Saturday, February 20, 2021

Must Watch! "Doubling Down On The Markets; You Can't Fight Reality With Printing Money; Central Bankers Troubles"

Jeremiah Babe,
"Doubling Down On The Markets; You Can't Fight Reality 
With Printing Money; Central Bankers Troubles"

Musical Interlude: Adiemus, "Adiemus"

Full screen recommended.
Adiemus, "Adiemus"

"A Look to the Heavens"

 “The Tarantula Nebula is more than a thousand light-years in diameter, a giant star forming region within nearby satellite galaxy the Large Magellanic Cloud, about 180 thousand light-years away. The largest, most violent star forming region known in the whole Local Group of galaxies, the cosmic arachnid sprawls across this spectacular composite view constructed with space- and ground-based image data.

Within the Tarantula (NGC 2070), intense radiation, stellar winds and supernova shocks from the central young cluster of massive stars, cataloged as R136, energize the nebular glow and shape the spidery filaments. Around the Tarantula are other star forming regions with young star clusters, filaments, and blown-out bubble-shaped clouds In fact, the frame includes the site of the closest supernova in modern times, SN 1987A, at the lower right. The rich field of view spans about 1 degree or 2 full moons, in the southern constellation Dorado. But were the Tarantula Nebula closer, say 1,500 light-years distant like the local star forming Orion Nebula, it would take up half the sky."

Theodore Roethke, “The Return”

“The Return”

“Suddenly the window will open
and Mother will call,
it's time to come in.
The wall will part,
I will enter heaven in muddy shoes.
I will come to the table
and answer questions rudely.
I am all right, leave me
alone. Head in hand I
sit and sit. How can I tell them
about that long
and tangled way?
Here in heaven mothers
knit green scarves;
flies buzz.
Father dozes by the stove
after six days' labor.
No - surely I can't tell them
that people are at each
other's throats.”

- Theodore Roethke

Chet Raymo, “Angling For Happiness”

“Angling For Happiness”
by Chet Raymo

“There is a concept in physics called angle of repose. Set an object, a book say, on a plank. Now slowly tip up one end of the plank until the moment when the book just starts to slide. The angle between the plank and the horizontal is the angle of repose, where the component of the gravitational force down the plank becomes greater than the maximum friction force holding the book at rest. Or, in more evocative terms - as I write I am lying on the couch with the laptop in my lap, in perfect repose. If you started tipping up the couch, at some point I'd go sliding into a heap at the bottom. That's the angle of repose, or perhaps it would be more accurate to call it the angle of the end of repose.

This comes to mind because I just spent fifteen minutes on my knees in the yard watching ants excavate a nest in the ground. One by one they scurry out of the hole carrying a tiny grain of sand, which they dump in a ring around the hole. A circular pile. Now if the ants just dumped their burdens at the mouth of the hole, pretty soon the pile would get so steep that the sand grains would slide back into the hole. Instead, the circular ring gets higher and wider, with a slope that never exceeds the angle at which the grains will slip - the angle of repose. Now here's the thing: the ants almost invariably carry their grain to just beyond the top of the pile. If the grain slips, it will slide away from the hole. These tiny ants, hardly bigger than sand grains themselves, understand a little physics in their mysterious instinctive way.

Wallace Stegner has a novel titled "Angle of Repose." It is indeed an evocative phrase. In a job, in a relationship, in life itself, many of us instinctively seek that maximum degree of individual gratification that will satisfy emotional needs without doing violence to our essential repose, and that of those around us - the art of walking close to the edge, the thrill without the spill. Every day in the news we hear of folks - politicians or celebrities - who tipped the plank too far, whose lives went sliding into self-destruction, who failed to grasp, metaphorically speaking, something that a tiny ant instinctively understands.”

The Daily "Near You?"

Griffith, Indiana, USA. Thanks for stopping by!

