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Dude, Where's My Cash?

Peak Prosperity - Fri, 02/15/2019 - 17:44

A few months back, we issued a report, The Primacy Of Income, declaring the end of the era of capital gains.

It's conclusion? Wealth accumulation over the next decade will be predominantly driven by income.

Since issuing that report, developments have only served to underscore that prediction.

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Daily Digest 2/15 - Good News Friday: Citizen Helps Homeless During Cold Snap, Why Curiosity Should Be Boundless

Peak Prosperity - Fri, 02/15/2019 - 08:30
  • Candice Payne Got 30 Hotel Rooms for Homeless People in Chicago During Severe Cold Snap
  • Cleaning routine shows promise in curbing superbug infection
  • Pride, pain and promise as NASA declares Mars rover Opportunity dead
  • NASA's Record-Setting Opportunity Rover Mission on Mars Comes to End
  • Remembering Why Curiosity Should Be Boundless
  • BP: Renewables To Become Largest Source Of Power By 2040
  • Teenagers Emerge as a Force in Climate Protests Across Europe
  • The Tiny Swiss Company That Thinks It Can Help Stop Climate Change
  • The House Science Committee Just Held a Helpful Hearing on Climate Science for the First Time in Years

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Old Fashioned Horehound Cough Drops

Ready Nutrition - Thu, 02/14/2019 - 22:50

If over-the-counter cough drops aren’t helping, you may need a more natural remedy to get to the source of the ailment. This horehound recipe is made with loving care using all-natural ingredients like horehound, peppermint, and honey.

This is the easiest recipe I found and works brilliantly! But first why horehound and peppermint?

Health Benefits Horehound

Horehound is one of the oldest medicinal herbs used and is renowned for it’s healing properties. It’s an herbal remedy best used for lung and breathing problems including cough, whooping cough, asthma, tuberculosis, bronchitis, and swollen breathing passages. It is a part of the mint family and contains certain antibiotic and antimicrobial properties that make it a natural way to boost your immune system. According to WebMD, horehound is such an effective cough suppressant because “the chemicals in horehound thin mucus secretions, reduce spasms in the stomach and intestines, and decrease swelling (inflammation).  While on its own it has a bitter taste, adding honey will help that natural medicine go down. More on that soon!


Did you know that sailors carried peppermint with them to help with ailments onboard ships? After reading that fun fact, adding peppermint to my homemade lozenges was a no brainer. The menthol in peppermint acts as a natural decongestant and has a cooling effect that naturally soothes inflamed throats. It provides effective relief from many respiratory problems including nasal congestion, sinusitis, asthma, bronchitis, and the common cold and cough. If you do not have loose peppermint available, you can add 10-15 drops of peppermint essential oil to the recipe below and get the same medicinal effect.


Honey is the perfect accompaniment to your homemade cough drop recipe. Honey actually fights against bacteria such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Staphylococcus aureus. The latter is the most common bacteria found in the human nasal passages and nose. Also, honey should be as raw as possible, and the darker the better.  Dark honey contains more antioxidants, and it is more effective in fighting microorganisms and bacteria. It is highly effective as a cough-suppressant and as a demulcent. That latter term means something that coats the throat and the linings of the trachea and mouth to soothe the surfaces…a principle for which cough drops and lozenges have a primary function/goal. You can read more about the healing properties of honey here. Moreover, not only does honey make the lozenges taste better it is also a binding ingredient which holds the lozenges together.

Old Fashioned Horehound Cough Drops

Before you start on your cough drop making adventures, make sure you have the proper equipment:

  • stainless steel pot
  • fine mesh sieve
  • spoon
  • cookie sheet
  • candy thermometer (optional)


  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 cup horehound
  • 1/2 cup peppermint
  • 1-1/2 cup local honey
  • granulated sugar – optional


  1. Bring water to a boil and add loose herbs. Stir herbs into the water and cover.
  2. Remove from heat and allow mixture to sit for 5 minutes.
  3. Strain and reserve liquid. Add used herbs to your compost pile.
  4. Add the honey to the herbal liquid, return to the pot, and bring to a boil once again.
  5. Once the mixture begins to boil, reduce heat to a simmer.
  6. Stir constantly until the syrup reaches 300 degree F (this could take up to 30 minutes). This is where a candy thermometer will come in handy. Or, if you’re like me and don’t have a candy thermometer, use the water test (see below).
  7. Grease a cookie sheet with butter or coconut oil and pour in the syrup.
  8. When the syrup has cooled and is pliable, begin pulling off small pieces and roll them between the palms of greased hands. Form a small, cough-drop sized ball. Note: Work quickly as the mixture hardens pretty fast. If balls harden during the process, return pan to a preheated 350 degrees F oven to soften for a few minutes. Note: for added sweetness, roll cough drops in sugar and set on a cookie sheet.
  9. Allow lozenges to cool and harden on a sheet pan.
  10. Wrap the lozenges individually in pre-cut sheets of parchment paper in an airtight container up to 3 weeks.
Candy Test:

To ensure that the horehound peppermint syrup has reached the correct temperature/consistency, place a drop or two of the syrup into a bowl full of ice water. If the syrup turns and stays hard (like a cough drop) then you know it’s ready. If it is still soft and sticky, it needs to keep cooking.

