Would Putin Use Nukes?


Armstrong Economics Blog/War Re-Posted Apr 27, 2022 by Martin Armstrong

Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Andrei Kozyrev served under Putin’s predecessor Boris Yeltsin in the 1990s. From his former position within the Russian Federation, Kozyrev believes Putin would only use nuclear weapons in “very specific situations.” Namely, if NATO became involved and Russia was backed into a corner from which there was no escape. “If Russia or one of those countries really threatened in their hearts – existentially, that is … if NATO troops come to Moscow, then probably they will resort to nuclear weapons,” Kozyrev told reporters.

Ukraine’s Zelensky has been touting that Russia is close to using chemical and nuclear weapons against Ukraine. “Not only me — all of the world, all of the countries have to be worried because it can be not real information, but it can be truth,” Zelensky said to CNN reporters, strategically in English. Zelensky stated that all nations should be concerned about Russia’s nuclear capabilities, but Putin is not that ignorant. The goal is to secure land that is believed to belong to the Russian people, not to create a nuclear world war. Putin believes he is winning the global battle financially by saying Russian sanctions have led to a “deterioration of the economy in the West.”

Similar to North Korea launching missile exercises to remind the world not to invade, Russia is touting its nuclear capabilities as a scare tactic to prevent the NATO alliance from decimating their country.

S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Index Marks New High


Armstrong Economics Blog/Real Estate Re-Posted Apr 18, 2022 by Martin Armstrong

Home prices were up 19.2% in January according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller index. It is extremely difficult for Millennials and Gen Z to enter the housing market, as homes today cost 75% more than they did in 1987 – and that’s just when the index first began tracking prices. The agency addressed the problem the youth are facing:

“While the re-acceleration of home price gains may be concerning and likely discouraging for first-time and younger buyers, it is nevertheless unsurprising considering the dire inventory of for-sale homes, which continues to decline and continually record new lows. Additionally, with mortgage rates jumping to three-year highs, existing homeowners now have little incentive to sell and buy a new, more expensive home with a higher mortgage rate. As a result, homebuyers that remain in the market are once again faced with a very competitive buying environment.”

The pandemic, coupled with extremely low rates, spurred this buying frenzy. Cumulatively, home prices across the US rocketed 31% since March 2020. Although rates are rising and mortgages hit nearly 5% last week, there is no indication of demand declining significantly. The age of remote work has allowed people earning New York-level salaries to relocate to areas with lower tax rates and less crime. It has become a new form of gentrification in the age of corona.

Home prices are soaring everywhere as the supply cannot meet the demand. Some areas have far surpassed 19.2% increases. The 10-city composite is 33% higher than during the peak in 2006, and the 20-city composite rose an astounding 40%. America is looking at a housing crisis if inflation does not wane and risks a generation becoming reliant on rentals and more likely to delay having families.

Walgreens Rationing Baby Formula


Armstrong Economics Blog/North America Re-Posted Apr 14, 2022 by Martin Armstrong

Walgreens announced that it has begun to ration baby formula amid the supply chain crisis. The rule will go into effect for all 9,021 locations. Customers may only purchase three infant and toddler formulas per visit due to “increased demand and various supplier issues.”

Retail sales tracking company, Datasembly, reported that 29% of infant and toddler formula products were out of stock at over 11,000 stores during the week of March 13. In comparison, only 11% of those essential products were unbailable in November 2021. CBS MoneyWatch reported that certain states had seen more significant shortages, such as Minnesota, where 54% of baby formula products were unavailable. The rate is an alarming 40% in Iowa, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Rhode Island, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Texas.

The recent recall of Abbot’s Sturgis formula has made the situation worse but does not begin to contribute to the shortage. If Walgreens is experiencing this issue, other major chains will soon follow suit. Although selling actual breast milk is not illegal, the practice is not very regulated and often unsafe. Still, human milk banks are growing in popularity. There will be a revolt if mothers are unable to feed their babies. It is absurd for anyone to deny the supply chain CRISIS at this stage.

