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Guest Post: Ten Minutes After The Titanic Struck The Iceberg

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Charles Hugh Smith from Of Two Minds

Ten Minutes After the Titanic Struck the Iceberg

We are like passengers on the Titanic ten minutes after its fatal encounter with the iceberg: the idea that the ship will sink is beyond belief.

As we all know, the "unsinkable" Titanic suffered a glancing collision with an iceberg on the night of April 14, 1912. Ten minutes after the iceberg had opened six of the ship's 16 watertight compartments, it was not at all apparent that the mighty vessel had been fatally wounded, as there was no evidence of damage topside. Indeed, some eyewitnesses reported that passengers playfully scattered the ice left on the foredeck by the encounter.

But some rudimentary calculations soon revealed the truth to the officers: the ship was designed to survive four watertight compartments being compromised, and could likely stay afloat if five were opened to the sea, but not if six compartments were flooded. Water would inevitably spill over into adjacent compartments in a domino-like fashion until the ship sank.

We can sympathize with the disbelief of the officers, and with their confused reaction, simultaneously reassuring passengers and attempting to goad them into the lifeboats. With the interior still warm and bright with lights, it seemed far more dangerous to clamber into an open lifeboat and drift off into the cold Atlantic than it did to stay onboard.

As a result, the first lifeboats left the ship only partially full. Only when it became undeniable that the ship was doomed did people attempt to "make other arangements," but by then it was too late.

The tragedy was a cruel mix of human error (entering an ice field at nearly top speed, 23-25 knots), hubris-soaked planning (only enough lifeboats for half the passengers and crew) and design flaws: the high-sulfur iron hull plating did not bend when struck by the ice, it shattered like china.

As noted above, the watertight compartment design was also flawed; indeed, some studies have found that the ship would have stayed afloat an additional six hours had there been no watertight compartments, as water would have sloshed evenly along the entire length of the vessel.

I think this perfectly describes the present. Our financial system seems "unsinkable," yet the reliance on debt and financialization has already doomed it, whether we are willing to believe it or not.

Maybe the illusion that the ship is unsinkable can be maintained for another year or two; the Status Quo's success in masking the ultimate fate of the financial system for the past four years supports the belief that there is literally no limit to the Federal Reserve and Treasury's power to keep the ship afloat, regardless of the cost. In other words, the Fed and Treasury are perceived as "unsinkable."

That illusion has cost trillions of dollars, trillions of dollars of new debt that now burden the taxpayers: $2 trillion added to the Fed balance sheet, $1.2 trillion in secret giveaways to the banking cartel, and $6 trillion in additional Federal debt/spending.

Yet few of us are willing to entertain an exit from the belief system that supports the Status Quo. We are like passengers on the Titanic ten minutes after its fatal encounter with the iceberg: we can't believe this grand ship could sink, so we do nothing while it is still possible to influence our fate.

In my new book Resistance, Revolution, Liberation: A Model for Positive Change, I explain how structural flaws doom the financial system and government finances alike to either default or destruction of the nation’s currency. There are no other end-points.

We could insist on changes to these doomed policies, but we do not; why?

Some of our reluctance can be attributed to disbelief, as the gap between what we know is inevitable--the ship will sink beneath the waves--and what we currently see--a proud, mighty ship, apparently only lightly damaged--is so wide.

But if we delve deeper, we discern how calculations of risk and gain yield faulty assessments of self-interest. While the ship appears structurally sound, it seems risky to clamber into an open lifeboat and drift away into the freezing night, while the supposed gain (saving our life) is questionable: from the warm deck of the ship, it seems that climbing into a small lifeboat would place our life far more at risk than staying on board the mighty ship.

This assessment of self-interest was tragically flawed, and by the time the impossible (sinking) had become the inevitable, it was too late to change the fate we’d selected back when all seemed permanent and secure.

The point of this exercise is to reveal just how illusory our assessment of self-interest and security can be, and how prone we are to making decisions based on the present even when our rational minds are well aware that it is unsustainable.

The financial system of the United States of America is like the Titanic. Hubris led many to declare it financially unsinkable even as its fundamental design was riddled with fatal flaws and the human pilots in charge ran it straight into the ice field at top speed.

We have some time left before the ultimate fate is visible to all. Ten minutes after the collision, the Titanic's passengers had 2 hours and 30 minutes before the "unsinkable" ship sank. How much time we have left is unknown, but the bow of the ship will be visibly settling into the icy water within a year or two--and perhaps much sooner.


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Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:04 | 2327971 fightthepower
fightthepower's picture

Fuck you Bernanke!

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:08 | 2327982 Matador
Matador's picture

Sexspearean eloquence !!!

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:17 | 2328024 CharlieSDT
CharlieSDT's picture

The USA hit the iceberg years ago.  Maybe in 1971.  We've been taking on water ever since.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:21 | 2328038 SilverTree
SilverTree's picture

Its all gonna end with WWIII.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:28 | 2328068 Pladizow
Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:33 | 2328088 Chief KnocAHoma
Chief KnocAHoma's picture

Paul supporters must get behind Romney:

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:34 | 2328098 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

This is just too funny....

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:53 | 2328164 JPM Hater001
JPM Hater001's picture

Like I said...a real psychological barrier at 13000.

