The Epidemic Nobody Talks About: Burnout

Burnout makes everyone uncomfortable, so it’s largely a silent epidemic. Epidemics are not just biological in origin. A strong case can be made that a silent epidemic has been sweeping the nation for years, an epidemic few acknowledge: burnout. People say “I’m really burned out,” and most of the time […]

Checking In On Five Long-Term Cycles

The decline phase of S-Curves can be gradual or a cliff-dive. Way back in 2007 I charted five long-wave cycles that I reckoned consequential: 1. Public debt (accumulating federal deficits) 2. Inflation 3. Oil (energy) 4. Interest rates 5. Speculative fever Fifteen years ago, my chart look-ahead was about three […]

Curveballs in the Housing Bubble Bust

All these curveballs will further fragment the housing market. Oh for the good old days of a nice, clean housing bubble and bust as in 2004-2011: subprime lending expanded the pool of buyers, liar loans and loose credit created speculative leverage, the Federal Reserve provided excessive liquidity and the watchdogs […]

Herd on the Street

The casino has become complex and there are no easy answers or predictable paths. The Wall Street herd had it easy from 2009 to 2021. Life was simple and life was good: markets were easy to predict. As long as the Federal Reserve kept interest rates near-zero and increased its […]

The Problem with Money

I’m simply pointing out “money” isn’t simple, and “backing money with X” leads to questions about the nature of “money,” collateral and the fluidity and complexity of the social construct we call “money.” The problem with money is it isn’t just one thing. We think it’s one thing because we […]

What Happens When Complexity Unravels?

Those glancing at the appearances will be assured all is well and it will all sort itself out. Those who look behind the screen will move away as fast as they can. When finances tighten, there are two choices: cut expenses or increase revenues. Monopolies, cartels and governments can increase […]

The Contrarian Curse

What if all the new consensus memes are as wrong as the ones they replaced? I have the Contrarian Curse, and I have it bad. The Contrarian Curse is: as soon as the herd adopts your previously contrarian view, you start questioning the new consensus, just as you questioned the […]

Is Housing a Bubble That’s About to Crash?

We are all prone to believing the recent past is a reliable guide to the future. But in times of dynamic reversals, the past is an anchor thwarting our progress, not a forecast. Are we heading into another real estate bubble / crash?Those who say “no” see the housing shortage […]

Not the 1970s or the 1920s: We’re in Uncharted Territory

All of these similarities and differences are setting up a sea-change revaluation of capital, resources and labor that will be on the same scale as the extraordinary transitions of the 1920s and 1970s. The awakening of inflation after decades of slumber has triggered a flurry of comparisons to the 1970saccompanied […]

Doom Porn and Empty Optimism

If we can’t discern the difference between doom-porn and investing in self-reliance, then solutions will continue to be out of reach. I’m often accused of calling 783 of the last two bubble pops (or was it 789? Forgive the imprecision). Like many others who have publicly explored the notion that […]

Crash Is King

This may be one of many revaluations of capital vis a vis labor and resources and core vis a vis periphery. You’ve heard the expression “cash is king.” Very true. But it’s equally true that “crash is king:” when speculative excesses collapse under their own extremes, the crash crushes all […]

Staring Into the Abyss

So sorry, but “you’ll own nothing and be miserable–oops, we mean happy, yes, deliriously happy” doesn’t count as a solution. The global economy is perched on the edge of an abyss, and averting our gaze doesn’t actually lessen the risk, it increases it because problems which aren’t faced directly and […]

What’s Your Plan A, B and C?

Nothing unravels quite as dramatically as systems which are presumed to be rock-solid and forever. Here’s the default Bullish case for stocks and the economy: let’s call it Plan Zero. 1. The economy and equities can grow forever (a.k.a. infinite growth on a finite planet in a waste-is-growth Landfill Economy) […]

A Couple of Thoughts on Big Numbers

Let’s ask “cui bono” of the $33 trillion in added debt and the $9 trillion added to GDP: to whose benefit? I’ve been thinking about how hard it is to get our heads around big numbers. Technical analyst Sven Henrich (@NorthmanTrader) recently provided one method to grasp the immense wealth […]

Debt Saturation: Off the Cliff We Go

When the system can’t borrow more and distribute the insolvency, it implodes I started writing about debt saturation back in 2011. The basic idea is we can continue to borrow and spend as long as one of two conditions hold: 1) real (inflation-adjusted) income is rising, so there’s more income […]

Yes, It Is Different This Time

Most people would be horrified by a 40% decline in their “investments.” When bubbles pop, speculative assets don’t drop 40%, they drop 90% or even 98%. The irony of the sudden panic about real-world inflation generated by rising wages is two-fold: 1. The status quo never mentions the rampant inflation […]

Which Leads to Doom, Which Leads to Revival: Free Money or Frugality?

Clinging to delusional fantasies of “free wealth” won’t lead to positive outcomes, any more than swallowing handfuls of meds leads to “free health.” Under various guises, labels and rationalizations, “free money” has now been established as the default policy fix for any problem. Stock market falters? The solution: free money! […]

The Demographics of Financial Doom

Whether we admit it or not, collapse is the default “solution.” That destiny has already written by demographics. The saying “demographics is destiny” encapsulates the reality that demographics–rising or falling trends of births and deaths–energize or constrain economies and societies regardless of other conditions. Demographics are long-term trends, but the […]

For Freak’s Sake, People, Even the Crash Test Dummies Are Nervous

Those trusting the Fed to be visibly weak, corrupt and incompetent forever might be in for an unwelcome surprise. When even the crash test dummies are nervous, it pays to pay attention. Being in a mild crash isn’t too bad if all the protective devices inflate as intended. But in […]

The Global Order Has Cracked

Nations that fail to adapt to the end of financialization and globalization will unravel. We all sense the global order has cracked. The existing order is breaking down on multiple fronts. Those who have benefited from this arrangement are doing everything in their power to patch the cracks, while those […]