Saturday, February 8, 2014
February 4, 2014 by Brandon Smith
I began writing analysis on the macro-economic situation of the American financial structure back in 2006, and in the eight years since, I have seen an undeniably steady trend of fiscal decline.
I have never had any doubt that the U.S. economy was headed for total and catastrophic collapse, the only question was when, exactly, the final trigger event would occur. As I have pointed out in the past, economic implosion is a process. It grows over time, like the ice shelf on a mountain developing into a potential avalanche. It is easy to shrug off the danger because the visible destruction is not immediate; but when the avalanche finally begins, it is far too late for most people to escape…
If you view the progressive financial breakdown in America as some kind of “comedy of errors” or a trial of unlucky coincidences, then there is not much I can do to educate you on the reasons behind the carnage. If, however, you understand that there is a deliberate motivation behind American collapse, then what I have to say here will not fall on biased ears.
The financial crash of 2008, the same crash which has been ongoing for years, is NOT an accident. It is a concerted and engineered crisis meant to position the U.S. for currency disintegration and the institution of a global basket currency controlled by an unaccountable supranational governing body like the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The American populace is being conditioned through economic fear to accept the institutionalization of global financial control and the loss of sovereignty.
Anyone skeptical of this conclusion is welcome to study my numerous past examinations on the issue of globalization; I don’t have the time within this article to re-explain, and frankly, with so much information on dollar destruction available to the public today I’ve grown tired of anyone with a lack of awareness.
If you continue to believe that the Fed actually exists to “help” stabilize our economy or our currency, then you will never find the logic behind what they do. If you understand that the goal of the Fed and the globalists is to dismantle the dollar and the U.S. economic system to make way for something “new”, then certain recent events and policy initiatives do start to make sense.
The year of 2014 has been looming as a serious concern for me since the final quarter of 2013, and you can read about those concerns in my article Expect Devastating Global Economic Changes In 2014.
At the end of 2013 we saw at least three major events that could have sent America spiraling into total collapse. The first was the announcement of possible taper measures by the Fed, which have now begun. The second was the possible invasion of Syria which the Obama Administration is still desperate for despite successful efforts by the liberty movement to deny him public support for war. And the third event was the last debt ceiling debate (or debt ceiling theater depending on how you look at it), which placed the U.S. squarely on the edge of fiscal default.
As we begin 2014, these same threatening issues remain, only at greater levels and with more prominence. New developments reinforce my original position that this year will be remembered by historians as the year in which the final breakdown of the U.S. monetary dynamic culminated. Here are some of those developments explained…
Taper Of QE3
When I first suggested that a Fed taper was not only possible but probable months ago, I was met with a lot of criticism from some in the alternative economic world. You can read my taper articles here and here.
This was understandable. The Fed uses multiple stimulus outlets besides QE in order to manipulate U.S. markets. Artificially lowering interest rates is very much a form of stimulus in itself, for instance.
However, I think a dangerous blindness to threats beyond money printing has developed within our community of analysts and this must be remedied. People need to realize first that the Fed does NOT care about the continued health of our economy, and they may not care about presenting a facade of health for much longer either. Alternative analysts also need to come to grips with the reality that overt money printing is not the only method at the disposal of globalists when destroying the greenback. A debt default is just as likely to cause loss of world reserve status and devaluation, no printing press required. Blame goes to government and political gridlock while the banks slither away in the midst of the chaos.
The taper of QE3 is not a “head fake”, it is very real, but there are many hidden motivations behind such cuts.
Currently, $20 billion has been cut from the $85 billion per month program, and we are already beginning to see what appear to be market effects, including a flight from emerging market currencies from Argentina to Turkey. A couple of years ago investors viewed these markets as among the few places they could make a positive return, or in other words, one of the few places they could successfully gamble. The Fed taper, though, seems to be shifting the flow of capital away from emerging markets.
The mainstream argument is that stimulus was flowing into emerging markets, giving them liquidity support, and the taper is drying up that liquidity. Whether this is actually true is hard to say, given that without a full audit we have no idea how much fiat the Federal Reserve has actually created and how much of it they send out into foreign markets.
I stand more on the position that the Fed taper was begun in preparation for a slowdown in global markets. In fact, I believe central bankers have been well aware that a decline in every sector was coming, and are moving to insulate themselves.
