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Why 2011 Is Not '2008'

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With many investors now having descended back to full-fledged “panic mode”, it is obviously the perfect time to explain why 2011 could never be another event like the Crash of ’08. In distinguishing 2011 from 2008, many of the distinctions involve the degree of collapse which is possible/probable. Thus, I am not rejecting the suggestion that we are on the brink of another “crash”, but rather pointing out that the nature of any such crash would be remarkably different.

While most sectors of the economy (and most markets) are in worse shape than when the Crash of ’08 commenced, there are a couple of sectors which are quite clearly much stronger than in 2008. When we explore this dichotomy, it will quickly become obvious why events could not repeat the scripted “crash” of 2008.

Much less leverage in commodities:

Though there are many significant differences between 2011 and 2008, I will argue that none are as significant as the dramatically different dynamics which exist in commodities markets today versus the Summer of 2008.

In 2008, commodities markets were more leveraged (on the “long” side) than at any other time in the history of the global economy (and by a wide margin). Not only is this (arguably) the largest/strongest “bull market” for commodities in the history of the global economy, but it is the first commodities-boom since the explosion in the “hedge-fund” gamblers. These reckless speculators amplify volatility, risk, and leverage in any/every market they touch.

It is important to understand that there was absolutely no reason for commodities markets to crash in 2008 (just as there is absolutely no reason today). There is no plausible economic scenario in the future where the world economy will have sufficient amounts of most commodities. We are headed unequivocally toward a future of chronic commodities shortages.

The collapse of commodities in 2008 was nothing less than an “assassination” – an assassination which was only possible because of the unprecedented levels of leverage which existed in those markets. The obvious parallel is the silver market.

By any “fundamental” basis, the price of silver should already be in excess of $100/oz today. Yet in May the anti-bullion cabal was able to manage a ruthless and signficant take-down of the silver market – despite the fact that inventories are exhausted, “market sentiment” has never been more bullish, and silver was still grossly under-priced at $50/oz. How was this possible? Via leverage. In the case of the silver market, the “excessive leverage” had to be “manufactured” (artificially) through the five, rapid-fire increases in “margin requirements” by the CME Group. Even though this leverage was totally artificial, the banksters were able to take-down the market of the world’s most undervalued commodity by over 30% in a matter of days.

In the summer of 2008, not only was all of the commodities leverage very, very “real”, but it was at a level which dwarfed what existed in the silver market in May of this year. As a result, the Crash of ’08 saw plunges in commodities prices which roughly ranged from 50% to 75%. More leverage means greater manipulation is possible. Period.

In the summer of 2011, leverage in commodities markets is much, much lower than in the summer of 2008. For this we can thank the propaganda-machine and the banksters themselves. Ever since commodities began their inevitable bounce-back, beginning in 2009 we have had a farcical (and very public) “debate” about literally “inflation versus deflation”.

Since deflation is unequivocally bearish for all commodities (but not gold and silver as “money”), the relentless propaganda in never allowing this “debate” to die down for even a single minute has not only greatly reduced the ratio of “longs” versus “shorts” (compared to 2008), but those who are long are much more cautious than their 2008 peers.

In 2008, we had a massive, uninterrupted “run” in commodities markets more than two years in duration.  Since 2008, every time there is any sort of “spike” or “froth” in commodities markets, the deflation “Chicken Littles” start their shrieking and the banksters start another shorting “operation”. The result is much, much less overall exposure. Less leverage means less “crash potential” – a lot less.

Weaker financial sector:

With Asian economies (and other “developing markets”) still in the early stages of their own “industrialization”, the commodities complex is still in the early stages of the longest/strongest bull-market in history. The same cannot be said about the financial sectors of Western economies.

In 2008, the reckless Ponzi-schemes of the compulsive gamblers in Western banking had just begun to implode. They had not (yet) emptied-out government coffers in bankster welfare. They had not (yet) destroyed much of their own businesses – through scamming countless victims with blatant acts of fraud. Thus with a handful of blank-cheques and a few, convenient “slush funds” these fraudsters were able to avoid instantly vaporizing themselves.

However, $trillions in unrealized losses from their scams remain on their own books – despite best efforts to off-load it all onto the balance sheets of sovereign governments, and/or Ben “I buy anything” Bernanke. Fraudulent accounting rules may allow these banking Oligarchs to hide their crippling losses, but the invisible “albatrosses” remain around their necks.

