What will hit first? Economic armageddon or Environmental apocalypse?

By   /   November 13, 2017  /   40 Comments

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Since the 2007-2008 Global Financial Crisis, all the developed world has done is kick the day of market reckoning down the road with more and more money printing. At some point this band-aid won’t be able to stem the pressure building and it will rupture with a backlash that will make the depression look like a week without pocket money.

The four Accountants of the Apocalypse 

One of the main concerns behind the scenes of the negotiations to be the next Government was the deep seated belief that the global economy is about to implode.

Since the 2007-2008 Global Financial Crisis, all the developed world has done is kick the day of market reckoning down the road with more and more money printing. At some point this band-aid won’t be able to stem the pressure building and it will rupture with a backlash that will make the depression look like a week without pocket money.

What will hit first? Economic armageddon or Environmental apocalypse? 

It’s difficult to know what will hit us first, the Economic Armageddon or Environmental apocalypse caused by our dangerously warming climate.

I suspect they will both combine to create something beyond our scope to deal with.

When you are getting market spreads like this, panic doesn’t even seem to sum up the proper response. Remember, a spread above 30 points suggests elevated risk and a spread above 40 calls for ‘defensive measures’. Last week the spread was almost 50 fucking points…

Economic crash IMMINENT: Fears grow as markets hit high not seen since Black Tuesday
There is a growing sense of foreboding amongst economists who believe the market is poised to repeat what happened during the dotcom bubble and the Wall street crash.

Stock values have reached levels not seen since those two disasters and a correction would throw the world economy – currently seeing an ongoing boom period – into disarray.

Graham Hacche at the National Institute for Economic and Social Research (NIESR) said:“In both cases, sharp market ­declines followed these high readings.”

He went onto say the cyclically adjusted price-earning ratio (the Shiller CAPE ratio) has risen above 30 which shows “markets may have become increasingly vulnerable to shocks.”

…the question is no longer if, but when and where the economic crash will start and cascade from.

China could be the trigger…

Red debt rising

The news during the Chinese Communist Party Congress was supposed to be uniformly positive. But the Oct. 19 press conference of Zhou Xiaochuan, the governor of China’s central bank, was not. After admitting that the country’s high debt was high, he surprised everybody by adding that it was not so high as to cause a “Minsky Moment,” a sudden meltdown of asset prices. It was a fascinating insight into what worries China’s economic leaders and the tough choices they face.

…or it could be the failing Eurozone or Brexit that trigger it, or it could be the sudden realisation on Wall Street that Trump can’t get his tax cuts through.

Add in the sabre rattling over Chinese expansion into the Pacific, Venezuela imploding, North Korea going nuclear, Saudia Arabia launching war on Lebanon or a total collapse in Central Africa and any knock from Climate change could topple the global economy into free fall…

From Miami to Shanghai: 3C of warming will leave world cities below sea level
Hundreds of millions of urban dwellers around the world face their cities being inundated by rising seawaters if latest UN warnings that the world is on course for 3C of global warming come true, according to a Guardian data analysis.

What does a left wing Government do about it?

Anyway you want to look at it, the immediate future looks bleak, so what should a Left wing Government on these far away Shaky Isles do about it?

First of all, let’s appreciate the beauty and luck of our distance.

It’s near impossible for refugees to climb into boats and flee here successfully, we have a globally low debt to GDP ratio and we have enough fertile land to feed ourselves.

In short, the tyranny of our distance is going to end up being what saves us while the planet goes into meltdown.

Government will need to look to step in to bail the dairy industry out and help with conversions from dairy farms into growing trees, it will also need to extend that protectionism to first time home buyers who will get swamped by steep interest rate hikes.

Rapid moves to self sustainable energy supplies will be required and a Universal Basic Income will become necessary.

Self sufficiency from power generation to home vegetable gardens will become cultural norms.

This would be a perfect time to allow real advancement of new industries to replace farming like synthetic food production and green technology that is focused on adaptation.

