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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Second major earthquake to hit Italy in days kills at least 14 others

A priest was among at least 15 people killed today after the second earthquake to strike northern Italy within nine days caused his church to collapse and toppled scores of other buildings.

Father Ivo Martini died after he and a firefighter went inside his church in Rovereto di Novi, near Modena, to recover a Virgin Mary statue following this morning's 5.8 magnitude tremor at 9am.

He perished in a subsequent masonry collapse during one of the four other aftershocks measuring above 4.0 that also hit the industrially important Emilia Romagna region during 90 terrifying minutes.
Epicentre: The earthquake struck near the city of the Modena, in northern Italy, with tremors felt across the region

Gutted: Italian firefighter sprays water on debris of a collapsed factory in Mirandola
Bricks: Debris from a collapsed building lies in a courtyard in Mirandola
Rubble: The shell of the 500-year-ld cathedral in Mirandola - not where Father Ivo Martini died - after the quake
Devastation: A collapsed building in Cavezzo, one of the towns worst affected by the tremorsMr. Borghi who lost his son in the building embraces his wife in front of the destroyed BBG industrial moldings in Mirandola

Damage: A cyclist passes by a damaged building in Rovereto, the town where a priest died

Destroyed: A segment of a engraved wall lies among the rubble in Mirandola

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2151469/Italy-earthquake-2012-15-dead-5-8-quake-hits-region-7-died-week.html#ixzz1wIgjMomb

Maple Spring - protests hit Canada

Authorities puzzled by Mysterious Boom like Explosions sounds in Michigan

Lindsey Williams - Coast to Coast May 21, 2012

Record fall in Spanish retail sales

Retail sales dropped 9.8pc year-on-year in April, official data showed on Tuesday. The fall was 6 percentage points greater than the revised fall of 3.8pc in March.

The data marks the 22nd month in a row of falling retail sales data and was the greatest fall since the series started in 2003.

The Bank of Spain warned on Tuesday that the country's economy will continue to shrink in the second quarter of this year and EU is reported as saying the financial sector needs €100bn.

In April the central bank warned that weak domestic demand had dragged the economy into its second formal recession - two consecutive quarters of negative quarterly growth - since 2008.

On Monday, Spanish stocks plunged to a nine-year-low and its borrowing costs rose to unsustainable as traders refused to believe Mariano Rajoy’s claim that Madrid could salvage its banks without a bail-out.

The Telegraph

Russian arms ship turned away from Syria. President Putin’s first misstep

Incoming Russian President Vladimir Putin, after taking stock of his first days of his third presidency, concluded that Moscow’s handling of the al-Houla massacre and Syria’s ongoing collapse into civil war will go down as a Russian foreign policy failure. He personally comes out of the policy as the patron of a bloodthirsty tyrant.

The Kremlin first tried presenting the slaughter of 108 people Friday and Saturday, among them 49 children and 34 women, as the work of unknown non-military bands, partly corroborating the Assad regime’s claim of terrorism.
This line was quickly abandoned and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was told Monday, May 28, to assign responsibility to “two sides” at his joint news conference in Moscow with British Foreign Secretary William Hague.
But the information coming out of the Houla disaster area knocked that line on the head too: It turned out that the massacre was perpetrated by the town’s Alawites. Their victims were taken unprepared for their neighbors’ attacks, unlike the Sunni Muslims of Homs, Hama and Idlib and similarly mixed community towns, and mercilessly slaughtered in their homes by rampaging Alawites wielding knives, shot guns and pistols.
Syria has thousands of small and large mixed towns and villages divided by barricades manned by local militias – some for and some against Assad. The Houla massacre is therefore apt to be repeated across the country, plunging it into a full-blown civil and sectarian bloodbath.
Moscow is beginning to fear that Russia may be stigmatized as an accessory to this horror - and especially the foreign policy choices made by the new president.
Lavrov tried to save his government’s reputation by declaring out of the blue that Moscow no longer backs Bashar Assad and his regime and fully endorses the UN envoy Kofi Annan’s mission.

Annan was back in Damascus Tuesday holding talks with the Syrian ruler. It his hard to see how he can salvage even a vestige of his mission when the Syrian ruler has broken every commitment he made from the word go a month ago.

The other step decided by the Kremlin was to quietly order the Russian arms ship Professor Katsman to stop unloading its cargo at the Syrian port of Tartus, sail east and wait for fresh orders after the furor dies down. President Putin is clearly floundering before deciding on his next steps with regard to Syria and calculating to the last figure the cost of supplying the world’s most hated despot with arms and spreading a diplomatic net under his feet.

