30/05/2016

Don’t listen to the ruling elite: the world economy is in real trouble - by Andy Xie

Jeff Fitchett: This is a good article and worth a quick read.

The G20 working group meeting in Shanghai didn’t come up with any constructive proposals for reviving the global economy and, instead, complained that the recent market turmoil didn’t reflect the “underlying fundamentals of the global economy”. The oil price has declined by 70 per cent since June 2014, while the Brazilian real has halved, and the Russian rouble is down by 60 per cent. The global economy is on the cusp of another recession, and these important people blamed it all on some sort of psychological problem of the people.
Over the past two decades, the global economy has been blessed with the entry and participation of 800 million hard-working Chinese, plus the information revolution. The pie should have increased enough in size to make most people happier. Yet, the opposite has happened. The world has gone from one crisis to another. People are complaining everywhere. This is due to mismanagement by the very people who attend the G20 meetings, the Davos boondoggle, and so many other global meetings that waste taxpayers’ money and put inept leaders in the limelight.
One major complaint that people have is that the system is rigged – that is, the rising income concentration is not due to free market competition, but a rigged system that favours the politically powerful. This is largely true. The new billionaires over the past two decades have come mostly from finance and property. Few made it the way Steve Jobs or Bill Gates did, creating something that makes people more productive.

28/05/2016

The Billionaires Are Wrong on Gold - by Nick Barisheff

Jeff Fitchett: This is an excellent article and I believe it is a must read for precious metals investors.  

Recently the mainstream media has reported that several billionaires are concerned about global financial markets and have purchased significant amounts of gold to protect their portfolios.

Take Stan Druckenmiller, the famed hedge fund manager who managed money for George Soros as the lead portfolio manager for Quantum Fund. He and Soros famously ‘broke the Bank of England’ when they shorted the British pound sterling in 1992, reputedly making more than $1 billion in profits. He has reportedly used over $323 million of his own money to invest in gold.  This is approximately a 30% allocation in his $1-billion family fund. His belief in gold can be attributed to his criticism of the Federal Reserve’s massive money printing and near-zero interest rates. Ongoing low rates will drive both central banks and investors into gold.

Then there’s John Paulson, the CEO of Paulson & Co., which manages over $18 billion in assets invested in credits default swaps. The company has made about $15 billion in profits by betting against subprime mortgages.  In 2015 Paulson invested about $900 million in gold at close to what now appears to have been the bottom of the three-year correction. He believes gold has a place in portfolios as insurance against the unexpected. “We view gold as a currency, not a commodity,” Paulson said recently. “Its importance as a currency will continue to increase as the major central banks around the world continue to print money.”

Typically the billionaires are ahead of the curve, making their investments before the market recognizes the trend, and increasing their wealth while everyone else wonders what happened….



23/05/2016

Understanding Societal Collapse - Fernando "FerFAL" Aguirre with Chris Martenson

Jeff Fitchett: This is an excellent interview. Chris and Fernando "FerFAL" Aguirre discuss the collapse of Venezuela, issues in Argentina, Brazil as well as other countries and they discuss the importance of preparing.


21/05/2016

Rejected: Central States Fund Proposes 60% Pension Cuts, Treasury Dept Says “Not Enough”; 407,000 Affected - by Mike Shedlock

Jeff Fitchett: Every defined benefit pension plan is going to suffer the same fate as the Central State Fund.  DB pensions are ponzi schemes given that the first person in is the first person to be paid out.  Employees who join the plan years later will never receive the promised pension payments because actuarial assumptions are flawed.   

Courtesy of Mike (Mish) Shedlock

407,000 private sector workers are about to lose most of their pensions.
The Central States Pension Fund, which handles the retirement benefits for current and former Teamster union truck drivers across various states applied for reductions under that law.
Currently the plan pays out $3.46 in pension benefits for every $1 it receives from employers. That’s a drain of $2 billion annually.
The plan filed for 60% cuts in pensions. The Treasury Department has the final say. The verdict came in today: “cuts not deep enough”.

19/05/2016

US Dollar Going to be Kicked Off its Perch - Rob Kirby with Greg Hunter

Jeff Fitchett:  This is a good interview with Rob Kirby.  He provides his assessment on macro-economics, geo-politics and precious metals.

