If you watch our podcast Doug Casey’s Take, you already know. We’re in the middle of a complex and destructive phase full of unknowns.
Our goal with The Phyle is to focus on solutions. To make progress, we must clearly articulate the problem.
Amidst this chaotic phase, it’s impossible to predict even the near future. The best we can do is form a hypothesis and orient our actions around it.
Today I’m going to lay out my process and conclusions. I hope that they will be as useful to you as they have been to me.
We’ve been taught that assumptions are bad. They make an “ass” out of “u” and “me”. But, that’s not always true. I developed a set of assumptions about the future to build a framework of understanding. I use that framework to identify what IS in my control and what is NOT in my control.
The things outside our control, we can stop worrying about. They’re not up to us. Instead, our concern is what IS in our control and all our energy and resources should be dedicated there.
Before I get to the assumptions I’m operating under. Let me say – They are assumptions not predictions. I could be wrong. Hell – I hope I’m wrong. But with nearly three years of the “Great Reset” under our belt, I bet you’ll agree – they have merit.
None of this should be taken as a blackpill. No problem can be solved without sober identification and acceptance. of the nature of the challenge. That’s all we’re doing here.
With that in mind, here are the 11 assumptions I’m using today to guide my actions.
1. Less Freedom of movement. There will be more effort so to restrict and regulate our freedom of movement. From Vax passports to increased visa requirements and 15-min city initiatives – a grid is being constructed to regulate our freedom of movement.
2. A CBDC is coming. Cash will be eliminated. How restrictive it may end up being, I don’t know. But, CBDC is a foregone conclusion. Timing? BIS publishes estimates of 14 retail CBDC and 9 wholesale by 2030. And there are indications that the major economies are working to be ready to deploy by 2025.
3. The digital ID is already here. Biometrics are the future. If you have a government issued ID associated with your photograph, you are in the system already. How the ID is deployed and enforced is the only question.
No more passport or boarding passes pic.twitter.com/miNoY0uciL— karma (@karma44921039) September 21, 2023
4. GFC 2.0 and/or the Greater Depression. Timing is hard. But, can any thinking person imagine how the outcome can be avoided altogether. Simon Hunt suggests a market pullback of up to 30% between now and early 2024 followed by a pump and a deflationary wipeout in 2025.
5. Most of my financial assets will disappear at some point. Inflation, bank bail-in, market wipe out, or Great Taking. I don’t know the cause, but I assume physical assets are where I need to be, ultimately.
6. Increasing crime & disorder. You’ve seen the videos. Whether, driven by economic desperation, mass migration, the inversion of law, or in the name of social justice. Crime and disorder will grow and lead to greater physical threats to our lives and property from our fellow man. This makes urban environments, especially but not exclusively, a real risk.
7. Supply constraints are increasing around all commodities – from food to energy. Tight supplies are showing up everywhere. Live Cattle, long dormant, hit an all-time high recently. Oil Prices are up 30% in the last three months. 40% of Argentina’s wheat crop is in poor to fair condition and protectionist policies are on the rise globally.
8. WW3 is coming. A good case can be made that it’s already begun. The Army War College recently published a study suggesting that the All Volunteer Force had reached the end of its useful life. With the military struggling with recruiting, conscription is likely at some point.
9. Censorship and Digital Control will enter a new phase. Deplatforming, de-banking, shadow banning, and social media account suspensions will increase. Centralized digital services of all kinds should be considered suspect and, very likely, dangerous to use in the future.
????URGENT: The Secretary-General of the @UN, @antonioguterres, wants to silence anyone who dares to stand in the way of their global power grab.— Dr. Simon Goddek (@goddeketal) September 23, 2023
The UN, once a beacon of hope and peace, has devolved into a totalitarian entity and thus needs to be dismantled. pic.twitter.com/iH9ChwDkv9
UN Chief calls “dis-information” a clear and present global threat.
10. The US election – regardless of the outcome – is an inflection point and potentially a flash point. IF it happens, the outcome will not be accepted by half of the country. I’ve heard from more than one source, publicly and privately, that there may not be a 2024 election. Who knows? We can be sure of is that running up to and shortly after the election, things could get wild. In advance of the 2020 election we had Covid and BLM. Shortly after, J6 and state overreach. What will 2024 bring
11. There is a war happening today. It’s a war on us. The primary battleground is within the sphere of 5GW – informational/psychological. Where I’ve been wrong in the last three years, it’s been in my assumption that kinetic coercion would be utilized. As we can see, much progress has been made in the Great Reset without the need for kinetic tactics. For most of this cycle, they will rely on this same approach. If/When we see a move toward kinetic force, we should be alarmed because we will have entered a new and more dangerous phase.
