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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Oil Crash Of 2016 Has The Big Banks Running Scared

Running Scared - Public DomainLast time around it was subprime mortgages, but this time it is oil that is playing a starring role in a global financial crisis.  Since the start of 2015, 42 North American oil companies have filed for bankruptcy, 130,000 good paying energy jobs have been lost in the United States, and at this point 50 percent of all energy junk bonds are “distressed” according to Standard & Poor’s.  As you will see below, some of the big banks have a tremendous amount of loan exposure to the energy industry, and now they are bracing for big losses.  And the longer the price of oil stays this low, the worse the carnage is going to get.
Today, the price of oil has been hovering around 29 dollars a barrel, and over the past 18 months the price of oil has fallen by more than 70 percent.  This is something that has many U.S. consumers very excited.  The average price of a gallon of gasoline nationally is just $1.89 at the moment, and on Monday it was selling for as low as 46 cents a gallon at one station in Michigan.
But this oil crash is nothing to cheer about as far as the big banks are concerned.  During the boom years, those banks gave out billions upon billions of dollars in loans to fund exceedingly expensive drilling projects all over the world.
Now those firms are dropping like flies, and the big banks could potentially be facing absolutely catastrophic losses.  The following examples come from CNN
For instance, Wells Fargo (WFC) is sitting on more than $17 billion in loans to the oil and gas sector. The bank is setting aside $1.2 billion in reserves to cover losses because of the “continued deterioration within the energy sector.”
JPMorgan Chase (JPM) is setting aside an extra $124 millionto cover potential losses in its oil and gas loans. It warned that figure could rise to $750 million if oil prices unexpectedly stay at their current $30 level for the next 18 months.
Citigroup is another bank that also has a tremendous amount of exposure
Citigroup (C) built up loan loss reserves in the energy space by $300 million. The bank said the move reflects its view that “oil prices are likely to remain low for a longer period of time.”
If oil stays around $30 a barrel, Citi is bracing for about $600 million of energy credit losses in the first half of 2016. Citi said that figure could double to $1.2 billion if oil dropped to $25 a barrel and stayed there.
For the moment, these big banks are telling the public that the damage can be contained.
But didn’t they tell us the same thing about subprime mortgages in 2008?
We are already seeing bank stocks start to slide precipitously.  People are beginning to realize that these banks are dangerously exposed to a lot of really bad deals.
If the price of oil were to shoot back up above 50 dollars in very short order, the damage would probably be manageable.  Unfortunately, that does not appear likely to happen.  In fact, now that sanctions have been lifted on Iran, the Iranians are planning to flood the world with massive amounts of oil that they have been storing in tankers at sea
Iran has been carefully planning for its return from the economic penalty box by hoarding tons of oil in tankers at sea.
Now that the U.S. and European Union have lifted some sanctions on Iran, the OPEC country can begin selling its massive stockpile of oil.
The sale of this seaborne oil will allow Iran to get an immediate financial boost before it ramps up production. The onslaught of Iranian oil is coming at a terrible time for the global oil markets, which are already drowning in an epic supply glut.
Just the other day, I explained that some of the biggest banks in the world are now projecting that the price of oil could soon fall much, much lower.
Morgan Stanley says that it could go as low as 20 dollars a barrel, the Royal Bank of Scotland says that it could go as low as 16 dollars a barrel, and Standard Chartered says that it could go as low as 10 dollars a barrel.
But the truth is that the price of oil does not need to go down one penny more to have a catastrophic impact on global financial markets.  If it just stays right here, we will see an endless parade of layoffs, energy company bankruptcies  and debt defaults.  Without any change, junk bonds will continue to crash and financial institutions will continue to go down like dominoes.
We are already experiencing a major disaster.  Things are already so bad that some forms of low quality crude oil are literally selling for next to nothing.  The following comes from Bloomberg
Oil is so plentiful and cheap in the U.S. that at least one buyer says it would pay almost nothing to take a certain type of low-quality crude.
Flint Hills Resources LLC, the refining arm of billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch’s industrial empire, said it offered to pay $1.50 a barrel Friday for North Dakota Sour, a high-sulfur grade of crude, according to a corrected list of prices posted on its website Monday. It had previously posted a price of -$0.50. The crude is down from $13.50 a barrel a year ago and $47.60 in January 2014.
While the near-zero price is due to the lack of pipeline capacity for a particular variety of ultra low quality crude, it underscores how dire things are in the U.S. oil patch.
A chart that I saw posted on Zero Hedge earlier today can help put all of this into perspective.  Whenever the price of oil falls really low relative to the price of gold, there is a major global crisis.  Right now an ounce of gold will purchase more oil than ever before, and many believe that this indicates that a new great crisis is upon us…
The number of barrels of oil that a single ounce of gold can buy has never, ever been higher.
Barrels Of Oil Per Ounce Of Gold
All over the planet, big banks are absolutely teeming with bad loans.  And to be honest, the big banks in the U.S. are probably in better shape than some of the major banks in Europe and Asia.  But once the dominoes start to fall, very few financial institutions are going to escape unscathed.
In the coming days I would expect to see more headlines like we just got out of Italy.  Apparently, Italian banks are nearing full meltdown mode, and short selling has been temporarily banned.  To me, it appears that we are just inches away from full-blown financial panic in Europe.
However, just like with the last financial crisis, you never quite know where the next “explosion” is going to happen next.
But one thing is for sure – the financial crisis that began during the second half of 2015 is raging out of control, and the pain that we have seen so far is just the beginning.
Credit to The Economic Collapse

