Numb

Imagine the impact if people alive in the 1950’s had encountered these articles, all from today:

     Sixty dead in suicide blasts in Nigeria

Two explosions at a crowded market in northeastern Nigeria have killed at least 60 people.

The twin bomb blasts, thought to have been carried out by female suicide bombers, hit a market in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state.

“After the first explosion happened and people started to gather, a second explosion took place,” Al Jazeera’s Rawya Rageh, reporting from Abuja, said…

Hospitals have been flooded with injured residents, Al Jazeera sources said.

     Suicide blast kills dozens in Afghanistan

Officials say bomber targeted volleyball tournament match attended by large crowd in province bordering Pakistan.

People living in the 1950’s would have been deeply shocked. Not fake “shocked,” like our politicians pretend to be. Truly, deeply disturbed.

Today? For most people? Just another day in the news. Background noise, if they even hear about these events at all. The mainstream media tends to ignore them in favor of politicians sniping at each other, the demonizing of trumped-up enemies, the antics of movie stars, and lies masquerading as economic statistics to get people to spend and borrow rather than save.

     ‘Scores dead’ in air strikes on Syria’s Raqaa

Government raids on ISIL-held northern city have mainly killed civilians, with hundreds more injured, activists say.

     Pakistan says 20 fighters dead in air strikes

     Iraq’s Anbar grapples with devastation 

As usual, if people are getting blown up, it’s easy to find US involvement:

     Group: Death toll of U.S.-led airstrikes in Syria tops 900

     Hacked US Documents Said To Reveal Extent Of Undisclosed US “Lethal Aid” For Ukraine Army

And here’s a headline from Oct. 17 that says plenty (hat tip to JS):

     Pentagon readying for long war in Iraq, Syria

Every day, people are literally being blown to bits in the many conflicts (these used to be called wars), on the many battlefronts around the globe. Many are killed, many more seriously injured, still more are devastated in their minds and hearts. What has happened to us that such events do not sink in? How can these reports just pass on by like reports on sports or the weather?

Think this killing is just in the Middle East?

2,200 National Guard Troops To Be Deployed In Ferguson Tonight

     Forget Ferguson, 244 Teenagers Have Been Shot In Chicago Since Michael Brown Died

Statistics on the war in Chicago from this site:

     Totals Since Ferguson (Aug 9 – Nov 24)
          Shot & Killed: 130
          Shot & Wounded: 725
          Total Shot: 855
          Total Homicides: 155
     Year To Date Totals
          Shot & Killed: 343
          Shot & Wounded: 2,003
          Total Shot: 2,346
          Total Homicides: 408

So, we’re blowing up and shooting people, we’re killing off lots of species, we’re killing the oceans, we’re poisoning our farmlands, we’re draining the world’s great aquifers so quickly that entire cities are sinking, we’re fracturing the Earth’s crust for oil and gas and pumping the poisons from the process back into our aquifers, 30 million people are held as slaves, 800 million people don’t have enough food or clean water…you know this sentence could go on for a long time.

And yet, and yet…this is the status quo that people want to maintain. This is the system they want to keep. Maybe with a few minor tweaks around the edges, a few reforms.

What has happened to us? How did we get so distracted, so numb? What will it take for people to awaken?

War cycle update

Those who have been readers here for awhile: Are you now getting the flavor of how these cycles unfold? As a valid cycle comes into play, people fall into line and play their parts. The so-called “great men of history,” who conquered regions and nations: were they simply pawns falling into a role, pushed and prodded by cyclic forces far greater even than their Icaran ambitions?

Since the Wheeler Cycle of War and Political Change was last discussed here, full-blown wars have erupted in Ukraine, Gaza, and Iraq. Fighting has re-emerged in Libya. Tonight, we hear that the US will be bombing in Iraq. These wars join the continuing wars in central and North Africa. And the posturing and saber-rattling by China, Japan, Viet Nam, and especially the US and Russia, continue to build.

