Ebola Virus Mutating

A lot of people are writing off the threat posed by the Ebola virus these days. I, for one, still remain skeptical. And with good reason. Tulip Mazumdar reported on the BBC website yesterday:

Scientists tracking the Ebola outbreak in Guinea say the virus has mutated.

Researchers at the Institut Pasteur in France, which first identified the outbreak last March, are investigating whether it could have become more contagious.

More than 22,000 people have been infected with Ebola and 8,795 have died in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

Scientists are starting to analyse hundreds of blood samples from Ebola patients in Guinea.

They are tracking how the virus is changing and trying to establish whether it’s able to jump more easily from person to person

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Colin Freeman added on the website of The Telegraph (UK) yesterday:

On Thursday they warned that it was still too early in their research to say whether mutations in the virus thus far would lead to more lethal or infectious strains.

But Dr Anavaj Sakuntabhai, an Oxford-educated geneticist involved in the research, said that claims that the virus might move from being fluid-borne to airborne – and potentially much more infectious – were a near-scientific impossibility.

That theory was voiced last October by Anthony Banbury, the head of the United Nations mission on Ebola, who said it was a “nightmare scenario’ but that it “could not be ruled out”.

However, Mr Sakuntabhai told The Telegraph: “I don’t think is likely. For any pathogen (agent of disease) to change its mode of transmission would it means they would have to adapt to a completely different environment.” He likened it to a fish developing lungs or a human growing gills.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

“He likened it to a fish developing lungs..”

Something that happened 375 million years ago, as the Natural History Museum in London points out on their website:

A few species of fish were the first creatures to evolve lungs.

Arapaima, from the Amazon River, is an example of a fish that evolved a lung-like gas bladder to supplement the oxygen from its gills.

About 375 million years ago, land-living animals began to evolve from a species of lobe-finned fish. All animals with lungs share this common ancestor. This species is now extinct, but the living lungfish are close relatives.

Yep. As much as I’d like to, I wouldn’t be celebrating the demise of this bout of Ebola just yet.

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

Sources:

Mazumdar, Tulip. “Ebola outbreak: Virus mutating, scientists warn.” BBC. 29 Jan. 2015. (http://www.bbc.com/news/health-31019097). 30 Jan. 2015.

Freeman, Colin. “Ebola virus mutating but will not become airborne, scientists say.” The Telegraph. 29 Jan. 2015. (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/ebola/11378361/Ebola-virus-mutating-but-will-not-become-airborne-scientists-say.html). 30 Jan. 2015.

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Saturday, January 31st, 2015 Africa, Emergencies, Health, Preparedness, Science No Comments

JM Bullion Sale: 10 Oz A-Mark Silver Bars Only 79¢ Over Spot Any Quantity

Looking to acquire some silver bullion this weekend? Tucked away in an e-mail I received from affiliate marketing partner JM Bullion (reviewed here) the other day was news of a 10 Ounce A-Mark Silver Bar sale. From the e-mail:

10 oz A-Mark Silver Bars Just $0.79 Over Spot Per Ounce

We are also featuring the 10 oz A-Mark Silver Bar which is available for just $0.79 over spot per ounce. Shipped in brand new condition, each bar is stamped with its .999 fine silver purity mark as well as the mintmark and stamp denoting its ten troy ounces of precious silver.


“10 oz A-Mark Silver Bar ➜ JMBullion.com”
YouTube Video

The JM Bullion website confirms these A-Mark silver bars are available for only 79¢ per ounce over spot, any quantity. It’s also pointed out that this deal is “Available While Supplies Last, Limited Time Only.”

All orders at JM Bullion are shipped completely FREE of charge and include full tracking and insurance.

Click on the banner ad below, where you’ll be taken to the JM Bullion site. Please note that by clicking on the ad and purchasing a product, I receive a commission from the sale.

JM Bullion

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

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Democrats Push ‘New Message’ Of Rebounding U.S. Economy

Big eye roll on my part when I spotted the following on my Internet service provider’s home page this afternoon. Charles Babington of the Associated Press reported Friday:

Democrats’ new message on America’s economic recovery is: We told you so, and we’re going to keep telling you so.

