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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

It Begins: Council On Foreign Relations Proposes That "Central Banks Should Hand Consumers Cash Directly"

... A broad-based tax cut, for example, accommodated by a program of open-market purchases to alleviate any tendency for interest rates to increase, would almost certainly be an effective stimulant to consumption and hence to prices. Even if households decided not to increase consumption but instead re-balanced their portfolios by using their extra cash to acquire real and financial assets, the resulting increase in asset values would lower the cost of capital and improve the balance sheet positions of potential borrowers. A money-financed tax cut is essentially equivalent to Milton Friedman's famous "helicopter drop" of money
      - Ben Bernanke, Deflation: Making Sure "It" Doesn't Happen Here, November 21, 2002
A year ago, when it became abundantly clear that all of the Fed's attempts to boost the economy have failed, leading instead to a record divergence between the "1%" who were benefiting from the Fed's aritficial inflation of financial assets, and everyone else (a topic that would become one of the most discussed issues of 2014) and with no help coming from a hopelessly broken Congress (who can forget the infamous plea by a desperate Wall Street lobby-funding recipient "Get to work Mr. Chariman"), we wrote that "Bernanke's Helicopter Is Warming Up."
The reasoning was very simple: in a country (and world) drowning with debt, there are only two options to extinguish said debt: inflate it away or default. Anything else is kicking the can while making the problem even worse. Because while the Fed has been successful at recreating the world's biggest asset bubble (in history), it has failed to stimulate broad, "benign" demand-pull inflation as the trickle down effects of its "wealth effect" have failed to materialize 6 years after the launch of the Fed's unconventional monetary policies.
In other words, a world stuck in the last phase before complete Keynesian collapse, had no choice but to gamble "all in" with the last and only bluff it had left before admitting the economic system it had labored under, one which has borrowed so extensively from the future to fund the present that there is no future left, has failed.
The only question left was when would the trial balloons for such monetary paradrops start to emerge.
We now know the answer, and it is today.
Moments ago a stunning article appearing in the "Foreign Affaird" publication of the influential and policy-setting Council of Foreign Relations, titled "Print Less but Transfer More: Why Central Banks Should Give Money Directly to the People." 
In it we read the now conventional admission of failure by Keynesians, who however, unwilling to actually admit they have been wrong, urge the even more conventional solution: do more of the same that has lead to the current financial cataclysm, only in this case the authors advocate no longer pretending that the traditional monetary channels work but to, literally, paradrop money. To wit:
To some extent, low inflation reflects intense competition in an increasingly globalized economy. But it also occurs when people and businesses are too hesitant to spend their money, which keeps unemployment high and wage growth low. In the eurozone, inflation has recently dropped perilously close to zero. And some countries, such as Portugal and Spain, may already be experiencing deflation. At best, the current policies are not working; at worst, they will lead to further instability and prolonged stagnation.

