It would almost appear that Netflix was holding their ‘Pandemic’ series for an outbreak. We have one now – hopefully not as virulent as it appears and with a lower mortality rate than common flu. Mercenary move by Netflix.
On another mercenary front, the tragic death of Kobe Bryant this morning was not wasted news on the vendors at the flea market. I walked through this morning and within minutes saw vendors tearing through their nearly worthless 1990s basketball cards looking for anything Kobe. You can’t blame them, since rookie cards quickly short up to $60, $6000, and even one card selling for $60,000 this morning on ebay.
Unfortunately – this is how we (the smartest beings in the universe that we know of) force each other to be.
Despite lots of looking – we still haven’t found life – nor intelligent life – which would probably come very much to the surprise of the authors of this Scientific American article from 1943 – we haven’t even found vegetation on Mars yet!
In the United States, we are spiraling towards dictatorship with the antiquated two-party system but it isn’t the only option (and radicals like me are no longer the only ones calling for change).
We have officially entered a September that no one saw coming. The entire cryptocurrency market is in a serious bloodbath with Ethereum taking the hardest hits. The Tech sector of the stock markets (along with the continued bleeding of emerging markets) are getting pummelled. The core of the US Government, the White House and the US Presidency have been bombed by a New York Times anonymous editorial that tells us that not only is Trump bat shit crazy and as badly informed about world events as a fifth grader – but that there is also a cadre of people he thought were loyalists who are actively working against his bad ideas and protecting us from within.
Knowing Trump, this means he is about to go on an insane witchhunt and start beheading his minions on the least cause. The US government is going to be shaken by this – even more than it already is. Meanwhile a senate confirmation hearing for a young, dangerous, and authoritarian leaning Supreme Court judge is underway at the same time as hearings on social media giants are being grilled about Russian meddling in US elections.
The markets are in turmoil already and the worst is yet to come. Trump is just getting started on the crazy train. Knowing that there are people working against him is going to take him further over the edge. Bad decisions will follow.
The worst part of it is that given what we already know about the Russian meddling in the US election – he shouldn’t have been allowed to run in the first place – but since he has been in office, he has completely reshaped the US judiciary, the tax code, and more in ways that cannot be reversed. The damage has already been done and frankly, I don’t really see a way back from the precipice. Authoritarianism looms large in the US future.
The stage has been set for a massive financial collapse. I’m not saying that it is coming today or tomorrow or next week or even next year – because the masters of finance have become very good at juggling the bills back and forth. But the bill is going to have to be paid. At the moment, we are like a bad credit risk with fifteen credit cards who is using balance transfers and cash advances to keep the bill collector from coming. As long as they keep issuing him new credit cards, he can keep up appearances. The U.S. is this person. The U.S. markets are the balancing act.
In terms of the cryptomarkets and the stock markets – if I had more money, I would put it into both. I would watch top companies like Apple, Netflix, Amazon and IBM take nosedives and I would do my best to catch those falling knives. One thing for sure, I would stay away from bank stocks right now. I would stay away from car companies and luxury brands. I would stay away from real estate and I would stay away from anything that needs a booming economy to survive. Staple foods, dollar stores, bargain markets, and things that people won’t do without. And, since you know me – you know that I would also put money in Bitcoin, Litecoin, Digibyte and I’m taking a chance on this one but Ethereum Classic.
I think that Ethereum is on it’s last legs – it’s already dropped more than 20% in the past day. Regulation and attacks from all sides have beaten it down to the point that it may not recover. It will bring thousands of tokens down with it. I’m not rooting for this – but it seems to be happening and I can see more ways for it to fail than to succeed.
If Ethereum does fail, something will move into it’s place. Ethereum Classic ($ETC), Tron ($TRX), Neo ($NEO), Stellar ($XLM), EOS ($EOS), and when it is completed Cardano ($ADA) all offer platforms which could replace Ethereum – or maybe it will be something else entirely. Nobody knows.
That’s the thing with the crypto space, nobody really knows what it will do – it’s a brand new frontier and there are no rules, there are no precedents. Because of that, there are also big uncertainties in traditional finance and banking and big uncertainties in politics which arise from that. Throw all of that into the pot with Trump, trade wars, nuclear disarmament talks, Chinese global expansion, and more and what you have is a big messy September.
I hate to say it – but Gold and Silver are probably the safest bets right now. Not the most profitable, but the most stable.
If you, like me and a lot of other people – look at the current state of affairs and see complete chaos on the horizon – there are really only a few ways to protect your hard earned money.
1) Buy gold, silver, or other precious metals or gems. Gold will never become worthless – but as a store of value it tends to peak when governments and financial systems are failing and fall when they have the confidence of the public. Personally, I’m amazed that the value of gold and silver have stayed pretty steady since 2013 as the value of our economy has been artificially inflated and corrected. When one sector of the economy falls, the governments are quick to pump up another sector – there is a robbing Peter to pay Paul aspect to it that should be terrifying. Gold has hovered in the $1300-$1600 range for far too long. Silver has been in the $16-$17 range. I think that a 25%-40% rise in value is on the near horizon. I don’t recommend buying gold or silver though – the problem is fungibility – can you imagine paying for groceries with gold or silver?
2) Stock and bond markets. Personally, I think we will se a 50% drop in all the major indexes over the next two years. Multiple large banks, big corporations, and investment funds will fail. The Russian backed Trump administration has a clear policy of not rescuing American businesses – expect catastrophic losses after a couple of months of magical looking gains.
4) Cryptocurrency. When governments fail, they can’t take crypto with them. Bitcoin has a built in value creator – the number rewarded to miners halves periodically with 2020 being the next halving – this should limit supply and increase demand since there is a set number of bitcoins that will ever exist. They can’t be artificially created by governments. Bitcoin and many others are not controlled by central authorities, they are decentralized. Unless they can take your private keys, your bitcoin cannot be stolen or seized. Unless there is a way to connect your name to your public key – they cannot be connected to you. Cryptocurrency is the only failsafe in a world where governments are bound to fail. Today, as the US president all but reveals that he is a pawn of the Russian president – smart money is pouring into cryptocurrency at rates that we haven’t seen since December of 2017. As the governmental chaos continues with the disastoruous Brexit, more revelations of collusion between Russian and Republican operatives, and forthcoming revelations of financial insolvency – watch for TRILLIONS of dollars to pour into Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Digibyte, and other decentralized tokens.
If you want to buy gold, silver, antiques, or art – I don’t really have any significant resources to offer you but definitely no matter where you are putting your money, do you own due diligence and remember that past performance does not guarantee future results.