India

Marc Faber: Young Americans Will Earn Less, Have Less Wealth Than Their Parents

I wrote on Survival And Prosperity a couple years ago:

Back in 2006 when I was working at a suburban fire department, a battalion chief came into my office, saw the local paper on my desk, and asked, “Did you read that piece about how kids these days might be the first generation who won’t be better off than their parents?” I replied, “Yeah, it was depressing.” The fire officer confided, “That stuff scares me. I’m worried they might be right about that.” I’d be concerned too, especially if I were the parent of a couple of young kids like this chief was.

Fast forward almost nine years after that discussion took place. Swiss-born investment advisor/money manager Marc Faber was interviewed by Barron’s last week. The publisher of the monthly investment newsletter The Gloom Boom & Doom Report talked with editor Jack Otter about a number of financial topics, including how younger people in Western societies will be less well-off than their parents. From their exchange:

OTTER: You always find new ways to depress me. And today you told me that for the first time in 200 years of history, we will bequeath to our children less wealth than their parents had.
FABER: Yes. I meant that with respect to Western societies and Japan, where essentially the younger people, today’s generation, will earn less than their parents. And they will have less wealth than their parents, inflation-adjusted, because we will have wealth taxes, we’ll have more estate taxes, and we have essentially declining real median incomes in the Western world and Japan. But the good news is that we have essentially have in the countries that opened up post-breakdown of the socialist, communist ideology- China, Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, and so forth, and India, of course- we have entire generations that will earn much more and have a much better standard of living than their parents had.

On India, “Doctor Doom”- as the financial media likes to call him- thinks that India’s stock market could rise by 15 percent in 2015.


“Dr. Doom Offers 2 Stocks Picks, But Gloomy Outlook”
Barron’s Video

By 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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Global Economy Flashes Warning Signals

I’m picking up on a growing number of “bad vibes” about the global economy these days.

First, Rich Miller reported on the Bloomberg website Thursday about the findings of the latest Bloomberg Global Poll of international investors:

The world economy is in its worst shape in two years, with the euro area and emerging markets deteriorating and the danger of deflation rising, according to a Bloomberg Global Poll of international investors.

A plurality of 38 percent of those surveyed this week described the global economy as worsening, more than double the number who said that in the last poll in July and the most since September 2012, when Europe was mired in a recession.

Much of the concern is again focused on the euro area: Almost two-thirds of those polled said its economy was weakening…

Europe isn’t the only source of concern in the global economy, according to the quarterly poll of 510 investors, traders and analysts who are Bloomberg subscribers. More than half of those contacted said conditions in the BRIC economies — Brazil, Russia, India and China — are getting worse, compared with 36 percent who said so in July.

(Editor: Bold added for emphasis)

Granted, it’s just a poll. But there’s also this from British Prime Minister David Cameron in a piece he penned that was published on The Guardian (UK) website Sunday:

Six years on from the financial crash that brought the world to its knees, red warning lights are once again flashing on the dashboard of the global economy.

As I met world leaders at the G20 in Brisbane, the problems were plain to see. The eurozone is teetering on the brink of a possible third recession, with high unemployment, falling growth and the real risk of falling prices too. Emerging markets, which were the driver of growth in the early stages of the recovery, are now slowing down. Despite the progress in Bali, global trade talks have stalled while the epidemic of Ebola, conflict in the Middle East and Russia’s illegal actions in Ukraine are all adding a dangerous backdrop of instability and uncertainty…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Cameron added the following, which I thought was pretty funny (disturbing?):

When we faced similar problems in recent years, too many politicians offered easy answers, thinking we could spend, borrow and tax our way to prosperity. Those were the wrong answers then; they are the wrong answers now. We are not going to repeat the mistakes of the past…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Sound like any country you know?

Finally, exacerbating fears about global economic health was the following “shock” announcement. Mitsuru Obe and Eleanor Warnock reported on The Wall Street Journal website this morning:

Japan Falls Into Recession

Japan’s economy shrank for a second quarter in a row, after a sales-tax increase took the steam out of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe ’s bid to turn Japan into a global model of revival.

Mr. Abe, who has sought to revive the world’s third-largest economy after two mostly sluggish decades, is set to announce this week that he will delay plans to raise the nation’s sales tax next year and call elections in December…

“Two mostly sluggish decades”

Some really bright financial-types suspect Japan’s so-called “zombie economy” is what’s ultimately in store for America. While I have no doubt about a coming U.S. economic crash, I remain somewhat more optimistic for the country’s prospects upon emerging from the coming carnage.

Stay tuned…

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

Sources:

Cameron, David. “David Cameron: Red lights are flashing on the global economy.” The Guardian. 16 Nov. 2014. (http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/nov/16/red-lights-global-economy-david-cameron). 17 Nov. 2014.

