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Is a Mini Ice Age on the Way? Scientists Warn Sun Gone to Sleep. January 17, 2014. The Sun's activity is at its lowest for 100 years, scientists have warned. They say the conditions are eerily similar to those before the Maunder Minimum, a time in 1645 when a mini ice age hit, freezing London's River Thames. 'We have 400 years of observations, and it is in a very similar to phase as it was in the runup to the Maunder Minimum. 'The world we live in today is very different, human activity may counteract this - it is difficult to say what the consequences are.' NOTE: This subject is now being hotly discussed in the scientific community and, as we have reported many times before, by a rapidly growing number of scientists. This article lists comments from several scientists. What caught my attention is the claim by one that "human activity may counteract this" forecast cooling. Maybe, However, that assumes CO2 has played a role in warming. Evidence is now solidly against that. It's most likely the sun.
Europe to Ditch Climate Protection Goals. Spiegel Online International, January 15, 2014. The EU's reputation as a model of environmental responsibility may soon be history. The European Commission wants to forgo ambitious climate protection goals and pave the way for fracking -- jeopardizing Germany's touted energy revolution in the process... As of 2020 at the latest -- when the current commitment to further increase the share of green energy expires -- climate protection in the EU will apparently be pursued on a voluntary basis... In addition, the authority wants to pave the way in the EU for the controversial practice of fracking... The report says the Commission does not intend to establish strict rules for the extraction of shale gas, but only minimum health and environmental standards. NOTE: We've been reporting the slow progress of the EU to this goal resulting from the near cataclysmic disaster green energy has been in Europe (See my article "The Disconnect"). Now the floodgates are open. Environmentalists and socialists are about to suffer their first total defeat in many decades. Yes, there is hope, Virginia.
NOAA: Contiguous US Average Temperature Plummeted 2.9oF in 2013. WUWT, January 16, 2014. In 2013, the contiguous United States (CONUS) average temperature of 52.4°F was 0.3°F above the 20th century average, and tied with 1980 as the 37th warmest year in the 119-year period of record. The 2013 annual temperature marked the coolest year for the nation since 2009. The 2013 CONUS average temperature was 2.9°F cooler than the 2012 average temperature, which was the warmest year on record for the nation. NOTE: The huge drop in temperature over a year is mostly noteworthy because last year NOAA made headline news as the warmest year on record. A drop of 2.9oF this year shows last year to be an anomaly. However, the high variation suggests we may be in a transition period to the predicted cooling period.
Europe's Economy Being Devastated by Global Warming Orthodoxy. Forbes, September 19, 2013. "Many Europeans complain about their high energy costs, largely due to their increasing dependence on renewables — the most costly energy sources.  But European political parties as well as a majority of people still want government to promote costly options, especially wind and solar power... Many German business executives would rather move operations to the US than remain handicapped by high European electricity costs as they try to remain competitive in world markets." NOTE: See our complete analysis of this in "The Disconnect" (http://rangemagazine.com/features/fall-13/1308-range-the_disconnect.pdf). As this article suggests the liberals and progressives in Europe (at least half the population) are so ideologically blinded they would rather believe a hoax and watch their nations destroyed than to acknowledge they are dead wrong and are responsible for much pain and suffering. Perhaps, this is the most graphic disconnect of progressives (called socialists in Europe) between reality and their utopian dreams.

Climate Change: The Case of the Missing Heat. Nature, January 15, 2014. "...As the global-warming hiatus enters its sixteenth year, scientists are at last making headway in the case of the missing heat. Some have pointed to the Sun, volcanoes and even pollution from China as potential culprits, but recent studies suggest that the oceans are key to explaining the anomaly. The latest suspect is the El Niño of 1997–98, which pumped prodigious quantities of heat out of the oceans and into the atmosphere — perhaps enough to tip the equatorial Pacific into a prolonged cold state that has suppressed global temperatures ever since." NOTE: This is the latest hypothesis by alarmists of why global warming has stopped. This time they may have it partially right, but for the wrong reasons. El Niños and La Niñas do play a large role--far more than CO2. However, it is likely that this phenomenon is caused by the sun, not CO2. The fact that the prestigious Nature proposes that El Niños and La Niñas are a causal factor while not even mentioning CO2 is history making. Not surprisingly, alarmists expect that warming will soon commence again.

