War

Despite a rare display of intelligence shown by a group of politicians, with the British parliament rejecting their Prime Minister’s call for war, at least for now; and despite serious questions raised by the likes of a former NPR reporter with years of on-the-ground experience in the Middle East who states that eyewitnesses say it is the Saudis who supplied the chemical weapons to the rebel forces; it seems almost certain that the US will be waging war in Syria, likely beginning with attacks launched from US naval vessels.

Most people might think this will be another “Libya” type of war with US techno-hardware pummeling the country for a couple of months and then it will be over. A bunch of political posing and sniping. Lots of discussion about whether annihilating people is legal! Little or no direct inconvenience to anyone in the US or Europe. And little consideration of the reality of those who will hold someone they love in their arms and experience the agony of seeing their beautiful friend demolished.

Why is this war less likely to be a brief campaign and more likely lead to World War 3?

1. There are 30,000 Russians living in Syria. If some of these people are killed, do you think Russia will just say, “Oh well. No problem.”

2. Russia is a long-time ally of Syria. They have a naval base there. They sell lots of arms to Syria. If Assad is toppled, Russia loses big strategically and economically: they wil likely lose their naval base; they lose a good arms customer; but most importantly, a new regime might be quite happy to allow the Qatari’s to build a natural gas pipeline across Syria to supply Europe with natural gas, breaking the Russian monopoly on the European natgas market.

3. Iran is an ally of Syria. Both countries are well aware that they are on the list of countries  whose governments the US planned to topple as early as 2001, as reported in this required-listening two minute video interview with General Wesley Clark:

So I came back to see him a few weeks later, and by that time we were bombing in Afghanistan. I said, “Are we still going to war with Iraq?” And he said, “Oh, it’s worse than that.” He reached over on his desk. He picked up a piece of paper. And he said, “I just got this down from upstairs” — meaning the Secretary of Defense’s office — “today.” And he said, “This is a memo that describes how we’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran.”

And Iran is an ally of China.

4. Cycles: Manfred Zimmel, whose excellent forecasting work we have discussed here and here, has for many years been predicting that the period from 2013 to 2018 will be “the War Years.”

5. Cycles: The uncanny Wheeler Cycle of War and Political Change, discussed here, arrives again at its most intense point for the risk of major war in 2014:

WheelerCycle

6. Cycles: Michael Mau’s books predicted world war for this period unless humanity can stand up to being manipulated into war yet again. Mau’s books contain detailed discussions regarding who manipulates politicians and populations into war. So this is a big test for humanity: do people want war or have they truly had enough of it?

7. Cycles: August 2013 was given here as a major potential economic turning point. Oftentimes, people and nations play their part when a big cycle is ready to turn.

8. The US badly needs a distraction from the revelations of illegal spying that arrive almost daily.

9. The US badly needs distraction from its financial failures and its upcoming battle over the debt ceiling. Even researchers from within the US Federal Reserve have admitted that the Fed’s money printing has had little positive effect, and they have announced that they would like to gradually stop printing so much. (Perhaps the White House will basically force them to keep printing to support a war?) And even that gold-bashing defender of the status quo, the Financial Times, began an article with this quote:

The world is doomed to an endless cycle of bubble, financial crisis and currency collapse.

And included this sentence in the same article:

A stable international financial system has eluded the world since the end of the gold standard.

(Side note: Numbers 8 and 9 are partial indications that things have not been going so well for the US lately. This too is a result of a specific cyclic influence, so if you are confident that a US war foray will be quick and successful, you might wish to contemplate what the news flow has looked like for the US for the last several months.)

10. There are always those powerful groups who stand to profit greatly, financially and politically, from war, as described so well by US Marine Corp hero General Smedley Butler in his booklet War Is A Racket.

So what’s it going to be, folks? Have we had enough of war? Or do too many still want war, or not care one way or the other? Whatever the numbers, it seems that humanity still does not understand that the advice “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” contains the idea that what you do to others you are doing to yourself. Humanity is one, though it appears that few are aware of their awareness that such is the case.

If you have chosen to have preparations in place for when it really hits the fan, and if you have not completed those plans, my suggestion would be that you wrap them up now. Not in a state of fear, not in a panic, but with definite persistence and logic. Perhaps the status quo in this world can hold on till 2014, or even 2015. But betting that way entails some serious risks. Besides, preparing for a life independent of the theftocracy–that is, working with gardens, greenhouses, plug-in vehicles, solar arrays, water wells, and so forth–is a lot of fun.

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

* * *

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.

* * *

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.

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.

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.

Accelerating Truth

Most people have been trained to internalize only those ideas that come from honchos, that is, political and religious big shots, “experts,” very rich people, celebrities, etc. The powermongers capitalize on this when faced with criticism of the system by often resorting to what the logicians call ad hominem attacks, that is, they deflect attention from the criticism by attacking the person delivering it, attempting to undermine that person’s credibility. They characterize the malcontents as crazy, unpatriotic, uninformed, uneducated, or as crackpots, charlatans, imbeciles, demons, and so forth, while never addressing the issue at hand.

So for a more general public understanding of the nature of our system, it helps when people considered to be honchos start publicly discussing what is in fact going on. Other honchos are less likely to try to pull the ad hominem attack on one of their own. In other words, truth about the nature of our system needs to emerge from the blogosphere and into the mainstream. This process is accelerating.

Below is a link to an amazing video showing Columbia Professor Jeffrey Sachs speaking to a conference organized by the US Federal Reserve:

     Columbia Economist Dr. Jeffrey Sachs speaks candidly on monetary reform

He begins by reporting that he was just at a meeting with foreign ambassadors at the UN who were asking:

“Why are we taking advice from the people who have managed the financial system so badly?”

He goes on to say that while people expect economists to talk about statistics and monetary issues, that the real problem with the system is as follows:

We have a mountain of criminal and fraudulent behavior…The amount of utter criminality and financial fraud is absolutely enormous…This is what’s called the American financial system at the moment.  It’s an unregulated essentially lawless environment…

This is a profound failure of government…

I regard the moral environment as pathological…

We have a corrupt politics to the core. Both parties are up to their necks in this. It really doesn’t have anything to do with right wing or left wing. The corruption, as far as I can see, is everywhere.

Sachs follows that by saying that he meets with the top Wall St CEOs on a regular basis and the common feature he observes is that these people believe they can do anything they want, legal or not, with impunity. And that given their takeover of the politicians and regulators, they are correct!

Now this isn’t coming from MIT’s Prof. Noam Chomsky–who, let’s face it, was decades ahead of all of us in pointing out the criminality of the corporate/political system–it’s coming from a highly respected Columbia professor.

For a few years now, the money printing central banks such as the US Federal Reserve (the central banks have directly printed at least $16 trillion and counting) have been told by bloggers that this money is not supporting jobs and the economy, but rather that it is going to the rich who are bidding for financial assets and causing bubbles in multiple asset markets including stocks, bonds, and real estate. People like Ben Bernanke, his henchman, and academic and Wall St economists have denied this.

But now we find out, from a Freedom of Information Request by Bloomberg and from a leaked Fed document, that the banking insiders who advise the Fed are finally saying the same thing that the continuously-discredited bloggers have been saying all along: that the money printing is creating bubbles in farmland prices and student loans, and:

There is also concern about “an unsustainable bubble in equity and fixed-income markets given current prices.

And for years, bloggers have said that the central banks cannot possibly stop printing more and more money or the whole edifice will crumble, another charge that is roundly derided. The Fed has claimed repeatedly that it has the tools to undo all the money printing so that it will never cause a problem. But now their own banker advisory panel says that if the Fed stops printing, it “may be painful for consumers and businesses…” and thatthe Fed may now be perceived as integral to the housing finance system.” In other words, if the Fed stops printing, the “housing finance system” will collapse. Which it would. In a heartbeat.

