Socio-Economics History Blog

Socio-Economics & History Commentary

Americans Stick to their Guns as Firearms Sales Surge

  • Main Street aren’t deceived. Things are going to get quite rough. Will Obama ban gun ownership? I think he will try. The banksters will definitely love to see all guns banned, I suppose. It is easier to control the sheeple once they are totally defenceless. I am not a fan of guns. Never own one, never will. But I will not trust Uncle Sam with my piggy bank or pet goldfish. I prefer to skip out of town than go into any violent scrap.
     
  • The Guardian reports :
     
    Amid fears that President Obama is planning a clampdown on guns, Chris McGreal reports from Culpeper, Virginia, on a new US arms race.
     
    At the Guns and Ammo Warehouse they are reluctant to admit Barack Obama is right about very much. But customers enjoy the thought that his controversial campaign comment, that “bitter” small-town Americans are clinging to their guns, has proved more true than the president could have imagined.
     
    Firearms sales have surged in the six months since Obama’s election as millions of Americans have gone on a buying spree that has stripped gun shops in some parts of the country almost bare of assault weapons and led to a national ammunition shortage.
     
    The FBI says that since November more than seven million people applied for criminal background checks in order to buy weapons, a figure excluding the many more buying at thousands of gun shows in states such as Virginia, without facing any checks.
     
    Gun-shop owners and the National Rifle Association say the surge is driven by worries that Obama is planning to ban many types of firearms and that the deepening economic crisis will fuel a crime wave, as witnessed by the string of mass shootings in the past few weeks.
      …..
    Chris Howley, manager of the Guns and Ammo Warehouse, in Manassas, Virginia, says sales are up by at least 50% since Obama won the election – particularly of assault rifles after the president indicated he would revive a ban on the sale of semi-automatic weapons that had been allowed to lapse under George Bush. “It went through the roof since the election. Initially they were after the semi-automatics because they thought they would be banned again. They just flew out at a phenomenal rate. But now they’re buying up all the hand guns too. Look at the hand guns case. It’s only half full,” he said.
     
    A year ago, the Guns and Ammo Warehouse was selling, each month for $1,000 each, about 10 of their AR-15s, a semi-automatic civilian version of the army’s M-16 assault rifle. Howley says he can now sell 45 a week, when he has them. There is less demand for the Tommy gun on the wall because, Howley notes drily, it meets California specifications and is restricted to hold just 10 bullets in its distinctive round cylinder, instead of the 100 permitted in Virginia where guns can be carried openly on the streets.
      ….
    Brett Ross, owner of Grayghost Tactical, in Culpeper, Virginia, a shop named after a Confederate army unit in the civil war, says his business is booming despite the economic climate. He is unable to replace his more popular lines. “All the hand guns are selling and I can’t get more in. I’m wearing a $3,000 hand gun. That’s expensive and even they are sold out,” he says. “When the guns come in I sell in a day or two what used to sit on the wall for weeks.”
       ….
    With the surge in gun sales has come a sharp increase in demand for ammunition, on top of the military’s call for bullets for Iraq and Afghanistan, that has created a nationwide shortage of the most popular bullets used in semi-automatic pistols and military-style rifles.
     
    Even big department stores, such as Wal-Mart, are complaining that daily shipments of ammunition have all but dried up and that when stock does come in it sells out the same day.
     
    “The largest gun show in Virginia was two weeks after the election,” says Howley. “It sold out of ammo on the first day. People were just wheeling it out by the cart load. It’s partly fuelled by all these rumours on the internet that there’s going to be a $5m tax on a box of ammo. People go nuts saying, ‘look what they’re going to do’. Before they would buy two or three boxes of ammo, now they buy a whole case and it just compounds the problem.”
     
    Gun-shop owners are reluctant to question the thinking driving their profits, but Ross, at Grayghost Tactical, doubts Obama poses a serious threat to gun ownership. “A lot of this is rumours on the internet. I don’t think there’s the political will in Congress for a ban on semi-automatics, and certainly not for more than that. But people believe what they want to believe.”

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April 15, 2009 Posted by | Social Trends | , | Comments Off on Americans Stick to their Guns as Firearms Sales Surge

Danish Scientist Niels Harrit: Nano Thermite (Explosives) in the WTC Dust !

