Has The Drug War Incentivized Police To Treat Citizens Like Terrorists?
Authored by Duane Norman via Free Market Shooter blog,
A video of a Florida Sheriff making a promo video to scare has been making the rounds recently. Casey Research recently covered the affair, noting the following quote from Sheriff Grinnell:
“Enjoy looking over your shoulder, constantly wondering if today’s the day we come for you. Enjoy trying to sleep tonight, wondering if tonight’s the night our SWAT team blows your front door off the hinges. We are coming for you.”
The video (reproduced below, with commentary from Casey Research) is as surreal as the above picture implies…
Sheriff Grinnell delivered this message last month while flanked by four combat-ready officers wearing ski masks. It looks like someone from ISIS directed it.
Grinnell’s message was aimed at local drug dealers. You see, Lake County has a serious opioid problem. And like many other places in the US, it’s fighting its drug problem as if it were a war.
…but this is hardly the first time a video like this has been produced, and it likely won’t be the last. Last year, former Sheriff Clay Higgins, known as the “Cajun John Wayne” in Louisiana, released the below video calling out the “Gremlins” gang, and before his resignation, was known for making many similar videos:
Some notable quotes from Sheriff Higgins:
- You won’t walk away. Look at you. Men like us, son, we do Dumbbell presses with weights bigger than you.
- Young man, I’ll meet you on solid ground, anytime, anywhere. Light or heavy, it makes no difference to me.
- You will be hunted, you will be tracked. And if you raise your weapon to a man like me, we’ll return fire with superior fire.
- You don’t like the things I’ve told you tonight? I’ve got one thing to say – I’m easy to find.
This guy certainly has enough one-liners to be worthy of the “Cajun John Wayne” moniker, but it seems none of the police or community leaders behind him bothered to ask why criminals engage in such violent behavior; they are trying to profit from the obscenely high price of illegal drugs. And when it comes to profit, the criminals are hardly alone.
Free Market Shooter has covered the problems with Civil Asset Forfeiture in the past…
Martin Armstrong of Armstrong Economics explains how police have every reason to seize assets, largely because these civil asset forfeitures are literally funding police departments:
Between 1989 and 2010, U.S. attorneys seized an estimated $12.6 billion in asset forfeiture cases. The growth rate during that time averaged +19.4% annually. In 2010 alone, the value of assets seized grew by +52.8% from 2009 and was six times greater than the total for 1989. Then by 2014, that number had ballooned to roughly $4.5 billion for the year, making this 35% of the entire number of assets collected from 1989 to 2010 in a single year. According to the FBI, the total amount of goods stolen by criminals in 2014 burglary offenses suffered an estimated $3.9 billion in property losses. This means that the police are now taking more assets than the criminals.
…but if you take a closer look at the forfeitures themselves, you’ll realize just how many of them are related to the war on drugs:
“Thirty-six percent of all local police departments received money, property, or goods from a drug asset forfeiture program during 2002 (table 32). These departments employed 78% of all local police officers. At least 80% of the departments in each population category of 25,000 or more had drug asset forfeiture receipts.”
“There can be few components of law enforcement programmes which actually cost nothing. The asset forfeiture provision of the federal law for crop suppression (relating mainly to cannabis in the State of Kentucky), proved to be such a case, costing the United States Government $13.7 million, but yielding a return of $53 million in 1991, or almost $4 in assets seized for every $1 invested by the Drug Enforcement Administration.”
“The advent of a now common police tactic, called the “reverse sting,” illustrates the shift in priorities from crime control to funding raids. In a reverse sting, an officer attempts to sell drugs to an unsuspecting buyer. The method permits the police to seize the buyer’s cash rather than a seller’s drugs, which have no value to the agency.
“During the past decade, law enforcement agencies increasingly have turned to asset seizures and drug enforcement grants to compensate for budgetary shortfalls, at the expense of other criminal justice goals. We believe the strange shape of the criminal justice system today—the law enforcement agenda that targets assets rather than crime, the 80 percent of seizures that are unaccompanied by any criminal prosecution, the plea bargains that favor drug kingpins and penalize the “mules” without assets to trade, the reverse stings that target drug buyers rather than drug sellers, the overkill in agencies involved even in minor arrests, the massive shift towards federal jurisdiction over local law enforcement - is largely the unplanned by-product of this economic incentive structure.”
So the drug war has created a massive financial incentive for police to seize property from individuals, one that many departments could require to stay afloat. What do you think happens next?
As Free Market Shooter has covered previously for Single Dude Travel, raids from SWAT teams have become commonplace, with police becoming better armed by the day:
Our nation’s policing system has become profit-driven instead of crime-driven, largely due to the failure of the war on drugs, and the fact that cops have been given surplus military hardware from the armed forces at bargain basement prices. SWAT team raids have gone from a few hundred per year in the 1970s to 50,000 annually, largely because they call SWAT in when “Special Weapons And Tactics” aren’t really needed, such as when apprehending a credit card scammer or raiding an organic farm for the filmiest of reasons. When a SWAT team nearly kills a 19-month old baby with a flashbang grenade, in a raid without the suspect present, how are there no charges filed?
And now that police are all armed to the teeth looking for property to seize, what happens next? The practice is applied everywhere. If you look at a report on the “most outlandish SWAT team raids” across the country, you’ll see just how common it is to have a SWAT team called in:
- Armed agents raid animal shelter in search of baby deer—and kill it.
- Girl’s home wrongfully raided with flashbangs despite door being open.
- SWAT team raids DJ’s studio to enforce copyright law.
- SWAT squad invades private poker game.
- SWAT team raids man’s home in search of stolen koi fish.
- Sex toys, condoms and pajamas seized in drug/prostitution SWAT team raid.
- Peaceful monks arrested in SWAT team action.
- Feds raid Amish dairy farm—twice—for selling unpasteurized milk.
- Police unlawfully invade a series of barbershops without warrants.
- Police forcibly search and detain 19 patrons in gay bar.
- SWAT team confiscates wood used to make instruments during illegal raid.
So, how do you stop police from treating civilians like they would treat terrorists? The best place to start is removing the incentive structure that has been created by the war on drugs, which brings us back to Casey Research’s commentary:
Illegalizing something does nothing but create a black market and give people a reason to induce other people to get high. I mean, people have been drinking alcohol for about the last 10,000 years. But it didn’t become a real problem until the Eighteenth Amendment and the Volstead Act passed in 1920. At that point, it financed the mafia.
Laws turn simple bad habits into massive and profitable criminal enterprises.
The government learned absolutely nothing from the failure of alcohol prohibition. What they’re doing with drugs makes an occasional, trivial problem into a national catastrophe…
However, do not expect that to happen anytime soon; again, as Free Market Shooter has covered in the past, new Attorney General Jeff Sessions is adamant about expanding the war on drugs:
And, in case you weren’t aware, this is the same Jeff Sessions who is on the record as being not only against medicinal marijuana, it is the same Jeff Sessions that has stated that marijuana is only slightly less awful than heroin:
And I am astonished to hear people suggest that we can solve our heroin crisis by legalizing marijuana – so people can trade one life-wrecking dependency for another that’s only slightly less awful.
Then again… it’s not like the prior ten attorney generals did anything but continue the war on drugs. Remember what Casey said about “massive profitable criminal enterprises”?
Published:5/25/2017 11:24:42 PM
Breaking: Today’s Trumpocalypse Story
(Steven Hayward) Back in March I noted in a short item about how Herbert Meyer, Bill Casey’s right hand man at the CIA back during the Reagan years, warned that the intelligence community had ways of making a president’s life miserable, and that Trump had taken a huge risk in alienating the intelligence community, even if they deserve Trump’s opprobrium. We may be seeing an example of the intelligence community taking it out
Published:5/15/2017 5:57:36 PM
Doug Casey On The Opioid Crisis
“Enjoy looking over your shoulder, constantly wondering if today’s the day we come for you. Enjoy trying to sleep tonight, wondering if tonight’s the night our SWAT team blows your front door off the hinges. We are coming for you.”
This sounds like something from an ‘80s action movie. But that’s an actual quote from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office in Tavares, Florida.
Sheriff Grinnell delivered this message last month while flanked by four combat-ready officers wearing ski masks. It looks like someone from ISIS directed it. You can watch the bizarre video here...
Grinnel's message was aimed at local drug dealers. You see, Lake County has a serious opioid problem. And like many other places in the US, it's fighting its drug problem as if it were a war.
After I watched it, I called up Casey Research founder Doug Casey to get his take on the opioid crisis. Below is a transcript of our conversation. We hope you enjoy it.
* * *
Justin: Doug, what do you make of the opioid crisis?
Doug: The news cycle seems to be emphasizing the use of opioids at the moment. Now, these are almost all legal prescription drugs, not illegally smuggled heroin and morphine, as was the case in The French Connection. People get their doctors to prescribe opioids for pain. Of course, pain is not something that you can prove. So it’s legitimate for doctors to prescribe these things. After a while the patient may develop a chemical dependency.
This gets into why people become addicted. I’m of the opinion that all kinds of addictions, not just the opioids in question, but addictions to cocaine, meth, other kinds of narcotics, alcohol, or anything else are basically because of pain.
But it’s not necessarily physical pain. It’s psychological pain, which may be even more important. And psychological pain means that people want to check out of reality. So as the economy gets worse—and I think it will get much, much worse in the near future—you can expect levels of addiction to skyrocket, not to go down.
Addiction is a bad habit, but it’s nobody else’s business. From an ethical point of view, your primary possession is your own body. If you don’t own it, and have a right to do whatever you want with it, then you in fact have no rights at all. That’s why the drug war itself is criminal, and morally insane.
The efforts of dangerous idiots like Sheriff Grinnell are counterproductive. If they confiscate a ton of drugs, that just drives up the market price for those that remain. And increases the profits of dealers, drawing more dealers into the business. And encouraging addicts who can’t afford the higher prices to turn to crime in order to support their habit. That’s entirely apart from increasing the level of violence in society, corrupting the police, and lots of other negative fallout.
I’m always amazed by the immense hypocrisy and stupidity of the drug warriors, as well.
For instance, Rush Limbaugh has always been a major drug warrior. He’s actually said on his show that junkies should be executed because they’re such a danger. And then, what do you know? Turns out that he was an oxycodone junkie. Just like the major crusaders against homosexuality—mirabile dictu—turn out to be closet queers themselves half the time. Like Larry Craig, the Republican Senator who claimed he just had a “wide stance” in a public men’s room.
These people seem driven to make laws against the very things they most fear in themselves.
Justin: What’s fueling this crisis?
Doug: Well, many of these opioids are being paid for by Medicaid and Medicare. So the government’s actually paying for the drug boom.
And it’s especially perverse because drugs were a non-problem before the Harrison Act, which was passed in 1914. The act basically made all opium and coca derivatives illegal in the US. Before that there were very few people that were addicted to narcotics, even though narcotics were available to anybody at the local corner drugstore. Addicts were looked down on as suffering from a moral failure, but there was no more profit in heroin than in aspirin. So there were no cartels or drug gangs.
What we’re dealing with isn’t a medical problem, it’s a psychological, even a spiritual, problem. And a legal problem, because self-righteous busybodies keep passing laws—with very severe penalties—regulating what people can or can’t do with their own bodies. It’s part of the general degradation of civilization that I’ve been putting my finger on over the last few years.
The government is the problem behind addiction, on all levels. It’s a major cause for people feeling psychological pain. And they’re the sole reason these medicines are illegal and unavailable. On the subject of addiction, people can become addicted to most anything—food, sugar, alcohol, gambling, sleep, sex—you name it. It’s not good when you do too much of absolutely anything. But so what?
Justin: So, I take it prohibition isn’t the answer?
Doug: Illegalizing something does nothing but create a black market and give people a reason to induce other people to get high. I mean, people have been drinking alcohol for about the last 10,000 years. But it didn’t become a real problem until the Eighteenth Amendment and the Volstead Act passed in 1920. At that point, it financed the mafia. Laws turn simple bad habits into massive and profitable criminal enterprises.
The government learned absolutely nothing from the failure of alcohol prohibition. What they’re doing with drugs makes an occasional, trivial problem into a national catastrophe…
Justin: Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Doug.
Doug: My pleasure.
Published:5/12/2017 6:48:21 PM
FBI Director James Comey Fired Judge Andrew Napolitano Responds Donald Trump
Judge Andrew Napolitano reacted to President Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey, saying his departure was a long time coming.
Napolitano said Comey's behavior during the Hillary Clinton email probe violated respected regulatory levers of the bureau.
'This Is Nixonian': Democrats Blast Trump For Firing FBI Director Comey
Published:5/9/2017 7:01:38 PM
"This Is Nixonian" - Democrats Demand "Immediate Emergency Hearings" Over Comey Termination
In a desperate bid to ensure their flip-flopping over Comey is not misunderstood, and the focus of the narrative remains on the "Russia-Trump collusion hoax," Democrats are demanding they get their say over President Trump's termination of FBI Director Comey. Chuck Schumer has called the firing a "big mistake," Elizabeth Warren has called for a special prosecutor "who Trump can't fire" in the Russian election interference probe, and Elijah Cummings has issued a statement demanding "immediate emergency hearings."
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) says he told President Trump that his decision to fire FBI Director James Comey was a "big mistake."
"Earlier this afternoon President Trump called me and informed me he was firing Director Comey," Schumer told reporters on Tuesday. "I told the president, 'Mr. President, with all due respect, you are making a big mistake.’ ”
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) hit President Trump for his bombshell decision to fire FBI Director James Comey on Tuesday, calling on Congress to "get their heads out of the sand" and use a special prosecutor to investigate Trump.
As The Hill reports, Warren responded to the news, saying, "we need a real, independent prosecutor who [Trump] can't fire, Sessions can't intimidate and Congress can't muzzle."
Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) on Tuesday demanded “immediate emergency hearings” over President Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey. As The Hill reports, Cummings said in a statement.
“Congress needs to have immediate emergency hearings to obtain testimony directly from Attorney General [Jeff] Sessions, the deputy attorney general and FBI Director Comey,”
“The White House was already covering up for [former national security adviser] Michael Flynn by refusing to provide a single document to Congress, and now the President fired the one independent person who was doing the most to investigate President Trump and his  campaign over allegations of coordination with Russia.”
Cummings added that Sessions’s involvement in Comey’s ouster is “mindboggling,” noting that Sessions stated that he would recuse himself from investigations into any ties between Trump and Russia.
“There is now a crisis of confidence at the Justice Department, and President Trump is not being held accountable because House Republicans refuse to work with us to do our job,” the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee added.
And the rest of The Senate Democrats appeared to be singing from the same hymn sheet, slamming President Trump's decision and drawing comparisons to former President Richard Nixon.
"This is Nixonian,” Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) said in a statement.
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) echoed that language, noting that Trump fired Comey "in the midst of one of the most critical national security investigations in the history of our country — one that implicates senior officials in the Trump campaign and administration."
Published:5/9/2017 7:01:36 PM
"This is nothing less than Nixonian," Leahy said.
James Comey Fired FBI Director Democrats Slam Trump Bob Casey Tim Kaine
Several top Democrats criticized President Trump for firing FBI Director James Comey.
Senator Bob Casey Jr. (D-Pennsylvania) compared Trump to President Richard Nixon in the way he terminated Comey in the midst of an investigation into Russian collusion.
Published:5/9/2017 6:00:53 PM
When Might The Pillaging End?
Authored by Jeff Thomas via InternationalMan.com,
Recently, I published the comment that, when the present debt bubble eventually pops, “governments will lose the economic power to continue their advance against economic freedom.”
The immediate reaction from one reader was, “What could we expect next?… The governments and Deep State aren’t going to ‘just go away.’”
An excellent question—one which deserves an answer.
We won’t need a crystal ball to find the answer; we can look at history. After all, this isn’t the first time a government has engaged in overreach. In fact, it’s the norm. Political leaders tend to expand countries if they can, then build them into empires, becoming increasingly oppressive along the way, then causing the collapse of the empire—generally through welfare and warfare.
The dominant empire of the world today could be said to be the US and its allies, but the hub of the wheel is the US itself, so that’s where we’ll focus. The US is so powerful that it can demand that its citizens pay tax, no matter where they may live in the world. The level of US debt has made the government so flushed with money that it could create a money-collection system that’s beyond any the world has seen.
At some point, however, debt always generates a major crash. What we can expect next will be that the governments will no longer be able to pay for all of their programmes, so they'll have to cut back. How much will they cut back? That will depend on the severity of the collapse. In my estimation, one of the first indicators will be a stock market collapse. Will it drop by 20%? If so, that will only be a correction, and nothing will change significantly. Will it drop 40%? That's an amount I consider very likely and would be an indicator that the economy in general will soon be taking a significant hit, with a knock-on effect as to government coffers. Will it drop 60%? That's quite possible and would be catastrophic. The economy would then go full-on into the Greater Depression.
Unlike the Depression of the 1930s, the country will not be the largely agrarian, highly-productive country of (generally) hard-working people. It will be a society of entitlement-conscious people, who will fail to rise to the occasion. An unproductive society contributes little to its government. In addition, the worldwide credit bubble will pop and the petrodollar will be no more. That will serve to eliminate the false income that the government now relies on. The heroin syringe will be removed suddenly and the government will find itself severely strapped for cash.
So, the government will cut back dramatically—because it has no choice.
So, here’s where you get to picture yourself as the government. What areas do you maintain as sacrosanct and what others do you cut back on? It would make sense to hang on to those programmes that bring in the most revenue and cut the others, but the big-ticket items are welfare and warfare. You no longer have enough money to maintain those in full. You’ll have to cut back on them, but they’re the programmes that allow you to continue in office. Without them, you not only won’t survive the next election, you might face revolts. So, you do what you have to. You dismantle every other department as much as is possible and hope for the best. After all, your primary concern is not the survival of your country’s economy. Your primary concern is your own retention of power.
Historically, what you end up with is fewer departments surviving the cut, with each of the surviving departments operating on a skeleton crew, resulting in all of them being less effective. A good example today is Argentina. It was once the tenth most productive country in the world, but, in the 1950s, the Peróns collapsed the economy through socialism. It’s never recovered. Argentina today passes laws as regularly as any other country, but they’re considered a joke by Argentines. Especially in the outer areas, the laws are largely ignored. Whatever little the government does do is extremely inefficient.
The US has, in recent years, gone way over the top with regard to the economic enslavement of its people, but it has funded the programme through massive heroin (debt) injections. When that debt collapses, the US government will drop dramatically in terms of its ability to control its people in every way, but its main focus will then be on riot and revolt control. That aspect will be fully funded—more so than at present.
At that point, the investor who has a bit of gold or an account in Switzerland will be too costly to go after. Political leaders will be scrambling to save themselves, and there will be far more important priorities to fund.
As a holder of wealth (no matter how small), your objective is to bridge the period from now until then. Diversify yourself as much as you can and then sit tight. The primary objective is to still have your skin on after the dust has settled.
* * *
Today, the US is driving itself straight into a debt-fueled economic crash. This historic financial meltdown will dwarf the Great Depression and 2008 financial crisis. It will wipe out countless investors, including many who thought they were prepared. Don’t let yourself be one of them… New York Times best-selling author Doug Casey and his team recently released a video with Doug’s strategy for what you can do to protect yourself. Click here to watch it.