The Supply Chain Crisis Will Worsen


Armstrong Economics Blog/Climate Re-Posted Apr 14, 2022 by Martin Armstrong

The supply chain issues across the world are continually worsening due to government mismanagement. It seems as if there are sinister intentions at play, as these new restrictions seem to be a deliberate attempt to destroy the global economy.

California’s far-left politicians only implement laws to hurt the people. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) recently revised its Air Resources Board Truck and Bus Regulation:

“The Air Resources Board (ARB) Truck and Bus Regulation requires diesel trucks and buses that operate in California to be upgraded to reduce emissions. By January 1, 2023, nearly all trucks and buses will need to have 2010 model year engines or equivalent. Compliance requirements are currently in effect.”

Therefore, by January, all trucking companies will need to upgrade their trucks to newer models or slim down their fleets. Joe Rajkovacz, director of governmental affairs and communications at the Western States Trucking Association, said that the new law will eliminate 80,000 commercial trucks from operating, accounting for 17% of the trucks in the state. “We in the industry know that if you think there was a supply chain problem over the last year, wait until you take this many trucks out of the marketplace that are not replaceable. You can be talking about something we as a country have never seen before,” he stated.

CARB continues to deny that removing 17% of the trucking fleet will impact the supply chain crisis. “There is simply no evidence to support any claim that the current supply chain issues have any connection to the state’s effort to clean up California’s trucks emissions,” a representative stated.

Trucking companies are pleading for this ruling to be repealed as they simply cannot afford new trucks. Small trucking companies will go under.

Peter Navarro, former manufacturing adviser to former President Donald Trump, called the situation “Woke microeconomics.” Reducing fossil fuels with no other alternative available seems appealing to the far-left. They do not realize that their save the environment plight cannot dismantle the industrial world without repercussions. Woke microeconomics will lead to our downfall.

Biden Calls Russia Military Operation in Ukraine “Genocide”, Commits Additional $800 Million in Weapons Today


Posted originally on the conservative tree house on April 13, 2022 | Sundance

Yesterday in Iowa, Joe Biden called the Russian military operation in Ukraine a “genocide,” which has a very specific set of legal definitions to it.

When asked if he had seen enough evidence to support that statement Biden responded:

“Yes, I called it genocide.  It has become clearer and clearer that Putin is just trying to wipe out the idea of even being — being able to be Ukrainian.  And the amount — the evidence is mounting.  It’s different than it was last week.  The — more evidence is coming out of the — literally, the horrible things that the Russians have done in Ukraine.  And we’re going to only learn more and more about the devastation. And we’ll let the lawyers decide internationally whether or not it qualifies, but it sure seems that way to me.”  (link)

Several ground reports from European journalists indicate the U.S. military is running all of the combat operations inside Ukraine. A French reporter said on Euro News, “I thought I was with the international brigades, and instead I was facing the Pentagon.”  Now today, Joe Biden announces he is arbitrarily sending U.S. combat helicopters into the conflict.

[Tweet Link]

(WHITE HOUSE) – I just spoke with President Zelenskyy and shared with him that my Administration is authorizing an additional $800 million in weapons, ammunition, and other security assistance to Ukraine.

The Ukrainian military has used the weapons we are providing to devastating effect. As Russia prepares to intensify its attack in the Donbas region, the United States will continue to provide Ukraine with the capabilities to defend itself.

This new package of assistance will contain many of the highly effective weapons systems we have already provided and new capabilities tailored to the wider assault we expect Russia to launch in eastern Ukraine. These new capabilities include artillery systems, artillery rounds, and armored personnel carriers. I have also approved the transfer of additional helicopters. In addition, we continue to facilitate the transfer of significant capabilities from our Allies and partners around the world. 
 
The steady supply of weapons the United States and its Allies and partners have provided to Ukraine has been critical in sustaining its fight against the Russian invasion. It has helped ensure that Putin failed in his initial war aims to conquer and control Ukraine. We cannot rest now. As I assured President Zelenskyy, the American people will continue to stand with the brave Ukrainian people in their fight for freedom. (link)

White House spokesperson Jen Psaki was asked about this escalation earlier today:

.

