Is A GLOBAL ECONOMIC MELTDOWN UNDERWAY?
For decades, I have warned that a global economic collapse would precede
the toppling of moderate governments, the emergence of despots and
dictators. Many years ago, near the end of my booklet “Mideast Strife,
Will It Lead To Armageddon?” I wrote a numbered series of major events,
which, among other things, would lead to the great tribulation prophesied
by Jesus Christ (Matthew 24/Luke 21).
I said, “(2) The inflated bubble that is the global economy will eventually burst. Billions will be lost overnight when the stock markets of the major nations crash. The United States and Britain will be reduced to the kind of poverty and joblessness that was extant during “the Great Depression,” only worse. Our cities will begin to resemble some of those of Bangladesh.
“(3) When that happens, massive unemployment, and the strident voices of ultra-nationalists will be heard in the streets of many nations, especially in Europe and Germany.
“Already, Germany is witnessing a steep rise in ultra right-wing violence as various neo-Nazi groups commit thuggery, cause riots, demonstrate against the government, and spray graffiti against foreigners. A special flying riot squad has been organized in Berlin to deal with the rapid rise of skinhead violence. If Germany slips into deep depression, look out!
“(4) The trend will be the emergence of military dictatorships in countries all over the world; in Europe, and in Germany and Japan, to combat total chaos, and rapidly spreading poverty and crime. Martial law will be declared. Civil rights will be abolished. Freedom of assembly, of the press, will be denied. Huge armies will form...”
And now, the “Guardian” newspapers in Britain report that a GLOBAL CRASH IS FEARED AS GERMAN BANK SINKS. The papers reported that a leaked Email about the credit worthiness of “Commerzbank,” Germany’s third largest bank, was causing great nervousness among stockbrokers, who were bracing for a calamitous week.
The news resulted in Europe’s Finance Ministers, including Chancellor Gordon Brown, to hastily set up meetings in Luxembourg over concern about the stability of the European financial system. Europe fears what is happening in America!
Few really realize what a calamitous shock to the American economy the attacks of 9/11 really were! Not only were the offices of dozens of major financial concerns instantly destroyed, along with vast computer banks of critical financial information; not only were thousands of lives lost, but the airlines industry was dealt a body blow from which it may never recover.
Billions have been lost in the travel industry, as resorts, hotels, restaurants and dozens of other businesses failed to reap expected revenues. Some airlines have gone under. Major airlines hope for a government bailout.
US stock markets have been sliding, sliding, sliding for almost two consecutive months, sinking to their lowest levels in five years! Meanwhile, huge corporate scandals such as those at Enron have rocked consumer confidence. Greedy, scheming, conniving corporate CEO’s and their cronies have spirited away billions of dollars into offshore and Swiss Bank accounts. Recently, Americans were treated to the spectacle of some of Big Business’ top executives being led away in handcuffs, under arrest for crimes involving millions of dollars in stolen money and stocks. One of America’s female icons, Martha Stewart, is suspected of having sold massive amounts of stock only one day before the stock fell by enormous percentages.
Hundreds of billions have been lost as a result of such chicanery; millions of middle-aged and elderly Americans have seen their pension and retirement funds wiped out!
In Europe, the managing director for economics and research at the State Street Bank noted there are “strong parallels to the Thirties after an unsustainable ‘new era’ boom. Then, the stock market decline was not just steep, it was long, taking three years to reach the bottom.”
The Commerzbank of Germany lost a full quarter of its value in only one week, which reminded economists of how “Credit-anstalt,” the big Austrian bank, collapsed in 1931, sparking a global depression! Europeans worry that US Alan Greenspan, chairman of the Fed, lacks sufficient room to cut interest rates any further if the US economy continues into recession, as it seems to be rapidly doing.
The shocking truth is, that as bad as the American economy is, European markets have lost NEARLY HALF OF THEIR VALUE IN 2002 ALONE!
David Bulk at spread-betting service Cantor index in Britain said, “Last week Credit Suisse [one of the largest of all Swiss banks] fell by the best part of 30 per cent. A Swiss bank falling from grace so ignominiously — unheard of!”
Amid all the financial bad news, America’s west coast dock workers have gone on strike, tying up 30 ports, where containers from ships around the world, mostly from Hong Kong, Singapore, Korea and Japan, sit idle, costing the US economy a billion dollars a day! Thus, personal greed casually scorns the greater good, and the national economy as a whole.
Japan is frantically trying to save its entire banking system, which had its own chicanery and scandals. Japan is now awash in a sea of bad debt, struggling to make reforms after 10 years of falling prices and recession! Will a military government soon take over in Japan?
Will a war in the gulf, which will seriously affect Japan’s life’s blood, the flow of oil for her industries, result in Japan going nuclear? I have predicted this would happen for many decades!