New Film Takes on Archaeological Deniers of Biblical Exodus, Proves Story is Accurate and True

“The LORD said, ‘I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, and have given heed to their cry because of their taskmasters, for I am aware of their sufferings. So I have come down to deliver them from the power of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and spacious land, to a land flowing with milk and honey.’” (Exodus 3:7-8)
One man’s spiritual quest has resulted in a fascinating journey through time and history in search of the truth. When confronted with a religious dilemma, Tim Mahoney, a deeply religious man, began what would become a long and painful voyage in search of the truth. 
Asking questions so many have asked before but have been pushed aside in fear of finding an answer that challenged their faith, Mahoney seeks to answer the ultimate question: Is the Bible, the basis of all Abrahamic religions, true? As fantastic as they sound, could the events that forged the relationship between the Hebrews and God really happen the way they were described in the pages of the Bible? If they did, then where is the proof? 
Mahoney’s quest resulted in what has become a groundbreaking documentary called “Patterns of Evidence: The Exodus,” which seeks to conquer the divide between science and religion by exploring the validity of the Biblical account of the Exodus through archaeological and scientific data. Directed by Mahoney, the film explores the argument set forth by Egyptologists who claim the Exodus, as described in the Bible, never took place due to lack of physical evidence. 
Mahoney’s investigation uncovers that objections to the Biblical version of the Exodus are based on a specific time-line connecting the Hebrews’ presence in Egypt to the reign of Ramses the Second, during the New Kingdom of Egypt. This is based on the verse in the Bible (Exodus 1:11) stating that the Hebrews built the city of Ramses, which archaeologists know existed only during the 13th century BCE. There is no archaeological evidence of Semitic culture in the city,archaeologists say, and therefore the Exodus, despite being a nice parable to base a sermon on, has no factual basis.
Or so they believe. 
Undiscouraged and using the Bible as a guide, Mahoney follows rumors of Semitic remains in the ruins of Avaris, a large city in Northern Egypt that had a population of 30,000. Mahoney became excited when the chief archaeologist at the site, Manfred Bietak, revealed that the city had a special, elevated status, a type of free-zone. This seemed to match the Biblical description of Goshen as being separate from Egypt proper.
“And it shall come to pass, when Pharaoh shall call you, and shall say: What is your occupation? that ye shall say: Thy servants have been keepers of cattle from our youth even until now, both we, and our fathers; that ye may dwell in the land of Goshen; for every shepherd is an abomination unto the Egyptians.’” (Genesis 46:33-34)
Beitak described that proof of shepherding, an unusual practice in Egypt, was found around the remains of Avaris. Mahoney’s spirits dropped when Beitak said that he did not believe that Avaris is connected to the Biblical Exodus. “In my opinion, the settlement of the proto-Israelites in Canaan only happened from the 12th century BCE onwards,” Beitak explained in the documentary, adding that the city was built at least four centuries before the city of Ramses and ending before the Hebrews were thought to have arrived in Egypt.
With one of the world’s top archaeologists entirely rejecting any factual basis for the story of Exodus as described in the Bible, Mahoney was crestfallen, relating his emotions in the movie: “I was stunned…No Israelites in Egypt means no Exodus, and no Exodus means the foundation of Judaism is a myth.” This was a crisis in faith for Mahoney. “All my life I had believed the Bible stories were true. I know some people say, you don’t need any evidence; just have faith. But if there’s no hard evidence for any of it, had I been believing in a lie?”
Mahoney was being faced with prevailing scientific theory denying the basis of his belief. He related to Breaking Israel News how he turned to Professor David Rohl, an Egyptologist, asking him if the archaeologists, historians and scientists were wrong, perhaps even intentionally trying to deny the Bible. Professor Rohl reassured him.
These are honest scholars. What they’re looking at in the ground is what they’re telling us they’re seeing. And they’re not wrong,” he said. “None of them are wrong about this. There is no evidence for the Israelites conquering the Promised Land at the end of the Late Bronze Age. That’s a fact.”