Don't mention the Pause. GWPF, September 27, 2013. The real story of the IPCC’s summary for policy makers is not the upgrading of scientific confidence from 90% to 95% – whatever that really means – but the attempt at burying the ‘pause.’ It won’t matter in the long run;,,, if the ‘pause’ continues for a few more years then everything will change... Prof Thomas Stocker put down the hiatus as a statistical illusion related to cherry picking a particular start date which he said was 1998. Different start dates tell a very different picture he added... Actually it doesn’t. It’s more statistically sophisticated than that. All one needs to do is to start at the most recent annual datapoint – 2012 – and work backwards to find the earliest date when there is no statistically significant warming. Let the data make the choice, not humans. This way one arrives at January 1997. Note: Actually the draft version of the IPCC report contained much discussion on the pause. That discussion was deleted; not because it was irrevelent, but because it cannot be explained with the CO2 theory and would be the beginning of the end for the IPCC.

The Cost of Ever-Increasing Federal Regulation. National Policy Digest, May 21, 2012. Regulatory costs estimated by the Competitive Enterprise Institute are $1.75 trillion annually and are equivalent to over 48 percent of the level of federal spending itself. Regulatory compliance costs dwarf corporate income taxes ($198 billion), exceed individual income taxes ($956 billion) and even surpass pretax corporate profits ($1.3 trillion). The 2011 Federal Register finished at 81,247 pages, just shy of 2010's all-time record-high 81,405 pages. Agencies issued 3,807 final rules in 2011, a 6.5 percent increase over 3,573 in 2010. These costly regulations do not only hit companies that can afford them -- 822 of those 4,128 regulations in the works would affect small businesses. Note: No one denies some regulations are needed. However, most federal regulations are not needed and are putting the entire U.S. economy at risk. With nearly 1000 new regulations every year affecting small businesses, is it any wonder it is becoming impossible for small businesses to stay in business?

What is Behind the Fall of Germany's Eco-Minister? The Global Warming Policy Foundation, May 17, 2012. Norbert Röttgen was the face of Germany’s green energy transition. That is until he was sacked by Angela Merkel. Röttgen aligned himself with a green goal, which can be stated politically, but which cannot be reached technically. He is the first political victim of the green energy transition - he will almost certainly not be the last. The cause for his sacking is the looming failure of the green energy transition. It just doesn't work. Note: Just a few months after Britain's energy secretary Chris Huhne was forced to step down, in part because of his zealous support of alternative energy, Germany's Röttgen was fired because economically viable technology does not exist for wind and solar energy. Yet, Obama, Biden and Gore continue to proclaim we must ramp up our support of green energy if we want to maintain leadership in the industry. Leadership in what? Apparently leadership in failure.
Incredible Evidence the U.S. and Europe Are Making a Horrible Mistake. The Daily Crux, May 9, 2012. This is long, but important! While most countries in Europe borrowed massively to get out of its recession, Sweden's finance minister Anders Borg did not. His mission has been to pare back government. His 'stimulus' was a permanent tax cut. To critics, this was fiscal lunacy. Borg, on the other hand, thought lunacy meant repeating the economics of the 1970s and expecting a different result. Three years on, it's pretty clear who was right. "Look at Spain, Portugal, or the UK, whose governments were arguing for large temporary stimulus," he says. "Well, we can see that very little of the stimulus went to the economy. But they are stuck with the debt." Tax-cutting Sweden, by contrast, had the fastest growth in Europe last year, when it also celebrated the abolition of its deficit. He continued to cut taxes and cut welfare-spending to pay for it. He even cut property taxes for the rich to lure entrepreneurs back to Sweden. GDP growth rates for Sweden vs. the U.S. from 2002 to 2011, and shows that Sweden's economy has outperformed the U.S. economy over the last ten years by 0.8% per year on average. Over the last two years (2010 and 2011), Sweden's real GDP growth has averaged 5%, or more than twice the U.S. average of 2.35%, and provides evidence that Sweden's supply-side approach to the 2007-2009 recession has been more successful than the demand-side Keynesian approach in the U.S. Note: What more can we say?!

