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BenjaminIs Apr 23, 2018 7:31am | Post# 4761

Global stocks stumbled on Monday ahead of an avalanche of earnings in this season's busiest reporting week but the big story overnight was the spike in 10Y Yield which climbed as high as 2.9957%, the highest level since January 2014, and nearing the psychological 3% level which has triggered market spasms and more than one tantrum in the past. The move was catalyzed by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin saying over the weekend that he is planning a trip to China, an indication the US is considering a truce in its trade war with China.

Citi's technical team repeats the key highlights, pointing out that we're 1bp away from the psychological 3% level in the Treasury 10y yield. "The benchmark is trading at levels not seen since 2014, and we are continuing to make fresh YTD highs. The 10s now trade at 2.99% while the 2s10s trades on the 51 mark."
If we break 3%, major levels come in here that extend up to 3.05%: this is the level where we have the 2014 high which is also the long term double bottom neckline and the long term channel top:

Not everyone is convinced that the 10Y will soar once it blows through 3% (especially not in a world which both the IMF and IIF said has record debt): "Ultimately it’s hard to see a move sustained above 3 percent on the U.S. 10-year,” Mitul Kotecha, a strategist at TD Securities, told Bloomberg TV from Singapore. “Some of the dialing down in tensions, in risk aversion, may be having some impact there as well as expectations of continued strong growth in the U.S.”

Meanwhile, rising yields are capping other risk assets and the recent sell off in Treasuries is being closely eyed by other markets, and supporting a pretty aggressive USD bid and VIX is rallying.

Mostly as a result of rising yields and a stronger dollar, S&P 500 Index futures turned lower, tracking moves in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index which failed to capitalize on an unexpected beat in the April PMI prints, while earlier the MSCI Asia Pacific Index also started off the week in the red.

In global stocks, MSCI’s world index fell 0.25% after Asia shed 0.5% overnight and Europe then slipped 0.2% as results from Switzerland’s biggest bank, UBS, disappointed. S&P futures also pointed to a modestly lower open.

Meanwhile, traders are on edge because in addition to earnings - more than 180 companies in the S&P 500 are due to report results this week, including Amazon, Alphabet, Facebook, Microsoft, Boeing and Chevron - traders also received the latest round of advance economic surveys that should show in the coming days if economic softness in the first quarter was just a passing phase linked to wintery weather and the Lunar New Year holidays in Asia. Readings from Japan, France and Germany were all relatively reassuring. Japan’s PMI data firmed as output and domestic demand picked up, France got help from its services sector, while Germany came in above forecast despite weaker new orders numbers.

  1. EU Markit Manufacturing Flash PMI (Apr) 56.0 vs. Exp. 56.6 (Prev. 56.6)
  2. EU Markit Services Flash PMI (Apr) 55.0 vs. Exp. 54.8 (Prev. 54.9)
  3. EU Markit Comp Flash PMI (Apr) 55.2 vs. Exp. 54.9 (Prev. 55.2)

“It’s a good reading, it’s still encouraging,” said Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit, of the combined euro zone numbers, which he said pointed to quarterly GDP growth of 0.6 percent.

BenjaminIs Apr 24, 2018 9:09am | Post# 4762

Good Morning Forex Trader's

We have RISK ON for the moment. This can change in seconds.

Have a good Forex trading day !!!


BenjaminIs Apr 24, 2018 9:10am | Post# 4763

BenjaminIs Apr 24, 2018 9:18am | Post# 4764

Posted April 19th, 2018 at 10:31 AM (CST) by Jim Sinclair & filed under General Editorial.
My Dear Extended Family and Friends,

This is another instalment of the “Be Prepared” Series I started publishing a couple of years ago. As you know, these are suggestions for what to consider in preparing for the future, and specifically, what to consider for emergency preparedness. The information provided are not recommendations, but merely matters to take into consideration for yourself and your loved ones in an emergency. This isn’t a “how to” article, although some “how to” will be mentioned. This is an article to help you consider whether or not to keep some cash at home, regardless of how much, or how you may choose to do it. I would urge you to keep some cash at home for an emergency. The problem with emergencies is that they are not predictable and occur without much warning, if any. This article may help you consider if keeping cash at home is the sensible plan for your family.
All the very best to you and yours,

– Jim Sinclair

BE PREPARED – Keeping Cash at Home

About 1 in 4 Americans already keep some cash at home. The natural disasters and power outages of the past decade have revealed the wisdom of having some cash for an emergency. We can’t always predict when an emergency will arise, but we can prepare for certain problems and circumstances which are likely to arise in emergency situations. The issue of keeping cash at home has been one of much debate. This article addresses keeping some cash at home, and some considerations to keep in mind in deciding the issue for yourself.

