Posts from the ‘Economic Meltdown’ Category

Flashback Nov. 11: Euro collapse plus Iran strike equals Armageddon

Flashback Nov. 11: Euro collapse plus Iran strike equals Armageddon

November 30, 2011 – TEHRAN – It’s starting to look like all those crazy 2012 prophecies might not be so wide of the mark after all. Even as the world is transfixed by the slow-motion implosion of the Eurozone, reports are emerging that Israel might strike Iran’s nuclear facilities early in the New Year. The unpredictable interaction of two such epochal events could cause a global catastrophe like something out of a bad science fiction novel. The most recent data shows that the Eurozone, and much of the world, may be slipping rapidly into recession. Property and commodity bubbles are bursting even in China. Not only that, but there is no more fiscal stimulus to be had. The global economy’s life raft is gone. The combination of the onset of a second global Great Depression, a devastating banking crisis in Europe, fragmentation of the Eurozone and rolling sovereign debt crises across the US and Europe is bad enough. This scenario is, in itself, a total catastrophe. Yet some serious economists say such outcomes are very possible within the next 12 months. However, few have thrown into the mix the ramifications of an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities — also likely within the next 12 months. The Eurozone crisis and Iran’s nuclear weapons program are widely seen as discrete and unrelated events. However, they could interact in potentially horrific ways. Jeffery Goldberg of The Atlantic magazine says there is a “better than 50 percent chance that Israel will launch a strike by next July.” Israel simply cannot tolerate a nuclear armed Iran. Sanctions have failed miserably and the recent International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report suggests that Iran could begin building a nuclear weapon within months. The Daily Mail has recently cited UK Foreign Office sources as saying that the British government expects Israel to attack Iran “sooner rather than later … We’re expecting something as early as Christmas, or very early in the New Year.” Israeli President Shimon Peres has said: “The possibility of a military attack against Iran is now closer to being applied than the application of a diplomatic option.”
Target Iran: Tehran has threatened to respond with “an iron fist,” and has warned about “aggressors and invaders being smashed from within.” A massive onslaught on Israel could be expected via Syria and Hamas. Simultaneously, terrorist attacks could happen in cities across the Western world. The political consequences of an attack across the Muslim world are incalculable, but one immediate effect of an Israeli attack would be on oil supply. The first thing Iran will do if attacked is blockade the critical oil-shipping lanes through the Strait of Hormuz. This would instantly send the price of oil skyrocketing to between $175 and $500 a barrel, depending on whose estimates you believe. America’s National Defense magazine says that “Under a worst-case scenario 30 day closure of the Strait of Hormuz … the U.S. would lose nearly $75 billion in GDP.” The effects on Europe would be similarly disastrous. Iran’s Navy is no match for the US Fifth fleet, but all Iran need do is slip a few mines into the water and the straits could be closed for months. Additionally, Iran might attack Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities in Dhahran, and the price of oil would instantly reach the stratosphere. Even in a best-case scenario, more stringent sanctions against Iran are now almost inevitable and these will seriously exacerbate the turmoil in financial markets, already reeling from the euro crisis. In our interconnected world, events in Brussels and Tehran can interact like never before. –Huffington Post – November 11, 2011

Financial Professionals Sounding The Alarm, Economic Disaster Is Coming

Financial Professionals Sounding The Alarm, Economic Disaster Is Coming



You don’t have to search very far beyond the main stream to find lots of meaty articles about the dire economic straits we’re in – a world sinking in enormous debt of fiat currencies. A corrupt banking system swimming in 600 trillion of unregulated derivatives, an unimaginable staggering sum.

The reality is that we are getting much closer to a trigger event of an economic disaster, a domino effect of toppling systems, while at the same time we hope for miraculous resolutions.

This thing will begin in Europe.

British ministers privately warned that the break-up of the euro, once almost unthinkable, is now increasingly plausible.

Diplomats are preparing to help Britons abroad through a banking collapse and even riots arising from the debt crisis.

Diplomats have also been told to prepare to help tens of thousands of British citizens in eurozone countries with the consequences of a financial collapse that would leave them unable to access bank accounts or even withdraw cash.

Source: The Telegraph


With fiscal time bombs ticking in both Europe and the United States, the pertinent question for now seems to be which will explode first.

the U.S. is crystal clear in its intention to ignore its debt problems. With the failure of the Super Committee this week it actually became official. American politicians will not, under any circumstances willingly confront our underlying debt crisis.

Source: Financial Sense, Peter Schiff – Who’s Fuse is Shorter?


Is the world on the verge of another massive global financial collapse? Yes. The western world is drowning in an ocean of debt unlike anything the world has ever seen before, and our financial markets are gigantic casinos that are dependent on huge mountains of risk and leverage remaining very stable. In the end, this house of cards that has been built on a foundation of sand is going to come crashing down in a horrifying manner.

Most people out there are working hard and are busy preparing for the holidays and they are hopeful that the economy will turn around soon. But that is not going to happen. We are heading for another major global financial collapse, and when it happens the U.S. economy is going to get even worse.

