Monthly Archives: March 2012

Video: Spanish Rampage – General Strike Erupts In Street Violence

By TheBlaze.com | On March 30, 2012

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Protesters smashed bank and storefront windows with hammers and rocks and set fire to a cafe Thursday as economic protests in Spain’s second-largest city turned violent.

PG
About The Author: RSOP is the co-founder & Executive Editor of Radical Survivalism Webzine, as well as a Family Preparedness Consultant with nearly five years of personal experience in the self-reliance game. RSOP's many preparedness roles within his own group include team mechanic, head of security, electrician, and project designer/engineer.

A Harder Default To Come

By Wolf Richter | From TestosteronePit.com | On Friday, March 9, 2012

“We owed it to our children and grandchildren to rid them of the burden of this debt,” said Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos about the bond swap that had just whacked private sector investors with a 72% loss. While everyone other than the bondholders was applauding, the drumbeat of Greece’s economic horror show continued in its relentless manner.

In central Athens, a stunning 29.6% of the businesses ceased operations, up from 24.4% in August; in Piraeus 27.3%, a 10-point jump since March. The whole Attica region lost 25.6% of its businesses. “This worsening of the survival index in the commercial sector … shows that resistance is waning,” said Vasilis Korkidis, president of the National Confederation of Hellenic Commerce. “We must continue the battle of daily survival and keep our shops open,” he pleaded—while fourth quarter GDP was being revised down to -7.5% on an annual basis. The Greek economy has shrunk about 20% since 2008.

Unemployment is veering toward disaster. The overall rate of 21% in December, announced Thursday, was horrid enough, but youth unemployment rose to a shocking 51.1%, double the rate before the crisis. A record 1,033,507 people were unemployed, up 41% over prior year. Only 3,899,319 people had jobs—a mere 36.1% of a total population of 10.8 million!

No economy can service a gargantuan—and rapidly growing—mountain of debt when only 36.1% of its people contribute (by comparison, the US employment population ratio is 58.6%, down from 64.7% in 2000). Hence, another bout of red ink. The “cash deficit” at the end of 2011 hit €24.9 billion, 11.5% of GDP, far above the general budget deficit. Government-owned enterprises, such as the public healthcare sector, couldn’t pay their bills. Total owed their suppliers: €5.73 billion.

Yet, forcing down the deficit is one of the many conditions that the bailout Troika of EU, ECB, and IMF have imposed on Greece. And: “If the Greek people or the Greek political elite do not apply all of these conditions, they exclude themselves from the Eurozone,” said Luxembourg’s Finance Minister Luc Frieden. All of these conditions. Then he added the crucial words: “The impact on other countries now will be less important than a year ago.” Read…. Firewalls In Place, Markets ready: Greece Can Go To Heck.

Under pressure to cut its healthcare budget, the government reduced the prices that the industry can charge state-owned insurers. So wholesalers are selling their limited supply outside Greece, while out-of-money state-owned insurers delay payments to pharmacies and hospitals, which then can’t pay their wholesalers for the medications they do get. In return, wholesalers turn off the spigot. And the system is locking up.

Even Health Minister Andreas Loverdos conceded that there were shortages, but that they were limited to lower-priced medications. Of the 500 most common drugs, 243 have disappeared from the shelves, including antibiotics and drugs for treating diabetes and hypertension. The Panhellenic Association of Women with Breast Cancer, for example, received many complaints from patients who claim they weren’t treated due to lack of oncology drugs. And the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies are worried that Greece and some other countries might not be able to pay them at all.

A bright spot: tourism. In 2011, receipts rose by 9.5% over prior year as the Arab Spring had scared tourists away from destinations such as Egypt and Tunisia. In July, receipts jumped 14.4% and in October 15%. Alas, in December they declined 4.9%. And that reversal has now infected 2012. Tourist arrivals so far this year are down 10.7% in Athens and 6.7% for the country. Its last growth industry has hit the skids, too.

With unemployment climbing, production and consumption tanking, businesses shutting down, and tourism nose-diving, there is only one way for tax revenues: down. Budget deficits will be worse than promised. Greece’s debt—now largely to taxpayers of other countries—will continue to balloon. The standard of living of the vast majority of Greeks will get slammed, though the elite that are negotiating these deals will do just fine.