We often write a great deal about keeping precious metals, specifically gold and silver. Yet, in a short term emergency, cash would be king. The kingly status of cash would, of course, depend on the length of the emergency, and on the continued confidence in the currency itself. By cash, we mean the paper currency itself, whether it be US or Canadian Dollars, Pounds, Yen, Euros, Renminbi, etc. For examples used in this article, we will refer to the US Dollar, and you may convert suggestions and amounts relative to your own financial system’s currency, just as you must convert suggestions to your individual and specific needs.

Having cash outside of the banking system is common sense in many ways. Look at a state like New Jersey following Hurricane Sandy. Banking came to an abrupt halt. Most financial transactions in the US are not accompanied by exchange of physical currency/cash. Transactions are digital, i.e. no physical cash is exchanged for items or services. Transactions usually occur on digital ledgers – most often, debit, credit or otherwise electronic transfers for exchanges. Many people in NJ were without power for a week or more. The power grid was down. Many NJ grocers and service providers would only accept payment in cash, and those few who accepted debit or credit limited the amount of transactions because the provider could not verify electronic payments or available credit without electricity. People had little or no cash and therefore little or no buying power. The people could not obtain their needs. The events following Hurricane Sandy were eye-opening in terms of preparedness, and many were unprepared. ATM machines don’t function without electricity. Anyone who might use an ATM to obtain cash, had no access to cash regardless of how much money they had in the bank. In addition to New Jersey, many banks were closed in New York and Connecticut. People who had cash could buy groceries and water. Water treatment plants weren’t operating because the power grid was down, so potable water was in short supply. Water could not be boiled if the electric range had no power. Cash was vital to obtain goods and services in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in NJ and many other areas.

We can’t know when an emergency will arise, but we can plan and prepare. Not all emergencies are storms, power outages, earthquakes and other natural disasters. There are other emergency situations to consider. Recently the stock markets have been extremely volatile. In the past two weeks we saw a couple of 700+ point drops in the stock market. These are actually 1000+ point swings. The decline and the subsequent upside movement is the swing. In the USA, we have a Plunge Protection Team (PPT) whose mandate it is to prevent the crash of the stock market. The problem is that the markets are not operated by humans any more. The stock markets are operated by computers. Humans are not as fast as computers and can’t compete with high frequency trading (HFT). The stock market will crash one day even if we can’t predict when that day will come. When that day comes, investors will panic. Investors have historically panicked and the next crash will not be different. When the markets crash, trading is halted and/or the markets are closed, at least temporarily. You may think you are safe from the activity in the stock markets if you don’t have money in stocks. That is a false belief. The problem here is that when investors panic in a market situation, the first place they will go is to their banks and financial institutions to get their money. A bank run is the the result of panic, not usually a result of the insolvency of the bank. Investor panic would initially be into cash, followed by precious metals in a prolonged financial emergency. Investors would want to access whatever cash they have or can get. Most investor cash is in the bank, savings, checking, etc. Sovereign nations do not allow runs on their banks. The government of the USA will not allow runs on US banks and financial institutions, and will automatically employ the 1933 Banking Act (Glass–Steagall Act) to impose what is commonly referred to as “Bank holidays.”

A banking holiday means financial institutions will close instantly and at least, temporarily. If you do not have cash at home for supplies, groceries, medicines, gasoline, etc. you may not be able to get cash or purchase your needs. Debit and credit will not work and electronic transactions will not process or clear during a banking holiday. You may be able to get some cash from an ATM because ATMs are designed to operate when banks are closed. The problem is that when the ATM is empty, it will not be restocked with cash if the bank is still closed. Having some cash at home is the safest bet, and most importantly – it will do no harm.
The 1933 Banking Act wasn’t just a result of the Stock Market crash of 1929. There were other factors, (Dust Bowl, etc.) but the runs on the banks were ultimately the reason for the Act. The difference between 1929 and today is that what took a couple of years to occur in the early 1930’s would occur in a heartbeat today thanks to instant electronic communications. It only takes a few panicked people to create a banking problem, and the information age would accelerate runs on the banks. Having some cash at home and outside of the banking system would seem to be a common sense, conservative plan. You decide.

These days, banks aren’t paying much in the way of interest. Even worse, a bank depositor is an unsecured creditor for the bank’s obligations due to the laws promulgated as a result of the crash of 2008. In 2008, the government bailed out the banking/financial service sector among others. Bailouts for the banking system are not possible for the government now, and bail-ins of depositors money will likely occur due to the laws put into place to protect the banks. This means a depositor gets their money last in the event of a bank failure. Those banks which were bailed out by government in 2008, will be the most likely to be bailed-in with depositors money in a future banking crisis. The FDIC/FSLIC will guarantee the money (with limits) for individual bank failures, but will not and cannot protect depositors against a systemic failure. A robber may rob you with a gun, but the stock market, banks and financial institutions could rob you with a computer – in a nanosecond.

