Introduction to the “World’s Fragile Economic Condition”

I will be giving a presentation to a group of casualty actuaries on September 17 called “The World’s Fragile Economic Condition.” I plan to write up the presentation in two posts, one covering the first three of the six sections of the presentation, and the second one covering the second three sections, so that it is easier to read online.

I am putting up a link now to the presentation, to allow those who want to look at the presentation now, a chance to do so.

The World’s Fragile Economic Condition

This presentation pulls together quite a few things I have been talking about. It also adds a new model of how our self-organizing economy works.

This is the outline of what I discuss in the presentation:

About Gail Tverberg

My name is Gail Tverberg. I am an actuary interested in finite world issues - oil depletion, natural gas depletion, water shortages, and climate change. Oil limits look very different from what most expect, with high prices leading to recession, and low prices leading to financial problems for oil producers and for oil exporting countries. We are really dealing with a physics problem that affects many parts of the economy at once, including wages and the financial system. I try to look at the overall problem.
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560 Responses to Introduction to the “World’s Fragile Economic Condition”

  1. Rodster says:

    “Is The Oil Burden A Rising Problem?”

    • It is all about how high the debt bubble can be blown. If commodity prices are high, it tends to slow down the rest of the economy.

      • Karl W Hubbard says:

        This guy Vic Sperandeo of and the “Gamboni”- interesting:

        If the FED can offload its treasuries to commercial banks who: don’t have to mark to market these “assets”, who can “buy” the treasuries without even having to “pay” for them, who are guaranteed 3% return even if interest rates go up, who have no capital requirements to buy, etc., does it not follow that these same commercial banks can turn around and pledge these assets as collateral to prop up the stock market purchases from their back door trading desks and at the same time making loans to these companies?? No wonder the repeal of Glass-Steagall! Its repeal unlocks the key to this scheme.(Not just the ESF or the missing trillions just from the Depts of HUD and the Defense as posited by Mark Skidmore, PhD Michigan State and Catherine Austin Fitts former of HUD paying for the FED’s unloading of its assets. ) IEven if interest rates rise, corporations will continue to borrow against convention wisdom of interest rates rising to the level of being too high for Corporations to service. If corporations can get a ready supply of money from these CBs no matter how high interest rates go, because these commercial banks themselves take no risk in acquiring these USTs, then the shell game continues.

        This, theory, if true, is huge because it explains why the FED can taper, even as foreign governments/Central Banks are selling treasuries, US Debt increases, and yet the stock market remains elevated and the long-term US Treasury rates barely budge. Meanwhile, the stock market money trough keeps getting filled- or possibly these same banks continue to make loans to these companies to enable continued stock buybacks. CEOs and insiders continue to have a ready supply of high priced share stock from which to cash in, effecting a continuation of a huge wealth transfer and ownership of stock of corporations to the wealthy elite insiders of both the companies and the banks.

        • I don’t really know whether this theory will work. I am not quite knowledgeable enough about the ins and outs of banking. It is the possibility of workarounds like this that leaves at least the possibility that collapse can be at least put off for a while, for part of the world.

  2. Yoshua says:

    A hard Brexit would cause chaos in the derivatives market.

    How do we undo complexity? Which sticks can we remove without collapsing the complex structure?

    • We have a lot of people making their living off of complexity. It is hard to undo.

      • Duncan Idaho says:

        Just a bit of reading would fill in some blanks.
        (just saying)

        • Tainter gives the example of getting rid of an army to reduce complexity, as I recall. Fewer taxes were therefore needed, at least temporarily alleviating the pressure on the system.

          In general, going in the direction of less complexity is difficult. Complexity was added to solve problems. It often includes more technology. We can’t go back to punch cards for our computers easily, or to dail up internet services. There tend to be other pieces of the system that are missing.

  3. Fast Eddy says:

    Replacing Russian gas with American LNG would be ‘absolutely ridiculous’ – expert to RT

    • There are three big problems with sending US natural gas to Europe as LNG

      (1) It is not clear that the US has enough. It might have enough, if the price are a whole lot higher (say $6 or $7 per Mcf, instead of less than $3).

      (2) The delivered price to Germany would have to be very high. If we are talking $6 or $7 per Mcf + shipping, we are probably talking $10 or $11 per Mcf. This is getting up close to the price of oil! Multiply price by 6 to get oil per barrel equivalent price.

      (3) LNG transported by ship allows a significant amount of methane to escape, as it burns off. Its impact as a global warming gas is up with coal.

      • milan says:

        Working for a Natural Gas Company there is a huge affordability issue constantly present and the price of oil has to be at a minimum $50.00 and higher to make any kind of a go of it. What America is thinking and trying to do is perplexing. The geo-politics is surely worrisome which the blog is constantly trying to analyse and get to the bottom of.

      • Yoshua says:

        Natgas prices in Europe were about $9-$11 per Mcf when the eurocrisis started.

        Natgas are rising again to those levels. Things are different now though since we just print the money. Although the ECB is talking about ending QE at the end of this year.

        • Spot prices have been up in that range in Japan recently as well. Staying that high is the problem. Also, contract prices are often lower than spot prices.

        • Duncan Idaho says:

          NG supply is not a problem at the moment.
          This is a distribution problem.
          Oil on the other hand———

  4. sven rogeberg says:

    “Something has been going wrong on many college campuses in the last few years. Speakers are shouted down. Students and professors say they are walking on eggshells and are afraid to speak honestly. Rates of anxiety, depression, and suicide are rising—on campus as well as nationally. How did this happen?

    First Amendment expert Greg Lukianoff and social psychologist Jonathan Haidt show how the new problems on campus have their origins in three terrible ideas that have become increasingly woven into American childhood and education: What doesn’t kill you makes you weaker; always trust your feelings; and life is a battle between good people and evil people. These three Great Untruths contradict basic psychological principles about well-being and ancient wisdom from many cultures. Embracing these untruths—and the resulting culture of safetyism—interferes with young people’s social, emotional, and intellectual development. It makes it harder for them to become autonomous adults who are able to navigate the bumpy road of life.

    Lukianoff and Haidt investigate the many social trends that have intersected to promote the spread of these untruths. They explore changes in childhood such as the rise of fearful parenting, the decline of unsupervised, child-directed play, and the new world of social media that has engulfed teenagers in the last decade. They examine changes on campus, including the corporatization of universities and the emergence of new ideas about identity and justice. They situate the conflicts on campus within the context of America’s rapidly rising political polarization and dysfunction.

    This is a book for anyone who is confused by what is happening on college campuses today, or has children, or is concerned about the growing inability of Americans to live, work, and cooperate across party lines.”

    • doomphd says:

      it may be more subtle than all the reasons stated. on OFW, anyone promoting a BAU (or better) future out 20-30 years would be considered a wild optimist to borderline delusional, maybe over the border. college is about the future, specifically the future careers and livelyhoods of the students in attendance. they will not welcome a short-term future for BAU of only a few months-to-years or even a single decade.

      the administration is there to cater to their wants, needs and aspirations. they have convinced themselves that all is OK, which makes their job easier. ditto the faculty, especially the younger, tenure-seeking or recently tenured ones. older faculty may know of a more pessimistic view, but have to be careful exposing this view or they risk ostrasation or even worse treatment, like dismissal or a forced early retirement.

      it is a case of the Emperor has no clothes. at some point, all will realize the true state of things, and the students will feel betrayed. i would expect similar, violent demonstrations to those of the late 1960s, another period when the Emperor was exposed as being quite naked.

    • Fast Eddy says:

      Children today are mostly pampered re-tard-ed fukkkwits….

      Little Johnny can’t go outside on his own — he might get raped or kidnapped…. or he might step in front of a car … or on a blade of grass and trip and scrape his knee…. so let’s put Johnny in front of the teevee or a gaming screen…. that is a safe space… and heaven forbid Johnny get anything but a B or higher even if he hands in sh it….

      No wonder we have ended up like this….

      And BTW – we have two kids from the Philippines here… pulled from a fairly grim situation …. they are very well taken care of … they are independent.. they can cook proper food for themselves (since they were 12ish)… M Fast has taught them to clean a house until it is spotless… they are now 15 and 16… and we will leave them on their own for 10 days when we head to China later this week… we have absolutely no concerns that they will be fine (although we have made a neigbhour aware…)…. they are more responsible than most adults

      Yet M Fast was speaking to a relative of the kids about all of this recently and we were accused of ‘making slaves’ of the kids…. and that we should be reported to some child abuse org in the Philippines….

      I just about spit my spleen out …. so we are paying big school fees… we bought them all new snow board gear….feed them properly (they were slightly malnourished when we brought them over) … teach them to be confident and capable…. we bought memberships at the ski hill… we drive them up there if we don’t go … and pick them up …

      BUT then they have to do a general cleaning of the house (maybe 2 hours work) when they return…. and they clean up after dinner….. and they help around the yard (they are very adept at filling empty wine boxes with coal without spilling any on the ground!) and we are slave driving!!!

      Nope – kids cannot do any work — they need to be coddled…. keep them in cocoons…. never expose them to anything tough … do NOT give them responsibility….. treat them like pets!

      Fortunately the two kids do not think this way — they are appreciative… and they understand that having high expectations raises the bar…. it makes them better….

      They don’t have teevee…. is that child abuse????

      And they wonder why little Johnny ends up delivering pizzas for a living …..

      • Slow Paul says:

        Sounds like great parenting to me. Kids learn a lot from doing chores, practical skills, work ethics, independent thinking, self esteem etc. To not give children chores or tasks and stick a iThing in their lap is more like child abuse if you ask me.

    • I agree that safety-ism is a pretty bizarre focus that the world has gotten its focus into. Perhaps it is partly a need to justify new service jobs aimed at protecting the youth. After all, such jobs don’t require much energy consumption or training. They are simply an excuse for more minimum wage jobs.

      At one point, close to 50 years ago, there was somewhat a view that if a child was lost to an accident, it was unfortunate, but it could be worked around. The mother could have another child, and fix the deficit. Now, few enough children per family are born that the loss of one child is a momentous event. The mother likely has her own job, and cannot take off time to have another child.

      So the self-organized system seems to have filled in a need for a huge amount of safety around each child.

  5. kesar0 says:

    Robert Napier goes optimistic. Suddenly.

    The report-based conclusions, especially the part of geopolitical risks are interesting.
    These guys do not consider price hikes as a general issue. Interesting really. Let’s party, then. BAU rules 2050s easy :), FE

    …just joking.

    • It is Robert Rapier you mean in your introduction. He does not understand the broader context of what is going on, so comes to a lot of incorrect conclusions. He mostly comes from a peak oil—MSM point of view. So more seems to him to fix the problem.

