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Another Run on Greek Banks Begins; Get Out While You Still Can; Buy Gold

Another Run on Greek Banks Begins; Get Out While You Still Can; Buy Gold

Another Run on Greek Banks Begins; Get Out While You Still Can; Buy Gold

By Mike “Mish” Shedlock | Global Economic Analysis

In November, Greeks withdrew €220 million from banks. In December, the figure soared to €3 billion.

My advice to Greeks is simple: Get out while you still can. That means now!

Via translation from Libre Mercardo, please consider ECB Threatens to Unleash the ‘Banking Yard’

The term “banking yard” is in reference to what happened to Cyprus depositors. What follows is my translation of the article.

According to initial estimates, Greeks withdrew €3 billion from their bank accounts in December. €600 million of that total came on December 29, when Greece failed to elect a new president, thereby forcing national elections on January 25.

In comparison, November when net outflows totaled about €220 million.

The risk of bank runs in Greece is reactivated. In this sense, just remember that since 2010, when the crisis hit the euro, the Greek bank deposits dropped 37% but even after the rescue by the troika, deposits never recovered. This data demonstrates strong distrust by Greek depositors of the monetary union.

Greek Deposits - Another Run on Greek Banks Begins

The Greek financial system is artificially sustained by the ECB, the lender of last resort. It survives because the ECB accepts junk debt (including Greek state bonds) as collateral. If the ECB were to cut support, the Greek banking simply would close and the government would set strict limits on the withdrawal of deposits.

On Thursday, the ECB said that its funding to the Greek banking system depends on the success of the current bailout program and a subsequent agreement in Athens with the EU and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The rating agency Moody’s also warned Thursday that the growing political uncertainty in Greece is damaging the liquidity of Greek banks, causing an outflow of deposits.

Investor Fear

Greek CDS

Fear not only grows among depositors. Investors also show their misgivings by their rejection of the Greek public debt. The yield on Greek ten-year bonds has just surpassed the threshold of 10% for the first time in 15 months, while the risk of sovereign default is increasing, as reflected in the price of credit default swaps of Greek debt, now exceeding 1,500 points.

End Mish Translation

Soaring interest rates, soaring credit default swaps, and yield curve inversion are all signs of tremendous stress.

Read more


Posted by Red Pill Reports in Economic News
Jim Willie: The End Game is Underway!

Jim Willie: The End Game is Underway!

Jim Willie: The End Game is Underway!

By Jim Willie |

Jim Willie: The End Game is Underway!

Burning money. Image credit: Vmenkov [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

As 2014 leaves off and 2015 begins anew, the main theme seems to be the end of the American Empire, the demise of the Petro-Dollar, the blunt of USMilitary over-reach, and the global urgency of putting the King Dollar into a cement casing coffin. The global movement will gain strong momentum to end the dollarized terrorized nightmare. The entire world is coming to realize that the USDollar is wrecking the financial structures, ruining economies, forcing colossal debt abuses, while its defense is a grand threat to world peace.

The extension of time before the execution has required pilferage of foreign adversary wealth and confiscation of foreign allied wealth. Shrouded in the entire grand transition is a myriad of deceptions, each playing a special role to maintain the system that favors the exceptional criminal and corrupt nation, the United States. The deceptions carry over into almost every aspect of financial and economic life and times.
The hall of mirrors has become the American hallmark, soon to serve as the epitaph of fallen empire.


The Fascist Business Model will soon suffer a closed final chapter, an evitable conclusion to two decades of extraordinary thefts, pilferage, and grabs that have recently been in full view with little attempt to conceal the actions. War to defend the USDollar sounded like crazy talk in 2005 and 2006 when the Jackass made first reference. War crimes have coincided with monetary recklessness and profound bond fraud. Now the bellicose defense of a corrupt crippled cancerous USDollar is utterly obvious, except of course to those who continue wear red white & blue under-garments and continue to salute the captured flag.


Many are the deceptions as features to the diverse and powerful End Game underway and in progress. It is like a pathogenesis for the cancer which has become the USDollar.
Any currency supported by hyper monetary inflation on one side, profound bond fraud on a second side, rigged markets on a third side, and war on a fourth side, is no longer honorable or worthy of further viability.
The doctors are not treating the cancer; they are spreading it.

The bankers and phony statesmen and military agents are the doctors, spreading it to the diverse areas of the world like metastasis. The deceptions deserve some explanation in outline form. The common theme is the grand deceptions committed on a regular frequent basis by the United States, the core of the fascist state movement, the site wishing to preserve he USDollar printing privilege, the home of the economy on a credit card, the headquarters of war with motive to defend the cancerous USDollar and its entire supporting criminal cast, the base where global bank rules are disseminated much like a genetically modified dandelion.



  • USDollar is described and portrayed as strong, when its higher value relative to other worthless fiat paper currencies indicates the entire financial structures are breaking down in visible terms


  • Central banks carry the QE load, while they lie about hidden support for fractured devastated bank derivatives possibly in the $trillions, and while they speak of its stimulus (but it kills capital on Main Street)


  • USEconomy in depression with numerous sectors falling, but called 3% growth in aggregate (a grotesque basic contradiction), as Sears approaches bankrupty and numerous major employers announce job cuts due to poor sales


  • US-based jobless rate over 22%, as millions fall off the counter, while fewer full-time jobs are in the USEconomy than in 2007, as part-time low level posts dominate


  • US stole Ukraine central bank gold, but blamed Russia for annexing Crimea during the simplistic distraction


  • US attempting to capture entire European Union set of member states under the NATO flag, forcing compliance by member nations and obedience to its Supreme Commander in a virtual coup d’etat of Europe under the Ukraine War shadow


  • US denigrates the value of Gold while the USMilitary and adjunct agencies steal central bank gold across the world, following the standard destabilization activity endorsed by the Langley crew


  • US succumbs to European Gold repatriations, when nations in Central Europe prepare to produce a gold hoard toward the Eurasian Trade Zone gold backed currency, the gold hoard submitted for inclusion in the return to the Gold Standard


  • The Gold Standard will not be permitted a return via the FOREX platform, so therefore it will arrive by extreme disruptive force via the Trade platform, which will render the USTreasury Bond useless dead weight of the toxic variety in the global banking system (then discarded)


  • US pushes the trade pacts with Europe and Asia as positive growth devices, when the pact is loaded with corporate power grabs in patents, legal procedure, and internet censorship (pact being given same reception as a thorny chastity belt)


  • US talks about isolating Russia like childlike aggressive morons (with its 13 time zones, huge energy fields and vast metal deposits), while US-led sanctions have backfired to isolate the United States from the 170 nations within the BRICS Alliance


  • US blamed North Korea for the SONY hacking, when done as inside job in clear terms by a disgruntled employee after his dismissal (never let a crisis go to waste)


  • US makes nice with Cuba after Russia & China invest $billions, with the errant lunatic hope of gathering some lucrative construction contracts, which would mean R&C fund projects done by US corporations (not an ice cube chance in hell)


  • US uses ISIS card after Iraq nation building suffered Shiite majority, the Baghdad Parliament becoming unmanageable therefore required the Langley second card of hired hidden mercenaries to capture oil fields and to steal central bank funds while maintaining a high pitched fear level (beheadings on television fully orchestrated, the proof being zero blood spurts from the neck area in doctored films)


  • US pretends to push Ruble currency down and USDollar up, when the USD is dying a horrible death from lost control, fractured platforms, and knee-jerk reactions toward safe haven, as the Petro-Dollar has been quietly dismantled without fanfare


  • US tells of Russians selling Gold reserves to manage Ruble pain, while the Kremlin acquires Gold from energy trade payments and spends its toxic USTreasury Bonds held in reserves (the exact opposite)


  • US debt rating agencies cut Russian debt to junk, while the USGovt suspended the debt limit and runs up debt past the $18 trillion mark, never to be repaid, and while the USGovt debt is supported by QE bond monetization and confiscation of Japanese Govt pension funds (prompting attention on which nation is busted broke and barren, namely the accuser)


  • US talks of BRICS as crippled nations destined to falter, when they are strong, with ample resources, not much debt, ample cheap labor, improved education, and utterly huge reserves (like over 65% of global reserve wealth)


  • Central banks fight for survival in final Competing Currency War round of devaluations, as nation after nation departs from the USDollar salute support


  • Southern European sovereign bonds enjoy ultra-low yields, not from health and fiscal soundness, but from rampant Euro Central Bank coverage


  • Germany has been fighting in the open versus the European Central Bank, challenging the legality of super seniority bonds, declaring them illegal in the German High Court, while Germany prepares the fundamental groundwork for departing the common Euro region


  • Scotland and Swiss Referendums on independence and gold management fail, but with likely rigged votes by the fascists in power


  • Lower oil price described as beneficial to USEconomy on consumer side, but a horrible wet blanket on the oil industry capital budgets, and a total wrecking ball on their shale oil subprime bonds soon to enter failure


  • Pretension of fixes for LIBOR, FOREX, and Gold markets when all remain irreparably corrupt, broken, and entrenched, but with some shocks likely to come soon from BAFIN investigations on the Gold market corruption done by Deutsche Bank, in service to London and Wall Street


  • US begins with sponsored BitCoin entries, which are controlled by Wall Street and Langley, used to co-opt a legitimate movement which has potential in the near future for gold-backed retail payment system using debit cards


  • The West has a lost concept of capitalism and business formation and work, as the US falls into the socialist trap led by fascist warmongering with confiscations, laden by handouts for the lazy, the ignorant, namely the Obama supporters


  • 2015 will be the year where the entire system fractures openly in obvious ways that cannot be denied, which will call for meaningful remedy centered on the Gold Standard finally (the last resort, the only true viable solution)


  • 2015 will be the year where nations of the world openly call for the retirement and removal of the USDollar, due to its cancerous finances related to QE monetization, forcing a disposition of corrosive reserves sitting in their banking systems, as objections to the war need for sustenance seen in multiple venues


  • The month of  February should begin to see open wounds, visible fractures, wrecked platforms, and engineered whacks by the East in numerous venues, making for an exciting but dangerous year, full of promise but loaded with risk


People had better prepare themselves for some conclusion events, certain to occur with fireworks.
The USDollar is soon to go away, put to rest, killed off.
Its rise signals its demise.  The hidden dismantle of the Petro-Dollar mechanism has been eerie, mysterious, and full of intrigue.
The Gold Standard will return, but through the trade window.  The solution to the untreated Global Financial Crisis is the gold route.

