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Chris Martenson

Syndicate content Peak Prosperity
Insights for Prospering as Our World Changes
Updated: 1 hour 43 min ago

Daily Digest 6/24 - The Coming Bloodbath In Retail, Why Grenfell Tower Burned

June 24, 2017 - 07:04
  • GOP Push for 20-Year Tax Cut Grows as Ryan Seeks Permanent Fix
  • Analyzing Ether: A Bitcoin Investor's Skeptical Take
  • All Roads Lead to the Bubble-City Danger Zone
  • A Street Fight Among Grocers to Deliver Your Milk, Eggs, Bananas
  • We're Going To See A Bloodbath In Retail
  • Why Grenfell Tower Burned: Regulators Put Cost Before Safety
  • Driverless cars: Kangaroos throwing off animal detection software
  • What’s Causing The Massive Increase In Earthquakes In Middle America? It’s Not Fracking

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Categories: Economics

The Value Drivers Of Cryptocurrency

June 23, 2017 - 18:27
Executive Summary
  • The critical value of scarcity
  • Understanding the utility of the blockchain
  • Will (can?) governments ban cryptocurrencies?
  • A coming geometric explosion in the price of cryptocurrency?

If you have not yet read Part 1: Understanding The Cryptocurrency Boom available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

In Part 1, we surveyed the exciting but confusing speculative boom phase of cryptocurrencies. Here in Part 2, we will contextualize this mad swirl by running it through two filters: scarcity and utility.

What’s Scarce? Scarcity Creates Value

Regardless of one’s economic ideology or system, scarcity creates value and abundance destroys value.  When we say supply and demand, we’re really talking about scarcity and abundance and the rise or fall of demand for the commodity, good or service.

In classical economic theory, scarcity is met with substitution: ground beef too expensive due to relative scarcity? Buy ground turkey instead.

But this model has weaknesses.  There aren’t always substitutes, or the substitutes are more expensive or problematic than what is now scarce. 

As a general rule, profits flow to any scarcity of goods and services with high utility value.  We value what’s scarce and useful, and place little value on what’s abundant and of limited utility.

Currency has three basic functions: a store of value (it will retain its purchasing power over time), means of exchange (we can use it to trade goods and services, pay debts, etc.) and as an accounting mechanism to track assets, debts, income, expenses and exchanges/trades.

We assume all currency has this function, but only currency that is easily divisible and easily tradable enables easy accounting.  If a notched stick is a unit of currency, and one stick buys a pig, what do I use for purchases smaller than a pig?

In today’s world, a currency must be....

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Categories: Economics

Understanding The Cryptocurrency Boom

June 23, 2017 - 18:26

Today, there are hundreds of cryptocurrencies, and a speculative boom has pushed bitcoin from around $600 a year ago to $2600 and Ethereum, another leading cryptocurrency, from around $10 last year to $370.

Where are cryptocurrencies in the evolution from new technology to speculative boom to maturation? Judging by valuation leaps from $10 to $370, the technology is clearly in the speculative boom phase.

In trying to predict which forms of cryptocurrencies will dominate the mature marketplace of the future, we know that markets will sort the wheat from the chaff by a winnowing the entries down to those that solve real business problems (i.e. address scarcities) in ways that are cheap and robust and that cannot be solved by other technologies.

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Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 6/23 - Good News Friday: Tiny Kindnesses, How VT Cleaned Up Its Waters

June 23, 2017 - 08:13
  • Food, Energy, And The Evolution Of The Human Species
  • Bikers escort bullied 10-year-old boy to school
  • Mayor Kasim Reed Raises Minimum Wage to $15 per Hour for City Workers (Atlanta)
  • Out of High School, Into Real Life
  • Researchers optimize a powered exoskeleton to cut energy used in walking
  • Everything Changes: Tiny Kindnesses
  • Australian farmer's weed-destroying invention draws world interest
  • How Vermont tackled farm pollution and cleaned up its waters
  • Go Fly A Kite

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Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 6/22 - Senate Unveils ACA Repeal Bill, Our Fear Of Nukes

June 22, 2017 - 08:22
  • Senate Leaders Unveil Bill to Repeal the Affordable Care Act
  • I moved my kids out of America. It was the best parenting decision I've ever made.
  • Fewer People Think Continued GDP Growth Necessary or Possible -- Survey Results Released
  • Amazon Just ‘Jumped the Shark’
  • Two-And-a-Half Minutes to Midnight: Our Fear of Nukes and How We Got Here
  • Tesla Deals A Blow To Competitors As Its Stock Price Soars
  • In Flint Water Crisis, Could Involuntary Manslaughter Charges Actually Lead to Prison Time?
  • Heat can kill and we’re turning up the thermostat

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Categories: Economics

Off The Cuff: The Approaching Minsky Moment

June 21, 2017 - 18:00

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

  • A Study In Failure Of The State
    • Chris shares his on-the-ground observations from So. America
  • It Can Happen Here
    • Mish shares his on-the-ground observations from Illinois
  • Virtually All The Macroeconomic Data Is Miserable
    • Yet the Fed & the markets are acting like everything's great
  • The Approaching Minsky Moment
    • It's a matter of if, not when

This week's Off The Cuff discussion is an interesting one. Both Chris and Mish have front-row seats to two failing governments -- Chris in Argentina, and Mish in Illinois. It feels to them like they are getting a preview of the economic pain soon to come to the rest of the world.

