More cycles

Yet another instance of the accelerating flood cycle: a photo from the devastating Himalayan floods, indicating a stance people might wish to take during these times:

submerged-lord-shiva-idol-in-rishikesh-1

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Despite being surrounded by the cyclic nature of physical life (breathing, heartbeat, blinking, day/night, tides, seasons, birth/death … and the less visible or invisible: sound waves, radio waves, x-rays, microwave cooking, evolution … and for a fun contemplation of large astronomical cycles, see this and this), for the most part, people tend to ignore cyclicality in favor of seeing life as a straight-line progression. This is unfortunate for at least two reasons: first, because all form is cyclic—form emerges, flourishes to some extent, and dissolves; second, because there are some not-so-obvious cycles that offer understanding for what is otherwise quite mysterious. In fact, here at Thundering Heard, we are on a path to discuss the biggest cycle of them all for people, a cycle that, once grasped, contains the answers to “little” questions like the meaning of life, why are we here, and so forth. But first, let’s get more adept at seeing the cyclic aspect of life and how important it is.

The Sunspot Cycle

There is a peak of sunspot activity every 10 to 13 years, with 11 years being the average for each cycle. A chart of the peaks and troughs of sunspot activity from 1926 to 2009 looks like this:

Sunspots_Longer_Annot3

Let’s look at the three peaks labeled A, B, and C.

The peaks of sunspot activity often really “rev people up” financially, that is, there is typically an excitation of human activity that leads to a financial market bubble that coincides with the sunspot peak.

Three peaks ago, the peak in 1980, labeled A above, coincided with the peak of the commodity price boom and price inflation that took place in the 1970s after Nixon defaulted on the US promise, made near the end of World War 2, to always support conversion of Dollars into gold. Those were the days when the so-called Misery Index (inflation plus the unemployment rate) was tracked in daily newspapers, and mortgage rates in the US rose to 18%.

Here’s a closer look at the last two peaks of sunspot cycle activity:

Sunspots_2_Annot

The cycle peak labeled B was in 1990 and corresponded with the peak in Japan of bubbles in their stock and real estate markets. This was the time when it was generally held that Japan Inc. would rule the world, or at least own it; that its economy would soon be the largest in the world. A single block of downtown Tokyo real estate was said to be worth more than all of the real estate in California. Now that’s a bubble! (We’ll see in our next post on cycles why that Japan bubble grew so large when we cover another cycle that also contributed to this Japan peak. When multiple important cycles converge, the results can be gargantuan.) Following that peak, Japan experienced what has come to be called The Lost Decade, though it has now run for two decades. Both their stock and real estate markets lost 75% of their “value” after that peak, and they still have not come anywhere close to recovering their former glory as Japan has been mired in nearly constant recession ever since.

The sunspot peak labeled C aligned with the peak in the internet/technology stocks in the Spring and Summer of 2000, another famous bubble. Again money flowed, this time into Pets.com, Webvan,com, Geocities,com, DrKoop.com, and many others, most of which had little going for them except an idea and a web site. Little or no sales, no profits—who cared! They were going to the moon. It was a New Paradigm. If you thought it was insane, you “just didn’t get it.” And the thing is, that craziness for internet stocks had been in play for a few years; that hoopla could have ended in 1998 or 1999. But it didn’t. It ended when the sunspot cycle peaked in 2000.

Looking back, it would have been great for the participants in those bubbles to be aware of the sunspot cycle peak. They could have sidestepped a lot of trouble. So what’s going to happen this time around? Well, for a few years, I have thought that  this economic cycle might hang on into the peak of the current sunspot cycle, called Solar Cycle 24, which was projected for August 2013. But Amon Ra may have thrown us a curve ball. It looks like this cycle will not have the usual single large peak, but rather a dual peak like Solar Cycle 14 from the early 20th Century. According to solar physicist Dean Pesnell of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center:

“This is solar maximum. But it looks different from what we expected because it is double peaked.” Pesnell noted similarities between the current cycle and Solar Cycle 14, which happened between February 1902 and August 1913 and experienced a double peak. If the two cycles are in fact twins, he said that “it would mean one peak in late 2013 and another in 2015.”

Here is a chart that shows the peak in 2000 plus our current cycle:

sunspts_predict_l

If the NASA guy is right, there should be a bubble peak in either 2013 or 2015. But a bubble in what? Here are some clues:

  • Lots of savings accounts pay only 0.01% in interest.
  • Mortgage rates got near 1% in Japan and 3% in the US. (Would you lend money to a stranger for 30 years for 3% interest? Neither would banks, which is why almost all mortgages need a guarantee from a government program or the banks won’t make the loan.)
  • Short-term interest rates in Germany and Switzerland recently went negative. That’s right, if you wanted to lend money to Germany or Switzerland on a short term basis, you had the pay them for the privilege.

If you think these phenomena don’t make a lot of sense, you are right. But it points to the culprit that has all the hallmarks of a monster bubble: the world government bond market. The bull market in bonds has been running for over 30 years. On May 2, if you wanted to lend money to Germany for 10 years, they would pay you an interest rate of 1.2%; the US, 1.6%. And if you wanted to lend Switzerland money for 10 years in December, they were paying a whopping 0.4%. Japan? 0.45%.

And in the case of Japan in particular, they are working very hard to devalue their currency, to make sure the yen falls in value. So the question is, who in their right mind would lend to these countries for such a pittance in interest, especially while most of them are printing money to intentionally debase the value of their currencies!?! You get a very poor interest rate and, if you get your capital back, it will be in a currency that will have fallen in value over 10 years. Yet, that is what institutions and people are doing. Recently, if you wanted to get a reasonable interest rate on 10-year government bonds, then you would have lend money to the country of Rwanda; they paid 7% on a recent offering of 10 year bonds. Best of luck getting your capital back 10 years from now.