“We still don’t have a solution for Greece, so there will be a harder default to come,” predicted Charles Wyplosz, director of the Geneva-based International Center for Money and Banking Studies. Yet, in a bitter irony, Germany—the country where tax dodging is a national sport—has decided to send 160 employees of its Ministry of Finance to Athens to fix against all odds the tax collection system, a debacle that will endear the already reviled Germans even more to the Greeks. Read…. Final Spasm: Greco-Teutonic Wrestling.

The original article can be viewed at http://www.testosteronepit.com/home/2012/3/9/a-harder-default-to-come.html

PG
About The Author: RSOP is the co-founder & Executive Editor of Radical Survivalism Webzine, as well as a Family Preparedness Consultant with nearly five years of personal experience in the self-reliance game. RSOP's many preparedness roles within his own group include team mechanic, head of security, electrician, and project designer/engineer.

We Simply Can’t Have Too Much Of This

There are a lot of lists out there on items that you should have in your preps. These include items for barter and items to have on hand even if you don’t know how to use them, “just in case” someone else might know how to use them.  I think stocking items like this will tie up money and storage space that can be much better used for items that you can and will use in daily life or if the world goes to hell in a handbasket.

Having all sorts of great HAM radio gear costs a ton of money to buy and can take up quite a bit of space.  Being a licensed radio operator, I can assure you that just having the equipment will do you no good whatsoever.  There is a significant learning curve on using HAM to make contact with other operators.  Unless you are practicing these skill already, you won’t have the ability to use this gear when you need it.  I encourage everyone to become proficient in communications, but I’ll never recommend that someone buy radio gear “just in case”  For the price of a good transceiver and antenna you can put back a ton of beans.  Literally a TON of beans.

In my opinion, barter items are in the same boat.  If you overstock ammo with some trade in mind, that’s not too bad because you can use that ammo yourself if there is no need to barter.  I hear a lot of people that store liquor for barter, but they don’t drink at all.  I like a good drink, so I know exactly how expensive liquor can be.  Don’t get me wrong, if you drink it’s all good to store some of your favorite beverage.  It will store indefinitely and I can think of nothing better than facing the end of the world with a nice Bourbon to take the edge off.  However, I’m not going to tie up hundreds of dollars to store a luxury item before additional food or medical supplies.

Now that I have my rant out of the way, we’ll look at some items that you can feel confident about storing without worrying about overstocking.  Of course, I’m a proponent of “Store what you eat, eat what you store”, so rotating these items shouldn’t be a major problem.  You should only be limited by the amount of space you have available to you.  This list isn’t meant to be completely inclusive, so use your best judgment on what would serve you and your family.  Also, note that the list is not in any particular order, so don’t feel the need to add any items in order of appearance.

Food:

  • Water – You can never have too much, but it is bulky.  Have a way to purify water from outside sources!
  • Rice – White rice stores a really long time.  Wild and Brown rice have a much shorter life span.
  • Beans of all types
  • Canned vegetables
  • Canned meats – only store these if you are willing to eat them!
  • Pasta
  • Powdered milk – You’ll need to learn to cook with this, so practice now.
  • Home canned goods.
  • Dehydrated foods – These take up very little space and store for a long time.
  • Freeze dried foods – These are a little pricey, but can’t be beat for shelf life.
  • Dried eggs – Check out the OvaEasy brand.  They are amazing!
  • Sugar
  • Flour
  • Baking supplies
  • Powdered drink mixes
  • Coffee
  • MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) – Try before you stock up.  They are calorie dense, [and chock-full of artificial preservatives]. Some people despise the foods within.

Personal:

  • Soap – Bar and liquid
  • Toothpaste
  • Dental floss
  • Shampoo and Conditioner
  • Deodorant
  • Toilet paper
  • Feminine products
  • Razors
  • Shaving cream
  • Baby powder

Medical:

  • Band-Aids
  • Gauze
  • Medical tape
  • Q-Tips
  • Nitrile gloves
  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Saline solution
  • Antiseptic solutions
  • Hydrocortisone
  • Over the counter medications
  • Antibiotics

Supplies:

  • Batteries – all sizes and types used in your household
  • Duct tape
  • Sewing supplies
  • Cordage – stock a variety of sizes and types
  • Trash bags
  • Zip-Loc bags
  • Foil
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Ammunition – This is also a great hedge against inflation since the price only seems to go up!
  • Propane
  • Gasoline – Gas must be treated to increase shelf life, so plan for this if you have long term in mind
  • Kerosene or lamp oil
  • Seeds – Heirloom varieties ensure a supply of seeds from the garden year after year
  • Currency – None of us can ever have too much money!
  • Canning lids and rings

Like I said earlier, this isn’t a complete list, nor is it in any particular order.  Each person or family’s needs will vary a little bit, so each of us will need to evaluate what should be in our preps.  If I have any glaring oversights, please feel free to leave a comment so we can build this list up with useful items.

