You are about to see a chart that is undeniable evidence that we have already entered a major economic slowdown. In the “real economy”, stuff is bought and sold and shipped around the country by trucks, railroads and planes. When more stuff is being bought and sold and shipped around the country, the “real economy” is growing, and when less stuff is being bought and sold and shipped around the country, the “real economy” is shrinking. I know that might sound really basic, but I want everyone to be on the same page as we proceed in this article. Just because stock prices are artificially high right now does not mean that the U.S. economy is in good shape. In fact, there was a stock rally at this exact time of the year in 2008 even though the underlying economic fundamentals were rapidly deteriorating. We all remember what happened later that year, so we should not exactly be rejoicing that precisely the same pattern that we witnessed in 2008 is happening again right in front of our eyes.
During the month of April, the Cass Transportation Index was down 4.9 percent on a year over year basis. What this means is that a lot less stuff was bought and sold and shipped around the country in April 2016 when compared to April 2015. The following comes from Wolf Richter…
Freight shipments by truck and rail in the US fell 4.9% in April from the beaten-down levels of April 2015, according to the Cass Transportation Index, released on Friday. It was the worst April since 2010, which followed the worst March since 2010. In fact, shipment volume over the four months this year was the worst since 2010.
This is no longer statistical “noise” that can easily be brushed off.
Of course this was not just a one month fluke. The reality is that we have now seen the Cass Shipping Index decline on a year over year basis for 14 consecutive months. Here is more commentary and a chart from Wolf Richter…
The Cass Freight Index is not seasonally adjusted. Hence the strong seasonal patterns in the chart. Note the beaten-down first four months of 2016 (red line):
This is undeniable evidence that the “real economy” has been slowing down for more than a year. In 2007-2008 we saw a similar thing happen, but the Federal Reserve and most of the “experts” boldly assured us that there was not going to be a recession.
Of course then we immediately proceeded to plunge into the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
Traditionally, railroad activity has been a key indicator of where the U.S. economy is heading next. Just a few days ago, I wrote about how U.S. rail traffic was down more than 11 percent from a year ago during the month of April, and I included a photo that showed 292 Union Pacific engines sitting in the middle of the Arizona desert doing absolutely nothing.
Well, just yesterday one of my readers sent me a photograph of a news article from North Dakota about how a similar thing is happening up there. Hundreds of rail workers are being laid off, and engines are just sitting idle on the tracks because there is literally nothing for them to do…
Intuitively, does it seem like this should be happening in a “healthy” economy?
Of course not.
The reason why this is happening is because businesses have been selling less stuff. Total business sales have now been declining for almost two years, and they are now close to 15 percent lower than they were in late 2014.
Because sales are way down, unsold inventories are really starting to pile up. The inventory to sales ratio is now close to the level it was at during the worst moments of the last recession, and many analysts expect it to continue to keep going up.
Why can’t people understand what is happening? So far this year, job cut announcements are up 24 percent and the number of commercial bankruptcies is shooting through the roof. Signs that we are in the early chapters of a new economic downturn are all around us, and yet denial is everywhere.
For instance, just consider this excerpt from a CNBC article entitled “This key recession signal is broken“…
Treasury yields are behaving as if they are signaling a recession, but strategists say this time it’s more likely a sign of something else.
The market has been buzzing about the flattening yield curve, or the fact that yields on longer duration Treasurys are getting closer to yields on shorter duration securities.
In the case of 10-year notes and two-year notes, that spread was the flattest Friday than it has been on a closing basis since late 2007. The yield curve had turned negative in 2006 and stayed there for months in 2007 before turning higher ahead of the Great Recession. The spread was at 95 at Friday’s curve but widened Monday to more than 96.
Treasury yields are very, very clearly telling us that a new recession is here, but because the “experts” don’t want to believe it they are telling us that the signal is “broken”.
For many Americans, all that seems to matter is that the stock market has recovered from the horrible crashes last August and earlier this year. But in the end, I am convinced that those crashes will simply be regarded as “foreshocks” of a much greater crash in our not too distant future.
But if you don’t want to believe me, perhaps you will listen to Goldman Sachs. They just came out with six reasons why stocks are about to tumble.
Or perhaps you will believe Bank of America. They just came out with nine reasons why a big stock market decline is on the horizon.
To me, one of the big developments has been the fact that stock buybacks are really starting to dry up. In fact, announced stock buybacks have declined 38 percent so far this year…
After snapping up trillions of dollars of their own stock in a five-year shopping binge that dwarfed every other buyer, U.S. companies from Apple Inc. to IBM Corp. just put on the brakes. Announced repurchases dropped 38 percent to $244 billion in the last four months, the biggest decline since 2009, data compiled by Birinyi Associates and Bloomberg show. “If the only meaningful source of demand in the market is companies buying their own shares back, then what happens if that goes away?” asked Brad McMillan, CIO of Commonwealth “We should be concerned.”
Stock buybacks have been one of the key factors keeping stock prices at artificially inflated levels even though underlying economic conditions have been deteriorating. Now that stock buybacks are drying up, it is going to be difficult for stocks to stay disconnected from economic reality.
A lot of people have been asking me recently when the next crisis is going to arrive.
I always tell them that it is already here.
Just like in early 2008, economic conditions are rapidly deteriorating, but the stock market has not gotten the memo quite yet.
And just like in 2008, when the financial markets do finally start catching up with reality it will likely happen very quickly.
So don’t take your eyes off of the deteriorating economic fundamentals, because it is inevitable that the financial markets will follow eventually.
I have never seen more buzz about a potential terror attack during the holiday season than I am seeing right now. Over the past couple of weeks, the mainstream media and the alternative media have both been full of headlines about the possibility of terrorism on Christmas Day or New Year’s Eve. And personally, I have had numerous people contact me with their concerns or regarding something that they have heard from others. In addition to threats from ISIS, there are many out there that are completely convinced that we could soon see a major false flag incident in the United States. So are any of these rumors true? Will we soon see a major terror incident in America? I want to make it very clear that I do not know. As an attorney, I have been trained to come to conclusions based on the evidence, and at this moment I do not have anything completely solid to report to you. But I do believe that it is noteworthy that there is so much buzz about a potential terror attack that is coming in from so many different directions.
For example, earlier today a mainstream news report indicated that authorities had discovered a “credible threat” against New York City. The phrase “credible threat” was later retracted, but it is a fact that NYPD Commissioner William Bratton did hold “an emergency meeting” on Tuesday to address the threat of terror…
Top NYPD brass including Commissioner William Bratton held an emergency meeting Tuesday to discuss the need for increased vigilance, sources said.
All New York City police officers received a bulletin Tuesday afternoon outlining the department’s tactical plan and warning officers to stay vigilant, according to sources. That internal memo mentioned social media being used as a tactic and that a possible attack could come without warning.
Expect to see increased police presence at iconic locations across multiple boroughs, including Times Square, St. Patrick’s Cathedral for Midnight Mass on Thursday, and Barclays Center in Brooklyn, marking the first time a threat has sparked a swell of police presence in a borough other than Manhattan.
In Germany, it is being reported that a former ISIS fighter is telling authorities that ISIS is planning “coordinated attacks across multiple European cities”…
ISIS are threatening coordinated attacks across multiple European cities, a former militant who escaped from the terror group has revealed.
The former Islamic State fighter – called Harry S – recently escaped from the group in Syria and is now being questioned by the authorities in Germany.
He says, along with other fighters, he was asked if he would “bring jihad to their homeland”.
Could he be telling the truth?
You never know. He might just be blowing a lot of hot air. But after what recently took place in Paris and San Bernardino, we all need to be more diligent.
And without a doubt, it is quite probable that the next attack could be bigger than anything else that we have seen so far. That same ex-ISIS fighter told the Germans that ISIS wants “something that happens everywhere at the same time”…
Worryingly, as reported by Der Spiegel, he told police: “They want something that happens everywhere at the same time.
