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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

End game of the economic collapse

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts-U.S. Gold Gone

Thailand imposes state of emergency over unrest

The Thai government has imposed a 60-day state of emergency in the capital, Bangkok, and the surrounding provinces, from Wednesday, to cope with unrest.

The decree gives the government wide-ranging powers to deal with disorder.

Anti-government protesters have been blocking parts of the capital to try to force PM Yingluck Shinawatra to resign.

They accuse the government of being run by exiled former leader Thaksin Shinawatra, the brother of the current prime minister.

Ms Yingluck has refused to resign and has called an election on 2 February to pacify the protesters.

The state of emergency was announced after a cabinet meeting on Tuesday and comes after a spate of attacks with explosives and firearms on the anti-government protesters blockading central Bangkok for which the government and the protesters blame each other.

On Sunday, 28 people were injured when grenades were thrown at one of several protest sites set up at major road sections in the city.

"The cabinet decided to invoke the emergency decree to take care of the situation and to enforce the law," Deputy Prime Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul said.

The emergency decree gives the government power to censor the media, ban public gatherings and detain suspects without charge.

It also allows for curfews and for parts of Bangkok to be declared off-limits.

The Thai government has been contemplating a state of emergency for weeks, but in practice, it is not clear how many of those powers it will be able to use, says the BBC's Jonathan Head in Bangkok.

Credit to BBC

The Bible Use It or Lose It!

In 2013 the American Bible Society commissioned the Barna Group to conduct a survey. The focus of the survey was American’s attitudes and actions relating to the Bible. The results were published under the title The State of the Bible, 2013. The report reveals a tremendous disparity between what people say, and what they actually do, when it comes to the Bible. For example, although 88% of American adults reported that their household contained a Bible, and on average there were 4.4 Bibles per household, only half of those surveyed were characterized as Bible readers. This designation was itself rather generous considering that among the 50% of American adults characterized as Bible readers, 9% said they read the bible no more than 3 to 4 times a year, and an additional 7% read it on average once a month.

The Barna Group survey reported that 47% of Americans STRONGLY AGREE that the Bible contains EVERYTHING a person needs to know to live a meaningful life. Additionally, more than half of adults (56%) believe the Bible has too little influence in U.S. society today. Nevertheless, only 13% of those surveyed said they read the Bible daily. Another 20% stated that they are weekly Bible readers.

It may sound impressive to hear that a full third of American adults read their Bibles either daily, or weekly, but it should be kept in mind that among religiously minded people there is a tendency to dramatically overstate their actual participation in spiritual activity. As a case in point, among those deemed to be “Bible readers,” the survey reported that 13% could not identify the Bible version they read and 39% (more than a third) of those who identified themselves as practicing Protestants could not name the first five books of the Bible. The survey also reported that 58% of Americans wrongly thought that John the Baptist was one of the twelve apostles. (Protestants did no better than Catholics on this question.) These facts reveal a very low level of familiarity with the Scriptures among a significant number of people identified as Bible readers.

Not surprisingly, the survey reported that the number one frustration relating to the Bible was not having enough time to read it. The complete survey can be viewed at the following link.


As I reflected upon the results of this survey I was reminded of the following words of Christ.

Matthew 6:21
“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

If you want to know the true value a person places upon something, do not listen to their claims, instead observe their actions. The person making the loudest and boldest declaration of their love and reverence for the Bible may in fact spend very little time reading and meditating upon the Scriptures. Yahweh sees beyond the boasting of man’s speech. As the saying goes, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” Intentions are not actions.

When Christ addressed the churches of Asia Minor in the opening chapters of Revelation, He began His comments with the repeated statement, “I know your deeds.”

Revelation 2:1-2
To the angel of the church in Ephesus write... “I know your deeds...”

Revelation 2:18-19
"And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write... “I know your deeds...”

Revelation 3:1
And to the angel of the church in Sardis write... “I know your deeds...”

Revelation 3:7-8
And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write... “I know your deeds.”

Revelation 3:14-15
And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write... “I know your deeds...”

To the church in America Yahshua will judge no differently. He will not judge the church in America, or any other nation, on its confession. He will judge them on their deeds. When Yahshua reveals that which His people deemed to be valuable, He will look at where they focused their time and attention.

Some years back an e-mail began circulating that posed the question, “What if we began to treat our Bibles the way we treat our cell phones?” This was followed by additional questions.

• What if we carried it with us everywhere?
• What if we turned back to get it if we forgot it?
• What if we checked it for messages throughout the day?
• What if we used it in case of an emergency?
• What if we spent an hour or more using it each day?

Like the cell phone, the Bible is a communication device. It is called “the word of God” for good reason. The Bible is one of the chief instruments Yahweh uses to speak to His people. Much is revealed as a person compares their behavior regarding their cell phone and that regarding their Bible.