The Eurasian Trade Zone will be built upon the gold route, and see a revival of the Silk Road.
It cannot be stopped, not even by war.

The safe haven is not the USDollar, but rather Gold & Silver bars & coins, otherwise defined as money.
The crisis is better described as the Global Monetary War.

Any nation wishing to establish trade or a monetary system centered upon gold is branded a rogue nation, subject to extreme propaganda. This is precisely why Russia is being vilified, since they want no more USDollar in trade or banking, and lead a global movement to discard the USD as global reserve currency.
The solution is with precious metals as the core to banking, trade, and currency, even wealth preservation.
The new 2015 year will be exciting. As the Jackass forecasted, 2014 did indeed end much differently from the way it began.
The agents of change are working at hyper-speed now. The USDollar is doomed, and its captains are running for their lives.
They are not worth bargaining with in magnanimous cut deals. Better to treat them like fire ants and bothersome fleas and diseased rodents and rabid dogs. The return of Gold to its primacy is long overdue.


Comment from The Doc at Silver Doctors.

The End Game is underway and in progress.
People had better prepare themselves for some conclusion events, certain to occur with fireworks.
The USDollar is soon to go away, put to rest, killed off.
Its rise signals its demise. The hidden dismantle of the Petro-Dollar mechanism has been eerie, mysterious, and full of intrigue. The crisis is better described as the Global Monetary War.
The Gold Standard will return, but through the trade window. The solution to the untreated Global Financial Crisis is the gold route.
The Eurasian Trade Zone will be built upon the gold route, and see a revival of the Silk Road.
It cannot be stopped, not even by war.
The safe haven is not the USDollar, but rather Gold & Silver bars & coins, otherwise defined as money.
Any nation wishing to establish trade or a monetary system centered upon gold is branded a rogue nation, subject to extreme propaganda. This is precisely why Russia is being vilified, since they want no more USDollar in trade or banking, and lead a global movement to discard the USD as global reserve currency.
The solution is with precious metals as the core to banking, trade, and currency, even wealth preservation.
The agents of change are working at hyper-speed now. The USDollar is doomed, and its captains are running for their lives.
The return of Gold to its primacy is long overdue.


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Posted by Red Pill Reports in Economic News
2015 Will be Crucial for Future of the Renminbi

2015 Will be Crucial for Future of the Renminbi

2015 Will be Crucial for Future of the Renminbi

By Want China Times

2015 Will be Crucial for Future of the Renminbi

Image credit: CFP

Since the United States announced an end to its quantitative easing (QE) programs in late October, the US dollar has begun to strengthen, weakening other currencies. China’s economic growth this year is expected to slow down further and will be crucial to see whether the renminbi can follow its long-term set policy in the internationalization of the currency to remain stable.

The US Federal Reserve in November 2008 introduced its QE program to counter the effects of the global financial crisis and continued to implement QE2 and QE3 to inject huge funds into financial markets. When the Fed in mid-2013 said it planned to end QE, it immediately created waves in international financial markets until the announcement in late October for the complete exit of QE.

During the period after the Fed announced the end to QE, many analyses predicted that following the recovering US economy and trending higher interest rates in the future, the US dollar would strengthen, funds would flow back to the US and affect Beijing’s policies to maintain stable economic growth, with the renminbi therefore facing downward pressure. However, while the US dollar index has risen to the highest level since April 2006, other currencies all fell except the renminbi, which maintained comparatively stable against the US dollar and therefore rose against other global currencies.

How long the renminbi can maintain such strength has concerned global investors. Former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan believes the QE exit will have a major impact on countries that rely on exports, but the QE impact on China will be limited as the country’s China’s economic development is better than other emerging economies. Some foreign currency analysts said the renminbi should accelerate its internationalization but if the currency sees sharp depreciation during the process, trade partners will reduce their use of it. In a bid to reach the Chinese government’s long-term goal, the renminbi must maintain its stability even if China has to sacrifice a degree of export competitiveness.

It is therefore not surprising to find that China’s economic growth and export growth are slowing, because the EU and Japan represent China’s biggest and third-biggest trading partners, respectively. Since the second half of last year the European Central Bank (ECB) has introduced a series of non-traditional monetary polices, such as negative interest rates, to guide the depreciation of the euro in a bid to beat deflation, with the euro so far having depreciated more than 10% against the US dollar. While the Japanese yen has been trending weaker since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe introduced his “Abenomics” economic reforms and after the US announced the QE exit, Japan suddenly expanded its loose monetary policy, resulting another round of depreciation to 120 yen against the US dollar. The depreciation of the two major economies, together with the declines of other Asian currencies, have a major impact on China’s trade competitiveness.

Meanwhile, OPEC has disregarded weak demand for oil due to slowing economic growth by maintaining production, resulting in oil price tumbles hitherto unseen, plunging more than 40% from a recent peak of US$105 per barrel in June.

Accordingly, major oil exporters such as Russia, Iran and Venezuela have been driven into financial instability that makes them naturally move closer to China, either signing oil or natural gas supply contracts with China using the renminbi for payment or inking currency swap agreements and no longer using the US dollar for payment. These are all steps that help establish the foundation for the internationalization of the renminbi.

However, allowing the renminbi to become a strong currency like the US dollar for the sake of China’s prestige will be a double-edged sword, definitely involving paying a price with declining export competitiveness and slowing economic growth. In the end, the direction of the renminbi will be the most important benchmark for how long China can endure its slowing economy. Taiwan’s central bank should prepare well for the new changes as the Taiwan dollar is closely related to both the US dollar and the renminbi.


Posted by Red Pill Reports in Economic News
The Great Unraveling of 2015

The Great Unraveling of 2015

The Great Unraveling of 2015

By Richard Sauder | Event Horizon Chronicle

The Great Unraveling of 2015

The coming year, 2015, will be a real humdinger.

Get Ready For Financial Turbulence

For the record, a major, global, financial collapse is now underway. It’s not impending; it’s here. Forget about the “happy talk” propaganda from the USSA government and the lame stream news media in the Western countries. When you understand that at least 80% of humanity lives on less than $10 a day the dire living conditions of the great mass of humanity come into sharp focus. The situation is already very bad for most human beings on this planet. The crisis is highly likely to enter an even more acute phase this year, fraught with peril for many millions of people, after which the global economy will either begin to improve for the great mass of humanity, or the present so-called “global civilization” will be rocked to its very core, and may even outright collapse. We should know which way the trend will tend by this time next year.

At present, there are two major power blocs in the world.

1) The Western-aligned bloc that follows the lead of the USSA, comprising the NATO and European Union countries, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, several of the Arab countries and a sprinkling of other countries, here and there around the world.

2) The BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), along with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), comprised of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, with Observer States of India, Iran, Mongolia, Pakistan, Afghanistan,  and Dialogue Partners of Turkey, Belarus and Sri Lanka.

There is also the so-called Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) of 120 member states, and 17 observers. As it happens, most of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s member states, observer states and dialogue partners are member or observer states of the Non-Aligned Movement. Similarly, four out of five of the BRICS states are member or observer states of the Non-Aligned Movement, with Russia being the odd man out.

Canada, the USSA, the European Union, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea and Israel belong neither to the NAM, nor the SCO, nor are any of them among the BRICS nations. So in reality, the NAM, while ostensibly being a non-aligned international bloc, has a natural affinity with the BRICS/SCO bloc.

Within NAM there are various, regional organizations such as the Organization of African States, the Arab League, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), etc. CELAC has 33 member states, which are also members of the NAM. CELAC is, thus, more closely allied with the BFRICS/SCO global, power bloc.

This political reality is reflected in the fact that the next CELAC meeting, in just ten days from now, will be in China. Please note:

Upon mutual agreement, the 1st Ministerial Meeting of the China-CELAC Forum will be held in     Beijing from January 8 to 9, 2015. Foreign ministers and representatives of China and CELAC members will attend the meeting. Leading officials of regional organizations and institutions in Latin America will also sit in on the meeting.

