Japan

Jim Rogers Owns, Plans On Buying More Japanese Stocks

It’s not much of a secret that investor, financial commentator, and author Jim Rogers is bullish on Japanese stocks. Back on February 8 he told CNBC viewers:

I own Japanese stocks… Japan is down 75 percent. 75 percent… Japan is going to continue to print money. It’s not good for the world. It’s making markets go up. But in the meantime I’m anticipating. The yen is collapsing in Japan, but the stock market is going through the roof.


“Jim Rogers: I’m Short US Government Bonds And Investing In Russia – CNBC 2/8/2013”
(Japan discussion starts at 3:57)
YouTube Video

It’s now March, and the former investing partner of George Soros is still big on Japan. Toshiro Hasegawa and Anna Kitanaka reported on the Bloomberg website this past Monday:

“Japan is one of the few places in the world where I own shares,” Rogers, chairman of Rogers Holdings, said at a Daiwa Securities Group Inc. (8601) equity conference in Tokyo today. “I have no plans to sell and plan to accumulate more when I can. Abe has been a catalyst and this will continue for several years.”

The Singapore-based investor went into more detail about the Japanese equities he owns. Hasegawa and Kitanaka added:

Rogers said he owns shares of Japanese tractor makers on optimism they will be more competitive abroad because of a weaker yen, as well as brokerages.

Regular observers of Rogers, who correctly-called the commodity bull market that started in 1999, know he also likes agriculture as an investment. So his interest in Japanese tractor makers makes sense.

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:

Hasegawa, Toshiro and Kitanaka, Anna. “Jim Rogers Bullish on Japan Equities on Abe’s Catalyst.” Bloomberg. 4 Mar. 2013. (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-03-05/jim-rogers-bullish-on-japan-equities-on-abe-s-catalyst.html). 6 Mar. 2013.

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Jeremy Grantham: Thanks To Fed, ‘All Global Assets Are Once Again Becoming Overpriced’

It’s been quite some time since I blogged about Jeremy Grantham, co-founder and chief investment strategist of Grantham, Mayo, Van Otterloo & Co. (GMO). I’ve noted before that the British investor has a special talent for correctly-calling the direction of the markets. For example:

• In 1982, said the U.S. stock market was ripe for a “major rally.” That year was the beginning of the longest bull run ever.
• In 1989, called the top of the Japanese bubble economy
• In 1991, predicted the resurgence of U.S. large cap stocks
• In 2000, correctly called the rallies in U.S. small cap and value stocks
• In January 2000, warned of an impending crash in technology stocks, which took place two months later
• Saw the 2008 global financial crisis coming. In April 2007, said we are now seeing the first worldwide bubble in history covering all asset classes.

Keep in mind that bit about “the first worldwide bubble in history covering all asset classes.”

Grantham pens a quarterly investment letter on the GMO website. And I recently read his latest installment (covering Q4 2012) which was released in February. Entitled “Investing in a Low-Growth World,” Grantham discussed what he called the Federal Reserve’s negative real rates regime, which is:

Designed to badger us into riskier investments in order to push up equity prices and grab a short-term wealth effect (that must be given back one day when least comfortable and least expected), has gone on for a long and, for me, boring time.

And the consequences? The investment manager whose individual clients have included Secretary of State John Kerry and former Vice President Dick Cheney wrote later on in “Investment Implications:”

Courtesy of the above Fed policy, all global assets are once again becoming overpriced. This reminds me of the idea sometimes attributed to Einstein that a workable definition of madness is constantly repeating the same actions but expecting a different outcome! But, as always, asset prices are not uniformly overpriced: emerging markets and, we believe, Japan are only moderately overpriced. European stocks are also only a little expensive, but in today’s world are substantially more risky than normal. The great global franchise companies also seem only moderately overpriced. Forestry and farmland, which is not super-prime Midwestern, is also only moderately overpriced but comes with our nook and cranny sticker attached. But much of everything else is once again brutally overpriced. Notably, U.S. stocks (ex “quality”) now sell at a negative seven-year imputed return on our numbers and most global growth stocks are close to zero expected return. As for fixed income – fugetaboutit! Most of it has negative estimated returns on our data, and longer debt, as always, carries that risk that may be slight in any period, but is horrific if it occurs – accelerating inflation.

When one combines the apparent determination and influence of those who do the bullying with the career risk and short-termism of the bullied and the desire of the general public to believe unbelievable good news, these overpricings can go much further and the Fed can win another round or two. That’s the problem. A clue to timing would be when we begin to hear more passionate new era arguments: profit margins will always be higher; growth will snap back to 3% for the developed world; and new ones I can’t think of … maybe “when the discount rate is this low the Dow should sell at, perhaps, 36,000.” In the meantime, prudent managers should be increasingly careful. Same ole, same ole.

You can read the rest of Grantham’s 4Q 2012 letter on the GMO website here.

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.)

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Has A Currency War Begun?

A currency war.

Like what happened in the 1930s.

There’s growing talk about it these days. From Matt Clinch on the CNBC website this morning:

As countries try to weaken their currencies to boost exports, the risk of a currency war similar to events seen in the 1930s has heightened and policymakers are making sure they are on the winning side, according to Morgan Stanley.

The balance of power now rests with Japan, according to the bank, as Japan’s policy-makers’ more dovish approach looks set to bring the world a step closer to a currency war…

“If a weaker yen is an important pillar of the strategy to make this export-oriented economy more competitive again, it brings into the picture something that was missing from earlier interactions among central banks of the advanced economies- competitive depreciation,” it said in a research note.

“This, in turn, takes us one step closer to a currency war.”

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Yesterday I mentioned trends forecaster Gerald Celente. The founder and director of The Trends Research Institute appeared on the FOX Business Network’s The Tom Sullivan Show on January 26 and talked a good deal about currency wars, and thinks one is already underway. Celente told viewers:

Pick up the Financial Times, pick up the Wall Street Journal, pick up anything. Read the headlines. Currency Wars, Currency Wars, Currency Wars, Currency Wars. That’s what I’m concerned about. We’re seeing a replay in time. The Crash of 1929, a Great Depression, Currency Wars, Trade Wars, World War. The Panic of ’08. The Great Depression is a depression going on in a lot of places around the world. There’s Currency Wars.