  • (Source: YouTube) Niels Harrit and 8 other scientists found nano-thermite in the dust from the World Trade Center. He is interviewed on danish TV2 News. People can see a full transcript, news, forum and the video in high quality here:
     
    http://agenda911.dk/article.php?story=nanothermite_tv2news
     
  • Another site in danish is encouraging people to stand forward demanding a new investigation here: http://www.i11time.dk/
     
  • The full report from the scientists can be found here:
     
    http://www.bentham-open.org/pages/content.php?TOCPJ/2009/00000002/00000001/7TOCPJ.SGM
     
  • Contolled demolition brought down all 3 WTC towers. This should come as no surprise to all who have been studying the facts behind 9/11. Elaine Jarvik writes :
     
    Tiny red and gray chips found in the dust from the collapse of the World Trade Center contain highly explosive materials — proof, according to a former BYU professor, that 9/11 is still a sinister mystery.
     
    Physicist Steven E. Jones, who retired from Brigham Young University in 2006 after the school recoiled from the controversy surrounding his 9/11 theories, is one of nine authors on a paper published last week in the online, peer-reviewed Open Chemical Physics Journal. Also listed as authors are BYU physics professor Jeffrey Farrer and a professor of nanochemistry at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.
     
    For several years, Jones has theorized that pre-positioned explosives, not fires from jet fuel, caused the rapid, symmetrical collapse of the two World Trade Center buildings, plus the collapse of a third building, WTC-7.
     
    The newest research, according to the journal authors, shows that dust from the collapsing towers contained a “nano-thermite” material that is highly explosive. Although the article draws no conclusions about the source and purpose of the explosives, Jones has previously supported a theory that the collapse of the WTC towers was part of a government conspiracy to ignore warnings about the 9/11 terrorists so that the attack would propel America to wage war against Afghanistan and Iraq.
     
    The next step, Jones said in a phone interview on Monday, is for someone to investigate “who made the stuff and why it was there.”
     
    A layer of dust lay over parts of Manhattan immediately following the collapse of the towers, and it was samples of this dust that Jones and fellow researchers requested in a 2006 paper, hoping to determine “the whole truth of the events of that day.” They eventually tested four samples they received from New Yorkers.
     
    One sample was from a man who had swept up a handful of dust on the Brooklyn Bridge, where he was walking when the second tower fell. As the journal authors note, “It was, therefore, definitely not contaminated by the steel-cutting or clean-up operations at Ground Zero, which began later. Furthermore, it is not mixed with dust from WTC-7, which fell hours later.”
     
    Another man collected dust in his apartment, about five blocks from the World Trade Center, on the morning of Sept. 12. There was a layer about an inch thick on a stack of folded laundry near an open window. Red/gray chips, averaging in size between .2 and 3 mm, were found in all four dust samples. The chips were then analyzed using scanning electron microscopy and other high-tech tools.
     
    The red layer of the chips, according to the researchers, contains a “highly energetic” form of thermite. While normal thermite (a mixture of finely granulated aluminum and an oxide of metal) can be incendiary, “super thermite” is explosive. He says there is no benign explanation for the thermite in the WTC dust.
     
    Jones made headlines in 2005 when he argued that the rapid and symmetrical fall of the World Trade Center looked like the result of pre-positioned explosives. He argued that fires alone wouldn’t have been hot enough to crumble the buildings; and that even if struck by planes, the towers should have been strong enough to support the weight of the tops as they crumbled — unless they were leveled by explosives.
     
    Essentially forced to retire, Jones says he is now paying for research out of his own pocket. He likens himself to Galileo and Newton, who stood by their consciences. “I would like to think I could stand up for the truth,” he says.
     
    The dust study vindicates his earlier theories, Jones says, but he has mixed feelings about the implications. “As a young student said to me a while back: ‘It’s exciting from a scientific point of view, because things are now making sense. But I feel sad for my country.’ ”
     

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April 15, 2009 Posted by | GeoPolitics, History | | 30 Comments

Can the Federal Reserve Contain the Inflation Monster?

  • Bernanke thinks inflation is easier to handle than deflation. He thinks the FedRes can contain the inflation monster easily. So far the FedRes has messed up the economy. Why should we have confidence in a private FedRes that serves its private shareholders interest and not the American public? The cause of the current crisis is the FedRes. The fox is in the hen house.
     