The epicenter for the coming global financial collapse is almost certainly going to be in Europe. As you will see below, financial professionals all over the world are sounding the alarm about Europe. It is a disaster that everyone can see coming but that nobody seems to be able to prevent.

Source: The Economic Collapse – 17 Quotes About The Coming Global Financial Collapse That Will Make Your Hair Stand Up

Economic Collapse a Mathematical Certainty – Top 5 Places Where Not To Be

The Extinction Protocol: 2012 and beyond | 2012 and Earthchanges News events

November 19, 2011 – BERLIN – Don’t they know it’s the End of the world? If you like your Wall Street analysis with a heavy dollop of rapture and Armageddon, today was the day for you. Blame the weighty issues of the day (Europe, mostly), and yesterday’s big selloff for the spasm of bearishness. It started off with Nomura’s Bob Janjuah. He said that any talk of the ECB saving Europe was a mere pipedream, and that if the ECB did go whole-hog buying up peripheral debt to suppress yields, then that would prompt a German departure from the Eurozone. Germany appears to be adamant that full political and fiscal integration over the next decade (nothing substantive will happen over the short term, in my view) is the only option, and ECB monetization is no longer possible. I really think it is that clear and simple. And if I am wrong, and the ECB does a U-turn and agrees to unlimited monetization, I will simply wait for the inevitable knee-jerk rally to fade before reloading my short risk positions. Even if Germany and the ECB somehow agree to unlimited monetization I believe it will do nothing to fix the insolvency and lack of growth in the Eurozone. It will just result in a major destruction of the ECB‟s balance sheet which will force an ECB recap. At that point, I think Germany and its northern partners would walk away. Markets always want short, sharp, simple solutions. But then there was Deutsche Bank’s Jim Reid, who is always sober, but not usually wildly negative. He offered up one of the most bearish lines in history in regards to German opposition to ECB debt monetization: If you don’t think Merkel’s tone will change then our investment advice is to dig a hole in the ground and hide. But it got even wilder with the latest from SocGen’s Dylan Grice. Again, he’s always pretty negative, but he cranked it up a notch, comparing Germany’s policy today against the policies that enabled the rise of Hitler. Specifically, he said that post-Weimar, Germany became too aggressive about fighting inflation, thus prompting deflation, thus prompting more unemployment, thus enabling the rise of the Nazis:

via The Extinction Protocol: 2012 and beyond | 2012 and Earthchanges News events.

The Extinction Protocol

November 6, 2011Sunspot AR1339 is crackling with M-class solar flares, unleashing at least five of them in the past 24 hours. The blasts have been coming with such thick frequency that photographer Randy Shivak of Elyria, Ohio, was able to catch one in action on Nov. 5th: “Looking like iron filings around a bar magnet, sunspot group 1339 showed itself in the throes of a solar flare,” says Shivak. Even bigger eruptions are possible before the weekend is over. AR1339 has a delta-class magnetic field that harbors energy for X-class flares. The sunspot is turning toward Earth, so the odds of a geo-effective flare are  increasing. Sunspot 1339 has a delta-class magnetic field that harbors energy for X-class solar flares.Space Weather

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Europe is United: No Bio Food