DEBKA file

The Dragon and the Time of Indignation

Note: This post should be read in conjunction with the following posts:

Drowning in Deception (2012 - Year of the Chinese Water Dragon)

Babylon Rising - Part 5 (Tisha B’Av and Rise of the Dragon)

Babylon Rising - Part 6 (Waking the Dragon and The Great Tribulation)

The Dragon and the Time of Indignation
Joseph Herrin (05-28-2012)

Isaiah 26:20-27:1
Come, my people, enter into your rooms and close your doors behind you; Hide for a little while until indignation runs its course. For behold, Yahweh is about to come out from His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; And the earth will reveal her bloodshed and will no longer cover her slain. In that day Yahweh will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent, with His fierce and great and mighty sword, even Leviathan the twisted serpent; and He will kill the dragon who lives in the sea.

SpaceX - Dragon Capsule Mission Patch

The image above is of the mission patch for the historic berthing of a privately developed rocket which has this week delivered supplies to the International Space Station. Many things are being signified by this “sign in the heavens.” Of particular interest is the emphasis on the name and image of the dragon.

SpaceX Dragon Capsule

Aside from the capsule itself bearing the name “Dragon,” the vessel utilizes a navigation sensor called the “DragonEye.” The capsule also has 18 (6+6+6) thrusters that are collectively called “Draco.” Draco is the name of a constellation in the heavens.

Constellation Draco (The Dragon)

NASA ended the Space Shuttle program after several decades of service and is now looking to outsource the delivery of material and personnel to the International Space Station. Spacex’s Dragon Capsule was the first privately developed vessel to ever be utilized in this manner. It has garnered great media attention. Those who are seeking to understand the times we live in can gain insight through what is symbolized.

Dragon Capsule Captured by ISS

The three posts linked at the top of this blog make mention of Satan establishing his visible kingdom upon the earth. The dragon has from the beginning of man’s history been a symbol of Satan. In the Garden of Eden Satan is portrayed as a serpent. A dragon is a winged serpent.

Revelation 12:9
And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world...

Now, at the end of the age, there is to be great conflict between Satan’s kingdom and the kingdom of Messiah Yahshua. Satan will rise up against the sheep of God’s folds, and the Great Shepherd, like David of old, will arise and strike the Dragon and deliver His sheep.

Revelation 12:4-6
And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her child. And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up to God and to His throne. Then the woman fled into the wilderness where she had a place prepared by God, so that there she would be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days.

Daniel 7:19-22
Then I desired to know the exact meaning of the fourth beast, which was different from all the others, exceedingly dreadful, with its teeth of iron and its claws of bronze, and which devoured, crushed and trampled down the remainder with its feet, and the meaning of the ten horns that were on its head and the other horn which came up, and before which three of them fell, namely, that horn which had eyes and a mouth uttering great boasts and which was larger in appearance than its associates. I kept looking, and that horn was waging war with the saints and overpowering them until the Ancient of Days came and judgment was passed in favor of the saints of the Highest One, and the time arrived when the saints took possession of the kingdom.

The Scriptures, numerous signs and prophecies, and the testimony of the Spirit of Christ, indicate that we are heading into a time of great conflict such as the world has never known. The kingdom of the dragon is ascending. Babylon is being formed upon the earth. All nations will be dissolved into one homogenous world system that is ruled over by Satan and his human emissaries. The Dragon will make war with the people of God, both the natural descendants of Abraham, and the spiritual seed of Messiah. These are the Greater and Lesser Sheepfolds depicted in the heavens.

Draco and Greater and Lesser Sheepfolds

Yahweh has set His message in the heavens. The two sheepfolds have been obscured through the ages, but the original meaning of these constellations is still discerned through the names of the stars contained in them. What is now called Ursa Minor (Little Bear) and Ursa Major (Great Bear), and commonly referred to as the Little Dipper and Big Dipper, were from days of antiquity known as the Greater and Lesser Sheepfolds. Joseph Seiss, in his book The Gospel in the Stars, shares the following:

The way in which Ursa Minor and Ursa Major may have come to be called Bears is perhaps from the fact that the ancient name of the principal star is Dubheh or Dubah, and as Dob is the word for bear, the Greeks and others took the name of that star as meaning the Bear, and so called these two corresponding constellations the Bears.

But Dubheh and Dubah does not mean bear, but a collection of domestic animals,a fold, as the Hebrew word Dober. The evidence is that, according to the original intent, we are to see in these constellations not two long-tailed bears, but twosheepfolds, or flocks, the collected and folded sheep of God’s pasture.
[End Excerpt]

It is evident from the image of the constellations above that Satan, the great serpent and dragon of old, seeks to interpose himself between the sheepfolds of God, and to attack the flocks of God. Yet, Yahweh has sent forth His Son as the Good Shepherd who lays down His life for His sheep. He will return as the deliverer of His people and strike the enemy. As Isaiah prophesied, “In that day Yahweh will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent, with His fierce and great and mighty sword, even Leviathan the twisted serpent; and He will kill the dragon who lives in the sea.”