People like Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone have been stalwart in documenting the ongoing manipulations in the interest rate, municipal bond, derivatives, and oil markets. And others have offered very strong evidence of manipulation of the stock market and precious metals markets. Taibbi recently wrote that “everything is rigged.” The US Bond market, the largest in the world, is certainly rigged: the Federal Reserve itself buys 75% of the bonds issued by the US Treasury. And the Fed announces, at the start of each month, which days it will be buying bonds through the Wall St firms in the coming month. The stock market always rises on those days. Always. Why? Because the Wall St firms take that money, leverage it up by further borrowing, and buy stocks. The Fed wants exactly that: they believe that a rising stock market makes people feel a “wealth effect” and therefore they will go out and spend more money in the real economy.
So finally, along comes one the largest banks in the world, Deutsche Bank, saying:

We would stress that we fully understand why the authorities wouldn’t want free markets to operate today as the risk of a huge global default and unemployment cycle would still be very high.

And a recent member of the Federal Reserve Board, Kevin Warsh, said that their money printing is not working and they are losing credibility:

…over the last several years, [the Fed] has over-promised and under-delivered, and the bank’s most important asset – credibility – is under attack.

One would think that, if their strategy isn’t working, that they have other tools they can bring to bear. That’s what they tell us. But Warsh says, “There is no Plan B.”

Bloggers have been warning that European banks are insolvent and getting worse all the time. Now the European Central Bank itself admits that the “euro zone’s slumping economy and a surge in problem loans were raising the risk of a renewed banking crisis.”

Here is an interview with the President of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, that place where they trade paper and electronic instruments that have an increasingly tenuous connection with physical things like gold, silver, copper, oil, etc. From the interview:

What’s interesting about gold, when we had that big break two weeks ago we saw all the gold stocks trade down significantly, we saw all the gold products (ed: futures) trade down significantly, but one thing that did not trade down, was gold coins, tangible real gold.  That’s going to show you, people don’t want certificates, they don’t want anything else.  They want the real product.

Then there is the supposed eternal juggernaut of the Chinese economy that will keep all the other floundering countries afloat. Much of that juggernaut has been propelled by debts taken on by local governments to promote the economy in their areas. But now the Financial Times reports this:

A senior Chinese auditor has warned that local government debt is “out of control” and could spark a bigger financial crisis than the US housing market crash.

Zhang Ke said his accounting firm, ShineWing, had all but stopped signing off on bond sales by local governments as a result of his concerns.

Last but not least, an insider is finally speaking up about nuclear power plants in the NY Times:

All 104 nuclear power reactors now in operation in the United States have a safety problem that cannot be fixed and they should be replaced with newer technology, the former chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said on Monday…

The position of the former chairman, Gregory B. Jaczko, is not unusual in that various anti-nuclear groups take the same stance. But it is highly unusual for a former head of the nuclear commission to so bluntly criticize an industry whose safety he was previously in charge of ensuring.

This system is coming apart at the seams. Insiders and whistlebowers are finally describing the details. The US Government realizes this and is desperately trying to keep whistleblowers from telling the truth by filing charges against them and trying to ruin their lives. Ultimately, it won’t work. I just hope that everyone reading here takes those actions they need to take. By the time the collapse is on the television Nightly News and Page 1 of the newspapers, with the system honchos all claiming “No one could have seen this coming,” it will be too late.

What is the Transition? Conclusion

Now you can’t say that no one ever told you.
–David Daniels

In Part 7, I promised predictions for this installment. And there will be predictions. The important question is: predictions based on what? The web and the media present piles of predictions, most of which turn out to be wrong.

So based on what? Evidence; and a model of how things work. Most predictions go awry because they aren’t based on either. Or if they are said to be based on models, the models are flawed.

Evidence is what Part 1 through Part 7 were all about. And all of us, consciously or not, operate from models of what the world is like. If we walk into a dark room and flip a light switch, we are operating from a model of the world where electricity is flowing into a building with wires connected to lights controlled by switches, and flicking a switch–that often sits precisely where we expect it to be even if we’ve never entered that room–lights one or more light bulbs. We have all sorts of such models in our heads having to do with gravity, internal combustion engines, computers, shoelaces, banks, the properties of water, etc. When correct, these models have predictive abilities that make our interactions with the world relatively easy and efficient compared to operating without such models.

So these models lead to predictions about the future, and when correct, they yield excellent results. When we turn the key in a vehicle ignition, we expect the engine to start, and typically we aren’t disappointed. Thus we made a prediction about the future, one that has generally turned out to be true. Perhaps not every time. Once in awhile, the car might not start. But the results are good enough, the model reliable enough, that we rarely “give it a second thought.”

In my view, this scales up to the major aspects of our lives. Though it does seem that, the larger the scale, the greater the disagreements people have on the topic. Yet I contend that getting large-scale models right is important and possible. When we get the large scale models wrong, life can be unnecessarily confusing and difficult; when we get them right, the results can be profound.

Bias, the bringer of difficulty

We all like to think we aren’t biased, but on this planet at this time, that is a rare achievement. It runs deeper than we like to admit. Were that not true, the mystics would not have to advise us to pierce the veil. Without bias, we would likely see that there is no veil.

Let’s look at a good example of why people have a tough time getting large scale models right. This is one where, were it a multiple-choice question on a standardized test, most highschoolers would get it right. But on this one, the “masters of Wall St” got it wrong. Big time.

Several decades ago, one researcher pointed out that the economy of the USA operates on a roughly 25 year recession/depression cycle, that is, roughly every 25 years, there is either a recession or depression. Yes, there could be recessions at other times, but you could rely on the idea that one would happen roughly every 25 years.  This cycle has been active since early in the 1800s and predicted that there would be a recession or depression starting ideally in December, 2007. I told a number of people about this ahead of time, and few thought the idea had merit despite the historical track record, part of which looked like this at the time:

9/1857: very serious recession 6/1857-12/1858 (18 months contraction)
2/1882: depression 3/1882-5/1885 (38 months contraction)
7/1906: serious recession 5/1907-6/1908 (13 months contraction)
10/1932: serious depression 8/1929-3/1933 (43 months contraction)
7/1958: recession 8/1957-4/1958 (8 months contraction)
12/1981: very serious recession 7/1981-11/1982 (16 months contraction)
12/2007:

Every August, George Soros has a meeting at his Long Island estate for the biggest movers and shakers on Wall St. By August 2007, the sub-prime mortgage market was already falling to pieces. Soros asked his 21 guests, people who have the money to buy the purportedly best research on the planet, whether the current situation would lead to a recession in the US. Twenty of twenty-one said no recession. But right on schedule for the 25 year cycle, a recession started in December 2007. Some say we are still in the depression that started then, and there is good evidence for that.

So how come people would ignore such a prescient cycle with a long and excellent track record? First, because while most people are well aware of being surrounded by cycles such as heartbeats, breathing, night and day, moon phases, ocean tides, the seasons, years, birth and death, to name just a few cycles to which we are subject, they believe that such cycles couldn’t possibly apply to an economy, that such thinking is equivalent to voodoo. Second, the researcher who was the first to publish about this cycle was Edgar Cayce, and to most hard-nosed Wall St people who think they are operating by logic and science, how could Edgar Cayce possibly be right about anything.  What they think of as hard-nosed is actually thick-skulled because Cayce was right about plenty of things. But he doesn’t fit their constrained view of “logic and science,” so out goes Cayce and anyone like him. While it would be fun to say “too bad for them,” when their firms failed in 2008, it was the rest of us who got stuck with the bill for bailing them out so they could keep their bonuses, stock options, and corporate jets.

So as we all know, in 2008 we got a humdinger (serious academic term) of a recession despite the bad models being used by the Wall St mavens and people like Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke that said we would not get a recession. So why did the masters of Wall St and most others dismiss such information? Probably because, if they heard the source of the prediction, most would discount something from Edgar Cayce because it was information channeled from the other side. And “everyone knows” that stuff is only for new age goofballs. So the real answer is: bias. People would rather hang onto their bias than admit that correct information is useful if they despise the source.