  6. adonis says:

    hello finite worlders i have been extremely busy conducting research on when the financial system will go into GFC 2 mode and the burning question of whether their is a conspiracy to halt BAU in order to bring in a sustainable world by the group known as the United Nations and now i am 100% convinced there is, Their plan to do this already caused GFC 1 and they clearly do not understand the link between economic growth and diminishing returns that Gail has clearly explained and that is why when they pull the plug on the life support system that is keeping the Financial System in an induced coma we will have GFC 2. I have provided an excerpt from one of their documents of what they were planning to do it was written in 1989 and it clearly shows what they were planning back then and what they did not know about the implications of their plans.The sentence showing their lack of understanding is located at point 6 under the heading Chapter 4 Changing Consumption Patterns.The date that I believe GFC 2 will occur is October the 2nd 2018,

    rio declaration | agenda 21 | previous | next
    Agenda 21

    Chapter 4
    Changing Consumption Patterns

    1. This chapter contains the following programme areas:
    a. Focusing on unsustainable patterns of production and consumption;
    b. Developing national policies and strategies to encourage changes in unsustainable consumption patterns.
    2. Since the issue of changing consumption patterns is very broad, it is addressed in several parts of Agenda 21, notably those dealing with energy, transportation and wastes, and in the chapters on economic instruments and the transfer of technology. The present chapter should also be read in conjunction with chapter 5 (Demographic dynamics and sustainability).
    Programme Areas
    A. Focusing on unsustainable patterns of production and consumption
    Basis for action
    3. Poverty and environmental degradation are closely interrelated. While poverty results in certain kinds of environmental stress, the major cause of the continued deterioration of the global environment is the unsustainable pattern of consumption and production, particularly in industrialized countries, which is a matter of grave concern, aggravating poverty and imbalances.
    4. Measures to be undertaken at the international level for the protection and enhancement of the environment must take fully into account the current imbalances in the global patterns of consumption and production.
    5. Special attention should be paid to the demand for natural resources generated by unsustainable consumption and to the efficient use of those resources consistent with the goal of minimizing depletion and reducing pollution. Although consumption patterns are very high in certain parts of the world, the basic consumer needs of a large section of humanity are not being met. This results in excessive demands and unsustainable lifestyles among the richer segments, which place immense stress on the environment. The poorer segments, meanwhile, are unable to meet food, health care, shelter and educational needs. Changing consumption patterns will require a multipronged strategy focusing on demand, meeting the basic needs of the poor, and reducing wastage and the use of finite resources in the production process.
    6. Growing recognition of the importance of addressing consumption has also not yet been matched by an understanding of its implications. Some economists are questioning traditional concepts of economic growth and underlining the importance of pursuing economic objectives that take account of the full value of natural resource capital. More needs to be known about the role of consumption in relation to economic growth and population dynamics in order to formulate coherent international and national policies.
    7. Action is needed to meet the following broad objectives:
    a. To promote patterns of consumption and production that reduce environmental stress and will meet the basic needs of humanity;
    b. To develop a better understanding of the role of consumption and how to bring about more sustainable consumption patterns.
    (a) Management-related activities
    Adopting an international approach to achieving sustainable consumption patterns
    8. In principle, countries should be guided by the following basic objectives in their efforts to address consumption and lifestyles in the context of environment and development:
    a. All countries should strive to promote sustainable consumption patterns;
    b. Developed countries should take the lead in achieving sustainable consumption patterns;
    c. Developing countries should seek to achieve sustainable consumption patterns in their development process, guaranteeing the provision of basic needs for the poor, while avoiding those unsustainable patterns, particularly in industrialized countries, generally recognized as unduly hazardous to the environment, inefficient and wasteful, in their development processes. This requires enhanced technological and other assistance from industrialized countries.
    9. In the follow-up of the implementation of Agenda 21 the review of progress made in achieving sustainable consumption patterns should be given high priority.
    (b) Data and information
    Undertaking research on consumption
    10. In order to support this broad strategy, Governments, and/or private research and policy institutes, with the assistance of regional and international economic and environmental organizations, should make a concerted effort to:
    a. Expand or promote databases on production and consumption and develop methodologies for analysing them;
    b. Assess the relationship between production and consumption, environment, technological adaptation and innovation, economic growth and development, and demographic factors;
    c. Examine the impact of ongoing changes in the structure of modern industrial economies away from material-intensive economic growth;
    d. Consider how economies can grow and prosper while reducing the use of energy and materials and the production of harmful materials;
    e. Identify balanced patterns of consumption worldwide which the Earth can support in the long term.

    • The date that I believe GFC 2 will occur is October the 2nd 2018,

      I have an Optometrist appointment on the 1st of October………..may as well cancel that now

      • Fast Eddy says:

        Sh…it…. I just wasted time and money tossing 12 month release fertilizer on the ‘grass’… because it’s N deficient and going to clover…. and I knew I should have bought the ripe bananas

    • Aubrey Enoch says:

      It’s simple. The important figure is resources per capita. Reduce the capita number and there is more for those that are remaining. Is it possible that the billionaires have already thought of that?

      • Tim Groves says:

        I agree with you about resources per capita being very important. Isaac Asimov touched on this point in his writing, and in an interview with Bill Moyers in 1988:

        Moyers: What do you see happening to the idea of dignity to human species if this population growth continues at its present rate?

        Asimov: It’s going to destroy it all. I use what I call my bathroom metaphor. If two people live in an apartment, and there are two bathrooms, then both have what I call freedom of the bathroom, go to the bathroom any time you want, and stay as long as you want to for whatever you need. And this to my way is ideal. And everyone believes in the freedom of the bathroom. It should be right there in the Constitution. But if you have 20 people in the apartment and two bathrooms, no matter how much every person believes in freedom of the bathroom, there is no such thing. You have to set up, you have to set up times for each person, you have to bang at the door, aren’t you through yet, and so on. And in the same way, democracy cannot survive overpopulation. Human dignity cannot survive it. Convenience and decency cannot survive it. As you put more and more people onto the world, the value of life not only declines, but it disappears. It doesn’t matter if someone dies.

        However, the OFW perspective seems to be that if the population goes down, so does the demand for lots of things, leading to the mother of all deflations, bankrupting pension, social security and life insurance funds, crashing land and stock prices, and slashing income all round, making it difficult to continue to secure the levels of fossil fuel extraction required to sustain BAU.

    • Garth says:

      No sin of actual bodily lust where plastic is concerned, but these girls can’t produce babies to increase the Catholic flock.

      • Tim Groves says:

        When it comes to partying, no doll can hold a candle to the real thing!

        • Rodster says:

          What’s the word i’m looking for?”…………………Oh I know, SKANK !

          I hope someone has the guts to show that photo when she appears to testify this week.

          • Tim Groves says:

            Well, we must keep an open mind on this photo. It looks too good to be true. It might not be her. After all, it was supposed to be 36 years ago. And blonde high-school girls look very much alike to the average congressional committee member. And like the honorable judge, she may have had a double….. Or a triple…. But for those of us without a dog in this race, the “stop Kavanaugh affair” is the most interesting media circus in some time.

        • Country Joe says:

          Obviously photoshopped by Russian hackers!!!!! Female Classmate come forward and state your case. It’s all a low class reality TV show. God help our grandkids.

    • MG says:

      If it is your private doll, who knows and cares? The public dolls surely bring hygienic issues with themselves.

      The tradition of the dolls is deeply rooted within the catholic religion, like the statues of Jesus Christ or Holly Mary, which are also the fetishes like the dolls in the pictures above.

    • Garth says:

      English writer Ian McEwan published a set of short stories in the 1970s, entitled “In Between the Sheets”. I enjoyed one story in particular.

      From Wikipedia:
      “Dead As They Come” tells of a wealthy businessman’s bizarre obsession with a fashion mannequin, which he purchases and takes home with him.


      It was a hilarious story of a deranged man. I laughed out loud at parts of it.

    • Third World person says:

      well pope approved priests to abused children

      i do not think he will have any problem with this

    • xabier says:

      The Catholic Church approves of brothels as they are ‘channels for lust’, thereby saving virgins and married women from the attentions of men.

      A doll would also be a kind of safety valve, without any sin being incurred by a live woman.

      No contraception is required in order to avoid conception.

      In fact, the perfect Catholic solution: the Vatican’s bankers should invest!

  7. MG says:

    When we are going northwards ( colder areas), as the pope Francis these days:

    1. Lithuania – a catholic country
    2. Latvia – a protestant country
    3. Estonia – an atheist country

  8. Garth says:

    I’ve added a comment, on my own shiny new blog, to my recent review of Gail’s blog. In it, I discuss the enfant terrible of her comment pages. Guess who?

    • Rodster says:

      Wow, now Fast Eddy is really famous. 😀

      • Garth says:

        Not really. He would only have been famous if I’d written and published a one thousand word blog post about him, but I published a measly 988 word comment instead. 😉

      • Fast Eddy says:

        Mildly amusing….

        However — it is a bright sunny day — and we had 60cm of snow the other day …. and the mountain beckons….

  9. MG says:

    The tattooed Slovak catholic priest thinks that the priests need wives, that the celibate should be voluntary:

    The point is that his parish is situated in the depopulating central mountaineous part of Slovakia. I know that this diocese has got various economic problems, the parishes going into debt, the marriages and the baptisms are declining. And this guy thinks that the missing wife is the solution. What a mistake…

    He does not realilze that with his tatoo he looks like a Japanese samurai…

    “From Samurai To Yakuza
    Some of them went on to become businessmen, scholars, and poets—after all, they were the most literate class in all of Japan. Others went on to enlist in the new, modernized army—which exists to this day.

    Others were dissatisfied with their fall from power, and it is there that we see another theory as to why the samurai are so closely associated with tattoos: they became Yakuza and inked themselves as a way of showing that they were true to their origins, rather than the law. “

  10. Third World person says:

    When collapse comes and the electricity grid becomes unstable, this is how we might be charging our smart phones

  11. Garth says:

    ‘We will get regular body upgrades’: what will humans look like in 100 years?

    Is anybody here confidently expecting the continued march of technology, AI and “The Singularity” ?

    • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

      wow… 6 “experts” predicting amazing futures for humans…

      none of these so-called experts seem to know anything about diminishing returns and the future impoverished world without FF…

      “what will humans look like in 100 years?”

      dirty, diseased, wearing tattered clothing…

      the future looks so bright!

  12. Third World person says:

    here another country decline very fast

    Mexico’s official murder rate last year was nearly 30,000 people. The worst year since the government started counting bodies 20 years ago.

    It is widely assumed that this is almost entirely caused by the drug wars raging between the country’s Narco Cartels and the government.

    Murdering business or political opponents is taking over from legal action and the ballot box.

