2015 is already shaping-up to be the year that Alvin Toffler’s, Future Shock, lives up to its name, as humanity barrels down the highway of history, towards Huxley’s Brave New World. Other tectonic shifts are taking place in the geopolitical and economic arenas too. All together, these should make for one very interesting year…
Nothing drives world events and trends like money. Here are some things to look our for in the realms of economics and finance…
EXTRACT ONLY. FOR FULL ARTICLE CLICK THROUGH
JANUARY 2, 2015 BY 1 COMMENT
FINANCE AND MONEY
Nothing drives world events and trends like money. Here are some things to look our for in the realms of economics and finance…
Global Contraction – While the US main street and Small-Medium Size Businesses get a little bump and US consumers benefiting from slowing inflation helped by the drop in fuel prices, the euro zone economic outlook looks poor. Western debts have continued to grow and savings have continued to shrink, so despite any of the rosy claims by US and UK politicians keen to take credit for an imaginary ‘economic upturn’, all the fundamental indicators show an overall global contraction in 2015.
Bitcoin’s Block Chain – As banks continue to hike up fees, and transfer fees and other old protocols and regulations continue to hamper commerce globally, the robust nature of Bitcoin and otherblock chain crypto-currencies are being touted by a growing number of voices – as the future of money itself. No middle man or bank is required which means that a third party cannot delay, or charge a fee for a transaction. This makes banks and credit card companies very unhappy. With the speculators hype calming down and the real fundamentals of Bitcoin are now being universally acknowledged by top advocates, look for 2015 to be the year that Bitcoin establish a firm mainstream foothold.
Crowd-Funding – This trend is threatening to turn democracy on its head, and potentially the most revolutionary hack into the political establishment. What started as a revolution for creative projects on platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, it took on a new dimension in 2014 withPodemos (translated, “We Can”), crowd-funding’s first ever political party debuting in Europe – a new Spanish party established in March 2014 and completely financed by crowd-funding. In just 100 days, it gained five seats out of 54, and 1.2 million votes (8% of the total) in the European elections in May, and has more online fans than any other Spanish political party. Expect more of these to manifest in 2015.
China on Top – 2014 was the year that China overtook the US a the world’s greatest economy. The global contraction has meant that China’s manufacturing sector has slowed down some, but China’s service economy is in the process of exploding on to the Asian scene. In 2015, China will make the transition from an export driven industrial country to a services economy – and all the cultural and luxury retail kudos that come with that. In addition, Washington’s nutty sanctions against Russia are actually benefiting the Chinese, as Asia’s dragon moves in to fulfill the demand left by Russia’s exclusion from markets.
Russia Bear Rules Eurasia – This year will be a tough one for the Russian Bear. In 2014, Russia sustained an economic attack by the US and EU, and coupled with a dive in oil prices and a devalued Rubble, all these factors pushed Russia into a recession. Moscow has even instituted temporary capital controls to halt the Rubble’s slide. But even as oil prices tumble, Russia is still collecting dollars for its oil, and those dollars are converted to even more Rubbles at home, so the domestic balance of payments is very good. Russia also has a trade surplus, and carries much less debt than other major global players. In 2014, Russia completed two mega energy deals that were ten years in the making – giant deals, proving that US-led sanctions and sabre rattling to isolate and hurt Russia has only strengthened Moscow’s long-term inroads into Asia – making the US and its EU lap-dog the real long-term loser in this story. The secret to Russia’s increasing fortunes in Asia is due to a thing called ‘Pipelineistan’ – an energy super-highway which effectively guarantees Russia’s long-term dominance over the Eurasian heartland for decades to come.
Euro Fail – Washington’s crack-pot Dr Strangelove scheme to impose sanctions on Russia for a “stealth invasion” of Ukraine which never actually happened – ended up back-firing on countries like Germany, France, Spain, Italy and others, after Russia reciprocated – further accelerating a Eurozone economic meltdown. Low oil prices may also mean a weaker Euro, and while American consumers enjoy a respite due to fuel savings – greedy misers in Europe continue to do what they have always done – that is gouge consumers to death, in rip-off Britain, rip-off France and other rip-off zones throughout feudal Europe. The EU has suffered an unprecedented amount of political turbulence already. Britain’s Tory Party, led by David Cameron will continue to be anti-Brussels up until May at least, in their bid to stop hemorrhaging voters over to upstart challenger UKIP. Other countries are railing against EU’s multicultural, mass immigration social engineering project. Add this to the economic woes and you have a lethal cocktail. With its 28% youth unemployment rate and tragic housing and debt bubbles, Spain looks to be the most likely candidate to put the Eurozone’s usefulness to the test in 2015. If that domino falls, then so could Greece, Portugal and maybe Italy too. 2015 will see the first real cracks in the EU.