Miller, Rich. “World Economy Worst in Two Years, Europe Darkening, Deflation Lurking: Global Investor Poll.” Bloomberg.com. 13 Nov. 2014. (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-11-13/world-outlook-darkening-as-89-in-poll-see-europe-deflation-risk.html). 17 Nov. 2014.

Obe, Mitsuru and Warnock, Eleanor. “Japan Falls Into Recession.” The Wall Street Journal. 17 Nov. 2014. (http://online.wsj.com/articles/japan-falls-into-recession-1416182404). 17 Nov. 2014.

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FBI, DHS Warn Syria Airstrikes May Embolden ‘Homegrown Violent Extremists’

When I heard last night that the U.S. and its allies had initiated airstrikes against Muslim extremists in Syria, I wondered how long it would be before a retaliatory attack was attempted. It’s nice to see the Feds anticipating the same from the jihadists and/or their sympathizers. From an Associated Press piece today on the FOX News website:

There is no indication of advanced Al Qaeda or Islamic State group terror plotting inside the United States, but airstrikes in Syria may have temporarily disrupted attack planning against U.S. or Western targets, according to a security bulletin Tuesday from the FBI and the Homeland Security Department…

In a five-page Joint Intelligence Bulletin obtained by The Associated Press, the government warned that airstrikes targeting the Al Qaeda-linked Khorasan and Islamic State groups could also embolden homegrown violent extremists inside the United States who already have grievances about the U.S. because of military action in predominantly Muslim countries.

While the intelligence community hasn’t viewed Islamic State an immediate threat to the U.S. homeland, officials have been very concerned about Khorasan operatives plotting attacks against the U.S.

The Khorasan group is a cadre of veteran Al Qaeda fighters from Afghanistan and Pakistan…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

If “homegrown violent extremists inside the United States” do in fact strike, how will they carry out their assault? Bombing, mass shooting, poisoning some restaurant salad bar? Who knows? But keep the following in mind- something I blogged back in April 2011:

Consider what Gabe Suarez, a decorated veteran of Southern California law enforcement and president of the personal safety training outfit Suarez International, wrote in his blog Warrior Talk News on May 6, 2010:

Put yourself in the enemy’s shoes….err, sandals…..which option would YOU pick? Which offers the easiest implementation, least chance for detection, greatest chance for success – bombs or bullets?

The mass shooting and not the improvised and unsuccessful bomb is the “easy button”, and that fact cannot be ignored by us as it will not be overlooked by the enemy.

So what do we do?

1). We must identify who the enemy is. Please go back and peruse the list of events above, both failed and successful. What is the common thread connecting the attackers?

2). Carry your gun everywhere…..a REAL fighting gun….not some sissy “suitable for CCW” 5 shot “self defense gun”. The times are not such that concern over a mugger is the issue anymore. Carry extra ammo with you. It is not difficult at all to carry a full sized pistol with a couple of extra magazines. I have done so since 1983.

These are not the times to be seeking political correctness over public safety. It is not the time to fear false labels created and assigned by the mass media. The Israelis learned that lesson long ago. After all is said and done, it is better to be a live “intolerant racist” (as the MSM would call us) than a dead “co-existing”, tolerant “paragon of political correctness”. I suspect that had Shahzad’s bomb been successful, lots of tolerant, “co-exist” types would have died right alongside us “intolerant racists”. The times call for careful profiling and suspicious curiosity as well as daily preparation.

Dress everyday as if you had a business meeting in Mumbai on 26 November 2008 with a bunch of Jews, Christians, and atheist Americans at a cafe right across the street from the Jihad School Of Terrorism.

Be ready or be a victim.

“Be ready or be a victim.” Great words to live by.

Add to readiness a healthy dose of situational awareness, and I suspect those practicing both are leaps and bounds ahead of most Americans in being prepared to anticipate and react to the violent acts of some jihadist or sympathizer the Feds are warning about in that latest security bulletin.

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

Source:

“DHS says Syria airstrikes may have temporarily ‘disrupted’ terror plotting.” Associated Press. 23 Sep. 2014. (http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/09/23/dhs-says-syria-airstrikes-may-have-temporarily-disrupted-terror-plotting/). 23 Sep. 2014.