Recognizing that a cell phone allows an individual to stay in communication with other people, and the Bible assists them in staying in touch with God, which one do you grab before you go out the door in the morning? If you have previously experienced God speaking to you through the pages of Scriptures, would you not want to check the Bible often to see if Yahweh has some new message for you? Are not Yahweh’s messages more important than those received from friends, family, and other people?

When was the last time you turned back to get your Bible when you realized you did not have it with you? Have you ever turned back to get your cell phone when you realized you did not have it on your person? If you encountered an emergency situation, would you be more likely to call out to God first, or reach for your phone and call somebody to help you?

When was the last time you received a word from the Father as you read the Bible? When was the last time you received new revelation when meditating upon a passage of Scripture? When did you last sense your heavenly Father speaking as the Bible was opened before you? Is it possible that there is a correlation between the time you spend in the word of God and the frequency with which you hear His voice?

Have you ever heard God speak something to you that you did not want to hear, or hear Him give you some direction you did not want to obey, so you tuned Him out? Do you avoid reading the Bible because it might lead to conviction that God wants to change things in your life? I admit that I am at times prone to silencing my phone when someone calls me and I do not want to talk to them at the moment. Have you considered that an absence of Bible reading is man’s way of silencing God’s voice? It is like setting your cell phone to mute.

There can be no more effective way to mute the voice of the Holy Spirit in the Bible than to not read it. Leave the Bible on the shelf to collect dust and it will speak to no one.

One attribute of those whom the Father has used in spiritually powerful ways is that they meditated regularly on the words of God recorded in Scripture.

Psalms 119:24, 99
Your testimonies also are my delight and my counselors... I have more understanding than all my teachers, for Your testimonies are my meditation.

The apostle Paul gave the following wise encouragement and counsel to Timothy.

II Timothy 3:14-17
But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Yahshua. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work

Paul himself remained an avid student of the Scriptures until the end of his life. In the same letter, Paul instructed Timothy to bring him the Scriptures he had left in Troas.

II Timothy 4:13
When you come bring the cloak which I left at Troas with Carpus, and the books, especially the parchments.

Seeing that the Bible holds so much potential for advancement to spiritual maturity and understanding of the ways of God, should Christians not clamor out for it as if it were a great and valued treasure? A recent phenomenon has been observed as people line up outside of stores selling the latest iPhone or Android based smart phone. Some camp out for days in anticipation of a new model phone being released. What if people showed the same enthusiasm for purchasing a new Bible? What if crowds clamored with outstretched hands, pleading to be given a copy of the word of God?

I began this teaching series by sharing about my delight and excitement at having received my first Bible in my youth. That little, brown, leather bound KJV Bible was treasured by me. I always knew where it was at. I carried it with me more than any other possession I owned at the time. I read it often and considered myself fortunate to have received such a valuable and useful gift.

When in recent years I was twice put in jail my great desire was to have a copy of the Scriptures to read as I spent 20 hours a day in a cell. When the Father led me through many distressing experiences, fears, and trials, beginning in 1999 and continuing for a period of years, my prize possession was my Bible. In it I sought comfort, encouragement, strength, wisdom, and direction. Through many wilderness journeys I have kept Yahweh’s Book close at hand. It is the nearest tangible connection I have to the One who created me. It is a book I have loved and treasured from my youth and I continue to treasure it to this day. It is my prayer that you might as well.

Credit to Joseph Herin

None Dare Call It what it is.....Genocidal Fascism

“Everything for the state, nothing outside the state, nothing above the state”
Benito Mussolini

“We‘ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerfuljust as strong, just as well-funded.”  
Barack Obama

“America: From Freedom to Fascism”
Aaron Russo
It turns out that Carl Jung was correct, we do not have some form of collective consciousness which resides in human beings which is also transmitted from one generation to another. Whether it is confronting a bear or a snake, scientists have found that genetic memories are indeed transmitted along one’s DNA. Subsequently, we come into this life hard-wired to face previously faced dangers.
genocide break down doorIf the above is so irrefutably true, then why does mankind fail so miserably in dealing with the nature of despotic rule? For example, democide took an estimated 265 million innocent lives in the 20th century by the hand of the victims own government.  Are our psychological and genetic programming failing us this miserably? Literally, our preprogrammed genes should be screaming “Danger Will Robinson”.

