Can Any Nation-State Survive the Era of Inequality and Scarcity?

We have an extraordinary opportunity to transform our unsustainable “waste is growth” economy and toxic inequality to sustainable systems that optimize well-being rather than collapse. The possibility that the United States could fragment is no longer a marginalized topic. Maps displaying various post-U.S. regional configurations accompany essays exploring how and […]

Once Risk-On Switches to Risk-Off, the Bottom Is Far Lower Than Anyone Believes Possible

So here we are, witnessing the switch from risk-on to risk-off in real time. All bubbles share common characteristics: during the euphoric expansion, participants are richly rewarded for buying every dip and for confidently embracing the belief that this time it’s different. (Exactly how it’s different changes from bubble to […]

The Long Cycles Have All Turned: Look Out Below

But alas, humans do not possess god-like powers, they only possess hubris, and so all bubbles pop: the more extreme the bubble, the more devastating the pop. Long cycles operate at such a glacial pace they’re easily dismissed as either figments of fevered imagination or this time it’s different. But […]

Why Inflation Is a Runaway Freight Train

The value of these super-abundant follies will trend rapidly to zero once margin calls and other bits of reality drastically reduce demand. Inflation, deflation, stagflation–they’ve all got proponents. But who’s going to be right?The difficulty here is that supply and demand are dynamic and so there are always things going […]

We Don’t Talk About Collapse To Revel In It, We Talk About Collapse to Prevent It

If one possible result of the current system is collapse, realizing the system itself must be changed isn’t doom-and-gloom, it’s problem-solving. Those of us who discuss collapse are generally dismissed as doom-and-gloomers, the equivalent of people who watch dash-cam videos of vehicle crashes all day, reveling in disaster. Why would […]

Two Things to be Thankful For

Now on to the good things to eat–yowzah! Giving thanks for bits of beauty and good things to eat. Wishing you a multitude of both.As you’ll see from this selection of recent photos, I find good things to eat beautiful. But let’s start with a fiery sort of beauty: And […]

When Risk and Opportunity Become Personal

The opportunity to lower our exposure to risk is always present in some fashion, but embracing this opportunity becomes critical when precarity and change-points rise like restless seas. The Chinese characters that comprise the equivalent of “crisis” are famously–and incorrectly– translated as “danger” and “opportunity.” This mis-translation has reached the […]

When Everything Is Artifice and PR, Collapse Beckons

The notion that consequence can be as easily managed as PR is the ultimate artifice and the ultimate delusion. The consequences of the drip-drip-drip of moral decay is difficult to discern in day-to-day life. It’s easy to dismiss the ubiquity of artifice, PR, spin, corruption, racketeering, fraud, collusion and narrative […]

The Fed’s Moral Hazard Monster Is About to Lay Waste to “Wealth”

If the Fed set out to destroy the financial system, they’re very close to finishing the job. If you set out to destroy markets and the financial system, your most important weapon is moral hazard, the disconnection of risk and consequence. You disconnect risk from consequence by rewarding those making […]

Top 1% Gains More Wealth Than the Combined GDPs of Japan, Germany, UK, France, India and Italy, Bottom 50%–You Get Nothing

Given that political power in America is a pay-to-play auction in which the highest bidder wins, how this incomprehensibly lopsided ownership of wealth plays out is an open question. Wealth inequality easily falls into an abstraction unless we contextualize it in meaningful ways. I’ve annotated two St. Louis Federal Reserve […]

Paging Isaac Newton: Time to Buy the Top of This Bubble

Despite Newton’s tremendous intelligence and experience, he fell victim to the bubble along with the vast herd of credulous greedy punters. One of the most famous examples of smart people being sucked into a bubble and losing a packet as a result is Isaac Newton’s forays in and out of […]

Look Out Below: Why a Rug-Pull Flash Crash Makes Perfect Sense

It makes perfect financial sense to crash the market and no sense to reward the retail options marks by pushing it higher. An extraordinary opportunity to scoop up mega-millions in profits has arisen, and grabbing all this free money makes perfect financial sense. Now the question is: will those who […]

The Contrarian Trade of the Decade: The Dollar Refuses to Die

Which is more valuable: Wall Street’s debt/asset bubbles or the global empire? You can’t have both, so choose wisely. The consensus makes sense: the U.S. dollar is doomed because the Federal Reserve and the Treasury will conjure trillions of new dollars out of thin air to prop up the status […]

Eight Reasons Scarcities Will Increase Rather Than Evaporate

Who knew it would be so easy? All we have to do is collect urine and we’ll be flying our electric air taxi tomorrow! While the private-jet crowd is busy selling a future of 1 billion electric vehicles, 1 billion windmills, 1 billion solar arrays, hundreds of thousands of electric […]

One Solution to Soaring Food Prices: Start Your 2022 Garden Now

There is a great deal of joy and satisfaction in gardening; benefits include saving money, eating healthier, sharing the bounty with others and reducing the derealization / derangement of modern life. There are few reasons to expect food prices to drop and many reasons to expect even higher prices ahead.Headlines […]

Whistleblowers Torpedo Facebook and Pfizer: Who’s Next?

If America’s total dependence on corporate profits and stock market/housing bubbles is just fine because the bubbles just keep inflating, there’s nothing left but rot. It’s becoming a routine story: a whistleblower emerges with copious documentation, revealing the ethical / managerial rot at the very top of Corporate America icons. […]

Revenge of the Real World

The status quo response would be amusing if the consequences weren’t so dire. Rather than stare at empty shelves, you have two options for distraction: you can don a virtual-reality headset and cavort with dolphins in the metaverse, or you can trade various forms of phantom wealth that always go […]

Will China Pop the Global Everything Bubble? Yes

The line of dominoes that is already toppling extends around the entire global economy and financial system. Plan accordingly. That China faces structural problems is well-recognized. The list of articles in the August issue of Foreign Affairs dedicated to China reflects this: Xi’s Gamble: the Race to Consolidate Power and […]

Santa’s Revenge: Everyone Front-Running My Rally, You Get Nothing

Santa is generally a jolly fellow, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t take pleasure in meting our well-deserved punishment to the greedy. Nothing is more predictable than a stock market rally starting in early November and running into mid-January–Santa’s rally. And since it’s so predictable, why not front-run the rally […]

Skimpflation, Shrinkflation and the Rising Rebellion of Workers and Consumers

While Corporate America is focusing on preserving its precious profits, its customers and workforce are rebelling by walking away. We all see shrinkflation on a daily basis: the 16 ounce container is now 13 ounces, the breakfast cereal box is now so narrow it topples over, and so on. More […]