Comparing and Contrasting 1929 and 2013:In 1928, banks lent people money to buy stocks, totalling in huge volumes, leading to skyrocketing stock prices and a very rosy economic picture. In 1929, the stock bubble could not hold and began to deflate. To save the day, millionaires bought up huge amounts of stocks to boost their worth, and it worked, until they sold them for huge profits, and the market crashed. Lots of people jumped off buildings on that Black Tuesday.

In 2013, the market is again flying high, but inconsistent with the rest of the economic picture – poverty deepening (more and more people on food stamps and medicaid), unemployment rising (contrary to what the government and mainstream media say – their “unemployment easing” numbers are manipulated, by dismissing some 300,000 people as being unemployable). The stock market is boosted by the Federal Reserve (U.S. central bank) injecting money huge quantities of money into it, artificially boosting stock prices.

But there is one huge difference. The money injected into the stock market in 1929 was real money, based on gold, so there is a limit to it. Now in 2013, the money injected into the stock market is paper money, of which the Federal Reserve prints $85 billion every month, or about $1 trillion every year. This, in one sense, can inflate the stock market bubble indefinitely. But in another sense, there is a limit as to how big the bubble can get before it bursts, and the bigger the bubble, the worse the inevitable market crash will get.

Anthony Marr, Founder and President
Heal Our Planet Earth (HOPE)
Global Anti-Hunting Coalition (GAHC)



HYPERINFLATION – A Case StudyThe First World War spanned July 1914 and November 1918. As of 1914, the Weimar Republic suffered a fatal bout of hyperinflation that destroyed the German Mark. Witness this:

1914 – 1 USD (gold backed) = 4.2 Marks (paper backed)
1918 – 1 USD = 8.9 Marks
1919 – 1 USD = 47 Marks
1920 – 1 USD = 60 Marks
1921 – 1 USD = 330 Marks
1922 – 1 USD = 8,000 Marks
1923 – 1 USD = 1,000,000,000 Marks

Towards the end, prices doubled exponentially on a daily basis.

Why? Because, unlike other countries that finance the war by raising taxes, the German Kaiser and Parliament decided without opposition to fund the war entirely by borrowing. And after the war, Germany mass-printed banknotes with which to pay reparation to other countries. There were other causes, including the Treaty of Versailles and the London Ultimatum, but baseless money, massive borrowing and mass banknote printing are the three main components to the financial disaster.

Sounds familiar? In 1971, the Nixon administration kicked gold from underneath the USD. In recent years, the Federal Bank mass-printed paper money ito the tune of $billion every day. By 2012, the national debt had burgeoned to $16.3 trillion; the trend is exponential – the largest annual addition to the outstanding public debt during the Nixon years was $30.9 billion; Ford $87.2 billion; Carter $81.2 billion; Reagan $302 billion; Bush Sr. $432 billion; Clinton $347 billion; Bush Jr. $1,017 billion; Obama – $1,885 billion.

Is it now America’s turn? Whether or not the situation will slip out of control is a matter for debate. Time will tell, and I doubt that it will take too long.

Anthony Marr, Founder and President
Heal Our Planet Earth (HOPE)
Global Anti-Hunting Coalition (GAHC)



Consider this family:
2012 income: $24,680
2012 spending: $38,200
2012 total cumulative debt: $163,500 (with no collateral)
2012 additional debt: $38,200 – $24,680 = $13,520
2012 interest @ 2%: $3,270
2013 planned spending cuts: $850

1. Would you want to be a part of this family?
2. Is this situation sustainable?
3. Can the planned $850 spending cut save the family from financial ruin?
4. What will happen to the family if the interest rate rises to 5%, raising the interest from ~$3000 to ~$8,000?
5. What will happen if no lender would lend this family any more money?
6. Regardless, is bankruptcy the inevitable outcome?
7. If so, how imminent is the end?

