Thursday, October 31, 2013
While Israel has remained tight-lipped over an alleged strike in Syria, an Obama administration official confirmed to CNN on Thursday that Israeli warplanes had in fact attacked an airbase in Latakia on Wednesday. The target was “missiles and related equipment the Israelis felt might be transferred to Hezbollah,” the report said.
Earlier Thursday, on the heels of reports that the airbase had contained advanced, Russian-made anti-aircraft missiles, Al-Arabiya reported that Israel had attacked not one, but two targets in the civil war-torn country.
Al-Arabiya’s report said two targets had been hit in Syria on Wednesday night – not just the Latakia air defense base, but a target in Damascus as well. Both targets were said to have contained shipments of Russian SA-8 anti-aircraft missiles meant for Hezbollah, which were reportedly completely destroyed.
A map of the Latakia airbase posted online shows three batteries of the Russian-made surface-to-air anti-aircraft missile at the base, outside Snobar Jableh in the country’s coastal Latakia region.
Earlier Thursday, Al-Arabiya quoted opposition forces as saying the base held S-125 missiles.
The S-125 is especially effective against maneuverable low- to medium-altitude targets, including aircraft. The Egyptians used such missiles with some success during the War of Attrition and the 1973 Yom Kippur war, and batteries used by Iraq may have knocked down coalition aircraft in the First Gulf War.
The system has undergone improvements since then, but countermeasures have also progressed significantly.
A massive explosion was reported at the base late Wednesday night, with some reports that it was targeted by missiles fired from the sea. The Syrian news outlet Dam Press, considered loyal to the regime of Bashar Assad, reported that the site was damaged but that there had been no injuries.
Earlier on Wednesday the Lebanese government news agency reportedsix Israeli aircraft flying through Lebanese airspace along the coast north of Beirut.
The coastal strip of Syria, encompassing the cities of Tartous, Latakia and Baniyas, is part of a predominantly Alawite portion of the country which remains loyal to the Assad regime in its lengthy campaign against rebels.
Israel has been accused of striking Syrian sites in the past, including in January and May this year. Israel refused to confirm the reports that it targeted weapons transfers, possibly to the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah, which has remained loyal to Assad during the country’s bloody civil war.
Syria is reportedly in the midst of upgrading its missile defense system to the Russian-made S-300, a move Israel has lobbied against.
The Times of Israel
Department of Homeland Security adviser Mohamed Elibiary has penned yet another controversial tweet, this time likening the Muslim Brotherhood to evangelical Christians and comparing the Brotherhood’s indoctrination to Bible study groups.
WND found that Elibiary tweeted: “Ignorant #Islamophobes (redundant I know) protested my saying #MB like #Evangelicals. Usra like Bible study grp.”
The “MB,” or Muslim Brotherhood, seeks a worldwide Islamic caliphate ruled by Shariah, or Islamic law, and teaches followers to help establish an Islamic state wherever they live.
An usra is a small teaching group devised by Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna to indoctrinate his followers. Brotherhood leaders form weekly meetings to teach the Islamist group’s methods and ideology.
The Muslim Brotherhood’s Ikhwanweb website describes usra as the “smallest unit of MB structure which represents the practical area of MB spiritual education and Tarbiah (training).”
Aaron Klein’s “Impeachable Offenses: The Case to Remove Barack Obama from Office” is available, autographed, at WND’s Superstore
Usra groups, compared to Bible study groups by Elibiary, are limited to active Muslim Brotherhood members.
There are three types of Muslim Brotherhood membership:
General membership: Provided to all Muslims accepted by Muslim Brotherhood district administration.
Practical membership: Muslims accepted by the district administration who agree to maintain specific Muslim Brotherhood duties as outlined by Al-Banna .
Jihad membership: Active members approved by the Brotherhood’s general executive bureau.
Elibiary did not return a WND request for comment.
It’s the latest Twitter controversy for Elibiary.
