Posts tagged China

Prelude to Economic Disaster: Billionaire Liquidates All Real Estate Ahead of Crash

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Source: http://www.shtfplan.com

By Mac Slavo

SHTFplan.com

Prelude to Economic Disaster: Billionaire Liquidates All Real Estate Ahead of Crash

 

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If you were to contact a real estate agent in any major market today they’d likely advise you the market is so “hot” that if you intend on purchasing property you’d better be prepared to act fast. They’ll adamantly point out, contrary to reality, that the housing market has recovered, available inventory is dropping, prices are rising, and they can only go higher from here.

But if you’re paying attention to what’s happening around us, and not just with our own economy here in the United States, then you’d likely have noticed that while many Americans are flying high on hopes of change and recovery, there is an economic disaster of unprecedented scale in the making.

First, we know that the third largest economy in the world, China, is going through a massive credit crunch as bad loans there have soared to near all time highs, meaning that loans are quickly becoming non-existent and credit markets are now frozen. This means that no one is going to be building ghost cities and empty malls in the Peoples’ Republic again any time soon. Moreover, it means no more easy cash. We know what happened in the United States and the rest of the world when the last credit crunch hit.

Second, as Sovereign Man points out, the richest man in Asia Li Ka-Shing (their version of Warren Buffet or Bill Gates with a reported net worth of $30 billion) has rapidly liquidated his real estate holdings and is existing the market as quickly as possible.

Here’s a guy you want to bet on– Li Ka-Shing.
 
Li is reportedly the richest person in Asia with a net worth well in excess of $30 billion, much of which he made being a shrewd property investor.
 
Li Ka-Shing was investing in mainland China back in the early 90s, way back before it became the trendy thing to do. Now, Li wants out of China. All of it.
 
Since August of last year, he’s dumped billions of dollars worth of his Chinese holdings. The latest is the $928 million sale of the Pacific Place shopping center in Beijing– this deal was inked just days ago.
 
Once the deal concludes, Li will no longer have any major property investments in mainland China.
 
This isn’t a person who became wealthy by being flippant and scared. So what does he see that nobody else seems to be paying much attention to?
 
Simple. China’s credit crunch.

But Li Ka-Shing isn’t the only one bailing. Luxury real estate investors are unloading their real estate assets as well in an effort to raise cash and not be the last one holding a dead asset. For all intents and purposes, the music in China has stopped:

Cash-strapped Chinese are scrambling to sell their luxury homes in Hong Kong, and some are knocking up to a fifth off the price for a quick sale, as a liquidity crunch looms on the mainland.

On the domestic front we’ve seen stock markets drop a fairly significant level in recent weeks. So much so that company’s hoping to launch new IPO initiatives have chosen to just sit this one out as they are worried that investors are running out of money to help fund their operations.

You wouldn’t know that, of course, because mainstream media pundits like Dennis Kneale continue to sell Americans on the notion that we’re in a robust recovery:

Yet the economy, both locally and globally, is in vastly better shape than it was when we took that terrible tumble, down to Dow 6,800 in March 2009.
 
Americans have cut back on debt, and so have companies.

Karl Denninger of the Market Ticker calls this one what it is – a complete lie – and points out that we are nowhere near cutting back on our debt.

I Despise Liars
 
US debt to present
 
“Cut back”?  Really?  Worse, ex mortgages this is not true at any level; there is $3,733.5 billion in non-mortgage consumer debt outstanding.  That is an all-time high; in Q4/2006 (just before the crash, remember?) that stood at $3,047.2 billion or nearly $700 billion less.
 
An awful lot of that increase since 2007, incidentally, is student loans — exactly where it cannot be for sustainable economic progress since the younger generation has to eventually take the reins from us older folks.  This is nothing more than an economic Ponzi scheme with its cheering section led by people like Dennis who refuse to look at and argue from facts.
 
As for corporate debt it never decreased at all.

Something is amiss, and the fact that no one in the mainstream, which is where tens of millions of Americans get their “facts,” is really talking about it should be a blaring alarm.

There are, however, some Americans paying attention. As in China, it’s the billionaires and elite who have direct access to the puppeteers pulling the strings, and like Li Ka-shing, they have been quietly and rapidly dumping millions of shares of stock:

Despite the 6.5% stock market rally over the last three months, a handful ofbillionaires are quietly dumping their American stocks . . . and fast.
 

 
In the latest filing for Buffett’s holding company Berkshire Hathaway, Buffett has been drastically reducing his exposure to stocks that depend on consumer purchasing habits. Berkshire sold roughly 19 million shares of Johnson & Johnson, and reduced his overall stake in “consumer product stocks” by 21%. Berkshire Hathaway also sold its entire stake in California-based computer parts supplier Intel.
 

 
Fellow billionaire John Paulson, who made a fortune betting on the subprime mortgage meltdown, is clearing out of U.S. stocks too. During the second quarter of the year, Paulson’s hedge fund, Paulson & Co., dumped 14 million shares of JPMorgan Chase. The fund also dumped its entire position in discount retailer Family Dollar and consumer-goods maker Sara Lee.
 
