Warnings From The Market's Mount Vesuvius

Tyler Durden's picture

Authored by MN Gordon via EconomicPrism.com,

“Injustice, swift, erect, and unconfin’d,
Sweeps the wide earth, and tramples o’er mankind”


– Homer, The Iliad

When Mount Vesuvius Blew

Everything was just the way it was supposed to be in Pompeii on August 24, 79 A.D.  The gods had bestowed wealth and abundance upon the inhabitants of this Roman trading town.  Things were near perfect.

The lucky residents of Pompeii lived in large homes with elegant courtyard gardens and all the modern conveniences.  Rooms were heated by hot air flowing through cavity walls and spaces under the floors.  Running water was provided to the city from a great reservoir and conveyed through underground pipelines to houses and public buildings.

Fresh fish from the Bay of Naples were readily available in the Macellum (great food market) and countless cauponae (small restaurants).  Entertainment was on hand at the large amphitheatre.  Life was agreeable, affable, and idyllic for all – and it was only getting better.  Everyone just knew it.  They could feel it.  They believed it. 

By 79 A.D. Pompeii had experienced nearly uninterrupted advancement from its founding almost 700 years earlier.  That this would ever change was unthinkable.  On the morning of August 24th, who but a doomsayer would suggest there wouldn’t be another 700 years of progress?

Yet, just then, when things couldn’t have seemed more certain, Mount Vesuvius blew.  Nineteen hours later, where there had been life and a thriving civilization, there was silence for the next 1,669 years.

Praying for Death

Viewing events through the lens of history and hindsight is unfair to its participants.  Their missteps are too obvious, their vanities are too abundant, and their inferiorities too absurd.  They appear to be mere imbeciles on parade.

Was George Armstrong Custer really just an arrogant Lieutenant Colonel who led his men to massacre at Little Bighorn?  Maybe.  Especially when Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, and numbers over three times his cavalry appeared across the river.

Were George Donner and his brother Jacob naïve fools when they led their traveling party into the Sierra Nevada in late fall?  Perhaps.  Particularly when they resorted to munching on each other to survive the raging blizzard.

Still they were human just like we are human.  No smarter.  No dumber.  We’re not here to ridicule them; but rather, to learn from them.

In the case of Pompeii, the warning signs were evident to those who bothered to heed them.  Seventeen years before Mount Vesuvius erupted there was a massive earthquake that damaged many of the structures within the city.  Then, leading up to 79 A.D., frequent, but smaller quakes occurred.  Soon no one seemed to pay them any concern.

In the end, ignoring these warnings proved fatal.  Coincidentally, it was just one day after the Vulcanalia – the festival of the Roman god of fire – that Mount Vesuvius erupted.  A cloud of gas and ash spewed down on Pompeii, instantly killing its inhabitants and burying the city under 60 feet of ash and pumice.

“You could hear women lamenting, children crying, men shouting,” was the account by Pliny the Younger, 61 A.D – 112 A.D.  “There were some so afraid of death that they prayed for death.  Many raised their hands to the gods, and even more believed that there were no gods any longer and that this was one unending night for the world.”

Warnings from Mount Vesuvius

This week it was reported that supervolcano Campi Flegrei, located just west of Naples, Italy, and not far from Mount Vesuvius, has reached critical stage.  An imminent eruption threatens 360,000 lives. 

According to Dr. Christopher Kilburn of the University College London Hazard Centre:

“By studying how the ground is cracking and moving at Campi Flegrei, we think it may be approaching a critical stage where further unrest will increase the possibility of an eruption, and it’s imperative that the authorities are prepared for this.


“We don’t know when or if this long-term unrest will lead to an eruption, but Campi Flegrei is following a trend we’ve seen when testing our model on other volcanoes, including Rabaul in Papua New Guinea, El Hierro in the Canary Islands, and Soufriere Hills on Montserrat in the Caribbean.”

On Wednesday, another Mount Vesuvius of sorts released some warning ash into the atmosphere.  Specifically, U.S. stock markets let out an enormous belch.  At market close the DOW had dropped 1.78 percent, the S&P 500 1.82 percent, and the NASDAQ 2.57 percent.  What’s going on?

