And On With The Great Game

Tyler Durden's picture

From Mark Grant, author of Out of the Box

The Great Game

It is the Great Game. They try to lure you into their various traps; I try to keep you out. They offer headlines from countless sources and I try to tell you what things really mean. They make use of a giant propaganda machine and I chant alone in the wilderness. They make up stories and present them as accurate data and I try to give you the facts. They want your money and I want you to “Preserve your Capital.” They are as diabolical in their pursuits as Professor Moriarty was in his. They are the political masterminds and I am a sort of Sherlock Holmes trying to analyze and conclude one case after the other. You may listen or you may not but I pay for my own supper while others ask for their compensation first. It is their Game, my Game; it is the Great Game.

“Has all my instruction been for naught? You still read the official statement and believe it. It's a game, dear man, a shadowy game. We're playing cat and mouse; cloak and dagger.”


                                           -Sherlock Holmes, A Game of Shadows


The Great Game is not played by just being right; that is only the first part of the equation. Being right is fine for academicians and the like but not for our participants. The second part of the equation is to win. We play to win. I never play to come in second best or just to play for the sake of the sport. That is not what I do; not what we do. Some of you have time horizons that are the length of the day; that is not mine however. I look out, past the shadows, past the trees and out into the mist. I define the future by where I have been and almost four decades has given me plenty of time to have seen the twists of fate; much less the road. An astonishing amount of the win is the observation and the learning from the losses that have taken place.


Greece is buried and cannot survive in the chains that bind it. To be fair it is only partially the fault of Greece that the situation has gotten to this point. Greece took advantage of the European Union no doubt but the rest of the countries in Europe allowed Greece to keep borrowing and both sides are responsible for the fact that Greece is now behind the eight ball. Both sides should be ashamed. The chains can be removed but if not; one political party, another political party and she will sink into the Hellenic Hades of old. Anything short of this including the lengthening of terms will result in failure. Too many stones hold her down and she is sinking under the weight of what has been demanded either in terms of retribution or a well-intentioned blade meant to help that has severed her major artery. It is to be debt forgiveness or default and the resulting chaos I fear as there is no other prescription left for this patient. The ball is in Germany’s court now; relinquish or face defeat in Greece. Relinquish and face defeat at home. This is the eye of the hurricane. This is the Catch-22.

When it comes to Greece there is one word and only one word that makes any difference and that word is “Default.” Europe cannot afford it. The country has $1.3 trillion in total debt and a vast amount of it now resides at the ECB either in direct sovereign obligations or in securitizations where loans, asset-backeds, mortgages et al have been guaranteed by the banks, all of which are bankrupt and being supported by the EU or by the sovereign which has the same credit quality as a beggar on the streets in Calcutta. All that the Greek elections did really was to provide a slightly more friendly negotiator than the opposition but the numbers speak for themselves and they are unsustainable. The EU made the private bond holders pick-up part of the tab while lending Greece $35 billion more than was written off. Debt paid off with new debt; an old story and almost always the same conclusion. So, Berlin, fourth down and punt.

“You are familiar with Schubert's work? The Trout is my favorite piece. A fisherman grows weary of trying to catch an elusive fish. So he muddies the water, confuses the fish. It does not realize until too late that it has swum into a trap.”


                                          -Professor Moriarty


Bad loans at the Spanish banks are now 8.72% which is the worst number since 1994 and probably vastly understated as many loans are carried at face value as they are securitized and dumped into the ECB. Just the revealed amount equates to $6.1 billion which is -$73.2 billion on an annualized basis and will probably be worse than that as the Spanish economy deteriorates. The Spanish ten year exceeded and has held a yield of more than 7.00% this morning. The country cannot afford to pay off their Regional debt, their bank debt and various schemes to avoid the Men in Black from taking over will not work nor will the pleas for “more Europe” as the words mouthed by Germany are meant for placation only and will not find implementation in any kind of timeline that will make any difference. You can bank on one thing if nothing else; the Germans will not allow their cost of funding to rise or their standard of living to decline to help the nations that have gotten themselves in trouble. You can count on this!

Fire Walls

This whole subject is a ruse in my opinion. Think of horses in a coral. The rancher keeps trying to build a higher and higher fence around his horses but for what purpose? For the rancher it is to keep the wolves out. In our particular case Europe claims it is the speculators, the bond vigilantes and so forth that are trying to raid their nations but this is obviously not what is going on at this point; we are far beyond that now. What the real problem is that the horses are sick, infected and that the disease of fiscal mismanagement has spread to virtually every horse in the coral except one and do not expect that one, Germany, to remain disease free much longer. Europe is seeking a solution to a misdiagnosed problem and their powers of observation are more than dismal so that the proposed solution will have all of the effectiveness of using a band aid to stop a heart attack. You can call cancer a cold if you like but it changes nothing; not one thing.


Dr. John Watson: You're drinking embalming fluid.

Sherlock Holmes: Yes. Care for a drop?