America Is a Virulent Fascist State

As I am writing these words, I am keenly aware that the NSA is tracking every keystroke. You should also be cognizant of the fact that as you read these words, the NSA is increasing your threat matrix score which makes it more likely that you are now a prime candidate for an all expenses paid vacation to a re-education camp.
tsa goosing grannyWe have significant anxiety as we try and fly because of the “stranger danger” which lurks at the airport with blue-uniformed pot-bellied perverts foaming at the mouth for the opportunity to touch our the breasts of our wives and to stick their hands down the pants of our young boys.
We see more stories everyday about the martial law preparation of the police along with their DHS provided paramilitary equipment, their SWAT team raids, their killing of an average of 500 innocent American citizens per year. We know that our prisons have been privatized which incentivizes these paramilitary police to arrest people for petty drug offenses which supports an industry supported and controlled by our tax-supported CIA.
Federal entities consistently are seeking to deprive Americans of life and property. FDA SWAT teams raid raw milk producers and confine the owners to length jail stays before releasing them without charges.
The EPA is the hardest working organization within our Federal government. While our President is busy vacationing and playing golf, his minions are busy stealing the properties of innocent, hard-working Americans under some silly notion that a damn fish is more important than the economic welfare of its citizens.
Nancy Pelosi admits to insider-trading, but ordinary Americans go to jail for far less. Dianne Feinstein entered the Senate as a millionaire and now she is worth over a quarter of a billion dollars. Where is the IRS? If you have unexplained income, you are likely to do 20 years in prison.
You now live in a country that our contrived enemies want to attack us over these freedoms. Yet, in land of the free, we incarcerate 2 million people for mostly petty offenses. We guarantee private prison profits and the US has over 25% of the prison population on this planet.
We live in a country which allows it courts to steal the children of anti-Agenda 21 protesters (e.g. Stacy Lynne). We permit unelected bureaucrats to shut the power and water off for citizens who are legally opting out of the installation of cancer-causing smart meters (e.g. Virginia Farver).
The stories are rampant with regard to government harassment of political opponents through misusing the authority of the IRS. In fact, a person would be hard-pressed to identify even one federal agency that exists to truly serve the needs of the people.
Our skies are chemtrailed with elements such as barium and aluminum and we wonder why our cancer and Alzheimer’s rates are skyrocketing. Our water is fluoridated with IQ-lowering jet fuel. Our children, with structurally developing brains, are massively prescribed methamphetamines for the imaginary illness of ADHD. Our food is poisoned by GMO’s and we don’t have the right to opt out of eating GMO’s because the government allows Monsanto the right to get away without labeling which foods contain GMO’s .
Most concerning is the fact that our military is being turned upside down. Over 260+ senior command officers have been fired by Obama. Why? Because Obama and his handlers plan on purging the public as they have the military and it is obvious that these military leaders will not participate in the coming mass unwarranted arrests and genocidal exterminations of American citizens for holding on to such beliefs as liberty and freedom.
After completing multiple combat tours of duty, our soldiers are drugged, have their guns confiscated and incarcerate at an alarming rate. Our children are committing suicide at an alarming rate.
Our government continues to forge job-killing free trade agreements (e.g. TPP) which ships millions of American jobs out of the country.  As a result, over half of the country is on some time of federal welfare.
Our children are subjected to one curiosity-killing federal education program after another (e.g. Common Core). This has resulted in our student being dead last in the developed world in educational achievement. After decades of these failed programs, our adult population has become dumber than a box of rocks. The globalists have us right where they want us. Fat, dumb and not-so happy.
The biggest insult of all which has been levied against our Republic, is the fact that the total collapse of our economy and ultimately our government, is being led and orchestrated by an illegal alien.
Did you ever believe that you would live in an America where you could be snatched off of the street without any form of due process and secretly held without the hope of having a trial? Did you ever believe that the government could take all of your property and enslave you without any due process of law? Under the NDAA and Executive Order 13603, ownership of your possessions and your freedom has been transferred to the dictatorial mandates of the state.
Most frighteningly, this country has been subjected to one false flag attack after another and the worst is yet to come. But the biggest attack upon American, and all of humanity, is transhumanism. While the elite try and obtain immortality, they are simultaneously seeking to violently reduce the population by any means possible. We are being radiated by Fukushima in conjunction with massive poisoning of ordinary people as detailed in the abovementioned paragraphs.


Americans are playing in a totally rigged game. Anyone who dares question the emerging fascist status quo is labeled and marginalized as a “conspiracy theorist”, as if two bad people would never conspire to do anything wrong.
America needs to engage in its own conspiracy. However, before we can hope to be successful in any resistance movement, we must first and foremost increase our numbers. All fully-aware citizens must become disciples of the truth and you must become obsessed with spreading the word as to what is happening to the United States and our citizens.
I have been studying the tactics of past reformers and trying to judge which tactics might prove most useful in terms of resisting the tyranny which has overrun our country. I would invite your comments to this regard as this will be the topic of part two of this series.
Time is very short, we are literally being poisoned to death and we need to collectively act before it is too late. And I realize that it may already be too late. If this is the case, then at least we have the satisfaction that we died on our feet while resisting tyranny instead of being an accomplice in our own demise.
Credit to Common Sense

War zone Kiev: City center ravaged as anti-govt standoff continues

Six Likely Events That Will Follow an Economic Crash

It’s not too difficult to understand that we are well on our way to a paradigm shift in America; in fact we’re in the midst of it right now. The writing is on the wall and can no longer be ignored.

The US government has run up trillions of dollars in debt, and given the recent debates over the country’s debt ceiling, we can rest assured that neither Congress or the President will act to curtail spending and balance the budget. We will continue adding trillions of dollars to the national debt clock until such time that our creditors no longer lend us money.

