30/01/2016

Helicopter Money Dropping - by Jeff Fitchett

The world economy is trapped in a debt bubble that is in the process of popping.  Governments are running budget deficits.  Corporations are downsizing and laying off hundreds of thousands of employees in an effort to remain viable.  Citizens are struggling with their personal debt.  The biggest problem with a debt bubble is that each year the amount of debt must increase by an amount that covers off the previous years debt plus interest. When debt levels hit a point where debt growth decreases, income must increase at a rate that will cover off the debt payments.  Income comes in the form of taxes for governments, revenue for corporations and actual employment income for individuals.  

Income tax revenue is not covering the cost of government budgets because consumer income is dropping in most countries and not keeping up with growing debt levels.  Corporations are experiencing the negative feedback loop of a depressed consumer.  Central banks have stepped in and lowered interest rates and pumped the system with excessive amounts of fiat currency.  In some cases, the interest rates on government debt is negative.

Sadly, politicians and central bankers have two choices over the near term to medium term: 

1. Mass debt defaults that destroy a nations currency and society.  
2. Print money and monetize debt that destroy a nations currency and society.  

Greece is a recent example of what happens when austerity policies are initiated and a government defaults on their debt.  The standard of living for the population decreases rapidly and social upheaval follows.  Unemployment goes up immensely and entitlement benefits are cut. Public assets such as ports, public transportation and utilities are sold off to corporations for pennies on the dollar. That said, Greece's debt was restructured and is continuing to grow again.

Monetizing debt usually results in hyperinflation.  Today, Venezuela is a perfect case study for people to learn about because they are experiencing hyperinflation.  The projected inflation rate in Venezuela for 2016 is 720%.  Monetizing debt initially allows for governments to continue making payments on their debt and paying entitlements such as government pensions and healthcare.  Confidence is lost in the currency and eventually the currency becomes worthless.  I believe governments and central banks will resort to money printing policies because austerity and direct defaults are not popular with the public. Printing money is a hidden tax on the population as inflation increases.  Listen to former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan on this subject: We can always print money.

Public backlash from taxpayer sponsored bailouts of too big to fail banks and multinational corporations is fuelling alternative "stimulus" plans that give the appearance of helping the 'average Joe'.  For instance, a new tactic is giving money directly to the people.  It is also known as 'helicopter money dropping'. Switzerland is holding a referendum in June about whether or not to create a living wage for its citizens. The vote is about giving each adult in Switzerland $2500 per month and each child $750 per month. Finland is considering giving each citizen $900 per month.  The idea is that this will allow people to spend money on consumer goods and services and in turn stimulate the economy.  

At the end of the day, 'helicopter money dropping' is like moving around deck chairs on a sinking ship.  It won't solve anything over the long run. It involves printing money and going further into debt.  A successful economic model needs to produce more than it consumes.  People need to save more than they spend. This is how wealth is created.  

$17 Trillion in Student Debt by 2030


29/01/2016

War - by Jeff Fitchett


Currency wars, trade wars and war.  As economic conditions worsen war will be forced upon us.  I see the road to war being paved right now.  The world is like a chess board and strategic moves are being made that are causing significant societal strains.  As I alluded to at the beginning of this weeks TAC - Weekly Summary; migrants and refugees are flooding the streets of Europe.  Western nations are responsible for this massive influx of humans fleeing their bombed-out and destroyed countries. 

Politicians  frequently tell us that we need to act militarily so that we can liberate populations from the grip of tyranny and dictatorships.  We are told that our enemies hate us for our freedom.  

Every 80 years the world faces serious upheaval. Depressions and war occur in a cyclical manner.  Our governments never tell the truth about the real state of affairs.  War is the ultimate distraction for the masses.  Do not be fooled by what politicians say.  War does not bring peace and prosperity. Look at the pictures of the countries that the US and the ‘coalition of the willing’ have destroyed.   It is easy for us to sit back, far away from the frontline, and live our lives unaware of the true cost of war.  It takes fortitude to dig into the ways of the world.  

Listen to Howard Zinn talk about his experience in WWII. My research on geopolitics is painting a disturbing picture.  It is a picture that shows that the West is becoming isolated from most of the world’s population.  Russia, China, Africa, Asia and South America are now aligning themselves because they see the injustice and destruction that the West has wrought unto the world.  I believe the US and their vassal states such as the European Union, blinded by arrogance, will continue to try and dominate the geopolitical arena even as their failing economies fall apart.  Empires come and go.  Military dominance has brought down many empires over the centuries.  It is extremely expensive to maintain a massive military force.  From my perspective, the worst part for humanity is that nuclear powers are being pitted against one another.  Neocons within the US government and the military industrial complex believe that a nuclear war can be fought and won without a nuclear winter being the ultimate outcome.  Sadly, they are wrong!

Trivium Analytics Canada - Weekly Summary - General Thoughts by Jeff Fitchett

This past January has been quite eventful.  Stock market volatility picked up significantly as I expected.  Corporate layoffs have intensified and the Federal Reserve continues to be out of touch with reality as I highlighted in my article titled: Batten the hatches, A response to the US Federal Reserve. The Bank of Japan has followed in the path of European Central Banks and introduced negative interest rates.  The Bank of Canada is hinting at negative interest rates as well.  