The theme of the meeting will be mutually beneficial cooperation and relations between China and nations of the Latin American-Caribbean region, in the context of a multipolar world. The two days before the meeting begins the President of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, will be in Beijing for a bi-lateral summit meeting with the Chinese leadership.

Let The Games Begin

That is no accident. Ecuador will hold the rotating presidency of CELAC in 2015. As Ecuadorean head of state, Correa will therefore occupy a crucial position of international leadership in 2015. It will not have been lost on the Chinese that Rafael Correa is a PhD economist, whose doctoral work at the University of Illinois had to do with “game theory.” Game theory is concerned with the mathematical modeling of strategic decision-making, including international decision-making. It is widely used and studied in economics, policy making and political science.

Translation: the Chinese and Latin Americans are going to take the USSA to school. It looks like 2015 will be a Chinese chess match, with the theme being inter-regional, global cooperation, on a win-win basis, by the Chinese, Russians, and scores of other nations in CELAC and the NAM.

Contrast this with the hyper-violent, zero-sum, vulture economics, winner-take-all approach of the USSA and its NATO bloc.

This is a classic showdown, that undoubtedly has been well modeled, and much discussed by the Chinese and Russians, and by Rafael Correa and other leaders in the developing world.

Everything is riding on the outcome of this game, perhaps the destiny of humanity itself, owing to the insanity of the power mad maniacs who infest Washington, DC, the City of London, Wall Street, Tel Aviv, and similar loathsome precincts.

In terms of the popular, real-estate-based, board game, Monopoly, we are looking at the last few rolls of the dice. The game will soon be decided, perhaps within the next year. The danger is that the malevolent, power mad lunatics in the Western bloc will unleash nuclear hell, if they perceive that they have lost, or are about to lose, their desperate, irrational gambit that aims to impose a global, totalitarian tyranny on this planet.

Likely Outcome

In all likelihood, CELAC, the BRICS, the SCO and NAM, will prevail in their international gamesmanship, and we will see a severe decline in the global power and meddling of the USSA, the European Union, NATO, Israel, Japan and Australia. Rafael Correa is an economist, and so he will certainly be huddling with the Chinese about how best to take down the USSA’s Federal Reserve Note as the international reserve currency, without, however, unleashing a catastrophic, global, financial apocalypse; not least because Ecuador itself uses the USSA dollar as official legal tender.

But that there will be periods of great, financial instability in 2015, there is little doubt. The battle lines are being drawn right now; the strategy is being finalized by China, CELAC, the BRICS and the SCO. This is epic stuff that is poised to unfold over the next year or so.

Caveat: if the USSA resorts to nukes, for instance, in a preemptive strike against Russia and/or China, the Russians and Chinese will certainly strike back and hard, with nuclear fire. Both countries are nuclear powers, with missiles that can strike the USSA mainland. If their national integrity and security are directly threatened, they will act decisively. On that day, the USSA would cease to exist and many of you who are reading these words would surely perish.

The upcoming time is just that serious. The USSA should never have led the world down the nuclear garden path, but it has, and so we have arrived at a point where terrible things may possibly occur.

Those who refused to concern themselves with nuclear policy in past years and decades, because they had more “important” or “fun” things to do, may find that the very thing they did their best to avoid will come looking for them personally, and if it does, it will be viciously merciless and pitiless.

Studied indifference has its price. Those who call the tune, will surely pay the piper.


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Posted by Red Pill Reports in Economic News
RBS Investigates Over 50 Staff In Forex Probe

RBS Investigates Over 50 Staff In Forex Probe

RBS Investigates Over 50 Staff In Forex Probe

RBS Investigates Over 50 Staff In Forex Probe

Image credit: Chandres (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0] Wiki

By Sky News

The part-nationalised bank updates investors on its review into the rigging of the foreign exchange market.

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) says it is investigating the conduct of more than 50 past and present staff and suspended bonuses for 18 people as part of its forex scandal inquiry.

In an update today on the accountability review, initiated after it was among five banks fined a total of £2.6bn by regulators last month, RBS said six senior employees had been placed in a disciplinary process.

Three of those members of staff were currently away from their desks, pending continuing investigations, RBS said.

The bank was handed fines totalling £400m in November after it settled separate cases with US regulators and the City watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority.

Settlement notices showed market rules were breached over years through collusion between foreign exchange traders.

The RBS statement on its continuing review said: “These investigations are complex, and the bank is striving to complete the review as soon as possible.

“The bank will provide a further update when the review is complete, which we expect to be in the first quarter.”

It added: “Currently the unvested awards of 18 individuals remain suspended pending the outcome of the review.”

Read more

Posted by Red Pill Reports in Economic News
Six Kinds of Currency That Might Emerge after the Collapse

Six Kinds of Currency That Might Emerge after the Collapse

Six Kinds of Currency That Might Emerge after the Collapse

By Joshua Krause | The Daily Sheeple

Six Kinds of Currency That Might Emerge after the Collapse

A spice market in Istanbul. Image credit: heydrienne (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0]

Among preppers, there is a common argument between those who buy gold and those who don’t. On the one hand, gold has been used as money for thousands of years. It wouldn’t be a stretch of logic to assume that if our current monetary system falls apart, something like gold might pick up the slack.But, on the other hand, gold by itself can’t help you survive. “You can’t eat gold” is a common saying on the other side of the debate, and I can’t disagree.I would argue though, that it depends on how severe the collapse is. If we’re talking about an economic collapse, I believe gold will become very valuable. After the Greek economy contracted several years ago, gold was being sold on the streets of Athens for more than double its spot price.

However, if we’re facing a truly devastating event, something that may kill millions and take decades recover from like a nuclear war or an EMP strike, then things like gold may go on the back burner for a while. It’ll still have some value, but when survival consumes your every thought, your priorities tend to change.

So if you want an idea of what items may be used as currency when the grid goes down, it would be wise to look into history to see what our ancestors used for bartering. These people lived their entire lives with a standard of living that was far lower than ours, and the commodities they prized were essential to their survival. If you want to call yourself “rich” after the collapse, here’s what you can look forward to accumulating.


Water often gets all the praise for being so essential to our survival, while salt gets to play second fiddle. In reality, salt is almost as important to our well-being as food and water. Nowadays salt can be had for a few dollars, but there was a time when it was worth its weight in gold, and was used as currency to pay Roman Soldiers. Not only was it valued for its health benefits, but it could be used to preserve food and cleanse wounds. Anywhere in the United States that is far away from the ocean will probably see the price of salt skyrocket after the collapse.

Fur pelts

During the Middle Ages, squirrel pelts became a common unit of exchange among the lower classes in Russia, and the Czarist government sometimes demanded their taxes be paid in pelts. In Finland the term for money (raha) used to be synonymous with “squirrel skin”, a throwback to when pelts were used as legal tender. And in the colonial New England, beaver pelts became so prized that they could be used in lieu of money.

There’s really no mystery behind this. While clothing is relatively cheap nowadays, before the industrial revolution a good jacket could set you back. And in places like Canada, New England, and Northern Europe, the clothes you wore were a matter of survival. So holding a handful of beaver pelts might as well have been a wad of cash.

Read more

Other Ideas Resources and Information

25+ Items to Stockpile for Bartering

By | Doomsday Survival 101

1. MRE (Meal, Ready to Eat) – Food will always be a precious commodity in emergency situations. MREs are individual food packets commonly used by soldiers in combat. It would be good to stock up on MREs because they have a long shelf life and are pretty easy to store.

2. Canned Food – Canned food, which includes canned meat, fruit, vegetables, and soup are also important items to stockpile for bartering. Since food is a basic necessity, it will always be in demand so you won’t go wrong in having a ton of canned food around. On the off chance that you won’t be able to use them as emergency barter items, you could still eat them yourself.

3. Dried Food – Dried food such as dried fruit and jerky are also useful barter items.

4. Bottled Water – Water is life. It’s as simple as that. Bottled water will be much in demand in times of crises. No further explanation is required here.

5. Honey– Honey is a natural antibiotic, antiseptic, it’s great for cooking, cleaning wounds, etc. It stores indefinitely and tastes great.

6. Bleach– can be used for cleaning, purifying water, supplies, and is  a perfect disinfectant. It lasts virtually forever and makes a great barter item.

7. Water Purification Supplies- these can range from individual tablets to actual water purification systems/filters- access to clean water during a disaster is not always easy. If you are forced to grab a bug out bag and go- a few of these tablets can come in handy for scoring you some fresh food or other necessities

8. Baking Soda- This important item can be used in cooking, cleaning, homemade explosives, health related conditions, stomach ailments, etc. It makes a great shampoo, it’s dirt cheap to buy and easy to store.

Read more

See also: 16 SHTF Barter Items to Stockpile


Posted by Red Pill Reports in Economic News
World Economic Events of 2014 That Shook the World

World Economic Events of 2014 That Shook the World

World Economic Events of 2014 That Shook the World

By Sputnik | Infowars

Economic Events of 2014 That Shook the World

Image credit: Katrina.Tuliao

As the whole world enters the new year of 2015, so does the economy, which has seen quite a few game changers in 2014 and, in some aspects, saw the transformation of decades-long trends.

To have a better understanding of the current economic situation and possible future developments, here is a look at some of the most notable events in the world economy that triggered a shift in macroeconomics and geopolitics.

