Hi, my name’s Bill Bonner.
Around 35 years ago, I assembled a group of analysts – including the former head of the BBC, and an Oxford scholar… to research, expose, and even predict massive world shifts.
In 1987, we predicted that the Soviet Union would collapse. A few years later, that’s exactly what happened.
In 1989, I was personally mocked for predicting that the Japanese stock market would crash. We wrote, “The long-running bull market in Tokyo may be nearing an end.” Months later, the Japanese stock market crashed. It has never recovered.
In 1993, we predicted the rise of Muslim terrorism, writing “especially troubling for many in the West will be the rise of Islam. This could be the biggest threat to world peace in the next two decades. The bomb at New York’s World Trade Center is just a small taste of what’s to come.”
Eight years later the September 11 attacks hit the World Trade Center again.
In 2000, I sent out a note warning that a “day of reckoning” was at hand for the dot-com boom. That very day the NASDAQ began a two-year, 77% decline.
And recently we predicted the crash of the housing bubble in 2008, along with lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Our success has allowed my once small group to grow into the largest underground research network on the planet, with 2.4 million private subscribers... According to the Alliance for Audited Media, we reach more people than the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal.
The FBI and CIA have even approached us for help on matters of national security.
But I don’t bring this up to brag.
One more important than anything my firm has yet dealt with… rivaling and even surpassing the fall of the Soviet Union.
Except that this time it won’t be happening halfway around the world. We won’t be watching it on CNN or Fox News from the comfort of our living rooms.
The epicenter of the next great world shift
will be right here in America.
Now, I must warn you that some of the facts I’m about to tell you may seem incredible.
Yet, they are all true.
And I’m not about to ask you to sign up for some stock trading service. I’m not going to try to sell you some survival kit. Or ask you for a political donation… or even get you to sign a petition.
I’m just going to tell you what I’ve discovered. You can decide for yourself how seriously you want to take this threat.
I’m also going to tell you what my friends and I are doing to prepare ourselves.
And what you can do… for yourself, your family, and your wealth… as we enter an unprecedented moment in American history.
Let me explain…
For the entire time that I’ve been working alongside PhDs, analysts, political operatives, and journalists to track and predict the greatest shifts of our time…
I’ve been watching a single trend take shape.
For 35 years I’ve been studying it.
In 1993 we warned that it would eventually meet a disturbing conclusion.
And today I think that’s exactly what’s about to happen.
In fact, we’ve recently passed what I believe to be a point of no return, which means that a crisis is now inevitable and unstoppable.
It will start small.
Maybe you’ll try to get money out of the ATM one day and find that it isn’t working…
Maybe you’ll be at a restaurant with your wife and when the check comes your credit card will be denied…
You’ll call your bank. You’ll get a prerecorded message from some government agency you don’t recognize.
As I said, it will start small.
But it will spread to our food supply chain… our gas stations… our banks… our government…
Prices will swing wildly from one day to the next… investments will be impossible to sell… Social Security checks will pile up uncashed on your kitchen table… potential home buyers will walk away… And one by one every service you and I and every other American has come to rely on will shut down… paralyzing our country… and changing the course of this nation’s history.
I realize that must sound unbelievable…
But understand that I’ve made predictions like this in the past.
I’ve been doubted before. I’ve even come to expect it.
Even when I’m right.
For instance, back in the late 1980s, I became convinced that the Japanese stock market was about to crash.
At that time, the Japanese had just bought New York City’s Rockefeller Center for $846 million. They had also bought Columbia Pictures for $4.4 billion.
And American tire maker, Firestone, was also suddenly a Japanese company.
They were selling more cars than we were. They were making better computers and TVs. On the face of it, it was crazy to bet against them…
Yet on Page 87 of our annual forecast of 1989, we wrote:
In our view, the Japanese stock market is one of the two most overvalued markets in the world. The long-running bull market in Tokyo may be nearing an end.”
That year the Japanese stock market was at its highest point in history.
Movies and books at the time were depicting a future with Japan as the No. 1 superpower.
Maybe that sounds foolish now, but back then it was a fact, and everyone thought we were crazy for predicting the end of Japanese domination.
I remember in October of that year, one of my friends, a former economist for the CIA named Mark Skousen, made a joke of it.
As a present, he gave me a mockup of a book:
I wish I had written that book.
Two months later, the Japanese stock market began a decline that is still going on today as Japan entered what would later be called “the lost decade.”
People just refused to believe that big change was on the way and that Japan would fizzle out.
We’ve run into that many times.
For example, in 1987 one of our analysts predicted the fall of the Soviet Union.
At the time, our politicians in Washington had been stockpiling weapons to guard against what they thought was superior Soviet technology.
The famous Team B report, commissioned by the CIA years earlier, had claimed that the Soviet economy was booming and that they wouldn’t hesitate to attack America.
Yet in 1987, we weren’t fooled. We wrote:
We have no doubt that sooner or later, but probably sooner, many of the characteristic features of the Soviet system will be abandoned. Put simply, communism is in its twilight.”
Sure enough, two years later the empire started to break apart.
By 1991 it was all over. Yet politicians and scholars – even a report commissioned by George H. W. Bush (then CIA director) got it totally wrong.
People just could not imagine that a world superpower could suddenly become irrelevant, just as people could not believe that Japan would ever break down, or that the tech boom would ever stop, or that housing prices would collapse.
I doubt this time around will be any different. But I’m going to tell you what I know anyway, in the hopes that maybe it will help you.
But let me pause here for a second, because I sense you may have some questions about me and my firm.
After all, you’re probably wondering why you’ve never heard of a news and research network bigger than the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal… especially one with an unmatched track record.
The name of the network is Agora. And despite our size, we operate very privately, and we only share our research and news directly with our private subscribers.
We don’t own a cable channel or a single newspaper. We don’t buy splashy ads in magazines. We don’t sponsor sports stadiums or anything like that. We keep a low profile.
(Of course our success has not gone totally unnoticed… The CIA once actually tried to convince me to use Agora as a front for their international operations. In case you’re wondering, I said no.)
In our 35 years, we’ve grown into the biggest firm of our kind on the planet, operating across 20 different countries with 2.4 million subscribers worldwide. And we’ve done it by exposing, and often predicting, the most important events and trends in recent world history.