Light up.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:50 | 2328151's picture

Paul supporters do not take kindly to those who tell them what they must do.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:59 | 2328186 Clay Hill
Clay Hill's picture

If RP doesn't go 3P, I'll pull the lever for the Kenyan just to piss you off.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 12:36 | 2328347 Abiotic Oil
Abiotic Oil's picture

Yep.  The establishment GOP's treatment of Ron Paul supporters has been so completely horrid since 2007 that if the nominee is anyone but Paul I'm going full-african as well.  Not like there is a big difference between Romney and Obama anyway.

There is no way Romney can beat the Kenyan anyway.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 13:00 | 2328450 Dangertime
Dangertime's picture

I'm a huge Ron Paul fan and I've very much thought the same recently.


There is an old saying......The best way to kill a bad idea is to implement it as quickly as possible, and make sure everybody knows who's idea it is.


It almost seems a no-brainer to vote the dip$hit in for another four years.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 16:07 | 2329175 silverserfer
silverserfer's picture

I'd rather carve my eyeballs out with a butterknife than vote for that fucktard Romney. God he pisses me off. I dont see how any conservative would vote for him. Were so fucked. GOD DAMMIT!

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 21:02 | 2329917 MisterMousePotato
MisterMousePotato's picture

As long as you're thinking about alternatives, you might want to consider voting for the Green candidate. If the Green Party candidate gets 5% of the vote in a state, they become eligible for all the same goodies as the other two parties (taxpayer funding, inclusion on the ballots, etc.)

I agree that Romney is not going to beat the Kenyan. Voting for either is a waste of an opportunity to siphon off votes from the evil party long term. Wish there was a similar opportunity impacting the stupid party.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 12:55 | 2328435 knightowl77
knightowl77's picture

If you vote for the f%^$ing kenyan you'll get exactly what you deserve

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 13:19 | 2328519 Abiotic Oil
Abiotic Oil's picture


Mon, 04/09/2012 - 14:58 | 2328897 SilverFish
SilverFish's picture



That was awesome. I'm gonna use that one on people if you dont mind.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 15:16 | 2328554 Clay Hill
Clay Hill's picture


Tue, 04/10/2012 - 00:44 | 2330429 malek
malek's picture

Wow, the RINO's must be getting really nervous if they resort to such desperation tactics.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:29 | 2328074 battle axe
battle axe's picture

The Iceberg is called IRAN.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:57 | 2328177 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Wrong, the iceberg was the rejection of a gold standard or some standard that kept the moral hazard in check and allowed for the consequences of fucking fraud to remain harse.

At this point, literally dropping fiat from helicopters will be just as "effective" and lead to the same end game.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 12:16 | 2328259 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

In this version of the Titanic, it's not women & children first...

Instead, all the bankers run to the lifeboats (one banker/politician per lifeboat), & lock everyone else in 3rd class...

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 18:29 | 2329557 fourchan
fourchan's picture


Mon, 04/09/2012 - 13:18 | 2328513 Silveramada
Silveramada's picture

the small boat in the pic. is people with Pm's getting saved from the Titanic while Ben, Tim, Obama & co. are FIXING THE CHAIRS ON THE TITANIC AND TELLING THE BAND TO KEEP PLAYING MUSIC...

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 19:45 | 2329752 Buck Johnson
Buck Johnson's picture

I agree with you, and for the other poster I believe also they will go to war before allowing the US economy to implode.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 13:49 | 2328631 BLOTTO
BLOTTO's picture

1. The unsinkable Titanic sunk…on its maiden voyage. How could this unsinkable ship sink? On its first trip, no less! That alone is quite remarkable/intriguing

2. “Captain E.J. Smith ignored multiple iceberg warnings from his crew and other ships.”


3. Speaking of J.P. Morgan, he had his very own private suite and promenade deck on the Titanic. He was supposed to be on that fateful maiden voyage but canceled passage


4. Once the Titanic struck the iceberg, the captain and his crew used white flares to signal distress. Unfortunately, white flares are not the color used to signal distress; red flares are always used to show distress. So the closest ship, the Californian, ignored the flares, assuming it was a celebratory signal, rather than an emergency

5. “All ships must carry sufficient lifeboats for the number of passengers on board. The Titanic did not

6. “About three million rivets were used to hold the sections of the Titanic together. Some rivets have been recovered from the wreck and analysed. The findings show that they were made of sub-standard iron. When the ship hit the iceberg, the force of the impact caused the heads of the rivets to break and the sections of the Titanic to come apart. If quality iron rivets had been used, the ship may not have sunk

7. “The belief that the ship was unsinkable was, in part, due to the fact that the Titanic had sixteen watertight compartments. However, the compartments did not reach as high as they should have. White Star Line did not want them to go all the way up because this would have reduced living space in first class


8. Killed on the sinking ship — along with 1,514 other people — were Benjamin Guggenheim, Isa Strauss and John Jacob Astor. Astor was, at the time, believed to be the wealthiest man on the planet. Guggenheim and Strauss weren’t far behind Astor. And these three powerful men opposed the Federal Reserve.


these three powerful men opposed the Federal Reserve.

these three powerful men opposed the Federal Reserve.

these three powerful men opposed the Federal Reserve.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 15:00 | 2328945 tonyw
tonyw's picture

"5. “All ships must carry sufficient lifeboats for the number of passengers on board. The Titanic did not"

Way back then it was not the law that ships should have sufficient lifeboats for all passengers and crew. that came after the accident.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 16:07 | 2329174 smiler03
Tue, 04/10/2012 - 00:38 | 2330422 Element
Element's picture

Ya know the thing I don't get is why each 'water-tight' compartment was ... open at the top!

