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Updated: 1 hour 56 min ago

Prepping: Billionaires Brace For The Apocalypse And New World Order

2 hours 42 min ago

In the event that the entire economy collapses and food and become scarce, billionaires are looking for high-end places to hold out and await the new world order.  Many billionaires are now preparing for the apocalypse, and their survival plans don’t include anyone outside the global elites.

Peter Thiel, the billionaire behind PayPal, is among those tech giants who see New Zealand as a good place to go in the event of an apocalypse. New Zealand is seen as a particularly safe place for billionaires in the event of an apocalypse. In fact, Thiel has bought a $13.5 million 193-hectare section on the shores of Lake Wanaka, although the only building there at the moment is a barn (that can be seen).

According to the Mirror, plans show he is fitting a panic room in another property he owns in the country and he has been granted New Zealand citizenship in a streamlined process not available to normal (non-global elitists) members of the public. A rough and ready description of the attraction of New Zealand came last year in The New Yorker magazine, with LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman suggesting the country had become shorthand for apocalypse insurance in Silicon Valley.

In 2011, Thiel declared he’d found “no other country that aligns more with my view of the future than New Zealand”. The country is more relaxed in terms of government than many places, has ample drinking water, and some of the world’s cleanest air.

“Saying you’re ‘buying a house in New Zealand’ is kind of a ‘wink, wink, say no more’,” Hoffman said. “Once you’ve done the Masonic handshake, they’ll be, like: ‘Oh, you know, I have a broker who sells old ICBM [intercontinental ballistic missile] silos, and they’re nuclear-hardened, and they kind of look like they would be interesting to live in.‘”

“Billionaires are going ‘bunkers’ over the apocalypse if you will,” says Joe Joseph with The Daily Sheeple.



“Here’s the thing, folks: to make a long story short, the actions of preppers are vilified,” says Joseph.  (Who hasn’t been called a ‘crazy tin foil hat wearing conspiracy theorist’ for having extra cans of food and some dried jerky meats around?) “You look at people who store non-perishable foods, who store fuel, medical supplies…they get laughed at.  But these billionaires are doing the exact same thing and in haste! So you have to wonder, what is the sense of urgency with these people of means that they’re willing to go that far, to buy 98% of an island and their own airline to get there…for there to be that much of a sense of urgency.”

“We, society, is institutionalized. When you go to school, it’s cool to be stupid, it’s cool to run with the crowd, if you run outside that crowd, if you’re a ‘black sheep’, you’re a nerd…it’s a toned-down version of prison culture…but it bleeds over to the outside, so when you do your due diligence and your research, and you say ‘holy cow! All of these billionaires are buying up these bunkers and these properties and they’re putting away food and medical supplies and alternative energy…if they’re focused on that, maybe I should do it!’ And what happens? Well, because you’re an outlier because you don’t go with the crowd, you’re vilified and looked at as a ‘black sheep.’

Billionaires are showing an increased level of urgency; perhaps we should too. “They [the billionaires and elite globalists] see something coming that we don’t. It’s all over the news: whether it be an economic collapse, whether it be a pole shift, whether it be Yellowstone; you name it….they see something most don’t, although the truth is right in front of us,” Joseph says.

If you need help prepping, or don’t know where to begin, please check out the book below.  It’s full of useful information on how to prepare for many apocalyptic scenarios.

 

Yellowstone ALERT: 200 Earthquakes In 10 Days As Ring Of Fire Awakens

4 hours 42 min ago

Scientists in Yellowstone have detected over 200 earthquakes at the supervolcano in the last 10 days. With reports coming in that the Ring of Fire could be awakening as well, many are preparing for the worst.

Although scientists are still telling the public there’s no need to be alarmed, reports of immense pressure in the magma chamber under Yellowstone, coupled with this new report claiming 200 earthquakes have been recorded in the last ten days are reigniting fears of a potential supervolcano eruption. According to The Daily Mail, this latest earthquake swarm began on February 8.

Experts with the US Geological Survey say that this latest swarm began in a region roughly eight miles northeast of West Yellowstone, Montana and, it’s increased dramatically in the days since. While the earthquakes are likely caused by a combination of processes beneath the surface, the current activity is said to be “relatively weak,” and the alert level at the supervolcano remains at “normal.” The USGS says the new swarm is occurring in about the same location as the Maple Creek swarm last summer, which brought roughly 2,400 earthquakes in a four-month span.

Experts also say there are likely many more earthquakes in the Yellowstone region that have gone undetected.  “The present swarm started on February 8, with a few events occurring per day,” according to USGS. “On February 15, seismicity rates and magnitudes increased markedly. As of the night of February 18, the largest earthquake in the swarm is M2.9, and none of the events have been felt. All are occurring about 8 km (5 mi) beneath the surface.”

“Swarms reflect changes in stress along small faults beneath the surface, and generally are caused by two processes: large-scale tectonic forces, and pressure changes beneath the surface due to accumulation and/or withdrawal of fluids (magma, water, and/or gas),” USGS explains. “The area of the current swarm is subject to both processes.”

“While it may seem worrisome, the current seismicity is relatively weak and actually represents an opportunity to learn more about Yellowstone,” USGS says. “It is during periods of change when scientists can develop, test, and refine their models of how the Yellowstone volcanic system works.” However, the experts did lace a warning into their statement. “The earthquakes, too, serve as a reminder of an underappreciated hazard at Yellowstone – that of strong earthquakes, which are the most likely event to cause damage in the region on the timescales of human lives.”

 

Liberal Hypocrite Michael Moore Participated In RUSSIA-ORGANIZED Anti-Trump Rally

6 hours 42 min ago

One of the biggest hypocrites to ever walk the face of the Earth, Michael Moore, participated in a Russia-organized anti-Trump rally. Liberals love to latch onto the “Russia” narrative, but they also like to leave out details surrounding their dalliances with the former Soviet Union.

Conveniently missing from most mainstream media news sources, isn’t just information on the highly hypocritical and massive corruption of the Obama Administration and the Clintons in the Uranium One scandal. Prosecutors said Friday that the Russians indicted for meddling in the presidential campaign were also behind anti-Trump rallies that occurred after the election.

According to Fox News, the government alleged in an indictment signed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller that the defendants organized a November 12, 2016 “Trump is NOT my President” rally in New York. Their “strategic goal” was to “sow discord in the U.S. political system,” the indictment said.

On November 12, 2016, Moore tweeted from that very protest organized by Russians.  “At today’s Trump Tower protest. He wouldn’t come down.” He attached a picture of himself posing with a large number of protesters.

Moore also posted a lengthy video on Facebook that same day, in which he joined the protest and debated voters at Trump Tower.  Approximately 25,000 protesters showed up to that same protest, chanting slogans rejecting the then-president-elect NBC News reported at the time, citing New York Police Department officials. Amid heavy police presence, protesters marched from Union Square to Trump Tower, The Guardian reported.

