Category: Global Economy

Corporations Are Defaulting On Their Debts Like It’s 2008 All Over Again

Corporations Are Defaulting On Their Debts Like It’s 2008 All Over Again
By Michael Snyder, on April 18th, 2016
The Dow closed above 18,000 on Monday for the first time since July. Isn’t that great news? I truly wish that it was. If the Dow actually reflected economic reality, I could stop writing about “economic collapse” and start blogging about cats or football. Unfortunately, the stock market and the economy are moving in two completely different directions right now. Even as stock prices soar, big corporations are defaulting on their debts at a level that we have not seen since the last financial crisis. In fact, this wave of debt defaults have become so dramatic that even USA Today is reporting on it…
Get ready to step over some landmines, investors. The number of companies defaulting on their debt is hitting levels not seen since the financial crisis, and it’s not just a problem for bondholders.
So far this year, 46 companies have defaulted on their debt, the highest level since 2009, according to S&P Ratings Services. Five companies defaulted this week, based on the latest data available from S&P Ratings Services. That includes New Jersey-based specialty chemical company Vertellus Specialties and Ohio-based iron ore producer Cliffs Natural. Of the world’s defaults this year, 37 are of companies based in the U.S.
Meanwhile, coal producer Peabody Energy (BTU) and surfwear seller Pacific Sunwear (PSUN) this week filed plans for bankruptcy protection. Shares of Peabody have dropped 97% over the past year to $2 a share and Pacific Sunwear stock is off 98% to 4 cents a share.
A lot of big companies in this country have fallen on hard times, and it looks like bankruptcy attorneys are going to be absolutely swamped with work for the foreseeable future.
So why are stock prices soaring right now? After all, it doesn’t seem to make any sense whatsoever.
And it isn’t just a few bad apples that we are talking about. All across the spectrum, corporate revenues and corporate earnings are down. At this point, earnings for companies on the S&P 500 have plunged a total of 18.5 percent from their peak in late 2014, and it is being projected that corporate earnings overall will be down 8.5 percent for the first quarter of 2016 compared to one year ago.
As earnings decline, a lot of big companies are getting into trouble with debt, and we have already seen a very large number of corporate debt downgrades. In recent interviews, I have been bringing up the fact that the average rating on U.S. corporate debt has now fallen to “BB”, which is already lower than it was at any point during the last financial crisis.
A lot of people don’t seem to believe me when I share that fact, but it is absolutely true.
One of the big reasons why corporate debt is being downgraded is because a lot of these big companies have been going into enormous amounts of debt in order to buy back their own stock. The following comes from Wolf Richter…
Downgrades ascribed to “shareholder compensation,” as Moody’s calls share buybacks and dividends, have been soaring, according to John Lonski, Chief Economist at Moody’s Capital Markets Research. The moving 12-month sum of Moody’s credit rating downgrades of US companies, jumped from 32 in March 2015, to 48 in December 2015, and to 61 in March 2016, nearly doubling within a year.
The last time the number of downgrades attributed to financial engineering reached 61 was in early 2007. It would hit its peak of 79 in mid- 2007, a few months before the beginning of the Great Recession in Q4 2007. At the time, stocks were on the verge of commencing their epic crash.
When corporations go into the market and buy back their own stock, they are slowly cannibalizing themselves. But we have seen these stock buybacks soar to record levels for a couple of reasons. Number one, big investors want to see stock prices go up, and so big investors tend to really like these stock buybacks and will generally support corporate executives that wish to engage in doing this. Number two, if you are a greedy corporate executive that is heavily compensated by stock options, you very much want to see the stock price go up as well.
So the name of the game is greed, and stock buybacks have been fueling much of the rise in U.S. stock prices that we have been seeing recently.
However, the truth is that nothing in the financial world lasts forever, and this irrational bubble will ultimately come to an end as well.
Earlier today, I am across an article that included a comment from Michael Hartnett of Bank of America Merrill Lynch. He believes that there are a lot of parallels between what is happening today and the period of time that immediately preceded the bursting of the dotcom bubble…
Back then, as could be the case today, a bull market & a US-led economic recovery was rudely interrupted by a crisis in Emerging Markets. The crisis threatened to hurt Main Street via Wall Street (the Nasdaq fell 33% between Jul-Oct 1998, when [Long-Term Capital Management] went under). Policy makers panicked and monetary policy was eased (with hindsight unnecessarily). Fresh liquidity combined with apocalyptic investor sentiment very quickly morphed into a violent but narrow equity bull market/bubble in 1998/99, one which ultimately took valuations & interest rates sharply higher to levels that eventually caused a “pop”.
Like Hartnett, I definitely believe that a major “pop” is on the way, although I would like for it to be delayed for as long as possible.
Someday we will look back on these times with utter amazement. It has been absolutely incredible how the financial markets have been able to defy economic reality for so long.
But they can’t do it forever, and according to a brand new CNN survey Americans are becoming increasingly pessimistic about where the real economy is heading…
In a new CNNMoney/E*Trade survey of Americans who have at least $10,000 in an online trading account, over half (52%) gave the U.S. economy as a “C” grade. Another 15% rated the economy a “D” or “F.”
This gloom persists despite the fact that the stock market is on the upswing again. The Dow topped 18,000 Monday for the first time since July 2015.
If some Americans think that the U.S. economy deserves a “D” or an “F” grade right now, just wait until they see what is in our immediate future.
Personally, I give our economy an “A” for being able to maintain our unsustainable debt-fueled standard of living for as long as it has. Somehow we have managed to consume far more than we produce for decades, and the largest debt bubble in the history of the planet just keeps getting bigger and bigger and bigger.
Of course we are very much living on borrowed time at this point, but I truly hope that the bubble economy can keep going for at least a little while longer, because nobody should want to see what is coming afterwards.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=7900

Will April 19th Events Lead To Summer Chaos? CEO Of JPMorgan Chase Has Ominous Warning For America Of Economic Tragedy On Horizon

‘If We Get Lulled Into A False Sense Of Security, It’s Going To Be Too Late’

By Stefan Stanford – All News Pipeline – Live Free Or Die

Less than 2 weeks ago, ANP told you that there are more and more signs of ‘coming mayhem’ with nearly 1 out of every 3 Americans now unable to cover basic necessities. The story from Michael Snyder over at the Economic Collapse Blog tells us that global leaders across the planet are beginning to panic as the reality of the global collapse happening now begins to set in. Telling us that we’re only now beginning to witness the “opening chapters of a crushing economic crisis that will affect every man, woman and child in the entire world”, Snyder continues to break down the signs that the mainstream media is now just beginning to cover, and for once actually using the term ‘economic collapse’, at least to describe what’s now happening in South America.

According to two CEO’s of major US companies including insider Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase, economic tragedy is surely on the horizon. CEO Keith Neumeyer, one of the world’s top primary silver producers First Majestic Silver and the Chairman of mineral bank firm First Mining Finance, tells SGT Report, “there’s going to be a major revolt” and “we could well see riots in the streets” in the 2nd video . Neumeyer’s warning combined with a new SQAlert from the website of Steve Quayle republished below could be huge indicators of future stress and unrest in the financial world as China has announced a gold-backed yuan to be unveiled April 19th. Combined with warnings of ‘elite blood sacrifices’ for this period of time offer Americans another opportunity to be prepared for absolutely anything to happen.