The graph of the Wheeler Cycle has been shown before, but some readers have told me they don’t much like graphs. So, in text: The Wheeler Cycle was discovered in the 1930s and was further enhanced by its current keeper, Martin Armstrong. The cycle is based on data from all cultures from 600BC to the present. It says that there is major war or major political change every 25.05 years, which is every 9,149 days. Please analyze the following:

Wheeler Cycle Date Major War or Political Change Event Start Date Commencing Event
7/26/1914 World War 1 6/28/1914 Archduke Franz Ferdinand assassinated
    7/28/1914 War declared
8/13/1939 World War 2 9/1/1939 Germany invades Poland
8/30/1964 Viet Nam War 8/2/1964 First alleged Gulf of Tonkin attack
    8/4/1964 US bombs North Viet Nam
9/17/1989 Fall of Communism 11/9/1989 Fall of the Berlin Wall
10/5/2014 ???? ????

A careful reading of the above and a recall of the history of these events show that the forces for war and political change build and build as the cycle date approaches and then, within a month in either direction of the cycle date, an event occurs that is understood, either at the time of the event or later, as the start of a major world change.

So, we approach the center of the cycle on October 5, 2014. Regrettably, we see the forces of war building.

The worst part of this is: major wars begin around the cycle date, but the fighting generally builds to its greatest intensity four to six years after the start date. Think of the wars in the table above and this becomes clear.

Perhaps now you can see why I have been focused on the fact that people must now resist war. If this cycle is allowed to express itself without mass resistance from humanity, the default is horrendous. And this is up to people. Our “leaders” are leading us to war.

The current situation is exacerbated by the presence of another cycle pointed out by Armstrong: we are again approaching the focal point of the cycle of internal political unrest and revolution. One can see this playing out in Tunisia, Egypt, Thailand, Myanmar. One can see it in the internal politics of nations, where the dominant political parties are beginning to face formidable upstarts, and where, worldwide, more than 550 separatist groups are seeking freedom from what they consider to be tyranny.

And regarding the “great men of history,” I do look forward to a time when history is not the study of the Caesars, Napoleon, and Hitler, but rather the study of how Patanjali and Plato and da Vinci and Shakespeare and Blavastky and Aung San Suu Kyi and the Buddha and Jesus and many others shined the light of evolution, showing people new ways to comprehend, to express, to relate.

And I look forward to the study of history including the study of cycles, so that we are not their unwitting slaves.

And I look forward to the Wheeler Cycle being simply called the Cycle of Political Change as war is studied only as part of the archaic and primitive phase of human evolution.

What’s up with the metals? Part 2

Someone asked me whether I “was still in favor of gold.” The answer is an unqualified Yes. One easy reason is that almost every country on the planet is trying to drive down the value of their paper currency. So if you live in the US, it looks like this, and this is based on the US Government’s statistics for price inflation and we all know that they have every reason to play games to make this number look a lot lower than it really is, so you can safely increase each of these number by 50%:

CPI_Since_2000

The first column, CPI, says plenty: That if you live in the US, since the year 2000, the purchasing power of your money, of your salary, has lost 39%. And this is during a period that they claim has had “low inflation”! And the US Federal Reserve is currently on record as saying they are trying to create more inflation. So when you own US Dollars, or items denominated in Dollars such as US stocks and bonds, or items in currencies pegged to the US Dollar, realize that this is only going to get worse. The same is true for the purchasing power of the other currencies.

* * *

The post What’s up with the metals? Part 1 showed that some notable gold bears had turned bullish and that unprecedented demand for physical gold continued. Despite the strong demand, gold then had the bargain price of $1,237 per ounce, having just bounced up from $1,181 on the last day of 2013. Price went to $1,355 Monday and has pulled back to $1,338 today.

The strong demand for physical bullion, coins, and jewelry, documented in Part 1, has continued. Despite record-breaking demand in 2013, Chinese demand year-to-date is 51% higher than demand to this point in 2013. Mints around the world are working overtime:

     U.K. Royal Mint Runs Out of Sovereign Gold Coins on Demand

The U.K.’s Royal Mint, which traces its history back more than 1,000 years, ran out of 2014 Sovereign gold coins as prices near a six-month low led to “exceptional demand.”

