The Aftershock Survival Summit (Full Video)

The Aftershock Survival Summit (Full Video)

Newsmax has done a 42 minute video with economist Robert Widemer who predicted the housing bubble years before it popped.  Though I do not agree with everything proposed in the book ‘Aftershock’, I find it to be incredibly accurate for what is coming; not necessarily how to fix it.

Robert Widemer prophetically predicted both the real estate and stock market collapse in his book, America’s Bubble Economy (2006). In the wake of his anticipated economic disaster, Wiedemer penned a follow-up book, Aftershock, which immediately topped Amazon’s bestseller list. Dow Jones said Wiedemer’s work “is your bible, read it, get into action, and be a winner.” Standard and Poor’s says his “track record demands our attention.” (more…)

More Job Losses Ahead

More Job Losses Ahead

I have not yet finished the book about our multiple bubble economy swirling down the drain, but I did state that I would write about devastating news if such occurred.  A loss of 25,000 jobs (and associated manufacturing industry) and the possible closing of 13 auto plants more than qualifies as ‘devastating’. PLUS, readers aren’t going to hear about this in the MSM because it relates to the Japan ‘quake, tsunami, and nuclear reactor meltdowns, and you know TPTB have put the meltdown under media blackout.

Toyota units partly shut down in US

Japanese automaker Toyota has announced a decision to close some of its production plants in the US due to shortage of parts after Japan’s disastrous earthquake.

Toyota’s spokesman Mike Goss said on Monday that shutting down some of the automaker’s plants in the United States is “inevitable,” AFP reported.

“We have communicated to team members, associates and dealers here that some production interruptions in North America are likely. It’s too early to predict location or duration,” Toyota said in a separate statement.

It is still unknown whether the automobile giant will shut down all of its 13 plants. However, the temporarily close-down will affect about 25,000 workers.

The $1.3 Trillion Dollar Black Hole In The Economy

The $1.3 Trillion Dollar Black Hole In The Economy

The answers can be found in the red and yellow bars above, representing Federal government spending and state and local government spending.  Federal spending rose by $700 billion, and state and local government spending rose by $300 billion.  (With the state and local spending being funded by Federal government  transfers that have been netted out, so it is really almost all growth in Federal spending.)  The private economy plummeted by $1.3 trillion while the government economy soared by $1 trillion, and we were left with what looks like a much more manageable $300 billion shrinkage, the kind of economic change that might be associated with a 9.8% official unemployment rate.  In other words, a little over 75% of the collapse in the private economy was (and is) being covered by increased government spending. Hiding A Depression, How The US Government Does It

Want to tell me how that economic recovery is working out? Does it feel like the US and the rest of the world are recovering or does it feel like we are in a slow motion slide across some damn slippery ice?  Not quite breaking through the ice and plunging into the abyss yet not coming to a full stop, and stuck watching your future and your childrens’ futures flash before your eyes?   Does it feel like you are treading water and slowly but surely getting more and more tired while waiting for somebody, anybody, to throw a life preserver of some sort?  Have you spent the last few years hunkering down, holding onto what little cash you have, and waiting for this economic winter to pass?  Starting to think it isn’t going to?

Want to know why?

There appears to be a $1.3 trillion dollar hole in our economy that our government and the Federal Reserve mafia are papering over with trillions of dollars of fiat electronic money in hopes that we don’t fall into the black hole of economic collapse.  Is Anybody Surprised as we watch the entire fiat monetary/government spending ponzi scheme unwind right before our eyes? It’s happening and on some level, you know it.

If one adds together three separate forms of gauging unemployment, we come up with about 30%, and when one adds in the $1.3 trillion dollar shrinkage of the private sector – well, you should know what that means…we’ve been talking about it here (and planning for it) for well over a year; the ‘D’ word.

