Italy

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

Islamic State In 2014: ‘Single Out The Disbelieving American, Frenchman… Run Him Over With Your Car’

Tonight I’ve been following the Bastille Day slaughter that took place in Nice, France. While the mainstream media is still calling it a “truck attack,” should the carnage eventually be found to be the work of jihadists, keep in mind a Survival And Prosperity post from September 22, 2014, which demonstrates such an attack should not have been unexpected. An excerpt from “Islamic State: Kill Disbelieving Americans”:

Regular readers of Survival And Prosperity know that I’ve taken the threat of terrorism by Muslim extremists seriously for years now- whether Al-Qaeda, the Islamic State, their affiliates, or sympathizers. While it’s obvious to me a number of entities (particularly politicians) are taking advantage of the newly-minted caliphate’s boogeyman factor these days for their own gain, I do believe the Islamic State does pose a real danger to Americans here and abroad. As such, I plan on blogging about the group formerly known as ISIS/ISIL on a regular basis.

Now that that’s been established, Islamic State spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani looks to have released a new speech in which he threatens Americans and its European allies. From “Indeed Your Lord Is Ever Watchful,” which was distributed on social media yesterday:

O Americans, and O Europeans, the Islamic State did not initiate a war against you, as your governments and media try to make you believe. It is you who started the transgression against us, and thus you deserve blame and you will pay a great price. You will pay the price when your economies collapse. You will pay the price when your sons are sent to wage war against us and they return to you as disabled amputees, or inside coffins, or mentally ill. You will pay the price as you are afraid of travelling to any land. Rather you will pay the price as you walk on your streets, turning right and left, fearing the Muslims. You will not feel secure even in your bedrooms. You will pay the price when this crusade of yours collapses, and thereafter we will strike you in your homeland, and you will never be able to harm anyone afterwards. You will pay the price, and we have prepared for you what will pain you…

If you can kill a disbelieving American or European – especially the spiteful and filthy French – or an Australian, or a Canadian, or any other disbeliever from the disbelievers waging war, including the citizens of the countries that entered into a coalition against the Islamic State, then rely upon Allah, and kill him in any manner or way however it may be. Do not ask for anyone’s advice and do not seek anyone’s verdict. Kill the disbeliever whether he is civilian or military, for they have the same ruling. Both of them are disbelievers. Both of them are considered to be waging war [the civilian by belonging to a state waging war against the Muslims]. Both of their blood and wealth is legal for you to destroy, for blood does not become illegal or legal to spill by the clothes being worn. The civilian outfit does not make blood illegal to spill, and the military uniform does not make blood legal to spill. The only things that make blood illegal and legal to spill are Islam and a covenant (peace treaty, dhimma, etc.). Blood becomes legal to spill through disbelief. So whoever is a Muslim, his blood and wealth are sanctified. And whoever is a disbeliever, his wealth is legal for a Muslim to take and his blood is legal to spill. His blood is like the blood of a dog; there is no sin for him in spilling it nor is there any blood money to be paid for doing such…

If you are not able to find an IED or a bullet, then single out the disbelieving American, Frenchman, or any of their allies. Smash his head with a rock, or slaughter him with a knife, or run him over with your car, or throw him down from a high place, or choke him, or poison him. Do not lack. Do not be contemptible. Let your slogan be, “May I not be saved if the cross worshipper and taghūt (ruler ruling by manmade laws) patron survives.”

If you are unable to do so, then burn his home, car, or business. Or destroy his crops.

If you are unable to do so, then spit in his face. If your self refuses to do so, while your brothers are being bombarded and killed, and while their blood and wealth everywhere is deemed lawful by their enemies, then review your religion. You are in a dangerous condition because the religion cannot be established without walā’ and barā’.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Elsewhere in the speech, the Vatican is threatened:

And so we promise you by Allah’s permission that this campaign will be your final campaign. It will be broken and defeated, just as all your previous campaigns were broken and defeated, except that this time we will raid you thereafter, and you will never raid us. We will conquer your Rome, break your crosses, and enslave your women, by the permission of Allah, the Exalted. This is His promise to us; He is glorified and He does not fail in His promise. If we do not reach that time, then our children and grandchildren will reach it, and they will sell your sons as slaves at the slave market.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

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

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Thursday, July 14th, 2016 Europe, Middle East, Preparedness, Public Safety, Religion, Terrorism, War Comments Off on Islamic State In 2014: ‘Single Out The Disbelieving American, Frenchman… Run Him Over With Your Car’

Jim Rogers Warns ‘We Are Going To Have Serious Problems In 2016 And 2017’

Last time I blogged about the well-known investor, author, and financial commentator Jim Rogers, I said:

It’s been interesting watching him lately attach timeframes to some of his forecasts.

