International Forecaster Weekly

Nato Gone Wild and Preparations for Elections

NATO was never a perfect organization, is NATO's existence today under threat? Debates and demagoguery, Washington, Russia and Syria, Shots fired in the war for the Oval Office, Reagan's warnings, Taxmageddon changes, trouble in toyland, banks and credit, Fed in NYC attacked.

James Corbett | October 20, 2012

            The North Atlantic Treaty Organization started off as (you guessed it) a military alliance of North Atlantic powers. Formally signed into existence with the North Atlantic Treaty in 1949 at the beginning of the Cold War era, it had a clearly defined scope and mandate: to protect its members against the threat of a Soviet invasion. To this end, the treaty's most famous clause, Article V, provides for the defense of any member nation by all other members should one come under attack. The prevailing fear at the time was that the Soviets would attempt an invasion of Western Europe.

            Even in the tense environment in which it was born, the treaty was not a unanimous or unproblematic success.  Iceland, for example, became the scene of the infamous NATO Riot of 1949 protesting the Icelandic parliament's decision to ratify the treaty. The riot soon got out of control, and when some of the protestors succeeded in breaking in the windows of the Parliament building with some hurled rocks (just missing the President's head in the process), the police force became involved, physically breaking up the demonstration by force and launching tear gas into the panicking mob. It was not, one might imagine, the most auspicious beginning for an international organization hoping to unite disparate countries under a collective security agreement.

            If the existence of NATO seemed threatening even then, in the midst of the Cold War, to the very people who supposedly fell under its protective umbrella, how much more threatening is it today? In the last 63 years the world has watched the rise and fall of the Soviet boogeyman and the Cold War paradigm that held the world as nuclear hostages in the MAD game of mutually assured destruction, but, quizzically enough, the organization that was ostensibly meant to protect the North Atlantic powers from that Soviet threat has not died along with it. Quite the contrary. Instead, it has grown in size, scope and power by leaps and bounds since the fall of the Berlin Wall. Now, thanks to a complex and interlocking grid of “dialogues,” “initiatives” and “partnerships,” the number of NATO-affiliated countries has grown from the original twelve to more than 70 countries around the globe, from Portugal to Armenia to Kuwait to South Korea. Clearly, whatever the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was originally supposed to represent has been brushed aside in the race to create a truly global military force, one that is increasingly flexing its muscle and deploying its forces in places that have no conceivable link to the North Atlantic region that was once the alliance's purview, including Afghanistan, the Gulf of Aden, and Libya.

            It is tempting to think that this new, globe-spanning NATO has just come together piecemeal, the happy accident of world events that have left a much greater proportion of the world's population in need of just such an alliance as that which NATO provides. Unfortunately this theory, like so much other coincidence theories that ask us to believe that major world events unfold by pure happenstance (and inevitably in the favor of the globalists), is completely contradicted by the evidence.

            One of the key men involved in the founding and early expansion of NATO was Paul-Henri Spaak, a Belgian politician who made the rounds in every globalist institution of note in the post-War era. In his position of Prime Minister of Belgium he presided over the signing of the 1948 Treaty of Brussels, a miniature version of NATO amongst some of the Western European nations that is now seen as the precursor to NATO itself. He was also concurrently serving as the first President of the United Nations General Assembly, a position he would hold until 1957, whereupon he took up the post as NATO's second ever Secretary General. During his tenure as President of the General Assembly, he also served as President of the Common Assembly of the European Coal and Steel Community, a forerunner to the modern-day European Union. Spaak was also a Bilderberg attendee. That one person would have been a key figure in so many of these post-war globalist institutions is perhaps not surprising. After all, the top brass of NATO have traditionally come from the ranks of the Bilderberg-connected, EU-supporting globalist elite.


James Corbett with Dr. Stan “Chinese Economic Collapse”

James is on with Dr. Stan every Monday at 7pm EST


Demagoguery Substitutes for Debate

When is a debate not one? When it's not intended to be. When theatrical blather substitutes. When demagoguery takes center stage.

On October 11, it showed up prominently in Danville, KY. Centre College played host. ABC News correspondent Martha Raddatz moderated 90 minutes of film flam.


