10.7 Percent: Unemployment In Europe Is Worse Than It Was At The Peak Of The Last Recession

The unemployment rate in the eurozone is now 10.7 percent.  That is the highest the unemployment rate has been since the introduction of the euro.  The unemployment rate in the eurozone never got any higher than 10.2 percent during the last recession.  This is very troubling news.  It was just recently announced that the eurozone has entered another recession, and already the unemployment rate is hitting new record highs.  So how bad are things going to get in the months to come?  The truth is that the problems for Europe are just starting.  The European sovereign debt crisis continues to get worse, and another major global financial crisis is going to be here way too soon.  The EU as a whole has a larger population, a larger banking system and more Fortune 500 companies than the United States does.  When the financial system of Europe crashes, the entire world is going to feel it.

Some of the unemployment numbers coming out of Europe are absolutely staggering.

Unemployment in Spain is 19.9 percent.

Unemployment in Greece is 23.3 percent.

And when you look at youth unemployment the numbers are far worse.

The unemployment rate for workers under the age of 25 is 48.1 percent in Greece and 49.9 percent in Spain.

If you look carefully at the photos of the austerity riots happening in Spain and in Greece you will notice that the vast majority of the protesters are young people.

Instead of getting better, the unemployment numbers in Europe just keep getting worse.  Many analysts were shocked by these new numbers.  The following is from a CNN article….

“This is appalling,” said Carl Weinberg, chief economist at High Frequency Economics, highlighting that the unemployment rate following the collapse of Lehman Brothers peaked at 10.2%.

Appalling indeed.

The frightening thing is that we haven’t even had a major financial crisis in Europe yet.  So far, the powers that be have been able to keep Greece from defaulting and have been able to keep major banks all over Europe from collapsing.

But there are quite a few signs that the “moment of reckoning” for Europe is rapidly approaching….

-The European Central Bank announced on Tuesday that it would no longer take Greek bonds as collateral from European banks. That is a really bad sign.

-Major European banks are revealing unexpectedly huge losses on Greek debt.  The following is from a Reuters article….

The scars of Greece’s debt crisis were laid bare in heavy losses from a string of European banks on Thursday, and bosses warned the region’s precarious finances would continue to threaten economic growth and earnings.

From France to Germany, Britain to Belgium, four of the region’s biggest banks lined up to reveal they lost more than 8 billion euros (6.8 million pounds) last year from their Greek bonds holdings.

“We are in the worst economic crisis since 1929,” Credit Agricole chief executive Jean-Paul Chifflet said.

-The International Swaps and Derivatives Association has ruled that the Greek debt deal will not trigger payouts on credit default swaps.  This is going to make it less likely that private bondholders will voluntarily agree to the debt deal.

This ruling is also seriously shaking confidence in credit default swaps.  After all, they are supposed to be “insurance” in case something happens.  But if they aren’t going to pay out when you need them, what good are they?

-Voters in Germany are sick and tired of pouring money into a black hole.  One recent opinion poll in Germany showed that Germans are overwhelmingly against more bailouts for Greece.

Some German politicians are becoming very open about their feelings for Greece.  For example, Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich said the following in a recent interview with Der Spiegel….

“Greece’s chances to regenerate itself and become competitive are surely greater outside the monetary union than if it remains in the euro area.” He added that he did not support a forced exit. “I’m not talking about throwing Greece out, but rather about creating incentives for an exit that they can’t pass up.”

-In Greece, news publications are openly portraying German Chancellor Angela Merkel as Hitler.  Far left political parties that oppose the bailouts are surging in the polls and anger and frustration are reaching unprecedented levels.

The following is from a recent article in The Guardian….

There is a growing animosity towards Germany on the streets of Athens. Angela Merkel bears most of the hostility with one of Greece’s newspapers last week mocking the chancellor up as a Nazi on its front page.

Niki Fidaki, 40, says Greeks are angry at Germany and the troika’s demands for higher taxes and public services cuts. “People can’t afford to pay the tax. My pay has gone down, but my taxes have gone up. But, I’m a lucky one – half of my friends don’t have jobs. Greeks hate that they are asking us to pay all the time when we don’t have the money. Families have no work, they have kids to look after but no money to pay for anything.”

As I have written about before, Greece is already going through a devastating economic depression.  The people of Greece are not in the mood to be pushed much further.

The eurozone is a powder keg that could explode at any time.

So why is the U.S. economy doing so much better than the European economy right now?

Well, a big reason is because we haven’t seen any austerity in the United States yet.

Barack Obama is funding our false prosperity by borrowing 150 million dollars an hour from our children and our grandchildren.

Of course all of this reckless borrowing is going to make the eventual collapse of our financial system far worse, but right now Americans don’t seem to care.  The only thing the mainstream media seems to care about is that some of our economic numbers are getting slightly better.

The sad thing is that our government is spending a lot of this money on some of the most stupid things that you could possibly imagine.

Did you know that the Obama administration just spent $750,000 on a brand new soccer field for detainees held at Guantanamo Bay?

I wish I had a $750,000 soccer field to play on.

I would love that.

Look, when the federal government quits stealing more than a trillion dollars a year from future generations things are going to look a whole lot different in this country.

So pay attention to what is going on in Europe.

That is where we are headed eventually.

