Friday, February 24, 2012
Gathering Economic Storm Front
Guest Post by Charlie McGrath
Is it time to panic? If you listen to the current administration, then the answer is, No. Things are getting better, and an 8.3% unemployment rate proves it.
With the exception of Ron Paul, the GOP candidates seem to be more concerned with reproductive choice and lowering gas prices. In fact, the rhetoric from both 'teams' is about what we'd expect, being that we're headlong into political playtime.
Looking at the world through twisted prism of the mainstream may leave you feeling that things are a bit challenging, but under control. But nothing could be further from the truth. We have a gathering storm front, and it promises to be a vicious storm indeed.
The fact that US military expansion is not the number one story nightly by Western media is utterly amazing. Ron Paul works hard at every opportunity to show how military projection is not only destroying our country financially, but also in the eyes of much of the world we are rapidly turning into the freedom-hating, terror-loving fanatics we claim to be fighting.
This world perception of the U.S. is with good reason: 900 bases in over 100 countries is one reason, but the constant beating of the drums of war is nearly deafening to the rest of the world, yet is barely mentioned on the nightly news or in one of the neverending GOP debates, unless it is in the context of how we need more war.
Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Somalia, Nigeria, Uganda, Yemen, Syria, and the list keeps growing. Iran seemed to have sealed its fate when announcing the end of support of the petro dollar, but of course the public is told it is because they hate freedom, Israel, rights, women, Democracy, Christians, puppies, anything and everything but the truth -- control over the region’s energy resources.
If the tension over the threat of war is bad, then the economic condition of the planet is catastrophic. Countless billions have been spent, swelling 'sovereign' debt globally to save Big Banks from loss; bringing an end to representative Government to most of the world -- that is, of course, unless you can pay to be represented.
Yes the Dow crossed 13,000 -- doubling since 2009 -- and of course things must be better, because we are creating jobs, bringing the unemployed rate to just over 8% right? That's the impression one would get if one was gullible enough to buy into the propaganda. Well not only has the Dow doubled, but so too has the number of folks needing food stamps to feed their families; and, the fact is, it is easy to lower the unemployment rate, just use an eraser. Reduce the participation rate to near four-decade lows and call it job creation. In fact, if we used the participation rate advertised when Obama took office, we would have a U3 number of over 11% unemployed.
Other indicators show we are indeed heading directly into a super storm. One example, the Baltic Dry shipping index recently hit a 25-year low, falling 60% in the first 2 months of this year alone. Even though oil is trading at $100+ a barrel, shipping costs are the same today as 1986.
Perhaps the most ominous sign that geo-political and economic storms are combining to create the perfect storm is that there seems to be a mass exodus of super-elite from high-level positions. Just a few of the recent announcements of the rats fleeing the ship include the resignations of World Bank CEO, Zoellick; Anz Bank CFO Australia; Nicaraqua Central Bank President, Rosales; Credit Suisse Chief, Joseph Tan; German President, Christian Ruff; Royal Bank of Scotland, Australian CEO, Stephen Williams; Kuwait Central Bank CEO; Slovenia’s two largest banks' CEOs; Bank of India CEO, Chaturvedi; and there are even rumors that Lord Blankfein is thinking of hanging it up.
Are all these folks who are doing 'God’s' work getting out of the way of a soon-to-be very unhappy planet, when the average Joe Six-Pack wakes up and realizes he has been totally sold down the river and is now looking for some payback?
Batten down the hatches, folks, we are headed into uncharted waters and it promises to be a rough ride.
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