The economy is rebounding on nearly every front, even if the middle class still needs help, and it’s time to tell that story loudly, top Democrats say. That’s the key to reversing their midterm election setbacks, according to a host of House Democrats, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, all of whom came to Philadelphia this week for pep talks and strategy sessions.

“Democrats have to stand up, you’ve got to explain what we did,” Biden said to loud applause Friday. “Be proud of it… We can’t let the Republican Party rewrite history.”

Obama said much the same the night before. “The record shows we were right” the president said, referring to the 2009 stimulus, the bank and auto industry bailouts, and other strategies to pull out the great recession of 2008…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

A couple of thoughts here:

1. The true state of the U.S. economy and larger financial system is worrisome, as the “great recession of 2008” was merely “papered over” (I talk about that enough on this blog on a regular basis that I don’t feel the need to go into it today).

The news radio station I listen to most often in Chicago has been going on and on this week about the U.S. economy being on such strong footing these days. It’s almost as if they (like others in the mainstream media?) are carrying out the marching orders of the Democratic spindoctors to promote this “new message.” It’s been so ridiculous that if you didn’t know any better, you might think you were listening to old newsreels laying it on thick with the propaganda of the day:


“Vintage 1930s Inflation Propaganda”
YouTube Video

2. “We can’t let the Republican Party rewrite history.” “The record shows we were right.” Democrats vs. Republicans. Us vs. Them. Liberals vs. Conservatives. Left vs. Right. Coke vs. Pepsi…

Personally, I prefer RC.

And like that situation with the sodas, two choices often aren’t ideal for me. Particularly when it comes to the major U.S. political parties, who I’ve come to see as merely two “heads” belonging to the same monster (special interests of the rich and powerful).

3. Finally, I’ve said this before but it bears repeating:

Use this economic “rebound”- as much of an illusion as it may be- to your advantage.

Is your employment status less than ideal? You may want to consider improving that situation while “the getting’s good.” Need some extra income? You may want to look at taking on a part-time job while they’re available. Looking to purchase some emergency preps? “The shadow of crisis has passed.” President Obama said so in his recent State of the Union speech. Shop around for discounted gear, supplies, and other items while demand isn’t as strong as it has been lately and will be when hard times arrive down the road.

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

Source:

Babington, Charles. “House Democrats’ new message on the economy: We told you so.” Associated Press. 30 Jan. 2015. (http://finance.yahoo.com/news/house-democrats-message-economy-told-183956034.html). 30 Jan. 2015.

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Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner To Push Drastic Spending Cuts, Sales Tax Hike In Near Future?

Some local news outlets have been giving new Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner a hard time lately, claiming he’s still in “campaign mode” and not providing much in the way of tackling the state’s economic ills.

But yesterday, Illinoisans got a glimpse of one potential measure the Winnetka businessman may turn to for improving the state’s finances. Jessie Hellmann and Ray Long reported on the Chicago Tribune website Thursday:

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner pressed a bit harder Thursday for an expansion of the Illinois sales tax as part of an agenda to right the state’s financial ship.

Using charts and graphs, Rauner explained how surrounding states use broader-based sales taxes than Illinois to take advantage of growing service economies. “We’re not competitive,” Rauner said.

The idea of expanding the state’s sales tax base to include services, such as on auto repairs, dog grooming or haircuts, has been debated in Illinois since the late 1980s. Expansion efforts repeatedly have stalled in the face of heavy resistance, but Rauner outlined how he thinks Illinois is “out of balance” with other states.

“We are not thoughtful about this,” Rauner said, adding that the Illinois sales tax is too high and too narrowly applied.

Expanding the sales tax is one of the few items Rauner repeatedly has mentioned as a part of an unspecific overhaul of the entire tax code, saying Illinois can’t “just nibble around the edges.”