WTF is 'water-tight' about that?

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:09 | 2327983 Winston Smith 2009
Winston Smith 2009's picture

I think you've got that wrong, son.  I'm the one who is fucking you.


Mo' Money Ben

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:24 | 2328039 Straying from t...
Straying from the flock's picture

The only problem here is, unlike the captain of the Titanic, uncle Ben has a helicopter to whisk him away as the ship is sliding to its final resting place. 

The Titanic is the normalcy bias in action.  How could so many intelligent people not try to save themselves?  It is the "This can't happen here" mentality that prevents action in the face of certain danger. 

The mathematically enevitable collapse of the dollar will change our paradigm forever, and rest assured, it will collapse.  The writing has been on the wall for a long time.  The iceberg is long in our rearview, but we are taking on water.  Not to fear; I can still hear the orchestra playing.

One problem. My feet are getting wet.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:43 | 2328133 trying to make ...
trying to make sense of it all's picture

Yes, I thought of you, Straying while reading this article.  I read your blog regarding Normalcy Bias and I sent your "Open Letter to My Friends" to all of my friends and family.  Don't doubt that people are starting to wake up.  My sister is now the proud owner of 6 whole ounces of silver (she's so proud).  Thank you for helping me to educate those I love.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:49 | 2328148 Straying from t...
Straying from the flock's picture

Thank you for your kind words, there are very few out here.  I am trying to lead by example, and not preach to the choir.  Your action is what is going to change this country and the mindset of the entire world.  Have no doubts, we in America are not alone.  This time, the entire world will be witness to the end of the paper ponzi scheme. 

p.s.  Your sister has a smart brother.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:54 | 2328167 trying to make ...
trying to make sense of it all's picture

Correction, my sister has a "trying to make sense of it all" sister. :-)

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:58 | 2328179 Straying from t...
Straying from the flock's picture

Forgive my assumption. Thanks for the lesson in humility.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 12:13 | 2328242 slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture

you have very little, don't you, asswipe?

start using the box at the bottom of the page or i'll call yer little toy-boy ass out like your worst EX-jarhead fantaZy

i mean it son

yer bahavior is outa line

please listen to reason or i'll spread you all over this site in front of the whole world

trust me

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 12:16 | 2328262 slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture

oh--see my post below if you're too "semper" to understand what i mean, shithead

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 12:46 | 2328393 Straying from t...
Straying from the flock's picture

I am at a loss.  I have never directly spoken to you, I have never spoken ill of you on this or any other board, and I am not sure what your issue is with me.  If you do not like what I have to say, simply do not read what I write.  If is because I am linking my blog in my comments, I am guilty as charged.

This is a forum to seek and spread information.  I have only tried to share my personal beliefs and what I am doing to prepare for what I see as the end of the way of life that we know it.  Twice now, you have tried to use the fact that I am a former Marine to speak ill of me.  Do you have some hatred for the military?  Or is it just my spamming that bothers you?  I have yet to recieve an email or contact fromt he zero hedge people about violating the TOS.

I can handle someone who disagrees with my point of view.  I do not agree with badmouthing someone because you need to try to tear someone down.  Never have you made a counter-argument or told me where you thought I was wrong.  Instead you choose to call me names.  Please stop lurking and explain why you think I am wrong. 


Mon, 04/09/2012 - 12:56 | 2328437 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

You're spamming.  Copying/pasting the same comment or link or anything else to multiple threads is a major discourtesy on the innerwebz.

Slewie generally only borders on coherence, so it's not a big deal if you didn't understand him, but it may turn into a big deal if you ignore the criticism and continue with the spamming.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 13:04 | 2328468 Straying from t...
Straying from the flock's picture

Thanks for translating.  I was unaware that it was such an issue.  I will try not to offend the spam police in the future.  I am new to the blogosphere and have much to learn about the etiquette of posting.  Again, thank you for explaining it without resorting to profanity and name calling. 

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 16:28 | 2329243 trying to make ...
trying to make sense of it all's picture

Keep writing. My family has bookmarked your blog.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 19:09 | 2329663 slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture


no problemo

just spam in the box at the bottom of the page, is all


and...after only two weeks of innocently not being able to undertand me telling him to stop jumping zH strings to spam, too...


here is your second post (of 15 now) and, thank you for helping make my point:  

01/25/2012 - 15:40 2097258 trying to make ... Semi-blind trust. I listened

oh!  here is your first post:

01/22/2012 - 21:13 2087288 trying to make ...

First post. I'm almost afraid

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 18:11 | 2329507 trying to make ...
trying to make sense of it all's picture

Thank you blunder dog for letting us know of the proper etiquette on the innerwebz, but frankly, my dear...
All bets are off right now for getting the word out. I just don't give a damn. And Slewie, you know I love ya, but STFU. Thank you.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 19:20 | 2329683 slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture

listen,  you little cunt, this is zH, not the "innerwebz"

do the math, asswipe!

and shut the fuk up! your sorry self, you little Bich!

