6 Warning Signs That Civil Unrest Is Imminent

6 Warning Signs That Civil Unrest Is Imminent

Authored by J.G.Martinez D. via The Organic Prepper blog,

This week has been “interesting” in South America. Interesting, indeed, but as in the ancient Chinese curse style.

For those of us in this side of the hemisphere, having been able to witness first-hand, in the front line, how the very same plot that made us get the heck out of our country, is unleashing a vendetta against the countries that have received us Venezuelans.

I know geopolitical issues are not the intention of this blog, but please, allow me to continue. It will be necessary to establish a context of the circumstances. This vendetta I mentioned, has the exact same features that Fidel Castro once sent to Miami, from Mariel, in Cuba (a pilot test?). President Moreno has accused directly to Maduro of sending hidden terrorists, camouflaged between the refugees. For those readers interested that maybe are going to buy the book Daisy and I are writing, you will find a direct relationship between travels of communist leaders to South America, and civilian turmoil generated within a suspiciously short time frame after their “visit”. This is not the only indicator of troubles, indeed. If we remember, in 1988 the Venezuelan president Carlos Andres Perez invited Fidel to his ceremony of possession. Some people who were there informed that a significant part of the companions of Fidel for that ceremony did not come back to Cuba. They stayed in Venezuela.

This said, it is not hard to suppose what kind of influence these “visitors” had in the 1989 coup d’etat. The incredible violence unleashed in the cities was something totally unexpected, and rarely seen in a country such as Venezuela. For more details, you will read about it in the book, with some testimonies of friends and acquaintances, and some anecdotic data. I was like 15 at the time and remember everything as it was yesterday.

The objective, finally, of this article is getting to the reader accustomed to this idea: civilian turmoil presents so suddenly that maybe the only option you will have is to bug in.

A couple of weeks ago, everything was so quiet in Ecuador that it was even boring. Don’t believe me? Watch the news. A few days ago, a violent mob kicked out the police out of their way and invaded the National Assembly (something very similar, indeed to what happened in Venezuela).

A very volatile situation is brewing in all of South America.

Countries that had been relatively peaceful are now (thanks to the hidden terrorists sent by the Maduro regime) a powder barrel. The timing could not be worst for me and my reduced family group. An old illness has come back and I´m struggling to recover at least partially before things get worst. Fortunately, we are in a popular neighborhood where there are lots of Venezuelans, and the people renting me have no complains because I´ve been quite a good tenant: no noises, paying on time (thanks to my extreme frugality and the generosity of a few readers, I have to acknowledge). They are a senior couple and hardly would allow me to get hurt by an angry mob or someone of my family. However, I´m ready to defend myself and mines.

OK, here´s the thing. Maybe you can have some indications in the nearby days about how bad things can get, all of a sudden. You won´t even notice it until you´re in the middle. If you don´t believe me just ask to Ecuadorians. They were caught in the middle of a geopolitical storm stirred from abroad. Looting, empty shelves as a result, and half of the country blocked because of the mobs. Tear gas, and shootings. Three young men thrown from a bridge by other angry enemies. Things like this happen when people are exposed, and unaware.

I want to tell you something. I’m not in my better moment these days. But every time I need to go outside for some reason, I do it with the firm, strong idea in my mind, of defending myself and my family (and the means to do it). Being partially impeded, defense will have to be lightning quick and disabling. No mercy and I am sorry about this, but it’s true. It’s the survivor’s mind setup clicking in since I saw the chain of events. Facing the law afterward? Sure, as much as the taken down predators face it too. There is footage of an angry mob (identified with leftist guerrilla colors by the way) beating with batons innocent people inside a building. Same as Germany in the 30s. Jeez.

If for some reason in the future these few paragraphs save your life or someone’s you love, I will feel rewarded.

Although our exposition to xenophobic behavior has been minimal, I´m pretty aware how bad things can get under the current social climate. Therefore, signals definitely can´t be ignored. Every society of the world, unfortunately, seems to have the potential for civilian turmoil, and the possibility of the appearance of more or less organized gangs of marauders NEVER can be dismissed. (I´m sorry Canada, never been there but maybe even you have some percentage of this happening somewhere in the future).

Here are 6 signs that civilian unrest is impending or already occurring.

The first sign, of course, is bad looks when you walk on the street. Small groups of people (especially young men) staring at you? Don´t show fear, but leave the place fast, and find a safe spot. A shop, a restaurant, someplace with guards, preferably. If you´re classified as a “vulnerable” inhabitant (a migrant, ethnical minority, etc.) you know what I´m talking about. Don´t expose yourself and become gray. No one will open an investigation until much time afterwards an attack under these circumstances. And what we want to avoid is an attack.

The second sign, perhaps this is more subtle, when you see people that normally would be polite or indifferent, as a minimum, starts to look at you in sort of aggressive manner. It´s surprising the number of women from a certain age up that have insulted and been racist with Venezuelans in some countries. (Well maybe surprising for some single people…not as much for me already anyway LOL)

The third sign, of course, is people disappearing off the streets. I think one of my worst nightmares would be to be walking with my kid in middle downtown, and suddenly to find ourselves roaming in deserted streets because there is an aggressive gang coming and you can´t see it. One of my friends was caught in the middle of the coup d’etat to Rafael Correa a few years ago in Ecuador, and when he finally could arrive at the hostel he supposed to have booked in, the lady running the place kick his suitcase by the stairs, closed the door and never opened. Go figure. A Venezuelan never would have treated someone like that, and I am proud to say this.

The fourth sign is (obviously) Law Enforcement Officials (LEOs) presence in massive amounts in the streets. Any kind of uniform is a strong indication of expected turmoil. Find cover.

The fifth sign in modern times would be (because in the demonstrations the uniforms used it massively to identify potential groups as a target) drones flying close to some blockage or LEOs control point. And I know this because people who took part in the demonstrations informed me. Everything was peaceful, and after they saw the drones, minutes later all hells broke lose.

The sixth sign, and the last one, is when you start seeing people wearing a single color. All in black, or all in white, or all sharing a bandana, or some symbol that indicates they are part of a group.

Be prepared to defend yourself and your loved ones.

This said, the logical protection measures have to be taken: carry a baton, disguised as a cane. This will work better if one can simulate a limp or something. That´s my first choice. The second one (depending on the laws of the area) would be a concealed knife. A small brown paper brown with a loaf of bread, a peach or apple and some cheese could be useful to explain why we are carrying this, just in case. This would be in my briefcase. I walk decently dressed, but not too much that I call the attention. For some reason I think that someone in a cheap jacket could be attacked by a racist mob faster than someone dressed up with a suit (maybe think one can be a lawyer?).