Finally, billionaire George Soros recently sold nearly all of his bank stocks, including shares of JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, and Goldman Sachs. Between the three banks, Soros sold more than a million shares.

The big money, often referred to as the smart money, is getting out of the game and they are dumping these assets on unsuspecting investors.

They know, for example, that earnings growth has now plunged to its lowest levels since 2012.

As these in-the-know elites unload their positions, average investors depending on their financial advisers to tell them the truth are slamming money into these stocks and paying, in some cases, 500 times earnings. Real estate investors are, likewise, overpaying for homes based on the idea that markets are “hotter” than they’ve been in years.

It’s a recipe for disaster and it won’t end well – at least for 99% of people who blindly believe the opinions of their favorite “experts.”

Image credit: http://www.shtfplan.com
 

Jim Rickards: The Demise Of The U.S. Dollar (And Mutualy Assured Financial Destruction) Video

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Source: http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org

By

Jim Rickards: The Demise Of The U.S. Dollar

(And Mutualy Assured Financial Destruction) Video

 

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It won’t happen tomorrow but slowly but surely the world is moving from dollars. The petrodollar system which has been key to the world economy over the last 40 years is eroding. More and more country to country deals are being done in currencies other than the dollar. The economic world as we have known it, after Bretton Woods in the Cold War Era, the post Cold War era, and the post 9-11 era is fundamentally shifting.  The dollar is not what it once was. It is no longer “almighty” and one should be prepared.

People have been predicting the death of the dollar for quite a while now, but many falsely believe that because hyperinflation hasn’t taken hold (there’s plenty of inflation though despite what we are told) we must be out of the woods. This would be a foolish assumption.

Since 2008 particularly I have watched the power of the dollar erode steadily. Countries are figuring out how to unwind their dollar positions without causing panic and killing the value of their dollar denominated assets. In order to unload dollar denominated assets and debt there has to be a willing buyer. Moving too quickly is suicide, but many “international actors” think not moving at all is also.

No one wants to get stuck holding the bag of dollars when things go south. But if things go bad (for the dollar) slowly the theory is an orderly less disruptive liquidation can occur. This will take, and has taken years. But it’s happening.

 

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Image credit: http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org


Nick Sorrentino
About Nick Sorrentino

Nick Sorrentino is the co-founder and editor of AgainstCronyCapitalism.org. A political and communications consultant with clients across the political spectrum, he lives just outside of Washington DC where he can keep an eye on Leviathan.

Shocking Facts About The Deindustrialization Of America That Everyone Should Know

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Source: http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com

By Michael Snyder

Shocking Facts About The Deindustrialization Of America That Everyone Should Know

 

Abandoned-Packard-Automobile-Factory-Photo-by-Albert-Duce-300x300How long can America continue to burn up wealth?  How long can this nation continue to consume far more wealth than it produces?  The trade deficit is one of the biggest reasons for the steady decline of the U.S. economy, but many Americans don’t even understand what it is.  Basically, we are buying far more stuff from the rest of the world than they are buying from us.  That means that far more money is constantly leaving the country than is coming into the country.  In order to keep the game going, we have to go to the people that we bought all of that stuff from and ask them to lend our money back to us.  Or lately, we just have the Federal Reserve create new money out of thin air.  This is called “quantitative easing”.  Our current debt-fueled lifestyle is dependent on this cycle continuing.  In order to live like we do, we must consume far more wealth than we produce.  If someday we are forced to only live on the wealth that we create, it will require a massive adjustment in our standard of living.  We have become great at consuming wealth but not so great at creating it.  But as a result of running gigantic trade deficits year after year, we have lost tens of thousands of businesses, millions upon millions of jobs, and America is being deindustrialized at a staggering pace.

Most Americans won’t even notice, but the latest monthly trade deficit increased to 42.3 billion dollars

The U.S. trade deficit climbed to the highest level in five months in February as demand for American exports fell while imports increased slightly.
 
The deficit increased to $42.3 billion, which was 7.7% above the January imbalance of $39.3 billion, the Commerce Department reported Thursday.

When the trade deficit increases, it means that even more wealth, even more jobs and even more businesses have left the United States.

In essence, we have gotten poorer as a nation.

Have you ever wondered how China has gotten so wealthy?

Just a few decades ago, they were basically a joke economically.

So how in the world did they get so powerful?

Well, one of the primary ways that they did it was by selling us far more stuff than we sold to them.  If we had refused to do business with communist China, they never would have become what they have become today.  It was our decisions that allowed China to become an economic powerhouse.

Last year, we sold 122 billion dollars of stuff to China.

That sounds like a lot until you learn that China sold 440 billion dollars of stuff to us.

We fill up our shopping carts with lots of cheap plastic trinkets that are “made in China”, and they pile up gigantic mountains of our money which we beg them to lend back to us so that we can pay our bills.

Who is winning that game and who is losing that game?

