US Senator Judd Gregg Warns of ‘Financial Meltdown’ Risk

I don’t think that the US has five to seven years left before it will experience the greatest financial collapse in history.


The US is heading for a debt-driven “financial meltdown” within five to seven years, according to Judd Gregg, the outgoing Republican senator for New Hampshire.

In a robust and at times testy video interview for the Financial Times’s View from DC series, Mr Gregg also complimented China for showing rising alarm about the US’s mounting levels of public debt.

“We have had China say that they are looking for other places to put their reserves and that is probably a smart decision on their part,” said Mr Gregg, who will not seek re-election in November. “So the warning signs are pretty clear and the path is unsustainable and, at this point, unless we take different actions, unavoidable.”

Related article: China to Purchase 191.3 Tons of IMF’s Gold

But the senator, who was the most high-profile Repub­lican invited by Barack Obama, the president, to join his administration last year, an offer Mr Gregg accepted and then turned down, said he doubted that the two parties would get together to tackle it.

Last month 16 Republicans and 37 Democrats voted to establish a fiscal commission – seven votes short of what was needed to prevent a filibuster.

Mr Gregg also played down prospects for the non-statutory fiscal commission that Mr Obama set up by executive order last week. “It was just an edict that came from a Democratic president,” he said, adding, that “it’s the only game in town right now”.

Mr Gregg also disputed non-partisan economic studies that showed last year’s $787bn (€585bn, £520bn) stimulus cushioned the impact of the recession. “The facts are wrong,” he said. “I can understand how a Keynesian would make that argument. I find them absurd on their face.”

Read moreUS Senator Judd Gregg Warns of ‘Financial Meltdown’ Risk

US ambassador: US troops to stay in Haiti for time being

American troops will remain in Haiti for the foreseeable future to help the quake-ravaged country get back on its feet, the US ambassador to the Caribbean nation told AFP Thursday.

“There are about 6,500 soldiers in Haiti at the moment. There were some 20,000 for the emergency effort launched in the wake of January 12,” ambassador Kenneth Merten said.

“What is planned for the moment is more and more staff from USAID on the ground and fewer and fewer troops. Gradually, they’ll leave. In my opinion, we will need some American troops to stay here for the foreseeable future.”

But he dismissed any notion that Haiti would be put under some kind of foreign governorship, an idea mooted by French lawmaker Jacques Myard in the days after the January 12, 7.0-magnitude quake hit.

“I don’t see any reason for the country to be put under governorship. We have been working for a long time, since the departure of Jean-Claude Duvalier, for a democratic nation in Haiti.”

Read moreUS ambassador: US troops to stay in Haiti for time being

Bulgaria: More Than 400 Tax Inspectors Caught Over Unpaid Traffic Fines

SOFIA (Reuters) – There were some embarrassed faces at Bulgaria’s tax office on Thursday after an investigation found more than 400 tax inspectors had failed to pay their traffic fines.

Oddly Enough

The Balkan nation has launched a crackdown on civil servants who don’t pay what they owe, as part of plans to stamp out rampant fraud and raise revenues during the recession, the national revenue agency said.

Those tax officials caught will have money deducted from their February salaries to pay the fines.

More than 50,000 civil servants also face being checked for unpaid taxes and fines in March, a sign of the pressure Sofia is under at home and abroad to demonstrate results in its fight against graft and crime.

In July the European Union is due assess the government’s record and failure to show progress could threaten access to more EU aid after in 2008 Brussels froze millions in aid over fraud.

Read moreBulgaria: More Than 400 Tax Inspectors Caught Over Unpaid Traffic Fines

Blackwater Guards Stole Hundreds Of Weapons In Kabul And Went On Deadly Rampage

More than 500 AK47 rifles had been removed from the bunker by Blackwater staff without permission.

blackwater-now-xe

Private American security guards working for the US military in Afghanistan removed hundreds of handguns and automatic weapons from stores intended for the exclusive use of the Afghan police and used them on drunken shooting rampages that killed two Afghan civilians and injured at least two more.

The guards included a former US Marine with a criminal record of assault and battery and a former soldier discharged from the US Army after testing positive for cocaine, Congress heard yesterday.

Justin Cannon, Christopher Drotleff and a guard using the name “Eric Cartman” from the cartoon South Park were employees of a subsidiary of the Blackwater Worldwide group, implicated in a litany of extrajudicial shootings since 2003 in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Cannon and Drotleff have been charged with killing two Afghans and injuring a third in an incident last May when they opened fire on a car carrying four civilians in Kabul, while under the influence of alcohol. The men, who were hired to train Afghan soldiers, had no permission from US authorities to carry guns.

Read moreBlackwater Guards Stole Hundreds Of Weapons In Kabul And Went On Deadly Rampage

Tens of thousands protest across Spain at PM Zapatero’s pension reforms

Barcelona protest
People in Barcelona protest against government plans to increase the retirement age

Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets across Spain last night in the biggest test of the country’s Socialist Government, which is under pressure.