Mahoney understood that it was a matter of timelines. The scientists were looking for Joseph and the Israelites in the time of Ramses, and there was no evidence for this. But the lack of evidence for that timeline was actually a clue hinting that an earlier timeline might be the one proving the truth of the Biblical account. After some persistence and digging, Mahoney learns a new fact that may uncover the connection between Avaris and the Hebrews: Avaris ruins are from a foreign shepherding culture with architecture typical of northern Syria, the home of Abraham.
Mahoney meets with Rohl, who is convinced that Avaris is Biblical Goshen, the area Pharaoh gave to Joseph for the Hebrews to live in. At the site, remains were discovered of a  palace built around 12 pillars with royal trappings. In the land adjacent to the palace were 12 impressive burial crypts. The most elegant crypt was a small pyramid containing an unusually large statue with skin painted yellow, red hair, and a multi-colored robe. Most intriguing was the fact that the crypt contained no human remains. This corresponds to the Biblical account of Joseph’s bones being carried back to Israel when the Jews left Egypt. There are indications that Avaris showed a later period of significant growth and prosperity, with artifacts of Canaanite origin that are clearly not Egyptian. These sites are still largely unexplored.
In another parallel to the Bible, a canal, built during the period of Avaris, still called the Joseph Waterway, connected the Nile to the Fayum Basin. Rohl suggested that it was constructed under the direction of Joseph in order to regulate the Nile flooding.
Mahoney also investigated the Bible’s claim that everyone in Egypt sold themselves to Pharaoh during the famine. Mahoney spoke with Egyptologist Bryant Wood about a period during the reign of Amenemhat in 1850 BCE, when Egypt switched from districts with wealthy local leaders to a period when Pharaoh became much more powerful and the local district leaders were subjugated. Rohl explained that, despite this conforming to the Biblical narrative, this is far too early for the traditional timeline of the Exodus based on Ramses in 1250 BCE. 
Later periods of the dig in Avaris show graves containing skeletons with signs of malnutrition and stress. Even more shocking is an increase in infant graves, from a typical 25 percent rate to 50 percent, and an increase in the remains of females who made it into adulthood as compared to male remains. So the reduction seems to have happened on the male side, precisely as described in the Bible.
Rohl brings the Brooklyn Papyrus as further proof. The papyrus documents the domestic accounts of an Egyptian household. Nearly 100 slaves, predominantly female, are listed with Semitic names. This papyrus is not from the New Kingdom when most Egyptologists place the Hebrews in Egypt, but from the Middle Kingdom.
Mahoney then goes to the Dutch Museum in Leiden to investigate the Ipuwer Papyrus, a single page from 1250 BCE which is a copy of another papyrus from the 18th century BCE.  The earlier document records details of events that corroborate the Biblical version, describing the Nile as “blood” and servants running away. It describes a famine and the destruction of all the crops: “Plague sweeps the land, death is everywhere”. In a verse almost identical to the Bible, the papyrus states, “Wailing is throughout the land…yet the poor become rich, slaves take whatever they want.”  Nonetheless, any connection between the Ipuwer papyrus and the Exodus is discounted by archaeologists, because it comes from the Middle Kingdom, far too early according to classical theories.

Patterns of Evidence: The Exodus” is a comprehensive investigation, sifting through details, considering all possibilities. The movie is fascinating and enormously informative, while at the same time well-crafted and enjoyable. An investigation of an archaeological theory, it is also the account of an honest struggle by a man of faith to reconcile these two seemingly contradictory worlds.
As director Tim Mahoney said to Breaking Israel News: In 2002, I began a long journey to find out if the Exodus events recorded in Bible were a historical reality. To do that I used the scientific approach of looking for patterns of evidence. I was just searching for answers which meant I had to be willing to challenge the traditions of both the religious and academic community. But isn’t that what the pursuit of both science and faith should be – a search for truth?”
Credit to breakingisraelnews.com
Read more at http://www.breakingisraelnews.com/59404/new-film-takes-archaeological-deniers-biblical-exodus-proves-story-accurate-true-biblical-zionism/#0Y2e1stSkpt3xAgs.99

U.S. researchers now growing human organs inside animals to be sacrificed for transplants

Image result for U.S. researchers now growing human organs inside animals to be sacrificed for transplants

Just when you think the world can't get any more bizarre, it does.

