Europe Argues with Itself About Allowing Developing Countries to Make Their Own Fertilizer, EU Climate Agenda Does Not Align with Food Needs of Third-World


Posted originally on the conservative tree house on June 27, 2022 | Sundance

Watch how this plays out in the global cleaving.  Watch closely…

The stresses of retaining climate ideology are beginning to surface in the EU and ‘western nations.’  The developing world needs fertilizer quickly, or their twice annual harvests will not produce enough to feed their population.  However, the EU does not want the developing world to create their own fertilizer because it would mean using an energy source the EU no longer supports.

The result within the G7, G20, World Economic Forum, multinational corporations and EU government, is a debate over whether it is better for people to starve, or to allow developing countries to manufacture fertilizer to feed themselves.   Some in the EU and western alliance say let the people die, climate is more important.  Others, seem to be saying if they allow mass starvation just to retain their climate ideology, they may lose influence in the world.  The debate rages on.

(Reuters) – The European Union is divided on how to help poorer nations fight a growing food crisis and address shortages of fertilizers caused by the war in Ukraine, with some fearing a plan to invest in plants in Africa would clash with EU green goals.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has prompted a global food crisis and fears of worse to come because of a drop in grain exports from Ukraine and a spike in prices of chemical fertilizers, of which Russia and Belarus are major producers.  [SD NOTE: This is false.  Russia’s invasion of Ukraine did not create a global food crisis, the Western Alliance & NATO sanctions did – Important distinction

The EU has for weeks tried to help its poorer neighbours in Africa and the Middle East to weather the crisis by offering them fresh funds, while trying to convince them EU sanctions against Moscow and Minsk are not to be blamed for the food emergency.

At a summit of EU leaders later this week, the EU was planning a new initiative that would structurally decrease poorer nations’ reliance on Russian fertilisers by helping them develop their own fertiliser plants.

But at a meeting with EU envoys last week, the EU Commission explicitly opposed the text, warning that supporting fertiliser production in developing nations would be inconsistent with the EU energy and environment policies, officials said.

The production of chemical fertilisers has a big impact on the environment and requires large amounts of energy. However, they are crucially effective in boosting agriculture output.  (read more)

This is globalism and elitism in its full glory.  Western politicians, along with multinational corporations, in control of global trade and finance are deciding who lives and who dies according to their climate change ideology.   This is how important their carbon trading scheme is to them.

Liberalism or modern totalitarian leftism is on display as the great global cleaving continues.

The elites in western government think they still have the power to control the rest of the world.  However, it is the absence of food that changes things.  People are starting to realize that western ideology, as manifest in modern globalism, is dangerous.  The Davos crowd is willing to kill millions if that is what it takes to retain their climate change ideology.

Keep watching this closely.  The multinational U.S. media will eventually bury the issue and try to protect the ruling class.

For me personally, the most frustrating part of this global dynamic -and this specific moment in history- is the absence of any opposition voice in the United States who can articulate these issues loudly in their arguments.

The absence of any political leader using this atomic sledgehammer to attack and destroy the ideology of the professional political left is blood-boiling.   Where are the leaders of nationalism who can call out the hypocrisy of the globalists?

The elite and self-described ruling class have never been as vulnerable as they are right now.  This is the moment to hit them hard and destroy their toxic ideology for generations.  Where is the articulate political opposition?

Where is the voice that can call these insufferable elites to task, using their own words and policy against them?

I digress…

Consider what is happening against this 15-year-old reminder:

All starts getting clearer, no?

Freedom Wins, Supreme Court Sides with High School Coach Fired for Praying on Field After Games


Posted originally on the conservative tree house on June 27, 2022 | Sundance

The Supreme Court has ruled in favor of Joseph Kennedy [Full Ruling Here] saying the Bremerton school district in Washington state was wrong to fire him for praying after football games with players of both teams.  By a vote of 6-3, the justices ruled that Coach Joseph Kennedy’s conduct was protected by the First Amendment.

In 2015, Kennedy had been a part-time football coach at Bremerton High School for seven years. Coach Kennedy would pray at midfield after each game, alone, with players and with players of the opposing team joining him. When the school district learned about Kennedy’s prayers, they told him to stop. Kennedy refused, and despite wide support from parents and the community the district fired him.

Justice Neil Gorsuch delivered the court’s opinion and was joined in full by Chief Justice John Roberts, Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Amy Coney Barrett and Brett Kavanaugh. Gorsuch explained that the government’s only real justification for its decision to fire Kennedy “rested on a mistaken view that it had a duty to ferret out and suppress religious observances even as it allows comparable secular speech. The Constitution,” Gorsuch concluded, “neither mandates nor tolerates that kind of discrimination.”

