DERANGED CENTRAL BANKERS BLOWING UP THE WORLD

Submitted by Jim Quinn  –  The Burning Platform

It is now self-evident to any sentient being (excludes CNBC shills, Wall Street shyster economists, and Keynesian loving politicians) the mountainous level of unpayable global debt is about to crash down like an avalanche upon hundreds of millions of willfully ignorant citizens who trusted their politician leaders and the central bankers who created the debt out of thin air. McKinsey produced a report last year showing the world had added $57 trillion of debt between 2008 and the 2nd quarter of 2014, with global debt to GDP reaching 286%.

The global economy has only deteriorated since mid-2014, with politicians and central bankers accelerating the issuance of debt. These deranged psychopaths have added in excess of $70 trillion of debt in the last eight years, a 50% increase. With $142 trillion of global debt enough to collapse the global economy in 2008, only a lunatic would implement a “solution” that increased global debt to $212 trillion over the next seven years thinking that would solve a problem created by too much debt.

The truth is, these central bankers and captured politicians knew this massive issuance of more unpayable debt wouldn’t solve anything. Their goal was to keep the global economy afloat so their banker owners and corporate masters would not have to accept the consequences of their criminal actions and could keep their pillaging of global wealth going unabated.

The issuance of debt and easy money policies of the Fed and their foreign central banker co-conspirators functioned to drive equity prices to all-time highs in 2015, but the debt issuance and money printing needs to increase exponentially in order keep stock markets rising. Once the QE spigot was shut off markets have flattened and are now falling hard. You can sense the desperation among the financial elite. The desperation is borne out by the frantic reckless measures taken by central bankers and politicians since 2008.

  • 637 rate cuts since Bear Stearns
  • $12.3 trillion of asset purchases by global central banks in the past 8 years
  • $8.3 trillion of global government debt currently yielding 0% or less
  • 489 million people currently living in countries with official negative rates policies (i.e. Japan, Eurozone, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark)
  • -0.92%, the most negative yield in the world (2-year Swiss government bond)

Continue reading

LIVING A LIE

Submitted by Jim Quinn  –  The Burning Platform

“Above all, don’t lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love.” –  Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

The lies we tell ourselves are only exceeded by the lies perpetrated by those controlling the levers of our society. We’ve lost respect for ourselves and others, transforming from citizens with obligations to consumers with desires. The love of mammon has left our country a hollowed out, debt ridden shell of what it once was.  When I see the data from surveys about the amount of debt being carried by people in this country and match it up with the totals reported by the Federal Reserve, I’m honestly flabbergasted that so many people choose to live a lie. By falling for the false materialistic narrative of having it all today, millions of Americans have enslaved themselves in trillions of debt. The totals are breathtaking to behold:

Total mortgage debt – $13.6 trillion ($9.9 trillion residential)

Total credit card debt – $924 billion

Total auto loan debt – $1.0 trillion

Total student loan debt – $1.3 trillion

Other consumer debt – $300 billion

With 118 million occupied households in the U.S., that comes to $145,000 per household. But, when you consider only 74 million of the households are owner occupied and approximately 26 million of those are free and clear of mortgage debt, that leaves millions of people with in excess of $200,000 in mortgage debt. Keeping up with the Joneses has taken on a new meaning as buying a 6,000 sq ft McMansion with 3% down became the standard operating procedure for a vast swath of image conscious Americans. When you are up to your eyeballs in debt, you don’t own anything. You are living a lie. Continue reading

Unwinding Carry Trades and Unintended Consequences

Submitted by Jim Quinn  –  The Burning Platform

The European Central Bank under the auspices of Mario Draghi has created a market destabilizing condition known as the euro carry trade. Mr. Draghi recently telegraphed to the markets a more aggressive attack on the value of the currency heading into the ECB meeting held on December 3rd. In fact, he went on record saying the ECB’s imperative is to, “Do what we must to create inflation as quickly as possible.” Because Draghi promised to destroy the euro at an even quicker pace than it was already falling, financial institutions front ran the ECB’s increased bid for bonds and equities, sending these prices soaring in the weeks prior to the meeting.

 

The euro carry trade was in full swing. These banks and hedge funds also borrowed euros and bought higher-yielding dollar denominated assets. And, the falling euro/rising USD furthermore served as a green light to sell short most commodities, including precious metals.