Oddly, another researcher, Manfred Zimmel of www.amanita.at, later figured out the basis for Cayce’s information. OK, check your biases. For some of you, this is about to get worse. Here’s that same recession/depression series from above exactly as I first saw it, presented by Manfred, in 2006:

Ø conjunction 9/1857: very serious recession 6/1857-12/1858 (18 months contraction)
Ø conjunction 2/1882: depression 3/1882-5/1885 (38 months contraction)
Ø conjunction 7/1906: serious recession 5/1907-6/1908 (13 months contraction)
Ø conjunction 10/1932: serious depression 8/1929-3/1933 (43 months contraction)
Ø conjunction 7/1958: recession 8/1957-4/1958 (8 months contraction)
Ø conjunction 12/1981: very serious recession 7/1981-11/1982 (16 months contraction) – last deep recession
Ø conjunction 12/2007:

Yep, you guessed it (heh), the cycle is actually the Jupiter-Pluto conjunction cycle. So an astrological model has reared it head! Yikes, so if the Wall Streeters had heeded either the channeled or the astrological model for this cycle, they could have saved their firms tens of billions in losses and turned 2008 into a year of tens of billions in profits by aligning their trading with the idea that a recession was very likely. This is not a stretch since there were hedge funds that did make billions from the financial collapse in 2008.

If a model is clearly working in significant ways, it is useful to ask whether allegiance to one’s biases is more important than being on the right side of major trends on this planet. One of the worst things a person can do in this rapidly-evolving environment is get in front of a major negative trend and stay put thinking that trend is not important. Millions have gone bankrupt in recent years doing just that. In the markets, they call it picking up pennies in front of a bulldozer. Sometimes having a good or bad model is a matter of life or death, for example, a bad model about the nature of the Nazi party brought horrific suffering and the deaths of many millions. (Side note: Thundering-Heard.com exists because I think understanding and heeding good models versus bad ones could very well be a matter of life or death over the next few years, or perhaps even months.)

Handling predictions

One more brief topic, and then on to predictions about the Transition: What is a person supposed to do when they hear a prediction about the world? Assuming that they want to do anything at all, here is an approach from some people whose livelihood depends on their expert handling of predictions. When you hear a prediction:

1. Put aside the natural human propensity for wanting to know immediately whether the prediction is correct. This is emotion coming to the fore. All of the remaining steps are about eliminating emotion from this process so that rationality, research, and observation can take their rightful place.

2. Consider the prediction a script about how the future will unfold.

3. After giving it some thought, assign a rating, say from 1 to 100, on whether you think the predicted event can possibly emerge from current conditions. If it has any chance of emerging, write down the script and place it in your script pile wherein scripts about the future are sorted by your numeric ranking. If there is no chance that the event can arise from current conditions, then throw it out.

4. If the outcome of a script would be important to you, do research on the topic and, if it is appropriate based on your research, adjust your numeric ranking for the prediction in the future script pile. If there is a way to investigate the track record of the person making the prediction, and on the internet there often is, this can help a lot in rating a prediction. People with a bad track record are typically operating from a narrow or faulty model and usually continue doing so. Few people, especially people who have achieved some fame using one model, will admit their errors and find a better model.

5. Watch as evidence about all of your scripts unfolds and adjust your script pile accordingly, tossing out scripts where emerging events show a script to be faulty, and upwardly adjusting the numeric rankings of those scripts where the evidence is pointing to the idea that they might be right.

Through this process, predictions that are false are discarded and those that are true rise to the top of the pile. Emotions are kept at bay, biases fall as evidence accumulates, observation and logic guide the process. And you learn a lot about how the world works.

The Evidence

So what have we observed?

1. Acceleration, evident in a wide variety of ways, including:

2. Weather extremes and wildness, including floods, windstorms, typhoons/hurricanes, tornadoes, heat waves, droughts, superstorms, etc. The insurance industry reports a greater than tripling of “loss-related weather events” since 1980. (Part 1)

3. Earthquakes of magnitude 6.0 or greater up more than 50% since 1990. (Part 1)

4. Tsunamis up fivefold in this century versus the last. (Part 1)

5. Volcanic eruptions clearly on the rise. (Part 1)

6. Magnetic poles on an accelerating shift accompanied by hemispheric temperature changes . (Part 2)

7. Sea level rise. (Part 3)

8. Species extinction rising exponentially along with rising human population. (Part 3)

9. Sinkholes increasing rapidly enough to go from obscurity to the mainstream media. (Part 4)

10. Asteroid encounters appear to be on the rise. (Part 4)

11. Nuclear plants compromised by the increasing earth and weather changes causing problems for people. (Part 4)

12. People’s perception of time as speeding up. (Part 5)

13. An exponential rise in the price/performance of technology. (Part 5)

14. Exponential growth in money, debt, and unemployment. (Part 5)

15. Exponential growth in the amassing of physical gold by those, such as China and the oil sheikdoms, who supply real goods for all this printed money. (Part 5)

16. Relentless growth in the prices of real goods such as food and fossil fuels in response to the massive influx of printed money.

17. Despite an exponential increase in money printing, borrowing, and spending by governments to simulate economies, these same economies remain moribund and these tactics clearly show diminishing returns. (Part 5)

18. The “age of truth” brings increasing revelations of lies and truth. (Part 6)

And with people, acceleration is bringing increases in (Part 7):

19. Communication/connectedness.

20. Inner work.

21. Insistence on knowledge over belief.

22. Group consciousness.

23. A changing attitude toward the physical sciences.

And increasing exploration of (Part 7):

24. Healing methods.

25. The energetic nature of everything.

26. That energy is different at different locations on the planet.

27. The multi-plane nature of life.

28. Interaction with nature intelligences.

29. People changing from “what can I get” to “what can I do to help.”

And accelerating (Part 7):

30. General insanity.

31. Use of legal and illegal drugs and of alcohol to cope with acceleration.

Predictions

OK, so where will this lead us? Does anyone have a model that accounts for accelerating change in most if not all aspects of life on this planet? A model which we might then be able to look to for guidance about the future, from which we could actually expect some reliability?

Surprisingly, yes.  In early 2007, I was fortunate enough to run into such a model described in a book published in 2003. It went into my script pile at the time. Given that the book had been published four years earlier, I was able to evaluate whether a portion of its predictions were coming true or not, and they definitely were. I was already convinced prior to reading the book that we were likely to experience an all-out collapse of the financial system within 5 to 7 years. The book entirely agreed with that perspective, but it took things way beyond the financial world and covered the topic of the Transition from historical, geologic, meteorological, political, educational, occult, and cosmological perspectives, to name a few.  And this wasn’t a book of vague wishy-washy predictions that could be interpreted several ways. It was exceedingly specific. Here is what it said—and this was in 2003, before the explosive growth of sub-prime mortgages being sold to anyone who could fog a mirror, with those mortgages being packaged up and sold to institutions across the world as blue-ribbon, good-as-gold, AAA-rated securities—about the real estate bubble. And this was when almost all people considered real estate a perfect investment, something whose price could never go down, something that was definitely not a bubble at all:

Many who pulled their money out of the stock market…rushed to invest these funds in real estate, but again this mad rush created yet another bubble of inflated real estate. Finance companies, mortgage brokers, and banks readily accorded mortgage loans to these buyers. Once they obtained the signature of the borrower on the loans papers, they sold the mortgages to non-bank secondary mortgage companies. In order to purchase these mortgages, these secondary mortgage companies borrowed money by issuing bonds and derivatives on these bonds.

In essence, though this convoluted maze of borrowing, these non-bank financial institutions…own indirectly most properties purchased with a mortgage…

As the world economy deflates, more and more people will lose their jobs, they will default on their house mortgage payments, and be thrown out into the streets. The sinister secondary mortgage companies will take possession of the property.

When mortgage defaults reach a critical mass, the secondary mortgage companies will collapse leaving a wasteland of properties. This will spell the end of the financial grip the Dark Forces hold on the world, and the towers of finance they have spent centuries to build will fall one by one like dominoes.

So what we have here is an exceedingly accurate description of the work-in-progress that is the real estate bubble and its associated derivatives taking down the financial system. Lots of “dominoes” have already fallen. In 2007, Wall St had five big investment banks. The sub-prime mortgage collapse took three of them to insolvency—Merrill Lynch, Bear Stearns, and Lehman Bros—which were either broken up or absorbed into other companies, and it would have taken down the last two, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan, but the government temporarily stabilized them by saying the they were now backed by FDIC deposit insurance even though they had never before paid a penny into the FDIC insurance program. In fact, they had shunned the FDIC program because they wanted less regulation.