This puts anyone who still has faith that the FBI isn’t a weaponized political tool of the deep state in a tough position. They really don’t have the right to be critical of this information as they demand all Americans trust the FBI and where an investigation takes them.

Moore has repeatedly claimed that President Trump inappropriately colluded with Russians when it looks like there’s plenty of evidence the Obama Administration and the Clintons seem to get a free pass for their role in the Uranium One scandal. Last year, Moore wrote on Facebook, “It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what was going on: TRUMP COLLUDING WITH THE RUSSIANS TO THROW THE ELECTION TO HIM.”

If it weren’t for double standards, Michael Moore wouldn’t have any.

China: Testing Ground for U.S. Surveillance

Mon, 02/19/2018 - 14:00

There is little doubt for most of us that the recent shootings in Florida were not merely a “spontaneous, random event,” precipitated by one individual. At the very least, if Cruz (the alleged shooter) was a “lone wolf,” then the Deep State and those who back it in the Congress are going to exploit it. They will not allow such a crisis to go to waste. Now a new “crusade” is forming by the Statists for gun control.

They know: once they control the guns, the gulags can follow.

Indeed, the Democrats have just announced they will submit “reforms” totaling more than 100 pages on gun control. It has been announced that all 49 Democrats of the Senate will be in lock step with this one. Is McCain counted among that number? Taking the guns away from the citizens is just one part of the equation. The other part (equally as sinister) is the ubiquitous state of surveillance that is being emplaced throughout the United States.

China is the “testing ground.” If it works in China, the Statists are convinced it will also work in the United States in the future…when they intend to unveil it. We have already seen drastic measures being taken with bills that include biometric passports with more difficulty for American citizens to leave than for anyone to enter. That is because citizens are subjects, and we pay the monstrous taxes…the highest of any country in the world…to keep us impoverished, keep us on the treadmill, keep the system going…the infallible system, that of the existing social, political, and economic order.

Popular Science writer Rob Verger just released an article on 2/8/18 entitled Chinese Cops are Using Facial-Recognition Sunglasses: Here’s How that Tech Works, that bears reading. In a nutshell, the glasses are used by the cops to “look” at a potential suspect, and the glasses relay those images to a database that compares files with individual biometric characteristics and sorts them out…to determine if the suspect is at hand.

Sounds simple and innocuous, but it isn’t…because what can be done is to have a deeper database that places people under surveillance and monitors their personal habits. Yes, Big Brother on the street corner. We wrote previously about Chinese hand-held devices that enable the Chinese State Police to ID someone right on the street. These “sunglasses” complement those existing systems. They also have handheld readers that allow them to scan laptops and mobile phones.

Kissinger, Brzezinski, Soros, and a host of other oligarch-politicos have all mentioned that a world system that would be effective should take as its example the system in place with the Communist Chinese. The funnel is narrowing, and it would take nothing to emplace these systems in use in China everywhere in the U.S. Questions are unanswered that point to an answer if they are thought upon long enough. Why are cameras springing up everywhere? Why was the Obama administration so hot to nab Edward Snowden and Julian Assange? Why the obfuscation, censorship, and control over things that violate the Constitutional rights of American citizens by the government?

The answer is simple: we are slowly being manipulated and assets and resources being emplaced to enable a transition to a surveillance state…a completed one…when the time is right. They need to make the attempt to control the guns, and they need to monitor the actions of everyone, all the time. The “Thought Police” of Orwell are just around the corner…and when they decide the time is right, the United States will cease to exist in its present form.

Watch what they do in China: with technological surveillance and monitoring, with controlled urbanization (such as forcing residents to live in shipping containers…little more than a cage), and with control over the Internet. Watch, simultaneously, in the United States how some creep is more than just a creep…and at the very least, and unwitting tool in the hands of the Deep State…an excuse to usher in gun control. They have to get the guns, and they have to control and monitor the movements and actions of the people. “1984” was written years ago, but it may take place tomorrow, and be in place when we awaken.

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne).  Mr. Johnson is also a Gunsmith, a Certified Master Herbalist, a Montana Master Food Preserver, and a graduate of the U.S. Army’s SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape).  He lives in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with his wife and three cats. You can follow Jeremiah’s regular writings at SHTFplan.com or contact him here.

This article may be republished or excerpted with proper attribution to the author and a link to www.SHTFplan.com.

Volcanic Activity And Earthquakes In The Ring Of Fire Spark Fears Of ‘The BIG ONE’

Mon, 02/19/2018 - 13:00

The Ring of Fire appears to be awakening in the past few weeks.  As deaths, injuries, and evacuations occur around the volatile area, new fears have arisen that the “big one” could occur any day now.

Many have warned that the Ring of Fire’s activity could produce a large enough earthquake to completely destroy the entire California coast. So far, nothing of the sort has happened, but new and violent volcanic activity is forcing the fear back to the forefront of people’s minds.

According to The Sun, scientists are now sounding the alarm as well.  Scientists have warned that the frequent seismic activity, which has already claimed lives, could mean a huge quake is on the way.  A new study out of California says that the cluster of tremors around the planet’s so-called Ring of Fire (the horseshoe-shaped geological disaster zone) could indicate the “big one” is due to hit, TheDaily Mail Online reports.

The research, published in the journal Science Advances, involved analysis of 101 major earthquakes around the Pacific Ring of Fire between 1990 and 2016. Thorne Lay, a professor of Earth and planetary sciences at UC Santa Cruz, said, “Based on the clustering of earthquakes in space and time, the area that has just slipped is actually more likely to have another failure.” He added that despite the stress on the fault being lowered to below failure level, “the surrounding areas have been pushed towards failure in many cases, giving rise to aftershocks and the possibility of an adjacent large rupture sooner rather than later.”

“Taiwan, Guam, and Japan are far apart relative to the static stress interactions, but one could examine the seismic shaking from an earlier event in the region of a later event to see if small earthquakes were triggered as the seismic waves went by which could have led to a cascade of failures culminating in a larger event,” said Lay.  “Until that type of analysis is done, causal connection between the events is very speculative. Earthquakes are happening frequently in the Ring of Fire, and some apparent space-time clustering could arise from purely random (non-interacting) activity.”

More than 180 people were injured and 17 people killed when a 6.4 magnitude quake struck Taiwan’s east coast on February 6.

On Tuesday a series of tremors reaching magnitudes as high as 5.7 shook the US island territory of Guam.

Since February 11, three earthquakes have hit Japan, the largest measured at 4.8 on the Richter scale and was 103 kilometers from Hachijo.

But scientists have reassured the public, saying such activity is normal for the Ring of Fire and dismissed speculation of a “domino effect” triggering a bigger quake.The Sun

While some scientists look to discover the possibility of an unexpected “big one,” many others are urging the public to remain calm and not be concerned.

