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How to survive 'The Great Stagnation' of 2009 - 2015

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By Bob Hoffman

(Please be aware this was written in Octoboer 1st 2008. I am not selling anything, have written no books, and am not part of any party or other agenda. This is just what I see)

Political Gateway - October 1st, 2008

list of sections you will find below
- In the moment
- Summary of previous predictions
- The bailout
- The Great stagnation
- What we can do
- forums linking to this story

In the moment

A hurricane is hitting our shores right now, a large financial hurricane. I use the term hurricane to point out some failures and reactions. Our leaders saw this hurricane coming through the last 8 years. They ignored it. So did all the 'experts' in the banking and credit industry. They made no plans for it hitting us and no plans for recovering from this hurricane. It is no different than Katrina. The levees broke, towns were destroyed, and the recovery plan started with a bunch of officials flying over the damage wondering what to do.

So it will be with this financial hurricane. The political and financial leaders did not prepare for the storm. They have no recovery plan and will not know what to do until the storm passes.

Where are you in this storm? Doing the same thing you would be doing in a regular hurricane, holding onto your family and praying to make it through. Just as in a regular hurricane, you have no control over what is happening. The whirlwind financial fallout is out of your hands and the hands of our leaders. We have to ride it out and see what it looks like in mid 2009 when the storm passes.

We are 'in the moment' and all you can do is hold on to your cash and pray.

Summary of predictions

In 2004 I was on my radio show telling people to get out, sell your homes now, property vaules were not 'real'. In 2005 I wrote several articles relating the great depression lending to what was happening with property values. I implored people to get out. I gave dates. My predictions and insights were correct.
In April 2008 I wrote an article trying to tell people not to walk away from the homes they are losing, not lose the leverage they have over the banks. They did walk away and neighborhoods fell apart, condo buildings face trouble. I told people to get out of oil, gold, silver and many other predictions for the coming 12 months (from the April 2008 print date).

Each time I talked on the radio or wrote an article people told me I was stupid and laughed. Then as things came true they said 'everyone said that back then'. I am not selling any products, I am just trying to help and warn you.

So now I am writing about what will most likely happen from April 2009 to April 2015. It may seem crazy, but it rests on simple common sense, protect yourself and your family. Plan for their recovery, their safety.

In a few years, articles will surface saying that all this stuff in this article were widely talked about. That is not true, this is the only article out there. Your tv experts and politicians think things will turn around after the bailout and all will be fine.

My track record on predictions regarding the housing market and economy is near impeccable, read the links below to view them. We all have a talent; mine is seeing things from a different perspective and being crazy enough to write about them. Take everything with grain of salt but remember you control how good or bad your family fares, not the lenders or the politicians.

Editor's Note: The links are now listed on the upper right of this page

The bailout

As I write this, the senate is working on a bailout vote. In my April 2008 article I said that 'congress will make a big brouhaha on the hill and then make sure the lenders do not lose money.' They are doing that now. My guess is the actual implementation will happen after the election. We will not see the fallout from this legislation until after the new president takes the helm.

What will happen? The lenders will unload their bad loans. Unload their bad properties. All to this "new US holding company". How will this affect you? It will free up the lenders to now foreclose on more homes. By law they cannot hold too much property, now that congress has taken it off their hands the lenders can swoop in and do some mass foreclosures.
Lenders obviously will get rid of the bad properties to the US holding company and keep the good properties they can resell and work with.
What this means is more people will now be put out of their houses. It will not help homeowners in trouble. It will give lenders less need to deal with you and your problems. They will be more inclined to get your house then they will be to help you stay in it.

In mid 2009 we will see that the lenders took advantage of the bailout and the money is gone. The properties the US holding company control will be sold at 20 cents on the dollar. The lenders got their money back and are now using that money to make 10%+ loans. Your politicians will double speak and act surprised at the greed of the lenders and their own mistake in trusting them. But we will still lose all that bailout money.

You should run out of office any politician who voted for this. This trillion dollars could be used by the people of the US during the coming stagnation. They sold you out. Trillion dollars you say? But the bailout is only for 700 billion (only!). Read it again. This amount can be increased and it will be.

Look for a lot of public officials and experts to announce things like 'this will never happen again.' This is the same thing these same types of people said back in the 1930's.

