This post is a Sticky. It will remain here until the alleged bailout by Congress has been approved.

Update, Friday October 3, 2008:

For new posts, scroll down to the next one.

I’ve seen posts elsewhere by people stating they’d rather see the collapse of the entire economic system instead of having the current alleged bailout go through. They believe they could live through the consequences of that.

They are so wrong.

Get Depression 1.0 out of your head right now.

We are not that people. We are not that population.

A collapse on the scale we are in danger of right now is unprecedented in all of human history. There is absolutely nothing else to compare it to. This is a strange land we have never before visited.

I’m going to take you through a tour of this possible future. I intend to scare the living shit out of you in doing so. I do it not of out some perverse glee. I do it to try to wake all of you up to the very real and probable calamity ahead.

This is some of what we will face. I’m not intending to be comprehensive here. Much more will happen that just this. The longer it continues, the worse it will get. Consider this a glimpse of the opening act.

1) You have no money. You think you do. What you have in the bank is gone. You need to understand this point first and most of all. Your money became collateral. It’s been loaned out easily over one hundred times, most probably even more. For every dollar you think you have in the bank, there’s probably only a penny or a fraction thereof left that you can claim. What about FDIC insurance? Forget it. It can’t handle every bank account. And that’s what’s happening here: total collapse. All money zeroed out.

2) Your cash on hand will not go far. Prices will inflate immediately and ferociously. Food will skyrocket most of all. Because everyone needs to eat — and nobody can eat money.

3) All ATMs will stop working. So that money in the bank you still thought you had? It’s gone. The system is dead. The ATMs were the pulse of the financial circulatory system — and that system has had a fatal heart attack and dropped dead.

4) The initial stupid glee people will feel over their “liberation” from the system will be gone within the first 48-72 hours. Because everyone will be stuck at home. There’s no longer a job to go to. And all you self-employed people? You’re fired too. There’s no longer any market for what you were selling, so save your energy. You will need it to maintain your very existence.

5) You will no longer be able to sleep at night. Because of the sound of gunfire. All those people who have already been worse off than you? Hey, they have kids. And those kids need food. And during this time, a gun has become the new ATM card. Withdrawals will initially take place at night. It won’t only be the sound of gunfire keeping you awake, there will be the sirens too. Police sirens. Fire engine sirens. Ambulance sirens. And the sound of burglar alarms and car alarms.

6) Food will become short. Everything is on a cash-only basis now. You think it’ll be a simple matter of lining up in front a supermarket hours (and it will be hours) before it opens? No. First, most supermarkets will be closed. There’s no staff left. And for the rare supermarket that does open — in the early days — do you think a supermarket manager will be stupid enough to let hundreds of people swarm in all at once? You’ll go in ten at a time. And before you’re allowed in, you’ll be hand-frisked by whatever few staff remains. That gun you brought to keep you safe? It will prevent you from getting food. You’ll be denied admittance. As it is, you’ll pray that a) you’ll get in before they close the doors, and b) that there’s something left to buy. Expect limits on what you can buy — but only after the lucky early ones have grabbed all they can still afford with cash on hand.

7) Lining up at a supermarket will make you a target. Your presence there will announce that you have cash on you. Expect to be shot for your money. You imagine it’ll be one person with a gun holding you up? Have you ever had the experience of opening up a cabinet in a slum apartment? Swarms of cockroaches run out. The cockroaches of society will likewise swarm out to steal from you. There will be carloads of people attacking the supermarket line. You’ll be lucky enough to get away with your life. You’ll never get that food you planned to get.

8) And if you do happen to be one of the lucky ones to get food, expect to never get home with it. If you’re not robbed in the supermarket parking lot on the way to your car, expect to be followed as you drive away. Your car will be rammed and you’ll be overrun by armed thieves who will shoot you first — and they’ll go for your head, so there’s no witness left — and then take your food.

9) Don’t expect electricity. I’m not saying your lights will be turned off for non-payment. That’s naive. I’m talking about the breakdown of the infrastructure. I’ll coin the term you’ll be hearing in this alternate awful future: micro-terrorism. All of you think terrorism means some madman with a bomb strapped to him. That’s the past. Micro-terrorism is this: you live in an area where your electricity and cable TV and telephone are delivered on old wooden posts? Expect bastards to go out there with chainsaws and take those poles down. This is micro-terrorism. An entire town’s or city’s lights don’t have to go out all at once. Terror can be done neighborhood-by-neighborhood. Hardly any of this will be political. It will be criminal. A population kept off balance is easy prey.

