Guest Post: Big Trouble Brewing

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Chris Martenson

Big Trouble Brewing

I do not toss around the idea of a market crash lightly.  If you've been following me long enough, you know that only in very rare instances do I issue a cautionary Alert (I've only issued four since my website launched in 2008), and I am generally not given to hyperbole.

Let's be clear: I'm not issuing an Alert at this time. But I am concerned that a materially adverse disruption to the financial markets is increasingly likely in the near future.

Perhaps a definition will be helpful as we begin. A 'market crash' is an event where there are no bids to meet a wall of selling. The actual amount of the percentage decline is less important to note than the amount of chaos, or loss of control, that a given market experiences. Some like to say that a market downdraft requires a decline of 10%, or maybe even 15% or 20% (or more), in order to qualify as a 'crash.' For me, the key factor is not so much the amount of the decline, but the pace of the decline.

With perhaps a quadrillion US dollars of hyper-interconnected derivatives outstanding -- that's the notional value, but who really knows what the real number is? -- an orderly market is essential for knowing whether or not the counterparty to one's trade is solvent. During periods of intense price swings in the market, such things are simply not knowable, and spawn the fear and paralysis that really define a market crash.

The Next Market Crash

Like everybody, I have no idea when the next market crash will occur, but I do happen to hold the view that a market crash is on the way. In fact, my view is that the entire future from here onward will be marked by sharp plunges (both crashes and regular market declines), followed by periods of stability, if not apparent recovery.

What I track instead are imbalances and risks. Sort of like being a fire marshal who takes note of an outlet with fifteen things plugged into it, some with frayed cords, located near a pile of old cleaning rags. I can't tell you for sure that a fire will result, only that the odds are elevated. A prudent person will take steps to remedy the situation or at least prepare for the possibility of a fire.

Here's one view of the possible trigger for the next meltdown from Dr. Robert Shapiro, advisor to Presidents Clinton and Obama, and now the IMF, as offered on BBC Newsnight on October 5, 2011:

"If they cannot address this [the sovereign debt crisis in Europe] in a credible way, I believe within perhaps two to three weeks, we will have a meltdown in sovereign debt which will produce a meltdown across the European banking system

We're not just talking about a relatively small Belgian bank, we're talking about the largest banks in the world. The largest banks in Germany, the largest banks in France that will spread to the UK in part through the sovereign debt problems in Ireland. 

It will spread everywhere because the global financial system is so interconnected, all those banks are counterparties to every significant bank in the US and in Britain, and in Japan and around the world. This would be a crisis, in my view, more serious than the crisis in 2008."

(Source

What he's warning about here are two main things. The first is the risk of contagion, where problems in one area spread to another because everything is so intertwine. The second is that you can count on the rot spreading from the weaker periphery to the stronger core. Crisis always progresses from the outside in.

That dynamic has been playing out for months, and it should be obvious to the most casual of observers that the Greece situation has not been improved one iota by any of the steps yet taken. 

The stakes could not be higher. Normally staid politicians are letting their guard down and saying previously unthinkable things. For example, this shocker recently came from the Polish finance minister:

Poland warns of war 'in 10 years' as EU leaders scramble to contain panic

Oct 14, 2011

Speaking to MEPs in Strasbourg on Wednesday morning (14 Sept) [the Polish finance minister] warned of the need to act rapidly to prevent grave danger for the EU. Making reference to a recent report entitled 'Euro Break Up - The Consequences' by Swiss financial giant UBS, he declared: "There is no doubt we are in danger. Europe is in danger".

The paper by UBS, normally known for its highly sober analysis, warned that historically, monetary unions do not break up without civil war or some other form of authoritarian reaction. "The risk of civil disorder questions the rule of law, and as such basic issues such as property rights. Even those countries that avoid internal strife and divisions will likely have to use administrative controls to avoid extreme positions in their markets", it said.

The Polish minister went on to warn of a doubling of unemployment within two years "even in the rich countries".

He concluded his comments by recollecting a recent conversation he had with an old friend who is now head of a major bank: "We were talking about the crisis in eurozone. He told me 'You know, after all these political shocks, economic shocks, it is very rare indeed that in the next 10 years we could avoid a war'. A war ladies and gentlemen. I am really thinking about obtaining a green card for my kids in the United States".

