Free - Beyond Collapse

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The New Libyan Central Bank-The Other Side of NWO

The rebels in Libya are in the middle of a life or death civil war and Moammar Gadhafi is still in power and yet somehow the Libyan rebels have had enough time to establish a new Central Bank of Libya and form a new national oil company. Perhaps when this conflict is over those rebels can become time management consultants. They sure do get a lot done. What a skilled bunch of rebels - they can fight a war during the day and draw up a new central bank and a new national oil company at night without any outside help whatsoever. If only the rest of us were so versatile! But isn't forming a central bank something that could be done after the civil war is over? According to Bloomberg, the Transitional National Council has "designated the Central Bank of Benghazi as a monetary authority competent in monetary policies in Libya and the appointment of a governor to the Central Bank of Libya, with a temporary headquarters in Benghazi." Apparently someone felt that it was very important to get pesky matters such as control of the banks and control of the money supply out of the way even before a new government is formed.


Of course it is probably safe to assume that the new Central Bank of Libya will be 100% owned and 100% controlled by the newly liberated people of Libya, isn't it?


Most people don't realize that the previous Central Bank of Libya was 100% state owned. The following is an excerpt from Wikipedia's article on the former Central Bank of Libya....



The Central Bank of Libya (CBL) is 100% state owned and represents the monetary authority in The Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya and enjoys the status of autonomous corporate body. The law establishing the CBL stipulates that the objectives of the central bank shall be to maintain monetary stability in Libya , and to promote the sustained growth of the economy in accordance with the general economic policy of the state.


Since the old Central Bank of Libya was state owned, it was essentially under the control of Moammar Gadhafi.


But now that Libya is going to be "free", the new Central Bank of Libya will be run by Libyans and solely for the benefit of Libyans, right?


Of course it is probably safe to assume that will be the case with the new national oil company as well, isn't it?


Over the past couple of years, Moammar Gadhafi had threatened to nationalize the oil industry in Libya and kick western oil companies out of the country, but now that Libya will be "free" the people of Libya will be able to work hand in hand with "big oil" and this will create a better Libya for everyone.


Right?


Of course oil had absolutely nothing to do with why the U.S. "inva---" (scratch that) "initiated a kinetic humanitarian liberty action" in Libya.


When Barack Obama looked straight into the camera and told the American people that the war in Libya is in the "strategic interest" of the United States, surely he was not referring to oil.


After all, war for oil was a "Bush thing", right? The Democrats voted for Obama to end wars like this, right? Surely no prominent Democrats will publicly support this war in Libya, right?


Surely Barack Obama will end the bombing of Libya if the international community begins to object, right?


Obama won a Nobel Peace Prize. He wouldn't deeply upset the other major powers on the globe and bring us closer to World War III, would he?


Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has loudly denounced "coalition strikes on columns of Gaddafi's forces" and he believes that the U.S. has badly violated the terms of the UN Security Council resolution....



"We consider that intervention by the coalition in what is essentially an internal civil war is not sanctioned by the U.N. Security Council resolution."


So to cool off rising tensions with the rest of the world, Obama is going to call off the air strikes, right?


Well, considering the fact that Obama has such vast foreign policy experience we should all be able to rest easy knowing that Obama will understand exactly what to do.


Meanwhile, the rebels seem to be getting the hang of international trade already.


They have even signed an oil deal with Qatar!


Rebel "spokesman" Ali Tarhouni has announced that oil exports to Qatar will begin in "less than a week".


Who knew that the rag tag group of rebels in Libya were also masters of banking and international trade?


We sure do live in a strange world.


Tonight, Barack Obama told the American people the following....



"Some nations may be able to turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries. The United States of America is different."


So now we are going to police all of the atrocities in all of the other countries around the globe?


The last time I checked, the government was gunning down protesters in Syria.


Is it time to start warming up the Tomahawks?


Or do we reserve "humanitarian interventions" only for those nations that have a lot of oil?


In fact, atrocities are currently being committed all over Africa and in about a dozen different nations in the Middle East.


Should we institute a draft so that we will have enough young men and women to police the world with?


We all have to be ready to serve our country, right?


The world is becoming a smaller place every day, and you never know where U.S. "strategic interests" are going to be threatened next.


The rest of the world understands that we know best, right?


Of course the rest of the world can surely see our good intentions in Libya, can't they?


Tensions with Russia, China and the rest of the Arab world are certainly going to subside after they all see how selfless our "humanitarian intervention" has been in Libya, don't you think?


In all seriousness, we now live in a world where nothing is stable anymore. Wars and revolutions are breaking out all over the globe, unprecedented natural disasters are happening with alarming frequency and the global economy is on the verge of total collapse.


By interfering in Libya, we are just making things worse. Gadhafi is certainly a horrible dictator, but this was a fight for the Libyan people to sort out.


We promised the rest of the world that we were only going to be setting up a "no fly zone". By violating the terms of the UN Security Council resolution, we have shown other nations that we cannot be trusted and by our actions we have increased tensions all over the globe.


So what do all of you think about what is going on in Libya? Please feel free to leave a comment with your opinion below....


Original Article

Breaking News-NWO:The Real Reason They Want Gaddafi Gone From Libya

The Coalition of Globalists are not interested in sheltering the Libyan people from Muammar al- Gaddafi. The no-fly zone and attacks on the Libyan military by NATO and U.S. have nothing to do with democracy and free elections.


It’s about oil – and who owns it.


In 2009 Gaddafi Proposed Nationalizing Libya’s Oil majorforeign


In 2009, Gaddafi uttered the “N” word – nationalization. Not only for Libya’s oil, but all oil in the region. For the globalists, this made Gaddafi a dangerous mad dog renegade who needed to be replaced.


“The oil-exporting countries should opt for nationalization because of the rapid fall in oil prices. We must put the issue on the table and discuss it seriously,” he declared. “Oil should be owned by the State at this time, so we could better control prices by the increase or decrease in production.”


Predictably, Gaddafi’s pronouncement set off alarm bells at Anglo-Dutch Shell, British Petroleum, ExxonMobil, Hess Corp., Marathon Oil, Occidental Petroleum and ConocoPhillips, the Spanish Repsol, Germany’s Wintershall, Austria’s OMV, Norway’s Statoil, Eni and Canada’s Petro Canada.


The year before, the Libyan state oil company, National Oil, prepared a report on the subject in which officials suggested modifying the production-sharing agreements with foreign companies in order to increase state revenues, according to a report posted on the Pravdawebsite.


After implementing contract changes, Libya gained 5.4 billion dollars in oil revenues.


Gaddafi’s plan was reported on by Reuters and the corporate media.


In addition to calling for nationalization, the Libyan leader called for support of his proposal to dismantle the government and to distribute the oil wealth directly to Libya’s 5 million citizens.



State bureaucrats, however, rejected the idea because they feared for the loess of their cushy jobs and also feared the wrath of transnational oil corporations and the banks that own them.


Prime Minister al-Baghdadi, Ali al-Mahmoudi and Farhat Omar Bin Guida, of Libya’s Central Bank, told Gaddafi the measure would wreck the country’s economy in lead to “capital flight,” in other words the globalists pulling their money out of the country.


“The Administration has failed and the state’s economy has failed. Enough is enough. The solution is for the Libyan people to directly receive oil revenues and decide what to do with them,” Gaddafi said in a speech broadcast on state television. To this end, the Libyan leader urged a radical reform of government bureaucracy.


The government, however, voted to reject Gaddafi’s plan to turn ownership of the country’s oil over to the people. 64 ministers from a total of 468 Popular Committee members voted for the measure.


“My dream during all these years was to give the power and wealth directly to the people,” said Gaddafi in response to the rejection.


In 1953, the United States and Britain plotted to overthrow the democratically elected government of Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh, who had promised to nationalize the British-owned Anglo-Iranian Oil Company and give the profits to the Iranian people. Mosaddegh attempted to negotiate with the AIOC, but the company rejected his proposed compromise.