"The Story of Man"

“The sands of time blew into a storm of images... images in sequence to tell the truth! Glorious legends of revolutionaries, bound only by a desire to be true to themselves, and to hope! Parables of colliding worlds, of forbidden love, of enemies healing the wounds of circumstance! Projected myth of persecution through greed and selfishness... and the will to survive! The Will to survive! And to survive in the face of those who claim credit for your very existence! We survive not as pawns, but as agents of hope. Sometimes misunderstood, but always true to our story. The story of Man."
- Scott Morse
“Do you believe," said Candide, "that men have always massacred each other as they do to-day, that they have always been liars, cheats, traitors, ingrates, brigands, idiots, thieves, scoundrels, gluttons, drunkards, misers, envious, ambitious, bloody-minded, calumniators, debauchees, fanatics, hypocrites, and fools?" "Do you believe," said Martin, "that hawks have always eaten pigeons when they have found them?" "Yes, without doubt," said Candide. "Well, then," said Martin, "if hawks have always had the same character why should you imagine that men may have changed theirs?”
Voltaire, "Candide"
“What a chimaera then is man, what a novelty, what a monster, what chaos, what a subject of contradiction, what a prodigy! Judge of all things, yet an imbecile earthworm; depository of truth, yet a sewer of uncertainty and error; pride and refuse of the universe. Who shall resolve this tangle?”
- Blaise Pascal
And so it is...
Vangelis, "Alpha"
This song always suggested the March of Mankind through the ages...
In spite of ourselves, always... we go on.

"Our Descent Into Collective Madness"

"Our Descent Into Collective Madness"
by Victor Davis Hanson 

"These are crazy times. A pandemic led to national quarantine; to self-induced recession; to riot, arson, and looting; to a contested election; and to a riot at the U.S. Capitol. In response, are we focusing solely on upping the daily vaccination rate? Getting the country back to work? Opening the schools as the virus attenuates? Ensuring safety in the streets? Or are we descending into a sort of madness?

It might have been understandable that trillions of dollars had to be borrowed to keep a suffocating economy breathing. But it makes little sense to keep borrowing $2 trillion a year to prime an economy now set to roar back with herd-like immunity on the horizon. Trillions of dollars in stimulus are already priming the economy. Cabin-feverish Americans are poised to get out of their homes to travel, eat out and socialize as never before.

Meanwhile, the United States will have to start paying down nearly $30 trillion in debt. But we seem more fixated on raising rather than reducing that astronomical obligation. We are told man-made, worldwide climate change - as in the now-discarded term “global warming” - can best be addressed by massive dislocations in the U.S. economy.

The Biden administration plans to shut down coal plants. It will halt even nearly completed new gas and oil pipelines. It will cut back on fracking to embrace the multitrillion-dollar “Green New Deal.”

Americans should pause and examine the utter disaster that unfolded recently in Texas and its environs. Parts of the American Southwest were covered in ice and snow for days. Nighttime temperatures crashed to near zero in some places. The state, under pressure, had been transitioning from its near-limitless and cheap reservoirs of natural gas and other fossil fuels to generating power through wind and solar. But what happens to millions of Texans when wind turbines freeze up while storm clouds extinguish solar power? We are witnessing the answer in oil- and gas-rich but energy-poor Texas that is all but shut down.

Millions are shivering without electricity and affordable heating. Some may die or become ill by this self-induced disaster - one fueled by man-made ideological rigidity. Texas’ use of natural gas in power generation has helped the United States curb carbon emissions. Ignoring it for unreliable wind and solar alternatives was bound to have catastrophic consequences whenever a politically incorrect nature did not follow the global warming script.

In 2019, a special counsel wrapped up a 22-month, $35 million investigation into then-President Donald Trump’s alleged “collusion” with Russia in the 2016 election. Robert Mueller and his team searched long and hard for a crime and came up empty. Then, Trump was impeached in December 2019 and acquitted in the Senate in early 2020. His purported crime was warning the Ukrainians about the Biden family’s quid pro quo racketeering.

After the revelations concerning Hunter Biden’s shenanigans not only in Ukraine but also in Kazakhstan and China, Trump’s admonitions now seem prescient rather than impeachable. Trump had been threatened with removal from office under the 25th Amendment. He was accused of violating the Logan Act and the Constitution’s emoluments clause. His executive orders were often declared unconstitutional if not seditious. All these oppositional measures predictably failed to receive either public or congressional support.