Below, I have posted our yearly trade deficits with China since 1990.  Let’s see if you can spot the trend…

1990: 10 billion dollars

1991: 12 billion dollars

1992: 18 billion dollars

1993: 22 billion dollars

1994: 29 billion dollars

1995: 33 billion dollars

1996: 39 billion dollars

1997: 49 billion dollars

1998: 56 billion dollars

1999: 68 billion dollars

2000: 83 billion dollars

2001: 83 billion dollars

2002: 103 billion dollars

2003: 124 billion dollars

2004: 162 billion dollars

2005: 202 billion dollars

2006: 234 billion dollars

2007: 258 billion dollars

2008: 268 billion dollars

2009: 226 billion dollars

2010: 273 billion dollars

2011: 295 billion dollars

2012: 315 billion dollars

2013: 318 billion dollars

Yikes!

It has been estimated that the U.S. economy loses approximately 9,000 jobs for every 1 billion dollars of goods that are imported from overseas, and according to the Economic Policy Institute, America is losing about half a million jobs to China every single year.

Considering the high level of unemployment that we now have in this country, can we really afford to be doing that?

Overall, the United States has accumulated a total trade deficit with the rest of the world of more than 8 trillion dollars since 1975.

As a result, we have lost tens of thousands of businesses, millions of jobs and our economic infrastructure has been absolutely gutted.

Just look at what has happened to manufacturing jobs in America.  Back in the 1980s, more than 20 percent of the jobs in the United States were manufacturing jobs.  Today, only about 9 percent of the jobs in the United States are manufacturing jobs.

And we have fewer Americans working in manufacturing today than we did in 1950 even though our population has more than doubled since then…

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Many people find this statistic hard to believe, but the United States has lost a total of more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities since 2001.

Millions of good paying jobs have been lost.

As a result, the middle class is shriveling up, and at this point 9 out of the top 10 occupations in America pay less than $35,000 a year.

For a long time, U.S. consumers attempted to keep up their middle class lifestyles by going into constantly increasing amounts of debt, but now it is becoming increasingly apparent that middle class consumers are tapped out.

In response, major retailers are closing thousands of stores in poor and middle class neighborhoods all over the country.  You can see some amazing photos of America’s abandoned shopping malls right here.

If we could start reducing the size of our trade deficit, that would go a long way toward getting the United States back on the right economic path.

Unfortunately, Barack Obama has been negotiating a treaty in secret which is going to send the deindustrialization of America into overdrive.  The Trans-Pacific Partnership is being called the “NAFTA of the Pacific”, and it is going to result in millions more good jobs being sent to the other side of the planet where it is legal to pay slave labor wages.

According to Professor Alan Blinder of Princeton University, 40 million more U.S. jobs could be sent offshore over the next two decades if current trends continue.

So what will this country look like when we lose tens of millions more jobs than we already have?

U.S. workers are being merged into a giant global labor pool where they must compete directly for jobs with people making less than a dollar an hour with no benefits.

Obama tells us that globalization is good for us and that Americans need to be ready to adjust to a “level playing field”.

The quality of our jobs has already been declining for decades, and if we continue down this path the quality of our jobs is going to get a whole lot worse and our economic infrastructure will continue to be absolutely gutted.

At one time, the city of Detroit was the greatest manufacturing city on the entire planet and it had the highest per capita income in the United States.  But today, it is a rotting, decaying hellhole that the rest of the world laughs at.

In the end, the rest of the nation is going to suffer the same fate as Detroit unless Americans are willing to stand up and fight for their economy while they still can.

This article first appeared here at the Economic Collapse Blog.  Michael Snyder is a writer, speaker and activist who writes and edits his own blogs The American Dream and Economic Collapse Blog. Follow him on Twitter here.

 

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Image credit: http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com

 

The Chinese Are Acquiring Large Chunks Of Land In Communities All Over America

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Source: http://endoftheamericandream.com

By Michael Snyder

The Chinese Are Acquiring Large Chunks Of Land In Communities All Over America

 

American-Flag-Chinese-Flag-300x223Has the United States ever experienced a time when a foreign nation has attempted to buy up so much of our land all at once?  As you will read about in this article, the Chinese are on a real estate buying spree all over America.  In fact, in some cases large chunks of land are actually being given to them.  Yes, you read that correctly.  China is on the way to becoming the dominant land owner in the entire country, and that is starting to alarm a lot of people.  Do we really want a foreign superpower to physically own so much of our territory?

There are some that are playing down this threat by making a distinction between the Chinese government and Chinese corporations, but things work differently over in China than they do here.  In China, the government is involved in everything.  In fact, 43 percent of all corporate profits in China are produced by companies that the Chinese government controls.  And all of the rest of the companies are very careful to follow the lead and direction of the Chinese government.

That is why what is going on in places such as Thomasville, Alabama is so alarming.  Small communities such as Thomasville are so starved for jobs that they are willing to give land away for free to Chinese companies in order to entice them to build factories…

Gov. Robert Bentley said Friday that he will announce an economic development project in Thomasville, Ala., Monday morning.
 
That project is likely a copper tube plant to be built by Golden Dragon Precise Copper Tube Group. A legal notice published Thursday indicates that the city of Thomasville and others intend to give land and other incentives to GD Copper USA, which state corporation records identify as a Florida-based subsidiary of Golden Dragon.

