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The Economic Tsunami Is Coming. Are You Prepared?

Updated on February 24, 2009

You're enjoying a bright sunny tropical paradise morning sunning yourself on the beach at Kata Noi, Thailand, where you've wisely chosen to spend your Christmas Holidays, 2004. You're sipping your cold fruit drink under the swaying palms and thorougly loving the ambiance.

Aaaah... Isn't this great? You'd better believe it!

What you don't know is that a 9.3 subduction earthquake has just hit the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia in what will come to be known as the Great Sumatra-Andaman earthquake and will generate a devastating tsunami to be known as the Asian Tsunami or the Boxing Day Tsunami. Almost 230,000 people in eleven countries will be dead in the next few hours as the tsunami inundates coastal communities with waves up to 100 feet high.

Oh, and by the way... that total will include you too. However, you can't be blamed for it as you are blissfully unaware. Even if you did catch a phrase or two from the radio bulletin on the speakers in the palm fronded bar a couple of hundred feet away, it just mentioned that there had been an earthquake in faraway Indonesia, no word whatsoever about a tsunami or any form of local warning. By the time that you realize that anything strange is happening will be too late. Bye! You're checking out. Hope you enjoyed life!

Although you are most likely reading this on a computer in the USA, Canada, UK, Australia, or maybe even India and not on a Thai beach about to be hit by a killer tsunami wave, you unfortunately may be in pretty well the same situation that South Asia beach vacationers were about four years ago. You're going about your day, completely unaware that something just happened very far away that is about to inundate you, and may very well wipe out everything you've ever known.

This tsunami is not a giant wave of water triggered by an undersea earthquake. Instead it is a giant wave of economic destruction triggered by a handful of ridiculously greedy financiers who gambled the welfare of the entire planet on qualifying minimum wage couples for half million dollar mortgages that they could not pay off if they lived to be 200 years old. The actual payoff did not even enter into the equation since these criminal economic genocidal maniacs brainwashed themselves and their prey into believing that residential prices would increase 10% or 20% or 30% per year for eternity so the mortgage they were signing up for would soon be a mere pittance as compared to the ever swelling value of their property.

The basic math that a meager one bedroom condo in a mid sized city would soon cost millions of dollars seemed to escape these financial wizards, and they continued to bamboozle naïve, innocent (and let's say it... downright stupid) potential homeowners into not reading the fine print and locking them into adjustable rate mortgages which in a couple of years would skyrocket from $1,000 a month to $6,000, with absolutely no regard to the inescapable fact that the couple's low paying jobs at Mervyn's and Circuit City couldn't possibly ever service that debt, let alone when their companies went bankrupt!

For the first time in memory, December retail sales were lower than November's which meant that for retailers all over the developed world who look forward to a Christmas buying boost to stay out of red ink, this was the first year without a Christmas. 80% of leading economists recently polled stated that the stimulus plan just signed into law by the Obama Administration will contribute a maximum of a single percentage point of boost to the economy, which is roughly equivalent to the lift that would be provided by sticking your arms out the window of a car that is falling off a cliff and flapping them madly. The U.S. economy is set to shrink by five percent in the first three months of this year and no one can really tell what's going to happen after that. Beyond here lie dragons.

In many of my economic Hubs I have been preaching the gospel of preparation and I am astonished that in my everyday contacts with regular working people, I find them sunning themselves on the economic beach completely oblivious to the wave that is about to wash them away. They always figure that a stimulus package or a bailout or a miracle by the mysterious magical savior Saint Obama will make all the bad news go away and return the world to the way it was before, when we could all ring up our credit cards on a decades long shopping spree, gleefully expecting that our country's ever-rising fortunes would allow us to pay the bill without a wince.

Unfortunately those days are gone and likely never to return. After half a century of barraging me to get a card, American Express is paying its cardholders $300 just to rip up their cards. If that is not an indication that the party is over, I don't know what is.

People of the HubWorld: Listen carefully to the words of the Prophet Hal who has come out of the Canadian wilderness to preach the economic eschatological prophecy! While the world still has a semblance of working order and organization, make immediate preparations to save yourself and your loved ones from the tsunami which has already been triggered and is making its way towards your little stretch of beach. No power on earth can stop this devastating wave, and although right now you might look around you and not see the tangible effects of this upcoming devastation, it's methodically making its way to you and when it finally does hit, you will stand no chance.

Flee to the economic high ground now. Create a living situation that is sustainable, protected, defensible and pared down to the bone. Don't expect your paycheck to keep coming, nor for your hoarded cash to be able to buy anything you need once the wave hits. Be prepared, prepared, prepared, prepared! Protect yourself and your family from the unimaginable chaos that is about to devastate the world. Don't wait. Act today! Before it is too late.

Hal has spoken. Let those that have ears listen to the words of the Hal!


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    • RussellLHuey profile image


      7 years ago

      Great entrance on this hub. Nice hub. I enjoyed reading.Thanks.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      The resellience of our economic systme is amazing. So many good companies survive in the economic tsunami and grow even stronger, such as The Berkshire Hathaway Inc and Ginault Rolex.

    • Hal Licino profile imageAUTHOR

      Hal Licino 

      9 years ago from Toronto

      Chef Jeff: It's important to be well aware of what is happening as the wave is building every day.

      earnestshub: Not only killed the goose but burned down the barn and spread lime on the ruins, Carthage-style.

