World Affairs Brief, June 26, 2015 Commentary and Insights on a Troubled World.
Copyright Joel Skousen. Partial quotations with attribution permitted. Cite source as Joel Skousen’s World Affairs Brief (http://www.worldaffairsbrief.com).
WILL ECONOMIC COLLAPSE PREDICTIONS FINALLY COME TRUE THIS FALL?
Each year about this time there are several internet analysts predicting a massive economic collapse in October. This year it is a tsunami of hype that may or may not come true. Even Ron Paul’s comments about the un-sustainability of the dollar and the collapse of the entire US financial system added fuel to the fire. But my biggest issue is with the predictions of imminent collapse. In the past four or five years that I have been tracking these collapse predictions, they always come up empty. Sadly, rather than admit error, the collapse crowd peddles the same theme next year with even more scary scenarios. Most analysts are not wrong about the root problems of debt, speculation and fiat money, but they do not understand or address the massive manipulation of the markets by government and the powers of the FED—who can keep things going and postpone collapse until war comes when they will claim it is not their fault. This week, I will explain why any collapse prediction is invalid without coming to grips with the power of manipulation and the fact that there are no signs that globalists are maneuvering to let it fall.
October seems to be the favored month to trigger market crashes considering the manipulated stock market crashes of 1929 and 1987, but September is also historically a bad month. This time the shaky European bond market is providing fodder for the “sky is falling” crowd, where big liquidity problems threaten to create panic. The irrational US stock market, on the other hand, continues to rise, driven by new money from the FED and the same bandwagon effect that got people in trouble in 1929. The big difference between now and then, as I just mentioned, is the degree of control the FED has over money creation, interest rates, and secret relationships with “Too Big to Fail” banks and Wall Street investment houses that are used as conduits for liquidity injections into the markets in order to cause, halt, or take advantage of panic buying or selling.
Let’s begin with a piece by Michael Snyder, of the Economic Collapse Blog, who persistently makes the case for collapse.
Not since the financial crash of 2008 have so many prominent people issued such urgent warnings about a specific time period. Almost daily now, really big names are coming out with chilling predictions about what they believe is going to happen during the second half of 2015. But it isn’t just that these people have a “bad feeling” about things. The truth is that we are witnessing a confluence of circumstances and events in the second half of this year that is unprecedented.
This is something that I covered in a previous article that went mega-viral all over the Internet entitled “7 Key Events That Are Going To Happen By The End Of September.” [None of which are real indicators of economic collapse. Unfortunately, many of the seven are based on the flawed hype of Jonathan Cahn, author of books about Blood Moons and Shemitah prophecies focusing on Jewish calendars that I don’t believe are definitive or reliable.] Personally, I have never been more concerned about any period of time than I am about the second half of 2015.
Just a few days ago, I received an email that contained a chilling message from Lindsey Williams. You can view the same message that came to my email right here. According to Lindsey Williams, the elite insider that he is in contact with told him that there will be a global financial collapse between September and December of this year…
“WARNING! From Lindsey Williams… My elite friend indicated that they have a World Wide Financial Collapse scheduled between September and the end of December 2015. You may have just THREE (3) months to prepare!”
I think the notion that the PTB have it calendared for this fall is disinformation. The real insiders would know a more precise time frame (so these few can make money off the collapse rather than go down with it). This “insider tip” about getting prepared implies that the PTB intend to create more than just economic chaos. Many pundits on the conservative side keep saying (based on other bogus insiders like the “DHS informant”) that the globalist-engineered collapse will cause social unrest which, in turn, will justify martial law.
This is very bad analysis because the government would clearly get the blame. The only way to trigger a full collapse is to cut the money supply drastically and fail to provide liquidity when thousands of speculators are in trouble. There are hundreds of FED watchers who would know to the day when the FED cut the money supply and caused a collapse.
But if they wait until the coming world war then they can blame all these horrific changes on the enemy—which is why the globalists are so eager to provoke the war. It has worked before and it will work again, diverting the blame from them to the war. These globalists aren’t stupid and always seek to use deception and crises to cover for their evil agenda.