Low Fuel Prices and the US Mini-boom – As the predatory financial vultures on Wall Street, Brussels and the City of London continued to feed on the carcass of western economies, the little man has been given some breathing room from a substantial drop in fuel prices, especially in the US. Still, the dollar remains king, for now. This means a bounce indomestic demand, consumer spending and will add a few jobs – taking some of the pressure off of America’s growing entitlement state. With US gas prices dipping below $2.00 a gallon this week, many pundits expect this to drop even more into the spring. Americans can expect a drop in food prices, delivery prices, heating bills and all-round consumer savings. Although this will bring some short-term benefits to the US economy, it will not necessarily alter long-term fundamental problems created by psychotic cleptocrats still operating in Wall Street, as they continue to rape of the underlying fundamentals of the US and global economies – giving us a macro recession, punctuated by micro, main street rebounds – allowing the fast-disappearing middle class to hold on just a little while longer…
Amazon’s ‘Retail River’ widens – Pure and simple: the future of retail is Amazon. As costs mount and sales dip for brick-and-mortar retailers on the high street, more and more commerce is flowing down the Amazon’s river of online retail. As sane Americans shy away fromthe horrors of Black Friday in favor of a more relaxing Cyber Monday, Amazon’s profile keeps rising, while Walmar’ts drops. Add to this, new rave reviews of Amazon’s new same-day delivery service – and it’s a trend which cannot be bucked.
Japan is Back. – After dominating the global manufacturing scene in the 1970′s and 1980′s, Japan got suckered into a spirally debt addiction which ended up destroying their economy in the early 1990′s. Subsequent and reckless efforts to revitalize their system only made things worse. They tried it all: quantitative easing, deflating their currency, and buying up their own debt, but still could not pull themselves out of the global cellar. 2015 looks to be the year Japan rebounds back into positive digits.
Gold and Silver – Gold: is it going to break the $2K glass ceiling in 2015? Not likely. Although it won’t stay low forever, gold will not rise in the short-term so long as the dollar is high – and oil is low. Silver has better breakout potential, but sadly it will remain where has been – so long as the Wall Street price fixers and the Precious Metal Market Suppression Squad (PMMSS) at Goldman Sachs continue to their efforts to soften what would otherwise be hard money.
US, UK Housing Crashes Coming – The US Federal Reserve, Bank of England, and Bank of Canada – are all scheduled to begin hiking interest rates in 2015—in June, August, and October, respectively – which means that any short-term housing bubbles inflated by low interest rates – will pop. In other words, anyone suckered into the housing market post 2008 with the promise of cheap money in the form of ridiculously low interest rates – could receive a severe shock. That means that this summer, everyone will be wanting to sell, and no one will be wanting to buy. Translated = housing crash.
Air Travel Prices – Although fuel prices have dropped significantly, air travel prices are increasing overall. In many cases for Americans, it’s now cheaper to drive than fly. Another contributor to rising air faresl is rising fear over terrorism and Ebola – and that fear means more security and that costs money. There are some routes which will see a drop in price, including deals onTransatlantic flights to and from big markets like New York, LA, and Miami.
