Worried About $6 gas? Try $8

With oil prices remaining stubbornly above the $100 per barrel mark for WTIC, calls for $6 gas in the U.S. as a consequence of an attack on Iran may turn out to be a rather conservative, maybe even a low-ball estimate.

According to Bloomberg, the average price paid at the pump has recently jumped above $4, again, with the charts suggesting a breakout to test the all-time high of $4.50 set in May 2011 is pennies away.  And the month of March still has more than a week left. Sign-up for my 100% FREE Alerts

“Bloomberg’s U.S. Average Gasoline price index, we are now back above $4 per gallon for the first time since May 2011,” Zerohedge.com reported.  “We also note that the average price for a gallon of gas across the EU is inching ever closer to the $10 mark.”

Loose monetary policies among G-8 member nations, Peak Oil, and Persian Gulf tension—which have now begun escalating to the highest threat of military action since the 1980-88 Iran/Iraq War—have conspired to lift gas prices to levels which may appear high, today.   But $105 WTIC and $4 gasoline may, in retrospect, turn to fading memories of the ‘good old days’ some economists speculate.

In late February, economist, author and money manager Stephen Leeb told King World News he expects a record gas price this summer.  The author of Red Alert said the oil market has entered the perfect storm.

“March is now on the way, and we are seeing very high prices for gasoline at the pump,” Leeb told KWN in a Feb. 22 interview.  “ . . . we are continuing to see higher prices for gasoline and it may even hit record highs.  In fact, I think they will hit record highs and we will see a minimum of $6 per gallon gasoline in the United States this summer.”

Leeb cites China’s decision to loosen monetary policy as well as tight oil supplies in the oil patch as the basis for his expectations.

But a military conflict with Iran could throw Leeb’s $6 price target far off the mark, as approximately 17 percent of the world’s oil supply could be shut out for, not a matter of weeks as the Pentagon has estimated, but months, according to Caitlin Talmadge, fellow at the John M. Olin Institute for Strategic Studies at Harvard University.

Talmadge stated in her article, entitled, Closing Time: Assessing the Iranian Threat to the Strait of Hormuz, Iran possess the capabilities of mining the Strait of Hormuz with nearly 1,000 mines or more, as well as achieving the capacity to attack U.S. mine countermeasure (MCM) ships with land-based, anti-ship cruise missiles (ASCAMs).

According to Talmadge, before the U.S. could embark on a dangerous mine-clearing mission, it first must conduct an aerial “hunt” for Iran’s ASCAMs, a hunt which “could add days, weeks, or even months” in addition to the time needed to clear the Strait.

“Iran possesses a larger stockpile of missiles and mines ten times as powerful as those used in the tanker wars of the 1980s, the last period of sustained naval conflict in the gulf,” she explained.  “If Iran managed to lay even a relatively small number of these mines in the strait, the United States certainly would act to clear the area. But the experience of past mine-warfare campaigns suggests that it could take many weeks, even months, to restore the full flow of commerce, and more time still for the oil markets to be convinced that stability had returned.”

CEO of Sprott Assett Management USA Rick Rule told KWN on Tuesday that he believes an attack on Iran could take oil to levels beyond $150 per barrel WTIC, much beyond.  According to Rule, “there is virtually no limit to the upside for oil prices. The oil price could easily double.”

Moreover, oil trading above $200 per barrel could easily take gasoline to $8 in the U.S., as a panic to secure already-tight global supplies could shock the American people into another significant downturn in the U.S. economy, more Fed monetary stimulus in response to the crisis, as well as technical support at much higher oil prices, irrespective of the eventual opening of the Strait of Hormuz possibly months into the future.

Insurers of carriers of crude may take an additional time period before becoming comfortable writing insurance on the oil tankers within the region.

In that grim scenario, Leeb said in his Feb. 22 KWN interview, “This could turn into really tough times.”

And added, “Because the economy will be struggling in that environment, we could see QE3 in the midst of already record high gasoline prices.  Now that will be wildly inflationary.” Sign-up for my 100% FREE Alerts

Strike on Iran, a Green Light from Washington

Reports of the USS Enterprise aircraft carrier battle group setting course to join battle groups USS Lincoln and Vinson in the Arabian Sea and today’s back-to-back announcements regarding the complete termination of Iran’s financial transactions through SWIFT, as well as the announced joint agreement between the U.S. and the UK to release strategic oil reserves into the oil market spells war with Iran. Sign-up for my 100% FREE Alerts

After 30 years of various sanctions and hostile rhetoric aimed at Iran, for the U.S. to turn back now, it would have to admit defeat, thus sending a powerful signal that U.S. dollar hegemony is imminently unraveling.  Allowing Iran to make the rules concerning payment for its oil will surely embolden other oil producers to follow in step—a step other OPEC members would gladly take if it meant ridding themselves of the hopelessly inadequate U.S. dollar as recompense.

William R. Clark, author of Petrodollar Warfare: Oil, Iraq and the Future of the Dollar, cites an anonymous source during research for his book.  In his essay of 2003, titled, Revisited — The Real Reasons for the Upcoming War With Iraq: A Macroeconomic and Geostrategic Analysis of the Unspoken Truth, Clark penned:

The Federal Reserve’s greatest nightmare is that OPEC will switch its international transactions from a dollar standard to a euro standard. Iraq actually made this switch in Nov. 2000 (when the euro was worth around 82 cents), and has actually made off like a bandit considering the dollar’s steady depreciation against the euro. (Note: the dollar declined 17% against the euro in 2002.)