Europe Is United: No
Bioengineered Food

By Elisabeth Rosenthal
International Herald Tribune
GENEVA — Some are smokers. Some drink too much. Some admit they love red meat. But virtually all shoppers here at the Migros Supermarket on the bustling Rue des Paquis are united in avoiding a risk they regard as unacceptable: genetically modified food.
That is easy to do here in Switzerland, as in the rest of Europe, where food containing such ingredients must be labeled by law. Many large retailers, like Migros, have essentially stopped stocking the products, regarding them as bad for public image.
“I try not to eat any of it and always read the boxes,” said Marco Feline, 32, an artist in jeans, getting onto his bike (with no helmet). “It scares me because we don’t know what the long-term effects will be – on people or the environment.”
The majority of corn and soy in the United States is now grown from genetically modified seeds, altered to increase their resistance to pests or reduce their need for water, for example. In the past decade, Americans have happily – if unknowingly – gobbled down hundreds of millions of servings of genetically modified foods. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says there have been no adverse effects, and there is no specific labeling.
But in Europe – where food is high culture, if not religion – farmers, consumers, chefs and environmental groups have joined voices loudly and stubbornly to oppose bioengineered foods, effectively blocking their arrival at the farms and on the tables of the Continent. And that, in turn, has created a huge ripple effect on trade and politics, from North America to Africa.
The United States, Canada and Argentina have filed a complaint that is pending before the World Trade Organization, contending that European laws and procedures that discriminate against genetically modified products are irrational and unscientific, and so constitute an unfair trade barrier.
U.S. companies like Monsanto, which invested heavily in the technology, suffered huge losses when Europe balked. As part of a public relations effort, the U.S. State Department enlisted a Vatican academy last month as a co-sponsor of a conference in Rome, “Feeding a Hungry World: The Moral Imperative of Biotechnology.”
In response to such pressure, the European Union has relaxed legal restrictions on genetically modified foods.
In May the EU approved for sale a genetically modified sweet corn, lifting a five-year moratorium on new imports. Last month the European Commission gave its seal of approval to 17 types of genetically modified corn seed for farming. But no one expects a wide-open market.
“We have no illusion that the market will change anytime soon,” said Markus Payer, spokesman for Syngenta, the Swiss agribusiness company whose BT-11 corn got the approval in May. “That will only be created by consumer acceptance in Europe.”
“There is currently no inclination among European consumers to buy these things,” Payer went on. “But the atmosphere of rejection is not based on facts. That is a political, cultural and media-driven decision. And so we are convinced that more and more consumers will see the benefits.”
Indeed, the battle lines between countries for and against genetically modified foods seem to be hardening. Several African countries, following Europe’s lead, have rejected donations of genetically engineered food and seeds. In Asia, reluctance appears to be spreading. While countries like China and India are enthusiastically planting biotech crops like cotton, genetically modified food crops are having trouble winning approval.
Africa’s rejection is based partly on health and local environmental concerns, but also on economic interests: Zambia and Mozambique have discovered a good market in selling unmodified grain and soy to Europe, supplanting the United States as European suppliers.
Mauro Albrizio, vice president of the European Environmental Bureau, a policy group based in Brussels, said: “In the U.S., genetically modified foods were a fait accompli; here in Europe we succeeded in preventing that.”
Genetically modified foods arrived on America’s dinner plates with little fanfare in the mid-1990s as large-scale farmers in the United States enthusiastically started planting the seeds, which increased production and reduced the amount of pesticide required. Convinced that bioengineered food was “at least as safe as conventional food,” the U.S. Food and Drug Administration declared that a bioengineered lemon was the same as an ordinary lemon, and did not require special labeling or regulation.
Today, nearly two-thirds of the genetically modified crops in the world are grown in the United States, mostly corn and soybeans. “In the U.S., a large part of the diet is actually bioengineered,” said Lester Crawford, acting commissioner of the Food and Drug agency.
“The first thing other nations want to know is how many illnesses or adverse reactions we’ve seen,” he added. “But we haven’t actually had any problems at all with bioengineered foods.”
Vast amounts of money are at stake. Believing that genetically modified foods would quickly catch on throughout the world as they had the United States, large biotech companies like Monsanto invested billions of dollars.
Since the late 1990s the European Union has required that all food containing more than tiny amounts of genetically modified materials be labeled, and that all genetically modified products be submitted for approval before sale in Europe. No products were approved during an informal moratorium from 1998 to 2003. In the past five years, many parts of Europe have enacted local bans on growing such foods.
In fact, most scientific panels have concluded that “foods derived from the transgenic crops currently on the market are safe to eat,” in the words of a recent report from the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization. But the report also cautioned that crops must be evaluated case by case.
And low risk is not no risk. The 87 member states of the UN-sponsored Cartegena Protocol on Biosafety required labeling this year of all bulk shipments of food containing genetically modified products. The United States has not signed the pact.
More important, though, is that the assessment of risk depends largely on the degree of proof that a country’s consumers demand.
“In their personal lives people take lots of risk – they drive too fast and bungee-jump – but for food their acceptance of risk is very low,” said Philipp H¸bner
of the Basel-Stadt Canton Laboratory in Switzerland, which tests products in that country for contamination with genetically modified organisms. But H¸bner sees his work as detecting fraud in labeling rather than as safeguarding the public health.
“For most scientists it is not so much a safety issue, but an ethical and societal question,” he said. “This is what the public here has chosen, like Muslims choosing not to eat pork.”
In a survey by the European Opinion Research Group in late 2002, 88.6 percent of Europeans listed the “quality of food products” as an environmental issue with health implications.
But health fears, which can move markets, are not always consistent. In some parts of Europe, like Bordeaux, that have declared themselves free of genetically modified organisms, energy is supplied by nuclear power plants.
To sell Sugar Pops cereal to European consumers, Kellogg’s imports unmodified corn from Argentina and spends extra money to make sure that the entire transportation and processing chain is free of bioengineered products, said Chris Wermann, a company spokesman. The same cereal contains genetically modified corn in the United States. Both varieties contain all the usual sugars, artificial colors and flavors.
European advocates defend their right to be finicky. “This is not ideology – it’s a pragmatic stand because of potential risks to health and the environment,” said Albrizio of the European Environmental Bureau, noting that there is some evidence that genetically modified crops may trigger more allergies.
In terms of agriculture, there are some very clear-cut effects, since genetically modified seeds tend to spread in the environment once they have been planted, making it hard to maintain crops that are organic and free of genetic modification. Scientists call this phenomenon “co-mixing.”
To environmentalists and especially to farmers, “co-mixing” it is potentially devastating “contamination.” That is why the farmers of Tuscany and 11 other regions of Italy have declared themselves free of bioengineering.
In fact, European farmers and consumers have so far created a firewall against genetically modified organisms, one that the changing laws and World Trade Organization challenges may not breach easily.
“In theory you could sell GMO products here, with labeling,” H¸bner said. “But I’m not aware of any products that are now being sold, because no store wants them on their shelves.”