Any other blunt weapon that can be concealed should work. Be creative. Nunchukus (for those that have practiced martial arts like me) can be easily concealed under loose gym pants, for instance.

But the best protection is exposing yourself as little as possible. This is what I like the most of home-based jobs. An old friend complained about crime rate being so high…but he was a young man in his low 30s and loved partying all night long as a male cat….That saddlebag comes with the horse when you buy it, fellow!


Tyler Durden

Fri, 10/18/2019 – 23:45

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Terrorized, Traumatized, & Terminated: The Police State’s Deadly Toll On America’s Children

Terrorized, Traumatized, & Terminated: The Police State’s Deadly Toll On America’s Children

Authored by John Whitehead via The Rutherford Institute,

Mommy, am I gonna die?”— 4-year-old Ava Ellis after being inadvertently shot in the leg by a police officer who was aiming for the girl’s boxer-terrier dog, Patches

“‘Am I going to get shot again.’”—2-year-old survivor of a police shooting that left his three siblings, ages 1, 4 and 5, with a bullet in the brain, a fractured skull and gun wounds to the face

Children learn what they live.

As family counselor Dorothy Law Nolte wisely observed, “If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn. If children live with hostility, they learn to fight. If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.”

And if children live with terror, trauma and violence – forced to watch helplessly as their loved ones are executed by police officers who shoot first and ask questions later – will they in turn learn to terrorize, traumatize and inflict violence on the world around them?

I’m not willing to risk it. Are you?

It’s difficult enough raising a child in a world ravaged by war, disease, poverty and hate, but when you add the toxic stress of the police state into the mix, it becomes near impossible to protect children from the growing unease that some of the monsters of our age come dressed in government uniforms.

Case in point: in Hugo, Oklahoma, plain clothes police officers opened fire on a pickup truck parked in front of a food bank, heedless of the damage such a hail of bullets—26 shots were fired—could have on those in the vicinity. Three of the four children inside the parked vehicle were shot: a 4-year-old girl was shot in the head and ended up with a bullet in the brain; a 5-year-old boy received a skull fracture; and a 1-year-old girl had deep cuts on her face from gunfire or shattered window glass. Only the 2-year-old was spared any physical harm, although the terror will likely linger for a long time. “They are terrified to go anywhere or hear anything,” the family attorney said. “The two-year-old keeps asking about ‘Am I going to get shot again.’”

The reason for the use of such excessive force?

Police were searching for a suspect in a weeks-old robbery of a pizza parlor that netted $400.

While the two officers involved in the shooting are pulling paid leave at taxpayer expense, the children’s mother is struggling to figure out how to care for her wounded family and pay the medical expenses, including the cost to transport each child in a separate medical helicopter to a nearby hospital: $75,000 for one child’s transport alone.

This may be the worst use of excessive force on innocent children to date. Unfortunately, it is one of many in a steady stream of cases that speak to the need for police to de-escalate their tactics and stop resorting to excessive force when less lethal means are available to them.

For instance, in Cleveland, police shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice who was seen playing on a playground with a pellet gun. Surveillance footage shows police shooting the boy two seconds after getting out of a moving patrol car. Incredibly, the shooting was deemed “reasonable” and “justified” by two law enforcement experts who concluded that the police use of force “did not violate Tamir’s constitutional rights.”

In Detroit, 7-year-old Aiyana Jones was killed after a Detroit SWAT team launched a flash-bang grenade into her family’s apartment, broke through the door and opened fire, hitting the little girl who was asleep on the living room couch. The cops were in the wrong apartment.

In Georgia, a SWAT team launched a flash-bang grenade into the house in which Baby Bou Bou, his three sisters and his parents were staying. The grenade landed in the 2-year-old’s crib, burning a hole in his chest and leaving the child with scarring that a lifetime of surgeries will not be able to easily undo.

Also in Georgia, 10-year-old Dakota Corbitt was shot by a police officer who aimed for an inquisitive dog, missed, and hit the young boy instead.

In Ohio, police shot 4-year-old Ava Ellis in the leg, shattering the bone, after being dispatched to assist the girl’s mother, who had cut her arm and was in need of a paramedic. Cops claimed that the family pet charged the officer who was approaching the house, causing him to fire his gun and accidentally hit the little girl.

In California, 13-year-old Andy Lopez Cruz was shot 7 times in 10 seconds by a police officer who mistook the boy’s toy gun for an assault rifle. Christopher Roupe, 17, was shot and killed after opening the door to a police officer. The officer, mistaking the remote control in Roupe’s hand for a gun, shot him in the chest.

These children are more than grim statistics on a police blotter. They are the heartbreaking casualties of the government’s endless, deadly wars on terror, on drugs, and on the American people themselves.

Then you have the growing number of incidents involving children who are forced to watch helplessly as trigger-happy police open fire on loved ones and community members alike.

In Texas, an 8-year-old boy watched as police—dispatched to do a welfare check on a home with its windows open—shot and killed his aunt through her bedroom window while she was playing video games with him.

In Minnesota, a 4-year-old girl watched from the backseat of a car as cops shot and killed her mother’s boyfriend, Philando Castile, a school cafeteria supervisor, during a routine traffic stop merely because Castile disclosed that he had a gun in his possession, for which he had a lawful conceal-and-carry permit. That’s all it took for police to shoot Castile four times as he was reaching for his license and registration. 

In Arizona, a 7-year-old girl watched panic-stricken as a state trooper pointed his gun at her and her father during a traffic stop and reportedly threated to shoot her father in the back (twice) based on the mistaken belief that they were driving a stolen rental car.

In Oklahoma, a 5-year-old boy watched as a police officer used a high-powered rifle to shoot his dog Opie multiple times in his family’s backyard while other children were also present. The police officer was mistakenly attempting to deliver a warrant on a 10-year-old case for someone who hadn’t lived at that address in a decade.

A Minnesota SWAT team actually burst into one family’s house, shot the family’s dog, handcuffed the children and forced them to “sit next to the carcass of their dead and bloody pet for more than an hour.” They later claimed it was the wrong house.

More than 80% of American communities have their own SWAT teams, with more than 80,000 of these paramilitary raids are carried out every year. That translates to more than 200 SWAT team raids every day in which police crash through doors, damage private property, terrorize adults and children alike, kill family pets, assault or shoot anyone that is perceived as threatening—and all in the pursuit of someone merely suspected of a crime, usually some small amount of drugs.

A child doesn’t even have to be directly exposed to a police shooting to learn the police state’s lessons in compliance and terror, which are being meted out with every SWAT team raid, roadside strip search, and school drill.

