Tag Archives: Federal Reserve

It’s Tough To Extend Credit And Aid To People You’re Trying To Exterminate

Powell Says It’s Tough For The Fed To Boost Lending To Smaller Businesses

Can anyone explain what Powell said today… “It’s hard For The Fed To Lend To U.S. Small Business” Meanwhile, the Fed is BACKDOOR bailing out mega-corporations via buying their debt?!!

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, on left, and Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell share an elbow bump greeting prior to the start of a House Financial Services Committee hearing Tuesday. POOL/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

(Greg Robb) Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said Tuesday the central bank would have to start from scratch if Congress wants it to make smaller loans to U.S. companies.

Democrats, led by House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Rep. Maxine Waters of California, want the Fed to do lend more for companies hurt by the coronavirus.

At a hearing on Tuesday, Waters suggested that the Fed and Treasury Department lower the minimum size of the loans under the Main Street Lending Program to $100,000 from the current $250,000 threshold.

Powell pushed back on this idea.

He said that there was little demand for loans below $1 million. And lowering the threshold would mean the Fed would have to start over with the program.

“Extending credit in those small quantities would require a facility built from the ground that would be quite different than Main Street,” Powell said.

“It wouldn’t look like the current Main Street facility now. It’s just a very different kind of thing,” he added.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said “there’s not more we can do” to make the Fed’s emergency lending programs more used.

Mnuchin said some of the $454 billion allocated for the lending program could be shifted to better use.

Some lawmakers have criticized the Treasury for not wanting the lending program to take losses. But Mnuchin stessed this wasn’t the case.

“We do expect to take losses on that,” he said.

Powell said smaller business loans would be better handled with grants from the Paycheck Protection Program, which provided about $500 billion in loans to small businesses that could be forgiven if they did not lay off their employees.

“Trying to underwrite the credit of hundreds of thousands of very small businesses would be very difficult,” Powell said. He said many of these small loans are based on personal promises.

The PPP program expired in August and reauthorizing it has been held up because Democrats and Republicans can’t reach agreement on another coronavirus relief package.

Both Powell and Mnuchin told lawmakers it was not easy for the federal government to craft an aid program for the commercial real estate sector.

“It’s an issue. We don’t have a solution. I wish we did,” Mnuchin said.

The Treasury Secretary said reauthorizing the PPP program might be the answer so that firms can pay their rent and landlords can pay their mortgages.

Source: by Greg Robb | Market Watch

Is America The Babylon? … Mystery Revealed

Anyone who studies this stuff … the Illuminati, the Federal Reserve, the Freemasons, the money, the political side, the elite, Hollywood all of it–anyone who goes really deep…finds God, the Bible and Jesus Christ. It’s all about Him. It’s a war on HIM. Or is it Mexican Radio?

A simple penny… what a symbol of the eternal duplicity which is the United States of America! On one side is inscribed “In God We Trust” On the other, the words, “E Pluribus Unum”, Latin for “Out of Many, One”.

https://50shadesofpissedoff.files.wordpress.com/2017/07/fb_img_1500171592971.jpg?w=612&zoom=2The phrase, “In God we trust”, seemed to most to indicate that we were a Christian Nation. A natural assumption for a Christian to make. For many of the illuminated members of the secret societies… the ones who had it placed on the coin, however, it clearly referred to Lucifer. All men worship a god but not all men worship the Creator of the Universe.

https://50shadesofpissedoff.files.wordpress.com/2017/07/fb_img_1469912353706.jpg?w=576&zoom=2

In School they taught us that “E Pluribus Unum” was the American Dream … bring people from all over the world and meld them into a single people. To the Master Mason, it held a darker truth. It is the goal, the dream and the vision of Lucifer. It is strongly tied to and perhaps synonymous with the Masonic motto… “Ordo ab Chao” or Order out of Chaos.

https://50shadesofpissedoff.files.wordpress.com/2017/07/fb_img_1469826540478.jpg?w=612&zoom=2

Nimrod, a Nephilim, the son of Satan and a Nephilim woman was three quarters Watcher/Angel and one quarter human. (The Bible does not teach this but it is a common theme throughout the ancient religions and this does not violate Scripture.) As such, his soul was un-redeemable.

https://50shadesofpissedoff.files.wordpress.com/2017/07/nimrod.jpg?w=343&zoom=2His spirit was bound, according to Scripture in Tartarus. His disincarnate spirit is known as Lucifer/Apollo/Apollyon/Abaddon and a thousand other names. He is the one “who was and is not and is to come” (Revelation 17:8). John tells us in 1 John 4:3 that his disembodied spirit is now loose in the world. This Nimrod fought against God and almost won. He would have won… God himself testifies, “If they have begun to do this as one people all having the same language, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.” (Genesis 11:6)

God frustrated their plans. It is God who separated the people by language and ethnicity. God said, “Come, let Us go down there and confuse their language so that they will not understand one another’s speech.”

https://i0.wp.com/beforeitsnews.com/contributor/upload/244096/images/images%20(2).jpg?zoom=2So from there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth, and they stopped building the city. Therefore its name is called Babylon, for there the Lord confused the language of the whole earth, and from there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.

It is this separation, this confusion, this scattering that the Luciferians call “Chao” or chaos. If Lucifer can only bring order out of this chaos… if he can unite all mankind under a single government, give them a single currency and a common religion… he can defeat Jehovah God… That is what the Master Mason believes and strives for… Ordo Ab Chao… bring all races, religions, tongues, tribes, peoples and nations together as one… This is the dream of Pope Francis, EU, United Nations and those striving for creation of a North American Union.

https://i0.wp.com/beforeitsnews.com/contributor/upload/244096/images/FB_IMG_1474912487404.jpg?zoom=2This is Lucifer’s Dream and this was the secret dream of our founding Fathers. They determined to preach Christianity to the masses but work in secret to break down the barriers between men and nations (ethnos). This was the awful secret behind America that was always hidden from Americans. This was the great experiment… Is it possible to take people from every ethnic group, every language and religion and melt them into one people? That was the question the United States was created to answer. E Pluribus Unum!

https://50shadesofpissedoff.files.wordpress.com/2017/02/img_1814.jpg?w=480&zoom=2In the process, the American Church got swallowed up in the American Dream. To be a Christian was to be an American and to be an American was to be a Christian. We got Christianity and the American Dream so confused that not one American Christian in a million could separate the two. They told us a lie and we made it our own. The Constitution was respected equally with Scripture and the Government with God. The Flag and the Cross got all tangled up and we did not see a distinction between the two. All the while, the Master Masons and the Luciferians who ran the government, big business and big churches, laughed at us… the believers.

https://50shadesofpissedoff.files.wordpress.com/2017/07/14962791_10210644311374620_2795224497490568632_n.jpg?w=612&zoom=2Now the experiment is finished. It was a grand success. We were the forerunner for the New World Order. What the United States was on the North American Continent, the New World Order will be on the globe.

https://50shadesofpissedoff.files.wordpress.com/2016/04/img_71391.jpg?w=612&zoom=2There is a problem that still stands, however, among the American Christians and the Christians of the world, there remains a remnant of Bible Believing followers of Jesus Christ. There remains a group of people who cannot be deceived. There remains a group of people who can cast out demons and frustrate the work of Lucifer… Those people must be eliminated.

https://50shadesofpissedoff.files.wordpress.com/2017/07/fb_img_1497300341050.jpg?w=612&zoom=2There is another group… the American Patriot. The true believer in the lie that is America. They too must be eliminated.

https://50shadesofpissedoff.files.wordpress.com/2017/06/wp-image-1843557397.jpg?w=550&zoom=2America must be destroyed. The United States was the forerunner of the New World Order. John the Baptist was the forerunner of Jesus Christ and his ministry had to diminish and he had to die when Jesus came. Lucifer is a copycat. Everything he knows, he learned from Jehovah. The forerunner must diminish… the forerunner must die before the real thing can rise. The New world Order will be birthed out of the ashes of its predecessor. The Phoenix arises out of the ashes of its mother. It is an ancient principle.

https://50shadesofpissedoff.files.wordpress.com/2017/07/meme2016-02-12-09-04-39.jpg?w=612&zoom=2The Illusion that the United States was a Christian Nation has been ripped away and the stench of Babylon fills the air.

https://50shadesofpissedoff.files.wordpress.com/2017/07/fb_img_1475517860858.jpg?w=612&zoom=2

The sins of America have been encouraged and fanned into a flame. The mystery of Babylon is being revealed. We always were Babylon. We were founded to restore the earth to what it was before Babel… to bring back the glory of Nimrod and to see his spirit become incarnate in a man.

https://50shadesofpissedoff.files.wordpress.com/2017/07/698_antichrist.jpg?w=612&zoom=2

The Antichrist will come out of Babylon… not the Babylon of Nebuchadnezzar but the Babylon of Nimrod. The Babylon of Nimrod was a place where the people could all communicate, where they shared a single king, a single government, a single religion, a single economy and a single purpose… to overthrow Jehovah God and win the world for Nimrod and his father, Satan.

https://50shadesofpissedoff.files.wordpress.com/2017/02/img_3611.jpg?w=320&zoom=2As the stench of American depravity reaches up to Heaven and the Blood of a hundred million innocents offered to the spirit of Nimrod cries out to the God of Heaven for justice, the Hand of God stands ready to fall in judgment on the American nation.

https://50shadesofpissedoff.files.wordpress.com/2017/07/fb_img_1500309044081.jpg?w=403&zoom=2This will be the just action of a just God,

https://i1.wp.com/beforeitsnews.com/contributor/upload/244096/images/FB_IMG_1482539363807.jpg?zoom=2
but it will play into the hand of Lucifer.

Out of the ashes of a nation destroyed by a righteous God, will rise the New World Order… the Kingdom of the Antichrist and the spirit of Nimrod, incarnate in a man, will rise up to rule the world.

