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22 thoughts on “Open Thread

  • November 12, 2008 at 10:12 pm
    “On November 13, the Sixth Day of the Mayan Calendar dawns. This is expected to be an unparalleled time of enlightenment. At the last Sixth Day, from 1952-1972, beatniks and flower children shook off their shackles and embraced a new consciousness. This time, we’ll take the process to the next level. The chaos that will reign through the two-year period of the Sixth Day and Night is necessary for the creation of an enlightened world. The Golden Age can only emerge out of a series of transformative pulses, including periods of destruction. The very process that breaks down the world economic and political hierarchy also paves the way for a new world to flower.”

    We know how admin feels about magical thinking, but there is some real transformative energy working in my life.
    Whew! These last 2 weeks have been something new. I was acquainted with Ian Lungold before his passing, and apparently this (new to me) author’s interpretations are based in his work on the Mayan calendar. I miss him.

    Destruction is good…

  • November 12, 2008 at 10:32 pm
    Thanks for the links klop. Fantastic!
    Knowing what we know, I pretty much figure that doing (or not) what I really feel like doing, is the best I can do.
    Now, I have spent the last 4 years feeling like covering my ass was top priority. lol. Simon Dale in the linked vid’s is an inspiration.
  • November 13, 2008 at 8:32 am
    A premonition here: Russia lifts rates to 12pc to save rouble as crisis deepens

    Russia’s central bank has raised interest rates a full percentage point to 12pc to prevent a collapse of the rouble following a day of mayhem on the Moscow markets, prompting concerns that the financial crisis may be spiralling out of control. **snip
    Russia is battening down the hatches for a deep slump. It has downgraded is oil forecast to $50 a barrel next year, a level that will play havoc with the state finances. Expecting trouble, the Kremlin has mobilised the police to crush dissent.

  • November 13, 2008 at 9:40 am
    Here is another scary thought I received this morning from my Money and Markets subscription. This guy,Dr. Weiss went before congress and told them why the bailout won’t work, and so far he seems to be right. Here is his article….

