Submitted by Martin Armstrong via ArmstrongEconomics,
All governments had better open their eyes for we are on the brink of a major convergence between both the Cycle of Civil Unrest, Civil War & Revolution and International War. Both of these models converge and as I pointed out at the Cycles of War Conference, this is the first time we have seen this convergence since the 1700s.
This is no plain modern event with civil unrest erupting because of an interconnected world. These are grassroots uprisings cross-fertilized perhaps from a world contagion yet they often have similarities – corrupt governments. Turkey, Ukraine, Thailand, Venezuela and Bosnia-Herzegovina are all middle-income democracies with elected leaders besieged by people angry at misgovernment, corruption and economic sclerosis. These days it is no longer just dictators who have something to fear from the crowd. This is the promise of Marxism that centralized planning and false promises are coming home and governments are too corrupt and incompetent to deliver what they have claimed for decades.
Communism is dead. The socialistic agendas that have lined the pockets of government and filled the coffers of banks is over. The national debts are on average composed of 70% interest payments not programs to help the poor as marketed. The debts that keep growing with no intent upon paying anyone back are draining the national productivity and turning the people into economic slaves. The standard of living has declined and it now takes two incomes to survive where one use to be just fine. Women won the right to work and lost the right to stay home.
The promises that you save for the future have collapsed into dust as interest rates have been driven lower making savings utterly worthless. There is no such thing as saving and living off your fixed income. The elderly are being driven back into the work force and the whole ideas that a generation believed in are vanishing before their eyes.
So it is no longer communists and dictators that are the targets. All governments are now the targets and when the economy turns down after 2015.75, the threat of civilization will be pulled apart by the self-interest of politicians clinging to power to the detriment of the people.
Mar 27, 2014 – 10:44 AM GMT
The leaders of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, Sen. Tim Johnson (D., S.D.) and Sen. Mike Crapo (R., Idaho), released a draft bill on Sunday that would provide explicit government guarantees on mortgage-backed securities (MBS) generated by privately-owned banks and financial institutions. The gigantic giveaway to Wall Street would put US taxpayers on the hook for 90 percent of the losses on toxic MBS the likes of which crashed the financial system in 2008 plunging the economy into the deepest slump since the Great Depression. Proponents of the bill say that new rules by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) –which set standards for a “qualified mortgage” (QM)– assure that borrowers will be able to repay their loans thus reducing the chances of a similar meltdown in the future. However, those QE rules were largely shaped by lobbyists and attorneys from the banking industry who eviscerated strict underwriting requirements– like high FICO scores and 20 percent down payments– in order to lend freely to borrowers who may be less able to repay their loans. Additionally, a particularly lethal clause has been inserted into the bill that would provide blanket coverage for all MBS (whether they met the CFPB’s QE standard or not) in the event of another financial crisis. Here’s the paragraph:
“Sec.305. Authority to protect taxpayers in unusual and exigent market conditions….
If the Corporation, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors and the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, determine that unusual and exigent circumstances threaten mortgage credit availability within the U.S. housing market, FMIC may provide insurance on covered securities that do not meet the requirements under section 302 including those for first loss position of private market holders.” (“Freddie And Fannie Reform – The Monster Has Arrived”, Zero Hedge)
In other words, if the bill passes, US taxpayers will be responsible for any and all bailouts deemed necessary by the regulators mentioned above. And, since all of those regulators are in Wall Street’s hip-pocket, there’s no question what they’ll do when the time comes. They’ll bailout they’re fatcat buddies and dump the losses on John Q. Public.
If you can’t believe what you are reading or if you think that the system is so thoroughly corrupt it can’t be fixed; you’re not alone. This latest outrage just confirms that the Congress, the executive and all the chief regulators are mere marionettes performing whatever task is asked of them by their Wall Street paymasters.
Tuesday, 25 March 2014 08:02 JC Collins
This article was written by JC Collins and originally published at PhilosophyOfMetrics.com
With March quickly coming to an end it appears there will be no passage of supporting legislation in Congress for the IMF 2010 Quota and Governance Reforms.
