Saturday, June 11, 2022

"Insane Gas Price Prediction - This Is Nuts!"

Canadian Prepper, PM 6/11/22:
"Insane Gas Price Prediction - This Is Nuts!"
"A well known market analyst makes a bold prediction..."

"Real Estate Market Is Screwed; Americans Can't Pay Utility Bills; Household Wealth Evaporates"

Jeremiah Babe, PM 6/11/22:
"Real Estate Market Is Screwed; 
Americans Can't Pay Utility Bills; Household Wealth Evaporates"

Musical Interlude: 2002, "Stillpoint"

Full screen recommended.
2002, "Stillpoint"

"A Look to the Heavens"

"NGC 1333 is seen in visible light as a reflection nebula, dominated by bluish hues characteristic of starlight reflected by interstellar dust. A mere 1,000 light-years distant toward the heroic constellation Perseus, it lies at the edge of a large, star-forming molecular cloud.
This telescopic close-up spans about two full moons on the sky or just over 15 light-years at the estimated distance of NGC 1333. It shows details of the dusty region along with telltale hints of contrasty red emission from Herbig-Haro objects, jets and shocked glowing gas emanating from recently formed stars. In fact, NGC 1333 contains hundreds of stars less than a million years old, most still hidden from optical telescopes by the pervasive stardust. The chaotic environment may be similar to one in which our own Sun formed over 4.5 billion years ago."

Free Download: Aldous Huxley, "Brave New World"

“O, wonder! How many goodly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is!
O, brave new world, That has such people in't!”
- William Shakespeare, “The Tempest” (V, 1)
“Till at last the child's mind is these suggestions, and the sum of the suggestions is the child's mind. And not the child's mind only. The adult's mind too - all his life long. The mind that judges and desires and decides - made up of these suggestions. But all these suggestions are our suggestions...”
- “Brave New World: Suggestions from the State”
Freely download “Brave New World", by Aldous Huxley, here:

"The Illusion Of Freedom..."

“The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it’s profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theater.”
- Frank Zappa

"It was strange, she thought, to obtain news by means of nothing but denials, as if existence had ceased, facts had vanished and only the frantic negatives uttered by officials and columnists gave any clue to the reality they were denying."
- "Atlas Shrugged," Ayn Rand, 1957

The Daily "Near You?"

Wytheville, Virginia, USA. Thanks for stopping by!

"Kim Dotcom Breaks Down The True Scale Of US Government Debt"

"Kim Dotcom Breaks Down 
The True Scale Of US Government Debt"
by Alexandra Bruce

"New Zealand tech CEO, Kim Dotcom did the math on the United States’ sovereign debt and he tweeted a thread about it, saying it may the most important thread that he may ever make. Kim explains that US spending and debt have spiraled out of control and the Government can only raise the money it needs by printing more of it, which means that hyperinflation is guaranteed.

He says this has been going on for decades and there’s no way to fix it and that the US got away with this for so long because US dollar is the world’s reserve currency. When the US Government prints trillions, it is thereby robbing Americans and the entire world in what he calls the biggest theft in history.

He says the total US debt is at $90 trillion, which together with $169 trillion in US unfunded liabilities totals $259 trillion, which is $778,000 per US citizen or $2,067,000 per US Taxpayer. Now, the value of all US assets combined: every piece of land, real estate, all savings, all companies, everything that all citizens, businesses, entities and the state own is worth $193 trillion.

Our total debt, $259 trillion minus our total net worth, $193 trillion equals negative $66 trillion of debt and liabilities after every asset in the US has been sold off. So even if the US could sell all assets at the current value, which is impossible, it would still be broke.

This is where the ‘Great Reset’ comes in and he asks, “Is it a controlled demolition of the global markets, economies and the world as we know it? A shift into a new dystopian future where the elites are the masters of the slaves without the cosmetics of democracy?”

He notes how the world has changed so much in recent years and how nothing seems to make sense anymore. He sees the blatant corruption and the obvious gaslighting propaganda media and the erosion of our rights but he doesn’t know where it’s all going and he finishes the thread asking, “What’s the end game?”

As Harrison Smith from the American Journal says, “It’s a pyramid scheme. The people perpetrating the pyramid scheme are in charge of everything…they’re going to sacrifice humanity in order to maintain their system…The world economy is being collapsed, the food supply system is being destroyed, the energy that we rely on to maintain civilization is being curtailed and eliminated and we’ll be forced into the Great Reset where we will own nothing.”

Former BlackRock stockpicker, Ed Dowd believes that the entire COVID sham was created as a cover for the financial collapse and that new lockdowns are coming, to try to mitigate the inevitable violence and chaos that we can expect to be witnessing in the streets.

We also saw how Dr Mike Yeadon, former Pfizer VP also believes that COVID and the death shot are an elaborate hoax to engineer a collapse of sovereign currencies to bring in the Great Reset and the introduction of programmable central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), for a wholly-controlled population, in which people will not be able to buy food, etc. unless the algorithms permit and the undesirables can basically be starved to death via artificial intelligence."

Kim Dotcom June 5, 2022 Thread:
"This may be the most important thread I ever make. Big picture stuff about the major global collapse that is coming. I will try to help you understand why the future is not what we’re hoping for. It’s worse than most can imagine. Our leaders know. But what are they planning?

The United States did not have a surplus or a balanced budget since 2001. In the last 50 years the US only had 4 years of profit. In fact all the profit the US had would not be enough to pay for 6 months of the current yearly deficit. So how did the US pay for things? US spending and debt have spiraled out of control and the Govt can only raise the money it needs by printing it. That causes inflation. It’s like taxing you extra because you pay more for the things you need and all your assets decline in value.

