Russia

Jim Rogers: Signs Of Next Economic Crisis ‘Already Happening’

The next two days I’ll be focusing on two “crash prophets” who correctly-called the 2008 global economic crisis and who see more carnage on the way. First up is the widely-followed investor, author, and financial commentator Jim Rogers, who appeared on the RT TV show SophieCo earlier today. From his exchange with host Sophie Shevardnadze (RT transcript):

SHEVARDNADZE: You’ve been talking about this impending recession for a while now, ready to strike the U.S., for instance, but, you know, we see American economy picking up, the unemployment rate is going down, so- why does it keep postponing itself?
ROGERS: Wait, wait. First of all, you are listening to government figures. You remember the Soviet Union, the government had a lot of numbers, they were very good. The U.S. now puts out a lot of figures that are not legitimate, accurate figures. Look at unemployment, what do they do? For instance, they just stopped counting many people, said they’re not looking for a job anymore – so the numbers are artificial in the U.S. Yes, some parts of the U.S. economy are doing very well. If you’re on Wall St. or if you’re in finance, you’re doing fine, because the government has been printing a lot of money and a lot of debt has been put out. But you go to Texas, go to the MidWest- they’re not doing well at all. Most of the country is not doing well.
SHEVARDNADZE: Alright, but give me something concrete- when do we have to expect this crisis to hit and what’s going to cause that meltdown?
ROGERS: Sophie, for the last 18 months in the U.S., most stocks have been going down. The average is a fraud, because of the few big companies that make the average go up and that’s because the government, the Fed Reserve, Central Bank is printing a lot of money. Stocks are going down in the U.S., most stock are down. So, the signs are already there. Now, unfortunately, they’re not visible, they don’t make headlines, so it’s already happening. Parts of the country are in recession, stock market, most stocks are going down – it’s already happening

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Back on March 28, I noted Rogers had warned on the Nikkei Asian Review (Japan) website eight days earlier:

I expect the American economy to be in recession sometime in the next year or two…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

And earlier that month I quoted a March 4, 2016, Bloomberg.com piece 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: Bold added for emphasis)

Shevarnadze did a good job extracting some investment nuggets from the former investing partner of George Soros. Rogers still thinks there will be a better chance to buy gold “sometime in the next year or two,” and added later in the discussion:

If the dollar goes up, gold may go down. But, if it goes down, I hope to buy a lot more gold, because eventually gold is going to go through the roof. As this turmoil increases and people lose more and more confidence in governments, more and more confidence in paper money, they’re going to look for something, and gold and silver will be a couple of those places. If you’re looking for something right now- agriculture

I have sold short the U.S. stocks and I have sold junk bonds, low-grade bonds, in the U.S., I own shares in China, I have shares in Russia, I bought Russian government bonds, several days ago. These are places that I am looking at, I am looking at Kazakhstan as a place to invest, Iran I’m looking at, Nigeria I am looking at

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Kazakhstan and Nigeria are two markets not often mentioned by Rogers. A terrific interview, which you can read in its entirety over on the RT 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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Jim Rogers: ‘I Am Looking For More Investments In Asia And In Russia’

Regular readers of Survival And Prosperity know that well-known investor, author, and financial commentator Jim Rogers is bullish on Asia (China in particular) and Russia. As recent as April 6, I blogged about a GoldSeek.com Radio interview (released April 1) in which the former investing partner of George Soros said:

I own Chinese renminbi. I own Chinese shares… I bought recently some Russian government short-term bonds in rubles.

He added later:

There are other places I’m looking at but I’m really not very active at all. I’m mainly just watching the world unfold. Be knowledgeable, be worried, and be prepared.

That last sentence is indicative of a lot of what Rogers has been sharing with the investing public lately.