Oil Prices: From $110 to $60 Per Barrel

The major issue in 2014 world economics was the sharp decrease of oil prices, the result of many factors. Brent levels began the year at levels above $100 per barrel, peaking at $110 and higher in June. It is now selling at around $60 per barrel.

Among the main reasons for the latest oil price decrease was a late November announcement by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to keep oil production volumes at current levels.

Many countries reacted calmly to the decision, with Iraq’s oil minister Adel Abdul-Mehdi stating that “economic realities are economic realities,” adding that the country should now “see those realities” and adjust itself “accordingly.”

OPEC’s move was not welcomed by many oil producing countries, including some OPEC member-countries, and has severely impacted many of the world’s oil exporters with Russia among the main victims.

Russia’s Economy: Heading Toward Recession

The Russian economy suffered not only from the oil price decrease, but also from sanctions imposed by several Western countries, including the United States and the European Union, over Moscow’s alleged involvement in Ukrainian affairs.

Despite Russia’s steadfast denial of the allegations, many of its prominent citizens, mostly civil servants, have been banned from travelling to the countries imposing the sanctions, and their assets and property in those countries has been frozen. Other restrictions targeted the country’s banking, energy and defense sectors. Among the prohibitions is the issuing of new loans to banks, the exclusion of oil and defense companies from western financing and the banning of dual-use goods and sensitive technologies to Russia.

In December, former Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said that “sanctions are influencing the Russian economy no less than the low prices for oil.” The country’s acting Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said Russia is “losing around $40 billion… a year because of sanctions and another $90 to $100 billion because of a 30-percent drop in oil prices.” However, Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev disagreed with his estimates.

An indication of the two negative factors’ influence on the Russian economy is the GDP estimate. The Ministry of Economic Development predicts a decline in the country’s GDP in 2015 of 0.8 percent with the Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev stating in December that Russia has a risk “of falling into a deeper recession than may actually occur.”

United States Vs. China: Who is #1?

The world’s two largest economies, the United States and China, have seen remarkable growth in 2014 however the growth trends appear to be quite different.

“Real gross domestic product — the value of the production of goods and services in the United States, adjusted for price changes — increased at an annual rate of 5.0 percent in the third quarter of 2014,” the US Department of Commerce said in a statement, marking the country’s best third quarter GDP growth in 11 years.

Despite the decline in the first quarter, partly explained by harsh weather conditions in the country, and by primarily internal factors of the GDP hike in the third quarter that included a rise in personal consumption expenditures (PCE), the US economy is expected to grow by no less than 2.1 percent in 2014 and by almost 3.1 percent in 2015, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Another example of the improving economic situation in the United States is the ending of the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing (QE) bond-buying program. The US central bank’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) stated in October that it “decided to conclude its asset purchase program,” bringing a series of three QE rounds undertaken by the Federal Reserve to boost the US economy to an end.

As for China, its GDP growth “has declined somewhat in 2014 amidst the on-going property market correction and the resulting weak demand in upstream industries. Growth is projected to continue to edge down in the next two years, to around 7 percent,” the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) stated in a November summary.

China’s economic slowdown did not prove to be an obstacle for the country to overcome the United States, in terms of the purchasing power parity (PPP) based GDP, for the first time in history. This event, long discussed and forecast, became a reality when the IMF in 2014 calculated the US GDP at $17,4 billion and China’s GDP at $17,6 billion.

World’s Plummeting Currencies: Ruble, Hryvnia, Bitcoin

The world’s worst-performing currency of 2014 turned out to be the bitcoin, a digital payment system referred to as a virtual currency. Bitcoin, which uses encryption techniques to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, operates independently of a central bank. The virtual currency plummeted to less than $330, compared to more than $1,000 in January.

The Russian ruble has been gradually losing value relative to the euro and the dollar throughout the year. Oil prices and other factors, including sanctions and geopolitical risks arising from the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, have led the currency to steadily diminish against the US dollar and the euro, with the dollar hovering around 53 rubles and the euro near 63 rubles at the close of 2014.

In June, the pace of ruble’s devaluation has increased, culminating with a record low of 80 rubles against the dollar and 100 against the euro on December 16, prompting the Central Bank to take urgent measures to stem its depreciation. Despite the current rebound, the currency is expected to lose up to 40 percent overall by the end of 2014.

The currency of Ukraine, a country that has been engulfed in an internal military conflict since April, has been devalued heavily. Since January, it has lost nearly a half of its worth, trading at around 16 hryvnias per US dollar at the end of 2014. The country’s inflation could rise to 22 percent by the year-end.

The world will be entering 2015 with China as its new economic leader (if only in terms of PPP based GDP). The evolution of the world’s financial architecture and its impact on global populations will be influenced by many factors, and among them will be cheap oil, a recession in Russia, a deep economic crisis in Ukraine and challenges for oil-exporting countries.


Posted by Red Pill Reports in Economic News
New York Times on Benefits of Gold in Currency Wars

New York Times on Benefits of Gold in Currency Wars

New York Times on Benefits of Gold in Currency Wars

By Mark Obyrne | Gold Core

The New York Times published an important article this week in which the benefits of gold to nation states during a period of currency wars was highlighted. The article was noteworthy as the New York Times has rarely covered gold in a positive manner.

Benefits of Gold in Currency Wars

The article, entitled ‘The Golden Age’ is about the growing use of gold in geopolitical affairs. They drew attention to the gold repatriation movements in Europe and to the accumulation of the precious metals in vast quantities by the central banks of the East – particularly Russia and China.

The Times attempts to get into the mind-set of the central banks who are buying gold or attempting to repatriate their current stocks of the metal. It presents two major rationales for the current trend.

“Some that’ve interpreted the metal’s mini-comeback as an indication that financial Armageddon, in the guise of runaway inflation, is approaching. Others have read the recent move as a symbolic way for central banks and governments to make a show of strength in nervously uncertain economic times.”

The first point is one which we have covered here consistently. The article quotes Jim Rickards who interprets the policies of China and Russia as “they understand who fragile things are and they are getting ready for the demise of the dollar.”

The Times refers to the unprecedented waves of money printing by central banks in recent years “which in theory can devalue sovereign currencies.” Despite the fact that massive money printing programs have always led to high inflation the Times seems to believe that this time it may be different – famous last words in economic terms.

The other side of the argument as put forward by the Times does not really hold water. It suggests that the accumulation of gold is a largely symbolic act . It is being used to induce a “culture of stability.”

It quotes a professor from the University of Southern California, “I doubt that the Russians or the Chinese actually believe that gold is such a great investment in terms of pure returns,” he says -“But if they are trying to suggest that they are unhappy with the dollar or that they want to become a global player, then gold is very powerful.”


He does not seem to realize that these two countries already are global players whose influence is growing as that of the U.S. declines. They may not view gold as an investment in the classic sense how they clearly view gold as an important monetary asset as seen in their declarations and in the enormous volumes they have been accumulating.

Read more


Posted by Red Pill Reports in Economic News
Swiss National Bank will cut interest rate to minus 0.25%

Swiss National Bank will cut interest rate to minus 0.25%

Swiss National Bank will cut interest rate to minus 0.25%

By BBC Business

Switzerland’s National Bank (SNB) will bring in a negative interest rate cutting the value of large sums of money left on deposit in the country.
The Bank is imposing a rate of minus 0.25% on “sight deposits” – a form of instant access account – of more than 10m Swiss francs ($9.77m).

It is trying to lower the value of the Swiss franc, which has risen recently.

Russia’s market meltdown and a dramatic plunge in the oil price have led investors to seek “safe havens”.

The announcement sent the franc lower, and in early trading the euro was buying 1.2095 Swiss francs, fewer than the 1.203 it was worth before the news, just within the target.

Switzerland typically sees money flow in during economic uncertainty.

The new rate will be introduced on 22 January and will only affect banks and large companies who use the “sight account” to transfer funds quickly and without restrictions.

A negative rate means depositors pay to lend the bank their money.

Geoffrey Yu, a currency strategist at UBS, said: “In the short term it gives them some breathing space.

Read more

Euro v Swiss Franc

Last Updated at 19 Dec 2014, 10:10 ET *Chart shows local time ..

EUR:CHF intraday chart
“If you hold Swiss francs right now you do have to bear a cost. New buyers will be forced to think twice.”

Video: Swiss National Bank will cut interest rate to minus 0.25%: World News

Switzerland’s National Bank (SNB) will bring in a negative interest rate cutting the value of large sums of money left on deposit in the country.

The Bank is imposing a rate of minus 0.25% on “sight deposits” – a form of instant access account – of more than 10m Swiss francs ($9.77m).

It is trying to lower the value of the Swiss franc, which has risen recently.

Russia’s market meltdown and a dramatic plunge in the oil price have led investors to seek “safe havens”.

The announcement sent the franc lower, and in early trading the euro was buying 1.201 Swiss francs, fewer than the 1.203 it was worth before the news, just within the target.

Switzerland typically sees money flow in during economic uncertainty.

The new rate will be introduced on January 22.

A negative rate means depositors pay to lend the bank their money.

Geoffrey Yu, a currency strategist at UBS, said: “In the short term it gives them some breathing space.

“If you hold Swiss francs right now you do have to bear a cost. New buyers will be forced to think twice.”

