Rogue Wave

Rogue Wave

By Cognitive Dissonance


It is the stuff of legends and lore dating back through all of recorded history, of sinking ships and sea monsters, of tall tales and tragic deaths. The problem was obvious; any credible witness to a rogue wave usually didn’t survive the rogue wave, thereby relegating the actual phenomenon to the looney tunes category by the so-called ‘experts’.

In an authoritarian culture only the authorities can declare something ‘real’ regardless of how much evidence has been previously offered. It took an actual ‘scientific’ measurement in the North Sea off Norway on New Year’s Day, 1995 aboard the Draupner platform to convince the scientists (aka the authorities) there really was such a thing as a rogue wave.

The charted output of that instrumented event, described as the Draupner wave, is seen below and clearly indicates an extreme aberration, a bolt of lightning out of the blue if you will, a single wave easily twice the average height of the largest waves and three to four times the average height of the smallest.

Draupner Wave Graph - Final

Measured from the trough to crest, the Draupner Wave was nearly 25 meters/84 feet tall.

Since the impact force of a wave is an exponential function of its height, you can clearly understand why no modern ship is designed to survive a direct hit from a wave of this magnitude. 15 meter/49 foot waves from trough to crest is the current design standard, while the Draupner was nearly 25m/82ft tall, thus the reason for rarity of eye witnesses to these events. The only reason the measuring device, an on-board laser, survived to tell the tale was because it was secured to a gas pipeline platform anchored to the sea bottom and suspended above this monster wave.

Interestingly the 2001 European Space Agency’s MaxWave project illustrated that rogue waves, in this case defined as waves at least 25 meters/82 feet in height, are not as rare as previously assumed. Using satellite data from a three week period of time, they identified ten rogue waves in total. Even so, considering these ten rogues were spread over the entire globe and scattered amongst billions of ordinary waves, it is understandable why the vast majority of seamen never encountered one and the scientists were so skeptical.

So……aside from being a mildly interesting subject to some, and an even greater fascination to those of us who harbor an inner geek, why am I writing about rogue waves?

The answer is simple……and once we overcome our own cognitive dissonance, glaringly self evident. A socioeconomic rogue wave is bearing down on us. And no one, regardless of our financial security or psychological stability, will remain undisturbed.

Some will be hit broadside and succumb quickly, battered and beaten to a bloody pulp. Others, more prepared, resilient or just plain lucky, will suffer only a glancing blow resulting more in psychological shock at the near miss than actual physiological damage to life and limb.

But for the vast majority of us, and by ‘us’ I mean billions of my fellow humans worldwide (not to mention an even greater number of nonhuman creatures) for better or worse, what is about to unfold will change our lives forever. And from what I have been able to discern, this is not an exaggeration and might just be a colossal understatement.

Of course, this isn’t the first rogue wave humanity has faced and most certainly it will not the last. But, at least based upon recorded history, this is the most powerful if only because so many globally will be affected.

Earlier I showed a graph of the wave action just before, and immediately after, the rogue wave off Norway. The time frame is minuscule, just 600 seconds or 10 minutes, merely a blink of the eye when compared to a human lifetime. Even so, many will never experience a socioeconomic rogue wave because their human existence will fall somewhere within the long duration trough between rogue crests.

This is not to say we don’t experience severe buffeting, extreme suffering or even personal growth during the ‘relative’ calm period between rogue wave crests. But what appear to be mild sea conditions when viewed from the crest are in fact rough seas and large waves when viewed at sea level and from the human perspective.

We call this ‘normal’ sea condition ‘life’, and it can be brutal even during the best of times. A lifetime of heavy weather and high seas inflicts its toll, leaving deep scars and crippled souls just as effectively as any rogue would.

It’s not as if I am speaking about an event entirely unforeseen or unexpected by a wide range of people. More and more these days, people I speak with express a growing sense of foreboding and fear. They feel something looming, but are powerless to explain what it is other than to point towards the usual suspects of government, money, jobs and war.

The problem is most of those with whom I converse have no direct experience with a rogue wave other than possibly anecdotally. The last generation to fully suffer the onslaught and survive has mostly passed away over the last 10-20 years. Ironically this is precisely why we have reached the point where the next one is due.

For while wind and wave action, storms and prevailing sea all play a part in creating an actual rogue ‘wave’, the socioeconomic maelstrom headed our way is entirely man made. Which means it is most assuredly preventable and most definitely predictable in its occurrence, if not the exact arrival time.

As the chart below perfectly illustrates, the timeline of countries issuing the prevailing reserve currency fits the long duration trough between rogue wave crests. This time span roughly equals 4-5 generations (a generation is considered to be 20-25 years) just long enough for the memory of the last catastrophe to be washed away from the collective consciousness and the profitable misdeeds from the past once again ripe for repeating.

