Jeremy Grantham: ‘Still No Signs Of An Equity Bubble About To Break’

Right before the weekend, Jeremy Grantham, the British-born investment strategist and founder/former chairman of Grantham, Mayo, Van Otterloo & Co. (currently overseeing $99 billion in client assets), penned an article on the Barron’s website entitled “Jeremy Grantham Warns on Immigration, Brexit.” As part of this piece Grantham, whose individual clients have included former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, talked about U.S. stock prices. He wrote:

Despite brutal and widespread asset overpricing, there are still no signs of an equity bubble about to break, indeed cash reserves and other signs of bearishness are weirdly high.

In my opinion, the economy still has some spare capacity to grow moderately for a while. All the great market declines of modern times- 1972, 2000, and 2007- that went down at least 50% were preceded by great optimism as well as high prices. We can have an ordinary bear market of 10% or 20% but a serious decline still seems unlikely in my opinion. Now if we could just have a breakout rally to over 2300 on the S&P 500 and a bit of towel throwing by the bears, things could change. (2300 is our statistical definition of a bubble threshold.) But for now I believe the best bet is still that the U.S. market will hang in or better, at least through the election

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

“2300 is our statistical definition of a bubble threshold”

2,300 on the S&P 500 was the same bubble threshold Grantham indicated in his last quarterly investment newsletter contribution. He wrote in May:

2) that we are unlikely, given the beliefs and practices of the U.S. Fed, to end this cycle without a bubble in the U.S. equity market or, perish the thought, in a repeat of the U.S. housing bubble; 3) the threshold for a bubble level for the U.S. market is about 2300 on the S&P 500, about 10% above current levels, and would normally require a substantially more bullish tone on the part of both individual and institutional investors; 4) it continues to seem unlikely to me that this current equity cycle will top out before the election and perhaps it will last considerably longer…

As I type this Monday afternoon, the S&P 500 stands at 2,167.

An interesting article by Grantham, which you can read in its entirety here on the Barron’s website.

By the way, I noticed there’s a comment attached to that piece from “Christopher Hill.” That is not from me.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (

(Editor’s notes: Info added to “Crash Prophets” page; a qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on material found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. The creator/Editor of this blog is not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information contained herein.)

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Peter Schiff: ‘This Is A New Leg Of The Gold Bull Market’

Economist, financial broker/dealer, and author Peter Schiff was interviewed by Kitco News Editor-In-Chief Daniela Cambone last Friday out at FreedomFest in Las Vegas. Schiff, who correctly-called last decade’s housing crash and the global economic crisis, believes gold is entering a new phase in a secular bull market that began back around the turn of the millennium. He told viewers:

I think gold is not only going to re-test the highs from 2011 when it was close to $1,900, but it’s going to surpass those highs and move into much higher territory

I think this is a new leg of the gold bull market. I mean gold’s been in a secular bull market since 2000, 1999-2000. We had a cyclical bear market that I believe ended with the Fed hiked rates in December. And now we have the new leg of the bull market, which I think potentially could be an even bigger leg than the first leg, which saw gold go from sub-$300 to close to $2,000. So if this leg is bigger than that, you can just imagine how high the price might go.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

“We’ve Entered a New Leg of a Gold Bull Market”
YouTube Video

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (

(Editor’s notes: Info added to “Crash Prophets” page. A qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on material found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. The creator/Editor of this blog is not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information contained herein.)

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Message For Chicago, Cook County, And Illinois Readers

Readers of Survival And Prosperity might get the wrong impression that I’m rooting for Chicago, Cook County, and Illinois to “fail” based on my routine blogging about their financial, crime, and political woes.

Actually, I do this because I care deeply about the region and its residents.

It’s been my experience that Chicagoans and Illinoisans are pretty decent people overall. I’ve found many of them to be down-to-earth and quick to lend a helping hand to neighbors and strangers alike.

It’s my personal opinion that these woes (interconnected in my mind) I speak of will only intensify in the coming years. The trend is not our friend here, and if anything, since many of the people who helped bring about this mess are still in charge, is it reasonable to expect they’ll be the ones to fix it?

In the meantime, I predict many Illinoisans will be subject to varying degrees of financial and physical pain while this debacle plays out.

As this is a plausible scenario, have local readers of Survival And Prosperity contemplated what’s at stake should conditions keep deteriorating? What would be your personal exposure if events play out the way I expect them to? Financial vulnerabilities? Personal safety shortcomings? Individual circumstances will undoubtedly vary.

Are the wheels turning in your head?

Good. That’s what I’m trying to accomplish with such posts.

The intent is not to scare. Rather, it’s rooted in care.