Warning Signs That We Should Prepare For The Worst

The warning signs are all around us.  All we have to do is open up our eyes and look at them.  Almost every single day there are more prominent voices in the financial world telling us that a massive economic crisis is coming and that we need to prepare for the worst.  On Wednesday, it was the World Bank itself that issued a very chilling warning.  In an absolutely startling report, the World Bank revised GDP growth estimates for 2012 downward very sharply, warned that Europe could be on the verge of a devastating financial crisis, and declared that the rest of the world better “prepare for the worst.”  You would expect to hear this kind of thing on The Economic Collapse Blog, but this is not the kind of language that you would normally expect to hear from the stuffed suits at the World Bank.  Obviously things have gotten bad enough that nobody is even really trying to deny it anymore.  Andrew Burns, the lead author of the report, said that if the sovereign debt crisis gets even worse we could be looking at an economic crisis that could be even worse than the last one: “An escalation of the crisis would spare no-one. Developed- and developing-country growth rates could fall by as much or more than in 2008/09.”  Burns also stated that the “importance of contingency planning cannot be stressed enough.”  In other words, Burns is saying that it is time to prepare for the worst.  So are you ready?

But of course it isn’t just the World Bank that is warning about these things.  The chorus of voices that is warning about the next great financial crisis just seems to grow by the day.

Some of these voices were profiled in a Bloomberg article the other day entitled “Apocalypse How? Dire ’12 Forecasts“.  The following is just a sampling of quotes from that article….

-John Mauldin, president of Millennium Wave Advisors: “We’ve got a cancer. That cancer is debt”

-Mark Spitznagel of Universa Investments: “Too much malinvestment has been kept alive, and history shows an inevitable wipeout, which started in 2000.”

-Michael Panzner of Financial Armageddon: “The fundamental outlook is even worse now than it was a few weeks ago, given (the lack of positive) developments in Europe and growing evidence that the economies of major countries around the world are deteriorating fast.”

If you have time, you should go check out the rest of that article.  It really is fascinating.

When this crisis is over, all sorts of people are going to be running around claiming that they predicted it.  But it does not take a genius to see what is coming.  All you have to do is open up your eyes and look at the flashing red warning signs.

So what should we all be looking for next?

March 20th is a key date to keep your eye on.  That is the day when Greece will either makes its 14.5 billion euro bond payment or it will default.

Greece does not have a prayer of making that payment without help.  If Greece can convince the EU and the IMF to release the next scheduled bailout payment and if Greece can reach a satisfactory deal with private bondholders, then the coming Greek default might be “orderly”.  But if something goes wrong, the coming Greek default might be quite “disorderly”.

At this point, almost everyone in the financial world is anticipating a Greek default of one form or another….

-Edward Parker, the managing director for Fitch’s sovereign and supranational group in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, recently declared that a Greek default is inevitable….

“It is going to happen. Greece is insolvent so it will default.”

-Moritz Kraemer, the head of S&P’s European sovereign ratings unit, made the following statement on Bloomberg Television on Monday:

“Greece will default very shortly. Whether there will be a solution at the end of the current rocky negotiations I cannot say.”

-Richard McGuire, a strategist at Dutch bank Rabobank, was recently quoted by CNBC as saying the following….

“People often ask if Greece is going to default which … is a misnomer because Greece is (already) defaulting”

-Diane Swonk, the chief economist at Mesirow Financial in Chicago, says that the default by Greece will probably be an “orderly” one but that the situation could change at any moment….

“It appears at the moment that the market is accepting a Greek default as inevitable, and it will be an orderly default. But that can change on a dime.”

But whether there is a default or not, the reality is that Greece is already experiencing a full-blown economic depression.  In Greece, 20 percent of all retail stores have already shut down.  The unemployment rate for those under the age of 24 is now at 39 percent.  Large numbers of Greeks are trying to get themselves and their money out of the country while they still can.

Pessimism regarding Greece is at an all-time high.  Michael Fuchs, the deputy leader of Angela Merkel’s political party, recently made the following statement….

“I don’t think that Greece, in its current condition, can be saved.”

But of course Greece is not the only declining economy in Europe by a long shot.

Italy has a much larger economy, and if Italy totally collapses it will be an absolute nightmare for the entire globe.

Right now, the Bank of Italy is forecasting a significant recession for the Italian economy in 2012.  The following is from a statement that Bank of Italy has just released….

“The uncertainty that surrounds the medium-term perspectives of the Italian economy … are extraordinarily high and are directly linked to the evolution of the eurozone debt crisis”

Italy’s youth unemployment rate has hit the highest level ever, and nearly all sectors of the Italian economy are showing signs of slowing down.

Plus there is the looming problem of Italian debt.  As I wrote about yesterday, when you add the maturing debt that the Italian government must roll over in 2012 to their projected budget deficit, it comes to 23.1 percent of Italy’s GDP.

Originally it was hoped that the economic problems in Europe could be contained to just a few countries.  But now it has become clear that is just not going to happen.

Trends forecaster Gerald Celente recently explained to ABC Australia that much of Europe is already essentially experiencing an economic depression….

“If you live in Greece, you’re in a depression; if you live in Spain, you’re in a depression; if you live in Portugal or Ireland, you’re in a depression,” Celente said. “If you live in Lithuania, you’re running to the bank to get your money out of the bank as the bank runs go on. It’s a depression. Hungary, there’s a depression, and much of Eastern Europe, Romania, Bulgaria. And there are a lot of depressions going on [already].”

The troubling news out of Europe just seems to keep coming in waves.  Here are some more recent examples….

-Manufacturing activity in the euro zone has fallen for five months in a row.

-Germany’s economy actually contracted during the 4th quarter of 2011.

-It is being reported that the Spanish economy contracted during the 4th quarter of 2011.