We will find, in hindsight, that not only did the credit and oil companies cook the books, so to did the government in it zeal to make the REAL GDP look as good as it does now. It is simple to make these numbers look good by, among other things, playing with the rate of inflation. Again, this is for political needs and is doing the country harm. The real GDP can show a good quarter, a recession, or a depression. If you adjust the rates the government is using to what they should be using and you will see a depression era drop.

With the quarterly reports due out, you can also vie for the position that the lenders want this bailout money before America learns how bad it really is. The reports will show a significant decline. This information is already known, or mostly known by those on capitol hill. Why do you think they had all those closed sessions recently with the 'big money' people? No, this bailout is not a recovery, it is a way to get a lot of money in their rafts before the boat sinks.

Make sure anyone who votes for this is not elected next time they run.

One question as I sit here and watch the Senate vote on this bill, I see the amendment increasing the FDIC insurance amount to 250,000 for consumer protection. My question is, "if this bill is spposed to fix it all and shore up the banks, why do we need increase the FDIC at this moment?" You should feel very scared about this bill.

The huge amount of money continually being thrown to big business to cover their losses is scary. The huge drop in taxes we can expect over the coming years is also scary. I would be worried about our governments solvency if our politicians continue to sell out our country.

The Great Stagnation of 2010 - 2015

Food shortages will not be a huge issue, but it will be close. Most of this will be caused by greedy corporations (sound familiar) cutting costs to make more money. See manufactured foods below.

People will relearn how to grow things. In urban areas they will be creative in making small community gardens. Small indoor rooms, probably using solar powered lighting will be one of the ways people will grow the food they can to help them save money.

Manufactured food & Drink - The last few years have showed an increasing lack of regulatory honesty in the food industry. There have been deaths of pets and humans. With governments hampered in recovery, look for manufactured food to become a hazard as companies cut costs and cost lives. Let me repeat this, manufactured food will be a very scary matter.

Local food sources – local meat and produce growers/providers will be a business you might want to invest in as they will be the safest, cheapest, and most in demand as the food crisis continues.

Pet Food
Russian roulette for your beloved pet. Other than cooking meat for them, I see no way to prevent some serious health issues in the coming years. Vets will make a lot of money though.

Suggestions – learn how to grow things, learn where your local growers are. Eat less meat. Think about cooking food for your animals.

Restaurants - small restaurants will be hurting, many closing. Many chains will cut back and close stores. Lots of people in this industry will be in trouble, but nothing will be done to help them.

Community - Communities will come together. Large flea markets at chruches, association parks, etc will be the vogue as people try to barter or sell things to get by in their time of need.

So with food, shall go water. Bottled water will have some scares across the globe. Those companies are already unregulated and bottled water has always been suspect. Expect some serious issues with some companies during this time. Water shortages that have been piling up may get worse in some areas. Parts of America are in trouble and facing some drought situations already, look for that to get worse as regulation of water was always a low priority for our local leaders and completely ignored by our Presidents.

Hazardous waste may become a very big issue, both in some water supplies, rural areas, and air pollution. Companies will cut costs and regulations will not be enforced as well. This will lead to some things that will affect us for many years to come. In other words, the environment will come last. It will be lost in the recovery as our fearless leaders try to do ‘new deal’ things.

Look for the idea of 'green' to stay in the public mind, but not the corporate one. This means that although we want to protect the environment most of us will be happy with whatever we can get and not get to upset at corporations taking out the environment to 'feed, clothe, and house us.'

Will not be an issue at all. The oil companies run on oil prices have helped them get their precious drilling rights and a huge amount of surplus cash over the last few years. Now oil can go back down to its real value and disappear as a political force.

Alternative Energy Sources
The talk will grow, the implementation will disappear. Get out of this as an investment. When oil drops so will interest in alternatives. Throw in a massive worldwide depression and your alternative energy investments money will be Don Quixote chasing windmills.

Mortgages- Creative financing
Sound familiar? Look for this to come about. I would say that assumable mortgages will be the rage and help houses move from owner to owner. Home prices, finally getting back to 2001 levels will slowly increase to their adjusted level (1% to 3% per year increase from 2001). There will not be an upturn in the market. That cow is milked. People will not be so easily duped by the media and market experts for a long time. Home prices will be stagnate this entire time. Other loan programs besides assumable will come to vogue. I do not know what they will pull out of their hat, but assumable will lead the charge and stay with us the longest. I would not trust anything but the assumable, but I would really concentrate on the price/debt you are taking on, not the terms.