     Gold Mint Runs Overtime in Race to Meet World Coin Demand

Austria’s mint is running 24 hours a day as global mints from the U.S. to Australia report climbing demand for gold coins…

Austria’s Muenze Oesterreich AG mint hired extra employees and added a third eight-hour shift to the day in a bid to keep up with demand. Purchases of bullion coins at Australia’s Perth Mint rose 20 percent this year through Jan. 20 from a year earlier. Sales by the U.S. Mint are set for the best month since April, when the metal plunged into a bear market.

Global mints are manufacturing as fast as they can…“The market is very busy,” Lang said. “We can’t meet the demand, even if we work overtime.

So, if demand for physical gold is so strong, how could there possibly be such a price drop as happened in 2013?  The answer is simple really. They have created a paper gold market that is hundreds of times larger than the physical gold market. By larger I mean in terms of the dollar value of trading in these two markets. People trade paper that has more or less of a connection with gold (sometimes none at all), and it is in these large markets that the price of gold is set. Most of the participants in these paper gold markets believe that they could, if they wished, convert these pieces of paper into physical gold, that the pieces of paper are claims on real gold. But in reality, only a tiny fraction of them could succeed in converting their claims into real metal. There just isn’t enough metal to go around.

If you think I exaggerate, check this chart, which I’ll explain below. It describes the action at the COMEX, the primary gold price-setting exchange in the US:

COMEX_OwnersPerOz

The key phrase on the chart is “Owners Per Ounce,” which for the COMEX is now at 111 owners per ounce of gold in the vault! That is, for each ounce of gold in the COMEX vaults (the blue line in the upper section of the chart), 111 contracts exist that allow the owners of those contracts to demand delivery of that single ounce of gold. We all understand that banks operate with only a little cash on hand for all the deposits they’ve taken, called a fractional reserve system. The COMEX is the same, worse actually: percentagewise, they keep a lot less gold around than the banks keep cash on hand.

(Please skip this paragraph if you already understand what 111 owners per ounce means!) Let me explain: The COMEX is a futures trading exchange where people trade gold and other commodities. Futures exchanges were created to be a meeting place between producers of a commodity and its end users. In January of any year, for example, a producer of wheat can agree to sell wheat in the future, in September, at a specified price to a cereal company. Both the wheat farmer and the cereal company know that they can make a reasonable profit on their operations if the farmer supplies, and the cereal maker takes delivery of, wheat at the pre-arranged price when that wheat is ready in September, so they make the deal. That’s called a futures contract. It promises both delivery and payment in the future at set price, and that’s great. But the futures exchanges are now dominated by big money speculators who have no intention of producing or taking delivery of anything. The chart above reflects this reality. The COMEX vault is supposed to have gold to back up the gold trading that takes place on that exchange. As you can see in the upper panel of the chart, back in 2006 they had over 5 million ounces backing up the contracts. Now that amount has fallen by 93% to only 370,000 ounces as more people realize that they better stop trading paper and get their hands on the real stuff.  Currently, for all the futures contracts to buy and sell gold on the exchange, they only have 1 ounce for every 111 contracts in existence. These contracts are paper gold, a huge synthetic supply of fake gold.  If everyone decided to make their claim for real gold (similar to a run on bank), only 1 ounce would be available for every 111 claims. Such an attempt would drive the price of physical gold into the stratosphere. On a typical day last week, 55,000 of these paper contracts traded hands. That represents 5,500,000 ounces of paper gold traded each day just at the COMEX. That trading sets the price for gold in the US. But it’s possible that no one demanded delivery of gold from the COMEX on that same day. So the trading that sets the price is really for cash, not for gold. And this paper trading involves a lot of borrowing, that is, leverage.  One can easily prove this crazy situation by contacting a futures broker and creating an account with $8,000 in that account. One could then buy or sell (they call it selling short) a futures contract for 100 ounces of gold. At today’s price of $1,338 per ounce, 100 ounces of gold is worth $133,800. So as far as COMEX is concerned, you are using your $8,000 gambling stake to control $133,800 worth of gold. And this “gold” can be sold, driving down the price. Seems crazy, but it’s literally true.