The real reason the Bush administration wants a puppet government in Iraq — or more importantly, the reason why the corporate-military-industrial network conglomerate wants a puppet government in Iraq — is so that it will revert back to a dollar standard and stay that way. (While also hoping to veto any wider OPEC momentum towards the euro, especially from Iran — the 2nd largest OPEC producer who is actively discussing a switch to euros for its oil exports).

Iran has stopped discussing accepting euros for its oil, but has instead leapfrogged to a more egregious policy of now accepting yen, rials, rubles, renminbi and gold in exchange for its crude.  In fact, the Iranians went a step further in January, as to intentionally insult the U.S., by making the announcement that included a gratuitous statement that the policy change in Tehran was suggested by the Russians.

Within days of the shocking Iranian communique, Russia Today reported that India had agreed to pay with gold for Iranian oil.  Then, reports of Japan, Korean and China discussing or making similar arrangements began hitting the news wires.

“India has reportedly agreed to pay Tehran in gold for the oil it buys, in a move aimed at protecting Delhi from U.S.-sanctions targeting countries who trade with Iran,” RT reported.  “China, another buyer of Iranian oil, may follow Delhi’s lead.”

Moreover, Russia and China followed through with vetoes against Iranian sanction at the United Nations Security Council vote, which elicited a strong response from U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice.  Japan and other nations also expressed opposition to U.S. aggression towards Iran now that oil supplies are targeted.

As to the timetable for an Iranian attack, it’s been suggested that domestic politics have played a role within the Obama administration to, not only enhance his re-election chances, but to aid the Federal Reserve in its dilemma, as well.

Further so-called ‘quantitative easing’ and the ramifications of inflation has not gone unnoticed by the American people, aided by the popularity of presidential candidate as well as the most threatening opponent of the Fed, Congressman Ron Paul of Texas.  Paul has also gained support from voters with his message of returning American troops and closing U.S. military bases worldwide.

“The U.S. government will likely not raise on this busted flush because Ron Paul’s success in the primaries, despite the concerted efforts of the corporate media, the GOP, and Israel, has sent a clear and unambiguous message to the status quo that starting yet another war for Israel is going to cost incumbents their jobs come November,” influential blogger Michael Rivera of WhatReallyHappned.com wrote in a Jan. 16 post.
Now, two months later, that the Republican primaries have moved past Super Tuesday, with establishment candidate Mitt Romney of Massachusetts garnering a significant lead in the delegate count, conjuring up a scapegoat for the expected rise in oil prices following an attack on Iran serves as a neat and direct connection between a closing of the Straits of Hormuz and soaring gas prices.

A geopolitical event of that magnitude will provide a narrative for the Fed, whose  remarkably low interest rates though direct purchases of U.S. Treasuries must continue.  Otherwise, higher interest payments on $15 trillion of U.S. debt will blow out an already massive budget deficit.  The dollar would fall.  But a shock-and-awe war with Iran, a proxy war with Russia and China, the dollar may actually gain strength in a timeout from the risk-on trade and flight out of the U.S. dollar.

Following last week’s FOMC meeting and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke Congressional mildly hawkish testimony, not surprisingly, the interest rate on the U.S. 10-year Treasury has suddenly shot up 30 basis points within three days, smashing through key technical levels and rising rapidly.  Traders of sovereign paper wonder who will buy the new U.S. debt issuance if the Fed doesn’t intervene with more primary dealer direct purchases, a point famously made last year by PIMCO’s Bill Gross.

“U.S. Treasuries extended their rout on Thursday, with the 10-year yield hitting a fresh 4 1/2 month high . . . ,” Reuters reported on Thursday.  “The 10-year yield has broken above key technical level of 200-day moving average, at 2.25 percent on Thursday, for the first time since July.”  Each percentage point of U.S. Treasury interest adds approximately $150 billion to the U.S. budget deficit—a deficit that has already been projected to shrink for fiscal 2013.

With Ron Paul marginalized, for now; a Fed that desperately needs an excuse for further monetary easing (Bernanke will say that high oil prices threatens the alleged recovery of the U.S. economy); a diversion from the connection between easy money and higher energy prices; and the political support an incumbent president typically receives during a ‘justifiable’ war against a ‘rogue’ nation, the White House will most likely strike Iran and gamble on a jump start to WWIII. Sign-up for my 100% FREE Alerts

Gerald Celente: Nightmare “Schemed” to Cover Up America Collapse

Trends Research Institute founder Gerald Celente predicts that a war with Iran is scheduled to cover up the next leg down to the financial collapse of the U.S. and political upheaval a collapse engenders.

“I’ve been in this business now since 1980, and I’m always marveled at the schemes undreamed of that they come up with,” Celente told GoldSeek Radio host Chris Waltzek.  “So, when things should collapse, they often don’t, because they come up with another scheme.  So, here’s the scheme undreamed of that I believe is going to be America’s worst nightmare, and that’s war with Iran. Sign-up for my 100% FREE Alerts

“The drums keep beating; the chick-hawks keep screeching; and America and Israel keep getting closer to a conflict with Iran.  And it’s all tied in with Syria as well,” Celente added, alluding to a reciprocating defense agreement between Iran and Syria.

Celente continued the discussion with Waltzek by making the eerie parallel between today’s economic depression, social unrest and geopolitics with those of the Great Depression, which began with the Crash of 1929 and ended following the conclusion of WWII.

Pressure on Washington to quell the threat of Communism as an alternative to a failed central bank controlled ‘capitalist’ system in the U.S. of the 1930′s has reemerged, but with the threat to the status quo coming this time, not from the potential of a viable Communist movement, but instead coming from the rapidly growing Constitutionalists and End-the-Fed movement led by Republican congressman and 2012 presidential candidate Ron Paul.