Both are *very* concerned that citizens and investors across the globe are being duped by the (lack of) signals and messages today's ""markets"" are providing. Looking at the steady drumbeat of bad & worsening macroeconomic data, as well as the immense gap between fundamentals and asset prices, Chris and Mish are as confident as they have ever been that a massive painful reset is nigh. But too many of our leaders, and too much of the public, remain complacent/ignorant (willfully or not) regarding this risk. 

Their conclusion? The world is woefully unprepared for the Minsky moment headed its way.

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 6/21 - Chicago Police Pension Will Be Broke In 2021, PR Foreclosures Surge

June 21, 2017 - 07:37
  • Quad City Illinois lawmakers head to Springfield to pass budget before deadline
  • Medica intends to stay in Iowa's health-insurance market, at 43% higher price
  • Health insurers request 22 percent premium increases in Washington for 2018
  • Rauner, schools play blame game as CPS takes out costly $275M loan (Chicago)
  • Australia's central bank frets on financial stability as household debt mounts
  • Pension Crisis Won't Be Reversed by High Returns, Moody's Says
  • Illinois Medicaid talks to blow past judge's deadline
  • Projection: Chicago's police pension fund will be broke in 2021
  • Illinois’ unpaid bill backlog grows to more than $15B
  • Puerto Rico families fight, flee a surge in foreclosures

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Categories: Economics

Top 10 Ways to Beat the Heat

June 20, 2017 - 13:54

Here are 10 considerations and ways to help stay cool this summer and survive record high temperatures and oppressive heatwaves. 

http://lifehacker.com/5913149/top-10-ways-to-beat-the-heat

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Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 6/20 - “Consciousness is everywhere,” How Russia Targets the U.S. Military

June 20, 2017 - 04:06
  • Leading neuroscientists and Buddhists agree: “Consciousness is everywhere”
  • How Russia Targets the U.S. Military
  • He Voted to Impeach Clinton. This Looks Bigger.
  • The Thinking Person's Retirement Choice
  • 10 no-brainer ways to cut healthcare costs without hurting quality
  • 3 ways Clean Energy will make Big Oil extinct in 12 to 32 Years — without subsidies
  • Oil Markets Unmoved By Brewing Conflict In The Middle East
  • It’s Too Hot for Some Planes to Fly in Phoenix

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Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 6/19 - Rigged Jobs, The Growing Revolution

June 19, 2017 - 07:06
  • Spain’s Wounds Run Deep as Economy Retraces Crisis Losses
  • Rigged
  • BofA: "Has The Fed Become Concerned About The Surge In Stocks?"
  • Who Holds the DEA Accountable When Its Missions Cost Lives?
  • Using Texts as Lures, Government Spyware Targets Mexican Activists and Their Families
  • Are Russia And The Saudis Planning A Natural Gas Cartel?
  • The Growing Revolution
  • Atlantic faces the rare prospect of two active tropical storms in June

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Categories: Economics

Kirk Sorensen: The Future Of Energy?

June 18, 2017 - 11:20

Imagine a form of nuclear energy with greater output and virtually no safety issues. 

Such is the promise of liquid flouride thorium reactors (LFTRs). Kirk Sorensen returns to the podcast this week to update us on the current state of thorium power. 

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Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 6/17 - Falling Rocks in the Promised Land, World Weather Report

June 17, 2017 - 07:55
  • Lead found in 20% of baby food samples, especially juices and veggies
  • The Breakthrough: Uncovering NYC Cops Making Millions in Suspicious Deals
  • Falling Rocks in the Promised Land
  • Qatar's Crisis With Saudi Arabia And Gulf Neighbors Has Decades-Long Roots
  • American Chipmakers Had a Toxic Problem. Then They Outsourced It
  • The pitfalls and potential of inexpensive 3D scanning solutions 
  • Yemen War Threatens Crucial Oil Chokepoint
  • World Weather Report

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Categories: Economics

Everything You Need To Know About The Credit Impulse

June 16, 2017 - 16:23
Executive Summary
  • The case of the missing credit impulse
  • The credit impulse is the worst its been in recent history
  • How the situation is deteriorating fast
  • Why a credit impulse-driven recession is nigh

If you have not yet read Part 1: The Pin To Pop This Mother Of All Bubbles? available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

The Case Of The Missing Credit Impulse

An enormous oversight of nearly every major economist is the role of debt in both fostering current growth but also stealing from future growth. 