See the US money printing frenzy: The reason why the US got away with it for so long is because USD is the worlds reserve currency. Nations everywhere hold USD as a secure asset. So when the US Govt prints trillions it’s robbing Americans and the entire world. The biggest theft in history. The problem is that this has been going for decades and there’s now no way to fix it. The reality is that the US has been bankrupt for some time and what’s coming is a nightmare: Mass poverty and a new system of control. Let me explain why this isn’t just doom and gloom talk.

Total US debt is at $90 trillion. US unfunded liabilities are at $169 trillion. Combined that’s $778,000 per US citizen or $2,067,000 per US tax payer.

Remember, the only way the US Government can operate now is by printing more money. Which means hyperinflation is inevitable. The total value of ALL companies listed on the US stock market is $53 trillion. The real value is much lower because the US has been printing trillions to provide interest free loans to investment banks to pump up the stock market. It’s a scam. Most of the $53 trillion is air.

The value of all US assets combined, every piece of land, real estate, all savings, all companies, everything that all citizens, businesses, entities and the state own is worth $193 trillion. That number is also full of air just like the US stock market:

US total debt: $90 trillion
US unfunded liabilities: $169 trillion
Total: $259 trillion
Minus all US assets: $193 trillion
Balance: – $66 trillion

That’s $66 trillion of debt and liabilities after every asset in the US has been sold off. Do you understand? So even if the US could sell all assets at the current value, which is impossible, it would still be broke. The US is beyond bankrupt. This patient is already dead. This patient is now a zombie.

You probably wonder why are things still going? Why didn’t everything collapse yet. It’s all perception, denial and dependency. The perception is that the US has the largest economy and the strongest military in the world. But in reality the US is broke and can’t afford its army. The denial is that all nations depend on a strong USD or global markets collapse. The reason why the US zombie keeps going is because the end of the US is the end of western prosperity and an admission that the current system failed as a model for the world. It doesn’t change the reality. The collapse is inevitable and coming.

What are our leaders planning? You may have heard about the ‘great reset’ or the ‘new world order’. Is it a controlled demolition of the global markets, economies and the world as we know it? A shift into a new dystopian future where the elites are the masters of the slaves without the cosmetics of democracy?

Without a controlled demolition the world will collapse for all, including the elites. The world has changed so much and nothing seems to make sense anymore, the blatant corruption is out in the open, the obvious propaganda media, the erosion of our rights. What’s the end game?"
Dotcom asks, "I will try to help you understand why the future is not what we’re hoping for. It’s worse than most can imagine. Our leaders know. But what are they planning? What’s the end game?" Unbelievably, hideously horrifying, absolutely, incomprehensibly totally insane, this may be the rationale for "the greatest organized mass murder in the history of our world." I strongly urge you to view this article, and at least understand why you may die... - CP

"Democracy..."

"Democracy is also a form of worship.
It is the worship of jackals by jackasses."
- H.L. Mencken

“Thucydides in the Underworld”

“Master, what gnaws at them so hideously their lamentation stuns the very air?”
“They have no hope of death,” he answered me…”
- Dante Alighieri, “The Inferno”

“Thucydides in the Underworld”
by J. R. Nyquist

“The shade of Thucydides, formerly an Athenian general and historian, languished in Hades for 24 centuries; and having intercourse with other spirits, was perturbed by an influx into the underworld of self-described historians professing to admire his History of the Peloponnesian War. They burdened him with their writings, priding themselves on the imitation of his method, tracing the various patterns of human nature in politics and war. He was, they said, the greatest historian; and his approval of their works held the promise that their purgatory was no prologue to oblivion.

As the centuries rolled on, the flow of historians into Hades became a torrent. The later historians were no longer imitators, but most were admirers. It seemed to Thucydides that these were a miserable crowd, unable to discern between the significant and the trivial, being obsessed with tedious doctrines. Unembarrassed by their inward poverty, they ascribed an opposite meaning to things: thinking themselves more “evolved” than the spirits of antiquity. Some even imagined that the universe was creating God. They supposed that the “most evolved” among men would assume God’s office; and further, that they themselves were among the “most evolved.”

Thucydides longed for the peace of his grave, which posthumous fame had deprived him. As with many souls at rest, he took no further interest in history. He had passed through existence and was done. He had seen everything. What was bound to follow, he knew, would be more of the same; but after more than 23 centuries of growing enthusiasm for his work, there occurred a sudden falling off. Of the newly deceased, fewer broke in upon him. Quite clearly, something had happened. He began to realize that the character of man had changed because of the rottenness of modern ideas. Among the worst of these, for Thucydides, was that barbarians and civilized peoples were considered equal; that art could transmit sacrilege; that paper could be money; that sexual and cultural differences were of no account; that meanness was rated noble, and nobility mean.

Awakened from the sleep of death, Thucydides remembered what he had written about his own time. The watchwords then, as now, were “revolution” and “democracy.” There had been upheaval on all sides. “As the result of these revolutions,” he had written, “there was a general deterioration of character throughout the Greek world. The simple way of looking at things, which is so much the mark of a noble nature, was regarded as a ridiculous quality and soon ceased to exist. Society had become divided into two ideologically hostile camps, and each side viewed the other with suspicion.”

Thucydides saw that democracy, once again, imagined itself victorious. Once again traditions were questioned as men became enamored of their own prowess. It was no wonder they were deluded. They landed men on the moon. They had harnessed the power of the atom. It was no wonder that the arrogance of man had grown so monstrous, that expectations of the future were so unrealistic. Deluded by recent successes, they could not see that dangers were multiplying in plain view. Men built new engines of war, capable of wiping out entire cities, but few took this danger seriously. Why were men so determined to build such weapons? The leading country, of course, was willing to put its weapons aside. Other countries pretended to put their weapons aside. Still others said they weren’t building weapons at all, even though they were.

