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Michael Snyder is very well known for his blogs 'End of the American Dream' and 'The Economic Collapse' and from the sheer number of other sites that republish his articles.

Michael is also the author of the book Get Prepared Now: Why a Great Crisis is Coming and How You Can Survive It, which he wrote with Barbara Fix, and the novel The Beginning of the End, a mystery thriller set in the near future, both of which are available on Amazon. He also has a new DVD called "Economic Collapse, World War III & The Death of America", which is available on

In our interview with Michael, we discussed faltering economy, the upcoming economic collapse, prepping, Ferguson and the American police state, terrorism, geopolitics, Russia, and earth changes, prophecy, and more.

Running Time: 01:52:00

Download: MP3

Here's the transcript of the show:

Elan: Hello listeners! Today is Saturday, May 9th and welcome once again to another broadcast of The Truth Perspective. I'm your host Elan Martin and today in the studio we have co-hosts Harrison Koehli, William Barbe and Shane Lachance.

Co-hosts: Hello

Elan: This week we are very happy to have as our guest Michael Snyder. Michael is well known for his blogs End of the American Dream and The Economic Collapse. He is also the author of the book Get Prepared Now!Why a Great Crisis is Coming and How you can Survive It, which he wrote with Barbara Fix. Michael is also the author of a novel The Beginning of the End, a mystery thriller set in the near future, both of which are available on Amazon. He also produced a DVD called "Economic Collapse, World War III and Death of America" which is available on Welcome to the show Michael!

Michael: It's great to be with you guys.

Elan: Great to have you here. Before we get into how screwed up things are Michael, could you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you began your blogs? You were practicing law for a little while, right?

Michael: I was, yeah back a number of years ago. I was actually working right down on K Street. If you've ever watched a drama on television or a movie about Washington, D.C. and about lawyers or lobbyists, usually K Street will get in there somehow because that's kind of the main stretch where all the law firms are located, the lobbying groups, etc. So that's where I worked as an attorney, low-level, but I was down there in the belly of the beast right in Washington, D.C. I lived across the river in Arlington. Every day I would get up and go down the metro station and take the metro in, put in my time and then come home at night. I was just a working guy trying to make a living, but I was becoming increasingly distressed about what I was seeing around me, as so many Americans are, that are becoming distressed with their government, both political parties, about the corruption I was seeing all around me, about the economy, about so many things.

And I thought well what in the world can I do? I'm just a regular working guy, getting up in the morning, trying to get a paycheck. I thought what can I possibly do that can make a difference? I thought about it for a while and eventually I heard about this whole blogging thing. I'd never done it but I heard a lot of people were doing it so I thought, let me try my hand at this. So I started writing and at first very, very few people took notice, but I stuck with it and I kept going. Eventually at the end of 2009 I started the and it really took off. It really struck a nerve because at the time millions of people had been losing their jobs and losing their homes and they didn't understand what was happening. And they knew they weren't getting the truth from the mainstream media. So people were looking out for alternative sources of information. It was at a time when the alternative media was really exploding.

So I really started to build up an audience and today the alone gets over a million page impressions per month, which is a tremendous audience. And then of course my articles don't just appear on my website, as many of your listeners may know already. My articles can be found all over the internet on many websites much larger than mine. So my articles are actually read more off of my websites than on them, which is a great honor to have such distribution and to be able to make such an impact.

But I'm just an average guy living in a home nestled in the mountains of Idaho in the middle of nowhere, just trying to do the best that he can to make a difference. And we need everyone to try to do that because everyone has a gift. Personally, I can write. That's what I can do to try to make a difference in our country and our world, but others are excellent at other things, whether it's doing a radio show, like you guys are doing, or whether it's organizing street protests, or doing YouTube videos. What some people can do with YouTube videos is absolutely amazing.

So everyone has something they can contribute, some way they can make a difference and so I'm just trying to do my part.

Shane: Well I'm sure that many of the listeners who follow SOTT have read your articles because we carry many of your articles. And I've got to say the topics that you touch on are really hot topics. I think there's an audience for what you're writing about. People really want to see and know about the things that you're writing about. It's a pretty explosive time. I was wondering if you'd be able to talk a little bit about the DVD that you have out? "The Economic Collapse, World War III and the Death of America"?

Michael: Yeah, on the DVD I was recently invited down to Dallas, Texas to do two, two-hour talks, and this DVD is the first of those two-hour talks. What I wanted to do is kind of put together in a two-hour, one DVD format, the most comprehensive warning about the future of this country that I've ever come across. Because I've written books, I write articles, but a lot of people in this country don't take the time to really sit down and read a whole book but they will watch a DVD. That's something that almost everyone does. They'll take a DVD, stick it in and watch it for a couple of hours.

So what I wanted to do is lay out the case beginning with the economic collapse - and we can talk about this extensively on this program. I believe we're at the precipice of the next great financial crisis. I explain the reasons why and I've done that on my website, but on my website there's more than 1,200 articles. So what I've kind of done on the DVD is summarize it, break it down, explain where we are, what we're going into and how it's going to play out and how it's going to affect people.

That's kind of the beginning of this timeline of this warning that I'm explaining for people; the economic collapse, incredibly hard times that I believe we're about to enter into, that we're right at the precipice of all these things I've been writing about for so long. But then after that I believe as economic conditions continue to get worse; we're going to see martial law in the country; we're going to see a lot more civil unrest like we've seen in Ferguson and Baltimore, that's just the tip of the iceberg.

In fact I made this DVD at the beginning of April before all this happened in Baltimore, before Freddie Grey and any of that happened. At the beginning of April I specifically named Baltimore in my DVD. I put it on one of the slides in the presentation that there would be civil unrest in Baltimore, specifically, before any of this happened. So a lot of people are starting to remark on that. But I believe we're also going to see crime increase in this country; we're going to see food prices rise; we're going to see more drought, more natural disasters, and we can get into that later on in the show, the horrible natural disasters that I believe are coming. And then eventually I believe we're also going to see war in the Middle East, and eventually war here in the United States, and we can talk about that later in the show as well.

So I kind of lay it all out, everything that I believe is coming to this country, why I believe it's coming to this country. I talk about things publicly that I've never talked about publicly before. I think the information is going to shock a lot of people because I go deeper down the rabbit hole than normal. Normally my articles are very much for a secular audience or they're picked up by a lot of websites. And on the Economic Collapse Blog in particular I try to stick with economic things, things that I can prove with numbers, with mainstream articles, that type of thing. In this DVD I go beyond what I normally address, but I think now is the time to start warning people about what's coming because I believe it's almost here.

Harrison: Michael, I just wanted to get back to your comment about Baltimore. I'm just curious. How exactly did you predict that? What did you see happening at that time that made you think Baltimore would be an area of civil unrest like that?

Michael: Well this is going to go down the rabbit hole a little bit. Well first of all, anyone can see that Baltimore has been a cauldron of poverty, of drugs, a lot of drug activity there, a lot of anger and frustration. Minority populations are being oppressed by police, so the perfect conditions are already there for it. So naturally, pretty much anyone can see that Baltimore is ripe for this kind of thing.

But then also over the years I've been a student of the prophetic. And what I mean by that is that I study men and women of God that receive visions and dreams of the future. Anyone can claim that, but I study people that have a consistent track record of accuracy, who have been given things and it's come to pass time after time after time. These are seasoned men and women of God. And I'm talking from a Christian perspective. But a number of them have seen these things coming to pass and specifically named Baltimore and so that's why I specifically named Baltimore, because of what I've learned over the years from these people. I believe God still speaks and he's still speaking today and these people have received these visions and dreams and revelations. So that's why I named Baltimore specifically.

Elan: I think that's a very interesting dimension to all of this and I think we'll get back to it a little later on. While we're on the subject of Baltimore, you had a couple of articles that suggested - and which we discussed a little bit in last week's show, how all of the events that we've been seeing are, on some level, manipulations and how they may be serving certain agendas. I was wondering if you could just give your take on some of the most important things that suggest that what we've seen in Baltimore with the riots is not necessarily as it seems.

Michael: Yeah. Before I get into some of those points, I wanted to make it clear that Freddie Grey really did die. There is very real anger and frustration about that and the history of police brutality in Baltimore. So without a doubt, much of the anger and frustration is very real. But as Rahm Emanuel used to say, "Never let a good crisis go to waste". I think that might be what we saw in Baltimore, where this thing happened and there was this anger and then all of a sudden opportunists come in and all of a sudden people start working behind the scenes to bring it to a boiling point and use it for their own plans.

