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Chris Martenson

Syndicate content Peak Prosperity
Insights for Prospering as Our World Changes
Updated: 2 hours 17 min ago

Daily Digest 4/22 - Economic Pluralism And Science, Mosquito Menace Will Only Get Worse

April 22, 2017 - 07:45
  • Economic Pluralism And Science
  • FI Special: The British General Election And A First Round French Presidential Election Forecast
  • America’s Health Care Costs Are Crushing the Economy
  • 17 Reasons Why You Should Own Gold
  • A Guide to the French Vote (and How It Relates to ‘Brexit’ and Trump)
  • What’s the Maker of Post-it Notes Doing in the Ankle Monitor Business? Struggling
  • Why the Menace of Mosquitoes Will Only Get Worse
  • U.S. Farmers, Who Once Fed the World, Are Overtaken by New Powers 

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Categories: Economics

The Coming Conflagration

April 21, 2017 - 17:26
Executive Summary
  • Have overt central bank propping efforts created a bubble in asset prices?
  • Will these overinflated markets EVER collapse?
  • What to expect when today's smoke turns into tomorrow's conflagration
  • Which assets are most sensitive to a price correction if the central banks' efforts fail?

If you have not yet read Part 1: Where there’s smoke... available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

Question #2: How much does overt central bank propping have to do with their elevated prices?

Overt propping of the stock and bond markets also happens with some regularity.  First, at the macro level, dumping hundreds of billions of freshly printed currency units into the financial markets each month without any question whatsoever, plays a huge role in keeping them elevated.

One the one hand you have the central banks talking at every turn about how they are confident in the economy, that they feel the data is good, if not solid, and yet you have them dumping money into the financial “”markets”” (double quote marks because one is no longer sufficient to convey how unreal they’ve become) at the fastest pace in all of recorded history through the first 4 months of 2017; $1 trillion dollars(!!).

(Source)

If you were wondering why these markets are having such a difficult time going down, $250 billion a month goes a long way towards helping you appreciate why that’s the case.

It’s an astonishing number, and I want you to appreciate the fact that central banks would not be dumping record amounts of thin-air money into the ““markets””

The next point is that...

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Categories: Economics

Where There’s Smoke...

April 21, 2017 - 17:26

Many questions surround the elevated financial asset prices we are faced with today.

I'm talking not just about the sky-high prices of stocks and bonds, but also of the trillions of dollars’ worth of derivatives that are linked to them.  All are intricately linked together. For instance, stocks are elevated, in part, because bond yields are so low. 

These questions are important to consider because -- if central banks have been too involved and gotten themselves mixed up in trying to ‘wag the dog’ by using elevated financial asset prices as a means to drive economic expansion -- then the risk is a big implosion in financial asset prices if their efforts fail.

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Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 4/21 - Good News Friday: Staying In Fighting Shape, Enjoy National Park Week

April 21, 2017 - 07:13
  • Lawmakers Pass Major Statewide Reforms Of Public Defense System 
  • This group plans to bail moms out of jail for Mother's Day
  • Like disappearing ink, but cooler: Laser-powered invisible images demonstrated
  • This super fit 80-year-old personal trainer is teaching his aging clients how to stay in fighting shape
  • Apple wants to stop mining and start making everything from recycled materials
  • Get Outside: Visit a National Park for Free During National Park Week

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Categories: Economics

Off The Cuff: The Era Of Easy Money Is Over

April 20, 2017 - 17:44

In this week's Off The Cuff podcast, Chris and John Rubino discuss:

  • Sovereign Sabre-Rattling
    • Suddenly, the world became a lot less safe
  • Market Misdirection
    • The central planners are doing their utmost to paint a positive picture
  • The Era Of Easy Money is Over
    • Debt-funded stimulus no longer results in an increase of GDP
  • How This All Will End
    • Exploring the likely pins that will pop this "mother of all bubbles"

Chris and John look at the disconnect between world events and stock prices and urge folks not to misled: risk is high, and getting higher. There is *no* rational reason for the current price levels in financial markets -- only gobs and gobs of liquidity being force-fed into the system by the world's central banks.

But the data is increasingly showing that the era of "easy money" we've lived under since the Great Recession has reached its inevitable terminus. Shoving more debt into the system is no longer boosting GDP. We are now simply blowing bigger asset bubbles that will monumentally destructive when they burst -- as they must.

Click to listen to a sample of this Off the Cuff Podcast or Enroll today to access the full audio and other premium content today.

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Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 4/20 - Democracy to Pathocracy, The Detroit Of Tomorrow?

April 20, 2017 - 06:39
  • Democracy to Pathocracy: The Rise of the Political Psychopath
  • Trump still hasn't given the U.S. economy a reason to pick up
  • The Fall of Journalism Ethics and Standards in the Corporate Press
  • When Will They Ever Learn?
  • The Detroit Of Tomorrow?
  • A Silver Price Seasonality Chart
  • Oil Industry Worried About Trump’s “Buy American”
  • Startup Profile: Enviro Power Is Bringing Microcogeneration to the U.S.