Did investors sell in May and go away?  Were they selling President Trump?  Should you buy the dip?  Should you sell the rip?

Quite frankly, no one knows.  Perhaps this is a small exhale before the next big inhale to DOW 30,000.  Or maybe it is danger rumblings of the next great big bear market purge.

Whatever you make of it, you’d be well advised to heed Wednesday’s warning.  In fact, if you bend your ear just right, you can hear the cries of the ancients from 79 A.D. Pompeii.  “Get out while you still can,” they shriek.  “This is your final chance!”

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Ghost of Porky's picture

Already rallying back.


The Trump Train doesn't stop for low-energy losers.



Raffie's picture

Said the mockets will be almost fixed starting Friday or Monday.

The Unkillable Magical DOW & Friends are making a speedy recovery to go even higher then before.

I'm about to start throwing money at my screen while yelling "TAKE MY MONEY!"  no one can fail today to make truck loads of free money in a rock solid mockets.

/EM Does the money dance while $100 dollar bills rain down from about with no end in sight.


The USD is getting pounded, which is good because its been to strong for to long.

knukles's picture

I fondly remember tickling the back of my throat with the feathers of extinct species in the vomitorium just as Vesuvius let loose with a roar.  Why, it almost scared the undernourished children to death who were tending to our needs.  Bad very very bad. 

The_Juggernaut's picture

Oh, ZH with the doomful predictions.  You're so cute.  Wake me up when a downtrend appears.

Consuelo's picture



It'll already be lights out when it is time to wake you up.


Sleep tight --

meta-trader's picture

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Dave's picture

Knukles, I spit good rye whiskey on my screen when I read that. I'm still laughing.

ImfallibleK's picture

I've had more specific prognostations by street hustling psychics. 

jm's picture

Meanwhile, the flat basis in CDX IG is now gone as fast as it popped up.  Play on, playahs.

didthatreallyhappen's picture

as long as we are all Erect, what is there to complain about?

Herdee's picture

That must mean that the S&P will be moving to new record highs. Look for an eventual parabolic move to provide the clue.

Vlad the Inhaler's picture

My shoeshine boy said long 3X semiconductors.

TheSkipper1967's picture

Its Friday 4:00pm and everything is up except VIX.  Have been amazed since S&P 666 in 2009 how this thing has "market" nothing but go up.  I was finishing my MBA in 2000 when AOL bought Time Warner which I thought at the time was utterly ridiculous since I was and AOL user and thought it was a bunch of hot air (like Snap).  

I am 50 but have a feeling I will be to old to fight the collapse battle when it all comes crashing down but at least I will be able to give my kids means to protect themselves (weapons & ammo), real money (Au & Ag) and long term food storage.  

All you ZH members have a good weekend with your family and stay safe.  


Uranium Mountain's picture

Warning signs of the Algos?  The lending is still cheap so what has happened will continue to happen, until it doesn't!

peopledontwanttruth's picture

Where do these people get their information

The only thing Custer ever gave us was Arrow shirts, it wasn't three times his calvery it was 6000 Indians. They cut the privates off his dead men and smashed their heads with rocks.

Pompei was filled with whore houses and only a few on top of the city enjoyed the good life. The rest had the open sewer that ran down hill.

Yes they died abruptly and swiftly but that won't be the case when the DOW blows its top.

wisehiney's picture

This makes me thirsty.

Consuelo's picture



There shall be no other Gods before Goldman...

HRH Feant2's picture

I had an impressive former USGS employee as a geology professor. One of his colleagues died when Mount St. Helens erupted. From the beginning he carefully taught us using the scientific method. Careful observation, repeatable events over time that are used as evidence when proposing any theory. I remember having to write a paper about what would happen if Mount Ranier became active again. If Seattle thinks the only problem they have is North Korea, they ought to think again! From tsunamis to mega earthquakes to nearby volcanoes, few in the libtard NW realize the danger that surrounds them. North Korea is a modern fluke.

