Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Cost of Disruption Continues to Collapse

The Disruption by CAVARTWORKS

One of the themes we continue to harp upon here at FutureJacked is that the settled and orderly life (and the systems set up to support that orderly existence) that so many (not all, but many) in the Western Industrial World have enjoyed for decades is coming unraveled as the foundations upon which it was built upon wash away under the changing tides of net negative social mood and a shift in technology allowing small groups to wield significant power to destroy.

The Old World, built as it was during an era of intensely positive social mood, governed by bureaucracies that were at least moderately efficient in not killing the goose that lays the golden eggs of good jobs and stable investment environments, and leveraging technologies of violence that tilted in favor of large-scale organizations (generally the thesis described in brief in Catastrophic Abundance) is dead. The vast majority just have not woken up to that fact. When they do, they will look around see a world with its infrastructure all laid out in nice, shiny, easily disrupted locations because of the assumptions made back in an era of peace and trust.

As mood continues to darken, things like this will continue to intrude on the psyche of that majority, reinforcing the downturn:

Threatening Robo-Calls Evacuate Thousands of Students in U.S., U.K. Schools

Thousands of students in several dozen schools across the United States and Great Britain were evacuated Monday after what appeared to be coordinated recorded threats of violence were called in, according to news reports and law enforcement officials who spoke to NBC News...
The formal response modern institutions are locked into guarantees widespread disruption at the most minor of perceived threats. It's as if society has an auto-immune disease and the slightest trigger can set off a cascading set of costly, disruptive, and time-consuming responses. And this particular incident didn't even involve a bomb or a gun. Imagine the disruption ramped up from here if a pipe bomb (even a fake one) had been planted as part of this Op...

John Robb has done a lot of work in this space over the years and you should be following his stuff.

But don't just read and think about it. There's more than sufficient evidence out there right now for you to realize you must - must - become more resilient. Grow a garden, have a little extra food on hand. Know what to do if the power goes out for four days, know your neighbors. Life is going to get much more unsettled in the coming decades. Act now to prepare so you are not caught like a deer in the headlights when things go off-script.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Threat Board May 2016

Crumble Canyon by Clay Brooks

In my last post, I mentioned I'd be hashing out some thoughts on structures to help us navigate the storm building up all around us. It's proving tougher than I thought. More to come and we may just muddle through it together.

In the meantime, we need to give another look at our threat board.

Rule #1: Check the Saudi Stock Market

I cannot continue to stress this enough - check the trend of the Saudi stock market (SASEIDX). Here is the one-year chart for perspective:
SASEIDX, Bloomberg
They continue to hold the line, but take a look at it from the perspective of the 5 year chart and you'll see what looks to me to be an unhealthy pattern. For you technical analysts out there, especially those who use the Elliott Wave toolkit, chart your own waves or have EWI do it for you and make up your own mind, but considering this news tidbit from Bloomberg today, looks like the "fundamentals" are beginning to reflect the chart:

Saudi Arabia Considers Paying Contractors With IOUs

Saudi Arabia has told banks in the country that it is considering giving contractors IOUs to settle some outstanding bills, according to people with knowledge of the discussions.

A projected budget deficit this year is prompting the government to weigh alternatives to limit spending. Contractors would receive bond-like instruments to cover the amount they are owed by the state which they could hold until maturity or sell on to banks, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.

Contractors have received some payments from the government in cash and the rest could come in "I-owe-you" notes, the people said...
I'll just leave that there for you to ponder. If you've ever had cash flow challenges, whether with your personal budget or in running a business, you know what this means.

As goes the Kingdom, so goes the Middle East

The Russian Nuclear Bogeyman

Putin is a bad man. Noted. But the absolutely mad rush by the Western elites to set Russia up as the next Great Satan is, in my mind, absolutely antithetical to US national interest and, frankly, the main interests of the major Western Powers, such as they are today.

Recently, we have a former UK general talking about how we are likely to see nuclear war with Russia in the near future.  This is on the heels of countless other articles churned out the various think tanks, policy offices, and government agencies, all equating Russia's attempts to re-assert her primacy in what she calls the Near Abroad to the full-court press of the old Soviet Union.

Russia is not the USSR. The idea you would expect Russia to quietly fold itself into a world system run by corporate chieftains and bankers whose brilliance was laid bare for all to see 2007-2008 and be pleased with march of NATO to within a few hundred kilometers of St. Petersburg is to misread Russian psychology and history with a level of mendacity not seen since the senility of the Spanish Empire. But you know what, our elites are just the men and women for that job.

My analogy continues to be, what would the US response be to China toppling the governments of Mexico and Canada, and installing their own puppet regimes there?

Somehow, the Western elites have managed to craft a policy that has aligned Russia with the radical Islamists in Iran and the Chinese. In a world where we should be aligned with Russia to face growing threats out of the Middle East and as a bulwark against he rise of China, we instead have actively worked to isolate her and drive her into the arms of our enemies.

Sadly, the worst part is, I actually agree with General Shirreffs from the article above - we very well may see a nuclear war with Russia. A war that even now is completely preventable. That was one of the driving reasons I wrote Nuclear Emergencies - we could very well see it within the next ten years.

Ranting aside, when analyzing the West's tensions with Russia, you generally need to drill down several paragraphs in news stories to get to any meat. Pay attention to increased troop placements, war games (which Russia routinely runs under scenarios which go nuclear), and, of course, what stock market charts tell us about social mood.

Secession Continues to be Mainstreamed...

Texas Secede Bumper Sticker

Pardon the abuse of the Queen's English there, but I continue to get sick at the continuing drumbeat (totally forecast by socionomics, I must state) of separatism and secession which continues to slowly grow in intensity here in the States. And yes, I'm looking at you, Texas.

But it isn't just Texas. Over ten US states have active (to some degree) secession movements. As we saw with the disintegration of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the USSR, and Yugoslavia - when large-scale political combinations built up over positive mood eras come apart, they can come apart quickly.

And for those who think it would be a swell idea, just remember, damn near every time, the first revolt fails...

A Tremulous Quiet

I'll leave the discussion of the upcoming US Presidential election alone for the moment. The DJIA continues its levitation act up up near 18,000. Whither it blows, we shall see - and that will help propel the campaign season in directions unimagined just a year ago.

At a more macro level, I recommend the following articles from The Archdruid Report as a way of describing some of the anger and frustration out there that the best and brightest continue to ignore and dismiss as nothing but the ravings of a bunch of ignorant, racist hicks who are too stupid to know how stupid they are and that they need to shut up and vote Blue:
Yes, in my model, socionomics is pumping the fuel into the system which ignites this anger, but Mr. Greer's discussion of how these things have worked out historically is well worth pondering.

More to come. Lot's more, sadly...