War Is Coming And The Global Financial Situation Is A Lot Worse Than You May Think

city skyscrapers clock time stopwatch seconds - public domainOn the surface, things seem pretty quiet in mid-July 2016.  The biggest news stories are about the speculation surrounding Donald Trump’s choice of running mate, the stock market in the U.S. keeps setting new all-time record highs, and the media seems completely obsessed with Taylor Swift’s love life.  But underneath the surface, it is a very different story.  As you will see below, the conditions for a “perfect storm” are coming together very rapidly, and the rest of 2016 promises to be much more chaotic than what we have seen so far.

Let’s start with China.  On Tuesday, an international tribunal in the Hague ruled against China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea.  The Chinese government announced ahead of time that they do not recognize the jurisdiction of the tribunal, and they have absolutely no intention of abiding by the ruling.  In fact, China is becoming even more defiant in the aftermath of this ruling.  We aren’t hearing much about it in the U.S. media, but according to international news reports Chinese president Xi Jinping has ordered the People’s Liberation Army “to prepare for combat” with the United States if the Obama administration presses China to abandon the islands that they are currently occupying in the South China Sea…

“Chinese president Xi Jinping has reportedly ordered the People’s Liberation Army to prepare for combat,” reports Arirang.com. “U.S.-based Boxun News said Tuesday that the instruction was given in case the United States takes provocative action in the waters once the ruling is made.”

A U.S. aircraft carrier and fighter jets were already sent to the region in anticipation of the ruling, with the Chinese Navy also carrying out exercises near the disputed Paracel islands.

Last October, China said it was “not frightened” to fight a war with the U.S. following an incident where the guided-missile destroyer USS Lassen violated the 12-nautical mile zone China claims around Subi and Mischief reefs in the Spratly archipelago.

Meanwhile, the relationship between the United States and Russia continues to go from bad to worse.  The installation of a missile defense system in Romania is just the latest incident that has the Russians absolutely steaming, and during a public appearance on June 17th Russian President Vladimir Putin tried to get western reporters to understand that the world is being pulled toward war…

“We know year by year what’s going to happen, and they know that we know. It’s only you that they tell tall tales to, and you buy it, and spread it to the citizens of your countries. You people in turn do not feel a sense of the impending danger – this is what worries me. How do you not understand that the world is being pulled in an irreversible direction? While they pretend that nothing is going on. I don’t know how to get through to you anymore.

And of course the Russians have been feverishly updating and modernizing their military in preparation for a potential future conflict with the United States.  Just today we learned that the Russians are working to develop a hypersonic strategic bomber that is going to have the capability of striking targets with nuclear warheads from outer space.

Unfortunately, the Obama administration does not feel a similar sense of urgency.  The size of our strategic nuclear arsenal has declined by about 95 percent since the peak of the Cold War, and many of our installations are still actually using rotary phones and the kind of 8 inch floppy disks for computers that were widely used back in the 1970s.

But I don’t expect war with China or Russia to erupt by the end of 2016.  Of much more immediate concern is what is going on in the Middle East.  The situation in Syria continues to deteriorate, but it is Israel that could soon be the center of attention.

Back in March, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Obama administration wanted to revive the peace process in the Middle East before Obama left office, and that a UN Security Council resolution that would divide the land of Israel and set the parameters for a Palestinian state was still definitely on the table…

The White House is working on plans for reviving long-stalled Middle East negotiations before President Barack Obama leaves office, including a possible United Nations Security Council resolution that would outline steps toward a deal between the Israelis and Palestinians, according to senior U.S. officials.

And just this week, the Washington Post reported that there were renewed “rumblings” about just such a resolution…

Israel is facing a restive European Union, which is backing a French initiative that seeks to outline a future peace deal by year’s end that would probably include a call for the withdrawal of Israeli troops and the creation of a Palestinian state. There are also rumblings that the U.N. Security Council might again hear resolutions about the conflict.

For years, Barack Obama has stressed the need for a Palestinian state, and now that his second term is drawing to a close he certainly realizes that this is his last chance to take action at the United Nations.  If he is going to pull the trigger and support a UN resolution formally establishing a Palestinian state, it will almost certainly happen before the election in November.  So over the coming months we will be watching these developments very carefully.

And it is interesting to note that there is an organization called “Americans For Peace Now” that is collecting signatures and strongly urging Obama to support a UN resolution of this nature.  The following comes from their official website

Now is the time for real leadership that can revive and re-accredit the two-state solution as President Obama enters his final months in office. And he can do this – he can lay the groundwork for a two-state agreement in the future by supporting an Israeli-Palestinian two-state resolution in the United Nations Security Council.

Such a resolution would restore U.S. leadership in the Israeli-Palestinian arena. It would preserve the now-foundering two-state outcome. And it would be a gift to the next president, leaving her or him constructive options for consequential actions in the Israeli-Palestinian arena, in place of the ever-worsening, politically stalemated status quo there is today.