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 19:29 | 2329709 trying to make ...
trying to make sense of it all's picture

Wow Slewie. Are you on your period? The word "innerwebz"  was the word used in the comment above.  Having a bad day?


Tue, 04/10/2012 - 03:08 | 2330526 slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture

i know!

blunderdog used it to try to explain what slewie is trying to say to you asswipes about spamming, trolling, and causing problems on zH (..."my dear"...)

as i said to you already, you are nothing but a viscious little cunt

nice try, tho

just tell yer asswipe "fearless leader" to back off on the string jumping for the eternal website spam

then, you toy-boys can go run along and play, ok?

or just go back to your room together and rub each others' medals for being such intelligent "heroes"

just stop the spamming and "innocent trolling" about same

it won't work here;  this is zH

you've done enough damage and you're making absolute fools outa yourselves keeping up this nonsense about string-jumping spamming and your ridicuous "families"



Mon, 04/09/2012 - 14:17 | 2328749 msamour
msamour's picture

I would disregard Slewie. Half the time I don't even understand the meaning of what he writes, the other half I just ignore him/her/it (whatever he/she/it may be). The time has come for me where I filter irrelevant information as it is not useful in anyway.

If you ignore the morons they go away eventually...

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 19:16 | 2329673 slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture

i don't care if he's here

i probably welcomed him myself

i don't care if he pushes his site here, either;  he's been jumping tyler's strings to spam for two weeks now, i'd say;  so, we're having a little chit-chat about that very thing, while he innocently pretends this is the first he's been able to understand me, to save his little toy-boy "face"


Mon, 04/09/2012 - 20:19 | 2329827 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

slewie the pi-rat != slewie the pi rat

Tue, 04/10/2012 - 03:11 | 2330531 slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture


i have nothing to do w/ clonie's appearance here;  nor the one that left a week before the new one, either

tyler knows this, even tho you don't

why would you go there about me, stycho?  get an offer you couldn't refuse?

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 12:04 | 2328213 trying to make ...
trying to make sense of it all's picture

Speaking of brothers, my oldest brother used to tease me when I would talk about preparing for potential collapse.  He is now a "silver bug" and posted your "Open Letter" on his facebook page.  Keep it up, it's working. Slowly but.....

My other brother, alas, is a lost cause Obamabot.  He won't even speak to me anymore!

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 12:14 | 2328251 Straying from t...
Straying from the flock's picture

Time, and the fact that you and your other siblings are preparing, will change his mind.  Find a way to slip your brother this little gem.  Even our European friends think we are fools.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 12:22 | 2328290 trying to make ...
trying to make sense of it all's picture

"Sigh" unfortunately he would only get up to the title of the video.  He's a KOS Kiddy, but I'll keep trying.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 19:23 | 2329688 slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture

why here?

go to his site


we were tired of this worthless hype long ago

trust me

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 20:20 | 2329828 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

Ask him WHEN the Obamatron is gonna close GITMO...

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 13:27 | 2328545 Waffen
Waffen's picture

We all or atleast most of us on zerohedge know the dollar is doomed, the question is how long this will play out.  I thought it was over in '11 or '12 but this could go on to '16 or even insanly '20 perhaps?  I am sure many people thought it was over in 2008, went off to live off grid and are now in a world of hurt and debt by now.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 14:24 | 2328782 msamour
msamour's picture

If someone was really good at math, not me because i am not, but they could see the paterns of previous currencie's collapse and come up with some kind of algorithm that can approximate when the US FRN's will collapse. I am not saying said algorith would be terribly accurate, but I would regard a timeline within a 1 year timeframe to be accurate enough. It took Germany's Weimar Republic 5 years to hyperinflate. Incidentally, the majority of the hyperinflation only happen in the last month.

(Edited: syntax error due to stupid small laptop keyboard, and fat fingers)

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:11 | 2327996 Clueless Economist
Clueless Economist's picture

Why the hate for the Chairman.  He is doing as any rational Fed Chairman should do Print money and buy up our debt with it.

As I outlined in my New York Times Op/Ed of April 6th, we need massive inflation to get out of our problems.

The only solution to the debt crisis is more debt

Professor P Krugman

Economist, Author, Professoer, Genius, Ivy Leaguer, and All Around Douchbag

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:19 | 2328019 DormRoom
DormRoom's picture

How come Krugman haters never discuss the impact deflation/depression would have on government tax revenues?


If the US tax revenue drops faster than its obligations, it still sinks deeper in debt.  And if you cut expenditures, deepening the recession, and tax revenue drop further, and faster, you are more in debt.  This is the deflationary death spiral.


But Krugman haters never talk about this.  They say cut taxes, and government services.. blah blah blah.. but never mention how it may lead the US deeper in debt, because of widening deficit gaps, due to shortfalls in tax revenue.



Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:24 | 2328049 SimpleSimon
SimpleSimon's picture

There is an alternative to being "more in debt" in the scenario you present.  It is called writeoffs and defaults.  It puts you less in debt - clears out debt that can never be paid off anyway.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 16:36 | 2329253 silverserfer
silverserfer's picture

writeoffs and deafalts of small entities only perpetuate the same system and keeps the FED alive. The whole thing needs to blow up and the FED needs to be DEAD Thru hyperinflation. Deflation would happen only by the will of the fed and that would not be good to the idividuals. The banks would love it as they have all been sitting on massive amounts of free cash for since 2008. They then buy up everything in sight for a penny on the dollar.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 17:53 | 2329463 WonderDawg
WonderDawg's picture

Wrong on many levels. Not sure where to start. How about, as the US debt increases, we get another ratings downgrade; this, in turn, results in margin calls, which causes sell offs in many asset classes, which results in further margin calls and sell offs, and we crash in a deflationary spiral. Or, we have another Euro sovereign crisis, which results in margin calls, sell offs, etc. There are many other scenarios that are beyond the reach of the Fed to prevent. The Fed, despite conventional beliefs, does not control the globe, they only think they do, and you, along with many others, believe them. 

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 19:09 | 2329664 WonderDawg
WonderDawg's picture

Oh, and also, those banks sitting on massive amounts of free cash since 2008? Wrong on that one, too. The cash you think they've got will be burned up so fast when their debtors default that it won't save them for a day. They won't have shit left to buy anything for pennies on the dollar, because there will be nothing left of them but smoking craters where they used to stand. Not only are they undercapitalized, they are completely insolvent without FASB making fraudulent accounting legal, and even the mark-to-fantasy delusion won't save them during the next crash. At least one, if not more, of the TBTF banks will indeed fail.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 21:03 | 2329919 SAT 800
SAT 800's picture

Both posts are essentially correct. A deflationary crash is certainly possible; it's an open question at this time.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:26 | 2328053 catacl1sm
catacl1sm's picture

Temporarily, it would lead to deflation, but I don't see deflation as an entirely bad thing. It's bad for loaners (banks), but good for savers.  Had the government not gone into a debt fueled spening binge, then we'd have some headroom for running defecits while in a deflationary environment. As the true economy recovered, we could pay off those debts. But now we are in the worst of situations. Badly needing deflation for true price discovery and to allow debtors to deleverage but not having any headroom for the govt to run deficits.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 12:00 | 2328191 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Spot on, and all spending counts as capital mal-investment and mis-allocation will only make things worse.  Moreover, you can get hyperinflation without increasing the money supply, especially once supply chains for essential items are cut.  Something no student of modern eCONomics will acknowledge.  See Russia through most of the 90's. 

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:26 | 2328055 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

Who in their right, rational minds would give a rat's ass about government revenues before their own net worth? Seriously, grab a clue!

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:42 | 2328127 JimBowie1958
JimBowie1958's picture

I have read consideration in this regard many times.

The point is that we have to grasp what is truly petrifying our economic activity, and in this case it seems to me to be:

1. Uncertainty regarding near future federal tax rates and regulatory costs. Businesses are understandably reluctant to hire if they dont know what their costs will be over the next few years.

2. Increases in the costs of hiring with the new medical insurance provisions and higher minimum wage.

3. Banks are reluctant to loan since they know what a fiction many if not most level three assets are that banks have on the books. the real asset values are nowhere near what they claim to be, which means there is a lot of uncertainty about how well any of them could weather economic collaps in either China or Europe. These are not very unlikely events and they have to make contingencies for them if possible and that leads them to withhold most of the funds they get from the Fed.

So by a. locking in tax rates and b. implementing a regulatory 'time out' on any new regulations for the next four years, small businesses might be encouraged to hire, and the pick up in economic activity ight encourage bannks to start lending more again.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:52 | 2328160 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

Yes, perhaps, but small-business is anathema to to the alliance between big-crony-capitalism and big-government and cannot be tolerated. TPTB would rather have a few million more unemployed sitting around using SNAP cards than to have to bother with trying to shake down a few million more self-standing, self-reliant small business people.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:58 | 2328181 JimBowie1958
JimBowie1958's picture

TPTB know that small business is the majority of eceonomic activity in our nation and they also know that they cannot eradicate it. Thus they really want to subenfeudinate small businesses to corporate clusters of business and not destroy them.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 12:19 | 2328275 Race Car Driver
Race Car Driver's picture

Maybe they can or can't do this or that - but what they are doing is making it virtually impossible to start and run a legitimate small, private business. The tribute these pigs command for doing so is staggering and untenible. Hence the need for more capital controls as small business goes off the ledge or off the ledger.

Central planning stifles the priciple of plenitude ... and makes the IRS a growth industry.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 13:40 | 2328607 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

You're making this more complicated than it needs to be.  Set aside all the government manipulation for a second, and ask yourself what kind of goods/services the "small business" can provide to consumers at a low-enough price point to generate sales while still maintaining a high-enough margin to generate profit.

Changes in communications infrastructure have basically eliminated a lot of arbitrage opportunities that USED TO BE exploitable by small businesses.

Government is resposible for fucking up many things, but even if it weren't, you'd encounter the same fundamental *problem* in any mature market that sees similar environmental change. 

No one pays travel agents to book airline flights anymore, why should anyone *ever* pay business X for product/service Y? 

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 12:38 | 2328355 ParkAveFlasher
ParkAveFlasher's picture

"If the US tax revenue drops faster than its obligations, it still sinks deeper in debt.  And if you cut expenditures, deepening the recession, and tax revenue drop further, and faster, you are more in debt."