Finally, an exasperated left decided to flog the presidential corpse of now private citizen Trump. It did so without a Supreme Court chief justice to oversee an impeachment trial in the Senate. The targeted president was no longer president. There was no special prosecutor, little debate and even less cross-examination. In the end, the second impeachment was sillier than the first. But, like the first, the show trial wasted precious time and resources in the midst of a pandemic.

But the height of our collective madness is the current cancel culture. Its subtexts are “unearned white privilege” and “white supremacy.” In the name of those abominations, mobs tear down statues, destroy careers, censor speech, require veritable oaths and conduct reeducation training. Stranger still, those alleging “white privilege” are usually themselves quite wealthy, liberal - and white. These elites count on their incestuous networking, silver-spoon upbringings and tony degrees to leverage status, influence and money in a way undreamed of by the white working class.

Affluent and privileged minorities likewise join the chorus to call for everything from reparations to “reprogramming” Trump voters. The most elite in America are the most likely to damn the privilege of those who lack it. Perhaps this illogic squares the psychological circle of feeling guilty about things they never have any intention of giving up.

If blaming those without advantages does not satisfy the unhappy liberal elite, then there is always warring against the mute dead: changing their eponymous names, destroying their statues, slandering their memories and denying their achievements. The common denominator with all these absurdities? An ungracious and neurotic elite whose judgment is bankrupt and whose privilege is paid for by those who don’t have it."

"Next Up: Global Depression"

"Next Up: Global Depression"
by Charles Hugh Smith

A few days after the Covid pandemic was officially announced last year on 1/23/20, I prepared a chart projecting the course of the pandemic. In my view it still stands, with two updates: "vaccines months away" has been updated to "mass vaccinations months away" and "Wave 2" has been updated to "Wave 4." (see chart below)

The end-point--global depression - is up next. Very few are prepared for this eventuality because they put their faith in 1) central banks pursuing an insane folly and 2) a fragile, brittle global economy that was already teetering on the edge of destabilization before the pandemic.

Here's the central banks' insane folly in a nutshell: to create new enterprises and jobs, we'll blow the world's greatest speculative bubble into an even greater speculative bubble. So in other words, we'll further enrich the top layer of the Financial Aristocracy who own the vast majority of the assets we're pushing to the moon, and by some inexplicable magic, adding trillions of dollars, yuan, yen and euros to the wealth of this elite will somehow launch a thousand new thriving enterprises which will magically hire 500,000 new workers every month.
Can we be honest for a split second and admit that the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus look plausible compared to this insane proposition? Since there's a tiny window of honesty open, let's also admit that adding a booster rocket to the wealth-income inequality that is undermining democracy, society and the economy is exactly what we'd choose to do if our goal was destroying America. Yet this is precisely what the entire Federal Reserve policy sets out to do: boost wealth-income inequality to new extremes. "What Poisoned America?" (2/18/21)

Meanwhile, global supply chains that were optimized for Globalization Heaven are incredibly brittle and fragile as a result of the optimization. Optimizing for maximizing profit means getting rid of redundancies, buffers, quality control and ramping dependence on offshore suppliers to 100%.

If you set out to design a global supply system that would fail catastrophically, creating self-reinforcing shortages of essentials and key components, you'd choose the system now teetering on the edge of implosion. Optimization is wonderful for boosting profits when everything is priced to perfection and functioning to perfection, but when reality intrudes, you find you've stripped out all those costly, unnecessary bits that enabled the supply chain to deal with a spot of bother.

Unfortunately for the central bankers, their policy of giving trillions in free money for financiers and speculators is suffering from diminishing returns: where $100 billion once had a significant effect on financial markets, now $1 trillion no longer has any effect at all, and so the only dose that causes the patient's eyelids to flicker briefly is $3 trillion--no wait a minute, make that $5 trillion, nope, not enough, make it $10 trillion, yikes, still not enough, pump in $20 trillion!