Toshiyasu Nagao, head of Tokyo-based Tokai UNiversity’s Earthquake Prediction Research Centre, told Japan Times, “The Pacific Rim is in a period of activity. In terms of volcanic history, however, the current activity is still regarded as normal.”

Here’s Why Banks Hate Cryptocurrencies

Mon, 02/19/2018 - 12:00

This report was originally published by Tyler Durden at Zero Hedge

Banks like to pretend that they’re so much more established and secure than the world of cryptocurrencies, but as anybody who pays close attention to the headlines would know…that’s just not the case…

Setting aside all of their rhetoric about embracing the blockchain, banks have mostly avoided or opposed cryptos (Goldman Sachs, sensing the opportunity for profit, is one notable exception), often citing their volatility and the ease with which they can be used to launder money as qualities that disqualify them from being taken seriously (though, as we recently witnessed with the US dollar, perhaps banks need to rework this volatility argument a bit).  Even yesterday’s announcement of the first criminal charges against a cryptocurrency trader pales in comparison to the many, many crimes that banks (or even one bank) have settled allegations of. The real answer to why the banks’ dislike cryptocurrencies is probably because they feel threatened. The recent selloff notwithstanding, the rise of cryptocurrencies has continued unabated, despite the efforts of some of the most powerful governments on Earth, while the concept is still very young, it does have potential to shake up the aging fiat system. In order to understand the race between the banks and cryptocurrencies, we developed a visual to see just how “David” is comparing to “Goliath.”

Using data from Yahoo Finance and CoinMarketCap.com, HowMuch.com‘s data team developed a visual that compares the market caps between some of the world’s largest banks and the largest cryptocurrencies. On the left blue column, there are four banks listed from largest to smallest market caps: JPMorgan Chase, Bank of China, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley. Conversely, the right red column features the total cryptocurrency market, Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, NEO, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, Cardano, and Stellar. The larger the circle, the bigger the market cap.

Crypto

Total Crypto Market Exceeds Size Of JPMorgan; Banks Fight Back In Attempt To Slow Growth

After an extraordinarily volatile (even for bitcoin) start to the year, cryptocurrencies are rallying once again, with bitcoin breaking above $10,000. As of Feb. 16, 2018, the crypto market had a market cap of $470 billion – larger than the size of the United States’ largest bank, JPMorgan Chase.

Bitcoin’s market cap alone is comparable to Bank of China’s. The second largest cryptocurrency by market cap, Ethereum, is comparable in size to Morgan Stanley. It is stats like these that have the global banking sector worried that cryptocurrencies are on track to make a serious impact on their operations.

One of the most recent efforts to help slow the pace of crypto growth were announcements from several banks saying that customers could no longer purchase digital currency with their credit cards. Berkshire Hathaway’s Charlie Munger has called Bitcoin “totally asinine” and Warren Buffet has said he would “buy a five-year put on every cryptocurrency.”

Overall, cryptocurrencies are seeing their size and value top even some of the largest financial institutions in the world. This has caused banks to fight back and attempt to slow their growth. However, even banks clearly don’t know what they really want. After JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon famously declared Bitcoin a “fraud”, it is interesting to now see a report published by the investment bank that calls Bitcoin-based ETFs the “holy grail for owners and investors.”

And should the bitcoin ETF become a reality, do you really think banks will turn down those lucrative fees?

What do you think?

Charles Hugh Smith: ‘ALL Currencies Will See A CATASTROPHIC DROP’ In The Economic Collapse

Mon, 02/19/2018 - 11:00

Financial writer Charles Hugh Smith recently sat down for an interview in which he boldly declared that ALL currencies – not just the United States dollar -will see a catastrophic drop during the coming economic collapse. It’s not just the dollar, but every currency backed by government force will fall.

In a video interview with USA Watchdog‘s Greg Hunter, Smith details the eventual collapse and says currencies such as the Chinese yuan will also drop. Smith, the author of the new book Money and Work Unchained and founder of the popular site OfTwoMinds.com says, “All these currencies, by which there is nothing backing the currencies except the government’s force. That’s the yen, the euro, the dollar and the Chinese yuan. They are all going to have a catastrophic drop against real assets because they are all based on too much leverage, too much debt, too much money being pumped into the financial system that ends up in unproductive speculation. You can’t grow your debt at six times the rate of your economy. In other words, if you are creating $6, $8 or $10 of debt to eke out $1 of low productivity growth, you are dooming your currency, and all currencies are doing the same thing. All the currencies are going to take a big drop at some point . . . relative to real stuff. Real stuff is commodities we need: water, grains, food, oil, natural gas, and of course, precious metals. Everybody knows they have been money for 5,000 years, and I personally feel there is a role for cryptocurrencies.”

Once you destroy your currency, you destroy everybody’s savings, everybody’s purchasing power, everybody’s poor,” says Smith. He then explains that how governments run economies is not how economics works. Most assume we can continue to borrow from the future to pay today for the promises made yesterday. It simply doesn’t work that way. “Most of the households in the US are losing ground,” explains Smith. Hunter then asked a powerful question: “Do you think they [global elitists] are trying to crush the dollar on purpose?”

“Yeah…there’s that idea that we boost our exports if we can reduce the value of our currency compared to the yen and the euro and so on. But then of course, we have to think about the other side of that which is…the Japanese are even more dependent on exports than we are, so they don’t wanna see their currency, the yen, shoot up in value becasue their exports then become more expensive here. It’s kind of a zero sum game…no country becomes great by devaluing their currency.

The entire system of government is broken at every level. Is it time to evolve beyond the need for rulers and authority and central planning? Smith explains that only the elites have access to the capitalism that will lift everyone out of poverty.

“If you’re in the inner circle, then capitalism works for you,” says Smith. The global elitists and politicians who get rich off the backs of those they force socialism upon don’t want a real free market to emerge because that’s how they will be taken down a notch and forced to compete in a real market scenario. “[The global elites] have protected it [capitalism] and only they get access to the benefits of capitalism and everybody else gets a watered down sort of socialism, like universal basic income. You don’t get any opportunity to do well.”

But of course, as with all government programs (including government employment), there’s always a problem, and universal basic income will create a disaster of epic proportions for human beings. The best single description of the problem, according to Smith, came from Hunter. “The fraud of universal basic income has to basically attach itself to a fraudulent money system.”

“It doesn’t really address the underlying problem which is a lack of productive work that gives a positive social role to people. In other words, they feel like they’re contributing to their family and their community. And just giving somebody a welfare check, I mean, how many people on welfare are writing poetry and really happy? I mean, we already have a test audience of what happens when you give people just enough money to scrape by, but no opportunity. What we really need is not universal basic income…we need to create opportunities to serve their community…the whole idea needs to be localized to the community...in a real free market, everybody has an opportunity to pursue what they want and to contribute and this is what we’ve lost.