(Via Christian Post) […] “Kennedy prayed during a period when school employees were free to speak with a friend, call for a reservation at a restaurant, check email, or attend to other personal matters. He offered his prayers quietly while his students were otherwise occupied. Still, the Bremerton School District disciplined him anyway,” wrote Gorsuch. 

“Both the Free Exercise and Free Speech Clauses of the First Amendment protect expressions like Mr. Kennedy’s … The Constitution and the best of our traditions counsel mutual respect and tolerance, not censorship and suppression, for religious and nonreligious views alike.”

In response to today’s opinion, Kennedy said, “This is just so awesome. All I’ve ever wanted was to be back on the field with my guys. I am incredibly grateful to the Supreme Court, my fantastic legal team, and everyone who has supported us. I thank God for answering our prayers and sustaining my family through this long battle.”

Kelly Shackelford, president, CEO and chief counsel for First Liberty, a religious liberty law firm based in Plano, Texas, which represented Kennedy, hailed the court’s decision as a “tremendous victory for Coach Kennedy and religious liberty for all Americans.” (more)

“For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” 

Matthew 18:20

“Will you pray with me?” or “will you allow me to pray with you?”  These are examples of the strongest proactive affirmations of fellowship, love and faith you can bring to any encounter.  Prayer works.

However, it is not enough to simply to stop and pray, we should immediately affirm the intent of the moment.  We should pause, gather or assemble and pray in His name. That is where the Spirit of Jesus will manifest.   Seek to gather with others in the name of Jesus and experience His presence in the moments of life.

Fellowship is critical.

There are many biblical commands concerning “one another” because God does not want us to be alone.  Isolation and/or aloneness is not living; they can be painful and harmful to our spirit.  Burdens weigh most when carried alone.

Fellowship is the connective tissue that brings life to our journey.  When you feel hardship, pray.  When you see hardship, pray. When you find hardship in another, pray.

There is no level of experience needed for prayer, nor is there an apprenticeship for faith.  While living, just pay attention.  When you see a burden reach out, feel, connect, and begin… “Dear God,”….. the rest will follow.

Happy Father’s Day


Posted originally on the conservative tree house on June 19, 2022 | Menagerie

It takes a man to to be a real father, in ways so much more important than biological contributions. Once upon a time, most men learned and valued the responsibilities they would assume with the birth of a child, and they planned and prepared for it. Real men were usually not only providers, protectors, but also the primary source of power and strength in a secure family. They were often the first to nudge the chicks out of the nest, to push them to be perfect, and to make sure they were prepared for life, and for a harsh world.

How times have changed.

Here at the Treehouse we talk a lot about politics and how to regain what we’ve lost, not so much politically, but the kind of people we are, the kind of nation we have become. I see a lot of good ideas come across these pages, from involvement in local politics and voting precincts to driving people to the polls, to active involvement in party politics.

I don’t see a lot of talk about the long term prospects, and real change. How about back to the basics fatherhood? How about helping children be secure in a safe and loving family? How about teaching little boys to mow grass and change tires and paint their room, as well as keep that room clean and iron a shirt? Yes, iron a shirt, because presentation and neatness still matter whether you like it or not.

How about teaching them that it really is okay to be a man, and they don’t need any woman to tell them the boundaries on their masculinity, as long as it is a healthy, protective, giving, legitimately strong, real masculinity? How about teaching your daughters what exactly they should expect, no, demand, in a man they contemplate a serious relationship with?

How about making sure you teach your children Christian values and principles and make church services as big a priority as that ballgame?

From last year’s post, I’d like to copy some of my thoughts, because I just can never find finer examples of fatherhood than my husband and father in law. Some things bear repeating.

I have been privileged to know some of the best fathers of our time, and especially would like to mention my appreciation and pride for those in my own life who have made the most difference to me and our family.

I was blessed to marry a man who became a wonderful father to our three boys. My sons are three of the best dads out there, under really challenging circumstances. Two of them have step children they love and cherish, nurture and guide.

My father in law was an epic man among men. He had great faults but his virtues eclipsed them. He was a man of immense strength, strength of mind, character, body, and above all else, faith. His heart was even bigger than his booming laugh.

If I had a fortune I would confidently place a wager that no one could ever say he backed down from his principles or failed to do what he saw as right in the face of any test. Not one time, not ever. Good or bad, hard or easy, he stood in the face of any challenge to right as he believed it to be.

