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Top U.S. Officials Gather To Discuss “Military Options” In Venezuela As Russia Warns Of “Grave Consequences” If America Invades

Top U.S. Officials Gather To Discuss “Military Options” In Venezuela As Russia Warns Of “Grave Consequences” If America Invades

On Wednesday afternoon, senior U.S. officials gathered at the White House to discuss possible military options for Venezuela.  Meanwhile, the Russians are warning of grave consequences if the U.S. invades, and so the stage is being set for a potential showdown between the world’s two foremost military powers.  Previously, administration officials had hoped that the Venezuelan people would rally around Juan Guaido to such a degree that it would not require military intervention to oust Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, but that hasn’t happened.  In fact, Guaido’s big push to start a revolution in the streets over the past few days has ended up being a total flop.  The following comes from Yahoo News

Guaido had called for the “largest march” in Venezuela’s history and said on Twitter that “millions of Venezuelans” were in the streets in “this final phase” of his move to oust Maduro.

But by late afternoon, many of the protesters in the capital Caracas were drifting home.

Despite Guaido’s calls for the military to support him, the armed forces leadership has so far remained loyal to Maduro, who has been in power since 2013.

In the long-term, the situation in Venezuela isn’t going to change much if the U.S. is able to replace one socialist president (Maduro) with another socialist president (Guaido).  Socialism always ends badly, and the people of Venezuela are going to have to decide for themselves that they don’t want socialism any longer.

But that isn’t what this is about.  U.S. officials have decided that it is time to impose their will on the people of Venezuela, and they have determined that Maduro must go.  If Guaido cannot create a successful internal revolution, then other options will be explored.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Do You Remember The Oil Crisis And “Stagflation” Of The 1970s? In Many Ways, 2019 Is Starting To Look A Lot Like 1973…

Do You Remember The Oil Crisis And “Stagflation” Of The 1970s? In Many Ways, 2019 Is Starting To Look A Lot Like 1973…

The price of gasoline is rapidly rising, economic activity is slowing down, the Middle East appears to be on the brink of war, and Democrats are trying to find a way to remove a Republican president from office.  In many ways, 2019 is starting to look a lot like 1973.  For many Americans, the 1970s represent a rather depressing chapter in U.S. history that they would just like to forget, but the truth is that if we do not learn from history it is much more likely that we will repeat our mistakes.  And without a doubt, right now a lot of things are starting to move in a very ominous direction.

“Stagflation” was a term that was made popular in the 1970s, and it occurs when there is a high rate of inflation but economic growth is declining or stagnant.

The U.S. hasn’t had a serious bout with stagflation in quite a while, but it appears that we may be moving in that direction.

Let’s talk about the slowdown in the economy first.  On Monday, we learned that sales of existing homes in the U.S. were way down in March

Home sales are struggling to rebound after slumping in the second half of last year, when a jump in mortgage rates to nearly 5% discouraged many would-be buyers. Spring buying is so far running behind last year’s healthy gains: Sales were 5.4% below where they were a year earlier.

On a year over year basis, existing home sales have now fallen for 13 months in a row.

That is terrible, and there is no way to “spin” that fact to make it look good.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

We Have Seen This Happen Before The Last 3 Recessions – And Now It Is The Worst It Has Ever Been

We Have Seen This Happen Before The Last 3 Recessions – And Now It Is The Worst It Has Ever Been

Since the last financial crisis, we have witnessed the greatest corporate debt binge in U.S. history.  Corporate debt has more than doubled since then, and it is now sitting at a grand total of more than 9 trillion dollars.  Of course there have been other colossal corporate debt binges throughout our history, and they all ended badly.  In fact, the ratio of corporate debt to U.S. GDP rose above 40 percent prior to each of the last three recessions, but this time around we have found a way to top that.  According to Forbes, the ratio of nonfinancial corporate debt to U.S. GDP is now nearly 50 percent…

Since the last recession, nonfinancial corporate debt has ballooned to more than $9 trillion as of November 2018, which is nearly half of U.S. GDP. As you can see below, each recession going back to the mid-1980s coincided with elevated debt-to-GDP levels—most notably the 2007-2008 financial crisis, the 2000 dot-com bubble and the early ’90s slowdown.

You can see the chart they are talking about right here, and it clearly shows that each of the last three recessions coincided with the bursting of an enormous corporate debt bubble.

This time around the corporate debt bubble is larger than it has ever been before, and risky corporate debt has been growing faster than any other category

Through 2023, as much as $4.88 trillion of this debt is scheduled to mature. And because of higher rates, many companies are increasingly having difficulty making interest payments on their debt, which is growing faster than the U.S. economy, according to the Institute of International Finance (IIF).