Europe Burns—China Falters. S&A Digest, May 14, 2012 (This is a members only site). The European monetary union in its current form is doomed. Greece is a basket case. Nearly everything the politicians tell the public is a lie. Nearly everything the public expects ("free" health care, lavish pensions) is a delusion. Considering all this, the euro is declining. It just reached its lowest low against the dollar in four months. This recent decline has breached the 1.29 level… and the euro is near its January low. It looks like the next leg of its bear market is starting... At the same time China is once again showing cracks in its economic outlook. It could be very serious, but there is still mixed opinions on what is happening. Note: As readers you know that there was never a time in the past year that the euro and EU might weather the financial tornado they are caught up in. All the rosy reports from the mainstream media were basically wishful thinking or outright lies.

Green Power Failure. Financial Times, May 11, 2012. Denmark, an early adopter of the global-warming mania, now requires its households to pay the developed world’s highest power prices — about 40¢ a kilowatt hour, or three to four times what North Americans pay today (12¢ in U.S.). Germany, whose powerhouse economy gave green developers a blank cheque, is a close second, followed by other politically correct nations and distressed nations such as Spain. Even in rock-solid Germany, up to 15% of the populace is now believed to be in “fuel poverty” — defined by governments as needing to spend more than 10% of the total household income on electricity and gas. Some 600,000 low-income Germans are now being cut off by their power companies annually, a number expected to increase as a never-ending stream of global-warming projects in the pipeline wallops customers. In the U.K., which has laboured under the most politically correct climate leadership in the world, some 12 million people are already in fuel poverty (>25%). Note: In the past we have shown why man cannot be causing global warming. Yet, the agenda of creating global governance keeps governments imposing more and more draconian actions to stop a non-existent problem at the expense of citizens. However, even these socialist citizens are now balking.
All (but one) of the Above. What's Up With That? May 11, 2012. Obama's "All of the Above" so-called energy policy posted on the web has a graphic showing the sources of our energy, with solar and wind making up an equal portion when it is only 3% of the total. However, there was a huge source of energy that was missing; coal. It wasn't even mentioned. Yet coal gives us 46% of all our electricity. When the White House received an avalanche of complaints, it relented and included, not coal, but "clean coal." The technology for producing clean coal is not even developed yet. Future cost estimates put it at $761 per ton compared to $46 to $52/ton today. That's 17 to 14 times the current price! That's "staggeringly, wildly, mind-blowingly higher than any other conceivable measure designed to cut greenhouse-gas emissions.” Yet, that is exactly what Obama promised to do in 2008 when campaigning for president. Obama has revoked previously granted permits to mine coal and the new EPA regs will prevent any new coal-fired electrical producing plants from being built. Note: The lack of inclusion of coal in the Obama plan is a common tactic of progressive ideology to change reality into whatever they want. They hate coal, so by leaving it out of any plans, it theoretically ceases to exist. Except coal does exist and to eliminate it will have unbelievably harsh consequences. That doesn't seem to bother them. To hell with the American people. They know what is best!
Biggest Question: Will Germany Adjust or Will the Euro Die? The Daily Bell, May 9, 2012. What happens to the euro and the EU primarily depends on Germany now. The disastrous chain of events has essentially discredited the entire crisis policy imposed on Europe by Germany. Combined fiscal and monetary contraction has pushed much of southern Europe into a deflation "death spiral", pulling the rest of Europe down with a delay. Even The Netherlands is now in deep recession ... The EU institutions are slipping out of Germany's control. The election of François Hollande in France has radically altered Europe's balance of power, and popular fury has done the rest across a string of democracies. For 60 years, the elites that want to run the world formally have patiently built up the EU using all sorts of rhetorical tricks. At no time was it ever admitted that the primary purpose of the EU was to create a kind of Charlemagne's Empire that would serve as a building block of a new global order. But that was the plan – evidently and obviously. And now "push has come to shove" and the elites are faced with turning an unruly political pact into a real US-style nation-state. Note: It is becoming increasingly likely after unraveling for a year that the entire EU/euro structure will collapse. The question is now shifting from "if" to "when?"
European Shares Slide Amid Greek Worries. Fox Business News, May 8, 2012. The election of the Left Coalition party to power which opposes the country's EU/IMF bailout austerity requirement is very troubling to the EU. Athens General Index was down 0.7 percent after falling 7 percent on Monday, while France's Credit Agricole , which owns Greek bank Emporiki, fell 2.3 percent. "If the IMF stops paying Greece, that's a country in starvation," says Justin Haque with Hobart Capital Markets. The same fears are felt for France after it elected Socialist Francois Hollands in an effort to reject austerity being discussed by . France's CAC-40 index was down 1.8 percent. Note: The rejection of any austerity measures by Greek and French citizens in order to weather the financial crisis they heaped on themselves by social spending does not bode well for the EU in general. They have been told the gut-wrenching economic catastrophe that would result if they didn't get rid of the socialist policies that were destroying them. They apparently didn't believe the warnings. Will U.S. citizens be as deluded? Everything indicates they will.