I quoted a March 4, 2016, piece on the Bloomberg website where it was reported:

The famous investor said that there was a 100 percent probability that the U.S. economy would be in a downturn within one year

(Editor’s note: Blog added for emphasis)

The former investing partner of George Soros just shared another forecast- with a timeframe- in a recent interview with The Korea Times. Kim Jae-kyoung wrote on March 13:

“We are going to have serious problems in 2016 and 2017. It will be worse than 2008”

I expect markets to collapse like they did in 2008. It started in the middle of 2014 and that has been going worse and worse. I don’t know when the market will hit rock bottom but probably next year will be the worst.”

(Editor’s note: Blog added for emphasis)

Jae-kyoung added later:

Rogers said that situation is much worse now than in 2008, when the epicenter of the crisis was the U.S. But this time the crisis will be uibiquitous, he said, expecting that major economies, including the U.S., Japan and Europe, will all suffer further setbacks.

“It’s going to be the U.S. again because America is the largest debtor nation,” he said, “but this time, Portugal is going to go bankrupt, Italy is going to go bankrupt and the U.K. is going to collapse. It’s going to happen in a lot of places.”

(Editor’s note: Blog added for emphasis)

In the insightful Korea Times interview, the Singapore-based Rogers went on to share investment advice with readers, which you can read all about on the newspaper’s website here.

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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Thursday, March 17th, 2016 Asia, Bankruptcy, Crash Prophets, Debt Crisis, Europe, Investing, Recession, Stocks Comments Off on Jim Rogers Warns ‘We Are Going To Have Serious Problems In 2016 And 2017’

Robert Shiller: ‘I Think Now Could Be A Good Time To Invest In Oil’

Yale economics professor Robert Shiller spotted the U.S. housing bubble last decade and the dot-com bubble a few years earlier. And these days, the “crash prophet’s” observations have led him to think crude oil may be a good investment. According to an Agence France-Presse article from March 23:

Asked how he would invest his money, Shiller replied: “It’s difficult. But I think now could be a good time to invest in oil or in a rise in oil prices,” he said.

“Prices are very low and there are a lot of reasons to assume that they won’t stay low. That’s what I’ve bet on,” Shiller said…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Dr. Shiller repeated his belief that European stocks were more reasonably priced than U.S. equities. From the AFP piece:

Shiller said European stocks, including German stocks, were still a bargain, compared with US stocks.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

I blogged back on February 19:

The Nobel Prize-winning economist was on CNBC’s Squawk Box TV show Wednesday and talked equities (among other things) with Becky Quick, Andrew Ross Sorkin, and Brian Sullivan. From their exchange:

SHILLER: The things that is really striking- and maybe not today- is the low-level, long-term interest rates. It is just stunning how low they have gotten. Recently, the 30-year TIPS real rate was at half-a-percent. That’s incredible for 30 years. And that is pushing the stock market up. But it’s not the kind of euphoria that we saw notably in 2000.
SORKIN: What percentage do you have in equities?
SHILLER: It’s about half.
SORKIN: Half?
SHILLER: Yeah.
SORKIN: Have you changed it recently? Will you change it?
SHILLER: Yeah. I’m thinking of getting out of the United States somewhat.
SORKIN: You are?
SHILLER: Yeah. I think Europe is so much cheaper.
SORKIN: And you’d buy big multinationals based in Europe? You’d buy smaller companies in Europe? What would you do?
SHILLER: Well, what I have done is I’ve invested in Italy indexes. Spain index.
SORKIN: Are you hedging currency?
SHILLER: No, I’m not.