SNB said in a statement: “Over the past few days a number of factors have prompted increased demand for safe investments.

“The introduction of negative interest rates makes it less attractive to hold Swiss franc investments, and thereby supports the minimum exchange rate.”

The central bank has a cap of one euro equals 1.20 Swiss francs, above which it tries to prevent the franc rising.

Too high a rate has the effect of making Swiss export products more pricey.

Switzerland is also chary about attracting yet more money into its banking heavy small country.

The European Central Bank (ECB) also introduced negative interest rates, albeit for very different reasons.

The ECB wants to keep money out of its banks, not because it wants to reduce the value of the euro but because it wants money flowing round the eurozone countries to boost investment and spending.

Germany’s Commerzbank also recently introduced negative interest rates for bigger corporate clients, but it said that was linked to the ECB’s negative rates policy.

Posted by Red Pill Reports in Economic News
This Is What Gold Does In a Currency Crisis

This Is What Gold Does In a Currency Crisis

This Is What Gold Does In a Currency Crisis

By John Rubino | Dollar Collapse

What Gold Does In a Currency Crisis

To say that gold is in a bear market is to misunderstand both gold and markets. Gold isn’t an investment that goes up and down. It is money in the most basic store-of-value sense. Most of the time it just sits there, and when its price changes in local currency terms that says more about the local currency than about gold.

But when currencies collapse, gold shines.

Consider the above from the point of view of a typical Russian. The ruble is tanking (no need to understand why — all fiat currencies go this way eventually and the proximate cause is almost irrelevant). Russians who trusted their government and kept their savings in, say, a bank account, are losing their shirts. But those who own boring, doesn’t-pay-interest, in-a-bear-market gold have seen their capital appreciate in local currency terms by about 60 percent in just the past month. They’re not “making money,” but they are preserving wealth.

Read more

Russian Trading System

Moscow Exchange (Russian: ОАО Московская Биржа) is the largest stock exchange in Russia, is also the No.9 largest exchange globally by derivatives trading, located in Moscow. In December 2011, it is established by the merger of the two largest stock exchanges, the Moscow Interbank Currency Exchange (MICEX) and the Russian Trading System (RTS). After the merger of Exchange, it became an open joint stock company (OJSC), named Moscow Exchange.

The Moscow Exchange Group operates the country’s largest clearing service provider, Russia’s Central Securities Depository (CSD) and National Clearing Centre. The Moscow Exchange offers professional institutions and the state-of-the-art infrastructure for investors to trade bonds, currencies, equities, mutual funds, commodities and derivatives on all asset classes. The gold products include Gold Futures and Gold Options.

Trading hours: 10:00 a.m. – 23:50 p.m. (MSK)


Gold Price Observations from Springtime

Dr. Jim Willie: Quantum Leap in the Gold Price, Ukraine-Russia Crisis and More

Dr. Jim Willie, Editor of The Hat Trick Letter, says big news on the progress of convertibility of the Chinese yuan is being ignored by the mainstream media. Dr. Willie says, “Fully convertible capital account for the Shanghai Free Trade Zone is an enormous story, and it is not in the U.S. news. Why, because it signals that the yuan is about to become an extreme competitor to the dollar in trade settlement and, therefore, rival it as a global reserve currency. By that, I mean used in banks as a reserve item. . . . They are making steps; they are more like big strides toward making the yuan a fully convertible internationalized currency. You’ve got lots of countries with yuan swap facilities. You have Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Germany and UK. These are big countries. These are Western countries, and they all have yuan swap facilities, which mean they are not going to conduct trade settlement in dollars. So, it’s already in our Western camp. With all these developments toward a gold backed currency, you are going to see quantum leaps in the gold price. You are going to see the big move in gold when China is no longer going to be able to get London and New York gold.”

Posted by Red Pill Reports in Economic News
Yes, It’s Possible for a Gold-backed Renminbi to Dethrone the Dollar

Yes, It’s Possible for a Gold-backed Renminbi to Dethrone the Dollar

Yes, It’s Possible for a Gold-backed Renminbi to Dethrone the Dollar

By Tim Price | Sovereign Man


“We want to use our reserves more constructively by investing in development projects around the world rather than just reflexively buying US Treasuries. In any case, we usually lose money on Treasuries, so we need to find ways to improve our return on investment.”
– Unnamed senior Chinese official, cited in an FT article, ‘Turning away from the dollar’, 10th December 2014.

“Mutually assured destruction” was a doctrine that rose to prominence during the Cold War, when the US and the USSR faced each other with nuclear arsenals so populous that they ensured that any nuclear exchange between the two great military powers would quickly lead to mutual overkill in the most literal sense.

Notwithstanding the newly dismal relations between the US and Russia, “mutually assured destruction” now best describes the uneasy stand-off between an increasingly indebted US government and an increasingly monetarily frustrated China, with several trillion dollars’ worth of foreign exchange reserves looking, it would now appear, for a more productive home than US Treasury bonds of questionable inherent value.

Until now, the Chinese have had little choice where to park their trillions, because only markets like the US Treasury market (and to a certain extent, gold) have been deep and liquid enough to accommodate their reserves.

The above FT article points to three related policy developments on the part of the Chinese authorities:

  1. China’s appetite for US Treasury bonds is on the wane;
  2. China is ramping up its overseas development programme for both financial and geopolitical reasons;
  3. The promotion of the renminbi as a global currency “is gradually liberating Beijing from the dollar zone”.

The US has long enjoyed what Giscard d’Estaing called the “exorbitant privilege” of issuing a currency that happens to be the global reserve currency.

The FT article would seem to suggest that the days of exorbitant privilege may be coming to an end – to be replaced, in time, with a bi-polar reserve currency world incorporating both the US dollar and the renminbi.

(The euro might be involved, if that demonstrably dysfunctional currency bloc lasts long enough.)

Here’s a quiz we often wheel out for prospective clients:

  1. Which country is the world’s largest sovereign miner of gold?
  2. Which country doesn’t allow an ounce of that gold to be exported?
  3. Which country has advised its citizenry to purchase gold?

Three questions. One answer. In each case: China.

Is it plausible that, at some point yet to be determined, a (largely gold-backed) renminbi will either dethrone the US dollar or co-exist alongside it in a new global currency regime?

We think the answer is yes, on both counts.

Meanwhile the US appears to be doing everything in its power to hasten the relative decline of its own currency.

There is a new ‘big figure’ to account for the size of the US national debt, which now stands at $18 trillion.

That only accounts for the on-balance sheet stuff. Factor in the off-balance sheet liabilities of the US administration and pretty soon you get to a figure (un)comfortably north of $100 trillion.

It will never be paid back, of course. It never can be. The only question is which poison extinguishes it: formal repudiation, or informal inflation.

Perhaps both.

So the direction of travel of two colossal ‘macro’ themes is clear (the insolvency of the US administration, and its replacement on the geopolitical / currency stage by that of the Chinese).

The one question neither we, nor anybody else, can answer precisely is: when?

There are other statements that beg the response: “when?”

Government bond yields have already entered a ‘twilight zone’ of practical irrelevance to rational and unconstrained investors.

But when do they go into reverse? When will the world’s most frustrating trade (‘the widow-maker’, i.e. shorting the Japanese government bond market) start finally to work?

When will investors be able to enter or re-enter stock markets without having to worry about the malign impact of central bank price support mechanisms?

Here’s another statement that begs the response: “when?”

The US stock market is already heavily overvalued by any objective historical measure.

When is Jack Bogle, the founder of the world’s largest index-tracking business, Vanguard, going to acknowledge that advocating 100% market exposure to one of the world’s most expensive markets, at its all-time high, might amount to something akin to “overly concentrated investment risk”?

Lots of questions, and not many definitive answers. Some suggestions, though:

  • At the asset class level, diversification—by geography, and underlying asset type—makes more sense than ever. Unless you strongly believe you can anticipate the actions and intentions of central banking bureaucrats throughout the world.Warren Buffett once said that wide diversification was only required when investors do not understand what they are doing.We would revise that statement to take into account the unusual risks at play in the global macro-economic arena today: wide diversification is precisely required when central bankers do not understand what they are doing.
  • Expanding on the diversification theme, explicit value (“cheapness”) today only exists meaningfully in the analytically less charted territories of the world. Stock markets in Russia and China, for example, are trading at book value or less, while North American markets 3x more.
  • Some form of renminbi exposure makes total sense as part of a diversified currency portfolio.
  • US equities should be selected, if at all, with extreme care; ditto the shares of global mega-cap consumer brands, where valuations point strongly to the triumph of the herd.
  • And whatever their direction of travel in the short to medium term, US Treasuries at current levels make no sense whatsoever to the discerning investor. The same holds for Gilts, Bunds, JGBs, OATs.
  • Arguments about Treasury yields reverting to a much lower longer term mean completely ignore a) the overwhelming current and future oversupply, and b) the utter lack of endorsement from one of their largest foreign holders.

Foreign holders of US Treasuries, you have been warned. The irony is that many of you are completely price-insensitive so you will not care.

There are other reasons to be fearful of stock market valuations, notably in pricey Western markets, over and above concerns over the debt burden.