Indeed, there can be no avoiding the hands-on lessons being taught in the schools about the role of police in our lives, ranging from active shooter drills and school-wide lockdowns to incidents in which children engaging in typically childlike behavior are suspended (for shooting an imaginary “arrow” at a fellow classmate), handcuffed (for being disruptive at school), arrested (for throwing water balloons as part of a school prank), and even tasered (for not obeying instructions).

For example, a middle school in Washington State went on lockdown after a student brought a toy gun to class. A Boston high school went into lockdown for four hours after a bullet was discovered in a classroom. A North Carolina elementary school locked down and called in police after a fifth grader reported seeing an unfamiliar man in the school (it turned out to be a parent).

Cops have even gone so far as to fire blanks during school active shooter drills around the country. Teachers at one elementary school in Indiana were actually shot “execution style” with plastic pellets. Students at a high school in Florida were so terrified after administrators tricked them into believing that a shooter drill was, in fact, an actual attack that some of them began texting their parents “goodbye.”

Better safe than sorry is the rationale offered to those who worry that these drills are terrorizing and traumatizing young children. As journalist Dahlia Lithwick points out: “I don’t recall any serious national public dialogue about lockdown protocols or how they became the norm. It seems simply to have begun, modeling itself on the lockdowns that occur during prison riots, and then spread until school lockdowns and lockdown drills are as common for our children as fire drills, and as routine as duck-and-cover drills were in the 1950s.”

These drills have, indeed, become routine.

As the New York Times reports: “Most states have passed laws requiring schools to devise safety plans, and several states, including Michigan, Kentucky and North Dakota, specifically require lockdown drills. Some drills are as simple as a principal making an announcement and students sitting quietly in a darkened classroom. At other schools, police officers and school officials playact a shooting, stalking through the halls like gunmen and testing whether doors have been locked.”

Police officers at a Florida middle school carried out an active shooter drill in an effort to educate students about how to respond in the event of an actual shooting crisis. Two armed officers, guns loaded and drawn, burst into classrooms, terrorizing the students and placing the school into lockdown mode.

What is particularly chilling is how effective these lessons in compliance are in indoctrinating young people to accept their role in the police state, either as criminals or prison guards.

If these exercises are intended to instill fear, paranoia and compliance into young people, they’re working.

As Joe Pinsker writes for The Atlantic:

These lockdowns can be scarring, causing some kids to cry and wet themselves. Others have written letters bidding their family goodbye or drafted wills that specify what to do with their belongings. And 57 percent of teens worry that a shooting will happen at their school, according to a Pew Research Center survey from last year. Though many children are no strangers to violence in their homes and communities, the pervasiveness of lockdowns and school-shooting drills in the U.S. has created a culture of fear that touches nearly every child across the country.

Sociologist Alice Goffman understands how far-reaching the impact of such “exercises” can be on young people. For six years, Goffman lived in a low-income urban neighborhood, documenting the impact such an environment—a microcosm of the police state—has on its residents. Her account of neighborhood children playing cops and robbers speaks volumes about how constant exposure to pat downs, strip searches, surveillance and arrests can result in a populace that meekly allows itself to be prodded, poked and stripped.

As journalist Malcolm Gladwell writing for the New Yorker reports:

Goffman sometimes saw young children playing the age-old game of cops and robbers in the street, only the child acting the part of the robber wouldn’t even bother to run away: I saw children give up running and simply stick their hands behind their back, as if in handcuffs; push their body up against a car without being asked; or lie flat on the ground and put their hands over their head. The children yelled, “I’m going to lock you up! I’m going to lock you up, and you ain’t never coming home!” I once saw a six-year-old pull another child’s pants down to do a “cavity search.”

Clearly, our children are getting the message, but it’s not the message that was intended by those who fomented a revolution and wrote our founding documents. Their philosophy was that the police work for us, and “we the people” are the masters, and they are to be our servants.

Now that philosophy has been turned on its head, fueled by our fears (some legitimate, some hyped along by the government and its media mouthpieces) about the terrors and terrorists that lurk among us.

What are we to tell our nation’s children about the role of police in their lives?

Do we parrot the government line that police officers are community helpers who are to be trusted and obeyed at all times? Do we caution them to steer clear of a police officer, warning them that any interactions could have disastrous consequences? Or is there some happy medium between the two that, while being neither fairy tale nor horror story, can serve as a cautionary tale for young people who will encounter police at virtually every turn?

Certainly, it’s getting harder by the day to insist that we live in a nation that values freedom and which is governed by the rule of law.

Yet unless something changes and soon, there will soon be nothing left to teach young people about freedom as we have known it beyond remembered stories of the “good old days.”

For starters, as I point out in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, it’s time to take a hard look at the greatest perpetrators of violence in our culture—the U.S. government and its agents—and do something about it: de-militarize the police, prohibit the Pentagon from distributing military weapons to domestic police agencies, train the police in de-escalation techniques, stop insulating police officers from charges of misconduct and wrongdoing, and require police to take precautionary steps before engaging in violence in the presence of young people.

We must stop the carnage.


Tyler Durden

Fri, 10/18/2019 – 23:05

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Author: Tyler Durden

Office Vacancies In China Hit Decade High Amid Economic Turmoil

Office Vacancies In China Hit Decade High Amid Economic Turmoil

A darkening outlook for China’s economy continues to materialize week by week.

New data from commercial property group CBRE warns the country’s office vacancy rate has just surged to the highest since the financial crisis of 2007–2008, first reported by Bloomberg.

CBRE said the vacancy rate for commercial office space in 17 major cities rose to 21.5% in 3Q19, a level not seen since the global economy was melting down in 2008.

Sam Xie, CBRE’s head of research in China, said the recent “spike” in vacancies is one of the worst since the last financial crisis.

Catherine Chen, Cushman & Wakefield’s head of research for Greater China, told Financial Times that soaring commercial office vacancies in China was mainly due to dwindling demand, but not oversupplied conditions.

“Contributing factors included slower expansion of co-working operators and financial services companies, and a general cost-saving strategy adopted by most tenants given ongoing trade tensions and economic growth slowdown,” she added.

Henry Chin, head of research for Asia Pacific at CBRE, told Financial Times that macroeconomic headwinds relating to the trade war between the US and China were also a significant factor in rising office vacancies.

As shown in the Bloomberg chart below, using CBRE data, Shanghai and Shenzhen had the highest office vacancies than any other city, and both had around 20% of office spaces dormant.

