If the U.S. economy really is in “great shape”, then why do all of the numbers keep telling us that we are in a recession? The manufacturing numbers say that we are in a recession, the trade numbers say that we are in a recession, and as you will see below the retail numbers say that we are in a recession. But just like in 2008, the Federal Reserve and our top politicians will continue to deny that a major economic downturn is happening for as long as they possibly can. In this article, I want to look at more signs that a dramatic shift is happening in our economy right now.
First of all, let’s consider what is happening to hedge funds. For many years, hedge funds had been doing extremely well, but now they are closing up shop at a pace that we haven’t seen since the last financial crisis. The following is an excerpt from a Business Insider article entitled “Hedge funds keep on imploding” that was posted on Wednesday…
BlackRock is winding down its Global Ascent Fund, a global macro hedge fund that once contained $4.6 billion in assets, according to Bloomberg’s Sabrina Willmer.
“We believe that redeeming the Global Ascent Fund was the right thing to do for our clients, given the headwinds that macro funds have faced,” a BlackRock spokeswoman told Business Insider.
The winding down of the Ascent fund is the second high-profile hedge fund closing in 24 hours. The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that Achievement Asset Management, a Chicago-based hedge fund, was closing.
And those are just two examples. Quite a few other prominent hedge funds have shut down recently, and many are wondering if this is just the beginning of a major “bloodbath” on Wall Street.
Another troubling sign is the implosion of so many energy companies. Just like in 2008, a major crash in the price of oil is hitting the energy sector really hard. Just check out these stock price declines…
A number of smaller energy companies have already gone out of business, and several of the big players are teetering on the brink. If the price of oil does not rebound significantly very soon, it is just a matter of time before the dominoes begin to fall.
The retail sales report for October was much worse than expected. Not only that, but the Government’s original estimates for retail sales in August and September were revised lower. A colleague of mine said he was chatting with his brother, who is a tax advisor, this past weekend who said he doesn’t understand how the Government can say the economy is growing (Hillary Clinton recently gave the economy an “A”) because his clients are lowering their estimated tax payments. Businesses lower their estimated tax payments when their business activity slows down.
The holiday season is always the best time of the year for retailers, but in 2015 there is a lot of talk of gloom and doom. Most large retailers will not start announcing mass store closings until January or February, but without a doubt many analysts are anticipating that once we get past the Christmas shopping season we will see stores shut down at a pace that we haven’t seen since at least 2009. Here is more from the article that I just quoted above…
Retail sales this holiday season are setting up to be a disaster. Already most retailers are advertising “pre-Black Friday” sales events. Remember when holiday shopping didn’t begin, period, until the day after Thanksgiving? Now retailers are going to cannibalize each other with massive discounting before Thanksgiving. Anybody notice over the weekend that BMW is now offering $6500 price rebates? The collapsing economy is affecting everyone, across all income demographics.
Last week we saw the stocks of Macy’s, Nordstrom and Advance Auto Parts do cliff-dives after they announced their earnings. I mentioned to a colleague that the Nordstrom’s report should be the most troubling for analysts. Nordstrom in their investor conference call said that they began seeing an “unexplainable slowdown in sales in August in transactions across all formats, across all catagories and across all geographies that has yet to recover.”
I think that a chart would be helpful to give you an idea of how bad things have already gotten. Jim Quinn shared this in an article that he just posted, and it shows the change in retail sales once you remove the numbers for the auto industry. As you can see, the numbers have never been this dreadful outside of a recession…
But stocks went up 247 points on Wednesday so everything must be great, right?
The stock market has never been a good barometer for the overall economy, and this is especially true these days.
In 2008, stocks didn’t crash until well after the U.S. economy as a whole started crashing, and the same thing is apparently happening this time around as well.
One of the things that is keeping stocks afloat for the moment is stock buybacks. In recent years, big corporations have spent hundreds of billions of dollars buying back their own stocks. The following comes from Wolf Richter…
IBM has blown $125 billion on buybacks since 2005, more than the $111 billion it invested in capital expenditures and R&D. It’s staggering under its debt, while revenues have been declining for 14 quarters in a row. It cut its workforce by 55,000 people since 2012. And its stock is down 38% since March 2013.
Big-pharma icon Pfizer plowed $139 billion into buybacks and dividends in the past decade, compared to $82 billion in R&D and $18 billion in capital spending. 3M spent $48 billion on buybacks and dividends, and $30 billion on R&D and capital expenditures. They’re all doing it.