Each time we’ve been able to accurately call a major world event – especially a market crash or other type of crisis – we’ve given our private subscribers an important opportunity to save themselves.
And that’s what I want to give you and the general public today.
I’ve never actually done anything like this before.
I’ve written three New York Times bestselling books… been interviewed on countless TV shows… I’ve been invited to Washington to meet with political leaders…
Yet, I’ve never released my own private research to the general public in this way before.
But then, this is possibly the greatest story – and the most urgent situation – of my entire career.
And it’s a story only I can tell. Because I’m the only person in this business – possibly in this entire industry – who has been watching this situation from the very beginning.
You see, what most people don’t realize is that in the 1950s, the United States began switching over to an entirely new kind of economic system.
(And no, I’m not talking about the end of the gold standard. That happened in the 1970s.)
This new system has allowed us to amass more wealth on paper than any other nation in history… Despite the collapse of our industrial sector in the ’70s... Despite our manufacturing base moving overseas, resulting in lost jobs and broken towns all over America… Despite two major market crashes in just the past 15 years…
This new system made our economy what it is.
It’s what keeps our lights on… our grocery store shelves stocked… our gas stations fueled… our Social Security checks in the mail… and our investments producing gains.
If you’ve ever wondered how we manage to keep going despite every sign pointing to a coming collapse…
This is it.
The trouble is that over 30 years ago I noticed a fatal flaw in this system. And as this system keeps growing, so, too, does the flaw… growing bigger and bigger all the time.
And right now, I believe we’re past the point of no return.
When this house of cards collapses – which it will – a systemic shock will disrupt our lives in ways you never thought possible. You will suddenly be locked out of your own bank account, unable to withdraw cash or deposit a check.
Your stocks will swing wildly out of control. You won’t even be able to access your Social Security money.
Like a virus, it will spread to our food supply chain, causing massive shortages in the cities and suburbs. The same will happen to our gas network.
America’s highways will become empty and quiet.
And one by one, every service you’ve come to depend on – from your bank to your grocery store to our federal government – will shut down.
And what happens to America then?
As a society we are now more than ever dependent on convenience… on free government services instead of our own hard work… on credit instead of our own hard-earned cash…
What happens when people can’t use their credit cards? When they can’t drive to get their checks because there’s no gas? When the only thing you can count on is cash… and no one seems to have any of it?
Will you be able to rely on your neighbors? Your fellow citizens? Lately, I’m not so sure…
Now I realize that to someone who hasn’t been studying this for 35 years, the idea of a serious crisis like that hitting America might not seem possible.
After what I’m about to tell you, I think you’ll reconsider.
Literally, your ATM wouldn't work. You type in your code, no money comes out. You get your paycheck, you can't cash it." Neel Kashkari
U.S. Treasury insider
Those are the words of the architect of the 2008 bank bailouts, Treasury Department insider Neel Kashkari.
What he’s describing is a crisis that you and I came very close to experiencing just a few years ago. If it sounds similar to what I was just describing, it’s for good reason.
Former secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner has stated,
We came exceptionally close. You could hear the fear and the panic, because anybody living in that world at that time running a business at that time knew that they were on the edge of losing the capacity to function." Tim Geithner
Former Secretary of the Treasury
"We came exceptionally close. You could hear the fear and the panic, because anybody living in that world at that time running a business at that time knew that they were on the edge of losing the capacity to function."
This has been confirmed by former secretary of the Treasury Hank Paulson as well as two U.S. congressmen.
And while President Obama assured Americans that, “the shadow of the crisis has passed” in his State of the Union address, I recently came across video footage of Janet Yellen, the current chairwoman of the Federal Reserve, openly admitting that the U.S. is still facing a very real threat.
We could find ourselves in
a devastating spiral." Janet Yellen
Federal Reserve Chairwoman
She goes on to assure everyone that the Federal Reserve is fully in control of the situation.
But the truth is that, by their own standards, the feds’ policies have not worked.
In fact, official records indicate that the highest levels of our government have already spent $4.5 trillion trying to contain this threat – more than we spent on World War II.
It’s a desperate move. And I don’t think they’ll be successful.
As I write, the U.S. economy is still in a slump.
This is despite the biggest stimulus of new cash and credit in history.
We have fewer real breadwinner jobs today than we did 15 years ago, and the typical household has less income.
But let me back up for a second and explain exactly what it is we’re facing and how we got here in the first place.
By now I’ll bet you’ve already heard more than a few over-the-top conspiracies and wacky theories from people who don’t have all the facts.
Maybe you’ve even watched a few specific dates for the beginning of a crisis come and go.
If so, you’re not alone.
There are a lot of people out there who know deep down that something’s not right in America, that it’s been a different place since 2008.
Yet, they can’t quite put their finger on what exactly is happening or what’s coming next…
That’s why the hundreds of Internet experts you’ve probably heard from are usually wrong.
They only point at the symptoms, not the real threat.
Meanwhile, the mainstream media is almost completely ignoring the danger we’re in. They just don’t understand it.
Between that and the official recovery story coming out of Washington, it’s no small wonder that the vast majority of Americans still have no idea about the threat our own government is spending trillions of dollars trying to contain.
But then, that’s why Agora exists.
That’s what brings me here today, to tell you the truth as we see it. And the truth is that what’s wrong with America didn’t start in 2008 or in the decade before that.
Let me start from the beginning, when I first discovered a terrible secret about our economy.
As I mentioned before, I started out in politics.
In D.C. I ran one of the most influential lobbying groups of its era, the National Taxpayers Union, all while attending law school at Georgetown University in the evenings.
We brought one of the largest class-action lawsuits ever against the secretary of the Treasury, and we lobbied state governments to pass balanced-budget amendments.
The New York Times, from March 6, 1981, describes the story:
The drive to propose a constitutional amendment requiring the federal budget to be balanced has started up again. The National Taxpayers Union, leading the effort nationally, said it believed that four more states could be found to pass the proposal this year."
While fighting to reduce the national debt, I attended Reagan’s inaugural ball. I was introduced to Ron Paul for the first time. I gave Grover Norquist – one of the most powerful lobbyists in America today – his first job in the city. I found myself having lunch with Margaret Thatcher and Milton Friedman.
