NEW AND SOBERING NEWS

Please find in this report, two very sobering articles; the first dealing with the growing trend in the rate and intensity of earthquakes. It is entitled, "EARTHQUAKES: THE TREND IS NOT A GOOD ONE." The second article deals with the growing destabilization of the financial markets in Europe; a trend – that if it continues – could destabilize Europe, breaking the European Union up into a myriad of squabbling mini-states, and all this despite the grudging EU effort to rescue Greece; but Spain, Portugal, Ireland and even Italy are in deep trouble as well – prompting Germany to consider whether its membership in the Euro-Zone was a good thing or not. The article is entitled, "NEW WAVE OF BANKING CRISIS TO COME."

EARTHQUAKES:
THE TREND IS NOT A GOOD ONE

Recent large earthquakes in the first two months of 2010 and in Haiti, Argentina, Venezuela, Eureka, California, north of Chicago, Japan, and Chile, would seem to indicate a trend, and not a good one.

First, THE RATE COMES TO ABOUT ONE MAJOR EARTHQUAKE EVERY TWO WEEKS.

More and more people are starting to take notice of earthquakes. There are trends starting to appear showing an increase in the rate and even intensity of earthquakes. Even a quick glance at the numbers suggests that there is good reason for people to have taken notice of earthquakes in recent years. In addition to the deadly quakes mentioned above, there were other notable incidents in just the last few years, some of which are:

  • the 2005 earthquake that struck Pakistan in 2005, killing 73,338;
  • 20,000 killed in Iran in 2003;
  • 20,005 killed in India in 2001;
  • 17,127 killed in Turkey in 1999.

Then there are these additional quakes since then:

  • 2001 – India, 20,000 killed
  • 2002 – Afghanistan, 1,000 killed
  • 2003 – Algeria, 2,266 killed
  • 2003 – Iran, 27,000 killed
  • 2004 – Thailand, 8,500 killed
  • 2004 – India, 16,400 killed
  • 2004 – Sri Lanka, 35,400 killed
  • 2004 – Indonesia, 165,700 killed
  • 2005 – India, 1,300 killed
  • 2005 – Pakistan, 73,400 killed
  • 2006 – Indonesia, 6,000 killed
  • 2008 – China, 87,500 killed

The Rising Kill-Rate of Earthquakes

One of the most striking observations of recent years is the substantial increase in the rate of deaths as the time line moves toward the present.

This is partly the result of population increases. But the rate of population increase doesn't match the death rate increase. In 1900, the world population was about 1.6 billion, while in 2008 it was 6.7 billion, ABOUT A FOURFOLD INCREASE . The chart indicates an average of about 5,000 deaths per occurrence from 1900 to 1910—and this is probably a liberal estimate. From 1998 to 2008, however, the average is about 40,000 deaths. This represents AN EIGHTFOLD INCREASE, TWICE THE RATE OF POPULATION GROWTH DURING THIS TIME.

This trend is surprising if one considers the huge advances in medicine, technology, and humanitarian assistance over the last century. Why would there be such a significant rise in the number of people dying in earthquakes?

Not only has the death rate increased over the last century, BUT IT'S INCREASING EXPONENTIALLY AS THE TIME LINE APPROACHES THE PRESENT. For example, it took about 70 years for the average death toll to hit 25,000, while it took less than 40 years to approach the 50,000 mark. Furthermore, 593,680 people died between 1980 and 2008. 90% of this total took place since 1990. But a whopping 88% occurred in only 10 years, 1998 – 2008! The exponential rate at which people are dying in the deadliest earthquakes is alarming AND INDICATES THAT THE FREQUENCY AND THE STRENGTH OF EARTHQUAKES IS INCREASING.

The following chart, though hard to read, indicates the startling trend in death rates since 1900. The trend is obvious. [The huge number of deaths in 1976 occurred in China where almost 250,000 Chinese miners were caught underground when the quake struck, trapping them underground where they died.]

The next chart indicates those areas of the world where these quakes have been occurring.


Next Wave of Banking
Crisis to come

by: F. William Engdahl

Austria played a prominent role in the worldwide events of 1931 as the largest bank in Central and Eastern Europe, the Viennese Credit-Anstalt, collapsed and led Europe into a financial panic that spread to other parts of the world. The events in Austria were pivotal to the economic developments of the 1930s. Once again, Europe is facing a financial crisis similar to the one it faced in 1931 - and once again, the crisis centers around Austria and the newer members of the EU in Central and Eastern Europe.