  • Michael Pento writes :
     
    As he stated again clearly today, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve has deluded himself into thinking that when the time comes, he will be able to shrink the size of the Fed’s balance sheet and reduce the monetary base with both ease and impunity. He also has deluded himself into thinking inflation will be easily contained. It is very important that he does not fool you, as well.
     
    The Fed believes low interest rates should not be the result of a high savings rate, but instead can exist by decree, a conviction which has directly led consumers to believe their spending can outstrip disposable income.
     
    The result of such thinking has been a rise in household debt from 47% of GDP in 1980 to 97% of total output in Q4 2008. As a result of this ever increasing burden, the Fed has been forced into a series of lower lows and lower highs on its benchmark lending rate. Keeping rates low is an attempt to make debt service levels manageable and the consumer afloat.  
     
    Problem is, this endless pursuit of unnaturally low rates has so altered the Fed’s balance sheet that Mr. Bernanke will be hard-pressed to substantially raise rates to combat inflation once consumer and wholesale prices begin to significantly increase. Banana Ben Bernanke has grown the monetary base from just $842 billion in August 2008 to a record high of $1,723 billion as of April 2009. But it’s not only the size of the balance sheet that is so daunting; it’s the makeup that’s becoming truly scary.
     
    Historically speaking, the composition of the Fed’s balance sheet has been mostly Treasuries. And the Federal Open Market Committee would typically raise rates by selling Treasuries from its balance sheet into the market to soak up excess liquidity. However, because of the Fed’s decision to purchase up to $1 trillion in Mortgage Backed Securities (and other unorthodox holdings), it will not be selling highly-liquid US debt to drain reserves from banks. Rather, it will be unwinding highly distressed MBS and packaged loans to AIG. Not to mention the fact the Fed would have to break its promise of being a “hold-to-maturity investor” of such assets.
     
  • Keep in mind that the FedRes uses only treasuries to mop up excess liquidity in the banking system. I seriously doubt any banks will accept MBS, commercial paper… in exchange for their cash. US$505B of FedRes balance sheet consist of treasuries. How is the FedRes going to mop up excess liquidity generated by all these questionable assets ie: MBS, commercial paper… TALF..?? which are about US$1 trillion and rising.
     
    Moreover, not only are the new assets on the Fed’s balance sheet less liquid but the durations of the loans are being extended. ….  That means when it finally decides it’s time to fight inflation, the Fed will find it much more difficult to reverse course. But because of the extraordinary and unprecedented (some would say illegal) measures Mr. Bernanke has implemented, only $505 billion of the $2 trillion balance sheet is composed of U.S. Treasury debt. Today, most Fed assets are derived from the alphabet soup of lending programs including $250 billion in commercial paper, $312 billion of Central Bank liquidity swaps and $236 billion in mortgage-backed securities.
     
    Thus, our economy has become more addicted than ever to low interest rates. But because bank assets will now be collecting income at record low rates, when and if the Fed tries to raise rates it will only be able to do so on the margin. If Bernanke raises rates substantially to fight inflation, banks will be paying out more on deposits than they collect on their income streams. Couple that with their already distressed balances sheets and look out!
     
    Additionally, not only do the consumers need low rates to keep their
    Financial Obligation Ratiolow, but the Federal government also needs low rates to ensure interest rates on the skyrocketing national debt can be serviced. Our projected $1.8 trillion annual deficit stems from the belief that the government must expand its balance sheet as the consumer begins to deleverage. In fact, boththe consumer and government need to deleverage for total debt relief to occur, else we’re just shuffling debts around and avoiding a healthy deleveraging entirely.
     
    In order to have viable and sustainable growth total debt levels must decrease, savings must increase and interest rates must rise. But that would require an extended period of negative GDP growth—a completely untenable position for politicians of all stripes. Ben Bernanke would like you to believe inflation will be quiescent and he can vanquish it if it ever becomes a problem. Just make sure you don’t invest as though you believe him.
     

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April 15, 2009 Posted by | Economics | , , , , | 1 Comment

Fed Monetization of Debt as US Dollar Flows to Central Banks Collapses

  • Ben Bernanke said the FedRes will be monetizing debt to lower interest rates to help consumers with their mortgage, credit card payments… Really ?? Is that the real reason?
     