Do you disagree with any of my assumptions? Did I miss anything? Let me know.
I see all of the assumptions as “Out of my control”. They may not come to pass, but whether they do or not is not up to me. Of course, I’ll continue to speak out against them. If enough of us do, it may help. Possibly.
Since these unfortunate outcomes are out of my control, I don’t worry about them. And free from the burden of unsolvable problems, I can fully devote my energy and resources to what IS within my control.
Members of The Phyle have been doing exactly that over the last year. Much progress has been made. And there’s much more we can do. Let’s focus there.
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Forget Ron DeSantis: Walt Disney has a much bigger problem
The company’s political woes are a sideshow to the one key issue Bob Iger has to solve.
Walt Disney has a massive, but solvable, problem.
The company's current skirmishes with Florida Gov. DeSantis get a lot of headlines, but they're not having a major impact on the company's bottom line.
DeSantis has made Walt Disney (DIS) - Get Free Report a target in what he calls his war on woke, an effort to win right-wing support as he tries to secure the Republican Party nomination for president.
That effort has generated plenty of press and multiple lawsuits tied to the governor's takeover of the former Reedy Creek Improvement District, Disney's legislated self-governance operation. But it has not hurt revenue at the company's massive Florida theme-park complex.
Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger addressed the matter during the company's third-quarter-earnings call, without directly mentioning DeSantis.
"Walt Disney World is still performing well above precovid levels: 21% higher in revenue and 29% higher in operating income compared to fiscal 2019," he said.
And "following a number of recent changes we've implemented, we continue to see positive guest-experience ratings in our theme parks, including Walt Disney World, and positive indicators for guests looking to book future visits."
The theme parks are not Disney's problem. The death of the movie business is, however, a hurdle that Iger has yet to show that the company has a plan to clear.
Disney needs a plan to monetize content
In 2019 Walt Disney drew in more $11 billion in global box office, or $13 billion when you add in the former Fox properties it also owns. In that year seven Mouse House films crossed the billion-dollar threshold in theaters, according to data from Box Office Mojo.
This year, the company will struggle to reach half that and it has no billion-dollar films, with "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" closing its theatrical run at $845 million globally.
(That's actually good for third place this year, as only "Barbie" and "The Super Mario Bros. Movie" have broken the billion-dollar mark and they may be the only two films to do that this year.)
In the precovid world Disney could release two Pixar movies, three Marvel films, a live-action remake of an animated classic, and maybe one other film that each would be nearly guaranteed to earn $1 billion at the box office.
That's simply not how the movie business works anymore. While theaters may remain part of Disney's plan to monetize its content, the past isn't coming back. Theaters may remain a piece of the movie-release puzzle, but 2023 isn't an anomaly or a bad release schedule.
Consumers have big TVs at home and they're more than happy to watch most films on them.
Disney owns the IP but charges too little
People aren't less interested in Marvel and Star Wars; they're just getting their fix from Disney+ at an absurdly low price.
Over the past couple of months through the next few weeks, I will have watched about seven hours of premium Star Wars content and five hours of top-tier Marvel content with "Ahsoka" and "Loki" respectively.
Before the covid pandemic, I gladly would have paid theater prices for each movie in those respective universes. Now, I have consumed about six movies worth of premium content for less than the price of two movie tickets.
By making its premium content television shows available on a service that people can buy for $7.99 a month Disney has devalued its most valuable asset, its intellectual property.
Consumers have shown that they will pay the $10 to $15 cost of a movie ticket to see what happens next in the Marvel Cinematic Universe or the Star Wars galaxy. But the company has offered top-tier content from those franchises at a lower price.
Iger needs to find a way to replace billions of dollars in lost box office, but charging less for the company's content makes no sense.
Now, some fans likely won't pay triple the price for Disney+. But if it were to bundle a direct-to-consumer ESPN along with content that currently gets released to movie theaters, Disney might create a package that it can price in a way that reflects the value of its IP.
Consumers want Disney's content and they will likely pay more for it. Iger simply has to find a way to make that happen.
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Stock Market Today: Stocks turn higher as Treasury yields retreat; big tech earnings up next
A pullback in Treasury yields has stocks moving higher Monday heading into a busy earnings week and a key 2-year bond auction later on Tuesday.
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