Feel better!


Tan Liu: Why Many Of Todays Most Owned Stocks Are Ponzi Schemes

Peak Prosperity - Thu, 02/14/2019 - 12:16

Stocks provide a return to today's investors via two mechanisms: dividends and capital gains.

Dividends provide and income stream which can be quantiatively values. Capital gains result from speculation -- an expectation that future dividends will be higher than the market currently expects.

But what's the value of a company that continuously pays no dividends and does not appear as if it ever will in the foreseeable future?

Former financier and current statistician Tan Liu, author of the recent book The Ponzi Factor: The Simple Truth About Investment Profits explains how many of today's perpetually dividend-less companies traded on the public market are operating as ponzi schemes by definition.

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Daily Digest 2/14 - Avoid The Financial Circus, Why Saudi Aramco May Come To An Oil Field Near You

Peak Prosperity - Thu, 02/14/2019 - 07:51
  • Is it love? Nope. Romance scams proliferate online, now the largest consumer fraud reported, FTC says
  • Here's what it takes to pick, pack, and ship 150 million Valentine's Day roses from Colombia to your local florist
  • Employers need to hire more people than ever
  • 12 Months. Nearly 1,200 Kids Killed By Guns.
  • A record 7 million Americans have stopped paying their car loans, and even economists are surprised
  • Asymmetrical Warfare and 4GW: How Militia Groups are America's Domestic Viet Cong
  • Germany narrowly escapes recession after flat growth in the fourth quarter
  • Death And Valor On An American Warship Doomed By Its Own Navy
  • Avoid The Financial Circus
  • Former Apple lawyer charged with insider trading
  • Lower gasoline prices restrain U.S. consumer inflation
  • Oil Rises Despite Rising Oil, Product Inventories
  • Here's Why Saudi Aramco May Be Coming To An Oil Field Near You
  • Union leaders warn Green New Deal may lead to poverty: 'Members are worried about putting food on the table'
  • E. coli-tainted romaine lettuce came from California farms, FDA report says

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How To Find the Best Bench for Your Home Gym

Ready Nutrition - Thu, 02/14/2019 - 05:29

A good bench for a gym you set up at home can really be the cornerstone of your workout program. It should have more than just your straight bars and yoke for benching weights. A quality bench will have a seat that inclines for use in other exercises and attachments that fit it. This is one of our faves:

Olympus MX WM-100 put out by IMPEX Fitness Products

This particular set has a detachable padded platform for strict curls that sits in an opening at the feet of the bench. In this same spot, a pull-down attachment for lats (that’s Latissimus dorsi) and reverse curls can be used. It has a T-bar that holds free weights with a post that the cable attaches through worked over a pulley and terminating with the pull-down bar. A third attachment will enable you to work the legs: quadriceps for the front in a seated position, and reverse leg curls when lying on the bench in the prone.

These attachments have pins that enable them to be set in securely. You can do a ton of exercises with this bench, and it doesn’t take up much room. You can fit the bench and all of your weights into about a 10’ x 10’ section with no problem. There are a few prerequisites for a good bench that are common to all, so let’s lay them out here.

  1. Solid: you want it to be of solid construction and either one piece, or several pieces that bolt together securely with sturdy bolts: none of these “rinky-dink” benches made of hollow steel tubing are worth the cost. Examine how the bench you’re interested in is made.  It should be of rugged steel and squared, not rounded in its posts and supports.
  2. Attachments: As mentioned, these help to multiply the number of exercises you can do. The more the merrier, and make sure these, too, are quality pieces.
  3. Warranty: When you’re lifting heavy, accidents do happen and cables, pulleys, supports, etc., can become busted. You at least want the ability to replace a part or a piece if this occurs.
  4. Ergonomically viable: as with a “rinky-dink” bench mentioned earlier, you don’t want your two vertical posts for the bench to be so narrow that only an elf could fit his shoulders in-between them.  The bench should be reasonably comfortable, with the surface well padded, and your feet should rest on the ground comfortably.  Not too comfortably: you’re there to work out, not lounge.
  5. Steel: Yes, “Fistful of Steel,” to paraphrase Rage Against the Machine…don not settle for some kind of cheap aluminum bench. Steel is necessary to prevent stress from warping or bending it over time – same for your weights.  We do not recommend vinyl.