So if you or I can control 100 ounces for $8,000, imagine what JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs can control with the many billions of printed money they receive from the Federal Reserve, printed money that has not been lent out to boost the economy but is being used as collateral for trading. They can push markets in whatever direction they want. The same is true for central banks, but on an even greater scale: They have no limit on the amount of cash they can print up, so they can overwhelm any market anytime they wish.

The COMEX sets the price in the US. In London, it’s the LBMA (London Bullion Market Association) which is more than 7 times larger than the COMEX in terms of the dollar value of daily paper gold trading. The LBMA admitted a couple of years ago that, like the COMEX today, their leverage ratio was over 100 to 1. And the gold market in Switzerland is just as large as the LBMA, but it is run privately by the Swiss banks, so they publish no statistics. All told there are 40 futures exchanges in the world for trading paper gold.

Another form of paper gold is certificates for gold accounts with banks. Several of these banks have been caught charging people fees for storing gold when they are actually storing nothing at all. The banks figured they could quickly meet any claims for the gold, but when the claims came in, it took them weeks to procure the gold in the open market.

And there are stocks that hold gold, options on both those stocks and on the futures described above, gold leases, and swaps contracts. The latter are private contracts and they may actually dwarf all of the rest of the paper gold claims in terms of their stated dollar value (their “notional value,” as it is called) because the central banks, like the US Federal Reserve and the Bank for International Settlements, often use swaps for their trading. What, central banks trading gold? In September, the French Central Bank admitted:

We are still active in the gold market for our own account…meaning that we are in the market nearly on a daily basis.

In that same paper, the Bank of France said they owned 2,500 tons of physical gold and that they had no plans to sell it. So what are they trading daily? Paper gold, for profit.

Sometimes people go way too far with these contracts. People thought that Bear Stearns went bankrupt in 2008 because of the mortgage market. But the astute article What Really Happened to Bear Stearns by Ted Butler explains that it was actually bad trading in gold and silver that took them down: they had massive bets that the prices of gold and silver would go down, but instead the prices shot up by a lot over a few months instead. 

BearStearnsGold

The chart above is the price of gold from 2004-2008. Notice how the price was moving up strongly prior to the collapse of Bear Stearns. Guess who picked up all of the assets and trading positions of Bear Stearns as it went bankrupt. Why our “good friends” at the company implicated in, and fined for, manipulating just about every market around since then: JP Morgan. They picked up Bear’s assets for about 6 cents on the dollar. Notice the smashdown of the gold price as soon as Morgan was in charge. The price smashdown was even worse in silver. Here’s the chart from 2004-2008 for silver:

BearStearnsSilver

It sure makes one wonder whether JP Morgan was involved in both moving the price up to bankrupt Bear Stearns, and then smashing it down once they had taken over Bear and inherited all those bets that the prices of gold and silver would drop.

Getting back to our discussion. All of these contracts taken together are called derivatives because they derive their value from the underlying value of gold. Guess who owns most of them now:

     Market Cornered: JPMorgan Owns Over 60% Notional Of All Gold Derivatives

What? Isn’t it illegal to corner a market? Don’t the regulators come down hard on anyone trying to corner a market? Yes, but as long as it isn’t gold or silver. JP Morgan is allowed to corner gold and silver because it serves the interests of those who still want the US Dollar to dominate the world so that the US can continue to exercise its “exorbitant privilege” of printing paper to trade for the real goods of other countries. So if someone like Morgan and the central banks weren’t suppressing the prices of gold and silver, it would make the Dollar and the other paper currencies look bad, and those in charge won’t allow that.

To show you how off base these government people and economists are, when Nixon took the world off of what remained of the gold standard in 1971, his chief economist was the “great” Milton Friedman. Friedman told Nixon and others that gold was deriving its value from the US Dollar, not the other way around, and that as soon as Nixon severed the link between gold and the Dollar, that the price of gold would actually fall quite a lot. He was entirely wrong, as government economists so often are, as gold never looked back again at its then-current price of $35 per ounce.