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

It’s going to take a whole lot more than a sales tax hike to turn around the state’s economic fortunes. And Governor Rauner knows that.

So what other measures could be on his agenda for the near-term?

Rich Miller discussed the governor’s visit to the University of Chicago on January 22 and wrote on the Crain’s Chicago Business website the following day:

What is crystal clear is that he won’t ask for any more revenues without first making deep and even drastic cuts.

The new governor pointed to flat population growth and flat job growth as the roots of the problem.

Without “booming” growth, he said, Illinois can never dig itself out of the hole it’s in. And Rauner always HAS said that high taxes are a hindrance to growth.

Rauner singled out two items for his chopping block. First up, Medicaid spending.

“When you realize our job growth is flat, how do you pay for it?,” Rauner said of Medicaid. “I want to do that, but that is not sustainable.” Medicaid, which pays for everything from childbirth to nursing home care, consumes a quarter of the state’s operating budget, and despite some real reforms almost two years ago, costs are continuing to rise. And that’s a problem when next fiscal year’s budget deficit is being pegged at a whopping $9 billion.

Rauner also claimed state employees make too much money, saying they earn more than private sector workers (which AFSCME rejects, pointing to a recent University of Illinois study) and are the third-highest paid in the country. The number of state workers is declining, Rauner noted, but payroll costs are still increasing. Their health insurance is based on “low contributions” from workers, but has a high cost. So, while workers aren’t chipping in much, “you’re chipping in a lot,” he told his audience…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

“Deep and even drastic cuts.” “Expansion of the Illinois sales tax.”

It will be interesting to watch how Illinois Democrats- who hold veto-proof supermajorities in both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly- react to such proposals if Governor Rauner goes this route.

This could get ugly real quick…

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

Sources:

Hellmann, Jessie and Long, Ray. “Rauner presses for sales tax expansion in U. of I. speech.” Chicago Tribune. 29 Jan. 2015. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/politics/ct-bruce-rauner-champaign-appearance-met-0130-20150129-story.html). 30 Jan. 2015.

Miller, Rich. “Watch out: Rauner sharpens his cleaver.” Crain’s Chicago Business. 23 Jan. 2015. (http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20150123/NEWS02/150129882/watch-out-rauner-sharpens-his-cleaver). 30 Jan. 2015.

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Some Housekeeping

I apologize for my blogging being somewhat erratic the last several days on Survival And Prosperity. I’ve been busy taking care of administrative tasks related to this blog and my other Internet-related projects, reading for future book reviews, working on the business roll-out, and some snow removal here and there.

Even though I typically don’t blog here on Fridays anymore, today’s the exception as I get back on track and discuss some potentially worrisome developments for SP readers that have recently come to my attention.

And with that, let’s get started…

Christopher E. Hill
Editor

Friday, January 30th, 2015 Housekeeping No Comments

Girlfriend’s Doctor Visit: ‘Are Firearms Stored In Your Home?’

The other day, my girlfriend went to see her physician in the Chicago suburbs for a routine check-up. Upon arriving, she was handed some paperwork to fill out- including a sheet of questions that didn’t look like it originated from the doctor’s office. At the top of the page was my girlfriend’s name already printed out along with a QR code (that bar code –like thing that smart phones can read), immediately followed by a series of health questions.

Mixed in with those health-related questions was one about seatbelt use. And smoke detectors in the home. Finally, there was this:

Are firearms stored in your home?

Like I said, according to my girlfriend, that page of questions didn’t look like it came from her doctor. Which makes me wonder- who is behind this effort then, and what are they planning to do with the responses to the questions (particularly the one about guns stored in the home)?

For a while now, I’ve known more gun “control” was going to be attempted via the public health (backdoor) route due to recent, well-publicized setbacks on the national level. I suspect this questionnaire (and others like it) are a part of that effort.

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

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Tuesday, January 27th, 2015 Firearms, Government, Gun Rights, Health No Comments

East Coast: Last-Minute Snow, Ice Removal Info From Consumer Reports

“The first flakes ahead of a potentially historic blizzard began swirling through New York City on Monday morning, with forecasters predicting up to 3 feet (90cm) of snow in the coming day and millions of people facing snarled transportation.