And with the global economy in a synchronized slowdown, global growth estimates are now printing at 3%, the slowest pace since the financial crisis. The Chinese economy will likely continue to slow, and could see domestic growth under 6% this year. This suggests that China’s office space vacancies will continue to rise through year-end.Office Vacancies In China Hit Decade High Amid Economic Turmoil


Tyler Durden

Fri, 10/18/2019 – 23:25

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Why Is The Elitist Establishment So Obsessed With Meat?

Why Is The Elitist Establishment So Obsessed With Meat?

Authored by Brandon Smith via Alt-Market.com,

I don’t know how many people have noticed this, but in the past three months it has been impossible for a person to throw a beef burger patty in any direction on the compass without hitting a news article on the “destructive effects” of the meat industry in terms of “climate change”.  There’s also been endless mainstream articles on the supposedly vast health benefits of a vegetarian or vegan diet. This narrative has culminated in a tidal wave of stories about vegetable-based meat companies like Beyond Meat and their rise to stock market stardom. The word on the street is, meat based diets are going the way of the Dodo, and soon, by environmental necessity, we will ALL be vegetarians.

For at least the past ten years the United Nations has been aggressively promoting the concept of a meat free world, based on claims that accelerated land use and greenhouse gas emissions are killing the Earth. In the west, militant leftists with dreams of a socialist Utopia have adopted a kind of manifesto in the Green New Deal, and an integral part of their agenda is the end to the availability of meat to the common man (it’s interesting the Green New Deal agenda matches almost perfectly with the UN’s Agenda 21 and Agenda 2030). Some of these elitists have argued in favor of heavy taxation on meat products to reduce public consumption; others have argued for an outright ban.

The problem with this dietary revolution is that it is based primarily on junk science and cherry-picked data, along with outright lies and propaganda. The majority of studies and articles covering this issue are decidedly biased, left leaning and collectivist in nature. Now, I plan to touch on this issue, but what I really want to focus on is the “WHY” of the matter – Why are the elites targeting human meat consumption, and why are they willing to lie about its effects in order to get us to abandon our burgers and steaks? What is the real agenda here…?

First, lets tackle the climate change issue. The UN claims that human food production must change drastically in order to stop global warming and damage to the environment, and these changes must focus mainly on meat production and ‘methane gases’. In other words, they assert that cow farts are killing the planet. This is a rather convenient story for the elites as they push their carbon taxation agenda. It seems everything we do as humans must be monitored, restricted or taxed, from breathing to procreating to eating meat, otherwise the Earth is “doomed”.

In past articles I have written extensively on the direct ties between the UN’s global warming hysteria and the push for global government. In particular, I’ve mentioned the writings of former UN assistant secretary general Robert Muller. In his manifesto collected on a website titled “Good Morning World”, Muller argues that global governance must be achieved using the idea of “protecting the Earth” and environmentalism as the key components. Through fear of environmental Apocalypse, the public could be convinced to accept global government as a necessary nanny state to keep society from destroying itself.

Muller initiated such programs in the early 1990’s, which were similar in tone to the Club Of Rome think tank, a group of consultants to the UN which called for a stop to human population growth. In their white paper titled ‘The First Global Revolution’, the Club of Rome stated:

In searching for a common enemy against whom we can unite, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like, would fit the bill. In their totality and their interactions these phenomena do constitute a common threat which must be confronted by everyone together. But in designating these dangers as the enemy, we fall into the trap, which we have already warned readers about, namely mistaking symptoms for causes. All these dangers are caused by human intervention in natural processes. and it is only through changed attitudes and behaviour that they can be overcome. The real enemy then is humanity itself.”

The statement comes from Chapter 5 – The Vacuum, which covers their position on the need for global government. The quote is relatively clear; a common enemy must be conjured in order to trick humanity into uniting under a single banner, and the elites see environmental catastrophe, caused by mankind itself, as the best possible motivator.

From public admissions from UN officials and the Club Of Rome, we can see that climate change is a narrative driven by ideology, not science, and that the real goal is global governance, not saving the planet. As for the “science” these ideologues say supports their demands, there is none.

There is absolutely no hard evidence to support the claim that a cause and effect link between carbon emissions and rising temperatures exists. In fact, there is more evidence to show that the reverse is true – that higher temperatures result in greater animal populations and thus more carbon emissions and thus more food for vegetation. Ask any global warming “expert” from the NOAA, NASA or the IPCC what percentage of a temperature increase is caused by cars versus cows and what evidence there is to support their assertions? They won’t be able to produce an answer.

They will simply claim that the evidence is irrefutable because the temperatures are rising and so are carbon levels. In other words, their argument is that correlation always equals causation. But are temperatures really rising? What if the entire basis for global warming hysteria is fabricated?

The NOAA has been caught on multiple occasions doing just that. By going back to previously recorded temperature stats and tweaking them to make them lower, the NOAA then makes it appear as though the Earth is warming in a historic trend. However, the unaltered temperature record shows that the Earth has always had warming periods which run in natural cycles, followed by cooling and using tracking increased solar activity. You know that giant nuclear reactor in the sky that is 1.3 million times bigger Earth? Yeah, it has a lot more to do with the Earth’s climate patterns than cow farts do…

If one compares NOAA data on temperature changes over the past century from 1999 to the data the NOAA has released over the past few years, it is easy to see the adjustments they made to their own older data in order to make it appear as though steady global warming is taking place. The NOAA’s changes also make it appear as though temperature changes are closely tracking rising carbon emissions.

Here we see the climate change hoax in action, as well as the UN and the Club Of Rome conspiracy to engineer an environmental threat that will provide a rationale for global government. But what does all this have to do with meat?

The climate change myth is simply a means to multiple ends.

And, one of the things the elites are using it to unravel is society’s eating habits. The purpose behind the war on meat is less clear, but I do have some theories based on historical evidence as well as scientific evidence that shows ruling oligarchies have always tried to restrict meat consumption by the “peasant class” whenever possible.

In feudal Europe in the middle ages, the presence of meat in a diet was rare for the peasant class. Farm animals were strictly controlled property, given to peasant farmers as tools for working the land, not for eating. Hunting wild game was difficult as the ruling royal families often claimed ownership of all the best hunting grounds within the country. After multiple peasant revolts, such as the Great Peasant’s Revolt of 1381 in England, the elites banned hunting parties, as they were suspected of being used as cover for peasants to train in military tactics and to plan rebellions.

Peasants caught poaching “the king’s deer” were punished severely – this including hanging, castration, blinding and being sewn into a deer carcass and chased down by ferocious dogs.