I prepared a chart (below) which depicts how diminishing returns on inflating speculative asset bubbles leads the global financial system to a cliff from which there is no return.
Though few seem to be aware of it, we're tottering on that cliff edge. The final manifestation of central bankers' insane folly is the promise that endless wealth can be yours if only you join the speculative extremes racing over the cliff. Maybe the immense herd of speculators will all magically grow wings once they're in free-fall; that's no more insane than counting on speculative asset bubbles to magically create real enterprises and jobs.

This madness is now global, so next up: global depression. The story of the past year hasn't changed: blowing an even bigger speculative asset bubble is the sure cure; the latest "fix" to the pandemic will make it go away forever and ever, and everything that was broken before the pandemic will magically be restored by the magic of ever larger and more precarious speculative asset bubbles."

"How It Really Is"


Friday, February 19, 2021

“Ignore The Danger, Just Buy Everything; Crypto Crash? Dollar Tanking; Americans Aren’t Paying Bills”

Jeremiah Babe,
“Ignore The Danger, Just Buy Everything; Crypto Crash?
 Dollar Tanking; Americans Aren’t Paying Bills”

"The Temporary Collapse Of Texas Is Foreshadowing The Total Collapse Of The United States"

Full screen highly recommended.
"The Temporary Collapse Of Texas Is Foreshadowing
 The Total Collapse Of The United States"
by Epic Economist

"The power collapse happening in Texas right now is merely a short preview of the total collapse of the United States. America's infrastructure is getting obsolete and starting to crumble. Our power grid wasn't designed to support so many people, our water systems are a complete failure, and this event has made it clear that we would be entirely lost if a major long-term national emergency ever occurred. Texas is one of the richest states of the nation, and it also has vast energy resources, but its inefficiency and lack of preparation to handle this crisis outlined how vulnerable the energy system in the state really is. And if it can’t even handle a few days of cold weather, what's going to happen to this country when things actually start to get turbulent in the months ahead? That's what we are going to discuss in this video.

The chaos brought on by freezing temperatures has underlined how the power grid in Texas is much more fragile than anyone ever imagined. When the chillwave hit the state, demand for energy soared to unprecedented levels. But, on the other hand, nearly half of the wind turbines that the state relies upon completely froze, and the rest of the system simply wasn't able to meet the enormous increase in demand. Approximately 15 million Texan homes were affected and hundreds of thousands of them remain without power right now. However, the situation could've been much worse if grid operators haven't cut the power immediately after they realized something was going terribly wrong with the system. 

Grid operators noticed the system was overwhelmed and could collapse at any moment, so they had to act quickly to cut the amount of power distributed. If operators had not promptly acted, Texas could have suffered blackouts that could have occurred for months, and left the state in an indeterminately long crisis. America is literally falling apart all around us, and as our population has grown and our infrastructure has aged, our performance has been decaying with each passing year. Just as problematic as the energy system, our water systems are also very fragile.

In Texas, the cold weather caused thousands of pipes to burst, and at least 13.5 million people are facing water disruptions, as 797 water systems throughout the state reported issues such as frozen or broken pipes. To make matters even worse, access to fresh drinking water is also becoming increasingly scarce in Texas, with roughly 725 systems under a boil water advisory, Baker revealed during a press conference Thursday. So people are having to make the desperate choice between going thirsty or facing possible illness. 

Shortages of food and other essential supplies are also being reported in Texas, and the cold weather could potentially cause huge damages to the state’s agricultural sector. For that reason, officials warned that the storm could hamper food access for weeks to come. At the moment, extremely long lines have been forming at local supermarkets all over the state. Meanwhile, several county officials across Texas revealed to be coming up with strategies to feed and bring water to those devastated by the storm. The Harris county executive, Lina Hidalgo, said she's tremendously worried about the lack of drinkable water in her community. “It’s not just a weather emergency,” Hidalgo said. “This is a multifaceted disaster.”

In short, the power shortage has broadened to the point it triggered food, water and health crises. When we take into account the amount of damage registered in just a few days, and the lack of preparation of our authorities to promptly mitigate the crisis, we wonder what would happen to us if a steep long-term national emergency disrupted food, water, and power systems for months. This time, all it took to spark so much turmoil and result in a domino effect of outages and shortages was a cold wave. Needless to say, eventually, much worse troubles will unfold in our nation, but it has become clear that we are not ready to handle our issues. So you should get prepared while you still can, because time is running out."