“All you need is to take a big knife, and go down to the streets and slighter every infidel you encounter.”
And there is some evidence that radical Islamists have been planning just such an attack inside the United States. Just check out what authorities found when they recently raided the home of a 19-year-old jihadist in Pennsylvania…
Thursday, The U.S. Department of Justice announced the arrest of 19-year-old Jalil Ibn Ameer Aziz, who lived in a home with his parents in the 1700 block of Fulton Street in Harrisburg.
According to an affidavit, Aziz was preparing to conduct or assist in an attack in the U.S. An investigation also revealed that Aziz attempted to aid ISIS supporters in traveling to Syria for the purpose of becoming ISIS fighters.
On November 27, investigators raided Aziz’s home and found five loaded M4-style high-capacity magazines, a modified kitchen knife, a thumb drive, medication and a balaclava inside a backpack Aziz’s kept inside a closet.
We also know that the San Bernardino shooters had accumulated quite an arsenal in their home as well. Mike Adams of Natural News believes that this is yet more evidence that a “multi-city ISIS attack” was being planned…
I have reason to believe that a massive, multi-city ISIS attack will be unleashed across America in the near future.
Why do I believe this? Because the evidence points to the likelihood that the San Bernardino ISIS terrorists disobeyed orders and prematurely initiated their attack on a relatively small group. The twelve pipe bombs and thousands of rounds of ammunition found in their apartment point to the realization that they were preparing for something much larger.
If you’re a terrorist, you don’t build twelve pipe bombs and then leave them behind during your attack. You use them in large crowds, of course, to maximize the bloodshed and terror factor. The very existence of these pipe bombs — if indeed they weren’t planted by the feds — means that another, larger attack was in the planning stages and approaching activation.
Whether we see a major attack within the next couple of weeks or not, it is inevitable that the next one will happen at some point. I think that the holidays are a flashpoint in particular because they have a great deal of symbolic meaning and because there are such large public gatherings of people around Christmas and on New Year’s Eve.
And the federal government recognizes this as well. As Christmas draws closer, FEMA has been helping churches prepare for “active shooter incidents“, and the feds will be keeping a very close eye on New Year’s Eve celebrations in New York City and elsewhere.
Of course many Americans do not have much faith in the ability of the federal government to protect them. In fact, there are some that are simply going to avoid any large public gatherings of people until after the holidays are over.
So are those individuals being paranoid or prudent?
Please feel free to tell us what you think by posting a comment below…
When financial markets crash, they do not do so in a vacuum. There are always patterns, signs and indicators that tell us that something is about to happen. In this article, I am going to share with you four patterns that are happening right now that also happened just prior to the great financial crisis of 2008. These four signs are very strong evidence that a deflationary financial collapse is right around the corner. Instead of the hyperinflationary crisis that so many have warned about, what we are about to experience is a collapse in asset prices, a massive credit crunch and a brief period of absolutely crippling deflation. The response by national governments and global central banks to this horrific financial crisis will cause tremendous inflation down the road, but that comes later. What comes first is a crisis that will initially look a lot like 2008, but will ultimately prove to be much worse. The following are 4 things that are happening right now that indicate that a deflationary financial collapse is imminent…
#1 Commodities Are Crashing
In mid-2008, just before the U.S. stock market crashed in the fall, commodities started crashing hard. Well, now it is happening again. In fact, the Bloomberg Commodity Index just hit a 13 year low, which means that it is already lower than it was at any point during the last financial crisis…
#2 Oil Is Crashing
On Monday, the price of oil dipped back below $50 a barrel. This has surprised many analysts, because a lot of them thought that the price of oil would start to rebound by now.
In early 2014, the price of a barrel of oil was sitting above $100 a barrel and the future of the industry looked very bright. Since that time, the price of oil has fallen by more than 50 percent.
There is only one other time in all of history when the price of oil has fallen by more than $50 a barrel in such a short period of time. That was in 2008, just before the great financial crisis that erupted later that year. In the chart posted below, you can see how similar that last oil crash was to what we are experiencing right now…
#3 Gold Is Crashing
Most people don’t remember that the price of gold took a very serious tumble in the run up to the financial crisis of 2008. In early 2008, the price of gold almost reached $1000 an ounce, but by October it had fallen to nearly $700 an ounce. Of course once the stock market finally crashed it ultimately propelled gold to unprecedented heights, but what we are concerned about for this article is what happens before a crisis arrives.
Just like in 2008, the price of gold has been hit hard in recent months. And on Monday, the price of gold absolutely got slammed. The following comes from USA Today…
The yellow metal has tumbled to a five-year low amid a combination of diminishing investor fears related to foreign headwinds in Greece and China, and stronger growth in the U.S. which is leading to a stronger dollar and coming interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve. Investors have been dumping shares of gold-related investments as other bearish signs, such as less demand from China and the breaking of key price support levels, add up.
Earlier today, an ounce of gold fell below $1,100 an ounce to $1,080, its lowest level since February 2010. Gold peaked around $1,900 an ounce back in 2011.
For years, I have been telling people that we were going to see wild swings in the prices of gold and silver.
And to be honest, the party is just getting started. Personally, I particularly love silver for the long-term. But you have got to be able to handle the roller coaster ride if you are going to get into precious metals. It is not for the faint of heart.
#4 The U.S. Dollar Index Is Surging
Before the U.S. stock market crashed in the fall of 2008, the U.S. dollar went on a very impressive run. This is something that you can see in the chart posted below. Now, the U.S. dollar is experiencing a similar rise. For a while there it looked like the rally might fizzle out, but in recent days the dollar has started to skyrocket once again. That may sound like good news to most Americans, but the truth is that a strong dollar is highly deflationary for the global financial system as a whole for a variety of reasons. So just like in 2008, this is not the kind of chart that we should want to see…
If a 2008-style financial crisis was imminent, these are the kinds of things that we would expect to see happen. And of course these are not the only signs that are pointing to big problems in our immediate future. For example, the last time there was a major stock market crash in China, it came just before the great U.S. stock market crash in the fall of 2008. This is something that I covered in my previous article entitled “Guess What Happened The Last Time The Chinese Stock Market Crashed Like This?”
As an attorney, I was trained to follow the evidence and to only come to conclusions that were warranted by the facts. And right now, it seems abundantly clear that things are lining up in textbook fashion for another major financial crisis.
But even though what is happening right in front of our eyes is so similar to what happened back in 2008, most people do not see it.
And the reason why they do not see it is because they do not want to see it.
Just like with most things in life, most people end up believing exactly what they want to believe.
Yes, there is a segment of the population that are actually honest truth seekers. If you have felt drawn to this website, you are probably one of them. But overall, most people in our society are far more concerned with making themselves happy than they are about pursuing the truth.
So even though the signs are obvious, most people will never see what is coming in advance.
I hope that does not happen to you.
I have never done anything like this before. Ever since I started The Economic Collapse Blog in late 2009, I have never issued any kind of “red alert” for any specific period of time. As an attorney, I was trained to be level-headed and to only come to conclusions that were warranted by the evidence. So this is not something that I am doing lightly. Based on information that I have received, things that I have been told, and thousands of hours of research that have gone into the publication of more than 1,300 articles about our ongoing economic collapse, I have come to the conclusion that a major financial collapse is imminent. Therefore, I am issuing a RED ALERT for the last six months of 2015.
To clarify, when I say “imminent” I do not mean that it will happen within the next 48 hours. And I am not saying that our problems will be “over” once we get to the end of 2015. In fact, I believe that the truth is that our problems will only be just beginning as we enter 2016.
What I am attempting to communicate is that we are right at the door of a major turning point. About this time of the year back in 2008, my wife and I went to visit her parents. As we sat in their living room, I explained to them that we were on the verge of a major financial crisis, and of course the events that happened a few months later showed that I was right on the money.