When this bubble bursts, the consequences will be huge. This is not a bubble in one country, like Japan in 1980, or in one sector of the economy, like tech stocks in 2000, we’re talking about government bonds, worldwide! This is the market that supports military spending, education, transportation, and just about every safety net (in the US: Social Security, Medicare, Food Stamps, Medicaid, Unemployment Insurance, and so forth) on the planet. And you get this paltry interest rate when you might not even get your capital back in 10 years. A number of governments are on a clear trajectory for bankruptcy; there is a good chance that bond buyers will not get their capital back! And yet they lend huge amounts of money to these governments. Especially Baby Boomers, they have been pouring money into bond funds. Just like they poured money into stocks in 2000, and real estate investments in 2006. Oh well.

When do I think the bond bubble will pop? This year! 2013. I don’t think it can last to 2015. In fact, the bubble pop may have already started. And guess which institutions count government bonds as their major “stable” capital: banks. Yet another reason to watch out for the banks!

Furthermore, the solar cycle might actually peak this year. The NASA guy might be wrong about the dual-peak forecast.

What will it mean if this bubble pops? It means interest rates will rise, possibly a lot. This will strongly increase the amount of interest governments must pay on their debts. Their deficits will skyrocket.

Mortgage interest rates are closely tied to the government bond market, so mortgage rates will rise as well. (US mortgage rates rose from 3.88% to 4.35% just over the last week!) And if government deficits skyrocket, programs will need to be cut, so the massive support they are currently providing for the mortgage market will be in jeopardy, threatening even further rate increases.

Still, two cycles that we will discuss in the next post about cycles argue for that 2015 date.

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I would like to make one thing very clear: If you woke up tomorrow and heard that a large “systemically important” international bank had collapsed, causing chaos in the rest of the financial system, and that most banks would be closed for some number of days, would you really be surprised? Probably not. Many people are starting to get the idea that the system is not exactly solid. I am certainly in that camp. So when I talk about August 2013 or some month in 2015 as the month when the real systemic collapse will commence, please know that, in my view, the more-than-sufficient conditions are in place for that full system collapse to happen at any minute. Discussions like the one above are an attempt to get a handle on probabilities. In terms of preparation, acceleration is not to be trifled with: I think that everyone should be doing what they can to be prepared now. If it turns out there is more time for preparation, fabulous, this type of preparation takes awhile and I’m sure we can all use the time. But that time may be short indeed. As the photo at the top of the post shows, when change arrives in your area, it may be monumental change.

Upcoming Thefts by Big Money

The insatiable banking/corporate/political crony network that has stolen so much from people in the past has some new schemes in store. First on the docket is the bail-in, where reckless banks with huge losses will be kept afloat not by the general base of taxpayers, but by those who have lent them money. And as mentioned in Update on Metals, Deposit Confiscation, and Capital Controls, depositors are definitely grouped into the class of those who have “lent” money to these banks. As in Cyprus, if a bank fails and the regulators decide that depositor money will be confiscated, the depositors receive some stock in the bank in exchange for their money. We’ll see later in this post just how well that is working out for people in Cyprus. But first, let’s establish that bail-ins are definitely the new thing:

     It Can Happen Here: The Confiscation Scheme Planned for US and UK Depositors

Confiscating the customer deposits in Cyprus banks, it seems, was not a one-off, desperate idea of a few Eurozone “troika” officials scrambling to salvage their balance sheets. A joint paper by the US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Bank of England dated December 10, 2012, shows that these plans have been long in the making; that they originated with the G20 Financial Stability Board in Basel, Switzerland (discussed earlier here); and that the result will be to deliver clear title to the banks of depositor funds…  

Although few depositors realize it, legally the bank owns the depositor’s funds as soon as they are put in the bank. Our money becomes the bank’s, and we become unsecured creditors holding IOUs or promises to pay. (See here and here.) But until now the bank has been obligated to pay the money back on demand in the form of cash. Under the FDIC-BOE plan, our IOUs will be converted into “bank equity.”  The bank will get the money and we will get stock in the bank. With any luck we may be able to sell the stock to someone else, but when and at what price?…

No exception is indicated for “insured deposits” in the U.S., meaning those under $250,000, the deposits we thought were protected by FDIC insurance. This can hardly be an oversight, since it is the FDIC that is issuing the directive.

     Wealthy bank depositors to suffer losses in EU law

A draft European Union law voted on Monday would shield small depositors from losing their savings in bank rescues, but customers with over 100,000 euros in savings when a bank failed could suffer losses.

     Asmussen clarifies EU Parliament: savers must bleed for bank rescue

     Japan to adopt ‘bail-ins,’ force bank losses on investors if needed, Nikkei says

     Land Of The Rising Bail In: Deposit Confiscation Coming To Japan Next

Other countries have hopped on the bail-in bandwagon, but you get the idea.

To absolutely confirm that bail-ins are coming, the next story is about an organization called ISDA preparing for how to handle bail-ins. Why is this important? Because the following is a list of the voting members of the ISDA Determinations Committee:

  • Bank of America N.A.
  • Barclays Bank plc
  • BNP Paribas
  • Citibank, N.A.
  • Credit Suisse International
  • Deutsche Bank AG
  • Goldman Sachs International
  • JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.
  • Morgan Stanley & Co. International plc
  • UBS AG

That is the rogues gallery of derivatives trading on this planet. And what is this Determinations Committee determining? Who gets what on all of the derivative bets placed with respect to any bank that gets a bail-in. In other words, there will be bets that the bank will fail, bets that the bank will survive, bets on the bank’s bonds, etc. etc., and these guys are now setting the rules for who gets what after a bail-in. If these folks think it’s necessary to protect themselves relating to bail-ins, then gee, I wonder if everyone else ought to do the same?:

     New CDS trigger event proposed to tackle bail-in

ISDA is consulting on a proposal to add another credit event for financial credit default swaps in order to adapt to sweeping changes in regulation that will give supervisory authorities the power to bail-in the debt of floundering institutions.