    We travelled to one of the worst hit areas in Mexico, the formerly glamorous playground of the wealthy, Acapulco, to see what is happening to society and why it has become so violent

  13. Third World person says:

    this how cities will look like after bau is collapse

    The city of San Pedro Sula in Honduras is reported to be the most dangerous place on earth outside conflict zones – with three murders every day

    btw this city make Detroit look like Disneyland

  14. Third World person says:

    There’s A Revolt Going On In Trump’s Favorite Industry

    American steel manufacturing is enjoying a boost to earnings and demand thanks to trade policies put in place by President Trump. These are good days for American steel.

    But in the heart of Steel Country, there’s talk of a historic strike that could shut the whole thing down.

    Trump promised blue-collar, manufacturing workers across the country that he’d revitalize their industries and create new jobs. For steelworkers, the promise was direct — Trump vowed to create tariffs that would make foreign steel less competitive. He promised to dramatically increase the defense budget, giving steel manufacturers a powerful, deep-pocketed customer. He said he would slash environmental regulations that could make being a polluter very expensive.

    Trump then proceeded to do many of those things. For the time being, American-made steel is a hot commodity again. A slumping industry has enjoyed a turnaround.

    But the steelworkers — many of them white men who voted for Trump — say they haven’t felt anything from their industry’s rising fortunes. The United Steelworkers union represents a lot of those people. And right now, they’re trying to negotiate a new contract with U.S. Steel, a firm that runs plants dating all the way back to the days of Andrew Carnegie.

    U.S. Steel says its offering some of its windfall to its workers. The workers say they’re being asked to make sacrifices at a time when their industry is raking it in. The USW is ready to strike, and an order starting a 48-hour shutdown process could come at any moment.

  15. Yoshua says:

    Syria and Yemen collapsed into chaos and war when their oil production collapsed in combination with depleted aquifers, drought, failed harvests, over population, high oil prices and high food prices.

    A lot of these same problems seems to be causing distress across the MENA and India today.

    • xabier says:

      Oh, is the Yemen in trouble?!

      It’s not in the MSM much: I wonder why?

      The starvation of millions, murder of tens of thousands, targeting of civilians, deliberately engineered epidemic disease, total destruction of infrastructure, and supply of armaments on a huge scale by the ‘democracies’ would surely show up on the radar and be front-page news if it were true, but all I see is reporting on feelings about gender issues and racism……

      • Fast Eddy says:

        Similarly … I was on the way to Jordan 5 or so years ago … had a stop in Bahrain so thought why not spend a few days…

        Landed … helicopters everywhere… military vehicles… etc… it was a war zone…. I had no idea….

        I was able bullsh it my way into a meeting with two opposition politicians … who thought that the Americans would ultimately help them….. I called them DelusiSTANIS…. they didn’t get it…. the continued to insist….

        They are probably licking boots in a deep dungeon in Bulgaria now… while I am drinking Akarua Sparkling Rose…

        • Fast Eddy says:

          And meanwhile protests continue in Bahrain — and little old ladies get hit in the head with tear gas canisters… and killed… and somewhere in the woods … a tree falls

    • Nope, most of the effect in Syria was that regional and allied global powers decided it will be cheaper-better to have the state split into several provinces, hence have a secure corridor for Gulfies to EU bound natgas pipeline. And this would compete with the NordStreamI-II via Baltic as well as the old pipeline through Ukraine, also as mentioned recently Bulgaria was ~4yrs ago tasked to sabotage the SouthStream, which is now TurkishStream, not yet connected to the EU. The timelines how this all evolved are very clear, it was mostly energy and market access war, pure and simple..

      Should there be no prior of oil production slide trend in Syria, would not have mattered a lot, as Syria was always weaker player against the adversaries, given the hardware, perhaps little relative advantage on the armed men – personnel size.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        Fortunately in NZ… we have only sheep and cows…. we are left alone…. mostly

      • Yoshua says:

        The Arab spring affected the entire region. Not all nations collapsed. Some of the weakest did collapse with some “help” from the West.

        There are always some geopolitical issues at play as well. Iran is today in a weak position…soon under U.S sanctions. The Western oil companies will produce oil and gas in Iran in the near future when Iran is under a new rule?

    • I think you are right.

      This is an oil chart I made for Yemen a while back.

      This is one I made for Syria.

      Yemen has a population of about 29 million compared to a population of a little under 5 million in 1950. Syria has a population of about 18 million, compared to a population of about 4 million in 1950.

      The area cannot support its high level of population.

  16. Fast Eddy says:

    Tesla’s Vice President of Global Supply Management has reportedly resigned from the company. Liam O’Connor, who came to Tesla from Apple in March of 2015, has become the latest in a deluge of executive departures from Tesla this year. O’Connor may have been one of the employees intimately involved in trying to manage the company’s ballooning payables, which grew to over $3 billion last quarter.

    O’Connor is the fifth senior executive who has been reported to be leaving the company over the last several weeks.

    Weeks prior, we reported that Tesla’s chief accounting officer, Dave Morton, had also left the company – leaving a potential $10 million equity package behind – after less than one month on the job. Morton was the second Chief Accounting Officer at Tesla over the last 6 months. He resigned on September 4 after starting on August 6.

    • A person wonders when the next problem is likely to arise–they need more debt, but the interest rate that they would have to pay is terribly high, for example.

  17. Harry McGibbs says:

    Gawd, no-deal Brexit looking ever more likely. The whole thing has had a ghastly feeling of inevitability about it for some weeks now. Fingers crossed they manage a fudge, at least. It’s no fun at all seeing your purchasing-power eroded, as most of the planet can currently attest to a greater or lesser extent.

    “The pound slumped against the world’s major currencies this afternoon as investors bet that the UK is set to crash out of the European Union without a deal after Theresa May revealed the extent of the ‘impasse’ at the Salzburg negotiations.

    “The Prime Minister hit out at her EU counterparts for lacking ‘respect’ as she vowed defiance despite being ambushed at the summit when counterparts condemned her Chequers plan.”

    • xabier says:

      Keep your spirits up: Clan McGibbs relies on you!

      As the sergeant guarding his bunker said to Churchill during the Blitz:

      ‘It’s a great a life, sir; if you don’t weaken!’

      But, yes, it’s all a monumental, slow-motion, screw-up…..

      • Harry McGibbs says:

        Wise counsel, Xabier. Nothing like an existential threat to spice up life if you can hold your nerve!

        The politics (of all shades) can get wearing though – entirely my fault for being so bone-headed as to scroll through The Daily Mail of a Friday afternoon.

      • doomphd says:

        such an optimist. wonder what he thought about all those V2s falling at random.

        • xabier says:

          Anglo-Saxon Fatalism, not optimism!

          Army sergeants in those days – and he was probably from the Guards – were made of a hard material not known to science.

          The bombardments are inevitable, might as well get on with it….

    • None of us can quite imagine what the falling apart of the EU would look like.

      This is “just” the EU part. We have other countries will problems as well.

    • Yoshua says:


  18. Rodster says:

    A really good article by Charles Hugh Smith. “When Does This Travesty of a Mockery of a Sham Finally End?”

    Quotes: “Credit bubbles are not engines of sustainable employment, they are only engines of malinvestment and wealth destruction on a grand scale. A number of other questions arise as we ponder these dynamics. How “cheap” will all that energy be to those without full-time jobs? How will 100 million workers support 100 million retirees, welfare recipients and parasitic Elites plus Universal Basic Income as costs rise, taxes soar and wages stagnate?

    The Status Quo is unsustainable on a number of fundamental fronts. How long it can maintain the facade of stability and sustainability is unknown, but the global willingness to squander additional years on artifice and propaganda suggests that another four years will fly by and the end-game will be at hand whether we approve of it or not.”

    • Sounds like Charles Hughes Smith and I are saying fairly similar things.

      Next week, I fly to Bermuda to talk to a group of life and annuity folks about related issues. It may be an interesting trip.

      • Rodster says:

        I forgot to copy this quote: “4. Peak oil, which does not mean the world runs out of oil, it simply means oil production no longer rises to meet demand and eventually declines even as new fields are brought online. It can also mean that the price of energy rises to the point that consumers can either buy energy or they can keep the consumer economy afloat, but they are no longer able to do both.”

        • He believes in Peak Oil. I guess we differ. Peak Oil helps make for better endings.

          • Rodster says:

            Hmm, the way I understand what CHS was trying to say is that we won’t run out of oil but it’s the cost of getting the oil out of the ground that is the problem. It will get to the point where the costs to pull it out of the ground will be so high that consumers won’t be able to afford it and it’ll be too low for the producers that they can’t pull it out of the ground without going bankrupt.

            Gail, when you talk about cheap energy that the world needs to grow the global economy, isn’t that directly related to “Peak Oil” where all the low hanging fruit has already been picked and it takes more energy, resources and capital to get the hard to get at oil out of the ground and sea? Also isn’t Peak Oil where the energy producers can’t supply demand at a low enough cost to grow the global economy?

            • Peak oil is when the debt bubble pops, contrary to what peak oilers think. Popping the debt bubble will bring down all types of energy supply at the same time.

              We went past the affordable price of oil long ago. We have been trying to hide the problem with more and more debt.

              The presentation is really related somewhat to this issue. The write-up of my talk is in two parts. I will put up the first part on Sunday evening, my time, I expect. Friday and Saturday are not good days for putting up posts. The second half will go up sometime after I get back from Bermuda.

            • Not exactly, “debt bubble” is virtual human construct, demonstrably stretchable at wish of the operator, while physical limits pushing on this artificial system from outside is another. These two obviously intersect (kaboom) as I provided on these linked graphs, when the depletion rate is not coming back as it used to after any previous recession, only then “the markets” or the entire mass of players finally over power TPTB’s lift athlon skills and tools, resulting the debt bubbles across their various segments to deflate..
              It’s perhaps not that important for most of the people, because these two megatrends are separated by only few month to years delay anyway, so most peoplez will be destructed by the tsunami wave anyway..

      • Fast Eddy says:

        Beware the Triangle.

    • Greg Machala says:

      I agree with his assessment. How long the facade of stability will last is the final question.

      • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

        I agree with his answer to his own question:

        “So when will the travesty of a mockery of a sham finally come to an end? Probably around 2022-25, with a few global crises and “saves” along the way to break up the monotony of devolution.”

        he could be right, could be wrong…

        there was a tremendous “save” in 2008/2009…

        we shall see if “they” can do it again when the time comes circa 2019-2020-2021…

  19. Kanghi says:

    Spawn of Fast Eddy found from the coast of NZ. Story tells it was born from seed sown to sea, while franctically bashing and protolyzing the prophetic message of nihilism and doom, while seeking the solace from Fentanyl. There it multiplies and drags down soyboy surfers…

  20. Harry McGibbs says:

    “The west’s leading economic thinktank has warned that the expansion in the global economy may have peaked after cutting its growth forecasts for an array of rich and developing countries.

