Tuesday, July 31, 2012

11 Signs That Time Is Quickly Running Out For The Global Financial System

Michael Snyder
The Economic Collapse
July 31, 2012

Are we rapidly approaching a moment of reckoning for the global financial system? August is likely to be a relatively slow month as most of Europe is on vacation, but after that we will be moving into a “danger zone” where just about anything could happen. Historically, a financial crisis has been more likely to happen in the fall than during any other time, and this fall is shaping up to be a doozy. Much of the focus of the financial world is on whether or not the euro is going to break up, but even if the authorities in Europe are able to keep the euro together we are still facing massive problems. Countries such as Greece and Spain are already experiencing depression-like conditions, and much of the rest of the globe is sliding into recession. Unemployment has already risen to record levels in some parts of Europe, major banks all over Europe are teetering on the brink of insolvency, and the flow of credit is freezing up all over the planet. If things take a really bad turn, this crisis could become much worse than the financial crisis of 2008 very quickly.

All over the world people are starting to write about the possibility of a major economic crisis starting this fall.

For example, a recent article in the International Business Times discussed how some economists around the globe are fearing the worst for the coming months….

The consensus? The world economy has entered a final countdown with three months left, and investors should pencil in a collapse in either August or September.

Citing a theory he has been espousing since 2010 that predicts “a future lack of policy flexibility from the monetary and fiscal side,” Jim Reid, a strategist at Deutsche Bank, wrote a note Tuesday that gloated “it feels like Europe has proved us right.”

“The U.S. has the ability to disprove the universal nature of our theory,” Reid wrote, but “if this U.S. cycle is of completely average length as seen using the last 158 years of history (33 cycles), then the next recession should start by the end of August.”

The global financial system is so complex and there are so many thousands of moving parts that it is always difficult to put an exact date on anything. In fact, history is littered with economists that have ended up looking rather foolish by putting a particular date on a prediction.

But without a doubt we are starting to see storm clouds gather for this fall.

The following are 11 more signs that time is quickly running out for the global financial system….

#1 A number of very important events regarding the financial future of Europe are going to happen in the month of September. The following is from a recent Reuters article that detailed many of the key things that are currently slated to occur during that month….

In that month a German court makes a ruling that could neuter the new euro zone rescue fund, the anti-bailout Dutch vote in elections just as Greece tries to renegotiate its financial lifeline, and decisions need to be made on whether taxpayers suffer huge losses on state loans to Athens.

On top of that, the euro zone has to figure out how to help its next wobbling dominoes, Spain and Italy – or what do if one or both were to topple.

#2 Reuters is reporting that Spanish Economy Minister Luis de Guindos has suggested that Spain may need a 300 billion euro bailout.

#3 Spain continues to slide deeper into recession. The Spanish economy contracted 0.4 percent during the second quarter of 2012 after contracting 0.3 percent during the first quarter.

#4 The unemployment rate in Spain is now up to 24.6 percent.

#5 According to the Wall Street Journal, a new 30 billion euro hole has been discovered in the financial rescue plan for Greece.

#6 Morgan Stanley is projecting that the unemployment rate in Greece will exceed 25 percent in 2013.

#7 It is now being projected that the Greek economy will shrink by a total of 7 percent during 2012.

#8 German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble says that the rest of Europe will not be making any more concessionsfor Greece.

#9 The UK economy has now plunged into a deep recession. During the second quarter of 2012 alone, the UK economy contracted by 0.7 percent.

#10 The Dallas Fed index of general business activity fell dramatically to -13.2 in July. This was a huge surprise and it is yet another indication that the U.S. economy is rapidly heading into a recession.

#11 As I have written about previously, a banking crisis is more likely to happen in the fall than at any other time during the year. The global financial system will enter a “danger zone” starting in September, and none of us need to be reminded that the crashes of 1929, 1987 and 2008 all happened during the second half of the year.

So is there any hope on the horizon?

European leaders have tried short-term solution after short-term solution and none of them have worked.

Now countries all over Europe are sliding into depression and the authorities in Europe seem to be all out of answers. The following is what one eurozone diplomat said recently….

“For two years we’ve been pumping up the life raft, taking decisions that fill it with just enough air to keep it afloat even though it has a leak,” the diplomat said. “But now the leak has got so big that we can’t pump air into the raft quickly enough to keep it afloat.”

The boat is filling up with water faster than they can bail it out.

So what is the solution?

Well, some of the top names in economics on both sides of the Atlantic are urging authorities to keep the debt bubble pumped up by printing lots and lots more money.

For example, even though the U.S. government is already running trillion dollar deficits New York Times “economist” Paul Krugman is boldly proclaiming that now is the time to print and borrow even more money. He is proud to be a Keynesian, and he says that “you should be a Keynesian, too.

Across the pond, the International Business Editor of the Telegraph, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, is strongly urging the ECB to print more money….

Needless to say, I will be advocating 1933 monetary stimulus à l’outrance, or trillions of asset purchases through old fashioned open-market operations through the quantity of money effect (NOT INTEREST RATE ‘CREDITISM’) to avert deflation – and continue doing so until nominal GDP is restored to its trend line, at which point the stimulus can be withdrawn again.

But is more money and more debt really the solution to anything?

In the United States, M2 recent surpassed the 10 trillion dollar mark for the first time ever. It has increased in size by more than 5 times over the past 30 years.

Unfortunately, our debt has been growing much faster than GDP has over that time period.

For example, during the second quarter of 2012 U.S. government debt grew by 274.3 billion dollars but U.S. GDP only grew by 117.6 billion dollars.

Our problem is not that there is not enough money floating around.

Our problem is that there is way, way too much debt.

But this is how things always go with fiat currencies.

There is always the temptation to print more.

That is one of the big reasons why every single fiat currency in history has eventually collapsed.

Printing more money will not solve our problems. It will just cause our problems to take a different form.

In the end, nothing that the authorities can do will be able to avert the crisis that is coming.

A lot of people are starting to realize this, and that is one reason why we are seeing so much economic pessimism right now.

For example, according to a new Rasmussen poll only 14 percent of all Americans believe that children in America today will be “better off” than their parents.

That is an absolutely stunning figure, but it just shows us where we are at.

Our economy has been in decline for a long time, and now we are rapidly approaching another major downturn.

You better buckle up, because this downturn is not going to be pleasant at all.

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Monday, July 30, 2012

VIDEO: Alex Calls Out Antonin Scalia for Gun Ban Statement

Escape From Economics

Paul Craig Roberts
Prisonplanet.com
July 30, 2012

Readers ask me from time to time to recommend a book from which they can learn about economics.

The problem with reading a book to learn economics that is taught in the universities and practiced in Washington is that economics is now a highly formalized subject based on abstract models and assumptions and has been mathematized. It is not that the subject is totally useless and without any applicability to real world problems. Rather, the problem is that the discipline both lags an ever-changing world and got some things wrong at the beginning. Consequently, learning economics places one inside a box where some of the tools and understanding provided are outdated and incorrect.