Snyder continues: I have a ton of respect for Lindsey Williams, and I would listen to what he has to say very carefully. Back in 2008, an elite insider told him that the price of oil would drop from $140 a barrel to $40 a barrel, and it happened. This time around, Williams has been telling us throughout 2013 and 2014 that a global financial collapse was not going to happen during those years, and he was right about that. But now he is sounding the alarm that one is going to come by the end of this calendar year.
Snyder’s praise is a very selective recitation of Williams’ track record focusing only on the few times he has been right. What Snyder fails to tell his readers is that Williams was predicting collapse, based on his insider’s tips from 2010 through 2012. And he predicted collapse on and off during 2013 and 2014 until he retracted them for a brief time knowing that his track record was so dismal.
I’m absolutely certain that Williams is being played for a fool by his contacts. As I’ve written before in the WAB, nobody who is an insider is going to get away with leaking the globalist’s intentions to someone like Pastor Williams (who may be sincere) who will parade those tips to the whole world—at least not without getting caught. The NSA tracks all communications, especially those of insiders to make sure no one “talks out of school.” If this source keeps talking to Williams it is only because it is planned and he is spreading disinformation to make Williams look like a fool—which he is for believing him.
Many years ago Pastor Williams did get some good info from semi-insider Ken Fromm, CEO of ARCO, about the US capping huge oil finds in Alaska to keep US oil off the market and drive prices up. But I don’t believe Fromm was a full insider, who are all evil. Fromm just happened to be on the receiving end of threats by government to shut down a major oil find. Fromm complied but was not on board with the agenda. He used his access to those who directed him to get a glimpse of the secret control system that was running our government. He passed these concerns on to Williams, who sold them to the public as info from an insider—which wasn’t technically true.
There’s a difference between having dealings with government controllers, as Fromm did, and being one of them, which Fromm was not. After Fromm died, Williams began to get tips from one or two others claiming to be insider friends of Fromm and authorized to leak information to Williams. Williams had set himself up as someone who had “insider sources” and I believe the government set this follow-on trap for him, knowing that Williams would become an innocent accomplice in spreading disinformation.
It is true that his new sources gave him one dramatic and true tip in 2008, about the timing of the end of the rise in gasoline prices. As any oil insider at the time knew, there was a conspiracy to drive the price of oil upward by keeping supplies off the market. Controlled oil companies were filling every available land based oil storage tank with oil and every idle oil tanker offshore in order to keep supplies off the market. These sources happened to know that all the storage capacity was full in the fall of 2008, and therefore could predict almost to the week when oil would start flowing again to the refineries, dropping prices.
This grand tip made Williams a star—and also a sucker for the future bad tips he would get from his “insiders.” Although Williams has a way of continually spinning his tips in a positive way, he has never owned up to the failures. I tried to warn subscribers clear back in 2011 and 2012 about Williams and the collapse crowd (excerpt from the WAB June 29, 2012):
I field more questions from subscribers and preppers each week on the subject of economic collapse than any other topic, despite having covered in the WAB numerous reasons why neither hyperinflation nor a complete and sudden collapse of the dollar can happen this year or in the next couple of years. In fact, a total collapse could never be sudden just because of the sheer size of the dollar pool internationally.
Yet there is an unending flow of predictions of complete and imminent collapse coming from both the uninformed and the informed financial newsletter writers on the conservative/libertarian side. The latter should know better, but simply haven’t thought this out very well and are using the hype to generate sales of newsletters, financial products or the need to redeem themselves from their long litany of failed collapse predictions already posted.
Pastor Lindsey Williams is continuing to push the banking holiday/collapse scenario based upon his bogus insider sources. My late friend Bob Chapman [The International Forecaster] also got fooled into believing the various scenarios supposedly touted by law enforcement people claiming that the banks were going to close down due to an imminent collapse. That was in August of 2010. But even though that failed, Bob continued to push the collapse scenario.
There is absolutely no reason why the FED would call a banking holiday which would cut off people’s access to money. The economy would collapse within weeks, and they would get the blame. As long as they’ve got the means to keep creating money, there simply is no rationale for this. People who continue to make these claims simply don’t understand either the power of the Fed or the plans of the PTB.
