It’s always fascinating when movies or TV shows mimic or predict real life. I always use the examples of “House of Cards,” the “Blacklist,” and “Billions,” as three shows that, with very little hyperbole, demonstrate how this country and world really work. Anyone who believes otherwise is simply naïve, or has perhaps lived such a blessed life that they’ve never been in rooms with people like Frank Underwood and Ray Reddingon. They exist, and they run this place; believe it.
And so comes the predilection of the famous dance scene in “The Dark Knight Rises,” when Selina Kyle, AKA, Catwoman warns Bruce Wayne that “There’s a storm coming, Mr. Wayne. You and your friends better batten down the hatches, because when it hits, you’re all gonna wonder how you ever thought you could live so large and leave so little for the rest of us.”
Now, I’m not suggesting that we’re all about to get thrown out of our homes and forced to walk across frozen river beds as penance for America’s largesse, but there’s something coming and it’s not good…the signs are everywhere.
In 2006, I explained over and over again why I was selling my house at the time, seeing that the market was at an all-time high and the bubble was about to burst. In the summer of 2008 I announced I was pulling out of the stock market entirely because while I couldn’t put my finger on it, something was amiss. (Of course I then stayed on the sidelines as the market doubled over the next years after crashing so what do I know)?
Here’s what I do know today; there are too many ominous things happening near and far for there to not be something major on the horizon. Some are predicting another worldwide economic meltdown, others are simply foreseeing yet another American recession. And then there’s terrorism and the growing known fact that ISIS is now producing their own passports and is wanting and preparing to launch a chemical weapons attack on the U.S.
The few remaining factories in America are fleeing to foreign lands, leaving thousands of lifelong employees destitute. The economic numbers of the nation and its future are abysmal, no matter how anyone tries to spin them, and America more and more seems ready, willing, and able to embrace a Socialist and an unhinged populist as their two presidential candidates.
Everything in America is at loggerheads and extremes. Either Black Lives Matter or you’re a racist pig. Either American Christians have the right to deny homosexuals marriage using their 1st amendment protections, or there’s a war on Christianity. Either guns belong everywhere, or they belong nowhere. Either Muslims should be banned or should be building more mosques than Starbucks. On and on it goes…
So what to do? Well, batten down the hatches for starters. Relieve yourself of debt and obligation to as many people as you can, have access to as much liquidity and mobility as possible, and pay attention to what’s happening as much as your head and heart will allow. We’ve been down this road before, and we’ve pulled ourselves, as a nation, from the brink. No outcome, however, is guaranteed; the only guarantee is uncertainty. Just remember, as the world burns, that you heard it here first. That will be my solace.