Seven years. That is the limit… the appointed time. It can last no longer but for seven long and ugly years, Nimrod/Lucifer will rule the world in the name of his father the Devil. “It is given unto the Beast to make war against the Saints and to overcome them.” He will win, we will lose… from an earthly, pagan point of view.

It is our privilege however, to return with Jesus in the clouds and to rule and reign with him. If you remember that, you will stand firm to the end and having done all, you will stand.

https://50shadesofpissedoff.files.wordpress.com/2016/04/img_7168.jpg?w=612&zoom=2Let go of the American Dream. It was Lucifer’s dream… it was a deception and we were deceived. Now, in the final days of the Nation, the veil has been lifted and the mystery revealed. God is speaking to you at this very moment. The Word is clear and plain… “Come out of her my people… come out.”

https://50shadesofpissedoff.files.wordpress.com/2017/01/fb_img_1480460720462.jpg?w=564&zoom=2You may not be able to come out of her physically but you must come out of her spiritually.

https://50shadesofpissedoff.files.wordpress.com/2017/07/fb_img_1484807755540.jpg?w=480&zoom=2You must draw a clear line that separates the Gospel of Jesus Christ from the Constitution and all that was and is America. You must not be American now. To be American is to be Babylonian. You are strangers and pilgrims, wandering in a foreign land. Your home is not here… it never was.

Your Home is in a City built without hands and your allegiance is to the Kingdom of God and to its King.

tmp_25759-FB_IMG_1479540868297-791255833… or, is it nothing more than Mexican Radio?

Click here to go deeper down this rabbit hole …

By 50 Shades Of Pissed Off

Ready For A Bout Of Stagflation, After The Next Depression, Like We’ve Never Seen Before

Money manager Michael Pento says don’t believe the Fed when it says “the economy is doing well.” It’s not. Pento explains, “As long as the stock market continues to go up, the Fed is going to continue to slowly raise interest rates. So, when the inevitable collapse occurs, and that’s what the Fed does, the Fed is in the business of lowering interest rates, creating asset bubbles, which pile up the level of debt, then raising rates and collapsing the economy. That’s their mantra. That’s their MO (modus operandi) and it has happened over and over again. The occurrences are going to be much more dire as we go through time. So, the Fed is trying to get bullets in the chamber. The Fed is going to raise rates slowly. The yield curve is going to invert. . . . We are going to have another catastrophe in the stock market and in the bond market and in the real estate market and in the global economy.”

With the latest GDP number now coming in at less than 1%, Pento says the Fed will be forced to reverse course soon when the economy tanks again. Pento contends, “They will have no choice, this is what they are going to do. They are going to do everything they can to rebuild the asset bubble, but it’s going to take a lot more than lowering interest rates and a little bit of QE. They’re going to have to have helicopter money, and I think that’s going to happen right after we enter this next depression. I don’t use hyperbole here either. I say depression because I look at the data. The data tells me the great recession that was headed towards a depression started in 2007 and ended in 2009. They were talking about not getting money out of the ATMs and massive bank defaults. That was going to make the Great depression in the 1930’s look like a Sunday picnic. That was caused by a Fed Funds rate at 1% for one year and a housing bubble. You look at the bubbles we have today, the national debt in 2008 was $10 trillion. It’s now $20 trillion. . . . You have the entire globe that has massively and exponentially raised its level of debt . . . and the level of asset bubbles. . . . Most of the metrics are at all-time record highs. The GDP has been artificially boosted by 100 months of 1% or lower Fed Funds rate. I think a depression is absolutely unavoidable. What did they fix? Absolutely nothing. They just made the economy exponentially more artificial and more dependent on free money.”

Pento predicted the bond market would ultimately collapse in his 2013 book titled “The Coming Bond Market Collapse.” He says the collapse has started and will get worse quickly. Pento is watching Europe and says, “When the European Central Bank (ECB) announces they are going to take the $60 billion a month of easing and take it to zero, you are going to see a bond market revolt. The free market, whatever is left of it, is going to aggressively start shorting bonds. You will see yields spike in Europe, which is going to drag up bond yields across the globe. That’s when this thing will all unravel and unravel very, very quickly.”

In closing, Pento predicts, “The stock market is a bubble. It’s going to fall at least 50% for starters and before The Fed gets to helicopter money. You better be ready.”

By Greg Hunter | USA Watch Dog

War And Chaos Ahead: How Mega-Rich Are Preparing

Exclusive: Barrett Moore previews West’s ‘impending implosion of the empire of debt’

Candidly, I don’t have the time right now to be writing an article that most in the West would ignore or repudiate. I wrote this piece, however, for the staff of WND with whom I have consulted over the years. WND is one of the few news organizations in America that is interested in truth, and unconcerned with the consequences of reporting it. I admire that, and so should you. Few news organizations remain that are not just inundating us with misinformation and propaganda. But I digress.

We are at the precipice of war, and this is a call to action. While it might not come tomorrow, the threat does grow by the day as conflict between the largest and most powerful nation states becomes inevitable, driven by the impending implosion of the empire of debt accumulated by Western democracies, and by the yearning of Russia and China (and their surrogates) to escape the constraints of almost 70 years of American hegemony.

I am not talking about another one-sided skirmish in the desert, but rather a real war, where satellites fall from the sky, ships sink, supply chains are disrupted and there is a loss of life not seen since the last century; a war of such a magnitude that few Westerners alive today can comprehend it. Such a war will alter the world as we know it. And, reading the tea leaves, it seems there is little we could do now to stop it. At this stage, all that is missing is the spark that ignites the inferno. It might come tomorrow, it might delay a while longer. We can prepare, but preparation takes years and years, and requires a threshold level of certainty that the threat exists, that it merits attention, that it demands action.

Why do our kids’ novels and movies (“Hunger Games,” “Divergent”) assume a game-changing war, but writers and talking heads on our mainstream news sites and channels serve up mindless banter about the Kardashians, the climate, Twitter trends and gender engineering? Even thinking Americans have traded serious conversation about geopolitics for Facebook page updates, thereby providing every intelligence organization on the planet the opportunity to further profile them. We are sinking further and further into blind ignorance about how the world really works, even as we strengthen the powers threatening us.

Are you still with me? Then read on. You need to re-prioritize your life today and start fulfilling the most important obligation you have to your family aside from serving God. It’s not your next vacation, a new car, or a club membership that I am talking about. No. It is the need to protect and provide for your family in a conflict situation where the supply chain no longer works. Do you think your wealth will protect you? Or that ready access to modern aircraft will make a difference? Or maybe you are fortunate enough to own a second home, or even a boat? I am sorry to say that these luxuries will prove all but useless when the coming storm arrives.

If you question my advice, then tell me, why did Mr. Jamie Dimon buy an island? Or why does Hank Paulson actually live on one? Or what about James Cameron, who up and moved to New Zealand? Or the thousands of bankers and hedge fund managers that have sought safety in havens throughout the Caribbean, and in Central and South America? Oh, you didn’t know about that? Or maybe you are having trouble placing those names? Well, Mr. Dimon is the current chairman and CEO of J.P. Morgan/Chase Bank. Mr. Paulson was the chairman of Goldman Sachs, before becoming the U.S. secretary of the Treasury. And Mr. Cameron is the director and creative genius behind the movie “Avatar,” among others – which made him a billion dollars or so. But don’t be envious. Based on my experience building havens, Mr. Dimon and Mr. Cameron overlooked some serious geopolitical threats during their haven selection process, and this is despite their huge resources, connections and intuition about where the world is going. In my opinion, Mr. Paulson made a wiser choice to stay in North America, and so have hundreds of others.

Let me explain further. You see, each of these very smart and successful people understands that the political leadership of our nation, irrespective of party affiliation, are as much in denial regarding the threats we face as they are wholly unprepared and ill-equipped to make the hard financial decisions that are essential to preserving our way of life. They recognize that we are steaming right along, business as usual, such that virtually every governmental action is partisan and is made without restraint or consequence, and that the population remains blissfully ignorant as to how this inability to change direction tightens the proverbial financial noose around our necks. Think about it – how many times have you heard a politician or member of the media comment about the size of our national debt and how our path is unsustainable? Yet nothing changes.

The WND Superstore’s Preparedness section has everything you’ll need to survive societal or natural upheaval – from freeze-dried meals to gas masks. Prepare now!

While it sounds like a joke, ask yourself, what is the difference financially between Greece and the United States? In many ways, very little. Both nations are broke, both are living well beyond their means, and both are hobbled by politicians incapable of making the hard (i.e., right) decision for their citizens. Think about the news lately. If it were not for the Federal Reserve and the ability of the U.S. Treasury to borrow with impunity, our leadership would be begging for loans from creditors, much like Greece is begging its EU creditors (read: Germany), for additional financial help.

In short, our leadership won’t change the trajectory we are on until they are forced to do so. Don’t listen to what they say, but observe what they do. For example, the Reagan, Bush (41), Clinton, Bush (43) and Obama administrations have each saddled the nation with successively larger and now record amounts of debt (and please, don’t give me any nonsense about Clinton not adding to the debt; he was just a little more clever about trying to market the narrative). We have all seen these numbers before, but, to refresh your memory, they are as follows (approximately):

Think about the implications. The federal government is spending $5-$5.5 trillion annually (using GAAP-adjusted accounting) yet taking in approximately $3.1 trillion in annual revenues. We are thus only paying for, roughly, 60 percent of expenditures; the rest is being borrowed. How would that go over in your household?

Yawn, you say, I have heard all this before and we are still here – what makes it different this time? Answer: The Federal Reserve has, in the last year, begun to monetize our national debt, which means we are buying our own debt back with borrowed (or newly created) dollars. So what? Well, this is the sign that sophisticated financial insiders have looked for as the beginning-of-the-end, and this is why they are preparing to flee their metropolitan bases of operation.