(Source)

I'm not sure whether the US will be a much better place to ride out the storm if the European banking system collapses, as it will be only a matter of time before the US is exposed as being just as financially and fiscally ruined as the EU. 

Supporting this view is a rather famous Harvard economist (and the probable successor for Bernanke's current position, according to some rumors):

Martin Feldstein says there's a "nontrivial" chance the U.S. economy will turn down again and calls the recovery "about as bad an expansion as I've ever seen."

Another downturn here will further expose the fact that there are still towers of tottering debt that can only be serviced by an expansion, and a robust one at that. With this next revelation of systemic weakness, expect more debt defaults, institutional failures, and the same sort of banking weakness seen in Europe to occur in the US.

In short, there's every chance here that an even worse repeat of 2008 could happen at any time. And in my estimation, the chance that this will come in the form of a market crash is too high to ignore.

Right now, with the rot creeping from the outside in, I see those chances as not only high, but rising.

From the Outside In

It can be very difficult to envision what an 'outside in' crisis looks and feels like. In order to get a better feel for the dynamic, we turn to Phoenix, Arizona for an excellent case study.

Once the darling of the housing boom, with endless desert building lots enabling the most egregious sort of bubble sprawl, Phoenix is now in the grips of a horrific housing crash. Like all big adjustments, it appears to those experiencing it to be in slow motion:

Phoenix-area real estate collapse echoed troubles

Oct 9, 2011

A look at metro Phoenix's foreclosure crisis over the past five years shows an economic crash moving through time and space.

The collapse started in new-housing areas on the fringes and then swept inward, hitting more established areas as the unemployment rate climbed. Now, as the stock market struggles and speculation swirls about another recession, foreclosures are flaring in the Valley's luxury-home neighborhoods.

(Source)

That's a perfect illustration of the 'outside in' dynamic. At the beginning of the bubble's burst, it was almost certainly unthinkable to the inhabitants of the wealthier neighborhoods that they would get swept up in the cataclysm. But they did -- first the weaker and more distant locales, then the middle-strength ones, and then the core.

The article continues:

A new Arizona Republic analysis, which maps out every home in default in the region over the past five years, is the first comprehensive look at the wave of foreclosures that has swept the Valley since the market began its steep decline in 2007.

The analysis, based on data from Phoenix foreclosure-information service AZ Bidder, plots individual foreclosures and overall trends by year.

It shows how the Valley's foreclosure crisis was more than one crisis. Foreclosures arose in waves, driven first by problematic mortgages, then by the job woes of the recession and now by lingering economic effects being felt in expensive neighborhoods.

(Source)

It wasn't just caused by housing weakness alone, but the way that housing weakness led to job weakness, and how they ended up preying together on confidence in the bubble and ultimately dragging down the local economy.

One more perfect passage from that article that illustrates our point:

As Phoenix's foreclosure crisis crept inward from the fringes during late 2008, it was being driven not just by subprime lending but also by the economy at large.

The state and the nation had fallen into a recession. Hundreds of thousands of jobs, many in the construction industry, were lost in Arizona.

As metro Phoenix's unemployment rate climbed, so did foreclosures. The number of borrowers losing Phoenix-area houses to lenders hit a record in 2009.

Foreclosures began to affect communities closer in, where less speculation and new building had taken place. Chandler, Gilbert and Glendale, as well as central and north Phoenix, began to see foreclosures climb and home values fall.

(Source)

Similarly, the European debt crisis began in the weakest locales first (Ireland and Greece), then infected the middle countries (Portugal, Italy, and Spain) and now threatens to overrun the core (Germany and France). A wave of sovereign defaults will sweep across the region, progressing from the outside in with a self-sustaining and self-reinforcing dynamic, unless somehow stopped.

That's the important risk to focus on. And whether the crisis is a little one or one that ends in everyone's worst fear -- another war on the Continent -- remains to be seen. But the probability of an approaching market calamity is non-trivial. So that brings us to the main insight we are trying to convey here: We need to be prepared for a major market clearing event that finally allows the rot to be cleared from the system. 