Making this point for the Keynesians, famed big-government liberal economist and Nobel prize laureate Paul Krugman—who is no fan of Congressman Paul—stated in a NY Times Op-ed piece on Dec. 11, 2011, titled Depression and Democracy, “On the political as on the economic front it’s important not to fall into the ‘not as bad as’ trap. High unemployment isn’t O.K. just because it hasn’t hit 1933 levels; ominous political trends shouldn’t be dismissed just because there’s no Hitler in sight.”

Moreover, Krugman in the past has argued that the U.S. needs some big outside event (even joking about an alien invasion from space) to foster the need for further federal deficit spending and renewed consumer consumption, which he believes was the catalyst for ending the Great Depression—a suggestion with which Paul and Austrian economists vehemently disagree.

Therefore, Washington must dream up another scheme to redirect attention away from an oligarch enriched by the Federal Reserve System and wars, according to Celente.

History is replete with examples of nations, once divided, reversing course to unite behind a president in times of war.  Celente believes that this time is no different and that Iran will serve as Krugman’s Hitler for Washington’s political purposes.

“We’re saying right now that a war with Iran is going to be the beginning of World War III,” said Celente, and added “but what it will do, Chris, it will certainly get the people’s mind off the failing economy, just as it did during the Great Depression and the lead up to World War II.” Sign-up for my 100% FREE Alerts

Here’s How Iran Could Launch Silver to $100

As the latest news from Tehran suggests Iranian oil exports to France and the UK will be cut off in response to EU sanctions on the world’s fifth largest oil producer, the oil price inches to a breakout price above $105 per barrel.  Silver, too, is again prepping in sympathy for the possibility of a major move up to test $37, which, if cleared, could prompt traders to eye the last bastion of resistance at $50! Sign-up for my 100% FREE Alert

In essence, by his latest move, the confident and smiling and Ahmadinejad has told the Obama Administration to ‘bring it on’ and be thrown out of office as the US teeters to a market-driven bankrupt, not unlike Russia 1989 following its war with Afghanistan.

Iran’s oil ministry spokesman Ali Reza Nikzad-Rahbar stated on the ministry’s Web site during the weekend that “crude oil exports to British and French companies have been halted,” adding, “We have our own customers and have no problem to sell and export our crude oil to new customers.”

The threat of $150+ (maybe more likely $200) oil price from an attack on Iran during an election year will most assuredly usher in a Republican, and Obama knows it.  Inflation will kick him out of the presidency as fast as Jimmy Carter tumbled out of the Oval Office in 1980—over the same issue:  Iran.

“Above $115, there really isn’t any technical resistance until the $140 level, near the all-time high,” technician Dan Norcini told King World News.  “If we see two consecutive closes above $115, you dramatically increase the odds that crude oil will be revisiting the all-time highs near $150. . .”

On the other hand, the inflation that’s already primed into the financial system can be masked by a war with Iran, providing perfect cover for the Fed and its drive to lower the value of the U.S. dollar.  Could Obama benefit politically as a war-time president?  History shows Americans rally around their president during war irrespective of his popularity prior to the war.

What this may mean, is silver bugs could soon have their day in the sun despite the blatant dereliction of duty at the CFTC to put an end to JP Morgan’s criminal enterprise.

So, it turns out, instead of the ‘good guys’ ensuring a free market in silver, Iran, backed by the might of Russia and China, could free silver from the financial repression scheme of US policymakers.

The chart, below, shows the relationship between the oil and silver price.  As oil ran away from the silver in 2008, silver caught up with crude during the monster silver rally of July 2010 – April 2011, taking the price of silver from $18 to nearly $50 within eight months.

How high the silver price can achieve during the next rally could pop some eyes for sure.

The silver market is razor thin.   And with reports from both Eric Sprott of Sprott Asset Management, Goldmoney’s James Turk and the U.S. Mint indicating that the number of dollars moving into the silver market has equaled the amount of dollars moving into the gold market for months following the violent 50 percent silver correction last year, it’s difficult to imagine anything but spectacular moves to the upside could result.

Sprott recently told the Silver Doctors:

“ . . . [investors are] buying 50 times more physical volume of silver than they are gold. And when you go to the US Mint site, they sell the same number of dollars of silver as gold. Which means people are buying 50 times the volume of silver than gold.

“But when you look at what’s available to buy- you know we produce 80 million ounces of gold a year, and maybe 70 million of that is available for investment, and we produce 900 million ounces of silver, and theoretically let’s say 200 million ounces are available for investment, well that means you can only buy 3 times more silver than gold for investment purposes.

“But we see so many instances where the ratio is 50 to 1! And GoldMoney’s the same thing. Almost every time I talk to a metals dealer my favorite question- How much silver do you sell vs. gold? And every time, I get the same answer: We sell as many dollars of silver as gold. Well, that’s impossible. It’s just impossible that people can keep buying at that rate, and we not end up with some type of shortage. It’s those data points that make me so optimistic about silver.”

The chart, below, suggests a move in oil to $150 could spark that silver breakout above $50 that silver bugs have anticipated since the beginning of the year.  At $150 oil, silver could clear $50 easily, moving traders to the next target of the round number of $100.

Numerous predictions of big moves in silver for 2012 have streamed in since the start of the new year.  One standout, financial author Stephen Leeb, told King World News on Jan. 31 that he wouldn’t be surprised if silver cracks $100 in 2012.  He believes that, not only is silver an under-priced monetary metal, it’s a critical industrial metal for China’s alternative energy programs.

