Sep 162014
 

(SGS Subscription required) • August Production Decline Was on Top of Downside Revisions to July Activity
• Plunge in Auto Manufacturing Highlighted Poor-Quality Seasonal Adjustments and Difficulties in Inventory Accounting

Sep 162014
 

Submitted by Mike Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

In the past month, a group of radical Islamic extremists based in the Middle East beheaded at least 23 people and enforced a ban on Christianity by arresting a group of people for practicing the faith in a private home.

No, I’m not talking about ISIS. The real culprit is the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, one of the America’s closest global allies.

I have highlighted the inhumanity of the Saudi regime frequently recently in order to demonstrate the incredible hypocrisy of U.S. foreign policy. While America’s phony politicians and useless mainstream media will often hype anti-Chrtistian bigotry and humanitarian issues when it suits the status quo message, the true driver of U.S. foreign policy can be summarized with two words: CORPORATE PROFITS.

Of course, it’s not the average American who benefits from militarty-industrial complex profit margins. No, the American public is offered as a sacrifice on the alter of the cash flows for the 0.01%. The American citizenry is expected to lose its sons and daughters in battle abroad, while surrendering a middle class lifestyle at home, just so the political class and its oligarch masters can add another couple billion to their bank accounts. If American foreign policy actually had an non-economic motive to it, we wouldn’t be close allies with an inhumane feudal kingdom, which was also likely responsible for the attacks of 9/11.

As I have outlined recently:

Saudi Arabia Passes New Law that Declares Atheists “Terrorists”

Meet the U.S. Allies – Saudi Arabia Passes Draconian, Medieval Laws to Crush Dissent

Saudi Man Receives 3 Year Prison Sentence and 450 Lashes for Being Gay

Saudi Human Rights Lawyer and Activist Jailed for 15 Years for Free Speech Under New “Anti-Terror” Law

Two Congressmen Push for Release of 28-Page Document Showing Saudi Involvement in 9/11

While fake “Christian” politicians in D.C. and on television may have no problem ignoring the lack of rights in Saudi Arabia when it comes to atheists and homosexuals, they may have a harder time overlooking the following:

Dozens of Christians arrested at a prayer meeting in Saudi Arabia need America’s help, according to a key lawmaker who is pressing the State Department on their behalf.

 

Some 28 people were rounded up Friday by hard-line Islamists from the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice in the home of an Indian national in the eastern Saudi city of Khafji, and their current situation is unknown, according to human rights advocates.

 

“Saudi Arabia is continuing the religious cleansing that has always been its official policy,” Nina Shea, director of the Washington-based Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom, told FoxNews.com. “It is the only nation state in the world with the official policy of banning all churches. This is enforced even though there are over 2 million Christian foreign workers in that country. Those victimized are typically poor, from Asian and African countries with weak governments.”

 

In Friday’s crackdown, several Bibles were confiscated, according to reports from the Kingdom.

This isn’t just hyperbole from FoxNews either. Human Rights Watch has been all over this for a while and in its World Report for 2013 noted the following:

Saudi Arabia does not tolerate public worship by adherents of religions other than Islam and systematically discriminates against its Muslim religious minorities, in particular Shia and Ismailis. The chief mufti in March called for the destruction of all churches in the Arabian Peninsula. In 2012, authorities made arrests for expression of religious opinion, including, in February, of Hamza Kashgari, whom Malaysia extradited to the kingdom on blasphemy charges related to his fictitious Twitter dialogue with the Prophet Muhammad.

 

In June, prosecutors arrested Ra’if Badawi on the charge of operating the Saudi Liberals website, deemed insulting to Islam. By August, all 35 Christian Ethiopian men and women arrested in December for “illicit mingling” during a religious service had been deported.

 

Saudi Arabia does not allow political or human rights associations. In December 2011, the authorities denied the Justice Center for Human Rights a license, and did not reply to requests for a license by the Saudi Human Rights Monitor, which registered in Canada in May.

Despite all of that Human Rights Watch notes that…

Saudi Arabia is a key ally of the United States and European countries. The US did not publicly criticize any Saudi human rights violations except through annual reports. Some members of the US Congress have expressed skepticism about Saudi’s policy priorities. The US concluded a $60 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia, its largest anywhere to date.

 

The European Union also failed to publicly criticize human rights abuses in the kingdom, although the Subcommittee on Human Rights of the European Parliament in May held a rare hearing on human rights in Saudi Arabia.

If the above was happening in Iran, there would already be American bombs dropping on Tehran. Our foreign policy is a total joke and the whole world knows it.