Progressive Failure

The problem in Europe is very far from resolved at this point, the recent happy noises about Belgium nationalizing part of Dexia bank notwithstanding. As an aside on that matter, I found this to be quite interesting:

Belgium nationalizes part of Dexia bank for $5.4B

Oct 10, 2011

The Belgian state will buy the national subsidiary of embattled bank Dexia for euro4 billion ($5.4 billion) and provide tens of billions of euros in new guarantees as part of a wider bailout of the lender, the first victim of a new squeeze in European credit markets.

On top of the nationalization, the governments of Belgium, France and Luxembourg together will provide an additional euro90 billion ($121 billion) in funding guarantees for the bank for up to 10 years.

Belgium will provide 60.5 percent of these guarantees, 36.5 percent will come from France and the remaining 3 percent from Luxembourg.

(Source)

This means Belgium is potentially on the hook for $78.6 billion in bailout funds for a single institution, which amounts to 17% of GDP (2010 figure). To put this into perspective for our US readers, that would be the equivalent of the USA guaranteeing $2.6 trillion...for a single bank. Anybody care to guess whether the amount that they decided to guarantee will be ultimately sufficient to cover the actual amount of the total potential losses? My guess is that over time the number will prove to be far, far below the final and true cost.

Even if the Dexia situation has been temporarily stabilized, Greece has not, and this is where the Europe story really begins. With Greek ten-year notes over 24%, two-year notes of 75%, and one-year notes over 150%, there is virtually no chance of anything happening other than a Greek default.

A writedown of Greek debt is inevitable here; the only question is, how much? Here's the current view:

Europe Divided on Greek Writedowns That Juncker Says May Top 60%

Oct 11, 2011

European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet said Europe’s debt crisis now threatens the region’s financial system as officials race to put together a new plan to end the turmoil.

“The crisis has reached a systemic dimension,” Trichet told lawmakers in Brussels today in his capacity as head of the European Systemic Risk Board. “Sovereign stress has moved from smaller economies to some of the larger countries. The crisis is systemic and must be tackled decisively.”

European leaders are trying to shore up the region’s banks as they debate how best to manage the fallout from any Greek default. Governments yesterday pushed back a summit amid opposition to Germany’s drive for deeper-than-planned Greek bond writedowns that Luxembourg’s Jean-Claude Juncker says may exceed 60 percent.

 “Time is always of the essence when you have to be in a mode of crisis management,” said Trichet.

(Source)

A 'writedown' is just another of many more pleasant-sounding terms that are being used instead of 'default,' which is precisely what Greece will soon be doing.

With the triggering of a default, the fear of contagion will spread, because, frankly, nobody really knows where the time bombs are located in the credit default swap (CDS derivative) markets. Sure, we can know roughly who is holding what, but each of these holdings is then linked to the primary institutions' own credit ratings, which themselves have vast piles of CDS paper attached to them. In other words, everything is so interconnected that it's nearly impossible for anyone, even the owners of these derivatives, to conduct an accurate risk-assessment or predict how they're going to behave during a market dislocation.

These in turn are held by other institutions and funds, which are heavily leveraged and exposed to the very same market forces that will assure that the exact opposite of hedging will erupt during the hairiest part of the coming rout.

For perspective, Greece has nearly 330 billion euros ($445 billion) of debt outstanding, on top of which CDS paper has been layered. That is, if Greek debt gets a 60% haircut, the basement-level losses we can expect as a result are $270 billion, but the CDS paper will certainly amplify that number much higher for some unlucky institutions.

For even more perspective, consider that Spain and Italy have nearly $3.4 trillion in debt, making their combined predicament worth about 7.5 Greek dramas.

If you think the big banks represent the smart money, I would remind you that when the subprime CDS disaster finally blew up, it was the big banks (and AIG) that were holding the bag -- supposedly the smartest of the smart money. I somehow doubt they are going to be any smarter this time.

The contagion fear here is that several mega banks (and/or funds) will fail as a result of these cross-correlated and therefore unhedged bets. When the European Banking Authority ran their stress tests a while back, several very large banks in Spain and France barely passed, and that was without booking any losses on any of their outstanding loans to Greece, Ireland, or Portugal. If one tips over, so will the rest, because they all owe each other. 