Governments must do better. Rather than trying to spur private-sector spending through asset purchases or interest-rate changes, central banks, such as the Fed, should hand consumers cash directly. In practice, this policy could take the form of giving central banks the ability to hand their countries’ tax-paying households a certain amount of money. The government could distribute cash equally to all households or, even better, aim for the bottom 80 percent of households in terms of income.Targeting those who earn the least would have two primary benefits. For one thing, lower-income households are more prone to consume, so they would provide a greater boost to spending. For another, the policy would offset rising income inequality.
A third, and most important outcome, would be the one we have forecast from the beginning of this ridiculous central bank experiment: "hyperinflation" (which is not simply runaway inflation as it is often incorrectly designated -  it is outright evisceration of the prevailing monetary system), which has been avoided for now, but which is inevitable in a world in which only the wholesale destruction of the fiat reserve currency is the one option left to inflate away the debt overhang.
So without further ado, here is the first official trial balloon - the article that one day soon will be seen as the canary in the paradropmine, and the piece that will finally get the rotor of Bernanke's, now Yellen's infamous helicopter finally spinning. Highlights ours:
Print Less but Transfer More: Why Central Banks Should Give Money Directly to the People
From Foreign Affairsby Mark Blyth and Eric Lonergan
In the decades following World War II, Japan’s economy grew so quickly and for so long that experts came to describe it as nothing short of miraculous. During the country’s last big boom, between 1986 and 1991, its economy expanded by nearly $1 trillion. But then, in a story with clear parallels for today, Japan’s asset bubble burst, and its markets went into a deep dive. Government debt ballooned, and annual growth slowed to less than one percent. By 1998, the economy was shrinking.
That December, a Princeton economics professor named Ben Bernanke argued that central bankers could still turn the country around. Japan was essentially suffering from a deficiency of demand: interest rates were already low, but consumers were not buying, firms were not borrowing, and investors were not betting. It was a self-fulfilling prophesy: pessimism about the economy was preventing a recovery. Bernanke argued that the Bank of Japan needed to act more aggressively and suggested it consider an unconventional approach: give Japanese households cash directly. Consumers could use the new windfalls to spend their way out of the recession, driving up demand and raising prices.
As Bernanke made clear, the concept was not new: in the 1930s, the British economist John Maynard Keynes proposed burying bottles of bank notes in old coal mines; once unearthed (like gold), the cash would create new wealth and spur spending. The conservative economist Milton Friedman also saw the appeal of direct money transfers, which he likened to dropping cash out of a helicopter. Japan never tried using them, however, and the country’s economy has never fully recovered. Between 1993 and 2003, Japan’s annual growth rates averaged less than one percent.
Today, most economists agree that like Japan in the late 1990s, the global economy is suffering from insufficient spending, a problem that stems from a larger failure of governance. Central banks, including the U.S. Federal Reserve, have taken aggressive action, consistently lowering interest rates such that today they hover near zero. They have also pumped trillions of dollars’ worth of new money into the financial system. Yet such policies have only fed a damaging cycle of booms and busts, warping incentives and distorting asset prices, and now economic growth is stagnating while inequality gets worseIt’s well past time, then, for U.S. policymakers -- as well as their counterparts in other developed countries -- to consider a version of Friedman’s helicopter drops. In the short term, such cash transfers could jump-start the economy. Over the long term, they could reduce dependence on the banking system for growth and reverse the trend of rising inequality. The transfers wouldn’t cause damaging inflation, and few doubt that they would work. The only real question is why no government has tried them.
In theory, governments can boost spending in two ways: through fiscal policies (such as lowering taxes or increasing government spending) or through monetary policies (such as reducing interest rates or increasing the money supply). But over the past few decades, policymakers in many countries have come to rely almost exclusively on the latter. The shift has occurred for a number of reasons. Particularly in the United States, partisan divides over fiscal policy have grown too wide to bridge, as the left and the right have waged bitter fights over whether to increase government spending or cut tax rates. More generally, tax rebates and stimulus packages tend to face greater political hurdles than monetary policy shifts. Presidents and prime ministers need approval from their legislatures to pass a budget; that takes time, and the resulting tax breaks and government investments often benefit powerful constituencies rather than the economy as a whole. Many central banks, by contrast, are politically independent and can cut interest rates with a single conference call. Moreover, there is simply no real consensus about how to use taxes or spending to efficiently stimulate the economy.
Steady growth from the late 1980s to the early years of this century seemed to vindicate this emphasis on monetary policy. The approach presented major drawbacks, however. Unlike fiscal policy, which directly affects spending, monetary policy operates in an indirect fashion. Low interest rates reduce the cost of borrowing and drive up the prices of stocks, bonds, and homes. But stimulating the economy in this way is expensive and inefficient, and can create dangerous bubbles -- in real estate, for example -- and encourage companies and households to take on dangerous levels of debt.
That is precisely what happened during Alan Greenspan’s tenure as Fed chair, from 1997 to 2006: Washington relied too heavily on monetary policy to increase spending. Commentators often blame Greenspan for sowing the seeds of the 2008 financial crisis by keeping interest rates too low during the early years of this century. But Greenspan’s approach was merely a reaction to Congress’ unwillingness to use its fiscal tools. Moreover, Greenspan was completely honest about what he was doing. In testimony to Congress in 2002, he explained how Fed policy was affecting ordinary Americans:
"Particularly important in buoying spending [are] the very low levels of mortgage interest rates, which [encourage] households to purchase homes, refinance debt and lower debt service burdens, and extract equity from homes to finance expenditures. Fixed mortgage rates remain at historically low levels and thus should continue to fuel reasonably strong housing demand and, through equity extraction, to support consumer spending as well."
Of course, Greenspan’s model crashed and burned spectacularly when the housing market imploded in 2008. Yet nothing has really changed since then. The United States merely patched its financial sector back together and resumed the same policies that created 30 years of financial bubbles. Consider what Bernanke, who came out of the academy to serve as Greenspan’s successor, did with his policy of “quantitative easing,” through which the Fed increased the money supply by purchasing billions of dollars’ worth of mortgage-backed securities and government bonds. Bernanke aimed to boost stock and bond prices in the same way that Greenspan had lifted home values. Their ends were ultimately the same: to increase consumer spending.
