‘Europe Is Screwed’ Says Money Manager Portrayed In 2015 Film ‘The Big Short’

One film I haven’t gotten the chance to see yet is The Big Short. From the IMDb website for the 2015 movie:

Four denizens in the world of high-finance predict the credit and housing bubble collapse of the mid-2000s, and decide to take on the big banks for their greed and lack of foresight.

So imagine my interest when I came across an article a few days ago on The Guardian (UK) website entitled “The Big Short: Is the next financial crisis on the way?” Patrick Collinson wrote on November 19:

In the Oscar-winning The Big Short, Steve Carell plays the angry Wall Street outsider who predicts (and hugely profits from) the great financial crash of 2007-08. He sees sub-prime mortgages rated triple-A but which, in reality, are junk – and bets billions against the banks holding them. In real life he is Steve Eisman, he is still on Wall Street, and he is still shorting stocks he thinks are going to plummet. And while he’s tight-lipped about which ones (unless you have $1m to spare for him to manage) it is evident he has one major target in mind: continental Europe’s banks – and Italy’s are probably the worst

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

An insightful piece, in which Eisman also shares his views on U.S. banks these days. Head on over to The Guardian website here to read it in its entirety.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s note: A qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on material found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. The creator/Editor of this blog is not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information contained herein.)

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Friday, December 2nd, 2016 Banking, Europe, Investing, Stocks, Wall Street No Comments

Indicator Of Illinois Economic Activity Down Third Consecutive Month

Any Illinois readers familiar with the University of Illinois Flash Index? It’s a popular indicator of economic activity in the state. From the website of the Institute of Government and Public Affairs at U of I:

The U of I Flash Index was created in 1995 at the Institute of Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois to provide an instantaneous reading of the performance of the Illinois economy. The index has become the most widely used monthly economic indicator in Illinois, appearing in many newspapers and on broadcast news outlets…

I happened to be listening to WBBM Newsradio (780 AM Chicago) earlier today when it was reported that the U of I Flash Index was down again. From the IGPA site:

The University of Illinois Flash Index for November fell to 104.1 from its 104.3 level in October, marking the third consecutive month of decline in the measure of economic activity in Illinois. The index, published by the University’s Institute of Government and Public Affairs (IGPA), has declined in five of the past six months.

These declines indicate a slowing in economic growth in the state but the economy continues to grow just the same. A Flash Index reading of 100 or below would indicate that the Illinois economy was contracting…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Not exactly what the “Land of Lincoln” needs right now.

You can read the entire report on the IGPA website here.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Friday, December 2nd, 2016 Business No Comments

Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson On Tackling Gun Violence

Yesterday morning while watching the local news I spotted Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson on WGN-TV (Chicago Channel 9) talking about the city’s gun violence. From his exchange with WGN’s Robin Baumgarten and Larry Potash:

BAUMGARTEN: So I heard you mention at the Union Club when you spoke earlier this week that it’s basically about 1,000 gang members or offenders that are causing all these problems. Now when people hear that- why don’t you go arrest those guys? Or are they going to jail and getting back out? What’s happening?
JOHNSON: Well, we’ve gotten real good at predicting who these individuals will be. Unfortunately, we have to work within the framework of a little piece of paper called the Constitution. So we actually have to wait until they do something. So that list that we have is not really for enforcement, but it’s just more of an FYI so we know who the perpetrators are.
POTASH: Lawmakers have been working on a bill to kind of stiffen the penalties for gun possession. What is taking so long with that?
JOHNSON: So we, I’m optimistic that we’ll have it done at the beginning of the year. But in terms of what’s taking so long? I guess they just want to get the language of it right. Because it’s more important to get it right than to rush through it. But we have to do something. Because most of our violence in Chicago is perpetrated by repeat gun offenders. And until we change that culture, that mentality, we’re going to see the same things keep cycling through.
BAUMGARTEN: So ideally what would you like to see, or what is the goal? To have someone who has a gun go to jail for how long? What’s the goal?
JOHNSON: So with this particular piece of legislation, we’re not changing the sentencing years. What we’re doing is giving our judicial partners the wherewithal to be able to sentence them somewhere between the mid-range to high-end of the sentencing guideline, which will be I think the high-end is maybe 14 years. Mid-range will be about 6 years.
POTASH: And why wouldn’t they be doing that already?
JOHNSON: Well, I can’t answer that. That’s a question- that’s a million dollar question. But the fact of it is though we do have to do a better job of holding these individuals accountable for their gun crimes…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)