The same vernacular adage applies, time and again: “Cheap you buy, cheap you get.” You can pick up an Olympus MX WM-100 for about $300, and the attachments run about $50 to $75 per. You can order it or another type of bench for yourself or find one used on e-bay. A good bench will enable your training to progress, and you’ll save yourself the price of a membership at the collective gym and ensure your privacy, as well. JJ out!


Daily Digest 2/13 - Oakland Teacher Strike Looms, Employer Health Plans Cover Less Than You Think

Peak Prosperity - Wed, 02/13/2019 - 09:13
  • Employer health plans cover less than you think, study finds
  • The L.A. teacher strike may be over, but observers warn there’s no ‘clear path forward’ for how LAUSD can afford its new contract
  • Municipalities say pension costs could skyrocket (Connecticut)
  • Debt guarantee tangle: China's private firms hit by default contagion
  • Funding cut to towns, villages to get a 'second look,' Andrew Cuomo says
  • Illinois Lawmakers Debate Financial Steps Amid Pritzker Deficit Report
  • Iowa's city debt surpasses $6 billion for first time; aging infrastructure is a key factor
  • As Fed Nears End of the Hiking Cycle, It Faces a Hard Reality
  • Carney Gets Crisis Deja Vu Looking at Risky Company Debt Surge
  • Oakland schools seek substitutes on Craigslist as teachers' strike looms
  • Feb 2019 Ebola Update: Cheery Thoughts
  • Drought Likely to Develop in Upper Midwest by Spring

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Why Seedlings Get Leggy And How To Fix It

Ready Nutrition - Tue, 02/12/2019 - 19:48

There is little more satisfying than getting to watch your newly planted seeds begin to emerge from the dirt. After one week goes by, you will begin to notice your seedlings are getting leggy and barely able to hold themselves up, If that happens, this guide will help you understand what went wrong and how to fix it.

Leggy plants tend to be weaker, and they often flop and fall over. They will also produce fewer flowers and create an untidy spindly appearance. There are problems with leggy plants too. For starters, they often can’t stand up as well to natural occurrences such as wind and harsh rain. They will have a more difficult time growing up to be the strong plants we want them to be as well, and they tend to fall over enough that they become prone to diseases and pests that would otherwise not be a concern.

Why Do Plants Get Leggy?

There could be a few reasons, or all of the following combined could be an issue in making your plants too leggy:

  1. Lack of sunshine – Usually, this is the culprit.  The natural reaction is for a plant to grow towards the light.  If there isn’t enough light, the plant will stretch itself toward the light source in order to try to produce the necessary sugars to sustain itself. It accelerates its height in order to survive and as a result, you’ll get some long and floppy seedlings.
  2. Lack of moisture in the soil – Seedlings can also become leggy and grow weak if the soil (seed raising mix) dries out or is of poor quality. Dry soil keeps the seedlings from accessing the nutrients they require to grow strong stems and leaves.  This means they are literally starving.
  3. High Temperatures – High heat can also be a cause of some leggy seedlings.  The heat will cause a rapid growth spurt that will, in turn, cause an unbalanced growth. The stems will grow faster than the leaves in this case and can occur in hot weather indoors too if the temperature in your home is too high.

How To Fix Leggy Seedlings/Plants

Because having leggy plants can affect the production of flowers and perhaps even your food, you’ll want to take action and remedy the situation as soon as you can. Try any or all of the following to help your little plants thrive:

  1. Ensure enough light – The first thing you’ll want to do is make absolutely certain your plants are getting enough sunlight. If you have them indoors, place the seedlings in a south-facing window for maximum sunlight exposure, or you could supplement the light the seedlings are getting from the window with a small fluorescent bulb placed a few inches from the plants.  There are some great tips in the article linked here on how to have an effective and productive indoor winter garden, including suggestions on light sources. If your seedlings are mature enough to be transplanted, try planting them in an outdoor, but protected area, to sun harden them for a few days. This will get them ready for their eventual move to your big outdoor garden!
  2. Trickery – You can also “trick” your little seedlings into growing thicker stems. Try brushing your hands over them a few times a day, or place them near an oscillating fan that will blow gently on them. This will trick your plants into growing thicker stems by simulating a windy environment. In a windy area, plants need a thicker stem to withstand the wind and this will help yours release chemicals in the plant that will help that stem strengthen.
  3. Add some moisture – If your soil lacks quality or moisture, try simply watering more often.  It’s pretty easy to set yourself a reminder on your phone to do a “daily seed moisture check.” Adding small amounts of water to a shallow tray or container can help young plants get the moisture they need from the bottom up. But keep in mind that too much water can be a bad thing too. Be mindful of the amount of water you give your plants.  You don’t want the roots to rot from too much water. Keeping a spray bottle handy and giving the plants a few sprays each day can be beneficial and help keep you from overdoing it!
  4. Add more nutrient-rich organic material – adding more nutrients via organic compounds in the soil can also help ensure your little plants are getting the nutrients they need.  If you have trouble finding high-quality soil, you can easily make your own!