Bear with me while I explain: The insiders understand that the monetization of our debt will eventually drive an increase in interest rates, which will in turn increase the cost of the nation’s borrowing (think of it as an increase in the rate on your credit card), thus creating the need to spend more money to pay the increased interest cost to service the national debt, which increases the budget deficit, that in turn increases the need to borrow more money and monetize even more debt, eventually creating a self-fulfilling prophecy of increasing interest rates to attract more and more capital, which in turn increases the cost of servicing the underlying debt etc. etc.; eventually hastening the coming financial collapse insiders fear. Furthermore, they know the Federal Reserve’s current and careful balancing act is susceptible to an upset due to some black swan event that triggers a global financial panic, thereby ripping the legs out from under the debt-supported Western democracies with the United States at the hub of that collapsing wheel. What does this mean? No one is quite sure, but analysts predict a forced bank holiday, (i.e., the banks, including ATMS, close for some indefinite period of time), massive employment layoffs, disruptions of the usual supply chain (i.e., of truck and rail transportation of food, medicine and other staples), non-payment of pensions and social assistance programs (welfare) and the destruction of much of the nation’s paper-based wealth (i.e., your stock portfolio, among other assets), along with the emergence of broad social upheaval to include gangs, mobs, riots and other social disruptions. Remember that following the financial crisis in 2008, Mr. Paulson, as U.S. Treasury secretary, stated that at the time of the $700 billion bailout from the Federal Reserve, we were within 24 hours of the collapse of the global economy. If this information does not create a pit in your stomach, then perhaps this story will.

Are you prepared for any contingency in these uncertain times? Make sure you are with “SAFE: How to Protect Yourself, Your Family and Your Home”

While you were preparing to celebrate this past Christmas with your family, in mid-December 2014, hidden away on page 615 of a 1,603-page Continuing Resolution that was passed by Congress and signed by the president, there was a little-known provision that put the American taxpayer on the hook for derivative trading loses by major trading banks. What? Really? What does that mean? Well, our illustrious leaders thought it appropriate for the American taxpayer to guarantee any derivative trading loses the banks suffer, through subsidiaries that are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. In other words, the banks can continue to write, sell, and trade these sophisticated financial instruments, and profit from them, and, if they become financially untenable (read: BAD), walk away from them and let the American taxpayer wear the liability. Oh yes, I forgot to tell you the best part: These same banks currently have over $303 trillion of these financial instruments (derivatives) on their books.

Going just a bit deeper, remember (what my fourth-grader knows) that a trillion dollars is a thousand-billion dollars. Further, in 2014, the value of ALL the economic activity in the world, commonly referred to as the global domestic product, or GDP, was $72.6 trillion. So, yes, the guys on Wall Street figured out how to stick the federal government (read: you, the American taxpayer) with a potential further liability of $303 trillion, representing over four times the world’s entire GDP. And you wonder why Jamie Dimon bought an island?

I remind you of the adage of MI-5, the British Internal Security service: Western civilization is only four meals away from anarchy.

People like Dimon, Paulson and thousands of other members of the banking and financial communities recognize that during the financial crisis of 2008, our leadership did not make the hard decisions necessary to fix the system, but merely applied a $700 billion Band-Aid. By kicking the proverbial can down the path, they simply delayed and laid the groundwork for an even larger and broader crisis in the future. Hence the reason that so many have established havens where they can ride out the coming financial tsunami that will envelop the world; while others have killed themselves, with some 60 odd bankers/financiers dying either by their own hand or under mysterious circumstances in the last couple years.

So this is the lens through which many in the financial and banking industry look. They know the system is untenable, yet they know they have been provided a once-in-a-generation opportunity to legally make obscene sums of money. (Note: Many won’t admit this fact; they just think they are (were) much smarter than everyone else.) Yet they know that it is mathematically and financially impossible for the United States, much less all the other Western democracies, to repay the mountains and mountains of debt they have borrowed to finance our lifestyles. They have resigned themselves that a collapse is inevitable. They don’t yet know the date, the time, or the ferocity of that collapse, but they intend to use their wealth to insulate themselves as best they can, e.g., by buying an island in the South Pacific, stocking it well and hiring a bunch of Navy SEALs for protection.

What I believe most people overlook is that politicians will always be politicians, and there is no way they will ever allow themselves to be blamed for the excesses of the last 30-odd years. Think about it. If a collapse were to take place, the politicians would need to hide from the citizens who lose everything. Literally. What would you do if, in a matter of days, you lost almost everything you had worked for during your entire life, including your pension, IRA, Social Security benefits, insurance benefits, etc.?

Don’t be caught unprepared! Order Gen. Russel Honoré’s book “Survival: How a Culture of Preparedness Can Save You and Your Family from Disasters”

Interestingly, the government has done much to protect itself. Or might I rephrase that statement to say that our government leaders have done a great deal to protect themselves and their families. Over the course of the last two decades alone, the federal government spent hundreds of billions of dollars designing, building and refining an elaborate Continuity of Government Plan (COG) that consists of over 100 classified facilities designed to protect the leadership of the nation during crisis – any crisis, of any magnitude and any duration.

Oh, you say, you have not received the briefing necessary, nor been issued the credentials by FEMA or DOD, to access one of these facilities? Well, don’t feel bad, you are in the same situation as most Americans … unprepared and suffering from Normalcy Bias. All the while the Russians have built the most formidable offensive (nuclear) rocket force in the history of mankind and have increased their investments in their impenetrable Yamantau mountain complex that is rumored to be over 400 square miles in size. (Yes, miles). The Chinese have made similar investments in offensive nuclear capability, including the construction of 3,000 miles of underground tunnels to protect their populace. In the meantime, and particularly under the current administration, the United States accelerates its voluntary disarmament.

So where am I going with this? Where we started, or should I say, where it ends. War. Unfortunately, this is the only way that no one group can be held accountable for decades of poor decision making and the financial calamity that is upon us. Whether they be bankers, politicians, or their advisers, they are all culpable. They are, however, way too connected and way too smart to take any blame for the coming financial collapse.

Other players are emerging on the world stage who have their own agenda and will likely facilitate, or at the very least, take advantage of, the financial crisis that looms over the West. Most Americans are ill-equipped to recognize such threats, much less foresee their logical outcome. In follow-on articles, I hope to explore specific geopolitical threats the United States faces and why our cultural blinders prevent us from acknowledging or preparing for them.

“The Dead Man’s Curve” is an expression used by helicopter pilots to describe a particular flight profile where the aircraft is flown so low and slow that, if the engine were to quit, the pilot would surely die, as there would be insufficient altitude to complete an auto rotation.

Due to the monetary house-of-cards outlined here, and the confluence of growing geopolitical threats, political impotence and pressing cultural change, the United States and most other Western democracies are operating well within “The Deadman’s Curve.”

You have been warned. Recalibrate your mindset. Now prepare.

What The New 5.5% Unemployment Rate Means For Full Time Job Seekers

Amazing Math from the Bureau of Labor Statistics

by Hambone’s Stuff

According to the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics release, the UE (unemployment) rate fell to 5.5% as of February. The last time the UE rate was this low was May of 2008.

What I’m fascinated by is the fact that the US population grew from February 2008 to February 2015 by 16.8 million persons, or a 5.5% increase in total population, and on a net basis, not a single one of those 16.8 million persons got a FT (full time) job… while a net 2.7 million were lucky enough to get a (or multiple) PT (part time) job.

This means that 14.3 million persons, or 4.4% of the current US population, were added without a single job among them (chart below). This makes for fascinating math when a 4.4% increase of the total US population without jobs can nearly halve the UE rate down to 5.5%, equal to 2008’s UE rates?

Source; Bureau of Labor Statistics

The recent BLS data are considered “strong employment reports” and are taken as such booming harbingers of economic accomplishment that the Federal Reserve feels rates need to begin their long awaited hikes.

Just to avoid some confusion on this 16.8 million population growth…this does not mean there was a baby boom over this period…quite the opposite as a flat birth rate has been offset by an even faster declining death rate (the baby boom and older generations are living much longer than previous generations…thus the pig through the python population growth).

And just to make sure this isn’t cherry picking data…below is non-seasonally adjusted raw data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics back to ’08 showing rising PT jobs and declining FT jobs.

https://i0.wp.com/www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2015/03/bls%202.jpg
Source; Bureau of Labor Statistics

To add perspective we back it up to ’00…and note that over the entire period the US created 7.6 million net new FT jobs and (4 million net PT jobs). But not a single net FT job since prior to Feb ’08.

https://i0.wp.com/www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2015/03/bls%203.jpgSource; Bureau of Labor Statistics

I’m pretty confident to say that the stagnant household income data is simply noting the loss of higher quality FT jobs with benefits being replaced with lower quality, lower hour, little to no benefits PT jobs.

I’m sure economists will try to explain away the above raw data as the demographic shifts of retiring baby boomers…but that old chestnut isn’t exactly supported by the data (below). Population growth and jobs growth since ‘07 is clearly in the 55+ year old segment (+17 million population, +7 million employees) while the 25-54 year old working core is shrinking (-1 million population and even faster declines in employment of -5 million).

https://i0.wp.com/www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2015/03/bls%204.jpgSource; Bureau of Labor Statistics

The chart below highlights the substitution of debt creation for the breakdown of jobs creation (and note the unwillingness to tax ourselves now versus willingness to indebt our future generations).

https://i2.wp.com/www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2015/03/bls%205.jpgSource; BLS, Treasury, Federal Reserve

And below you can see the impact of the falling 25-54 year old segment from ’07 onward…resulting in declining mortgage debt, oil consumption, and general economic activity…and the substitution of debt in place of growth.

https://i0.wp.com/www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2015/03/bls%206.pngSource; Treasury, EIA, BLS, Federal Reserve

So you decide, strong jobs data, out and out propaganda, or something in between?