For example, every textbook will draw a picture of agriculture as the perfect example of competitive markets in which “no producer’s output is large enough to affect price.” This made sense when one-third of the US work force was on family farms. Today, American agriculture is dominated by corporations and agribusiness. Additionally, part of the disastrous financial deregulation pushed by no-think economists and special interests was the removal of position limits on speculators. Formerly, speculators smoothed agricultural and commodity markets by buying and selling in order to stabilize price over periods when supply and demand were out of balance. Now speculators can dominate markets and rig prices to the benefit of their profits.

There are many such examples where economics no longer speaks to the real world.

Two other examples will suffice:

Most intelligent people are aware that natural resources are finite, including the environment’s ability to absorb the wastes or pollution from productive activities (see for example, Jared Diamond, Collapse, 2005). But few economists are aware, because economists assume that man-made capital is a perfect substitute for nature’s capital. This assumption implies that there are no finite environmental limits to infinite economic growth. Lost in such a make-believe world, economists neglect the full cost of production and cannot tell if the value of the increases in GDP are greater or less than the full cost of producing it.

Economists have almost universally confused jobs offshoring with free trade. Economists have even managed to produce “studies” purporting to show that a domestic economy is benefitted by being turned into the GDP of some other country. Economists have managed to make this statement even while its absurdity is obvious to what remains of the US manufacturing, industrial, and professional skilled (software engineers, for example) workforce and to the cities and states whose tax bases have been devastated by the movement offshore of US jobs.

The few economists who have the intelligence to recognize that jobs offshoring is the antithesis of free trade are dismissed as “protectionists.” Economists are so dogmatic about free trade that they have even constructed a folk myth that the rise of the US economy was based on free trade. As Michael Hudson, an economist able to think outside the box has proven, there is not a scrap of evidence in behalf of this folk myth (see America’s Protectionist Takeoff 1815-1914).

My advice to readers who wish to develop economic comprehension is to begin with the outside-the-box economists who are addressing real issues. For example, Herman E. Daly and John B. Cobb’s For the Common Good is accessible to ordinary readers willing to take the effort to google the definitions of unfamiliar terms. However, the most important development in trade theory is not. Global Trade and Conflicting National Interests by Ralplh E. Gomory and William J. Baumol (MIT Press, 2000) is apparently even over the heads of professional economists, who prefer to babble on ignorantly about the “benefits of free trade” than to learn what they don’t know. Nevertheless, readers should understand that the case for free trade will never been the same after
its dissection by Gomory and Baumol.

With this preface to the column, I now turn to its subject: economist Michael Hudson. Hudson is totally outside the matrix in which economists imprison themselves. Hudson doesn’t live in the artificial reality of economists or shill for corporations and Wall Street.

A person can learn a lot from Hudson. His book, Trade, Development and Foreign Debt (2009) explains how foreign trade and economic development have been used to concentrate economic power in the hands of dominant nations. What is really going on is covered up with do-good verbiage and formal models. In reality, trade and development are ways to colonize countries that think they are independent. (Another good book on this subject is Michel Chossudovsky’s The Globalization of Poverty.)

Perhaps the best place to begin with Hudson is his latest book, The Bubble and Beyond, which should be available within a few days of the appearance of this column. In this book Hudson addresses the crisis in the economy and the crisis in the discipline of economics. From this book you can understand not only the crisis but also why economists have misdiagnosed the crisis and are applying incorrect remedies.

Hudson shows that a central problem is that economic theory ignores the role of debt in the economy. Economic theory also pretends that economic policy, such as the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy, serves the public’s interest rather than the interests of powerful private interests.

As Lenin and others predicted, industrial capitalism has turned into finance capitalism. Finance capitalism does not finance or create new real investments such as manufacturing facilities. Instead, finance capitalism functions as a rentier. It leverages debt and extracts interest payments (and today taxpayer bailouts for its over-leveraged gambles). Finance capitalism flourishes by converting more and more of society’s resources into payments to itself.

One result is that markets cease to expand and economies cease to grow as austerity is imposed to service the build-up in debt. Austerity pushes economies down as consumption and investment are cut back in order to service debt. Hudson concludes that the result is that bankers now receive the rents (a form of unearned income) that once flowed to the landed aristocracy. Unlike the aristocracy, who were dispossessed of their rents, the bankers have not been.

Hudson knows the history of economic thought and economic history. Reading The Bubble and Beyond lets readers see how economic ideas developed in ways that leave economists unable to perceive the real character of the problems that are challenging them. Trapped in the matrix that they have constructed for themselves, economists are unable to devise solutions.

Hudson writes that western economies are at a turning point. GDP growth consists increasingly of the build-up of financial overhead. The wealth gains are paper gains, not gains from real plant and equipment, and are increasingly concentrated in the hands of the one percent. Financial earnings are extracted from the earnings of tangible capital and labor. Matt Taibbi captured the point with his imagery of Goldman Sachs as “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.”

My suggestion is that you read Hudson along with Taibbi’s Griftopia, Nomi Prins’ It Takes A Pillage, Gretchen Morgenson and Joshua Rosner’s Reckless Endangerment, and Daly and Cobb’s For the Common Good. Then if you ever do study economics, you will be armored against being ensnared in the matrix that produces economists as shills for finance capitalism, environmental destruction, and the offshoring of the economy.

Everyone always wants a solution. Hudson offers suggestions how to reconstruct the economy in order that it serves the needs of the 99% instead only of the needs of the 1%.

Get busy. Reading these books will do you much greater good than playing video games, watching TV or hanging out in bars. Our country needs a larger informed younger generation to replace the smaller informed older generation.

Note to readers: Accompanying my column today is an article in the guest section by Herman Daly (titled: (Nationalize Money, Not Banks”). For those looking for solutions to the banking crisis, this astute and highly experienced economist tells you what can be done.

This article first appeared at Paul Craig Roberts’ new website Institute For Political Economy. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His Internet columns have attracted a worldwide following.

U.S. Army Purchases Riot Gear As Fears Over Civil Unrest Grow

Follows DHS in preparation for domestic disorder

Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet.com
Monday, July 30, 2012

It’s not just the Department of Homeland Security that is gearing up for the prospect of civil unrest in America. The U.S. Army also recently purchased a stock of riot gear including batons, face masks and body shields.

As we reported last week, the DHS has put out an urgent solicitation for hundreds of items of “riot gear,” in preparation for expected unrest at the upcoming Republican National Convention, Democratic National Convention and next year’s presidential inauguration.

In a previous solicitation, the U.S. Army also put out a contract for riot gear to be delivered to the United States Military Academy at West Point in New York.

The contract, which was eventually awarded to A2Z Supply Corp, included requests to supply riot shields, face shields, batons and body protection.

Fears that the U.S. military would be used to quell domestic unrest in violation of Posse Comitatus have raged over recent years.

A recently leaked US Army Military Police training manual for “Civil Disturbance Operations” outlines how military assets are to be used domestically to quell riots, confiscate firearms and even kill Americans on U.S. soil during mass civil unrest.