The overall effects of Bernanke’s policies have also been similar to those of Greenspan’s. Higher asset prices have encouraged a modest recovery in spending, but at great risk to the financial system and at a huge cost to taxpayers. Yet other governments have still followed Bernanke’s lead. Japan’s central bank, for example, has tried to use its own policy of quantitative easing to lift its stock market. So far, however, Tokyo’s efforts have failed to counteract the country’s chronic underconsumption. In the eurozone, the European Central Bank has attempted to increase incentives for spending by making its interest rates negative, charging commercial banks 0.1 percent to deposit cash. But there is little evidence that this policy has increased spending.
China is already struggling to cope with the consequences of similar policies, which it adopted in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. To keep the country’s economy afloat, Beijing aggressively cut interest rates and gave banks the green light to hand out an unprecedented number of loans. The results were a dramatic rise in asset prices and substantial new borrowing by individuals and financial firms, which led to dangerous instability. Chinese policymakers are now trying to sustain overall spending while reducing debt and making prices more stable. Like other governments, Beijing seems short on ideas about just how to do this. It doesn’t want to keep loosening monetary policy. But it hasn’t yet found a different way forward.
The broader global economy, meanwhile, may have already entered a bond bubble and could soon witness a stock bubble. Housing markets around the world, from Tel Aviv to Toronto, have overheated. Many in the private sector don’t want to take out any more loans; they believe their debt levels are already too high. That’s especially bad news for central bankers: when households and businesses refuse to rapidly increase their borrowing, monetary policy can’t do much to increase their spending. Over the past 15 years, the world’s major central banks have expanded their balance sheets by around $6 trillion, primarily through quantitative easing and other so-called liquidity operations. Yet in much of the developed world, inflation has barely budged.
To some extent, low inflation reflects intense competition in an increasingly globalized economy. But it also occurs when people and businesses are too hesitant to spend their money, which keeps unemployment high and wage growth low. In the eurozone, inflation has recently dropped perilously close to zero. And some countries, such as Portugal and Spain, may already be experiencing deflation. At best, the current policies are not working; at worst, they will lead to further instability and prolonged stagnation.
Governments must do better. Rather than trying to spur private-sector spending through asset purchases or interest-rate changes, central banks, such as the Fed, should hand consumers cash directly. In practice, this policy could take the form of giving central banks the ability to hand their countries’ tax-paying households a certain amount of money. The government could distribute cash equally to all households or, even better, aim for the bottom 80 percent of households in terms of income. Targeting those who earn the least would have two primary benefits. For one thing, lower-income households are more prone to consume, so they would provide a greater boost to spending. For another, the policy would offset rising income inequality.
Such an approach would represent the first significant innovation in monetary policy since the inception of central banking, yet it would not be a radical departure from the status quo. Most citizens already trust their central banks to manipulate interest rates. And rate changes are just as redistributive as cash transfers. When interest rates go down, for example, those borrowing at adjustable rates end up benefiting, whereas those who save -- and thus depend more on interest income -- lose out.
Most economists agree that cash transfers from a central bank would stimulate demand. But policymakers nonetheless continue to resist the notion. In a 2012 speech, Mervyn King, then governor of the Bank of England, argued that transfers technically counted as fiscal policy, which falls outside the purview of central bankers, a view that his Japanese counterpart, Haruhiko Kuroda, echoed this past March. Such arguments, however, are merely semantic. Distinctions between monetary and fiscal policies are a function of what governments ask their central banks to do. In other words, cash transfers would become a tool of monetary policy as soon as the banks began using them.
Other critics warn that such helicopter drops could cause inflation. The transfers, however, would be a flexible tool. Central bankers could ramp them up whenever they saw fit and raise interest rates to offset any inflationary effects, although they probably wouldn’t have to do the latter: in recent years, low inflation rates have proved remarkably resilient, even following round after round of quantitative easing. Three trends explain why. First, technological innovation has driven down consumer prices and globalization has kept wages from rising. Second, the recurring financial panics of the past few decades have encouraged many lower-income economies to increase savings -- in the form of currency reserves -- as a form of insurance. That means they have been spending far less than they could, starving their economies of investments in such areas as infrastructure and defense, which would provide employment and drive up prices. Finally, throughout the developed world, increased life expectancies have led some private citizens to focus on saving for the longer term (think Japan). As a result, middle-aged adults and the elderly have started spending less on goods and services. These structural roots of today’s low inflation will only strengthen in the coming years, as global competition intensifies, fears of financial crises persist, and populations in Europe and the United States continue to age. If anything, policymakers should be more worried about deflation, which is already troubling the eurozone.
There is no need, then, for central banks to abandon their traditional focus on keeping demand high and inflation on target. Cash transfers stand a better chance of achieving those goals than do interest-rate shifts and quantitative easing, and at a much lower cost. Because they are more efficient, helicopter drops would require the banks to print much less money. By depositing the funds directly into millions of individual accounts -- spurring spending immediately -- central bankers wouldn’t need to print quantities of money equivalent to 20 percent of GDP.
The transfers’ overall impact would depend on their so-called fiscal multiplier, which measures how much GDP would rise for every $100 transferred. In the United States, the tax rebates provided by the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008, which amounted to roughly one percent of GDP, can serve as a useful guide: they are estimated to have had a multiplier of around 1.3. That means that an infusion of cash equivalent to two percent of GDP would likely grow the economy by about 2.6 percent. Transfers on that scale -- less than five percent of GDP -- would probably suffice to generate economic growth.
Using cash transfers, central banks could boost spending without assuming the risks of keeping interest rates low. But transfers would only marginally address growing income inequality, another major threat to economic growth over the long term. In the past three decades, the wages of the bottom 40 percent of earners in developed countries have stagnated, while the very top earners have seen their incomes soar. The Bank of England estimates that the richest five percent of British households now own 40 percent of the total wealth of the United Kingdom -- a phenomenon now common across the developed world.