 

A great example of how the euro carry trade works can be found in the market for U.S. Treasuries. In the weeks leading up to the December 3rd ECB meeting the U.S. Ten-year Note Yield fell from 2.88% on November 9th, all the way down to 2.26% on December 2nd, as traders sold euros and bid up Treasury prices. The trade was a double-win because Treasuries offered a higher yield than European bonds and was denominated in a rising currency. European traders could earn more income on their money while also benefitting from an improving currency translation.

 

But Mr. Draghi threw a wrench into this carry trade when traders became disappointed with the outcome of the meeting. The ECB did not increase the amount of monthly QE purchases as was highly anticipated. Draghi kept the level of monthly purchases at 60 billion euros. However, he did extend the program by 6 months and lowered the deposit rate by 10bps. This caused the euro to soar against most major currencies and sent carry trade speculators scrambling to sell bonds and stocks, and then sell dollars to cover their short euro position. Continue reading

FOURTH TURNING – POLITICIANS DRIVING THE WORLD TOWARDS WAR

Submitted by Jim Quinn  –  The Burning Platform

In Part 1 of this article I discussed the catalyst spark which ignited this Fourth Turning and the seemingly delayed regeneracy. In Part 2 I pondered possible Grey Champion prophet generation leaders who could arise during the regeneracy. In Part 3 I focused on the economic channel of distress which is likely to be the primary driving force in the next phase of this Crisis. In Part 4 I assessed the social and cultural channels of distress dividing the nation. In Part 5 I’ll examine the technological, ecological, political, and military channels of distress likely to burst forth with the molten ingredients of this Fourth Turning, and finally in Part 6 our rendezvous with destiny, with potential climaxes to this Winter of our discontent.

Technological & Ecological Distress

“Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards.” Aldous Huxley – Ends and Means

The level of distress being produced by technology was probably underestimated by Strauss & Howe when they wrote their book in 1997. The internet, cell phones and e-commerce were still in their infancy, while cyber security was an unknown concept. Huxley would be shocked by how backwards we have “progressed” through the efficient distribution of iGadgets, creating millions of distracted, non-thinking, passive, easily pliable, willfully ignorant sheep who adore their technological servitude.

A vast swath of the populace never reads a book and can’t go more than a few minutes without checking their iGadget to view the latest funny cat video, the latest update on Kim Kardashian’s ass, Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner’s courage, or Lamar Odom’s latest whorehouse escapade. Our country is drowning in a sea of irrelevance as our infinite craving for diversions and triviality overwhelms any thoughts of confronting our oppressors. The adoration of technology has degraded our ability to think and allowed the Deep State to control the masses by amusing them to death.

The totalitarian Orwellian utilization of technology was exposed by a millennial with courage, intelligence, and love of his country – Edward Snowden. His revelations were very distressful to the felonious government apparatchiks who blatantly flaunt their disregard for the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution. The criminals at the NSA, fully supported by Obama and Congress, have made Big Brother look like an amateur, as they siphon up every phone call, text, email, and facebook entry made by each person in this country and for good measure the political leaders of our allies and enemies. Continue reading

THE FED INDUCED FARCE

Submitted by Jim Quinn  –  The Burning Platform

The minutes from the last Fed meeting were released on Wednesday afternoon. The minutes, along with a squadron of jabbering Fed heads lying about the economy doing great, pretty much locked in the most talked about .25% interest rate increase in world history.  Evidently the Wall Street titans of greed have convinced the muppets higher interest rates are great for stocks, as the market soared by 250 points. As institutional money exits the market on these rigged up days, the dumb money retail investor buys into the market with dreams of riches just like they did with Pets.com in 2000, McMansions in 2005, and Bear Stearns in 2007.

The Fed has lost any credibility they ever thought they deserved by delaying this meaningless insignificant interest rate increase for the last three years, so they will make this token increase in December come hell or high water. They want to give themselves some leeway for easing again when this debt saturated global economy implodes in the near future. The Fed is trapped by their own cowardice and capture by the Wall Street cabal. If they raise rates the USD will strengthen even more than it has already. The USD is already at 11 year highs. It has appreciated by 25% in the last year versus the basket of world currencies. The babbling boobs on the entertainment news channels authoritatively expound with a straight face about the rise in the dollar being due to our strong economic performance. It’s beyond laughable, as the economy has been sucking wind since the day the Fed turned off the QE spigot in October 2014.