A crisis is an opportunity. Once people see how capitalism has failed them they will demand a difference approach from the new Government, it will be up to the new Government to have the vision to see those demands through.

 

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40 Comments

  1. Aaron says:

    The question is will the Labour Party have the courage to kick capatalism in the teeth while it’s down – by which I mean state frankly that the crisis is caused by capatalism and we need something different.

    That’s what worries me most about a financial team that is still listening to Michael Cullen, too scared to sieze the moment

      • John W says:

        Michael Cullen who says the private banks don’t print money.

        He is not that dumb so is a gate keeper for the neo-liberal parasites.

        Self sufficiency and vegetable gardens used to be widely accepted as common sense until the spin doctors and private investors saw importation as a profitable replacement /bonanza.

  2. David Stone says:

    There is a third contender Martyn.
    US’s strategy for dealing with their escalating debt and off-shoreing of all their manufacturing bar weapons manufacture seems to be to instigate war wherever they can to promote weapons sales. And aren’t they going for it!
    Iran might however be more than they bargained for, especially since they can’t persuade their own cannon fodder to front up in the necessary numbers any more, and have to resort to stirring up and arming dissidents in other countries.
    As the fallout gets closer to Russia, and Russia is included in their warmongering rhetoric, the prospect of an all out WW3 is on the cards, with no holes barred.
    Also China has made it clear that though they will not support North Korea if N K attacks another country, they will defend N K if she is attacked by someone else. U S says all options are on the table to stop N K’s nuke programme, but N K is not going to stop it’s nuke programme until they have the capacity to threaten U S cities and so establish some security for themselves. This is going to require a backdown on the part of the United States of America to resolve without war. Hands up who can see that happening .
    No one will be prioritising climate change during that development, and the global financial madness will be remedied by the necessities of war as it was in WW2. But the conclusion is likely to be nuclear in either case and that will postpone global warming with a nuclear winter. And any straggling survivors are unlikely to resume climate changing levels of emissions for some time.
    D J S

    • Nitrium Nitrium says:

      That’s a bit “doomer” imo. Most likely is that the US (and the rest of the Western world) will capitulate to whatever China demands going forward, simply because there is no other reasonable option – nuclear exchange is not useful for anyone, which is why it hasn’t happened and won’t happen going forward. Thusly, China will become the de facto superpower in the coming years, something the entire world will deservedly have to deal with for good or bad (we created it, after all).

      The 3 degrees increase in temperature is something they expect to occur over the next 50 to 100 years (and that’s assuming the incredibly flawed climate models are somehow prognosticatory now given they have been less than useless so far), so I don’t really see that as a remotely pressing problem for any current government (or their voters), who have only short term personally beneficial agendas. That particular can will be kicked into perpetuity.

      Make no mistake though, global upheaval is coming – but imo it will be financial, as opposed to military or environmental.

      • Sam Sam says:

        Wages has remain stagnant to falling over the past 39 years or so. Signalling a relatively slow Global economic decline. We get cluster like Greece but those are for communities to worry about. It may be more likely than a lot of things, but it’s much more gradual in onset and somewhat self-correcting. Supply of fuel goes down, prices for fuel get higher, alternative fuels become economically viable. Not to mention government actively constricting use at the margins. 50kph speed limit everywhere, etc.

        NZ in particular has a lot of room to adjust and the resources to do it. What fucks NZ is a sudden event. Missile Destroyer of the coast, Sudden drop in bird population leading to deforestation, pandemic. These are the things New Zealand must build up reserves against to immunise ourselves. How we address these things is why we argue with the right.

        Now we are going to have a massive social and economic problem to solve in the coming decades. From a business perspective most of the population is simply surplus to requirements. We are reaching the point where, outside of a select few fields, human workers simply don’t add any value to the finished product. How we solve that problem is going to be the major issue of the 21st century.