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)

Source:

“ROBERT SHILLER: It’s not euphoria driving this stock market boom- it’s fear.” Agence France-Presse. 23 Mar. 2015. (http://www.businessinsider.com/afp-fear-behind-current-stock-market-highs-nobel-laureate-2015-3?utm_source=gatehouse&utm_medium=referral). 28 Mar. 2015.

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Sunday, March 29th, 2015 Commodities, Crash Prophets, Currencies, Energy, Europe, Interest Rates, Investing, Natural Resources, Stocks Comments Off on Robert Shiller: ‘I Think Now Could Be A Good Time To Invest In Oil’

Robert Shiller: ‘I’m Thinking Of Getting Out Of The United States Somewhat’

The second topic from earlier this week I’ll be revisiting tonight is Robert Shiller. The Nobel Prize-winning economist was on CNBC’s Squawk Box TV show Wednesday and talked equities (among other things) with Becky Quick, Andrew Ross Sorkin, and Brian Sullivan. From their exchange:

SHILLER: The things that is really striking- and maybe not today- is the low-level, long-term interest rates. It is just stunning how low they have gotten. Recently, the 30-year TIPS real rate was at half-a-percent. That’s incredible for 30 years. And that is pushing the stock market up. But it’s not the kind of euphoria that we saw notably in 2000.
SORKIN: What percentage do you have in equities?
SHILLER: It’s about half.
SORKIN: Half?
SHILLER: Yeah.
SORKIN: Have you changed it recently? Will you change it?
SHILLER: Yeah. I’m thinking of getting out of the United States somewhat.
SORKIN: You are?
SHILLER: Yeah. I think Europe is so much cheaper.
SORKIN: And you’d buy big multinationals based in Europe? You’d buy smaller companies in Europe? What would you do?
SHILLER: Well, what I have done is I’ve invested in Italy indexes. Spain index.
SORKIN: Are you hedging currency?
SHILLER: No, I’m not.


“Shiller: Europe so much cheaper than US”
CNBC Video

The Yale professor talked about exiting his U.S. stock positions not too long ago. I blogged on December 10, 2014:

Dr. Shiller appeared on CNBC Tuesday morning and told viewers the following when asked what he’s doing with his own money:

I worry about valuation in the stock market. And I’ve been wondering if I should pull out. But I have not. And in fact I’m still thinking that even at the CAPE ratio of 27, the expected return is still higher than you expect to get on either housing, on real estate, or fixed income. So it still seems like- I feel a little trepidation because I know my own indicator is looking kind of scary. I wouldn’t over go into the market, but I wouldn’t be completely out either.

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)

Dr. Shiller’s latest book (revision, actually)…

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Thursday, February 19th, 2015 Bonds, Bubbles, Crash Prophets, Currencies, Europe, Housing, Interest Rates, Investing, Stocks Comments Off on Robert Shiller: ‘I’m Thinking Of Getting Out Of The United States Somewhat’

Pope Francis Inviting Assassination Attempt?

This week I intended to dive back into some series of posts I haven’t done in a while- “In Print,”, “Signs Of The Time,” and “Resource Of The Week.”

Regrettably, that will have to wait until next week as I still had a few more things I needed to get off my chest. Including the following which seriously concerns me.

Regular readers of Survival And Prosperity might remember me mentioning that I’m of the Roman Catholic faith. I attended a Catholic kindergarten, grade school (three different ones), high school (all boys- what did I do to deserve that punishment?), and even graduate school, to give you an idea of how big a role the Church has played in my life. Last year, Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected by a papal conclave to head the Roman Catholic Church. As Pope Francis, he has been making headlines on a regular basis. Now comes this out of Rome. Nick Squires reported on The Telegraph (UK) website Wednesday:

He has dismissed and demoted cardinals, bishops and the Vatican secretary of state, and now Pope Francis’s reformist zeal has claimed a new scalp – the head of his own private army, the Swiss Guard.

In a dispassionate one-sentence notice, the Vatican’s official newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, announced on Wednesday that Daniel Anrig will no longer serve as the commandant of the 500-year-old corps after the end of next month.

