“You can’t ignore the facts. You don’t like to say that the sky is falling. But then if you see it falling, you don’t want to just pretend that you don’t see what you see- because that’s worse. It’s better to warn about the catastrophes ‘A,’ so maybe your warnings can help put into effect policies that might avert the catastrophe, or if you can’t do that, at least help as many people as possible prepare for it in advance so that they don’t get hit by surprise.”
-Peter Schiff, CEO/Chief Global Strategist of Euro Pacific Capital, July 23, 2014
Survival And Prosperity, “Protecting and Growing Self and Wealth in These Uncertain Times,” is a blog that was created in November 2010 by Chicago-area researcher and veteran blogger Christopher E. Hill which focuses on personal and financial safety and growth for this tumultuous period in the United States. Over 2,500 posts have been written to date. Survival And Prosperity is an informational weblog consisting of the personal opinions of its creator/editor and the material found within is not to be construed as being legal or financial advice (see “Disclaimer And Policies” page).
As part of his concentration on personal safety and financial topics, Christopher has been observing and blogging about “prepping” the last couple of years. As such, in March 2012 the National Geographic Channel called him one of its “favorite bloggers in the prepping community.” In October 2013 the Nat Geo Channel referred to Mr. Hill as one of “the best and brightest in the preparedness community” as he participated in another Doomsday Preppers “blog carnival.” In April 2013 emergency food supply company Food Insurance™ named Chris one of “16 Great Emergency Preparedness Bloggers, Authors, and Authorities” after his appearance at their March 20-21 “Ready, Set, Prep” Summit in Dallas, Texas. SP routinely appears on the highly-regarded Top 50 Survival Blogs website. Michael Snyder of the popular The Economic Collapse Blog and the End Of The American Dream blog named it one of the 50 “best prepper websites and blogs on the Internet” in 2013 and designated it one of the 122 “best prepper websites on the Internet” at the end of 2014. Christopher even appeared on the Morning AMp show on Vocalo Radio 90.7 FM Chicago on February 11, 2013, where he participated in a discussion about preppers in the Chicagoland area and firearms.
Some Americans find survivalists sinister. After Adam Lanza shot 26 people in a school in Newtown, Connecticut in 2012, the media made much of the fact that his mother was a gun-stockpiling prepper. Yet there is no evidence that preppers in general are more dangerous than their compatriots. On the contrary, when natural disasters strike, it is useful to have neighbours who know how to stormproof a house and have bandages to spare.
–The Economist (UK) website, December 17, 2014
Chris is also an occasional contributor to the AmmoLand.com shooting sports news website and a former one on the Before It’s News site. His thoughts on financial and personal safety topics are increasingly sought after by the mainstream/alternative media (most recent: Kate Krueger Talking Guns radio talk-show on KFNX 1100 AM Phoenix (2/24/13), Morning AMp radio talk-show on Vocalo Radio 90.7 FM Chicago (2/11/13) and The Didja Know Show! with up-and-coming teenage journalists Cailin and Hannah Loesch (12/31/12).
Survival And Prosperity is the culmination of several years of hard work, in-depth research, and new realizations. Back in 2004 when SP’s creator/editor Christopher Hill was surveying the economic and investment landscape in support of his own investing activities, he concluded from his own research that the United States was heading towards a financial crash. Deciding that this was something other Americans might want to know about, Mr. Hill launched the independent financial blog Boom2Bust.com, “The Most Hated Blog on Wall Street,” on Memorial Day Weekend 2007 with the purpose of warning and educating others about the approaching U.S. economic crash. Chris wrote over 1,500 posts on Boom2Bust.com during its nearly three-year run, with many of these picked up and republished on the web sites of the Wall Street Journal, FOX Business, FOX News, Reuters, USA Today, the Chicago Sun-Times group, the Austin-American Statesman, the Palm Beach Post, and the West Orlando News, among other media outlets. Chris was also interviewed for a May 2009 MSNBC.com piece as a result of his work on the blog.
In addition to Boom2Bust.com, Christopher Hill came out with the investing blog Investorazzi.com, “Tracking the World’s Greatest Investors,” in March 2008. Investorazzi.com followed the investment activities of the world’s top investors, including Thomas Barrack, Warren Buffett, Marc Faber, Jeremy Grantham, Bill Gross, Edward Lampert, Mark Mobius, T. Boone Pickens, Jim Rogers, and George Soros. Over 700 posts appeared on the blog during its two-year lifespan, resulting in Mr. Hill being asked to serve as a guest poster for the MarketClub Trader’s Blog.