Look at it this way: The taper program distances the bankers from responsibility for any dramatic changes in our financial framework, at least in the eyes of the general public. If a market crisis takes place WHILE stimulus measures are still at full speed, this makes the banks look rather guilty, or at least incompetent. People would begin to question the validity of central bank methods, and they might even question the validity of the central bank’s existence. The Fed is creating space between itself and the economy because they know that a trigger event is coming. They want to ensure that they are not blamed and that stimulus itself is not seen as ineffective.
We all know that the claims of recovery are utter nonsense. One need only look at true unemployment numbers, dismal sales reports from last quarter, and the all time low household savings of the average American to see this. The taper is not in response to an improving economic environment. Rather, the taper is a signal for the next stage of collapse.
The exodus from emerging market currencies and stocks was coming regardless of the Fed taper because of a global slowdown in demand. This slowdown is clearly visible in the Baltic Dry Index, which has lost around 50 percent of its value in the past three weeks.
Stocks are beginning to plummet around the world and all mainstream pundits are pointing fingers at the reduction in stimulus. What is the message? That we “can’t live” without the aid of the central banks. The truth is, the effectiveness of stimulus manipulation has a shelf life, and that shelf life is over for the Federal Reserve. I suspect they will continue cutting QE every month for the next year as stocks decline.
Government Controlled Investment
Last month, just as taper measures were being implemented, the White House launched an investment program called MyRA; a retirement IRA program in which middle class and low wage Americans can invest part of their paycheck in government bonds.
That’s right, if you wanted to know where the money was going to come from to support U.S. debt if the Fed cuts QE, guess what, the money is going to come from YOU.
For a decade or so China was the primary buyer and crutch for U.S. debt spending. After the derivatives crash of 2008, the Federal Reserve became the largest purchaser of Treasury bonds. With the decline of foreign interest in long term U.S. debt, and the taper in full effect, it only makes sense that the government would seek out an alternative source of capital to continue the debt cycle. The MyRA program turns the general American public into a new cash stream, but there’s more going on here than meets the eye…
I find it rather suspicious that a government-controlled retirement program is suddenly introduced just as the Fed has begun to taper, as stocks are beginning to fall, and as questions arise over the U.S. debt ceiling. I have three major concerns:
First, is it possible that like the Fed, the government is also aware that a crash in stocks is coming? And, are they offering the MyRA program as an easy outlet (or trap) for people to pour in what little savings they have as panic over declining equities accelerates?
Second, the program is currently voluntary, but what if the plan is to make it mandatory? Obama has already signed mandatory health insurance “taxation” into law, which is meant to steal a portion of every paycheck. Why not steal an even larger portion from every paycheck in order to support U.S. debt? It’s for the “greater good,” after all.
Third, is this a deliberate strategy to corral the last vestiges of private American wealth into the corner of U.S. bonds, so that this wealth can be confiscated or annihilated? What happens if there is indeed an eventual debt default, as I believe there will be? Will Americans be herded into bonds by a crisis in stocks only to have bonds implode as well? Will they be conned into bond investment out of a “patriotic duty” to save the nation from default? Or, will the government just take their money through legislative wrangling, as was done in Cyprus not long ago?
The Final Swindle
The next debt ceiling debate is coming at the end of this month. If the government decides to kick the can down the road for another quarter, I believe this will be the last time. The most recent actions of the Fed and the government signal preparations for a stock implosion and ultimate debt calamity. Default would have immediate effects in foreign markets, but the appearance of U.S. stability could drag on for a time, giving the globalists ample opportunity to siphon every ounce of financial blood from the public.
It is difficult to say how the next year will play out, but one thing is certain; something very strange and dangerous is afoot. The goal of globalists is to engineer desperation. To create a catastrophe and then force the masses to beg for help. How many hands of “friendship” will be offered in the wake of a U.S. wealth and currency crisis? What offers for “aid” will come from the IMF? How much of our country and how many of our people will be collateralized to secure that aid? And, how many Americans will go along with the swindle because they were not prepared in advance?
Friday, February 7, 2014
Reporter: ‘How Much Does It Cost’ To Get An Obama Ambassadorship?’ State Department: That’s A ‘TV Question’
February 7, 2014 by Ben Bullard
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki could only giggle and dissemble Friday when ABC News’ Jonathan Karl inquired about President Obama’s recent spate of ambassadorial nominees – all top Obama campaign bundlers – who’ve embarrassed themselves and the Nation by demonstrating they know less than nothing about the countries where they’re headed.
After Psaki attempted to wave off Karl’s original question – whether rudimentary knowledge of a host country is important when the Obama Administration considers a nominee to an ambassador’s post – Karl persisted: “[Most of these [nominees] gave hundreds of thousands of dollars or raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Obama campaign. How much does it cost to become an ambassador, to be named ambassador, in the Obama Administration?”
