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Ignoring Reality Doesn’t Work

Chris Martenson - May 24, 2016 - 16:30

Right now, we humans are busy creating a major eco-tastrophe for ourselves. I’d be a lot more hopeful about our ability as a species to at least notice that, and possibly even do something positive and proactive about it; but ecological destruction is slow, complex, and doesn't change much on a day-to-day basis -- making it poorly visible to the key decision makers. 

My lack of hope stems from our oft-demonstrated inability to rally around workable solutions for the serious predicaments that are blatantly near-term, obvious and straightforward.  Take for example the current Greek debt crisis.

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Categories: Economics

66 Things You Can Grow At Home

Chris Martenson - May 24, 2016 - 08:58

There are an amazing assortment of plants that one can grow in containers and pots that make building resilience without a big garden space easier.  Check out these 66 ideas of plants to start with.

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Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 5/24 - Fear the U.S. Dollar Kill Switch, Indoor Farms Could Revolutionize Agriculture

Chris Martenson - May 24, 2016 - 08:22
  • House to Consider I.R.S. Commissioner’s Impeachment
  • Fear the U.S. Dollar Kill Switch
  • New Political Earthquake in Brazil: Is It Now Time for Media Outlets to Call This a “Coup”?
  • If Citizens United Falls, Will Progressives Notice?
  • Students Boost Food Production With Simple Technologies
  • The War On Cash Is A War On Your Freedom To Opt Out
  • What Caused The Great Depression?
  • Oil Heads Lower As Supply Concerns Abate
  • Indoor Farms Could Revolutionize Agriculture

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Categories: Economics

City Repair: From Illegal Street Painting to City-Sanctioned Placemaking

Shareable Magazine - May 24, 2016 - 08:17

City Repair in action. Photo credit: Greg Raisman

In 1996, Portland, Oregon was rocked when two young girls were killed by a car while crossing a road to get to a playground. The tragedy led to the creation of the first Intersection Repair project, where neighbors painted and reclaimed the street for their community.

Categories: Economics

Off The Cuff: Jackass Leadership

Chris Martenson - May 23, 2016 - 13:52

In this week's Off The Cuff podcast, Chris and Mish Shedlock discuss:

  • Implications Of The Recent Fed Minutes
    • Per usual, good for stocks/bad for gold
  • The Dying Middle Class
    • Sucked dry by central planning policy
  • The Dirty Trick Of Politics
    • Both parties are worth throwing out
  • Jackass Leadership
    • In the Fed, on the Hill, in the White House...

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Categories: Economics

Trying Something New: Live Q&A With Chris

Chris Martenson - May 23, 2016 - 12:20

It's been made abundantly clear over the years that many of you would relish the chance to sit down with Chris and ask him anything.'s your chance!  :)

For a long time now, we've been looking for the right platform to make this happen. Of course, we have our annual seminars where you can meet Chris, Becca and and me in person; but that's only once a year and requires a pretty substantial travel commitment. We've been on the hunt for a technology solution that instead offers an affordable yet high-enough quality online experience for us to have real-time discussions with Peak Prosperity members.

We've finally found one we think will work well, and we're excited to try it out.

So we'll be hosting our first-ever live Peak Prosperity webinar this Wednesday night, at 8pm EST. It's only going to be available to our premium subscribers, such as yourself -- and will be offered to you at no cost.

If you're interested in joining this pilot, please register for the webinar in advance by...

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Categories: Economics

MOOC Alumni newsletter

Matslats - May 23, 2016 - 09:10

Greetings Alumni of the Money and Society MOOC,

Jem and I decided to keep in touch with you with this new Biannual newsletter. It includes some headlines I found interesting, and other tidbits about what Jem and I are doing.

Our news

The MOOC will continue as long we get new people, and we think the best promoters are the people who have done it. Please have a think about which of your friends, colleagues and social networks should know about the MOOC, and send them to this link. Thanks!

Last month I published a white paper showing what a decentralised credit network would look like using modern technology and pointing out that such a thing could be built from the grassroots up and would be highly appropriate during a time of recession. Check out the 16 page pdf on the Credit Commons web site.

I've been working with Alumnus Pal Graabein on a new HTML5 media format for the MOOC, so that we can be more open source and interoperable and consistent. We have drafted up lesson 1, but all the slide contents need to be transposed by hand into the new format and beautifully arranged. I reckon anybody who is good at moving files around in windows explorer could do it. Would someone like to volunteer a few hours to do that?