On page 20 of the manual, rules regarding the use of “deadly force” in confronting “dissidents” are made disturbingly clear with the directive that a, “Warning shot will not be fired.”

The manual includes lists of weapons to be used against “rioters” or “demonstrators,” including “antiriot grenades.” It also advises troops to carry their guns in the “safe port arms” stance, a psychological tactic aimed at “making a show of force before rioters.” Non-lethal weapons and water cannons are also included.

Preparations for using troops to deal with mass civil unrest on U.S. soil have been in the works for years.

Back in 2008, U.S. troops returning from Iraq were earmarked for “homeland patrols” with one of their roles including helping with “civil unrest and crowd control”.

In December 2008, the Washington Post reported on plans to station 20,000 more U.S. troops inside America for purposes of “domestic security” from September 2011 onwards, an expansion of Northcom’s militarization of the country in preparation for potential civil unrest following a total economic collapse or a mass terror attack.

A report produced that same year by the U.S. Army War College’s Strategic Institute warned that the United States may experience massive civil unrest in the wake of a series of crises which it termed “strategic shock.”

“Widespread civil violence inside the United States would force the defense establishment to reorient priorities in extremis to defend basic domestic order and human security,” stated the report, authored by [Ret.] Lt. Col. Nathan Freir, adding that the military may be needed to quell “purposeful domestic resistance”.

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

Paul Joseph Watson is the editor and writer for Prison Planet.com. He is the author of Order Out Of Chaos. Watson is also a regular fill-in host for The Alex Jones Show and Infowars Nightly News.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

VIDEO: Exposing Skull & Bones with Author Kris Millegan

19 Examples Of How Control Freaks Are Killing America With Their Completely Ridiculous Regulations

Michael Snyder
The American Dream
July 28, 2012

The control freaks are winning, and they are absolutely killing America. Our founding fathers intended to establish a nation where Americans would be free to pursue “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” in an environment where freedom was maximized and government interference was minimized. Unfortunately, our nation has turned away from those principles and is now running 180 degrees in the other direction. For some reason, our political system tends to attract psychotic control freaks that want to micromanage our lives and make most of our decisions for us. These control freaks are actually convinced that freedom and liberty are “dangerous” and that there should be a rule or a regulation for just about everything. This is not just happening on the federal level either. The truth is that the control freaks are often the worst on the local level. When you add up the red tape on all levels of government, we literally have millions of laws, rules and regulations in America today. All of this red tape is suffocating our businesses, destroying our liberties and our freedoms, and slowly sucking the life out of all of us. If we ever want to have any hope of restoring America to what it once was, then we have to start doing something about this horrific mountain of red tape.

In America today, there is very little that you can actually do without getting some sort of a “license” or a “permit” first.

Do you want to leave your home?

You better get a license to drive first or find someone that does.

Do you want to get married?

You won’t be able to do that without a license from the government.

Do you want to build a house?

Get ready for miles of red tape.

Do you want to start a business?

You better get ready for a very long relationship with licenses and permits.

At the rate we are going, pretty soon we will need permission from the government just to use the bathroom.

Our liberties and our freedoms have been turned into “limited privileges” that the government can revoke at any time. With each passing day the grid of rules and regulations that we all live our lives inside is getting tighter and tighter.

How much tighter can this prison of red tape become before we all start going insane?

The following are 10 examples of how control freaks are killing America with their completely ridiculous regulations….

#1 An industrious 13 year old boy up in Michigan has had his hot dog stand shut down because of a zoning violation. The funny thing is that Nathan Duszynski and his parents actually thought that they had jumped through all of the proper licensing and permitting hoops….

On Tuesday, as the young entrepreneur was downtown setting up a hot dog cart he helped buy with $1,200 saved from mowing lawns and shoveling snow, he got an unpleasant surprise courtesy of Holland City Hall.

Duszynski was told by city officials that his cart was in violation of a Holland zoning law that protects existing food businesses downtown against competition from mobile food vendors, and he would have to cease operation immediately.

It was a shocker for Duszynski, who, along with his parents, thought he had jumped properly through all the licensing and permitting hoops with the city and county.

#2 Could you imagine being sent to prison for collecting the rain that falls from the sky on your own property?

Well, that is exactly what happened to one man in Oregon recently. The following comes from CNS News….

A rural Oregon man was sentenced Wednesday to 30 days in jail and over $1,500 in fines because he had three reservoirs on his property to collect and use rainwater.

What are they going to arrest us for next? Breathing the air?

#3 Santa Monica, California has decided to make it illegal to smoke inside your own home.

The following is from a recent report by NBC Los Angeles….

Smoking is already banned at beaches, parks, restaurants and near buildings in Santa Monica, but Tuesday night the city council sought to expand that prohibition and voted 4-2 to ban smoking for all new tenants of apartments and condos inside their residences – with one exception.

“It also requires existing residents to designate their units as smoking or non smoking and from then on it will be prohibited to smoke in a non smoking unit,” said Adam Radinksy, head of the Consumer Protection Unit in Santa Monica.

#4 Apparently you are now considered to be “a terrorist” if you even dare to film what is going on at a TSA checkpoint. But the TSA has no problem strip-searching elderly women and fiddling with their feeding tubes.

#5 In New Jersey, if you are driving around with an “unrestrained” cat or dog in your vehicle you can be fined up to $1000 for each offense.

#6 Do you believe in being generous with your neighbors?

If so, you might want to be very careful what you share with them.

For example, it is illegal to milk your cow and sell the milk to your neighbors in America today.

If you share raw milk with your neighbors, there is a very good chance that federal agents will be raiding your home at the crack of dawn with their guns drawn.

#7 Down in Miami Beach, Florida it will soon be absolutely mandatory to properly recycle your trash….

City commissioners passed a recycling ordinance on Wednesday.

Once the ordinance goes in effect in July 2013, people who don’t recycle would be fined $350 for their first violation, $500 for their second violation and $1,000 for the third violation.

If you live in Miami Beach and you don’t like to recycle hopefully you have a really, really big bank account.

#8 In Hazelwood, Missouri it is actually illegal for little girls to sell girl scout cookies in the front yards of their own homes.

#9 In one Denver neighborhood, children have been banned from drawing on the sidewalk with colored chalk.

#10 All over the United States, lemonade stands run by small children are being shut down by police because they do not have the “proper permits”.

#11 In the United States it is absolutely illegal to sell natural cures for cancer – even if they have been proven to work.

#12 Recently I wrote about a man that was arrested for hosting a Bible study in his own home. Well, it turns out that he is still in prison serving his 60 day prison sentence.

#13 Are you growing a garden?

If so, you might want to be very careful that it is not violating any regulations.

In a previous article, I discussed how one unemployed woman in Tulsa, Oklahoma had her survival garden brutally ripped out and carted away by government thugs…

A Tulsa woman is suing the city’s code enforcement officers after she said they cut down her garden with no cause.

Denise Morrison said she has more than 100 plant varieties in her front and back yards and all of them are edible and have a purpose.

She knows which ones will treat arthritis, which will make your food spicy, which ones keep mosquitoes away and treat bug bites, but she said none of that matter to city inspectors.