"Covid-19 Pandemic Updates 2/19/21"

"Covid-19 Pandemic Updates 2/19/21"
 Feb 19, 2021 2:25 PM ET: 
The coronavirus pandemic has sickened more than 110,551,600 
people, according to official counts, including 27,974,538 Americans.
Globally at least 2,4446,400 have died.

"The COVID Tracking Project"
Every day, our volunteers compile the latest numbers on tests, cases, 
hospitalizations, and patient outcomes from every US state and territory.
https://covidtracking.com/
Feb. 19, 2021, 9:38 AM ET
Where I Live:
2/18/2021: "Cases are very high but have decreased over the past two weeks. The numbers of hospitalized Covid patients and deaths in the Pinal County area have also fallen. The test positivity rate in Pinal County is very high, suggesting that cases are being significantly undercounted. We’ve recommended additional precautions below."
- CP
So far so good... Maybe...

Musical Interlude: Peder B. Helland, "Our Future"

Peder B. Helland, "Our Future"
Full screen recommended.

"A Look to the Heavens"

“This colorful skyscape features the dusty, reddish glow of Sharpless catalog emission region Sh2-155, the Cave Nebula. About 2,400 light-years away, the scene lies along the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy toward the royal northern constellation of Cepheus. 
Astronomical explorations of the region reveal that it has formed at the boundary of the massive Cepheus B molecular cloud and the hot, young, blue stars of the Cepheus OB 3 association. The bright rim of ionized hydrogen gas is energized by the radiation from the hot stars, dominated by the bright blue O-type star above picture center. Radiation driven ionization fronts are likely triggering collapsing cores and new star formation within. Appropriately sized for a stellar nursery, the cosmic cave is over 10 light-years across.”

The Poet: Fernando Pessoa, “I Don’t Know If The Stars Rule The World”

“I Don’t Know If The Stars Rule The World”

“I don’t know if the stars rule the world,
Or if Tarot or playing cards
Can reveal anything.
I don’t know if the rolling of dice
Can lead to any conclusion.
But I also don’t know
If anything is attained
By living the way most people do.

Yes, I don’t know
If I should believe in this daily rising sun
Whose authenticity no one can guarantee me,
Or if it would be better (because better or more convenient)
To believe in some other sun,
One that shines even at night,
Some profound incandescence of things,
Surpassing my understanding.

For now...
(Let’s take it slow)
For now
I have an absolutely secure grip on the stair-rail,
I secure it with my hand –
This rail that doesn’t belong to me
And that I lean on as I ascend...
Yes... I ascend...
I ascend to this:
I don’t know if the stars rule the world.”

- Fernando Pessoa

"The Only Absolute..."

"Never perceive anything as being inevitable or predestined. 
The only absolute is uncertainty."
- Lionel Suggs
"Humans may crave absolute certainty; they may aspire to it; they may pretend, as partisans of certain religions do, to have attained it. But the history of science - by far the most successful claim to knowledge accessible to humans - teaches that the most we can hope for is successive improvement in our understanding, learning from our mistakes, an asymptotic approach to the Universe, but with the proviso that absolute certainty will always elude us."
- Carl Sagan

"Economic Market Snapshot PM 2/19/21"

"Economic Market Snapshot PM 2/19/21"
"Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will
do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone."
- John Maynard Keynes
"Down the rabbit hole of psychopathic greed and insanity...
Only the consequences are real - to you!
Your guide:
Gregory Mannarino, PM 2/19/21

“Updates Plus: Hyper-Debt; 

Economic Freefall; Stock Market Surging”

"The more I see of the monied classes, 
the better I understand the guillotine."
- George Bernard Shaw
MarketWatch Market Summary, Live Updates

CNN Market Data:

CNN Fear And Greed Index:
A comprehensive, essential daily read.
Feb 18th to 22nd, Updated Daily 
Financial Stress Index
"The OFR Financial Stress Index (OFR FSI) is a daily market-based snapshot of stress in global financial markets. It is constructed from 33 financial market variables, such as yield spreads, valuation measures, and interest rates. The OFR FSI is positive when stress levels are above average, and negative when stress levels are below average. The OFR FSI incorporates five categories of indicators: credit, equity valuation, funding, safe assets and volatility. The FSI shows stress contributions by three regions: United States, other advanced economies, and emerging markets."
Daily Job Cuts

Musical Interlude: Mike Oldfield, "Tubular Bells, Finale"

Mike Oldfield, "Tubular Bells, Finale"

The Daily "Near You?"