Published:5/9/2017 1:26:20 AM
Is This WalMart 'Free-For-All' A Taste Of Things To Come?
by Stefan Stanford via AllNewsPipeline.com,
In the new story over at Survival Dan called “During The Collapse: Where To Go And What Places To Avoid”, he reports that when IT hits the fan, America’s ‘population hubs’ will likely explode with violence, looting and the total breakdown of law and order as resources become next to impossible to get and the masses suddenly realize the government isn’t coming to save them.
Whether that be via total collapse, WW3 coming home to roost upon US soil or a ‘grid event’ that leaves tens to hundreds of millions either without power or access to the money in their bank accounts, the video directly below from a WalMart in Mexico gives us a very small taste of what that world without law and order can quickly devolve into.
Showing what happens when suddenly ‘lawless people’ realize that there aren’t enough security guards in a Wal Mart store to stop them, we witness the kind of all-out ‘free for all’ that we’ll likely see in a collapse event, though the smart people would be carrying out food, toilet paper and other necessities instead of flat screen TV’s. And in an all-out SHTF event, we’d expect that the people will likely be fighting with each other for the few remaining resources as they are now in Venezuela where children are literally starving to death.
Following Alt Market’s Brandon Smith warning that ‘a full spectrum crisis is about to take place’ a Wal Mart in Mexico gives us a small glimpse of what might happen here once it all comes crashing down amid more signs that what we’re witnessing in Venezuela may be coming to America.
As commenters on the live leak video clearly point out, we’ve already witnessed events in America similar to what happened in the video above with packs of roving gangs showing up in malls and convenience stores ‘en masse’, taking whatever they want and parading out as if laws don’t matter to them. Knowing such events are already taking place in 2017 America, how much worse might things get when SHTF? As Susan Duclos reported this morning on ANP, parts of America are already a boiling cauldron read to boil over. How many Americans are the frogs in the simmering water?
In this December 2016 story on ANP called “Map Shows Us Where We Don’t Want To Be When It All Turns Ugly”, we reported that nearly 50% of Americans live in very small geographical locations. According to this story from the Daily Mail, half of the US population live within 146 counties while the other 157 million are scattered across the other 3,000+.
The map seen directly below gives us a visual representation of what that looks like with the counties seen below in blue making up approx. 50% of the US population while the remaining 50% of Americans live across the rest of the country in counties seen in gray. When SHTF, does anyone want to be in the blue areas?
As we also reported back in December, the map seen above showing the US counties with the biggest populations coincides quite eerily with the map of US counties won by Hillary Clinton during the last election seen below.
The next map below from James Wesley Rawles’ Survival Blog shows US cities with approx. 100,000 population in yellow circles with the shaded areas surrounding them indicating the distances from those cities with each shaded increment representing approx 40 miles. Showing that most of the East coast and eastern half of the US are within 120 miles of big cities, it’s easy to understand why videographer The Prepared Mind selects some of the areas seen in the final video below as his ‘go to’ areas for when SHTF.
As M.D. Creekmore over at the Survivalist Blog has previously brought to the attention of preppers, getting out of the cities may not be possible for some who are tied to their jobs when SHTF and many of the same areas mentioned in that videohave such low populations for a very good reason – a major lack of jobs in areas long ago hit by the globalists economy that has decimated much of America.
According to Brandon Smith in this recent story over at Alt Market, “I continue to believe that a greater crisis is brewing that is economic and global in nature. With numerous financial bubbles artificially inflated over at least eight years of central bank stimulus, the question is not “if” but WHEN the system will enter the final stages of its ongoing collapse.“
Smith’s warnings echo the warnings given by Doug Casey who recently stated “a civilization always collapses from within. World War 1, in 1914, signaled the start of the long collapse of Western Civilization. Of course, termites were already eating away at the foundations, with the writings of people like Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Karl Marx. It’s been on an accelerating downward path ever since….”
Published:5/7/2017 8:46:12 PM
Doug Casey On The End Of Western Civilization
Authored by Nick Giambruno via InternationalMan.com,
Nick Giambruno: The decline of Western Civilization is on a lot of people’s minds.
Let’s talk about this trend.
Doug Casey: Western Civilization has its origins in ancient Greece. It’s unique among the world’s civilizations in putting the individual—as opposed to the collective—in a central position. It enshrined logic and rational thought—as opposed to mysticism and superstition—as the way to deal with the world. It’s because of this that we have science, technology, great literature and art, capitalism, personal freedom, the concept of progress, and much, much more. In fact, almost everything worth having in the material world is due to Western Civilization.
Ayn Rand once said “East minus West equals zero.” I think she went a bit too far, as a rhetorical device, but she was essentially right. When you look at what the world’s other civilizations have brought to the party, at least over the last 2,500 years, it’s trivial.
I lived in the Orient for years. There are many things I love about it—martial arts, yoga, and the cuisine among them. But all the progress they’ve made is due to adopting the fruits of the West.
Nick Giambruno: There are so many things degrading Western Civilization. Where do we begin?
Doug Casey: It’s been said, correctly, that a civilization always collapses from within. World War 1, in 1914, signaled the start of the long collapse of Western Civilization. Of course, termites were already eating away at the foundations, with the writings of people like Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Karl Marx. It’s been on an accelerating downward path ever since, even though technology and science have been improving at a quantum pace. They are, however, like delayed action flywheels, operating on stored energy and accumulated capital. Without capital, intellectual freedom, and entrepreneurialism, science and technology will slow down. I’m optimistic we’ll make it to Kurzweil’s Singularity, but there are no guarantees.
Things also changed with the creation of the Federal Reserve in 1913. Before that, the US used gold coinage for money. “The dollar” was just a name for 1/20th of an ounce of gold. That is what the dollar was. Paper dollars were just receipts for gold on deposit in the Treasury. The income tax, enacted the same year, threw more sand in the gears of civilization. The world was much freer before the events of 1913 and 1914, which acted to put the State at the center of everything.
The Fed and the income tax are both disastrous and unnecessary things, enemies of the common man in every way. Unfortunately, people have come to believe they’re fixtures in the cosmic firmament. They’re the main reasons—there are many other reasons, though, unfortunately—why the average American’s standard of living has been dropping since the early 1970s. In fact, were it not for these things, and the immense amount of capital destroyed during the numerous wars of the last 100 years, I expect we’d have already colonized the moon and Mars. Among many other things…
But I want to re-emphasize that the science, the technology, and all the wonderful toys we have are not the essence of Western Civilization. They’re consequences of individualism, capitalism, rational thought, and personal freedom. It’s critical not to confuse cause and effect.
Nick Giambruno: You mentioned that the average American’s standard of living has dropped since the early 1970s. This is directly related to the US government abandoning the dollar’s last link to gold in 1971. Since then, the Federal Reserve has been able to debase the US dollar without limit.
I think the dollar’s transformation into a purely fiat currency has eroded the rule of law and morality in the US. It’s similar to what happened in the Roman Empire after it started debasing its currency.
What do you think, Doug?
Doug Casey: All the world’s governments and central banks share a common philosophy, which drives these policies. They believe that you create economic activity by stimulating demand, and you stimulate demand by printing money. And, of course, it’s true, in a way. Roughly the same way a counterfeiter can stimulate a local economy.
Unfortunately, they ignore that, and completely ignore that the way a person or a society becomes wealthy is by producing more than they consume and saving the difference. That difference, savings, is how you create capital. Without capital you’re reduced to subsistence, scratching at the earth with a stick. These people think that by inflating—which is to say destroying—the currency, they can create prosperity. But what they’re really doing, is destroying capital: When you destroy the value of the currency, that discourages people from saving it. And when people don’t save, they can’t build capital, and the vicious cycle goes on.
This is destructive for civilization itself, in both the long term and the short term. The more paper money, the more credit, they create, the more society focuses on finance, as opposed to production. It’s why there are many times more people studying finance than science. The focus is increasingly on speculation, not production. Financial engineering, not mechanical, electrical, or chemical engineering. And lots of laws and regulations to keep the unstable structure from collapsing.
What keeps a truly civil society together isn’t laws, regulations, and police. It's peer pressure, social opprobrium, moral approbation, and your reputation. These are the four elements that keep things together. Western Civilization is built on voluntarism. But, as the State grows, that’s being replaced by coercion in every aspect of society. There are regulations on the most obscure areas of life. As Harvey Silverglate pointed out in his book, the average American commits three felonies a day. Whether he’s caught and prosecuted is a subject of luck and the arbitrary will of some functionary. That’s antithetical to the core values of Western Civilization.
Nick Giambruno: Speaking of ancient civilizations like Rome, interest rates are about the lowest they’ve been in 5,000 years of recorded history. Trillions of dollars’ worth of government bonds trade at negative yields.
Of course, this couldn’t happen in a free market. It’s only possible because of central bank manipulation.
How will artificially low interest rates affect the collapse of Western Civilization?
Doug Casey: It’s really, really serious. I previously thought it was metaphysically impossible to have negative interest rates but, in the Bizarro World central banks have created, it’s happened.
Negative interest rates discourage saving. Once again, saving is what builds capital. Without capital you wind up as an empty shell—Rome in 450 A.D., or Detroit today—lots of wonderful but empty buildings and no economic activity. Worse, it forces people to desperately put their money in all manner of idiotic speculations in an effort to stay ahead of inflation. They wind up chasing the bubbles the funny money creates.
Let me re-emphasize something: in order for science and technology to advance you need capital. Where does capital come from? It comes from people producing more than they consume and saving the difference. Debt, on the other hand, means you’re living above your means. You’re either consuming the capital others have saved, or you’re mortgaging your future.
Zero and negative interest rate policies, and the creation of money out of nowhere, are actually destructive of civilization itself. It makes the average guy feel that he’s not in control of his own destiny. He starts believing that the State, or luck, or Allah will provide for him. That attitude is typical of people from backward parts of the world—not Western Civilization.
Nick Giambruno: What does it say about the economy and society that people work so hard to interpret what officials from the Federal Reserve and other central banks say?
Doug Casey: It’s a shameful waste of time. They remind me of primitives seeking the counsel of witch doctors. One hundred years ago, the richest people in the country—the Rockefellers, the Carnegies, and such—made their money creating industries that actually made stuff. Now, the richest people in the country just shuffle money around. They get rich because they’re close to the government and the hydrant of currency materialized by the Federal Reserve. I’d say it’s a sign that society in the US has become quite degraded.
The world revolves much less around actual production, but around guessing the direction of financial markets. Negative interest rates are creating bubbles, and will eventually result in an economic collapse.
Nick Giambruno: Negative interest rates are essentially a tax on savings. A lot of people would rather pull their money out of the bank and stuff it under a mattress than suffer that sting.
The economic central planners know this. It’s why they’re using negative interest rates to ramp up the War on Cash—the push to eliminate paper currency and create a cashless society.
The banking system is very fragile. Banks don’t hold much paper cash. It’s mostly digital bytes on a computer. If people start withdrawing paper money en masse, it won’t take much to bring the whole system down.
Their solution is to make accessing cash harder, and in some cases, illegal. That’s why the economic witch doctors at Harvard are pounding the table to get rid of the $100 bill.
Take France, for example. It’s now illegal to make cash transactions over €1,000 without documenting them properly.
Negative interest rates have turbocharged the War on Cash. If the central planners win this war, it would be the final deathblow to financial privacy.
How does this all relate to the collapse of Western Civilization?
Doug Casey: I believe the next step in their idiotic plan is to abolish cash. Decades ago they got rid of gold coinage, which used to circulate day to day in people’s pockets. Then they got rid of silver coinage. Now, they’re planning to get rid of cash altogether. So you won’t even have euros or dollars or pounds in your wallet anymore, or if you do, it will only be very small denominations. Everything else is going to have to be done through electronic payment processing.
This is a huge disaster for the average person: absolutely everything that you buy or sell, other than perhaps a candy bar or a hamburger, is going to have to go through the banking system. Thus, the government will be able to monitor every transaction and payment. Financial privacy, even what’s left of it today, will literally cease to exist.
Privacy is one of the big differences between a civilized society and a primitive society. In a primitive society, in your little dirt hut village, anybody can look through your window or pull back the flap on your tent. You have no privacy. Everybody can hear everything; see anything. This was one of the marvelous things about Western Civilization—privacy was valued, and respected. But that concept, like so many others, is on its way out…
Nick Giambruno: You’ve mentioned before that language and words provide important clues to the collapse of Western Civilization. How so?
Doug Casey: Many of the words you hear, especially on television and other media, are confused, conflated, or completely misused. Many recent changes in the way words are used are corrupting the language. As George Orwell liked to point out, to control language is to control thought. The corruption of language is adding to the corruption of civilization itself. This is not a trivial factor in the degradation of Western Civilization.
Words—their exact meanings, and how they’re used—are critically important. If you don’t mean what you say and say what you mean, then it’s impossible to communicate accurately. Forget about transmitting philosophical concepts.
Take for example shareholders and stakeholders. We all know that a shareholder actually owns a share in a company, but have you noticed that over the last generation shareholders have become less important than stakeholders? Even though stakeholders are just hangers-on, employees, or people who are looking to get in on a shakedown. But everybody slavishly acknowledges, “Yes, we’ve got to look out for the stakeholders.”
Where did that concept come from? It’s a recent creation, but Boobus americanus seems to think it was carved in stone at the country’s founding.
We’re told to protect them, as if they were a valuable and endangered species. I say, “A pox upon stakeholders.” If they want a vote in what a company does, then they ought to become shareholders. Stakeholders are a class of being created out of nothing by Cultural Marxists for the purpose of shaking down shareholders.
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There’s major turmoil ahead for Western Civilization. We expect the fallout to be far worse than 2008. Most investors can’t handle that sort of chaos. But Doug Casey and his team know how to turn it into huge profits. They’re sharing need-to-know information about the coming global economic meltdown in this time-sensitive video. Click here to watch it now.
Published:5/6/2017 8:13:58 PM
Where Do You Go In A 'Hurricane'?
Submitted by Jeff Thomas via InternationalMan.com,
As a West Indian, I’ve lived through quite a few hurricanes in my time. My level of responsibility in each varied quite a bit. I was eight years old in my first hurricane and I thought it was great fun, as it was so exciting during the hurricane and, afterward, the landscape had changed so much that I had lots of new places to play.
On the other end of the scale, in 2004, my country, the Cayman Islands, experienced a Category 5 hurricane, with winds up to 200 miles per hour that sat on us without moving for 36 hours. I was responsible for ensuring that safety be provided for scores of my employees prior to the hurricane. After the storm, one of my companies took on the complete rebuilding of the country’s wholesale and retail food distribution facilities in order to ensure that the country’s population would have the most essential commodities—food and water. (A big change in level of responsibility over the years.)
In addition to having spent decades planning for hurricane damage, I’ve also spent decades as an economist, planning for major economic storms. In 1999, I determined that the world would experience what Doug Casey has termed a Greater Depression that would be more devastating than any economic event the world had ever seen. I predicted that it would happen in stages and that the final stage would be the most devastating. I would have been quite pleased to have been incorrect, but unfortunately, my predictions have come to pass. I believe we’re now quite close to the final destruction stage, a period that will lead to the collapse of many of the world’s formerly strongest economies, coinciding with a period of devastating warfare. In both the economic and warfare cases, those who are the world’s major players will believe that they’ll be able to control the extent of devastation and even profit from it, but events will go beyond their control and take on a life of their own.
As in the image above, there will not be just one, but multiple epicentres. Europe and North America will be hit the hardest economically. Next in line will be those countries, such as Japan, Australia, etc., that are the most closely linked economically with these centres. The next tier down will be those countries that are dependent on the centres, but more peripherally, such as Panama or Mexico. Finally, there will be those countries that are the least linked to the major centres, such as Uruguay or Thailand.
All countries will be impacted by the coming economic hurricane, but the effects will vary. Those in the US and Europe will experience the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane. Those in Australia and Japan will experience a Category 4. Countries in the third tier will experience a Category 3, and those countries that are either distant from or the least economically dependent upon the epicentres will experience Category 2 or even Category 1 damage.
This is not mere speculation. In examining previous depressions and the last two world wars, we can see that those countries that were the least connected to events tended to fare well. This will hold true this time around as well.
When we turn on the television and the weatherman says that a hurricane is approaching, we have to make a decision. Do we trust in the hope that it might not pass directly over us? Do we question the severity of the storm as it’s being described to us? Should we plan to stay at home, as in a Category 1 or Category 2 storm, or should we plan to go to a local shelter as in a Category 3 or Category 4 storm? Or, do we believe we’ll be experiencing the devastation of a Category 5, in which case we’d pack our bags, wave goodbye to our home, and get as far away from the epicentre as possible?
Well, first, we’d better look at the categories, then, based on where we’re located, ask ourselves what we need to do. We’re presently already experiencing Category 1 conditions.
Category 1 Warfare: Minor civil disobedience and/or riots
Category 1 Economics: Increased mortgage foreclosures, some strip-shop and mall closings, decreased spending overall
Category 2 Warfare: Major civil disobedience, riots, and/or insurrection
Category 2 Economics: The above, plus tariff wars, stock and bond market crashes
Category 3 Warfare: Minor bombing and/or ground invasion
Category 3 Economics: The above, plus minor inability of governments to pay entitlements, significant inflation, credit collapse
Category 4 Warfare: Major bombing and/or ground invasion
Category 4 Economics: The above, plus the end of the dollar as a reserve currency/end of the petrodollar, considerable inflation, short-term bank closures
Category 5 Warfare: Nuclear destruction
Category 5 Economics: The above, plus major inability of governments to pay entitlements, permanent closure of the majority of banks, currency collapse, confiscation of deposits, major internal capital controls
The above descriptions are not by any means comprehensive. They represent basic categories, to which many details can and should be added.
So, what should your personal plan be? Well, if you’re located in one of the epicentres (the EU and US), you might devise a plan to head out to the country, if you have a destination that you either own or rent. Then, depending on the severity of the storm, you may survive the damage. (A rural area is the equivalent of a hurricane shelter.) However, if you’re dependent on your government for income, you may not be able to survive a Category 3 storm. Even if your income is independent of your government, you may not be able to survive a Category 4 or 5 storm, as you’ll still be under the control of a collapsing system.
The closer you are to an epicentre, the worse the damage promises to be to you personally. And the stronger the hurricane, the greater the damage. It’s important to remember that personal preparedness will help, but the worse the state your government, infrastructure, local businesses and neighbours will be in, the more you’ll be impacted by their condition, even if you’re personally prepared.
As an example, those who choose to sit out a Category 5 monetary and/or warfare hurricane in Uruguay would be likely to fare quite well, just as the Europeans who went there during the world wars. (Very few of them returned after the wars, having found a better life abroad.)
In a Category 4 hurricane, life would be likely to remain relatively stable in areas such as the southeastern provinces of Mexico. In a Category 3, New Zealand might just be manageable.
However, in order to assess your personal situation, it would be advisable to have another look at the categories above and decide for yourself what degree of damage is likely in the near future, then make a personal assessment as to whether you’re willing to chance experiencing that level of damage.
We’ve passed the point of whether there’ll be a hurricane; we just can’t be sure how severe it’ll be. The winds are already picking up and those who choose to make a move will need to do so soon.
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If you live in the US or the EU, expect the coming financial hurricane to be a Category 5. Think major currency collapses, big bank closures, and capital controls. In other words, total financial mayhem. New York Times best-selling author Doug Casey and his team share all the details in this urgent video. Click here to watch it now.
