Archive for the ‘England now not 2070’ Category

The Horror of “Obesity Autopsy”

Saturday, September 10th, 2016

Bad Doctor

Yes, the BBC is airing the autopsy of a fat person. No, it’s not ok. I can see the meeting now, someone stands up and says “how can we create programming that plays on and sensationalizes the social stigma against fat people, makes no medical sense, helps no one, and does tremendous harm?”  And thus “Obesity Autopsy” was born, eclipsing “Sharknado” as possibly the most ridiculous idea to get produced and aired but, of course, far more harmful.

Let’s start with the basics. They have flown the body of a “nearly” 238 pound woman, who died in her sixties of heart disease and donated her body to science, from Long Beach, California 5,000 miles to London so that Mike Osborn, a consultant for the Royal College of Pathologists, and Carla Valentine, an assistant pathology technician can perform an autopsy which will first be aired as part of a one hour program on BBC Three, an online service focused on the youth demographic, and then on a late-night slot on either BBC One or Two. The program will also include a panel of “obese young contributors,” who will explore the causes of obesity, and how it affects their day-to-day lives.

Before I get into this, let’s remember that fat people have the right to live and thrive in fat bodies without shame, stigma, bullying, or oppression and it doesn’t matter why we’re fat, what the consequences of being fat may or may not be, and if we could – or even want to- become less fat or not fat. Any suggestion otherwise will be some combination of sizeist, ableist, and/or healthist. The rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are not size (or health) dependent.

Now that we’ve got that crystal clear, let’s start with the many ways that this is medically unsound:

I can’t imagine why they would fly a body 5,000 miles unless the UK has laws that require greater respect for the dead than this debacle, or that they want to make a spectacle of the transport as well as the autopsy.

The idea that one can extrapolate information about all fat people from the autopsy of one fat person is patently ridiculous.  This is taking what I’ll call the “Dr. Oz Fallacy” (wherein he tried to claim that all fat people have bad hearts based on the fact that the fat people who had come to him for heart surgery had bad hearts – as if the thin people who came to him for heart surgery were actually fine…) to whole new lows.

The autopsy can’t even tell us everything about this woman’s body (let alone everything about all fat people’s bodies, let alone how they do or don’t relate to thin people’s bodies.) For example:

It can’t tell us about her genetics in terms of body size or cardiac issues. It cannot tell us if her autopsy results are due to her body size, or something else entirely.  The  entire premise is completely bereft logic and I absolutely question the ethics of the pathologist and the assistant pathology technician participating.

It can’t tell us how she was affected by the culture of fat hate (Peter Muennig’s studies have found that the diseases that are correlated with “obesity” are also correlated with the stress of constant stigma, and that women who feel they are too heavy have more physical and mental illnesses than women who are fine with their size, regardless of their size.)

It can’t tell us if she was affected by the chronic dieting (and subsequent weight cycling) that is almost never successful and yet is prescribed throughout our lives to fat people by our healthcare providers.

It can’t tell us if she was affected by taking extremely dangerous drugs that doctors suggest fat people should take for a very tiny chance to get thin, despite the risk of death (often from heart problems,) or if she was affected by the tendency to prescribe to fat people what we diagnose in thin people.

It can’t tell us if her actual health problems were ignored by doctors who prescribed manipulation of body size instead of the evidence-based interventions that a thin person with the same symptoms would have received. It also can’t tell us if she avoided the doctor  or delayed seeking treatment because of their tendency to substitute shame and diets for actual evidence-based care.

It can’t tell us if her healthcare was compromised by the epidemic of fat bias among doctors.  It can’t tell us if doctors would have worked harder to save her if she was a thin person on the table.

What it can tell us is that instead of using this woman’s donation of her body to science to advance the care that fat people receive (for example giving future surgeons a chance to work on a fat cadaver rather than seeing their first fat body when they are working on it) they are exploiting her life and death. I can’t imagine how I, or my loved ones, would feel if I donated my body to science and instead it was used in a mockery of science for television ratings.  It is inexcusable, it is unjustifiable, it is disrespectful, it is wrong.

And for everything this autopsy won’t tell us about this woman, it tells us exponentially less about every other fat person. And the people behind this are so utterly ignorant about that, that it’s embarrassing.  According to the Telegraph (not linking because of headless fatty picture) “Damian Kavanagh, the controller of BBC Three, said young people needed to be shown the impact of unhealthy eating.”

Body size is not the same thing as “unhealthy eating.” Fat people have behaviors around eating (and everything else) as varied as any other group of people. Speaking of questionably drawn conclusions,  I’m concerned about a panel of “obese young contributors  exploring the causes of obesity, and how it affects their day-to-day lives.”

First I’m concerned with the effect on these panelists. Even if one believes that “determining the causes of obesity” is a noble pursuit, it should follow that the pursuit should be undertaken with scientific rigor, not by asking fat people (who live in a fatphobic society and get messages like the one from Damian Kavanagh that suggest that “obesity” is the same as “unhealthy eating”) to speculate wildly – even if they weren’t handpicked to agree with the stigmatizing premise of this show.

I’m also concerned that they are asking about the effects of obesity on these kids’ lives, when it’s so common to try to convince us to blame on body size what is actually the effect of fat stigma.

Not to mention that even if this autopsy could draw medically sound conclusions about fat people (and let’s be super clear that it cannot) that wouldn’t change the fact that fat people should be able to live without sizeist, healthist, ableist stigma, nor would it change the fact that there is not a single study where more than a tiny fraction of people have maintained significant long term weight loss, so if the suggestion is that being smaller would make us healthier than it’s as useful as telling us that being taller would make us healthier.

This show is an abomination that can only serve to disrespect the dead and stereotype and stigmatize fat people, and it has no place on the air.

If you want to give feedback you can Send them your thoughts using their online form

Edit:  I wanted to share with you this response from Daniel Goldberg, a bioethicist at the Center for Bioethics & Humanities at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus:

Having just taught several sessions on the “Cadaver as First Patient” to medical students, I can suggest that there are enormous power issues that are involved in dissection. The learners generally feel this, and it can be overwhelming — to their infinite credit, most students I’ve encountered intuitively get this and apply a huge amount of respect and even reverence for the cadaver that marks the beginning of their entry into medicine.

Moreover, many learners, albeit not all, humanize their cadaver by giving them a name and even a narrative backstory — to symbolize their belief that the cadaver on the table is more than just a thing. This was a person, with hands that held and eyes that cried. The abomination described here countermands all of these ideals — it encourages seeing the body as an object, and as one that exists purely to explore pathology, disease, and dysfunction. A more offensive, stigmatizing, and structurally harmful display would be difficult to divine. FWIW, this bioethicist finds it utterly transgressive and reprehensible.

If you want to get more information and community support around making sure that stuff like this stops happening, join us at the Fat Activism Conference:


This year we have a kick ass line up of speakers talking about everything from Re-Imagining Fashion from an Inclusive Framework” to “Activism for the Introverted and Anxious” to “Building Fat Patient Power While Accessing Healthcare” and moreThis is a virtual conference so you can listen by phone or computer wherever you are, and you’ll receive recordings and transcripts of each talk so that you can listen/read on your own schedule.  We also offer a pay what you can afford option to make the conference accessible to everyone. The Conference will be held September 23-25, 2016

Click Here to Register!


Scared thin: The obesity autopsy

Saturday, September 10th, 2016

Graffiti on a bathroom door celebrating fat people.

At some point in the recent past, a roughly 60-year-old woman died in Southern California, and generously donated her body to science. 5,000 miles away, her body is about to be cut open for the titillation of British viewers on BBC3 in a horrific spectacle being performed in the name of science, but really it’s about sensationalism. Jane Doe, as I’ll call her, weighed 238 pounds at the time of her death, and she’s the posthumous star of the ‘obesity autopsy,’ to be performed by Mike Osborn and Carla Valentine. Viewers have been informed that the hour-long special will be an educational journey about the effects of clinical obesity on the body, but it sounds a lot more like something else: The cartoonish ‘scared straight’ lectures used to terrorise youth into staying on the straight and narrow.

This act of infotainment is a travesty, and on multiple levels.

The body

We don’t know very much about Jane Doe, as is common with people who donate their bodies to science. Typically, people don’t have a lot of choice when it comes to how their bodies are going to be used, because death is unpredictable, and though people can make dedicated anatomical gifts to medical schools (or the body farm), they don’t have much control over how their bodies will be used. While medical schools do use cadavers in anatomy classes and training, bodies are also used for anthropological research, safety research, and a number of other things. Your body might be slowly taken apart by medical students over the course of a semester, or it might be blown up by the Army.

It’s possible that Doe found out about the programme and specifically willed her body for this purpose. That seems unlikely.

Because people are sensitive about human remains, a lot of regulations as well as contracts and agreements surround body donation and the use of cadavers. For example, the faces, or at least the eyes, of cadavers are often covered in scientific publications to obscure their identities. There is educational value in performing full or partial dissections, or displaying prosections, for the public, but someone has to arbitrate that value. In this case, those responsible thought that literally flaying the body of a dead fat woman to terrify people into thinking that obesity is a monster was educational.

