Prelude to Economic Disaster: Billionaire Liquidates All Real Estate Ahead of Crash

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If you were to contact a real estate agent in any major market today they’d likely advise you the market is so “hot” that if you intend on purchasing property you’d better be prepared to act fast. They’ll adamantly point out, contrary to reality, that the housing market has recovered, available inventory is dropping, prices are rising, and they can only go higher from here.

But if you’re paying attention to what’s happening around us, and not just with our own economy here in the United States, then you’d likely have noticed that while many Americans are flying high on hopes of change and recovery, there is an economic disaster of unprecedented scale in the making.

First, we know that the third largest economy in the world, China, is going through a massive credit crunch as bad loans there have soared to near all time highs, meaning that loans are quickly becoming non-existent and credit markets are now frozen. This means that no one is going to be building ghost cities and empty malls in the Peoples’ Republic again any time soon. Moreover, it means no more easy cash. We know what happened in the United States and the rest of the world when the last credit crunch hit.

Second, as Sovereign Man points out, the richest man in Asia Li Ka-Shing (their version of Warren Buffet or Bill Gates with a reported net worth of $ 30 billion) has rapidly liquidated his real estate holdings and is existing the market as quickly as possible.

Here’s a guy you want to bet on– Li Ka-Shing.

Li is reportedly the richest person in Asia with a net worth well in excess of $ 30 billion, much of which he made being a shrewd property investor.

Li Ka-Shing was investing in mainland China back in the early 90s, way back before it became the trendy thing to do. Now, Li wants out of China. All of it.

Since August of last year, he’s dumped billions of dollars worth of his Chinese holdings. The latest is the $ 928 million sale of the Pacific Place shopping center in Beijing– this deal was inked just days ago.

Once the deal concludes, Li will no longer have any major property investments in mainland China.

This isn’t a person who became wealthy by being flippant and scared. So what does he see that nobody else seems to be paying much attention to?

Simple. China’s credit crunch.

But Li Ka-Shing isn’t the only one bailing. Luxury real estate investors are unloading their real estate assets as well in an effort to raise cash and not be the last one holding a dead asset. For all intents and purposes, the music in China has stopped:

Cash-strapped Chinese are scrambling to sell their luxury homes in Hong Kong, and some are knocking up to a fifth off the price for a quick sale, as a liquidity crunch looms on the mainland.

On the domestic front we’ve seen stock markets drop a fairly significant level in recent weeks. So much so that company’s hoping to launch new IPO initiatives have chosen to just sit this one out as they are worried that investors are running out of money to help fund their operations.

You wouldn’t know that, of course, because mainstream media pundits like Dennis Kneale continue to sell Americans on the notion that we’re in a robust recovery:

Yet the economy, both locally and globally, is in vastly better shape than it was when we took that terrible tumble, down to Dow 6,800 in March 2009.

Americans have cut back on debt, and so have companies.

Karl Denninger of the Market Ticker calls this one what it is – a complete lie – and points out that we are nowhere near cutting back on our debt.

I Despise Liars

US debt to present

“Cut back”?  Really?  Worse, ex mortgages this is not true at any level; there is $ 3,733.5 billion in non-mortgage consumer debt outstanding.  That is an all-time high; in Q4/2006 (just before the crash, remember?) that stood at $ 3,047.2 billion or nearly $ 700 billion less.

An awful lot of that increase since 2007, incidentally, is student loans — exactly where it cannot be for sustainable economic progress since the younger generation has to eventually take the reins from us older folks.  This is nothing more than an economic Ponzi scheme with its cheering section led by people like Dennis who refuse to look at and argue from facts.

As for corporate debt it never decreased at all.

Something is amiss, and the fact that no one in the mainstream, which is where tens of millions of Americans get their “facts,” is really talking about it should be a blaring alarm.

There are, however, some Americans paying attention. As in China, it’s the billionaires and elite who have direct access to the puppeteers pulling the strings, and like Li Ka-shing, they have been quietly and rapidly dumping millions of shares of stock:

Despite the 6.5% stock market rally over the last three months, a handful ofbillionaires are quietly dumping their American stocks . . . and fast.

In the latest filing for Buffett’s holding company Berkshire Hathaway, Buffett has been drastically reducing his exposure to stocks that depend on consumer purchasing habits. Berkshire sold roughly 19 million shares of Johnson & Johnson, and reduced his overall stake in “consumer product stocks” by 21%. Berkshire Hathaway also sold its entire stake in California-based computer parts supplier Intel.

Fellow billionaire John Paulson, who made a fortune betting on the subprime mortgage meltdown, is clearing out of U.S. stocks too. During the second quarter of the year, Paulson’s hedge fund, Paulson & Co., dumped 14 million shares of JPMorgan Chase. The fund also dumped its entire position in discount retailer Family Dollar and consumer-goods maker Sara Lee.

Finally, billionaire George Soros recently sold nearly all of his bank stocks, including shares of JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, and Goldman Sachs. Between the three banks, Soros sold more than a million shares.