Smith says he’s more concerned, however, that the market will slowly decay rather than just crash because he thinks that the public would let the elitists get away with it.

“The consequences of the weight of our policies would become apparent if there’s a 5,000 or 10,000 point drop in the DOW. People would start asking questions…but if it just slowly erodes, people habituate to it.”

Be prepared to protect yourself and your family financially for the dollar’s imminent collapse.

 

Trump Called For ‘Unifying Event’ Two Weeks Before Florida School Shooting

Mon, 02/19/2018 - 09:00

Two weeks before the Florida school shooting, president Donald Trump said it would be difficult to “unify” the country without a major event. But the odd coincidence is that now that there was a “major event,” the country is more divided than ever before.

According to PBS, hours before his first State of the Union address two weeks ago, President Donald Trump said that he wants to unite the country amid “tremendous divisiveness” and hopes he can do so without a traumatic event affecting Americans. Trump spoke about creating a more united country during a lunch with a number of television news anchors. The president said the United States has long been divided, including during the impeachment of former president Bill Clinton. Trump also said that Americans usually come together during times of suffering.

“I would love to be able to bring back our country into a great form of unity,” Trump said. “Without a major event where people pull together, that’s hard to do. But I would like to do it without that major event because usually that major event is not a good thing.” 

But the major event – the mass shooting a high school in Florida – did not bring people together; it only divided them further. Joe Joseph with The Daily Sheeple says “This is interesting, because this, he said prior to the shooting down in Florida.”



“Now, that’s not to say president Trump orchestrated that [the mass shooting in Florida] because I doubt that he did, in fact, I don’t think that for a second. But, what I will say, is that these events, oftentimes, cause more divide than anything else,” Joseph said. “The last time I saw an event unify the country was 9/11, and it was only for a short time.”

“Normally, it takes that negative event or that attack that threatens the well-being of the nation that affect us all, or that we perceive affects us all,” Joseph said. But, “there are so many things that divide the country right now, it’s the whole gun control debate again. Here we have another crazy that’s gone out, done his thing, and interestingly enough, they’re gonna raze the school, which, I always thought crime scenes needed to be preserved…it seems like every major casualty or every major event, we have to go and just raze the crime scene…does anybody not think that this is a little odd…that’s a crime scene! Why are we destroying evidence?” It really isn’t a wonder why people believe some of the major events are scripted or didn’t happen the way we were told that they did. People want instant gratification and their feelings validated which also leads to divisiveness.

“One thing’s for sure,” Joseph says. “Since he [Trump] said this, we did have a major event an I’ll tell ya…that major event has caused an even deeper rift and divide among people in this country and I don’t think that there’s an easy answer.”

Bird Flu From Chinese Poultry Infects Humans For The First Time: Dangerous Human/Bird Flu Virus Hybrids Possible

Mon, 02/19/2018 - 07:00

The flu virus is evolving in unpredictable ways in Chinese poultry. For the first time, the avian flu has mutated and infected a human being.

According to New Scientist, the World Health Organization says no similar bird flu strains have ever crossed over to people before and this unexpected jump from chickens to humans was a surprise. The Chinese government has confirmed the first human case of H7N4 bird flu in the country. The patient, a 68-year-old woman in the Jiangsu province, is in stable condition and health authorities believe she will make a full recovery.

According to The Guardian, the patient contracted the virus in December and began to develop symptoms on Christmas Day. Bird flu symptoms in humans include mild to a severe pink eye, fever, cough, sore throat, and muscle aches. The patient was admitted to a hospital on January 1 and stayed until January 22. Although her identity has not been disclosed, media outlets confirmed she likely contracted the virus from close contact with live birds. Although the virus does not appear to be particularly harmful to humans, it sets an interesting precedent since this is the first instance of such transmission to a person from a chicken.

“She had contact with live poultry before the onset of symptoms,” Hong Kong’s Center for Health Protection (CHP) said in a statement of the woman infected. “According to a report from the Chinese center for disease control and prevention, upon analysis, the genes of the virus were determined to be of avian origin.”

Dr. Bettina Fries, chief of Stony Brook Medicine Division of Infectious Diseases, told Newsweek it’s cause for great concern any time a bird flu virus causes disease in humans. “There would not be any preexisting immunity since the virus is new for humans,” Fries said. She also explained that the bird flu could form a dangerous combination with a human flu virus. “The viruses recombine/mix their genomes and you have a new flu virus half human, half bird flu virus,” said Fries. “The swine flu outbreak was a strain with some swine and some human flu. What keeps us safe at the moment from bird flu is that they rarely infect humans,” she said. “A recombination of virus (human and bird flu) could change that and we could find ourselves in a pandemic with a rapidly spreading virus and no preexisting herd immunity, no vaccine.”

The virus was identified through genetic testing, and results were only just released, the South China Morning Post reported. The patient’s close contacts are also under surveillance for signs of the illness, but so far no one has developed any symptoms, CNN reported.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the avian flu H7N4 is a subtype of influenza A viruses that infect birds. All influenza A viruses are divided based on their proteins (the HA subtype) and the surface of the virus (NA subtype). Therefore, H7N4 has an H7 protein and an N4 protein.

The Hong Kong CHP statement urged the public to practice strict hygiene both in Hong Kong, an autonomous region south of mainland China and while traveling in China. This includes avoiding living or freshly slaughtered poultry, which is described as any domesticated fowl such as a chicken, turkey, duck, or goose.

[Watch] Colion Noir Explains How To STOP School Shootings

Mon, 02/19/2018 - 05:15

NRA spokesman Colion Noir put together a quick video to explain how to stop school shootings. We send our children to schools already declared “gun free zones.”

Not one single person besides that shooter had any way to defend themselves against this horrific act – as is the case in most, if not all school shootings. And yet, after a tragedy, the weakest members of society seek regulations (aka punishments and more red tape) enacted on those who are entirely innocent, and already made targets of recently committed criminal atrocity. But, the most simple fact that all of these communist cowards seem to ignore can be summed up in the simple meme below:

But for those who still don’t understand that not all people are good and will always find a way around the law, Colion Noir has put together a short video to explain how to really stop school shootings. “We childishly cling to gun control,” Noir begins.

“Laws only matter to the people willing to obey them,” Noir says. And he’s right. Look at how many people have been jailed for feeding the homeless in places where it’s banned by law. “Depending on laws to prevent random acts of murder is delusional at best and suicidal at worst,” he continues. “You can’t legislate evil! That’s like holding up a “no biting” sign in front of a rabid dog and expecting it not to bite you. So instead of wasting time adding more words to our ‘no bite’ sign, how about we focus on how to stop the evil when it arises. Gun free zone signs don’t keep guns out of school, especially in the hands of mass murders who aren’t phased by signs telling them they’re not supposed to bring guns in schools.