With the final months of Barack Obama’s presidency combined with the chaotic politics we’re now seeing within both the Democratic and Republican parties as well as emergency meetings undertaken between Obama, Biden, members of the Federal Reserve and elitist bankers from around the world, we feel that we’re near that boiling point where absolutely anything is possible. As past history during this time period indicates, a false flag or something horrific is a possibility any time in the near future into this summer and through the November election. The new SQAlert.:

HEADS UP ON THE 19TH – CHINA HAS ANNOUNCED GOLD BACKED YUAN ON THIS DATE, WILL THIS ANNOUNCEMENT SYNC, WITH ALL THE WARNINGS CONCERNING PENDING TERROR ATTACKS?
THE TENSION BEHIND THE SCENES BETWEEN THE U.S. AND CHINA IS BUILDING AND THIS MAY BE THE REASON FOR THE EMERGENCY MEETING BETWEEN OBAMA AND BIDEN TODAY WITH JANET YELLEN. CONSIDER IF YOU WILL THE OUTCOME OF THE CHINESE GOLD BACKED YUAN WHEN CHINA RELEASES THEIR TRUE GOLD HOARD NUMBERS TO THE WORLD AND ALLOW INDEPENDENT AUDIT. REAL WORLD NUMBERS, OF THOSE IN THE KNOW ESTIMATE BETWEEN 19-29 THOUSAND TONS! STRATEGIC DECEPTION BY THE CHINESE IN STATING VERY LOW NUMBERS OF TONNAGE HAVE ENABLED THEM TO ACQUIRE GOLD AND SILVER AT HISTORICALLY LOW PRICES OVER THE LAST 5 YEARS – THE U.S. HAS NO GOLD RESERVES ANY LONGER TO MATCH THE CHINESE – COUPLED WITH ALL THE APRIL 19TH EVENTS SOMETHING HAS CHANGED LAST NIGHT IN THE OVERSEAS GOLD AND SILVER MARKETS – COULD WE BE FACED WITH A MASSIVE US DOLLAR DEVALUATION COUPLED WITH ORCHESTRATED TERROR EVENTS IN SPECIFIC WORLD CITIES INCLUDING THE UNITED STATES? I AM GOING LONG TODAY, MEANING BUYING ADDITIONAL PHYSICAL METALS, AND EVEN IF THE PAPER MARKET SHORTS SELL THEIR PAPER GOLD AND SILVER TO SKIM THE LAST PROFITS POSSIBLE, THERE WILL COME A TIME AFTER SUCH ANNOUNCEMENT WHERE LESS AND LESS PHYSICAL METALS ARE AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE – WHEN THE AMERICAN PUBLIC FINALLY GETS IT – IT WILL BE TOO LATE – CALL US AT 406-586-4840 AND GET WHAT YOU CAN AFFORD WHILE YOU CAN – STEVE
As Gary Franchi of the Next News Network tells us in the 1st video below, Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase has just issued a very ominous warning to America and the world of ‘economic tragedy’ upon the horizon. As Franchi drives into our head, the fact that a major CEO of a financial institution is telling us that economic tragedy is imminent is something that we need to take heed of….”if we get lulled into a false sense of security, it’s going to be too late.”
Over at Zero Hedge we have several recent stories including a warning from Bill Dudley, the President of the extremely powerful New York Federal Reserve Bank that ‘the American dream has left the house and gone abroad’ just the latest concrete sign of where this is all headed while another Zero Hedge story tells us that the problems that we face are unfixable. We also learn from Zero Hedge and the former Chief Economist with the IMF that Japan’s economic endgame scenario is now in play. How long before the same thing is happening here?

It may soon be too late for the msm to admit what’s happening here in America and the western world as the rich have begun fleeing Chicago amid racial strife and the city turning into a ‘crime infested hellhole’ according to this story at The Daily Sheeple. Will America ever see any real change? As we learn in the final video below featuring Bill Holter with Future Money Trends, “when control is lost, world markets will crash in 24 hours.” We’re also warned why we need precious metals if we’re to weather that coming storm: “Gold and silver is God’s money” we are told.
As SGT Report echos, there is no incentive for them to change the system except for the time when people actually do reach their boiling point and start to march in the streets because they’ve been thrown under the bus for much too long.
And when those riots do start, just as Zero Hedge previously reported during the Greek riots, the price of physical precious metals versus the bank manipulated paper prices will skyrocket. In 2010 the price difference between the two was as high as 40% above the paper spot price as Greeks scrambled for real money in the midst of their country’s collapse.
Things will be no different in America when a jobless, hungry, and marginalized majority takes to the streets. When that comes to pass we will see the real value of physical silver and gold emerge, and you can be almost certain that it will be significantly higher than the suppressed paper prices the banks want us to believe.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=7892

Economic Collapse Is Erupting All Over The Planet As Global Leaders Begin To Panic

