Did you actually believe that they were not going to use the precedent that they set in Cyprus? On Thursday, EU finance ministers agreed to a shocking new plan that will make every bank account in Europe vulnerable to Cyprus-style bail-ins. In other words, the wealth confiscation that we just witnessed in Cyprus will now be used as a template for future bank failures all over Europe. That means that if you have a bank account in Europe, you could wake up some morning and every penny in that account over 100,000 euros could be gone. That is exactly what happened in Cyprus, and now EU officials plan to do the same thing all over Europe. For quite a while EU officials insisted that Cyprus was a “special case”, but now we see that was a lie. International outrage over what happened in Cyprus has died down, and now they are pushing forward with what they probably had planned all along. But why have they chosen this specific moment to implement such a plan? Are they anticipating that we will see a wave of bank failures soon? Do they know something that they aren’t telling us?
Are we too stupid to continue as a nation? That may seem like a harsh question, but I think that it is one that we need to ask. Even though we have more access to information today than ever before, it seems like the U.S. population just keeps becoming more ignorant. So at what point does a society become so “dumbed-down” that it can no longer function effectively? We like to complain about our leaders, but the truth is that we are the ones that elected them. They are a reflection of who we are as a society. And when you compare Barack Obama, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and John Boehner to men like George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson, they don’t fare too well. Sadly, the truth is that most of our founding fathers would not have a prayer of being elected today. Instead, they would be labeled as crazy “extremists” for insisting that we follow the U.S. Constitution. In our entertainment-addicted society, Lady Gaga would have a much greater chance of being elected president today than George Washington would. That is how far we have fallen.
Perhaps you think that I am being overly pessimistic.
Did you actually think that mortgage rates were going to stay at all-time lows forever? Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke was able to grossly distort the market for a while by buying up massive amounts of government bonds and mortgage-backed securities, but there was no way in the world that the market was going to stay that distorted forever. It simply does not make sense to give American families 30 year mortgages at a fixed interest rate of less than four percent when the real rate of inflation is somewhere around eight to ten percent and the mortgage delinquency rate in the United States is 9.72 percent. If we actually did have “free markets” and they were behaving rationally, mortgage rates would be far, far higher. Well, now that the Fed has indicated that they are going to be starting to “taper” QE at some point, bond yields have skyrocketed and this is rapidly pushing up mortgage rates. According to Freddie Mac, we just witnessed the largest weekly increase in mortgage rates in 26 years. Sadly, this is only just the beginning. Unless the Federal Reserve intervenes, mortgage rates are going to continue to try to revert to normal.
The day that silver traders have been waiting for has arrived. On Wednesday, the price of silver dropped another 5 percent. As I write this, it is sitting at $18.55 an ounce. On Wednesday it hit a low that had not been seen in three years. Overall, the price of silver has declined by 34 percent this quarter. That is the largest quarterly move in the price of silver in more than 30 years. So what does all of this mean? It means that we are looking at a historic buying opportunity for those that are interested in silver. Yes, gold is undervalued right now as well, but it is absolutely ridiculous how low the price of silver is. At the moment, the price of gold is about 66 times higher than the price of silver is. But they come out of the ground at about a 9 to 1 ratio, and unlike gold, silver is used up in thousands of common consumer products. Those that want to invest in silver should be shouting for joy that prices have fallen this low. If you have been waiting and waiting and waiting to “load the boat”, your moment has arrived.
What does it look like when a 30 year bull market ends abruptly? What happens when bond yields start doing things that they haven’t done in 50 years? If your answer to those questions involves the word “slaughter”, you are probably on the right track. Right now, bonds are being absolutely slaughtered, and this is only just the beginning. Over the last several years, reckless bond buying by the Federal Reserve has forced yields down to absolutely ridiculous levels. For example, it simply is not rational to lend the U.S. government money at less than 3 percent when the real rate of inflation is somewhere up around 8 to 10 percent. But when he originally announced the quantitative easing program, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said that he intended to force interest rates to go down, and lots of bond investors made a lot of money riding the bubble that Bernanke created. But now that Bernanke has indicated that the bond buying will be coming to an end, investors are going into panic mode and the bond bubble is starting to burst. One hedge fund executive told CNBC that the “feeling you are getting out there is that people are selling first and asking questions later”. And the yield on 10 year U.S. Treasuries just keeps going up. Today it closed at 2.59 percent, and many believe that it is going to go much higher unless the Fed intervenes. If the Fed does not intervene and allows the bubble that it has created to burst, we are going to see unprecedented carnage.