A war against Saddam will not only result in an interruption in the flow of the world’s oil supplies, and the possibility of soaring prices at the pump, it may also result in angry retaliation of some sort from Russia, China, Germany, France and Japan, all of whom do business with Saddam! To these, and other countries, a US victory over Saddam means the US would then “own” Iraqi oil! Their reluctance to join in a US led coalition in waging war against Saddam is primarily linked to the fact that they do not wish to upset the current status quo, and they are concerned about the shape any post-Saddam Iraqi government could take.
Meanwhile, charges have surfaced during the debate in Congress that the US sold biological materials to Iraq during the 1980's, when the US wished Saddam well in his war against Iran. Unfortunately, the carnal human reasoning, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” was used during this time to the ultimate deadly hurt of the US. In a 1994 Senate Banking Committee report, and in a later 1995 follow-up letter from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, it was revealed that US laboratories had supplied Iraq with biological cultures which were later weaponized.
The invoices from a Virginia-based “American Type Culture Collection” were said to include three strains of anthrax, six strains of the bacteria that make botulinum toxin and three strains of the bacteria that cause gas gangrene. The CDC also sent samples of a strain of West Nile Virus to an Iraqi microbiologist at a university in the southern city of Basra in l985, according to the report.
Once again, even as the Clinton Administration sent sophisticated guidance systems to China which can be used as aiming devices in Chinese ICBM’s which are now aimed at US cities, short-sighted officials have provided a potential vicious enemy with deadly materials which can be used against us. In a different age, the US sent hundreds of thousands of tons of scrap metal to Japan in the years prior to World War II. Critics warned that the Japanese would some day send it right back to us in the form of bullets, naval shells, and bombs. That is exactly what they did.
Jesus Christ said, "And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet."
"For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places."
“All these are the beginning of sorrows” ( Matthew 24:5-8). Today, as the threat of war with Iraq looms, the global economy is shaken to its roots; tempers flare in Europe as a new wave of anti-Americanism rages; all of fundamental Islam is viciously angry at the US and Israel; violence flares almost hourly in Israel, and the US endures mindless slaughter of innocent victims in Maryland, Washington D.C. and Virginia as a cowardly, filthy, bestial killer preys on helpless, unarmed men, women and children. Truly, this is a time of sorrows.
Surely this is a time when God’s called-out ones find themselves “sighing and crying” for the horrifying abominations they see all about them. In Ezekiel’s prophecy of the destruction of God’s sinning people, a priestly person with a writer’s inkhorn is told to make a mark on certain ones who would be spared from death. God said, “And he called to the man clothed with linen, which had the writer's inkhorn by his side;
“And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof” (Ezekiel 9:3,4).
One’s daily news is certainly ample cause for sighing and crying!
The following news story, which broke the same day Mr. Armstrong wrote the above, describes the Commerzbank crisis to which he refers.
Global Crash Fears As German Bank Sinks
Faisal Islam, economics correspondent and Will Hutton
Stockbrokers around the world are braced for a potentially calamitous week as alarm mounts over a looming, Thirties-style global financial crisis. A leaked email about the credit-worthiness of Commerzbank, Germany's third largest bank, yesterday increased fears of the international stock market malaise exploding into a fully-fledged banking crisis.
Commerzbank lost a quarter of its value last week, raising the spectre of Credit-anstalt, the Austrian bank that collapsed in 1931, sparking global depression.
US stock markets have fallen for six consecutive weeks, to their lowest levels in five years. European markets have collapsed even further, wiping out nearly half of the value of European corpora tions in this year alone. Japan is struggling to put together a plan to save its banking system, riddled with bad debt after a decade of recession and falling prices. Now the German economy threatens to follow.
'There are strong parallels to the Thirties after an unsustainable "new era" boom,' says Avinash Persaud managing director for economics and research at State Street Bank. 'Then, the stock market decline was not just steep, it was long, taking three years to reach the bottom.'
'Commerzbank being affected is a sign of the severity. But in today's crisis risks have been offloaded from the banks to the markets and ultimately our pensioners, which makes the problem more difficult to deal with,' he says. The leaked email about Commerzbank was in response to an inquiry from a US investment bank about rumours of huge losses on credit derivatives, which aim to spread risk.
Figures due to be published on Friday will show that a toll of stock market falls, rising joblessness and war fears is finally denting the spending habits of Americans. Economists fear that the result may be a 'double-dip' US recession, taking much of the world with it.
Europe's finance Ministers, including Chancellor Gordon Brown, will meet in Luxembourg on Tuesday amid deepening concern about the stability of the financial system. Tomorrow evening, the Eurogroup of finance ministers, excluding Brown, will discuss reforming Europe-wide tax and spending rules along the lines of the British system, taking stronger account of economic difficulties.
In the US, the concern is that Alan Greenspan, chairman of the US Federal Reserve, has insufficient room to cut interest rates if the economy falls into recession. 'The [Bush] Administration has two lines of action: tax relief for the rich [and] reliance on the Federal Reserve. Both are without effect,' says US economist JK Galbraith in an interview with The Observer.
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