Here’s the relevant portion of their exchange (H/T The Washington Free Beacon for the transcript):
So I mean, as you know, there’s been some criticism that — of the specific qualifications of some of the recent nominees. I mean, George Tsunis didn’t seem to even know what type of government Norway has, called one of the members of the ruling coalition a fringe element. So I’m wondering does an — does an ambassador have to have at least some basic knowledge of the country that he is going to?PSAKI: Well, I think ambassadors go to countries — obviously that’s the goal — but the ambassadors go to countries to represent the United States, to be a resource to people on the ground. We’ve seen those reports. We’ve all read them. But I would encourage people to give those who have had tougher hearings a chance to go to their countries and see what their tenure will entail. And the judgment can’t be made about how effective they’ll be or how appreciated they’ll be by the government until we have that happen.KARL: So right now you have — the percentage is 37 percent, which is considerably more political appointees than George Bush had, considerably more than Bill Clinton had. And I’m going through the list. I mean, most of these gave hundreds of thousands of dollars or raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Obama campaign. How much does it cost to become an ambassador, to be named ambassador, in the Obama administration?PSAKI: Jonathan Karl, always a TV question. We don’t determine –KARL: Well, it’s serious because –PSAKI: I’m not — I’m not — it is a serious question. We don’t name ambassadors from the State Department. The White House names ambassadors, so I would certainly point you to my old colleagues across the street for that. What I was conveying is that from the State Department point of view there have been many, many political ambassadors, people who have come from a range of histories and backgrounds, who have been very successful and worked very effectively in these roles.
How did she manage to say nothing in that many words?
Duke Professor Campbell Harvey: Fed's QE 'Massively' Distorts Economy
Thursday, 06 Feb 2014 07:00 AM
By Dan Weil
"I don't agree that there should be a QE whatsoever," Harvey told Newsmax TV's "America's Forum." "It is massively distorting for the U.S. and the world economy to have real interest rates that are negative."
The low rates created by QE have pushed the dollar down, distorting trade flows and misallocating resources, Harvey says. "We've seen a surge in [U.S.] exports," he notes. "The reason for the surge is that the U.S. dollar is artificially cheap."
That works out fine for the short term, Harvey says. But, "in the long term, we will pay the price, because we're seeing right now growth rates in emerging markets slowing down," he said. "That will come back and bite the U.S."
The Fed doesn't need to have a $3 trillion balance sheet, Harvey says. "That is going to create problems in the future. So taper, actually, for me, I would prefer that they just end it and start to get their balance sheet in order. If we leave it, the longer it goes, the worse it's going to get."
Much attention is riveted on the size of Fed tapering. But, "what we should be focusing on" given the explosion of the Fed's balance sheet and the continuation of negative real interest rates is "what about the cost?" Harvey said. "The cost is going to come, and it's just a matter of time that we have to pay."
When banks start to repatriate the more than $2 trillion that they have sitting at the Fed, that may lead to a burst of inflation, Harvey said. "That is the main challenge."
New Fed Chairman Janet Yellen has extremely little room to maneuver policy, Harvey says.
"Given that we've had a long tenure of [prior Chairman Ben] Bernanke, her calculus right now is to continue on the path that is set out, have a minimal amount of surprise [and] hope that the U.S. economy continues to grow at 3 percent or 3 percent-plus," he said.
Growth is the only escape from such a huge balance sheet, Harvey says. "So if there's enough growth, that balance sheet can be gradually reduced without having an inflationary impact," he said.
"If that growth slows and that money is repatriated, it is like a helicopter drop of cash on the economy, and there could be explosive inflation."
Meanwhile, if you assume gold should have a constant inflation-adjusted value over time, it should fall to $800 an ounce Harvey says.
In addition, gold may suffer from a resumption of the rise in U.S. long-term interest rates, he says. April gold futures stood at $1,257.90 on the Comex early Wednesday afternoon.
"You want to sell it before it goes to $800," Harvey said.
- El-Erian: Underachieving Congress May Gum Up Economy's Resurgence
- Harvard's Martin Feldstein: It's Still Morning in America
© 2014 Moneynews. All rights reserved.
Post Office joins other federal agencies stockpiling over two billion rounds of ammo
February 5, 2014
February 5, 2014
The U.S. Postal Service is currently seeking companies that can provide “assorted small arms ammunition” in the near future.