    ““Confidence has also eased and investment and trade growth have proved softer than anticipated…””

    “It warned that the recovery since the recession of 10 years ago had been slow and only possible with an exceptional degree of stimulus from central banks. “A decade after the financial crisis, vulnerabilities remain in financial markets from elevated asset prices and high debt levels. Reforms have strengthened the banking system, but risks have shifted towards less tightly regulated non-bank institutions.””

  21. Harry McGibbs says:

    “The 10-year anniversary of the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy has been met with a lot of reflection about how things have changed since the dark days of 2008. Craigs Investment Partners head of private wealth research Mark Lister said… the elephant in the room was the fact debt levels across the world were higher than they were in 2008.”

  22. MG says:

    Thnigs like “Open-source, 3D printed clothes at near-zero cost”…

    Well, what is zero cost? Who will produce, maintain and repair such big amonts of sophisticated machines that will be needed at near-zero cost?

    • Also, capital has a cost. The owners of the capital expect a return on their investment, whether it is interest expense or capital gains + dividends.

      People who look at these things look only a labor costs. The catch is that labor costs are what you need, if you are ever to sell any of the goods you are producing. Giving all of the returns to capital providers and management is a dead end.

  23. Fast Eddy says:

    Excellent presentation … very interesting lectures….

    We are NOT going back to that … I guarantee that.

    The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World

    • I am sorry I don’t have time to listen to this (unless I can figure out how to listen to it on long-distance jet over the Atlantic Ocean).

      I think that reading the Bible gives an indirect look at what happened historically, especially when combined with historical research. Ancient people told each other myths, just as we tell ourselves myths. Today’s myth is that the economy will grow forever; we can fund our retirements with shares of stock and bonds. Pension plans and Social Security are totally safe.

      People of early days passed on what they had figured out. They figured out that they were in some way different from animals. They didn’t understand that it was because humans ate cooked food, and animals did not.

      They figured out that co-operation should be somehow encouraged, and that random killing of other people should be discouraged. Also, taking the wife of another person was likely to lead to retribution. They figured out that some kind of order was needed, if humans were to live in closer quarters than hunter-gatherers. (In fact, the laws of physics would seem to dictate this as well.) So part of the energy available to them was used in setting up rules to follow, and punishment if laws were not followed.

      They also figured out that living the way they did (often in densely populated cities), maintaining adequate population was a problem, because of disease transmission. Because of this, women needed to be encouraged to have as many children as possible. In more sparsely populated rural areas, this was not as much of an issue, because people were not so crowded together.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        You can download audible books/lectures and listen anytime…. in fact I’ve got a long haul to China later this week and will finish this during the flight.

        And if you decide at anytime while listening— that you don’t like a book … you can exchange it

  24. Tim Groves says:

    And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I have dreamed a dream, and there is none that can interpret it: and I have heard say of you, that you can understand a dream to interpret it.

    And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, It is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace.

    And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, In my dream, behold, I stood upon the bank of the river:
    And, behold, there came up out of the river seven cows, fat and well favored; and they fed in a meadow:
    And, behold, seven other cows came up after them, poor and very ill favored and thin, such as I never saw in all the land of Egypt for badness:
    And the thin and the ill favored cows did eat up the first seven fat cows:
    And when they had eaten them up, it could not be known that they had eaten them; but they were still ill favored, as at the beginning. So I awoke.

    And I saw in my dream, and, behold, seven ears came up on one stalk, full and good:
    And, behold, seven ears, withered, thin, and dried by the east wind, sprung up after them:
    And the thin ears devoured the seven good ears: and I told this unto the magicians; but there was none that could declare it to me.

    And Joseph said unto Pharaoh, The dream of Pharaoh is one: God has showed Pharaoh what he is about to do.
    The seven good cows are seven years; and the seven good ears are seven years: the dream is one.
    And the seven thin and ill favored cows that came up after them are seven years; and the seven empty ears dried by the east wind shall be seven years of famine.
    This is the thing which I have spoken unto Pharaoh: What God is about to do he shows unto Pharaoh.
    Behold, there comes seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt:
    And there shall arise after them seven years of famine; and all the plenty shall be forgotten in the land of Egypt; and the famine shall consume the land;
    And the plenty shall not be known in the land by reason of that famine following; for it shall be very grievous.

    And for that the dream was doubled unto Pharaoh twice; it is because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass.
    Now therefore let Pharaoh seek out a man discreet and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt.
    Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint officers over the land, and take up the fifth part of the land of Egypt in the seven plenteous years.
    And let them gather all the food of those good years that come, and lay up grain under the hand of Pharaoh, and let them keep food in the cities.
    And that food shall be for store to the land against the seven years of famine, which shall be in the land of Egypt; that the land perish not through the famine.

    • Interesting cycles and spikes, today he saying ~25% of global wheat supply is in danger and exporters to consider domestic priorities instead.. While if I recall correctly just 1-2yrs ago for example Italian hard grains where cheap to meter, discounts everywhere..
      Similarly, there is acute overproduction of apples and other fruits this season.. so presumably next year not so much..

    • Garth says:

    • Garth says:

      Bryan Ferry – A Hard Rain’s A’Gonna Fall

    • Interesting video. It is a little hard to evaluate how bad the problems are, from what the commenter says. But even if the issue is “only” rising prices, it will be a problem for a lot of poor people in the world. Could further act to pop the debt bubble.

  25. Rodster says:

    In their campaign to contain the risks that caused the Great Recession, central bankers may have planted the seeds for the next global economic crisis.

    “How the Next Downturn Will Surprise Us”

    • Greg Machala says:

      It isn’t the downturn that will surprise us. It is the date that it occurs that will be a surprise.

  26. The PTB/Deep State/Establishment/whatever you want to call it still has some weapons in its arsenal. A lot of ‘last minute saves’ are to help speculators to make huge buck.

    I think the ‘reset’ is going to happen, but not in favor of the general public.

    • Yep, what is interesting are these “pain thresholds” – what the general public would tolerate. And as we can directly observe the cattle sheep mentality, brief immediate pain avoidance for later even grater perennial pain is just too astounding..

      As i illustrated on previous page, the PTBs can easily obfuscate (the stagnation phase was already easy) even the real terminal energy supply shock for few years, in the meantime their personal battalions will be at least seeded if not directly assembled by then.. while large chunk of the “general public” will be left naked bare to rolling sequence of revolts, civil wars, sporadic – no supplies of essential, and never coming back supply of techno derived frivolous stuff..

      Obviously, only small portion of TPTB have a chance to emerge on the other side, and they would be bruised severely as well, not mentioning forced to socially and genetically intermingle with some of their former lesser rank security guys, who rise on the occasion of meritocracy rule and or sheer luck, as well as basal survival urge..

  27. Kurt says:

    I love turkey. So much. A little dressing and sweet potatoes – so good! I think I’ll invite FE over. Oh wait, he told us years ago that we would get no turkey. Wrong again. Don’t you get tired of being wrong? Tedious work I would think.

    • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

      2 months until Turkey Day…

      then a few more weeks until 1/1/2019…

      then I get to predict another year of BAU…


      well, at least in countries that celebrate Thanksgiving Day…

  28. Fast Eddy says:

    Try searching bob woodward trump russia cnn

    Guess what you’ll find….

  29. dclonghorn says: 09/20/2018 AT 5:35 AM
    Russian Oil Minister Novak projects that Russia will hit peak Russian oil production in three years (2021). He also projects they could drop to 56% of current production by 2035.

    He is lobbying for better tax treatment so these projections could be conservative. But, they could be a recognition of the effects creaming of the older fields.

    This should move the oil market, but apparently it was in a speech he gave last Tuesday and hasn’t had much publicity yet. After all, Russia only produces around 11 million bpd.

    Wonder what would happen to the markets if KSA would project a 44% decline in production over the next 17 years?

    Latest graphs not looking good:

    Now, for the jugular, irrespective of the recoverable amount of energy scenario, this one is still on the slightly optimistic side by the way, the most important factor remains when and why is the world going full nuts. Yes, there will be havoc from yet “another downturn” even at the terminal production peak, but that could be likely obfuscated by gov/msm under other ongoing concurrent phenomena like recessions, wars, revolutions, hunger mass migration, etc.. However, the true horror crashing the whole edifice comes only when the depletion rate is not coming down (as it should be) as in previous cycles, the dotted line bellow.. . That’s when the spice, money stop flowing, and armies-police go self employed.. so at least there is a metric to measure it..

    • On the linked graph seen as “the decline rate” never ever coming down again, moreover notice the delay perhaps <5yrs max of this effect to previously achieved peak and downturn, which could be for a while as posted above explained in msm by whatever means..

      Obviously, it should be expected in two or three years max insiders would try to bail out of the markets and assets, launching and avalanche to exit, so the ~5yrs take sort of as theoretical maximum the obfuscations might last..

    • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

      “Russian Oil Minister Novak projects that Russia will hit peak Russian oil production in three years (2021). He also projects they could drop to 56% of current production by 2035.”

      “This should move the oil market…”

      no, not really…

      the main thing is that all of our calendars say 2018…

      more production up to 2021?

      that sounds like good news…

      BAU in Russia tonight, baby!

    • To mitigate the peaking on shore, they made a large bet on the whole Arctic/North Seas as next frontier for oil and gas..

      In sort of middle estimate scenario this might work nicely as at least ~20-30yrs bridge to develop their other stuff like next gen NPPs. But it also could eventually manifest as dud be it on unseen reservoir problems, global permanent deflation crisis – no export markets (actually no solvent buyers), overall Arctic weather pattern actually resetting into more ice not less as nowadays etc.

      However, the ongoing investment in new docks, shipyards, vessels, terminals, rail/highway, new schools and cities is enormous, so one can gather there must had been be some solid sat/submarine survey info for good amount of oil there..
      And given how Norway, US, Canada freaked out about it likely provides some additional proof as well.

      • Arctic oil and gas tends to be very “gassy.” Gas is very costly to ship as LNG. Pipelines are much less expensive, but likely don’t work where icebergs are common.

        The oil from these fields may provide very little diesel. It may be more like NGLs. We cannot go from short-chain hydrocarbons to long, but we can go from long hydrocarbons (oil sands) to shorter ones.

        • Good points. Yes, we can’t be sure (most of the latest reservoir data are confidential), however if you look at the way how continents moved, even today’s near arctic was once very close to the equator, hence some portion of “fully cooked” oil spots good for diesel could be there..

          Their planned capacity is for dozens or low hundred of such ice water capable vessel to be manufactured per year, so in aggregate that should be in order of millions of barrels per year hauling capacity. But it will be mostly double/mixed strategy: backbone pipelines as far as they can reach on shore using these diverse archipelagos, and then proper off shore rigs installed in further away steps..