All of these simple fixes can have your leggy seedlings or plants well on their way to a healthy and strong life! Take care of your plants and they will take care of you.



Read more gardening guides and shop for heirloom seeds over at Ready Gardens!

Daily Digest 2/12 - Green New Deal Critics See Red, How Bad Is the China Slowdown?

Peak Prosperity - Tue, 02/12/2019 - 11:55
  • Dow jumps 300 points on tentative deal to avoid government shutdown, US-China trade hopes
  • All the ways Gen X is financially wrecked
  • The decline of the US Navy
  • Paul Volcker & Ray Dalio | State of the US Economy & Government
  • Inside Perspective On The 2008 Financial Crisis And The Lessons Learned
  • This Apple Prediction From Tim Cook May Never Come True
  • MSNBC Panelist Says It's 'Wonderful To Watch These Trump Voters Learn' As Some Americans Complain About Smaller Tax Refunds
  • Sears' controversial ex-chairman closes deal to buy the company, keeping 425 stores open
  • Norfolk Southern details plan to cut 3K employees, 500 locomotives by 2021
  • How Bad Is the China Slowdown? U.S. Companies Offer Some Answers
  • Landmark Rocky Hill ruling could pave the way for more courts to choose climate over coal
  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and team attempt damage control after a fumbled Green New Deal rollout that included a line about paying Americans 'unwilling to work'
  • Green New Deal Critics See Red
  • Bankrupt Pacific Gas & Electric Corp. Will Replace Half Of Its Board Of Directors
  • Eating 'ultraprocessed' foods accelerates your risk of early death, study says

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Why Is Tea So Calming? The Science Behind The “Psychology Of Tea”

Ready Nutrition - Mon, 02/11/2019 - 14:10

If you’re anything like me, and a lot of other more natural people out there, you have probably tasted your fair share of herbal teas. One of my favorites is an aromatic calming tea made with chamomile, lavender, and lemon balm. What I have found is herbal teas tend to calm the mind and soothe our stress away, and there’s a science behind why herbal teas tend to be good for our overall mental health.

I’m a big coffee drinker too, and nothing beats that first sip of steaming hot coffee on a cold winter morning.  But once my pot of joe runs out, I’m heating up water for a custom blend of herbal tea.  It’s relaxing and calming, and there’s some science to back up the boost to our mental state when we drink a warm mug of tea.


Drinking any warm liquid has the ability to calm our nerves, lower our stress levels, and decrease blood pressure as warmth itself is associated with comfort. As warm beverages also beg to be sipped as opposed to chugged quickly, it often means the person consuming the warm drink will be sitting down, calm, possibly reading, or just enjoying the quiet. There are few days I’m not up before 5 am and the days that I am not in a hurry make a great time for me to sit in the dark and quiet with a cup of hot coffee or tea before the kids get up and fill the house with obligatory noise. This can be almost like a meditation for me, and it starts my day on a more positive and relaxed note. And many others tend to agree!

A study conducted in 2014 says that warm drinks can help us see the best in other people.  An experiment conducted at the University of Colorado Boulder and published in the journal Science found that “participants who briefly held a cup of hot (versus iced) coffee judged a target person as having a ‘warmer’ personality (generous, caring).”  The subjects of the study were asked to hold a hot coffee or an iced coffee belonging to another person before being introduced to them. (They had no idea that holding the drink was even part of the test.) The researchers found that based on a body of research into the significance of the insula (the part of the brain in which judgments about others are formed), and also where we process warmth, go hand in hand when judging others. So drinking warm beverages can help us all be a little “warmer” towards others.


The scent of your favorite herbal tea can be intoxicating, and aroma plays a huge role in the human brain and the power of association. Aromatherapy, or using scents for their effects on the body and mind, has been around in different forms for thousands of years.  Herbal teas often contain hundreds of active ingredients that all have scents! The herbs themselves consist of concentrated oils and when you brew a cup of tea, some of those oils drift upward in the steam creating an aroma. As you breathe in the wonderful aroma of the steam, individual scent molecules enter receptors in the cells throughout your body. This triggers many changes in your mental state. Those changes are most often distressing, soothing, calming, and relaxing.