Click to watch the interview

17/05/2016

A day in the life - by Jeff Fitchett

As each day comes and goes the world trudges along a path that is leading to significant trouble.  At each turn, systems are breaking down.  Decision makers in government and in the corporate world are focused on short term gains.  Some of these individuals understand that time is running thin and they are taking advantage by grabbing the last scraps from a world that is buckling under the weight of a failed civilization.  Most people are unaware of how perilous our situation is and they continue to whistle past the grave yard as they go about their day.

People in positions of power and authority strive to belittle any factual points that stray from the official narrative.  Obama's statement, about anyone who says that the US economy is not strong is peddling fiction, is one of the most flagrant examples of an authority figure misleading the public.

Denigrating a person's view or belief system is a common practice from individuals that strive to take from others.  The financial industry is one of the most rapacious sectors of our economy today.  The official meme is that we are in a new normal whereby central bankers manage the economy by injecting trillions of low or negative interest rate dollars into the system in an effort to keep the popular belief system intact.

Sadly, the masses are unaware and rally around false prophets that promise hope and change.  The final outcome is predictable because we can look at history as our guide.  Populations throughout the ages have suffered similar situations when empires collapse, wars break out and famine occurs.

There are many examples of how the changing world will impact each of us.  Venezuela is in the midst of experiencing societal collapse.  Many resource rich countries, like Venezuela, will suffer the same fate.  

Our way of life is predicated on debt.  Debt gives us the illusion that we are prosperous and infallible.   The end of the line is upon us.  How much proof is required for the masses to understand this point? Truthfully, it doesn't matter what others think.  What is important is your understanding and what you do about it.  

Furthermore, too often we focus on trivial aspects of life and miss the good stuff that is love, relationships and tranquility.  There is so much more to living than being absorbed with economic conditions, presidential races and consumer materialism.  

We each have one kick at the can in life.  Take a step back and reflect on what is truly important and blaze a path that reflects a life that is worth living.  



15/05/2016

Gerald Celente - Trends In The News - "Retail Sales Down, Worst Yet To Come?" - (5/12/16)

Jeff Fitchett: This is a good assessment of economic conditions in the US.  Gerald does a great job discussing retail sales.  This video is worth a watch: Click to watch Gerald Celente

14/05/2016

Trivium Analytics Canada - Weekly Review - May 13, 2016

A hero is someone who understands the responsibility that comes with his freedom.”

Bob Dylan

“If there is ever a tomorrow that we are not together, there is one thing you should always remember.  You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.  But the most important thing is: even if we’re apart, I will always be with you in the heart.”

Winnie the Pooh
General Thoughts

Control is a fickle thing.  We live in a world that is increasingly becoming more chaotic and dog eat dog.  Every day we observe interactions between people that are blatantly one sided from a domination perspective.  The tone and underlying aggression is easy to witness from an outsiders perspective.  The dominant person gains energy from the subservient person. 

It’s interesting to witness and reflect on how energy shifts between individuals.  Recently I have had to deal with a person who holds a position in upper management of a large Canadian bank.  The guy is a sociopath.  He operates with an air of imperviousness.  He is condescending, arrogant and thinks of himself as righteous.  His shortsighted policies help the bank profit near term as immediate cost cutting measures give the illusion of long lasting savings.

When individual people are negatively impacted by the actions of management or people in positions of power, it leaves the impacted individuals with few options to ponder.  Do they give up and wallow in their misfortune or do they assess the situation, and take the appropriate course of action?

I find it fascinating to interact with incredibly callous people that do not realize that their actions will ultimately lead to their demise.  The old saying, “cutting one's nose off to spite their face” rings true. 

I’ve commented in recent weekly reviews that there are times in each of our lives in which we need to take the hard road and right a wrong.  To go further, it is important for each of us to be proactive and take responsibility for our own actions.  Realize how much power you hold. Every moment gives you an opportunity to do right.  

I look forward to elaborating on this evolving story over the 

coming weeks.  I am confident that an invigorating story is emerging.  