FDIC - There is a time when this could run out of money. Do not count on it.


Unions - Unions will become a bane to big business. look for large media campaign to turn public opion against them. Look for legislation to take out unions. Don't think it will work? They got you to buy a house worth 4 times its vaule, Got you to open unneeded drilling areas, talked you into invading two countries, talked you into giving all your tax money to crooked lenders. I do not see why they would not keep that kind of shit up.

Nuclear peace, the overview we all grew up on, is technically over. The Bush Administration, for good or ill, was the harbinger of that with the attack and overthrow of Afghanistan and Iraq. Our fears of Mutually Assured Destruction are over and the way the world was before 1945 will start to rear its ugly head.

Authoritarianism - Look for dictatorships to consolidate power. In a world depression it is easier for leaders who have slaves for citizens to be stronger and expand than it is for free people. Nuclear peace is over, let the political games begin. Putin in Russia has already shown his hand. Moscow was once known as the 'third Rome’; look for a little empire building, or at least an attempt by bringing some small countries back into the fold, or forcing them.

China will crush Tibet, finish locking down Hong Kong, and finally force Taiwan to its knees unless the world's leaders act.

The middle east- Afghanistan will be forgotten and the little 'kings' will all rule their little areas the way they always have. Iraq will become politically and geographically a jigsaw puzzle of different powers. Effectively neutralizing it as a country. Iran has the greatest chance to be the first to make conquests and eventually an Iran - Israeli war could happen. One can only hope Pakistan does not get involved. Iran’s main goal will be to get Jordan/Syria/Iraq/Afghanistan as their puppets or possessions. Unless a colalition of political leaders come up against it, this could very well happen. Look for Russia to help out the Iranians.

India/Pakistan - India and Pakistan will become more authoritarian than they already are. The potential for war between these two is high. However, there is a possibility of treaties to not attack each other but that would mean they may plan on attacking others in the region.

Europe - They will just try to survive economically as they are in trouble. I doubt there will be a war in Europe nor will Europe become part of one as a coalition member.

South America

Mexico’s fake democracy will fall further towards complete despotism.

Brazil will have its normal revolution caused by its history of poor land policies. It will be good for the people at first, then cause great grief. This is the same thing that has happened a ton of times in its history and will not change now. Look for the military junta to start its crap during this time.

Venezuela - Now is the time for this dictator to look to his neighbors. Look for some government toppling or possible small invasions here.

Africa - Except for some small wars coming from some dictators, one or two genocides, and an increased despotic Chinese presence in the poor countries, the bulk of 'modern' African countries will probably grow quite nicely. I think some African nations will step out of '3rd world' status and become small economic powerhouses. They may even be the bright jewel of the world depression.

Putin will come in to rescue the Bear. He will continue his small push to expand rule on some smaller countries. Could make deal with the real rulers of Afghanistan or Iran to secure that region. Look for help with Iranian and Venezuelan expansionism.

Women’s rights Although women have made many inroads to legal rights, they have made few in cultural rights, even in America. Almost all moral laws revolve around what a woman can or cannot do. Look for the push to make her place in the home. Look for drastic action towards adult businesses, driving things further underground and making it more profitable for criminals to get involved and force women into it. Look for huge increase in slave trade. Women in business should worry about their job as in times of depression fighting for 'silly' things like civil rights is usually low on priorities. In dictatorships and authoritarian regimes, women are in trouble as free people even more than usual.

Child slavery-This has never stopped and will get worse as the demand for cheap products occur.

American Immigration issues
This will no longer be a political issue. Now that the free money given away by the fed is ending and the economy faltering, many will just not come here for work anymore. In fact, I do not think you have heard a word on it during the last few months of the Presidential campaign.

In times of trouble, extremist leaders always raise their heads in racism, religionism, genderism, nationalism, etc. They believe they are noble and refuse to compromise on their principles. People who do not compromise on their values and fight hard for them, usually end up becoming the opposite of what they stand for. Be wary of people who are shouting at the wind, especially those that preach hate, for they are very dangerous people.