Still, it’s being reported that the CEO of Rogers Holdings and Beeland Interests, Inc. is actively looking for places to put his substantial “war chest” ($300 million estimated net worth) to work. Katya Golubkova wrote on the Reuters website last Tuesday:

Veteran U.S. investor Jim Rogers is looking at possible investments into Russian oil firm Bashneft (BANE.MM) and diamond miner Alrosa (ALRS.MM) as he aims to add more Russian assets to his portfolio, he told Reuters…

“If they (Bashneft and Alrosa) are not under sanctions, I will take a look – as I said, I am looking for more investments in Asia and in Russia but I am an American and I have to be a little bit careful.”

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Golubkova added:

He already has interests in Russian state airline Aeroflot (AFLT.MM), the Moscow Exchange (MOEX.MM) and fertilizer producer PhosAgro (PHOR.MM). He owns some exchange traded funds (ETFs) and is investing in Russian treasury bonds.

“I am looking for more investments in Russia. I am trying to buy into a Russian tourist company, I am optimistic about Russian tourism,” Rogers said, adding that he was also looking to buy more stocks of Russian agriculture companies

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

A little over a year ago, I discussed an April 6, 2015, Reuters piece in which Yelena Orekhova and Olga Popova wrote:

Russia could now be “the right place at the right time” for investors, he said. His own portfolio consists largely of Russian shares, he said, among them fertiliser company Phosagro , airline Aeroflot and the Moscow Exchange…

About those “Russian government short-term bonds in rubles” mentioned a week-and-a-half ago, Rogers expounded in the April 12, 2016, Reuters article:

“If I got a chance I would probably buy more,” Rogers said, adding that he was only investing in Russian rouble bonds, not Eurobonds.

“I want to buy rouble bonds, I am more optimistic about rouble bonds than I am in Eurobonds. Rouble bonds have much higher yields.”

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Nice work by Reuters for staying on top of Rogers’ (potential) Russian investments.

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

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

Source:

Goubkova, Katya. “Veteran U.S. investor Rogers looks to add more Russia to portfolio.” Reuters. 12 Apr. 2016. (http://www.reuters.com/article/us-russia-rogers-idUSKCN0X90SC). 17 Apr. 2016.

Jim Rogers’ latest book…

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Project Prepper, Part 45: Top 3 Threat Priorities

“As a result of my research and this blog, I’m now aware of the myriad of man-made and naturally-occurring threats to my life and lifestyle (and those of my loved ones), and think it’s probably wise to acquaint myself more with ‘prepping’ via a sustained ‘hands-on’ program of learning and doing, which I’ll call ‘Project Prepper.’

Through a series of posts on this blog which I suspect should last for quite some time (years?), I’ll be able to share my preparedness experiences with you…”

Survival And Prosperity, “Project Prepper, Part 1: It Begins,” October 24, 2012

This week’s “Project Prepper” post is going to be a little different. While I’m currently working on a number of projects related to fulfilling seven “innate survival needs” (hat tip Jack Spirko @ The Survival Podcast):

1. Physical Security
2. Financial Security
3. Water
4. Food
5. Sanitation and Health
6. Energy
7. Shelter

Today I’m going to talk about threat priorities. As a forty-something homeowner residing with my girlfriend in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois, in 2016, “I’m now aware of the myriad of man-made and naturally-occurring threats to my life and lifestyle (and those of my loved ones).” Regular readers of Survival And Prosperity know I blog about them frequently. But from my vantage point, here are the “top 3” I’m mostly concerned about:

1. Severe Weather
2. Financial Crisis
3. Terrorism

Concerning severe weather, here in the Chicagoland area residents have to contend with spring and summer storms that can consist of high winds, torrential rain, flooding, and tornadoes. Winter can bring along with it ice storms (not too often), significant snowfall/blizzards, and brutally-cold temperatures. Consequently, structural damage, utility outages, hazardous travel conditions, and other threats to life and property accompany such events.