Geopolitical issues continue to weigh on the world.  The influx of migrants and refugees into Europe are degrading European culture and stability.  Sexual assaults have become rampant and public backlash is intensifying.  European politicians have no one to blame, but themselves for the instability.  They have followed the lead of the United States by taking part in bombing Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen and a number of other countries.  Economic conditions are so bad that many people are fleeing their countries and migrating to developed nations in an effort to make a living.  As well, Saudi Arabia continues to commit massive human rights abuses in Yemen.  A UN panel just reported that Saudi Arabia conducted 119 targeted attacks against civilian targets within Yemen.  Sadly, Saudi Arabia holds the chair of the UN Human Rights Council.  Unbelievable!  

The majority of Americans do not like their government and are becoming more disenfranchised because of the state of affairs within their country.  Hillary Clinton may be indicted within the next couple of months for her massive security breaches by using a private computer server that contained classified, top secret and the highest classification of top secret information.  Donald Trump continues to lead the pack of presidential contenders as voters have lost faith in the establishment candidates such as Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio.  I think the US empire is devolving rapidly and their society is representative of a nation in decline.  It’s a shame because the US, 100 plus years ago, was the beacon for what was possible from a freedom and opportunity standpoint.  Their days are numbered as the top superpower.  In addition, police brutality continues unabated and uprisings such as the Bundy Ranch standoff are becoming more frequent.  I won’t be surprised to see a revolution build within the US and State secession movements will become more common in the years ahead.  


As I highlighted in my article; The Weight of The World, I expect a bounce in the equity markets to happen or some event or topic to distract the masses from the serious issues facing our world today. I encourage you to focus on the underlying fundamentals and make decisions based upon the reality we live in.  Try not to be sucked into a false sense of security as the consequences of ignoring reality can be quite harsh. 

28/01/2016

Silver market in disarray after benchmark price fixed far below spot rate - by the Bullion Desk

"London 28/01/2016 – The silver market was thrown into disarray on Thursday after the LBMA Silver Price was set 84 cents below the spot and futures price this morning.
The LBMA Silver Price – the crucial daily benchmark used by producers and traders around the world to settle silver products and derivatives contracts – was set at $13.58 per ounce. 
At the time of the auction, which begins at 12 noon London time, the spot price was at $14.42 per ounce while the futures price on the CME was at $14.415, leaving a number of market participants extremely confused as to what has happened."

Batten the hatches, A response to the US Federal Reserve - by Jeff Fitchett

We are in a very precarious position right now because the powers that be are proclaiming that all is fine, but the facts state otherwise.  This is very dangerous for the average person and history shows that when reality and fiction widen to polar extremes significant social carnage and personal misfortune follow.  For instance, back in July of 2005, Ben Bernanke (Former head of the US Federal Reserve) said; "We've never had a decline in house prices on a nationwide basis.  So, what I think what is more likely is that house prices will slow, maybe stabilize, might slow consumption spending a bit.  I don't think it's gonna drive the economy too far from its full employment path, though."  He went on to say; "these price increases largely reflect strong economic fundamentals."  A year later the housing market peaked and all hell broke loose beginning in 2007.  The Great Recession that followed was the worst economic calamity since the Great Depression.  Not only that, Central banks printed tens of trillions of dollars to backstop the global financial system.  

The aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis has only grown worse in size and the magnitude of the eventual fall-out will be unlike anything the world has ever experienced.  I am very comfortable making such a bold statement because economic data has never been this bad in human history.  The world economy is approximately $78 trillion USD in size.  Global debt currently stands at approximately $200 trillion.  Global derivative contracts are estimated to be about $1.5 quadrillion.  Too big to fail banks are much larger now when compared to their size during the 2008 financial crisis.  The average person is in a worse off position.  Since 2008, the middle class has shrunk in size, consumer debt has increased globally, income levels for the majority of people have declined and the gap between the ultra rich and average person is the widest in history.  

The Federal Reserve just finished two days of meetings and their subsequent press release is the most important piece of financial & monetary information that politicians, financial industry executives and media will report on.  I am going to dissect and debunk the entire press release.  First off, here is the key portion of the release:

"Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in December suggests that labor market conditions improved further even as economic growth slowed late last year. Household spending and business fixed investment have been increasing at moderate rates in recent months, and the housing sector has improved further; however, net exports have been soft and inventory investment slowed. A range of recent labor market indicators, including strong job gains, points to some additional decline in underutilization of labor resources. Inflation has continued to run below the Committee's 2 percent longer-run objective, partly reflecting declines in energy prices and in prices of non-energy imports. Market-based measures of inflation compensation declined further; survey-based measures of longer-term inflation expectations are little changed, on balance, in recent months."

Labour market conditions have not improved.  This chart shows that the labour participation rate is the worst it has been in over 30 years.  

The December 2015 Bureau of Labour Statistics Payroll Jobs report was manipulated.  Dr Paul Craig Roberts did an excellent job breaking down the numbers.  He stated; "the actual reported gain in new payroll jobs prior to seasonal adjustments was only 11,000. The seasonally adjusted gain was 292,000. In other words, seasonal adjustments accounted for 281,000 of the 292,000 reported jobs. There is a case for making seasonal adjustments, but not when seasonal adjustments account for 96% of the jobs gain."

The Fed stated that economic growth started slowing late in the year.  That is false.  Economic growth has been slowing for years. Oil prices have plunged because demand is dropping while supply is increasing.  If economic conditions were growing, as we are lead to believe, oil prices would be moving higher.  





The Baltic Dry Index is a measure of the cost of shipping dry goods via bulk cargo ships.  In boom times the rates go up and during recessions they drop.  Currently, the Index is at the lowest level in its history.  Hence, economic conditions are contracting.  