This time around, I wish that I could visit the living rooms of all of my readers and explain to them why we are on the verge of another major financial crisis. Unfortunately, that is not possible, but hopefully this article will suffice. Please share it with your friends, your family and anyone else that you want to warn about what is coming.
Let’s start with a little discussion about the U.S. economy. Most of the time, when I use the term “economic collapse” what most people are actually thinking of is a “financial collapse”. And we will talk about the imminent “financial collapse” later on in this article. But just because stocks have recently been hitting all-time record highs does not mean that the overall economy has been doing well. This is a theme that I have hammered on over and over again. It is my contention that we are in the midst of a long-term economic collapse that has been happening for many years, that is happening as you read this article, and that will greatly accelerate over the coming months.
Let me give you just one quick example. When an economy is healthy, money tends to circulate fairly rapidly. I buy something from you, then you take that money and buy something from someone else, etc. In a stable and growing economy, people generally feel good about things and they are not afraid to spend. But during hard times, the exact opposite happens. That is why the velocity of money almost always slows down during a recession. As you can see from the chart below, the velocity of money has indeed gone down during every recession since 1960. Once a recession is over, the velocity of money is supposed to go back up. But a funny thing happened after the last recession ended. The velocity of money continued to go down, and it has now hit an all-time record low…
This is the kind of chart that you would expect from a very sick economy. And without a doubt, our economy is sick. Even the official government numbers paint a picture of an economy that is deeply troubled. Corporate profits have declined for two quarters in a row, U.S. exports plunged by 7.6 percent during the first quarter of 2015, U.S. GDP contracted by 0.7 percent during the first quarter, and factory orders have declined year over year for six months in a row.
If the stock market was connected to reality, it would be going down. But instead, it has just kept going up. As I discussed yesterday, this is a classic case of an irrational financial bubble. If I was writing an economic textbook and I wanted to include an example of what a run up to a major financial crash looks like, it would be hard to come up with anything more ideal than what we have watched unfold over the last six months. Just about every pattern that has popped up prior to previous stock markets crashes is happening again, and this is something that I have written about so much that many of my readers are sick of it.
And without a doubt, our financial markets are primed for a crash.
Only two times before has the S&P 500 been up by more than 200 percent over a six year time frame.
The first was in 1929, and the stock market subsequently crashed.
The second was in 2000, right before the dotcom bubble burst.
And by just about any measure that you can possibly imagine, stocks are massively overvalued right now.
For instance, just check out the chart posted below. It comes from Doug Short, and it shows that the ratio of corporate equity prices to GDP has only been higher one time since 1950. That was in 2000 just before the dotcom bubble burst…
Let’s take a look at another chart. This one comes from Phoenix Capital Research, and it shows that the CAPE ratio (cyclically adjusted price-to-earnings ratio) has rarely been higher. In fact, the only times that it has been higher we have seen stock market crashes immediately afterwards…
Yale economics professor Robert Shiller is also deeply concerned about the CAPE ratio…
I think that compared with history, US stocks are overvalued. One way to assess this is by looking at the CAPE (cyclically adjusted P/E) ratio that I created with John Campbell, now at Harvard, 25 years ago. The ratio is defined as the real stock price (using the S&P Composite Stock Price Index deflated by the CPI) divided by the ten-year average of real earnings per share. We have found this ratio to be a good predictor of subsequent stock market returns, especially over the long run. The CAPE ratio has recently been around 27, which is quite high by US historical standards. The only other times it has been that high or higher were in 1929, 2000, and 2007—all moments before market crashes.
But the CAPE ratio is not the only metric I watch. In my book Irrational Exuberance (3rd Ed., Princeton 2015) I discuss several metrics that help judge what’s going on in the market. These include my stock market confidence indices. One of the indicators in that series is based on a single question that I have asked individual and institutional investors over the years along the lines of, “Do you think the stock market is overvalued, undervalued, or about right?” Lately, what I call “valuation confidence” captured by this question has been on a downward trend, and for individual investors recently reached its lowest point since the stock market peak in 2000.
Other valuation indicators produce similar results. This next chart is another one from Doug Short, and it shows the average of four of his favorite valuation indicators. As you can see, there is only one other time when stocks have been more overvalued than they are today according to the average of his four favorite indicators, and that was just before the stock market crashed when the dotcom bubble burst…
Another one of the things that indicates that a financial bubble is happening is the level of margin debt. Whenever margin debt has gone over 2.25% of GDP a stock market crash has always followed, and today it is far above that level. As you can see from the chart below, there have been three major peaks in margin debt in modern U.S. history. One was just before the dotcom bubble burst, one was just before the financial crisis of 2008, and the third is happening right now…
Something else that we would expect to see prior to a major financial crisis is a decoupling of high yield debt and stocks. This is something that happened just prior to the stock market crash of 2008, and it is happening again right now. The following chart comes from Zero Hedge, and it demonstrates this brilliantly…
Are you starting to get the picture?
And as I discussed yesterday, the smart money is beginning to pull their money out of stocks while they still can. According to USA Today, mutual fund investors have pulled more money out of stocks than they have put into stocks for 16 weeks in a row…
In a sign of stock market nervousness on Main Street, mutual fund investors have yanked more money out of U.S. stock funds than they put in for 16 straight weeks.
The last time domestic stock funds had positive net cash inflows was in the week ending Feb. 25, according to data from the Investment Company Institute, a mutual fund trade group.
In the week ended June 17, the most recent data available, mutual funds that invest in U.S. stocks suffered net outflows of $3.45 billion, according to the ICI.
Since late February, U.S. stock funds have suffered estimated outflows of nearly $55 billion. Those net withdrawals come despite the fact the benchmark Standard & Poor’s 500 hit a fresh record high of 2130.82 on May 21 and the Dow Jones industrial average notched a fresh record on May 19.
But it isn’t just stocks that are going to crash during the next financial crisis. Bonds are going to crash as well, but what I am concerned about most of all are derivatives.
Derivatives are going to play a starring role in the next major financial crisis. I cannot emphasize this enough. In fact, if you want to listen for just one word on the news that will let you know that things have started to really unravel, just listen for the word “derivatives”. This form of legalized gambling is going to crush “too big to fail” banks all over the planet during the next major financial downturn. The “too big to fail” banks in the U.S. alone have 278 trillion dollars of total exposure to derivatives, but they only have 9.8 trillion dollars in total assets. To say that they are being “reckless” is a massive understatement.
For much more on the coming derivatives crisis, please see my previous article entitled “Warren Buffett: Derivatives Are Still Weapons Of Mass Destruction And ‘Are Likely To Cause Big Trouble’“.
Of course I am not the only one that is sounding the alarm about what is coming. Just consider what some very prominent individuals have been saying recently…
Ron Paul has just released a new video in which he warned all of us to “prepare for a bear market in bonds“.
Carl Icahn says that financial markets are “extremely overheated—especially high-yield bonds“.
Max Keiser recently told Alex Jones that a great financial collapse is coming.
Martin Armstrong says that his Economic Confidence Model predicts that the “Big Bang” is coming in “2015.75“.
Jeff Berwick of the Dollar Vigilante says that “we’re getting very, very close to the next crisis collapse” and he has specifically pointed to the month of September.
James Howard Kunstler has predicted that stocks are going to “crater in Q3 as faith in paper and pixels erodes“.
Lindsey Williams recently sent out an email alert in which he warned that his elite friend has told him that “they have a World Wide Financial Collapse scheduled between September and the end of December 2015“.
Gerald Celente has warned about “the Great Panic of 2015“.
Bill Fleckenstein has said that 2015 could be the year of the “big accident“.
Ray Gano has stated that we will see a financial collapse “probably starting in the third quarter of 2015″.
Legendary investor Jim Rogers recently said that he believes that “we will see some kind of major, major problems in the world financial markets” within the next year or two.