Legalized Dope – 2014 was a breakout year for marijuana legalization and even played a pivotal role in the US midterm elections. This shows the power of pot, with Colorado leading the way, touting the economic benefits said to be documented in the upcoming film, “Marijuana Country: The Cannabis Boom”. Other US states like Washington are in the process of legalizing cannabis as well, so expect to see more joints, e-cig inhalers and white people with dread locks hanging around your local skate parks and permaculture urban farms. 2015 is also the year that George Soros and Monsanto unleash their GMO cannabis crops on the world starting in Uruguay, all because clueless hippies sprung that trap last year – already set for them by Soros and his fellow shareholders at Monsanto. Stoners.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
2014 was the year of the emerging shocks, and this year we’ll see some of last year’s sprites make a real impact – this will be the year of the future shock, and in real-time…
Robot revolution – 2015 will unveil some incredible strides in automation, as robots and computers continue to graduate from factories into service positions. On CNN’s NYE special, the program opened with a news feature about a new ‘automatic cocktail barman’ – a robotic arm which mixed and poured complex drink recipes – with the orders taken by your smartphone. This is not necessarily good news for entry-level jobs in the service sector however. Another feature of our brave new world.
Global Warming Turns to Global Cooling – 2015 will be the warmest year before global coolingsets in. The coming mini cooling cycle is set to begin in late 2015 and will last approximately 13 years. Despite the known effects of both solar and lunar cycles, grant-hungry scientists at the UN’s IPCC and Al Gore’s Church of Climatology will still milk every last ounce of political and financial capital out of the global warming mythology, and when that’s fully defunct, they will then claim that global cooling was a result of CO2 emissions and flatulent cows.
Biohazard – Encouraged by their success with Ebola, the Establishment will be keen to launch another scare campaign in order to further consolidate control and make a ton of money in the process. The Ebola Airline Frenzy hit fever pitch in the US and for the first time ever, establishment conspiracy theoristswere actually out-doing the blogasphere when dreaming up improbable doomsday scenarios. One thing is certain – Americans will go for just about anything the media serves up, with politicians usually following (hazmat) suit. If anything, Ebola may have been too exotic for the average American who would struggle to find Liberia on a map, so we could see a reboot of the Killer Flu – similar to the H1N1 scare in 2009. Until then, stock up on surgical masks.
3-D Printing Goes Mainstream – Like Bitcoin, the open source 3-D Printing wave is unstoppable. Its libertarian attributes mean that it’s a true 21st century system crasher and paradigm shifter. According to consultancy Wohlers Associates, the 3-D printing market was worth $2.2 billion worldwide in 2012, and that number is expected to triple this year. The technology is getting better, cheaper and faster, and with more capital and more companies coming into the space, expect even bigger ideas to follow this truly exciting curve.
Drones – Undoubtedly, the military or ‘Terminator’ aspects of this technology are absolutely depressing, but 2014 was a breakout year for personal user drones, and 2015 will almost certainly be the ‘Year of the Drone’. Drones are getting smarter – andsmaller, like the new Hexo+, the Zano and the Pocket Drone.
GoPro Video Revolution – This one was pretty inevitable. In late 2014, Chinese manufacturing giant behind Apple’s iPhone, Foxconn, paid $200 million for a 9% stake in micro camera sensation GoPro. This should tell you how hot this technology is going into 2015. New 360-degree and ‘immersive’ video camera applications will also make an impact this year, further fueling the GoProrevolution.
2015 is a year of the bubbles – with new ones inflating, while some old ones pop. Here are a few set to blow this year…
MSM Bubble – A combination of shrinking audiences, advertizing revenues and the Mainstream Media’s ever-growing detachment form reality means that the MSM bubble has finally popped. But like a cornered rat, the MSM cartel is determined to delay its funeral by using its lobbying power in government to push users back into the stone ages of monolithic media by attacking independent media whenever and wherever it can – through repressive bills like SOPA, CISPA, as well as other attacks on downloading and file sharing sites and their founders. Rather than embracing the future, the dinosaur industry is predictably doing what monopolists have done throughout history – continue to game the political and judicial systems in their bid to “lock it down”. The MSM have tried to either buy out or emulate the new media, but its a fool’s errand. In the US, millions are already ‘cutting their cables’ – dumping their over-priced home subscription services. Viewers are fleeing in droves to online digital-on-demand services like Amazon Prime,Netflix and HBO GO. The writing is already on the wall.
The Hollywood Bubble – What the ‘Sony Hack’ hoax demonstrated more than any thing was how Hollywood Svengalis are being forced to resort to ever-more desperate measures in order to create artificial demands for their increasingly shallow and mediocre productions. Traditional audiences are shrinking quickly, and so are profits. There is still money to be made, but not with the old 20th century pyramid set-up. Today’s emerging audiences are not only content consumers, but they are also content producers too. Hence, they are much more politically and socially engaged, and Hollywood’s overpriced propaganda filmsand ‘prestige’ historical biopics are just not cutting it in the post-2012 awakening.