The $100 Trillion Reason the Fed is Terrified of Deflation

by Phoenix Capital Research

Falling Prices Ahead

Over the last few months, Janet Yellen, head of the Federal Reserve Bank repeatedly stated that lower oil prices were “positive” for the US economy. This is simply astounding because the Fed has repeatedly told us time and again that it was IN-flation NOT DE-flation that was great for the economy.

And yet, repeatedly, the head of the Fed admitted, in public, that deflation can in fact be positive.

How can deflation be both positive for the economy at the same time that the economy needs MORE inflation?

The answer is easy… Yellen doesn’t care about the economy. She cares about the US’s massive debt load AKA the BOND BUBBLE.

Yellen knows deflation is actually very good for consumers. Who doesn’t want cheaper housing or cheaper goods and services? In fact, deflation is actually the general order of things for the world: human innovation and creativity naturally works to increase productivity, which makes goods and services cheaper.

However, DEBT DEFLATION is a nightmare for the Fed because it would almost immediately bankrupt both the US and the Too Big To Fail Wall Street Banks. With the US sporting a Debt to GDP ratio of over 100%… and the Wall Street banks sitting on over $191 TRILLION worth of derivatives trades based on interest rates (bonds), the very last thing the Fed wants is even a WHIFF of debt deflation to hit the bond markets.

This is why the Fed is so obsessed with creating inflation: because it renders these gargantuan debt loads more serviceable. In simplest terms, the Fed must “inflate or die.” It will willingly sacrifice the economy, and Americans’ quality of life in order to stop the bond bubble from popping.

https://i0.wp.com/www.silverbearcafe.com/private/images/inflation2.jpg

This is also why the Fed happily talks about stocks all the time; it’s a great distraction from the real story: the fact that the bond bubble is the single largest bubble in history and that when it bursts entire countries will go bust.

This is why the Fed NEEDS interest rates to be as low as possible… any slight jump in rates means that the US will rapidly spiral towards bankruptcy. Indeed, every 1% increase in interest rates means between $150-$175 billion more in interest payments on US debt per year.

If you’ve ever wondered how the Fed can claim inflation is a good thing… now you know. Inflation is bad for all of us… but it allows the US Government to spend money it doesn’t have without going bankrupt… YET.

However, this won’t last. All bubbles end. And when the global bond bubble bursts (currently standing at $100 trillion and counting) the entire system will implode.

Know Your Enemy

qt_zps0dd2290f

A Veteran Policeman’s Observations on The Free Shit Army

Source: SurvivalBlog

A lot has been written warning us of what will happen when the City Dwellers find their homes are untenable and vacate [en masse as The Golden Horde] for “the country”, but I haven’t seen anything on what the make-up of these hordes will be. The generic term “city dwellers” encompasses a lot of territory. Who will they be,what kind of shape will they be in, how will they be armed…all of these need to be examined.

One category needs to be examined, I feel, more closely than others. Since I have seen posts on your site lately dealing with the nitty-gritty, unpleasant aspects of prepping, I think this is a needed look into what’s out there. I’ve been a cop over 20 years, my last uniform assignment before moving to Investigator being a two year stretch of Anti-Crime patrols in the Section 8 Housing projects of my city. This put me into contact with some of the “Worst of the Worst” that will be fleeing the cities in time of trouble. Gang-bangers, common street thugs, dope dealers and users, all have a place in the hierarchy of the streets. And they will certainly be part of what preppers will be facing in times of troubles. Here’s some of what I have learned:

The bottom rung is occupied by the drug addicts and users. They exist, not live as we understand the word. They have no assets, no goals, no drive. But they do have an almost animal instinct to continue living. They will be armed with anything they can steal or lay hands on. Most will have a knife of razor box cutter, and some sort of cheap pistol, or they will not live to get out of the city. Since they have no resources or assets, they will be on the edge of starvation and desperation almost within a day of an event. With no fixed residence or place to defend, they will be hitting the road and coming towards us. They will become violent without any provocation and there will be no negotiating or bargaining with them. They don’t want to hear your story or excuses. All they want is what you have. And have no doubts: They will do anything to get what they want. And this does include catering to their most base instincts of rape, murder and mutilation. Letting someone like this even close to you and what you have is flirting with death.  

The next and most numerous will be the drones who make up the majority of the project dwellers. They live on Government Entitlement checks, have no assets and, on any given day will have no more than 3 or 4 days supply of food in their apartments,most of this being refrigerated. There will be a high percentage of females without male companions,will have a large number of children and will be absolutely vicious and violently inclined. Their day to day existence within the defined society they live in demands they be aggressive and violent.They fight more, and are arrested more,than the males they live around. The males will have more serious charges, but the females will have more of them. They too cannot be trusted. If they are drug users, they will, and have, traded their children for drugs, and, based on this proven behavior, will most certainly abandon them or trade them if the situation calls for it. Seeing that you are supplied, they will leave their children in your yard and walk away, counting on your liberal Good Samaritan instinct that has always bailed them out in the past to care for their offspring and justify that to themselves as “doing what they have to do”. Knowing that they will do something as low as this,be assured they will do much worse. They habitually carry razor knives and small pistols such as .25 ACPs and .380 ACPs. They are very dangerous and unstable folks to be around. These females may or may not be accompanied by men. The males may be linked biologically to one or more of the children but will abandon them as easily as the females. These males come from the lower order of males (see next classification) and will be armed as described next.  

The next order of classification will be unattached or drone males. These males tend to be convicted of felonies before they are 21 and who hang around the other, more productive males who deal drugs and have money. They will also be the so-called “foot soldiers” of the drug and street gangs. They exhibit sociopath behavior and have no allegiance to anyone except maybe a family member, usually referred to as a “cousin” or a gang. They live off the female drones by paying cash rent, gained by low level drug dealing and petty crimes, to a female who has Section 8 housing, for a room that they sleep in and usually have no other attachment such as taking meals there.They live off fast food,carry guns of dubious origin and consume massive amounts of drugs and alcohol, mostly beer and cheap brandy and marijuana. They will not have any assets to defend, may accompany the female who rents them a room and will hang around the cities and projects only as long as their cohorts do. They will leave in junky vehicles,steal what they need along the way and kill,rob,rape and pillage their way across the countryside. Their weapons tend to be of the pistol variety although they may have access to shortened, easily concealable shotguns or rifles. Their lifestyle doesn’t give them a secure place to hide or keep long guns,but they will steal and use them if given a chance. They will also have some type of blade weapon and be proficient with the use of them. They are very dangerous to anyone who comes into contact with them. The last and highest order will be the moneyed drug dealer.He will have a flashy vehicle such as an Escalade or Lexus variety. He will have quality firearms, preferring Glock handguns and SKS or AK type rifles and will have ammunition for them in quantity. He will be arrogant and a definite killer. He will have assets to defend and may not leave his comfort zone until forced by authorities or circumstances. He will have “foot soldiers” and a woman traveling with him, but probably not children. He will travel well and be charming when trying to gain confidence or talk himself out of a jam. He will also be vicious and hateful, full of spite at those he sees as having taken away his lifestyle and means of making a living. He most probably will not have a lot in the way of supplies such as food and medical equipment, tending to live in the moment and not for the future. He will be one of the opportunistic “I’ll just take what I need” types. He will be very cunning, having risen to the top of the street hierarchy,and all the more dangerous because of this.  

When dealing with all of the above types, caution is the word. Never let them get even a glimpse of what you have. Never let them get past your outer barrier, be that a fence, abatis or boundary line. Its best to keep verbal contact to the barest minimum. A terse: “We have nothing, go away or we will shoot” is a good example. I have seen them be charming and seemingly harmless while edging into a fence gate or otherwise getting closer until they are in range to strike. You must always remember the 20 foot rule (Never let anyone get closer than 20 feet from you at any time). It is important to remember also that the longer they have been roaming and stealing,the better armed they may be, having stolen others firearms and equipment. Seeing an obvious street thug carrying an expensive scoped rifle or an engraved shotgun should be a tip off as to what they are. These type people would never spend money on a gun that may be taken by the law at anytime in their day to day existence. They do worship Glocks and the glamor they see in them. A dealer told me once, when confessing to an assault “I just outs with my Glock .40 and let it holla” as if he had done something great.  

I know that most people who read your blogs are aware enough to keep strangers away from their refuge.But if someone has never lived around these types of people,they may not be aware of just how dangerous they really are. As I mentioned,they can be charming,cunning and deceitful. They have lived their entire lives off the goodwill of others and The Government and are past masters at pretending to be needy,harmless and “safe”. Guile is engrained in them.   I leave you with one short story. In the days after Hurricane Katrina, we were reinforced with officers from other agencies, many states away, who had volunteered to help. (I was not in New Orleans, but on the edge of the hurricane strike) I was partnered with a state SWAT officer from up North. This man was experienced and a “steady hand”. As we walked through some of the power blacked-out , sweltering-in-the-heat projects, he turned to me and said: “This is worse than Mogadishu”. He was scared and had good reason to be. And this was after only three days of no electricity and relief was just starting to arrive. Think about those same areas after a real failure of services and food deliveries.   Good Luck.

50 Years Later: Reagan’s ’A Time for Choosing’ Speech

Fifty years ago Monday, Ronald Reagan gave the speech that launched his career in politics and made him a star.  The speech, called “A Time for Choosing,” aired to a prime time NBC audience and made him a household name.