So what we do know is that before public schools were let out on that Monday afternoon when the riots happened, there was a social media campaign. There was a concerted effort to really hype up what was called the purge among high school students in particular, that would happen at a particular place at a particular time. Then school was let out and it's been reported in the mainstream media that public school buses were not allowed to disperse, but the buses were brought into one particular area, this one particular mall, where students were let off. Students who would normally catch the train to leave and to be dispersed throughout the city, the trains were not allowed to leave.

Instead, all of these high school students were herded into this one mall area where this purge had been hyped up. And waiting for them was a full compliment of police dressed in riot gear ready to confront them. When the high school students arrived and started milling around, the police started coming toward them. But once the rioting began, the police pulled back. Police have gone on the record, they've gone on radio programs and they've said "We were ordered by the mayor to stand down, to do nothing as the rioting and the looting took place. As things went crazy, we were just ordered not to confront the rioters, not to take them down, but to let it go on".

So the Baltimore police were actually there saying these things and I found that to be very, very distressing.

Another thing that I found to be very unusual was the police vehicles that were everywhere in the middle of the riot zone. We had seen on Saturday night that conveniently, right in the middle of the riot zone where the protests were taking place, there were these police cars conveniently parked right along the side of the street. The police that they belonged to were nowhere in sight and so we saw police cars get smashed, set on fire. A lot of damage was done. That was Saturday night.

So fast forward to Monday; Freddie Grey's funeral that day, and the police had to know that their vehicles would be a major target. But what do we find? Right in the middle of the riot zone, right in the middle of where all the violence took place, there were even more police vehicles, police vans once again parked right along the side of the road, conveniently where people could get at them. Once again the police that they belonged to were nowhere to be seen, weren't protecting their vehicles. So we had these great images of police cars and police vehicles being smashed, set on fire, being destroyed. And it went all over the world.

But why were those police vehicles there and abandoned and allowed to be destroyed in the first place? I find that to be very, very curious.

Harrison: Yeah, we talked about that last week and I think the conclusion we came to, as the only plausible explanation was that they were bait. They were put there deliberately in order to provide images that could then be presented to the media in a certain way and go around the world in order to paint the demonstrations, which turned into riots, in a particular light.

Michael: Yeah, and so I think the American people deserve some answers, first of all about the mayor of Baltimore who ordered the police to stand down. I believe that if that's indeed the case as all these police are alleging, she should immediately resign. But then there's the question of how close she is to the Obama administration. We know that she had dealings with them and had been close in the past. Were there conversations between her and anyone in the White House as any of this was going on? And did the White House actually direct her to have the police stand down or to take any actions or not take actions as all this played out? So I would love to know if the Obama administration was involved in any way throughout this entire process.

Elan: And coupled with all of the so-called support of NGO organizations that George Soros has been behind, in organizing youth and protest movements that on the surface seem really kind of well intended, but actually are in some ways feeding into this whole thing. You had a very interesting passage about Malik Shabazz, who was the former national chairman of the New Black Panther Party, who was also on hand at some point to say "Shut it down if you want to. Shut it down".

So it just seems as though there are all of these forces that are coming from all these different directions that are helping to create the perception that's been propagated in the mainstream media. If on some level they are working together or along similar tracks, I'm wondering if you had any ideas as to where all this is leading to? What is the end game, if you will?

Michael: Well I think we can start to see a pattern by going back to Ferguson first. In Ferguson we saw the usual suspects rush in there, stir up all kinds of dissension and strife and anger, it boiled over, rioting started to take place. And then on Ferguson, if you'll remember, the worst night of rioting, right at the beginning, the police were also told to stand down and held back, the buildings were set on fire, things got out of control. Then what was the solution we heard all over television? All our politicians were saying "Bring in the National Guard. We need troops in the streets." They were brought into Ferguson. We had all those images of troops in the streets.

A similar pattern just happened in Baltimore. Things were really stirred up, boiled over, we had rioting and looting and smashing of police vehicles. The images went all over television. Everyone said "We need the National Guard! We need troops in the streets!" The National Guard was brought in once again. That was seen as the solution. So now all of a sudden whenever there's a crisis, whenever there's civil unrest, whenever something happens, what's the solution? Troops in the streets! We need the National Guard!

So I think we're starting to see a pattern develop here and that might be the end game, where they want to get us accustomed to troops in the streets. They want us to get accustomed to thinking martial law is the answer. And I think we're going to see both as we move ahead in future years, especially as economic conditions start to deteriorate. Because even now we've seen all over the country there's always people that are ready to loot and riot and steal things and commit crimes. All they need is the opportunity. We saw that in Ferguson. We've seen this in Baltimore.

And this is happening when economic conditions are still somewhat stable in this country. When things start getting really desperate, well desperate people do desperate things. And I think we're going to really see that in the future in this country, where we're going to see lots of Fergusons and lots of Baltimores and we're going to see civil unrest, rioting, looting and crime. But then in response to that we're going to see a lot of troops in the streets. We're going to see martial law in US cities, maybe not nationwide and certainly not immediately, but in specific cities we'll see martial law and troops in the streets. And I think that there are perhaps some behind the scenes, some among the elite, who really want to get us accustomed to the idea of troops in the streets and martial law.

William: Michael, you had a recent article where you wrote that 96 percent of Americans expect more unrest this summer. That just is astounding.

Michael: Yeah, I was shocked when I saw that survey because what in the world can you get 96 percent of American to agree on? You can't get 96 percent of American to agree that the sky is blue! So when this survey came back, and said 96 percent of Americans expect more civil unrest this summer, that just blew me away. But at this point it's so obvious that there's so much anger and frustration in this country and for a long time it's been bubbling under the surface. But now it's coming to the forefront and people are upset. People are angry and a lot of times it's for good reasons. We've had police brutality in this country. Police have been abusing their power. They've been doing horrible things. So in a large sense there's a lot of reason for this anger and frustration.

But yeah, the American people expect more of it. I expect more of it; more this summer, but especially in the years ahead, especially as the economic crisis begins to unfold and people don't have any money in their pockets. They may not know where their next job is coming from or they may eventually not even know where their next meal is coming from. When that happens I think that what we're seeing today, like I said, is just going to be the tip of the iceberg.

William: And then talking about the martial law, getting people accustomed to that, what is your speculation on the subject of Operation Jade Helm?

Michael: Well, Operation Jade Helm is supposed to be a military exercise, mostly in the southwest United States, and there have always been military exercises. But there are a couple of things that kind of disturb me about this particular exercise. One is that we've kind of seen this pattern over the years of exercises mirroring reality a little bit too closely. In fact you just look at Baltimore. A lot of National Guard troops in Baltimore had just been doing something called Civil Unrest Training and then all of a sudden wow! They can put it into use. Isn't that convenient? So we've kind of seen this pattern over the years of exercises coming very close to or mirroring reality.

And then the other thing is this map that was released from the Jade Helm exercise which labelled Texas and Utah as hostile territories which kind of alarmed me a bit, especially in the context of what we've seen in so many things under the Obama administration. I wrote an article some time ago in which I talked about 72 types Americans that have been labelled potential terrorists during the Obama administration. If you go to official US government documents, whether they're military or from the civilian side of the government, in which different types of Americans, patriots, people who just love this country, conservatives, different types of Americans, returning veterans, are labelled as potential terrorists by their own government.

And so in that context, this Jade Helm exercise in which military forces and some three-letter agencies are going to participate as well, they're going to supposedly mix in among the general population and do these different things, I don't think it's the martial takeover that a lot of people are freaking out that it is, but there are elements about it that are disturbing.

Shane: I'm curious about how you see this economic collapse unfolding. Will it be more localized events? Will we see a larger stock market collapse? How do you see that kind of progressing?

Michael: I believe that we are on the verge of a financial crisis which is going to be even worse than the financial crisis of 2008. After the last time in 2008 we had this big problem with these "too-big-to-fail" banks. Our politicians and everyone said "We're going to fix this problem. We're doing to deal with these too-big-to-fail banks and we're going to make sure this never happens again." Well they didn't do anything about it. In fact the four largest banks in the country have gotten nearly 40 percent larger since the last time, collectively. Meanwhile 1,400 smaller banks have completely disappeared from the system.