This did not stop peasants from eating meat at times though. When possible they would eat small game. But their diets consisted primarily of pottage and porridge made from grains, beans and root vegetables, along with black rye bread.  Going into the middle ages onward, researchers will find that for the serfs and the poor, a meat dinner was treated as a special event.

In feudal Japan, meat eating, not just hunting, was specifically banned for over 1000 years, starting in 675 AD. The ban was based on the melding of Buddhist beliefs and Shinto. Of course, while the law was enforced for peasants, the elite ruling class and the samurai warrior class never actually gave meat up. Meat was often eaten by the elites, under the auspices of improving health. When given as a gift to a feudal lord, pickled meats were labeled “medicine” in order to avoid open defiance of the laws.

This selective ban continued until Europeans arrived on Japanese shores, and the reintroduction of meat dishes began to spread. By the late 1800’s the meat ban was officially lifted. It was believed by the Japanese of the era that Westerners had superior physiques because of their meat based diets, and that Japanese physiques had been subdued by their vegetable and grain based diets. There is some truth to this observation.

Today, the vegetarian ideology is not a stand-alone philosophy.  It is tied inexorably to other ideologies such as socialism, globalism and extremist forms of environmentalism. There are very few vegetarian promoters that are not politically motivated. This has caused a rash of propaganda, attempting to rewrite the history of the human diet to fit their bizarre narrative.

Even though human beings have been omnivores for millions of years, the anti-meat campaign claims that humans were actually long time vegetarians. They do this by comparing humans to our closest evolutionary relatives, like chimpanzees and gorillas, and arguing that these animals have a strict vegetable diet (which is not exactly true).

Of course, Native American tribes, living closest to how our prehistoric ancestors lived long ago, had meat heavy diets, but don’t expect the environmentalists to accept this reality. What they conveniently do not mention is that over 2 million years ago human ancestors broke from their vegetable diet and began eating meat. Not only this, but the diet changed our very physical makeup. We grew far stronger, and smarter.

Yes, that’s right, the rise of meat in the human diet tracks almost exactly with the rise of human intelligence and advances in tools and technology.

Vegetarian and vegan diets have been shown to lower overall IQ due to lack of nutrients required for brain health. This is because the human brain NEEDS fatty acids such as Omega 3 which is only found in saturated fats in meats. There is no substitute in the plant world. Saturated fats from animal protein have been shown to increase cognitive function as well as memory.

The brain uses almost 20% of the human body’s calorie intake in order to function, and much of this intake requires saturated fats and even cholesterol. Contrary to decades of misinformation, animal fats are good for you.  Pro athletes also must often revert to a meat based diet in order to build up superior muscle structure, and another factor which is rarely mentioned is the increase in estrogen-like compounds in plant based foods (mainly soy), which can reduce testosterone.

And here we get to the crux of the issue. It is perhaps by mere coincidence, or perhaps just observation on the part of elitist dynasties, but meat consumption has always been connected with an unruly peasant class. This is because meat eating contributes directly to greater cognitive function, as well as better memory and muscle mass.

While much is discussed about how artificial meat like Beyond Meat has effectively copied the taste or appearance of a normal hamburger, very little is discussed about what it is lacking. Beyond meat has zero cholesterol and no amino acids or fatty acids like Omega 3 or vitamins like B12. It uses coconut oil to mimic saturated animal fats, which does not duplicate the animal fat value to the human brain or body. Essentially, a Beyond Meat burger is designed to copy the taste of a burger without any of the benefits.

My theory? That meat is a cognitive enhancer as well as a strength enhancer and the elites at the UN and other globalists organizations are seeking to remove it from our diet based on lies because such a change could contribute to a dumber and weaker population that would be easier to control.

Fake meat is also highly processed and uses a complicated method to mimic beef protein structures. It can only be created in a lab and mass produced in a factory. You will never be able to make your own Beyond Meat burger. Meaning, by banning or taxing meat into oblivion and replacing it with an industrial substitute, the establishment will have made society effectively dependent on them for a significant portion of their dietary needs. Not only do they hope to make us dumber and weaker, they also hope to make us desperately dependent.

*  *  *

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Tyler Durden

Fri, 10/18/2019 – 22:25

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Japan To Send Its Own Military Force To Strait Of Hormuz

Japan To Send Its Own Military Force To Strait Of Hormuz

Ever since the new round of ‘tanker wars’ began in Strait of Hormuz in mid-June with a mysterious mine attack on multiple tankers, one involving a Japanese-owned ship, Tokyo has reportedly mulled sending a Japanese defense force to the area to help protect vital shipping lanes. 

In a rare move, the pacifist nation appears ready to pull the trigger, as FT reports, citing chief cabinet secretary, Yoshihide Suga, who indicated that “the government was planning to deploy forces in a region where a Japanese tanker, the Kokuka Courageous, was recently attacked with a limpet mine.”

Japanese Defense Forces file image.

Japan’s Asahi newspaper also reported that the self-defense troop deployment to the vital Persian Gulf passage way comes “instead of joining the U.S.-coalition”.

Japan had been among many US allies urged to assist in forming a US-led maritime security patrol — a plan which many feared would only exacerbate tensions with Iran, only leading to war. In not joining the US-led security mission, Tokyo is ensuring it won’t damage important economic ties with Iran.

FT describes what such a Japanese expedition will likely involve:

A Japanese expedition would probably involve ships and aircraft from the Maritime Self-Defense Force. [Chief Cabinet Secretary] Mr Suga said its operations would be limited to international waters in the Gulf of Oman, the Arabian Sea and the Bab al-Mandab strait.

He said the dispatch would take place under provisions of Japanese law allowing for military information gathering and research. The pacifist constitution tightly proscribes how Japan can deploy its military and any ships it sends would use force only in self-defense.

Suga said further, “At present, there is no direct need for the protection of Japanese vessels by Self-Defense Force assets, but in any event, we’ll consider what further measures are necessary for the security of ships linked to our country.”

Earlier this month Defense Minister Taro Kono, while addressing the rising tensions between Western powers and Iran in the Persian Gulf, acknowledged that “80 percent of Japan’s crude oil imports come through the Strait of Hormuz.”

After he spoke to his Iranian counterpart by phone at the time, the defense minister told reporters: “The stability of the region is directly connected to Japan’s energy security.” 


Tyler Durden

Fri, 10/18/2019 – 22:45

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China Bans Exports Of Black Clothing To Hong Kong Amid Escalating Social Unrest

China Bans Exports Of Black Clothing To Hong Kong Amid Escalating Social Unrest

Over the last 24 hours, several reports have surfaced, one from the South China Morning Post (SCMP), and another from Reuters, are now detailing new export bans that Beijing has enacted from mainland China to Hong Kong, which explicitly states shipping couriers and or customs will halt all black clothing and other items used by pro-democracy protesters.