The answer to the first question is: Whether you want to or not, you are a part of this family, and this family is called America – just add 8 zeros behind the numbers.

Of course this is a simplified analogy. On the national and international levels there are other factors at play. Following is how America has been and is dealing with the situation, and what probably will happen:

1. The Federal Reserve (central bank) has been printing billions of dollars out of paper on a daily basis to “finance” the government expenditure, including paying the interest on the $16.3 trillion national debt to maintain its credit rating so that it could borrow more. But in doing so, it devalues the USD domestically.

2. The Federal Reserve has been keeping the interest rate at rock bottom to minimize for the government the interest to be paid.

3. The government is now trying “Sequestration” towards reducing the deficit by $85 billion, such that it needs to borrow “only” $1.27 trillion rather than $1.35 trillion in 2013, making the total debt in 2013 “only” $17.62 trillion rather than $17.70 trillion.

4. Due to the US Dollar still being historically the World Reserve Currency, foreign governments have accumulated large quantities of USDs in cash and bond for international trading purposes (e.g. China has stockpiled about $2 trillion in USDs and Japan $1 trillion). But over the last year or so, powerful countries have been signing bilateral trade agreements with their trading partners, e.g. Brazil, Russia, India and China (the BRIC countries), as well as the E.U. and even the O.P.E.C. countries, in their own currencies, especially the Chinese Yuan, instead of the USD. So in truth, the USD has to a significiant degree been displaced. If and when this becomes prevalent, or even widespread, the USD held by various countries will become extraneous, and they will tend to sell it for, say, gold. If and when enough countries sell their USD holding, the USD will plummet.

5. In order to discourage the other countries from selling their USD holdings, the US Federal Reserve will have to raise the interest rate to, say, 5% to make US bonds more attractive to their holders. But in doing so, the interest to be paid by the US government will rise accordngly, from ~$300 billion a year to ~$800 billion a year. The US deficit will worsen by ~$500 billion a year, necessitating the US to borrow ~$1.8 trillion rather than the ~$1.3 trillion.

6. However, if those countries holding large amounts of USDs sell their USD holdings too quickly, it would depreciate the USD precipitously, thus reducing the worth of their holding, so they are not likely to do so, but this would depend on the domestic value of the USD. If, due to the unbased printing of vast quantities of paper dollars the USD devalues by 2%, the USD-holders will require a higher interest rate than 2% on their US bonds to just break even, which will force the Federal reserve to raise the interest rate to prevent massive selling of the USD in the domestic and international arenas.

7. Rising interest rates will raise the cost of private sector borrowing, the cost of doing business, and retail prices, resulting in inflation. It will depress many sectors of the US economy, including manufacturing, energy, transportation, real estate and retail sales. It will cause many companies to downsize or fold and increase employment. On the federal level, revenue will fall, expenditure will rise, debt interest will balloon, the deficit will burgeon, and the national debt will tower even more.

8. The American mind set of maintaining itself as the world’s pre-eminent military power, outspending the next 17 nations combined, including quadrupling the Chinese expenditure, will continue to cost the US $700 billion every year which the economy could ill afford, with little to show for an economic return. This alone will drive the US into an economic dead end. The only way for the military to pay for itself is to be used to seize foreign assets, including oil, which could ignite World War III.

9. In the short run, the improving US energy self-sufficiency may hold the economy steady, but since it is concentrated in the fossil fuels, i.e. all but ignoring green energy sources R&D, it will exact a substantial environmental cost. Further, the fossil fuels are not infinite and will be exhausted in the foreseeable future, at which point there will be no significant alternative energy to sustain the economy nor take over from the fossil fuels physically. And at the rate of energy consumption, the end, when it comes, will be sudden and calamitous. Even if the US takes over Canadian resources by force, it will be just to delay the inevitable.