We didn’t see banking runs in the 2008 financial crisis scenario, but there were, nevertheless, runs on banks in 2008. The bank runs that occurred in 2008 are known as “Silent Bank Runs.” In a silent bank run, a depositor does not go physically to the bank and withdraw physical cash. These silent runs are electronic transactions through wire and other electronic fund transfers. During the 2008 financial crisis, the failure of Washington Mutual triggered a silent bank run on Wachovia Bank. Wachovia lost $5 billion in withdrawals due to a silent run on the bank over the weekend. Wachovia would not have been able to open for business on Monday due to the resulting liquidity problem created by the silent bank run. Through FDIC involvement, Wachovia was acquired by Wells Fargo and a bank failure which resulted from a drop in stock price was averted. Had the scale of the financial crisis in 2008 been broader, such an intervention might not have been possible. Most depositors of Wachovia were unaware of what happened. Having cash outside of the bank could have helped if a worst case scenario had occurred, still depositors were unaware until after the fact.

Questions to ask yourself should you decide to keep some cash at home:

How much?
This is the next logical question if you decide to keep cash at home. $100 is probably enough for most families for a 3 day emergency fund. Perhaps keep a minimum of $100 for three days of needs. You can aim at $100 first and build up your fund from there. If you decide to keep cash at home, try to set aside $100 in cash as soon as possible. Think of this cash as insurance. There is a psychological component to adjust to in keeping cash at home, if you haven’t in the past. Be realistic, not paranoid. To develop emergency cash at home, pay yourself and your cash emergency fund first. Put your emergency money aside first and then keep it only for an emergency…not that big screen TV you liked, or the concert tickets you want. Forget about the money until it is actually needed for an emergency. The suggested amounts are aimed at an average family without significant extraordinary expenses, like expensive medical needs, etc. Whenever you receive income, consider putting 5%-10% at home, in cash faithfully until you reach your target. It will add up and soon you will have an emergency cash reserve. Everyone’s comfort zone is different and every targeted amount for an emergency fund will vary from one family to the next. There is no average, no norm, no minimum and no maximum. What you choose, want, and need are unique to you and your family. Create your own plan and work your plan.