        Natural resource depletion is not going to cause an economic collapse. And don’t even @me about peak oil for the simple reason that we can, with proven technology, rip carbon out of the atmosphere and turn it into petroleum products (gas, jet fuel, plastics, fertilizer, etc.). The only problem with this is well, petrol companies themselves not wanting to share profits with an industry that is fairly energy neutral. So you’d need a central command and control style RMA on roids to have access to enough atmosphere, land, sea area to do all this carbon scrubbing (Aka Communism) and if you wanted to take it global then you will need a central command and control because a price system won’t do it when private companies would have a fit over losing there sabre tooth TIGER!!! (Private capital)

        And this is the main reason why China is in a good position, they don’t need to worry about democracy is price mechanisms. Every one pretty much falls in line. Which is why the solutions are likely going to come from China.

        • John W says:

          Our problem is directly intertwined with harvesting of energy.

          Increasing our energy use makes the problem worse.

          Some thing for nothing with no negative consequences is stuff dreams are made of.

          We need to wake up.

          • Sam Sam says:

            In away yes. Hydro-electric has provided reliability, predictability, safety and security. And it’s working and it’s still working. At the same time coal fired power plants are almost non existent in New Zealand. We can not prevent Hydro electric power generation when we see how useful that energy has become. The answer I’ll give is which service is the more efficient and sustainable. Well it’s hydro electric.

            And all this maybe hearsay but I think it’s pretty accurate. Over half our exports are traded in the U.S dollar or euros. So if the U.S and Europe do not prosper than New Zealand will be less successful. And these are not problems that can be solved in years, it will take decades to solve because it’s taken even longer to develop to the stage it has. What energy solutions we take, must take a similarly long time to create. And there must be the political will to take the unpleasant steps that must be taken. So we have high debt and budget deficits and if we raise taxes Labour or National may not get re-elected.

            So I was thinking what would I do if I were Jacinda and I’d probably raise bonds (IOU’s) with no tax increase and with the bond put them in roads, airports, and rail that are not upto energy standards with of course the supply to match the output in vehicles and transport and bring them upto expectable standards and there for generate activity, workers with work and coins in the pockets and money will begin to flow. Whether this triggers a more optimistic view of the New Zealand economy and triggers further investments I don’t know. NZ has 25 hydro electric power plants now we must live with in those limits.

            So replacements for the dams, transformation of the transport network in conjunction with improving every ones participation in the economy just to leave the place in a bit better condition than how we received it are all expectable and achievable goals.

            • John W says:

              Good stuff Sam but nothing about what we are doing is sustainable in the long run.

              To use electricity we have to consume and make appliances, motors and devices which are all unsustainable pursuits. Even recycling uses up more non renewable Natural Resources.

              We are addicted to living ( most of us) and continuing our lifestyle or wanting more.

              A hopeless position to assume for the long term.

              The rest is mere transitory details that keep many occupied well away from the long term reality. Fundamental change from this path is prevented actively by those who could be most effective in promoting necessary change.

              Even the obvious changes needed are made too complex and confusing for the public to grasp.

              We are stuffing up badly and shitting in our nest with blinkers on.

  3. roy says:

    Might as well throw in Nuclear catastrophe as well.

  4. cleangreen says:

    Oh you all ahven’t heard the latest Antartica scientific reportn released today?

    it was mentioned on the newshub on my car radio driving up into the hills towards my ‘safe shelter’

    Apparently the latest report confirmed that there is record ice cap loss this year and now scientists have warned “the tippig point” has been reached fr catistropic weather patterns now emerge from the increased ice loss continuing at antartica.

    Congratulations to the corporate industrial elitists as you have generated so much CO2 levels in the last 30 yrs to totally screw our planet with your millions of more trucks on our roads now as you destroy rail, and you want to keep burning oil instead of promoting electric vehicles.

    Well my advice is; – find a safe place far above the low lying regions!! as you are going to have to ‘move up in the world’ – ‘literally’.

