Has Gold Become A New Reserve Currency?

For decades, the U.S. dollar has been the reserve currency of the world.  This has given the United States an extraordinary amount of economic power, but as the U.S. economy has started to come apart over the past decade, other nations have increasingly sought to move away from the U.S. dollar and find other alternatives.  For a long time it was thought that the Euro would become the next great reserve currency of the world.  However, the recent Greek debt crisis, along with massive financial instability in nations such as Portugal, Spain and Italy, has caused investors to rapidly lose confidence in the Euro.  In fact there are even some whispers that the Euro may not even survive the sovereign debt crisis as it sweeps across Europe.  With both the U.S. dollar and the Euro looking shaky, investors have been searching somewhere safe to put their money.  Increasingly, they have been turning to gold.  So has gold now become a new reserve currency?  Will all of this new demand drive the price of gold into unprecedented territory?

Well, the truth is that as long as paper currencies around the world continue to show instability, gold will continue to be a preferred choice.  Nations all over the world are looking for ways to diversify their very large foreign exchange reserves.  For example, China now has approximately $2 trillion in foreign exchange reserves, and has been wanting to reduce its position in U.S. dollars for quite some time now.

But where should they put their money?

The Euro is coming apart like a 20 dollar suit.  There is a very real fear that Greece is only the first domino to fall and that soon nations like Italy, Spain and Portugal will be begging the IMF for assistance as the sovereign debt crisis sweeps across Europe.

Well, what about the British pound?  The truth is that the pound is not very appealing right now because the U.K. is facing a massive government debt crisis as well.  In fact, Bank of England governor Mervyn King recently warned that public anger over the “austerity measures” that soon must be implemented in the U.K. will be so intense that whatever party wins this election will be out of power for a generation.

Well, how about the Japanese yen?  Ironically, there has been a move towards the Japanese yen in recent days, but the truth is that the Japanese debt situation is one of the worst in the world.  Japan’s gross public debt has reached 201 percent of GDP and  Japan’s battle with deflation dragged into its 13th straight month in March.  No, the yen is not safe at all.

So does that bring us back to the U.S. dollar?  No.  There is a reason why nations all over the world have been wanting to get out of the U.S. dollar.  The United States has piled up the biggest mountain of debt in the history of the world, and even official U.S. government reports admit that the U.S. government is on a financial path that is not even close to sustainable.  The U.S. economy is caught in a death spiral, and that makes the U.S. dollar very unsafe.

So, what is safe at this point?

Well, gold is.

The price of gold rose to $1,210 an ounce on Friday.  The terms “flight to quality” and “safe haven” are increasingly being used for the precious metal as investors flee all of the major global paper currencies.

Just consider some of the recent comments about gold by financial experts that have shown up in the news….

Stephen Platt, a commodity analyst at Archer Financial Services Inc. in Chicago:

“The sovereign-debt panic is spreading and forcing a flight to quality into gold.”

Citigroup analyst David Thurtell:

“Gold is now enjoying safe haven status, partly because bonds, particularly peripheral euro zone government and bank paper, is no longer a safe haven.”

Dennis Gartman, an economist and the editor of the Suffolk, Virginia-based Gartman Letter:

“There is a clear flight into quality to the gold market as frightened capital seeks a haven of any sort while confusion reigns.”

So will this move towards gold continue?

Sure.

Although anyone who follows the gold market knows that big financial institutions regularly work to suppress the price of gold.  In fact, one industry insider recently decided to be a whistleblower and came forward with “smoking gun” evidence of price manipulation in the precious metals markets, but the CFTC didn’t do a thing about it.

Fortunately, the overwhelming demand for gold is now pushing the price up despite efforts to suppress it.

In addition, once it becomes apparent that most of the “gold” that is traded in the world is not backed by the actual metal itself, the price of gold will go even higher.

For years, almost everyone has assumed that the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA), the world’s largest gold market, had actual gold to back up the massive “gold deposits” at the major LBMA banks.

But that is just not the case.

People are now starting to realize that there is very little actual gold in the LBMA system.

When most people think they are buying “gold”, what they are actually buying are just pieces of paper that say they own gold.

Egon von Greyerz of Matterhorn Asset Management in Switzerland recently elaborated on this point.  He says that “a lot of people who have studied it closely are convinced that there is a major shortage in physical gold at LBMA. LBMA trades around 700 tons net of gold daily. That is 25% of world annual production and around $6 trillion annually. To back that amount of trading on a 100% reserve ratio basis, it would need several year’s production of physical gold, which they definitively haven’t got.”