Later in that same article, Richter explains that almost 60 percent of all publicly traded non-financial corporations have engaged in stock buybacks over the past five years…
Nearly 60% of the 3,297 publicly traded non-financial US companies Reuters analyzed have engaged in share buybacks since 2010. Last year, the money spent on buybacks and dividends exceeded net income for the first time in a non-recession period.
Big corporations like to do this for a couple of reasons. Number one, it pushes the price of the stock higher, and current investors appreciate that. Number two, corporate executives are usually in favor of conducting stock buybacks because it increases the value of their stock options and their own stock holdings.
But now corporate profits are falling and it is becoming tougher for big corporations to borrow money. So look for stock buybacks to start to decline significantly.
While the eyes of the world are on ISIS, Russia is creating weapons unlike anything the world has ever seen before. Plans for a giant self-propelled nuclear torpedo that can create a giant tsunami more than 1,000 feet tall were recently “leaked by mistake” by the Russian media. Apparently the warheads on these torpedos are designed to create so much radiation “that everything living will be killed” – including those that try to survive the attack by hiding in underground shelters. These “robotic mini-submarines” would have a range of up to 10,000 kilometers and would be able to evade all existing U.S. detection systems. To say that such a weapon would be a “game changer” would be a massive understatement.
I know that you are not just going to take my word for any of this. So like I do in all of my articles, I am going to carefully document what I am saying.
The reason why we know about the plans for this new nuclear torpedo is because they were displayed on Russian state television for a few moments during a recent broadcast. According to Russian officials, this was an “accident”. The following comes from a report in the Independent…
Secret plans for a new Russian nuclear torpedo system have been shown on state-controlled television in what the Kremlin said was an accident.
A close-up of a confidential document detailing “Ocean Multipurpose System: Status-6” was broadcast for several seconds by Channel One Russia and NTV during coverage of a meeting between Vladimir Putin and military officials.
Could it be possible that this “accident” happened on purpose?
Could it be possible that it was intended as a warning for the Obama administration?
You never know.
But without a doubt, this is the kind of weapon that would keep military planners up at night. According to RT, this new nuclear torpedo is designed to create “extensive zones of radioactive contamination” that would ensure that no “military, economic, business or other activity” would occur in that area for a very long time…
The presentation slide titled “Ocean Multipurpose System: Status-6” showed some drawings of a new nuclear submarine weapons system. It is apparently designed to bypass NATO radars and any existing missile defense systems, while also causing heavy damage to “important economic facilities” along the enemy’s coastal regions.
The footnote to the slide stated that Status-6 is intended to cause “assured unacceptable damage” to an adversary force. Its detonation “in the area of the enemy coast” would result in “extensive zones of radioactive contamination” that would ensure that the region would not be used for “military, economic, business or other activity” for a “long time.”
In addition, Konstantin Sivkov of the Russian Geopolitical Academy told the BBC that this kind of weapon could be used to create a tsunami more than 1,000 feet high…
“A warhead of up to 100 megatons could produce a tsunami up to 500m (1,650ft) high, wiping out all living things 1,500km (930 miles) deep inside US territory“
As I have written about previously, a whopping 39 percent of all Americans live in counties that directly border a shoreline. The detonation of just a handful of these weapons could wipe out the entire east coast and kill off a very substantial percentage of the U.S. population.
On top of all that, the BBC is reporting that a state-run Russian publication is suggesting that these new torpedos are being fitted with extremely radioactive cobalt warheads…
According to state-run Rossiiskaya Gazeta, the destructive power attributed to the new torpedo’s warhead would fit the description of a cobalt bomb.
That would be a type of thermonuclear warhead with a layer of cobalt-59, which on detonation would be transmuted into highly radioactive cobalt-60 with a half-life longer than five years.
Such a weapon would guarantee “that everything living will be killed”, the paper said – there would not even be any survivors in bunkers.
A cobalt bomb has never been tested because of the devastating radiation it would unleash.
Sadly, the Obama administration seems almost totally oblivious to this threat. Our strategic nuclear forces are so outdated that floppy disks and rotary phones are still being used, and Barack Obama is fond of saying that “the Cold War’s been over for 20 years“.
Unfortunately for us, the Russians do not see things the same way. Anti-American sentiment inside Russia is at an all-time high, and every time the U.S. interferes in Syria or Ukraine the Russians get even angrier.
Just like we do, there are “talking heads” on Russian television that tell people what to think. And many of these “talking heads” on Russian television are openly talking about how war with the United States is inevitable. These days, the Russians consider themselves to be the great force for good in the world, and they consider America to be the great force for evil in the world. In fact, one of their most popular talking heads named Alexander Dugin has publicly called the U.S. the “kingdom of the Antichrist”.