-Bad loans in Spain recently hit a 17-year high and the unemployment rate is at a 15-year high.

So will all of this economic trouble eventually spread to the United States?

Of course it will.

The global economy is more interconnected today than ever.  Back in 2008 the financial crisis that started on Wall Street ended up devastating economies all over the planet.  The same thing will happen during this next great financial crisis.

Only this time the U.S. is in a much weaker position.  The U.S. debt problem has gotten much worse since the last crisis.

During 2008, our national debt crossed the 10 trillion dollar mark.  Less than 4 years later, we have crossed the 15 trillion dollar mark.

So what are we going to do the next time large numbers of banks fail and unemployment skyrockets?

Where are we going to get the money to bail out all of those banks and to take care of all of those newly unemployed people?

Some people say that socialism is the answer, but the truth is that we are already a socialist welfare state.  If you can believe it, nearly half of all Americans live in a household that receives some form of financial benefits from the U.S. government.

During the next great crisis, the number of people that are dependent on the government will go even higher.

If you don’t want to end up dependent on the government, you should heed the warning signs and you should use this time to prepare for the hard times that are coming.

When even the World Bank tells us to hope for the best but to prepare for the worst, you know that it is late in the game.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of people out there only believe what they want to believe.  They don’t want to believe that a great economic crisis is coming, and so when it does happen they are going to be absolutely blindsided by it.

The Coming European Superstate That Germany Plans To Cram Down The Throats Of The Rest Of Europe

A lot of people were puzzled about what German Chancellor Angela Merkel meant when she recently stated that the ultimate solution to the financial crisis in the EU would “mean more Europe, not less Europe”.  Well, now we are finding out.  A leaked internal German government memo entitled “The Future of the EU: Required Integration Policy Improvements for the Creation of a Stability Union” actually proposes the creation of a “European Monetary Fund” which would be given the power to run the economies of troubled European nations.  This “stability union” would be quickly followed by the creation of a full-fledged “political union”.  Essentially, this leaked memo proposes the creation of a “European Superstate” which will be crammed down the throats of the rest of Europe whether they like it or not.  National sovereignty would be a thing of the past and European bureaucrats would run everything.  Of course this will never be accepted by the people of Europe until they feel the bitter pain of the coming financial collapse, but we are starting to see that there is already a clear plan for what the Germans wish to implement in the aftermath of the coming crisis.

A lot of people have just assumed that if there is a massive financial collapse in Europe and the euro crashes that it will mean that end of the euro and potentially the breakup of the EU.  But that is not what the Germans have planned at all.

An article in the Telegraph has posted details about the leaked internal German government memo mentioned above.  It really is startling to see that a full-fledged “political union” in Europe is being discussed at the highest levels of the German government….

The six-page memo, by the German foreign office, argues that Europe’s economic powerhouses should be able to intervene in how beleaguered eurozone countries are run.

The confidential blueprint sets out Germany’s plan to tackle the eurozone debt crisis by creating a “stability union” that will be “immediately followed by moves “on the way towards a political union”.

It will prompt fears that Germany’s euro crisis plans could result in a European super-state with spending and tax plans set in Brussels.

Can you imagine what Europe would look like under such a plan?

National sovereignty would be a thing of the past.

Another article in the Telegraph says that the leaked memo proposes that immediately a “European Monetary Fund” should be set up that would have the power to take over and run the economies of European nations that get into too much debt.  But according to the memo this would just be an intermediate step toward a full “political union”….

The six-page German foreign ministry paper sets out plans for the creation of a European Monetary Fund with a transfer of sovereignty away from member states.

The fund will have the power to take ailing countries into receivership and run their economies. Even more controversially, the document, entitled The future of the EU: required integration policy improvements for the creation of a Stability Union, declares that the treaty changes are a first stage “in which the EU will develop into a political union”. “The debate on the way towards a political union must begin as soon as the course toward stability union is charted,” it concludes.

As the crisis in Europe has gotten worse, the Germans have become more aggressive about throwing their weight around.  At this point, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is the most important politician in Europe and she has been taking the lead in responding to this financial crisis.

As I have written about previously, there have been persistent rumors that French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have been “secretly plotting” to create a “new eurozone” that will fundamentally change the way that Europe is run.

For example, the following is from an article that recently came out  in the Telegraph….

France is drawing up plans to create a breakaway organisation of eurozone countries with its own treaty, parliament and headquarters – a move that could significantly undermine the existing European Union.

That same article also talked about the goals that France and Germany are hoping to achieve through all of this….

France and Germany are understood to want to strengthen the union between eurozone countries with new taxes and legal measures to stop nations borrowing and spending too much in future.

Of course it is important to note that there is no way that the people of Europe are going to go for any of this right now.

But after feeling the pain of a massive financial collapse for a while will they change their minds?

What is clear is that the status quo is not going to last much longer.  Something has got to change.  Unfortunately, Germany and France seem determined to push the rest of Europe in the direction of creating a European Superstate.

If you want to get a really good idea of what is happening in Europe right now, just check out this video of a recent speech by Nigel Farage on the floor of the European Parliament on November 16th, 2011.  Trust me, it is worth the couple of minutes that it takes to watch it.

But before fundamental structural changes take place in Europe, we are going to see an absolutely crippling financial collapse first.  With each passing day, there are more signs that things are rapidly unraveling.  The following are just a few of the noteworthy news items from Europe that have come out over the past week….

*In Italy there were violent clashes between protesters and police after Mario Monti unveiled his new austerity program.  To get an idea of how crazy things are getting over in Italy, just check out this video.