It’s very odd that a body from California was chosen for this programme, given that there are presumably plenty of dead fat people in the UK as well. Was it done to further sensationalise the event, by dramatising the journey? Are there restrictions and caveats on body donation in the UK that made it difficult or impossible to use someone from London or the surrounding area for this purpose?

The medicine

We’ve been repeatedly told that fat is unhealthy, and that fat bodies are inherently damaged. That’s the angle being used here, as Jane Doe died of heart disease, and the promotion for the feature repeatedly stresses ‘the effects of obesity on the body’ and provides images designed to evoke horror, like deposits of adipose tissue and changes in Doe’s skeletal structure. Yet, we know nothing about Doe’s background, and legally, many of the details of her life must be obscured. Does she have a family history of heart disease? A genetic condition? An underlying illness? Can anything be definitively attributed to her weight? Ragen Chastain wrote at length about her concerns with the autopsy, with a specific focus on the bad medicine and bad science involved.

The context

Researchers who work with bodies, especially in educational settings, treat them with profound respect in many cases. They develop connections and relationships with them, whether it’s a deceased patient being autopsied to look for cause of death, a body being dissected in a medical school lab, or a body being allowed to decay under natural conditions to advance the causes of forensic science. People often name their bodies, and come to develop a kind of appreciative affection for them.

At medical schools in particular, it’s common to hold a ceremony at the end of the year. The families of donors may be thanked, particularly in regions where body donation is stigmatised. The thought of exposing a dead body this way is chilling, with no respect for the former person who dwelt within it. Doe’s very body is becoming an object lesson — is that something she consented to? Even if it was, does that make it appropriate? What kinds of thoughts are going through the minds of the organisers of this event?

A panel of fat people will apparently be accompanying the autopsy, but it’s unclear what context, if any, they will provide. It seems unlikely that the panel will include fat activists who push back on bad science and bad medicine, who challenge people to rethink fat. It seems unlikely that the show will discuss fat stigma and medical discrimination experienced by fat people, let alone larger social stigma leveled at fat people. It seems probable instead that the panel will affirm the opinions presented as fact, the perpetuation of the myth that being fat is unhealthy, but a miserable and terrible fate.

The audience

This programme is being aimed at young adults and youth — BBC3 is an online network. While it may be picked up for broadcast on late night, because evidently the content is explicit enough to upset primetime, it’s quite clear that this is intended to scare young people. To bring things back, for a moment, to ‘scared straight,’ it’s notable that the Department of Justice actually came down against the use of fear tactics to cultivate healthy habits in youth. If the organisers genuinely believe that fat is unhealthy and that they need to trigger youth to be ‘healthier’ (i.e. less fat), it seems strange indeed to use a tactic that doesn’t work, and has in fact been shown to have the opposite effect.

Is this science in the public interest? Or is it a freak show, trafficking upon a group of already marginalised people to spin a grotesque, yet fascinating, narrative? This isn’t research: Examining a single cadaver without context provides no real contribution to science. And it’s not education: The goal isn’t to teach people about anatomy and physiology, but specifically to terrify people with a ‘gross’ body.

What it does is guarantee ratings and riveted viewers. And it perpetuates the stigma that surrounds fat people, who are likely to have an even worse go of it than usual in the UK as this airs. Children will taunt each other on the playground. Adults will feel emboldened to make hateful remarks. Physicians will find new reasons to discriminate against fat patients. Employers, thinking of the flayed innards of Jane Doe, will shudder when reviewing fat job applicants. This isn’t just a fiendish mockery of dissection and anatomical research, but something that will do very direct social harm.

Recently, I’d been thinking about anatomical gifts and whether I might like to donate by body for the betterment of society and my fellow humans. This has made up my mind against it, and I’m not the only one.

Three arrested over human trafficking after raid in Highcliffe

Friday, September 9th, 2016

THREE men have been arrested on suspicion of people trafficking offences after a raid at a Highcliffe home.

Officers from Dorset Police and the Home Office’s UK Visas and Immigration team – formerly known as the Border Agency – swooped on the detached house in Lymington Road on Wednesday afternoon.

Three men – a 54-year-old and a 48-year-old, both from Lymington, as well as a 43-year-old from Poole – have now been released on bail until the middle of next month pending further enquiries.
A further three men aged 41 and two aged 52, all of whom are from China, have also been detained.

The raid took place at a quiet stretch of Lymington Road just minutes away from Highcliffe Castle.

Officers parked outside the Lord Bute Hotel and Restaurant before making the arrests at the private property.

The four-bed house is believed to have been bought for more than half a million pounds in September last year.
Owners are completing extensive renovations works to the property, which has a heated 30-foot swimming pool and pump house in the back garden, as well as two summer houses.

Estates agents described it as a “secluded plot”.

A security guard employed by firm Securitas was standing outside of the property throughout Wednesday night and into yesterday morning.

Neighbours have spoken of their shock.

One said: “Some people moved into the house around six or seven months ago I think.

“It’s set back from the road and it’s very private.

“There used to be a five-bar farm gate over the entrance, but the new owners have built a new fence, so it makes it even more isolated.”

A spokesperson from Dorset Police said the men from Lymington and Poole have been arrested on suspicion of human trafficking.

The Chinese nationals have been detained under immigration laws.

They will be dealt with by UK Immigration Services, the spokesperson said.

No one required medical treatment.

Man survives shotgun blast to chest in street shooting in Brixton

Thursday, September 8th, 2016

A man was shot in the chest in broad daylight in an attempted gang hit on a south London street busy with schoolchildren.

The victim, 21, was blasted in the chest from a few yards away with a shotgun, suffering a punctured lung and a severely damaged windpipe.

A schoolboy, 16, who was making his way to the library, was also wounded in the arm after the shooting on the corner of Marcella road in Brixton on May 12.

The 21-year-old only survived thanks to emergency surgery. He went on to make a full recovery. The schoolboy was taken to a south London hospital and later discharged.

The victim dives for his life behind a parked car

Police today released CCTV footage of the victim’s attempt to dive for cover behind a parked car as they hunt three suspects on suspicion of attempted murder.

In the shocking footage, the gunman can be seen taking the sawn-off shotgun off an accomplice, before opening fire from the middle of the street.

The suspects are dressed in black hooded jackets and wearing face masks. After the shooting at 7pm, all three men fled the scene on foot down Ferry Mews towards Brixton road.

The suspected gunman fled on a bicyle while his accomplices fled on foot.

Police are hunting three men who opened fire on a man in the street in Brixton

Police are keen to trace two passers-by who were threatened at gunpoint as the man made his escape.

Detective Constable Jo Ross said: “The 21-year-old victim was fortunate to recover from what were potentially life-threatening injuries at the time of the incident.

“Other passers-by were threatened by having a shotgun pointed at them – these are dangerous people.

The second suspect being hunted by police

“We are keen for the public to give us any information in relation to this appeal, who witnessed the incident or who recognises the suspects.

“It happened in broad daylight and in an area full of schoolchildren.”

The suspects are all described as black men in their 20s wearing dark clothing.

Police also want to trace this man, seen on cctv wearing a baseball cap with a white mark on the peak

Suspect one is of medium build, with a dark coloured bag over his shoulder and wearing black and white gloves.

Suspect two is described as slim, with a dark top with a large white Franklin and Marshall logo across the front, fur-lined hat with ear flaps, dark grey bandana and black trousers.

Suspect three is described as slim, wearing a baseball cap with a white mark on the peak and black gloves.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Terrifying moment man chased by mob and stabbed in Hackney street

Thursday, September 8th, 2016

This is the terrifying moment a man was chased by a mob and stabbed in a vicious street attack in Hackney.

The dramatic CCTV footage shows a man swinging a knife around wildly as the victim, who is in his mid-twenties, flees the gang.

More than 10 people are seen running behind the attackers, kicking and shoving each other as the victim runs for his life.

One of the men police want to speak to is seen running into the brawl, knifing the fleeing victim with a vicious downward strike.

The end of the footage, released by police, shows the two suspects speaking with two women whose faces are blurred. One of the suspects then hugs a woman.

Suspects: The two men police want to speak to following the stabbing. (Met Police)

Police have today stepped up the hunt to find the two men, following the attack on Sunday, May 1.

The victim ran into two on-patrol police officers by chance after being chased down the street by the two suspects.

Detectives today released video of the attack, on Gillett Street at around 5.10am, and photos of the two men they want to speak to.

The first suspect is a black man of average build with his hair tied back on top of his head.. He was wearing a grey hooded top with a yellow ‘A&Fitch’ logo on the front, jeans and dark shoes.

The other suspect is described by police as a bald black man of large build and wearing a light hooded top with a print on the front, dark coloured trousers and light shoes.

Detectives from the Met Police’s specialist gang violence unit – Trident and Area Crime Command – are investigating the assault.

They want to hear from anyone who might recognise the men or who saw the incident.

Anyone with any information is asked to please contact police via 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

The End of Britain

Saturday, December 21st, 2013



Before we explain our important message to you, let me briefly introduce ourselves. Twelve years ago we launched a magazine for investors.  We called it MoneyWeek. MoneyWeek is now the UK’s best-selling financial magazine, and serves tens of thousands of subscribers in more than 60 countries.