There are, of course, countless numbers of American Christians who insist that Europe will somehow or other supplant the United States economically and militarily in the "Last Days" – and they point to the current economic crisis the U.S. is suffering through as a sign of America's decline; but what they fail to perceive is that Europe is suffering far worse than America is as a result of the financial meltdown that began a year ago. [We urge you to see our articles, "America vs. Europe," "Reducing Europe to the Status of Greece in the Days of Rome" and "Ninnies, Know-Nothings and the Falling Dollar;" finally, please also see "In Search of Babylon: What Do the Scriptures Say."]


European banks are facing an entirely new wave of losses – losses that have not yet been calculated in any government bank rescue aid to date. Unlike the losses of US banks which derived initially from their exposures to low-quality sub-prime real estate and other securitized lending, the problems of western European banks, most especially in Austria, Sweden and perhaps Switzerland arise from the massive volumes of loans they made during the 2002-2007 period of extreme low international interest rates to clients in eastern European countries.

The problems in Eastern Europe which are just now emerging with full force are, if you will, an indirect consequence of the libertine monetary policies of the Greenspan Fed from 2002 until 2006, the period where Wall Street's asset backed securitization Ponzi Scheme took off.

The riskiness of these eastern European loans is now coming to light as the global economic recession in both east and west Europe is forcing western banks to pull back, refusing to renew loans or 'rollover' the credits, leaving thousands of borrowers with unpayable loan debts. The dimension of the eastern European emerging loan crisis pales anything yet realized. It will force a radical new look at the entire question of bank nationalizations in coming weeks regardless what nice hopes politicians in any party entertain. Moody's Rating Service has just announced it 'might' downgrade a number of western European banks with large exposures to eastern Europe ...

The Moodys report mentioned especially banks in eastern Europe owned by western European banks including specifically Raiffeisen Zenetralbank Oesterreich and Sweden's Swedbank. The public Moody's warning will now force western banks with subsidiaries in eastern Europe to dramatically tighten lending conditions in the east at just the time the opposite is needed to keep economic growth from collapsing and thereby setting off chair-reaction loan defaults. The western banks are caught in a devil's circle.

The face of economic ruin waiting for all the dominoes to fall in Europe.

According to my well-informed City of London sources, THE NEW CONCERNS OVER BANK EXPOSURES TO EASTERN EUROPE WILL DEFINE THE NEXT WAVE OF THE GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRISIS, ONE THEY BELIEVE WILL BE EVEN MORE DEVASTATING THAN THE US SUB-PRIME SECURITIZATION COLLAPSE WHICH TRIGGERED THE ENTIRE CRISIS OF CONFIDENCE.

As a result of the Moody's warning, west European banks will now likely be selective in supporting their subsidiaries. Moody's report noted that 'banks in countries that are associated with higher systemic risks might face reduced support.' Western European governments may also establish rules to ensure banks receiving state support are forbidden to aid foreign subsidiaries. This is already the case with Greek banks and the Greek Government. The result is to make a bad situation far worse.

The amount of loans potentially at risk involve mostly Italian, Austrian, Swiss, Swedish and it is believed German banks. Once the countries of the former Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact declared independence in the early 1990's west European banks rushed in to buy on the cheap the major banks in most of the newly independent east countries. As US interest rate cuts after the stock crisis in 2002 pushed interest rates around the world to new lows, easy credit led to higher risk lending across borders in foreign currencies. In countries such as Hungary, Swiss and Austrian banks promoted home mortgage loans denominated in Swiss Francs where interest rates were significantly lower. The only risk at the time was if the Hungarian currency were to devalue, forcing homeowners in Hungary to repay sometimes double the monthly amount in Swiss Francs. That is what has happened over the past 18 months as western banks and funds have dramatically reduced their speculative investments in eastern countries to repatriate capital back home where the mother banks had serious problems caused by the US banking catastrophe. In the case of the Polish Zloty, the currency has dropped in recent months by 50%. The volume of mortgages existing in foreign currencies in Poland is not known but London estimates are that it could be huge.

Vienna Creditanstalt in Vienna

In the case of Austrian banks, the country faces a rerun of the 1931 Vienna Creditanstalt crisis which in chain-reaction spread to the German banks and brought Continental Europe into the economic crisis of 1931-33. At the recent EU Finance Ministers' meeting in Brussels, Austrian Finance Minister Josef Prφll reportedly pleaded with his colleagues to come up with a €150 billion rescue package for the banks in eastern Europe. Austrian banks alone have lent €230 billion there, equivalent to 70% of Austria's GDP. Austria's largest bank, Bank Austria, which in turn is owned by Italy's Unicredito along with the German HypoVereinsbank, faces what the Vienna press calls a 'MONETARY STALINGRAD' over its loan exposure in the east. In a bitter historic irony, Bank Austria bought the Vienna Creditanstalt in recent years in its wave of mergers.