As Russell Napier points out in his latest ‘The Solid Ground’ piece,

“In 1919-1921, 1929-1932, 2000-2003, 2007-2009 it was not a resurgence in wages, Fed-controlled interest rates or corporate taxes which produced a collapse in corporate profits and a bear market in equities.

“On those four occasions equity investors suffered losses of 32%, 85%, 41% and 51% respectively despite the continued dormancy of labour, creditors and the state. It was deflation, or the fear of deflation, which cost equity investors so much. There is a simple reason why deflation has always been so damaging to corporate profits and equity valuations: it brings a credit crisis.

Read more

Posted by Red Pill Reports in Economic News
The Aftermath Of The Great 2014 Oil Crash “A Textbook Macroeconomic Shock”

The Aftermath Of The Great 2014 Oil Crash “A Textbook Macroeconomic Shock”

The Aftermath Of The Great 2014 Oil Crash “A Textbook Macroeconomic Shock”

By Tyler Durden | Zero Hedge

The Aftermath Of The Great 2014 Oil Crash "A Textbook Macroeconomic Shock"

Not a day passes without pundits on either side of the debate, eager to make their case that the acute, nearly 50% plunge in the price of crude, swear up and down their preferred economic ideology of choice that said plunge is [bullish|bearish] for the economy. The reality is that the true impact of the great oil crash of 2014 will not be revealed for at least several months, however for those who can’t afford to wait, or simply lack the patience, here is perhaps the most comprehensive view of the pros and cons of what has now been dubbed a “textbook macroeconomic shock” by Deutsche Bank.

From Deutsche Bank’s 2015 Credit Outlook titled “Plate Spinning”

The Great 2014 Oil Shock – Aftermath

The fall in the price of oil – down more than 40% since June – is a textbook macroeconomic “shock”. Stripping it down to its most fundamental level, a fall in the price of oil predistributes real income from oil producers to oil consumers. Money oil consumers would have exchanged with oil producers for the stuff, can instead be put towards other purchases or savings. At the global level it means less spent on oil imports for oil importing nations and less income from oil exports for oil exporting nations. To put some rough numbers around this, US average net imports of oil and the like has averaged 5.2m barrels per day in 2014, thus the fall in the oil price by $43 since late June is saving the US economy about $224m a day on its net oil transactions and costing its oil trade partners the same amount. This is after accounting for the dramatic fall in US net oil imports driven in part by the country’s shale boom.

fig 132_0

Therefore if oil prices stay where they currently are this appears to be a meaningful headwind for the big oil consuming nations. The biggest net oil importers in 2013 were (1) the US, (2) China, (3) Japan and (4) India. Major exporters will suffer. Probably the most prominent current example of an economy that will struggle to cope with the fall in the oil price is Russia, which in 2013 was the world’s second largest net exporter of oil. As we’ve already discussed, estimates suggest that at oil prices below $90 the Russian economy will go into recession and DB estimates the government will fail to balance its budget at $100 (Figure 133). At current levels none of the major oil exporters will be able to balance their budgets next year.

fig 133_0

Overall, most estimates suggest that a fall in the oil price is a net positive for the total world economy. According to the IMF’s Tom Helbling, “a 10% change in the oil price is associated with around a 0.2% change in global GDP” (The Economist) as oil consumers are greater spend-thrifts than oil producers. Given those estimates the current fall of more than 40% should add about +0.8% to global GDP growth.

With so much of the global growth story resting on US shoulders next year the fall in the price of oil should help, although not as much as it used to given the USA’s shale boom. The EU should also gain given its $500bn of energy imports in 2013. However the drop in the price of oil might prove a mixed blessing given that sharp drops in the oil price will weigh on inflation (Figure 134) and another negative headwind to inflation (in any form) is not something the euro area really needs or wants currently with CPI running at just +0.4% YoY. On the other hand the drop in inflation pressures should be a boon for a number of EM economies whose central banks may otherwise have had to hike rates in the face of rising inflation even as their growth rates remained tepid.

It’s also important to remember that whilst oil is an important global commodity it is rare for it alone to drive global economic outcomes. The halving of global oil prices in 2008 didn’t prevent many of the world’s oil importing economies from suffering severe recessions and as Figure 135 shows there is no easy nor automatic relationship between falling oil prices and rising US growth. The environment within which the oil price change occurs is important. Indeed if the current drop in the price of oil is being driven by expectations of falling demand driven by expectations of a slowdown in global growth it’s possible that the drop in the oil price is at best going to partially cushion the global economy from a slowdown rather then drive it to higher growth rates.

fig 134_0

Also importantly for investors, falling oil prices will not affect all areas of economies equally, even in those economies that should benefit at an aggregate level. As our US credit strategy team wrote recently, energy companies make up the largest single sector component of the US HY market at 16% (US HY DM Index) and so the falling oil price may prove a negative for the US HY credit market. Our US team added that if the WTI price fell to $60/bbl this would push the whole US HY energy sector into distress, with around 1/3rd of US energy Bs/CCCs forced to restructure, implying a 15% default rate for overall US HY energy which would contribute 2.5% to the broad US HY default rate. This could be a sizeable enough shock to cause concern throughout the rest of the US HY market.

There is no doubt that the fall in the price of oil in 2014 has been a significant economic shock. Most estimates suggest that this should add to global growth, weigh on global inflation and most likely have varied but oil-specific asset price implications (EM oil producing nations and US HY weakness stand out); however it is likely that growth tailwinds from this year’s fall in oil prices will not be the main story for investors in 2015.


Posted by Red Pill Reports in Economic News
Pension Plans to be Looted as Congress Okays Institutional Theft of Funds

Pension Plans to be Looted as Congress Okays Institutional Theft of Funds

Pension Plans to be Looted as Congress Okays Institutional Theft of Funds

By Mike Adams | Natural News

Pension Plans to be Looted as Congress Okays Institutional Theft of Funds

(NaturalNews) On April 2, 2013, in an article entitled Economics 101: Production, coercion and theft, I wrote about the coming looting of pension plans, stating:

When societies approach collapse, coercion shifts to outright theft: Stealing money right out of your bank account, for example, like we recently witnessed in Cyprus. Government also routinely target pension funds and even private retirement accounts, attempting to keep itself afloat by any means necessary.

Just like clockwork, that looting of pension plans is now about to commence. “Congress could soon allow the benefits of current retirees to be cut as part of an agreement to address the fiscal distress confronting some of the nation’s 1,400 multi-employer pension plans,” writes Michael Fletcher of the Washington Post. [1] The Post continues:

“This proposal would devastate retirees and their surviving spouses,” said Karen Friedman, executive vice president of the Pension Rights Center, a nonprofit group. “The proposal would also torpedo basic protections of the federal private pension law … that states that once benefits are earned, they can’t be cut back.”

All the pension benefits that have been promised government retirees, in other words, are about to be stolen back from retirees.

This is precisely what I’ve long warned Natural News readers was coming. And this is merely the very beginning of the true destruction of the financial collapse headed our way. When the next market crash arrives, billions of dollars in retirement funds will be destroyed virtually overnight, and pension funds nationwide will be wiped out.

A “declaration of war” against the American worker

The fact that this wholesale theft of pension funds is now under way has not escaped union workers and retirees.

As WashPost also reports:

“This is nothing less than a declaration of war by Congress on American retirees,” said R. Thomas Buffenbarger, international president of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.

Indeed, “war” is exactly how most people are going to perceive this… especially when retirement checks are the primary source of income for many retirees who are just barely getting by.

For millions of Americans, when those checks stop coming, it spells instant financial disaster. Many won’t be able to pay their mortgages or rent payments, and we are sadly going to see a massive wave of new American homeless coupled with a glut of vacant homes owned by banks teetering on financial collapse.

As pension funds are increasingly looted and stolen from retirees, more and more of America is going to resemble Detroit: a city that once shined with innovation but now — thanks to outrageous corruption, taxation and the endless expansion of government — has collapsed into third-world status that even lacks running water for many of its residents.

Back in 2013, I warned about all this in an article entitled “Production, Coercion and Theft.”

It’s time to revisit that article, so here it is:

Flashback: Production, Coercion and Theft

I’d like to share a lesson in economics today, and I call it the “Production, Coercion and Theft” lesson.

There are only three ways to accumulate money and wealth in world (other than stumbling across a hidden treasure and actually finding money, that is):

#1) Production: Offer something of value in exchange for money voluntarily traded by recipients

#2) Coercion: Confiscate money (or stores of value) by claiming authority over those who earn it

#3) Theft: Steal money (or stores of value) from those who already have it

Every person in society today acquires money in these three ways (with “gifting” being a fourth way that’s in a separate category because it’s passive, not active). The office worker, the entrepreneur, the laborer, the weekend burglar and even the professional politician all acquire money in one of these three primary ways.

Production means offering something of value to another party who is willing to trade you dollars for it. It can include both goods and services. A 9-5 office worker, for example, offers the value of their time and effort, and in exchange they are compensated at an agreed upon pay rate.

Production can also mean adding value to physical goods. We do this at the Natural News Store by sourcing organic superfoods from around the world and packaging them in pouches and cans for retail in the USA. This is a classic example of value-added production.

Out of the three methods of money accumulation covered here, production is the only one that adds abundance to the economy. The other two methods reduce wealth and ultimately promote poverty.

