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"Fast Crash" vs. "Slow Crash"?

General discussions of the systemic, societal and civilisational effects of depletion.

"Fast Crash" vs. "Slow Crash"?

Unread postby babystrangeloop » Sun 04 Sep 2011, 11:36:30

I found out about Peak Oil in 2004 in just 4 years the "2008 event" with $147/barrel and October stock collapse occurred. Next can bailouts which evolved into "quantitative easting" (QE and QE Lite and QE2.) Just 7 years after my 2004 discovery the re-inflation came, the Middle-Eastern/North Africa freakout hit, the UK riots, and $110 - $120 OPEC ORB oil and latest development IEA SPR world emergency 60 million barrel oil release which brought down the price during August only to wear off and have little effect by September.

All that in just seven years. To me that is a pretty fast crash in progress and getting worse all the time. What will another three years of this be like? Is 10 years a "fast" or "slow" crash?
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Re: How Do You Define "Fast Crash" vs. "Slow Crash"?

Unread postby dolanbaker » Sun 04 Sep 2011, 11:48:21

I think that the economy is in for a fast crash as it's becoming increasingly clear that infinite growth is no longer sustainable and the debts that future growth was supposed to deal with, will never be repaid.

How that will play out, I don't really know, except the fact that I don't expect pensions to perform in the future.
It may well be that debt based money is replaced by government issued "debt free" currency.

Civilisation in general I expect to have a much slower decline as it will ride the slope down under a different economic model. Without a change of financial management the crash will be hard!

There is a very long way to decline before the people of the west have to worry about food security for example.
Ronald Coase, Nobel Economic Sciences, said in 1991 “If we torture the data long enough, it will confess.”
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Re: How Do You Define "Fast Crash" vs. "Slow Crash"?

Unread postby kpeavey » Sun 04 Sep 2011, 12:10:56

Slow Crash: Detroit
Fast Crash: Katrina

I think it all depends on the ability of the population to adjust to changes in their lifestyles. If you or your spouse loses your job, maybe you can get by for a little while, find another job, tighten your belts. There is time to adjust to a significant change.

If the grid goes down, water pressure drops to zero, nobody has a job, all the food in your freezer goes bad, and there is no official news and information coming over a dead radio. Unless you have made preparations for this contingency, there is little chance for a smooth transition to a different lifestyle.

For most of the sheeple out there, it will be a fast crash. Tunnel vision has them focusing on raising kids, keeping up with the latest fashion, or making sure the lawn is mowed to satisfy the homeowners association. Looking to the media does not help, as the media is not reporting the story. Leadership is concerned with immediate concerns rather than long term problems. Preparing for a transition in lifestyle is simply not being undertaken in the scale which will be needed for society to continue its current level of organization.

As problems develop, the government leadership will address it with a special commission, band aid legislation, and a reallocation of funds. There will be no addressing the problem because at its core, overpopulation and limited resources, there is no technical solution. All that can be done is bail water out of the boat faster and faster, until the thing finally sinks.

The crash will be slow for a while, then all at once it will be fast.
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Re: How Do You Define "Fast Crash" vs. "Slow Crash"?

Unread postby Sixstrings » Sun 04 Sep 2011, 13:14:31

I dunno, but gold spot is at $1885. I'd hate to see a "fast crash." 8O
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Re: How Do You Define "Fast Crash" vs. "Slow Crash"?

Unread postby AgentR11 » Sun 04 Sep 2011, 14:38:52

Thing to keep in mind, Emergency Management people pull their hair out just trying to get people to keep three days worth of food in their pantries and a few gallons of liquid in their fridges.

We are absolute outliers, and the way we see a crash is an outlier. For those not of this particular mindset, crash is crash, fast or slow, it'll be bad.

Basic definition for myself, relies on the what happens to the grid. If it just goes urp and they can't get it back up for more than just emergency & systemic loads; that's a fast crash; if we get rolling blackouts that get longer and longer each year, or the price for electricity becomes so high that middle class folks choose to not keep their homes cold in the summer; that's a slow crash.
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Re: How Do You Define "Fast Crash" vs. "Slow Crash"?