The big money, often referred to as the smart money, is getting out of the game and they are dumping these assets on unsuspecting investors.

They know, for example, that earnings growth has now plunged to its lowest levels since 2012.

As these in-the-know elites unload their positions, average investors depending on their financial advisers to tell them the truth are slamming money into these stocks and paying, in some cases, 500 times earnings. Real estate investors are, likewise, overpaying for homes based on the idea that markets are “hotter” than they’ve been in years.

It’s a recipe for disaster and it won’t end well – at least for 99% of people who blindly believe the opinions of their favorite “experts.”

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

Elite Insider Predicted Massive Crash in 2012: “Very Large Probability… Around March 4, 2014″

We understand that Doomsday predictions are aplenty these days, but given what’s going on around the world right now it may be time to revisit the eerily prescient forecast of an elite insider.

Grady Means is a former advisor to Vice President Nelson Rockefeller, a former economist at the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, and has managed multi-billion dollar firms over his career. Back in October of 2012 Means penned a commentary and analysis for the Washington Times in which he noted that “America’s fall will take global economies with it.”

But he didn’t stop there. Means gave us a target date.

There is a very large probability that the real end of the world will occur around March 4, 2014.

The doomsday clock will ring then because the U.S. economy may fully crash around that date, which will, in turn, bring down all world economies and all hope of any recovery for the foreseeable future — certainly over the course of most of our lifetimes. Interest rates will skyrocket, businesses will fail, unemployment will go to record levels, material and food shortages will be rampant, and there could be major social unrest.

Any wishful thinking that America is in a “recovery” and that “things are getting better” is an illusion.

The central issue is confidence in America, and the world is losing confidence quickly. At a certain point, soon, the United States will reach a level of deficit spending and debt at which the countries of the world will lose faith in America and begin to withdraw their investments. Many leading economists and bankers think another trillion dollars or so may do it. A run on the bank will start suddenly, build quickly and snowball.

At that point, we will need to finance our own deficit, and we will not be able to do so. We will raise bond rates to re-attract foreign investment, interest rates will go up, and businesses will fail. Unemployment will skyrocket.

The rest of the world will fully crash along with us.

There’s a sentiment among those on Main Street, and as of today on Wall Street, that there is a major disconnect between company stock valuations and economic activity in the real world.

Despite their best efforts to convince us that we’re in a recovery, the establishment is running into a problem… reality.

This morning we learned that the Institute for Supply Management monthly report went kaboom, showing a large contraction in new production, indicating that retailers are pulling back on stocking their shelves. Perhaps the ISM report has something to do with consumer sentiment, which according to today’s Gallup survey on consumer spending suggests consumers are cutting costs wherever possible.

But that’s not all. Even the largest retailer in the world is having problems and seeing negative growth. Walmart announced that last November’s cuts to food stamp recipients hurt their fourth quarter sales, adding further credence to the notion that without direct government bailouts the stability of America’s companies comes into question.

Need we even mention that over 100 million Americans are not in the labor force, or that five million people may lose their unemployment benefits by the end of this year?

And, of course, let’s not forget that we’ve created more debt as a nation in the last five years than in all of the years from our country’s founding through the year 2008 combined.

Those investing in financial markets have certainly taken note. On top of the 326 point decline in the Dow Jones today, the market is down a combined 1,000 points from its peak just a month ago. And, with three well known bankers committing suicide in the last week, people are starting to pay attention.

No one really knows exactly why the market is falling or what happens next, but if you’re going to consider any prediction on the future of the financial and economic sector, why not consider what the elite have to say about it?

If there is a major financial collapse in the works as we speak, then Grady Means’ prediction should scare the hell out of you. If he’s right, then this isn’t just going to be a market crash.

We could well be facing the beginnings of an all-out financial Armageddon that will make 2008 look like a brief warm up.

This collapse, as noted by the US Treasury Department and Grady Means, is going to have generational effects – a depressive economic environment for our entire lifetimes.

Preparing for such a scenario is not easy. One must take into consideration everything from emergency supply lists to deal with the instantaneous collapse of our monetary system and financial markets, while also considering long-term strategies that involve the development of barterable trade skills and relocating to land that has productive capacity so you can grow your own food.

We had a reader recently comment about the coming collapse. She warned that preparing for a weeks- or months-long emergency is insufficient. She suggested that perhaps we need to consider the worst case scenario: years of joblessness, destitution and depression.

It’s happened before and it was so bad that we still talk about the Great Depression to this day.

Who’s to say it can’t happen again?

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

After the Collapse: Six Likely Events That Will Follow an Economic Crash

It’s not too difficult to understand that we are well on our way to a paradigm shift in America; in fact we’re in the midst of it right now. The writing is on the wall and can no longer be ignored.

The US government has run up trillions of dollars in debt, and given the recent debates over the country’s debt ceiling, we can rest assured that neither Congress or the President will act to curtail spending and balance the budget. We will continue adding trillions of dollars to the national debt clock until such time that our creditors no longer lend us money.