I call this process "defecation".  By necessity, toxic waste is passed from the body.  Intelligent species flush it away with water or bury it.  The current banking regime insists on just eating it again.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:22 | 2328041 Carl Spackler
Carl Spackler's picture

Plan B time...Annex Canada

  1. Plenty of affordable energy to develop and use, which will provide more natural gas to keep American industrial production economical and more oil to keep logistical networks rolling.
  2. They also have more gold to be picked out of their Earth.


Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:29 | 2328072 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

May as well annex Mexico too, since you are going to need an army of slaves to do all the shit-work that ordinary Americans no longer seem to be willing to do.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 20:47 | 2329884 prole
prole's picture

If they were hungry, they would do it.

Combine hunger, with no longer having enough $$ to pay Latin gardeners to keep up ultra-tidy lawnscaping on supremely land wasteful suburban living acreages.... and you have a problem that solves itself.

And ps if the Mexican workers were slaves, they wouldn't be sneaking INTO the us, they would be sneaking OUT of slave land (which is what the tax-slave Anglos are doing and I am one of them looking to GTFO)

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 14:31 | 2328816 msamour
msamour's picture

Sure come on up we'll be waiting for you. After you barely survive the first winter, we'll go down and burn your white house again. You didn't learn the first time?

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 20:54 | 2329896 prole
prole's picture

I always laugh when some (devoid of historical knowledge) American jingo brags about how we should invade Canada. I'm thinking to myself: Why, so they can kick our ass again?

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 16:47 | 2329293 silverserfer
silverserfer's picture

 Carl, i am amazed you were able to type that while getting tag teamed by darth vader and  the Dark Emporer.  

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:29 | 2328077 Vince Clortho
Vince Clortho's picture


"Why the hate for the Chairman.  He is doing what any irrational Keynesian Fed Chairman should do: Print money and buy up our debt with it."


Fixed it for you.


Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:52 | 2328161 ExpendableOne
ExpendableOne's picture

Wily E Krugman 

Suuuper Geenius

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:14 | 2328006 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture

At least Automatic Earth offers some advice on what to do after the collapse.

It isn't all doom and gloom and fear mongering.

Anyway, I doubt it will be a collapse so much as a reset.

The structure is already in place all "they" need to do is remodel.

And assuming there is a game plan, they already have the plans/funding/contractor.

They definitely have the labor.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:17 | 2328023 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Right, one day soon theyll all just come to their senses and admit they were all wrong and slap themselves on the wrist and we'll just pick up our saws and hammers and remodel a bit and all will be well.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 14:08 | 2328709 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



We may have several rounds of redecorating before we can hope to afford a remodel, and eviction may come first.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:14 | 2328007 Hedgetard55
Hedgetard55's picture

Don't forget Greenscam, Geithner, Paulson, Bush, Obama...

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:25 | 2328052 Vince Clortho
Vince Clortho's picture

or their bosses.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:15 | 2328017 Bazinga
Bazinga's picture

Bernanke wants history to portray him as the "unsinkable Ben". He wants the next Fed chairman to be blamed for the ship going down. I hope he slips on the wet floor and can't get out of the ship before it completely sinks so history will see him for exactly what he is...

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:17 | 2328025 Future Tense
Future Tense's picture

If the American financial system is the Titanic then the housing market is the iceburg. When we collided with subprime in 2008 water has been leaking in relentlessly, which is why the shadown banking system is losing water faster out of the bottom of the ship than the central banks can pump it in at the top. Based on the charts in the following link and the new data on underwater homes, the financial system will be submerged under the sea very soon: 

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:59 | 2328188 rosiescenario
rosiescenario's picture

Impressive charts....hard to believe we have retraced to 1968 levels....if housing has done this, there is no reason why the stock market cannot do the same.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 13:54 | 2328656 WarPony
WarPony's picture

Housing yes, preceded by the rise in fuel costs for the pay-check to paycheckers - followed by "guiness-book" profits for the oil co.s for quarters running.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:42 | 2328130 Imminent Collapse
Imminent Collapse's picture

I wonder if this is part of a master plan that includes the bankrupting of America.  If global dominance is the ultimate end game for the Rothchilds, the Rockefellers, Morgans, and their ilk, then America must be subdued.  Easier to do it financially than militarily, so they encourage the US to take on ridiculous debts that can never be paid and take us down.  And, of course, our bought and paid for politicians are more than glad to borrow the money rather than trying to extract it from the voters. Great plan. Bastards, all of them!

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 14:23 | 2328779 bernorange
bernorange's picture

King of the world! /Titanic

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 14:39 | 2328856 Stares straight...
Stares straight ahead's picture

But did the iceberg MOVE?!

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:07 | 2327978 The Axe
The Axe's picture

Bernanke seems to invent things that keep it a float...

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:09 | 2327988 Papasmurf
Papasmurf's picture

It would work if he stopped bailing water into the ship.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:14 | 2328005 Manthong
Manthong's picture

 Yep, more liquidity to save a sinking ship.

Makes sense to me.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:12 | 2327997 Vampyroteuthis ...
Vampyroteuthis infernalis's picture

I disagree on the timeline. We are more like a half an hour into the sinking. Things are turned upside down for most of the crew (working classes) while the wealthy are still partying away on the deck. The sinking will just continue to accelerate from this point.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:08 | 2327981 GeorgeHayduke
GeorgeHayduke's picture

There can't be any problems in the land of hubris. Can we please just focus on important things like getting these deck chairs situated?

