It seems to me that we are on the edge. Not of an abyss, but a long rocky slope. Now an abyss is the worst case, as society plummets to anarchy. But as I see it now, we are looking at a grid-up, slow slide. I have taken a tumble down such a slope while mountain-biking, and as you slide and tumble those boulders you bounce off hurt.
Looks like society, our "civilization" will be doing the same thing. Sometimes falling faster, sometimes a hard crash as it impacts a checkpoint along the slope. These checkpoints could be mass riots, famine, disease outbreaks, war, alien invasion, or the worst - Jeb Bush running for the Presidency!
The market looks to me like it's correcting itself a little bit. Oil is dropping in price some, but that is because we are driving less, and not burning it for home heating fuel. I expect oil to stabilize at about $115 a barrel unless a hurricane wipes out some oil rigs in the gulf, or a refinery.
So if it's one thing I know from living up here in the Northeast my whole life is just how bad it gets financially when the weather gets cold. As a kid we couldn't afford oil so we heated the whole house with wood. in '77-'78 we went through eleven cords of wood. For those of you unfamiliar with the measurement, a cord is 4' logs, piled 4' high and 8' long. That's when I learned to use a chainsaw, and how to split wood. I split all 11 cords myself.
So for those in the northern half of the US, they are feeling a financial crunch from keeping their AC running, taking vacations, etc. When Old Man Winter comes around, these family's will be in deep kimchi. Right now, home heating fuel is up from $3.54 a gallon to $4.95. Most people I know spent about $3k to heat their homes last winter, this year that would be $4200! After the rough summer months, many, many families wouldn't be able to heat their homes this year. That means more families on welfare, food stamps, and most importantly - losing their homes.
Winter is a slow time for real estate, so the banks will have to carry the foreclosed homes longer, or take more of a loss to dump them quickly. I would have to say that November and December will be the months to watch, unless something big happens sooner. When the gas and diesel prices cut back on food in the grocery stores, I expect to see food riots out here on the east cost. Up here in the Northeast we rely on all our food staples to be trucked in from the Midwest, or shipped to us via bulk container. Once these riots start, I expect things to unravel rather quickly.
Then again, The FedGov could stop wearing their asses for hats, and we might get out of this without a major crisis. I am a gambling man, but I'm not dumb enough to play those odds. Store food, spend what money you get wisely, arm yourself, and try to find friends who you can count on.