When Donald Trump originally announced that he was going to run for president, he said that his ideal choice for a running mate was Oprah Winfrey, but now he may be actually running against her in the 2020 election. A recent episode of The David Rubenstein Show that featured an interview with Oprah Winfrey is creating a tremendous amount of buzz that Oprah Winfrey may throw her hat into the ring during the next election cycle. This particular episode was taped back on December 12th, but it didn’t actually get aired on Bloomberg TV until last Tuesday. You can see the portion of the interview in which Oprah is asked about her presidential aspirations on YouTube right here, and as you can see, she definitely sounds like someone that is very seriously thinking about running…
Prior to this last election, Oprah says that she never even considered the possibility of running, but Donald Trump’s victory in November made her realize that maybe she could do it too. The following summary of the most important moments from the interview comes from Charisma News…
“I actually never thought—never considered the question, even the possibility,” she said while smiling coyly. “I just thought, ‘Oh. Oh.'”
“Because it’s clear you don’t need government experience to be elected president of the United States,” Rubenstein interjected.
“That’s what I thought,” she replied. “I thought, Oh gee, I don’t have the experience, I don’t know enough. Now I’m thinking, Oh. Oh.”
When Oprah made these statements, she had to know that they would create a firestorm.
In a tweet sent Wednesday morning, the reclusive journalist who broke the Clinton-Monica Lewinsky scandal said such a race would be one for the ages.
“Trump vs Oprah would be the most epic race in American history. MAKE THIS HAPPEN…” Drudge tweeted to his nearly half a million followers.
And this is certainly not the first time that it has been suggested that Oprah should run for president. Just one week after the election, political activist Michael Moore mentioned her as a potential candidate…
“Democrats would be better off if they ran Oprah or Tom Hanks … why don’t we run beloved people?” Moore told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.”
“We have so many of them,” he said. “The Republicans do this — they run Reagan and the Terminator and other people.” It was a reference to former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, as well as former President Ronald Reagan.
“Why don’t we run somebody that the American people love and are really drawn to, and that are smart and have good politics and all that?” Moore said.
Needless to say, Oprah would make a horrible president. Her political views are ultra-liberal, and she has no practical political experience whatsoever.
However, if she did run she would definitely be the front-runner for the Democratic nomination. At the moment, Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren are considered to be the most likely opponents for Trump, and Oprah would almost certainly trounce either of them.
“I was in the audience that day and it was clearly a joke when she was playing with David because they have such a great rapport,” said Winfrey’s close pal and CBS This Morning co-host Gayle King early Thursday of a recent interview Oprah gave suggesting she was finally thinking of running for President. “But I also heard on the Oprah Winfrey show over the years you always have the right to change your mind but I would bet my first, second born and any unborn children to come, that ain’t never happening,” King emphatically added.
And hopefully it will not happen.
But the ironic thing is that the very first person that Donald Trump suggested as a potential running mate when he announced his candidacy in 2015 was Oprah Winfrey. The following comes from the New York Post…
Real estate mogul-turned-celebrity TV star Donald Trump already had an “Aha!” moment about his 2016 running mate.
After declaring his run for the White House Tuesday, Trump appeared on ABC and said Oprah Winfrey would complete his presidential dream ticket.
“I think Oprah would be great. I’d love to have Oprah,” Trump said. “I think we’d win easily, actually.”
I’ll bet you don’t remember that, do you?
And in his new book entitled “The Making of the President 2016“, Roger Stone reminds everyone that Trump actually floated the idea of Oprah as his running mate all the way back in 1999 during an interview with Larry King. The following is an excerpt from Roger Stone’s new book that was posted on Infowars…
Early in the interview, Trump dropped Bombshell Number One: “So I am going to form a presidential exploratory committee, I might as well announce that on your show, everyone else does, but I’ll be forming that and effective, I believe, tomorrow,” Trump told the crusty interviewer. “And we’ll see. I mean, we’re going to take a very good, strong look at it.”
And just minutes later, Larry went for it and asked him if he had a vice presidential candidate in mind. Trump hesitated briefly as if to ponder his answer and then stunned everyone including King – and no doubt Oprah herself. “Oprah. I love Oprah,” Trump said. “Oprah would always be my first choice. She’s a terrific woman. She is somebody that is very special. If she’d do it, she’d be fantastic. I mean, she’s popular, she’s brilliant, she’s a wonderful woman.” The following day the newspapers and TV news were filled with talk of Trump and Oprah.
I honestly don’t know what Trump was thinking, because Oprah Winfrey definitely does not belong in politics.
Even if Oprah does not run for president, Trump’s victory has a lot of other celebrities thinking that they could do the same thing that he did. Other big names that have been floated as potential candidates in 2020 include Mark Zuckerberg, Kanye West, Mark Cuban and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
As you can see, we have entered a strange new era in American politics, and there is no telling what craziness we may see during the next election cycle.
When the cost of living rises faster than paychecks do year after year, eventually that becomes a very big problem. For quite some time I have been writing about the shrinking middle class, and one of the biggest culprits is inflation. Every month, tens of millions of American families struggle to pay the bills, and most of them don’t even understand the economic forces that are putting so much pressure on them. The United States never had a persistent, ongoing problem with inflation until the debt-based Federal Reserve system was introduced in 1913. Since that time, we have had non-stop inflation and the U.S. dollar has lost more than 98 percent of its value. If our paychecks were increasing faster than inflation this wouldn’t be a problem, but in recent years this has definitely not been the case for most Americans.
And unfortunately inflation is starting to accelerate once again. In fact, it is being reported that inflation rose at the fastest pace in four years in January…
The prices Americans pay for goods and services surged in January by the largest amount in four years, mostly reflecting a rebound in the cost of gasoline that’s taking a bigger chunk out of household incomes.
Meanwhile, our incomes have been incredibly stagnant. In fact, we just learned that median household income did not go up at all during 2016.
This is one of the reasons why we consistently see families fall out of the middle class month after month. Even if you keep the same job year after year, your standard of living is going to steadily go down unless your pay goes up.
The things that we all spend money on month after month just keep going up in price. I am talking about food, housing, medical care and other essentials. If there is one thing that we can always count on, it is the fact that things are going to cost more tomorrow than they do today.