Would the new engines of destruction be used? Would cities and nations be wiped off the face of the earth? Thucydides knew the answer. In his own day, during an interval of unstable peace, the Athenians had exterminated the male population of the island of Melos. Before doing this the Athenian commanders had came to Melos and said, “We on our side will use no fine phrases saying, for example, that we have a right to our empire because we defeated the Persians, or that we have come against you now because of the injuries you have done us – a great mass of words that nobody would believe.” The Athenians demanded the submission of Melos, without regard to right or wrong. As the Athenian representative explained, “the strong do what they have the power to do and the weak accept what they have to accept.” 

The Melians were shocked by this brazen admission. They could not believe that anyone would dare to destroy them without just cause. In the first place, the Melians threatened no one. In the second place, they imagined that the world would be shocked and would avenge any atrocity committed against them. And so the Melians told the Athenians: “in our view it is useful that you should not destroy a principle that is to the general good of all men – namely, that in the case of all who fall into danger there should be such a thing as fair play and just dealing. And this is a principle which affects you as much as anybody, since your own fall would be visited by the most terrible vengeance and would be an example to the world.”

The Athenians were not moved by the argument of Melos; for they knew that the Spartans generally treated defeated foes with magnanimity. “Even assuming that our empire does come to an end,” the Athenians chuckled, “we are not despondent about what would happen next. One is not so much frightened of being conquered by a power like Sparta.” And so the Athenians destroyed Melos, believing themselves safe – which they were. The Melians refused to submit, praying for the protection of gods and men. But these availed them nothing, neither immediate relief nor future vengeance. The Melians were wiped off the earth. They were not the first or the last to die in this manner.

There was one more trend that Thucydides noted. In every free and prosperous country he found a parade of monsters: human beings with oversized egos, with ambitions out of proportion to their ability, whose ideas rather belied their understanding than affirmed it. Whereas, there was one Alcibiades in his own day, there were now hundreds of the like: self-serving, cunning and profane; only they did not possess the skills, or the mental acuity, or beauty of Alcibiades. Instead of being exiled, they pushed men of good sense from the center of affairs. Instead of being right about strategy and tactics, they were always wrong. And they were weak, he thought, because they had learned to be bad by the example of others. There was nothing novel about them, although they believed themselves to be original in all things.

Thucydides reflected that human beings are subject to certain behavioral patterns. Again and again they repeat the same actions, unable to stop themselves. Society is slowly built up, then wars come and put all to ruin. Those who promise a solution to this are charlatans, only adding to the destruction, because the only solution to man is the eradication of man. In the final analysis the philanthropist and the misanthrope are two sides of the same coin. While man exists he follows his nature. Thucydides taught this truth, and went to his grave. His history was written, as he said, “for all time.” And it is a kind of law of history that the generations most like his own are bound to ignore the significance of what he wrote; for otherwise they would not re-enact the history of Thucydides. But as they become ignorant of his teaching, they fall into disaster spontaneously and without thinking. Seeing that time was short, and realizing that a massive number of new souls would soon be entering the underworld, the shade of Thucydides fell back to rest.”

"Why You Can Do Anything You Want… And Why You Can’t"

"Why You Can Do Anything You Want…
And Why You Can’t"
by Paul Rosenberg

"People frequently tell children “You can do anything you want.” And this causes a lot of confusion, because in the real world, they can’t. And after their first clash with the aforesaid real world, the child is left wondering all sorts of unpleasant things:

Did mom and dad lie to me?
Are they just ignorant?
Am I defective?
Should I find someone to blame?

The worst thing about this, however, is that the child is likely to have their opinion of themselves reduced. And that’s tragic. As I’ve noted many times, we are magical creatures. Humans, alone in the known universe, are able to create willfully… are able to reverse entropy willingly. The child should think of his and her self as magical… because they really are! So, let’s make some sense of this problem.

Why You Can: Humans are radically amazing. Sure, we’ve been long trained to consider each other to be sacks of crap – a belief that’s essential to rulership – but it simply isn’t true. We are stunningly capable beings, and we generally behave pretty well, even under the reign of self-debasement.

Take a look around you. Wherever you live, you’re surrounded by buildings, roads, and cars. All of them exist only because of human virtues. Without human creativity, they could not exist. Without human cooperation, they could not exist. And they are everywhere. We’ve filled the Earth with hospitals and airplanes and food and computers and medicine. And the list could go on almost indefinitely.

More than that, we’ve learned how to cooperate very well. Forget wars; they’re run by competing states and will exist as long as states do. Instead, look at your local soccer league, little league, church choir, and family gathering.

And remember that we’ve been trained to see one flaw in a cooperative group and condemn the whole from it. (And to hypnotically accept any and every flaw of the state.) A few flaws are meaningless compared to modes of cooperation that thrive over decades, centuries, and millennia. Does being less than perfect make us monsters? Does anything less than 100% equal zero?

So, we are wonderful creatures. And how much better might we be if we dared consider that possibility? Here’s a quote from G.K. Chesterton that I’d like you to read: "There runs a strange law through the length of human history – that men are continually tending to undervalue their environment, to undervalue their happiness, to undervalue themselves. The great sin of mankind, the sin typified by the fall of Adam, is the tendency, not towards pride, but towards this weird and horrible humility."

Can we dare imagine that Chesterton was right? And if not, why not? That kind of imagination is what the child needs, and it is that kind of imagination that results in human thriving, as noted by Leon Battista Alberti, the epitome of the Renaissance Man: "A man can do all things if he will."

Yes, that’s a bit overstated, but we have the essential ability to do amazing things, and if we thought and acted like it – thought and acted like Leon Battista Alberti – we’d do a lot more amazing things.

Why You Can’t: There are two reasons you can’t do anything at all. The first is simple: Nature stands in your way. No matter how much we imagine we can do something, if nature doesn’t agree, we can’t do it. We can work with nature to do “impossible” things (building flying machines for example), but we can’t simply violate it.

