The freight train is barrelling down the tracks with malfunctioning brakes, the conductor is leaning on the horn, but very few people standing on the tracks and in imminent danger seem to hear it. The deaf ears are caused by the fact that most people are rather comfortable. It isn't until the train has run them over do they begin to hear the roaring of the wheels over the track and the steam horn blaring.
It seems that every single day that passes brings with it another victim of the runaway train. People forced to open their ears and eyes and reckon with the fact that life is not what it once was. The Roaring 20s isn't a decade of prosperity and cultural expressiveness this time around. Instead it's a decade of economic deterioration and cultural rot marking the end of the Industrial Age and the chaotic transition into the Digital Age. This transition is going to prove to be tumultuous for many around the globe and some are just beginning to realize this.
The second half of the 20th century brought with it a consolidation of power that led to an obsession of central planning. Slowly but surely, decision after decision, cut by cut, the insatiable desire of central authorities to stick their fingers in every part of your life has led to the brute forcing of encroachments on the free market that has given a very select group of people control over money, energy, food, healthcare, and your "civil liberties". On their quest they've successfully gained control of these facets of your life and we're all finding out rather quickly that they may have their hands on the levers but they simply do not know how to operate them.
People across the world are waking up to find that they simply cannot afford to operate their businesses in the wake of energy prices going nuclear over the last few months. Small businesses, many of whom are lucky to be around and are still trying to pick up the pieces after they were forced to shutdown by the unproductive central planners, are facing energy bills that are more than five times they were accustomed to paying just a few months ago. A couple more months of this and cities and towns will become ghost cities. There will be nowhere to go because small business owners and big box stores alike will be forced out of the market by costs that are simply too high. Here's an example out of the UK today that was making the rounds on Twitter.
Callum's mum may try to avoid shuttering her doors by raising her prices by more than 5x but that will result in $13 chocolate crossiants and $20 iced lattes. The average bloak will only be able to stomach those prices if his salary is increased materially within the next few weeks and that is most likely not going to happen. So it seems like, barring the psychotic leaders of the world deciding to end their dick measuring contest and choosing to move forward with diplomacy and sane energy policy, industry at both ends of the spectrum is going to grind to a halt. People are going to be thrown to the unemployment wolves. And things are going to descend into a dark place rather quickly.
We've been saying this for weeks but something we haven't really touched on is just how woefully underprepared most people are. This crisis is starting in Europe, but due to the hyperinterconnected nature of the global economy it will reach our shores as well. This thought made me think of this "day in the life of a LinkedIn employee" TikTok that was going around Twitter the other week.
How many of these types of people are out there? Enjoying jobs that pay you to do nothing but eat, socialize and complete some remenial tasks every couple of hours. Surfing the central bank driven liquidity wave that has created an easy money mirage of relative comfort and stability blissfully unaware of the train barreling straight for them because they have their AirPods™ on full blast searching for the latest viral beat on TikTok. This rag may be coming off a bit rambly up to this point, but what I'm trying to get at is that there is a fuck ton of people who do not understand that their state of comfort and stability - even in its reduced form post-COVID lockdowns - is about to take a material hit. And when that happens to tens or hundreds of millions of people around the world in relatively short order what kind of chaos is going to ensue? What happens when that many people aren't able to collect a paycheck for months at a time? What type of animalistic caveman shit are we about to see unleashed on the world?
Try to prepare as best you can.
Clip of the day...
Neel Kashkari is liking the market downturn. Subscribe to the TFTC Clips channel to get high-signal-bite-sized pieces of content.
Oh to be a blissfully unaware two-month old.