*Just like what happened when austerity was implemented in Greece, it looks like Italy is now headed down the road toward a major recession.  Industrial orders in Italy for the month of September declined by 8.5 percent.  That is really, really bad news.

*The EFSF has already been forced to buy up huge numbers of its own bonds.  That essentially means that the EFSF is already a bad joke.

*Dozens of big banks all over Europe have been downgraded in recent weeks.  Even German banks are getting downgraded now.  The other day, Moody’s downgraded the ratings of 10 major German banks.

An increasing number of people that work in the financial world are starting to get really freaked out about everything that is going on.

The following is what Mark Mobius, head of the emerging markets desk at Templeton Asset Management, had to say recently….

“There is definitely going to be another financial crisis around the corner, because we haven’t solved any of the things that caused the previous crisis.”

Willem Buiter, the chief economist of Citigroup, believes that if something is not done quickly, there will be a financial collapse in Europe in very short order….

“Time is running out fast.  I think we have maybe a few months — it could be weeks, it could be days — before there is a material risk of a fundamentally unnecessary default by a country like Spain or Italy which would be a financial catastrophe dragging the European banking system and North America with it. So they have to act now.”

Ann Barnhardt of Barnhardt Capital Management actually shut down her entire firm because she could no longer guarantee that the money her clients were putting into the futures and options markets would be safe.  Posted below are extended excerpts from the open letter that she recently released to the public.  Normally I would not post such extended excerpts, but in this case I believe that they are warranted.  What Barnhardt has written should be a huge wake up call for all of us.  It is refreshing (and a bit frightening) to get an honest assessment of the corruption in the financial world from someone that has made a good living in that world.  The following is how she began her letter….

It is with regret and unflinching moral certainty that I announce that Barnhardt Capital Management has ceased operations. After six years of operating as an independent introducing brokerage, and eight years of employment as a broker before that, I found myself, this morning, for the first time since I was 20 years old, watching the futures and options markets open not as a participant, but as a mere spectator.

The reason for my decision to pull the plug was excruciatingly simple: I could no longer tell my clients that their monies and positions were safe in the futures and options markets – because they are not. And this goes not just for my clients, but for every futures and options account in the United States. The entire system has been utterly destroyed by the MF Global collapse. Given this sad reality, I could not in good conscience take one more step as a commodity broker, soliciting trades that I knew were unsafe or holding funds that I knew to be in jeopardy.

So how did the MF Global collapse wreck the system?  Barnhardt went on to explain this….

The futures markets are very highly-leveraged and thus require an exceptionally firm base upon which to function. That base was the sacrosanct segregation of customer funds from clearing firm capital, with additional emergency financial backing provided by the exchanges themselves. Up until a few weeks ago, that base existed, and had worked flawlessly. Firms came and went, with some imploding in spectacular fashion. Whenever a firm failure happened, the customer funds were intact and the exchanges would step in to backstop everything and keep customers 100% liquid – even as their clearing firm collapsed and was quickly replaced by another firm within the system.

Everything changed just a few short weeks ago. A firm, led by a crony of the Obama regime, stole all of the non-margined cash held by customers of his firm. Let’s not sugar-coat this or make this crime seem “complex” and “abstract” by drowning ourselves in six-dollar words and uber-technical jargon. Jon Corzine STOLE the customer cash at MF Global. Knowing Jon Corzine, and knowing the abject lawlessness and contempt for humanity of the Marxist Obama regime and its cronies, this is not really a surprise. What was a surprise was the reaction of the exchanges and regulators. Their reaction has been to take a bad situation and make it orders of magnitude worse. Specifically, they froze customers out of their accounts WHILE THE MARKETS CONTINUED TO TRADE, refusing to even allow them to liquidate. This is unfathomable. The risk exposure precedent that has been set is completely intolerable and has destroyed the entire industry paradigm. No informed person can continue to engage these markets, and no moral person can continue to broker or facilitate customer engagement in what is now a massive game of Russian Roulette.

Even more frightening, Barnhardt says that the MF Global collapse is just the “tip of the iceberg” and that more collapses like this are about to happen….

I have learned over the last week that MF Global is almost certainly the mere tip of the iceberg. There is massive industry-wide exposure to European sovereign junk debt. While other firms may not be as heavily leveraged as Corzine had MFG leveraged, and it is now thought that MFG’s leverage may have been in excess of 100:1, they are still suicidally leveraged and will likely stand massive, unmeetable collateral calls in the coming days and weeks as Europe inevitably collapses. I now suspect that the reason the Chicago Mercantile Exchange did not immediately step in to backstop the MFG implosion was because they knew and know that if they backstopped MFG, they would then be expected to backstop all of the other firms in the system when the failures began to cascade – and there simply isn’t that much money in the entire system. In short, the problem is a SYSTEMIC problem, not merely isolated to one firm.

So what does Barnhardt say that we should all do?  She is actually recommending that everyone should completely abandon the futures and options markets….

And so, to the very unpleasant crux of the matter. The futures and options markets are no longer viable. It is my recommendation that ALL customers withdraw from all of the markets as soon as possible so that they have the best chance of protecting themselves and their equity. The system is no longer functioning with integrity and is suicidally risk-laden. The rule of law is non-existent, instead replaced with godless, criminal political cronyism.

Remember, a few weeks ago I warned you all that a massive derivatives crisis is coming.  Anyone that plays around with derivatives at this point is playing with fire.  Barnhardt says that she will never reopen her firm until Barack Obama is removed from office and fundamental reforms to the financial system have been implemented….