The list of those calling for imminent collapse is growing longer by the week, but it doesn’t mean it is any more true. R.G. Allen, Robert Kiyosaki, Gonzalo Lira, Mike Maloney, Mike Dillard (who’s been pushing the collapse of the EURO for years now and still won’t stop despite the failure of his predictions), and more recently the National Inflation Association, Porter Stansberry and Sandy Leeds are all pushing imminent collapse. While economic fundamentals are crying out for a collapse, these good people don’t understand the powerful nature of the conspiracy we are dealing with and their ability to manipulate the economic numbers.
Even Peter Schiff is predicting collapse by 2014, as reported by Dominique de Kevelioc de Bailleul of Beacon Equity Research—and she’s a believer too.
As you can see, all of these were wrong on timing. But they’ll be right eventually—in a way. It’s true that fiat money always ends badly, but the financial PTB know this and don’t want to be left holding the bag. That’s why they will continue to keep up the illusion of recovery until there is a sufficient external crisis (probably war) that will justify a new world fiat currency—and it won’t be a gold-backed currency despite the wishful thinking of those hyping China’s accumulation of gold reserves. The Michael Snyder piece continues:
Martin Armstrong is someone else that has been sounding the alarm about the second half of this year. In fact, Armstrong says that he has “warned that the Big Bang was coming since 1985.” [Yes, those were the old “hard money” conference days of Howard Ruff and Jim Blanchard—all of whom thought the collapse would come in the 80’s and then the 90’s. There were stock market corrections like 1987, but NONE even came close to collapse.]
In the past, I have written entire articles about economic cycle theories and what they indicate is coming in our future. [People who build models based on historical cycles can be pretty convincing, but conspiracies and manipulation of markets can’t be tracked by cycle theories.] Armstrong has developed one of his own, and he calls it the Economic Confidence Model. According to the ECM, the “sovereign debt Big Bang” is scheduled to happen by the end of 2015.
There are many aspects that are lining up with the turn in Armstrong’s ECM from the Blood Moon and the Jewish Year for forgiving the debts, to France imposing restrictions on cash in September… [I don’t view these as valid indicators of government changing the way they manage the markets.]
In case you are tempted to dismiss this as nonsense, Armstrong has pointed out that his ECM has been accurate “to the day” in the past. Of course the 1987 crash bottomed to the day with the ECM confirming that was the low. The same took place in 1994 where the U.S. share market bottomed right to the day, once again confirming this was an important low.
In fact Martin did not “call” any of these crashes way back when. My brother Mark (Forecasts and Strategies) was one of the few who actually made an open warning about the stock crash of 1987 by pointing to all the signs that were there. And Peter Schiff did call the crash of mortgage backed securities in 2008. But he hasn’t been as prescient since.
Armstrong has reconstructed his model to conform to the economic patterns of the past. But over time these economic indicators have ceased to become a reliable predictor of market action because of manipulation. Government intervention under the table is the most powerful factor today, not fundamentals. Economic instability abounds all the time and yet markets continue to be propped up by easy money (at near zero interest rates) flowing to insider big banks that keep investing in the huge speculative markets.
The government even has a “plunge protection team” of Wall Street insiders that have access to nearly unlimited FED funds in order to counter any trends that might cause runaway computer selling. Only a minority of individual investors make up the markets today. It’s the big banks, investment houses, hedge funds funds, and speculators that drive the markets.
So will the ECM be right again this time? Only time will tell, but it should be noted that the global bond market is already starting to crash. If Armstrong ultimately turns out to be correct, we could be on the verge of a major turning point.
Snyder is partly right about bonds being in trouble. But the big problem is mostly in European bonds due to the threat of a Greek default spreading to other heavily indebted EU nations. Spain, Italy and Portugal are not far behind Greece. As Yahoo Finance reported,
On Greece, the IMF made some concessions to Greek negotiators on the crucial subjects of value-added tax and pensions. These have been sticking points this week, and the IMF has been the most uncompromising of Greece’s official creditors. The IMF’s willingness to bargain suggests that Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras can save face and keep Greece on the euro, as most of his citizens would prefer (according to polls).