To simplify, here's a picture of the world banking system as it currently stands:

Another form of contagion will come with the thought that if one major Western economy can default, others can, too. A precedent will have been set, and other over-indebted economies will suffer higher interest rates on their borrowing as a result. The thing about higher interest rates is that once they are past a certain level, they become self-fulfilling prophecies, virtually assuring that default is a mathematical inevitability (see Greece, above). Over the long haul, interest rates over the long haul cannot be higher than the nominal rate of GDP growth, generally speaking. In today's low-growth environment, that is a low bar, indeed; perhaps just 2%-3%. 

A final concern for European banks (in particular) concerns bank runs, in which institutional and retail depositors decide to flee a given bank, causing it to topple over, as the first domino in a long line. 

The bottom line here is that the European situation is quite far from resolved, and as we've been saying all along, it really can't until large losses are taken by someone. For now, the banks are trying desperately to convince the world that the losses should be shared by everyone through the miracle of inflation (with central banks printing money, a.k.a. "quantitative easing" or QE, to buy the bad debts off the banks) while the people of various countries are increasingly protesting this regrettable practice of socializing banks' losses, yet allowing privatized profits. 

Expect Volatility

The key point to understand about our economy is that it is anything but straightforward and linear. It is a complex system, meaning that it has two characteristics of which we should be aware: It requires energy to maintain and/or increase its complexity, and it is unpredictable. 

One typical feature of complex systems is that they tend to jump rather abruptly from one state to the next. Where they can exist in some sort of seeming equilibrium for quite a while, a sufficient exogenous shock (or a change in conditions, such as becoming energy-starved) can often cause them to transition rather suddenly to the next point of 'equilibrium'.

Said more simply, systems often have tipping points, where they no longer react to insults proportionally, but chaotically and sometimes violently. Phoenix, Arizona was coasting along just fine until experiencing a tipping point in its housing market that involved both the job market and the broader economy, dragging both down on the way to finding a new and much lower equilibrium point.

Focus on Positioning Yourself Prudently

What we have here is an ideal set of conditions for a tipping point to arise in our financial system. When such a tipping point occurs, you should expect wild volatility in the markets and be prepared for things to be moving far too quickly to react to with any sort of precision or grace.

That's why it's best to be pre-positioned in your financial, physical, and emotional preparations, so that when the next bout of extreme volatility exerts itself, little to no immediate action is needed on your part during the tumult.

Ride out the chaos in safety and confidence. Be a support to those less prepared within your family and community. And take advantage of the luxury few will have to plan your next steps carefully, once the corrective forces clear much of the current uncertainty out of the markets. Doing so will set you up better than most to prosper in the aftermath.

In Part II - What to Do Before the Next Crash, we detail the steps you should be taking now to secure yourself in advance of the market dislocation predicted above, including:

  • protecting the purchasing power of your assets
  • securing the essentials (water, food, heat, etc.) in case system shocks disrupt supply chains for a period of time
  • developing sufficient physical and emotional fitness to deal with whatever change the future may bring

Click here to read Part II of this report (free executive summary, enrollment required for full access).

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Clueless Economist's picture

This is all bullish...Full Green Ahead!!!!

ratso's picture

Oh great, another prediction that the sky is falling.  Buy water, food, gold and dig a hole in the ground.

Just what I needed this moring - THE SKY IS GOING TO FALL _ watch out.

Pladizow's picture

I tried watching the video and got discouraged as soon as I heard he was a professor, then when he said the recession ended in mid 09, I exited!

Total watching time less then 10 sec.

Oh regional Indian's picture

Since Chris needs to Pussyfoot, let me say it.

Very high liklihood of a huge downturn in the market next week. Black Monday, Tuesday or some such. The news will flash on Saturday, 15th. Good to pay attention.

Everything down, a risk off like not seen in a long time. PM's too. It's been hinted at variously, astrologically included. Clif High also has that date (10/15) as a big move day.

Hedge accordingly. I am.

ORI

The Perversion of Language

Bananamerican's picture

"...and I am generally not given to hyperbole"

Dude. That's why we COME HERE!" ;)

 

also,

"Belgium is potentially on the hook for $78.6 billion in bailout funds for a single institution, which amounts to 17% of GDP (2010 figure). To put this into perspective for our US readers, that would be the equivalent of the USA guaranteeing $2.6 trillion..."

Don't spoil the surprise....

rocker's picture

During the debates last time Bloomberg asked about the next financial crisis. Bloomberg did not get a commit back abourt it.