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Marc Faber: ‘The Gold Market Has Bottomed-Out’

Well-known investment advisor/money manager Marc Faber was on the FOX Business show Opening Bell last Wednesday. Speaking by phone, the publisher of the monthly investment newsletter The Gloom Boom & Doom Report was asked by host Maria Bartiromo about the geopolitical instability going on and investing in such an environment. From their exchange:

BARTIROMO: Mark, what do you think? What would you be doing right now as an investor?
FABER: Well, basically, I always own some shares. Most of my shareholdings are in Asia… In Asia, the Indian market is up 22 percent year-to-date. The Thai market is up 20 percent in dollar terms. Jakarta is up 24 percent. Philippines up 18 percent. Karachi up 17. Ho Chi Min up 17.
BARTIROMO: So you want to continue to stay exposed to Asia then and not the U.S.?
FABER: Yes. Yes. I worry about the geopolitical tensions, and they have an impact on Vietnam. But I think all the Asian countries are so China-centric that there won’t be a military conflict. There’ll be rattling and disputes and so forth. But the U.S. doesn’t have the power to really wage a war in Asia. That we have to be very clear about.
BARTIROMO: Mark, very quickly, the bottom line on the U.S.- do you think we’re going to see a sell-off this year?
FABER: Yes.
BARTIROMO: How significant?
FABER: As I told you before, I would own some gold, because I think the gold market has bottomed-out. Year-to-date, the junior gold mining index is up 40 percent.


“How geopolitical issues could derail the markets”
FOX Business Video

By 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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U.S. Security Experts Wary Of American Fighters Returning From Syrian Civil War

Back on December 2, I blogged:

I suspect it’s only a matter of time before the U.S. homeland is attacked once again by Al-Qaeda (major operation), an affiliate, or sympathizers.

Complicating matters is the potential for radicalized Americans and European Union member state passport-carrying jihadists fighting in Syria’s civil war soon being part of this fray…

These radicalized foreign fighters were the focus of a piece that appeared on the International Business Times (UK) website Sunday. Tom Porter reported:

Experts have warned that a terrorist attack by jihadists returning radicalised from the war in Syria is “inevitable”.

It is believed that hundreds of British citizens have fought in the three-year Syrian conflict, with many taking up arms for Islamist groups.

Some have posted videos online, boasting of their exploits.

There are growing fears among security services that returning fighters with combat experience are poised to launch terrorist attacks in the UK. The Telegraph reports that around 250 Syria veterans may be back in the country.

Ahead of a discussion on Syrian fighters at Chatham House this week, Raffaello Pantucci, senior research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute, spoke of the growing danger.

“It seems almost inevitable that some sort of a threat back to the UK will come off the battlefield in Syria, something supported by the fact that security services in the UK believe they have already disrupted at least one plot with links to Syria,” he told the Independent on Sunday.

Last year, security forces are reported to have foiled a Mumbai-style plot, involving killing civilians with guns in central London, which involved Syria veterans

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Even though Porter talked about the U.K., Syrian Civil War veterans who fought alongside Islamists will also be returning to the United States.

And U.S. security experts are wary of them.

Henry Austin and Charlene Gubash reported on the NBC News website back on February 15:

Foreign fighters returning home to the U.S., Britain and other countries after honing their skills in Syria’s civil war are posing a “nightmare for security services,” experts and officials say.

About 11,000 people have crossed into Syria seeking to help topple President Bashar Assad’s regime – including about 60 who are believed to have traveled from America. However, many have now been left disillusioned by bitter infighting between rival rebel groups and some have given up their weapons and returned to the West.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson earlier this month said that the U.S. government was “very focused” on the issue of militants returning to the country.

“Based on our work and the work of our international partners, we know individuals from the U.S., Canada and Europe are traveling to Syria to fight in the conflict,” he added.

Raffaello Pantucci, a senior research fellow at London’s Royal United Services Institute think tank, said recent history shows that “battlefields that have Sunni jihadist ideology have produced some sort of a threat.”

“It’s not true to say that all of those returning from Syria will come back and be a terrorist threat,” Pantucci added. “Perhaps a couple of them will, which makes it a nightmare for security services to track.”

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Some suspect Muslim extremists have been trying hard to recruit Western Caucasian members for some time now to use in terrorist operations against the United States and its allies in the “War On Terror.”

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

Sources:

Porter, Tom. “Experts Warn of ‘Inevitable’ UK Terror Attack By Returning Syria Jihadis.” International Business Times. 6 Apr. 2014. (http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/experts-warn-inevitable-uk-terror-attack-by-returning-syria-jihadis-1443631). 7 Apr. 2014.

Austin, Henry and Gubash, Charlene. “Syria’s American-Born Rebels Pose National Security ‘Nightmare’.” NBC News. 15 Feb. 2014. (http://www.nbcnews.com/news/mideast/syrias-american-born-rebels-pose-national-security-nightmare-n29451). 7 Apr. 2014.

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HSBC: China, Not Investment Demand From West, Now Steering Gold Prices

Sounds like China may be firmly in the driver’s seat these days when it comes to steering gold prices. Yue Li reported in The Wall Street Journal’s MoneyBeat blog this morning:

China’s buying of gold jewelry, coins and bars is now the biggest driver of prices, not investment demand from the West, according to HSBC Global Research.

