Three Trends for 2016
By Anthony Wile - January 02, 2016

In this issue I wish to remind our readers of the "big three" trends that drove much of the news in 2015 and doubtless will be prime motivators in 2016.

These include war, monetary debasement and media coverups. When historians – if they still exist – look back on the 20th and 21st centuries they will identify this trilogy of disasters as the motivators of the current epoch.

With the world's economy hanging by a thread and the Middle East ablaze, one would think the media – the fourth estate – would attempt to provide a realistic assessment of what is taking place.

Instead, the mainstream media supinely parrots the talking points of political leaders who in turn present what they are told by their military counterparts and intelligence agencies.

In fact, it is intelligence agencies that seem to run the world and the only question left, really, is who runs intel? In that case, surely, one can "follow the money."

If one were to create a linear ascension of memes, the basic one would be economic debasement because that is the condition that in large part gives rise to wars. It is the degradation of the economic environment that demands "enemies of the state." Indeed, in the good times, at least recently, it seems hard to generate a rousing war with significant popular support.

The meme of economic debasement is different than the reality, to be sure. The reality is that in simplest terms central banks fix the volume and value of currency and this gives rise to tremendous booms and busts. Over time the economic system becomes more detached from what would evolve without manipulation and debasement. Finally, the system simply falls apart. We seem to be in the latter stages of debasement currently.

But for those who have organized the system, the end result cannot be tolerated because it would bring into question too much else. There is a significant possibility that World War II was fought in part to distract the populace from its growing disillusion. And likewise the myriad wars in the Middle East may be generated in large part to distract the West from coming implosions.

The wars in the Middle East may have more to do with economics than politics, but there are powerful reasons not to admit it. And thus the justifications that are presented tend to focus the public on completely different reasons. Often these reasons are evidently spurious and fall apart on examination, as happened regarding Iraq.

The justifications for something that elites do not want to admit are what we call memes. And as mentioned above, they would not be effective without the compliance of the mainstream media.

It is really not so strange to contemplate such compliance, as the same individuals and groups that are involved in foisting the central bank economy on the world are those that have ownership of the mainstream media, which is increasingly concentrated in fewer hands.

If one does not believe the world is teetering on the brink, then the above analysis will not make sense. But if one believes, as we do, that the world's economic situation is fairly dire, then what flows out of it, the wars and media memes, becomes comprehensible and even predictable.

One can fit other events into the larger pattern. Even the move toward cashless societies, as we have observed, may have more to do with preserving bank options to run below the zero-bound than to create more efficient economies. Cash would be a formidable competitor to banks that demanded payment for maintaining customer accounts.

War, economic dysfunction and media coverups are the signature of our modern era, though no doubt they have been present in past eras as well, though possibly not with such iniquitousness.

Do we expect these realities and the memes that cover them up to become less prevalent over time? The short answer is no. What we do expect, however, is that an increasingly informed populace – one continually enlightened by modern communications despite efforts at censorship – will take individual steps to address the realities behind the memes.

Call this a war as well – the information war. Those who have informed themselves about what's going on, and who accept the paradigm that we and others in the alternative media regularly present, will take what steps they can to prepare themselves for an uncertain future.

Such prudent planning includes holding precious metals, generating survival resources such as gardens or even farms, planning alternative homes and citizenships and generally creating latitude in one's life for considered human action depending on the circumstances.

We should not forget to consider alternative investments of the sort that we often cover in these pages – including farmland and pre-public cannabis exposure, a very powerful evolving sector.

In fact, perhaps the most topical and promising sector to pay attention to this year is the rapidly whitening cannabis industry, both medical and adult-use recreational markets, as the war on drugs winds down and the end of cannabis prohibition opens up huge highways of potential profitability.

One key cannabis industry signpost for 2016 will be the April UNGASS on Drugs, where the full assembly of the UN will gather to finalize debate on a new frontier in this ridiculous and black market-stimulating war on drugs. World leaders, who have already been negotiating during pre-UNGASS meetings, will likely finalize global drug policy that shifts from the present focus on criminalization to a public health approach.

UNGASS will almost assuredly be the watershed event that will open the pathway toward fast-tracking regional government cannabis legislation centered around international policy. This will not only expand domestic market potential but will also spawn burgeoning international trade.