 

 

Law Lets I.R.S. Seize Accounts on Suspicion, No Crime Required


Carole Hinders at her modest, cash-only Mexican restaurant in Arnolds Park, Iowa. Last year tax agents seized her funds. Credit Angela Jimenez for The New York Times

by Shaila Dewain

ARNOLDS PARK, Iowa — For almost 40 years, Carole Hinders has dished out Mexican specialties at her modest cash-only restaurant. For just as long, she deposited the earnings at a small bank branch a block away — until last year, when two tax agents knocked on her door and informed her that they had seized her checking account, almost $33,000.

The Internal Revenue Service agents did not accuse Ms. Hinders of money laundering or cheating on her taxes — in fact, she has not been charged with any crime. Instead, the money was seized solely because she had deposited less than $10,000 at a time, which they viewed as an attempt to avoid triggering a required government report.

“How can this happen?” Ms. Hinders said in a recent interview. “Who takes your money before they prove that you’ve done anything wrong with it?”

The federal government does.

Using a law designed to catch drug traffickers, racketeers and terrorists by tracking their cash, the government has gone after run-of-the-mill business owners and wage earners without so much as an allegation that they have committed serious crimes. The government can take the money without ever filing a criminal complaint, and the owners are left to prove they are innocent. Many give up.


The I.R.S. seized almost $33,000 from Ms. Hinders. Credit Angela Jimenez for The New York Times

“They’re going after people who are really not criminals,” said David Smith, a former federal prosecutor who is now a forfeiture expert and lawyer in Virginia. “They’re middle-class citizens who have never had any trouble with the law.”

On Thursday, in response to questions from The New York Times, the I.R.S. announced that it would curtail the practice, focusing instead on cases where the money is believed to have been acquired illegally or seizure is deemed justified by “exceptional circumstances.”

Richard Weber, the chief of Criminal Investigation at the I.R.S., said in a written statement, “This policy update will ensure that C.I. continues to focus our limited investigative resources on identifying and investigating violations within our jurisdiction that closely align with C.I.’s mission and key priorities.” He added that making deposits under $10,000 to evade reporting requirements, called structuring, is still a crime whether the money is from legal or illegal sources. The new policy will not apply to past seizures.

The I.R.S. is one of several federal agencies that pursue such cases and then refer them to the Justice Department. The Justice Department does not track the total number of cases pursued, the amount of money seized or how many of the cases were related to other crimes, said Peter Carr, a spokesman.

But the Institute for Justice, a Washington-based public interest law firm that is seeking to reform civil forfeiture practices, analyzed structuring data from the I.R.S., which made 639 seizures in 2012, up from 114 in 2005. Only one in five was prosecuted as a criminal structuring case.

The practice has swept up dairy farmers in Maryland, an Army sergeant in Virginia saving for his children’s college education and Ms. Hinders, 67, who has borrowed money, strained her credit cards and taken out a second mortgage to keep her restaurant going.

Their money was seized under an increasingly controversial area of law known as civil asset forfeiture, which allows law enforcement agents to take property they suspect of being tied to crime even if no criminal charges are filed. Law enforcement agencies get to keep a share of whatever is forfeited.

Critics say this incentive has led to the creation of a law enforcement dragnet, with more than 100 multi-agency task forces combing through bank reports, looking for accounts to seize. Under the Bank Secrecy Act, banks and other financial institutions must report cash deposits greater than $10,000. But since many criminals are aware of that requirement, banks also are supposed to report any suspicious transactions, including deposit patterns below $10,000. Last year, banks filed more than 700,000 suspicious activity reports. Owners who are caught up in structuring cases often cannot afford to fight. The median amount seized by the I.R.S. was $34,000, according to the Institute for Justice analysis, while legal costs can easily mount to $20,000 or more.

There is nothing illegal about depositing less than $10,000cash unless it is done specifically to evade the reporting requirement. But often a mere bank statement is enough for investigators to obtain a seizure warrant. In one Long Island case, the police submitted almost a year’s worth of daily deposits by a business, ranging from $5,550 to $9,910. The officer wrote in his warrant affidavit that based on his training and experience, the pattern “is consistent with structuring.” The government seized $447,000 from the business, a cash-intensive candy and cigarette distributor that has been run by one family for 27 years.

There are often legitimate business reasons for keeping deposits below $10,000, said Larry Salzman, a lawyer with the Institute for Justice who is representing Ms. Hinders and the Long Island family pro bono. For example, he said, a grocery store owner in Fraser, Mich., had an insurance policy that covered only up to $10,000 cash. When he neared the limit, he would make a deposit.

Ms. Hinders said that she did not know about the reporting requirement and that for decades, she thought she had been doing everyone a favor.


Jeff Hirsch, an owner of Bi-County Distributors on Long Island. The government seized $447,000 from the business, a candy and cigarette distributor run by one family for 27 years. Credit Bryan Thomas for The New York Times

“My mom had told me if you keep your deposits under $10,000, the bank avoids paperwork,” she said. “I didn’t actually think it had anything to do with the I.R.S.”

In May 2012, the bank branch Ms. Hinders used was acquired by Northwest Banker. JoLynn Van Steenwyk, the fraud and security manager for Northwest, said she could not discuss individual clients, but explained that the bank did not have access to past account histories after it acquired Ms. Hinders’s branch.

Banks are not permitted to advise customers that their deposit habits may be illegal or educate them about structuring unless they ask, in which case they are given a federal pamphlet, Ms. Van Steenwyk said. “We’re not allowed to tell them anything,” she said.

Still lawyers say it is not unusual for depositors to be advised by financial professionals, or even bank tellers, to keep their deposits below the reporting threshold. In the Long Island case, the company, Bi-County Distributors, had three bank accounts closed because of the paperwork burden of its frequent cash deposits, said Jeff Hirsch, the eldest of three brothers who own the company. Their accountant then recommended staying below the limit, so for more than a decade the company had been using its excess cash to pay vendors.

More than two years ago, the government seized $447,000, and the brothers have been unable to retrieve it. Mr. Salzman, who has taken over legal representation of the brothers, has argued that prosecutors violated a strict timeline laid out in the Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act, passed in 2000 to curb abuses. The office of the federal attorney for the Eastern District of New York said the law’s timeline did not apply in this case. Still, prosecutors asked the Hirsch’s first lawyer, Joseph Potashnik, to waive the CARFA timeline. The waiver he signed expired almost two years ago.

The federal attorney’s office said that parties often voluntarily negotiated to avoid going to court, and that Mr. Potashnik had been engaged in talks until just a few months ago. But Mr. Potashnik said he had spent that time trying, to no avail, to show that the brothers were innocent. They even paid a forensic accounting firm $25,000 to check the books.

“I don’t think they’re really interested in anything,” Mr. Potashnik said of the prosecutors. “They just want the money.”

Bi-County has survived only because longtime vendors have extended credit — one is owed almost $300,000, Mr. Hirsch said. Twice, the government has made settlement offers that would require the brothers to give up an “excessive” portion of the money, according to a new court filing.

“We’re just hanging on as a family here,” Mr. Hirsch said. “We weren’t going to take a settlement, because I was not guilty.”

Army Sgt. Jeff Cortazzo of Arlington, Va., began saving for his daughters’ college costs during the financial crisis, when many banks were failing. He stored cash first in his basement and then in a safe-deposit box. All of the money came from paychecks, he said, but he worried that when he deposited it in a bank, he would be forced to pay taxes on the money again. So he asked the bank teller what to do.

“She said: ‘Oh, that’s easy. You just have to deposit less than $10,000.’”

The government seized $66,000; settling cost Sergeant Cortazzo $21,000. As a result, the eldest of his three daughters had to delay college by a year.

“Why didn’t the teller tell me that was illegal?” he said. “I would have just plopped the whole thing in the account and been done with it.”

 

Mobility: Something To Think About

https://i0.wp.com/www.survivalnewsonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/BOL-cabin.gif

by Fren2ken

The concept of Bunker-in-Place as the best solution to the SHTF scenario has been the first choice of Preppers for a long time. To that end, we build up our supplies, choose our locations carefully, reinforce our dwellings, keep a low profile, and also stock ammo. This preparation ideally includes training oneself and establishing a small community of trusted fellow Preppers in fairly remote locations who have varied skill sets to make the community (SOC = Self Organizing Collective) self-sufficient. This is great. There remain, however, many folks that are unable to become fully integrated into a SOC for any number of valid reasons including lacking opportunity for contact, or other communications issues. It is to those Preppers that I address this discussion. The fact that you are reading this article on American Preppers Network is a good start towards communicating with fellow Preppers.

What do you do when, despite your best planning and preparation, you and your dependents are “caught out in the cold” when the SHFT happens? You gather your family together in your site. You have done the best you can to stockpile food and supplies for your family. You relocated your residence to a place that, to the best of your ability and resources, is as far away from the perceived danger zones as you could get. You built out your domicile as far as possible given your money and time constraints. You have trained and gained knowledge to the best of your ability but, you have not been able to get connected with others who are like-minded. You know that your location and support structure may have a limited time before you may be forced to Bug-out. You didn’t have the opportunity, money, or contacts to preposition caches through the countryside. Right? Now what do you do? The “balloon has gone up” and you foresee the end to your “bunker-in-place” strategy’s ability to support you. It is too late to consider new options if you reach that point and haven’t been able to plan for, or hoped the time would come that you would need to, prepare for a Bug-Out ahead of time.

Staying in-place for as long as possible with a low profile is always preferable to moving around due to the inherent dangers of travel in a post SHTF world, especially while the event(s) is/are in progress. Most Prepping sites and blogs have great info concerning everything except how to get you someplace else when things either become too dangerous or unsustainable where you are. The primary concentration of most sites is for critical item preparation and the mobility aspect is given little attention. There WILL come a time when, if you are not already established in a permanent Prepper community (SOC), you will find it necessary to seek out and join those communities. When that time comes, you want to have resources and knowledge to offer them when you get there, so as to not be a drain on their own already (likely) stretched resources.