So Long, US Dollar. Casey Research, April 25, 2012. More than a year ago, the Russia and China moved away from the U.S. dollar and have been using rubles and renminbi to trade with each other since. A few months ago the second-largest economy on earth – China – and the third-largest economy on the planet – Japan – followed suit, striking a deal to promote the use of their own currencies when trading with each other. The BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) are doing the same. Many other similar arrangements are being pursued. This weakens the U.S. dollar as the world's reserve currency and it may soon hit the tipping point at which point the value of the dollar will fall to zero. Note: We have been warning of this for over a year. It is not imminent, but is inevitable if we don't stop borrowing and increasing our national debt. The only way that will happen is we throw the progressives out of office in November and slash the federal government.

US Hiring Slows Sharply with Just 115K Jobs Added. Fox News, May 4, 2012. US unemployment rate fell to 8.1 percent, but only because more people gave up looking for work. The Labor Department said Friday that the economy added just 115,000 jobs in April. That's below March's upwardly revised 154,000 jobs and far fewer than the pace from earlier this year. But last month's decline was not due to job growth. The government only counts people as unemployed if they are actively looking for work. In April, the percentage of adults working or looking for work fell to the lowest level in more than 30 years. At least 125,000 new jobs/month are needed to keep pace with population growth. Note: Although it is too soon to be sure, the U.S. may be heading back into recession like Europe, because of the cloud of uncertainty created by Obama's policies and the fear of an EU meltdown. Meanwhile U.S. media is telling Americans, "Don't Worry, Be Happy!"
Italy's Unicredit Continues It's Slide. S&A Digest, May 2, 2012. (This is a members only site) Shares of UniCredit, our proxy for beleaguered European banks, fell more than 5%. Trading was halted to stem the bleeding. We first started covering UniCredit in March 2010. (For the full story, you can read Porter's issue from that month here.) UniCredit is one of Italy's largest banks. It has already borrowed $300 billion from other European banks. And Italy's government already owes creditors more than 120% of GDP. If there's a run on the bank, the losses will be too big for Italy to handle without a huge international bailout. It's a disaster… And there's no easy way out. Note: Along with Spain's unraveling, the EU is getting closer and closer to the cliff whereby the two nations and their banks are too big to save.
Green Corruption: Dept. of Energy "Junk Loans" and Cronyism, Part One. EPA Abuse, May 1, 2012. Gene Koprowski of The Daily Caller unleashed the most outrageous part of the House Oversight’s investigation –– “Obama energy officials funded solar firms despite ‘junk bond’ ratings from S&P and Fitch.” Koprowski detailed the Department of Energy’s (DOE) lack of caution in backing hundreds of millions of dollars in loans for “tainted solar power projects.” Also documented are “other dramatic abuses at the green energy firms,” the most egregious being those firms which, received DOE funding, went bankrupt, “but not before paying their executives bonuses.” Note: We have long said that this kind of government intrusion into what should be left to the private market opens the door wide open to corruption. We are not surprised. It will only get worse.

Spanish Default Would Send US Stocks Plunging 20%. MoneyNews.com, May 1, 2012. A Spanish default, which is increasingly likely, will send U.S. stock markets falling as much as 20 percent, says economist Harry Dent, author of "The Great Crash Ahead." "Spain is going to default. The markets are in total denial on this," Dent tells CNBC. "It’s a question of whether it’s going to happen sooner or later." Unemployment in Spain has hit a sky-high 24.4 percent, yet Spanish authorities insist pain today will lead to a more robust and streamlined economy tomorrow. Note: The EU banks took a 50 to 70% loss on Greece's default that was made up by the ECB printing money out of thin air (quantitative easing). Spain's 709 euro sovereign debt is more than the ECB can bail out. It's the IMF to the rescue or default. Guess who the IMF depends on to raise money? US.