Listen to Weber, the head of the UBS, former president of Deutsche Bank. His words at Davos- there’s a currency war. Listen to Mervyn King, the outgoing head of the Bank of England- there’s a currency war. Listen to Mantega, Brazil- there’s a currency war.

Celente went on to predict trade wars are on the horizon.


“Gerald Celente – Tom Sullivan on Fox Business News – January 26, 2013”
YouTube Video

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

Source:

Clinch, Matt. “Currency Wars Return, 1930s Style: Who Will Lose Out?” CNBC. 7 Feb. 2013. (http://www.cnbc.com/id/100441340). 7 Feb. 2013.

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Gerald Celente Sees Interest Rates Going Up, Housing Slowing Down, Economy Going Down

One of the “crash prophets” who correctly-predicted the 1998 global economic crisis is trends forecaster Gerald Celente. The founder and director of The Trends Research Institute appeared on RT America last Thursday and echoed what a number of his fellow “crash prophets” (Marc Faber, Jim Rogers, Peter Schiff) are saying these days about money printing and rising asset prices. Celente told viewers:

This is a known strategy. That by lowering interest rates, more money would flow into the equity markets. They knew this. We said this when it was happening when they were starting to do it. So that’s been boosting up the stock market.

And again, the only thing that’s keeping any of this going- not only in the U.S., in the U.K., now in Japan, in the European central banks- they’re all dumping money into the system and lowering interest rates. That’s the only thing that’s keeping it alive, and that’s what propping up the stock market.

Celente- who’s been forecasting trends since 1980- shared his outlook for the next year:

Our forecast for 2013 is more of the same- but worse. We see recession on the horizon. There’s going to be a point… when they have to raise interest rates because of the debasement and the devaluation of the currencies.

When that happens, you’re not going to see homes bought the way they are now. You’re going to see a slow down across the board.

Again, the only thing that’s keeping this going is the cheap money, these zero interest rates, not only in the U.S. but in Japan, around the world.

It’s a currency war. Everyone knows it.

At some point, the interest rates are going to go up. And the economy is going to go down.


“Gerald Celente – RT America with Liz Wahl – January 31, 2013 “
YouTube Video

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)

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Gold Entering Annual Sweet Spot?

This is the time of year gold traders get excited about. Don Vialoux wrote on The Globe and Mail (Canada) website yesterday:

The period of seasonal strength for gold bullion is approaching.

Thackray’s 2012 Investor’s Guideicon notes that the optimal time to invest in gold bullion for a seasonal trade is from July 12 to Oct. 9. The trade has been profitable during 11 of the past 14 periods. During the past 25 periods, gold bullion has outperformed the S&P 500 Index by 4.7 per cent per period.

Demand and supply factors seem to be in gold’s favor. Vialoux pointed out:

Despite reduced demand for gold in India, prospects for the seasonal trade this year are higher than average. Demand for gold is increasing. Chinese consumer purchases of jewellery continue to increase.

Of greater importance, central banks including Russia, China and India are rumoured to be significant buyers. China continues to take action to diversify its reserves outside of U.S. dollar investments by adding to its gold holdings. China and India are rumoured to be buyers of gold for use in a gold-for-oil arrangement with Iran.

On the supply side, production from China, the world’s largest gold producer, is believed to be declining as older mines reduce production. Meanwhile, investor demand is increasing due to concerns that central banks are trying to stimulate their economies by essentially printing more money.

The United Kingdom and Europe and China announced additional monetary stimulus last week and a third quantitative easing program by the Federal Reserve during this summer is widely anticipated. More money chasing a relatively stable amount of gold will lead to higher gold prices.

Speaking of the United Kingdom, the London-based World Gold Council, the gold industry’s market development organization, released a research report yesterday entitled, “Gold as a strategic asset for UK investors.” From a press release:

The World Gold Council has today launched its latest research entitled “Gold as a strategic asset for UK investors”, which examines gold’s role within a sterling-denominated investment portfolio. Using data spanning over 25 years, the report demonstrates that an allocation to gold helps investors obtain equal or better average returns, while incurring less volatility and reducing the maximum monthly losses.

Against a backdrop of sustained market turmoil and wealth erosion, investors are seeking a trusted source of security for their holdings. The report shows how gold can fulfil this role by acting as a consistent portfolio diversifier – managing risk and mitigating potential losses in the portfolios of UK investors, an imperative in the prevailing environment…

Juan Carlos Artigas, Global Head of Investment Research commented:

“There is robust evidence for adding gold as a foundation to investors’ portfolios; risk-adjusted returns increase, losses diminish and capital is preserved. The optimal strategic allocation to gold for sterling-based investors ranges between 2.6% and 9.5% depending on their specific risk tolerance and assets they hold. This potential for investors to avoid a significant loss or increase portfolio gains, by adding gold, is especially important during extreme market events.”

And this morning, the World Gold Council issued a similar report for Japanese investors entitled, “Optimal Allocations to Gold for Japanese Investors.”

You can access both WGC reports on their website here.

(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:

Vialoux, Don. “Get ready for gold bullion’s season of strength.” The Globe and Mail. 10 July 2012. (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/funds-and-etfs/etfs/season-of-gold-bullion-strength-nearly-here/article4403228/?cmpid=rss1). 11 July 2012.

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Jim Rogers Sees Another Crisis ‘Over The Next 18 Months’

The Gulf News (UAE) recently ran an insightful piece on legendary investor Jim Rogers. Senior Associate Editor Mick O’Reilly spoke with the commodities guru about a number of topics, and the discussion appeared on the publication’s website on March 13, 2012.

Rogers believes that the next crisis is dead-ahead. He told O’Reilly:

It’s only a matter of time before the next crisis comes. Maybe by the end of this year, probably by the end of next year.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Referring to the massive amount of money printing going on under the Federal Reserve’s watch, Rogers added:

Sure, when the next blow comes, and it will over the next 18 months, we have nothing left.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

18 months? That’s September 2013.

Looking further down the road, Rogers still believes Asia remains the future. The CEO of Rogers Holdings and Beeland Interests, Inc. told the Gulf News:

Europe is finished. The US is broken. Asia is where it’s at.