It’s my hope that informing Chicago, Cook County, and Illinois residents of the precarious situation at hand and providing food for thought might aid successful navigation through what will likely be unfamiliar territory for most.

Wishing everyone all the best with that,

Christopher E. Hill

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Quote For The Week

“A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.”

-John Augustus Shedd (American author. 1859-?)

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (


Monday, July 18th, 2016 Quote For The Week No Comments

Former CIA Deputy Director Warns After Nice: ‘I Think It’s Just A Matter Of Time Before We See Attacks Of This Size Here In The United States’

Here’s a worrisome prediction from a former top “spook” about future terror attacks carried out by Muslim extremists. Former CIA deputy director and current CBS News senior security contributor Michael Morell warned viewers on CBS This Morning Friday:

I think things are going to get worse before they get better. As we put more pressure on them in Iraq and Syria, they are going to have a greater incentive to conduct attacks, to inspire attacks because they want to show they’re still relevant. And as we are more successful in Iraq and Syria, all of those thousands and thousands of fighters who went there are going to start coming home. And so you’re going to see more attacks by people who went there, were trained, have military experience, come back home, conduct very serious attacks

I think it’s just a matter of time before we see attacks of this size here in the United States. I have no doubt about that. We’re going to have to adjust to their tactics. The use of a vehicle as a weapon is something that terrorists have talked about for a long time. DHS, FBI put out a report in 2010 warning of this. They’re starting to use it. That’s very difficult to defend against. So, we’re going to have to look at their tactics and respond. We’re going to have to start putting concrete barriers between the flow of vehicles and groups of people.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

CBS News Video

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (

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Illinois Comptroller: State’s Unpaid Bill Backlog To Exceed $10 Billion By Year End

I’ve been following the State of Illinois’ unpaid bill backlog for some time now, and what State Comptroller Leslie Geissler Munger shared yesterday should be of serious concern to Illinoisans. From her website:

CHICAGO- Comptroller Leslie Geissler Munger on Thursday said the state’s bill backlog will grow throughout the fall and Illinois will enter the New Year with approximately $10 billion in unpaid invoices, resulting in payment delays of at least six months.

The announcement follows last month’s passage of a stopgap budget, which authorized payments that were being delayed due to the state’s year-long budget impasse.

“While the stopgap is a positive step forward, it does not address our larger fiscal challenges. When we look at the numbers we are facing, the realities are sobering,” said Munger, noting the state is on pace to spend $2.5 billion more than it takes in the next six months. “Those severe cash shortages mean my office will continue to perform triage to help those most in need and protect our most critical services.”

“The realities are sobering”


And I’m certain they will eventually result in- wait for it- higher/new fees, fines, and taxes in conjunction with reduced government services for Illinois residents.

There’s the real possibility of a big tax increase coming soon for Illinoisans. Consider the following from investment specialist and Illinois State Representative David McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills) on the website of the non-partisan, independent Reboot Illinois project on July 11:

The recent passage of a six-month unbalanced spending measure will worsen Illinois’ financial problems and likely lead to a massive tax increase.

The approval of a stopgap measure is nothing more than a continuation of the status quo that has made Illinois insolvent. The stopgap bill is a spending plan, not a real balanced budget. Consider this: About 91 percent of state government spending was on autopilot during the budget stalemate. The state has been spending money at levels that are higher than authorized during Gov. Pat Quinn’s administration. Spending continues to be out of control

With the adoption of the stopgap measure, we are ensuring the state’s financial problems will not be addressed anytime soon. Ultimately, we are guaranteeing that the state’s financial health will get much worse, which will make it easier for a tax increase to build momentum in Springfield

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

You can read that entire news release from the Illinois Comptroller on her website here.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (


McSweeney, David. “Stopgap Budget Will Likely Result In A Massive Tax Hike.” 11 July 2016. ( 15 July 2016.

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Islamic State In 2014: ‘Single Out The Disbelieving American, Frenchman… Run Him Over With Your Car’

Tonight I’ve been following the Bastille Day slaughter that took place in Nice, France. While the mainstream media is still calling it a “truck attack,” should the carnage eventually be found to be the work of jihadists, keep in mind a Survival And Prosperity post from September 22, 2014, which demonstrates such an attack should not have been unexpected. An excerpt from “Islamic State: Kill Disbelieving Americans”:

Regular readers of Survival And Prosperity know that I’ve taken the threat of terrorism by Muslim extremists seriously for years now- whether Al-Qaeda, the Islamic State, their affiliates, or sympathizers. While it’s obvious to me a number of entities (particularly politicians) are taking advantage of the newly-minted caliphate’s boogeyman factor these days for their own gain, I do believe the Islamic State does pose a real danger to Americans here and abroad. As such, I plan on blogging about the group formerly known as ISIS/ISIL on a regular basis.