Let me remind everyone that in the world of economics a 10% economic contraction is the formal definition of economic Depression; ergo, we have been in one for the last two years and are today! – Karl Denninger, MarketTicker, Bernanke Is Getting Scared…., 4.27.2010

I urge all my readers to follow the link below and read the entire story (with accompanying graphs) to understand how economically traumatic the situation is. It will help you understand why it feels like we are stuck in the mud and nobody is coming to help us.  Re-read the opening quote of this post and then decide how we are going to help ourselves.  This economy will not grow again until we stop sending all our money overseas and start manufacturing goods here in the US.

Hiding A Depression: How The US Government Does It

Submitted by Daniel R Amerman CFA on Wed, 29 Dec 2010

Overview

The real US unemployment rate is not 9.8% but between 25% and 30%.  That is a depression level of job losses – so why doesn’t it look like a depression for many people?  How can so large of a statistical discrepancy exist, and how is it that holiday shopping malls are so crowded in a depression?

The true devastation is hidden by essentially placing the job losses inside three different “boxes”:  the official unemployment box, the true full unemployment box, and most importantly, the staggering and persistent private sector job loss box that has been temporarily covered over by a fantastic level of governmental deficit spending.  The “recovering and out of the recession” cover story is only plausible when nobody connects the dots and adds all the boxes together.

We will add together the three boxes herein – using US government statistics for all three – and convincingly show that the US economy is in far worse condition than what is presented by the government or by the mainstream media.  No, we have not emerged from “recession” and there will be no “double dip” – because the first “dip” was straight down to a depression-level economy in 2008/2009, and we haven’t come back up.

Creating artificial “free money” on a massive scale that artificially boosts short-term employment is how you segment depression level unemployment into the separate boxes and hide what is really happening.  It is this radical strategy that most distinguishes the current downturn from the 1970s and 1930s.  The ultimate source of most of the current “free money” that hides the depression is the government risking the impoverishment of US savers and investors for potentially decades to come, with the worst of the damage concentrated on retirees and Boomers.

To have a chance of defending your hoped-for future lifestyle, there is simply no substitute for seeing the truth clearly.  For it is only when we see through the lies with clarity that we can distinguish the false opportunity of manipulated markets from the real opportunities that can be found in unexpected places.

:snip:

The Third Box:  Artificial Employment

What happens if we add the real, full U6 unemployment rate of 17% to the hole in the private economy that is currently being covered by the government’s spending money it doesn’t have? The simplest approach is to say that 9% of the US economy is manufactured money that’s funding government deficits, and if we didn’t create artificial money to fund artificial jobs, then that 9% of the economy implodes.  If 9% of the economy abruptly disappears, there goes 9% of the jobs as well, so the unemployment rate would immediately jump by another 9%.  There are a staggering number of simplifications involved in this approach, but it’s not a bad approximation for illustration and discussion purposes within a short article.

Add 17% and 9%, from two different US government sources, and we have 26% real unemployment right there. That is, if the Federal Reserve were not manufacturing money out of the nothingness to fund government spending without limits – at grave peril to all savers and investors – then it would be fair to say that the US would be at a 26% unemployment rate.  This is slightly higher than the peak 25% unemployment rate in 1933, during the worst part of the US Great Depression.

Unfortunately, it is likely worse than even that. There is a multiplier effect when it comes to employment, and if we drop 9% of the economy, the support jobs that are created to serve the people who make up that 9% go away as well. We also need to allow for more government manipulation of inflation statistics, which creates a little greater economic loss picture, and in total, arguably, if we look at the real private sector right now, and we set aside jobs funded by monetization, we’re at a real unemployment rate of over 30%. And if we were to end the deficits and the assault on the value of the US dollar, and the US government only spends what it could take in – we would be at that 30%+ level almost instantaneously.

Now, hit this link and read the entire story as it affects everyone, especially the elderly and the boomers.

If you don’t believe it, read this from MarketTicker:

Year-End Debt-Stravaganza

To The Incoming Senators and Congresspeople:  YOU ARE ON NOTICE.