And in this particular case, we are not just talking about a small plot of land.  We are talking about a 40 acre chunk of land worth 1.5 million dollars…

The legal notice indicated the city plans to give Golden Dragon a 40-acre site. Thomasville Mayor Sheldon Day has said that land is in a city industrial park south of Thomasville High School. It includes a $1.5 million, 50,000-square-foot building that the city constructed in 2009 to attract businesses.

But in most cases, the Chinese actually have to spend money to acquire our real estate.  And they are starting to make some really high profile acquisitions in some of our most expensive cities…

China Vanke and Tishman Speyer signed a deal for a $620 million luxury condo project in San Francisco this winter. In April, another deal for a cool $1.5 billion was inked in Oakland between Zarsion and Signature Development Group.
 
In June, several big deals in New York City went down. Zhang Xin, CEO of Soho China , joined forces with the wealthy Safra family (of Banco Safra fame) of Brazil to buy a stake in the General Motors Building in Midtown, The New York Times reported on June 25. Dalian Wanda Group, another Chinese developer, is planning to build a greenfield luxury hotel in Manhattan.

In other cases, the Chinese are gaining control over vast tracts of U.S. territory by buying up our large corporations.

For example, when the Chinese purchased Smithfield Foods, they suddenly owned 460 large farms and became the top employer in dozens of communities all over the United States…

Smithfield Foods is the largest pork producer and processor in the world.  It has facilities in 26 U.S. states and it employs tens of thousands of Americans.  It directly owns 460 farms and has contracts with approximately 2,100 others.  But now a Chinese company has bought it for $4.7 billion, and that means that the Chinese will now be the most important employer in dozens of rural communities all over America.

And the Chinese seem to have a particular interest in economically-depressed areas of the country.  Perhaps they feel that now is the time to gobble up companies and properties in such areas for bargain-basement prices.  For instance, the following is from a CNBC article that detailed how the Chinese are aggressively “putting down roots in Detroit”…

Dozens of companies from China are putting down roots in Detroit, part of the country’s steady push into the American auto industry.
 
Chinese-owned companies are investing in American businesses and new vehicle technology, selling everything from seat belts to shock absorbers in retail stores, and hiring experienced engineers and designers in an effort to soak up the talent and expertise of domestic automakers and their suppliers.

Speaking of Michigan, one company known as “Sino-Michigan Properties LLC” actually had plans to buy up 200 acres of land near the town of Milan, Michigan.  The goal was to build an entire “China City” with artificial lakes, a Chinese cultural center and hundreds of housing units for Chinese citizens.

But that is nothing compared to the “China City” that was being planned for New York state.  The following is a short excerpt from one of my previous articles

The Chinese have made trillions of dollars flooding our shores with super cheap products, and now they are using some of that money to buy land and property all over America.  For example, there is now a proposal to construct a multibillion dollar “China City” that would span approximately 600 acres in a remote area of New York state.  This “China City” (that is actually what it would be called) would be located on Yankee Lake in Sullivan County, New York.  The plans anticipate large numbers of Chinese businesses, plenty of homes for Chinese immigrants, a Chinese high school, a college, a casino and even a theme park.  And the first 600 acres is only for “phase one” of the plan.  Ultimately, the goal is for “China City” to cover more than 2,000 acres.  Those promoting this plan say that it will be a great way for New Yorkers to learn to appreciate Chinese culture.

But of much greater concern is the huge wave of real estate purchases that are quietly happening all around us every single day.

The following is from a recent CNBC article entitled “Chinese buying up California housing“…

At a brand new housing development in Irvine, Calif., some of America’s largest home builders are back at work after a crippling housing crash. Lennar, Pulte, K Hovnanian, Ryland to name a few. It’s a rebirth for U.S. construction, but the customers are largely Chinese.
 
“They see the market here still has room for appreciation,” said Irvine-area real estate agent Kinney Yong, of RE/MAX Premier Realty. “What’s driving them over here is that they have this cash, and they want to park it somewhere or invest somewhere.”

So what happens when we get to the point when the Chinese government and/or Chinese citizens own 10 percent of all the real estate in the entire country?

Will it be a problem then?

What about if we get to 20 percent or 30 percent?

At what point will we be forced to admit that we have a major problem on our hands?

Many of our leaders seem resigned to the fact that the future will be dominated by communist China.

For example, the President of the St. Louis Federal Reserve recently stated that “attitudes in the U.S. are going to have to change” because America “will not permanently be the global leader”

That’s according to Federal Reserve Board of St. Louis President James Bullard, who spoke to the Wall Street Journal on the sidelines of a conference during a recent visit to Hong Kong.

Attitudes in the U.S. are going to have to change, because the U.S. will not permanently be the global leader,” Mr. Bullard said.

In fact, Bullard insists that it is inevitable that the U.S. will end up playing second fiddle to communist China…

In that case, “the U.S. would be playing a role to China similar to the role the U.K. plays to the U.S. today,” Mr. Bullard said. “People think it’s 50-75 years away but it’s probably only 25 or 20 years away, something like that.”

And this is one of the guys that is running the U.S. economy?

There is more than one way to dominate your enemy, and the Chinese understand this.

Sadly, most Americans have absolutely no idea what is happening.

What about you?

This article first appeared here at the The American Dream.  Michael Snyder is a writer, speaker and activist who writes and edits his own blogs The American Dream and Economic Collapse Blog. Follow him on Twitter here.