Some of the solutions from down-to-Earth and knowledgeable Preppers have limitations that may not work for you. They generally advocate backpacking or biking out to a new location. These work but, limit what you are able to carry with you, depend on fair/good weather, and they assume that all your party are able to do the same. What do you do with remaining food, munitions, weapons, hand tools, raw materials, books, extra clothing, etc. that you don’t have carry capacity for but will have to be left behind when you decide to B-O? Make hard choices of what to leave behind, hoping you don’t leave something critical? How far can you travel in a day with your children or elders while loaded down to the max? Is it far enough to get you away from danger zones in a timely manner? What resources will you have left to offer to any SOC communities of fellow Preppers you encounter? Will you have barter goods? Excess food? Fuel? Can you carry enough weaponry and ammo to assure your safety?

As we begin this discussion, you are probably thinking, “I’ll load up the family car and slide down the road.” Sorry. Not a very good answer. The major highways will be littered with abandoned vehicles and patrolled by whatever entities are in charge by that point. That makes for a very high risk adventure. Secondary and tertiary roads are likely to be lower on the priority lists of patrols and to be more open than the major highways. Dirt roads and trails are most likely to be passable, particularly in the more rural areas. Make sure that you have local maps with trail and fire-road level detail. How will your family car deal with them? Answer: Not well and likely not for long. Your 1/2 –Ton pickup? Better but with limitations for passenger capacity. So. Now what? That is what we will attempt to address in this series. There are no perfect answers to these questions in an indeterminate SHTF aftermath. Our intent is to help increase your odds of being able to Bug-Out successfully, when time comes, by stimulating your thinking and invoking your Prep Planning muscles toward mobility.

In this series of articles, we explore the topic of mobility, with the goal of maximizing the load-out capabilities of your preparations and survivability when the bug-out time comes. While I don’t have all the answers, I have spent many years as an engineer and analyst of mobile systems in the DoD world. I am hoping to share concepts with you and cause you to seriously evaluate your mobility options and plans for Bugging-Out, should it become necessary. The Post SHTF world will be a dangerous and alien place…we can be sure of that. The time to plan is now. Part 2 of this series will take a top-level look at mobility plans. Again, the goal here is to start the thought process and give a venue for discussion. Please join in the discussion and share your views. There are no perfect answers. We can get more answers by sharing information and asking questions.

Preparing To Move:

https://i1.wp.com/media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/736x/a1/6e/0d/a16e0d37a8801a85cc97ab931ae6ce5c.jpg

In most Prepper’s planning, there must be a contingency plan for Bugging Out. Sooner or later, most of us will run into the possibility that our location will no be longer be sustainable or defensible. This is most likely to occur if we are unable to form an association with a larger group of like-minded people (such as a Prepper SOC) or, when that group is too far away to be able to support us (and us them) in real-time. It is that point in time that we are looking at.

In preparation for SHTF or other disaster, we stocked up on all the items that we anticipate we will need for at least 3-months or more. This includes stored food, water (or a good source), tools, fuel, usable scrap materials, and shelter. Take a good look at the weight and bulk of all those items. How much of it are you able to take with you when you need to abandon your shelter? How many people are in your shelter group?

Establish a priority list of items. There are many reference sources in APN and other websites that will help you prioritize. We will not go into those here but, you need to compile that list. Make a list of minimum essentials for a 2-week duration from the priority list. Make that the list of items you plan to Bug-Out with. Now it is time for the list of “It would be nice to have” items that are what is left. Let’s look at what transportation capacity you have. According to priority, make sure that all the items on the 2-week list are accommodated. Evaluate your mobility options. Still have excess capacity? If so, see how many additional items you can add using the Priority list as a guide.

Let us consider for a moment the situation of the Preppers who are in a permanent encampment or SOC (Self Organizing Collective) community. These hardy folks will be guarding their territory and provisions like their life depends on it … because it does. If you are an unknown person or group and show up suddenly on their doorstep looking for entry, you will need to convince them that you and your group will be of value to their community and are no threat. If you arrive with nothing to contribute other than yourselves, you may find your self turned away due to resource constraints and/or perceived threat to the community. These communities will be stretched for food and other resources themselves. Adding to their load without contributing tangibles will be a difficult “sale”.

So, what is your plan? Are you planning to backpack out? The maximum a healthy adult can safely carry in a backpack for a long duration haul is about 75 lbs. Children can carry, at great need, 50% of their body weight. How much of your needed supplies can your party carry out? How much of your 2-week supply list can you accommodate? Hiking will allow you to average about 20 miles in an average day, terrain and weather permitting. Pulling a cart will allow greater capacity but, at the loss of ground covering ability.

Biking out is another option. Your carry capacity will be increased to a minor degree over hiking but, the amount of ground you can cover in an average day increases dramatically. On a good day, 50 to 75 miles will be achievable in a Post-SHTF environment. Children will decrease the achievable mileage due to physical constraints. Also depending on weather factors. Motorcycles may also be a viable option but with similar limitations on how much of a load they can safely carry, also depending on weather factors. In good weather, 200 miles will be possible on a motorcycle if the fuel tank is large enough. Neither of these options are very good in Winter travel due to ice, snow, or cold conditions.

With good advance planning, 4-wheeled motor vehicles will allow you to take the maximum of your provisions, people, supplies, equipment, and arms with you. Weather is less of a problem than biking or motorcycle. Fuel is always a concern but, with prior planning and a full tank, you will be able to cover 300 to 400 miles in a short time with all your supplies and your people. The downside is that they are louder and require better surfaces to travel on. This additional range and cargo capacity should permit you to arrive at your fellow Prepper’s SOC with much needed barter goods, provisions, tools, and materials. Any remaining fuel will be most welcome also. Purpose-bought vehicles are not necessary. If you can easily obtain “upgrades” or replacements of your existing vehicles, by all means do so but do so wisely. For Scouting purposes, it will be a good idea to include bicycles, ATV’s, or motorcycles. For carrying capacity, 4-wheel vehicles are best.

Part 3 of this series discusses the timing of your Bug-Out. Note that these articles not intended to be a Final Answer. They are intended to give you food for thought and the open up a venue for discussion of these topics.

When Should We Bug Out?

https://i0.wp.com/media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/21/9b/6f/219b6fa6ae27d9863b2c60177181e492.jpg

Okay. You have planned and executed preparations for the SHTF or other disaster event to the best of your ability with available resources. Well, let’s imagine that finally it happened. The SHTF and you are now in survival mode, working your plan. For this exercise, we will assume that your situation is as follows: your dwelling is outside of a medium sized city at minimum; you have not been able to connect with a Prepper SOC within 50 miles of you; you have sufficient food and ammo for 4 months; you have a family of 4: your spouse, and 2 children under the age of 12. The Grid is unreliable and telephone service (cell and landline) is mostly unavailable. Now what? Be discrete and low profile. Be aware of what is going on around you.

Conventional wisdom says that in this situation, it is wisest to fort up (or “bunker”), working with your neighbors to defend your location and wait out the situation to see how it develops. In the first few days of the event, most city dwellers will remain in-place and wait for the government to resolve their problems. As time passes, those same city folk will see that the stores have become empty of food, fuel supplies are dwindling, potable water is in short supply, and ruffians are starting to rove around the city, looking for targets. You, being an aware human being and recognizing the signs of what comes next, know that it is time to hunker down. Now is when your planning begins to be worthwhile as you put it into effect. You are prepared for this.

The city dwellers will migrate away from the city that they know so well using major highways and byways. They will tend to avoid the lesser roadways as panic ensues because they fear running out of fuel and food sources as they travel to perceived “safe harbors”. In the initial phases of SHTF, local residents will be using the lesser-known roadways to get home, get provisions, or bug-out on their own. After all, “everyone knows” that there is always food and fuel on the Interstate. Right? This will hold true for 80 to 90% of the migrating herd. They will then gravitate to the smaller population centers as they run low on fuel, believing that the towns have the resources that they seek. Law enforcement and the military will channel these folks into established evacuation routes for better control of the migrating masses. The small towns are likely to fort up. So you bide your time and stay put for now. Be vigilant and observant of your surroundings.

If your situation stabilizes and order is restored locally, you’re good. If your situation looks like it will stabilize in a manner that won’t allow you to maintain your safety, it may be time to implement a Bug-Out Plan taking all you can carry with you. Do not wait until you have no remaining choices before you make this decision. Be aware of the situation around you. If it looks like it will be “going South” soon (within the next week or so), that is the time to pack it in and Bug-Out while you still have time and resources remaining. By looking ahead, you will have sufficient time to prepare and pack your goods and take advantage of nominal timing for leaving with at least 2-weeks of provisions.

Now is the time to let your Prepper contacts know that you are heading their way, if you were able to make arrangements with them prior to the SHTF. You did maintain communication with them as SHTF progressed … didn’t you? It is wise to forewarn them you are coming and your approximate timing to avoid being viewed as unknowns and a threat to their community. If you have no contacts, you will need to implement Plan B. Plan B is the plan that you made that recognizes that you may have to Bug-Out blindly into the unknown. Plan B will head into a direction that you believe will give the highest probability of reaching a safe location or community to join. Study your maps and terrain carefully in advance of moving. You will need to plan your route carefully. Take maximum advantage of railroad right-of-ways. All rail lines have service roads along the tracks. It is wise to make preliminary plans NOW, don’t wait until the moment is upon you. Hopefully, you will never have to implement Plan B. Be prepared anyhow.

Part 4 of this series of articles will briefly discuss vehicle selections. This series of articles is not intended to be the last word on the subjects covered. They are intended to provoke thought and a venue for further discussion amongst us.