    The G-20’s Secret Debt Solution
    by Larry Edelson
    If you think this weekend’s G-20 meetings in Washington are only about designing short-term fixes to the financial system and regulatory reforms for banks, hedge funds, brokers, mortgage companies and investment banks … think again.
    Behind the scenes, a far more fundamental fix is being discussed — the possible revaluation of gold and the birth of an entirely new monetary system.
    I’ve been studying this issue in great depth, all my life. And given the speed at which the financial crisis is unfolding, I would be very surprised if what I’m about to tell you now is not on the G-20 table this weekend.
    Furthermore, I believe the end result will make my $2,270 price target for gold look conservative, to say the least. You’ll see why in a minute.
    First, the G-20’s motive for a new monetary system: It’s driven by and based upon this very simple proposition …
    “If we can’t print money fast enough to fend off another deflationary Great Depression, then let’s change the value of the money.”
    I call it …
    “The G-20’s Secret Debt Solution”
    It would be a strategy designed to ease the burden of ALL debts — by simultaneously devaluing ALL currencies … and re-inflating ALL asset prices.
    That’s what central banks and governments around the world are going to start talking about this weekend — a new financial order that includes new monetary units that helps to wipe clean the world’s debt ledgers.
    It won’t be an easy deal to broker, since the U.S. is the world’s largest debtor. But remember: Debts are now going bad all over the world. So everyone would benefit.
    Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke … Treasury Secretary Paulson … President Bush … President-elect Obama … former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker … Warren Buffett … and central bankers and politicians all over the world agree a new monetary system is needed.
    So they’ll start hashing out the details to get the new financial architecture deployed as quickly as possible.
    If you think I’m crazy or propagating some kind of conspiracy theory, then consider the historical precedent …
    To end the Great Depression in 1933 Franklin Roosevelt devalued the dollar via Executive Order #6102, confiscating gold and raising its price 69.3%, effectively kick starting asset reflation.
    Only this time, it won’t be just the U.S. that devalues its currency. The world is too interconnected. Instead, the world’s leading countries will propose a simultaneous and universal currency devaluation.
    This time, they will NOT confiscate gold. There would be riots all over the globe if they even mentioned the “C” word.
    But they don’t have to confiscate gold. Here’s one scenario …
    They cease all gold sales and instead, raise the current official central bank price of gold from its booked value of $42.22 an ounce — to a price that monetizes a large enough portion of the world’s outstanding debts.
    That way, just like in 1933, the debts become a fraction of re-inflated asset prices (led higher by the gold price).
    And this time, instead of staying with the dollar as a reserve currency, the G-20 issues three new monetary units of exchange, each with equal reserve status.
    The three currencies will essentially be a new dollar, new euro, and a new pan-Asian currency. (The Chinese yuan may survive as a fourth currency, but it will be linked to a basket of the three new currencies.)
    The new fiat monetary units would be worth less than the old ones. For instance, it could take 10 new units of money to buy 1 old dollar or euro.
    New names would be given to the new currencies to help rid the world of the ghost of a system that failed. Additional regulations and programs would be designed and implemented to ease the transition to a new monetary system.
    The International Monetary Fund (IMF) would implement the new financial system in conjunction with central banks and governments around the world.
    Keep in mind that the IMF is already set up to handle the transition, and has had contingency plans allowing for it since the institution was formed in 1944.
    Included in the design and transition to a new monetary system …
    A. A new fixed-rate currency regime. Immediately upon upping the price of gold and introducing the new currencies, a new fixed exchange rate system would be re-introduced. The floating exchange rate system would be tossed into the dust bin along with the old currencies.
    This would kill any speculation about further devaluations in the currency markets, and drastically reduce market volatility.
    B. To sell the program to savers and protect them from the currency devaluation, compensatory measures would be enacted. For instance, a one-time windfall tax-free deposit could be issued by governments directly to citizens’ accounts, or, to employer-sponsored pensions, to IRAs, or Social Security accounts.
    Income taxes may subsequently be raised to pay for the give-away, or a nominal global type of sales tax could be enacted to help pay for the new system and the compensatory measures.
    C. Additional programs would be designed to protect lenders and creditors. Lenders stand a much higher chance of getting paid off under the new monetary system — but with a currency whose purchasing power would now be a fraction of what it was when the loans were originated.
    So programs would have to be designed to help lenders offset the inflationary costs of their devalued loans, probably via the tax code.
    Naturally, all this is a bit more complicated than I’ve spelled out above. But that gives you a big-picture outline of what the plan could look like. And I think major changes like these are going to be set in motion at this weekend’s G-20 meetings in Washington.
    Would they work?
    Yes. They would help avoid a repeat of the deflationary Great Depression. But don’t expect even a new monetary system to put the U.S. or the global economy back on track toward the high rates of real growth that we’ve seen over the last several years. That’s simply not going to happen. Not for a while.
    Instead, I’m talking about a massive asset price reflation, negative real economic growth in the U.S. and Europe — but continued real GDP gains in Asia.
    The Big Question: What gold price would be legislated to reflate the U.S. and global economy?
    I can’t tell you what gold price the G-20 would ultimately agree to. But here’s what they will be looking at …
    • To monetize 100% of the outstanding public and private sector debt in the U.S., the official government price of gold would have to be raised to about $53,000 per ounce.
    • To monetize 50%, the price of gold would have to be raised to around $26,500 an ounce.
    • To monetize 20% would require a gold price a hair over $10,600 an ounce.
    • To monetize just 10%, gold would have to be priced just over $5,300 an ounce.
    Those figures are just based on the U.S. debt structure and do not factor in global debts gone bad. But since the U.S. is the world’s largest debtor and the epicenter of the crisis, the G-20 will likely base their final decision mostly on the U.S. debt structure.
    So how much debt do I think would be monetized via an executive order that raises the official price of gold? What kind of currency devaluation would I expect as a result?
    I would not be surprised to see the G-20 monetize at least 20% of the U.S. debt markets. THAT MEANS …
    • Gold would be priced at over $10,000 an ounce.
    • Currencies would be devalued by a factor of at least 12 to 1, meaning it would take 12 new dollars or euros to equal 1 old dollar or euro.
    The return of the Gold Standard?
    “But Larry,” you ask, “how could this be accomplished when we no longer have a gold standard? Further, are you advocating a gold standard?”
    My answers:
    First, you don’t need a gold standard to accomplish a devaluation of currencies and revaluation of the monetary system.
    By offering to pay over $10,000 an ounce for gold, central banks can effectively accomplish the same end goal — monetizing and reducing the burden of debts, via inflating asset prices in fiat money terms.
    Naturally, hoards of gold investors will cash in their gold. The central banks will pile it up. At the same time, other hoards of investors will not sell their gold, even at $10,000 an ounce. But the actual movement of the gold will not matter. It is the psychological impact and the devaluation of paper currencies that matters.
    Second, I do NOT advocate a fully convertible gold standard. Never have. There isn’t enough gold in the world to make currencies convertible into gold. It would end up backfiring, restricting the supply of money and credit.
    .I wonder what the reaction from the Sheeple will be, probably just more of the same…….