Let’s talk about food for a moment. Whenever I go to the grocery store, I am almost always shocked. I still remember a time when I could get everything that I needed for an entire week for about 20 bucks, but these days you can’t even fill up one cart for 100 dollars.
4. Shelf stable fish and seafood
-Price increase: 45.0%
5. Prescription drugs
-Price increase: 43.5%
6. Rice, pasta, cornmeal
-Price increase: 40.3%
-Price increase: 38.9%
-Price increase: 38.4%
9. Miscellaneous poultry including turkey
-Price increase: 37.0%
-Price increase: 36.6%
-Price increase: 35.8%
12. Canned vegetables
-Price increase: 35.3%
13. Salt and other seasonings and spices
-Price increase: 34.0%
14. Miscellaneous fats and oils including peanut butter
-Price increase: 34.0%
15. Miscellaneous processed fruits and vegetables including dried
-Price increase: 33.7%
16. Bacon and related products
-Price increase: 33.2%
17. Fresh whole chicken
-Price increase: 32.5%
18. Cakes, cupcakes, and cookies
-Price increase: 32.1%
19. Flour and prepared flour mixes
-Price increase: 32.1%
20. Canned fruits
-Price increase: 32.0%
And thanks to out of control government spending and reckless manipulation by the Federal Reserve, we have come to a time when inflation is starting to accelerate once again.
According to John Williams of shadowstats.com, if honest numbers were being used the government would be telling us that inflation is rising at a 6 percent annual rate for the first time since 2011.
At the same time, evidence is mounting that U.S. consumers are simply tapped out. Previously, I have explained that interest rates are going up, consumer bankruptcies are rising, and lending standards for consumers are really tightening up.
All of those are things we would expect to see if a new recession was starting.
And today we learned that the number of Americans refinancing their homes has fallen to the lowest level that we have seen since 2009…
A slowdown in refinancing pulled down the total mortgage application volume last week as changes to certain government-loan programs made refinances less lucrative. Refinance volume now stands at its lowest level since June 2009.
If you will remember, we also saw a slowdown in mortgage refinancing just before the great financial crisis of 2008.
For mortgage applications overall, they are now down almost 31 percent from where they were a year ago…
Total mortgage application volume fell 3.7 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis last week from the previous week, and are nearly 31 percent lower than the same week a year ago, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.
A 31 percent decline in a single year is catastrophic.
If this continues, it won’t be too long before everyone is talking about a new housing crash.
Federal Housing Administration mortgage delinquencies jumped in the fourth quarter for the first time since 2006, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported Wednesday. The FHA insures low down-payment loans and is a favorite among first-time homebuyers.
The seasonally adjusted FHA delinquency rate increased to 9.02 percent in the fourth quarter from 8.3 percent in the third quarter, MBA data show.
So many things are happening right now that we have not seen happen in many years, but most people are choosing not to see the red flags that are popping up all around us.
None of our long-term economic problems have been fixed. And even though Donald Trump won the election, the truth is that our economy is in the worst shape it has been since the last financial crisis. I continue to encourage all of my readers to get prepared for very hard times, but just like back in 2007 we are experiencing a wave of tremendous optimism right now and most people think that the party can somehow continue indefinitely.
Whether Donald Trump won the election or not, the truth is that a major economic downturn was going to come anyway. You see, Donald Trump is not some magician that can just wave a wand and somehow make the consequences of decades of very foolish decisions instantly disappear.
We have been on the biggest debt binge in human history, and there is going to be a great price to pay when this immense debt bubble finally bursts.
Unfortunately, most people are not going to acknowledge the truth until it is too late.
A new recession is coming, and Donald Trump needs it to begin sooner rather than later. As I explained last week, most American voters tend to care about their pocketbooks more than anything else. If the next recession were to officially start during the first quarter of 2017, it would be very easy for Trump to blame it on Obama, and then he could portray himself as the one that pulled the U.S. economy out of recession in time for the 2020 election. But if the next recession does not begin until 2018 or 2019, everybody is going to blame it on Trump even if it is not his fault. In politics, who gets the blame for whatever goes wrong is often the most important thing, and if Trump wants to avoid blame for the next recession he needs for it to start as quickly as possible.
For most of 2016, the mainstream media was warning that a new recession was probably coming no matter who won the election. For one example, just check out this Bloomberg article.
And for once, the mainstream media was precisely correct. Barack Obama left us with an enormous economic mess, and it would take an economic miracle of unprecedented proportions to keep the U.S. economy from going into a recession at this point.
During the Obama years, the U.S. went on a debt binge unlike anything we have ever seen before.
The U.S. national debt almost doubled. During Obama’s time in the White House, it increased from 10.6 trillion dollars to nearly 20 trillion dollars, and that means that over 9 trillion dollars of future consumption was brought into the present. That incredible boost to spending would have shot U.S. economic growth into the stratosphere during normal times, but because we were struggling so much all we got out of it was eight years of economic stagnation.
And remember, Obama also had the benefit of doctored economic numbers. John Williams of shadowstats.com tracks what the figures would look like if honest numbers were being used, and according to his calculations the U.S. economy has actually continually been in a recession since 2005.
In addition to government debt, other forms of debt are way out of control as well. The total amount of consumer debt in the United States has now hit 12 trillion dollars, and corporate debt has approximately doubled since the last recession.
When levels of debt grow much, much faster than the overall economy, it is inevitable that a crash will come.
If you look back throughout history, I don’t know if you can find a single example where debt has grown this quickly and a crash has not happened afterwards.
By some miracle if we are able to avoid a major economic downturn this time, we will literally be defying the laws of economics.
Tyler Moore’s late-December drive to Louisville, Ky., was one of desperation. He was headed four hours west on Interstate 64 to interview for a job. Even if he landed the position, filling his gas tank had left him with $8 to his name. He would have to sleep at a friend’s place until he could earn enough to pay rent.
The 23-year-old had run out of options. He’d applied for dozens of jobs within an hour and a half of his hometown of Lovely, once a coal-mining stronghold. Instead of opportunities, he had found waiting lists.
“Minimum-wage jobs, fast-food restaurants, Wal-Mart, anything like that, a lot of them has already been took,” he says in an Appalachian drawl, explaining that the backlog just to interview was as long as a year. “There are no jobs.”