Where to consider hiding/storing your cash at home is the next logical concern. Assess the risks of your location. Most people don’t have a robust alarm system, but there are plenty of places in the home you could consider securing some cash. Cash can be stolen; it can burn; it can also rot. A banker would have you believe that a bank is the only safe place to keep cash. You must do your own due diligence and exercise your own judgment. Where will your banker be during a bank holiday? The average thief spends about ten(10) minutes in the burgled home. Some hiding places are safer and therefore better than others. There are internet videos and articles which can help you choose places and receptacles for your cash, papers and valuables. This article is mainly about deciding whether or not to keep cash and home, and not about the place, manner and method you may choose. Security is probably the greatest concern of most people. Security cameras which connect to your mobile phone are cheap these days. Do you have a robust alarm system: signs which say, “Smile, you’re on Camera” even if you don’t, or a large black dog? A large black dog is the most significant deterrent to burglary and home invasion. Consider how safe your home is and/or how safe you can make it.
An experienced burglar in your home most often targets the master bedroom, bathroom and home office for valuables. Kids rooms are often undisturbed by an invader. There are many tactics and receptacles for cash which may not attract the interest of a burglar. For this reason, diversion safes are popular. That said, there are certain popular containers which may be inherently unsafe. In considering a storage container, anything which can easily be picked up and removed is probably not the highest choice. Diversion safes are “hide in plain sight” receptacles and should be carefully scrutinized before deciding to use them. These are usually small safes which are designed to look like something else. Diversion safes usually appear to be something common place, and in general they are easy to open to access the contents. Their safety is in their deceptive commonplace appearance. Among these are cut outs in books, fake electric outlets, fake hollow lettuce you keep in your refrigerator, phony canned goods, etc. Consider that these items are known to experienced burglars. Also consider accidental discard of your safe by others who do not know the content. There was a man who kept a significant savings in a diversion safe soup can. Upon his hospitalization, well meaning and unknowing relatives donated all of his old canned food to a food bank. Poof! and his savings was gone. Unlike the heart warming stories we love to read, his savings was not returned by a good and honest Samaritan. When a burglar ransacks your dwelling, they are fast, and they aren’t careful or kind to your property. Burglars instantly clear all of the books off of your shelves and dump dresser and other drawers in seconds. Book diversion safes don’t normally survive this treatment and the book reveals its contents. Cash taped to the underside of a draw is similarly revealed. Pictures hanging on the wall are pushed aside so that a wall safe might be revealed. In an emergency, you may not be the target of an experienced burglar, but in such an emergency, your robber may be looking for food, drugs or alcohol, more than valuables, so forget hiding your cash in fake vegetables, or wrapped in foil in the freezer with a label which says, “scraps”. Think long term for your safe place, and if you choose a diversion safe, make sure you won’t be the victim of an accidental discard of the safe. Consider at least two locations for cash/valuables. It is fairly well known that if you have an actual safe, that it is best to have two safes. One easily found safe for burglars to raid or steal and a second, well-hidden safe where the bulk of your assets in the home are kept. Safe deposit boxes have restrictions on their use, and can only be accessed when the bank is open. A bank holiday would put your cash and assets out of your immediate reach. Your assets in the home aren’t just cash. Your assets at home are also your precious metals, jewellery and collectibles. You should also consider your passports and other important documents when choosing safe places in the home.
Home fires are tragic, and you don’t need a natural disaster or a financial system emergency to experience one. In considering your storage location, remember that heat rises. The greater the heat, the faster and more furious the draft. Places under the ground level floor, or closer to ground level may be safer than a room on an upper floor of your home. Gold and silver can survive the average home fire, but cash and documents generally don’t. The average house fire burns at a temperature of about 1,100 degrees Fahrenheit – not enough to destroy your precious metals. There are numerous receptacles available to help shield cash, jewellery, a flash drive with your banking info and important personal/business data, and important paper documents from a fire. These have varying ranges of success in protecting your home-kept cash/valuables, and a lot depends on their location and the time and exposure in a fire. Remember that most of these receptacles are not fire “proof”. Most are fire “resistant/retardant”. You can look for videos online to review the tests on such receptacles and be guided accordingly in your selection. Aviation fire containment bags might be a good choice, but most of them are larger than what would be needed for cash and they are usually swamp hollow (safety) orange in color. They are designed to be easily seen and they stand out like bright neon if seen. Read or watch some reviews. There are incidences where the paper/document storage bag or receptacle was undamaged, but the contents were destroyed. Research “fireproof bag” to examine available choices, see tests and read reviews.
Burying cash and other paper documents can make them susceptible to damage by moisture and rot. Rot could occur in a potted house plant as easily as it would in the garden. The containment bags/receptacles mentioned above usually prevent moisture and many are waterproof. Choose a place and a container in which rot would not be an issue, or mitigate the possibility with a waterproof container. In locations in a wall or under base woodwork or molding, or kick plate under your kitchen cabinets – doubled zip lock freezer bags would be sufficient to prevent moisture.

Do a risk/benefit analysis for yourself to decide if keeping cash at home is right for you. Nothing is 100% safe, and that includes the banking system. Do an analysis for your specific circumstances. Many people justly feel that keeping money in the banking system is playing financial roulette due to the potential for bank holidays from a market failure, other financial crisis or natural disaster in addition to the ominous potential for bank bail-ins of depositors money. What you believe and what you do will depend entirely on your comfort level. If you choose to keep some cash at home select a variety of bill denominations. Large denomination bills like $100 may be hard to use in an emergency and making change could be an issue. Select a wide variety of currency denominations $1, $5, $10, $20, etc. There is also a possibility that in a financial crisis, in order to slow the velocity of money (the rate at which money changes hands for goods and services) that a government will remove or recall large denomination notes. This was done in India in the past year and a half.
As the preparedness expression goes, “it is better to be a months too early than a second too late”.
Imagine, what you would do right now, if your buying power was limited to the cash you had right at this moment. How would you do?

BenjaminIs Apr 24, 2018 9:20am | Post# 4765

BenjaminIs Apr 24, 2018 2:11pm | Post# 4766

I have closed all my positions and up plus 30% in less than 60 days. (57 Days - February 27, 2018 April 24, 2018.


BenjaminIs Apr 24, 2018 2:16pm | Post# 4767

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So after I started trading this FXCM UK Forex $50,000.00 US Funds Demo Account on February 27, 2018 which is 57 days ago and as you can ALL see my balance is over $65,000.00 US Dollars.

That is over 30% and is my goal of at least 15% monthly.


BenjaminIs Apr 25, 2018 6:54am | Post# 4768

Peak-Bubble for Junk Bonds, Says WeWork Bond Sale

by Wolf Richter • Apr 24, 2018 •

When is it gonna pop?
The junk-bond market is still in total bubble bloom, simply ignoring the bloodletting in the Treasury market that pushed the 10-year yield to 3%, finally for the first time in over four years. But investors are lusting after higher yields, and companies are taking advantage of them while they still can, which makes sense, particularly if it’s a unicorn with long-term lease obligations out the wazoo, whose net loss – which doubled to nearly $1 billion – is bigger than its revenues.
A company like this needs a lot of cash to burn. After junk-rated Netflix’s lightning-fast “drive-by” bond sale of $1.9 billion on Monday, it’s now junk-rated WeWork’s turn with its own $500 million bond sale that may well be upsized by a large amount in face of ravenous investor demand.