Spain's Collapse Is No Little Thing. The Daily Bell. April 27, 2012. Spain's financial situation continues to worsen. S&P downgrades it to BBB+ with a serious warning. For well over a thousand years, Spain has been at the epicenter of Europe and its fate has provided a bellwether for Europe's larger situation. And whither Europe goes, so goes the West.  Spain's problems go well beyond bank borrowing, which is probably an increasingly unlikely scenario in size anyway. The problems in Spain are both deep and pernicious – as are the difficulties the rest of the PIGS in Southern Europe are subject to. Austerity is causing riots like the rest of the PIIGS nations. The youth are fleeing Spain for better pastures elsewhere. Regional conflicts are growing more tense. Note: Spain continues to worsen, as is Italy's. Riots are common. But we are not being told because it could cause panic in the US.

Jim Rogers: Bernanke Has Never Been Right, Inflation Will Get Worse. 
MoneyNews.com, April 27, 2012. (Posts are infrequent because of heavy travel schedule). International investor Jim Rogers thinks a wave of inflation is coming to the United States.
“[Fed Chairman Ben] Bernanke and the Fed have zero credibility,” he tells Marketwatch. “Bernanke has never been right about anything.” As a result, inflation will get out of control,
Rogers says. Consumer prices rose 2.7 percent in the year through March. We have inflation in the U.S., and it’s going to get worse,” Rogers says. And the Fed won’t be able to do 
anything about it. “They’ve printed staggering amounts of money. They’ve taken staggering amounts of debt on their balance sheet. Much of it is garbage,” Rogers says. Note: Another 
warning. Things continue to get much worse in Europe, but we are not being told. 
Evidence of Nearby Supernovae Affecting Life on Earth. WattsUpWithThat, April 24, 2012. After years of effort Svensmark shows how the variable frequency of stellar explosions not far from our planet has ruled over the changing fortunes of living things throughout the past half billion years. Published in the Royal Astronomical Society, its impact could be huge. Cosmic rays from exploded stars cool the world by increasing the cloud cover, leads to amazing explanations, not least for why evolution sometimes was rampant and sometimes faltered. In both senses of the word, this is a stellar revision of the story of life. Svensmark stands the currently popular carbon dioxide story on its head. Some geoscientists want to blame the drastic alternations of hot and icy conditions during the past 500 million years on increases and decreases in carbon dioxide, which they explain in intricate ways. For Svensmark, the changes driven by the stars govern the amount of carbon dioxide in the air. Climate and life control CO2, not the other way around. Note: Svensmark has been working on the cosmic radiation theory for over a decade and every year he proves it a little more. If correct, it decimates the man-caused theory of warming. See explanation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bWrNGSuCTU

If Socialist Wins France, European Union Will Be 'Irrelevant'. Newsmax, April 24, 2012. It is likely French President Nicolas Sarkozy will “squeak through” his upcoming election and remain in office, but a Sarkozy loss would lead to a decline of the European Union that could render it “irrelevant.” “If the Socialist wins, the decline of the European Union will continue to the point where it may become irrelevant in the context of geopolitics.” Note: (Sorry for the gap in updates. I have been on the road almost continuously). If Sarkozy's socialist opposition wins, he will resume the very socialist policies that got France in its current mess. Since France is the second-most important economy in the EU using the euro, it would undermine the efforts to save the euro and EU from collapse. Will the U.S. finally see the light? Not likely. Socialists are blind to their own destructive policies.

Debt Crisis Plotted to Deliver the Euro to the IMF? The Daily Bell, April 13, 2012. The eurozone is not equipped to bail out Spain, the country's prime minister Mariano Rajoy has admitted, as global traders continued to punish the nation's stocks and bonds. Christine Lagarde, the boss of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), also warned that Europe's rescue mechanisms were not enough to restore confidence to global markets but said the IMF could provide a "global firewall". Analysis: After the 2008 crash, it became clear that the EU's PIGS couldn't repay the loans. This was likely the plan all along. After this realization set in, the power elite that orchestrates this sort of thing ensured that the solution to this manipulated dilemma was "austerity." The idea is evidently and obviously to make people so miserable that they will eventually welcome world government and world money. The power elite orchestrating this has been using what we call directed history for at least a century and probably closer to three. Note: If the writers are correct, it would mean the U.S. dollar would not be far behind. We hope it doesn't happen, but everything that has led to this point suggests that is a real possibility.