Chart of the Day Continue reading

CONFUSION, DELUSIONS & ILLUSIONS

Submitted by Jim Quinn  –  The Burning Platform

Two recent surveys, along with numerous other studies and data, reveal most American households to be living on the brink of catastrophe, but continuing to act in a reckless and delusionary manner. There have certainly been economic factors beyond the control of average Americans that have resulted in real median household incomes remaining stagnant for the last 36 years. The unholy alliance of mega-corporations, Wall Street and bought off corrupt politicians have gutted the nation of millions of good paying jobs under the guise of globalization, while utilizing debt, derivatives and financial schemes to enrich themselves. The malfeasance of the sociopathic privileged class does not discharge the personal responsibility of citizens for living within their means. A lack of discipline, inability to delay gratification, failure to understand basic mathematical concepts, materialistic envy, absence of critical thinking skills, and a delusionary view of the world have left the majority of Americans broke and in debt.

The data that captured my attention was how little the average American household has in savings. Roughly 62% of Americans have less than $1,000 in savings and 21% don’t even have a savings account, according to a new survey of more than 5,000 adults conducted this month by Google Consumer Survey for personal finance website GOBankingRates.com. This dreadful data is reinforced by a similar survey of 1,000 adults carried out earlier this year by personal finance site Bankrate.com, which also found that 62% of Americans have no emergency savings for a medical crisis, car repair, or unanticipated household expenditure.

The fact is these are not highly unlikely scenarios. They happen every day as part of our routine existence. Everyone gets sick. Every car eventually needs new tires or an engine repair. Every home will need a new hot water heater or roof at some point. It is foolish and short sighted to not expect “unexpected” expenditures. Living in the moment and fulfilling your immediate desires may feel good today, but leaves you susceptible to disaster tomorrow. Gradually building a rainy day fund over time is what adults should do. Only immature children operate with no safety net. Everyone has an excuse for why they end up living on the edge, but the data exposes us to be an infantile nation of spendthrifts incapable of distinguishing between wants and needs. It might be understandable for young adults who are burdened by student loan debt and entry level jobs to have little or no savings, but the data for older Americans is most disturbing.

It seems 51% of all Generation X adults between the ages of 35 to 54, in the prime earning years of their lives, have ZERO savings, the highest among all age cohorts, with over 20% of them not even having a savings account. This is incomprehensible and reveals an almost juvenile approach to life. Approximately 70% of all 35 to 54 year old households have $1,000 or less in savings. These are people who should have been working for the last 10 to 30 years. To not have put aside more than $1,000 is beyond irresponsible, and the justification of earning no interest on savings is disingenuous as they could have earned 5% up until 2008. This shocking state of affairs can’t only be laid at the feet of the evil bankers and rich corporate titans. Continue reading

CONFUSION, DELUSIONS & ILLUSIONS

Submitted by Jim Quinn  –  The Burning Platform

Two recent surveys, along with numerous other studies and data, reveal most American households to be living on the brink of catastrophe, but continuing to act in a reckless and delusionary manner. There have certainly been economic factors beyond the control of average Americans that have resulted in real median household incomes remaining stagnant for the last 36 years. The unholy alliance of mega-corporations, Wall Street and bought off corrupt politicians have gutted the nation of millions of good paying jobs under the guise of globalization, while utilizing debt, derivatives and financial schemes to enrich themselves. The malfeasance of the sociopathic privileged class does not discharge the personal responsibility of citizens for living within their means. A lack of discipline, inability to delay gratification, failure to understand basic mathematical concepts, materialistic envy, absence of critical thinking skills, and a delusionary view of the world have left the majority of Americans broke and in debt.

The data that captured my attention was how little the average American household has in savings. Roughly 62% of Americans have less than $1,000 in savings and 21% don’t even have a savings account, according to a new survey of more than 5,000 adults conducted this month by Google Consumer Survey for personal finance website GOBankingRates.com. This dreadful data is reinforced by a similar survey of 1,000 adults carried out earlier this year by personal finance site Bankrate.com, which also found that 62% of Americans have no emergency savings for a medical crisis, car repair, or unanticipated household expenditure.

Continue reading

THIS BEAR IS JUST WAKING FROM HIBERNATION

Submitted by Jim Quinn  –  The Burning Platform

“Every man has a right to his own opinion, but no man has a right to be wrong in his facts” ― Bernard M. Baruch

“The main purpose of the stock market is to make fools of as many men as possible.” ― Bernard M. Baruch

As the market drops 200 to 300 points daily on a fairly frequent basis these days, and has now dropped 13% in the last four months, John Hussman’s valuation analysis based upon historical facts is proving to be accurate. He’s not an “I told you so” type of person, but I am. The MSM stories follow the same old storyline – this is just a correction, time to buy the dip, stocks are undervalued, the Fed won’t let the market fall. We’ve been here before, twice in the last fifteen years. Wall Street and their media mouthpieces attempted to spread misinformation about the nature of the markets in 2000 and 2007, as epic bear markets were just getting underway. John Hussman cut through their crap then and he is cutting through it now.