10) There will be no gasoline. Gasoline, like food, is delivered by truck. And many trucks will never, ever get to their destination. The highways will become overrun with hijackers. At some point, truckers will no longer move goods. What’s the point? Why should a trucker try to go several hundred miles to deliver food or gas when he can’t get either of those at home, for himself and his family?

11) Police? There aren’t enough police in the entire country to restore order once the rampage begins. In New York City, for example, most of the cops live in the suburbs. Do you think they’ll leave their families in jeopardy to keep order among a population they’ve daily shown contempt and hatred for?

12) You’ll smell smoke all the time. Something will always be burning somewhere. If it’s not an abandoned home, or a fire accidentally caused by candles (remember, no electricity), or people keeping warm with a fire in a metal barrel (hey, this is winter now, right?), it’ll be an outright act of micro-terrorism. Cars, tires, anything that can set alight. Burn baby burn. Burn it all down will be the sentiment.

13) There will be curfews. For you. Not for the criminals who will own the night. They have nothing to lose. They never wanted a stake in this country. They never lived by its rules. It’s open season for them to take whatever they want whenever they want.

14) National Guard? Did you see what happened in New Orleans with Katrina? What’s happened in Houston with Gustav? Those are just two cities. This is now national, every city. You’re on your own. Literally.

15) You’re isolated. No electricity means no Internet, no TV. And if you don’t have a hand-crank radio, you’ll run out of batteries. You won’t know what reality is because you’ve been cut off from the flow of information. You’ll hear nothing but rumor. And lies. None of it will be good and your daily sense of dread will eventually turn to gut-wrenching panic. You will have no rest. You can’t sleep at night. And you need to also be awake during the day to try to connect with people to see if anyone knows what’s really going on.

16) Imposters. That guy coming towards you in a cop uniform or National Guard uniform? He’s neither. He took those off of someone he killed. So you’d be fooled into trusting him. You won’t be able to trust anybody.

Do I need to continue? Is this enough for you to grasp the magnitude of the alternative we face? How many more words must I pour out? This should be enough.

If this hasn’t scared you, you’re not taking the gravity of the situation seriously.

And you’ll probably be one of the first to die.

All Chronicles of Depression 2.0 posts. How we got here.

Explore posts in the same categories: Bank Collapse Watch, C.O.A.T. - Belief, C.O.A.T. - Food, C.O.A.T. - Health, C.O.A.T. - Money, C.O.A.T. - Politics, C.O.A.T. - Riots, C.O.A.T. - Scams, C.O.A.T. - Self-Defense, C.O.A.T. - Terror, Depression 2.0, Reference - Life, Stock Market Crash Watch


  1. nathan Says:

    Gosh man… you seriously got some imagination.

  2. mikecane Says:

    Your products are jackshit worthless for what’s coming. And you won’t have the connectivity to come back here and say I was right when this shit happens.

  3. […] that?  You don’t think it could get that bad?  Well, Mike Cane thinks so, and the case he makes is very persuasive.  This is why we need some bailout package, and […]

  4. Rex Hammock Says:

    While I’m not a fan of Cormac McCarthy or, really, any dystopian literature, I’m all for providing liquidity to the financial system.

  5. mikecane Says:

    Rex, as you and everyone else is going to find out to much distress, there is not enough money in the world to stop this.

  6. Gekko Says:

    You, sir, have watched way too many science fiction movies. Despite shrill predictions of The Apocalypse, life will go on in 2008 – and there will be a 2009.

  7. mikecane Says:

    Hey, Gekko. This is your “Greed is good” endgame. Thanks, pal. Have a favorite lamppost?

  8. allthatsevil Says:

    I don’t see there being a sensible, logical ground to stand on and argue that this was not the fault of good old boy conservative players, deregulating markets, then raking in the dough.. and if we do bail them out.. a big ol’ pile of the bail-out is gonna wind up in the same danged pockets that gained from causing the mess in the first place.

    • Owen JOhnston Says:

      Bill Clinton repealed the Glass/Steagall act, an important firewall between banks and investment firms instituted as a result of the great depression. Once again, I see people on these boards who think this is a dem vs GOP issue. They are the same. Get it through your stupid heads already.

  9. mikecane Says:

    We can track down those bastards later, seize their assets, and throw them in prison. Right now, my priority is that the millions and millions who *didn’t* create this don’t suffer a societal nightmare.