And as to where the former partner of George Soros is placing his money these days? O’Reilly wrote:

I have only started to get back into stocks now, nothing serious,” he answers. His money is tied up in anything to do with agriculture, currencies, silver

Rogers has put his money where his mouth is and is heavily into Japan, Taiwan, China, Korea and Singapore.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

The Singapore-based investor added:

My advice to young people would be to get into agriculture. If you want to make money over the next 20 years, agriculture is the way to go. If you don’t want to be a farmer, buy the Lamborghini dealership or a restaurant in Iowa. Why? Because the farmers in Iowa are going to be very wealthy. And they will be able to afford Lamborghinis. Fewer and fewer people are producing more and more food for more and more of us. That’s only going to get worse over the next 20 or 30 years. So if you’re smart, put your money into anything related to agriculture.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

O’Reilly and the Gulf News really did a terrific job on the interview, which is definitely worth reading if you have the time.

(Editor’s notes: 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. It’s recommended that you consult with a licensed, qualified professional before making any investment decisions; info added to “Crash Prophets” page)

Source:

O’Reilly, Mick. “The world, according to investor Jim Rogers.” Gulf News. 13 Mar. 2012. (http://gulfnews.com/business/features/the-world-according-to-investor-jim-rogers-1.993414). 19 Mar. 2012.

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On TV: Doomsday Preppers, Episode 6

On Monday, I previewed episode number 6, “Nine Meals Away from Anarchy,” of the National Geographic Channel TV series Doomsday Preppers. This afternoon, I’ll be doing my review of the episode.

The show focused on three prepper groups this past Tuesday. In order of appearance:

Mike Mester and family, suburb of Atlanta, Georgia
“We’re preparing for civil unrest caused by a global economic collapse.”

Preston White, central Colorado
“Preston believes that a cloud of deadly radiation from Fukushima is heading towards the mainland United States and will soon contaminate food and water supplies.”

Riley Cook and family, Silverthorne, Colorado
“I’m preparing my family to survive a polar shift.”

Here are my thoughts about episode 6 of Doomsday Preppers, broken down by prepper group:

Mike Mester and family

Mike Mester is a contractor who lives in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia, with his wife, kids, and dogs. Prepping is a way of life for the entire family, so much so that they’ve been doing it for almost a decade. Mike warned:

The way the United States economy works today is not sustainable. We were once the greatest creditor in the world. Now, we are the greatest debtor. Where will all the money come from? Look at the news, look at the papers. Police departments cut. Fire departments cut. What will we do when there’s no one there?

According to the show:

Mike believes that as the global economy falters, the U.S. economy will fall deeper and deeper into debt. Banks will close. Power will go out. Basic services will grind to a halt.

Which led Mike to ask:

If the grocery shelves are empty, you’re only nine meals away from anarchy. What will happen then? Will you be prepared?

It’s revealed that oldest son Ryan is away at college 250 miles away. Mike declared:

My wife and I, our home is our family. That’s why we want to ensure that we get all our children home when things collapse. We will go to any extent to ensure their safety.

As a result, Ryan’s parents provided him with a “get home” bag full of supplies, including food and water, that will support him for 4 days. In case their son is unable to make it back to the Mester household by himself, his parents have a backup plan in place. Mike explained:

Heaven forbid our oldest boy can’t make it home. That’s why we have plans to retrieve him in 30 days.

From the show:

Mike believes that after an economic collapse, rioting will spread from urban centers in waves, with violence cresting in the first few weeks. So 30 days is a key timeframe for braving the road.

Mr. Mester suspects gasoline will be hard to come by in an economic collapse, so he stores 50 gallons of it out in his garage. He replenishes his stockpile every 3 months to keep the gas fresh. Viewers were also informed in the episode:

He is also teaching his son Kyle methods for stealing gasoline, if necessary.

Nice. How about:

He is also teaching his son Kyle methods for recovering gasoline from abandoned/disabled vehicles in a societal collapse.

It’s just not the humans who are prepping in the Mester household. Their two German Shepherd dogs, Storm and Thunder, both have bug-out bags and were later shown to be receiving training for protecting the home and family.

Putting his logistician background to good work, Mike has amassed and organized an impressive stockpile of food and water. It’s revealed 3 rooms of his 4,500 square-foot house are dedicated to food storage. He estimated they have 2 years of food for 10 people. Viewers are also informed:

Mike stores thousands of cans, sometimes for years past their expiration date. Expired food might not taste good, but Mike knows it could keep his family alive in a crisis.

Mike added:

There’s a difference between shelf life and life-sustaining. In Third World countries, they use rancid cooking oil. Certainly, it will not hurt you.

Another interesting bit of info provided about the Mester family’s preps was the alternative fuel source they were shown fabricating and stockpiling. They collect dead leaves in the fall and combine them with newspaper to create an alternative fuel source. The mixture is soaked in water for 5 days, the slurry is compressed to remove the liquid, and briquettes are formed and air-dried for a week to serve as emergency heating and cooking sources. Very nice.

Like a number of other suburban preppers, Mike and his family recognize the potential threats from living so close to a major American city should a SHTF situation arise- and are preparing accordingly. Mike said:

Security is an important part of the prepper’s lifestyle. If there’s an economic collapse, civil unrest will likely ensue the metropolitan areas, then spread out to the suburbs. Downtown Atlanta is only 45 miles away. We don’t know how fast that civil unrest will get to us, but we certainly will be prepared if it does.

The Mester family possesses a battery of home-defense firearms and a stockpile of ammunition, and trains monthly at the shooting range.

Mike left viewers with this thought:

If you think the government’s going to be there, are you going to sit back and wait for the cavalry? They may never come. So what are you going to do about it? Why don’t you start to prepare? Because it’s your personal responsibility.

In the “Expert Assessment” portion of the Mester segment, Practical Preppers LLC recommended:

You need to put your leadership skills to use in your community. Getting your neighbors aware of, and involved in your prepping, will only make your family more secure in a crisis situation.

Excellent advice. But I’d add, that depends on the neighbors. I’ve lived next to my share of wackjobs over the years. And here in Chicago, where a good number of the residents have bought into the notion of “cradle-to-grave” care and protection by the Nanny State, preppers/survivalists and firearm owners are looked upon with intense suspicion, if not disgust.