These government types have always hated gold for one reason: it inhibits their ability to wage war. We’ve covered it before: governments started going off the very-successful gold and silver standards in order to fight World War 1. That war would have been over in a few months, but that wasn’t good enough for the warmongers, they had to kill off millions of people over four years to serve their greed.

We’ll talk more about governments and gold later, including their failed attempts to suppress gold in the past, in Part 3. But you know that comment above about the gold price going into the stratosphere when people with all these paper contracts rush to convert them to physical gold? That will happen. It’s inevitable, as more and more people lose confidence in governments, banks, and the blizzard of paper claims they have created. That COMEX chart above–where it shows that the physical gold backing up the paper trading is down by 93%–says that the process is already well underway. Best to get your gold and silver before all those folks with the paper contracts try to get some because, at that point, it will be tough to find real gold at any price.

134 Countries

That’s the number of countries in which US Special Forces (you know, Green Berets, Navy Seals, etc.) took actions in 2013. That’s the number to which a US spokesman admitted, the number may be higher. That’s 70% of the countries in the world. From Nick Turse:

Since September 11, 2001, U.S. Special Operations forces have grown in every conceivable way, from their numbers to their budget. Most telling, however, has been the exponential rise in special ops deployments globally. This presence — now, in nearly 70% of the world’s nations — provides new evidence of the size and scope of a secret war being waged from Latin America to the backlands of Afghanistan, from training missions with African allies to information operations launched in cyberspace.

In the waning days of the Bush presidency, Special Operations forces were reportedly deployed in about 60 countries around the world. By 2010, that number had swelled to 75, according to Karen DeYoung and Greg Jaffe of the Washington Post. In 2011, Special Operations Command (SOCOM) spokesman Colonel Tim Nye told TomDispatch that the total would reach 120. Today, that figure has risen higher still.

In 2013, elite U.S. forces were deployed in 134 countries around the globe, according to Major Matthew Robert Bockholt of SOCOM Public Affairs. This 123% increase during the Obama years demonstrates how, in addition to conventional wars and a CIA drone campaign, public diplomacy and extensive electronic spying, the U.S. has engaged in still another significant and growing form of overseas power projection. Conducted largely in the shadows by America’s most elite troops, the vast majority of these missions take place far from prying eyes, media scrutiny, or any type of outside oversight, increasing the chances of unforeseen blowback and catastrophic consequences…

Formally established in 1987, Special Operations Command has grown steadily in the post-9/11 era.   SOCOM is reportedly on track to reach 72,000 personnel in 2014, up from 33,000 in 2001.

There’s a lot more in the full article.

War cycle influences

They admit to financing terrorism and they get fined $32,000. Where if I were to do that, I would go to jail for life. –Everett Stern, a former HSBC compliance officer on the fine levied on HSBC for funneling hundreds of millions of dollars to Hezbollah

Scientists tell us that when cycles pull in opposite directions, they can nullify one another. They call it wave cancellation:

wavecancellation

But when cycles push in the same direction, the effects are amplified. A storm surge is one example: As they blow across the ocean’s surface, the winds that create waves accelerate during a storm, causing the cycle of ocean waves to have far greater wave heights. These waves combine with the high tide waters of the tidal cycle, and a storm surge ensues with sometimes devastating results, such as the damage at Tacloban from Typhoon Haiyan:

TaclobanBA2

The so-called Great Recession is another example: Thundering Heard talked about two cycles–the highly reliable 25-year recession/depression cycle for the USA described in What is the Transition? Conclusion; and the cycle of Pluto moving from Sagittarius into Capricorn described in A Forecast for the Next Eleven Years, still in effect through 2024–that combined to make the financial crisis of 2008 very deep and long-lasting, with many saying that these cycles started a depression that is still going on today. There are other cycles, even larger ones, that contributed to the Great Recession/depression, but I haven’t yet had time to explain those, though I plan to soon.

Does the existence of a cycle mean that something must happen? In human affairs, no, often because larger cycles can mute or nullify smaller cycles, represented in this graph, showing that the cycle represented in red might be nearly unnoticeable at times because of the dominant cycle in blue:

LongerShorterCycleSuperimposedcr

However, when larger and smaller cycles point in the same direction, the results can be awe-inspiring. We have such a situation now relating to war. I know of at least five cycles pointing in the direction of war. Two have been discussed before.

