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Time
Jan 23rd, 2016
Commentary
KJV Bible
Categories: Exhortation

Paul said to the Ephesians

"See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is" (Ephesians 5: 15-17).

“Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that’s the stuff life is made of.”—Benjamin Franklin

This is What the Death of a Nation Looks Like: Venezuela Prepares for 720% Hyperinflation
Jan 23rd, 2016
Daily News
Tyler Durden
Categories: Contemporary Issues

For citizens of Nicolas Maduro's socialist paradise the news is terrible, and getting worse with every passing day.

Yesterday, we reported that one year after our November 2014 forecast, Barclays has decided that Venezuela is now past the "point of no return", and a bankruptcy in 2016 will be "difficult to avoid." But while some may have thought that this dramatic impact, while welcome by the rest of OPEC and oil bulls around the globe, would only impact the government, the reality is that this latest hit means a total disintegration of the economy and will take the country's already staggering hyperinflation to previously unprecedented levels.

According to the latest IMF estimate, Venezuela’s consumer inflation, already the world’s highest, will triple this year to a level above all estimates from economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

This is because the IMF, which until recently had predicted "only" 204% inflation for Venezuela, already higher than the 140% consensus, revised its numbers and now sees a mindblowing 750% hyperinflation in 2016: this means that the average price of products and services will increase over eight times over the span of the next 12 months.

Bloomberg reports that inflation will surge to 720 percent in 2016 from 275 percent last year, according to a note published by the IMF’s Western Hemisphere Director, Alejandro Werner. That’s nearly quadruple the median 184 percent estimate from 12 economists surveyed by Bloomberg, and exceeding the highest forecast of 700 percent from Nomura Securities.

Venezuela’s central bank published economic statistics Jan. 15 for the first time in a year, confirming that inflation had reached triple digits and closed the third quarter at 141.5 percent on an annual basis. As of December 2014, the last time data was released, inflation was 68.5 percent.

It has gotten so surreal, that the local central bank accused websites that track the dollar’s street value of “destroying prices” and installing a “savage” form of capitalism in the country, adding that 60 percent of inflation was the result of currency manipulation.

Whatever the cause, the reality is that real inflation is even worse, and when charted, this is what the death of a sovereign nation looks as follows (this does not assume a sovereign bankruptcy; when that happens the hyperinflation will really take off):

And when described with words:

Spiking prices and widespread shortages for even staples have driven discontent in Venezuela. That helped spur the opposition to gain control of Congress for the first time in a decade as President Nicolas Maduro attempts to turn the tide of what he has deemed an “economic emergency.”

 

A lack of hard currency has led to scarcity of intermediate goods and to widespread shortages of essential goods — including food — exacting a tragic toll,” Werner said. “Prices continue to spiral out of control.”

Let the Headlines Speak
Jan 23rd, 2016
Daily News
From the Internet
Categories: Today's Headlines

Netanyahu 'hopeful' of normalization of ties with Turkey
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has expressed hope in an interview with Turkish news agency Anadolu towards the normalization of ties with Turkey. "We are talking to them (Turkish officials), and they are talking to us and if we succeed, that will be good for both countries," Netanyahu told the news agency on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos.  

Tunisia declares nationwide curfew as violent protests against unemployment and poverty spread
Tunisia is under a nationwide curfew after its biggest anti-government protests since the country gave birth to the Arab Spring five years ago. Hailed as the sole example so far of a peaceful Arab Spring revolution, the small North African state has been hit by major street protests in recent days over over unemployment and rising poverty.  

Syria conflict: 'US expanding air strip' in Kurdish north
Satellite imagery appearing to show the US expanding a formerly disused air strip in Kurdish-controlled northern Syria has been seen by the BBC. The images, from the security analysts Stratfor, show a runway near the town of Rmeilan being extended from 700m (half a mile) to 1.3km. That would make it more suitable for a larger aircraft such as a Hercules.  

US strips credentials of five Russian honorary consuls
The US has withdrawn the credentials of five out of Russia's six honorary consuls, citing the harassment of its own staff in Russia. The US State Department said it was ready to take further measures "if there are additional efforts" to impede diplomatic and consular activity. Spokesman Mark Toner said there had been "widespread harassment" of staff.  

Iranian, Chinese presidents agree to expand ties
Iran and China agreed to expand bilateral ties to form a comprehensive strategic partnership, President Hassan Rouhani and visiting Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping said on Saturday, calling it a "new season" in bilateral relations. The Chinese president is the first leader to visit Iran since international sanctions...were lifted on Jan. 16...  

Iran set to be hooked up to global banks in weeks
Iran is set to re-engage with the banking world within weeks as international lenders link up with their Iranian counterparts using global transaction network SWIFT, Iran's Middle East Bank and a senior central bank official told Reuters on Friday. A nuclear deal between world powers and Iran led to the removal of the curbs on Tehran's banking, insurance and shipping sectors last weekend, as well as restrictions on oil exports.  