  • I don’t think so. The economy has collapsed. Imports are down sharply. Asian exporters are hit hard. They have less USD from their exports and thus their central banks have less USD to buy treasuries. This is the real reason.
     
  • Ned W. Schmidt writes :
     
    U.S. government continues to borrow as if world were a limitless credit card. Obama Regime, with a Peronist style populism, believes spending is key to political power. No regard is given to financial foot print of that spending, or from where the money might come. Obama Regime does not apparently consider, nor care, of economic repercussions of deficit spending. With a deficit of more than two trillion dollars in the coming year, the Obama Regime has no choice, as we will see below, to resort to monetization for financing most of the forthcoming avalanche of U.S. debt.
     
    Our first chart, below, shows that Obama Regime will have little choice but to resort to debt monetization. Regrettably, the Federal Reserve will acquiesce to that necessity. This graph portrays how the “free” money from global central banks is about to be turned off. Already, the Associated Press(11 April 2007) is reporting that China, for example, has less money available to finance the Obama Regime’s spending spree,
     
    “China’s central bank said Saturday that its foreign exchange reserves rose 16 percent year-on-year to $1.9537 trillion by the end of March. China’s reserves, already the world’s largest, increased by $7.7 billion in the first quarter – $146.2 billion less than the same period last year, the People’s Bank of China said…”[Emphasis added.]

    us-debt-purchases
  • Ned W. Schmidt continues :
     
    For more than a decade, the U.S. government has relied on gullible central banks to finance both economic prosperity and political power. That happened by foreign central banks recycling the foreign trade deficit of the U.S. That recycling of money may be coming to an end.
     
    In that first graph, the black line is three month moving sum of the U.S. trade deficit. That massive spending spree has been near halted by the collapse of the housing bubble. U.S. consumers can no longer spend with abandon on foreign goods to fill their four bedroom mansions.
    The end of that spending spree means the flow of dollars to foreign central banks is collapsing.
     
    But, that recycling of money was used to finance the U.S. government. The red line in that chart plots the three-month sum of purchases of U.S. debt by those gullible central banks. Early in the chart, the surplus of dollars, the U.S. trade deficit, more than covered the purchases of U.S. debt by foreign central banks. That situation no longer exists.
    With the U.S. trade deficit collapsing due to the Obama Depression, the supply of dollars going to foreign central banks no longer exceeds their purchases of U.S. debt by foreign central banks.
     
    Foreign central banks can not continue to purchase U.S. debt at current rates as they do not have the flow of dollars to do so. The New York Times reports(12 April 2009) in “China Slows Purchases of U.S. and Other Bonds,”
     
    “Reversing its role as the world’s fastest-growing buyer of United States Treasuries and other foreign bonds, the Chinese government actually sold bonds heavily in January and February before resuming purchases in March, according to data released during the weekend by China’s central bank.”
     
    “China’s foreign reserves grew in the first quarter of this year at the slowest pace in nearly eight years, edging up $7.7 billion, compared with a record increase of $153.9 billion in the same quarter last year.”
      
     
  • What are the ramifications of such irresponsible actions:
      
    With no choice but to resort to debt monetization as a result of the inability of foreign central banks to continue financing unlimited U.S. deficit spending, the Obama Regime has forced the Federal Reserve to unleash a money tsunami. …. Never, ever, has a major central bank pursued such irresponsible monetary policy. To believe that this level of debt monetization will continue without repercussions is both naive and ridiculous.
     
    First ramification of such a rate of debt monetization is to flood the paper asset markets with money. Such is the reason the U.S. paper equity markets have rallied in recent weeks. The second round effect will be felt in the market for dollars and Gold. Near unlimited pouring forth of dollars can only ultimately send the value of the dollar lower. Next step after that can only be a higher a price for $Gold. With investor attention turned to fantasies over bank earnings, $Gold’s price dipped. As a consequence, our intermediate indicator gave another buy signal on Gold on Monday. Investors, desiring to protect their wealth from Federal Reserve debt monetization and Obama Regime’s wealth confiscation, should be adding to Gold holdings on current price weakness.

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April 15, 2009 Posted by | Economics | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Gold is Money ! Save it !