“I think the outlook for silver, both as an industrial metal and certainly as a monetary metal, is as bright as it can possibly be,” he said.  “I’m sticking with my target of at least $100, but I tell you, Eric [King], it will happen this year.  We are definitely headed for triple digit silver in the not too distant future.”

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Bizarre Market Action Explodes Following Super Tuesday

2012 may turn out to be the year that, when it comes to a close, Americans will feel like they were under the influence of some kind of psychedelic drug.

Massive disconnects between the course Washington is taking us and the vote tallies at the polls and in the markets cannot be much more stark.  It appears that a grand set up for a catastrophe lurks ahead. Sign-up for my 100% FREE Alerts

Take for instance the past two data points from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).  On Friday, the BLS reported 240,000 new jobs were created for the month of January.  For the prior month, the BLS reported 200,000 jobs were created, for a total of 440,000 jobs for the two months.

It suffices to say, government statistics should be taken with a grain of salt, or, as Greenlight Capital’s David Einhorn had said more bluntly last year: government statistics should be viewed as “propaganda.”

But the latest two reporting months by the BLS go much, much further than the usual propaganda.  These figures from the BLS are truly bizarre.

“Actual jobs, not seasonally adjusted, are down 2.9 million over the past two months,” stated TrimTabs CEO Charles Biderman in a video posted on zerohedge.com.  “It is only after seasonal adjustments—made at the sole discretion of the Bureau of Labor Statistics economists—that 2.9 million fewer jobs gets translated into 446,000 new seasonally adjusted jobs.”

What would happen to the stock market if the BLS fudged a little—as it does from time to time—and reported, say, a drop of only a million jobs in December and another million in January?  Two million jobs lost surely beats nearly three million lost.

Along with Biderman’s analysis comes an old hand at the markets, Richard Russell.

Famed stock market newsletter publisher Richard Russell has seen it all, the Depression, WWII and all the recessions post-WWII.  He’s been writing for as long as some baby boomers have been alive.  Last week, KWN’s Eric King posted highlights of Russell’s most expressive piece he’s penned in quite some time.

“If you listen carefully, you can hear the heart-beat of the market.  It’s a slow, heavy beat, as if the market is waiting for something, stated Russell.  “That something is going to be BIG.  Bigger than what anyone is expecting.

“The sheer size of this still-forming top is scary.  I think this top will be followed by a phenomenon known as the Kondratief bear cycle, a cycle that can endure for as long as 20 years.  The other name for it is the nuclear winter, a rare and dangerous phenomenon that can last for a generation.”

Either the world is fooled by phony U.S. employment data or the Exchange Stability Fund (ESF) is working overtime.  The disconnect between commerce and the stock market is becoming quite exaggerated.

But an index that gives us a clue to how ridiculous the jobs data have become is the Baltic Dry Index (BDI).  The BDI has crashed.

Below, is a graph of the BDI superimposed on the S&P 500.  Except for the divergence between mid-2005 and mid-2006—a period during which new vessels were entering the market to satisfy crazy GDP growths worldwide from central banking induced global housing boom—the two indexes positively correlate rather well.

But, starting in Q2 of 2010, the BDI headed south while the S&P 500 continued to soar off its March 2009 low.  I appears that U.S. stocks have been ‘pumped’ while the world economy disintegrates in the background.  And according to the BDI, the global economic situation is looking as bad as it was in 2009.

Of course, the S&P 500 pump to match grossly inflated employment statistics from the BLS are politically motivated.  Something must give, but the timing of the reset in the financial markets lies in the hands of Washington—for now.

As long as stocks remain elevated, President Obama may become the favorite against a Mitt Romney candidacy.  Biderman alludes to this obvious ploy.

But if the market crashed tomorrow and the U.S. goes to war with Iran the next day, Republic candidate for president Ron Paul would most likely receive a huge boost to his campaign, as Americans wake up to Paul’s message of peace and liberty from the banker cartel.  Washington fears Paul, but also know its shelf life is limited.  Congressman Paul is 76 years old.

Today, those who believe Paul is off the wall with his message of reality would most likely resonate with millions of more Americans who suddenly began to live in the world of reality.  To them, Paul would make much more sense, and Romney would appear to the voter as another foolish warmonger, especially as the reality of a war with Iran doesn’t jibe with the confident posture of the U.S. hawks.  Iran is no Iraq.

According to The Hill, 49 percent of Americans still think the U.S. should use military force against Iran.

In-the-know geopolitical analysts suggest an attack on Iran would kickoff WWIII.  How many Americans would vote for a WWIII candidate to support Israel?  49 percent?  Not likely.

What percentage of those 49 percent know that a war with Iran is really a proxy war with Russia and China?—maybe the same percentage who still believe Iraq is hiding those WMDs, and still believe the U.S. economy is on the mend?

If The Hill rephrased the question and asked if going to war with Russia and China to do Israel’s bidding is consistent with American values, not many would think the idea was a sane one.

But it may be too late.

Historically, a candidate with a sizable lead following the avalanche of presidential primaries on Super Tuesday ends up getting the nomination to take on a sitting president.  Super Tuesday falls on March 6, with 24 states chiming in, representing 41 percent of Republican delegates.

Coincidentally, in March, the fate of Greece hangs in the balance.  That, too, could be a catalyst for another stock market meltdown and the final nail in the coffin of the U.S. economy—though that nail is coming at some point anyway.  It’s the timing of the event that’s suggested here.