By Michael Snyder, on April 10th, 2016
Mainstream news outlets are already starting to use the phrase “economic collapse” to describe what is going on in some areas of our world right now. For many Americans this may seem a bit strange, but the truth is that the worldwide economic slowdown that began during the second half of last year is starting to get a lot worse. In this article, we are going to examine evidence of this from South America, Europe, Asia and North America. Once we are done, it should be obvious that there is absolutely no reason to be optimistic about the direction of the global economy right now. The warnings of so many prominent experts are now becoming a reality, and what we have witnessed so far are just the early chapters of a crushing economic crisis that will affect every man, woman and child in the entire world.
Let’s start with Brazil. It has the 7th largest economy on the entire planet, and it is already enduring its worst recession in 25 years. In fact, at the end of last year Goldman Sachs said that what was going on down there was actually a “depression“.
But now the crisis in Brazil has escalated significantly.
I want to share with you an excerpt from a recent article entitled “Brazil: Economic collapse worse than feared“. I know, that title sounds like it comes directly from The Economic Collapse Blog, but I didn’t write it.
It actually comes from CNN…
Amid political chaos, Brazil’s economic collapse is worse than its government once believed.
In the midst of rising calls to impeach President Dilma Rousseff, Brazil’s central bank announced Thursday that it now expects the country’s economy to shrink 3.5% this year.
That’s worse than the central bank’s previous estimate for a 1.9% contraction. The darker forecast matches what the International Monetary Fund projected for Brazil — Latin America’s largest country — and what many independent economists have suspected.
It is one thing for Michael Snyder to tell you that Brazil is in the midst of “economic collapse”, but it is another thing entirely for CNN to say it.
And of course I have been warning about the crisis down in Brazil for quite some time now. For much more on this, please see my previous article entitled “The Economic Collapse Of South America Is Well Underway“.
Meanwhile, things are actually much worse in Venezuela than they are in Brazil. Food and basic supplies are in short supply, the inflation rate has hit 720 percent, and crime is completely out of control.
The following is from an article in the Independent entitled “Venezuela is on the brink of complete economic collapse“…
The only question now is whether Venezuela’s government or economy will completely collapse first.
The key word there is “completely.” Both are well into their death throes. Indeed, Venezuela’s ruling party just lost congressional elections that gave the opposition a veto-proof majority, and it’s hard to see that getting any better for them any time soon — or ever.
Incumbents, after all, don’t tend to do too well when, according to the International Monetary Fund, their economy shrinks 10 percent one year, an additional 6 percent the next, and inflation explodes to 720 percent. It’s no wonder, then, that markets expect Venezuela to default on its debt in the very near future. The country is basically bankrupt.
Once again we see a very respected mainstream publication using the phrase “economic collapse” to describe what is happening in South America.
You can find some stunning video of the “economic Armageddon” that is taking place in Venezuela right here. I would encourage you to watch that video, because what is happening down there will eventually be happening here.
Meanwhile, over in Europe the collapse of the Italian banking system has entered a disturbing new chapter. Italy’s finance minister has called a meeting in Rome for Monday that will be focusing on a “last resort” bailout plan for the troubled banks…
Finance minister Pier Carlo Padoan has called a meeting in Rome on Monday with executives from Italy’s largest financial institutions to agree final details of a “last resort” bailout plan.
Yet on the eve of that gathering, concerns remain as to whether the plan will be sufficient to ringfence the weakest of Italy’s large banks, Monte dei Paschi di Siena, from contagion, according to people involved in the talks.
Italian bank shares have lost almost half their value so far this year amid investor worries over a €360bn pile of non-performing loans — equivalent to about a fifth of GDP. Lenders’ profitability has been hit by a crippling three-year recession.
As Italy descends into financial chaos, the rest of the continent better be paying attention.
Do you remember how hard it was for the rest of Europe to rescue Greece?
Well, Greece has the 44th largest economy on the planet.
Italy has the 8th.
It would be hard to overstate the seriousness of what is going on over in Europe, and it is not just Italy we are talking about. All over the continent major banks are in deep trouble, and the chairman of France’s second largest retail bank recently told reporters that “I am much more worried than I was in 2009“.
And there is very good reason for concern. On Sunday, we learned that a major “bail-in” had just been announced for one of Austria’s most prominent banks. The following comes from Zero Hedge…
And then today, following a decision by the Austrian Banking Regulator, the Finanzmarktaufsicht or Financial Market Authority, Austria officially became the first European country to use a new law under the framework imposed by Bank the European Recovery and Resolution Directive to share losses of a failed bank with senior creditors as it slashed the value of debt owed by Heta Asset Resolution AG.
The highlights from the announcement:
Today, the Austrian Financial Market Authority (FMA) in its function as the resolution authority pursuant to the Bank Recovery and Resolution Act (BaSAG – Bundesgesetz über die Sanierung und Abwicklung von Banken) has issued the key features for the further steps for the resolution of HETA ASSET RESOLUTION AG. The most significant measures are:
• a 100% bail-in for all subordinated liabilities,
• a 53.98% bail-in, resulting in a 46.02% quota, for all eligible preferential liabilities,
• the cancellation of all interest payments from 01.03.2015, when HETA was placed into resolution pursuant to BaSAG,
• as well as a harmonisation of the maturities of all eligible liabilities to 31.12.2023.
According to the current resolution plan for HETA, the wind-down process should be concluded by 2020, although the repayment of all claims as well as the legally binding conclusion of all currently outstanding legal disputes will realistically only be concluded by the end of 2023. Only at that point will it be possible to finally distribute the assets and to liquidate the company.
The dominoes are starting to fall in Europe, and I would expect even bigger announcements in the weeks and months to come.
Over in Asia, economic chaos is beginning to prevail as well.
In China, the stock market is already down more than 40 percent from the peak, Chinese exports were down 25.4 percent on a year over year basis in February, and Chinese economic numbers overall have not been this poor since the depths of the last global recession.

At the same time, the Japanese economy is really struggling right now. As I wrote about the other day, Japanese GDP has shrunk for two out of the last three quarters, we just saw Japanese industrial production experience the biggest one month decline that we have witnessed since the tsunami of 2011, and business sentiment has fallen to a three year low. The Nikkei has dropped by about 5,000 points from where it was last summer, and some analysts believe that Japanese markets “are being destroyed” due to massive intervention by the Bank of Japan.
Here in the United States, we haven’t been hit quite as hard as the rest of the world just yet, but there are lots of very disturbing warning signs all around us.
At the end of last week, we learned that it is being projected that U.S. GDP will have grown by just 0.1 or 0.2 percent during the first quarter of 2016. And on Monday corporate earnings reporting season begins, and it is expected to be a very, very bad one. The following comes from Business Insider…
We are about to get confirmation that earnings growth for America’s biggest companies was negative in the first quarter, compared to the same period a year ago.
When aluminum giant Alcoa releases its results on Monday, it will mark the unofficial start of the heaviest reporting season for S&P 500 companies.
The final scoreboard is expected to show a 9.1% earnings drop for the quarter, according to FactSet senior earnings analyst John Butters.
If these projections turn out to be accurate, it will be the fourth quarter in a row of earnings declines. This is something that we never see outside of a recession.
And for a whole bunch more numbers which indicate that the U.S. economy is in very serious trouble, please see my previous article entitled “19 Facts That Prove Things In America Are Worse Than They Were Six Months Ago“.
Of course I am just another voice in the crowd when it comes to predicting that the U.S. economy is headed for rough times. For example, just check out what Societe Generale economist Albert Edwards is saying…
A tidal wave is coming to the US economy, according to Albert Edwards, and when it crashes it’s going to throw the economy into recession.
…the profit recession facing American corporations is going to lead to a collapse in corporate credit.
“Despite risk assets enjoying a few weeks in the sun our fail-safe recession indicator has stopped flashing amber and turned to red”

He continued:
Whole economy profits never normally fall this deeply without a recession unfolding. And with the US corporate sector up to its eyes in debt, the one asset class to be avoided — even more so than the ridiculously overvalued equity market — is US corporate debt. The economy will surely be swept away by a tidal wave of corporate default.
As you can see, it isn’t just one nation or one region of the world that we need to be concerned about.
Economic chaos is erupting literally all over the planet, and global leaders are starting to panic.
Unfortunately, they have had seven years to try to fix things since the last global recession, and they didn’t get the job done. Anyone that believes that by some miracle they will be able to pull us out of the fire this time and that everything will somehow be okay is simply engaged in wishful thinking.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=7885