Case in point: the latest in "let's play Mother Nature" news, is that United States researchers now have their sights set on growing human organs ... inside farm animals. Oh, but it gets better. The point of all of this? It's to then take the Franken-organs and use them for transplant procedures, despite the fact that not enough is known about this. As a result, there are lots of folks with Island of Dr. Moreau movie thoughts.

At the very least, ethical concerns abound.


Talk about inter-species dilemmas, ethical boundaries being pushed, and of course, a distinct departure from Mother Nature unfolding as it should: without humans severely interfering, and ultimately compromising life, every step of the way.

The plan involves growing human tissue inside the likes of pigs and sheep, so that livers, hearts and other organs can be created and used for transplants. Such injections of cells from one species into the embryo of another creates mixtures that are referred to as "chimeras." In the case of incubating human organs in farm animals, human-animal chimeras are created.(1)

The NIH's stance: not funding these Franken-efforts

The eyebrow-raising technique has drawn criticism from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), who just a few months ago, reversed their previously-held decision about such methods. A September 2015 announcement by NIH said that, "The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is informing the research community that it will not fund research in which human pluripotent cells are introduced into non-human vertebrate animal pre-gastrulation stage embryos while the Agency considers a possible policy revision in this area." The agency goes on to say that, "NIH will not consider requests for administrative supplements or revisions to any grants or modification to R&D contracts that include costs for or involve research introducing human pluripotent cells into non-human vertebrate animal pre-gastrulation stage embryos. Ongoing NIH awards will be addressed with the awardees on a case-by-case basis."(1,2)

The NIH, therefore, has made it clear that they frown on the idea across the board, ranging from current research funding requests and contract proposals which are pending submission, to peer reviewed competing applications. It was the discovery that such efforts were occurring from other funding sources (including a $1.4 million grant from the U.S. Army that will focus on growing human hearts in swine), that spurred the NIH to make such declarations.(1,2)

Researchers pressing forward despite 'negativity towards all chimerism studies'

In particular, three research teams are said to be involved with human-animal chimera efforts (two in California and one from the University of Minnesota). Despite there not being any published scientific papers touting these teams' so-called successes, MIT Technology Review believes that approximately 20 pregnancies of pig-human or sheep-human chimeras have taken place over the past year in the United States. However, none of these animals have been brought to term.(1)

As you might guess, human-animal chimera advocates are scratching their heads over the NIH's funding decisions, most notably in a letter touting the benefits of growing human organs in farm animals. The letter, penned by several university professionals, including Daniel Garry, a cardiologist who leads a chimera project at the University of Minnesota, states, "By eliminating federal funding for this research, the NIH casts a shadow of negativity towards all chimerism studies regardless of whether human cells are involved." The letter appeared in Science magazine, where the authors also state their collective belief that such efforts are essential for learning purposes, including gaining an understanding of disease, development and therapeutic discoveries.(3)

Image result for modern chimera

Animals with human hair and human intelligence on the horizon?

On the flip side, are those who fear that some of these animals might end up taking on behaviors and physical characteristics that are eerily representative of humans. We're talking about animals with a close to human-like thinking ability, or perhaps ending up with patches of human hair. "We are not near the island of Dr. Moreau, but science moves fast," says NIH ethicist David Resnik. However, the says that, "The specter of an intelligent mouse stuck in a laboratory somewhere screaming 'I want to get out' would be very troubling to people." The scenario he presents is worrisome to many people, although Hiromitsu Nakauchi says he's not concerned.

Nakauchi is a stem-cell biologist at Stanford University who has attempted to make human-sheep chimeras. The picture painted by Resnik, he feels, is an over-exaggeration. "If the extent of human cells is 0.5 percent," he says, "it's very unlikely to get thinking pigs or standing sheep. But if it's large, like 40 percent, then we'd have to do something about that."