And even though the Russian economy has dipped into recession, the Russians continue to feverishly prepare for war. This year alone, Russian military spending is up 33 percent.
Yes, ISIS is a far greater threat than most Americans would even dare to imagine as I discussed yesterday. In the times to come, I fully expect to see terror attacks inside this country unlike anything we have ever seen before.
But I am completely convinced that the greater long-term strategic threat is Russia.
The Russians are feverishly preparing for World War III while Barack Obama acts like it could never possibly happen.
Hopefully Obama is right, because if he is wrong the consequences for this nation will be absolutely unthinkable.
Words cannot adequately describe the utter horror that was unleashed on the streets of Paris, France on Friday. CNN is calling it “the worst violence witnessed in France since World War II“, and even though it happened a couple of days ago now, many of us are still having a really tough time processing what took place. Somehow, a small group of less than 10 radical Islamists was able to unleash a coordinated wave of attacks that killed at least 129 people and injured at least 350. All of this comes less than a year after the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris, and many in the western world are now starting to understand that something has fundamentally changed. Even though France has a highly advanced anti-terrorism infrastructure, and even though it also has some of the strictest anti-gun laws in Europe, none of that did anything to prevent these attacks. Despite all of our advanced technology, the openness of our society makes us highly vulnerable to Islamic terror. And as more waves of refugees from the Middle East are absorbed by both Europe and the United States, it is inevitable that there will be more attacks like this.
According to Google, the definition of a “soft target” is “a person or thing that is relatively unprotected or vulnerable, especially to military or terrorist attack.” And as we just saw in France, the western world is literally teeming with soft targets. I am talking about sporting events, concert halls, schools, churches, shopping malls, power stations, water treatment facilities, mass transit, etc.
For those that wish to create terror, the opportunities are endless.
In the western world, we generally rely on certain deterrents in order to maintain order. Most sane people do not want to be shot, and most sane people do not want to go to prison.
But what do you do when there are large numbers of crazy people that are actually looking forward to being martyrs?
We don’t really have a defense for the kind of attack that we just witnessed in France. What can you really do when you are dealing with large numbers of homicidal maniacs that are not afraid to die and that can strike anywhere at any time? Unless you can identify the terrorists or their plans ahead of time, it becomes a guessing game.
And the level of evil demonstrated by these terrorists is truly astounding. At the Bataclan Theater, two of the terrorists fired their AK-47s indiscriminately into the crowd for a full 10 minutes…
At the Bataclan Theater, at least 75 people attending a concert by a U.S. rock band were killed and many more injured, according to authorities. Eyewitnesses spoke of two young men armed with AK47 assault rifles firing repetitively and dispassionately into the crowded venue, targeting helpless victims cowering on the floor.
Julien Pearce, a radio reporter who was inside the concert hall, told CNN he saw two terrorists at the back of the venue, “firing randomly to the crowd. People yelled, screamed, everybody lying on the floor. And it lasted for ten minutes, ten minutes, ten horrific minutes, where everybody was on the floor covering their heads.”
But these latest attacks are just part of a wider trend of chaos and terror that has descended upon western Europe. For much, much more on this, please check out this video.
Sadly, what Europe is currently experiencing is coming here too.
When I first start dealing with someone new, I watch to see if that individual will actually follow through on what he or she has promised. Sometimes this happens, but sometimes it does not.
In the case of ISIS, I would have to say that they are indeed following through on what they said they would do. Tonight, much of Europe is completely gripped by fear and terror, and the head of ISIS has promised a “direct confrontation” with the United States as well…
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), issued a rare audio message back on January 21 in which he flatly stated his group’s intention to march on Baghdad and move into “direct confrontation” with the United States.
“Our last message is to the Americans. Soon we will be in direct confrontation, and the sons of Islam have prepared for such a day,” Baghdadi said. “So watch, for we are with you, watching.”
As WND has pointed out, there have been dozens of Islamic terror attacks on U.S. soil since 2001, but most of them have been relatively small.
Unfortunately, I believe that we are moving into a new era. Instead of just being satisfied with killing dozens or hundreds of people, these terrorists will start getting a hold of weapons that can kill thousands. Eventually we will see terror attacks inside this country that will make 9/11 look like a Sunday picnic. And Barack Obama is certainly not helping things by “resettling” thousands upon thousands of Syrian refugees in communities all over America.
Of course increasing terror is just a part of the overall picture. Many have described what is coming to the United States and Europe as a “perfect storm”, and I would agree with that assessment.