Unread postby americandream » Sun 04 Sep 2011, 14:40:14

dolanbaker wrote:I think that the economy is in for a fast crash as it's becoming increasingly clear that infinite growth is no longer sustainable and the debts that future growth was supposed to deal with, will never be repaid.

How that will play out, I don't really know, except the fact that I don't expect pensions to perform in the future.
It may well be that debt based money is replaced by government issued "debt free" currency.

Civilisation in general I expect to have a much slower decline as it will ride the slope down under a different economic model. Without a change of financial management the crash will be hard!

There is a very long way to decline before the people of the west have to worry about food security for example.


Re my emphasis above, and given that the Western food model is profit, oil and imports based, how did you figure that one out. When the world decouples as in the West breaks from its traditional predatorial relationship with the rest of the world (and a break with China will usher that period in), the labour force in the West will have been so depradated by then, that there will be a global upswelling of revulsion to capitalism. However, there will be no crash WITHOUT that decoupling. Just more poverty for the workers and middle class in the West as they fall in line with the rest of the world's wage earners.
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Re: How Do You Define "Fast Crash" vs. "Slow Crash"?

Unread postby Sys1 » Sun 04 Sep 2011, 15:54:42

I think the notion of fast crash or slow one depends on your own situation.
Nevertheless, I feel a big event (economic crash, nuke terrorism, Israel having fun with Iran...) will happen soon and will reset the position of everyone in this society.
It will be a time of suffering and... opportunity. The way hierarchy is will be upside down.
What was interesting in "Jericho" was that a guy just getting out of prison becomes a hero.
On the other hand, a rich trader can go nowhere but down.
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Re: How Do You Define "Fast Crash" vs. "Slow Crash"?

Unread postby americandream » Sun 04 Sep 2011, 15:59:41

China, the canary.
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Re: How Do You Define "Fast Crash" vs. "Slow Crash"?

Unread postby Plantagenet » Sun 04 Sep 2011, 16:13:36

We are still on the oil production plateau.

If you think we are "crashing" now, just wait a few years until global oil production starts an inexorable decline of 3-7% each year.

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Re: How Do You Define "Fast Crash" vs. "Slow Crash"?

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Sun 04 Sep 2011, 18:51:24

AgentR11 wrote:Thing to keep in mind, Emergency Management people pull their hair out just trying to get people to keep three days worth of food in their pantries and a few gallons of liquid in their fridges.

Isn't that the truth. Consider how hard it is to get people to save a REALISTIC amount for retirement (or anything). And whatever you believe in, unless you wear a giant tin hat or expect to die young, you WILL get old and WILL need savings.

AgentR11 wrote:Basic definition for myself, relies on the what happens to the grid. If it just goes urp and they can't get it back up for more than just emergency & systemic loads; that's a fast crash;

Fair enough. But unless we have an outlier (IMO) event like a giant solar flare that wipes out a substantial part of the grid in one whack -- I don't understand WHAT would make the grid "go urp" and not be able to be brought back up.

Chunks of the grid for a week or two? Yes. I think we saw that already with Katrina. But considering all the technology and resources that would be brought to bear for a major, widespread, more than a week sort of problem -- how would this even happen?

(OTOH, your gradually worsening rolling blackout scenario, as money and competing problems become ever more of an issue -- that scenario makes LOTS of sense. I don't see us doing much to prevent it either, even now...

I've seen multiple documentaries mention the cost of going underground for the whole (or at least bulk of) the U.S. is prohibitive. Being bankrupt, that doesn't seem like a realistic near term solution.

http://www.patrickmaas.com/2011/02/04/s ... derground/
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: How Do You Define "Fast Crash" vs. "Slow Crash"?

Unread postby Diecast » Sun 04 Sep 2011, 19:43:28

(Economic or species crash)
Since humans began exploiting FF,s we have defied Jevon's paradox, thumbed our nose at the exponential function, tripled the population of the earth, caused massive species extinction, acidification of the oceans, soil degradation, ozone depletion, an inexorable rise in atmospheric CO2 and methane and set in motion a species extinction scenario brought about by sea level rise and climate change due to global warming.