On Friday, the House of Representatives introduced a new aid bill for Ukraine which did not include the reforms. An earlier version of the bill did in fact include the reforms.
We are entering into a situation where the G20 countries have told the United States that they have until the Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting on April 10th and 11th to enact the required supporting legislation for the IMF Reforms.
This meeting is being held in Washington and it will certainly be a few days to remember.
Let’s recall that the G20 countries have stated that they will take aggressive measures to by-pass the United States and its veto power over the IMF Executive Board by the April meeting.
Let’s recall that Russia has threatened to dump its US Treasury Bonds and begin settling trade in other currencies other than the US dollar. As many have predicted, this will be the death of the petrodollar and reserve currency status of the American dollar.
America has but a few weeks to enter into multilateral agreements with the rest of the world and show its willingness to become part of a more balanced and centralized financial system. The financial power of the rest of the world has created a situation for the US where it is collapse or consolidation.
While not paying attention to the obvious sovereign debt crisis the US will have the moment the dollars status is removed, television pundits and government officials will talk America into a corner by saying that they will not be financially held hostage to the whims and desires of corrupt financial institutions which are now controlled by a consortium of special interests.
Like Nixon taking the dollar off its 30% gold peg in 1971, the American people will never be told the truth of why and how international economics has given them a post WW2 life style with the reserve status of the dollar, and how that same lifestyle and image will now be reduced as the reserve currency status is shifted to the centralized SDR system.
America is playing a dangerous game where it thinks that the level of Treasury debt being held in the foreign account reserves of other countries will protect it from a debt default. The consensus is that if the US dollar collapses so will the foreign assets of other countries. As such, its in the best interest of all countries to keep the dollar alive.
One can’t help but wonder if the simplicity of this argument is injected into the social collective to enforce the forthcoming deniability of American administration officials. There is way too much focus put on this component of the US debt and bond issue. How easy would it be for the rest of the world, represented by a disgruntled G20 and International Monetary Fund to aggressively restructure the US debt into the SDR bond allocation and composition system, while using the Bank for International Settlements as the clearing house for all transactions?
One can only think of such historical paradigm shifts as the Versailles Treaty and the end of the Ottoman Empire.
The US dollar will be removed from its current status as primary reserve currency and the world will move towards a centralized SDR system. Of this there is little doubt. When even China and Russia are calling for the implementation of this very same system, and resource rich countries like Canada and Australia also supporting the IMF restructuring, not to mention currency swap agreements with China and the establishment of renminbi trading hubs, the transition becomes imminent.
America will cry victim. It has become the hostage to a world which it held hostage since 1944. It’s karma has come full circle.
By Simon Black Sovereign Man
March 25, 2014
Sovereign Valley Farm, Chile
By the 19th century, the Ottoman Empire had become a has-been power whose glory days as the world’s superpower were well behind them.
They had been supplanted by the French, the British, and the Russian empires in all matters of economic, military, and diplomatic strength. Much of this was due to the Ottoman Empire’s massive debt burden.
In 1868, the Ottoman government spent 17% of its entire tax revenue just to pay interest on the debt.
And they were well past the point of no return where they had to borrow money just to pay interest on the money they had already borrowed.
The increased debt meant the interest payments also increased. And three years later in 1871, the government was spending 32% of its tax revenue just to pay interest.
By 1877, the Ottoman government was spending 52% of its tax revenue just to pay interest. And at that point they were finished. They defaulted that year.
This is a common story throughout history.
The French government saw a meteoric rise in their debt throughout the late 1700s. By 1788, on the eve of the French Revolution, they spent 62% of their tax revenue to pay interest on the debt.
Charles I of Spain had so much debt that by 1559, interest payments exceeded ordinary revenue of the Habsburg monarchy. Spain defaulted four times on its debt before the end of the century.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that an unsustainable debt burden soundly tolls the death knell of a nation’s economy, and its government.