Service workers at China’s top shipping couriers (STO Express, ZTO Express, and YTO Express) told Reuters this week that China banned bulk shipments of black clothing from mainland China to Hong Kong late last month.

One worker from STO Express told Reuters that black clothing, five items or less, could be shipped from mainland China to Hong Kong, but any more would be considered bulk and would be returned to the sender.

He said bulk items of masks, riot gear, umbrellas, helmets, and sticks, were also on the export ban list.

SCMP obtained a notice from Guangdong shipper PHXBUY that read any items shipped from mainland China to Hong Kong that includes “yellow helmets, yellow umbrellas, flags, flagpoles, poster banners, gloves, masks, black T-shirts, metal rods, fluorescent tubes, bludgeon clubs” would be rejected on site. If the sender uses a false name, the government would be inclined to launch an investigation.

Another notice SCMP received was from Guangdong shipper EXPRESS, which showed a more in-depth list of exports banned from mainland China to Hong Kong, the list read: “foodstuffs, liquid, powder, gases, counterfeit brand products, big machines, helmets, umbrellas, wrist bands, towels, safety vests, speakers, amplifiers, trestles, walkie-talkies, drones, black shirts and other clothing, goggles, metal beads, metal balls, horticulture scissors, metal chains, torches, binoculars, remote-controlled toys.”

Beijing, which has condemned the protests in Hong Kong, has taken quick measures to assure the unrest doesn’t escalate further.

Besides an export ban on items used by rioters, Beijing has also moved in the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) forces into Hong Kong, a move seen by some that could mean a complete shutdown of the city is imminent.

As demonstrations continue to spiral out of control, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong heavily rely on China for gear, whether it’s black clothing, lasers, gas masks, drones, and or fireworks, it seems that China clamping down on exports to Hong Kong could result in more extensive crackdowns in the near term.

 


Tyler Durden

Fri, 10/18/2019 – 22:05

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The Late Great State Of California

The Late Great State Of California

Authored by Jeffrey Harding via The Mises Institute,

My family moved to California in 1950, part of the post-WWII westward migration. My widowed mother, tired of Boston’s dreary winters, felt the westward pull. My eldest brother, a WWII Navy veteran, had heard good things about San Diego from sailors who had been stationed there during the war. So, California, here we come.

I would like to think those were the golden years, at least for us. California was new, bright, warm, and full of promise. The East was old and cold. And San Diego was thriving. Defense and aerospace jobs were plentiful. Land was cheap, homes were cheap. A building boom met the housing needs for optimistic migrants. You could get things done in California.

It’s not that California anymore. We are overregulated and overtaxed and people aren’t so optimistic. People want to leave.

What Happened to the Golden Years?

A recent poll of the state’s registered voters by Cal’s Institute of Governmental Studies revealed that half have considered leaving the state. The top reason was the high cost of housing (especially by young people); high taxation was second.

The poll also asked if California was one of the best places to live or a just an OK-to-lousy place to live. About half said yes and half went the other way. Interestingly 67% of Democrats said it was one of the best while 77% of Republicans disagreed. Apparently, Democrats like expensive housing, high taxes, and being overregulated.

Are people leaving California? It depends on whom you are talking about. More people are out-migrating to other states than those coming in (–156,000), but much of that was offset by international migrants(+118,000) resulting in a net population loss of only 38,000 (2018).

Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that California is the most regulated state in the nation — by far. The Cato Institute analyzed the laws of each state by measuring the amount of individual legal restrictions in their legal codes. California was at the top, way at the top with 395,503 individual restrictions (laws, prohibitions). We surpassed No. 2, ultraleft New York, by almost 90,000 restrictions. Our politicians in Sacramento keep passing hundreds of new laws every year yet half of Californians are thinking of leaving.

And then there are taxes. California has the highest income tax rate of all states (13.3%). The highest combined federal and California income tax rate is now about 50% of taxable income. If you and your spouse have $200,000 of taxable income, your combined federal and California tax rate is 41.3%. That’s not something you should be applauding since California ranks 42 out of 50 states in fiscal solvency .

Two new pieces of legislation will make things worse, much worse. One is statewide rent control. The other is the reclassification of independent contractors as employees.

The War Against Low-income Renters

A rent-control law, Assembly Bill 1482, was signed by Governor Newsom on October 8, 2019 . It limits apartment rent increases to 5% plus inflation per year (not to exceed 10%). It affects units built at least 15 years ago (on a rolling timeline). Rents can be adjusted to market rates only when a tenant leaves, but tenants can only be evicted for “cause.” Newsom said “These anti-gouging and eviction protections will help families afford to keep a roof over their heads …” But what if it doesn’t? What if it will harm tenants, especially poor ones?

The advocates of rent control seem to have no grasp on the economics of price controls. Perhaps they should consult an economist. In a survey of prominent economists , 81% agreed that rent controls have not had a positive impact where they have been tried.

Why would these cold-hearted economists oppose rent control? Because rent controls don’t work and they do the opposite of what was intended: they hurt poor renters.

Here is what will happen with rent control in our high-demand coastal communities:

  • Owners will raise rents to the maximum every year to protect asset values.

  • Owners will be far more selective in choosing tenants, thus limiting housing for poor, less creditworthy applicants.

  • Tenants will be reluctant to move from rent controlled properties which tends to freeze the rent-controlled rental market leaving fewer apartments available for rent.

  • Rent controlled units will be gentrified as historical evidence shows that higher income tenants will be the most benefited class of renters.

  • Affordable apartment inventory will be further reduced as owners evict tenants, tear down older buildings, and build new, more expensive units which will be exempt from rent control.

  • More apartments will be converted to condos, further reducing affordable inventory.

  • Owners will cut back on expenses to preserve cash flow, thus reducing the quality of rentable units.

Overall, rent control will disincentivize investors from investing in affordable apartments.

These conclusions aren’t guesses or just fuzzy theories — they are based on actual experience from rent controlled areas.

Adios Gig Economy

The new law on classifying independent contractors as employees (AB 5) is a stab in the heart of the gig economy — the economy that provides convenient low-cost services when you want them. Think Uber and Lyft for ride sharing. You will now pay more and get less. That assumes they will stay in California. Uber, as everyone knows loses money (EBITDA earnings for 2018: $2.41 billion). If they can’t make money on their present business model, how can they possibly make money if their driver costs go way up? So, I repeat myself: will they be around in a couple years? Will those drivers who feel they are being treated unfairly be out of work?