Saudi-Iranian proxy war over Syria spreads to World Economic Forum meeting
Senior Saudi and Iranian figures clashed behind closed doors...convened by the World Economic Forum in Davos this week to try to promote peace in Syria, participants said. The barbed exchange between Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif...underlined the hostility between the two Gulf rivals, who are waging proxy wars in Syria, Yemen and Iraq.  

Switzerland 'made secret deal with PLO' after bomb attacks
Controversy is growing in Switzerland over an alleged secret deal, made almost 50 years ago, between the Swiss government and the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO). The agreement, detailed in a new book, was apparently designed to prevent terrorist attacks on Swiss territory.  

French Prime Minister warns Europe will be 'totally destabilized' if it takes all refugees
The French Prime Minister has warned European leaders about saying that refugees will be "welcome" in Europe, because in just seconds their message will be "shared on smartphones in the refugee camps of Libya."  

Why North Korea's Arrest Of An American College Student Should Come As No Surprise
This month's arrest of a 21-year-old University of Virginia student in North Korea may have been shocking, but it was only the latest reported case of a Westerner held in that isolated nation.  

This Is What The Death Of A Nation Looks Like: Venezuela Prepares For 720% Hyperinflation
For citizens of Nicolas Maduro's socialist paradise the news is terrible, and getting worse with every passing day. Yesterday, we reported that one year after our November 2014 forecast, Barclays has decided that Venezuela is now past the "point of no return", and a bankruptcy in 2016 will be "difficult to avoid."  

Haiti postpones Sunday's presidential election as violence erupts
Haiti called off its presidential election on Friday, two days before it was due, over concerns of escalating violence sparked by the opposition candidate's refusal to take part in a process he said was riddled with fraud.  

4 dead after shootings in northern Saskatchewan
A gunman opened fire at a high school and a second location in an aboriginal community in northern Saskatchewan on Friday, leaving four dead and at least two injured, officials said.  

Mitch McConnell Moves To Grant The President Unlimited War Powers With No Expiration Date
This morning, I came across an extremely important story with tremendous long-term negative implications for freedom in these United States. It relates to the fact that the always shady Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is moving to fast track an Authorization of Military Force (AUMF) for the President that would allow for unrestricted warfare against ISIS.  

State tries to delay Clinton email release, blaming snowstorm
The State Department on Friday sought to delay its final release of emails from Hillary Clinton’s personal server, blaming a massive snowstorm hitting Washington as well as an internal “oversight.”  

French Prime Minister Warns Europe will be Totally Destabilized If It Takes All Refugees
Jan 23rd, 2016
Daily News
Christipher Miller
Categories: Contemporary Issues

The French Prime Minister has warned European leaders about saying that refugees will be "welcome" in Europe, because in just seconds their message will be "shared on smartphones in the refugee camps of Libya."

"A message that says 'Come, you will be welcome,' provokes major shifts," Manuel Valls told theBBC in a video interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Friday. He said that Europe would likely become "totally destabilized" if it took in all refugees fleeing war-torn Iraq and Syria.

Valls also said Europe must take steps to better control its external borders.

"If Europe is not capable of protecting its own borders, it's the very idea of Europe that will be questioned," he said.

While Germany accepted more than 1 million migrants and refugees in 2015, France has not opened its doors to large numbers of them. French President Francois Hollande said last September that the country would allow in 24,000 people.

Valls' comments come as Europe's struggle to deal with the largest influx of migrants and refugees since World War II deepens and anti-immigration sentiments grip the continent.

Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem and European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi in Davos also warned that the number of migrants entering Europe must be reduced or else European society would be changed by them.

"Our society will be changed by this," Draghi said, according to The Irish Times. "In which direction, we can only guess. It is also premature to know how long it will take to transform this challenge into an opportunity."

Some European countries, including Germany and Denmark have begun confiscating refugees' valuables to help pay for the costs associated with helping them, a move criticized by some who say it's reminiscent of practices against Jews in Europe during the Holocaust.

Other nations have opted to close borders or even build walls to keep migrants and refugees out.

The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) slammed the "deplorable" actions, saying the moves are part of a "race to the bottom" by countries trying to make themselves as unattractive as possible to deter migrants and refugees.

Proof these policies aren't dissuading desperate migrants and refugees fleeing war and repression can be found in the almost daily reports of them dying at sea.

As Valls spoke in Davos, at least 42 people, including 17 children, drowned in two separate incidents in the Aegean Sea between Greece and Turkey. Greece is the main passageway for many of the people seeking safety in Europe.

More than 1 million migrants and refugees made their way to Europe across the Aegean and Mediterranean seas in 2015, but at least 3,700 drowned.

More than 36,500 people made the crossing while another 94 people drowned in the first three weeks of 2016.


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