 

 

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Image credit: http://endoftheamericandream.com
 

 

School Science Project Reveals High Levels Of Fukushima Nuclear Radiation in Grocery Store Seafood

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Source: http://thetruthwins.com

By Michael Snyder

School Science Project Reveals High Levels Of Fukushima Nuclear Radiation in Grocery Store Seafood

 

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A Canadian high school student named Bronwyn Delacruz never imagined that her school science project would make headlines all over the world.  But that is precisely what has happened.  Using a $600 Geiger counter purchased by her father, Delacruz measured seafood bought at local grocery stores for radioactive contamination.  What she discovered was absolutely stunning.  Much of the seafood, particularly the products that were made in China, tested very high for radiation.  So is this being caused by nuclear radiation from Fukushima?  Is the seafood that we are eating going to give us cancer and other diseases?  The American people deserve the truth, but as you will see below, the U.S. and Canadian governments are not even testing imported seafood for radiation.  To say that this is deeply troubling would be a massive understatement.

In fact, what prompted Bronwyn Delacruz to conduct her science project was the fact that the Canadian government stopped testing imported seafood for radiation in 2012

Alberta high-school student Bronwyn Delacruz loves sushi, but became concerned last summer after learning how little food inspection actually takes place on some of its key ingredients.
 
The Grade 10 student from Grande Prairie said she was shocked to discover that, in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) stopped testing imported foods for radiation in 2012.

And what should be a major red flag for authorities is the fact that the seafood with the highest radiation is coming from China

Armed with a $600 Geiger counter bought by her dad, Delacruz studied a variety of seafoods – particularly seaweeds – as part of an award-winning science project that she will take to a national fair next month.
 
“Some of the kelp that I found was higher than what the International Atomic Energy Agency sets as radioactive contamination, which is 1,450 counts over a 10-minute period,” she said. “Some of my samples came up as 1,700 or 1,800.
 
Delacruz said the samples that “lit up” the most were products from China that she bought in local grocery stores.

It is inexcusable that the Canadian government is not testing this seafood.  It isn’t as if they don’t know that it is radioactive.  Back in 2012, the Vancouver Sun reported that cesium-137 was being found in a very high percentage of the fish that Japan was selling to Canada…

• 73 percent of the mackerel

• 91 percent of the halibut

• 92 percent of the sardines

• 93 percent of the tuna and eel

• 94 percent of the cod and anchovies

• 100 percent of the carp, seaweed, shark and monkfish

So why was radiation testing for seafood shut down in Canada in 2012?

Someone out there needs to answer some very hard questions.

Meanwhile, PBS reporter Miles O’Brien has pointed out the extreme negligence of the U.S. government when it comes to testing seafood for Fukushima radiation.  The following comes from a recent EcoWatch article

O’Brien also introduces us to scientists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute who have been testing waters around the reactors—as well as around the Pacific Rim—to confirm the levels of Fukushima fallout, especially of cesium.
 
These scientists are dedicated and competent. But they are also being forced to do this investigation on their own, raising small amounts of money from independent sources. They were, explains lead scientist Ken Buesseler, turned down for even minimal federal support by five agencies key to our radiation protection. Thus, despite a deep and widespread demand for this information, no federal agency is conducting comprehensive, on-the-ground analyses of how much Fukushima radiation has made its way into our air and oceans.
 
In fact, very soon after Fukushima began to blow, President Obama assured the world that radiation coming to the U.S. would be minuscule and harmless. He had no scientific proof that this would be the case. And as O’Brien’s eight-minute piece shows all too clearly, the “see no evil, pay no damages” ethos is at work here. The government is doing no monitoring of radiation levels in fish, and information on contamination of the ocean is almost entirely generated by underfunded researchers like Buesseler.

video news report in which O’Brien discusses these issues is posted below…

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It is the job of the authorities to keep us safe, and the Fukushima nuclear disaster was the worst nuclear disaster in human history.

So why aren’t they doing testing?

Why aren’t they checking to make sure that this radiation is not getting into our food chain?

The Japanese are doing testing off the coast of Japan, and one fish that was recently caught off the coast of the Fukushima prefecture was discovered to have 124 times the safe level of radioactive cesium.

So why are all the authorities in North America just assuming that the fish are going to be perfectly fine on this side of the Pacific?

One test that was conducted in California discovered that 15 out of 15 Bluefin tuna were contaminated with radiation from Fukushima.

So how can the authorities say “don’t worry, just eat the seafood”?

Everyone agrees that a plume of radioactive water has been moving from Fukushima toward the west coast of the United States.

According to researchers at the University of South Wales, that plume is going to hit our shores at some point during 2014…

The first radioactive ocean plume released by the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster will finally be reaching the shores of the United States some time in 2014, according to a new study from the University of New South Wales — a full three or so years after the date of the disaster.

The following graphic comes from that study…

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And multiple independent tests have already confirmed that levels of nuclear radiation are being detected on California beaches that are more than 10 times the normal level.

Clearly something is happening.

So why are the U.S. and Canadian governments willingly looking the other way?


This article first appeared here at The Truth.