According to the Federal Reserve, household spending has been increasing.  This is false.  Household spending has been in decline.  In fact, Walmart is closing 269 stores and laying off 16,000 employees.  They are the biggest beneficiary of household spending and their store closures represent a drop in spending.  

Here is a list of companies that have announced layoffs in January 2016: Staples, Norfolk Southern Corp, VMware, Coca-Cola Finance Services, Fras'le North America, Polaris, Dupont, Xerox, Alpha Natural Resources, Rogers Media, Sprint, Guardian media Group, Qualcomm, Swamp Donkey Oilfield Services, Boeing, Schlumberger, Canadian Pacific Railway, Carrier Corp, Southwester Energy Co., Pearson Plc, Barclays Bank, Devon Energy Corp, Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corp, FanDuel, US Steel Corp, Mondelez, New York Air Brake, Morgan Stanley, Tiffany, Noble Corp, Yahoo, Contractor KBR, Potash Corp of Saskatchewan, CableLabs, Johnson & Johnson, Areva North America, Tata Steel, Tenaris, Regions Bank, Sam's Club, Wells Fargo, Zoosk, Warren Steel Holdings, Reed Smith, The Minacs Group, Goldman Sachs, SandRidge Energy Inc., GoPro, Noranda, Vermont Yankee, Aeropostale, Fenner, GE, BAE Systems, BP Energy, New York Life Insurance, CNH Industrial, MLive Media Group, Intrepid Potash, Spirit Aero Systems, Blackhawk Mining, Sunrun, Mixpanel, Essar Steel Minnesota, Allure, Johnston Press Group, Republic Steel, Avon, Emmis Communications, AIG, Morrison Healthcare, Madison Oscar Mayer, Macy's, Acosta Sales & Marketing, Princess Yachts, Monsanto, SolarCity, Martha Stewart Living, Faithlife Corp, Philadelphia Magazine, DRS Technologies, Freightliner, Pinnacle Mine, Olin Corp, Signal Peak Energy, EMC Corp.  In addition, universities, colleges, municipalities and other government funded agency's are laying off.  Keep in mind, the list of companies I provided were only announced in January.  I did not bother to search for previous months!

The Fed stated that business spending had increased "moderately". This is false.  See the list of companies laying off above and review the chart and data on Caterpillar listed below.  I believe that Caterpillar is an excellent bellwether for the global economy.  

The following is a quote from an article released today by ZeroHedge

"Today, CAT confirmed the flow through from this depressed picture when it announced that not only did revenue tumble by 23% to $11 billion, but it missed already deeply cut estimates of $11.4 billion, leading to a 111% collapse in operating profit which from $1.1 billion turned into a $114 million loss in the quarter. To be sure, the company tried to pull an Alcoa and stuff massive restructuring charges in the quarter amounting to $689, boosting non-GAAP EPS by $0.89 to $0.74, however one can simply ignore this latest accounting fudge attempt."

The Federal Reserve stated that the housing market has improved.  This is false.  The housing market is brutal.  Home ownership is at the lowest level it has been in 48 years.  The chart I provided is from the Federal Reserve website!  

They are still forecasting 2% inflation and a pick up in economic activity.  This utter nonsense!  Currencies, bonds, stocks, commodities, housing prices and many other items are dropping in price.  Food prices are going up drastically in countries that import because of their depreciating currencies.  I fully expect Central Banks to unleash massive rounds of money printing to save the global financial system.  I expect announcements will be made in the coming months.  

My question for you is who do you believe; the Federal Reserve or the facts that I have provided?  Remember, the path you choose to follow will impact you one way or another.  One path will help you mitigate misfortune and the other path will guarantee you misfortune.   

"Think for yourself. Trust your own intuition. Another's mind is not walking your journey, you are."        Scottie Waves

"If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered...I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies... The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs." - Thomas Jefferson

27/01/2016

Global Banking System in Bear Market - Gerald Celente with Greg Hunter

Mr Celente details the latest economic & geopolitical trends that are playing out.  He highlights current events and relates them to the big picture.  If you want to keep up to date with current trends I encourage you to follow Gerald Celente at The Trends Research Institute.


26/01/2016

My comments on the ZeroHedge article: Something Really Snapped At The Comex

Out of all investment options available my first choice is gold bullion.  There are very few assets that have held value for thousands of years.  I know that land and food are excellent investments as well, but from a pure practicality standpoint I think gold is the place to be.  We live in a world of extreme market manipulation.  Fiat currency is supposed to represent the cost of human labour and effort, but sadly fiat currency is being created out of thin air and has subsequently put the value of human labour at zero.   The Comex enables the manipulation of precious metals.  I have never seen such a blatant fraud as I see in the paper derivatives market.  Zero Hedge has reported that there are now 542 paper gold claims for each ounce of physical gold available through the Comex.  I believe this is criminal and heads should roll for this absurd manipulation.  I am not sure who in their right mind would buy a paper claim when physical bullion is still available.  We are going to wake up one day, in the not so distant future, and find that it is impossible to source and buy physical bullion.  Central Banks have distorted the financial markets and prolonged the inevitable economic adjustments that occur in free markets.  If you have any savings and are wondering about where to place your hard earned money I highly recommend you study the precious metals sector and get an understanding of the importance of real money (gold & silver).