Aaron Klein’s “Impeachable Offenses: The Case to Remove Barack Obama from Office” is available, autographed, at WND’s Superstore
Earlier this month, Elibiary used his Twitter account to warn the tea party against attempting to change the U.S. political landscape through “Christianist Xenophobia.”
Elibiary further charged some “white identity/privilege types” have a problem with a “black president” and “brown Mexicans.”
Elibiary further provoked controversy when he used his Twitter profile to defend the Muslim Brotherhood while implying Egypt’s persecuted Christian minority incited against Islam.
Last month, Elibiary, who was appointed to the Department of Homeland Security Advisory Council by then-secretary Janet Napolitano in 2010, tweeted that he was reappointed and even promoted.
His Twitter handle comes with a disclaimer that the tweets are his own personal opinions and not those of any agency.
Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2013/10/muslim-brotherhood-just-like-evangelicals/#P5i5flXz6hORKg2T.99
The Bible teaches that one of the defining characteristics of the last days will be lawlessness. I believe it would be profitable to identify what this lawlessness will look like. Some may have the mistaken idea that the last days will be a time when there is no strong central government, leaving the people of the nations to rampage unimpeded in a wild display of global anarchy.
Although I foresee plenty of civil unrest arising in the coming days, it will be met with the overwhelming force of a highly militarized government. Dissent will be crushed as Satan moves to erect his New World Order out of the ashes of the old nationalistic system of governments. There will be tremendous conflagrations as patriots resist that which is to come. Millions will die. Others will be imprisoned as the cruel hand of global tyranny asserts itself.
Anyone who is destined for prison will be taken to prison.
Anyone destined to die by the sword will die by the sword.
When the New World Order has been established, the Beast government will be known for its rigid control of the masses. A surveillance society similar to that in the novel 1984 will be in place. What people whisper in their bedrooms will be heard by the men wielding the truncheons of the beast system. Already we are seeing that the pieces are being put in place for government to spy on every activity of humanity. It has been disclosed that the government can activate the microphone on nearly any cell phone and listen in to all that is happening, even when no phone call is being placed. It is known that the government can activate the video camera and microphone on people’s computers, and record whatever is visible or heard.
Computer chip manufacturer Intel recently announced that their new computer chips have 3G wireless access built into them. This gives the government the ability to tap into anyone’s computer system, even if it is turned off, and to access all your personal correspondence, files, passwords, etc.. Watch the video below to see the capabilities of these new computer chips.
These features give a new understanding to the name Intel, for this computer company is now fully a partner with the government’s intelligence services, providing Big Brother with access to all your private (no more) data, even if you are not connected to a network. By having 3G phone access built into the chip core, the computer is now wide open to anyone with the capability to dial into it.
Yesterday I was reading online and someone was discussing dumping Windows because Microsoft has given the government backdoor access to the operating system. The person said they were switching to Ubuntu, a variety of the Linux operating system. If they have one of these new Intel chips, switching to another operating system will not do them any good. The video clearly states that this access feature is independent of the operating system. In fact, you do not even need to have an operating system installed, for access to the computer is gained at the chip level on the computer’s motherboard. Your computer can even be turned off and it can be remotely switched on.
We are seeing such capabilities sold to the public as advanced security features in the same way that governments are forever promoting the need to keep nations and peoples safe by monitoring them more and more. What these features actually do is remove all privacy from the individual. Every action, every word, is monitored, searched, and screened to check for anything that might be a threat to the arising beast system.
As I sit here in my 41 year old school bus in a campground on Jekyll Island, I am aware of numerous ways that my privacy is being invaded. I have a TomTom GPS on my dash for navigation. Approximately every week or two it turns itself on all by itself, and has been doing so for a couple years. By simply powering up it can report my exact location back to anyone monitoring the signal. I have noticed that my Verizon cellphone, which is a simple feature phone, and not even a smartphone, activates every night at 4:15 A.M.. I keep the phone by my bed to use as a clock when I want to check the time. I have noticed that its lights brighten as if it is being accessed every night at this same time. The GPS feature in it can also report my location. Aside from this, the camera and microphone can be accessed remotely at any time by the FBI, NSA, or any number of other government agencies who engage in spying.
