2012: Predictions of a Mad Tin Foiler
January 3rd, 2012
As with every New Year there’s no shortage of forecasts for what’s to come. This year we, too, will attempt to interpret the crystal ball and share some items for consideration and a road map of events to keep an eye out for. We don’t like to make time-sensitive forecasts, because if there’s one thing we should have learned from the last three years, it’s that the expedient and self serving actions of governments, corporate conglomerates, and politicians are anything but predictable and often supersede any timetable we can come up with. In an environment based on incomplete information it is difficult to conclude, with any degree of certainty, which events will play out, when, how and what their consequences will be.
Who could have accurately predicted that governments would undertake the largest tax-payer funded bailout in history after the collapse of the financial system in 2008, further expanding the multi-trillion dollar global debt bubble, instead of letting it correct itself naturally? How many actually believed, amid protests from millions of Americans, that Congress would follow through with the passage of socialized health care in what it supposed to be the world’s bastion of free market capitalism? Who truly believed that American citizens would be, in one sweeping broad stroke, marked as persons-of-interest and domestic extremists for seemingly innocent behavior that can now land them in a detention facility for life without charge or trial? Did anyone foresee a complete collapse of the middle class, the wipe-out of trillions of dollars in retirement and pension savings through stock losses and inflation, the decimation of the domestic job market and wages, or the record levels of poverty stricken Americans requesting food assistance and unemployment insurance?
Actually, there were plenty of awake and aware Americans out there that saw it coming – many wrote about it on their blogs, spoke to us in videos, shared on their social media pages, or started discussions in community forums across the internet. Some of the forecasts may not have happened within a specified time frame or exactly how we may have expected, but many happened as predicted, and in some cases were much more extreme than we could have ever imagined.
As you read the following items for consideration going into 2012, keep in mind that nothing is set in stone, and events may play out very rapidly once they have been catalyzed, as we saw with the Occupy protests and European riots in 2011, or at a slow but progressively worsening pace, as we’re seeing with the globalization of war in the middle east and elsewhere.
The following forecasts are based on trends that are and have been developing for months and years. Some are more likely than others. Some may never come to pass. Others are events that have a high probability of coming to pass, perhaps in 2012 or in the next few years. Whatever the case, they are scenarios that are, in many cases, interrelated . So, if you see one come to fruition, the chance that another will take place grows exponentially.
1. Europe Is Going Down
We don’t need to explain the seriousness of the situation in Europe other than to point out that Greece’s economic problems are nothing compared to Spain, Portugal, Italy and the combined eastern European nations. The entire European Union is under threat and we’ve heard talk of a potential break up of the currency, and even the possibility of countries exiting the EU altogether. Even Germany has discussed this possibility. The situation is dire and the only thing holding it up at this point is the same thing holding up the U.S. economy: monetary machinations. But, as Horace said (65 – 8 BC), “you can drive nature out with a pitchfork, she will nevertheless come back.“ The collapse of Europe is inevitable. It will not be stopped by more centralization. The Euro will be destroyed, and it may very well happen in 2012. In anticipation of the coming currency meltdown, the world’s largest lenders and investment firms are already pulling their money out of the European financial system and transferring those assets to perceived safety in US Treasuries and other instruments. We’re so close to a serious collapse in Europe that Britain has taken the unprecedented step of preparing evacuation plans for their citizens living in EU countries in case they are rendered penniless and without means to return to the UK when the Euro crashes. Other European governments are making contingency plans to deal with riots, violence and uprisings when the system goes critical.