From the monetary side, the Federal Reserve’s response to this unprecedented crisis has been to simply “print” more money as is necessary. On top of the trillions in dollars already printed thus far, the Fed continues quantitative easing to the tune of about $80 billion per month. It’s the only arrow left in the Fed’s quiver, because failing to inject these billions into stock markets and banks will lead to an almost instant collapse of the U.S. financial system. Unfortunately, the current strategy is chock full of its own pitfalls, the least of which being the real possibility of a hyperinflationary environment developing over coming months and years.

On Main Street, average Americans have seen their wealth decimated. They’ve lost millions of jobs and homes over the course of the last five years. And if recent reports are any indication, the destruction of the middle class will continue unabated for years to come. The resulting effect is a vicious negative feedback loop that continues to build upon itself. Americans no longer have money (or credit) to spend to prop up the economy, thus more jobs will be lost, leading to more people requiring government assistance for everything from food to shelter.

We are, on every level, facing a collapse of unprecedented scale.

As noted by International Man Jeff Thomas of Casey Research, it’s not that difficult of an exercise to predict what’s coming next:

The number of people whose eyes have been opened seems to be growing, and many of them are asking what the collapse will look like as it unfolds. What will the symptoms be?

Well, the primary events are fairly predictable: they would include major collapses in the bond and stock markets and possible sudden deflation (primarily of assets), followed by dramatic inflation, if not hyperinflation (primarily of commodities), followed by a crash of several major currencies, particularly the euro and the US dollar.

We know a collapse is coming… If you’re paying attention you probably have the distinct feeling that we are in the middle of it right now. And guess what? The government and military know it’s coming too, as evidenced by large-scale simulations of exactly such an event and its fallout.
But the collapse of our financial system, or hyperinflation of our currency, or a meltdown in US Treasuries is only the beginning. We know some or all of these events are all but a foregone conclusion.

What we don’t know is the timing of the trigger event that causes the global panic to ensue and what will happen after these primary events take hold.

According to Jeff Thomas, while we can’t know for sure, the following “secondary events” are the most likely outcomes when the system as we have come to know it destabilizes.

The secondary events will be less certain, but likely: increased unemployment, currency controls, protective tariffs, severe depression, etc.

But, along the way, there will be numerous surprises—actions taken by governments that may be as unprecedented as they would be unlawful. Why? Because, again, such actions are the norm when a government finds itself losing its grip over the people it perceives as its minions. Here are a few:
Travel Restrictions. This will begin with restrictions on foreign travel, including suspension/removal of passports. (This has begun in a small way in both the EU and US.) Later, travel restrictions will be extended within the boundaries of countries (highway checkpoints, etc.)

Confiscation of wealth. The EU has instituted the confiscation of bank accounts, which can be expected to become an international form of governmental theft. This does not automatically mean that other assets, such as precious metals and real estate will also be confiscated, but it does mean that the barrier for confiscation has been eliminated. There is therefore no reason to assume that any asset is safe from any government that approves theft through bail-ins.

Food Shortages. The food industry operates on very small profit margins and survives only as a result of quick payment of invoices. With dramatic inflation, marginal businesses (suppliers, wholesalers, and retailers) will fall by the wayside. The percentage of failing businesses will be dependent upon the duration and severity of the inflationary trend.

Squatters Rebellions. A dramatic increase in the number of home and business foreclosures will result in homelessness for anyone whose debt exceeds his ability to pay—even those who presently appear to be well-off. As numbers rise significantly, a new homeless class will be created amongst the former middle class. As they become more numerous, large scale ownership of property may give way to large scale “possession” of property.

Riots. These will likely happen spontaneously due to the above conditions, but if not, governments will create them to justify their desire for greater control of the masses.

Martial Law. The US has already prepared for this, with the passing of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which many interpret as declaring the US to be a “battlefield.” The NDAA allows the suspension of habeas corpus, indefinite detention, and the assumption that any resident may be considered an enemy combatant. Similar legislation may be expected in other countries that perceive martial law as a solution to civil unrest.

The above list is purposely brief—a sampling of eventualities that, should they occur, will almost definitely come unannounced. As the decline unfolds, they will surely happen with greater frequency.

Full article at Casey Research via The Daily Crux

We could go point by point on this list and provide a plethora of evidence to validate Jeff’s claims, but that would take pages upon pages of references.

The fact is that the US government, for the last decade, has been moving increasingly closer to what can only be described as a police state. With watch lists, militarized police departments, legislative actions, and executive orders the government has already set the stage for these secondary events.

When the system itself is no longer able to support the tens of millions of Americans receiving monthly government assistance, one hiccup could set the whole thing ablaze.

While it can’t be avoided on a national scale, there are advance preparations that individuals and their families can make to, at the very least, insulate themselves from the secondary event triggers. This includes storing essential physical goods and keeping them in your possession. Things like long-term food supplies, barterable goods, monetary goods, self defense armaments and having a well thought out preparedness plan will, if nothing else, provide you with the means necessary to stay out of the way it all hits the fan.