Gold Update

Gold and silver make so much sense to me.  When I contemplate the options available to me and everyone else I know; I always end up concluding that gold and silver are hard assets that are undervalued in our current paradigm.  Think about it for a moment.  Real estate has long been viewed as a store of value.  I do not believe current prices represent a store of wealth because there are too many people living in homes that they should not be able to afford.  Wages have been dropping while home prices have been increasing.  Furthermore, lending standards have deteriorated remarkably and interest rates are at all time low levels.  Interest rates are supposed to represent the amount of risk associated with lending to borrowers.  You can’t possibly tell me that borrowers today are in better shape, financially, than individuals 30 years ago.  30 years ago we still produced things.  Back then there were no free trade deals that stole our manufacturing jobs and offshored them to lower wage  jurisdictions.  

Stocks are ridiculously overvalued  Check out the chart below.  I really don’t need to add any other words to support my argument.  (courtesy of Bullion Management Group) 

S&P 500 ratios have been greater than today’s level only 1.2% of the time since 1871.  

Perhaps this time is different? Of course this time is not different. 

The moment you hear from a mainstream media pundit parroting any phrase pertaining to the broad based equity markets offering value and opportunity; I caution you to take what you have been told with a grain of salt.

Bonds offer little opportunity given that we are in the greatest bubble in human history.  Sure, near term very bright bond managers can maneuver through the mine field of options, but the list of people capable of navigating murky waters is quite petite.  

Most other commodities do not represent value because derivative paper contracts traded by algorithms, speculative traders and too big to fail banks have rigged prices that do not reflect the premise of economics 101: Supply and Demand.  

Some people may argue that currencies are a store of value.  Fiat currency is either paper or a digital entry.  Enough said. Fiat currency lost its way as soon as central banks began printing it out of thin air.  Governments have exceeded their ability to tax the population because there are too many people collecting benefits from a shrinking population of private sector workers.  There are more corporate deaths than corporate births.  Put differently, more companies are failing than starting up.  Private sector employers and workers provide the funds to support the hulking beast that is government and entitlement benefits.  The argument that; ‘we paid into pensions and other benefits’ does not hold water because the promises cost much more than what was paid in by entitlement benefit receivers.  I encourage you to study your CPP statement and notice what you paid into the pension plan over the years.  Contrast that amount with what you have been promised in the future.  You will see what I mean.  

Food is a good investment, but it’s not practical to purchase with ones life savings.  Investing in ways to save money is also good option, but overall it is not practical if you have a significant amount of savings.  Gold and silver production are unable to increase much because most of the ‘low hanging fruit’ has pretty much been picked decades ago.  Newer technologies are helping to meet demand, but any minor increase in demand will exceed supply.  Not only that, but gold has all of the key hallmarks for an asset that is a store of wealth and medium of exchange.  We are living in a period of time in which the emperor is being exposed for not wearing clothes.  Politicians, mainstream media and central bankers are losing the confidence of the masses. 

This is going to be an explosive era.  There is so much change taking place right now.  I encourage you to think for yourself, reach out to people you trust and do what is right.

According to the World Gold Council global gold demand in Q1: 

– Gold was a top-performing asset in Q1 – up 17% in USD terms
– Gold demand surged to the second-highest level ever - highest since Q4, 2012
– Overall demand for Q1 2016 increased by 21% to 1,290t, up from 1,070t in Q1 2015.
– Global investment demand was 618t, up 122% from 278t in the same period last year.
– UK gold investment demand surges 61% – low base to 3.2 tonnes
– EU gold demand very robust at 58.4t and Germany remains largest buyer in EU
– Central bank demand dipped slightly to 109t in Q1 2016, compared to 112t in the same 
   period last year.
– Total consumer demand (primarily jewellery) was 736t down 13% compared to 849t in Q1 
    2015.
– Global jewellery demand fell 19% to 482t versus 597t in the first quarter of 2015
– Demand in the technology sector fell 3% to 81t in Q1 2016.
– Total supply was up 5% to 1,135t in Q1 2016, from 1,081t in the first quarter of 2015. Mine 
   supply was up 8% to 774t.


Andrew Jackson Gets Booted from the $20 Bill – Here’s What He Had to Say About Central Banking - by Michael Krieger

Jeff Fitchett: I always appreciate Michael’s informative articles.  It’s interesting to note how historical figures viewed central banks and fiat currency.  