Sadly, a UN resolution that divides the land of Israel and that formally establishes a Palestinian state would not bring lasting peace.  Instead, it would be the biggest mistake of the Obama era, and it would set the stage for a major war between Israel and her neighbors.  This is something that I discussed during a recent televised appearance down at Morningside that you can watch right here

At the same time all of this is going on, the global economic crisis continues to escalate.  Even though U.S. financial markets are in great shape at the moment, the same cannot be said for much of the rest of the world.

Just look at the country that is hosting the Olympics this summer.  Brazil is mired in the worst economic downturn that it has seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s, and Rio de Janeiro’s governor has declared “a state of financial emergency“.

Next door, the Venezuelan economy has completely collapsed, and some people have become so desperate that they are actually hunting cats, dogs and pigeons for food.

Elsewhere, China is experiencing the worst economic downturn that they have seen in decades, the Japanese are still trying to find the end of their “lost decade”, and the banking crisis in Europe is getting worse with each passing month.

In quite a few articles recently, I have discussed the ongoing implosion of the biggest and most important bank in Germany.  But I am certainly not the only one warning about this.  In one of his recent articles, Simon Black also commented on the turmoil at “the most dangerous bank in Europe”…

Well-capitalized banks are supposed to have double-digit capital levels while making low risk investments.

Deutsche Bank, on the other hand, has a capital level of less that 3% (just like Lehman), and an incredibly risky asset base that boasts notional derivatives exposure of more than $70 trillion, roughly the size of world GDP.

But of course Deutsche Bank isn’t getting a lot of attention from the mainstream media right now because of the stunning meltdown of banks in Italy, Spain and Greece.  Here is more from Simon Black

Italian banks are sitting on over 360 billion euros in bad loans right now and are in desperate need of a massive bailout.

IMF calculations show that Italian banks’ capital levels are among the lowest in the world, just ahead of Bangladesh.

And this doesn’t even scratch the surface of problems in other banking jurisdictions.

Spanish banks have been scrambling to raise billions in capital to cover persistent losses that still haven’t healed from the last crisis.

In Greece, over 35% of all loans in the banking system are classified as “non-performing”.

Even though U.S. stocks are doing well for the moment, the truth is that trillions of dollars of stock market wealth has been lost globally since this time last year.  If you are not familiar with what has been going on around the rest of the planet, this may come as a surprise to you.  During my recent appearance at Morningside, I shared some very startling charts which show how dramatically global markets have shifted over the past 12 months.  You can view the segment in which I shared these charts right here

I would really like it if the rest of 2016 was as quiet and peaceful as the past couple of days have been.

Unfortunately, I don’t believe that is going to be the case at all.

The storm clouds are rising and the conditions for a “perfect storm” are brewing.  Sadly, most people are not going to understand what is happening until it is far too late.

Republican Operatives Launch All-Out Effort To Unbind The Delegates And Deny Trump The Nomination

Donald Trump Cube - Public DomainIf you think that Donald Trump already has the Republican nomination locked up, then you don’t understand what is going on behind the scenes.  It has long been my contention that the elite will move heaven and earth in order to keep Trump from ever setting foot in the Oval Office.  One way that they could try to do this is by attempting to deny him the nomination at the Republican convention next month.  Over the past couple of days, the Washington Post, CNN and a whole host of other mainstream news outlets have been reporting on a new “last-ditch effort” that has been launched by Republican operatives to get the Republican convention Rules Committee to unbind all of the delegates and allow them to vote however they want.  As you will see below, they can do this, and if they get enough votes they will do it.

This current effort is different from what we have seen so far during this campaign season, because it is actually being organized by the delegates themselves.  The following comes from the Washington Post

Dozens of Republican convention delegates are hatching a new plan to block Donald Trump at this summer’s party meetings, in what has become the most organized effort so far to stop the businessman from becoming the GOP presidential nominee.

The moves come amid declining poll numbers for Trump and growing concern among Republicans that he is squandering his chance to defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton. Several controversies — including his racial attacks on a federal judge, his renewed call to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the United States and his support for changing the nation’s gun laws — have raised fears among Republicans that Trump is not really a conservative and is too reckless to run a successful race.

This movement is being spearheaded by a delegate from Colorado named Kendal Unruh.  She is actually a key member of the Republican convention Rules Committee, and this is very important for reasons that I will explain below.

For her, it is not about getting some other specific candidate nominated.  Rather, the entire goal is simply to stop Donald Trump

This literally is an ‘Anybody but Trump’ movement,” said Kendal Unruh, a Republican delegate from Colorado who is leading the campaign. “Nobody has any idea who is going to step in and be the nominee, but we’re not worried about that. We’re just doing that job to make sure that he’s not the face of our party.

So what will it take for Unruh and her allies to be successful?

As Fox News explained, there are basically two courses of action…

To prevail, Unruh needs a majority of the 112 members of the convention rules committee, which has two delegates from each state and territory. Then, a majority of the full convention’s 2,472 delegates would have to approve.