A study from the Mie University School of Medicine found that patients with depression needed smaller doses of antidepressant medications after citrus fragrance treatment. Another study from the University of Vienna demonstrated that when the scent of orange oil was used in dental clinics, female patients exhibited decreased anxiety.  The aroma of tea can be very beneficial if you’re having a bad day.  Brew your favorite herbal tea and just relax as you breathe in the scent and feel your stress melt away. This is indeed, important because stress has been linked to chronic health issues such as coronary heart disease.

An extremely soothing tea with a pleasant aroma is this one:

The fast-acting natural sedatives like lemon balm, chamomile, lavender, catnip, and passionflower promote a deep, restful night’s sleep, but are also highly effective at reducing stress and creating a soothing aroma to help some of the most overworked relax after a long hard day.

Your Favorite Mug

If you drink warm beverages on a regular occasion, you’ve probably got that one mug that you just always reach for.  I know I do! It’s a slightly larger than average and heavier mug with my favorite sports team’s logo slightly raised on each side.  We become used to and attached to that mug; it’s weight, appearance, the feel of it as we sip from it, and the comforting way it looks sitting next to you with the steam rolling out of it. We become emotionally attached to our favorite mug and that, in and of itself, helps the relaxing effects of herbal teas take a firm hold on us as we sip our favorite warm beverages.

According to Psychology Today, part of the pull is the simple sense of personal ownership. Several studies of the endowment effect (the tendency for people to overvalue their own possessions) actually looked at people’s valuations of their coffee mugs. Researchers found that people ascribed greater value to a mug when they owned it.  However, people are more likely to be obsessed with a favorite mug than a favorite fork, for example. One reason is that mugs are common gifts or souvenirs or keepsakes, so we often associate them with a beloved person, place, or time. And then once we start using them to put our warm and aromatic beverage in, we form attachments to the soothing way the combination of the tea and the mug make us feel.

There are many reasons to drink tea, and the calming and warmth they impart are just a small piece of the “why” behind the psychology of tea. I personally have many favorites when it comes to herbal teas, but the one I’ve been reaching for the most lately is accurately named Holiday Cheer.  Holiday Cheer is a slightly spicy and warm smelling tea perfect for those winter days and nights snowed in by the fire.  It completely embodies its name, and is perfect for those snowy days!

So why not try a new herbal tea today and feel your stress melt away?




Daily Digest 2/11 - Wealth Concentration Near ‘Roaring 20s’ Levels, Insect Decline Risks Catastrophic Ecosystem Collapse

Peak Prosperity - Mon, 02/11/2019 - 12:26
  • Wealth concentration near ‘levels last seen during the Roaring Twenties,’ study finds
  • Russian-Style Kleptocracy Is Infiltrating America
  • Neoliberalism: An idea swallowing the world
  • The TSA and Security Theater: Understanding American Airport Security Following 9/11
  • Kentucky sheriff suspends all law enforcement over lack of funding
  • If San Francisco is so great, why is everyone I love leaving?
  • U.K. Doctors Call for Caution in Children’s Use of Screens and Social Media
  • Earth system impacts of the European arrival and Great Dying in the Americas after 1492
  • Insects Are Dying En Masse, Risking ‘Catastrophic’ Collapse Of Earth’s Ecosystems
  • Oregon has more legal cannabis than the state can consume in six years

Join the conversation »

Watch Episode #1 Of Our Real Estate Investing Series

Peak Prosperity - Sun, 02/10/2019 - 14:02

Yesterday, we aired the first live episode of our webinar series on Real Estate Investing.

This first episode, making the case for real estate as an investment vehicle for building wealth and inflation-adjusting income, is free to all. 

Here's the replay video, if you didn't have the chance to watch the event live

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Daily Digest 2/9 - Oceans Broke Heat Records In 2018, Venezuela As The Pivot For New Internationalism?

Peak Prosperity - Sat, 02/09/2019 - 12:24
  • Venezuela as the pivot for New Internationalism?
  • US aid arrives at Colombia border despite Maduro rejection
  • SoftBank shares surge more than 17 percent after CEO Son announces 'enormous' stock buyback
  • Goin’ Down! Fed Continues Balance Sheet Shrinking Of $14.2 Billion (Unwind Reaches $434 Billion, Remains on “Autopilot”)
  • Central Bank of Lithuania to Issue World’s First Numismatic Digital Coin This Year 
  • IBM Invests $2 Billion in New York Research Hub for AI
  • Amazon invests in a self-driving car startup
  • Steve Gowans On Venezuela Coup—US efforts to topple Maduro spurred by business interests, not democracy 
  • ‘My whole town practically lived there’: From Costa Rica to New Jersey, a pipeline of illegal workers for Trump goes back years 
  • 11 Warning Signs of Gaslighting
  • Ford Is Hiring More Workers to Make More SUVs
  • The ‘Shocking Details’ Of The Green New Deal
  • Our oceans broke heat records in 2018 and the consequences are catastrophic 
  • Native Australian microbats could be a natural pest solution for vineyards 
  • How Japan's Ancient Trees Could Tell The Future 

