Friday, November 9, 2007

2008 is coming. Hide under your blankets!

2008 is shaping up to be a very scary year.

So far this week we have had two fairly momentous warnings. George Soros warning that the US economy is headed for a serious "correction" and a recent article on Salon suggesting that an attack on Iran is gaining support in Washington.

Most people, even those in the Pentagon, know that an attack on Iran is quite simply nuts. Unfortunately Vice President Dick Cheney doesn't. And what bothers me about that was a weird site I ran across the other day called "Satanspurerapture" which suggests that next year Osama's crew will attack Philadelphia with the Ebola virus.

Now I have no idea whether Osama has access to Ebola or not but what bothers me is some of the odd bits from the 911 Commission's findings. Most of the conspiracy theories are fanciful but the behaviour of the FBI before and after the attacks is curious. The question that hangs in the air is were the attacks let through to provide a casus belli? The comparison to the Pearl Harbour attack, which many believe Roosevelt, having cut off Japan's oil and secretly ordered his carriers out of harms way, seemed to have anticipated is valid. In short are there agents provocateur out there who will sex up the justification to attack Iran?

Soros is pointing out the obvious that the American economy is seriously unwell. Already there are many sites like this predicting a crunch in US credit. But if the US economy sags seriously Reserve Bank Governor Alan Bollard's reassurance that New Zealand's economy is 'resilient' could come back to haunt him.

The problem with such anxieties, of course, is that we have no ability to influence our environment. We are completely at the mercy of events. So we have no choice but to hope for the best and plan for the worst.

That means expecting transport costs to go bananas as oil prices go mad. Watch out for coastal property to slump as offshore owners cash up to repatriate assets. Get rid of debt as fast as you can because if things turn 1987ish you can bet the banks will get very picky with mortgage holders. Secure contracts as far out as you can. And buy silver or Palladium as a hedge.

Oh, and make sure you have some comfy blankets to hide under in case things turn really nasty.

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