GRIM MILESTONE: Global Debt Breaks $100 Trillion Mark

Not unfunded liabilities, mind you. Global current debt.

The amount of debt globally has soared more than 40 percent to $ 100 trillion since the first signs of the financial crisis as governments borrowed to pull their economies out of recession and companies took advantage of record low interest rates, according to the Bank for International Settlements.

The $ 30 trillion increase from $ 70 trillion between mid-2007 and mid-2013 compares with a $ 3.86 trillion decline in the value of equities to $ 53.8 trillion in the same period, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The jump in debt as measured by the Basel, Switzerland-based BIS in its quarterly review is almost twice the U.S.’s gross domestic product.

That’s right: the global debt accrued in the last six years alone is more than double the amount of all the goods and services produced in the United States each year.

Can you say, “will never be repaid“?

Borrowing has soared as central banks suppress benchmark interest rates to spur growth after the U.S. subprime mortgage market collapsed and Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s bankruptcy sent the world into its worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Yields on all types of bonds, from governments to corporates and mortgages, average about 2 percent, down from more than 4.8 percent in 2007, according to the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Broad Market Index.

“Given the significant expansion in government spending in recent years, governments (including central, state and local governments) have been the largest debt issuers,” according to Branimir Gruic, an analyst, and Andreas Schrimpf, an economist at the BIS.

Now, those activities might be acceptable had governments exhausted all measures to reduce overhead, suppress regulations, and otherwise promote free market activities.

Of course, that’s not what happened because — for the most part — Democrats, leftists and other Marxists were in control of many large economies. So they printed money and spent. Not on investments, as they claimed. No, they redistributed it on “green job” scams, union payoffs, a massive expansion of the welfare state, and payoffs to crony capitalists,

As Bloomberg — not the bizarre wannabe tyrant, but the news service — notes, the amount of outstanding U.S. government has nearly tripled in the last six years, from $ 4.5 trillion to $ 12 trillion.

Nothing good will come of this madness because the old truism is just that.

There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.

Pity the modern Democrat Party never learned common sense.

Hat tip: BadBlue News

Doug Ross @ Journal

Suicide bombers hit Russia, kill 31, wound over 100.

(photo credit: CNN)

(photo credit: CNN)

(Washington, D.C.) —  ”Two suicide bombings in as many days have killed 31 people and raised concerns that Islamic militants have begun a terrorist campaign in Russia that could stretch into the Sochi Olympics in February,” reports the Associated Press. “Russian and international Olympic officials insisted the site of the games, protected by layers of security, is completely safe.”

The AP noted that “suicide bombings have rocked Russia for years, but the insurgents seeking to create an Islamic state have largely confined their attacks to the North Caucasus region in recent years. The blasts in Volgograd signaled that militants want to show their reach outside their native region. Matthew Clements, an analyst at Jane’s, said Caucasus militants could be targeting major transportation hubs like Volgograd to embarrass the Kremlin and discourage attendance at the Feb. 7-23 Olympics.”

“The attack demonstrates the militants’ capability to strike at soft targets such as transport infrastructure outside of their usual area of operations in the North Caucasus,” he said in a note. “Although the very strict security measures which will be in place at the Sochi Games will make it difficult to undertake a successful attack against the main Olympic venues, public transport infrastructure in Sochi and the surrounding Krasnodar territory will face an elevated risk of attack.”

“Suicide bombers at a train station and on a trolleybus killed more than 30 people within 24 hours in the southern city of Volgograd, raising the security threat less than six weeks before Russia hosts the Winter Olympics,” reports Bloomberg news service.

“At least 14 people died and 27 others were injured when a man detonated a bomb in the trolleybus during rush hour after 8:10 a.m. local time, the Health Ministry said on its website,” Bloomberg noted. “The blast yesterday near a metal detector at the entrance to the city’s train station killed 17 people and injured 45 others, according to the ministry. The twin bombings come as Russia prepares to stage the Olympics in February in Sochi, a Black Sea resort close to the violence-wracked North Caucasus region. Volgograd, which suffered another suicide bombing on a bus in October, is about 700 kilometers (435 miles) northeast of Sochi.”

“If another attack happens closer to Sochi, it will be a catastrophe for the Olympics,” Alexei Malashenko, an analyst on the North Caucasus at the Moscow Carnegie Center, said by phone, Bloomberg reported. “Three bombings in the space of three months means that terrorist activity is becoming systematic.”

The article added that “President Vladimir Putin’s government, which will seal off Sochi, a city of 345,000 people, had planned to beef up security starting on Jan. 7, a month before the games start, according to the state-run news service RIA Novosti.”

OTHER HEADLINES:

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Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog

Congresswoman: “100% Chance of a Severe Geo-Magnetic Event Capable of Crippling Our Electric Grid”

With the sun’s solar cycle in its peak stage this year and militaries around the world rapidly developing super electro-magnetic pulse (EMP) weapons, the threat of a catastrophic event that disables the U.S. power grid has never been greater.

geo-magnetic-storm

In 2003 a solar flare emitted by the sun was the most powerful in recorded observational history, measuring in at levels so high that had it hit earth it would have likely disabled everything from the internet and mobile phones, to water utility plants and the whole of the U.S. electricity infrastructure. And, earlier this year in another near-miss, experts claimed the world escaped another large-scale EMP catastrophe.