  10. Gekko Says:

    Stop being so naive. You’ll have to lock up all of the Mr. & Mrs. Lunchbuckets out there too who lied on their mortgage applications to buy houses they couldn’t afford and took out multiple home equity loans to buy shit that they didn’t need/couldn’t afford in order to keep up with the fucking Joneses. The Greed was not only on Wall Street but on Main Street as well. Millions and Millions created this crisis through their irresponsible behavior. Your neighbors created this crisis.

  11. mikecane Says:

    You are citing the You Can’t Cheat An Honest Man and Never Give A Sucker An Even Break rules.

    But I wonder how much you’ve read about the extent of this fraud. Locally, they were sweeping the *homeless shelters* to see who was getting a Social Security check of X dollar amount and swindling them into homes. Now I submit to you that someone who winds up in one of those shelters is unfit to parse a mortgage contract. Over and over I’ve read of them people told, “Just sign here.”

    Also, what about honest hard-working (though illegal) Mexican families? They got swindled that way too. You expect them to read a complex ENIGLISH legal document? Or to know to get a lawyer? Most likely, they got suckered because one of their friends got a home and recommended them, not knowing it was all a con.

    As for the ones who thought they could take advantage of flipping their homes, I addressed those bastards here:

    And as for all those who bought Florida condos to flip them? If they lost *their* shirts and are now sleeping in their cars, that’s only fair.

    But for the literally *millions* who were actually *swindled*? If they were up to date in payments before the balloon monster descended on them, then the loan sharking bastards should suffer by having their interest rates shoved down their throats.

  12. Gekko Says:

    There are no victims in a greed-driven mania, only volunteers.

  13. mikecane Says:

    I deleted your snark, Gekko.

    Oh yes there *are* victims. *I* didn’t participate in this shit, yet I’m going to have to pay for it. Fuck that. All the ones who think “greed” is an antiquated concept and that business is “morally neutral.” Those financial sociopaths must be expunged. They still might kill all of us.

  14. […] AMERICAN GOTTERDAMMERUNG « Mike Cane 2008 I’ve seen posts elsewhere by people stating they’d rather see the collapse of the entire economic system instead of having the current alleged bailout go through. They believe they could live through the consequences of that. […]

  15. Michael Fremlins Says:

    This is bullshit.

  16. mikecane Says:

    Be sure to come back and apologize. If you survive.

  17. This happens in the world all the time. At this very minute there are people struggling to survive in this way. This would be the west’s shangrilah – other people in other parts of the world who survive on a daily basis without the need for power & money, because it’s not financial collapse you need to concern yourself with it’s the collapse of power – electricity. And you will find that there are people in this world who actually survive by their own steam and don’t rely on infrastructures or governments, supermarkets or the internet to survive.

    One interesting statement I quote from the piece above:

    >You’ll hear nothing but rumor. And lies. None of it will be good and your daily sense of dread will eventually turn to gut-wrenching panic.<

    Who is fuelling this collapse – actually the media – it is the reporting of information that causes panic and how do you know that what we are fed isn’t already lies and rumour? Did man really go to the moon?


  18. mikecane Says:

    You were good up til that last one. YES, dammit, man DID land on the Moon. I’ve seen the shit on the Net that tries to debunk that. It’s BULLSHIT. Don’t give that crap the time of day.

  19. We are all ready in a depression this is so bad at the moment. No one has money to spend as for the bail out well who knows what they will do but some news may come very soon.
    Good luck

  20. Gekko Says:

    Show me a man who is pessimistic on the future of America and I’ll show you a loser.

  21. mikecane Says:

    That, Gekko, would be BushCo, if ever brought up for the war crime prosecution they deserve.

  22. Gekko Says:

    The reason we have not been attacked in the more than seven years after 9/11 is the hard work of the FBI, the CIA, and our military, and the sweeping changes that have taken place in the intelligence community under George W. Bush.

    Under President Nader or Obama, the terrorists will be parachuting into NYC.

    Be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it.

  23. mikecane Says:

    Gekko, do you only believe what people in authority bay into your ears?

  24. Gekko Says:

    NY Times – 9 years ago today – Just about says it all


    September 30, 1999
    Fannie Mae Eases Credit To Aid Mortgage Lending

    In a move that could help increase home ownership rates among minorities and low-income consumers, the Fannie Mae Corporation is easing the credit requirements on loans that it will purchase from banks and other lenders.

    The action, which will begin as a pilot program involving 24 banks in 15 markets — including the New York metropolitan region — will encourage those banks to extend home mortgages to individuals whose credit is generally not good enough to qualify for conventional loans. Fannie Mae officials say they hope to make it a nationwide program by next spring.