In order to sell a coup, Britain persuaded Secretary of State John Foster Dulles that Iran was going over to the Soviets. Then president Truman was cool to the idea, but in 1953, when Dwight D. Eisenhower became president, the UK convinced him to a joint coup d’├ętat. The CIA was dispatched to destabilize the country, get rid of Mosaddegh, and install the brutal dictator Mohammad-Reza Shah Pahlavi and his secret police, the SAVAK.


For the mistake of suggesting oil profits be returned to the Libyan people, Muammar al-Gaddafi is now suffering a likewise fate.

Original Article

Monday, March 21, 2011

Top 10 Economic Disasters That Threaten The World


2011 has already been the most memorable year in ages and we haven't even reached April yet. Revolutions have swept the Middle East, an unprecedented earthquake and tsunami have hit Japan, civil war has erupted in Libya, the price of oil has been soaring and the entire globe is teetering on the brink of economic collapse. It seems like almost everything that can be shaken is being shaken. Unfortunately, it does not appear that things are going to settle down any time soon. The Japanese economy has been dealt a critical blow, the European sovereign debt crisis could flare up again at any moment and the U.S. economy could potentially plunge into another recession by the end of the year. The global economy and world financial markets were really struggling to recover even when things were relatively stable. If all of this global instability gets even worse it could literally rip world financial markets apart.



Yes, things really are that bad. The mainstream media has been really busy downplaying the economic impact of the disaster in Japan and the chaos in the Middle East, but the truth is that these events have huge implications for the global economy. Today our world is more interconnected than ever, so economic pain in one area of the planet is going to have a significant effect on other areas of the globe.



The following are 10 economic disasters which could potentially rip world financial markets to shreds....



#1 War In Libya



Do you think that the "international community" would be intervening in Libya if they did not have a lot of oil? If you actually believe that, you might want to review the last few decades of African history. Millions upon millions of Africans have been slaughtered by incredibly repressive regimes and the "international community" did next to nothing about it.



But Libya is different.



Libya is the largest producer of oil in Africa.



Apparently the revolution in Libya was not going the way it was supposed to, so the U.S. and Europe are stepping in.



Moammar Gadhafi is vowing that this will be a "long war", but the truth is that his forces don't stand a chance against NATO.



Initially we were told that NATO would just be setting up a "no fly zone", but there have already been reports of Libyan tank columns being assaulted and there has even been an air strike on Moammar Gadhafi's personal compound in Tripoli.



So since when did a "no fly zone" include an attempt to kill a foreign head of state?



Let there be no mistake - the moment that the first Tomahawk cruise missiles were launched the United States declared war on Libya.



Already the Arab League, India, China and Russia have all objected to how this operation is being carried out and they are alarmed about the reports of civilian casualties.



Tensions around the globe are rising once again, and that is not a good thing for the world economy.



On a side note, does anyone recall anyone in the Obama administration even stopping for a moment to consider whether or not they should consult the U.S. Congress before starting another war?



The U.S. Constitution specifically requires the approval of the Congress before we go to war.



But very few people seem to care too much about what the U.S. Constitution says these days.



In any event, the flow of oil out of Libya is likely to be reduced for an extended period of time now, and that is not going to be good for a deeply struggling global economy.



#2 Revolutions In The Middle East



Protests just seem to keep spreading to more countries in the Middle East. On Friday, five Syrian protesters were killed by government forces in the city of Daraa. Subsequently, over the weekend thousands of protesters reportedly stormed government buildings in that city and set them on fire.



Things in the region just seem to get wilder and wilder.



Even in countries where the revolutions are supposed to be "over" there is still a lot of chaos.



Have you seen what has been going on in Egypt lately?



The truth is that all of North Africa and nearly the entire Middle East is aflame with revolutionary fervor.



About the only place where revolution has not broken out is in Saudi Arabia. Of course it probably helps that the United States and Europe don't really want a revolution in Saudi Arabia and the Saudis have a brutally effective secret police force.



In any event, as long as the chaos in the Middle East continues the price of oil is likely to remain very high, and that is not good news for the world economy.



#3 The Japanese Earthquake And Tsunami



Japan is the third largest economy in the world. When a major disaster happens in that nation it has global implications.



The tsunami that just hit Japan was absolutely unprecedented. Vast stretches of Japan have been more thoroughly destroyed than if they had been bombed by a foreign military power. It really was a nation changing event.



The Japanese economy is going to be crippled for an extended period of time. But it is not just Japan's economy that has been deeply affected by this tragedy.



According to the Wall Street Journal, the recent disaster in Japan has caused supply chain disruptions all over the globe....




A shortage of Japanese-built electronic parts will force GM to close a plant in Zaragoza, Spain, on Monday and cancel shifts at a factory in Eisenach, Germany, on Monday and Tuesday, the company said Friday.




Not only that, GM has also suspended all "nonessential" spending globally as it evaluates the impact of this crisis.



The truth is that there are a whole host of industries that rely on parts from Japan. Supply chains all over the world are going to have to be changed as a result of this crisis. There are going to be some shortages of certain classes of products.



Japan is a nation that imports and exports tremendous quantities of goods. At least for a while both imports and exports will be significantly down, and that is not good news for a world economy that was already having a really hard time recovering from the recent economic downturn.



#4 The Japan Nuclear Crisis



Even if the worst case scenario does not play out, the reality is that the crisis at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant is going to have a long lasting impact on the global economy.



Already, nuclear power projects all over the world are being rethought. The nuclear power industry was really starting to gain some momentum in many areas of the globe, but now that has totally changed.



But of much greater concern is the potential effect that all of this radiation will have on the Japanese people. Radiation from the disaster at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant is now showing up in food and tap water in Japan as an article on the website of USA Today recently described....




The government halted shipments of spinach from one area and raw milk from another near the nuclear plant after tests found iodine exceeded safety limits. But the contamination spread to spinach in three other prefectures and to more vegetables — canola and chrysanthemum greens. Tokyo's tap water, where iodine turned up Friday, now has cesium.




Hopefully the authorities in Japan will be able to get this situation under control before Tokyo is affected too much. The truth is that Tokyo is one of the most economically important cities on the planet.



But right now there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding Tokyo. For example, one very large German real estate fund says that their holdings in Tokyo are now "impossible to value" and they have suspended all customer withdrawals from the fund.



Once again, let us hope that a worst case scenario does not happen. But if we do get to the point where most of the population had to be evacuated from Tokyo for an extended period of time it would be absolutely devastating for the global economy.



#5 The Price Of Oil



Most people believe that the U.S. dollar is the currency of the world, but really it is oil. Without oil, the global economy that we have constructed simply could not function.



That is why it was so alarming when the price of oil went above $100 a barrel earlier this year for the first time since 2008. Virtually everyone agrees that if the price of oil stays high for an extended period of time it will have a highly negative impact on the world economy.



In particular, the U.S. economy is highly, highly dependent on cheap oil. This country is really spread out and we transport goods and services over vast distances. That is why the following facts are so alarming....



*The average price of a gallon of gasoline in the United States is now 75 cents higher than it was a year ago.



*In San Francisco, California, the average price of a gallon of gasoline is now $3.97.



*According to the Oil Price Information Service, U.S. drivers spent an average of $347 on gasoline during the month of February, which was 30 percent more than a year earlier.



*According to the U.S. Energy Department, the average U.S. household will spend approximately $700 more on gasoline in 2011 than it did during 2010.



#6 Food Inflation



Many people believe that the rapidly rising price of food has been a major factor in sparking the revolutions that we have seen in Africa and the Middle East. When people cannot feed themselves or their families they tend to lose it.



According to the United Nations, the global price of food hit a new all-time high earlier this year, and the UN is expecting the price of food to continue to go up throughout the rest of this year. Food supplies were already tight around the globe and this is certainly not going to help things.