By now, most gun owners are aware that the left doesn’t actually care about stopping murder, they care about disarmament of all people. However, with 300 million (estimated) guns in the United States, they’ve got one hell of the debacle on their hands if they ever actually seek full confiscation. So what’s the solution to school shootings?

“Metal detectors. Put metal detectors in our schools,” Noir suggests. It’s certainly a better idea than “adding more words to a sign.” Metal detectors prevent guns from getting into courthouses and other places infinitely better than a sign on a window. And if a mass shooter shows up and sets off a metal detector, armed guards should be there to stop them. “We use armed guards to protect everything we consider valuable; I can’t think of anything more valuable than our kids,” Noir continues. “These are our kids. The future of our society. There is nothing more valuable.  And in the worst event, somebody gets past all of these things, the last layer of defense against these psychos should be our teachers. Let the teachers be armed if they wanna be armed, instead of becoming defenseless human sacrifices that still result in kids dying! Give them the power to fight back!”

The disturbing reality, though, is that leftists won’t even entertain these options. Their cognitive dissonance is so strong when it comes to guns that rationality left a long time ago and we haven’t witnessed it since. “You don’t want a visual representation of your reality,” Noir sums up. The left doesn’t want to see that some people seek to do harm against the most innocent in society, and the reality is, they don’t care about laws. “Feeling safe is more important than being safe…But the metal detectors, having armed guards, and arming teachers is a constant reminder that no matter how progressive you become, you cannot out progress evil. You’re still vulnerable and there’s nothing you can do about it except prepare.

Hero Citizen Stops Mass Shooting in a Church, Cops Show Up and Shoot HIM – Media Silent

Sat, 02/17/2018 - 20:14

A potentially deadly mass shooting in a church of 100 people was foiled this week by a hero citizen who then became the victim of trigger-happy cops who shot the wrong man.

Amarillo, TX — As news of the tragic shooting in Parkland, Florida dominated the airwaves this week, a massive hostage situation—which was quickly turning into a mass shooting situation—was foiled by a hero in a church. That hero, however, is now in the hospital after police showed up to the scene and shot him.

The situation was well on its way to becoming one of the deadliest shootings in history as the gunman took over 100 people hostage inside the Faith City Mission church on Wednesday.

“They said there was a gun in the building everyone started running all different ways,” said Clay Murdock, a student at Faith City Mission.

According to WLOX, Murdock said he tried to get as many people inside their sound room as possible.

“We’re standing in there and everyone starts praying,” said Murdock. “I went outside to see what was going on if I could get more people in there and right when as I went outside the guy was standing right in front of me with the pistol.”

Murdock then ran outside.

According to the Amarillo police, the initial call came in around 8:45 a.m. and indicated that there was an armed suspect inside who was holding 100 people hostage.

Sergeant Brent Barbee told reporters that when officers breached the building, they encountered an individual who had a handgun.

The officers fired shots that struck the man,” said Barbee. “After some additional investigation, they’ve learned that the man that [had] the gun may have taken the firearm away from the original suspect in the call. The man who originally had the gun has been taken into custody.”

Later that day, police clarified that they indeed shot the wrong man.

“The initial investigation indicates that the man the officer shot had originally been in a struggle with the original suspect and had taken away the gun from the suspect. The initial suspect has been taken into custody and is not injured. No other persons were hit by gunfire. This is very early in the investigation and more details will be available at a later time,” read the report.

As Amarillo.com reports, the hero of the story is a student at Faith City Mission church. After he and the private church security officers wrestled the shooter to the ground and got the gun away from him, one or more Amarillo police officers opened fire on the student.

“Members of the security team took the gunman down and one of our students was able to wrestle the gun away,” she said. “Our thoughts are with our injured student and we praise God for his protection while honoring the heroic actions of our security team, students and everyone else involved — which prevented the situation from becoming far worse.”

The student was taken to a local hospital. The gunman, Joshua Len Jones, 35, of Amarillo was taken to jail unharmed.

Faith City Mission Executive Director Jena Taylor said the student, who was not identified, had surgery Wednesday but was in stable condition and remains hospitalized, reports Amarillo.com.

“One of our staff members visited the student that was shot and he is resting well after surgery,” Taylor said.

Predictably, this story received no coverage in the mainstream media as it is showed brave citizens in a positive light while highlighting the fact that cops shot and nearly killed the hero.

Please share this story with your friends and family to spread a bit of good news in what has surely been a tragic week of reporting.

“One Of The Most Vile, Misleading Headlines Of Our Time”: NY Daily News Runs FAKE NEWS Headline Claiming Florida Shooter Was “Trained” By The NRA

Sat, 02/17/2018 - 17:25

In what has been described as one of the most vile, misleading headlines of all time, the left leaning New York Daily News published their Saturday edition with a cover that includes the ridiculous fake news claim that alleged Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz was actually “trained” by the NRA themselves.

Apparently aiming to give Democrats an assist with their renewed push to disarm the American people, The NY Daily News latched onto the fact that the JROTC program at the school received funding from the NRA as evidence that the shooter himself received training from them.

The problem? The claim is about as misleading as they come, especially when you consider that while it is true that Cruz was at one time a member of the JROTC, so where dozens of other students, some who even HELPED others get out of the school during the shooting itself!

All the NRA did was give a grant to the JROTC program. They did not “train” Cruz and, sadly, the leftist propagandists at the NY Daily News are well aware of this fact but are hoping their readers are so uninformed that they believe this actual fake news.

The story itself was specifically designed as a hit piece against an organization that liberals throughout the country have painted as an all powerful, well-funded group when, in reality, anti-gun groups have spent literally hundreds of millions of more dollars than ANY pro-gun group ever has.

Users on Twitter were quick to destroy the fake news cover, making it clear that at least some Americans are able to see through this transparent leftist propaganda.

Make no mistake. ALL those involved with this disgusting hit piece, including the reporters who wrote it, the editors who allowed it, and the punk who wrote the fake news headline are nothing more than leftist propagandists masquerading as journalists.

Facebook Ad VP: Mainstream Media Ignoring FACTS About Russian Ad Spending For Election

Sat, 02/17/2018 - 15:14

Most of Russia’s ad spending happened after the election, but that fact doesn’t support the mainstream media’s narrative of collusion with Trump, says Facebook’s Vice President of Ad Products Rob Goldman.

“The majority of the Russian ad spend happened AFTER the election,” Goldman tweeted Friday. “We shared that fact, but very few outlets have covered it because it doesn’t align with the main media narrative of Trump and the election.”

“Most of the coverage of the Russian meddling involves their attempt to effect the outcome of the 2016 US election. I have seen all of the Russian ads and I can say very definitively that swaying the election was NOT the main goal.”

President Trump retweeted Goldman’s statements Saturday.

“The Fake News Media never fails. Hard to ignore this face from the Vice President of Facebook Ads, Rob Goldman!” he tweeted.