Alex Jones recently released a video in which he explained that he recently received “two different calls” from “extremely prominent wealthy people” warning him about what is coming by the end of this year and asking him why he isn’t leaving the United States “before October”.
Bible prophecy expert Joel C. Rosenberg has posted an ominous message on his personal blog in which he warned that “something is coming” and that “we must be ready”…
I feel a tremendous sense of urgency about this column.
The United States is hurtling towards severe trouble, and the events of the past few months — and what may be coming over the next few months — grieves me a great deal.
Something is coming. I don’t know what. But we all must be ready in every possible way.
When I read what Rosenberg wrote, it struck me that it was precisely how I have been feeling too.
In my entire life, I have never had such an ominous feeling about any period of time as I have about the last six months of 2015. Like Rosenberg, I feel a “tremendous sense of urgency”, and I feel a great need to warn as many people as I can.
And it isn’t just a financial collapse that I am concerned about. In a previous article, I detailed seven key events that we are going to witness before the end of this September…
Late June/Early July – It is expected that this is when the U.S. Supreme Court will reveal their gay marriage decision. Most believe that the court will rule that gay marriage is a constitutional right in all 50 states. There are some that believe that this will be a major turning point for our nation.
July 15th to September 15th – A “realistic military training exercise” known as “Jade Helm” will be conducted by the U.S. Army. More than 1,000 members of the U.S. military will take part in this exercise. The list of states slated to be involved in these drills includes Texas, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, California, Mississippi and Florida.
July 28th – On May 28th, Reuters reported that countries in the European Union were being given a two month deadline to enact “bail-in” legislation. Any nation that does not have “bail-in” legislation in place by that time will face legal action from the European Commission. So why is the European Union in such a rush to get this done? Are the top dogs in the EU anticipating that another great financial crisis is about to erupt?
September 13th – This is Elul 29 on the Biblical calendar – the last day of the Shemitah year. Many are concerned about this date because we have seen giant stock market crashes on the last day of the previous two Shemitah cycles.
On September 17th, 2001 (which was Elul 29 on the Biblical calendar), we witnessed the greatest one day stock market crash in U.S. history up until that time. The Dow plummeted 684 points, and it was a record that held for exactly seven years until the end of the next Shemitah cycle.
On September 29th, 2008 (which was also Elul 29 on the Biblical calendar), the Dow fell by an astounding 777 points, which still today remains the greatest one day stock market crash of all time.
Now we are approaching the end of another Shemitah year. So will the stock market crash on September 13th, 2015? Well, no, because that day is a Sunday. So I guarantee that the stock market will not crash on that particular day. But as Jonathan Cahn has pointed out in his book on the Shemitah, sometimes stock market crashes happen just before the end of the Shemitah year and sometimes they happen within just a few weeks after the end of the Shemitah. So we are not just looking at one particular date.
September 15th – The 70th session of the UN General Assembly begins on this date. It is being reported that France plans to introduce a resolution which would give formal UN Security Council recognition to a Palestinian state. Up until now, the United States has always been the one blocking such a resolution, but Barack Obama is indicating that things may be much different this time around.
September 25th to September 27th – The United Nations is going to launch a brand new sustainable development agenda for the entire planet. Some have called this “Agenda 21 on steroids”. But this new agenda is not just about the environment. It also includes provisions regarding economics, agriculture, education and gender equality. On September 25th, the Pope will travel to New York to give a major speech kicking off the UN conference where this new agenda will be unveiled.
September 28th – This is the date for the last of the four blood moons that fall on Biblical festival dates during 2014 and 2015. This blood moon falls on the very first day of the Feast of Tabernacles, it will be a “supermoon”, and it will actually be visible in the city of Jerusalem. There are many that dismiss the blood moon phenomenon, but we have seen similar patterns before. For example, a similar pattern of eclipses happened just before and just after the destruction of the Jewish temple by the Romans in 70 AD.
In addition to everything above, quite a number of economic cycle theories that were developed by secular economists all point to big trouble for America between the years of 2015 and 2020. For more on this, please see my previous article entitled “If Economic Cycle Theorists Are Correct, 2015 To 2020 Will Be Pure Hell For The United States“.
Earlier today, I publicly announced that I was issuing a RED ALERT for the last six months of 2015 on the Alex Jones radio show. You can watch video of that interview right here. In this article (which is about three times as long as one of my normal articles) I have only shared a small fraction of the information that has led me to issue this red alert. But if you want to know more, and you are not afraid to really go down the rabbit hole, I would encourage you to check out a full two hour presentation that I did down in Dallas, Texas on the nightmarish years that are coming.
The period of relative stability that we have been enjoying is ending. What comes next is going to lead us into the worst period of time in modern American history. I wish that I was wrong about this.
But the goal is not to scare you. My wife and I live our lives with absolutely no fear, and that is my desire for all of my readers. There is hope in understanding what is happening and there is hope in getting prepared. Personally, my wife and I believe that the greatest chapters of our lives are ahead of us, and I hope that you have a similar outlook.
We need a generation of people that are willing to rise up and do great things even in the midst of all the chaos and darkness that is coming. It is when times are the darkest that the greatest heroes are needed.
So what will you choose to do when the next crisis comes?
Will you cower in fear, or will you rise up to meet the challenge?
Please feel free to tell us what you think by posting a comment below…
If enough people truly believe that things will get better, will that actually cause them to get better? There is certainly something to be said for being positive and thinking that anything is possible. And as Americans, optimism seems to come naturally for us. However, no amount of positive thinking is ever going to turn the sun into a block of wood or turn the moon into a block of cheese. Any good counselor will tell you that one of the first steps toward recovery is to stop being delusional and to come to grips with how bad things really are. When we deny reality and engage in irrational wishful thinking, we are engaging in something called “hopium”. This is a difficult term to define, but the favorite definition of hopium that I have come across so far goes like this: “The irrational belief that, despite all evidence to the contrary, things will turn out for the best.” In hundreds of articles, I have documented how the U.S. economy is mired in a long-term decline which is about to get a lot worse. But most Americans see things very differently. In fact, according to a brand new CNN/ORC poll, 52 percent of Americans describe the U.S. economy as “very” or “somewhat good”, and more than two-thirds of all Americans believe that the U.S. economy will be in “good shape” a year from right now. But if you asked most of those people why they are so optimistic, they would probably mumble something about “Obama” or about how “we’re Americans and we always bounce back” or some other such gibberish. Well, it’s wonderful that so many people are feeling good and looking forward to the future, but are those beliefs rational?
We witnessed a perfect example of this “hopium” on Wednesday. Sales at McDonald’s restaurants have been in decline for quite a while, and the numbers for the first quarter of 2015 were just abysmal…
The ubiquitous burger-and-fries chain said US sales, the largest share of global income, fell 2.6 percent from a year ago for comparable outlets.
Sales in the Asia-Pacific and Middle East region dropped 8.3 percent, helping bring overall global sales down 2.3 percent, “reflecting negative guest traffic in all segments,” the company said.
Total revenue sank 11 percent to $5.96 billion in the quarter to March 31, and net income plunged 32.6 percent to $812 million, or 84 cents a share (-31 percent).
So you would think that the stock price would have tanked on Wednesday, right?
Thanks to news that a “turnaround plan” would be announced on May 4th, McDonald’s stock actually skyrocketed…
McDonald’s closed up 3.13 percent after spiking more than 4.5 percent in early trade as investors cheered a turnaround plan expected on May 4. However, the fast food chain’s earnings missed on both the top and bottom lines.
This is pure hopium. Why don’t McDonald’s executives just tell us what the plan is now? But instead, the mystery of a “secret turnaround plan” gives people just enough hope to keep the stock from tumbling – at least for the moment.
And of course there are all sorts of other stocks that are being massively inflated by hopium right now.