WeWork essentially makes little ones out of big ones. It leases large office spaces on long terms, dolls them up in some creative way, and rents them out in small portions, down to the size of a desk, to companies or individuals needing a quick office setup for shorter periods of time. Many of its customers are themselves startups – on the time-honored circular principle of VC-funded startups feeding VC-funded startups.

The prospectus for the bond offering, obtained by Alphaville and the FT, points out that revenues jumped by 103% in 2017 from a year earlier, to $886 million, and that total expenses jumped 118% to $1.82 billion. Based on this well-established unicorn strategy, the net loss in 2017 jumped by 117% year-over-year to $933 million.

In other words, the more the company grows, the more it loses. But don’t even look at the losses. They don’t matter. It’s just other people’s money. The key metric to watch is something entirely different: “desks.”

WeWork claims that the number of desks has surged from 44,000 on December 1, 2015, to a whopping 251,000 on March 1, 2018. And there’s another metric: desk “occupancy,” which over the same period has increased from 76% in 2016 to 80%.

So there is demand for desks at this price, just like there is demand for Ubers at their price, but these are not survivable prices. Investors have to subsidize them.

WeWork can nevertheless hold out for a little while. It still has about $2 billion in cash left over from the nearly $7 billion it raised from investors over the years. This includes the $4.4 billion that junk-rated SoftBank with its Vision Fund invested last August. That deal pushed WeWork’s “valuation” to $20 billion.

So now it’s time to raise more cash. Among the investment banks recruited to make this work are J.P. Morgan, BofAML, Citi, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, Morgan Stanley, UBS, and Wells Fargo. The talk is $500 million of seven-year unsecured notes at 7.75–8.00%. Strong investor demand could push the total amount of bonds sold much higher, much like Netflix had upped its bond sale on Monday from $1.5 billion to $1.9 billion.

The book for the WeWork bond deal will close on Wednesday, and pricing is also expected during that time, moved up from Thursday, a source told S&P Global’s LCD. S&P rates the bonds themselves four notches into junk (B+) and the company five notches into junk (B).

Fitch, which rates the bonds three notches into junk (BB-), pointed out that WeWork already has existing debt consisting of a $650 million revolving credit facility and $500 million letter of credit reimbursement facility.

WeWork also has $5 billion in lease payments due over the next five years, not including any additional leases it will sign during its global expansion drive:

  1. 2018: $706 million
  2. 2019: $984 million
  3. 2020: $1.1 billion
  4. 2021: $1.1 billion
  5. 2022: $1.1 billion

Another $13.2 billion in lease payments come due in the years after that 2022, according to Bloomberg. That’s some real money that a money-losing company must somehow obtain.

These are 10-year or 20-year office leases. They’re a fixed expense that doesn’t decline when business drops off. As such, they pose a special risk: WeWork’s customers rent their space on much shorter terms, even month-to-month. When things get tough, they can just ride off into the sunset after their short-term leases expire, leaving WeWork to sit on expensive and vacant office space with stale craft brew on tap at the lounge.

Startup investors willingly take huge risks. They assume that most of their investments will fail. But they hope that a few mega-winners will make it all worthwhile. With these mega-winners, they hope for an upside that is measured in multiples, such as 10x or more.

Investors in junk bonds of such cash-burning unicorns take only slightly less risk than late-stage equity investors, but have zeroupside. All they get is the yield for however long the company manages to pay the coupon, and if they’re lucky, they get their money back when the bonds mature. That’s the best-case scenario. There is no upside.

But these days, with the junk bond bubble still red-hot, an 7.75% yield sounds like a great deal, no matter what the risks, the cash burn, and the losses, especially if the only metric that really counts – desks – has quintupled over the past two years.

Wow, that was fast and huge. This junk-bond market is in peak-bubble mode. Read… Junk-rated Netflix Borrows $1.9 Bn, Most Ever, in “Drive-By” Bond Issue, to Burn $3-$4 Bn in 2018, Debt Soars to $8.4 billion

COMMENTS FROM BENJAMINIS: This now is the latest INSANITY as our Financial Structures head for COMPLETE COLLAPSE. You now can have further PROOF of the Trend which is down.

BenjaminIs Apr 26, 2018 5:54am | Post# 4769

Good Morning

As President Bill Clinton once said.


