After digesting the opinions of the shills, shysters and scam artists, I am ready to predict that I have no clue what will happen during 2013. The weekend weather last week was a perfect analogy for attempting to forecast the future. The professional highly educated meteorologists predicted sunny warm weather, just as the PhD Wall Street paid economist mouthpieces assure the multitudes 2013 will be the year when zero interest rates and $1.2 trillion deficits will finally lead to sunny economic skies. Instead, the weekend was overcast and damp. As I was writing this article and watching the miraculous Baltimore Ravens comeback against Denver, I received a two minute warning from my wife. I had to pick up my son and his buddies at the Montgomery Mall. As I pulled the car out of the garage, I backed out into fog that was thicker than pea soup. I’ve driven the roads to the Montgomery Mall hundreds of times, but the fog was so thick I couldn’t see ten feet ahead. I drove hesitantly, wondering what might be just over the horizon or what might dart out from a side street. I see 2013 as a year of maneuvering through thick fog with startling apparitions lurking to surprise us and force a deviation in our normal course. As I proceeded cautiously through the murky mist there were few cars on the roads and the strip centers and fast food joints resembled haunted houses and grave yards. I expected to see Dracula, Frankenstein’s monster, and Wolfman panhandling on the corners.

The fog of uncertainty is engulfing the nation, making consumers hesitant to spend and businesses reluctant to hire or invest. It was like being in a commercial real estate horror film, with SPACE AVAILABLE, NOW LEASING, and STORE CLOSING signs startling me everywhere I turned. The trip took a spooky turn as I passed branches of those zombie banks – Bank of America and Citigroup. They don’t even know they’re already dead. I finally arrived at the Mall passing thousands of empty parking spaces with a few cars huddled close to the zombie starring in Night of the Retailing Dead – Sears. In the miasma, the few visitors appeared to be automaton like consumers programmed to shuffle through the mall and buy things they don’t need with money they don’t have. To say the road ahead for this country in 2013 is foggy would be an epic understatement. Let’s hope it doesn’t have a Nightmare on Elm Street like ending.

Virtually all of the mainstream media, Wall Street banks and paid shill economists are in agreement that 2013 will see improvement in employment, housing, retail spending and, of course the only thing that matters to the ruling class, the stock market. Even among the alternative media, there seems to be a consensus that we will continue to muddle through and the day of reckoning is still a few years off. Those who are predicting improvements are either ignorant of history or are being paid to predict improvement, despite the overwhelming evidence of a worsening economic climate. The mainstream media pundits, fulfilling their assigned task of purveying feel good propaganda, use the 10% stock market gain in 2012 as proof of economic recovery. The facts prove otherwise:

  • Real GDP, using a dramatically understated inflation rate, has barely grown by 1% in 2012. Using a true measure of inflation, the GDP was -2% during 2012. Even this pitiful growth was generated by 0% interest rate deals for subprime auto loans through Ally Financial (85% owned by you the taxpayer) and 7 year 0% home furnishing financing deals through GE Capital and the other government subsidized Too Big To Control Wall Street banks. The Federal government chipped in by guaranteeing FHA subsidized 3% down payment loans on houses and handing out billions in loans to students so they can find themselves, keep the unemployment rate down, get drunk, and if they graduate – enter debt servitude for decades.

  • The number of people who have left the workforce since last December (2.2 million) almost matched the number of newly employed (2.4 million), as the labor participation rate has collapsed to a three decade low of 63.6%. The propagandists attempt to peddle this dreadful condition as a function of Baby Boomers retiring. This is obliterated by the fact the 55 to 69 age bracket has added 4 million jobs since Obama became president, while the younger age brackets have lost 3 million jobs. The working age population has grown by 13 million since 2007 and there are 4 million less people employed.

  • Another 1.5 million Americans were forced onto food stamps during 2012, bringing the total increase to 17 million since Obama assumed office. With 47.5 million depending on assistance to feed them, a full 20% of all households in the U.S. are dependent on this program, costing taxpayers $76 billion, versus $34 billion in 2008. Another 4.8 million have joined the ranks of the disabled since 2009, with a dramatic surge when the 99 week unemployment benefits began to run out. These trends are surely signs of recovery.

  • Real average hourly earnings were flat in 2012, and have fallen 1.5% since Obama became president. The average middle class worker is making less than they were forty years ago. Using a true measure of inflation would reveal the true devastation wrought on the middle class. As the things we need (food, energy, shelter, education, healthcare) have grown more expensive and the things we are brainwashed to buy (iGadgets, HDTVs, luxury autos, bling) by the masters of propaganda have been made easily accessible through credit, the middle class has enslaved themselves in chains of debt. The declining average wages since 1973 have forced families to have both spouses work outside the home, with the consequence of more divorces, children raised by strangers, and the proliferation of depressed human beings. The lost real income has been replaced by credit card, auto, mortgage, and student loan debt.

Jan2_Real Wages

The reason Bernanke, Geithner, Obama, Wall Street, corporate titans, and media pundits focus their attention on the stock market is because they are looking out for their fellow 1%ers. The working middle class, once the backbone of this country, own virtually no stocks. The 88% stock market increase since March 2009 hasn’t benefitted the middle class one iota. The Federal Reserve engineered stock market recovery has benefitted moneyed bankers and wealthy corporate executives, the very people who collapsed the worldwide financial system and received the bailouts when they should have gone to jail.


Those who continue to tout a non-existent economic recovery have focused on the manufactured stock market and housing recovery, extrapolating those trends without understanding how it has been achieved. A master plan implemented through the collusion of the Federal Reserve, Treasury Department, Executive branch, Wall Street cabal, and corporate media conglomerates has created the illusion of recovery. Make no mistake about it, those in power held clandestine meetings and had covert discussions that will never see the light of day in transcripts or recordings. They developed a strategy to save themselves, their fellow cronies, and the corporate interests that run this country. They threw the middle class, senior citizens, and young people under the bus in their sordid determination to retain their power, wealth and control. Their multi-faceted scheme has been rolled out as follows:

  1. Reduce interest rates to 0% so Wall Street banks could borrow for free and reinvest in Treasuries, therefore earning risk free profits so they could rebuild their non-existent capital. The Wall Street banks also used the free money to generate trading profits using their HFT supercomputers, with only the occasional glitch (JP Morgan London Whale $9 billion slipup, Corzine blowing up his firm and stealing $1.2 billion from ranchers & farmers). The ability to borrow at 0% has spurred these financial institutions to make 0% loans to subprime auto buyers and offer 7 year 0% interest deals on behalf of furniture, electronics, and appliance retailers. This Keynesian solution is supposed to spur demand and generate new jobs. The reality is that Bernanke’s ZIRP has transferred $400 billion of annual interest income from savers and senior citizens to the Wall Street bankers, while setting the table for more massive bad debt write-offs when the millions of subprime borrowers default.
  2. The Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department forced the FASB to scrap mark to market accounting, allowing the Wall Street banks to fraudulently value their worthless assets. The Federal Reserve than tripled their balance sheet from $900 billion to $2.95 trillion by purchasing almost $1 trillion of toxic mortgage debt from the Wall Street banks at full face value of the debt. The Fed purchased Treasuries to artificially lower mortgage rates and attempt to spur a housing recovery.
  3. The Wall Street banks have purposely manipulated the foreclosure process and restricted the inventory of foreclosures available to purchase. In conjunction with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, large inventories of foreclosed properties have been sold in bulk to connected Wall Street firms at above market prices and positioned as rental properties. The FHA has done their part by guaranteeing 3% down payment mortgages and putting taxpayers on the hook for the billions in losses to come. Fannie and Freddie have already lost $200 billion of taxpayer money since 2008 on behalf of the Wall Street banks. The concerted effort to restrict the supply of homes available for sale resulted in the price of homes sold rising in 2012. Those in power are attempting to resuscitate the millions of heavily indebted underwater home occupiers at the expense of the young and frugal who would buy when home prices dropped to a clearing level. The same people who created the first housing bubble are attempting to re-inflate it as a solution to our economic woes.
  4. Despite the fact that individual investors have pulled billions out of the stock market over the last three years, the stock market has managed to approach all-time highs. This has been the lynchpin of their plan. The sole purpose of every QE initiated by Bernanke has been to elevate the stock market. Academics like Bernanke and Krugman sell the “wealth effect” storyline to the masses as a way to spur consumer spending. The only wealth effect is to shift the wealth of the working middle class to the ruling class who own the stocks and control the markets. As each QE has further enriched the 1%, the inflationary impact on energy, food, and clothing has destroyed the lives of millions in the middle class who own virtually no stocks. The gap between the uber-rich ruling class and the peasants has never been wider.