Read more at http://investmentwatchblog.com/after-the-collapse-six-likely-events-that-will-follow-an-economic-crash/#2cXKWZJZTfey4DAY.99

Missing Gold, Mega Default in China, Massive Losses at Deutsche Bank

Lavrov Tells European Leaders to Stay Out of Ukrainian Crisis

The riots began after Ukraine’s parliament hurriedly passed a new package of laws imposing strict limits on protests

MOSCOW, January 21 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused some European governments Tuesday of “indecent” interference in the political crisis in Ukraine.

Lavrov urged European politicians to stop interfering in Ukraine's affairs and fanning the worsening confrontation between the government and opposition demonstrators in the former Soviet state.

“We’d prefer that some of our European colleagues would not act so unceremoniously over the Ukrainian crisis, when without any invitations members of some European governments hurried to Maidan and took part in anti-government demonstrations,” Lavrov told reporters at a news conference, referring to the mass rallies at Kiev's central square.

“It was just indecent,” he said.

Anti-government protests started in Kiev late November when demonstrators occupied the central Independence Square following Kiev’s decision to pull back from economic integration with the European Union in favor of closer trade links with Russia.

The opposition protests have been visited by numerous foreign state officials who have denounced the Ukrainian government’s policy, including the EU’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton last month.

Lavrov said the situation in Kiev was “spinning out of control” as fierce fighting between protesters and riot police continued for a third day on Tuesday.

He suggested that the riots, which began after Ukraine’s parliament hurriedly passed a new package of laws last week imposing strict limits on protests, had been partly influenced from abroad.

Credit to RIA Novosti

The $23 Trillion Credit Bubble In China Is Starting To Collapse

Bubble - Photo by Jeff Kubina

Did you know that financial institutions all over the world are warning that we could see a "mega default" on a very prominent high-yield investment product in China on January 31st?  We are being told that this could lead to a cascading collapse of the shadow banking system in China which could potentially result in "sky-high interest rates" and "a precipitous plunge in credit".  In other words, it could be a "Lehman Brothers moment" for Asia.  And since the global financial system is more interconnected today than ever before, that would be very bad news for the United States as well.  Since Lehman Brothers collapsed in 2008, the level of private domestic credit in China has risen from $9 trillion to an astounding $23 trillion.  That is an increase of $14 trillion in just a little bit more than 5 years.  Much of that "hot money" has flowed into stocks, bonds and real estate in the United States.  So what do you think is going to happen when that bubble collapses?
The bubble of private debt that we have seen inflate in China since the Lehman crisis is unlike anything that the world has ever seen.  Never before has so much private debt been accumulated in such a short period of time.  All of this debt has helped fuel tremendous economic growth in China, but now a whole bunch of Chinese companies are realizing that they have gotten in way, way over their heads.  In fact, it is being projected that Chinese companies will pay out the equivalent ofapproximately a trillion dollars in interest payments this year alone.  That is more than twice the amount that the U.S. government will pay in interest in 2014.
Over the past several years, the U.S. Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank, the Bank of Japan and the Bank of England have all been criticized for creating too much money.  But the truth is that what has been happening in China surpasses all of their efforts combined.  You can see an incredible chart which graphically illustrates this point right here.  As the Telegraph pointed out a while back, the Chinese have essentially "replicated the entire U.S. commercial banking system" in just five years...
Overall credit has jumped from $9 trillion to $23 trillion since the Lehman crisis. "They have replicated the entire U.S. commercial banking system in five years," she said.
The ratio of credit to GDP has jumped by 75 percentage points to 200pc of GDP, compared to roughly 40 points in the US over five years leading up to the subprime bubble, or in Japan before the Nikkei bubble burst in 1990. "This is beyond anything we have ever seen before in a large economy. We don't know how this will play out. The next six months will be crucial," she said.