My laptop computer that I use for all of my ministry work runs on an Intel i7 processor and has Windows 7 operating system. Both the processor and the operating system provide entry points for the government to gain access to all of my files, or to activate the camera or microphone and listen in. If you use Skype, Microsoft purchased this popular communication program last year and promptly redesigned it to give the government access to every Skype session. It should be noted as well that by gaining chip level access to an individual’s computer, installing an encryption program will not shield your private data from prying eyes. The computer processor is able to utilize key-logging techniques to record every button that is pressed on a keyboard, so even if the data is encrypted before it is stored on a hard drive or transmitted across the Internet, it has likely already been read and stored by the key-logging software.
I also have a Kindle Fire tablet. Amazon is announcing a new feature called the “Mayday button” on their most recent Kindles that allow a service tech to remotely access the tablet, take control of it, and even draw on the screen while they are speaking to you. If they have this level of access, then you can be certain that the government does as well.
It should not be overlooked that this remote access to a computer or tablet also gives another party the ability to load software, install files, and to create a false history of computer usage on a person’s computer. It would be very easy to frame an innocent person by installing child pornography, or altering files to make it appear that the person was researching terrorism related topics.
In addition to this, 96% of new cars have black boxes built into them that can allow them to be tracked, and remotely accessed. Published data states that the black boxes record data ONLY a few seconds before or after an accident. How do they know to record data before an accident? The answer is they don’t, so they record data continuously. Knowing that the government has had agreements with computer hardware and software manufacturers for years to give them back door access to anyone’s computer, it is quite reasonable that they also have installed remote monitoring of this automotive data. A similar technology as the Intel 3G system would not be difficult to implement. The government owns General Motors and GM installs black boxes in 100% of their vehicles.
If your car has Onstar, or a similar dashboard computer system, the government has been listening in on your conversations in your vehicle for years. A lawsuit was brought back in 2003, a full decade ago, to block the government from doing so. That just means that since 2003 the government has not been able to publicly admit they are listening in on people’s conversations as they drive their cars down the road.
One troubling development is that the governments of several states are now talking about taxing people according to the number of miles they drive in their cars. Until now, highway taxes have been collected at the pump, and there is no good reason that taxes should not continue to be collected in this manner (electric cars are still a minuscule percentage of vehicles traveling the roads). However, under the guise of taxing people more fairly, the government will gain the ability to track every individual’s location.
The electric smart meter on your house also reports data back to the government, and a burgeoning number of home appliances are reporting information and being used as behavior tracking devices.
In addition to this, the government is installing millions of cameras and microphones throughout cities and along highways to track people.
With all of this surveillance, one might ask how anyone would get away with being “lawless” in the coming New World Order? The government is seeking to eradicate anonymity. They want to know what everyone is doing and saying all the time. If this is to be the state of the New World Order, the Beast system that the Bible foretells, how could citizens possibly get away with lawlessness? To answer the question, we must understand what the Bible means by lawlessness. Let us begin by reading the following passage of Scripture.
II Thessalonians 2:1-10
Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Yahshua Christ, and our gathering together to Him, that you may not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God. Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things? And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he may be revealed. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way. And then that lawlessone will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.
When the Bible speaks of the last days being a time of great “lawlessness” it is not speaking about violating man’s laws. It is speaking of violating God’s law. I am not here speaking of the Law of Moses, but rather of the much broader sense of God’s righteousness and holiness, His will for all men in all situations. This is what men and women and children will be violating.