It seems like such a simple concept, and it’s one I covered in great detail back in 2008 in the original Crash Course, but it remains a mysterious oversight of most here in 2017.  The concept is easy enough; if I borrow money to increase my spending here today, it probably makes sense to take note of that if you're an economist responsible for tracking spending.

My debt-funded spending today is my lack of spending in the future when I pay down the debt. 

Professor Steve Keen has this topic nailed beautifully. In it, he explains how even simply keeping a massive pile of previously accumulated debt at the same level as last year is a net negative on economic growth. A very simple and a very profound concept that still is not a part of conventional thinking.

Now here where things get interesting. And frightening. If we look at...

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Categories: Economics

The Pin To Pop This Mother Of All Bubbles?

June 16, 2017 - 16:23

Global macro economic data has been weak for many years, but there’s now a very real chance of a world-wide recession happening in 2017.

Why? A dramatic and worsening shortfall in new credit creation.

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Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 6/16 - Good News Friday: Humans With Superhuman Vision; To Be Happier, Take Public Transport

June 16, 2017 - 08:50
  • Taking Public Transport Instead Of Driving To Work Makes People Happier, Study Suggests
  • Humans With Super Human Vision
  • Now, Your Financial Advisor Will Have To Put You First (Sometimes)
  • Oregon Pay Equity Act becomes law
  • Brixton riding school brings joy to inner city kids
  • What If (Almost) Every Gene Affects (Almost) Everything?
  • The Solar Industry Is Creating Jobs Nearly 17 Times Faster Than the Rest of the US Economy
  • Judge Delivers Blow To Trump Administration In Dakota Access Fight

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Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 6/15 - What To Make Of Ultra-Low Volatility, Big Oil Pivots To Renewables

June 15, 2017 - 06:36
  • Ultra-low Volatility #ThisTimeIsDifferent
  • How Wells Fargo's Cutthroat Corporate Culture Allegedly Drove Bankers To Fraud
  • You Won't Believe This Stupid New Law Against Cash And Bitcoin
  • Big Science
  • Governor Jerry Brown of California Advocates the Overthrow of USA
  • The Great Gold Convulsion of 2017
  • Big Oil's Pivot To Renewables Has Begun
  • Michigan health director, 4 others charged with manslaughter over Flint water

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Categories: Economics

Off The Cuff: What Today's Rate Hike Means

June 14, 2017 - 17:30

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

  • Unpacking Today's Rate Hike
    • What will the impact be?
  • When Is A Rate Hike Not A Rate Hike?
    • The Fed's hikes aren't really pulling liquidity out of the market
  • Every time The Fed Talks Gold Goes Down
    • Manipulation (for optics) is alive & well
  • Can The Fed Engineer A Soft Exit?
    • Hardly likely

Chris and John break down today's Fed announcement of a 0.25% rate hike, plus its presented schedule for starting to reduce it's $4.2 trillion balance sheet. 

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 6/14 - Warning To NJ On Health Care Costs, Auto Loan Delinquencies Rise

June 14, 2017 - 09:02
  • Warning signals to New Jersey on health care costs
  • Insurers seek double-digit health premium increases (New York)
  • In many states, the pension time-bomb is ticking
  • Editorial: Illinois, banana republic, just 17 days to prove it
  • Deficit rises as spending on Medicaid and defense increases
  • US credit card debt to surpass $1 trillion this year, report says
  • Auto loan delinquencies rise as drivers splurge on pricey cars 
  • Chinese local governments still getting deeper in debt
  • Aussie debt is about to top half a trillion
  • Global negative-yielding sovereign debt jumps to $9.5 trln - Fitch

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Categories: Economics

Missed 'The End of Money' Webinar?

June 13, 2017 - 21:35

If you didn't register earlier for the live webinar and are regretting having missed out on the event -- there's good news.

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Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 6/13 - Your Data Trail Is A Gold Mine, All Markets "Increasingly At Risk"

June 13, 2017 - 06:10
  • Russian Cyber Hacks on U.S. Electoral System Far Wider Than Previously Known
  • Jeff Sessions poised for legal minefield as he prepares to testify on Russia
  • Massive Central Bank Asset Purchases: Last Ditch Effort To Save Economy & Cap Gold Price
  • Bill Gross: "All Markets Are Increasingly At Risk"
  • How the U.S. Triggered a Massacre in Mexico
  • Your Data Trail Is Like a Gold Mine
  • Months of Deadly Anti-Government Protests in Venezuela
  • Is This The First Sign Of A U.S., Chinese Solar War?

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Categories: Economics