A Look Back, and Some 2011 Predictions

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by Simon Black: The
Best of 2010: A Multiple Flags Overview



Welcome back,
and happy New Year.

After a wonderful,
relaxing weekend here in beautiful Santiago that involved meeting
up with a couple of subscribers, I’m buckling down to the business
at hand that will include finalizing preparations for our upcoming
workshop, as well as exploring initial plans for the community.

To be honest,
I’m not much for New Year’s; it’s just an arbitrary
day that has no more or less significance than any other day of
the year, but I suppose all the time off over the holidays does
give one plenty of time to pause, reflect on the previous year’s
events, and ponder the upcoming ones.

I spent a lot
of time over the last weeks reviewing our conversations from the
past year, and I was actually a bit surprised at how much had unfolded.
If you recall the analogy of the boiling
, each of these events represents yet another degree in
the march towards 100 centigrade.

Think about
it – in 2010 we saw:

  • The TSA
    ‘tip of the spear’ enforcing subordination to government
  • Canada’s
    government authorizing its agents to search homes without a warrant
  • Gold hitting
    all-time nominal highs due to unprecedented monetary inflation
  • Governments
    around the world raising taxes with immediate effect
  • Homeland
    Security began seizing domains without due process
  • The beginning
    of the end of the Eurozone

  • World governments
    engaging in mutually assured destruction currency wars
  • FBI raiding
    the homes of war protestors
  • Passage
    of the HIRE Act in the United States, a precursor to capital controls
  • Political
    heavyweights openly calling for the assassination of Julian Assange
  • Switzerland
    settling with the US government
  • Panama caving
    to pressure and signing a Tax Information Exchange Agreement
  • Homeland
    Security encouraging US citizens to spy on each other at Wal Mart
  • North Korea
    engaging in acts of war against the south

et cetera,
et cetera….

When you spend
a lot of time around a child, it’s difficult to really notice
his/her day-to-day growth. It takes an outsider who hasn’t
seen the kid in 3 years to point out “Look at how big you’ve

it takes a brief pause to look back over recent events and realize
how rapidly things are changing. Seemingly the one constant has
been an almost uninterrupted rise in global equity markets.

It’s truly
amazing how markets have remained unfazed by so much change; this
is evidenced not only by rising equities, but also by the lackluster
level of the VIX ‘fear index’, which was recently as low
as 15.45 before the holiday trading sessions.

As the ball
dropped and the champagne flowed, I started thinking about what
might shake markets from their apathy this year… and perhaps
more importantly, what further events will unfold in the war on

A few ideas
crossed my mind:

1) Many of
the old monarchs and dictators still clinging to power will finally
croak, creating massive opportunity and instability.

Just look at
how many octogenarians are still in positions of tremendous power
and influence, either de facto or de jure:

King Abdullah –
Saudi Arabia (86)
Crown Prince Sultan – Saudi Arabia (82)
King Bhumipol – Thailand (83)
Robert Mugabe – Zimbabwe (86)
Fidel Castro – Cuba (84)
Raul Castro – Cuba (79)
Emir Jaber – Kuwait (81)
Pope Benedict XVI (83)
Hosni Mubarak – Egypt (82)
Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah – Malaysia (83)
Manmohan Singh – India (78)
Than Shwe – Burma (77)
Mahmoud Abbas – Palestine (75)

2) Massive
property bubble bursts in Thailand.

Because of
the relative size of its economy, low prices, significant population,
agricultural wealth, and manufacturing base, a lot of western funny
money that’s been printed has ended up looking for a home in

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