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mrktwtch2's picture

i see a bad moon a rising..i see trouble on the way..

battle axe's picture

I have said it 15 times on here, Greece Default!!!!

CPL's picture

Unless you want the entire pension scheme to collapse.  By the entire pension scheme, I mean all of them.  This is a winner takes it all situation as the author states.  Take the opportunity to get better prepared for the eventual tits up.  Meanwhile all of our governments will attempt to nail down any citizens rights and roll them back to slavery...that is if you owe money.


If you are above water, out of the debt hole and have something of value in terms of trade and skills., believe me people will be beating a path to your door.

BigJim's picture

 If you are above water, out of the debt hole and have something of value in terms of trade and skills...

... then the people beating a path to your door will be tax collectors.

Debt is the place to be; for you will be in the majority, and our banksters need the pretense of 'democracy' to be able to continue to skin the populace behind the facade of 'our' governments.

They won't give us a jubilee. That would erode their power. They will inflate and tax the middle to preserve as much of the current wealth differential as possible.

CPL's picture

Depends if you want to be under the thumb or not.  Tax collectors will have the same problems as the population at large.  Think they aren't up to their eyeballs in debt?  Of course they are.  They ALL are.  Why do you think they stay in jobs they detest?  It isn't for the fun of it.


Makes them easily manipulated and used like chess pieces.  Debt is slavery.  If the man coming to collect the taxes is beholded to someone, it's only a matter of time to discover who his soul belongs to and buy their debt.  Everyone that has debt has their ass hanging out and a price.


If you don't owe anything, what can you be pushed around by?  Take your home?  No you own it. 

Money?  If you have silver or gold, you don't have to care.  There always has been a market for it, it's not going away anytime soon. 

Health?  If you take care of yourself, you can prolong the inevidible. 

Future?  You've got a cock, learn how to use it and manage it or too mouths for too little resources happens.

Community?  Leave your house and get involved in society that needs a hand.

Food?  See above...or get planting yourself.


This method seems to have worked for humanity for the last 8000 years.  Don't see how it fails now.  Our ancestors have been through countless numbers of currency, fiat or otherwise, governments by the thousands.  Yet here we all are because of the above prescription for human survival.

If I missed something let me know.  Otherwise, while governments are acting like loons, head down, shut up and stay out of the way.


mickeyman's picture

Sadly, you won't own your home. The land taxes will be jacked up on it until you are enslaved as well. Plus, it isn't very portable.

Health, PMs, food, community are better.

CPL's picture

Historically it's the guy with the gold that becomes the landlord after the "switch" overs in the past. 

How do you keep it?  You act like an asshole.  You act like the landlord.

FeralSerf's picture

Confiscatory taxes took away many farms in the last great depression as well as the owners' savings including their PMs.  The same thing happened in the South after the War Between the States.  They also destroyed communities as well.  It's not easy to maintain a food supply when your means of growing it and/or storing it are taken away from you in the sheriff's sale.  The bank gets it all.

Western's picture

What a cunt, I can't believe you got upvoted.


If the king came to take your land 400 years ago, the entire county would be in an uproar because nobody has the right to remove you from your dwelling. It seems you and the rest of the American nation has been brainwashed into believing it's completely legit that the state is the landlord of all landlords. This isn't the case, go educate yourself and avoid getting educated by lawyers.


"boo hoo the military will come and remove me", yeah maybe...

Hugh_Jorgan's picture

This story always ends the same way, only this time it's global in scale.

The Big Ching-aso's picture



We're on the global verge of implementing Krugman's Grand Unified Theory of Economic Bullshit. 

dbomb12's picture

The problem today is instant gratification. the underlying problems still exist and will continue to get worse

great article from THE ECONOMIC COLLAPSE

ITrustMyGut's picture

selfishness.. self centered-ness...  instant gratification..

those are a agenda created condition. search for and watch "Centry of Self" pt1 "happiness Machines"  BBC documentarty from 90's about Bernays...

the populace is just as much victimized as it is at fault... this condition.. is not accidental...

AGuy's picture

"The first one is free, said the drug pusher", Although in the world of credit and finance is the banker and the salesman that does the pushing. 40 to 50 years ago, most purchases were done with cash. That changed over time, when businesses realized that credit make the unaffordable into instant affordablity. Salemen push consumers to buy stuff on credit instead of saving for purchases. After 40 years of refinement, and re-education the public has been brainwashed into the current system

jumbo maverick's picture

Diner's Club hey just charge it. What could go wrong it's only two dinners.

idea_hamster's picture

[^Comment edit fail.]

"You can call cancer a cold if you like but it changes nothing; not one thing."

Well, it certainly changes the behavior of the patient over the last period toward death.  If you think he will panic and pull you under as well, telling his all is well (or nothing at all) may make things better for the doctor.

mess nonster's picture

This is a game. I play to win. Despite my fifth-grade vocabulary; my instinctive command of hackneyed phrases and my dog-eared copy of Doyle will carry the day. Do you not believe i am a force to be reckoned with? Well then. YOU try to get a posting on ZH! Ha-ha- Ha HA HA HAAAA!!!