According to estimates published in the Vienna financial press, were only 10% of the Austrian loans in the east to default in coming months, it 'would lead to the collapse of the Austrian financial system.' The EU's European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in London estimates that bad debts in the east will exceed 10% and 'may reach 20%.'

German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrόck reportedly flatly rejected any EU rescue funds for the east, claiming it was not Germany's problem. He may soon regret that as the crisis spreads to German banks and results in far greater costs to German taxpayers. One of the most striking aspects of the present crisis which first erupted in summer of 2007 is the increasingly evident incompetence of leading finance ministers and central bankers from Washington to Brussels to Paris and Frankfurt and Berlin to deal resolutely with the crisis.

The London office of US investment bank, Morgan Stanley has issued a report estimating the total of western European bank lending to the east. According to the report Eastern Europe has borrowed a total of more than $1.7 TRILLION abroad from mainly west European banks. Much of that has been short-term borrowing of less than a year. In 2009 eastern countries must repay or roll-over (renew) some $400 billion, fully 33% of the region's total GDP. As global recession deepens the chances of that are fading by the day. Now western banks are refusing to roll-over such loans, under political pressure and financial pressure back home. The credit window in the east, only two years ago the source of booming profits for the west European banks, have now slammed shut ...

In Poland, 60% of all mortgages are in Swiss francs. The Polish zloty has just fallen in half against the Swiss franc. Hungary, the Balkans, the Baltics, and Ukraine are all suffering variants of this same story. As an act of collective folly – by lenders and borrowers – it matches America's sub-prime debacle. This crisis, for European banks comes atop their losses in US real estate securities. Almost all East bloc debts are owed to West Europe, especially Austrian, Swedish, Greek, Italian, and Belgian banks. Europeans account for an astonishing 74% of the entire $4.9 TRILLION portfolio of loans to emerging markets. They are five times more exposed to this latest crisis than American or Japanese banks, and they are 50pc more leveraged according to the IMF.

Europe's financial system now faces a major test and the situation is complicated by the fact that when the rules of the European Central Bank were finalized in the late 1990's, governments could not agree to surrender total national central banking powers to the new ECB. As a result, in this first test of the ECB in a systemic crisis, the bank is unable to act in the same manner as say the Federal Reserve and fulfill the role of lender of last resort or to flood the markets with emergency stimulus.

By some estimates the European Central Bank already needs to cut rates to zero and then purchase bonds and Pfandbriefe on a huge scale. It is constrained by geopolitics – a German-Dutch veto – and the Maastricht Treaty. The EBRD estimates that eastern Europe needs at least €400bn in help to cover loans and prop up the credit system.

Europe's governments are making matters worse. Some are pressuring their banks to pull back, undercutting subsidiaries in East Europe. Athens has ordered Greek banks to pull out of the Balkans. The sums needed are beyond the limits of the IMF, which has already bailed out Hungary, Ukraine, Latvia, Belarus, Iceland, and Pakistan – and Turkey next – and is fast exhausting its own €155bn reserve, forcing it to sell its gold reserves to raise cash.

The recent IMF $16bn rescue of Ukraine has unraveled. The country – facing a 12pc contraction in GDP after the collapse of steel prices – is going towards default, leaving Unicredit, Raffeisen and ING facing disaster. Latvia's central bank governor has declared his economy "clinically dead" after it shrank 10.5pc in the fourth quarter. Protesters have smashed the treasury and stormed parliament.

Perhaps most alarming is that the EU institutions don't have any framework for dealing with this crisis. The day they decide not to save one of these countries, that will be the trigger for a massive crisis with contagion spreading into the EU.

We need your help to spread the word concerning Antipas Ministries and the eschatological viewpoint it represents; WE NEED YOUR HELP BECAUSE WE DO NOT "LINK" WITH OTHER SO-CALLED "CHRISTIAN" WEBSITES which are, for the most part, "in the tank" insofar as their loyalty to the United States is concerned - a loyalty that has made them partners in the BLOODY trail the American military has left in its TERROR-RIDDEN rampage throughout the world, as well as making them partners in the abject poverty that American corporations have imposed on the peoples and nations the American military machine has ravaged - A BLOODY, TERROR-RIDDEN RAMPAGE THAT HAS TO A LARGE DEGREE BEEN CARRIED OUT IN THE NAME OF THE "PRINCE OF PEACE." [Please see our articles, "The Third World as a Model for the New World Order," Inside the American New World Order System" and "The American Empire: The Corporate / Pentagon / CIA / Missionary Archipelago."]

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