  • No mewling about the National Debt and deficit. The below charts cannot be argued with.  They are what they are.
  • No promises to “do something about it tomorrow.” We’ve heard about that now for three years.  The time for political stunts and showmanship is over.  This is a real issue, it is a real national crisis, and if you don’t do something about it you’ll be lucky to get through 2011 before it blows up.
  • YOU WILL NOT GET THROUGH 2012. I know what you’re thinking already.  Remember that George W. Bush thought the same thing in 2007 and early 2008.  So did Bernanke.  So did Paulson.  They were wrong.

If you do not act on this, it will detonate before the elections next year.

Not might.

Will.

This is the truth through 12/31/2010.  We closed the year at $1.714 trillion dollars in deficits for the year.  That’s a record, more than $100 billion higher than the $1.612 trillion last year.

The deficit for the last calendar year was 11.64% of GDP.  This is right up there with the nations that have blown up – Iceland, Greece and Ireland – and this is the third year running you’ve put up numbers over 10% (10.23, 11.41 and now 11.64, respectively.)

You will not get away with this into the indefinite future.  You may think you can get away with it for two more years, but I assure you – that is not going to happen.

Further, the true GDP rate for the last 12 months is in fact -7.31%.  We now have a cumulative decline in GDP built into the economy of approximately 30% that must be absorbed.  If you attempt to continue this path much further, it won’t be a decline that we will be dealing with, it will be an all-on collapse.

I know 30% sounds outrageously large – and beyond the nation’s ability to absorb.  It cannot be absorbed without severe pain.  But if we do not take that pain, force the bad debt into the open that is causing this and clear it – irrespective of whether we want to or not, the result will be political and economic collapse.

This is as certain as night follows day, and day follows night.  It is as certain as January 1st follows December 31st.

What Looks To Be An Intentional War On Small Business And The Middle Class

Mr. Trump saw the episode on ’60 Minutes’ last evening, and was embarrassed for our country. The fact that they have allowed other countries to basically steal our jobs and to create issues in Newton, Iowa. -Michael Cohen, Exec. VP and Special Consultant to Donald Trump

This past Sunday evening, ’60 Minutes’ covered the story of Newton, Iowa, Maytag’s move to Mexico, the rapidly shrinking economy in this beautiful little town, and the effect it is having on the residents.

At one point, Scott Pelley is doing a mini-townhall with a group of Newtonites who speak about nothing getting done in Washington and the Iowa State House because everybody is fighting over ‘social issues’ and not working on what is important; the economy and jobs.  I have said over and over again that ‘social issues’ like abortion and gay marriage absolutely, positively have to take a backseat until we get our fiscal house in order, OR we won’t have the luxury of fighting about abortion while we are all starving.  The asshats in the District of Criminals and globally want YOU FIGHTING over social issues and not paying attention to the purposeful destruction of wealth and jobs in America.

After you finish watching the sadness that follows, take the time to watch the Catherine Austin Fitts interview about the intentional ‘Looting of America’ which will explain how this happened to us and who is responsible.

(more…)

Catherine Austin Fitts; ‘The Looting Of America’

This is it kids; this is the video from Catherine Austin Fitts that I have been waiting almost three weeks to bring you about the intentional draining of American wealth, shipment of jobs overseas, and the planned destruction of the middle class.  I urge every single reader to watch the interview in it’s entirety because Ms. Fitts offers pieces of the puzzle that help explain why our world seems to be so upside-down in a manner that anyone can understand.  Hopefully, it will help you realize the true danger of the Federal Reserve System, the big Wall Street Banks, and the people behind them.  The Fed and the IRS absolutely have to be abolished.
(more…)

Ron Paul: “Government Destroys Wealth”

Ron Paul’s weekly radio address about the government’s destruction of wealth through Fed inflated bubbles, and war.  (Full transcript follows).