Published:5/1/2017 8:46:22 PM
Doug Casey On Why Gold Is Money
Authored by Doug Casey via InternationalMan.com,
It’s an unfortunate historical anomaly that people think about the paper in their wallets as money. The dollar is, technically, a currency. A currency is a government substitute for money. But gold is money.
Now, why do I say that?
Historically, many things have been used as money. Cattle have been used as money in many societies, including Roman society. That’s where we get the word “pecuniary” from: the Latin word for a single head of cattle is pecus. Salt has been used as money, also in ancient Rome, and that’s where the word “salary” comes from; the Latin for salt is sal (or salis). The North American Indians used seashells. Cigarettes were used during WWII. So, money is simply a medium of exchange and a store of value.
By that definition, almost anything could be used as money, but obviously, some things work better than others; it’s hard to exchange things people don’t want, and some things don’t store value well. Over thousands of years, the precious metals have emerged as the best form of money. Gold and silver both, though primarily gold.
There’s nothing magical about gold. It’s just uniquely well suited among the 98 naturally occurring elements for use as money…in the same way aluminum is good for airplanes or uranium is good for nuclear power.
There are very good reasons for this, and they are not new reasons. Aristotle defined five reasons why gold is money in the 4th century BCE (which may only have been the first time it was put down on paper). Those five reasons are as valid today as they were then.
When I give a speech, I often offer a prize to the audience member who can tell me the five classical reasons gold is the best money. Quickly now—what are they? Can’t recall them? Read on, and this time, burn them into your memory.
If you can’t define a word precisely, clearly, and quickly, that’s proof you don’t understand what you’re talking about as well as you might. The proper definition of money is as something that functions as a store of value and a medium of exchange.
Government fiat currencies can, and currently do, function as money. But they are far from ideal. What, then, are the characteristics of a good money? Aristotle listed them in the 4th century BCE. A good money must be all of the following:
Durable: A good money shouldn’t fall apart in your pocket nor evaporate when you aren’t looking. It should be indestructible. This is why we don’t use fruit for money. It can rot, be eaten by insects, and so on. It doesn’t last.
Divisible: A good money needs to be convertible into larger and smaller pieces without losing its value, to fit a transaction of any size. This is why we don’t use things like porcelain for money—half a Ming vase isn’t worth much.
Consistent: A good money is something that always looks the same, so that it’s easy to recognize, each piece identical to the next. This is why we don’t use things like oil paintings for money; each painting, even by the same artist, of the same size and composed of the same materials is unique. It’s also why we don’t use real estate as money. One piece is always different from another piece.
Convenient: A good money packs a lot of value into a small package and is highly portable. This is why we don’t use water for money, as essential as it is—just imagine how much you’d have to deliver to pay for a new house, not to mention all the problems you’d have with the escrow. It’s also why we don’t use other metals like lead, or even copper. The coins would have to be too huge to handle easily to be of sufficient value.
Intrinsically valuable: A good money is something many people want or can use. This is critical to money functioning as a means of exchange; even if I’m not a jeweler, I know that someone, somewhere wants gold and will take it in exchange for something else of value to me. This is why we don’t—or shouldn’t—use things like scraps of paper for money, no matter how impressive the inscriptions upon them might be.
Actually, there’s a sixth reason Aristotle should have mentioned, but it wasn’t relevant in his age, because nobody would have thought of it…it can’t be created out of thin air.
Not even the kings and emperors who clipped and diluted coins would have dared imagine that they could get away with trying to use something essentially worthless as money.
These are the reasons why gold is the best money. It’s not a gold bug religion, nor a barbaric superstition. It’s simply common sense. Gold is particularly good for use as money, just as aluminum is particularly good for making aircraft, steel is good for the structures of buildings, uranium is good for fueling nuclear power plants, and paper is good for making books. Not money. If you try to make airplanes out of lead, or money out of paper, you’re in for a crash.
That gold is money is simply the result of the market process, seeking optimum means of storing value and making exchanges.
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Published:5/1/2017 1:32:33 AM
Doug Casey On Why It's OK To Discriminate
It was the worst article I’ve ever read. The piece was titled “Could It Be Time To Deny White Men The Franchise?” In it, the author argued why white men should no longer be allowed to vote.
(The Huffington Post has since pulled the original article down claiming that the author “cannot be traced and appears not to exist.” Luckily, we were able to track down the original article. You can read it here.)
As soon as I finished reading the article, I sent it to Casey Research founder Doug Casey. He replied:
“Fascinating. At first, it seemed like a comedy piece. But it's clear she's serious.”
A few days later, Doug and I chatted about the article.
Below is a transcript of our conversation. We hope you enjoy it.
* * *
Justin: Doug what did you think of that Huffington Post article I sent you?
Doug: I read the article when it was still up, and it was absolutely incredible. That’s not just a figure of speech. I mean it beggared belief. I urge everyone reading this to hit the link. These people don’t seem to realize that they’re actually parodies of themselves. I mean, they’re always talking about racism and xenophobia and sexism and ageism and the like. They don’t look at people as individuals, they look at people as members of classes. That’s why it’s called “identity politics”—you don’t identify as an individual, but as a member of a group or a class. And, of course, their philosophical background is cultural Marxism. Because, you know, one of the central points of Marxism is that people are all members of classes.
But it’s actually gone beyond that. It’s become fashionable now to hate white males in particular. They say that women, blacks, Muslims—pick a group, any group except for white males—are all discriminated against.
I would say, in the first place, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with discrimination in itself. Discrimination can be rational. Discrimination can be intelligent. It’s often necessary. It’s a matter of what you’re basing your discrimination on.
You have to discriminate between things that will help you and things that will hurt you. And that can include other groups or even other people. It’s a genetic trait to be more favorably inclined towards people like yourself. Tribes usually identify themselves as “the people”, and everybody else is “other”, a potential enemy. It makes sense to recognize facts of reality. Different ethnic and religious groups have different beliefs, customs, and ethics. Until you can get to know them as individuals it makes sense to generalize.
But it goes deeper than that with this insane article. What these people really hate is Western Civilization and everything it represents. The question is: Why do these people think it’s virtuous to discriminate against white males? White males are largely responsible for Western Civilization. Which is shorthand for things like individualism, free markets, free thought, science, literature, industry, and about everything that’s allowed mankind to rise out of the muck and look to conquer the planets.
That’s what this article really hates.
So, it’s fascinating not so much that somebody wrote an article as stupid as that. But that a large outlet like Huffington would actually publish it. It’s a sign of how degraded things are. I’d say the author suffers from a serious psychological aberration. The editor who posted it is clearly a graduate of some PC US university, probably a major in Gender Studies.
It’s too bad that they took it down because it should be put on display, as a warning. Unless they repost it in The Onion.
Justin: I totally agree, Doug. I’ve also noticed that these people don’t really want equality for all. They want equality for some. It’s incredibly hypocritical.
Doug: It’s actually all about envy. Envy is a vice—it’s different from jealousy, another vice. Jealousy is a vice that says, “You have something, I want it, I’ll take it away from you.” Envy is even worse. It says, “You have something that I want, I can’t get it, so I’ll destroy it, so you can’t have it either.” These people aren’t just misguided. They’re mentally ill. They’re actually evil. But they’re not just taken seriously, they’re treated with respect. And they’re endemic to society at this point. This is cause for great pessimism.
Justin: It’s certainly not the only reason to be pessimistic, either. But that’s it for today. Thank you for taking the time to speak with me.
Doug: You’re welcome.
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Doug and his team just released a new video presentation that explains a unique way to get paid every month on autopilot. Thanks to a brand-new initiative started by the US government, you can potentially earn an extra $10,000 to $40,000 over the next three years. If you're interested, you can watch it right here.
Published:4/26/2017 7:08:08 PM
Islam In The Heart Of England And France
Authored by Denis MacEoin via The Gatestone Institute,
- "There are plenty of private Muslim schools and madrasas in this city. They pretend that they all preach tolerance, love and peace, but that isn't true. Behind their walls, they force-feed us with repetitive verses of the Qur'an, about hate and intolerance." — Ali, an 18-year-old of French origin, whose father was radicalized.
- "In England, they are free to speak. They speak only of prohibitions, they impose on one their rigid vision of Islam but, on the other hand, they listen to no-one, most of all those who disagree with them." — Yasmina, speaking of extremist Muslims in the UK.
- "Birmingham is worse than Molenbeek" -- the Brussels borough that The Guardian described as "becoming known as Europe's jihadi central." — French commentator, republishing an article by Rachida Samouri.
The city of Birmingham in the West Midlands, the heart of England, the place where the Industrial Revolution began, the second city of the UK and the eighth-largest in Europe, today is Britain's most dangerous city. With a large and growing Muslim population, five of its electoral wards have the highest levels of radicalization and terrorism in the country.
In February, French journalist Rachida Samouri published an article in the Parisian daily Le Figaro, in which she recounted her experiences during a visit there. In "Birmingham à l'heure islamiste" ("Birmingham in the Time of Islam") she describes her unease with the growing dislocation between normative British values and those of the several Islamic enclaves. She mentions the Small Heath quarter, where nearly 95% of the population is Muslim, where little girls wear veils; most of the men wear beards, and women wear jilbabs and niqabs to cover their bodies and faces. Market stalls close for the hours of prayer; the shops display Islamic clothes and the bookshops are all religious. Women she interviewed condemned France as a dictatorship based on secularism (laïcité), which they said they regarded as "a pretext for attacking Muslims". They also said that they approved of the UK because it allowed them to wear a full veil.
Another young woman, Yasmina, explained that, although she may go out to a club at night, during the day she is forced to wear a veil and an abaya [full body covering]. She then goes on to speak of the extremists:
"In England, they are free to speak. They speak only of prohibitions, they impose on one their rigid vision of Islam but, on the other hand, they listen to no-one, most of all those who disagree with them."
Speaking of the state schools, Samouri describes "an Islamization of education unthinkable in our [French] secular republic". Later, she interviews Ali, an 18-year-old of French origin, whose father has become radicalized. Ali talks about his experience of Islamic education:
"There are plenty of private Muslim schools and madrasas in this city. They pretend that they all preach tolerance, love and peace, but that isn't true. Behind their walls, they force-feed us with repetitive verses of the Qur'an, about hate and intolerance."
Samouri cites Ali on the iron discipline imposed on him, the brutality used, the punishment for refusing to learn the Qur'an by heart without understanding a word of it, or for admitting he has a girlfriend.
Elsewhere, Samouri notes young Muslim preachers for whom "Shari'a law remains the only safety for the soul and the only code of law to which we must refer". She interviews members of a Shari'a "court" before speaking with Gina Khan, an ex-Muslim who belongs to the anti-Shari'a organization One Law for All. According to Samouri, Khan -- a secular feminist -- considers the tribunals "a pretext for keeping women under pressure and a means for the religious fundamentalists to extend their influence within the community".
Another teenager of French origin explains how his father prefers Birmingham to France because "one can wear the veil without any problem and one can find schools where boys and girls do not mix". "Birmingham," says Mobin, "is a little like a Muslim country. We are among ourselves, we do not mix. It's hard".
Samouri herself finds this contrast between secular France and Muslim England disturbing. She sums it up thus:
"A state within a state, or rather a rampant Islamization of one part of society -- [is] something which France has succeeded in holding off for now, even if its secularist model is starting to be put to the test".
Another French commentator, republishing Samouri's article, writes, "Birmingham is worse than Molenbeek" -- the Brussels borough that The Guardian described as "becoming known as Europe's jihadi central."
The comparison with Molenbeek may be somewhat exaggerated. What is perplexing is that French writers should focus on a British city when, in truth, the situation in France -- despite its secularism -- is in some ways far worse than in the UK. Recent authors have commented on France's growing love for Islam and its increasing weakness in the face of Islamist criminality. This weakness has been framed by a politically-correct desire to stress a multiculturalist policy at the expense of taking Muslim extremists and fundamentalist organizations at face value and with zero tolerance for their anti-Western rhetoric and actions. The result? Jihadist attacks in France have been among the worst in history. It is calculated that the country has some some 751 no-go zones ("zones urbaines sensibles"), places where extreme violence breaks out from time to time and where the police, firefighters, and other public agents dare not enter for fear of provoking further violence.
Many national authorities and much of the media deny that such enclaves exist, but as the Norwegian expert Fjordman has recently explained:
If you say that there are some areas where even the police are afraid to go, where the country's normal, secular laws barely apply, then it is indisputable that such areas now exist in several Western European countries. France is one of the hardest hit: it has a large population of Arab and African immigrants, including millions of Muslims.
There are no such zones in the UK, certainly not at that level. There are Muslim enclaves in several cities where a non-Muslim may not be welcome; places that resemble Pakistan or Bangladesh more than England. But none of these is a no-go zone in the French, German or Swedish sense -- places where the police, ambulances, and fire brigades are attacked if they enter, and where the only way in (to fight a fire, for example) is under armed escort.
Samouri opens her article with a bold-type paragraph stating:
"In the working-class quarters of the second city of England, the sectarian lifestyle of the Islamists increasingly imposes itself and threatens to blow up a society which has fallen victim to its multicultural utopia".
Has she seen something British commentators have missed?
The Molenbeek comparison may not be entirely exaggerated. In a 1000-page report, "Islamist Terrorism: Analysis of Offences and Attacks in the UK (1998-2015)," written by the respected analyst Hannah Stuart for Britain's Henry Jackson Society, Birmingham is named more than once as Britain's leading source of terrorism.
One conclusion that stands out is that terror convictions have apparently doubled in the past five years. Worse, the number of offenders not previously known to the authorities has increased sharply. Women's involvement in terrorism, although still less than men's, "has trebled over the same period". Alarmingly, "Proportionally, offences involving beheadings or stabbings (planned or otherwise) increased eleven-fold across the time periods, from 4% to 44%." (p. xi)
Only 10% of the attacks are committed by "lone wolves"; almost 80% were affiliated with, inspired by or linked to extremist networks -- with 25% linked to al-Muhajiroun alone. As the report points out, that organization (which went under various names) was once defended by some Whitehall officials -- a clear indication of governmental naivety.
Omar Bakri Muhammed, who co-founded the British Islamist organization al-Muhajiroun, admitted in a 2013 television interview that he and co-founder Anjem Choudary sent western jihadists to fight in many different countries. (Image source: MEMRI video screenshot)
A more important conclusion, however, is that a clear link is shown between highly-segregated Muslim areas and terrorism. As the Times report on the Henry Jackson Society review points out, this link "was previously denied by many". On the one hand:
Nearly half of all British Muslims live in neighbourhoods where Muslims form less than a fifth of the population. However, a disproportionately low number of Islamist terrorists — 38% — come from such neighbourhoods. The city of Leicester, which has a sizeable but well-integrated Muslim population, has bred only two terrorists in the past 19 years.
But on the other hand:
Only 14% of British Muslims live in neighbourhoods that are more than 60% Muslim. However, the report finds, 24% of all Islamist terrorists come from these neighbourhoods. Birmingham, which has both a large and a highly segregated Muslim population, is perhaps the key example of the phenomenon.
The report continues:
Just five of Britain's 9,500 council wards — all in Birmingham — account for 26 convicted terrorists, a tenth of the national total. The wards — Springfield, Sparkbrook, Hodge Hill, Washwood Heath and Bordesley Green — contain sizeable areas where the vast majority of the population is Muslim.
Birmingham as a whole, with 234,000 Muslims across its 40 council wards, had 39 convicted terrorists. That is many more than its Muslim population would suggest, and more than West Yorkshire, Greater Manchester and Lancashire put together, even though their combined Muslim population is about 650,000, nearly three times that of Birmingham. There are pockets of high segregation in the north of England but they are much smaller than in Birmingham.
The greatest single number of convicted terrorists, 117, comes from London, but are much more widely spread across that city than in Birmingham and their numbers are roughly proportionate to the capital's million-strong Muslim community.
Hannah Stuart, the study's author, has observed that her work has raised "difficult questions about how extremism takes root in deprived communities, many of which have high levels of segregation. Much more needs to be done to challenge extremism and promote pluralism and inclusivity on the ground."
Many observers say Birmingham has failed that test:
"It is a really strange situation," said Matt Bennett, the opposition spokesman for education on the council. "You have this closed community which is cut off from the rest of the city in lots of ways. The leadership of the council doesn't particularly wish to engage directly with Asian people — what they like to do is have a conversation with one person who they think can 'deliver' their support."
Clearly, lack of integration is, not surprisingly, the root of a growing problem. This is the central theme of Dame Louise Casey's important report of last December to the British government. Carried out under instructions of David Cameron, prime minister at the time, "The Casey Review: A review into opportunity and integration" identifies some Muslim communities (essentially those formed by Pakistani and Bangladeshi immigrants and their offspring) as the most resistant to integration within British society. Such communities do little or nothing to encourage their children to join in non-Muslim education, events, or activities; many of their women speak no English and play no role within wider society, and large numbers say they prefer Islamic shari'a law to British law.
Casey makes particular reference to the infamous Trojan Horse plot, uncovered in 2014, in which Muslim radicals conspired to introduce fundamentalist Salafi doctrines and practices into a range of Birmingham schools -- not just private Muslim faith schools but regular state schools (pp. 114 ff.): "a number of schools in Birmingham had been taken over to ensure they were run on strict Islamic principles..."
It is important to note that these were not 'Muslim' or 'faith' schools. [Former British counterterrorism chief] Peter Clarke, in his July 2014 report said:
"I took particular note of the fact that the schools where it is alleged that this has happened are state non-faith schools..."
He highlighted a range of inappropriate behaviour across the schools, such as irregularities in employment practices, bullying, intimidation, changes to the curriculum, inappropriate proselytizing in non-faith schools, unequal treatment and segregation. Specific examples included:
- a teachers' social media discussion called the "Park View Brotherhood", in which homophobic, extremist and sectarian views were aired at Park View Academy and others;
- teachers using anti-Western messages in assemblies, saying that White people would never have Muslim children's interests at heart;
- the introduction of Friday Prayers in non-faith state schools, and pressure on staff and students to attend. In one school, a public address system was installed to call pupils to prayer, with a member of the staff shouting at students who were in the playground, not attending prayer, and embarrassing some girls when attention was drawn to them because girls who are menstruating are not allowed to attend prayer; and
- senior staff calling students and staff who do not attend prayers 'k****r'. (Kuffar, the plural of kafir, an insulting term for "unbelievers". This affront reproduces the Salafi technique of condemning moderate or reformist Muslims as non-Muslims who may then be killed for being apostates.)
Casey then quotes Clarke's conclusion:
"There has been co-ordinated, deliberate and sustained action, carried out by a number of associated individuals, to introduce an intolerant and aggressive Islamic ethos into a few schools in Birmingham. This has been achieved in a number of schools by gaining influence on the governing bodies, installing sympathetic headteachers or senior members of staff, appointing like-minded people to key positions, and seeking to remove head teachers they do not feel sufficiently compliant."
The situation, Casey states, although improved from 2014, remains unstable. She quotes Sir Michael Wilshaw, Her Majesty's Chief Inspector, in a letter to the Secretary of State for Education, which declared as late as July 8, 2016, that the situation "remains fragile", with:
- a minority of people in the community who are still intent on destabilising these schools;
- a lack of co-ordinated support for the schools in developing good practice;
- a culture of fear in which teachers operate having gone underground but still there;
- overt intimidation from some elements within the local community;
- organised resistance to the personal, social and health education (PSHE) curriculum and the promotion of equality.