The End of Spain? S&A Digest, April 11, 2012. (membership only) Spain is the latest and biggest casualty in the European debt crisis. It's shaping up as the fourth European country in need of a bailout, after Greece, Ireland, and Portugal. Spain's 709 billion euros of sovereign debt is larger than the debt of those other three countries combined. Spanish citizens are protesting in the streets. Demonstrations could turn violent as Spain's prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, continues cutting the federal budget. As part of the European Union, Spain can't act on its own to devalue its currency to fix its debt problems. Neither can Italy, the next shoe likely to drop in Europe... Note: To read the mainstream media, you'd think the EU had solved its financial problems. While I hope it does, it is near criminal to not warn Americans that a similar disaster would hit us like a tsunami if the EU goes down.
50 Top Astronauts, Scientists, Engineers Sign Letter Claiming Extremist GISS is Turning NASA into a Laughing Stock! No Tricks Zone, April 10, 2012. As former NASA employees, we feel that NASA’s advocacy of an extreme position, prior to a thorough study of the possible overwhelming impact of natural climate drivers is inappropriate. We believe the claims by NASA and GISS, that man-made carbon dioxide is having a catastrophic impact on global climate change are not substantiated, especially when considering thousands of years of empirical data. With hundreds of well-known climate scientists and tens of thousands of other scientists publicly declaring their disbelief in the catastrophic forecasts, coming particularly from the GISS leadership, it is clear that the science is NOT settled. At risk is damage to the exemplary reputation of NASA, NASA’s current or former scientists and employees, and even the reputation of science itself. Note: These scientists and astronauts say it all.
Spain Borrows $3.4 billion; The Fed Says It won't Print More Money. S&A Digest, April 5, 2012. (members only) With over a trillion dollars in debt coming due, and close to a default, Spain was still miraculously able to sell $3.4 billion in new debt at 5.68% interest (up from 5.45% the day before), still low for the risk involved. Meanwhile the Fed says it is unlikely to print more money out of thin air. Quote: "There's no reason whatsoever to believe the never ending decline of the U.S. dollar is over. The Fed can print, therefore, it will print. That is 100% certain, no matter what anyone says. The U.S. dollar has lost 95% of its value since the Fed was created in 1913. That's not a coincidence. And now, the Fed says it's targeting 2% inflation. In other words, the Fed has pledged to manage our currency in a way that causes it to lose 2% of its value annually. I'll never sell my gold." Note: If you are foolish enough to buy Spanish debt and believe the Fed, you will believe anything. What more can we say?
Solar Trust of America Files Bankruptcy. Reuters, April 3, 2012. The 1,000-megawatt Solar Power Project being built near Blythe, CA by Solar Trust is now in doubt as Solar Trust declares bankruptcy. This is the largest solar farm in the world and last April won a 2.1 billion conditional loan guarantee from the Energy Department. Note: There has been a slew of bankruptcies in the U.S. and Europe in recent months because green energy is not cost effective, even with huge subsidies. We have been warning of this for years. The largest solar cell manufacturer in the world, Germany's Q-Cells also declared bankruptcy on April 3. The Blythe Solar Power Project was featured on our Cap and Trade Insanity YouTube video at http://www.nocapandtrade.us/short_videos.htm.
Fed Buying 61 Percent of US Debt. Money News, March 28, 2012. The Federal Reserve is propping up the entire U.S. economy by buying 61 percent of the government debt issued by the Treasury Department, a trend that cannot last. "Last year the Fed purchased a stunning 61 percent of the total net Treasury issuance, up from negligible amounts prior to the 2008 financial crisis. U.S. economy and markets are at risk for a sharp correction if conditions aren’t normalized. Note: That's like borrowing from yourself to pay yourself so you can pay your rent, buy food and buy that Cadillac you've always wanted. Then your accountant tells you its OK because he doesn't want to hurt your feelings. Would someone in the Obama administration wake up and stop this madness before there is no way to stop a catastrophic economic meltdown?