Now that that’s been established, Islamic State spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani looks to have released a new speech in which he threatens Americans and its European allies. From “Indeed Your Lord Is Ever Watchful,” which was distributed on social media yesterday:

O Americans, and O Europeans, the Islamic State did not initiate a war against you, as your governments and media try to make you believe. It is you who started the transgression against us, and thus you deserve blame and you will pay a great price. You will pay the price when your economies collapse. You will pay the price when your sons are sent to wage war against us and they return to you as disabled amputees, or inside coffins, or mentally ill. You will pay the price as you are afraid of travelling to any land. Rather you will pay the price as you walk on your streets, turning right and left, fearing the Muslims. You will not feel secure even in your bedrooms. You will pay the price when this crusade of yours collapses, and thereafter we will strike you in your homeland, and you will never be able to harm anyone afterwards. You will pay the price, and we have prepared for you what will pain you…

If you can kill a disbelieving American or European – especially the spiteful and filthy French – or an Australian, or a Canadian, or any other disbeliever from the disbelievers waging war, including the citizens of the countries that entered into a coalition against the Islamic State, then rely upon Allah, and kill him in any manner or way however it may be. Do not ask for anyone’s advice and do not seek anyone’s verdict. Kill the disbeliever whether he is civilian or military, for they have the same ruling. Both of them are disbelievers. Both of them are considered to be waging war [the civilian by belonging to a state waging war against the Muslims]. Both of their blood and wealth is legal for you to destroy, for blood does not become illegal or legal to spill by the clothes being worn. The civilian outfit does not make blood illegal to spill, and the military uniform does not make blood legal to spill. The only things that make blood illegal and legal to spill are Islam and a covenant (peace treaty, dhimma, etc.). Blood becomes legal to spill through disbelief. So whoever is a Muslim, his blood and wealth are sanctified. And whoever is a disbeliever, his wealth is legal for a Muslim to take and his blood is legal to spill. His blood is like the blood of a dog; there is no sin for him in spilling it nor is there any blood money to be paid for doing such…

If you are not able to find an IED or a bullet, then single out the disbelieving American, Frenchman, or any of their allies. Smash his head with a rock, or slaughter him with a knife, or run him over with your car, or throw him down from a high place, or choke him, or poison him. Do not lack. Do not be contemptible. Let your slogan be, “May I not be saved if the cross worshipper and taghūt (ruler ruling by manmade laws) patron survives.”

If you are unable to do so, then burn his home, car, or business. Or destroy his crops.

If you are unable to do so, then spit in his face. If your self refuses to do so, while your brothers are being bombarded and killed, and while their blood and wealth everywhere is deemed lawful by their enemies, then review your religion. You are in a dangerous condition because the religion cannot be established without walā’ and barā’.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Elsewhere in the speech, the Vatican is threatened:

And so we promise you by Allah’s permission that this campaign will be your final campaign. It will be broken and defeated, just as all your previous campaigns were broken and defeated, except that this time we will raid you thereafter, and you will never raid us. We will conquer your Rome, break your crosses, and enslave your women, by the permission of Allah, the Exalted. This is His promise to us; He is glorified and He does not fail in His promise. If we do not reach that time, then our children and grandchildren will reach it, and they will sell your sons as slaves at the slave market.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (

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City Of Chicago’s Total Unfunded Liabilities Grew To Nearly $24 Billion In 2015

It’s been a while since I last blogged about the Illinois Policy Institute, a Chicago-based non-partisan research organization “generating public policy solutions aimed at promoting personal freedom and prosperity in Illinois.” Yet earlier this week, Ted Dabrowski and John Klingner published a sobering piece on the Institute’s website about Chicago’s mounting financial woes that just needs to be disseminated. From their article:

Chicago property owners concerned about their future property-tax bills have had plenty to worry about over the past year- but a new report on the city’s crumbling finances has all but ensured that property-tax hikes will continue to be a painful reality for local homeowners.

The city already passed a $700 million hike in October 2015 to help plug the hole in police and firefighter pensions, and the city is expected to raise property taxes by another $250 million to fund ailing Chicago Public Schools, or CPS, pensions. And with billions more in other health care and pension shortfalls still unfunded, more hikes are on the way.

But the newest debt numbers in the city’s 2015 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, or CAFR, show that without massive pension reforms, the city’s tax hikes are just beginning. The report found that the total city debt Chicagoans are on the hook for has more than tripled since 2014.

