Jim Kunstler’s 2014 Forecast

Over at ZeroHedge, Jim Kunstler’s latest post on his forecast for 2014 is a MUST READ!!  Readers should greatly benefit from his astonishingly honest take on everything from the shale oil sham to last year’s gold slam.  He even gets into Obamacare, Bitcoin the Euro crisis and the middle east.

Excerpt: Paper and digital markets levitate, central banks pull out all the stops of their magical reality-tweaking machine to manipulate everything, accounting fraud pervades public and private enterprise, everything is mis-priced, all official statistics are lies of one kind or another, the regulating authorities sit on their hands, lost in raptures of online pornography (or dreams of future employment at Goldman Sachs), the news media sprinkles wishful-thinking propaganda about a mythical “recovery” and the “shale gas miracle” on a credulous public desperate to believe, the routine swindles of medicine get more cruel and blatant each month, a tiny cohort of financial vampire squids suck in all the nominal wealth of society, and everybody else is left whirling down the drain of posterity in a vortex of diminishing returns and scuttled expectations.

Read the entire article at ZeroHedge.

The Decline And Fall Of The Dollar & The USA

The following video from OneTruth4Life explains how America’s founding fathers created a sound money system, framed within Article I, section 8 of the Constitution.  It goes on to describe, in full detail, what’s happened since then – anti-Constitutional acts by certain government leaders and bankers, which debased the currency at various moments in history.  These acts seem to become more blatant as history proceeds, and have led to, or have been the primary motive for most, if not all, the military conflicts.  Furthermore, it will be the primary factor that will have brought the nation to its own doom at some point in the near future.


The Fed is Possibly Even More Sinister Than We Think

There’s been much discussion on the Fed’s newest monetary easing policy. The markets received their much anticipated stimulus and are reacting positively (for now).  But as previous posts have indicated, the Fed’s stated objectives and motives are questionable at best.  For a few steps further down the rabbit hole, here’s a must-see video from CrisisHQ

“If you want to understand what’s happening in the Mideast, particularly in Libya, Syria and Iran, you must first understand the main driving force behind U.S. foreign policy. Contrary to mainstream media propaganda, it is not our desire to spread democracy or to prevent tyrannical despots from murdering their own citizens. The real agenda is to protect the Petrodollar system, because it is the only thing that is currently preventing the total collapse of our fiat currency.


For more information on the Petro-Dollar, please see our research article: Root Cause: The Petro Dollar.

Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

Confessions of an Economic Hit ManAfter spending time in the Peace Corps and screened by the NSA, at 27, John Perkins was recruited by Chas. T. Main, Inc. and was to be their economic hit man (EHM).  As he became familiar with his duties, Perkins began to question the morals of what he was doing. He made excuses to himself, justifying his work as bringing economic prosperity to underdeveloped countries. But as time went on, he realized this was an illusion – very little economic benefit was going to the people of the countries that needed it most.  Instead, money was simply being funneled back to American corporations.  And worse the countries were being saturated with debt, making them further vulnerable to becoming puppets of their creditors.

As an EHM, Perkins’ job was to meet with high officials and leaders of under-developed nations (UDN’s) and convince them that they needed to take out expansive loans from various institutions such as the World Bank to build infrastructure for their people – roads, highways, bridges, water & sewer systems, electrical grids, communication systems, etc.  Along with these loans, there was always the restriction that the money had to be used to contract with specifically authorized western corporations to do the work.

In order to convince the officials and leaders, Perkins was to purposefully over-estimate the future of a UDN’s economy some 25 years into the future, which would guarantee American corporations engineering, building and maintenance contracts for as many years into the future as possible.  At the same time, while the UDN’s officials and leaders might become much more wealthy, their land, natural resources and indigenous people were abused horribly.

If Perkins was unsuccessful in seducing leaders to take the loans, the Jackals were sent in to provide more sinister motivation – threatening family’s lives, bombing, assassinations, etc.  And if the Jackals failed, the US military would be sent in as it was in Iraq in 1991.