Do you want to know the primary reason why rapidly rising interest rates could take down the entire global financial system? Most people might think that it would be because the U.S. government would have to pay much more interest on the national debt. And yes, if the average rate of interest on U.S. government debt rose to just 6 percent (and it has actually been much higher in the past), the federal government would be paying out about a trillion dollars a year just in interest on the national debt. But that isn’t it. Nor does the primary reason have to do with the fact that rapidly rising interest rates would impose massive losses on bond investors. At this point, it is being projected that if U.S. bond yields rise by an average of 3 percentage points, it will cause investors to lose a trillion dollars. Yes, that is a 1 with 12 zeroes after it ($1,000,000,000,000). But that is not the number one danger posed by rapidly rising interest rates either. Rather, the number one reason why rapidly rising interest rates could cause the entire global financial system to crash is because there are more than 441 TRILLION dollars worth of interest rate derivatives sitting out there. This number comes directly from the Bank for International Settlements – the central bank of central banks. In other words, more than $441,000,000,000,000 has been bet on the movement of interest rates. Normally these bets do not cause a major problem because rates tend to move very slowly and the system stays balanced. But now rates are starting to skyrocket, and the sophisticated financial models used by derivatives traders do not account for this kind of movement.
Do we want to encourage drug dealers, violent gang members and serial rapists to come into this country? If not, why is that exactly what the Obama administration is doing? Thanks to very foolish U.S. government policies, it is incredibly difficult to immigrate to this country legally, but it is incredibly easy to immigrate to this country illegally. So we are keeping out large numbers of good, honest, hard working people at the same time that we have given a giant green light to criminals and lawbreakers. Does that make any sense at all? We need an immigration system that forces everyone to come in through the front door. Instead, we have made the process of getting in through the front door a complete and total nightmare and yet we have left the back door totally wide open. And if the millions upon millions of lawbreakers that are coming in to this country illegally just took our jobs and drained our welfare system, perhaps it wouldn’t be that bad. Unfortunately, that is not the case. In fact, illegal immigration has greatly contributed to rising violent crime rates all over the nation. Gang membership is exploding, Mexican drug cartels are operating in more of our communities than ever before, and identity theft by illegal immigrants is at epidemic levels. Something desperately needs to be done.
The vast majority of Americans are going to be absolutely blindsided by what is coming. They don’t understand how our financial system works, they don’t understand how vulnerable it is, and most of them blindly trust that our leaders know exactly what they are doing and that they will be able to fix our problems. As a result, most Americans are simply not prepared for the massive storm that is heading our way. Most American families are living paycheck to paycheck, most of them are not storing up emergency food and supplies, and only a very small percentage of them are buying gold and silver for investment purposes. They seem to have forgotten what happened back in 2008. When the financial markets crashed, millions of Americans lost their jobs. Because most of them were living on the financial edge, millions of them also lost their homes. Unfortunately, most Americans seem convinced that it will not happen again. Right now we seem to be living in a “hope bubble” and people have become very complacent. For a while there, being a “prepper” was very trendy, but now concern about a coming economic crisis seems to have subsided. What a tragic mistake. As I pointed out yesterday, our entire financial system is a giant Ponzi scheme, and there are already signs that our financial markets are about to implode once again. Those that have not made any preparations for what is coming are going to regret it bitterly. The following are 17 signs that most Americans will be wiped out by the coming economic collapse…
Did you know that you are involved in the most massive Ponzi scheme that has ever existed? To illustrate my point, allow me to tell you a little story. Once upon a time, there was a man named Sam. When he was younger, he had been a very principled young man that had worked incredibly hard and that had built a large number of tremendously successful businesses. He became fabulously wealthy and he accumulated far more gold than anyone else on the planet. But when he started to get a little older he forgot the values of his youth. He started making really bad decisions and some of his relatives started to take advantage of him. One particularly devious relative was a nephew named Fred. One day Fred approached his uncle Sam with a scheme that his friends the bankers had come up with. What happened next would change the course of Sam’s life forever.