Chicago’s total unfunded liabilities have jumped by over $17 billion, growing to nearly $24 billion in 2015 from $6.5 billion in 2014. The increase is mostly due to new accounting standards and the fact that in March the Illinois Supreme Court struck down the city’s recent attempt to reform its broken municipal-workers and laborers pension funds.

Add to that their share of sister-government and Cook County pension and health care costs and long-term debt, and Chicagoans are on the hook for over $65 billion

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Disturbing stuff. But that’s reality for you.

You know, last week I read an “interesting” anonymous comment on the popular Chicago police blog Second City Cop. From the July 7 post entitled “And There it is….”:

Millennials as they are called are falling over themselves to move here. Look at Ukrainian village, Buck town south loop West loop, Lincoln Park. The city is becoming gentrified. Major companies are moving their headquarters here. City is on the upswing like it or not.

“City is on the upswing like it or not.”

Never mind its financial cancer that’s bound to metastasize in due time…

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (


Dabrowski, Ted and Klingner, John. “Chicago’s Total Debt More Than Triples To Over $24B In 2015.” Illinois Policy Institute. 11 July 2016. ( 14 July 2016.

SCC. “And There it is…” Second City Cop. 7 July 2016. ( 14 July 2016.

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Chicago Targeted Friday By Anonymous ‘Day Of Rage’ Protest?

Earlier this week I read Internet chatter about the “hacktivist” group Anonymous coordinating national “Day of Rage” protests for Friday, July 15, in response to recent police-involved shootings.

Suspecting there would probably be some event planned for Chicago if this was “legit,” I did some digging and observed that protesters are supposedly to meet at the Richard J. Daley Center (50 W. Washington St.) in the Loop at 6 PM tomorrow to kick off their “festivities.”

The thing is, these “Day of Rage” protests might not even be real.

Jason Howerton reported over on earlier today:

Rumors that Anonymous, the infamous so-called “hacktivist” group, is planning a national “Day of Rage” on Friday to protest recent police-involved shootings of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota are nearly identical to a false rumor that circulated in 2014

Snopes reported the “Day of Rage” rumor is “virtually identical to one that was circulated two years earlier after the shooting of teenager Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.”

In 2014, one of the group’s affiliated accounts denied the “Day of Rage” plans…

On Wednesday, a different Anonymous account dismissed the rumor once again

Further, the same list of supposed times and locations for so-called protests in 2016 was also released in 2014…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

All of this is starting to sound like one gigantic hoax. But should enough aspiring “Ragers” gather at one/a number of sites, who knows what might transpire in the “Windy City” and other cities Friday.

Head on over to here for additional information.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (

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Thursday, July 14th, 2016 Civil Strife, Government, Public Safety No Comments

Peter Schiff: ‘The Day Of Reckoning Is Getting Closer And Closer’

Economist, financial broker/dealer, and author Peter Schiff appeared on the Alex Jones Show last Friday. Schiff, who correctly-called last decade’s housing crash and recent global economic crisis, warned viewers of rising inflation, a U.S. dollar collapse, and civil unrest. The CEO of Euro Pacific Capital said:

Most people know there’s inflation. They don’t believe the government numbers or they don’t even know about the government numbers. All they know is that the cost of living is going up. Food is more expensive. Their utility bills are higher. Rent is going up. Health insurance premiums are going up. But Alex, we ain’t seen nothing yet. When it comes to inflation- this is just the beginning. The price increases that Americans have been enduring are only going to get much, much worse… But nobody is going to welcome a higher cost of living, and your best defense against that, as I said, is to protect yourself. To get out of your dollars. To diversify internationally

More and more people- mainstreaming people- I’m hearing people talk who now realize that this is the 9th inning of this thing, this whole experiment with Keynesianism and fiat money. It is very, very late in the game. Time is running out, right? The clock has been ticking and ticking. It is going to stop, and you can see that. The day of reckoning is getting closer and closer

The real drop is not just going to be in the pound, but in all the world’s fiat currencies. In particular, the U.S. dollar, which is at the center of this whole Frankenstein’s monster when it comes to a monetary system. And it is going to implode. And this dollar crisis is going to make the financial crisis of 2008 look like a Sunday school picnic, especially in the way it impacts people’s standards of living…

There is going to be, I think, rioting and looting. Especially when we have a currency collapse. Because I think then you’re going to have shortages. I think the government is going to impose price controls. And I think there is going to be a problem for people to get goods and services that are in short supply…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

“Bubble Ready to Implode. Massive QE Coming!”
YouTube Video

(Editor’s notes: Info added to “Crash Prophets” page. A qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on material found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. The creator/Editor of this blog is not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information contained herein.)

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (

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