El Oregonian's picture

Well, don't go out today... Don't go out and play... 'cause there's a bad moon on the rise...

azzhatter's picture

and from the great Joe Walsh in "Lifes been good"

How can you leave when you can't find the door

LoneStarHog's picture

Tell Senator Jim DeMint to get off his knees and pull his pants up and the moon will go away.

Henry Hub's picture

It didn't take long for the Tea Party darlings to turn whores and sell out. Pathetic!

Hugh_Jorgan's picture

People who venture to play politics these days are those with certain moral indifferences. They call themselves by lots of different names but the human condition that they are manifesting is always the same, especially in an empire society that at it's peak and ready for the big decline.

Looking to the law of the creator is the only solution but that takes time. Time we don't have...

Ar-Pharazôn's picture

you must be really new of ZH from what you say :P

falak pema's picture

is this your best effort at defining the great game?

The hounds of the Baskervilles would laugh out loud before eating your heart out. 

You never look beyond the tip of your nose of surrogate sleuth for the... banksta cabalists? Lonely hearts choir band? Yellow submarine club? Sally met Fred club? Looking desperately for Susan league? Pandora's sweetheart club?

DaddyO's picture


Agreed, opinion piece yes, short on facts, players and solutions. Any reader of ZH can identify the players, post countless graphs and offer myriad solutions, hell Tyler has been posting all the above for quite a while now heh...


macholatte's picture


Mr. Grant:

Maybe this time you have fallen into your own trap.


Can you say this:

They make use of a giant propaganda machine and I chant alone in the wilderness.


And then give them an excuse weasel out of their lies by saying this:


Europe is seeking a solution to a misdiagnosed problem and their powers of observation are more than dismal….


If one buys your original premise then the conclusion can only be that nothing has been misdiagnosed and that the propaganda machine is alive and well. Perhaps the underlying truth is that the politicians are just a bunch of self serving fuck-ups who seek to remain in power and remain personally liable for nothing. Start there and watch the mosaic come into focus. It could be that simple.


The can shall be kicked!

"So let it be written. So let it be done."

fonzannoon's picture

I see this going on forever

q99x2's picture

Markets down on Greece bailout.

Ivanovich's picture

Markets are down because pro-bailout party winning means no Benny Bux.

Obadiah's picture

Still think these clowns   satanists can and will extend, pretend and print to infinity, which my best guess means fiat as we know ends in 7-10yrs?

Impotent_Smurf's picture

They'll be lucky to get through 2013 I think.

Cruel Aid's picture

Over somebodys dead body.

It is a cycle and we are in the reset phase.

Maybe they ban paper in 10 years. That would solve a lot of tax revenue problems.

hidingfromhelis's picture

Over a lot of dead bodies.  When economic conditions deteriorate, a suitable scapegoat will have to be identified and war declared.

Alejandrito's picture

The integration of the european union does not seem likely to do well.

Or the Germans know something the rest do not know, or have overestimated the capacity for sacrifice and transfers the southern countries.

It is clear that Germany will not give its AAA for the rest of PIGS if getting your tax sovereignty, but at a pace that is producing this, the road will be increasingly harder.

Silversem's picture

There certainly is more trouble on the way. But trouble can also be very profitable! I use CFD trading to make money of it.

Mike in Tokyo Rogers's picture

I'm happy to see that gold isn't skyrocketing. Losers like me need all the extra time they can get.... I buy when I can... Which is not often. I hope the prices stay down for at least a year but suspect that time is running out faster that anyone imagines.

Wakanda's picture

Mike FWIW, I never consider you a loser.

Rock on MiTR!

RoadKill's picture

You could buy call options on gold to allowyou to buy at today's prices in the future.  I guess the problem with that is the only reason you are buying gold is because you don't believe in options....

Alpha Monkey's picture

Tell that to all the people that had MF global gold futures waiting for delivery... just before it crashed.  I believe in the corruption of the system, and I believe that when I hold gold in my possession, that i have my wealth in my hands.  Let any exchange fail, my gold is right here, not being rehypothecated or lost in bankruptcy court.  Some day, when the markets become cleaner, I will return more of my capital to the paper markets.  Thankfully, my gold will outlast any paper turmoil.

LeBalance's picture

"the only way to win is not to play." - War Games

daily bread's picture

Or the James T. Kirk way:  change the rules of the game.

FeralSerf's picture

In the current Grand Chessboard game, one of the rules is: the rules can change at any time.  The livestock mostly don't have the resources, like the herds' owners do, to change the rules, though.  They can only chase them.

ptoemmes's picture

I'll bet Tyler Durden could kick Sherlock Holmes' ass.  

No shit Sherlock.

DaddyO's picture

Where financial sleuthing is concerned, yes!!