But frankly, I was never one for the backslapping that goes on in D.C. And I never believed enough in partisan politics or the power of big government, to fit in with the Beltway crowd.
And I’ve since had a change of heart about our national debt.
To be blunt, I no longer believe it is the greatest threat to this country.
Don’t get me wrong. I still think it’s an important issue, and one we’ve been deeply involved with at Agora.
For example, our documentary on the subject, I.O.U.S.A., which includes interviews with Warren Buffett, Alan Greenspan, my friend Ron Paul, me, and others, was screened at the Sundance Film Festival and widely praised by critics. In fact, after seeing the film, Roger Ebert made it one of his top five documentary films of that year, writing:
I have just seen a documentary titled I.O.U.S.A. that snapped into sharp focus why your lives may not be as pleasant as ours."
But while I recognize just how dangerous a broke government can be and how much damage large government deficits have done to other nations, I’ve since realized that the government’s debt is really just a symptom of the disease itself.
And now I’m going to prove it.
Here's the real problem: there's no official record of this, but I estimate that somewhere between $958 billion to $1.5 trillion changes hands in the U.S. every month.
People buy milk, pay babysitters. They pay their mortgages and their taxes. Consumer spending alone is $11.2 trillion annually.
But here's the thing: there's only $1.2 trillion worth of actual dollars – physical money – in the entire world.
We can't be sure how much of that is actually here in the U.S. Estimates are that some 50 percent to 75 percent of our money is in overseas bank accounts or held by foreign governments, and a lot of what is left in the states is called "dead money."
It's stuffed in mattresses and safe-deposit boxes.
In fact, the amount of U.S. dollars being hoarded this way – that is to say the amount of dead money – is now at an all-time high.
And while that might seem like a lot of money, consider that a single U.S. company – Walmart – takes in nearly twice that amount in annual revenue, and our government spends 14 times that amount in just a year…
So if there are only 250 billion physical U.S. dollars in this country, where are all those trillions of dollars coming from, and what would happen if they suddenly disappeared?
Let me remind you that those physical U.S. dollars are America's only legal money – or "tender." There is no digital dollar, at least not yet, and the average Joe isn't buying his groceries with Bitcoin.
One explanation is that people are just spending the same dollars over and over so that $250 billion is changing hands so much that you see trillions of dollars spent at the end of the year.
Only, that can't be possible.
What I've just described is called "monetary velocity," and you can measure it.
And right now monetary velocity is at its lowest point in history. People aren't spending that $250 billion in actual U.S. dollars. It's staying put in those mattresses and safe-deposit boxes.
So people are spending something else, and here it is…
It's our credit system.
As you can see, for the past 30 or so years it's been growing exponentially.
That's why, although wages have been falling since the 1970s…
…And although we have fewer dollars to spend and our dollars are worth less and less…
…America still appears to be getting richer and richer.
Since the 1970s, the credit system in America has grown to become our biggest and our most crucial asset…
Credit, not real money, is what people spend.
It's more than twice the value of every single home in America put together, more than three times the value of every single U.S. bank's assets combined, more than 20 times the trillions of dollars the U.S. government collects in taxes every year.
But it's also our biggest liability.
If you have $1, it's yours.
It doesn't matter what other people think or what's happening on Wall Street; it's yours to spend as you like. But credit is different.
It can disappear before you spend it, because at some point all that credit can only exist if people believe they'll get paid back, that is if they believe there's enough money in America to pay back all that $60 trillion in outstanding credit.
But here's the truth: there isn't. Our credit system is insolvent. And when it fails, which it surely will do, it could wipe out more wealth than any other crisis in history.
To put that in context, $10.2 trillion vanished during the financial meltdown of 2008.
This crisis will wipe out six times that amount. I'm not talking about a few credit cards getting denied. I'm talking about the whole system shutting down.
In modern America, long, complex chains of production and distribution put food on your table and gas in your car.
Eight out of ten people live in cities or suburbs. Almost no one, not even the farmers themselves, can survive off of food they grow themselves. Instead, they all depend on credit. First, the farmer gets a loan from the bank to buy his farm.
Then he uses credit to buy supplies, fuels, fertilizer, seed – everything.
After the crops are sown, the wholesaler, who got a loan to build his warehouse and processing center, uses credit to buy the raw food from the farmer so he can process it and package it.
Then a trucker, who got an auto loan to buy his truck, uses credit to buy fuel so he can haul the food to a retailer.
The retailer needs credit to keep the lights on and the shelves stocked and the stores open.
Each part of this chain can afford to take on that debt because they know that eventually the consumer will buy that food, mostly likely using a credit card.
If any one, crucial piece of that chain stops working…
Businesses can't run. Paychecks don't go out.
When the credit system starts to implode, it not only destroys the mechanism that runs our economy, it shuts down our access to our own money.
Imagine what happens as lenders try to redeem $60 trillion worth of credit and there's only $250 billion to go around.
You go to your ATM; you ask for cash, but there isn't any cash left. Suppose you have a $10,000 line of credit on your card.
If the credit system doesn’t work, you might as well be flat broke. Dollars become ultra scarce. Prices skyrocket. Banks go under.
In fact, it would only take about three hours for our entire country to shut down.
I know that must sound impossible, but I know this for a fact. You see, the last time our credit system came to the verge of collapse, that's exactly what nearly happened. I know. I was watching. So was my whole network of analysts and researchers all over the globe.
Tonight, I want you to go to the ATM machine, and I want you to draw out everything it will let you take" Senator Richard Burr (N.C.)
Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee
One Friday in 2008, he called his wife, Brooke, to tell her that he wasn't coming home that weekend; he had urgent business in D.C.
He also gave her one very important instruction: "Go to an ATM. Take out everything you can."
I'll bet that sounds extreme, but what you may not know is at the time, the U.S. was just hours away from a total systemic shock.
At 11:00 AM, the Federal Reserve had noticed hundreds of billions of dollars starting to disappear from the American economy.
A massive loss of faith in the system had prompted big players to get their money out while they still could.
In response, the government began injecting billions to, quote, "liquefy" the system, and it watched helplessly as that money vanished without a trace.