Washington Plays Hardball with Russia on Syria

If words could kill, America and Russia might be at war. Hopefully it won't come to that. Given America's rage to fight, even the unthinkable is possible.

Russia and China represent Washington's final frontier. Building up around their borders and encircling both countries with US bases makes anything ahead possible.


Shot fired at Obama campaign office in Denver

Denver police are reviewing video footage from city surveillance cameras after a shot was fired through the window of President Barack Obama's campaign office.

Police spokeswoman Raquel Lopez says cameras are in the area of the campaign office on West Ninth Avenue near Acoma Street near Denver's downtown, and investigators are poring over the tapes for any leads. She did not release any other information, citing an "active, ongoing investigation."

Lopez says people were inside the office when the shooting happened Friday afternoon, but no one was injured. A large panel of glass was left shattered at the office.


Reagan Warned Us About Obama 

How Reagan summed up Obama in the first 5 minutes of a speech over 40 years ago.


Reality Check: Is SCOTUS Putting An End To "Personal" Property?

The Supreme Court will rule on whether or not you have a right to re-sell anything that you purchase in an outright sale. [Tradition and common sense tell us that you do, but this concept will be challenged in the Supreme Court this month as it relates to anything made outside the US, which is almost everything. If the Court changes the rules, personal property will cease to exist as we have known it.]


How Could Taxmageddon Affect You in 2013?

There are more than 30 different tax breaks expiring or losing value at the end of 2012. Many of these changes only affect businesses, but a number of them directly affect individual taxpayers, like you. If "Taxmageddon" actually happens, everyone will pay more income taxes, and workers will bring home a little less money in each paycheck. Groups that will be hit particularly hard by Taxmageddon include middle-class families, students, and retirees.

And that's not all. Did you know that 59 different tax breaks have already expired?

Trouble in Toyland: Sales Slowing Heading Into Holidays

As retailers gear up for the busy holiday shopping season, there’s trouble brewing in Toyland, according to research from Goldman Sachs.

Toy sales have been on the decline for some time, but Goldman suspects the trends may be accelerating, and Monday the firm cut the industry’s rating to “cautious” from “neutral.” It also downgraded Hasbro shares to “sell” from “neutral,” while keeping Mattel shares at “neutral.”


Canadian bank goes after homes to collect credit card debts

Helen Jones of Oakland learned Credigy Receivables wanted to sell the house she had lived in for 37 years when a process server came to her door. At issue was a judgment against her ex-husband over debt he incurred after their divorce. 

In a significant escalation by debt collectors who pursue consumers for payment, a major Canadian bank has threatened to foreclose on the homes of hundreds of Californians unless they pay back old credit card debts.

California law generally makes foreclosure available only to lenders using residential properties as security, and collectors of unsecured debts, like credit card loans, normally are limited to attaching wages or bank accounts.

            But Credigy Receivables – a unit of the National Bank of Canada, which has more than $150 billion in assets – has taken advantage of California’s relatively lax debt collection laws. The bank has repeatedly bypassed a legal hurdle that normally prevents credit card companies from threatening to take away the homes of debtors who refuse or are unable to pay.

Little-noticed except by debtors and consumer attorneys, Credigy’s unusual collection efforts begin with the purchase of judgment liens issued in California lawsuits filed by credit card lenders and other unsecured creditors. Credigy then names debtors who own residential properties as defendants in foreclosure lawsuits.


Gov. Malloy Hopes to Spur Connecticut Local Businesses with Small Business Express Program

Last month Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy debuted the second portion of his “Still Revolutionary” plan to jump-start the state’s economy. The governor plans to expand one of the programs from the first phase of the plan: The Small Business Express Program.

Connecticut’s local businesses have suffered in recent years from the economy. Data trends show a decrease in the number of small businesses across the state.

Data also shows Connecticut’s unemployment rate is rising and recently surpassed the national average. Gov. Malloy hopes to reverse these two trends by encouraging local businesses to remain in Connecticut.

To help spur Connecticut businesses Malloy created the Small Business Express Program. Connecticut businesses have been granted loans from the state to grow and build the economy.