          • The issue is not running out of oil however, it is keeping the average cost of energy low enough, so that the quantity consumed can rise. We really need more locally produced gas and coal in the mix, not the stuff that is transported long distances, raising the cost. $10 or $12 LNG is not helpful at all. Nor is $80 per barrel oil.

          • Sounds like the effort takes lots of energy resources. It will not be available overnight, either.

            • Yes, it’s a retirement party. Obviously these “new frontier” resources are can kicking effort at hearth, that I mentioned several times above..

              Now, as always that’s the bottom line, we tend to go around in circles, it makes a difference for the human life on an individual or two generations, when trends are stretched a bit, the worse delayed for a while. In macro zoomed out historical overview it is mushed into one event.

  30. Ann says:

    But the real threat to the global economy was not just that banks in the United States, Europe, and, to some extent, Russia and Asia were becoming overleveraged; it was also that much of these banks’ short-term funding involved currency mismatches. In order to do business in the United States, non-U.S. banks needed dollars, which they obtained from wholesale markets through a variety of methods: borrowing unsecured cash from U.S. sources, issuing commercial paper (essentially short-term IOUs), and, crucially, using currency-swap markets to receive short-term dollar loans in exchange for their own local currencies, with a promise to “swap” the currencies back at the end of the loan term. In short, foreign banks were racking up sizable liabilities that had to be paid in dollars. If the money markets where they obtained these dollars ceased to function, many of the world’s banks would immediately be at risk of failure.

    And in fact, that is precisely what happened. The first big bank to fail spectacularly was the British lender Northern Rock, in August and September 2007. It had no exposure to American subprime mortgages, but its funding model relied overwhelmingly on wholesale borrowing from around the world. What cut off Northern Rock’s access to funding was BNP Paribas’ August 9 announcement. This sent a signal to wholesale lenders that more banks were holding bad assets than anyone had previously understood. With the extent of the contagion unknown, wholesale lending ground to a halt. Five days later, Northern Rock informed British regulators that it would need assistance.

    The shutdown in bank funding quickly rippled across the global financial system, even reaching Russia and South Korea, countries remote from the subprime debacle but whose banks relied on the same wholesale markets now under stress. The world was witnessing a trillion-dollar, transnational bank run.

  31. Third World person says:

    so this is one of most popular song of Russia in 2017

    how country which has produced Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff, Rimskij-Korsakov
    is produce this garbage

  32. Article in the WSJ today called Oil Giants Use Size to Overcome Fracking Challenges Chevron employs ‘factory model’ to manage shale-drilling operations in remote Canadian region

    Shale development has taken off in the country [Canada], where production linked to fracking is expected to reach the equivalent of about three million barrels of oil and gas a day in 2020, according to Rystad Energy. That is more than five times higher than in 2011.

    “We should be able to accelerate faster here based on our success in the Permian,” said Andrea Schnare, a Chevron operations manager who recently switched assignments from West Texas to Canada. “It’s much easier to adopt best practices across different areas.”

    Looking at the chart they show, most of the forecast production will be natural gas, rather than liquids (which include natural gas liquids). The forecast is about 0.6 million BPD for liquids in 2018, and about .85 million BPD in 2020. If the price for natural gas is as low as it has been, and the shipping costs (long distance by pipeline) as high, it is hard to see that the natural gas piece will contribute much to profitability. I suppose if the natural gas can be used nearby in the extraction of bitumen, that would save the shipping cost problem.

    • I found another article on the subject.

      Here, the prize is condensate, an ultra-light oil that’s perfect for diluting oilsands crude. At present, much of that diluent comes from the U.S. but growing production in Duvernay and other shale plays, such as the Montney, could help wean Canadian oil companies off the more costly American variety.

      Domestic companies use around 600,000 bbls/d of condensate, and production of the hydrocarbon in Alberta is surging. Output reached 64,000 bbls/d last year, the highest in records dating back to 2010, according to the province’s oil production data. In the Duvernay, oil and gas output is poised to more than triple in the next two years to the equivalent of 300,000 bbls/d, according to Stephen Kallir, upstream research analyst at Wood Mackenzie in Calgary.

      The article quotes Wood Mackenzie saying that production will be profitable at $55 per barrel.

      So the basic purpose of this drilling is to indirectly get the cost of oil sands production down.

      • Harry McGibbs says:

        I’ve spotted a couple of optimistic articles in this vein today:

        “Oil and gas drillers are on the verge of a worldwide spending spree not seen since 2013, teeing up a potential windfall for oilfield services companies, Morgan Stanley forecasts.

        “The bank believes a global upswell in capital spending on new fossil fuel production — one that will last for several years and is largely underappreciated — is just over the horizon. In Morgan Stanley’s view, 2020 will be a year of synchronized growth in capital expenditures, and oilfield service firms will be one of the biggest beneficiaries.

        “This comes after oil giants and independent drillers slashed spending in 2015 and 2016 during an historic downturn in oil prices. The recovery has been relatively isolated to U.S. shale fields and a few international markets, but Morgan Stanley sees the rebound extending to many more parts of the world.”

        • Harry McGibbs says:

          “Global energy companies reduced their debt for seven quarters running in the second quarter of 2018, cutting their long-term debt-to-equity ratio to the lowest since the third quarter of 2014, when oil prices started crumbling, the EIA said in its Q2 2018 financial review of 107 oil and gas companies worldwide, including 76 U.S. companies.

          “Based on data from the companies’ filings with the SEC, the EIA found that the free cash flow… came in at US$119 billion for the four quarters ending June 30, 2018, the largest four-quarter sum in the period 2013 to 2018. In addition, cash from operations in Q2 2018 was US$118 billion, up by 27 percent compared to the second quarter of 2017.

          “Capital expenditures also increased year on year in Q2—by 2 percent to US$70 billion, the EIA review of 76 U.S. energy companies, 13 Canadian firms, 9 European, and 9 other companies showed.

          “About two-fifths of companies reported positive free cash flow, and 78 percent reported positive upstream earnings in Q2 2018. That was mostly due to the higher oil prices”

        • If the prices can go to a high level, oil companies will be doing well with their investments. Of course, consumers will be in less good shape.

        • Fast Eddy says:

          Steven Kopits from Douglas-Westwood said the productivity of new capital spending has fallen by a factor of five since 2000.

          “The vast majority of public oil and gas companies require oil prices of over $100 to achieve positive free cash flow under current capex and dividend programmes. Nearly half of the industry needs more than $120,” he said

          Perhaps the CBs are lending a helping hand?

          • Harry McGibbs says:

            I think capex is still a long way down from its 2013 heyday and two-fifths of companies reporting positive free cash flow is nothing to write home about.

            And of course investment remains insufficient to ensure a healthy flow-rate of affordable oil for the global economy in the coming years.

  33. Harry McGibbs says:

    “As of June 30, nearly one in 10 American homes with mortgages were “seriously” underwater, according to Irvine, California-based Attom Data Solutions, meaning that their market values were at least 25 per cent lower than the balance remaining on their mortgages… Lingering pain from the crash is deep. But it has fallen disproportionately on commuter towns and distant exurbs in the eastern half of the United States, Reuters analysis found.”

    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “As for the auto sector, while we have not seen a massive amount of information about it, recent numbers confirm a malaise is settling over the auto industry…

      “it is likely jobs will be lost in both these important sectors of the economy in coming months. This will in itself create an economic headwind that affects overall growth.”

      • Harry McGibbs says:

        “For now, the conclusion of most Fedspeak has been a continuation of the steady but gradual pace of rate hikes and a continued unwind of the balance sheet… However, members of the Federal Open Market Committee clearly are wrestling with how much more work needs to be done before the rate-hike work is finished…”

        • Harry McGibbs says:

          “The yield on the two-year Treasury note returned to 2008 highs Wednesday while the 10-year Treasury rate held north of 3 percent…

          “While some traders have cited the tariffs and trade concerns as inflationary and a culprit for higher rates, others have pointed to the Federal Reserve. “The explanations we’ve heard lean heavily on the notion that growth, a hawkish Fed, risk-assets, and supply have created an underlying bearishness that is evidenced by moves such as those seen on Tuesday,” said BMO Capital’s Ian Lyngen.”

          • High oil prices and high interest rates seem to go together. Together, they will burst the debt bubble.

            • Dan says:

              You said something about interest rates and high oil prices?


              September 18, 1973 10
              October 23, 1973 9.75
              October 29, 1973 9.5
              December 3, 1973 9.75
              January 29, 1974 9.5
              February 11, 1974 9.25
              February 19, 1974 9
              February 25, 1974 8.75
              March 22, 1974 9
              April 1, 1974 9.25
              April 4, 1974 9.5
              April 8, 1974 9.75
              April 11, 1974 10
              April 22, 1974 10.25
              April 25, 1974 10.5
              May 2, 1974 10.75
              May 7, 1974 11
              May 10, 1974 11.25
              May 17, 1974 11.5
              June 27, 1974 11.75
              July 8, 1974 12
              October 8, 1974 11.75
              October 22, 1974 11.25
              November 6, 1974 11
              November 13, 1974 10.75
              November 25, 1974 10.25
              January 9, 1975 10.2

              And now lets look at some prices:

              Year Average Low High Causes
              1973 $4.08 n.a. n.a.
              1974 $12.52 $9.59 Jan $13.06 Jun OPEC oil embargo ended.
              1975 $13.95 $12.77 Jan $15.04 Nov Stagflation.
              1976 $13.48 $13.27 Jan $13.71 Dec Economy recovered.
              1977 $14.53 $14.11 Jan $14.76 Dec Fed raised and lowered rates.
              1978 $14.57 $14.41 Feb $14.94 Dec
              1979 $21.57 $15.50 Jan $28.91 Dec Iran-Iraq War. Fed rate 20%.
              1980 $33.86 $30.75 Jan $35.63 Dec Iran oil embargo.
              1981 $37.10 $35.43 Oct $39.00 Feb Reagan cut taxes.
              1982 $33.57 $32.78 May $35.54 Jan Recession ends inflation.


            • It wasn’t just that oil prices were rising in the 1974 period; wages were rising rapidly to keep up. Inflation rates were “out of sight.” Interest rates needed to be high, to keep up with the general inflation rate. They were still a whole lot lower than the peak interest rate, which I believe was 18% in 1981.


              The Federal Reserve raised interest rates, to damp down oil (and other energy) prices. It took until they got the interest rates very high, in 1981, for this to succeed.

      • We also know that China’s auto sales are down in the last couple of months. Does not bode well for world sales of autos.

    • In the Atlanta area, I think that most of the homes with underwater prices are disproportionately in suburbs that have been historically predominantly black. I notice the illustration is of a black homeowner as well. These were the folks who were courted by banks to buy homes, when they really couldn’t afford them.