The best part of this article was the video about the active volcanic system near Naples. I am guessing that the good citizens of Naples, much like the citizens of Seattle, are blissfully ignorant. Drink the wine, smoke good bud, eat and be merry much as the good citizens of Vesuvious behaved prior to their demise. 1669 years of darkeness for Pompeii. Stunning to go from the center of the world to darkness. Not for a year, or two for for millennia.

Zarbo's picture

I lived through St. Helens (Mt. Adams was the first predicted, but wrong) and the 4.3 earthquake from an unknown fault. If St. Helens had breached southward, Portland would have been in big trouble.  This entire area is volcanic, there are more volcanoes than can be named here.  Hood, Adams, Tabor, Washington, ...

I have a scram kit with everything we would need for about a year (excepting food, which is a separate kit).  That has solar lights, geiger counter, emergency radio (crank powered), thermal blankets, tent, high-grade water filter, contagion masks, rechargable batteries, solar charger, ...

It's easy to think about having a kit, even Costco carries them.  Knowing where the water and gas shutoffs are, thinking about escape routes, self-protection from the libtard surviving mauraders, and where to put the kits so a house collapse won't trap them -- all that is not so easy.  It can be done.

I'd really like to thank Hedgeless-Horseman for pushing me into acting on this.  Not all NW folks are libtards, 3/4 of Oregon is red and there are a few of us scattered around by accident.

HRH Feant2's picture

Smart! I specifically called out one city, Seattle, as full to the top with libtards. I fully understand the divide between urban and rural areas.

I always have a go bag in my car. After watching the Loma Prieta earthquake on a big screen TV. The Loma Prieta earthquake happend on 10.17.1989 during the World Series. Freeways pancaked. Homes caught on fire, gas lines exploded. Anyone that drives farther than they can walk home (in an hour, which is basically 4 miles for most people) should absolutely keep a go bag in their car. Throw in rotten infrastructure or terrorism, and if one bridge goes out, good luck getting back home from work without walking the whole way.

I absolutely know where my water and gas shut offs are and the tools to do the task. People need to ask themselves, can they do that task in the dark? Can they find those tools when it is pitch black? Do they have a camping headlamp they can throw on (that still has good battleries, going to check mine now) so they can see if the power is off?

The entire Cascade range is full of volcanoes that are all considered active by geologists. The good news is this is the most highly monitored mountain range in the world. The bad news is most people have cognitive dissonance and will react sluggishly as few have planned for a time frame that is longer than the weekend or end of the month.

shamus001's picture

Nice work! Now do you have all of those chargers, inverters, radios etc packed up inside an aluminum gargage can, lined with cardboard with the lid sealed with gorilla tape? :)

HRH Feant2's picture

Ya think? I like a galvanized garbage can for my precious electronics.

I do keep a number of non-electronic items on hand. Old fashioned oil lamps are my favorite. Yes, smokeless fuel is spendy. I also have extra wick. Nothing like light to keep the demons at bay.

Light and Mr. Mossberg.

Zarbo's picture

Ah, yes.  I think that Portland libtards might win the fight to the bottom over Seattle libtards.  Only time and the next disaster will tell.

HRH Feant2's picture

Yep. Tight race to see which city will fail / fall first.

Urban areas are no-go zones for me. I spend minimal time in them. I go in and get out and try to avoid them as much as possible. Death zones, traps, call them what you like.

PitBullsRule's picture

I would bet a dollar to a donut that that son of a bitch is shorting the market right before he admits the Russians helped him win, and then when it crashes he covers and buys a bunch of stocks to ride it back up as the market learns it was all bull shit.  Would you put it past a guy who opens casinos, beauty contests, phony universities, and reality TV shows?  He's just milking this market for all its worth, to cash in before someone plugs him or they impeach him.  He's no dummy, that Trump.

GestaltNine's picture

this and three dollars will get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks

mary mary's picture

Nine years now they've been screaming that the sky is falling....

Blankfuck's picture

Ok then...Buy the fucking dip-all is well!---------Trump is on your side, right? Market will explode higher higher higher, right? because of Trump?

esum's picture

Retail investors = institutional profits