It's the same story, different day (SSDD). That is, nothing much has been revealed overnight to cause us to change our view that you're investing in the midst of a long-term depression. Most of the positive GDP data coming out globally is backward looking. It doesn't tell you much about the future.
It is worth noting that a story in yesterday's Financial Review showed that prices for coking coal have followed iron ore and coal prices down. Record high prices for all of those key exports drove a huge increase in the terms of trade and are behind bullish projections for stock prices, government revenues, and GDP expectations.
But if Chinese demand for these steel-making ingredients falls, all those projections are pretty iffy. It all depends on if Chinese property prices are in a bubble. They are, according to Jiang Hui, the investment director at Star Rock Investment (not Rock Star investment).
According to Bloomberg, Jiang told a conference in Shanghai that, "China's property market has a very big bubble, which may last for a while...Only higher interest rates and the introduction of a property tax can bring down real-estate prices."
There are many other things that can prick a bubble. But since we've been hitting it pretty hard this week, we're going to leave those subjects alone. Instead, we've published a summary of some of the most interesting lists we got in response to our question a week ago of what to stock up on for the end of the world as you know it. You'll find the notes below.
But first, and quickly, a mate asked us why we were being so overtly political and pro Liberal in an investment e-letter. We should clarify that we're against all politicians. Someone wrote to us that, "Comparing elected political representatives to criminals is offensive." Yes, it is, to the criminals.
You have to keep your eye on politics these days since the government has rushed in to muck up the market even more than it was mucked up by the banksters. But there's no doubt, that stupidity and economic illiteracy are bi-partisan. If the Greens are basically against industrial society, then what does that make the independent Member for Kennedy, Bob Katter?
Katter has submitted a list of 20 demands/suggestions/flights of fancy/acts of lunacy to Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott. His support can be obtained (not purchased, as in Andrew Wilkie's case) in exchange for agreeing to some of his demands/suggestions/flights of fancy/acts of lunacy.
This is why Libertarians are generally not conservatives. Conservatives, some of them anyway, don't have any problem using State power to achieve their favoured ends. They're just after different favours and different ends.
In Katter's case, he's especially ticked off that Coles and Woolworth's have managed to offer Australians thousands of items they'd not be able to get at the Corner Milk shop at a reasonable price. They must be stopped!
He does have some provocative and entertaining ideas. We'll give him that. But he reminds us of the Rich Texan character on the Simpson's, also known as Senator Shady Bird Johnson. Do you see the resemblance?
More seriously, it's interesting to see how the interest of regional Australia - very real and legitimate ones which Katter represents - differ from the capital cities. Maybe a one-size-fits-all Federal government isn't going to work as Australia gets bigger. It's not exactly the Red State/Blue State divide you see in the States. Not yet anyway.
Now, what's on your list of things to stock up on because they disappear from shelves when people lose confidence in paper money? Some replies below. We've published quite a few of them. So take your time over the weekend to review!
Of utmost importance, toilet paper!!!
Also, long term outlook, off the rack magnifier reading glasses of various strengths, thread, needles, safety pins, buttons, antibacterial ointments, hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol, toothpaste & brushes, vitamins & supplements, OTC pain killers as it all must fit in a small home, chose small items
Thanks for the daily reckoning! Really enjoy reading something amusing while learning
For us old fashioned book readin' stay at homes, old fashioned light bulbs, preferably bayonet mounts but screw ins if that's all and screw in fittings to replace the bayonet fittings. Serious...my local milk bar is selling them for $5 each (bloody screw ins) lots of cigarettes and vodka and proper beer. Crossbows and accessories? Quality dog food (for dog, if huntin' gets bit tough) bicycles and accessories...are getting very pricey. Old fashioned cameras, film, darkroom equipment-anything that doesn't need computers. Musical instruments. Good quality art materials and paper. And tools to fortify the joint. Now I'm getting carried away and romantic, this had better stop right here.
Enjoy ya trip like I enjoy ya newsletters.
I have a wife and four daughters - no matter how bad things are chocolate always seems to lift the mood!! At the top of my list!! Mind you after reading your columns I don't know whether to reach for the vodka or the pain killers - or both!! I have been following you for only 6 weeks now, is it just the current climate or is the glass always half empty??
[Ed. note: not always, just the last ten years or so]
Among my list are sprout seeds, quick growing & nutritional (few days), matches/lighters,
rice/pasta, tinned tomatoes/sauces.
- Get out of debt.
- Get liquid. Have enough ready cash for the next two years.
- Invest in Australia's underground proven assets. (gas, coal, copper, iron ore etc).
- Invest only in Australia where I live. Overseas exchange rates and bankruptcy of Nations do not alter the price of essential food in Australia.
- Invest in Intellectual Property focusing on the re-design of thermal power stations.