So what is going to happen when investors start demanding physical delivery of the gold that they purchase?

It is going to create a huge mess.

Needless to say, if you are investing in gold make sure that you take physical delivery of the gold.

As the paper currenices all over the globe continue to unravel (as all debt-based paper currencies always do), all precious metals, including gold, will be increasingly in demand.

In fact, the idea of gold being a “reserve currency” is not anything new.

Gold has been a “reserve currency” for thousands of years, and those who understand history know that it will always remain one.

8 Theories For Why The Stock Market Plunged Almost 1000 Points In A Matter Of Minutes On May 6th

In one of the most dizzying half-hours in stock market history, the Dow plunged nearly 1,000 points on Thursday, May 6th before bouncing back to close down 347.80 points.  This represented the biggest intraday decline since 1987.  But what made this crash so absolutely shocking is that it happened in the course of less than an hour.  Between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. the Dow lost over 700 points before dramatically bouncing back about 600 points.  Two of the 30 stocks in the Dow, Procter & Gamble and 3M, plunged more than 30% in just 15 minutes.  Accenture went from trading at around 40 dollars a share all the way down to one cent before bouncing back.  Traders and investors were left completely stunned and wondering what in the world had just happened.

So what did happen?

The following are some of the most common theories being put forward to explain what happened….

#1) A Bad Trade

It has been widely suggested that a “fat finger trade” was responsible for triggering the panic.  According to CNBC, “sources” have told that network that a trader (possibly at Citigroup) entered a “b” for billion instead of an “m” for million in a trade involving Procter & Gamble.

However, Citigroup has already announced that it has found “no evidence” that it was involved in any erroneous trades.  In fact, a statement was released in which Citigroup spokesman Stephen Cohen said this….

“At this point, we have no evidence that Citi was involved in any erroneous transaction.”

#2) A Computer Glitch

New York Stock Exchange spokesman Rich Adamonis says that “there were a number of erroneous trades” on May 6th, and that these could have been caused by computer error.

And the truth is that trading in the financial markets is more automated and more reliant on computers than it ever has been before.  Trading literally moves at lightning speed now, and a number of analysts are warning that the pace of the market is so fast at this point that it is really easy for things to spin out of control very quickly.

But if this was really primarily caused by a “computer glitch”, how are investors supposed to have any confidence at all in the market?  After all, if a computer error can wipe out half your account in less than an hour, why invest at all?

#3) Cascading Stop Losses

Once the market hits certain technical levels, it is going to automatically start triggering stop loss orders.  Once those stop loss orders are triggered, it will push the market down further thus triggering more stop loss orders.

While there have been some protections implemented to guard against this kind of thing, the reality is that it does still happen.

#4) Hackers

Hackers have become more sophisticated and more cunning than ever before.  In fact, the bigger a target is, the more enjoyment most hackers get out of taking them down.  Is it a possible that someone could have hacked in to the New York Stock Exchange?

#5) Cyberterrorism

Rogue nations and terrorist organizations have been developing their “cyber warfare” capabilities for some time now.  We have been repeatedly warned that someday we will see an “Internet 9/11”.  Could this stock market plunge be a preview of that?

#6) Fear Of The European Debt Crisis Spreading

There are mounting concerns in the financial markets about Greece’s financial condition and that the European debt crisis could spread around the globe.

In fact, the Dow has lost 631 points, or more than 5%, in just the last three days amidst worries about the situation in Greece.  This represents the biggest three day drop since March 2009.

#7) Stop Hunting

Anyone who has spent much time in the Forex market knows what this is all about.  The truth is that some of the big financial sharks in the marketplace seem to really enjoy blowing out stop losses.

So could have this have been a situation where a stop loss hunting expedition spun wildly out of control?

#8) A Real Panic

There is also the possibility that this was a real financial panic.  There are huge concerns about what is going on in Europe and the currency markets are fluctuating wildly.  The Dow was already down several hundred points even before the massive plunge took place.  The reality is that there is a lot of fear in the financial markets right now.

But if it was a real panic, then why did the Dow bounce back so quickly?  Well, it is the job of the “plunge protection team” to keep the stock market from declining too rapidly.  So did the “plunge protection team” swing into action today?  Well, the truth is that we will probably never know because the general public is not supposed to know when they intervene.

In any event, the next couple of days should hopefully make all of this a lot clearer.  The trading during the afternoon of May 6th at the big firms will be gone over with a fine-toothed comb, and the exchanges will be closely analyzing their systems for any glitches.