So the problem of too-big-to-fail is now bigger than ever. We're more dependent on these banks than ever before. The five largest banks in the country account for approximately 42 percent of all loans in this country and the six largest banks account for approximately 67 percent of all assets in our financial system. And everything in our system depends on the flow of credit and debt, whether it's buying a home, buying a car, going to college, credit cards. Our whole economic system depends on the flow of credit. And these big banks are kind of the heart of this system. They're where the credit comes from. In fact most of your listeners probably have a mortgage or a credit card or a car loan from one of these institutions. So the health of these institutions is so vitally important because without them we basically don't have an economy.

Shane: So do you think that these banks will eventually just actually fail?

Michael: I do, and there's a reason for that. You would think after the last time they would say "You know we kind of messed up last time. The government had to come in and help us out. We're going to change our ways. We're going to become a lot more careful because we realize how important to the system we are." Well, the exact opposite has happened. They've actually become far more reckless, far more wild.

Basically Wall Street has been transformed into the greatest casino in the history of the world and the heart of this gambling involves something called derivatives. And when I use that word a lot of people start tuning out because that sounds very complicated, and it can be very complicated and convoluted. Derivatives can be so complex that a lot of people who work in the financial industry don't understand them.

But I like to break things down very, very simply. At their core, what derivatives are - some people compare them to insurance policies but I compare them to side bets. For example, if I went down to Las Vegas and I bet the Chicago Cubs would win the World Series this year, well either it would happen and I would win money, or it would not and I would lose money. Well at their heart, that's what most derivatives are. They are simply you've betting either something will happen or something won't happen.

They're different from other kinds of investments. For example, if you buy stocks, you're buying equity in a company. You're buying an ownership interest in a company. If you buy bonds you're buying the debt of a government or a company. So you're investing in something "real" if you want to put it that way. But with derivatives, you're not investing in anything real. You're just speculating about whether something's going to happen or not happen.

So these big banks have become exceedingly reckless in terms of these derivatives. In fact there are five out of the six too-big-to-fail banks that have exposure to derivatives in excess of $38 trillion. For example, let's talk about the five of them I've mentioned there. The biggest one, JPMorgan Chase, the biggest bank in America, has total assets of about $2.6 trillion but they have exposure to derivatives of more than $63 trillion. Citibank has total assets of more than $1.8 trillion but they've got exposure to derivatives of more than $59 trillion. Goldman Sachs - everyone loves to talk about Goldman Sachs - they have total assets of actually less than $1 trillion. Their exposure to derivatives is more than $57 trillion. Bank of America, total assets of $2.1 trillion; exposure to derivatives more than $54 trillion. And then Morgan Stanley is the fifth one; total assets of less than a trillion dollars; total exposure to these bets/derivatives of more than $38 trillion.

So they're being insanely reckless. And these big banks use all these sophisticated computer algorithms and things which tell them what to do, and most of the time in normal conditions they work really well and they make a lot of money doing what they do. But if we have certain black swan events which come along, which really upset the apple cart, if markets start to move very, very wildly, if interest rates start to do things they're not supposed to do, then all of a sudden these bets can go bad very, very badly and these banks can all of a sudden be in a massive amount of trouble. And a lot of times we don't hear about it until it is way too late, like with Lehman Brothers back in 2008. The problems were developing under the surface months in advance but then all of a sudden one day we hear "Lehman Brothers has failed!" and it set off panic all over the world. But the problems had been developing many months in advance.

Elan: You know as you were describing the situation as it is and reminding us of some of these numbers and the amount of exposure that these big banks have to derivative investments or gambling, I couldn't help but think about the hubris, the arrogance, the short-sightedness of these individuals and just the sheer fact that if things should go bad for them, things will go very bad for so many millions of other people, having learned the lessons of 2008 or not. On our show, quite often we bring up the subject of psychopathy, because there's no other way to account for or explain the motivation, the callousness, the greed and the lack of conscience involved with these people that make Bernie Madoff look like a garden variety conman in comparison.

So just some thoughts there about some of the things you were saying because we're thinking about and subject to the 'wheelings and dealings' of people who just don't give a hoot about many millions of people and what their short-sightedness does and how it affects them.

Michael: Yeah, it's an extraordinary amount of greed and we've set up such a system of perverse incentives, that's why it was so dangerous to bail these guys out before because we've sent a message to them saying "Hey, if you make these bets and you go wild and you win, you win big and you make an obscene amount of money and you live the high life. But if you lose, well the government's going to come in and clean up the mess and okay, maybe you'll have to go find a job with another investment bank, but you're going to be able to walk away and the government's going to be able to clean things up". So there's so much more of an incentive to take the risks than not take the risks and so we actually provide incentive for this reckless behavior.

But with the financial crisis of 2008 when the government stepped in, that was relatively minor compared to what I believe is coming. When you're talking about tens of trillions of dollars, the government doesn't have the kind of money to come in and clean up that kind of a mess. Keep in mind the entire US national debt is only $18 trillion. You're talking about, collectively these six too-big-to-fail banks have $278 trillion of exposure to derivatives total!? You're talking about an amount of money that is almost unimaginable.

And it's the same thing over in Europe. For example Deutsche Bank, the biggest bank in Germany, the biggest bank in Europe, they've actually got more exposure to derivatives than any US bank. They've got $75 trillion of exposure. So it's this way all over the world. These banks are walking this tightrope act, but at some point these bets are going to start turning against them. And when that happens I want your listeners and people to listen for "derivatives". When they start hearing of a derivatives crisis or problem with the derivatives on the news, we're going to see this financial crisis. We're going to see a stock market crash. We're going to see bonds go crazy.

But we're also going to see a credit crunch. We saw this back in 2008 where all of a sudden banks don't want to lend to each other or to businesses or to anyone else. All of a sudden people can't get money. They can't get loans. They can't get loans to buy homes or to buy cars or to do anything else. So I believe we're going to see an incredible credit crunch, an incredible credit freeze. All of a sudden it'll seem like nobody has any money.

So if you own a business or you're working someplace, you're going to notice customers aren't coming in. Customers aren't buying stuff. It's going to seem like nobody has money to spend and that will very quickly precipitate, just like saw in 2008, massive layoffs, millions of people losing their jobs. And because most of the country is living paycheck-to-paycheck, then we're going to see, just like in 2008, people can't pay their mortgage. Millions of people are going to start to lose their homes. People aren't going to be able to pay their bills. People are going to start defaulting on their debts and it's going to cause all kinds of problems. It's going to be a chain reaction basically, just like we saw in 2008, but I believe this next time is going to be even worse and this is going to cause a very severe, although probably somewhat brief period of deflation as the flow of credit and debt in this country totally freezes up.

In response to that, and it might be a matter of months or a couple of years, it just depends how fast the federal government and federal reserve respond, I believe we're going to see massive money printing by the federal reserve, massive injection of money into the system and that down the road is going to cause the hyperinflation that so many have talked about and warned about.

So I'm a little bit different from a lot of people who talk about economic collapse. There are some people who believe we're right on the verge of hyperinflation. I don't believe that. I believe that this credit crunch comes first, this period of sharp deflation. It might be very brief, but that comes first, and then later on the response is going to cause tremendous inflation.

Shane: On that topic of paper money, the cashless society has been in the news lately a lot. I just saw that Denmark was announcing that they wanted to move some of their industries to a cashless basis. I was wondering what was your take on that? Is it that the banks are trying to prepare for this collapse and that they're trying to herd off from these bank runs? What's going on there?

Michael: Well I think all over the world banks like a cashless system because that forces us to participate in their system. We just can't take our cash and put it in the mattress or whatever. But to have a cashless system we've got to have bank accounts. We've got to participate in their system. So banks like it. But the governments like it because it gives them more control. They can watch us. They can track us. They can make sure taxes are being paid. They can crack down on crime or they can just interfere in our regular lives on whatever level they want to because they can see everything we're doing. There are so many things about a cashless system that governments really like.

But right now we're not seeing a move to immediately ban cash but we're seeing small steps in that direction. For example in Italy and France they both, by law, put caps on the amount of cash you can use in a particular transaction. So you can't go over a certain amount of Euros and pay for something in cash. And they're saying "Oh we've got to prevent money laundering. We've got to crack down on the drug dealers". They always have a good justification for it, but it's slowly but surely moving in the direction of outlawing cash.