If the U.S. economy is in “good shape”, then why can’t people like Moore find a job?
Yes, there is a tremendous amount of optimism in the financial markets right now and the stock market has been soaring.
But the exact same things were true in 2007, and we remember how that turned out.
There is no possible way that the S&P 500 can continue to generate an 18% annual return without corresponding economic growth. The following comes from David Stockman…
Altogether the S&P 500 now stands at 3.4X its post-crisis low, having generated an 18% annual return (including dividends) for nearly eight years running.
To be sure, in an honest free market that very fact would be a flashing red light, warning that exceptionally high gains over an extended period necessitate a regression to the mean in the period ahead.
A lot of people get caught up in trying to predict exactly when the stock market will crash, but what everybody should be able to agree on is that it will crash.
There is no possible way that stocks can stay at such ridiculously overpriced levels indefinitely.
Throughout history, stocks have always moved back in the direction of the long-term averages, and this time will be no exception.
And just like last time, the beginning of a new recession will likely be accompanied by a major financial correction.
In recent articles, I have been highlighting some of the reasons why it appears that a new recession is imminent…
All of this is not necessarily bad news for Trump.
A horrible recession started during the early years of Ronald Reagan’s presidency, but the U.S. economy turned around later in his first term and that momentum helped propel him to an easy victory in 1984.
Similarly, Trump could actually take advantage of the coming economic downturn as long as he is able to pin all of the blame for it on the previous administration.
If there is one thing that is true about U.S. voters, it is the fact that they tend to care about their own economic well-being more than anything else.
The latest Fox News Poll also asks, what defines the American Dream today? At the top, according to the national survey released Wednesday, is “retiring comfortably.” Some 88 percent feel that is extremely or very important to realizing the dream.
Next, 76 percent say “having a successful career” is important. That’s followed by “raising a family” (74 percent) and “making a valuable contribution” to their community (74 percent).
“Owning a home” is seen as a big part of achieving the dream for nearly 7 in 10 (69 percent). About 6 in 10 say “graduating college” (61 percent) and “being better off” than their parents (57 percent).
To most Americans, being “successful in life” comes down to how much money they have.
That should not be true, but it is.
And this is ultimately what Trump will be judged on.
If the economy is improving by 2020, voters will tend to evaluate him favorably. But if the economy is faltering during the next election season, it will be more difficult for him to get a second term.
So what Trump and all those that support Trump should want is for the coming recession to begin and end as quickly as possible.
However, there is also the possibility that the next recession may be a particularly bad one. Because we are in the midst of the biggest debt bubble in human history, any major downturn could ultimately spiral completely out of control. In other words, we may be facing the kind of crisis from which we never quite recover.
…get prepared because we’re going to have the worst economic problems we’ve had in your lifetime or my lifetime and when that happens a lot of people are going to disappear.
In 2008 Bear Stearns disappeared, Bear Stearns had been around over 90 years. Lehman Brothers disappeared. Lehman Brothers had been around over 150 years. A long, long time, a long glorious history they’ve been through wars, depression, civil war they’ve been through everything and yet they disappear.
So the next time around it’s going to be worse than anything we’ve seen and a lot of institutions, people, companies even countries, certainly governments and maybe even countries are going to disappear. I hope you get very worried.
when you start having bear markets as you I’m sure well know one bad thing happens and another bad thing happens and these things snowball just like in bull markets good news comes out then more good news comes out the next thing you know you’re five or six or seven years into a bull market.
Well bear markets do the same thing and so we have a lot of bad news on the horizon. I haven’t even gotten to war. I haven’t even gotten to trade war or anything like that but you know things do go wrong.
If it is as bad as Rogers is suggesting, it wouldn’t be too long before conditions in America would begin to resemble those portrayed in my novel.
Let’s hope that does not turn out to be the case.
Let’s hope that the next recession begins and ends as quickly as possible and that the U.S. economy is on a solid upswing by 2020.
And if you are a Trump supporter, don’t be too dismayed if the U.S. economy takes a major downturn in 2017. As I discussed above, it could actually be just the thing that Trump needs to set the stage for another election victory in 2020.
Barack Obama actually did it. Despite enormous pressure from the government of Israel, President-elect Donald Trump and members of his own party in Congress, Barack Obama decided to stick a knife in Israel’s back at the United Nations. On Friday, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution that calls for a “two-State solution based on the 1967 lines” and that shockingly states that “the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity”. This resolution was approved by a vote of 14 to 0, and the U.S. abstained from voting. But essentially the outcome of the vote was going to be determined by Barack Obama. For decades, the U.S. veto power on the UN Security Council has shielded Israel from these types of resolutions, but this time around Obama decided to betray Israel by allowing this vote to pass. Needless to say, this vote is going to have enormous implications for Israel, for the United States, and for the entire globe.
Just five days ago, I published one of the most important articles that I have ever written. It was entitled “The Real Reason Why America Has Been Given A Reprieve“, and in that article I explained why the U.S. has experienced a season of blessing since blocking a potential UN Security Council resolution that France wanted to introduce that would have formally divided the land of Israel in September 2015. If you have not read that article yet, please go back and read it, because it will be of great aid in understanding why this new UN Security Council resolution is so incredibly important.
As I stated in that previous article, it is my contention that the reason why things have gone so well for the United States over the past 16 months is because Barack Obama made the right decision in September 2015 and chose to protect the land of Israel from being divided.
But now that Barack Obama has reversed course and has greatly betrayed Israel, is America’s reprieve now over?
For months, I have been warning that Barack Obama may do something like this at the UN during the waning days of his presidency. You can see some examples of my previous warnings here, here and here. And I have also been warning about the severe consequences that the United States would face if our government did ultimately decide to betray Israel.
This UN Security Council resolution that was passed on Friday was originally going to be put up for a vote on Thursday. But after enormous pressure from the government of Israel and from President-elect Donald Trump, Egypt decided to withdraw the resolution that they had proposed at the last moment.
When that happened, it looked like everything was going to be okay.
However, temporary members of the UN Security Council New Zealand, Malaysia, Venezuela and Senegal immediately objected to Egypt’s move, and they indicated that they would submit the resolution for a vote if Egypt would not.