The National Weather Service (NWS) issued a blizzard warning for New York City and surrounding areas beginning 1 p.m. EST on Monday, and warned of two days of winter storms across the East Coast, from Pennsylvania to Maine.

Airlines have canceled more than 2,000 flights so far…”

-Reuters.com, January 26, 2015

Considering the ongoing warnings of severe winter weather for the East Coast, I thought I’d get the following last-minute information regarding snow and ice removal out to Survival And Prosperity readers in that area of the country. I hope a number of you find it useful. From the Consumer Reports website:

“Find the best snow shovel”
The right model can take some of the work out of winter cleanup

February 14, 2014

“All you need to know about clearing snow”
Get the most from your snow blower by working with the weather

January 21, 2015

“Snow removal shortcuts that save time and energy”
How to get the most out of your snow blower and snow shovel

March 3, 2014

“Best ice melts review: Top products for your driveway, walkways, and steps”
Use Consumer Reports’ five steps for smarter, safer deicing

February 2014

On the topic of ice melts, while I’ve got a bag in my arsenal, lately I’ve been using sand instead so as to minimize damage to the newer concrete driveway and older sidewalks at my house in the Chicago suburbs. QUIKRETE All-Purpose Sand (bought a 50-lb. bag last week for a little under $3 at the nearby Home Depot) is the brand I went with- and it works really good as traction is concerned. Just be sure to keep the stuff away from drains.

Good luck out there in the eastern United States, stay warm, and stay safe.

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

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Monday, January 26th, 2015 Emergencies, Essential Reading, Weather No Comments

Quote For The Week

“Learning without thought is labor lost. Thought without learning is perilous.”

-Confucius (Chinese philosopher. 551 BC-479 BC)

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

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Monday, January 26th, 2015 Quote For The Week No Comments

GoldSilver.com’s Mike Maloney: Potential Fallout From Unpegging Swiss Franc From Euro

Regular Survival And Prosperity readers may recall that GoldSilver.com used to be an affiliate marketing partner of the blog. Great company (specializes in the instruction of precious metals investing and providing world-class gold and silver dealer services and products), but they pulled the plug on their affiliate marketing program not too long ago. Anyway, I still receive e-mails from the Santa Monica, California-based operation, and yesterday I watched a video by Mike Maloney, the precious metals expert, advisor, and author who heads up the firm. Maloney has been an advisor to Robert Kiyosaki of Rich Dad Poor Dad-fame, and even wrote a book about investing in gold and silver under the Rich Dad’s Advisors series.

Anyway, in that GoldSilver.com video Mike Maloney discussed the potential ramifications of the Swiss franc being unpegged from the euro last week- among other things. Maloney warned viewers:

Back when we were filming Hidden Secrets of Money, when we started filming it, we did the opening sequence. And in there I said, “We’re entering a period of financial crisis that is the greatest the world has ever seen.” And that is happening today. These shockwaves that could cause the Russian- this could cause another Russian Revolution to happen. We have no idea what’s going to happen. But the shockwave of all these things- the deflationary pressure, the Russian crisis that’s going on, commodities falling, and then the Swiss unpegging from the euro- all happening at once. And by the way, there’s bank runs happening right now in Greece, and four of the largest banks in Greece have asked for assistance from the European Central Bank. So, this is all happening at once. What I think is going to happen is this will smooth out for a short period of time, but then it’s going to get worse again. So these shockwaves, this all undermines the trust in central banks and the trust in fiat currencies…

The central banks are now backed into a corner, and everything that I’ve been predicting is starting to unfold here. It’s unfolding very slowly, and on a scale that’s huge. But it’s not going to be slow forever. There’s going to come a day when slow turns into very fast. And a lot of this stuff happens overnight. For instance, the currency unpeg. Nobody knew it was coming- it happened immediately. And so, these things always end up eventually being good for precious metals. I don’t look forward to the economic chaos that we’re about to go through. But, we’ll get through it, and it will be a different world when we come through the other end. Hopefully, what ends up happening, is free enterprise, free markets, capitalism, and sound money win. That would be the best outcome.