It has already been announced that some of the most erroneous trades will be cancelled.  The Nasdaq and NYSE’s ARCA trading unit have both said that they will cancel trades executed between 2:40 p.m. and 3 p.m. on May 6th where a stock price rose or fell more than 60 percent from the last trade in that security at 2:40 p.m.

But this episode shows just how vulnerable our financial markets really are.  After witnessing what we saw today, it is going to be really hard to have confidence in the system.

In fact, even if this was just one “bad trade” or a “simple computer glitch”, the reality is that this episode is going to inject even more fear into a marketplace that is already filled with tension.

When fear grips a market things can go south very, very quickly.  The truth is that markets tend to fall more quickly than they rise, and if a wave of panic starts sweeping over the financial markets we could see things get quite messy in the coming days.

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Will The Gulf Of Mexico Oil Spill Be An Economic Disaster That The Gulf Coast Will Never Recover From?

As a silent blanket of black goo that is now about the size of the state of Florida slowly but relentlessly drifts towards the Gulf Coast, communities in the region are bracing for an economic catastrophe that is being described as a “slow motion Katrina”.  Still reeling from the effects of Hurricane Katrina after all these years, many who depend on the Gulf of Mexico for their livelihood fear that the massive oil spill heading their way could prove to be an economic disaster from which they will never recover.  Thousands of businesses in the region could go under before all of this is over, and millions could lose their jobs.  As the gigantic mass of black oil kills and maims all the wildlife it encounters, and as it pushes dangerously close to the coastal wetlands, many residents are predicting that two of the most important industries in the region – seafood and tourism – will be completely and totally destroyed.

Already, the edges of the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico have grazed the barrier islands off Louisiana’s Chandeleur and Breton sounds.  BP spokeswoman Ayana McIntosh-Lee announced on Monday that the damaged well is releasing 210,000 gallons of oil a day into the Gulf of Mexico.  At this point there is no end in sight.

In fact, the oil spill in the Gulf Of Mexico is now larger than the entire state of Florida, and each day it grows larger and more insidious.

Scientists in the region tell us that the Gulf oil spill could actually get into what’s called the “Loop Current” within a day, eventually carrying oil south along the Florida coast and into the Florida Keys.  In fact, one prominent oceanographer says that he cannot think of any scenario where the oil spill doesn’t eventually reach the Florida Keys.

And there are indications that things could get a whole lot worse before they get better.

It is being reported that a confidential government report on the oil spill in the Gulf makes it clear that the Coast Guard now fears that the damaged well could become an unchecked gusher shooting millions of gallons of oil per day into the Gulf.  One Alabama newspaper has posted excerpts from this alarming report….

“The following is not public,” reads the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Emergency Response document dated April 28th that was posted on . “Two additional release points were found today in the tangled riser. If the riser pipe deteriorates further, the flow could become unchecked resulting in a release volume an order of magnitude higher than previously thought.”

How bad could it get?

Well, if the riser pipe blows out, experts tell us that we could see 5 to 10 times as much oil flowing into the Gulf as we are now.

That would be a nightmare of Biblical proportions.

Not that we aren’t facing a complete and total nightmare already.

Both Obama administration and BP are  indicating that it might take up to three months to completely seal off the leaking oil well.

3 more months of oil flowing into the Gulf?

How in the world could the Gulf Coast ever recover from that?

And once the oil spill gets into the wetlands along the coast it will never, ever be able to be totally cleaned up.

Already, environmentalists are warning that the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico could absolutely devastate the bird population of the region.

You see, nearly 75 percent of all U.S. waterfowl use Louisiana’s three million acres of wetlands to rest or nest.  Once the oil spill gets into those wetlands it is over for those waterfowl.

Not only that, but Louisiana produces more fish and seafood than anywhere in the United States except for Alaska.  The cost of this disaster to the fishing industry in Louisiana alone could top 3 billion dollars, and it is being projected that the tourism industry in Florida could lose even more than that.

In fact, some local shrimpers in the region are gloomily forecasting that it will be seven years before they can set to sea again.

Are you starting to get the picture?

Entire industries are going to be wiped out by this thing.

In economic terms, this is far bigger than Katrina.

What we are witnessing is the potential economic death of an entire region.

To get an idea of just what kind of a nightmare the residents of the Gulf Coast are facing, just read some of the quotes that have been popping up in mainstream media sources over the last couple of days….