"There had been an eerie silence at the Comex in recent weeks, where after registered gold tumbled to a record 120K ounces in early December nothing much had changed, an in fact the total amount of physical deliverable aka "registered" gold, had stayed practically unchanged at 275K ounces all throughout January."   Something Really Snapped At The Comex by ZeroHedge




Devastating Metastasizing Global Depression On its Way - Michael Pento with Greg Hunter

I respect Michael Pento's analysis and concur with his thoughts.  He provides logic that is counter to what mainstream economists provide.  This interview is worth your time.


The weight of the world - by Jeff Fitchett

I'm sure many of you often feel overwhelmed with the enormity of our situation.  I have bouts of it from time to time.  As I have said to like minded friends; I feel the ebbs and flows of our economic and geopolitical conditions.  It's as if the matrix is a living organism and I can feel the movements.  Generally speaking, I feel a significant weight on my shoulders during these points of time, such as the last few weeks, where everything appears to be letting go and collapsing.  During these stretches, the levers of control seem to no longer be working and my mind goes into a hyper focused planning mode.  

I do not worry about my personal situation.  My favourite pastime is camping and I enjoy the simple things in life.  Most importantly, I understand that our way of life is going to change and my mindset has adjusted to this reality.  What troubles me more than anything is the fate of my family, friends and society.  Younger generations are glued to electronic devices and have never known a world without them.  Studies show that kids spend much less time immersed in nature and I feel they are less grounded than any other generation in history.  Our way of life has been super-sized over the past 30 or so years. Older generations are accustomed to a lifestyle that requires a constantly increasing strain on resources.  Society is caught in an illusion of unceasing growth.  Waves of people are relying on fragile food, health and economic systems.  

More often than not, when the perfect storm is brewing in the economy and people start to express concern, a distraction or major event transpires that shifts the collective focus away from the current crisis.  A return to calm occurs and the world continues to plug along as if nothing is the matter.  As you are aware, the issues we face have been building for decades and the foundation of debt is slowly crumbling.  Confidence is all that remains.  The periods of respite that follow a duration of imminent crisis give the majority of people a false sense of security.  Over time, the populace concludes that this is the way things are. Influential people play down the woes of the world and front page newspaper articles will reinforce the dogma with articles such as the Financial Post's; "McDonald's all-day breakfast a hit as sales beat expectations". 

I constantly think about how to help others mitigate their soon to be felt misfortune.  In the past I made an effort to reach out to people directly.  Quickly I realized that most people do not want to be awakened from their slumber and its relative comfort. Have you have felt that same futility?  When I worked in wealth management I became extremely disenfranchised and tired of trying to protect people from themselves and of working for institutions that saw clients as means of making profits.   A year ago, just before I left the financial industry, I received an email from a client of mine and here is a portion of it:

"Driving back from our meeting today I was starting to think about everything you must have been going through the last five years, having a much too deep look into the markets and the world, knowing you have millions of dollars in peoples hard earned money in your hands, and acting on your best instincts to truly do what you believe is best for us all, at your own professional peril as markets kept working against you over the past few years, even with your bank and investors piling up against you, you refused to give in to what you believe in. Your character is a rarity to come across."

The reason I am sharing this with you is because it is important for you to stay the course and make decisions that make logical sense.  Holding a contrarian view of the world is tiring, but the alternative to doing so will lead to personal catastrophe.  

Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching - C.S. Lewis

Focus on the things you can control and let go of the things you cannot control.  I know it's easier said then done, but you will find more peace in your life.  There is no denying that the immensity of our global situation is draining to deal with.  Keep focused on the things that matter.  Eliminate toxic people from your life and spend more time with the people you enjoy being with.  Community is going to become more important as time passes.  Prepare as best you can with the resources you have available.  Most of all, enjoy life and all the simple pleasures that come with it.  


25/01/2016

Here's an excellent example how to become more resilient: Urban Permaculture with Geoff Lawton

This short video illustrates what is possible on a small urban lot.  Most of the world population lives in urban areas.  There are millions of acres of grassed yards.  In my opinion, urban permaculture is the best way to prepare for the systemic problems we face.  You will save money on food costs, become healthier and become much more resilient.    


Don't expect government to fix systemic problems - by Jeff Fitchett

I'm a political atheist.  Sadly, like many others, I strategically vote for the best of the worst options.  I don't believe any elected government in the world today understands the dire straits humanity faces.  Deep down I know that voting is a battle of futility.  Ruling parties come and go, but the underlying deputy ministers and career civil servants remain in place perpetuating an unviable policy regiment.  The system has been corrupted over a long period of time.  Most people working in government are unaware of the serious calamity we face and the general public is oblivious as well.  Vested interests shape policies that benefit the minority.

Short term rewards trump longterm strategic thinking.  Investors demand immediate returns on investments even though economic and fiscal conditions do not support this kind of mindset.  I was chatting with a friend of mine a couple weeks back and he mentioned that a client of his expected 10% rates of return every year.  Delusion is alive and well in our society.  Corporations use manipulative techniques to increase earnings per share that will benefit shareholders near term, but longer term the corporations will fail. Profits have been privatized while losses are covered by tax payers.

Trade deals that have been struck over the last 20 or so years supersede the laws of nation states in favour of multinational corporations.  In the West, we like to think that we live in a democracy, but truthfully we are governed by oligarchs.  There is no way to change the system from within.  I have contemplated these problems for years and I always come back to the same conclusion; opt out and control your own destiny.  I know that may sound a tad off-kilter, but I don't think it is.  How many times have you heard a friend or family member say: "the government should deal with that or the government should pass a regulation or law...".  I know I have heard lines like that often enough for it to stick in my mind.  I think it is imperative that everyone realizes that government pensions and health care are going to dematerialize.