Last August, Morrison’s front and back yards were filled with flowers in bloom, lemon, stevia, garlic chives, grapes, strawberries, apple mint, spearmint, peppermint, an apple tree, walnut tree, pecan trees and much more.

That unemployed woman was relying on that garden to provide the things that she needed.

But the government control freaks savagely ripped it all out and left her with nothing.

Now she will have to be dependent on the government because she has no other way to take care of herself.

#14 Does your child ever throw temper tantrums?

If so, your child may get arrested and sent to a mental institution if he or she throws a tantrum in front of the police.

For example, a 6-year-old girl down in Florida was “throwing objects, hitting administration personnel and screaming uncontrollably” so police handcuffed the 40 pound little girl and shipped her off to a mental institution for evaluation.

#15 Did you ever take plastic utensils with you to school when you were a kid?

Well, these days if you live in Florida you better not do that.

An 11-year-old kid down in Florida was actually arrested by police, thrown in jail and charged with a third-degree felony simply for bringing a plastic butter knife to school.

#16 In the state of Massachusetts, all children in daycare centers are mandated by state law to brush their teeth after lunch. In fact, the state even provides the fluoride toothpaste for the children.

Isn’t that just so nice of them?

#17 In the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania it is illegal to make even a single dollar from a blog unless you buy a $300 business license. The city government even went after one poor woman who had earned only $11 from her blog over the past two years.

#18 If you saw someone that was thirsty, would you give that person a cup of cold water to drink?

Be careful before you answer that question – you might be breaking the law by giving someone water.

For example, down in Louisiana one church was recently ordered to stop giving out water because it did not have the “proper permit” to do so.

#19 This last example might be the saddest one of all. If you can believe it, all over the United States cities are actually banning feeding the homeless. The following comes from a recent USA Today article….

Philadelphia recently banned outdoor feeding of people in city parks. Denver has begun enforcing a ban on eating and sleeping on property without permission. And this month, lawmakers in Ashland, Ore., will consider strengthening the town’s ban on camping and making noise in public.

And the list goes on: Atlanta, Phoenix, San Diego, Los Angeles, Miami, Oklahoma City and more than 50 other cities have previously adopted some kind of anti-camping or anti-food-sharing laws, according to the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty.

Are you angry yet?

You should be.

All of these completely ridiculous regulations are absolutely sucking the life out of us.

That is probably why a recent speech by U.S. Representative Mike Kelly received thunderous applause on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. If you have not seen his speech about how regulations are killing America yet, please take a few minutes out to watch it. You will be glad that you did….



Please share this video and this article with as many people as you can.

These control freaks are absolutely killing America.

I don’t want to see this country suffocated to death by red tape.

Instead, I want to see this country move back in the direction of maximizing liberty and freedom.

What about you?

What do you want for the future of this country?

VIDEO: Citigroup CEO Calls For Breakup Of The Zombie Banks

VIDEO: Bounty Hunters Snatch Raw Milk Seller, James Stewart!

Larry Pratt Of Gun Owners Of America Says Batman Shooting Could be Staged!!

VIDEO: Former DHS Whistle-blower Gets SWAT Team Raided Without Search Warrant!

Record number of coal-fired generators to be shut down in 2012

Michael Bastasch
Daily Caller
July 29, 2012

FLASHBACK: Obama Advances Plan to “Bankrupt” Coal Industry With New CO2 Limits

Facing declining demand for electricity and stiff federal environmental regulations, coal plant operators are planning to retire 175 coal-fired generators, or 8.5 percent of the total coal-fired capacity in the United States, according to an analysis by the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

A record-high 57 generators will shut down in 2012, representing 9 gigawatts of electrical capacity, according to EIA. In 2015, nearly 10 gigawatts of capacity from 61 coal-fired generators will be retired.

While many of those coal plants are old and relatively inefficient, the scope of this new planned shutdown is unprecedented.

“The coal-fired capacity expected to be retired over the next five years is more than four times greater than retirements performed during the preceding five-year period,” EIA noted in the analysis.

Full story here.

Friday, July 27, 2012

In Q2 America Added $2.33 In Debt For Every $1.00 In GDP

Zero Hedge
July 27, 2012

As noted before, courtesy of the GDP revision, all the kneejerk reactions in the past 3 years to various GDP headlines (preliminary, first and final revisions at that), were all for nothing. In fact, today’s GDP number will be revised and re-revised in the next two months, then re-re-re-revised at the annual revisions in 2013, 2014 and 2015. In other words, the number after (and likely before) the decimal comma is irrelevant. One thing however stands, and that is the trendline change in actual GDP compared to the change in debt used to “buy” said GDP. Which is why we present our favorite chart showing how much more total federal debt was added per quarter over the GDP. Bottom line: in Q2, the US added $274.3 billion in debt while adding $117.6 billion in GDP (from the revised data: Q1 GDP of $15,478 billion rising to just $15,595 billion in Q2). Probably what is more indicative, is that in Q2 the delta change between debt and GDP rose from 2.28x in Q1. But that too is largely noise and will be revised. What won’t be revised is that over the past two years, the US has added 2.42x more debt than it has added GDP.

Draghi Rescue the Euro by Printing More of Them?

Michael S. Rozeff
Lew Rockwell Blog
July 27, 2012

Sure he can, and pigs can fly. What have such rescues so far produced? The euro has declined from 500 euros in 2008 to an ounce of gold to its present 1322 euros to an ounce of gold. The only way that the ECB has found to “preserve” the euro in the last 4 years is to inflate it and destroy its value. The governments, in vain Keynesian attempts to hold price levels up above equilibrium levels, have produced bigger and bigger deficits and seen their bonds fall in price anyway. Major banks remain insolvent. Europe is prime evidence of the bankruptcy of Keynesian ideas.

If the ECB attempts to back up the bonds and banks of countries in the eurozone with even more fiat euro creation, and if the ECB attempts the impossible feat of maintaining asset price levels above their fundamental values by such continued inflation, there can be only one result: the euro will decline in value against gold, against goods, and against other currencies that inflate by less. Asset price levels will not rise in real terms. The additional inflation will create uncertainty and cause capital accumulation and saving to falter. Securities may well fall in real terms.

All that is happening if the ECB does what Draghi promised, which is to do whatever is needed to preserve the euro, is to turn his printing press over to the governments in the eurozone. He will aid and abet the past, present, and future fiscal profligacy of European governments. How can he save the euro by destroying whatever independence the ECB might have? It is an impossibility. He can’t preserve the euro by destroying its value. The only possible way to save the euro is NOT to print more.

VIDEO: More Fraudclosure News

VIDEO: Is Harry Reid The Most Hypocritical Man In The World?