Vehicle Selection Concepts:

https://i1.wp.com/cdn2.armslist.com/sites/armslist/uploads/posts/2012/03/18/340062_01_are_contractors_topper_640.jpg

Buckle your seat belts. This is going to be a long one. There are many websites and blogs that will tell you all about what to prep with, how to prep, and how to survive a SHTF event. The majority of them concentrate on static locations. That is to say, how to prepare your home, bug-out location or how to cache supplies. What is not often discussed is how to get everybody in your party, and all the remaining supplies you stockpiled, out of a non-tenable location to a safer, more secure one.

My intent is not to provide an exhaustive and complete list to you, nor is it to tell you what to do. My intent is to point your thinking to possibilities that you may not have considered before this. It is too easy to get lost in details and concentrate solely on accumulating supplies to stay put. The probability there may come a time when you need to move out is significant. I’m reasonably sure that you would prefer to take all your unused preparations with you for further/future use and protection. After all, ammo and water are heavy, people take space and need food. You might also like to have barter goods available without reducing your own needed supplies.

There are some questions that you should be asking yourself. What kind of vehicle are you starting with? A small station wagon or SUV with AWD? A Jeep? A ½-ton pickup? A van? A Medium Duty truck? A combination of these? The next question is: How reliable is it? Is it in good condition? How new is it? What are its’ load and mobility capabilities? Do you need multiple vehicles?

Let’s talk newness. Shiny new, upscale vehicles scream TARGET. They are also susceptible to electronic component failures, Nature (sunspot activity EMP) or, police/officials (many new vehicles can be stopped remotely). They also draw too much attention from the unsavory types, looking for an easy target. How common is your vehicle? Can you find parts easily? Your better chances are with older, well-maintained, scruffy looking vehicles. They are easier to come by, repair, and cheaper too. Making them reliable is easy and fairly cheap. Choose well and keep it/them fully maintained. Make sure that you can accommodate all the members of your party, plus maximize storage and cargo weight capability. Install external cargo racking wherever possible (roof racks, ladder racks, etc.). Keep the fuel tank full. Keep all you are able loaded at all times.

Pickup trucks have good cargo capacity but are limited in the passenger department. SUV’s have passenger capacity but lack cargo capacity. You may want to think about multiple vehicles if you overrun one of these capabilities with a single vehicle. I know. You think I’m nuts. “What? Two fuel eating hogs?”. No. I am not insane. Multiple vehicles will give you options when you are out on the road. Think of it as built-in redundancy and “shelter in place” wherever you are each day. Even if you end up abandoning one along the way, you still have more supplies than you would otherwise have had and, possibly a new “cache” location when you leave the dead vehicle.

Have you considered a Contractor’s work truck? This is also known as a Work Body truck. These are commonly of the F350, F450, F550 (or GM or Dodge RAM equivalents). Look around next time you are on the road and notice how many of these vehicles are around. Note also how they are loaded. Interesting, isn’t it? These are heavy-duty beasts of burden. Their whole purpose in life is to haul equipment and materials safely, economically, and securely in all weather. They do not have an easy life. They do have huge payload capacities for their size, exceptional towing capacity and are built to take abuse. They do not often have the frills of their non-commercial brothers but have only one purpose in the world … work hard and work long. Picking one of these beasts up used is cheap but, be aware that they will require repairs before their full reliability is restored. The first owners will have worked them very hard and only replace them when reliability declines. Once restored, they will happily provide services to you for an extended time.

So you think I’m nuts for advocating a Work truck. Consider this: work trucks have the same characteristics as their cousins, without the luxury. They get the same, or better fuel mileage, use the same driveline components, and they were made reliable because the commercial world demands it. Many of them also have extended cabs to accommodate a larger crew and are 4X4. Think about your experience loading, unloading, or accessing your tools with a standard pickup truck. Wouldn’t it be nice to access your tools and equipment without climbing into the truck bed, chasing stuff around that has come loose? Wouldn’t it be nice if the goods and equipment stored could be kept out of the weather and secure, while still having the capability to place a full load in the bed AND have access to all of it? Consider also that the large population of such vehicles will guarantee that after SHTF, there will be spare parts available for a LONG time … jus’ sayin’. Food for thought.

In the final article of this series, we will explore camouflage. In it we will explore what is meant by the term. It doesn’t only mean “Multi-colored, earthen patterns to blend in with the woods.” There is much more to it than that. These articles are intended to get you thinking and provide a venue for further discussion and idea sharing.

Camouflage:

https://whiskeytangotexas.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/73121-monster_truck_russia.jpg

In previous articles of this series, we have discussed, at a top level, various means of preparing for a Bug-Out using vehicles. The purpose of getting you mobile is to transport you, the members of your party, and the maximum of your supplies, safely to a new location. For this to happen, you need camouflage to pass through areas without issue.

What is camouflage really? Is it green/brown/black patterns painted on your vehicle(s)? Sometimes. By working definition, camouflage is the disguising of items so that they blend into their surroundings to escape notice. If you are in a urban or suburban area, a vehicle that is painted Desert or Forest Camouflage will stand out like a sore thumb among the surroundings. This defeats your purpose until you are fully in that environment. If you are in a rural or wilderness area, a shiny white vehicle might stand out. So, how do we reconcile the differences? Rattle-can paint.

Before the SHTF event and possible B-O time, the majority of us will be interacting primarily in an environment that requires travel and interaction in populated areas. Preppers generally are trying to stay discrete and off the radar. Attracting attention with vehicles that stand-out is less than desirable. We don’t want undue attention called to our activities. Your greatest camouflage is the ability to blend in with the vehicle population on the roads and in parking lots. To that end, you it is desirable to have ordinary looking transportation that is common to that area. Ordinary SUV’s, pickups, and trucks disappear into the background easily and are not memorable.

I have brought up the Work Truck in previous articles. You may concede that they have good capabilities for our uses but you wonder how noticeable they are. After all, they are usually large and heavy. Consider that these trucks have great camouflage. There are so many of them in use by companies and contractors that they effectively disappear in most populated areas. They “hide in plain sight”. A convoy of these vehicles will be mistaken for “official” or “worker” vehicles during the initial phases of an event, even into much of the settling period after it. This gives you an edge when Bugging-Out and will add some protection to your early travel by being “invisible” (ie: not noticed).

So, where does the rattle-can come in? Once you have escaped the populated areas during your B-O, you will be in areas where your ability to blend into natural surroundings becomes key. Provision your supplies with sufficient colors and quantities of paint to cover all your vehicles. This is the time to pause long enough to repaint your vehicles with the spray cans of paint to blend with your natural surroundings. The goal is to escape detection by undesirable groups to the best of your ability. This is likely to be the transition time of your travel patterns. In the early part of your B-O, you likely traveled during the daytime, hunkering down at night, to reduce attracting notice and to blend with others who are moving around. Once you have gotten away from the crowd and deeper into the wild areas, you may be changing over to night travel and digging in, covering up during the day, and scouting the next night’s travel route. Blending in with the surroundings will be necessary to escape detection by undesirable searches.

This concludes the Mobility articles. I hope that they have given you food for thought and perhaps given you ideas to ponder. My goal has been to cause you to think about, and plan for, your possible Bug-Out in the event that things go really wrong in our world. Keep prepping, keep planning, and be prepared for as many possibilities you can conceive. You will be glad you did, should we need to implement them in times of tribulation. Good luck and plan well.

10 Rye Whiskeys


by Gear Patrol

You’ve heard it before, but here’s another shot: Rye whiskey is on the comeback. We’ve long contented ourselves with corn-based bourbon, and we’re not ready (in the least) to change that habit — but to be sure, rye deserves some serious sipping. Long handcuffed to mixed drinks like the Manhattan, rye’s extra boldness and spice in comparison to corn-heavy whiskey is particularly pertinent after a long day of work. It’s simple, like good things should be, served straight up or over ice, and of course still works beautifully in cocktails.

And something with an extra kick-your-ass? That’s what whiskey’s all about. Rye whiskey sales have tripled in the last five years, so it’s time you jumped on this train. Here’s 10 great rye sippers at price points for the thirsty pauper or the libational prince.

Wild Turkey 101 Rye

This affordable 4-5 year aged rye rendition serves dual threat as a killer Manhattan mixture and a straight sipper with some serious zip. It’s solidly anchored in rye spiciness with a bit of apple and honey. Unfortunately, it’s a bit hard to find right now; the 81 proof iteration is similarly affordable and delicious.

George Dickel Rye Whiskey

Stop giggling at the name. This inexpensive rye whiskey is smoothness incarnate, aged five to six years using 95% rye. Plus, charcoal filtering means lots of tasty flavors, like vanilla, raisin and fruit — all at a poor college kid price.

Knob Creek Rye Whiskey

Knob Creek has long boasted tasty bourbons that won’t break the bank, and their rye blend is no different. Bare spice up front with earthy sweetness make this an interesting sip, and distinctly different at a still-affordable price.

Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye 13 year

With maturity comes layers of depth and intensity that our elderly readers are well aware of. Old Rip Van Winkle’s 13 year aged rye blends “cocoa, vanilla and white pepper” into rye’s standard kick. It’s rare to find this many years of aging at such a low price — you should jump on this discontinued whiskey before all the bottles are gone.

Michter’s US*1 Single Barrel Rye

This single barrel rye whiskey gives both spiciness and fruity flavors like plum and marmalade. Sound interesting? We think so.

Whistlepig Straight Rye Whiskey

Brewed by former Maker’s Mark Master distiller Dave Pickerell, this 100% Canadian rye whiskey is aged for 10 years in oak barrels before it makes its way into your happy stomach. That oak aging mellows the rye bite with vanilla notes, and the utter absence of corn still makes this a distinct, and tasty, drink.