Finally, I will not, under any circumstance, consider reforming and re-opening Barnhardt Capital Management, or any other iteration of a brokerage business, until Barack Obama has been removed from office AND the government of the United States has been sufficiently reformed and repopulated so as to engender my total and complete confidence in the government, its adherence to and enforcement of the rule of law, and in its competent and just regulatory oversight of any commodities markets that may reform. So long as the government remains criminal, it would serve no purpose whatsoever to attempt to rebuild the futures industry or my firm, because in a lawless environment, the same thievery and fraud would simply happen again, and the criminals would go unpunished, sheltered by the criminal oligarchy.

We are on the verge of a financial crisis that could potentially be just as bad (or even worse) than the financial crisis of 2008.

Right now, 2012 is shaping up as a very, very bad year.

As I have written about previously, when European leaders proposed that private Greek bondholders should take a “50% haircut”, they massively undermined faith in the European financial system.

Now panic and fear are in the air and it is unlikely that financial markets will be calmed any time soon.

Already, there are early signs of the kind of massive credit crunch that almost brought about “the end of the world” in financial markets back in 2008.

For example, a CNBC article that was posted on Friday reported that the flow of credit in Europe is seriously drying up….

Fear over European banks’ exposure to risky government debt stalked markets and harried bank executives on Friday, as unsecured lending between banks evaporated and the cost of secured loans rose.

And as a recent article posted on Zero Hedge discussed, a similar thing is starting to happen in the United States….

The entire dollar funding market is now at levels not seen since the Lehman collapse and is effectively frozen. Only this time it is much, much worse as never before has the global central bank cadre been assumed and implied to be backstopping the global liquidity cascade. Ex-out the implied backstop by the monetary authorities, and liquidity is now locked up more than ever in the history of capital markets.

So what should we do about this?

We should take action and get prepared for what is coming.

Unfortunately, an increasing number of Americans seem to be “checking out” instead.  According to a recent Gallup poll, alcohol consumption in the United States has hit a 25 year high.  More than one out of every ten Americans over the age of 12 is on prescription antidepressants, and most American families spend endless hours staring at the television in an attempt to escape the pain and the frustration that they constantly feel.

Hopefully by working together we can help more Americans (and more Europeans as well) to wake up, to get off their couches, and to take action in a positive way.

Time is running out and the economic crisis is rapidly getting worse.

We don’t have any time to waste.

Is The U.S. Government Stockpiling Food In Anticipation Of A Major Economic Crisis?

Is the U.S. government stockpiling huge amounts of food and supplies in anticipation that something bad is about to happen?  Is something about to cause a major economic crisis that will require large quantities of emergency food?  For a while, I have been hearing things about the government storing food through the grapevine and I have not been sure what to think about those rumors.  Well, today I received a phone call that blew me away.  I debated for quite a while before I decided whether or not to share this information with you all.  Normally I do not like to talk about anything unless I am able to prove it by pointing to an article in the mainstream media.  But the source of the information that I am about to share with you is rock solid.  I cannot reveal his name, so you will just have to trust me on that.  Hopefully the following information will be one more “dot” as we all try to connect the dots about what is really going on out there.

This morning I received a call from a very prominent person in the storable food industry.  He has asked me not to reveal his name.  I have been dealing with him for an extended period of time and I consider him to be a rock-solid source.  When I talked to him today, he had just received a huge order for storable food from a U.S. government source.  He told me that the dollar amount of the order was in the “five figures”.

When he asked about why so much food was being ordered, the government source told him essentially that “you know what is coming”.  When pushed further, the government official did not elaborate.

It was unclear whether this was part of a larger food stockpiling program by the government.  Perhaps this order was just part of the normal preparations that government agencies make for potential emergencies.

Nobody could blame the government for storing up some emergency food.  That is something that we all should be doing.

The truth is that the government is taking emergency preparedness very seriously these days.  For example, you can see video of a high-level NASA official urging NASA employees to develop preparedness plans for their own families right here.

But what if this is a sign of something bigger?

Remember, this is not some rumor I just pulled off the Internet.  This is not something that someone got from “an aunt” somewhere.

I got this information over the telephone from the person who took the order.

I promised that I would not reveal any more specific details, so I won’t.

But this does seem to fit with a pattern that we are beginning to see emerge.

Earlier this year, FEMA issued an RFI (Request For Information) that inquired about the availability of 140 million meals of emergency food.  Apparently the food was meant to be stored up in case there was a “catastrophic disaster event” along the New Madrid Fault.

You can view this FEMA RFI right here.  The following is an excerpt….

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) procures and stores pre-packaged commercial meals to support readiness capability for immediate distribution to disaster survivors routinely.  The purpose of this Request for Information is to identify sources of supply for meals in support of disaster relief efforts based on a catastrophic disaster event within the New Madrid Fault System for a survivor population of 7M to be utilized for the sustainment of life during a 10-day period of operations.   FEMA is considering the following specifications (14M meals per day):

– Serving Size – 12 ounce (entree not to exceed 480 calorie count);
– Maximum calories – 1200 and/or 1165 per meal;
– Protein parameters – 29g-37g kit;
– Trans Fat – 0;
– Saturated Fat – 13 grams (9 calories per gram);
– Total Fat – 47 grams (less than 10% calories);
– Maximum sodium – 800-930 mg;

Requested Menus to include snacks (i.e. fruit mix, candy, chocolate/peanut butter squeezers, drink mix, condiments, and utensils).  All meals/kits must have 36 months of remaining shelf life upon delivery.   Packaging should be environmentally friendly.