As with all other things in the financial world, what goes up must eventually come down.
And right now January 31st is shaping up to be a particularly important day for the Chinese financial system.  The following is from a Reuters article...
The trust firm responsible for a troubled high-yield investment product sold through China's largest banks has warned investors they may not be repaid when the 3 billion-yuan ($496 million)product matures on Jan. 31, state media reported on Friday.
Investors are closely watching the case to see if it will shatter assumptions that the government and state-owned banks will always protect investors from losses on risky off-balance-sheet investment products sold through a murky shadow banking system.
If there is a major default on January 31st, the effects could ripple throughout the entire Chinese financial system very rapidly.  A recent Forbes article explained why this is the case...
A WMP default, whether relating to Liansheng or Zhenfu, could devastate the Chinese banking system and the larger economy as well.  In short, China’s growth since the end of 2008 has been dependent on ultra-loose credit first channeled through state banks, like ICBC and Construction Bank, and then through the WMPs, which permitted the state banks to avoid credit risk.  Any disruption in the flow of cash from investors to dodgy borrowers through WMPs would rock China with sky-high interest rates or a precipitous plunge in credit, probably both.  The result?  The best outcome would be decades of misery, what we saw in Japan after its bubble burst in the early 1990s.
The big underlying problem is the fact that private debt and the money supply have both been growing far too rapidly in China.  According to Forbes, M2 in China increased by 13.6 percent last year...
And at the same time China’s money supply and credit are still expanding.  Last year, the closely watched M2 increased by only 13.6%, down from 2012’s 13.8% growth.  Optimists say China is getting its credit addiction under control, but that’s not correct.  In fact, credit expanded by at least 20% last year as money poured into new channels not measured by traditional statistics.
Overall, M2 in China is up by about 1000 percent since 1999.  That is absolutely insane.
And of course China is not the only place in the world where financial trouble signs are erupting.  Things in Europe just keep getting worse, and we have just learned that the largest bank in Germany just suffered " a surprise fourth-quarter loss"...
Deutsche Bank shares tumbled on Monday following a surprise fourth-quarter loss due to a steep drop in debt trading revenues and heavy litigation and restructuring costs that prompted the bank to warn of a challenging 2014.
Germany's biggest bank said revenue at its important debt-trading division, fell 31 percent in the quarter, a much bigger drop than at U.S. rivals, which have also suffered from sluggish fixed-income trading.
If current trends continue, many other big banks will soon be experiencing a "bond headache" as well.  At this point, Treasury Bond sentiment is about the lowest that it has been in about 20 years.  Investors overwhelmingly believe that yields are heading higher.
If that does indeed turn out to be the case, interest rates throughout our economy are going to be rising, economic activity will start slowing down significantly and it could set up the "nightmare scenario" that I keep talking about.
But I am not the only one talking about it.
In fact, the World Economic Forum is warning about the exact same thing...
Fiscal crises triggered by ballooning debt levels in advanced economies pose the biggest threat to the global economy in 2014, a report by the World Economic Forum has warned.
Ahead of next week's WEF annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, the forum's annual assessment of global dangers said high levels of debt in advanced economies, including Japan and America, could lead to an investor backlash.
This would create a "vicious cycle" of ballooning interest payments, rising debt piles and investor doubt that would force interest rates up further.
So will a default event in China on January 31st be the next "Lehman Brothers moment" or will it be something else?
In the end, it doesn't really matter.  The truth is that what has been going on in the global financial system is completely and totally unsustainable, and it is inevitable that it is all going to come horribly crashing down at some point during the next few years.
It is just a matter of time.
Credit to Economic Collapse