About the author: Michael T. Snyder is a former Washington D.C. attorney who now publishes The Truth. His new thriller entitled “The Beginning Of The End” is now available on Amazon.com.

 

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Image credit: http://thetruthwins.com
 

Where In The World Is Obamao?

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Source: http://www.zerohedge.com

By Tyler Durden

Where In The World Is Obamao?

 

A funny thing happened during Michelle Obama’s public relations tour of China (where taxpayers are privileged to pay $8,400 for each night of her lodgings): T-shirts, coin purses and posters that show President Barack Obama portrayed as Chairman Mao are normally available for sale at the Great Wall. But on Sunday, when First Lady Michelle Obama visited the Chinese tourist spot with her daughters, the so-called “Obamao” souvenirs were no where to be found. “We don’t have them anymore,” said one peddler, a woman who declined to give her name. “But if you come back next time, you might find them. You could come tomorrow,” the woman said.

Obamao

Full story here.

Image credit: http://www.zerohedge.com

The Crisis is Not Over! A Conversation with Legendary Investor Jim Rogers

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The Crisis is Not Over! A Conversation with Legendary Investor Jim Rogers

 

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Published by Stefan Molyneux

Stefan Molyneux speaks with legendary investor Jim Rogers about the future of the world economy, the coming economic shift and how to prepare for the future.

Jim Rogers is an American businessman, investor and author. He is currently based in Singapore. Rogers is the Chairman of Rogers Holdings and Beeland Interests, Inc.

You can get “Street Smarts: Adventures on the Road and in the Markets” and other books by Jim Rogers at http://www.fdrurl.com/jimrogers

Get more from Stefan Molyneux and Freedomain Radio including books, podcasts and other info at: http://www.freedomainradio.com

 

China warns investors to prepare for “wave of bankruptcies”

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Source: http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org

By

China warns investors to prepare for “wave of bankruptcies”

 

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Things as we have said for nearly 2 years are not good in the Ultimate Crony Capitalist State. In fact they are quite bad.

It is textbook Austrian economics on an almost unimaginable scale.

 

Central banks poured “stimulus” into the system in 2008-2009 (I am almost sure the Fed leaned on them to do this.) Then as things started to slow a couple years later the Chinese poured more funny money into the system in an effort to keep the real estate boom in China going. They sort of succeeded – for a little bit.

But now there is nowhere to run.

There is also the outside possibility that the Chinese learned something from Japan and the United States. If they let the fat melt off now and then regather there is a very real possibility that they could emerge as a first class rival to the USA. But it would have to melt a lot of fat and I doubt the Communist Party would be able to handle it. But that’s interesting too.

(From CNBC.com)
 
Premier Li Keqiang told lenders to China’s private sector factories they should expect debt defaults as the world’s second largest economy encounters “serious challenges” in the year ahead.
 
Speaking after the annual session of the national people’s congress, Li Keqiang said: “We are going to confront serious challenges this year and some challenges may be even more complex.” He told lenders to China’s private sector factories they should expect debt defaults.

Click here for the article.

Image credit: http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org


Nick Sorrentino
About Nick Sorrentino

Nick Sorrentino is the co-founder and editor of AgainstCronyCapitalism.org. A political and communications consultant with clients across the political spectrum, he lives just outside of Washington DC where he can keep an eye on Leviathan.

 

Russia Threatens To Abandon The U.S. Dollar And Start Dumping U.S. Debt

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Source: http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com

By Michael Snyder

Russia Threatens To Abandon The U.S. Dollar And Start Dumping U.S. Debt

 

The Obama administration and the hotheads in Congress are threatening to hit Russia with “economic sanctions” for moving troops into Crimea.  Yes, those sanctions would sting a little bit, but what our politicians should be made aware of is the fact that Russian officials are promising “to respond” if economic sanctions are imposed on them.  As you will read about below, one top Kremlin adviser is even suggesting that Russia could abandon the U.S. dollar and start dumping U.S. debt.  In addition, he is also suggesting that if sanctions are imposed that Russian companies would not repay the debts that they owe U.S. banks.  Needless to say, Russia could do far more economic damage to the United States than the United States could do to Russia.  The U.S. financial system relies on the fact that the rest of the planet is going to use our currency to trade with one another and lend gigantic piles of it back to us at super low interest rates.  If the rest of the world starts changing their behavior, we are going to be in a massive amount of trouble.  Those that believe that the United States is “economically independent” are being quite delusional.

In order for U.S. economic sanctions against Russia to be effective, Europe would also have to get on board.

But that simply is not going to happen.

As I noted yesterday, Russia is the largest exporter of natural gas on the planet.  And Russia is also Europe’s largest supplier of energy.

There is no way that Europe could risk having Russia cut off the gas, especially considering the economic condition that Europe is currently in.

To get an idea of just how incredibly dependent the rest of Europe is on Russian natural gas, check out the chart in this article.  A whole bunch of European nations get more than half their natural gas from Russia.

And according to the Telegraph, even the UK has already completely ruled out economic sanctions…

Europe would be pushed back into recession, Russia into financial meltdown. This is not the sort of self harm Europe is prepared to contemplate right now. Indeed, thanks to the indiscretion of a UK official, who was snapped going into Downing Street with his briefing documents on display for all the world to see, we know this to be the case. Trade and financial sanctions have already been ruled out.