As tracked by the Mortgage Lender Implod-o-Meter, 388 US and 13 non-US mortgage lenders have gone belly up so far. This includes giants such as “secondary mortgage companies” Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and lenders such Countrywide, Washington Mutual, and Wachovia Mortgage. (The full list is here.) And now with sinister companies like Blackrock rushing in to buy foreclosed houses, the game is not completely over, but it won’t be long before the dominoes have all fallen.

Anyway, back to this book I’ve been speaking of. Of the 31 trends identified above, this book covered 26 of them, and for all I know, I may have forgotten references to the other five.

The book is The Sanctus Germanus Prophecies, Volume 1 by Michael Mau. It was followed by Volume 2 in 2006, and Volume 3 in 2009. The books can be purchased here or here.

There are a lot of books out there these days that are really highly-padded versions of what  could be a five or ten page article.  Mau’s books are not in that category, as demonstrated by the quote above, that is, the real estate crisis was discussed in detail on one page and that was it, the author moved on to other topics.  So an attempt to summarize the vast array of information in these books will do them serious injustice, but I will make the attempt anyway as a conclusion to this series of posts. The best advice, of course, is to read the books:

We are living in a period of transition during which much that impedes humanity’s evolution—warmongering, the manipulation/exploitation for power and profit of the many by a very few, the intentional distraction of people from their higher self, and so forth–will be cleared away. Energetic acceleration and earth changes will assure that this clearing/cleansing process takes place. The transition is a normal period of relative rest in the vast multi-billion year evolutionary cycle of our solar system called the manvantara in which people evolve through hundreds and even thousands of incarnations. Many people, called lightbearers in these books, incarnated now with the intention of helping people through this turbulent process and preserving, through the period of the transition, that which is conducive to people’s true evolution. The overall goal of the transition is to place humanity in a new golden age in which people can pursue soul liberation with excellent support and without interference. Getting to that golden age requires the dissolution of those organizations that serve the interests of those who seek to control everyone else for their own power and for material acquisition far beyond what any person would need during a lifetime. Since these organizations are not going quietly, we are dealing with increasing turbulence during which all people will have to decide where they stand with respect to war and the array of slaveries that permeate civilization. The degree of turbulence that can be expected is strongly related to whether or not people wake up and stand on the side of freedom and conscious evolution.

Volume 2 lists twelve regions on the planet that are called spiritual regions, higher elevation areas away from the coasts that, while not immune to the earth changes, are relatively safe with respect them, and which are conducive to lightbearers retrieving those abilities they cultivated in prior incarnations.

Here are some highlights from the timetable at the back of Volume 2:

2005-2012:

  • Severe worldwide economic and financial crisis
  • World economy hits bottom and stays there, all conventional efforts to revive it fail
  • Water-related catastrophes: tsunamis, hurricanes, rise in sea level, floods of lowlands and coastal areas
  • Spiritual Regions on higher ground begin to develop: initial preparations

2013-2020:

  • Water-related catastrophes multiply making more and more low-lying areas uninhabitable
  • Massive population displacements to higher ground
  • Spiritual Regions take hold as lightbearers find their way there
  • Period of Reconstruction: Transitional societies begin to consolidate in the Spiritual Regions

2021-2080

  • Indications of major continental shifts, rifts, and movements begin to perturb the earth’s surface

There is a lot more to these books that what I’ve summarized here. They place the Transition in a perspective that ranges from the innermost to the cosmic. They say that, far from being over, that we are early in many of the accelerating trends identified above. These books have risen to the top of my “script pile.” They have become a stable platform from which to view the changes and turbulence in the world, and have given me confidence that life on this planet can and will be changed, and vastly for the better, and that this goal is way beyond worth working for. These days, when I hear a prediction–and I do seek out a lot of them–if it clearly conflicts with the information in these books, I relegate it to the category of “very unlikely,” and that repeatedly works very well.

One of the main reasons that so many predictions go awry is because they are drawn from experience of a small slice of life. We hear predictions all the time about finance, politics, weather, health, the use of energy, the environment, social trends, and now even meteors and comets. I contend that so many of those predictions go awry because they work from a narrow band and fail to take into account the larger context. Most would relate to maybe one or a few of the 31 trends identified above. Mau’s books place almost all of these individual trends in the context of a much larger one.

And seeing all of these trends in their larger context is precisely what we need right now as change permeates, well, just about everything! A narrowly focused model has no chance of accounting for across-the-board acceleration in, for example, finance, earth changes, mass shootings, and the emergence of truth.

So what’s a person to do about all this?

It is truly up to each person.

What would I do? I will provide a detailed post about that soon where I will contend that a wait-and-see attitude about these changes is no longer appropriate. Life is, as usual, being very kind by giving us a preview of exactly how this will all unfold by not bringing change all at once, but by ramping up all of these trends. But it’s up to us to read the signs and take action.

In the mean time, if you haven’t done so already, you may want to do your own research on these topics. If you come to some understandings, an action plan may naturally emerge from what you learn.

One piece of advice I would give is to never underestimate the power of an accelerating trend. As trends become obviously exponential, they can be quite breathtaking in their speed, power, and scope. As a friend from Cyprus told me: “On Friday night, when we went to sleep, everything was normal. On Saturday, we were told that the banks were closed and that we would have very restricted access to our bank accounts and that we might lose a lot of our the money.” When things change these days, they can change radically and quickly.

There are suggestions for dealing with the collapse of the financial system in the post What then can we do?.

And I leave you with outstanding comments on this topic from Gandhi: View the Forces of Nature bringing Earth Changes as Opportunity to Change the World.

Thanks very much for reading this long series and this long post.

What is the Transition? Part 5

ACCELERATION

People’s Perception of Time

Everyone whom I have asked, including young people, feels like time is speeding up, like the day, the week, the year starts, and “before you know it,”, it’s gone. People feel like they have little time to carry out their plans. I would guess that this not universal, but perhaps it is.

Technology

And everyone, or certainly close to it, is aware of Moore’s Law, that the number of transistors that can fit on a chip doubles every two years. And Intel’s David House added that processor performance would double every 18 months. This acceleration in performance, and the fact that the price for that performance has steadily dropped, has changed the world in magnificent ways that have been difficult to envision at any point in time. People like Ray Kurzweil are famous for utilizing this increasing performance and for having made some prescient estimates of the impact of this exponential increase in price/performance, though some of his predictions have been wide of the mark, and it seems his general view that processors will outdistance human intelligence is destined to fail as well since a pathway to program a machine to have a higher self, intuition, noble emotions, will, self-awareness, and a sense of humor seems unavailable, to put it mildly.

Exponential, parabolic trends

As we did with the weather and Earth changes, let’s look at some data.

Money

It took the USA until 1990, that is, over 200 years, to create the first trillion US dollars.  The rate of money growth had increased so much by 2007 that it took less than a year to create each additional trillion.  Now, it’s seemingly all in day’s (OK, maybe a month’s) work. Here’s a chart of the money supply in the US and China combined:

USChinaMoneySupply

Yep, between the US and China, that’s $25 trillion floating around.

Another way to look at things is this: From 1971 to 2007, the world economy grew fourfold. Over the same period, the amount of money floating around increased forty-fold. And central banks were just leaving the proverbial starting gate in 2007; the continuing financial crisis had just begun, and the response was, and continues to be: Print Money!

And don’t think the Europeans want the euro to be left out of this print-a-thon:

ECB_BS

And the Japanese just joined the US and the Eurozone saying they would print “whatever it takes” to get their economy humming again.

And the Swiss!?!? The most pronounced money printing line on this chart (in light blue) represents Switzerland, purported to be so conservative about money. Ah, the good old days! No longer. For the size of their economy, they are the current money-printing front-runner by a wide margin:

CentralBankBalanceSheets

Et tu, Canada? (from zerohedge.com)

CanadaPrinting

And this has little to do with political parties, as shown on this chart of federal government debt in the US:

USDebt_DemsRepubs

though I would ask that you note the super-acceleration of this trend that started in the year 2000.