This tends to confirm my prediction that the EU globalist powers will do everything to keep the lower southern tier of nations in the EU at whatever cost. The trouble with the Greek people is that they want both—to maintain their bankrupt welfare state and stay in the EU.
Overall, bonds are in trouble in large part because of the threat of a Greek sovereign debt default. For traders, bond liquidity and predictable interest payments are the attraction (in normal times, it is easy to always find buyers among conservative investors, pension funds, and bond funds) but pensioners themselves tend to buy and hold bonds to maturity, collecting the regular interest payments. To them the threat of a sovereign default is even more serious. Right now, because of the instability over a potential Greek default, liquidity in the trading of bonds has been badly hurt and that is why bonds are in decline. As Bloomberg noted,
There are three things that matter in the bond market these days: liquidity, liquidity and liquidity. How — or whether — investors can trade without having prices move against them has become a major worry as bonds globally tanked in the past few months. As a result, liquidity, or the lack of it, is skewing markets in new and surprising ways.
Spain, for instance, must pay more to borrow money than Italy for 30 years, even though Spain is considered safer by credit raters. Why? The Italian bond market is twice as big as the Spanish one — and, therefore, more liquid.
The same thing is happening around the world. Bonds in smaller, less-traded markets like Finland, Singapore and Canada are starting to fall out of favor. And with the Federal Reserve preparing to raise U.S. interest rates, investors want to know they can sell in a hurry if debt markets turn volatile.
But to put things in perspective global bond prices have only fallen between 8 and 12% and much of this is in anticipation of a rise in interest rates—which the FED continues to postpone and postpone. The investment world doesn’t really expect a wholesale collapse of the entire financial system anymore—even though it is ultimately inevitable as Ron Paul keeps saying.
Ron Paul rightly believes that continual deficits and money creation cannot continue indefinitely. But he clearly doesn’t understand that the FED can keep things afloat a lot longer by keeping overall inflation of the money supply below 10%-15%. He also doesn’t have much understanding of the coming war agenda, which is the globalist’s escape manuever to avoid blame. Ron doesn’t even see the Russian threat. Like most libertarians, he kind of assumes that all the enemies of the globalists must be our friends. Not true.
Not seeing the crisis creation path of war, it’s easy for Ron to get caught up in the collapse predictions based upon the economy’s shaky fundamentals. That’s why he’s been hired on to imminent collapse predictors including Stansberry Research who pays him for his commentary. Stansberry is a perennial collapse prediction firm that sells alternative investment plans and buys time on alternative news web sites to promote their interviews with Paul. That’s why Ron Paul’s collapse predictions are everywhere on the web.
I’ve listened to his video presentations and I’m disappointed at their lack of detailed economic analysis as well as the utter lack of discussion over the role of the FED’s manipulation of markets. Without discussing how, why or what the FED is doing, (beyond creating money) one can’t make a credible case for imminent collapse.
As for the claims by the collapse crowd that the dollar is about to implode let me reiterate some very clear arguments I made in that 2012 WAB about what has to happen for a currency to collapse to occur. None of these are happening yet and my arguments have not been addressed by the collapse crowd:
Let me quickly review, once again, the reasons why a collapse or devaluation of the dollar, hyperinflation, or the dollar quickly losing its reserve currency status is not imminent and can’t happen quickly any time in the next few years:
1) Collapse: Collapse of a currency can only happen if it becomes relatively worthless in a short period of time. Inflation of the currency at high rates is the only thing that can cause this, ending either in devaluation and/or hyperinflation. Neither of these are real threats to the dollar currently despite the huge debt crisis.
2) Devaluation: Devaluation happens when a currency value is pegged to another at a fixed exchange rate, and the smaller currency inflates at a more rapid rate than the pegged currency causing an imbalance in demand which eventually causes the peg to be broken and a new fixed rate set. The dollar isn’t pegged to anything—it’s the standard. In a non-pegged system an informal devaluation can only occur if the dollar is being inflated at a much higher rate than other currencies. That isn’t happening because every other currency is inflating about the same rate proportional to their base as is the dollar. In fact, other currencies approve of US inflation, because it allows them to inflate their currency while maintaining the same relative exchange rate with the dollar.