In early January, Gerald Celente issued his 2012 Trends Research forecast.  The gist of the report is: The global financial system could “spiral out of control” some time “by the first quarter of 2012.”  Maybe soon after March 6?  Could Celente have nailed this one?  Sign-up for my 100% FREE Alerts

Max Keiser Takes Hit from UK Censorship of Iran

It was Black Friday last week for UK fans of Max Keiser’s On the Edge.  Iranian-based Press TV, the channel which carries On the Edge, lost its license to air programming in the United Kingdom.  Sign-up for my 100% FREE Stock Alerts

The ‘official’ reasons cited by UK government’s Central Office of Information (OIC) include improper jurisdiction in which Press TV holds a license to air in the UK in addition to Press TV’s unpaid ‘ticket’ for an ‘infraction’ OIC claims Press TV made for the broadcaster’s interview with an imprisoned journalist in 2009.

Of course, the timing of the OIC decree against Press TV, as well as the hit piece  which ran soon afterward by UK’s The Register, not only wreaks of a clumsy attempt to spin a highly questionable ban of free speech, it’s an obvious ploy by The Register to spew good ol’ fashion jingoism against the Iranian government.

“Iranian government-backed broadcaster Press TV has finally got its fondest wish and lost its UK broadcast licence,” stated The Register, “but its martyrdom is self-inflicted rather than the result of any government conspiracy.”

Taking into consideration that the OIC is the sixth-largest advertiser in the UK, down from last year’s no.1 slot, The Register has no credibility to close its shameful article with, “So after tonight we’ll have to stick with China Central TV, Russia Today and Fox News for our ideologically-motivated news coverage.” [Emphasis added]

On the other hand, not all is loss in UK media.  In 2007, the UK-based The Guardian London bureau journalist Yvonne Ridley thought Press TV was a splendid idea as a means of keeping some of the radical right wing programming of Fox TV in check.

“I see it as an antidote to Fox TV that will give a different perspective to the coverage that you get from the mainstream media. It’s not shock TV, tabloid TV or propaganda promoting reactionaryism.”

Friday’s article from The Guardian about the ruling of the OIC is much more professional and balanced, and includes a quote from the outspoken George Galloway.

From Friday’s The Guardian:

George Galloway, the former MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, is Press TV’s best-known UK presenter. Galloway has previously been sanctioned by Ofcom for anti-Israeli bias in one of his Press TV shows.

Galloway, who infamously performed as a cat on Celebrity Big Brother, tweeted: “Champions of liberty the British govt have now taken Press TV off Sky. “Follow us at www.presstv.ir and other platforms.”

Could Press TV have helped prevent more than a million Iraq killings in addition to the thousands of western forces lost if the truth behind the Iraq invasion was made clear to the public in 2003?  How many are unaware of a Zionist plot to expend American and British soldiers via the creation of bogeyman of ‘gooks’, ‘towelheads’ and ‘commies’?

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the goal of Press TV was to counter “propaganda” by western governments, according to a 2007 The Guardian article. “Knowing the truth is the right of all human beings but the media today is the number one means used by the authorities to keep control,’ the Iranian president said. ‘We scarcely know a media that does its duty correctly. Our media should be a standard bearer of peace and stability.”

While a cleverly disguised feudalism-based United Kingdom spats with theocracy-based Iran, Max Keiser’s superlative programming becomes collateral damage in the fray.  Or, maybe, Keiser was a target of the hit as well—a two-for bonus.

In 2007, Keiser reported that CIA agent Robert Seldon Lady led a team of U.S. operatives who illegally abducted an Egyptian citizen who had been granted asylum on Italian soil, then transported him back to Egypt in a procedure the U.S. called in its usual 1984-style vernacular, extraordinary rendition.

Italian courts later found Lady guilty in absentia for the kidnapping of the Egyptian and ordered the U.S. government to return Lady to serve nine years in an Italian prison.  The U.S. government has refused to extradite Lady.

Moreover, Keiser’s well-delivered, easy-to-understand and entertaining play-by-play accounts of banker fraud and the fascist overthrow in progress of the U.S., UK and European governments don’t play well with a criminal cabal who seek to escape justice when the time for adjudication of the Bush and Obama Administration crimes finally arrives.  In fact, Keiser’s work of exposing the heinous financial crimes of the cabal since he began his show On the Edge in 2009 is no less inspiring to viewers than the yeoman’s work of Alex Jones of InfoWars.com, among others.

Though Keiser’s programming is riddled with amusing commentary, the work he does is very serious.

According to the co-author of Reagonomics and former Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury Paul Craig Roberts under President Ronald Reagan, the incremental fascist overthrow of the U.S. (UK and Europe) will end in some form of confrontation, either political or otherwise.

“There is probably more democracy in China than there is in the west. Revolution is the only answer … We are confronted with a curious situation,” Roberts was quoted.  “Throughout the west we think we have democracy, we hold ourselves up high, we demonize China, we talk about the mafia state of Russia, we talk about the Arabs and so on, but where is the democracy here?

“The militarism of the U.S. and Israeli states, and Wall Street and corporate greed, will now run their course. As the pen is censored and its might extinguished, I am signing off.”

The 72-year-old Roberts is now retired, leaving Ron Paul as the only bastion of freedom on the official political front in the U.S.  In the UK, the Leader of the UK Independent Party Nigel Farage serves as the ‘tip of the spear’, politically.

As broadcasters, Keiser and Jones have also picked up the baton in the continuous fight for liberty, doing their part as high-profile icons of the freedom movement, worldwide.  Keiser’s specialty centers on the financial intricacies of the crimes committed, a job he performs quite well.