Case in point, prior to my girlfriend and I moving into our house in 2013, a large part of the Chicago metro area suffered significant damage from a “derecho” (widespread, long-lived wind storm) event that left many area homeowners without electricity for several days. A real nuisance for most of those affected, but potentially deadly to those with serious health issues- like my elderly father. And in case readers think I’m talking about those far-off “suburbs” of Chicago here (I remember one real estate agent referring to Rochelle- approximately 80 miles west of Chicago- as a “western suburb” during the housing boom last decade), these extended outages were taking place in near “North Shore” enclaves. I remember watching one furious Northbrook homeowner being interviewed on the local televised news, saying how he had been without power for a number of days and couldn’t understand why it hadn’t been restored yet considering the high taxes he paid to live in such a nice area. Anyway, severe weather tops the list for me. Not as “sexy”- as some would say- as preparing for the “Zombie apocalypse,” but oh well.

Financial crisis. Regular readers of Survival And Prosperity and its predecessor know I’ve been on the lookout for coming “tough times” for some years now. From this blog’s “About” page:

Back in 2004 when SP’s creator/editor Christopher Hill was surveying the economic and investment landscape in support of his own investing activities, he concluded from his own research that the United States was heading towards a financial crash. Deciding that this was something other Americans might want to know about, Mr. Hill launched the independent financial blog Boom2Bust.com, “The Most Hated Blog on Wall Street,” on Memorial Day Weekend 2007 with the purpose of warning and educating others about the approaching U.S. economic crash. He has been credited with calling last decade’s housing bubble and subsequent bust, the 2008 global economic crisis, and the “Great Recession” as a result of his work on this project. Chris wrote over 1,500 posts on Boom2Bust.com during its nearly three-year run, with many of these picked up and republished on the web sites of The Wall Street Journal, Fox Business, Fox News, Reuters, USA Today, the Chicago Sun-Times group, the Austin-American Statesman, the Palm Beach Post, and the West Orlando News, among other media outlets. Chris was also interviewed for a May 2009 MSNBC.com article as a result of his work with the blog.

Since Memorial Day Weekend 2007, I’ve stood by and watched as the bursting of the U.S. housing bubble and subprime mortgage crisis was quickly followed by carnage on Wall Street in the autumn of 2008 and a “Great Recession.” I also observed how the Washington politicians and the Fed responded by “papering up” the mess with massive government and central bank intervention. But as everyone knows, you can only “kick the can down the road” so far. And my concern is that the road is rapidly coming to an end. Visit this blog often enough and you might get that sense as well.

Consequently, I’ve come to believe that the U.S. financial crash I still see headed our way won’t be like an airplane that suffers a sudden, catastrophic failure and plummets back to Earth like a rock. Rather, taking into account the abilities of the federal government and central bank to keep the aircraft aloft for quite some time, the crash may be more akin to a slow- yet-unavoidable descent into the ground. At which point, Americans might be left pondering what had happened to them, just like Argentines did after their economy crapped out in the early 2000s after prosperous times.

Making matters worse is the fact that I still reside in Cook County and Illinois, whose financial troubles are well-publicized. While I’ve left Chicago, I still haven’t made Wisconsin my permanent home address.

When the “balloon goes up” locally and nationally, I suspect everyday living is going to get particularly gritty around these parts.

As terrorism is concerned, post-9/11 I found myself working in the public safety field. As part of my duties at a local fire department, I catalogued potential terrorist targets in the area in the hunt for money to upgrade the agency’s response capabilities. It was my belief that the threat was real then, and it remains so today. Even more so in 2016, as U.S. border security is quite suspect at a time when those who would wish to harm the “homeland” continually make their operational capabilities and future desires for wreaking death and destruction known.


“Border Patrol Admits US Citizenship Doesn’t Matter”
YouTube Video

Like I’ve repeatedly said before on this blog, I believe it’s only a matter of time before the United States suffers terror attacks possibly resembling what occurred in Beslan (Russia) in 2004, Mumbai (India) in 2008, and more recently in Paris and Brussels. And a terrorist strike rivaling or even surpassing the carnage of September 11, 2011, is not out of the question as far as I’m concerned. New jihadists continue to replace their fallen predecessors in this “War on Terror,” and the religious duty of killing “infidels” remains the same. On May 6, 2011, I wrote:

In 2005, Dr. Paul L. Williams, a journalist and author, published the book The Al-Qaeda Connection, in which he discussed plans for a future nuclear terrorist strike, dubbed “American Hiroshima.” He wrote:

Bin Laden asserts that he must kill four million Americans- two million of whom must be children- in order to achieve parity for a litany of “wrongs” committed against the Muslim people by the United States of America. The “wrongs” include the establishment and occupation of military bases between the holy cities of Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia, the support of Israel and the suppression of the Palestinian people, the Persian Gulf War and the subsequent economic sanctions, and the invasions of Somalia, Afghanistan, and Iraq…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

These days, the Islamic State has stolen the headlines from Al-Qaeda and other Muslim extremists. But such religious fanaticism as a whole remains a top concern for me.

Severe weather, financial crisis, and terrorism are natural and man-made threats that register the most on my radar. But this doesn’t mean I discount other potential dangers to life and property either (pandemic, severe space weather, and war would probably be the next three on the list). As such, an “all-hazards” approach is emphasized in my “Project Prepper” activities.

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

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Jim Rogers: ‘We’re Certainly Going To Have Worse Times Than We’ve Had In Our Lifetime’

Let’s talk finance and investing for the remainder of the day. Well-known investor, author, and financial commentator Jim Rogers recently made an appearance on GoldSeek.com Radio, and in the April 1, 2016, broadcast, the former investing partner of George Soros talked about several topics including a coming U.S. financial crash, where he’s putting his money these days, and the prospect of another buying opportunity with gold. On a coming crash, from the exchange with host Chris Waltzek:

WALTZEK: You know you’ve mentioned that this could be the “last rally.” I put that in quotes and we’re seeing again signs of that. But these price-to-earnings ratios, the CAPE ratios, some of our individual stocks 300, 500-priced-to- earnings. I mean, they’re priced to perfection for eternity. Could this lead to maybe a 1929-style scenario, or are we in worse or more dangerous water?
ROGERS: Chris, we’re certainly going to have worse times than we’ve had in our lifetimes. How bad it is? I expect it to be, well to repeat, worse than anything we’ve had in our lifetime, because the debt is like nothing it’s ever been in recorded history. America is now the largest debtor nation in the history of the world. Higher and higher. But so does everybody else’s debt. So the next time around- yes, it’s going to be very, very disastrous. The only hope Chris is that somehow the world survives the next time around. Well we won’t survive the one after that, I assure you, because the debt will be so much higher, money printing will be so much worse. We’re going to live in very interesting times, which as you know, a Chinese curse to live in interesting times.

Regarding where the Singapore-based investor is putting his money:

WALTZEK: So give us an idea then where those funds of yours are headed and where you feel safe right now.
ROGERS: I own a lot of U.S. dollars, not because it’s going to be a horrible currency in the end, but with the bad times coming many people will put their money in what they consider safe assets or safe havens, and many people think the U.S. dollar is a safe haven. Compared to the rest of the world- yeah, it is a safe haven compared to the yen or the euro or other currencies. So I own U.S. dollars. I own Chinese renminbi. I own Chinese shares. I’m short in the U.S. I’m long agriculture. I bought recently some Russian government short-term bonds in rubles. I own some gold and silver which I have for years- I haven’t bought any recently. Some stocks that I’ve owned for twenty or thirty years- I don’t see any reason to sell them since I bought them so long ago. That’s basically, off the top of my head, where my investments are.

On the prospect of another buying opportunity in gold, Rogers said:

I’m not rushing in to buy. I still expect a better opportunity to buy gold sometime in the next two or three years. If that happens, I hope I’m smart enough to buy more. If it doesn’t happen, I own some gold, so I’ll make money. But I’m still waiting for my… another opportunity.

The CEO of Rogers Holdings and Beeland Interests, Inc. shared with listeners:

There are other places I’m looking at but I’m really not very active at all. I’m mainly just watching the world unfold. Be knowledgeable, be worried, and be prepared.

“Be knowledgeable, be worried, and be prepared.” Wise words to digest.