Many years ago, when I was an undergraduate, I was taught that a price to earnings ratio of more than 20 was really, really high.
But these days that is the norm on Wall Street, and at the moment there are quite a few stocks that actually have price to earnings ratios that are greater than 100…
There are 10 stocks in the Standard & Poor’s 500, including industrial giant General Electric, video-streamer Netflix and oil and gas explorer Cabot Oil & Gas that are trading for 100 times their diluted earnings the past 12 months excluding extraordinary items, according to a USA TODAY analysis of data from S&P Capital IQ.
And if you can believe it, General Electric has a PE on its training earnings of more than 200…
Take General Electric, the industrial giant that’s swiftly selling off banking assets so it can return to its manufacturing roots. GE sports a PE on its trailing earnings of 227, says S&P Capital IQ.
This is completely and totally irrational. General Electric is a giant mess and is being very badly mismanaged. But investors continue to pay a massive premium for GE stock because they hope that things will turn around eventually.
Look, hope will get you a lot of things in life, but it won’t put money in your pockets or dinner on the table.
Our politicians and the mainstream media continue to sell us hard on the idea that things are getting better in America, but meanwhile our economic infrastructure continues to decay. Just check out what is happening in the steel industry…
United States Steel Corporation issued layoff notices to 1,404 workers in the latest sign of struggle for the American steel industry. The missives went out in recent days to workers producing pipe and tube products that are used in the oil and gas sector. Job cuts could come as early as June for 17 to 579 employees at a plant in Lone Star, Texas, 166 at a factory in Houston, 255 at a mill in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and 404 managers across the company’s tubular operations nationwide.
Since last June, the company has informed 7,800 employees of potential job cuts, a tally from Pittsburgh Business Times indicated. U.S. Steel spokeswoman Sarah Cassella said the ongoing layoffs are the result of “challenging market conditions and global influences in the market including a high level of imports, reduced prices for oil and natural gas and reduced steel prices.”
A little over a month ago, I published an article entitled “10 Charts Which Show We Are Much Worse Off Than Just Before The Last Economic Crisis” in which I demonstrated that we are in far worse economic shape than we were just prior to the last recession, and now another great economic crisis is at our door.
Unfortunately, most Americans have no idea what is going on out there. Most of them get their news from the giant propaganda matrix that very tightly controls the flow of ideas and information in this country. This is something that I explain on my new DVD. Six colossal corporations control over 90 percent of the news, information and entertainment that Americans consume, and that gives them an awesome amount of power.
And right now that propaganda matrix is assuring the American people that everything is going to be just fine.
Well, they better be right. Because if not, they are going to have millions of people extremely angry with them when things really start falling to pieces.
Does a mystery that is 3,500 years old hold the key to what is going to happen to global financial markets in 2015? Could it be possible that the timing of major financial crashes is not just a matter of coincidence? In previous articles on my website, I have discussed some of the major economic and financial cycle theories and their proponents. For example, in an article entitled “If Economic Cycle Theorists Are Correct, 2015 To 2020 Will Be Pure Hell For The United States“, I examined a number of economic cycle theories that seem to indicate that the second half of this decade is going to be a nightmare economically. But the cycle that I am going to discuss in this article is a lot more controversial than any of those. In his most recent book, Jonathan Cahn has demonstrated that almost all of the major financial crashes in U.S. history are very closely tied to a seven year pattern that we find in the Bible known as “the Shemitah”. Since that book was released, I have been asked about this repeatedly during radio appearances. So in this article I am going to attempt to explain what the Shemitah is, and what this Biblical pattern seems to indicate may happen in 2015. If you are an atheist, an agnostic, or are generally skeptical by nature, this article might prove quite challenging for you. I would ask that you withhold judgment until you have examined the evidence. When I first heard about these things, I had to go verify the facts for myself, because they are truly extraordinary.
So precisely what is “the Shemitah”?
In the Bible, the people of Israel were commanded to let the land lie fallow every seven years. There would be no sowing and no reaping, and this is something that God took very seriously. In fact, the failure to observe these Sabbath years was one of the main reasons cited in the Scriptures for why the Jewish people were exiled to Babylon in 586 BC.
But there was more to the Shemitah year than just letting the land lie fallow.
On the last day of the Shemitah year, the people of Israel were instructed to perform a releasing of debts. We find the following in Deuteronomy chapter 15…
At the end of every seven years you shall grant a relinquishing of debts. This is the manner of the relinquishing: Every creditor that has loaned anything to his neighbor shall relinquish it. He shall not exact it of his neighbor, or of his brother, because it is called the Lord’s relinquishment.
This happened at the end of every seven years on Elul 29 – the day right before Rosh Hashanah on the Biblical calendar.
So what does this have to do with us today?
Well, if you go back to the last day of the Shemitah year in 2001, you will find that there was an absolutely horrifying stock market crash.
On September 17th, 2001 (which was Elul 29 on the Jewish calendar), we witnessed the greatest one day stock market crash in U.S. history up to that time. The Dow fell an astounding 684 points, and it was a record that held for precisely seven years until the end of the next Shemitah year.
At the end of the next Shemitah year in 2008, another horrifying stock market crash took place. On September 29th, 2008 the Dow plummeted 777 points, which still today remains the greatest one day stock market crash of all time. It turns out that September 29th, 2008 corresponded with Elul 29 on the Jewish calendar – the precise day when the Bible calls for a releasing of debts.
So on the very last day of the last two Shemitah years, the stock market crashed so badly that it set a brand new all-time record.
And now we are in another Shemitah year. It began last fall, and it will end next September.
Could it be possible that we will see another historic market crash?
Author Jonathan Cahn has correctly pointed out that we should never put God in a box. Just because something has happened in the past does not mean that it will happen again. But we should not rule anything out either.
Perhaps God is using His calendar to make a point. Cahn believes that if we are going to see something happen, it will probably occur as the Shemitah year comes to an end…
Cahn has pointed that, according to his research, the worst of the worst usually happens at the end of the Shemitah year, not at the beginning. In fact, the last day of the year, Elul 29 on the Hebrew calendar, which will occur on Sept. 13, 2015, is the most dreaded day.
The pattern revealed in “The Mystery of the Shemitah” is that the beginning of the Shemitah’s impact is often subtle, but leads to a dramatic climax.
“The beginning may mark a change in direction, even a foreshadow of what will come to a crescendo at the Shemitah’s end,” he said.
And this time around, far more people are paying attention. Back in 2001 and 2008, most Americans had absolutely no idea what a “Shemitah year” was. But now it is being talked about on some of the most prominent alternative news websites on the Internet. For example, the following is what Joseph Farah of WND has to say about the Shemitah year…
Farah believes the date Sept. 13, 2015 bears close watching – though he is quick to admit he has no idea what, if anything, will happen in America.
“A clear pattern has been established,” he says. “I don’t believe it’s a coincidence what happened in America on Elul 29 in 2001 and 2008. It would be foolish to ignore the possibility that a greater judgment might be in the works – especially if America continues to move away from God and His Word.”
The Shemitah year that we are in now does end on September 13th, 2015 – and that falls on a Sunday so the markets will be closed.
But what it comes to the Shemitah, we aren’t just looking at one particular day.
And it is very interesting to note that there will also be a solar eclipse on September 13th, 2015. Over the past century, there have only been two other times when a solar eclipse has corresponded with the end of a Shemitah year. Those two times were in 1931 and 1987, and as Jonathan Cahn has told WND, those solar eclipses foreshadowed major financial disasters…
In 1931, a solar eclipse took place on Sept. 12 – the end of a “Shemitah” year. Eight days later, England abandoned the gold standard, setting off market crashes and bank failures around the world. It also ushered in the greatest monthlong stock market percentage crash in Wall Street history.
In 1987, a solar eclipse took place Sept. 23 – again the end of a “Shemitah” year. Less than 30 days later came “Black Monday” the greatest percentage crash in Wall Street history.