      • Dan says:

        Nobody can afford a house but no one cares about a white dude with a family of white kids.

        When the SHTF and some sheriff deputy comes knocking on my door with an eviction notice I will know then that my revolution has started.

  34. Harry McGibbs says:

    “[Japan’s] inflation has stubbornly refused to tick up towards the bank’s two-percent target; growth has remained sluggish and the bank is stuck in neutral, without a major policy change in years. The bank is in “deadlock,” Shigeto Nagai, head of the Japan department at Oxford Economics told AFP. “They can’t tighten, they can’t ease further from here. They have to stick to the current policy but inflation will not rise,” added Nagai.”

  35. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Argentina’s gross domestic product fell 4.2% in the second quarter from a year earlier…

    “Argentina’s economy contracted sharply in the second quarter after a severe drought roiled agricultural production and as the country works with the International Monetary Fund to stem a spiralling economic crisis.

    “”The economy will contract further in upcoming months amid tightening monetary and fiscal conditions…” the ratings agency Moody’s said in a statement.

    “President Mauricio Macri asked the International Monetary Fund last month to speed up payments that are part of a historic bailout deal reached in June…

    “The central bank raised its benchmark interest rate to 60% in August after the peso, which has shed about half of its value this year and is the worst-performing currency of 2018, continued to sell off.”

  36. Fast Eddy says:

    LNG is in extremely high demand in Asia, with forward prices hitting the $12s for November and $13s in January – compared to US prices at $3.

    • I it is clear that the author of this post is very bullish on global LNG–in fact he discloses he is “long” on these stocks.

      The catch is that high LNG prices are not sustainable. To get the oil-equivalent price of LNG, multiply by 6. Thus a price of $10 for gas is equivalent to $60 barrel oil; a price of $12 LNG is equivalent to $72 barrel oil; a price of $13 LNG is equivalent to $78 barrel oil.

      LNG is used to make electricity; also for heating directly. But it is very difficult to make goods competitively in the world market, when US natural gas is less than the equivalent of $18 barrel oil. Coal is even less expensive than natural gas. China cannot really import a large amount of LNG, without damaging its economy. The average price of energy needs to stay low, considering the mix. So while the price can rise for a bit, it will likely help to pop the debt bubble, sending the price back down again.

  37. Uncle Bill says:

    Actually, Naomi Klein was spot on in her book The Shock Doctrine, the Rise of Diaster Capitalism, published back in 2008.

    Synopsis Edit
    The book has an introduction, a main body and a conclusion, divided into seven parts with a total of 21 chapters.

    Part 1 begins with a chapter on psychiatric shock therapy and the covert experiments conducted by the psychiatrist Ewen Cameron in collusion with the Central Intelligence Agency. The second chapter introduces Milton Friedman and his Chicago school of economics, whom Klein describes as leading a laissez-faire capitalist movement committed to creating free markets that are even less regulated than those that existed before the Great Depression.

    Part 2 discusses the use of “shock doctrine” to transform South American economies in the 1970s, focusing on the 1973 coup in Chile led by General Augusto Pinochet and influenced by a prominent group of Chilean economists who had been trained at the University of Chicago in the Economics department, funded by the CIA, and advised by Milton Friedman. Klein connects torture with economic shock therapy.

    Part 3 covers attempts to apply the shock doctrine without the need for extreme violence against sections of the population. Klein says that Margaret Thatcher applied mild shock “therapy” facilitated by the Falklands War, while free market reform in Bolivia was possible due to a combination of pre-existing economic crises and the charisma of Jeffrey Sachs.

    Part 4 reports on how Klein thinks the shock doctrine was applied in Poland, Russia, South Africa and to the tiger economies during the 1997 Asian financial crisis.

    Part 5 introduces the “Disaster Capitalism Complex”, where the author claims that companies have learnt to profit from disasters.

    Part 6 discusses the use of “Shock and awe” in the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the subsequent occupation of Iraq, which Klein describes as the most comprehensive and full-scale implementation of the shock doctrine ever attempted.

    Part 7 is about winners and losers of economic shock therapy – how small groups will often do very well by moving into luxurious gated communities while large sections of the population are left with decaying public infrastructure, declining incomes and increased unemployment.

    The Conclusion details the backlash against the “shock doctrine” and economic institutions which, in Klein’s view, encourage it – like the World Bank and IMF. South America and Lebanon post-2006 are shown in a positive light, where politicians are already rolling back free-market policies, with some mention of the increased campaigning by community-minded activists in South Africa and China

    More SHOCK in the pipeline…pun intended

    • Fast Eddy says:

      Shock them… bomb them… waterboard them…. get control of their resources… leave them eating tree bark… because if they could do that to us they would not hesitate.

      The biggest meanest dog wins… and Ms Klein — and you – and me — and all of us — live very large lives because of it..

      Perhaps Ms Klein could donate all the profits from that book to the people we have f789ed over…

      Or probably not — because she is a delusional hypocrite …. and a R e Tard to boot…

      I am sure the believes she is precious though –I know the type

    • Sounds like growing wage disparity and a rising share of the wealth rising to the top. This is the outcome of a physics problem, when there is not enough energy per capita.

    • Tim Groves says:

      If you live under a capitalist system, you get disaster capitalism. Under a socialist system, you get disaster socialism. Every problem, every crisis, every catastrophe is an opportunity for someone. It’s an ill wind, etc. Even Naomi’s pet peeve, the anthropogenic globbly wobbly narrative, is an asolute windfall for some folks.

  38. Third World person says:

    Mosquitoes are eating plastic and spreading it to new food chains

    Mosquito larvae that grow up in water contaminated with plastic accumulate the litter in their bodies – and some of it remains there even after the larvae emerge as adult flies. The mosquitoes may exacerbate the problem of plastic contamination when they are eaten by animals living on land.

    Plastic pollution is ubiquitous in the environment, particularly in water. Birds, fish and other animals living around aquatic systems can ingest small plastic pieces by accident. These microplastics, with a diameter under 5 millimetres, pose a huge threat to the health of marine and freshwater ecosystems as they enter the food web.

    it feels very fitting, karmic retribution in all with equal proportions of horror and irony and funny. Well, think about it. It’s humanity’s fault that there’s so much plastic waste in the first place.

    • doomphd says:

      they put plastic microspheres in toothpaste. when brushing, some of this paste gets swallowed. supposedly, it is harmless. supposedly. gut microbes are gut microbes.

    • It seems like there are enough chemicals in plastics that are similar to chemicals in these species that there is a chance that the beads could act as endocrine disruptors.

  39. Third World person says:

    Deserts in Europe – Destroyers of Civilization

    According to estimates of the United Nations, more than 2.6 billion people in 110 countries are directly affected by progressive desertification. Deserts now cover more than a third of the entire surface of the earth, thus 65% of arable lands. More than three billion cattle, sheep and goats chomp their way through pastures faster than they can be regenerated. This program shows how desertification is changing the balance of the earth and affecting two continents in particular: Asia and Europe.

    • The video starts out, “Never before have deserts spread so far, so fast, and the cause, as often as not, is man.”

      I am not sure how far their data goes back. Ancient Iraq seems to have been a lush fertile place. This is what James Scott’s analysis in “Against the Grain” concludes. The Garden of Eden also seems to be set there–a strange place for it to be set, if the area were as arid as today.

      The world has quite a few big deserts. Have they really gone back and looked at how they were formed? Australia’s forests were to some extent caused by man, I believe. But I can imagine that quite a few others were as well. It doesn’t take modern technology; just the ability to burn down forests, to sculpt the ecosystems the way ancient people wanted them. Or cutting down forests, to provide wood for smelting.

      • The Dude says:

        Whiskey is For Drinking, Water is For Fighting (Mark Twain)

        Dan Ashe, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

        We have all heard that we as a nation are addicted to oil, but I would argue that we are more addicted to water. This may sound odd because for most of us, the only relationship we have ever had with water has been one that seems endless and readily available on demand at the end of a faucet. Since water weighs a little over 8 lbs per gallon, a person cannot carry enough water to go any real distance without finding more along the way. If water is not found within about three days after running out, you will likely suffer a painful death. Without our faucets and good plumbing, most of our daily existence would be spent looking for water, hauling water, and thinking about water. If you have ever been fortunate enough to drive from coast to coast across this great nation of ours, undoubtedly you have realized two things – America is big, and most of America is dry.

        Water has shaped and made this country of ours what it is today. Nearly half of the U.S.A. is some type of desert. Millions of people calls Texas home just as millions of other people call other desert states home. Without water and the ability to capture and distribute water, most of Texas and nearly half of this country would be virtually uninhabitable.

        The 2000 U.S. census indicated there were 20.8 million people living in Texas, with the population expected to increase to about 36 million people by 2040. Currently, Texas uses about 16.5 million acre-feet of water a year, with an acre-foot of water being literally one acre covered with one foot of water, or roughly 326,000 gallons. To better put this in perspective, think of Texas’s current water needs this way. The state goes through about 7.5 Sam Rayburns worth of water a year – to the very last drop. That is a lot of water. In response, Texas has about 6,700 reservoirs and lakes, only one of which was not built by people. Out of these 6,700 reservoirs, nearly all of the surface water we use comes from just a handful of these places – 211 to be exact. These reservoirs, however, do not and cannot reliably provide all of the state’s water needs. In drought years we can currently depend on about half of our water needs from reservoirs alone. In order to make up for the shortfall in water needs not met by surface water, we depend on groundwater. Groundwater is slow to recharge and is being depleted faster than it is replaced. In other words, “Houston we have a problem”, and it is going to get worse.

        Water resources in Texas are regulated by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and Texas Water Development Board (TWDB). In a nutshell, TWDB makes plans to ensure that water demands are met, TCEQ issues the permits, and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department provides input as to the effect on wildlife and outdoor recreation. TWDB has divided the state into 16 regions, with plans for future water development and needs. Given projected population growth trends, it is estimated that water demands will exceed 20 million acre- feet by 2050. Currently, the state cannot provide this amount of water. In fact, if things stand as they do today, by 2050 only about 65% of this need will be met given the current rate we are using water coupled with less available groundwater and less available surface water due to sedimentation and less inflow from depleted aquifers. To make up for these shortfalls, TWDB has plans to implement new conservation measures, construct new reservoirs, transfer water rights, and pipe water from one place to another. No doubt, the fact of the matter is Texas is set for change on the landscape, personal use habits, and for how people view their own individual needs over that of the environment and their fellow Texans.

