U.S. Already Bankrupt

March 23, 2009

The stock market has shown 2 consecutive weeks of gains.  Are we beginning to see the greatly anticipated bottom of the market, or is this just the Federal Reserve and the government artificially inflating our economy again?  Unfortunately most of the “pro’s” think that we are still in deep water.   I found the following headlines on CBNC.com stock-market-roller-coaster2

  • US is Already ‘Bankrupt’ Technically

The U.S. is already “bankrupt” because it has a debt that is almost four times the size of its economy, says Puru Saxena, CEO of Puru Saxena Wealth Management. He tells CNBC that the U.S. is at risk of hyperinflation.

  • federal_reserve_board_of_governors1Fed to Buy Treasurys is Not a Good Sign

Stephen Roach, chairman for Asia at Morgan Stanley does not view the Fed’s plan to buy $300 billion worth of long-dated government debt as a constructive sign for prospects going forward.

  • Fed’s Move Unlikely to Help Economy

The Fed pumping money into Treasurys won’t help, says Martin Weiss, president of Weiss Research. He also discusses what can be done to turn the US economy around.

  • The US Stuck in Zero-Rate Mode?

America is arrogant to deny their similarity to Japan’s economy, says Stephen Roach, chairman for Asia at Morgan Stanley. He tells CNBC that the US economy is in a “zero-interest rate” mode, like Japan.

  • Quantitative Easing & the Fed’s Balance Sheet

Thomas Lam, vice president and senior treasury economist at UOB, says the Fed’s latest moves such as to buy long-dated Treasurys will stretch its balance sheet and pump more liquidity into economy.

  • The Fed’s Recent Moves are Right

“This decision to purchase long-term assets, mortgages, long-term treasury securities, is the right thing to do. The Fed would clearly rather err on the side of inflation rather then depression,” said Dennis Gartman from the Gartman Letter. He also touches on the housing market in the US as well as the TALF.

  • Tackling US Economy

Housing problems need to be tackled before the U.S. economy can pick up, according to Adam Carr, senior economist at ICAP.

  • 2010: ‘Real Peak of the Crisis’

“We are going to see real problems in 2010 when the Fed and all the other governments which issued stimulus packages are going to try to reabsorb some of that liquidity,” Nicu Harajchi, CEO & Founder of N1 Asset Management, said Thursday. He considers whether the Fed’s latest move will work.

  • Fed’s Actions Bode Well for Asia china_worker1

The Fed’s bold moves to support the U.S. economy is good news for Asia, believes Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, economic advisor at MasterCard Worldwide.

  • Redirecting China’s Foreign Investments

China is unlikely to unload their dollar-denominated reserve as such a move will only hurt themselves at this point, says Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, economic advisor at MasterCard Worldwide. He tells CNBC how its foreign investment strategy may change.

  • China Needs Internal Demand

China needs to change its structure to an internal demand driven economy, says Stephen Roach, chairman for Asia at Morgan Stanley. He tells CNBC that China is hugely dependent on external demand as a major source of economic growth.

  • ECB in “Splendid Isolation”

The ECB should be out there pumping money into the system, says Paul Donovan, MD & head of global economics at UBS. He tells CNBC that the central bank is sitting in “splendid isolation”.

  • More Pain Ahead for Europe

There is no cause for optimism in the medium term, despite the better-than-expected data from the ZEW survey, says Par Magnusson, senior analyst at Danske Bank.

  • UK Due for Inflation Spike?

inflation1The UK economy is facing higher inflation down the road, Andy Hartwill from Quasar told CNBC, as Britain posted its highest ever budget deficit Thursday.

  • Deflation Will Hit Mid-Year

Deflation is a near-term risk that may hit global economies in the middle of the year, warns Paul Donovan, MD & head of global economics at UBS.

  • Preventing Runaway Inflation

When liquidity floodgates open, global central banks will have to sterilize very aggressively and in time to prevent runaway inflation.

Source:     http://www.cnbc.com/id/29769858

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Does Bernie Madoff Deserve Hell?

March 17, 2009

He has become the embodiment of all that is evil.  His image has become the latest “2 minute hate” for all who are loosing money in the stock market.  He is Bernard Madoff.bernard-madoff

There is no doubt about it, Bernie Madoff is guilty, he admits it, and he deserves to go to prison.  He knew what he was doing was wrong and he did it anyway.  He lied to his clients, his family, his friends, and to those who loved him and to those whom he loved.  He’s a liar and a cheat.  He’s a sinner and deserves to go to hell.

With all of that said, please allow me to point out some lessons that we can all take from the Madoff scandal and some, antithetical view points.

The Big Fish Story

This scandal is the atypical story of how a little white lie can grow into a white whale.  I’m sure that when he was in college preparing for his career that he didn’t set out to lie, steal, and cheat his way to riches, and then to prison.  It probably started out as a “one time thing” to earn a little extra money, “just this one time.”  He got away with it once, no one got hurt, and thus he knew how to get away with it time and time again.  Before he knew what happened he had a raging river of deceit on his hands that he could not turn back.

Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick

Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick

Not only was he getting away with it, but he was being richly rewarded for it as well.  He became the investment guru for many stars and they loved him as they thought they were making them money “hand over fist.”  The pressure that he was under must have been great.  In retrospect it is a wonder that he didn’t die from a heart attack before he was caught.

This is what he said in court, “When I began the Ponzi scheme I believed it would end shortly and I would be able to extricate myself and my clients from the scheme, however, this proved difficult and ultimately impossible…As the years went by, I realized that my arrest and this day would inevitably come.  I am painfully aware that I have deeply hurt many, many people, including the members of my family, my closest friends, business associates and thousands of clients who gave me their money…I cannot adequately express how sorry I am for what I have done.”

