Monday, December 19, 2011

Global Economic Tremors

Global Economic Tremors - by Stephen Lendman


On December 17, Gerald Celente told On the Edge host Max Keiser:


"The entire financial system is collapsing. Look what's going on in China. All of the empty buildings. Look at the home sales and real estate market. They're in steep decline now."


"The only way they kept this global ponzi scheme afloat following the 2008 panic is for the central banks around the world to keep juicing money into the system to keep it going, and now it's collapsing."


"When all else fails, they take you to war....They're going to do it again."


A year ago, Celente's predictions were spot on. He said "America's trend is nowhere bottomed, and the worst is yet to come." Now it's happening in real time as debt piles on more of it, politicians are gridlocked, and conditions ahead look grim.


He said "(t)eetering economies will collapse, currency wars will ensure, trade barriers will be erected, (and) economic unions will splinter."


Today, Eurozone countries are in sovereign debt crisis. Currency wars are happening, and America and China trade barbs.


Out of work, money and indebted, "legions of on-the-edge desperate (people) will do whatever they must to keep a roof over their heads and put food on the table."


Today, "(t)hieves are stealing copper piping and cables, cooking oil and temple donation boxes. Criminal recycling is flourishing. In 2011, a record number of cyber crimes is reported....more than 23,000 per month."


During hard times and growing poverty, "authorities will intensify their efforts" to get funds for their fiscal obligations.


Today, America has a "two-tier" justice system. Corporate crooks get slap-on-the-wrist fines. In contrast, ordinary people are severely punished for "small time crimes." Justice means "just us!"


New graduates and others without jobs "are mad as hell, and they're not going to take it anymore."


Today, OWS and other global protests show no signs of ebbing.


Expect ordinary people to face "get touch on crime" policies. Everyone will be "suspect until proven innocent."


Today, people face TSA strip searches, and political Washington just abolished due process protections.


Internet access, social networking, and other ways let people "reach across borders and language barriers. Journalism 2.0 has the potential to influence and educate citizens" in ways worrying authorities and corporate bosses.


As a result, free web access is under threat. Sites and computers considered threatening national security may be shut down. Bad as things have been so far, 2012 will be worse.


Celente also calls perceived OWS weaknesses, in fact, strengths. Activism without leaders or a unified message sustains street protests. Invasion of the "Occtupy" is here.


Look what happened to WikiLeaks, he said. It's been weakened by cutting off the head of its leader. "Occtupy" has no head. Cut off one tentacle and another grows. "This is huge, and it's just going to spread" worldwide because politicians are ignoring growing need.


Worrisome Bank of Canada Comments


In mid-December, Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney was unusually candid, saying:


"Global economic activity has slowed markedly since June and downside risks remain elevated. In addition to the risks associated with a failure to contain the European sovereign debt crisis, there is the risk that household deleveraging and (US) fiscal consolidation" will have serious global implications.


"Deleveraging is already amplifying the economic downturn now underway, and is likely to have additional detrimental effects. There is a risk that a broad-based fire sale could lead to a general decline in asset prices, which would raise investors' funding liquidity risk through margin calls and exacerbate funding difficulties further."


America's real estate market is especially weak. It "remains fragile and vulnerable to further deterioration. Stagnant wage growth" is seriously impacting consumer households.


He also expressed concerns about China, saying "credit booms are often accompanied by an increase in the overall riskiness of banks." As a result, loan repayments are being jeopardized. Moreover, "anecdotal evidence suggests that a large number of properties are being purchased (speculatively) for investment purposes and that the vacancy rate is rising" to dangerous levels.


Global economic stresses are intensifying, not ebbing four years into a serious economic crisis. The entire European continent is on credit watch. Everything tried so far failed, and policies going forward promise worse, not improved conditions. In fact, the December Brussels deal was farcical.


Europe already is heading south. Expect much harder times in 2012. Its trouble will spread. China's greatly impacted. Production contracted five of the past six months. Analysts visiting there, India, and Brazil note a dramatic downturn in activity. Also in Germany, Europe's economic engine, where manufacturing orders fell three straight months. In Britain, pension funds are being raided to fund projects.


As major emerging economies go, so do most or all others. As Europe goes, so does America. As America goes, so do economies globally. The grim outlook ahead keeps darkening.


Concerns Expressed by Progressive Radio News Hour Guests


Progressive Radio regular Bob Chapman calls conditions in Europe "disastrous. Confidence continues to erode....Greece (is) in standoff until there are February elections. (It) refuses to reduce sovereign debt and take any more austerity cuts."


"What (financial) masters of the universe don't understand, or want to understand, is that Greek debt, in fact, all" excess debt won't be repaid. Eurozone breakup looks increasingly possible. If Marine Le Pen becomes France's president next year, it's "sure to happen."


European "illuminist bankers have painted themselves into a corner and there is no way out." Failure to address major problems years ago caused today's.


"All major US, UK and Europeans banks are broke, and they are staying alive by using inside information (to profit on) every trade. No one trusts anyone anymore, and the bankers can no longer control their own system. Systemic debt has undermined the entire structure."


The entire Eurozone hasn't enough money to service debts. As a result, it's only a question of when, not if, the union collapses with its euro currency.


Progressive Radio regular Jack Rasmus also forecasts 2012 trouble. At yearend 2011, America and global economies are deeply retrenching. As a result, "the Eurozone currency and banking system" are increasingly vulnerable to crashing, possibly next year.


He also sees America heading south. Headline economic reports conceal depressed jobs, housing, and state/local conditions. Around 26 million have no work. Public worker layoffs continue. Washington focuses on deficit cutting, not stimulus when it's most needed. Further Fed QE will do little more than lift asset prices.


Post-2012 elections, expect trillions more austerity cuts. Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, public pensions and other social benefits will be greatly impacted. They'll be compounded by middle income tax hikes affecting mortgage deductions, employer funded health insurance and other formerly untouchable benefits.


At the same time, measures to stimulate job growth are absent. Exports will soften. Production will weaken. Corporate taxes will be cut. Bush era ones for America's super-rich will continue.


Major European banks may fail, especially in France, Germany, Italy, Austria, and Finland. Vulnerable Europe's collapse will spread global contagion.


Key realities are fragility, contraction, decline, contagion, and systemic protracted global crisis conditions affecting economies and growing millions disastrously.


No wonder Celente predicts financial collapse and war perhaps spreading globally to replace public anger with fear. When other measures fail, there's nothing left to try.


Will it work given growing depravation levels? Only the fullness of time will tell, but if public pain levels cross thresholds of no return, all bets are off.


According to the December 17 Global Europe Anticipation Bulletin Bulletin (GEAB), expect 2011 "wrath" to become "rage" in 2012 and 2013.


Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.


Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.


http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.