  • November 13, 2008 at 12:25 pm
    Thanks steppingup, thought provoking article.
    Too bad i sold my gold, thanks admin!
  • November 13, 2008 at 1:08 pm

    If your throwing a rock, I’ll remind you that your responsible for your own decisions.

    Gold is a highly manipulated market. If it was such a great investment as everyone claims, it would have long since been worth a lot more then it actually is.

    The above article is pure speculation, just like the gold market I remind readers. I’ve read dozens of such reports, none of which have ever come true. Yet more speculation is always being cranked out, no doubt to support more ‘investors’.

    But a stopped clock is always right at least twice a day, someday some of you might be surprised at what gold actually does, but I won’t be. It will remain manipulated forever because it is to the advantage of the markets and the monied elite to do so, big time. This makes gold ‘investors’ really gold ‘suckers’.

    The so-called profits that gold investors make are very small compared to what other investments actually return, and there is always the depressed market returns that happen like now.

    Finally, for every investment and ‘profit’, there will always be an equal number or more (usually far more) loss and losers. Everyone tries to get in on the winning side, but this is an impossible demand and expectation.

    You’re better off not playing this game at all in the first place, and thereby eliminating yourself as being yet another victim in a rigged game.

    But to each his own.  Just don’t blame me for your decisions.

  • November 13, 2008 at 1:35 pm
    Adding to the Bush legacy: To Gut Species Protection, Interior Calls “All Hands on Deck”

    The Bush administration is moving at warp speed to finalize a rule that will allow government-approved projects to intrude on the habitats of endangered species.

    The Department of the Interior received about 300,000 public comments, mostly negative, on its proposal after it was unveiled in August. According to an internal email obtained by the Associated Press, Interior wants to review all the public comments in just four days. That means that each member of the team would be reviewing at least seven comments each minute.

    That gives each comment just enough time to slide across someone’s desk, directly into the trash. Welcome to the federal rulemaking process, thanks for participating.

  • November 13, 2008 at 7:55 pm

    I finally watched Chris Martensons final chapter 20 on the crashcourse.

    Yawn! I almost couldn’t watch this pablum, about 12 minutes in, I wanted to slug the computer screen, or at least slap the author twice across the face.

    It was reasonably well presented (if you’re a corporate slave and used to letting “methods” do you planning and decision making for you), but from a practical and sensible standpoint, good grief!

    I used to make decisions like this when I was a slave, attempting to force them into a models that would make me feel as if I was comfortably “deciding” in a logical format.  This appealed to my slave-brain too by the way, and made my bosses think I was doing a good job….

    The reason I find this methodology asinine, is because it seeks to quantify and “measure” and plug into a decision matrix what is unbelievably obvious except to brain-dead zombies.

    If you actually KNOW what these events are that he describes, and their causes, and why they are here now, and what is accelerating their current condition into a downward spiral, then such an exercise Martenson suggests falls into zombie material. It’s really a business as usual methodology.

    I mean, REALLY. It’s actually totally self-defeating to build a decision matrix when you already know the causes of these problems. And if you DON’T know what is going on, then you SHOULD. And finally, you don’t need a decision matrix to tell you what you should be doing if you do and should know what is going on.