“We would argue that physical demand trends in the emerging world will largely define gold’s price movements this year,” HSBC analysts James Steel and Howard Wen said in a research note.

China alone can take up the equivalent of half of the global gold mine output, while a possible recovery in Indian demand could also act as a boost for the yellow metal as long as the Indian authorities reduce import tariffs on gold.

Investment demand, typically coming from gold exchange-traded funds, had long been considered the sole reason behind the gold’s decade-long bull run…

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Long-time observers of gold have recognized China’s growing influence in this market.

A question that’s probably on their minds is, will Chinese demand continue to steer prices?

Consider what Jennifer Schonberger wrote on the FOX Business website back on February 21:

China overtook India last year as the world’s largest buyer of physical gold, according to the World Gold Council. In 2013, Chinese demand for gold bars, coins and jewelry soared 32% to a record high, as China imported 1,066 metric tonnes of the precious metal, or more than one third of the 2,968 metric tonnes of gold produced globally.

And last year’s record wasn’t a one-hit wonder. This year, the World Gold Council expects China to remain the world’s largest consumer of physical gold. While down slightly from last year’s record level, the research body projects China will still gobble up a robust 1,000 tonnes to 1,100 tonnes of gold in 2014. China accounts for roughly 25% of global demand for gold and is likely to boost its share in coming years. The stock of gold in China is less than half of India and consumption per head in China is still catching up to other markets.

The Chinese gold rush comes after China’s government lifted restrictions on gold ownership. Until 2002, Beijing barred citizens from owning gold bars and coins. Culturally there’s been an appreciation for gold for a long time in China, but citizens weren’t able to access it to the extent they have over the past 12 years. Now that China has lifted restrictions, the government has unleashed pent-up demand…

I blogged last April what the demand for the precious metal has looked like in China at times.

In the meantime, the financial mainstream media here in the West keeps running pieces about gold’s imminent demise. And no doubt plenty of Americans will keep believing it.

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

Sources:

Li, Yue. “China Now Biggest Driver of Gold Prices, HSBC Says.” MoneyBeat. 4 Mar. 2014. (http://blogs.wsj.com/moneybeat/2014/03/04/china-now-biggest-driver-of-gold-prices-hsbc-says/). 4 Mar. 2014.

Schonberger, Jennifer. “Going for the Gold: Chinese Demand Could Be Gold’s Long-Term Bid.” FOX Business. 21 Feb. 2014. (http://www.foxbusiness.com/investing/2014/02/21/going-for-gold-chinese-demand-could-be-golds-long-term-bid/). 4 Mar. 2014.

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Marc Faber Shares Outlook And Advice At Barron’s 2014 Roundtable

Each year around this time, the weekly financial magazine Barron’s hosts their investor “Roundtable.” Swiss-born money manager and investment advisor Marc Faber was one of the participants in 2014, and starting on January 18 the publication started disseminating the investment advice of Dr. Faber and other Roundtable members. The financial website Zero Hedge zeroed-in on what the publisher of the monthly investment newsletter The Gloom Boom & Doom Report had to say at this year’s Roundtable. According to “Tyler Durden,” Dr. Faber:

• Is bearish on U.S. stocks, and the Russell 2000 in particular. Faber recommended shorting the Russell 2000.
• Is bearish on the U.S. economic recovery, recommending the purchase of 10-year Treasury notes
• Has a lot of cash, has bought Treasury bonds, and has about 20 percent of his net worth in gold. Regarding the precious metal, Faber went so far as to “recommend the Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF [GDXJ], although I don’t own it. I own physical gold because the old system will implode. Those who own paper assets are doomed.”
• Offered up his investment forecast for Asian real estate, India, Vietnam, and Turkey and it’s currency- the Lira

The piece provided good insight into Dr. Faber’s investment outlook and activities, which you can read in its entirety on the Zero Hedge website here.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (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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Jim Rogers ‘Ultra Bullish’ On Gold Long-Term

While a good amount of “dislike” has been directed at gold lately, it really ramped up to a new level starting December 30. Later that afternoon I noticed the headlines on the financial mainstream media websites emphasizing (extra big and bold in a number of cases) the price of gold getting pummeled in 2013. For example, there was this on the Financial Times (UK) website Friday:

8:58am On Wall Street from MARKETS
Gold bulls lose faith in bullion’s allure
Last year’s losses battered the metal’s reputation as a store of value
• Gold funds lose lustre
• Gold miners braced for reserve cuts
• Little glitter for gold in 2014
• Gold set for biggest drop in 30 years

All that in one section of the site. The above is pretty typical of what I’ve been seeing the last couple of days across the Internet.