The master plan has succeeded in delaying the worst of the Crisis, further enriching the oligarchs, further impoverishing the middle class, fanning the flames of revolution across the globe, provoking foreign adversaries, inciting anger among the populace and darkening the mood of the country. Those predicting a return to the peaceful autumn like days of the late 90s reveal their ignorance of history. Winter is here and there are many dark days ahead before Spring is discernible. The linear thinking crowd who hang their hats on never ending progress spurred by technological innovation and a limitless supply of cheap resources are denying reality. Delusion and hope for a better tomorrow is not a strategy. We have entered the 5th year of this ongoing Crisis. Fourth Turnings do not fizzle out; they build to a societal earth shattering crescendo (American Revolution, Civil War, Great Depression/WWII). Economic, financial, social and global conditions do not progress during a twenty year Crisis period, driven by the generational configuration that arises once every 80 years. An epic struggle between good and evil, rich and poor, government and governed, young and old, nation and nation, awaits us over the next fifteen years. No matter what happens in 2013, it will be driven by the core elements of this Crisis – Debt, Civic Decay, and Global Disorder.

“In retrospect, the spark might seem as ominous as a financial crash, as ordinary as a national election, or as trivial as a Tea Party. The catalyst will unfold according to a basic Crisis dynamic that underlies all of these scenarios: An initial spark will trigger a chain reaction of unyielding responses and further emergencies. The core elements of these scenarios (debt, civic decay, global disorder) will matter more than the details, which the catalyst will juxtapose and connect in some unknowable way. If foreign societies are also entering a Fourth Turning, this could accelerate the chain reaction. At home and abroad, these events will reflect the tearing of the civic fabric at points of extreme vulnerability – problem areas where America will have neglected, denied, or delayed needed action.” – The Fourth Turning – Strauss & Howe -1996

Until Debt Do Us Part

The storyline of austerity and deleveraging perpetuated through the mainstream media mouthpieces is unequivocally false, as consumer debt has reached an all-time high of $2.77 trillion, driven by a surge in subprime auto loans and subprime student loans. The reason for the surge in these loans, while credit card debt lingers 15% below the 2008 peak, is because the Federal Government is doling out these loans with your tax dollars. Ally Financial (aka GMAC, aka Ditech) is under the complete control of the Federal Government and doesn’t care about future losses. The taxpayers won’t notice another $1 billion in losses. There are Cadillac Escalades, Silverados and RAM pickups to peddle to morons without money.

Could there be a more subprime borrower than a 20 year old majoring in African literature or a 40 year old former construction worker enrolled at the University of Phoenix with 500,000 other schmoes? The Federal government assumed control over the student loan market in 2009 and has proceeded to blow a new bubble. They have driven tuition higher and enabled millions of barely functioning morons to enter college, where they will not only fail, but also be burdened by un-payable levels of non-dischargeable debt. Now the government solution is to pass those bad debts onto you the taxpayer while encouraging even more debt for students. Here is an assessment of the new “Pay as you Earn” program from your owners:

“(BusinessWeek) We have one example of someone who might look similar to an MBA student. He starts out with a starting salary of $90,000 and by the end of 20 years is making $243,360. Under the old IBR program, he’ll have paid $409,445 by year 25 and be forgiven $23,892 of his loan balance. Under the new IBR repayment plan he’ll pay less than half of that, or $202,299, and be forgiven $208,259 by year 20. The old IBR plan was punitive if you borrowed a lot of money, made you pay more over time and trapped you, so there were serious consequences to doing that. It was a downside and a pretty big risk, which is why you didn’t see people borrowing without regard to how much it will cost. The new plan essentially eliminates any downside or risk for that type of behavior, and cuts payments in half and then some.”

The enslavement of our children in student loan debt and handing them the bill for $200 trillion of unfunded entitlement liabilities will be the spark that ignites the worst part of this Crisis.

Student Loan Projections

Those in power realized very quickly that without continued credit growth, their entire corrupt, repugnant, fiat currency based debt system would implode and they would lose all of their fraudulently acquired wealth. That is why total credit market debt is at an all-time high of $56 trillion, and 350% of GDP. The National Debt of $16.5 trillion is now 103% of GDP, well beyond the Rogoff & Reinhart level of 90% that always leads to economic crisis and turmoil.

As Wall Street bankers acted like lemmings leading up to the 2008 financial collapse the famous July 2007 quote from Charles Prince, CEO of Citigroup, summed it up nicely:

“When the music stops, in terms of liquidity, things will be complicated. But as long as the music is playing, you’ve got to get up and dance. We’re still dancing,”

Now central bankers across the globe are dancing an Irish Jig. Every major central banker in the world is lemmingly following Bernanke’s lead and printing money at hyper-speed. The Europeans have surpassed the Japanese in their quest to become the first casualty in the coming debt collapse. Bernanke, in his quest to not be outdone, has committed to taking his balance sheet to 25% of GDP within the next year. Japan has vowed not to be outdone. The currency debasement race is gathering steam. The devastation, anger, resentment and ultimately war caused by these bankers will engulf the world when it reaches its apocalyptic ending.   

Will the grain of sand that collapses the pile be a debt ceiling crisis as postulated by Strauss & Howe?

“An impasse over the federal budget reaches a stalemate. The president and Congress both refuse to back down, triggering a near-total government shutdown. The president declares emergency powers. Congress rescinds his authority. Dollar and bond prices plummet. The president threatens to stop Social Security checks. Congress refuses to raise the debt ceiling. Default looms. Wall Street panics.” – The Fourth Turning – Strauss & Howe – 1996

I don’t think so. The Democrats and Republicans are playing their parts in this theater of the absurd. Neither party has any desire to cut spending, reduce our debt, or secure the future of unborn generations. In 2013, I see the following things happening related to our debt crisis:

  • The debt ceiling will be raised as the toothless Republican Party vows to cut spending next time. The political hacks will create a 3,000 page document of triggers and create a committee to study the issue, with actual measures that slow the growth of annual spending by .000005% starting in 2017.
  • The National Debt will increase by $1.25 trillion and debt to GDP will reach 106% by the end of the fiscal year.
  • The Federal Reserve balance sheet will reach $4 trillion by the end of the year.
  • Consumer debt will reach $2.9 trillion as the Feds accelerate student loans and Ally Financial, along with the other Too Big To Control Wall Street banks, keep pumping out subprime auto loans. By mid-year reported losses on student loans will soar and auto loan delinquencies will show an upturn. This will force a slowdown in consumer debt issuance, exacerbating the recession that started in 2012.
  • The Bakken oil miracle will prove to be nothing more than Wall Street shysters selling a storyline. Daily output will stall at 750,000 barrels per day and the dreams of imminent energy independence will be annihilated by reality, again. The price of oil will average $105 per barrel, as global tensions restrict supply.
  • The home price increases generated through inventory manipulation in 2012 will peter out as 2013 progresses. The market has been flooded by investors. There is very little real demand for new homes. Young households with heavy student loan debt and low paying jobs will continue to rent, since the oligarchs refused to let prices fall to a level that would spur real demand. Mortgage delinquencies will rise as job growth remains stagnant, leading to an increase in foreclosures. Rent prices will flatten as apartment construction and investors flood the market with supply.
  • The disconnect between the stock market and the housing and employment markets will be rectified when the MSM can no longer deny the recession that began in 2012 and will deepen in the first part of 2013. While housing prices languish 30% below their peak levels of 2006, the stock market has prematurely ejaculated back to pre-crisis levels. Declining corporate profits, stagnant consumer spending, and increasing debt defaults will finally result in a 20% decline in the stock market, with a chance for losses greater than 30% if Japan or the EU begin to crumble.

case shiller and stocks

  • Japan is still a bug in search of a windshield. With a debt to GDP ratio of 230%, a population dying off, energy dependence escalating, trade surplus decreasing, an already failed Prime Minister vowing to increase inflation, and rising tensions with China, Japan is a primary candidate to be the first domino to fall in the game of debt chicken. A 2% increase in interest rates would destroy the Japanese economic system.
  • The EU has temporarily delayed the endgame for their failed experiment. Economic conditions in Greece, Spain and Italy worsen by the day with unemployment reaching dangerous revolutionary levels. Pretending countries will pay each other with newly created debt will not solve a debt crisis. They don’t have a liquidity problem. They have a solvency problem. The only people who have been saved by the actions taken so far are bankers and politicians. I believe the crisis will reignite, with interest rates spiking in Spain, Italy and France. The Germans will get fed up with the rest of Europe and the EU will begin to disintegrate.

Civic Decay Accelerates  

“History offers no guarantees. If America plunges into an era of depression or violence which by then has not lifted, we will likely look back on the 1990s as the decade when we valued all the wrong things and made all the wrong choices.” – Strauss & Howe – The Fourth Turning

The liberal minded Op-Ed writers that decry the incivility of dialogue today once again show their ignorance for or contempt for American history. They call for compromise and coming together. They should see Spielberg’s Lincoln to understand the uncompromising nature of Fourth Turnings and how conflicts are resolved. They should watch documentary film of Dresden, Hiroshima, and Guadalcanal during World War II. Compromise and civility do not compute during a Fourth Turning. It is compromise that has brought us to this point. Avoiding tough decisions and delaying action occur during the Unraveling. We’ve known the entitlement issues confronting our nation for over a decade and chose to do nothing. The time for delay and inaction is long gone. The pressing issues of the day will be resolved through collapse, confrontation and bloodshed. It’s the way it has always been done and the way it shall be. The current conflict over banning guns is just a symptom of a bigger disease. Government, at the behest of the owners, has been steadily assuming more power and control over the everyday lives of citizens who just want to be left to live their lives. Government has used propaganda, fear and misinformation to convince large swaths of the populace to voluntarily sacrifice their freedom and liberty for the promise of safety and security. Warrantless surveillance, imprisonment without charges, molestation by TSA agents, military exercises in cities, drones in our skies, cameras watching our every move, overseas torture, undeclared wars, cyber-attacks on sovereign countries, and now the threat of disarmament of the people have all contributed to the darkening skies above. A harsh winter lies ahead.

Civic decay is being driven by two main thrusts. Lack of jobs and destruction of middle class wealth by the oligarchs is resulting in the anger and dismay overwhelming the country. The chart below reveals the truth about our economy and the fraudulent nature of BLS reported data, skewed to paint a false picture. The 25 to 54 year old age bracket captures Americans in their peak earnings years. In 2007 this age bracket had 83% of its members in the labor force and 100.5 million of them employed. Today, according to the BLS, only 81.4% are in the labor force and there are 6.3 million less employed. The BLS has the gall to report that since 2009, even though the number of employed people in this age bracket has declined by 1 million, the number of unemployed people has dropped by 1.5 million people. To report this drivel is beyond laughable. The horrific labor market situation is confirmed by the fact that despite a 3.6 million person increase in this age demographic since 2000, there are 7.8 million more people not employed.

The reduced earnings and savings of the people in this demographic is having profound and long-lasting impact on our society. Household formation, retirement savings, tax revenues, and self-worth are all negatively impacted. The mood of desperation and anger is materializing in this age bracket. The resentment of these people when they see the well-heeled Wall Street set reaping stock market gains and bonuses while they make do on food stamps, extended unemployment and the charity of friends and family is palpable. More than 100% of the employment gains since 2010 have gone to those over the age of 55, further embittering the 25 to 54 workers. There is boiling anger beneath the thin veneer of civility between Millenials, GenXers, and Boomers. The chasm between the ultra-rich and the masses widens by the day and is leading to a seething animosity. The country has lost 2.4 million construction jobs and 2 million manufacturing jobs since 2007, but we’ve added 250,000 fry cook jobs and 440,000 University of Phoenix jobs stimulated by $500 billion in student loans. The complete transformation of a producing society to a consumption society has been accomplished.

stock market and total jobs

When the average person sees Wall Street bankers not only walk away unscathed from the crisis they aided, abetted and created through their fraudulent inducements and documentation, but be further enriched at taxpayer expense, their hatred and disgust with high financers like Corzine, Dimon and Blankfein burns white hot. The mainstream media propaganda machine tries to convince the average Joe that stock market highs and record corporate profits are beneficial to him, even though the gains and profits have been spurred by zero interest rates, fraudulent accounting and outsourcing their jobs to third world slave labor factories. A critical thinking human being (this rules out 95% of the adult population) might question how corporate profits could surpass pre-collapse levels when the economy has remained stagnant.

Shockingly, the entire profit surge was driven by Wall Street. Accounting entries relieving billions of loan loss reserves, earning hundreds of millions in risk free interest courtesy of Bernanke, and falsely valuing your loan portfolio can do wonders for profits. We’ve added 6.9 million finance jobs in the last 20 years as this industry has sucked the lifeblood out of our nation. A country that allows bankers to syphon off 35% of all the profits in the country without producing any benefits to society is destined to fail, with the dire consequences that follow.

My civic decay expectations for 2013 are as follows:

  • Progressive’s attempt to distract the masses from our worsening economic situation with their assault on the 2nd Amendment will fail. Congress will pass no new restrictions on gun ownership and 2013 will see the highest level of gun sales in history.
  • The deepening recession, higher taxes on small businesses and middle class, along with Obamacare mandates will lead to rising unemployment and rising anger with the failed economic policies of the last four years. Protests and rallies will begin to burgeon.
  • The number of people on food stamps will reach 50 million and the number of people on SSDI will reach 11 million. Jamie Dimon, Lloyd Blankfein, and Jeff Immelt will compensate themselves to the tune of $100 million. CNBC will proclaim an economic recovery based on these facts.
  • The drought will continue in 2013 resulting in higher food prices, ethanol prices, and shipping costs, as transporting goods on the Mississippi River will become further restricted. The misery index for the average American family will reach new highs.
  • There will be assassination attempts on political and business leaders as retribution for their actions during and after the financial crisis.
  • The revelation of more fraud in the financial sector will result in an outcry from the public for justice. Prosecutions will be pursued by State’s attorney generals, as Holder has been captured by Wall Street.
  • The deepening pension crisis in the states will lead to more state worker layoffs and more confrontation between governors attempting to balance budgets and government worker unions. There will be more municipal bankruptcies.
  • The gun issue will further enflame talk of state secession. The red state/blue state divide will grow ever wider. The MSM will aggravate the divisions with vitriolic propaganda.
  • The government will accelerate their surveillance efforts and renew their attempt to monitor, control, and censor the internet. This will result in increased cyber-attacks on government and corporate computer networks in retaliation.