Mysteriously, seven days later this RFI was cancelled.

At that same time, FEMA also issued an RFI that sought to identify a supplier for 140 million blankets.  You can view that RFI right here.  The following is an excerpt….

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) procures and stores blankets to support readiness capability for immediate distribution to disaster survivors routinely.  The purpose of this Request for Information is to identify sources of supply for blankets in support of disaster relief efforts based on a catastrophic disaster event within the New Madrid Fault System for a survivor population of 7M to be utilized for the sustainment of life during a 10-day period of operations.   FEMA is considering the following specifications (14M blankets per day):

– 100% cotton;
– White;
– 66″ x 90″

Also, there have been some much publicized shortages of storable feed recently.  There has been much speculation about whether or not the government is part of the reason for these shortages.

There are some products that simply were not available for an extended period of time.  For example, the following was posted on the Mountain House home page….

As you know we have removed #10 cans from our website temporarily. The reason for this is sales of #10 cans have continued to increase. OFD is allocating as much production capacity as possible to this market segment, but we must maintain capacity for our other market segments as well.

The shortages around the country got so bad at one point earlier this year that a special alert was posted on Raiders News….

Look around you. Read the headlines. See the largest factories of food, potassium iodide, and other emergency product manufacturers literally closing their online stores and putting up signs like those on Mountain House’s Official Website and Thyrosafe’s Factory Webpage that explain, due to overwhelming demand, they are shutting down sales for the time being and hope to reopen someday.

Unfortunately, shortages have not been limited to storable food.  Most Americans don’t realize this, but there is a significant shortage of certain pharmaceutical drugs in many areas of the country right now.  Just check out the video news report posted below….

In addition, it is not just in the United States where food is being aggressively stored up.  For example, a recent article in The Telegraph noted that governments all over the globe are now stockpiling food….

Authoritarian governments across the world are aggressively stockpiling food as a buffer against soaring food costs which they fear may stoke popular discontent.

Also, some governments are now gobbling up as much farmland as they can.

According to the New York Times, China has been buying up “vast tracts of Latin America’s agricultural heartland” and is seeking to acquire quality farmland all over the globe.

So what does all of this mean?

It could mean something.

It could mean nothing.

But as I have written about so much recently, we really do seem to be on the verge of a major economic crisis.

The signs that the financial world is melting down are all around us.  I won’t take the time to repeat what I have covered in the last few days here.  If you missed any of it, just go back and read these articles over….

*Is Financial Instability The New Normal?

*Depressed As A Nation? 80 Percent Of Americans Believe That We Are In A Recession Right Now

*Nervous Breakdown? 21 Signs That Something Big Is About To Happen In The Financial World

One thing that I haven’t covered yet is a very curious move by Lloyd’s of London.  It turns out the Lloyd’s of London has started pulling money out of banks in Europe’s peripheral economies according to Bloomberg….

Lloyd’s of London, concerned European governments may be unable to support lenders in a worsening debt crisis, has pulled deposits in some peripheral economies as the European Central Bank provided dollars to one euro-area institution.

At this point, world financial markets have officially entered “bear” territory.  In fact, global stocks are down approximately 20 percent since May.

Many believe that what we have seen is just the beginning of another major financial crisis.

For example, in a recent editorial for The Ticker, Karl Denninger (who saw the 2008 crash coming) warned that the house of cards is starting to fall once again….

Well, America (and the world), you’ve been scammed by the financial institutions and governments for the last 30 years.  2008 was the first spasm of recognition but was short-circuited by…. you guessed it…. even more scams.  Rather than demand truth and an end to the games the American consumer lapped up the frauds and schemes of the politicians on both sides of the aisle who conspired with the financiers to rip you off once again.

Later on in the editorial, Denninger stated that he hopes that all of us have “taken the last couple of years to become prepared”….

Now recognition of that fact is dawning on people in a convulsive fashion, and markets of all sorts are reacting as one would expect when their entire worldview is exposed as having been a gigantic and intentional pyramid scheme constructed of debt layered upon debt thatcannot be paid down.  The wrong thing was done in 2008 and there is zero evidence that our government has changed one iota in their singular focus on misdirection and lies in this regard.

Welcome to awareness; I hope you’ve taken the last couple of years to become prepared.

Well, if the anecdotal evidence presented above is an indication of a larger trend, it appears that the government is getting prepared.

And if the government is stockpiling food, who can blame them?

It should be obvious to anyone that the world has become an incredibly unstable place.

Hopefully we are not about to enter another major economic crisis, but it never hurts to be prepared.

If anyone out there has any additional information that is relevant to this report, please let me know.

If the government really has started to aggressively stockpile food, that would be an important thing to know.

If it is happening, the mainstream media surely will not tell us about it.  So we will have to rely on one another for information.

So what do you think about all of this?  Please feel free to post a comment with your opinion below….

25 Signs That A Horrific Global Water Crisis Is Coming

Every single day, we are getting closer to a horrific global water crisis.  This world was blessed with an awesome amount of fresh water, but because of our foolishness it is rapidly disappearing.  Rivers, lakes and major underground aquifers all over the globe are drying up, and many of the fresh water sources that we still have available are so incredibly polluted that we simply cannot use them anymore.  Without fresh water, we simply cannot function.  Just imagine what would happen if the water got cut off in your house and you were not able to go out and buy any.  Just think about it.  How long would you be able to last?  Well, as sources of fresh water all over the globe dry up, we are seeing drought conditions spread.  We are starting to see massive “dust storms” in areas where we have never seem them before.  Every single year, most of the major deserts around the world are getting bigger and the amount of usable agricultural land in most areas is becoming smaller.  Whether you are aware of this or not, the truth is that we are rapidly approaching a breaking point.