The price of food has also been going up rapidly inside the United States. Last month the price of food in the United States rose at the fastest rate in 36 years.



American families are really starting to feel their budgets stretched. According to the U.S. Labor Department, the cost of living in the United States hit a brand new all-time record high in the month of February.



What this means is that U.S. families are going to have less discretionary income to spend at the stores and that is bad news for the world economy.



#7 The European Sovereign Debt Crisis



Several European governments have had their debt downgraded in the past several months. Portugal, Spain, Greece and Ireland are all in big time trouble. Several other European nations are not far behind them.



Right now Germany seems content to bail the "weak sisters" in Europe out, but if that changes at some point it is going to be an absolute nightmare for world financial markets.



#8 The Dying U.S. Dollar



Right now there is a lot of anxiety about the U.S. dollar. Prior to the tsunami, Japan was one of the primary purchasers of U.S. government debt. In fact, Japan was the second-largest foreign buyer of U.S. Treasuries last year.



But now as Japan rebuilds from this nightmare it is not going to have capital to invest overseas. Someone else is going to have to step in and buy up all of the debt that the Japanese were buying.



Not only that, but big bond funds such as PIMCO have announced that they are stepping away from U.S. Treasuries at least for now.



So if Japan is not buying U.S. Treasuries and bond funds such as PIMCO are not buying U.S. Treasuries, then who is going to be buying them?



The U.S. government needs to borrow trillions of dollars this year alone to roll over existing debt and to finance new debt. All of that borrowing has got to come from somewhere.



#9 A New Oil Spill In The Gulf Of Mexico?



As if everything above was not enough, there are reports of a possible major new oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The U.S. Coast Guard is on the scene and is investigating. The following is what a new report in the Wall Street Journal says about it....




The Coast Guard said in a news release that it received a report of a three-mile-long rainbow sheen off the Louisiana coast just before 9:30 a.m. local time on Saturday. Two subsequent sightings were relayed to the Coast Guard, the last of which reported a sheen that extended from about 6 miles south of Grand Isle, La. to 100 miles offshore.




#10 The Derivatives Bubble



Most Americans do not even understand what derivatives are, but the truth is that they are one of the biggest threats to our financial system. Some experts estimate that the worldwide derivatives bubble is somewhere in the neighborhood of a quadrillion dollars. This bubble could burst at any time. Right now we are watching the greatest financial casino in the history of the globe spin around and around and around and everyone is hoping that at some point it doesn't stop. Today, most money on Wall Street is not made by investing in good business ideas. Rather, most money on Wall Street is now made by making shrewd bets. Unfortunately, at some point the casino is going to come crashing down and the game will be over.



Most people simply do not realize how fragile the global economy is at this point.



The financial crash of 2008 was a devastating blow. The next wave of the economic crisis could be even worse.



So what will the rest of 2011 bring?



Well, nobody knows for sure, but a lot of experts are not optimistic.



David Rosenberg, the chief economist at Gluskin Sheff and Associates, is warning that the second half of the year could be very rough for the global economy....




"A sharp slowing in global GDP in the second half of the year cannot be ruled out."




Let us hope that the world economy can hold together and that we can get through the rest of 2011 okay. The last thing we need is a repeat of 2008. The world could use some peace and some time to recover.



But unfortunately, we live in a world that is becoming increasingly unstable. With the way that the world has been lately, perhaps we should all just start to expect the unexpected.



But world financial markets do not respond well to instability and unpredictability. In fact, investors tend to start fleeing to safety at the first signs of danger these days.



Most Americans simply have no idea how vulnerable the world financial system is at this point. Nothing really got "fixed" after 2008. If anything, global financial markets are even more fragile than they were back then.



So what do all of you think about the state of the global economy? Please feel free to leave a comment with your opinion below....

Friday, March 18, 2011

Quake Response Puts Yen on the Line


Guest Post
by
Peter Schiff

One of the immediate financial consequences of the catastrophic Japanese earthquake is that Japan needs to call on its huge cache of foreign exchange reserves to rebuild its shattered infrastructure. To pay for domestic projects, Japan will require yen – not dollars, euros or Swiss francs. As a result of these conversions, the yen rallied considerably after the quake struck.

But a surging yen runs counter to the macro-economic currency plans favored by most global economists. In order to maintain Japan's position as a net-exporter of manufactured goods and net-buyer of US debt, the yen needs to stay down. So, the G-7 group of the world's leading economies has intervened in the foreign exchange market by selling yen holdings, thereby pushing the currency down. In the short-term, their efforts appear to have been “successful,” with the yen dropping sharply today.

Theoretically, this action is being taken to preserve export earnings, but this is only a secondary effect. Primarily, in making this move, the G7 is saying that the key to rebuilding Japan's earthquake-ravaged economy is to raise the price of everything it needs to buy.

After all, absolute purchasing power is far more important than nominal export earnings. When the yen gains in strength, Japan earns more dollars from its exports, which could now be used to purchase the raw materials necessary to rebuild its infrastructure. However, by weakening the yen, Japan earns fewer dollars for its exports, increasing the economic burden of reconstruction.

Conventional wisdom is that a weakening currency is a boon for economic growth and exports; however, history does not support this view.

For example, during the 20-year period from 1971 to 1991 – often referred to now as an economic miracle – the Japanese yen tripled in value against the dollar, an average appreciation rate of about 10% per year. This increasing purchasing power enabled the Japanese to enjoy steady economic growth and rising living standards. Over that time, Japan's GDP grew at an average rate of 4.5% and net exports increased fivefold. Government debt as a percentage of GDP fell slightly to about 20%.

Over the following 20 years, from 1991 – 2011, the Japanese economy has been dead in the water. Yen appreciation slowed considerably, with the currency rising by approximately 50% against the dollar, or about 2.5% per year. However, over that time, the Japanese economy and net export growth essentially stagnated, with GDP growing by less than 1% per annum and government debt exploding to over 120% of GDP.

The real problem for Japan is that in the aftermath of the bursting of the stock and real estate bubbles, the Japanese government refused to allow market forces to repair the damage. Instead, it based its foolish approach on restricting the rise in its currency to maintain exports to the United States. In this cart-before-the-horse worldview, Japan assumed its economic growth was a function of its exports. In reality, exports flow from economic growth.

So, in order to engineer an export-led recovery, Japan embarked on an era of central government planning, Keynesian style pump-priming, and nearly endless quantitative easing. The result was disaster. The only bright spot was that the underlying strength of the Japanese economy kept a lid on consumer prices despite all the inflation deliberately created by the Bank of Japan. So even while good jobs have become harder to find, ordinary consumers have had the benefit of falling prices. It is ironic that Japan's "deflation" is cited as the primary cause of its malaise. If Japan's economy had been less efficient, its 20-year malaise would have been accompanied by increasing consumer prices, a.k.a. stagflation. This would have caused much more suffering to the Japanese people.

Still, as a result of its enormous economic policy errors, much of Japan's efforts over the past 20 years have benefitted Americans rather than its own citizens. A tremendous share of their purchasing power was transferred across the Pacific, helping to inflate a bubble economy in the United States. Of course, as the Japanese economy struggled beneath the weight of this massive American subsidy, it gradually passed the baton to China, which for the same foolish reasons was happy to run with it.

The unfortunate reality is that the Japanese government is doing more economic damage to Japan than the earthquake and tsunami did. This new round of inflation will overwhelm the ability of the Japanese economy to offset upward pressure on consumer prices. Combine that with the lost output associated with the quake and the expense of reconstruction, and it becomes evident that inflation will soon become a major threat to Japan. As this realization forces interest rates higher, the cost to Japan of servicing its massive government debt will be crushing.

There is still time for Japan to rethink its self-destructive monetary policy, let its currency rise, and allow its economy to recover. If they do, the US will experience its own disaster as the dollar tanks.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Alert: Global Economic Meltdown In Progress


By Chris Martenson

It is with a heavy heart that I am now issuing the highest level alert to my readers than I have to date. The threshold for an alert is one or more world events that personally cause me to take action.