Compounding their folly, having avoided even token efforts at “regulation” these compulsive gamblers immediately reverted to placing more massive, leveraged bets in equities markets and their own “casino” (the derivatives market). Give a cocaine-addict $100 and he will run to the nearest “crack house”. Give a compulsive gambler $100 and he will run to the nearest casino. Our servile governments and central bank “facilitators” fronted these gambling-addicts $trillions more (of our money). And now, in any “crash” scenario those bets will also implode – and add to their existing, hidden $trillions in losses.

While bankster losses are set to hit new, record levels, these ultimate-parasites have already emptied out the Treasuries of literally every government in the Western world (and Japan). They have also totally exhausted the tolerance of the “little people” living in these nations. Through first scamming them ruthlessly with their acts of fraud, and then forcing them to cover the banksters’ gambling losses – and now facing punishing “austerity” so that our governments can (supposedly) pay-down the added debt from those $trillions in bankster hand-outs – there will be no more public bankster welfare. What the corrupt (and un-audited) central banks do privately (via their printing presses) is another matter entirely.

With much larger losses, and much less potential for mooching hand-outs, the banker-parasites will not be able to induce another “crash” in 2011 without wounding themselves far more severely. As a reminder, in the world of these reckless gamblers losses far in excess of 100% are not only possible, but likely. The 30,000% loss suffered by Morgan Stanley in a credit default swap “bet” with Citigroup is a good example. The banksters are sitting on $10’s of trillions of these bets, in credit default swap markets alone.

Much more insolvent Western governments:

Of all of the changes between 2008 and today, none is as large, obvious, and frightening as the collapse of Western solvency. Between the $trillions doled-out in bankster welfare, and the $trillions in “emergency” payments to the banksters’ victims, there has never been such a large and simultaneous explosion in sovereign debts in history – with the vast majority of this increased debt being piled onto Western economies which were arguably already insolvent.

At the same time that Western debts (and interest payments) have soared exponentially, Western revenues have fallen off a cliff – the worst “revenue crisis” in the history of our economies. It comes from a combination of taxing the very-wealthy at the lowest rates in history, while having already squeezed-dry everyone else.

Thus, in any 2011 “crash scenario” Western governments would be looking at the following parameters:

1) A further collapse in revenues.

2) A massive increase in interest payments on debt as soaring total-debt and rising interest rates hit these governments with a double-whammy.

3) A massive increase in the need for “emergency” transfer payments from their shell-shocked populations.

4) No one (anywhere in the world) who is prepared to lend another dime to these spendthrift Western governments.

What this means is that in any crash scenario there are two (and only two) possibilities for Western governments:

a) Massive public and private defaults (on $10’s of trillions in bad debts), something never before collectively experienced in the global economy.

b) Hyperinflationary money-printing, as governments with no revenues, no creditors, and massive spending requirements have no source of “funding” except the banksters’ printing presses.

Understand what is really being implied by these scenarios. We will either experience first (a) and then (b) – or else our governments will simply skip-ahead straight to (b). Either way, it is 100% certain that most Western currencies would plunge to near-zero which (naturally) implies the same thing for the $10’s of trillions in Western “bonds” which are denominated in those currencies. If a $1,000 bill is worthless, then so too will be any $1,000 bond denominated in the same, debauched currency.

Gold and silver much, much stronger:

The Crash of ’08 denoted the final death of a treasured, bankster myth: that gold and silver no longer represented “safe havens” as asset classes – epitomized by the bankers’ ridiculous cliché that gold was now “a barbarous relic”.

Upon bouncing-back from the orchestrated take-downs of commodities, gold and silver have emerged unequivocally as the, two superior asset-classes. Relentless buying of gold and silver has re-emerged around the world – everywhere except in the world of Western bankers, and their “insulated” (i.e. brainwashed”) populations.

Despite this decade-long bull market, gold and silver collectively account for little more than 2% of global financial assets – far below previous, historic levels. While frightened sheep ran away from gold and silver in the Crash of ’08, they would obviously be running toward those glittering metals in any future market-collapse.

With not enough metal to “wedge” many more investors into the gold and silver sectors, I have argued strenuously the gold and silver miners (racking-up “record profits” quarter after quarter) will soon decouple from all other classes of equities – as those who cannot get their hands on bullion will be forced to settle for the-next-best-thing.