  • The world is heading towards inflation and highly probable hyper-inflation. The amount of money printed out of thin air will take traction soon and cause inflation to spike upwards. We are seeing early signs in UK Feb 09 CPI. It rose unexpectedly to 3.2% YoY. Are we not in a deflationary environment? Why did the CPI show inflation? Soon inflation will pick up in the western world and nobody will doubt inflation is the monster we have to deal with.
     
  • With Quantitative Easing and Debt Monetization, fiat currencies will be debased. Make no mistake, fiat currencies are going towards being toilet paper. The USD, UK Sterling, Japanese Yen will all be under duress. The world is heading towards a monetary meltdown. This will not just be a regional problem. When major currencies are debased it affects all fiat currencies. Competitive devaluation will follow.
     
  • The only real money that has stood the sands of time is Gold. Many empires have collapsed along with their fiat currencies. But Gold is still around and recognized as money. We need to understand the stage we are in. Fiat currencies can no longer do the job as money. When hyper-inflation kicks in, these fiat currencies will continue to be debased until they are use as fuel for the fire stove in winter, much like in Weimar Republic Germany.
     
  • James Turk, founder of www.GoldMoney.com, comments :
     
    An old Chinese saying declares that wisdom begins by calling things by their right name.  Truer words could not be spoken about gold.  If you call gold by the wrong name, you begin down the wrong road, which is a serious handicap.  It can easily prevent you from understanding why you should own gold as well as how to determine its value.  The point is that gold is not an investment; it is money.  
     
  • Gold has held its purchasing power when compared to fiat currencies.
    crude-oil-price-in-major-currencies-vs-gold
  • James Turk again :
     
    We can see from this chart that the price of crude oil in terms of gold is basically unchanged over this 59-year period.  In other words, a gram or ounce of gold today buys essentially the same amount of crude oil it did in January 1950.  Clearly, that result would make gold to be a lousy investment.  There has been no appreciation from owning gold.  You can only buy the same amount of crude oil with gold that you could in 1950, not more. 
     
    A so-called ‘investment’ in gold has generated zero return, but owning gold has nevertheless achieved something very important.  Gold has preserved purchasing power over this period, which is what money is supposed to do.  This observation raises some interesting questions. 
     
    How can the above table and graph be reconciled?  How can gold achieve double-digit rates of appreciation this decade against the world’s major currencies but still buy an unchanged amount of crude oil? The answer is that gold is not really appreciating.  Instead, the US dollar and eight other currencies in the above table are depreciating.  They are losing purchasing power, but this reality explaining this deficiency of national currencies is not new.  Here are the words of Henry Thornton in his book penned in 1802, “An Enquiry Into the Nature and Effects of the Paper Credit of Great Britain”,
    explaining gold’s unique attribute in this regard.
     
    We naturally imagine that the spot on which we ourselves stand is fixed, and that the things around us move. ……… In consequence of a similar prejudice, we assume that the currency which is in all our hands, and with which we ourselves are, as it were, identified, is fixed, and that the price of bullion moves; whereas in truth, it is the currency of each nation that moves, and it is bullion, the larger article serving for the commerce of the world, which is the more fixed.”
     
    Thornton’s observation remains true today.  The price of goods and service are best measured in terms of gold, which enables a clear view of how badly national currencies are depreciating.  Gold preserves the purchasing power of those who own it.
     
    So always keep in mind that gold is money, not an investment.  It therefore has to be analyzed as money, and to do this, it has to be compared to other ‘monies’.  These are of course “the currency of each nation that moves”.  In his 18th century vernacular, Thornton means these currencies inflate and thereby lose purchasing power.
     
    In the final analysis, there are two things one can do with money – spend it or save it.  Saving money is always a good thing.  For the past eight years it has been particularly wise to save gold – to accumulate it in order to build-up your savings.  This strategy continues to make good sense.  So save gold; don’t view it to be an investment.  Gold is money. 
     

Disclaimer – I am not a financial advisor. This is not an advice to buy, sell or hold any stocks or bonds or any precious metals.