Zero Hedge
July 27, 2012

While Dos Equis has its most-interesting-man, we think we have found the ‘most hypocritical’. Until today we thought Sandy Weill was the undisputed champion in this category, but after seeing this clip we think he has strong competition. At around 40 seconds into this lengthy diatribe, everyone’s favorite Libertarian Las Vegan utters the most two-faced hypocritical words that he could possible have uttered: ”I think we should audit the Federal Reserve”. Between Harry Reid’s recent vehement anti-Paul behavior and the whip-order that Democrats received on Ron Paul’s bill yesterday, this is stunning. While the sell-out nature of this kind of politician does not surprise us, we thought it prudent for all US citizens to understand the true nature of the political class that decides an increasing amount of our day to day lives.

Yesterday’s whip order…

Subject: WHIP ALERT – DEMOCRATS ARE URGED TO VOTE NO ON H.R. 459 – FEDERAL RESERVE TRANSPARENCY ACT

This week, the House is expected to consider H.R. 459 – Federal Reserve Transparency Act. This bill directs the GAO to complete an audit of the monetary policy deliberations, actions, and related matters taken by the Federal Reserve System before the end of 2012, followed by a detailed report to Congress. Most significantly, the bill would repeal existing restrictions on the GAO’s authority to perform audits of Federal Reserve monetary policy activities.

Like all other major central banks around the world, the Federal Reserve is an independent central bank, and its monetary policy actions are not subject to approval by the Administration or Congress. While Congress has set out the policy goals the Federal Reserve is to pursue – maximum employment and price stability – the ability of the Federal Reserve to pursue monetary policy independent of political influence is critical to its ability to fulfill its dual mandate.

Moreover, Congress already conducts regular and robust oversight of the Federal Reserve and actually expanded GAO’s audit authority two years ago in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. It expanded the types of audits GAO may conduct of the Federal Reserve, as well as the data that must be disclosed to the public. The Federal Reserve’s financial accounts have long been subject to audit both by the GAO and an outside, independent audit firm.

This bill impedes the independence of this critical institution. In order for the Federal Reserve to do its job effectively, it should not be subject to short-term political pressures. The experience during debate on the debt ceiling last summer should demonstrate to the American public that House Republicans cannot be allowed to hold our economy or our critical economic institutions hostage in order to further their extreme agenda.

DEMOCRATS ARE URGED TO VOTE NO ON H.R. 459.

Reid’s magical words begin around 40 seconds into the clip…

Indeed, probably the most hypocritical man in the world…

17 Reasons Why Those Hoping For A Recession In 2012 Just Got Their Wish

Michael Snyder
The Economic Collapse
July 27, 2012

If you were hoping for a recession in 2012, then you are going to be very happy with the numbers you are about to see. The U.S. economy is heading downhill just in time for the 2012 election. Retail sales have fallen for three months in a row for the first time since 2008, manufacturing activity is dropping like a rock, sales of new homes are declining again, consumer confidence has moved significantly lower and a depressingly small percentage of businesses anticipate hiring more workers in the coming months. Even though the Federal Reserve has been wildly pumping money into the financial system and even though the federal government has been injecting gigantic piles of borrowed cash into the economy, we still haven’t seen an economic recovery. In fact, we appear to be on the verge of yet another major downturn. In California the other night, Barack Obama told supporters that “we tried our plan — and it worked“, but only those that are still drinking the Obama kool-aid would believe something so preposterous. The truth is that the U.S. economy has been steadily declining for many years and now we have reached another very painful recession.

And don’t let the second quarter GDP number on Friday fool you. Analysts are expecting to see GDP growth of about 1.4 percent for the second quarter, but the only reason for our very small amount of “economic growth” is because the economy has been flooded with new dollars.

Let me give you an example. If I could go out overnight and magically double the bank accounts of every single American, would we all be twice as wealthy?

No, because there would be twice as many dollars now chasing the same amount of goods and services. The price of those goods and services would soon rise dramatically to reflect this new reality.

With all of those new dollars spinning around in the economy it would look like “economic growth” was going through the roof, but in reality the amount of real economic activity would be about the same.

So whenever we talk about GDP, we need to adjust it for inflation.

And as I noted the other day, after adjusting for inflation the U.S. economy has been continually experiencing negative economic growth since about 2005.

So let’s not deceive ourselves. The U.S. economy has been declining for a long time.

But soon even non-inflation adjusted GDP will turn negative. We will probably see a slightly positive number for the second quarter, and the number will likely go negative either in the third quarter or the fourth quarter.

Economists will debate when this new recession officially “began” just like they do with every recession, but it doesn’t take a genius to figure out what is happening to our economy right now.

The following are 17 reasons why those hoping for a recession in 2012 just got their wish….

1. U.S. retail sales have declined for three months in a row. This is the first time this has happened since 2008. Every other time this has happened in U.S. history (except for once) this has signaled that the U.S. economy was either already in a recession or was about to enter one.

2. The Philadelphia Fed index of manufacturing activity contracted for the third month in a row during July. Accordingto the Financial Post, this is a very bad sign….

Seven out of eight times when the average reading has been that low (-11.8) for that long the U.S. economy has tipped into recession.

3. Manufacturing activity in the mid-Atlantic region has also declined for three months in a row. In fact, the only time in the past decade when manufacturing activity in the mid-Atlantic has fallen more dramatically was during the last recession.

4. A factory index calculated by the Institute for Supply Management has fallen to its lowest level since June 2009.

5. The Conference Board index of leading economic indicators has fallen for two of the past three months.

6. According to a recent survey conducted by the Conference Board, only 17 percent of CEOs had a positive view of the economy during the second quarter of 2012. During the first quarter of 2012, 67 percent did.

7. Gallup’s U.S. Economic Confidence Index is now the lowest that it has been since January.

8. Optimism among small business owners has declined in three of the last four months and is now at its lowest levelsince last October.

9. Believe it or not, the amount of waste being carted around on trains in the United States has an 82 percentcorrelation with U.S. economic growth. Unfortunately, right now the number of garbage carloads on trains is falling dramatically.

10. Sales of previously occupied homes dropped by 5.4 percent during June.

11. Sales of new homes declined by 8.4 percent during June. At this point new home sales are less than a third of what they were during the boom years.

12. An increasing number of Americans are relying on high interest “payday loans” to pay the rent and put food on the table.

13. Far more companies are defaulting on their debts this year than last year.

14. According to the U.S. Labor Department, the unemployment rate fell in 11 states and Washington, D.C. last month, but it rose in 27 states.

15. The unemployment rate in New York City is now back up to 10 percent. That equals the peak unemployment rate in New York City during the last recession.

16. The teen unemployment rate in Washington D.C. right now is 51.7 percent.

17. A recent survey conducted by the National Association for Business Economics found that only 23 percent of all U.S. companies plan to hire more workers over the next 6 months. When the same question was asked a few months ago that number was at 39 percent.

All of those are very powerful pieces of evidence that a new recession has started.

But do you want to know one of my favorite indicators that the U.S. economy is sliding into recession?

In a previous article, I noted that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke made the following statement to Congress recently: “At this point we don’t see a double dip recession. We see continued moderate growth.”

As I mentioned the other day, Bernanke has a track record of failure that is absolutely embarrassing. Back on January 10, 2008 Bernanke made the following statement….

“The Federal Reserve is not currently forecasting a recession.”

That turned out to be a great call, didn’t it?