“CPD Supt. Eddie Johnson on November crime states”
WGN-TV Video

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Friday, December 2nd, 2016 Crime, Legal, Public Safety, Self-Defense No Comments

Martin Armstrong: ‘The United States Will Most Likely Break Apart By 2036’

Back on January 27, 2016, I asked:

Do any readers follow Martin Armstrong, economist at Armstrong Economics (and former chairman of Princeton Economics International Ltd.) and the creator of the Economic Confidence Model? While the jury’s still out on him (for me), I do read his blog almost daily…

I still “read his blog almost daily.” And something Armstrong wrote last week really caught my attention. From “The Termination of Cash Approaching Rapidly”:

I am becoming deeply concerned that the United States is headed into its version of a communist revolution under the label “progressive” and the bankers, who Larry Summers has always supported, will be used as the scapegoat for Wall Street and the “rich” who have to be stripped of their liberty and their money for the “good of the people” as they always say. The United States does not look like it will be a country we can recognize by 2032 if we can even make it past 2024. The United States will most likely break apart by 2036. There are separatist movements rising in many areas from Vermont and Texas to California, who reasons they voted for Hillary not Trump justifying their departure.

The entire purpose of eliminating cash is to strip us of our assets, liberty, and to prevent bank runs. The youth, who have been brainwashed by Bernie Sanders and people like Elizabeth Warren, will turn against the older generation and enslave them if at all possible. This threatens our future with outright civil war. They will not be satisfied until they destroy the freedom of their opposition. It is starting to appear that 2036 is our date with destiny

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

America kaput by 2036- if not earlier?

That’s a pretty disturbing thought. And reading that blog post reminded me of an article I pulled up almost eight years ago on The Wall Street Journal website (my how time flies) by Andrew Osborn, who discussed a similar prediction made by Russian academic Igor Panarin, a former KGB analyst and Dean of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s school for future diplomats (then and now). On December 29, 2008, Osborn wrote:

Mr. Panarin posits, in brief, that mass immigration, economic decline, and moral degradation will trigger a civil war next fall and the collapse of the dollar. Around the end of June 2010, or early July, he says, the U.S. will break into six pieces — with Alaska reverting to Russian control…

California will form the nucleus of what he calls “The Californian Republic,” and will be part of China or under Chinese influence. Texas will be the heart of “The Texas Republic,” a cluster of states that will go to Mexico or fall under Mexican influence. Washington, D.C., and New York will be part of an “Atlantic America” that may join the European Union. Canada will grab a group of Northern states Prof. Panarin calls “The Central North American Republic.” Hawaii, he suggests, will be a protectorate of Japan or China, and Alaska will be subsumed into Russia…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Obviously 2010 came and went… and the good ol’ U.S. of A. remains intact.

But I can’t help but wonder if Panarin’s prediction might not be in the same category as an infamous forecast made by the American financial analyst Meredith Whitney about a wave of municipal defaults. I wrote back on December 22, 2010:

Last night Whitney, now CEO and founder of Meredith Whitney Advisory Group, appeared on CNBC and warned that a wave of defaults by state and local governments in the coming months will cause a sell-off in the municipal bond market, hurting U.S. economic growth and stocks- and causing social unrest

I blogged a year-and-a-half later:

Whitney will eventually be vindicated about the wave of defaults (her timing was just off)…

“Her timing was just off”

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s note: A qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on material found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. The creator/Editor of this blog is not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information contained herein.)

Sources:

Armstrong, Martin. “The Termination of Cash Approaching Rapidly.” Armstrong Economics Blog. 24 Nov. 2016. (https://www.armstrongeconomics.com/world-news/taxes/the-termination-of-cash-approaching-rapidly-the/). 1 Dec. 2016.