Robert Kiyosaki And Harry Dent Warn That Financial Armageddon Is Imminent

By Michael Snyder, on March 30th, 2016
Financial experts Robert Kiyosaki and Harry Dent are both warning that the next major economic crash is in our very near future. Dent is projecting that the Dow will fall to “5,500 to 6,000 by late 2017″, and Kiyosaki actually originally projected that a great crash was coming in 2016 all the way back in 2002. Of course we don’t exactly have to wait for things to get bad. The truth is that things are not really very good at the moment by any stretch of the imagination. Approximately one-third of all Americans don’t make enough money to even cover the basic necessities, 23 percent of adults in their prime working years are not employed, and corporate debt defaults have exploded to the highest level that we have seen since the last financial crisis. But if Kiyosaki and Dent are correct, economic conditions in this country will soon get much, much worse than this.
During a recent interview, Harry Dent really went out on a limb by staking his entire reputation on a prediction that we would experience “the biggest global bubble burst in history” within the next four years…
There will be… and I will stake my entire reputation on this… we are going to see the biggest global bubble burst in history in the next four years…
There’s only one way out of this bubble and that is for it to burst… all this stuff is going to reset back to where it should be without all this endless debt, endless printed money, stimulus and zero interest rate policy.
And of course he is far from alone. Without a doubt, we are currently in the terminal phases of the greatest financial bubble the world has ever known, and it is exceedingly difficult to see any way that it will not end very, very badly.
Ultimately, Dent believes that we could see U.S. stocks lose two-thirds of their value by late next year…
The Dow, I’m projecting, will hit 5,500 to 6,000 by late 2017… just in the next year and a half or so.
That’ll be most of the damage… then it will rally and there’ll be some aftershocks into 2020… my four cycles point down into early 2020 and then they start one after the other to turn up… I think the worst will be over by 2020, but the worst of that will be by the end of 2017.
If that does happen, it will be a far worse crash than what we experienced back in 2008, and the economic consequences will be absolutely terrifying.
Another highly respected financial expert that is making similar claims is Robert Kiyosaki. My wife is a big fan of his books, and I have always held him in high regard.
But what I didn’t realize is that he had actually predicted that there would be a major financial crash all the way back in 2002…
Fourteen years ago, the author of a series of popular personal-finance books predicted that 2016 would bring about the worst market crash in history, damaging the financial dreams of millions of baby boomers just as they started to depend on that money to fund retirement.
Broader U.S. stock markets are recovering from the worst 10-day start to a year on record. But Robert Kiyosaki — who made that 2016 forecast in the 2002 book “Rich Dad’s Prophecy” — says the meltdown is under way, and there’s little investors can do but buy gold or silver and hope the Federal Reserve slows the slide.
I agree with Kiyosaki that one way that investors can shield their wealth is by getting gold and silver. In a recent article, I explained exactly why I believe that silver in particular is ridiculously undervalued right now.
Kiyosaki also believes that the coming crash could be delayed a bit if the Federal Reserve decided to embark on another round of quantitative easing. But even if that happens, Kiyosaki is absolutely convinced that eventually “it’s all going to come down”…
Kiyosaki told MarketWatch that the combination of demographics and global economic weakness makes the next crash inevitable — but the Fed could stave it off with another round of quantitative easing, which might stimulate the economy.
The Fed turned more dovish at its March meeting, with the central bank penciling in fewer interest-rate hikes this year than were previously part of its implied framework. The Fed signaled those hikes would happen more slowly than had been anticipated earlier, owing to a weak global economic environment and a volatile stock market.
“The big question [whether] we do ‘QE4,’” said Kiyosaki. “If we do, the stock market will come roaring back, but it’s not rocket science. If we stop printing money, it crashes; if we print money, it goes up. But, eventually, it’s all going to come down.”
Another voice that I have come to respect is Jim Rickards. He is not quite as apocalyptic as Kiyosaki or Dent, but without a doubt he is deeply concerned about where the global economy is headed…
Global growth is slowing both because of weakness in developed economies like Europe and Japan, and weakness in some of the emerging markets champions such as China, Brazil and Russia. The limits of monetary policy have been reached.
The evidence is now clear that negative interest rates don’t stimulate spending; they are only good for devaluation in the ongoing currency wars. World trade is shrinking; a rare phenomenon usually associated with recession or depression.
And he is exactly right. The economic downturn that we are witnessing is truly global in scope. Brazil has plunged into an economic depression, the Italian banking system is in the process of completely melting down, and Japan has implemented negative interest rates in a desperate attempt to keep their Ponzi scheme going but it really isn’t working. In fact, Japanese industrial production just crashed by the most that we have seen since the tsunami of 2011.
Here in the United States, investors are generally feeling pretty good right now because stocks have rebounded substantially in recent weeks. However, Rickards is warning that this rebound is very temporary…
Stocks are clearly in a bubble. The stock market is ignoring the strong dollar, which in turn hurts exports and devalues overseas earnings. It is also ignoring declining corporate earnings, imminent defaults in the energy sector, and declining global growth in general.
Never mind. As long as money is cheap and leverage is plentiful, there’s no reason not to bid up stock prices, and wait for the greater fool to bid them up some more.
There is so much that we could learn from all these three men.
Sadly, just like we saw in 2008, most Americans are ignoring the warnings.
The mainstream media has conditioned the public to trust them, and right now the mainstream media is insisting that everything is going to be just fine.
So will everything be just fine as the months roll along?
We will just have to wait and see…

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=7871

Housing Crash?: U.S. Existing Home Sales Fall By The Most In Six Years

By Michael Snyder, on March 21st, 2016
We just got more evidence that a major economic slowdown is underway here in the United States. Existing home sales were down a whopping 7.1 percent during the month of February, and this represented the biggest decline that we have seen in six years. This is yet another sign that we are in the early stages of a new crisis that is eerily reminiscent of what happened back in 2008. The truth is that most U.S. consumers are tapped out, and when you are tapped out it is really hard to get a mortgage. Banks aren’t really fond of lending money to people that can’t pay it back, and in recent years housing prices in many areas have risen to levels that are beyond the reach of most middle class families.
This huge decline in existing home sales is puzzling the “experts” in the mainstream media, because in recent weeks they have been breathlessly telling all of us how incredibly well the U.S. economy has been doing. Just check out the following excerpt from a CNBC report…
U.S. home resales fell sharply in February in a potentially troubling sign for America’s economy which has otherwise looked resilient to the global economic slowdown.
The National Association of Realtors said on Monday existing home sales dropped 7.1 percent to an annual rate of 5.08 million units, the lowest level since November.
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out why this is happening. In recent months we have seen mass layoffs in the energy industry, real median household income is still way below where it was just prior to the last recession, and U.S. consumers are increasingly turning to debt in a desperate attempt to make ends meet from month to month.
If you can believe it, consumers in the United States actually accumulated more new credit card debt during the 4th quarter of 2015 than they did during the years of 2009, 2010 and 2011 combined.
To me that is an absolutely staggering statistic, and it shows how late in the game it is.
Meanwhile, there have been a whole host of other signs in recent weeks that the U.S. economy has entered a major slowdown. The following list comes from one of my previous articles…
-The U.S. oil and rig count just dropped to the lowest level ever recorded
-One Houston CEO told employees that he was laying off that we have entered a “depression”
-It is being reported that 35 percent of all oil and gas companies around the world are at risk of falling into bankruptcy
-Unemployment in Canada just hit a three year high
-The number of job cuts in the United States skyrocketed 218 percent during the month of January according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas
-U.S. manufacturing activity has been in contraction for four months in a row
-U.S. factory orders have now fallen for 15 months in a row
-Subprime auto loan delinquencies have hit their highest level since the last recession
-Orders for Class 8 trucks in the United States dropped by 48 percent on a year over year basis in January
-The Restaurant Performance Index in the United States has dropped to the lowest level that we have seen since 2008
-Major retailers all over America are shutting down hundreds of stores
The mainstream media has access to all of those numbers too.
So why do they keep trying to convince us all that the economy is doing so well?
It doesn’t make any sense.
The truth is that we are in the midst of a long-term economic collapse that has been going on for decades and that appears to be accelerating once again.
And in particular, the middle class in America has been shouldering much of the pain. For the first time ever, the middle class is now a minority in the United States, and things get even worse for average American families with each passing year. Here is another list from one of my previous articles…
#1 This week we learned that for the first time ever recorded, middle class Americans make up a minority of the population. But back in 1971, 61 percent of all Americans lived in middle class households.
#2 According to the Pew Research Center, the median income of middle class households declined by 4 percent from 2000 to 2014.
#3 The Pew Research Center has also found that median wealth for middle class households dropped by an astounding 28 percent between 2001 and 2013.
#4 In 1970, the middle class took home approximately 62 percent of all income. Today, that number has plummeted to just 43 percent.
#5 There are still 900,000 fewer middle class jobs in America than there were when the last recession began, but our population has gotten significantly larger since that time.
#6 According to the Social Security Administration, 51 percent of all American workers make less than $30,000 a year.
#7 For the poorest 20 percent of all Americans, median household wealth declined from negative 905 dollars in 2000 to negative 6,029 dollars in 2011.
#8 A recent nationwide survey discovered that 48 percent of all U.S. adults under the age of 30 believe that “the American Dream is dead”.
#9 At this point, the U.S. only ranks 19th in the world when it comes to median wealth per adult.
#10 Traditionally, entrepreneurship has been one of the engines that has fueled the growth of the middle class in the United States, but today the level of entrepreneurship in this country is sitting at an all-time low.
#11 If you can believe it, the 20 wealthiest people in this country now have more money than the poorest 152 million Americans combined.
#12 The top 0.1 percent of all American families have about as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent of all American families combined.
#13 If you have no debt and you also have ten dollars in your pocket, that gives you a greater net worth than about 25 percent of all Americans.
#14 The number of Americans that are living in concentrated areas of high poverty has doubled since the year 2000.
#15 An astounding 48.8 percent of all 25-year-old Americans still live at home with their parents.
#16 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 49 percent of all Americans now live in a home that receives money from the government each month, and nearly 47 million Americans are living in poverty right now.
#17 In 2007, about one out of every eight children in America was on food stamps. Today, that number is one out of every five.
#18 According to Kathryn J. Edin and H. Luke Shaefer, the authors of a new book entitled “$2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America“, there are 1.5 million “ultrapoor” households in the United States that live on less than two dollars a day. That number has doubled since 1996.
#19 46 million Americans use food banks each year, and lines start forming at some U.S. food banks as early as 6:30 in the morning because people want to get something before the food supplies run out.
#20 The number of homeless children in the U.S. has increased by 60 percent over the past six years.
#21 According to Poverty USA, 1.6 million American children slept in a homeless shelter or some other form of emergency housing last year.
#22 The median net worth of families in the United States was $137, 955 in 2007. Today, it is just $82,756.
The years ahead are only going to get more difficult for the middle class as the U.S. economy continues to crumble. The same long-term trends that have been eviscerating the middle class for decades continue to roll on, and our leaders seem powerless to do anything to stop them.
If you are reading this article, hopefully you can see what is happening and you are making preparations in advance for what is ahead.
Unfortunately, even though most Americans still remember experiencing tremendous pain during the last crisis, they refuse to prepare for the next one.
In the end, the only one that they will be able to blame is themselves.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=7866