        TWDB has developed a water plan for each of the 16 regional water planning regions. The overall plan for the East Texas region indicates that population growth and water demand will be moderate. As of now there are about 1 million people in East Texas with an expected population of about 1.5 million people in 2050. In order to sustain this population growth, we will need an additional 400,000 acre-feet of water. TWDB has proposed building either Eastex Reservoir (10,000 acre lake in Cherokee County) or Rockland Reservoir (95,000 acre reservoir near Lufkin). In addition, there are plans for what is called inter-basin transfer of water from Sam Rayburn and Toledo Bend to supply Dallas / Fort Worth and Houston. There are currently no considerations relative to the potential negative effects on the environment and the economic impacts due to lost outdoor recreational use of these areas. As of now what we have is simply a plan produced by TWDB and that is just what it is, a plan. However, as the drought of the 1950s spurred so much reservoir construction and water diversions, we are just a major drought away from another push to implement the plans in hand. Many people in the area can tell you what East Texas was like before Sam Rayburn and Toledo Bend and their related recreational and economic impacts. In not the too distant future, the area is set to change yet again, and it will be different, for better or worse.

        As always, if you should have any questions or comments concerning this article or have any other fishery questions please don’t hesitate to contact me at or call me 409-384-9572. Good Luck and Good Fishing!

      • Fast Eddy says:

        I recall reading a history of the Mediterranean region … and how humans decimated the landscape.. completely changing the kkklimate….

        There is nothing new under the sun…. in fact our ancestors — who did not reforest areas that they chopped down….. no doubt had a far greater impact on the kkkklimate than we do…

        If Al Gore would have been alive back then he could have performed a wandering minstrel act talking about how we needed to replant trees — because we are wrecking the planet…. and if I had been around I would have agreed….

        Land degradation has no spatial and temporal confinement. … Catastrophic degradation of land resources has taken place in all kkkkkklimatic regions of the Earth. History and development of desertification in the Mediterranean. The causes of desertification fall within two major groups: natural and anthropogenic.

      • Tim Groves says:

        The general rule is a warmer world is a wetter world. Warmer oceans => more evaporation => more cloud cover => more rain => more greenery, less dust, and less desert. This is in line with basic physics.

        From WIkipedia:
        All over the world, climates at the Last Glacial Maximum were cooler and almost everywhere drier. In extreme cases, such as South Australia and the Sahel, rainfall could be diminished by up to 90% from present, with florae diminished to almost the same degree as in glaciated areas of Europe and North America. Even in less affected regions, rainforest cover was greatly diminished, especially in West Africa where a few refugia were surrounded by tropical grasslands.

        The Amazon rainforest was split into two large blocks by extensive savanna, and the tropical rainforests of Southeast Asia probably were similarly affected, with deciduous forests expanding in their place except on the east and west extremities of the Sundaland shelf. Only in Central America and the Chocó region of Colombia did tropical rainforests remain substantially intact – probably due to the extraordinarily heavy rainfall of these regions.

        Most of the world’s deserts expanded. Exceptions were in what is now the western United States, where changes in the jet stream brought heavy rain to areas that are now desert and large pluvial lakes formed, the best known being Lake Bonneville in Utah. This also occurred in Afghanistan and Iran, where a major lake formed in the Dasht-e Kavir.
        In Australia, shifting sand dunes covered half the continent, whilst the Chaco and Pampas in South America became similarly dry. Present-day subtropical regions also lost most of their forest cover, notably in eastern Australia, the Atlantic Forest of Brazil, and southern China, where open woodland became dominant due to drier conditions.

        During the Last Glacial Maximum, much of the world was cold, dry, and inhospitable, with frequent storms and a dust-laden atmosphere. The dustiness of the atmosphere is a prominent feature in ice cores; dust levels were as much as 20 to 25 times greater than now.[5] This was probably due to a number of factors: reduced vegetation, stronger global winds, and less precipitation to clear dust from the atmosphere.[

  40. Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

    shall we look at oil prices today?

    Brent 79.64…


    it’s almost 80…

    in a few weeks or even days, probably 160…

    the End is near…


  41. Sven Røgeberg says:

    Some stuff for a new post from Gail could perhaps be the different economic models set up to save us from disaster? The EU has come up with a circular economy, the UN has similar proposals:
    «Meanwhile, experts around the world are exploring alternative ways we can set up our economic systems, such as Doughnut Economics, Post Growth Economics, Prosperity without Growth and Steady State Economy – and Järvensivu and colleagues have asked all forward-thinking leaders around the world to start testing possible transitional strategies, such as a universal job guarantee.

    These suggestions are pretty daunting, but if we humans have proven anything with our time on Earth so far, it’s that we can achieve incredible things when we work together.»

    Listen to Naomi Klein: «Journalist Naomi Klein, author of This Changes Everything: Capitalism Vs the Climate, points out that “we humans are capable of organizing ourselves into all kinds of different social orders, including societies with much longer time horizons and far more respect for natural life-support systems.”

    “Indeed,” she writes, “humans have lived that way for the vast majority of our history and many Indigenous cultures keep Earth-centered cosmologies alive to this day. Capitalism is a tiny blip in the collective story of our species.”

    No one is suggesting we revert to technology-less societies. Instead, the idea is to learn from different ways of living that have proven track records of longevity. From there, we can find new and better ways forward with the help of our advanced technologies.

    Klein believes we should view this need to transition our economies as an opportunity to shape them for the better, a chance for us to create both a fairer and more sustainable world.»

    • Ed says:

      Post growth, does that mean no more massive immigration as we are all well past our local carrying capacities?

    • Fast Eddy says:

      Naomi Klein is … an idjut.

    • Perhaps we can talk about setting up a perpetual motion machine. It sounds about as realistic as Steady State Economics and the circular economy. Diminishing returns is one of our big problems. Another big problem is too much use of capital, and a need to borrow amazing amounts of money to finance all of this capital spending, and repay all of this debt with interest. The yield on these investments is horribly low–probably negative. That is why the debt cannot pay much interest at all.

      I don’t think that we have alternative investments available that pay any reasonable amounts. Too many people start from a base of wishful thinking.

    • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

      we’re long overdue for a good rant…

      let’s see how much time I can waste…

      “… perhaps be the different economic models set up to save us from disaster? The EU has come up with a circular economy…”

      total non-sense!

      we burn FF to make stuff and do stuff, including making and installing “alternative energy” equipment…

      this process is linear… we extract the FF, we burn it, the surplus energy increases our wealth…

      “Meanwhile, experts around the world are exploring alternative ways we can set up our economic systems…”

      “experts” my ash…

      TINA… there is no alternative… to have an economic system that lifts billions of humans up from poverty, we billions need the surplus energy provided by burning FF… we can’t have modern wealth with just human labor…

      “… but if we humans have proven anything with our time on Earth so far, it’s that we can achieve incredible things when we work together…”

      YES… when we work together AND burn FF…

      “No one is suggesting we revert to technology-less societies. Instead, the idea is to learn from different ways of living that have proven track records of longevity. From there, we can find new and better ways forward with the help of our advanced technologies.”

      we can’t have “advanced technologies” without the surplus energy to build them and power them…

      “Klein believes we should view this need to transition our economies as an opportunity to shape them for the better, a chance for us to create both a fairer and more sustainable world.”

      oh, don’t worry… the future will definitely be “fairer”…

      unlike now where half the world is more prosperous and the other half is more in poverty:

      in the future, without FF, 99+ percent will be in poverty…

      and better yet, it will be “sustainable”…


      • Fast Eddy says:

        What astounds me is that people actually believe this sh it….

        Someone was recently telling me that a growing economy is not necessary …. that this quest for eternal growth is The Problem….

        Trying to explain that it is otherwise to such people… is a fool’s game

      • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

        and Sven, nothing personal…

        it’s just that so much of what you quoted was quite ab-surd…

        peace, man…

        • Sven Røgeberg says:

          He, he…. i dont identify with the illusions and wishful thinking of UN and the rest;) in fact i had a SIC! put up behind the Klein quote, but it was left out. No one is better to put this type of models to rest in preace than Gail, so just offering rawmaterial for perhaps a blog on the matter in the future. The more dire the situation gets, the more attention and mediacoverage will this «hopeful new paradigm» get. BTW at the end of the westroman empire, Christianity was just one of the many spiritul efforts to save the souls.

      • Tim Groves says:

        Imagine no possessions, Naomi. I wonder if you can?

        Thanks to her sponsors, her marketing skills, to the capitalist system she pretends to spit on, and in no small measure to her good looks, talent and willingness to hustle, Naomi’s pile of pennies puts her in the top 1% worldwide.

        According to the Networth website she’s currently worth $2 million, which is peanuts compared to some her celebrity chums such as Michael Moore ($50 million), but is still fairly impressive for someone who is an avowed anti-capitalist.

        She is deeply, deeply concerned about globbly wobbly caused by fossily fuely, concerned enough to label her own country Canada a cli-mate criminal. but not concerned enough to give up her private car (she proudly drives a hybrid) or her central heating, or her frequent flying around at 30,000 feet to break gluten-free bread with her ecological comrades in exotic locations around the world and preach to the faithful, and nowhere near concerned enough to stop publishing books that are printed on the pulped flesh of murdered trees.

        She’s also claims to be anti-globalist, but she’s clearly not nearly anti-globalist enough to support the first US president evah to have taken a wrecking ball to some of the cornerstones of globalization.

        Whatever happened to the virtue of leading by example? Of being the change you want to see? Of taking the same road you are asking others to take?

    • El mar says:

      Naomi Should

      • el mar says:

        I have an idea how this bullsh… arrivied in Naomis brain.
        She made a trial with a circular economy with her own body!

        el mar

  42. Rufus says:

    A Decade After the Financial Crisis, Economic Confidence Rebounds in Many Countries … But pessimism about the future lingers …

    “In 18 of the 27 nations surveyed, including 80% of the French, 76% of the Japanese and 72% of the Spanish, half or more of the public believes that when children today in their country grow up they will be worse off financially than their parents. In previous Pew Research Center surveys, such worries were largely confined to advanced economies, but now people in emerging markets increasingly express concerns about the financial well-being of the next generation.”

    So the masses are not THAT dumb, MSM is not THAT powerful … Well probably, their worries are far far from the horrible nightmares that a certain FE depicts us. Happy them !

    • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

      “In 18 of the 27 nations surveyed, including 80% of the French, 76% of the Japanese and 72% of the Spanish, half or more of the public believes that when children today in their country grow up they will be worse off financially than their parents.”

      that’s not pessimism…

      that’s realism…

    • Fast Eddy says:

      No…. they will not have tuned into that message….

    • Greg Machala says:

      It is amazing Iraq is increasing its oil production given the state of the country. I wonder how much military presence is around the oil production infrastructure? I suspect much of the war spending in Iraq is geared toward protecting oil interest in the state.

      • Good point!

        • Lastcall says:

          Iraq is a snapshot of the near future; critical infrastructure /resources ring-fenced and kept connected to the system. I imagine its not too dissimilar to any tri-age situation.