I'm making this alert publicly available less than 36 hours after releasing it to my enrolled subscribers given its importance and the speed at which events are accelerating.



The substance of this alert centers on the unknown aftershocks that may result from the world's third largest economy, Japan, rapidly shifting from an exporter of funding to a consumer of it. In situations like these, we are by definition operating with incomplete and often confusing information, and events are developing more rapidly than they can be fully analyzed and internalized. We regret in advance any mistakes that we might make due to making calls and decisions in this highly fluid environment.







This alert warns you that major world-changing events are now underway and that your personal preparations for an uncertain future should either be completed or take on a new sense of urgency. On the basis of the information contained here and in the past two days of posts, I am personally ratcheting up my preparations, making purchases, and topping off what needs to be topped off.



Important caveat: At this point in time, I cannot fully support 100% of my concerns with hard data and evidence. Some of what has tipped me into this state of urgency is data, evidence, and stories that I can point to. Some is due to the absence of data or information, the remainder results from watching market gyrations and correlations shift into new patterns, which tell me something is afoot.



I have not been this concerned since October of 2008.





Some Background



Within hours of learning of the event at Reactor 1 in Japan, I had looked at the evidence available, drawn a few conclusions, and then checked to see what the experts were saying. Never quite sure of what sort of personal and/or professional limitations are in play, I rarely start with anyone's assessment but my own. It's part of trusting myself and it has worked remarkably well for me and my subscribers over the years.



Here's what I wrote in the blog on the morning of Saturday, March 12, 2011 on Japan's nuclear incident:





There have been reports from Japan's nuclear agency that radioactive cesium and iodine were detected outside of the facility, which can only happen if the core has been exposed somehow. Perhaps that's all under control now, but the evidence for very high temperatures, the explosion of the containment building, a 12-mile evacuation zone, and the presence of cesium and iodine all indicate that perhaps the complete situation is not being shared with the public.



If you live in Japan, you should be heading well upwind of this facility and have potassium iodide pills on hand. I would personally be reading the wind forecasts and assuring that I was upwind.




My expertise involves making sense of the world in relatively short order. It also helps me smell B.S. remarkably quickly, especially from official sources. The nuclear situation in Japan struck me from the outset as being rather more serious than described, and this has proven true. I take no pride in this particular 'victory,' and instead feel the burden of having to be the bearer of bad news.



The nature of this alert is to let you know that I consider the chance of a renewed round of economic and fiscal crises to result from the chaos that is currently engulfing Japan and the MENA region to be extremely high.



A Global Meltdown



For decades, the world has been running its own nuclear-style reaction, only in the currency and debt markets, where exponentially-accelerating piles of debt and money have spun about faster and faster in a gigantic, complex, coordinated reaction, the core of which is, and always has been, the United States.



At the very center of this ungainly money reactor is the main fuel pile itself, the US Treasury market. With any interruption to smooth flow of money through this pile, it will immediately become unstable.



The threat I see goes like this:



Stage 1: The world watches, riveted, as Japan suffers a tragic and horrible earthquake and tsunami, but as horrifying as these are, they are localized phenomenon affecting a relatively small percentage of the country. The real trouble lurks within damaged nuclear plants, which are now ruined and will never again produce electricity for Japan, creating instant shortages that will take years to remedy. Worse, a dangerous plume of radioactivity is carried south by winds. Tokyo partially empties and shuts down for all practical purposes.



Stage 2: The abrupt slow down of the world's third largest economy alters the smooth flow of cash around the globe, and even causes reversals of some other long-standing flows. Chaotic eddies emerge in a decades-old pattern of ever-increasing flows of money into and out of the money centers, and various carry-trade and other interest-rate-sensitive strategies blow up. Manufacturing in Japan screeches to a halt, disrupting just-in-time manufacturing strategies both internally and across the globe.



Stage 3: In order to fund the rebuilding effort, Japan has to buy a lot of items from foreign suppliers at the same time that its exports plunge precipitously. At first Japan simply does not participate in US Treasury auctions, leading to a shortage of buyers. But eventually Japan has to sell some of its vast hoard of US bonds in order to pay for external items needed for its reconstruction. Further, insurance companies, huge holders of US bonds, face stiff liability claims in the wake of the worst natural disaster to hit a heavily industrialized center and are forced to redeem enormous amounts of Treasury paper. US Treasury yields begin to climb.



Stage 4: Continuing unrest in the MENA region serves to keep oil elevated and local funding needs high, while Europe's weaker players (the PIIGS) continue to slip under the waves. Money continues to ebb away from the US Treasury market. Forced by circumstance, the Federal Reserve reverses its linguistic course and opens the monetary floodgates once again. There's nothing like a crisis to justify more money printing, especially to a one-trick pony (the Fed) that only knows how to stamp its hoof on the 'print' button.



Stage 5: An increasingly chaotic monetary and fiscal situation spills over into the derivatives arena, creating a number of financial accidents. Stressed governments find themselves in more of an arguing mood than a pull-together-and-sing-Kumbaya mood, and agreements are hard to come by. Banks begin to fail again, global trade falls off, unrest continues to build, and then it happens - a currency crisis.



Stage 6: Everything changes. Faster than you think.



I wish I could completely quantify and justify the reason for this assessment, but I cannot at this time. Yes, we've got some very serious market turbulence to point to:





From ZeroHedge:





Japan's nuclear crisis has deepened and we deeply regret to say that there is now the real possibility of a nuclear catastrophe. Investor panic has set in with the Nikkei down over 16.5% in two days and the Topic index down by 17% - its worst two-day loss since the 1987 Wall Street stock market crash.



The cost to insure Japanese debt has surged to a record with credit-default swaps protecting Japanese government debt for five years soaring 27 basis points to a record of 125 basis points.



One UBS trader said that the deteriorating nuclear crisis had led to "near panic across local credit-default swap markets." While most equity indices and commodities have fallen, some sharply, gold has remained resilient and is down 1% in US dollar terms and is higher in Australian dollars which like other so called 'commodity' currencies has come under pressure in recent days.



(Source)




The nuclear meltdown has led to a market meltdown. Market breaks can quickly lead to supply shortages and other unpleasant realities.



Shifting Baselines



The problem with these fast-moving situations is that everything shifts from beneath your feet and events fundamentally change so quickly that you do not have time to adjust properly before the next insult arrives.



For example, I pride myself on ingesting massive amounts of information and processing it logically and relatively completely. But right now I am overwhelmed by too many situations. I should know who the opposition leaders are in Bahrain, how many troops have crossed from Saudi Arabia, what sorts of equipment they brought (as an indication of whether they plan to stay for a little while or a long while), and so forth. But I only know that troops have crossed the border; I consider this to be a bad sign for global oil price stability, but know very little else.



And I am not entirely clear on the inner machinations of the European debt crisis any more. I am completely consumed by following the developing nuclear crisis in Japan and trying to determine how that could, will, should impact our readers in Japan, and the world economic landscape.



The problem is captured perfectly in this post by Debu:





Another slightly surreal day in Tokyo which I largely spent buying food in case we have to stay indoors for an extended period due to fallout and/or if food supplies are disrupted by distribution problems. (I have been remiss in my prepping, I admit. I will spare you my lame excuses as to why.) Near pandemonium in some supermarkets which surprised me given the generally anodyne tone of the reactor situation coverage on the TV. Possibly it is simply worries about empty shelves feeding on itself.



Still, despite the devastation a few hundred kilometres away in the areas affected by the earthquake/tsunami (words fail), in Tokyo we are only inconvenienced in trivial ways. And so, the sense of unreality. There were emails today from my Japanese mates saying they were resigned to there being no hockey for awhile because the rinks will be closed because of the power cuts (and serious damage to the roof of our home rink). Or, whether it is milk is hard to come by (but still lots of wine and whiskey available), or some shops are closed to save power, or limited train service, etc. it is all inconsequential trifles. Given what is happening up north it is enough cause a bit of survivors' guilt.