Is Cahn predicting doom and gloom on Sept. 13, 2015? He’s careful to avoid a prediction, saying, “In the past, this ushered in the worst collapses in Wall Street history. What will it bring this time? Again, as before, the phenomenon does not have to manifest at the next convergence. But, at the same time, and again, it is wise to take note.”
So what is going to happen this time?
We will just have to wait and see.
But without a doubt so many of the same patterns that we witnessed just prior to the financial crash of 2008 are happening again right before our very eyes.
It has been said that those that do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
Perhaps you believe that there is something to “the Shemitah”, or perhaps you think that it is all a bunch of nonsense.
But at least now you know what everyone is talking about. What you choose to do with this information is up to you.
Is it right for Barack Obama to use IRS audits to punish his political enemies? As crazy as that sounds, there is a mounting body of evidence that indicates that this is actually happening. And if this can be proven, it is a much, much larger scandal than the IRS giving “extra scrutiny” to the applications of conservative non-profit groups. Let me be clear – if Barack Obama has been using IRS audits to punish his political enemies, that is an impeachable offense. Of all of the other scandals that are out there right now, this is the one that could actually bring down the presidency of Barack Obama. That is how serious this is. As you will read about below, there is a huge amount of circumstantial evidence that political enemies of Barack Obama have been singled out for IRS audits. We need to find out who initiated these audits. Whether you are a Republican, a Democrat or an Independent, this kind of abuse of government power should sicken and horrify you. If it can be proven that Barack Obama has been using IRS audits to attack his enemies, every single U.S. citizen should be calling for him to resign. This is something that is beyond politics – this is a direct threat to the very integrity of our system.
The recent revelation that the IRS has been specifically targeting patriot groups and Tea Party organizations for “extra scrutiny” has opened up the floodgates. In recent days, a large number of highly respected people have come forward claiming that they were the subject of IRS audits that were politically motivated.
For example, Larry Conners, a respected local news anchor at KMOV Channel 4 in St. Louis, Missouri says that he was hit with an IRS audit almost immediately after he conducted an interview with Barack Obama in April 2012…
Shortly after I did my April 2012 interview with President Obama, my wife, friends and some viewers suggested that I might need to watch out for the IRS.
I don’t accept “conspiracy theories”, but I do know that almost immediately after the interview, the IRS started hammering me.
At the time, I dismissed the “co-incidence”, but now, I have concerns … after revelations about the IRS targeting various groups and their members.
Originally, the IRS apologized for red-flagging conservative groups and their members if they had “Tea Party” or “patriot” in their name.
Today, there are allegations that the IRS focused on various groups and/or individuals questioning or criticizing government spending, taxes, debt or how the government is run … any involved in limiting/expanding government, educating on the constitution and bill of rights, or social economic reform/movement.
In that April 2012 interview, I questioned President Obama on several topics: the Buffet Rule, his public remarks about the Supreme Court before the ruling on the Affordable Care Act. I also asked why he wasn’t doing more to help Sen. Claire McCaskill who at that time was expected to lose. The Obama interview caught fire and got wide-spread attention because I questioned his spending.
I said some viewers expressed concern, saying they think he’s “out of touch” because of his personal and family trips in the midst of our economic crisis.
The President’s face clearly showed his anger; afterwards, his staff which had been so polite … suddenly went cold.
That’s to be expected, and I can deal with that just as I did with President George H. Bush’s staff when he didn’t like my questions.
Journalistic integrity is of the utmost importance to me. My job is to ask the hard questions, because I believe viewers have a right to be well-informed. I cannot and will not promote anyone’s agenda – political or otherwise – at the expense of the reporting the truth.
What I don’t like to even consider … is that because of the Obama interview … the IRS put a target on me.
Can I prove it? At this time, no.
But it is a fact that since that April 2012 interview … the IRS has been pressuring me.
Reverend Franklin Graham, the son of Reverend Billy Graham, recently wrote a letter to Barack Obama claiming that the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse were both hit with IRS audits very shortly after they ran full-page ads supporting North Carolina’s Marriage amendment. In fact, both organizations were notified about the audits on the same day. The following is from a recent article posted on redstate.com…
The man known as America’s pastor was among those targeted by the Internal Revenue Service after the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association ran newspaper advertisements promoting traditional marriage and biblical values.
“I am bringing this to your attention because I believe that someone in the Administration was targeting and attempting to intimidate us,” wrote Franklin Graham in a letter to President Obama. “This is morally wrong and unethical – indeed some would call it ‘un-American.’”
Graham is president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association as well as the international charity Samaritan’s Purse. Both organizations received word of audits on the same day – not long after they ran full –page ads supporting North Carolina’s Marriage amendment.
The ads encouraged voters to “cast our ballots for candidates who base their decisions on biblical principles and support the nation of Israel.”
The ad concluded with the words, “Vote for biblical values this November 6, and pray with me (Billy Graham) that America will remain one nation under God.”
Graham said on Sept. 6, 2012 they received notification that the IRS would audit their taxes.
“In light of what the IRS admitted to on Friday, May 10, 2013, and subsequent revelations from other sources, I do not believe that the IRS audit of our two organizations last year is a coincidence – or justifiable,” Graham wrote.
You can find a full copy of Franklin Graham’s letter to Barack Obama right here.
The Blaze is reporting on another example of this phenomenon. A respected Catholic professor that had written things critical of the Obama administration was hit with an IRS audit that she believes was politically motivated…
On Wednesday, Dr. Anne Hendershott, a devout Catholic and a noted sociologist, professor and author, exclusively told The Blaze that she believes she may have been one of the IRS’s targets.
According to Hendershott, the IRS audited her in 2010 and demanded to know who was paying her and “what their politics were.”
It all started with a phone call she received at her home in May of that year — a call during which Hendershott was told she would be audited. A letter that followed on May 19, 2010 solidified the IRS’s request to meet her in person two months later in July.
Unfortunately, these are not just isolated incidents. In fact, attorney Cleta Mitchell recently told Newsmax that she has seen a systematic pattern of politically motivated IRS harassment that only began once Barack Obama entered the White House…
In the case of one such client, she and her family subsequently became targets for audits to their personal and business tax returns, and were even visited by three different government agencies. She also knows of other groups who had surprise visits from the FBI after they applied for IRS status.
Mitchell said she doesn’t believe the president or the White House was uninvolved in the IRS activities, as the administration has claimed.
“I’ve thought for some time that this is politically motivated and that’s the reason it was happening. And, as I said, I’ve been doing this for more than 20 years and I’ve never seen anything like this until 2009, 2010. And the only thing that changed was we had a different administration,” she said.
There are some that have been trying to bring awareness to these politically motivated audits for quite some time. One of these individuals is a former classmate of Obama’s named Wayne Allyn Root…
“I feel like a million bucks. I feel absolutely vindicated. I knew this was going on,” Wayne Allyn Root told WND.
Root, the Libertarian Party vice-presidential candidate in 2008 who has claimed Obama was strangely unknown to him and his fellow Columbia University classmates, recounted his story to WND last October of becoming the target of unusual audits, beginning in January 2011, despite a “spotless” 30-year tax record.
He charged in October that the order to audit him came from Obama himself, and he is even more convinced now.
“I believe this is not rogue agents, who would be risking their pension and careers,” he said.
In October, Root said the order to audit him “must have come from the highest levels of government.”
“Obama is using the power of the IRS and other government agencies to punish his political opposition and intimidate and silence his critics,” Root charged at the time.
In that same article, a number of other examples of this phenomenon were cited…
Last year, billionaire Frank VanderSloot became the target of investigations by both the IRS and the Labor Department after he gave $1 million to a super PAC that supported Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. The GOP’s biggest donor, Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, said a federal criminal investigation into his company’s business practices was politically motivated. Another casino giant, Steve Wynn, also has been investigated.