Elsewhere, Casey notes two further issues in Birmingham alone, which shed light on the city's Muslim population. Birmingham has the largest number of women who are non-proficient in English (p. 96) and the largest number of mosques (161) in the UK (p. 125).
For many years, the British government has fawned on its Muslim population; evidently the government thought that Muslims would in due course integrate, assimilate, and become fully British, as earlier immigrants had done. More than one survey, however, has shown that the younger generations are even more fundamentalist than their parents and grandparents, who came directly from Muslim countries. The younger generations were born in Britain but at a time when extremist Islam has been growing internationally, notably in countries with which British Muslim families have close connections. Not only that, but a plethora of fundamentalist preachers keep on passing through British Muslim enclaves. These preachers freely lecture in mosques and Islamic centres to youth organizations, and on college and university campuses.
Finally, it might be worth noting that Khalid Masood, a convert to Islam who killed four and injured many more during his attack outside the Houses of Parliament in March, had been living in Birmingham before he set out to wage jihad in Britain's capital.
It is time for some hard thinking about the ways in which modern British tolerance of the intolerant and its embrace of a wished-for, peace-loving multiculturalism have furthered this regression. Birmingham is probably the place to start.
Published:4/26/2017 1:32:58 AM
Venezuela's Maduro - Selling The Golden Goose
Authored by Jeff Thomas via InternationalMan.com,
Venezuela is a naturally rich nation. It’s ranked seventh worldwide for biodiversity and has the world’s largest reserves of oil. This is a country that deserves, more than most, to thrive. However, as in all countries, it passes through economic cycles and, when on a downward curve, would-be leaders take the opportunity to claim that the “greedy rich” have sent the economy into a tailspin (which can sometimes be the case) and that the solution is to adopt a collectivist approach to governance.
In 1989, Venezuela was experiencing a downturn. Riots broke out, followed by two attempted coups in 1992. The following year, President Pérez was impeached for embezzlement of public funds and the red carpet of opportunity was rolled out for the charismatic former coup participant Hugo Chávez. He took office as president in 1998. A new constitution was drawn up in 1999 and, as in so many countries previously, the people enthusiastically welcomed the new collectivist regime.
“When people can vote on issues involving the transfer of wealth to themselves from others, the ballot box becomes a weapon with which the majority plunders the minority. That is the point of no return, the point where the doomsday mechanism begins to accelerate until the system self-destructs. The plundered grow weary of carrying the load and eventually join the plunderers. The productive base of the economy diminishes further until only the state remains.”
– G. Edward Griffin
As in all collectivist experiments, the new entitlements meted out to the population had to be funded somehow and, as is customary, those who create the wealth in Venezuela were required to pay for its distribution to those who were less productive.
In the beginning, this form of theft appears to work well and, not surprisingly, many of the supporters of Mister Chávez saw him as the messiah of the common man. Unfortunately, as is always the case, bleeding the wealth from those who create it makes it increasingly difficult for them to continue to expand the creation of it and, as the wealth continues to be drained, contraction eventually takes place, making the entire nation poorer in every way.
At some point the collectivist system begins to unravel and, as luck would have it, the unravelling for Venezuela coincided with the death of its cherished leader.
In 2013, former bus driver Nicolás Maduro was elected as his successor. Two months earlier, the currency had been devalued to combat increasing shortages of basic goods and Venezuela fell into recession within a year of Mister Maduro taking office. By 2016, he declared a state of national emergency and proceeded to institute a series of knee-jerk responses to increasing economic decline, which would, to some degree, appease the struggling populace, but which would, ultimately, exacerbate the problem.
As conditions have worsened, Mister Maduro’s “solutions” have become increasingly desperate. (Editor’s note: Jeff Thomas has provided commentary on Venezuela’s decline in several editions of International Man: “Watch the Movie,” Jan. 2014, “Venezuela, the Sequel,” Dec. 2016, and “A Chicken in Every Pot,” Dec. 2016.)
In so doing, he hasn’t exactly been creative. He has, instead, resorted to all the classic measures that have been used by collectivists before him. The unfortunate conundrum for a collectivist leader is that the real solution is a return to the free-market system and no leader is going to admit that his entire raison d'être has been based upon a false premise.
It’s important to note that, in any nation, the populace tends to believe that their leader’s efforts, however flawed they may have been, were intended to serve the people well. However, this is almost never the case. I’ve known many political leaders personally and can attest that, regardless of the nation they represent, their concern is almost entirely for their own personal welfare and advancement. In fact, those who are pathological in this pursuit are very often the most successful in rising to the top, by virtue of their heightened determination and obsession with self-aggrandizement.
And so, Mister Maduro has relied on ever-increasing price controls, capital controls, devaluation of the national currency, takeover of private sector industry, and governance by decree. Each of these measures, in every instance, served to send the Venezuelan economy spiraling further downward.
The result has been a decline in the creation of wealth, the cessation of production of many essential goods, the overtaking of factories by the military, a dramatic increase in crimes of desperation, the alienation of overseas business partners, purchasers, and vendors, and an inability to pay international debt.
This last failure has led to an ironic situation. Although the national currency is in a state of hyperinflation, Venezuela cannot pay for the shipments of new, higher-denomination bank notes it has ordered from printers overseas, as the inflated currency is not trusted by the printers.
At this point, if the leader of a country truly had any loyalty to his country or compassion for his people, he would most certainly have resigned, as he is clearly unfit to lead.
But this almost never occurs. Whether the leader is Josef Stalin, Juan Perón, or Fidel Castro, no matter how dire the conditions become for the populace, the leader steadfastly refuses to relinquish the reins. What occurs instead is that he maintains his own personal level of lavish lifestyle, circles the wagons, continues or expands upon the measures that have caused the destruction, and becomes more autocratic.
It’s important to understand that it’s highly unusual for the leader to capitulate at this point. Almost invariably he will opt for the country to go down in flames around him rather than relinquish power.
That being the case, we now observe that Mister Maduro, having run out of rabbits to pull out of the hat, has made the decision to sell the golden goose that was responsible for the creation of wealth in the first instance—oil.
Seventy percent of Petropiar is owned by the state-run Petróleos de Venezuela, and 30% by its overseas partner, Chevron. The government has now offered to sell a portion of its shares to the Russian Rosneft, along with a stake in the rights to extract oil from the premium-grade Orinoco Oil Belt. This, of course, is no less than a stab in the back for Chevron. (Rosneft faces sanctions from the US, which, of course, Chevron does not.)
Venezuela has also expropriated shares belonging to ConocoPhillips, for which it has not yet paid, at the same time as they’re negotiating with a Japanese investment bank to obtain further funding.
Each of the above has been undertaken in a desperate attempt to pay external debt, which, until the present, has allowed the Venezuelan economy to continue to function. It also allows for the emergency delivery of gasoline to keep Venezuela in motion. Although Venezuela has eighteen of its own refineries, they’ve also fallen victim to the economic crisis and without emergency gasoline supply from overseas, thousands of workers will be unable to report for work to keep what remains of the economy functioning.
And so Mister Maduro, in order to buy a bit more time in the presidential mansion, is selling the golden goose. For those who wonder why it’s so often the case that a nation that’s been knocked down economically rarely rises up again within the same generation, the answer is manifestly clear in Venezuela. Leaders on the way out tend to sell or destroy virtually all that’s of value within the country, eliminating the resources through which a recovery may be possible, even if the country then returns to a free-market system.
* * *
The situation in Venezuela is extraordinarily toxic. But a similar pattern is playing out in major countries around the globe. For too long, careless governments have used shortsighted strategies to prop up major world economies and prolong their time in power. This can only go on for so long… In this urgent video, Doug Casey and his team reveal why an unprecedented global financial disaster is now inevitable—and what you can do to protect yourself. Click here to watch it now.
Published:4/25/2017 1:24:06 AM
The Twisted Case of Casey Anthony: Sifting Through the Evidence and Lies That Prevented Justice for 2-Year-Old Caylee Anthony
There is no such thing as a victimless crime. Whether a case is open-and-shut or has yet to be solved, it's about getting justice for the victim and punishing the person or people who did...
Published:4/24/2017 6:27:19 AM
Doug Casey Warns, The EU's Collapse Is Now "Imminent"
Authored by Nick Giambruno via InternationalMan.com,
On April 23, French voters could drive the entire European Union into its grave.
Doug Casey and I recently discussed this historic election—and why it matters to US investors.
Nick Giambruno: Doug, you predicted the fall of the European Union a few years ago. What has changed since then?
Doug Casey: Well, what's changed is that the entire situation has gotten much worse. The inevitable has now become the imminent.
The European Union evolved, devolved actually, from basically a free trade pact among a few countries to a giant, dysfunctional, overreaching bureaucracy. Free trade is an excellent idea. However, you don't need to legislate free trade; that’s almost a contradiction in terms. A free trade pact between different governments is unnecessary for free trade. An individual country interested in prosperity and freedom only needs to eliminate all import and export duties, and all import and export quotas. When a country has duties or quotas, it’s essentially putting itself under embargo, shooting its economy in the foot. Businesses should trade with whomever they want for their own advantage.
But that wasn't the way the Europeans did it. The Eurocrats, instead, created a treaty the size of a New York telephone book, regulating everything. This is the problem with the European Union. They say it is about free trade, but really it’s about somebody’s arbitrary idea of “fair trade,” which amounts to regulating everything. In addition to its disastrous economic consequences, it creates misunderstandings and confusion in the mind of the average person. Brussels has become another layer of bureaucracy on top of all the national layers and local layers for the average European to deal with.
The European Union in Brussels is composed of a class of bureaucrats that are extremely well paid, have tremendous benefits, and have their own self-referencing little culture. They’re exactly the same kind of people that live within the Washington, D.C. beltway.
The EU was built upon a foundation of sand, doomed to failure from the very start. The idea was ill-fated because the Swedes and the Sicilians are as different from each other as the Poles and the Irish. There are linguistic, religious, and cultural differences, and big differences in the standard of living. Artificial political constructs never last. The EU is great for the “elites” in Brussels; not so much for the average citizen.
Meanwhile, there’s a centrifugal force even within these European countries. In Spain, the Basques and the Catalans want to split off, and in the UK, the Scots want to make the United Kingdom quite a bit less united. You've got to remember that before Garibaldi, Italy was scores of little dukedoms and principalities that all spoke their own variations of the Italian language. And the same was true in what’s now Germany before Bismarck in 1871.
In Italy 89% of the Venetians voted to separate a couple of years ago. The Italian South Tyrol region, where 70% of the people speak German, has a strong independence movement. There are movements in Corsica and a half dozen other departments in France. Even in Belgium, the home of the EU, the chances are excellent that Flanders will separate at some point.
The chances are better in the future that the remaining countries in Europe are going to fall apart as opposed to being compressed together artificially.
And from strictly a philosophical point of view, the ideal should not be one world government, which the “elite” would prefer, but about seven billion small individual governments. That would be much better from the point of view of freedom and prosperity.
Nick Giambruno: How does Brexit affect the future of the European Union?
Doug Casey: Well, it's the beginning of the end. The inevitable has now become the imminent. Britain has always been perhaps the most different culture of all of those in the European Union. They entered reluctantly and late, and never seriously considered losing the pound for the euro.
You're going to see other countries leaving the EU. The next one might be Italy. All of the Italian banks are truly and totally bankrupt at this point. Who's going to kiss that and make it better? Is the rest of the European Union going to contribute hundreds of billions of dollars to make the average Italian depositor well again? I don't think so. There's an excellent chance that Italy is going to get rid of the euro and leave the EU.
If Marine Le Pen wins the elections, France will leave as well. That would be a smart move. She would also want to deport the migrants from Africa that are living in tent camps and cardboard boxes everywhere. Another good move. These people aren’t self-supporting, and are acting to destroy what’s left of French culture. Then again, Le Pen herself is no prize. She wants to continue the welfare state, and increase regulations and taxes. The French have zero good alternatives, at least if you care about either free minds or free markets. But that’s true everywhere in Europe. The very concept of liberty is dead in Europe.
Nick Giambruno: Why should Americans care about this?
Doug Casey: Well, just as the breakup of the Soviet Union had a good effect for both the world at large and for Americans, the breakup of the EU should be viewed in the same light. Freeing an economy anywhere increases prosperity and opportunity everywhere. And it sets a good example. So Americans ought to look forward to the breakup of the EU almost as much as the Europeans themselves. Unfortunately, most Americans are quite insular. And Europeans are so used to socialism that they have even less grasp of economics than Americans. But it’s going to happen anyway.
Nick Giambruno: What are the investment implications?
Doug Casey: Initially there's going to be some chaos, and some inconvenience. Conventional investors don’t like wild markets, but turbulence is actually a good thing from the point of view of a speculator. It’s a question of your psychological attitude. Understanding psychology is as important as economics. They’re the two things that make the markets what they are. Volatility is actually your friend in the investment world.
People are naturally afraid of upsets. They're afraid of any kind of crisis. This is natural. But it's only during a crisis that you can get a real bargain. You have to look at the bright side and take a different attitude than most people have.
Nick Giambruno: If you position yourself on the right side of this thing, do you think you can profit from the collapse of the EU?
Doug Casey: Yes. Once the EU falls apart, there are going to be huge investment opportunities. People forget how cheap markets can become. I remember in the mid-1980s, there were three markets in the world in particular I was very interested in: Hong Kong, Belgium, and Spain. All three of those markets had similar characteristics. You could buy stocks in those markets for about half of book value, about three or four times earnings, and average dividend yields of their indices were 12–15%—individual stocks were sometimes much more—and of course since then, those dividends have gone way up. The stock prices have soared.
So I expect that that's going to happen in the future. In one, several, many, or most of the world’s approximately 40 investable markets. Right now, however, we're involved in a worldwide bubble in equities. It can go the opposite direction. People forget how cheap stocks can get.
I think we're headed into very bad times. Chances are excellent you're going to see tremendous bargains. People are chasing after stocks right now with 1% dividend yields and 30 times earnings, and they want to buy them. At some point in the future these stocks are going to be selling for three times earnings and they’re going to be yielding 5, maybe 10% in dividends. But at that point most people will be afraid to buy them. In fact, they won't even want to know they exist at that point.
I’m not a believer in market timing. But, that said, I think it makes sense to hold fire when the market is anomalously high.
The chaos that’s building up right now in Europe can be a good thing—if you're well positioned. You don't want to go down with the sinking Titanic. You want to survive so you can get on the next boat taking you to a tropical paradise. But right now you're entering the stormy North Atlantic.
* * *
There’s more turmoil ahead as French voters decide the EU’s fate on April 23—and it could be catastrophic for global currency and stock markets. We expect the fallout to be far worse than 2008. Most investors can’t handle that sort of chaos. But Doug Casey and his team know how to turn it into huge profits. They’re sharing need-to-know information about the coming global economic meltdown in this time-sensitive video. Click here to watch it now.
Published:4/20/2017 3:26:54 AM
[American people of German descent]
Heavily-Armed Swamp Critters - Did Trump Ever Stand A Chance?
Authored by Bill Bonner via InternationalMan.com,
By our calculation, it took just 76 days for President Trump to get on board with the Clinton-Bush-Obama agenda.
Now there can be no doubt where he’s headed. He’s gone Full Empire.
Not that it was unexpected. But the speed with which the president abandoned his supporters and went over to the Deep State is breathtaking.
Among the noise and hubbub of the election campaign, there was one message coming from the Trump team that was music to our ears.
Middle East wars?
He was against them, he said.
He claimed to have opposed the 2003 attack on Iraq. He said it was one of the “worst mistakes” the country ever made.
As for further involvement, why waste American lives and American wealth on wars you can’t win?
“America First,” he said.
This was a refreshing position. It put the Republican neocons and Establishment Republicans against him; many went over to Hillary rather than risk giving up their think tank grants and consulting fees.
A 2013 poll showed 52% of Americans thought the U.S. should “mind its own business internationally.”
But the elite gained power and money from foreign wars; they weren’t going to give them up. Non-entitlement spending in the swamp goes largely to cronies in the military-security industry.
But Donald Trump promised a “new foreign policy.”
No more trying to be the world’s policeman. No more fighting other people’s battles… and making things worse. No more wasting American money and American lives on foolish, unwinnable wars.
Ending America’s pointless and unsettling romp in the desert would be a good first move.
The bill for these misadventures is now said to be $7 trillion. As to Syria, Trump was typically direct. Don’t attack the country, he warned Barack Obama in a 2013 tweet, or “MANY VERY BAD THINGS WILL HAPPEN…”
But then, last week… the last great hope for the Trump administration blew up in Syria. Now the neocons are delighted. And the cronies. And the zombies, too.
Here’s the outlook: no real change to O’care. No cutbacks in entitlements. No attempt to balance the budget. No belt-tightening at the pudgy Pentagon. (Instead, it will get more money.)
And now this: The wars in the Middle East will not only go on… they will accelerate.
For now, the U.S. is not only fighting terrorists. It is also fighting the people who are fighting the terrorists.
It’s a perfect Deep State war: It is guaranteed neither to win nor to lose, but simply to go on indefinitely. This gives the insiders more and more of the nation’s wealth to piddle away in absurd wars in preposterous places.
Meanwhile, Congress adjourned. When it returns in two weeks, it will confront another crisis of its own making.
Government funding expires on April 28, which will give Congress five days to unveil, debate, and pass an enormous spending bill… or trigger a government shutdown.
“What a mess,” said Paul Brace, a congressional expert at Rice University in Houston, offering his own pessimistic view of the unified Republican control of the House and Senate so far under President Donald Trump. “It was so much easier when all you had to do was oppose Obama.” […]
House Republicans “have differences of opinion. And they aren’t just political differences. They are policy differences,” said Republican Senator Rob Portman of Ohio.
It will be tough for Congress to come to terms with its budget. The debate will open old wounds and gouge new ones.
Already, the federal budget deficit is expected to average $1 trillion a year over the next 10 years.
Mr. Trump will want to spend more. We need to spend more on infrastructure, on the military… and to revive the economy… he’ll argue.
Many House Republicans, especially the idealists in the Freedom Caucus, will find it difficult to go along.
Some will notice, cynically, that the whole program – including the attack on Syria – is little different from what Hillary had offered.
Consumer prices are already rising, others will note. Besides, who wants to go back to his home district after having signed on to $30 trillion of U.S. debt?
Others, the activists, will want to back Trump. The Obama years have been disastrous, they will say. The typical household is little better off than it was at the bottom of the last recession.
Half of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. And there are 66 million working-age adults without jobs, they’ll report.
The feds must do something! Increase spending to stimulate the economy (and not coincidentally steer a few bucks to major campaign contributors and other important hacks).
The more financially alert among members of Congress will recognize that eight years of stimulus has done little to help the real economy.
These realists will see a runaway locomotive headed to a dangerous curve.
They’ll want to know how the feds will finance huge new deficits just as the Fed tightens interest rates.
But the shrewdest among them will call their brokers.
The highest stock prices since the dot-com crash are based on the belief that, somehow, Team Trump will push through a corporate tax cut, leaving businesses with more after-tax money.
“That’s not going to happen,” they will say to themselves.