The paper system being founded on public confidence and having of itself no intrinsic value, it is liable to great and sudden fluctuations, thereby rendering property insecure and the wages of labor unsteady and uncertain. The corporations which create the paper money can not be relied upon to keep the circulating medium uniform in amount. In times of prosperity, when confidence is high, they are tempted by the prospect of gain or by the influence of those who hope to profit by it to extend their issues of paper beyond the bounds of discretion and the reasonable demands of business; and when these issues have been pushed on from day to day, until public confidence is at length shaken, then a reaction takes place, and they immediately withdraw the credits they have given, suddenly curtail their issues, and produce an unexpected and ruinous contraction of the circulating medium, which is felt by the whole community. The banks by this means save themselves, and the mischievous consequences of their imprudence or cupidity are visited upon the public. Nor does the evil stop here. These ebbs and flows in the currency and these indiscreet extensions of credit naturally engender a spirit of speculation injurious to the habits and character of the people. We have already seen its effects in the wild spirit of speculation in the public lands and various kinds of stock which within the last year or two seized upon such a multitude of our citizens and threatened to pervade all classes of society and to withdraw their attention from the sober pursuits of honest industry. It is not by encouraging this spirit that we shall best preserve public virtue and promote the true interests of our country; but if your currency continues as exclusively paper as it now is, it will foster this eager desire to amass wealth without labor; it will multiply the number of dependents on bank accommodations and bank favors; the temptation to obtain money at any sacrifice will become stronger and stronger, and inevitably lead to corruption, which will find its way into your public councils and destroy at no distant day the purity of your Government. Some of the evils which arise from this system of paper press with peculiar hardship upon the class of society least able to bear it. A portion of this currency frequently becomes depreciated or worthless, and all of it is easily counterfeited in such a manner as to require peculiar skill and much experience to distinguish the counterfeit from the genuine note. These frauds are most generally perpetrated in the smaller notes, which are used in the daily transactions of ordinary business, and the losses occasioned by them are commonly thrown upon the laboring classes of society, whose situation and pursuits put it out of their power to guard themselves from these impositions, and whose daily wages are necessary for their subsistence. It is the duty of every government so to regulate its currency as to protect this numerous class, as far as practicable, from the impositions of avarice and fraud. It is more especially the duty of the United States, where the Government is emphatically the Government of the people, and where this respectable portion of our citizens are so proudly distinguished from the laboring classes of all other nations by their independent spirit, their love of liberty, their intelligence, and their high tone of moral character. Their industry in peace is the source of our wealth and their bravery in war has covered us with glory; and the Government of the United States will but ill discharge its duties if it leaves them a prey to such dishonest impositions. Yet it is evident that their interests can not be effectually protected unless silver and gold are restored to circulation.

– From Andrew Jackson’s Farewell Address, March 4, 1837


Chart Of The Day - by James Quinn

Jeff Fitchett: The future does not look bright for the majority of people. Canadians are not sitting any better than our American neighbours.  Click here to read Mr. Quinn’s article




Chaos & Volatility On The Rise: The systems that support us are breaking down
by Chris Martenson

Jeff Fitchett:  Chris Martenson is spot on with his assessment!

No, that’s not a ‘click bait’ sensationalist title. Things are getting ‘weird’ out there if you’re trying to be polite, and downright 'chaotic' if you're being blunt.  Everywhere we look, we see signs that the systems that support us are breaking down. 

The economy no longer spins off enough surplus for the elites to take what they consider their share with enough left over for everyone else.  So the wealth gap grows unchecked into politically and socially destabilizing levels.

The oceans are rapidly dying off: with corals bleaching, tide pools acidifying, and phytoplankton disappearing.  Weather weirdness is now so entrenched that all of the 50, 100 and 500-year events that happen each week are mainly reported on locally and garner little national and international attention.

Financial markets are increasingly volatile and dominated by an unruly universe of computer algorithms that now mainly play against each other, having driven off all the humans. 

Politically, we're seeing the former fringes of both parties increasingly come into power as they appeal to increasingly disenfranchised and disappointed electorates.

All of these are signs that the status quo has failed and continues to fail us. But the form of power expressed by our so-called ‘leaders’ today seems nearly incapable of healthy introspection coupled to correct action; preferring instead to do more of the same things that got us into this mess in the first place.

Those of us who can read the signs for what they are, not what we wish or believe them to be, have a special duty to first prepare ourselves for what's coming and then help others. To put on our own oxygen masks first, and then help the others around us.