Music and the arts

Hip Hop - no longer relevant. It has gone the way of disco and will no longer be hip. When rap and hip hop became dominant it was on the back of creative artists that saw much hardship in their lives. For the last 10 years we have gone through recession, 9/11, two questionable wars, some disasters, 50,000 dead or wounded Americans from war, many genocides in Africa, a possible corrupt Presidential administration, mass immigration issues and many personal hardships across the planet. All I can remember from our beloved rap and hip hop artists, in any kind of protest, is Kanye West saying George Bush 'don't like black people'.

These artists sing of drinking, buying, and partying. Not one top artist speaks for the regular American anymore, it is all just money now. Look for a new type of music from those who are dealing with hardship. Our 1st and second generation Americans, possibly a latin-rock-dance with a very hard edge about the hard life. Many of them are in our armed services dying. Many of them have families torn apart by the government. Many of them are screwed if they stay here and screwed if they go back to their land run by authoritarians. This will be the new 'real music' that means something.

Whatever type of music it is, it will be born from the poor areas of our country, frustrations with corrupt politicking, and start out pretty angry as the Depression hurts more people.

Hip Hop and Rap, it was fun. You did a lot. You meant a lot when you were needed. You are not relevant anymore. I will look for you in 10 years on public television selling CDs of your great days.

Women and television - Expect to see more shows with happy 'dumb women' characters as that stereo type is pushed more by 'whoever makes those decisions' on tv programming.

What can we do to help our situation

The only hope you have is to help elect people who are going to do something. Starting at the local level on up. Do not vote for people who have lots of money from special interests. Vote for people who can show you things they have accomplished and/or a detailed set of plans of things they want to do.

Anyone else will sell you out and do nothing. The same thing that got us here. If you want protection, it is your vote to throw away.

If Ralph Nader won the 2008 election, we would have someone who would do something. Obama and McCain are part of an established voting production system. They have never accomplished things as leaders nor do they have any detailed plans for anything. Whoever wins, most likely Obama, will have a horrid presidency but will be able to blame it (most of it true) on Bush.

Work together as neighbors to help each other. Elect good leaders, not politicians so your whole communtiy can start working together.

Spend a few hundred dollars and get a floor safe for your closet. Put your money there where it will be safe. Spend a few hundred more and get a second smaller safe in a different closet. Put some money in the second one along with some official looking but fake paperwork. If you are robbed, go to the small safe and give them what they want, keeping your real papers and money safe in the other.
Money in your hand is safer than money in the hands of banks who will fail without any warning.

Gamble your money in the stock market and commodities, gamble your life savings, go ahead. You are not smart if you do. The chance of you making gains are low, the chance of you losing most or all are high. Why would you do that with money you cannot replace?

They will say you are not a good American to horde your moeny. They will play on your pride and honor. Those things will make you homeless. Think of your family first, not some a-hole on a TV news program insulting you.

Get a lot of roommates....
Buy a handgun to protect your family from robbers....

Be aware of depression by many who have never faced financial ruin. These are the ones that are most likely to hurt others or to commit suicide. Be wary and help as best you can your friends and family.

Update Oct 6th, 2008

I have one large fear. That is the fear of the loss of freedom on the internet. More than 2/3 rds of the world is under the yoke of dictatorships and it is well known that authoritarians are very afraid of the internet. Authoritarians are to be found in large percentages in all countries, even the free ones.

Using the 'ireport', whistleblowers, rumors, and misinformation as examples, I think those who like to control will try to exercise that control in a way to put most small sites out of business. Perhaps clamping down on censorship, cost of access, etc. I do not know how they would do it, but I think it is a real and imminent fear.

Update Oct 7th, 2008

This last update is about South American countries and America's foreign policies to them.

With the ebbing of the 'Nuclear Peace' that has been calming our world since 1945, America has to think of its future here, both economically and politically. Of prime importance is South America.

Strengthing the South American governments, keeping their democracies up and strong, helping fight the tyrants that are growing down there are something that has to be done during this time.

With the econimc strife of this time, America can only become stronger by helping the economies of its neighbors to the south. Brazil and Mexico are of obvious attention and their armies will need to help fend off any struggles in South America.

Not bringing them together with America could be a potential huge problem for America for decades to come. South America should be prime importance to any president during this time. There will be econimic warfate (for lack of a better term) and America will need strong partners locally, not weak ones...and certainly not rivals.

Sites discussing this story

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