Of course he passed those traits on to his children, all eight of them, and he influenced every one who entered his orbit with the sheer force of his beliefs and his do or die attitude. He was one of only a few people I’ve personally known who really would give you the shirt off of his back.

He had many roles in life, many skills, a man who could do many things, fix almost anything that needed fixing, a voracious reader, self taught on many things with a questing mind and staggering intellect. He knew the Bible cover to cover and could always offer compelling proofs for his beliefs.

Of all those  roles, the one most who knew him saw him most at home in, and the one I believe he most identified as, was Daddy.

Here’s to you Jr. Of all the people I look forward to spending eternity with, laughing with, loving with, you are up there. I so look forward to one of your big enthusiastic hugs again.

Happy Father’s Day


Armstrong Economics Blog/USA Current Events Re-Posted Jun 19, 2022 by Martin Armstrong

C

There it is, Samsung Signal Flare, Demand Side Contraction, Inventories Too High, Request Suppliers Stall Shipments


Posted originally on the conservative tree house June 16, 2022 | Sundance 

We have been waiting for the non-essential durable goods side of the manufacturing sector to start showing evidence of demand side contraction in consumer purchases.  There have been subtle sector-by-sector indicators of consumer spending shifts for several months; however, today we get the direct evidence from Samsung.

Samsung is one of the leading manufacturers of consumer electronics and products that require chips.  For three months the electronics sector has shown background signals that inventory was not moving.  One of the more recent indicators of a demand side contraction was the lack of upward price pressure inside the electronics sector.  Essentially, consumers are not purchasing the current inventory, so prices are actually dropping in this segment.  [SEE TABLE 2, CPI Chart]:

Despite overall inflation of 8.6% within the CPI, deep inside the category indexes you will note that electronic prices are actually dropping.  Televisions -9.5%, Video equipment -4.3%, etc.  Video and audio products overall dropped in price 1.4% for May, and dropped 5.2% year-over-year.

The supply chain in this sector is lengthy. Meaning inventory builds slowly as consumers stop purchasing in the USA.  Retail store inventory turns slow, store inventory climbs, then warehouses inventories climb as stores do not need product. The negative boxcar effect travels back to the manufacturer overseas over the course of several purchase cycles.  Eventually, everyone within the sector is telling the supplier we do not need product.  Then the manufacturer has to quickly slowdown raw material.

Due to lengthy supply chains, including trans-pacific shipments, the process to stop deliveries in this electronic goods sector is around 90-days before the drop in retail sales reaches the manufacturer to stop production.  Here is the announcement from Samsung:

TAIPEI/ SEOUL — Samsung Electronics is temporarily halting new procurement orders and asking multiple suppliers to delay or reduce shipments of components and parts for several weeks due to swelling inventories and global inflation concerns, sources have told Nikkei Asia.

The notification by the South Korean tech titan applies to components for multiple key product lines, including TVs, home appliances and smartphones, four people familiar with the situation said, and the postponement of orders involves a wide range of components across chips, electronics parts and final product packages.

The move by Samsung, the world’s No. 1 smartphone and TV maker and one of the leading home appliance providers, is the latest sign that electronics makers are pessimistic about the economic outlook amid global inflation risks.

Samsung told suppliers that the company needs to closely review its inventory levels of both components and final products to ensure stock on hand is manageable, according to the sources. Two people said the move will last until the end of July. One of the people said shipments from that source’s company have not been completely halted but the volume of the company’s planned shipment to Samsung for July has been slashed by 50%.

Samsung’s inventory assets reached 47.6 trillion won ($36.9 billion) at the end of March, up from 41.4 trillion won in December, according to its first quarter earnings report. The ratio of inventory assets to total assets also jumped to 10.8% from 9.7% during the same period. (read more)

Various Wall Street economists and MSM pundits have stated, erroneously – and many intentionally, there has been no evidence of a demand side contraction.  However, CTH reviews of the data have shown exactly the opposite.  There are multiple indicators of demand side contraction, including drops in retail sales units that goes all the way back to last holiday season.

Yesterday the U.S. Dept of Commerce released the May retail sales [pdf DATA HERE], showing a 0.3% drop in retail sales for the month.

Retail sales -as measured in units purchased- have been in a contracting position since June of 2021.  When the current data shows a drop of -0.3% in May, the actual drop in retail sales is much, much greater.  The dept of commerce calculates retail sales in dollars.  When prices are 20% higher and sales are low, retailers are selling less stuff (fewer units) at higher prices.  This has been the reality of our economy for several months.  This is also why productivity has been declining for more than a year.