    Basically, I’m unbelievably disappointed in Martenson’s crash course conclusion. It’s unbelievably weak, misleading and will cause people to take the easiest way “out” of taking personal responsibility to their lives and future and spend precious time plugging their decisions into a matrix tree.  It seeks to compartmentalize the changes we need too, which I find very disturbing.

    The former chapters he’s covered implied urgency, action and concise direction as being necessary. Yet the concluding chapter is anything but this.

    Yech, I definitely do not recommend this as an “answer” or even strong guidance for what each and everyone should do.

    I don’t think Martenson really gets it. He’s trying to cast too broad a net and bring everyone up to speed in the mildest possible way, when what they really need is a 2 x 4 across the head, or a bullet to the brain (your choice).  This is a dangerous tactic and it certainly will not work.

    His final plea for financial support is also a bit odd. Nothing wrong with hoping for some help, but there are a lot of us out here doing it basically for free, and frankly, I dare suggest we are actually offering a lot more then slick video presentations to appease the masses.

  • November 13, 2008 at 9:01 pm
    THANK YOU ADMIN!!! The crashcourse I thought was pretty good until the last chapter. The SOB needs a good slapping. Imagine, telling everyone that we are really screwed, explaining why so that even a moron could figure it out, then telling us what, it’s all good??? Send me money… SHIT. Sounds just like everyone in the media or the govt. Were all fucked but it wont last long, then it will be all good, lots of growth. I am starting to get so sick of that word..GROWTH..Growth is what is killing us and the planet. At least Marsten and Dr. Bartlett are right about one thing, that the exponential factor will put a stop to growth eventually, and I say the sooner the better, while there are still some fish left…….. Oh, as for gold and the stock market, I have come to the conclusion it is all a manipulated con game put on by the rich to keep sucking the poor and gullible dry, until they have no one left to steal from, then they kick in the NWO in full gear and surprise, surprise, there are already troops in place to kill anyone who don’t like it. I use to think that one day the sheep would wake up, now I think that they are awake, but they truly are sheep. And guess what, the shepherds are wolves.HAHAHA.. LMAO. 3 more weeks left to prep my boat, then Armageddon out of here..
  • November 14, 2008 at 11:59 am
    A few years ago there was a Haiku contest (which I did not enter). The winning entry I might not recall exactly but I THINK this is pretty close if not verbatim:


    Summer is done,
    Friends gone,
    A playful cat,
    Why jump alone?
    Accept the paw.

    One day our entire specie will, for our actions, have to “accept the paw”.

  • November 14, 2008 at 12:37 pm

    Good links aft. I agree with what the first article says, except I think the homelessness / starving / rebellion scenarios will begin in 2009.

    Steve sent me this link –

    The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp Friday unveiled a plan to prevent about 1.5 million foreclosures by promising to share any losses with mortgage companies that agree to refinance certain home loans. FDIC Plans to Block 1.5 Million Foreclosures

    This won’t work either. Foreclosures happen because of two (primary) things: loss of income or declining income; adjustable rate mortgages “resetting” to rip-off mode.

    So refinancing a bad mortgage doesn’t make it all go away, not necessarily. And it’s a drop in the bucket if it’s only 1.5 million homes. So I don’t expect this plan to work either.

  • November 16, 2008 at 9:06 pm
    steppingup, re your sailing venture, what will be your source of fresh water for drinking and cooking?
  • November 16, 2008 at 10:09 pm
    I have a watermaker, uses 12 volt, but I can use it manually as well. Made by Katadyn. It is actually a de-salianater.Is that spelled right? I am also picking up these emergency solar stills for the life boat. As for the watermaker, most cruising sailboats come equipped with them these days, and you have to use them everyday to keep the filters clean, plus I have enough spare parts to last a lifetime, I hope. I am also doing sprouts and am looking into mushroom cultivation(mushroom logs), plus I have enough room on the deck for a good size solar dryer. There are probably a million things I am forgetting, but it is still going to be one hell of a journey either way.

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