    Fannie Mae, the nation’s biggest underwriter of home mortgages, has been under increasing pressure from the Clinton Administration to expand mortgage loans among low and moderate income people and felt pressure from stock holders to maintain its phenomenal growth in profits.

    In addition, banks, thrift institutions and mortgage companies have been pressing Fannie Mae to help them make more loans to so-called subprime borrowers. These borrowers whose incomes, credit ratings and savings are not good enough to qualify for conventional loans, can only get loans from finance companies that charge much higher interest rates — anywhere from three to four percentage points higher than conventional loans.

    ”Fannie Mae has expanded home ownership for millions of families in the 1990’s by reducing down payment requirements,” said Franklin D. Raines, Fannie Mae’s chairman and chief executive officer. ”Yet there remain too many borrowers whose credit is just a notch below what our underwriting has required who have been relegated to paying significantly higher mortgage rates in the so-called subprime market.”

    Demographic information on these borrowers is sketchy. But at least one study indicates that 18 percent of the loans in the subprime market went to black borrowers, compared to 5 per cent of loans in the conventional loan market.

    In moving, even tentatively, into this new area of lending, Fannie Mae is taking on significantly more risk, which may not pose any difficulties during flush economic times. But the government-subsidized corporation may run into trouble in an economic downturn, prompting a government rescue similar to that of the savings and loan industry in the 1980’s.

    ”From the perspective of many people, including me, this is another thrift industry growing up around us,” said Peter Wallison a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. ”If they fail, the government will have to step up and bail them out the way it stepped up and bailed out the thrift industry.”

    Under Fannie Mae’s pilot program, consumers who qualify can secure a mortgage with an interest rate one percentage point above that of a conventional, 30-year fixed rate mortgage of less than $240,000 — a rate that currently averages about 7.76 per cent. If the borrower makes his or her monthly payments on time for two years, the one percentage point premium is dropped.

    Fannie Mae, the nation’s biggest underwriter of home mortgages, does not lend money directly to consumers. Instead, it purchases loans that banks make on what is called the secondary market. By expanding the type of loans that it will buy, Fannie Mae is hoping to spur banks to make more loans to people with less-than-stellar credit ratings.

    Fannie Mae officials stress that the new mortgages will be extended to all potential borrowers who can qualify for a mortgage. But they add that the move is intended in part to increase the number of minority and low income home owners who tend to have worse credit ratings than non-Hispanic whites.

    Home ownership has, in fact, exploded among minorities during the economic boom of the 1990’s. The number of mortgages extended to Hispanic applicants jumped by 87.2 per cent from 1993 to 1998, according to Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies. During that same period the number of African Americans who got mortgages to buy a home increased by 71.9 per cent and the number of Asian Americans by 46.3 per cent.

    In contrast, the number of non-Hispanic whites who received loans for homes increased by 31.2 per cent.

    Despite these gains, home ownership rates for minorities continue to lag behind non-Hispanic whites, in part because blacks and Hispanics in particular tend to have on average worse credit ratings.

    In July, the Department of Housing and Urban Development proposed that by the year 2001, 50 percent of Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s portfolio be made up of loans to low and moderate-income borrowers. Last year, 44 percent of the loans Fannie Mae purchased were from these groups.

    The change in policy also comes at the same time that HUD is investigating allegations of racial discrimination in the automated underwriting systems used by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to determine the credit-worthiness of credit applicants.

  25. Gekko Says:

    Terrorists have no rights!!! When they dirty bomb Staten Island, you may change your tune!!! But by then, it will be too late! Don’t think they’ve stopped trying! They are coming after us AGAIN, you SOB!!! WAKE UP YOU, SOB!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  26. mikecane Says:

    You didn’t even read the link through, did you?

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that ALL men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with CERTAIN UNALIENABLE RIGHTS, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

    What pack of Communist terrorist-loving motherfuckers could ever pen that shit?


  27. mikecane Says:

    And then, Gekko, you conveniently leave out the fact that after 2 or 3 years, their payments doubled or even tripled.

  28. Gekko Says:

    1. Criminals and Terrorists give up their rights when they break the law.

    2. Personal Responsibility. READ THE FUCKING CONTRACT.

  29. Gekko Says:

    “We’re the United States of America. We’ve been attacked. We’re going after the people on our idiot list. Get out of the way, because you don’t want to end up on our idiot list.”