Coercion means forcing someone to give you money. This is the default method of all government bodies, from your local property tax collector to the federal IRS. Coercion means extracting money from someone in a non-mutually-agreed (i.e. “non-voluntary”) way.

Being mugged is a lot like being taxed

A mugging is money extraction via coercion. Ironically, it is almost identical to taxation: There is a threat of force stated or implied, followed by a request for a certain amount of money: “Give me your wallet” or “Pay $12,453.24.” Your compliance results in the source of the coercion taking your money then moving on to their next victim. Non-compliance results in you either being shot, stabbed, arrested at gunpoint or stripped of other possessions you may own.

Theft is different from coercion in that there is no interaction at all between two parties. Theft is when someone breaks into your house and steals your flat screen TV when you’re not even there. Or it’s when someone breaks into your online bank account and transfers all your money to an offshore crime haven in Nigeria.

Theft is what recently happened in Cyprus, where banksters stole 40% or more of private account balances, later stealing 60% or more of many business accounts. It wasn’t coercion because there was no threat of force, nor any compliance on your part. You simply wake up one morning and find that your bank account, your truck, your wallet or your laptop computers is missing. That’s theft… and that’s how the global banking system fundamentally functions.

Another advanced kind of theft is committed by the Federal Reserve. By printing new money, it steals the value of all the money you currently hold. This is called “currency theft” but a full discussion of it is beyond the scope of this lesson. For now, let’s stick to simple theft and coercion.

The illusion of compliance

Governments typically shy away from engaging in outright theft. Why? Because they hope to create the illusion of voluntary compliance. By coercing you into giving up your money “voluntarily,” they avoid the appearance of outright stealing money or property from you. You “agreed” to pay your taxes, didn’t you?

In certain cases, of course, the government does engage in outright theft. This is called “eminent domain” and it means the government simply claims ownership of something you own (usually some land or a building), then decides how much money to pay you for it. The government claims the right to steal from you for “the common good,” implying that the benefit of some is more important than protecting the private property rights of all.

Theft is also carried out through misrepresentation and fraud. If a used car salesman sells you a 2005 Chevy pickup with “only 25,000 miles” on it, but it turns out they hacked the odometer and the vehicle actually has 300,000 miles on it, that’s misrepresentation and fraud.

This is very common in the food industry where “extra virgin olive oil” often turns out to be cut with GMO canola oil. Or where “tuna fish” actually isn’t from tuna. In the health supplements market, misrepresentation and fraud is also common among heavily-hyped “miracle” supplements that claim impossible results. Acai weight loss pills are a good example.

Misrepresentation and fraud is how virtually the entire system on Wall Street operates, by the way. It’s all a numbers game where investment houses sell stocks short while telling their customers to buy. The ratings are faked, the customers buy the stock, the investment brokers sell it short and wait for the stock to tumble from its artificial high, after which they rake in the profits.

Why governments prefer coercion to theft

By and large, governments far prefer coercion to theft. The IRS, for example, continues to insist that paying federal tax is a “voluntary” act. “Compliance is voluntary,” they admit. But this brand of volunteerism comes with the heavy hand of coercion. A typical warning letter from the IRS threatens the recipient with losing all his property and spending years in jail if they refuse to comply.

So yes, paying the IRS is “voluntary” as long as you don’t mind the consequences: Years in prison and the forfeiting of everything you own. That’s classic coercion.

By the same token, a Chicago mafia goon could walk into a popular night club in 1929 and say, “You’s gonna volunteer to pay us 20% of your profits, okay?” (Say that in your head with a cartoonish mob accent for better effect.) Followed by: “It would be a real shame to see a nice joint like this burn to ashes, y’know?”

This is not unlike the offer made by the IRS. Pay us 50% (or more) of your income, or lose your freedom.

Obamacare is implemented entirely by coercion. The gambit is this: Buy Obamacare health insurance, or we’ll just confiscate money right out of your paycheck. That has very little difference from the mafia’s offer of “pay us 20% or we burn this place down.” In both cases, it’s a threat and a demand for compliance. That’s coercion.

Coercion and theft are signs of a crumbling society

When society is healthy, production is the dominant method of wealth creation. But when society begins to fall into criminality, corruption and government gone bad, coercion and theft become the dominant methods for diverting wealth from those who have earned it into the hands of those who are receiving it.

All agents and employees of the government are, by definition, beneficiaries of coercion. Their salaries are paid entirely by the government’s confiscation of wealth from private sector workers and businesses, all of whom comply solely because they are threatened with imprisonment if they fail to do so.

The ratio between production and coercion is a very good indicator of the level of freedom in any given nation. When tax rates are low, production is high because people have more incentive to start businesses, hire more people and produce more products or services. Wealth is primarily created by productivity

But when tax rates are high — more coercion — production plummets because the rewards for starting a business and hiring workers are diminished. The focus of the economy becomes government growth accompanied by increasing coercion / confiscation of private wealth.

When societies approach collapse, coercion shifts to outright theft: Stealing money right out of your bank account, for example, like we recently witnessed in Cyprus. Government also routinely target pension funds and even private retirement accounts, attempting to keep itself afloat by any means necessary.

Understand these three key truths

In summary, the fall of society can be understood through these key transitions:

Abundant society = Freedom and liberty = Production and wealth creation
…then Production becomes Coercion

Coercion society = High taxes, growth of government = Wealth confiscation
…then Coercion becomes Theft

Theft society = Looting of private bank accounts, government seizure of industry = Wealth destruction
…Theft leads to Collapse

The EU has entered the stage of “coercion becoming theft.” The collapse is near.


Additional sources:

Readers always ask me for “sources” when I write original articles, so I’ll answer this question up front: What is my source for this analysis? There is no specific source. These ideas are self-evident. I did not read them in any particular book or website, nor learn them in a course of some kind.

In a general sense, of course, these ideas are derivatives of libertarian / Austrian economics:, Murray Rothbard, Lew Rockwell, Henry Hazlitt and others.

Click here to read “Economics in One Lesson” (PDF) and gain an understanding of economics vastly exceeding that of Ben Bernanke.

See the article just published on which just happens to coincide with my own article here. It’s entitled, Taxation is Robbery, Part 1.

Posted by Red Pill Reports in Economic News
Why Did The Treasury Department Just Purchase Thousands of Survival Kits For Bank Examiners?

Why Did The Treasury Department Just Purchase Thousands of Survival Kits For Bank Examiners?

Why Did The Treasury Department Just Purchase Thousands of Survival Kits For Bank Examiners?

By Mac Slavo | SHTF Plan

They Know Something

Survival Kits For Bank ExaminersIn recent years the U.S. government has been making massive preparations. They have been stockpiling food, riot gear, automatic weapons and billions of rounds of ammunition. While no one in Federal emergency planning services is talking any specifics, recent exercises over American cities and military training simulations all suggest that whatever it is that the government is preparing for is a very serious affair. One possibility, as evidenced by war gaming simulations being performed by intelligence agencies, Homeland security and the Pentagon is that the U.S. economy could collapse under the weight of trillions of dollars in debt. Another points at the real possibility of a widespread attack on the U.S. power grid that could throw the country back into the stone age.

Whatever it is, it should be clear that preparations are being made.

The latest eye-opener comes from the U.S. Treasury, a department tasked with managing the country’s debt as well as the banking system as a whole. According to a new report the Treasury Department has ordered over $200,000 Survival Kits for as many as 3,814 employees who oversee the federal banking system.

It’s not clear why the federal government has ordered the kits, but perhaps they are expecting some sort of disturbance to take place and they want their employees to be prepared for it. According to Zero Hedge, the kits will be delivered to every major bank in the United States and include Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup and Capital One.

The “kits,” which contain items such as high calorie food rations, emergency water, first aid supplies and an emergency radio, suggest that the Treasury Department wants their people to be prepared for scenario where they may be out of contact from officials for 24 – 48 hours.

A full list of the specifications for the survival kits has been made available by Free Beacon:
Treasury Department Just Purchase Thousands of Survival Kits

Survival kits will be delivered to every major bank in the United States including Bank of America, American Express Bank, BMO Financial Corp., Capitol One Financial Corporation, Citigroup, Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Company, and Wells Fargo.

The agency has roughly 3,814 employees, each of which would receive a survival kit. The staff includes “bank examiners” who provide “sustained supervision” of major banks in the United States.

It is not clear why the Treasury Department is ordering the kits.


This, of course, begs the question: why?

Does the Treasury Department know something we don’t? And why bank examiners? Is it possible someone, somewhere knows something significant is about to go down?

They certainly understand that the U.S. economy and financial system are susceptible to massive shocks. Last year they released a report warning of a catastrophic event that could last generations should the U.S. government fail to secure additional credit:

“In the event that a debt limit impasse were to lead to a default, it could have a catastrophic effect on not just financial markets but also on job creation, consumer spending and economic growth,” the report said.

“Credit markets could freeze, the value of the dollar could plummet, US interest rates could skyrocket, the negative spillovers could reverberate around the world, and there might be a financial crisis and recession that could echo the events of 2008 or worse.”

“Considering the experience of countries around the world that have defaulted on their debt, not only might the economic consequences of default be profound, but those consequences, including high interest rates, reduced investment, higher debt payments, and slow economic growth, could last for more than a generation,” the report states.