For further proof, those who are well-connected are already working to make sure that they are exempt from the torture of a bail-in:

     EACH wants CCP exemption from bail-ins 

Rest assured that there will be bank failures because the big ones have gone back to the methods that precipitated the financial crisis on the first place. They are again selling CDOs, one of the primary culprits in 2008:

     ‘Frankenstein’ CDOs twitch back to life

And they are once again granting what are called “covenant-lite” loans.

And in new depths of scum-sucking bottom-feeding, banks are so desperate for capital and profits and bonuses that they are now pursuing people upon whom they foreclosed to make up the difference between the mortgage loan amount and the price the banks were able to get for the house when they sold that house after foreclosure:

     Lenders seek court actions against homeowners years after foreclosure

For Jose Santos Benavides, the ordeal of losing his home was over.

The Salvadoran immigrant had worked for years as a self-employed landscaper to make a $15,000 down payment on a four-bedroom house in Rockville. He had achieved a portion of the American dream, earning nearly six figures.

Then the economy soured, and lean paychecks turned into late mortgage payments. On Aug. 20, 2008, one year after he bought his dream home for $469,000, the bank’s threat to take his house became real via a letter in the mail. Just four days before the bank seized the property, he moved out, along with his wife and their two young children.

That wasn’t the worst of it.

In November, more than three years after the foreclosure, he was stunned to learn he still owed $115,000 — with the interest alone growing at a rate high enough to lease a luxury car.

“I’m scared, you know,” Benavides said. “I can’t pay.”

The 42-year-old is among the many homeowners being taken to court by their lenders long after their houses were taken in foreclosure. Lenders are filing new motions in old foreclosure lawsuits and hiring debt collectors to pursue leftover debt, plus court fees, attorneys’ fees and tens of thousands in interest that had been accruing for years.

From that Washington Post article, here is a chart that shows that, in some states of the US, the banks have 40 or more years after the foreclosure to go after former “homeowners” upon whom they foreclosed:

wpdeficiencytimeframephoto2So the banks engaged for years in seriously questionable lending practices, packaged up mortgages they knew would fail into “securities” that they sold all over the world, created fake documents and had them robo-signed to accomplish foreclosures, and now they can hound people for decades for what the banks say are their losses on these mortgages. With interest. And attorneys fees. I wonder who created such a legal system. As Bank of America employees reported:

     ‘We were told to lie’ – Bank of America employees open up about foreclosure practices

Employees of Bank of America say they were encouraged to lie to customers and were even rewarded for foreclosing on homes, staffers of the financial giant claim in new court documents…

“To justify the denials, employees produced fictitious reasons, for instance saying the homeowner had not sent in the required documents, when in actuality, they had,” William Wilson, Jr., a former underwriter for the bank, wrote in his statement.

As a side note on Europe, rumor has it that the infamous EU Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsellbloem, the one who correctly stated in public that the Cyprus bank action was a template for future bank resolutions, is pressing EU officials to try to preemptively resolve the problem of insolvent EU banks via deposit confiscation. And he wants to do that soon. So far, all attempts to fix EU bank problems have been band-aids that temporarily covered over the real problems; none have come close to a real solution, and we’ll get to the reason for that below. But if you have any notion that EU banks are solvent, then read this comment about Deutsche Bank by a former US Federal Reserve Bank President:

     Deutsche Bank “Is Horribly Undercapitalized… It’s Ridiculous” Says Former Fed President Hoenig

A top U.S. banking regulator called Deutsche Bank’s capital levels “horrible” and said it is the worst on a list of global banks based on one measurement of leverage ratios. “It’s horrible, I mean they’re horribly undercapitalized,” said Federal Deposit Insurance Corp Vice Chairman Thomas Hoenig in an interview. “They have no margin of error.” Deutsche’s leverage ratio stood at 1.63 percent, according to Hoenig’s numbers, which are based on European IFRS accounting rules as of the end of 2012.

Deutsche Bank is the biggest player in the world in the risk-laden derivatives market. At last count, they had $73 trillion in derivatives outstanding, which is over twenty times the size of the German GDP, so if Deutsche Bank has a derivatives blow up, it’s unlikely that Germany or anyone else would be able to afford to make good on their losses. After all, $73 trillion is larger than the entire world GDP.

And why is it that, as stated above, there have been no attempts to really solve EU bank problems?  It’s very simple: too much debt was issued to buy assets (e.g., real estate), pushing up the price of those assets to unrealistic levels. There are real losses that need to be taken, and no one wants to take the losses. All involved prefer to pretend that there are no such losses, so they use near-zero-interest bridge loans, accounting lies, and round robin I’ll-lend-your-bank-money-to-buy-your-government-debt-and-you-use-the-proceeds-to-bail-out-your-bank games to mask the truth. With non-performing loans at EU banks at record highs and growing by the day, good luck with that.

But here is the problem with bail-ins, the latest and great “fix” for the financial system: so far, they don’t work.  Let’s look at the infamous Cyprus case: they stole a lot of deposits and in return, gave people stock in the bank. But few want to keep their money in that bank anymore. Even with strong limits on daily withdrawals from the Cyprus banks, people are persistently removing their money from those banks:

     Cyprus Bank Deposits Plunge By Most Ever During “Capital Controls” Month

Here’s what the trend of withdrawals from the Cyprus banks look like:

Cyprus Bank Deposits Seq Change

That’s more than $6 billion being withdrawn in April, after the March bail-in. So that bank stock that people received in return for their “expropriated” deposits? Must be worth a fortune. If people still received stock certificates as a matter of course, at least these could be framed as memorabilia, yet another testament to the financial follies of humanity. But it’s all just electronic entries these days. Switch a few bits and bytes and then who owns what?