As I continue to acknowledge both publicly and privately, we cannot “rule out” a severe (total) collapse in our economies, suffered as the result of a systemic debt-default scenario – and massive public and private bankruptcies. The clueless idiots in charge of our governments have absolutely no idea about either what the real problems are in our economies, or what to do about those problems. Meanwhile, the greed-driven psychopaths in Western banking are capable of anything – including their own, inadvertent suicide.

I simply remind investors of two realities: all investing represents betting upon “probabilities”, and the most-obvious probability is that the banksters and politicians will continue to attempt to “solve all their problems” with their printing presses. This would mean all paper assets reversing higher, commodities doing better still, and gold and silver (and the miners) doing best of all.

The other reality is that should the banker-psychopaths opt for “suicide” that both gold and silver bullion (and the shares of the miners) have already proven they could withstand such a crisis (in 2008) – and in any future “crash” they would be universally preferred by investors (either before or after “cash” goes to zero).

There are two very divergent scenarios looming before us. Fortunately there is one strategy which will suffice in all worlds.

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Jeff Nielson
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written by Jeff Nielson, August 11, 2011
A very enjoyable clip - even with the knuckle-draggers Grant was surrounded with.

My favorite nickname for the gold standard is "The Golden Shackles". I liked the part of the clip where (to paraphrase) Grant was asked about how much "rope" (i.e. flexibility) our politicians needed to have with fiscal/monetary policy - and Grant quipped that he would like to see most of that "rope" used to BIND the politicians.

This is what this so-called "debate" always is reduced to, and I say "so-called" because there is ONE TRUTH here, and it is obvious. When politicians and/or bankers have the "flexibility" to create money at THEIR WHIM, it usually results in massive fraud/theft of the general population - and it ALWAYS ends in disaster.

Thus, after 2,000 years of "experimentation" with fiat currencies, our species has PROVED that it is INCAPABLE of existing in a stable economy without the ANCHOR (or "shackles") of gold to RESTRAIN fiscal/monetary policy to WITHIN sustainable parameters.

It's like having an engine with a "throttle" control which has some "check" in place, to prevent the throttle from being pushed to "maximum" - with the reason being that at maximum throttle the engine could "overload" (and explode) at any time.

What the people who argue AGAINST a gold standard are saying is that despite the OBVIOUS RISKS of removing our "Golden Shackles" (inevitable financial destruction) that we somehow "need" this "freedom" to destroy ourselves. They WANT an inherently unstable system.

As a SPECIES which tries to outlaw and prevent SUICIDE, it is obviously one of our most basic principles of civilization that we should AVOID scenarios leading to self-destruction. In fact, those arguing AGAINST a gold standard have NEVER been really concerned about giving our governments "more flexibility to help people" - since the people who come out with that ridiculous line are ALWAYS among the GREEDIEST of the greedy.

Simply, the PREDATORS don't want anything which "limits" their ability to prey upon others.
bobbbny
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written by bobbbny, August 11, 2011
Here is an excellent interview of Jim Grant, publisher of Grants Interest Rate Observer. He has been at it for over 30 years now, and as astute investors are aware, the bond market is much, much smarter than the stock market.
Watch as he repels the over talking attempts of Joke Kearnon, and watch as he repels the dim witted probes by the clueless Steve Leasman, who seems to keep bumping up against the truth, but can't get his small intellect to grasp it. This, by the way, is what the sheeple are fed as financial truth, sound bites from CNBC chuckleheads.
Here it is, the final act in the death of fiat and the rise of a new, sound money.

http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000038647



Brian Boutilier
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written by Brian Boutilier, August 09, 2011
Perhaps they are confusing ratings with battery sizes...
Jeff Nielson
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written by Jeff Nielson, August 08, 2011
Samix, I almost forgot to reply to your earlier comment about Jim Sinclair. Here I will tip my hat to him (and his site) for helping ME learn to understand these derivatives markets.