You may have heard of MoneyWeek because of the work we’ve done over the last several years – helping investors avoid some of the big disasters associated with the credit collapse.

We warned investors to take their money out of Europe in 2009… to avoid buying the euro… to stay away from the big banks in 2008… and steer clear of property investments in 2007.

We even helped our subscribers find opportunities to profit from the ensuing chaos, by stocking up on gold and a number of other assets unpopular at the time.

To our knowledge, no other publication can match our record of correctly anticipating and predicting the financial crisis.

But that’s not why we wrote this letter.

We cite our success and experience with the crises of the past because there is an even bigger crisis looming – something that we believe will distabilise the very foundations of Britain.

And that is why we’ve spent a significant amount of time and money in the past few months preparing this letter… perhaps the most important letter you’ll receive this year.

This looming crisis is related to the financial crisis of 2008… but it will be infinitely more dangerous. As we’ll explain, there is an unsolvable problem at the heart of our financial system. One that dates back over a hundred years.

In that time this problem has eaten away more than £10 trillion in public funds. It has been at the root of practically every major political argument in this country, and it affects every aspect of the way we live our lives.

Twenty-five Prime Ministers – from both political parties – have come and gone without ever having come close to solving it.

We believe the outcome of this problem is inevitable… and the recession, joblessness and instability you see right now is only the first stage of it. Many people think the slump we’re in now is as bad as it will get.

But the truth is, it’s only the start.

In fact, you will certainly see the consequences of this deep-rooted problem unfold across the cities, towns and villages of Britain. No one will escape the fallout.

In all recorded history, no country has ever recovered from the financial position we find ourselves in today.  No government has ever been able to reverse this trend. No emergency action has ever come close to a solution.

This inescapable problem has only ever had one outcome: financial collapse.

Believe me, we don’t make this prediction lightly and we have no interest in trying to scare you. We’re simply following our research to its logical conclusion.

We did the same when we anticipated the global credit crisis, the property slide and the collapse of the banks.

That’s why, before we go any further, we need to make something clear…

This is the most serious warning we’ve ever made


This is not just about your money. Yes, at its core, money is a big part of the issue. But it goes deeper than that.

What we are going to say is controversial. It will shock many people.  In fact, we anticipate an inbox full of angry emails for what we are about to reveal.

And the ideas and solutions we are going to suggest might seem somewhat radical to you at first.

Way back in 2005 – when we began warning about Britain’s dangerous debt burden – very few took us seriously… not at first. Back then, most mainstream commentators – from the Financial Times to the Daily Mail – just ignored the views we published.

People couldn’t refute our research… but they weren’t ready to accept the enormity of its conclusions either.  Our guess is that, reading this, you may say that too. You’ll say: “There’s no way this could really happen… not here. Not to me.”

But consider this:

No one believed us six years ago when we predicted the oil “super spike” months before it made its 82% climb.

No one believed us five years ago, when we anticipated the slide in the pound, calling our national currency ‘Down and out’.  It has since suffered a long decline and will do so for many years to come.

And no one believed us three years ago when we advised our readers to ‘SELL EUROPE’. The eurozone crisis has since devastated stock markets across the continent.

In each case we were right to issue these controversial warnings early.

Those who received our early insights – our regular readers – would have made and saved thousands from these events. They had quite an advantage.

And that brings us to today…

The same financial problems we’ve been tracking from bank to bank, from company to company for more than five years have now found their way into the heart of our financial system. we’ll explain how this came to be, because what it means is critically important to you and everyone in the country.

The next phase in this crisis could threaten our very way of life.

We predict that everything about your financial life will change: where you bank, how you store your money… when you plan to retire… the way you protect your family and home.

we’ll explain why we believe these events are about to happen. You can decide for yourself if we’re full of hot air. As for us, we are more certain about this looming crisis than we have been about anything else in our publication’s history. It makes us worry about the future for our families.

Here at MoneyWeek, we know that debts don’t just disappear. We know that bailouts have big consequences. We know that printing mountains of money can only end in disaster. And, unlike most of the pundits on TV and in the mainstream press, our analysts understand what’s really going on, and they have made a habit of getting the majority of these big calls right.

Of course, the most important part of this situation is not what is happening… but rather what you can do about it. In other words, will you be prepared when this crisis becomes a national emergency, as we predict?

We fear that most people will not know what to do if banks fold and they are unable to withdraw their savings.  They won’t know what to do if the stock exchange suspends trading. They will be clueless if their pension income dries up. And if their home loses 50% of its value.

If the NHS is sold off and benefits are scrapped, the confusion will turn into rage. Media coverage will be of course, unhelpful.

You can challenge every single one of our facts and we are confident you’ll find that we’re right about each allegation we make. Then you can decide for yourself.

Will you act now and take this chance to protect yourself and your family from the catastrophe that’s brewing right now in our financial system?

We hope so. And that’s why we wrote this letter.

We are going to talk you through exactly what’s happening and what you can do as well. We can’t promise you’ll emerge from this potential crisis completely unharmed – but we sincerely believe you’ll be a lot better off than people who don’t follow the simple steps outlined in this letter.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves a bit.

Let’s start at the beginning.  Here’s why we are so concerned, and what we believe will happen in the very near future…

The downward slide has begun


Britain is about to be flattened by a tidal wave of debt. It doesn’t matter if you vote Conservative, Liberal, Labour, UKIP – or for no party at all. The facts are the facts.

Let’s take a look at some numbers…

Two and a half years ago, when the Coalition government formed, we were already in a huge amount of debt. In fact, the previous government had left the country sinking under £700 billion’s worth. Take a look at the following chart:


The Coalition has spent the last two years desperately and very publically trying to get our finances in order. We’ve had an “austerity” budget. We’ve had tax hikes. We’ve had “the cuts”.

But for all that, our national debt is still growing at an incredible rate.

Despite David Cameron’s talk of “austerity”, he’s going to add an estimated £700 billion to the national debt in just five years. That’s more than Tony Blair and Gordon Brown added to the national debt in eleven years. It’s more than every British government of the past 100 years put together.

The fact is, when you look at our finances as a whole, the Coalition isn’t cutting anything. State spending is going up… our national debt is going up… and our interest payments are going up.

By the next general election in 2015, our national debt is estimated to stand at almost £1.4 trillion, as this chart shows:


It’s clear: our public finances are in an enormous mess. Anyone can see that. And to some extent, some politicians will admit it. But add in our financial, personal and private debts… and an even darker picture emerges…

Compared to the size of our economy, Britain is now one of the most heavily indebted countries in the Western world. That’s official. Our total debts stand at more than FIVE TIMES what our entire economy is worth.

Proportionally, that’s more debt than Italy… Portugal… Spain… and almost twice as much debt as Greece. Those are four countries already in the throes of financial crisis. We’re the odd one out because we haven’t collapsed – yet. But things can’t stay that way for long.

You see, the only countries that have more debt than us are Japan, where the economy has stagnated for 20 years and the stock market has crashed by 75%… and Ireland, where the housing market has crashed 50%, and the government has been forced to accept a bailout.

In fact, our debts tower above almost every other nation’s – here are the figures that prove it:


Source: Haver Analytics; Bank for International Settlements; national central banks; McKinsey Global Institute

That’s absolutely incredible, isn’t it? Yet you’ve probably never seen this fact reported in The Telegraph or on Sky News.

And the worst part is, even THAT isn’t the full story…

Because when you add in all of Britain’s “unfunded obligations” – promises the Government has made on things like public sector pensions – our debts swell to 900% of our economy.

That’s right – when you add everything up, we owe TEN TIMES what our entire economy is worth.

Our political leaders still like to see Britain as a world power. But let’s not delude ourselves.  It’s clear to see: we’re totally broke.

It doesn’t matter which set of figures you use, or which way you look at Britain’s debts. We’re merely talking about different shades of disaster here.

A country can either pay back its debts or it can’t.

And it is very clear to us that Britain can’t.

But how did we get here?

After all, we were once the richest and most powerful nation on earth.

What happened to all of our money?

A dangerous experiment gone wrong

On the 1st of January, 1909, something happened for the first time in British history.

lloyd_georgeThe government agreed to redistribute taxes to support people in their old age. On that day, more than any other, the modern welfare state began in earnest.

The rules were simple. Men aged 70 and above could claim between 2 and 5 shillings per week from the government.

But for all the positive press and good feeling, the government wasn’t really making that big a financial commitment – because back then the average working man could only expect to live to 48 years of age.

That’s the equivalent of offering someone a pension today… but only when they reach the ripe old age of 115. So the idea of rewarding anyone who made it to 70 with a hand-out from the public purse seemed perfectly fair. And more importantly for the government, cheap.

That first year only 500,000 men qualified for a government pension. So at the time there were 10 workers for every pensioner.

Lloyd George initiated a social experiment that would soon spiral out of control.


It was a perfectly workable policy, but few politicians realised that they were setting in motion a sequence of events that would inevitably lead to the crisis Britain faces now.