One is the Wheeler Index of War and Political Change, discussed here and here, whose troughs have coincided with great precision with the starts of World War 1, World War 2, the War in Viet Nam, and the massive political changes that transformed Russia and China in 1989. The next trough in that cycle is due in 2014.

Another cycle pointing to war in the 2014-2016 period was discussed here.

Again, I know of other cycles that point to major war in the near term, but even if I documented those to the hilt, would it convince us all that that major war must happen? Probably not. But clearly, the influence of these cycles is being strongly felt. Over the last couple of decades, the talk of war has primarily been talk of smaller regional wars. But recently, talk of superpower war has been ramping up.

Here’s one from the Yale Journal of International Affairs, not exactly some emotion-laden incendiary blog, about war between the US and China:

     Who Authorized Preparations for War with China?

The Pentagon has concluded that the time has come to prepare for war with China, and in a manner well beyond crafting the sort of contingency plans that are expected for wide a range of possible confrontations.

     Russia will use nukes in case of a strike – official

     Russia Stations Tactical, Nuclear-Capable Missiles Along Polish Border

     China Declares “Willing To Engage In A Protracted Confrontation” With Japan As “Prime Target”

     US Challenges China, Flies B-52 Bombers Over New Air Defense Zone

     Japan Dispatches F-15s, E-767s And P-3 Into China’s Air Defense Zone, China Scrambles Su-30 In Response

     China Re-Escalates, Deploys Warplanes To Air Defense Zone

     China Slams Abe’s “Malicious Slander”; Warns Japan Is “Doomed To Failure”

     First Glimpse Of China’s Nuclear Submarine Fleet

     US, Chinese Warships “Nearly Collide” In South China Sea

Hold on: how can two massive ships, visible to the naked eye and certainly to radar from hundreds of miles away, “nearly collide”?

     South Korea Unveils It’s Own Air Defense Zone, Overlapping China’s And Japan’s

     Japan Press: “China-Japan War To Break Out In January”

     Japan to bolster military, boost Asia ties to counter China

Japan will boost its military spending in coming years, buying early-warning planes, beach-assault vehicles and troop-carrying aircraft, while seeking closer ties with Asian partners to counter a more militarily assertive China…

Abe’s government also vows to review Japan’s ban on weapons exports, a move that could reinvigorate struggling defense contractors like Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd and Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd.

     Is War With China Inevitable?

And of course, the Middle East doesn’t want to be left out of the headlines:

     Israeli Generals Preparing For “Short, Sharp” War Against Hezbollah

     US Drones Taliban Leader; His Troops Vow Bloody Revenge; Pakistan Government Furious At America

     Syrian Army Base Rocked Again By Overnight Explosions, Israel Implicated

     Regional War Scenario. NATO-US-Turkey War Games Off the Syrian Coastline

The Saudis and Israelis are seething that the US and Europe are negotiating with Tehran. Perhaps that is why the role the Saudis played in helping to set up the 9/11 attacks is beginning to get some airplay?

     Inside the Saudi 9/11 coverup

However, I don’t think they need to seethe, a quick look at these Iran negotiations says there is something more than fishy about it. First, there were meetings and it looked like there was an agreement, but at the last minute, the US insisted on lots of changes. This happened when some of the negotiating teams were already at the airport on the assumption that an agreement had been reached. So that first agreement was scuttled.

The parties met again a few weeks later and announced an agreement which was really an agreement to come together again to negotiate the real details. The parties each went back to their countries saying they got what they wanted, despite the fact that these claims were contradictory, as documented here by CNN:

     Iran nuclear deal: One agreement, wildly different reactions

     Iran’s Rouhani: “We Are Not Dismantling Our Nuclear Facilities; Iran Will Maintain Its Uranium Enrichment Programme”

One thing that was clearly promised to the Iranians was no new sanctions. As soon as the detailed negotiations got started, the US broke that promise:

     Iran Quits Nuclear Talks After US Expands Blacklist Sanctions

Iran has quit nuclear talks with world powers, accusing Washington on Friday of going against the spirit of a landmark agreement reached last month by expanding its sanctions blacklist.