Max Keiser has taken a hit by the ‘establishment’ in this latest assault on freedom of speech perpetrated by the UK government.  However, UK viewers can still watch Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert at the following Internet addresses:

http://maxkeiser.com

www.presstv.ir

http://rt.com/programs/keiser-report/

Max Keiser Channel on YouTube.com

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Persian Gulf Crisis Staged for Fed Bailout of European Banks

As Italian bank UniCredit hangs by a thread as the potential European version of a Lehman Brothers collapse, but many more times over, one has to wonder about the timing of other seemingly unrelated events in the Persian Gulf.  Sign-up for my 100% FREE Alerts

Newsletter writer Jim Willie Ph.D of the Hat Trick Letter told the Silver Doctors radio show that UniCredit is the bank to watch for its Lehman-like potential in the Eurozone.  A collapse of UniCredit most assuredly will trigger the feared financial Armageddon scenario within an economic block representing approximately 22 percent of world GDP, an event the U.S. and China do not want to happen.  For them, a European credit collapse immediately moves the crisis to the U.S. and China.

“So next on tap is UniCredit going bad, going bust, failing, turning to dust. And when that happens look for at least another couple Italian banks to also go bust,” Willie said.  “And when that happens look for the French banks to go bust. The three major French banks. Credit Agricole, BNP Paribas, and Societe Generale. And when that happens look for at least one or two London banks to go bust- they’re all inter-connected!”

Founder of Global Resource Investments, Rick Rule, told King World News he senses something in the wind suddenly from OPEC’s swing producer, Saudi Arabia.

“One of the major developments in the oil sector is the recently announced and official Saudi Arabian position that they were able to produce another 2 million barrels a day in case Iranian crude is shut out of the market,” Rule told KWN host Eric King. “They also stated they could identify another 500,000 to 700,000 a day, which they would be able to produce in 9 months.

“The interesting thing in that press release was the fact that the Saudis were targeting 100 U.S. dollars per barrel,” Rule continued.  “The earlier Saudi indications were $75 a barrel.  It’s fascinating that the Saudis are now interested in establishing a floor price for oil in the triple digits.”

U.S. and Russian warships cruising around the Persian Gulf, Israel pretending to be the unleashed mad dog of Washington’s strategic plans against Iran, and a lot of saber rattling—again! — from all sides, higher and higher oil prices appear to be serving as the mechanism for a worldwide tax collection effort by Washington and the Fed to bailout Europe.  And who collects the oil price tax? The Middle East.

“Aabar Investments PJS, the Abu Dhabi-based sovereign wealth fund, plans to increase its stake in UniCredit SpA to 6.5 percent through the lender’s rights offer, which would make it the bank’s biggest investor,” Bloomberg reported on Jan. 18.

That, in addition to the half-billion dollar currency swap with Europe has Fed-driven foreign policy fingerprints smeared all over artificially high oil prices.

U.S. warships raise the price of oil for its friends in the Middle East, who then help the Fed bailout European banks while providing support to the dollar.

In his essay of December 2006, titled, Hysteria Over Iran and a New Cold War with Russia: Peak Oil, Petrocurrencies and the Emerging Multi-Polar World, author William Clark explained that the Fed must somehow continue to create demand for the U.S. dollar to continue the Treasury Ponzi scheme, which may at times include the use of the U.S. military in order to continue to fund debt, deficits and military spending.  And the demand for the petrodollar is critical to maintaining artificially low interest rates, according to Clark.

What Clark may not have seen in 2006 is the dramatic collapse of the global debt Ponzi scheme.  The euro is indeed a threat to the dollar as a reserve currency, but now the euro must not be allowed to collapse overnight, a point suggested by Jim Rickards in his book, Currency Wars—a book published after the collapse Lehman Brothers of 2008.

Ironically, this leaves the Fed no choice but to bail out Europe to save the dollar, thus the UniCredit bailout scheme with the Middle East.  Surely, in future more Arab nations will pick up some of the sudden slack from China’s and Japan’s reduced exposure to Europe and the U.S. debt markets, all thanks to a windfall of higher oil revenue generated in the Middle East.

Clarke wrote in December 2006:

The petrodollar-recycling system allows the Federal Reserve to effortlessly expand global credit to enforce U.S. financial control and continue massive debt-financing to pay for U.S. military control. If petrodollar-recycling begins to break down, then financial and military control will also begin to decline. Ergo, petrodollar recycling can not be allowed to diminish as it will undermine U.S. supremacy. The major oil-producers that have expressed interest in petroeuros or a “basket of currencies” for oil transactions and thus pose the greatest threat have been Iraq (under Saddam), Iran, Venezuela and Russia. Iraq received regime change via a military invasion; Iran is the current target for economic and geostrategic reasons, Venezuela was subjected in April 2002 to an unsuccessful coup d’état with covert U.S. backing, while Russia’s political establishment remains relatively insulated from U.S. interventions. But Russia’s peripheral states are, however, subject to U.S. meddling via “color revolutions” as part of Washington’s encirclement strategy.  China remains in the background as an interested but somewhat enigmatic actor. (Bold text added)

After it became clear that European leaders weren’t going to easily come to the position of the U.S. to aggressively monetize debt with a blessing of Germany in the EU, suddenly the multi-year-long rhetorical lambasting of Iran for its nuclear enrichment plants has escalated to warships cruising the Persian Gulf–and at a time when the last thing the EU and U.S. economies need are higher oil prices.  Sign-up for my 100% FREE Alerts

Gerald Celente Predicts “ Brassiere Bomber” Could Close Banks

Trends Research Institute Founder Gerald Celente forecasts a false-flag by the United States will provide a needed excuse to shut down the banking system and institute an overnight dollar devaluation.  Sign-up for my 100% FREE Alerts

Speaking with GoldSeek Radio host Chris Waltzek this week, Celente suggested that covert plans from Washington for a staged event to cover up a financial collapse could take the form of either another act of terrorism or an all-out war with Iran.