If you take the 8.6% inflation rate (far understated) and an aggregate drop in sales of 0.3% (again, far understated as a measure of inflation), that means consumers are spending limited incomes on critical or essential purchases like housing, food, fuel and energy.  Consumers are not purchasing durable goods; people are hunkering down.

Yearly retail sales (May ’21 compared to May ’22) are +8.1%.  However, yearly retail inflation for the same period is +8.6%.  Again, reflecting that less stuff is being purchased inside the economy at higher prices.  If the commerce dept was measuring actual units being purchased, we would be seeing massive drops in sales.

Samsung is reacting to a demand side contraction.

Production Prices Continue Exceeding Current Consumer Prices, Meaning Higher Prices Still Coming


Posted originally on the conservative tree house on June 14, 2022 | Sundance 

The “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 the May 2022 price data [Available Here] showing another 10.8% increase year-over-year in Final Demand products at the wholesale level.

The inflation within the total goods supply chain continues to accumulate at a more significant rate than the finished goods on the store shelves.  This means replacement goods will continue arriving with higher prices than current.   Final demand goods in May were 1.4% higher than April (16.8% annualized).  And the May year-over-year prices show a 10.8% increase [See Table A].  However, there’s more trouble ahead:

More troubling than the final demand price increases (wholesale finished goods), are the price increases in the intermediate goods and unprocessed raw materials.

Intermediate processed goods increased 2.3% in May (27.6% annualized).  The intermediate unprocessed goods, raw materials, jumped even higher in price at 6.3% for May (that’s a whopping 75.6% annualized increase).   It would appear the raw materials coming into the goods sector are coming in with even higher built-in energy costs than most people anticipated.

Once those intermediate products reach the final demand stage (wholesale), the cumulative price increase will mean even higher consumer prices.

(VIA ABC) – WASHINGTON — U.S. producer prices surged 10.8% in May from a year earlier, underscoring the ongoing threat to the economy from inflation that shows no sign of slowing.

Tuesday’s report from the Labor Department showed that the producer price index — which measures inflation before it reaches consumers — rose at slightly slower pace last month than in April, when it jumped 10.9% from a year earlier, and is down from an 11.5% yearly gain in March.

On a monthly basis, producer prices climbed 0.8% in May from April, above the previous month, when they increased 0.4%.

Energy prices, led by gas, rose 5% just in May from April. Another big driver of the price gains last month was a sharp 2.9% increase in the cost of truck freight hauling, a sign that supply chain problems still aren’t fully resolved. Food costs were unchanged.

The figures indicate that rising prices will continue to erode Americans’ paychecks and wreak havoc on household budgets in the coming months. Inflation has created major political headaches for President Joe Biden and congressional Democrats and has forced the Federal Reserve into a series of rapid interest rate hikes intended to slow the economy and cool price increases. (read more)

Another Strike Against Cryptos


Armstrong Economics Blog/Corruption Re- Posted Jun 14, 2022 by Martin Armstrong

I’ve said it before and will say it again – cryptocurrencies are not a safe investment. I know it is not a popular opinion; people have had success with trading. The problems with cryptocurrencies: (1) they depend entirely upon the government; with the stroke of a pen, they can all be seized; (2) they depend upon a power grid; (3) they also become dependent upon others accepting them.

A fourth all too common issue is that crypto trading platforms can prevent people from trading with little or no explanation. Binance recently announced that users are not permitted at this time “due to a stuck transaction causing a backlog.” CEO Changpeng Zhao stated on Twitter that the issue would be fixed in under 30 minutes. Later in the day, he said the issue would “take a bit longer to fix than my initial estimate,” but would only impact the Bitcoin network. Uncoincidentally, this sudden system glitch occurred after bitcoin fell by 10% beneath the $24,000 level.

This happens more than they would like people to believe. A few years back, a friend of mine was blocked out of their Bittrex account as soon as one of their cryptos began crashing. At one point, Bittrex suspended and eliminated numerous accounts in 2017, and it took them days to respond. They claimed the issue was a “compliance review,” as these platforms can seemingly make up any excuse they please. During that instance, they did not even inform users before they were locked out of their accounts. Unpopular opinion but the fact of the matter is that cryptos are seriously flawed.

Credit Card Debt on the Rise


Armstrong Economics Blog/USA Current Events Re-Posted Jun 14, 2022 by Martin Armstrong

The various handouts and moratoriums during the pandemic drove the personal savings rate down to World War II levels. Everything was closed – there weren’t many opportunities to spend. US consumers paid off a record $83 billion in credit card debt during the pandemic, but that has all come crashing down.

