Posts Tagged ‘Economic Thriller’

Christian child

(AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

People occasionally tell me that what I describe as an upside down crazy world is nothing more than me overreacting to everyday events.  Maybe so…  I am passionate about what I believe and about caring for others.  My thought however is that if news stories were puzzle pieces that fit together to form a larger picture, that picture would not be a pleasant one.

My problem in today’s upside down crazy world is that too many of the normal stresses and strains on the cultural fabric that makes up our civilization have been exacerbated by corporate greed and government malfeasance as is exhibited by the reckless borrowing, foolish spending, and cultural degradation of today’s world.

While these trends are not new and have been out of control for decades, the ever increasing rate of deterioration is increasing at an increasing rate.  We are literally witness to a nexus in history, I think.  Americans have been blessed and live comfortable controlled lives, largely protected from the worst tragedies in life.  My concern is that we have surpassed a breaking point and our comfortable existence is now at risk.  None of us care to acknowledge just how serious things like the national debt, an uncontrolled border, corporate theft, or a lawless government are.  We just go on with our lives and hope that things will get better.  Even my family continues to go to work and pay the mortgage.  I am still even contributing to my 401K regardless that I have very little faith that 401Ks will survive what may be coming.

I guess, like many people, I hope I can make it the five and a half more years I need so that I can get my money out of the system and use it to set up the economy I will depend on in retirement.  Sure, I have taken steps to mitigate the risk, but as my characters Catherine, Megan and Annie learned in Phoenix Republic when their comfortable world simply ceased to exist, collapse builds for a long time but takes place in the blink of an eye.

Consider, if you will just a sample of news stories from the past week.  A caliphate now exists in the heart of the Middle East.  Syria, Iraq, and Now Israel are embroiled in fighting.  If you don’t believe that this is a battle for civilization you are living in denial.  Again today another story talks about Christian’s being threatened with the worst possible fates.   ISIS Has a Deadly Ultimatum for Christians

Gov. Rick Perry Says Texas May Soon Take Steps to Secure the Border — With or Without the Federal Government’s Help

(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Tens of thousands of desperate people are flooding across the US southern border all but unchecked.  The United States government not only refuses to enforce the law, but is actually encouraging the situation.  States like Texas are now forced not only to careg for the illegal immigrants, but to take extraordinary steps to try to stem the flow by guarding their borders on their own.

Gov. Rick Perry Says Texas May Soon Take Steps to Secure the Border — With or Without the Federal Government’s Help

We have The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) talking about the increase in income disparity between investment holders and wage earners.  As most of us earn and live off of wages in the USA and in Europe the vast majority of citizens are finding it more and more difficult to maintain their standard of living.  The problem is an increasingly out of touch elite class continue to talk about taxing their citizens while ignoring the other half of the equation which means reducing the cost of government.  All the while, the economy continues to decline which also puts pressure on average citizens.  As the article points out there is a point where civil unrest is unavoidable.  The only question is where is that redline?

When life is too broken in too many places it is easy to just give up, but my thought is that even now one must prepare and try to be a blessing for others.  Life will go on even if the current paradigm fails.  All that giving up means is that one will be more dependent and more at risk than otherwise they might have been when that time comes.  Even in a crazy upside down world there are things to live for.  We have family and loved ones to cling to and to protect.  We have faith and we have hope.

What will your world look like in a year, or two, or five?




Phoenix Republic is a story about average people, sisters, overcoming their reality bias and surviving a titanic shift in the economic underpinnings that make modern life possible.  The story is about what it would be like for a normal person to hold on to their faith, to hold on to their ethics when faced with dramatic change to the very fundamentals of the foundation their lives are based upon.  This blog is about relating the novel to every day events.  This week I was intrigued by something called the “Hindenburg Omen.”  What is it exactly?  Well it is basically a set of technical benchmarks that Keith Fitz-Gerald of  noted, has predicted every major market inflection point since 1985.   If the omen occurs twice in a 30 day period, it’s up to 90% accurate in predicting market selloffs resulting in at least a 5% correction within 45 days.  Currently, this set of metrics has occurred 5 times in the last 8 trading sessions.  I was sufficiently intrigued to see what articles might be available.   Looking at I noticed some interesting data points.

People, corporations, and the government at all levels are carrying more debt than they did in 2007.  The Federal government is in fact carrying 60% more debt than it did in 2007.  Interest rates have risen by 80% in only three months and regardless of the media’s pontification, the economy is obviously still in recession.  Stocks are as overvalued today as they in the “Great Depression” or prior to the housing crash in 2008.  As in Phoenix Republic, not only the United States, but the entire world seems to be hanging in the balance, held together by lies, delusion and false promises.  What might be the result when the music stops?

Like the fictional characters in the novel, most of us have a generally optimistic outlook regarding our future.  That is to say we are more or less optimistic until conditions begin to rapidly deteriorate.  As I read through the headlines over the last couple of weeks, I am captivated by the similarities between our current situation and the reality that the Third Century Romans faced.  For them, corruption, over spending, and security pressures caused arrogant leaders to make mistake after mistake as they sought to maintain their power.

Due to political leaders leveraging Rome to maintain their lifestyles they felt entitled to, and as a result of constant attacks by determined enemies, the financial underpinnings of their civilization became untenable.  The Severan emperors continually dealt with increased budget demands by inventing new taxes, debasing the currency, (quantitative easing…), confiscation of property owned by the rich, (paying their fair share…), and eventually selling imperial assets.  As the strained budgets resulted in declining infrastructure within the empire, the military also suffered as increasingly the cash strapped government was forced to begin relying on lesser quality soldiers from outside the empire, (the Barbarians).  As you might expect productive Romans, especially in the provinces, revolted, further weakening the empire.

It is frightening how familiar the story is to our current paradigm.  As Mr. Bernanke announced an end to quantitative easing, what will be the effect on the markets and thus our lives?  Rising interest rates will hit everything from home and car loans to credit card borrowers to people with leveraged investments.   My thought, is just maybe we should all be wide awake and staying frosty as events unfold.

God bless and good luck!

Phoenix Republic - The Lone Star Gambit

A novel about adversity and personal redemption.

Phoenix Republic is a political thriller describing an economic pivot point that follows three sisters as they struggle with the destruction of Western culture’s credit driven way of life.  Following an economic collapse and the fall of the U.S. dollar, three women from Texas each struggle to overcome personal failings as they make their way back home to the Texas ranch where they grew up.