Congressman Paul Kanjorski remembers panicked meetings with Secretary of the Treasury Hank Paulson and Chairman of the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke behind closed doors in Washington that day.
He would later admit that if not for one last-ditch effort…
Shocking, I know, especially because most people still don't realize how close we came to a full-scale shutdown…
Or how close we are still…
You see, this situation never actually got resolved. Instead, it got worse. A McKinsey study tells us that there's $57 trillion more global debt in the world today than there was in 2007, and it's growing.
In fact, it's being artificially pumped up by the Federal Reserve and other central banks.
As you can see from the chart below, our current U.S. credit system started around 1950. In the late '70s, traditional American industries – such as cars, steel, televisions, radios, even computers – moved overseas.
Credit came in and replaced traditional wage increases as a way to prop up our economy. That's what triggered the massive growth phase. It entered around that time.
Agora warned in 1993 that it would begin to unwind, that the credit cycle would come to an end.
That nearly happened in 2000 when the credit system first stalled out and the dot-coms went bust. But then housing was there to support it. All that credit rushed into the housing market, which then shot up to meteoric levels.
But when housing collapsed, there was nothing else to keep us going.
That's when the Federal Reserve started buying up bonds and mortgages.
Starting with a balance sheet of $700 billion before the crisis, the Federal Reserve is now on the hook for $4.5 trillion.
That's how much new cash and credit it has put into the system in the last six years.
Our lender of last resort, the Federal Reserve, has become too big to fail.
Unfortunately, if it does, there's no higher entity that can step in, save our credit system. It has simply gotten too big.
And all it takes is just one small loss of faith. A few big players start taking their money out while they still can, and then people start lining up at ATMs, and a systemic shock will paralyze the nation.
Even former Federal Reserve Chairman, Alan Greenspan, is sounding the alarm.
Unless we come to grips with this problem… I'm afraid we're going to run into some kind of political crisis…" Alan Greenspan
Former Federal Reserve Chairman
In the 36 years Agora has been providing its subscribers with information, we've seen countries get hit with financial shocks like this again and again.
In just the last century, I can name at least 38 events very similar to what I'm describing, but none of them has even come close to the scale of the potential collapse here in America.
That's because none of these countries has ever been able to borrow so much or become so dependent on credit. We're going to see just how dependent we've become, and I'm not looking forward to it.
America's unique status as the world's superpower has enabled us to keep borrowing at unheard-of levels, all on the assumption that we're good for it, but we're not.
And at some point, someone will realize that.
When Americans can no longer use their credit cards, when grocery stores are hoarding food rather than selling it, when we become stranded in our homes because there's no gasoline, when our retirements vanish, when our government benefits are cut off…
What will happen to America as a country?
I'd like to be able to say that we'll band together and take care of each other, but will we?
In the 1970s we had a near miss with a very similar kind of crisis. Our steel and auto industries began to fail; gas prices soared; riots broke out in major cities, like Philadelphia, Boston, and Chicago.
One woman, a teenager at the time, remembers:
Working at a country gas station, she remembers being swarmed by an angry mob one day after the gas station ran out of gas.
In terms of economic crisis, it was tiny compared to what we're facing today yet it took America to its very foundation.
Can you imagine a full-blown collapse in today’s America?
Where anger at police is reaching a boiling point…?
Where teenagers can use the Internet to summon “flash mobs” in just minutes…?
Where half of the population pays no taxes and depends on aid from the federal government…?
Where students crippled by college loans can’t get jobs…?
Given what we just saw in Baltimore, in Ferguson, New York, Oakland, and other cities last fall, with people seizing just about any excuse to loot stores and break windows…
My feeling is not very long.
All this must seem incredible, but I've seen these types of crises play out again and again all over the world.
Because of the nature of my business, I've lived on three continents and visited probably 100 countries.
I was an economic adviser to Belarus in 1992 just before a crisis turned the country into a socialist dictatorship.
I recommended that they establish a firm system of private property rights, auction off state-owned property, and let the free market do the rest…
But the Soviet-era bosses who controlled the country weren't willing to let go their own power.
They chose an opposite course.
Few years later, I witnessed one of the most powerful rivals undergo a similar collapse. People desperately tried to find cash as ATMs went dark.
Debit cards stopped working, and banks shuttered and disappeared altogether.
The government made it illegal to withdraw money from your own bank account.
They shut down the stock market after it plummeted 10 percent in 40 minutes. People couldn't get rid of their investments for any price. Flour, butter, rice, and sugar disappeared. Hospitals ran out of medicine.
Elderly women were forced to dig through trash bins for food. The situation grew so severe that the government organized a special SWAT team to conduct tax raids on the homes of its citizens to get every last dime it could out of them.
And I'm not talking about ancient history, either. This happened in 1999, and there are plenty more examples where that came from.
For instance, most people think of Argentina as a poor country.
What they don't know is that before America became the dominant superpower on the planet, Argentina was one of her main competitors.
It was a lot like the U.S. with similar resources, a similar population and similar spirit of free enterprise and liberty. In fact, Argentina was actually growing faster than America. Buenos Aires, its capital, was settled by immigrants from Ireland, Italy, and Germany.
It combined the rich agriculture and industry of Chicago with the boulevards, parks, and buildings of Paris.
A few years ago, I bought an isolated cattle ranch up in the Andes Mountains of South America, so I pass through Buenos Aires regularly on my way there, and I know the country pretty well.
Walking down the streets, you'll see decaying subway trains – state of the art many years ago – big, beautiful buildings covered in graffiti, windows broken, old cars – top of the line in their day – sitting junked by the side of the road.
It's as if a war had broken out.
Why? It was a financial crisis, very similar to what I see coming in the U.S.
In fact, when you look at the damage that events like this can cause, it's no small wonder our government has already put $4.5 trillion – that is more than it cost to liberate Europe – towards stopping it.
For example, in the 1990s riots killed 1,500 people and destroyed 4,000 buildings when a country in Asia got hit with a similar economic disaster.
Events like this have a strange power, greater even than wide-scale physical disaster, a power to not only make your wealth and the stability you've grown accustomed to disappear, but also your very way of life – the traditions, the values, things passed down for generations.
For example, when a violent monetary trauma hit Germany's first republic, thousands of years of tradition disappeared overnight.