“GSR interviews JIM ROGERS – March 31, 2016 Nugget”
YouTube Video

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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Survival And Prosperity Terrorism Warnings

Regular Survival And Prosperity readers may recall some of these more recent terrorism warnings- and the despicable events that took place around the time the statements were made:

“Something tells me our friends in Western Europe might suffer a major terrorist attack before a strike against the United States…”

Survival And Prosperity, November 4, 2014

Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack, January 7, 2015

“I still predict major terrorist attacks having the potential of inflicting large numbers of casualties will be directed against America and its allies in the future. The possible culprits being several, but including Muslim extremists like Al-Qaeda and its affiliates…”

Survival And Prosperity, January 7, 2015

November 13, 2015, Paris, France, terrorist attacks

“After the carnage in France, America and her allies remain in the crosshairs of the terrorists…”

Survival And Prosperity, November 13, 2015

“I too believe it’s only a matter of time before a major terror attack is launched by jihadists against the U.S…”

Survival And Prosperity, December 1, 2015

San Bernardino, California, terrorist attack, December 2, 2015

“So the San Bernardino, California, terrorist attack (pretty pathetic how some tried real hard to paint this as merely workplace-related violence) wasn’t exactly ‘major,’ and anyone with at least half-a-brain should have seen this coming. But the Muslim extremists are here, and they will strike again at the ‘homeland’ on the level of what just happened out on the ‘Left Coast’ (all that gun ‘control’ didn’t work out too well for California in this instance) all the way up to another 9/11-type attack with thousands of Americans dead…”

Survival And Prosperity, December 8, 2015

Brussels, Belgium, terrorist attacks, March 22, 2016

These days, my gut feeling tells me the jihadists will strike Europe (which includes Russia) again before the United States. Although I’ve read some material about a possible attack against the American “homeland” on or before Election Day.

More later…

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

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German Intelligence Chief: ‘Repeatedly Seen That Terrorists… Have Slipped In Camouflaged Or Disguised As Refugees’

Taking advantage of economic migrants flooding into Europe, more terrorists may be slipping (back) into Western Europe these days. Caroline Copley reported on the Reuters website earlier today:

Islamic State militants have slipped into Europe disguised as refugees, the head of Germany’s domestic intelligence agency (BfV) said on Friday, a day after security forces thwarted a potential IS attack in Berlin.

Hans-Georg Maassen said the terrorist attacks in Paris last November had shown that Islamic State was deliberately planting terrorists among the refugees flowing into Europe.

“Then we have repeatedly seen that terrorists … have slipped in camouflaged or disguised as refugees. This is a fact that the security agencies are facing,” Maassen told ZDF television.

“We are trying to recognize and identify whether there are still more IS fighters or terrorists from IS that have slipped in,” he added…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Good luck with that. Yesterday, Lori Hinnant wrote on the Associated Press website:

The Belgian who led the Nov. 13 attacks on Paris bragged that he slipped into France with a group of 90 extremists from Europe and the Middle East, according to testimony from the woman who tipped police to his location.

In an interview aired Thursday by RMC television and confirmed by her lawyer, the woman identified only as Sonia… was with [Abdelhamid] Abaaoud’s female cousin on Nov. 15 when the younger woman got a call from a Belgian number. It was Abaaoud, asking for a hideout.

The two women drove to a deserted industrial road outside Paris and Abaaoud came out of a bush. It was at that moment she realized who he was, according to her testimony. What followed is Abaaoud’s only known conversation about the attacks and their aftermath…

She asked him whether he had come in with Syrian refugees and he told her he came in a group without any documents. “There are Syrians, Iraqis, French, Germans, British. We came in a group of 90 and we’re a little bit everywhere around Paris.”

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

“French, Germans, British”

Great. Welcome home, right?

Just last Friday, I blogged about new warnings from Europol and the Russian National Anti-Terrorist Committee concerning the Islamic State preparing new terrorist attacks in that region of the world.

As for the United States? All eyes are on Super Bowl 50. Geneva Sands reported on the ABC News website yesterday:

The FBI and DHS said they have no information to indicate a specific, credible threat to the game or its surrounding events, according to a Joint Special Event Threat Assessment.