“Global Shockwaves To Come From Swiss Currency Bombshell – Mike Maloney.”
YouTube Video

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

(Editor’s note: I am 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 presented herein.)

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Chicago Reader: Did Rahm Emanuel Deliver On Public Safety Campaign Promises?

The Chicago Reader has done a terrific job lately of keeping a tab on public safety in Chicago. And yesterday, the Reader website ran an article entitled “Did Rahm live up to his campaign promises on public safety?” Mick Dumke wrote:

During his first campaign for mayor four years ago, Rahm Emanuel kept talking about police.

He noted as often as he could that his uncle had been a cop on Chicago’s north side. He boasted of his role in crafting the Clinton administration’s 1994 crime bill that funded the hiring of 100,000 police officers nationwide.
And, as the centerpiece of his public safety plan, he vowed to find the money to add 1,000 more officers to Chicago’s force. He said this would prevent crime and improve relationships with the community.

“Police officers will become a presence in the neighborhood rather than only available in response to emergency,” he said.

But within weeks of taking office, Emanuel stopped talking about hiring cops. Instead, over the course of his first term, the number of officers on the force dropped from about 10,900 to 10,600. And the mayor responded to violent crime not by investing in community policing but by calling for stricter gun laws and blaming legislators who balked.

The result after four years: crime totals have fallen, as they have across the country. But Chicago still has more violent crime per capita than New York or Los Angeles, with an average of seven people shot every day…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

A real insightful piece, which can be read in its entirety on the Chicago Reader website here.

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

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Wednesday, January 21st, 2015 Credit, Government, Gun Rights, Public Safety No Comments

Signs Of The Time, Part 82

I had a tough choice to make earlier tonight- either watch President Obama’s 2015 State of the Union Speech, or finish up doing laundry.

After all my clothes were put away, I saw on my Internet service provider’s home page some jibberish about how some “shadow of crisis” had passed. I pulled up a transcript of the President’s speech tonight and sure enough there was this:

America, for all that we’ve endured; for all the grit and hard work required to come back; for all the tasks that lie ahead, know this:

The shadow of crisis has passed, and the State of the Union is strong.

At this moment — with a growing economy, shrinking deficits, bustling industry, and booming energy production — we have risen from recession freer to write our own future than any other nation on Earth. It’s now up to us to choose who we want to be over the next fifteen years, and for decades to come…

Mark my words. The “shadow of crisis” hasn’t passed. It was merely papered over. Keynesian “enlightenment,” government intervention, bailouts, stimulus packages, quantitative easing, QE 1, QE 2, QE 3, willing-and-able presstitutes, and what do we have? The Not-So-Great Recovery. Answer me this- if the economy is so strong, why have interest rates been effectively at zero for how many years now? “But Janet Yellen and the Federal Reserve are going to start raising interest rates soon.” We’ll see, but if they do, I suspect rates will be raised incrementally, and I can’t help but wonder if the next few years won’t resemble the early part of last decade when a housing bubble inflated (and eventually popped) under the guise of a strong economy, but with the Fed slow on the trigger to raise rates and take way the punch bowl. This time around, we could even have multiple asset bubbles (in bonds? housing? stocks?) formed before the next installment of the longer financial crash arrives. Who knows exactly how the next crisis will play out, but I’m pretty sure the end result will be much uglier than the last episode. Not many bullets left for Uncle Sam and the central bank to use.

One more thing. “We have risen from recession freer to write our own future than any other nation on Earth.” God forbid anyone scratch the surface to reveal how many more trillions of dollars of debt has been piled on our financial house of cards in order to kick the can down the road a little bit more. There’s no escaping the fact that the United States is the world’s largest debtor nation. And another inconvenient fact happens to be that taking on significant debt is akin to slavery.