Unfortunately, it can sometimes take a rocket scientist to figure out what the real numbers are; governments have a vested interest in not being transparent about their debts and interest payments.
In the Land of the Free, for example, the government routinely doesn’t count interest payments that they make to the Social Security Trust Fund.
They’ve managed to convince people that those debts don’t matter ‘because we owe it to ourselves.’
Apparently in their minds, solemn promises made to retirees simply don’t count.
It’s like a person who is in debt up to his eyeballs with both credit card companies and family members has no compunction about stiffing Grandpa.
Obligations are obligations, no matter who they’re owed to.
Taking this into account, total US interest payments in Fiscal Year 2013 were a whopping $415 billion, roughly 17% of total tax revenue. Just like the Ottoman Empire was at in 1868.
Here’s the thing, though– it’s inappropriate to look at total tax revenue when we’re talking about making interest payments.
The IRS collected $2.49 trillion in taxes last year (net of refunds). But of this amount, $891 billion was from payroll tax.
According to FICA and the Social Security Act of 1935, however, this amount is tied directly to funding Social Security and Medicare. It is not to be used for interest payments.
Based on this data, the amount of tax revenue that the US government had available to pay for its operations was $1.599 trillion in FY2013.
This means they actually spent approximately 26% of their available tax revenue just to pay interest last year… a much higher number than 17%.
This is an unbelievable figure. The only thing more unbelievable is how masterfully they understate reality… and the level of deception they employ to conceal the truth.
March 22nd, 2014
If you are an observer of the goings-on in the world and how the political, administrative and business elite operate, you have likely come to the conclusion that the whole situation is mind-boggling.
Millions of hard working Americans and our counterparts around the world alike sit at the very brink of an unprecedented economic collapse orchestrated by the financial and economic machinations of the privileged few. They speak of belt tightening, the need for sacrifices and often mandate extreme taxation, promising that these strategies will make life better for everyone. Yet, while we struggle to put food on the table and keep roofs over our heads they enjoy lavish multi-million dollar vacations, state dinners, and unfathomable wealth as they indenture the rest of us and our progeny to lifetimes of servitude.
On the political front, leaders from the United States, Europe, China, Russia, Iran and just about every other nation on earth often speak of cooperation and are nominated for the highest of peace honors, while behind the scenes they mobilize armies and spew rhetoric whose outcome can only lead to widespread conflict. They seem completely devoid of consideration for the billions of lives that will be affected should the world, once again, be thrust into war.
At every turn the people are being deceived and led to slaughter like sheep.
In his most recent commentary Charlie McGrath of Wide Awake News puts things into perspective, warning that it is these very behaviors of the elite and the apathy of the American people that will invariably lead to America’s apocalyptic demise:
By Douglas J. Hagmann
22 March 2014: I wrote about it nearly one year ago to the day. The Obama agenda is to simply “kill the U.S. dollar,” where the ultimate objective is to implement an international currency in tandem with a system of global governance. Some people laughed, saying it was hype. Others held a death grip onto their normalcy bias, saying it was not possible. Exactly a year later, the stage is being set for the murder of the U.S. dollar. This is a process that has been long in the planning, and is no accident, nor is it a result of the amateurish handling of our economic affairs by the Obama regime or the last few presidential administrations. It is a deliberate process, covered by the fog of the geopolitical machinations between the U.S., Russia and the controlling power elite.
The U.S. dollar is now exhibiting signs of cheyne-stoking, as it is in its last phase of life. It is obvious not only by “Old Yellen’s” lipstick-to-pig process, but by the actions of Russia in response to our caliphate building process in the Levant and Eastern Europe. It is asymmetrical warfare at the highest of levels, as Putin knows the sting created by the deliberate destruction of the Ruble from years ago.