By the end of Winter 2009-2010, Christopher was ready to move forward with a new blogging project. After all, since Boom2Bust.com’s launch in May 2007 (a time when material about a coming U.S. financial crisis/crash was sparse and talk of its likelihood ridiculed) the “unthinkable” has happened in the United States: Americans were given a front-row seat to a housing market collapse, a subprime mortgage crisis, a banking sector crisis, turmoil in the financial markets, upheaval on Wall Street, government takeovers, massive Washington bailouts, falling consumer wealth, shuttered businesses, skyrocketing unemployment, escalating foreclosures, massive government deficits and debt, new/higher fees and taxes, reduced public services, and a “Great Recession” to boot.
Despite all this, no financial crash (although some have used this term to describe what took place).
So, was Christopher Hill wrong in his assertions? No. All Washington and the Fed have accomplished with their bailouts, stimulus programs, and quantitative easing is to “kick the can” farther down the road before America’s financial reckoning day arrives. The underlying problems within the U.S. economy and larger financial system not only remain, but have also gotten worse:
In the 40 years I’ve been working as an economist and investor, I have never seen such a disconnect between the asset market and the economic reality… Asset markets are in the sky and the economy of the ordinary people is in the dumps, where their real incomes adjusted for inflation are going down and asset markets are going up.
Something will break very bad.
–“Doctor Doom” Marc Faber, Swiss-born investment adviser/fund manager and publisher of the monthly investment newsletter The Gloom Boom & Doom Report, who became famous for advising clients to get out of the U.S. stock market one week before the October 1987 crash and for predicting the 2008 financial crisis (among other calls), in an interview published on The Globe and Mail (Canada) website on May 8, 2013
I am still a believer that the Fed will engineer a fully-fledged bubble (S&P 500 over 2250) before a very serious decline.
–Jeremy Grantham, Britsh-born investment strategist and founder/former chairman of Grantham, Mayo, Van Otterloo & Co., who warned about asset bubbles everywhere before the U.S. housing bust and economic crisis last decade, in his 2014 Q3 investment newsletter on the GMO website
If we’re going to talk about irrational exuberance in the markets, eighteen years ago is nothing compared to the irrational exuberance that we have today. Today, we are off the charts irrational and exuberant considering the enormity of the problem…
None of the so-called experts who are talking about the “economic miracle” and “these amazing numbers” and how “our economy is the envy of the world”- none of these guys saw the problems at the peak in 2000. They didn’t see the problems in the housing market or the coming financial crisis in 2007 and 2008. So they have a lousy track record when it comes to identifying in advance the problems that underlie the economy. And I think the problems that are underlying the economy now are bigger than ever, and the “experts” are blinder than ever.
–Peter Schiff, CEO/Chief Global Strategist of Euro Pacific Capital, who correctly-predicted the “Panic of ’08″ and housing crash, in a December 5, 2014, entry on The Schiff Report YouTube vlog.
We’re going to have serious problems. America’s stock markets have been going up, almost straight up, for six years. That’s very unusual. At the same time, debt has been going higher and higher and higher all over the world, and central banks have been printing a lot of money. That is not normal. When this ends, it’s going to be much worse than the last time we had a big collapse in the financial markets. It’s going to be much, much worse. So yeah, we all should be concerned. We’re getting some signals now, in the emerging markets- markets which borrowed a lot of money. No, it’s going to be a mess the next time we have a financial crisis. And we will have financial crises- we’ve been having them since the beginning of time. If anybody tells you there’s no more financial crises, run the other way.
–Jim Rogers, well-known investor (and former partner of George Soros in the legendary Quantum Fund), financial commentator, and author, who predicted the 2008 economic crisis, on Bloomberg TV India on March 27, 2015
In addition, new threats have emerged with the potential to wreak socioeconomic devastation upon the United States. Dangers such as resource scarcity (coupled with higher prices), especially as it concerns food and energy, and terrorism, particularly an attack by improvised nuclear device (IND), can no longer be brushed off as being conspiracy theory:
Food output will have to climb by 70 percent from 2010 to 2050 as the world population swells to 9 billion and rising incomes boost meat and dairy consumption, the FAO [United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization] forecasts.
-Bloomberg.com, May 5, 2011
The International Energy Agency has released its World Energy Outlook for 2010, forecasting for the first time that the global crude oil production peak that so many have long feared, has in fact already been reached-more than four years ago.
-Reuters.com, November 18, 2010
This debate asks how likely is it that terrorists will explode a nuclear bomb and devastate a great American metropolis. In the judgment of former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn, the likelihood of a single nuclear bomb exploding in a single city is greater today than at the height of the Cold War. Nuclear Terrorism states my own judgment that, on the current trend line, the chances of a nuclear terrorist attack in the next decade are greater than 50 percent. Former Secretary of Defense William Perry has expressed his own view that Nuclear Terrorism underestimates the risk.