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:09 | 2327985 williambanzai7
williambanzai7's picture


Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:11 | 2327995 Alcoholic Nativ...
Alcoholic Native American's picture


Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:13 | 2327999 CH1
CH1's picture

Very troubling, William. Very troubling indeed! :)

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:48 | 2328147 williambanzai7
williambanzai7's picture

Troubling is my stock in trade...

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:12 | 2328002 Vampyroteuthis ...
Vampyroteuthis infernalis's picture

Obamao makes a good bitch!

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:21 | 2328037 jeff montanye
jeff montanye's picture

good but not great.  he takes it out on those even more powerless than he is.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 12:05 | 2328215 Liquid Courage
Liquid Courage's picture


BA-ROSE: [Ecstatic intake of breath] Oh! BenJack, I'm flying!

BENJACK: [thinks to self] Think you're flying now? Just wait'll I get into the back seat of that Dusenburg down on B Deck, ree-ach biatch!

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 13:11 | 2328482 Calmyourself
Calmyourself's picture

Reggie thought so too, until Moochelle caught them in the blue room...

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:30 | 2328070 Donnie Duvanie
Donnie Duvanie's picture

This ship  could sink a thousand icebergs. Scary, man. Don't look into their eyes.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:32 | 2328082 kralizec
kralizec's picture

Damn, that is just too good!!!

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:45 | 2328136 schatzi
schatzi's picture


Mon, 04/09/2012 - 12:01 | 2328194 rosiescenario
rosiescenario's picture

The farce that launched a thousand 'bergs.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 12:07 | 2328224 dannyboy
dannyboy's picture

WB7 too good ;).

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 12:38 | 2328353 wherewasi
wherewasi's picture

Outstanding, William.  Thank you.  (Let's go Rangers!)

Tue, 04/10/2012 - 19:34 | 2333138 Donnie Duvanie
Donnie Duvanie's picture

Actually, the dress looks good on him.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:09 | 2327990 Silverhog
Silverhog's picture

I can't swim very good so I guess I'm fucked.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:54 | 2328168 robobbob
robobbob's picture

don't sweat it, throughout millenia of human history, Au/Ag has been found to be remarkedly buoyant despite their weight, and make most excellant life preservers. get them before the rush.

Tue, 04/10/2012 - 11:48 | 2331357 Donnie Duvanie
Donnie Duvanie's picture

Don't worry about it. You can be the anchor.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:12 | 2328000 HoofHearted
HoofHearted's picture

CHS once again with a masterful and timely word picture. We've all been thinking about this, but he puts it into words even the sheeple should understand. So, what percentage of people we forward this to will actually read and then truly understand we are about to the place where it is time to get into the lifeboat...many minutes and even hours ago.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:12 | 2328001 Spaceman Spiff
Spaceman Spiff's picture

If the fed is currently buying about 60% of treasuries, at what rate will it get to in a year or two from now? ~90%? I doubt they can keep this ship afloat much longer.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:13 | 2328004 Cultural Capital
Cultural Capital's picture

I'm on a boat, I'm on a boat! Pig tusks all day. 

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 18:27 | 2329550 Sokhmate
Sokhmate's picture

I clicked anticipating this:

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:23 | 2328010 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

'We could insist on changes to these failed policies'....well, we did! Remember the first $500 billion bailout in 2008 was met with 80% or so disaproval, they shut down the DC switchboards, and how much did they listen to the dissent?

They said 'OK america, we hear your disaproval' and promptly UPPED the bailout to $850 billion. 

Those who insist on changing the way things operate for the benefit of a few bankers and detriment to everyone else, 'privatized gains, socialized losses' business models are scoffed at and called 'anti govt radicals'. Oh well, have fun listening to that string quartet playing and the free drinks, may as well booze up I hear the waters are quite chilly.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:45 | 2328102 jeff montanye
jeff montanye's picture

apparently it will take more than responding negatively to telephone polls.  perhaps those where actual voting is done?  what, all the candidates are the same?  (ron paul '12, gary johnson '16)

during the war in vietnam, when the government was also killing (lots more) american citizens, that time through the expedient of forcibly sending them to the opposite side of the globe to continue the colonial war lost fifteen years earlier by the french, millions were in the streets against riot police, millions more resisted the draft in many ways, and some actually died in protest.  not to mention relentless battle by the vietcong and the north vietnamese.  and the war ground on for seven more years or so.  

when our governing elite knows that something is necessary, it doesn't give up easily.

we are in the early rounds of a very long fight.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:48 | 2328142 pods
pods's picture

Gary Johnson?



Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:15 | 2328013 surfwon
surfwon's picture

If I remember correctly the captain ordered the band to play right up until their instruments filled with icy cold water.............. party on boys...........nothing to see here

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 12:36 | 2328348 rwe2late
rwe2late's picture

 It's nothing that rearranging the deck chairs can't fix.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:17 | 2328018 Zola
Zola's picture

hmm if 10minutes= 4years (2008 to 2012) we really have to wait a long time...

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:19 | 2328032 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

We're more like at the point where the stern snaps in half and plunges everyone who sought the high ground there at DOW 13,400 into the icy waters. Brrrr.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:20 | 2328026 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

"We could insist on changes to these doomed policies, but we do not; why?"