On top of that, the very fastest-growing type of debt is riskier BBB-rated bonds—just one step up from “junk.” This is literally the junkiest corporate bond environment we’ve ever seen.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

ANOTHER “Bomb Cyclone” Will Bring More Flooding To Parts Of The Midwest That Were Hit By A “1,000 Year Flood” Last Month

ANOTHER “Bomb Cyclone” Will Bring More Flooding To Parts Of The Midwest That Were Hit By A “1,000 Year Flood” Last Month

Less than a month after a “bomb cyclone” caused a “1,000 year flood” in the middle portion of the country, another “bomb cyclone” of similar strength is going to bring even more flooding to the High Plains and Upper Midwest.  According to meteorologists, it is being projected that this new “bomb cyclone” will be “similar in intensity and in snowfall” to the last one, and the latest forecast is calling for “more than 30 inches in some areas”.  The floods that we witnessed last month absolutely devastated communities throughout the region, and now it is going to happen again.  The middle part of our nation has literally never seen anything like this happen ever before, and this is easily the worst natural disaster to hit the United States since Hurricane Katrina.

Before I get into the details of the latest weather forecast, let’s review what we have witnessed so far.  “At least 1 million acres of U.S. farmland” were under water for at least 7 days last month, according to Agriculture Secretary Sunny Purdue “as many as a million calves” were lost in the flooding in the state of Nebraska alone, and hundreds of millions of dollars worth of crops were destroyed.  Thousands upon thousands of farmers were financially ruined, and thousands of farmers will not be able to plant any crops at all this year.

If you can point out a worse agricultural disaster in the last 50 years in the United States, please feel free to do so.  To my knowledge, there isn’t one.

And now a second “bomb cyclone” is on the way this week.  According to CBS News, it looks like this “bomb cyclone” will produce “a blizzard of epic proportions”…

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

“As Many As A Million Calves Lost In Nebraska” – Beef Prices In The U.S. To Escalate Dramatically In The Coming Months

“As Many As A Million Calves Lost In Nebraska” – Beef Prices In The U.S. To Escalate Dramatically In The Coming Months

According to Agriculture Secretary Sunny Purdue, there “may be as many as a million calves lost in Nebraska” due to the catastrophic flooding that has hit the state.  This is not a rumor, this is not an exaggeration, and this is not based on any sort of speculation.  This number comes to us directly from the top agriculture official in the entire country, and it means that the economic toll from the recent floods is far greater than most of us had anticipated.  You can watch Purdue make this quote on Fox Business right here, and it is important to remember that this number is just for one state.  It is hard to imagine what the final numbers will look like when the livestock losses for all of the states affected by the flooding are tallied up.  This is already the worst agricultural disaster in modern American history, and the National Weather Service is telling us that there will be more catastrophic flooding throughout the middle portion of the nation for the next two months.

Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts says that this is the worst flooding that his state has ever experienced.  Ricketts originally told us that 65 out of the 93 counties in his state have declared a state of emergency, but that number has now risen to 74.  Hundreds of millions of dollars of damage has been done in his state alone, and that is just an initial estimate.

It deeply offends me that the big mainstream news channels have spent so little time covering this disaster.  This is the biggest news story of 2019 so far by a very wide margin, but because it happened in the middle of the country they are not giving it the attention that it deserves.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Just Before The Great Recession, Mountains Of Unsold Goods Piled Up In U.S. Warehouses – And Now It Is Happening Again

Just Before The Great Recession, Mountains Of Unsold Goods Piled Up In U.S. Warehouses – And Now It Is Happening Again

When economic conditions initially begin to slow down, businesses continue to order goods like they normally would but those goods don’t sell as quickly as they previously did.  As a result, inventory levels begin to rise, and that is precisely what is happening right now.  In fact, the U.S. inventory to sales ratio has risen sharply for five months in a row.  This is mirroring the pattern that we witnessed just prior to the financial crisis of 2008, and it is exactly what we would expect to see if a new recession was now beginning.  In recent weeks, I have been sharing number after number that indicates that a serious economic slowdown is upon us, and many believe that what is coming will eventually be even worse than what we experienced in 2008.

And even though I write about this stuff every day, I was stunned by how rapidly inventory levels have been rising recently.  The following numbers come from Peter Schiff’s website

This comes on the heels of the largest gain in wholesale inventories in more than five years in December.

Inventories rose 7.7% from a year ago in January. Meanwhile, sales only rose by 2.7%. Overall, total inventories were $669.9 billion at the end of January, up 1.2% from the revised December level.