Global Reserve Currency Events - Final

Some events of note occurring around the transition from one reserve currency to another.

The difference this time? Ultimately the destructive capacity of any rogue wave is based upon its volume and velocity. In nearly all the examples shown on the reserve currency chart except present day, the ‘known world’, meaning those currencies that controlled commerce and people’s minds within a geographic location, did not encompass the globe or its entire population. Far from it in fact.

Those within the influence of previous reserve currency collapses definitely suffered each time the rogue passed. But there were always nations, resources and people outside the reserve currency system which acted as a buffer when the rogue wave roared through. Such is not the case this time, at least not to the same extent previously. And the proof is perfectly clear when carefully examined. When the Federal Reserve sneezes, emerging nations and their economies suffer massive convulsions.

It truly is different this time because the volume of the coming rogue wave will encircle the globe. Like a massive tsunami, the ripples and reverberations will be massively destructive and circle the globe many times until its energy is finally dissipated.

Only then, after the rogue has passed and the water receded, will the really substantial damage begin to manifest as cultures and civilizations break down politically, economically and socially. In my opinion this will occur relatively slowly as governments institute stopgap measures and emergency programs in an effort to halt the descent towards a substantially lower energy level. Think of it as socioeconomic Delirium Tremens.

This will also be the time when the next reserve currency fully emerges from its gestation period and takes its spot at the top. But the old guard will not go quietly into the night and I suspect great wars will be fought during this transition period. One can only hope it doesn’t go nuclear.

What I find even more frightening, and I suspect so do all the major central bankers and assorted operatives, is the velocity of the rogue wave now breaking the horizon. However, I don’t necessarily speak of the speed of its approach because I suspect this game of monetary insanity can carry on for years to come in one form or another. These are, after all, desperate men doing desperate things.

Rather I speak primarily about financial leverage when I say ‘velocity’. A perfect example of leverage most people would understand is the leverage employed when buying a home. When I was growing up in the 50’s and 60’s, one needed at least a 20% down payment before the bank would even consider lending you the other 80% to purchase your home. Thus you were leveraging your 20% investment by 5 times (5 to 1) to purchase the home.

These days a 10% down payment is much more common (resulting in 10-1 leverage) and during the last housing ‘boom’ (as in ka-boom) no money down was offered by lenders to move housing stock. Essentially that works out to an infinite leverage since you bring nothing to the closing table. Just last week a major housing lender lowered the down payment required to as little as 3%. Here we go again.

But ‘consumer’ leverage rates are minuscule compared to those regularly employed by banks, brokers, hedge funds, pensions, private capital, governments and, most dangerously, central banks.

Archimedes using leverage - Final

Archimedes using less leverage than the Federal Reserve.

For example, the Federal Reserve has less than $50 billion of ‘capital’ (think down payment) supporting a balance sheet of $4 trillion (think the total loan on the house). The math shows the Fed’s leverage ratio to be at least 80-1. And I was being extremely generous stating the Fed has $50 billion in capital. In reality it has even less.

Most commercial banks are running leverage of 25-1 or more. And this number is low as well because the banks use off balance sheet methods to hide a lot more leverage they (and their regulator, the Federal Reserve) don’t wish to publically acknowledge.

When I first entered the financial field back in 1990, leverage numbers such as these were considered reckless beyond imagination and grounds for criminal prosecution of the responsible executives and possibly the pulling of their banking charter and the disposition of the bank into more prudent management hands. Now it is considered ‘normal’ and encouraged by those who should be stopping it.

And in my opinion it’s only going to get worse, not better, from here. I say this with great clarity and certainty since I see absolutely no evidence anywhere the powers that be are leveraging down and pulling back from the abyss.

Combine the global reach of the insanity with the utterly explosive leverage employed by the socioeconomic (and psychopathic) money masters and you get not just an ordinary rogue wave, but one several times larger than the world has ever experienced.

No wonder economic madness is piled on top of even more madness in a desperate attempt to delay the inevitable. The unspoken truth here is the monetary manipulations and interventions must escalate on an exponential scale just to stay two steps ahead of disaster. And that two step gap is rapidly diminishing.

What is not sustainable will not sustain. When the rogue wave strikes, the long term devastation will be mind boggling and literally a death warrant for millions, either directly through a systemic economic crash or from the (world) wars fought both before and afterward to scapegoat blame and resource grab.

I don’t know how you, or I, or anyone else will survive, or even thrive, during the coming rogue wave. Nor, if I am to be perfectly frank, do I know exactly how this will all work out in the end.