Perkins had already begun to question the ethics of what he was doing when, in 1972, he was sent on an assignment to Panama in order to start the economic estimates for a rather large development plan, including energy, transportation and agriculture projects.  He was summoned for a meeting with General Omar Torrijos, the current leader of Panama. Torrijos was genuinely concerned for the people of his country and was wise to the scam Perkins’ company and others were planning and wanted to discuss some issues, face to face, with Perkins. Torrijos made it clear that because he was not willing to be ‘bought-out’ by the lure of luxury, the Americans probably wanted him out of the way by any means possible. He cited past examples to justify his fear:

  • Iran: During World War II, Britain and Russia had accused the leader of Iran, Reza Shah, of working with Hitler and initiated a coup by which his son, Shaw Mohammad Reza Pahlavi took over control of the country.  Then in 1951, the Shah was removed from power by his premier, Mohammad Mossadegh, in a democratic election. Mossadegh sought to renegotiate oil resource contracts with Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (the company now known as British Petroleum).  Mossadegh offered AIOC a 50-50 split on the oil resource profits, to which AIOC refused. Mossadegh then decided to take it all for the benefit of Iran. This was unacceptable for the British – they, with the aid of the American CIA, initiated a coup (Operation Ajax) by which Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi retook office and re-established Standard’s oil contracts.
  • Guatemala: In the early 1950’s a new leader came to power by the name of Jacobo Arbenz. Arbenz, in trying to help the poor, initiated a program to reform land ownership. At the time, 3% of the Guatemalan population owned 70% of the land.  United Fruit Company owned a large chunk of the land and opposed the reformation initiative. In the US, United Fruit undertook a propaganda campaign to convince Americans that Arbenz was a communist in cahoots with Russia.  The CIA then organized a coup in Guatemala in 1954. Guatemala City was bombed by American pilots and Arbenz was replaced by a dictator, Carlos Castillo Armas, who’s new government was more sympathetic to foreigners, especially United Fruit Company, and the land reform was reversed.

Torrijos had touched a soft spot within Perkins’ own misgivings about his job.  Perkins admired Torrijos for trying to help his people instead of taking the easy road to riches for himself as so many other leaders had done.  The two men agreed that Perkins and his company would get all the contracts they wanted as long as the economic benefits were realistic and the Panamanian people were not plundered.  Perkins even went back and wrote an Op-Ed piece for the Boston Globe, which argued for the US to give back the Panama Canal to the Panamanians.  After that Perkins began taking criticism from his coworkers for being to soft and even being labeled a “Commie.”

Torrijos went on to sign a deal with US President Carter that turned over the Canal to Panama in 1977. He made enemies in the consulting and engineering firm, Bechtel, which was made up of such names as George Shultz, Caspar Weinberger and other Nixon, Ford & Bush cronies. A new canal project was being conceived and a Japanese firm was being considered for the job. Not only would this prevent Bechtel from potentially huge profits from juicy contracts, this also put America’s Central American military school and base at the canal in jeopardy. Torrijos mysteriously died in a plane crash in 1981 and there were suspicions that the CIA was involved.

The same fate had just happened to Ecuador’s democratically elected president, Jaime Roldós. Roldós was battling against foreign interests, especially oil companies and their efforts to plunder the country’s resources for corporate gain. He and the Ecuadorian Congress passed a comprehensive legislation package which aimed at the preservation of the country’s resources and the protection of indigenous peoples by restricting foreign plunder. On May 24, 1981, Roldós died in a plane crash and again the CIA was suspected as being behind the incident.

Perkins gives many other details regarding US economic intervention in foreign lands. Most prominent was what had happened in Saudi Arabia in the 1970’s, which resulted in the use of the petrodollar to buy US debt and guarantee the status of the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency.

Although Perkins makes it very clear that these large, multinational corporations are pulling strings behind the scenes, he points out that the alliances between big government, corporations and banks  are only part of the overall problem. It would be simple to call it a conspiracy, but that’s not the main issue.  Normal, everyday people like Perkins are drawn into the system, falsely believing that they are actually contributing to something beneficial for themselves as well as the UDNs.  As time goes by and one becomes successful, personal greed starts to set in and concern for ethics and the common good is lost. For Perkins, he was an Economic Hit Man, but for many of the rest of us, we’re just peons working  for big corporations and have even become dependent on them, the big banks and government for our existence.  How do we even begin to fight against such a system when we’ve all become addicted to it as our source of daily bread?