And let’s not forget, at the beginning of the 20th century, Britain still had a booming overseas Empire. It had yet to fight in the cripplingly expensive First World War. The economy was on a seemingly permanent upward trajectory.

And the idea that Britain could face any kind of decline – financial or otherwise – had not yet entered mainstream thinking. We could afford to pay for a welfare state, so why shouldn’t we implement it?

But there was one problem: now the welfare state had started… no one had any idea where it would stop… or whether it could actually be stopped if it became unaffordable.

We’d created a trap for ourselves… then stepped right into it.


“Please sir, can I have some more?”


It wasn’t until the Second World War was finally over that the welfare state really began to grow…

Welfare was seen as a major part of “Winning the Peace”; keeping the forces of Socialism and Fascism at bay. Of course, politicians soon realised welfare wasn’t just a tool to win the peace. It was also incredibly effective at winning votes too.

This same scenario came to be repeated across the world – in the USA, Japan and across Europe. Seemingly limitless economic growth and prosperity allowed politicians to make an essentially unlimited promise:

The government promised to look after you “from Cradle to Grave”. This single, powerful idea gave government the licence to swell to a size unimaginable just half a century earlier.

The promises got bigger, and so did the cost.

In just a few short years, the size of the welfare state grew, almost uncontrollably, in a flurry of new laws. There was The Butler Act, which reformed schooling. The Family Allowance Act. The National Insurance Act. The National Health Act. The list went on. The problem was, this all came with a nasty side effect. It was immensely expensive.

Everyone assumed we’d be able to pay for it forever.

But they were wrong.

Politicians found themselves totally and utterly caught in this trap. Any attempt to reduce the size of the welfare state was met with often violent resistance in the form of strikes and protests. Or the party trying to cut back – to do the sensible thing – was simply voted out of power.

After all, an ever growing proportion of the population now benefitted from the welfare state, in one way or another. The safety net couldn’t just be pulled away. The government would forever be saddled with an expense that could ONLY grow.

And grow it did:


  • Since public pensions were first introduced, average life expectancy has grown from 48 to 80 – a 67% increase. But the age at which we retire has remained essentially the same. This has resulted in an estimated £5 trillion worth of pension promises the state has made to its citizens – roughly five times what our entire economy is worth. No one has any idea how we’ll pay these. The recent attempts by the government to change the retirement age don’t go anywhere near solving the problem.


  • As people have lived longer, the strain on the NHS – the demand for medication, more doctors, nurses and other staff, as well as a skyrocketing cost of caring for the elderly – has pushed our finances to breaking point.


  • In fact, as state spending has grown, so has the cost of running the welfare system itself. For instance, the state employs half a million civil servants. To put that into perspective, during the height of the British Empire, when Britain ran a quarter of the planet, the state employed just 4,000 civil servants.


If you’re in any doubt just how out of control state spending has become, simply take a look at this:



As you can see, spending has exploded in a way no one could have imagined 100 years ago.

With the idea of welfare being such a vote-winner, no government could take the bull by the horns and cut it back. Not in any meaningful way. They could fiddle round the edges and save a few pennies here and there, but as the population grew larger and lived longer, all they could really do was sit back and let a future generation sort it out.

And now it’s come down to us.

In 2012, for example, the government will spend roughly £120 billion more than it collects in taxes.

Government over-spending = BORROWING


And in a situation like this – when you spend more than you earn – there’s only one way of paying for it. By borrowing money.

That alone is bad enough. But remember, we also have to service our debts – to pay interest on a pile of debt that’s mounting ever higher… debt that we’ll never pay back.

So a vicious cycle was set in motion. Politicians realised that to remain in office they needed to make bigger promises, call for bigger reforms, and ultimately borrow more and more money.

This addiction to debt has spread into every corner of British society. Banks… businesses… the ordinary man on the street – these days they all carry a great weight of debt. Debt has become normal. Want a holiday? Pay for it on credit. Want a new crowd-pleasing cut in taxes? Fund it with debt. To put it bluntly our politicians – so-called educated people who are meant to be looking after our interests – acted like teenagers with their first credit card – all to win votes.

If the UK had been a business or an individual, we’d have been declared bankrupt by now. We’d have been forced to sell our business premises or our home and would have been housed in a run-down flat long ago.

We are broke.  We have been for a long time.

But very soon, it will really hit home.


The most powerful world trend of the next 20 years


So what’s different about today? Why can’t the government just keep giving us MORE – and take on more debt to pay for it. That’s worked for 100 years – why won’t it work now?

The answer to that is simple. The explosion of government spending and government debt has mostly come in the past 30 years. And during that time, it’s been easy and cheap for the government to borrow money.

You see, interest rates on the government’s debt have been steadily falling for thirty years. Here, let us show you…



In 1982 Margaret Thatcher’s government had to pay 15% to borrow money for three years. This came in the form of a bond (a gilt). Anyone with money – be it a rich country or a pension fund – could invest in the bonds, and receive 15% interest in return.

But over time the government’s borrowing costs have fallen – dramatically. Now, the government only has to pay 2% to borrow money over the same period. That’s seven times cheaper than in 1982.

And low interest rates make it easier to borrow money.

Debt has been getting steadily cheaper for three decades. That has allowed the government to borrow more and more money, without having to face the consequences.


But these ‘good times’ are about to come to an abrupt end.


The simple truth is, if interest rates were at their normal rate of 5% – instead of the extremely low 2% they’re at right now – there’s absolutely no way Britain could ever repay its debts. In fact, at normal rates of interest we’re already bust. Not just ‘in over our heads’ but six feet under.

It’s simple maths. If interest rates moved back towards the normal 5% level, our cost of borrowing would triple.

Just to put that into context, if our current debt repayments tripled, the government would have to take drastic action – like abolishing the state pension. Or privatising the NHS. Or pushing tax rates back up to 90%, as they were in the 1960s.

In short, Britain would change radically.


And that’s just if interest rates move back to “normal” levels.

The fact is, when you’re in a lot of debt, interest rates are either your lifeline… or your death sentence. So long as rates stay low, you can just about keep things on track. You can service your debts… keep borrowing… and keep the wolves from your door.

When rates move higher… you get squeezed… and eventually, you’re finished. All of a sudden, you have to find more and more money to cover the interest on your debt.

They say a picture tells a thousand words. So we’ll save a few words and show you this:


Source: Bloomberg

This is an extreme example of what happens when interest rates take off. As you can see, in 2009, the Greek government could borrow money at just 1%. Then in the wake of the financial crisis, the Greek economy hit the rocks, fell into recession and the markets realised what a complete mess the country was in.

Interest rates shot up vertically.  And Greece imploded. Not just financially, but socially and politically too…

As you’ve seen on the news, there have been riots, suicide, overnight poverty, snap elections and crushing general strikes. People couldn’t get their money out of banks fast enough, businesses collapsed. In that environment, just keeping your family safe is a big challenge. That’s the danger of rocketing interest rates to a country with huge debts.

As Douglas Carswell, MP, said recently: “Greece might be the first Western country to discover that you cannot keep running up debts to pay for a lifestyle you did not earn. She will not be the last. The laws of mathematics are universal.”

In Britain, interest rates on government borrowing now stand at record lows. If we’re not at rock bottom, then we’re incredibly close.

That means the most important trend of the next twenty years is almost certainly rising interest rates.

Debt has been getting cheaper for thirty years. Now it’s about to start getting much more expensive.

We’re now facing an unprecedented crisis.  As interest rates rise, our record debts will become impossible to bear.

No one can say how quickly things will escalate. Interest rates could rise overnight. Or they could slowly and inevitably push higher, taking years to slowly strangle the economy, the housing market, the stock market… stripping us all of our wealth one day at a time.

What we can say with certainty is that sooner or later interest rates WILL rise. We’re approaching the day when foreign investors realise the scale of our problems, and demand higher interest rates… or stop lending to us altogether.

When that day arrives, we are certain things will get nasty.

How Britain collapses from within

So what happens to Britain when interest rates rise? What shape will the crisis take? And what does all this mean for you, and your family?


  • The first “flashpoint” will be the banking system. We’ve already seen this across Europe. This is because banks hold huge amounts of government debt. When interest rates rise, the value of government debt (bonds) falls.  Even a small jump in interest rates would wipe billions of capital off banks’ balance sheets. It’s impossible to say exactly which high street banks – if any – could withstand that kind of hit.


Imagine standing outside your bank, not knowing whether you’ll be able to withdraw your savings.(Image © Bloomberg)

As news of the banks’ problems hits the press, and rumours of a new round of bhouse-boarded-up.jpgailouts spread, the public will catch on to what’s happening.  We are likely to see a run on the banks. Picture the scenes we saw at Northern Rock, as people rushed to get their savings back, but ten times worse. That’s because this time round, the government simply won’t have the money to bail the banks out again.

But the crisis will not be confined to the financial sector.

The disturbing reality is that a tiny increase in the interest rates could force tens of thousands of people to miss payments and default on their mortgages.(Image © Bloomberg)

The next domino to fall will be the housing market. Most mortgages are linked to interest rates. As interest rates shoot upwards, millions of people will be pushed “underwater” by a combination of falling housing values and rising mortgage payments.