PG
About The Author: SML is the editor of the SurvivingModernLife.com blog site and a Contributing Columnist for Radical Survivalism Webzine.

Turkey to Attempt to Transfer Private Gold into Turkish Central Bank

From SilverDoctors (http://silverdoctors.blogspot.com)| On Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

No authoritarian gold confiscation will be attempted by Turkey- rather, the Turkish government would like to confiscate the private gold of its citizens….politely and voluntarily. The WSJ reports that Turkey is attempting to persuade Turks to transfer their personal gold holdings into the Turkish Central Bank for ‘safe keeping’. We’re not talking about an inconsequential stack here, as private gold holdings among Turks is estimated to be in the range of 5,000 tonnes!

From the WSJ: The Turkish government, facing a bloated current-account deficit that threatens to derail the country’s rapid expansion, is trying to persuade Turks to transfer their vast personal holdings of gold into the country’s banking system.

The push to tap into the individual gold reserves—the traditional form of savings here—is part of Ankara’s efforts to reduce a finance gap that is currently about 10% of gross domestic product.

Government officials say the banking regulator will soon publish a plan to boost incentives for consumers to park their household wealth inside the financial system.

How will the Turkish Central Bank attempt to convince Turks to voluntarily relinquish possession of their phyzz you might ask?

The Turkish Central Bank is offering to pay its citizens INTEREST on their gold holdings, and allow easy access to their phyzz through automated gold teller machines.

More From the WSJ: Government officials say the banking regulator will soon publish a plan to boost incentives for consumers to park their household wealth inside the financial system. Banking executives said they are considering new interest-yielding gold-deposit accounts that would allow savers to withdraw gold bars from specially designed automated teller machines.

The moves come after the central bank in November announced that lenders could hold up to 10% of their local-currency reserves in gold, in part to tempt Turkey’s gold hoarders to deposit their jewelry, coins or bullion at banks.

Economists say the policy shift is designed to change Turks’ historic preference for storing a high percentage of personal wealth outside the banking system as a way to protect themselves against the economic volatility that has periodically hit Turkey in recent decades.

The effort is one front in a broader battle to encourage more savings while curbing the ballooning current-account deficit—a pressure point many investors fear could upend a fast-growing economy, estimated to have expanded more than 8% last year. Turkey’s current-account gap has expanded faster than expected in recent weeks amid a surge in oil prices and data showing unexpectedly high consumer demand.

So apparently the Turkish Central Bank is willing to offer interest in order to hold possession of its citizens phyzz. Does that mean gold is no longer a barbaric relic?

The original article can be viewed at http://silverdoctors.blogspot.com/2012/03/turkey-to-attempt-to-transfer-private.html

PG
About The Author: RSOP is the co-founder & Executive Editor of Radical Survivalism Webzine, as well as a Family Preparedness Consultant with nearly five years of personal experience in the self-reliance game. RSOP's many preparedness roles within his own group include team mechanic, head of security, electrician, and project designer/engineer.

Gallery: Art In The News

By Jon McNaughton | mcnaughtonart.com

Via: http://www.theblaze.com/stories/painting-of-obama-burning-constitution-sparks-controversy-free-speech-offensive-or-both/

PG
About The Author: Erica M. is the Managing Editor of Radical Survivalism Magazine.

Preview: End Of The Road – How Money Became Worthless

End Of The Road is an upcoming documentary produced & directed by Tim Delmastro for 100th Monkey Films and is being distributed by Mercury Media.

From the creators of End Of The Road:

SYNOPSYS: In 2008 the world experienced one of the greatest financial turmoils in modern history. Markets around the world started crashing, stock prices plummeted, and major financial institutions, once thought to be invincible, started showing signs of collapse. Governments responded quickly, issuing massive bailouts and stimulus packages in an effort to keep the world economy afloat.

