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Jim: “The Bear Market Has Just Begun”

Chris Campbell

Posted November 21, 2022

Chris Campbell

In 1982, a sponge diver named Mehmed Cakir discovered a shipwreck in the Uluburun region off the coast of Turkey.

Inside, excavators found a wide range of Late Bronze Age artifacts…

Jars from Israel, ebony from Africa, ingots from Egypt, amber from the Baltics, and weapons from Greece. The ship itself was made of cedar from Lebanon.

As it happens, this wreck stood at the center of a complex supply chain stretching an area of over five million square miles, linking Sudan to Sweden and Sicily to Syria.

“In effect,” says Jim Rickards in his new book Sold Out (to be released on December 6), “the Uluburun wreck was at the center of a complex supply chain stretching from modern Sudan to Sweden, and from Sicily to Syria, an area of over five million square miles… -

Nothing New Under the Sun

“There’s nothing new about supply chains,” Jim writes in his yet-to-be released book, Sold Out (December 6). “Supply chains have been around as long as commerce, as long as civilization. The process was not as fast as Amazon Prime. Still, the goal of matching supply with demand was the same.”

Even today’s extended global supply chains, says Jim, aren’t new: “The Silk Road, which prospered from ancient Rome to the Renaissance, ran from Chang’an (now Xi’an) to Constantinople, a distance of 4,250 miles as the crow flies.”

Even our fancy methods aren’t new, either.

Along the Silk Road, most traders stopped in market cities like Samarkand and Kashgar. Rather than carrying goods from one end to the other, they were often off-loaded from one caravan to another in these market cities.

“Such transfers were comparable to what’s called cross-docking in today’s transportation logistics,” says Jim. “Walmart is credited with pioneering cross-docking in the retail sector in the late 1980s. Twelfth-century traders in Samarkand might dispute that claim.”

The Cost of Efficiency

“Again, supply chains are not new,” says Rickards, “but the science of supply chain management is. Merchants have had to deal with uncertainty, adversity, and piracy for millennia. It is only with the widespread and lightning fast computing power, scanning, wireless communication, and sophisticated applied mathematics that merchants and manufacturers have the tools to address the challenges of moving commodities and finished products from sources to consumers.”

This science has led to a bunch of breakthroughs like just-in-time inventory, intermodal transportation, overnight delivery, cross-docking, RFID, GPS tracking, and more. With a monomaniacal focus on efficiency, supply chain managers have pulverized costs and delays out of supply chains.

But, says Jim, “this efficiency has come at a high and mostly hidden price. Eliminating redundancy reduces resilience. Stretching supply chains to reach cheap labor in China exponentially increases the rise of adverse outcomes on the way. Just-in-time inventory results in shutting down entire plants when deliveries are not just in time.”

Supply chain experts have addressed some of these issues, Jim says, but there are others that aren’t so easy to fix:

“What has not been recognized are the dynamics of complex systems. These dynamics produce emergent properties that cannot be inferred even with perfect knowledge of every factor in the system. When these properties do emerge, they quickly cascade into a succession of failures. Each system failure causes another failure in the chain. It’s the exact same process that causes an avalanche, a power grid collapse, or a tsunami.”

Complexity Without Redundancy

In short, things don’t look too good for the supply chain. And the next decade will be all about sorting it out.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that trade is dead and the supply chains are perma-broke.

When Islam rose as a formidable force, it disrupted the main supply chains running from Egypt to Ireland. But never underestimate the power of human ingenuity and the desire for trade: “Noresmen forged new logistics lanes that ran east through the Baltic Sea, then south along the Dnieper and Vistula rivers toward Constantinople.”

A new supply chain “order” is coming. But the transition period will be a doozy. Obviously, this will have massive consequences for the markets… which are even more susceptible to cascading failures.

The Bear Market’s Just Begun?

Jim’s just released his latest telecast to predict where he sees the markets headed in the next 60 to 90 days.

In this new video, Jim will reveal:

1.] The exact date he believes the stock market will crash “into oblivion”...

2.] Why the current “bear market” is just the beginning.

3.] And how a little-known pattern can help you turn a small grubstake into a fortune.

But, there’s a catch: This video goes offline at 9:30 AM tomorrow morning.

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