On June 10, 2008 he doubled down on his call that the U.S. economy was going to avoid a recession….

“The risk that the economy has entered a substantial downturn appears to have diminished over the past month or so.”

Just before Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac collapsed Bernanke made this statement….

“The GSEs are adequately capitalized. They are in no danger of failing.”

And there are dozens of other examples just like these.

This is the guy running our economic system.

I am very critical of the Federal Reserve, but there are very good reasons for this.

The Federal Reserve is running our economy into the ground, and we need to pound this into the heads of the American people so that they will wake up and demand change.

Perhaps this next recession will be painful enough to wake people up.

The Wall Street Journal is already even using the “D word” to describe what we are experiencing. Just today, the Wall Street Journal ran an article that asked this question: “Do Two Recessions Equal One Depression?

Sadly, this is just the leading edge of what is coming. By the time 2014 or 2015 rolls around, we are going to look back and long for the “good old days” of 2011 and 2012.

Over the next few years, the unemployment rate is going to skyrocket and poverty in the United States is going to get a whole lot worse.

Now is not the time to goof off. Now is the time to work really hard to get yourself and your family into the best position that you can for the storm that is coming.

Nothing is going to stop the terrible economic crisis that is coming, but at least we can get prepared for it.

There is hope in being prepared.

Sadly, most people will never even see the next crisis coming until they get blindsided by it.

The Attack On Chick-Fil-A Is An Attack On The Freedom Of Speech Of Every American

Michael Snyder
The American Dream
July 27, 2012

If you are an American, your freedom of speech is under attack. Over the past week, remarks made by Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy defending traditional marriage have sparked controversy all over the nation. Many Americans have expressed support for his remarks and many have expressed disdain for his remarks. And all of that is fine, because in the United States people are supposed to be able to express their opinions. But in Chicago, Boston and other U.S. cities, politicians are actually promising to keep any more Chick-fil-A stores from opening because their CEO does not support gay marriage, and that crosses the line. When politicians threaten to ban a business from their cities just because the CEO does not hold the “politically correct” position on a social issue that is an attack on the freedom of speech of every American. You see, the truth is that the enforcers of political correctness in America are very “tolerant” except when somebody disagrees with them. The politically correct control freaks that are trying to ban Chick-fil-A from their cities would try to ban Chick-fil-A from opening any more restaurants in the entire country if they had the power to do so. The goal of these politically correct control freaks is to intimidate. They want to end debate on these social issues by shutting down the free speech of the opposition. In the end, if America continues to go down this path it will end up looking just like many of the other totalitarian regimes throughout history where free speech has been banned.

Once again, in America everyone has the right to say whatever they want to about Chick-fil-A.

However, when politicians try to ban a company from doing business in their areas because one of the company executives does not hold the “correct” political view about an issue that is a major problem.

This week, Chicago alderman Joe Moreno wrote a piece for the Chicago Tribune in which he explained why he is going to refuse to allow Chick-fil-A to open a new restaurant in his ward….

There are consequences for one’s actions, statements and beliefs. Because of this man’s ignorance, I will deny Chick-fil-A a permit to open a restaurant in my ward.

Apparently he has the power to single-handedly block the new restaurant that Chick-fil-A was hoping to open up….

Home Depot in the 2500 block of North Elston Avenue wants to sell a piece of its land so that a Chick-fil-A restaurant can open in the 1st Ward, where I am alderman. It would be the fast-food chain’s first “stand-alone” Chicago restaurant. But to subdivide the land, the companies need my approval.

Because the CEO of Chick-fil-A will not conform to Joe Moreno’s social values, Chick-fil-A is now essentially banned from that entire section of Chicago.

Not that Chick-fil-A will be able to open up new stores in other areas of Chicago either.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is promising to do what he can to keep Chick-fil-A from expanding any further in Chicago….

“Chick-fil-A’s values are not Chicago values. They’re not respectful of our residents, our neighbors and our family members. And if you’re gonna be part of the Chicago community, you should reflect Chicago values”

Apparently anyone that does not believe in gay marriage does not “reflect Chicago values”.

But this is just the beginning. One group is trying to have Chick-fil-A kicked off of college campuses all over America. The following is from a recent CBS News article….

The gay rights group Equality Illinois is launching a campaign against Chick-Fil-A – petitioning universities and lawmakers to evict the fast food restaurant from their campuses and planning a “kiss-in” campaign by gay and lesbian couples outside Chick-Fil-A restaurants.

The message is clearly one of intimidation.

Either conform or suffer the consequences.

Sadly, politicians all over America are reacting just like politicians in Chicago have done.

The Mayor of Boston, Thomas Menino, has pledged to do all that he can to keep Chick-Fil-A out of the entire city of Boston. The following is what he told the Boston Herald on Thursday….

“Chick-fil-A doesn’t belong in Boston. You can’t have a business in the city of Boston that discriminates against a population. We’re an open city, we’re a city that’s at the forefront of inclusion”

But Chick-fil-A does not discriminate.

They serve anyone that wants a chicken burger and they are open to hiring anyone.

It is just that the CEO of the company does not think gay marriage is a good idea (along with half of the rest of America) and this absolutely infuriates the politically correct crowd.

On Thursday Mayor Menino also added the following….

“That’s the Freedom Trail. That’s where it all started right here. And we’re not going to have a company, Chick-fil-A or whatever the hell the name is, on our Freedom Trail.”

In addition, he penned a furious letter to Chick-fil-A headquarters that you can read right here.

The town of Mountain View, California has also blocked a new Chick-fil-A restaurant from opening up.

In the months to come we will probably see much more of this.

And Chick-fil-A is probably going to get booted off of a whole bunch of college campuses.

In February, Northeastern University refused to allow a Chick-fil-A store to open on their campus, and student groups around the country are already mobilizing to oppose Chick-fil-A on more campuses.

This is the kind of religious fervor the politically correct crowd has. You are either with them or you are dog manure.

For example, Roseanne Barr wished cancer on those that eat at Chick-Fil-A on Twitter the other day.

So what were these supposedly “bigoted” comments that started this uproar in the first place?

The following is what Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy recent said during an interview with the Baptist Press….

“We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that. We operate as a family business … our restaurants are typically led by families; some are single. We want to do anything we possibly can to strengthen families. We are very much committed to that”

Wow, that is some pretty controversial stuff, eh?

Certainly this could not be enough to spark a nationwide protest.

Perhaps it is what he said recently on “The Ken Coleman Show”….

“I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage.’ I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about.”

Is that statement really worth going crazy over?

To the politically correct crowd it is.

They simply cannot tolerate a major public figure such as the CEO of Chick-fil-A saying that gay marriage is wrong. Plus they are always looking for more ways to chill the free speech of others that would speak out against gay marriage. The following is what John Hayward of Human Events said about all of this recently….

“The name of the game being played against Chick-fil-A involved ending the discussion, by ruling one side of this important social debate completely out of order, and dismissing their beliefs as unworthy of respect. All resistance to gay marriage is instantly transmuted into personal hatred of gay people. On the other hand, criticism of traditional marriage proponents cannot be viewed as hateful, no matter how angrily it might be expressed. It’s a rigged heads-we-win, tails-you-lose game.”