If yields on U.S. Treasury bonds keep rising, things are going to get very messy. As I write this, the yield on 10 year U.S. Treasures has risen to 2.51 percent. If that keeps going up, it is going to be like a mile wide lawnmower blade devastating everything in its path. Ben Bernanke’s super low interest rate policies have systematically pushed investors into stocks and real estate over the past several years because there were few other places where they could get decent returns. As this trade unwinds (and it will likely not be in an orderly fashion), we are going to see unprecedented carnage. Stocks, ETFs, home prices and municipal bonds will all be devastated. And of course that will only be the beginning. What we are ultimately looking at is a sell off very similar to 2008, only this time we will have to deal with rising interest rates at the same time. The conditions for a “perfect storm” are rapidly developing, and if something is not done we could eventually have a credit crunch unlike anything that we have ever seen before in modern times.
Can you smell that? It is the smell of panic in the air. As I have noted before, when financial markets catch up to economic reality they tend to do so very rapidly. Normally we don’t see virtually all asset classes get slammed at the same time, but the bucket of cold water that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke threw on global financial markets on Wednesday has set off an epic temper tantrum. On Thursday, U.S. stocks, European stocks, Asian stocks, gold, silver and government bonds all over the planet all got absolutely shredded. This is not normal market activity. Unfortunately, there is nothing “normal” about our financial markets anymore. Over the past several years they have been grossly twisted and distorted by the Federal Reserve and by the other major central banks around the globe. Did the central bankers really believe that there wouldn’t be a great price to pay for messing with the markets? The behavior that we have been watching this week is the kind of behavior that one would expect at the beginning of a financial panic. Dick Bove, the vice president of equity research at Rafferty Capital Markets, told CNBC that what we are witnessing right now “is not normal. It is not normal for all markets to move in the same direction at the same point in time due to the same development.” The overriding emotion in the financial world right now is fear. And fear can cause investors to do some crazy things. So will global financial markets continue to drop, or will things stabilize for now? That is a very good question. But even if there is a respite for a while, it will only be temporary. More carnage is coming at some point.
If you could get 70 percent of Americans addicted to your drugs and rake in $280 billion a year in the process, would you do it? If you could come up with a “pill for every problem” and charge Americans twice as much for those pills as people in other countries pay, would you do it? If you could make more money than you ever dreamed possible by turning the American people into the most doped up people in the history of the planet, would you do it? In America today, the number of people hooked on legal drugs absolutely dwarfs the number of people hooked on illegal drugs. And sadly, the number of people killed by legal drugs absolutely dwarfs the number of people killed by illegal drugs. But most Americans assume that if a drug is “legal” that it must be safe. After all, the big pharmaceutical companies and the federal government would never allow us to take anything that would hurt us, right? Sadly, the truth is that they don’t really care about us. They don’t really care that prescription painkillers are some of the most addictive drugs on the entire planet and that they kill more Americans each year than heroin and cocaine combined. They don’t care that antidepressants are turning tens of millions of Americans into zombies and can significantly increase the chance of suicide (just look at the warning label). All the big pharmaceutical companies really care about is making as much money as they possibly can. The following are 20 signs that the pharmaceutical companies are running a $280 billion money making scam…
Why did the U.S. government spend 2.6 million dollars to train Chinese prostitutes to drink responsibly? Why did the U.S. government spend $175,587 “to determine if cocaine makes Japanese quail engage in sexually risky behavior”? Why did the U.S. government spend nearly a million dollars on a new soccer field for detainees being held at Guantanamo Bay? This week when I saw that the IRS was about to pay out 70 million dollars in bonuses to their employees and that the U.S. government was going to be leaving 7 billion dollars worth of military equipment behind in Afghanistan, it caused me to reflect on all of the other crazy ways that the government has been wasting our money in recent years. So I decided to go back through my previous articles and put together a list. I call it “The Waste List”. Even though our politicians insist that there is very little that can still be cut out of the budget, the truth is that the federal budget is absolutely drowning in pork. The following are 66 crazy ways that the U.S. government is wasting your hard-earned money…
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 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.