Signs Emerge The Globalists Are Preparing To ‘Lock Down’ America – Message To Americans From One Who Cares: ‘Don’t Back Down, Double Down’

By Stefan Stanford – All News Pipeline – Live Free Or Die
“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable.” John F. Kennedy

All News Pipeline received a tip from a reader yesterday that we decided to look into because the mere sound of what we were told sounded so Draconian that we couldn’t believe what we were reading.
Telling us that according to their accountant at H&R Block, Americans will soon need passports to travel WITHIN the United States, we decided to dig a little more deeply into this lead to find out if there was any truth to it.

An email conversation with a media representative with H&R Block yielded a sense of manipulation on their part as we were immediately asked a question by them trying to figure out who our sources were as seen in their response to us below.:

We do not comment on speculation or rumor. Can you verify who the reader was and who from H&R Block indicated this information?

Of course, ANP will never give away the names of our sources but we have to ask, why were they so interested in who both our reader and their employee were? Were they going to put their names on some kind of ‘red list’ for future nazi-style roundup? As our reader told us, the mere thought of needing passports to travel within states reminded them of Nazi Germany and the direction that America now appears to be headed under the current establishment and their forthcoming ‘new world order’.

We’ve also determined that there might be a very good reason for this warning, which we’ve not yet been able to confirm but of which there is compounding information that suggests this bizarre warning very well could be true as outlined below. We also have several new videos below including Gerald Celente with Infowars and a must-see video with some outstading advice from someone who cares about America deeply: “Don’t back down, double down!”

Back in 2008, Russian academic Igor Panarin predicted that the United States would ‘disintegrate’ by 2010 due to an economic and moral collapse that would trigger a civil war that would put an end to this 240 year experiment in liberty. With Alaska going to Russia, the Western states going to China, a number of north and midwestern states going to Canada, an establishment of a massive ‘Republic of Texas’ and the Northeastern states and much of the mid-Atlantic possibly joining the European Union, we see Panarin’s view of a ‘future America’ in the map above.

While ANP has always frowned upon putting exact dates on potential future events, we look back on a warning given to us by John Moore the Liberty Man well over a year ago who told us that when a dreaded but still unknown ‘future event’ occurs, Americans would basically be ‘stuck’ where they were as travel would be ‘limited’. The thoughts of ‘Nazi Germany’ police state roadblocks where one had to present ones papers to proceed immediately came to his listeners heads.

Could Panarin have been correct about the forthcoming breakup of America, only 6 or 7 years off, and could a future Soviet-style breakup of the US be the reasons why Americans might soon need passports to simply travel between US states? As we’ve found out, some Americans DO now need passports to fly within US states due to the ‘REAL ID’ act. However, the IRS can quickly revoke passports for overdue taxes. Is this just the beginning?

With the global elite, who long ago began their attempt to take over America, now sweating bullets since an American, with America’s best interests in mind, is now only 10 months away from the White House, we’re seeing more signs that these globalist criminals will not relinquish their most prized treasure, America, and the American people may soon fall victim to their absolute most heinous scheme, a ‘new world order’ with an America bust into little pieces as Panorin suggested.

The screenshot at the top of this story comes to us from the most recent Donald Trump ad, an outstanding video that lays it all on the line as seen in the 1st video below. As the advertisement asks, did anyone really think that those people who have been working to destroy our country would relinquish power peacefully?

Hiring the unemployed to protest is well known in Pakistan, the Ukraine and other locations as ‘color revolutions’ take place across the globe funded by George Soros; with Americans angry and disaffected, will we soon witness a leftist-sponsored ‘color revolution’ in America that attempts to steal our election or worse? We already see that the leftists are going after the 1st Amendment Rights of Donald Trump himself as seen in the outstanding 1st video below – do we think that they’ll stop there? Of course not and as Trump tells us, now’s not the time to back down. We still have time to make America great again right now though we’ll be the first to admit it will also take a spiritual revival unlike anything ever seen here before.
We’re also seeing more signs that the globalist criminals will stop at nothing to ensure that Clinton is in the White House in January.

With America now clearly on the edge with economic collapse ahead of us and an absolutely do-nothing president in office seemingly working against the safety of this country, Trends Forecaster Gerald Celente joins Infowars in the 2nd video below to tell us that it’s time to clean out the District of Criminals in Washington DC.

Celente tells us why the Bernie Sanders political movement is literally destroying themselves as they continually disrupt others rallies rather than holding positive rallies of their own and as we hear in the 3rd video below from Infowars, every time Sanders followers attempt to shut down the 1st Amendment Rights of another American, more and more Americans are being drawn to who they are attempting to shut down…in this case, Donald Trump.