A fascinating image has been captured by the cameras of the Hubble Space telescope. This image has recently provoked some discussion among those who are fascinated by the glories of the heavens.

Look closely at this picture from the Orion Nebula. This picture was taken by the Hubble in 2006, and only last year some perceived the image of a dragon and a man engaged in a great conflict with one another.

In the image above, the surrounding areas are masked to draw attention to the image of the winged dragon spewing forth fire (or water) and the man who is advancing toward the dragon with arm outstretched and what might be perceived as a fiery sword making contact with the neck of the dragon. That this image should be taken from the Orion Nebula is significant. According to the several books I have on ancient Biblical Astronomy, Orion is a figure of a giant hunter with a mighty club in the act of striking a lion (the terrestrial adversary of the flocks of man - Satan goes about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.)


Can one not in this picture envisage David with his club striking the lion and rescuing the sheep from his father’s flocks? David is a type and shadow of the greater Shepherd who has been given charge over the flocks of His Father. Will not Yahshua stand up at the proper time and deliver His people from the jaws of the adversary? Though for a moment we be accounted as sheep for the slaughter, we will reign victorious in the end.

We are entering that time when this great conflict must come to a head (pun intended). Satan will with great force and cunning bring forth his kingdom upon the earth. He will muster all his power for a final assault on the people of God. For a time he must prevail.

Revelation 13:4-7
They worshiped the dragon because he gave his authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, "Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?" There was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies, and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him. And he opened his mouth in blasphemies against God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, that is, those who dwell in heaven. It was also given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them, and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him.

Before He can make a final end, and triumph over the people of God, Yahweh will send forth His great champion, even He who sits upon the throne; He who was slain and can die no more. He who has been given all power and might and authority will arise. The Son of God who disarms rulers and authorities and triumphs over them by the might of His outstretched arm will come forth with power and cast down the adversary and deliver His people.

There is much relating to these last days that I see only dimly. Yet I am persuaded that in the midst of troublous days Yahweh will provide help to His people.

Daniel 11:33-34
"Those who have insight among the people will give understanding to the many; yet they will fall by sword and by flame, by captivity and by plunder for many days. Now when they fall they will be granted a little help...”

Revelation chapter 12 speaks of Yahweh having a place prepared in the wilderness for the woman (the church). It speaks of a man child being caught up to the throne out of reach of the dragon. It also speaks of the great serpent going off to wage war with the remainder of her seed.

Revelation 12:13-17
And when the dragon saw that he was thrown down to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male child. But the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman, so that she could fly into the wilderness to her place, where she was nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. And the serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, so that he might cause her to be swept away with the flood. But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and drank up the river which the dragon poured out of his mouth. So the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Yahshua.

Who will be in each of these three groups, I do not know. How these things will be fulfilled, I cannot say. Such things Yahweh knows. What is evident is that a time of great conflict is nearing. The day before the Dragon capsule docked with the International Space Station, Andre Kuipers, one of the astronauts aboard the ISS, took the following photograph of the earth.

Kuipers, who is Dutch, put this up with the caption "Er zit een draak achter ons aan!" — "There’s a dragon after us!"


This statement was intended as a double entendre, referring also to the Dragon Capsule that was approaching the space station. The image he snapped was of Lake Rason which is located in the vast wilderness of Western Australia. As I saw the image I was reminded of the passage from Revelation. The woman flees to the wilderness as the dragon pursues her. It is a water dragon depicted in Revelation, for it spews forth floods out of its mouth to sweep the woman away. The dragon pictured above is also formed of water, and the Dragon Capsule is itself a water dragon. It is designed to splash down in the ocean to be recovered by a waiting crew.

Dragon Capsule Recovery

“and He will kill the dragon who lives in the sea.”

A bizarre and foreboding note to this celestial event in the news this week is revealed in the following excerpt from Wikipedia.

An unannounced addition to the cargo manifest, made public after the launch, was a small canister, affixed to the second stage's top, containing the 1-gram ash remains of over 300 people including Project Mercury Astronaut Gordon Cooper, and James Doohan, the actor who played Scotty on the television show Star Trek in the 1960s. The remains were flown semi-secretly by Celestis, a company that has flown burial canisters in the past on SpaceX's Falcon 1 launch vehicle. The second stage and the burial canister are in a temporary orbit, and will burn up in the Earth's atmosphere in about a year's time.
[Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COTS_Demo_Flight_2]

The Dragon brings death with it. The ashes of 300 dead people attended this historic flight of the Dragon Capsule. Satan pretends to be a benevolent being, a minister of light, bringer of peace, and supplier of all good things to man, but the Son of God stated that Satan comes only “to kill, steal and destroy” (John 10:10). Evil days are at hand. It is a time to hide oneself in God. He will be a refuge for His people in troublous days. Those who trust in Him will do exploits. Let us be strong and courageous. Nothing can separate us from the love of God. Love is stronger than death.