Global Disorder Spreads

“Eventually, all of America’s lesser problems will combine into one giant problem. The very survival of the society will feel at stake, as leaders lead and people follow. The emergent society may be something better, a nation that sustains its Framers’ visions with a robust new pride. Or it may be something unspeakably worse. The Fourth Turning will be a time of glory or ruin.” – Strauss & Howe – The Fourth Turning

The entire world resembles a powder-keg in a room full of monkeys with matches. As economic conditions worsen around the world the poor, destitute and unemployed increasingly have begun to revolt against their banker masters. Money printing, reporting fraudulent economic data and pretending to make debt payments with newly issued debt does not employ anyone or put food in the mouths of the people. With worldwide unemployment surpassing 200 million, food and energy prices surging, peasants in the Far East treated like slave laborers, politicians stealing from the people to enrich their banker owners, and young people losing hope for a better tomorrow, the likelihood of strikes, protests, armed revolution, and war is high.

The world is about to find out the downside to globalization, as turmoil in Europe or Asia will swiftly impact those in the rest of the world that are interconnected through trade and financial instruments. The trillions of derivatives that link financial institutions across the world will ignite like a string of firecrackers once a spark reaches the fuse. Treaties and alliances between countries will immediately enlarge localized military conflicts into world-wide confrontations. Dwindling supplies of cheap oil and potable water, a changing climate (whether cyclical or human activity based) that is creating droughts, floods and super-storms on a more frequent basis, and religious zealotry set the stage for resource wars and religious wars around the globe and particularly in the Middle East. Fourth Turnings always intensify and ultimately lead to total war, with no compromise and clear winners and losers. The proxy wars that have been waged for the last 60 years will look like kindergarten snack time when the culmination of this Fourth Turning war results in death on a scale that would be considered incomprehensible today. And it will happen within the next fifteen years. The climactic war is still a few years off, but here is what I think will happen in 2013:

  • With new leadership in Japan and China, neither will want to lose face, so early in their new terms. Neither side will back down in their ongoing conflict over islands in the East China Sea. China will shoot down a Japanese aircraft and trade between the countries will halt, leading to further downturns in both of their economies.
  • Worker protests over slave labor conditions in Chinese factories will increase as food price increases hit home on peasants that spend 70% of their pay for food. The new regime will crackdown with brutal measures, but the protests will grow increasingly violent. The economic data showing growth will be discredited by what is happening on the ground. China will come in for a real hard landing. Maybe they can hide the billions of bad debt in some of their vacant cities.
  • Violence and turmoil in Greece will spread to Spain during the early part of the year, with protests and anger spreading to Italy and France later in the year. The EU public relations campaign, built on sandcastles of debt in the sky and false promises of corrupt politicians, will falter by mid-year. Interest rates will begin to spike and the endgame will commence. Greece will depart the EU, with Spain not far behind. The unraveling of debt will plunge all of Europe into depression.
  • Iran will grow increasingly desperate as hyperinflation caused by U.S. economic sanctions provokes the leadership to lash out at its neighbors and unleash cyber-attacks on Saudi Arabian oil facilities and U.S. corporations. Israel will use the rising tensions as the impetus to finally attack Iranian nuclear facilities. The U.S. will support the attack and Iran will launch missiles at Saudi Arabia and Israel in retaliation. The price of oil will spike above $125 per barrel, further deepening the worldwide recession.
  • Syrian President Assad will be ousted and executed by rebels. Syria will fall under the control of Islamic rebels, who will not be friendly to the United States or Israel. Russia will stir up discontent in retaliation for the ouster of their ally.
  • Egypt and Libya will increasingly become Islamic states and will further descend into civil war.
  • The further depletion of the Cantarell oil field will destroy the Mexican economy as it becomes a net energy importer. The drug violence will increase and more illegal immigrants will pour into the U.S. The U.S. will station military troops along the border.
  • Cyber-attacks by China and Iran on government and corporate computer networks will grow increasingly frequent. One or more of these attacks will threaten nuclear power plants, our electrical grid, or the Pentagon.

So now I’m on the record for 2013 and I can be scorned and ridiculed for being such a pessimist when December rolls around and our Ponzi scheme economy hasn’t collapsed. There is no disputing the facts. The economic situation is deteriorating for the average American, the mood of the country is darkening, and the world is awash in debt and turmoil. Every country is attempting to print their way to renewed prosperity. No one wins a race to the bottom. The oligarchs have chosen a path of currency debasement, propping up insolvent banks, propaganda and impoverishing the masses as their preferred course. They attempt to keep the masses distracted with political theater, gun control vitriol, reality TV and iGadgets. What can be said about a society where 10% of the population follows Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga on Twitter and where 50% think the National Debt is a monument in Washington D.C. The country is controlled by evil sycophants, intellectually dishonest toadies and blood sucking leeches. Their lies and deception have held sway for the last four years, but they have only delayed the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. They will not reverse course and believe their intellectual superiority will allow them to retain their control after the collapse.

“Washington has become our Versailles. We are ruled, entertained, and informed by courtiers — and the media has evolved into a class of courtiers. The Democrats, like the Republicans, are mostly courtiers. Our pundits and experts, at least those with prominent public platforms, are courtiers. We are captivated by the hollow stagecraft of political theater as we are ruthlessly stripped of power. It is smoke and mirrors, tricks and con games, and the purpose behind its deception.”Chris Hedges

Every day more people are realizing the con-job being perpetuated by the owners of this country. Will the tipping point be reached in 2013? I don’t know. But the era of decisiveness and confrontation has arrived. The people will learn there are consequences to our actions and inaction. The existing social order will be swept away. Are you prepared?

The era of procrastination, of half-measures, of soothing and baffling expedients, of delays, is coming to a close. In its place we are entering a period of consequences…” – Winston Churchill

survival seed vault

85 thoughts on “APPARITIONS IN THE FOG”

  1. I read this article twice, just to see if I could dig out a tidbit I could disagree with. Sadly, it was tough sledding. All in all, it was a pretty dismal performance by Admin in not providing his readers anything with which to do verbal conflict. In two words, epic fail.

    Actual photo of me after reading this article


  2. Many of the last planes to leave the Us will be full of American’s fleeing to their alternate refuge in other countries. Millions are already doing it. There are over 200,000 here in the Philippines alone. Some web sites put the total numbers worldwide in excess of 5 million and I would bet that is less than half that have already prepared their escape routes and locations. Considering that 1/3 of American’s hold passports, I would also bet that there are many many more considering the move. After all, the top 10% number over 30 million and the next 20% would also have the means if they wanted to.

    Where to go? If you are smart, you will go south or west, into a friendly 2nd or 3rd world country. The 1st world is doomed. They are nothing but a hollow shell waiting to be crushed. All you have to prove is that your have enough income to live without working, and here that is $800 per month. $1,200 for a couple. S.S. is enough proof. Yes, SS will end someday, but by then you will have worked into the local fabric and be able to manage if you are careful. And a deposit of $10k each, I think for the Retirement Visa. Refundable or investable in the Philippines. I think it is a guarantee that you have the means to leave if necessary.