FBI Special Counsel Mueller’s indictment of 13 Russians for “defrauding” the US since 2014 also suggests no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, but rather a concerted disinformation effort meant to sow discord in US domestic politics.

The revelations spurred Trump to further dig into the corporate media once again.

“Funny how the Fake News Media doesn’t want to say that the Russian group was formed in 2014, long before my run for President. Maybe they knew I was going to run even though I didn’t know!”

Hillary Clinton Outspent The Russians 53-1… And Still Lost!

Sat, 02/17/2018 - 15:01

The mixed messages from yesterday’s “shocking” indictments of some Russian trolls (while The FBI was busily ignoring potential mass murderers in Florida) need some context to calm the chaotic “told you so” narrative spewing from every orifice of every side in this debacle.

Hillary Clinton spent 53 times more money per month than Russians seeking to influence the 2016 presidential election.

As The Daily Caller’s Amber Athey details, according to reports, the monthly Russian budget for the operation to meddle in the election was $1.2 million. As Peter Hamby pointed out on Twitter, Clinton and supporting PAC Priorities USA spent approximately $800 million in 2016.

That means Clinton and her PAC spent about $66 million a month in 2016, a whopping 53 times more money than Russia’s $1.25 million monthly budget.

It’s also worth nothing that not all of the money spent by the Russian operation was used to campaign for President Donald Trump. According to the Mueller indictment released Friday, Russian trolls also supported Jill Stein and Bernie Sanders and even planted seeds for leftist groups like “Blacktivist” and “Woke Blacks.”

After the election, Russians continued to sow division in the United States by riling up “#Resist” groups involved in anti-Trump protests.

But none of that matters… Russians ‘meddled’ – end of story, Adam Schiff will no doubt be popping corks this weekend.

“He Has Her Blood On His Hands”: Anti-Gun Liberals Viciously Attack Father Of Florida Shooting Victim For Supporting Donald Trump

Fri, 02/16/2018 - 17:56

Hard-left social media users have spent the day viciously attacking the father of one of the victims of the horrific Florida school mass shooting over the fact that he wore a Trump 2020 t-shirt during an interview with a local news outlet.

That’s right, in the new America it is apparently perfectly acceptable to attack and even blame the parent of a teenager who was murdered, all because his political beliefs do not line up with the leftist orthodoxy.

Both Andrew Pollack and his wife were interviewed outside of Broward Health North hospital, hoping to hear from their daughter hours after the attack that left 17 dead and over a dozen injured. During the interview, Pollack committed the thought crime of wearing a t-shirt for his preferred presidential candidate, a fact that apparently gave leftists on twitter the cover to viciously attack him.

The attacks ranged from actually blaming Pollack himself for his own daughters death, to disgustingly claiming that they did not feel sorry for him simply because he supports Trump and presumably the NRA. Keep in mind that the anti-gun left has spent BILLIONS of dollars to push their agenda while at the same time pretending that the NRA is this all powerful group that cannot be stopped.

One user even went as far as to claim that Trump, the NRA, and all Republicans themselves were actually RESPONSIBLE for the attack itself.

Make no mistake, the following tweets are representative of a large portion of the new left which openly hates all their political opposition to the point where they simply do not care if someones daughter was literally just murdered.

Additionally, the social media giants themselves (Facebook, Twitter, etc) seemingly support the vicious attacks on Pollack as they have allowed them to continue unimpeded while at the same time censoring dozens of conservatives for a variety of fake reasons.

As I noted above, this is the new America folks, where all it takes is wearing a Trump shirt to be attacked and even blamed for your own daughters murder.

False Flag? FBI Admits That They Did Not Follow Protocol When Given Tip About Alleged Florida Mass Shooter Nikolas Cruz

Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:08

In a shocking admission by an agency that rarely admits mistakes, the Federal Bureau of Investigations has revealed that they received a tip about the alleged Florida mass shooter at least a month before the attack but somehow did not follow “protocol” after the information was received.

In a statement posted on the agencies website, the FBI noted that it received a tip about the troubled teenager through its Public Access Line that detailed the teens gun ownership and erratic behavior.

In other words, the FBI just publicly admitted that they ignored a key tip that, if followed up on, could have stopped Nikolas Cruz from killing 17 people and injuring over a dozen more!

The statement reads:

On January 5, 2018, a person close to Nikolas Cruz contacted the FBI’s Public Access Line (PAL) tipline to report concerns about him. The caller provided information about Cruz’s gun ownership, desire to kill people, erratic behavior, and disturbing social media posts, as well as the potential of him conducting a school shooting.

Under established protocols, the information provided by the caller should have been assessed as a potential threat to life. The information then should have been forwarded to the FBI Miami Field Office, where appropriate investigative steps would have been taken.

We have determined that these protocols were not followed for the information received by the PAL on January 5. The information was not provided to the Miami Field Office, and no further investigation was conducted at that time.

How on earth could the FBI receive such a detailed tip from someone CLOSE to Cruz and then ignore it to the point that it wasn’t even sent to the field office in the area the alleged shooter lived in?!

In response to the FBI’s shocking admission, Florida governor Rick Scott is calling for FBI Director Christopher Wray to resign as he was the head of the agency when the tip was ignored and is indirectly responsible for the attack even being allowed to happen in the first place.

Scott released his own statement Friday that reads:

“The FBI’s failure to take action against this killer is unacceptable. The FBI has admitted that they were contacted lasted month by a person who called them to inform of Cruz’s ‘desire to kill people’ and the ‘potential of him conducting a school shooting.”

“We constantly promote ‘see something, say something,’ and a courageous person did just that to the FBI. And the FBI failed to act. ‘See something, say something’ is an incredibly important tool and people must have confidence in the follow through from law enforcement. The FBI Director needs to resign.”

While most Americans are sure to believe that this was an honest accident by the FBI, one has to wonder if this tip was ignored on purpose, especially when you consider the agencies long history of using informants to entrap idiots in what amounts to the FBI staging fake terror attacks themselves.

When you add in the fact that the entire establishment is now pushing even more gun control and you have all the hallmarks of a classic false flag.

What do you think?

Did the FBI “accidentally” ignore the tip that could have stopped the alleged Florida mass shooter or was this a purposeful act designed to allow a mass shooting to happen which could then be used to further erode Americans Second Amendment rights?

Far-Left Group Calls For Murdering Republicans as Revenge For Florida School Shooting

Fri, 02/16/2018 - 11:21

This article was originally published by Paul Joseph Watson at Infowars

A far-left group on Facebook is calling on people to murder Republican lawmakers who support the NRA as revenge for the Florida school shooting.