Even without Islamic terror, we live at a time of rising civil unrest. The deep divisions in our country have been demonstrated by what happened in Ferguson, in Baltimore and more recently at the University of Missouri. Americans are angrier and more frustrated than ever before, and the mainstream media is constantly playing up the divisions between various groups. And thanks to Barack Obama’s refusal to protect our borders, there are now 1.4 million members of criminal gangs living in our cities. Violent crime is already on the rise in our urban areas, and it is going to get even worse as we plunge into recession. For instance, the city of Baltimore recently recorded its 300th homicide of the year after only seeing 211 for all of 2014. Our major cities have never been more primed for civil unrest, and I believe that we are going to see widespread rioting, looting and chaos in the years ahead as the economy totally falls to pieces.
In addition to increased Islamic terror and civil unrest, I also believe we are moving into a time of great governmental shaking, increased tensions between global superpowers, unprecedented natural disasters, and the greatest financial unraveling the world has ever seen.
All of these trends will feed into one another to create the “perfect storm” that I mentioned earlier. What this is going to mean is a dramatic change in our standard of living, our liberties and freedoms will continue to be stripped away, and our world is going to be transformed at a pace that very few of us ever imagined was possible.
If you have the feeling that everything has changed after what just happened in France, you are right.
But this is just the beginning.
What is coming in the weeks and months ahead is going to be even worse, and it is going to shock the entire planet.
What you are about to see is more evidence that the growth of poverty in the United States is wildly out of control. It turns out that there is a tremendous amount of suffering in “the wealthiest nation on the planet”, and it is getting worse with each passing year. During this election season, politicians of all stripes are running around telling all of us how great we are, but is that really true? As you will see below, poverty is reaching unprecedented levels in this country, and the middle class is steadily dying. There aren’t enough good jobs to go around, dependence on the government has never been greater, and it is our children that are being hit the hardest. If we have this many people living on the edge of despair now, while times are “good”, what are things going to look like when our economy really starts falling apart? The following are 21 facts about the explosive growth of poverty in America that will blow your mind…
#2 Other numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau are also very disturbing. For example, in 2007 about one out of every eight children in America was on food stamps. Today, that number is one out of every five.
#3 According to Kathryn J. Edin and H. Luke Shaefer, the authors of a new book entitled “$2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America“, there are 1.5 million “ultrapoor” households in the United States that live on less than two dollars a day. That number has doubled since 1996.
#446 million Americans use food banks each year, and lines start forming at some U.S. food banks as early as 6:30 in the morning because people want to get something before the food supplies run out.
#5 The number of homeless children in the U.S. has increased by 60 percent over the past six years.
#6 According to Poverty USA, 1.6 million American children slept in a homeless shelter or some other form of emergency housing last year.
#13 An astounding 45 percent of all African-American children in the United States live in areas of “concentrated poverty”.
#1440.9 percent of all children in the United States that are being raised by a single parent are living in poverty.
#15 An astounding 48.8 percent of all 25-year-old Americans still live at home with their parents.
#16 There are simply not enough good jobs to go around anymore. It may be hard to believe, but 51 percent of all American workers make less than $30,000 a year.
#17 There are 7.9 million working age Americans that are “officially unemployed” right now and another 94.7 million working age Americans that are considered to be “not in the labor force”. When you add those two numbers together, you get a grand total of 102.6 million working age Americans that do not have a job right now.
#18 Owning a home has traditionally been a signal that you belong to the middle class. That is why it is so alarming that the rate of homeownership in the United States has been falling for eight years in a row.
#19 According to a recent Pew survey, approximately 70 percent of all Americans believe that “debt is a necessity in their lives”.
#20 At this point, 25 percent of all Americans have a negative net worth. That means that the value of what they owe is greater than the value of everything that they own.
#21 The top 0.1 percent of all American families have about as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent of all American families combined.
If we truly are “the greatest nation on the planet”, then why can’t we even take care of our own people?
Why are there tens of millions of us living in poverty?
It would be one thing if economic conditions were getting better and poverty was in decline. At least then we could be talking about the improvement we were making. But despite the fact that we are stealing more than a hundred million dollars from future generations of Americans every single hour of every single day, poverty just continues to grow like an aggressive form of cancer.
So what is wrong?
Why can’t we get this thing fixed?