Many thanks to all on this forum for the info and the insights. It has, and will continue to be I suspect, my best source of information and advice.




One name for this process of only very slowly coming to grips with an enormous change when it happens at a slow enough pace is "shifting baselines." It means that if you had put these same people to sleep a week ago and woke them up today, the shock of the reality of today's situation would immediately jar them into action. But somehow, as things change seemingly gradually from hour to hour and day to day, the change itself can prove oddly paralyzing, and this is because our baselines shift. What would have been abnormal yesterday is normal today.



Last week the residents of Tokyo were sympathizing with the plight of their neighbors to the north, and then they were hearing about some controllable problems with some nuclear plants, and then they were hearing about maybe some more serious difficulties, and today they find themselves scrambling to empty store shelves and get out of Dodge, so to speak.





(Reuters) - Radiation wafted from an earthquake-stricken nuclear power plant toward Tokyo on Tuesday, sparking panic in one of the world's biggest and most densely populated cities.



Women and children packed into the departure lounge at an airport, supermarkets ran low on rice and other supplies and frightened residents, tourists and expatriates either stayed indoors or simply left the city.



"I'm not too worried about another earthquake. It's radiation that scares me," said Masashi Yoshida, cradling his 5-month-old daughter Hana.



The nail-biting eased in the afternoon after Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano appeared on national television saying radiation levels at the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear-power complex had fallen dramatically since morning.



But confidence in the government is shaken and many decided not to take chances, especially after radiation levels in Saitama, near Tokyo, were 40 times normal -- not enough to cause human damage but enough to stoke fears in the ultra-modern and hyper-efficient metropolis of 12 million people.



Many hoarded food and other supplies and stayed indoors. Don Quixote, a multistory, 24-hour general store in Tokyo's Roppongi district, was sold out of radios, flashlights, candles, fuel cans and sleeping bags on Tuesday.



At another market near Tokyo's Yotsuya station, an entire aisle was nearly empty on both sides, its instant noodles, bread and pastry gone since Friday's earthquake and tsunami killed at least 10,000 people nationwide and plunged Japan into a twin nuclear and humanitarian crisis.



(Source)




Time to Prepare



Okay, folks, this is not a drill.



Events have now sped up to the point that we cannot predict what will happen next. At this point a systemic banking crisis, complete political upheaval in one or more countries, a currency crisis, or a debt crisis are all within the realm of the possible.



This is the most difficult Alert I've ever had to write, because I know I have not yet processed all the necessary information to truly assess the risks. I am operating on gut instinct here, and several of you have already reminded me to trust myself. Thank you. That's what I am doing now.



The risks I am most concerned about striking outside of Japan are:





  • A derivative-fueled banking crisis. Another banking crisis could shut down international monetary flows for a period of time, which would severely impact your ability to access your money, conduct trades, or otherwise take care of business.


  • Critical shortages. Already we know that much of Japan's manufacturing output will be crippled for a while due to quake damaged plants being destroyed, workers failing to show up as they attend to their families in a moment of deep crisis, and electricity shortages due to destroyed power plants being taken permanently off-line. How much and which products will be affected will take weeks of effort to discover, as our highly integrated global supply network has an unknowable number of nodes that originate in or pass through Japan.


  • A global GDP insult. Building on the idea of critical supply chain disruptions and shortages, it is a safe bet that the world economy will take a hit now that various products cannot be manufactured and sold. Rather than a gentle slow-down that can be easily managed, the risk I see here is akin to a large wrench being tossed into a delicate transmission. The risk springs less from how much you slow down, but rather how fast you do it. This global GDP hit will further expose the weakness at the periphery, probably taking down the weaker players once and for all.



The main story line here is that Japan is a critical and embedded player in both the financial and productive economies, and it has suddenly, almost instantly, been taken off-line. We don't know what might happen next, but we should be prepared for anything.



My Advice



Recently I had advised readers to be ready for a big downturn linked to the idea of a QE cessation. I am going to retract that somewhat (almost entirely), because this Japan crisis will provide all the political cover necessary for more printing.



Nonetheless, a market rout is on, but for entirely different reasons than I first projected.



At any rate, the time to move to cash from stocks is slipping quickly past, if not already gone, but if you haven't made that move yet, you should consider waiting for the next "Bernanke bounce" in which a few hundred billion are tossed into the kitty to stabilize the markets.



This alert is going to be a living document in the sense that I will be constantly updating it as time goes on and events unfold. The first stage of my advice centers on the basics. You need to have all of your basic preparations completed at this time. Food, water, medical kits, shelter, cash out of the bank, and all the rest should absolutely be in place at this time.



Get the basics done. Now.





  • If you live on the west coast of the US, you must prepare for a fallout event even though this is extremely unlikely due to the distances involved. The concern here is that nearly 40 years of spent fuel is stored onsite and apparently boiling away its water and possibly burning. This means buying KI tablets for at least a week for every member of your family and being prepared to spend up to a week 'taped up' inside your house if it comes to that. Plastic, duct tape, and board games are what you need. I hate having to even suggest this sort of preparation. But while remote, there's always the chance that a quirk in the air flow patterns could lead to less dilution than expected across the ocean and that a relatively small area of the west coast could receive a surprisingly strong concentration of contamination. Again, this is very remote, but so was the idea of four plants all melting down at the same time.


  • Get what cash you can out of the bank. You can always put it back later on. Keep it somewhere safe.


  • Move any money you can from less liquid to more liquid vehicles. You want to be able to access your money in a hurry should that become necessary. Re-read Taking Control of Your Personal Finances if necessary. I outline all the reasons and a few methods for 'becoming more liquid.'


  • Top off your fuel tanks.


  • Buy extra food at the grocery store.


  • Have long-term storage food put aside.


  • Take medicines? Be sure to get extras.



I am still holding onto all of my gold and silver holdings as I cannot imagine any possible policy responses that will bolster anyone's faith in fiat currencies. That said, I am expecting short-term declines, possibly significant, in the US paper price for these metals on the basis of a liquidity crisis skimming the speculative component of their price off the top. I really don't know how much this will be, but it's certainly not insignificant.



When you stock up on things at the store(s), think also about friends family, neighbors, and all the other assorted people you care about who have almost certainly done little or nothing to prepare. What would they like? Don't overlook comfort and luxury items that command a mental premium in a time of crisis. Chocolate comes to mind.



Timing



As always, I have no idea if anything is going to transpire or not, or when. How's that for indecisive? But I can tell you that the pressures are larger than they’ve ever been throughout this long emergency and that conditions are ripe for an avalanche. My sincerest hope is that this will all blow over. But hope alone is a terrible strategy, and so we prepare.



My best guess is that the situation in Japan will unfold over the next two weeks, with a full blown funding and fiscal crisis (of confidence) blossoming there over that time. Already we are seeing credit spreads on Japan's sovereign debt begin to skyrocket, meaning that an increasing chance of a sovereign default is being priced into the debt markets. This is the same dynamic we saw with Greece, then Ireland, Iceland, too, and so on. Only this time it is happening to the world's third largest economy.



Two weeks after that, I expect that the first real product shortages and associated work stoppages will begin to hit the US and European economies. I expect the difficulties to surface first in Europe followed by the US. Somewhere in this zone we will get the next solid commitment to print, print, print, probably as a joint exercise of both continents.



Taken together, I think we've got at least a month until things have shifted enough that preparations will become either difficult or irresponsible.



Use this next month very wisely.



Remember, it's better to be a year early than a day late. So get out there and prepare responsibly.



Above all, it is our duty to remain calm, focused, and helpful to those around us. We are all experiencing anxiety and fear to greater and lesser degrees. It is my hope that we can use the privacy of the comment thread below to work through whatever issues arise for each other, whatever those may be, and to help each other make the best decisions we can in an increasingly chaotic and uncertain environment.