The Retail Death Rattle

“I was part of that strange race of people aptly described as spending their lives doing things they detest, to make money they don’t want, to buy things they don’t need, to impress people they don’t like.” - Emile Gauvreau
If ever a chart provided unequivocal proof the economic recovery storyline is a fraud, the one below is the smoking gun. November and December retail sales account for 20% to 40% of annual retail sales for most retailers. The number of visits to retail stores has plummeted by 50% since 2010. Please note this was during a supposed economic recovery. Also note consumer spending accounts for 70% of GDP. Also note credit card debt outstanding is 7% lower than its level in 2010 and 16% below its peak in 2008. Retailers like J.C. Penney, Best Buy, Sears, Radio Shack and Barnes & Noble continue to report appalling sales and profit results, along with listings of store closings. Even the heavyweights like Wal-Mart and Target continue to report negative comp store sales. How can the government and mainstream media be reporting an economic recovery when the industry that accounts for 70% of GDP is in free fall? The answer is that 99% of America has not had an economic recovery. Only Bernanke’s 1% owner class have benefited from his QE/ZIRP induced stock market levitation.
The entire economic recovery storyline is a sham built upon easy money funneled by the Fed to the Too Big To Trust Wall Street banks so they can use their HFT supercomputers to drive the stock market higher, buy up the millions of homes they foreclosed upon to artificially drive up home prices, and generate profits through rigging commodity, currency, and bond markets, while reducing loan loss reserves because they are free to value their toxic assets at anything they please – compliments of the spineless nerds at the FASB. GDP has been artificially propped up by the Federal government through the magic of EBT cards, SSDI for the depressed and downtrodden, never ending extensions of unemployment benefits, billions in student loans to University of Phoenix prodigies, and subprime auto loans to deadbeats from the Government Motors financing arm – Ally Financial (85% owned by you the taxpayer). The country is being kept afloat on an ocean of debt and delusional belief in the power of central bankers to steer this ship through a sea of icebergs just below the surface.
The absolute collapse in retail visitor counts is the warning siren that this country is about to collide with the reality Americans have run out of time, money, jobs, and illusions. The most amazingly delusional aspect to the chart above is retailers continued to add 44 million square feet in 2013 to the almost 15 billion existing square feet of retail space in the U.S. That is approximately 47 square feet of retail space for every person in America. Retail CEOs are not the brightest bulbs in the sale bin, as exhibited by the CEO of Target and his gross malfeasance in protecting his customers’ personal financial information. Of course, the 44 million square feet added in 2013 is down 85% from the annual increases from 2000 through 2008. The exponential growth model, built upon a never ending flow of consumer credit and an endless supply of cheap fuel, has reached its limit of growth. The titans of Wall Street and their puppets in Washington D.C. have wrung every drop of faux wealth from the dying middle class. There are nothing left but withering carcasses and bleached bones.
The impact of this retail death spiral will be vast and far reaching. A few factoids will help you understand the coming calamity:
  • There are approximately 109,500 shopping centers in the United States ranging in size from the small convenience centers to the large super-regional malls.
  • There are in excess of 1 million retail establishments in the United States occupying 15 billion square feet of space and generating over $4.4 trillion of annual sales. This includes 8,700 department stores, 160,000 clothing & accessory stores, and 8,600 game stores.
  • U.S. shopping-center retail sales total more than $2.26 trillion, accounting for over half of all retail sales.
  • The U.S. shopping-center industry directly employed over 12 million people in 2010 and indirectly generated another 5.6 million jobs in support industries. Collectively, the industry accounted for 12.7% of total U.S. employment.
  • Total retail employment in 2012 totaled 14.9 million, lower than the 15.1 million employed in 2002.
  • For every 100 individuals directly employed at a U.S. regional shopping center, an additional 20 to 30 jobs are supported in the community due to multiplier effects.
The collapse in foot traffic to the 109,500 shopping centers that crisscross our suburban sprawl paradise of plenty is irreversible.No amount of marketing propaganda, 50% off sales, or hot new iGadgets is going to spur a dramatic turnaround. Quarter after quarter there will be more announcements of store closings. Macys just announced the closing of 5 stores and firing of 2,500 retail workers. JC Penney just announced the closing of 33 stores and firing of 2,000 retail workers. Announcements are imminent from Sears, Radio Shack and a slew of other retailers who are beginning to see the writing on the wall. The vacancy rate will be rising in strip malls, power malls and regional malls, with the largest growing sector being ghost malls. Before long it will appear that SPACE AVAILABLE is the fastest growing retailer in America.
The reason this death spiral cannot be reversed is simply a matter of arithmetic and demographics. While arrogant hubristic retail CEOs of public big box mega-retailers added 2.7 billion retail square feet to our already over saturated market, real median household income flat lined. The advancement in retail spending was attributable solely to the $1.1 trillion increase (68%) in consumer debt and the trillion dollars of home equity extracted from castles in the sky, that later crashed down to earth. Once the Wall Street created fraud collapsed and the waves of delusion subsided, retailers have been revealed to be swimming naked. Their relentless expansion, based on exponential growth, cannibalized itself, new store construction ground to a halt, sales and profits have declined, and the inevitable closing of thousands of stores has begun. With real median household income 8% lower than it was in 2008, the collapse in retail traffic is a rational reaction by the impoverished 99%. Americans are using their credit cards to pay their real estate taxes, income taxes, and monthly utilities, since their income is lower, and their living expenses rise relentlessly, thanks to Bernanke and his Fed created inflation.
The media mouthpieces for the establishment gloss over the fact average gasoline prices in 2013 were the second highest in history. The highest average price was in 2012 and the 3rd highest average price was in 2011. These prices are 150% higher than prices in the early 2000′s. This might not matter to the likes of Jamie Dimon and Jon Corzine, but for a middle class family with two parents working and making 7.5% less than they made in 2000, it has a dramatic impact on discretionary income. The fact oil prices have risen from $25 per barrel in 2003 to $100 per barrel today has not only impacted gas prices, but utility costs, food costs, and the price of any product that needs to be transported to your local Wally World. The outrageous rise in tuition prices has been aided and abetted by the Federal government and their doling out of loans so diploma mills like the University of Phoenix can bilk clueless dupes into thinking they are on their way to an exciting new career, while leaving them jobless in their parents’ basement with a loan payment for life.

