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Rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic

Hope is a belief in a positive outcome related to events and circumstances in one's life. Hope is the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best. False hope is holding out hope for something that is truly impossible; something that is so unlikely to happen that we move from the world of reality to the world of delusion.

Most “con games” are based on creating false hope. Bernie Madoff promising consistent, better than market returns; Las Vegas; lotteries; and get rich quick schemes prey on those who live on false hope. The current stock market and the world economies have played on the false hopes of investors and business people. We hear news that the recovery is real, earnings are real and there is a plan to save the economies of Greece, Europe and the rest of the world.  

It is hard to believe that the world’s leaders in government, business and finance are this stupid. They certainly wouldn’t risk everything for their own selfish reasons. Americans that are attending “tea party” demonstrations know that they are being lied to by the powers that be, but what they don’t know is, do the liars believe their own lies.

We all know the story of the Titanic, that four days into the maiden voyage, on 14 April 1912 shortly before midnight, the Titanic struck an iceberg, sinking early on 15 April 1912, two hours and forty minutes later. The ship that couldn’t sink was sunk.

White Star Lines, the owner of the Titanic, advertising brochure stated regarding the sister ships, Olympic and Titanic: "...and as far as it is possible to do so, these two wonderful vessels are designed to be unsinkable". For her maiden voyage, the Titanic carried a total of 20 lifeboats of three different varieties which could accommodate only 1,178 people (33% of the Titanic's total capacity). The lack of a sufficient number of lifeboats and the ensuing panic caused by the sinking resulted in the deaths of 1,517 of the 2,223 people on board. The rest, as they say, is history.

If you haven’t figured out by now the similarities between the state of the world economies and the sad story of the Titanic, then you could be living in false hope. If you believe the bailouts will work and we just need to spend and borrow what it takes to save the planet, then you could be living in false hope. If you believe that the world leaders can fix the problems, then you could be living in false hope. If you believe that there are enough lifeboats in this economy to save your portfolio and family finances from ruin, then you could be living in false hope.

The ship of state is sinking my friends and you have to decide what you are going to do: rearrange the deckchairs or rearrange your finances to float above the stormy seas. Change is coming fast to America and it’s not the change of hope that was promised, but the change from living on a luxury liner to either a lifeboat or an ocean grave. Now I could be all wet, but I’m preparing for the lifeboat.

Richard Fox
The Shrewd Investor

Disclosure: No Positions