The economic crash will be fast, the consequences of failing to anticipate then correct our excesses will inevitably lead to a slow roasting (in human terms but instant in geological) of the entire planet.

Now I'll return to eating lunch.
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Re: How Do You Define "Fast Crash" vs. "Slow Crash"?

Unread postby Pops » Sun 04 Sep 2011, 20:06:33

babystrangeloop wrote:All that in just seven years. To me that is a pretty fast crash

I was just thinking along these lines the other day reading through Kubs and my threads about predictions. Several people mentioned they had expected something "momentous" and seemed somewhat disappointed with the fizzle of the 2008 recession. That kind of surprised me considering how big was the dislocation and how little evidence of recovery we've seen let alone moves to avoid reenactments or worse.

Perhaps it's how time dilates when you get that adrenaline bump just before you hit the tree and even though events are moving too fast to change course, as you fly through the air your mind is racing even faster.

I think what has happened over the last several years is momentous: especially how the recession has fast forwarded trends long in the making but progressing slowly prior to the crash. Middle class jobs eliminated forever, corps moving not only jobs from the US but focus as well. Silly home equity gains of course have disappeared but not before the HELOCs put regular folks in the red, years of .gov spending habits going cold turkey, wealth inequality increasing to banana republic levels, political chicken the order of the day in the US and the Arab countries have already found the pitchforks, blah, blah.

I know that being self employed makes me I feel the economy more than when I worked for a paycheck and didn't need to worry about the next job but I've been sure since late winter that we would be in recession again by fall - I sold 60 calves way early because I thought so and still think my prediction of the official start to the recession being pegged to May 2011 is probable.

I never expected overnight armageddon as in oil shoots to $1,000/bbl in 3 trading days and by the following Tuesday WalMart is out of Pop Tarts and the Soccer Moms are rampaging. We simply have so much momentum that baring some political event we're bound to take take a while to wind down.

But in '04 my WAG was actual, physical peak between '12 & '15 with the plateau undulating from then till inexorable physical decline maybe in 2020 or maybe '25? So I'm still surprised to know we were already on the top in 2004! I'm pretty sure now that we have past the peak in oil available for export due to ELM (if you include China nationalizations) so physical peak doesn't really matter now except to the exporting countries.

So look around next trip down the strip at all the For Sale/Lease/Rent signs, foreclosures, empty strip mall stores and abandoned light industrial buildings and tell me things aren't changing fast.

I'm thinking it's the distraction of all the scenery whizzing by that makes us think we've missed the tree. Personally, I'm not taking off my helmet.
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Re: How Do You Define "Fast Crash" vs. "Slow Crash"?

Unread postby AgentR11 » Sun 04 Sep 2011, 20:12:35

Outcast_Searcher wrote: you WILL get old and WILL need savings.

Might be worth doing if I could convince myself that the government doesn't intend to confiscate them at or before retirement time, either directly or indirectly. (in the name of "means testing" or some such bunk).

AgentR11 wrote:Basic definition for myself, relies on the what happens to the grid. If it just goes urp and they can't get it back up for more than just emergency & systemic loads; that's a fast crash;

Fair enough. But unless we have an outlier (IMO) event like a giant solar flare that wipes out a substantial part of the grid in one whack -- I don't understand WHAT would make the grid "go urp" and not be able to be brought back up.


I'm generally a slow crash expecting person for just this reason; though there is at least one potential outlier event whose probability is rising at a significant rate. (large scale, discreet seabed ch4 release). Anything that will place both unexpected demand, and reduce the availability of continued maintenance could take the grid down in a way that only essential services would be recovered and protected.
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Re: How Do You Define "Fast Crash" vs. "Slow Crash"?

Unread postby Pops » Sun 04 Sep 2011, 20:41:27

Actually, I was a little long winded, let me be more direct,

If you think 2008 was the peak oil event and believe since you still feel fine, that must mean peak oil itself is a non-event, I think you should reconsider.
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Re: How Do You Define "Fast Crash" vs. "Slow Crash"?

Unread postby peeker01 » Sun 04 Sep 2011, 20:47:05

2008 was a peak speculation event.
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Re: How Do You Define "Fast Crash" vs. "Slow Crash"?