And the whole Cyprus action is breaking down anyway:

     The Cyprus Bail-In Blows Up: President Urges Complete Bailout Overhaul

Cyprus’ President Nicos Anastasiades has realized (as we warned), too late it seems for the thousands of domestic and foreign depositors who were sacrificed at the alter of monetary union, that the TROIKA’s terms are “too onerous.” Anastasiades has asked EU lenders to unwind the complex restructuring and partial merger of its two largest banks…

Not that the bail-outs actually worked either. Despite the fact that the EU leaders touted each of the first three Greek bailouts as the final fix, Greece now needs a fourth:

     Greece Has One Month To Plug A €1.2 Billion Healthcare Budget Hole

Think Cyprus is the only country that will need a repeat bailout (as the FT reported earlier)? Think again. Cause heeeeere’s Greece… again…. where as Kathimerini reports, a brand new, massive budget hole for €1.2 billion has just been “discovered.

And here’s another nice theft tactic. Well, nice if you are the bank. The Bank of Ireland just doubled the interest rate on existing floating rate mortgages where the fine print allowed them to do so:

     Bank Of Ireland Doubles Mortgage Rates, Homeowners Fear More To Come

And expect to hear a good deal more about wealth taxes in the coming months:

     German ‘Wise Men’ push for wealth seizure

Professors Lars Feld and Peter Bofinger said states in trouble must pay more for their own salvation, arguing that there is enough wealth in homes and private assets across the Mediterranean to cover bail-out costs. “The rich must give up part of their wealth over the next ten years,” said Prof Bofinger.

And last but not least, you know all that money sitting in retirements accounts? Multiple countries have nationalized such accounts in recent years. People like former Republican Administration insider Catherine Austin Fitts have been warning people that US politicians salivate when they contemplate getting their hands on that pool of $18 trillion.

OK, just three final (brief!) comments:

1. You’ve heard the old saying about someone who “wants your money in their pocket.” The problem here is most people’s money is already stored in “their pocket,” that is, it’s already being held by the institutions that want to grab it.

2. That thing about the banks going after people for more money after they have already foreclosed on them? Too bad we don’t have a Charles Dickens around to dramatize this type of behavior, maybe then people would get the depth of depravity in this system.

3. Tread carefully out there, folks, it looks like acceleration spares nothing, so I think you want to be real careful about “wait and see.” You know my view: banks are for transaction accounts, not savings.

Next time we’ll cover another big pile of electronic money, brokerage accounts.

Metals On Sale

If governments won’t go back on a gold standard, individuals can go back on the gold standard all by themselves
–Peter Schiff, in the documentary End of the Road: How Money Became Worthless

Want to see what is said to be 10,000 Chinese folks lined up outside of a gold retailer in China to buy physical gold on June 11?

Gold Line 1

Gold Line 2

More photos are here or here.

And there is “unprecedented” demand for US gold and silver bullion coins:

     U.S. bullion coin demand still at ‘unprecedented’ levels : Mint

Demand for U.S. gold and silver bullion coins is still at “unprecedented” high levels almost two months after an historic sell-off in gold released years of pent-up demand from retail investors, the head of the U.S. Mint said on Wednesday.

His comments are likely to allay concerns among some traders that frenzied buying by mom-and-pop investors since mid-April after prices plunged to two-year lows had started to fade…

“Demand right now is unprecedented. We are buying all the coin (blanks) they can make,” Richard Peterson, acting director of the U.S. Mint, said in an interview referring to the Mint’s suppliers.

India imports gold to meet internal demand, and there is so much demand for physical that it is driving up the trade deficit, spurring the government to make laws trying to stop the people in India from buying so much gold:

     India Trade Deficit Deteriorates As Gold Imports Soar 138%

And there is a buying mania for physical in the Middle East, where the gold market is centered in Dubai:

     Gold Demand in Dubai Now Running at 10x Normal Levels

European banks are still having trouble delivering gold stored in those banks by their by clients, and for those who want gold from refineries, they have to wait five to six weeks for delivery:

Clients Denied Gold At Major Banks As Shortage Intensifies

Suppliers & Bank Clients Denied Gold As Shortage Intensifies

Some in the mainstream media have claimed the buying is over, but the data shows otherwise:

     Point Out The “Slump” In Chinese Gold Imports On This Chart

[In China] YTD imports of 500 tons are more than double the 240 tons imported over the same period last year…

And the ultra-rich are said to be buying:

      Deutsche Bank Opens Singapore Gold Vault That Can Hold 200 Tons

Deutsche Bank AG said it started gold storage facilities that can keep as much as 200 metric tons at the Singapore FreePort.

“We are seeing considerable interest on the part of our ultra high net-worth clients in this asset class,” Mark Smallwood, head of wealth planning at the bank’s asset & wealth management unit in the Asia-Pacific region, said today in an e-mailed release.

Now if you think it’s odd that there is a buying frenzy and the price stays low, congratulations, you have not been compromised despite years of hearing lies from the mainstream media.  Just this week, whistleblowers have emerged to reveal that yet another of the world’s major financial markets is manipulated, this time the currency markets, you know, the trading of dollars for yen for pounds for euros and so forth. Those trades add up to $4 trillion to $5 trillion per day. Certainly worth manipulating if one is a criminal and has the means. Well, manipulation is precisely what is going on:

     WM/Reuters Busted In Latest Market Rigging And Collusion Scandal: Foreign Exchange

According to Bloomberg, “employees have been front-running client orders and rigging WM/Reuters rates by pushing through trades before and during the 60-second windows when the benchmarks are set, said the current and former traders, who requested anonymity because the practice is controversial. Dealers colluded with counterparts to boost chances of moving the rates, said two of the people, who worked in the industry for a total of more than 20 years.”

As I’ve said before, all of the large markets are rigged. Now that the truth is emerging on this and so many other fronts, how long will they be able to keep the rigging going?