Sounds like you have the survivalist bug. Some more reserved commentators call it the lifeboat scenario. After watching Tony Robbins inform people that they had best watch out for a collapse late this year and no later than early next year I have been buying extras of everything, kitting out the 4wd and pencilling in great camp sites to go to when the bank holiday starts. Do you want to be in a city when people cannot access money - ergo food and fuel? Not this little black duck.
If you consider that Australia has no more than three weeks worth of fuel reserves and four weeks' worth of food reserves I think a recovery in the near to medium term is psychopathic optimism.
You have a good list. I would add: Heirloom seeds, matches and/or fire starters, first aid products, good boots, Swiss Army knife.
Lots of toilet paper, the nice soft one. Think we may be using it or selling it.
I'd add a tin opener. It might be embarrassing to die on top of a pile of tins, maybe holding an empty weapon.
My wife's Polish grandmother would always buy up huge stocks of salt when she thought a depression was coming. She lived through two world wars and died at a ripe old age of 93 about 10 years ago.
Love your column,
-First up, I love your dailies and weeklies. Very insightful and must say I do agree with almost all posted. That said, I do find it incredibly curious that a group of smart guys like yourself (nor almost any other economists I might add), still do not mention the underlying cause of why the word is going through this GFC right now.
It's called Demographics, guys.
Wow, ever heard or studied that? The world economy pumps out around 58T per annum. Of that the US around 14-15T, the EU around 16T, China and Japan a piddly 5T. Germany rates bout 3.3T, then all of us just follow…Now assume the rest of the world is just like the US (I'm not sure, but a good bet I recon), the consumer is approximately 70% of the economy... Any problems so far?
So. If you only knew when (demographically) the big spenders were on the sidelines or spending, s**t, we would all be rich! But wait, we do! Through National and international statistics from (IMF, CIA, World Bank), we are now armed with these facts!
The big fact is that people in their late 40's to 50's scale down, with everything, from cars to Mc Mansions. The kids have left (or are leaving) home, me and you just wanna get all cuddly... And guess what? Whatever Obama or anyone says (or tries to pay for), I don't f**cking need a new SUV from Ford or whomever! All I want my little retirement condo and my 401K (or Super in AUS)...
And that is the fact. The US and EU Consumers are now not spending. NO amount of FED spending will entice the Consumer to spend on that RV or the Mc Mansion they don't need.
Please feel to comment, like the song, I'm just a guy.
I agree, no Bonds. Well, make money while you can though.
Items necessary on the basis of the experience of my grandmother, who lived through three bankruptcies during her life (1920, 1930, 1948) in Europe:
- Salt (you can trade for salt any items of your need with farmers, then farmers always need salt - salt is easy to store for several decades!) - I think, that salt is the most important of all! Salt is as important as gold!
- Gold, gold, gold - you can buy anything for gold during hard times. My grandmother told me, that during the 2nd world war a family of 4-5 persons could buy food for one day for 1g gold!
- Fats of any kind (best is palm fat)
- Additives for soap cooking (you can do it by using used fat!)
- Warm clothing (also good for trading)
- Any kind of appliance needed when you kill an animal for meet (pork, goat, chicken, etc.) - and abilities to process them
- Sugar (a lot of it, easy to store - use some drying material when packing - silica gel)
- If possible let a water well be made in your yard
- Washing powder + cosmetics as soap, toothpaste, etc.
- Dried meet, fruit, preserves as marmalade, jams, - home made preserves to be preferred!
- Petroleum lamps
- Heating furnace fuelled by wood (also good for cooking)
- If you have place: living stock like chicken, swine, etc.
- Egg powder
- Any kinds of nuts (vacuum-packed) - has a great nutrition value
- Red vine
- Vinegar and other spices like pepper, curry etc. (during bad times there are no spices)
- Lemon juice preserve (vitamins!) self made
- All kinds of penicillin pills
- Plant a lot of fruit trees in your garden! Make sure, that your garden can not be seen from the road!
Hope that I could be of any help.
Although you did not ask for it, but I would like to add something else from my grandmother, here a list, what you should avoid in any case:
|§||Money with any bank on a banking account!|
|§||Any kind of insurances|
|§||Any dematerialized papers, like shares, etc.|
From the history of my grandmother (she is now dead): She and my grandfather have saved money during their whole life, they wanted to have a nice banking account for their retirement. They wanted to travel to several places in their old days.
But the 2nd world war came. And the banks have eventually closed, but the paper money has lost all of its purchasing power anyway. She told me, if they had bought gold for their money, they could have been well off even during the hard times and thereafter. When I was a little girl my grandmother used to tell us these stories. I am happy, that I have listened.
And do you know what? My father used to purchase gold bars during the 1960s. Unfortunately he died being 49, so he did not need it.
With best wishes,
Hello I am writing in response to your article where you ask your readers what else should you stock up on.
I am stocking up on: sterno canned heat or ecofuel canned heat as that is the only heat source I can find that is safe to burn indoors without dying of carbon monoxide poisoning. And some of those fold up sterno stoves. You can buy them all on eBay and they ship worldwide, a lot of the sellers
Plus there is a company called sun jel that make indoor fireplaces that run of cans of fuel that is safe to burn indoors.