Welcome to the nexus of multiple exponential curves. We always knew things would speed up along the way, and so they have. Let's do the best we can.



Events are unfolding in a manner entirely consistent with the framework I laid out in my recent Guide to Navigating the Coming Crisis. As the report predicts: things are speeding up, events are progressing from the outside in, and soon enough everything will be substantially different than you remember and it won't be completely obvious how that happened due to the phenomenon of shifting baselines. Reading it should be a particular priority for those with family or substantial investments to protect. Click here to read the free executive summary.



Below you will find the original post I started on Saturday, hours after the explosion in the first reactor. It has since become a primary source on the unfolding tragedy for tens of thousands of people around the world - largely due to the extremely knowledgable contributions of experts in the CM.com community. More to come as circumstances develop.



Your faithful information scout,

Chris Martenson







A Note on Prepping Responsibly


To prepare responsibly, you should do it before a crisis hits, when there are plenty of goods, food, and other necessities available for purchase and your purchases actually increase the local resilience of your community. After a calamity has struck, say after the earthquake in Northern Japan, then any buying or accumulating you might do can be perceived as an act of hoarding, something we'd like to see everyone avoid.



If you have not done so, you need to be sure that you have covered all of the basic steps recommended in our What Should I Do? guide.



At the very least, you'll get peace of mind and have the chance to be among the people who are in a position to help others when the time comes. At the most, it could be the difference between a rather miserable piece of time spent wishing you’d done more to prepare and a relatively comfortable stretch of time.







Japan's Evolving Nuclear Accident








An important caveat: This is a developing situation. We are operating on limited information and we run the very strong risk of getting something wrong here. For those of you living in Japan, this is a very serious incident deserving your close attention. For those living in the Americas, this is not yet a source of serious worry, because even in a worst-case scenario, a lot of distance separates the two countries. Dilution, distance, and time all serve to mitigate the effects of accidental radiation release. The latest information from officials is that radiation levels are declining and that a meltdown is not imminent.




There has been a horrible turn of events in Japan with the violent explosion of the building in which reactor 1 of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant was housed. The design of these particular plants includes an inner, very solid steel containment dome. We do not yet have any reliable information about the status of that vessel, but the evidence suggests that the event is not yet contained.


















These three still images from the video show that the reactor housing disappeared in an instant, speaking to an enormously violent explosion.









By appearances, that's pulverized concrete dust, indicating that a violent explosion occurred. We can be certain that the outer containment structure is completely missing.



This is a horrible event.



Right now I am deeply concerned by the lack of information and official stories that simply do not add up. Here's the latest on CNN.com:





(CNN) -- An explosion at an earthquake-struck nuclear plant was not caused by damage to the nuclear reactor but by a pumping system that failed as crews tried to bring the reactor's temperature down, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said Saturday.



Workers at the Fukushima Daiichi plant have begun flooding the reactor containment structure with sea water to bring the reactor's temperature down to safe levels, he said. The effort is expected to take two days.



Radiation levels have fallen since the explosion and there is no immediate danger, Edano said. But authorities were nevertheless expanding the evacuation to include a radius of 20 kilometers (about 12.5 miles) around the plant. The evacuation previously reached out to 10 kilometers.



(Source)




"A pumping system that failed?" Sorry, that one does not pass the logic test.



Point number one, the building utterly vaporized with a visible shock wave. That's no "pumping accident;" that's a massive, high-energy explosion. Point number two, there are only two viable candidates to create that kind of explosive force in this situation: (1) a hydrogen/oxygen explosion and (2) a sudden water-into-steam 'flash boiling' event.



Both point to extremely high temperatures being present. In the first case, the thermal decomposition of water into hydrogen (and oxygen) requires extremely high temperatures, preferably well over 1000 degrees Celsius:





Thermal decomposition, also called thermolysis, is defined as a chemical reaction whereby a chemical substance breaks up into at least two chemical substances when heated. At elevated temperatures water molecules split into their atomic components hydrogenand oxygen.



For example at 2200 °C about three percent of all H2O molecules are dissociated into various combinations of hydrogen and oxygen atoms, mostly H, H2, O, O2, and OH. Other reaction products like H2O2 or HO2 remain minor.



At the very high temperature of 3000 °C more than half of the water molecules are decomposed, but at ambient temperatures only one molecule in 100 trillion dissociates by the effect of heat. However, catalysts can accelerate the dissociation of the water molecules at lower temperatures.



(Source)




This is my favored explanation because of the very brief flash of light seen at the beginning of the explosions sequence (see images below). Hydrogen only very weakly emits light when it burns/explodes, and this is consistent with what was seen. We cannot yet rule anything out, but hydrogen is the most likely culprit in my mind.



On the second possibility, we also see strong evidence for extremely high temperatures:





A steam explosion is a violent boiling or flashing of water into steam, occurring when water is either superheated, rapidly heated by fine hot debris produced within it, or the interaction of molten metals (e.g., Fuel-Coolant Interaction of molten nuclear-reactor fuel rods with water in a nuclear reactor core following a core-meltdown).



Pressure vessels (e.g., Pressurized-Water (nuclear) Reactors) that operate at above atmospheric pressure can also provide the conditions for a rapid boiling event which can be characterized as a steam explosion. The water changes from a liquid to a gas with extreme speed, increasing dramatically in volume. A steam explosion sprays steam and boiling-hot water and the hot medium that heated it in all directions (if not otherwise confined, e.g. by the walls of a container), creating a danger of scalding and burning.



(Source)




Neither of these possibilities square up with the official story that the temperatures are being brought down and that engineers will have things under control in a couple of days. Let us hope and pray that they will, but the shredding of the outer containment building speaks of a situation that is anything but under control.



Again, I rather seriously doubt that flooding the inner steel containment vessel with water will be an easy task, due to physical damage of the pipes, pumps, valves, and other assemblies, which will probably have to be repaired before flooding can commence. Our evidence is the fact that the outer containment building was rather violently destroyed.



Here's a few stills of the shockwave, but I invite you to watch the video, as it is difficult to capture the essence in these stills:













There have been reports from Japan's nuclear agency that radioactive cesium and iodine were detected outside of the facility, which can only happen if the core has been exposed somehow. Perhaps that's all under control now, but the evidence for very high temperatures, the explosion of the containment building, a 12-mile evacuation zone, and the presence of cesium and iodine all indicate that perhaps the complete situation is not being shared with the public.



If you live in Japan, you should be heading well upwind of this facility and have potassium iodide pills on hand. I would personally be reading the wind forecasts and assuring that I was upwind.



If you live on the west coast of the US, you should know exactly where your potassium iodide pills are and have a multi-week supply of them on hand, but this is always true.



There's no word yet on the other three reactors, but let us hope they can be fully and safely shut down and contained.



What we do around here is to prepare ourselves prudently and responsibly for an uncertain future. Nobody could have foreseen the timing and severity of the Japan earthquake, because that's the nature of complex systems, but we can choose to either become minimally prepared or not.



Most choose 'not.'



The Limits of Safeguards and Human Foresight





March 11, 2011



All technology can do in the face of such force is to minimize damage to communities and infrastructure, he said, and “on both of those fronts, we’re never going to be perfect.”



Given the limits of steel and concrete to resist the forces of nature, much depends on people’s own preparedness to face up to disaster — but that mental infrastructure is in even poorer shape than the nation’s roads and bridges. People in the Midwest might have storm cellars to shield them from tornadoes, and those in coastal cities like New Orleans might keep a hatchet in the attic in case they have to chop their way onto their roof after a hurricane. But in most of the country, simple plans that include having a quick-grab case of supplies, medications and important family papers, as well as a plan for reuniting family members who have been separated in a disaster, are distressingly rare, Dr. Redlener said.



Dr. Redlener, the author of “Americans at Risk,” about why the United States is not prepared for megadisasters and what we be done about it, said the biggest problem is a failure to go so far as even Japan has to protect its citizens from natural disasters.



