Wilfred Hahn ((Eternal
best-seller on the New York Time list is John Mauldin’s book, Endgame. While
it certainly does not intone “end of world” hysteria, from what we can
gather (we have only read overviews of the book), as the crackpot Harold
Camping has again managed to achieve, the populist Mr. Mauldin does point
out quite a number of trends that seem to be coming to an end.
Indeed, many long-running secular
trends and developments are coming to an endpoint. We have written on many
of these in recent decades, though they may not yet have been so popularly
evident then. Certainly, the advent of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) and
five years of a residential real estate slump in the U.S. and elsewhere around the world
have sharpened people’s senses to such perspectives.
Actually, the focus of this article
is not to provide yet another list of “ends and trends” but to point to a
significant shift that is occurring in the perspectives of policymakers and
powerbrokers around the world. They have begun to think more pointedly and
openly in terms of endpoints and endgames.
How so? The earth to them is now
increasingly seen as a finite, crowded, under-resourced little planet. As
such, the objective must be to secure natural resourcea ... to hoard and
stockpile them. Farmland and arable land must be staked and contracted to
ensure long-term food security. No matter that such actions might drive up
the prices of sustenance materials such as grains and energy.
In short, no longer is “open market”
capitalism seen to be producing a bigger pie that can allow all of the
world’s populace to share in a bigger piece. Rather, the dominant economic
systems of mankind’s world are now sputtering — the Keynesian “endpoint”
having been reached. The Keynesian policies of pump priming demand through
heightened government spending—now culminating in massive budget deficits in
the advanced-nation world—have become impotent and destructive (meaning the
stimulative manipulations and deficit spending of governments have reached
their effective limits).
Mankind’s money mirage of what is
termed “gross domestic product (GDP) is failing to provide sufficient
economic growth to preserve the solvency of an over-indebted world.
Therefore, attitudes and strategies have changed. Gamesmanship and
brinksmanship —in other words, endgames—become the necessary strategies in
the eyes of geopolitical strategists and many investors. A culture of
hoarding and predation comes to the fore. For some to prosper and advance;
others must therefore bear the costs.
This shift to a rather carnivorous
and desperate market behaviour ranks on the same level as the “laws of the
jungle.” We excerpt a paragraph from the Global Spin of August 2009
(also published by this writer), which illustrates similar animal behaviour.
“The spadefoot frog makes its home
in Australia. It is an explosively
breeding, desert-dwelling amphibian. It may burrow underground for years,
waiting for a seasonal rain or flood. However, when this “liquidity event”
arrives, a period of frenzied mating ensues. Incredibly, in a space of as
little as a month, its eggs advance through the tadpole stage to full
metamorphosis. It needs to quickly reach adulthood before the pools of water
again dry up. Fascinatingly, as the water puddles begin to get tepid, murky
and shallow, the tadpoles grow teeth … 3 rows of them. They then start
eating each other to accelerate the growth of the survivors. Eventually, the
frog must go back underground in order to survive the next dry season. Sound
a little like today’s capital markets?”
It only follows that such endgame
“winner-take-all” strategies as noted in the commodity and money world, can
only be pursued by a small minority. Countries such as Saudi Arabia and
have been buying or leasing vast tracts of agricultural land (mostly in Africa). Large (and small) financial institutions and
private investors have been charging into commodity markets over recent
The problem, however, is this:
Commodities such as food and metals (i.e. copper, aluminums, silver … etc.)
are an extremely small asset class. Compared to the value of global
financial securities (these valued perhaps as high as $200 trillion)
commodities represent little more that a drop in the bucket. For example,
consider that the entire consumption of wheat in the world (even at recently
elevated prices) amounts to only perhaps $250 billion per annum, the
equivalent to one-eighth of a percent of worldwide financial wealth.
Generally, commodities are materials
that are consumed and not items of wealth to be hoarded. They are “flow
items” and not “assets.” The point to realize, then, is that hoarding
short-life commodities with the objective of profiting from their rise in
price has an unfortunate and destructive side effect. It disadvantages those
who can no longer afford their purchase for living needs.
Consider that for most people in the
world, food purchases account to between 25 to 50% of a household’s budget.
Comparatively, the average North American household spends only 10-11% of
their budget on food. Therefore, when asset managers begin to hoard
commodities or manipulate their price upward, it causes excruciating
hardships for billions around the globe. In this late, great era of advanced
globalization and financialization, virtually all commodities are priced
uniformly around the globe and their price can be manipulated though various
We see here that, in their endgame
actions, wealthy countries, investors and/or large financial institutions
disadvantage the majority—namely those that are relatively poorer or already
disadvantaged. Yet, it is an accepted tactic in the investment world.
Several prophetic Bible verses speak
of similar behavioural traits and conditions as we see becoming dominant in
the world wide today: We here reference just two. Firstly, James, the
epistle writer, prophesies the following:
listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming
upon you. Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. Your
gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and
eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. Look!
The wages you failed to pay the workmen who mowed your fields are crying out
against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord
Almighty. You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have
fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter” (James 5:1-5).
outlined here is “hoarding” and a global condition where the rich prosper at
the painful inconveniences of the masses. Finally, in Revelation is
mentioned, that the cost of food will soar so high that it will require a
full days wages for a subsistence level of calories. “Then
I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying,
“A quart of wheat for a day's wages, and three quarts of barley for a day's
wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine!” (Revelation 6:6). We, of
course, certainly cannot conclude what the cause of this condition of high
food prices will be in that future Tribulation period. Nevertheless, it
likely is not without significance that today we can already discern just
how possible are such outcomes … and possibly very soon.
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is a global economist/strategist. Formerly a top-ranked global analyst,
research director for a major Wall Street investment bank, and head of Canada country’s largest global
investment operation, his writings focus on the endtime roles of money,
economics and globalization. He has been quoted around the world and his
writings reproduced in numerous other publications and languages. His 2002
book The Endtime Money Snare: How to live free accurately anticipated
and prepared its readers for the Global Financial Crisis. His newest book,
Global Financial Apocalypse Prophesied: Preserving true riches in an age
of deception and trouble, looks further into the future.