New Martenson Report (for subscribers)

This report is a quick review of my thoughts before I head out for the night...

More to come later this weekend.

The day everything changed

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

These recent outrageous events have left me stunned. Three years ago I transferred my retirement portfolio to an IRA and up until this year was actually doing well. While I expect to lose some and gain some along the path to retirement, I certainly didn’t expect to get my bare A## spanked as hard as it has. I’m becoming EXTREMELY worried about my ability to retire as planned (around 10 years), and what will be left, if anything, for my kids futures. For those who have the funds to secure some protection in tangible commodities such as gold, great - but what about the rest of us who rely on the almighty dollar, and can’t get out? I think I’m in the majority of folks with this one.

Here is what I’m doing. Being young, I have a bit more leeway with my assets.
I’ve canceled future contributions to my 401k. The dollar will either be worthless or taxes will be far higher than today (they have to be with our growing debt load). The extra money will be going toward purchasing commodities.
I’ve moved my 401k investments into a treasury fund. It’s not a great solution, but I think I will have enough time to anticipate meltdown. Being that the S&P 500 has underperformed in the same 10 years I’m not actually worried about losing out on many gains and I don’t have to worry about a crash.
I’ve moved my IRA into a money market fund. Same.

How would I go about moving my 401k into a treasury fund if, say, it’s with Fidelity? I tried to freeze it out and request a rollover into an IRA, but I guess it didn’t occur to me that this is only possible if you walk off the job. I don’t want to see my investments vanish with the dollar. What is the insurance yielded by moving the lot into a treasury fund?

I feel like we are on the unsinkable ship with a fire brewing and an iceberg dead ahead. No matter how many life vests we tie to the rails or how hard we try to bail her out she’s still going down. I hope you have your life boat ready!
I have thought about what to do and have realized that I can’t predict what or when it will happen and have decided that self reliance is where we need to be. We know about having 3-4 month supply of cash, gold, food, etc., but just wanted to mention a couple more ideas. Get some seeds and if you have the space or means start a garden. Keep that 72 hour kit up to date. You may even think about a good water purifier.
I like Chris’s point that, if by chance they can pull a rabbit out of the that we can sit back laugh about how worried we were and get to life as normal (that’s taking some liberty paraphrasing but I think that is the gist of it).
We just had 7 years of plenty, if that means anything to anybody. (2001-2015).