There’s a Plan B. If Unruh can win over one-fourth support from the rules committee — just 29 delegates — the full convention must vote on her proposal. So far she’s got around 10 supporters though some prefer delaying the rule’s impact until the 2020 convention, she said.

On Thursday night, Unruh was on a conference call that included at least 30 delegates from 15 different states, and the Washington Post says that regional coordinators for this effort have been recruited “in Arizona, Iowa, Louisiana, Washington and other states.”

One individual that took part in this conference call on Thursday night told CNN that calls are pouring in from people all over the country that want to be part of this movement…

I will tell you, about every two hours people contact me about how to join this effort,” Lonegan said. “This has never been done before, so there’s no textbook on how to do it. So we’re building an organic effort, state by state, to convince members of the Rules Committee to sign onto a rule that unbinds the delegates to vote their moral conscience.”

So could the Republican convention Rules Committee actually do this?

Could they actually unbind all of the delegates and allow them to vote however they wished?

Well, yes they actually could do this.  As Time Magazine has explained, the Republican convention Rules Committee essentially has the power to make up any rules that they want…

It has the power to review and amend all of the rules of the Republican Party, pending ratification by the full convention. If it wanted to, it could insert a rule that says only candidates with blue hair could be the party’s nominee. It’s that powerful. In a contested scenario, the Rules Committee would be ground zero for fights over who and how candidates are nominated on the floor, as well as how the convention itself is conducted.

And thanks to political wrangling by the Cruz campaign, we do know that the rules committee is dominated by delegates that are loyal to Cruz

The convention rules committee is made up of one man and one woman from each of the 50 states, U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia. Dominated by party insiders and loyalists to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz—who aggressively worked state conventions to secure slots on the committee—it remains to be seen what the committee’s appetite would be for such a dramatic break from the existing rules.

If I was Donald Trump, I would be taking this very, very seriously.

But at this point he seems to be brushing it off

“I have tremendous support and get the biggest crowds by far and any such move would not only be totally illegal but also a rebuke of the millions of people who feel so strongly about what I am saying,” Trump said in a statement. “People that I defeated soundly in the primaries will do anything to get a second shot — but there is no mechanism for it to happen.”

Right at this moment we still have about a month left before the convention.

So that gives those involved in the anti-Trump movement quite a bit of time to rally their forces.

The rule change that would unbind all of the delegates and free them up to “vote their consciences” has already been drafted.  Here is the text of the proposed rule change…

Preserving Delegates’ Ability to Vote Their Individual Conscience

The secretary of the national convention shall receive and faithfully announce and record each delegate’s vote in accordance with these rules. If any such delegate notifies the secretary of his or her intent to cast a vote of conscience, whether personal or religious, each such delegate shall be unbound and unconstrained by these rules on any given vote, including the first ballot for the selection of the Republican nominee for President of the United States, without the risk of challenge, sanction, or retribution by the Republican National Committee. Allowable personal reasons shall include the public disclosure of one or more grievous acts of personal conduct by a nominee candidate, including but not limited to, criminally actionable acts, acts of moral turpitude or extreme prejudice, and/or notorious public statements of support for positions that clearly oppose or contradict the policies embodied in the Republican Party’s platform as established at the national convention.

In my new book, I warn about the great political shaking that is coming to this nation, and if this rule change is even attempted at the Republican convention it would create seismic shifts in the U.S. political landscape.

Of course there is still one huge question that I have not even addressed in this article yet.

If Trump has the nomination taken away from him, who would the Republican nominee be?

Some are convinced that it would be Paul Ryan, but I believe that it would be somebody else.

Mitt Romney has certainly not hidden his disdain for Donald Trump, and right now he is quietly waiting in the wings.  If the anti-Trump forces get their way, I believe that he would be the man that ultimately walks away with the prize.

*About the author: Michael Snyder is the founder and publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog. Michael’s controversial new book about Bible prophecy entitled “The Rapture Verdict” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.*

Bill Kristol Announces That ‘There Will Be An Independent Candidate’ To Sabotage Donald Trump

Idea Follow Question - Public DomainIt has long been my contention that the elite are more than willing to do whatever they have to do to keep Donald Trump out of the White House.  There are many forms that this could take, and one potential option just became a little bit clearer.  On Sunday, the founder and editor of the Weekly Standard, Bill Kristol, announced on Twitter that there “will be an independent candidate–an impressive one, with a strong team and a real chance.”  Kristol has very, very deep ties to the Republican elite, and so this is certainly not an idle threat.  At this point we do not know who the candidate will be, but some of the names that have been mentioned include Mitt Romney, John Kasich, Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse and billionaire Mark Cuban.  Of course dividing the conservative vote would be suicidal and would virtually ensure a victory for Hillary Clinton in November.  So why would Kristol and other Republican elitists want to do this?

That is a very good question, and it goes to the very core of how the game of politics is played in America today.

The truth is that the elite are accustomed to being in control of both parties, and that is why things never seem to change very much no matter who is elected.