And reading all the negative press, I have to wonder if now might not be a good time to acquire gold. Especially as “crash prophets” Marc Faber, Jim Rogers, and Peter Schiff are bullish on the yellow metal in the long run.

According to a recent report in a prominent international, web-based publication focusing on all aspects of the mining sector, Rogers, a well-known investor, author, and financial commentator, is actually “ultra bullish” on gold in the long term. Alex Williams wrote on Mineweb.com on New Year’s Eve:

Rogers prefers gold over gold mining shares and divisible coins over bullion, but says “there’s nothing in precious metals that I’m tempted to buy at the moment.” Indian import tariffs he views as the single biggest drag on the gold market currently…

For early 2014, Rogers is therefore long inflatable equities and neutral on gold, but longer term, he expects to short junk and government bonds and is ultra bullish on gold. “Gold will become one of the only refuges around,” he says. “That’s not this quarter.”

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

It’s no secret that the Singapore-based investor sees gold doing well over the long haul. Back on August 5, I noted that Rogers had recently appeared on GoldSeek.com Radio’s The Gold and Silver Review show. Speaking to Chris Waltzek on the August 2 show, Rogers predicted the following for gold:

Eventually, we will make a new low, whether it’s this year, next year, or the year after. And then, of course, the bull market will resume. And we’re off to the races and wonderful new highs will be made. But it may be a few years from now.

By 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.)

Source:

Williams, Alex. “Bernanke has set the stage for the Fed’s collapse- Jim Rogers.” Mineweb.com. 31 Dec. 2013. (www.mineweb.com/mineweb/content/en/mineweb-political-economy?oid=222934&sn=Detail). 3 Jan. 2014.

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Gun ‘Control’ Forced On Boston, Chicago Cops?

I think Survival And Prosperity readers might find the following two firearm-related stories as they concern local law enforcement interesting. From the popular Chicago police blog Second City Cop this morning:

There is (or soon will be) not a single person in the State of Illinois who has to register a firearm anymore.

Unless you’re a Chicago Police Officer.

Read the linked order here, right on page two:

H. Sworn members will register all duty and nonduty firearms with the Department

“Register all… nonduty firearms with the Department”

Sorry, but I can’t see many rank-and-file Chicago police officers registering their personally-owned firearms.

I wonder who came up with this idea, and if they actually expect sworn CPD members to comply with the order.

Regardless, as regular Survival And Prosperity readers already know, gun registration often leads to confiscation.

Then there’s this out of the East Coast. Antonio Planas reported on the Boston Herald website yesterday:

Mayor-elect Martin J. Walsh is shooting down the plan to arm some Boston patrol officers with military-style rifles – setting up a potential showdown with the department which has backed the controversial measure, citing a need for high-powered weapons in light of school shootings and the marathon bombings.

“Mayor-elect Walsh is opposed to the AR-15 rifles,” his spokeswoman Kathryn Norton said in a short statement yesterday. “Unless otherwise convinced by the Boston Police Department, he does not think they are necessary.”

Walsh would have to approve a budget for 33 AR-15 rifles at a cost of $2,500 each. Police were in the planning phases of acquiring the rifles to put in the cruisers of two specially trained beat cops in each of the city’s 11 districts…

Other local elected representatives oppose BPD patrol officers having access to AR-15s. From the website of Boston’s FOX affiliate Sunday:

City Councilor Charles Yancey is not for the plan and said active-shooter incidents are better left to specialized SWAT team units and the use of assault rifles actually put the public in more danger.

“I don’t believe arming them with assault weapons is going to make them any safer,” he said.

I haven’t heard/read anywhere as to exactly why the Boston mayor-elect is opposed to a limited number of AR-15 rifles going out on patrol.

Has he drunk the “scary black rifle” Kool-Aid being offered up by anti-gun/gun “control” types?

Perhaps he’s ignorant of the 1997 North Hollywood shootout and body armor, and the 2008 Mumbai (India) massacre, where patrol officers armed with semi-automatic rifles could have tipped the scales in favor of the good guys. I’ll never forget those scenes of Mumbai police officers armed with Lee Enfield bolt-action rifles seeking cover as bursts of automatic rifle fire came their way.

Or maybe Mayor-elect Walsh is more shrewd than he’s letting on, having concluded a Kalashnikov can do the same (if not better) job as the AR-15 for a fraction of price. Got to be frugal when it comes to utilizing taxpayer money these days, right?

In all seriousness, I’m guessing it’s probably only a matter of time before Boston experiences an incident where their patrol officers are outgunned at the onset of contact with the bad guys and where SWAT is too late to help. If Boston’s mayor-elect doesn’t want BPD patrols to have access to AR-15s in such a situation, so be it. Just be prepared for the consequences when such an event takes place and police officers and innocent Bostonians are wounded/killed.