  3. Makati1,

    Passport requirements? Cost of a 700 or 800 sq ft dwelling or monthly rent for the same? Just curious as I like warmer climates and the ocean. Thanks.

  4. @John A

    Depends on what kind of visa you qualify/are looking for.

    Retirements/non-working visas are the easiest everywhere.
    For the Philippines:

    Yes, you need a passport.

    The Philippines have some serious issues that expats should be aware of–beaches nonwithstanding. (no disrespect to Makati1)

    High degree of political instability
    Wildly unreliable and underdeveloped utility infrastructure
    A wide array of tropical bugs, diseases, and parasites
    Volcanoes, tsunamis, tropical hurricane activities

    On the +plus+ side:
    The Philippine people. Damned nice folks, by god. They may make up for everything else.

    The Philippines is one of the world’s top ten countries whose GDP depends on ‘remittances’. That is, citizens who work in foreign countries and send their earnings back home. This is not a good economic indicator……:-(

    It’s never good to ask yourself where the good cheap beaches are and then say “That’s me! That’s where I want to go!”

    Americans need to let go of the beach fascination. You can look at sand and bananas for just so long before boredom sets in, and you realize that life is more than fruit cocktails and cheap rent.

  5. Thanks for the info, Marrisa. Just curious. I currently live on the coast of Florida. I like the ocean, not the beach. I very rarely go there although it is only 5 miles away.

  6. Think COLD! Think ALASKA!

    No Passport Requirements for FSoA Citizens, MUCH lower Populaton Density than the Philippines, plenty fossil fuels (tons of coal even after the Slope runs dry) GREAT FISHING! Bestof all we got Mountains. Really BIG MOUNTAINS! The GREAT WALL THAT GOD BUILT to protect the Independen Souls of the World.



  7. Admin- Absolutely gut wrenching and informative, but take note you mustn’t stare into the abyss for too long… stare back.

    But on a bright note , the old fogeys are learning to network…heroes not so much.

    “This is obliterated by the fact the 55 to 69 age bracket has added 4 million jobs since Obama became president, while the younger age brackets have lost 3 million jobs. ”

    ” Another 1.5 million Americans were forced onto food stamps during 2012, bringing the total increase to 17 million since Obama assumed office. With 47.5 million depending on assistance to feed them, ”

    And, I recently learned from reading Aaron Clarey’s book Enjoy the Decline , that all Americans are entitled to 5 years of Welfare during their lifetime.
    Hey, I know it isn’t the multi-million dollar bonuses fat cats @the Goldman FukUS and JP Mooching criminal cartels got via TARP , nor the lucrative hundreds of thousand of dollars in pork corporate farmers get every year, but it’s still government cheese.So stop feeding the rats and help them eat your cheese.The sooner all the cheese is gone…

    “I finally arrived at the Mall passing thousands of empty parking spaces with a few cars huddled close to the zombie starring in Night of the Retailing Dead – Sears.”

    Once upon a time Sears was the”go to store” for everything from school clothes to sporting goods?What changed?

    Did hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer funded subsidies give Wal-mart , the symbiote of PRC a leg up on Sears?
    And, what role did the credit issuing Chi-Coms play in the subsidy allotment game?

    There was a time when the Federal government (sworn to protect and promote the welfare ) allowed the Japanese to dump TV sets on US markets at extremely lower prices than American TV manufactures could even produce at.

    The Japanese were selling at a loss, but as soon as they forced American manufactures out of business, their raised their prices and captured and entire market, but I’m sure this lesson was lost on the Chinese seeking a monopoly in the cheap crap retail market.
    And, many other American producers suffered the same fate.

    The US via “Free Trade” policies have allowed foreign nationals to dump on our markets unfettered , whilst American have no recourse but to sit back and take it up the ass.

    Provide and protect my hairy ass…to plunder and oppress would be more appropriate.

  8. Excellent Jim! Two tidbits from my corner of the world.

    Winnebago motorhomes are built in one of the neighboring towns. These $100,000+ monsters are going out faster than they can make them. Stock has risen to levels not seen since 2008. I am utterly amazed. The boomers are not to be denied. I guess it’s better than having Corzine steal it before you can blow your retirement. WGO is one of my primary economic indicators.

    Ethanol plants are starting to stop operating. High priced corn combined with the slumping gas consumption that you relayed to us earlier this month has them operating in the red. Corn is at a record tight carry as a percentage of use. These plants will continue to close as prices rise this summer and the demand for gas falls.

    Again, great read.


  9. A point and a question regarding the Mike Whitney article.

    When the government took over Fredy and Fannie didn”t they make those MBS the same as Tresuries?

    If so, isn’t the real budget deficit much larger?

    Who the he’ll is going to buy those things when they need to sell them back to the public to reduce inflation?

  10. I think it’s starting to boil. Watch out for certain characters who can barely contain their enthusiasm for the “coming conflict”. I think you know who I mean.

  11. Agreed, great article and a great job or presenting mountains of information.

    As for predictions, they are a fools game. Far too many variables for one man to gauge.

    As Makati1 pointed out, and has been pointed out on this blog many times, the west is finished, we are fucked.
    A brave new world awaits for those that can adapt. I just hope not “that” brave new world…….

  12. SSS was right. You nailed it.

    I’d add that my perception is that investor credit, except for the super-rich, is drying up. My sources are saying that mortgage money for investor real estate is getting hard to come by.

    I think consolidation in the metals has finally concluded, and that some Black Swan event will cause gold and silver to spike this year.

    Instead of boats and cars, critically thinking consumers will spend money on solar panels (a real bargain at the moment) and other related gear, like charge controllers, batteries, and inverters.

    Great works of art and music will be created in these end days, as the great wisdom of the collective unconcsious of mankind bleeds through to those who are tuned to its frequency. Technology will offer new solutions to those who are smart enough to use it. (Bring on the carbon nanotube batteries.)

    I can’t help but feel gratitude, though. This Turning, for me, has resulted in a consolidation of family, a return to appreciation for the simple pleasures like having plenty to eat, and is challenging me to think outside the box as I try to plan for my own old age, and more importantly to me, the long term survival of my kids. Every cloud has some kind of silver lining (okay maybe not a mushroom cloud) and none of us gets out of this place alive anyway. It’s HOW you live ( and sometimes how you die) that matters.

    And hey, I appreciate you, admin, and all the curmudgeon INTJs that make up the TBP community. I actually LEARN shit here, as opposed to just tuning in to vent.

  13. Admin,

    Fantastic!!! I’ll forgive you the pounding headache I now have.


    I could live in one of those Winnies. Maybe others are doing just that?

  14. I have looked into the abyss and, indeed, it does stare back. If you look too long, the sheer magnitude of the deception perpetrated on us begins to show you just how [email protected] this country and the world is….. and that’s only the beginning.

    Your predictions, regardless if they happen to any level of precision this year, will eventually come true because the law of large numbers and the stupidity of power is a potent mix. I think you are being generous that the added debt this year will only be $1.25 trillion… as I see it coming in closer to $1.6 trillion, but what’s a few hundred billion between friends.

    I have been pondering and it’s been the topic of conversation amongst my “awake” friends as to identifying the tipping point indicators more clearly under various scenarios so that plans can be made which more closely accommodate the corresponding potential events. In some ways, it’s not enough to say that the next 15 years brings the ultimate climax, but to critically put pen to paper to define how different factors evolve and what needs to be done to alleviate the most dramatic effects, if possible.