Awakening to a Stark Reality - by Max Igan

Jeff Fitchett: This is a very important and well written article by Max Igan and posted by Zen Gardner.  I highly recommend their work and appreciate all that they do in the betterment of our civilization. 

People in the modern world are quite literally waking up in droves and it’s really no surprise. For many it comes as a slow or perhaps even a sudden realization that something is terribly wrong. And it soon becomes apparent what the problem is. 

Click to continue reading

Have a nice weekend!

Jeff Fitchett B.A., FMA, CIM
Analyst - Trivium Analytics Canada
226-448-4747
jeff.fitchett@triviumanalytics.ca 

12/05/2016

Awakening to a Stark Reality - by Max Igan

Jeff Fitchett: This is a very important and well written article by Max Igan and posted by Zen Gardner.  I highly recommend their work and appreciate all that they do in the betterment of our civilization. 
Guest Contributor, ZenGardner.com
People in the modern world are quite literally waking up in droves and it’s really no surprise. For many it comes as a slow or perhaps even a sudden realization that something is terribly wrong. And it soon becomes apparent what the problem is.
In the world we now see before us in 2016, western governments have ceased even pretending they actually care what the people want or think or that they are going to bother even being nice anymore. In “response” to the recent events in Paris and Brussels, governments around the world have seized upon the opportunity to ramp the police state up at home as much as they can get away with. They have been almost falling over themselves to blanket the world with new legislation, they have been feverishly working to merge all global data gathering and retention into one massive global surveillance grid – to keep the people safe of course.
Through the never ending fear of terrorism the media constantly and methodically pushes into people’s minds since the attacks of 9-11, thus serving to make a stronger police presence more acceptable, our governments have eagerly and effectively removed almost every right from the populace in virtually all western countries. The interesting thing in them doing so however, is that if one speaks to people it becomes very apparent that it is not terrorism that now concerns the everyday suburban family, but rather the “protective measures”  their government is introducing. Yet it is a self-fulfilling prophecy because if the actions of the Government themselves, in their great rush to lock their countries down before the population wakes up and realizes the place is run by criminals, which is awakening the people to just how corrupt their governments actually are.
It has been something of a global phenomena. Where once neighbours would sit around discussing the local gossip or what one or two of their peers may be up to, now talk around the kitchen table turns more to matters of state, the oppressively brutal nature of modern police and the fact that maybe all those conspiracies the people down the road were talking about for all those years, weren’t just “theories” after all. And this is becoming the norm for more and more families in more and more countries. Now, at last, people can generally see that something is terribly wrong. It’s no longer something to speculate as being a possibility. Now it is an openly apparent and starkly visible problem that very much needs to be dealt with.
 The question of course is how exactly are we to do so?
The one thing this society promotes in the minds of the populace is division. It may not appear to be that way on the surface, in fact Government and mainstream propaganda would have people believing the opposite, yet it exists in all aspects of our social structures. It exists in the very concept of a class based system. When one steps back and really begins to see this and notice how this divisionism programming is running subtly, like an underlying tone flowing beneath what is seen on the surface of society, you then begin to notice it everywhere. And there is a clue in the fact that so much effort is undertaken to push this divisionism, isolated mind set at into the hearts of the people. And that is because the parasites who rule this world know that were the people ever to recognize themselves and unite with each other, then their days of controlling this world come to a very swift close.  And it has always been this way, though in many ways in the modern world, keeping the people divided and fighting amongst each other has been taken to an entirely new level.
There were times in the past when people still communicated about real things in a real way. There were times when the entire town would meet to discuss things and decide upon their future. Then came the invention of television and almost over a very short time things began to change. Suddenly people did not need to go out and attend local meetings or be active in the affairs of the community at large, almost overnight they could be “up to date” on everything local, and then some, simply by staying home and tuning in to their favourite news personality who was always sure to keep them informed on all the “important stuff”.  And if it doesn’t make the news, well then quite obviously, it can’t really be that important. And what is the television “news” these day? It is little more than a shock and awe fear-fest. A carefully designed programming of constant fear, repeatedly punctuated with all the reasons you need government to protect you and all the reasons why you should join the military machine and go kill people abroad in order to keep things safe at home.
