Friday, September 11, 2015

my timing sucks


I keep telling you that you cannot time the collapse.  No one can, so be prepared yesterday with the bare bones basics and if nothing happens tomorrow you can then upgrade the quality of your preps.  I don’t just harp on this just because I hate all those scampering monkeys out there picking lice and flinging feces pretending to be survivalist gurus, urgently urging you to panic now because the seventh portal of the seventh sign of the seventh biblical revelation has opened, or the ancient Earth spirit has spoken through Retracted Testicle Buffalo warning all those crackers who killed the Indians that the end is nigh and they should all retreat to the area around Yellowstone where it is sure to be safe from the oceans rising because, hey, no worries this dude is in tune with Nature and don’t you worry none about that volcano, White Boys, it won’t blow anytime soon I promise.  No, I also distrust timing the collapse because my attempt at it wasn’t too glorious or accurate.  And if I, one less encumbered by wishful thinking than most, and more paranoid without it disrupting my rationality can’t do it I don’t trust my life to anyone else and their feeble attempts at trying to warn me when the doomsday clock strikes midnight.


July 2007 was the last good time for the economic parasites on Wall Street.  After years of free money from the housing bubble, after the stock market reached new highs ( the current highs are all direct manipulation, just more subtle than the Chinese ), summer saw the start of housing prices falling and delinquencies increasing.  Mortgage lenders started going bankrupt.  More alarmingly, mortgage backed securities started imploding.  At the time I became more stressed than usual over the economy but I was far too dependent on others analysis and there were far too few voices crying wolf.  I was preoccupied with my newish found worry of Peak Oil ( not a new worry but a new crash course in study on the worry a few years old ) so that, twenty hours a week reading and writing, and working fifty hours a week at my paying job, I really didn’t have a clue the economy was in such dire straights.  I knew it was bad, just not Pull The Cord On Relocation bad. 


In July 2008, a year later, I finally decided things were just getting too scary.  I used the valid excuse that one or two more yearly inflation adjusted rent increases I wouldn’t be able to afford paying the trailer lot fees, even with overtime and writing income, and that my folks were planning to move to Idaho so I had no reason to stay in the area.  THAT was good timing, but more luck than not.  September 2008 Merrill Lynch sold for half its value in a shotgun marriage to BofA, Lehman Brothers ( who had survived the Civil War and the Great Depression ) went bankrupt and AIG needed bailouts ( an insurance company needed a bailout because of derivatives, even though derivatives were not legally insurance so as to avoid government oversight ).  In hindsight it is amazing anyone thought this was a Black Swan event, given the history of the ‘90’s with derivatives- the Orange County meltdown and the Russian bond default and the Asian Contagion-but I know it was off my radar simply for the fact all the economics I had learned in the 1980’s was Austrian and was backwards looking rather than forwards.  In hindsight it was fantasy based with its strive to prove the ineffectiveness of central banking and governance.  It was as far from realpolitik as you could be.  I got lucky-once again divine intervention-because I should have reacted a year earlier.  That I missed the near collapse ( within hours of collapse it could seem ) by a few months is not the point.  I should have missed it by a year and a few months.  Don’t.  Try.  To.  Time.  The.  Collapse.

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  1. I thought the end of your child support was going to be the end of civilization. Now I look at the end of half of my support. December 2016. No you can't time the collapse but it is creeping up on us. The fed keeps throwing money at it pushing it back but it will only mean a worse collapse later. The signs are all around that we are already collapsing. Real unemployment is about 20%. Wages stagnant, everything costing more. They massage the numbers to make inflation seem low but we have less and less money every month.

    Folks don't spend money on anything but the basics. cancel the cable, no new shoes for wifey. Pay down debt and stash cash..

    1. "They massage the numbers to make inflation seem low but we have less and less money every month."

      You're spot on. The CPI and inflation numbers are massaged by the BLS (Bureau of Lying Statisticians) to reflect the numbers the government wants.

      For a more realistic measure of the cost of living have a look at the Chapwood Index (

      He gathers actual store pricing data on 500 items that ordinary folks use. The data from 50 U.S. cities is then compiled and run year-to-year. His index shows actual inflation averaging around 10% per annum. This means that the FedGov is overstating the published ~2% GDP by roughly that amount (i.e., using an understated deflator), so the GDP is actually running at -6% to -8%.

    2. Interesting. I've heard some stats from others being similar, and I've heard GDP was negative, but am amazed it is minus nearly 10%. Are we having fun now?

  2. How many years are we going to be looking at each other slack jawed, muttering "can't believe it's still holding together"? Then, to a man, we'll be pissed at ourselves for not doing more with the extra time, prep wise. In retrospect, all our bare necessity bills were still including a lot of waste we should have trimmed. Barely an evolutionary leap over nit picking bare assed chimps.