Vernal Equinox. Happy Nowruz, Persian New Year, also the Tonga volcano.
“Into this world we’re thrown
Like a dog without a bone
And after all, alone,
Riders on the storm…
“There’s a killer on the road.
His brain is squirming like a toad.
If you give this man a ride
Sweet memory will die,
Killer on the road…” Jim Morrison, the Doors, Riders on the storm
The Daily Reckoning of Thursday, March 19, 2009, The Collapse of '09 by Gerald Celente Rhinebeck, New York
The "Panic of '08" will be followed by "The Collapse of '09." In 2008, when the world's largest financial firms and equity markets crumbled, Wall Street's woes preoccupied the media.
In 2009, the focus will broaden to include a range of calamities that will leave no sector unscathed. Next in line is retail, which accounts for some 70 percent of consumer spending, 26 percent of which is holiday sales.
After the numbers are tallied to reveal a dismal retail Christmas, more big chain bankruptcies will follow. Besides leaving masses unemployed, defunct retailers will leave behind thousands of empty stores. Who will rent them? Nobody!
Add to these empties commercial space vacated by defunct financial firms and an array of troubled businesses, from restaurants to architectural firms, to high tech operations, to offset printers, etc., etc. The inescapable result (that we predicted over a year ago and is only now being discussed in the business media) is a commercial real estate bust that will be costlier, wreak greater havoc and prove more intractable than the residential market decline.
Because most people don't live and shop on Wall Street, the "Panic of '08" was viewed by Main Street as if from afar - even though many were losing money. But when commercial real estate crashes it will hit much closer to home. The depressive atmosphere of thinly shopped, half- vacant malls will strike emotional chords and all the senses.
In office buildings, vacant floors and empty cubicles will dampen the workday spirit of the still-employed; ever present reminders of laid- off friends and colleagues and of the fragility of employment.
Abandoned, untended business and industrial parks will highlight the already mournful scene. In cities studded with soaring towers and new construction predicated on eternal economic growth, streets lined with "For Rent/For Sale" signs will complement stilled cranes and uncompleted buildings.
As retail and commercial real estate collapse, the credit card sector and all its interrelated processing and back office support businesses will suffer and be forced to scale back. Hordes of consumers who have been living off credit cards and racking up debt to the limit will lack the funds to service their debt... much less pay it off, and they will be forced to default. Given the nearly $3 trillion in consumer debt at risk (excluding auto and mortgage) an inevitable default snowball will add momentum to the in-progress Collapse of '09.
"It was Fed finagling, Washington deregulation and Wall Street’s compulsive gambling that created the crisis. To trust or to seriously consider pronouncements, analyses and predictions made by any of these sources is an exercise in willful self-deception."
While we alone predicted the "Panic of '08" (and even took out the domain name "Panicof08.com" on 7 November 2007), we are not alone in predicting a Depression.
The "D" word is being uttered - in some cases by those who have the most to lose and whose best interests are not served by spreading gloom and doom. "The world and country are in a depression," said celebrity tycoon Donald Trump. He then later softened the blow, downgrading it to a "virtual depression."
"Virtual" to the few who will never have to worry where the next dollar will come from, it will be painfully real and hardly virtual to the multitudes who are and will be worrying. The virally proliferating Greatest Depression is the Trend of Trends for 2009.
Even so, beware! Over the course of free-falling 2009, the word from most official sources will be "recession," and from the few mainstream trophy pessimists, "deep recession."
For example, the oft-quoted naysayer, Nouriel Roubini, New York University professor of economics, forecasts a two year recession ... not Depression. On the sunnier side of Wall Street, the Federal Reserve predicts the US economy will contract only through the middle of 2009 and pledged, "In any event, the Committee agreed to take whatever steps were necessary to support the recovery.''
What "steps?" The Bernanke Two-Step? Adjust interest rates or print more money? Neither stopped the credit crisis from worsening, the real estate market from tanking or the stock markets from crashing.
It was Fed finagling, Washington deregulation and Wall Street's compulsive gambling that created the crisis. To trust or to seriously consider pronouncements, analyses and predictions made by any of these sources is an exercise in willful self-deception. Yet, with pensions, IRAs, 401ks, stocks and mutual funds evaporating, many of those most affected deny reality and take hope that forecasts made by proven incompetents will miraculously restore their losses.
Throughout the many years leading up to what we term the "Greatest Depression," The Trends Research Institute provided copious data and Globalnomic analysis to support our forecasts of economic upheaval. In the past year alone, we have provided so much hard evidence (housings starts, home sales, foreclosures, bankruptcies, bank failures, unemployment figures, stock indices, leading economic indicators, retail sales, etc.) that further elaboration should be superfluous.