It is a continuous message delivered by all available mediums. It comes to us via television and newspapers, via media and games and Government, it is spoon fed to us subliminally in magazines, in movies and education, and it is always a repackaging of the very same thing: These are  dangerous times, war, famine, disease, global warming, comet impact, swine flu, Ebola, solar flares, imminent nuclear disasters and earthquakes, refugees, migrants, terrorism, ISIS, Al Qaeda,  Russia, China, Venezuela, Iraq, Iran, Syria, whoever, those guys over there who look funny, the “Muslims”,  world war 3… Always remain constantly aware that you are not safe, fear and terror lurks around every corner, you are just a little person, you are powerless, you can do nothing about anything, you are completely helpless without your government to protect you and most importantly that war brings peace.
The rise of the Military Industrial Complex has brought about vast changes to the manner in which business is conducted these days. In the past weapons were manufactured when they were needed as wars and conflicts developed. In modern times wars and conflicts are manufactured to keep up with weapons manufacture. After all, it’s no use making all those bullets and bombs if there is no one to kill with them, and these things have a shelf life. It’s all about the economics of it all and people are expendable. The world is overpopulated anyway… isn’t it?
This type of a mind-set and our constant believe in the economic value of everything has brought about some of the most severe situations ever seen. The list of environmental disasters for example, simply due to corner cutting and the desire to increase profits, has been almost unimaginable. From oil spills, water contamination through fracking, to situations such as the one still ongoing in Fukushima Japan, the list goes on and on and on. And always at the heart is the need for profits and to exalt the economic model of reality above all else.
It is this type of mind-set that has to stop.
Another huge issue we face in any attempt to overcome our current dilemma is peoples ingrained belief in authority and their willingness to follow orders at whatever the cost. Order followers have hugely contributed to our planetary woes whether they may realize it or not because in regard to human issues and the natural law of right and wrong, whenever any order is given, there comes with any following of that order, a grave moral responsibility. It is peoples placing aside of their morals wherein lies the problem. If people are required to deviate from their own moral compass to follow any order, then that order should be questioned and the moral right should hold precedence.
Though this is the way things are done these days, people’s willingness to step outside their moral compass is really the heart of the problem. Those people who are so programmed into following orders regardless of the consequences to humanity. Those whose belief in authority runs so deep that they will discard their fellow man in order to support a system that has lost its way and no longer serves the people it was constructed to protect.
In such a situation, it really comes down to the rest of us to shake the order followers out of their programming. There are a variety of ways this can be done but the simplest is to approach these people from a more human perspective. This is done, not by appealing to their humanity, but rather by stepping into your own and realizing that all you are dealing with is people. Employees in fact. Those who have been elected to office and tasked with the responsibility of managing our infrastructure in a responsible manner. They are nothing more, and when we approach such people in this manner, the barriers break down. Another method that must be employed is to remove support from such people. Remove support from order followers and those who engage in immoral and destructive activities as part of their “job”. If your partner is engaged in a form of work that is unethical, that supports a further consolidation of government power or is in any way destructive to people or the environment, tell them they need to find another job or find another partner. Make a stand on your own turf in your own home and help those around you come to realize that a stable future can only come from an empowered people and not via a controlling government.
The world is indeed facing difficult times, but all is certainly not yet lost. A great awakening is indeed taking place and we are on the verge of a very new reality. It can still go either way sure, however the overall positive attitude of many people in defiance of what we are facing is a very encouraging sign. People can see things as they really are now and in general, the people have had enough. If we can maintain our decency, not allow the reactionary monkey mind to control our actions and keep our focus where it is needed, on empowering ourselves and those around us then the 2016-2017 period could be a very good year indeed. Naturally it will be what we choose to make it and what we have the very real opportunity to choose here, is the time when mankind reclaimed their home and led the world and its creatures back to their natural state of abundance.
We simply have to make the choice.
In Lak’ech
Max Igan
+++

10/05/2016

Gold & The Endgame For The Stock Market - Mike Maloney

Jeff Fitchett: This is a good 8 minute presentation.  Mike discusses Stan Druckenmiller's recent warning to equity investors.


With A Historic -150% Net Short Position, Carl Icahn Is Betting On An Imminent Market Collapse - by ZeroHedge

Jeff Fitchett: This article is a quick read and worth a gander.