In the United States we see with the IRS, people have gotten in trouble and gone to prison for something called "structuring", for taking out cash a few thousand dollars at a time and the IRS says "Well that's just below our reporting limits. You're structuring. You're trying to avoid the reporting requirements where if you go over a certain amount, that amount of cash has to be reported by the bank to the federal government." So the IRS says "You're structuring. You violated the law. You're going to prison." A lot of these people don't even know that they're doing it. They just run a cash business, like a restaurant. There was an elderly woman in Iowa that got in big trouble over this IRS crackdown on her.

There was a gentleman who ran a Christian ministry out of Florida. His name is Kent Hovind. He's actually been in jail for about nine years for doing this. He had no idea that he was going this. He was just trying to pay the bills of his ministry but he's been in prison for about nine years. He got in trouble for just taking his own cash out of the bank and he didn't even realize what he was doing, but the IRS cracked down on him.

So in so many ways governments around the world are trying to discourage the use of cash. And in fact it has seeped into the culture. For example if you go to a hotel and you pay for your hotel room in cash, they're going to look at you funny. And then the government's actually issued guidelines saying "you know if people pay for a hotel room in cash, they might be a terrorist, so you might want to 'see something, say something'. That's one of the things you want to look out for, if people are paying for a hotel room in cash."

So the use of cash is not against the law yet, but it's being discouraged step after step.

Shane: Will they be able to enforce these measures in time, do you think, when things finally do go south? Or is that more wishful thinking on their part?

Michael: Well I think they would like to eventually move us to a cashless society. I don't think we're going to get there before this next crisis because I actually believe - and I've not said this before - but I actually believe that we're going to see events greatly accelerate by the end of this year. Now it's not going to be a single event. Some people say "Michael, you run the Economic Collapse Blog. When is the economic collapse going to happen?" as if it's this big Hollywood blockbuster that's going to happen all of a sudden, it's going to be this big hyped-up event, then it's going to be over real quickly and then we're going to recover.

Well I don't see it that way. I see it as a series of a waves, something that plays out over a period of time. So I believe that things are going to start accelerating greatly by the end of this calendar year, but that's not going to be the end. That's only going to be the beginning of a number of years of really bad stuff getting progressively worse and we're going to see ups and downs and waves and response by the Federal Reserve and the federal government and governments all over the world. But it's going to take time to play out. But I believe by the end of this year things are going to start really accelerating. So I don't believe there's time for the elite to necessarily do everything that they want to do in terms of this cashless society and everything else, but they're certainly moving their agenda forward in so many different ways all around us.

William: I would like to step into the rabbit hole a little bit more on this economic situation. You were mentioning about the banks being so levered up with the derivatives, it's just mind-boggling. And because it's so high, it doesn't look like it would take very much of a black swan event to really cause a lot of problems. It probably would be just a minor thing that could really set it off because they are so highly levered up. Now part of the thing is with the elites, they're affectionately known as the empire of chaos. It sounds like with Janet Yellen kind of putting out some feelers there of raising interest rates, that could start precipitating some of the events that we might see, it sounds like maybe chaos is something that the elites would really like to see in order to implement some of their goals a lot quicker. Do you have any thoughts on that?

Michael: Oh, I totally agree with you. The elite, they love to create order out of chaos, so the philosophy of never letting a good crisis go to waste. And often in times of emergency they can get away with doing things we would never see in normal times. We saw this in Cyprus, when the whole Cyprus thing happened and all of a sudden they went in and they started taking money out of peoples' private bank accounts. They could never get away with that in normal times.

So I believe the elite often see crisis as an opportunity. And I think we'll see that this next time around. And I think there are so many things which could set this off because these banks are on such a high-wire act. So when you're talking about these derivatives, you've got derivatives related to the energy industry. We've seen the price of oil go from more than $100 a barrel at one point last year, then it's crashed down to nearly half as much today. Now it's been fluctuating between $40 and $60 a barrel, there's been some ups and downs. But there's so many derivatives tied to the price of oil where a lot of these shale oil companies, a lot of these producers go to these financial institutions and they say "We want to lock in our profits for the next year or two years" or whatever. So they did this when oil was $90 a barrel, $100 a barrel. Now that it's down to $50 or $60, fluctuating in this area and those contracts come due, somebody's going to take a tremendous loss on those. So that's one kind of a black swan event we've seen.

Another is in the foreign exchange markets we've seen with currency rates where the dollar is rising like crazy, the Euro's been crashing in general in recent months and other currencies have moved wildly. Well there's tens of trillions dollars of these derivatives which are tied to the value of the US dollar, the Euro and other major currencies around the world. So that can really start upsetting derivatives.

And then, an even bigger one is interest rates. There are more than $440 trillion of derivatives around the world that are tied to interest rates. And just in recent days here, we started to see interest rates start to move all over the world whereas when we started to see a little volatility in the bond markets. So if interest rates start to move dramatically that's something for people to look for.

So, so many of these things can cause financial markets to start to go really, really crazy which could set off a financial panic. And then if that happens, the elite can step in and start to do things that they wouldn't normally be able to do.

William: And I see a proverbial thing with the chairs going on where you have the Russians and the Chinese setting up their own international bank. But then you have the US trying to set up the TTIP and TTP. It just sounds like the musical chairs are being danced around and everyone's trying to make sure that they can grab a seat when the chaos happens.

Michael: Really, at the heart of this, the future of the global financial system. For decades we've had the petrodollar and the US dollar has been essentially the primary reserve currency of the planet. All over the world if you wanted to buy or sell oil, it was almost entirely done in US dollars. Or if nations wanted to trade with one another, if Brazil wanted to trade with South Korea, it was probably done with US dollars in most instances. So this has given us a tremendous advantage because it's created tremendous demand for US dollars all over the world and kept the value of the US dollar higher than it would be otherwise.

And then we've had all these countries all over the world, especially the major exporting countries which have stockpiled tremendous mountains of our currency, which they've lent back to us at super low interest rates. So that's worked out very well for us, as our debt has exploded through the roof.

So this has been really, really good for us, to kind of be the center of the global financial system. It's raised our standard of living. We've been able to import things from overseas at super low prices and we've been able to go to WalMart and Dollar Store and buy all these exported goods at ridiculously low prices. There have been so many benefits.

But now what we're starting to see is a little bit of a de-coupling. We're starting to see nations such as Russia and China start to take some steps away from the US financial system and saying "Okay, we're going to start to set up our own thing. We're going to start to become less dependent on the US system." And this is particularly true with Russia, because of the tensions over Ukraine and everything else, the Russians have pretty much decided that "Hey, we're not going to want to have anything to do with the US financial system anymore. They've imposed sanctions on us. The Obama administration's coming against us, so we've got to completely go off and start doing our own thing."

And Russia's turned to China and that's why we're hearing about Russia and China doing thing together so much because Russia strategically is saying "Okay, we're going to line ourselves up with China now and totally move away from the United States." Well this is a very dangerous thing, because if Russia and China start to move away and then other countries start to say "Okay, we're going to maybe do the same thing too, maybe start using the US dollar less and start lining up with China and Russia little bit more", if the rest of the countries stop playing our game and stop using our currency, stop lending it back to us at super low interest rates, well we're going to be in a whole lot of trouble very, very quickly. Just look at our national debt. It's over $18 trillion today. If the average interest rate on our debt went back to historical average, which is about six percent, somewhere in that neighborhood, we very rapidly would be paying just over a trillion dollars a year just in interest on the national debt which would be catastrophic.

So it's imperative to us that the rest of the world continues to play our game, use our currency and then lend it back to us at ultra low interest rates, way below the rate of inflation so that we can finance our debt, so that we can do what we do because if they quit playing our game then things are going to completely fall apart for us.

Elan: So you've mentioned a number of different events that are possible in terms of crashing or going south; you have derivatives, you have this huge amount of debt. There are other things. There's market manipulation on precious metals and a host of other things. When I hear all this I'm thinking about such organizations like the Bank of International Settlements and probably other groups that are even less well known. And I'm also thinking about legislation like the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act in the '90s under Rich Reuben and the Clinton administration. Considering the sheer number of different things that can and probably will go wrong, it just seems like more than a coincidence.

It seems like, to me, that there are these guys in boardrooms somewhere or hotel rooms in Switzerland who may actually have some kind of power that may be unthinkable to most people, to organize these types of things on such a grand scale. You said that order out of chaos and Rahm Emanuel's quote "never let a good crisis go unwasted", do you think that these things are being orchestrated on that level? Is that possible?