“We believe that something [false flag or war] is going to happen,” Celente said.  “There’s going to be a financial collapse; it’s collapsing in front of us, but they [Washington] may use a false flag rather than calling it a financial collapse—like maybe they’ll have the brassiere bomber, or the granny bomber in a wheelchair, you know, who’s going to threaten the entire country, or it maybe war.  And war is ratcheting up with Iran.

Washington politicians from both sides of the aisle posture in preparation for an increasing likely military confrontation with Iran.

In a communique released to the European Union on Jan. 10, eight U.S. senators urged the EU to join the United States in an oil embargo and sanction of Iran’s central bank.  The group also indicating that 2012 must be the “turning point in the confrontation” with Iran.

“We believe that both (steps) are absolutely necessary if we are to prevent the Iranian regime from acquiring nuclear weapons and thereby foreclose either a regional war or a cascade of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East,” reads the communique.

Incidentally, signatures to the communique include Sens. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn.; Mark Kirk, R-Ill.; Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and five others.

It should be noted, that Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois, in particular, has studied the alleged Iranian threat to Western allies in detail, as he is the founder of a “bipartisan Iran Working Group” in 2004.  Kirk also serves the Navy Reserves as a Commander.

Because of his work studying Iran, Kirk was asked to participate in a Q&A Congressional Roundtable discussion sponsored by The Jewish Policy Center publication inFocus in May 2007.  Kirk, at that time, a Congressman, stated during the discussion that the “one rising threat – the existential threat – has the potential to destroy this little democracy and end more than 100 years of Zionism in an instant.  And that is the growing danger we see in Iran, where a dictator openly calls for a fellow member of the United Nations to be wiped off the map. The Iranian nuclear and ballistic missile programs pose a mortal danger to the State of Israel, a danger we must remove through diplomatic means as soon as possible.”

Kirk’s proposed solution to the alleged Iranian threat to the “tiny democracy” is a simple one: quarantine gasoline imports to Iran in a similar technique deployed against Cuba by the Kennedy Administration during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962.

“Despite its status as a leading OPEC nation, the mullahs have so mishandled the nation’s energy sector that Iran lacks the refining capacity to turn its oil into gasoline,” Kirk explained.  “Iran is dependent for almost half its gasoline on foreign imports – most delivered by one Dutch company, Vitol, aboard tankers mostly insured by one British firm, Lloyds of London.

“Looking at history, we find an interesting diplomatic lever effectively used by President Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis. We can see how a naval quarantine of gasoline would grind Iran’s economy to a halt, leaving thousands of pro-Western Iranian young people to wonder why its leaders would choose nuclear weapons over their economic welfare.

“And because Iran’s naval strength is limited, a quarantine administered 200 miles off the coast would leave Iran with no military response. A quarantine of gasoline would pit our strength against their weakness, achieving our objectives without a shot being fired.”

So in May 2007, Kirk explained a rather simple and effective solution to the alleged Iranian problem, a full 16 months prior to the dramatic collapse of Bear Stearns in September 2008.

Instead, token sanctions imposed on Iran have only served to posture the U.S. as a patient negotiator in a trumped up scheme to justify military action if such action would provide political cover for domestic economic problems, according to many U.S. foreign policy pundits familiar with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and U.S. actions taken against other “enemies” of the U.S.

Iran, like Libya and Iraq before it, is being set up as a scapegoat for an imminent U.S. economic collapse, according to Celente.

The sales job to the American people as a means of stirring up jingoism is underway, while U.S. policymakers coax Iran into war.

“The United States and the European Union have effectively declared an act of war,” said Celente.  “They’re making it impossible for Iran to sell its oil.  About sixty (60) percent of Iran’s GDP is derived from oil sales.  They’re the third largest oil supplier in the world.  So if that happens [war with Iran], they’ll call a bank holiday of some sort.  So I’m very concerned.”

Further evidence suggesting an attack on Iran would occur under false pretenses came from U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on January 8 on CBS’s Face the Nation, where he said, “Are they [Iranians] trying to develop a nuclear weapon?  No, but we know that they are trying to develop a nuclear capability.”

A “nuclear capability” includes the production of 20 percent uranium compounds used in the making of a nuclear powered energy, a detail not expounded upon by Panetta, allowing the viewer to potentially miss the ambiguity of his statement in the midst of his theatrics of body language to matching a shift in tone.

Whether Washington embarks on another false flag attack or engages in other provocative acts against another sovereign nation, or creates a ‘catastrophic event’ through the use of an FBI-staged “brassiere bomber” in an attempt to disguise an economic collapse, Celente believes Washington needs some form of diversion to divert public anger away from failed political policies and the illegitimacy of a privately-held Federal Reserve.  Sign-up for my 100% FREE Alerts

Cuban Missile Crisis, the Sequel; $3,000 Gold Possible

In what appears as swift retaliation by Iran against U.S.-led economic sanctions imposed on the Persian Gulf state, suddenly Iran says it will no longer accept the U.S. dollar as payment for its oil shipments to India, Japan and China.