This week, Root has received many emails from people who identify as conservative and believe the IRS has been harassing them for political reasons.
What happened to businessman Frank VanderSloot is particularly noteworthy. The following is from an article that Rob Bluey authored last year…
On April 20, President Obama’s campaign named VanderSloot to the first presidential “enemies list” since the Nixon era. Eight private citizens were singled out for their donations to Romney. They committed no crimes, sought no attention, and yet they became the subject of Obama’s scorn.
VanderSloot is now facing persecution from the federal government. Kimberly Strassel reveals in The Wall Street Journal that two federal agencies — the Internal Revenue Service and Labor Department — both launched investigations of VanderSloot after his name appeared on Obama’s enemies list.
No matter what you think of Obama’s politics, shouldn’t we all be deeply alarmed that he has an “enemies list”?
With each passing day, the similarities between Barack Obama and Richard Nixon become more glaring.
And Obama has even joked about sending the IRS after people that he does not like. When Obama found out that he was not going to be receiving an honorary doctorate from Arizona State University, he made the following statement…
“President [Michael] Crowe and the Board of Regents will soon learn all about being audited by the IRS.”
The IRS is not supposed to be used as a weapon, and the White House is not allowed to use information gathered by the IRS for political gain either. But apparently last year someone at the IRS was leaking tax information to someone within the Obama campaign. The following is from a recent article by Matt K. Lewis…
A little over a year ago, I reported that, ”It is likely that someone at the Internal Revenue Service illegally leaked confidential donor information showing a contribution from Mitt Romney’s political action committee to the National Organization for Marriage, says the group.”
Now — on the heels of news the IRS’s apology for having targeted conservative groups — NOM is renewing their demand that the Internal Revenue Service reveal the identity of the people responsible.
“There is little question that one or more employees at the IRS stole our confidential tax return and leaked it to our political enemies, in violation of federal law,” said NOM’s president Brian Brow, in a prepared statement. “The only questions are who did it, and whether there was any knowledge or coordination between people in the White House, the Obama reelection campaign and the Human Rights Campaign. We and the American people deserve answers.”
The IRS has been doing all sorts of things that they should not be doing. They are a rogue agency that is completely out of control.
In fact, one new lawsuit alleges that the IRS stole the health records of approximately 10 million Americans…
The Internal Revenue Service is now facing a class action lawsuit over allegations that it improperly accessed and stole the health records of some 10 million Americans, including medical records of all California state judges.
According to a report by Courthousenews.com, an unnamed HIPAA-covered entity in California is suing the IRS, alleging that some 60 million medical records from 10 million patients were stolen by 15 IRS agents. The personal health information seized on March 11, 2011, included psychological counseling, gynecological counseling, sexual/drug treatment and other medical treatment data. “This is an action involving the corruption and abuse of power by several Internal Revenue Service agents,” the complaint reads. “No search warrant authorized the seizure of these records; no subpoena authorized the seizure of these records; none of the 10,000,000 Americans were under any kind of known criminal or civil investigation and their medical records had no relevance whatsoever to the IRS search. IT personnel at the scene, a HIPPA facility warning on the building and the IT portion of the searched premises, and the company executives each warned the IRS agents of these privileged records,” it continued.
And guess what?
The IRS is going to be the primary government agency in charge of implementing Obamacare.
Will we soon see the IRS use health information to attack the political enemies of the man or woman sitting in the White House?
Unfortunately, thanks to new “Big Brother” technology that the IRS has been implementing, pretty soon there will be very little about us that the IRS does not know. The following is from a recent article by Richard Satran of U.S. News & World Report…
Consumers are already familiar with Internet “cookies” that track their movements and send them targeted ads that follow them to different websites. The IRS has brought in private industry experts to employ similar digital tracking—but with the added advantage of access to Social Security numbers, health records, credit card transactions and many other privileged forms of information that marketers don’t see.
“Private industry would be envious if they knew what our models are,” boasted Dean Silverman, the agency’s high-tech top gun who heads a group recruited from the private sector to update the IRS, in a comment reported in trade publications.
So what is the IRS going to do with all of this information?
Well, the following are just a few of the things that they have already said that they plan to do with it…
• Charting and analyzing social media such as Facebook
• Targeting audits by matching tax filings to social media or electronic payments
• Tracking individual Internet addresses and emailing patterns
• Sorting data in 32,000 categories of metadata and 1 million unique “attributes”
• Machine learning across “neural” networks
• Statistical and agent-based modeling
• Relationship analysis based on Social Security numbers and other personal identifiers
So are you alarmed by all of this?
You should be.
As I discussed in my previous article entitled “100 Years Old And Still Killing Us: America Was Much Better Off Before The Income Tax“, Congress should close the doors of the IRS and throw away the key. It is a deeply, deeply corrupt government agency that has gotten wildly out of control.
After what you have just read above, is there anyone out there that would disagree with me?
The United States is a deeply unhappy place. We are a nation that is absolutely consumed by fear, stress, anger and depression. It isn’t just our economy that is falling apart – the very fabric of society is starting to come apart at the seams and it is because of what is happening to us on the inside. The facts and statistics that I am going to share with you in this article are quite startling. They are clear evidence that America is a nation that is an advanced state of decline. We are overwhelmed by fear, stress and anxiety, and much of the time the ways that we choose to deal with those emotions lead to some very self-destructive behaviors. Americans have experienced a standard of living far beyond the wildest dreams of most societies throughout human history, and yet we are an absolutely miserable people. Why is this? Why is America #1 in so many negative categories? Why are we constantly looking for ways to escape the pain of our own lives? Why are our families falling apart? There is vast material wealth all around us. So why can’t we be happy?
Just look around you. Are most of the people around you teeming with happiness and joy? Sadly, the truth is that most Americans are terribly stressed out. Yeah, many of them may be able to manage to come up with a smile when they greet you, but most of the time they are consumed by internal struggles that are eating away at them like cancer.
So why is this happening? Is modern life structured in a way that is fundamentally unhealthy?
Below I have posted a short excerpt from a message that one of Charles Hugh Smith’s readers named Kenneth Daigle recently sent to him. I think that it does a good job of describing the incredible stress that many people contend with on a daily basis…
Think about how our culture is now structured for the average adult: STRESS, everywhere you look–commuting in horrible traffic, as you want to scream in frustration–money stress, to pay rent/house note, tuition, utilities, gas, insurances, vacations, cable bill, rising food costs, and on and on and on–stress from family problems, divorce, delinquency, drugs, crime, infidelity, keeping up with the Jones, etc.
People have too high an expectation of what they should have out of life, and get overly stressed over it all. How does all of this manifest itself? A prescription drug culture (Zoloft, Xanax, etc.) that tricks people into thinking a pill will knock back the stress, when these drugs, in my opinion, only make things worse.
I am hearing more and more that people just want to drop out from it all, as they are reaching a breaking point, and have decided less income and dependency on entitlements will reduce their stress, and is not so humiliating, so giving up working becomes more acceptable, to KEEP ONE’S SANITY.
I know I am correct, from the feedback I hear every day, and the financial media does not see this like I hear it every day. People don’t want to admit that they are too weak to deal with stress, so the financial pundits are not aware of this critical factor because they don’t talk to Joe Sixpack.
Most Americans live lives of “quiet desperation” that are punctuated by moments of great crisis. We spend our prime years working for others (making them rich) in order to pay off debts that we have foolishly accumulated (thus making the banks even wealthier). When most Americans reach the end of their lives, they look back and wonder what they actually accomplished.
James Altucher published an incredible article the other day entitled “Why Do People Hate Their Jobs?” It did a great job of describing what life is like for the modern worker in America. The following are a few of the reasons that he says people tend to hate their jobs…
-Jobs are modern-day slavery. We are paid just enough to live and not more. You are punished if you ask for more.
-We are often verbally abused on the job and we take it because we think it’s normal that people would yell at us.