The second reason is also simple: Other human wills oppose us and stand ready to use violence against us. This second reason is habitually cloaked in confusing and deceptive terminology of course, but the truth is that adversarial wills and their violence oppose us all.

What we lack is what we can call “a life affording scope.” Limitations of our scope – weaponized wills set against us – have been colorfully covered by Reason magazine’s “Brickbats” section for decades, but the problem goes much farther than that. I’ll give you a few thoughts on that, then bring this column to a close:

• Regulation forbids adaptation.
• Obligation supplants compassion.
• Only violent and corrupt human wills deserve restriction.

And one more, the "14 words" we used in a previous article: "We are a beautiful species, living in a beautiful world, ruled by abusive systems." This is why I’ve been drawn to the cryptosphere. Our scope of life within that realm is not obstructed by weaponized wills. It’s a special place."

The Poet: Galway Kinnell, "Another Night in the Ruins"

"Another Night in the Ruins"

"How many nights must it take
one such as me to learn
that we aren't, after all, made
from that bird that flies out of its ashes,
that for us
as we go up in flames,
our one work is
to open ourselves,
to be the flames?"

~ Galway Kinnell

"Red Hot Inflation is Worldwide - How Did They Get It So Wrong?"

Full screen recommended.
Dan, iAllegedly 6/11/22:
"Red Hot Inflation is Worldwide - How Did They Get It So Wrong?"
"No matter what you’ve been told you have to understand that inflation is not stabilizing, it’s accelerating. No matter where you live around the world inflation is Red Hot right now. This is going to be a business, country and world destroyer. We have to get inflation under control as soon as possible."

Musical Interlude: Soothing Relaxation, "Dance Of Life"

Full screen recommended.
Soothing Relaxation, "Dance Of Life"
"Relaxing fantasy music, "Dance of Life" 
by Peder B. Helland, for relaxation and meditation."

Be kind to yourself... the world and all its problems will still be there.
Take a break, and relax with this beautiful music.

"More Empty Shelves At Kroger! This Is Getting Crazy! What's Coming?"

Full screen recommended.
Adventures with Danno, 6/11/22:
"More Empty Shelves At Kroger! 
This Is Getting Crazy! What's Coming?"
"In today's vlog we are at Kroger Marketplace, and are noticing Empty Shelves Everywhere! We are also noticing ridiculous price increases, and a major food shortage! It's getting rough out here as stores seem to be struggling with getting products!"

"The Meltdown Has Become Obvious"

"The Meltdown Has Become Obvious"
by Jeffrey Tucker

"Americans’ capacity for denial is truly a thing to behold. For at least 27 months, it should have been obvious that we were headed for a grave crisis. Not only that: The crisis was already here in March 2020. For weird reasons, some people, many people, imagined that you could just shut down an economy and turn it back on without consequence. And yet here we are.

Historians of the future, if there are any intelligent ones among them, will surely be aghast at our astounding stupidity. Congress enacted decades of spending in just two years and figured it would be fine. The printing presses at the Fed ran at full tilt. No one cared to do anything about the trade snarls or supply chain breakages. And here we are.

Our elites had two years to fix this unfolding disaster. They did nothing. Nothing! Now we face terrible, grim, grueling, exploitative inflation, at the same time we are plunging into recession again and people sit around wondering what the heck happened. I will tell you what happened: The ruling class destroyed the world we knew. It happened right before our eyes. And here we are.

Every Man for Himself! The stock market reeled Thursday on the news that the European Central Bank will attempt to do something about the inflation wrecking markets. So of course the financial markets panicked like an addict who can’t find his next hit of heroin. Then yesterday the market reeled again when the May inflation numbers revealed the greatest year-over-year price increases in 41 years. That of course means the Fed will be raising rates aggressively, which Wall Street doesn’t like.

Also the bad news is everywhere. Even in the midst of very tight labor markets and very low unemployment (mostly mythical), companies have started to lay off workers. Why? To prepare for the recession that everyone knows is in the works.

And get this: Highflying tech giants are curbing their enthusiasm too. Facebook apparently got tricked into paying bigtime news outlets to let FB users have free access to articles — no doubt to those that reinforced government propaganda, since Mark Zuckerberg volunteered his entire company to be messengers for the regime back in 2020. FB got robbed and is now rethinking. No more freebies!

This might as well be the theme of American life. No more charity. No more kindness. No more doing something for nothing. In inflationary times, everyone becomes more grasping. Morality takes a back seat and generosity is no more. It’s every man for himself, if we can still use that word these days.

Courting Disaster: There was something of a psychological break that hit yesterday morning on the news of the aforementioned CPI. It was not better than last month. It was not the same as last month. It was worse: 8.6%. Again, year over year, that’s the worst it has been in over 40 years (the point bears repeating).

Honestly, everyone sort of knew this already in their heart of hearts but there is something about the official announcement that codified it. But let’s say we stack the data at two years rather than one year. What does it look like? It comes in at 13.6%. We have never seen anything like that. And it is truly starting to hurt as never before. Gas is above $5 and rents are more than $2,000 a month on average. The raises at work have stopped coming too. On the contrary, employers are expecting more productivity for ever less money in real terms.

Prices have a very long way to go to wash out the paper sloshing around the world economy. Here is the wave of printing compared with current price trends. No way is this getting better before it gets much worse. Put it all together, especially with declining financials, and this is why it feels like the walls are closing in. It’s because they are. And there truly is no way out for anyone at this point.

What drives me absolutely bonkers is that anyone would be shocked by any of this. It was all in the cards, an outcome guaranteed by ghastly policy over two presidential administrations, all enacted by a government that knows nothing about economics and cares nothing for basic commercial and human rights. You dispense with these things and you court disaster. And this is how you get the worst consumer confidence rating ever recorded, which is what yesterday’s CPI report revealed.