“We seem to not have the ability or the willingness to do that right now,” he said. “At a time when states are facing $175 billion in deficits and the federal government is trying to deal with very compelling issues of long-term debt and deficits, the likelihood of our being able to mobilize the resources to significantly improve disaster readiness is limited.”



And yet there are few issues as important. In a telephone press conference on Friday, W. Craig Fugate, the administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Service, said, “The lesson that you learn from this is that earthquakes don’t come with a warning. And that’s why being prepared is so critical.”




The bottom line here is that it's always good to be prepared in advance, but that it's just not something that people tend to do, no matter which culture they come from. Our prior interview with Dan Ariely went a long way towards explaining why that is.



You can be certain at this stage that there are tens of thousands of families in Japan who are wondering right now why they did not lay in a few minimal supplies like some food, batteries, and stored water that could really ease their current circumstances.



This will also be true for American families when the next big earthquake strikes the US. As we explore in the Crash Course seminar, people change their ways via either insight or pain. Insight would be looking at Japan's current woes and using that information to spur your own preparations. Pain involves waking up in the midst of a crisis wondering why you didn't do anything to prepare.



Update: This just in from the NYTimes:





TOKYO — An explosion at a nuclear power plant in northern Japan on Saturday blew the roof off one building and destroyed the exterior walls of a crippled reactor, but officials said radiation leaks from the plant were receding and that a major meltdown was not imminent.



Government officials and executives of Tokyo Electric Power, which runs the plant, gave confusing accounts of the causes of the explosion and the damage it caused. Late Saturday night, officials said that the explosion occurred in a structure housing turbines near the No. 1 reactor at the plant rather than inside the reactor itself.



The blast, apparently caused by a sharp build-up of pressure after the reactor’s cooling system failed, destroyed the concrete structure surrounding the reactor but did not collapse the critical steel container inside, they said. They said that raised the chances they could prevent the release of large amounts of radioactive material and could avoid a core meltdown at the plant.



“We’ve confirmed that the reactor container was not damaged. The explosion didn’t occur inside the reactor container. As such there was no large amount of radiation leakage outside,” Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said in a news conference Saturday evening. “At this point, there has been no major change to the level of radiation leakage outside, so we’d like everyone to respond calmly.”



(Source)




Despite the apparent official confusion, I'm still going to go with the explanation of a hydrogen explosion, which still speaks of very high temperatures and the likelihood that the temperatures in the steel core are not as well-controlled as is being revealed. This is, of course, raw speculation on my part and should be treated as such.



We'll be posting more as we learn more.

Original Article

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Breaking News: Alarming magnetic field changes signal major quake for West Coast



"The people that say you cannot predict earthquakes, they don't know what they are talking about," Berkland told the Santa Cruz Sentinel during a 2009 interview.

Appearing on late night radio shows for many years, since the great quake and tsunami that struck northeastern Japan the retired geologist has been finding his booking calendar full. His unpronounceable and difficult-to-spell website, syzygyjob.com, has crashed several times after his latest appearances on FOXNews with Neil Cavuto and the popular talk radio host Michael Savage's show.



While Berkland has scored many direct hits with earthquake predictions—they fall within his self-described "seismec window"—his greatest claim to fame was his accurate prediction of the powerful 1989 temblor that rocked San Fransisco four days before it occurred.

Now the earthquake prognosticator admits he's worried about the prospects of a strong quake hitting the West Coast of the US sometime during March 2011, particularly around March 19th.

The "ring of fire" that encircles the Pacific rim includes the region from Alaska south to South America. During the past several years earthquake and volcanic activity has been on the upswing all along the rim except on the northeastern perimeter.

Berkland believes that's about to change. He told as much to Cavuto: "The month of October, March, and April are the three most devastating earthquakes in terms of damage in the San Francisco Bay Area in history. And we are having on the 19th of this month not only the full moon, but within an hour the closest approach of the moon to the earth until the year 2016. The next day is the equinoctial tides. So you're bringing together three of the maximum tide raising forces. We know about the ocean tides. But there is also an Earth tide. And there is a tide in the ground water. All of these help to release sudden, built up strain, and cause earthquakes."

Although thought by many of his peers to be a maverick, Berkland remains unfazed. His track record far outstrips any of his critics.

His approach to predicting earthquakes and volcanic eruptions is certainly non-traditional. Using tidal flooding tables based upon lunar perigees—times when the moon is closest in its orbit to the earth having a measurable impact on gravitational pull—and the bi-monthly alignment of the sun and moon, he calculates percentage risk of probable events in given regions.

He also takes other things into consideration like the measurement of change in the magnetic field that he says are indications of changes in the earth;s core and mantle. Tip offs of such changes can be seen in strange animal behavior such as lost pets and the mass beaching of whales and other sea creatures. Birds also provide clues.

Recent research on the geomagnetic field and its relation to tectonic plates, earthquakes, and volcanic action tends to support his hypotheses.

Berkland says that the approaching seismic window is one of the largest in many years. He sees it developing between the 19th to the 26th of March 2011.

In the FOXNews interview he stressed, "I'm saying we just had a massive fish kill. Maybe a million fish died in Redondo Beach. They had a massive fish sweep in Mexico. We just had a bunch of whales come in close to San Diego."

Berkland is convinced that subtle changes in the magnetic field are the precursors to large earthquakes.

"Changes in the magnetic field often precede larger earthquakes. Most animals have the mineral magnetite in their bodies, including people." Magnetite, a form of ferrous oxide, is very sensitive to magnetic fields.

"Just before the World Series quake," he explained, "there was very unusual beaching of rare whales in the Ocean Beach, in San Francisco. Just after that, an equally rare pygmy sperm whale washed up at Santa Cruz, within about five miles of the epicenter of the World Series quake. That kind of beaching had never occurred before nor since. So we're looking for strange fish coming into from deep water to the shallow water, wild animals coming into cities.

"I used to just scoff at these kinds of things, because I was a mainstream geologist until I found out that earthquakes are fitting a pattern. The big earthquake in the Indian Ocean followed massive beachings of whales in Taiwan—and not [just] Taiwan, but New Zealand and Australia and Tasmania. And then within couple of days, they had a 8.3 in south of New Zealand, and then came the 9.1 in the Indian Ocean, with the big tsunami, on the very day of the full moon."

The last really big quake that occurred on the northeastern rim of the ring of fire occurred in Alaska.

"The previous big quake and tsunami was in Alaska, which was a 9.2 magnitude event, on the day off the full moon, on the 27th of March."

That mega-thrust earthquake, known today as The Great Alaskan Earthquake, hit at 5:36 P.M. Alaska Standard Time on Good Friday, March 27, 1964. The ground split open, highways buckled, entire buildings collapsed and several tsunamis were generated. About 131 people died.

When asked if the quake that's coming will be another 9.0 event, Berkland admitted he just didn't know.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Japan's Economic Collapse Has Begun


The economic collapse of Japan has begun. The extent of the devastation is now becoming clear and many are now projecting that this will be the most expensive natural disaster in modern human history. The tsunami that struck Japan March 11 swept up to 6 miles inland, destroying virtually everything in the way. Countless thousands were killed and entire communities were totally wiped out. So how does a nation that is already drowning in debt replace dozens of cities and towns that have suddenly been destroyed?

Many in the mainstream media are claiming that the economy of Japan will bounce right back from this, but they are wrong. The tsunami decimated thousands of square miles. The loss of homes, cars, businesses and personal wealth is almost unimaginable. It is going to take many years to rebuild the roads, bridges, rail systems, ports, power lines and water systems that were lost. There are going to be a significant number of Japanese insurance companies and financial institutions that are going to be totally wiped out as a result of this great tragedy. Of course in the days ahead the Japanese people will band together and work hard to rebuild the nation, but the truth is that it is impossible to "bounce right back" from such a massive loss of wealth, assets and infrastructure.