The gold price in particular is still being set not by demand for real gold, but in the paper gold market, the futures market. But there’s a growing problem with that. Just like at the European banks, the physical gold that provides very partial backing for the futures trades is being withdrawn from the vaults. People want physical, not paper! When that chart shown just below goes to zero, and it will, there won’t be any more gold futures trades in the US and the gold price will be free to trade by actual supply and demand for physical gold for the first time in over a hundred years: 

     Comex Gold Inventories Collapse By Largest Amount Ever On Record

COMEX_Deliveries

So, when will the price recover to its former highs and beyond? One of the few advisers who recommended selling gold at right at $1,900 (not the ones who don’t have a clue about gold who repeatedly said to sell when the price was $700 and $800 and $900 all the way up to $1,900, like Nouriel Roubini), now says the downward price move is over, or just about over, and they are buying back in for the long term. From Jim Sinclair’s site:

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Charles Nenner, one of the few that called the $1900 high for a SERIOUS reaction without any agenda except to excel in market timing.

Gold/Silver comments:

Sector

We are getting closer to our projected cycle lows for Gold and Silver

So far, Silver reached our downside price target, while Gold missed it twice by 40 Dollars.

As long as Gold does not close above 1530, we think that we can see one more test of the lows – but time is running out.

If we see one more sell off, the risk is limited, and we can just sit it out, while being positioned for the upside.

CharlesNenner.com

I’ve got twenty articles ready to go as sources for my upcoming post on why you might not want to use the banking system for anything but transaction processing. And that will be followed by a similar post about brokerage accounts. As Peter Schiff said a the top of this post, people don’t have to wait for governments to be on the gold standard, they can do it for themselves.

Pathetic Beating of War Drums

There are 40,000,000 men under arms in the world today, and our statesmen and diplomats have the temerity to say that war is not in the making.

Hell’s bells! Are these 40,000,000 men being trained to be dancers?
–1935, Major General Smedley Butler, War Is A Racket

Since the story broke around May 13 that the US Department of Justice collected the phone records of Associated Press reporters and editors for months in revenge for their printing a story about the CIA that the Administration did not like, the Administration has faced an avalanche of scandal. What did they expect? Directly attacking the press with a massive wiretapping operation? The press was rightly furious. Many boycotted the off-the-record press conference (how’s that for twisting language and taking oxymoronics to new depths, an “off-the-record press conference”!) held by Attorney General Eric Holder to explain how they really weren’t doing any harm with all those wiretaps. Sure.

They pushed the press too far. It inspired at least a small number of those who claim to be journalists to live up to their name and unleash the avalanche: the IRS targeting political enemies, the admission that the War on Terror is permanent, that Attorney General Eric Holder lied to Congress under oath, that the US collects millions of personal phone records from telecom companies, that they collect everyone’s internet activities shown here and here, that the US is drawing up a list of targets for cyber warfare, that the US “hacks everyone everywhere”, and so forth. What a month!!!

So now what do we get? The distraction supreme: War! They’ve conveniently and officially decided that Syria has used chemical weapons (“weapons of mass destruction”) and so now the public discussion will be: what weapons will be sent, where will warships be placed, how many “advisors” are needed, when will a no-fly zone be implemented, and so forth. Haven’t we seen this script before? Didn’t they actually make movie like that? A war would nicely dominate the news. The assumption is that people are stupid and they’ll forget about the illegalities and theft of freedoms from the previous paragraph, and they’ll allow the country to get sucked into yet another war.

Well, are we that stupid? Are we going to let them sucker us into another war that profits the very few and kills the many? In the name of the many? Paid for by the many?

Let’s review some history here. In 1935, the most decorated US war hero up to that time, Marine Corp Major General Smedley Butler, published the amazing pamphlet War Is a Racket, perhaps the best summary ever of what war is really for: Profit! They taught us all that in school, right? Sure.

As Butler predicted in 1935, they were preparing for war, which turned out to be World War 2. After that war, They saw that it would be impossible to keep up that level of intensity forever, so They came up with the Cold War and regional war. That keeps the weapons procurement process going big time for the defense companies, and keeping all those ships and jets and trucks running around the world at somewhere between 700 and 1,000 bases worldwide brings huge profits for the energy cartel.

They succeeded in having a very profitable regional war in Korea. Following that war, US President Eisenhower warned about a takeover by the military-industrial complex. But few listened.

Then They wanted a regional war in Viet Nam. John F. Kennedy resisted. So They assassinated him and soon after there were hundreds of thousands of well-armed troops fighting in Viet Nam. Martin Luther King caught on to their game and started including a lot of anti-war remarks in his speeches in 1968, so They assassinated him. Robert F Kennedy showed all signs of campaigning against war, so They killed him. So then the young people who were being sent to Viet Nam and whose friends were being sent to Viet Nam started protesting that war in earnest. The Woodstock concert in 1969 was the largest peace rally ever held. Since there was no police presence there, that concert proceeded peacefully. So in 1970 They killed some of the heroes of that concert like Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. And They killed four war-protesting students at Kent State University. But people still protested until the US government couldn’t take it anymore and ended its involvement in Viet Nam in 1973.

Soon thereafter, They switched most of their attention on the Middle East. The money was flowing in from oil, so They armed everyone to the teeth. Arabs versus Jews, Sunnis versus Shiites, Muslims versus Christians, dictators versus democracies, wow, what an endless platform for weapons sales and continuous regional war, which they have now achieved.

The question for all of us is: if we let them create a larger war in Syria, clearly, won’t Iran be the next stop? And will the Iran war go beyond regional, will that one go nuclear, will that be World War 3?

Will They be satisfied with the steady profits from Their successful creation of continuous regional war, or are They greedy for something much larger?

Folks, our so-called leaders are not going to put a stop to this. They know that the leaders who tried to put a stop to it got killed for their efforts. So our “leaders” will either be the paid salespeople for war or they will stand aside and let others play that role. Either way, the political honchos are not going to stop this. People have to stop it. We have to stop it.

They know we can stop it. That’s why They have to resort to such elaborate hoaxes and false flag attacks to drag people into these wars. So let’s not fall for it. Let’s peacefully put a stop to it.