Those who don’t yet understand what is taking place may be enlightened by rereading my article from March 30, 2013, which contains information given to me by an intelligence insider and is actively taking place as I write this. For the current state of our economic affairs, Tyler Durden of Zero hedge explains the active process well in his article “Petrodollar alert: Putin Prepares to Announce Holy Grail Gas Deal with China.” While the eyes of the world are transfixed in thousand yard stares at their televisions in a new reality show involving the disappearance of a Boeing 777, our wealth is being plundered.
This is all part of a process that ties together seemingly disparate events such as the Arab Spring, the take-over of Libya, the continued attempts to destabilize Syria, and, of course, our meddling in Ukraine. All of these events are interrelated, as are the so-called “banker deaths,” which are obviously much more. One simply has to step back and look at the big picture to understand exactly how we are being led into a global governance of wealth confiscation, redistribution and financial bondage.
Many have wondered why the federal government needs all of the ammunition and military style equipment on the streets of America. When people suddenly realize that they have no more retirement or savings left and no way to sustain themselves, it will get ugly. Some will be convinced that it was all a series of unfortunate misdeed, or some cosmic accident that Americans and those who trade with the U.S. dollar are unable to buy food, gas and other necessities. In reality, however, it was all planned long ago. Soon, we’ll see the effects of those plans.
Warning: Some viewers may find this information disturbing as they are awakened from their slumber.
The Russians pulled their Treasury bonds out of New York. And Russian corporations are pulling their money out of US banks. These are key signs that the dollar and the current US puppet government could collapse long before the 2016 elections. The dollar could never survive the sanctions Obama and Kerry are threatening. If we are lucky, President Putin of Russia and President XI Jinping of China, are too busy laughing at John Kerry to pay attention. It is not in China’s interest to force America into bankruptcy before China has squeezed every last gold bar out of US and London vaults. Their goal is to replace the dollar as the world’s reserve currency with a gold backed yuan.
America is on the verge of collapse. The occupying Power of the Bankers has bled us dry with their wars and their Ponzi schemes. They have stolen tens of trillions of dollars from our pensions and savings and sent it overseas. The Bankers are financially prepared if the dollar is collapsed when their puppet President imposes sanctions on Russia or makes some other strategic blunder in June of 2014 or maybe March 2015.
The dollar might survive past April of this year. But it might not. The dollar might even last a few months. But I don’t see how this precarious Dollar Bubble could possibly last until the next President takes office in January of 2017.
I have written of the clash between the Russo-Chinese alliance and the New World Order. But I do acknowledge that the West’s 30 families like the Rothschilds have extensive holdings inside Russia and China.
March 20th, 2014
Now may be the best time to buy a home. At least that’s what the majority of real estate agents in America will tell you if you ask them how the housing market is doing.
They’ll cite various statistics and give you a “feel” for the market from their personal experiences to convince you this is the case. But if you’re paying attention, then it should be clear that there is, in fact, no recovery in the housing sector. And any gains we may have seen over the last few years are nothing short of a Federal Reserve fueled mirage, much like the stock market.
The following chart from Bank of America is indicative of some serious fundamental problems, not just with the housing market, but the broader economy as a whole.
If you ask the experts they’ll give a host of reasons for why sales are down, as well as prognostications for why the real estate market is about to turn the corner and head back to new highs.
The weather, of course, is always to blame for lackluster sales in homes and consumer products, and that, apparently, is the case once again. But the National Association of Realtors has, for the first time ever, indicated that there is another key challenge facing home buyers.
Student debt appears to be a factor in the weak level of first-time buyers.
“The biggest problems for first-time buyers are tight credit and limited inventory in the lower price ranges,” he said. “However, 20 percent of buyers under the age of 33, the prime group of first-time buyers, delayed their purchase because of outstanding debt. In our recent consumer survey, 56 percent of younger buyers who took longer to save for a downpayment identified student debt as the biggest obstacle.”
Brown notes the survey results are for recent homebuyers. “It’s clear there are other people who would like to buy a home that are not in the market because of debt issues, so we can expect a lingering impact of delayed home buying,” Brown added.