To reduce the gap between rich and poor, the French economist Thomas Piketty and others have proposed a global tax on wealth. But such a policy would be impractical. For one thing, the wealthy would probably use their political influence and financial resources to oppose the tax or avoid paying it. Around $29 trillion in offshore assets already lies beyond the reach of state treasuries, and the new tax would only add to that pile. In addition, the majority of the people who would likely have to pay -- the top ten percent of earners -- are not all that rich. Typically, the majority of households in the highest income tax brackets are upper-middle class, not superwealthy. Further burdening this group would be a hard sell politically and, as France’s recent budget problems demonstrate, would yield little financial benefit. Finally, taxes on capital would discourage private investment and innovation.
There is another way: instead of trying to drag down the top, governments could boost the bottom. Central banks could issue debt and use the proceeds to invest in a global equity index, a bundle of diverse investments with a value that rises and falls with the market, which they could hold in sovereign wealth funds. The Bank of England, the European Central Bank, and the Federal Reserve already own assets in excess of 20 percent of their countries’ GDPs, so there is no reason why they could not invest those assets in global equities on behalf of their citizens. After around 15 years, the funds could distribute their equity holdings to the lowest-earning 80 percent of taxpayers. The payments could be made to tax-exempt individual savings accounts, and governments could place simple constraints on how the capital could be used.
For example, beneficiaries could be required to retain the funds as savings or to use them to finance their education, pay off debts, start a business, or invest in a home. Such restrictions would encourage the recipients to think of the transfers as investments in the future rather than as lottery winnings. The goal, moreover, would be to increase wealth at the bottom end of the income distribution over the long run, which would do much to lower inequality.
Best of all, the system would be self-financing. Most governments can now issue debt at a real interest rate of close to zero. If they raised capital that way or liquidated the assets they currently possess, they could enjoy a five percent real rate of return -- a conservative estimate, given historical returns and current valuations. Thanks to the effect of compound interest, the profits from these funds could amount to around a 100 percent capital gain after just 15 years. Say a government issued debt equivalent to 20 percent of GDP at a real interest rate of zero and then invested the capital in an index of global equities. After 15 years, it could repay the debt generated and also transfer the excess capital to households. This is not alchemy. It’s a policy that would make the so-called equity risk premium -- the excess return that investors receive in exchange for putting their capital at risk -- work for everyone.
As things currently stand, the prevailing monetary policies have gone almost completely unchallenged, with the exception of proposals by Keynesian economists such as Lawrence Summers and Paul Krugman, who have called for government-financed spending on infrastructure and research. Such investments, the reasoning goes, would create jobs while making the United States more competitive. And now seems like the perfect time to raise the funds to pay for such work: governments can borrow for ten years at real interest rates of close to zero.
The problem with these proposals is that infrastructure spending takes too long to revive an ailing economy. In the United Kingdom, for example, policymakers have taken years to reach an agreement on building the high-speed rail project known as HS2 and an equally long time to settle on a plan to add a third runway at London’s Heathrow Airport. Such large, long-term investments are needed. But they shouldn’t be rushed. Just ask Berliners about the unnecessary new airport that the German government is building for over $5 billion, and which is now some five years behind schedule. Governments should thus continue to invest in infrastructure and research, but when facing insufficient demand, they should tackle the spending problem quickly and directly.
If cash transfers represent such a sure thing, then why has no one tried them? The answer, in part, comes down to an accident of history: central banks were not designed to manage spending. The first central banks, many of which were founded in the late nineteenth century, were designed to carry out a few basic functions: issue currency, provide liquidity to the government bond market, and mitigate banking panics. They mainly engaged in so-called open-market operations -- essentially, the purchase and sale of government bonds -- which provided banks with liquidity and determined the rate of interest in money markets. Quantitative easing, the latest variant of that bond-buying function, proved capable of stabilizing money markets in 2009, but at too high a cost considering what little growth it achieved.
A second factor explaining the persistence of the old way of doing business involves central banks’ balance sheets.Conventional accounting treats money -- bank notes and reserves -- as a liability. So if one of these banks were to issue cash transfers in excess of its assets, it could technically have a negative net worth. Yet it makes no sense to worry about the solvency of central banks: after all, they can always print  more money.
The most powerful sources of resistance to cash transfers are political and ideological. In the United States, for example, the Fed is extremely resistant to legislative changes affecting monetary policy for fear of congressional actions that would limit its freedom of action in a future crisis (such as preventing it from bailing out foreign banks). Moreover, many American conservatives consider cash transfers to be socialist handouts. In Europe, which one might think would provide more fertile ground for such transfers, the German fear of inflation that led the European Central Bank to hike rates in 2011, in the middle of the greatest recession since the 1930s, suggests that ideological resistance can be found there, too.
Those who don’t like the idea of cash giveaways, however, should imagine that poor households received an unanticipated inheritance or tax rebate. An inheritance is a wealth transfer that has not been earned by the recipient, and its timing and amount lie outside the beneficiary’s control. Although the gift may come from a family member, in financial terms, it’s the same as a direct money transfer from the government. Poor people, of course, rarely have rich relatives and so rarely get inheritances -- but under the plan being proposed here, they would, every time it looked as though their country was at risk of entering a recession.
Unless one subscribes to the view that recessions are either therapeutic or deserved, there is no reason governments should not try to end them if they can, and cash transfers are a uniquely effective way of doing so. For one thing, they would quickly increase spending, and central banks could implement them instantaneously, unlike infrastructure spending or changes to the tax code, which typically require legislation. And in contrast to interest-rate cuts, cash transfers would affect demand directly, without the side effects of distorting financial markets and asset prices. They would also would help address inequality -- without skinning the rich.
Ideology aside, the main barriers to implementing this policy are surmountable. And the time is long past for this kind of innovation. Central banks are now trying to run twenty-first-century economies with a set of policy tools invented over a century ago. By relying too heavily on those tactics, they have ended up embracing policies with perverse consequences and poor payoffs. All it will take to change course is the courage, brains, and leadership to try something new.
Credit to Zero Hedge