It’s only a matter of time, it seems.

And, while the survival kits purchased by the Treasury Department are basic units that provide about two days worth of supplies, it’s notable that they have purchased these kits specifically for their bank examiners. In the preparedness community we call it a bug out bag, or depending on the circumstances, a get-home bag. They are part of a broader preparedness strategy designed to provide supplemental support to those who are away from home and out of touch in the event of an emergency. So the specific kits being distributed by the Treasury Department will provide limited support at best and are not full-out multi-month preparedness kits.

Nonetheless, we are seeing the government not only regionalize distribution centers around the country and stockpile typical “prepper” supplies, but they are also now getting their individual employees and agents prepared.

Those who have yet to prepare for major disasters should do so now, because if whatever Treasury and other Federal agencies expect to happen actually happens then all bets are off.

The reason, for example, that someone would need a 2,400 calorie food bar like the one in these kits is because store shelves would likely have been looted and no food will be available. Tess Pennington, author of the best selling disaster guide The Prepper’s Blueprint, explains:

When the needs of the population cannot be met in an allotted time frame, a phenomena occurs and the mindset shifts in people. They begin to act without thinking and respond to changes in their environment in an emotionally-based manner, thus leading to chaos, instability and a breakdown in our social paradigm.

When you take the time to understand how a breakdown behaves and how it progresses, only then can you truly prepare for it.

Source: Anatomy of a Breakdown

As part of a complete preparedness strategy Pennington suggests having an emergency bag similar to the one being purchased by the Treasury Department – but with a little more hardcore survival built in because during a serious and widespread emergency scenario a couple thousand calories and a survival blanket may not be enough:

  •  What’s missing from the kits above is a self defense tool. If recent events have proven anything it’s that large groups of people, especially hungry people, will turn to violence. That means you should be carrying a firearm. If you are in a state that does not allow you to do so, then we suggest adding something like a Cold Steel Rifleman’s Hawk ax to your bag.
  • Bulk up on calories because walking during an event like a power outage is going to take a lot of energy. The Daltrex 3600 calorie bar is designed to keep you loaded up with carbs and proteins, and one bar can provide an adult with enough food for two days. Put several of them in your bag and you can survive for nearly 7 days without a grocery store.
  • Walking, running and surviving is going to take water. Emergency water pouches are fine, but having a portable water filter or a Life Straw could really mean the difference between life or death should water utility plants succumb to power outages. Considering including some electrolytes to help prevent fatigue, headaches and other physical issues.
  • You never know where you’ll be should an emergency happen. It may be cold and you may need to cook your food, so having a fire starter wouldn’t be a bad idea. Ready Nutrition provides a list of some very innovative and useful fire starting tools.
  • And be sure to have a multi-tool. Among other things, they include a knife, screwdriver, and pliers, all of which you won’t need until you need them. And should you not have them you could be facing serious problems. Think back to how often you’ve used just these three items in the past and how frustrating or impossible your task would have been to accomplish without them. So, definitely put a high quality multi-tool in your kit.
  • The above list is limited but highlights some key considerations for any short-term survival kit. For a complete list of survival tools and strategies we urge you to visit Tess Pennington’s free 52 Weeks to Preparedness online series.

Someone in the upper echelons of government understands the threats being faced by Americans. Efforts are being made from coast-to-coast to prepare for these threats. But, as even the director of Homeland Security has warned, in an emergency every individual needs to make preparations for at least a two week period during which food, gas, clean water and emergency response may be unavailable.


Related Resources:

The Prepper’s Blueprint: Prepare Yourself For Any Disaster

52 Weeks to Preparedness (Free Online Web Series)

Posted by Red Pill Reports in Economic News
“Riddles” Surround 36th Dead Banker Of The Year

“Riddles” Surround 36th Dead Banker Of The Year

“Riddles” Surround 36th Dead Banker Of The Year

By  | ZeroHedge

52-year-old Belgian Geert Tack – a private banker for ING who managed portfolios for wealthy individuals – was described as ‘impeccable’, ‘sporty’, ‘cared-for’, and ‘successful’ and so as Vermist reports, after disappearing a month ago, the appearance of his body off the coast of Ostend is surrpunded by riddles…

Tack disappeared on November 5th…

Impeccable. Sporty. Cared for. Successful. Just some qualifications that are attributed to the 52-year-old from the Belgian Geert Tack Haaltert.

Geert Tack -  36th Dead Banker Of The YearGeert Tack worked as a private banker for ING and managed portfolios of wealthy clients. The Belgian had a lot of respect in the financial world and was known as an up and top professional. His sudden disappearance was also smashed like a bomb. “If Tack himself was having trouble he has managed to keep it well hidden”, say colleagues.


Nobody then could have guessed that the man would not return on Wednesday, November 5th to his wife in their villa Vondelen.

and was found dead this weekend off the coast of Ostend…

On December 3, the body was found on the coast of Ostend and removed from the water. The prosecutor confirmed today that it is Geert Tack, but it is still awaiting further results of the autopsy for the exact cause of death. The results of toxicological testing are not yet known.

Geert Tack mysterious circumstances under which he disappeared

The examiner states that the body showed no outward signs of violence.

As Vermist comments, he was well-liked and successful but the situation of his disappearance remain odd to say the least…

What makes the matter is that the extra mysterious circumstances under which he disappeared are rather peculiar. A few weeks earlier Tack drove his car to the garage and then took a replacement car. Oddly enough, he used it much later, shortly before he disappeared. Meanwhile, the car, a Renault Espace, has been found in Knokke, but Tack’s whereabouts are still unknown to this day. Also –  why did he find it sometimes so difficult to get to sleep in the weeks before his disappearance?

Why did he leave his laptop and cell phone at home  that Wednesday morning ? Although a desperate act can not be excluded, there are also people considering the missing part of a preconceived plan. From his position Tack had the opportunity – whether or not forced by third parties – to run off with money from his clients.

It is a hypothesis that is being seriously investigated by the federal police, but which colleagues refuse to consider. “He would never do something like that” said one of them with certainty. “Geert is a blameless man.”


This is the 36th Dead Banker of the year (via Beforeitsnews):

1) David Bird, 55, long-time reporter for the Wall Street Journal working at the Dow Jones news room
2) Tim Dickenson, a U.K.-based communications director at Swiss Re AG
3) William Broeksmit, 58, former senior manager for Deutsche Bank
4) Ryan Henry Crane, age 37, JP Morgan
5) Li Junjie, 33, Hong Kong JP Morgan
6) Gabriel Magee, 39, age JP Morgan employee
7) Mike Dueker, 50, who had worked for Russell Investments
8) Richard Talley, 57, was the founder and CEO of American Title (real estate titles)
9) James Stuart Jr. 70, Former National Bank of Commerce CEO was found dead in Scottsdale, Ariz
10) Jason Alan Salais, 34 year old IT Specialist at JPMorgan since 2008
11) Autumn Radtke, 28, CEO of First Meta, a Singapore-based virtual currency trading platform
12) Eddie Reilly, 47, investment banker, Vertical Group, New York
13) Kenneth Ballando, 28, investment banker, Levy Capital, New york
14) Joseph A. Giampapa, 55, corporate bankruptcy lawyer, JP Morgan Chase
15) Jan Peter Schmittmann, 57, voormalig topbestuurder ANB/AMRO, Laren, Nederland
16) Juergen Frick, 48, CEO Bank Frick & Co AG, Liechtenstein
17) Benoît Philippens, 37, directeur BNP Parisbas Fortis Bank, Ans, België.
18) Lydia…, 52, bankier Bred-Banque-Populaire, Parijs
19) Andrew Jarzyk, 27, bankier, PNC Bank, New York
20) Carlos Six, 61, Hoofd Belastingdienst en lid CREDAF, België
21) Jan Winkelhuijzen, 75, Commissaris en Fiscalist (voormalig Deloitte), Nederland.
22) Richard Rockefeller, 66, achterkleinzoon elitebankier John D. Rockefeller, Amerika
23) Mahafarid Amir Khosravi (Amir Mansour Aria), 45, bankeigenaar, zakenman en derivatenhandelaar, Iran
24) Lewis Katz, 76, zakenman, advocaat en insider in de bancaire wereld, Amerika
25) Julian Knott, Directeur Global Operations Center JP Morgan, 45, Amerika
26) Richard Gravino, IT Specialist JP Morgan, 49, Amerika
27) Thomas James Schenkman, Managing Director Global Infrastructure JP Morgan, 42, Amerika
28) Nicholas Valtz, 39, Managing Director Goldman Sachs, New York, Amerika
29) Therese Brouwer, 50, Managing Director ING, Nederland
30) Tod Robert Edward, 51, Vice President M & T Bank, Amerika
31) Thierry Leyne, 48, investeringsbankier en eigenaar Anatevka S.A., Israël
32) Calogero Gambino, 41, Managing Director Deutsche Bank, Amerika
33) Shawn D. Miller, 42, Managing Director Citigroup, New York, Amerika
34) Melissa Millian, 54, Senior Vice President Mass Mutual, Amerika
35) Thieu Leenen, 64, Relatiemanager ABN/AMRO, Eindhoven, Nederland
36) Geert Tack, 52, Private Banker ING, Haaltert, België



Posted by Red Pill Reports in Economic News