If things are to change before the world is plundered and its citizens forced into indentured servitude, enough people must wake up and be aware of the big picture.  We must educate ourselves and not be dependent on the corpatocracy’s media to tell us what to think.  We all must learn that all our actions affect each other in endless ways.  A kind of Renaissance of the 21st century is needed to reshape human culture on a global scale.

 

Root Cause: The Petro Dollar

April 4, 2012

There’s a popular theory among the world population that the U.S. launched wars in the middle east in order to control its oil reserves. On the surface, this seems entirely logical, but the truth of the matter may be much more sinister, and one should look a little deeper into the situation. It’s not the oil reserves the U.S. is after, although oil does play its part in this charade. The main concern of the U.S. in these wars is more likely the maintenance of its hegemony with U.S dollar as the world’s reserve currency.

The U.S. dollar became the de facto world reserve currency after World War II, when delegates from around the world met and together agreed to what became known as the Bretton Woods System.  Under this system, the U.S. dollar would be linked to gold at $35/ounce. All other nations would tie their currencies not directly to gold, but indirectly through the U.S. dollar. This meant that those nations would hold dollars in their foreign reserves to support their local currencies.  In order to obtain dollars, those countries had to either borrow them from the U.S. Federal Reserve or earn them with a trade surplus. The U.S. got a sweet deal here – perhaps justified due to the fact that after the war the U.S. was indeed the strongest, most productive nation on the planet, along with a huge stash of physical gold.

This system worked well for the world and especially for the U.S. during the prosperous years of the 1950’s and 60’s. But with the U.S. printing its own dollars to cover its increasing debts, including the vast expeditures on the Vietnam War, the world became concerned. Suspicious that the U.S. gold reserves would not cover the existing issue of paper dollars, countries began to trade in their reserve dollars for gold at the U.S. treasury using the pegged value of $35/ounce. The U.S. gold stash was steadily declining.

In order to prevent the total depletion of U.S. gold supplies, in 1971 the Nixon administration closed the gold window – nations were no longer allowed to exchange their reserve dollars for gold.  It was the end of the Bretton Woods System, but not quite the end of the U.S. dollar hegemony in world reserve currency status.

One must then ask the obvious question: Why would a nation now hold a seemingly valueless paper dollar as a reserve currency, especially since its tie to gold has been cut?

The answer: The Petro Dollar.

After Nixon closed the gold exchange window, the dollar was a free floating fiat currency, competing with other currencies around the globe. Inflation started to escalate since there was no tie to gold anymore. In fact, in 1975 the average price of gold was $160 – more than 350% increase in just 4 years since abandoning the gold window.  Additionally, OPEC nations had been using the dominant dollar as a preferred payment method for their oil exports, but now they were starting to lose money as the dollar lost its value. In 1973, OPEC launched an oil embargo, raised prices and started internal discussions on the logistics for trading oil for other currencies including gold. Steps had to be taken by the U.S. if it was to re-secure the dollar as the strong world reserve currency.

The first step was taken in 1974 when Secretary of State Henry Kissinger launched the U.S.-Saudi Arabian Joint Commission on Economic Cooperation. Kissinger used the term “petrodollar recycling” to refer to the overall plan, which was to allow Saudi Arabia to purchase U.S. assets and services with the dollars it was receiving for its oil sales. A beneficial result for the U.S. was that the Saudi Arabian central bank (SAMA) could now use its dollar proceeds to buy U.S. debt (Treasury bills, bonds, etc.).

But the most beneficial outcome for the U.S. was that Saudi Arabia, the most dominant member of OPEC, would agree to continue to accept only U.S. dollars in exchange for its oil sales and would convince the other members of the cartel to do the same.  By 1975, all OPEC member nations restricted their oil trade to dollar transactions. To this day, as long as these key oil states play along, their leaders are showered in luxury and are quite secure in that they’re guaranteed the defense by the U.S. military and its industrial complex.