If dramatic changes are not made soon, in the years ahead water shortages are going to force large groups of people to move to new areas.  As the global water crisis intensifies, there will be political conflicts and potentially even wars over water.  We like to think of ourselves as being so “advanced”, but the reality is that we have not figured out how to live without water.  When the water dries up in an area, most of the people are going to have to leave.

And yes, it will even happen in the United States too.  For example, once Lake Mead dries up there is simply no way that so many people are going to be able to live in and around Las Vegas.

Right now, most of us take for granted that we will always have access to an unlimited amount of clean water.

But when you take a hard look at the data, it quickly becomes clear that everything that we have always taken for granted about water is about to dramatically change.

That following are 25 signs that a horrific global water crisis is coming.  The first 12 facts are about the United States, and the last 13 are about the rest of the world….

#1 Today, the United States uses approximately 148 trillion gallons of fresh water a year.

#2 According to the U.S. government, 36 U.S. states are already facing water shortages or will be facing water shortages within the next few years.

#3 Since 1998, the level of water in Lake Mead has plunged by more than 50 percent.  Lake Mead supplies about 85 percent of the water used in Las Vegas, and at this point the lake has 5.6 trillion gallons less water than it used to have.  Lake Mead is falling so fast that some believe that the Hoover dam could actually stop producing electricity in a few years.  Needless to say, that would be a total disaster for that entire region of the country.  In addition, if things continue at the current pace, it is being estimated that Lake Mead will run completely dry some time around the year 2021.

#4 According to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the U.S. interior west is now the driest that it has been in 500 years.

#5 The Ogallala Aquifer, which is a massive underground lake that stretches from South Dakota all the way to Texas, is rapidly drying up.  The Ogallala Aquifer is believed to be the largest body of fresh water in the world, and right now it is being drained at a rate of approximately 800 gallons per minute.  Right now it covers approximately 174,000 square miles, and since the 1950s we have drained enough water from it “to half-fill Lake Erie“.  Once upon a time, the Ogallala Aquifer had an average depth of about 240 feet, but today the average depth is just 80 feet.  If something is not done, we will definitely see a return of the Dust Bowl days of the 1930s.  We need to start listening to the experts.  Just consider what David Brauer of the Ogallala Research Service had to say when asked about the future of the Ogallala Aquifer….

“Our goal now is to engineer a soft landing. That’s all we can do.”

#6 A federal judge has ruled that the state of Georgia has very few legal rights to Lake Lanier.  Lake Lanier is the main water source for the city of Atlanta.  Millions more people are expected to move into the Atlanta area in the coming years, and this is creating an absolute nightmare for city officials.

#7 It is estimated that California only has a 20 year supply of fresh water left.

#8 It is estimated that New Mexico only has a 10 year supply of fresh water left.

#9 Things have gotten so dry in Arizona that now giant “dust storms” have been blowing through the city of Phoenix.

#10 Texas is has experienced one of the driest stretches that it has ever seen.  Right now, approximately 81 percent of the state of Texas is experiencing “exceptional drought” conditions, and wildfires have burned an astounding 3.6 million acres in the state.

#11 Approximately 40 percent of all U.S. rivers  and approximately 46 percent of all U.S. lakes have become so polluted that they are are now considered to be too dangerous to fish in, swim in or get drinking water from.

#12 Eight states in the Great Lakes region have signed a pact banning the export of water to outsiders – even to other U.S. states.

#13 It is being projected that by the year 2030, global demand for water will be 40 percent higher than it is today.

#14 Worldwide demand for fresh water tripled during the last century, and is now doubling every 21 years.

#15 According to USAID, one-third of the population of the earth will be facing severe or chronic water shortages by the year 2025.

#16 Of the 60 million people added to the world’s cities every year, the vast majority of them live in impoverished areas that have no sanitation facilities whatsoever.

#17 It is estimated that 75 percent of the surface water in India is now contaminated by human and agricultural waste.

#18 If you can believe it, according to a UN study on sanitation, far more people in India have access to a cell phone than to a toilet.

#19 In the developing world, 90 percent of all wastewater is discharged completely untreated into local rivers, streams or lakes.

#20 Every 8 seconds, somewhere in the world a child dies from drinking dirty water.

#21 Due to a lack of water, Saudi Arabia has given up on trying to grow wheat and will be 100 percent dependent on wheat imports by the year 2016.

#22 In northern China, the water table is dropping one meter every single year because of drought and overpumping.

#23 Incredibly, a new desert the size of Rhode Island is created in China every single year because of drought and overpumping.

#24 In China, 80 percent of all major rivers have become so horribly polluted that they do not support any aquatic life at all at this point.

#25 Collectively, the women of South Africa walk the equivalent of the distance to the moon and back 16 times a day just to get water.

To learn more about the coming global water crisis, check out the short video posted below….

Right now, more than a billion people around the globe do not have access to safe drinking water.

That number is going to keep increasing.

Without enough fresh water, people cannot grow enough food.  Global food prices are already starting to skyrocket, and the coming global water crisis certainly is not going to help matters.

A massive, massive disaster is on the horizon.  The era of gigantic amounts of cheap food and “unlimited” amounts of clean water is over.

A horrific global water crisis is coming.