Osborn, Andrew. “As if Things Weren’t Bad Enough, Russian Professor Predicts End of U.S.” The Wall Street Journal. 29 Dec. 2008. (http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB123051100709638419). 1 Dec. 2016.

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Peter Schiff Predicts Gold ‘Going A Lot Higher’ As Trump Fed Draws From ‘Well Of QE’

In a post yesterday about Swiss-born investment advisor/money manager Marc Faber, I noted that the the publisher of the monthly investment newsletter The Gloom Boom & Doom Report reportedly told atendees at a recent investment conference that the U.S. economy “is not doing well” and that he predicted U.S. President-elect Donald Trump will be a “Keynesian” and money printer. This reminded me of an appearance last week by fellow “crash prophet” Peter Schiff on the CNBC TV program Futures Now in which the economist, financial broker/dealer, and author talked about a Federal Reserve under a Trump administration. Schiff warned viewers:

I think they’re going to go back to the same monetary stimulus that failed and is the reason that Donald Trump was elected. A lot of people believe that simply electing Donald Trump solves all the economic problems that are the reason that he was elected. But the problems haven’t been solved and they can’t be solved unless we’re willing to bite the bullet and allow a painful economic restructuring that is going to be necessary to pave the way for real economic growth. But I still think we’re going to go back to the “well of QE.” And that we’re going to get more stimulus. We’re going to get another quantitative easing. And I still believe that the Fed might reverse course and start cutting rates again, even as inflation accelerates…


“Huge bond bear market just beginning”
CNBC Video

The CEO of Euro Pacific Capital mentioned earlier in the segment that “inflation is accelerating at a much faster pace than the Fed is nudging up interest rates.” Within such an environment, gold could shine. Schiff added:

Gold benefits from inflation. The only way that you might undermine gold with inflation is if you have a Paul Volcker-style reaction from the Fed where they agressively raise interest rates to try and restrain it. And that’s not even conceivable that we could do that due to the enormity of the debt that we have. So if people understand that yes, we’re going to get more inflation, but there’s nothing the Fed can do about it but make the problem worse, then people see that there’s a lot of reasons to be buying gold. And certainly 1,200 has acted as pretty solid support. So the fact that we pulled back from 1,320-1,330 on the eve of the Trump victory back down to this support I think provides a good buying opportunity for people to buy more gold. Because I do think it’s going a lot higher during the Trump presidency.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s notes: Info added to “Crash Prophets” page. A qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on material found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. The creator/Editor of this blog is not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information contained herein.)

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Chicago: November Murders Double From Last Year

November saw murders in Chicago double from last year. WGN-TV’s Nancy Loo reported this morning:

The latest number only add to an already deadly year. Likely, the worst in two decades. But the numbers for November alone are alarming. According to Chicago Police, there were 77 murders in November- nearly double from last year. And there was a total of 389 shooting victims- that’s 188 more than last November. The murder total for last month is actually more than that of 2014 and 2015 combined. Police say the current violence is fueled by gangs, largely within five police districts on the South and West sides…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)


“Murders in Chicago more than doubled in November, police say”
WGN-TV Video

According to the Chicago Police Department’s CLEARMAP (Citizen Law Enforcement Analysis and Reporting) Crime Summary web tool this morning, the 6th (Gresham), 7th (Englewood), 8th (Chicago Lawn), 9th (Deering), 10th (Ogden), and 11th (Harrison) police districts had the most reported incidents of violent crime in the past 90 days.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Thursday, December 1st, 2016 Crime, Public Safety, Self-Defense No Comments

Prepping: ‘It’s Become Less Out Of The Ordinary, Less Extreme’

Earlier today I stumbled across a pretty decent article about the current state of “prepping” in the United States on the Chicago Tribune website. I say “pretty decent” because I’m so used to seeing “hit job” pieces about the activity in the mainstream media in the past six years I’ve been running this blog.