Although we’ve been told that these drastic measures prevented a total collapse of our system, a growing sense of unease fills the population. In the world of finance, indeed in all facets of modern life, cracks have started to appear.

What lies ahead as a result of these bold money printing measures? Was the financial crisis solved, or were the problems merely kicked down the road?

According to the producer, the movie was filmed in London, Tokyo, Sydney, Los Angeles, San Diego and Stamford CT. End of the Road features a vast range of commentators including billionaires, fund managers, philosophers, best-selling authors, radio hosts, government consultants and Members of Parliament.

This is a must-see documentary if you’re at all curious or concerned about a global financial collapse.

Look for a full review of the documentary here at Radical Survivalism Webzine as soon as the movie is made available!

PG
About The Author: RSOP is the co-founder & Executive Editor of Radical Survivalism Webzine, as well as a Family Preparedness Consultant with nearly five years of personal experience in the self-reliance game. RSOP's many preparedness roles within his own group include team mechanic, head of security, electrician, and project designer/engineer.

Doomsayer Investors Predict Coming Global Market Crash

Today, in an article entitled  “Money moves 5 doomsayers are making now” MarketWatch.com’s  Wallace Witkowski paints a dark & gloomy picture of the state of today’s stock market from the eyes of a growing group of “doomsayer” investors:

…The consensus among this group is that the rally is not sustainable — just another big party before an even bigger hangover. They see stock prices as being artificially inflated by Federal Reserve policies of quantitative easing and low interest rates, and that to put out the fires in Europe, the European Central Bank has gotten in on the act.

But, these strategists say, while these monetary drugs are palliative to markets, they require bigger doses for progressively dwindling results and will eventually fail.

Also, they believe the market’s valuation is stretched beyond what the fundamentals justify. Government policies are encouraging leveraged institutional investors and hedge funds to go long on stocks, they maintain, while cash-flush companies buy back outstanding shares from cash-strapped individual investors.

Individual investors, not incidentally, are engulfed by debt, the doomsayers point out. As they see it, consumers struggling to unwind debt are getting squeezed by higher food and energy costs. Accordingly, they’ll have even less disposable income to sustain corporate profits, the pessimists say. And one outcome these forecasters can all agree on is that the stage is being set for a big, ugly global stock-market crash…

Wallace’s article (see here) is the second MarketWatch.clom piece within a one-week period that asserts that a global stock market crash is looming on the horizion.

PG
About The Author: RSOP is the co-founder & Executive Editor of Radical Survivalism Webzine, as well as a Family Preparedness Consultant with nearly five years of personal experience in the self-reliance game. RSOP's many preparedness roles within his own group include team mechanic, head of security, electrician, and project designer/engineer.

Ruger Halts Firearms Sales Citing Overwhelming Backlog

Firearms manufacturer Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. has just announced that, due to such great success in the first quarter of 2012, the company is halting all new orders until May of 2012 at the earliest.

The company cites a backlog of unfulfilled orders as the reason for the halt in sales.

This comes on the heels of record breaking Black Friday and Christmas holiday sales for firearms in the U.S. in 2011.

Here is the text of the official press release:

March 21, 2012

SOUTHPORT, CT –Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. (NYSE-RGR), announced today that for the first quarter 2012, the Company has received orders for more than one million units. Therefore, the Company has temporarily suspended the acceptance of new orders.

Chief Executive Officer Michael O. Fifer made the following comments:

  • The Company’s Retailer Programs that were offered from January 1, 2012 through February 29, 2012 were very successful and generated significant orders from retailers to independent wholesale distributors for Ruger firearms.
  • Year-to-date, the independent wholesale distributors placed orders with the Company for more than one million Ruger firearms.
  • Despite the Company’s continuing successful efforts to increase production rates, the incoming order rate exceeds our capacity to rapidly fulfill these orders. Consequently, the Company has temporarily suspended the acceptance of new orders.
  • The Company expects to resume the normal acceptance of orders by the end of May 2012.

Gunalizer.com reports,”…distributors have placed orders for more than one million Ruger firearms which is great news for the Second Amendment because that means the right to keep and bear arms is alive and kicking…”

But realistically, is this really good news, or is it a troubling indicator of what is yet to come in this great nation of ours as we attempt to wrestle record national debt and nationwide governmental budget shortfalls?