By the way, using the excuse “no one could have ever seen this happening” probably won’t cut it.

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

Sources:

SCC. “Once Again, Second Class Citizens.” Second City Cop. 30 Dec. 2013. (http://secondcitycop.blogspot.com/2013/12/once-again-second-class-citizens.html). 30 Dec. 2013.

Planas, Antonio. “Walsh shoots down rifle plan.” Boston Herald. 29 Dec. 2013. (http://bostonherald.com/news_opinion/local_politics/2013/12/walsh_shoots_down_rifle_plan). 30 Dec. 2013.

“Walsh comes out opposing rifle plan for Boston police officers.” FOX 25. 29 Dec. 2013. (http://www.myfoxboston.com/category/233063/about-us). 30 Dec. 2013.

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Monday, December 30th, 2013 Crime, Firearms, Government, Gun Rights, Public Safety No Comments

Americans And ‘EU Passport’-Holding Jihadists Fighting In Syria Scrutinized As Potential Terrorists

I suspect it’s only a matter of time before the U.S. homeland is attacked once again by Al-Qaeda (major operation), an affiliate, or sympathizers.

Complicating matters is the potential for radicalized Americans and European Union member state passport-carrying jihadists fighting in Syria’s civil war soon being part of this fray.

Emery Dalesio of the Associated Press reported on The Christian Science Monitor website this past Saturday:

Federal officials say Americans are joining the bloody civil war in Syria, raising the chances they could become radicalized by Al Qaeda-linked militant groups and return to the U.S. as battle-hardened security risks.

The State Department says it has no estimates of how many Americans have taken up weapons to fight military units loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad in the 3-year-old war that has killed more than 100,000 people. Other estimates — from an arm of the British defense consultant IHS Jane’s and from experts at a nonprofit think tank in London — put the number of Americans at a couple dozen.

“A couple dozen.”

You may recall that only ten members of Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Pakistani terrorist organization, attacked the Taj Mahal Palace hotel and other sites in Mumbai (formerly Bombay), India, between November 26 and November 29, 2008, killing 164 people and wounding at least 308.

Granted, just because these Americans are fighting alongside Muslim extremists (among others) in Syria doesn’t mean they’re automatically terrorists. Still, federal agencies are concerned.


“American Mujahid with Chechen Mujahidin fights in Syrian against Bashar”
YouTube Video

There are also worries over 1,000 or so EU member state passport holders who have also taken up arms in Syria. Vadim Fersovich reported on The Voice Of Russia website on November 25:

Of the 5,000 to 10,000 “foreign” mercenaries, about 1,000 “jihadists” carry EU passports, according to a classified report by the German Intelligence Service (Der Spiegel, October 21st ). But that thousand is made up of dozens, perhaps, hundreds (at the most) of nationals of different countries. Some of them will die in Syria; others will choose not to return. But those who will come back will move to their homes, so the hundreds will again break down into isolated people. Experts believe that an overwhelming majority of those who will buy the return ticket have for good lost interest in dangerous adventures because of actual fierce fighting. The insurgents realize that back home, security agencies are quite effective, while the number of those thinking along the same lines as terrorists is incommensurably small.

Of course, even individual terrorists pose a threat, given that they can use their passports to freely travel about Europe and the United States. According to a former CIA analyst, Michael Scheuer, they return home with a list of their mujahedeen buddies who may give advice and/or help out with the money, if necessary.

(Editor’s notes: Italics added for emphasis)

It should be pointed out that not all “EU passport” holders can “freely travel” around the United States. The U.S. State Department explains such restrictions on their website here.

Regardless, continued vigilance is still required to combat the threat of terrorism now- and maybe even more so- in the future.

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

Sources:

Dalesio, Emery P. “FBI warns about Americans joining Islamic fighters in Syria.” Associated Press. 30 Nov. 2013. (http://www.csmonitor.com/layout/set/r14/World/Latest-News-Wires/2013/1130/FBI-warns-about-Americans-joining-Islamic-fighters-in-Syria). 2 Dec. 2013.

Fersovich, Vadim. “Is Jihad likely in the West?” The Voice Of Russia. 25 Nov. 2013. (http://voiceofrussia.com/2013_11_25/Is-Jihad-likely-in-the-West-0430/). 2 Dec. 2013.

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Marc Faber Shares ‘My Investment Strategy During This Time’

“Doctor Doom” Marc Faber recently spoke to Nophakhun Limsamarnphun over at The Nation (Thailand) about investing. The Swiss-born investment advisor and fund manager shed a good deal of light on his strategy, telling readers on September 14:

My investment strategy during this time is that you have to diversify and minimise your risks from economic, political, geopolitical and other factors. Your portfolio should include properties, stocks and equities, corporate bonds, gold and silver, plus cash. It should be 25 per cent of each, or 125 per cent – just to mimic the US accounting standard where things now do not add up.