Meanwhile, countries around the globe must accumulate dollars in their own foreign reserves in order to import the most vital energy component – oil.  Nations have to aquire those dollars the hard way – by borrowing from the U.S. Federal Reserve or earning them by trading resources, goods and services to other nations for dollars.  But the U.S. enjoys the outrageous advantage of being able to print as much of the world’s reserve currency as it wants. Not only has it been able to use these dollars to purchase its own oil on the cheap, it has been able to continually out-do itself in annual deficit spending, now in the trillions of dollars, because it has had captive buyers for its debt.

One would think someone would cry “Foul!”  Well, someone did. The first nation to step away from this rigged system was Iraq.  In November of the year 2000, Saddam Hussein declared that Iraq would no longer accept the dollar for trade in the Oil for Food program.  Instead, the oil would be priced in and exchanged for Euros. Many said this would be a bad investment for Iraq at the time, but the move was actually beneficial because the dollar declined 17% against the Euro until the U.S. attacked and accomplished its mission in May of 2003.  Of course, now that the country was “stabilized” the Iraqi oil trade was repriced in the dollar market again and things went back to “normal” for a while.

The system would be challenged a second time, this time by Libya. In February of 2009, Muammar Gaddafi was elected the chairman of the African Union and would continue the effort to create the United States of Africa, which among other things, would include a unified currency, a dinar based on gold.  Gaddafi went so far as to suggest that the African nations’ oil trade would be switched from the dollar to this new gold currency. Here’s a segment from Russia Today:

Furthermore, it’s quite interesting to note that prior to the Libyan Revolution in February of 2011, Libya didn’t have a central bank linked with its western counterparts. It’s strange that before the “rebels” even had concluded battle, before they had even established a new government, they created a central bank.

And now the petro dollar has a third challenger – Iran.

The western powers are terribly concerned with Iran’s pursuit of nuclear technology. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has publicly stated his intent to “destroy Israel” and of course this is not something to be taken lightly. Additionally, one must wonder why Iran would even need nuclear power when they’re sitting on one of the world’s largest oil and natural gas deposits.

However, attention should be given to recent events. Early in 2008, Iran launched a new commodity exchange known as the Iranian Oil Bourse. The intent was to allow for Iranian oil to be priced and traded with multiple currencies. As the system was ramped up, initially the exchange limited its trade to secondary petroleum products, with crude oil to be added “when the system was ready.” Iran recently announced it would be ready on March 20, 2012This was a declaration of war on the petro dollar!

The U.S. along with the EU then implemented a defense. Just prior to the expansion of the Iranian exchange, on March 17, the EU carried out orders to expand sanctions against Iran by removing Iranian banks from the international bank-wire transfer system known as SWIFT.  Furthermore, any banks caught doing business with Iran would be sanctioned as well.  It seems Iran’s entire international commerce engine has been halted and its oil industry crushed.

Japan, China, India and Turkey are among the countries who’ve been dependent on Iranian oil to some degree.  Various discussions have been taking place between Iran and its trading partners on the possibility to enlist trade for other commodities such as gold or grain. Unless someone caves in here, another war – perhaps a big one – seems to be on the horizon.

If you want to understand what’s happening in the Mideast, particularly in Libya, Syria and Iran, you must first understand the main driving force behind U.S. foreign policy. Contrary to mainstream media propaganda, it is not our desire to spread democracy or to prevent tyrannical despots from murdering their own citizens. The real agenda is to protect the Petrodollar system, because it is the only thing that is currently preventing the total collapse of our fiat currency.

Source material from books (available at Amazon) on the petro dollar:

Here are links to further reading on OPEC’s petro dollar recycling:

A Peace to End All Peace

 

A Peace to End All PeaceIt seems that current news always has some report of violence and disorder in the middle east. And yet few people in the western world truly understand the middle east, let alone it’s geographically disbursed nation states. The boundary lines creating the middle eastern countries were imposed on the people that lived there and the western world believed those people couldn’t govern themselves so they attempted to do it for them. This is the real reason there’s no peace in the middle east!  Imagine some foreigner coming to your residence and taking over your way of life.

