Category Archive: 5.) Charles Hugh Smith

What Makes You Think the Stock Market Will Even Exist in 2024?

Given the extremes of the stock market's frauds and even greater extremes of wealth/income inequality it has created, tell me again why the stock market will still exist in 2024? When I read a financial pundit predicting a bull market in stocks through 2024, blah-blah-blah, I wonder: what makes you think the stock market will even exist in 2024, at least in its current form?

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Dancing Through the Geopolitical Minefield

The elites dancing through the minefield all have plans, but how many are prepared for the punch in the mouth? Open any newspaper from the past 100 years and you will soon find a newsworthy geopolitical hotspot or conflict. 

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An Interesting Juncture in History

Just as the rewards of central-bank bubbles have not been evenly distributed, the pain created by the collapse of the bubbles won't be evenly distributed, either. We've reached an interesting juncture in history, and I don't mean the pandemic. I'm referring to the normalization of extremes in the economy, in social decay and in political dysfunction and polarization.

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Forget the V, W or L Recovery: Focus on N-P-B

The only realistic Plan B is a fundamental, permanent re-ordering of the cost structure of the entire U.S. economy. The fantasy of a V-shaped recovery has evaporated, and expectations for a W or L-shaped recovery are increasingly untenable. So forget V, W and L; the letters that will shape the future are N, P, B: there is No Plan B.

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Is Data Our New False Religion?

In the false religion of data, heresy is asking for data that is not being collected because it might reveal unpalatably unprofitable realities. Here's how every modern con starts: let's look at the data. Every modern con starts with an earnest appeal to look at the data because the con artist has assembled the data to grease the slides of the con.

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The Illusion of Control: What If Nobody’s in Charge?

The last shred of power the elites hold is the belief of the masses that the elites are still in control. I understand the natural desire to believe somebody's in charge: whether it's the Deep State, the Chinese Communist Party, the Kremlin or Agenda 21 globalists, we're primed to believe somebody somewhere is controlling events or pursuing agendas that drive global responses to events.

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For the Rich to Keep Getting Richer, We Have to Sacrifice Everything Else

They're hoping the endless circuses and trails of bread crumbs will forever distract us from their plunder and the inequalities built into America's financial system.. The primary story of the past 20 years is the already-rich have gotten much richer, with destabilizing economic, social and political consequences. 

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Our Wile E. Coyote Economy: Nothing But Financial Engineering

Ours is a Wile E. Coyote economy, and now we're hanging in mid-air, realizing there is nothing solid beneath our feet. The story we're told about how our "capitalist" economy works is outdated. The story goes like this: companies produce goods and services for a competitive marketplace and earn a profit from this production. These profits are income streams for investors, who buy companies' stocks based on these profits. As profits rise, so do...

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The Fed’s Grand Bargain Has Finally Imploded

The Fed has backed itself not into a corner but to the edge of a precipice. Though the Federal Reserve never stated its Grand Bargain explicitly, their actions have spoken louder than their predictably self-serving, obfuscatory public pronouncements. Here's the Grand Bargain they offered institutional investors and speculators alike.

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Is the Pandemic Over and a V-Shaped Recovery Baked In?

So what do we know with any sort of certainty about the claim that "the pandemic is over"? Very little. Is the pandemic over in China, Europe, Japan and the U.S./Canada? Is the much-anticipated V-Shaped economic recovery already baked in, i.e. already gathering momentum? The consensus, as reflected by the stock market (soaring), the corporate media and governmental easings of restrictions seems to be "yes" to both questions.

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Deep State to Powell: Stop Goosing Stocks Higher Or You’ll Re-Elect Trump

Come on, Jay, you can always goose stocks back to new highs after the election. Indulge me for a moment in some backroom speculation. It's absurdly obvious that the unelected, permanent, ever-expanding National Security State, a.k.a the Deep State, and its Democratic Party allies have been attempting to torpedo Donald Trump since the 2016 election took them by surprise. (Imagine doing everything that worked so well in the past and failing at the...

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Global Crisis: the Convergence of Marx, Kafka, Orwell and Huxley

The global crisis is not merely economic; it is the result of profound financial, sociological and political trends described by Marx, Kafka, Orwell and Huxley. The unfolding global crisis is best understood as the convergence of the dynamics described by Marx, Kafka, Orwell and Huxley. 

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What Lies Ahead: Destabilizing Social Stratification

The bill for extreme wealth/income inequality is now overdue, and the penalties for ignoring the bill will be as extreme as the inequality. Our socio-economic-political system--let's call it the status quo--has been hollowed out by extremes of wealth/power inequality driven by financialization and globalization, which have enriched the top 5% and left everyone else behind.

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When Institutions Fail, Fragmentation and Decentralization Become Solutions

That which has failed is unsustainable, no matter how many trillions the Federal Reserve tosses against the tides of history.

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The Post-Covid Economy Will Be Very Different From the Pre-Pandemic Bubble Economy

As the old models break down, opportunities for new models will arise. Unstable, unsustainable systems can lull observers into a comfy complacency as instability increases beneath a thin veneer of apparent stability. That's the systemic story of the past 20 years: all the extremes that were needed to maintain the veneer of stability have increased the instability building beneath the complacent confidence.

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We’re Living the Founding Fathers’ Nightmare: America Is Corrupt to the Core

Our ruling elites, devoid of leadership, are little more than the scum of self-interested, greedy grifters who rose to the top of America's foul-smelling stew of corruption. The Founding Fathers were wary of institutional threats to liberty and the citizenry's sovereignty, which included centralized concentrations of power (monarchy, central banks, federal agencies, etc.) and the tyranny of corruption unleashed by small-minded, self-interested,...

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This Is How Systems Collapse

Flooding the financial system with "free money" only restores the illusion of stability. I updated my How Systems Collapse graphic from 2018 with a "we are here" line to indicate our current precarious position just before the waterfall: For those who would argue we're nowhere near collapse, consider that over 20% of the Federal Reserve's $2 trillion spew of free money went directly into the pockets of America's billionaires.

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An Economy That Cannot Allow Stocks to Decline Is Too Fragile To Survive

The fragile ice shelf of speculative bets and debt clinging to the mountainside is making strange creaking sounds-- will you listen or will you ignore it because 'the Fed has our back'? Feast your eyes on the chart below of the Nasdaq 100 stock market Index, which is dominated by the six FAAMNG (rhymes with "famine") stocks: Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Netflix and Google which now account for over 20% of the entire U.S. stock market's...

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Re-Opening the Economy Won’t Fix What’s Broken

Re-opening a fragile, brittle, bankrupt, hopelessly perverse and corrupt "normal" won't fix what's broken. The stock market is in a frenzy of euphoria at the re-opening of the economy. Too bad the re-opening won't fix what's broken. As I've been noting recently, the real problem is the systemic fragility of the U.S. economy, which has lurched from one new extreme to the next to maintain a thin, brittle veneer of normalcy.

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The Pandemic Gives Us Permission To Get What We Always Wanted

Dear Corporate America: maybe you remember the old Johnny Paycheck tune? Let me refresh your memory: take this job and shove it. Put yourself in the shoes of a single parent waiting tables in a working-class cafe with lousy tips, a worker stuck with high rent and a soul-deadening commute--one of the tens of millions of America's working poor who have seen their wages stagnate and their income becoming increasingly precarious / uncertain while the...

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