Groningen, Netherlands. Thanks for stopping by!

"You May Think..."

"To show mercy is not naive. To hold out against the end of hope is not stupidity or madness. It is fundamentally human. Of course... we are all doomed; we are all poisoned from our birth by the rot of stars. That does not mean we should succumb to the seductive fallacy of despair, the dark tide that would drown us. You may think I'm stupid, you may call me a madman and a fool, but at least I stand upright in a fallen world."
- Rick Yancey

"Peak Lunacy?"

"Peak Lunacy?"
By Bill Bonner

RANCHO SANTANA, NICARAGUA – "We are still skipping ahead in the as-yet-unwritten Big Black Book of Financial Disasters. Thumbing over a few pages, we find this passage describing 2021: “As the U.S. economy became more dependent on fake money… it also came to be weirder in other ways. Investors, for example, were willing to put their money into projects with no products… no profits… and no hope that earnings would ever justify the price. It was as if they came to favor schemes which – like their money itself – had no measurable substance.”

Yes, Dear Reader, we will not escape the judgment of history. It will come down on us like a hammer on an egg.

Puzzling Announcement: And today, colleague Dan Denning alerts us to a fascinating ovum. On Wednesday, The Motley Fool tweeted: "We’ve got BIG NEWS! We’re buying $5 million in Bitcoin on our own balance sheet." That’s right. $5 million. Whoa! We must be near peak lunacy. When otherwise sane and sensible people begin to wager on a project with “no measurable substance,” the hammer cannot be far away.

Motley Fool is a financial and investing advice firm… Our analysts would say that it “operates in the same space” that we do. And it’s been around almost as long as we have, providing what we presume is decent advice. But where we bob… Motley Fool weaves. It is a company of optimists… of forward-looking alpha seekers, with a cheerful demeanor and respectable social standing.

Your editor, on the other hand, fits in neither in Washington nor on Wall Street. He feels like an imposter in a business suit… suspects most new technology is a waste of time… and sees armed Greeks peeking out of every wooden horse…

And while your editor and his small group of colleagues – Dan, Tom Dyson, and Joel Bowman – look at the macro picture, connecting the dots to understand what is really going on, the Motley crew focuses on micro analysis (trying to find the best stocks), à la Warren Buffett. Which is why Motley Fool’s announcement is particularly alarming. “Have the Fools lost their minds?” is our first question… to which we respond in the negative – “Probably not.” “Is this an investment move… or a publicity stunt?” is the follow-on interrogatory. We don’t know.

Greater Fool: When it comes to bitcoin, traditional investment analysis is as useless as a Senate Committee. There is no way to add up bitcoin’s anticipated earnings and discount them to present value. There are no earnings… Never will be. Which makes this a macro play… and an exceptionally reckless one, in our opinion. Bitcoin has gone up 80% this year. The Fools are betting that it will go up more. Why? Because it has gone up! Pure hopium, in other words… the Big Mo… You buy something, hoping that there is a greater fool who will later buy it from you at a higher price. This is not the way the man from Omaha would do it.

And who is that greater fool? Well… Maybe it’s MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor. We wrote about him 20 years ago, when he said something particularly idiotic. “Information wants to be free,” said he… providing a slogan for the dreamers of the dot-com bubble era. Information may want to be free. But MicroStrategy, which provides software for various business applications, keeps its own info in chains… renting it out only to paying customers.

And the “Information Revolution” for which Saylor carried the flag two decades ago was largely a flop. Growth rates did not go up; they went down. People did not get richer; most got poorer. The world was not turned into an enlightened Eden in the 21st century; it became a mess of war, debt, and dopiness. And now, French researcher Michel Desmurget finds that our IQs go down in direct proportion to the number of hours we spend enjoying our electronic diversions.