    In many ways, it’s not enough to term yourself “prepared” for the SHTF with the idea that prepping alone is the answer. I say that because we have experienced and will continue to experience…. the “grind”….. and it will keep coming again and again and again. There will be a series of bigger events, but TPTB are very effective at keeping the pressure from the wheel honed to our most critical and sensitive points. The will of endurance required to stand through to the other side…. knowing that the grind will most likely be on that side is well…. is hard to accept. The probability for long term oppression by various forms of socialistic dictatorship or autocracy for Amerika is high. With that in mind, you have to accept that you have to live two lives…completely… one that has you in the norm today and the other which builds a reservoir for the marathon that you should have already starting running to avoid the biggest pitfalls quickly approaching.

    Admin, I would love for you to start converting some of the conversation to time table scenarios with expected outcomes. I know that you have touched on some of these in the past, but I believe this type of conversation and evaluation needs to continue with more rigor. Thanks for all you do to put out thought provoking perspectives and information.

  15. “The entire world resembles a powder-keg in a room full of monkeys with matches.’


    Light the fuse bitchez, let’s get this over with…

  16. Nice Jim! No chance on the troops on our southern border as long as we have this potus. The rest is fascinating and extremely detailed. You were already wrong on the Eagles new coach, so 0 for 1.

    I’m surprised no one has mentioned Iceland?

  17. Whether it will unravel this year is the only point to really debate. Everyone knows the situation is unstable and unsustainable but governments around the world have nailed shut all the exits so we are all forced to stay in the system till it explodes.

    There are no tropical paradises to escape to. When the system collapses it will take the world with it because every nation in the world is connected to it. Yeah, I got some gold and some guns but of how much use they will be is a question I’m not eager to find out. Being able to go to the store and buy whatever you need with fiat dollars is paradise. If we lose that its doubtful we will ever get it back in our lifetimes so its worth trying to preserve.

  18. @ Be Prepared

    Nice thoughts! Please post more frequently.

    and I believe your idea to admin is a good one!

    A flow chart would be great for us that are too stupid to read a bunch of words.

  19. Great piece, fitting title and definitely sinister.

    It’s all laid out, right there, for everyone to see.

    I cannot let one error pass without saying something: The Ravens are not “Miraculous”…. they are good, but not the stuff of Champions.

    1. Colma

      I’m channeling my best Smokey and predicting that the team led by coach Harbough will win the Super Bowl.

      Welcome back. You were missed.

  20. No matter how you slice and dice and this article is very well written, thank you, we all need to raise our heads and look around. This is but a small wedge of the pie that must be consumed. I’m referring to the natural disasters that kickoff at the vernal equinox and continue into 2016. None of our massive dilemma is confusing universe who has perfect timing and the medicine our world needs to heal. Universe always has the hammer and it is now in motion. We can expect a global coastal water event before June 1. Ask the Chinese, they “get it” and have built many huge cities far inland, with rail service to the coast and with not a single person in any of them, They are also buying and hoarding food, not for reasons of war, as the MSM claim but to feed their people after the cataclysms hit . Universe will purge the planet or wipe the filthy slate of TPTB. It cannot be resisted.
    In addition, and of course, you will laugh at this but no matter, the Earth’s diameter will grow by 5% starting this year,with the corresponding increase in mass and gravity. All spherical celestial bodies grow and Earth is very close to popping, literally, with a growth spurt. The matter is created at Earth’s center, using energy provided by the Sun. This is likely the driving force for the global coastal water event. All scientists know the Earth grows but it is almost never talked about.
    In addition, we can expect some kind of pole shift, meaning that the planet’s poles will relocate to a different place, relative to the crust position. It had better not be 90 degrees or almost all of us will die.
    The world systems, you so astutely review and their hopeless outcome, are every bit as destructive to our world, as you say. It is completely out of control but TPTB don’t care and that is why they have adopted such an unsustainable stance. It’s because it doesn’t matter and they know it. They have already sealed their seed vault in Norway because the jig is up and we are out of time. They believe their bunkers will save them and when most on the surface have perished, they will be able to emerge and be kings of the remaining humans. They are insane and their plans will never come to fruition.
    As of Dec. 21,2012, Earth moved up from a Level 0 to a Level 1 civilization. Very big deal. This date also marked the end of the tenure of TPTB on Earth. We joined an intergalactic community of STO ET’s on Dec 21, 2012, who are working to prevent our great disasters from turning into an ELE. Their goal is to keep at least 5% of humans alive, so that the planet does not require reseeding with sentient beings, again.
    Laugh or scoff, like most do or do a little searching, with an open mind. The ET’s are openly communicating with a small number of humans and they have told us a great deal. Open contact, is down the road but we will see them during the cataclysms, trying to preserve as many lives as they can.
    So, our economic/financial problems are there by design or default and they are as bad as we measure them but they will be trumped in an extremely big way. What comes out the other side is a completely new Earth, with all of the old systems and power brokers gone for good. It’s good to have perspective.

  21. Colma – you asshole. You have been away for so long you have to start over as a newbie. And you know how I treat newbies.

    Welcome back. Now bend over for what you got coming.

  22. “The ET’s are openly communicating with a small number of humans and they have told us a great deal. ”

    Sorry Paul. We are not yet a Level 1 civilization, and at the rate we’re going,the space aliens will have to repopulate the planet wiith those little critters that live in hot water vents in the depths of the ocean.

    After the poles shift, Texas will be located at the exact center of the known universe.

  23. I have seen it suggested that the “savior du jour” BO will be booted from office before this second term is up. It seems perfectly plausible.

  24. Hell the only thing I needed to know was that Homeland Security was buying bullets by the millions. This was the only sign I needed to see…..TPTB know we are FUCKED and that after the collapse….we’re coming for them.

    The Bankers can threaten to implode the economy like Brad Sherman revealed in 2008 however the protection they seek from CONgress will evaporate quicker than a the last swallow of a wino’s bottle . CONgress will feed them masses in order to save themselves when the shooting starts .

  25. Mr. Quinn,
    I would have to say this is your finest work to date.
    Well Done!!!!!!!!!
    And everyone buy gold and silver – your ONLY financial salvation….

  26. Llop, Colma will never be a newbie, Kids like that will be the lifeblood of the future, I only hope that there will be enough colmas and tpcs to keep the next turnining from to an unfortunate end.
    Thank you,

  27. BBob – don’t start sticking up for Colma. That young-un causes all kinds of trouble and needs to be taken out behind the woodshed ever so often so as not to get too uppity. And his baby boomer stuff is just down-right insolent. What he needs is discipline, and he damn sure is gonna get it. But we do love him around here – and Punk and Jmarz and TPC and all the rest. But that doesn’t mean they are not in for tough love.


  28. BB – Dartmouth really didn’t haze that much, to be honest. A few whacks with a paddle, a short trip to the woods to walk back, and that was it. Mostly they made you drink to excess. Somehow, we did not really mind that bit. 🙂

    And to be honest, even the excess drinking was pretty well supervised. Dartmouth folk were incredibly experienced drinkers, and knew the dangers thereof, believe it or not. There was always someone keeeping an eye open so that no one did anything really stupid, like chug too much hard liquor. Usually it was beer, as it is hard to drink so much beer as to fall into an alcoholic coma.

  29. Me as a kid:


    My last round being delivered:


    My beer mug:


    Admin – It was all about BEER. Hard liquor went into punches, generally to make a kick ass Long Island Tea on special occassions. Otherwise it was beer, 24/7. And I kid you not. Drinking age was 18, and boy howdy did we give it a nudge.

    And my most prized personal possession which I have had for decades:


  30. “A master plan implemented through the collusion of the Federal Reserve, Treasury Department, Executive branch, Wall Street cabal, and corporate media conglomerates has created the illusion of recovery. Make no mistake about it, those in power held clandestine meetings and had covert discussions that will never see the light of day in transcripts or recordings.”