Tell us what you think we should do as a nation to solve this problem by posting a comment below…
The global elite have never been closer to their goal of a united world. Thanks to a series of interlocking treaties and international agreements, the governance of this planet is increasingly becoming globalized and centralized, but most people don’t seem alarmed by this at all. In the past 30 days, we have seen some of the biggest steps toward a one world government, a one world economy and a one world religion that we have ever witnessed, but these events have sparked very little public discussion or debate. So please share this article with as many people as you can. We need to wake people up about this before it is too late.
From September 25th to September 27th, the United Nations launched a “new universal agenda” for humanity. Those are not my words, they actually come directly out of the core document for this new agenda. The Pope traveled to New York City to give the address that kicked off this conference, thus giving his considerable endorsement to this new plan. Virtually every nation on the entire planet willingly signed up for the 17 goals that are included in this plan, but this stunning turn of events made very few international headlines.
The United Nations is promising that if we all work together that we can turn our planet into some kind of “utopia”, but the truth is that all of this talk about “unity” masks a very insidious agenda. The following comes from a recent piece by Paul McGuire, the author of a groundbreaking new book entitled “The Babylon Code”…
The UN is not asking permission, but issuing a command that the entire planet will commit to 17 sustainable development goals and 169 sustainable development targets designed to radically transform our world by 2030. The UN 2030 plan promoted by the Pope will advance Agenda 21 on steroids. Through a controlled media the mass populations will be told that this is all about saving the environment and “ending poverty.” But that is not the true agenda of Agenda 21. The true agenda of Agenda 21 is to establish a global government, global economic system, and global religion. When UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon spoke of “a dream of a world of peace and dignity for all” this is no different than when the Communists promised the people a “workers paradise.”
For the general population, “the 2030 Agenda” has been rebranded as “the global goals”. On September 26th, some of the biggest names in the music world (including Beyonce) promoted these new “global goals” at the “Global Citizen Festival” that was held in Central Park. And you can watch a YouTube video where some of the most famous names on the entire planet urge all of us to get behind these new “global goals” right here.
None of this is by accident. We are being trained to think of ourselves as “global citizens” that belong to a “global community”. Decades ago, most Americans would have been up in arms over something like this. But now most people just seem to accept these changes passively. Very powerful secret societies and international organizations have been moving us in this direction for a very long time, and most Americans simply have no idea what is happening. Here is more from Paul McGuire…
The United Nations is a de facto global government and does not rule by the “consent of the governed.” The United Nations is a global government to which American politicians of both parties have surrendered our Constitutional rights. If you look at the Republican Presidential debates you see the vast majority of those running are “bought men and women.” They are there to do the bidding of their true masters, the international banking families and their interlocking secret societies. If a candidate has a different set of beliefs than the “Orwellian group think” which constitutes domestic and foreign policy, he is allowed to go only so far.
Who are these powerful elite groups and the secret societies that run them? As we extensively document in our new book, The Babylon Code, co-authored by this author and Troy Anderson, a Pulitzer Prize-nominated investigative journalist, there exists a very real network of semi-secretive and secret groups. Groups like The Council on Foreign Relations, The Trilateral Commission, Royal Institute of International Affairs, United Nations, Club of Rome, The Bilderberg Group, and others control presidents, prime ministers, media networks, politicians, CEO’s, and entire nations. You will almost never hear any substantive analysis by the media, which is controlled by these groups nor of attempts at holding them accountable by governments around the world.
Another way that our planet is being “united” is through the use of international trade agreements.
The ultimate goal is for the entire world to become a “single market” with uniform laws, rules and regulations. But as we merge our economy with the rest of the globe, the United States has been losing tens of thousands of businesses and millions of jobs as the monolithic corporations that now dominate our economy shift production to areas where labor is much cheaper. This is absolutely destroying the middle class, but very few people seem to care.
Negotiations for one of the biggest international trade treaties that the world has ever seen recently concluded. The Trans-Pacific Partnership, also known as “Obamatrade”, would represent a giant step toward a truly unified global economy. The following is an excerpt from one of my previous articles…
We have just witnessed one of the most significant steps toward a one world economic system that we have ever seen. Negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership have been completed, and if approved it will create the largest trading bloc on the planet. But this is not just a trade agreement. In this treaty, Barack Obama has thrown in all sorts of things that he never would have been able to get through Congress otherwise. And once this treaty is approved, it will be exceedingly difficult to ever make changes to it. So essentially what is happening is that the Obama agenda is being permanently locked in for 40 percent of the global economy.
The United States, Canada, Japan, Mexico, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam all intend to sign on to this insidious plan. Collectively, these nations have a total population of about 800 million people and a combined GDP of approximately 28 trillion dollars.