Please let us know what you think about the 1st video below in the comment section. By the way, this video was posted to Donald Trump’s Facebook page and then removed by Facebook. Why? As the screenshot from the video below seen at the top of this story shows us, Facebook is clearly one of the globalists entities working to destroy America. If you’re with Trump, please share this video and/or story with as many people as you can. The time to take America back from the globalists who have been working to destory us is now. It may be the very last chance we have.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=7854

The Global Elitists Are Killing Us Slowly

By Geri Ungurean
________________________________________
Most of us have heard about overpopulation of the earth, and how dreadfully harmful this will be for future generations. What we didn’t know is that we have been fooled – yes, FOOLED!
One of my favorite sayings lately is “Everything is calculated.” I say that about our president and his left wing government. But it goes beyond the White House – all the way to the United Nations, the Bilderberg Group, Planned Parenthood, George Soros, Bill Gates and many other “Puppet Masters” who are pulling strings behind the scene. In this article, I am hoping to open the eyes of many who have not yet realized that we are being manipulated in a very deadly manner.
EUGENICS
The desire to reduce the population of the “undesirables” did not begin with Hitler. Oh my, no! This Darwinian devilish quest has had many players at many different times in history. Have you seen the documentary Maafa21? Every person who truly cares about people needs to see this brilliant documentary. But be prepared to be shocked. It is quite long, but I would highly recommend that you make time for this:
Maafa21
Taken from returnofkings.com
“Not long ago I proposed that decreasing birth rates in the Western world is happening due to some cosmic force that is seeking balance upon the universe. I missed the mark. The force is not something cosmic or metaphysical, but human. After studying the evidence, it’s clear that there is a conscious scheme to control the human population through both cultural and biological means, which allows the elite to sustain or elevate their power and wealth.
The first piece of evidence showing you have been primed to favor depopulation is that you most likely agree to at least two of the following three statements, even if you consider yourself “red pill”:
• “Agendas or schemes by the global elite should be first considered a ‘conspiracy theory.’”
• “There are too many people on planet Earth.”
• “Needs of the environment must come before plans to increase human fertility.” – source
The writer of this piece goes on to explain how we are being manipulated. If it were not so diabolical, I would call it absolutely brilliant. Ever so slowly, these elitists have introduced new philosophies and teachings into our society to further their ultimate agendas. Unless one is grounded in Christ and in His Word, a person is susceptible to accepting and deeply believing in these new “ideas.”
More from returnofthekings.com
It’s not a coincidence that you are already on board with depopulation agenda, and if you live in a Westernized nation, you came to that conclusion “naturally” because since you were in grade school, you have been bombarded with messages about the dangers of over-population and the fragility of the environment. It turns out that all the progressive ideas being spread in the West have one thing in common: they all limit human reproduction.
Here is a short list of progressive causes that have percolated from intellectuals and later sponsored or hijacked by billionaire activists and major government institutions of the West. **(I have added my commentary after each point)
1. Abortion is a bodily “choice,” not human murder. Result: it decreases population. (Emphasis mine)
*** Margaret Sanger was the founder of Planned Parenthood. Her evil mind and heart were well documented in “The Negro Project.”
Read about Sanger’s plans to rid the planet of what she felt were undesirables:
Black Genocide – The Negro Project
2. Birth control is a “choice” that allows women to better practice consumer lifestyles. Result: it decreases population. (Emphasis mine)
When the Pill came on the scene, it not only decreased population, but it increased promiscuity and venereal diseases. Birth control between a husband and his wife is a personal decision.
3. Female empowerment in the form of feminism and egalitarianism pushes women into corporate work with the goal of delaying motherhood (or eliminating it outright). Result: it decreases reproduction and family formation. (Emphasis mine)
I remember back in the 1960’s, Gloria Steinem was burning her bra, and proclaiming to the world that women should get out of the kitchen and into the boardrooms of major corporations. Betty Friedan joined her in this female frenzy – are you old enough to remember? They were actually men haters, but they would never admit it.
4. Promotion of sterile human relationships in the form of homosexuality and transsexuality can’t possibly result in the creation of life. Result: it decreases population, reproduction, and traditional family formation. (Emphasis mine)
Our SCOTUS redefined the definition of marriage to be between any two people – not just between a man and a woman! And now people are being duped into believing that they really might be a man, even though they were born a woman…..and vice versa.
5. Promotion of atheism, nihilism, individualism, and consumerism as suitable alternatives to traditional living via nuclear family units. Result: it decreases reproduction and traditional family formation. (Emphasis mine)
Atheists, whom I would rather call “God haters” seem to be coming out of the woodwork of late. They scoff at traditional family units, and they certainly scoff at God, whom they say does not exist. If they don’t believe in Him, then why all of the hatred and law suits to remove anything they deem “religious?”
6. The needs of the “environment” must be served before that of living humans. Result: it makes humans guilty of family formation. (Emphasis mine)
Mother Earth (as Pope Francis likes to call our planet) is suffering because of evil men and women who are bent on its destruction! Don’t you tire of this mantra? I DO!
7. Massive waves of foreign immigrants are encouraged entry into Western nations to break bonds between tribe and neighbor that decrease notions of nationalism and patriotism while transferring fertility and economic resources from native people to foreigers. Result: it decreases relative population of native citizens. (Emphasis mine) -source
The United Nations is responsible for the forced migration we are witnessing today. Read the ‘Sustainable Development Goals’ from September of 2015. These so-called refugees from Syria have nearly destroyed Europe, and America has no idea what is coming in the not too far future.
I almost forgot to speak about vaccines. Here are two pieces which speak of vaccines and engineered viruses:
Bill Gates and his Insane Quest for Depopulation
The ZIKA Virus and its Implications for Pregnancy
It’s always been about Depopulation
I am hoping that this article has brought clarity as to what has really been happening in this crazy world. You see, it’s really not all that crazy – at least it is not to the powers that be. They want the population of the earth to be reduced by 80% by 2030. They say that the perfect population of planet earth is 500 million. Right now the population is around 6.8 billion.
Somewhere in those meetings of the elitists, there must be talk of creative ways to accelerate this depopulation process. Since human life is not sacred in any way to these monsters – outright murder of many of us must be on the table, don’t you think?
MARANATHA

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=7813

Economic Recovery? 13 Of The Biggest Retailers In America Are Closing Down Stores