    No, you can be sure that the plug was pulled on any recordings because that would prove “intent”, and we wouldn’t want that.

  31. I dont think fleeing to other countrys is the answer.The Phillipines is in a typhoon belt,dengue and no real economy.It does have some good things to it.If the world tubles,people in the PI are used to being poor so it wouldnt be so bad,here in the usa people well go insane. My wife didnt want to stay there,so im not going back. I grew up in the desert,so im staying,i like the no bugs/no humidity thing.

  32. Blankfein Said to Buy Seven-Bedroom Home in NY’s Hamptons

    Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) Chief Executive Officer Lloyd C. Blankfein bought a seven-bedroom home in New York’s Hamptons that was listed for $32.5 million, a person with knowledge of the deal said.

    Blankfein, 58, took title to the property on Ocean Road in Bridgehampton in recent weeks, said the person, who asked not to be named because the transaction hasn’t been made public. The person didn’t disclose the price for the home, which was most recently offered for $32.5 million, according to

    Property records reported by LexisNexis list the owner as ‘Fein, Blank.’ The sellers were Matthew Mallow and his wife, Ellen Chesler, records show. In August, Mallow, who was named earlier this year as general counsel at BlackRock Inc. (BLK), and Chesler, a senior fellow at the Roosevelt Institute, hosted a fundraiser at the house for President Barack Obama that was attended by Vice President Joe Biden, according to reports in the New York Post and on the website of the Sag Harbor Express.

    “For the most discerning, this classic Hamptons estate- home, situated on magnificent grounds, offers the ideal blend of every modern convenience and amenity within its early 20th- century construction,” according to a June 2009 rental listing for the property on, a real estate website.

    The home, with six full bathrooms, includes a tennis court, “sculpted gardens,” a swimming pool, and “a winding driveway to a home of which dreams are made,” according to the rental listing.

  33. I just listened to the podcast he provided a link to at halfpasthuman. It’s just kooky enough, I may listen to some more of his stuff. 220px-ManWearingTinFoilHat.jpg

  34. 4 T? That’s a conservative bet this year.

    QE3.5 will touch that easy. That graph is stunning to behold and will only be unwound with even more stunning amounts of leverage squeezed elsewhere.

    Squeezed from turnips with gusto.

  35. marvelous, quinn. slammed it out of the park.

    but, sss cannot lay the blame for the disturbing lack of discord in these comments. geez, are there even double figures of thumbs down?

    the blame lies with those who commented. a half-hearted llpoh slam of this newbie, cloma is it? that ain’t my good ‘ol TBP. when the admin/host fails to deliver material for vitriol, with a comprehensive, logical, fact-laden analysis such as this, it is the responsibility of the rest of the community to bring the heat.

    AWD didn’t even gratuitously name the sparkler-wielding chimp ‘barack’. would that have been so hard, doc? that would’ve set he and i upon one another. sure, that is an old act, but a goodie.

    fucking kumbaya washing over this place, when confronted with such an array of cold, hard facts and truths. if i had known this is what staring into the abyss of our fourth turning future would result, i wouldn’t have been so sckurred of it staring back.

    at least i can still count on jamie dimon. just when lance armstrong had laid solid claim to ‘biggest prick in the nation’ status, our banker-in-chief lets us know he is world-class when it comes to dickdom.

  36. Howard: Kumbaya for certain. Time to put away the bongos and start flinging shit.
    It’s also time for you to concede that the better of… and classiest of… the Bay Area football clubs is going to bask rightfully in the glow of the Lombardi trophy.

    Novista: Behind the katana rack.

  37. Llpoh,
    I had to go to the infirmary at Umass to clear up a “little problem” and he politely asked me how much I drank and I quickly calculated it in my head and cut it by about 50% then smartly said to him A six pack a day. His jaw dropped and he shook his head imploring how bad this was for me. Now the only way I ever answer that question is I have a few beers now and then.
    Thank you,

  38. Exceptional article, sir, but I was left with nagging questions as to WHAT we should do, other than just sitting back and watching it all flush down the cosmic crapper.

    Is it even worthwhile to continue entrepreneurial pursuits, or try and gather more tainted money?
    Does it matter if we’ve stockpiled gold and silver when the basic necessities of existence are at risk?
    What practical measures do we do to help us survive this “turning?”
    How long have we got until the smell of SHTF wafts in?

    I head lots of suggestions, but not many of them seem very practical or feasible. Not sure what to do with this information…

  39. Grouchy;

    Food, water, guns, alt power souces are a good start.

    Start with to get started. (or a number of like web sites)

  40. Admin

    Not only do you write with style but connect the dots, include pictures for the textually deprived — and you’re fast. What’s not to like?

  41. Grouchy, there are many things you can do. You may not ever *need* it but better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. Determine what your prepping budget is and get going.

    Start where you prefer but consider building a six month supply of cash (small bills <$50) and protect it from fire and theft. Diversify your PM holdings into both small and large gold coins/bars. Diversify your silver into Eagles, Maples, bars, rounds and junk.

    Stockpile a years supply of non-perishable food. Buy a good freezer wiith 20 cu ft capacity and fill it with meat. Keep a generator handy in case of power outage. Obtain a camping stove and fuel supply for it. Treat and store a 2-4 week supply of water and buy a Berkey or similar water filter. Some rain barrels under down spouts and an excellent filter are a good start.

    If you can do so safely, store a couple weeks of fuel for your vehicle. Solar power and a good *quiet* generator including oil and spare parts/tune up kits are essential. Consider having a couple of alternative heat sources like kerosene, propane, wood available.

    Consider what sort of luxury items people might be willing to barter for in a SHTF scenario and stock up on a few of those items.

    There are limited ways to protect yourself from the ever increasing effects of inflation in this economy. One way that many fail to consider is buying supplies of items you and your family will always use forever and buy lots of those things. Clothing including socks, underwear, shoes, boots, jeans plus toothpaste, tp, soap, shampoo, toothbruses etc will always be cheaper now than in the future. Not only do you reduce the effects of inflation now but you reduce future expenses which could help if your income is reduced or lost.

    Increase your skills like gardening and canning and food drying. Learn to do basic car and small engine maintenance and repair. Take advanced first aid courses.

    Join a gun club and learn about good defensive guns. Get training on how to use them, clean them and securely store them.

    Pay off as much debt as possible. The only exception I'd make to that is your mortgage. I'd keep paying payments unless you can easily pay it off without interfering with more immediate preps.

    Don't forget your health. See a dentist regularly. If you are considering any elective surgery, think about moving it up. Many doctors seem to be considering giving up their practices. Fewer and fewer doctors are serving Medicare and Medicaid patients. ObamaCare is going to lower the quality and availability/variety of care so consider what that might mean to you.

    There are plenty of sites that have comprehensive lists of preps for every situation imaginable. Find one you like and customize your preps to your own situation. Make your preps quietly as a matter of safety and security.

    Like I said, you may never need many or most of your preps but there are smart ways to go about it. I'd start by imagining a scenario where you are without power for 14 days with no heat, potentially contaminated or no water and inclement weather. Imagine your sewer system not working. Look at the needs of natural disaster victims like those screaming for food, heat and gas during Hurricane Sandy and Katrina. If you really want to figure it out what you need, turn off the water, gas and electricity to your house for a long weekend each season of the year. Gold, guns and food are only a start.

  42. Thanks for the predictions and your continuing efforts here on TBP admin! The situation is simultaneously amazing, astounding, infuriating, outrageous, sickening and saddening!