What a character.

While a good deal of their discussion focused on Thai investments, the publisher of the monthly investment newsletter The Gloom Boom & Doom Report shared some valuable nuggets as it concerned other areas. From the piece:

On gold and silver, I think people should have 20 per cent of their money in physical gold, not gold papers. I would put the gold bars into deposit boxes at banks. Don’t speculate but buy regularly and keep them safe. We live in a volatile period. Gold is not like other commodities, it’s the only honest currency when paper currencies are not.

On corporate bonds, I like issues from Russia, Kazakhstan and India with yields of 5-6 per cent, but they are not 100 per cent safe unless they are triple-A. Corporate bonds have an equity character. They don’t move much when stock markets crash. When things go bad, government bonds on the other hand tend to go up in value because of flight to safe havens.

In terms of cash and paper currencies, I like Malaysian ringgit and Singapore dollars, while the Thai baht is just OK.

As for equities? Dr. Faber talked about Thai stocks. However, I blogged back on September 9 about his appearance on CNBC Asia’s Cash Flow that morning and how he told viewers:

I don’t think that stocks are the greatest bargain anymore.

Great job by Limsamarnphun for getting Doctor Doom to divulge this information.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
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.)

Source:

Limsamarnphun, Nophakhun “Investment guru favours diversity, physical gold amid US-fuelled volatility.” The Nation. 14 Sep. 2013. (http://www.nationmultimedia.com/business/Investment-guru-favours-diversity-physical-gold-am-30214804.html). 17 Sep. 2013.

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Jim Rogers: ‘I Have Started Buying Some Sugar’

Investor, author, and financial commentator Jim Rogers has pinpointed sugar as a potential investment opportunity for quite some time now.

I’ve noticed this, and even blogged back on September 19, 2012, about his appearance on the Indian financial news channel CNBC Awaaz where he said on their Market Leaders show:

If I were an investor looking to invest in commodities, I would start by looking at the things that are most depressed…

Sugar, for instance, is 65 or 70 percent below it’s all-time high…

You know, sugar is down 65 to 70 percent from where it was 38 years ago Gorica. That’s astonishing.

The so-called commodities guru still has a sweet tooth, as he mentioned in an interview that was published on The Economic Times (India) website earlier today:

ET NOW: With gold prices soaring to the levels of 32600, what are the commodities that you are currently betting on?
ROGERS: I have started buying some sugar. I am not sure of how I got my timing right, I am never very good at it, but I am more bullish on agriculture. Some agriculture prices are very depressed. Sugar, for instance, in the western market is down over 75% from its all-time high. Especially for India and places that I mentioned, you are going to need to protect yourselves from currency debasement and currency decline. So think of real assets.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
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.)

Source:

“Need to own real assets in India: Jim Rogers.” The Economic Times. 27 Aug. 2013. (http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/opinion/interviews/need-to-own-real-assets-in-india-jim-rogers/articleshow/22092601.cms). 27 Aug. 2013.

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Bullish Signs For Gold?

I’ve noticed the buzz surrounding gold the last week or so.

Last Tuesday, August 6, the London P.M. gold spot price was $1,280.50.

Late Monday night, August 12, the London P.M. fix shows $1,341- up by $60.50.

Experienced gold observers know not to put much stock in short-term fluctuations of the precious metal’s price.

Still, why all the recent chatter of the yellow metal in investing circles, amidst the silence of the gold bears?

Chuin-Wei Yap wrote tonight on the Wall Street Journal website:

Gold prices are up 4% in the past week, hitting a three-week high of $1,334.70 an ounce on Monday. A big factor behind the rise is a surge in demand for physical gold in China, some investors and analysts say.

Demand in China, where consumers account for roughly a quarter of global gold demand, hit a record 385.5 metric tons in the second quarter, according data released Monday by the state-backed China Gold Association. That is double the figure from a year earlier, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of the data.

Closely watched estimates from the World Gold Council are slated for release on Thursday. Data released in May from the mining trade group showed Chinese consumers bought 294.3 metric tons of gold in the first quarter, a 20% rise on the year.

Yap noted other potentially bullish signs for gold. From later on in the piece:

Demand in India, which some observers expect to lose its spot as the world’s biggest gold consumer to China this year, also is rising. There are signs of renewed bullishness elsewhere, as well. The amount of gold held by SPDR Gold Trust, the largest exchange-traded fund that buys and stores the metal on behalf of investors, rose by 1.8 metric tons on Friday, the first increase in two months.

