As I have written in the past, the value of traveling in hostels cannot be overstated. For the last eight weeks I have been holidaying, consulting, and on tour in Europe (Portugal, Spain, Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, and soon others), and staying in a variety of living arrangements, but the most dynamic has been through youth hostels. In some countries there is some vitality on the ground, but the employment data remains bad because work is often undocumented (Spain), and in others, there is a tremendous amount of construction and infrastructure development happening, but the work contract and full-time, formerly “stable” jobs are disappearing in droves (Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands). In hostels, this is a topic of interest for most people nearing the end of their studies and older, and a lot of information is passed along.
In Amsterdam, Netherlands a few days ago, I was informed that a massive post-Soviet Ponzi investment scheme that ended disastrously in 1994 (MMM) has been revived after its creator has been released from prison. He has adapted his approach to fit the internet/information/knowledge economy age and has been evading lawmakers and banks through entangling them in involvement or masterfully using statutes of limitation. This is a rough take of what was disseminated to me, in the form of a video through my YouTube channel, but which is only available to readers here:
This development in Russia (with other legal battles related to it going on in places such as Belarus) has the potential to effect world markets given that 15 to 20 million investors are now involved and people the world over are looking for alternative investments outside of major currencies and commodities such as gold and silver. What is interesting about MMM is that has a lot of egalitarian, “everyday man” qualities to its branding that would appeal to Russians or those abroad who are tired of oligarchs taking all the big contracts… however, these were the people that lost tremendously in the 1990s.
Though I sometimes use tarot as a means to help investors or those in the financial world decide a direction, all I can say from questions I have asked the cards is that 2012 is “The Year of Opiates” for the Anglocentric world, particularly in the US, where the focus will be on giving a good impression for the elections. You will notice that the jobs data will suddenly appear better and people will be taking riskier investments. Some of them are good to take advantage of, but do not overextend yourself during this build-up period.
Soon the divide will come along the lines of people who want to go further into the sphere of neoliberalism and globalization and those who want to completely remove themselves from it. It is not entirely clear to me which side will dominate or win, but I can see on the ground that most people working alone are doing much better if they concentrate on a small local marketplace or community. Property owners and proprietors without too much overhead and without looking for quick profits are generally the figures succeeding.
A very prosperous spring to you all and I will let you know as the tour extends to other parts of Europe, the US, and possibly Asia this year. It is possible to create seminars if you have in excess of 15 participants who wish to create a spirituality + living-within-our-means event.