The laughable jobs recovery touted by Obama, his sycophantic minions, paid off economist shills, and the discredited corporate legacy media can be viewed appropriately in the following two charts, that reveal the false storyline being peddled to the techno-narcissistic iGadget distracted masses. There are 247 million working age Americans between the ages of 18 and 64. Only 145 million of these people are employed. Of these employed, 19 million are working part-time and 9 million are self- employed. Another 20 million are employed by the government, producing nothing and being sustained by the few remaining producers with their tax dollars. The labor participation rate is the lowest it has been since women entered the workforce in large numbers during the 1980′s. We are back to levels seen during the booming Carter years. Those peddling the drivel about retiring Baby Boomers causing the decline in the labor participation rate are either math challenged or willfully ignorant because they are being paid to be so. Once you turn 65 you are no longer counted in the work force. The percentage of those over 55 in the workforce has risen dramatically to an all-time high, as the Me Generation never saved for retirement or saw their retirement savings obliterated in the Wall Street created 2008 financial implosion.
To understand the absolute idiocy of retail CEOs across the land one must parse the employment data back to 2000. In the year 2000 the working age population of the U.S. was 213 million and 136.9 million of them were working, a record level of 64.4% of the population. There were 70 million working age Americans not in the labor force. Fourteen years later the number of working age Americans is 247 million and only 144.6 million are working. The working age population has risen by 16% and the number of employed has risen by only 5.6%. That’s quite a success story. Of course, even though median household income is 7.5% lower than it was in 2000, the government expects you to believe that 22 million Americans voluntarily left the labor force because they no longer needed a job. While the number of employed grew by 5.6% over fourteen years, the number of people who left the workforce grew by 31.1%. Over this same time frame the mega-retailers that dominate the landscape added almost 3 billion square feet of selling space, a 25% increase. A critical thinking individual might wonder how this could possibly end well for the retail genius CEOs in glistening corporate office towers from coast to coast.
This entire materialistic orgy of consumerism has been sustained solely with debt peddled by the Wall Street banking syndicate.The average American consumer met their Waterloo in 2008. Bernanke’s mission was to save bankers, billionaires and politicians. It was not to save the working middle class. You’ve been sacrificed at the altar of the .1%. The 0% interest rates were for Jamie Dimon and Lloyd Blankfein. Your credit card interest rate remained between 13% and 21%. So, while you struggle to pay bills with your declining real income, the Wall Street bankers are again generating record profits and paying themselves record bonuses. Profits are so good, they can afford to pay tens of billions in fines for their criminal acts, and still be left with billions to divvy up among their non-prosecuted criminal executives.
Bernanke and his financial elite owners have been able to rig the markets to give the appearance of normalcy, but they cannot rig the demographic time bomb that will cause the death and destruction of our illusory retail paradigm. Demographics cannot be manipulated or altered by the government or mass media. The best they can do is ignore or lie about the facts. The life cycle of a human being is utterly predictable, along with their habits across time. Those under 25 years old have very little income, therefore they have very little spending. Once a job is attained and income levels rise, spending rises along with the increased income. As the person enters old age their income declines and spending on stuff declines rapidly. The media may be ignoring the fact that annual expenditures drop by 40% for those over 65 years old from the peak spending years of 45 to 54, but it doesn’t change the fact. They also cannot change the fact that 10,000 Americans will turn 65 every day for the next sixteen years. They also can’t change the fact the average Baby Boomer has less than $50,000 saved for retirement and is up to their grey eye brows in debt.
With over 15% of all 25 to 34 year olds living in their parents’ basement and those under 25 saddled with billions in student loan debt, the traditional increase in income and spending is DOA for the millennial generation. The hardest hit demographic on the job front during the 2008 through 2014 ongoing recession has been the 45 to 54 year olds in their peak earning and spending years. Combine these demographic developments and you’ve got a perfect storm for over-built retailers and their egotistical CEOs.
The media continues to peddle the storyline of on-line sales saving the ancient bricks and mortar retailers. Again, the talking head pundits are willfully ignoring basic math. On-line sales account for 6% of total retail sales. If a dying behemoth like JC Penney announces a 20% decline in same store sales and a 20% increase in on-line sales, their total change is still negative 17.6%. And they are still left with 1,100 decaying stores, 100,000 employees, lease payments, debt payments, maintenance costs, utility costs, inventory costs, and pension costs. Their future is so bright they gotta wear a toe tag.
The decades of mal-investment in retail stores was enabled by Greenspan, Bernanke, and their Federal Reserve brethren. Their easy money policies enabled Americans to live far beyond their true means through credit card debt, auto debt, mortgage debt, and home equity debt. This false illusion of wealth and foolish spending led mega-retailers to ignore facts and spread like locusts across the suburban countryside. The debt fueled orgy has run out of steam. All that is left is the largest mountain of debt in human history, a gutted and debt laden former middle class, and thousands of empty stores in future decaying ghost malls haunting the highways and byways of suburbia.
The implications of this long and winding road to ruin are far reaching. Store closings so far have only been a ripple compared to the tsunami coming to right size the industry for a future of declining spending. Over the next five to ten years, tens of thousands of stores will be shuttered. Companies like JC Penney, Sears and Radio Shack will go bankrupt and become historical footnotes. Considering retail employment is lower today than it was in 2002 before the massive retail expansion, the future will see in excess of 1 million retail workers lose their jobs. Bernanke and the Feds have allowed real estate mall owners to roll over non-performing loans and pretend they are generating enough rental income to cover their loan obligations. As more stores go dark, this little game of extend and pretend will come to an end. Real estate developers will be going belly-up and the banking sector will be taking huge losses again. I’m sure the remaining taxpayers will gladly bailout Wall Street again. The facts are not debatable. They can be ignored by the politicians, Ivy League economists, media talking heads, and the willfully ignorant masses, but they do not cease to exist.
“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” –Aldous Huxley
Credit to Zero Hedge