Finally, in the “Doomsday Preppers Update” portion, Mike Mester indicated that the family was planning to grow a 1,000 square foot garden in their backyard. Those who lived in Russia in the aftermath of the Soviet Union’s collapse will attest to how important a food garden is when society breaks down.

Preston White

Preston White is a web developer who lives in central Colorado. The recent disaster at the Fukushima power plant in Japan got him prepping. From the show:

Preston believes that a cloud of deadly radiation from Fukushima is heading towards the mainland United States and will soon contaminate food and water supplies.

White said:

People need to know Japan should be evacuated. California, Oregon, and Washington should be evacuated.

Convinced of this radioactive contamination, White makes putting together a seed bank a top priority. From the episode:

Believing that radioactive fallout from Japan will contaminate the American food chain, Preston is creating a seed bank, a store of fruit and vegetable seeds that can be used to grow radiation-free food in a post-apocalyptic world.

White has amassed so many seeds, he is shown displaying 11,000 different types for viewers. He explained:

A non-prepper might look at my supply and say, “Are you kidding me?” But if something happens- I win this game. People that aren’t prepared- they lose this game.

In the episode, Preston White worked with other preppers (Shane Anderson, Richard Dudas) to plant his seeds and create a radiation-free farm. A key component to the farm is the biosphere tent system, which acts as barrier to radioactive fallout while allowing enough light in to grow food year-round. In addition, these tents can be broken down/set up fast and easily transported should the situation call for it.

Besides growing food, these tents were also purchased so people can live in them. At this point in the episode, local Russell Preister brought in and demonstrated an HHO generator/home heater prototype that would hopefully provide energy, clean radiation-free water, and purified oxygen for the plant and human occupants. According to the show:

The HHO generator can turn water into highly-flammable gas by using electrolysis to separate water’s hydrogen and oxygen atoms. It can literally turn water into fire… HHO technology has become increasingly popular, with plans to build home generators readily available on the Internet.

Like the Mester family, White has a battery of home-defense firearms. He said:

If you’re a prepper, there’s 4 guns to have. You’ve got a 30-06 to kill a deer, shotgun, 22 rifle to protect your home, and a 9mm pistol. A sidearm for close contact. The guns I chose, I chose for defense.

Hope he meant to say that 22 rifle is a .223.

After learning a valuable lesson about violating operational security (OPSEC), White remarked:

I was faced with death. Decided I wasn’t going to be a victim. It changed my life the way I live tomorrow. I can affect my picture, and that’s what you do by prepping.

In the “Doomsday Preppers Update” portion of this segment, Preston said:

I’m hoping in the future to pick up a motor home and make it into a really good bug-out vehicle.

I always thought a mobile bug-out location was a neat idea. For those who can’t afford a fixed BOL, it might be worth investigating.

Riley Cook and family

Riley Cook is a welder living in Silverthorne, Colorado, with his wife and four kids. According to the show:

Riley believes that during his lifetime, there will be a catastrophic polar shift, a movement of the Earth’s North and South Poles along the Earth’s mantle. And this drastic geological change will unleash a litany of natural disasters.

The Cook family began seriously prepping 5 years ago. It was revealed they have already spent around $300,000 on prepping.

Prepping has become such an integral part of their lives, the Cook family’s welding shop recently became a disaster shelter building business. Because they construct customized underground bunkers, all sorts of features can be incorporated into a project. Even an incinerator to eliminate pesky intruders. Riley explained:

That’s what you get when you combine a prepper and a welder.

Getting back to the episode:

A bunker buried at a distant bug-out location is only effective if you can get to it. Riley expects that the catastrophic nature of a polar shift will cause severe fuel shortages. So he has used his expert welding skills to solve the problem of transportation. His latest prepping tool is a custom-made Cook original that he hopes will allow his family to carry supplies without needing a car or truck.

Riley designed and built a 100 lb. hand-crafted aluminum cart that allows him to haul almost 9 times his body weight by distributing loads like a horse and cart. In this case, Riley is the horse. It’s also water-tight and can float in a body of water. Pretty cool.

Not surprisingly, the Cook family has an underground survival shelter located at 11,200 feet in the Colorado mountains 10 miles from civilization. During the episode, Riley, his wife Sara(h?), and their kids are shown practicing bugging-out in severe weather up an unplowed, snow-covered mountain pass to the bunker. From the show:

Emergency preparedness experts suggest that you practice evacuating your home at least twice a year, and plot alternate routes in case roads become impassable.

Great advice.

The Cook family eventually made it to their “cabin,” and proceeded to hunker down for the remainder of their stay.

Overall, a really good episode. As I said in my preview earlier in the week, a lot of viewers can probably relate to the Mester family in the suburbs, the Cook family in the small town, and even Preston White out in central Colorado. And this week, a number of ideas (food gardens, HHO generators/home heaters, motor homes, etcetera) were introduced that might be worth looking into.

I wish these three prepper groups success in their endeavors.

New episodes of Doomsday Preppers air on the National Geographic Channel Tuesday nights at 9 PM Eastern/Pacific Time. For more information, go to the Nat Geo Channel website here.

And before I forget, have you seen the new Doomsday Preppers TV commercial yet? When I first heard it, I thought it sounded so similar to the beverage commercials from the late 70s/early 80s it had me wondering if the original crew hadn’t been hired to produce it…


“I’m a Prepper, You’re a Prepper”
YouTube Video

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Preview Of Doomsday Preppers, Episode 6

If you think the government’s going to be there, are you going to sit back and wait for the cavalry? They may never come. So what are you going to do about it? Why don’t you start to prepare? Because it’s your personal responsibility.

-Mike Mester, “doomsday prepper”

Last week, I received an e-mail about participating in part two of National Geographic’s Doomsday Preppers Blog Carnival. By agreeing to take part in the event, I’d get a sneak peak of the next Doomsday Preppers episode airing on the National Geographic Channel on Tuesday, March 6. More importantly, I’d be able to provide Survival And Prosperity readers a preview of episode number 6, “Nine Meals Away from Anarchy.” I watched the show, which focused on three prepper groups. In order of appearance:

Mike Mester, a contractor living in suburban Atlanta, Georgia, with his wife, kids, and dogs
“We’re preparing for civil unrest caused by a global economic collapse.”