And do you want to know who pushed really hard to give Obama fast track negotiating authority so that these negotiations could be brought to a successful conclusion?
It was the traitorous Republican leadership in Congress. They did everything that they could to pave the way for Obamatrade.
We are also seeing some stunning moves in the direction of a one world religion.
In recent years, you may have noticed that it has become very trendy to say that all religions are just different paths to the same God. In fact, many prominent religious leaders are now openly proclaiming that the two biggest faiths on the entire planet, Christianity and Islam, worship the exact same deity.
For example, just consider what the Pope is saying publicly on this matter. The following is an extended excerpt from one of my recent articles on End of the American Dream…
What Pope Francis had to say at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan has received very little coverage by the mainstream media, but it was exceedingly significant. The following is how he began his address…
I would like to express two sentiments for my Muslim brothers and sisters: Firstly, my greetings as they celebrate the feast of sacrifice. I would have wished my greeting to be warmer. My sentiments of closeness, my sentiments of closeness in the face of tragedy. The tragedy that they suffered in Mecca.
In this moment, I give assurances of my prayers. I unite myself with you all. A prayer to almighty god, all merciful.
He did not choose those words by accident. In Islam, Allah is known as “the all-merciful one”. If you doubt this, just do a Google search.
I then greet and cordially thank you all, dear friends belonging to other religious traditions; first of all the Muslims, who worship the one God, living and merciful, and call upon Him in prayer, and all of you. I really appreciate your presence: in it I see a tangible sign of the will to grow in mutual esteem and cooperation for the common good of humanity.
The Catholic Church is aware of the importance of promoting friendship and respect between men and women of different religious traditions – I wish to repeat this: promoting friendship and respect between men and women of different religious traditions – it also attests the valuable work that the Pontifical Council for interreligious dialogue performs.
Pope Francis clearly believes that Christians and Muslims worship the exact same God. And so that helps to explain why he authorized “Islamic prayers and readings from the Quran” at the Vatican for the first time ever back in 2014.
What is happening is undeniable.
We are steamrolling toward a one world government, a one world economy and a one world religion.
Of course we will not get there overnight. It is going to take some time, and there are going to be quite a few bumps along the way. In fact, I believe that our planet will experience an extreme amount of chaos before we actually get there.
But every major crisis will be used as an excuse to advance this agenda. Virtually every solution that the elite offer us will involve more globalization and more centralization. We will be told that all of our problems will be solved if humanity will just come together in unity.
For some, the goal of a “united planet” where we are all working together to eradicate things like poverty, war and disease makes all the sense in the world.
For others, a one world government, a one world economy and a one world religion would simply mean setting the stage for “one world tyranny”.
So what do you think? Please feel free to share your thoughts by posting a comment below…
Warren Buffett once referred to derivatives as “financial weapons of mass destruction“, and it was inevitable that they would begin to wreak havoc on our financial system at some point. While things may seem somewhat calm on Wall Street at the moment, the truth is that a great deal of trouble is bubbling just under the surface. As you will see below, something happened in mid-September that required an unprecedented 405 billion dollar surge of Treasury collateral into the repo market. I know – that sounds very complicated, so I will try to break it down more simply for you. It appears that some very large institutions have started to get into a significant amount of trouble because of all the reckless betting that they have been doing. This is something that I have warned would happen over and over again. In fact, I have written about it so much that my regular readers are probably sick of hearing about it. But this is what is going to cause the meltdown of our financial system.
Many out there get upset when I compare derivatives trading to gambling, and perhaps it would be more accurate to describe most derivatives as a form of insurance. The big financial institutions assure us that they have passed off most of the risk on these contracts to others and so there is no reason to worry according to them.
Well, personally I don’t buy their explanations, and a lot of others don’t either. On a very basic, primitive level, derivatives trading is gambling. This is a point that Jeff Nielson made very eloquently in a piece that he recently published…
No one “understands” derivatives. How many times have readers heard that thought expressed (please round-off to the nearest thousand)? Why does no one understand derivatives? For many; the answer to that question is that they have simply been thinking too hard. For others; the answer is that they don’t “think” at all.
Derivatives are bets. This is not a metaphor, or analogy, or generalization. Derivatives are bets. Period. That’s all they ever were. That’s all they ever can be.
One very large financial institution that appears to be in serious trouble with these financial weapons of mass destruction is Glencore. At one time Glencore was considered to be the 10th largest company on the entire planet, but now it appears to be coming apart at the seams, and a great deal of their trouble seems to be tied to derivatives. The following comes from Zero Hedge…
Of particular concern, they said, was Glencore’s use of financial instruments such as derivatives to hedge its trading of physical goods against price swings. The company had $9.8 billion in gross derivatives in June 2015, down from $19 billion in such positions at the end of 2014, causing investors to query the company about the swing.