While an outlier, the real possibility of an EMP event – be it natural or man made – is more probable than most people think:

 We are only one act of madness away from a social cataclysm unlike anything our country has ever known.
-Congressman Trent Franks (R-AZ), Senior Member House Armed Service Committee

EMP is one of the small number of threats that could hold at risk the continued existence of U.S. civil society.
-Dr. Robert Hermann, Commissioner US Congress EMP Commission

Just one violent active region on the sun can cause continent-wide, perhaps even planetary-scale impacts to our critical infrastructure.
-John Kappenman, Principal Investigator US Congress EMP Commission

The Likelihood of a severe geo-magnetic event capable of crippling our electric grid is 100%.
-Congresswoman Yvette Clarke (D-NY), Senior Member House Homeland Security Committee

Via Activist Post and Stan Deyo:

The fall-out from a grid-down scenario would be absolutely devastating, as noted by a spokesman for the Center for Security Policy who recently responded to the potential for EMP capable weapons being deployed over the United States:

And experts forecast if such an attack were a success, it effectively could throw the U.S. back into an age of agriculture.

Within a year of that attack, nine out of 10 Americans would be dead, because we can’t support a population of the present size in urban centers and the like without electricity,” said Frank Gaffney, president of the Center for Security Policy.

NASA has already begun implementing plans to deal with large scale power failure from a space weather anomaly, and NASA head Charles Bolden recently issued a video alert through the NASA Headquarters of Emergency Operations in which he claimed he had “been made aware of some things” that prompted him to urge NASA employees and their families to prepare for an event that could come like 9/11.

This was recently echoed by outgoing DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, who has said that a cyber attack or natural disaster on the U.S. power grid the likes of which we have never seen is imminent.

Following Napolitano’s comments it was revealed that the United States, Canada, Mexico and hundreds of private companies were planning a massive power grid down drill to simulate what an EMP attack or solar flare might look like.

The disaster drill is being described as a crisis practice unlike anything the real power grid has ever experienced. The GridEX II drill Nov. 13-14 will focus primarily on how governments will react if the electrical grid fails and, for instance, the food supply chain collapses.

As we saw in limited grid-down scenarios like those following Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy, when the grid goes down you better be ready. Within 72 hours of such an event taking place the supply chain infrastructure in affected regions will undoubtedly collapse. This is a certainty, as evidenced by what we played out within a few days of Hurricane Sandy hitting the east coast last year:

SHOCK: 72 Hours After Grid-Down: Starvation, Supply Shortages, Food Lines, No Clean Water, No Gas, Transportation Standstill

For tens of thousands of east coast residents that worst case scenario is now playing out in real-time. No longer are images of starving people waiting for government handouts restricted to just the third-world.

In the midst of crisis, once civilized societies will very rapidly descend into chaos when essential infrastructure systems collapse.

Though the National Guard was deployed before the storm even hit, there is simply no way for the government to coordinate a response requiring millions of servings of food, water and medical supplies

Many east coast residents who failed to evacuate or prepare reserve supplies ahead of the storm are being forced to fend for themselves.

Frustration and anger have taken hold, as residents have no means of acquiring food or gas and thousands of trucks across the region remain stuck in limbo.

Despite our modern infrastructure and technological advancements, we are one catastrophe away from being thrown back into the stone age.

If the grid goes down the gas stops pumping, America’s trucks stop running, and grocery store shelves stop getting stocked.

Within three days of that all hell breaks loose.

We’re talking about nothing short of a total breakdown in law & order and tens of millions of people scavenging, looting and killing for food.

The threat is as real as it gets, but you can insulate yourself should it come to pass if you take the steps to prepare now.

It starts with getting prepared for a two week power outage, and then focusing your efforts on more long-term plans that can protect you against the possibility of EMP, solar flare, and a host of other potential wide-scale disasters.

Former Congressman Roscoe Bartlett issued what is probably the most stark warning about the U.S. power grid, which he says is not only outdated, but incapable of being repaired in a timely manner should elements of it be paralyzed by an EMP weapon of geo-magnetic storm:

We could have events in the future where the power grid will go down and it’s not, in any reasonable time, coming back up. For instance, if when the power grid went down some of our large transformers were destroyed, damaged beyond use, we don’t make any of those in this country. They’re made overseas and you order one and 18 months to two years later they will deliver it. Our power grid is very vulnerable. It’s very much on edge. Our military knows that.

There are a number of events that could create a situation in the cities where civil unrest would be a very high probability.

I think that those who can, and those who understand, need to take advantage of the opportunity when these winds of strife are not blowing to move their families out of the city.

When we talk about collapse – our grid going down is as horrific a scenario as one can imagine.

Preparing one second after is going to be too late.


SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You