On Jan. 31, the USPS Supplies and Services Purchasing Office posted a notice on theFederal Business Opportunities websiteasking contractors to register with USPS as potential ammunition suppliers for a variety of cartridges.
“The United States Postal Service intends to solicit proposals for assorted small arms ammunition,” the notice reads, which also mentioned a deadline of Feb. 10.
The Post Office published the notice just two days after Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) announced his proposal to remove a federal gun ban that prevents lawful concealed carry holders from carrying handguns inside post offices across the country.
Ironically the Postal Service isn’t the first non-law enforcement agency seeking firearms and ammunition.
Since 2001, the U.S. Dept. of Education has been building a massive arsenal through purchases orchestrated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
The Education Dept. has spent over $80,000 so far on Glock pistols and over $17,000 on Remington shotguns.
Back in July, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration also purchased 72,000 rounds of .40 Smith & Wesson, following a 2012 purchase for 46,000 rounds of .40 S&W jacketed hollow point by the National Weather Service.
NOAA spokesperson Scott Smullen responded to concerns over the weather service purchase by stating that it was meant for the NOAA Fisheries Office of Law Enforcement for its bi-annual “target qualifications and training.”
That seems excessive considering that JHP ammunition is typically several times more expensive than practice rounds, which can usually be found in equivalent power loadings and thus offer similar recoil characteristics as duty rounds.
Including mass purchases by the Dept. of Homeland Security, non-military federal agencies combined have purchased an estimated amount of over two billion rounds of ammunition in the past two years.
Additionally, the U.S. Army bought almost 600,000 Soviet AK-47 magazines last fall, enough to hold nearly 18,000,000 rounds of 7.62x39mm ammo which is not standard-issue for either the U.S. military or even NATO.
It would take a Lockheed Martin C-5 Galaxy, one of the largest cargo aircraft in the world, two trips to haul that many magazines.
A month prior, the army purchased nearly 3,000,000 rounds of 7.62x39mm ammo, a huge amount but still only 1/6th of what the magazines purchased can hold in total.
The Feds have also spent millions on riot control measures in addition to the ammo acquisitions.
Earlier this month, Homeland Security spent over $58 million on hiring security details for just two Social Security offices in Maryland.
DHS also spent $80 million on armed guards to protect government buildings in New York and sought even more guards for federal facilities in Wisconsin and Minnesota.
While the government gears up for civil unrest and stockpiles ammo without limit, private gun owners on the other hand are finding ammunition shelves empty at gun stores across America,including shortages of once-common cartridges such as .22 Long Rifle.
UPDATE: Since the publication of this article, the USPS has amended its pre-solicitation, claiming that the ammunition is a "standard purchase" for the Postal Police. This does not explain, however, why the Postal Police was not listed in the original notice if this is standard. As the federal government grows larger, more and more federal agencies such as the Dept. of Education and NOAA are forming and arming their own "law enforcement divisions" with hundreds of thousands spent on full-blown arsenals. Even the EPA has its own SWAT teams conducting raids on peaceful Americans. Expect to see more large-scale firearm and ammunition purchases by these bureaucracies as they become even more militarized.
Is Obama’s Secret Army Mobilizing In The Wake Of The Dow’s Demise?
February 5, 2014 by John Myers
The Dow Jones industrial average, the stock index that represents the wealth and welfare of the Nation, is collapsing before our eyes. With the Dow down almost 1,000 points in just three weeks, I have no doubt that President Barack Obama’s personal police force, his Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), is on standby to engage American citizens in big cities and country communities.
Anyone who believes that JSOC, which originally numbered in the dozens and is now 25,000 strong, was built up to its current size to deal with a few thousand Muslim extremists is disconnected from reality.
“We’re the dark matter. We’re the force that orders the universe but can’t be seen,” a Navy SEAL and JSOC soldier told The Washington Post in 2011.
From whom does this dark force take orders? The son of a Kenyan Marxist commands them. JSOC operates exclusively under the orders of the President of the United States and the Secretary of Defense. What would mobilize this super army into combat? It certainly wouldn’t be some Muslim militants living in the desert 8,000 miles away, sleeping beside their camels and reading from the Quran.
The Hammer Is Cocked On Obama’s Martial Law Mandate
The real purpose of JSOC may be to deal with the millions of Americans who may revolt after years of suffering a sick economy and an onrushing calamitous financial crisis. Many Americans who were once blind can now see. They recognize that the emperor, Barack Obama, has no clothes. They know that the President ruefully ignores the Constitution.