The politically correct crowd does not want a debate about gay marriage.

What they want to do is to completely intimidate the other side and shut down the debate completely so that they can win by default.

Wednesday, August 1st, has been designated as “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day”. I encourage all of you to go out and buy a chicken burger that day to show your support of free speech.

If we don’t stand up for free speech now, soon it will be totally gone.

Already, the name of Jesus is becoming a forbidden word all over America. Just consider the following examples….

-All over the United States chaplains are being banned from praying in the name of Jesus.

-You can say just about anything you want in U.S. public schools these days except for anything having to do with Jesus. In fact, if you are a public school student and you try to talk about Jesus with your fellow classmates there is a good chance that you will be suspended from school.

-In many areas of America today, if you want to go out on a public sidewalk and discuss your faith with others there is a good chance that you will be arrested.

-If you are anti-abortion, if you have “radical theology” or if you are against “the New World Order”, there is a chance that you will be labeled as a “potential terrorist” by the Department of Homeland Security.

In the end, we will end up just like North Korea if we are not very careful.

In North Korea, if you say something that is not “politically correct” you and your entire extended family could literally be on the next train to a concentration camp.

Today it is estimated that 70,000 Christians are being held captive in concentration camps in North Korea. Many of those believers are likely to spend the rest of their lives toiling in conditions that are absolutely nightmarish simply because they believe the “wrong thing”.

If you don’t think that such a thing could ever happen in America, you are dead wrong.

We are moving a little bit more in that direction every single day, and this latest attack on Chick-fil-A is another example of this trend.

When you attack the freedom of speech of one group of Americans, you attack the freedom of speech of every American.

Once our freedom of speech is gone, it will be incredibly difficult to ever get back.

Stand up for freedom of speech while you still can.

So what do you think about the attacks on Chick-fil-A? Please feel free to leave a comment with your opinion below….

VIDEO: Dave Mustaine Says We Are In The Fight of Our Lives

VIDEO: NYC Gun Grabber Tyrant Bloomberg Illegally Ask Police to Strike

Dems Sneak Gun Control Amendment Into Cybersecurity Bill

Ramsey Cox
The Hill
July 27, 2012

Democratic senators have offered an amendment to the cybersecurity bill that would limit the purchase of high capacity gun magazines for some consumers.

Shortly after the Cybersecurity Act gained Senate approval to proceed to filing proposed amendments and a vote next week, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), a sponsor of the gun control amendment, came to the floor to defend the idea of implementing some “reasonable” gun control measures.

The amendment was sponsored by Democratic Sens. Frank Lautenberg (N.J.), Barbara Boxer (Calif.), Jack Reed (R.I.), Bob Menendez (N.J.), Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), Schumer and Dianne Feinstein (Calif.). S.A. 2575 would make it illegal to transfer or possess large capacity feeding devices such as gun magazines, belts, feed stripes and drums of more than 10 rounds of ammunition with the exception of .22 caliber rim fire ammunition.

The amendment is identical to a separate bill sponsored by Lautenberg. Feinstein was the sponsor of the assault weapons ban, which expired in 2004.

Full story here.

Foreign Troops to Confiscate American Guns Under UN Treaty

Aaron Dykes
Infowars.com
July 27, 2012

“Today Americans would be outraged if U.N. troops entered Los Angeles to restore order … tomorrow they will be grateful.” -Attributed to Henry Kissinger during the 1991 Bilderberg meeting

For those who’ve been wondering how the domestic gun grabbers or the United Nations think they’re going to get away with gun control here at home, one need look no further than Article 15 of the UN’s Arms Trade Treaty.

Many American troops are patriots who understand their oaths to uphold the Constitution, so they can’t be counted upon to confiscate guns. But foreign troops are another story.

Article 15 of the UN Arms Trade Treaty, if ratified, provides for foreign “assistance to implement the Treaty,” and mandates that nations who can provide requested support must do so if requested by member nations. That includes legal, financial, technical as well as “material” assistance to enforce a treaty that declares “recreational, cultural, historical and sporting activities” to be the “exclusively” recognized reasons for lawful private ownership, and which further recognizes the “inherent rights” of the State (i.e. nations under the treaty) to self-defense, but makes no mention of the rights of the individual.

Read the language of Article 15 for yourself:

Article 15
International Assistance

In fulfilling the obligation of this Treaty, States Parties may seek, inter alia, legal assistance, legislative assistance, technical assistance, institutional capacity building, material assistance or financial assistance. States, in a position to do so, shall provide such assistance. States Parties may contribute resources to a voluntary trust fund to assist requesting States Parties requiring such assistance to implement the Treaty.

States Parties shall afford one another the widest measure of assistance, consistent with their respective legal and administrative systems, in investigations, prosecutions and judicial proceedings in relation to the violations of the national measures implemented to comply with obligations under of the provisions of this Treaty.

Each State Party may offer or receive assistance, inter alia, through the United Nations international, regional, subregional or national organizations, non-governmental organizations or on a bi-lateral basis. Such assistance may include technical, financial, material and other forms of assistance as needed, upon request.

Will foreign troops be going door-to-door to ensure compliance with new gun registry policies, imposed limits on ammunition and magazines, or in enforcing outright confiscation? Joint training exercises conducted between U.S. armed forces and various foreign armies have trained to do just that.

In 2010, the Infowars crew covered Operation Vigilant Guard, a joint training exercise in Chicago, in which U.S. troops drilled with Eastern bloc troops to partner in stopping terrorism, dealing with meth dealers and WMDs, as well as in gun confiscation. Countless other exercises have taken place on U.S. soil involving similar joint operations for a martial law occupation with the participation of foreign troops:


American troops were ordered to conduct door-to-door gun confiscation sweeps after Hurricane Katrina, and while it has emerged that at least one unit stood down and refused the order, many more carried out the unconstitutional mission. That precedent has been followed by other exercises training American soldiers for gun seizures, along with other martial law measures.

Infowars Nightly News co-host Rob Dew underscored the history of training to take American guns in his recent viral report:


Meanwhile, the United Nations itself has forcibly disarmed numerous African nations using foreign troops, and the vacuum of power has led in several cases to genocidal atrocities as a direct result of taking away arms. The genocide in Rwanda was enabled by forcible disarmament. As Republic Magazine writes, the mass murder was “carried out by government-aligned Hutu tribal militias against a targeted ethnic population – the Tutsis – who had been disarmed with the help of UN “peacekeeping” forces under the supervision of future UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.” The Darfur crisis in Sudan also has its roots in UN-led population disarmament, as does the Burma (Myanmar) massacre, again the result of disarmament. Armed troops representing international interests including the World Bank burned down homes and killed children in effort to forcibly evict some 40,000 Ugandans on the basis of conserving lands to combat climate change.

