Peering Into the Portfolio Pit

Article by Tom Baugh.


With the downgrade of the banksters’ confidence in their ability to beat their tax slaves harder, a lot of you are worried about what is happening to your portfolios now, and what will happen to them in the months ahead.

Don’t be.

A few years ago, the housing bubble was a deadly mirage. Afterward, the conservative punditry was aflame with “it’s just shaking out the losers”, “only the liar-loan types are being hurt”, or similar palliatives about how that latest round of economic terrorism was somehow good for you. Never mind that most of the people hurt, and who remain hurt, weren’t flippers or liars, but simply people trying to buy a house for their family to live in, or commercial property for operating their businesses. This one act of economic terrorism ravaged the country, but still we felt that it was somehow just. Read this recent interview for more insight into this mindset.

If you have a nice fat portfolio today, and haven’t had to burn through it all to just survive, count yourself fortunate. Even if that portfolio loses half its value in the months ahead, or tomorrow, you are still far better off than most of the people who were thrown under the housing bubble bus, and the fleet of buses which followed it. Many of those people lost everything they ever owned, and more. Compared to that, half isn’t so bad. But soon, you too will be one of those “losers” being shaken out. And we’ll be fed the next round of why that is a good thing, so that you won’t be inclined to grab your rifle.

Get used to it. One day, we’ll all be losers. Whether it is the collapse of bonds, or the withering of stocks and derivatives traded to no productive purposes, everything you have will vanish from before you. Gold and silver? If you aren’t “sittin’ on the shiny”, you’re kidding yourself if you think that you actually own any. And if you do own it, don’t worry. Your fellow voters will rejoice as they send their thugs to take that, too, along with everything else that you own, so that all those Bad Grandmas and Bad Grandpas, liberal, conservative and libertarian alike, can get their checks as your children starve. After all, gold has been seized before in this land of Constitutionally free serfs. What makes you think it won’t happen again? Have you still some expectation of justice? If so, have you been paying any attention at all?

Speaking of voting, those Tea Party types really came through, didn’t they? What did any of you expect from that pack of retirees who need their checks? It isn’t as though you weren’t warned.

Our time is coming, but this isn’t it. No matter how bad it looks right now, or how bad the market does next week, this won’t be The Collapse. At the end of this current cycle of theft, you may be poorer, or broke, but you will have merely joined the ranks of millions of your countrymen who have already been victimized in the real estate bubble. As I have said for years, eventually we’ll all be poor.

And then, freed of the hold the tyrants have on our minds, those chains which have bound us all will be lying on the floor. For without these mirages, the property, the portfolios and the hedges, those who can do and who know will begin, once again, to pull ahead of those who simply hold, and held until they were ground into dust. And who either learned, or perished with their emaciated claws grasping at an illusion.

Because it all has just been an illusion, nothing more. Did you really think that when you bought bonds you were entitled to tax slaves giving you more than you paid, plus the road or school or aircraft carrier besides? Did you really think that when you bought stock on an exchange you were somehow helping a company succeed? Only the first purchasers of stock do that; the rest are just gambling that the first risk was worthwhile. And speaking of risk, did you actually believe the lie that risk must be rewarded? Or did you understand that risk also means that sometimes you lose? Did you really think that money somehow has time-value, that a pile of anything should get bigger just because? Only knowledge, thought and effort ever has, or ever will, make anything more valuable.

Did you really think that the Constitution was about your rights and freedoms, and not just an illusion crafted to keep you feeding your wealth and your children into a poverty grinder? Or that our wars have been fought for higher ideals than simply to increase the bond and contract holdings of the wealthy and influential? I know I did, but I’m feeling much better now. Did you actually believe that centralized power was somehow magically better for you than a confederation of independent states? That standing armies and police were preferable to militias? That centralized power wouldn’t be used by the powerful to enlist your fellow man in now bleeding you dry? And to prevent you, by force, from protecting what little you have left?

Your portfolio has always been part of these interconnected illusions, a meta-illusion to keep you compliant from fear that if your faith in those illusions faltered, you, too, would be cast into the pit of poverty and despair.

And now, you are brought to the edge of that pit, and must now become comfortable with the sight of it. And energized with the knowledge that its flames will melt your chains, and those of your fellow man.

I’m often asked how long we have. I don’t really know. And unless you’ve got a seat at The Table, you don’t know either. But I do think we have at least another year. And no, this isn’t 2012 hysteria. But, the Powers That Be will use that manufactured hysteria to further increase their grip until it all squishes between their hands like fists-full of gelatin.

In the years ahead, particularly after the impending collapse, what you know and what you can do will be far more valuable than anything you have today. Salvage what you can how you can, but spend this next year learning and understanding. And reaching out to those destitute and crushed among you who merely blazed the trail you now will follow. Spend what you still have wisely, on things which cannot be stolen or taxed or inflated away.

So, in this installment, I leave you with the familiar Kipling, worth another read right now. I know I don’t always live up to it, especially that “loss-breathing” part, particularly since the risk was man-made rather than by chance, but the rest is a worthy goal, don’t you think?

by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build ‘em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on”;

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run –
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man my son!

When that time has come, ours will be the Earth, and everything that’s in it.

Peer with me now into the pit, my friends, and be not afraid. The fear that is now gripping the monkeys, as they begin to feed upon themselves, means that we are winning. Cast not your lot with theirs.

© 2009-2011 Starve Monkey Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

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