    I’ve noticed the continuing decline seems to be accelerating in subtle ways. A Jack In The Box restaurant near me closed last year. Vandalism was so bad they hired someone to bolt plywood to all the windows and doors. The vandalism continued so now there is a 10ft high fence all the way around the place.

    Across the street there is a building that started life as a Boston Market which I helped build. That became a Kenny Rogers Roasters which failed and became a Carls Jr which failed. It was then leased by a local homegrown restaurant and became a standing room only establishment right up until a Trader Joes was built a hundred feet away. Trader Joes is always packed with customers so the owner of the building where the local restaurant moved in tripled the rent putting them out of business. The local and largely affluent residents were pissed off and journalists investigated. Turned out the owner reckoned he could get triple the rent because Trader Joes had moved in. For the last year he has been wrong and his building is being vandalized as it sits empty. I sincerely hope the place is never rented again!

    Near my work, a Taco Bell has closed. A Burger King which was 24 hours has closed at night. A Marie Calendars and Perkins restaurant have closed. The three supermarkets that were all 24 hr locations are now closed overnight.

    More interesting is the opening of blood and plasma donation centers in the remaining high traffic shopping areas.

    More and more businesses continue to close. Each week the number of For Rent and For Lease signs increases all over town.

    My route home purposely takes me through a neighborhood with $500K+ homes. I take this route because the rich women like to protest people like me driving through “their” neighborhood and using “their” streets which “they” pay taxes on. They actually stand in the streets with signs and have even petitioned the city council to prevent non-residents from driving on “their” streets. I love driving my 1986, rusting, ugly as sin Toyota 4Runner through there as they scowl at me. If I had their money I’d certainly have more important things to do with my time. Anyway, I keep up with these homes on Zillow from time to time and the losses these people are taking when they sell these places is astounding. The flippers appear to be taking a bigger beating and I have not seen any of these homes sell at all in many months.

    I too doubt that gun control will be very successful I I hope that record sales continue unabated. There is no way in hell all of these current buyers are just going to turn in or give up their guns! NOT GONNA FUCKIN’ HAPPEN! One upside is that many of these guns, largely unused, will begin to make their way to the secondary market in a couple years at reduced prices.

  43. James your article on the social order being swept away is well written. Sent an email before but had no reply. Is about the USA National Government Debt.

    Two interesting interviews with Simon Mahailavich on Capital Account one 25/10/2012 other 12/07/2012 both U Tube.

    Now: listen to bit about five minutes into interview 25/10/ Simon states cost of debt serving will soon start to growth, and that the game is nearly over. How so? With inflation and 0 interest rates the USA Government now pays less debt in real terms than in 1998?…..Something about each dollar added will cost as much to service. Something about incremental growth. The debt has tippled but rates have fallen from 18 % I980s. Simon is a clever chap-but he goes quite fast. Much of what he states chimes with what you say.

    I get the bit that when rates rise to 3% cost of serving will reach half trillion dollars a year. Does he mean when the debt reaches a critical mass cost go up. You know the FED is trying to inflate the dollar so value of the debt is being eroded. and trying to inflate to get people to spend.

    Many thanks Linda.

  44. Indentured Servant “I love driving my 1986, rusting, ugly as sin Toyota 4Runner through there as they scowl at me.”
    lmao….I love it. Every so often you should stop your P/U near the snotty sniveling bitches , get out , pop the hood and make a deliberate and painfully slow check under the hood, undercarriage and kick a few tires just for fun.

    In my rural locale, zoning is dominated by silly self-aggrandizing hag bags incessantly whining for more laws against digging, building , parking , storage, shopping, dogs,cats maintenance, grass, weeds, chickens, trailers, you name it and the bitch brigade has a bloody rag of a complaint against it.
    The men , if you can call them that have given up.Their worship and fear of all things twat related override any remnant of manliness that remains… a gutless lot , one and all.

  45. flash

    What you have to say about the area where you live reminds me a great deal of what Hunter Thompson used to say about Aspen. Having had a kid who lived there (not Aspen of course…too expensive…but in Carbondale, the home of the Aspen middle class, what’s left of it.) I’d have to say he was right, and prescient as well.

    Can I ask where you live? I understand if you’d rather not say.

  46. Eddie, I live in a region that used to be considered Dixie, but is now a far cry from that….I blame low testosterone and and the incessant ” there ought to be a law” drone of the chattering rosebud.

  47. flash wrote:

    “In my rural locale, zoning is dominated by silly self-aggrandizing hag bags incessantly whining for more laws against digging, building , parking , storage, shopping”

    More laws *against* shopping???

    Seriously? Women against shopping? Wow!

    flash also wrote:

    “The men , if you can call them that have given up.Their worship and fear of all things twat related override any remnant of manliness that remains… a gutless lot , one and all.”

    Sadly, I must agree.

  48. Maddie’s Mom +”Seriously? Women against shopping? Wow!”

    for the purpose of brevity,but to be more precise, at every townhall meeting the sniveling pompous ass bitch brigade are always harping on passing laws keeping “big box” retail out of the county, but every weekend that rolls around the chattering” there ought to be law” snowflakes climb into their overstuffed SUV’s and head off into the surrounding counties in search of big box retail in which to plunk down their plastic in exchange for overpriced slave labor produced crap.
    They don’t have a clue…only a “feeling” and their dickless husbands are powerless and too stupid to provide any leadership….she’s the boss the dickless dullards whine..

  49. Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal says Barnes & Nobel will close a third of their stores over the next 10 years. Whaddya bet that plan gets to happening faster than that.?

  50. Admin

    I won’t hold your feet to the fire on your predications for 2013. There is no telling how or when the world as we know it will begin to unravel, but in reading the last few paragraphs you hit the nail right on the head. I’m a big fan of Chris Hedges, if only more people would take the time to listen.

    Great article, thank you.

    There is no disputing the facts. The economic situation is deteriorating for the average American, the mood of the country is darkening, and the world is awash in debt and turmoil. Every country is attempting to print their way to renewed prosperity. No one wins a race to the bottom. The oligarchs have chosen a path of currency debasement, propping up insolvent banks, propaganda and impoverishing the masses as their preferred course. They attempt to keep the masses distracted with political theater, gun control vitriol, reality TV and iGadgets. What can be said about a society where 10% of the population follows Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga on Twitter and where 50% think the National Debt is a monument in Washington D.C. The country is controlled by evil sycophants, intellectually dishonest toadies and blood sucking leeches. Their lies and deception have held sway for the last four years, but they have only delayed the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. They will not reverse course and believe their intellectual superiority will allow them to retain their control after the collapse.

    “Washington has become our Versailles. We are ruled, entertained, and informed by courtiers — and the media has evolved into a class of courtiers. The Democrats, like the Republicans, are mostly courtiers. Our pundits and experts, at least those with prominent public platforms, are courtiers. We are captivated by the hollow stagecraft of political theater as we are ruthlessly stripped of power. It is smoke and mirrors, tricks and con games, and the purpose behind its deception.”- Chris Hedges

    Every day more people are realizing the con-job being perpetuated by the owners of this country. Will the tipping point be reached in 2013? I don’t know. But the era of decisiveness and confrontation has arrived. The people will learn there are consequences to our actions and inaction. The existing social order will be swept away. Are you prepared?

  51. JQ.

    I’ve been an admirer of your work since you started sharing with the public. You’re still keeping me centered and I immensely enjoy the read. To sum it up you are:

    “Wiser than a tree full of Owls”

    regards in advance,


  52. The “Articles” and “Comments” links (under the RSS logo) are badly programmed: If clicked dozens of browser tabs are opening! (Firefox 19.0, MacOS).


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