No official explanation was given for the decision, but it was widely rumoured that the Argentinean Pope, who has established a warmer, more inclusive style of governance since being appointed pontiff in March last year, found the commander’s manner overly strict and “Teutonic”…

The Jesuit pontiff, nicknamed “the people’s Pope”, is said to want the Swiss Guard to be less rigid in its rules, even “less military”, according to Il Messagero, a Rome-based daily.

That is in line with the Pope’s dislike of security in general.

On trips abroad, including his visit to Turkey at the weekend, he asks to be driven around in a modest hatchback, rather than a shiny, armour-plated limousine.

He has chafed at the restrictions to his freedom of movement imposed by the Swiss Guard and the Vatican gendarmerie, the tiny city state’s police force…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Now, going back a few months, readers may have heard the following. Natasha Kulzac wrote on The Independent (UK) website on September 16:

The Islamic State (Isis) is intent on killing the Pope, the Iraqi ambassador to the Holy See has warned the Vatican.

Habeeb Al-Sadr, who has been the ambassador since 2010, has advised that one of Isis’ goals is to assassinate the Pontiff and warned that the jihadists “don’t just threaten”, according to Italian newspaper La Nazione.

Mr Al-Sadr confirmed he did not have any specific intelligence on an impending attack but said that their “genocide” of Yazidi Christians and destruction of holy Islamic sites was an indication of their intent.

“What has been declared by the self-proclaimed Islamic State is clear – they want to kill the Pope,” he told La Nazione on Tuesday, adding: “The threats against the Pope are credible.”

The threat against Pope Francis, 77, was widely discussed earlier this year after he had endorsed the ‘stopping’ of Isis and its persecution of 40,000 Christians in northern Iraq.

It was reported in August that security in Rome had been heightened after Israeli officials warned that the Pope’s censure of Isis had led the militants to target him.

The Vatican played down this risk with spokesman Reverend Federico Lombardi SJ telling the Catholic News Agency: “There is nothing serious to this. There is no particular concern in the Vatican. This news has no foundation.”

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Readers may recall what I blogged back on September 22:

Islamic State spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani looks to have released a new speech in which he threatens Americans and its European allies. From “Indeed Your Lord Is Ever Watchful,” which was distributed on social media yesterday… the Vatican is threatened:

And so we promise you by Allah’s permission that this campaign will be your final campaign. It will be broken and defeated, just as all your previous campaigns were broken and defeated, except that this time we will raid you thereafter, and you will never raid us. We will conquer your Rome, break your crosses, and enslave your women, by the permission of Allah, the Exalted. This is His promise to us; He is glorified and He does not fail in His promise. If we do not reach that time, then our children and grandchildren will reach it, and they will sell your sons as slaves at the slave market.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

“There is no particular concern in the Vatican.” There should be, as the newly-minted caliphate and its fighters tend to be overachievers, so to speak. And Pope Francis just got done blasting the Islamic State (again). From Reuters on December 2:

Francis several times condemned Islamic State’s insurgents during his three-day trip. On the plane, he said some Christians had been forced to abandon everything: “They are driving us out of the Middle East.”

In an address at a Mass on Sunday, he said Islamic State were committing a “profoundly grave sin against God” and called for inter-religious dialogue and action against poverty to help end the conflicts in the region.

He added that ending poverty was crucial, partly because it gave rise to “the recruitment of terrorists”…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

If what Squires said about papal security is true and it’s being tinkered with to make it less intrusive and more representative of a “people’s Pope,” I would share the following with Pope Francis if the opportunity ever presented itself:

I get that you think your security detail is a real drag. But look at what happened to John Paul II. There’s a reason why they bust out the Popemobile whenever you require a set of wheels- and his name is Mehmet Ali Agca and others who wish to emulate him. You of all people know that evil- real evil– exists in the world. And taking out the head of the Roman Catholic Church would be quite a victory for the bad guys. The world is on the verge of some real dark times. And there are already a number of issues within the Church that need serious attention. So Catholics need their Pope now more than ever. To lead. Not be in a position to join the ranks of the Church’s martyrs- God bless their souls. Work with the Swiss Guard. Don’t weaken time-tested security measures that were implemented out of necessity. You shouldn’t feel like you have to inject your physical presence among us, the Catholic masses. Our faith is already strong enough to survive yet one more intangible aspect of our religion. That boast by the Islamic State about “We will conquer your Rome, break your crosses, and enslave your women”? Who’s not to say this proclaimed caliphate- sensing an opportunity here- won’t try sending gunmen to Italy to take your life? I fear the threat is real. Don’t play into their hands. “Deliver us from evil”- not into it– right?