And in today’s world, the Chinese are the ones doing the heavy lifting in terms of manufacturing, so they are collecting a lot of this printed paper money, in other words, the West prints paper, sends it to China, and gets real goods in return. But the Chinese aren’t stupid, they are well aware of how much more of this paper is being created. So what’s their solution? To get real:

ChineseGoldAccum

The Chinese mine more gold than any other country now—none of which leaves the country–and they import even more physical gold from other countries. Insiders at the London Bullion Market Association, the leading venue in the world for trading physical gold, say that the Chinese are vacuuming out the London gold warehouses. And the Chinese are scouring the planet to buy mines, wells, and so forth, especially in Africa

But really, one would think that, with all this money floating around—there must be at least 200 times the money around now versus 1971–everyone must be rich! But we know that’s hardly the case. Sure, there are other parabolic charts, like the one for corporate profits:

CorporateAfterTaxProfits

The corporations seem to be doing quite well. And US banks had profits of $35 billion in the fourth quarter of 2012 alone. (Yes, the same banks that needed those big bailouts. As a group, they had a total of four quarters where they weren’t profitable. It’s been business as usual ever since. And they are hard at work telling legislators, as they bribe them, that any new regulations will seriously hurt their business.)

But other parabolic charts tell a different story. Here’s one for youth unemployment in the Eurozone (from zerohedge.com):


GreekYouthUnemployment

Yes, that’s over 60% youth unemployment in Greece, with Spain right behind.

And gasoline prices are “doing great”—for the oil companies, that is. Here’s the price chart for the US, with gas up 243% since 1998:

GasPrices

That chart is only through 2011, but since US gas prices just registered their highest ever price for a February here in 2013, this trend does not seem to be in jeopardy.

And the Food Price Index of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization is up 132% since the year 2000, with the all-important cereals/grains index up 190%. This is putting an extreme and accelerating squeeze on the budgets of the poor around the world.

This article contains the chart below showing that in 2005, it cost the US government one penny to mint a penny and one nickel to mint a nickel. Now, after all that money printing, it costs twice as much:

PennyAndNickel

resulting in a loss of $436 million for the Government of the US (GUS) to mint pennies and nickels since 2006.

So it seems clear that the accelerating money printing is accelerating the cost of real things that people need: gasoline, food, the metals that go into manufactured products, and so forth.

Here’s the accelerating cost of Social Security in the US:

SSA_TotalCost

Well, we saw the accelerating youth unemployment in the Eurozone above. And the EU just announced that its overall unemployment rate is 12%. And, as this chart shows, there hasn’t been any growth in the EU economy since late 2011 (chart source):

EU_GDP

In the US, GUS says the economy hit stall speed (0% “growth”) in the Fourth Quarter 2012. Here is a chart that shows that, of the 41 largest national economies in the world, only 18% of them expanded in the Fourth Quarter of 2012:

OECD_Expanders

Astute chart readers will notice that such a reading corresponds with the worst recessions (1973-74, 1981-82, and 2008-2009) of the last 50 years, so now you know why the central banks have started printing even more money–yes, accelerating!

How is it going for jobs in the US? As this chart shows,  the US is still 3 million jobs short of where things were in 2008:

JobsUS

Even worse, as the next chart shows, the large increase in the number of people working part-time means that a lot of the apparent job gains shown on the previous chart are part-time rather than full-time jobs:

PartTimeUS

If you think it’s only uneducated people who are suffering from all this, check this:

     Number Of PhD Recipients Using Food Stamps Surged During Recession

The number of PhD recipients on food stamps and other forms of welfare more than tripled between 2007 and 2010 to 33,655, according to an Urban Institute analysis cited by the Chronicle of Higher Education. The number of master’s degree holders on food stamps and other forms of welfare nearly tripled during that same time period to 293,029, according to the same analysis.

These job difficulties are reflected in household income in the US. The following chart shows two problems. While the red line shows income growth since 2000, it is still lower than it was at the start of the financial collapse in 2007. And the blue line shows household income adjusted for inflation. When GUS-calculated inflation is taken into account, income for the average household is 8% lower than it was 13 years ago:

RealIncome

Here is a chart of US household net worth (annotated by Of Two Minds) compared to all of the debt that has been created, showing that all of that debt is not making people richer:

NetWorthbyDebt

All of these economic charts were compiled by governments who, as we’ll show in a future post on the acceleration in lying, have a strong vested interest (it’s literally and even proudly called MOPE by academics—Management of Perception Economics) in making things look better than they are. In that light, I ask that you consider the following two charts compiled by a private bunch of computer geek types at a place called Consumer Metrics Institute. They thought, in this time of highly-networked business, that it was silly to have to wait until governments spent months collecting data before telling us what happened some months back, that the data could be collected and reported in near-real-time. If you wish, you can find out what they do at their FAQ.

But what they essentially do is track, in real time, discretionary purchases for things like automobiles, housing, vacations, durable household goods and investments.

These two charts show the trend in these purchases where a value of 100 would equal the same level of purchasing as was taking place in 2005. The first chart is the last 60 days:

CMIRecent

And the second chart is of the last three years:

CMILong

So, both charts show their index hovering around 85 or lower, which means that this large portion of the US consumer economy is 15% smaller than it was in 2005! Perhaps that aligns better with the income and net worth charts shown above rather than the rosy “we’re in a wonderful economic recovery” MOPE spewed by minions of The Powers That Be.

So what it looks like is that all that money printing is making a select few richer and, by driving up the prices of real goods, squeezing regular people—whose income is falling and who spend a far greater percent of their income on real goods. And the Western central banks say it isn’t their fault that people are rioting in countries where people’s costs for food have gone from 40% to 80% of their income. Nope, they aren’t driving prices up at all with their money printing, it’s those “evil speculators.” Well, perhaps it is evil speculators, but they are aided and abetted by a vast surplus of gambling chips supplied by the central banks.

There’s more to come. Stay tuned for Part 6.

Cliff Posers, and the Incredible Shrinking US Pie

If the politicians in Washington DC didn’t bring suffering to so many people, their posing with respect to this “fiscal cliff” would be laughable.

First, none of them intends to do anything substantive about the biggest problem of all: the Trillion Dollars the US spends each year on its war machine to maintain its rapidly fading pretense that Earth is part of the US Empire.

Second, none of them are including in their fake calculations the five additional bailouts that they all know are either already in play or right on the doorstep. The four new ones:

  • US Postal Service—losing $ billions every quarter
  • FHA—after “quasi-government” housing stimulus and campaign-finance corporations Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac went bust because they had enabled millions of insane mortgages, the FHA took over their role and rose from relative obscurity to be the new Federal backer extraordinaire of insane mortgages. As predicted by honest observers, it now needs a bailout.
  • PBGC—the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corp is now operating in the red.
  • Student Loans—with the default rate now going exponential, everyone involved in this $ Trillion market will need a bailout. Check the trend on this chart of the 90-day default rate:

StudentLoanDefaultRate

The government headline admits that 11% of these loans are in default, but a reading of the fine print says it’s closer to 22%. That’s 22% of a $ Trillion in loans.

And the bailout that is already well underway:

Social Security—What? Some politicians claim the SSA is good through 2033. Strange claim, given that SSA will run $162 billion in the red for 2012. Well, they say it’s “only” a $47 billion deficit because there was a special payment from the Treasury of $115 billion to offset the “temporary” payroll tax cut. And if you think this year is some exception, the deficit for 2011, before the payroll tax cut, was $46 billion. One of the largest problems for Social Security is this: as cash was paid into the program into what was supposed to be the Social Security Trust Fund, the government spent that money and put IOU’s in the Trust Fund. Well, given the ultra-low interest rates paid on government IOU’s due to the low interest rate regimes run by Greenspan and Bernanke, the Trust Fund is earning at least $700 billion less in interest over the next 10 years than they thought they would be earning. So that thing about SSA being OK though 2033? Oops. For a look at the unhappy calculations, see this.

