Thursday, April 30, 2009

Thinking About Action Items

I hope and expect this Suckers' Rally to continue on through the end of May. I still expect that we'll reach DJIA 8,800 at a minimum, but that is just me talking in general terms and using the DJIA as a social mood benchmark, NOT providing trading advice. If you trade based on any information provided at FutureJacked an angry dwarf may jackhammer your entire driveway while you are out shopping for survival supplies - and you may lose money.

This means we should have time to consider some immediate action items that could pay dividends later on as we slide into a chaotic summer.

Some Dominant Memes

We now have a general outline of the main ways this crisis will express itself:

  • The big banks are insolvent, kept afloat by lying about the value of their "assets"
  • The financial playerz and banksters have completely captured the Congress and Executive Branches, preventing radical reforms or imposition of severe consequences in a consistent manner (we're left with a scramble amongst the various pressure groups not to be "made an example of" while the rest of the playerz skate) and acting as a lightning rod for populist anger
  • Employment is cratering
  • The nest eggs of at least two generations have been savaged, and there is a simmering anger and fear rooted in that insecurity that will bubble along, to be released when Primary Wave 3 down (my best guess/count) commences (NOTE: initial posting said Cycle Wave 3, I meant Primary of Wave c, sorry)
  • Other memes of fear and insecurity are gaining strength, such as the hybrid flu making headlines, the ongoing implosion of Mexico (for the more aware out there) and the occasional stories out of Afghanistan and Iraq showing that all is not well in those places where the best and bravest of a generation of U.S. soldiery is executing plans made by the Beltway geniuses
  • Gardening, "survivalism" and other pathways to self-reliance that come at the expense of a hyper-efficient and brittle "just-in-time" consumerist and Big Ag system are on the rise
  • We had a "test run" of riots in Europe (that have since fizzled out)

Near Term Concerns

What to make of those themes (and I've just chosen the ones that I think will have near-term consequences) other than they make great "doomer porn" and have all lost some of their urgency to one degree or another?

Well, when the levee breaks on this Suckers' Rally and mood goes deeply angry and fearful again, I expect that much of that anger and fear will flow down the channels that have already been 'dug' in the minds of our hundreds of millions of fellow citizens. Try not to get swamped in the flash flood.

Banks: the only thing holding this system together is faith, hope and the charity of the federales. There are no viable short-term alternatives to our fractional reserve, fiat money system. In my opinion we will walk the knife's edge between systemic collapse and self-delusion for a few more months, then we'll see bank failures rip across the world. Be prepared to be frozen out at the ATM and online. Have a plan, have some physical cash and make sure you have a safety net of people you can trust - or learn to trust.

Big Finance: This entire sector is a dead man walking. Again, the conceptual barriers inherent in accepting the fact that the big money machine is dead are what stand in the way of sweeping away this now-corrupt system of Wall Street - Washington, D.C. crony capitalism. The next time AIG execs hear about people marching on their homes, it won't be irritated white collar types on buses. Think pitchforks and Molotov Cocktails. If you or a loved one are part of that world and still have a job in it - do please have a Plan B that includes a getaway car that is not obviously the car of a rich man, be able to dress down and have a grab-and-go bag for you and the family.

Unemployment: If you still have a job, good for you. Have a plan for informal self-employment of some kind, if possible. Whether it is selling the "stuff" you accumulated during the boom, providing skilled labor like plumbing or making a go of intensive urban ag - be ready to think more like an entrepreneur than an office drone.

Disease, War, Riots: Sometimes luck is all that can save you - so I don't have any great tips as regards pandemic disease. As for war and riots, make your own luck by mapping out likely places for riots. If you live near an armory or military base, just know that every time a state has a collapse in order, those places are high on the list for looting. As part of your entrepreneurial thinking, have a plan to "employ" or otherwise influence young males in your locale. Whether it is cash, booze, food or ammo, young unemployed males can either work for you or against you. The human race evolved over countless millenia with young males as the headhunters, the raiders of enemy tribes, the risk-takers. Make them part of your "tribe."

Politics: It won't be politics as usual once this next wave begins washing over the country. Not by a long shot. Do keep an eye out for developments. Watch for the growth of Third Parties. Know that things will get ugly. Be prepared to choose sides.

GROW A GARDEN: I'm not sure how to emphasize this enough. I'm not talking about feeding you and your family solely from your efforts. If you can do that, you don't need any encouragement. Right now, get down in the dirt, start learning how to grow. Understand how weather can screw you over. Consider building a Grow Dome or Greenhouse. Get dirty. Have a failed crop or two. Learn now. The future will not be like the past. Disruptions and shortages will be a way of life. Mitigate them to the best of your ability.

And don't rely on cheap Big Box Store tools. I strongly suggest you get real tools made to last for years of hard work. The best place I know to go is Easy Digging Tools. I suggest you visit the site and pick up tools that could become some of your best friends in the coming years.

What to Avoid

You have to avoid the lockdown that occurs in the brains of many during times of massive change. You absolutely must get your brain wrapped around the potential for a total collapse of all that is familiar to you. There will be much good that comes of this. Getting there will be hard. Many will wind up as mental invalids, drooling in their beer, brains locked in a pattern of wishing that the old world of cheap credit and cheaper materialism will return. We may wind up losing much of the population to shock over much of the summer. It may take months if not years for many to recover. Don't lose those precious months.

Be prepared.

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