The unhinged posts appeared on a Facebook group called ‘Milkshakes Against the Republican Party’ in the hours after the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

“Dear Crazed Shooters, The GOP has frequent baseball practice. You really wanna be remembered, that’s how you do it. Signed, Americans tired of our politicians bathing in the blood of the innocent for a few million dollars from the terrorist organization NRA,” states one of the posts.

The irony of openly encouraging terrorist attacks as revenge against a “terrorist organization” is seemingly lost on whoever posted the message.

“You remember the shooting at the Republican baseball game?” asks another post. “One of those should happen EVERY WEEK until those NRA-funded sons of bitches do something about this.”

Neither of the posts has been removed by Facebook despite being online for approaching 48 hours.

The mention of GOP baseball practice is in reference to the June 2017 shooting of Congressman Steve Scalise, which was carried out by a far-left Bernie Sanders supporter, James T. Hodgkinson, who was attempting to murder as many Republicans as possible.

These posts again illustrate how extremists on both the far left and far right are exploiting the hyper-partisan environment to spread hate and encourage violence.

Leftists on Twitter responded to a parent of one of the victims who lost his daughter in the school shooting with total vitriol merely because the man was wearing a ‘Trump 2020’ t-shirt.

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Paul Joseph Watson is the editor at large of Infowars.com and Prison Planet.com.

Deutsche: “Nobody Can Understand What’s Going On With The Dollar… The Answer Is Simple”

Fri, 02/16/2018 - 07:10

This report was originally published by Tyler Durden at Zero Hedge

dollar-crash3

Earlier this week, the bizarre, unexplainable, ongoing plunge in the dollar and US bond prices in the aftermath of the stronger than expected CPI print which also sent equities surging, prompted at least one trader at Citi to explode: “Wake Up Folks, It’s Not Risk Positive

Then again, maybe it is not all that unexplainable.

As Deutsche’s FX strategist, George Saravelos, writes, he has been getting numerous inquiries as to how can it be that US yields are rising sharply, yet the dollar is so weak at the same time?

He believes the answer is simple: the dollar is not going down despite higher yields but because of them. Higher yields mean lower bond prices and US bonds are lower because investors don’t want to buy them, or as he puts it “this is an entirely different regime to previous years.”

Below we repost his simple explanation, while highlighting that maybe…

… just maybe, the bottom for the dollar is now in?

From Deutsche Bank:

Blame the dollar on yields

We are well into 2018 and our feedback from recently attending the TradeTech FX conference in Miami is that the market is still struggling to understand or embrace dollar weakness. How can it be that US yields are rising sharply, yet the dollar is so weak at the same time? The answer is simple: the dollar is not going down despite higher yields but because of them. Higher yields mean lower bond prices and US bonds are lower because investors don’t want to buy them. This is an entirely different regime to previous years.

Dollar weakness ultimately goes back to two major problems for the greenback this year. First, US asset valuations are extremely stretched. As we argued in our 2018 FX outlook a combined measure of P/E ratios for equities and term premia for bonds is at its highest levels since the 1960s. Simply put, US bond and equity prices cannot continue going up at the same time. This correlation breakdown is structurally bearish for the dollar because it inhibits sustained inflows into US bond and equity markets.

The second dollar problem is that irrespective of asset valuations the US twin deficit (the sum of the current account and fiscal balance) is set to deteriorate dramatically in coming years. Not only does the additional fiscal stimulus recently agreed by Congress push the fair value of bonds even lower via higher issuance and inflation risk premia effects, but the current account that also needs to be financed will widen via import multiplier effects. When an economy is stimulated at full employment the only way to absorb domestic demand is higher imports. Under conservative assumptions the US twin deficit is set to deteriorate by well over 3% of GDP over the next two years.

The mirror image to all of this is that the flow picture into both Europe and Japan has been improving dramatically anyway. We have previously written about the positive flow dynamics in Europe as the flow distortions caused by extremely unconventional ECB policy are starting to adjust. But the Japanese basic balance has also shot up to a 4% surplus in recent years helped by a big improvement in the services balance (Chinese tourists) and a collapse of Japanese inflows into the US: treasuries simply do not provide enough duration compensation any more. To conclude, embrace dollar weakness, it has more to run.

Father Of Artificial Intelligence: ‘Singularity Is Less Than 30 Years Away’

Thu, 02/15/2018 - 13:00

automation-robot

The father of artificial intelligence has sounded the alarm, and the clock is ticking down to the singularity.  For those who haven’t been following the advancements in AI, maybe now’s the time, because we are approaching the point of no return.

Singularity is the point in time when humans can create an artificial intelligence machine that is smarter. Ray Kurzweil, Google’s chief of engineering, says that the singularity will happen in 2045.  Louis Rosenberg claims that we are actually closer than that and that the day will be arriving sometime in 2030. MIT’s Patrick Winston would have you believe that it will likely be a little closer to Kurzweil’s prediction, though he puts the date at 2040, specifically.

Jürgen Schmidhuber, who is the Co-Founder and Chief Scientist at AI company NNAISENSE, the Director of the Swiss AI lab IDSIA, and heralded by some as the “father of artificial intelligence” is confident that the singularity “is just 30 years away. If the trend doesn’t break, and there will be rather cheap computational devices that have as many connections as your brain but are much faster,” he said. “There is no doubt in my mind that AIs are going to become super smart,” Schmidhuber says.

When biological life emerged from chemical evolution, 3.5 billion years ago, a random combination of simple, lifeless elements kickstarted the explosion of species populating the planet today. Something of comparable magnitude may be about to happen. “Now the universe is making a similar step forward from lower complexity to higher complexity,” Schmidhuber beams. “And it’s going to be awesome.” But will it really be awesome when human beings are made obsolete by their very creations?

Artifical intelligence has already had an impact on humanity. A recent warning from the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) declared that thousands of jobs are being lost to robots and those with those on lowest wages are likely to be hardest hit. As it becomes more expensive to hire people for work because of government intervention like minimum wage hikes and overbearing regulations, more companies are shifting to robotics to save money on labor.

Kurzweil has said that the work happening right now “will change the nature of humanity itself.” He said robots “will reach human intelligence by 2029 and life as we know it will end in 2045.”  There is a risk that technology will overtake humanity and make human society irrelevant at best and extinct at worst.

Central Banks Will Let The Next Crash Happen

Thu, 02/15/2018 - 12:00

This report was originally published by Brandon Smith at Alt-Market.com

central-banks-collapse

If you have been following the public commentary from central banks around the world the past few months, you know that there has been a considerable change in tone compared to the last several years.

For example, officials at the European Central Bank are hinting at a taper of stimulus measures by September of this year and some EU economists are expecting a rate hike by December. The Bank of England has already started its own rate hike program and has warned of more hikes to come in the near term. The Bank of Canada is continuing with interest rate hikes and signaled more to come over the course of this year. The Bank of Japan has been cutting bond purchases, launching rumors that governor Haruhiko Kuroda will oversee the long overdue taper of Japan’s seemingly endless stimulus measures, which have now amounted to an official balance sheet of around $5 trillion.