Plus I found on eBay these cool headlamps- they are headbands with a torch light stuck to the front of them- like miners use in mines, and I also got off eBay some cap lights whish are lights that you clip not the rim of your cap. I got some for the whole family. How else are you going to see at night when you're cooking tins of spam ham on your sterno stove?
Plus spam ham of course, you can cut it into slices and fry it on your sterno stove.
Packets of seeds that reproduce year after year
Dried mashed potato that you just have to add water to.
Maybe even a camping fridge that runs on batteries
Get the whole house converted to solar so you won't be subject to blackout or brownouts, and get a water tank for your backyard
Buy a dingo bush camping kettle so you don't need a stove to boil water but be careful not to burn the house down as they don't look too safe
Buy a 30 second tent in case you and your family need to flee
And some thick mink blankets to put over your family when the power goes off in winter, while you light the sun jel indoor fireplace.
Plus tinned food including tins of fruit cake and chocolate self saucing pudding so nobody rips each other's heads off from depression during all of this fiasco. Chocolate works well in any situation to cheer people up
Plus powdered milk so you can have a tea or coffee at any time if you don't have a fridge
Plus aero guard and rat and mouse poison as pests increase when nobody collects the rubbish in the streets for months, which I saw firsthand on a visit to Bali once
And plastic plates, cups and spoons and cutlery in case there is not much water to wash dishes. Plus lots of garbage bags.
Plus a radio that runs on batteries to hear the news on, and lots of batteries
AND- you should store it in your house- buy a shed for the backyard or even 2 sheds because who's to say that the owner of your storage facility wont steal your stuff when the going gets tough (all he has to do is cut the padlock on your storage room or open the door himself with a key) (remember- desperate people do desperate things) and b) who's to say that the owner of the storage facility is going to let you in or even be open for business when everything collapses? What if he sleeps in? What if he broke and gives up? And how are you going to get to the storage facility if the roads are blocked with rioting people? And how will you pack the stuff into your car without being mobbed by other people at the storage facility who might be starving?
As they used to say in the 1930's great depression: "If you don't hold it you don't own it" That doesn't just apply to gold and silver and cash, it applies to survival supplies as well. Good luck!!
Thanks for your great newsletter; I love it a lot
Kind Regards, from Christina
Toilet Paper, seed, generator, drinking water, bleach, rolling papers, spices. Of course whiskey and gunpowder must play a prominent role if you have anything the hoards now living off the government may well try to take from you when the merde hits the fan. ALL THIS IS BEING HASTENED BY TRAITORS IN DC WHO CONTINUE TO OVERLOAD OUR SYSTEM WITH DEBT AND MONETIZATION. If we fail to vote enough of the bastards out in November to at least create a little gridlock, we are almost surely doomed, if we are not already doomed by the actions of these Marxists.
If your predictions of doom and gloom come to pass then the things that will be in greatest demand will be comfort and succour to the devastated.
Become an expert in human relations such as helping yourself and others cope with their losses and emotional turmoil would be a good start on a personal and family survival basis.
But if it is not as bad as a total breakdown of the system and just a garden variety depression then the three essential assets of food, clothing and entertainment come into play.
A small farm might be in order but you will need all those bullets you intend to get to keep the crows (of all sizes) off the vegies as they ripen.
Maybe a soup kitchen or two wouldn't go astray. You could supply it from the vegies you grow and what's left of the government will be subsidising the place so you will at least get paid.
Maybe the US will take in the China welcome mat and you can open the clothing factories again if you can find anyone who still has the knowledge on how to make sewing machines and clothes.
Luckily Hollywood is still functioning so all you need there is a re-incarnation of likes of Bing Crosby and co along with Madison Ave who got the US out of the last depression. It was not the "Great Roosevelt" I can tell you that for free.
As far as safe assets go I should buy a chain of medical practitioners and chemists (drug stores to you) and I would own the premises too.
Pharmaceuticals will do well for a while pushing drugs and anti-depressants but as I am totally opposed to that industry in principle I would not be recommending it.
I can't see hording gold being a lot of good as apart from filling teeth it doesn't do a lot to maintain life. Unless you can use it to buy the soup kitchens, if we really hit the fan who will want it? Will it even be valued in paper currency after all? As people get hungry and desperate and dump their gold and jewellery to keep alive the price of it should crash to next to nothing.
I guess it's all a matter of degree. As the master of doom and gloom you tell me how bad it's going to get? I already admire (and envy) your skill as a wordsmith. I would love to read your assay on the subject.
Until next week!
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About the Author
Dan Denning is the author of 2005's best-selling The Bull Hunter (John Wiley & Sons). He began his financial publishing career in 1997 and has covered financial markets form Baltimore, Paris, London and, beginning in 2005 Melbourne. He’s the editor of The Daily Reckoning Australia and the Publisher of Port Phillip Publishing.