The 'Flame' Computer Virus Strikes Iran, 'Worse Than Stuxnet'

Iranian security experts report a virus far more dangerous than the Stuxnetworm has struck the country's computer systems.

Dubbed the “Flame,” the virus is one that has struck not only Iran, however, but a number of other enemies ofIsrael as well.

The Kaspersky Internet security firm is calling the “Flame” data-stealing virus the “most sophisticated cyber-weapon yet unleashed” and hinted it may have been created by the makers of the Stuxnet worm.

Kaspersky called the virus a “cyber-espionage worm” designed to collect and delete sensitive information, primarily in Middle Eastern countries.

The “Flame” has struck at least 600 specific computer systems in Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Sudan, Saudi Arabia and the Palestinian Authority, Kaspersky malware expert Vitaly Kamluk told the BBC. He added that the virus has probably been operating discreetly for at least two years.

"This virus is stronger than its predecessor,” he said. “It is one that could only have been created by a state or other large entity.”

Problems in Iran's computer systems are also continuing to surface in connection with the 2010 “Stuxnet” virus. The malware successfully disabled the computers that operated Iran's uranium enrichment facility. More than 16,000 of the Natanz facility's centrifuges were destroyed as a result of the cyber attack.

Israel National News

Bank runs spreading across Europe! What next?

In our Money and Markets of December 3, 2007, we specifically named Lehman Brothers as the next major firm to collapse on Wall Street.

In our Money and Markets of March 17, 2008, precisely 182 days before its failure, we again named Lehman, making it abundantly clear that it could be the trigger of a financial meltdown.

And now, starting with last week’s edition, we are warning you of ANOTHER Lehman-type megashock.

A new telltale sign: Bank runs, the final nail in the coffin of any modern economy, are spreading among the PIIGS countries of Europe — and possibly beyond.

In Greece it’s already a tsunami — a desperate effort by millions of citizens to get their money out of danger before Greece is forced to leave the euro zone.

In Spain, it’s quickly turning into a flood, as individuals and businesses — with $1.25 trillion in total bank deposits — wonder if their country will be the next to leave the union.

In Portugal, Ireland, Italy or even France, banks are vulnerable to similar outflows. And once the stampede strikes more than two or three major countries, you could see bank runs all across Europe.

Sound Familiar?

It should. Because last year we witnessed a very similar contagion when investors stampeded from the bonds of the weakest European countries.

Much like today, the first to be attacked was Greece, the weakest link in the chain. Then, Spain, Portugal, Italy and even France got hit hard.

Soon, nearly all of Europe was infected, prompting its central bankers to suddenly break their solemn vows of monetary piety and print more than $1 trillion worth of new euros.

Now, despite all those efforts, they’re facing a new contagion of a second kind — by bank depositors.

But bank runs are far more infectious — and dangerous — than investor stampedes.

They spill out onto the streets and onto the airwaves.

They invoke frightening flashbacks to the Great Depression.

And they immediately threaten the entire banking system.

According to the New York Times, “the havoc that a stampede might cause to the Continent’s financial system would greatly complicate efforts by European Union officials to fashion a longer-term plan to ease the debt crisis and revive Europe’s economy, because authorities would have to cope with the staggering added costs of shoring up banks.

“‘A bank run can happen very quickly,’ said Matt King, an expert on international fund flows in London for Citigroup. ‘You are fine the night before, but on the morning after it’s too late.’”

And just as I explained here last week, the Times points out that it “was a similar liquidity crisis on Wall Street in September 2008 — which started with nervous investors pulling money from troubled institutions, then quickly from healthier ones — that set off the financial crisis.”

I repeat: It was just last Monday that I showed you how Europe and the U.S. are now on a collision course with a second Lehman-type megashock.

And here we are today, only seven days later, with the snowball of events bringing us a few steps closer.

Worse Than 2008?

Politicians and investors all over the world are now trying to prepare for the inevitable consequences. What they don’t seem to realize is that the next major megashock could be more severe than the Lehman Brothers failure.

Never forget the key differences between then and now:

• In 2008, it was strictly individual financial institutions that were on the edge of collapse. Today, entire nations are on the brink.

• In 2008, the U.S. federal deficit of the prior fiscal year was $161 billion. Today, it’s $1.327 trillion, or 8.2 times larger.

• In 2008, most of the megabanks at the epicenter of the crisis were in the United States. Today, although some U.S. megabanks are still taking excessive risk, it’s primarily the far LARGER European banks that are in the most trouble. In fact the weak European banks are so large, their total assets are greater than the total assets of ALL U.S. commercial banks combined.

