Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Coming Storm - How Did We Get Here

coming-stormHow many of you listen to talk radio? I was in the car listening to the local DJ and something, peaked my interest. What caught my attention was the topic; they were talking about dealing with finance, oil, the future, ect.
There really was not much else on and I had a good hour drive. Needless to say, I was disappointed.
It was an hour of the typical corporate financial spiel. The sad thing is that someone who was listening and did NOT know how the corporate financial world worked, they would have been really impressed.  The guest on the show had all the titles, letters behind their name and “years of experience.”
Needless to say I wasn’t impressed. In fact I was kind of upset. The guest was selling the audience down the proverbial river.
So what was the guest selling? The typical mantra of get out of debt, invest for the long term, and diversify, diversify, diversify.”
Warren Buffett, one of the world's greatest investors, said, "Diversification is a protection against ignorance. It makes very little sense for those who know what they are doing."
The corporate financial mantra is for those who don’t know what they are doing. People have allowed the fox to guard the hen house and did not even realize it. Look at today and what is taking place. Feds tell us there isn’t any inflation and yet gas costs $3.50, milk is $4.25, in fact there are probably a lot of things that you notice that have gone way up in price, especially food.
But they tell us that there is no inflation.
We were “forced” as tax payers to accept a 700 Billion bailout, then QE1 with trillions and QE2 with yet more trillions. Who is going to carry that burden? Nope, not us, but our kids and grand kids. The taxpayers of the future.
But worse, look at the corporate pirates walking away from it all with golden parachutes.
dollar-declineAccording to recent press reports, a number of Wall Street senior executives were highly compensated before their companies began failing including Bear Stearns CEO, ($35 million), Lehman Brothers CEO ($40 million) and AIG's CEO ($47 million).
Sure Congress and Senate talked about stopping these corporate barons, but it was a little too late. They have already taken their pounds of flesh and are waiting for more from QE3 that is coming soon.
Think about this for a moment. All these companies have also gone bankrupt or were bailed out behind closed doors. All these financial companies should have died and been buried. But they weren't.
Question - All these smart guys who run all these finance places, well their companies are bankrupt. They "ran their ships aground." If they bankrupt their companies and much of the financial downfall we are already experiencing today is due to them….
Why are we still taking our money to them so that they have stewardship over it?
How many people lost everything because of these "smart financial guys"?
Why do we have 401Ks, IRAs, even savings accounts when all these "smart financial guys" who could not manage their own companies?
These financial guys are out and out crooks and we still take our money to them like moths drawn to the fire.
WHY?
Is this a surprise?
No it isn’t. Man left to his sin nature and without Christ in his life is doing what comes natural.
We are drawn to the ways of Mammon. It is natural, it is who we are. It is also due to not understanding what God's Word says and being trained to be followers of Mammon.
But Ray - How am I trained to follow Mammon?
It is hammered into your heads almost from the day we are born.
Go to school, graduate from college, get a good job, work all your life and save..save..save.
Let me prove it to you and have you take a test.
We have been trained and not even know it.
Just for fun finish the sentence…. "A Winston Tastes Good Like a _________________."
Now, if you were born after 1970, odds are you can't answer that.
If that is the case, go to You Tube and type in Fred Flintstone and Winston. You will be amazed.
With that example let's take a little test.
Fill in the blanks…
1 - Go to school, get good grades, and get a _ _ _.
2 - Work _ _ _ _.
3 - Save _ _ _ _ _.
4 - Buy a house because your house is an _ _ _ _ _ .
5 - Invest for the _ _ _ _ term in a well-_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ portfolio of _ _ _ _ _, bonds, and _ _ _ _ _ _ funds.
Odds are you made a 100% or came close right?
evilfedchairWe have been trained to serve Mammon by getting a job, working hard, saving money, our house is an asset and investing in the long term in a well diversified portfolio of stocks, bonds and mutual funds.
Many people consider the above a solid financial education. It isn't, it is financial training, training in the ways of Mammon.
The coming financial storm that I have been preaching about for the past 5-6 years is not one of chance. It has been created… on purpose.
See, being  a student of bible prophecy I have the privilege in knowing what God’s word says.  Knowing that the Bible is the sovereign Word of God, the Bible tells me where the future is going, and it is not going where all the so called financial experts say it is going.
A History Lesson and The Road Ahead
As some of you may know I do not have much faith in the US economy maintaining strong stability. Watch the news today for 5 minutes and you can see we are in a heap of trouble.
In fact being a student of Bible Prophecy I do not have any faith in any economy maintaining stability in these last days at all because God’s Word says that it won’t.
For some of you, you may remember the 1970’s. A lot of very interesting things took place in the 1970’s that are now effecting the US and the world.