The Biden administration is all-in for this Ukraine proxy war, taking all actions to highlight a zero-sum position.

CDC Announces 15 Day Extension to Federal Transportation Mask Mandate


Posted originally on the conservative tree house on April 13, 2022 | Sundance

The CDC announced today {SEE HERE} they are extending the federal emergency order requiring masks on planes, trains and public transportation for a period of 15 days, ending May 3rd.

The mask mandate was set to expire April 18. However, the Biden administration will keep the requirement in place for another 15 days under the justification of a rise in COVID-19 cases driven by the new BA.2 sublineage of the Omicron variant.

(Press Release) – […] The CDC Mask Order remains in effect while CDC assesses the potential impact of the rise of cases on severe disease, including hospitalizations and deaths, and healthcare system capacity. TSA will extend the security directive and emergency amendment for 15 days, through May 3, 2022. (link)

There are contradicting claims on the benefits and/or futility of wearing masks to avoid spreading the COVID-19 virus.  Several scientific studies have found no significant benefit; however, the theatrics of mask wearing is now a litmus test for global virtue.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has recently announced a new indoor mask mandate for their extended metropolitan area.  Fauci soundbite below.

Producer Price Index Sets New Record at 11.2 Percent Wholesale Inflation, Highest Rate Ever Recorded


Posted originally on the conservative tree house on April 13, 2022 | Sundance 

he “Producer Price Index” (PPI) is essentially the tracking of wholesale prices at three stages: Origination (commodity), Intermediate (processing), and then Final (to wholesale). Today, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) released March price data [Available Here] showing a dramatic 11.2% increase year-over-year in Final Demand products at the wholesale level.  This is the fifth consecutive month with the highest rate of inflation the PPI ever recorded.

The single month increase in wholesale prices of 2.3% was driven by inflation built into the supply chain at every level that shows up in the final wholesale price.  Those price increases then get passed along to consumers along with the additional costs for warehousing, transportation and delivery.  I modified Table-A (FINAL DEMAND) to take out some of the noise.

Wholesale prices of goods jumped 2.3 percent in March, and the wholesale price of food products jumped 2.4 percent.  The total demand inflation compared to last year is 11.2 percent, the highest rate ever recorded since the PPI tracking was first started.

The total final demand monthly calculation (1.4%) is lower than the final demand goods (2.3%), because final demand services are offsetting.  You may remember the discussion/analysis about prices beginning to stabilize after this month due to a contraction in demand for goods and services.  I see support for that thesis within this data.

The three phases of wholesale product creation: (1) origination, (2) intermediate, and (3) final, cycle through the economic analysis in reverse chronological order.  Roughly speaking, the flow of goods quantified is done in 30-day sequences.  Final demand this month is comparing to final demand in March 2021.  The intermediate demand goods this month will become final demand goods next month (April).

The rate of inflation behind this set of final demand goods is beginning to soften.  See Table B, Intermediate goods.  Again, modified to take out the noise:

While the yearly comparison for both processed and unprocessed intermedia goods is eye dropping, in the unprocessed intermediate demand goods, we are starting to see a lessening of monthly price increases.

In essence, prices have been rising so fast and for such an extended period of time, that we are now cycling through the rate of increase and starting to compare it to last year when the rate of increase was originally going high.  As a consequence, the rate of price increase will likely lessen, even though the actual price may still keep climbing within the manufacturing process.

The price of raw materials, and the wholesale energy costs to process those materials into finished goods, are still rising.  In addition to the consumer prices reported yesterday, this wholesale price data is showing the most recent increases (March) in fuel and transportation costs.  For the next report these figures should now plateau.

♦ BOTTOM LINE – We have not yet reached PEAK INFLATION – However, the price increases from wholesalers to retailers are now at parity.  The increased price of things coming into the supply chain are now at similar rates of increase when compared to the stuff on the shelves.

Inflation from field to fork is now fully matriculated and embedded in the total economy as a result of two massive price waves (July to October 2021 and November to March 2022).  Those prices will never fall.