But that isn’t all…

When a financial system ceases to function, the social fabric begins to fray. We are not simply talking about shares falling or house prices dropping, which is devastating enough. We are talking about the breakdown of social order.

The important thing to realise is that Britain is going to change – very significantly. Things might never be the same again.


A warning from history


Is this all too alarming? Some of our critics would say so.

Most people think Britain’s debt collapse can’t happen. Of course, it’s hard to picture. Banks look safe until they announce they’re broke. Governments say everything’s under control, until they beg for bailouts.

These events often come as a shock to the public. Many people assume they’ll never happen. But assumptions can be misleading. Especially ones that are widely held.

The Victorians thought the British Empire would last forever.  Americans in the 20s thought the stock market boom would never end.  And here in the UK, during the 90s and early 2000s, we thought we could keep borrowing and spending forever.

But if you need any convincing of how quickly things can change… of how rapidly order can turn into chaos… history offers us a number of painful reminders.

Let’s take just one of them…
In the early 20th century Argentina was one of the world’s largest economies. Rich in natural resources, a massive industrial sector, so cultured they called Buenos Aires the Paris of South America. In fact, a popular saying 100 years ago was as ‘rich as an Argentine.’

But fast forward to the end of the 20th century, and things looked very different. Argentina’s borrowing spiralled out of control…


A debt implosion isn’t pretty. Order very quickly turns into chaos. That’s what happens during a debt collapse.(Image © Bloomberg)

As Argentina’s debt accumulated in the late 90s, its financial system buckled. Austerity measures were put in place (sound familiar?), businesses closed, trade fell off a cliff and investment fled the country by the billion…

Come early-2001 the country was in a state of siege, with banks blocking cash withdrawals, rioting in the streets and the total collapse of government.  So desperate were villagers for food, they hijacked livestock trucks and slaughtered the animals in the streets.

To give you some idea of how bad things got – and how quickly they escalated… you need to listen to our man in Argentina, Federico Tessore. Federico is one of our private network of analysts. He worked as a Financial Advisor for Citibank in Buenos Aries at the time, experiencing the chaos first hand.

He’s got quite a story to tell…




“It was 2001… the US had just suffered the 9/11 attacks, many Argentines were frightened about what could happen in America. It was chaos. So they decided to bring back their money to Argentina…

But that was a terrible mistake, because in December of 2001 the Argentinian government created the “corralito”. In English you would say “playpen”, I think… we called it a “money prison”.

This meant that you could only get out 500 US dollars per week in cash from your bank account. It didn’t matter if you had $1 million in the bank, in cash… you could only get $500 per week.

For two months this madness continued, until the government decided to convert the US dollar deposits into Argentinian pesos…

The official exchange rate was 1.4 to 1, but the illegal market exchange rate was 3 to 1. Even worse, this conversion was not in cash. The government created a 10-year bond for the depositors.

So, people that had a $100,000 deposit in the bank were given an Argentina pesos 140,000 10-year bond…

This of course enraged people, who stormed into the banks very angry. I was working at the Citibank bank at the time.  I saw what was happening from the inside.  More than once my life was threatened by desperate customers who just wanted to get their money back. I had to talk with thousands of people per day, many old people, and try to explain what was happening… it was almost impossible.

One of the hardest parts, was to explain why the international banks like Citibank, decided not to recognize the dollar deposits to their customers. They had the money abroad to do that. But they didn´t do it. They basically defrauded their own customers…

The depositors attacked the banks, rioting outside, smashing the windows… all the walls where painted with insults and complaints. We had to enter the bank escorted by the police… it was like living in hell.”


It’s a chilling story… within three or four years the country fell into financial and social anarchy. And what happened next? Well, Argentina wasn’t crossed off the map. It still exists. But twelve years on, it’s barely recovered. Conditions for many honest, hard-working people are simply terrible. They are still trying to understand what happened to their tattered country.

The government has raided public pensions, the stock market is depressed and the global market steers well clear of Argentine bonds. It’s not complicated. Once your country has imploded and trust in systems and institutions has evaporated, investment stays away for decades.

Regular Argentines now hoard gold. Endless government scams and corruption have made them suspicious and distrustful.  And a culture of short-termism pervades.

But that’s Argentina, right? A crazy South American country full of impulsive hot-heads and corrupt politicians. That could never happen here in Britain. That could never happen to us.


Anyone around fifty years old will know that, we’ve had our own taste of financial and social collapse, in the relatively near past.

Around forty years ago, Britain entered its own ‘lost decade’ of economic chaos…



“Them Was Rotten Days.”


The Smiths

Back in the 1970s inflation ate into cash savings at a rate of 28%. Yes, 28%. It seemed like every time you turned your back, bank savings lost more of their value. Every single day, you became a little poorer.
The FT30 entered the worst bear market in history, falling 73% between 1973 and 1974. Even gilts – our so-called “safe-haven” – collapsed as interest rates went sky high.

Rising interest rates buckled the financial system. But it went deeper than that. The speed of the social breakdown was frightening…

It seems insane now, but social order quickly breaks down when the money stops flowing. Britain’s coming debt implosion could plunge us back to the darkest days of the 1970s. (Image © Getty)

The general strike meant dead bodies went unburied as gravediggers joined the picket line… Stinking piles of rubbish rotted on the streets, towering inside Leicester Square… Those lucky enough to have jobs had to swallow huge wage-cuts during the infamous ‘three-day-week’. Shoppers scoured supermarket shelves by torchlight during blackouts.

“We used to think you could spend your way out of recession and increase employment by boosting government spending… I tell you that option no longer exists. And so far as it ever did exist, it only worked on each occasion… by injecting a bigger dose of inflation into the economy, followed by a higher level of unemployment as the next step.”callaghan.jpg


 Jim Callaghan. (Image © Getty)


These words are amongst the most important ever uttered in the history of modern British politics. Unfortunately, almost everyone has forgotten them.

For a left wing Prime Minister to admit that too much state spending is dangerous SHOULD have marked a big turning point in our history.

But of course, it didn’t – as this chart so aptly illustrates:That’s not to mention the violent civil unrest, where thousands of the unemployed and strikers clashed with the police. For millions of people trying to keep their hard-earned money secure, it was a nightmare.

As the top rate of income tax peaked at 83% in 1974, foreign investment steered away from Britain as if it were an island colony of lepers. We were the ‘sick man of Europe’.

Property and banking crises meant that, people’s lives changed dramatically for the worse: jobs were lost, family businesses closed, people had to dig deep into their savings just to make ends meet. The country was brought to its knees.

So when we’re talking about financial emergencies, don’t be under any illusions. It can happen here in Britain just as it can happen anywhere – given the right conditions.

In 1976, humiliated, the UK government had to be rescued by the International Monetary Fund, with Jim Callaghan going cap-in-hand to beg for a huge bailout. Humbled, he delivered what was meant to be a wake-up call for the British financial and political system:





In the 1970s the spend-borrow-spend experiment should have ended. It should have been our wake-up call. But we just kept on spending. So long as interest rates kept going down, there was always a way to put off the pain… a reason to borrow more… a justification for not balancing the books.

But the day of reckoning is approaching.


Well, we can’t say exactly. It might be a long, slow drawn-out process that drains your wealth over the next decade. Or this time next year, the financial system could be breaking apart. It’s impossible to say.

But we think that savers and investors who are not aware of the full risks – and who fail to protect themselves – will suffer the most.

The vast majority of people here in Britain will have no idea what action to take as they watch their wealth and financial security drain away, out of reach, perhaps forever.

The important question for you is:

When this happens, will you know what to do?


The problem facing everyone in Britain


When these events unfold, very few people will have any idea how to respond.  Most will see the assets they have worked all their life to secure begin to lose value, rapidly.

It won’t matter if you have £5,000 in the bank or £500,000. It won’t matter if you own a five bedroom house in Esher or a one bedroom flat in Croydon. This crisis will lay waste to the wealth of anyone who isn’t prepared for it.

The most horrible feeling will be the loss of control and the confusion.

Desperate to take some sort of action, many people will feel pressured into making investments that could blow up in their faces.

The cost of making the wrong move with your money, over the next few years, could be lasting. What if your money is trapped in one of the banks that collapse? What if your invested wealth is stuck in one of the companies most likely to crash? This is about knowing what you CAN do with your money if the worst of the crisis unfolds.

Our intention is not to be melodramatic. But if events unravel as we expect, thousands of people will lose a lot of what they have. And they won’t be able to do a thing about it.

By the time most people have pieced it all together, or the true significance of this information makes the headline news in the financial press, it will be too late. And that’s why so many people could get caught out and lose so much money.

It’s essential you prepare for these events. You can’t rely on mainstream commentators to help you.

So who do you listen to?


Warning: Prepare for this disaster or you could lose a serious amount of money.


For most people, disasters of this magnitude come out of the blue.

But for our readers, financial crises are rarely a surprise. Often, we spot these dangers approaching – as we have this one – and give our readers time to prepare.

For more than a decade MoneyWeek has been sharing its insights with private investors. We have helped steer them away from dangerous areas of the market, into profitable ones.