Much will change in the coming year as diverse stakeholders debate the new cannabis frontier. But one thing appears to be certain – change is in the air. And that change will inevitably mean large profits for those strategically positioned in the right locales with the right business initiatives. While there will be failures, there will also be many extremely successful entrants into this burgeoning new industry.

Traditionally, speculative sectors compete for new capital, but I would suggest that in this era there is little to no speculative interest in gold or silver stocks – mining stocks in general, for that matter. The same goes for oil stocks. These two sectors have traditionally garnered a lot of speculative attention.

With two of the biggest sectors sitting on the "sidelines" in a holding pattern at best, when combined with the massive amount of liquidity (freshly expanded currency) in the marketplace one can rationally assume that as the black market shackles are taken off the cannabis industry and the whitening process picks up steam, the global investment community will be emotionally charged with enthusiasm that drives this sector forward for the ensuing few years to heights that rival the overall market buoyancy experienced in the mid-to late-nineties when Internet stocks went crazy.

What does this all mean for cannabis stocks? To take advantage of what is coming, investors will have to choose the companies that are best positioned to survive and thrive in a competitive environment. For real long-term success, like in any industry, the well thought through companies with talented management and sufficient access to capital will have the best overall chances to be that next Microsoft, Intel or Apple of the cannabis sector. But even the "trash" will likely get some shine as over-enthusiastic investors chase the promise of riches while performing at best superficial due diligence.

At High Alert, we are not seeking to gain capital by investing in "trash." In fact, I would encourage readers to quickly peruse an editorial I wrote earlier this year cautioning investors in Canada seeking to participate in that country's whitening cannabis industry to take pause, breathe a little and recognize the historical patterns that affect the policy and overall regulatory environment in which these various opportunities exist.

Things can and do change… and often fast. Let the world settle itself on a collective policy front, which it will do regardless of how you and I feel about that whole process. Reality is what it is.

This is an exciting time to be an investor and 2016 should begin to see a realization of many of the trends we're forecasting now. In this upcoming year we will be introducing ideas that support internationalizing one's lifestyle, commonly known as lifestyle insurance. In fact, there is a steady and growing trend toward international communities offering high-end amenities in low-tax environments. We'll continue to cover this burgeoning sector.

In future issues we'll drill down – as we have before – into the substrata of sociopolitical and economic memes to expose them in ways that may help you with portfolio planning and wealth building. In the meantime, I wish you a prosperous and safe New Year.

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  • WoodsWoman

    With the cannabis industry opening and your continuing coverage of that, I’m looking forward to more information from you this year about international lifestyle opportunities and options readers might want to consider in that regard. I certainly don’t see the downward spiral in the US taking any sudden turn in direction, and with it being an election year my ‘forecast’ is that most Americans will be paying attention to what matters least. Appreciate TDB reminding us so often of what does matter, and making suggestions on how to take individual action steps to prevent being drowned in the morass quietly churning in the background! Wishing you a prosperous and safe 2016, as well, Anthony!

  • Praetor

    Excellent, and true. The cannabis business is a business their (gov) is not sure about. The idea that cannabis is the devils weed is the idea they fostered (gov), their brainwashing and manipulation has been very effective. Look at alcohol and how people still view it as the devils work. But cannabis is different from alcohol. Over consumption of alcohol can kill you, over consumption of cannabis will not kill you. If you listen to some politicos talk about cannabis legalization, you can hear the doubt, both sides. But its to late, the cats out of the bag. It will be the new gold rush. The business will be big, and franchising will be very big, brand names will be created. All is in play, Branding, franchising, producing, warehousing, transporting, wholesales, retail and industrialization. It will be like any other product, it will need a continuing supply to keep-up with demand, because its not all about ‘smoken’, its about business, now!!!

  • Bruce C.

    I think this piece is an example of cognitive dissonance.

    How can one think, on the one hand, that the financial system is on the brink yet on the other think that investments in the cannabis industry are a safe haven? Either the world is going to hell or it’s not, and if it is then people may smoke dope to cope but it’ll be grown like the weed that it is. How is there going to be some organized industry supplying it, with all that that implies, in an environment of monetary debasement and wars – in short one in which “the system simply falls apart”?