Bloomberg said U.S. Banks have 700 Billion in exposure to the European Banking System.

Believe this. Bloomberg knows. They have the best access to world economies than some countries themselves have.

Gosh, I would love to have a Bloomberg terminal or access. 

Don't Buy Stocks:  U.S. Banks have 700 Billion in exposure.  It is a crisis just waiting for a trigger.

Pimco keeps saying, everybody will get a opportunity to buy stocks cheaper in the near future.

The bond market King understands the markets too.  They see the CDS spreads.

J 457's picture

Many people simply will not BTFD until Greece/EU implodes.  THAT will be my buy signal, starting around 1020 range down to 940.  Until then, why buy when you know any day your "investment" will drop 15-25%, as just happened last week.

Pinto Currency's picture

 

Why listen to Feldstein - he didn't call the first crash.

 

We have a very simple debt bubble that has been created by central banks worldwide over 15 years and is now collapsing.  QE and QEII treated the symptoms and made everyone chat about recovery.  And now after QEII we can see that the disease is still there.

 

There is no "double dip".  The bubble collapse continues and will continue until we deal with the central problems - the massive debt and unstable fiat money.

 

Data on the bubble collapse:

 

http://www.shadowstats.com/alternate_data

 

 

kridkrid's picture

good post, but I would suggest the leveraging started more like 40 years ago, not 15.  While the curve has become steep over the past 15 years, the first 25 years had to "come first".

Pinto Currency's picture

 

 

KK,

 

True enough.  The ramp over the past 15 years was the blow-off phase. 

 

Where the hell was Feldstein as total US debt grew to 375% of GDP?

 

Perhaps some answers here: http://www.nber.org/feldstein/cv.html

Darth..Putter's picture

You just guaranteed that the range will be 750 down to 540

Fox Moulder's picture

The (illegal) Treasury Dept guarantee on Fannie and Freddie alone is worth over $5 trillion.

kridkrid's picture

so if everything is down, what's the hedge?  Cash until QE3 (because everything down will certainly bring on QE3) then everything back into ____________ (what, PM's).  But at some point a crash takes out cash, I would think.  But not yet.  Likely not even close to that yet.  But what do I know.

machineh's picture

'Clif High also has that date (10/15) as a big move day.'

Clif High -- ain't he just the doormat for Wile E. Coyote?

vato poco's picture

"Astrologically included"?

Yeah, the augers & Oracle bones here are making dire warnings, as well. "A great empire will fall someday." Can't get any clearer than THAT!

vato poco's picture

OTOH, I gotta give you credit, ORI. You made a very specific prediction for a very specific timeframe that's less than a week from now. Even if I'm a little snarky as to your prediction methodology, that takes balls. If you turn out to be right - and we'll know very soon - I'll be the first to stand up in the public square at noon and eat crow & sing your praises.

Regards, Vato

Jeff Lebowski's picture

Credit on the prediction with specifics to ORI as well....  But believe this isn't the first such prediction (with similar methodology).

trav7777's picture

so if this doesn't happen, are you going to leave ZH or at least refrain from spamming or making any future predictions?

Shirley Wilfahrt's picture

And if it does.... will you take a large silver fork and jam it into your eye??

ElvisDog's picture

You're being sarcastic, right? Astrologically? You mean the Mayan priests and/or Nostradamus looked into the future and forsaw the precise date of Oct 15, 2011 as a stock market crash. I have become bored with "impending crash" predictions. Will you come back on Monday and explain why you were wrong?

slewie the pi-rat's picture

ori's astrology calls are deadlier than a pickled egg fart in coach

edit:  his call for the UDSX plunging below 73 way back when was as bad as most of mine (and it predicted the bounce there, too),...but he didn't use his charts, i don't think, and was just waxing choatic, perhaps

but when he top-called the markets with his mercury retrograde i had to give him credit for-soothing an awesome interplay of planetary tensions in stocks

pre's picture

Privately, I've been telling my family and friends that this would go down soon.  I've referred many to Chris' website for the 'crash course' as well.

About 6 months ago, I *half*-jokingly told my wife that "the event" would occur on Oct 15th, 2011.  I think we're close, but as the old adage goes, "the market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent."  Plan accordingly.