• In 2008, governments had not yet deployed their “big gun” cures for the debt crisis. So they still had the firing power to squelch the crisis with a series of unprecedented rescues. Today, we have seen the rapidly diminishing returns — or outright failure — of nearly every possible stimulus plan, bailout deal or austerity measures known to man.

• In 2008, governments encountered little public resistance to major new policy initiatives. Today, millions of citizens are rebelling at the polls — or on the streets — in France, Greece, Portugal, Spain, Italy, and even Germany.

• Most important, until late 2008, central banks restricted their role to traditional manipulation of interest rates. Now, however, four of the most powerful central banks in the world (the Fed, ECB, BOE and BOJ) have departed radically from tradition and embarked on the greatest wave of money printing in the history of mankind.

So how can you prepare yourself for this type of megashock and its impact on the markets? For an answer let’s take a closer look at …

What REALLY Happened During
And After The Lehman Collapse …

Over a single weekend in mid-September 2008, the Fed chairman, the Treasury secretary, and other high officials huddled at the New York Fed’s offices in downtown Manhattan.

They seriously considered bailing out Lehman, but they ran into two hurdles:

First, Lehman’s assets were too sick — so diseased, in fact, even the federal government didn’t want to touch them with a 10-foot pole. Nor were there any private buyers remotely interested in a shotgun marriage.

Second, foreshadowing the public rebellion that would later bust onto the scene in the Tea Party movement, there was a new sentiment on Wall Street that was previously unheard of:

A small, but vocal, minority was getting sick and tired of bailouts. “Let them fail,” they said. “Teach those bastards a lesson!” was the new rallying cry.

For the Fed chairman and Treasury secretary, it was the long-dreaded day of reckoning. It was the fateful moment in history that demanded a life-or-death decision regarding one of the biggest financial institutions in the world — bigger than General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler put together.

Should they save it? Or should they let it fail?

Their decision: To make a break with the past. To let Lehman fail.

“Here’s what you’re going to do,” was the basic message from the federal authorities to Lehman’s highest officials.

“Tomorrow morning, you’re going to take a trip downtown to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court at One Bowling Green.

“You’re going to file for bankruptcy.

“Then you’re going to fire your staff.

“And before the end of the day, you’re going to pack up your own boxes and clear out.”

As in the prior Bear Stearns failure, America’s largest banking conglomerate (JPMorgan Chase) promptly appeared on the scene and swooped up the outstanding trades. And as with Bear Stearns, the Fed acted as a backstop.

But Lehman’s demise was unique because it was thrown into bankruptcy and put on the chopping block for liquidation.

Exactly 182 days earlier, we warned that it could be the financial earthquake that changes the world. And it was.

Until that day, nearly everyone assumed that giant firms like Lehman were “too big to fail,” that the government would always step in to save them.

But that myth was shattered on September 15, 2008, when the U.S. government decided to abandon its long tradition of largesse and let Lehman go under.

A major U.S. money market fund, the Reserve Primary Fund, immediately suffered a direct hit in its portfolio from exposure to Lehman securities, pushing its share value below $1 — an unprecedented event that spread panic in the entire industry.

Money funds, mutual funds and other institutions refused to buy the short-term IOUs (commercial paper) that thousands of companies rely on for ready cash.

All over the world, investors recoiled in horror, abandoning short-term credit markets — the lifeblood of the global financial system.

Bank lending froze. Borrowing costs went through the roof. Corporate bonds tanked. The entire world seemed like it was coming unglued.

“I guess we goofed!” were, in essence, the words of admission heard at the Fed and Treasury. “Now, instead of just a bailout for Lehman, what we’re really going to need is the Mother of All Bailouts — for the entire financial system.”

The U.S. government promptly complied, delivering precisely what they asked for — a $700-billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), rushed through Congress and signed into law by President Bush in record time.

In addition, the U.S. government loaned, invested, or committed:

• $300 billion to nationalize the world’s two largest mortgage companies, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

• over $42 billion for the Big Three auto manufacturers

• $29 billion for Bear Stearns

• $150 billion for AIG, and $350 billion for Citigroup

• $300 billion for the Federal Housing Administration Rescue Bill to refinance bad mortgages

• $87 billion to pay back JPMorgan Chase for bad Lehman Brothers trades

• $200 billion in loans to banks under the Federal Reserve’s Term Auction Facility (TAF)

• $50 billion to support short-term corporate IOUs held by money market mutual funds

• $500 billion to rescue various credit markets

• $620 billion for foreign central banks

• trillions more to guarantee the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s (FDIC’s) new, expanded bank deposit insurance coverage from $100,000 to $250,000

• plus trillions more in bailouts and for other sweeping guarantees.

Governments of the UK and the European Union followed a similar pattern.