Worse than the financial damage was the social damage.
Families collapsed as the young turned on the old.
Women were forced into prostitution.
Mothers begged to keep their children fed. Political gangs assassinated one another in the streets.
A young man recalls:
It was dreadful to watch… It was more than disorder that smashed over people; it was something like daily explosions; if anything survived one explosion, it got into another the next day…."
Another writer, Kurt Kersten, recorded the downfall as it happened:
German culture, as much as it existed, is perishing… The middle class is worn out... one has only two choices: either slowly perish or join the [leftwing] revolutionary party."
Imagine that in today’s America… when our very culture is already under attack… where the young already seem to be at war with our traditions…
Imagine for a second…
I'm not saying you'll wake up tomorrow and suddenly America will no longer be a superpower or that tonight someone will try to kick down your door looking for cash and valuables.
But what I am saying is that when this does start, things will go bad very quickly. You never think it'll happen to you.
In fact, no one ever does. It's human nature.
Your brain actually won't let you believe that a disaster can happen.
Even when the evidence is clear that a major upheaval is on its way, even when it's a simple matter of common sense that danger is near, most people convince themselves that it can't happen.
I’m from Southern Maryland… I grew up in a poor family and as soon as school let out, we’d go work out in the tobacco fields (this was in the ’50s, back when that sort of thing was still allowed).
Every year in mid-spring, my Uncle Edward would get my cousin, my brother, and me to sit on the back of his old tractor and plant tobacco while he drove up and down the fields.
Now imagine that my uncle wasn't sure summer would come that year – that he wasn't sure the tobacco crop would grow.
Well, I can tell you Uncle Edward would've sat on his porch with a six pack instead. You see, human beings need to believe that things will happen more or less as they always have, that the sun will come up every morning, that plants will grow, that the rains will come.
If we didn't, we couldn't plant food or buy houses or start businesses or do much of anything. Of course, believing nothing will ever change is actually a form of delusion; totally irrational, but it's necessary for our survival.
The problem, though, is that sometimes things do change big time, and we are unprepared when really big changes are about to strike. People refuse to believe what's often right in front of them.
That's why, while I was warning our subscribers about the dot-com bubble, for example, plenty of people thought it would never end.
A famous book at the time – Dow 36,000 – argued that the stock market was cheaper than ever. An article published in The Atlantic read: "Stock prices could double, triple, or even quadruple tomorrow and still not be too high."
Then suddenly the NASDAQ started falling and eventually wiped out 77 percent of its value.
People believe that our credit economy can just keep going forever, that we can keep borrowing and spending money that really isn't there.
They think debt can go up faster than income indefinitely, even though it's mathematically impossible.
And now our highest government officials are still locked in a desperate struggle to keep this system going, and the fact of the matter is they've already used up all the tools they have.
They've kept credit cheap by reducing interest rates to near zero.
How much lower can they put the rate if the system runs into trouble? They've already expanded the fed's balance sheet by 542 percent in just a few years.
History is full of people who thought they were the exception, just like most Americans believe today.
These stories always play out the same way.
People think the rules don't apply to them. They think they can get away with something that no one else has.
Our credit economy is no different. The rules still apply.
Credit is not real money. It's just the flipside of debt.
You run up too much debt and you go broke, and many, many Americans are about to learn this eternal truth the hard way.
Eventually someone loses faith.
In fact, we've seen this before, right here in America. In 1819, people in America started noticing that banks were always trying to get out of honoring cash deposits.
They give you an IOU instead, supposedly as good as real money. But attempts to redeem those notes for actual money were actually blocked or stalled in some way.
Suddenly, cash started to skyrocket in value, with banks desperately trying to cover up the fact that they couldn't actually honor their deposits.
They didn't have enough money.
When the American public along with foreign creditors caught on to this…
You couldn't sell anything, because no one had the money to buy it from you.
And no one would risk a loan, because there wasn't necessarily enough cash to get it back.
Nearly half of all the money in the country disappeared. The resulting economic collapse stretched on well into the following decade.
And we were lucky, because we were young and the collapse happened before the problem was bad enough to do permanent damage.
And back then most families were self-sufficient, and the whole economy worked on cash, not credit.
Today, it's a different story.
We have a credit system, worth more on paper than the national wealth of most countries, and it's already starting to come apart.
Ever since that 2008 morning when the Treasury noticed billions disappearing from the U.S. economy, the Federal Reserve has been locked in a desperate struggle to keep this event at bay, and it hasn't worked.
They've even been flooding the U.S. economy with more new money than ever, to try to make up the shortfall.
You see, the Fed's goal is to hit 2 percent inflation. When that happens, they'll know what they're doing is working.
Except inflation won't budge. They're already doing everything they can…
By this summer, the Federal Reserve was already supposed to be raising interest rates, but the latest GDP numbers show the economy's contracting, not growing.
Now the consensus is that they will keep rates low at least till the fall. And frankly, I don't believe they'll raise rates then either, because we're starting to see dollars being drained from investment funds.
In just one week, $7.2 billion disappeared from U.S. stock funds, the ninth major withdrawal in the last ten weeks.
Just one fund has already seen $38 billion pulled out this year. To compare, the previous record for withdrawals was set in 2009 with just $20 billion.
And Wall Street's already on edge. A note from a Bank of America analyst is now warning, "Correction risk will grow in the absence of fresh inflows in the coming weeks."
It's not clear where this money is going, but billionaires are thought to be hoarding an average of around $600 million in cash each.
As we get closer and closer to this crisis, I expect more and more restrictions on your ability to deposit, to withdraw, and to use your own cash.
Here's what will happen: you'll go to your ATM, but your account will be frozen. The bank will tell you it noticed a suspicious activity.
What suspicious activity? You tried to take out your cash.
In fact, we're already seeing this in Europe.
Just recently a Swiss pension fund tried to withdraw a very large amount of cash from its bank, with the idea of storing that cash in a guarded vault instead. The bank refused to give the fund its money.
And when the pension fund complained, the government backed the bank. In fact, it admitted that it had been, quote, "recommending that banks with cash demands act restrictively."
And it's already starting to happen in the U.S.
