By Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com
All eyes are on Ukraine and its political upheaval. Pro-western protesters have forced the Ukrainian President to flee, and now there is a new president who is partial to the West. The U.S. and the EU have provided billions of dollars to fuel the uprising, and they are looking to offer more financial assistance. Ukraine is about to collapse financially. Isn’t the timing funny here? The Ukraine protests happened during the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia? Before the games closed, the government was toppled, and now the U.S. is warning Russia not to “muscle in on Ukraine.” My prediction is Russia will do everything in its power both covertly and overtly to keep Ukraine under its influence. This includes outright invasion if necessary. Ukraine has a major Russian seaport. If Syria could start a world war, then Ukraine is Syria on steroids. In Ukraine, the West is playing with nuclear fire. I wonder, is Ukraine payback for blocking the U.S. intervention in Syria? Is this a way to tie up Russia so Syria can be toppled? Who knows, but the global war probabilities are increasing, not decreasing.
China has turned into another global collapse wild card. Finance expert and money manager James Rickards says, “. . . investors are in for a rude awakening when they realize how much of the China story is false and how quickly it may come unraveled.” Rickards goes on to say, “China is on the verge of a financial collapse of unprecedented magnitude.” Rickards predicts this collapse could happen by 2015 and says, “A new more dangerous stage of the depression is possible.” Rickards wrote the best-selling book “Currency Wars,” and his new book “The Death of Money” will be out in April. USAWatchdog.com is going to have Mr. Rickards back as a guest sometime near the end of next month.
Bitcoin got another black eye this week when Japan based so-called “Mt. Gox” Bitcoin exchange went under, taking $400 million worth of Bitcoins with it. I have warned that Bitcoin is risky. Its price has been all over the map in the last year and has had several hundred dollar swings in value both up and down. I do not like Bitcoin for many reasons. One of the things I hate about it is the identity of the programmers who invented it are still anonymous. This is supposed to be cutting edge currency. It’s like Thomas Edison wanting to stay in hiding after inventing the light bulb. Why the secrecy? Is this really a government invention? On one hand, the government says it’s OK, and on the other, they are prosecuting people for money laundering. Is crypto currency coming in some form? Yes. Is Bitcoin it? Not sure. Now there is talk of putting it on a public exchange. So much for the privacy aspect of Bitcoin as that will require some sort of government oversight, you know, like the SEC. If you do make a killing on Bitcoin, you better claim the capital gain on a tax form. I’ve said this before, if you know what you are doing and want to risk some money and trade this—fine. Bitcoin as a store of wealth—no way.
The first good news in weeks hit the financial markets this week. New home sales were up 9.6%. This story appeared after weeks of one negative story about the economy after another was reported. Here’s a bit of bad news that was soft peddled by the mainstream media. Did you know mortgage applications were off 4% last month? Also, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association, mortgage applications were off 15% from this time last year. You wonder why JPMorgan announced it is laying off thousands more people after laying of 15,000 mortgage bankers last year. Other big banks have and probably will do the same thing. How can there be a robust housing recovery with these kinds of layoffs and falling mortgage applications? Short answer: There’s NOT.
Finally, former Fed head Ben Bernanke is writing a book. He’s reportedly being paid $8 million for his memoirs. I’ve got some titles for him. How about “Wrong on Everything” or “Honey, I Shrunk the World Economy” by money printing.”
Join Greg Hunter as he analyzes these stories and more on the Weekly News Wrap-Up.