In short, we have a track record of getting many of these things right.

We gave our warning to steer clear of British banks as early as 2005.

But when they crashed in 2007, a lot of Britons still had their money tied up in banking shares – and they lost a lot of it.

Let’s take another example – property.

In October 2006, both the FT and Telegraph were singing property’s praises.


“Property prices take off as buyers return to the market”
– The Telegraph, 12 October 2006.

“Property boom extends across UK”
– The FT, 13 October 2006.


But we saw things differently. Our research told us the market had dangerously topped-out. Our message was loud and clear:


“Get out of property NOW!”
MoneyWeek, October 2006 – February 2007


Within just a year the property market began its steep fall – just as we’d warned.mywk-graph1.jpg

We don’t know if you personally lost money in the property collapse, but many people did. Thanks to the the UK’s obsessive property mania, egged on by the mainstream media , many unfortunate people timed one of the most important investments of their lives completely wrong.

On the other hand, those that listened to our timely warning had the opportunity to secure their wealth.

“Without the catalyst of MoneyWeek I surely would be part of the herd and suffered greater losses through these challenging times – that is a fact.”
T Le Grange, Southampton

mywk-graph2.jpgAnother example…

When we predicted the oil “super spike” in May 2006 those that listened made a swift 82% gain.

We have a track record of getting many big calls right. We’re proud of it. It’s what makes us confident and serious about the job we do here at MoneyWeek – providing crucial and lucrative insight on the markets.

“This is simply a note of thanks to you and your staff in providing a publication that has personally guided me into safer financial waters during this time of uncertainty.
Simon Bradley, Bournville, Birmingham

Throughout 2007 we repeatedly warned our readers to ditch the FTSE while the mainstream commentators – with great confidence – wrongly reassured investors there was nothing to worry about:

“The FTSE giants have nothing to fear” mywk-graph3.jpg
– Telegraph, 29 July 2007


Once again, our team saw which way the wind was blowing.

“Here comes the crunch”
– MoneyWeek, 27 July 2007


And right before the colossal crash of 2008 we issued a stark warning: “The credit carnage is far from over.”

Our readers had the time to get out and avoid the pain felt by thousands of investors.

“I have to hand it to you… you have forecast everything during the downturn and none of this is vaguely a surprise to you.Bob Lindo, Camel Valley Vineyards, Cornwall.mywk-cover1.jpg


More recently we gave our readers advance warning about both the Eurozone crisis and China’s economic downturn. And showed them the best ways to profit from both.

Our message right now is that we believe Britain is entering a long, downward cycle. One that is likely to be punctuated by a devastating financial, and even social collapse.

Our research group draws upon the knowledge and experience of some of the brightest and most forward-thinking financial minds in the country.

The MoneyWeek team includes:

An award-winning defensive asset manager who’s responsible for more than £1bn in client money.

A financial publishing magnate and self-made millionaire.

One of the most respected financial commentators in Britain.
A well-known peer and one of the most celebrated financial thinkers in Britain.

And one man, so innovative in his reading of the markets, he now advises the European Commission…

These are men and women who spend every day of their lives either working in, or analysing, the financial markets… but who, most importantly, do NOT get swallowed up by mainstream viewpoints.   They are smart, independent people who aren’t afraid to seriously question conventional wisdom, to stand apart from their peers and cosy group-think, and to see what’s really going on beneath the surface.

The fact is that many ideas about investing, which emerged over the past few decades, have to be radically re-evaluated.  The idea that you can just ‘buy and forget it’ – whether we’re talking shares or property – is plain wrong. That’s how things used to work. But not any more. That kind of wrong-thinking over the coming months and years, could be disastrous for you.

Over the last decade we have shown our readers where the markets were heading months, sometimes years in advance. The value of that insight is incalculable. We have mywk-cover3.jpghelped keep safe the ambitions and financial futures of countless people.

Again, we cite our success and experience with the crises of the past because there is an even bigger crisis looming.

Britain’s huge accumulation of debt means its fate has already been sealed. We are about to pay for what we have borrowed, and in the worst possible way.

If you have any remaining doubts that a day of financial reckoning approaches… read the next page of this letter – and we’ll prove it to you, conclusively.

Claim your 4 FREE issues & FREE reports!

Escape is impossible


If you take one thing away from this presentation, it should be this:

In recorded economic history, every single country with debts as big as ours – every single one – has suffered a devastating economic collapse. There are NO exceptions.

For example…

During the Great Depression – when thousands of ordinary people lost everything – America’s total debt hit 252% of GDP. In any circumstances, that’s bad.

But things can get worse. During the Japanese economic collapse – which triggered more than two decades of deflation and a 75% drop in the stock market – Japanese total debt hit 498% of GDP. That’s twice as bad as the level of debt seen in America during the Great Depression.

If Britain’s current debts were at those kinds of levels, it would be worrying. But in truth, our debts are now much worse than either of those two examples.

Shockingly, our debt load is now on a scale comparable with one of the most frightening economic disasters of the 20th century…

We’re talking about the Weimar Republic.

Back then, suffering under the weight of brutal war reparations, civil unrest and shattered public finances, the Weimar Republic’s total debt equalled 913% of its economy.

I’m sure you know what happened next: the government printed money and hyperinflation took off. In the end, it was cheaper to decorate your home with bank notes than wallpaper.  Ultimately, the country descended into a period of economic and social crisis… a catastrophe that ended with the rise of the Nazi party.

And that was with debts worth 913% of the economy.

Today, Britain’s total debt equals 900% of the economy.

When you add in our financial sector debt, government debt, personal debt and corporate debts… our debt load rivals the Weimar Republic in scale.

To put it mildly, this worries us a great deal. It should worry you, too. Because this simple fact alone proves just how inevitable Britain’s coming crisis is.

Remember, as you saw earlier the only thing delaying the crisis right now is the fact that interest rates are at historical lows. That’s what allows life to carry on “as normal”.

But things won’t be this way for long.

Because the simple fact is:

When interest rates rise – and they WILL rise – Britain will face the greatest crisis in generations.

And there’s one more thing you need to consider.

The first danger you face won’t be the falling price of your shares… nor will it be the insolvency of the banks. Those things, we believe, will happen. But first, you face an even more immediate threat:

The desperate actions of our own government.


How the government could seize your wealth


There is nothing the government can do to solve the debt crisis. Better people than David Cameron and George Osborne have tried to get out of similar crises in the past – and failed. As you have seen, the hole we have dug for ourselves is simply too big to ever fill back in.

But that won’t stop politicians making a series of bad decisions to fight the inevitable, while they are still in power. They must be seen to be doing something. And that’s bad news for you.

As the crisis deepens, panic will take hold. In a desperate attempt to pay off the debts and try to regain control, politicians will cast around for any sources of money available, and use almost any means to seize it.

Invariably, that means they’ll turn to their primary source of income: you.

Throughout history, when countries are in financial crisis, governments automatically raid the wealth of their citizens. It’s all they can do.

It goes as far back as Ancient Rome. As the Empire crumbled and inflation raged, the Emperors raised taxes over and over, squeezing as much coin as they could from their subjects.

Back to the 20th century…  In 1933, President Roosevelt signed executive order 6102, forbidding the man on the street to hold any significant amount of gold. In the midst of the Great Depression, the government basically made it illegal for anyone but them to hoard the precious yellow metal. Refusal to comply with these demands was met with a five year prison sentence. That’s essentially how the US filled Fort Knox – by seizing other people’s gold.

Just last year in Hungary, facing a debt crisis similar to our own, the government nationalised all pensions. In effect, they confiscated people’s savings. Can you imagine waking up one day and being told that the income for the last 30 years of your life hangs on a government promise?

In Greece right now, benefits have been cut to the bone, salaries and pensions have been slashed up to 40% and the retirement age has been hiked to generate more income from the population – the very victims of the crisis.

But you don’t have to look too far from home to find one of the cruellest examples of seizing private wealth. In 1974, the top rate of income tax under Edward Heath was 83%. Imagine how it would feel to be so blatantly fleeced by your own government.

In other words, in times of financial panic, the government will come after the people with money and savings.  If you are someone who has worked hard, been responsible, considered the future, thought about your family, planned for your old age, and built up savings and some wealth – you are the prime target.

The government and financial authorities will never admit this, of course.  They will never announce or admit to these ‘confiscation’ policies. In fact, their official statements are designed to conceal it.

And yet, in the end, their actions and the new controls they implement will undermine some of the core principles of the British way of life:

The protection of private property.  Individual freedom.  The rule of law.  Clear limitations on the role of the State.  Or to put it colloquially: “an Englishman’s home is his castle”.

It’s not just your home that will come under threat, it’s your money. And the outcome could be very uncomfortable indeed.

Just imagine the following situations:


  • Your spending money limited: You set off to take a brief holiday on the Mediterranean. As you go through security at the airport, you are asked to reveal how much money you have on you.  You take out your wallet.  Anything over £500 is confiscated.  And you can’t use your credit cards overseas.


  • Your investments restricted: You come across an interesting investment idea, that involves buying a foreign share.  You open up your online stockbroking account and search for it.  Instead of the usual ticker code and information, all that appears is an error message: “Sorry, but overseas shares are no longer available”.