So on Friday a vote took place, and Obama did what many had been fearing. The following comes from the New York Times…
Defying extraordinary pressure from President-elect Donald J. Trump and furious lobbying by Israel, the Obama administration on Friday allowed the United Nations Security Council to adopt a contentious resolution that condemned Israeli settlement construction.
The administration’s decision not to veto the measure broke a longstanding American tradition of serving as Israel’s sturdiest diplomatic shield.
President-elect Trump publicly said that he would have vetoed this resolution, but now it will be virtually impossible for him to reverse it.
Another vote of the UN Security Council would be necessary to reverse it, and the votes simply would not be there. And even if they were, either Russia or China could use the veto power that they possess to block it.
So this resolution is going to be permanent, and it is considered to be legally binding on both Israel and the Palestinians.
It seems fitting that Barack Obama is vacationing in Hawaii while all of this drama is playing out. Perhaps while he is on the golf course he is enjoying a good laugh about how he really stuck it to his long-time nemesis Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Needless to say, the Israeli government is absolutely furious that Obama has betrayed them. The following comes from U.S. News & World Report…
An Israeli official on Friday accused President Barack Obama of colluding with the Palestinians in a “shameful move against Israel at the U.N.” after learning the White House did not intend to veto a Security Council resolution condemning settlement construction in the West Bank and east Jerusalem the day before.
“President Obama and Secretary Kerry are behind this shameful move against Israel at the U.N.,” the official said. “The U.S administration secretly cooked up with the Palestinians an extreme anti-Israeli resolution behind Israel’s back which would be a tail wind for terror and boycotts and effectively make the Western Wall occupied Palestinian territory,” he said calling it “an abandonment of Israel which breaks decades of US policy of protecting Israel at the UN.”
You can read the full text of the UN Security Council resolution that was just adopted right here. These are some of the highlights that I pulled out of the document…
-It refers to Israel as “the occupying Power”
-It calls for a “two-State solution based on the 1967 lines”
-It speaks of a Middle East “where two democratic States, Israel and Palestine, live side by side in peace within secure and recognized borders”
-It demands “the dismantlement of all settlement outposts erected since March 2001″
-To me, the following is the key paragraph in the entire resolution…
Reaffirms that the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace
-It stipulates “that Israel immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem”
-It states that the UN Security Council “will not recognize any changes to the 4 June 1967 lines, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties through negotiations”
-It expresses a belief that “the cessation of all Israeli settlement activities is essential for salvaging the two-State solution, and calls for affirmative steps to be taken immediately to reverse the negative trends on the ground that are imperilling the two-State solution”
-It calls on all UN member states “to distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967″
This is the most anti-Israel resolution that the UN Security Council has ever passed, and it never would have happened without Barack Obama’s approval.
The Israeli government and the Obama administration have had a very strained relationship for years, and this moment represents the culmination of tensions that have been building for a very long time.
But does this resolution actually represent the “division of the land of Israel” at the United Nations that so many have been waiting for?
I don’t know if I have a definitive answer to that question for you today. The language of this resolution does not directly give formal recognition to a Palestinian state, but it does speak of a “democratic state” of “Palestine”, and it does speak of “Palestinian territory”. It calls Israel “the occupying Power”, and it does say that all Israeli settlements in the West Bank and in East Jerusalem are illegal. And on top of everything else, the UN Security Council clearly stated that it “will not recognize any changes to the 4 June 1967 lines, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties through negotiations”.
So it seems clear that the UN Security Council has affirmed three major points that we have been watching for…
#1 A Palestinian state exists.
#2 The 1967 ceasefire lines represent the borders between the state of Israel and Palestine, but future negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians could alter these borders.
#3 East Jerusalem belongs to the Palestinians. This resolution does not refer to East Jerusalem as the future capital of Palestine, but that is obviously what is intended.
But perhaps another resolution will come later which will give official UN Security Council recognition to a Palestinian state.
It is my contention that this betrayal of Israel at the United Nations by Barack Obama represents a major turning point. I believe that America’s reprieve is now over, and that many of the things that people have been anticipating since September 2015 will start happening.
Barack Obama just made the worst decision of his entire presidency, and from this point forward nothing is ever going to be the same again.
This is one of the most important articles that I have written in a long time. The strange events of the past year and a half have befuddled and mystified many, and in this article I am going to explain why America has been given a temporary reprieve. If you go back to June 2015, I warned my readers that major financial problems were imminent, and sure enough in August 2015 we witnessed the greatest financial shaking that we had seen in seven years. I remember getting emails from my readers applauding me for absolutely nailing that prediction, but we were all concerned about what was coming next in September. If you will recall, there was more buzz about September 2015 than any other month that I can ever recall. That was the month of the last blood moon, the end of the Shemitah year and the Pope’s visit to the United States among other things. There was a tremendous amount of anticipation that the crisis that had begun in August 2015 would greatly accelerate in September and lead us into a period of cataclysmic global chaos. But that did not happen. Instead, U.S. financial markets calmed down and eventually recovered. There was a shift in the political realm as well, as the second half of 2015 marked the rise of Donald Trump. During those key months, Trump miraculously built a commanding lead in the race for the Republican nomination that none of his opponents were ever able to overcome. And now that Trump has won the election, an economic surge appears to be happening that is unlike anything that we have witnessed in many years.
Compared to much of the rest of the world, America appears to have been blessed over the past year and a half. Our financial markets have performed extremely well, the U.S. dollar is the strongest that is has been in over a decade, and jobs are coming back to the United States.
None of this was supposed to happen. In fact, our financial system was in such bad shape a year and a half ago that it was being projected that the U.S. would be on the bleeding edge of the next crisis. But instead here we stand safe, prosperous and seemingly secure.
How in the would can we explain this?
What I am about to share with you I have previously shared on national television down at Morningside, but it has been brought to my attention that I have never shared this with my readers on The Economic Collapse Blog. I apologize for this, because the past year and a half doesn’t make any sense until you understand these things.