The Telegraph:

“Worst case scenarios almost never happen,” Professor Robert Thomas, of New Orleans’ Loyola University, was quoted as saying yesterday. “In this case, almost everyone I have known with technical knowledge of oil spills – people who have worked in the industry 30, 40 years – say it is upon us.”

Louis Miller of the Mississippi Sierra Club:

This is going to destroy the Mississippi and the Gulf Coast as we know it.

The Los Angeles Times:

“A major oil spill would devastate the ecosystem and the economy based on that ecosystem,” said Larry Crowder, professor of marine biology at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment. “It’s a particularly bad time of year because just about everything is nesting or replicating.

“In the Gulf of Mexico giant blue fin tuna are spawning, and their eggs and larvae float on the surface,” he said. “Seabirds and gulls are nesting. For nesting sea turtles, obviously, oiling the beaches could have a devastating impact.”

An anonymous Louisiana resident:

“A hurricane is like closing your bank account for a few days, but this here has the capacity to destroy our bank accounts.”

Even if you have a heart that is cold as a stone, now is the time to pray for those who live along the Gulf Coast.  The oil spill relentlessly pushing towards the shore threatens to destroy countless numbers of lives.

Hopefully BP (or someone else) will find a way to keep this disaster from escalating out of control.

If not, there are going to be a whole lot of people who are going to need our help.

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How Is The U.S. Economy Supposed To Succeed When Our Politicians And The Big Banks Are Making Billions Of Dollars Betting Against It?

Most people around the globe think of America as a great “capitalist” economic machine, but the truth is that the U.S. financial system is essentially one massive betting parlor at this point.  In fact, there has been a whole lot of easy money made in this betting parlor over the past several years by our politicians and by the big financial players down on Wall Street.  So how did they make all of this money?  They did it by betting against America.  By betting that the U.S. economy would do badly, a lot of very powerful people have gotten insanely wealthy.  Literally billions of dollars have been made over the past five years simply by betting that the U.S. housing market would go into the toilet.  But is all of this “short selling” and are all of these “side bets” actually good for the American economy?  How is the U.S. economy supposed to succeed when the big banks and so many of our politicians are actively making bets against it?

Just take a moment and check out some of the folks that have been betting against America….

*A Wall Street Journal analysis of congressional disclosures shows that 13 members of the U.S. Congress or their wives were engaged in substantial short selling during the financial crisis of 2008.

*An individual by the name of Jeff Greene made hundreds of millions of dollars during the real estate collapse by making huge bets against the residential housing market.  Now he wants to use some of that money to run for the U.S. Senate in Florida.

*Goldman Sachs openly and brazenly bet against its own clients as the housing market began to implode back in 2007 and 2008, and they made a TON of money by doing so.

*John Paulson (with the assistance of Goldman Sachs) has quickly become one of the richest men in the United States by betting against America.  Shorting the subprime mortgage market enabled his firm, Paulson & Co., to make 15 billion dollars in 2007.  John Paulson alone made approximately 4 billion dollars that year.

*Legendary investor Warren Buffett said on Saturday that he’s bearish about the ability of all currencies to hold their value over time because of massive deficits being run up by governments in the wake of the global financial crisis.

*The Federal Reserve holds credit-default swaps on the debt of Florida schools, and on debt owed by the states of Nevada and California.  So the Federal Reserve would profit if one of those states defaulted on its debt.

*JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Citigroup are offering “municipal credit default swaps” that enable investors to make big money if U.S. states and cities end up defaulting on their debts.

It is one thing to make a legitimate profit on an investment.  It is another thing entirely for the biggest financial institutions in the United States and our politicians to be making massive amounts of money off of the economic collapse of America.

You see, those making huge bets against the U.S. economy also have an incentive to do what they can to make those bets profitable.  So for those who have the power to do so, does there come a point where they give the U.S. economy a little “push” in the wrong direction so that their bets will pay off?

The reality is that we have created a financial environment where fear rules.  For example, very few people want to back U.S. home loans anymore.  So now the U.S. government has to do it.  According to Inside Mortgage Finance, U.S. government-related entities backed 96.5% of all U.S. home loans during the first quarter of 2010.  This was up from 90% in 2009.

We should really rethink a financial system where a few people make a ton of money off of the fact that everyone else is doing badly.  Sure a few people are laughing all the way to the bank, but America as a whole is hurting.

Just consider the following charts.  U.S. national income has never experienced such a radically negative change in modern times….