But this time someone that the elite do not control has miraculously captured the Republican nomination, and this scares them to death.

So now the mission is to destroy the Trump candidacy at all costs, even if that means having the Republican elite sabotage the Republican nominee.

I wasn’t sure if they were actually going to pull the trigger on a major third party candidate, but Bill Kristol now says that this is absolutely going to happen…

Of course Donald Trump was horrified when he learned of what Kristol had said.  He responded with a series of very angry tweets…

I would be upset too.  For the Republican elite to purposely sabotage Trump and throw the election to Hillary Clinton is seemingly insane.  This is something that Ben Carson commented on during a recent interview with Fox News

Former 2016 candidate and Trump backer Ben Carson, speaking Monday on Fox News, echoed Trump’s warnings and invoked the 1992 presidential race as an example.

“A quarter of a century ago, another Clinton was running for the White House, and it was the entrance of a third-party candidate, Ross Perot, that made it possible for him to win,” Carson said. “Wouldn’t it be ironic if the same thing happened this time?”

Of course Kristol and the others that he is working with know precisely what they are doing.

There is no way in the world that Romney, Sasse, Kasich or Cuban could win.  But that wouldn’t be the goal anyway.  The goal would simply be to deny five or ten percent of the vote to Trump so that Hillary would win in a landslide.

At one time it seemed like such sabotage would not be necessary, but now polls have begun to shift and the elite are beginning to panic.  Here is one example of how the numbers have shifted…

That data and recent events suggest that Wall Street, which currently prefers former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to real estate mogul Donald Trump, may not get the president it wants. According to the Iowa Electronic Markets, a prediction online betting platform, the probability that we’ll see a Democrat take the White House in 2016 is shrinking fast.

“The Democratic candidate was all but a certainty to win the presidency less than a month ago—it was at 74 percent and it’s down to 58 percent today,” said Hickey.

In a head to head matchup, there is a very real possibility that Trump could defeat Clinton.  So that is why the elite feel that they have to make a move.

But we probably will not find out the identity of the third party candidate until some time in June at the earliest.  In fact, a source that is involved in this third party effort told CBS News “not to expect an announcement for a couple of weeks.”

So for the moment, we will wait.

But without a doubt, there appears to be a unique opportunity for a third party candidate in this election cycle.  A whole host of recent polls and surveys have shown that the American people are not pleased with either party at this point and that most Americans would like to see an alternative choice to either Clinton or Trump.  The following comes from the New York Times

The survey also found evidence of overwhelming interest in the presidential contest, although less than a quarter of Americans say they’re excited about it.

Worse, 55 percent of Americans, including 60 percent of Republicans and 53 percent of Democrats, say they feel helpless about the 2016 election. And two-thirds of Americans under 30 report feeling helpless.

“I am despondent,” said Cserbak. “I wouldn’t say I feel totally helpless. I do have a vote.”

Of course no matter who runs as a third party candidate, there is no way in the world that individual will win.  Any third party candidate will simply play the role of spoiler, and will throw the election one way or the other.

I understand that a lot of people out there are very excited about Trump.  And it would be very nice to think that the American people could actually elect a president that is not controlled by the elite.

But that is not how the real world works, and over the next several months we are going to get a very clear lesson in power politics.

If necessary, the elite will move heaven and earth if that is what it takes to keep Donald Trump out of the White House.  Anyone that would suggest otherwise simply doesn’t understand how the game is played.

A Spirit Of Violence And Civil Unrest Is Rising In America

Riot 2 - Public DomainIt was only a matter of time before our deeply divided nation was going to start coming apart at the seams.  Waves of anger, frustration, violence and civil unrest are starting to sweep across the United States, and political rallies for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump have become a focal point for releasing some of that energy.  The angry mob that threw rocks, bottles and burning T-shirts at police and Donald Trump supporters on Tuesday night wanted to get the attention of the national media, and they got it in droves.  Now that the election is less than five months away, this kind of scene is going to be repeated over and over, and this is something that I warned about back in March.  Millions upon millions of our young people have fully embraced the radical left, and they have already made it exceedingly clear that they are not afraid to use violence to advance their cause.

Never before in my lifetime have I seen America so divided.  Our politicians and the mainstream media have been endlessly pitting various groups against one another for years, and wherever you look hearts are growing very cold.

I have said it before, and I will say it again.  I believe that this is going to be the most chaotic election season that we have ever experienced, and the chaos and violence that are going to be unleashed over the next five months are going to shock the entire world.

On Tuesday night, the angry mob that gathered outside of the Albuquerque Convention Center didn’t seem to care who they hurt as they unleashed their anger.  According to Fox News, some of the protesters even tried to set police horses on fire…

The rampaging gang was made up of anti-Trump goons — waving the Mexican flag and burning a Trump banner.

“Viva Mexico,” protesters shouted, according to the Albuquerque Journal.

The rioters even targeted police horses — knocking one down – and throwing burning T-shirts at others. Who tries to burn down a horse?

How sick and twisted do you have to be to try to set a horse on fire?