“Is our profession really so lazy that we would advise people to risk their financial security based on tinker-toy models and pretty pictures that we don’t even have the rigor to test historically? Investors appear eager to ‘scoop up’ so-called ‘bargains’ on the belief that stocks are ‘cheap relative to bonds.’ All of this is predicated on the belief that profit margins will remain at record highs, that the Fed Model is correct, and that P/E ratios based on extremely elevated measures of earnings should be evaluated based on norms for much more restrained measures of earnings. Based on daily closing prices, the S&P 500 has not even experienced a 10% correction, yet the recent decline has been characterized as if investors are acting ‘like the world is about to end.’ This is not the pinnacle of human irrationality, but in fact, quite a shallow selloff from a historical standpoint. The fact that Wall Street is branding it otherwise is evidence that investors have completely forgotten how deep the market’s losses can periodically become.” Continue reading

FOURTH TURNING: CRISIS OF TRUST PART 3

Submitted by Jim Quinn  –  The Burning Platform

In Part 1 of this article I discussed the catalyst spark which ignited this Fourth Turning and the seemingly delayed regeneracy. In Part 2 I pondered possible Grey Champion prophet generation leaders who could arise during the regeneracy. In Part 3 I will focus on the economic channel of distress which is likely to be the primary driving force in the next phase of this Crisis.

There are very few people left on this earth who lived through the last Fourth Turning (1929 – 1946). The passing of older generations is a key component in the recurring cycles which propel the world through the seemingly chaotic episodes that paint portraits on the canvas of history. The current alignment of generations is driving this Crisis and will continue to give impetus to the future direction of this Fourth Turning. The alignment during a Fourth Turning is always the same: Old Artists (Silent) die, Prophets (Boomers) enter elderhood, Nomads (Gen X) enter midlife, Heroes (Millennials) enter young adulthood—and a new generation of child Artists (Gen Y) is born. This is an era in which America’s institutional life is torn down and rebuilt from the ground up—always in response to a perceived threat to the nation’s very survival.

For those who understand the theory, there is the potential for impatience and anticipating dire circumstances before the mood of the country turns in response to the 2nd or 3rd perilous incident after the initial catalyst. Neil Howe anticipates the climax of this Crisis arriving in the 2022 to 2025 time frame, with the final resolution happening between 2026 and 2029. Any acceleration in these time frames would likely be catastrophic, bloody, and possibly tragic for mankind. As presented by Strauss and Howe, this Crisis will continue to be driven by the core elements of debt, civic decay, and global disorder, with the volcanic eruption traveling along channels of distress and aggravating problems ignored, neglected, or denied for the last thirty years. Let’s examine the channels of distress which will surely sway the direction of this Crisis. Continue reading

TWO OUTS IN THE BOTTOM OF THE NINTH

Submitted by Jim Quinn  –  The Burning Platform

The housing market peaked in 2005 and proceeded to crash over the next five years, with existing home sales falling 50%, new home sales falling 75%, and national home prices falling 30%. A funny thing happened after the peak. Wall Street banks accelerated the issuance of subprime mortgages to hyper-speed. The executives of these banks knew housing had peaked, but insatiable greed consumed them as they purposely doled out billions in no-doc liar loans as a necessary ingredient in their CDOs of mass destruction.

The millions in upfront fees, along with their lack of conscience in bribing Moody’s and S&P to get AAA ratings on toxic waste, while selling the derivatives to clients and shorting them at the same time, in order to enrich executives with multi-million dollar compensation packages, overrode any thoughts of risk management, consequences, or  the impact on homeowners, investors, or taxpayers. The housing boom began as a natural reaction to the Federal Reserve suppressing interest rates to, at the time, ridiculously low levels from 2001 through 2004 (child’s play compared to the last six years).

Greenspan created the atmosphere for the greatest mal-investment in world history. As he raised rates from 2004 through 2006, the titans of finance on Wall Street should have scaled back their risk taking and prepared for the inevitable bursting of the bubble. Instead, they were blinded by unadulterated greed, as the legitimate home buyer pool dried up, and they purposely peddled “exotic” mortgages to dupes who weren’t capable of making the first payment. This is what happens at the end of Fed induced bubbles. Irrationality, insanity, recklessness, delusion, and willful disregard for reason, common sense, historical data and truth lead to tremendous pain, suffering, and financial losses. Continue reading

FOURTH TURNING: CRISIS OF TRUST – PART 2

Submitted by Jim Quinn  –  The Burning Platform

In Part 1 of this article I discussed the catalyst spark which ignited this Fourth Turning and the seemingly delayed regeneracy. In Part 2 I will ponder possible Grey Champion prophet generation leaders who could arise during the regeneracy.