This is a classic example of the Canute Effect. If you recall, Canute was the Danish king, who, legend has it, ordered the tide to stop coming in. Canute was obviously either detached from reality or just an arrogant megalomaniac who thought he could command nature.

In our case, our legislators believe they can just pass a law and make things better. It doesn’t work that way. There are controlling economic realities that they ignore or, most likely, aren’t even aware of.

Everybody knows that Uber changed the world for the better. Consumers loved the new service. Drivers signed up to make extra money, setting their own hours. So why do our politicians want to kill Uber and Lyft? We should ask ourselves: who would be better off without Uber and Lyft? Here’s a clue: in the governor’s statement supporting AB 5 he went out of his way to say, “A next step is creating pathways for more workers to form a union, collectively bargain to earn more, and have a stronger voice at work.” It’s an obvious power grab by unions who wish to unionize (i.e., kill) the gig economy. Unions are famous for protecting the status quo and fighting for more power. Taxi companies no doubt had their hand in it too.

Understand that Uber and Lyft are just the tip of the gig economy. We all lose.

The Tipping Point

I just reread Malcolm Gladwell’s wonderful book, The Tipping Point, in which he details the things that push societal change over the edge. My fear is that California is getting to a point where the dynamism that has driven our mighty state’s prosperity will be snuffed out. Are we at the tipping point yet? I don’t really know, but with 395,503 restrictions on the books, I don’t see how it can get better.

Our politicians are quick to say this will never happen. They say we have the most vibrant tech economy in the world. Our farms feed the country. People love California. They believe they are making things better. Yet they continue to pass laws that tamp us down. At some point it will tip over and the impact of their regulations and taxes will overcome the forces that made California great. These new laws are getting us closer.


Tyler Durden

Fri, 10/18/2019 – 21:05

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Medicare-For-All Is A Plot To Pillage You

Medicare-For-All Is A Plot To Pillage You

Authored by Veronique de Rugy via The American Institute for Economic Research,

Medicare-For-All (M4A) is gaining some steam. Two prominent Democratic candidates for the presidency, Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, support it, and several polls show that the idea is supported also by a majority of Americans. 

In recent days, two academics from U.C.-Berkeley have even argued that a transition to M4A from the current system would dramatically cut taxes for the majority of workers by replacing all insurance premiums with taxes based on ability to pay.  

That outcome sounds great until you ask how we will pay for it. According to a new study by the Urban Institute, M4A will cost $32 trillion over ten years. This estimate is in line with that of my colleague Charles Blahous. That’s more than the federal government will be projected to pay over the coming decade for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid combined, according to the most recent Congressional Budget Office projections. According to Urban, you could reduce the damage down to $16 trillion with some cost sharing and some limits on benefits. Either way, that’s a lot of money. 

As Brian Riedl notes recently,  one of the ideas floating around is that we simply need to come up with a $35 trillion tax to pay for it all (I am not kidding). He writes, “Proponents [of M4A] assert that the $35 trillion that families and businesses are currently projected to pay over the next decade in health premiums, out-of-pocket expenses, and state taxes to fund Medicaid would all be replaced with a $35 trillion federal ‘single-payer tax….”  

Yet we have no details of how that would work in practice, and no one who supports M4A so far has offered an actual plan for the elusive $35 trillion replacement tax. Riedl writes, “Congressional Budget Office data show that raising $35 trillion would require a payroll tax increase of 39 percentage points, or a value-added tax of 91 percent – an enormous burden even for families no longer paying premiums.”

The scale of the tax hike it would require probably explains why no one wants to talk about it seriously. During the last Democratic debate, Senator Sanders acknowledged that it would require raising taxes on the middle class. He said, “At the end of the day, the overwhelming majority of people will save money on their health care bills. But I do think it is appropriate to acknowledge that taxes will go up.” But he has failed to give us any details about which taxes will go up and by how much and his campaign has only pointed out some options to pay for part of this extra government spending.

Meanwhile, Elizabeth Warren has vehemently refused to say if the middle class would see its taxes go up to pay for M4A or how she would pay for this. As the Wall Street Journal reported, for instance, during the debate Ms. Warren, the new leader in the polls, was given at least six chances to answer yes or no. She ducked every time. “Will you raise taxes on the middle class to pay for it, yes or no?” asked one of the media questioners.” The Journal continues, Ms. Warren replied:

“So I have made clear what my principles are here, and that is costs will go up for the wealthy and for big corporations, and for hard-working middle-class families, costs will go down.”

Later on she added, “Costs are going to go up for the wealthy,” and “costs will go down for hard-working, middle-class families.”

Got it; costs will go down for some and costs will go up for others. Yet we still have no clue just who will pay for what and how much the bill will be. Even those Berkeley professors won’t tell us how to pay for it. They have mentioned having a plan for some taxes as replacement of the cost of the employer side of insurance premiums. But, if this was even doable, it may raise between $10 trillion to $18 trillion (depending on how you measure it) of the $32 trillion. 

While Warren doesn’t want to talk about, we can still do the calculation for her. 

For one thing, she has been open about paying for all her new spending ideas with a wealth tax on the rich, a corporate surtax, an increase in the estate tax, and the elimination of President Donald Trump’s tax cuts. Her wealth tax would raise, she claims, $2.75 trillion over ten years. Reversing the tax cuts would raise revenue by another roughly $2 trillion over ten years. You can add to that another $3 trillion that her campaign says she will raise through other taxes on the rich. 

However, once you spend $32 trillion on M4A, $1.07 trillion for universal childcare, $610 billion for free college, $640 billion for eliminating student debt, $100 billion to combat the opioid crisis, and some other smaller programs, you are still left with a $30 trillion gap. 

That’s 30,000,000,000,000 over ten years. It also ignores the deadweight losses of all this spending and new taxes on top of their inability to truly raise as much revenue as planned.

The bottom line is this: while M4A is getting a lot of favorable attention these days, proponents will continue to tout the benefits of a reform that lowers costs for some, while staying as far as they can from actually proposing a way to pay for it. But as PJ O’ Rourke famously said, “If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it’s free.”


Tyler Durden

Fri, 10/18/2019 – 21:45

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‘WhatsApp Revolution’ Protests In Lebanon Turn Violent With Fires, Road Blocks; Multiple Dead & Wounded

‘WhatsApp Revolution’ Protests In Lebanon Turn Violent With Fires, Road Blocks; Multiple Dead & Wounded

Lebanon erupted in large-scale ‘Arab Spring’ style protests starting Thursday night into Friday, marked by number of massive fires and makeshift roadblocks which could be seen going up in Beirut, in what international reports are calling the biggest cross-sectarian anti-government uprising in years. At least two bystanders have died, one protester killed, and over 60 police wounded. 