They will want to get out of the stock market before other investors catch on.
* * *
The "Deep State" is more dangerous than ever. It already controls just about every aspect of American life... from health care to education, from the food on our tables to the never-ending war on terror. In his latest warning, Doug Casey’s longtime friend and colleague Bill Bonner exposes how the cronies behind the Deep State have pushed the world to the brink of an irreversible disaster. Click here to learn how that disaster will unfold... and how it could change your life forever.
Published:4/14/2017 8:57:09 PM
So Many Triggers
Authored by Jeff Thomas via InternationalMan.com,
It’s not a story that’s likely to appear on the evening news, but it certainly should.
Deutsche Bank has announced that it will create more shares, selling them at a 35% discount. Existing shareholders have not been pleased and, in the first four days since the offer was announced, the value of existing shares dropped by 13% as shareholders began dumping them.
So why on earth would Germany’s foremost bank do something so rash? Well, in recent years, the bank has been involved in many arbitrations, litigations, and regulatory proceedings as a result of fraudulent activities, including the manipulation of markets. Having been found guilty, they presently owe $7.2 billion to the US Department of Justice and are now facing an additional $10 billion litigation bill. Unfortunately, the bank is already broke and, should Deutsche actually be able to sell the new shares, the $8.6 billion they hope to receive will still not save them from bankruptcy.
Business has also not been so good. They’ve lost nearly $2 billion in the last two years, instituted a hiring freeze, cut bonuses by 80%, and are facing a $2.5 million civil penalty to pay to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission for failure to report transactions and, not surprisingly, have been downgraded.
The German government has stated that they will not bail out Deutsche and, indeed, under the EU agreement, they cannot do so. It’s safe to say that Germany’s largest bank will soon go the way of the dodo.
For those who don’t live in Europe, this may not seem all that significant. However, Deutsche is the bank that funds the euro system, which they can now no longer do. Further, Deutsche is ten times larger than Lehman Brothers, an American bank that famously went down in 2008, heralding in that year’s economic crash. (Ninety percent of Deutsche’s revenue has been from derivative trading, which is what brought down Lehman.)
Upon the collapse of Deutsche Bank, four major US banks would be expected to become insolvent in a matter of days. The ripples would then continue to spread outward into the economic system as a whole.
Now for the Bad News
For many years, I’ve made repeated reference to the fact that the Western powers have been headed south economically, repeatedly relying on strategies that would provide short-term gain but would ultimately create long-term pain. They’ve been remarkably consistent and steadfast in this trend and, at this point, Deutsche is merely the latest trigger that may bring down the system. The other potential triggers are as serious as they are diverse.
Recently, foreign governments have been selling US Treasuries back into the US market at the fastest rate in history (indicating their belief in a future devaluation of the dollar).
The Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 was intended to legally end the possibility of quantitative easing. It did, however legalise the bail-in, authorizing banks to confiscate (steal) deposits. In other countries where a bail-in has been introduced, governments additionally seized pension funds, retirements, etc., often paying for them either with stocks in a failing bank or a bond, then defaulting on the bond.
The stock market is in a larger bubble than in 2008 and is overdue for a crash.
Bonds are in their largest bubble in history and are also overdue for a crash.
Derivatives, which triggered the last major crash, are now at a higher level than in 2007, indicating yet another overdue trigger.
Much of the world is moving away from the petrodollar, which is significantly responsible for the continued hegemony of the US dollar internationally. Many countries now routinely effect payment for fuel in other currencies.
Russia has recently announced the creation of its own SWIFT system (as did China not long ago), making it possible for them to effect international payments without the need to go through SWIFT in Brussels, which is largely controlled by the US.
On 15th March, the US hit its debt ceiling and can no longer legally continue to borrow money. It’s estimated that the money remaining in the Treasury will be exhausted on 1st June. After that point, if major money transfusions do not take place, the US government ceases to fund itself, its many agencies, and its entitlements. (There apparently is no plan in place that could provide sufficient funding.)
These are just a few select high points, and there are quite a few other triggers out there, any of which, if pulled, would serve to collapse the economy very quickly. And the list keeps growing.
The question is not “if” but “when.” In the end, it will matter little which trigger it will be, as, like a string of firecrackers, when one explodes, a chain reaction is set off. Therefore, anyone who is dependent in a significant way upon the government, financial institutions, and/or markets of any of the major Western powers is likely to understandably feel like the fellow in the photo above.
Are There Any Good News?
There may be, but only for those who are able to extricate themselves from the systems in the previous paragraph.
Those who remove their money from banks (both deposits and safe deposit boxes) may stand a better chance of not losing it.
Those who have a pension can expect to lose the income, but those who have an IRA or similar fund can transfer it into a gold IRA in a foreign country that’s less exposed to the Western powers.
Those who own stocks and bonds can choose to liquidate them and invest the proceeds in real estate and precious metals in a country that’s less likely to be affected.
Those who live in an affected country can expect to be facing, at best, civil unrest following a crash and, possibly, riots or even revolutionary activities. But those who secure alternate legal residency and/or a physical address abroad may be able to step away from the fray before it impacts them directly.
At this point, the writing is most vividly on the wall. The degree to which the individual is spared the effects of the coming debacle will depend directly upon the degree to which he has removed himself from the system beforehand.
* * *
The truth is, the world’s financial systems are sick and dying. For years, governments and central bankers have kept these unstable institutions alive with little more than economic witchcraft. Now they’re quickly running out of spells… We are now on the cusp of an unparalleled global economic meltdown. This looming disaster will be far worse than the 2008 financial crisis. Many people will lose everything. The good news is you can take concrete steps to “opt out” of the chaos. New York Times best-selling author Doug Casey and his team put together this urgent video with all the details. Click here to watch it now.
Published:4/10/2017 6:32:53 PM
Doug Casey On The Coming Holy War
Today, we have another brand-new Conversations with Casey to share with you. In the interview below, Doug Casey and I discuss holy wars in Europe.
I’m not talking about the Crusades, either. I’m talking about a modern-day holy war.
Some folks will think I’m crazy for even entertaining this idea. But a few weeks ago, Turkey’s foreign minister said that “wars of religion” are coming to Europe.
That’s a major warning. You have to take it seriously.
So, I recently sat down with Doug to discuss this matter. I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did.
Justin: Doug, Turkey’s foreign minister recently said that “wars of religion” are coming to Europe. Do you think this could actually happen?
Doug: Well, human nature hasn’t changed in many thousands of years. And religion is important to the human animal. Perhaps it’s always been something that people were prone to fight about, but the historical record shows that religious wars only started with the invention of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Of course, these religions—which have always been at war with each other, and all other religions—are similar in that they believe in one god. Pagan religions were and are accepting of other people’s gods and beliefs.
The question is, which god is the right one? Should you believe in Yahweh, or Jesus, or Allah? Because it appears to me that they’re all very different, based upon what they say and what they have their followers believe. Islam and Christianity have been duking it out since the 7th century, and that’s unlikely to change. They both claim to have the one and only true god, but they’re very different gods—not at all the same one. So it’s an irreconcilable difference.
Justin: So, the ingredients for a holy war have always been there?
Doug: Yes. Up to about 100 years ago, Christians felt a moral obligation to convert everyone, including other misguided Christians. Now it’s mostly just the Muslims who feel that way. It’s entirely possible, even likely, we’re going to have an outright war of religion. Although, in the highly Politically Correct West, it will have to be called something else.
The ongoing invasion of Europe by Muslims is one aspect of it—although that’s not so much a religious thing per se. That’s partly because the Muslims are migrating mostly for economic reasons. And because religion is a dead duck in Europe today. Europe is a post-Christian society. Very few people go to church or take Christianity seriously in Europe, it’s a very secular society. Which is a bit of a problem, because they’ve taken the State for their new god.
But the State doesn’t promise anybody an afterlife. So, in my opinion, Europeans are actually ripe for conversion to Islam. It’s a serious problem, because Islam is incompatible with, and antithetical to Western Civilization.
Justin: Why should the average American care about this?
Doug: It’s part of the gradual destruction of Western culture. Lots of termites—including socialism, cultural Marxism, gender warfare—have been eating away at the foundations of Western Civilization for decades. Islam, in itself, isn’t a real threat. The Koran, which PC types love to treat with respect, is just poorly written medieval sci-fi. It’s living proof that humans are capable of believing absolutely anything.
That said, Islam is a threat to the West because tens of millions of migrants are being invited to come and live at the expense of the current residents. Europe will collapse from within, as did Rome. The average European believes in nothing—except that his civilization not only isn’t worthy, but is actually evil. No wonder the migrants treat them with contempt.
The Mohammedans—although I’ll note it’s now very un-PC to call them that—are technologically and economically backward. As long as they put the Koran at the center of their lives—and they have to, because it is the direct, incontrovertible word of Allah—they’ll remain backward. If, through an accident of geology, there wasn’t a lot of low cost oil in places they live, the West would have no reason to care what they think, say, or do. They’d be no more than an interesting tourist attraction.
The good news is that, over the next 100 years, most Muslims will fall away from their primitive beliefs. But that’s another story… And a lot is going to happen in the meantime.
Published:4/8/2017 9:52:04 PM
Doug Casey Explains Why College Is A Waste of Money
Via Casey Research,
I recently sat down again with Casey Research founder Doug Casey to discuss a troubling trend: the fast-rising cost of a college education. Read our conversation below to see why Doug says relying on - and paying for - today's educational paradigm "makes as much sense as entering a Model T Ford in the 24 Hours of Le Mans"…
Justin: Doug, I recently had an interesting conversation with my sister.
She told me that her financial advisor suggested she start setting aside $500 to $1,000 a month to pay for her son’s college education. That’s because a four-year college education is apparently going to cost between $400,000 and $500,000 18 years from now.
Her advisor clearly arrived at this figure based on how fast college tuition costs have been rising, which is about 6% per year based on my research.
But you have to wonder if the cost can keep rising at this rate. It seems to me that no one will go to college if it’s going to cost a half-million bucks.
What do you make of this trend?
Doug: Well, the first thing—my advice to your sister is to get a new financial advisor. I fear that she’s relying on a complete imbecile. She should fire him immediately, and for a number of reasons.
Number one is his assumption that the trend of higher college costs is going to continue to a totally unaffordable level. In fact, the cost/benefit ratio of going to college is already so out of whack that the whole system has to change radically. A college degree, even now, is of only marginal value; most everybody has one. And things that everybody has are devalued. You’re quite correct that colleges and universities today are dead ducks as businesses. Unless you’re going to learn a trade, like doctoring or lawyering, or you’re going for science, engineering, or math, where you need the formal discipline and where you need lab courses, it’s a total misallocation, even a waste of money to go to college today.
So I applaud the fact that all these colleges and universities are dead men walking, that they’re all going to go bankrupt. They are totally overrun and infested with cultural Marxists and progressives, militant leftists that are propagandizing kids with absolutely the wrong kind of values. It’s astonishing that parents are willing to pay even today’s prices to subject their kids to four years of indoctrination. So I’m glad that they’re all going bankrupt.
Justin: But don’t you need a college education to get ahead in life?
Doug: It’s not necessary to go to college. You’re likely to be corrupted, and indebt yourself like an indentured servant for many years to come. The question is: Do you want an education, or do you just want a piece of paper that says you logged the time in a classroom? These are two different things. Getting an education is strictly a matter of motivation and self-discipline, not paying money to sit in a classroom. If you’ve got half a brain, you realize that you want the knowledge, not the diploma, and there’s no necessary correlation between them. Nobody can “give” you an education; it’s something you must gain for yourself.
Most top universities now have their courses online. You can get an education by listening to these courses. And even when you’re driving your car, you should be playing CDs by The Teaching Company. They have the best professors in the world giving command performance lectures. And you can hear them an unlimited number of times. This is much better than listening to some also-ran drone on, while you may have cut the class, or be half asleep, or not taking good notes.
Technology has changed the whole landscape of education. Its cost is approaching zero, not the stratosphere, as your sister’s advisor seems to think. If the kids insist on going to college and indenturing themselves, as well as cluttering their minds with irrelevancies and false data, then they should only consider, say, Harvard, or very few schools like it. At least there the prestige, and qualifications for admission, are so high that the connections they make may compensate for the many downsides.
And anyway, Ray Kurzweil’s right about the Singularity, in my opinion. And he’s upped the date to when it’s going to occur to 2029, which is only 12 years from now, at which point the whole world will have changed in ways that will change the nature of life itself. So forget about saving to send your kids to college; and that goes double for your grandkids.
Justin: I thought the same thing, Doug.
You see, my sister’s advisor suggested that she and her husband set up a 529 plan, which is basically a tax-friendly way to save money for college. I asked her what would happen to the money if her son didn’t go to college. She said she could use the money to pay her for grandchildren’s college education.
But, like you said, the world is going to be very different 12 years from now. Who knows what it’s going to look like 40 or 50 years from now?
Doug: Over the next generation the world is going to change totally and unrecognizably from the way it is right now. Technological change is compounding at an exponential rate. It’s always been exponential, quite frankly. Ever since the invention of fire. But we’re now in its later stages; it’s like a Saturn rocket taking off, very slowly at first, but constantly accelerating.
It’s going to be fascinating and fantastic to watch what happens over the next 20 years. And relying on, and paying for, today’s educational paradigm makes as much sense as entering a Model T Ford in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Justin: I agree 100%. We’re living in very exciting times.
Anyway, thank you for taking the time to speak with me, Doug. It was a pleasure, as always.
Doug: You’re welcome.
* * *
Every month, Doug shares his unique insights in The Casey Report, our flagship publication. If you sign up today, you’ll get complete access to all of our archived content, including recent essays by Doug on the Greater Depression, the migrant crisis, and technology. You’ll also receive specific, actionable advice to help you protect and grow your personal financial empire. You can sign up for a risk-free trial of The Casey Report right here.
Published:4/7/2017 8:41:56 PM
The art of green deception . . .about those record temperatures in Antarctica
Warren Blair writes: On the same day (24 March 2015) in the real Antarctic (not Esperanza on the Trinity Peninsula) Australia’s Casey research station had its coldest 24 March day in 18 years (minus 12.7 °C). That wasn’t mentioned and neither was any other interesting data like Casey’s 2015 March mean maximum temperature was the…
Published:4/7/2017 12:43:30 PM
Get Ready to Revist Caylee Anthony's Case With This Casey Anthony: An American Murder Mystery Sneak Peek
It's time to revisit the death of Caylee Anthony.
Investigation Discovery is set to release Casey Anthony: An American Murder Mystery, a three-part series that will look into Casey...
Published:4/7/2017 10:11:32 AM
US Futures Rebound Sharply, Erase All Syrian Airstrike Losses
After initially tumbling in the aftermath of the U.S. missile attack on Syria which jolted financial markets, boosting haven assets and temporarily shifting investor focus from today's jobs data , S&P futures have managed to recoup all losses (the Nikkei closed up 0.4% after sliding earlier in the session), with Europe also just fractionally lower and climbing fast.
A U.S. defense official told Reuters the missile strike was a "one-off", helping to calm market nerves. "The U.S. missile strike on a Syrian air base overnight caused a knee-jerk shift into safe havens, although the impact was moderate as it is being interpreted as a one-off proportionate response," said Ian Williams, a strategist at Peel Hunt in London.
Gold, crude and government bonds were among the biggest winners following the first military strike undertaken by Trump’s administration, as some traders sought safety and others judged increasing tension in the Middle East would spur crude. Russia’s ruble dropped the most in almost a month and its bonds fell as optimism over a detente with the U.S. evaporated. The lira and stocks retreated in Turkey, which shares a border with Syria.
The U.S. dollar recouped all of its losses against a basket of major currencies and was last trading little changed. S&P 500 futures were down 0.1%. European stocks fell 0.3% weighed down by weakness in mining stocks as investors locked in some profits following the sector's stellar run this year.
While volatility also spiked across global stock markets in the wake of the attacks, the initial impact began to fade for some assets as investors resume digesting a week of developments, from a meeting between Trump and President Xi of China, to Fed signals it may reduce its balance sheet this year and the ECB underscoring its dovishness as Bloomberg notes. Attention now turns to payroll data, after a strong private reading and weak automaker sales gave conflicting signals on the U.S. economy.
As of 6:40am ET, S&P 500 futures slipped less than 0.1% percent, while the Stoxx Europe 600 Index dropped 0.3 percent. Volatility measures from Hong Kong to Europe increased. Asian stocks shook off declines to follow Japanese equities higher, with yen rallying along with Treasuries after Syria strikes. Gilt futures gained after soft U.K. manufacturing data, some buying from domestic accounts being seen, with Russia’s ruble falling most among major global currencies and the nation’s borrowing costs surging as U.S. airstrikes dash hopes for an improvement in ties under Donald Trump.
Spot gold was up a percent while high-rated euro zone government bonds edged lower. The yield on Germany's 10-year government bonds fell to a one-month low. Overnight, U.S. Treasury yields dropped to their lowest level in over four months at 2.29 percent
"Safe-haven flows are always affected by political events, and when it affects countries where the U.S. and Russia are interested, then investors become even more nervous because of relations (between those two)," said DZ Bank strategist Daniel Lenz.
While it will be of secondary importance today, overnight China reported that its FX reserves rose fractionally for a second consecutive month.
Looking at the day ahead, non-farm payrolls may rise by 180k, according to economists (a full preview can be found here) slightly less than the six-month and 12-month averages. Fed’s Dudley speaks on financial regulation. Elsewhere, euro zone finance ministers are due to meet with a discussion on Greece's progress in implementing reforms needed to unlock aid part of the agenda.
Bulletin Headline Summary from RanSquawk
- US launched cruise missiles against targets in Syria, with about 60 tomahawk missiles fired towards a military airfield in near Homs
- European equities followed the soft lead from Asia, with all sectors trading in the red with the exception of energy names
- Looking ahead, highlights include US and Canadian Jobs reports, Fed's Dudley, ECB's Coeure and Constancio
- S&P 500 futures down less than 0.1% to 2,351.25
- STOXX Europe 600 down 0.3% to 379.17
- MXAP up 0.3% to 146.61
- MXAPJ down 0.1% to 479.55
- Nikkei up 0.4% to 18,664.63
- Topix up 0.7% to 1,489.77
- Hang Seng Index down 0.03% to 24,267.30
- Shanghai Composite up 0.2% to 3,286.62
- Sensex down 0.2% to 29,867.43
- Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.1% to 5,862.47
- Kospi down 0.05% to 2,151.73
- German 10Y yield fell 1.6 bps to 0.247%
- Euro down 0.06% to 1.0638 per US$
- Italian 10Y yield unchanged at 1.975%
- Spanish 10Y yield fell 1.9 bps to 1.613%
- Brent Futures up 1.4% to $55.67/bbl
- Gold spot up 1% to $1,264.36
- U.S. Dollar Index up 0.1% to 100.76
Top Overnight News
- U.S. Strikes Syria After Gas Attack, Raising Stakes With Russia
- Putin Calls U.S. Syria Strike Aggression, Stops Air Cooperation
- Trump Hails ‘Friendship’ With China’s Xi Before Syria Attack
- Carney Urges Banks to Prepare for All Potential Brexit Outcomes
- U.K. Manufacturing, Construction Point to Loss of Momentum
- Medtronic Says Heart Pump Prelim. Results Met Primary End Point
- Medtronic Says Recall of Adjustable Valves, Shunts Began Feb. 22
- Hologic Gets $721.1m Defense Logistics Agency Radiology Contract
- GM China March Sales Volume Rise at Fastest Pace Since August
- Alphabet Moves Two Top Google Fiber Executives Off Project
- Arconic Reports Sale of Fusina, Italy Rolling Mill
- TD Ameritrade Investors Sue Board Over Scottrade Acquisition
Asia markets shrugged off the early gains from the gains on Wall St. as sentiment in the region soured after the US conducted strikes in Syria. This saw ASX 200 (+0.1%) and Nikkei 225 (+0.4%) trimmed opening gains, although the latter staged a recovery with outperformance in Toshiba shares on reports Hon Hai is to submit a near JPY 3tln bid for the Co.'s chip unit. Hang Seng (-0.1%) and Shanghai Comp. (+0.2%) were mixed despite the PBoC continuing to hold off on open market operations which resulted to a weekly net drain of CNY 100bIn. 10yr JGBs and T-notes were underpinned by safe-haven demand resulting from the Syria strike, which saw the US 10yr yield drop to a 4-month low and under 2.3%. PBoC refrained from conducting open market operations for a weekly net drain of CNY 100bIn vs. Prey. net drain of CNY 290bn.
