Tag Archives: 2021

2021: The year of the Black Swans? by Tuomas Malinen

All sorts of things could wrong this year, and probably will. From Tuomas Malinen at gnseconomics.com:

A “Black Swan” is best defined as an unforecastable, low-probability, high-impact event. They may include more prosaic natural disasters, like earthquakes, but are more generally understood to be unforeseeable economic, financial and political calamities.

While Black Swan events are, by this definition, unforecastable, the trends building up to them can often be observed, and that process has been our aim since the inception of GnS Economics in 2012. For example, it’s nowadays often possible to observe the buildup of pressure in volcanos. This does not guarantee an eruption, naturally, but it provides an indication that such an event could occur.

The same principle applies to political, economic and financial events.

One of the most worrying trends contributing to the development of potential Black Swans has been the increasing fragility of the global economy, which we have been warning about since 2017. Recently, the fragility of the global economy has been aggravated by lockdowns and the ill-advised “support policies” of governments and central banks worldwide.

This has only accelerated the zombification of the global corporate sectors, while creating an intrinsic asset bubble, which keeps on expanding—and now an inflation shock lurks on the horizon. All these increase the likelihood of an economic “eruption”. However, political shocks may also be approaching.

The failure of contemporary politics to understand and correctly address this complex set of economic policy issues is one of the main reasons we are in this mess.

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Fourth Turning Detonation, by Jim Quinn

Jim Quinn takes a look at 2021 and doesn’t like what he sees. From Quinn at theburningplatform.com:

“Americans today fear that linearism (alias the American Dream) has run its course. Many would welcome some enlightenment about history’s patterns and rhythms, but today’s intellectual elites offer little that’s useful. Caught between the entropy of the chaoticists and the hubris of the linearists, the American people have lost their moorings.” – Strauss & Howe – The Fourth Turning

This is not freedom': militarized US Capitol a sign of forever wars coming home | US Capitol breach | The Guardian

“The ancients believed that each cyclical extreme, mirroring the hopes and fears of the other, helps generate the other. The night longs for the day, the day for night. In war, people yearn for relief from strife, leading to peace. In peace, people yearn to champion what they love, leading to war.” – Strauss & Howe – The Fourth Turning

When I started thinking about my annual beginning of the year article in early January, I tried to formulate a catchy title. Knowing we have entered the thirteenth year of this Fourth Turning, with the intensity of the crisis reaching an unparalleled level since November 4, I decided upon Fourth Turning Detonation. I immediately thought that might be too dire and figured I would change it later. After the first few weeks of the new year, I now think it might be grossly inadequate to describe what is coming in 2021.

It is easy to get distracted by the daily gyrations, ceaseless media propaganda, political theater, false narratives, and delusional beliefs of both the left and right, as this military empire built on debt and deceit spirals towards its fiery cataclysmic climax. Opposing forces have gathered themselves into position focusing on defeating their domestic enemies, with the left seeming to have strategic advantage but led by hubristic dullards, while numerous foreign adversaries circle like hungry vultures ready to pounce on the dying beast of an empire.

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How to Triumph in 2021 or Die Trying, by MN Gordon

The only thing worse than being a “loser” is being a “winner.” From MN Gordon at economicprism.com:

We had seen God in his splendors, heard the text that Nature renders.  We had reached the naked soul of men.” — Ernest Shackleton

One Essential Insight

Welcome to 2021!

The New Year’s edition of the Economic Prism is a place of wild conjecture.  This is where we squint our eyes and peer out 12 months through our proprietary prism and report back what we discover.

Make no mistake, 2021 will be the year where everything under the sun happens precisely as it should.  Some good.  Some bad.  Each day shall unfold before you with reciprocal imbalance.  You can bet your bottom dollar on it.  But what else?

Will gold top $3,000 per ounce?  Will bitcoin hit $100K?  What about the S&P 500, the yield on the 10-Year Treasury note, and the price of oil?

Will collateralized loan obligations (CLO) be roiled by mass corporate defaults?  Will Walmart run out of toilet paper?  Are we fated for complete social distortion?  Did WWIII just commence in the South China Sea?

The answers to these questions we’re leaving to you this year.  Trust your gut.

After a dismal 2020, and with Joe Biden returning to the White House, we’re eschewing predictions of the 12 months before us.  Why bother?  The Fed’s already said it will leave interest rates near zero through 2023.

Instead, we’re doing something different.  With humility and modesty we’ve zeroed in on one essential insight.  Our objective is to provide you something of practical value; something that’ll help you navigate through the 2021 unknown.

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You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet: The Worst Is Yet to Come, by Gary D. Barnett

He’s probably right. From Gary D. Barnett at lewrockwell.com:

For the first time in my life I began to realize that it is not evil and brutality, but nearly always weakness, that is to blame for the worst things that happen in this world.”

~ Stefan Zweig

Over time, it becomes quite obvious to those with the ability to think that the people at large bring about voluntarily their own enslavement, their own lots in life, and their own misery. Given the vast numbers of people as opposed to rulers, there is no need for such pathetic behavior, but the average human psyche seems to gravitate toward a life of rule instead of a life of self-responsibility. This is caused by a weakness of mind, and because of this attempt to escape individual responsibility; complete avoidance of the truth is necessary. This is the state of affairs today in this country, as the masses are aggressively hiding from the truth, with the ‘hope’ of being the recipient of a few crumbs from their masters in order to survive.

The year 2020 has come and gone, and may prove to have been the beginning of the end of humanity as we have known it. There have been many tumultuous times in world history, and certainly in the short history of this country, we have experienced much strife and terror. Most would tend to believe that the horrors we have faced in the past were not due to our own weaknesses, but were due to foreign forces outside our control, but that would be a monumental mistake in judgment. No government action is organic, none is natural; it is forever intentionally designed or used, or both, in a manner that is meant to benefit the ‘claimed’ elite class at the expense of the people.

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The Most Hopeful Scenario for 2021, by Charles Hugh Smith

That scenario has about a .0000001% chance of happening. From Charles Hugh Smith at oftwominds.com:

Choose wisely, America, or the options for a positive outcome will vanish like mist in Death Valley on a clear July afternoon.

From the point of view of evolution, the most hopeful scenario for 2021 is the sudden and complete collapse of everything that is obsolete, inefficient, ineffective and sclerotic. When obsolete systems and entities pass away quickly, the cost and pain are processed and absorbed quickly as well: enterprises go bankrupt and their assets are liquidated, failed ventures close, and schemes that didn’t yield the desired benefits are scrapped.

This is the evolutionary process. Whatever has lost its selective advantages will succumb to selective pressures and fade away.

The problem arises when self-serving insiders siphon resources to keep their obsolete, inefficient, ineffective and sclerotic gravy-train protected from selective pressures. Keeping a terminally ill human alive is an analogy: it’s possible to extend the life of a terminally ill person at enormous expense and effort, but the patient isn’t restored to their previous health or vigor–that is no longer even a possibility. They are no longer their previous self, and this is why people choose to avoid extraordinary interventions in their final phase of life.

Economically obsolete / terminal entities, on the other hand, always choose extraordinary monetary interventions to keep their gravy-train alive, even if they bleed the rest of the economy dry in the process.

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