Those waiting to hear the "D" word from economic experts, talking heads and TV anchors before taking action will most certainly regret their indecisiveness.
Absent from the economic scenarios ranging from second quarter recovery, deep recession and "virtual" depression are the multiplicity of social, environmental, health, political, emotional/psychological and geopolitical factors that point beyond just Depression. They point to The Decline and Fall of Empire America.
Well before Inauguration Day, Barack Obama was cast as the next Franklin Delano Roosevelt. If he follows in FDR's footsteps he could freeze deposits by declaring a "holiday" to stop a run on the banks. While FDIC insurance may cover deposits, even after banks reopen, withdrawal amounts may be restricted. (As the Argentine government did in 2001-2002.)
Author's Note: Suspicious of the soundness of the banking system, I requested to withdraw a substantial sum from our Key Bank account, leaving funds sufficient to cover ongoing business operations. First they tried to dissuade me, then they stonewalled me, and finally they turned openly hostile.
I was forced to sign a series of documents, including one acknowledging that since I was carrying a large sum I could be the target of a robbery. To enhance that possibility, the teller slammed down the bag of cash on the counter and publicly announced the sum.
Despite repeated requests in the days preceding my withdrawal to get the cash in hundreds, they gave it to me in twenties, making for a bag five times the size and more robber-friendly. When I complained to the bank manager who had processed the request, the response amounted to "take it or leave it."
This will not be an isolated event. If you attempt to withdraw a large chunk of money from your account, negotiate the details in advance and anticipate possible hassle and obstruction.
We've heard similar accounts from clients and Trends Journal subscribers who, over the past several months, tried to close out mutual funds, 401ks and assorted sinking equities. They were dissuaded, cajoled, belittled and arm-twisted by brokers desperate to keep their accounts. Many caved in under the pressure, didn't close them and lost most of what they had.
So, we leave you with a Greatest Depression consideration: How safe is your money? How sound is your bank? At the end of November, Citigroup, once America's largest bank, was on the rocks. Fifty-two thousand employees were laid off. In just three days its stock lost more than half its value. Rumors swirled that Citi was so desperate they were looking to sell or split up the company.
Is your money deposited in a local bank whose reputation you can bank on? Are you with a teetering giant or a poorly-managed regional? If either of the latter, it would be in your best interest to assess the risks.
Take some out if you think there is risk; take it all out if you think there's high risk. You may consider spreading it around and even banking abroad...after all, this is the Global Age.
Regards, Gerald Celente for The Daily Reckoning
Editor's Note: Gerald Celente is founder and director of The Trends Research Institute, author of Trends 2000 and Trend Tracking (Warner Books), and publisher of The Trends Journal. He has been forecasting trends since 1980, and recently called "The Collapse of '09." Also a Close Combat practitioner and black belt trainer, Celente has made many media appearances including Oprah, CNN, The Today Show, Good Morning America, NBC Nightly News, C-Span, and CNBC. He has been cited in the Economist, Chicago Tribune, LA Times, Entrepreneur, USA Today, and many other publications.
USA has two options to save its economy: declare default or trigger off war 19.03.2009 Source: Pravda.Ru URL: http://english.pravda.ru/world/americas/107263-usa_economy_debt-0
The United States is the largest borrower in the world. The US national debt has already exceeded the level of 11 trillion dollars as of the beginning of 2009 and continues to grow like an avalanche. Experts say that the USA has only two ways to solve the problem: to either declare default or trigger off a war.
According to experts’ estimates, the probability of default on US treasury bonds is very high at the moment. The rumors are not new at all. Moreover, experts say that the USA has already started to work on an opportunity to refuse from the dollar in order to avoid debt payments.
Dmitry Abzalov, an expert with the Center for Russia ’s Political Conjuncture, said that governments currently take on the debts of corporations. “The corporate debts crisis thus becomes the crisis of governmental debts. The US debt in the beginning of 2009 amounted to $10.6 trillion. Taking into consideration the current deficit budget of the United States , as well as the prospects for the deficit of the budget during the current year, it becomes clear that the US Treasury bond market is based on no alternative whatsoever. There is no other way for investors to invest their funds with treasury bonds being the only option,” the expert told Bigness.ru.
When the world economy recovers, investors will realize that there are plenty of other opportunities for investments, the European bonds, for example (if the European economy recovers from the crisis too, of course), or the bonds of developing countries. “The pyramid of US bonds will collapse in this case. The debt percentage grows every day, which makes the USA borrow more and more on a daily basis. America will have no chances to pay off the debt,” the expert said.