All of these economic problems have caused the revenue of the U.S. government to dramatically decline at the same time expenditures are rocketing into the stratosphere….

As the U.S. economy continues to tank, the U.S. national debt is going to keep spinning wildly out of control.  Back in 1980, the U.S. national debt was approximately 1 trillion dollars.  Today it is accelerating rapidly as it pushes past 12 trillion dollars and towards 13 trillion dollars….

The truth is that the massive deficits being run up not only by the U.S. government, but by governments all over the world, are something that is clearly not sustainable.  In fact, Warren Buffett recently made an interesting remark about how painful it is going to be when the debt party ends….

“How the world weans itself off huge deficit financing is going to be difficult to watch.”

In fact, there are some nations that are in bigger trouble with debt than even the United States is.  Japan’s gross public debt has reached 201% of GDP, and the only way that the government of Japan can avoid bankruptcy at this point is by borrowing ever-increasing amounts of money.

But the truth is that this game cannot be played forever.

There has never been a time when so many nations around the world have piled up so much debt so quickly.

When the sovereign debt bubble pops, things are going to get really messy and the dominoes will start falling really quickly.

But when that happens one thing is for certain – there will be a lot of people ready to make a lot of money by betting on the financial failures of others.

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Created Out Of Thin Air – That Is Where The Federal Reserve Got The 1.3 Trillion Dollars That It Bought All Of Those Mortgage Backed Securities With

When the mainstream media told the American people that the Federal Reserve was going to “help” the housing industry by buying up hundreds of billions of dollars worth of toxic mortgage backed securities, very few people probably even stopped to wonder where all of that money was going to come from.  Well, the truth is that it did not come from anywhere.  It was made up out of thin air.  In fact, a total of 1.3 trillion dollars was just “printed into existence” so that the Fed could soak up these problematic securities (and help their buddies down on Wall Street in the process who were desperate to dump them).  During a recent Joint Economic Committee hearing on Capital Hill, U.S. Representative Ron Paul directly confronted Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke about this 1.3 trillion dollars.  As Ron Paul described how this 1.3 trillion was just created out of thin air, all Bernanke could do was nod his head.  Why?  Because it was the truth.

Of course we all know that the Federal Reserve creates money out of thin air all the time, so that is not new, but what is new is the recklessness and openness with which they are going about doing it.

Need to help your buddies down on Wall Street by buying up a tsunami of bad mortgage securities?

Just zap another trillion dollars into existence!

Need to bail out the mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?

Just get the magic money printing machine ready!

Wouldn’t it be nice if the rest of us could create money out of thin air?  It would make life so much easier.

A video clip of the exchange between Ron Paul and Bernanke at this hearing is posted below.

The key moment comes when Ron Paul makes this statement….

“Well, where did you get the money? You created this money. So you did monetize debt, and that went into the banking system.”

As you watch this video, you will notice that at that moment Bernanke nods his head up and down repeatedly….

So who does all of this money printing benefit?

Well, it benefits the Federal Reserve and the big financial institutions on Wall Street that have financial ties to the Federal Reserve.

It certainly does not benefit the rest of us.

No, in fact Bernanke says that the rest of us need to get ready to pay higher taxes and have a lower standard of living in order to pay for the big financial mess that our politicians and the Fed have gotten us into.

So while there are lots of smiles going around in Washington D.C. and on Wall Street these days, the same cannot be said for the rest of the good ole U.S.A. as the following video illustrates….

The reality is that the United States is a nation that does not even have control over its own currency.  If the United States government wants more money, it has to go ask the Federal Reserve to create it.  Unfortunately, the Federal Reserve does not also create the interest that will ultimately be paid on that new money that is being created.  So where will the money come from to pay the interest?  Well, by creating even more money (debt) in the future.  It sounds like insanity, but that is the U.S. financial system.  It is a perpetual debt machine that was created to have an ever expanding national debt that is mathematically impossible to pay off.

Just because the folks down on Wall Street do not dress up in gang colors or try to sell drugs to our children does not mean that they are not corrupt or that they are not criminals.  In fact, the truth is that the corruption in our financial system is hitting unprecedented levels.

But most Americans have no idea what in the world is going on in the financial system.  All most of them know is that things are getting bad and they want somebody to “fix” the problems.

Unfortunately, the folks that the American people are expecting to “fix” things are the very same ones who got us into this mess in the first place.