When people look back at September 2015, they always forget the most critical event. In addition to everything else that was going on that month, France had a UN Security Council resolution all ready to go that would have permanently divided the land of Israel, that would have given formal UN Security Council recognition to a Palestinian state for the very first time, and that would have given East Jerusalem to the Palestinians as the capital of their new state.
The rest of the UN Security Council was ready to go along with the French resolution, but there was just one country standing in the way.
The United States has veto power on the UN Security Council, and so the Obama administration had the power to potentially block the resolution. After carefully considering the matter, the Obama administration decided that it was not the time for such a resolution, and so France never submitted it for a vote.
Just about everything else that Barack Obama did throughout his entire presidency was bad, but in this instance he got something completely right. The decision whether or not to divide the land of Israel was in his hands, and he made the right call.
Once this decision was made, it was almost as if someone hit a “pause button”. None of the bad things that people were forecasting ending up happening, and since that decision America has been blessed compared to the rest of the world.
And this is perfectly consistent with what God said that He would do. Starting in Genesis 12 and continuing all throughout the Scriptures, God promises to bless those that bless Israel and to curse those that curse Israel.
In this case, Barack Obama blessed Israel by preventing the UN Security Council from dividing the land, and so we were blessed as a result.
But of course there have been many other instances over the past several decades when we have been cursed as a nation for attempting to take steps toward the division of the land of Israel. One of the most notable instances took place in 1991 when George H. W. Bush got the Israelis and the Palestinians together for the very first time to discuss the dividing of the land of Israel into two states…
At that conference, the New York Times reported that Bush told Israel that “territorial compromise is essential for peace”. Needless to say, this upset a lot of people…
At the exact same time that conference was going on, the “Perfect Storm” was raging in the North Atlantic. Three major storms merged together, and instead of canceling one another out, they formed the kind of storm that is normally only seen once in a lifetime. If you will remember, Hollywood made a big blockbuster with George Clooney that was based on this storm. This gigantic storm went 1000 miles the wrong direction and slammed directly into the home of George H. W. Bush while he was at the Madrid conference talking about the need to divide the land of Israel…
Another very notable example of this phenomenon came in 2005. At that time, George W. Bush (the son of George H. W. Bush) had convinced Israel that it should pull all of the settlers out of Gaza and turn it entirely over to the Palestinians. According to the New York Times, the last of the settlers was evacuated on August 23, 2005…
On that exact same day, a little storm that came to be known as Hurricane Katrina formed over the Bahamas. It shocked forecasters by turning directly toward New Orleans, and it ultimately became the costliest natural disaster in all of U.S. history up until that time.
There are dozens more examples like this, and men like John McTernan, William Koenig and David Brennan have done a great job documenting them.
Today, 137 nations have already recognized a Palestinian state. The holdouts are mostly in North America and Europe…
France and most of the rest of Europe have been eager and ready to recognize a Palestinian state for quite a while now, but they don’t really want to move forward without the United States.
And of course they can’t officially do anything at the UN Security Council without U.S. approval.
Barack Obama had been hoping to achieve something through direct negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians, but those totally broke down and there is no hope that there will be any new negotiations any time soon.
So Barack Obama knows that his only shot at “leaving a legacy” in the Middle East is at the United Nations, and earlier this year he said that a UN Security Council resolution that would recognize a Palestinian state was “on the table” for the very first time…
At that time he did not indicate which way that he would go, and although there have been rumblings that something might happen, he has not taken any action yet.
But now time is running out for Obama, because his term is scheduled to end on January 20th. The advocates of a “two state solution” are becoming increasingly desperate, because they know that Donald Trump has already promised not to support a UN Security Council resolution that would divide the land of Israel. So they know that if something is going to be done, it has got to be done now.
A UN Security Council resolution would be legally binding on both the Israelis and the Palestinians, and it would be something that Donald Trump would not be able to undo. Another vote of the UN Security Council would be required to revoke a resolution once it has been passed, and the votes would not be there to do that.
So the next month is absolutely critical. The UN Security Council still has time to take action while Obama is still in office, and we know that such a move is actively being considered. For much, much more on this, please see the following articles that I have recently authored…
If we can get to January 20th and the land of Israel has not been divided by the UN Security Council and Donald Trump successfully takes office, perhaps our reprieve will be extended for a while.
But if Barack Obama very foolishly allows the land of Israel to be divided at the UN Security Council before January 20th, the “pause button” will be unpaused, our blessing will be turned into a curse, and all hell will break loose in America.
Optimism about the future of the U.S. economy has not been this strong since Barack Obama’s first presidential election victory in 2008. Donald Trump promised us an economic resurgence, and what is not to like so far? As I discussed earlier this week, stocks are soaring, businesses are already announcing that they are bringing jobs back to the United States, and the U.S. dollar has been lifted to levels that we haven’t seen in many years. Many are referring to this post-election surge as “Trumphoria”, and I think that is quite appropriate. Personally, I couldn’t imagine financial markets behaving this way if Hillary Clinton had won the election. Right now tens of millions of Americans are feeling deeply optimistic about the future for the first time in a very long time, and this is clearly reflected in the results of the most recent CNBC All-America Economic Survey…
The CNBC All-America Economic Survey for the fourth quarter found that the percentage of Americans who believe the economy will get better in the next year jumped an unprecedented 17 points to 42 percent, compared with before the election. It’s the highest level since President Barack Obama was first elected in 2008.
The surge was powered by Republicans and independents reversing their outlooks. Republicans swung from deeply pessimistic, with just 15 percent saying the economy would improve in the next year, to strongly optimistic, with 74 percent believing in an economic upswing. Optimism among independents doubled but it fell by more than half for Democrats. Just 16 percent think the economy will improve.
It is funny how our political perspectives so greatly shape our view of the future. Because Trump won, Democrats now have an extremely dismal opinion of where the economy is heading, while Republicans suddenly believe that happy days are here again.
Of course the truth is that the president has far less power to influence the economy than the Federal Reserve does, and so most Americans greatly overestimate what a president can do to alter our economic trajectory.
But for now most Americans (excluding Democrats) are feeling really good about where things are headed. In fact, we just learned that the University of Michigan consumer confidence survey has soared to the highest level that we have seen since 2005.
And of course the financial markets continued to roll onward and upward on Friday. The Dow was up another 142 points, and it is now less than 250 points away from the magic number of 20,000.