Over the past year, based on his increasingly more dour media appearances, billionaire Carl Icahn had been getting progressively more bearish. At first, he was mostly pessimistic about junk bonds, saying last May that "what's even more dangerous than the actual stock market is the high yield market." As the year progressed his pessimism become more acute and in December he said that the "meltdown in high yield is just beginning." It culminated in February when he said on CNBC that a "day of reckoning is coming."
Some skeptics thought that Icahn was simply trying to scare investors into selling so he could load up on risk assets at cheaper prices, however that line of thought was quickly squashed two weeks ago when Icahn announced to the shock of ever Apple fanboy that several years after his "no brainer" investment in AAPL, Icahn had officially liquidated his entire stake. 
As it turns out, Icahn's AAPL liquidation was just the appetizer of how truly bearish the legendary investor has become.

08/05/2016

Somnolent Europe, Russia, and China — Paul Craig Roberts

Jeff Fitchett: I appreciate Dr Paul Craig Roberts' assessment of serious geopolitical issues.  This is worth a read.

On September 19, 2000, going on 16 years ago, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard of the London Telegraphreported:
“Declassified American government documents show that the US intelligence community ran a campaign in the Fifties and Sixties to build momentum for a united Europe. It funded and directed the European federalist movement.
“The documents confirm suspicions voiced at the time that America was working aggressively behind the scenes to push Britain into a European state. One memorandum, dated July 26, 1950, gives instructions for a campaign to promote a fully fledged European parliament. It is signed by Gen. William J. Donovan, head of the American wartime Office of Strategic Services, precursor of the CIA.”
The documents show that the European Union was a creature of the CIA. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/1356047/Euro-federalists-financed-by-US-spy-chiefs.html
As I have previously written, Washington believes that it is easier to control one government,
the EU, than to control many separate European governments. As Washington has a long term investment in orchestrating the European Union, Washington is totally opposed to any country exiting the arrangement. That is why President Obama recently went to London to tell his lapdog, the British Prime Minister, that there could be no British exit.
Like other European nations, the British people were never allowed to vote on whether they were in favor of their country ceasing to exist and them becoming Europeans. British history would become the history of a bygone people like the Romans and Babylonians. 
The oppressive nature of unaccountable EU laws and regulations and the EU requirement to accept massive numbers of third world immigrants have created a popular demand for a British vote on whether to remain a sovereign country or to dissolve and submit to Brussels and its dictatorial edicts. The vote is scheduled for June 23.
Washington’s position is that the British people must not be permitted to decide against the EU, because such a decision is not in Washington’s interest.
The prime minister’s job is to scare the British people with alleged dire consequences of “going it alone.” The claim is that “little England” cannot stand alone. The British people are being told that isolation will spell their end, and their country will become a backwater bypassed by progress. Everything great will happen elsewhere, and they will be left out. 
If the fear campaign does not succeed and the British vote to exit the EU, the open question is
whether Washington will permit the British government to accept the democratic outcome.
Alternatively, the British government will deceive the British people, as it routinely does, and declare that Britain has negotiated concessions from Brussels that dispose of the problems that concern the British people. 
Washington’s position shows that Washington is a firm believer that only Washington’s interests are important. If other peoples wish to retain national sovereignty, they are simply being selfish. Moreover, they are out of compliance with Washington, which means they can be declared a “threat to American national security.” The British people are not to be permitted to make decisions that do not comply with Washington’s interest. My prediction is that the British people will either be deceived or overridden. 
It is Washington’s self-centeredness, the self-absorption, the extraordinary hubris and arrogance, that explains the orchestrated “Russian threat.” Russia has not presented herself to the West as a military threat. Yet, Washington is confronting Russia with a US/NATO naval buildup in the Black Sea (http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2016/05/04/nato-form-allied-fleet-black-sea-plans-fraught-with-great-risks.html ), a naval, troop and tank buildup in the Baltics and Poland (http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/feb/10/uk-to-contribute-five-extra-ships-to-baltic-as-nato-boosts-presence ), missile bases on Russia’s borders, and plans to incorporate the former Russian provinces of Georgia and Ukraine in US defense pacts against Russia. 