PG
About The Author: RSOP is the co-founder & Executive Editor of Radical Survivalism Webzine, as well as a Family Preparedness Consultant with nearly five years of personal experience in the self-reliance game. RSOP's many preparedness roles within his own group include team mechanic, head of security, electrician, and project designer/engineer.

Bloomberg Bans Food Donations to Homeless Shelters

What follows is an article written about one of the most sinister and utterly depraved decisions made by a modern-day elected official that I have ever read.

By Horace Boothroyd III | From OpEdNews.com | On March 21st, 2012

Apparently going without is more nutritious than having food that is not nutritionally perfect. At least in Michael Bloomberg’s eyes it is. I will admit I will savor chips, cocktail weenies and sugary punches when I wandered the streets as I lacked cooking facilities to make proper food. I also dumpster-dived to supplement my intake as I found those food choices lacking for the carbo and protein burning rigors of sleeping outdoors and carrying everything I owned on my back. Homeless and hungry tip-Trader Joe’s has awesome noms from the dumpster.

The Bloomberg administration is now taking the term “food police” to new depths, blocking food donations to all government-run facilities that serve the city’s homeless.In conjunction with a mayoral task force and the Health Department, the Department of Homeless Services recently started enforcing new nutritional rules for food served at city shelters. Since DHS can’t assess the nutritional content of donated food, shelters have to turn away good Samaritans…

…They’ve brought freshly cooked, nutrient-rich surplus foods from synagogue events to homeless facilities in the neighborhood. (Disclosure: I know the food is so tasty because I’ve eaten it — I’m an OZ member.) The practice of donating such surplus food to homeless shelters is common among houses of worship in the city.

I wonder how many Jewish Grandmothers will wake up today to find out what they have fed their families for generations is too unhealthy to feed starving people?

As I pointed out in an unrelated comment earlier, follow the money. There has to be a more plausible reason for this cutting off food resources from the poor. Are they going to then claim the shelters must be closed because they can no longer feed them? Will they substitute variety with oatmeal three times a day? It is healthy, but exceedingly bland thus reducing the homeless from wanting to dine there. Are they hoping that the homeless will now go to restaurants in the city to purchase food?

I know of very few homeless that care if their food has too much fat, salt, calories or if they are eating the pyramids proportional values every day. They just want enough food to keep away the shakes from the lack of calories in their system.

This is where the homeless turn for a meal if they have a couple of bucks in their pocket and they need food:

They can’t cook anything so almost everything else is out. And if denying food donations negatively impact shelters, they will turn away people that do need help.

What this boils down to is criminalizing poverty.

What does this say about us as a society and our ability to elect representation? Are we really willing to embark on this path as a country? What would our forefathers think of us? Is there anyone out there who actually believes we won’t be held accountable as a society for allowing this to happen?

Perhaps this will help to clarify to anyone who is not aware, how caring for the truly needy is supposed to be handled:

Matthew 25:35 ESV: For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me…

Isaiah 58:10 ESV:  If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday.

Proverbs 28:27 ESV: Whoever gives to the poor will not want, but he who hides his eyes will get many a curse.

Luke 3:11 ESV:  And he answered them, “Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.”

Matthew 14:15-21 ESV:  Now when it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a desolate place, and the day is now over; send the crowds away to go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” But Jesus said, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” They said to him, “We have only five loaves here and two fish.” And he said, “Bring them here to me.” Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass, and taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing. Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. …

John 6:35 ESV:  Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.

Romans 12:20 ESV:  To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.”

Deuteronomy 8:1-20 ESV:  “The whole commandment that I command you today you shall be careful to do, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land that the Lord swore to give to your fathers. And you shall remember the whole way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not. And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. Your clothing did not wear out on you and your foot did not swell these forty years. Know then in your heart that, as a man disciplines his son, the Lord your God disciplines you. …

James 2:14-18 ESV:  What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.

John 6:55-59 ESV:  For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like the bread the fathers ate and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” Jesus said these things in the synagogue, as he taught at Capernaum.

John 6:47-50 ESV:  Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die.