India might have given the People’s Republic of China more of a run for their money concerning gold consumption if it weren’t for the Indian government cracking down on the importation of precious metals. From Reuters tonight:

Indians bought more gold in July than June despite a series of moves by the central bank to strangle supplies, and their insatiable appetite has forced neighboring countries to take steps to curb their own imports.

Indian Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said the government will take steps to curb imports of gold and silver, and look to contain gold imports at 850 tons this year.

The Indian government increased taxes on bullion imports in January and June in an attempt to bolter their sliding currency, the rupee.

Gold. It scares the bejeezus out of some folks.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
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)

Sources:

Yap, Chuin-Wei. “China’s Consumers Show Growing Influence in Gold Market.” Wall Street Journal. 12 Aug. 2013. (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323446404579008372464837550.html). 12 Aug. 2013.

“Gold eases after sharp jump, still near 3-week high.” Reuters. 12 Aug. 2013. (http://www.cnbc.com/id/100957493). 12 Aug. 2013.

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RAND Corporation: ‘Mumbai-Style Attack Is Conceivable In The United States’

Last Thursday I blogged about the nonprofit global policy think tank RAND Corporation and their briefing of a U.S. House committee on July 18 regarding the threat Al-Qaeda poses to the United States.

I came across the RAND Corporation again when I stumbled on a recent article by Brian Michael Jenkins, Senior Adviser to the RAND President, on the U.S. News & World Report website. The former Green Beret captain served as chair of the Political Science Department at RAND and is the author of numerous books, reports, and articles on terrorism-related topics. So the man’s got “street cred” when it comes to discussing terrorism. Jenkins wrote on July 10:

Recently, I was asked to prepare testimony for a congressional hearing examining the possibility that an armed terrorist attack – similar to the 2008 attack that killed 162 people in Mumbai – could happen in the United States…

In Mumbai, there were 10 terrorists, armed with assault rifles, pistols, grenades and improvised explosives. They carried out coordinated attacks across the city, paralyzing a metropolis of 14 million people for 60 hours while mesmerizing the world’s media. It was a complex operation and likely the culmination of months of training.

Jenkins went on to point out a number of challenges to planning, mobilizing, and carrying out a Mumbai-style attack in the United States. Still, he concluded:

A Mumbai-style attack is conceivable in the United States, though probably not anywhere near the same scale.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

I just got done digging up his testimony that was submitted before the House Homeland Security Committee, Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, on June 12. “The Threat of a Mumbai-Style Terrorist Attack in the United States” is an incredibly interesting and informative read, especially as I, too, believe a Mumbai-style attack in America is possible. There are others who also share this view. I blogged back on April 28, 2011:

Should we as Americans be concerned with a Mumbai-style terrorist attack happening on our shores? Definitely, according to chatter picked up by Massad Ayoob, a captain with the Grantham (New Hampshire) Police Department and an internationally-known firearms and self-defense instructor. He wrote yesterday in his blog Massad Ayoob on Guns on the Backwoods Home Magazine website that:

The general consensus of police, military, and national intelligence is that it’s only a matter of time before this nation experiences an incident reminiscent of Beslan or Mumbai: armed, trained, committed terrorists massacring the innocent with automatic weapons and explosive.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

An “American Mumbai?” It’s possible. Some might even argue probable.

You can read Brian Michael Jenkins’ testimony to that House committee on the RAND website here.

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

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Chicago Hosting ‘Routine Military Training Exercise’ This Week

Another “routine military training exercise” is taking place around Chicago this week. I’ve blogged about two other exercises that occurred in the Chicagoland area since 2012, one in April 2012 and another in April of this year.

From the City of Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications on Monday:

The City of Chicago is providing support for a routine military training exercise in and around the Chicagoland area on July 22 – 25. This routine training is conducted by military personnel in cities across the country, designed to ensure the military’s ability to operate in urban environments as service members meet mandatory training certification requirements and prepare for upcoming overseas deployments.

The training sites have been carefully selected to minimize the impact on the daily routine of residents.

The training is not open to the public.

Since the U.S. military has been busy developing its urban warfare training program for some time already, some suspect if the drills aren’t training for a future declaration of martial law in case some SHTF event takes place, like a U.S. financial crash, or to send terrorists a message, such as our armed forces, in conjunction with civilian law enforcement, are ready for a Mumbai, India-style attack.

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

Source:

Stratton, Melissa. “Statement From The City Of Chicago Office Of Emergency Management And communications Regarding Training In Chicago July 22-25.” City of Chicago OEMC. 22 July 2013. (http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/oem/provdrs/emerg_mang/news/2013/jul/statement_from_thecityofchicagoofficeofemergencymanagementandcom.html). 24 July 2013.

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Wednesday, July 24th, 2013 Military, Public Safety, Terrorism, Training No Comments


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