10. Finally, environmental factors have to be factored into the equation. Climate change, especially drought, has already been decimating and will continue to decimate US food production, and violent weather events will impose a huge restitution cost. If/when food falls short on US soil, and no other country has its own food surplus for importation into the US, social chaos could result, which in itself could devastate the economy.

Through this scenario, there will be a slow and gradual decline, but not a precipitous collapse. IMHO, if the collapse does occur, it will be caused overseas. For the moment, the US being the top consumer of Chinese goods, a collapse of the US economy will cause a corresponding recession of Chinese manufacturing. So it would be against Chinese interest to cause a collapse of the US economy. But if/when the USD declines past a certain point, US economy becomes depressed enough, American consumption of Chinese goods falls below a certain critical threshold, and the Chinese Yuan attains an equal or greater international stature, it could cause other countries to exchange their USDs for the Chinese Yuan, or for gold. China may do so itself. This then could be the trigger for a full blown American economic collapse.

The US has been massively printing money ex nihilo to bolster its standard of living since 1971 when gold was cast aside as the solid foundation of the economy. It is the hugest economy bubble the world has ever seen, and as we all know, there is no bubble that would never burst – the bigger the bubble, the more destructive the result.

All in all, do I see a way out of this vicious cycle, this death spiral? Not if America carries on its present trajectory. The only way out is a radical departure from its current course, right down to the very way of life, and even its very way of looking at the world. The American standard of living, though not necessarily its quality of life, must be substantially lowered. The transition, though it will lead to a better countries and a sustainable world, will be rocky and painful. Ultimately, it must be recognized that a finite planet cannot support an infinite demand.

Anthony Marr, Founder and President
Heal Our Planet Earth (HOPE)
Global Anti-Hunting Coalition (GAHC)



If you are verging on bankruptcy and your house is threatened with foreclosure, but you have a clear-title Ferrari, you sell the Ferrari to keep up your mortgage payments. This is just what the US might eventually have to do.

There might just come a day when the US cannot raise the debt ceiling another inch, and cannot borrow another billion dollars, while the GOP continues to refuses raising taxes on those making more than $250,000. How will the government continue to issue food stamps or pay the seniors and veterans their due? How about selling the Statue of Liberty to France? Or Alaska back to Russia? Or the Yellowstone National Park to Germany? Or the state of Washington to Canada? Or, better yet, the entire electric grid to China? – to prevent a total economic collapse.

This is not pure speculation. It is exactly what Greece has been forced by her financial overlords to do, so as to stay liquid and solvent – temporarily – by selling off her public assets and privatizing her infrastructure. Thus, the big banks get more and more bloated, while Greece becomes daily impoverished.

Back on the personal level, the little guy, even one in the Middle Class, or a farmer, has been victim to Big Banks in a deliberate scheme where by the banks make loans they know the debtor will under certain foreseeable circumstances default, e.g. when a drought hits the farm, when they will foreclose and claim the property for themselves. Thus, the super-rich gets super-richer, and the little guy falls from the Middle Class or the farm to join the food line.

Financial Oligarchy at its finest!

Anthony Marr, Founder and President
Heal Our Planet Earth (HOPE)
Global Anti-Hunting Coalition (GAHC)


“… unsustainable fiscal path…” – GOA

On January 17, the Government Accountability Office released a report, with the line “… absent policy changes – the federal government continues to face an unsustainable fiscal path… the dollar will collapse…”A talk show host observed, “… Most Americans are not willing to listen. Even worse, many are not even smart enough to listen…”

Let me acquit myself here. I’m normally not a fan of this talk show host nor those of his ilk. But on this point, he is bang on. This transcends left and right. The consequences will impact everybody in America. And not just Americans, but Canadians, Europeans, and others currently under the U.S. influence.

What does the collapse of the dollar mean? It means that your savings may amount to a fraction of their previous worth, and the dollars in your pocket won’t be worth much more than the paper they are printed on, which also means that a gallon of gas may cost $40 rather than $4, which in turn means that the transportation system may grind to a halt.