Throughout the ages of this present creation Yahweh has restrained the sinfulness of man. When man’s every thought and action became wickedness in the time of Noah, Yahweh brought judgment upon man, and began over with 8 individuals. After the flood Yahweh also greatly shortened man’s lifespan so that he would not become so thoroughly corrupted by evil. This shortened lifespan has had an immense impact upon limiting the wickedness of mankind.
We also see Yahweh judging cities and peoples who gave themselves fully over to the pursuit of wickedness. He rained fire and brimstone upon Sodom and Gomorrah in the days of Abraham. Nearly 1,500 years later, He did the same thing when Pompeii, Herculaneum, and other nearby cities were destroyed in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D.. Yahweh has continually cast down peoples and nations that became exceedingly wicked, yet we read that in these last days, “he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way.” Then we will see the evil of men in its full vileness. These will truly be lawless days. The Beast government will rule the world, and will make every form of evil acceptable. We are seeing this occurring globally now as nation after nation is normalizing homosexual behavior, a behavior that Yahweh characterizes as an “abomination.”
I have mentioned a few times that pedophilia, the sexual exploitation of children, is one of the next areas of sin to be normalized. Homosexuals are renowned for their attraction to children. Observe how many Roman Catholic priests were having sexual relations with young boys. The same is true of Jerry Sandusky at Penn State. It is also true of Harvey Milk, the first openly homosexual man to be elected to any public office in America. The U.S. Postal Service recently announced they will be issuing a stamp to commemorate the life of Harvey Milk. A biography of Harvey Milk reveals that he was a sexual predator who preyed on young boys.
People of God, this is an example of lawlessness. In 2009 President Barack Obama posthumously awarded Harvey Milk the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Harvey Milk’s life ambition was to liberate people from Yahweh’s definition of sexual morality. The only freedom he brought was bondage to sin and slavery to sexual deviance. Yet this godless man is being set forth as a national hero, someone to be emulated. The state of California has even proposed that a Harvey Milk Day be observed each year where school children would be required to discuss some positive achievement of this godless, homosexual, child abuser.
One of the key duties of any moral nation is to protect its children from those who would abuse them sexually, physically, or mentally. Yet, America is giving her children over to be abused. Is it any surprise that a nation that has murdered tens of millions of their unborn is now moving to abuse those who have been born. A shocking story appeared this week regarding the Obama administration’s push to have Common Core adopted by the school systems of all 50 states. Already, 45 states have signed on. The Common Core program would regiment all education so that the same subjects are being taught at the same time on the same day in every government school throughout America.
The overseers of the Common Core program are not elected, and their decisions are not subject to appeal. Common Core has drawn up a list of “exemplar texts” that are to be read and discussed in each of the grades. The word “exemplar” means “a model or pattern to be copied or imitated: George Washington is the exemplar of patriotic virtue.”
One of the exemplar texts for the 11th grade, which consists of students who are typically 16-17 years of age, is The Bluest Eye by author Toni Morrison. The book contains GRAPHIC descriptions of incest, rape, and pedophilia written from the perspective of the perpetrator. Morrison set out to describe the thoughts of one who commits such wickedness, without any censorship, or criticism. She said she was writing from the perspective of one who is a “co-conspirator” with the rapist. The result is a book that reads like a how-to-manual for sexual predators, and encourages youth to entertain the thought processes of one who abuses others sexually. Such an action can only lead to an inestimable number of young people acting out the deviant sexual fantasies that are put in their heads.
The following website includes excerpts from the book which is recommended for all 11th graders in America to read. It is very explicit. It is outrageous that anyone could consider this suitable, even exemplary, reading material for the nation’s 16 and 17 year olds.
One commenter to the above article stated the following:
First you desensitize the parents with the “Fifty Shades of Grey” novels which are also about pedophilia, and then you desensitize the kids that you want to prey on. Therefore you have a whole crop of people who now think this is somehow normal.