Biggest Rally in Stock Market Since 1998 – But Don’t Get Too Excited

S&A Digest, April 2, 2012. The benchmark S&P 500 stock index rose 12% rally for the quarter – the biggest first-quarter rally since 1998. Global central bankers' loose monetary policy is the culprit. In a speech last month, Fed Chairman Bernanke said to further reduce unemployment, we must expand production and consumer demand, which "can be supported by continued accommodative policies." And over the weekend, European Union members voted to add 500 billion euros ($667 billion) to the existing 300 billion-euro rescue fund – bringing the total to over $1 trillion. With liquidity flowing so freely, stocks are rallying. Note: In the past 2 years the market has not been connected to the overall economy as has been the historic norm. The market has boomed, without a corresponding improvement with the economy, because it is driven by almost free money being made available to the market. The market booms, the economy struggles to make a small improvement.

Eurozone Puts up $670 billion in Fresh Bailout Money to Calm Debt Fears. Washington Post, March 30, 2012. The 17 countries that use the euro will put up another €500 billion ($670 billion) in fresh money to help countries with debt troubles — a big increase from the previous €300 billion limit, but unlikely to calm concerns that large countries like Spain or Italy will not be protected if they run into trouble. Together, Italy and Spain hold more than €2.5 trillion ($3.3 trillion) in debt and a default — or even the serious threat of a default — could pummel banks across Europe and spread panic on global markets. Note: As explained on 26th, this will probably not be sufficient and more printing will be needed. This, of course, leads to more inflation which leads to a further hollowing of the EU's financial strength. Expect the value of the dollar to strengthen (temporarily) against the euro.

EPA Propose Contentious Carbon Limits on Power Plants. Money News, March 27, 2012. The Environmental Protection Agency proposed Tuesday the long-delayed rules that require new coal plants to cut their emissions in half, which would effectively bar the building of any new coal plants. The rules are expected to affect only new plants, not modified plants, which would be a concession to industry. However, the new proposals could set the stage for the EPA to regulate them in the coming years. Note: Cheap natural gas power plants will eventually replace coal plants, but it would take decades. It may never happen because the EPA is coming out with major new restrictions on natural gas plants as well. This is all part of Obama's stated intention of destroying the fossil fuel industry in America and forcing us to go to extremely expensive alternative green energy. Why? Ostensibly because CO2 is causing global warming, even though there is not one bit of empirical scientific evidence that supports the theory.

Elites Crush PIGS – Old Game Plan Made Anew? The Daily Bell, March 27, 2012. Spain's economy contracts as recession fears grow ... The Spanish economy has shrunk for the first time in two years, increasing fears the country could be heading for a recession. The country's economy shrank by 0.3% in the three months to December, after stagnating in the previous quarter. Household spending fell by 1.1% from the previous quarter, while spending by public bodies dropped by 3.6%. The country has the highest jobless rate in the EU, with almost one in four people out of work. Note: The analysis goes on to explain that the southern nations continue to unravel even as the mainstream press leads us to believe that things are stabilizing.

China, QE3 and ECB’s Money Printing S&A Digest, March 26, 2012 (This is a members only site). The past half year analysts have gone back and forth whether China will have a hard or soft landing from its economic woes. China’s $3 trillion in foreign reserves, strengthening banking system (it was a real mess) and expanding consumer economy have now convinced most that it will be a soft landing with little to no ripple effect. If so, one of the economic lynchpins that could have started the economic global dominoes falling has been neutralized. “In a speech today, Bernanke said the drop in the unemployment rate encourages him. However, reducing the jobless rate further will require more expansion of production and consumer demand, which "can be supported by continued accommodative policies," he said. In other words… we're standing by, ready to print more money at the first sign of a hiccup.” At the same time Angela Merkel, Germany's chancellor, is also loosening monetary policy... Today, Merkel agreed to temporarily increase the European Union's bailout fund. It’s gone from €440 billion late last year to €940 billion early this year to €1.3 billion today. Problems in Spain and Portugal will probably require even more printing. Note: Cautious optimism for a few months?

Is This Finally Proof We’re Not Causing Global Warming?