The Pace of Change: What makes today different from the 1970s is the pace at which this has all unfolded. Even a year ago, administration officials were claiming that everything would be just fine. Many people believed them, despite every bit of data pointing to exactly the opposite. Truly it feels like our lords and masters believe that their fantasies are more reality than reality itself. They say it and it somehow becomes true.

Can you imagine that only last month, the Biden administration concocted the idea of establishing a “Disinformation Governance Board”? Crazy stuff. It was designed to script the truth to all social media and mainstream media outlets, censoring all dissent. The plan blew up only because it was too overtly Orwellian for public consumption. What matters here is the intent, which is nothing short of totalitarian.

Politics Is All Fun and Games Until Someone Gets Hurt: Politics is good fun for many people, a real sport and a good distraction from real life. But politics becomes a very serious business once personal finance makes the good life ever less viable.

Right now everyone is searching for someone to blame and most people have hit on the old dude in the White House, who they somehow believe should do something about all these problems despite a lifelong career of knowing nothing and doing nothing about anything. He made his career as a talker and now he can barely do that anymore. What an astounding thing to see unfold before our eyes, and so quickly!

The “malaise” of 1979 was a long time coming but the meltdown of 2022 has hit many people like a hurricane that somehow evaded detection from the radar. The long period of denial seems suddenly over. The masses are fuming in anger. The crime everywhere these days is not incidental or accidental. It is a mark of civilizational decline. Something has to give and will give at some point.

The ruling class in this country and their friends around the world have caused tremendous wreckage. There will be hell to pay. And yet what do our rulers have to say to us? They tell us to rely more on wind and sun - Janet Yellen’s exact words to the Senate two days ago. I used to think she was a smart cookie but I guess power turns even good minds to mush. Mush is exactly what they have created out of a once prosperous and hopeful nation."
Related, highly recommended:

"US Debt of $30 Trillion Visualized in Stacks of Physical Cash"

Full screen recommended.
Demonocracy Info, 
"US Debt of $30 Trillion Visualized in Stacks of Physical Cash"

"How It Really Is"

 

"Biden's 'Inflation Tax' Is Costing US Households $433 Per Month"

"Biden's 'Inflation Tax' Is Costing US Households $433 Per Month"
by Schiffgold

"Everybody was thrilled to get stimulus checks in the mail during the COVID-19 pandemic. “It’s free money!” many exclaimed. But nothing in life is free. This includes “free” things handed out by the government. So today, you’re paying for those stimmy checks and the government pandemic spending spree.

I’ve written that American consumers are paying more and getting less. Analysis bears this out. According to estimates by Bloomberg Economics, US households will spend $5,200 more this year than they did last year on the same consumption basket. That breaks down to $433 extra in expenditures every single month. But you’re not getting any more for your money.

Inflation Is a Tax: Every dollar the government spends ultimately comes out of taxpayers’ pockets. Governments can pay for their expenditures in three ways. The most honest way is through direct taxation. The government collects the amount it spends each year in taxes each year. But that’s not particularly popular with voters, and politicians are reluctant to push tax increases.

The second way is to borrow money. The government sells bonds to willing lenders to finance current spending. But in effect, this is still direct taxation. It merely pushes the taxes into the future. When those bonds have to be paid off, the taxpayer will foot the bill. This is much more convenient for politicians who have very short time horizons. By the time the bill comes due, they will likely be long gone. And if they’re still in office, they can always borrow more to pay off the current debt. As long as the taxpayer doesn’t feel the squeeze today, the politicians don’t have to worry about blowback.

But anybody who ever run up a credit card knows you can only borrow so much. That’s a problem for politicians who want to kick the can down the road. Eventually, they run out of road. In fact, we can see the barricades ahead. With a national debt of well over $30 trillion, there is no way the government can realistically pay it the national debt.

That leads to the third payment option – the inflation tax. The US Treasury still sells bonds on the open market as it always has. But now, the Federal Reserve puts its thumb on the bond market, buying Treasuries and paying for them with money it creates out of thin air. This devalues the currency and effectively decreases your purchasing power.

Here’s how it works. When the government collects taxes to pay for its spending, it literally takes your money and then gives it to somebody else. Your purchasing power is diminished because you have less money to spend. But the other person’s purchasing power goes up. They have more to spend From a macro perspective, it’s a wash. The amount of money in the system remains unchanged.

But when the government prints money and then gives it to somebody else to spend, your purchasing power hasn’t been diminished — at least not in dollar terms. You still have the same amount of money in your bank account. But now there is another person who has money who can now go out and spend it. That person can compete with you to buy stuff. It creates a bidding war for goods and services. There is now more money in the system chasing the same number of goods and services. Prices rise. Everything becomes more expensive.

In effect, instead of the government taking your money, the government takes the purchasing power of your money. That’s a tax. You’re paying that tax today – to the tune of $433 per month.

The Wrong Solution: There are a lot of people out there who think the best way to fight inflation is through more government programs and more government spending. In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, President Biden claimed, “We can lower the cost of child and elder care to help parents get back to work.” Lowering the cost of childcare is code for government-subsidized childcare. He also alluded to the stalled “Build Back Better” bill, which is basically a $2.2 trillion spending plan. Biden wrote, “We can also reduce the cost of everyday goods by fixing broken supply chains, improving infrastructure…” That sounds like spending a lot of money to me. It should be clear to you that this won’t fix inflation. In fact, it will only make it worse by raising the inflation tax.

Again, and I can’t emphasize this enough, every dollar the government spends comes out of Americans’ pockets — out of your pocket. If the federal government is going to spend more to fight inflation, it will either have to raise taxes (and not just on the “rich” - that won’t generate enough government revenue) or it will have to borrow more. That means the Federal Reserve will have to print more to monetize the debt. That means more inflation. Maybe next year you can pay another extra $5,000 for the same cart of goods."