Highly consumable goods like food, fuel and energy will remain at approximately the price today for a period of around five months, then we will see the third wave kick in as the new higher harvest prices hit the processors in late summer.

The prices for non-essential durable goods, like cars, electronics, appliances etc. from this moment forth will now be determined by demand.   Highly sought after goods will increase in price as more customers chase fewer products.  However, ordinary or widely available durable goods will likely start to come down in price very soon as inventories climb because consumer spending has prioritized and dropped non essential goods from their shopping lists.

To put it more succinctly:  The stuff we need will cost more. The stuff we don’t need will cost less.

Let’s Go Brandon

BRICS Ministers of Finance Hold a Meeting – It Is Time to Replace Western Financial Trade Mechanisms and Remove The Dollar


Posted originally on the conservative tree house April 9, 2022 

This is not some grand conspiracy, ‘out there‘ deep geopolitical possibility, or foreboding likelihood as an outcome of short-sighted western emotion.  No, this is just a predictable outcome from western created events that pushed specific countries to a natural conclusion based on their best interests.

You can debate the motives of the western leaders who structured the sanctions against Russia, and whether they knew the outcome would happen as a consequence of their effort, but the outcome was never really in doubt.  Personally, I believe this outcome is what the west intended. The people inside the World Economic Forum are not stupid – ideological, yes, but not stupid. They knew this would happen.

[Left to Right] Xi Jinping (China), Vladimir Putin (Russia), Jair Bolsonaro (Brazil), Narendra Modi (India) and Cyril Ramaphosa (South Africa), the BRICS group.

The finance ministers of the BRICS alliance (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) have decided to create their own financial mechanisms to continue trade between nations of similar disposition.  Once the internal issues inside the BRICS alliance are resolved, and once the mechanisms are created, then other nations will be able to decide to join or not.  The great global cleaving will commence.

(Reuters) – Russia, hit by Western sanctions, has called on the BRICS group of emerging economies to extend the use of national currencies and integrate payment systems, the finance ministry said on Saturday.

[…] On Friday, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov told a ministerial meeting with BRICS, which consists of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, that the global economic situation had worsened substantially due to the sanctions, the ministry’s statement said.

The new sanctions also destroy the foundation of the existing international monetary and financial system based on the U.S. dollar, Siluanov said.

“This pushes us to the need to speed up work in the following areas: the use of national currencies for export-import operations, the integration of payment systems and cards, our own financial messaging system and the creation of an independent BRICS rating agency,” Siluanov said.

International payment cards Visa and MasterCard suspended operations in Russia in early March and Russia’s biggest banks have lost access to the SWIFT global banking messaging system.

Russia set up its own banking messaging system, known as SPFS, as an alternative to SWIFT. Its own card payment system MIR began operating in 2015.

[…] They were part of Moscow’s efforts to develop homegrown financial tools to mirror Western ones, to protect the country in case penalties against Moscow were broadened.

The finance ministry said BRICS ministers have confirmed the importance of cooperation in efforts to stabilise the current economic situation.

“The current crisis is man-made, and the BRICS countries have all necessary tools to mitigate its consequences for their economies and the global economy as a whole,” Siluanov said. (link)

For a deep dive on BRICS, as predicted by CTH, {SEE HERE}.  The bottom line is – the 2022 punitive economic and financial sanctions by the western nations’ alliance against Russia was exactly the reason why BRICS assembled in the first place.

The multinational corporate control of government is exactly what the BRICS assembly foresaw when they first assembled during the Obama administration.  When multinational corporations run the policy of western government, there is going to be a problem.

In the bigger picture, the BRICS assembly are essentially leaders who do not want corporations and multinational banks running their government. BRICS leaders want their government running their government; and yes, that means whatever form of government that exists in their nation, even if it is communist.

BRICS leaders are aligned as anti-corporatist.  That doesn’t necessarily make those government leaders better stewards, it simply means they want to make the decisions, and they do not want corporations to become more powerful than they are.  As a result, if you really boil it down to the common denominator, what you find is the BRICS group are the opposing element to the World Economic Forum assembly.