Inga Foksha, an analyst with Aton Investment Company, agrees that the US default is quite possible, although she is certain that it will not happen unless the world finds an alternative to the US dollar. The dollar will collapse immediately in case of default, which is absolutely unacceptable, because 63 percent of world reserves are saved in dollars. Their collapse will trigger the global economic collapse.
“Technically, the default of the United States may occur during three or five years, although it is too early to say that it could be possible. The USA can print new dollars to pay their debts with them,” she said.
Nevertheless, the US government bonds still enjoy investors’ support and are still considered a risk-free investment.
Dmitry Abzalov believes that the current situation with the US national debt may end with a new war. The war will destroy excessive liquidity and the current debt.
“The war in Iraq began to delay the US crisis, which started brewing in the US economy at the end of 2000,” he said.
The Americans have been trying to raise their economy with the help of military actions for decades, since the Great Depression of the 1930s. A war boosts the nation’s industry, even if a recovery is based on defense orders.
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Financial Times Editorial Admits Agenda For Dictatorial World Government
Jaw-dropping report concedes that “global governance” is a euphemism for anti-democratic global government
Paul Joseph Watson Prison Planet.com Tuesday, December 9, 2008
The Financial Times, one of the most respected and widely read newspapers on the planet, features an editorial today that openly admits the agenda to create a world government based on anti-democratic principles and concedes that the term “global governance” is merely a euphemism for the move towards a centralized global government.
For years we were called paranoid nutcases for warning about the elite’s plans to centralize global power and destroy American sovereignty. Throughout the 1990’s people who talked about the alarming move towards global government were smeared as right-wing lunatics by popular culture and the media.
Now the agenda is out in the open and in our faces, the debunkers have no more ammunition with which to deride us.
A jaw-dropping editorial written by the Financial Times’ chief foreign affairs commentator Gideon Rachman entitled ‘And now for a world government’ lays out the plan for global government and how it is being pushed with deceptive language and euphemisms in order to prevent people from becoming alarmed.
“For the first time in my life, I think the formation of some sort of world government is plausible,” writes Rachman, citing the financial crisis, “global warming” and the “global war on terror” as three major pretexts through which it is being introduced.
Rachman writes that “global governance” could be introduced much sooner than many expect and that President elect Barack Obama has already expressed his desire to achieve that goal, making reference to Obama’s circle of advisors which includes Strobe Talbott, who in 1992 stated, “In the next century, nations as we know it will be obsolete; all states will recognize a single, global authority. National sovereignty wasn’t such a great idea after all.”
Rachman then concedes that the more abstract term “global governance,” which is often used by top globalists like David Rockefeller as a veil to offset accusations that a centralized global government is the real agenda, is merely a trick of “soothing language” that is used to prevent “people reaching for their rifles in America’s talk-radio heartland”.
“But some European thinkers think that they recognise what is going on,” says Rachman. “Jacques Attali, an adviser to President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, argues that: “Global governance is just a euphemism for global government.” As far as he is concerned, some form of global government cannot come too soon. Mr Attali believes that the “core of the international financial crisis is that we have global financial markets and no global rule of law”.
Rachman proceeds to outline what the first steps to an official world government would look like, including the creation of “A legally binding climate-change agreement negotiated under the auspices of the UN and the creation of a 50,000-strong UN peacekeeping force”.
“A “world government” would involve much more than co-operation between nations,” writes Rachman. “It would be an entity with state-like characteristics, backed by a body of laws. The European Union has already set up a continental government for 27 countries, which could be a model. The EU has a supreme court, a currency, thousands of pages of law, a large civil service and the ability to deploy military force.”
“So, it seems, everything is in place. For the first time since homo sapiens began to doodle on cave walls, there is an argument, an opportunity and a means to make serious steps towards a world government,” concludes Rachman, before acknowledging that the path to global government will be “slow and painful”.
Tellingly, Rachman concedes that “International governance tends to be effective, only when it is anti-democratic,” citing the continual rejection of EU expansion when the question is put to a vote. “In general, the Union has progressed fastest when far-reaching deals have been agreed by technocrats and politicians – and then pushed through without direct reference to the voters,” writes Rachman.
So there you have it - one of the world’s top newspapers, editorially led by chief economics commentator Martin Wolf, a top Bilderberg luminary, openly proclaiming that not only is world government the agenda, but that world government will only be achieved through dictatorial measures because the majority of the people are dead against it.
Will we still be called paranoid conspiracy theorists for warning that a system of dictatorial world government is being set up, even as one of the world’s most influential newspapers admits to the fact? Or will people finally wake up and accept that there is a globalist agenda to destroy sovereignty, any form of real democracy, and freedom itself in the pursuit of an all-powerful, self-interested, centralized, unrepresentative and dictatorial world government?