-The government gets up to 50% of your paycheck and then 10-20% of that goes to kill people on other parts of the planet, including our own children.
-From 7am to 7pm you are either A) going to work, B) at work, or C) coming back from work. Hence, the times when you can be most creative are garbage-compacted into your cubicle.
-When you are paranoid at a job, you are probably correct. THEY are, in fact, talking about you and backstabbing you right now.
-You realize that all the dollars you spent on degrees to get you a job that will make you happy were completely wasted. You were scammed but you can’t let the next generation know how stupid you were so now you become part of perpetuating the scam.
-Your spouse is tired of hearing about your job after six months. And you couldn’t care less about hers. Ten years later you wake up next to a total stranger. 40 years later you die next to one.
-When you were a kid you liked to draw, and read, and run, and laugh, and play, and imagine a magical world. You’re never going to do any of that again.
-Over time everyone is getting fired and being replaced by younger, cheaper, more temporary, more robotic, versions of you. You see this but are afraid to do anything about it.
And of course when we get home from work there is even more stress. In America today, we are witnessing a breakdown of the family unlike anything we have ever seen before. The United States leads the world in divorce and in single person households. We are having an increasingly difficult time relating to one another, and many of us drown our sorrows in our addictions. We are addicted to pills, to alcohol, to food, to entertainment, to sex, to gambling, to shopping and to anything else that will make us feel good and forget about our problems for a while.
The following is a collection of facts and statistics that prove that America is being absolutely consumed by fear, stress, anger and depression…
-Suicide has now actually surpassed car accidents as the number one cause of “injury death” in the United States.
-More U.S. soldiers killed themselves than were killed in combat last year.
-As I mentioned in another article, Americans will spend more than 280 billion dollars on prescription drugs during 2013.
–Nearly one out of every four women in the United States are taking antidepressants.
-The percentage of women taking antidepressants in the U.S. is higher than in any other country in the world.
-In 2010, the average teen in the U.S. was taking 1.2 central nervous system drugs. Those are the kinds of drugs which treat conditions such as ADHD and depression.
-Children in the United States are three times more likely to be prescribed antidepressants as children in Europe are.
-According to a recent article by David Kupelian, “one-third of the nation’s employees suffer chronic debilitating stress, and more than half of all ‘millennials’ (18 to 33 year olds) experience a level of stress that keeps them awake at night, including large numbers diagnosed with depression or anxiety disorder.”
-Tens of millions of Americans use alcohol and drugs to numb the pain that they are experiencing. In the United States today, there are about 28 million Americans with a drinking problem and about 22 million Americans use illegal drugs.
-More people have been diagnosed with mental disorders in America than anywhere else on earth.
-There are also tens of millions of Americans that try to deal with anxiety and stress by eating. Of all the major industrialized nations, America is the most obese. Mexico is #2.
-Back in 1962, only 13 percent of all Americans were obese. Today, approximately 36 percent of all Americans are obese.
-Many people try to escape from the pain of reality by getting lost in entertainment. Incredibly, the United States is tied with the UK for the highest average number of hours spent watching television each week.
-The United States has the highest divorce rate in the world by a good margin.
-The United States has the highest percentage of one person households on the entire planet.
-According to the Pew Research Center, only 51 percent of all American adults are currently married. Back in 1960, 72 percent of all adults in the United States were married.
-At this point, approximately one out of every three children in America lives in a home without a father.
-For women under the age of 30 living in the United States today, more than half of all babies are being born out of wedlock.
-The United States has the highest child abuse death rate in the developed world.
-In the United States today, it is estimated that one out of every four girls is sexually abused before they become adults.
-The United States has the highest teen pregnancy rate in the world by a very wide margin.
-The United States produces more pornography than any other nation in the world.
-If you can believe it, there are 20 million new STD infections in the United States every single year.
-The U.S. has the highest STD infection rate in the entire industrialized world.
-It is estimated that about one out of every six Americans between the ages of 14 and 49 have genital herpes.
-Sadly, one out of every four teen girls in the U.S. has at least one sexually transmitted disease.
-The United States leads the world in eating disorder deaths.
-Nobody in the world gets more plastic surgery done than Americans do.
-Americans spend more time sitting in traffic than anyone else in the world.
-America has the highest incarceration rate and the largest total prison population in the entire world by a very wide margin.
Fear is one of the primary things that motivates the American people, and that is a very powerful weapon that can be used against us.
As I wrote about yesterday, those that commit acts of terror want to get attention and they want to create fear.
And that is exactly what the Boston Marathon bombing accomplished. It captured the attention of the nation for days on end, and it absolutely paralyzed the entire Boston area with fear.
When we allow ourselves to be terrorized, we actually encourage more terror attacks. When we give terrorists what they want, it just encourages more psychos to commit acts of terror. If you don’t believe me, just check out the following links that I found posted on The Drudge Report on Monday…
*”3 Alabama hospitals evacuated after bomb threats“*
*”Connecticut Courthouse Evacuated After Bomb Threat“*
*”South Hills Village Evacuated After Bomb Threat“*
*”Rock Island neighborhood evacuated after bomb threat“*
*”Bomb threat forces evacuation of Seabreeze office building“*
The appropriate response to a terror attack is to refuse to be terrorized. Yes, we should also work to expose and punish the individuals, organizations and governments that are behind terror. But we should also not let terror change how we live our lives, and we should definitely not allow terror to be used as an excuse to rip our liberties and freedoms away.
Sadly, as Ron Paul has detailed, some of our politicians are already calling for “tighter security” in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing…
Sadly, I expect this week’s tragic attacks in Boston to be used to justify new restrictions on liberty. Within 48 hours of the attack in Boston, at least one Congressman was calling for increased use of surveillance cameras to expand the government’s ability to monitor our actions, while another Senator called for a federal law mandating background checks before Americans can buy “explosive powder.”
I would not be surprised if the Transportation Security Administration uses this tragedy to claim new authority to “screen” Americans before they can attend sporting or other public events. The Boston attack may also be used as another justification for creating a National ID Card tied to a federal database with “biometric” information. The only thing that will stop them is if the American people rediscover the wisdom of Benjamin Franklin that you cannot achieve security by allowing government to take their liberties.
But no matter how much liberty and freedom we give up, we will never be 100% safe. Bad people are always going to do bad things, and unfortunately we are probably going to see some pretty nightmarish things in the years ahead as the world becomes even more unstable.
If we allow the bad guys to get us so frightened that we throw out the U.S. Constitution and abandon our liberties and our freedoms, then we are the ones who lose.
Yes, the years ahead are going to be tough. The economic collapse is going to accelerate greatly, there will be tremendous natural disasters, there will be war in the Middle East and there will be other problems that we cannot even conceive of right now. At the same time, the American people will continue to become even angrier and even more frustrated. According to a recent Pew Research survey, the percentage of Americans with a favorable view of the federal government is now at an all-time low. As the economy crumbles, there will likely be great civil unrest as people demand solutions. Unfortunately, our problems took decades to develop and they will not be solved overnight even if we did have good people in office.
So why am I saying all of this?
And why am I constantly warning about the coming economic collapse?
Is it because I want to create fear?
No, just the opposite of that.
I am a watchman on the wall.
In ancient times, a watchman would warn the people when the enemy was approaching.
When you receive the warning, there are a few different ways that you can respond to it…
#1 You can become consumed with fear and run away from the enemy. Unfortunately, cowards never get the victory in the end.
#2 You can dismiss the warning and pretend that the enemy is not approaching. But then when the enemy comes you will be completely unprepared.
#3 You can do everything possible to get prepared to face the enemy that is coming with strength and courage.
And that is how I would encourage all of you to approach the coming economic collapse and the other great problems that we will soon be experiencing as a nation.
Do not be afraid.
Instead, be strong and courageous and prepare well for the storms that are coming.