In the 1970s OPEC and the US created the Petrol Dollar. What this did was provide the US a virtual monopoly. Having oil being traded in dollars allowed the US to run huge account deficits. Countries needed oil, thus they had to have US dollars on hand so that they could purchase oil. What happened is that the US dollar became the standard and global currency reserve. In having the US dollar as the global standard currency reserve the US could spend without the fear of crippling interest rate hikes. And spent we have, to the point of self destruction and the creation of a fiat currency.
Fiat Currency
In economics, fiat currency or fiat money is money whose purchasing power derives from a declaratory fiat of the government issuing it. It is often associated with paper money unbacked by fixed assets, issued without the promise of redemption in some other form, and accepted by tradition or social convention. Fiat money is called fiduciary money in many languages.
The widespread acceptance of a fiat currency is enhanced by a central authority mandating its acceptance under penalty of law and demanding it in payment of taxes or tribute. Fiat money can be contrasted with alternative forms of currency such as commodity money and private currency.
Most currencies in the world have been fiat money since the end of the international gold standard of the Bretton Woods system in 1971. However, some of the major currencies today, despite being based essentially on arbitrary decree, have become so trusted that they are termed hard currency. (2)
Thomas Jefferson is attributed for stating the following:
“If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their money, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of their property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.”
We know that in history Jefferson fought and warned us about the creation of The Federal Reserve or any private bank which would control the United States’ money.  Jefferson was well aware of this because in his day the international bankers were trying to establish a central bank or Federal Reserve.
Here is how Blakes Dictionary of Law defines “Fiat”
“A command or order to act.  Arbitrary or authoritative order or decision.”  “Fiat money” is likewise defined as, “inconvertible paper money made legal tender by a government decree.”  Inconvertible to, for example, gold or silver.  Made legal only by government decree.  “Colored money”, i.e. money with the “deceptive appearance, assumed exterior, concealing a lack of reality.”   (3)
The money that we use today is called Federal Reserve Notes and they are colored money. If you do not believe me, whip out a $20.00 and look for your self. In fact look at the really new money that is now out there, it is a lot less green than days gone by. They also have no value, except by virtue of a government decree.
Here is another interesting point. All fiat currencies eventually go belly up and with them the countries that produce them.
But quickly back to OPEC and the Petrol Dollar.
Bill O’Grady of A.G.Edwards stated the following:
"If OPEC decided they didn’t want dollars anymore, it would be the end of American hegemony by signaling the end to the dollar as the sole reserve currency." (4)
So why do we need to know all this history?
In 1971 President Richard Nixon changed the rules of money. That year, the U.S. dollar ceased being money and became a currency. This was one of the most important changes in modern history, but few people understand why.
Before 1971, the U.S. dollar was backed by gold and silver, which is why the U.S. dollar was also known as a silver certificate. After 1971, the U.S. dollar became a Federal Reserve Note, basically an IOU from the U.S. government. Needless to say, the US has a so many IOU’s out there, the reality of paying them back are next to impossible. The U.S. is the largest debtor nation now in history.
We need to understand this because history repeats itself.
After World War I, Germany's monetary system collapsed. While there were many reasons for this, one major reason was that the German government was allowed to print money at will, like we are doing currently. The flood of money that resulted caused uncontrolled inflation, which is starting taking place right now. If you don’t believe me, when was the last time you bought gas? There were more marks like there are dollars right now, but they bought less and less. In 1913, a pair of shoes cost 13 marks. By 1923, that same pair of shoes was 32 trillion marks!
As inflation increased, the savings of the middle class was wiped out. With their savings gone, the middle class demanded new leadership. Adolf Hitler was elected Chancellor of Germany in 1933 and, as we know, World War II and the murder of millions of Jews followed.
Do you see where it is we are going here? Adolf Hitler was the precursor of whom?.
That was the first part of our history lesson, continuing to our second part of our history lesson.
In the 1970’s there was a law created that when it came out, it was touted as a great law, a law for the people. The law was called “ERISA” or known as the “Employee Retirement Income Security Act. This is the law that gave birth to the 401(k). One of the reasons ERISA is significant is because it forced millions of employees to become investors, investors without any financial training or education. This is why the financial expert’s advice is “Work hard, save money, get out of debt, invest for the long term, and diversify, diversify, diversify.”
Warren Buffet made a great statement that kind of sums this up..
“Wall Street is the only place that people ride to in a Rolls Royce to get advice from those that take the subway”