So the U.S. can do whatever it wants, but Europe is not going to be any help.  Perhaps Canada will stand with the U.S., but that will be about it.

On the flip side, the Russian Foreign Ministry is promising “to respond” if the United States does impose economic sanctions…

Russia said on Tuesday that it would retaliate if the United States imposed sanctions over Moscow’s actions in Ukraine.
 
We will have to respond,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said in a statement. “As always in such situations, provoked by rash and irresponsible actions by Washington, we stress: this is not our choice.”

So what would the response look like?

Lukashevich did not say, but top Kremlin adviser Sergei Glazyev is suggesting that Russia could abandon the U.S. dollar and refuse to pay back loans to U.S. banks…

“In the instance of sanctions being applied to stated institutions, we will have to declare the impossibility of returning those loans which were given to Russian institutions by U.S. banks,” RIA quoted Glazyev as saying.
 
“We will have to move into other currencies, create our own settlement system.”
 
He added: “We have excellent trade and economic relations with our partners in the east and south and we will find a way to reduce to nothing our financial dependence on the United States but even get out of the sanctions with a big profit to ourselves.”

Glazyev also stated that Russia could start dumping U.S. debt and encourage other nations to start doing the same.  The following comes from a Russian news source

“We hold a decent amount of treasury bonds – more than $200 billion – and if the United States dares to freeze accounts of Russian businesses and citizens, we can no longer view America as a reliable partner,” he said. “We will encourage everybody to dump US Treasury bonds, get rid of dollars as an unreliable currency and leave the US market.

Clearly Russian officials understand the economic leverage that they potentially have.  In fact, Glazyev seems fully convinced that Russia could cause “a crash for the financial system of the United States”

“An attempt to announce sanctions would end in a crash for the financial system of the United States, which would cause the end of the domination of the United States in the global financial system.”

On that last point Glazyev is perhaps overstating things.

On their own, the Russians could do a considerable amount of damage to the U.S. financial system, but I doubt that they could completely crash it.

However, if much of the rest of the world started following Russia’s lead, then things could get very interesting.

Just yesterday, I wrote about how China has chosen to publicly stand in agreement with Russia on the Ukrainian crisis.

If China also decided to abandon the U.S. dollar and start dumping U.S. debt, it would be an absolute nightmare for the U.S. financial system.

And keep in mind that the Chinese were already starting to dump a bit of U.S. debt even before this latest crisis.  In fact, China dumped nearly 50 billion dollars of U.S. debt in December alone.

The only way that the current bubble of debt-fueled false prosperity in the U.S. can continue is if the rest of the world continues to lend us trillions of dollars at ridiculously low interest rates that are way below the real rate of inflation.

If the rest of the world stops behaving in such an irrational manner, interest rates on U.S. government debt would rise dramatically and that would also mean that interest rates on virtually all other loans throughout our financial system would rise dramatically.

And if that happened, it would be a complete and utter nightmare for our economy.

Unfortunately, most Americans have no understanding of these things.  They just assume that we are “the greatest economy in the world” and that nothing is ever going to threaten that.

Well, the truth is that we are rapidly approaching a “turning point”, and after this bubble of false prosperity pops things will never be the same in the United States again.

The-Kremlin-Photo-by-Pavel-Kazachkov-425x303

This article first appeared here at the Economic Collapse Blog.  Michael Snyder is a writer, speaker and activist who writes and edits his own blogs The American Dream and Economic Collapse Blog. Follow him on Twitter here.

 

 

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Russia And China Stand In Agreement On Ukraine – And That Is Very Bad News For The United States

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Source: http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com

By Michael Snyder

Russia And China Stand In Agreement On Ukraine – And That Is Very Bad News For The United States

 

Vladimir_Putin_with_Zhang_Deguang-300x300So much for “isolating” Russia.  The Chinese government is publicly siding with Russia on the crisis in Ukraine, and that is very bad news for the United States.  Not only does it mean that the U.S. is essentially powerless to do anything about the situation in Ukraine, it also means that Russia and China are starting to understand how much economic leverage that they really have.  Yes, the Obama administration can threaten to slap “sanctions” on Russia or threaten to kick Russia “out of the G8“, but those actions would not actually hurt too much.  On the other hand, Russia and China hold approximately 25 percent of all foreign-owned U.S. debt, and if they started massively dumping U.S. debt it could rapidly create a nightmare scenario.  In addition, it is important to remember that Russia is the largest exporter of natural gas and the second largest exporter of oil in the world.  And China now imports more oil than anyone else on the planet does, including the United States.  If Russia and China got together and decided to kill the petrodollar, they could do it almost overnight.  So when it comes to Ukraine, it is definitely not the United States that has the leverage.

If China and the rest of the world abandoned Russia over Ukraine, that would be one thing.  But that is not happening at all.  In fact, China has chosen to publicly stand with Russia on this issue.  The following is from a Sky News article entitled “Russia And China ‘In Agreement’ Over Ukraine“…

Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov discussed Ukraine by telephone with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, on Monday, and claimed they had “broadly coinciding points of view” on the situation there, according to a ministry statement.