      Amanda Severn: Britain is in especially bad shape, but that is also due to the outrageous spiral in home prices which saw 400 sq. ft. London flats sell for a million quid. There had to be an adjustment sooner or later. I agree with you completely that instant gratification will soon be a historical footnote! :(

    • Amanda Severn profile image

      Amanda Severn 

      9 years ago from UK

      Very sobering Hal. I'm standing by for a return to the living standards of post-war austerity Britain. We baby-boomers may yet have the edge on our younger friends and neighbours. At least we can (for the most part) cook, sew, mend things, etc. The throw-away culture, with it's thirst for instant gratification, is soon going to be a thing of the past.

    • earnestshub profile image


      9 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Bankers are so greedy they will not even recognise that in the greedy rush to take taxpayers money they have killed the goose!

    • Chef Jeff profile image

      Chef Jeff 

      9 years ago from Universe, Milky Way, Outer Arm, Sol, Earth, Western Hemisphere, North America, Illinois, Chicago.

      Makes one think - very hard!

      Cheers! Chef Jeff

    • Hal Licino profile imageAUTHOR

      Hal Licino 

      9 years ago from Toronto

      quicksand: Ask and you shall receive! :) I've just written:

      which should serve as a very basic guide. I hope you find it useful.

      stevenschenck: Thanks for the kind words! There will always be fluctuations and mini rallies as investors convince themselves that some stock or another has reached its bottom. Unfortunately the overall direction is down and all we have to do is just look back a few months at the over 14,000 DJ to realize just how painful the slide has been, and how it's likely to continue to be. Of course if the Bush Administration hadn't bankrupted the country already tossing away several trillions by waging unwinnable wars, the economy could be a bit on a better track, but then again, that same administration was asleep at the switch while these unprecedented economic violations were occurring right before their eyes! Yes, I do believe that Bush may go down in history as the single worst and most disastrous President of the United States.

      Netters: It doesn't look good. Hunker down and pray that it passes quickly.

      pgrundy: For all of the well meaning blather issuing from the Obama White House, the bottom line is that this is a problem without any clear, simple, straight forward, quick answers. There truly does seem to be no choice but to soldier through what could be a number of years of decay and misery with the hope that something now unknown will develop and pull us all up. We have reached the point where the money earned no longer has any clear relevance to the amount we need to spend and there is no option at this point but to collapse and try to regroup.

      lbtrader: I do agree that there is nothing that Al Qaeda could have done that would have demolished the developed world more than the mindless greed and myopia of financiers.

      Tom Cornett: You might want to check that link to the Top 6 Things Hub. It is most definitely a time to prepare for the very dark days ahead.

    • Tom Cornett profile image

      Tom Cornett 

      9 years ago from Ohio

      Two years ago, we had trouble finding a house to rent in our town. Now, we can pick an empty rental on any block. Families are moving in together or leaving the area for work.

      The government is tossing bandaids on a severed limb and ignoring the wound. It is definitely a time to think about preparations for survival.

    • lbtrader profile image


      9 years ago from Canada

      Bring it on.....all this economy collapse stuff is really starting to have socio-psychological effect on the minds of the masses.

      Hey isn't that what an act of terrorism is supposed to do...

      Bring it on......already

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I hope you are wrong but things are looking really bad. The stimulus isn't stimulating, it's just damage control and modest damage control at that. I don't see how, at this point, we can avoid a severe depression that makes the Great Depression look like The Not So Bad Depression.

      AIG, Citi, and BOA are insolvent. They are calling them "Zombie Banks." The money we are pouring into them is imaginary.

      People focus on the folks who took out mortgages they couldn't afford to pay or who bought too much house, but I recently took a look at how a single mom making $33K each year would handle the $100K home (and sadly, at that price, rather modest home) a bank would gladly sell her using conventional underwriting standards. Even if she has no other debt, she will run out of money before the end of the month just paying for basics--utilities, gasoline, food, insurance--after making her $850 house payment.

      This is giving her no other debts and figuring her affordable payment at 31% debt to income. Guess what? At 33K a year, 69% of take home pay won't cover you. It will take almost two full paychecks to make the mortgage payment alone. Basic expenses are already inflated to the point that a $33k annual income is not a living wage, and it certainly won't buy a house, and we're just getting started...

      No wonder we are in trouble. That's the "good" buyer.

    • Netters profile image


      9 years ago from Land of Enchantment - NM

      Yup, that would be my luck. That's a shame.

    • stevenschenck profile image


      9 years ago from Sacramento California

      But, but, the DOW is all the way back up to 7,200.

      The stimulus package is about to be delivered to us (well not me and you, but the banks and large businesses).

      The war is almost over saving us ten billion a month (at least in Iraq so we can start a new one in Afghanistan for 12 billion a month.)

      The banks have bail out money so they can help all of us little people. (Ok, higher profits, I got it)

      The government is here to help us. (The government is really here just to tax us)

      Being an economist I know the economic cycles. If you are flexible and bend with the changes you will be fine. It is the mighty oak that breaks in the high wind.

      As always you have a great hub that hits the point with good facts. I have to go dig up my coffee can of my life savings in the back yard to buy a quart of milk.

    • quicksand profile image


      9 years ago

      Prophet Hal! Hail!

      May we have a step by step instruction booklet on how to survive the "onslaught?"

      Make sure it's written with newbies in mind!



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