The increase in durable goods inventories at the wholesale level was even starker. These inventories were up 11.7% from January a year ago, and are up 17% from January two years ago, hitting $415 billion, the highest ever.

Businesses don’t like to have excess inventory, because carrying excess inventory is expensive and cuts into profits.  So they try very hard to manage their inventories efficiently, but if the economy slows down unexpectedly that can catch them off guard

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Government Warns Of Historic, Widespread Flooding “Through May” – Food Prices To Skyrocket As 1000s Of Farms Are Destroyed

Government Warns Of Historic, Widespread Flooding “Through May” – Food Prices To Skyrocket As 1000s Of Farms Are Destroyed

We have never seen catastrophic flooding like this, and the NOAA is now telling us that there will be more major flooding for at least two more months.  On Thursday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration warned that “historic, widespread flooding” would “continue through May”.  More than 90 percent of the upper Midwest and Great Plains is currently covered by an average of 10.7 inches of snow, and all of that snow is starting to melt.  That means that we are going to transition from one of the worst winters in modern history to a flood season that has already taken an apocalyptic turn for farmers all across America.  At this moment, millions of acres of farmland are already underwater.  Thousands of farmers are not going to be able to plant crops this year, and thousands of other farmers that have been financially ruined by the floods will never return to farming again.  This is already the worst agricultural disaster in modern American history, and it is going to get a whole lot worse.

I posted an article about this crisis yesterday, and I am troubled by the fact that most Americans don’t seem to understand the gravity of what we are facing.

Millions of bushels of wheat, corn and soybeans have been destroyed by flood waters, hundreds of millions of dollars worth of livestock have been lost, and all of us will soon be feeling a lot more pain at the grocery store.

And this would be a complete and utter national nightmare even if the flooding was all over, but the NOAA just told us that we should expect more catastrophic flooding for the next two months

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

FedEx Is Talking As If A Global Recession Has Already Begun – And The Numbers Back That Up

FedEx Is Talking As If A Global Recession Has Already Begun – And The Numbers Back That Up

“Slowing international macroeconomic conditions” is just a fancy way to say that the global economy is in big trouble.  For months, I have been warning that economic conditions are deteriorating, and we just keep getting more confirmation that we are facing the worst global downturn since the last financial crisis.  For the second time in three months, FedEx has slashed its revenue forecast for this year.  In an attempt to explain why revenue is declining, FedEx’s chief financial officer placed the blame squarely on the faltering global economy.  The following comes from CNBC

The multinational package delivery service reported declining international revenue as a result of unfavorable exchange rates and the negative effects of trade battles.

“Slowing international macroeconomic conditions and weaker global trade growth trends continue, as seen in the year-over-year decline in our FedEx Express international revenue,” Alan B. Graf, Jr., FedEx Corp. executive vice president and chief financial officer, said in statement.

The use of the word “trends” implies something that has been going on for an extended period of time, and obviously FedEx doesn’t expect things to get better any time soon if they have cut profit projections twice in just the last three months.

And FedEx certainly has a lot of company when it comes to having a gloomy outlook for the global economy.  In one recent article, Bloomberg boldly declared that the global economy is in the worst shape it has been “since the financial crisis a decade ago”

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Weather Patterns Go Crazy: Nebraska Flooding Has Broken 17 Records And Farmers Are Being Absolutely Devastated

Weather Patterns Go Crazy: Nebraska Flooding Has Broken 17 Records And Farmers Are Being Absolutely Devastated

One record breaking disaster after another has been hitting America in recent months.  At this moment, Nebraska is dealing with the worst flooding that it has ever experienced, and the economic damage being done by all of this flooding is going to be absolutely crippling for many farmers.  Of course the floods are the result of the “bomb cyclone” that brought hurricane-like winds and blizzard conditions to the central part of the country last week.  Sadly, this was just the latest chapter in a very cold and very bitter winter that can’t end soon enough as far as many of us are concerned.

Unfortunately, a change in the seasons is not going to be enough to restore our weather patterns to normal.  Prior to this winter, I repeatedly warned that this was going to be an extraordinarily cold and snowy winter, and it turns out that I was exactly correct.

So how did I know this would happen?

Well, it is actually very simple.  I listened to the scientists that were warning us that our sun is exhibiting very unusual behavior, that Earth’s north magnetic pole has been shifting, and that global weather patterns are changing dramatically.

It is not an exaggeration to say that weather patterns here in the United States are literally going crazy.  Los Angeles just had the coldest February that it has seen in 60 years, Seattle just had their snowiest February in 70 years, and some parts of California received more than 500 inches of snow this winter.