In fact, Louisiana just made it illegal to use cash to buy any precious metals... including gold.
Even some in the mainstream media have started to notice what’s going on. Bloomberg has reported:
There's a surge of creativity around ways to drive interest rates deeper into negative territory. As this new world takes shape, cash becomes pivotal."
Am I just being paranoid? I hope so. Maybe it won't happen. Maybe it won't be so bad. But as you'll see in a moment, something must give. The credit economy cannot last, and it's anyone's guess just how bad it will be when it finally gives way…
In America today we're seeing protests, rioting, young people fighting with police and turning their backs on American values.
A majority of people in the U.S. now favor taking some people's money to distribute to others.
A majority also favor higher taxes.
It's already beginning to look like a very different America from the one you and I grew up in.
There have already been secession movements in Texas and now in Hawaii. In fact, a consultant for the Pentagon recently revealed plans by the Chinese to provide arms to these Hawaiian separatists.
And Chinese officials have actually threatened the U.S. secretary of state, saying they would not hesitate to assert their territorial claims over the islands.
According to at least one source, the U.S. military even has contingency plans in place for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Hawaii.
Meanwhile, a recent report by Pew Research finds Americans more divided than ever. But frankly, you don't need a scientific study to prove that…
I'm not sure how well America, at least as I know it, could withstand food shortages; banks closing; bonds, retirement accounts, and benefits becoming worthless.
That's what would happen, because there's not enough real money, real cash, to support the standard of living that we're used to.
And not much more than the GDP of Greece.
Our economy runs on credit, not cash.
And in a credit crisis, which is certainly ahead, credit is the first thing to disappear. The second thing that goes is cash.
And then you have real problems.
I've seen cases where economic shocks like this last year's, where…
Whether this will happen today or tomorrow or a month from now, I don't know. Nobody knows. But I do know that no country in history has ever maintained the course that America is on now. I know that no one gets away with creating fake wealth. Credit can't be free; there's always a price to pay.
Many of my closest friends and colleagues, some of the richest, most well-connected people I know, are already preparing themselves.
Some are buying gold and silver. Some are moving to foreign countries or even renouncing their U.S. citizenship.
All of them are stashing away cash.
Pretty extreme, I know.
I already mentioned my isolated and entirely self-sufficient mountain ranch, and I've also amassed a good deal of gold, silver, and other currencies as a hedge against this scenario.
Of course, I realize that most people can't do measures like these. So in just a moment, I'm going to let you in on a couple things I've put together to help you.
But before I do, there's just one thing I haven't told you yet.
You see, the story doesn’t end with the shutdown of our credit networks and the massive systemic shock that comes along with it.
What I’ve just warned you about is merely the run-up to an event that will change the course of world history and bring the American era to a shocking conclusion.
Now, I know that you’ve already given me a lot of your time, and I appreciate that, so I won’t go into the second part of the story right now.
But I’ve laid it all out in “The Great American Credit Collapse,” a never-before-published exposé on this crisis. It’s not for sale. But I’m giving it away for free to anyone who is serious about discovering the truth.
It’s not long either, only 18 pages. You can read it fast and get ready quickly.
And it’s not some boring textbook on economics.
It’s written as a thrilling, easy-to-read account of what the future holds for America, what the collapse of our system will look like, and what the government will do in response.
The fact of the matter is, the failure of our credit system won’t just push down profits and produce a few layoffs.
It will change everything about how you live in America and how you get around to the stores you shop at and the brands you buy.
Now, I have three New York Times bestsellers to my name. I’ve written about five books in total. You can go online and buy any of them.
But I would recommend that you read “The Great American Credit Collapse,” before anything else.
Only, you won’t be able to find it at any bookstore. In fact, I didn’t even give it to my book publisher.
With a laptop running on solar power. When the satellite that connects me to the outside world comes up over the mountains, I’ll send it to my offices back in Baltimore.
It sounds odd, I know, and maybe I am a little eccentric.
But I learned a long time ago that you can’t just follow the crowd and do what everybody else does and hope to get different results.
And actually, I don’t live here full time. But it’s nice to know I have a safe haven somewhere, especially as my six children get older and move away.
I like knowing that they have a place to take shelter should the worst happen.
We grow our own vegetables here. We keep our own livestock. In fact, here at the ranch I even have a vineyard so I can drink my own wine.
Meanwhile, to keep your money safe I recommend that everyone have a stash of gold somewhere.
And besides that, I personally keep my investments diversified in foreign currencies and foreign businesses.
In fact, over the last 30 years, I’ve tried to expand Agora as much as possible.
Today we have offices on every continent except Antarctica, in cities from Mumbai to Beijing to Paris and Baltimore.
As far as I know, we’re the only ones consistently and vociferously warning about this coming worldwide crisis.
And frankly, I wouldn’t recommend that you do…
I have an army of consultants, lawyers, advisors, and friends all over the world to make the connections and investments I need to pull this off. But you don’t have to.
That is, I want to give you access to everything my team has pulled together on the end of credit in America.
Consider it your personal intelligence briefing on the subject, from the very head of a multinational research and news organization.
And if you’re imagining complex charts, data tables, and things that look like bank statements, don’t worry.
That’s NOT AT ALL what I have in mind. Let me show you what I mean.
Let’s start with where you can find money you can trust.
The fact of the matter is, you should not trust money you can’t hold in your hand. In the beginning of this crisis, before people realize what’s going on, I expect physical dollars to become very scarce.
Numbers on a screen will do you no good in a credit collapse. That’s why if you ignore everything else from this presentation, I would hope that you maintain an emergency cash reserve at home, one month’s worth of expenses at a minimum.
But cash dollars aren’t the only kind of money I would recommend you have during a crisis. Now, the truth is that I’m a bit of a gold bug.
I’ve made good money investing in gold ever since issuing my trade of the decade back in the year 2000: Buy gold; sell U.S. stocks.
In fact, I believe there’s a very good possibility that the price of gold will rise dramatically. But please don’t buy it to make money.
The thing I like about gold is that it’s an excellent store of value, like an indestructible savings account.
But gold is not actually that practical for day-to-day transactions once dollars become scarce and electronic forms of payment are no longer working.
We saw this back in 2001, during Argentina’s financial collapse.