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

Sources:

Squires, Nick. “Pope sacks the head of his Swiss Guard for being ‘too strict’” The Telegraph. 3 Dec. 2014. (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/the-pope/11271618/Pope-sacks-the-head-of-his-Swiss-Guard-for-being-too-strict.html). 5 Dec. 2014.

Culzac, Natasha. “Islamic State: Pope is ‘being targeted by Isis’, Iraqi ambassador to the Holy See warns.” The Independent. 16 Sep. 2014. (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/islamic-state-pope-being-targeted-by-isis-iraqi-ambassador-to-the-holy-see-warns-9736110.html). 5 Dec. 2014.

“Pope blasts Christian, Muslim fundamentalists while leaving Turkey.” Reuters. 2 Dec. 2014. (http://www.jpost.com/Christian-News/Pope-blasts-Christian-Muslim-fundamentalists-while-leaving-Turkey-383405). 5 Dec. 2014.

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Friday, December 5th, 2014 Crime, Europe, Middle East, Religion, Security, Terrorism Comments Off on Pope Francis Inviting Assassination Attempt?

Jim Rogers: ‘The Whole World Is Going To Collapse’

“Crash prophet” Jim Rogers appeared on The Lang and O’Leary Exchange, a Canadian business news television series which airs weekdays on CBC Television and CBC News Network, on December 3. The former investing partner of George Soros in the legendary Quantum Fund had a dire warning for viewers. From the discussion between host Amanda Lang and Rogers:

LANG: Are there any kind of big events- macro events- that could change your story for you in terms of where you’re putting your money?
ROGERS: Yeah sure- worldwide collapse. You know, if Spain suddenly goes bankrupt, Italy suddenly goes bankrupt- and they might. And they well might. But it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen anytime soon. But eventually Amanda- of course, the whole world is going to collapse. We in the West have staggering debts. The United States is the largest debtor nation in the history of the world. This is going to end badly. We’re all floating around on a sea of artificial liquidity right now Amanda. This is not going to last. No, no. And when it ends, the bull market in commodities will probably end too. But, the bull market in a lot of stuff will end.
LANG: So that was going to be my next question. A lot of people are now gravitated towards equities partly because there’s nowhere else to go. As we see if we see that correct, do you see some come to commodities or do you see all of it correcting together?
ROGERS: Well, eventually Amanda, when the next big collapse comes- and we’ve had them every four to six years since the beginning of the American republic and the Canadian republic- you’re going to see serious, serious problems. The next correction when it comes- because the debt is so very very high. You know, 2008 was worse than 2002 because the debt was so much higher. You wait until 2015 or 16, Amanda. The debt has gone through the roof. The next one is going to be very bad. Be very careful. Be prepared, be worried, and be careful.


“Commodities Bust”
CBC 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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Thursday, December 5th, 2013 Commodities, Crash Prophets, Debt Crisis, Europe, Stocks Comments Off on Jim Rogers: ‘The Whole World Is Going To Collapse’

Central Banks Net Purchasers Of Gold For 11 Consecutive Quarters

Earlier today, Janet Yellen, the American economist and Vice Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System who is President Obama’s nominee to succeed Ben Bernanke as Chairman of the Fed, participated in her confirmation hearing before the U.S. Senate Banking Committee. Victor Reklaitis wrote on The Tell blog on the MarketWatch website this afternoon:

At Yellen’s confirmation hearing on Thursday, [U.S. Senator from Nevada Dean] Heller asked the Fed chair nominee whether she follows gold prices and what causes them to rise or fall.

“Well, I don’t think anybody has a very good model of what makes gold prices go up or down,” Yellen responded.