Propaganda Alert: Without National ID card, you may be banned from boarding airplanes in 2016

There is a serious push for a national ID card right now. It is an issue that I think more folks should pay attention to. I know it’s hard with all the mud they are slinging right now, but read this propaganda piece to get Massachusetts residents to buy into a national ID card.

Susan Podziba couldn’t enter a federal building near Washington this month because her driver’s license revealed an unacceptable home state: Massachusetts.

Bay State residents can no longer use their driver’s licenses to get inside some government agencies because the state is one of nine that have not signed on to a federal law called REAL ID. If nothing changes, they will even lose the ability to display their licenses to board a plane.

The REAL ID measure presses states to verify citizenship and update security standards when they issue licenses. Congress intended the act to prevent terrorists who arrive in the country illegally from boarding planes. But officials in Massachusetts and elsewhere have balked at a program they claim costs millions, raises privacy concerns, and infringes on state’s rights.

States face no direct penalty other than the frustration of their citizens.

Some restrictions — such as the one that kept Podziba, a public policy mediator from Brookline, out of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration — began in late July.

Unless the state decides to participate, Massachusetts residents without other identification will find themselves banned from White House tours next year and commercial airplanes as soon as 2016.

Credit to Infowars

Fire and smoke, as heavy shelling hits outskirts of Donetsk

James Foley Video a FAKE According to Experts

Published on Aug 20, 2014:

Here We Go Again Into Iraq


EDITORS NOTE: We now leap forward in this study by Mark Flynn for one last tantalizing entry, based on the upcoming book "Forbidden Secrets of the Labyrinth"

The man whose name was the same as the one who caused the downfall of Troy, Alexander the Great, in a symbolic act of Athenian retribution, went to Troy and sacrificed to the legendary hero, Achilles. He owed his power to the success of his warrior ancestors and their taking of thePalladium, which now resided in the Erechtheum at the Greek Acropolis.
Like his ancestors who had fought at Troy, Alexander would fight on the side of his patron goddess, the goddess who bestowed knowledge and protection to their whole civilization. Alexander the Great, under the aegis of Athena, went on to become the most powerful warrior-ruler the ancient world had ever known. After him, Mithridates, also known as Antioch Epiphanes under the same power, brought the gods of Greece to the very center of the city of God, profaning His Temple.
Both Alexander the Great and Antioch Epiphanes are images of a future type who will ultimately manifest under the Palladium of Athena in our time, from the world power whose base lies at Washington, DC.

The Palladium and the Powers of the Earth

The nature of the Palladium was that throughout ancient history it remained with each powerful nation, but was transferred when another, more dominant nation, took its place. The works of the ancient historians who mention it confirm this.
After the destruction of Troy, the Palladium was transferred to Greece and remained in the Erechtheum at the Acropolis for approximately eight hundred years. Somewhere within a period of fifty years after the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and the formation of the Roman republic, it was moved to the Temple of Vesta in the Roman Forum. Pliny the Elder mentioned it while describing the Roman dictator Lucius Caecilius Metellus (290–221 BC), who had been blinded when he rescued the Palladium from the temple sometime in 241 BC.
Metellus passed his old age, deprived of his sight, which he had lost in a fire, while rescuing the Palladium from the temple of Vesta; a glorious action, no doubt, although the result was unhappy: on which account it is, that although he ought not to be called unfortunate, still he cannot be called fortunate. The Roman people, however, granted him a privilege which no one else had ever obtained since the foundation of the city, that of being conveyed to the senate- house in a chariot whenever he went to the senate: a great distinction, no doubt, but bought at the price of his sight.[ii]
The Romans regarded the Palladium as one of theirpignora imperii, meaning “pledges of rule,” which guaranteed the republic’s continued imperium, the power and command of the empire. Later, the emperor Elagabalus transferred the most sacred Roman relics, including the Palladium, from their respective shrines to his new temple, the Elagabalium:
As soon as he entered the city, however, neglecting all the affairs of the provinces, he established Elagabalus as a god on the Palatine Hill close to the imperial palace; and he built him a temple, to which he desired to transfer the emblem of the Great Mother, the fire of Vesta, the Palladium, the shields of the Salii, and all that the Romans held sacred, purposing that no god might be worshipped at Rome save only Elagabalus.[iii]
There is evidence the Palladium was transferred from Rome to Constantinople in AD 330 by Constantine the Great and buried under the Column of Apollo-Constantine at his Forum.[iv]
At this point in history, the Palladium location references stop. Yet the Palladium exists today as it has always been located at the heart of each respective world power and discerning its location... 
After the fall of the Western Roman empire from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance, the Catholic Church was the central power of all Europe. After the decline of Constantinople, the power of the Church moved back to Italy and was located at the Holy See (Latin: sancta, “holy,” sedes, “seat”) in Rome, known today as the Vatican. It is most likely that the Palladium was taken to Rome some time before AD 1150, when part of the Forum complex was destroyed by a powerful storm.
The word “Vatican” comes from the Roman god Vaticanus, the god of wailing or weeping. It is not well known that the name is a combination of the Latin vātī, meaning a “foreteller, seer, soothsayer, prophet,” and cānus, which means “to shine or be white, hoary.”[vi]
The next great world power was the British, whose empire began its rise to a world colonial supremacy at the time of King Henry VIII of the House of Tudor after breaking ties with the Roman Catholic Church in 1534. The Palladium would have been transferred either to England and kept at the Palace of Placentia or to Westminster Abbey after Henry assumed direct royal control there in 1539. Herodotus writes that the Persian King Xerxes (519–465 BC) was the first to use the phrase that described the British Empire: “the empire on which the sun never sets”: “We shall extend the Persian territory as far as God's heaven reaches. The sun will then shine on no land beyond our borders; for I will pass through Europe from one end to the other” (emphasis added).[vii]
It is possible that the Palladium never left the control of the Catholic Church from the time of its removal from Constantinople until the later part of the nineteenth century. There is evidence during that time [it was under] the protection of the Templar Knights after the First Crusade until King Philip IV ended their order in 1307.