So how did this happen?

Here is a huge contributor: As reported by the World Bank, government statistics collected from around the world—and pretty much everyone agrees that government stats are just a bit biased to the upside—say that the global economy grew by a total of 9% from 2001 through 2011. By those same stats, in 2001, the US economy was 32% of the total world economy. By 2011, the US economy was just 22% of the world economy. That’s a huge 32% reduction in global market share for the US. These calcs are here.

So the question is: How does a country have its economy shrink by 32% in terms of its share of the world economic pie and yet keep spending a $ trillion a year on war and keep all of its benefit programs and government agencies intact? Doesn’t this lead to some type of breaking point? Normally, yes. But so far, the solution has been simple: the country borrows the money. In 2001, the US owed $6 Trillion. Now it owes over $16 Trillion. But won’t people stop lending to such a country? Yes, but the Federal Reserve prints up new money and buys the excess new debt authorized by Congress and issued by the US Treasury. For the next three years, the Fed admits to planning to buy virtually all of it. See Treasury Scarcity to Grow as Fed Buys 90% of New Bonds. Simple? Yes. Sustainable? Not in the recorded history of this planet.

So when you hear the cliff posers from both parties trying to score political points, remember that what they aren’t talking about is far larger than what they are talking about. And that what they aren’t talking will have a far bigger impact on all of us.

Gold Goes Mainstream

Gross: Stock and bond managers today must be alchemists: turn lead into gold. NOT likely. Too much lead (bubbled assets).
–Tweet from Bill Gross, Founder of PIMCO, which manages $1.8 trillion

**************

“Do you own gold?” “Oh yeah. I do…There’s no sensible reason not to have some.”
–Ray Dalio to the Council on Foreign Relations

This is being written to put the precious metals market in a larger context for those people who still see the world proceeding much as it has proceeded in the past, a world without the large financial and supply chain disruptions that we foresee.

Strong multi-year upmoves in the price of any asset, aka a secular bull market in that asset, go through three stages:

  1. The speculative, early-proponent phase during which the mainstream investment community ignores or derides the potential of that asset.
  2. The mainstream phase, where the mainstream decides that exposure to that asset is a good idea for just about everyone.
  3. The mania phase, where just about everyone feels that they must own that asset and will tell you so when you meet them by chance in the supermarket.

Phase 1 for gold has been marked by derision from the mainstream investment community. Quoting Keynes, they call gold the “barbarous relic.” Otherwise-intelligent economic commentators such as Nouriel Roubini have been calling for a price top in gold for several years. Some who are old enough to have experienced the gold bull market of the 1970s have been saying, “We heard all this before in the 1970s, anyone who buys gold now will regret it later.” All of these people have been wrong all along as gold and silver have powered higher in price.

During most of Phase 1, the major central banks of the world have been sellers of gold, preferring to buy government bonds of various countries (such as Greece and Spain!) to “get a return” on their money. Gold has been a far better investment for the last 12 years. Over the last three years, central banks have become net buyers of gold, to the tune of hundreds of tons per year. Most but not all of this buying has come from Asia as the western central banks have been preoccupied with printing money in a mad scramble to keep their markets afloat.

Gold has been in Phase 1 since 2001. Most in the financial community regard it as an annoyance when their clients ask about it. The price increased from $256 in 2001 to $1,911 in August, 2011.

A couple of weeks ago, Ray Dalio gave a presentation to the CFR. He was asked if he owned gold, and he said, “Oh yeah. I do.” This marked the start of Phase 2, the mainstream phase.

Who is Ray Dalio? Most people in the investment community respect him as the best active hedge fund manager on the planet. We mentioned his firm, Bridgewater Associates, in a previous post. They manage about $140 billion. Ray is highly respected in both financial and political circles.

And the CFR is the Council on Foreign Relations. If you had to pick one organization that has the most influence on the mainstream political thought in the US, it would have to be the CFR. It was founded by the Rockefellers. You have to apply for membership. There are currently 4,700 members, including Bill Clinton, Robert Zoellick, Janet Yellen, Paul Wolfowitz, Lloyd Blankfein, Jamie Dimon…in other words, the CFR is the public face of The Powers That Be/Were.

Now that all of these mainstream movers and shakers have heard from what some consider the smartest money man on the planet that owning gold is a good idea, well, if we haven’t yet convinced you to get rid of a mainstream financial advisor such as a broker, said broker is likely to be calling you in the not-too-distant future with their “innovative” idea that you should get some gold. Of course, being mainstream, they will likely advise you to own it in paper rather than physical form, which will be a big mistake, but that will be their advice. And they will advise that you put a maximum of 5% of your assets into gold or gold mining stocks. In normal times, this would characterize the mainstream phase for gold, during which its price would rise steadily for years.

More evidence that we’ve entered the mainstream phase comes from Bill Gross, known to many as the “Bond King.” Gross founded PIMCO, which manages over $1.8 trillion. Yes, that’s trillion with a T. Almost all of the money is in conservative bond funds. But here’s a tweet this week from Gross:

Gross: Stock and bond managers today must be alchemists: turn lead into gold. NOT likely. Too much lead (bubbled assets).

Note that Gross, the Bond King, is saying that stocks and bonds are bubble markets. That money managers should turn that lead into gold. Though he also says that’s not likely.
Those who hate gold claim gold is in a bubble. Great examples of bubble markets are internet stocks in 1998 through early 2000; or real estate running up to 2006; or government bonds now. Gold, on the other hand, has had a nice steady rise for years, nothing meteoric or bubble-like at all. And here is someone, Bill Gross, who may know more about bonds than anyone on the planet, saying that bonds and stocks are the bubble, not gold.

Gold can’t possibly enter a bubble until it enters Phase 3, the mania phase. During this phase, you will be regaled on a regular basis from media sources and individuals with stories of people who got rich from gold and silver. Like the stock day traders of the year 2000, or the real estate flippers of 2006, there will be lots people trading gold on a daily basis, probably at gold trading shops like the day trading shops that were operating in 1999. People will be quitting their jobs to trade precious metals to “make their fortune.” 90% of people who talk about gold will assure you that it is the surest thing on earth to guaranteed riches. CEOs of gold mining companies will be like rock stars, getting interviewed by Charlie Rose. That’s what a bubble looks like. How many people do you know who own gold and silver?

Now, with the acceleration that is all around us, it is unlikely that we will proceed through these three phases of a secular bull market as we would in normal times. It is far more likely that gold will have a meteoric rise quite soon. But if you think that the world will proceed in a conventional manner in the years to come, we have outlined the path of the precious metals for you.

The financial system is based on twelve promises that are lies, Part 2

In yesterday’s Part 1, we covered these lies:

Lie #1: Real estate always goes up.

Lie #2: It’s best to use Other People’s Money.

Lie #3: We can buy cheap goods from countries with cheap labor, and yet keep our much-higher salaries and benefits.

Lie #4: Government pension and medical programs will deliver on their promises.

Lie #5: Your money is in the bank

Lie #6: Your money is in your brokerage account.

Lie #7: It is OK for financial institutions to use huge leverage.

Lie #8: The government guarantees it.

Today, we’ll cover the final four:

Lie #9: Government bonds are safe.

Most people are told, and believe, that the big culprit in the Great Depression of the 1930s was the stock market crash. This is an intentional re-writing of history. At least 10 times more money was lost when governments defaulted on their bonds in the early 1930s. These defaults were the source of thousands of bank failures, which led to untold numbers of farm, business, and personal financial failures, so the actual losses were far larger than the “10 times” cited above.

Who re-wrote that history and why? Governments, and the academic henchmen they support through direct employment or research grants. Governments and these hired academics conveniently ignore these government bond defaults because they want you to have full trust in government bills and bonds. Again, why? Because these bonds underpin the entire financial regime. When a bank claims to have capital, much of that capital is in the form of government bills and bonds. Same for insurance companies, pension funds, brokerages, etc.

And why did governments default on their bonds in the 1930s? Because they borrowed more than they could pay back. Sound familiar? Let’s forget about the incomprehensible trillions for now. Let’s just treat the US government like a household.