Cheryl Stritzel McCarthy wrote the article entitled “Prepper movement, while not mainstream, no longer just for doomsday outliers.” In it, she touches on themes including:

-Prepper mindset
-.22 LR ammunition as SHTF currency
-Degrees of prepping
-Operations/Operational security (OPSEC)

Head on over to the Tribune website here to read the entire piece.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Marc Faber Bullish On Gold, Gold Shares, Platinum

Swiss-born investment advisor/money manager Marc Faber was on the CNBC TV show Trading Nation yesterday. The publisher of the monthly investment newsletter The Gloom Boom & Doom Report talked about potential investment opportunities, including precious metals. Dr. Faber told viewers:

As I said last year, precisely a year ago, when Barrick was around $6 and Newmont Mining around $17, I think that gold shares, after the recent correction, are still attractive. Don’t forget, gold has been talked down a lot recently, but the fact is when you say that gold is a currency, what has been the strongest currency on Earth this year? It’s up 11 percent in dollars, 32 percent in British pounds, and in Euros 14 percent. So I don’t think it’s been doing all that badly, even following the recent correction…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

After saying the U.S. economy “is not doing well” and predicting President-elect Trump will be a “Keynesian” and money printer, Faber added:

I would buy gold and platinum– they are depressed.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)


“Marc Faber on stocks, bonds, gold and more”
CNBC Video

Regular readers of Survival And Prosperity know that Marc Faber has been a long-time gold bull. Covering the V International Central and Eastern European Investment Conference in Warsaw, Poland, last Friday (where Faber was the keynote speaker), the Hungarian financial news website Portfolio reported:

Faber is optimistic for gold, arguing it should form a 20% component of a good investment portfolio. As a reserve, he prefers holding bullion to purchasing indirectly via ETFs, but maintains that exchange-traded gold funds are not a bad thing either…

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s notes: Info added to “Crash Prophets” page. A qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on material found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. The creator/Editor of this blog is not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information contained herein.)

Source:

“Marc Faber: Current era of negative rates ‘a historic first.'” Portfolio.hu. 25 Nov. 2016. (http://www.portfolio.hu/en/economy/marc_faber_current_era_of_negative_rates_a_historic
_first.32147.html). 30 Nov. 2016.

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Illinois Gun Dealers Under Legislative Attack

Here’s the latest anti-gun “end-around” being attempted in the state of Illinois. From the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action website Monday:

Last week, state Representative Kathleen Willis filed House Amendment 8 to House Bill 1016, another anti-gun amendment that seeks to over-regulate gun dealers and impose restrictions that could potentially force gun stores to close. House Bill 1016 has been sent to the House floor and could be considered at any time. Your NRA-ILA continues to outright oppose House Bill 1016 and any anti-gun amendment proposed. Please continue to contact your state Representative and politely urge them to OPPOSE House Bill 1016.

The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) licenses and closely monitors all FFLs and strictly enforces any violations of federal law. HB 1016 goes far beyond federal law in its mandatory regulations and red tape imposed at the state level that it would almost assuredly force the closure of most firearm dealers, and prevent prospective owners from opening new ones. This legislation seeks to create so many department divisions, anti-gun 5-member licensing boards, and licensing fees that dealers would be forced to close through oversight by anti-gun appointees or would be priced out of business…

The NRA-ILA offers opponents of HB 1016 a way to take action via their website here.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Chicago Shootings Increase On Long Holiday Weekends Year-Over-Year

Unsurprisingly, an awful lot of people were shot in Chicago over the long Thanksgiving weekend. From the HeyJackass! website (“Illustrating Chicago Values”):

Thanksgiving Stupidity…
Final Stupidity Tally: 11 killed, 64 wounded
2015 Thanksgiving weekend: 9 killed, 22 wounded
2014 Thanksgiving weekend: 5 killed, 23 wounded
2013 Thanksgiving weekend: 4 killed, 12 wounded

(Editor’s note: Three “kills” over the 2016 holiday weekend were police-involved shootings)

Notice the spike in shootings from just a year ago? Looking at the HeyJackass! data, I noticed year-over-year increases also took place on other long holiday weekends in Chicago, including Memorial Day (75 shot in 2016, 32 in 2015), July 4th (67 shot in 2016, 66 in 2015), and Labor Day (66 shot in 2016, 56 in 2015).

The trend is not Chicago’s friend here.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Wednesday, November 30th, 2016 Crime, Public Safety, Self-Defense No Comments
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