  1. Three-quarters around the world say their country’s society is divided – and the majority think their country is now more divided than it was 10 years ago, especially in Europe
  2. Differences in political views are seen as the greatest cause of tension, followed by differences between rich and poor
  3. However, despite these divisions, the majority of people in most countries agree that people across the world have more things in common than things that make them different

I travel the entire world. We have clients on every continent. I see the trends unfolding everywhere and what I look for are the PATTERNS, not the personalities. Trump would NOT have been elected if people were not turning against the establishment. They are sick and tired of being lied to and they are not stupid enough to think that the promises made by government will actually be fulfilled. If you believe in government will be there to hold your hand and smite down the rich to fill your pockets before their own, I feel very sorry for you because you will be incapable of surviving for you still think that is government’s job. Good luck with that one!

It is this battle that will dictate the markets. This is not just politics – it is economics!
Categories: Politics

BenjaminIs Apr 26, 2018 8:42am | Post# 4770

BenjaminIs Apr 26, 2018 4:02pm | Post# 4771

BenjaminIs Apr 28, 2018 8:12am | Post# 4772



BenjaminIs Apr 28, 2018 10:40pm | Post# 4773

BenjaminIs Apr 28, 2018 10:44pm | Post# 4774

Do you have the nagging sense that our empire is in decline?

If so, don’t be embarrassed by it. Historically speaking, we’re in very good company. Far larger and longer-lived empires than ours have come and gone over the millennia.

This was hit home for me on a recent trip. I scored a major “dad win” by taking my youngest daughter, Grace, to England for her 18th birthday (we live in Massachusetts, USA).

All on her own, Grace developed an abiding love of mythology at a very young age: Greek, Roman, Norse, Native American, Aztec…you name it. She’s read the Iliad four times, a different version each time, as each has the biases of the translator subtly woven throughout.

Naturally, her dream mini-vacation involved going to the British Museum where the Rosetta stone lies, along with Viking horde treasures and every possible Roman, Greek and Egyptian artifact one could hope to see.

The British empire came of age at the perfect time to muscle in and “retrieve” the cultural treasures of many different countries. Such are the spoils of empire.

Who knows, perhaps one day we’ll see sliced off segments of the Palace of Westminster on display in Cairo’s main square. History ebbs and it flows. Back and forth. Victors and losers swapping places over and over again.

If the British Museum reveals anything it’s just that. The long sweep of human history shows us that the more things change, the more things stay the same.

The treasures on display at the British Museum also show us that every race and culture has revered beauty. The most intricate and delicate and objectively beautiful jewelry and adornments were worn by kings and queens, priestesses, nobles, and warlords alike.

Sutton Hoo
Consider the find of the Sutton Hoo burial mound. An eminently important and revered individual (possibly Raedwald) was buried sometime around the year 740, with an enormous ship 89 feet in length serving as his burial chamber.

Just imagine how many people it took to dig a hole in the ground that held the ship to its gunnels, and then bring forward enough earth to cover the whole affair in a gigantic mound of earth more than ten feet high in the middle. As a gardener, I can tell you that dirt is heavy stuff that really resists being moved by hand. Hundreds of people must have labored for a very long time to create this burial mound.

Whoever this person was, he was revered enough to be buried with an astonishing collection of wealth. And, perhaps more amazingly, none of it was looted.

Here’s the sword belt, made of an intricate lattice of pure gold and polished garnet:

Isn’t that a beautiful work of art?
Again, nobody came back and looted this afterwards. Maybe they killed the workers who built the gravesite, but surely folks still knew a very rich ruler had been buried in the area. And yet nobody looted the site. To me, it’s hard not see that as a sign of how much the man buried there was respected by his kinsmen.

Here’s a close up of the dragons head from that sword belt:

If you’ve ever worked with garnet, you know just how devilishly hard it is (a 7.5 on a scale of 10) and how much work it must have taken to polish up even one of those tiny panels, let alone all of them, and into such careful shapes.

Similarly, these shoulder clasps meant to secure an article of clothing (like a cape or cloak) are also magnificent:

Again, the detail and workmanship are impressive. But what struck me most was how these works of art are so … beautiful. And from a time of early medieval history referred to ‘the dark ages’ and popularly described as a period of bleak survival.

If they were, somebody still had the resources to churn out works of extraordinary precision and beauty. That much is clear.

The rest of the artifacts are similarly extraordinary — especially the helmet, shields, and coinage. Just take a look at this purse lid:

Taken together, I see a culture where reverence mattered. Sutton Hoo’s buried leader was revered enough that his tomb was not looted afterwards, promptly or otherwise. The items buried display a reverence for his authority as well as for beauty.

These burial artifacts were by no means trivial items. Each one could have supported a family for many generations at a time when resources were scarce, only obtainable through the hard labor of many.

And yet they were left untouched. Who among today’s leaders would be honored enough as a leader that their tomb would not be looted for massive personal gain? Where can you see that our culture reveres beauty to the same degree, being willing to place so much collective effort into its creation?