Indeed, genocide and disarmed populations go hand-in-hand through history– just look at the history of Democide (death by government). R.J. Rummel at the University of Hawaii is the leading academic on the subject, and has estimated that more than 262 million unnatural deaths in the 20th Century alone were caused by government, and most were at the hands of despots preying upon their helpless peoples. From Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia, to Turkey, Armenia and beyond, gun bans have created a shift in the balance of power towards the state, creating an atmosphere of victim disarmament.

Blue helmets or foreign uniforms have no place on foreign soil, yet the UN Arms Trade Treaty text reveals a mechanism to impose just that type of control– even in America.

Read the treaty text for yourself and see our report from yesterday: Bombshell: Leaked UN Treaty Does Ban Guns

VIDEO: Bob Barr Breaks Down The Globalist Anti-Liberty, Anti-Gun Agenda

VIDEO: Rupert Murdock Blackmailed And Now Taking Orders From Obama!

VIDEO: Troops Policing American Streets! The Preparations We Feared Has Come!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Down Goes Britain: The UK Economy Tumbles Deep Into Recession

Michael Snyder
The American Dream
July 26, 2012

The economic crisis that is sweeping Europe is starting to hit Britain really hard. Over the last couple of years economists have been warning that we can’t let the “contagion” spread from troubled nations such as Greece and Portugal to the rest of Europe. Well, it is too late for that now. Spain and Italy are coming apart at the seams at this point, and even “stronger” nations such as the UK and France appear to be deeply troubled. According to numbers that were released just this week, the UK economy has now contracted for three quarters in a row. During the second quarter of 2012, the UK economy shrunk by 0.7 percent. That was a much larger contraction than the 0.2 percent contraction that economists were forecasting. At this point we have got a definite trend going. During the fourth quarter of 2011, the UK economy shrunk by 0.4 percent. During the first quarter of 2012, the UK economy shrunk by 0.3 percent. And now in this latest quarter the contraction of the UK economy appears to be accelerating. This economic downturn in the UK is being called “the longest double-dip recession for more than 50 years“. So will Britain soon look like Greece and Spain and Italy or will it be able to pull out of this nosedive in time?

The UK construction sector was hit particularly hard during the second quarter. It contracted by 5.2 percent, which was the biggest decline since the first quarter of 2009. Consumer confidence has reached a historic low in Britain and economic gloom is seemingly everywhere.

So what does the future hold for Britain?

Unfortunately, things do not look promising at all right now.

At this point, the budget deficit of the UK government is still about 8 percent of GDP, and British politicians are promising to reduce that significantly.

That means that more austerity measures are coming for Britain and less government money will be flowing into the economy.

So the economic slowdown is very likely to get even worse.

But of course we have been seeing the same kind of thing happening all over Europe.

Economists are warning once again that Greece is on the verge of declaring bankruptcy.

On Tuesday, the Telegraph ran a story with the following startling headline: “Debt crisis: Greece to run out of money by August 20“.

Haven’t we heard this before?

Yes, we have.

And every time, European leaders have gotten together and “fixed” the problem.

But of course they didn’t really fix anything. They just kicked the can down the road a little while and things just kept getting worse.

At this point the Greek economy has been in a depression for several years. In fact, the Prime Minister of Greece is now even openly using the word “depression” to describe the state of the Greek economy.

So just how bad are things in Greece right now?

It is being projected that the Greek economy will contract by a total of 7 percent during 2012.

Ouch.

But Greece is not alone.

Other southern European nations are on the exact same path that Greece is on.

For example, Italy is rapidly becoming a gigantic mess as well. The national government is drowning in debt, the economy is in recession and today came a warning that 10 major Italian cities are on the verge of bankruptcy….

The cities at risk of running out of money include Naples, Palermo in Sicily and Reggio Calabria, on the toe of the Italian boot, according to the Italian press.

“The situation is becoming worse by the day,” said Graziano Del Rio, the president of a national association of municipal councils.

The warning came just days after Mario Monti, the prime minister, expressed fears that Sicily, which has a high degree of fiscal autonomy, was on the brink of a default.

But the country making the biggest headlines this week has been Spain. Spanish bond yields have been soaring, the Spanish stock market has been crashing, the Spanish banking system is on the verge of collapse and now regional governments all over Spain are coming forward and asking for bailouts.

As the national government attempts to impose even more austerity measures on the Spanish people, violent protests are erupting all over the country.

You can see footage of some of the recent violence in Spain right here.

So why is all of this happening?

Well, the truth is that this is not a liquidity crisis. If it was, the central banks could flood the system with money and solve the problem.

No, what Europe is facing is an insolvency crisis. There is way, way too much debt in the system and it is inevitable that an “adjustment” is going to happen.

A recent Marketwatch article detailed how the global debt bubble has continued to grow even in the midst of the economic problems of the past few years….

Balance sheets of major central banks have increased to $18 trillion from around $6 trillion, reflecting an unprecedented 30% of global gross domestic product.

Mr. Economy is now addicted to monetary heroin. Increasing doses are necessary for the patient to function at all.

Mr. Economy has not made the changes necessary for a return to full health. He seems to have taken rock star Steven Tyler’s advice: “Fake it until you make it.”

Borrowing levels remain unsustainable. Debt levels for 11 major nations have increased to 417% of GDP in 2012 from 381% of GDP in 2007. Debt has increased in Canada, Germany, Greece, France, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Spain, Portugal, the U.K. and the U.S.

These debt levels are not sustainable.

A collapse is going to happen.

Hopefully the collapse will be at least somewhat orderly, but there is also a good chance that it could be completely chaotic.

Some that have analyzed the situation are very pessimistic at this point. For example, the following is from a recent article by Graham Summers….

In simple terms, today we are facing a Crisis that is far, far worse than 2008. Before it ends, it is quite possible that we will see the entire Western Financial System collapse and a new system put into place.

This will mean:

  1. Many major banks disappearing, as well as numerous potentially lengthy bank holidays (think Argentina in 2001)
  2. Multiple sovereign defaults as well as broad economic contractions and their commensurate unemployment/ civil unrest/ erasure of retirement accounts/ pensions (this process has already begun in some US municipals, e.g. San Bernandino and Stockton California as well as Harrisburg Pennsylvania).
  3. Possibly new currencies being introduced or new denominations of currencies (say one new unit being worth 1,000 of the old one)
  4. Massive wealth destruction to the tune of tens of trillions of Dollars (think MF Global i.e. the money is gone… only systemically… in fact we just had another such instance with PF)
  5. A global contraction that will result in new political/ power structures being implemented as well as the breakup of various countries/ unions.
  6. Very serious trade wars to begin (see Obama’s recent attack on China) and very possibly a real war.

Many Americans do not pay much attention to what is going on over in Europe because they do not believe that it will affect them much.

But the truth is that Europe has a bigger population than we do, a bigger economy than we do, and a much bigger banking system than we do.

The global financial system is more interconnected than ever, and what goes on over in Europe is going to have a dramatic impact on the United States.

In fact, already there are a whole host of signs that the U.S. economy is starting to tip into another recession.

So let us definitely hope for the best, but let us also get prepared for the worst.

A great storm is on the horizon, and it would be quite foolish to ignore it.