Michael: I think it is possible, and we can't necessarily prove what's going on behind the scenes, but it's interesting that you mention the Bank for International Settlements. Most people don't realize that central bankers from all over the world gather in Basil, Switzerland at the Bank for International Settlements and they hold these global economic meetings which happen, I believe six times a year, which have been talked about in the Wall Street Journal - in which all the central bankers of the world get together and they talk about what's going on, about what they want to do. Of course these are closed to the public. They're not even reported on typically in the mainstream media. But we do know that the central bankers gather and they talk about things.

So what goes on at these meetings? What goes on behind the scenes and the power that the elite have? Sometimes we can only speculate but I believe that it's very possible that things are being coordinated and a lot of times we do see central banks kind of act in concert. On a certain day all of a sudden we see a whole bunch of central banks take a particular action all in concert. So there is collusion. There are these central bankers all over the world working together. Now how high up the food chain and what is the agenda behind the scenes? We can speculate and guess at, but it's certainly interesting to talk about.

Harrison: You've talked about a lot so far, the economic collapse, the stuff in Ferguson, civil unrest. Getting back to your DVD, even just the title of it "The Economic Collapse, World War III and the Death of America", can you get into a bit on those second two ideas, the World War III and the death of America? How do those tie into the economic collapse? First of all, how do you see this World War III scenario playing out?

Michael: Well I believe that World War III is at the end of the timeline. Like I mentioned, I believe that we're on the verge of the next financial crisis and that's going to lead us into this next economic collapse. We're going to see unemployment go much higher than what we saw during the last recession. We're going to see millions of people lose their homes and we're going to see more anger, more frustration, more civil unrest in our cities, protests in Washington, D.C., governmental shaking. People are only gearing up for 2016 and they're thinking it's going to be a typical election cycle. I believe that by the time we get to the next election, things are going to look dramatically different, that we're about to see some big-time shaking in our government, some corruption uncovered. I don't know what it is or I would tell you. But I believe we're going to see some huge controversy, some political figures really get shaken up and we're going to see some resignations.

I believe we're also moving into a time of great instability in this country in a lot of other ways; we're going to see increased Islamic terror inside the United States and a lot of really bad things. And we can talk about the earth changes that are coming now at the end of the timeline and you mentioned WWIII. This is something I've been warning about for a long time, and for a long time people kind of laughed at me or thought "what in the world are you talking about Michael? War with Russia? Who cares about Russia? Russia's our friend. Don't you know the Cold War is over? Don't you know that the Russians love us now?"

Well, not as many people are laughing anymore because we've got this whole situation in Ukraine. Even though most Americans don't care that much about what's going on in Ukraine, the Russian people care very much about what's going on in Ukraine. In fact one recent survey found that negative opinion of the United States inside Russia is now higher than at any point it was even during the Cold War. It's over 80 percent negative towards the United States from the Russian people.

So why are they so negative about us right now? Well Ukraine is right at the center of it and I want to paint a scenario for you. Imagine what would happen if up in Canada there was a democratically elected government and then the Russians came in and they organized, they funded, they advised and they helped protest movements which were against this government up in Canada, and these protest movements actually became so powerful that they violently overthrew the government up in Canada and set up their own government. And then after that the Russians said "Okay, we're going to immediately recognize this new government as the legitimate government of Canada and we're going to start sending them money and assistance." And then eventually the Russians decide to send military assistance to help that new government in Canada fight against people who are loyal to the old government.

Well down here in the United States, Canada's our most important neighbor and they're right to the north of us. We would be screaming "Red dawn! Red dawn! The Russians are coming! The Russians are invading! Look what they're doing up in Canada!" Well it's the same thing over in Russia because Ukraine is right next door to Russia. They have ties that go back thousands of years been Russia and Ukraine. The Ukraine of course used to be part of the Soviet Union. And so to the Russians, what is going on in Ukraine strikes at the very heart of their national security and of their national interests.

So, for the United States to have gone in, organized, trained, advised and helped the protest movements over there in Ukraine, stirred them up, helped them - and it just wasn't our government doing it, but it was organizations tied to George Soros - we mentioned him earlier, funny how he's involved in so many of these things - organizations tied to George Soros were helping these groups. They've been stirring things up in Ukraine for years and they actually helped these groups that violently overthrew the democratically elected government of Ukraine, set up a new government. The United States government immediately said "Yeah, that's the legitimate government of Ukraine". And then actually started giving them money and helping then.

But then what happened is a lot of people in east Ukraine started fighting back and the civil war erupted, which our government certainly didn't count on. So this civil war started taking place, then a funny thing happened, the rebels started to win and started to take ground and started advancing and they've been advancing for months. And they took quite a bit of territory. Now our government's saying "Whoa! We didn't want this. This isn't supposed to happen!" We've already sent in non-lethal military aid and now the US House of Representatives has voted just in recent days for $200 million in lethal military aid, and they're putting pressure on the Obama administration. They want Obama to do something and I believe Obama is going to do something actually.

That's something to watch for, where Obama's going to agree and actually increase the amount by the time it's all said and done, the amount will be increased and we will send lethal military aid into Ukraine and once that happens, that's crossing a major red line for the Russians. That's essentially declaring a proxy war with Russia because Russia of course is supplying the other side. They're funneling in weapons and supplies and help and soldiers are coming in from Russia, whether with or without the official sanction of the Russian government. They're coming in because they want to help the people in the east, who are pro-Russian, fight against this new government who they regard as Fascists in Kiev. But by helping the new government in Ukraine, it's essentially going to be a proxy war between the United States and Russia.

Russia's really, really upset about this and if you watch Russian television or you read the articles or you listen to what their talking heads are saying, they openly talk on national television about the inevitable war that's coming between the United States and Russia. They have important talking heads in Russia similar to someone like David Gergen on CNN who comes on and tells us what to think. In fact one of their most prominent guys, actually known as "Putin's brain" because he's philosophically behind so much of what we're seeing over there today in Russia, came on national television and actually called the United States the "Kingdom of Antichrist".

They have a different idea of what that is than we do, but that's how they view us. They view us as the great evil in the world and Russia's inevitably going to have to fight a war with us. So that's their mindset now. That's where they're at. I don't believe it's coming this year or in our immediate future, but down the road. We definitely right now have a new Cold War and when this lethal military aid goes to Ukraine I believe a lot of bad things are going to start to happen. It's not going to seem like Russia's going to be behind them but they will be. There's going to be all these things going on behind the scenes where Russia is going to try to hurt us and we're going to try to hurt them. Not immediately, but eventually down the road this is going to lead to a literal shooting war between the United States and Russia.

Harrison: At the beginning of the show you mentioned war in the Middle East. How do you see that fitting in, if at all, with the situation with Russia? Are those two separate issues or is that connected in some way?

Michael: I believe that we're going to see war in the Middle East before we see this WWIII, but it will certainly make tensions with Russia much higher because already in the Middle East we've wanted to overthrow Assad in Syria, and of course he's a very important Russian ally. So that was even before the situation in Ukraine where this whole thing with Syria had really upset the Russians and increased tensions.

So I believe we're going to see war in the Middle East and what may precipitate that is a strike by Israel of Iran's nuclear program which will set off all kinds of bad things, and eventually we'll see a major regional war between Israel and her neighbors. That of course will increase tensions between the United States and Russia, but I believe that comes before this WWIII, the shooting war between the United States and Russia.

Any type of war in the Middle East is going to make the price of oil shoot all over the place. So all of these things are going to be rolling together into a 'perfect storm', if you will, of tremendous chaos over the second half of this decade.

Elan: We've been seeing a tremendous amount of propaganda against Russia, outright lies, that contradict the narrative you used to explain how we would feel if Russia had been supporting a government in Canada that was anti-US. Are you seeing any kind of movement on the part of more people who may be becoming aware that it's in fact the US that's been behaving aggressively and seeing through the lies against Russia?

Michael: I think so. I think we are starting to see more people start to understand these things although I think it's still not a majority of the US population, which is so plugged into the propaganda matrix where one recent survey found that the American people spend an average of about 10 hours a day plugged into some type of electronic device, whether it's a television with movies and television shows, or listening to the radio, or the internet, or their mobile phone. When you add all of it up it's about 10 hours a day on average.