“Most Americans have no real understanding of the operation of the international money lenders. The accounts of the Federal Reserve System have never been audited. It operates outside the control of Congress and manipulates the credit of the United States.”
-Senator Barry Goldwater

“A great industrial nation is controlled by it’s system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated governments in the world–no longer a government of free opinion, no longer a government by conviction and vote of the majority, but a government by the opinion and duress of small groups of dominant men.”
-President Woodrow Wilson

“The real truth of the matter is, as you and I know, that a financial element in the large centers has owned the government of the U.S. since the days of Andrew Jackson.”
-Franklin Delano Roosevelt

“The money powers prey upon the nation in times of peace and conspire against it in times of adversity. It is more despotic than a monarchy, more insolent than autocracy, and more selfish than bureaucracy. It denounces as public enemies all who question its methods or throw light upon its crimes. I have two great enemies, the Southern Army in front of me and the bankers in the rear. Of the two, the one at my rear is my greatest foe.”
-Abraham Lincoln

“Give me control of a nation’s money and I care not who makes it’s laws”
-Mayer Amschel Bauer Rothschild

Revealed!

Why Do So Many Bad Things Keep Happening To The United States?

At a time when the American economy is already reeling like a drunken sailor, the United States is being hit by what seems like an endless parade of horrible disasters that threaten to push the fragile financial system over the edge.  The massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that is now destroying not only the the entire economy of the Gulf Coast but also the entire way of life for hundreds of thousands of people is getting all the headlines right now, but it is far from the only major crisis that has hit the United States recently.  The old saying, “when it rains it pours”, is certainly applicable to the United States right now.  Already faced with some of the biggest economic problems in a generation, America is also being forced to deal with horrifying natural disasters, rapidly growing environmental nightmares and agricultural problems that could end up being absolutely unprecedented.  So why do so many bad things keep happening to the United States?  Does there come a point when the economic damage from all of these disasters just becomes too much?  After all, how many body blows can the “biggest economy in the world” take and still remain standing?  

Consider just a few of the major disasters that the U.S. is having to deal with….

*The Gulf Of Mexico Oil Spill

Industry experts are now saying that the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico could be increasing at a rate of 25,000 barrels a day – five times the U.S. government’s current estimate.  In fact, Barack Obama is calling the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico a potentially unprecedented environmental disaster.

So how much is this disaster going to cost?

Well, estimates vary at this point, but it is being reported that some analysts are already projecting that the costs related to the oil spill drifting toward Louisiana from a well operated by BP in the Gulf of Mexico could exceed 14 billion dollars.

The cost to the fishing industry in Louisiana alone could top 3 billion dollars, and it is being projected that the tourism industry in Florida could lose even more than that. 

This is rapidly shaping up as one of the biggest environmental nightmares (perhaps the biggest) that the United States has ever had to face.  In fact, there are some who are saying that this incident has already eclipsed the 1989 Exxon Valdez incident as the worst U.S. oil disaster in history.

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is warning that the oil spill in the Gulf threatens the very way of life of people in his state.  As bad as Hurricane Katrina was, there are those who are already claiming that this disaster will be worse than Hurricane Katrina for the region, because it will literally take years for this mess to be cleaned up.  In fact, there is a very real possibility that the fishing industry may be crippled for generations by this disaster.

*The Disappearance Of The Honeybees

For the fourth year in a row in the United States, more than a third of all bee colonies have failed to survive the winter.

To be more precise, according to the annual survey by the Apiary Inspectors of America and the U.S. government’s Agricultural Research Service, the number of managed honeybee colonies in the United States fell by 33.8% last winter.

Needless to say, this is not a good trend.

In fact, it could quickly turn into an unmitigated disaster as it is estimated that a third of all that we eat depends upon honeybee pollination.

Are you starting to get the picture?

Most flowering plants require insects for pollination.  The most effective insect for pollination is the honeybee.

Without honeybees, we are going to be in a world of hurt.

According to WorldNetDaily, the following is a list of just some of the crops that depend on honeybees: almonds, apples, apricots, avocados, blueberries, boysenberries, cherries, citrus fruits, cranberries, grapes, kiwi, loganberries, macadamia nuts, nectarines, olives, peaches, pears, plums, raspberries, strawberries, asparagus, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucumbers, cantaloupe, honeydew, onions, pumpkins, squash, watermelon, alfalfa hay and seed, cotton lint, cotton seed, legume seed, peanuts, rapeseed, soybeans, sugar beets and sunflowers.

In fact, Ohio State University’s honeybee specialist, James Tew, recently told the following to the Dayton Daily News….