I can surmise and plan based upon logic, educated guesses and the study of controlled human nature. But to say I, or anyone else for that matter, knows with a high degree of certainty exactly what is going to happen is nothing more than a dismal demonstration in self deception and delusional thinking. The devil is in the big and small details.

Nevertheless, with similar frankness I declare there are one or two things I do know. While it is impossible to prepare the body for every conceivable threat and circumstance (though this will not stop some from trying) we can prepare the mind and spirit for just about anything, including death, by jettisoning preconceived notions and beliefs and embracing flexibility of mind and spirit.

In my very limited experience I have found the mind and spirit become immobilized if the body is perceived to be in anything less than immediate danger. Particularly if the danger is not well defined, but still considered (life) threatening. The control system utilizes this technique to freeze us in place like deer caught in the headlights. In effect we become our own worst enemy.

Deer In Headlights - Final

We've all been there. The only question long do we stay there?

Spend enough time in a fear based environment and suddenly there seems to be no way out, since everywhere we turn perceptional impediments block our way. Soon enough we believe the only clear path forward is the path we presently travel, often laid out by others who do not share our own best interest.

Believed to be trapped, apathy and depression soon settle in, further compelling us to seek out alternative methods to ‘escape’ via physical, emotional and spiritual diversions. Obsessive compulsive behavior, including the full gamut of various addictions and ‘isms’, often emerges in those who can see no future and wish to ignore, deny and anesthetize.

Speaking as one who remains clean and sober after 26 years, thus possessing a modicum of credibility on the subject, the key to finding an alternative path is to first acknowledge our paralysis, then making the decision to move beyond. This, of course, assumes we even (wish to) recognize our failure to mobilize in the face of the oncoming rogue wave.

I readily acknowledge a universe of reasons why the coming catastrophe can, and will, be denied or downplayed by those who are certain this could never happen (‘they’ will never let that happen) will assume we are all doomed anyway (what’s the sense, we’re all gonna die) or are simply comfortably numb (don’t bogart that SSRI my friend). In reality there are always a million reasons not to act and barely one or two to do so.

As long as the herd is grazing (relatively) peacefully, from a psychological point of view it is much safer to burrow deeper into the perceived safety of the herd than to strike off on a contrarian path. Within the mind of the denier, the apathetic and the depressed, what is coveted above all else is affirmation from the herd we are doing what is best. First we lie to ourselves and then we seek affirmation from external ‘authorities’ that our lie is in fact truth. And the ultimate authority is the mindless herd.

Few have the stomach to walk the lonely path of the contrarian; fewer still have the stomach to lie to themselves and not seek external affirmation of their lie. Truth is self evident and needs neither confirmation nor affirmation. But the lie is voracious in its desperate need to be constantly confirmed and the liar affirmed.

I cannot, and will not, tell you which way forward is the best because I don’t know. I’m not even certain the steps Mrs. Cog and I are taking to prepare are correct. All we can do is to remain as flexible as possible with our physical assets and our mental thought process.

Nor will I pontificate about expected arrival times of the rogue wave, for that is a fool’s errand pure and simple. It could arrive in a few months, a few years or even a few decades. The powers that be are quite adept at keeping the balls in the air.

On the other hand, ultimately the arrival depends not so much upon the machinations of the money masters as the degree of faith and belief the population wishes to invest in the crumbling regime. Those who control and promote the economic madness are not the only desperate men out there. As the rogue continues its approach, the herd will sense encroaching danger and plead with those who ultimately created the wave to save them from the wave.

Thus self destructive collective bargains will be struck and the day of reckoning will be moved back a short distance. While the can will not be kicked down the road forever, it can be kicked further than you and I think possible. All it requires is an ever increasing price to be paid in the form of the citizen’s consent to greater burdens and deprivations. And by ‘consent’ I don’t necessarily mean ‘willing’.

One thing appears clear to me. You and I have more time than we think, but less time than we need to properly prepare. To paraphrase Ernest Hemingway, the rogue wave will approach gradually, then suddenly. The question is not if you will prepare, but do you have the inner courage to prepare now for a nearly certain event of potentially tremendous power arriving at an unknown time.



Cognitive Dissonance

Rogue Wave - Final

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2 thoughts on “Rogue Wave”

    1. mcgoverntm,

      I remember that movie. Even back then I thought the special effects were lame. :-)

      In real life that particular eruption of Krakatoa changed world wide weather patterns for at least a year….and in some cases two years. I remember reading a year or so ago that the volcano is once again growing in size and the rumblings have grown in intensity.

      Here we go again?

      Cognitive Dissonance

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