Waterfall of Emerging Truth

Really, what’s happening is, it’s a change in the rules of the game, which means that your cash is increasingly at risk of ending up in the government’s hands.
–Philippa Malmgren, former Special Assistant to the President of the United States for Economic Policy

So, acceleration of US government scandals, acceleration of truth emerging from the shadows into the mainstream, acceleration of clear signs of governments desperate to hold onto power. Wow, if you’ve been reading the news, you know that things are starting to move very quickly:

NSA collecting phone records of millions of Verizon customers daily

NSA PRISM program taps in to user data of Apple, Google and others

–The US has extensive offensive cyber warfare capabilities. According to a US intelligence source, “We hack everyone everywhere.”:

     Obama orders US to draw up overseas target list for cyber-attacks

–Youtube gets a video of a former Canadian Defense Minister saying that UFOs and extra-terrestrials are real, that some of them work in and with the US government, and that there is a worldwide cabal that runs the planet for their own purposes:

Who are these vested interests, and what are they up to? …I have broadened and deepened my definition to cabal, and the cabal comprises members of the Three Sisters—the CFR, Bilderbergers, and the Trilateral Commission—the international banking cartel, the oil cartel, members of various intelligence organizations, and select members of the military…who together have become a shadow government of not only the United States, but of much of the Western world. The aim of the game is a world government comprising members of the cabal who are elected by no one and accountable to no one. And according to Mr. Rockefeller, the plan is well advanced. Does this help you to understand why our civil rights are being taken away from us?

–And weather wildness continues to accelerate, Oklahoma seems to get more than its share:

The National Weather Service reported Tuesday that the killer tornado that struck near Oklahoma City last Friday was a ferocious EF5 twister, which had winds that neared 295 mph… The weather service also said the twister’s 2.6-mile width is the widest ever recorded. According to the National Severe Storm Laboratory, the tornado blew up from one mile to 2.6 miles wide in a 30-second span… There have only been eight F5/EF-5 tornadoes in Oklahoma since 1950, the Weather Underground reports, and two of them have hit in the past two weeks. The other hit Moore on May 20, killing 24 people.

We’ll have more comments on all of that government stuff soon, but today, as part of observing this waterfall of emerging truth, let’s review material from an interview with a true insider. As stated in the post Accelerating Truth, more insiders seem willing, finally, to speak publicly about what is going on.

The insider for this post is Philippa Malmgren. She has served in the White House as the liason between the White House and the Federal Reserve, as the person responsible for all financial market issues for the President, and perhaps most importantly for our discussion today, she was part of what is officially called the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets, but which is known on the Street as the Plunge Protection Team. The PPT was created in early 1988 in reaction to the stock market crash of 1987. This crew goes to work when markets aren’t doing what the White House wants them to be doing and they interfere in whatever way they deem necessary. While the details are not disclosed, these people are said to have access to a very large pile of cash to push markets where they want them to go.

Philippa gave an amazing interview this weekend to King World News.  Here are some quotes:

…the magnitude of the debt that is held by the United States, and indeed by all of the industrialized economies that have a debt problem, is so great it cannot be paid down. The human suffering involved would be so far beyond our capacity to withstand, so it has to be defaulted on.

* * *

Look, we are in a world where every major industrialized government doesn’t have the funds to deliver on the promises they’ve made to the public. So they are going to reach for the public’s cash in different ways…. Some of it is through higher taxes. Some of it is what I would call ‘expropriation,’ although taxation and even inflation are a version of that. But for example, Portugal, about a year ago, announced that they were nationalizing three of Portugal Telecom’s pension funds and placing the assets on the government’s balance sheet so that the government’s balance sheet would look better for the purposes of negotiating with the EU.

Now, were those pensioners expropriated? Yes. It made page 14 of the Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times, as if it was a non-event. But I think what we saw in Cyprus, a really overt expropriation, we are going to see that come in lots of different forms (going forward). Some of it will be obvious like Cyprus. Some of it will be subtle like Portugal, but what’s sure is that it’s happening.

So, yes, we have a really important political, philosophical battle now as states (and governments) try to find a way to take your cash in order to fund themselves, and not necessarily to the citizens best interest.

Really what’s happening is it’s a change in the rules of the game, which means that your cash is increasingly at risk of ending up in the government’s hands. So this is what we need to be alert to around the world.

* * *

You just have to whisper at it (the price of gold), and you can move it big time. Are governments good at that? Yes, they are good at that.

* * *

It is true that governments hate it when gold starts going through the roof, especially when they are in the midst of the largest devaluation, currency debasement strategy ever known…. We have never seen so many large industrialized economies all adopt this strategy simultaneously.

* * *

…this is one reason that many of the institutions that I’m advising are very wary about gold is because they do feel it’s subject to manipulation. That (as a result) the volatility is too heart-stopping to withstand.

And they are looking at other options. One option is definitely the world of diamonds. I see lots of private wealth moving in that direction. That’s one reason we see diamonds hitting absolutely record high prices. It’s because you can move an immense amount of value across a border with this thing in your pocket that a metal detector cannot find.

By the way, I was in charge of anti-money laundering policy for the U.S. government, so I’m not condoning this. I’m just saying it’s a fact. In a world where inflation pressures are definitely ripping through emerging markets, people want to move ‘value.’ And in a world where currencies are being debased, they want to hang on to value.

I’ve said a number of those things on this site, some in almost precisely the same words. The web sites listed on the Blogroll for this site published most of these things earlier than I did. These things are not complex. They are easy and clear. But I thought that perhaps these things would mean more to readers if they heard it from a true big-time insider. Let’s summarize:

1. Governments made lots of financial promises they cannot keep.

2. Governments have borrowed way more money than they can ever pay back.

3. They will try to disguise Points 1 and 2 by printing a lot of money because they see this as the most palatable way to default on their obligations, that is, they will pay their debts in money that is worth less and less and less…

4. Governments are going to do whatever they can to confiscate money from people to remain in power, in both subtle and overt ways.