Canadian Prepper, "These Numbers are Scary. Stockpile Food Now"

Canadian Prepper, 6/10/22:
"These Numbers are Scary. Stockpile Food Now"
"Inflation records are being broken. 
Stock Up on food while it's affordable."

Friday, June 10, 2022

"20 Facts That Prove That America’s Current Financial Condition Is A Horror Show"

Full screen recommended.
"20 Facts That Prove That America’s Current 
Financial Condition Is A Horror Show"
by Epic Economist

"The financial condition of the United States just continues to get progressively worse. This week, a new wave of bad news triggered panic in the markets, as consumer prices and living expenses recorded another spike. Meanwhile, business and household debt soared to unprecedented levels, bankruptcies started ticking back up, the number of foreclosures exploded, and more and more Americans are reportedly becoming uncomfortable with their ability to pay their mortgage loans. In essence, each and every long and short-term trend is showing that the financial health of U.S. consumers and businesses is sharply declining.

Americans’ buying power has been steadily declining over the past few years. The national money supply has skyrocketed over the last two decades, up from $4.6 trillion in 2000 to $19.5 trillion in 2021. In fact, around 25% of all U.S. dollars in the money supply, $4.4 trillion, were created in the past 24 months. More money in circulation means that each dollar values less. For instance, one U.S. dollar could buy 10 bottles of beer in 1933. Today, it’s the cost of a small McDonald’s coffee.

On top of coping with a shrinking buying power, the net worth of U.S. households is going down, while household debt is shooting up. According to the Fed’s quarterly Financial Accounts, the net worth of households declined by $500 billion in the first quarter. In contrast, household debt hit $18.3 trillion during the same period, the highest level on record. At this point, nearly four in 10 employed adults say they have struggled to pay for personal expenses over the past 12 months, including the 27% who report difficulty on at least a monthly basis.

Meanwhile, the Fed’s quarterly Financial Accounts Report also found that business debt grew at a rate of 8% in the first quarter of 2022, reflecting strong growth in loans issued by private lenders, and a 14.9% surge in the number of loans issued by federal agencies. Right now, roughly 48% of U.S. small businesses are extremely concerned about the financial impact of rising inflation.

That's why today, we decided to compile the latest numbers that expose America's terrible financial condition. These numbers are proof that the system is seriously broken. The U.S. is now witnessing the growth of a massive debt bubble that threatens the financial future of the entire nation.

Unfortunately, anyone out there who still believes that the U.S. economy is somehow headed for progress is completely mistaken. Nothing has been fixed in our economy in the past few decades. Instead, our long-term financial imbalances are getting worse at an escalating pace. We're actually on the verge of another financial disaster, and from this point on, the downfall is only going to accelerate."

"Markets Shaken Today, FED Must Slam The Brakes Now; Raise Rates Now; 401K Destroyed"

Jeremiah Babe, PM 6/10/22:
"Markets Shaken Today, FED Must Slam The Brakes Now;
 Raise Rates Now; 401K Destroyed"

"Blood Is Running in the Streets"

"Blood Is Running in the Streets"
by Brian Maher

"Blood is running in the streets. Here is the butcher’s bill: The Dow Jones Industrial Average - down 880 points today… The S&P 500 - down 117 points… The Nasdaq Composite - down 414 points. Thus the Dow Jones careened toward its 10th losing week of the past 11. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite endured their ninth losing weeks of the past 10. Yields on the bellwether 10-year Treasury note leapt to 3.15% today. But two weeks ago, it yielded 2.74%. Gold, meantime, jumped $20 and change.

What accounts for today’s bloodshed? The latest inflation numbers, out this morning. Reports Yahoo Finance: "U.S. stocks sank Friday as investors digested… May data on inflation (that) showed price increases unexpectedly accelerated last month, with consumer prices rising 8.6% year over year in May, the most since 1981… That marked the biggest jump since late 1981… [taking out] the prior 41-year high set in the March CPI, which rose 8.5%...

Inflation has also become a key determinant in the path forward for the Federal Reserve's monetary policies. As the Fed aims to help bring down fast-rising prices, the central bank is widely expected to raise interest rates by another half point at next week's policy-setting meeting, further increasing the cost of borrowing and doing business for companies. The numbers were “catastrophically bad,” sobbed one analyst."

"So much for the idea that inflation has peaked," laments Bankrate’s chief financial analyst - a certain Greg McBride - adding: "Any hopes that the Fed can ease up on the pace of rate hikes after the June and July meetings now seems to be a long shot."

Famed money man Ray Dalio fears the stock market will plummet an additional 25% if the Federal Reserve maintains present course and heading. Today’s inflation report gives all indication that it will. After all… The Federal Reserve is tasked with the defense of the United States dollar. And it is proving a very poor steward. The present inflation represents an affront, an insult, an embarrassment. And it is out to salvage a rag of pride, some trace of professional dignity… of amour propre.

Of course it has long ago surrendered all of it. It is like a streetwalker attempting to defend her virtue - virtue long ago lost. It is nonetheless willing to sacrifice the stock market in a half-hearted defense of the dollar. The futures market presently gives 92% odds of a 50-basis-point increase at next week’s Federal Reserve confabulation. The same futures market presently gives 13% odds of a 75-basis-point hiking - up from 3.6% just yesterday - and 40% odds of a 75-basis-point jump next month.

Yet Mr. Powell and his mates are far “behind the curve.” They will have to increase their target rate to intolerable levels to jam inflation back in its cage. Inflation is going at 8.6% (officially - the true rate is likely far higher). Yet even with its recent increases, the federal funds rate gutters along between 0.75% and 1%. The Federal Reserve would therefore have to escalate rates to 10%... or greater… to collar inflation. Needless to state - we will state it regardless - neither the stock market nor the economy can withstand rates 10% or greater.