Monthly Income:       $1,900.
Monthly Expenses:   $3,000.

Monthly Borrowing to meet current expenses: $1,100.

So if this household went to their bank and said, “Look, I know I’ve been borrowing 60% more than I make each month to meet my expenses, and that I’m adding $1,100 to what I owe you each and every month, but you know, I really need that money.” How long do you think the bank would keep lending them a new $1,100 each month? Money that gets spent as soon as it has been borrowed.

Convert those hundreds to trillions and you have a good picture of US fiscal finances. Japan is doing far worse. The UK is similar to the US. Despite the evidence of history, people treat governments as if they are eternal, as if they will never fall. That they’ll pay back what they owe someday. History looks askance at that idea as well, as we have seen from the 1930s.

And for those who think that the alleged economic recovery is going to make these numbers better for the US, that this “recovery” is real, think again: The borrowing that the US has been doing for the last three years is equal to almost 10% of GDP, that is, it’s almost 10% of all the spending on goods and services that happens in the US each year. And they are claiming that the economy is growing at about 2% per year, which is itself an over-estimate. So what would happen if they stopped this borrowing and spending of 10% of the economy? The math is easy, and it’s called a severe depression, with the economy shrinking big time every year and so the government would have lower income from taxes and higher expenses for unemployment, food stamps, etc., putting them even further in the hole.

So, aren’t the people who usually buy treasury bills and bonds getting antsy about all this? Some clearly are, including “small players” like China. So the US, Japanese, and UK governments are doing what they call quantitative easing. Since this is a system steeped in lies, they don’t just say “printing money,” they have to come up with a BS term for it. (And they aren’t entirely stupid about that. Ask a few people what quantitative easing is. Most don’t know.) So the central bank of each country prints up money to buy the bonds and bills issued by the treasury when the treasury needs to borrow more money. The US Federal Reserve bought about two-thirds of the bonds sold by the US Treasury in 2011, so they covered two-thirds of the borrowing with newly printed money. If our household above had done that, its inhabitants would soon be in jail for counterfeiting, but that’s a topic for another day.

And one might think that governments can simply raise taxes to pay for these gargantuan debts. That might be true if the people weren’t already up to their eyeballs in debt. Historically, when all the debt in a country gets near three times their Gross Domestic Product, the country groans under this unsustainable debt load and has events like the Great Depression of the 1930s. According to Lacy Hunt, former member of the Federal Reserve Board (and I only cite that credential so you don’t think these numbers come from some deranged blogger), that total debt ratio is now 3.6 times GDP in the US, after peaking at 3.8x in 2009. Think the Eurozone is any better? They are at 4.5x! The UK is at 4.7x. And Japan is at 5x! (From Strategic Investment Conference – Dr. Lacy Hunt)

According to Boston University Prof. Kotlikoff, a guy who is enough of an insider that his work is sometimes published by the US Federal Reserve, when you consider all the future spending commitments of the US Government: “US government liabilities (official debt plus the present value of projected future non-interest spending) exceed government assets (the present value of projected future taxes) by $211 trillion, roughly 14 times GDP.” (From Shattering the American dream: The US government’s Ponzi scheme) In other words, unpayable doesn’t even begin to describe the situation.

So, it is clear that government bonds are a fraud. At some point, the holders of these bonds will not get back their capital and their expected interest payments, as the buyers of Greek government bonds recently found out. The only way these bonds are being kept afloat is by newly printed money. It’s a scheme, a Ponzi scheme, where new money has to be brought in to satisfy earlier investors. Such schemes always fail. This one will as well. You can take that to the bank. But as I think you can tell, we don’t recommend that. Taking it to the bank, that is. Because the bank–at least if it’s a large one–is part of the scheme. And so are your insurance companies, pension plans, etc. Take action accordingly.

Lie #10: Derivatives reduce risk in the system

Derivatives, famously called “weapons of financial mass destruction,” are a big topic, but it’s an important topic to understand because, when the derivatives implode, the whole financial regime will implode. We will do our best to keep it simple and sort of brief. If the description of this lie makes your mind fog, move on to Lies #11 and #12. They are easier to understand, and not to be missed.

A derivative is a financial instrument, a contract, whose value is derived from the value of some underlying asset. Examples of derivatives that have functioned well for years are agricultural futures, where a farmer and a grain buyer agree in the Spring on the price of a railroad car of oats for delivery in December. Both enter the contract to make their pricing in December predictable, removing some of the risk of running their businesses.

But the banksters couldn’t leave it alone. They created derivatives to insure against just about every conceivable financial eventuality. But they sell this insurance without setting aside the reserves typically required for writing insurance policies. Such reserves are normally required to cover the flow of insurance claims that inevitably arise. They sell these instruments to entities who are trying to reduce some financial risk they face, like currency movements, interest rate changes, a default on some bonds they own, etc. Some of the modern derivatives are so complex that, when the parties to a derivative contract have ended up in court, the court ruled that the 600-page contract that defined the derivative didn’t sufficiently cover all the contingencies! These derivatives are sold by the big banks and insurance companies to all sorts of financial entities from corporations to school systems to hedge funds. The school systems are trying to reduce risk; the hedge funds use derivatives as a casino bet. Since the instruments are complex, the banks charge big fees for access to these contracts.

This is now so out of hand that there are over $700 trillion worth of derivative contracts out there in the world. Yes, that’s more than 10 times the size of the world economy. These are insurance policies that obviously cannot be paid if the claims come in. And when the claims come in, the big writers of these insurance policies, the big banks, will be understood, for yet another reason, to be entirely bankrupt. And that money everyone thought they had in the bank will be gone, vaporized. When all that money is vaporized, there will be no money coming from your ATM, no ability to withdraw some from the bank, no paychecks (the checks will bounce), no ability to pay bills, no tax payments going to governments, etc.

So instead of derivatives reducing risk, which is what their proponents claim that they do, derivatives have concentrated risk in the very large banks, which puts the entire system at risk for the sake of large bankster profits.

So why is it inevitable that the derivative market will implode? After all, while no one denies that there are over $700 trillion of derivatives, and no one claims to have anywhere near that amount of money available, the banksters claim they will never have to pay up on that insurance. Here’s their reasoning:

  1. The things they write insurance for won’t ever happen, at least not to any extent that will have a big impact on anyone. And how do they know this? Because they have based their insurance on mathematical models designed by very fancy mathematicians and physicists. But the problem is this: their models are based on data from a small sampling of history. The data rarely even includes data from the era of the Great Depression. So here’s what happened in 2007-2009: some derivatives were based on pools of mortgages. These models assumed, because that’s what they saw in the historical data, that real estate prices always go up. As soon as real estate prices started going down in mid-2006, the payments on these mortgage-backed derivatives came due. And the banksters didn’t have the money to pay up. We all know how it ended, some failed, and the governments bailed out the rest. So when just one very small slice of the derivative payments came due, payments the banks and our beloved central banks said would never come due, the entire system was threatened. The rest of the derivatives in the world are based on similarly inadequate models. They will prove especially inadequate as the world faces the accelerating change that is apparent to so many of us. It is impossible that these mathematical models can account for events that have never happened on the planet before, or that only happen once every several thousand years.
  2. The banksters claim that, even though they may have written contracts for $100 trillion, their book of contracts is balanced, that it is hedged. By this, they mean that, if Spain defaults on its debts, that they have contracts that say that it will and contracts that say that it won’t. They will lose money on one set of contracts and make an equal amount of money on the other contracts. While multiple cases have shown this claim of being hedged to be an outright lie, it has a deeper underlying problem. Let’s say JP Morgue has a bunch of customers who want to buy insurance against a default by Spain. That would be a very unbalanced position for the Morgue. So they go to Bankrupt of America and buy protection against Spain defaulting. Now they think they are hedged, balanced. But there are less than a dozen banks in the world handling the vast majority of this $700 trillion in insurance. Remember AIG in 2008? They were a big writer of mortgage-pool-related insurance in 2007. They were not hedged. They were unable to pay. That inability to pay would have taken down several other institutions who thought they were covered because of insurance they had purchased from AIG. AIG needed a government bailout of $185 billion or the other banks would have gone under. So all it takes is one of those banks to make an error, to not be hedged, to not be able to pay up, and suddenly each of the others is also going under. This is where the concept of the Too Big To Fail banks has come in. All of them are so interconnected that if one fails, they all fail.