According to Michael Snyder, 62% of all Americans have less than $1000 in savings.  Fewer than 10% of Millennials and 16% of Generation X's have $10,000 in savings.   65% of all households with children are receiving some form of government benefits.  46 million Americans are using food banks each year. Imagine what the majority of the population in the US would do if there was no government sponsored pensions, welfare and health care. The same goes for every other Western nation.

The problems we face as a civilization have spread throughout our society because of a sense of entitlement.  I often listen to people make comments that elude to the fact that they should be paid if they do not work or that wage increases should be mandatory even though economic conditions do not warrant an increase or that they deserve government benefits that pay out more than what they have put in. Government deficits and debt have long passed the point of no return.  It is impossible for economic growth to suddenly spike higher.  An economy based on debt has no future.  There are times when using debt makes sense such as a business financing an expansion that will lead to higher income, but not when our entire way of life is based on a debt paradigm.

Debt defaults are baked in the cake so to speak.  Consumers, corporations and governments have all binged on debt and now the piper is about to be paid.  You have a choice to take matters into your own hands and adjust your life accordingly or you will go down with the sinking ship that is our unsustainable way of life.






24/01/2016

We are on the precipice - with Chris Martenson & David Morgan

I just finished listening to Chris and David talk about the world, precious metals, solutions, politics and monetary policy.  I thoroughly enjoyed the interview and I highly recommend it.  It is refreshing to listen to two individuals discuss serious problems and at the same time provide optimism and positivity.


23/01/2016

Fruit, Vegetable Prices Soar In Canada: "If You Insist On Eating Tomatoes, You're Going To Pay For It" by ZeroHedge

"Because Canada imports more than three quarters of its fresh fruits and vegetables, the inexorable decline of the Canadian dollar has driven up prices on everything from cucumbers to cauliflower to tomatoes, and as we showed via a series of tweets from incredulous supermarket shoppers, Canadians are not pleased."

Continue reading 

My journey down the road to preparedness - by Jeff Fitchett


If you have had a chance to read my about page you will notice my background is in finance.  The financial crisis in 2008 triggered me to dive deep into what was going on.  I have always been an introspective person and quite analytical.  As I started connecting the dots it became extremely apparent to me that our way of life was like a castle made of sand; just waiting to break apart as soon as the next wave comes crashing down.  The water is looking very troublesome in our world today.

I am not a wealthy person.  I'm like the majority of people with bills to pay and a family to support.  I have two daughters that live with me 50% of the time.  I have a girlfriend, but we do not yet live together. I'm telling you this to help you get an idea of my personal situation.  Everyone has a different set of circumstances and how they prepare will be slightly different.  

For me, the most obvious areas of immediate concern dealt with covering off the basics: home, heat, water and food.  Back when I started prepping I did not have the knowledge I do now and I had not found the treasure chest of resources available via the internet, DVD's and books.  I'm highlighting these facts because looking back I see how I could have saved myself time and money.  The financial system was in free fall in 2008 and QE (money printing) programs had not been announced yet.  I saw serious problems that made me conclude that the global financial system was on the very brink of collapse.  Hence, came my recognition that I needed to plan with a sense of urgency.  A collapsed financial system would immediately disrupt all aspects of our life.  The problems we face now are systemically dangerous and magnitudes larger than in 2008.  

Like most people who prepare, I filled my pantry.  Initially I purchased some prepackaged longterm store foods, but learned quickly that it is quite easy and inexpensive to grow food, buy in bulk and preserve foods using specific techniques depending on the type of food.  I think pinterest.com is awesome because you can find many how-to links in seconds.  I went out and bought a Berkey Water Filter.  It's a good product, but I soon found cheaper ways to deal with water.  There are so many creative people out there who come up with great ideas and share them on youtube and on other sites.  I had purchased a used wood stove and cook stove that was listed on kijiji.  I then came across rocket mass heaters and realized that the wood stove and cookstove are less efficient and more costly in money and personal effort as it pertains to chopping wood.  You can see that I initially spent money on quick-fix items that could be put into use immediately, but over time I have learned to be more self-reliant by learning new skills such as learning to make and build things.  

Housing is a tough issue for most people because it is a burdensome priority to deal with.  Property is expensive, not very liquid if you wanted to sell and in many cases people are renting.  Often finding a better housing alternative is too costly or not practical.  My main concern relates more to income than anything.  We are going to continue to see mounting job losses and this will create a negative feedback loop that will perpetuate the downward economic trajectory.  As the depression builds debt defaults will intensify greatly.  I think income disruptions will happen to everyone.  Having a mortgage will be problematic when my income drops.  Many people will be in the same predicament.  