  • A dividend super-tax: You decide to review your investments, and look through your latest pension and broker statements. To your dismay, you find that the dividend income you expected is much, much lower than usual. You notice a small note at the bottom of the statement. It says, “Dividend income is now subject to additional Dividend Control Tax, at 25%”.


  • Your pension, downgraded: You are watching the ten o’clock news, when the newsreader calmly announces the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s latest policy.  It’s a bombshell.  In three months’ time, all private pensions will be nationalised “in the national interest”, and the government will take control of all pension provision.

In Europe, right now, in Italy, Spain and Greece, wealth restrictions are already beiWinston-Churchill.jpgng implemented..

These measures have already been discussed amongst Eurozone finance chiefs. Limiting the size of withdrawals from cash machines, border checks, the suspensions of free travel between countries… there are draft plans to initiate these extreme measures under desperate circumstances.

Considering the UK has one of the largest debt to GDP ratios on the planet, how long will it be before your money is seized by our cash-strapped government? Will it be when interest rates creep up 1%… 2%? It’s impossible to predict exactly.


“A nation trying to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle”. Winston Churchill (Image © Bloomberg)


Unfortunately, you cannot stop the government taking this course of action. Even worse, these measures will primarily be aimed at people exactly like you. People who have worked hard, saved their money and paid their taxes. There may be resistance, even mass protests, but if things get bad enough, we think capital controls WILL be put in place once again.

Remember how Britain got into this dangerous situation in the first place:

The enormous cost of welfare started spiralling. We had to borrow hundreds of billions to service it. We had to pay interest on that borrowing. The debt has grown and grown. Soon the rates of interest could rocket. At that point the government cannot function. And very soon we believe they will target YOU and your wealth to pay for everything.

But that doesn’t mean you have to just sit there and accept it. In a moment, we’ll show you a special Wealth Preservation Report that outlines investments you can make right now to help keep your money out of the government’s grasp.

How soon do you need to make them? That’s up to you, of course. But ask yourself: do you want to risk making them too late? Before the real crisis even hits… before the banks buckle and the stock market hits record lows… the government could have a strangle-hold on your wealth.

Our advice is simple: don’t let that happen. Let our research group show precisely how to respond.

We’ll immediately send you:

An urgent ‘Wealth Preservation Report’, revealing three moves you can make right away to start protecting your money. It will cost you nothing. And it’s yours to keep and use.

The next four issues of MoneyWeek for FREE – showing you how our team of expert investors are preparing for the coming debt implosion.

Let us show you how to preserve your wealth


Now that you understand the danger Britain faces – and the events we believe will take place in the near future – we’d like to show you exactly what we think you can do to defend yourself.

Our company has offices across the world – not just here in Britain, but in America, France, China, India, South America and Australia. As you’ve seen, our network includes an award-winning defensive investor; a financial publishing magnate; one of the most popular writers for The Financial Times; as well as a series of highly respected investors, economists and analysts.

We exist for one reason: To help arm you with the information and know-how to protect – and grow – your money no matter what. We do this by sharing our insights, analysis and advice through Britain’s most popular financial publication: MoneyWeek magazine.

You may already have heard about MoneyWeek magazine – many of our writers are well known financial commentators.  merryn.jpg


For instance, our Editor in Chief, Merryn Somerset Webb, regularly appears on Radio 4’s Today programme, the BBC News, Moneybox, and Working Lunch.

john.jpgOur Editor, John Stepek, is equally well respected in the financial community. You may already have seen him on Newsnight, BBC News or CNBC.

On the other hand, many of our regular contributors prefer not to share their financial insight publicly – choosing to keep a lower, but no less influential, profile.

For example, our defensive expert Tim Price has won City bill.jpgawards for his ability to keep his clients’ money safe in times of crisis.

And one of our most popular contributors, our owner and publisher, Bill Bonner, is a New York Times best-selling financial author.

But without exception, their very best ideas reach the readers of MoneyWeek magazine. We believe this places our readers amongst the most knowledgeable and successful investors in the country.

And our history of getting the big calls right backs this belief up.

Not only that, but we highlighted ways our readers could protect their wealth, and turn these problems to their advantage. It’s no exaggeration to say that this kind of advice has helped many of our readers save and make thousands of pounds.

Our belief is, you CAN survive the coming crisis… but only if you have the knowledge, and the know-how, to keep your wealth safe.

MoneyWeek magazine aims to provide you with this knowledge – starting with your free Wealth Preservation Report.


Here’s what you need to do – urgently


Clearly, the most important thing right now is to be aware of what’s coming. The worst thing that can happen to you is to be left in the dark as the crisis escalates.

You can make a choice today. You can take positive action to get ahead of the coming disaster… or you can do nothing, and trust that your wealth and financial security – everything you’ve worked so hard for – will survive the events we believe are coming.

Do you want to risk being one of the thousands of people that could be standing outside a bank all day, not knowing whether you’ll get your savings back… or whether your savings still exist?

Do you want to be one of the millions of people who panic when the price of basic staples like food and fuel skyrockets?

Do you want to be left helpless when the stock exchange suspends trading, the stock market crashes or the government raids your wealth in a desperate attempt to stay afloat?

Or do you want to start taking action today to defend yourself?

The MoneyWeek magazine team has put together a free report to arm you with all the information you’ll need to face the coming crisis:Wealth_Preservation.jpg

Your “Wealth Preservation Report”.

It’s impossible for anyone to give you one piece of advice to see you through the entire crisis. You will need ongoing insight to navigate through Britain’s coming debt collapse.

But we have selected three crucial moves you can make right now so you will be starting out in the best possible position to protect yourself from the threats we see coming.

Firstly, we’ll help you make a handful of key investments that aim to protect you from currency debasement, rampant inflation – and of course, the threat of hyperinflation.

Secondly, we’ve uncovered several key income-producing investments you can make today, to start sending a big stream of income your way. In times like this, you’re going to need all the income you can get to offset any losses, and keep your money on sound footing.

Thirdly, and in many ways most importantly, we’ve found several “bolt holes” outside the UK you can move a part of your wealth into right away. Not only will these investments help you escape Britain’s looming economic collapse… they could also turn you a handy profit in the coming years.

Plus we’d like to help you through every step of the crisis, every week in MoneyWeek.

As things change, as the debt crisis deepens, our team will update you and recommend new investments to respond to new challenges as they arise.

But the fact is, the information in these reports is just the beginning. The investments we recommend are aimed at putting  your money in the right place, right now. We want to make certain you begin this crisis on a sure footing.

Frankly, no one can know for sure how this crisis will develop… or what unexpected events Britain will face in the coming months. No one can know how quickly things will escalate.

That’s why we believe MoneyWeek magazine will be essential to your survival in these times. We’ll bring you vital updates on what’s happening… as well as providing you with ongoing recommendations you can implement to help keep your wealth safe.

We hope you’ll make MoneyWeek magazine part of your regular weekly reading. Because, as you’ve seen, we have a long history of moving quickly ahead of major changes in the markets. Over the last decade, it’s paid to have us on your side.

Some of the most respected financial minds in Britain have praised MoneyWeek for its timely, against the grain insight.


“I recommend MoneyWeek to anyone who wants to make the most of their money.”


Hugh Hendry, CEO, Eclectica Asset Management


“If you only wanted to take one step to improve your financial situation I would recommend that step be to subscribe to MoneyWeek and read it every week.Andrew_Craig.JPG


Andrew Craig, Author of “Own The World”


“If you want to be informed, ahead of the pack and enhance capital, then Jim-Mellon.jpg you’d better read MoneyWeek.”


Jim Mellon, award-winning investment author and Chairman of Burnbrae Ltd

As Britain’s debt-bomb ticks ever closer to detonation, we believe you will need the advice and ongoing insight of our researchers and writers. You have seen how our warnings of the last decade have helped make and save investors thousands of pounds.

But please, don’t just take our word for it. We want you to hold MoneyWeek in your hand and see for yourself before you make any decision.

To prove to you just how important MoneyWeek magazine could be to your wealth and financial security, we’d like to send you the next three issues of our magazine, completely free of charge.

That means you’ll be able to implement the ‘crisis moves’ provided in your free reports today… and benefit from MoneyWeek magazine’s unique insights for the next four weeks, without paying a penny.

That gives you the time to judge our research and analysis for yourself. And of course, if you’re not convinced that MoneyWeek is for you, just contact us at any time during your 4-week FREE trial, and we’ll stop your subscription immediately. The 4 issues we send you will be yours to keep regardless. And you will have the free Wealth Preservation Report, too. Valuable information that could save you thousands if the crisis worsens.

However, if you decide that the expert advice in MoneyWeek is well worth having every week, then we’d like to offer you a very attractive price indeed…

The usual cost of MoneyWeek is £175.95 for a full year.

But we want you to benefit from our insights and advice, and not be inhibited by the price. So, if you decide to continue receiving MoneyWeek after your 4 FREE issues, we’d like to offer you a special subscription for only £19.95 every 13 weeks (13 issues) through Direct Debit. That’s a saving of 56% off the cover price.