5. Governments who are debasing their currency hate it when the gold price rises as a direct reflection of people trying to defend themselves from the money printing and the confiscations. So they will try to keep you in their confiscation system by scaring you away from gold. By having the price of gold and silver move wildly when priced in dollars, what governments are trying to do is to convince you that an unbacked currency that can be created digitally in infinite quantities is stable…and that gold and silver, honored as money for thousands of years, is not.

Philippa mentioned diamonds for wealth preservation and that has not been mentioned at all on Thundering Heard. The reasoning is threefold: I am not an expert on diamonds; I have heard of other non-experts who attempt to preserve wealth via diamonds and get fleeced by those who are experts; and the diamond market is a cartel run by DeBeers and the Russians where price is falsely supported by these suppliers withholding huge supplies of diamonds from the open market, so in my view, if their cartel ever gets broken, the price crash in diamonds will be epic.

However, Philippa is right: at least for now, for hiding portable wealth, diamonds are very tough to beat. And her clients are large institutions, sovereign wealth funds, etc. These people can afford to hire experts to make sure they don’t get fleeced when they buy diamonds. So if you have such expertise yourself, or access to it through friends, diamonds might be a very good way to go. But if you do not have access to such expertise, in my view, gold is far better because if you buy minted bullion coins from a reputable dealer, you don’t need to be an expert. Though I guess it is best to mention that the following quote was the advice for getting through the financial collapse from a book mentioned in What is the Transition? Conclusion, that is, the Sanctus Germanus Prophecies Volume 1, published in 2003:

Buy minted gold and silver coins, other precious metals or color gemstones. This is your 100 percent guarantee against the financial collapse. Store them in a safe place other than a bank, as bank failures will multiply. Few, if any, will survive. The US and other country currencies will collapse just as the Confederate currency did after the Civil War in the US.

The overall message here is: if you have savings in bank or brokerage accounts, governments are trying to figure out how to grab that money. They are making this very clear, as I will show shortly in separate posts on the threats to bank accounts and brokerage accounts that have recently been clearly announced by governments.

Who says a person can’t change the world

CALIF. UTILITY WILL CLOSE TROUBLED NUCLEAR PLANT

A fellow named Ace Hoffman from Carlsbad, CA has been working relentlessly for many years to alert the world to the dangers of these defective nuclear plants situated right between the Pacific Ocean and Interstate Highway 5, one of the busier highways in the world. Those plants also happen to sit right between Los Angeles and San Diego. Here’s a shot of the plants from Google Earth:

SanOnofreNot pictured, of course, is what’s called the Newport/Inglewood/Rose Canyon Fault Zone in which the plant was built. Great place for a badly-designed nuclear plant: on the coast, in an earthquake fault zone, near big cities, right next to the main highway for the area! What could possibly go wrong.

Now let’s hope that the de-commissioning process goes smoothly before a tsunami turns the place into a radiating shambles. Remember what was said here:

According to data at the NOAA Global Historical Tsunami Database, which has records going back to 2000 BC, there have been 34 tsunamis with a wave height greater than twenty feet over the last 400 years. Six of those, or 18%, have occurred since the year 2000…

Of course, all the still-highly-radioactive spent nuclear fuel from 44 years of nuclear power generation will be safely handled by … oh yeah, the USA has no plan for safely handling spent nuclear fuel.  In fact, skip the “safely” part, the USA has no plan for spent nuclear fuel at all. Except to leave it lying around. We sure wouldn’t want to hurt electric utility company profits by making them do something safe with it.

Anyway, closing San Onofre Units 2 and 3 (Unit 1 was closed in 1992) is major progress. At least these plants won’t be adding to the spent nuclear fuel pile. Congratulations, and thanks for changing the world, to Ace Hoffman, who writes cogently about the design problems of nuclear energy and nuclear plants here.

A Forecast for the Next Eleven Years

Today we’ll review one of the single best pieces of economic / political / social analysis I’ve been lucky enough to see. Read this post and you’ll have an extremely important input for how the world will proceed over the next eleven years. How can I make such a statement? Because this analysis landed on my screen in December, 2007, and it covered the time period from 1995 through 2024, and it has been working extremely well. I promised more about cycles. This is from the world of cycles.

Understand this analysis and you will understand what Ben Bernanke of the US Federal Reserve has publicly admitted has been befuddling him and his colleagues.

At the time of publication at the end of 2007, this analysis said that we had reached a major turning point: That while the period from 1995 through 2007 had been characterized by optimism (think of all the “new era” talk), manias (think bubbles in stocks and real estate), high confidence, free enterprise, free trade, globalization, unfettered capitalism, and so forth–all of which had clearly been at the forefront during that period–that the period from 2008 through 2024 would be characterized by caution, fear, contraction, pessimism, restrictions on freedom, economies planned by the state, trade barriers, low confidence, and so forth. Here is part of what was presented:

Manfred_Pluto_Switch_ed

To put it mildly, an awful lot of people would have benefited if they had known about this huge switch that did occur, just as predicted, in January 2008. It really was as if, at the end of 2007, someone threw a big switch and changed things dramatically. Central bankers and politicians around the world are still scratching their collective balding heads about why all of the things they used to do in the past, things that would work to stimulate economies, are barely working today. At first they used their old tried-and-true methods–lowering interest rates, feigning confidence, stuffing cash into the banks, spending money on stimulus plans–and they got an anemic recovery at best. So they pulled out the really big guns. “Unconventional” methods, as they call them. Also known collectively as printing money. Lots of it. Enough since 2009 that they have basically tried to add the equivalent of one year of the US economy to the global economy.

