Thursday, June 25, 2009

Interesting Speculations

I had been debating on whether to post a column from marketwatch talking about a coming blow up in the next 120 to 180 days. It was ominous and sounded sensationalist. I was not familiar with the Harry Scultz Letter and didn't think it had enough credibility. Well Market Ticker had a much more plausabile explination.

Let me be clear. I am not endorsing this view. I have no idea. I still think it is sensationalist. It is now at least plausible. The H1N1 thing I shrugged off as ridiculous in the short term. The danger starts during the flu season. Late fall into winter. Already according to government health officials there are 20,000 more cases than there were just two weeks ago.

Thanks goes to Ron for bringing my attention to both.

First from marketwatch:

The top-performing letter that predicted the Crash of 2008 now predicts a confiscatory Franklin D. Roosevelt-style "bank holiday." But it's surprisingly sanguine about stocks -- in the (very) short term.


In its current issue, HSL reports rumors that "Some U.S. embassies worldwide are being advised to purchase massive amounts of local currencies; enough to last them a year. Some embassies are being sent enormous amounts of U.S. cash to purchase currencies from those governments, quietly. But not pound sterling. Inside the State Dept., there is a sense of sadness and foreboding that 'something' is about to happen ... within 180 days, but could be 120-150 days."

Now from The Market Ticker:

Bah. I'll tell you what I think they're preparing for:

CDC is now estimating that the novel H1N1 virus will be “Category 2” in severity. They are closely watching the situation in the Southern Hemisphere for validation of this estimate.

A category 2 pandemic has the following characteristics:

Case fatality ratio of 0.1 percent to less than 0.5 percent.
Between 90,000 and 450,000 deaths in the U.S. (compared with estimated 36,000 deaths during a typical influenza season).
Excess death rate of between 30 to less than 150 per 100,000 people.
Illness rate of between 20 and 40 percent.
Similar to 1957 pandemic.


If this flu bug turns into that sort of event nations will go on "lockdown" almost immediately in a last-ditch defensive attempt to control contagion. It will help but not fix it (there is no fix) but in that situation having local currency will be critical to be able to have basic needs delivered to you - like for instance food!

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