The book Fifty Shades of Grey has been promoted endlessly by the media who seemed determined to make it a best seller. It is now scheduled to be made into a movie. The book is quite obviously pornographic. It has been described by various media as “mommy porn” as the target audience is women. What the media has not been telling people is that the book is subtly written to disguise the fact that it is actually describing the seduction and sexual exploitation of a young girl whose behavior and mental maturity could be as young as a 12 year old.
A recent article stated that 60 million copies of this book have been sold. This is evidence of widespread lawlessness. The laws being broken are Yahweh’s. He has said:
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things.
The government of America, controlled by a global elite, has become a champion of immorality, and an adversary of all that is righteous and holy. The media, controlled by the same global powers, has been complicit in the dissemination of that which is indecent, prurient, and morally decadent.
It is not coincidental that the President has honored, and continues to honor, a homosexual child abuser at the same time that the youth of the nation are being instructed by his government to read material provided by the public school system that promotes pedophilia, rape, and incest. Nor is the timing of the Fifty Shades of Grey novel and movie coincidental. There is a movement afoot that is intent on normalizing the idea of adult/child sexual intercourse in the same way that homosexuality has been promoted. Like the homosexual movement in its early days, there are organizations being formed to defend pedophilia, which is being described as “minor-attracted” individuals. One of these groups is B4UACT.ORG.
Just as the homosexuals advocated to change the definition of homosexuality in the American Psychiatric Associations manual of mental disorders, so too are those who are promoting adult/child sexual relations lobbying the APA to redefine pedophilia as a normal sexual attraction.
This is how lawlessness becomes normalized. Brothers and sisters, do not think that pedophilia will not become normalized in the same way that homosexuality has. The moral depravity of the nation is accelerating. The end of the age is before us. All restraint is being removed. Soon we will see that it is declared legal and protected activity for an individual to pursue any wicked action that enters his/her mind. This is a fulfillment of the words of Christ.
“And because lawlessness is increased, most people's love will grow cold.”
Marriage has been redefined by the government to include same sex unions. Marriage has historically been one of the most clearly defined and sacred institutions recognized throughout the world. Now that it has fallen, what will hinder the collapse of all family roles and values? Children which were once protected are increasingly being portrayed as objects of lust to be preyed upon. The dark night is upon us. Seek the Lord to know how to shelter your family as deep darkness falls upon the nations.
Credit to Joseph Herrin
Should children have the right to ask for their own deaths?
In Belgium, where euthanasia is now legal for people over the age of 18, the government is considering extending it to children — something that no other country has done. The same bill would offer the right to die to adults with early dementia.
Advocates argue that euthanasia for children, with the consent of their parents, is necessary to give families an option in a desperately painful situation. But opponents have questioned whether children can reasonably decide to end their own lives.
Belgium is already a euthanasia pioneer; it legalized the practice for adults in 2002. In the last decade, the number of reported cases per year has risen from 235 deaths in 2003 to 1,432 in 2012, the last year for which statistics are available. Doctors typically give patients a powerful sedative before injecting another drug to stop their heart.
Only a few countries have legalized euthanasia or anything approaching it. In the Netherlands, euthanasia is legal under specific circumstances and for children over the age of 12 with parental consent (there is an understanding that infants, too, can be euthanized, and that doctors will not be prosecuted if they act appropriately). Elsewhere in Europe, euthanasia is only legal in Luxembourg. Assisted suicide, where doctors help a patient to die but do not actively kill them, is allowed in Switzerland.
In the U.S., the state of Oregon also grants assisted suicide requests for residents aged 18 or over with a terminal illness.
In Belgium, the ruling Socialist party has proposed the bill expanding the right of euthanasia. The Christian Democratic Flemish party vowed to oppose the legislation and to challenge it in the European Court of Human Rights if it passes. A final decision must be approved by Parliament and could take months.
In the meantime, the Senate has heard testimony on both sides of the issue.
"It is strange that minors are considered legally incompetent in key areas, such as getting married, but might (be able) to decide to die," Catholic Archbishop Andre-Joseph Leonard testified.