What has it got them? Well, since the printed money went into buying assets rather than creating jobs, the rich and their vendors–Sotheby’s, Porsche, Armani, et al–have done very well. Everyone else, not so well. The huge divide between rich and poor is widening at an accelerating pace. Historically, that has always been a dangerous setup. You can only push people so far before they push back. Sometimes fiercely. Overall, what it got them was continuing recession and debt crises in Europe, a US economy with paltry growth at best, and China joined the club of getting themselves over-indebted to keep their economy growing, but now that excess of debt is coming back to bite them and their economy is rapidly losing steam. Japan remains in near-continuous recession no matter what they do.

Since the analysis above has been working remarkably well for 18 years, it makes a whole lot of sense to figure that it will keep working for the next eleven years. That was the claim for this cycle, that it would have two phases, one from 1995 through 2007, and the second, radically different in tone, from 2008 through 2024.

What could be the cause, the source, of such an influential cycle, one that seems to have changed the energetic tone for the majority of people, from excessive optimism from 1995–2007, to caution from 2008–2024? Let’s show more about what the top of that table looked like when presented in December 2007, right at the point of the big switch:

Manfred_Pluto_Switch_ed2

The table was astrological in nature.  It showed what was about to happen as Pluto moved  from Sagittarius into Capricorn.

This outstanding piece of analysis was put forth by Manfred Zimmel through his web site  in his Forecast Issue for the year 2008. At the web site, you can sign up for his free newsletter or paid subscription service. The information above was given to his paid subscribers only.

Now I know that some readers here have a low opinion of astrology. I would say two things about that: First, I agree that popular astrology as shown in daily newspapers and glossy magazines is worse than useless. Second, as with most complex fields of endeavor, there is a small group of practitioners doing excellent work and a much larger group of practitioners who do not. But excluding astrology from one’s view of the world precludes access to information like the above, which can be exceptionally useful in guiding real world decisions. Also, it can provide an outstanding “truth filter” for claims about the world. For example, the article at this link contains five predictions Bernanke made in 2008 that, armed with the information above, one could see at the time that these were more than likely to be wrong. They turned out to be, in fact, entirely wrong:

1/10/08 — The Federal Reserve is not currently forecasting a recession. WRONG

2/27/08 — I expect there will be some failures [among smaller regional banks]… Among the largest banks, the capital ratios remain good and I don’t anticipate any serious problems of that sort among the large, internationally active banks that make up a very substantial part of our banking system. WRONG

4/2/08 — In separate comments, Mr. Bernanke went further than he had in the past, suggesting that the Fed would remain aggressive and vigilant to prevent a repetition of a collapse like that of Bear Stearns, though he said he saw no such problems on the horizon. WRONG

6/10/08 — The risk that the economy has entered a substantial downturn appears to have diminished over the past month or so. WRONG

7/16/08 — [Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are] adequately capitalized. They are in no danger of failing… [However,] the weakness in market confidence is having real effects as their stock prices fall, and it’s difficult for them to raise capital. WRONG, they needed bailouts to the tune of $160 billion.

The point here is that automatically excluding information because of its source can put a person at a distinct disadvantage in understanding how the world works and where it is heading. Anyone who has read more than a couple of my posts knows that I regularly give the US Federal Reserve a well-deserved lambasting for its lies, its attempts to get over-indebted people to borrow and spend more, and its only real goal: protecting the stranglehold that the large banks have on our society. But I used one of their reports in 2005 to decide when to sell out of real estate. They published a great research paper in 2005 that analyzed the history of maybe 30 real estate booms and busts from many countries. They said that real estate bubbles popped in the following manner: once sales volume peaked, price peaked, on average, six months later. US sales volume peaked in October 2005, and the US price peak was in June 2006, so their estimate was quite good. I took their research seriously and sold in Feb 2006. They, however, did not take their own research very seriously, at least in their public statements. Here are some quotes from Bernanke in 2007 (I won’t bother putting the WRONG label after each.):

7/1/2005CNBC interview:

INTERVIEWER: Tell me, what is the worst-case scenario? We have so many economists coming on our air saying ‘Oh, this is a bubble, and it’s going to burst, and this is going to be a real issue for the economy.’ Some say it could even cause a recession at some point. What is the worst-case scenario if in fact we were to see prices come down substantially across the country?

BERNANKE: Well, I guess I don’t buy your premise. It’s a pretty unlikely possibility. We’ve never had a decline in house prices on a nationwide basis. So, what I think is more likely is that house prices will slow, maybe stabilize, might slow consumption spending a bit. I don’t think it’s gonna drive the economy too far from its full employment path, though.

10/20/05: BERNANKE: House prices have risen by nearly 25 percent over the past two years. Although speculative activity has increased in some areas, at a national level these price increases largely reflect strong economic fundamentals. (Ha!)

So, acting on the Fed’s research can be very helpful. Acting on their opinions and forecasts is a mistake. They aren’t trying to help you, they are trying to help the banks. Anyone who understands that distinction can put Fed forecasts in the proper perspective.

So the next time you hear rosy predictions about the great recovery that is turning out to be perennially “just around the corner,” whether those predictions are from someone who is mistaken or someone with malevolent intent, now you can understand that what these forecasters are up against is this: for an economy based on debt to grow, they need to get people to borrow more money. And until 2024, people are under the influence of Pluto in Capricorn, and most of them don’t really want to take on more debt. Quite the contrary, a lot of them have replaced the notion of “how much debt can I qualify for” with a wish to have less debt. Many have now seen the slavery of debt and they didn’t like what they saw.

Perhaps after 2024 the economists will be able to stimulate the majority’s “animal spirits” again. The question is: can this financial system, which depends on the constant growth of debt, survive through 2024 with people not wanting more and more debt?  I decided quite some time ago that the answer is no and persistently take those pleasant actions that ready a person for financial system collapse.  I take the influence of this Pluto “big switch” as a small but important part of the energetic change bringing us the long-awaited Transition.

Thanks to Manfred Zimmel for permission to reprint this excellent piece of research.