Alternatively, you can choose to pay by credit card and enjoy a whole year (51 weekly issues) of privileged investment knowledge in MoneyWeek magazine for just £89.95 – a saving of 49%.

We are extremely worried about the events unfolding around us right now, and the solvency of our financial institutions and our country. Quite simply, we want you to benefit from our advice and experience.

Protect yourself from the coming storm


We are preparing our readers for a financial crisis that will put everything they have worked hard to secure in real danger. Events of this magnitude do not come around very often. That is why most people will simply fall victim to it.

But when they do happen, you must be ready for it – or risk losing everything.

Ask yourself:

Could I face losing a large portion of my money, at this stage of my life?

Could I happily retire, knowing I won’t be able to live the way I have always dreamed… knowing I cannot leave my kids with as much as I hoped?

Could I forgive myself if I did nothing to protect my investments and family, even after this serious warning?

Today you have an opportunity to prepare yourself against Britain’s coming debt implosion. Don’t waste it.  It will cost you nothing to see what we believe you need to do urgently. And it will cost you practically nothing to continue to receive our advice as the crisis deepens.

Do nothing and you could be watching your shares  falling in value, your home losing thousands and the government pinching every penny it can out of your pocket. Will you know what to do? Will you know how to respond?

Don’t let yourself become one of the thousands of people here in the UK looking back with regret, wondering ‘what if I’d listened… what if I’d done something…’

We are offering to show you precisely how we think you should position your wealth right now – before it’s too late. Claim your first four issues and your crucial ‘Wealth Preservation Report’ immediately – absolutely free. You can download it now.



Yours sincerely,

The MoneyWeek Team

PS. Remember, as soon as you start your trial we’ll send you a free copy of our Wealth Preservation Report, showing you ways to respond to these threats.

This report is your to keep, regardless of whether you stay on as a MoneyWeek reader.






£10 trillion in public funds – MoneyWeek calculations based on historical welfare spend
UK Total Debt as a percentage of GDP – Debt and deleveraging: Uneven progress on the path to growth, McKinsey Global Institute, 2 January 2012
500,000 pensioners in 1909 – BBC article: The state pension turns 100, 31 July 2008 Average life expectancy – World Bank data, 31 October 2012
An estimated £5 trillion government debt – IEA article: True level of UK government debt exceeds £5 trillion, 12 November 2012
£120 billion net borrowing – Office for National Statistics: Public Sector Finances August 2012, 21 September 2012
MP Douglas Carswell quote – The End of Politics and The Birth of iDemocracy
James Callaghan quote – British Political Speech, Blackpool 1976, 28 September 1976
America, Japanese and Weimar Republic total debt – Global Financial Data, Bridgewater’s An In-Depth Look at Deleveragings report, February 2012
Salaries and pensions slashed up to 40% – The Guardian: Greece is ripe for radical change, 8 November 2012
Euro zone discussed capital controls – Reuters, 12 June 2012
For the calculations of UK debt, and more information about the charts, click here.

Information in MoneyWeek magazine is for general information only and is not intended to be relied upon by individual readers in making (or not making) specific investment decisions. Appropriate independent advice should be obtained before making any such decision. MoneyWeek Ltd, Registered Office: 8th Floor, Friars Bridge Court, 41-45 Blackfriars Road, London SE1 8NZ. Customer service queries: 020 7633 3780. Registered in England No.: 4016750 VAT.: 760 8510 33



Stand up for your country

Saturday, May 11th, 2013

Copy and paste this below and read it please.

After reading this i think its time we stand up for our selfs. We are told what we can eat where we can smoke where we can drive where we can live, it will be what air we can breath next. Were is it going to stop ? It wont unless we stop it.

This country use to be a place when men and women stood up for what they believed in, but it seams on longer are we really spineless ?

Our fathers and there fathers and our mothers to stood up and defended this country so we could be free people, and have the right to live free. This now seams to be a waist of time.

We once again need to rise up and march on london not in anger but as one VOICE, and say enough is enough. We need to bring this country to a stand still until we get our basic rights back, to live where we want for as long as we want.



Al Qaeda on Strike

Sunday, April 11th, 2010

BBC News – Muslim suicide bombers in  Britain are set to begin a three-day strike on Monday in a dispute over the number of virgins they are entitled to in the afterlife.  Emergency talks with Al Qaeda have so far failed to produce an agreement.

The unrest began last Tuesday when Al Qaeda announced that the number of virgins a suicide bomber would receive after his death would be cut by 25% this February from 72 to 60.  A company spokesman said increases in recent years in the number of suicide bombings has resulted in a shortage of virgins in the afterlife.

The suicide bombers’ union, the British Organization of Occupational Martyrs ( or B.O.O.M. ) responded with a statement saying the move was unacceptable to its members and called for strike vote.  General Secretary Abdullah Amir told the press, “Our members are literally working themselves to death in the cause of Jihad. We don’t ask for much in return but to be treated like this is like a kick in the teeth”.

Speaking from his shed in Tipton in the  West Midlandsin , Al Qaeda chief executive Osama bin Laden explained, “I sympathize with our workers concerns but Al Qaeda is simply not in a position to meet their demands. They are simply not accepting the realities of modern-day Jihad in a competitive marketplace.  Thanks to Western depravity, there is now a chronic shortage of virgins in the afterlife.  It’s a straight choice between reducing expenditures or laying people off.  I don’t like cutting benefits but I’d hate to have to tell 3,000 of my staff that they won’t be able to blow themselves up.”
Spokespersons for the union in the North East of England ,  Ireland , Wales and the entire Australian continent stated that the change would not hurt their membership as there are few virgins in their areas anyway.

According to some industry sources, the recent drop in the number of suicide bombings has been attributed to the emergence of Scottish singing star, Susan Boyle.  Many Muslim jihadists now know what a virgin looks like and have reconsidered their benefit packages.


Monday, April 5th, 2010

This is England not Islam, and it’s about time we stood up to be counted before there is not enough of us left to be.

This country is being invaded be people from country’s that if we went there and did it we would be put in chains. But no this government no longer work for the people of this country, they work for whoever pays them the most.

It’s about time we said stop and stood up for what we believe in time us as a people were heard. Every other fucker protest in this country and gets away with it (THIS IS ENGLAND AND WE ARE ENGLISH) this use to mean something, now it means come on over and walk all over us. Well I think it time to stop it happening it’s time to take England back. It’s time to stop giving money to others and help this country out; the saying is charity begins at home so that’s where we should start first.

I am fed up to the back teeth with political correctness and the fact my freedom of speech is gone. I am no longer English I am a sheep doing as I am told being lead to the slaughter.

There was a time when we stood up for what we believed in now we just take it lying down ever chance the government get they FUCK US IN THE ASS and we say thank you very much, can we have more.

It’s time for a change time to say no more people in here the closed signs need to go up, time to start looking after the ones that are here and not the ones that are coming here. Time to stop having a mosque on every corner.

Time England meant something again time for action no longer time for words that are never heard, time to get in the street’s and shout about what we as a people want and we don’t want what we are getting now. We want are freedom back are right to say what we like when we like, are right not to be arrested in our own country for standing up for our self’s. Are right to say NO MORE and for it to be heard.

For all of you that think this is a racist thing its not its an England thing its the right to say no the right to save my country for me and not for others.

Silly Little Muslim Boys

Friday, April 2nd, 2010

Here is a street gang in Brixton, south London, who refer to themselves as the Muslim Boys. They are an interesting group.

They share many common features with other street gangs across the country. They are drawn from the young black community of a socially deprived area. They have little, if any, parental control or guidance.

What separates the Muslim Boys from your average firearm toting street yobs is the religious angle. How this particular group came to be followers of Islam is unclear, but most members seem to have converted whilst in prison.

Such institutions provide fertile hunting grounds for those that seek to brainwash. Angry young criminals are angry with society, and are looking for someone to blame for their situation. Without parental figures to guide them, they turn to peer groups or apparent role models. This is where the ‘preachers’ come in. Their twisted version of Islam provides reasons to the youth. No longer are they to blame for their own actions. Suddenly, if the ways of the preacher are followed, it all becomes clear. They gain a version of a religion that justifies their actions and provides an alternative support structure for their lives.

This story is familiar to those that follow the news both here and abroad. What sets the Brixton Muslim Boys apart is their deviation from the traditional route followed by the new convert to extremism. The bombers of 7th July are known to have been pious and traditional in their outward expression of Islam. They became more devout immediately prior to their deaths. Although no details have yet emerged, it is highly likely that these suicide bombers were set on their murderous trail by so-called religious leaders. These leaders will have been of the same ilk that converted the Brixton Muslim Boys. The Brixton version have continued with their violent criminality, becoming heavily involved in drug supply and firearms offences. They have also been linked to shootings and murders. There is no suggestion that the Muslim Boys are going to detonate themselves however.

This gang have more in common with the terrorist groups  than the Islamist groups of tradition. These carried on acts of organised criminality under the umbrella of religion, much as the Muslim Boys do. It is clear that a leadership structure of some kind exists. The Muslim Boys have been set on a path that is different to the norm. Why?