The past and future do not exist.  We only have the now to work with.  With that said I focus my efforts on the areas I can control and work within the situation I find myself.  We are in a deflationary depression currently.  Everything besides food is dropping in price.  Most currencies are depreciating.  Stocks and bonds are dropping.  Housing prices are trending down.  Incomes are declining.  Precious metals and food are not dropping in value or price.  For anyone who follows the precious metals sector understands that the story is one with two tales.  Demand for physical bullion is outstripping the physical supply and the cost to purchase bullion is more than the spot price.  However, the spot price is being controlled by a fraudulent paper derivatives market.  I don't need to say much on this given how much it is already covered in the news.  Food is becoming an issue globally as our distribution systems and factory style farming methods are extremely vulnerable to disruption and collapse.  Central banks will likely launch massive printing programs in an effort to combat deflation, but that will more than likely cause hyperinflation.  Hyperinflation is quite common and the general public needs to eliminate the dogma that states; this time is different.  Whether we have deflation or inflation the average person's living standards will be negatively impacted


Ideally, I would love a few acres of land to build a house on and design a food system based on the layout of the land.  I am planning to build a cordwood home in the not so distant future.  I am gathering tools and specific material for this goal.  I took Geoff Lawton's online permaculture design course and I enjoyed it immensely.  I got more out of that course than I did in university, college or through other courses I have taken.  I did a permaculture plan for my existing home and have worked on implementing it over the last number of years.  I have chickens, bees, fruit & nut trees and I have a large vegetable garden area.  I also have a massive garden at a local farm (350ft x 50ft).  I'm learning through trial and error, but the journey is enjoyable.  Seeds are so cheap for what you get in return food wise.  Anyone can grow some food.  

There is so much information available online to teach us new skills.  I believe that education is the single most important thing to focus on from a prepping standpoint.  As Chris Duane often says; "If you are aware you can prepare".   I have a strong desire to help people.  I found it extremely demoralizing working within the financial sector.  The psychology of people is naturally to assimilate with others.  My clients trusted me profusely, but many struggled and fought in the tug-of-war between the harsh reality I was explaining versus the mainstream point of view that "all is good".  

I hope missives like this will help you in some way.  Many people are now realizing that there is significant change in the air.  We do not have the luxury of time on our hands.  If you lost your income source what would your immediate concern be?   The problems we face as a global population are monumental in size.  I have a hard time seeing how banks will be able to foreclose on the millions and millions of houses that have mortgages.  The Great Depression offers us some clues as to what we can expect.  However,  more recent examples of economic collapse in Argentina, Venezuela, Ukraine, Brazil, Zimbabwe to name a few will give us a better indication of what we can expect.  Again, you can spend endless hours watching documentaries and reading books and articles to get a sense of what happens.  The outcome may be a bit different once the US bites the dust.  At that point we could very well push forward into a world made by hand.  James Howard Kunstler wrote a four book series that I really enjoyed and his view is that we will devolve into a fiefdom type scenario where local towns will become the economy and micro society.  It is quite romantic in some ways, but for most people it is unimaginable. Who knows what will happen exactly, but one thing is for sure and that is that our current way of life is coming to an end.  Endless growth in a finite world of resources is not possible.  

As I previously stated, my focus has been to reduce my dependency on our existing system.   If the lights were ever to go out I would just build upon the foundation I have created over the past 8 years. I have a library of books, tools and knowledge that will keep me content and chugging along in the years ahead.  I know that with all the geopolitical and social issues bombarding us it can be a tad overwhelming, but it need not be.  I have peace of mind now.  It was a bumpy road on my path towards some tranquility, but I wouldn't change it.  Adversity brings out character in a person.  Years ago I decided that each day I would do a minimum of one thing that will better my future.  Somedays that one thing is a simple stretch or learning something new on youtube or buying a tool or making hard cider, wine & beer.  You get the picture.   If you are just coming to the realization now that the outlook for humanity is about to change drastically I encourage you to embrace this change and look for new opportunities to better your life.  There are so many amazing people doing incredible things and it gives me optimism for my future.  

If you do not change direction you may end up where you are heading.

Lao Tzu







If you don’t conform to the crowd now, you’re a ‘radical’ by Simon Black

I like this short article by Simon Black.  I agree with everything he said.  I guess I'm a radical too...

"Deep down we human beings are social creatures. We seek acceptance from the group.  It’s why conformity is so much easier than standing apart from the crowd, even when the crowd makes absolutely no sense.  And those who don’t conform and think independently are labeled radicals."
"Our financial system is a great example of this.  They’ve spiked the punch bowl with so many lies. Home prices always go up. The debt doesn’t matter because we owe it to ourselves. We can always print more money.  None of this nonsense is true. But the financial establishment tells us so. Big media repeats it over and over again. Eventually hundreds of millions of people believe it."

22/01/2016

Dow could fall 5,000 points and still not be ‘cheap’ by Brett Arends

This article is worth a quick gander...though I think the Dow Jones is going to fall much further than 5000 points given the massive debt unwind that is taking place.

"Hard to believe, but the Dow Jones Industrial Average DIA, -0.16%  could fall by another 1,000 to 5,000 points and still not be “cheap” compared with long-term stock-valuation measures. That’s the stark conclusion from an analysis comparing current stock prices to underlying measures such as per-share revenue, earnings and corporate net worth."

TAC - Weekly Summary - General Thoughts - by Jeff Fitchett

I hope you have had a good week and that life is treating you well.  As I have dug through the mountainous volumes of news articles this week I continue to marvel at how manipulated the messaging is.  Every piece of news offers opposing views from pundits and vested interests.  How in the world can people continue to believe that the outlook is improving?  The equity markets are getting crushed and only move up slightly when the presstitute media hints that more stimulus via QE (Money Printing) “might” be coming or when massaged statistics show a positive improvement in some part of the economy.  Even then, the average person should be able to see the  quackery.  

Moodys, a major credit rating agency, announced today that they are putting a downgrade on 175 oil, gas and mining companies.  These companies have over half a trillion dollars in debt combined.  If you think Lehman Brothers was a problem in 2008 I highly recommend that you think about what the fallout will be from these companies going bust.  