“The average person should care. Bees of all species are fundamental to the operation of our ecosystem.”

So what happens if they all die off?

You don’t even want to think about that.

But certainly our scientists can find a solution, right?

Well, the World Organization for Animal Health announced on Wednesday that the huge die off of bees worldwide is not due to any one single factor.

Some of the factors for the honeybee deaths the World Organization for Animal Health included in its report include parasites, viral and bacterial infections, pesticides, and poor nutrition.

Other researchers claim that genetically modified crops and cell phone transmissions are also playing a role in the disappearance of the honeybees.

But the truth is that a “solution” seems to be very far away right now and we are running out of time.

*The Deadly Tornadoes Which Have Ravaged The Southeast

Last Sunday saw an unprecedented outbreak of tornadoes across the southeast United States.  Officials said 61 tornadoes erupted as a massive storm marched across states such as Mississippi, Florida and South Carolina. 

Winds inside some of the tornadoes were clocked as high as 160 mph, and one of the tornadoes had a base one and a half miles wide.

The tornadoes killed at least 12 people, and it is estimated that the damage that they caused could reach into the billions of dollars.

*The Drying Up Of The Ogallala Aquifer

Most Americans have never heard of the Ogallala Aquifer, but it is absolutely critical to food production in many areas of the United States.

The water from this massive underground lake is used to irrigate much of America’s Great Plains.  But it is being drained at a rate of approximately 800 gallons per minute and it is starting to dry up.  

So why is that a bad thing?

Well, the Ogallala Aquifer is a gigantic underground lake that stretches from southern South Dakota all the way through northern Texas, covering approximately 174,000 square miles.

If it gets depleted, the era of “pivot irrigation” in the region will be over.  That would mean that the Great Plains could quickly turn into the Great American Desert. 

America could very well see a return to the Dust Bowl days of the 1930s.

Are you prepared for that?

Even if agricultural production continues to grow normally, scientists are telling us that the world is heading for a massive global food shortage.  So what happens if our food production does not increase or is even reduced?

Sadly, the United States has only enough grain stored up to give about a half a loaf of bread to every man, woman and child in the United States.

How long do you think that is going to last in the event of a major emergency?

The truth is that “the good times” we have all grown up with are not going to last forever.  The United States is in big trouble economically, and all of these natural disasters and environmental problems are not helping things one bit. 

We are not entitled to endless wealth and prosperity just because we are Americans.  In fact, we have recklessly squandered the wealth that prior generations have left for us. 

But even as the economy crumbles around them, millions of Americans will remain in denial until the day they have to cook a dinner of “mouse soup” for their starving family.

Why You Should Be VERY CONCERNED About The Financial Crisis In Greece

Up to this point, it seems as though most Americans have not really been too concerned about the financial meltdown that is taking place in Greece.  But they should be.  The truth is that the debt crisis we see playing out in Greece may soon repeat itself in some of the largest nations in the world such as Japan, the U.K. and even the United States.  Once upon a time, this kind of thing only happened in third world nations, but now virtually every nation on earth has a debt problem.  As the saying goes, the borrower is the servant of the lender, and so when a country like Greece gets in way, way too deep financially, it ends up having to give up a portion of its sovereignty to those controlling the purse strings.  In the case of Greece, those controlling the purse strings are the IMF and the EU.  But it just isn’t Greece that is in trouble.  Dozens of nations are in serious financial trouble and are at the mercy of those who can bail them out.  The truth is that global financial institutions like the IMF, the World Bank, the European Central Bank and the Federal Reserve are increasingly gaining power all over the globe as governments around the world continue to accumulate frightening amounts of debt.

This has been quite a week for Greece and for the other nations in Europe teetering on the edge of financial disaster.  Standard & Poor’s reduced Greek debt to “junk” status, and Spain and Portugal’s debts were also downgraded substantially.  These unprecedented steps by Standard & Poor’s have many concerned that this financial “contagion” could start spreading across all of Europe.

We’ll take a look at the “austerity measures” being forced on Greece in a moment, but first it is important to note that financial panic is already spreading to other nations in the region.

In Portugal, the government has announced that additional “austerity measures”, beyond those in the current three year plan, are expected to be implemented.  Perhaps they wouldn’t need to take such drastic steps if they hadn’t spent all of those millions constructing those shiny new soccer stadiums a few years ago.  But in any event, many analysts are now forecasting that Portugal will be the next domino to fall.