Argentines found themselves using radically different new forms of money. And the interesting part is that they weren’t rare gems or coins.
In fact, what becomes valuable in a crisis will shock you.
Many times it’s stuff you already own in your own home, wealth you never thought you had. And there’s often no one type of money that dominates in the aftermath of a major collapse.
You may need different types of currency for different transactions.
That’s why I’ve had my team assemble a guide on the types of money you want to have readily available when our $60 trillion machine finally breaks down.
For example, this one small item you can buy at Walmart, or almost any department store, that during a crisis becomes an incredibly valuable currency for everyday goods. You may even have some in your home already.
And there are plenty more examples. You’ll find full details in “The Crisis Money Guide: The Money You Need to Have in Times of Crisis.”
As part of your full briefing on our credit thread, I’ve decided to include this guide with every copy of “The Great American Credit Collapse.”
And, no, neither of these are for sale or available through any other Agora service.
But that’s just the beginning.
Have you ever dreamed of having a safe, self-sufficient spot you can get away to?
Imagine sitting down to a meal of your own meat and vegetables, never spending another second stuck in traffic on your way to Wal-Mart.
But having your own homestead with your own food supply is about more than just living better.
When the credit system fails and shuts off our supply chain, I expect the cities and the suburbs to be hit hardest.
They depend the most on shipped goods.
That's why now is the time to look into getting a homestead, a hideaway.
Call it a safe house. Don't worry, travelling to foreign countries is not required. According to my team of top researchers, there are still many ways to get beautiful property right here in the U.S., even on the cheap, and sometimes for free.
In fact, some of the most beautiful land in America is up for grabs if you know where to look. You'll find it all in "How to Get Your Very Own Homestead on the Cheap."
I actually used one of the techniques you'll read about to secure my very first building in Baltimore for just $1.00.
But you don't have to move away from your home and your friends to take advantage of what I've done.
In fact, when you receive your own copy of "How to Get Your Very Own Homestead on the Cheap," you'll discover what you can do to gain all of the advantages of having your own off-the-grid haven without ever leaving your own neighborhood and the friends you know so well.
You see, being prepared is not just about hoarding money or moving out to the wild. There are many things you can do without taking such drastic steps. In fact, here's one of them.
The credit collapse will send asset prices spinning out of control. But here’s what you can count on happening afterwards…
Usually inflation gets the media’s attention. It shows up in the headlines because no one likes to see their grocery bill go up…
But in reality, deflation is a much bigger problem.
You’ll see prices begin to crash… businesses will begin to fail… jobs will vanish… and assets—including your house, your retirement portfolio, even your gold—will plummet in value.
It’s every economist’s worst nightmare. Because when prices decline, economies collapse.
The same thing happened here in the U.S. right before the Great Depression.
When the explosive growth of the 1920s slowed down… a trickle of defaulted loans soon turned into a torrent…
These defaults caused more than 9,000 U.S. banks to run out of money and fail. Money disappeared. Deflation took hold. The economy collapsed.
It’s the same pattern we see in Japan today.
The Japanese have been living in deflation since the country’s market collapsed in 1989. Even though its government has been printing money at high speed for 25 years, the country has barely managed to keep up the status quo.
The Japanese people are living proof of how to survive a deflation. They know what assets don’t lose value… they know how to keep their money safe.
That’s why, today, I recommend you take the same measures they’ve taken. You’ll get the exact steps you can take in “Five Straightforward Ways to Protect Your Cash.”
Even if the global credit system collapses… or the U.S. government wages a “War on Cash”...you can protect, and even grow, your capital with these valuable tips.
But before I can give you access to this, I want to make sure that you really are getting filled in on every single crucial aspect of this developing story.
That’s why I’m including something a little bit different in the library you’re about to receive.
You see, part of the reason I’ve been observing this growing credit system for so long is that it has shocking similarities to other large-scale disasters I’ve observed in history. It shares a very important common thread with almost every single failure and disaster I’ve seen.
But what’s more intriguing is that this same thread pops up everywhere, even in places you’d least expect. It’s a very simple phenomenon. It’s been recorded by scientists, and yet most people don’t realize it exists.
That’s astounding because everything, from the national debt and American credit, to war, to making money and getting rich, to success in business, or how you interact and get along with other people, to almost any task we undertake, even your own projects and life’s ambitions, is deeply affected by this one thing.
Had Napoleon understood this, his family might still be ruling half of Europe. If that seems incredible, it’s precisely why I find this one thing so fascinating. It’s everywhere. It’s behind more than one specific form of cancer and many preventable diseases.
It’s behind mental health problems too. If Americans understood it, we’d be leading much healthier, longer lives, with much less government.
It’s so exceptional, I’ve actually written a book about it called Hormegeddon.
If I say so myself, it’s the best book I’ve ever written, and it’s probably the last book I’ll ever write, because I consider it to be the final word on everything I’ve spent the last 40 years building.
It’s like the blueprint on which every prediction we’ve made and most of what I believe is based. And it has played a role in much of my life, just as it does in yours, even if you don’t realize it. Of course, Hormegeddon is not a self-help book. But it’s almost impossible to truly understand what’s about to happen to us without understanding what the word Hormegeddon means.
Here’s what bestselling Black Swan author Nassim Nicholas Taleb, and distinguished professor of risk engineering at New York University, had to say about Hormegeddon:
Here's what bestselling Black Swan author Nassim Nicholas Taleb, and distinguished professor of risk engineering at New York University, had to say about Hormegeddon:
This is a must-must-must-read… It is deep, illustrative, witty, pleasant to read.”
And contrarian economist Marc Faber, aka “Dr. Doom,” said,
I am seldom jealous of anybody, but I truly envy Bill Bonner’s writing and intellectual skills… It is funny, cynical, sarcastic, highly informative, beautifully written, entertaining, and most importantly, written by a man who is not afraid to tell the truth, and stand up for it. I do not say this often, but when I read his Hormegeddon, I was truly in awe.”
Another reviewer writes:
This is a book that works on so many levels… and it’s the kind of advice you wish your dad would have given you.”
Hormegeddon is simply brilliant… This book offers a detailed analysis of the major problems of our day and exposes the fallacy that is collective central planning in a way that is undeniably logical. The true treasure contained within this book is not the micro-analysis, however, but something even more important…”
You can buy a hardcover copy online.
