Monday, March 12, 2012

Briefing for Monday, March 12, 2012

Some Days, It Takes a Toll.

Rap artist Big Daddy Kane once quipped "Pimpin' ain't easy."  Neither is blogging about being prepared.

I will confess there are many nights I think about a blog post an hour after I've published it, thinking "Am I really blogging about bank runs and storable food and FEMA-approved clergy and solar ovens and ham radios and rain barrels and martial law?  What do people who read my blog think about all of this?  Do they think I'm crazy?  A conspiracy theorist?  Are my musings helping anyone at all?"

I don't share this with you in an effort to garner your positive affirmations.  I do get those from time to time; they are greatly appreciated.  Instead, I share it with you to let you folks know that I fully realize much of what I am talking about seems so.....incomprehensible.  Unnecessary.  Void of common wisdom.  Fanciful.  Bizarre.  Not a day goes by that I don't think about the fact my interest for this subject must seem odd to so many people.  Hell, it seems odd to me.  I wish I understood what makes me think about this stuff.

And so, dear readers, rest assured I am well aware some of my writings may seem outside the norm of what most people spend time discussing and analyzing. I get that.  I really do.  Know that when I share things with you, it's because I genuinely feel it's something we need to be discussing, or because I think it will help motivate you to become better prepared for what awaits us down the road.

....And Then Other Days, The Blog Writes Itself.

The despair continues in Greece, where unemployment of young people now exceeds 50%

The Federal Reserve releases the results of its "doomsday stress tests" for 19 banks this Thursday afternoon - "doomsday" defined as "a 13 percent jobless rate, a 50-percent drop in stocks, a 21-percent decline in housing prices and a significant contraction of other major world economies."  (Don't worry, guys - there is NO way the Fed will announce anything other than "the banks are in great shape.  Nothing to see.  Move along."  To do otherwise in a presidential election year would create a tremendous amount of uncertainty in the markets and affect a number of federal elections.)

The Wall Street Journal reports General Electric's CEO Jeffery Immelt penned in his annual report to shareholders that

"the world has entered "a new economic era" in which instability is the norm and emerging markets are growing while developed markets slow.

He said he expects interest rates to stay low for an extended period, and noted that raw material prices have been moving higher while "broad-based social unrest" around the world could be an issue for a long time."

And so I ask you: if you don't believe in preparing yourselves and your families for the possibility of tough times, what response should we have to stories like this?  And what convinces you the risk of trouble here in the United States is so negligible as to not warrant serious consideration?

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