  30. mikecane Says:

    I am second to no one in defense of the ideals that founded this country.

    1) Bush authorized torture
    2) Torture is a war crime by OUR OWN DEFINITION
    3) We hanged Nazis for doing LESS
    4) You STILL haven’t read that link all the way through
    5) The top man on that Idiot List is Dubya

  31. Reaper Says:

    Why do people assume that this bail-out is going to do anything but delay the inevitable?

  32. mikecane Says:

    A delay might be better than the inevitable — especially during what is forecasted to be a brutal winter.

  33. Stefanodg Says:

    The financial crisis that is taking place is not something that can be explained by the incompetence of the Bush administration. The problem can be traced down to the creation of the banking institutions and especially The Federal Reserve wich was allowed to manage dollar emissions, every time a dollar is created it is created thru debt, this is the main problem that has been escalating for almost 90 years. How to solve this problem? NOT by creating an even bigger debt, the only solution is to stop using the dollar as the base currency in the world and obviously, neutralize al banking institutions. When will the world understand that money is only an instrument to facilitate commerce and trade, how can the Financial institutions be allowed to create money out of THIN AIR… This is like creating whatever money can buy out of thin air, is this possible? NO, can you make food out of thin air? NO, cars? NO!!!

  34. Nate Says:

    If I had read this 6 months ago I would have been very alarmed. But I have read many blogs from citizens in Argentina who survived their economic collapse and what Mike says is very accurate. Instead of being alarmed, I am now prepared……….


  35. Art Says:

    There is one saving grace, and that we are society of habit. people are creatures of habit. SO its unlikely that something like that will happen, to such magnitude. USA has never experienced something like that, and things will have to get very drastic to hit the level you are describing.

  36. Steve Paine Says:

    I would say that many of these scenarios would only occur if communities cant organise themselves and reach equilibrium. Not everyone is bad and there are plenty of tough people out there with enough intelligence to be fighting as protectors and organisers.
    Difficult to imagine so many guns too (speaking as a european)

  37. mikecane Says:

    America is flooded with guns. More guns than iPods or iPhones put together.

  38. […] of world is the scenario that scares me most, so of course that is what I imagine. Mike evidently envisions something similar… Don’t expect electricity. I’m not saying your lights will be turned off for non-payment. […]

  39. CLEVER_NAME Says:

    I don’t know if you are joking- I sincerely hope so. But, I am (and personally know dozens) of well-trained, educated, exceedingly intelligent economists, researchers, reporters, etc. And what you have projected is absolutely ridiculous, pure and simple. I understand and agree that the situation could potentially be more “doom n’ goom” than the media is insinuating, but it will never, EVER become a disaster of this magnitude. If I may be so bold- where did you receive your degree, and in what subject?

  40. Nestor Says:

    Well aren’t you a scaredy cat.

    Ooo, other people. They’re scaary

  41. mikecane Says:

    Dammit. I accidentally deleted my Comment here. Basically it was this:

    Hey, all you doubters. All *I* have to do is sit and wait for it to happen. You have nothing against that.

    This is new:

    I’m sure after the 1929 crash, there were eejits who wound up starving to death, believing in Happy Days returning:

  42. Jesus Says:

    Can you point to even one instance, anywhere in the world, at any time, when this happened? 1930s? No. Weimar Germany? No. Warsaw Ghetto? No. Hell, even in Darfur cell phones continued to work. This is pure fantasy, and not even good fantasy at that. Like a bad B movie.

  43. mikecane Says:

    @Jesus (an unlikely name for someone who has much Western historical knowledge): Wait and see.

  44. Elizabeth Says:

    Oh, I gotta say something about Jesus’s comment. (Sorry, Mike, I know you hate being a comment-only zombie.) He brings up the Warsaw ghetto as an example of what, exactly? People dying on the streets of starvation and preventable disease? Indiscriminate killings? Because these and more atrocities were daily events in the ghetto, which eventually was razed to the ground by the Nazis, with the already severely decimated remnants of its population shipped to concentration camps at the end. Jesus, you need to get some better examples for your sense of optimism.

  45. Lynne B Says:

    I see the signs. Late comer, but the puzzle pieces are fitting. Orwell could only imagine!

    The bible for those with understanding, will become understood by even more soon.

  46. […] en el resto del mundo-para que veais que escenaris apocalipticos se manejan mas alla del charco AMERICAN GOTTERDAMMERUNG Mike Cane 2008 Independientemente de su exactitudla gente esta que muy, pero que muy asustada. Ojala nos haga […]

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