One thing I do disagree with the report and the talk show host. They advocate a gross reduction of government spending alone. Although this is important, it is only one side of the coin. An increase of revenue is just as important. To raise taxes on only the top 2% making more than $450,000, while those making $390,000 per year can continue to live in luxury, simply won’t cut it. If/when the economy falls, they too will fall, and fall the hardest.

But one thing is for certain. This has now hit the mainstream media. There is no place for it to hide.

Anthony Marr, Founder and President
Heal Our Planet Earth (HOPE)
Global Anti-Hunting Coalition (GAHC)


Self-Defence for S.H.T.F.

Kath Worsfold: I live in New Zealand, where the police do not carry guns (we have a special “armed offenders squad” that is sent out for worst case scenarios). Most people do not have guns, except for a minority who have them for hunting. / Do you think it’s possible for middle aged people who live out in the sticks to learn enough martial arts to protect themselves when the collapse comes? Or, should we just resign ourselves to our (violent) fate?

Anthony Marr: Hi Kath, for the people in the US where 1/4-1/3 of the population have guns, and even in Canada where, as in NZ, most normally don’t, it is inconceivable for police to not carry firearms. In the US, things have gone so far that the last development is the MILITARIZATION of police, starting with arming them not just with pistols, but with assault weapons, and even so, they might still be no match for the armed gangs infesting cities like Chicago (100,000 gang members), Detroit (official warning: “Enter at your own risk!”) and LA, much less in an SHTF-type situation where it would everybody-for-himself, gang-members or non-gang-members, armed or unarmed.

I’m not sure how bad things could get for NZ in a national and global economic collapse scenario. But if it is anything like what could happen in the US, and what did happen in Argentina in 2001, it is wise to take some precautions just in case. Since I’m not too familiar with the sociology of NZ, I could exemplify with the US, and you could make adjustments accordingly, the major difference being the absence or prevalence of “civil” weaponry.

In the short run, everything rests upon the stability of the economy, and in the long run, on the integrity of the ecology. Regarding the economy, it depends primarily on whether or not there will be hyperinflation. In a hyperinflational scenario, prices could double in a matter of days, and in severe cases, a matter of hours. If food is still available, a loaf of bread could cost 10 time as much, next week, and that is the good part. The bad part is if fuel prices increase drastically, in which case the transportation system could grind to a halt, nationally and even internationally. Check your local supermarkets and note which items, be it food, drugs or other basic necessities, are imported from overseas or trucked in from other parts of the country. These are what people would have to do without. Consider the social ramifications of hurricane Sandy and stretch it our over months if not years, and you will get some idea as to how chaotic things could get.

Whether or not society would turn violent and chaotic depends on the degree of desperation regarding water, food, fuel, drugs and electricity. Hyperinflation, if it happens, would be sudden and fast. If transportation is halted, things could run out within a week, be it via orderly purchase or looting. Google “Argentina riots 2001” and take some hints from history.

As borne out by Sandy, most people have no more food than about 3 days’ worth. For yourself, I would recommend to have enough non-perishable food – canned or dried (esp. rice and beans) – to last for at least 3 months.

As for self-defence, I do believe that martial arts is a fundamental element. To say the least it gives you an air on confidence (not cockiness) which in it itself is a front line deterrent. There are techniques that people of any age can acquire within weeks, and master with practice. Beyond this, I would say that ones means of defence should match the means of any home-invaders’ means of offence. If you have family animals, keep them safe!

In the US, the average home invaders if/when the SHTF won’t be mom-and-dad-with-children-in-tow, who would come begging, but hungry hordes or organized gangs, likely armed, combing the neighbourhood for their next meal, so some form of communal defence is an element of basic security.

Martial-arts-wise, not meaning to make it look impossible, but here is a 4 minute video showing how incredibly potent it could be. 🙂

Also, by all means see my blogs on collapse (September) in:

Take care and good luck!