  5. cleangreen says:

    Oh you all ahven’t heard the latest Antartica scientific reportn released today?

    http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/world/2017/11/daunting-antarctic-sea-ice-plummet-could-be-tipping-point.html

    https://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/12/071214-tipping-points_2.html

    National geographic news article now added for your reading pleasure folks (sarc)

    it was mentioned on the newshub on my car radio driving up into the hills towards my ‘safe shelter’

    Apparently the latest report confirmed that there is record ice cap loss this year and now scientists have warned “the tippig point” has been reached fr catistropic weather patterns now emerge from the increased ice loss continuing at antartica.

    Congratulations to the corporate industrial elitists as you have generated so much CO2 levels in the last 30 yrs to totally screw our planet with your millions of more trucks on our roads now as you destroy rail, and you want to keep burning oil instead of promoting electric vehicles.

    Well my advice is; – find a safe place far above the low lying regions!! as you are going to have to ‘move up in the world’ – ‘literally’.

    • patricia bremner says:

      Yes Cleangreen, you are correct. Looking for horizon events, when we are surrounded by one is silly!!

      We have triggered changes we have no real understanding of, though history says it is bad for life.

      Someone compared us to the Roman Empire. Apt really, distracted by despots and greed, we are failing to see other dangers.

      Governments can only do what voters will allow, mostly reactive stuff.

      Long term planning needs to be innovative clever and timely. We have a good team in now, let’s hope they get people on board.

      Light rail, Heavy rail, barges, we need to do this. Or have no future.

  6. Castro says:

    Chinese invasion is what we’re looking at.

  7. Cemetery Jones says:

    I think you’re right about Brexit/Eurozone. The reason the EU is shaking the tree so hard is that they are broke. They need at least 20 billion quid out of Britain just to keep their nostrils above water. Lloyd Blankfein’s quip about how much time he’ll be spending in Frankfurt won’t seem so funny when he finds his limo besieged by rioting refugees or a horde of hungry Antifa. Fuck I’d pay good money to see that though.

  8. Marc says:

    99 percent of people around me do not seem to worry one bit. Never mind the future seems to be the motto, consume, shop, eat, drink, party and waste as usual.

    Others seem to be preparing for some tougher future environment and gain skills to survive without the blessings of civilisation.

    https://www.survivalschool.co.uk/

  9. garbaldi says:

    I agree with David Stone and Roy. I can’t trust Human Beings not to press the button, and I firmly believe it will be Israel and/or USA first.

  10. Johnnybg says:

    Well done, look who’s beginning to see the wood for trees. If we turn our waka around & head off into completely uncharted waters we will survive, flourish & lead. Sooner or later a drastically reduced global population will get in behind & follow our example. Mediocrity stinks, it’s time for a grand unifying vision (common cause) ~ noble (exemplary) leadership ~ South Pacific greatness.

  11. elle says:

    We can thank John Key for NZ.s weakness, he sold us to USA ,handed us over to the Chinese and then declared NZ has done well under National .
    Jacinda is so far not very promising,the NZ dollar has dropped in value ,prices have risen ,not her fault but if shes not going to be the shining light we have been led to believe, then we are no better off than under National.
    Maybe we expected too much.
    The BRICS alliance seem to be a more favourable option.

    • John W says:

      Agreed Elle except that UK / US now own us.
      Public protest and challenge of the lies we are fed daily relies on public education and personal will not to comply.

    • patricia bremner says:

      We will earn more from our exports as the dollar drops.
      None of this is Jacinda. China is beginning to struggle, america is pumped by Trump.

      When the big guys sniffle we get influenza.

  12. Johnnybg says:

    If we turn our waka around & head off into completely uncharted waters we will survive, flourish & lead. Sooner or later a drastically reduced global population will get in behind & follow our example. Mediocrity & muddling through is not the answer, it’s time for a grand unifying vision (common cause) – exemplary leadership – South Pacific greatness.