“Freer to write our own future.” If only it were true. Financial reckoning day is more like it.

I’ll leave Survival And Prosperity readers with this. Back in the early 1990s while attending the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign I remember listening to a recording of “The Rat Pack” in action. Frank Sinatra was chiding Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr. Now, the “Chairman Of The Board” made an observation that better describes the situation we’re in than what the President Of The United States said this evening:

You’ve had your fling and you flung it.

Enjoy the “good times” while they last, then prepare to batten down the hatches.


Scene from The Final Countdown (1980)
YouTube Video

Note that it’s not the end of the word I’m talking about here. But things will definitely suck for a while before the economy and society gets better again. By that time, we’ll probably be well on our way to having passed the baton to China.

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

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Helpful Info For Existing/Prospective U.S. BullionVault Users

After ViaMat, one of the world’s leading precious metals storage firms, notified U.S. customers it would discontinue private storage of precious metals for all clients with a U.S. tax liability, some Survival And Prosperity readers may have been under the impression that also applied to affiliate marketing partner BullionVault (reviewed here). Not so. As a matter of fact, today I want to pass along something I spotted on BullionVault’s website recently that might interest certain readers. From the world’s largest online investment gold service:

Help and information for existing and prospective BullionVault users from the United States

Nearly a quarter of BullionVault’s users are from the US. The vast majority of them have found it straightforward to use BullionVault, but there are some common questions which come up from time to time.

This page attempts to answer those common questions and provide links to other sources of information which might be useful to a US citizen/resident.

• BullionVault compared to small bars and coins
• Allocated gold
• Funding your BullionVault account
• Capital Gains tax
• Sales tax
• Reporting
• FATCA
• Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs)

The page can be found under “Help,” “Frequently Asked Questions,” “FAQs: For US Residents” on the BullionVault website, which can be accessed via the banner ad below. Please note that I receive a commission on deposits/trades made after clicking on the link:

BullionVault

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

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Tuesday, January 20th, 2015 Commodities, Investing, Precious Metals No Comments

Peter Schiff: Get Out Of Dollars And Own Gold, Silver, And Stocks In Countries With Much Sounder Economies

Early last month I blogged about an interview series with well-known investor Jim Rogers on the Wall Street Daily website that was conducted by Robert Williams, founder of the Baltimore, Maryland-based investment research/market commentary service. Williams followed that up with a three-part interview of Euro Pacific Capital’s Peter Schiff that began on New Year’s Eve and finished just yesterday. Just like that Rogers series, it was pretty insightful stuff.

On December 31, 2014, the Wall Street Daily published “The Real Earthquake Is About to Hit.” That was followed on January 7, 2015, by “When Will the Dollar Bubble Burst?” From an exchange between Williams and Schiff:

WILLIAMS: So what’s our readers to do with their money, Peter? Their 401(k) s, their retirement accounts, their savings accounts? I mean, the markets aren’t safe, the banks aren’t safe, and the dollar isn’t safe. How can someone possibly protect themselves?

SCHIFF: Well, I mean, there’s no way to protect yourself really from the volatility, because, you know, you gotta be – the volatility’s here, but you know, long term, if you understand what’s gonna happen, then what – it’s pretty easy – what to do, and that’s get out of, you know, dollars, and own gold and silver, and own equity stocks in countries that have much sounder economies, you know, structurally sound economies underlying, you know, their markets and, you know, buy a lot of value. You can’t just buy a lot of hyped-up assets that have been propped up by cheap money and the bubble.

So you have to be in the right asset classes, be in the right currencies, be in the right countries, and I think, in the long run, you know, you’ll come out on top but it’s kinda difficult for a lot of people to do because, in the short run, you know, it’s the – you know, the people that are getting it wrong, that have been having their investment strategy validated by price auction because, you know, they have a lot of company. The cloud has got it wrong. There’s not many people in the scheme of things that actually understand what’s going to happen or, you know, if they do, they’re certainly not, you know, investing for that end game. They’re trying to – you know, they’re trying to finesse this and they’re trying to, you know, dance while the music’s playing, but they’re hoping that by the time it stops, they’ll have a safe seat somewhere…

(Editor’s note : Bold added for emphasis)

Yesterday, in “There Are No Safe Havens Left,” Schiff shared with readers where he thought commodities, crude oil, and gold are going in 2015 and beyond.