This winter I read Felix Martin's book, Money: The Unauthorised Biography, and learned lots of new things! As a classical scholar he describes how money originated as a combination of the accounting systems in Babylonia and systems of social obligations in Greece, entirely avoiding slavery and conquest so prevalent in David Graeber. He also explains the origin of the bank of England very well, as a marriage of the Sovereign's need for credit with the need of commerce to issue credit with the ultimate backing, taxes!

Money & society news

The way that money works in society is changing all the time, now especially as the zero-interest regime is becoming the new normal. Mixed up in that discourse is the need to eradicate cash, and all the privacy and convenience that cash implies; obviously the banking system would collapse the moment everyone tries to withdraw cash because bank credit loses value. There are many arguments being made against cash but few for. Cash is expensive to handle, carries diseases, enables money laundering (by non-bank actors), and would be hoarded out of circulation if bank deposits have negative interest.

Yannis Varoufakis the former Greek Finance Minister, is very busy these days promoting a new vision for Europe. In this important article he says we should pick up Keynes' model for a global economy which was rejected at Bretton Woods.

UK do-gooder celebrities Joanna Lumley and Brian Blessed participated in an anti-cash PR campaign. The language is very interesting. Don't forget that credit card companies 'lose out' on 2-3% of the transaction value whenever we pay in cash. Here is a robust defence of cash from an Austrian perspective.

Catalonia is flexing its separatist muscles, here seen threatening to use its debt to the Spanish government as a bargaining chip, or even a weapon. Bloomberg calls it a game of chicken: if Catalonians defaulted their banks and cash machines would quickly lose access to Euros. To withstand such an attack they would need an alternative currency. Unfortunately the one we know about isn't getting much traction.

Not only Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece & Spain, Puerto Rico and Catalonia are having 'liquidity' crises, but Saudi Arabia is suffering from low oil prices. As a last resort, the government might issue IOUs, which some would say is what all governments should have been doing all along.

Finally here is an attempt to hack banking and money from a legal point of view. It will take you a good 10-20 mins to get the idea. References to 'off-planet helpers' aside. could there be any substance to such attempts? Does it depend on their ability to win something in court, or on their ability to create belief?

All for now,


Categories: Blogs

Daily Digest 5/23 - U.S. Companies’ Cash Hits $1.7T, What About Maximum Wage?

Chris Martenson - May 23, 2016 - 08:47
  • Washington’s Betrayal of America
  • The ‘scariest chart out there’ looms over pivotal week for markets
  • US companies’ cash pile hits $1.7tn
  • What About Maximum Wage?
  • Next Up For Our Chaotic World
  • Vietnam Arms Embargo to Be Fully Lifted, Obama Says in Hanoi
  • When We Can Expect The Next Oil Shock
  • Bayer’s $62 Billion Monsanto Bid Raises Alarm on Final Price

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Categories: Economics

Interviewed: Roberto Covolo of ExFadda, a Design-led Social Innovation Hub in Rural Italy

Shareable Magazine - May 23, 2016 - 08:35

Roberto Covolo, ExFadda’s project manager.

Jutting into the Mediterranean on the stiletto heel of Italy, the municipality of San Vito dei Normanni in Puglia is home to 20,000 Sanvitesi inhabitants. The Apulian countryside is peppered with olive groves, oak trees, and farms separated by wind-polished stone walls. Agriculture has long been the backbone of the local economy, but a lack of employment and social innovation has compelled a large portion of the town’s youth to emigrate.

Categories: Economics

Sharing Depot Brings Library of Things to Toronto

Shareable Magazine - May 23, 2016 - 07:09

When the first Toronto Tool Library was launched in 2013, the project was so well received by the local community that it quickly grew to four locations and over 25,000 loans with a near 100 percent return rate.

Categories: Economics

FerFAL: Understanding Societal Collapse

Chris Martenson - May 22, 2016 - 10:18

As we write about the risks of our over-indebted economy, of our unsustainable fossil fuel-dependent energy policies, and our accelerating depletion of key resources, it's not a far leap to start worrying about the potential for a coming degradation of our modern lifestyle -- or even the possibility of full-blown societal collapse.

Sadly, collapse is not just a theoretical worry for a growing number of people around the world. They're living within it right now.

This week, we catch up with Fernando "FerFAL" Aguirre, who began blogging during the hyperinflationary destruction of Argentina’s economy in 2001 and has since dedicated his professional career to educating the public about his experiences and observations of its lingering aftermath. Given his first-hand experience with living through, and eventually escaping, economic collapse in South America, we asked him to offer his insider's perspective on the current crisis in Venezuela, as well as the devolving situation in Brazil.