Section 1. Short Title.
This Act may be cited as ____________________.
Sec. 2. Purchases of Mortgage-Related Assets.
(a) Authority to Purchase.–The Secretary is authorized to purchase, and to make and fund commitments to purchase, on such terms and conditions as determined by the Secretary, mortgage-related assets from any financial institution having its headquarters in the United States.
(b) Necessary Actions.–The Secretary is authorized to take such actions as the Secretary deems necessary to carry out the authorities in this Act, including, without limitation:
(1) appointing such employees as may be required to carry out the authorities in this Act and defining their duties;
(2) entering into contracts, including contracts for services authorized by section 3109 of title 5, United States Code, without regard to any other provision of law regarding public contracts;
(3) designating financial institutions as financial agents of the Government, and they shall perform all such reasonable duties related to this Act as financial agents of the Government as may be required of them;
(4) establishing vehicles that are authorized, subject to supervision by the Secretary, to purchase mortgage-related assets and issue obligations; and
(5) issuing such regulations and other guidance as may be necessary or appropriate to define terms or carry out the authorities of this Act.
Sec. 3. Considerations.
In exercising the authorities granted in this Act, the Secretary shall take into consideration means for–
(1) providing stability or preventing disruption to the financial markets or banking system; and
(2) protecting the taxpayer.
Sec. 4. Reports to Congress.
Within three months of the first exercise of the authority granted in section 2(a), and semiannually thereafter, the Secretary shall report to the Committees on the Budget, Financial Services, and Ways and Means of the House of Representatives and the Committees on the Budget, Finance, and Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the Senate with respect to the authorities exercised under this Act and the considerations required by section 3.
Sec. 5. Rights; Management; Sale of Mortgage-Related Assets.
(a) Exercise of Rights.–The Secretary may, at any time, exercise any rights received in connection with mortgage-related assets purchased under this Act.
(b) Management of Mortgage-Related Assets.–The Secretary shall have authority to manage mortgage-related assets purchased under this Act, including revenues and portfolio risks therefrom.
(c) Sale of Mortgage-Related Assets.–The Secretary may, at any time, upon terms and conditions and at prices determined by the Secretary, sell, or enter into securities loans, repurchase transactions or other financial transactions in regard to, any mortgage-related asset purchased under this Act.
(d) Application of Sunset to Mortgage-Related Assets.–The authority of the Secretary to hold any mortgage-related asset purchased under this Act before the termination date in section 9, or to purchase or fund the purchase of a mortgage-related asset under a commitment entered into before the termination date in section 9, is not subject to the provisions of section 9.
Sec. 6. Maximum Amount of Authorized Purchases.
The Secretary’s authority to purchase mortgage-related assets under this Act shall be limited to $700,000,000,000 outstanding at any one time
Sec. 7. Funding.
For the purpose of the authorities granted in this Act, and for the costs of administering those authorities, the Secretary may use the proceeds of the sale of any securities issued under chapter 31 of title 31, United States Code, and the purposes for which securities may be issued under chapter 31 of title 31, United States Code, are extended to include actions authorized by this Act, including the payment of administrative expenses. Any funds expended for actions authorized by this Act, including the payment of administrative expenses, shall be deemed appropriated at the time of such expenditure.
Sec. 8. Review.
Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.
Sec. 9. Termination of Authority.
The authorities under this Act, with the exception of authorities granted in sections 2(b)(5), 5 and 7, shall terminate two years from the date of enactment of this Act.
Sec. 10. Increase in Statutory Limit on the Public Debt.
Subsection (b) of section 3101 of title 31, United States Code, is amended by striking out the dollar limitation contained in such subsection and inserting in lieu thereof $11,315,000,000,000.
Sec. 11. Credit Reform.
The costs of purchases of mortgage-related assets made under section 2(a) of this Act shall be determined as provided under the Federal Credit Reform Act of 1990, as applicable.
Sec. 12. Definitions.
For purposes of this section, the following definitions shall apply:
(1) Mortgage-Related Assets.–The term “mortgage-related assets” means residential or commercial mortgages and any securities, obligations, or other instruments that are based on or related to such mortgages, that in each case was originated or issued on or before September 17, 2008.
(2) Secretary.–The term “Secretary” means the Secretary of the Treasury.
(3) United States.–The term “United States” means the States, territories, and possessions of the United States and the District of Columbia

I can’t begin to express my gratitude for the work you have put into this crash course. This has easily been the most engrossing, yet terrifying three hours I have spent…perhaps ever.
I have always been burdened with a sense of “knowing” that something big was on the horizon. So much so that I have refrained from having children out of the sense that exponential population growth will result in our ultimate demise.
Sadly, I believe that humans are destined to systematically destroy themselves and everything in their wake. Just as your multiple bell curves suggest, if we lump all instances of societies depleting themselves out of existence into one projection, we can assume that it is human nature to consume until we are unable to survive.
I used to fantasize that if only the Native Americans could have retained this country everything would have been fine. Now I understand that they were on the same crash course, which was accelerated by white mans’ technology. It’s human nature.
Perhaps I’m being overlty fatalistic, but I’ve come to the conclusion that the only way to cope with this crisis is to fend for yourself (and that of your immediate tribe) and strive to live a sustainable life until enough of the population has been decimated to pick up in a more responsible manner. Perhaps we will evolve to live within our means, but not until a mass extinction takes place.
Either way, I’m fine with it. In the grand scheme of things, humans are but a small blip on the Universe’s radar.