But this is what happens when a spirit of violence descends on a group of people.  The consequences can quickly spiral out of control in unexpected ways.

Here is how CNS News described the chaotic scene outside of the Albuquerque Convention Center…

In one of the presidential campaign year’s more grisly spectacles, protesters in New Mexico opposing Donald Trump’s candidacy threw burning T-shirts, plastic bottles and other items at police officers, injuring several, and toppled trash cans and barricades.

Police responded by firing pepper spray and smoke grenades into the crowd outside the Albuquerque Convention Center.

According to at least one report, rocks thrown by some of the rioters were actually flying through the convention center windows, and a number of innocent people got hurt.

What would make people act like that?  This isn’t what America is supposed to look like.  But when fundamental institutions such as the family and the church start to crumble, this is how people start to behave.  You can see a clip that includes footage of protesters jumping on police cars last night in Albuquerque right here

And of course the spirit of violence and civil unrest that is rising in America is not limited to Donald Trump rallies.

In major cities all over the nation, violent crime is rising by double digit percentages.  In Chicago, the number of people that have been shot so far in 2016 is 50 percent higher than during the same period last year

This past weekend in Chicago saw another five killed and 40 wounded in shootings, slightly down from Mother’s day weekend when eight people were killed and 42 wounded. The two weekends are indicative of what’s taking place in the homicide riddled city, in which the number of people shot so far this year is running an astonishing 50% above this time last year – what’s worse, summer is not even here yet, which is traditionally the city’s most violent period.

Yikes!

Other big cities are seeing similar spikes in violent crime.  The following is an excerpt from a recent article in the New York Times

Experts cannot agree on what to call a recent rise in homicides, much less its cause, but new data on Friday that showed a sharp spike in homicide rates in more than 20 cities rekindled debate over whether it was time for alarm.

The data showed particularly significant increases in homicides in six cities in the first three months of the year compared with the same period last year — Chicago, Dallas, Jacksonville, Fla., Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Memphis.

If this is happening now, with the stock market soaring and unemployment a bit lower than it was during the depths of the last recession, what is going to happen when things start getting really bad in this country?

Desperate people do desperate things, and if people are willing to hurl rocks and set horses on fire because they are upset at a political candidate, what are they going to do when there is no food for their families?

Just look at what is happening down in Venezuela.  People are hunting down dogs and cats because they don’t have anything to eat.  There have been at least 107 mass looting events so far in 2016 alone, and crime is completely and utterly out of control.

What is happening down there is eventually coming to America too, and the chaos and violence that we will see during the coming months will be a small preview of that.

The funny thing is that none of these political protests are going to matter anyway.  It remains my contention that the elite will move heaven and earth to do whatever is necessary to keep Donald Trump out of the White House.  They have already spent tens of millions of dollars against him and they have continuously had their media outlets put out “hit pieces” in an attempt to destroy him.

But their bag of tricks goes a lot deeper than that, and this is not a game to them.

I know that a lot of people out there have some very high hopes for Donald Trump, and we should be praying for him and for his family.

However, the time when the people determined the direction of this nation is long past, and the elite guard their monopoly over the political process very zealously.

Donald Trump Is Starting To Sound Just Like The Economic Collapse Blog (And That Is A Good Thing)

Donald Trump - Photo by Michael VadonGuess what Donald Trump is saying now?  Last week, I discussed how Robert Kiyosaki and Harry Dent are warning that a major crisis is inevitable, but I didn’t expect Donald Trump to come out and say essentially the exact same thing.  On Saturday, the Washington Post released a stunning interview with Donald Trump in which he boldly declared that we heading for a “very massive recession”.  He also warned that we are currently in “a financial bubble” and that “it’s a terrible time right now” to be investing in stocks.  These are things that you may be accustomed to hearing on The Economic Collapse Blog, but to hear them from the frontrunner for the Republican nomination is another thing altogether.

Whether you plan to vote for Donald Trump or not, at least we can all appreciate that he doesn’t talk like a politician.  He tells it like he sees it, and he told the Washington Post that he considers the official unemployment rate that is put out by the Obama administration to be completely fraudulent…

“First of all, we’re not at 5 percent unemployment. We’re at a number that’s probably into the twenties if you look at the real number,” Trump said. “That was a number that was devised, statistically devised to make politicians — and, in particular, presidents — look good. And I wouldn’t be getting the kind of massive crowds that I’m getting if the number was a real number.”

And before you dismiss this, perhaps you should consider that the Federal Reserve also considers the government unemployment number to be so inaccurate that they secretly have been calculating the unemployment rate on their own

Because it distrusted the Labor Department’s unemployment statistics, the Federal Reserve — without any fanfare — started calculating its own jobless rate two years ago.

And the Fed’s calculation, called the Labor Market Conditions Index, or LMCI, shows that the US unemployment rate in February was 5.8 percent. That’s much higher than the 4.9 percent official jobless rate reported by the Labor Department.