Credit to 

Learn more:  http://www.naturalnews.com/052700_human-animal_chimeras_genetic_research_ethics.html#ixzz3xnlYNK2n

John Williams-Dollar Takes Significant Hit

Markets In TurmOIL: Futures Plunge, Japan Enters Bear Market, Crude And Commodity Currencies Crash

It all started early last night when the front month oil contract dipped below $28 giving a taste of what was to come. It was all downhill from there.
First Chinese stocks ended the recent ramp higher, with the Shanghai Composite closing down 1% back under 3000, then Japan's rout accelerated with both the Nikkei (-3.7%) and the Topix Index sinking into bear markets, both falling more than 20% from their 2015 highs.
The rout then spilled over to Europe, where the Stoxx 600 is down 3% to the lowest level in 13 months, and finally making landfall in the US where the E-mini is down 1.8%, trading at 1840, meanwhile WTI is back under $28 while the USDJPY plunged to a one year low and barely rebounded despite an attempt at verbal intervention when an unknown Japanese government source said they are "closely watching currency movements", which lead to a 100 pip spike in the pair that was promptly faded. 
In sum: the world is on the verge of a global bear market, exacerbated by an ongoing earnings deterioration which has sent the MSCI gauge of global equities to the brink of a bear market. But the biggest driver remains oil whose slump to a new 12-year low is ripping through markets. Just on Wednesday, Royal Dutch Shell Plc said profit may drop at least 42 percent in the fourth quarter. U.S. bonds now predict the slowest inflation since May 2009. 
Commodity currencies were slammed with Russia’s ruble and Mexico’s peso falling to record lows, while bets mounted on an end to Hong Kong’s dollar peg. 
Saudi Arabia also launched capital controls when it was reported overnight that it had ordered a halt to Riyal forward option trades.
Yields on 10-year Treasuries dropped below 2 percent and the yen jumped to a one-year high.
“It’s back to oil and that’s what is driving everything at the moment,” Barra Sheridan, a rates trader at Bank of Montreal in London told Bloomberg. “We can easily run more because it’s pure fear. I don’t know what we need to change this sentiment.”
Well a central bank intervention or two would help. For now, this is where the "running" has taken global assets as of moments ago:
  • S&P 500 futures down 1.8% to 1840
  • Stoxx 600 down 3% to 323
  • FTSE 100 down 2.9% to 5706
  • DAX down 3.1% to 9361
  • German 10Yr yield down 6bps to 0.49%
  • Italian 10Yr yield up 2bps to 1.57%
  • Spanish 10Yr yield down 2bps to 1.69%
  • MSCI Asia Pacific down 2.8% to 117
  • Nikkei 225 down 3.7% to 16416
  • Hang Seng down 3.8% to 18886
  • Shanghai Composite down 1% to 2977
  • US 10-yr yield down 9bps to 1.97%
  • Dollar Index down 0.12% to 98.87
  • WTI Crude futures down 2.8% to $27.65
  • Brent Futures down 2.2% to $28.12
  • Gold spot up 0.7% to $1,094
  • Silver spot up 0.5% to $14.10

Credit to Zero Hedge

Two Farming Experts Predict Massive American Food Shortages

adams homeless food

Cliff Harris has been making accurate predictions about farming and food trends for over 40 years. Ed Petrowski has been farming the fields of Pratt, Kansas for decades. I had both men on show this past Sunday night to present to the world a farmer’s perspective on what is happening with our food supply.
cbs reports on hunger in americaOne of the more stunning trends that both men pointed out was the fact that over 15% of American farmers will leave the business this year because of extreme government intrusion. They both said that there will be an extreme food shortage as a result. In fact, they both said there would be a food crisis in the United States anyway. And as Cliff Harris, a climatologist pointed out, there would be a food shortage anyway due to extreme weather changes.
This was an one hour interview, where I probably did not say 100 words. I wanted the listening public to listen to two prominent men in field of farming about what is really happening to the American food supply instead of reading the lies contained in various government reports.
Listen to this stunning interview by clicking here.

Credit to Common Sense

Farage: A contagion is spreading across Europe

Huge Increase In U.S. Families Preparing For Catastrophe As “Prepping” Goes Mainstream

PreppingPrevention, in this case, means making sure that one is ready to face events in which the essentials for survival are not available at the local supermarket and where the supply of power or water is no longer something that can be taken for granted. In recent years, many Americans have become entirely dependent on the government, while others remember the lessons learned by those who came before them. 

So, while the rest of the world may be tempted to view preppers as a source of amusement or the object of derision and suspicion, there may come a day when it becomes painfully evident that these “wackos” were right all along. And in true American fashion, these will be the ones who can survive and be able to impart the value of self-reliance to future generations.

Credit Skywatchtv.com

Gold Price in Russian Rubles