Top Asian News
- China’s FX Reserves Pick Up for Second Month on Weakening Dollar
- Philippines to Follow Indonesia With Tax Amnesty to Spur Revenue
- Abe Adviser Calls for Push Back If U.S. Attacks Yen Policy: Rtrs
- Dymon Said to Wind Down Aventia Hedge Fund in Restructuring Move
- India Rising as Steelmakers to Beat Japan in Global Rankings
- China Says Syria Issue Should Be Solved Via Political Means
European equities followed the soft lead from Asia, with all sectors trading in the red with the exception of energy names. Syria has dictated play here in a similar fashion to other asset classes amid light equity specific news, and with participants now awaiting the US jobs data or any comments from president Trump this afternoon on any future action in Syria, as well as continued attention on the progress of his talks with China President Xi. The miss of Exp. in UK data was relatively shrugged off by Gilts, which continued to trade in line with the rest of European paper. Bunds opened higher as European participants reacted to the aforementioned overnight developments, however the German benchmark has spent much of the session paring its opening gains, albeit remaining modestly higher by mid morning. Periphery yields continued to trade in a tight range, with participants keeping an eye on any Greece related developments from the Eurogroup meeting, although with volatility more likely to hold off until this afternoon's NFP report from the US.
Top Asian News
- Merkel, Hollande Say Assad Alone Bears Responsibility for Strike
- Greece Bailout Deal Said to Be a Step Closer as Ministers Meet
- German Industrial Output Unexpectedly Rose in February
- Another Euro Peg Feels the Heat as Fixed Currency Regimes Fall
- Linde’s Reitzle Avoids Trading Probe Amid Praxair Deal
- Santander Proposes Dividend Hike as Botin Sees Brighter Future
- EU Jobs Carve Up Starts Again With Dijsselbloem Under Threat
- U.K. House-Price Growth Slows to Weakest in Almost Four Years
- Diamond Miner Ends Large Gem Drought With 114-Carat Find
- Kloeckner Pentaplast Said to Buy Linpac to Bolster Food Packaging
In currencies, the ruble dropped 0.9 percent as of 11:16 a.m. in London. The currency has been trading near the highest since July 2015. President Vladimir Putin believes the U.S. airstrikes caused “considerable damage” to relations with Russia, a Kremlin spokesman said. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed. The yen rose 0.2 percent, paring gains of as much as 0.6 percent. The euro slipped 0.1 percent, the British pound dropped 0.4 percent, and the Turkish lira pared losses to trade 0.5 percent lower. Focus today has fallen on the overnight airstrikes by the US on Syria, with safe havens the notable benefactors. The likes of JPY and CHF have both been the notable movers in FX markets in a flight to safety. Elsewhere in FX, the only notable data of the morning has come in the form of the UK industrial and manufacturing production, with the downbeat reading weighing on GBP as GBP/USD slipped back below 1.2450.
In commodities, West Texas Intermediate crude climbed 1.4 percent to $52.41, the highest in a month. Oil is up 3.6 percent for the week. Gold jumped 1.1 percent to $1,264.92, the highest since November, following two days of declines. As well as the safe haven currencies, the strikes in Syria also saw upside in gold, with the yellow metal reaching 5 month highs amid concerns of further aggression in the future. The strikes in Syria also pushed the energy complex higher, with WTI futures trading around USD 52.50/bbl amid concerns that global tensions could cause obstacles in the supply chain.
Looking at the day ahead, in the US the aforementioned March employment report will be the main point of focus while wholesale inventories and consumer credit data are the other releases due in the US. Away from the data the Fed’s Dudley is due to give a talk on the state of financial regulation in the US. Away from that BoE Carney speaks this morning at 10am BST while the Euro area finance ministers meeting also kicks off in Malta today. Clearly any headlines which emerge from Trump’s meeting with Xi Jingping are also worth watching.
US Event Calendar
- 8:30am: Change in Nonfarm Payrolls, est. 180,000, prior 235,000
- Unemployment Rate, est. 4.7%, prior 4.7%
- Average Hourly Earnings MoM, est. 0.2%, prior 0.2%; Average Hourly Earnings YoY, est. 2.7%, prior 2.8%
- Average Weekly Hours All Employees, est. 34.4, prior 34.4
- Labor Force Participation Rate, prior 63.0%
- Underemployment Rate, prior 9.2%
- Wholesale Trade Sales MoM, prior -0.1%; Wholesale Inventories MoM, est. 0.4%, prior 0.4%
- Consumer Credit, est. $15.0b, prior $8.79b
DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap
We’re straight to breaking news this morning where overnight, President Trump has taken the first military action of his young Presidency, launching a cruise missile attack at Syria following the gas attack within the country earlier this week. The headlines emerged at about 2.15am BST and reports suggest that 59 missiles were fired, targeting an air base, with President Trump confirming the order a short time ago. Trump released a statement saying that it is in “the vital national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons. There can be no dispute that Syria used banned chemical weapons and violated its obligations under the chemical weapons conventions”. According to Bloomberg the White House was said to have notified Russian forces in Syria prior to the attack. The attack also comes after US secretary of state Rex Tillerson warned last night that a “serious response” was needed and that “steps are underway” for the removal of Syria’s Assad regime. Since the attack we’ve seen House Speaker Ryan and Senator McCain both come out with messages of support.
Markets initially reversed early gains and moved into risk-off mode after the strikes but we are seeing a recovery as we go to print. At the time of writing, the Nikkei is back to +0.52% having been up as much as +1.00% initially then down as much as -0.44% following the news. The Shanghai Comp (+0.25%) is now at its highs after initially fluctuating between gains and losses while the Kospi is back to -0.07% after being down as much as -0.47%. The Hang Seng (-0.56%) has also partially recovered earlier heavier losses. The rebound is partly being helped by a further rally for Oil (WTI +1.62% to $52.23/bbl) following the news of the attack. Gold (+0.87%), the Yen (+0.20%) and 10y Treasuries (-3.0bps to 2.310%) are firmer but have also pared some initial stronger gains.
Needless to say it’ll be important to see how Europe opens on the back of the overnight news. In addition to digesting these developments, today is payrolls Friday in the US. As we said earlier in the week, it does seem the emphasis for the timing and pace of global hikes has shifted away from employment to inflation in recent months so it's perhaps not as much of a focal point as some recent prints but the 263k on ADP on Wednesday creates some intrigue. The market is at 180k and DB at 150k with our economists below market on the basis of weather effects as a result of the Winter Storm Stella. As always keep an eye on the other components of the report including the unemployment rate (consensus for no change at 4.7%), average hourly earnings (+0.2% mom expected) and average weekly hours (expected to hold steady at 34.4hrs).
Moving on I’ve had a few emails saying that the story I told about my school partnership with golfer Paul Casey in yesterday's EMR was one I'd told before so apologies for that. I'm either running out of anecdotes, losing my memory or spending too much time watching 'In The Night Garden'. Or all three. Talking of repetition, yesterday I published a Credit Bites on a similar theme to that I've published on a couple of times already this year. Recycling anecdotes and research at the moment. The piece was called "Euro Credit - more expensive than it looks" and highlights that although EU IG spreads to Bunds have been broadly flat since mid-August, Euro Stoxx 50 and peripheral equities are up around 15% and 20% respectively over the same period. US IG credit is also around 25bps tighter since mid August. So it looks as if there's some catch up potential. However the reality is that the benchmark (bunds) has been the star performer in the DM government bond world over this period.
Against a 'weighted' government benchmark that we created that matches the geographical split of the corporate index, current spreads are actually fairly close to their post crisis tights and with it close to the tightest they've been in a decade. The point we've been trying to get across over the last few months is that although the technicals for credit are strong with CSPP, we think the technicals for Bunds are even stronger. See the note at around 1.15pm BST yesterday or ask Sukanto.Chanda@db.com for a copy.
It’s likely that the other focus for markets today will be the headlines that emerge from the meeting between President Trump and China President Xi Jingping. So far we haven’t heard much aside from some reports in the press suggesting that Xi will offer Trump a number of sweeteners including further opening of Chinese markets to US companies. Unsurprisingly the Syria news has taken over as the main story for now and it may make for interesting discussions on North Korea given Trump's actions overnight and his comments last weekend about taking action on North Korea unilaterally if he had to. Separate to this but staying with politics, Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch is expected to be confirmed by the Senate today after majority leader Mitch McConnell scrapped the requirement for nominees to receive 60 votes in the 100 seat Senate in what is called rather extremely the “nuclear option”. Instead a simple majority is all that is required now.
Over in markets, geopolitical concerns and the prospect of a payrolls Friday looming helped to keep markets mostly in check yesterday. Both the S&P 500 (+0.19%) and Stoxx 600 (+0.18%) finished with similar modest gains helped by a bit of a boost from the energy sector after WTI Oil (+1.08%) headed back up towards $52/bbl again (above it this morning as we mentioned earlier). Credit indices were also marginally tighter although sovereign bond markets were incredibly muted. 10y Treasuries finished the day a small 0.5bps higher in yield at 2.342% while 10y Bunds were a similar amount higher at 0.259%.
Moving on. While markets weren’t particularly exciting yesterday there was plenty of focus on the ECB with the release of the March minutes and also comments from Draghi and his colleagues at the ‘ECB and its watchers’ conference. In terms of the minutes, the text revealed that “looking ahead, it was recalled that, if the euro area economy were to recover further and as inflation proceeded further on its path towards the Governing Council’s inflation aim in a sustained manner, a discussion on policy normalisation would become warranted in the future”. This passage was probably the most significant insofar as it suggested that a likely change to language is coming from the Bank. ECB President Draghi emphasised however that the ECB is still in a steady as we go mode for now after saying that “I do not see cause to deviate from the indications we have been consistently providing in the introductory statement to our press conferences” and that “we have not yet seen sufficient evidence to materially alter our assessment of the inflation outlook which remains conditional on a very substantial degree of monetary accommodation”. Meanwhile ECB Chief Economist Peter Praet said that “forward guidance implies a sequencing between the interest rate policy and the quantitative policy that can most efficiently internalize and exploit the intimate complementarities between these two key components of our current stance”.
For completeness, yesterday’s data did little to move the dial. In the US initial jobless claims fell to 234k last week which lowered the four-week average to 250k. In Europe the only notable data came from Germany where factory orders printed at +3.4% mom in February following a sharp decline in January.
Looking at the day ahead, this morning in Europe the main focus will likely be on the February industrial production reports which are due to come from Germany, France and the UK. We are also due to get February trade data from those countries as well as house prices data in the UK. Over in the US the aforementioned March employment report will be the main point of focus while wholesale inventories and consumer credit data are the other releases due in the US. Away from the data the Fed’s Dudley is due to give a talk on the state of financial regulation in the US this evening at 5.15pm BST. Away from that BoE Carney speaks this morning at 10am BST while the Euro area finance ministers meeting also kicks off in Malta today. Clearly any headlines which emerge from Trump’s meeting with Xi Jingping are also worth watching.
Published:4/7/2017 6:08:58 AM
Doesn't Anybody Know How to Play This Game? By Michael Barone
"Dare I suggest," writes the economist and blogger Tyler Cowen, "that the quality of governance in this country has taken a downward turn of late?" Or as Casey Stengel, while managing the New York Mets on their way to a 40-120 season in 1962, reportedly asked, "Can't anybody here play this game?"
Published:3/31/2017 8:25:52 AM
Is George Soros Behind This Plot To Topple Trump?
Authored by Nick Giambruno via InternationalMan.com,
The Establishment is setting up Donald Trump.
The mainstream media hates him. Hollywood hates him. The “Intellectual Yet Idiot” academia class hates him.
Most critically, the CIA hates him. So does the rest of the Deep State, or the permanently entrenched “national security” bureaucracy. They did everything possible to stop Trump from taking office. None of it worked.
I think the CIA hates Trump for a very simple reason: he’s threatening to take away their livelihood.
Trump wants to make nice with Putin and the Russians. But countering the so-called “Russian threat” is how many thousands of Deep State bureaucrats make a living.
These people feed off the trough of the $1 trillion-plus military/security budget. Playing nice with the Russians would kill their jobs—and end their way of life.
Trump has said:
We will pursue a new foreign policy that finally learns from the mistakes of the past. We will stop looking to topple regimes and overthrow governments.
Toppling regimes is the CIA’s bread and butter. No wonder they hate him.
Of course, the feeling is mutual. Trump has used plenty of sharp words to describe the “intelligence community.” He’s reportedly aiming to fundamentally restructure the CIA.
John F. Kennedy’s Battle with the CIA
Donald Trump is the first president since John F. Kennedy to openly take on the CIA.
After being suckered into the Bay of Pigs disaster in Cuba, JFK said he wanted "to splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it into the winds."
Kennedy fired CIA Director Allen Dulles. But that was about as far as he got.
JFK, of course, failed to break the Deep State’s grasp on power. In an ironic twist, Allen Dulles would later be appointed to the Warren Commission to investigate Kennedy’s assassination.
The CIA is the undisputed all-time world champion of orchestrating coups. And right now, Trump is squarely on its radar…
How the Deep State Will Take Down Trump
The way I see it, the Deep State has three main cards to play against Trump. If one doesn’t work, they’ll move on to the next one.
The Delegitimization Card
The Herbert Hoover Card
The John F. Kennedy Card
The Delegitimization Card
There’s a joke that goes something like this…
Question: Why can there be no “color revolution” in the US?
Answer: Because there are no US embassies in the US.
To get the joke you have to understand the role the US played—through CIA officers based out of US embassies—in orchestrating various color-coded revolutions, really coups d’état, over the past 17 years:
The Bulldozer Revolution in Serbia (2000)
The Rose Revolution in Georgia (2003)
The Orange and Euromaidan Revolutions in Ukraine (2004 and 2014)
The Tulip Revolution in Kyrgyzstan (2005)
The Cedar Revolution in Lebanon (2005)
The Jeans Revolution in Belarus (2006)
The Saffron Revolution in Myanmar (2007)
The Green Revolution in Iran (2009)… though that one didn't work.
The Grape Revolution in Moldova (2009)
The Colorful Revolution in Macedonia (2016)
All of these AstroTurf revolutions have one thing in common. In each case, George Soros’ NGOs helped delegitimize the targeted government.
Of course, there were valid grievances against these governments. But the US Deep State manipulated these situations to advance its geopolitical agenda.
Here’s how it worked: Soros’ NGOs would help fund and organize “professional protestors.” Then they’d use color-specific branding to help rally others to their cause.
Soros has turned colored revolutions into a science. The pattern is predictable.
Now it’s playing out in the US.
It smells to me like the CIA and George Soros’ NGOs are trying to start a “color revolution” in the US, just like they’ve done in numerous foreign countries.
The US color revolution already has a color. It’s purple, the mix of red and blue (i.e., red and blue states).
Hillary Clinton has developed a recent fondness for purple. She’s worn purple in almost every public appearance since the election.
Hillary Clinton’s concession speech. Notice her purple blouse and Bill’s purple tie.
There’s also a flood of social media postings about the color purple. So the branding is already done. And, of course, the professional protestors financed and organized by George Soros are already there.
Again, there are valid complaints against Trump. But the Usual Suspects are using their usual tricks to remove a government they don’t like. It just happens that, this time, the target government is in Washington, D.C., instead of Eastern Europe or the Middle East.
I don’t think the Deep State can get rid of Trump with the Delegitimization Card alone. So they will have to escalate to the next option.
The Herbert Hoover Card
When people think of President Hoover, they mostly think of the Great Depression.
Throughout the 1920s, the Federal Reserve’s easy money policies helped create an enormous stock market bubble.
In August 1929, the Fed raised interest rates and effectively ended the easy credit. Only a few months later, the bubble burst on Black Tuesday, in October 1929—barely seven months after Hoover took office. The Dow lost over 12% that day.
It was the most devastating stock market crash in the US up to that point. It also signaled the beginning of the Great Depression.
This happened on Hoover’s watch. And because of that, people pinned the blame squarely on him, regardless of where the fault lied.
Hoover inherited a stock market bubble near its peak—fueled by the Fed’s easy money policies.
I think Trump has, too. And he knows it. In recent months he’s called the stock market a “big, fat, ugly bubble.”
There’s an excellent chance this bubble will burst on Trump’s watch. And Democrats will pin the blame on him, just as they did with Hoover.
If that doesn’t work, the Deep State still has one card left.
The John F. Kennedy Card
Chuck Schumer, a powerful Democratic senator and quintessential Deep State swamp creature, recently discussed the war between Trump and the intelligence community on TV.
Schumer said, “Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you.”
It doesn’t take much imagination to understand what he’s alluding to.
Of course, the Deep State could try to assassinate Trump. It’s obvious the possibility has crossed his mind. He’s taken the unusual step of supplementing his Secret Service protection with loyal private security.
There are only three possible outcomes to the Deep State’s war on Trump…
Trump will defeat the Deep State.
The Deep State will co-opt Trump.
The Deep State will overthrow Trump.
As things stand, I think it’s unlikely Trump will defeat the Deep State. It’s been entrenched for decades. And it’s far more powerful than the president.
It’s also unlikely the Deep State will co-opt Trump. It’s just not in his personality to submit and roll over. He didn’t overcome all the odds to become president just to be another empty suit.
The Deep State will play the Herbert Hoover Card next. But if that doesn’t work—or if the Deep State starts to get antsy—they’ll move forward to overthrow him by any means possible.
The Deep State is planning moves during Trump’s first 100 days in office that could change everything in sudden and unexpected ways.
* * *
New York Times best-selling author Doug Casey and I put together this time-sensitive video explaining how it could all go down. You must see this urgent video before the Deep State makes its next move. Click here to watch it now.
Published:3/29/2017 7:15:16 PM
Gold ETFs vs. Physical Gold - Dangers Of Exchange Traded Funds
Gold ETFs vs. Physical Gold - Dangers Of Exchange Traded Funds
by Olivier Garret on Forbes
Gold ETFs are rising in popularity due to their convenience. They’re easy to trade, there’s no need to store anything, and no one is going to break into your house to steal your GLD shares.