And now we are being warned that we could have a very rainy spring, but it is hard to imagine that things could get any worse than they currently are in the central part of the nation.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Planetary Collapse Threatens Our Survival: A New Study Says That More Than 1,200 Species “Will Almost Certainly Face Extinction”

Planetary Collapse Threatens Our Survival: A New Study Says That More Than 1,200 Species “Will Almost Certainly Face Extinction”

We are witnessing a worldwide environmental collapse, and nobody seems to know how to stop it.  As you will see below, a study that was just released that looked at more than 5,000 species of birds, mammals and amphibians discovered that nearly a quarter of them “will almost certainly face extinction”.  Never before has our society faced such a massive collapse of life on a planetary scale, and yet the vast majority of the population doesn’t seem concerned about what is happening.  Species after species is being permanently wiped out, and most of us couldn’t care less.

The time for action is now.  According to this new study, over 1,200 species will soon be extinct unless dramatic action is taken.  The following comes from the Guardian

More than 1,200 species globally face threats to their survival in more than 90% of their habitat and “will almost certainly face extinction” without conservation intervention, according to new research.

Scientists working with Australia’s University of Queensland and the Wildlife Conservation Society have mapped threats faced by 5,457 species of birds, mammals and amphibians to determine which parts of a species’ habitat range are most affected by known drivers of biodiversity loss.

Once these species are gone, they will be gone forever.

And remember, this study from Australia only included larger creatures such as birds, mammals and amphibians.  The situation is far more dire when we look at what is happening to the insect world.  The following is an excerpt from my previous article entitled “Insect Apocalypse: The Global Food Chain Is Experiencing A Major Extinction Event And Scientists Don’t Know Why”

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Damascus To Become A “Ruinous Heap”?: Syria Threatens To Attack The Golan Heights And Israel Prepares For War

Damascus To Become A “Ruinous Heap”?: Syria Threatens To Attack The Golan Heights And Israel Prepares For War

The winds of war are blowing once again, and it isn’t going to take much to spark a major conflict in the Middle East.  This week is the eighth anniversary of the beginning of the civil war in Syria, and after the nightmare that the people of Syria have been through, you would think that the Assad regime would be eager for peace.  But instead, Assad appears to be ready to go for broke.  If Syria can spark a Middle East war that results in the complete destruction of Israel, Assad would be remembered as a hero in the Islamic world forever.  Instead of a legacy of civil war and crushing poverty, Assad’s legacy would be one of wartime leader that brought total victory over Syria’s most hated enemy.  But of course such a conflict would be a huge risk, because if it went badly the city of Damascus would be completely flattened and the nation of Syria as we know it today would be entirely destroyed.  And considering how overwhelmingly powerful the Israeli military is, it would seem to be a very foolish risk to take.  Unfortunately, Assad does not appear to be thinking rationally.  On Thursday, Syria officially threatened “to attack Israel unless it withdraws from the Golan Heights”.  The following comes from the Jerusalem Post

Syria vowed to attack Israel unless it withdraws from the Golan Heights, World Israel News reported on Thursday.

Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad submitted an official warning to the head of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) Kristin Lund, in what seemed to be an attempt to prevent official US recognition of Israeli sovereignty in the Golan.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

As The Economy Teeters On The Brink Of A Recession, U.S. Debt Levels Are Absolutely Exploding

As The Economy Teeters On The Brink Of A Recession, U.S. Debt Levels Are Absolutely Exploding

We now have official confirmation that the U.S. economy has dramatically slowed down.  In recent days I have shared a whole bunch of numbers with my readers that clearly demonstrate that a new economic downturn has begun.  And even though stock prices have been rising, the numbers for the “real economy” have been depressingly bad lately.  But what we didn’t have was official confirmation from the Federal Reserve that the economy is really slowing down, but now we do.  According to the Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow model, the economy is growing “at a 0.3 percent annualized rate in the first quarter”

The U.S. economy is growing at a 0.3 percent annualized rate in the first quarter, based on data on domestic construction spending in December released on Monday, the Atlanta Federal Reserve’s GDPNow forecast model showed.

For years, the goal has been to get U.S. growth above the key 3 percent threshold, but what this forecast is telling us is that economic growth is currently at one-tenth of that level.

That is just barely above recession territory.

So when I say that we are teetering on the brink of a recession, I am not exaggerating.

We also just got some really bad news about construction spending

Construction spending fell 0.6% in December from November, based on a seasonally adjusted annual rate, released today by the Commerce Department. Compared to December a year earlier, total construction spending inched up only 0.8% (not seasonally adjusted), the lowest growth rate since Oct 2011, coming out of the great recession.

Now we can add that to the list of all the other numbers that are telling us that very rough times are ahead.