Randall Cabot's picture

Isn't Oct 15, 2011 the real date that the Mayan calendar ended but they fucked up the math and erroneously came up with Dec 21, 2012?

kridkrid's picture

Yeah... I think I've read that.  But the Mayan's weren't big college football fans... likely didn't understand that Oct 15, 2011 would fall on a Saturday.  I think we're good.

prains's picture

Isn't Oct 15, 2011 the real date that the Mayan calendar ended but they fucked up the math and erroneously came up with Dec 21, 2012?

 

jeez, and here i thought it was the Bolivian calendar that was causing all the problems, thanks for clearing that up

ArgentDawn's picture

"Anyone can be a millionaire, but to become a billionaire you need an astrologer."

JP Morgan

AGuy's picture

...Or a Ben Bernanke in your Pocket!

 

nantucket's picture

what "market"? (us equity, europe equity, us fixed income, corporates, treasuries, soveriegn debt, EM's, etc, etc).

what precenatge probability is "very high", 30%, 50%, 80%?

what qualifies as "huge"?, 10%, 25%, 50%? 

you left a TON of open ends there.  please quantify.

Oh regional Indian's picture

Steep. And perhaps, regardless of location, cash will be king...for a month or so anyway.

Hope that helps. It's just an in-sight.

ORI

macholatte's picture

 

Like everybody, I have no idea when the next market crash will occur, but I do happen to hold the view that a market crash is on the way. In fact, my view is that the entire future from here onward will be marked by sharp plunges (both crashes and regular market declines), followed by periods of stability, if not apparent recovery.

 

Can I get a news letter if I say "The market will definately go down, but if it doesn't, then it will go up, but then it will go down and then up again and the cycle will repeat. Nobody is sure exactly when that will happen but experts are in agreement that it will at some point in the future." WTF!

 

A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five.
Groucho Marx

nantucket's picture

macholatte:

agree with you, masters of vagueness, obfuscation, and generalizations.  but to stay alive in the investment leter business I think you need to be be vauge ex ante then ex post any event you can point to your prescient call and make yourself look more credible by "admitting" the event wasn't a lock, but you had a "gut feel" it could occur....all the while ignoring the 5 or 6 other events that you had a gut feel about but never came to pass. 

I can get the roll of a die called perfect every time...I think it's gonna be a round, non-negative number between 1 and 6.  I'm a genius!

buyingsterling's picture

The problem with the economic prediction business is that the economy is driven more by the self interest of key actors than it is by clear economic data. A perfect example came to light as a result of the Fed audit. $16 trillion was loaned to US and international banks directly from the Fed, and most has not been paid back. These monies are not counted in the money supply, but there are probably strings attached to the money, requiring some investment in treasuries. The assets make the bank look solvent, and allow for financing of government debt, inflating the money supply over time. So things look like X, but Y is happening behind the scenes. I pulled that out of thin air, but it makes sense to me. Someone with a clue please tell me how this $16 trillion will be excluded from the bond markets, and elaborate on what will happen to it.

JPM Hater001's picture

I am a subscriber of Chris's and have watched the crash course a number of times. If you haven't you should. Mandatory material for crash preparation.

Www.chrismartenson.com/crashcourse

He isn't fooled about the recession not ending. He is one of the sound sage voices. And why risk credibilty declaring a date next week? I thought the game would have been over long ago but it is amazing what trillions of extend and pretend dollars can do.

Saxxon's picture

Pladizow; I had a similar response and quickly hit the stop button.

 

FEDbuster's picture

Economic collapse or WW3?  Which will work out better for the banksters?  If you can answer that question, you will know the future. Politicians are irrelevant at this point (plus they are just bankster puppets).  Protests are just a sideshow to entertain people and provide video to fill the space between commercials. 

I don't see how complete collapse of the system into some sort of Mad Max, martial law, looting and burning situation benefits the banksters (except maybe to cover their tracks as they head to Paraguay?).  WW3 is much more profitable, puts many people to work fighting the "enemy", brings the most of the country together to fight the enemies of America. We would still get food and gas rationing, bank holidays, gold and silver confiscation (for the war effort) and all the other collapse like restrictions, but they would be doing it all to us in the name of patriotic duty.