I never thought that we would actually get to 20,000, but thanks to “Trumphoria” we may actually get there before the wheels start coming off.
This post-election run has really been unprecedented. The following comes from CNBC…
All major indexes have been hitting record highs since the election. In fact, the Dow has notched 14 record closes since then and gains in 20 of the past 24 sessions.
The Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq also did something they haven’t done in more than five years: all three rose each day of this trading week. The last time all three rose every day during the same trading week was September 2011.
Wouldn’t it be great if every month during Trump’s presidency was like the last 30 days?
Trump promised that we would start winning so much that we would actually start getting tired of winning, and so far we are off to a tremendous start.
The shares of Wells Fargo, the most hated bank in America these days, soared 28% over the past 30 days, Citigroup 25%, JP Morgan 26%, Goldman Sachs, which is successfully placing its people inside the Trump administration, 37%.
But is this momentum in the financial markets sustainable?
Of course not.
There are signs of emerging economic trouble all around us. For instance, Sears just announced that it lost 748 million dollars last quarter and that it plans to liquidate even more stores.
How in the world do you lose three-quarters of a billion dollars in a single quarter? If you had employees in every store literally flushing dollar bills down the toilet all day I don’t think you could lose money that quickly.
And the moment that Trump takes office, he may immediately be faced with a major financial crisis in Europe which has been sparked by the meltdown of large Italian banks. The following comes from a Forbes article entitled “Italy’s Banking Crisis Is Nearly Upon Us“…
There is a high degree of probability (approaching 90%, I’d say) that Italy will experience a severe banking crisis in the next few quarters. Perhaps they can stave off the problem for a year, but something will have to be done about the banks.
Unfortunately, it looks like things are about to get very real for Italian banking giant Monte dei Paschi di Siena. According to Reuters, the European Central Bank has turned down their request for more time to raise needed capital…
The European Central Bank has rejected a request by Italy’s Monte dei Paschi di Siena (BMPS.MI) for more time to raise capital, a source said on Friday, a decision that piles pressure on the Rome government to bail out the lender.
Italy’s third-largest bank, and the world’s oldest, had asked for a three-week extension until January 20 to try to wrap up a privately funded, 5 billion euro ($5.3 billion) rescue plan in the face of fresh political uncertainty.
The ECB’s supervisory board turned down the request at a meeting on Friday on the grounds that a delay would be of little use and that it was time for Rome to step in, the source said.
But most Americans have no idea what is unfolding in Europe right now.
As Americans, we tend to be largely oblivious to what is going on in the rest of the world, and at this moment “Trumphoria” has gripped our nation.
It is certainly not wrong to celebrate the fact that we are getting Donald Trump instead of Hillary Clinton, but let us also not lose sight of the fact that we are likely to be facing some tremendous challenges very early in 2017.
Will the financial bubble that has been rapidly growing ever since Donald Trump won the election suddenly be popped once he takes office? Could it be possible that we are being set up for a horrible financial crash that he will ultimately be blamed for? Yesterday, I shared my thoughts on the incredible euphoria that we have seen since Donald Trump’s surprise victory on November 8th. The U.S. dollar has been surging, companies are announcing that they are bringing jobs back to the U.S., and we are witnessing perhaps the greatest post-election stock market rally in Wall Street history. In fact, the Dow, the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 all set new all-time record highs again on Thursday. What we are seeing is absolutely unprecedented, and many believe that the good times will continue to roll as we head into 2017.
What has been most surprising to me is how well the stocks of the big Wall Street banks have been doing. It is no secret that those banks poured a tremendous amount of money into Hillary Clinton’s campaign, and Donald Trump had some tough things to say about them leading up to election day.
So you wouldn’t think that it would be particularly good news for those banks that Trump won the election. However, we seem to be living in “Bizarro World” at the moment, and in so many ways things are happening exactly the opposite of what we would expect. Since Trump’s victory, all of the big banking stocks have been skyrocketing…
Financial stocks in particular have been on fire. Citigroup (C) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM) are up about 20% since Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton — and that makes them laggards!
Morgan Stanley (MS) has gained more than 25%. So has troubled Wells Fargo (WFC), despite the lingering fallout from its fake account scandal. Bank of America (BAC) is up more than 30%.
And so is Goldman Sachs (GS) — the former employer of both Treasury Secretary nominee Steven Mnuchin and Trump chief strategist Steve Bannon.
But are these stock prices justified by the fundamentals?
Of course not, but during times of euphoria the fundamentals never seem to matter much. Stocks were incredibly overvalued before the election, and now they are ridiculously overvalued.
Earlier today, a CNBC article pointed out that the cyclically-adjusted price to earnings ratio has only been higher than it is today at three points in our history…
“The cyclically adjusted P/E (CAPE), a valuation measure created by economist Robert Shiller now stands over 27 and has been exceeded only in the 1929 mania, the 2000 tech mania and the 2007 housing and stock bubble,” Alan Newman wrote in his Stock Market Crosscurrents letter at the end of November.
Newman said even if the market’s earnings increase by 10 percent under Trump’s policies “we’re still dealing with the same picture, overvaluation on a very grand scale.”
And of course a historic stock market crash immediately followed each of those three bubbles.
So are we being set up for a huge crash in early 2017?
Right now, the U.S. stock market is surging, with the Dow leaping toward 20,000, a number rooted in fiscal insanity and delusional expectations. There are no fundamentals that support a 20,000 Dow, but fundamentals have long since ceased to matter in a financial world hyperventilating on debt fumes while hallucinating about utopian economic models that will soon prove to generate fools instead of real wealth.
Today I’m going on the record with a prediction that I’ll offer with near absolute certainty: The rigged markets that now seem to defy gravity will be deliberately and destructively imploded under President Trump for all the obvious reasons. There will be financial chaos like we’ve never seen before: Investors leaping off tall buildings, banks declaring extended “holidays” that freeze transactions, and California pensioners slitting their wrists after they discover their promised pension funds were just vaporized by incompetent bureaucrats.
On the other hand, there are others that believe that Trump is just walking into a very bad situation and that a crash would be inevitable no matter who was president.