Unread postby Ferretlover » Sun 04 Sep 2011, 21:06:01

Fast crash: total or almost total collapse within a few days or few weeks by any cause--war, weather, peak anything, or man's general stupidity.
Slow crash: what is happening now. Slow to us because we have been conditioned to expect instant gratification, and we're not getting it at the moment.
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Re: How Do You Define "Fast Crash" vs. "Slow Crash"?

Unread postby diemos » Sun 04 Sep 2011, 22:06:45

In the US the slow crash has been going on since the first oil shock.

The peak of US prosperity came in 1968. In 1968 a man with a high school education could get a job on the assembly line and make enough money to support a stay at home wife and children, own a home, own a car, have a decent retirement.

Those days are long gone.
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Re: How Do You Define "Fast Crash" vs. "Slow Crash"?

Unread postby Thralen » Sun 04 Sep 2011, 22:40:04

I'm of the opinion that we are in the early stages of a slow crash. I've always thought it would be a roller coaster ride where the drops are wild but then we return to the top of a hill, only the top is slightly lower for each successive hill. Somewhere along the track the rails are missing, but it's dark out so we ride away until we find the missing portion the hard way. That would be the fast crash that finally terminates the slower one we are now experiencing.

So I think my definition of slow crash is what we are seeing. Things slowly deteriorating year after year with one problem showing up before the last is totally fixed, causing none of them to get fixed properly.

At some point we'll hit the fast crash, which I think of as lasting from a day or so up to possibly as long as a month. Where problems go systemic, each one rapidly causing another (or more than one more) failure in a cascade style.

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Re: How Do You Define "Fast Crash" vs. "Slow Crash"?

Unread postby dolanbaker » Mon 05 Sep 2011, 06:11:19

americandream wrote:
dolanbaker wrote:I think that the economy is in for a fast crash as it's becoming increasingly clear that infinite growth is no longer sustainable and the debts that future growth was supposed to deal with, will never be repaid.

How that will play out, I don't really know, except the fact that I don't expect pensions to perform in the future.
It may well be that debt based money is replaced by government issued "debt free" currency.

Civilisation in general I expect to have a much slower decline as it will ride the slope down under a different economic model. Without a change of financial management the crash will be hard!

There is a very long way to decline before the people of the west have to worry about food security for example.


Re my emphasis above, and given that the Western food model is profit, oil and imports based, how did you figure that one out. When the world decouples as in the West breaks from its traditional predatorial relationship with the rest of the world (and a break with China will usher that period in), the labour force in the West will have been so depradated by then, that there will be a global upswelling of revulsion to capitalism. However, there will be no crash WITHOUT that decoupling. Just more poverty for the workers and middle class in the West as they fall in line with the rest of the world's wage earners.

The basic point I'm making is the fact that as the supply of fuel diminishes, food production will take priority over BAU, as BAU can't continue while there is a shortage of the basic necessities of life.
As for food producers only working for profit, in a real collapse they would face a stark choice of not selling and losing 100% of their investment or selling at a price that people can afford anf only losing x% of their investment!
Ronald Coase, Nobel Economic Sciences, said in 1991 “If we torture the data long enough, it will confess.”
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Re: How Do You Define "Fast Crash" vs. "Slow Crash"?

Unread postby Daniel_Plainview » Mon 05 Sep 2011, 06:44:38

dolanbaker wrote:I think that the economy is in for a fast crash as it's becoming increasingly clear that infinite growth is no longer sustainable and the debts that future growth was supposed to deal with, will never be repaid.


The only thing preventing a "fast crash" is the ability of governments to issue more debt and print more money. But this short-term fix merely papers over the festering, underlying problems ... and it ignores PO. Meanwhile, most sovereigns are now past the breaking point in terms of soaking up more debt; so when the next global systemic crisis hits, one of two outcomes are possible: (1) fast crash; or (2) sovereigns begin printing like mad as they bailout the banks and other TBTF institutions.

But if the printing presses are switched to turbo, then the prices for commodities (especially oil and food) will skyrocket ... which will also end in a fast crash.

Absent a miraculous new energy source, I don't see any plausible way around a fast-crash scenario.
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