Leonard said alternatives like palliative sedation make euthanasia unnecessary — and relieves doctors of the burden of having to kill patients. In palliative sedation, patients are sedated and life-sustaining support is withdrawn so they starve to death; the process can take days.
- See more at: http://www.northjersey.com/news/international/230001181_Belgium_considering_new_euthanasia_law_for_kids.html#sthash.jImp6cL0.dpuf
A 6.6 magnitude Taiwan earthquake today 2013 has just struck near Hualian. The Taiwan earthquake today October 31, 2013 marks one of the strongest to hit the country this year. Damage assessment is pending.
Officials tell news that a Taiwan earthquake today began moments ago. The quake registered a 6.6 magnitude. It began just after 8:02 PM localtime. USGS indicates to news, however, that the quake had a nominal depth. The quake began only six miles below the earth’s surface. As a result the quake could be felt across the region.
USGS indicates to news that the Taiwan earthquake today began on the eastern coast. The quake was twenty-eight miles southwest of Hualian. It began thirty-nine miles southeast of Buli and forty-five miles east ofLugu. The quake also began fifty-three miles east of Nantou and roughly five hundred miles east of Hong Kong.
Today’s Hualian quake is one of several Taiwan quakes striking the country this year.
In July another quake struck the same epicenter. That quake began twenty-one miles northwest of Hualian and thirty miles southwest of Sur’ao. That Taiwan earthquake started thirty-seven miles southwest of Yilan and forty miles east of Buli. The quake erupted as well roughly five hundred miles east of Hong Kong.
Last September, a 5.4 magnitude quake struck thirty-five miles south of T’ai-tung. It was sixty miles east of Kao-hsiung. The quake was also seventy-nine miles from T’ai-nan and roughly five hundred miles from Manila.
And in August, a strong quake struck forty-five miles south of Hualian. The quake was the same distance north of Taitung City and roughly sixty miles southeast of Buli. USGS indicated to news that the quake was fifty-seven miles east of Lugu.
Credit to Lalate News
Lt. Gen. Vyacheslav Kondrashov, Russian Deputy chief of staff and head of GRU military intelligence, spent the first day of his visit to Cairo, Tuesday, Oct. 29, with Egyptian military chiefs, going through the list of Russian military hardware items they want to buy in their first major arms transaction with Moscow in more than three decades, DEBKAfile’s military sources report. The Egyptians asked Moscow to supply the sort of advanced weapons withheld by the United States, and topped their shopping list with medium-range intercontinental ballistic missiles that cover Iran and most of the Middle East.
They told the Russian general that Moscow’s good faith in seeking to build a new military relationship between the two governments would be tested by its willingness to meet this Egyptian requirement.
They are most likely after the brand-new SS-25 road-mobile ICBM which has a range of 2,000 km., which the Russians tested earlier this month.
Russia is not entirely comfortable with this demand, having signed a mutual agreement with the US to stop manufacturing medium-range ballistic missiles. And so the sale of SS-25 ICBMs to Egypt could get the Russians in hot water in Washington.
Gen. Kondrashov told his hosts that their list would receive serious scrutiny and, in the meantime, Moscow is prepared to offer Cairo long-term credit on easy terms to finance the package. This would relieve cash-strapped Egypt of the need to find the money to pay for the arms and save its leaders having to turn to Saudi Arabia and the Arab Emirates for funding.
The Russian general’s arrival in Cairo at the head of a large military delegation was the first in 35 years. Since 1972, when Anwar Sadat expelled the Soviet advisers, Egypt has never acquired Russian weapons.
DEBKAfile: Western sources are divided over the seriousness of the Saudi feud with the Obama administration and tend to minimize Riyadh’s shift away from its traditional ally, the US. But the Saudis are going full tilt to distance themselves from Washington and are meanwhile urging Egypt’s ruler Defense Minister Gen. Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, to turn away from his country’s long dependence on America. Hence the large arms transaction with Moscow, which was agreed as early as last July - and reported by DEBKAfile at the time - when Saudi Intelligence Director Prince Bandar bin Sultan met Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin.