History tells us that there is no possible way that stock prices can stay at this irrational level indefinitely. But for now a wave of optimism is sweeping the nation, and many of those that are caught up in it will get seriously angry with you if you try to inject a dose of reality into the conversation.
But like I said yesterday, let’s hope that the optimists are correct. A survey that was just taken of 600 business executives found that 62 percent of them were optimistic about the U.S. economy over the next 12 months.
Incredibly, that number was sitting at just 38 percent the previous quarter.
For the moment, business leaders seem to be quite thrilled that we have a business executive in the White House.
Hopefully Donald Trump’s business experience will translate well to his new position. And it is certainly my hope that he is as successful as possible.
But even during the campaign Trump talked about how stocks were in a giant bubble, and the euphoria that we have seen since his election victory has just made that bubble even larger.
Throughout U.S. history, every giant financial bubble has always ended very badly, and this time around will not be any exception.
Trump may get the blame for it when it bursts, but the truth is that the conditions for the coming crisis have been building for a very, very long time.
Italian voters have embraced the global trend of rejecting the established world order, but the “no” vote on Sunday has plunged global financial markets into a state of utter chaos. The euro has already fallen to a 20 month low, Italian government bonds are poised for a tremendous crash, and futures markets are indicating that both U.S. and European stock markets will be way down when they open on Monday. It is being projected that Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s referendum on constitutional reforms will be defeated by about 20 percentage points when all the votes have been counted, and Renzi has already announced that he plans to resign as a result. When new elections are held it looks like comedian Beppe Grillo’s Five-Star movement will come to power, and the European establishment is extremely alarmed at that prospect because Grillo wants to take Italy out of the eurozone. In the long run Italy would be much better off without the euro, but in the short-term the only thing propping up Italy’s failing banking system is support from Europe. Without that support, the 8th largest economy on the entire planet would already be in the midst of an unprecedented financial crisis.
I know that I said a lot in that first paragraph, but it is imperative that people understand how serious this crisis could quickly become.
This “no” vote virtually guarantees a major banking crisis for Italy, and many analysts fear that it could trigger a broader financial crisis all across the rest of the continent as well.
Just look at what has already happened. All of the votes haven’t even been counted yet, and the euro is absolutely plummeting…
The euro dropped 1.3 percent to $1.0505, falling below its 1 1/2-year low of $1.0518 touched late last month, and testing its key support levels where the currency has managed to rebound in the past couple of years.
A break below its 2015 March low of $1.0457 would send the currency to its lowest level since early 2003, opening a way for a test of $1, or parity against the dollar, a scenario which many market players now see as a real possibility.
In early 2014, there were times when one euro was trading for almost $1.40. For a very long time I have been warning that the euro was eventually heading for parity with the U.S. dollar, and now we are almost there.
Meanwhile, Italian government bonds are going to continue to crash following this election result. This is going to make it even more difficult for the Italian government to borrow money, and that will only aggravate their ongoing financial troubles.
But the big problem in Italy is the banks. At this moment there are eight banks in imminent danger of collapsing, and virtually all of the rest of them are in some stage of trouble. The following comes from a Bloomberg article about the crisis that Italian banks are facing right at this moment…
They’re burdened with a mountain of bad loans. Their stocks have cratered. And they have to operate in an economy prone to recession and political upheaval.
Signs have been mounting for months that Italy’s weakest lenders, and in particular Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA, were sliding toward the precipice, threatening to reignite a broader crisis.
And we may get some news regarding the fate of Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena as early as Monday morning if what the Sydney Morning Herald is reporting is correct…
A last-gasp rescue for Monte dei Paschi di Siena, the world’s oldest surviving bank, has been thrown into doubt after reformist prime minister Matteo Renzi decisively lost a referendum on constitutional reform on Sunday.
MPS and advisers JPMorgan and Mediobanca will meet as early as Monday morning to decide whether to pull a plan to go ahead with a €5bn recapitalisation, the FT reports, citing people informed of the plan.
Senior bankers will decide whether to pursue their underwriting commitments or exercise their right to drop the transaction due to adverse market conditions, these people said. In the event the banks drop the capital plan, the Italian state is expected to nationalise the bank, say senior bankers.
If Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena fails, major banks all over Italy (and all over the rest of Europe) could start going down like dominoes.
So what were Italians voting on anyway?
Well, the truth is that the constitutional reforms that were proposed actually sound quite boring…
“The changes involve sharply reducing the size of one of the chambers of Parliament — the Senate — shifting its powers to the executive, and eliminating the Senate’s power to bring down government coalitions.
“The amendments also shift some powers now held by the regions to the central government, thereby reducing frequent and lengthy court battles between Rome and the regional governments.”
The reason why this vote was ultimately so important is because it became a referendum on Renzi’s administration. The fact that he announced in advance that he would resign if it did not get approved gave a tremendous amount of fuel to the opposition.
So now Beppe Grillo’s Five-Star Movement stands poised to come to power, and that could be very bad news for those that are hoping to hold the common currency together.
The following is how NPR recently summarized the main goals of the Five-Star Movement…
“It calls for a government-guaranteed, universal income, abolishing Italy’s fiscal commitments to the European Union and a referendum on Italy’s membership in the Euro — a prospect that could unravel the entire single currency Eurozone.”
If Italy chooses to leave the euro, it will probably mean the end of the common currency, and the continued existence of the entire European Union would be called into question.
So this vote on Sunday was huge. The Brexit had already done a tremendous amount of damage to the long-term prospects for the European Union, and now the crisis in Italy is sending political and financial shockwaves throughout the entire continent.
Over the next few weeks, keep a close eye on the euro and on Italian government bonds.
If they both continue to crash, that will be a sign that a major European financial crisis is now upon us.
And what happens in Europe definitely does not stay in Europe.
If Europe goes down, we are going to go down too.
At this point we still have almost a month left in 2016, but 2017 is already shaping up to be a very troubling year. As always, let us hope for the best, but let us also keep preparing for the worst.