The United States

While much has been written concerning the causes of the Civil War, it cannot be disputed that a major component of the conflict was over who controlled the commerce of the nation. The Civil War was fought over the rights of individual states to maintain their sovereignty over the power of the federal government. In 1860, there was no income tax, and the federal government received most of its revenue through various import tariffs paid by the South, which it used to support commercial and manufacturing industries in the North. The North had a greater representation in Congress and left the South without any control of where the money was spent.
The agricultural South had to import almost all manufactured goods from Europe or be forced buy products from the North. As the North continued to raise taxes on imports, it also gained the power to increase prices on the goods it manufactured. Eventually, the southern state governments decided there would be no resolution to the problem other than secession from the Union. If the South were successful, it would have controlled all of the warm-water ports, which would have severely restricted the ability of the remaining nation to grow economically or militarily.
The resulting war left nearly 750,000 people dead by the time it ended in 1865. Contrary to the laws outlined in the Constitution, at the start of the war, President Abraham Lincoln had unilaterally ordered the blockade of all southern ports, raised a seventy-five-thousand-man- strong militia, and placed a suspension on habeus corpus, the right of a person under arrest to be brought before a judge or into court. As a result, many who merely voiced their objections to the war were branded as disloyal and imprisoned without trial.
The North’s victory was an important necessity in that it consolidated the power of the federal government. As described by Manly Palmer Hall, the Masons established the country in order to complete its destiny “for A PECULIAR AND PARTICULAR PURPOSE known only to the initiated few.”[viii] A southern victory would have destroyed the path to this destiny.

The Palladian Movement

In 1836, on the one hundredth anniversary of George Washington’s birth, the Washington National Monument Society was formed. The Society commissioned Freemason Robert Mills (1781–1855) to come up with a design proposal. Mills also designed the Department of Treasury building and the US Patent Office Building in the likeness of the Parthenon. He proposed to create a massive obelisk. Part of his original plan not included in the final construction was a doorway crowned by a winged sun in the style of an Egyptian Behedeti.[ix]
The project started in 1848 with a stone-laying ceremony overseen by the DC-area Freemasons. Construction continued until 1854, when private donations ran out, and the structure remained unfinished until after the Civil War, when congress provided funding in 1879 and appointed the military and civil engineer, Thomas Lincoln Casey (1831–1896), to supervise the task. In 1884, President Chester Arthur dedicated the completed monument in an elaborate ceremony.
The monument is the largest stone structure in the world and remains the tallest in Washington, DC because of the height restriction imposed in the city by the Heights of Buildings Act of 1910.


When The Palladium Came to Washington?

British scholar and mystic Arthur Edward Waite (1857–1942) wrote about the enigmatic Masonic order known as the Sovereign Council of Wisdom and its involvement with the Palladium:
On the 20th of May, 1737, there was constituted in France the Order of the Palladium, or Sovereign Council of Wisdom, which, after the manner of the androgyne lodges then springing into existence, initiated women under the title of Companions of Penelope. The ritual of this order was published by the Masonic archæologist Ragon, so that there can be no doubt of its existence.… In some way which remains wholly untraceable this order is inferred to have been connected by more than its name with the legendary Palladium of the Knights Templars, well known under the title of Baphomet.… For a period exceeding sixty years we hear little of the legendary Palladium; but in 1801 the Israelite Isaac Long is said to have carried the original Baphomet and the skull of the Templar Grand Master Jacques de Molay from Paris to Charleston in the United States.[x]
The Palladium described by Waite, also under the name “Baphomet”, was thought to have been worshipped by the Templar knights and may have been a Latinized version of the name for Muhammad.[xi] The reference to the Baphomet also appeared in the transcripts from the tortured confessions of the Knights during their purge by King Philip IV in 1307.[xii]
If the object the Templar knights were referring to was in fact the Palladium, they would have been the ones who were responsible for its protection and transfer from Constantinople to the Vatican sometime after the First Crusade, and they would have done their best to obfuscate the fact by describing it in symbolic terms.
The Baphomet can be thought of as a representation of the Palladium described by the Templar knights. They understood the mystery behind the effigy. The image of Athena is replaced by the “horns” with the torch between—in the style of the symbol for Hecate. The crescent moons and Pythagorean pentagram, with its five golden triangles, accentuate this relationship. The gynandromorphic body of the creature is the same as the Attis-Cybele known to the Mithraian cults. The intertwined snakes of the caduceus in the lap of the image mirror the serpent that encircled the pillar of the Palladium.