Many people know that the Baby Boomer generation is the largest generation in history. Many of our companies made millions from the baby boomer wave. When the baby boomers had kids, Gerber made millions. When the baby boomer kids got older Matel, Hasbro, etc made millions. The baby boomer’s lived life at a fast pace, thus was born McDonalds, Burger King, etc. I point these things out because the baby boomers are a generation to be considered.
When the baby boomers bought, companies made millions.
Baby Boomers have money they have saved for retirement via their 401(k), IRAs, ect.
Between 1995 and 2005 the millions of people who followed the “Work hard, save money, get out of debt, invest for the long term, and diversify, diversify, diversify.” advice lost an estimated $7-9 trillion. And much worse than losing $7-9 trillion, the people who followed that advice missed out on what the Economist and other magazines called the biggest financial boom in history. So not only did those investors lose money from the 2000-2003 stock market crash, they failed to make a lot of money in the financial boom in real estate and commodities. That is the price of bad advice and even worse not having the knowledge to know better and the education.
stock-down-arrowBut back to ERISA…
ERISA has a major flaw that many people do not look at or even know of. ERISA has a mandatory withdrawal mechanism at age seventy and a half. At that age you MUST start withdrawing your money from the 401(k)s, IRAs, etc. That means millions of baby boomers will be forced to systematically withdraw from their 401(k), IRAs, ect.
Where is all this money invested? It is in the stock market.
As I stated before, when the baby boomers BOUGHT, companies made millions.
In 2006 the first baby boomers turned 60.
What will happen when the baby boomers start to sell?
In 2016 it is estimated that there will be 2,282,887 baby boomers that are turning seventy. They all must start selling and pulling their money out of the stock market.
In 2017 it jumps to 2,928,818 more people. That is about 700,000 more people than the year before that will start selling and pulling their money out of the stock market too. (1)
That is 5,211,705 people together. That many people will affect the economy and more are added each year for approximately 20 years. We did not count the immigrants either in the mix. (1
All in all, that is a lot of stock being sold, or at least trying to be sold.
What happens when millions of people start selling millions of shares of stock?
The prices start to drop and fast.
The laws of supply and demand will come into effect, and the odds of major panic just increased enormously.
So why is there a mandatory withdrawal? Why not just change the laws?  All that money that was put in was put there tax free. Uncle Sam now wants his due…the taxes. This is another reason why the huge spending, the fiat currency, etc. This is also why we will probably never see the death tax go away any time soon either.
So once the 700 Billion dollar bailout passes, are our troubles over? QE1 came and went, trouble over? QE2 came also?
No… far from it, we still have the ERISA issue to come to full term and no one is even talking about that can of worms.
We think things are bad now
Credit Crisis, Mortgage Crisis, Energy Crisis, and hey while we are talking doom and gloom lets throw in terrorism, avian flu, dirty bombs ect.
But something  is going to start effecting us in the weeks ahead. It is the weapon that has been used over and over again by the king pins of Mammon in days gone by.
Scripture even tells us but it seems we have not been listening.
Rev 6:5  And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.
Rev 6:6  And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.
The US as well as the world is not sitting in a nice place.
The world is looking for an answer.  But man in his ways never learns.
Scripture says…
Ecc 1:9  The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.
thrive-vertical-bannerMan continues to repeat himself and his history.
The next decade will be a decade of chaos. This will be the fourth time this nation has gone through something like this.
I know that there are those of you right now saying " Well God is not going to allow us to suffer, He will rapture us out."
Folks I expect to be caught up in the clouds when the Rapture when it occurs.
But what many people forget is that none of us knows just how bad things will get before the Rapture occurs, do we?
I do not think it wise to test the Lord, by throwing caution to the wind and simply saying, “The Lord will provide.”
Yes, He will provide, but He expects us to learn from the ant and do what we can to provide for ourselves.

Prov 6:6  Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:

Scripture also tells us..

1Tim 5:8  But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.
To not take steps to keep your family safe when we still have the chance if fool hearty and at worse, makes us the infidel.
Christ commanded us to "occupy till He returns." Not bury our heads in the sand.
We still have a short amount of time.
This is why I am writing a series over the coming months.
We are living on the razor's edge and scripture is literally unfolding right before our eyes.
ray-gano-dir

By Ray Gano



Endnotes

1- Adapted from Robert Kiyosaki’s book “Rich Dad’s Prophecy”
2 - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiat_currency
3 - Black’s Law Dictionary [Sixth Edition, 1991]
4 - http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2006/05/06/news/nation/11_13_325_5_06.txt

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