    • Praetor

      ‘How can one think’. Simple! Cigarettes and alcohol are seen as industries. Cigarettes and alcohol are products of a plant grown in the ground. A weed> wild ‘plants’ growing where it is not wanted and is in competition with cultivated ‘plants’. So, two things, all plants where weeds till they where cultivated, and cannabis may have been one of the first weeds cultivated. The world I going to ‘hell in a hand basket’, and nothing anyone can do about it! Cannabis can be smoked, it can be eaten as food or medicine, it can be made into any number of products, not the least as fuel for your vehicle and oil for the machine, and less as expensive as corn. So, it can be an industry and could take over various other industries domains, such as petroleum, textiles and Pharma (drugs), just to name a few. These are the industries that bought congress to make Cannabis/Hemp illegal, until there was war, then they made it legal again, till the war ended. And then there is the war on drugs and all the evil it has caused. Yes it can be an industry all its own.

      Bruce, I’m one of those who believes there can be hard times and very hard times, but do not believe in the end of the world. So, why not keep trying. If the fiat based system goes down so what. Currency can be anything you want it to be. Cannabis/hemp is currency and especially in the future. All you have to do is grow it!!!

    • One can discern trends without deciding one is disqualified from making certain investments, especially promising ones. The timing is always at issue, not the fundamentals. Alcohol is made from grapes, which anyone can grow but businesses make money at it. You really believe that cannabis won’t be adequately monetized? It’s already happening.

      • Bruce C.

        Well if that’s all you’re trying to say then perhaps the piece should have been titled “FOUR Trends for 2016” – War, monetary debasement, media cover ups, and the whitewashing of cannabis.

        The way I read the article it seemed like you were saying that the sky will be falling soon and the only thing that won’t get crushed is the cannabis industry. The cannabis business is as viable as any with the added advantage that demand for it is known, but I don’t think it is any more immune than most others if/when the SHTF.

        • Steven Hotho

          I’m afraid I have the same impression as Bruce about the cannabis industry. I realize the world will try to shoulder on in the face of financial and economic decline, but the great sucking sound of the near future will probably be the destruction of money through debt deflation. I’m not sure there will be the “liquidity” available to create vast new industries or even small scale business. And I most certainly would not look toward a bloated and widely disregarded United Nations for the impetus to create such new industry. Get your piece of farmland and grow your own weed, if that’s what you want to do.

          • Investing in a modern, fiat money environment often involves paying close attention to the business cycle and market performance generally. Bearing that in mind, the sector is potentially a wildly impressive one.

          • TG Molitor

            Cannabis is indeed an exciting commodity to watch, featuring a greater upside potential than orange juice or azuki beans.

          • sunshineinjuly

            Great response TG…’tis true, that orange juice does not have the ability to screw up a person’s head as does cannabis. With the latest research revealing that 40,50,60 year olds are entering nursing homes with early onset Alzeimer’s like never before, this would indeed tell us all we need to know how powerful this drug is. Having watched since the 70’s, parents who sit and do bowls with their offspring, who now do it with their own, we see a hugh generational market.
            Only problem is no one talks about the dark underbelly of this sector. How it is the gateway drug..how it has far more chemicals than the hippies had in the 70’s…how often heroine is inserted in weed..and how many of the young are addicted to it. Here in CT we have a heroine epidemic which has led to major crime, home break ins, murders and more. The stories rip your heart out when you read of cops going into a home with a laboratory and babies are crawling around on the floors among the paraphernalia. Those stories you never hear from the liberal media here in the US, for most of them are high on their delusions which is free of course. Living in their la la land of fairy dust and unicorn farts.
            Yes, indeed the sector is a wildly impressive one if you have no problem with doping kids and creating monsters.

          • TG Molitor

            > Here in CT we have a heroine epidemic<

            You have an epidemic of brave women in your stories?

          • sunshineinjuly

            Ha ha ha TG….mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa…I added an ‘e’ where I shouldn’t have. I guess that being on one’s laptop past midnight is not the best thing to do when one is tired. As for brave women in my stories I am only one among others….oh, and Ann Corcoran of the Refugee Resettlement site..she is the only one in the US keeping track of refugees..where they are settling…the cost to cities and towns..prisons being built..all that good stuff! I see that I repeated an previous posting. I thought the first one didn’t make it onto the site! My bad, sorry!

          • Rusty Brown in Canada

            Or “soldier on” perhaps.