However, authorities are concerned about terrorists’ interest in targeting crowded venues, as well as lone wolf attackers and homegrown extremists…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Here’s to an “uneventful” Super Bowl Sunday…

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

Sources:

Copley, Caroline. “German spy agency says ISIS sending fighters disguised as refugees.” Reuters. 5 Feb. 2016. (http://www.reuters.com/article/us-germany-security-idUSKCN0VE0XL). 5 Feb. 2016.

Hinnant, Lori. “Paris Attack Leader Said He Slipped In With 90 Extremists.” Associated Press. 4 Feb. 2016. (http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/E/EU_PARIS_ATTACKS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2016-02-04-07-52-04). 5 Feb. 2016.

Sands, Geneva. “Law Enforcement On High Alert for Super Bowl 50.” ABC News. 4 Feb. 2016. (http://abcnews.go.com/US/law-enforcement-high-alert-super-bowl-50/story?id=36698694). 4 Feb. 2016.

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Islamic State Preparing Terrorist Attacks On Europe, Russia?

This last day of the blogging week I’ll be turning away from economics/finance/investing and focusing on terrorism. The latest warnings include Europe/Russia possibly being in the jihadist’s crosshairs. From the Agence France-Presse (AFP) Monday:

The Islamic State group has honed the ability to launch global attacks and is set to focus more on Europe following the Paris massacre, the chief of the EU police agency Europol said Monday.

Rob Wainwright told a news conference that “the so-called Islamic State had developed a new combat style capability to carry out a campaign of large-scale terrorist attacks on a global stage — with a particular focus in Europe.”

“So-called Islamic State has a willingness and a capability to carry out further attacks in Europe, and of course all national authorities are working to prevent that from happening,” he added.

Wainwright was unveiling the findings of a new Europol report on changes in how the jihadist group operates…

“IS is preparing more terrorist attacks, including more ‘Mumbai-style’ attacks, to be executed in member states of the EU, and in France in particular,” the Europol report said.

“The attacks will be primarily directed at soft targets, because of the impact it generates. Both the November Paris attacks and the October 2015 bombing of a Russian airliner suggest a shift in IS strategy towards going global.”

IS had developed an “external action command” which was trained for “special forces-style attacks” internationally, the report said…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

“‘Mumbai-style’ attacks.” Something I’ve talked about before on Survival And Prosperity.

The Russians are sounding the alarm over potential ISIS terror strikes as well. From RT.com this morning:

Islamic State cells led by Chechen recruiter Akhmed Chetayev are planning terrorist attacks in Russia and Europe, Moscow’s National Anti-Terrorist Committee reported. Former Iraqi army officers are taking part in training terrorists to attack Russia, it added.

“Russian special services have intelligence that certain IS groups are preparing terrorist attacks in Russia and European nations,” Andrey Przhezdomsky, spokesman for the Russian National Anti-Terrorist Committee, warned on Friday. “In particular, a battalion formed mainly from recruits from North Caucasus headed by Akhmed Chetayev, nicknamed One-Handed.”

Chetayev’s group reportedly includes dozens of people born in Russia’s southern republics who traveled to Syria to join the ranks of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL).

The official added that former Iraqi army officers who served under Saddam Hussein are training the terrorists…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Caucasian jihadists? I’d heard the bad guys were looking for these as their appearance might help them “fly under the radar” (no pun intended) of existing counter-terrorism setups.

Stay safe…

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

Sources:

“IS planning for ‘large-scale’ attacks on Europe: Europol.” Agence France-Presse. 25 Jan. 2016. (http://news.yahoo.com/planning-large-scale-attacks-europe-europol-002121327.html). 29 Jan. 2016.

“Special ISIS cells preparing terror attacks in Europe and Russia – Russian anti-terrorism body.” RT. 29 Jan. 2016. (https://www.rt.com/news/330556-isis-terror-europe-russia/). 29 Jan. 2016.