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Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 5/22 - Iran Won’t Freeze Output Before OPEC Mtg, The Digital Divide

Chris Martenson - May 22, 2016 - 08:08
  • Unemployed Detroit Residents Are Trapped by a Digital Divide 
  • Primed To Fight Their Government 
  • A World Of Walls
  • Will The New Overtime Rules Really Hurt Workers?
  • Four hundred miles with Tesla’s autopilot forced me to trust the machine
  • Iran Won’t Freeze Oil Output Before OPEC Meeting

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Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 5/21 - 'Death Cross’ Could Be The Real Deal, Is Organic Better For Your Health?

Chris Martenson - May 21, 2016 - 07:00
  • This S&P 500 'Death Cross’ Could Be The Real Deal
  • Mother of all Head & Shoulder Patterns & China Just Completed the Right Shoulder
  • Facebook ‘Trending’ List Skewed by Individual Judgment, Not Institutional Bias
  • In Sweden, an Experiment Turns Shorter Workdays Into Bigger Gains
  • International Markets Prove Hard To Conquer For U.S. LNG
  • Pray for Shade: Heat Wave Sets a Record in India
  • Is organic better for your health? A look at milk, meat, eggs, produce and fish.
  • Chicken Giant Perdue Just Nixed a Nasty Clause from Its Contracts with Farmers

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Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 5/20 - Good News Friday: The Brain Dictionary, FDA To Highlight Sugar Levels In Food

Chris Martenson - May 20, 2016 - 08:39
  • Hurrah For The Texas Gold Depository——-All The ‘Right People’ Hate It!
  • McDonald's (MCD) Earnings Report: Q1 2016 Conference Call Transcript
  • The Brain Dictionary
  • Lessons From America's First Memory World Champion
  • The End Of Code
  • It's official: employers can't force you to be happy. Hallelujah
  • Germany Just Got Almost All of Its Power From Renewable Energy
  • FDA Approves New Nutrition Panel that Highlights Sugar Levels

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Categories: Economics

How to Bootstrap a Bossless Organization in 3 Easy Steps

Shareable Magazine - May 20, 2016 - 05:44

Org chart for the Loomio cooperative in April 2016

Categories: Economics

Meet the Citizens Who Helped Decide Their City’s Budget—and Got Better Buses, Benches, and Crosswalks

Greensboro, North Carolina, is the first Southern city to give citizens direct control over a slice of public spending.
Categories: Economics

Observations From The Heart Of Silicon Valley

Chris Martenson - May 19, 2016 - 17:11

Yesterday I made the 2-hour drive back to Silicon Valley, where I lived for 15 years before moving out to the country.

I rarely go back, as I miss very little about the hyper-elite scene there. When I do, though, I feel I have a useful 'insider-now-outsider' perspective that allows me to see things there more accurately than those who live in that fishbowl 24/7.

What hit me most strongly upon arriving back in the Menlo Park/Palo Alto area, is how little of the craziness has changed since I left 4 years ago. I don't mean 'unchanged' though; rather that the same craziness is there, just more extreme than ever.

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Categories: Economics

Wood Mulch VS. Living Mulch

Chris Martenson - May 19, 2016 - 15:17

Last season I planted perennials in my zone 1 annual garden in an effort to transition away from annual gardening. I'll always have an annual garden, but I am limiting the size, given the amount of energy required for their upkeep. I much prefer to mix in my annuals among my young food forestry.

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Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 5/19 - Another Market Prop Falters, Is The Gold Rally Doomed?

Chris Martenson - May 19, 2016 - 07:58
  • Another Market Prop Falters: Q1 Buyback Announcements Down 38% From Prior Year
  • ‘Trapping atoms between laser beams’: AI research tool runs Nobel Prize physics experiment
  • Undeniable Evidence That The Real Economy Is Already In Recession Mode
  • George Soros Sells Stocks, Buys More Gold, Why Investors Should Care
  • Brexit Risks In 2016 – The Movie
  • Precisely Wrong on Cash?
  • Is The Gold Rally Doomed?
  • Signals: From Gold And The S&P
  • What Does The Next OPEC Meeting Have In Store?

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Categories: Economics

Who’s Lobbying for Millennial Interests? Meet the “AARP for Young People”

This is the first election year with the same number of millennial voters as baby boomers. Here’s how lobbyists for young people could change our politics on prisons, climate, and student debt.
Categories: Economics