        • sunshineinjuly

          Bruce, if pot becomes one of the major so called sectors or industries god help us all. For all it tells me is the more folks who are under the influence, the lousier workers they are, the slower in the head, thus causing more accidents on the road and at the job place. It also tells me that with your commie Common Core ersatz educational program coming into the public schools, the next thing you know kids will find pot filled cookies or brownies on their lunch trays…it would fit in very well with the crap curriculum they are using to make all kids equal. The main thing being to bring down the smarter kids and uplift the dumber kids via standardized testing…give the smart kids really tough exams so that their grades fall way down…and give the dummy kids tests way below their grade level thus grades appear better. This way you achieve equality, the wetdream of morons stuck on stupid, otherwise known as Commies/Marxists/fascists/control freaks.

    • TG Molitor

      There’s always a boom market somewhere in the world. – Doug Casey.

    • sunshineinjuly

      Bruce, I agree with you this is about more than just money. The more you can make men small and their lives mean the more you can sell and moreso, CONTROL them in their stupors 24/7…That is the money making part….the greed, the lack of a moral compass and no love of neighbor. Basically the way of the PE psychos. Let’s face the reality of today’s weed, it is NOT your hippie’s 70’s weed. Today it has dozens of chemicals added. You can even find heroine laced weed forging a track as a gateway drug.

      Here in CT we have a heroine epidemic caused I believe, by many factors, not the least of which is we now have the singular distinction of being the #1 Commie state in the country. Lazy fks here want handouts…it’s just that simple. Half CT citizenry would move tomorrow if they could, one’s with brains still functioning . The socialist/commie/democrap pathetic politicians here use OPM to give to the half with no ambition or those on the ‘taker’ list. I see young kids/fathers of 18 in sagging pants walking with their fat chick wives and babes in strollers..you just know you’re paying their rent and feeding them too..and they get to smoke their bowls! Thus, the PE gets to keep those kids stupid and drugged while making us the servants who provide money for sickness for everyone.

      For years we have seen an out-flux of millionaires leaving for other states. destinations like…AZ, TX, FL, So C/No C or out of US.
      As that tax base moves out the middle class is squeezed more each year with higher taxes/prop taxes/gas taxes. CT kids leave as job possibilities aren’t there. Now we have the Syrian influx in three sanctuary cities flooding an already sick welfare state dependent on a middle class to hold it up..90% of refugees are on welfare….it’s more than sickening to see this beautiful state die off.
      Because of the monumental mess of a socialistic obamacrap care failure, one hospital alone has seen NINETY DOCTORS leave.. within 4 years 4 nurses have committed suicide..that hospital is $35 billion in debt. Talk about incompetence and commie criminality.

      Research is revealing that regular users of cannabis are showing up with early Alzeimers in nursing homes. I am talking 40,50,60 years old…it is tragic to see them there at such young ages. But think about it, every since the 70’s, those parents who smoked bowls, passed the horrible habit onto their kids who now pass it onto theirs. Thus, we now have a gov’t filled with potheads who obviously sit down to six bowls before making their psycho proclamations, passing bills without Congress or citizens agreeing.

      I have no idea if pot or drugs plays any part in the suicides each month of over 20,000 of our boys/vets home from Iraq/Afghanistan. I suspect they see their country is hitting the shtter, and they know there is nothing to live for, so they take themselves out. How the hell can you respect a president who is willfully killing off your country. I wish the world luck if the United States dies. I have many friends here who are from countries all over the world…from India, to Africa, Russia, Egypt, Syria, Vietnam, Thailand, Cuba, Brazil, Iraq and they all wonder why the US is headed into the same cesspool from whence these folks came to find a real life in America.

    • sunshineinjuly

      ‘Smoke dope to cope’ says it all Bruce…good thinking and spot on.
      The organized industry would be none other than the drug cartels
      who are NOT stopped by any govt…they just keep on a doing what
      they always do….lie/cheat and steal without a moral compass. And
      before you know it the moes will have a hand in it as well..they always
      find a way to deliver bad news and play the thug game very well.

  • Shark-Proof

    I look forward to another year of erudite analysis.

  • Martin the American redux

    OK, please correct me if I’m wrong and disregard if its already been mentioned, but I guess what we’re looking for here is reconquering Istantbull and turning it back into the rightful Constantinople. On the domestic side, next repealing the 16th amendment.