The Baphomet is a conglomeration of the Mithra cult’s Leontocephaline symbol and the goddess Cybele, but with the lion’s head replaced by a similar reference to the Nachash, the goat god. Its significance is the same, in fact, as the Palladium.
The 33rd-degree Scottish Rite Freemason Albert Pike was rumored to have belonged to the secretive order that was thought to have been founded in Paris in 1737. Although Masons have since declared the existence of the group as fiction, the Western chapter was said to have been located in Charleston, South Carolina, and headed by Pike.[xiv]
The Italian revolutionary and the worldwide director of Illuminized Freemasonry, Giuseppe Mazzini (1805–1872) worked with Pike to form the new society and gave Pike the title “Sovereign Pontiff of Universal Freemasonry.” Pike named the new society the “Order of the New and Reformed Palladian Rite.” He and Mazzini sought to create a supreme Universal Rite of Masonry that would control world Freemasonry and centralize Masons under one supreme master. The penultimate ceremony of the unified society known as the Palladists was the Palladium Rite.
In a letter to Albert Pike in January 1870 concerning the formation of the new society, Mazzini wrote:
We must allow all the federations to continue just as they are, with their systems, their central authorities and their divers modes of correspondence between high grades of the same rite, organized as they are at present, but we must create a supreme rite, which will remain unknown, to which we will call those Masons of high degree whom we shall select. With regard to their brothers in Masonry, these men must be pledged to the strictest secrecy. Through this supreme rite, we will govern all Freemasonry which will become the one international centre, the more powerful because its direction will be unknown.[xv]
This idea of maintaining a select group more secret and yet more powerful than the outer façade was also espoused by Manly P. Hall when he wrote:
Freemasonry is a fraternity within a fraternity—an outer organization concealing an inner brotherhood of the elect…. it is necessary to establish the existence of these two separate and yet interdependent orders, the one visible and the other invisible. The visible society is a splendid camaraderie of “free and accepted” men enjoined to devote themselves to ethical, educational, fraternal, patriotic, and humanitarian concerns. The invisible society is a secret and most august fraternity whose members are dedicated to the service of a mysterious arcannum arcandrum.[xvi]
The website of the Ancient and Primitive Rite of Memphis Misraim, Sovereign Sanctuary for Bulgaria, describes importance of the Palladium Rite:
This rite was to be kept secret at all costs and only a chosen few were selected. The Palladium would be an international alliance of key Masons.… This rite combined the Grand Lodges, Grand Orient, all 99 degrees of Memphiz-Mitzraim, and 33 degrees of the Scottish Rite. Therefore, high-level Freemasonry contains the entire practice of Memphis-Mizraim, and totally controls the separate modern-day Masonic Lodges.[xvii]
Pike fought on the side of the South during the war and was later found guilty of treason and jailed. After Lincoln’s assassination, his fellow Freemason, President Andrew Johnson, pardoned him and met with him at the White House in 1866.
The interruption of the construction of the Washington Monument was timed in accordance to the work that had to be completed concerning the centralization of power in the United States. Albert Pike must have been in possession of the Palladium at the time of its dedication. Consistent with the Palladium’s locations throughout history corresponding with the dominant world power, and in the same manner as it was [clip]... we are set to reveal the location of the Palladium today and the intentions for its use by the Guardians of the [clip]...
[i] Pausanias, 189, 191.
[ii] Pliny the Elder, The Natural History, John Bostock, MD, F. R. S., H. T. Riley, Esq., B. A., ed., Book VII, chapter 45.
[iii] Historia Augusta, Life of Elagabalus, Part 3 (Loab Classical Library, 1924) 113.
[iv] Averil Cameron, The Later Roman Empire (Harvard University Press, 1993)  170.
[v] By Cornelius Gustav Gurlitt 1912; public domain.
[vi] “Vaticanus,” Perseus Digital Library.
[vii] Herodotus, Histories, Book 7 (Polyhmnia), trans. George Rawlinson (1910).
[viii] Hall, Secret Teachings, XC and XCI; emphasis in original.
[ix] Richard G. Carrot, The Egyptian Revival (University of California Press, 1978) plate 33.
[x] Arthur Edward Waite, Devil-Worship in France or the Question of Lucifer (London: George Redway,1896) 31.
[xi] Rosemary Guiley (2008), “Baphomet,” The Encyclopedia of Witches, Witchcraft and Wicca (Infobase). 17–18; ISBN 9781438126845.
[xii] M. Michelet, History of France, Vol. I, trans. G. H. Smith (New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1860) 375.
[xiii] Public domain.
[xiv] Waite.
[xv] Edith Starr Miller, Occult Theocracy: Vol. I (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, May 13, 2009) 208–209.
[xvi] Manly Palmer Hall, “Masonry’s Greatest Philosopher” according to the Scottish Rite Journal, in Lectures on Ancient Philosophy, 433.
[xvii] “2009 Ancient and Primitive Rite of Memphis Misraim,” Sovereign Sanctuary for Bulgaria, https://sites.google.com/site/memphismizraimbg/palladism (retrieved September 28, 2013)