Data Bubble – Recently, RT host Max Keiser coined the term ‘Data Pollution’ when describing the coming Big Data Bubble. Big Data is taking new forms which are distorting and polluting a number of areas of society and the economy. There’s “junk data”, “data waste”, and also “toxic data” – all of which comes together to form the data bubble. IT guru ‘Doc’ Searls explains how business bought into the mythology of big data and pervasive “surveillance-based marketing and advertising”, and how its time is coming to an end. Add to this the anti-survelliance backlash started by Ed Snowden in 2013 and an anti-Google backlash in the works, and you have a perfect storm forming against ‘Big Data’. Watch this one start to pop in 2015.
Student Loan Bubble – Is a $120,000 bachelor’s degree really worth it? Where are the jobs for graduates? Those are question more and more Americans are asking themselves in 2015. As America’s higher education prices itself out of the market, and more graduates get tired of writing out checks to the government until they turn 50, the writing on the wall – about thestudent loan trap. Some of the smarter youngsters may be fleeing to more sensible options, as they come to realize thatcheap and easy to get government student loans are what has actually been pushing up the price of university tuition and student rents. Meanwhile Washington is raking in the profit on the interest. It’s another bubble, that’s all.
Reverse Brain-Drain’ Bubble – As Banksters continue to destroy ‘developed’ economies in Europe and North America, skilled labor and other recent migrants have turned towards the developing world for opportunity – namely Africa, South America and Asia. 2015 is the year of the ‘Reverse Brain Drain’ – even in the United States which used to be a magnet for people from all over the world. A new silicon valley has even sprung up in India as a result and US talent are flocking there in search of better opportunities. For the first time since the Great Depression more Mexicans are returning to Mexico than coming to the US. In the UK, factors like crippling housing prices, stagnant wages and a ridiculous cost of living in London are also driving the best and brightest away to greener pastures abroad.
Fracking Bubble – Of all the bubbles, the Shale Gas, or “Fracking” bubble is perhaps the most insidious of all. Due to a child-like understanding and denial by US and British politicians of the fatally flawed technology and economics behind the so-called “Shale Revolution”, this bubble was allowed to inflate to Babylonian proportions. The fundamentals were never there, despite what industry shills on FOX News claimed. Early investors and their political cronies went into over-drive hyping share prices, with early entrants cashing out already. All that was left was the hype, which hit a brick wall of reality this year. America’s shale gas resources were grossly exaggerated and the plunge in oil prices provided the double whammy to an industry hell-bent on drilling anywhere and everywhere, regardless of the environmental destruction it left in its wake. Fracking’s recent defeat in New York was a harbinger, and now Pennsylvania is set to follow suit. Like all bubbles, this one is set to pop, but sooner rather than later.
Westminster’s ‘Paedophile Bubble’ – Unpleasant as it may be, pederasty has long been an institutional problem throughout Britain’s corridors of power, particularly in Westminster,with the Tory Party partaking in more than its lowly share. Sadly, it’s been allowed to fester over the years, and with each successive cover-up designed to protect those in positions of politics and power, while the elite paedophile bubble continues to inflate. The problem is nowso big that the system cannot handle the volume of historical child sex abuse allegations claims one British MP, as he warns that victim total could be in the ‘many tens of thousands’. While knighted monsters like Sir Jimmy Savile and Sir Cyril Smith were exposed after their deaths, no major living political figure has been allowed to be exposed, yet. The current paedophile “inquiry”has all but collapsed as the establishment run out of excuses why they shouldn’t skewer their own. A culture of impunity seems to exist which ties together the police, the judiciary and the government. Part of this is through secret societies, and part of it through organized crime. 2015 may be the year it finally pops, as a tidal wave of new evidence is finally being brought to the attention of the authorities, and more witnesses continue to come forward. The dam of denial is about to break.
That’s it for now, but stay tuned here at 21WIRE for the very best in alternative media and news reporting in 2015.
(If we missed any predictions or trends, please list them below in the comment thread)