My bet is on WW3, fought in the sandbox (we are already there), involving Iran & Israel, all the major players (Russia, China, etc...) get involved.  Just like Orwell predicted in "1984", the playbook for the bankster "elite".

flattrader's picture

Dead on. WW3 much more profitable. Occasionally I get to talk to young men between 18-26 for more than a few passing minutes. When the discussion turns to joining the military I launch into a low-key tirade and end with, "Don't be their bitch."

That last sentence does more to drive the point home more than anything I said previously.

I am a recruiters worst nightmare when I put my mind to it.

GeorgeHayduke's picture

Keep working it flattrader. I do the same thing when I can. None of these wars are about freedom and all that other patriotic crap. It's all about profits  and who gets a bigger cut of the pie while none of their family members fight.

kridkrid's picture

Why, of course, the people don't want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece. Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.

Gilbert: There is one difference. In a democracy, the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.

Göring: Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.

FEDbuster's picture

Maybe some of the wounded vets whom have come back without their arms, legs, faces, etc... should do a group photo in just their boxer shorts to be made into a poster to be put up in every high school cafeteria around the United States?  They do it for meth, cigarettes, drunk driving, etc...  How about a little shock and awe for the potential after effects of the "volunteer" army?

kridkrid's picture

People should hand out literature (and when I say people, I recognize that "people" could be me) in front of recruiting offices.  Of course you would be called all sort of names, labeled a commie sympathizer or a terrorist sympathizer or...___________.  If you were to create a successful program, enlisting people all over the country to hand out literature in front of recruiting offices, I would imagine that, at some point, you might run into a little bit of trouble.

If I were to do something like this, the only real reason would be so I could at least say I did "something"... but it would be a selfish move that at the end of the day would likely be meaningless.  Maybe not.

 

FEDbuster's picture

Wouldn't be "meanigless", if you saved a few young lives from being wasted in pointless wars.

kridkrid's picture

Not to sound too nihilistic, but the few young lives "saved" would still be lost, it just wouldn't be the couple of dudes I steered away.  And when the time comes, the guys I steered away will be drafted anyway.

Shirley Wilfahrt's picture

Yeah....there are sooo many other opportunities for the kid coming out of high school who can't afford college....or has a nice job waiting for them at dad's store.....

You arrogant fucks.

The military saves a lot of lives....from a life of ignorance and poverty. 

You arrogant fucks.

Yes....the neocon wars suck.

Yes....the USA is a warmongering fuckstick of a nation.

Some of those kids walking into the recruiter's office have NO OTHER OPTION that doesn't involve crime. 

Those "young lives" you profess to be so concerned about will no other place to go.....I guess some can live with you??

 

Goddamn...the last place I thought I would run into a bunch of pantywaist hippie fucksters would be Zerohedge....this place is going to shit.

You arrogant fucks.

kridkrid's picture

The military saves people from a life of ignorance?  WTF?  The military nurtures it.  The military needs it.  Choose another argument, that one is a pure failure.  Perhaps you could posit that ignorance is bliss and therefore the military does the kid a service by filling their brains with mythology and propaganda.  Help them to rally behind the belief that it is better to die for something than live for nothing... even if that something is a bunch of made up bullshit.

Oh, and by the way, fuck you with your name calling.  You don't know me.  You don't know anything about me.  Your name calling is the tell that you've been brainwashed.  "pantywaist hippie fucksters"... that's perfect, and perfectly predictable, as I've already mentioned in this thread.  I'm also most likely a communist, a marxist or a terrorist (or maybe all three, or at the very least, a sympathizer to all three).  Fuck you.

FEDbuster's picture

What he said.   Fuck you and your only choice bullshit.

GeorgeHayduke's picture

Doesn't look like you missed out on any of the ignorance.

You are correct in one thing though, ZeroHedge goes to shit each time you post.

Things that go bump's picture

I witnessed an occurrence while standing in line for a burrito a few months back. This young man hobbled in to yell at the woman ahead of me. Apparently, she had taken a handicapped parking spot because the car she was using had a sticker, although she was young and completely able-bodied, as far as I could tell. He told her he took a bullet protecting her freedom and now he couldn't even find a handicapped spot.  He really believed what he said. She never batted an eyelid and just blew him off, obviously not impressed with his heroism, and he went to the end of the line.  I felt badly for the boy, but it was because he had been misled and ill-used by his government and then hurt and cast off, not because I believed his patriotic drivel.