All available evidence indicates they cannot even withstand today’s rates. As CNBC reports: "The Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow tracker is now pointing to an annualized gain of just 0.9% for the second quarter. Following a 1.5% drop in the first three months of the year, the indicator is showing the economy doesn’t have much further to go before it slides into what many consider a recession."

Wall Street is already yelling blue murder. When will Mr. Powell cave in? We hazard the Federal Reserve will call off the canines at perhaps 3%. That is, long before rates near 10%. That is, the Federal Reserve will concede defeat at inflation’s hands. That is, it will fail its central function - the dollar’s defense. But for now, it is taking to the warpath. It will proceed with its rate hikes. The stock market will likely remain on a negative trajectory - possibly a steeply negative trajectory - until the Federal Reserve relents.

Buy when there’s blood in the streets, argues the old market wheeze. Here is your chance. Do you have the nerve? Below, Jim Rickards shows you how the Fed is in the process of making an even bigger blunder than you imagine. Read on."
"The Fed’s Triple Whammy"
By Jim Rickards

"Today’s red-hot inflation numbers only reinforce the notion that the Fed will aggressively raise rates at next week’s FOMC meeting, and also at July’s meeting. We don’t have to guess at that. The Fed has already told us that’s their intention, even before today’s report. It may even “shock and awe” investors with a 75-basis-point hike this month or next month. Markets are predicting 50-basis-point hikes. The “taper” is also over. A so-called taper is the process of slowing the rate at which the money supply is expanding.

When the Fed buys Treasury securities from banks, it pays for the securities with money printed from thin air. That’s called quantitative easing, or QE. The Fed has been doing that since early 2020 when the pandemic began. The Fed gets out of QE in stages by reducing the amount of securities it buys each month; that’s the so-called taper. It’s still printing money, but the amount printed is reduced until it hits zero.

It may seem odd to call money printing tightening, but everything in markets happens at the margins. If the Fed is printing less, it is tightening even though it’s still printing. The amount of QE hit zero about three months ago, so QE is officially over, the taper is done and the Fed is preparing to reduce its balance sheet.

“Considerable Uncertainty”: The balance sheet is actually down a bit since March when it was $8.96 trillion. As of this week, it’s $8.92 trillion. But the Fed is preparing to reduce the money supply by a lot more than that. This is the opposite of QE and is called quantitative tightening, or QT. The Fed hasn’t said exactly how much it will reduce its balance sheet, but a recent New York Fed report projected a reduction to just under $6 trillion by 2025.

And the Fed itself estimates that “reducing the size of the balance sheet by about $2.5 trillion over the next few years, as opposed to maintaining the size at its peak level, would be roughly equivalent to raising the policy rate a little more than 50 basis points on a sustained basis.” But it admits that the estimate “is associated with considerable uncertainty.” That means it really has no idea.

A Triple Whammy: So we have three forms of tightening at once: the end of QE, rate hikes and the beginning of QT. This is a triple whammy that will slam the U.S. economy and send stock markets down sharply in the days ahead, quite possibly even more sharply than recently. None of this is what the Fed wants, but that’s what it’s going to get.

When the Fed started QT in late 2017, it urged market participants to ignore it. It said the QT plan was on autopilot, the Fed was not going to use it as an instrument of policy and that it would “run on background” just like a computer program that’s open but not in use at the moment.

It’s fine for the Fed to say that, but markets had another view. Analysts estimate that QT is the equivalent of two–four rate hikes per year over and above the explicit rate hikes. Not surprisingly, we had the Christmas Eve Massacre in December 2018, and Powell was forced to begin easing policy again. The key takeaway is that tightening policy in a weak economy is almost certainly a recipe for a recession.

When the recession does arrive, the Fed won’t have enough “dry powder” to fight it. The Fed needs rates to be at least 3%, and preferably higher, when recession begins. That gives it plenty of room to cut rates. But recession will hit long before the Fed can get rates that high, so cutting rates won’t be much help.

The Fed Is Far Behind the Curve on Inflation: Obviously, the Fed’s recent actions are all in response to raging inflation. But it’s too late. The Fed is far behind the curve as today’s inflation report shows. The inflation is here and it’s about to get worse. Even worse, the Fed doesn’t understand why. It is used to models that focus on “demand pull” inflation where consumers are buying in anticipation of even higher inflation to come. But the data shows that consumers actually don’t expect much inflation after this initial wave. Medium-term expectations are still anchored. The best research shows that expectations are overrated anyway. What affects behavior is what’s happening right now, not the expected future.

The inflation we’re seeing is called “cost push” inflation. This comes from the supply side, not the demand side. It consists of higher oil prices due to Biden policies of shutting down domestic oil production. It also comes from global supply chain disruption, and now the war in Ukraine.

Since the Fed has misdiagnosed the disease, it is applying the wrong medicine. Tight money won’t solve a supply shock. Higher prices will continue. But tight money will hurt consumers, increase savings and raise mortgage interest rates, which hurts housing. The Fed is tightening into weakness.

The Fed’s Nothing if Not Consistent: The Fed’s track record of using the wrong models, using flawed models and doing the wrong thing at the wrong time remains intact. The Fed has begun a chain of tightening that will sink stock markets and slow the economy. But it largely created this mess and it’s now trapped. It really has no clue about the real world. I’m a big critic of the Fed models because they’re obsolete and they don’t accord with reality. When the Fed realizes its mistake of tightening into economic weakness, it will have to turn on a dime and shift to an easing policy.

What would cause the Fed to back off? A market meltdown. If the stock market sold off 5%, which would be over 1,700 points on the Dow, that would not be enough to throw it off. But if it went down 15%, or over 5,000 points from current levels, that’s a different story. Ben Bernanke actually told me that once.