But don’t worry serfs, at least defense contractor and former Edward Snowden employer Booz Allen Hamilton is making it rain. As I noted on Twitter:

In case you wondered who benefits from ISIS war. Booze Allen Hamilton upgraded on Wall Street due to ISIS earnings: pic.twitter.com/dGg1sZSXjO

— Michael Krieger (@LibertyBlitz) September 15, 2014



Sep 162014
 

In what appears to be an awkward moment of uncomfortable fact, ABC reports satellite imagery reveals an area of about 20 million square kilometres covered by sea ice around the Antarctic continent – the highest level of coverage since records began. This is the 3rd year in a row that the sea ice coverage has reached a record level – increasing at 1.5% each decade since 1979. However, there is another side to this, as the area covered in sea ice expands scientists have said the ice on the continent of Antarctica which is not over the ocean continues to deplete. The climate is changing, one way or the other.

 

 

As ABC reports,

Scientists say the extent of Antarctic sea ice cover is at its highest level since records began.

 

Satellite imagery reveals an area of about 20 million square kilometres covered by sea ice around the Antarctic continent.

 

Jan Lieser from the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) said the discovery was made two days ago.

 

“This is an area covered by sea ice which we’ve never seen from space before,” he said.

 

“Thirty-five years ago the first satellites went up which were reliably telling us what area, two dimensional area, of sea ice was covered and we’ve never seen that before, that much area.

 

“That is roughly double the size of the Antarctic continent and about three times the size of Australia.”

 

 

As the area covered in sea ice expands scientists have said the ice on the continent of Antarctica which is not over the ocean continues to deplete.

 

CEO of the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems CRC, Tony Worby, said the warming atmosphere is leading to greater sea ice coverage by changing wind patterns.

 

“The extent of sea ice is driven by the winds around Antarctica, and we believe that they’re increasing in strength and part of that is around the depletion of ozone,” he said.

 

He said changes to sea ice levels could have implications for the entire Antarctic ecosystem.

*  *  *

So global warming is creating more ice which is a bad thing…



Sep 162014
 

Submitted by Jeff Thomas via Doug Casey’s International Man blog,

[A] crash is coming, and it may be terrific. …. The vicious circle will get in full swing and the result will be a serious business depression. There may be a stampede for selling which will exceed anything that the Stock Exchange has ever witnessed. Wise are those investors who now get out of debt.

The above words could easily have been stated by me or another of the (very) few others who currently predict the coming of crashes in the markets.

But they were not. The statements above were made by investor Roger Babson at a speech at the Annual Business Conference in Massachusetts on 5th September, 1929.

Mr. Babson’s prediction was not a sudden one. In fact, he had been making the same prediction for the previous two years, although he, in September of 1929, felt the crash was much closer.

News of his speech reached Wall Street by mid-afternoon, causing the market to retreat about 3%. The sudden decline was named the “Babson Break.”

The reaction from business insiders was immediate. Rather than respond by saying, “Thanks for the warning—we’ll proceed cautiously,” Wall Street vilified him. The Chicago Tribune published numerous rebuffs from a host of economists and Wall Street leaders. Even Mr. Babson’s patriotism was taken into question for making so rash a projection. Noted economist Professor Irving Fisher stated emphatically, “There may be a recession in stock prices, but not anything in the nature of a crash.” He and many others repeatedly soothed investors, advising them that a resumption in the boom was imminent. Financier Bernard Baruch famously cabled Winston Churchill, “Financial storm definitely passed.” Even President Herbert Hoover assured Americans that the market was sound.

But, 55 days after Mr. Babson’s speech, on 29th October, 1929, the market suddenly went into a free-fall, dropping 12% in its first day.

Today, most people have the general impression that on Black Friday, the market crashed and almost immediately, there were breadlines. Not so. In the Great Depression, as in any depression, the market collapsed in stages. The market did not reach its bottom of 89% losses until July of 1932.

Along the way, thousands of banks and lending institutions went belly-up. Thirteen million jobs disappeared.

And of course, the political leaders of the day did their bit. They implemented knee-jerk “solutions” that actually worsened the situation. Restrictive tariffs, gold confiscation, and a more dominant government were employed, just as they will be this time around.

So, as the market tumbled, we would imagine that Babson came to be praised by Wall Street for his insight, but in fact, the opposite occurred. Having accused him of being utterly incorrect in September, they later accused him of having caused the depression.