To make matters worse, the US Federal Reserve has allowed banks to not value their energy market debt exposure to what the true underlying market value is.  In simpler terms, generally accepted accounting principles state that companies must value their assets to their current market value.  In the case of banks, if their asset values drop this can impact their capital ratios and if the ratios drop below a legislated level the said banks will be forced to raise capital.  Back in 2008, banks all over the world required a tax payer bailout to the tune of trillions of dollars because of the same issue.  So here we are again; repeating history.  Fraud is being approved by a corrupt regulator to allow for the facade of “everything is hunky dory” to continue.  


Week after week I have warned that investors need to take cover now.  The financial press will lead you to believe that now is a good time to “buy the dip” or increase your exposure to sectors such as bank stocks.  Perhaps they should be advising investors to bet against the bank stocks and short them.  I will not be surprised to see a near term bounce higher in equities and then a continued drop towards the abyss.  After all, confidence is the only thing keeping the financial markets afloat.  Personally, as I  wrote about in an article a couple weeks ago, I am only interested in hard assets that will always be a store of value.  In the last 7 months, over $14 trillion has been lost in the equity markets.  That amount is close to 7 times the size of the Canadian economy.  I have said it before and I will say it again; currency wars, trade wars and war are to be expected.   You will notice that peripheral countries such as Venezuela will be hit first and slowly the rot will make its way into core countries such as the US.  The International Monetary Fund estimates that Venezuela will have an inflation rate of 720% in 2016.  Hyperinflation and severe deflation feel the same for the average person.  Either way, life becomes more difficult and the systems that we all rely upon begin to fail or at the very least service levels decline.  



The Most Brazen Corporate Power Grab in American History

I strongly urge you to view the interview below.  Chris Hedges and organizer Kevin Zeese break down the terms of the Trans­Pacific Partnership (TPP). The two deconstruct how the TPP and other associated trade deals like TISA and TTIP, if approved, will lead to the irreversible privatization of public services, the dismantling of people’s judiciary rights, and the further corporatization of pharmaceuticals, labor, and natural resources.  Canada is looking to sign the same agreements as are most Western countries.  This could very well be the nail in the coffin for our democracies.  





Weekly News Wrap-Up - January 22, 2016 - By Greg Hunter

Greg summarizes this week's events in his usual honest way.  It is worth a view given the amount of information packed into a short video clip.


21/01/2016

Why it is Important to Stay Informed and Prepare - by Jeff Fitchett

The majority of people do not like too much reality.  I understand that economics and the world of finance can seem like a foreign language.  Geopolitics is rarely considered a sexy topic to explore and follow.  The millions of casualties triggered by American foreign policy and their endless wars  conducted since WWII is troubling to say the least.  It's hard to look at pictures of destroyed lives and communities.  Politicians and their obedient media outfits spew out talking points that if repeated enough times soon become non-fiction to the uninitiated masses.  There are distractions at every turn for the average person to escape into. 

Seeing the world clearly through an unfiltered lens changes a person. Once you travel down the rabbit hole there is no turning back.  Simply checking out is no longer an option.  For me and other people I know who are like minded; learning about the real world has allowed us to see life from a different perspective. I will speak for myself and let it be known that I went through a grieving process when I learned that nothing was as it seems.  I was astounded to learn that money is debt, that central banks are owned by private banks and that the wealth of the average person was being transferred to powerful corporations and individuals. I have always felt that government corruption was a problem, but not to the extent to which it is. I am thankful that my eyes were opened back in 2008 as the financial crisis was erupting.  

Think tanks and organizations like the IMF, World Bank, Council on Foreign Relations, Neo-Conservative groups, Military Industrial/Security Complex, Bilderberg Group, Rothchilds, Rockefeller's and many others effectively control our societal path and dictate policies that enrich the elites at the detriment of everyone else.  They control us because we have given them the power to do so.  I often hear people preaching that an armed revolt is needed or some collective mobilization is required to change the world.  I don't agree with this stance.  The only thing that you can control is your own actions.  Collective thinking will just result in more of the same.  Sociopaths and psychopaths have a tendency to rise to the top of any organization.  

The beauty is, once you understand what is going on in our world, life becomes a bit clearer.  Personally, I now work towards a simpler more resilient life.  I'm happier now than ever before.  It is rewarding to take life into my hands and hop off the treadmill that is the daily grind.  I find it helpful to see what is coming down the road and make changes in my life that will insulate me from some of the carnage that our unsustainable economic model is bringing our way. I understand that our financial system is basically one big pyramid scheme held together by central bank money printing, low interest rates and confidence. Traditional investments are ticking time bombs.  Our food system is one disruption away from disaster. Government spending & entitlement benefits are not sustainable much longer.  Our health care systems are underfunded and are unable to keep up with the increasing demand.  Our consumer culture is in decline as we have reached the limits of debt.  The natural world cannot support the growing global population.  On so many levels the systems we rely on are collapsing.  

With that said, there is so much opportunity for an individual to thrive.  A different mindset is required and it deviates significantly from the "American Dream".  The old model of: go to school, get a job, buy a car, get married, buy a starter home, have a family, buy a bigger home, take vacations at all inclusive resorts, save for retirement and then one day retire and live off your savings is all but an illusion now.  We need to embrace an economic model of "un-growth".   It is ridiculous when you step back and look at the world wide web of distribution systems that globalization has created to feed our consumer culture.  We desperately need to downsize our way of life to local economies that do not rely on extreme resource extraction levels that are not sustainable.  Urban sprawl and modern houses are extremely energy inefficient and poorly built when compared to houses built 100 years ago.  I really don't need to harp on the silliness that our Western consumer culture has become because it is painfully obvious to anyone who takes a step back and looks at it.  We have all seen videos of the Black Friday mobs piling into department stores fighting their way towards the 'must have' iGadget.  