Of course if truly honest numbers were being used, the unemployment rate would not be anywhere close to this range.  According to John Williams of shadowstats.com, the broadest measure of unemployment is currently sitting at 22.9 percent.

And just last week I showed my readers that 23.2 percent of all Americans in their prime working years do not have a job right now, and that inactivity rates for both men and women in the U.S. are currently far higher than they were during the last recession.

So when Donald Trump says that we are at an unemployment number “that’s probably into the twenties”, I would have to rate that statement as mostly true.

Of course things are about to get a whole lot worse.  According to Challenger, Gray & Christmas, job cut announcements by major firms were up 32 percent during the first quarter of 2016 compared to the first quarter of 2015.

When big corporations are doing well, they tend to hire more people.  But when their earnings start to go down, one of the very first things they tend to do is to lay people off.

Sadly, that is what we are starting to see right now.  According to Wolf Richter, it is being projected that corporate earnings per share for the first quarter will decline a whopping 8.5 percent compared to one year ago…

Even analysts who estimate pro-forma, ex-bad-items, non-GAAP earnings that S&P 500 companies propagate to look better and that these analysts use to inflate their stock-price targets, just threw in the towel on the quarter.

They expect these inflated earnings per share for the first quarter to plunge 8.5% from a year ago, according to FactSet. If this holds after S&P 500 companies report their ex-bad-items earnings, it would be the worst EPS decline since Q3 2009.

It would also be the fourth quarter in a row of year-over-year earnings declines, a phenomenon that last happened during the Great Recession from Q4 2008 through Q3 2009.

In the past, we have almost always seen corporate profit margins peak and start declining before a recession hits.  The following chart comes from Jesse Felder, and it shows that this has happened prior to almost every recession in the post-World War II era, and now it is happening again…

Corporate Profits - Jesse Felder

Why can’t more people see this?

For months, I have been pointing out to my readers how history is repeating.  The exact same patterns that have happened just prior to previous recessions are happening again, but most people just refuse to see the truth.

It is absolutely maddening, and it is just more evidence of how “dumbed-down” our society has become.

Yes, U.S. stocks rebounded substantially in March, but that was not based on the economic fundamentals.  Just look at the following chart from Zero Hedge.  At some point stock prices and corporate earnings will start converging once again.  There is simply no way in the world that stock prices can stay disconnected from reality indefinitely…

Change In Earnings Per Share - Zero Hedge

So when Donald Trump says that we are in “a financial bubble” and that “it’s a terrible time right now” to be investing in stocks, I would have to rate those statements as absolutely true.

I would also have to rate his statement that we are heading toward a “very massive recession” as absolutely true as well, and legendary investor Jim Rogers agrees with me.  In fact, he recently told Bloomberg that there is “a 100 percent probability that the U.S. economy would be in a downturn within one year“.

For a legendary investor such as Jim, that is quite a bold statement to make.  And of course most American families already feel like they are in an economic downturn.  This is something that my wife and I talked about during our most recent show

The truth is that the U.S. economy has never even gotten close to recovering to the level it was at just prior to the last recession, and now the next major crisis is upon us.

But this new crisis is not going to be like the last one.  It is going to be much, much worse before it is all said and done, and what is coming is going to bring America to her knees.  This is something that I discuss in my new book.  The economic devastation that is coming is going to be unlike anything that any of us have ever known, and it is going to shake America to the very core.

So enjoy the remaining days of “normal life in America” while you still can.

A lot of people are using this time to party, but if you are wise you are using it to prepare.

Radical Leftists Unleash Anti-Trump Riots Starting On March 19th

Democracy SpringMany of the exact same groups that participated in Occupy Wall Street and helped organize protest rallies in Ferguson and Baltimore are now promising to bring us “the largest civil disobedience actions in a generation”.  I recently wrote about the trouble that radical leftists have caused by attempting to disrupt Trump campaign events, but now there is a very organized effort to turn this into a national movement.  On March 19th, thousands of angry protesters will descend on Trump Tower in New York City to denounce Donald Trump’s “fascist policies”, and on April 2nd dozens of leftist organizations will join together to launch “Democracy Spring” in Philadelphia.  From there, large numbers of liberal activists will march to Washington D.C. where they will “risk arrest” during a “peaceful” sit-in at the U.S. Capitol from April 11th to April 18th.  If the radical left is this freaked out about Donald Trump now, how bad will things get if he actually becomes the Republican nominee?

I suppose that it was only a matter of time before the radical left began to specifically target Trump properties.  I hope that Trump has good security, because it will definitely be tested starting tomorrow

Left-wing demonstrators have announced their latest anti-Trump event – a march on Trump Tower in New York City to protest against The Donald’s “fascist policies”.

A Facebook page for the rally outlines the plan, organized by a group called ‘Cosmopolitan Antifascists’, to march on the building at 2pm on Saturday afternoon.

“Donald J. Trump has made headlines in recent months with his divisive rhetoric, hate speech, and extremist plans to “make America great again”. We, in fact, believe this will do the opposite to this nation. Trump’s policy threatens many of us in the Black, Latino, LGBT, Muslim, and other communities,” states the page.