The Taranto Scepter
Everywhere else in the British Museum were similar displays of honoring the feminine — the women and the goddesses of the world. Many of the Egyptian displays caught my eye, as did the Greek, but one piece stood out so much that I came back to it three times, so amazed was I by the beauty of it and the message I took from it.

It came from “The Tomb of the Taranto Priestess” and dated from 350 – 340 BC. Since kings did not rule Taranto during that period, it is believed to have been the property of a priestess.
First, her scepter is truly extraordinary:

The entire scepter is perhaps 18 inches in length and capped in extraordinary gold adornment. But what really caught my eye is the gold mesh you see running down the shaft (lost to history, thought to have been bone?). It consists of extremely fine gold wire wrapped in even finer gold wire, and is woven into a meshwork of little diamond shapes with tiny circles at their corners. Each of these circles contained a tiny gem or enameled treasure of some sort (most, again, lost to history).

Here’s a close up:

The gold wire used is finer than hair. This scepter speaks of power and delicacy in equal balance, one reinforcing the other. Only the lightest of touch could hold the scepter without breaking strands of gold that fine. That made me think of the woman who wielded it with such a delicate touch.

Again, this person was revered to such an extent that an object of such immense value and beauty was entombed with her, and not robbed at a later time by someone who knew what the tomb contained.

Power, honor, reverence, and beauty. All attributes that show up again and again all throughout history.

The entire British Museum is packed to the rafters with such expressions. I came away both elated to have gotten back in touch with these better expressions of humanity, but also saddened because I can’t locate their equivalent in today’s world.

One missing element from today? Reverence for the goddess, for the feminine. I cannot think of a single western homage paid to the feminine. No temples to the goddesses and no elevation of feminine attributes.

This is important to note, not because we wish to bash the masculine, but because anything out of balance requires rebalancing. In fact, re-elevating the feminine will actually bring honor and meaning back to the masculine.

Our world is caught up entirely in money, and power, and wars, and force. We revere power over rather than power within.
So the questions I’d like to leave you with are these.


  1. Where do you have beauty in your life? Do you consciously manifest it?
  2. What do you revere?
  3. How honorable are you?
  4. Do you instill a sense of loyalty in those around you? Who would rob your grave and how quickly after you passed?
  5. Who do you honor, and how? Also, why?
  6. How important is it for you to be surrounded by people you can trust, and whose opinions you trust?
  7. Where and how do you respect, honor and encourage the feminine in yourself (whether you are male or female), in others, and especially in nature?

Finally, are you ready for the massive changes that are coming?

Our Empire Of Debt
The British museum is a testament to the fact that empires have been rising and falling for thousands of years. The common elements of every empire include its own appreciation for works of extreme beauty and human craftsmanship, along with strict hierarchy. They all expressed a strong connection to the divine, however they felt it, each with their own mythologies and attendant religions to make sense of it all…and help cement the rulers place(s) at the top, of course.

Each empire had a mythology by which it self-organized and people bought into that belief system. Looking back they seem like such obvious mental traps it’s easy to scoff and wonder how people could have been so blinkered.

Here’s the thing about hierarchical societies in every era…in every single one there were always a very few haves and a whole lot of have nots. How were the masses kept in line? Why did the vast bulk of humanity in every empire live in relative poverty and misery, never lifting a finger in revolt except under very rare circumstances?

The connection to yourself is this; each society has a set of reasons in place that explain to the people on the lower levels why they belong there. In some prior cultures the explanation was that authority was invested the royal blood line. You either had it or you didn’t.

In other societies, the rulers were said to be closer to the gods, if not descended directly from them. To go against the rulers meant you were assaulting or dishonoring the very gods you prayed to and on which you utterly depended.
While the mythologies in place “explaining” the hierarchy differed, the results did not. They always resulted in a few at the top and an expanding pyramid of population and entitlement laid out below them.

The middle management in this story, those that had relative advantage were the necessary keepers of the systems in each culture and each system. They had more to lose than to gain through revolt and so they stayed true to the system through their entire lives.

The people on the very bottom, despite having a vast numerical advantage, had the limiting belief that they had no power. So revolts almost never happened. Systems of hierarchy persisted until the empire had run its course, almost always failing because it ran out of resources to maintain itself and its growing complexity.

The lessons of history are absolute; nothing lasts. Everything changes, especially who’s in charge.

So what are our explanations today that keep us all in line? What keeps us from revolt? To what do we bow our daily collective heads in fealty to?

The answer is Money.

What we call “money” today was a wicked genius invention that popped up right around the same moment in history when humans were working out other keen, life-altering inventions such as clocks, and printing presses.

“None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free.”