And everywhere — both inside and outside of government, apologists for these mega-rescues argued that it was “the lesser of the evils,” the only way to save the world from an even direr fate.

They were wrong, and we told them so on September 25, 2008.

That’s when Safe Money Report editor Mike Larson and I submitted a white paper to the U.S. Congress specifically documenting why the government bailouts would ultimately transform the debt crisis into a sovereign debt crisis.

Sure, governments can bail out big banks, brokers and insurers, we argued. But when the next crisis strikes, who will bail out the governments?

At the time, no one even bothered asking the question. Now, the question is everywhere.

But no one has an answer.

Yes, with trillions in bailouts since the 2008 debt crisis, the governments of the U.S. and Europe were able to calm the waters and restore credit markets.

But no government anywhere can create wealth and prosperity with worthless paper.

And no government can repeal the laws of gravity or change the laws of thermodynamics:

• When investors sell bad government bonds, the value of those bonds must plunge, making it next to impossible for those governments to borrow.

• When savers run to safety, money must flood from the weakest banks to the strongest, making it impossible for the weak banks to survive.

That’s what’s happening now and what will continue to happen in the weeks ahead — until and unless the authorities unleash a new wave of money printing that makes previous waves look puny by comparison.

Stand by for our team’s specific instructions on how to protect yourself and profit.

Good luck and God bless!
Money and Markets

15 dead in latest killer quake in Italy

Italian authorities say a powerful earthquake has killed at least 15 people and others may be missing in the latest deadly temblor to hit northern Italy.

The Tuesday morning quake had a 5.8 magnitude, rocking one of Italy's most productive regions.

Thousands of people have been living in tents in the area since a 6.0 magnitude quake devastated towns north of Bologna on May 20.

Factories, warehouses and churches collapsed in the mid-morning quake in the Emilia Romagna region.

Read more: http://azdailysun.com/news/world/europe/magnitude-earthquake-shakes-northern-italy/article_0d00f28d-adef-599c-9d17-5f2acc912271.html#ixzz1wGfyOFoa

Syria plunges towards civil war after Houla massacre

Kofi Annan, the UN-Arab League envoy to Syria, arrived in the capital Damascus following Friday's massacre in Houla in which 108 people – including 49 children and 34 women – were killed.

He called on "every individual with a gun" to lay down their arms before Syria collapsed into full-scale civil war.

But his words went apparently unheeded as scores more civilians and regime troops lost their lives, with fresh clashes erupting all over the country between two sides that were supposed to have agreed a ceasefire six weeks ago.

At least 36 people were said to have been killed, with fighting everywhere from Idlib, to Dera'a to Damascus. Another 30 people died overnight on Sunday as regime troops shelled residential areas of Hama in retaliation for attacks by the Free Syrian Army. Rebels said there was open discussion of retaliatory attacks against regime forces and minority Alawite villages in revenge for Houla, while the country's main opposition group said its fighters should "be prepared to liberate Syria from the hands of Assad's gangs".

The danger of the outside world being dragged into a protracted and bloody struggle was highlighted when an Iranian general confirmed for the first time, in an interview with a state news agency subsequently withdrawn from its website, that Iran had sent its own forces to Syria.

"If the Islamic republic was not present in Syria, the massacre of people would have happened on a much larger scale." Ismail Gha'ani, the deputy head of the Revolutionary Guard's Quds force, was quoted as saying.

The last two weeks have seen a clear escalation in violence, which had lessened but never disappeared with the start of the ceasefire brokered by Mr Annan on April 12. Regime forces have attacked a number of towns where rebels used the lull in fighting to re-establish control, but they are now responding to attacks with indiscriminate force.

At least 30 people died on Sunday afternoon and Monday morning as regime troops shelled residential areas of the city of Hama, north of Houla, into which FSA troops had fled after attacking government check-points.

Video footage showed rooms filled with casualties. The mutilated bodies of men, women and children lay on blood-stained floors, some dead, some still alive, as doctors looked on helplessly. "They can only do basic first aid and try to stop the bleeding. There is almost no equipment, or medicines," said an activist calling himself Abu Adnan al-Hamwi.

The Syrian regime has denied responsibility for the Houla massacre, blaming Islamist militants in a letter to the UN Security Council last night. But UN observers described wounds compatible only with heavy artillery and tank fire available only to regime forces.

Others died at close quarters, by gunfire and, it is alleged, by knife wounds - killed afterwards, survivors said, by "Shabiha" militia from neighbouring villages inhabited by Alawites, member of the minority sect to which the Assad family belongs.

"People were so angry, so shocked. Some started to say why don't we attack a whole Alawite village?" Yasser al-Homsi, a local activist said. "We believe the Shabiha do not have any morals or any religious ethics."