According to the Facebook page for “Cosmopolitan Antifascists”, 5,000 people plan to show up and 15,000 more are “interested” in this event.

Will it turn out to be a completely peaceful protest?

Let’s certainly hope so.

Perhaps even more disturbing is what is going to happen in early April.  Dozens of far left groups have gotten behind a movement that has been officially dubbed “Democracy Spring”.

Obviously, that name was chosen to conjure up memories of the “Arab Spring”, and we all remember how “peaceful” that was.

The official website of Democracy Spring tells us the following about the goals…

This spring, in the heart of the primary season, as the national election begins to take center stage, Americans of all ages, faiths, political perspectives, and walks of life will bring the popular cry for change to Washington in a way that’s impossible to ignore: with nonviolent civil disobedience on a historic scale.

We will demand that Congress listen to the People and take immediate action to save our democracy. And we won’t leave until they do — or until they send thousands of us to jail, along with the unmistakable message that our country needs a new Congress, one that that will end the legalized corruption of our democracy and ensure that every American has an equal voice in government.

Do you understand the threat that is being made there?

They are purposely planning to break the law and get arrested.  In fact, their website says that there are already more than 2,000 people that have “pledged to risk arrest” between April 11th and April 18th…

The campaign will begin on April 2nd with a march from the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia to Washington, D.C. where thousands will gather to reclaim the US Capitol in a powerful, peaceful, and massive sit-in that no one can ignore. Over 2,000 people have already pledged to risk arrest between April 11th-18th in what will be one of the largest civil disobedience actions in a generation.

And the list of groups that are backing this movement reads like a who’s who of radical leftist organizations…

15 Now Philly
99Rise
100 Grannies for a Livable Future
act.tv
African American Ministers in Action
American Ethical Union
American Family Voices
American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO)
Avaaz
Backbone Campaign
Big Apple Coffee Party
Brave New Films
Catholics United
Center for Biological Diversity
Center for the Working Poor
Citizen Action NY
Code Pink
Coffee Party USA
Columbus Campaign for Arms Control
Conscious Elders Network
Courage Campaign
Ctzn Well
Demand Progress
Democracy Chronicles
Democracy Coffee
Democracy for America
Democracy Matters
Democratic Socialists of America
Demos
Dolores Huerta Foundation
East Coast Cannabis Coalition (ECCC)
East Point Peace Academy
Elder Activists
Elders Climate Action
Every Voice
Energy Action Coalition
Food & Water Watch
Franciscan Action Network
Friends of the Earth
Get Money Out – Maryland
Human Earth Animal Liberation (HEAL)
Hightower Lowdown
Institute for Policy Studies
Interfaith Moral Action on Climate (IMAC)
Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement
Jewish Voice for Peace
Just Foreign Policy
Leadership Development Initiative
March Against Corruption
March Against Monsanto
Maryland Committee to Amend
Massachusetts Communities Action Network (MCAN)
MAYDAY.US
Money Out! People In!
MoveOn
National Organization for Women (NOW)
National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund
National People’s Action
Network of Spiritual Progressives/ Tikkun Magazine
New Hampshire Rebellion
Occupy Catholics
Office of the Americas
Other 98%
PA United to Amend
Pay 2 Play
Peace Action
People Demanding Action
People for Bernie
People for the American Way
People Over Politics
People’s Empowerment Project
Pride at Work-New York City/Long Island
Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC)
Progressive Democrats of America
Public Citizen
Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union (RWDSU)
ReThink Media
RootsAction
Rootskeeper.org
Rootstrikers
Shalom Center
Small Planet Institute
Social Security Works
South Central Wisconsin United To Amend
Stamp Stampede
Stop Police Terror Project DC
Sustain US
Unitarian Universalist Association
Unitarian Universalist Church of Delaware County
United Native Americans
United for Peace and Justice
United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS)
United States Student Association (USSA)
United We Dream
U.S. Climate Plan
Ursulines of Tildonk for Justice & Peace
We are Woman
We the People Massachusetts
WildEarth Guardians
WolfPAC
Women’s Promise
Working Families Party
Workmen’s Circle
World Beyond War
Yes Men
Young Democratic Socialists
Youth Jobs Coalition / We Have a Future

This is just the beginning.  The radical left has won the hearts and minds of millions of our young people, and many of these groups are preaching a message of anger, frustration and direct confrontation.

For now, let’s hope that these “protests” are at least somewhat peaceful.  But throughout history, leftist revolutions have almost always turned violent at least to a certain degree.

And let there be no confusion – the radical left very much wants a revolution.  There is a reason why Bernie Sanders uses that word so much in his applause lines.  It is a buzzword that evokes some very powerful imagery for the radical left.

America is changing, and not for the better.  From this point forward, the radical left in America is going to become much more active, and in the end that is going to have dramatic consequences for all of us.