From the technical side, Richard Garwin, a designer of the hydrogen bomb who Enrico Fermi once called, “the only true genius I had ever met,” told Congress in March that he estimated a “20 percent per year probability with American cities and European cities included” of “a nuclear explosion—not just a contamination, dirty bomb—a nuclear explosion.” My Harvard colleague Matthew Bunn has created a probability model in the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science that estimates the probability of a nuclear terrorist attack over a ten-year period to be 29 percent—identical to the average estimate from a poll of security experts commissioned by Senator Richard Lugar in 2005.
-Graham T. Allison, director of Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and author of Nuclear Terrorism: The Ultimate Preventable Catastrophe, in an April 2007 debate
Can a U.S. economic crash be averted? Even though more Americans are now tuned in to the financial challenges this country faces down the road, the nation and its political leadership doesn’t appear to have the required willpower to reverse course. When one considers how long it’s been since Americans were last asked to make tremendous sacrifices on a national level, corrective action seems even less of a reality.
Nevertheless, Christopher Hill remains bullish on the United States in the long run. While the country is about to enter a “world of hurt,” he believes equilibrium will eventually be restored once the excesses in the financial system have been flushed out.
Regrettably, a lot of Americans will be hurt during this process.
This is the most important thing that you can probably do. You’ve got to save yourself first if we’re going to save our country… We’re going to go over a real fiscal cliff. We have a real crisis coming because of the Fed, but we’ve got to protect ourselves.
-Peter Schiff, President/Chief Global Strategist of Euro Pacific Capital and CEO of Euro Pacific Precious Metals, in a September 14, 2012, entry on The Schiff Report YouTube video blog
As such, the questions occupying Christopher’s mind for some time now have been:
1. How does one safely arrive at this restoration point?
2. How does one prosper in the meantime and in the post-crash era?
Answering these questions was the challenge Mr. Hill decided to take up in a new weblog…
Survival And Prosperity is unlike other financial blogs in that SP focuses simultaneously on finance and personal safety, two areas Christopher Hill has spent a lot of time researching these past couple of years and which are intertwined in any serious discussion about surviving and prospering in tumultuous times. Case in point, an individual might pursue a strategy of wealth preservation and growth that would pay off handsomely in a financial crash. Yet, if personal safety was ignored in the process, that same individual might end up a victim of the social turmoil that is sure to accompany the economic collapse. So much for that new-found wealth, right?
New material is scheduled to appear in Survival And Prosperity from Sunday through Thursday, U.S. holidays excluded. Readers are invited to submit comments, although they are moderated by the editor (see “Disclaimer And Policies” page).
In addition to running Survival And Prosperity, Christopher Hill launched two new projects in February 2014 while continuing to work on the roll-out of his new research business.
Offshore Private Vaults, “Overseas Asset Protection Outside the Banking System,” is a financial website which contains information about offshore private vaults located outside the United States offering safe deposit boxes (at a minimum). The site looks at why overseas non-bank vaults are considered effective asset protection tools, and provides a regularly-updated list of these storage facilities worldwide.
A sister site (blog actually), Offshore Safe Deposit Boxes, “Asset Protection Outside the United States,” is a financial blog focusing on safe deposit boxes located outside the United States. The weblog looks at why offshore safe deposit boxes are considered effective asset protection tools.
Prior to his days as a researcher and blogger, Christopher E. Hill was employed in government at the federal level (aide to U.S. Senator Paul Simon of Illinois) and local level (Chicagoland communities) in the areas of immigration, international affairs, public administration, and public safety. He received a B.A. in History and Political Science (double major) from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in May 1995 and an M.A. in Political Science (International Relations) from Loyola University of Chicago in January 1998.
Formerly of Chicago, Christopher now splits his time between the Chicago suburbs, where he lives with his girlfriend, and his family’s place in Wisconsin. Chris enjoys the outdoors, watching English Premier League football (Sunderland A.F.C. supporter) and World Rally Championship auto racing, and actively participating in thoroughbred horse racing, where he and his girlfriend are responsible part-owners of four horses at the present time. This includes the talented Boom Box and headline-grabbing Magna Fortuna (Taxi), whom he writes about over at the Magna Fortuna blog on The Courier-Journal (Kentucky’s largest newspaper) website. One day, he hopes to turn this venture into a second business- with the blessing of the IRS.
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David Hasselhoff, True Survivor (2015)
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