In addition, bilateral trade between Iran and Russia will break from the dollar for settlement in favor of Iranian rial and Russian rubles, according to Iran’s state-run Fars news agency.  Sign-up for my 100% FREE Alerts

But unlike a similarly bold move taken on Oct. 30, 2000, (effective Nov. 6) by Saddam Hussein to rid Iraq of the U.S. dollar as payment for Iraqi oil, Iran asserts the new arrangement to drop the dollar was Russia’s idea.

“The proposal to switch to the ruble and the rial was raised by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev at a meeting with his Iranian counterpart, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in Astana, Kazakhstan, of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization,” according to Bloomberg.

So, is the U.S. about to embark on another Iraq, or is the situation with Iran more akin to an October 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis with Cuba’s big brother, Russia?

Amazingly, or not (media ignored the euro-for-Iraqi-oil story, too), since the bombshell Iranian announcement, only a handful of news outlets of the West covered the dollar-dumping announcement of this vital story.  Of course, though, zerohedge.com (and PrisonPlanet.com’s posting of the zerohedge post) was one of these handful, providing adequate sourcing and commentary of the breaking news about Iran/Russia from China-based ChinaDaily.com.cn.

Most of the usual suspects of traditional media, however, have drawn attention to the threat of a closing of the Strait of Hormuz, instead—an important issue, no doubt, but its no longer news at this point in the crisis and certainly doesn’t compete with the latest development regarding the trashing of the Greenback from a member of OPEC on the same day Russia lays anchor in Syria to the north of Israel.

According to China Daily, “Russian warships patrolling the eastern Mediterranean Sea have docked at Russia’s naval supply facility in the Syrian port of Tartus, the private Addounia TV reported Saturday.

“Governor of Tartus Imad Naddaf received the ships’ leaders and expressed appreciation to Russia’s support for Syria, the report said.

“Russia’s state-owned Itar-Tass news agency quoted a source from the Russian Navy as saying that ‘It is planned that the port of Tartus will be visited by a big anti-submarine ship of the Northern Fleet Admiral Chabanenko and an escort ship Yaroslav Mudry.

So, it appears that the Iranians are a lot more prepared to deal with the U.S. than its neighbor to the West was, Iraq.

And for those familiar with the most likely reason for the attack on Iraq may also be familiar with William R. Clark, author of Petrodollar Warfare: Oil, Iraq and the Future of the Dollar.  Of course, ‘weapons of mass destruction’ was merely a sophomoric ruse in the call to war with Iraq.  So what was the reason?

In his book, Clark makes a case for a world that will most probably include a future riddled with war in the Middle East, as the U.S. takes preemptive measures to secure—not only oil—but more importantly, to assure a continuation of dollar hegemony in global trade as a means of preventing a Greenback collapse as a medium of exchange and value.

As a preface to his book, Clark posited an essay in January 2003, titled, Revisited — The Real Reasons for the Upcoming War With Iraq: A Macroeconomic and Geostrategic Analysis of the Unspoken TruthIn the essay, Clark cites an anonymous source who told him the NY Fed (through the Treasury ESF) ultimately dictates foreign policy via the U.S. dollar, and that any threat to the artificial support of the dollar must illicit an immediate response at the NSA level.

After reading Clark’s essay, anonymous, or not, the source appears to be a very, very good one.

According to anonymous:

The Federal Reserve’s greatest nightmare is that OPEC will switch its international transactions from a dollar standard to a euro standard. Iraq actually made this switch in Nov. 2000 (when the euro was worth around 82 cents), and has actually made off like a bandit considering the dollar’s steady depreciation against the euro. (Note: the dollar declined 17% against the euro in 2002.)

The real reason the Bush administration wants a puppet government in Iraq — or more importantly, the reason why the corporate-military-industrial network conglomerate wants a puppet government in Iraq — is so that it will revert back to a dollar standard and stay that way. (While also hoping to veto any wider OPEC momentum towards the euro, especially from Iran — the 2nd largest OPEC producer who is actively discussing a switch to euros for its oil exports).

Saddam sealed his fate when he decided to switch to the euro in late 2000 (and later converted his $10 billion reserve fund at the U.N. to euros) — at that point, another manufactured Gulf War become inevitable under Bush II. Only the most extreme circumstances could possibly stop that now and I strongly doubt anything can — short of Saddam getting replaced with a pliant regime.

Big Picture Perspective: Everything else aside from the reserve currency and the Saudi/Iran oil issues (i.e. domestic political issues and international criticism) is peripheral and of marginal consequence to this administration. Further, the dollar-euro threat is powerful enough that they will rather risk much of the economic backlash in the short-term to stave off the long-term dollar crash of an OPEC transaction standard change from dollars to euros. All of this fits into the broader Great Game that encompasses Russia, India, China.  [Emphasis added]

As we know, following Iraq’s decision to dump the dollar in favor of the Euro, 14 months later U.S. President George W. Bush delivered his ‘Axis of Evil’ speech on the first State of the Union address of his presidency on Jan. 23, 2002.  Iraq, Iran and N. Korean are the nations of that axis, according to Bush.

With Iraq as the first casualty of the Great Game, that leaves Iran and N. Korea left as targets and responses from Russia and China.

Calls for $3,000 gold are everywhere.  With central banks printing money at astonishing rates without formally announcing anything about it; tensions in the Persian Gulf rivaling the Cuban Missile Crisis; and an election year that sports the most threatening presidential candidate (Congressman Ron Paul of Texas) to the ‘establishment’ since John Kennedy (or maybe as far back as Theodore Roosevelt 1900-08), it appears early on that surviving 2012 without a major event is a very long shot, indeed.  Sign-up for my 100% FREE Alerts

Related BER articles,

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