“But certainly it is — it is an asset that people want to hold when they’re very fearful about potential financial market catastrophe or economic troubles and tail risks. And when there is financial market turbulence, often we see gold prices rise as people flee into them.”

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

I had to chuckle when I read that. Here’s a central banker linking the acquisition/possession of gold with fear, yet as I pointed out back in July 2011, central banks were by then holding onto and even accumulating the precious metal after years of selling.

As a matter of fact, the London-based World Gold Council, the gold industry’s market development organization, issued a press release today which demonstrated central banks around the world continue to amass the yellow metal. From the release:

Net central bank purchases totalled 93t, 17% down on Q3 2012. Central banks have now been net purchasers of gold for 11 consecutive quarters.

“Net purchasers of gold for 11 consecutive quarters.” Something to remember next time someone brings up that “barbarous relic” claim (if gold is so barbaric, why does it continue to play a role in the modern global banking system?).

There’s also this from Nat Rudarakanchana, writing on the International Business Times website on October 30. He reported:

-Collectively, central banks have bought about 218 tons of gold so far in 2013
-Central bank holdings are up about 1.7 million ounces this year
-France, Germany, Italy, and the United States maintain more than 80 percent of their foreign reserves in gold

Ms. Yellen mentioned in her confirmation hearing that gold is “an asset that people want to hold when they’re very fearful about potential financial market catastrophe or economic troubles and tail risks.”

Does that apply to central bankers as well?

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

Sources:

Reklaitis, Victor. “Yellen on gold: “People want to hold (it) when they’re very fearful.” The Tell. 14 Nov. 2013. (http://blogs.marketwatch.com/thetell/2013/11/14/yellen-on-gold-people-want-to-hold-it-when-theyre-very-fearful/). 14 Nov. 2013.

“Gold continues its journey from West to East as buoyant consumer markets balance investment outflows.” World Gold Council. 14 Nov. 2013. (http://www.gold.org/media/press_releases/). 14 Nov. 2013.

Rudarakanchana, Nat. “Perspectives On Central Bank Gold Buying: Gold Experts.” International Business Times. 30 Oct. 2013. (http://www.ibtimes.com/perspectives-central-bank-gold-buying-gold-experts-1448444). 13 Nov. 2013.

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Thursday, November 14th, 2013 Banking, Commodities, Europe, Federal Reserve, Precious Metals Comments Off on Central Banks Net Purchasers Of Gold For 11 Consecutive Quarters

WHO To Health Workers: Be On Alert For Viruses With Pandemic Potential

Prior to Survival And Prosperity’s two-week hiatus, I’d been tracking and blogging about viruses that have pandemic potential. This included the H7N9 bird flu virus in China and the novel coronavirus (nCoV) in the Middle East. While compiling material to blog about I stumbled on the following yesterday on the FOX News website. From Reuters:

The World Health Organization on Monday urged health workers around the world to be on the alert for symptoms of the deadly Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS), which has the potential to circle the globe and cause a pandemic.

The United Nations agency, which issued new, long-awaited guidance to countries on influenza pandemics, said the world was also in the same “alert phase” for two human strains of bird flu – H5N1, which emerged a decade ago, and H7N9, first detected in China in March.

So the novel coronavirus in the Middle East is now being called MERS.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have published information about the virus on their website (they refer to it as MERS-CoV). I found the most important to be:

Q: What are the symptoms of MERS?
A: Most people who got infected with MERS-CoV developed severe acute respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath. About half of them died. Some people were reported as having a mild respiratory illness.

Q: Does MERS-CoV spread from person to person?
A: MERS-CoV has been shown to spread between people who are in close contact. Transmission from infected patients to healthcare personnel has also been observed. Clusters of cases in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the UK, France, Tunisia, and Italy are being investigated.

Q: Is CDC concerned?
A: Yes, CDC is concerned about MERS-CoV. The virus has caused severe illness in most infected people, and about half of them have died. Also, the virus spreads from person to person and has spread between countries. CDC recognizes the potential for the virus to spread further and cause more cases and clusters globally, including in the United States.

Q: Has anyone in the United States gotten infected?
A: So far, there are no reports of anyone in the United States getting infected with MERS-CoV.

Hopefully, it stays that way, as there is no vaccine available to fight MERS-CoV.