And then about 90 percent of the news, information and entertainment that we get from our televisions, through the movies, the video-games, publishing houses, magazines, added all up, about 90 percent of it is controlled by six gigantic media corporations, which of course in turn are owned by the elite, and the elite are constantly putting out this pro-western/pro-American propaganda. And of course on the Russian side they're doing the same thing and most people want to fall in one of two camps. They want to say one side is the good guys or the other side is the good guys. Well I try to take a more realistic viewpoint in saying "Hey, both sides are doing some bad things here. Both sides are not necessarily the good guys." I try to point that out, but most people want to take one side or the other and say "They're the bad guys. These are the good guys and so that's how we're going to frame it."

But often when I'm looking at some of these conflicts and things that are going on around the world I say you know what? Both sides are bad. One side might be "badder" than the other or one side might be guiltier than the other, but that doesn't make the other side necessarily good. So, that's how a lot of times I approach it.

Shane: With all these increasing tensions we can see that the powers that be are aligning these plans and setting them in motion. We mentioned the earth changes a few times already. As we see this escalation, at the same time we're seeing the earth changes escalate as well and I wonder if that might throw a wrench in their plans.

Michael: Yeah, and it's certainly something that the elite cannot necessarily predict. I've written about this for quite a while, but we're seeing an acceleration of this recently. Our planet itself is becoming increasingly unstable and I know that this is talked about on your website quite a bit, where we're seeing these earth changes and these things start to happen. I believe we're going to see some natural disasters coming up which are going to be absolutely unprecedented. I wrote recently about the fact that there are more volcanoes erupting right now than the entire average for an entire year during the 20th century. In other words, the 20th century's yearly average for a whole year of volcanic eruptions has been surpassed by the number of volcanoes that are erupting right now.

We had that huge volcano which just erupted down in Chile. One in Japan that has not erupted in 800 years is billowing smoke. People are very concerned about that. We saw the massive earthquake that just hit Nepal. But then we're also starting to see all kinds of thing happen in the United States. In fact just over the past few weeks we've seen significant earthquakes in Michigan, Texas, Mississippi, Idaho and Washington. In California we've seen LA and San Francisco both hit by significant earthquakes.

So a lot of people are starting to say "What in the world is going on?"

Harrison: We do tend to cover that stuff a lot on SOTT. One of our perspectives is to try to make it understandable and provide a context for people when hearing about these things. We've researched this a lot and looked back in history and we tend to see that these things have happened before, even if it's not common knowledge. But there's a weird aspect too, that comes out when you look at these things. It seems that when you look at the historical records, these natural disasters and catastrophes tend to cluster around specific periods of time. There are a few researchers in these topics like Victor Clube and Mike Baillie. They look back at history and find that there seems to be a correlation between cometary bombardments, when comets and asteroids tend to cluster and bombard the earth at certain intervals, and that tends to destroy civilizations. It always happens to be that these civilizations or empires are what we would call evil empires.

So there's this strange aspect to it, where we see this increase on the planet of what I'd call just plain evil, in the form of leaders and governments and elite groups that wield an enormous amount of malevolent control over people, along with stupidity. Then out of nowhere after the skies have been quiet, the planet has been relatively quiet for generations to the point where people have gotten used to it, and then the planet just seems to explode. It seems to me at least, that's what's happening now. We're seeing unprecedented numbers of natural disasters and things just going crazy on the planet.

We've got the phenomenon of sinkholes which just came out of nowhere in the last 10 or 20 years, and now there's daily reports of these massive sinkholes just opening up everywhere across the planet. We've got the volcanoes, earthquakes and a huge increase in the sightings of fireballs in the skies. It used to be that if you saw a massive fireball it was a once-in-a-lifetime event. Now you still see when these are reported in the news the reporters are saying "Oh, once in a lifetime event!" and the next day you see another one and another one and they have them all over the place. We've even documented a few times where these "once-in-a-lifetime" events happening repeatedly over the same city in the period of a year.It just seems that there's something going on and I find it pretty strange. How do you see what's going on, on the planet at the moment?

Michael: I completely agree with everything that you just said. These sinkholes are something that I've been mentioning from time-to-time in some of my articles over the past few years where these gigantic sinkholes are just opening up, swallowing entire houses, becoming incredibly large in size all over the planet. And people are saying "Oh, that's normal. That happens." But this isn't normal. This is very unusual; earthquake activity increasing, volcanic activity increasing.

You mentioned comets or asteroids. I just want to mention something right here and people can take it for what it's worth. My wife has actually collected more than 90 reports of what are called seers or prophets all over the world; people having dreams and visions of a meteor or asteroid coming down and hitting in the Atlantic Ocean, causing a giant tsunami which washes over the east coast of the United States. So people have been getting these visions, or premonitions, or dreams, or waking visions, whatever you want to call them, of this meteor. Sometimes people have seen one, sometimes three, hitting into the Atlantic Ocean and causing not just a tsunami like we saw in Japan, but consistently all over the world, people have seen a massive wall of water hundreds of feet high, sweeping over the east coast and going many miles inland causing massive death and destruction.

Considering the fact that, for example, the state of Florida is almost entirely flat, that much of it is either barely above sea level or a good bit of it is actually below sea level, there will be nothing to stop such a wave from coming in and sweeping across the entire state potentially. But that's one of the natural disasters that I believe is coming to this country and it's something that not just a few people, but more than 90 different people have seen.

Harrison: We've done some research into this, but when we look into the historical record, something very similar happened across the eastern United States. Looking at the geological record and a range of different types of evidence, what it looks like happened back then was that probably a giant asteroid or comet exploded in midair and just pelted the United States with these mini 'nuclear bombs', and it destroyed a whole section of the United States. There were probably tsunamis involved then too. So this is just to give people some perspective that this kind of thing has happened before. So I wouldn't discount the idea of premonitions or things like that. That's something that we talk about too.

We usually talk about it more from the aspects of parapsychology and what people would consider weird. A lot of people discount it but I think there's a lot of evidence that yes, there is something to it. It's hard to either prove or verify a premonition until it happens of course, so it's something to take with a grain of salt, but to take seriously in the sense of asking is this possible? What are the signs that something like this might be happening or might be coming and just take it seriously. I think all signs say "yes" in the case of this.

Michael: Yeah, and with our planet becoming increasingly unstable and the area around our planet, as we've mentioned, it seems to be getting busier. It seems like more objects are coming past us and into our neighborhood, in our area of space more than ever before. It seems like things are becoming more frequent. It's something to be concerned about because in the United States today approximately 39 percent of all Americans live in counties that directly border a shoreline. So that's east coast, west coast, Alaska and Hawaii. With the west coast of course we've got the whole ring of fire starting to wake up all over the world and at some point the west coast is going to be affected as well.

What I've been talking about is a very real possibility. Let me give you a quote from the Washington Post:
There are scientifically sound reasons for concern that at some point a mega tsunami could engulf the entire east coast with a wave almost 200 feet high sweeping everything and everybody up to 20 miles inland.
That is from the Washington Post. So these things can happen. They have happened before in history. They tell us that it will happen again. We've been very fortunate; things have been very quiet for such a long time both on the east coast and the west coast. But without a doubt, they can potentially happen and I believe that they will happen.

I'm skeptical by nature. I was trained as an attorney. I was taught that if someone tells you something, well show me the evidence. I want the proof. I'm very much a "show me" person. Show me! Don't just tell me. Explain to me why something is true. I've been talking about some weird things on this program but that's one of the reasons why I did this new DVD. That's one of the reasons why I document things on my website so carefully, because I'm not just pulling these claims out of thin air. These are things I carefully investigated for years and I found to be true, or accurate, or have a very good reason for coming to my conclusions. So if anyone has any questions about these things, please feel free to contact me. Write to me because I've discovered that some very, very frightening things are coming to this country and I'm trying to warn people.

Elan: Along these lines you had a recent article which I've seen republished many places, including SOTT, "Signs the Elite Are Preparing for Something Big", and you mentioned a few things there that were interesting. One was that the New York Federal Reserve is transferring personnel to Chicago and building up its satellite office there "just in case of a natural disaster". Of course there's also the fact that NORAD is moving back into Cheyenne Mountain because it's EMP or electromagnetic pulse-hardened or protected. So it seems to me that it's kind of an obvious thing that the elite are aware of these things on some level or why would they take such measures to move the New York Federal Reserve, which has been in New York for 90 years?

Michael: Yeah, why are they making such an effort where if something happened they could run basically all their operations from Chicago? And they say it's for a potential natural disaster? Well what natural disaster would hit New York? There are no volcanoes that I know of to really be concerned about up there. New York is not really known for earthquakes. Now if we did have an east coast tsunami, then that would be something to be concerned about. But yeah, it seems very, very weird. And then like you mentioned, with NORAD moving back into Cheyenne Mountain.