With a general strike threatened in the summer, the two biggest Spanish unions staged protests in Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Alicante.

The Union General de Trabajadores (UGT) and the Confederación Sindical de Comisiones Obreras (CCOO), are planning to stage 57 protests in other parts of the country until next week.

Unions are angry about the Government’s proposed pensions reforms which would extend the legal retirement age from 65 to 67.

José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, the Spanish Prime Minister who recently came under pressure from financial markets to introduce measures to bring the country out of recession, now finds himself threatened by his political allies in the unions.

The protests are the first time that Mr Zapatero has faced street unrest since he came to power in 2004. Leading members of the Prime Minister’s party took part in the protests, a sign that his popularity is dwindling.

Read moreTens of thousands protest across Spain at PM Zapatero’s pension reforms

Prosecutors Interrogate 51 Turkish Military Commanders Over Planned Coup To Destabilize The Country By Blowing Up Mosques And Topple The Islamic-Rooted Government

prosecutors-interrogate-51-turkish-military-commanders-over-planned-coup
FILE – In this Sept. 19, 2003 file photo, Turkish commanders, from left, Chief of Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok, Land Forces commander Aytac Yalman, Navy Commander Ozden Ornek and Air Forces Commander Ibrahim Firtina seen during a meeting of the National Security Council in Ankara, Turkey. Police detained more than 40 high-ranking military commanders Monday, Feb. 22, 2010, for allegedly plotting to overthrow the Islamic-rooted government. Several high-ranking members of Turkey’s military, including Firtina and Ornek, were among those detained. The sweep highlighted the ongoing struggle between the secular establishment and the Islamic-oriented government, and left many wondering if the military no longer called the shots in a nation accustomed to viewing it as the pillar of the secular state. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici, File)

(AP) ANKARA, Turkey — Prosecutors on Tuesday interrogated 51 Turkish military commanders, including former Air Force and Navy chiefs, over alleged plans to destabilize the country by blowing up mosques to trigger a coup and topple the Islamic-rooted government.

It was the highest profile crackdown ever on the Turkish military, which has ousted four governments since 1960. For decades Turkey’s senior officers, self-appointed guardians of the country’s secular tradition, called the shots.

But the balance of power in this EU-candidate country appeared to have shifted Monday as police rounded up the 51 military commanders, following the gathering of wiretap evidence and discovery of an alleged secret coup plan, dubbed “the sledgehammer.”

The nationwide sweep has dramatically deepened a power struggle between the secular establishment and the government, which has strong electoral backing and the European Union’s support. Turkey’s elite military — known as “pashas,” a title of respect harking back to Ottoman times — were once deemed untouchable.

“The most heavy sledgehammer to military custody,” read banner headline of daily Taraf, which has published leaked military documents that lead to the detentions.

Read moreProsecutors Interrogate 51 Turkish Military Commanders Over Planned Coup To Destabilize The Country By Blowing Up Mosques And Topple The Islamic-Rooted Government

Famous Investor Marc Faber: ‘Buy Farmland And Gold’ – ‘Prepare For a Dirty War’

“When I tell people to prepare themselves for a dirty war, they ask me: “America against whom?” I tell them that for sure they will find someone.”
– Marc Faber

I told you before that after bankrupting America and destroying the dollar the plan of the elite is to start WWIII.

There are also other forces at work that try to stop this, but you need to prepare yourself now, in case the elitists get their way.

I am not talking about preparing yourself out of fear. Not so many years ago preparedness was common sense.


marc-faber

The world’s most powerful investors have been advised to buy farmland, stock up on gold and prepare for a “dirty war” by Marc Faber, the notoriously bearish market pundit, who predicted the 1987 stock market crash.

The bleak warning of social and financial meltdown, delivered today in Tokyo at a gathering of 700 pension and sovereign wealth fund managers.

Dr Faber, who advised his audience to pull out of American stocks one week before the 1987 crash and was among a handful who predicted the more recent financial crisis, vies with the Nouriel Roubini, the economist, as a rival claimant for the nickname Dr Doom.

Speaking today, Dr Faber said that investors, who control billions of dollars of assets, should start considering the effects of more disruptive events than mere market volatility.

“The next war will be a dirty war,” he told fund managers: “What are you going to do when your mobile phone gets shut down or the internet stops working or the city water supplies get poisoned?”

His investment advice, which was the first keynote speech of CLSA’s annual investment forum in Tokyo, included a suggestion that fund managers buy houses in the countryside because it was more likely that violence, biological attack and other acts of a “dirty war” would happen in cities.

He also said that they should consider holding part of their wealth in the form of precious metals “because they can be carried”.

One London-based hedge fund manager described Mr Faber’s address as “excellent, chilling stuff: good at putting you off lunch, but not something I can tell clients asking me about quarterly returns at the end of March”.