By Michael Snyder, on February 25th, 2016
Barack Obama recently stated that anyone that is claiming that America’s economy is in decline is “peddling fiction“. Well, if the economy is in such great shape, why are major retailers shutting down hundreds of stores all over the country? Last month, I wrote about the “retail apocalypse” that is sweeping the nation, but since then it has gotten even worse. Closing stores has become the “hot new trend” in the retail world, and “space available” signs are going up in mall windows all over the United States. Barack Obama can continue huffing and puffing about how well the middle class is doing all he wants, but the truth is that the cold, hard numbers that retailers are reporting tell an entirely different story.
Earlier today, Sears Chairman Eddie Lampert released a letter to shareholders that was filled with all kinds of bad news. In this letter, he blamed the horrible results that Sears has been experiencing lately on “tectonic shifts” in consumer spending…
In a letter to shareholders on Thursday, Lampert said the impact of “tectonic shifts” in consumer spending has spread more broadly in the last year to retailers “that had previously proven to be relatively immune to such shifts.”
“Walmart, Nordstrom, Macy’s, Staples, Whole Foods and many others have felt the impact of disruptive changes from online competition and new business models,” Lampert wrote.
And it is very true – Sears is doing horribly, but they are far from alone. The following are 13 major retailers that are closing down stores…
#1 Sears lost 580 million dollars in the fourth quarter of 2015 alone, and they are scheduled to close at least 50 more “unprofitable stores” by the end of this year.
#2 It is being reported that Sports Authority will file for bankruptcy in March. Some news reports have indicated that around 200 stores may close, but at this point it is not known how many of their 450 stores will be able to stay open.
#3 For decades, Kohl’s has been growing aggressively, but now it plans to shutter 18 stores in 2016.
#4 Target has just finished closing 13 stores in the United States.
#5 Best Buy closed 30 stores last year, and it says that more store closings are likely in the months to come.
#6 Office Depot plans to close a total of 400 stores by the end of 2016.
The next seven examples come from one of my previous articles…
#7 Wal-Mart is closing 269 stores, including 154 inside the United States.
#8 K-Mart is closing down more than two dozen stores over the next several months.
#9 J.C. Penney will be permanently shutting down 47 more stores after closing a total of 40 stores in 2015.
#10 Macy’s has decided that it needs to shutter 36 stores and lay off approximately 2,500 employees.
#11 The Gap is in the process of closing 175 stores in North America.
#12 Aeropostale is in the process of closing 84 stores all across America.
#13 Finish Line has announced that 150 stores will be shutting down over the next few years.
These store closings can be particularly cruel for small towns. Just consider the impact that Wal-Mart has had on the little town of Oriental, North Carolina…
The Town’n Country grocery in Oriental, North Carolina, a local fixture for 44 years, closed its doors in October after a Wal-Mart store opened for business. Now, three months later — and less than two years after Wal-Mart arrived — the retail giant is pulling up stakes, leaving the community with no grocery store and no pharmacy.
Though mom-and-pop stores have steadily disappeared across the American landscape over the past three decades as the mega chain methodically expanded, there was at least always a Wal-Mart left behind to replace them. Now the Wal-Marts are disappearing, too.
Of course there are many factors involved in this ongoing retail apocalypse. Competition from online retailers is becoming more intense, and consumer spending patterns are rapidly changing.
But in the end, the truth is that you can’t get blood out of a rock. The middle class in America is shrinking, and there just isn’t as much discretionary spending going on as there used to be.
And now that we have entered a new economic downturn, many retailers are finding that there are some local communities that can no longer support their stores. The following comes from CNBC…
Though the shift to online shopping is no doubt playing a role in lighter foot traffic at malls, there’s more to their changing economics than the rise of Amazon. Changing demographics in a town are another reason a shopping center could struggle or fail — for example, if massive layoffs in a particular industry cause people to move away to find employment.
“A lot of people want to try and tie it to the Internet or ‘that’s not cool,’ or teens don’t like it,” Jesse Tron, a spokesman for industry trade group International Council of Shopping Centers, told CNBC last year. “It’s hard to support large-format retail in those suburban areas when people are trying to just pay their mortgage.”
In order to have a thriving middle class, we need good paying middle class jobs. Unfortunately, our economy has been bleeding those kinds of jobs quite rapidly. For example, Halliburton just announced that it is eliminating 5,000 more jobs after getting rid of 4,000 workers at the end of last year.
During the Obama years, good paying middle class jobs have been getting replaced by low paying service jobs. At this point, 51 percent of all American workers make less than $30,000 a year.
And there is no way that you can support a middle class family with children on $30,000 a year.
We have an economy that is in the process of failing. We can see it in the explosion of subprime auto loans that are going bad, we can see it in the hundreds of retail stores that are shutting down, and we can see it in the tens of thousands of good paying energy jobs that are being lost.
During the Obama years, interest rates have been pushed to the floor, the Federal Reserve has created trillions of dollars out of thin air, and the size of our national debt is getting close to doubling. Despite all of those desperate measures, our economy continues to crumble.
We stole from the future to try to paper over our failures and it didn’t work. Now an economic downturn that will ultimately turn out to be even worse than the “Great Recession” of 2008 and 2009 has begun, and our leaders have absolutely no idea how to fix things.
I wish I had better news to report, but I don’t. Get prepared now, because very rough times are ahead

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=7807

World War 3 Could Very Easily Turn Into The Very First Nuclear War In The Middle East

Michael Snyder | Economic Collapse – February 22, 2016 129 Comments
Saudi Arabia already has nukes, Iran probably does, and the Russians are one of the two great nuclear powers on the entire planet.
So if Saudi Arabia, Turkey and their Sunni allies do decide to conduct a full-blown ground invasion of Syria, could someone ultimately decide to use nuclear weapons when their backs get pushed up against a wall? As you read this article, there are thousands of military vehicles and hundreds of thousands of troops massed along the southern border of Turkey and the northern border of Saudi Arabia. If the command is given and those forces start streaming toward Damascus, it is inevitable that the Syrians, the Iranians, Hezbollah and the Russians would fight back. It would literally be the start of World War 3, and the Saudis and the Turks are trying very hard to convince the United States to be involved. But the truth is that we don’t want any part of this conflict, because it could very easily become the very first nuclear war in the history of the Middle East.
Perhaps you didn’t know that the Saudis already have nukes. Of course the official position is that they don’t, but it is a fact that they were the ones that funded the development of Pakistan’s nuclear program. It is an open secret that the Saudis have the bomb, but nobody is really supposed to talk about it.
That is why it was so alarming what Saudi political analyst Dahham Al-‘Anzi told RT just recently…
Earlier this week a Saudi political analyst told RT’s Arab network the kingdom has a nuclear weapon.
Dahham Al-‘Anzi made the claim while saying Saudi Arabia is engaged in an effort to “minimize the Iranian threat in the Levant and Syria.”
Although Saudi Arabia has officially denied it has a nuclear weapons program and has publicly stated it opposes nuclear weapons in the Middle East, it has funded a military nuclear program and received scientific assistance from the United States and Pakistan.
If you don’t want to believe him, perhaps you will believe the former director of the CIA counter-terrorism operations center. He told Fox Business that everyone in the intelligence world knows the Saudis have nukes…
If the fur started flying in Syria and Russia and Iran decided to start bombing Saudi airbases, would Saudi Arabia resort to using their nukes?
Let’s hope not.
In the event of a massive ground invasion by Saudi Arabia, Turkey and their allies, it is actually more likely that Russia may decide to be the first one to use nukes. An invasion force of hundreds of thousands of troops would vastly outnumber the relatively small Russian force that is already inside Syria, and so the Russians may feel that the only way that they can keep the Sunni powers out of Damascus is to use tactical nukes.
Russia has more tactical nukes that anyone else in the world by far, and there are some reports that indicate that Russia may be prepared to use them in Syria. For example, former Associated Press reporter Robert Parry, the author of America’s Stolen Narrative, says that a source has told him that the Russians have already warned Turkey that this could potentially happen…
If Turkey (with hundreds of thousands of troops massed near the Syrian border) and Saudi Arabia (with its sophisticated air force) follow through on threats and intervene militarily to save their rebel clients, who include Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front, from a powerful Russian-backed Syrian government offensive, then Russia will have to decide what to do to protect its 20,000 or so military personnel inside Syria.
A source close to Russian President Vladimir Putin told me that the Russians have warned Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that Moscow is prepared to use tactical nuclear weapons if necessary to save their troops in the face of a Turkish-Saudi onslaught. Since Turkey is a member of NATO, any such conflict could quickly escalate into a full-scale nuclear confrontation.
Given Erdogan’s megalomania or mental instability and the aggressiveness and inexperience of Saudi Prince Mohammad bin Salman (defense minister and son of King Salman), the only person who probably can stop a Turkish-Saudi invasion is President Obama. But I’m told that he has been unwilling to flatly prohibit such an intervention, though he has sought to calm Erdogan down and made clear that the U.S. military would not join the invasion.
Are you starting to understand how serious this is?
With all of the talk of a potential invasion in recent days, the Russians are on high alert and are rapidly preparing for a direct conflict with both Saudi Arabia and Turkey. The following comes from Infowars…
Still, the Russians are taking no chances and they have put all their forces into high alert. They have very publicly dispatched a Tu-214r – her most advanced ISR (Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance) aircraft. You can think of the Tu-214R as an “AWACS for the ground”, the kind of aircraft you use to monitor a major ground battle (the regular Russian A-50Ms are already monitoring the Syrian airspace). In southern Russia, the Aerospace forces have organized large-scale exercises involving a large number of aircraft which would be used in a war against Turkey: SU-34s. The Airborne Forces are ready. The naval task forces off the Syrian coast is being augmented. The delivery of weapons has accelerated. The bottom line is simple and obvious: the Russians are not making any threats – they are preparing for war. In fact, by now they are ready.
In addition, it is important to remember that it is quite likely that the Iranians have nuclear weapons as well.
Of course the U.S. government and the Iranian government both insist that Iran does not have nukes, but many of those in the know insist otherwise.
For instance, you may want to consider what retired U.S. Army Major General Paul Vallely and U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Dennis B. Haney are saying. The following comes from an article that was authored by Jerome Corsi of WND…
In a joint statement, Vallely and Haney say an accumulation of available evidence shows a coalition of Russia, China and North Korea have assisted Iran since 1979 in achieving a nuclear weapon, despite sanctions, under the guise of a domestic nuclear energy program.
Vallely explained to WND that he and Haney have taken a systematic approach to evaluating each component needed to deliver a nuclear weapon, from the development and testing of a ballistic missile system, to the design of a nuclear weapons warhead, to the development of the weapons-grade uranium needed to produce a bomb.
“To come to our conclusion that Iran is a nuclear weapons power right now, we supplemented publicly available research, plus information from intelligence sources, including Iranian resistance groups such as the National Council of Resistance of IRAN, NCRI,” Vallely explained.
I happen to agree with Vallely and Haney. I cannot prove it, but all of the intel that I have received indicates that Iran already has nukes.
Hopefully I will not be proven accurate any time soon.
It had been hoped that a cease-fire could be negotiated that would at least temporarily defuse tensions in Syria. Unfortunately, it does not look like the shooting is going to stop, and this is going to put immense pressure on both Saudi Arabia and Turkey to do something to rescue the radical Sunni militants that are on the verge of defeat. The Saudis, the Turks and their allies have poured enormous amounts of money and resources into this war over the past five years, and now they are faced with the choice of either accepting defeat or directly intervening in this conflict themselves.
But in order to conduct a full-fledged ground invasion, they are going to need justification for doing so. There are some that are suggesting that we could soon see a false flag attack that would provide that justification, so that is something to watch out for.
I can’t remember a time when our planet has been so close to World War 3 potentially beginning.
And if it does break out, I believe that it is quite likely that nuclear weapons will be used.
So what do you think?
Do you agree with me?