Yes, that is what the Information Age has wrought so far. We are dumber, more impoverished, and more ready than ever to trade something for nothing. For what is an “investment” with no investment return? What is something worth when it has “no measurable substance”?

Intoxicating Fumes: And what’s this? Here’s Saylor again… ringing a bell. Bitcoin.com reported in December: "MicroStrategy started buying large amounts of bitcoin in August via Coinbase’s institutional service, making the cryptocurrency its primary reserve asset. After exhausting its own excess cash, the company raised funds by selling $650 million worth of convertible senior notes to buy more bitcoin, causing Citigroup to downgrade its stock. At the current price, MicroStrategy’s 70,470 bitcoins are worth more than $1.6 billion."

Yes, MicroStrategy embarked on a macro trade to fluff up its balance sheet – trading real business earnings for the intoxicating fumes of a cryptocurrency. And then, Saylor – a certified genius… a Musk without Tesla – went further, borrowing hundreds of millions to buy more! And he scored a big success. No kidding. It sounds like a joke. It sounds like someone is pulling our leg so hard, it’s coming out of its socket. But Saylor has doubled his company’s investment in the last two months!

Raving Lunacy: Caution: The events described in this Diary are not things you want to try at home… not without a psychiatric professional standing by. Instead, it’s the sort of raving lunacy people get up to when prices are fake, markets are fake, and interest rates are fake… The fools begin frothing at the mouth and eating the rug. And they make money… for a while.

Next week, we will skip ahead a little further, to when the meds kick in…"

"The Temporary Collapse Of Texas Is Foreshadowing The Total Collapse Of The United States"

"The Temporary Collapse Of Texas Is Foreshadowing 
The Total Collapse Of The United States"
by Michael Snyder

"We are getting a very short preview of what will eventually happen to the United States as a whole. America’s infrastructure is aging and crumbling. Our power grids were never intended to support so many people, our water systems are a complete joke, and it has become utterly apparent that we would be completely lost if a major long-term national emergency ever struck. Texas has immense wealth and vast energy resources, but now it is being called a “failed state”. If it can’t even handle a few days of cold weather, what is the rest of America going to look like when things really start to get chaotic in this country?

At this point, it has become clear that the power grid in Texas is in far worse shape than anyone ever imagined. When extremely cold weather hit the state, demand for energy surged dramatically. At the same time, about half of the wind turbines that Texas relies upon froze, and the rest of the system simply could not handle the massive increase in demand.

Millions of Texans were without power for days, and hundreds of thousands are still without power as I write this article. And now we are learning that Texas was literally just moments away from “a catastrophic failure” that could have resulted in blackouts “for months”… "Texas’ power grid was “seconds and minutes” away from a catastrophic failure that could have left Texans in the dark for months, officials with the entity that operates the grid said Thursday.

As millions of customers throughout the state begin to have power restored after days of massive blackouts, officials with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, which operates the power grid that covers most of the state, said Texas was dangerously close to a worst-case scenario: uncontrolled blackouts across the state."

I can’t even imagine how nightmarish things would have eventually gotten in Texas if there had actually been blackouts for months. According to one expert, the state really was right on the verge of a “worst case scenario”… "The worst case scenario: Demand for power outstrips the supply of power generation available on the grid, causing equipment to catch fire, substations to blow and power lines to go down. If the grid had gone totally offline, the physical damage to power infrastructure from overwhelming the grid could have taken months to repair, said Bernadette Johnson, senior vice president of power and renewables at Enverus, an oil and gas software and information company headquartered in Austin."

For years, I have been telling my readers that they have got to have a back up plan for power, because during a major emergency the grid can fail. And when it fails, it can literally cost some people their lives. I was deeply saddened when I learned that one man in Texas actually froze to death sitting in his own recliner… "As Texas suffered through days of power outages, a man reportedly froze to death in his recliner with his wife clinging to life beside him. The man was found dead in his Abilene home on Wednesday after being without power for several days in the record cold."