Read moreFamous Investor Marc Faber: ‘Buy Farmland And Gold’ – ‘Prepare For a Dirty War’

US: Wealth Disparities Approaching 1920s Levels

I have told you many times in the past that the policies of the Fed and the US government, that are controlled by the elite, are all about destroying the middle class, bankrupting America, destroying the dollar and turning the US into a Third World country.

They have almost made it! They are very close now to ‘mission accomplished’, if they are not stopped right now.

This crisis has only just begun.

“When a country embarks on deficit financing and inflationism you wipe out the middle class and wealth is transferred from the middle class and the poor to the rich.”
– Ron Paul

Related article: STUDY: US Income Inequality Is At An All-Time High


This graph was an eye opener for me (not that I should be surprised):

wealth-disparities-in-us-approaching-1920s-levels

My Take:

What a time to be an oligarch! All I wanted to do was vomit when I saw this.

Folks, there is no way we can have economic prosperity in this country when the top 1% has all of the money. The middle class is basically being destroyed right in front of our very eyes. Consumption economies die when the consumers have no money to consume!

I see growing signs of desperation and anger as the wealth of this nation continues to get transferred to the elite of this nation.

People are starting to “lose” it as a result. This past week’s airplane event in Austin was a disturbing development. I must admit that I really am not surprised. The government shouldn’t be either.

Things are only going to get worse in the violence department as the taxpayers continue to get violated and more desperate as a result of this economic cataststrophe. The news media tried to downplay the actions in Austin.

I think Washington was both surprised and concerned about what took place in Texas.

I have to ask: Should the government really be surpised that an American flew a plane into an IRS building in a fit of rage as we all get repeatedly fleeced by the political and social elites of this country?

Let me preface all of this by saying violence is not the answer here. However, why shouldn’t every American be infuriated by what has ocurred since this crisis began?

All the government has done is bail out Wall St. continuously since 2008. My guess is the disparity of wealth in this chart would look even worse if it included 2009. The rest of America has basically been ignored minus a few housing programs to help lower mortgage payments.

That’s what’s been so frustrating about this whole crisis and America is finally starting to get it. Just about ALL of the steps that have been taken by the government to help fix this crisis have involved throwing more and more money to the financial elites of this country. I mean, the examples are endless: TARP, AIG, Bank of America, Citi, Freddie, Fannie …. Need I say more?

The sheeple are finally realizing that the money is not trickling to them like Washington had promised when they threw billions to the banks. The people have only seen things get worse while Wall St. has prospered. They now want to know where their friggin’ bailout is!

They are also realizing that the goverment’s actions since this all started in 2007 have done nothing but drop the yields on their CD’s to 0%. Gee thanks!

Let’s not forget that the sheeple/middle class were also victimized by Wall St. as they were gamed into buying homes they couldn’t afford. When this fantasy came crashing down they were again violated as they saw their 401k’s get cut in half.

The people of this country can only take so much before they start going postal!

In fact:

The Wall St Journal had an article out yesterday around the increasing threats of violence against the IRS:

WASHINGTON-The federal agency charged with ensuring the safety of IRS employees said it has seen an uptick in the past several years in threats against agency personnel.

In the past four years, there appears to have been a “steady, upward trend” in the number of threats against IRS employees, said an official with the Treasury Department’s Inspector General for Tax Administration. That assessment, offered in response to an inquiry from Dow Jones Newswires, is based on preliminary data, the official cautioned.

The middle class in starting to feel like that pledge in the movie Animal House who says “thank you sir may I have another” after getting repeatedly paddled by his brothers.

Read moreUS: Wealth Disparities Approaching 1920s Levels

Dutch PM: Troops to leave Afghanistan in August

Related articles:

Dutch exit could leave key Afghan area vulnerable (Washington Post)

Dutch Government Has Collapsed In Dispute Over Afghanistan (BBC NEWS)


dutch-troops-to-leave-afghanistan-as-planned_pm The Dutch troops were to have returned in 2008

A day after his cabinet collapsed, the Dutch prime minister says he expects Dutch troops to end their mission in Afghanistan in August as expected.

“If nothing else will take its place, then it ends,” Jan Peter Balkenende told Dutch television.

The cabinet fell after the two largest parties failed to agree on a Nato request to extend the tour of the almost 2,000-strong Dutch contingent.

A Nato spokesman said it would provide support to Afghans whatever happened.

The uncertainty over their deployment comes as Nato, US and Afghan forces are engaged in a large military offensive against the Taliban in neighbouring Helmand.

The governor of Uruzgan province said peace and reconstruction efforts would suffer a setback if the Dutch left.

Asadullah Hamdam told the BBC they were playing a vital role building roads, training the Afghan police and providing security for civilians.

“If they withdraw and leave these projects incomplete, then they will leave a big vacuum,” he added.

Read moreDutch PM: Troops to leave Afghanistan in August