I love the journey I'm taking to become more resilient.  I used to work on the 14th floor of a glass building in downtown Hamilton, Ontario.  I sat in traffic like the thousands of other people making their way to work each day.  I had a fairly big house, big mortgage, big property taxes and big utility bills.  I was stressed and I did not particularly like my daily life.   Now, I work from home in a small farming town, live in a modest size house, have a smaller mortgage,  have chickens, honey bees and a massive vegetable garden in my backyard.  My expenses are less and are slowly dropping.  Bit by bit I'm paying off my personal debts.  It's fulfilling for me.  I keep learning new skills such as preserving foods and making things from scratch.  My life has become much more sustainable than when I lived and worked in the city.  We all have different paths to take.  I encourage you to find yours.  I get emails from International Living Magazine and I love reading the stories about people, with hardly any money, living abroad and living their dream.  Most of all, when the shit hits the fan I am already prepared mentally to deal with the hardships that will follow.  I now have the skills and tools to adjust to a system that is no longer functioning.  Truth be told, I look forward to an economic collapse and to a world that is simpler.   

World Faces Wave of Epic Debt Defaults, Fears Central Bank Veteran - Article by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

You know times are bad when the former chief economist of the Bank of International Settlements is telling us how the harsh truth without any of the eternal optimism I've been accustomed to hearing from mainstream sources of information.  I agree with Mr White's assessment and Ambrose's article.  
"The global financial system has become dangerously unstable and faces an avalanche of bankruptcies that will test social and political stability, a leading monetary theorist has warned. 
"The situation is worse than it was in 2007. Our macroeconomic ammunition to fight downturns is essentially all used up," said William White, the Swiss-based chairman of the OECD's review committee and former chief economist of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS)."

The U.S. Is At The Center Of The Global Economic Meltdown by Brandon Smith (must read)

I often read articles and watch interviews that I concur with completely.  Brandon's article is worth your time as I agree with everything he outlines. I appreciate the time and effort Brandon puts into educating the public.

"Unlike the Great Depression, social crisis will eventually eclipse economic crisis in the U.S. That is to say, our society today is so unequipped to deal with a financial collapse that the event will inevitably trigger cultural upheaval and violent internal conflict. In the 1930s, nearly 50% of the American population was rural. Farmers made up 21% of the labor force. Today, only 20% of the population is rural. Less than 2% work in farming and agriculture. That’s a rather dramatic shift from a more independent and knowledgeable land-utilizing society to a far more helpless and hapless consumer-based system."

Continue Reading

Gerald Celente - Forecasting 2016

As always, Gerald Celente is direct, honest and proficient with his forecast update.  Great interview


Fed Out of Bullets, What Comes Next? - Mike Maloney & Jay Taylor

This is a short clip and worth your time.  I agree completely with Mike's assessment


20/01/2016

Europe Will Not Survive as a Union - by Jeff Fitchett

The actions of EU politicians with the help of the presstitute media are leading the average person down the path to ruin.  The populace is now clearly seeing and feeling the repercussions of incredibly bad economic, social and foreign policies.  I can't imagine what it would be like to watch waves of refugees and migrants passing through my town.  Laws are being passed that strip the rights of the individual.  The very culture and identity of European nations are being destroyed by EU leaders as they follow the US's lead from a foreign policy and economic standpoint.  Europeans have witnessed "non-establishment" political parties and movements grow in countries such as Greece and Spain only to fail in the end because of the power of the Central Banks, IMF, World Bank, Troika, mainstream media, etc.  The corruption is epic in scale and the daily grind for most people distracts them from the true causes of their fleeting position in life.

I would like to think that a movement could change the course of history that is currently being written, but I feel that any such movement will fail because the population in almost every country has been brought up in a world of entitlement. People will fight to preserve a system that is destroying them.  I see it everywhere.  

The youth of today have little prospect of experiencing a standard of living that is comparable to previous generations.  Technology masks the reality of the "physical" world and allows people to be sucked into a virtual world of fantasy.  Reality is one persons perception and it is easy to understand why the popularity of a virtual world is so appealing.  In many cases it shelters them from the raw truth.  The truth that we are slaves to a system that is eroding from the foundation up.  

Strengthening families and communities is a practical step that is more doable than a top down approach of replacing a federal government.  The rot is too far ingrained into the political establishment to somehow change it from within.  Only the individual has the power to break free from the psychological confines of our society.  Breaking free is a very contrarian stance to take and anyone who travels this path will face objection from your closest friends and family.  

At some point, we will all have a decision to make and decide whether to opt out of our existing paradigm.  For many, there is little they can do.  Just think of the refugees fleeing bombs and bullets, boarding sketchy looking boats, travelling endless kilometres looking for safety only to be persecuted and imprisoned in refugee camps.  There is no economic safe haven anywhere in our world today.  The great unravelling has been playing out for many years, but the financial markets have masked the true state of decay.  


"The few who understand the system will either be so interested in its profits or be so dependent upon its favours that there will be no opposition from that class, while on the other hand, the great body of people, mentally incapable of comprehending the tremendous advantage that capital derives from the system, will bear its burdens without complaint, and perhaps without even suspecting that the system is inimical to their interests." 

The Rothschild brothers of London writing to associates in New York, 1863.