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April 15, 2009 Posted by | Economics | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Celente Calls For ‘Revolution’ As The Only Solution

  • Americans are gradually waking up. But more Americans need to quickly awaken to the state of their country. The country is in a big mess and going downhill to a hyper-inflationary depression. Their government is not serving them, it is serving the corrupt financial interest. The corrupt Wall Street banksters have taken over the entire system. Taxes are rising when more and more people are losing their jobs. Bailout monies are given away to corrupt and incompetent institutions so that they can continue gambling on their exotic derivatives. Your children and grand children will be paying off these debts for decades to come. The reality is: these debts can never be paid off. America is heading towards a massive collapse at all levels: federal, state, municipal, private corporations…. society, families, personal…
     
  • Gerald Celente of Trends Research Institute opines :
     
    Taxed to death, angry at government bailouts, outraged by Wall Street greed, and bitterly resentful of a system that rewards the undeserving rich, the American public is ready to revolt.
     
    “The Tea Parties and Tax Protests sprouting across the nation, which we had predicted, are harbingers of revolution,” said Gerald Celente, Director of The Trends Research Institute. “But they are not enough. Much stronger and directed action is required. Our call for ‘Revolution’ will galvanize the people, destroy the corrupt ruling systems, and produce a prosperous and more just nation.” 
     
    The Revolution Celente proposes is unique in concept and bold in execution. It is about a lot more than just “taxation without representation.” 
     
    “Nothing short of total repudiation of our entrenched systems can rescue America,” said Celente. “We are under the control of a two-headed, one party political system. Wall Street controls our financial lives; the media manipulates our minds. These systems cannot be changed from within. There is no alternative. Without a revolution, these institutions will bankrupt the country, keep fighting failed wars, start new ones, and hold us in perpetual intellectual subjugation.”
     
    The country is restless, and ripe for radical reform. There is no doubt protests will proliferate and intensify. In response, the government will call out the troops and bring in the police. They will use the Patriot Act to silence, detain, harass, persecute and prosecute groups and individuals exercising their Constitutional rights.  But Celente’s Revolution need not degenerate into violence or open warfare.  
     
    “Intellectual Revolution” 
    “I am calling for an ‘Intellectual Revolution’.  I ask American citizens to free their minds from the tyranny of ‘Dumb Think.’ This is a revolution about thinking – not manning the barricades. It’s about brain power – not brute force.”  
     
    For society to survive and grow, it must wake up and grow up. Americans must acknowledge what their opinions are based on, who they listen to … and why. 
     
    What are America’s prime information sources? CNN, “The most trusted name in news”? Fox, “Fair and balanced”? CNBC, “First in Business Worldwide”? The New York Times, “All the news that’s fit to print”? 
     
    Who do the people listen to? A closed circuit of familiar faces guaranteed to take predictable positions. Authorities on nothing, yet pronouncing upon everything; a cadre of media aristocrats, pretending they’re the people’s voice. 
     
    Bill O’Reilly, Steven Colbert, Rush Limbaugh, Keith Olbermann, Sean Hannity, Jon Stewart, Chris Matthews, Jim Cramer, Joe Scarborough, Anderson Cooper, Bill Maher. 
     
    TV tough guys, broadcast big mouths and Beltway blowhards have now been joined by featherweight comics throwing powder puff punches at sitting targets.
     
  • See also :
     
    Gerald Celente – Corporatist Fascist America !
    Gerald Celente Expects World Riots, Ghost Malls and a Revolution in America!
    Gerald Celente Predicts Economic Armageddon by 2012
    Gerald Celente – Obama Deception, The Emperor Has No Clothes.
    Gerald Celente – Famine and Riots Worldwide!
    Gerald Celente on Financial Sense News Hour
    Gerald Celente – Greatest Depression Underway !
    Gerald Celente – Criminal Congress, March 2009 Depression Crisis
    Celente – Code Red ! Economy in Collapse !
    Gerald Celente – Trends 2009
    Gerald Celente – Israel War to Ignite Terror, Threaten Global Economy and possibly Spark World War III
    Economic Meltdown 2009 – Gerald Celente, Bob Chapman & Robbie Noel
    Economic Collapse of 2009 – Greater than Great Depression of 1929  

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April 15, 2009 Posted by | Economics, Social Trends | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Lindsey Williams – Super Hyperinflation Coming Soon!

Part   4   ,   Part   5    Part   6  

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April 15, 2009 Posted by | Economics | , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Lindsey Williams – Super Hyperinflation Coming Soon!