And Chinese state news agency Xinhua is publicly rebuking the West for their handling of the Ukrainian crisis…

China’s state news agency Xinhua accused western powers of adopting a Cold War- like mindset towards Russia, trying to isolate Moscow at a time when much needed mediation is need to reach a diplomatic solution to the crisis in Crimea.
 
“Based on the fact that Russia and Ukraine have deep cultural, historical and economic connections, it is time for Western powers to abandon their Cold War thinking. Stop trying to exclude Russia from the political crisis they failed to mediate, and respect Russia’s unique role in mapping out the future of Ukraine,” Xinhua wrote in an opinion piece.

Apparently clueless as to how the geopolitical chips are falling, the Obama administration is busy planning all sorts of ways that it can punish Russia

Behind the scenes, Obama administration officials are preparing a series of possible battle plans for a potential economic assault on Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine, an administration source close to the issue told The Daily Beast. Among the possible targets for these financial attacks: everyone from high-ranking Russian military officials to government leaders to top businessmen to Russian-speaking separatists in Ukraine. It’s all part of the work to prepare an executive order now under consideration at the Obama administration’s highest levels.

Does the Obama administration really want to start an “economic war” with Russia and potentially against China as well?

Considering how much money we owe them, and considering the fact that we desperately need them to continue to use the petrodollar, we stand to lose far more than they do.

This is one of the reasons why I have always insisted that the national debt was a national security issue.  By going into so much debt, we have given other nations such as Russia and China a tremendous amount of leverage over us.

Unfortunately, the debtmongers in Washington D.C. never have listened to common sense.

When it comes to Ukraine, there are other economic considerations as well.

For example, about 25 percent of the natural gas that Europe uses comes from Russia, and Ukraine only has about four months of natural gas supplies stockpiled.

If Russia cut off the natural gas, that would create some huge problems.  Fortunately, winter is just about over or the Russians would have even more leverage.

In addition, Ukraine is one of the leading exporters of wheat and corn on the planet, and a disruption in the growing of those crops could make the emerging global food crisis even worse.

But of course the biggest concern is that the Ukraine crisis could ultimately spark a global war.

Unfortunately, there is a treaty that requires the United States to defend Ukraine if it is attacked…

President Bill Clinton, along with the British, signed in 1994 a nearly forgotten agreement to protect Ukraine’s borders. Ukraine now is appealing to the countries that signed the agreement.
 
As the British Daily Mail points out, it means that, technically, if Russia were to invade Ukraine, it would be difficult for the U.S. and Britain to avoid going to war.
 
Given that the late Russian president, Boris Yeltsin also signed it, it was apparent that it wasn’t expected that the Russians would take the action that Putin now is undertaking.

And top Ukrainian politicians are now asking western nations to come to the aid of Ukraine militarily

Ukraine’s former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko has appealed for the West to adopt ‘strongest means’ to intervene in Russia’s occupation of Crimea if diplomacy fails.
 
In an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, Tymoshenko, freed last week after the riots throughout the nation, said if Russia is allowed to ‘take away’ Crimea, life will change ‘practically everywhere in the world.’
 
She added: ‘Then we have to accept… an aggressor, can violate all the international agreements, take away territories, whenever she likes.’

On the other side, deposed Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has formally requested that Russia militarily intervene in his nation…

Russia’s U.N. envoy said Monday that ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych asked Russia to send troops to “establish legitimacy, peace, law and order, stability, and defending the people of Ukraine.” Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin read a letter from Yanukovych at the U.N. Security Council meeting.
 
“Ukraine is on the brink of civil war. In the country, there is chaos and anarchy. The life, the security and the rights of people, particularly in the southeast part in Crimea are being threatened. So under the influence of Western countries, there are open acts of terrorism and violence. People are being persecuted for language and political reasons,” the letter said. “So in this regard, I would call on the President of Russia, Mr. Putin, asking him to use the armed forces of the Russian Federation to establish legitimacy, peace, law and order, stability, and defending the people of Ukraine.”

And it is very important to note that Yanukovych would have never issued this letter if the Russian government has not asked him to.

So the stage is set.

Russia has already grabbed Crimea, and it is eyeing other territories in eastern Ukraine.

China is publicly backing Russia, and collectively they have a tremendous amount of economic leverage.

The Obama administration is barking loudly about what Russia has done, but the reality is that the U.S. has very little economic leverage at this point.

What the U.S. does have is the strongest military on the entire planet, but let us hope and pray that Obama does not decide to get the U.S. military involved in Ukraine.  That would be absolutely disastrous.

In the end, the U.S. has no good options in Ukraine.  The Obama administration helped aid and organize the violent revolution that overthrew the Ukrainian government, and now we have a giant mess.

Nobody is quite sure what comes next, but one thing is certain…

The relationship between the United States and Russia will never, ever be the same again.

This article first appeared here at the Economic Collapse Blog.  Michael Snyder is a writer, speaker and activist who writes and edits his own blogs The American Dream and Economic Collapse Blog. Follow him on Twitter here.

 

 

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Image credit: http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com

 

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