When Washington, its generals and European vassals declare Russia to be a threat, they mean that Russia has an independent foreign policy and acts in her own interest rather than in Washington’s interest. Russia is a threat, because Russia demonstrated the capability of blocking Washington’s intended invasion of Syria and bombing of Iran. Russia blunted one purpose of Washington’s coup in the Ukraine by peacefully and democratically reuniting with Crimera, the site of Russia’s Black Sea naval base and a Russian province for several centuries. 
Perhaps you have wondered how it was possible for small countries such as Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yeman, and Venezuela to be threats to the US superpower. On its face Washington’s claim is absurd. Do US presidents, Pentagon officials, national security advisors, and chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff really regard countries of so little capability as military threats to the United States and NATO countries?
No, they do not. The countries were declared threats, because they have, or had prior to their destruction, independent foreign and economic policies. Their policy independence means that they do not or did not accept US hegemony. They were attacked in order to bring them under US hegemony.
In Washington’s view, any country with an independent policy is outside Washington’s umbrella and, therefore, is a threat. 
Venezuela became, in the words of US President Obama, an “unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States,” necessitating a “national emergency” to contain the “Venezuelan threat” when the Venezuelan government put the interests of the Venezuelan people above those of American corporations. 
Russia became a threat when the Russian government demonstrated the ability to block Washington’s intended military attacks on Syria and Iran and when Washington’s coup in the Ukraine failed to deliver to Washington the Russian Black Sea naval base.
Clearly Venezuela cannot possibly pose a military threat to the US, so Venezuela cannot possibly pose an “unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security of the US.” Venezuela is a “threat” because the Venezuelan government does not comply with Washington’s orders.
It is absolutely certain that Russia has made no threats whatsoever against the Baltics, Poland, Romania, Europe, or the United States. It is absolutely certain that Russia has not invaded the Ukraine. How do we know? If Russia had invaded Ukraine, the Ukraine would no longer be there. It would again be a Russian province where until about 20 years ago Ukraine resided for centuries, for longer than the US has existed. Indeed, the Ukraine belongs in Russia more than Hawaii and the deracinated and conquered southern states belong in the US. 
Yet, these fantastic lies from the highest ranks of the US government, from NATO, from Washington’s British lackeys, from the bought-and-paid-for Western media, and from the bought-and-paid-for EU are repeated endlessly as if they are God’s revealed truth. 
Syria still exists because it is under Russian protection. That is the only reason Syria still exists, and it is also another reason that Washington wants Russia out of the way.
Do Russia and China realize their extreme danger? I don’t think even Iran realizes its ongoing danger despite its close call.
If Russia and China realize their danger, would the Russian government permit one-fifth of its media to be foreign owned? Does Russia understand that “foreign owned” means CIA owned? If not, why not? If so, why does the Russian government permit its own destabilization at the hands of Washington’s intelligence service acting through foreign owned media?
China is even more careless. There are 7,000 US-funded NGOs (non-governmental organizations) operating in China ( http://www.globalresearch.ca/china-preserving-sovereignty-or-sliding-into-western-sponsored-color-revolutions/5523019 ). Only last month did the Chinese government finally move, very belatedly, to put some restrictions on these foreign agents who are working to destabilize China. The members of these treasonous organizations have not been arrested. They have merely been put under police watch, an almost useless restriction as Washington can provide endless money with which to bribe the Chinese police. 
Why do Russia and China think that their police are less susceptible to bribes than Mexico’s or American police? Despite the multi-decade “war on drugs,” the drug flow from Mexico to the US is unimpeded. Indeed, the police forces of both countries have a huge interest in the “war on drugs” as the war brings them riches in the form of bribes. Indeed, as the crucified reporter for the San Jose Mercury newspaper proved many years ago, the CIA itself is in the drug-running business.
In the United States truth-tellers are persecuted and imprisoned, or they are dismissed as “conspiracy theorists,” “anti-semites,” and “domestic extremists.” The entire Western World consists of a dystopia far worse than the one described by George Orwell in his famous book, 1984.
That Russia and China permit Washington to operate in their media, in their universities, in their financial systems, and in “do-good” NGOs that infiltrate every aspect of their societies demonstrates that both governments have no interest in their survival as independent states. They are too scared of being called “authoritarian” by the Western presstitute media to protect their own independence. 
My prediction is that Russia and China will soon be confronted with an unwelcome decision:
accept American hegemony or go to war.
NOTE: The Saker’s take on Russian media openness to Western anti-Russian propaganda: http://www.unz.com/tsaker/counter-propaganda-russian-style/