Join the conversation »

You vs The Recession

Peak Prosperity - Fri, 02/08/2019 - 18:23
Executive Summary
  • The limits to central bank money printing
  • The key indicators signalling recession
  • The growing fractures in the US economy & housing market, Europe, China & global trade
  • Stepping out of the recession's path

If you have not yet read Part 1: Next Stop: Recession!, available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

Here in early 2019 the central banks have already caved to the market’s December 2018 weakness by printing more money, softening their plans for reducing their balance sheets and delaying the already timid schedule for introducing new interest rate hikes.  They are panicking early and often and seem inordinately afraid of any sort of downturn in stock prices, which is a concerning matter in itself.

So our asterisk on this claim of ours that a recession has arrived is contained in the phrase “until and unless.”  Until and unless the central banks reignite their QE booster rockets, and do so in larger-than-ever quantities, and do so by giving money to the common people (not the banks), we think that the die is cast.  The recession has arrived. 

Perhaps we should introduce a second idea which is contained in the phrase “they can until they can’t.”  The central banks managed to get a bounce in the equity markets through a combination of easing financial conditions, as they say (i.e. throw more money to the markets), and jawboning. 

This was sufficient to get a relief bounce in equity and bond markets, but it did nothing to alter the many recession indicators we’ll track for you below.  The central banks can still move the markets with their words and deed.  Someday, perhaps soon, it will be shown they can’t.  They can move markets until they can’t.  Other such times of the central banks being overwhelmed by the movement of the market tides were in 2000 and 2008.

What sorts of things could or will swamp the levitating effects of money printing?  One is a full-blown recession that ends up crushing the various crevices that central banks cannot directly control via printing such as real estate, consumer sentiment, and zombie companies’ ability to meet debt payments.

Another is a deflationary event that sweeps across overleveraged debt markets and causes the very worst sort of damage to a debt-based money system built on leverage; a decline in the amount of credit outstanding from one period to the next.  In other words, another 2008-2009 type of event.

The central banks can control things until they can’t.  That’s what history says.  Perhaps something more fundamental has changed since that allows them more complete control than ever, and perhaps we should always have a few of our chips placed on that possibility, but otherwise it’s not different this time and the central banks will once again discover that credit bubbles are really fun on the way up and utterly destructive on the way down.

We think the next recession has arrived and that it’s going to be a real doozy in terms of creating financial market panic and losses.

Specifically, you need to watch out for...

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Next Stop: Recession!

Peak Prosperity - Fri, 02/08/2019 - 18:23

We've enjoyed years of "recovery" since the Great Financial Crisis by literally papering over our problems with newly-printed money, instead of addressing their root causes.

But we've now arrived at the awkward part of the story; when all of our prior mistakes finally catch up with us, and the plot heads in a much darker direction.

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The Hidden (and Deadly) Dangers of Snow on Your Roof

Ready Nutrition - Fri, 02/08/2019 - 13:18

There are many potential dangers associated with winter weather, but there’s one you might not have given much thought to snow and ice on your home’s roof.

It is unclear how many deaths per year are caused by snow accumulations on roofs, but nearly every winter, there are reports of such deaths that appear in the news.

Roof collapse is a possible risk when snow accumulates on your roof, but it isn’t the only danger. In 2018, a chunk of snow about the size of a trailer fell from a roof and killed a mother and her 7-year-old son in Northern California. And, snow removal in itself carries the risk of injury and even death.

Here’s how to assess how much snow your roof can handle, how to determine if you need to remove snow, how to remove it safely, and the unique dangers that thawing ice and snow pose.

How much snow can your roof handle?

According to the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS), unless your roof is damaged or decayed, it should be able to support 20 lb per square foot of snow before it becomes stressed.

These guidelines from IBHS can help you estimate how much snow is on your roof:

Fresh snow: 10–12 inches of new snow is equal to one inch of water, or about 5 lb per square foot of roof space, so you could have up to 4 feet of new snow before the roof will become stressed.

Packed snow: 3–5 inches of old snow is equal to one inch of water, or about 5 lb per square foot of roof space, so anything more than 2 feet of old snow could be too much for your roof to handle.

Total accumulated weight: 2 feet of old snow and 2 feet of new snow could weigh as much as 60 lb per square foot of roof space, which is beyond the typical snow load capacity of most roofs.