The EMP threat is something that I've been concerned about for a long time. It can be caused by a nuclear device being exploded high up in the atmosphere, but a lot of people don't realize that the sun could cause something very, very similar. In fact just here over the past couple of years we've had a couple of near-misses where we almost had another "Carrington event". The Carrington event happened a long time ago, and back then about the only electronics that were fried were the telegraph system. We really didn't have much at that time. But if a similar event happened today it would cause all kinds of chaos because we are extremely dependent on our computers, our electronics and our satellites. Everything is on computer. Everything relies on electronics, electricity. If we are hit by a massive solar storm just right, it could potentially knock much of the country back into the 18th century pretty quickly. And they say recovering from that would take an extended period of time potentially.

William: Incoming space rocks could also cause EMP pulses as well.

Michael: That's a very good point.

Harrison: This is what Victor Clube wrote in a report commissioned by the US Air Force regarding the threat of comets or asteroids. I think this was from 1990 or so. But he said "We do not need the celestial threat to disguise Cold War intentions. Rather we need the Cold War to disguise celestial intentions."

We've brought up this quote several times on SOTT because in the past several years we've seen the concept of EMP weapons discussed numerous times in the mainstream media. We've also had several strange things that have happened in several countries, including the United States; mysterious explosions, strange sonic booms that can't be identified with anything apparently. So to us it seems that we have had this increase in fireballs as well as probably an increase in these overhead explosions, like what happened in Chelyabinsk, Russia two years ago.

I think this phenomenon is more common than people think, where these tiny space rocks will explode in the air, there will be a sonic boom, but depending on the size and proximity these things do throw off an EMP. So this was the context that Victor Clube was talking about in his book Cosmic Winter. He and his co-author start the book with just a scenario of two or three good sized comet fragments exploding in mid-air over the United States and triggering a nuclear war because they were mistaken as the first strike of nuclear weapons, because the signal would be essentially the same. You've got this massive explosion; you've got EMPs that take out all the electronics in the region.

Elan mentioned the move of the Federal Reserve and NORAD back in Cheyenne Mountain. At some level it seems that there are some people that are aware of the threat of these natural disasters, that some big things are coming. I think they're also aware of the threat posed from the sky and like Victor Clube said, it's very easy to use that to your own advantage. It could trigger a war. But at the same time there seems to be some covering up going on where whenever something happens that might very well be a phenomenon of this sort, there are mundane explanations for it. So there's the threat of EMP weapons, but no one ever mentions the threat of just something falling out of the sky that we have no control over.

So I think there's some weird stuff going on there. We've written about it, but it could probably be explored a lot more. Unfortunately there are very few people working on it because it just isn't a topic that seems to be brought up in the mainstream academic journals, media or governments.

Michael: Yeah. Another thing that very few people are looking at, but I'm concerned about, is this giant ball of fire that our planet revolves around called the sun. Most people haven't really noticed or aren't really too concerned, but our sun is really starting to behave quite erratically over the last few years. There have been times when it's gotten really, really quiet. In fact one scientist recently came out and said that solar activity is declining faster than at any time in the last 9,300 years right now. So that's a concern.

But then at other times it's unleashed these violent solar storms. So the sun is becoming really erratic, behaving strangely. It's becoming a lot less predictable. And considering that all life on the planet, our climate and everything else, depends on this giant ball of fire, I would be concerned about what's going on in the sun. I'm not an expert in this field, but even I can see that something's going on. Something's funny. This is not normal activity.

Harrison: Absolutely. One of our SOTT editors, Pierre Lescaudron has written a book on earth changes. If you haven't heard of it or if you haven't seen it, we'll make sure to send you a copy of it. He talks about all of this in the book. I'm glad you brought up the sun because that's one of the main points in his book that he talks about a lot. The sun is doing a lot of strange things and behaving in strange ways. For yourself or listeners who haven't read the book yet, I'd recommend checking it out. It's called Earth Changes and the Human/Cosmic Connection. So that's a little plug for Pierre there.

Michael: I'd love to check it out because this is an area that I'd love to learn more about and I'd love to get into. Another area in terms of earth changes, if we want to talk about it and I probably should mention because this is one that I write about almost more than any other, is the New Madrid fault. A lot of Americans don't realize that the worst earthquakes in the lower 48 states in recorded history were along the New Madrid fault, not out in California. It goes right down the center of the country. But it's been dormant for a very, very long time. It's been starting to wake up in recent years, in part at least due to all this fracking and activity which has caused all these earthquakes in the middle part of the country.

But one more thing that I talk about in my DVD and that so many of these seers have seen, is a massive earthquake right in the middle part of the country which is actually going to divide this country essentially in half and create a new body of water stretching from the Great Lakes all the way down to the Gulf of Mexico. As you can imagine such an earthquake is going to cause death and devastation beyond what most of us can possibly imagine.

Shane: We've been talking about a lot of heavy topics here; economic collapse, the mass riots and protests, potential famine and natural disasters. So when we're faced with all this, what can we do? You've just co-written a book Get Prepared Now. Maybe you can go into some of those issues of how people can prepare themselves for what we're starting to face.

Michael: Absolutely. One of the reasons I wrote this book is because as the publisher of the Economic Collapse Blog, people are coming to me or writing to me all the time saying "Michael, I can see and understand the problems that are on the horizon so I want to get prepared. I want to get my family prepared. What can I do?" So I answered the question so many times I figured I might as well right a book about it. So I teamed up with a woman named Barbara Fix who had previously written another book along these lines. She's an expert on things like food storage, water storage, purifying water, heating and light, sanitation in emergency situations, gardening during a long-term crisis; all these things that she writes about that she's really an expert on.

Then what I contributed is a lot of why the crisis is coming and a lot of things we've talked about on this show. So we have the whys and the hows in the book together.

A lot of people call me a doom and gloomer. We've talked about some real hard things in this show, a lot of heavy things. I do believe we're entering into a time which is going to be the worst time in the history of the United States; worse than the great depression, even worse than the Civil War. A lot of people say "Well that's bad news. You're a doom and gloomer." But I don't see it that way. I believe that there is hope in understanding what's coming and there's hope in getting prepared, because who are the people that are really going to freak out? Who are the people that are going to be jumping off of buildings, jumping in front of trains, giving in to depression and despair, totally giving up on life?

When the economy starts crashing and all these weird things start going on all around us, it's going to seem like their lives are over. It's going to be the people who are unprepared, who haven't done anything to prepare, who don't understand why these things are happening and no idea that they were coming and now it seems like their lives are over, those are the people that are going to be freaking out. Those are the people that are going to be giving in to doom and gloom. But people that have been empowered by saying "Okay, we see what's coming. We're getting prepared. We're going to find a way for me and my family to get through this. We're going to have a plan. We're going to make it through."

And not only that, in the midst of the chaos and hardship, because there's going to be so many people in great need, people that are prepared are not only going to be able to take care of themselves and their families, they're going to be able to help others. They're going to be able to reach out and be a light in their communities, other people in their family who need some help. They're going to be able to make a difference in the hard times that are coming. So they're going to be able to take care of themselves and potentially others as well.

So I think that my message is a message of hope. In Get Prepared Now I encourage people to prepare financially for what's ahead, to build up an emergency fund because when the next crisis comes, you're going to have to pay your bills. You don't want to be living paycheck to paycheck. I talk about gold and silver and precious metals, which I love for the long-term. In the short-term we're going to have ups and downs. It's going to be a roller coaster ride, which I've always said. But in the long-term I love them. I talk about storing food and supplies. You're not going to need them immediately, but down the road you will need them.

And I talk about so many of these things in terms of getting more independent from the system, because the system is failing. Anyone that counts on the government to save them, the system to save them, that are relying on the system in general, are going to be greatly disappointed in what's coming. We need to take control of our own destiny. We need to get prepared. We need to do whatever we can to be independent because when things start going crazy, the government's not going to swoop in to save you, that's for sure.

Shane: They'll try to set things up where we are completely dependent on them. When you look at most Americans and to a large extent just Western society, how prepared is the average Joe; learning and knowing basic survival skills? It seems that we're so far gone from even 40 years ago when it was common practice to have a pantry with stores of food for the winter. There's none of that now. You cringe at the thought of what the average person is going to be going through.