Preston White, a web developer living in central Colorado
“Preston believes that a cloud of deadly radiation from Fukushima is heading towards the mainland United States and will soon contaminate food and water supplies.”

Riley Cook, a welder living in Silverthorne, Colorado, with his wife and four kids
“I’m preparing my family to survive a polar shift.”

Now, because this post in only a preview, I can’t give up too much information. However, I think those that are interested in preparedness and who are following the television series will really enjoy this installment of Doomsday Preppers. How so? Well, I’ve learned that preppers come from all walks of life here in the United States. As such, plenty of viewers will relate to the Mester family and their situation in the suburbs, the Cook family and small-town living, and Preston White, the mild-mannered, techno-geek prepper. Personally, I can identify with all three parties. I grew up more or less in the Chicago suburbs, a lot of it in a town writer Ernest Hemingway once supposedly-described as consisting of “broad lawns and narrow minds.” I’ve also spent a good deal of my time throughout the years in a small town in southeastern Wisconsin that’s generally succeeded in not being overrun by throngs of vacationers from northern Illinois. Finally, with the word “eccentric” having been used to describe me before, coupled with my ongoing interest in computers from an early age (borrowed my uncle’s TI-99 back in 1983, picked up an Apple IIc in 1984, and never looked back), I think I understand where White is coming from.

I think viewers that are prepping or are interested in it will also appreciate episode 6 of Doomsday Preppers because many topics will probably hit close to home. Sorry, but no umbilical cords being handed out in this installment. From the Mester family section:

• How to retrieve family members during a SHTF situation who are located a long distance away from the household
• Prepping for pets, particularly dogs
• What to do with expired food
• A cheap, alternative heating and cooking source
• Preparing for civil unrest that might spill into the suburbs from the city in a major crisis

From Preston White’s section:

• A personal seed bank
• Tents to grow food year-round and for living- in a radioactive environment
• An HHO generator and home heater
• A home defense firearm battery
• A graphic lesson about maintaining operational security, or OPSEC

From the Cook family section:

• Underground shelters
• An alternative form of transportation
• Bugging-out in severe conditions

Now, the Cook family is prepping because they fear a polar shift is coming. You may recall that in episode 4 the O’Brien family had the same concern. From that episode:

Kevin believes that a 2012 polar shift will cause the earth to move on its axis, resulting in an onslaught of natural disasters… and since Florida is a low-lying coastal peninsula, Kevin believes that his home state will be completely devastated by a polar shift.

I feel it’s important to point out, once again, that what I think the O’Brien and Cook families are really concerned about is not a magnetic pole shift, but what’s known as “true polar wander,” or the solid-body rotation of the Earth with respect to its spin axis, causing the geographic (not just the magnetic) locations of the North and South Poles to change, or “wander.” Some theorize that rapid TPW could lead to scores of natural disasters taking place across the world over a small period of time.

Overall, I think you’ll really get into episode 6 of Doomsday Preppers. Like I said, many viewers should be able to identify with the featured preppers and topics. I thought this episode covered the most interesting material to date- although I leave it up to you to decide on Fukushima. While I liked learning about the Mester family’s suburban stronghold and the Cook family’s mountain retreat, I thought the HHO generator/heater that Preston White and his friends were playing around with was way too cool. Then again, that’s the techno-geek in me coming out.

Tune into Doomsday Preppers episode 6, “Nine Meals Away from Anarchy,” on Tuesday night, March 6, on the National Geographic Channel.

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IMF, World Bank Warn Global Economy Has Entered Danger Zone

When the World Bank president said last week the world had entered a new economic danger zone, it grabbed my attention.

But when the chief economist of the IMF said today that the world economy had entered a dangerous new phase, I decided I better share their concerns with you.

Associated Press’ economic writer Christopher S. Rugaber reported this afternoon:

The world economy has entered a “dangerous new phase,” according to the chief economist of the International Monetary Fund. As a result, the international lending organization has sharply downgraded its economic outlook for the United States and Europe through the end of next year…

“The global economy has entered a dangerous new phase,” said Olivier Blanchard, the IMF’s chief economist. “The recovery has weakened considerably. Strong policies are needed to improve the outlook and reduce the risks.”

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Rugaber talked about the IMF’s outlook for the United States. He wrote:

The IMF expects the U.S. economy to grow just 1.5 percent this year and 1.8 percent in 2012. That’s down from its June forecast of 2.5 percent in 2011 and 2.7 percent next year…

Unemployment is likely to average 9 percent next year, the IMF’s report said, echoing a recent estimate by the Obama administration.

The concerns of the International Monetary Fund follow those voiced by the head of the World Bank last week. Reuters’ Lesley Wroughton wrote on September 14:

World Bank President Robert Zoellick said on Wednesday the world had entered a new economic danger zone and Europe, Japan and the United States all needed to make hard decisions to avoid dragging down the global economy.

“Unless Europe, Japan, and the United states can also face up to responsibilities they will drag down not only themselves, but the global economy,” Zoellick said in speech at George Washington University.

“They have procrastinated for too long on taking the difficult decisions, narrowing what choices are now left to a painful few,” he said ahead of meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund next week…

“The time for muddling through is over,” Zoellick said. “If we do not get ahead of events; if we do not adapt to change; if we do not rise above short-term political tactics or recognize that with power comes responsibility, then we will drift in dangerous currents.”

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Disregard such warnings at your own peril.

Sources:

Rugaber, Christopher S. “IMF: World economy enters ‘dangerous new phase’.” Associated Press. 20 Sep. 2011. (http://news.yahoo.com/imf-world-economy-enters-dangerous-phase-142632262.html). 20 Sep. 2011.

Wroughton, Lesley. “UPDATE 3-World Bank chief says world economy in danger zone.” Reuters. 14 Sep. 2011. (http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/09/15/worldbank-zoellick-idUSS1E78D0XK20110915). 20 Sep. 2011.