As the current economic downturn shows no signs of lifting, we hear quite a lot of rhetoric from current and potential officeholders about what government can and will do to create more jobs. This is especially disconcerting to those that understand that the best thing government can do for job creation is to simply get out of the way. Jobs are properly created by businesses. Government created jobs are either fueled by fiat money and manipulated market conditions or directly funded by taxes paid for by businesses and individuals who then have less to hire people for real wealth creation. Government created jobs destroy wealth and sap potential from the economy. The several stimulus bills passed by Congress have done much to expand government, but not much to keep money in the hands of real job creators; the entrepreneurs. Keynesian economists don’t see things this way. They see government spending as a stop gap measure that tides us over through rough economic patches, but is this really the case? Far from it. The reality is, instead of sustaining us until the economy can catch up, government spending perpetuates the problems the bureaucrats and the politicians created. Maintaining a high level of employment is one of the main objectives of The Federal Reserve, which is just one reason it is ill conceived at its very core. It legitimizes economic intervention which is always destructive. When unemployment rises after the bust of a Fed created bubble, you can be sure Congress will attempt to rescue the economy through various policies that will always prolong the agony and expand the downturn.

In the late ’90’s, it was thought that encouraging home ownership would have a stimulative effect that would ripple through the rest of the economy and create jobs. Various government policies favorable to home ownership were enacted and the Fed kept interest rates artificially low so everyone would be able to buy a home whether or not they could really afford it. For awhile it worked. The housing boom increased demand for realtors, mortgage lenders, and construction workers. However, as reality sank in, not only are we back to where we were when the bubble began, but we are actually worse off. For example, not only have we lost all of the one million extra construction jobs the bubble created, but we have lost another one million jobs on top of that. So not only did the artificial wealth evaporate, but real wealth has been destroyed as well.

Even more sinister are jobs created by war. Recent reports highlight the increasing dependence on contractors to support our war efforts in Afghanistan. Massive corruption is endemic to these highly lucrative positions. Almost half of the contracting companies we use are Afghan owned and include such business models as recruiting away the very same Afghan police force we are training, at great expense to the American taxpayer. Meanwhile, we have pledged not to leave until the police forces reaches a certain level. We also bribe many Afghans to simply not attack us. We are in a proverbially hole in Afghanistan, and our leaders need to just stop digging. Neither a Keynesian big spending program nor the military-industrial complex can create long-lasting employment or economic prosperity for our country. The only way to restore both peace and prosperity is draw down our overseas commitments, along with un-Constitutional spending at home; return to the Founders’ vision of a limited republic that neither straddles the globe, nor mismanages the domestic economy.

Dr. Paul’s Texas Straight Talk is found here, and the number to call in for his updates on Monday morning is 888-322-1414.

…And My Mortgage Will Be Paid And My Gas Tank Will Be Full

Monster readers are aware that I have been saying (since before Obama was installed) that Americans needed to reduce their debt, buy gold and silver, start stocking up on food and staples, buy guns, ammo and tobacco, and get ready for hyper-inflation. If you have not stocked up on food, NOW would be that time as prices in the grocery stores are about to start climbing. They have already started going through the ceiling here in the islands.  I am seeing 25% to 50% increases on normal everyday items.

This is today’s “MUST READ” article from The Economic Collapse about what the unemployment numbers released today actually mean, and what is happening in the greater economy.

More Bad News: 10 Things You Should Know About The Latest Economic Numbers

On Friday, headlines across the United States declared that “unemployment remains unchanged at 9.6%”.  Many analysts rejoiced and heralded this announcement as a sign that we have hit bottom and that things will be turning around soon.  But is that the truth?  A closer look at the unemployment numbers reveals some disturbing facts.  For example, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a broader measure of unemployment that includes workers that have stopped looking for work rose sharply to 17.1%.  But that is not the only troubling sign from this past week.  Agricultural commodities continue to skyrocket, which means that food price increases are on the way.  The foreclosure “robo-signing” crisis continues to escalate, and that threatens to throw the entire mortgage industry into a state of absolute turmoil.  Meanwhile, the U.S. national debt continues to grow and wealth continues to leave the United States at a dizzying rate.

So is there reason for optimism?

No, not really.