If Donald Trump truly wants to fix the economy, he must shut down the Federal Reserve. If he just tries to patch up our current system, he will fail, because it has been fundamentally flawed from the very beginning. A little over a century ago, very powerful forces on Wall Street convinced Congress to completely restructure our financial system. An immensely powerful central bank known as the Federal Reserve was created, and the goal was to transform the U.S. dollar into a debt-based currency that would continuously be inflated and to create an endless debt spiral from which the federal government could never possibly escape. Sadly, they were successful on both counts. Since the creation of the Federal Reserve, the value of the U.S. dollar has declined by approximately 98 percent and our national debt has gotten more than 5000 times larger.
Americans tend to give most of the credit or most of the blame for the performance of the U.S. economy to our presidents, but the truth is that an unelected, unaccountable group of central bankers has far more power over our economy than anyone else does. The Federal Reserve has become known as “the fourth branch of government“, but unlike the other branches of government we are told that the Fed’s decisions are “above politics” because they are “too important”. Fed officials fiercely guard their “independence”, and they fiercely resist any “interference” from Congress, the President, or the American people.
Donald Trump can try to lower taxes and reduce regulations, but what he will be able to do to influence the economy pales in comparison to the immensely powerful tools that the Fed wields. The Fed controls interest rates, the Fed controls the money supply, and the Fed regulates the banks.
To give you an idea of how enormously powerful the Fed is, I want you to pull out a dollar bill.
As you look at that dollar bill, I want you to notice that it says “Federal Reserve Note” right at the top.
In the financial world, a “note” is an instrument of debt, and the truth is that our system was designed to create as much debt as possible.
So why are we using debt-based “Federal Reserve Notes” in the first place? Shouldn’t Congress have control over our currency?
Well, it is a very long and convoluted story, and if you are interested in the history behind it I would commend to you an excellent book by G. Edward Griffin entitled “The Creature from Jekyll Island: A Second Look at the Federal Reserve“. Basically, big money interests on Wall Street got their hooks into the White House and Congress, and they rushed through legislation right before Christmas in 1913 that created this insidious central banking system that was designed to slowly but surely take wealth from the American people and put it into their hands.
Sadly, most Americans don’t even realize that we have a debt-based currency, nor do they understand where our money comes from. In a previous article, I discussed how money is normally created by the Federal Reserve under our current system…
When the U.S. government decides that it wants to spend another billion dollars that it does not have, it does not print up a billion dollars.
Rather, the U.S. government creates a bunch of U.S. Treasury bonds (debt) and takes them over to the Federal Reserve.
The Federal Reserve creates a billion dollars out of thin air and exchanges them for the U.S. Treasury bonds.
The Federal Reserve takes the U.S. Treasury bonds that it receives in exchange for the “Federal Reserve Notes” that it gave to the government and it auctions off those bonds to the highest bidder. But of course this process always creates more debt than it does money…
The U.S. Treasury bonds that the Federal Reserve receives in exchange for the money it has created out of nothing are auctioned off through the Federal Reserve system.
There is a problem.
Because the U.S. government must pay interest on the Treasury bonds, the amount of debt that has been created by this transaction is greater than the amount of money that has been created.
So where will the U.S. government get the money to pay that debt?
Well, the theory is that we can get money to circulate through the economy really, really fast and tax it at a high enough rate that the government will be able to collect enough taxes to pay the debt.
But that never actually happens, does it?
And the creators of the Federal Reserve understood this as well. They understood that the U.S. government would not have enough money to both run the government and service the national debt. They knew that the U.S. government would have to keep borrowing even more money in an attempt to keep up with the game.
So our debt just keeps going up and up and up. While Barack Obama has been in the White House our national debt has risen by more than 9 trillion dollars, and at this moment it is sitting just under the 20 trillion dollar mark.
But we shouldn’t be surprised by this, because this is precisely what the Federal Reserve system was designed to do to us.
Many conservatives still hold to the mistaken illusion that we could somehow pay all of this debt back someday, but as I have shown in a previous article, this is mathematically impossible to do.
If the government went out today and grabbed every single dollar in existence we could not pay back the national debt, and of course we have trillions of dollars of household debt, trillions of dollars of corporate debt and trillions of dollars of state and local government debt that we need to pay back as well.
Under the current system our only hope is to keep the wheel spinning by continuing to devalue the dollar and by continuing to go into even greater amounts of debt.
And of course it isn’t just the United States that is in this predicament. At this point, almost every single nation on the entire planet has a central bank.
Even though there are extremely sharp disagreements among nations on virtually everything else, somehow central banking has achieved nearly universal adoption.
As you read this article, well over 99.9% of the population of the globe lives in a country that has a central bank.
Do you think that is just a coincidence?
Of course there are still a few very small countries such as the Federated States of Micronesia that do not have a central bank, but the only big nation not to have one is North Korea.
And you would literally have to be insane to want to live in North Korea.
But now we have an opportunity to get free from this insidious system. The truth is that we don’t have to have a central bank. In fact, the greatest period of economic growth in U.S. history was when there was no central bank.
We don’t need central planners to set our interest rates and to manipulate our money supply. They will never admit this, but the reality of the matter is that their interference in the economy often creates tremendous economic busts.
Since the Federal Reserve was created in 1913, there have been 18 distinct recessions or depressions: 1918, 1920, 1923, 1926, 1929, 1937, 1945, 1949, 1953, 1958, 1960, 1969, 1973, 1980, 1981, 1990, 2001, 2008.
Considering their track record, isn’t it time for a change?
And we don’t have to have a debt-based currency. In fact, not too long ago we had a president that decided to start issuing debt-free “United States Notes”.
Back in 1963, President John F. Kennedy issued Executive Order 11110 which authorized the U.S. Treasury to issue debt-free “United States Notes” which were directly created by the U.S. government.
He was assassinated shortly thereafter.
Most Americans don’t realize this, but many of the debt-free United States Notes that were issued under President Kennedy are still in circulation today, and President Trump could do something similar.
But will he?
It has been said that the borrower is the servant of the lender, and the Federal Reserve system has turned all of us into debt slaves.
Debt is a form of social control, and the global elite use all of this debt to dominate the planet. The total amount of debt in the world just hit a brand new record high of 152 trillion dollars, and the longer we allow the central banks to control the system the bigger this debt bubble will become.
There is a way out, and here in the United States that starts with shutting down the Federal Reserve and issuing debt-free currency. It would take someone very bold to make a move like this, and so let us hope that the man that we just elected is up to the task.