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Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 4/19 - Tax Angeles, Don't Count On That Gov't Pension

April 19, 2017 - 06:35
  • Tax Angeles (Los Angeles)
  • Don't count on that government pension
  • Op-Ed Why tax day is a nightmare for freelancers
  • What Default Rates on Subprime Auto Loans Are Telling Us
  • IMF raises China growth outlook but warns of risk of 'disruptive adjustments'
  • Is the ‘real number’ for the national debt $70 trillion?
  • Shinzo Abe eradicates last hawks from the Bank of Japan
  • Spanish treasury places 1.55 bln euros on market at negative interest rates
  • Struggling Aussies taking on negatively geared properties
  • Housing Speculation An Addiction Canada's Economy Can't Kick

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Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 4/18 - America's Disappearing Pensions, Thermonuclear War May Break Out 'At Any Minute'

April 18, 2017 - 06:06
  • North Korea: ‘Thermonuclear war may break out at any minute' 
  • How Western civilisation could collapse 
  • Hotel industry details plans to fight Airbnb
  • Trump orders agencies to re-think H-1B visa program 
  • Angst In America - Disappearing Pensions
  • Children as young as 13 attending 'smartphone rehab' as concerns grow over screen time
  • The Inside Story Of The Kushner-Bannon Civil War
  • Researchers find glyphosate in pregnant women, worry about impact on infants

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Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 4/17 - Examining North Korea's Missiles, Prepare For The Next Crisis

April 17, 2017 - 08:16
  • Millions of Americans Still Haven’t Filed Their Taxes
  • Examining North Korea's Missiles
  • 100 Years Ago, the United States Entered World War I
  • Prepare For The Next Crisis
  • Americans are swamped in $1 trillion of credit card debt
  • Oil Prices Rally Amid Rising Rig Count
  • Ooho Makes 'Eating' Water Possible! Edible Water Bottle Ball Aims To Replace Plastic Bottles
  • Above Canada and Greenland With NASA's Operation IceBridge

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Categories: Economics

Brad Birkenfeld: Lucifer's Banker

April 16, 2017 - 10:14

Just how bad is the ongoing fraud in the banking system? Get ready for a mind-bowing expose by a former insider at UBS.

Brad Birkenfield, author of Lucifer's Banker: The Untold Story of How I Destroyed Swiss Bank Secrecy, recounts the efforts he uncovered by his employer to help its clients cheat the US government out of tens of $billions in taxes.

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Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 4/15 - Income Tax Then And Now, When Does A Company Decide You Are Human?

April 15, 2017 - 09:01
  • Tim Geithner Admits Banks Bailed Out With Rigged Libor, Costing Taxpayers Huge Amount 
  • 104 Years of the Income Tax: Then and Now
  • Tax Hero
  • The Booming Business Of Private Prisons
  • When Does a Company Decide You Are Human? 
  • Titanic Parallel to the Federal Reserve
  • China Ready To Cut Oil Supplies To North Korea
  • Wind-powered device can produce 11 gallons per day of clean drinking water from the air

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Categories: Economics

The Benefits & Challenges Of Maintaining A Retreat Property

April 14, 2017 - 15:18
Executive Summary
  • The matrix of factors to consider in a Plan B residence
  • What to know abot eacf of the five key factors
  • Not all second homes are fully functional
  • The challenges & benefits of maintaining two separate fully functional residences

If you have not yet read Part 1: Does Your Plan B Include a Second Place to Live if Plan A Doesn’t Work Out? available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

In Part 1 we reviewed the three basic categories of Plan B Residences: temporary (to ride out an emergency); semi-permanent (to weather a recession/loss of income) and permanent (replacing Plan A residence with Plan B residence).

In Part 2, we’ll consider a Matrix of Factors that will help us choose the inevitable trade-offs of costs and benefits, and add a category—permanent maintenance of two fully functional residences.

The Matrix of Factors

While there are many factors in any Plan B, I’ve pared the key factors in Plan B residences down to five: cost, control, security, depth of resources and functions enabled. Each is on a sliding scale from low to high. There are costs and benefits to each being low, medium or high.

Let’s go over each factor.

Cost:

While cost measured by price is self-explanatory, this also includes opportunity costs (what else could have been accomplished with the money?), time (the hassle factor of how long it will take to get something done) and labor—how much labor must be invested to accomplish a goal.

There is even a stress cost: how much will this goal/project add to my stress load? Even if the money needed is on hand, the overall cost can be high in terms of time, hassle, stress and opportunity cost.

Control:

By this I mean ownership (of the land, the house, etc.), contractual control (of jointly owned assets, of any hired labor, etc.) and functional control, i.e. residency.  As many have discovered to their regret, it’s possible to have legal ownership/control but end up with effectively zero functional control, as your house might be occupied by squatters or family members who morphed from allies to enemies.

Control is important because...

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Categories: Economics

Does Your Plan B Include a Second Place to Live If Plan A Doesn’t Work Out?

April 14, 2017 - 15:18

Maintaining a functional separate retreat residence is a responsibility that comes with real costs and complexities. But if done right, it can yield great returns during both good times and bad.