So, was Babson’s prediction a lucky guess? Did he simply observe the bull market and arbitrarily predict the opposite of the trend of the day to see what would happen? Not at all.

Such predictions are not guesswork, nor are they attributable to a vision seen in some crystal ball. Such crashes are entirely predictable. When any major bull market becomes overbought; when too many investors begin buying on margin because they can’t come up with the purchase price for stocks; when they then become even more obsessive and borrow money to buy on margin, the market has become a house of cards, waiting for the slightest breeze to come along.

So what do we take away from this? First, we can be certain that as the present-day house of cards begins to shake, there will be no warnings from Wall Street. In fact, quite the opposite. Their bread gets buttered by buyers. They will be adamant (and even, in many cases, truly believe) that the sky is the limit and investors should buy, buy, buy, as there are fortunes to be made by doing so. And investors, watching the rise, will fall all over each other, just as in 1929, buying with both hands.

This time around, the crash and its byproducts will be more extreme than in 1929, as the bubble itself is more extreme. And Wall Street can count on television and a media that has a vested interest in keeping the charade going as long as possible. It will also be more extreme, as the governments of much of the world are now broke and can only worsen their respective economies through the customary “solutions” that governments always employ—tariffs, confiscations, greater government control, etc.

Finally, the aftermath will be more extreme, as—unlike in 1929, when most people actually believed in the government—this time around, there will be dramatic unrest.

Just as in 1929, those who are declaring that “the Emperor has no clothes” are few in number, and their viewpoint is most certainly not put forth in the conventional media. For this reason, it’s understandable that the great majority of people invariably ignore the Babsons of the world as Chicken Littles and blithely charge toward the cliff like lemmings.

Those who do think independently and become convinced that history is repeating itself are focusing their attention on finding a way out of being a casualty in the train wreck that’s coming. This is difficult to do, as invariably, the closer the event becomes, the more difficult it is to swim against the tide. For this reason, even many who conclude that the end is near often fail to act to save themselves and their families.

Internationalisation is both time-consuming and costly. Additionally, it’s lonely, as it’s considered foolish and unnecessary by more than 99% of the population.

The great temptation is to decide, “Maybe it won’t be so bad. Maybe I can live with it.” And in fact, for most people, this will be the prevailing view—that although their personal situation will be diminished in many ways, the crashes will be tolerable.

The question is whether we wish to make the pre-emptive effort to create a life that is far better than tolerable, and possibly even improved, whist the opportunity for doing so still exists.

Editor’s Note: Be sure to check out our free resources and guides for the latest on the best international diversification strategies.



Sep 162014
 

As China’s shift to a consumer economy progresses based on the urbanization of its agrarian ‘poor’ population, an odd thing is happening at the other end of the demographic wealth spectrum. As WSJ reports, nearly half of wealthy Chinese are planning to move to another country within the next five years, according to a new Barclays survey. The top reasons 47% of these individuals – with net worths over $1.5 billion – cite for fleeing China include educational and employment opportunities, economic security, and climate. Ironically, none mentioned ‘running away from potential prosecution for graft’.

 

 

As WSJ reports,

Nearly half of wealthy Chinese are planning to move to another country within the next five years, according to a new Barclays survey.

 

The survey, which questioned more than 2,000 high net-worth individuals with more than $1.5 billion in total net worth, found that 47% of Chinese respondents said they want to move, compared with a global average of 29%.

 

 

Singaporeans were the second-most eager to flee home, with 23% planning to relocate in five years, followed by 20% for the U.K. and 16% for Hong Kong. Indian and American rich are the least likely to move, with only 5% and 6% of respondents saying they would relocate.

 

 

The top reasons Chinese cite for moving abroad are better educational and employment opportunities for children (78%), economic security and desirable climate (73%), and better health care and social services (18%). Hong Kong is their top destination (30%), followed by Canada (23%).

 

*  *  *
If the richest – and therefore ‘smartest’ if we are to believe the two are eqauted – are looking for leave China in such numbers, then why are US investors being piled in? And what do these wealthy people know that the urbanizers do not? For China’s planners, the scent of capital flight is the scariest of all signals when trying to control a populace facing a real estate collapse and credit crisis (having been promised utopia)… that is why this is the scariest chart for China.

*  *  *

It appears that not only is the domestic exodus beginniong but the foreign investment is collapsing.

  • *CHINA’S AUG. FDI FALLS 14.0% FROM YEAR EARLIER (vs +0.8% YoY Exp.!)

This si the worst consecutive monthly FDI plunge since the crisis…