Head on over to the Wall Street Daily website to read Part 1, 2, and 3 of this nicely-done interview.

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

(Editor’s notes: Info added to “Crash Prophets” page; I am 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 presented herein.)

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Illinois Debt Crisis Latest: $9 Billion Annual Deficit, $159 Billion In IOUs

Illinois residents are waking up to disturbing news this morning. From the “Press Room” over on the website of the Institute of Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois:

Illinois faces $9 billion annual deficit and $159 billion in IOUs

New analysis (PDF) by the Fiscal Futures Project finds no easy fix to Illinois’ chronic fiscal imbalance. Illinois now faces a $9 billion annual deficit that will grow to $14 billion by FY 2026.

“Years of pay-later budgeting has resulted in a massive imbalance between sustainable revenue and spending,” said Richard Dye, co-director of the Fiscal Futures Project. “Like a person in deep credit card debt, the state has been spending more than it can afford, and is covering the gap by issuing IOUs.” The report finds that the state’s IOUs now total $159 billion—more than twice the inflow of revenue in a single year. It’s a monumental problem that will require a long-term fiscal plan that includes tax increases, spending cuts, and economic growth.

The report, Apocalypse Now? The Consequences of Pay-Later Budgeting in Illinois, examines what it would take to balance the budget. The options are limited.

• Bringing back the 2011 tax increase would close only about one-half of the gap projected for the next several years.
The problem cannot be solved with spending cuts alone. Because Illinois can’t cut debt service or pension payments, it would take at least a 20 percent cut of all remaining spending to eliminate the deficit. This includes education, corrections, Medicaid, public safety, transportation, and more.
• Economic growth is also not a cure-all: an increase in the growth rate of personal income by an extra one-half percent every year for 10 years (an optimistic scenario) would only have a modest effect on the deficit.

The report concludes: “Changes in awareness, expectations, and policy are needed to restore fiscal balance in Illinois. Being saddled with paying past years’ bills means that today, Illinoisans must reduce their expectations for the services that they can expect from government and be prepared to pay more for government, now and in the future.”

(Editor’s notes: Bold added for emphasis)

Like I blogged a week ago:

A lot less government services. Much higher fees, fines and taxes.

An outcome I see for Chicago, Cook County, and Illinois residents down the road.

And plenty of Illinoisans wonder why their neighbors are high-tailing it out of the “Land of Lincoln.”

You can read a summary fact sheet or the entire report over on the IGPA website here.

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

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JM Bullion Sale: 5 Oz Sunshine Silver Bars Only 89¢ Over Spot Any Quantity

The silver market sure is active these days. Looking to acquire physical silver? Affiliate marketing partner JM Bullion (reviewed here) is having a 5 Ounce Sunshine Silver Bar Sale. From an e-mail I received from JM Bullion this morning:

5 oz Sunshine Silver Bars Just $0.89 Over Spot!

On sale this week is the 5 oz Sunshine Silver Bar, which is available for just $0.89/oz over spot for any quantity. As one of the best selling bars in the world, each Sunshine Mint silver bar contains five troy ounces of .999 fine silver and boasts the new and innovative Mint Mark SI anti-counterfeit security feature. We have limited quantities of bars available at this special pricing, so be sure to take advantage while supplies last!


“5 oz Sunshine Minting Silver Bar ➜ JMBullion.com”
YouTube Video

All orders at JM Bullion are shipped completely FREE of charge and include full tracking and insurance.

Click on the banner ad below, where you’ll be taken to the JM Bullion site. Please note that by clicking on the ad and purchasing a product, I receive a commission from the sale.

JM Bullion

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

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Christopher E. Hill, Editor
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