His daily "chatter" on these financial WMD's helped me along in that "osmosis" process... smilies/wink.gif
Jeff Nielson
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written by Jeff Nielson, August 08, 2011
Chad, Samix, BOTH Greenspan and Buffett were using that SAME line (like they were reading from a script). smilies/grin.gifsmilies/grin.gifsmilies/grin.gif

I already jumped on Buffett when he parroted that line (on our forum)...oh yeah, and I also had a good laugh about Buffett's "quadruple-A" remark. I don't know if they should let the old man ad-lib any more - looks like he could be going "Reagan" on us?

http://www.bullionbullscanada.com/index.php?option=com_kunena&Itemid=122&func=view&catid=17&id=10785#10829

samix
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written by samix, August 08, 2011
LOL, jeff listen to what greenspan has to say, the 'father of all monetory experts'

and you know what the co-host of the show, or prolly another budding expert cant seem to be able to hold his laughter, I think that the bankster's should stop their stooges from making media presentation post the age of 60, hehe

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6vi528gseA&feature=player_embedded
Hank Harrington
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written by Chad McNamara, August 08, 2011
I watched Obama's speech today.

He said Warren Buffet, whose word means nothing anymore in my opinion, said that he thinks USA should have the AAAA rating.

I realize Buffet is trying to help his country by saying things he knows is not true, but in reality he is prolonging the inevitable and making the crisis worse in the end.
samix
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written by samix, August 08, 2011
Jim Sinclair: The pile of OTC derivatives is over $1 quadrillion. After 2008, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) adopted a new method of valuing them called value to maturity. Value to maturity assumes all of them will function, which is a cartoon. The derivatives pile hasn’t contracted. Basically, it has expanded, but value to maturity reduced the notional value from over $1 quadrillion to under $700 trillion. The amount outstanding is the same as it was in the first place.
samix
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written by samix, August 08, 2011
jeff, I am wondering if there is another shell game that is being played by the bankster's and their little brothers (rating agencies).

First downgrade from AAA to AA+, then after some days PRETEND that the American economy is growing and then again upgrade to AAA.

On the other hand you should just check out the talking heads on bloomberg trying to depict this downgrade as totally insignificant, one 'expert' on bloomberg said that this was a 'political downgrade' and if I am not wrong, then I think I heard that warren buffet said that the US should have quadruple A rating.
Jeff Nielson
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written by Jeff Nielson, August 08, 2011
Norbull, it's a shame I can't simply "tag" all of my commentaries with discussions on a few of these issues which crop-up again and again as "tangents". smilies/cheesy.gif

With all my "warnings" on confiscation, I begin with the following observation: IF confiscation took place, then any/all bullion held in "funds" or "accounts" (and stored in bank vaults) WOULD be confiscated. Point-and-click and it's GONE.

It is also yet another reason why when the mainstream press DOES say something nice about bullion they ALWAYS (absolutely 100% of the time) try to push people toward GLD and SLV.

Like you, I don't think our governments have the "stomach" to knock-down doors (and then walls) looking for bullion which we MIGHT no longer possess. However, if you're asking me if I think our corrupt, banker-serving governments are capable of "point and click", then my answer would be 100% affirmative.

P.S. Note that a safety deposit box (in legal terms) is SLIGHTLY more secure than holding bullion in either an "account" or ETF.
Norbull
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written by Norbull, August 08, 2011
Yet again, brilliantly perceptive writing Jeff! I've also just watched James Turk interviewing Jim Sinclair at the GATA conference (on goldmoney-youtube.)
I'd like to make a couple of points. The fear of confiscation (not mentioned above but in my mind!) Assuming that the bulk of gold bullion is in Fort Knox and West Point (as very well described by Jim Rickards in his KWN interview last week) the bulk of the bullion is already held by the US Treasury -- so would the government realistically go to the trouble of another confiscation? I personally think that the US citizens are safe from this possibility. On the other hand, the British Government got rid of most of its gold, so I would think that the British are more likely to suffer a confiscation than the US.
A former British politician (Matthew Pariss) who writes for The (London) Times had an interesting article this last weekend. He had funds in his account ready to pay a tax bill. However, on walking past a up-market London hotel he suddenly remembered that they had a gold bullion broker in the reception. So on the spur of the moment he went in and finding they had sold-out of gold, he came out with 20kg of silver bullion bars in his briefcase (and had placed an order for a future delivery of gold.)
So your article and these other actions makes me feel that there's less risk of a great drop in PM values, I think that there might ultimately be a confiscation risk in the UK greater than that in the US, and the general public who hadn't previously considered gold is now starting to wake up, i.e. the brainwashing is wearing off.
Unfortunately the vast majority of people are going to suffer through having little in savings but a need to survive a period with a high unemployment risk whilst printing is inflating away their debt. The very wealthy will survive, and those on benefits will still get by, but the bulk of us are going to have a bad time being taxed to fund bank bailouts and those on benefits (assuming we have income to be taxed).

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