Journeyman Ravenswood Rye

Tasty doesn’t have to mean aged. This young whiskey, made from organic rye and wheat, has bold grain notes and is smooth throughout — sounds perfect for a cocktail drink, doesn’t it?

Buffalo Trace Colonel E.H. Taylor, Jr. Straight Rye Whiskey

This corn-free, to-be-released creation has it all: alcohol burn, caramel, rye spice, cinnamon, and even strawberries. Oh, and it’s named after one of the founding fathers of American whiskey. He’d be proud of this one.

Sazerac 18 year Rye

Balance is key in one of the most sought-after rye whiskeys on the market. 18 years of relaxation mellow the usual oakiness and spice and induce citrus and honey. Only 28 barrels are released per yearly bottling, so if you can sniff this one out, hide it well from moochers.

Masterson’s 10 Year Old Straight Rye Whiskey

For those with a sweet tooth, Masterson’s first foray into whiskey is a treat. The usual spice (have we drilled that point home yet?) in this Canadian import is finished with raisin and orange notes. Not bad, eh?

https://i2.wp.com/media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/47/9d/e2/479de29fa801ecf00b8ff5b7d995ad3c.jpg

How to Survive: Preparing to Survive Pandemics, Disease Outbreaks and Disasters

by Robert Richardson

While many in this country have become extremely fearful over the current Ebola crisis, I still don’t think there’s a reason to panic. While there are some very real reasons to be concerned – any disease outbreak that has a 70% death rate is troubling, to say the least – the real crisis brought forward by this situation is our country’s level of preparedness when it comes to fighting any disease outbreak or pandemic.

Throughout history millions upon millions of people have died as the result of pandemic outbreaks; in fact, almost every recorded civilization has been affected by one of these outbreaks. From smallpox, which killed an estimated 300-500 million people during the 20th century, to things like tuberculosis, the 1918 Flu Pandemic and the Third Pandemic, caused by the Bubonic Plague, which wasn’t fully contained until 1959, pandemics are a very real cause for concern.

While most people, up until this recent Ebola crisis believed our medical system was equipped to deal with these types of outbreaks, because of modern technology and modern medicine, the fact is, we are no more prepared today than we were a hundred years ago. In fact, I believe we are in worse shape today, and I believe our modern world has somewhat set us up for disaster.

The risk of seeing a major Pandemic Outbreak has never been Greater

We live in an interconnected world; this makes it increasingly likely that we will see a major disease outbreak in the very near future. While it may not be this current Ebola outbreak, we will see some sort of pandemic outbreak at some point.  It’s a process that’s highly predictable.

When you consider the fact that the 1918 flu pandemic killed an estimated 50 million people, it’s actually quite frightening to think about a disease like that breaking out in today’s world. The 1918 Flu Pandemic took around 6 months to spread throughout the world. In today’s environment, where a disease outbreak is only a plane trip away, this same thing could be accomplished in a single day. The chance of a pandemic strain spreading throughout the world is greater than it’s ever been.

The Government is not ready, and will not be able to help.

I’ve been telling people this for over a decade. In fact, it was the basis for why I wrote my book, The Ultimate Situational Survival Guide: Self-Reliance Strategies for a Dangerous World.

After attending a number of high level conferences with the top government preparedness agencies, I was shocked at how little these people actually knew about preparedness. While I always recognized they wouldn’t be able to adequately respond to a large-scale disaster, it was actually shocking to see their complete lack of experience firsthand.

Even worse were the actual conference tracks. Conference after conference was dedicated to things like handling PR after the agency dropped the ball, how to talk to the media without making the agency look bad, or how to respond to an angry public on social media. Instead of figuring out why things went bad during previous disasters, these people instead choose to focus on how they should have responded in a way that made themselves look better ­– Simply Disgusting!

Over the years I’ve received a lot of criticism; mostly from unprepared people who were too lazy to take their own health and safety seriously. These people insisted the government was there to help; insisted that the billions of dollars we spend every year on federal preparedness was enough; insisted I was crazy for saying anything to the contrary. Well, after watching the government’s failed response to a single case of Ebola showing up inside the United States, I think most of that doubt has been put to rest.

A lot of really unprepared people are finally waking up to the realization that they need to be their own first responders, because to count on the government to do it isn’t an option that’s going to keep them breathing when the shit hits the fan. Sorry if that may be a little graphic for you, but what’s happening in our government isn’t pretty, and what happens during any crisis in this country, whether it’s a natural or man-made disaster, isn’t pretty when you’re not prepared. In fact, it quite possibly could be deadly.

Things the average person can do to protect themselves.

Understand what threats are out there: Only you can decide what threats to prepare for, but it should be based on a realistic threat assessment. Before spending a single cent on emergency preparedness gear, supplies, or whatever it is you think you need, you need to understand what the most likely threats are that you’ll face, and then formulate a plan to deal with them.

Prepare now! The time for pretending the government can help you, or all those days spent putting it off until tomorrow are over. It’s only a matter of time before you are affected by some sort of disaster, crisis, economic problem, or threat to your health and safety. Whether it’s Ebola, or some future threat we’ve yet to see, you need to start taking steps to protect yourself and your family now.

You need a stockpile of food, water and emergency supplies. Even during small-scale disasters our country’s infrastructure is quick to be affected. How many times have we seen entire grocery stores wiped out in the lead up to a major storm or hurricane? Now imagine a pandemic outbreak that affected the country for 3 – 6 months. If you don’t have an adequate supply of food and water, you’re going to starve or die of dehydration. I don’t mean to be harsh, but there’s simply no way to sugar coat what’s going to happen.

You need to be able to defend yourself. In the case of a deadly pandemic outbreak we are going to see major social unrest. The moment people realize they can’t feed their families, or they see people in their neighborhood dropping dead, all hell is going to break loose. Listen, people riot in this country over a basketball game; imagine these same people when they’re starving, and people are dying around them.

The Stock Market Has Lost Confidence In Central Banks As Gods

https://i2.wp.com/wallstreetonparade.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/The-Feds-Last-Monetary-Bullet-is-Spin.jpg
The Fed’s Last Monetary Bullet is Spin

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens

Yes, there is a wall of worry that the stock market is no longer climbing but is now descending. The greatest worry, that makes all others pale in comparison, is that the U.S. central bank, the Federal Reserve, has nothing left in its monetary arsenal but one bullet – Fed-Speak, otherwise known as spin.

After three bond buying programs known as Quantitative Easing (QE) flooded Wall Street with bountiful amounts of play money while failing to significantly lift wages or economic growth, the U.S. central bank now has a balance sheet that has quadrupled since the 2008 crisis to $4.4 trillion. That it would be allowed to engage in QE4 in the next crisis is highly doubtful since QEs have proven to be financial bubble makers, income inequality makers and of little help to the average citizen.

Equally problematic, the Fed is already at the zero-bound range in interest rates with no bullets left to fire in that arena as the specter of deflation begins to emerge around the globe.

There is a growing reappraisal on Wall Street as to what the Fed was really attempting to do with all this talk of the potential for a rate hike next year. Was it simply attempting to reload monetary bullets into its empty gun? If one talks endlessly about a rate hike and then faces a financial crisis, will simply saying you will delay the hike have the same impact as a rate cut?

If that was the Fed’s reload option, it doesn’t appear to be working. Over the weekend, Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer delivered a speech to the International Monetary Fund, stating that “if foreign growth is weaker than anticipated, the consequences for the U.S. economy could lead the Fed to remove accommodation more slowly than otherwise.” Rather than stemming the panic, the Dow sold off another 223 points on Monday.

Veteran traders on Wall Street understand that markets will trade on perception, and spin, for only so long. At some point, ample doses of reality overtake Pollyanna perceptions. The new reality includes the following:

The Treasury market is reading far different tea leaves than the Fed. What it sees is softening demand and the potential for recession – hardly a situation requiring a rate hike by the Fed next year. As of this morning, there is a spread of just 182 basis points (1.82 percentage points) between the two-year U.S. Treasury note and the 10-year note with the two-year yielding an anemic .38 percent and the 10-year having dropped since last Friday from 2.28 to 2.20 percent.

At the same time that yields on Treasuries are declining, yields on riskier debt are rising. Junk bond prices have been setting lower lows (pushing up yields) since July. (See the chart below.) This is the same scenario that played out during the 2008-2010 financial collapse.

Any significant rise in corporate bond yields would throw cold water on a key artificial impetus in the stock market – corporations borrowing heavily to buy back their own stock.

There is growing evidence of both a global economic slowdown and the potential for deflation. In Germany, industrial output, factory orders and exports have posted their worst results since the heart of the last financial crisis. The Eurozone produced zero growth from the first to second quarter.

Just this morning, business media are reporting that the U.K. inflation for September came in at a tepid 1.2 percent, down from 1.5 percent in August. The Bank of England, the U.K.’s central bank, has the same policy dilemma as the Fed: its benchmark rate is already at the low rate of .5 percent.

Commodity indexes are confirming a global economic slump and the potential for deflation. A glut of crude oil as demand weakens has ignited a price war among OPEC members, bringing crude prices to four year lows. Bloomberg’s Commodity Index, a measurement of 22 commodities from agriculture to metals, slumped 11.8 percent in the last quarter – the largest decline since the crisis of 2008.

And while the Ebola scare may be negatively impacting the share prices of airline stocks, it is a minor player in the overall wall of worry, at present at least, since the seeds that have fed this market rout became rooted in July, two months before the Ebola scare erupted in the U.S.

If there is a silver lining to be found in any of this, it just might be that the legislative branch of our government might be compelled to stop passing the buck to unelected members of the Fed and reassert its policy leadership role on behalf of Main Street rather than just Wall Street.

https://i2.wp.com/wallstreetonparade.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/HYG-Chart.png
Junk Bond Prices Have Been Setting Lower Lows Since July