Mr Annan, who met Syria's foreign minister, Walid Muallem, in Damascus, said he was "shocked and horrified" by events in Houla. "I urge the government to take bold steps to signal that it is serious in its intention to resolve this crisis peacefully, and for everyone involved to help create the right context for a credible political process," he said. "And this message of peace is not only for the government, but for everyone with a gun."

Video of one group of the 49 children killed suggested some of them had been tied up beforehand. Their wrists were bound with blue ties, a common substitute for handcuffs. Although it was not possible to verify whether this had been done before or after death, the Syrian Network for Human Rights cited a witness saying the militia was punishing the father of some of the children.

"One eye witness, who is a lady in her late 50s from Houla, confirmed that the Shabiha handcuffed the children of Abbara family, and told the father to look at their children, how they will be killed in front of his eyes before they killed him," a spokesman said.

Activists say that the majority of the 108 people who died lived in eight houses belonging to an extended family called Abdulrazzaq, to whom the Abbaras were related by marriage.

Human Rights Watch said it had interviewed one 10-year-old boy from the Abdulrazzaq family who survived by hiding in a barn.

“Across the street I saw my friend Shafiq, 13 years old, outside standing alone,” he said. “An armed man in military uniform grabbed him and put him at the corner of a house. He took his own weapon and shot him in the head.

“His mother and big sister — I think she was 14 years old — went outside and started shouting and crying. The same man shot at both of them more than once.”

Syria’s main opposition coalition called last night for countries that support the anti-regime uprising to honour their promises by helping Syrians defend themselves.

“The Syrian National Council calls (on) brothers and friends of the Syrian people to help before it’s too late,” the exiled group said.

The Telegraph

25 Signs That The Smart Money Has Completely Written Off Southern Europe

When it comes to the financial world, it is important to listen to what the "smart money" is saying, but it is much more important to watch what the "smart money" is actually doing.  The ultra-wealthy and those that run the biggest financial institutions on the planet are far more "connected" to what is really going on in financial circles behind the scenes than you and I could ever hope to be.  But if we watch their behavior we can get clues as to what they think is about to happen.  As is the case with so many other things, if you want to figure out what is really going on in Europe, just follow the money.  And right now, money is rapidly flowing out of southern Europe and into northern Europe.  In fact, some large corporations are now pulling the money that they make in Greece during the day out of the country every single night.  It is becoming increasingly clear that the upper crust of the financial world considers a Greek exit from the euro to be "inevitable" and that it also considers much of the rest of southern Europe to be a lost cause.  Unfortunately, a financial collapse across southern Europe is also likely to trigger another devastating global recession.