Easing will come first through forward guidance and pauses in the rate hike tempo, then possibly actual rate cuts back to zero and finally reversing its balance sheet reductions by expanding the balance sheet through more QE if needed. But by then, the damage will have been done. We can see the damage coming and plan accordingly."
Related, a critically important must read:

Musical Interlude: 2002, "A Change of Season"

Full screen recommended.
2002, "A Change of Season"

"A Look to the Heavens"

"Braided and serpentine filaments of glowing gas suggest this nebula's popular name, The Medusa Nebula. Also known as Abell 21, this Medusa is an old planetary nebula some 1,500 light-years away in the constellation Gemini.

Like its mythological namesake, the nebula is associated with a dramatic transformation. The planetary nebula phase represents a final stage in the evolution of low mass stars like the sun as they transform themselves from red giants to hot white dwarf stars and in the process shrug off their outer layers. Ultraviolet radiation from the hot star powers the nebular glow. The Medusa's transforming star is the faint one near the center of the overall bright crescent shape. In this deep telescopic view, fainter filaments clearly extend above and right of the bright crescent region. The Medusa Nebula is estimated to be over 4 light-years across."

The Poet: Czeslaw Milosz, “A Song On The End Of The World”

“A Song On The End Of The World”

“On the day the world ends
A bee circles a clover,
A fisherman mends a glimmering net.
Happy porpoises jump in the sea,
By the rainspout young sparrows are playing
And the snake is gold-skinned as it should always be.

On the day the world ends
Women walk through the fields under their umbrellas,
A drunkard grows sleepy at the edge of a lawn,
Vegetable peddlers shout in the street
And a yellow-sailed boat comes nearer the island,
The voice of a violin lasts in the air
And leads into a starry night.
And those who expected lightning and thunder
Are disappointed.

And those who expected signs and archangels’ trumps
Do not believe it is happening now.
As long as the sun and the moon are above,
As long as the bumblebee visits a rose,
As long as rosy infants are born
No one believes it is happening now.

Only a white-haired old man, who would be a prophet
Yet is not a prophet, for he’s much too busy,
Repeats while he binds his tomatoes:
There will be no other end of the world,
There will be no other end of the world.”

~ Czeslaw Milosz

"Something Like Reverence..."

“When the pain of leaving behind what we know outweighs the pain of embracing it, or when the power we face is overwhelming and neither flight nor fight will save us, there may be salvation in sitting still. And if salvation is impossible, then at least before perishing we may gain a clearer vision of where we are. By sitting still I do not mean the paralysis of dread, like that of a rabbit frozen beneath the dive of a hawk. I mean something like reverence, a respectful waiting, a deep attentiveness to forces much greater than our own.”
- Scott Russell Sanders

Gregory Mannarino, "Has 'The Meltdown' Actually Begun? Well, Maybe"

Gregory Mannarino, PM 6/10/22:
"Has 'The Meltdown' Actually Begun? Well, Maybe"
Related:
Economic “KILL SWITCH” Activated – June 15th at 2p.m.
by Jim Rickards

"Hi Reader, Jim here. If you saw yesterday’s briefing, then you know that just days from now…A building located just three blocks away from White House will be “ground zero” for the next financial crisis. A crisis that could send the Dow plummeting by 80% or more virtually overnight.

No, this has nothing to do with the Biden administration, or any branch of the federal government for that matter. This crisis goes much deeper than any of that. You see there’s a reason that stocks have already started to crater this year. There’s a reason that they have much further to fall There’s a reason that guys like Jamie Dimon, the CEO for J.P. Morgan and Big Short investor Michael Burry are saying that an “economic hurricane is coming” and that “2022 will be like watching a plane crash.”

There’s a reason I’m issuing what should be considered my third and FINAL warning about the economic atom bomb that’s set to denote June 15th at exactly 2 p.m. And that reason has to do with a tiny historical chart pattern that goes all the way back to 1919. A pattern that appeared before nearly every major market crash in recorded history… Let me show you exactly what I mean. Take a look at this:
It may seem odd to you now. But this weird little 3 step pattern has acted as America’s “economic kill switch” for more than a century. It appeared before the 1987 stock market crash…when the Dow plunged 23% in a single day and trillions of dollars of wealth evaporated overnight.

It appeared before the dot.com bubble 2000…just before the NASDAQ dropped 75% and didn’t recover for nearly 15 years.

And it appeared before 2007…before the stock market went on to lose more than half of its value. And millions of investors around the country watched in horror as their dreams of an early retirement went up in flames.

And this same pattern is set to appear again on June 15th at exactly 2:00 p.m. And once it does, the stock market's fate, as well as the financial futures of millions of Americans, will become sealed.

Look, when I first began warning about this pattern on March 14th of this year the Nasdaq proceeded to drop by 12%, and some of Wall Street's biggest names started to implode. It was a financial bloodbath for anybody who stayed in the markets.

But that was only step 1 of a 3-step pattern. Then when I came back for my second warning on May 4th of this year, just before the pattern advanced again…Less than a day later, the markets had one of their worst sell-offs since the coronavirus crash. And dozens of stocks from Amazon, to Uber, to Tesla began reporting double digit stock losses. And that just was step #2, and again, anybody who stayed in the markets suffered but anyone who listened to me had the chance to avoid the carnage and even profit.

And now we are heading to step #3. This is the biggest and most dangerous step of them all. This step has been the “Market Killer” for more than a century. Once we cross this threshold on June 15th at exactly 2 p.m. there is no turning back. And we could see the Dow plummet by 80% or more virtually overnight."

A Comment: I strongly suggest you consider this material seriously. A market crash of 80% would have terrifying consequences as mass bankruptcies and company closings occur overnight causing many millions to lose their jobs. But the most horrifying consequence of all will be the coup de grĂ¢ce delivered by the astonishing tsunami of margin calls of the 2.4 QUADRILLION of derivatives these psychopaths have created in their  infinite greed and arrogance, globally bankrupting literally all the corporations, banks, insurance companies and governments. Truly the end of the world as we've known it...  - CP 
Comments, please.