Full article on Forbes
Gold and Silver Bullion - News and Commentary
Gold steady as markets await U.S. healthcare vote (Reuters.com)
Swiss gold exports to India top the table in February (SharpsPixley.com)
Gold prices settle lower to end a multisession rise (MarketWatch.com)
Struggling with dore imports, MMTC Pamp banks on domestic gold scrap (Business-Standard.com)
UBS charges customers to deposit euros (BBC.com)
South Africa, Once World's Top Gold Producer, Has Seen Output Plunge (Bloomberg.com)
A New Blast May Have Forged Cosmic Gold (QuantaMagazine.org)
There Is Gold in Seawater, But We Can’t Get at It (AtlasObscura.com)
Massive earthquake could plunge large parts of California into the sea (USAToday.com)
Euro Will "Cease To Exist" and Will See "Financial Chaos" - Doug Casey Interview (InternationalMan.com)
Get Ready for the Investor Stampede Back into Gold - Commerzbank (MarketWatch.com)
Gold Prices (LBMA AM)
24 Mar: USD 1,244.00, GBP 996.20 & EUR 1,150.82 per ounce
23 Mar: USD 1,247.90, GBP 997.95 & EUR 1,157.93 per ounce
22 Mar: USD 1,246.10, GBP 999.50 & EUR 1,154.76 per ounce
21 Mar: USD 1,232.05, GBP 989.21 & EUR 1,141.37 per ounce
20 Mar: USD 1,233.00, GBP 993.92 & EUR 1,146.57 per ounce
17 Mar: USD 1,228.75, GBP 991.85 & EUR 1,140.53 per ounce
16 Mar: USD 1,225.60, GBP 998.74 & EUR 1,143.24 per ounce
Silver Prices (LBMA)
24 Mar: USD 17.63, GBP 14.11 & EUR 16.31 per ounce
23 Mar: USD 17.55, GBP 14.04 & EUR 16.27 per ounce
22 Mar: USD 17.58, GBP 14.12 & EUR 16.30 per ounce
21 Mar: USD 17.31, GBP 13.88 & EUR 16.01 per ounce
20 Mar: USD 17.23, GBP 13.92 & EUR 16.03 per ounce
17 Mar: USD 17.40, GBP 14.08 & EUR 16.21 per ounce
16 Mar: USD 17.46, GBP 14.21 & EUR 16.28 per ounce
Recent Market Updates
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Published:3/24/2017 8:15:12 AM
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Has The Deep State Begun Its Revenge On Trump?
Authored by Nick Giambruno via InternationalMan.com,
The Deep State is set to prick the largest bubble in human history today…
The Deep State is the permanently entrenched “national security” bureaucracy - the top tier of the military, the CIA, FBI, NSA, etc. It also includes the Federal Reserve, the quintessential Establishment institution.
They all hate President Trump. They did everything possible to stop him from taking office. None of it worked. They fired all of their bullets, but he still wouldn’t go down.
Of course, the Deep State could still try to assassinate Trump. It’s obvious the possibility has crossed his mind. He’s taken the unusual step of supplementing his Secret Service protection with loyal private security.
But for now, anyway, the Deep State’s next move is to pin the coming stock market collapse on Trump. He’s the perfect fall guy.
When people think “Greater Depression,” they’ll think “Donald Trump.”
Right now, the Federal Reserve is the Deep State’s weapon of choice.
The economy has been on life support since the 2008 financial crisis. The Fed has pumped it up with unprecedented amounts of “stimulus.” This has created enormous distortions and misallocations of capital that need to be flushed.
Think of the trillions of dollars in money printing programs, euphemistically called quantitative easing (QE) 1, 2, and 3. Meanwhile, with zero and even negative interest rates in many countries, rates are the lowest they’ve been in 5,000 years of recorded human history.
On top of that, the too-big-to-fail banks are even bigger than they were in 2008. They have more derivatives, and they’re much more dangerous.
If the Deep State wants to trigger a stock market collapse on par with 1929, it just has to pull the plug on the extraordinary life support measures it’s used since the last crisis.
This outcome is already baked in the cake. It’s just a matter of when… and there’s a good chance “when” is today.
Source: Ben Garrison
In December 2015, the Fed raised interest rates for the first time in almost a decade, from 0% to a mere 0.25%. It kept rates there until last December, when it raised them to 0.50%.
The Fed also announced it would accelerate rate hikes throughout 2017 - three in total. It will probably announce these rate hikes during the seven remaining Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meetings scheduled for 2017.
This means the Deep State could trigger its controlled demolition today.
Yesterday's Fed rate hike (which will likely be the weakest period of economic growth for a rate-hike since 1980) could help prick the massive bubble in the stock and bond markets.
Trump recently said:
What happens if that interest rate goes up 2, 3, 4 points? We don’t have a country.
In any case, I think some of this year’s rate hikes will be much bigger than the 0.25% most expect. The Fed could pull a series of 0.50% rate hikes… or go even bigger.
Anything greater than the normal 0.25% tempo would shock the market—and seem designed to hurt Trump.
Trump seems aware of the situation. He recently said, “They’re keeping the rates down so that everything else doesn’t go down.”
He’s also said that “we have a very false economy” and the stock market is a “big, fat, ugly bubble.”
During the campaign, Trump called Fed Chair Janet Yellen “highly political.” At that point, he said the Fed should raise interest rates but wouldn’t because of “political reasons.” (Raising rates before the election would have hurt Hillary Clinton.)
Now, even a small rate increase is a lethal threat to the US budget. The US government currently needs over $400 billion from taxpayers just to pay the interest on its debt. Tax receipts are just over $2 trillion.
If interest rates rise…
1%, the government would need over $600 billion to pay the interest on its debt.
2%, it would need over $800 billion.
3%, it would need $1 trillion.
4%, it would need over $1.2 trillion, or over half of what it currently snatches from taxpayers—again, just to pay the interest.
Clearly, none of this is sustainable.
The Deep State is planning moves during Trump’s first 100 days in office that could change everything in sudden and unexpected ways.
* * *
Doug Casey and I put together this time-sensitive video explaining how it could all go down. You must see this urgent video before the Establishment makes its next move. Click here to watch it now.
Published:3/16/2017 9:47:31 PM
Casey Anthony Says She Doesn't "Give a S--t" What People Think About Her as She Opens Up About Caylee's Death: Watch
Casey Anthony is opening up about the passing of her 2-year-old daughter Caylee, nine years after her death.
In a new series of interviews with the Associated Press, Casey discusses...
Published:3/7/2017 7:16:34 PM
A Timeline of Casey Anthony's Life in the Public Eye
Until 2008, Casey Anthony was just a regular person who became a mom to daughter Caylee Anthony. Eventually, that changed. In June 2008, Caylee was seen for the last time, but she wasn't...
Published:3/7/2017 1:49:11 PM
Casey Anthony Speaks Out 9 Years After Caylee's Death: "I Sleep Pretty Good at Night"
Nine years after the death of her 2-year-old daughter, Casey Anthony has given a rare interview in which she again denied knowing much about how Caylee Anthony passed away.
Published:3/7/2017 7:47:23 AM
Casey Anthony Speaks Out Associated Press Interview Caylee Anthony Death
Casey Anthony has spoken out for the first time since she was acquitted for the murder of her two-year-old daughter Caylee.
Published:3/7/2017 6:46:52 AM
CNN Dusts Off Its Approach to the News With YouTuber Casey Neistat
Starting on March 15, Casey Neistat will host a new show live on YouTube every day at 5PM.
Published:3/2/2017 6:45:59 AM
Casey Affleck Speaks Out About Sexual Harassment Allegations Following 2017 Oscars Win
Casey Affleck is aware that not everyone was excited about his 2017 Oscars win.
On Sunday night, Hollywood applauded the actor's performance in Manchester by the Sea. At the same...
Published:2/28/2017 10:33:06 PM
Making The Same Mistakes Again (Remember The 'Lord Clive')
Via Jeff Thomas of InternationalMan.com,
The image above is of the 18th-century home of friends in Colonia, Uruguay. Today, sitting on their back patio on the Rio de la Plata, I looked out at a small yellow buoy in the harbour that marks the final resting place of the Lord Clive, a large, 60-gun British warship from the 18th century.
In 1763, we British, already at war with Spain, decided to expand the venture to the New World. The Lord Clive arrived in Colonia, Uruguay, and began firing into the tiny town. With her heavy contingent of cannon, her captain was confident that he could do enough damage to make the Spanish inhabitants surrender. After extensive bombardment, the Spanish had still not raised the white flag; however, the crew of the Lord Clive had managed to set fire to their own ship. The crew abandoned ship.
Local accounts of the event have it that, swimming ashore, the English crew apologized for bombarding the town and asked for mercy. Not surprisingly, the Spanish killed them.
Of course, this is not the outcome that’s described in English history books. Although the defeat of the British on that day is acknowledged, the folly is not. Although historians will generally acknowledge a defeat, they’re often reluctant to mention any idiocy on the part of their own military. And so any English-language version of the story tells a different tale from the account above.
This is a great pity, as much can be learned from historical idiocy. Since it’s rarely taught, military leaders often make the same idiotic mistakes that their predecessors made.
As an example, we can look at the adventures of the US today and observe their serial invasions over the last fifteen years in the Middle East and elsewhere. These adventures are being pursued ostensibly “to make the world safe for democracy.” However, whenever the US takes over a foreign country, it puts in place a puppet government—not exactly the textbook definition of “democracy.”
And, of course, warfare is very costly. Choosing to invade multiple countries at the same time, as the US has been doing over the last fifteen years, is even more costly.
And the US government never misses an opportunity to portray the Russians as evil aggressors—an appellation far more suited to the US. On one occasion after another, Russia has sought to tone down the level of aggression, whilst the US has been conducting a shoving match with the Russians, goading them into conflicts.
This is extraordinarily foolish, as it would take very little to light the fuse of direct warfare between the US and Russia. Over the centuries, quite a few countries have challenged Russia, but Russia has always proven to be a very hard country to defeat. Although American films about World War II tend to portray the US as having won the war against the Germans, it was the Russians who did the lion’s share of the job. Even when poorly armed and poorly prepared, Russia simply throws another ten or twenty million men at the problem and ultimately wears out any attacker. Russians don’t necessarily like war any more than any other people, but they do have astonishing staying power. They’ll grimly see a war through, long after their opponents have lost heart.
In addition, China and others have stated their support for Russia, should the US get carried away with its aggression in the Middle East. Both China and Russia have stated that, should the US move on Iran, they will join the fray on Iran’s side.
It would be foolhardy in the extreme for the US government to assume that it could take these powers on and come out of the fight victorious.
But what does this have to do with the burning of the Lord Clive?
Well, as stated above, the captain of the Lord Clive had a massive warship capable of doing a great deal of damage as he bombarded houses, including the one pictured above. But the crew became so caught up in their zeal for destruction that they failed to extinguish a fire on board the ship and had to dive overboard, surrendering to the Spanish, who by that time were understandably not feeling particularly merciful.
The US is in a similar situation. It’s not exactly in the best shape at home. The economy is on the ropes, and a financial collapse may be imminent. The government is rapidly becoming more autocratic, and a police state is likely to be instituted in the near future. It will be needed as funds for entitlements dry up and those who now praise the nanny state find that they’ve been lied to all this time. Pension funds also are beginning to fail, and people in both the private and public sectors will be more than a bit peevish when they discover that this rug, too, has been pulled out from under them.
If we were to imagine the worst possible future for the US, it might go something like this:
The US invades Iran or directly attacks Russian forces in Syria or another country.
Russia retaliates and the world takes up sides as World War III begins.
For the first time in their history, the American people are angrier at their own government than they are at the trumped-up enemy their government has chosen to oppose.
The US government finds that it must fight a full-blown foreign war at a time when it’s fighting a second one at home.
All of the above takes place at a time when the US is broke and is economically unable to sustain a fight on either front.
The world turns against the US for causing this fiasco, and, for the first time, there’s no one standing on the same side as the US.
The US effort collapses and, like the crew of the Lord Clive, the US, in effect, abandons ship and asks for forgiveness from those it has invaded.
In the above scenario, we can imagine that the US would have created a situation that would maximize enmity from the rest of the world. (In 1919, Europe forced the Treaty of Versailles on Germany, not out of necessity, but out of vengeance. It served to cripple the German people for decades thereafter—both socially and economically.)
A final thought: Every night on American television news programmes, pundits, politicians, and retired generals perform their sabre rattling, stating that the world at large had better cooperate with the US or else. Whilst this bravado may appeal to a segment of the American population, the programming is also available to the rest of the world. We who aren’t American and don’t reside in the US listen to the threatening rhetoric and find it decidedly unsettling. More to the point, the world’s leaders are also observing these programmes. They have a similar tone to the Nazi buildup in the 1930s. To those outside the US, US leaders are becoming increasingly dangerous.
If this does play out along the lines of the sinking of the Lord Clive, it will be the American people who will pay the price for their leaders’ reckless behaviour.
* * *
An unpopular foreign war, an unwinnable fight with Russia, friendly nations turning on the US, economic collapse at home… Given the current political climate, it’s not hard to see how this “worst possible future” could quickly and easily become reality. In fact, New York Times bestselling author Doug Casey thinks it’s just a matter of time before the next crisis hits the US. Doug thinks the situation is so critical that he put together this groundbreaking video. Click here to watch it now.
Published:2/28/2017 6:38:09 PM
See the Vanity Fair 2017 Oscars After-Party Portraits
After sitting in their seats for hours at the 2017 Oscars, the celebrities needed to let loose.
Per tradition, many headed to the Vanity Fair after-party, where some stopped to pose in...
Published:2/27/2017 7:55:05 AM
7 Biggest Jaw-Droppers at the 2017 Oscars
Who's still a little bit shaken up from the Miss Universification of the 2017 Oscars?
Over the years, the Academy Awards stage has born witness to all manner of historic, memorable...
Published:2/27/2017 7:24:46 AM
Casey Affleck Regrets Not Thanking His Kids in His Oscars Speech
Casey Affleck forgot to thank two very important people in his 2017 Oscars acceptance speech: His children.
He and ex Summer Phoenix are parents to sons Indiana, 12, and Atticus,...
Published:2/27/2017 12:54:20 AM
Amazon’s ‘Manchester by the Sea’ and ‘The Salesman’ take home three Oscars
So this isn’t the Oscar moment that everyone’s talking about, but it’s also kind of big deal: Manchester by the Sea and The Salesman, both distributed by Amazon Studios, won a collective three Academy Awards tonight. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos even got a shoutout in Jimmy Kimmel’s opening monologue. Manchester by the Sea won for Best Actor (Casey Affleck, who won… Read More
Published:2/27/2017 12:24:29 AM
Casey Anthony Seen at Anti-Trump Rally Florida
Casey Anthony, found not guilty of murder in the death of her daughter, was seen Saturday at an anti-Trump rally in West Palm Beach, Fla.
Published:2/7/2017 7:20:00 AM
[Bretton Woods system]
When The Money Supply Dries Up
Submitted by Jeff Thomas via InternationalMan.com,
In 1944, the US had been the primary supplier for arms for the allies during World War II and, as such, exited the war with more wealth than any of the other nations that had entered the war earlier, draining their treasuries of money. Since payment was largely demanded in gold, the US held three-quarters of the world’s gold and therefore was in a position to call the shots with regard to the free world’s economic future.
At Bretton Woods, the US took advantage of this situation, setting up the World Bank and the IMF and declaring the dollar to be the default currency for all countries concerned. From that point on, the US was in the catbird seat, able to dictate economic terms to other countries and even to behave irresponsibly, eventually creating previously unheard-of levels of debt, thereby inspiring other nations to do their best to create their own debt in order to keep pace as best they could.
Eventually, of course, such irresponsible economics will cause any country, no matter how powerful, to collapse economically, no matter how many Keynesian economists such as Thomas Piketty, Paul Krugman, and Larry Summers declare otherwise.
Beginning in 1944, the US became the world’s foremost empire, for the strongest of reasons—it held the world’s wealth. This advantage led to a period of great power and, in the latter years, as the empire began to stumble economically under its own great weight, led to the creation of organisations and legislation designed to bring in new revenue, as the old forms of revenue declined.
In recent years, we’ve seen the rise of the extraordinary assumption that “money laundering” (the practice of protecting one’s wealth from rapacious governments), should be regarded as a crime. As such, “tax havens”—those jurisdictions that provide freedom from governmental usurpation—have also been vilified as being somehow criminal because they recognize the basic right of freedom to prosper.
Along the way, we’ve witnessed the creation of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), a euphemistic appellation that might rightfully be termed the “Organization for Forced Compliance with Arbitrary Taxation Diktat by Powerful Nations.” This US-led organisation has served to periodically threaten freer nations to comply with the less free nations, so that citizens in the latter group cannot escape being stripped of the fruit of their labours. In addition, the US has created the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), which is ostensibly intended to enforce taxation of US citizens abroad, but which has been used almost entirely to bilk foreign banks that have US citizens as clients. (Again, the rules are arbitrary and ever-changing, and banks that fail to satisfy the US are fined enormous sums in a rather colossal Mafia-style shakedown.)
Along the way, the US has increasingly created legislation restricting the international movement of money by its people in addition to such a patchwork quilt of laws that every citizen is likely to break several laws each day, simply by existing normally.
All of this is taken for granted as a “given” by both Americans and those of us who view the US from afar. However, we rarely, if ever, take the time to reflect on the fact that, historically, this is nothing new. This is, in fact, quite the norm for an empire in decline. From the latter days of the Roman Empire, such practices (if in a less sophisticated form) have been implemented in order to have a last squeeze of the lemon before economic collapse takes place.
So, what then, in these many instances, has been the deciding factor that ends such draconian usurping of private wealth? Well, in fact, what tends to occur is that enforcement increases serially, right up until the moment when such enforcement can no longer be funded. Sooner or later, the amount that’s being bilked from those who are productive is insufficient to force them to continue to be bilked.
In ancient Rome, once the system had deteriorated to the point that the military was almost entirely mercenary, all that was needed was for the government to fail to provide full, regular payment to the troops. Once “the cheques began to bounce,” the military turned on their former benefactors. In addition to the cessation of enforcement, the military itself was now a threat to the leadership.
And of course, we have seen this in other empires since that time. Even with all the gold that Spain was pulling out of the New World in the 16th century, it wasn’t sufficient to pay for the excessive foreign military adventures of Philip II and eventually the coffers ran dry, collapsing his ability to even maintain control at home. When even the interest on the debt could not be serviced, the ability to maintain control not only ceased to advance—it went into reverse.
Whenever the ability to enforce draconian legislation goes into decline, the people of a nation suddenly realise that they’ve been living in fear of a paper tiger. It doesn’t take long before some people choose to defy the system. When they’re seen to succeed, others follow in droves.
So, what does this say of the US and its power? Well, as Doug Casey has been known to say, “Countries fall from grace with remarkable speed.” Quite so.
On an international level, this means that international leaders will be watching the economic decline of the US closely. Countries such as China and Russia have been loading up on precious metals in preparation for a collapse in fiat currency. In addition, they’ve created their own version of the World Bank, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and have been hard at work inking deals with other nations for international settlement in currencies other than the dollar.
Most people in the world today cannot remember a time before Bretton Woods, yet they may soon witness the Bretton Woods agreement becoming a dead duck.