This book, by David Fromkin, focuses on the era of World War I and describes how the “great powers” carved states out of the Ottoman Empire to create what we know today as the middle east.  It details the intrigue and secrete treaties these powers (Britain, France, Russia, Italy, among others) entered into in order to secure their part of the middle eastern pie.

Prior to the war, the Ottoman Empire was ruled from Constantinople – what is today Istanbul, Turkey. Though there was an official Sultan for outward leadership, in 1913 a group of secret society brotherhoods rose and formed the true governing power known as the Young Turks or Committee of Union & Progress (C.U.P.). Enver Pasha is perhaps one of the most famous of this clan and indeed is extremely active in this historical reference.  Enver married the Sultan’s daughter and became an important political and military leader within the Ottoman Empire.

The Ottoman Empire stretched from the western end of Turkey all the way east until reaching India and south until the end of the Saudi Arabian peninsula. But even though this huge area was ruled by the Turks, there were several non-Turkish tribes of the Arab descent disbursed among the lands.  All of these tribes didn’t necessarily get along with each other, nor did they fully submit to the rulership of the Sultan. But a common theme was that they would rather be ruled by a moslem Turk, rather than a Christain westerner.

Britain wanted to keep it’s land route clear to India by way of a straight line from Palestine. In addition, a buffer zone was required in order to secure the land route from Russia, which required land to be held in the Syrian and Mesopotamian areas.  And, of course, it was necessary to maintain the control of the Suez Canal, which meant the occupation of Egypt.

France had both business and religious-based desires in what is today Lebanon and Syria.  Greece and Italy had designs on parts of Anatolia as well and wanted to expand their own nations.  Russia was eager to have some control, or at least access to, the great port of Constantinople in order to allow sea routes to the Mediterranian.

The Young Turks, however, were mainly interested in holding their vast empire together – they didn’t want to have it divvied up among the western powers who’d been colonizing in their lands.

When World War I broke out, the Ottoman Empire wanted to stay out of it, but ended up scheming to find a major power in which to ally with in order to prevent its empire from being broken up.  The Young Turks approached almost all the great powers only to be turned down. No one thought the Ottoman Empire was worth partnering with – it didn’t seem like it had much to offer and was considered insignificant because the war’s strategic importance currently centered on the western and eastern fronts within mainland Europe.

However, this all changed when Germany learned that Britain was about to deliver two top-of-the-line battle cruisers to Turkey.  If Germany could add these to their own arsenal, it may be some benefit to the overall war effort. So, the Young Turks found their ally in Germany. (Even though right after the treaty was signed, it was learned that Winstin Churchill, then Lord of the Admiralty, had decided not to deliver the two warships and witheld them for Britain’s own use.)

During and after the war, the great powers continued to deal with each other for the rights to occupy and control certain areas within the Ottoman Empire. Britain sought to control Palestine by partnering with Zionists who wanted to settle a new Jewish home land. In Jordon and Iraq, Britain installed Hashemite leaders Abdullah and Feisal Hussein, sons of Hussein bin Ali, Emir of Mecca, within the Hejaz region of what is today, Saudi Arabia.

In Persia there were conflicts between Britain and the new Soviet Russia. Britain had installed a subsidized ruler, Ahmed Shah, along with a powerful military leader, Reza Khan. Nevertheless, the Persians formally cut ties with Britain and signed treaties with Soviet Russia instead. It was a similar situation for Turkey and Afghanistan – Soviet Russia entreated with them and denied British desires.

Britain faced challenges from France on control of Lebanon and Syria. Britain had attempted to install Feisal, but France was able to dethrone him and take complete control of the area.

On a quest for imperialism on the field of the Great Game, the western powers have created all the problems we see in the middle east today.  The peace settlements at the end of World War I, which divided up the Ottoman Empire’s lands, truly was A Peace to End All Peace.