Of the 55 recorded cases of MERS-CoV, 31 of those infected with the virus have died.

More information about MERS-CoV can be found on the CDC website here.

As for H7N9, yesterday China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission reported there are only 14 patients from the outbreak still in hospitals (via The Japan Times). Warmer weather following the end of winter in China is thought to have helped contain the outbreak.

Of the 131 recorded cases of H7N9, 39 of those infected with the virus have died.

More information about H7N9 can be found on the CDC website here.

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

Sources:

“WHO: MERS coronavirus has potential to cause pandemic.” Reuters. 10 June 2013. (http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/06/10/who-mers-coronavirus-has-potential-to-cause-pandemic/). 11 June 2013.

“China H7N9 patients dwindle to 14: report.” The Japan Times. 10 June 2013. (http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/06/11/asia-pacific/china-h7n9-patients-dwindle-to-14-report/#.Ubd0c9g4yeY). 11 June 2013.

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Tuesday, June 11th, 2013 Asia, Emergencies, Europe, Health, Middle East Comments Off on WHO To Health Workers: Be On Alert For Viruses With Pandemic Potential

Now Playing: The Prophecy Of The Popes

“Wow, Pope Benedict is resigning,” I said to my girlfriend Monday morning as she was in the kitchen gathering some things together before she left for work.

“Uh-oh, that means people will start freaking out over the Prophecy of the Popes.” I had mentioned the prophecy a few years back, but didn’t expect her to remember it.

Yet, she stopped what she was doing and uttered:

Yeah, that’s really creepy.

Move over, Mayan “apocalypse,” because Malachy is in the house.

From the free encyclopedia Wikipedia (I usually don’t use Wikipedia as source, but I thought the following write-up was pretty decent):

The Prophecy of the Popes, attributed to Saint Malachy, is a list of 112 short phrases in Latin. They purport to describe each of the Roman Catholic popes (along with a few anti-popes), beginning with Pope Celestine II (elected in 1143) and concluding with current pope Benedict XVI’s successor, a pope described in the prophecy as “Peter the Roman”, whose pontificate will end in the destruction of the city of Rome.

The prophecy was first published in 1595 by Arnold de Wyon, a Benedictine historian, as part of his book Lignum Vitæ. Wyon attributed the list to Saint Malachy, the 12th century bishop of Armagh in Ireland. According to the traditional account, in 1139, Malachy was summoned to Rome by Pope Innocent II. While in Rome, Malachy purportedly experienced a vision of future popes, which he recorded as a sequence of cryptic phrases. This manuscript was then deposited in the Roman Archive, and thereafter forgotten about until its rediscovery in 1590.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Here is the short phrase (translated from Latin) attributed to Pope Benedict’s replacement, “Peter the Roman:”

In the extreme persecution of the Holy Roman Church, there will sit [i.e., as bishop]. Peter the Roman, who will pasture his sheep in many tribulations: and when these things are finished, the city of seven hills will be destroyed, and the terrible judge will judge his people.

“And the terrible judge will judge his people.”

Creepy indeed.

Speculation is mounting regarding potential successors to Pope Benedict XVI. But Ghanian Cardinal Peter Turkson has been mentioned as a favorite.

Peter Turkson. Peter the Roman? Gulp.

In all seriousness, a number of Doomsday preppers- not mainstream ones- will most likely replace December 21, 2012, with St. Malachy’s medieval prophecy as motivation for their preparedness activity, if they hadn’t factored it in already.

Suum cuique pulchrum est (roughly translated from Latin as, “to each, their own”).

As for me, I’ve mentioned it before- the last time being to some young journalists working on a post-Mayan “apocalypse” piece- but will share it with readers again.

Whenever I hear these kinds of predictions, I think of the Bible (New Testament) and the First Book of Thessalonians, chapter 5, verse 2:

For you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.

You can read more about St. Malachy and the Prophecy of the Popes on Wikipedia here.

Just don’t blame me if you can’t get to sleep tonight after taking it all in.

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

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Tuesday, February 12th, 2013 End Times, Europe, Preparedness, Religion Comments Off on Now Playing: The Prophecy Of The Popes
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