          • Fast Eddy says:

            It reads like a sci-fi novel…. but it’s real.

            • Kowalainen says:

              Or some RTS computer game with tanks, rocket turrets and pillboxes surrounding the valuable resource mining protected from the ”red” opponent on the otjet side of the map.

              Actually, it would not surprise me if they use some sort of heavily modded game engine to strategically place their assets and simulate military scenarios.

      • I looked at the OPEC monthly output report that shows Iraq’s output for July 2018. It indicates that production was highest ever, that month. Through July, Iraq’s increase seems to be covering up Iran’s little bit of decrease.

        • Harry McGibbs says:

          Not much of that oil-wealth trickling down though. Came across this sad article about Iraqi farmers giving up under the pressures of worsening water scarcity, crumbling infrastructure and corruption:

          “Al-Musharrah is experiencing a worrying rural exodus. According to al-Saadi, over the last 30 years, half of its 60 villages have disappeared as a result of desertification eating into green patches of land.

          “Three farmers give up farming every month. Our villages are slowly emptying,” he said.

          “The movement of people from rural Iraq into urban centres causes extra strain on these already highly populated areas. Iraq’s rural inhabitants account for 30 percent of the country’s total population…

          “Alain Gachet, a geologist, said he no longer believes in the future of surface water in Iraq. “Iraq is going to dry up completely,” said Gachet, the founder of RTI Exploration and an expert on groundwater aquifers.”

          • I am not sure how much oil wealth there really is, once the cost of putting in needed infrastructure to support the extraction is included. Most/all (?) of the extraction is being done by outside companies, contracted for the purpose. They are not getting very much above their actual costs. It seems like the local governments are tasked with getting the pipelines, ports, and other infrastructure in place that is needed.

  43. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Ten years after the financial crisis, the Pew Research Center has asked people in 27 countries—representing two-thirds of global GDP—how they feel about their home economies and the future. The results are distressingly bleak.”

  44. Harry McGibbs says:

    “U.S. President Donald Trump’s trade battles and the accumulation of global debt to pre-financial crisis levels are among factors that will drive a major reset of the world economy in the next two to three years, according to the head of the world’s biggest long-haul airline.“We have some extraordinary geopolitical forces at play,” Emirates President Tim Clark told attendees at an aviation event in the Indian Ocean nation of Mauritius…”

    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “There are only two times in the history of this century where we had debt crises in which interest rates hit zero. And in both of those times, the Central Bank had to print money and go to a different type of monetary policy, which we call quantitative easing, and to buy financial assets. And that drives up, in both of those cases, the value of those financial assets and produces a recovery, but it drives interest rates down to zero or near zero, where they are around the world.

      “And that buying, in this case $15 trillion of financial assets, has pushed up financial assets and driven the interest rates down to zero, so it’s caused asset prices to rise. It’s also caused populism, more populism. Because that process creates a gap between the rich and the poor. Those that have more financial assets see those asset prices go up… If you look at, right now, the top 10%, the top one tenth of 1% of the population’s net worth is equal, about, to the bottom 90% combined. That’s very similar to the late ’30s when we had that stimulation and so on.”

    • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

      “U.S. President Donald Trump’s trade battles and the accumulation of global debt to pre-financial crisis levels are among factors that will drive a major reset of the world economy in the next two to three years…”

      though fairly soon, there should be a growing realization that “Trump’s trade battles” may end after the November 2020 election…

      the next POTUS could do a 180 on trade…

  45. Harry McGibbs says:

    “…financial globalisation makes the world vulnerable to U.S. monetary and fiscal policy. From time to time, the U.S. unleashes a flood of dollars at low rates. The world laps up the cheap finance. Then, the U.S. raises interest rates. Other economies find themselves staring at huge debt repayments… The present crisis in emerging economies highlights how vulnerable emerging markets are to the vagaries of American economic policy.”

  46. Harry McGibbs says:

    Some rare common sense here:

    “The financial crisis of 2008 was no ordinary crisis. It brought the U.S. banking system to its knees, destroyed millions of jobs, and nearly caused the break-up of the Eurozone. And this is just a short list of the damage it caused. Given how bad it was, it may have been reasonable to expect that we would now have a system in place to prevent another debacle. But ten years have passed and the idea that we have learned our lessons seems at best quaint and at worst laughable.

    “One of the most basic lessons not learned is that a massive buildup of debt tends to end in a serious financial crisis. Even a small liquidity event that gets in the way of rolling over higher and higher amounts of debt eventually brings down the whole edifice.

    “In the aftermath of the 2008 crisis, a river of ink was spilled to condemn the runaway debt spiral that led to it. It is remarkably ironic, then, that as we crawl out of ten painful years of struggle and recovery, even the most outspoken fiscal hawks of that time now seem unconcerned that debt is growing apace once more.”

    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “What 2008 should teach us, if anything, is that we could all show a little more humility.”

      • Perhaps that is what it takes to keep the world economy from collapsing for a few more days/weeks/months. Can this strategy even work for years? It seems to have been part of where helped US demand during the early 2000s stay high, even as jobs were being shipped overseas to China/India. Once interest rates were raised and the loose underwriting standards fixed, the bubble popped, creating the Great Recession.

        • Rodster says:

          And the thing that makes you shake your head is how the media as willing and able accomplices have painted a picture that all is well and even those that follow and read info on alternative sites have questioned and are second guessing if we are all wrong. I think not, “it’s not a matter of if but when”.

          • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

            of course the MSM is big business…

            so they are trying to keep up the appearance that “all is well” for themselves AND for their advertisers (who are mostly other big businesses)…

            from the MSM business side, it’s all quite reasonable… why should they care about “real” journalism?

            “it’s not a matter of if but when”…

            yup… but not 2018 from where I am viewing the action…

            2019 is getting so close…

            almost time to renew my new year’s predictions…

            • Fast Eddy says:

              ‘real journalism’

              Yes why should they care…. what purpose would that serve.

              Some people like to hark back to when journalism was ‘real’…. when in fact … it was never ‘real’…

              It has always been biased…. and/or completely manipulated… with control of the masses being the goal.

              Just look at the Putin story … the entire MSM is pounding the drum manufacturing story after story about how evil he is…. he has to go … but will the MSM tell us the real reason why? Of course they will not … it well and truly is a matrix we are being fed…. even those who understand this still have a very difficult time finding the truth of the matter…. of any matter (other than the scores in the ball game and the temperature…)

        • Fast Eddy says:

          We need to TRIPLE down … QUADRUPLE down even…. on all the ‘mistakes’ that lead to the GFC….


    • There are a couple of interesting charts in this article. The first one is this one:

      The pattern is a temporary growth pattern that peaks just at the time of crisis.

      There is an error in the title of the second chart. The first ampersand should be a % sign. It shows the extent of today’s margin debt bubble.

    • Greg Machala says:

      Debt wouldn’t be so bad if there was growing wages and consumption. Unfortunately growth takes ever increasing amounts of energy consumption. We seem to be at a point now where it is becoming more difficult to access the energy levels needed to run the economy.

      It seems to me the financial system is designed around it becoming easier and easier to access energy – just the opposite of what is actually occurring. In the past efficiency improvements could extend energy supplies. But, that was no longer possible after 2007/2008 hence the financial system crashed.

      Today, debt is not running amok with no resources to back it up. Much of the financial system is now just trading empty promises of growth which will never occur. Money used to invest in resources producing growth. What we have since 2008 is money investing in money – a circular economy. And we are circling the drain by doing that. How long we will circle the drain before something critical breaks?.

      • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

        oh, perhaps another 10 years…

        though by then, the swirling around the drain will be much faster…

      • Not very long, I am afraid.

        • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

          and that’s one thing I like so much about OFW…

          we all get to see the same facts, and then we get different opinions about the future consequences of those facts…

          it seems that most of us foresee an economic downturn coming…

          the debate is generally about:

          how soon and how severe?

          • jupiviv says:

            The consensus is pretty clear ie 19-20. I think I predicted no crashes for this year but warning signs becoming more obvious. We shall see.

            • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

              sounds reasonable…

              but the timeline is easier by just picking a number between 2018 and 2030…

              how severe?

              perhaps much harder to foresee…

            • Nope, the consensus is rather about (2021)2023-25 for the big one.. Some sort of recessionary only and TPTB navigation through capable bump preceding it in ~2019 is something completely different..

    • Fast Eddy says:

      So the PTB … having seen the result of their actions in the form of GFC…. are doing the same things … just on a grander scale….

      If I am the author …. I am assuming they understand what they are doing will end in catastrophe…. (a 12 year old could be made to understand that)…

      So I am asking ‘why are they doing this’… ‘what do they see that compels them to do what they are doing’

      This is not Idiocracy we are dealing with …. this is not having to tell them to water the crops…. this is not men having a gasoline fight then lighting a smoke…. these men are not stuuuupid…..

      Nor does it require genius to step back and ask ‘why’…. yet across the board from Stockman to Roberts…. all we hear are squeals of protest….

      • Fight inflation?

        • Fast Eddy says:

          No doubt that is why this continues…. the Fed is like a cornered rat….

          Mortgage Rates Head to 6%, 10-Year Yield to 4%, Yield Curve Fails to “Invert,” and Fed Keeps Hiking

          Nightmare scenario for the markets? They just shrugged. But homebuyers haven’t done the math yet.

          There’s an interesting thing that just happened, which shows that the US Treasury 10-year yield is ready for the next leg up, and that the yield curve might not invert just yet: the 10-year yield climbed over the 3% hurdle again, and there was none of the financial-media excitement about it as there was when that happened last time. It just dabbled with 3% on Monday, climbed over 3% yesterday, and closed at 3.08% today, and it was met with shrugs. In other words, this move is now accepted.

          Note how the 10-year yield rose in two big surges since the historic low in June 2016, interspersed by some backtracking. This market might be setting up for the next surge:

          • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

            “It just dabbled with 3% on Monday, climbed over 3% yesterday, and closed at 3.08% today, and it was met with shrugs. In other words, this move is now accepted.”

            now 3.06%…

            the “shrugs” could be because it’s becoming expected that the whack-a-mole program will be put into use to send it back below 3.00…

            “this move is now accepted” is merely his opinion…

            let’s see how fast it rises to 4.00 (OMG!)…

            he could be right…

            time will tell…

          • The article ends,

            There has never been a rate-hike cycle this slow and this drawn-out: We’re now almost three years into it, and rates have come up, but it hasn’t produced the results the Fed is trying to achieve: A tightening of financial conditions, an end to yield-chasing in the credit markets and more prudence, and finally an uptick in the unemployment rate above 4%. And the Fed will keep going until it thinks it has this under control.

            The Fed doesn’t realize how close it is to collapsing the whole debt bubble. The Fed can’t really be in control. The laws of physics are in control.

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