Glencore told investors the number went down so drastically because of changes in market volatility this year, according to people briefed by Glencore. When prices vary significantly, it can increase the value of hedging positions.
Last year, there were extreme price moves, particularly in the crude-oil market, which slid from about $114 a barrel in June to less than $60 a barrel by the end of December.
That response wasn’t satisfying, said Michael Leithead, a bond fund portfolio manager at EFG Asset Management, which managed $12 billion as of the end of March and has invested in Glencore’s debt.
According to Bank of America, the global financial system has about 100 billion dollars of exposure overall to Glencore. So if Glencore goes bankrupt that is going to be a major event. At this point, Glencore is probably the most likely candidate to be “the next Lehman Brothers”.
And it isn’t just Glencore that is in trouble. Other financial giants such as Trafigura are in deep distress as well. Collectively, the global financial system has approximately half a trillion dollars of exposure to these firms…
Worse, since it is not just Glencore that the banks are exposed to but very likely the rest of the commodity trading space, their gross exposure blows up to a simply stunning number:
For the banks, of course, Glencore may not be their only exposure in the commodity trading space. We consider that other vehicles such as Trafigura, Vitol and Gunvor may feature on bank balance sheets as well ($100 bn x 4?)
Call it half a trillion dollars in very highly levered exposure to commodities: an asset class that has been crushed in the past year.
The mainstream media is not talking much about any of this yet, and that is probably a good thing. But behind the scenes, unprecedented moves are already taking place.
When I came across the information that I am about to share with you, I was absolutely stunned. It comes from Investment Research Dynamics, and it shows very clearly that everything is not “okay” in the financial world…
Something occurred in the banking system in September that required a massive reverse repo operation in order to force the largest ever Treasury collateral injection into the repo market. Ordinarily the Fed might engage in routine reverse repos as a means of managing the Fed funds rate. However, as you can see from the graph below, there have been sudden spikes up in the amount of reverse repos that tend to correspond the some kind of crisis – the obvious one being the de facto collapse of the financial system in 2008:
What in the world could possibly cause a spike of that magnitude?
What’s even more interesting is that the spike-up in reverse repos occurred at the same time – September 16 – that the stock market embarked on an 8-day cliff dive, with the S&P 500 falling 6% in that time period. You’ll note that this is around the same time that a crash in Glencore stock and bonds began. It has been suggested by analysts that a default on Glencore credit derivatives either by Glencore or by financial entities using derivatives to bet against that event would be analogous to the “Lehman moment” that triggered the 2008 collapse.
The blame on the general stock market plunge was cast on the Fed’s inability to raise interest rates. However that seems to be nothing more than a clever cover story for something much more catastrophic which began to develop out sight in the general liquidity functions of the global banking system.
Back in 2008, Lehman Brothers was not “perfectly fine” one day and then suddenly collapsed the next. There were problems brewing under the surface well in advance.
Well, the same thing is happening now at banking giants such as Deutsche Bank, and at commodity trading firms such as Glencore, Trafigura and The Noble Group.
And of course a lot of smaller fish are starting to implode as well. I found this example posted on Business Insider earlier today…
On September 11, Spruce Alpha, a small hedge fund which is part of a bigger investment group, sent a short report to investors.
The letter said that the $80 million fund had lost 48% in a month, according the performance report seen by Business Insider.
There was no commentary included in the note. No explanation. Just cold hard numbers.
Wow – how do you possibly lose 48 percent in a single month?
It would be hard to do that even if you were actually trying to lose money on purpose.
Sadly, this kind of scenario is going to be repeated over and over as we get even deeper into this crisis.
Meanwhile, our “leaders” continue to tell us that there is nothing to worry about. For example, just consider what former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke is saying…
Former Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke doesn’t see any bubbles forming in global markets right right now.
But he doesn’t think you should take his word for it.
And even if you did, that isn’t the right question to ask anyway.
Speaking at a Wall Street Journal event on Wednesday morning, Bernanke said, “I don’t see any obvious major mispricings. Nothing that looks like the housing bubble before the crisis, for example. But you shouldn’t trust me.”
I certainly agree with that last sentence. Bernanke was the one telling us that there was not going to be a recession back in 2008 even after one had already started. He was clueless back then and he is clueless today.
Most of our “leaders” either don’t understand what is happening or they are not willing to tell us.