Credit to Raidersnewsupdate.com

America's Fasting-Shrinking Cities...The Next Detroit

Whether Detroit's slumping population was cause or effect (or both) in its demise remains up for discussion; either way, in the ever-more-entitled and ever-less-working world in which we live, a declining population in the face of increasingly promised benefits has only two ends - death (bankruptcy) or taxes. In spite of almost record-low Muni market yields (and spreads), risks remain - just ask the HY market... and these 25 cities have the highest rate of population decline in America.

Bloomberg ranked U.S. cities based on the percentage change in population from 2012 to 2013 and identified the 25 that were shrinking the most.
Only cities with at least 50,000 residents as of 2013 were included. Population estimates were as of July 1 each year. Data were rounded.
Source: Bloomberg
Credit to Zero Hedge

ISIS Origins Revealed

Why The Earthquake Near San Francisco Is Just The Start Of The Shaking In California

Tectonic Plates - Wikipedia
If you thought that the earthquake that struck northern California on Sunday was something, just wait until you see what is coming in the years ahead.  As you will read about below, we live at a time when earthquake activity is dramatically increasing.  This is especially true of the "Ring of Fire" which runs roughly along the outer perimeter of the Pacific Ocean.  Approximately 81 percent of all big earthquakes occur along the Ring of Fire, and the entire west coast of the United States falls within the danger zone.  Over the past few years, we have seen huge earthquake after huge earthquake strike various areas along the Ring of Fire, but up until now the California coastline has mostly been spared.  However, there are indications that this may be about to change in a big way.
Early on Sunday, a 6.1 magnitude earthquake struck the heart of wine country.  It was the largest earthquake to hit northern California in 25 years.  More than 120 people were injured, scores of buildings were damaged and Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency.
It is being projected that the economic loss from this earthquake will exceed a billion dollars.  Since the initial quake, there have been more than 60 aftershocks, and residents are very much hoping that the worst is over.  The following is how the damage caused by the earthquake was described by CNN...
"Everything and everyone in Napa was affected by the quake. My house, along with everybody else's, is a disaster. It looks like somebody broke in and ravaged the place, room by room." said CNN iReporter Malissa Koven, who was awakened by the shaking at about 3:20 a.m.
"Anything and everything that could fall, did," she said.
The damage in Napa is "fairly significant," said Glenn Pomeroy, the CEO of the California Earthquake Authority, who surveyed the area Sunday afternoon.
"The downtown area is hardest hit, probably because of the age of construction down there," Pomeroy said. In the residential areas, he is "seeing a lot of chimneys that've come crashing down."
That sounds pretty bad, right?
But remember, this was only a 6.1 magnitude earthquake.  As Wikipedia explains, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake would be many times more powerful...
The Richter magnitude scale (also Richter scale) assigns a magnitude number to quantify the energy released by an earthquake. The Richter scale is abase-10 logarithmic scale, which defines magnitude as the logarithm of the ratio of theamplitude of the seismic waves to an arbitrary, minor amplitude.
As measured with a seismometer, an earthquake that registers 5.0 on the Richter scale has a shaking amplitude 10 times greater than that of an earthquake that registered 4.0, and thus corresponds to a release of energy 31.6 times greater than that released by the lesser earthquake.
And the earthquake that happened on Sunday would not even be worth comparing to an 8.0 or a 9.0 quake.  In fact, one study concluded that a 9.0 magnitude earthquake along the Cascadia fault could potentially produce a giant tsunami that would "wash away coastal towns"…
If a 9.0 earthquake were to strike along California’s sparsely populated North Coast, it would have a catastrophic ripple effect.
giant tsunami created by the quake would wash away coastal towns, destroy U.S. 101 and cause $70 billion in damage over a large swath of the Pacific coast. More than 100 bridges would be lost, power lines toppled and coastal towns isolated. Residents would have as few as 15 minutes notice to flee to higher ground, and as many as 10,000 would perish.
Scientists last year published this grim scenario for a massive rupture along the Cascadia fault system, which runs 700 miles off shore from Northern California to Vancouver Island.
And when we think about "the Big One" hitting California, most of the time we think about southern California.  The most famous fault line in southern California is the San Andreas fault, but the truth is that many experts are far more concerned about the Puente Hills fault line.  According to one seismologist, that is the fault that would be most likely to "eat L.A." and cause hundreds of billions of dollars in economic damage...
Video simulations of a rupture on the Puente Hills fault system show how energy from a quake could erupt and be funneled toward L.A.'s densest neighborhoods, with the strongest waves rippling to the west and south across the Los Angeles Basin.
According to estimates by the USGS and Southern California Earthquake Center, a massive quake on the Puente Hills fault could kill from 3,000 to 18,000 people and cause up to $250 billion in damage. Under this worst-case scenario, people in as many as three-quarters of a million households would be left homeless.
So don't get too excited about what happened on Sunday.  Scientists assure us that it is only a matter of time before "the Big One" hits California.
In fact, the 6.1 magnitude earthquake that hit northern California on Sunday was not even the largest earthquake along the Ring of Fire this weekend.  According to the U.S. Geological Survey, a 6.4 magnitude earthquake shook the area around Valparaiso, Chile on Saturday and a6.9 magnitude earthquake struck Peru on Sunday.
As I mentioned above, we have moved into a time when seismic activity is steadily rising.  It has gotten to the point where even the mainstream media cannot ignore it anymore.  For example, just check out the following excerpt from a recent CBS News report…
The average rate of big earthquakes — those larger than magnitude 7 — has been 10 per year since 1979, the study reports. That rate rose to 12.5 per yearstarting in 1992, and then jumped to 16.7 per yearstarting in 2010 — a 65 percent increase compared to the rate since 1979. This increase accelerated in the first three months of 2014 to more than double the average since 1979, the researchers report.
Something is happening that scientists don't understand, and that is a little scary.
As I wrote about the other day, earthquake activity seems to particularly be increasing in the United States.  While the west has been relatively quiet, the number of earthquakes in the central and eastern portions of the nation has quintupled over the past 30 years…
According to the USGS, the frequency of earthquakes in the central and eastern U.S. has quintupled, to an average of 100 a year during the 2011-2013 period, up from only 20 per year during the 30-year period to 2000.
Most of these quakes were minor, but research published by the USGS earlier this year demonstrated that a relatively minor magnitude 5.0 quake caused by wastewater injection after conventional oil drilling triggered a much bigger, 5.7 magnitude quake in Prague, Okla.
“We know the hazard has increased for small and moderate size earthquakes. We don’t know as well how much the hazard has increased for large earthquakes. Our suspicion is it has but we are working on understanding this,” said William Ellsworth, a scientist with the USGS.
What in the world could be causing this to happen?
Oklahoma, which used to rarely ever have significant earthquakes, has experienced over 2,300 earthquakes so far in 2014.
That is absolutely staggering.
And of course volcanic activity has been rising all over the planet as well.  In 2013, the number of eruptions around the globe set a new all-time high, and right now persistent rumbling under Iceland's Bardarbunga volcano has much of Europe on alert...
For more than a week the earth has been rumbling beneath Iceland’s looming Bardarbunga volcano. The almost continuous small earthquakes led the government to activate its National Crisis Coordination Centre this week and block off access to the largely uninhabited region around the Bardarbunga caldera.
Major airlines are making contingency plans for a potential eruption that could throw dust into the atmosphere and disrupt flight paths between North America and Europe.
Some scientists are saying that if that volcano erupts, it "could trigger Britain’s coldest winter ever".
Clearly something is happening.
All over the world seismic activity is on the rise.
That means that the shaking in California (and in much of the rest of the world) may soon get a whole lot worse.
So what do you think is causing all of this?  Please share what you think by posting a comment below…
Credit to Economic Collapse