Ice: 1 inch of ice equals 1 foot of of fresh snow.

Here’s a quick method from Berlet Roofing you can use to estimate how much the snow on your roof weighs:

To check the snow load on your home, cut a 1-foot by 1-foot square the full depth of the snow from your roof into a plastic bag and weigh the bag. If there is any ice in your square foot, be sure to included it. The weight of the bag with the snow in it will tell you the weight of snow load per square foot on your roof.

Here’s a snow load calculation from Berlet Roofing:

(S x 1.25lbs)+(I x 5.2lbs) = P

S = inches of snow on the roof (depth)
1.25lbs= Approx weight of snow for each 1-inch of depth per sq ft
I = Inches of Ice Buildup on the roof (depth)
5.2lbs= Approx weight of ice for 1-inch of depth per sq foot
P =pounds per square foot (lbs/sq ft)

Example: If the snow on my roof is 20-inches deep with .5 inches of ice, what would that equate to?

(20-inch roof snow depth x 1.25 lbs/sq ft ) + (.5-inch roof ice depth x 5.1lbs/sqft)= 27.1 lbs per sq ft of roof snow load.

If you are in the “danger zone” based on the thickness of the various types of snow and ice (if they exceed 20–25 pounds per square foot), you should consider removing snow from your roof.

Watch for signs that your roof is over-stressed.

Over-stressed roofs typically display some warning signs. Wood and steel structures may show noticeable signs of excessive ceiling or roof sagging before collapsing.

FEMA recommends watching for these signs:

  • Sagging ceiling tiles or boards, ceiling boards falling out of the ceiling grid, and/or sagging sprinkler lines and heads
  • Sprinkler heads deflecting below suspended ceilings
  • Popping, cracking, and creaking noises
  • Sagging roof members, including metal decking or plywood sheathing
  • Bowing truss bottom chords or web members
  • Doors and/or windows that can no longer be opened or closed
  • Cracked or split wood members
  • Cracks in walls or masonry
  • Severe roof leaks
  • Excessive accumulation of water at non-drainage locations on low slope roofs
Here’s how to safely remove snow from your roof.

Experts say you should never attempt to remove snow from your roof by yourself. Dangers associated with roof snow and ice removal include sliding off the roof, falling off a ladder, overexertion, and injury from sliding snow.

For safe removal that won’t endanger you or damage your roof, use a snow rake with a long extension arm that will allow you to remove the snow while standing on the ground. Climbing onto your roof to remove snow is generally not advised, as falls are a serious risk, and so is damage to the roof.

If you feel you cannot safely remove the snow yourself, consider hiring a snow removal professional.

Here are a few snow removal tips from FEMA:

  • Removing snow completely from a roof surface can result in serious damage to the roof covering and possibly lead to leaks and additional damage. At least a couple of inches of snow should be left on the roof.
  • Do not use mechanical snow removal equipment.
  • The risk of damaging the roof membrane or other rooftop items outweighs the advantage of speed.
  • Do not use sharp tools, such as picks, to remove snow. Use plastic rather than metal shovels.
  • When using a non-metallic snow rake, be aware that roof snow can slide at any moment. Keep a safe distance away from the eave to remain outside of the sliding range

Be sure no one is standing or walking in the areas where falling snow and/or ice may land.

Watch for icicles and be sure they won’t fall on anyone – an icicle falling from a low height can still cause injury.

Watch for ice dams.

An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof and prevents melting snow (water) from draining off the roof. The water that backs up behind the dam can leak into a home and cause major damage to walls, ceilings, insulation, and other areas. Significant snow accumulations and extended periods of below-freezing temperatures increase the risk of ice dams developing.

“Melted snow runs down the roof under the snow cover and refreezes along overhangs where the roof surface temperature is lower. The water from the melting snow becomes trapped behind the dam of ice and can back up under shingles and infiltrate the underlayment, leading to leaks in the home,” the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) explains.

Here’s a longer explanation of how ice dams form, from the University of Minnesota Extension:

There is a complex interaction among the amount of heat loss from a house, snow cover and outside temperatures that leads to ice dam formation. For ice dams to form there must be snow on the roof, and, at the same time, higher portions of the roof’s outside surface must be above 32 degrees F while lower surfaces are below 32. For a portion of the roof to be below 32, outside temperatures must also be below 32. When we say temperatures above or below 32, we are talking about average temperature over sustained periods of time.

The snow on a roof surface that is above 32 will melt. As water flows down the roof it reaches the portion of the roof that is below 32 and freezes. Voila! – an ice dam.