MailOnline, March 26, 2012. Current theories of the causes and impact of global warming have been thrown into question by a new study which shows that during the Medieval Warm Period (900 to 1300 AD) the whole of the planet heated up. It then cooled down naturally during the little ice age (1400 to 1850 AD). Until now, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) argues that the Medieval Warm Period was confined to Europe – therefore that the warming we’re experiencing now is a man-made phenomenon. But this research provides hard evidence the Medieval Warm Period extended to the Antarctic and therefore enveloped the whole world.  It was much warmer then than it is today, strongly suggesting the earth’s temperature is naturally cyclic, not man-caused. Note: There is overwhelming circumstantial research evidence that the Medieval Warm Period was a global event but the IPCC chose to ignore it because it weakened the man-caused warming theory. This research proves beyond question the Medieval Warm Period was a global phenomenon. The IPCC has chosen to ignore a large body of good evidence that man is not causing global warming. One by one good science is proving the IPCC wrong. Don’t expect IPCC to admit it though. The man-caused warming alarmism was never about science, but rather a global agenda.

The EUR/USD: Finally Hitting the Mark? Absolute Wealth, March 20, 2012. With the signs of a recovering economy, the US dollar is getting stronger relative to the euro. The United States has shown sustained job growth. This is the largest indicator that the States are in recovery. At this point, there is no evidence that Europe can say the same and that fact is catching up with the EUR/USD currency pair. Europe may need one more bailout. Inflation will hurt both economies, but will hurt the EU far more. Even so, inflation has not been figured into these analyses and could throw both economies into another recession, or worse. Note: The US recovery is still very soft and almost anything could reverse it. There are two real possibilities. First, Israel could (will?) attack Iran causing oil prices to skyrocket. The US is very vulnerable to this because progressive Democrats have fought every effort over the past 20 years to increase the supply of domestic oil. I have long warned derailing domestic oil production is a national security issue. That is exactly what it has become. The second possibility? There is a good chance that Obama will somehow force the Fed into QE3 to really make the US economy look robust by elections in November. But it will be short-lived. Brutal inflation would set in that will destroy the faux recovery. It wouldn’t matter to Obama, however. He would get his second term to complete his total transformation of America into socialism.

Title Wave of Muni-Bond Defaults Still Coming. A "tidal wave" of defaults in the municipal bond market is still building and will eventually hit the United States. Many U.S. cities, towns and municipalities are insolvent but are treading along similar to how Greece did for years before officially defaulting. Most defaults involved healthcare and things like multifamily housing projects, although more failures in the last two years came from smaller cities unable to pay services, pensions and salaries, Moody’s finds. Note: We warned of this about a year ago in a series of articles. It is now happening. It is nothing short of incredible that the public unions are still demanding their health care and pension plans that are double what the private sector because “they deserve them.” Gov. Scott Walker fixed the problem in Wisconsin last year and the state has recovered from a huge deficit. Yet, the unions are forcing a recall election and there is a good chance the voters will recall him, elect a governor that will reverse his actions that saved the state, and promptly commit financial suicide. It simply defies reason and reality.

Trump Warns ‘Massive Inflation’ Coming, Prepare. Newsmax, March 5, 2012. Billionaire Donald Trump says the U.S. economy is poised for “massive inflation” and is warning investors to take steps now to protect themselves. Trump also thinks skyrocketing oil prices will cripple the U.S. economy. “Right now, [oil] is at an all-time record for this time of the year, in the summer they predict $5 gasoline, maybe $6.” But Trump isn’t the only expert warning the U.S. economy may go off the cliff. Robert Wiedemer, author of the New York Times best-selling book Aftershock, stated in a recent interview, “The data is clear, 50% unemployment, a 90% stock market drop, and 100% annual inflation . . . starting in 2012.” Note: I have been finishing my new book Plundered and have let my facebook/twitter updates languish. Despite what you hear on the news, things are not getting better. It’s all an illusion and Europe is still being held together (barely) with duct tape and bailing wire. $1.47 trillion is being held by banks and deposited in the Fed rather than loaning it to small business. When it is finally released, or QE3 gets underway in earnest, every analyst predicts high inflation (+10 percent) by the end of 2012 and inflation as high as 100 percent by 2014. That, along with $5 + gasoline prices will sink our economy to another Great Great Depression.