#10:

10 – It appears that some weird games are being played with the national debt numbers.  Back on September 29th, the U.S. national debt was 13.466 trillion dollars.  On September 30th, the U.S. national debt soared to 13.561 trillion dollars.  Then on October 1st, the beginning of the new fiscal year for the federal government, the U.S. national debt jumped up to 13.610 trillion dollars.  So how in the world does the U.S. national debt jump by a whopping 144 billion dollars in just two days?  Somebody has some explaining to do for this kind of accounting.

Make sure to hit the link and go over and check out the first nine.  It is information you need.

411,000 of 431,000 New Jobs Are Census Workers

Unemployment fell to 9.7% with the new jobs report that 431,000 jobs had been added; only problem is that 411,000 of those jobs are temporary Census workers.  The DOW dropped 200 points on the opening because of these job numbers, but is recovering as of this writing; currently at -168.

Payrolls rise on Census but private hiring weak

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Private employers hired fewer workers than expected in May, a setback for the labor market recovery, even as temporary census hiring pushed overall payrolls growth to its fastest pace in 10 years.

The Labor Department said on Friday payrolls rose 431,000 as the government hired 411,000 workers to conduct the population count. That was the largest monthly increase since March 2000 and marked a fifth straight month of gains.

But private employment, a barometer of labor market strength, increased just 41,000 after rising 218,000 in April, as employers opted to increase hours rather than hire new workers. The average workweek rose to 34.2 hours from 34.1 hours in April.

“The key disappointment was in the private payrolls. While we did get the census hiring, the private economy is not hiring the way we would have liked,” said T.J. Marta, founder and market strategist with Marta on the Markets in Scotch Plains, New Jersey.

Payrolls data for March and April was revised to show 22,000 fewer jobs created than previously reported. May’s hefty employment gain lowered the unemployment rate to 9.7 percent from 9.9 percent in April.

Analysts polled by Reuters had expected non-farm payrolls to rise 513,000 and private businesses to create 190,000 jobs. The jobless rate had been seen dipping to 9.8 percent.

Meanwhile, only 41,000 private sector jobs were added, down from 218,000 in April (AP). 15 million Americans are still unemployed, and market analysts are watching Hungary closely.

Ben Bernanke; The Economic Collapse Poses A Threat To Economic Recovery

Ben Bernanke; The Economic Collapse Poses A Threat To Economic Recovery

Ben is such a genius. I wish I was as smart as Ben…

(all emphasis from this point on, mine.)

Bernanke Says Joblessness, Foreclosures Pose Hurdles (Update2)

April 7 (Bloomberg) — Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said joblessness, home foreclosures and weak lending to small businesses pose challenges to the economy as it recovers from the worst recession since the 1930s.

“We are far from being out of the woods,” Bernanke said today in a speech in Dallas. While the financial crisis has abated and economic growth will probably reduce unemployment over the next year, the U.S. faces hurdles including the lack of a sustained rebound in housing, a “troubled” commercial real estate market and “very weak” hiring, he said.

The remarks reflect concerns by Fed officials at their meeting last month that the job market and tight credit would restrain consumer spending. At the session, Bernanke and his colleagues reiterated interest rates will stay very low for an “extended period.” He didn’t repeat that in today’s speech, while saying the Fed’s “stimulative” rates will aid growth.

“The economy has stabilized and is growing again, although we can hardly be satisfied when one out of every 10 U.S. workers is unemployed and family finances remain under great stress,” Bernanke said in prepared remarks to the Dallas Regional Chamber.

Separately, New York Fed President William Dudley said today that the benchmark federal funds rate “needs to be exceptionally low for an extended period to contribute to easier financial conditions to support economic activity.”

FOMC Vice Chairman

Dudley, who serves as vice chairman of the rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee under Bernanke, was responding to a question from former U.S. Deputy Treasury Secretary Roger Altman, now chairman of Evercore Partners Inc., after a speech to the Economic Club of New York.

Consumer credit declined by the most in three months in February, a Fed report showed today, indicating Americans are reluctant to take on more debt without further improvement in the labor market.