The protests were reportedly triggered based on the announcement of a legislative bill to tax people $6 a month for using the popular WhatApp messaging platform, but have grown into broader demands that political leaders step aside over the country’s worsening economic crisis and lack of jobs.

Protests outside Beirut, via AFP/Getty/CNN

For this reason Lebanese daily al-Akhbar dubbed the protests “the WhatsApp revolution” and with others calling it “a tax intifada”. Chants could be heard in Arabic of “the people want the downfall of the regime” from crowds described as containing a broad cross-section of Lebanese society, whether Christian, Sunni or Shia. 

Police clashed with thousands of demonstrators in Beirut throughout Friday who lit tires on fire and in some cases charged government buildings and damaged shop-fronts.

Multiple reports have put Lebanese unemployment among those aged under 35 at a staggering 37%.

At the same time Lebanese political leaders have been broadly accused of dipping into public coffers to enrich themselves and entrench their positions.

Tensions were already high when on Thursday a government minister revealed a plan to boost state revenues with a daily tax rate on calls made via voice over internet protocol (VoIP), utilized by applications such as Facebook-owned WhatsApp.

The country has also lately suffered a severe slowdown in capital flows, and difficulty of importers securing dollars at the pegged exchange rate. Prime Minister Saad Hariri is expected to address the crisis Friday in a televised speech. 

Currently multiple main routes through the Lebanese capital have been shutdown due to makeshift roadblocks, as clashes with police continue, and with roads accessing Lebanon’s main international airport also blocked. 

Police have deployed tear gas and other riot control measures against crowds described in the tens of thousands.

Lebanon’s state-run National News Agency reported Friday that two foreign workers died from spoke inhalation after protesters set large fires, and 60 members of Lebanon’s Internal Security Forces (ISF) have been wounded

Reuters has also reported the first protester’s death in clashes with police, which happened in the northern city of Tripoli, the country’s second largest.

According to the Reuters report:

Across the country, they chanted for top leaders, including President Michel Aoun, Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri and Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri to step down.

The mood was a mixture of rage, defiance and hope.

A security source said one protester was killed and four wounded after the bodyguards of a former member of parliament fired into the air in the northern city of Tripoli.

Security authorities have condemned what they called “chaos and violence” unleashed on the streets and urged calm. 


Tyler Durden

Fri, 10/18/2019 – 21:25

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Ray Dalio Warns Of Looming “Big Sag” That Will Rattle Global Markets

Ray Dalio Warns Of Looming “Big Sag” That Will Rattle Global Markets

Ray Dalio never misses an opportunity to tell a room full of absurdly rich people how their unchecked greed and unwillingness to lift their heel from the throat of the poor could usher in a global revolution.

And what better venue for this than the IMF’s annual meeting in Washington?

Oddly enough, Dalio holds back on the Greta Thunberg-style chiding of his audience (fortunately for them, he has no childhood left to ruin), and instead touches how the US and Chin’s efforts to battle the post-crisis slowdown continue to impact the global economy and the economies and their respective spheres of influence.

Once again, Dalio presents his views within the framework of his ‘1937’ theory: That is, that there are a number of factors that make the modern investing environment similar to that of the 1930s. Once again there is an emergent power (China) rising up to take on the existing hegemon (the US). Risk assets have reached bubble-level valuations thanks to a flood of easy credit.

While many economists in the US continue to warn that the slowdown abroad and its ramifications for the US, Dalio sees it the other way around: As the business cycle peaks, “you have this sag,” Dalio explains, and that emanates out to impact all of the US’s economic allies, just like it does to China’s.

Dalio:

“And as Ben and I–we talk about these things regularly. Like we said there are four kinds of war–as Ben said and we agree: there’s a trade war, there’s a technology war, there’s a currency capital war and there is a geopolitical war. In other words – so that’s a phenomenon that’s happening at the same time. So internally we have a lot more conflict. So now if you play that out, you say this cycle is not — this is the best that we get. This moment. We are at the best the cycle is not going to continue forever — the expansion. you have this sag, then you have elections and you have politics which becomes greater extremity. And so on monetary policy it’s not going to be a so effective. Imagine if you had a downturn and you have it not as effective monetary policy. Then there has to be coordination. So how do you get coordination in this kind of political environment? You have to have a coordination between fiscal and monetary policy to be able to do something. And you can and then you have to have political coordination between the various factors to make decisions of what policy should be. So, I think that that’s the landscape broadly speaking in the world and we are in that kind of self-reinforcing sag. Because as one country — as China slows and United States slows and they all have their headwinds that makes it not as good for the others who deal with those cuts. So that look that’s what the environment looks like to me.”

Last we heard from him, Dalio had appeared to ease up on his dour economic forecasts by declaring that he saw only 40% chance of a recession in the US over the coming year, a rosy forecast that many (including us) joked was inspired by a visit to Burning Man. He still apparently believes that China is a safer bet than the US right now.

Suddenly, one of the other panelists raised another topic and took the discussion in a different direction – one which Dalio was blithe to explore: the surge in corporate credit since the crisis. Instead, Dalio advised investors to avoid stocks and corporate credit and stick with gold during the “big sag” as the decade of easy credit has left corporate balance sheets in a dangerously levered state.

Dalio:

I — let me describe the corporate, okay? What’s happened is corporate balance sheets for a variety of reasons have borrowed a lot of money. As interest rates went down a lot of money’s available and the return on equity was higher than the return — the cost of funds. There has been a lot of buying leveraging up. And there’s been a market developing, like in the form of leveraged loan market in which essentially you can borrow money with hardly any interest rate and almost the promise that you will never have to pay back principal because you’ll keep rolling it over and over and over. And they’re doing that because of a spread. So the notion is like you can borrow the money and if that you don’t have to roll over the principal, you don’t have any interest, you don’t have much in the way of debt service payments. So now you look at that and you say that’s pretty wild. That’s pretty crazy. And that is — there were elements of that existing and of course. But there’s the Central Bank on that who will sort of take care of all that and because they’ll provide the money and no and so we have and then we have the negative interest rate environment and so those extremities that we’re reaching are not such that you’re as likely to have a debt crisis in terms of I look at the debt service payments. But you have a lot of — you’ve limited, you’ve reached the limits almost of that being able to happen. And then you have those obligations so that creates this big sag — then it’s likely to create a big bust.

Watch the clip of Dalio speaking below:


Tyler Durden

Fri, 10/18/2019 – 20:45

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