Meanwhile, debt levels in the U.S. just continue to explode.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Airstrikes, Tanks Heading To The Border And Planes Shot Down – India And Pakistan Are In A State Of War

Airstrikes, Tanks Heading To The Border And Planes Shot Down – India And Pakistan Are In A State Of War

War has erupted in Asia.  India is the second largest country in the world by population, and Pakistan is the fifth largest, and they both possess large nuclear arsenals.  If this conflict continues to escalate, things could get really, really bad very quickly.  On Wednesday, military aircraft were shot down by both sides, there was shelling across the border by both armies, and in recent hours videos have been posted of Pakistani tanks and Indian tanks both heading to the border.  Once one army crosses the “Line of Control”, it is going to be very difficult to get the two sides to sit down at the negotiating table.  War is one of the elements of “the perfect storm” that I have been warning you about, and I have a feeling that this is just the beginning of the conflict that we are going to see in 2019.

The Pakistani military was greatly embarrassed by the successful Indian airstrikes on Monday, and on Tuesday military aircraft from both sides were shot down

Earlier today Pakistan and India said they had shot down each other’s warplanes, in a dramatic escalation of the dangerous confrontation between the nuclear-armed rivals.

Pakistan said it downed two Indian jets in its airspace and captured two pilots, later amended to one: whom they then seemingly paraded – blindfolded and bloodied – for the camera.

On Tuesday evening, Islamabad used heavy calibre artillery to shell 12 to 15 places along the Indian side creating panic among the populace on the border where bunkers are being hastily thrown up to ease their fears.

When the Indian pilot that was shot down was discovered by locals in Pakistan, they started beating the living daylights out of him.  The following comes from the Mirror

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

As The Perfect Storm Approaches, Most Americans Are Partying Instead Of Preparing

As The Perfect Storm Approaches, Most Americans Are Partying Instead Of Preparing

I can’t think of a time when Americans were more apathetic about getting prepared, and yet this is exactly the time when the urgency to get prepared should be at the highest.  Earlier today, my wife Meranda and I were discussing the fact that every single element of “the perfect storm” is coming together just as we had anticipated.  One by one, the pieces are all falling into place, and I share the most recent things that my research has uncovered with all of you on a daily basis.  Unfortunately, most Americans are absolutely convinced that there is no reason to get prepared for hard times because everything is going to be just great.  In America today, most people either believe that the future is going to be totally wonderful or that the future will be totally wonderful once we get rid of Trump.  Because so many of us have adopted one of these false narratives, most Americans are partying instead of preparing, and that is going to mean big trouble when things really start going haywire.

Are you familiar with “the rule of three”?  I just looked it up on Google, and this is how it is defined…

“You can survive for 3 Minutes without air (oxygen) or in icy water. You can survive for 3 Hours without shelter in a harsh environment (unless in icy water) You can survive for 3 Days without water (if sheltered from a harsh environment) You can survive for 3 Weeks without food (if you have water and shelter)”

Of course these numbers are not exact.  For example, many have gone without food for more than 3 weeks without serious problems.  But in general, this is a pretty good guideline for survival.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Is China’s Social Credit System A Preview Of The Coming “Beast System”?

Is China’s Social Credit System A Preview Of The Coming “Beast System”?

Virtually everything that you do online and offline is being monitored, tracked or recorded by someone.  Could you imagine what life would be like if the government compiled all of that information into a giant database and used it to punish those that had engaged in politically-incorrect behavior?  Here in the United States, Internet censorship has escalated dramatically, but over in China the government is cracking down on a much wider array of online and offline activities.  If you fail to make a credit card payment, get into an argument in public or say the wrong thing on social media, you could suddenly find yourself restricted from conducting a whole host of normal economic activities.  The primary marketing slogan for this social credit system is “once discredited, everywhere restricted”

China’s social credit system rates citizens based on their daily behaviour, and this could range from their bank credit to their social media activities.

With a tagline of ‘once discredited, everywhere restricted’, it vows to punish ‘untrustworthy’ citizens in as many ways as possible.

This system sounds like something right out of a George Orwell novel, and even entire businesses can be penalized.  In fact, it is being reported that 3.59 million Chinese businesses were added to “the official creditworthiness blacklist” last year.  The following comes from the South China Morning Post

Over 3.59 million Chinese enterprises were added to the official creditworthiness blacklist last year, banning them from a series of activities, including bidding on projects, accessing security markets, taking part in land auctions and issuing corporate bonds, according to the 2018 annual report released by the National Public Credit Information Centre.

On top of that, millions of ordinary Chinese citizens were restricted from flying and riding on trains last year for engaging in “untrustworthy conduct”

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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