Man held in NYC plot to blow up Federal Reserve

A Bangladeshi man who came to the United States to wage jihad was arrested in an elaborate FBI sting on Wednesday after attempting to blow up a fake car bomb outside the Federal Reserve building in Manhattan, authorities said.

Before trying to carry out the alleged terrorism plot, Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis went to a warehouse to help assemble a 1,000-pound bomb using inert material, according to a criminal complaint. He also asked an undercover agent to videotape him saying, "We will not stop until we attain victory or martyrdom," the complaint said.

Agents grabbed the 21-year-old Nafis — armed with a cellphone he believed was rigged as a detonator — after he made several attempts to blow up the bomb inside a vehicle parked next to the Federal Reserve, the complaint said.


Bernanke Calls for Emerging Market Currency Appreciation

Many central bankers in developing economies have complained that the Fed's easy money policies are hurting U.S. trading partners around the world. One common refrain is that when the Fed prints money, it causes investors to search for other places to put their money, causing a potentially destabilizing rush of funds into less developed economies. The critics say this fuels inflation and asset bubbles in their countries, and threatens to push their currencies higher to levels that would curb their exports.

Mr. Bernanke, in remarks prepared for a panel discussion at International Monetary Fund meetings in Tokyo, said policy makers in these countries could slow this rush of capital and some of its negative effects by allowing their own currencies to appreciate. Instead, he argued, they were doing just the opposite...


Bernanke defends QE from international criticism [

Speaking before the International Monetary Fund meeting in Tokyo, Bernanke on Sunday refuted criticism that the Fed’s asset purchases and low interest rates are mainly driving capital flows to emerging market economies...

His response was two-fold — one, that basically, the Fed isn’t driving capital inflows to emerging market nations; and two, that emerging-market economies should accept currency appreciation...


Fed actions to reduce mortgage rates may be helping banks more than borrowers

JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo, the nation’s largest mortgage lenders, said Friday they won’t make home loans much cheaper for consumers, even as they reported booming profits from that business...

One official added that he even expects mortgage rates to rise next year...

“Banks are in the business of making money and are not going to cut their profit margins for the social good,” said Paul Miller, a former examiner with the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia and an analyst at FBR Capital Markets...

Recently we have noticed some strange changes where we live through our own observations and those brought to our attention through talks with concern friends and neighbors. With Rinear's article this week along with many others that we have seen concerning the same scenarios, we were urged to publicly voice our recent noticeable changes. Whether all is completely coincidental or not, we will see what comes of it in the near future. As most of us have recently seen the plethora of articles concerning the possibilities of the November 6th election to bring out the worst in some with the fear of riots erupting pending the election outcome. We along with others who openly voiced their concerns to us have noticed a few things over the past 4 to 6 weeks that have not taken place in the years we have lived here, as most of you already know we are based in Central Florida. In the last few weeks there have been on any given day between two and six Homeland security vehicles driving around town, something we and our friends and neighbors have never seen before. Also we along with others have noticed a disturbing amount of helicopters hovering for up to an hour over different parts of town 3 to 4 times per week, another strange occurrence that we have never seen until recently. The last noticeable change we have seen is a local reserve battalion building. As we, amongst others, drive by it daily in the last 8+ years we have never seen anyone there and there has been only a handful if that of military vehicles parked in the chain-link lot over the eight-year period which never seemed to change or move. In the last three or so weeks the building has come alive, there has been at least 50+ uniformed men along with a full fenced lot that now contains 12 or more Hummers, about 12 troop carriers, a half-dozen or so steel storage containers, and what looks to be large generators on wheels, some heavy artillery guns and a few various other sporadic military vehicles. Do we along with friends and neighbors think the timing and influx of occurrences are slightly odd - well yes, if not people in which we normally do not discuss religion, politics or our personal issues with would not have taken it upon themselves to share what they have noticed with us. As we move closer to the November 6th election in a swing state that has dense populations of low income housing, we should hope that an election outcome would not be a trigger for riots, the likes of those in the past. We would like to know if anyone else has noticed any similar changes.     MG