Trump Rallies Reveal Increased Tensions Among Americans As This Nation Plunges Toward Civil Unrest

Anti-Trump Protesters In Chicago - Photo by nathanmac87America is coming apart at the seams, and Trump rallies have become the latest flashpoint for the rising tide of civil unrest that is sweeping the nation.  For years, I have been writing about the increasing levels of anger and frustration in this country, but now they are reaching a fever pitch.  And rather than channeling all of our anger and frustration into solving our problems, we have allowed ourselves to become deeply divided and many Americans seem to be taking glee in fighting with one another.  Instead of learning to hate one another, we should be learning how to love one another.  Unfortunately, America has chosen another path, and 2016 is very rapidly starting to look very much like the chaotic political year of 1968.  No matter how the rest of this election season plays out, it appears that we have entered a time of violence, chaos, civil unrest and greatly increased tension among Americans.

On Friday, thousands of radical leftists showed up at a planned Trump rally at the University of Illinois at Chicago with the express purpose of disrupting it.  Fortunately Donald Trump cancelled the rally, because there was a very real possibility that mass violence could have erupted.  The following description of what happened comes from Wikipedia

On March 11, 2016, the Donald Trump presidential campaign canceled a planned rally at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), in Chicago, Illinois, citing “growing safety concerns” due to the presence of thousands of protesters in and outside of his rally[3]. Thousands of anti-Trump demonstrators responding to civic leaders’ and social media calls to shut the rally down had gathered outside the arena, and several hundred more filled seating areas within the UIC Pavilion, where the rally was to take place. When the Trump campaign announced that the rally would not take place, there was a great deal of shouting and a few small scuffles between Trump supporters and anti-Trump protestors.

The Daily Caller has identified three groups that were heavily involved in organizing the planned disruption of the Trump rally in Chicago.  Those three groups are ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) Chicago, the Illinois Coalition of Immigrant and Rights Reform, and La Raza Chicago.

In addition, MoveOn.org also appears to have been involved in what took place in Chicago.  The following comes from Infowars

“Mr. Trump and the Republican leaders who support him and his hate-filled rhetoric should be on notice after tonight’s events,” the George Soros funded MoveOn web page states. “To all of those who took to the streets of Chicago, we say thank you for standing up and saying enough is enough. To Donald Trump, and the GOP, we say, welcome to the general election.”

Following the cancelled rally in Chicago, a radical leftist protester named Thomas Dimassimo attempted to storm the stage while Trump was speaking at an event in Dayton, Ohio.  This YouTube video contains footage of that chilling moment…

Thomas Dimassimo has been identified as a Bernie Sanders supporter, and even though his Twitter account has now been erased, this screenshot was taken while it was still up…

Marlon Bando Tweet

There was also another tweet where he said that his goal was “martrydom“.  I have seen some news reports that link Dimassimo to ISIS, but those reports are being disputed.  Either way, the fact that the Secret Service had to intervene to protect Trump from this lunatic is more than just a little bit alarming.

Following the incident in Dayton, a Trump rally in Kansas City was disrupted more than a dozen times by political agitators.  At one point, police actually used pepper spray on some of the protesters.

Scenes such as these are starting to cause many people to make direct comparisons between 2016 and 1968.

And if the chaos is this bad already, what will things look like during the general election?

Candidates on all sides should be calling for peace and calm, but instead they are pointing fingers at one another.

For example, Hillary Clinton is putting the full blame for the unrest on Donald Trump

Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton said this weekend that Trump is guilty of “political arson,” adding that “the ugly, divisive rhetoric we are hearing from Donald Trump and the encouragement of violence and aggression is wrong, and it’s dangerous,” The New York Times reported.

And Donald Trump is placing the blame at the feet of Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton

“You had professional disruptors, thousands of them, from Sanders and to a smaller extent, Hillary (Clinton),” he said of a Friday night event in Chicago that Trump canceled after chaos broke out there.

Unfortunately, most Americans have absolutely no idea where all of this is leading.

A house that is divided will fall, and America is now more divided than at any other time in my entire lifetime.

If there was a single set of values or principles that united us, it would be possible for us to come together as a nation and solve our problems.  But there isn’t.  We have rejected the values and the principles of our founders, and these days Americans are being pulled in dozens of different directions.  In fact, if you ask 100 different Americans what we need to do to get our country back on the right track you are probably going to get 100 different answers.

The chaos and violence around our political process is going to get a lot worse than this.  And we are going to see more communities erupt just like Ferguson and Baltimore did.

In the end, Americans are going to kill Americans, our cities are going to burn, and we are going to experience a period of governmental shaking unlike anything that we have ever seen before.

All of this could have been avoided if we could have simply learned to love one another.  But instead, we have allowed ourselves to be divided in just about every way imaginable, and the mainstream media is constantly tossing more fuel on the fire.

This isn’t about Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton or any other politician.  Rather, this is about a once great country that is deeply, deeply divided and that is coming apart at the seams right before our very eyes.

May God have mercy on the late, great United States of America.

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