Word of the arrival of the Russian GRU general in Cairo appears to have prompted US Secretary of State John Kerry to announce Tuesday that he planned to visit to Egypt in the coming weeks. He may be too late to stop Egypt’s drift out of the US orbit, especially since he made it plain that he would insist on meeting with representatives of all the country’s political factions. This was taken to mean the Muslim Brotherhood and other opposition groups.
The Russian delegation has no plans to talk to any non-military figures in Egypt, which means that its members will not step out of the loyal circle centering on Gen. El-Sisi.
I recently wrote an article entitled "What Is A Liquidity Trap & Why Is Bernanke Caught In It?"wherein I discussed the definition of a liquidity trap as:
"A liquidity trap is a situation described in Keynesian economics in which injections of cash into the private banking system by a central bank fail to lower interest rates and hence fail to stimulate economic growth. A liquidity trap is caused when people hoard cash because they expect an adverse event such as deflation, insufficient aggregate demand, or war. Signature characteristics of a liquidity trap are short-term interest rates that are near zero and fluctuations in the monetary base that fail to translate into fluctuations in the general price levels."
Importantly, this evidence is mounting that the Federal Reserve has now become trapped within this dynamic. The boost in asset prices caused by the increased levels of liquidity in the system has benefited the wealthy while doing little to jumpstart the real economy. As I stated previously:
"However, the real question is whether, or not, all of this excess liquidity and artificially low interest rates is spurring economic activity? To answer that question let's take a look at a 4-panel chart of the most common measures of economic activity - Real GDP, Industrial Production, Employment and Real Consumption."
"While an argument could be made that the early initial rounds of QE contributed to a bounce in economic activity; it is also important to remember several things about that particular period. First, if you refer to the long term chart of GDP above you will see that economic growth has ALWAYS surged post recessionary weakness. This is due to the pent-up demand that was built up during the recession that is unleashed back into the economy. Secondly, during 2009 there were multiple bailouts going on from 'cash for houses', 'cash for clunkers', direct bailouts of the banking system and the economy, etc. However, the real test for the success of the Fed's interventions actually began in 2010 as the Fed became 'the only game in town'. As shown above, at best, we can assume that the increases in liquidity have been responsible in keeping the economy from slipping into a secondary recession. Currently, with most economic indicators showing signs of weakness, it is clear that the Federal Reserve is currently experiencing adiminishing rate of return from their monetary policies."
From this standpoint it was shocking to see someone, particularly Larry Summers, actually discuss this issue during a recent CNBC interview stating his case on why it is wrong to rely on monetary policy as the main driver of the economy.
The important point is that, for the first time that I am aware of, someone has verbally stated that we are indeed caught within a liquidity trap. This has been a point that has been vigorously opposed by supporters of the Federal Reserve actions.
Of course, the lack of transmission of the current monetary interventions into the real economy has remained a conundrum for the Federal Reserve as the gap between improving economic statistics and the real underlying economic fabric continues to widen. As Larry states, we are indeed in uncharted territory. With the direct manipulation of interest rates near impossible, it leaves only verbal (forward guidance) and liquidity (increases of excess reserves) policy tools available. The problem is that these tools have never been used to such a massive extent before in history. While analysts and economist continue to suggest, with each passing year, that stronger economic growth is coming; it has yet to be the case. As discussed previously, this is a tell-tale sign of a liquidity trap.
My belief all along has been and remains that a well thought out combination of both fiscal and monetary policy is the correct remedy for what ails the U.S. economy currently. However, up to this point, the Fed has been the "only game in town" to quote the famous words of Senator Chuck Schumer. I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised by Larry Summers view point as I believe that it is the correct one at this late stage of the current economic recovery cycle.
Credit to Zero Hedge