The countries run by multinational corporations are in Yellow, the countries who have not yet chosen a side are in GREY:

The BRICS team intend to create an alternative option for all the other nations. An alternative to the current western trade and financial platforms operated on the use of the dollar as a currency.  Perhaps many nations will use both financial mechanisms depending on their need.

The objective of the BRICS group is simply to present an alternative trade mechanism that permits them to conduct business regardless of the opinion of the multinational corporations in the ‘western alliance.’

WHO: COVID Vaccine Can Cause Hearing Loss


Armstrong Economics Blog/Tyranny Re-Posted Apr 4, 2022 by Martin Armstrong

The skeptics were concerned about the long-term effects of the mRNA vaccines. “Safe and effective” was the slogan promoted to the masses as the major pharmaceutical companies refused to reveal their initial studies. We know that the vaccine can cause heart inflammation (myocarditis), menstrual changes, anaphylaxis, thrombosis, Guillain-Barré Syndrome, and even death.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is reporting on a new side effect: hearing loss. The WHO has recorded 367 cases of tinnitus and 164 cases of hearing loss. The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine specifically was responsible for around 80% of reported cases, according to the WHO. Hearing loss is not currently listed as a side effect of the vaccine, and only the Janssen product has been flagged for causing tinnitus (primarily in women).

Yet, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) still asks people as young as five to take the “safe and effective” vaccine. I fear that additional ailments will present themselves as time goes on. Bottom line: these vaccines are not safe. Governments can no longer ignore this fact, and yet, they are continually forcing the masses to take countless doses of this poison.

“Trust the science!” Oh, sorry, what was that? I did not hear you.

Biden – Inflation – Risk to National Security


Armstrong Economics Blog/Opinion Re-Posted Apr 3, 2022 by Martin Armstrong

QUESTION: Hi Martin,
What do you think banks will do with mortgages if we continue experiencing high inflation and/or hyperinflation? Do you think we might be able to pay off a mortgage with gold if things get bad enough?

Marc

ANSWER: No! The contract is in dollars and that cannot be altered. There won’t be hyper-inflation for that takes place when the CONFIDENCE in government completely collapses. The shallow analysis of even the German Hyperinflation has created such a myth that inflation is the result of an increase in the money supply – WRONG!!!!!!

To set the record straight, the hyperinflation followed the Weimar Republic’s FORCED LOAN in December 1922 when they seized 10% of everyone’s assets and gave you a bond you can buy on Ebay. Once that took place, people would no longer accept German currency and exchanged everything for foreign currencies, art, rare coins, stamps, and real estate.

In 1925, when Germany had to issue a new currency, it was backed NOT by gold, but by real estate. The same human response took place in Zimbabwe and even Japan because the emperors would devalue the outstanding money supply to 10% of what it was valued out and issued their own coins at the new value. The people refused to accept Japanese coins turning to Chinese and bags of rice. Japan lost the ability to issue coinage for 600 years.

This inflation is NOT based on printing money. This inflation is based upon shortages of goods. The source is very different and this is not going to end well. Biden’s sanctions have undermined the entire world supply chain. We are all connected and that includes Russia and China.

To create even more deliberate chaos, the Biden Administration is now out to impose trade restrictions on China as well. U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai is advocating a dramatic change in the United States’s relationship with China. The Biden White House has concluded that trade with China should be altered to be a defensive economic posture rather than continuing under the Phase One trade deal brokered between the Trump administration and Beijing. Like everything else, whatever Trump did, Biden is going out of his way to reverse it.

This will only further increase inflation right into 2024 and destroying the world economy removes any incentive to work together. Once Biden destroys the economic foundation ties with China all to put pressure on the World Economic Forum’s Great Reset, it looks like all-out World War III will unfold after 2024. Biden and his entire family have been bought and paid for. I find it outrageous that the Democrats demand Justice Thomas recuse himself because of comments of his wife, yet Biden is perfectly fine dealing with China and Russia when they have poured millions into his family’s pockets.

Biden seriously needs to be REMOVED from office as a matter of National Security.