Borrowing fell $11.5 billion after a revised $10.6 billion January gain that was twice as much as initially estimated. The decline in the February measure of credit card debt and non- revolving loans was worse than the lowest estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of 34 economists.

Stocks extended losses after the report. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell 0.8 percent to 1,180.15 at 3:28 p.m. in New York. Treasuries rose, pushing the yield on 10-year securities down nine basis points to 3.86 percent.

Rate Unchanged

At the meeting last month, central bankers left the benchmark rate target, covering overnight interbank loans, in a range of zero to 0.25 percent, where it has been since December 2008.

The median estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News last month is for a Fed interest-rate increase in November.

“Although much of the financial system is functioning more or less normally, bank lending remains very weak, threatening the ability of small businesses to finance expansion and new hiring,” he said.

The Fed last week completed plans to purchase $1.25 trillion of mortgage-backed securities and $175 billion of federal agency debt to reduce home-loan costs. Central bankers are debating when to start selling the debt to reduce the Fed’s balance sheet, which has ballooned to $2.31 trillion from its pre-crisis level of about $874 billion.

“We have yet to see evidence of a sustained recovery in the housing market,” Bernanke said. “Mortgage delinquencies for both subprime and prime loans continue to rise as do foreclosures. The commercial real estate sector remains troubled, which is a concern for communities and for banks holding commercial real estate loans.”

‘Toughest Problems’

Bernanke said some of the economy’s “toughest problems” are in the job market. U.S. employers added 162,000 jobs in March, the third gain in five months and the most in three years. The unemployment rate held at 9.7 percent, close to a 26- year high.

“Hiring remains very weak,” Bernanke said. “I am particularly concerned” that more than 40 percent of those without jobs have been out of work for at least six months, because such spells may erode skills and reduce the workers’ income and employment prospects, the Fed chief said.

The economy expanded at a 5.6 percent annual rate in the final three months of 2009, led by inventory restocking, according to Commerce Department figures released last month. That pace probably slowed to 2.8 percent in the first quarter of 2010, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of economists last month.

Employment Outlook

“My best guess is that economic growth, supported by the Federal Reserve’s stimulative monetary policy, will be sufficient to slowly reduce the unemployment rate over the coming year,” Bernanke said.

Bernanke said inflation “appears to be well controlled” and price expectations “appear stable.” A price gauge favored by the Fed, the personal consumption expenditures price index, minus food and energy, rose 1.3 percent for the year ended in February, slowing from a 1.5 percent rate in January. Fed officials have a longer-run goal of 1.7 percent to 2 percent for the full PCE price index.

Bernanke reiterated his call for a long-term reduction in federal budget deficits, saying “nothing prevents us from beginning now to develop a credible plan.” Without a commitment to “fiscal responsibility, in the longer run we will have neither financial stability nor healthy economic growth.” (there ya go kids – that VAT is coming unless we flip this congress and abolish the fed)

The Obama administration estimates budget deficits will total $5.1 trillion during the next five years and hit a record $1.6 trillion in the year ending Sept. 30. Last year the gap widened to $1.4 trillion amid falling tax revenue from the recession, a bailout of the banking and auto industries, and the 2009 economic stimulus package.

Aren't The Bubbles Beautiful?

The Recession Is Over! Oops…Wal-Mart Cuts 11,000 Jobs

Wal-Mart Cuts 11,000 Jobs at Sam’s Club

NEW YORK—Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world’s largest retailer, announced on Sunday that it would eliminate 11,000 jobs, or 10 percent of its total workforce, at its Sam’s Club warehouse stores.

The positions would be lost because the company has decided to outsource in-store demonstrations and product sampling to an outside firm. Previously, Sam’s Club employees had performed those duties. The announcement comes just after recent U.S. unemployment figures have started to decline modestly.

The company announced the cuts at a meeting on Sunday, according to AP. Sam’s Club CEO Brian Cornell reportedly said in a memo that it hired Shopper Events to take over demonstrating products in its store locations.

The job cuts totaling 11,200 include 10,000 jobs related to product demonstrations and 1,200 positions related to membership recruiting.

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