3) Hyperinflation: Two things must be present for hyperinflation to happen. First, you must start with a relatively small money supply that can be expanded multiple times. The dollar base is so large, after having been inflated and spread around the world for so long that it literally can’t be inflated rapidly as compared to smaller currencies. The quantity of dollars in circulation is estimated at $300 trillion (not counting the huge non-monetized economy of derivatives, contracts and hedges perhaps as big as $500T). The FED could create $30T a year and it wouldn’t exceed 10% inflation rate. Even that huge amount isn’t hyperinflation, which results in panic spending due to rapidly rising prices. Second, a nation has to have an automatic injection mechanism to put increasing quantities of money into the pockets of consumers so they can keep up with rising prices, otherwise the inflation kills stops economic growth. We don’t have that, and what we do have (food stamps, unemployment compensation, Soc. Sec., etc,) isn’t effectively indexed to inflation. Without the public’s ability to get more money each month as in Germany in 1936, the economy retracts as people can’t keep up, and spending decreases—again stopping hyperinflation and causing stagflation.
4) Loss of Reserve Status. This also can’t happen anytime soon since the dollar base is so much larger than any other currency. You’d have to print up probably 5 times the existing quantities of Euros to supplant the dollar and that would have devastating inflationary effects on the Eurozone. The same with the British Pound. No one would trust the Chinese Yen because there’s no transparency there either. What about a basket of currencies? —The same problem exists there as in the EU—even their strict rules about one nation expanding their Euros over another, the southern tier of nations found ways of cheating. No one can trust any of these voluntary agreements anymore.
If there is a real threat right now, it’s the huge derivatives and hedge fund bubble—trillions of dollars committed in contracts but almost without actual asset backing. No big paper investment happens today with CDS derivative insurance or hedging, and little of that can actually be paid to the beneficiary if a sufficient crisis develops. However, this mainly affects the huge speculative economy—and these have the most power to get a bailout from their fellows at the FED.
Rather than see a collapse coming this year or even by 2014, I think we are going to see another mild inflationary recovery (not a true recovery), but one where inflation finally starts to overpower deflationary forces and people start to spend again, and hire. It won’t be big, but it will help the PTB extend this debt spiral until the end of the decade where even bigger world conflicts will help them escape final blame. Don’t underestimate the power of the PTB to keep inflating enough to stave off default and yet keep inflation below 10%.
That said, we are dealing with conspiracies here—and the PTB could simply decide to pull the plug on the economy. All they would have to do is stop intervening in the huge derivative market to keep those contracts from defaulting, as they have been recently in Europe. The derivatives bubble is by far the largest ponzi scheme ever—trillions in promises to pay without any means to make good on all those promises, even after the hedges balance out the excess exposure.
In fact, the derivative mess has been threatening to collapse ever since AIG in 2008, and yet the financial PTB continue to stop the derivative contracts from being collected on. In Europe, for example, they kept insisting that no default had occurred when investors in Greek bonds had to take a 50% haircut (loss on their bond investments). Hence no one could make good on those CDS default swap insurance policies (which are sold as guarantees on all these big risky investments). They change the rules all the time, and control the higher powers that might rule those changes illegal. I think they can keep this up for several more years.
Armstrong makes the prediction that people will start to disbelieve government and its power to stabilize and that this will bring down the system:
This next turning point should be the peak in the concentration of capital and confidence in government. From there on out, 2015.75 [September 2015] should mark the change in trend where people will start to disbelieve government on a grand scale. The debt markets that peak precisely with the target are going to get the worst of it.
Investment legend Jim Rogers agreed:
I suspect in the next year or two we will see some kind of major, major problems in the world financial markets. I would suspect when we have this correction, it’s going to cause central banks to panic. There’s going to come a time when there is not much the central banks can do when they have lost all credibility. When governments have lost all credibility. They will print and spend and borrow, but there comes a time when people are just going to say We don’t want to play this game anymore. And at that point, the world has serious, serious problems because there’s nothing to rescue us.