Just think about what happened after Hurricane Katrina. Did the economy of New Orleans bounce right back? No, there are some areas of New Orleans today that still look like war zones.

Well, this disaster is much worse.










The truth is that this is going to be one of the defining moments in the history of Japan. Hundreds of miles along the coast of Japan have been absolutely devastated. Authorities are finding it difficult to even get food and water into some areas at this point.




Even before this great tragedy Japan was one of the nations that was on the verge of a national economic collapse. Their economy had been in the doldrums for over a decade and their national debt was well over 200 percent of GDP. Now the Japanese economy has experienced a shock from which it may never truly recover.




The Bank of Japan is already flooding the Japanese economy with new yen, and so we may indeed see some impressive "economic growth" statistics at the end of the year. But just because lots more yen are being passed around does not mean that the Japanese economy is in better shape.




The truth is that a tsunami of yen is not going to undo the damage that the tsunami of water did. A massive amount of Japanese wealth was wiped out by this disaster. An economy that was already teetering on the brink is now very likely going to plunge into oblivion.




















It is fine to be optimistic, but the cold, hard reality of the situation is that this is a knockout blow for the Japanese economy. The extent of the devastation is just too great. This truly is a complete and total nightmare.

The following are 14 reasons why the economic collapse of Japan has now begun....

The Bank of Japan has announced it has decided to flood the Japanese economy with 15 trillion yen. That is the equivalent of roughly $183 billion dollars. This is going to provide needed liquidity in the short-term, but it is also going to set Japan on a highly inflationary course.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 stock average declined by more than 6 percent on Monday. As the full extent of the damage becomes apparent more declines are likely.

Oil refineries all over Japan have been severely damaged or destroyed. For example, six refineries that combine to process 31 percent of the oil for Japan have been totally shut down at least for now.

The damage to roads, bridges, ports and rail systems is estimated to be in the billions of dollars. The damage done to power lines and water systems is almost unimaginable. It is going to take many years to rebuild the infrastructure of Japan.

Right now the flow of goods and services in many areas of northern Japan has been reduced to a crawl, and this is likely to remain the case for quite some time.

Many cities and towns along the east coast of Japan have essentially been destroyed.
Japan's nuclear industry is essentially dead in the water at this point. Even if there is not a full-blown nuclear meltdown, the events that have transpired already have frightened people enough to cause a massive public outcry against nuclear power in Japan.
Japan is going to need even more oil and natural gas in the long run to replace lost nuclear energy production. Prior to this crisis, Japan derived 29 percent of its electricity from nuclear power.

Japan is the second largest foreign holder of U.S. government debt, but that is about to change. Japan currently has about $882 billion in U.S. Treasury bonds and is going to have to liquidate much of that in order to fund the rebuilding of their nation.

Many factories in Japan are closing down at least temporarily. For example, Nissan (NSANY.PK) has shut down four factories and Sony (SNE) has shut down six factories.

Toyota (TM) has shut down all production at its factories in Japan until at least March 16th.
A substantial number of Japanese financial institutions and insurance companies are absolutely going to be devastated by this nightmare.

Japan's budget deficit was already 9 percent of GDP even before this tragedy. Now they are going to have to borrow lots more money to fund the rebuilding effort.
Japan's national debt was already well over 200 percent of GDP even before this tragedy. How much farther into the danger zone can they possibly go?

Sadly, as the economy of Japan goes down it is going to have a huge affect on the rest of the world as well. For example, Japan is no longer going to be able to buy up huge amounts of U.S. Treasuries. So who is going to pick up the slack? Will our government officials beg China to lend us even more money? Will the Federal Reserve just "buy" even more of our government debt?

There are more questions than there are answers, but what is clear is that the Japanese economy has just been dealt an incapacitating blow. Hopefully this tragedy will bring out the best in the Japanese people, but no matter how resilient they are, the truth is that this is something that no nation would be able to bounce back from quickly.

Let us hope that the economic damage from this tragedy will be contained and will not spread to the rest of the world. The global economy is already in enough trouble, and hopefully this tragedy will not cause a cascade of economic failures to sweep the globe.

Original Article

Fukushima Nuclear Meltdown Illustrated in Animation Video

We hear the term nuclear meltdown used over and over this week. But do you know exactly what it is, and specifically how it would work in Japan’s damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant? Here’s a great animation put out by Al Jazeera, which gives you a good understanding of what what a meltdown is.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Utah Re- Establishes Constitutional Money



Two-thousand miles away from Washington, Utah sent a strong message yesterday that the nation’s monetary system is dysfunctional. A bill authorizing gold and silver as legal tender passed the statehouse and with the governor’s signature will become law. This pushback against the Federal Reserve was truly a bottom-up effort, initiated by a group of activists and two freshman legislators keenly aware that the debt-based dollar is a significant drag on the U.S. economy. And it paves the way for more grassroots efforts to challenge the status quo and Ben Bernanke, something previously unthinkable.

In addition to recognizing gold and silver coins as money, the Utah Sound Money Act provides a credit against their capital gains tax liability and instructs a legislative committee to study the establishment of an alternative legal tender system in the state. This legislation is not only a response to the decline of the dollar, but also rooted in the founders’ idea about money which was inscribed in Article I, Section 10 of the Constitution: no state shall “make any thing but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts.”

The federal government abided by this for most of the nation’s history, using hard money in one form or another. The last breaking point was Richard Nixon’s 1971’s measure to suspend the international convertibility of the dollar to gold, a move of desperation that was supposed to be temporary but grew into a policy in its own right defined by the economic micromanagement of the Federal Reserve. Since then, the Fed rather than the marketplace has effectively determined the money supply, leaving a slew of misjudgments that you would expect from a board of economists trying to do the market’s job for it. The paper money system has thus produced lower economic growth, higher unemployment, and higher interest rates.

Gold has historically been the top-ranked monetary commodity for the U.S. and the rest of the world because it lends itself so well to the ideal characteristics of money: limited in supply, recognizable as wealth, and indestructible. Its production tends to be in sync with long-term economic growth, making it the most appropriate constraint on money creation. Currency backed by gold fulfills money’s uses as a medium of exchange, unit of account, and store of value.

History and practicality aside, journalists and policymakers are not below mocking gold as quaint or trivial. Running underneath that is a relatively new interpretation of money as just a mysterious thing rather than a sacred idea. The volatility of the dollar’s value since gold was demonetized has helped strip out the notion of integrity in money. Now it is just another commodity, a market variable, and even a political weapon. Workers, consumers and savers are left to figure out how to manage its fluctuating value with only the assurance of the Fed. The FDIC estimates that more than 25 percent of households in this country are unbanked or underbanked, leaving them with no financial protection against inflation.

With this in mind, Utah took the first step in doing what it could to protect itself against further deterioration of the dollar. The bill’s House sponsor, Republican Brad Galvez, called it “a step in preparedness, a step in security that allows us to be able to hold up our economy as the dollar continues to shrink.” Larry Hilton, a lawyer who drafted the proposal and championed it, said, “Even if our nation is fortunate enough to sidestep the really calamitous consequences our current fiscal and monetary policies engender, sound money just makes sense for Utahns, and all Americans for that matter. It provides the means to opt out of the insidious ‘inflation tax’ that has deprived so many globally of vast amounts of personal wealth.”

The bill has implications across the country. Utah is the first state to pass legislation to counter the Fed, but a dozen others have already proposed similar bills, including Iowa and South Carolina. If more of these states seize on the traction Utah is providing, it would show a groundswell of support for reforming the monetary system. Tea party activists, many of whom are new to politics, have immersed themselves in study of the values of the American founding and the principles of classical economics. Gold-backed money is rooted in both spheres, which is why it is starting to bubble up to the surface of American politics. So used to accepting the deeply-flawed monetary system as beyond the reach of reform, Washington should pay close attention.

Rich Danker is Project Director for Economics at American Principles Project, a Washington-based political organization