

 

Nobody died, fake perps, fake victims, fake blood... and utterly exposed in a matter of hours and days on the internet by amateur investigators.

 

 

Wed, 01/01/2014 - 12:09 | 4290783 Clowns on Acid
Clowns on Acid's picture

22 - you are wrong. There were real victims.

Wed, 01/01/2014 - 13:20 | 4290934 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

Really, its not like TPTB would give a rats arse over spilling blood.

As long as its not their own.

There were actors playing relatives, and onlookers though.

Wed, 01/01/2014 - 08:56 | 4290600 eddiebe
eddiebe's picture

Way to start the new year. Let's all fight amongst each other and make the .001% really happy.

Wed, 01/01/2014 - 10:19 | 4290640 shovelhead
shovelhead's picture

Fuck the .001% . A good fight will make me happy.

I got brass knucks...

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL.

May your perpetual cloud of doom be vigorously penetrated by sunshine like a 15 year old nubile's first boyfriend.

Wed, 01/01/2014 - 13:29 | 4290946 el Gallinazo
el Gallinazo's picture

Who is the real Free Shit Army?  Inner city welfare recipients or Demon, Bankfiend, & Co.?

Wed, 01/01/2014 - 16:05 | 4291278 One of We
One of We's picture

Yes.

Wed, 01/01/2014 - 16:49 | 4291390 smokintoad
smokintoad's picture

$76 billion to feed 48 million hungry Americans and $91 billion to feed however many hungry Wall St. egos.  It doesn't matter which flag they march under, they're after our middle-class asses  and they have us surrounded.

Wed, 01/01/2014 - 10:19 | 4290637 Obese-Redneck
Obese-Redneck's picture

I love this Yen guy!

Wed, 01/01/2014 - 10:41 | 4290655 d edwards
d edwards's picture

Geez, what an essay! Happy f-ing New Year.

Wed, 01/01/2014 - 10:32 | 4290647 PTR
PTR's picture

It happens slowly, then all of a sudden.

Wed, 01/01/2014 - 10:50 | 4290666 GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

Like diarrhea.

Wed, 01/01/2014 - 13:02 | 4290900 TuPhat
TuPhat's picture

Quinn says there will be chaos.  He says he was 50% right.  DUH!  I make a resolution not to waste my time reading anything from the burning Quinn.

Wed, 01/01/2014 - 16:41 | 4291362 MilwaukeeMark
MilwaukeeMark's picture

They say that even a broken clock is right twice a day . Well. that's factually inaccurate. You see there are 86,400 seconds in a day and a clock is right only 2 seconds in that day . So to put it more precisely, a broken clock is right only 1/43,200ths of the time. So much for axioms. I think Quinn is a lot better than a broken clock but not as great as hindight will someday be.
Pick a spot in between and prepare accordingly, as none if it really matters, for in the long run we are all dead anyway.

Wed, 01/01/2014 - 21:18 | 4292070 Bobportlandor
Bobportlandor's picture

Some articles are approaching the length of War and Peace book one

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