Paul B. Farrell: 12 stormy-market survival tips investors can glean from Noah’s Ark


Everett Collection

“Noah,” starring Russell Crowe, 2014. ©Paramount Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

Merry Christmas? No, just same ol’ happy-talkin’ Scrooges pushing the same ol’ tired message — spend, spend, spend, run up our holiday retail numbers.

But I’ll bet your gut’s filled with dark storm warnings … crashing oil stocks threaten recovery, growth … China, EU, developing markets stalling … trading, commodities, exports falling … corporate profits mask low-skill jobs … wages flattening … interest rates, inflation too low … as the middle class keeps losing, superrich capitalists lobby for bigger perks … maybe economist Robert Gordon’s dismal forecast is right, America may already be collapsing into a 1% GDP by 2100.

Happy New Years? No, don’t count on it … all this is coming on top of America’s hard-right changing-of-the-guard … the victorious GOP is taking command of the ship … and they’re unconsciously threatening economic growth with their partisan dogma designed to undermine everything done by the president the past six years — health care, immigration, minority voting and women’s rights — while now aggressively undermining all climate initiatives with uncompromising science-denial plans guaranteed to further frustrate Main Street voters and sabotage America’s weak economic recovery.

But for the moment, Christmas spirit shines above all those storm warnings, above the accelerating climate disasters, a great spirit reminiscent of my days years ago overseas with the Marine Corps, often serving mass for Catholic chaplains. A great gift, a mystery, a privilege. A welcome respite from what’s ahead. Why? We just put up four Christmas trees lighting our home today, memories going back to celebrations in my home in small-town Pennsylvania, where that lit up my youth during holidays.

Christmas is that kind of story time, filled with happy memories, like how we got our home, through Capt. Jerry Shields, chaplain of the First Marine Expeditionary Force. I fell in love with his Christmas list: “All I Really Need to Know I Learned From Noah’s Ark.” It was on the wall of our future home we first walked in years ago, lit up my eyes with a smile.

Chaplain Shields was the owner’s son. I looked, was hooked. The message, this home was waiting for you. Today the same spirit arises year after year, of serving mass for Marine chaplains. And also collecting Noah’s Ark memorabilia. After a double-take, they gave us a copy. We were sold on the house, put in an offer on the spot. Love it more with each passing Christmas, living here in God’s country.

Noah’s spirit surrounds us every day, reminds of how to navigate successfully through good times and bad, always true to yourself. If you need to know how to survive the storm, Noah’s got the answer. Yes, the great ark-builder is one of history’s all-time survivors. He listened to the right voice, the one echoing within his soul, all souls. Trust it.

Noah’s message is even more critical today, for the future of the planet as a home for our children, grandkids, for future generations into the next century. We’ll paraphrase a bit here, but you’ll get his gift. Listen to his survival tips on how to build your very own Noah’s Ark for rough seas and calm sandy beaches, as we plan ahead for the next Great Flood, today, for the climate storms on the horizon ahead in this century:

1. Plan ahead … It was not raining when Noah built the Ark

Climate-science deniers, like the GOP with Big Oil cash, have hypnotized the American brain to think short-term, consumers addicted to the next big thing, self-gratification. Think beyond, the next generation, kids, grandkids, the future.

2. Remember, the Titanic was built by pros, Noah’s Ark by amateurs

Pros like Big Oil, energy billionaires, lobbyists, Sen. Jim Inhofe, the GOP’s climate-science deniers, capitalist Luddites in for a fast buck. Don’t sink with them.

3. Ignore naysayers, trust your inner voice, do what’s right

Yes, many Americans are ignoring the warnings about a Great Flood coming, laughing at ark-builders like Bill McKibben and his 350.org. Do the right thing.

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