Wednesday, May 6, 2015
Good and Bad News
Today, we have bad news and good news. The good news is that there will be no 25-year recession. Nor will there be a depression that will last the rest of our lifetimes.
The bad news: It will be much worse than that. On Monday, the Dow rose another 43 points. Gold seems to be working its way back to the $1,200 level, where it feels most comfortable.
“A long depression” has been much discussed in the financial press. Several economists are predicting many years of sluggish or negative growth. It is the obvious consequence of several overlapping trends and existing conditions.
Newspaper from October 24 1929, a.k.a. “Black Thursday” – at this point, the panic had just begun with the market losing 11% in one day. On the next two trading days (Friday and Saturday – at the time, the market was open on Saturdays) the market rebounded slightly, then came “Black Monday” and “Black Tuesday”, which erased all doubt about the seriousness of the situation
Old People Are Dead Wood
First, people are getting older. Especially in Europe and Japan, but also in China, Russia and the US. As we’ve described many times, as people get older, they change. They stop producing and begin consuming.
They are no longer the dynamic innovators and eager early adopters of their youth; they become the old dogs who won’t learn new tricks.
Nor are they the green and growing timber of a healthy economy; instead, they become dead wood. There’s nothing wrong with growing old.
There’s nothing wrong with dying either, at least from a philosophical point of view. But it’s not going to increase auto sales or boost incomes – except for the undertakers.
Mr. Hislop is looking forward to booming business
Photo credit: State Library of Queensland
The Cure for Debt? More Debt!
Second, most large economies are deeply in debt. The increase in debt levels began after World War II and sped up after the money system changed in 1968-71.
By 2007, US consumers reached what was probably “peak debt.” That is, they couldn’t continue to borrow and spend as they had for the previous half a century. Most of their debt was mortgage debt, and the price of housing was falling.
The feds reacted, as they always do… inappropriately. They tried to cure a debt problem with more debt. But consumers were both unwilling and unable to borrow. Their incomes and their collateral were going down. This left corporations and government to aim only for their own toes.
Central banks created more money and credit – trillions of dollars of it. But since the household sector wasn’t borrowing, the money went into financial assets and zombie government spending.
Neither provided any significant support for wages or output. So, the real economy went soft, even as the cost of credit fell to its lowest levels in history.
In order to revive the credit creation machinery, the Fed has monetized incredible amounts of debt, via Saint Louis Federal Reserve Research. With the end of QE 3, its balance sheet has begun to subtly decline … click to enlarge.
The Cronies Are in Control
Third, the developed economies have been zombified. The US, for example, is way down at No. 46 on the World Bank’s list of places where it is easiest to start a new business. And only one G8 country – Canada – even makes the top 10.
How to get ahead in the world of today….
Cartoon by Stahler
Paperwork. Expenses. Regulation. High taxes. High labor rates. Entrenched competition with aging, loyal customers. All are endemic from Boston to Berlin to Beijing.
Leading industries – heavily controlled and regulated, including defense, education, health and finance – are practically arms of the government. All are protected with high barriers to entry and low expectations. Competition is barely tolerated. Innovation is discouraged. Mistakes are forgiven and reimbursed.
Meanwhile, the masses are encouraged to become zombies too, with generous rewards for those who 1) do nothing, 2) pretend to work or 3) prevent other people from doing anything. After all the zombies, cronies and connivers get their money, there is little left for the productive economy.
How it all works in crony heaven – until it doesn’t anymore – via bastiatinstitute.org
The Solution Begins When Markets Crack
Typically, these problems – too much debt, too many zombies, and too many old people – lead to financial crises. Then, they are “solved” by either inflation or depression. And the solution begins when markets crack.
Markets never go up forever. Instead, they go up, down and even sideways. They breathe in and out. And after sucking in air for the last 30 years, US financial assets are ready to exhale. Legendary asset manager Bill Gross comments:
“When does our credit-based financial system sputter/break down? When investable assets pose too much risk for too little return. Not immediately, but at the margin, credit and stocks begin to be exchanged for figurative and sometimes literal money in a mattress.”
When that happens, problems begin to take care of themselves, in one of two ways…
A quick, sharp depression wipes out the value of credit claims. Borrowers go broke. Bonds expire worthless. Companies declare bankruptcy. The whole capital structure tends to get marked down as debts are written off and financial assets of all kinds lose their value.
Or, under pressure, the feds print money. Debts are diminished as the currency loses its value. The zombies still get money, but it is worth less. Inflation adjustments cannot keep up with high rates of inflation. Pensions, prices and promises fade. Either way, the slate is wiped clean and a new cycle can begin. But what rag will clean the slate now? Stay tuned…
Credit to Zero Hedge
With the advent of Artificial Intelligence, the future will allow a Technocratic Elite to bring about a robotic Genesis that will last forever on Planet Earth!
By Paul McGuire
In the new Hollywood movie, Avengers: Age of Ultron, the film depicts how a super-robot with artificial intelligence self-evolves and attempts to enslave mankind. The film shows a dark future, and many computer and technology experts believe artificial intelligence will enslave the human race.
Artificial Intelligence is allowing man to act like the Creator of a new race of non-human beings, which are machines in the form of robots, androids, and cyborgs.