Isaiah 53:1-12 ESV:  Who has believed what he has heard from us? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed. …

1 Timothy 1:1-20 ESV:  Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope, To Timothy, my true child in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. As I urged you when I was going to Macedonia, remain at Ephesus so that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine, nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith. The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. …

John 6:1-71 ESV:  After this Jesus went away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias. And a large crowd was following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing on the sick. Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples. Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand. Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a large crowd was coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?” …

Mark 16:19-20 ESV:  So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by accompanying signs.]]

2 Samuel 1:1-27 ESV:  After the death of Saul, when David had returned from striking down the Amalekites, David remained two days in Ziklag. And on the third day, behold, a man came from Saul’s camp, with his clothes torn and dirt on his head. And when he came to David, he fell to the ground and paid homage. David said to him, “Where do you come from?” And he said to him, “I have escaped from the camp of Israel.” And David said to him, “How did it go? Tell me.” And he answered, “The people fled from the battle, and also many of the people have fallen and are dead, and Saul and his son Jonathan are also dead.” Then David said to the young man who told him, “How do you know that Saul and his son Jonathan are dead?” …

PG
About The Author: RSOP is the co-founder & Executive Editor of Radical Survivalism Webzine, as well as a Family Preparedness Consultant with nearly five years of personal experience in the self-reliance game. RSOP's many preparedness roles within his own group include team mechanic, head of security, electrician, and project designer/engineer.

$5 Gas Prices Would Tank Consumer: Wilbur Ross

Wilbur Ross

By Polya Lesova | From MarketWatch.com | On March 19th, 2012

“What I am worried about is the following: gas prices have been high and the effect on the consumer has been hidden,” due to the mild winter, Ross told MarketWatch in an interview Monday at the New York Stock Exchange, on the sidelines of an event promoting investment in Ireland.

“If we hit $5 at the gas pump over the summer, that would have a profound effect on the consumer,” he said. Summer is the peak U.S. driving season.

Ross, who is chairman and CEO of WL Ross & Co. and is known for investing in the U.S. steel and textile industries, said that after rising gasoline prices, the second biggest risk to the U.S. economy is “whatever happens with Iran.” Read more on steel stocks.

The standoff between the west and Iran over the oil-producing country’s nuclear program has escalated in recent weeks, prompting speculation of a potential military conflict.

Ross also discussed natural-gas prices, saying he is “long term very bullish; short term, not so.” Investment funds managed by WL Ross own a 13.7% stake in natural-gas producer Exco Resources XCO -1.60% and Ross was recently appointed to its board.

As for the U.S. housing market, its health “varies enormously” by region, according to Ross. For instance, it is strong in Miami, but it is very weak in other parts of Florida. Read the latest on U.S. housing data.

Grim read from Greek CDS

What Greek CDS payouts say about market sentiment regarding Greece. Photo: AP.

“We are near the bottom, but we haven’t seen the bottom yet in terms of the aggregate,” Ross said about the housing market.

In Europe, where his firm has invested in Bank of Ireland and U.K. bank Northern Rock, Ross said that “we are looking at a lot of things in Ireland and elsewhere in Europe.”

For instance, Ross said that his firm has looked at the Spanish banking sector, which is undergoing a major restructuring, but that the strikes in Spain against the government’s austerity measures are giving him pause. “We’ve looked at a lot of the Spanish banks…We don’t have a conviction about it,” he said.

Ross credited the recent actions of the European Central Bank, which offered cheap loans to the continent’s struggling banks, with easing the sense of crisis in the euro zone.

“There will be pockets of problems…but Europe has made great strides forward,” Ross said. “The ECB acting like the Federal Reserve is a very major breakthrough.”

Without the ECB’s actions, “the whole world could be different,” he said, adding: “I am a big fan of Mario Draghi.”

Draghi is the Italian-born ECB president who took over the job late last year from Jean Claude-Trichet at a time of intense worries that the euro crisis could spread to Spain, Italy and other sizable economies.

This article was originally posted at http://www.marketwatch.com/story/5-gas-prices-would-tank-consumer-wilbur-ross-2012-03-19?siteid=YAHOOB

PG
About The Author: RSOP is the co-founder & Executive Editor of Radical Survivalism Webzine, as well as a Family Preparedness Consultant with nearly five years of personal experience in the self-reliance game. RSOP's many preparedness roles within his own group include team mechanic, head of security, electrician, and project designer/engineer.