But just to make it easier, I’ve decided to include a free electronic copy of Hormegeddon with the intelligence reports I’ve already mentioned.
You see, I’m a businessman. No one within Agora is publicly funded, and we’re all independent of any bank or corporation or large media company.
This is important.
We’re not saints or do-gooders. We’re not smarter either. We’re just not beholden to Wall Street or the government or Big Business.
So we don’t pretend not to see this huge credit bubble getting ready to pop. We’re all out here on our own.
We owe all of our success to individuals just like you, not Big Brother or Big Money.
So you can see why I would want to tell you about what I believe to be the defining collapse of America.
We’re all in the same boat.
And right now, I’m worried about what might happen to you and to other hardworking Americans when the credit markets seize up and the ATMs stop working.
But you can’t wait for some flashpoint or some big trigger.
When the right set of conditions are all aligned, as they are right now in the U.S., it doesn’t take a big event to set off a historic implosion.
It’s almost always something small, unexpected.
Well, the truth is that major events like this rarely have big triggers or flashpoints.
For example, the Arab Spring, a revolution that toppled four governments, sparked civil wars, and led to mass protests and riots in at least 12 other countries, began when a fruit vendor set himself on fire.
When the right set of conditions are all aligned, as they are right now in the U.S., it doesn't take a big event to set off a historic implosion.
It's almost always something small, unexpected.
Think about World War I, in which millions of Germans, British, and Americans died in trenches in France.
It started with a shooting more than 1,000 miles away by a Bosnian.
And if you’re aware of what’s going on in America today, if you’ve seen the unrest in our cities, if you’ve noticed that something’s not quite right with our economy, then I don’t think it will take much to set off an irreversible breakdown in our way of life.
That’s why I want to give you everything we’ve got on this crisis, because the most important thing I’m going to offer you is something I haven’t even mentioned yet.
It’s a pass into a very special group…the newest independent research firm within the Agora world …
This is what we do every day: try to connect the dots.
So I don’t want to leave you without offering you a way to stay in the loop about this growing threat and keep up to date with what’s going on.
It’s like a passport into our world, one that’s not governed by political correctness or the official line or partisan media networks.
You see, the story of what comes next – in our country, in economics, in our leaders – is far from over, and there’s still plenty to discover.
I’ve issued hundreds of financial reports over the last 40 years, yet this is the only one I’ve allowed to carry my name.
I call it The Bill Bonner Letter.
It’s not an investing service, although I will occasionally cue my readers in to an actionable tip if I think it’s worthwhile.
It’s definitely not a trading service or a self-help guide. I don’t even get paid for doing it. That’s because for me, The Bill Bonner Letteris a personal project.
But for you, it’s a front-row seat to some of the biggest economic changes of our time.
This is for people who want more than what they see on cable television, who want to tune out all the guff we’re constantly bombarded with and tune into something fresh.
It’s for people who know there’s another point of view out there, and they just need a way to tap into it.
So far, the select group who receive my letter have discovered…
And those are just some of the topics we’ve covered. There are a lot more.
And here’s what some of my readers have had to say:
Fred M. writes:
All I can say is The Bill Bonner Letter isn't simply a breath of fresh air. It's a full-blown gale of it.
…subscriber Scott D. writes:
Bill, incredible read this month… Very sobering, but I believe the truth. Very, very impressed with this first letter.
…subscriber Joe W. writes:
While nothing is guaranteed, the future you present seems to be the logical conclusion to current macroeconomic trends. Bill does a great job of demonstrating this in a rational and humorous way.
…subscriber Rostislav S. writes:
I feel that subscribing… was a step in my life in the right direction… Not for profit but for the wisdom [Bill] passes on to people who are interested. One of those people is me. Once again, thank you for that.
…and subscriber Will H. writes:
Bill & Company: That was the best read I’ve had in a long time. It read like a preface to a world-class book that needs to be completed… As far as I'm concerned, “Well said. Well spoken.” Excellent job. Now, please don’t lose momentum and tear the established nonsense we’ve witnessed apart until the reality of it all is seen.
This is the first time I've ever opened up a service to share what I know with likeminded people. It's not something you'll find anywhere else.
But, fair warning: This is only available to serious people, because I’m not about to give away a whole bunch of free stuff, no questions asked, or indulge any tire kickers.
Right now the sun is going down over the mountains, and I expect I’ll lose satellite connection soon.
If you’ve been waiting for me to make a recommendation about what you should do now, then here it is.
Today I'm inviting you to join The Bill Bonner Letter and claim everything I've mentioned so far, including digital copies of…
You may have seen things like this sell for $500 or even $5,000, but I truly want to get this message out to as many people as possible.
That’s why the price for an all-access 12-month pass to The Bill Bonner Letter is just $79.
However, as a thank-you for hearing me out,
I want to give you a substantial discount,
so I'm cutting that down to just $49.
And you can try it at my risk. I will give you a full 60 days to try out everything you’re about to get.
And if you’re not totally satisfied, if you are in any way underwhelmed, then you can just call in and get a full refund during that 60-day period.
You risk nothing and, frankly, there’s a lot to be gained. Just click the button below to get started.
In the weeks that come, I expect the government will grow increasingly desperate in the Fed’s battle against the fall of America’s credit system…
We’ve already seen how it is taking steps to limit your access to and use of cash. We’ve already seen how attempts to contain this problem have not worked.
No nation has ever succeeded in cheating the natural laws of sound money, at least not for long.
And the choices you make today will decide where you’ll be on the day our dollars disappear, our banks shut down, and our way of life collapses.
The risk is all on me.
You'll have 60 days – that's two full months – to make a decision about whether this is for you.
If you decide it’s not, all you have to do is let us know. You’ll receive a 100 percent full refund. That’s my guarantee. But the decision is yours. After all, it’s your money, your life, your call. Please click below to get started immediately.
Editor, The Bill Bonner Letter
P.S. By the way, in case you missed any of that, here’s what you’re getting today:
Four special intelligence reports on the state of our credit system and its impending collapse…
And a 12-month subscription to my ongoing investigation into America and the world, The Bill Bonner Letter…
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