Officials in Spain are expected to announce this week that unemployment has hit 20%.  But of course any nation that implements a hardcore “cap and trade” law like the one in Spain should expect unemployment to soar into the stratosphere.  So they are just reaping what they have sown, but the fallout could end up being very painful.  Spain’s economy is approximately five times larger than Greece’s so if Spain ends up defaulting it will create a financial nightmare for all of Europe.

There are now rumors that even Italy and Ireland are in a massive amount of trouble financially.

So will the EU and the IMF end up having to bail all of them out?

Well, for now Greece is first in line.

European officials said on Friday that the Greek government, facing a rapidly deteriorating financial situation, is close to completing negotiations for assistance from the International Monetary Fund.

So Greece is going to get the money that it needs – but it comes with strings.

Greece must surrender some of its fiscal sovereignty and adopt a three year program of severe spending cuts and higher taxes.

In fact, one major Greek newspaper says that wage and job cuts for public workers will also be ordered alongside the spending cuts and tax increases to get through what they are calling “three hard years”.

You see, the truth is that Greece is a highly socialized nation.  In a population of just over 11 million people, Greece employs more than a million in the public sector.

Just think about that for a moment.

That is huge.

They get paid extremely well, and Greek civil servants also enjoy very generous pension benefits and early retirement.

Needless to say a lot of these Greek civil servants are not happy at all about the changes the IMF is forcing upon them, and they have called a general strike for May 5th.

For his part, the Greek Prime Minister, George Papandreou, is trying to convince the Greek people that these new spending cuts and tax increases are necessary to keep his nation afloat.  According to The Associated Press, Mr. Papandreou recently told the Greek Parliament the following….

“The measures we must take, which are economic measures, are necessary for the protection of our country — for our survival, for our future, so we can stand firmly on our feet.”

There are even fears that this sovereign debt crisis could spell the end for the Euro.  Back on Wednesday, the leaders of the 16 countries currently using the Euro called an emergency meeting to attempt to avert a Euro meltdown triggered by Greece’s financial collapse.

Of course the Euro is not actually going to collapse, but the fact that they all felt the need to get together and talk about this situation is quite telling.

In fact, the language used by some of the top financial authorities in the world when speaking about the Greek debt crisis is quite alarming….

Angel Gurría, head of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development:

“This is like Ebola. It’s threatening the stability of the financial system.”

Colin Ellis, economist at Daiwa Capital Markets:

“The time for horse-trading, prevarication and posturing is over. Arguably, the very future of the euro area is now teetering on a knife edge.”

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, head of the International Monetary Fund:

“If we don’t fix it in Greece, it may have a lot of consequences on the EU.”

But for the people of Greece, getting help with their debt means giving up their ability to determine their own affairs.  They have gotten into so much debt that now they are forced to do whatever the IMF and the EU tell them to do.  Of course there are many in Greece who are extremely upset by this as evidenced by the recent riots there….

But this is what happens when a nation allows itself to get into way too much debt.  In fact, this has been done by design in third world nations for decades.  In his extraordinary book, Confessions of an Economic Hitman, John Perkins explained how it was his job to go around the world and get third world governments to accept multibillion-dollar loans that he knew they would never be able to repay.  Of course when the time came and they could not repay the loans, the big global institutions would go in and confiscate natural resources and impose “conditions” and implement “austerity measures” similar to the ones they are currently imposing on Greece.

The alarming thing today is that it just isn’t third world nations where this game is being played anymore.  Now that they have perfected the blueprint, they are trying it out on nations like Greece.

The reality is that this is all part of the push towards globalization.  In fact, Jean-Claude Trichet, the president of the European Central Bank, emphasized the need for global coordination in financial matters during his April 26th address at the Council on Foreign Relations.

“Global coordination” sounds nice, but just like “global governance” and “global cooperation”, it is just another way of saying that we need to transfer more power and more authority to globalist institutions.

You see, whatever problem that pops up (in this instance it is the Greek debt crisis), the solution always seems to be to transfer more power to global institutions.

In fact, as a “solution” to the global financial crisis, the IMF is proposing two new taxes on financial institutions worldwide: a “financial stability contribution” which levies a small charge on financial institution balance sheets, and a “financial activities tax”, which would tax “excess profits” and bonuses.

As the nations of the world continue to get deeper in debt, and as more power and more money is transferred to unelected global institutions, the people of the world may find their lives increasingly being run by heartless bureaucrats on the other side of the globe.

For anyone who loves freedom, that is a very sobering thought.

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