Last I heard, Iran is back at the table. I’m happy to hear that. But given the antics of all of the parties, I’m not especially optimistic about the outcome of these talks. They sound like the endless US budget talks where agreements are reached to maintain the status quo and do the real negotiations later.

And the Europeans look like they want to play their part in adding to the warmongering tone:

     Facing Triple-Dip Recession, France Set To Deploy US-Made Drones In West Africa

It appears that the more oil and gold they find in West Africa, the more troops keep showing up.

All of the above shows why it is very helpful to know which human affairs cycles are ending and which are gearing up: knowing the influences that are pressuring people, behaviors start to make more sense. Not rational sense: no one could possibly claim it is rational for Japan and China to be threatening war over rights to small, uninhabited islands. But behavioral sense: one can see how the players are playing their parts. Probably unconsciously, since most people, unfortunately, consider cycles analysis to be some kind of voodoo. Of course, anyone who knows what cycles are in play can be conscious about them, sidestepping negative influences, and hopping on board positive trends, some of which were mentioned here.

But at least we can rest assured that warmongering will be starved for financing: US Government regulators fined big bank HSBC for allowing “hundreds of millions of dollars” to be transferred to Hezbollah. The fine? $32,000. I guess HSBC had to dig real deep into their petty cash drawer to pay that one. The regulators said HSBC, the bank recently fined $1.9 billion for facilitating money transfers for the drug cartels, came to them voluntarily with this violation of international rules, so the regulators probably sat around and said, “Oh, isn’t that sweet, HSBC is so honest, such nice people, we can’t be mean to them.”

     HSBC Gets Slap On The Wrist For Helping To Finance Terrorists

A major U.S. bank has agreed to a settlement for transferring funds on the behalf of financiers for the militant group Hezbollah, the Treasury Department announced on Tuesday.

Concluding that HSBC’s actions “were not the result of willful or reckless conduct,” Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control accepted a $32,400 settlement from the bank. Treasury noted, as did HSBC in a statement to HuffPost, that the violations were voluntarily reported.

Everett Stern, a former HSBC compliance officer who complained to his supervisors about the Hezbollah-linked transactions, told HuffPost he was “ecstatic and depressed at the same time.”

“Those are my transactions, I reported them,” he said, satisfied that the government was taking action. But, he added, “Where I am upset was those were a handful of transactions, and I saw hundreds of millions of dollars” being transferred.

Stern said he hopes the government’s enforcement actions against HSBC have not come to an end with the latest settlement. “They admit to financing terrorism and they get fined $32,000. Where if I were to do that, I would go to jail for life,” he said.

We sure all know what Hezbollah plans to do with those hundreds of millions–add to their existing arsenal that already includes 80,000 to 100,000 rockets and missiles. No wonder the Israeli generals are in a panic to act soon, which of course falls right in line with the timing of the war cycles. But I do wonder who Hezbollah will be buying their new weapons from, that is, who will be the real recipients of that money.  As usual, the Dark Forces want to make some big bucks off the carnage of war they are fomenting–right in line with the cycles.

More shackles readied for deployment

Darth Summers made a speech on Nov. 8 to a gathering of economists at the IMF. My guess is that they had Darth (OK, Larry) give the speech because he doesn’t currently hold a position with any institution that could then be blamed and hated for the policy promoted in the speech. (Here’s the speech, though I don’t recommend it.) However, I think it wise to consider the speech an official announcement of the latest wicked that this way comes.

The policy is that savers will soon be hit with negative interest rates. Now Larry didn’t say this directly, he slithered around it and offered the “clear justification” for it. But in reviews of what his admirers called a “brilliant” speech, the admirers were quite clear in their understanding: negative interest rates…in cashless society! That was the full policy implication.