But, if we extend this premise, we also should be questioning the other constructs of the postwar period that have become dinosaurs. What of the United Nations? This organisation was once meant to be a body for arbitration and world planning, but has in latter decades become a quagmire of bickering and gainsaying—with its decisions rarely being adopted by the nations in question. And yet the US alone pays some $8 billion annually to keep the UN afloat. Surely, when the world at large ceases its willingness to carry further US debt, the US government will jettison the expense for the UN before it cuts either its military spending or its entitlement programmes.
Similarly, NATO, which requires $2.8 billion annually (with only five of its 28 members currently meeting the recommended payments) would experience a similar fate.
With the above entities heading south, the Wolfowitz Doctrine, which has since 1992 been the basis of US aggression policy, would become unachievable.
In addition to the decline or cessation of the above international adventurism, enforcement of revenue pursuit in the guise of FATCA and OECD schemes would equally suffer from a loss of funding. It would not be a question of whether the empire still wished to squeeze the lemon more than ever before—it would. But once the funds to do so dried up, the US and EU would find themselves in the situation that we currently observe in Venezuela: The money to pay for the enforcement is simply not there anymore. The decline would begin with bounced cheques, followed by massive layoffs in the enforcement departments, followed by a decline in receipts, necessitating further layoffs, and continuing in a downward spiral.
At present, countless people live in fear of the present empires and their ever-increasing efforts at usurpation. However, as history shows, once debt has reached its nadir and begins its rapid fall, so does the empire’s ability to enforce draconian confiscations.
Published:2/7/2017 3:18:05 AM
Casey Anthony Participated in An Anti-Trump March to Mar-a-Lago
The post Casey Anthony Participated in An Anti-Trump March to Mar-a-Lago appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.
Published:2/6/2017 9:22:15 PM
Ten Democratic Senators Voting on Neil Gorsuch Stand for Re-Election in States That Trump Won, or Nearly Won, in 2018
There is some risk of walking the plank for the lunatics. The Senate Democrats who are likely to sweat this vote include Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, Michael Bennet of Colorado, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Joe Donnelly...
Published:2/6/2017 2:45:38 PM
Switzerland's Gold Exports To China Surge To 158 Tons In December
Switzerland's Gold Exports To China Surge To 158 Tonnes In December
Switzerland's gold bullion exports to China saw a huge jump in December, climbing to 158 tons versus a much lower 30.6 tons in November - a jump of 416%.
According to Eddie van der Walt as reported on the Bloomberg terminal this morning, total Swiss gold exports surged to 287.6 tons in December (valued at CHF 10.8b) according to data on the website of the Swiss Federal Customs Administration.
Switzerland's gold exports had already been very robust in November coming in at 191.4 tons. This means that total Swiss gold exports rose by over 50% from November to December due to global and particularly Chinese demand. Another indication of this global gold demand is that Swiss gold imports increased to 323.6 tons vs 220.5 tons - likely due to refinery demand and investors opting to store gold in Switzerland.
There was increased demand from China ahead of the Chinese New Year and due to concerns about the continuing devaluation of the yuan. This accounts for much of the rise but uncertainty regarding the election of President Trump may also have contributed to the strong rise in Swiss gold exports.
Gold exports to China in December "were the highest since at least January 2014" according to Bloomberg. Most of the exports to China are in the form of investment grade gold bars in the one kilogramme gold bar format which is used by Chinese investors, institutions, exchange traded funds (ETF) and indeed the Shanghai Gold Exchange.
Gold "exports to India dropped to 20.6 tons vs 63.2 tons in November and shipments to Hong Kong fell to 38 tons vs 45.8 tons."
Gold bullion imports from the U.K. jumped to 148 tons vs 48.4 tons meaning that Swiss gold imports from the U.K. "were the highest since December 2015." The London gold market continues to see outflows as gold continues to move from the London gold market to strong hands in China via the Swiss refineries. There are also flows to retail and high net worth investors including companies and family offices choosing to store gold in Switzerland and other safer jurisdictions.
Gold and Silver Bullion - News and Commentary
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Dow Jones ends above 20,000 for first time (RTE.ie)
Gold steadies near 1-1/2-week lows, equities rally pressures (Reuters.com)
Gold ETF Lures Most Money Since ‘12 as Europe Frets on Trump (Bloomberg.com)
Investors pile into gold as Trump signals weaker dollar (Nikkei.com)
Rubin’s mantra of “a strong dollar’ is retooled for the Trump era (MarketWatch.com)
Gold smashed on eve of options expiration - GATA (Gata.org)
Ireland's gold reserves - Basic information concealed (TheDailyCoin.org)
Doug Casey: Comparing the 1930s and Today (InternationalMan.com)
Three days in and Trump has already kept one pledge (PaulCraigRoberts.org)
Gold Prices (LBMA AM)
26 Jan: USD 1,191.55, GBP 945.14 & EUR 1,111.95 per ounce
25 Jan: USD 1,203.50, GBP 956.90 & EUR 1,119.62 per ounce
24 Jan: USD 1,213.30, GBP 972.22 & EUR 1,130.07 per ounce
23 Jan: USD 1,213.75, GBP 974.03 & EUR 1,130.12 per ounce
20 Jan: USD 1,199.10, GBP 974.87 & EUR 1,127.03 per ounce
19 Jan: USD 1,203.35, GBP 976.76 & EUR 1,129.34 per ounce
18 Jan: USD 1,212.50, GBP 984.91 & EUR 1,134.78 per ounce
17 Jan: USD 1,217.50, GBP 1,003.59 & EUR 1,141.65 per ounce
16 Jan: USD 1,202.75, GBP 997.56 & EUR 1,135.40 per ounce
Silver Prices (LBMA)
26 Jan: USD 16.86, GBP 13.39 & EUR 15.71 per ounce
25 Jan: USD 16.93, GBP 13.46 & EUR 15.74 per ounce
24 Jan: USD 17.10, GBP 13.73 & EUR 15.92 per ounce
23 Jan: USD 17.14, GBP 13.78 & EUR 15.97 per ounce
20 Jan: USD 16.89, GBP 13.73 & EUR 15.87 per ounce
19 Jan: USD 16.95, GBP 13.75 & EUR 15.89 per ounce
18 Jan: USD 17.12, GBP 13.93 & EUR 16.01 per ounce
17 Jan: USD 17.00, GBP 13.91 & EUR 15.87 per ounce
16 Jan: USD 16.82, GBP 13.94 & EUR 15.87 per ounce
13 Jan: USD 16.76, GBP 13.76 & EUR 15.74 per ounce
Recent Market Updates
- Blockchain – Central Banks Banking On It
- Sharia Standard May See Gold Surge
- Gold Price To 2 Month High As Fiery Trump Declares New American Order
- Gold’s Gains 15% In Inauguration Years Since 1974
- Turkey, ‘Axis of Gold’ and the End of US Dollar Hegemony
- Gold Up 5.5% YTD – Hard Brexit Cometh and Weaker Dollar Under Trump
- Bitcoin and Gold – Outlook and Safe Haven?
- Physical Gold Will ‘Trump’ Paper Gold
- Gold Lower Before Trump Presidency – Strong Gains Akin To After Obama Inauguration
- Gold Rallies To $1,207 After Trump Press Conference Shambles
- Prince Owned Land and Gold Bars Worth $800,000
- Gold Price In GBP Up 4% On Brexit and UK Risks
- 2016 Past is 2017 Prologue
Published:1/26/2017 4:11:46 PM
Fakewood EXPOSED: Where Fake News began
With the internet rife with "Fake News" - Fake Profiles, fake comments, and fake just about everything; let's do what an intelligence analyst should do (that is, analyze and not just do whatever his client pays him to do). And, the first step before collecting current information is to understand the history. In our case, the history of "Fake News" in USA at least, goes back to the days of WW1 (that's World War 1) and became mainstream, during WW2. Fake News as they are calling it, has since then been part of an information arsenal in any ground based propaganda campaign, even before the days of Edward Bernays. Taking the most basic first step, let's look at Wikipedia under the entry "Propaganda":
The first large-scale use of propaganda by the U.S. government came during World War I. The government enlisted the help of citizens and children to help promote war bonds and stamps to help stimulate the economy. To keep the prices of war supplies down (guns, gunpowder, cannons, steel, etc.), the U.S. government produced posters that encouraged people to reduce waste and grow their own vegetables in "victory gardens". The public skepticism that was generated by the heavy-handed tactics of the Committee on Public Information would lead the postwar government to officially abandon the use of propaganda.
While they 'abandoned' the use of 'Propaganda' this later became 'marketing' - geniuses like Edward Bernays would then come into play, with their understanding of psychological nuances that can split hairs on fleas. Use of the English language in particular, combined with hidden images in photography, and other dirty tricks, can lull any average IQ citizen into believing whatever the campaign says. Take a look at what "Propaganada" used to look like:
OK, it was WW1 but still, they've come a long way, baby!
Today's Propaganda is 3d in real time. The CIA has video technology by the way, rumored to be used to make Bin Laden videos when they knew he was dead, that could create a lifelike "Bin Laden" or whatever character to speak and say what they type in real time in 3d (but actually it's broadcast on 2d, making it look all that more realistic).
This article is about Propaganda you say? What are some "Fake News" events of the day, back in the day?
Orsen Wells War of the Worlds Alien Invasion
Fake News started World War 1 - "Zimmerman Telegram"
Fake News "Weapons of Mass Destruction Found in Iraq" remember that one?
Here's an NY Times history of "Fake News" although they are not the most credible news agency to create such a list, being guitly of peddling it themselves.
The real "Fake News" industry however, began in Hollywood, California.. around the time of WW2 and continues to this day. It was the epic creation of creative producers, filmed at the big studios. One secret agreement it's rumored:
"If you can help us fake the moon landing, we'll put one of yours in the White House [Ronald Reagan]" - unknown CIA agent.
The amount of Propaganda and Fake News created by Hollywood in that time is so large, there's an entire topic on the subject here, with many films listed on a list "Allied Propaganda Films". You see, during that time, Propaganda was considered a good thing, because it was 'good for the country' to 'help people realize' how important it was to go to war! It wasn't until the 60's when the youth started to 'tune in, drop out' that the dark side of Propaganda was exposed for what it was. And with all the Nazi scientists now living and working in the USA, there wasn't any 'evil empire' anymore, so it was soon realized that 'our good propaganda' was not much different than Hitler's 'evil' propaganda except that of course, it was in English.
Hollywood's connection to Washington is explained well in films like "Wag the Dog" and we elaborated on that in this article here on Zero Hedge. But it goes MUCH DEEPER than that. Where to begin?
In every major newsroom in America, major meaning like the biggies like CNN not your local weather channel - there's a paid CIA/NSA employee sitting near the editor keeping an eye on the content. They send out daily 'talking points' to journalists to include certain 'keywords' in their speech. This was used during the election in full force.
In films, especially those about business, war, the government, or rights issues - there's always a 'military consultant' who is again, part of the same department, at CIA/NSA.
Have you noted recently, in Hollywood films, and TV series - over the last few years there's been a large amount of "Russian/Ukrainian" villians and they're always bad people? As 10 years ago it was always Mussamad Bin Galafi Turban? That's because the Terrorist script has run it's course, now that Bin Laden was 'killed' in spirit anyway, new enemies needed to foment, and the new enemies are Russians. Hollywood contributed more to the anti-Russian sentiment in America now than the current 'Fake News' about the Russian hacking.
How it works. 90% of Americans have a TV and watch it, even if they don't (it's on in the house). Maybe the kids watch a show, or movie - there's a Russian character who is evil, horrible, person. He speaks with a deep, rough, raspy voice as if he just finished his third pack of smokes for the day, hasn't shaven, and uses foul language. It's a character anyone would hate! And truely, the character is portrayed as a terrible person, people should hate him. That's how Television "Programming" works. So then weeks later, on CNN they broadcast "Russia Hacks the DNC" and the unsuspecting parent, not consciously knowing what is going on in their subconscious mind, thinks "Oh, I know the type, like in this film. Dirty Scoundrels!"
Don't take our word for it, listen to Larry Johnson, retired CIA:
US animosity directed at Russia is misdirected anger, said Larry Johnson, retired CIA and State Department official. The propaganda plays upon the ignorance of US people, who know little of Russia and the history of its relations with the US, he added.
Even the MSM picked up on this, asking in 2014 "Why are RUSSIANS always the bad guys?"
From a sadistic former KGB operative in The Avengers to the Russian evildoers in A Good Day to Die Hard, there’s certainly been no shortage of Russian villains on screen recently. Russian politicians and filmmakers have now made clear their displeasure with the US movie industry’s ongoing depictions of Russian characters as villains. There has even been the threat of a Russian boycott of Hollywood movies, highlighting the risk studios take when they demonise a nationality.
And finally - "Thrillist" of all publications put a timeline on it, yes, it started in 2010. "Why are Russians the greatest Villians of all time?"
Since 2010 alone, Russian bad guys have appeared in such action flicks as John Wick, The Equalizer, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, The November Man, A Good Day to Die Hard, Jack Reacher, Limitless, Salt, The Drop, and The Tourist. Hell, even The Muppets piled on with Tina Fey's gulag guard in Muppets Most Wanted. And this month we have two more: the Casey Affleck vehicle Triple 9, featuring the Russian mob, and Zoolander 2, featuring what appears to be a Russian Kristen Wiig.
It's one year before the official 'capture' Fake News event regarding Bin Laden. You see, Bin Laden was like the Villian of a big comic book story, so the Hollywood script writers knew that there would be no replacing Bin Laden. He was just bigger than life. So they needed to plant the seeds while they planned operation capture & kill Bin Laden.
Connect the dots - it's not so hard! Hollywood, or should we call it FakeWood, has been the Prime Mover of the "Fake News" movement.
For some FREE documents and tools about how the CIA/NSA operates with Hollywood, checkout Global Intel Hub's Library.
To learn how this impacts the markets, checkout Splitting Pennies - Understanding Forex. Learn how big news agencies create "Fake News" that drops the Great British Pound - only to make a few quid!
Published:1/22/2017 9:09:42 PM
Doug Casey Warns "Every American Needs To Be Concerned Right Now"
Authored by Doug Casey via InternationalMan.com,
Making The Chicken Run, Part 1
“Making the chicken run” is what Rhodesians used to say about neighbors who packed up and got out during the ’60s and ’70s, before the place became Zimbabwe. It was considered “unpatriotic” to leave Rhodesia. But it was genuinely idiotic not to.
I’ve written many times about the importance of internationalizing your assets, your mode of living, and your way of thinking. I suspect most readers have treated those articles as they might a travelogue to some distant and exotic land: interesting fodder for cocktail party chatter, but basically academic and of little immediate personal relevance.
I’m directing these comments toward the U.S. mainly because that’s where the problem is most acute, but they’re applicable to most countries.
Now, in 2017, the U.S. is in real trouble. Not as bad as Rhodesia 40 years ago—and definitely a different kind of trouble—but plenty serious. For many years, it’s been obvious that the country was eventually going to hit the wall, and now the inevitable is rapidly becoming imminent.
What do I mean by that? There’s plenty of reason to be concerned about things financial and economic. But I personally believe we haven't been bearish enough on the eventual social and political fallout from the Greater Depression. Nothing is certain, but the odds are high that the U.S. is going into a time of troubles at least as bad as any experienced in any advanced country in the last century.
I hate saying things like that, if only because it sounds outrageous and inflammatory and can create a credibility gap. It invites arguments with people, and although I enjoy discussion, I dislike arguing.
It strikes most people as outrageous because the long-running post-WWII boom has been punctuated only by brief recessions. After 70 years, why should it ever end? The thought of a nasty end certainly runs counter to the experience of almost everyone now alive—including myself—and our personal experience is what we tend to trust most. But it seems to me we're very close to a tipping point. Ice stays ice even while it’s being warmed—until the temperature goes over 32° F, where it changes very quickly into something very different.
First, the Economy
That point—economic bankruptcy accompanied by financial chaos—is quickly approaching for the U.S. government. With deficits over a trillion dollars per year for as far as the eye can see, the U.S. Treasury will very soon be unable to roll over its maturing debt at anything near current interest rates. The only reliable buyer will be the Federal Reserve, which can buy only by creating new dollars.
Within the next 24 months, the dollar is likely to start losing value rapidly and noticeably. Foreigners, who own over 6 trillion of them (including T-bills and other IOUs), will start panicking to dump them. So will Americans. The dollar bond market, today worth $40 trillion, will be devastated by much higher interest rates, a rapidly depreciating dollar, and an epidemic of defaults.
And that will be just the start of the trouble. Since the U.S. property market floats on a sea of debt (and is easy to tax), it’s also going to be hit very hard, again, this time by stifling mortgage rates. The next step is up for interest rates. Forget about property owners paying their existing mortgages; many won’t be able to pay their taxes and utilities, and maintenance will be out of the question.
The pain will spread. Insurance companies are invested mostly in bonds and real estate; many will go bankrupt. The same is true of most pension funds. If the stock market doesn’t collapse, it will only be because money is looking for a place to hide from inflation. The payout for Social Security will drop significantly in real terms, if not in dollars. The standard of living of most Americans will fall.
This rough sequence of events has happened in many countries in recent decades, and they’ve survived the tough times. But it has the potential, at least in relative terms, to be more serious in the U.S. than it was in Argentina, Brazil, Serbia, Russia, Mozambique, or Zimbabwe for two main reasons.
First, many people in those countries knew they couldn’t trust their government and acted accordingly, even in contravention of the law, by accumulating assets elsewhere. So, there was a significant pool of capital available for rebuilding. Americans, on the other hand, tend to be much more insular, law-abiding, and trusting in their government. When they lose their U.S. assets, they'll have lost everything.
Second, those societies were significantly more rural than the U.S. is today. As in the America of 100 years ago, much of the population lived quite close to the land and had practical skills and habits that helped them get through the tough times. For 21st-century Americans, it's a different story. Shortages and disorder are going to hit commuters who live in suburbs, and urban dwellers who think milk appears in cartons magically, like a ton of bricks.
One thing you can absolutely count on is that everyone will look to the government to “do something.” Americans really do think governments control the way the world works. Another certainty is that the U.S. government will “step in” massively, because everyone will want them to, and the politicians themselves believe they should. This will greatly aggravate the crisis and make it last much longer than necessary.
Then It Gets Serious
But that’s just over the short run. The long run is much more serious because the next chapter of the Greater Depression has every chance of radically, and at least semi-permanently, overturning the basic character of American life. Ice turned to water—suddenly and unexpectedly—in Russia in 1918, Germany in 1933, China in 1949, Vietnam in 1954, Cambodia in 1975, and Rwanda in 1995. Those are just the first examples that come to mind. There are scores more.
The economic events I’ve outlined are going to mean serious hardship and unpleasantness for many people. But that doesn't concern me nearly as much as the social and political reaction.
* * *
Doug says we're on the edge of a genuine precipice. The economy is crumbling… and there's a good chance things will only get worse. This is exactly why Doug and his team put together a time-sensitive video explaining how it could all go down. A financial shock far greater than 2008 could strike America during Trump's first 100 days in office. It could either wipe out a big part of your savings... or be the fortune-building opportunity of a lifetime. Click here to watch it now.
Published:1/21/2017 7:32:57 PM
Ben Affleck on writing his own sex scenes: 'Why else go into directing?'
He also talked about his brother Casey Affleck's recent success.
Published:1/13/2017 8:40:01 AM