With the advent of Artificial Intelligence, the future will allow a Technocratic Elite to bring about a robotic Genesis that will last forever on Planet Earth. Borrowing from the film mentioned above, I will call this new Genesis the “Book of Ultron,” whose opening verses might read:
“So Man said, “Let us make robot in our own image, according to our likeness; let them have dominion over the earth.”
“So Man created robot, in His own image, in the image of Man, He created robot, android, and cyborg, both male and female. Then Man blessed them, and Man programmed them to be fruitful and multiply, to fill the earth and cosmos and have dominion over it.”
In the Book of Genesis we read the account of how God created Man in His own image both male and female. We also read the account of how Man fell from Paradise through the seductive promise of Lucifer who said to Man “You shall be as gods.” The desire of Man to be God is one of the most powerful drives that resides in the dark abyss of his soul. Now, due to artificial intelligence, computers, and the advent of robots, cyborgs, and androids, Man has finally arrived at the point in time where he can create self-evolving machines that can surpass his own intelligence on every level.
Futurists like Ray Kurzweil, the father of Transhumanism, have predicted that by 2045 intelligent machines will begin to rule over Man in an event called the “Singularity.” Kurzweil predicts an evolutionary progress which becomes exponential because at a certain point science and technology begin to accelerate in what can only be described as a kind of Artificial Intelligence hyper-drive. Many in the scientific community and outside of it do not understand this principle of super-exponential growth. For example, beginning with giant computers using vacuum tubes, technology has evolved through transistors, microprocessors, DNA sequencing, magnetic storage and the Internet which all cause a decrease in device size, by using nanotechnology on a microscopic level. The exponential growth of the technology has created faster and faster speed as well as a quantum expansion of memory and computational capacity. In my book, "Mass Awakening," I explain where this trend will take us.
Kurzweil understands that this law of acceleration will cause a quantum growth in technologies like computers, genetics, nanotechnology, robotics, and artificial intelligence that will lead to the point where progress is so rapid that artificial intelligence in computers, robots, and androids will surpass human intelligence. At the same time this technology will radically transform human beings as they enhance their minds and bodies with genetic alterations, nanotechnology, and artificial intelligence. At this time many people will be a blend of technology and biology. At the point of the Singularity, machine intelligence will be far more powerful than all of human intelligence combined. Ultimately, if this technology continues, the machines will rule over Man.
In the Avengers: Age of Ultron movie artificial intelligence and super-robotics have created Ultron, who seeks to enslave Mankind with his super-intelligence and god-like abilities. Ultron in its early form was created by human scientists, but its artificial intelligence allowed it to self-evolve into a machine more intelligent and powerful than Man.
Unfortunately, none of this is the realm of science fiction; our world is rapidly moving towards the development of robots, androids, and cyborgs that will rule over Man. Military forces across the world, like the Russian military, are building robotic exoskeleton suits that will allow their soldiers to become super soldiers and technology already exists where machines can outthink humans in specific areas. At the same time more and more Americans in the Middle Class are losing their jobs to machines.
In Japan human looking and attractive robots are holding jobs as receptionists, and robots are working in bakeries, and medical robots are replacing nurses to assist doctors. Ray Kurzweil, the director of engineering for Google, anticipates that by 2029 robots will have achieved the level of human intelligence. Gartner, an information and technology company, projects that one-third of all jobs will be replaced by robots and machines by 2025. This means blue-collar jobs and white-collar professional careers like financial and sports reporters, online marketers, surgeons, and medical specialists are already in danger of being replaced by robots.
None of this is happening due to chance. The scientific elite are in the process of radically reducing the world’s population through wars, engineered plagues and famines, and so-called “freak weather.” Currently, this elite is destroying the middle class by rapidly eliminating their high paying jobs, and through wealth redistribution, even transferring the wealth of the middle class to Third World nations. The goal is to consolidate the wealth and power of the elite one percent and to create a global lower class that will act as slaves in a Scientific Dictatorship. Basically, the “progressives” are leading us into a future almost identical to the feudalism of the past. The movie Elysium illustrated an elite class who lived safely above Planet Earth in a kind of man made planet.
The scientific elite have created artificial intelligence in an effort to achieve a kind of immortality and increase their power. However, due to their denial of God’s existence, they are deceived into believing they themselves are gods. Ultimately, this faulty perception will cause their downfall. The Bible, which they believe is a metaphor or allegory, is in reality the supernaturally authored Word of God, and in it there are numerous prophecies which clearly outline the future of Mankind. At some point in the future Mankind will worship a man, whom the Bible calls the Antichrist. This is part of a technocratic matrix, where a False Prophet controls a cashless one world economic system and one world religious system. Every human being will probably become part human and part machine when they choose to accept the mark of the beast, which could be a nano-chip implant. This will create a computer-brain interface that could plug every person who accepts it into a World Brain or Hive Mind, which would have Artificial Intelligence.
In addition the Book of Revelation refers to men and women “worshipping the image of the beast,” after the beast or Antichrist is killed and undergoes some kind of resurrection. Potentially, that resurrection could involve the uploading of the Antichrist’s consciousness into a combination genetic clone and a robot/android/cyborg.
Obviously, this concept of the Antichrist becoming a clone/machine is hypothetical. But a careful reading of the Book of Revelation shows that it is possible. We do not know for certain exactly how the last days will play out; it is up to us to seek God’s guidance and prepare as best we can to weather the storm and do our final duty.
Credit to Paul Mc Guire