So people would have to pay the bank interest on their own savings. So if the negative interest rate were -3%, if you had $100 in your account, you’d have to pay the bank $3 in interest. And just in case anyone had any ideas of getting their savings out of the banks, well, get their savings out into what? In a cashless society, your money would simply be an electronic entry in an account. Getting your money “out” would mean spending it. Which is the problem that Summers and his fiends say they are trying to solve: how to get people to spend, spend, spend their money. They say there isn’t enough “aggregate demand.” Don’t have any money? Then borrow some, it’s really cheap. But in any case, spend!

Of course, this would also mean that when the government borrows money, the interest rate would be negative for them as well. The more money they borrowed, the more money they would collect as the lenders paid them interest!

Now it goes without saying, though I’ll say it anyway, that if you went to borrow some money, this negative interest rate thing would not apply to you. You’d still have to pay interest on your loan. This negative thing would only be for them, that is, the banks and governments. Oh, and large corporations, how could I leave them out. But not you or me. Whether borrower or lender be, either way, we’d have to pay. Know what the average interest rate consumers are paying on their $846 billion in outstanding credit card debt? 13%. Do you think the banks are going to give up that bonanza?

Now any rational person might think: They’ll never do it! Negative interest rates would wreck every pension fund in the world. And so they would: pension funds are all dependent on collecting interest to meet their future obligations. But too bad. If people can’t collect pensions, then they’ll have to stay in the workforce. And with all that competition for jobs, companies can pay lower and lower and lower wages. Why do you think they outsource work across the world! Do you think this paragraph goes to far? Then consider this: Collecting Donations For Wal-Mart Employees That Cannot Afford Thanksgiving Dinner?

At the Wal-mart on Atlantic Boulevard in Canton, Ohio employees are being asked to donate food items so that other employees that cannot afford to buy Thanksgiving dinner will be able to enjoy one too.

So, they think that taxing people’s savings, both in their bank accounts and in their pensions, will get the economy on a sound footing again. Because that’s what these policies are, they are taxes, part paid to government and part to the banks. So why don’t they just say that? Two reasons: first, people tend to get angry about new taxes and they tend to vote out whoever levies new taxes; and, the group at the Summers speech are economists, and all economists know that raising taxes squelches economic growth. So they can’t call it a tax or everyone would point out that the policy is anti-growth. Which it is. But logic left the room of mainstream economics years ago. They maintain their lofty positions as Machiavelli advised: they serve their governing masters well. So these policies have nothing to do with logic. The governing masters keeping their power, that’s what it’s all about. And these economists know who spreads the caviar on their toast points. These policies are designed only to preserve the powermonger status quo.

Plus, they are fairly sure it will be a long time before the public catches on. They can just repeat over and over that this is for jobs and growth, and the majority, desperate for good news, will believe it. And in this ploy, the economists are likely correct. They have been engaged in multi-$trillion Quantitative Easing (money printing) for years and, according to a Reuters poll, three quarters of Americans don’t even know what QE is. And people weren’t asked to explain it, they were given a multiple choice question, so 20% could have answered correctly just by random choice!

Twelve percent of respondents thought QE was a computer-assisted program that the Fed uses to manipulate the dollar. Another 11 percent thought it was part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform legislation enacted following the crisis.

So the economists of The Powers That Be figure they can obfuscate their way through just about anything.

So let’s get this straight. These thieves want to steal people’s savings and pensions. So that people must remain as wage slaves till they drop, filling a growing labor pool being paid wages that are declining in all of the developed economies. And they’ll be great fodder for the upcoming war economy, grateful for the opportunity to build weapons that kill in better and better ways. While the rich and powerful get more caviar, as shown on the chart below. The dark brown line is the average stock price of retail for the rich: Tiffany, Coach, and LVMH. Those stocks have risen 500% since their 2009 lows and are over 30% above their former peak in 2007. The blue line is Macy’s, Kohl’s, and JC Penney, where the disappearing middle class shops. Those stocks are up 100% since 2009 and are still 30% below their former peak in 2007:

QE effect on shoppers

That is a great demonstration of who is receiving all that newly printed money and who is not. These folks want more slaves. And the ability to bomb into chaos any region that does not offer up its people into the slave pool.