So that means that we have to try to figure things out for ourselves the best that we can. And right now there are signs all around us that another 2008-style crisis has begun.
Personally, I am hoping that there will be a lot more days like today when the markets were relatively quiet and not much major news happened around the world.
Unfortunately for all of us, these days of relative peace and tranquility are about to come to a very abrupt end.
Have you heard of “the global goals”? If you haven’t heard of them by now, rest assured that you will be hearing plenty about them in the days ahead. On September 25th, the United Nations launched a set of 17 ambitious goals that it plans to achieve over the next 15 years. A new website to promote this plan has been established, and you can find it right here. The formal name of this new plan is “the 2030 Agenda“, but those behind it decided that they needed something catchier when promoting these ideas to the general population. The UN has stated that these new “global goals” represent a “new universal Agenda” for humanity. Virtually every nation on the planet has willingly signed on to this new agenda, and you are expected to participate whether you like it or not.
Some of the biggest stars in the entire world have been recruited to promote “the global goals”. Just check out the YouTube video that I have posted below. This is the kind of thing that you would expect from a hardcore religious cult…
If you live in New York City, you are probably aware of the “Global Citizen Festival” that was held in Central Park on Saturday where some of the biggest names in the music industry promoted these new “global goals”. The following is how the New York Daily News described the gathering…
It was a party with a purpose.
A star-studded jamboree and an impassioned plea to end poverty rocked the Great Lawn in Central Park as more than 60,000 fans gathered Saturday for the fourth-annual Global Citizen Festival.
The feel-good event, timed to coincide with the annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly, featured performances by Beyoncé, Pearl Jam, Ed Sheeran and Coldplay.
Pope Francis gave his backing to the new development agenda in an address to the U.N. General Assembly before the summit to adopt the 17-point plan opened, calling it “an important sign of hope” at a very troubled time in the Middle East and Africa.
When Danish Prime Minister Lars Rasmussen struck his gavel to approve the development road map, leaders and diplomats from the 193 U.N. member states stood and applauded loudly.
Then, the summit immediately turned to the real business of the three-day meeting — implementation of the goals, which is expected to cost $3.5 trillion to $5 trillion every year until 2030.
Okay, so where will the trillions of dollars that are needed to implement these new “global goals” come from?
Let me give you a hint – they are not going to come from the poor nations.
When you read over these “global goals”, many of them sound quite good. After all, who wouldn’t want to “end hunger”? I know that I would like to “end hunger” if I could.
The key is to look behind the language and understand what is really being said. And what is really being said is that the elite want to take their dream of a one world system to the next level.
The following list comes from Truthstream Media, and I think that it does a very good job of translating these new “global goals” into language that we can all understand…
Goal 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere
Translation: Centralized banks, IMF, World Bank, Fed to control all finances, digital one world currency in a cashless society
Goal 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
Goal3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
Translation: Mass vaccination, Codex Alimentarius
Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
Translation: UN propaganda, brainwashing through compulsory education from cradle to grave
Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
Translation: Population control through forced “Family Planning”
Goal 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
Translation: Privatize all water sources, don’t forget to add fluoride
Goal 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
Translation: Smart grid with smart meters on everything, peak pricing
Goal 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
Translation: TPP, free trade zones that favor megacorporate interests
Goal 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
Goal 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries
Translation: Even more regional government bureaucracy like a mutant octopus
Goal 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
Translation: Big brother big data surveillance state
Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
Translation: Forced austerity
Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts*
Translation: Cap and Trade, carbon taxes/credits, footprint taxes
Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
Translation: Environmental restrictions, control all oceans including mineral rights from ocean floors
Goal 15: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
Translation: More environmental restrictions, more controlling resources and mineral rights
Goal 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
Translation: UN “peacekeeping” missions (ex 1, ex 2), the International Court of (blind) Justice, force people together via fake refugee crises and then mediate with more “UN peacekeeping” when tension breaks out to gain more control over a region, remove 2nd Amendment in USA
Goal 17: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development
Translation: Remove national sovereignty worldwide, promote globalism under the “authority” and bloated, Orwellian bureaucracy of the UN
If you doubt any of this, you can find the official document for this new UN agenda right here. The more you dig into the details, the more you realize just how insidious these “global goals” really are.
The elite want a one world government, a one world economic system and a one world religion. But they are not going to achieve these things by conquest. Rather, they want everyone to sign up for these new systems willingly.
The “global goals” are a template for a united world. To many, the “utopia” that the elite are promising sounds quite promising. But for those that know what time it is, this call for a “united world” is very, very chilling.