~ Goethe
A person in debt is a person controlled. But they think it was their own decision. Hence the Goethe quote above. A nation in debt is a nation controlled. The debt trap is especially insidious, and it relies on the illusion of free will combined with the full weight of ‘the law.’

By attaching a stated rate of interest to a loan, a person’s future output was yours if you were the holder of that note. What a stroke of pure (evil) genius! Set the rate high enough and the term long enough and you can get all of your money paid back plus another 100% of that amount or more, every bit of which was actually the future productive output (i.e. time) of the borrower.

Conjure up a promissory note out of thin air and then you get to skim the true productive output of that person, regardless of outcome. Whether they succeeded or failed in the endeavor, you still won. If they paid you back, the win was obvious. If they failed you often had collateral on the back end protecting your “investment.” No matter what, you won.
And even if that wasn’t the case? Well, you lost the amount of effort on your end that it took to draft up the note. In other words, nothing really.

I’ve yet to find this laid out in any museum even though the introduction of debt-based money was arguably the most course-altering invention of the past thousand years. It transformed millions of human slaves kept in check by threat of power and physical coercion (if not death) into billions of humans perfectly willing to hand over their labor to a very few elites at the top who did little to no work themselves.

Before this transformative invention money was always a very concrete thing – you either had a stash of silver or gold or you didn’t. Afterwards money became abstract. You could loan someone something you never had, written on a slip of paper, and the belief invested in that idea was sufficient to enslave that person until that debt was repaid. “Your” money might never be seen or handled by you at all, which is true for most people today. It exists as digits on a statement or computer screen. Yours, but utterly intangible. A powerful force, never actually seen or handled. In other words, a shared idea. A mythology imbued with tremendous power by a culture that served to enforce the current system of hierarchy.

There is a vast empire now spanning the globe but the mystery of it all is that it’s not based on or in any one country. It is an empire of debt. Those issuing the debt are harvesting the output of entire nations, no different in final effect than the Romans enforcing the practice of tithing from extant countries in AD 100.

We now live in a world of, by and for bankers, and other financial elites. Where once it was your royal lineage, or direct connection to the sun god Ra that assured your place at the top, today it’s your proximity to the temples of money.
But what happens when the economic pie is no longer expanding, yet the keepers of the system seem unable to turn off their own desires to grab more, more and yet more from that same pie?

That is where we find ourselves today. The economic oxygen is being sucked from the middle and lower classes and the social and political pressures are building.

Meanwhile more and more claims (currency and debts) are being piled on top of this stagnant economic pie thereby increasing the pressure on a creaking system. Someday that all gives way rather spectacularly and ends very badly. History says it ends with a lot of social anarchy and quite possibly another world war.

In Part 2: What History Tells Us Will Come Next, we provide a detailed analysis of how late-stage empires always collapse as the elites exhaust the resources of the masses. We are seeing clear signs of that today.

As we progress from here, the disparity between the haves and have-nots is only going to intensify, with debt (and our debt-based money system) being used as the primary weapon for controlling an increasingly dispossessed public.

Are you prepared?
Click here to read Part 2 of this report (free executive summary, enrollment required for full access)

BenjaminIs Apr 28, 2018 11:10pm | Post# 4775

When the Empire of Debt can no longer find stooge countries to pillage with contracts they have to begin preying on their own local populations, which goes a long way towards explaining the actions of the Federal Reserve over the prior 20 years, as well as the student debt chart above. As well it explains the ECB vacuuming out the last scraps of wealth from Greece, and what’s about to happen to Italy.
Economic Hitmen

Under the global empire of debt, loans are issued and if the country borrowing can pay that back, awesome, but if not then the most productive assets of that country are seized as they are almost always the collateral in the story.

Greece has recently lost its ports and utilities to foreign banks and bankers, a system of financial tribute and extraction performed as neatly as was laid out by John Perkins in his book Confessions of an Economic Hitman.

Homeowners who cannot pay lose homes, farmers lose farms, and drivers lose their cars. And the people, countries and entities that don’t lose their possessions? That simply means they worked hard enough to pay off the loan by doing or creating something of value.

It’s a ridiculously powerful system of money and it deserves a museum all its own because of just how insidiously it works. Practically none of the affected parties realize that when they take out a loan what they’ve actually done is assigned their productive output to the banks in the form of interest payments, or to the banks protection agent, the government, in the form of taxes.

A critical component of this debt-money system for you to be aware of is...

BenjaminIs Apr 29, 2018 9:19am | Post# 4776

Good Morning

BenjaminIs Apr 29, 2018 9:21am | Post# 4777

It is TRUE sadly !!!

BenjaminIs Apr 29, 2018 9:06pm | Post# 4778

BenjaminIs Apr 29, 2018 9:14pm | Post# 4779

BenjaminIs Apr 30, 2018 6:01pm | Post# 4780


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