Even though all the warning signs were there, very few people actually expected to see the kind of financial crisis that we saw back in 2008.
But it happened.
Now very few people actually expect another "Lehman Brothers moment" to happen in Europe although the warning signs are all around us.
Sadly, most people never want to believe the truth until it is too late.
The following are 25 signs that the smart money has completely written off southern Europe....
#1 Lloyd's of London is publicly admitting that it is rapidly making preparations for a collapse of the eurozone.
#2 According to the New York Times, top global law firms are advising their clients to withdraw all cash and all other liquid assets from Greece....
So their advice is blunt: Remove cash and other liquid assets from Greece and prepare to take a short-term hit on any other investments.
“My personal view is that it is irrational for anyone, whether a corporation or an individual, to be leaving money in Greek financial institutions, so long as there is a credible prospect of a euro zone exit,” said Ian M. Clark, a partner in London for White & Case, a global law firm that has a team of 10 lawyers focusing on the issue.
#3 According to CNBC, large numbers of wealthy Europeans have been moving their money from banks in southern Europe to banks in northern Europe....
Financial advisers and private bankers whose clients have accounts too large to be covered by a Europe-wide guarantee on deposits up to 100,000 euros ($125,000), are reporting a "bank run by wire transfer" that has picked up during May.
Much of this money has headed north to banks in London, Frankfurt and Geneva, financial advisers say.
"It's been an ongoing process but it certainly picked up pace a couple of weeks ago We believe there is a continuous 2-3 year bank run by wire transfer," said Lorne Baring, managing director at B Capital, a Geneva-based pan European wealth management firm.
#4 The President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, Charles Plosser, says that the Federal Reserve is advising money market funds to reduce their exposure to Europe....
The Fed and regulators have tried to stress to money market funds, for example, to reduce their exposure to European financial institutions.
#5 The yield on 10-year Spanish bonds is rapidly moving toward the very important 7 percent level.
#6 Many multinational corporations that operate in Greece are now pulling their funds out of the country on a nightly basis.
#7 Juergen Fitschen, the co-CEO of Deutsche Bank, has publicly proclaimed that Greece is a "failed state".
#8 The head of the Swiss central bank has admitted that Switzerland is developing an "action plan" for how it will handle the collapse of the eurozone.
#9 The European Commission has urged all member states to develop contingency plans for a Greek exit from the euro....
Last week, the European Commission said that it has asked member states to make plans to deal with a potential Greek exit, ahead of a second round of Greek elections on 17 June.
#10 PIMCO CEO Mohamed El-Erian says that a Greek exit from the euro "is probably inevitable".
#11 Spanish stocks continue to drop like a rock.
#12 The percentage of bad loans on the books of Spanish banks has reached an 18 year high.
#13 Late on Friday, the Spanish government announced that banking giant Bankia is going to need a 19 billion euro bailout.
#14 Standard & Poor's downgraded the credit ratings of five more Spanish banks to junk status on Friday.
#15 Moody's downgraded the credit ratings of 16 Spanish banks back on May 17th.
#16 According to the Telegraph, "struggling European banks could be seized and controlled by Brussels as part of secret plans being drawn up".
#17 The head of equity strategy at Societe Generale, Claudia Panseri, is warning that European stocks could fall by as much as 50 percent if Greece leaves the euro.
#18 Economist Marc Faber is warning that there is now a "100% chance" that there will be another global recession.
#19 There seems to be an increasing attempt to pin the problems that Greece is now experiencing on the behavior of Greek citizens.  The following are some of the shocking things that the head of the IMF, Christine Lagarde, said in a recent interview....
"Do you know what? As far as Athens is concerned, I also think about all those people who are trying to escape tax all the time. All these people in Greece who are trying to escape tax."
Even more than she thinks about all those now struggling to survive without jobs or public services? "I think of them equally. And I think they should also help themselves collectively." How? "By all paying their tax. Yeah."
It sounds as if she's essentially saying to the Greeks and others in Europe, you've had a nice time and now it's payback time.
"That's right." She nods calmly. "Yeah."
And what about their children, who can't conceivably be held responsible? "Well, hey, parents are responsible, right? So parents have to pay their tax."
#20 According to the Telegraph, an unidentified member of Angela Merkel's cabinet has stated that Germany simply will not "pour money into a bottomless pit".
#21 This week the Bank of England is holding a "secret summit" of global central bankers to address the European financial crisis....
The summit will be dominated by central bankers including the host, Sir Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England. Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank, and Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of the People’s Bank of China, have been invited.
#22 According to Zero Hedge, a major German newspaper is reporting that a Greek exit from the eurozone is a "done deal"....
"The Greece-exit is a done deal: According to the German economic news from financial circles EU and the ECB have abandoned the motherland of democracy as a euro member.The reason is, interestingly, not in the upcoming elections - these are basically become irrelevant. The EU has finally realized that the Greeks have not met any agreements and will not continue not to meet them. A banker: "We helped with the Toika. The help of the troika was tied to conditions. Greece has fulfilled none of the conditions, and has been for months now."
#23 According to CNBC, preparations are quietly being made to print up and distribute new drachmas should the need arise....
British banknote printer De La Rue is drawing up plans to print new drachma notes in the event of a Greek euro exit, according to an industry source with knowledge of the matter.
The world's biggest security firm G4S expects to be involved in distributing notes around the country.
#24 Citibank's chief economist Willem Buiter is warning that any new currency issued by the Greek government could "immediately fall by 60 percent".
#25 Reuters is reporting that a planning memo exists that suggests that Greece could receive as much as 50 billion euros to "ease its path" out of the eurozone.
If Greece does leave the eurozone, the cost to the rest of Europe is going to be astronomical.  The following is from a recent article by John Mauldin....
The debate among very knowledgeable individuals and institutions as to the future of Europe is intense. There are those who argue that the cost of breaking up the eurozone, even allowing Greece to leave, is so high that it will not be permitted to happen. Estimates abound of a cost of €1 trillion to European banks, governments, and businesses, just for the exit of Greece. And that does not include the cost of contagion as the markets wonder who is next. Keeping Spanish and Italian interest-rate costs at levels that can be sustained will cost even more trillions, as not just government debt but the entire banking system is at stake. Not to mention the pension and insurance funds. If the cost of Greece leaving is €1 trillion, then who can guess the cost of Spain or Italy?
As I have written about previously, a Greek exit from the euro would cause the "bank jogs" that are already happening in Spain and Italy to accelerate.
The problem in Europe is not just government debt.  The truth is that the entire European financial system is in danger of melting down.
Unfortunately, there are no more grand solutions on the horizon and so things are going to continue to get worse for Europe.
As I have talked about so many times, the next wave of the economic collapse is going to start in Europe, but it is going to deeply affect the entire globe.
During the next major economic downturn, the official unemployment rate in the United States will rise well up into the double digits.
Once that happens, perhaps many more Americans will finally figure out that they should have been paying much more attention to what was taking place in Europe.