You better get ready.

Water Shortage!

Ever since the beginning of this nation, Americans have always been able to take for granted that there would always be plenty of fresh water.  But unfortunately that is rapidly changing.  Due to pollution, corruption, inefficiency and the never ending greed of the global elite, the United States (and the entire world) is heading for a very serious water shortage.  Already, there are some areas of the United States where water is the number one local political issue.  In fact, water is becoming so scarce in certain areas that some states are actually battling in court over it.  Unfortunately, there is every indication that the worldwide water crisis is about to get a lot worse. 

According to a new report released by the Natural Resources Defense Council, more than one-third of all counties in the lower 48 states will likely be facing very serious water shortages by 2050.  That is just 40 years away.  As water becomes more scarce and as big global corporations lock up available supplies, the price of water is almost certainly going to skyrocket.  This will put even more economic pressure on average Americans.

And Americans certainly do use a lot of water.  According to CBS News, the average American uses 150 gallons of water per day, while residents of the U.K. only use 40 gallons per day and residents of China use just 22 gallons per day.

In fact, a five minute shower by an American uses more water than a typical person living in poverty in a developing country uses in an entire day.

For hundreds of years, North America has been blessed with an overabundance of fresh water, but those supplies are quickly running dry.

In fact, there are some scientists who are now wondering if we might actually see a return of the “Dust Bowl” days.  The Ogallala Aquifer, a massive underground lake that stretches from southern South Dakota to northern Texas, is being drained at a staggering pace, and that means that the Great Plains could soon turn into the Great American Desert. 

If the breadbasket of America were to dry up, what would that mean for the future of this nation?

But it is not just the Great Plains that is on the verge of a major water crisis.

The following is an excerpt from an article that I authored recently for another website….

—–

*The number of states facing a water crisis is now far greater than the number of states without one.  In fact, a total of 36 states face severe water shortages in the next three years.

*A federal judge recently ruled that Georgia has few legal rights to Lake Lanier – the main water supply for Atlanta.  With 2 million more residents expected to move into Atlanta over the next couple of decades, officials there are scrambling to try to figure out how in the world everyone is going to be able to have enough water.

*In Texas, farmers and ranchers were absolutely devastated in 2009 as the ongoing drought cost the agricultural sector billions of dollars.

*Every single day Arizona and parts of New Mexico use 300 million gallons more water than they get in renewable supply.

*Lake Mead is the primary supply of water for the city of Las Vegas.  But since 1998, Lake Mead’s capacity has plunged by more than 50 percent– down 5.6 trillion gallons.  Nobody is quite sure how Las Vegas is going to continue to have enough water.

*The water crisis became so serious in California this past year that Barack Obama actually requested that California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger call state lawmakers into a special session just to deal with the situation.

*Other states are so concerned about the national water crisis that they are determined to hold on to the supplies that they have.  In fact, 8 states surrounding the Great Lakes have signed a pact banning the export of water to outsiders – even to other U.S. states.

—–

The truth is that fresh water is very rapidly becoming one of the most valuable commodities in the world.  All over the globe, big global corporations are gobbling up water rights as fast as they can.

Why?

Well, the truth is that the world is on the verge of a water shortage of unprecedented magnitude….

*Worldwide demand for fresh water tripled during the last century, and is now doubling every 21 years.

*According to USAID, one-third of all humans will face severe or chronic water shortages by the year 2025.

*Of the 60 million people added to the world’s cities every year, the vast majority of them live in impoverished slums and shanty-towns with no sanitation facilities whatsoever.

*It is estimated that 75 percent of India’s surface water is now contaminated by human and agricultural waste.   

*Not only that, but according to a UN study on sanitation, far more people in India have access to a mobile phone than to a toilet.

*In northern China, the water table is dropping one meter per year due to overpumping.

*But there are few places where the water shortage is as severe as it is in the Middle East.  Saudi Arabia had been producing enough wheat to be self-sufficient for most of the past 30 years, but in 2008 authorities there realized that the non-replenishable aquifer they had been pumping for irrigation purposes was nearly depleted.  So in response Saudi Arabia made the decision to reduce their wheat harvest by one-eighth every year thereafter.  Wheat production in Saudi Arabia is scheduled to cease entirely in 2016

The truth is that it would be very difficult to understate just how bad the world water crisis is becoming.

The following is a list of mind blowing facts about the world’s water crisis that respected water expert Maude Barlow shares during her presentations….

-Every eight seconds a child dies from drinking dirty water.

-A new desert the size of Rhode Island is created in China because of drought every single year.

-In the developing world, 90% of waste water is discharged completely untreated into local rivers.

-By the year 2050, 1.7 billion people will live in “dire water poverty” and will be forced to relocate.

-Half of the world’s hospital beds are occupied by people who have contracted waterborne diseases.

-The World Health Organization says contaminated water is the cause of 80% of all sickness and disease worldwide.

-In China, 80% of the major rivers are so polluted they don’t support aquatic life at all.

-The women of South Africa collectively walk the equivalent distance to the moon and back 16 times a day for water.

Without fresh water we cannot live, and global supplies are rapidly being depleted.

Meanwhile, the global elite are running around and are gobbling up the rights to as much of the water around the world as they can.

When you put all the facts above together, it all adds up to one very troubling picture.

Right now it is more imperative than ever to make certain that you and your family have a reliable source of clean water for the times that are coming.  Clean, fresh water is something that none of us can take for granted any longer. 

So what do you think of the coming global water shortage?  Feel free to leave a comment with your opinion….

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