  13. David See-More says:

    Thousands of refugees are heading towards New Zealand thanks to the leftie Ardern and her mignons. I have some commonsense views on these latest leftie shennanigans.

    Antagonising Australia, is just going to get even more of these refugees heading towards NZ reports, published in the media – it’s Aussie’s way of trying to tell New Zealand to back-off from its pro-refugee pronouncements and kiwi-battler attempts to make Australia ‘do the right thing’.

    NZ cannot keep trying to embarrass Australia into doing the right thing. After all it took hundreds of years for Aboriginals to finally get an apology from the Aussie Govt after decades of endemic ‘abo-hunt’-mentality and the decimation of aboriginal land and culture. And, what’s worse is that Australia now treats its kiwi immigrants from New Zealand, like second class citizens, almost as bad, or even worse than aboriginals. The very minimum should be reciprocal rights. I blame Chris Hipkins and others for stirring up the hornet’s nest of Aussie politics through the Barnaby Joyce citizenship affair.

    Australia has also tried to deflect attention from the kiwi offer of refugee assistance, by stating that Trump will save the 600 refugees on Manus Island. But Trump’s praise of Duterte for his treatment of drug-dealers, is an ominous signal to 600 Manus refugees, of their possible fate if they are accepted into America, the land of the free. Execution? Refusal? Gitmo? A wall around Manus Island?

    United Future had a grand following under Peter Dunne and recently with their new Ryan-Gosling-lookalike, Damian Light. But, their base, of commonsense Kiwis, should throw their weight behind ACT. United Future are a spent force and the only way to return to right politics is to vote ACT.

    ACT is the only commonsense party left in New Zealand and we will continue to shine light on the truth of international cock-ups like Ardern’s, Turnbull’s, and Trump’s

    • patricia bremner says:

      What patent rubbish. Those who can pay for an eight thousand km sea journey are not refugees.

      • David See-More says:

        I agree Patricia, these refugees heading towards New Zealand from Australia, are either being sponsored to come here by a xenophobic Australian Government who don’t want them there, or the refugees are a figment of a right-wing-pro-Aussie-Aussie-Aussie media minority.

        Great comment Patricia.

    • Sam Sam says:

      @MrMoore

      “Australia’s offshore immigration detention program has cost the federal government at least $5 billion since 2012, new figures have confirmed.”

      So now. If we ask: If we add a little bit more irrelevant rhetoric to the closure of offshore detention centres and ask is this sustainable the answer is obviously NO!!!

      • David See-More says:

        It’s a pragmatic decision by the Aussies.

        A They don’t want refugees anymore, especially illegal ones.
        B They are trying to cut costs, which is a Turnbullian thing to do.
        C They saw the backlash they got her when they sent unwanted Kiwi refugees back here if the Kiwis had more than a 1 year jail sentence.
        D Trump’s a bit busy atm to deal with another unpopular immigration issue.
        E The power bill and water bill on Manus was getting a bit expensive.
        F Global warming is a big issue and Manus Island is 718 metres above sea level. It could get a bit expensive putting the barracks on stilts.

        ACT loves to have a commonsense approach to international affairs. ACT can’t wait to get back into power in NZ, so it can have a commonsense, pragmatic approach to New Zealand’s issues, in the same way that Turnbull is dealing with their issues.

        You know it makes sense.

        • Sam Sam says:

          Common sense is a long time against international affairs. Chinese history goes back 5000 years, at least. Europe about the same so 5000 years. America 2 or 3 hundred years. Weighed against that long history and pragmatism features a little bit. So I’m not sure China, India and the rest of Asia, and America can go on at the pace for the next 50 years. I think we can go on at the rate of growth at around 1% to 8%, 8% in the case of China for another 10 years or maybe 20 or maybe 50 years. Then they develop all the symptoms of a militarised and slow down. And growth rate begins to slow down the rate of growth from 11%, to 5%, then barley above 2% as is the case with the U.S, Europe, and New Zealand. So I wouldn’t like to use slogans for now. I think it’s safer to predict 10 years of growth or 15 years.