To what extent will Obama and his ruling elite go? The only logical answer is that they will bring any force necessary to protect Obama’s vision of what America should be. The trigger will be a financial collapse, beginning with the Dow and ending with the dollar. It is already set in motion. Neither all of Obama’s horses nor all of Obama’s men can restore our financial system again.
Obama’s personal army already has preparations underway, as Global Research reported in October:
Reports are that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is engaged in a massive, covert military buildup. An article in the Associated Press in February confirmed an open purchase order by DHS for 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition. According to an op-ed in Forbes, that’s enough to sustain an Iraq-sized war for over twenty years. DHS has also acquired heavily armored tanks, which have been seen roaming the streets. Evidently somebody in government is expecting some serious civil unrest. The question is, why?
The answer is obvious. Only due to massive Federal spending and the infusion of trillions of fiat dollars by the Federal Reserve did the U.S. economy not collapse completely in 2009. But the Fed and the Federal government only bought themselves some time — enough time to recruit JSOC and provide military orders against Americans. If you think I am being outrageous, then consider recent history.
The BBC reported that “ex-Labour spin doctor” Damian McBride wrote in his book Power Tripthat former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown had his hand next to the red phone ready to call out troops during the financial collapse in 2008. McBride, who was the special economic adviser to the prime minister, quoted brown as saying:
If the banks are shutting their doors, and the cash points aren’t working, and people go to Tesco and their cards aren’t being accepted, the whole thing will just explode.If you can’t buy food or petrol or medicine for your kids, people will just start breaking the windows and helping themselves.And as soon as people see that on TV, that’s the end, because everyone will think that’s OK now, that’s just what we all have to do. It’ll be anarchy. That’s what could happen tomorrow.
If a recent prime minister of Great Britain was ready to point bayonets at the people who elected him, then it stands to reason that Obama has already planned to do the same. It no longer seems a question of if, but rather how soon. How soon will it be before our troops are patrolling our streets?
In the wake of a stock market (that old exchange that underpins the banks and our monetary system) in its demise, I expect it will be sooner rather than later. How can an American President fail to warn of an economic impending disaster? The answer is he doesn’t want to trip the panic button, at least not until JSOC and other military and police forces are poised to respond.
When I was a teenager, my mother and I went to Ottawa, Canada, to visit my brother and his wife. My brother was an economist for the Bank of Canada. One night, at a small gathering, I was able to talk with a retired Canadian general who had been stationed at NORAD. He told me that the United States had a contingency plan to invade Canada. It seemed inconceivable to me, and I told him so. He said there were a great many contingency plans in Washington I would find even more inconceivable.
Now that I am some decades older, not much seems inconceivable. That the financial system is hanging by a thread is to me irrefutable. I’ve been at this game too long to not know better. It would be naïve to think Obama will not put troops on the ground near our homes.
The list of enemies of the state — most of them American — continues to grow. That is why billions of dollars — the real numbers are kept top secret — are pumped into the National Security Agency and JSOC every year. They have huge underground bunkers and satellites that fly constantly over us. Anyone who believes this spy and police apparatus exists to protect us should invest every cent he has in the Dow Jones industrial average. Perhaps the Dow will go above 20,000 this year. Then again, I might meet the Easter Bunny this spring.
The Dow Jones Debt Average Will Soon Crumble
I first started writing about the markets in 1981 when the Dow stood around 1,000. Today, it stands at nearly 16,000. Do most Americans feel 16 times wealthier than they did 33 years ago? For anyone other than a Wall Street financier, the answer is no. America’s bread-and-butter industries like steel and automobiles are a shadow of what they used to be. Unemployment levels that our President so often brags about are hinged on millions of Americans who have quit looking for work.
Since 1979, U.S. productivity has soared by 79 percent, while real wages have increased by only 8 percent. After you factor in the ultra-rich bankers on Wall Street and the Hollywood moguls on the West Coast, it’s apparent that real wages haven’t budged an inch in 35 years. What has changed from when I was young is a pyramid of debt and trillions of dollars injected over the past decade (especially over the past five years of the Obama Presidency). Under his leadership, America’s financial system is nothing more than cardboard. It supports shockingly overpriced stock market values, a dysfunctional banking system and a U.S. dollar that is on the brink. One whisper of wind will bring it tumbling into ruin.
This leaves us with the greatest challenges any generation of Americans has faced. Martial law will follow as surely as red, black and pale followed the white horse in the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
Yours in good times and bad,