In the first half, investment advisor Michael "Mish" Shedlock discussed how it's been about ten years since the last financial crisis and another one for the US is on the way. He also covered such topics as jobs, student loans, the US Dollar, the stock market, gold, oil, and China. In the US, stocks and junk bonds are in an enormous bubble, he noted, but he foresees the start of the financial crisis triggered outside America, such as with Italy deciding to leave the EU. Rather than a crash, we could experience a sustained downturn or recession, with pension plans particularly hard hit, he suggested.
Shedlock pointed to "fractional-reserve" banking (banks keep only a fraction of the value of their deposits) as a fraudulent system. We need banks to institute a 100% reserve system where they can't make money out of thin air, he declared. The housing market, he continued, is cooling down, as homes are still too expensive for many buyers. Gold shouldn't be looked at as an inflation hedge, though he believes it's currently undervalued.
Senior editor of the American Spectator, Daniel J. Flynn has written for the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Boston Globe, the New York Post and many other publications. In the latter half, he delved into the Jonestown massacre, where 918 people from the Peoples Temple died on November 18, 1978, in Guyana. He detailed the brainwashing tactics used by Jim Jones to gain not only a large and devoted following but political clout in San Francisco. Though Jones is now remembered as a toxic and manipulative cult leader, in the mid-1970s, he attracted many famous and influential people including San Francisco politicians such as Willie Brown, Harvey Milk, and Mayor George Moscone. The charismatic Jones was able to mobilize large groups of volunteers for political candidates who sang his praises, Flynn explained.
The Peoples Temple was a new religious movement started by Jones in Indiana, but it had no relation to fundamentalist Christianity as it's sometimes portrayed in the wake of the Guyana deaths, Flynn cited. Many in his group believed he had supernatural abilities that he demonstrated through things like faith healing. When the congregants "drank the Kool-Aid" (actually the powdered soft drink mix was a product called Flavor Aid), it was laced with cyanide-- just one cent worth was enough to kill them. Though they did it on their own volition, they were being watched by armed guards who could have fired on someone who didn't comply, Flynn detailed. Interestingly, at a service in 1975, Jones had a kind of test run for this where he told his parishioners that the wine they just drank was poisoned (it was not).