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Tuesday, September 20th, 2011 Asia, Employment, Europe, Fiscal Policy, GDP No Comments

Report: World’s Millionaire Households Grew More Than 12 Percent Last Year

While Marc Faber is alarmed by the display of wealth he sees in America these days, he could be witnessing such “opulence” for good reason. Robert Frank wrote in the Wall Street Journal blog The Wealth Report yesterday:

According to a new report by Boston Consulting Group out today, the number of millionaire households in the world grew by 12.2% in 2010, to 12.5 million. (BCG defines millionaires as those with $1 million or more in investible assets, excluding homes, luxury goods and ownership in one’s own company).

The U.S. continues to lead the world in millionaires, with 5.2 million millionaire households, followed by Japan with 1.5 million millionaire households, China with 1.1 million and the U.K. with 570,000. Singapore leads the world in “millionaire density,” or the percentage of millionaires, with 15.5% of its population now millionaire households.

The most important trend, however, is the global wealth distribution. According to the report, the world’s millionaires represent 0.9% of the world’s population but control 39% of the world’s wealth, up from 37% in 2009. Their wealth now totals $47.4 trillion in investible wealth, up from $41.8 trillion in 2009.

Those higher up the wealth ladder also gained. Those with $5 million or more, who represent 0.1% of the population, controlled 22% of the world’s wealth, up from 20 percent in 2009.

The reason for the growth in wealth? A recovery in stock prices, Boston Consulting Group claims. Bloomberg’s Alexis Leondis wrote last night:

“We have seen a growth from 2008 to 2010 that matches the growth from 2005 to 2007,” Peter Damisch, a partner based in the firm’s Zurich office and head of the wealth-management practice in Europe, said in a telephone interview. “But the growth from 2008 to 2010 was driven by the recovery of equity markets and much less by the generation of new wealth.”

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Sources:

Frank, Robert. “Millionaires Control 39% of the World’s Wealth.” The Wealth Report (Wall Street Journal). 31 May 2011. (http://blogs.wsj.com/wealth/2011/05/31/millionaires-control-39-of-the-worlds-wealth/). 31 May 2011.

Leondis, Alexis. “Ranks of World’s Millionaires Increased by 12%, Boston Consulting Reports.” Bloomberg. 31 May 2011. (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-05-31/world-s-wealthy-rose-by-12-on-market-gains.html). 31 May 2011.

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Wednesday, June 1st, 2011 Asia, Europe, Investing, Stocks, Wealth No Comments

China, Japan, And South Korea Look At U.S. Dollar Alternatives

This morning it’s being reported that a number of Asian nations are considering distancing themselves from the U.S. dollar as it concerns trade and investment. MarketWatch’s Chris Oliver wrote:

Officials from China, Japan and South Korea agreed on Wednesday to study a proposal to use their own currencies for regional trade settlement instead of the U.S. dollar, according to a Dow Jones Newswires report.

The report cited a joint communiqué issued in Hanoi.

Finance officials from the three big Asian economies said they were mindful of challenges arising from inflation, noting commodity prices were high while volatile capital inflows were also a concern.

It’s also being reported that South Korea is looking at acquiring securities that aren’t U.S. dollar-denominated. The Wall Street Journal’s In-Soo Nam wrote this morning:

South Korea is considering investing part of its foreign-exchange reserves in yuan-denominated Chinese securities to diversify its portfolio as its reserves rise to a record high, a senior Bank of Korea official said Wednesday.

“China will be a good investment destination for us in the mid- to long-term, given the country’s efforts to make the yuan a global currency,” Hong Taeg-ki, chief of the BOK’s reserve-management group, told Dow Jones Newswires.

He said South Korea’s foreign-exchange reserves need to be diversified to include yuan assets, although any significant investment in Chinese securities isn’t likely in the near future given the strict Chinese rules on investment by foreign investors…

The BOK has said it is diversifying its investments to include assets denominated in major currencies other than the U.S. dollar, including the yen, euro and the U.K. pound, to shield it from the volatility in the value of the greenback.

The South Korean official quoted in the article claimed this was not an attempt to lighten-up on dollar holdings. Nam added:

Mr. Hong said the central bank’s move to invest in yuan assets doesn’t mean an immediate change in investment strategies nor is it aimed at reducing the U.S. dollar’s position in the BOK’s foreign-exchange reserves.

Sources:

Oliver, Chris. “Asian trio to study dollar alternative: report.” MarketWatch. 4 May 2011. (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/asian-trio-to-study-dollar-alternative-report-2011-05-04) 4 May 2011.

Nam, In-Soo. “South Korea Weighs Investing Reserves in Yuan Securities.” Wall Street Journal. 4 May 2011. (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703834804576302241461870226.html?mod=googlenews_wsj). 4 May 2011.

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Wednesday, May 4th, 2011 Asia, Banking, Commodities, Currencies, Inflation No Comments

The Crash Prophets Revisited, Part 1

Last week while I was off on my “spring break,” a series of posts, entitled “The Crash Prophets,” were re-published from my old blog. In the first installment of the three-part series, dated June 14, 2007, I discussed how financial market watchers Peter Bernstein, Richard Bookstaber, Jeremy Grantham, and Gary Shilling were warning of a fast-approaching crisis. Bookstaber, a risk manager and derivatives designer at the time, is now employed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and Bernstein, a Wall Street legend, passed away back in June 2009. Grantham and Shilling still ply their trade- and continue to warn that the U.S. economy and markets could be in for a rough ride ahead.

Jeremy Grantham

Jeremy Grantham is a co-founder and former chairman of Grantham, Mayo, Van Otterloo & Co. (GMO), a privately-held global investment firm with $107 billion under management as of December 31, 2010. Currently GMO’s chief investment strategist, Grantham has a special talent for correctly-calling the direction of the markets. For example:

• In 1982, said the U.S. stock market was ripe for a “major rally.” That year was the beginning of the longest bull run ever.
• In 1989, called the top of the Japanese bubble economy
• In 1991, predicted the resurgence of U.S. large cap stocks
• In 2000, correctly called the rallies in U.S. small cap and value stocks
• In January 2000, warned of an impending crash in technology stocks, which took place two months later
• Saw the 2008 global financial crisis coming. In April 2007, said we are now seeing the first worldwide bubble in history covering all asset classes.