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Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 4/14 - Good News Friday: The Circle Of Life, Pulling Water Out Of Desert Air

April 14, 2017 - 08:57
  • How the FBI Took Down Russia’s Spam King—And His Massive Botnet
  • Tiny, family-run newspaper wins Pulitzer Prize for taking on big business
  • The Circle Of Life
  • New York Can Destroy Documents, Judge Rules in Municipal ID Case
  • Northern California gets its wettest winter in nearly a century
  • This new solar-powered device can pull water straight from the desert air
  • Quebec Food Waste Program To Rescue 30.8 Million Pounds Of Food

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Categories: Economics

Off The Cuff: The Soft Data & Hard Data Are At Odds

April 13, 2017 - 16:30

In this week's Off The Cuff podcast, Chris and Mish Shedlock discuss:

  • Soft vs Hard Data
    • They disagree. Which is correct?
  • More Manipulation
    • The central banks are not even hiding it anymore
  • The Big Problem: Too Much Debt
    • Don't expect the Fed to raise rates much higher from here
  • The French Election
    • However it unfolds, France is at a breaking point

In this week's podcast, Chris and Mish discuss the increasingly opposite stories being told by the "soft" and "hard" data. Soft indicators like consumer confidence and bullish sentiment are sky-high; while hard metrics like GDP growth, retail store closures, or auto sales tell a grim story of economic slowdown.

History shows that such a dichotomy between soft and hard data occur at turning points in the economy. And, as Mish recaps, we've seen this movie before:

Hussman reports that soft data after a lengthy expansion like we've had is mainly noise. I tend to agree with him. Market tops and bottoms tend to be points, both in the economy and the stock market -- and we are seeing the stock market today is experiencing a rounded topping affair with people remaining bullish even as it's clear the economy is sinking. We saw that happen in 2007. I think we saw that happen in 2000 as well. 

Click to listen to a sample of this Off the Cuff Podcast or Enroll today to access the full audio and other premium content today.

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Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 4/13 - Expect The Unexpected, Do People Really Care About The Environment?

April 13, 2017 - 07:29
  • Expect The Unexpected
  • Millennials Are Abandoning the Postwar Engines of Growth: Suburbs and Autos
  • Two Months In, Trump Finds Big Promises Are Hard to Keep
  • Think New York Transit Is Bad? Just Wait
  • Albert Edwards Is Puzzled: "Where Is The Wage Inflation?"
  • Oil Prices Pull Higher After API Reports Draws Across The Board
  • The Risk Of A Major Oil Outage Just Grew Substantially
  • Do People Really Care about the Environment?

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Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 4/12 - Pensions Problems Multiply, Venezuelan Debts Coming Due Amid Crisis

April 12, 2017 - 07:34
  • Mayor Rawlings' proposals would threaten pension fund and public safety
  • Property Tax Bills May Spike Due To School Pension Underfunding
  • California Cities' Pension Tab Seen Almost Doubling in 5 Years
  • As $18 million deficit looms over budget, Syracuse mayor says cities need more funding
  • Asian Nations Swimming in Debt at Risk From Fed Rate Hikes
  • Consumer debt growth can't outpace wages forever: James Saft
  • Venezuelan debts coming due amid crisis

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Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 4/11 - Solving Japan's Energy Problem, What The Next Korean War Will Look Like

April 11, 2017 - 08:44
  • China Is Playing a $9 Trillion Game of Chicken With Savers
  • How China Is Keeping Its Financial System From Collapsing, In One Chart
  • Donald J. Trump: The Empire's Spanker-In-Chief
  • Nasty, brutish, and short—what the next Korean War will look like
  • Gold Gains With Treasuries and Yen on Haven Demand: Markets Wrap
  • Gold Selling for $10,000? Yes!
  • Can ‘Fire Ice’ Solve Japan’s Energy Problem?
  • Whale cams reveal secret Antarctic feeding habits

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Categories: Economics

Adam Parks: How To Select & Prepare Sustainably-Raised Meats

April 10, 2017 - 14:15

What specifically should you look for when choosing a provider to buy your meat from?

Additionally, most folks don't realize how important the butchering process is to how well meat tastes. What qualities are important to look for in a butcher?

Former rancher and current meat-repreneur, Adam Parks, joins us for this week's podcast to give practical guidance on these questions, as well as recipe and cooking tips for how to get the most out of the meats we eat. After all, if you go to the trouble to select the healthiest product and get the best butchering, you want to ensure the meals you make from it are prepared well, too.

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Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 4/10 - The Problem With Freedom, What's Causing The Retail Meltdown Of 2017?

April 10, 2017 - 07:40
  • Russian truckers’ strike enters third week amid police crackdown
  • The Problem With Freedom
  • 5 Tangible Investments that Are Alternatives to the Stock Market
  • It's Brutal, It's Harsh and It's True
  • Your House Is Under Arrest
  • What in the World Is Causing the Retail Meltdown of 2017?
  • Gorsuch Takes Oath at White House, Becomes New Top Court Justice
  • Energy Employment Surges With U.S. Shale Production

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Categories: Economics