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=7801

The Looming Collapse

By Scott Huckaby
One doesn’t have to be an economist to see that all is not well with the economy. The U.S. national debt is so high that no one believes it will ever be paid off and stock markets are volatile world-wide. The only thing keeping our debt from triggering a melt-down is that most other nations in the world are just as bad or worse in their GDP-to-debt ratios.

Government spending and increasing the money supply which is called “quantitative easing” are seen as the solution to bring us out of the worldwide recession that began in 2008. This has not been working despite the mainstream media narrative that all is well. No amount of statistical gymnastics can hide the fact that record numbers of Americans are unemployed or under-employed.

Quantitative easing has never really worked to end recessions. In times past, the government effectively printing money to increase the money supply appears to have worked because inflation caused the debt to be reduced. Inflation was a painful but effective tool in reducing the national debt because it also meant that people made more money as the demand for labor increased. But this time the demand for labor has not increased, thus keeping wages depressed.

Among the theories given to explain why the demand for labor has not increased is that automation is now replacing jobs faster than new jobs can be created. This may indeed be a factor but a more significant impact is certainly due to the globalization of the world economy. Jobs that used to be done locally are now being outsourced to places where labor is cheaper.

The inflation that usually accompanies the government printing money has not materialized this time. We have had an increase in asset prices such as stocks and real estate but commodity prices led by the price of oil have been depressed. The biggest factor in the depression of commodity prices is due to wages not increasing and it is not possible for wages to increase if there is a reduced demand for labor.

There has never been a time in the history of the world when interest rates have been so low for so long. This is making it harder for governments to employ their quantitative easing strategy which they believe stimulates the economy. It is hard to reduce interest rates on government loans when you are already at zero percent.

When the government is effectively giving money away at zero percent interest, they can no longer just bail-out failed financial institutions. What the European Union is now looking at doing instead is a “bail-in.” This is where some percentage of depositor savings is reduced similar to what happened in Cypress. All EU member states have been required to have bail-in legislation on their books beginning this year.

While the European Union will probably not execute their plans to confiscate depositor savings through a bail-in until the next major economic meltdown occurs, some banks there have already begun charging negative interest rates on savings. They are now effectively charging depositors to warehouse their money. This is intended to get depositors to take their money out of the bank and spend it in an effort to stimulate the economy.

Whether negative interest rates works to stimulate the economy or not, it will lead to governments implementing some sort of cashless system in order to have more control. Most transactions are already done digitally out of convenience. A cashless economy sets the stage for the time when all transactions can be micro-managed by the state which is necessary for the mark of the beast that will be implemented during the Tribulation (Revelation 13:16-18).

The European Union is the model for the world coming together as expressed in their motto, “United in diversity.” What is being tried to stimulate the economy in Europe will eventually be done worldwide. All that is required is a big enough economic crisis to cause governments to take action.
And such action has generally resulted in them gaining more control over their people. When the problem becomes bigger than national governments can fix by printing more money or confiscating savings, there will be increasing demands for a bail-out by an even higher governmental entity—a more powerful global union of nations.

Every crisis is taking us closer to the global government the Bible says will be in place when the Lord returns. The stage-setting is picking up pace at such a rate that many have theorized there must be a conspiracy of the elite orchestrating developments in order to rule the world. Whether or not there is a human conspiracy at work in the world, there certainly is a spiritual one.
God is removing His restraint from evil to prepare the world for the Tribulation when lawlessness will run its course. This is allowing Satan and his fallen-angel followers to have more influence over the nations of the world.

God is in control of the economy and allows it to flourish or fail in order to serve His purposes. The idea that mankind can control the economy is an illusion that will eventually become apparent to all. But until then, mankind’s solution to fix the economy will be to double-down on the flawed policy to seek a bail-out from a higher governmental authority.
This is the dynamic that will eventually give us a global government. This world will experience the ultimate in human control over mankind and Revelation 18 says it will fail spectacularly.

There have always been economic cycles and they are nothing to fear for those who are trusting in the Lord. God promised us in Genesis 8:22:
“While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease” (NKJV).
The best way to prepare for the coming economic meltdown is to apply the principles God has given us in His Word to be good stewards of His blessings. And this includes such things as getting out of debt and investing to lay up treasure in heaven.

The bailout this world sorely needs is for Jesus to return. All the economic pain this world will experience in the next few years will bring mankind to the end of themselves and prepare society for rule by the Lord Himself. But followers of Christ during this Age of Grace will not have to go through the worst of the economic turmoil that will characterize the Tribulation. The best way for people to be prepared for the economic crash described in Revelation 18 is to allow Jesus to be their Savior and Lord now, before the Rapture of the church.

The economy of the Lord is far superior to that which mankind envisions. It is actually encouraging to see the end of mankind’s economy foreshadowed when you know it only indicates the kingdom of God on earth is very near.
Come soon Lord Jesus!

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