The Federal Reserve reported that revolving credit card debt in April reached $1.103 trillion, surpassing pre-pandemic levels and spiking 20% from the year prior. Credit card balances reached an alarming $841 billion in the first three months of this year alone, and the Fed expects that figure to continue rising due to the unsustainable price of living. In addition, household debt is now close to $16 trillion after consumer debt spiked 1.7% in Q1.

Unfortunately for those already behind, the rising interest rates will only cause them to carry a higher balance of debt. Once the prime rate rises, credit card companies will follow. The APR on credit cards is already 16.61%, nearing the high of 17.87%, on average, but is expected to rise. Debt can easily become a vicious cycle from which there is little escape for the average person. Those who budgeted in the belief that Biden would actually cancel their student debt were misled if not gullible. As housing, food, gas, and other necessities rise, those who are already void of liquid assets will find themselves in a dire situation.

The Dollar Crisis is Far Greater than Anyone Imagines


Armstrong Economics Blog/USD $ Re-Posted Jun 14, 2022 by Martin Armstrong

QUESTION: Marty, Socrates is worth its weight in something far more valuable than gold. I want to congratulate you for you are the ONLY adviser who nailed not just the cryptocurrency bloodbath, but that the dollar would rise when everyone else kept predicting it would crumble to dust. Then you warned that emerging markets would move into crisis defaulting on their debt. You said even China was in the same crisis because many borrowed in dollars since the interest rates were cheaper.

Is the dollar behind the banking crisis in China and with all the AI systems claiming a new world order, why are they failing when Socrates succeeds?

I am so grateful. I cannot tell you how much.

BME

ANSWER: I will answer the AI issue tomorrow. The dollar crisis is emerging because people do not understand capital flow analysis. They keep harping on the quantity theory of money. They assert that the more money the Fed creates, the more the dollar bust decline, and typically gold must rise. They do not understand that capital flows like water. It will always move to the lowest risk.

Milton Friedman came to listen to my lecture on foreign exchange in Chicago. We became friends and he explained to me that I was doing what he had only dreamed about. Yes, it was Milton who had advised Nixon on shutting down Bretton Woods and adopting a floating exchange rate system.

While many criticize Milton, they did not really understand what he saw. In 1953, he saw that a floating exchange rates system would provide a natural check and balance against the government policies. That is why he came to listen to me. I had developed capital flow analysis which was what he envisioned would happen under a floating exchange rates system. He theorized that in 1953.

I have been called in on so many FX crises it is amazing. They were selling Swiss loans to Australians in the 1980s to save on interest rates. They never considered what would happen if the exchange rate changed and the Swiss franc rose against the A$.

Just look at these two charts. The A$ was crashing and the Swiss franc rose. The default rate on mortgages exploded and small businesses who listen to bankers pitching Swiss loans to save money lost a fortune. The same crisis took place following the Swiss/Euro Peg when that broke.

Once again, the bankers were selling mortgages in the Swiss franc in Europe to lower interest rates. I cannot tell you how many times were have been called in on major financial crises around the world all for the very same reason. People make a loan in a foreign currency to save money on the interest rate. They have NO CONCEPT that the currency can swing even 40% in a short period of time.

The Chinese Central Bank warned its provinces and corporations NOT to borrow in dollars. They understood our model and understood what happens under such a currency crisis. Nevertheless, provinces and private corporations did not listen. They succumbed to the lure of the cheap interest rate.

I had even spoken with a major company and warned them the dollar would rise and there was a serious risk in emerging markets. They were new and as you say, they listened to the majority of opinions that took the opposite forecast. Now we see bank runs in China and serious problems in emerging markets.

S&P 500 Closes Down 20 Percent from High, Officially a Bear Market


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

The S&P 500 fell 151.23 points, or 3.9%, to 3749.63. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 876.05 points, or 2.8%, to 30516.74. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite declined 530.80 points, or 4.7%, to 10809.23 (33% lower that the November record).

CNBC – […] U.S. stocks on Monday entered a bear market because the S&P 500 closed more than 21% below its all-time record close reached as recently as last January, S&P Global Dow Jones Indices senior index analyst Howard Silverblatt wrote.

Stocks had been flirting with a bear market for the past several weeks on an intraday basis, but had never actually closed below 3837, the level S&P Global needed to see in order to officially declare one.

S&P Global says a 20% decline in the S&P 500 on a closing basis from its previous peak is all it takes to define a bear market. Which means that this bear market is already more than five months old, since the S&P 500 all-time high came on January 3. (read more)