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Ted Koppel Warns Of All-Out Cyberattack On U.S. Power Grid

“Yes, it’s frightening. It is frightening enough that my wife and I decided we were going to buy enough freeze-dried food for all of our kids and their kids…

Do I believe I got it wrong? No. I spent a year-and-a-half trying to get it right and unfortunately I think I did.”

-Veteran U.S. journalist Ted Koppel, referring to the possibility of a nation-wide power outage resulting from a massive cyberattack by America’s enemies against the electrical grid

“In the dark over power grid security”
CBS News Video

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

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SP Intel Report- October 26, 2015

Welcome to the inaugural post of the “SP Intel Report.” On October 15 I blogged big changes were coming to Survival And Prosperity starting October 19. I wrote:

Each day will begin with an “SP Intel Report” (if it’s warranted), where I’ll be focusing on current events locally (Chicagoland area), nationwide, and overseas which I think readers should be aware of…

As luck would have it, my computer crashed October 19, delaying the implementation of these changes.

One week later, I’ve managed to repair my laptop, and I’m back in the saddle again.

So off we go then…

Chicago

“If City Hall ‘loses’ downtown to the bad guys… you lose the tourists, their money, revenue… you get the point.”

Survival And Prosperity, May 4, 2011

The Chicago news media is reporting that two tourists from Minneapolis were robbed at knifepoint by three men near Oak Street Beach late Saturday evening. The male victim was stabbed during the holdup while trying to protect his girlfriend. Two of Chicago’s more upstanding residents have been charged with the crime (police are still looking for a third individual).

The last time I blogged about a tourist getting knifed downtown was back during the 2012 holiday season. Even though it’s been a while, I fear we’ll be hearing of similar incidents with increased regularity as the city’s financial health deteriorates and the Chicago Police Department keeps receiving lip service but not bodies (meaning manpower).

There will probably be plenty of the other based on recent trends.

Note to self. Study up on defense against knives.

Illinois

Speaking of deteriorating financial health, the State of Illinois was hammered by two of the major credit rating agencies in the past week. On October 19, Fitch Ratings announced in a press release:

Fitch Ratings has downgraded the rating on $26.8 billion in outstanding Illinois general obligation (GO) bonds to ‘BBB+’ from ‘A-‘.

In addition, the ratings on bonds related to the state based on its appropriation have been downgraded to ‘BBB’ from ‘BBB+’…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Three days later, Moody’s Investors Service stated in a release:

Moody’s Investors Service has downgraded the State of Illinois’ $26.8 billion of general obligation bonds to Baa1 from A3, while also lowering ratings on the state’s sales-tax (Build Illinois) bonds to Baa1 from A3, and on the state’s subject to appropriation bonds (issued by the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority and for the state’s Civic Center program) to Baa2 from Baa1. The outlook for all of these obligations remains negative…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Keep in mind the following observations by Karen Pierog over on the Reuters website on October 22:

Both general obligation bond ratings are now just three steps above the “junk” level… The downgrade by Moody’s marked the 17th by major credit rating agencies for Illinois since 2003… Even before this week’s downgrades, Illinois had the lowest credit ratings among the 50 U.S. states. Ratings histories from the three major credit rating agencies indicate few states have ever had their GO ratings fall below the A level…

Faced with a $105 billion unfunded public pension liability and a bill backlog of around $7 billion, I suspect Illinoisans will be on the hook for some sort of tax hike(s) in the near future.

International

Any Survival And Prosperity readers skeptical about the future existence of the Internet? Personally, I won’t be surprised if it goes kaput one day. Don’t get me wrong, I’m somewhat of a techie (driven by needs, not wants) and love the Internet. But I’m not sold on its staying power due to frailties with its infrastructure. A couple of years ago I remember reading about an elderly Georgian woman accidently cutting off neighboring Armenia’s access to the World Wide Web for up to five hours- using only a spade. And now there’s this from The New York Times website this past Sunday. David E. Sanger and Eric Schmitt reported:

Russian submarines and spy ships are aggressively operating near the vital undersea cables that carry almost all global Internet communications, raising concerns among some American military and intelligence officials that the Russians might be planning to attack those lines in times of tension or conflict.