Michael: Yeah. My grandparents were that way. They lived through the great depression and they always had a pantry of food. They always had supplies on hand because that was their mindset. They had been through that. But now most Americans have never been through something like that in their lifetimes. In fact most people are even forgetting about the crisis of 2008 and they've been lulled into this false sense of security thinking "Everything is going to be okay. We can get back to normal." I think that's a tragic mistake.

So today you look at the fact that less than one out of every four Americans has enough money stored away to cover six months of expenses. That's less than one out of every four. Some surveys have found that more than 60 percent are living paycheck to paycheck. They're counting on their job always being there, somehow they'll always be able to keep the money rolling in. Today according to the US Census Bureau, 49 percent of all Americans live in a home that gets direct monetary benefits from the federal government each month of one nature of another. So, so many people are already dependent on the government.

And what people have in their homes in terms of basic supplies, one survey found that 44 percent don't have any first aid kits, 49 percent don't have any emergency supplies, 53 percent do not have a minimum three-day supply of non-perishable food and water. So when you're talking about a major emergency, whether it's an economic collapse or an EMP event which knocks out communications or some type of great natural disaster, or the list goes on and on and on, at least half the country, if not more, will be out of luck in a matter of days where they need to go to the store to get food or water or whatever it is. So the lack of preparation for any kind of emergency in this country is absolutely appalling.

Shane: You mentioned gold and silver before. Do you have a preference between the two?

Michael: I do. And people debate this. Some people like gold better. I like both of them for the long term, but I absolutely love silver for the long term. I think it's ridiculously under-priced and under-valued right now and I believe that before it's all said and done, it's actually going to hit the triple digits. It's going to go over the $100 mark, not immediately, not right away, but down the road.

So gold is great but historically the ratio between gold and silver has been a lot higher. What I mean by that is it's been a lot closer. In other the words, the price of gold has been proportionately a lot closer to the price of silver. Right now the price of silver is so low compared to the price of gold it just makes silver really, really attractive. And then silver, unlike gold, is used in literally thousands of consumer applications so it's constantly being used up. The supply is getting smaller. It's being used in products that we actually use.

And so that over time is going to create a supply crunch as it's used in so many products that we use, unlike gold which is too expensive to use typically in most things. And there's a lot of other advantages silver has as well, but personally I prefer silver. Other people say "Well if you put a lot of money into precious metals, you can carry a few gold coins around in your pocket a lot easier than a big quantity of silver." So there's that argument. In terms of transporting it, it's easier to transport gold coins or small amounts of gold rather than a similar amount of silver which would be very, very heavy and bulky in a situation where you want to transport it or move it. So there's pros and cons to both but personally my wife and I prefer silver.

Elan: Michael, if you were speaking before a secular audience, or an agnostic audience and you were trying to describe the coming times to them in spiritual terms, what it would mean for them on the deepest level to deal with the situations that are to come, how would you talk to them about it? What are the types of things that you would say about preparing spiritually?

Michael: That's a very interesting question; talking to a secular audience on a spiritual level. This is something I talk about in my book actually. Preparation is not just physical and most people kind of focus on that. But it's also mental preparedness. We've got to be mentally hard because anybody should be able to see the storm that's coming on the horizon and I've written over 1,200 articles on the Economic Collapse Blog just detailing the economic aspect of what's coming. To me it's so obvious. But just knowing that the storm is coming is not enough. We've got to be mentally prepared to be able to go through it and not to be shaken up. And that ties in with emotional preparedness where we've got to be emotionally strong for what's coming or we're just going to be bulldozed by the hard times that are coming. Because life is not only about what happens to us but it's about how we respond to what happens to us.

So this ridiculously high standard of living that we've been enjoying, fueled by the biggest pile of debt in the history of the world is ending. The good times, the party, is ending. Really hard times are coming on the horizon. But that doesn't mean that your life has to be over. In fact my wife and I are involved in this stuff all the time. I write about this stuff all the time, but we live our lives in a constant state of shalom, that's the Hebrew word for peace. We live our lives with no fear and that's what I encourage all my readers to do, to live their lives with no fear because we know who we are. We know what we're about. We know what our ultimate destiny is. We know what our purpose is. And my wife and I believe that the greatest chapters of our lives are ahead.

So we're excited about the times that are coming. Yeah, we know there's going to be great, great challenges, without a doubt. But we're still excited about what's coming and the opportunity to make a difference. We believe we're going to be able to do more good ahead than we've ever done in our lives before. So we're excited about what we're going to be doing, about what we're going to be a part of, about what our lives are going to mean. And yes, maybe the standard of living around us is going to be a lot lower. People are going to be hurting, people are going to be struggling, but if you think back through history, who do we think of are our greatest heroes, the people we lift up and say "Yeah!"? We look to those people. Those are our heroes. Those are the people that we lift up and say that's who we really admire throughout history.

When did almost all of them arise? Almost all of them rose up during times of great crisis; during war, during times of big problems that they were responding to. They came up in times of adversity. So that's what this next time is going to produce as well. The times of adversity that are going to produce great heroes; men and women that rise up to the challenge, do great things, make a great difference and are truly heroes in every sense of the word.

So people can say "Okay, I see what's coming and when it comes I'm going to go and hide in my bunker. I'm going to cower in fear. I'm going to cry Woe is me, and I'm going to try to shut out the rest of the world." I don't think that's the right approach.

Instead we need to say "Okay, we can see what's coming. Things are going to be different but you know what? Our lives can be even better. We can step up, respond to big challenges, choose to make a difference, choose to be a light and choose to be heroes." I think that's the much better choice.

Elan: That's a beautiful message and I think one that we share here very much. Michael, this has been a wonderful show. I just have to tell you how much we appreciate you coming on and sharing all of your insights. Clearly what you write about and discuss goes way beyond just an economic collapse. It's about many other things. We'll continue to share your work on SOTT and look forward other information that you're sharing with others and as Harrison said, we look forward to sending you Earth Changes and the Human/Cosmic Connection.

I just want to mention again that Michael Snyder's blogs, if you haven't checked them out are "End of the American Dream" as well as "The Economic Collapse". His books Get Prepared Now-Why a Great Crisis is Coming and How You Can Survive It with Barbara Fix. He's got a novel The Beginning of the End and a DVD, "Economic Collapse, WWIII and the Death of America". The books are available on Amazon, the DVD on

Once again, thank you so much for talking with us today. It's been a real pleasure.

Michael: Thank you guys for having me on. I appreciate the work that you guys do and I appreciate the perspective you guys have. You know, when we talk about hard issues and all these different things, a lot of times, with your listeners as well, they may not agree with me 100 percent. I rarely find anyone that I agree with 100 percent on everything. But we're all trying to figure these things out the best that we can. We're investigating these things, we're trying to shine a light. And so often in the alternative news media world I see people fighting against one another, arguing with one another. They don't realize who the real enemy is. They don't realize that we're not going to make a difference if we're constantly quarreling with one another.

So different people have different perspectives, but there's so much that all of us can agree on, can work toward and can try to make a difference with. So I appreciate the positive perspective you guys have and the great work that you're doing and for having me on. My perspective is different from some people, but we're all working together. We're all trying to do good things. We're all trying to wake people up and I just encourage you guys to keep up the great work.

Shane: Thanks for coming on Michael and sharing your work. Really appreciate it.

Harrison: Yeah, it's been great. We've really enjoyed it.

William: Thank you very much Michael.

Michael: Oh, thank you guys. I hope I didn't monopolize the conversation too much. But I wanted to get the information out there for the people.

Elan: And you did a wonderful job at that.

Michael: Well thank you guys. Like I said, I'm just an average guy living in a home nestled in the mountains of Idaho in the middle of nowhere. I'm just trying to do my best to make a difference and that's what I encourage everyone to do. Because, you know what? It's not about putting anyone up on a pedestal but it's about all of us coming together, realizing we're all fallible human beings, we're all imperfect, but if we all do our part to make a difference collectively, together we can make a huge difference.

Elan: I agree and I hope you'll join us again some time in the future to discuss matters as they develop.

Michael: Oh absolutely. I'd love to come back again, especially when some of the things I talked about today start to happen I'm sure you're listeners will be like "We want to hear more from that guy!"

Harrison: Thanks again to all our Listeners. Tune into our other shows: "Behind the Headlines" and the "Health and Wellness Show". Take it easy, and we'll see you next week.