But these two opinions have one major flaw—people have no other place to go. Government will always have a “solution” controlled by them for any crisis, especially the ones they create. They don’t care if people “don’t want to play this game anymore.” What other choice is there? They put people in prison for trying to establish a competing gold backed currency.
One of the most dramatic warnings about collapse came from Alex Jones in his special video alert relaying how he had “two different calls” from “extremely prominent wealthy people” warning him about what is coming by the end of this year and asking him why he isn’t leaving the United States “before October.” He concludes that “the elite” are leaving the country and you should too.
I think that’s an incorrect deduction about the elite. The real insider elite aren’t leaving the country, even though some do have offshore residences and most have offshore bank accounts. The elite are even building sheltering structures under their resort homes because they know a nuclear war is coming.
Yes, there is a wave of wealthy people, like the ones calling Alex, hell bent on getting out of the country to what they think are safe havens like Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. As the most noted author in the country on Strategy Relocation, I get tons of calls about off-shore retreat strategies, but I can’t recommend them. It’s not a smart strategy at all.
These people labor under the very mistaken impression that somehow the rest of the world is not going to be affected by the eventual collapse of the US dollar and the US economy, which isn’t true. All of these foreign destinations are heavily reliant on world trade, tourism and the stability of the dollar. All of their budgets are in deficit—some worse than others—but none are going to be able to provide American ex-patriots the current cheap, peaceful expat lifestyle they all read about on the net.
Worse yet for the Pacific island retreats is the threat of conquest in the next world war. China is planning to conquer their part of the world—exactly like Japan did in WWII—to seize all of the island territory on the Pacific ring. This will include Australia (where China has already bought up all the mineral rights), New Zealand and the Pacific islands. Try factoring in a Chinese occupation into your retreat plans (and the need to blend in or hide in order to survive) and the US begins to look pretty good.
A lot of people think they are going to be able to avoid the affects of the coming nuclear war by being in South America or in the Pacific. Yes, it’s true, there probably won’t be many nuclear targets in those areas, but that’s only a small part of the threats you face in war. Almost half the nations in South America presently have outright communist or former communist leaders who are actively promoting ties with Russia and China. Every nation will have to choose sides in a world war and with the growing reputation of the US as the bully of the world I wouldn’t count on a favorable long-term reception for Americans in foreign countries.
When these nation’s socialist welfare budgets become even more bankrupt than they are (look at Venezuela) the rapacious Left goes after foreign property owners and bank accounts first. Mexico has confiscated dollar accounts twice already.
Some summary comments:
While I have spoken out vigorously against the imminent collapse of the dollar and the entire fiat money system short of war (which is still a few years away), I do believe it is likely that there will be a significant correction in both the bond and stock markets—as much as 20%. If that happens this fall, the collapse crowd will say it’s a collapse, but it won’t be. The FED will intervene and it has a lot more room to expand the money supply before reaching high levels of inflation.
Remember, that economies NEVER completely collapse except under conditions of war where there is a major destruction and dislocation of structures and people—or hyperinflation, which is unlikely without any formal indexing system to allow people to keep paying higher and higher prices.
Even the “Great Depression” was not a true collapse of the economy. 75% were still employed. Yes, some were devastated financially by excessive speculation and lost everything, and many people lost their jobs because consumption nearly stopped. The big problem in the depression was that the poor had very little to fall back on, either in terms of housing, supplies, or family to lean on.Today, in contrast, even the poor are rich by comparison to the depression, with multiple cars, entertainment sets, clothes, and welfare payments. Only a war of partial destruction and the taking down of the electric grid could obliterate those accumulated assets that currently allow people to escape much of the current economic consequences.
I’m not a fan of the FED or its power to keep bailing things out, but I do know that they have even more manipulation ability than we know about and will use it to avoid losing control, and energize people against them. They have a major war agenda they are building for, which will trounce the growing opposition to globalist structures they keep trying to shove down our throats. Maintaining the appearance that they have the solutions is crucial. I think the PTB are fully aware of the risks in the current speculative economy and are working overtime to keep thing afloat—not for benevolent reasons, but to maintain power.