Grantham, whose individual clients have included former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney and former U.S. presidential candidate John Kerry, pens a quarterly investment letter on GMO website. In his January 2011 installment, the British investor warned that U.S. stocks are due for a reversal. He wrote:

Looking Forward

• Be prepared for a strong market and continued outperformance of everything risky.
• But be aware that you are living on borrowed time as a bull; on our data, the market is worth about 910 on the S&P 500, substantially less than current levels, and most risky components are even more overpriced.
• The speed with which you should pull back from the market as it advances into dangerously overpriced territory this year is more of an art than a science, but by October 1 you should probably be thinking much more conservatively.

As I write this, the S&P 500 is at 1,320.

Grantham also talked about the problem of resource scarcity. He added:

For my money, resource problems exacerbated by weather instability will be our biggest and most complicated investment problem for years to come. How should we prepare for it? First, we should all transfer more of our intellectual resources to the problem. Yes, we have already recommended forestry, agricultural land, and “stuff in the ground.” It would be nice to back this up with more detail. To this end, we are starting to look more closely at commodity cycles, both historically and currently. We will report back from time to time.

Grantham wrapped up his quarterly letter with the following comments:

Things that Really Matter in 2011 and Beyond (in one person’s view) for Investments and Real Life

• Resources running out, putting strong but intermittent pressure on commodity prices
• Global warming causing destabilized weather patterns, adding to agricultural price pressures
• Declining American educational standards relative to competitors
• Extraordinary income disparities and a lack of progress of American hourly wages
• Everything else.

A. Gary Shilling

Gary Shilling is the founder and president of A. Gary Shilling & Co., Inc., an economic consulting company he formed in 1978. Shilling publishes the monthly newsletter INSIGHT, is a regular columnist for Forbes magazine, and his articles appear in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, among other publications. Shilling also makes frequent appearances on radio and TV business shows. Like Grantham, he is known for his correct calls on the financial markets. From his website:

Dr. Shilling is well known for his forecasting record. In the spring of 1969, he was among the few who correctly saw that a recession would start late in the year. In 1973, he stood almost alone in forecasting that the world was entering a massive inventory-building spree to be followed by the first major worldwide recession since the 1930s. In the late 1970s, when most thought that raging inflation would last forever, he was the first to predict that the changing political mood of the country would lead to an end of severe inflation, as well as to potentially serious financial and economic readjustment problems, and a shift in investment strategy from one favoring tangible assets to an emphasis on stocks and bonds.

The July 5, 1991 edition of The Wall Street Journal stated, “Mr. Shilling was one of the few analysts a year ago to forecast a recession. At that time, he said a recession ‘may already have started,’ a forecast that now looks prophetic.”

The January 22, 1993 edition reviewed the track records of interest rate forecasters polled semiannually by the Journal since 1981 and said, “The economist with by far…the best record in picking when to buy long-term bonds: A. Gary Shilling, who heads an economic consulting firm and manages money. During the 1980s, Mr. Shilling…saw sharply lower interest rates ahead. …investors who bet on his rate forecasts by putting their money in long-term bonds did very well.”

The July 7, 1997 edition stated that “Mr. Shilling…had the best overall forecast” of the economy, interest rates, exchange rates and inflation “among the…57 economists polled in the latest survey.”

The January 2, 2003 edition, in reviewing the forecasts of its poll taken six month earlier, stated, “In June, only one forecaster…Gary Shilling, expected the Fed to cut short-term interest rates in the second half, as it did in November….Only one forecaster, again Mr. Shilling, expected the Dow Jones Industrial Average to finish the year below 9000. Twenty-seven of the 55 saw it finishing the year above 10,000.” (It finished at 8342.)

Twice, a poll of financial institutions conducted by Institutional Investor magazine ranked Dr. Shilling as Wall Street’s top economist. Futures magazine also ranked him the country’s number one Commodity Trading Advisor. And in 2003, MoneySense ranked him as the 3rd best stock market forecaster, right behind Warren Buffett.

Chalk another one up for Shilling as he not only successfully predicted the 2008 financial crisis- but identified a primary catalyst for it. From my June 14, 2007, post:

And what will trigger the meltdown? According to Farrell, Shilling still sees the subprime debacle as the catalyst.

These days, the economist remains more concerned than ever about the U.S. economy. Shilling wrote in The Christian Science Monitor on April 5:

Despite the revival of stocks in the past two years and recent optimistic economic data, the US economy remains so fragile that it could easily be driven into another recession. All it would take would be an outside shock – even a moderate one – and there are several candidates lining up.

Normally, the United States is resilient in the face of such shocks, especially when its economy is recovering. But this is no ordinary recovery. It’s a two-tier phenomenon, with the fortunes of higher-income folks reviving swiftly while the rest of America is stuck in a slow deleveraging of household balance sheets that will take years to accomplish. This partial rebound makes the economy particularly vulnerable.

Shilling thinks that any of the following events could drag the United States back into recession:

• Global supply and demand disruption resulting from the disaster in Japan
• Pull-back in consumer spending due to higher gasoline prices related to Middle East turmoil
• Further fall in housing prices. Shilling wrote:

The third candidate is further decline in US house prices. Sales and prices remain weak, lending standards have tightened, and people are balking at buying big new assets that will be worth less in a year. Furthermore, the massive overhang of house inventories, the mortal enemy of prices, suggests another 20 percent fall in prices, resulting in a 43 percent peak-to-trough decline.

With that additional drop in prices, I estimate that about 40 percent of mortgages will be under water, up from 23 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010. The negative effects on consumer spending and the mortgage market are ominous.

• Decreased demand for commodities from hard landing in China
• “Fresh” sovereign debt crisis in Europe

Time will tell if Jeremy Grantham and Gary Shilling are correct- once again. Next week, the second installment of this three-part series of posts will visit with legendary investors Warren Buffett, Jim Rogers, and George Soros, and see what they think is in store for the United States down the road.

(Editor’s note: Part 2 located here; Part 3 located here)

Sources:

Grantham, Jeremy. “Pavlov’s Bulls.” GMO.com. Jan. 2011. (http://www.gmo.com/websitecontent/JGLetter_PavlovsBulls_4Q10.pdf). 15 Apr. 2011.