The nearly seven year reign of Barack Obama has resulted in furthering wealth inequality, in spite of his socialistic rhetoric. Notwithstanding his Nobel Peace Prize, military spending is at all-time highs and we are engaged in actual and proxy wars across the Middle East and in the Ukraine. Race relations have never been worse. Poverty levels have never been worse. Real median household income is lower than it was in 1989. Real hourly wages are at 50 year lows. Home ownership has plunged to 50 year lows, as middle class workers have been kicked out of their homes and young people are saddled with so much student loan debt and bleak job opportunities they will never have an opportunity to own. The ownership society pushed by Clinton and Bush, with the proliferation of Wall Street created “exotic” subprime mortgages, peddled to people incapable of paying their mortgages, blew up the world in 2008, and the fall out will last for decades.

Meanwhile, Wall Street banks have reaped $700 billion of ill-gotten profits since 2010 as the Federal Reserve has handed them trillions of interest free funds to gamble with, while rigging the financial markets, and paying their executives obscene bonuses. The hubris and arrogance of the Wall Street titans is appalling, as they buy politicians, write toothless financial regulations (Dodd Frank) for their bought off politicians to pass, report fraudulent financial results with the stamp of approval from the FASB, blatantly rig interest rate, currency, stock and commodities markets, and use deception and propaganda to distract and mislead the public through their corporate media mouthpieces – dependent upon Wall Street advertising revenue to thrive.

And still, Obama has not prosecuted one banker for the largest control fraud in world history, as he assumed the role of useful puppet to the vested financial interests. I’m sure he will be paid handsomely after he leaves office in 2017, just as Bill Clinton, Alan Greenspan, and Ben Bernanke have been richly rewarded by their Deep State benefactors for a job well done.

Continue reading

FOURTH TURNING: CRISIS OF TRUST

Submitted by Jim Quinn  –  The Burning Platform

“Imagine some national (and probably global) volcanic eruption, initially flowing along channels of distress that were created during the Unraveling era and further widened by the catalyst. Trying to foresee where the eruption will go once it bursts free of the channels is like trying to predict the exact fault line of an earthquake. All you know in advance is something about the molten ingredients of the climax, which could include the following:

  • Economic distress, with public debt in default, entitlement trust funds in bankruptcy, mounting poverty and unemployment, trade wars, collapsing financial markets, and hyperinflation (or deflation)
  • Social distress, with violence fueled by class, race, nativism, or religion and abetted by armed gangs, underground militias, and mercenaries hired by walled communities
  • Cultural distress, with the media plunging into a dizzying decay, and a decency backlash in favor of state censorship
  • Technological distress, with cryptoanarchy, high-tech oligarchy, and biogenetic chaos
  • Ecological distress, with atmospheric damage, energy or water shortages, and new diseases
  • Political distress, with institutional collapse, open tax revolts, one-party hegemony, major constitutional change, secessionism, authoritarianism, and altered national borders
  • Military distress, with war against terrorists or foreign regimes equipped with weapons of mass destruction” 

 The Fourth Turning – Strauss & Howe – 1997

September 2015 marks the seventh anniversary of this Fourth Turning Crisis. The economic, social, cultural, ecological, political, and military distress propagates by the minute as the globe is besieged by economic turmoil, increased human suffering, and endemic corruption of the political and ruling classes. The Federal Reserve/Wall Street created global economic implosion was the spark which catalyzed this fourth Crisis period in U.S. history in September 2008. Neil Howe in a 2012 essay assessed the beginning of this Fourth Turning and why 9/11 was not the catalyst:

“Pending stunning new developments, I believe the catalyst occurred in 2008.  It’s a date that is looking better and better as time goes by.  The year 2008 marked the onset of the most serious U.S. economic crisis since the Great Depression.  It also marked the election of Barack Obama, which could yet turn out to be a pivotal realignment date in U.S. political history. In fact, if I had to give the catalyst a month, I would say September of 2008.  The global Dow was in free fall.  Banks were failing.  Money markets froze shut.  Business owners held their breath. Continue reading