Uh, beg to differ, but quite a few people have been insisting rather vocally for change, and yet our captains keep going full steam ahead, almost as if they are looking for the next iceberg to ensure the job is finished.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:20 | 2328040 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Those who point out whats wrong and insist it be changed are called 'anti govt radicals' and ignored, or worse yet harassed and tormented into oblivion. 

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:27 | 2328061 newworldorder
newworldorder's picture

They believe they have no other choise. Maintain the world wide financial ponzi OR take the next financial time machine to the mid 19th century. The choise of which time machine to take is realy up to you. Your choises are war, famine, sickness or possibly all three at the same time.

The journey to an aggrerian less populated world will not be a pleasant one.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:29 | 2328073 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Oh they have it all planned out, no doubt. None of this is just seat of the pants flying by accident...theyve got some date planned.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:30 | 2328078 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

You wouldn't be carping like this if Pol Pot were in the White House!

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:33 | 2328092 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Whats 'in office' right now is probably far worse than Pol Pot.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 12:30 | 2328324 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

Really? How many heads have you seen skewered on stakes as you were being force marched out to the fields ... not to say it can't happen at some point, but no evidence of it yet.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 14:13 | 2328735 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Wheres all ObaMao's bodies stacked you wonder? Go to Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Egypt, Congo....

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 15:55 | 2329142 Mesquite
Mesquite's picture

And don't forget the many that are "sucided" and slip below the public radar/waves...

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:19 | 2328035 Joe A
Joe A's picture

Three wealthy opponents of the Fed who happened to be on board of that ship died that night. One year later the Fed was adopted.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:50 | 2328152 Debt-Is-Not-Money
Debt-Is-Not-Money's picture

The opponents of the "Federal" Reserve that were on the Titanic were Benjamin Guggenheim, Isador Straus and John Jacob Astor IV.

From Wikipedia:

"The theory makes the unlikely claim that Captain Edward Smith was a "Jesuit temporal coadjutor".[9] The "accidental sinking" was arranged by having Smith's "Jesuit master", Father Francis Browne, board the Titanic and order Smith to run his ship at full speed through an ice field on a moonless night, ignoring any ice warnings including those from the lookouts, with the purpose of hitting an iceberg severely enough to cause the ship to founder and the three businessmen to drown. In other words, the Titanic was built and then sunk, and her crew and passengers sacrificed, simply to eliminate these three men. As evidence, the conspiracy theorists say that after the sinking, all opposition to the Federal Reserve disappeared. It was set up in December 1913, and eight months later the Jesuits allegedly had sufficient funding to launch a European war. Beveridge and Hall note that the theory never addresses "why conspirators in 1910 would feel sinking a ship was an economical way to eliminate 'enemies' or how they would arrange for all three victims to board a specific ship on a specific voyage two years later".

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 12:24 | 2328298 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

Look at the bright side: NYC got a nice museum and a subway stop out of their demises.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 12:30 | 2328309 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture


Mon, 04/09/2012 - 12:32 | 2328310 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

/trip ... wasn't even a particularly good comment to repeat

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 12:59 | 2328449 Joe A
Joe A's picture

I only read about that theory a few days ago. The BBC has an article exploring 5 myths regarding the Titanic, one being that the captain was not such a hero after all and ignored warnings of icebergs and not slowing down the ship:


Mon, 04/09/2012 - 14:24 | 2328714 Debt-Is-Not-Money
Debt-Is-Not-Money's picture

Another interesting (at least to me) reference:

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 16:00 | 2329154 Mesquite
Mesquite's picture

Also...Wasn't there the tidbit that the red flares had strangely not been on board..Only white ones...Bizarre..

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:21 | 2328036 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

Don't worry, the bernanke will keep the lights on at JPM until the very end.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 12:03 | 2328203 slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture

hey buZZZZ_99

this is where the latest spam-bot "Straying from the" 's post wouild be if he wasn't jumping every string to spam

he's a deluded ex-jar head

and he has his own website too!

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 12:21 | 2328284 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture


Once was fine... But it's starting to become a bit... well...

(of course ~ francis_sawyer NEVER vomits at home)...

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 12:23 | 2328293 Straying from t...
Straying from the flock's picture

Is this the post your were talking about?  I am not sure what I have done to irratate you.  Have I injured you in some way?  Is my commenting and posting that much of a thorn in your side?  I have no idea who you are, or what your issue is, but I am sure you will let me know.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 15:12 | 2328457 slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture

yup, this is it!

if you click on my name you can read my past posts;  the site may still be here when you finish, toy-boy

see the guy above you: f_sawyer?  what could he be talking about w/ slewie???
what is it about your posting that makes zH veterans want to puke?

hard to believe you're so styooopid, even for a "volunteer"

just use the comment box at the bottom of the page for your SPammmmmmMMING and you'll just become a normal troll to zeroHeads, not quite such an archetypal shitheaded toy-boy

your choice, as it has been since i first mentioned this little "housekeeping detail" to you ::: unless you'd like a fuking blanket party for jumping tyler's strings to spam yer worthless fuking website, try using the comment box at the bottom of the page when you spam here

how fuking long have you been unable to understand a simple proposition?

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 13:02 | 2328458 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

tap out or go limp. either way slewie will have to stop hitting you. lulz

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