Shilling, A. Gary. “A fragile recovery – and five shocks that threaten it.” The Christian Science Monitor. 5 Apr. 2011. (http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/2011/0405/A-fragile-recovery-and-five-shocks-that-threaten-it). 15 Apr. 2011.

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Jim Rogers Bullish On Commodities, Bearish On U.S. Dollar Long-Term

Jim Rogers hasn’t been shanghaied by the anti-hard asset crowd with the run-up in prices of many commodities. In fact, the former partner of George Soros in the Quantum Fund who predicted the beginning of the commodities boom way back in 1998 still insists there’s plenty of money to be made in hard assets. Lydia Chen of the Shanghai Daily (China) reported yesterday:

INTERNATIONAL investor Jim Rogers forecasts agriculture as an exciting area to make money in the next 30 years as inflation is bound to worsen globally.

The shrewd American investor, who is known as the king of commodities, overweighed agriculture because food prices will continue to rise around the world and not just in China, he told a press conference on Saturday in Shanghai.

Rogers said that most farmers around the world who have stayed basically poor will see a dramatic change. Investors should pay attention to agriculture, or other areas, which may benefit from high inflation, he added.

Commodities such as copper, steel and cement will also be attractive because Japan will need large amounts of these for reconstruction following the earthquake and tsunami which damaged a large part of the country.

As doubts grow over the safety of nuclear power in Japan, opportunities may also open up in the oil and natural gas industries, he suggested.

Earlier this month, Jim Rogers told hosts Matt Nesto and Jeff Macke of Yahoo! Finance’s new daily trading and investing show Breakout that while he was considering buying the U.S. dollar at that time, he predicted the greenback would decline to “multi-multi decade new lows” over the long-term. However, the chairman of Rogers Holdings doesn’t dismiss the possibility of a dollar collapse coming sooner. He said:

Somewhere along the line we’re going to have a tipping point for the dollar, then it’s all over for the dollar. Now I thought it would happen in a few years- maybe it’s going to happen in a few weeks.

Sources:

Chen, Lydia. “Harvest profits in agriculture.” Shanghai Daily (China). 28 Mar. 2011. (http://www.shanghaidaily.com/article/?id=467410&type=Business). 29 Mar. 2011.

Nichols, Chris. “Breakout Exclusive: Jim Rogers May Buy U.S. Dollar as It Nears “Tipping Point” Yahoo! Finance. 17 Mar. 2011. (http://finance.yahoo.com/tech-ticker/breakout-exclusive-jim-rogers-may-buy-u.s.-dollar-as-it-nears-%22tipping-point%22-536042.html?tickers=^ixic,^gspc,^dji). 29 Mar. 2011.

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Glowmen Sachs?

Speaking of Japan’s nuclear crisis this morning, it’s being reported that Japanese-based employees of global investment banking and securities firm Goldman Sachs have been told to stay put- or else they risk losing their jobs. From CNBC.com Senior Editor John Carney on the CNBC website yesterday:

At least four Goldman Sachs executives flew into Japan last week to speak with nervous ex-pat employees about radiation fears, according to a person familiar with the situation. They also conveyed another message: don’t leave Japan and don’t leave Tokyo.

Employees at the investment bank’s Japan offices are worried about radiation levels affecting their families, the person said. Many were asking if they could temporarily relocate out of the country or perhaps move to a location in southern Japan, farther away from troubled nuclear power plants. They were told that they should not leave Tokyo, according to the person.

Several meetings were held last week between senior Goldman executives and Tokyo-based employees. At least one meeting was held in a large conference room on one of the five floors of the Mori Tower in Tokyo, which houses Goldman’s offices in Japan. Senior executives attending the meeting included Michael Evans, the firm’s head of emerging markets and Asia chairman, and Ed Forst, the co-head of Goldman’s investment management division. Lloyd Blankfein was testifying in the insider-trading case against Raj Rajaratnam last week.

“The message was clear: no one is to leave. If you do leave, you can’t come back and expect to still work for Goldman,” the person said.

Carney added that according to another person at Goldman Sachs’ Tokyo offices, most employees have opted to stay.

Source:

Carney, John. “Goldman Sachs Employees Told Not to Leave Japan.” CNBC.com. 28 Mar. 2011. (http://www.cnbc.com/id/42304574). 29 Mar. 2011.

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Radiation From Japan Now Detected In 13 States, EPA To Step Up Milk Monitoring

Radiation from Japan’s damaged nuclear power plant has been detected in a growing number of states. Yet government officials keep telling the American public they shouldn’t be worried. From The Christian Science Monitor’s Mark Clayton yesterday:

Elevated yet still very low levels of radiation from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear crisis have now been detected in the air or water in more than a dozen US states and three territories, federal and local authorities say.

Higher than usual levels of radiation were detected by 12 monitoring stations in Alaska, Alabama, California, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands, and Washington State over the past week and sent to Environmental Protection Agency scientists for detailed laboratory analysis, the agency said in a release Monday.

Unusual, yet still very low “trace amounts” of radiation, were also reported in Massachusetts rain water and by state officials and nuclear power plant radiation sensors in Colorado, South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida, and Pennsylvania, the Associated Press and Reuters reported.

“Some of the filter results show levels slightly higher than those found by EPA monitors last week and a Department of Energy monitor the week before,” the EPA said in its statement Monday. “These types of findings are to be expected in the coming days and are still far below levels of public health concern.”

The Environmental Protection Agency also announced that it will be monitoring U.S. milk supplies for radiation more often than usual. From the UPI this morning:

A U.S. agency began checking milk supplies as radiation from Japan’s crippled nuclear power plant was detected in the air and water in more than a dozen states.

The Environmental Protection Agency said it typically monitored milk for radiation every three months but would now begin the testing “immediately.”

Sources:

Clayton, Mark. “Traces of Japanese radiation detected in 13 US states.” The Christian Science Monitor. 28 Mar. 2011. (http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2011/0328/Traces-of-Japanese-radiation-detected-in-13-US-states). 29 Mar. 2011.

“U.S. safety after Japanese nuclear crisis.” UPI.com. 29 Mar. 2011. (http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2011/03/29/US-safety-after-Japanese-nuclear-crisis/UPI-71571301387400/). 29 Mar. 2011.

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