So then you might say, well won’t there just be another bank bailout by the governments? Two problems with that. First, no one can come up with anywhere near $700 trillion to fix a cascading failure of the mega-banks. If they printed that much money, the money you currently have would be seen by all to be worthless. Think wheelbarrows of money, hyper-inflation. Second, as we have seen, people have less and less trust in government finances. A large part of the temporary system fixes done in 2008-2009 were not the actual printing of money, they were guarantees. But if everyone understands that a government providing a guarantee is broke, then what is that guarantee worth? Bupkas. Nada. Nothing.

But this is, in fact, what the TBTF banks are counting on: they have a gun to the head of the governments, saying “you have to cover our backs on this huge and very profitable game or we’ll take down your system.”

So when the derivatives implode, all the electronic money in the world will be known to be either gone (fully imploded system) or worthless (tens or hundreds of trillions gets printed up, making all currency worth a tiny fraction of their current purchasing power).

Lie #11: Central banks protect the interests of their country and its citizens

Let’s just get right to the truth about this lie: Central banks protect the interests of large commercial banks. And not all banks. Just the really large ones. The central banks we are speaking of are the international ones, namely the Bank for International Settlements and the European Central Bank; and the national central banks such as the US Federal Reserve, the Bank of England, the Bank of Japan, etc.

Whenever you find it difficult to understand an action by a central bank, apply the principle in the previous paragraph and that action almost invariably makes complete sense. Everything else that central banks say and do is window dressing, secondary at best to their prime directive. Central banks were founded to protect the interests of the large banks, to keep the game of those banks going, and that is what they do.

And what is that game? Being able to create money from thin air and charge for the privilege.

So are central bankers, people like Ben Bernanke, liars? Or have they drunk the Kool Aid so deeply that they believe their own nonsense? The evidence points to the idea that both are true.

This topic is covered in great detail by many on the web, so I won’t recap it here. Please e-mail if you would like more detailed information on this.

Lie #12: Your paper/electronic currency is a reliable store of value.

For most people in the industrialized world, money means two things: a little bit of physical cash on hand, and more money than that in one or more accounts with financial institutions. This reflects the reports on world money supply: maybe as much as 1% of money is actual physical bills and coins, the rest is stored electronically.

This has a big implication, one not readily recognized by most. Every electronic representation of money is a promise by someone to pay up if that money is requested for possession or use. In other words, that money is owed to you. While you may consider it to be cash in your account, it is actually a debt, owed by the bank or money market fund, to you.

Everyone knows that, in the 19th Century, for example, money was backed by gold or silver. You could go to a bank and convert national paper currency for gold or silver coins. Because this restricted the ability of countries to wage war, that right was persistently eroded starting with world War I until it was abolished entirely in 1971.

So what backs up the money now? It is the ability and willingness of those who owe you money to pay up on demand. And the confidence of all who use the currency that they can exchange that currency for goods and services of real value.

Ability and willingness to pay: If the party who owes you money goes belly up or is unwilling to pay you, you are out of luck. That money you thought you had? Well, you don’t have it. In the case of complete bankruptcy, the money no longer exists, it went to money heaven. In the case of a bank, there is a government guarantee that, up to a certain amount, even if the bank goes under, the government will make good up to that guaranteed amount. Such guarantees were put in place in the 1930s after million lost their money due to bank failures.

Confidence: Everyone has heard of situations where people lost confidence in a national currency. The poster child is the Weimer Republic in Germany, with it infamous photos of people carting around wheelbarrows full of currency. And there have been such losses of confidence in Brazil, Argentina, Turkey, Zimbabwe, Viet Nam, and many others. In these cases, governments printed so much currency that it became a “hot potato,” where people wanted to exchange currency for something real as soon as possible because the currency was known to be losing value by the hour.

People can also lose confidence in a currency when a government is known to be going under, perhaps because they are losing a war.

People say that such fiat money, that is, money by the command of a government, is a medium of exchange and a store of value. It certainly is a medium of exchange for goods and services. Until it isn’t. And it isn’t when people lose all confidence in that fiat money as a store of value. Then it becomes that “hot potato.”

And it is somewhat surprising that people still regard it as a store of value. Since the inception of the US Federal Reserve in 1913, the US Dollar has lost, by the US government’s own statistics, 95% to 99% of its value, depending on what method is used for that calculation. People think that a loss of value over that much time is meaningless to them, allowing them to think, for example, that they were real estate geniuses for owning a house in the USA from 1971 to 1997, during which time that real estate “went up so much” in value. Most of that apparent gain was from currency debasement. People hear stories of how their great grandparents paid five cents for a loaf of bread and think that price increases for bread over time are normal. They are not! When money was backed by metals, prices for goods often stayed stable over many decades, with price fluctuations reflecting real changes in supply and demand in the economy, not politician-supplied increases in the supply of fiat currency.

Why have people come to accept increases in the money supply as necessary, and price inflation of 2% to 3% per year as normal, even as “low inflation”? Because it is key to the functioning of a financial regime where money is debt. When all money is debt, the borrower typically has to pay interest to the lender. On most of the money out there, namely that 99% of it that is stored in electronic accounts, people want some payback, interest payments, on their deposits. So let’s just say that, on average, 3% interest is due on all of the money out there. So every borrower, think banks as an example, who are borrowing from you because you have deposited money with them, has to come up with at least 3% more money every year to keep paying interest owed. So what happens if the economy doesn’t grow by at least 3% and there isn’t an increase of the money supply by 3%? It means that some borrowers will not be able to pay the interest they owe. And some of them will go bankrupt. Meaning that the money deposited with them might go to money heaven, disappear, subtracting a lot of money from the system. And this is a system where the amount of money in circulation must grow by that 3% every year or the system starts to go in reverse: instead of the supply of money growing, it starts contracting because of bankruptcies.

So now, do you see why those who run the financial regime go into a complete panic when the economy doesn’t grow? Why they start printing more money every time the economy and, thus the supply of money, shrinks? This is a crucial concept. An economy based on money that is debt must grow. Always. Infinitely. This is why politicians and central bankers repeat the word growth like a mantra. But ultimately, economies are based, at least for now, on finite resources. So how can they grow to infinity? This is the fatal flaw in a system where money equals debt: it must always grow. Which means it must always, as our economies are currently configured, consume more physical resources, especially fossil fuel energy. A steady-state economy is not acceptable when money is debt. It must grow and gobble up more of the resources of the planet. Forever. Which of course is impossible, at least until alchemy is a common skill. But the politicians like to ignore this and just keep chanting growth, growth, growth.

And all things economic obey the Law of Cycles. Things are created, they flourish, and then they pass away, making room for the new. To retain their power, the entrenched elite are trying to subvert that law.

WHY ARE THINGS THIS WAY?

Simply, for the guaranteed profit of a few at the expense of the many. This too is a topic for another day, but that’s the accurate and brief description that fits the facts.

WHAT THEN MUST WE DO?

We could go on and on about other fatal flaws of this financial regime that threaten its existence. The coming disruption from the US Dollar’s loss of reserve currency status. The unfairness of bailing out and supporting the banksters who are engaged, by any human standard, in blatant criminal activity. The subversion of the rule of law as government and its agencies are purchased by the banksters. About the accounting lies that allow financial feces to be counted on corporate balance sheets as shining light.

And you may not agree that the chickens will come home to roost on all twelve lies above. But recall that the financial regime almost fell from the demise of just one of its minor lies, the lie that real estate always goes up in value. Other lies above are for more fundamental to the regime, much more foundational in nature.

And it is because of the foundational nature of the lies that reform of the current system is impossible. Tweaking the rules will not address fundamental flaws.

So what then must we do? We will address that topic in our next article.

Many thanks.
Thundering Heard