The issue goes beyond old worries during the Cold War that the Russians would tap into the cables — a task American intelligence agencies also mastered decades ago. The alarm today is deeper: The ultimate Russian hack on the United States could involve severing the fiber-optic cables at some of their hardest-to-access locations to halt the instant communications on which the West’s governments, economies and citizens have grown dependent

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

So the Russians could switch off the Internet. Or a rogue Uncle Sam could do it and blame the Russkies.

I told my girlfriend her brilliant nephew should get into the BBS game. Wave of the future?


“Apple II on a BBS in 2014!”
YouTube Video

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

Sources:

Sobol, Rosemary Regina. “$500K, $950K bails set for 2 accused of robbery, stabbing near Oak Street Beach.” Chicago Tribune. 26 Oct. 2015. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-police-2-held-following-armed-robbery-stabbing-near-oak-street-beach-20151026-story.html). 26 Oct. 2015.

Pierog, Karen. “UPDATE 2-Illinois bond rating cut again over budget impasse.” Reuters. 22 Oct. 2015. (http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/10/22/illinois-downgrade-moodys-idUSL1N12M2L120151022). 26 Oct. 2015.

Sanger, David E. and Schmitt, Eric. “Russian Ships Near Data Cables Are Too Close for U.S. Comfort.” The New York Times. 25 Oct. 2015. (http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/26/world/europe/russian-presence-near-undersea-cables-concerns-us.html?_r=1). 26 Oct. 2015.

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Gabe Suarez: ‘What We Really Need Is A Good Guy That Is Also A Killer’

Back on January 9, I blogged about Gabe Suarez, head of The Suarez Group and a decorated veteran of Southern California law enforcement, concerning a Facebook post of his in which he declared “Every Man Is A Counter Terrorist” in response to the Charlie Hebdo shootings in France.

On Friday, he updated that “call to arms” against the “bad guys” in the wake of the mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon.

While that update was just as thought-provoking as the original, it’s what Suarez wrote Sunday on his company’s Facebook page (and which I received via e-mail this morning) that really stands out for me. From that post:

IGNORE THE SIGN

Some points on Oregon: Its not a video of a kitten so I hope its actually read by someone.

1). I could simply cut and paste every article I have written after these and simply change the dates and locations and they would all be spot on.

a). Its either a jihadist muslim extremist, a common crazy guy, or a combination of both.

b). It is at a place where everyone has been voluntarily disarmed.

c). The police arrive after the bodies pile up and kill him, and then say it was a suicide.

d). The monkeys in charge call for more gun restrictions. Over and over and over. Routine? Yup.

2). The woods are lovely dark and deep. I will leave it at that…look it up. Very excellent timing after Putin gave Obama a penile prostate check over Syria.

3). If we did not embrace the cultures that hate us (reference the 100,000 Syrians your POTUS is bringing into the USA), or allow crazy people to roam free…I bet there would be fewer of these.

4). Given the inability of the authorities to keep you safe in such events, obeying “the sign” is a form of insanity. Not only immoral for them to suggest you do so, but also foolish on your part knowing what the eventual outcome of such an event would be.

5). We have plenty of noble victim-heroes that sacrifice themselves, unarmed to save others.

Yes…I got it…America yearns for heroes in these estrogenized times like an addict yearns for a fix. But we have plenty of the self sacrifial types. What we really need is a good guy that is also a killer. A good guy that is also a killer that will ignore the sign, and go after the sound of the shots with a smile on his face and a pistol in his hand and shoot the bad guy right in the face…or the back of the head if positioning favors that.

Today, every man or woman is a counter terrorist.

IGNORE THE SIGN

Suarez once again leaves his audience with a good deal of material to really think about, particularly that bit where he said, “The police arrive after the bodies pile up and kill him, and then say it was a suicide.”

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

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Survival And Prosperity
Est. 2010, Chicagoland, USA
Christopher E. Hill, Editor

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