U.S. financial markets are exhibiting the classic behavior patterns of an addict. Just a hint that the Fed may start slowing down the flow of the “juice” was all that it took to cause the financial markets to throw an epic temper tantrum on Wednesday. In fact, one CNN article stated that the markets “freaked out” when Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke suggested that the Fed would eventually start tapering the bond buying program if the economy improves. And please note that Bernanke did not announce that the money printing would actually slow down any time soon. He just said that it may be “appropriate to moderate the pace of purchases later this year” if the economy is looking good. For now, the Fed is going to continue wildly printing money and injecting it into the financial markets. So nothing has actually changed yet. But just the suggestion that this round of quantitative easing would eventually end if the economy improves was enough to severely rattle Wall Street on Wednesday. U.S. financial markets have become completely and totally addicted to easy money, and nobody is quite sure what is going to happen when the Fed takes the “smack” away. When that day comes, will the largest bond bubble in the history of the world burst? Will interest rates rise dramatically? Will it throw the U.S. economy into another deep recession?
“What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?”
What is wrong with men in America? Why isn’t our country producing lots of strong, independent, hard working men of character like it once did? Well, many believe that it starts at a very young age. When compared with girls, boys in the United States get lower grades, they are much more likely to get into trouble at school and they are much more likely to be put on behavior-modifying drugs. When it comes time to pursue a higher education, most of our young men are ill-prepared to do that. Today, nearly 60 percent of the students enrolled at U.S. colleges are women. And of course it has become much more difficult for men to find good jobs. In fact, less than 65 percent of all men have a job right now. Without a good job, a man is not considered to be “marriage material”, but a large percentage of our young men don’t want to get married anyway. Society has told them that it is okay to be a “slacker”. Today, far too many of our young men are far more interested in their various addictions (beer, drugs, sex, video games, gambling, etc.) than they are in starting a family. But the truth is that men are far more happy when they have a purpose. When men are raising families, starting businesses or doing something to transform society they feel fulfilled.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is on the way out the door, but the consequences of the bond bubble that he has helped to create will stay with us for a very, very long time. During Bernanke’s tenure, interest rates on U.S. Treasuries have fallen to record lows. This has enabled the U.S. government to pile up an extraordinary amount of debt. During his tenure we have also seen mortgage rates fall to record lows. All of this has helped to spur economic activity in the short-term, but what happens when interest rates start going back to normal? If the average rate of interest on U.S. government debt rises to just 6 percent, the U.S. government will suddenly be paying out a trillion dollars a year just in interest on the national debt. And remember, there have been times in the past when the average rate of interest on U.S. government debt has been much higher than that. In addition, when the U.S. government starts having to pay more to borrow money so will everyone else. What will that do to home sales and car sales? And of course we all remember what happened to adjustable rate mortgages when interest rates started to rise just prior to the last recession. We have gotten ourselves into a position where the U.S. economy simply cannot afford for interest rates to go up. We have become addicted to the cheap money made available by a grossly distorted financial system, and we have Ben Bernanke to thank for that. The Federal Reserve is at the very heart of the economic problems that we are facing in America, and this time is certainly no exception.
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word,”
Every night Americans prove that they are willing to do absolutely horrible things to their fellow human beings. Most of the time, we never even hear about the sick and twisted things that happen on the side streets and dark alleys of America. Once in a while a particularly twisted story will get picked up by the news, but usually most Americans are pretty much able to isolate themselves from the depravity that is happening all around them. Unfortunately, the social decay that is eating away at our society like cancer is spreading. It is getting harder and harder for average Americans to keep the darkness at bay. When it suddenly reaches out and touches your family, it can be absolutely shocking. America is not the kind, loving and gentle place that is portrayed in our movies and on our television shows. The sad truth is that America is becoming colder and meaner with each passing day. Yes, there are definitely some Americans that are kind and compassionate, but they are in the minority. As our economic decline becomes even more severe, the hearts of even more Americans are going to grow cold. And people with cold hearts can do some absolutely terrible things. The following are 10 disturbing tales from the side streets and dark alleys of America…
One day after praying to God asking for strength and guidance from the Holy Spirit for difficult events that I know are soon before me, these verses were revealed to me:
“fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” – Isaiah 41:10 (ESV)
“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad.” – 1 Peter 4:12-13
“I love the LORD, because he has heard my voice and my pleas for mercy. Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live.” – Psalm 116:1-2 (ESV)
I love my God! Thank you! Thank you for hearing my plea and letting me know that you are there and that you care. It indeed helps me to carry on, weary as I am.
What do 1929, 2000 and 2007 all have in common? Those were all years in which we saw a dramatic spike in margin debt. In all three instances, investors became highly leveraged in order to “take advantage” of a soaring stock market. But of course we all know what happened each time. The spike in margin debt was rapidly followed by a horrifying stock market crash. Well guess what? It is happening again. In April (the last month we have a number for), margin debt rose to an all-time high of more than 384 billion dollars. The previous high was 381 billion dollars which occurred back in July 2007. Margin debt is about 29 percent higher than it was a year ago, and the S&P 500 has risen by more than 20 percent since last fall. The stock market just continues to rise even though the underlying economic fundamentals continue to get worse. So should we be alarmed? Is the stock market bubble going to burst at some point? Well, if history is any indication we are in big trouble. In the past, whenever margin debt has gone over 2.25% of GDP the stock market has crashed. That certainly does not mean that the market is going to crash this week, but it is a major red flag.
“Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”
There seems to be a lot of confusion about what the NSA is actually doing. Are they reading our emails? Are they listening to our telephone calls? Do they target American citizens or is it only foreigners that they are targeting? Unfortunately, the truth is that we aren’t going to get straight answers from our leaders about this. The folks running the NSA have already shown that they are willing to flat out lie to Congress, and Barack Obama doesn’t exactly have the greatest track record when it comes to telling the truth. These are men that play word games and tell lies for a living. So it would be unrealistic to expect them to come out and tell us the unvarnished truth about what is going on. That is why it is so important that whistleblowers such as Edward Snowden have come forward. Thanks to them and to the brave journalists that are willing to look into these things, we have been able to get some glimpses behind the curtain. And what we have learned is not very pretty. The following are 21 facts about NSA snooping that every American should know…
All over the United States, frustrated homeowners are banding together, arming themselves and patrolling their own streets. One of the primary reasons this is happening is because police budgets all over the nation are being slashed at a time when violent crime rates in the United States are increasing and many our our largest cities are being transformed into crime-infested war zones. So instead of waiting for government to come up with a solution, many Americans are taking matters into their own hands. For example, one community group in Milwaukie, Oregon has started posting flyers with an ominous message for potential criminals: “This is a Glock block. We don’t call 911.” You can see a photo of this flyer right here. One of the founders of the “Glock Block” is a breast cancer survivor named Coy Tolonen. She decided to arm herself after a thief stole one of her favorite statues out of her front yard while she was watching…
It’s mostly petty crime that neighbors are sick and tired of: stolen lawn ornaments, vandalism. But for neighbors like Tolonen, a breast-cancer survivor, that’s enough: “I will defend myself — and my home,” she told KOIN 6 News.