The dam grows as it is fed by the melting snow above it, but it will limit itself to the portions of the roof that are on the average below 32. So the water above backs up behind the ice dam and remains a liquid. This water finds cracks and openings in the exterior roof covering and flows into the attic space. From the attic it could flow into exterior walls or through the ceiling insulation and stain the ceiling finish.

There are roof and gutter de-icing kits you can buy that may help make the job a bit easier.

When the snow melts, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are out of danger.

When the end of winter approaches, the NRCA recommends checking your roof, gutters, downspouts, and drains for debris to ensure water from melting snow and ice and spring rain will properly drain from your roof:

Homeowners also should look to determine that the winter’s snow and ice has not damaged roof shingles or flashings or loosened sheet-metal openings. In addition, homeowners should check for signs of leakage around roof hatches, skylights and vents. Shingles around gutters should also be checked for damage from melting ice dams. If a roof has leakage due to ice damming, the damage should be inspected by an NRCA member contractor.

If you cannot safely evaluate your roof, experts advise hiring a roofing professional to do it for you.


Daily Digest 2/8 - Good News Friday: Australia Vows To Clean Up Financial Sector, The End Of Plastic Straws?

Peak Prosperity - Fri, 02/08/2019 - 11:47
  • Seeking Superpowers in the Axolotl Genome
  • Australia vows to clean up financial sector after landmark misconduct inquiry
  • Lyft agrees to pay its drivers the minimum wage in New York
  • Avoiding The Ouch: Scientists Are Working On Ways To Swap The Needle For A Pill
  • The world's watersheds, mapped in gorgeous detail
  • The end of plastic straws, cutlery and plates is here: EU has officially put a stop to single-use plastic products.
  • Milwaukee developer plans high-rise made out of timber
  • S.F. Snow Day 1976

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Off The Cuff: Further Exploring Our Collapse Trajectory

Peak Prosperity - Thu, 02/07/2019 - 14:57

In this week's Off The Cuff podcast, Chris speaks on:

  • The Immorality Of Central Planning
    • The banks are stealing our future
  • The Poor 99.9%
    • The system is now geared solely for the 0.1%'s interests
  • Our Money Or Our Lives
    • The real damage is happening across our critical ecosystems
  • This Will End
    • Remember that collapse is a process. And local mileage may vary.

Chris recorded this podcast shortly after completing his recent report on the in-process collapse occurring in the key systems around us. Economically, envrionmentally, socially -- it's happening everywhere. Chris spend an hour exploring the collapse dynamic further, ending with this succinct prediction...

Click to listen to a sample of this Off the Cuff Podcast or Enroll today to access the full audio as well as all of PeakProsperity.com's other premium content.

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Daily Digest 2/7 - Farm Belt Bankruptcies Soaring, Is $136 Million In Crypto Stuck or Missing?

Peak Prosperity - Thu, 02/07/2019 - 10:04
  • Updated: Secrecy Reigns as NERC Fines Utilities $10M citing Serious Cyber Risks
  • A Crypto-Mystery: Is $136 Million Stuck or Missing?
  • How fake news spreads, sowing distrust ahead of Nigeria’s elections
  • 4 dolphins have died within 2 years at an Arizona facility. Now it's closing.
  • AAA confirms what Tesla, BMW, Nissan electric car owners suspected — cold weather saps EV range
  • Climate change was the subtext of the State of the Union. It should’ve been the headline.
  • MAGA and Government Myths
  • Disney/Fox Merger Will Result in at Least 4,000 Lost Jobs
  • Exxon Mobil and Qatar greenlight $10 billion project to export natural gas from Texas
  • Oil prices pare losses after EIA reports a smaller-than-expected rise in U.S. crude supplies
  • Venezuela’s Collapse Is A Window Into How The Oil Age Will Unravel
  • Farm Belt bankruptcies are soaring
  • Earth just experienced one of the warmest years on record
  • Climate Change Will Alter the Color of Half of Earth’s Oceans by 2100

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Daily Digest 2/6 - Central Banks' Gold Fever Isn't Reckless, CA Pension System May Actually Be Underwater

Peak Prosperity - Wed, 02/06/2019 - 10:24
  • Some hospital prices rose over 40 percent in less than a decade. Will this new rule help?
  • Report: County's Unfunded Pension Liabilities Rise (Riverside)
  • Opinion: California’s Pension System May Actually Be Underwater
  • Italy Is Said to Prep $2 Billion Property Sales to Help Cut Debt
  • Loose money era leaves trail of U.S. corporate debt junkies
  • EUROZONE WARNING: EU banks PANIC at huge Italy debt - France and Germany AT RISK
  • Central banks' gold fever is anything but reckless
  • Investors Trapped as Venezuela Sanctions Halt Bond Trading
  • China Faces An Uphill Battle For Energy Independence

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