Most Americans don’t realize that much of the rest of the world actually has much better power infrastructure than we do. Just check out these numbers… "In Japan, the average home sees only 4 minutes of power outages per year. In the American Midwest, the figure is 92 minutes per year. In the Northeast, it’s 214 minutes; all those figures cover only regular outages and not those caused by extreme weather or fires."

As our population has grown and our infrastructure has aged, performance has just gotten worse and worse. In fact, things ran much more smoothly all the way back in the mid-1980s… "According to an analysis by Climate Central, major outages (affecting more than 50,000 homes or businesses) grew ten times more common from the mid-1980s to 2012. From 2003 to 2012, weather-related outages doubled. In a 2017 report, the American Society of Civil Engineers reported that there were 3,571 total outages in 2015, lasting 49 minutes on average. The U.S. Energy Administration reports that in 2016, the average utility customer had 1.3 power interruptions, and their total blackout time averaged four hours."

America is literally crumbling all around us, and it getting worse with each passing year. Our water systems are another example. In Texas, the cold weather literally caused thousands of pipes to burst. The damage caused by all of these ruined pipes is going to be in the billions of dollars.

Right now, we are being told that a total of 797 water systems in the state are currently reporting problems with “frozen or broken pipes”… "Some 13.5 million people are facing water disruptions with 797 water systems throughout the state reporting issues such as frozen or broken pipes, according to Toby Baker, executive director for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. About 725 systems are under a boil water advisory, Baker said during a press conference Thursday."

Overall, approximately 7 million residents of the state live in areas that have been ordered to boil water, and it could take months for service to fully return to normal. Without water, none of us can survive for long, and it is absolutely imperative that you have a back up plan in case your local system goes down.

In Houston, people that are without water in their homes have been forced to line up to fill buckets at a public spigot… "Meanwhile, in scenes reminiscent of a third world country, Houston residents resorted to filling up buckets of water from a spigot in a local neighborhood.
One Houston resident, whose power has just gone back on Thursday after three days but still has no water, told DailyMail.com: ‘It is crazy that we just watched NASA land on Mars but here in Houston most of us still don’t have drinking water.’ You can watch video of this happening right here. Of course if your local water system completely fails, there won’t even be a public spigot available for you to get water.

Shortages of food and other essential supplies are also being reported in Texas. For Philip Shelley and his young wife, the situation became quite desperate fairly rapidly… "Philip Shelley, a resident of Fort Worth, told CNN that he, his wife Amber and 11-month-old daughter, Ava, were struggling to stay warm and fed. Amber is pregnant and due April 4. “(Ava) is down to half a can of formula,” Shelley said. “Stores are out if not extremely low on food. Most of our food in the refrigerator is spoiled. Freezer food is close to thawed but we have no way to heat it up.”

So what would they have done if the blackouts had lasted for months? All over the state, extremely long lines have been forming at local supermarkets. In some cases, people have started waiting way before the stores actually open… "Joe Giovannoli, 29, arrived at a Central Market supermarket in Austin at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, an hour-and-a-half before it opened. Minutes later, more than 200 people had lined up behind him in the biting 26-degree weather.

Giovannoli’s wife is three months pregnant and the power in their one-bedroom Austin apartment blinked out Tuesday night. After a water pipe broke, firefighters also turned off the building’s water, he said. Giovannoli said he realized he still had it better than many others across Texas, but worried how long things will take to get back to normal."

This is happening in communities across Texas, and you can see video of one of these “bread lines” right here. Of course those that had gotten prepared in advance did not have to wait in such long lines because they already had food. Sadly, even though Joe Giovannoli had gotten to the supermarket so early, he later received really bad news… "A few minutes before the store opened its doors, a manager stepped outside and warned those waiting in line that supplies inside were low: No produce, no baked goods, not much canned food. “We haven’t had a delivery in four days,” he said."

Remember, this is just a temporary crisis in Texas that is only going to last for a few days. So what would happen if a severe long-term national emergency disrupted food, water and power systems for months on end? All it took to cause a short-term “collapse scenario” in the state of Texas was some cold weather. Eventually, much worse things will happen to our nation, and it has become clear that we are not ready. So get prepared while you still can, because time is running out."

"How It Really Is"