From the monetary side, the Federal Reserve’s response to this unprecedented crisis has been to simply “print” more money as is necessary. On top of the trillions in dollars already printed thus far, the Fed continues quantitative easing to the tune of about $ 80 billion per month. It’s the only arrow left in the Fed’s quiver, because failing to inject these billions into stock markets and banks will lead to an almost instant collapse of the U.S. financial system. Unfortunately, the current strategy is chock full of its own pitfalls, the least of which being the real possibility of a hyperinflationary environment developing over coming months and years.

On Main Street, average Americans have seen their wealth decimated. They’ve lost millions of jobs and homes over the course of the last five years. And if recent reports are any indication, the destruction of the middle class will continue unabated for years to come. The resulting effect is a vicious negative feedback loop that continues to build upon itself. Americans no longer have money (or credit) to spend to prop up the economy, thus more jobs will be lost, leading to more people requiring government assistance for everything from food to shelter.

We are, on every level, facing a collapse of unprecedented scale.

As noted by International Man Jeff Thomas of Casey Research, it’s not that difficult of an exercise to predict what’s coming next:

The number of people whose eyes have been opened seems to be growing, and many of them are asking what the collapse will look like as it unfolds. What will the symptoms be?

Well, the primary events are fairly predictable: they would include major collapses in the bond and stock markets and possible sudden deflation (primarily of assets), followed by dramatic inflation, if not hyperinflation (primarily of commodities), followed by a crash of several major currencies, particularly the euro and the US dollar.

We know a collapse is coming… If you’re paying attention you probably have the distinct feeling that we are in the middle of it right now. And guess what? The government and military know it’s coming too, as evidenced by large-scale simulations of exactly such an event and its fallout.

But the collapse of our financial system, or hyperinflation of our currency, or a meltdown in US Treasuries is only the beginning. We know some or all of these events are all but a foregone conclusion.

What we don’t know is the timing of the trigger event that causes the global panic to ensue and what will happen after these primary events take hold.

According to Jeff Thomas, while we can’t know for sure, the following “secondary events” are the most likely outcomes when the system as we have come to know it destabilizes.

The secondary events will be less certain, but likely: increased unemployment, currency controls, protective tariffs, severe depression, etc.

But, along the way, there will be numerous surprises—actions taken by governments that may be as unprecedented as they would be unlawful. Why? Because, again, such actions are the norm when a government finds itself losing its grip over the people it perceives as its minions. Here are a few:

  • Travel Restrictions. This will begin with restrictions on foreign travel, including suspension/removal of passports. (This has begun in a small way in both the EU and US.) Later, travel restrictions will be extended within the boundaries of countries (highway checkpoints, etc.)
  • Confiscation of wealth. The EU has instituted the confiscation of bank accounts, which can be expected to become an international form of governmental theft. This does not automatically mean that other assets, such as precious metals and real estate will also be confiscated, but it does mean that the barrier for confiscation has been eliminated. There is therefore no reason to assume that any asset is safe from any government that approves theft through bail-ins.
  • Food Shortages. The food industry operates on very small profit margins and survives only as a result of quick payment of invoices. With dramatic inflation, marginal businesses (suppliers, wholesalers, and retailers) will fall by the wayside. The percentage of failing businesses will be dependent upon the duration and severity of the inflationary trend.
  • Squatters Rebellions. A dramatic increase in the number of home and business foreclosures will result in homelessness for anyone whose debt exceeds his ability to pay—even those who presently appear to be well-offAs numbers rise significantly, a new homeless class will be created amongst the former middle class. As they become more numerous, large scale ownership of property may give way to large scale “possession” of property.
  • Riots. These will likely happen spontaneously due to the above conditions, but if not, governments will create them to justify their desire for greater control of the masses.
  • Martial Law. The US has already prepared for this, with the passing of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which many interpret as declaring the US to be a “battlefield.” The NDAA allows the suspension of habeas corpus, indefinite detention, and the assumption that any resident may be considered an enemy combatant. Similar legislation may be expected in other countries that perceive martial law as a solution to civil unrest.

The above list is purposely brief—a sampling of eventualities that, should they occur, will almost definitely come unannounced. As the decline unfolds, they will surely happen with greater frequency.

Full article at Casey Research via The Daily Crux

We could go point by point on this list and provide a plethora of evidence to validate Jeff’s claims, but that would take pages upon pages of references.

The fact is that the US government, for the last decade, has been moving increasingly closer to what can only be described as a police state. With watch lists, militarized police departments, legislative actions, and executive orders the government has already set the stage for these secondary events.

When the system itself is no longer able to support the tens of millions of Americans receiving monthly government assistance, one hiccup could set the whole thing ablaze.

While it can’t be avoided on a national scale, there are advance preparations that individuals and their families can make to, at the very least, insulate themselves from the secondary event triggers. This includes storing essential physical goods and keeping them in your possession. Things like long-term food supplies, barterable goods, monetary goods, self defense armaments and having a well thought out preparedness plan will, if nothing else, provide you with the means necessary to stay out of the way it all hits the fan.

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