This global trend of “fiscal tightening” is yet another piece of evidence indicating that central banks are NOT governed independently from one another, but that they act in concert with each other based on the same marching orders. That said, none of the trend reversals in other central banks compares to the vast shift in policy direction shown by the Federal Reserve.

First came the taper of QE, which almost no one thought would happen. Then came the interest rate hikes, which most analysts both mainstream and alternative said were impossible, and now the Fed is also unwinding its balance sheet of around $4 trillion, and it is unwinding faster than anyone expected.

Now, mainstream economists will say a number of things on this issue — they will point out that many investors simply do not believe the Fed will follow through with this tightening program. They will also say that even if the Fed does continue cutting off the easy money to banks and corporations, there is no doubt that the central bank will intervene in markets once again if the effects are negative.  I would say that this is rather delusional thinking based on a dangerous assumption; the assumption that the Fed wants to save markets.

When mainstream economists argue that the Federal Reserve could conceivably keep low interest rates and stimulus going for decades if necessary, they often use the example of the Bank of Japan as some kind of qualifier. Of course, what they fail to mention is that yes, the BOJ has spent decades increasing its balance sheet which now sits at around $4.7 trillion (U.S.), but the Fed exploded its balance sheet to around $4.5 trillion in only eight years. That is to say, the Fed inflated a bubble as large if not larger than the Bank of Japan in less than half the time.

Frankly, the comparison is idiotic. And clearly according to their own admissions, the Fed is not going to be continuing stimulus measures anyway. People cling to this fantasy because they WANT to believe that the easy money party will never end. They are sorely mistaken.

I have been battling this delusion for quite some time. When I predicted that the Fed would taper QE, I received a predominantly negative reaction. The same thing occurred when I predicted the Fed would begin hiking interest rates. Now, I’m finding it rather difficult to break through the narrative that the Fed will intervene before the next crash takes place.

There is something so intoxicating about the notion that central banks will stop at nothing to prop up stock markets and bond markets. It generates an almost crazed cult-like fervor in the investment world; a psychedelic high that makes financial participants think they can fly. Of course, what has really happened is that these people have jumped off the roof of their overpriced condo; they think they are flying but they are really falling like a brick weighted down with stupidity.

Former Fed chairman Janet Yellen upon exiting her position stated:

“If stock prices or asset prices more generally were to fall, what would that mean for the economy as a whole?”

“I think our overall judgment is that, if there were to be a decline in asset valuations, it would not damage unduly the core of our financial system.”

Yellen also said when asked about high stock prices:

“Well, I don’t want to say too high. But I do want to say high. Price/earnings ratios are near the high end of their historical ranges…”

“Now, is that a bubble or is too high? And there it’s very hard to tell. But it is a source of some concern that asset valuations are so high.”

Since the middle of last year, the Fed has been calling the stock market overpriced and “vulnerable.” This rhetoric has only become bolder over the past several months. Dallas Fed president Robert Kaplan dismissed concerns over the affect rate hikes might have on markets and hinted at the potential for MORE than the three hikes planned for 2018. The Dow fell 666 points that same day.

New York Fed’s Bill Dudley shrugged off concerns over recent volatility, saying that an equity rout like the one that occurred in recent days “has virtually no consequence for the economic outlook.”

Jerome Powell, the new Fed chairman, has said while taking the chair position that he will continue with the current Fed policy of rate hikes and balance sheet reductions, and reiterated his support for more rate hikes this past week (while the mainstream media hyperfocused on his lip service promise to watch stock behavior closely). This indicates once again that it does not matter who is at the wheel of the Fed, its course has already been set, and the Chairman is simply there to act as the ship’s parrot mascot. The Fed is expected to raise interest rates yet again in March.

Now, all the evidence including the Fed’s surprise balance sheet reduction of $18 billion in January shows that at least for now, the central bank no longer cares about stocks and bonds.

In the meantime, 10 year Treasury Yields are spiking to the ever present danger level of 3% after a hotter than expected inflation report, and the dollar index is plunging. Showing us perhaps the first signs of a potential stagflationary crisis. Bottom line – markets are not long for this world if yields pass 3% and the falling dollar provides yet another excuse for faster interest rate hikes. More rate hikes means eventually cheap loans will become expensive loans.

My question is, if the Fed is not going to feed cheap fiat into banks and corporations to fuel stock buybacks, then WHO is going to buy equities now?

What about corporations? Nope, not going to happen. With corporate debt skyrocketing to levels far beyond that seen just before the 2008 crash, there is no chance that they will be able to sustain stock buybacks without aid from the Fed.

What about retail investors? I doubt it. Retail investors are the primary pillar boosting stocks at this stage in the game, but as we saw during the panic last week, it is unlikely that retail investors will maintain hands strong enough to refrain from selling at the first sign of trouble. They do tend to hastily jump back into markets to buy every dip because for many years this simplistic strategy has worked, but if the Fed continues to back away from stimulus and we seen a few more incidences like the 1,000+ point drops of recent days, investor conditioning will be broken, and blind faith will be replaced by doubt.

What about the American consumer? Will consumer profits boost companies and give them and they stock shares a solid foundation? I can barely write that question without laughing out loud. There was a time (it seems like so long ago) when company innovation and solid business strategies actually meant something when it comes to equities. Those days are over. Now, everything is based on the assumption of central bank intervention, and as I already noted, central banks are pulling the plug on life support.

Beyond that, U.S. consumers are now buried in historic levels of personal debt.

What about the Trump administration’s latest $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan? Will this act as a kind of indirect stimulus program picking up where the Fed left off? Unlikely.

Perhaps if such a plan had been implemented eight years ago in place of the useless bank bailouts and TARP, it might have made a difference. Though, a similar strategy did not work out very well for Herbert Hoover. In fact, many of the Hoover-era infrastructure projects were not paid off for decades after initial construction. Hoover was also a one term Republican president that oversaw the beginning of the Great Depression.

The system is too far into debt and too far gone for infrastructure spending to make any difference in the economic outcome. Add to that the fact that Treasury yields are liable to continue their upward trajectory due to the increased deficit spending, putting more pressure on stocks.

Interestingly, Trump’s budget director has even admitted that the plan will lead to even faster increases in interest rates, and Fed officials have been using this as a partial rationale for why they plan to continue cutting off stimulus measures.

I think anyone with any sense can see the narrative that is building here. The Federal Reserve is going to let markets crumble in 2018. They are going to continue raising interest rates and reducing their balance sheet faster than originally expected. They will not step in when equities crash. And, they don’t really need to. Trump continues to set himself up as the perfect scapegoat for a bubble implosion that had to happen eventually anyway. Now, the central banks can sufficiently avoid any blame.

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You can contact Brandon Smith at: brandon@alt-market.com

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