          We want to take advantage of growth. When New Zealand developed bilingualism China was not on the rise. And this is a major issue for a party that thinks every one should be just like rich white pricks. Now China is on the rise. Now we have to go for English as a first language because that connects us to the world of modern sciences, commerce. And that’s made New Zealand what it is today. If we make Chinese our working language we wouldn’t be here today. There wouldn’t be The Daily Blog and you wouldn’t be here. But even with the rise of China what can China do for us?

          The answer is the English language opened up the world to us. And we must now be open for business for them to come here. Not just Chinese but the Middle East and every one else who wish to bring commerce to New Zealand. But I incest on learning the native tongue (Te Reo) to maintain our sense of where we came from. The fact that you and I use English doesn’t mean that we are Englishman or an American. I think we must have our sense of self. And that sense of self gives you confidence in yourself and in the group you belong to. So that’s nothing to with the humongous migrant crises. I insist on the native tongue as a special achievement taught in public schools in order for pupils to have self respect and self identification of there adopted Nation.

          Now that China is on the rise it pragmatism says to do all this it will be a bonus point.

  14. wayne says:

    the shite will hit the proverbial when the Saudis start accepting chinese yuan for oil in 2018 crashing the petrodollar

  15. Afewknowthetruth says:

    The economic system is predicated on raising atmospheric CO2 and ruining the environment.

    All talk of cutting emissions or keeping overheating to below 2oC is hogwash.

    All talk of ‘sustainable development’ is hogwash.

    The shit will hit the fan for the globalized economic system between 2018 and 2020, due to energy constraints.

    The window of opportunity to prepare for the meltdowns -energetic, economic and environmental- passed long ago.

    New Zealanders have been lied to and betrayed for decades by their so-called leaders.

    • patricia bremner says:

      JK was sent to keep things the same. Oil and property bubbles.

      • David See-More says:

        Great commonsense views Patricia. ACT needs people like you and New Zealand needs a commonsense party like ACT, now that United Future have gone into political oblivion.

        United Future might have had a Ryan Gosling lookalike, but many have told me, I am New Zealand’s lookalike version of George Clooney. He has a lot of commonsense as well.

      • John W says:

        JK was also sent to hasten assett stripping which he has achieved.
        Now headed to be CEO of the local ANZ banking piracy.

    • John W says:

      If we lived as we did in the 18th century that was marginally sustainable on a global scale but not locally where population density was above average for the times.

      After that any degree of sustainable global human activity was lost rather rapidly with population expansion linked to greater energy harvesting.

      We have not and maybe cannot learn.

  16. darth smith says:

    has anyone else noticed the amount of MC mansions up for sale????i notice alot around mt roskill .i think the bubble is popping the speculators are trying to get out all at once the panic may be on

  17. Afewknowthetruth says:

    NZ is characterized by having incompetent fools, liars and rule-benders as decision-makers in its major institutions, including local and central government:

    ‘The Reserve Bank has given Westpac NZ, the government’s bank, 18 months to get its capital in order after an independent report found the bank to be using a series of unapproved capital models.’

    https://www.interest.co.nz/business/90905/very-disappointed-rbnz-increases-westpac-nzs-capital-requirements-after-material 

    Always unacknowledged is the fact that the entire financial system is now a byproduct of the global oil sector, and that the global oil sector is in deep shit. …. with prices too high for consumers and too low for producers, which is one of the reasons Venezuela has defaulted on a bond.

    Meanwhile, one of the few aspects of life that really matters long term, the temperature of the oceans, is continuing to rise, causing record-low ice cover in the Antarctic.

    However, we know that, for the foreseeable future, the environment will continue to be sacrificed, in order that dysfunctional economic arrangements can be propped up a little longer.

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