You see that is how Satan works.  He gets you to accept little compromises along the way and before you know it you have compromised everything that you once stood for and believed in.

In Luke 12:3: Jesus says, “Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in the darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.”

Is anyone else responsible?

As I have been following this story I have not heard anyone name any other responsible parties.  I would like to take the time now and name some other parties that are also responsible for Madoff’s clients loosing their money.

1.         Madoff’s Clients

Aren’t adult people responsible for their own money?  Shouldn’t  they bare some responsibility in knowing where their money was invested and to get some type of proof?  From what I have read, Bernie would at times hand write an amount on a piece of paper and the clients would accept what he wrote as the gospel.  Now that’s faith!  I have also read that some of the clients have said that they have lost everything, their entire life savings.  Have they never heard that you don’t put all of your eggs in one basket?  Lets be honest, they were greedy.  They thought that they had an inside to making big returns on their money because of their stature in their community.  Yes they were victims, but they allowed themselves to be victimized.

2. The Governmentsocial_security

Social Security is a very large Ponzi scheme, nothing more or less.  He probably justified his actions in his own mind by looking at the social security.

3. Wall Street

Investing in the stock market is risky.  You can loose all of your money.  Everyone knows this, yet most people continue to invest their money into the stock market.  When you knowingly put your money into a vehicle where you can loose it all, this is called gambling.  We can give it proper sounding names like mutual fund, but no mater how you slice it, it is gambling. Wall Street facilitates this type of gambling.  It is driven by fear and greed.  The same emotional states of mind that drive the casinos in Las Vegas

Bernard Madoff is a criminal and will probably spend the rest of his life in jail, and deservingly so.  He sinned against his family, his friends, and against God.  You know, when I think about it, so have I, and so have you.  We have all sinned against our family, friends and against God.  We all deserve to go to hell.

“For we have all sinned, and come sort of the glory of God.”  Romans 3:23

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”  John 3:16

Salvation and forgiveness is available to us all through Jesus Christ, even to public enemy number one, Bernard Madoff.


Church Shootings – What’s Going On?

March 11, 2009

By Bodie Hodge, AiG–U.S.

There Is a Problem

When a man walks into a church and guns down the pastor, perhaps the question we should ask isn’t “Why did this happen?” but “Should we really be surprised?” In a society where people live by their own whims and ignore God’s rules (even those in the church), such as not to murder, we continue to reap the bitter fruit of such a philosophy.

Judges 17:6
In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.Church Shooting

Christ is King and sits above any authority on earth (of course, some reject this, but Christ still reigns—whether they want to admit it or not.) The King says not to murder. But people are taught that they are their own authority. Hence, the King’s rules are often neglected as people raise their own beliefs to be greater than God.

Violence Increasing

If people set their own rules—and many in today’s humanistic culture have been taught to do this from an early age—then be prepared. School shootings, church shootings, and other acts of violence, sadly, will increase. For a listing of some of school shootings in the U.S. please visit this off-site website, Keys to Safer Schools This website used to keep a map of the U.S. school shootings, but it was forced to stop updating it in 2006 because there were so many. The site claims, “We are unable to keep up with a graphic view of school violence.”

columbineMany of you may recall the shooting in Columbine and other high schools, but even universities have suffered such tragedy, such as Northern Illinois University on February 14, 2008, and Virginia Tech on April 16, 2007.

Now even churches are becoming targets of violence. In late 2007, a shooter, who had a Christian background, went into a mission and a church and became a murderer. And when someone claims to be a Christian, but defies God’s Word and murders, then they have raised their own beliefs above God’s Word, showing humanistic influence.

But shootings are not limited to the U.S. Perhaps the most famous international school shooting was a student in Finland who, due to evolutionary beliefs, decided to put “natural selection and survival of the fittest back on tracks!”

Why?

On Sunday March 8, 2009, violence erupted in Marysville, Illinois, in a Baptist church. A shooter opened fire on pastor Fred Winters, who was standing in the pulpit. Our hearts and prayers go out to the pastor’s family and others in the church, specifically those who were injured trying to subdue the shooter.1

When such tragedies strike, people often want to assign blame. Sometimes there are other pertinent factors, but ultimately the root cause is sin. We are in a sin-cursed world because our ancestor, Adam, sinned against God. Because Adam sinned, we all have sinned and continually choose to sin.

We were all in Adam when he sinned, just as Levi (Abraham’s great-grandson) was in Abraham when he tithed to Melchizedek (Hebrews 7:9–10). But we can’t simply blame Adam for all the problems because we sin too. It may seem like a difficult situation with no escape, but through repentance and faith in Christ, one can be saved. But being saved does not mean that there will be no hardships as long as we remain in a sin-cursed world; however, the sting of death, which is the ultimate punishment for sin, will be thwarted (1 Corinthians 15:51–58).bible

What Can Be Done?

In today’s society, Christians are letting the philosophy of “people setting their own rules” go too far. It is time for Christians to challenge humanistic ideas on all fronts to “cast down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5) The humanistic philosophy that has taken over society, particularly in the past 50 years, is bearing ugly fruit. If this fruit continues to grow unabated, it will bring our society crashing down around us.

The first way to counter this is to begin with ourselves—then our families, then our churches, and then our culture. We need to have answers about why the Bible is true, why it is the authority, and about the God to whom we are accountable.

Invitation

Fred Winters, the pastor who was shot, is now with the Lord: he died a martyr’s death like most of Jesus’s disciples. Like Jesus’s disciples, Pastor Winters devoted his life to sharing the good news of Jesus Christ. For those who may be reading this and are unsure of their salvation, we invite you to consider the claims of Christ and the good news that we have in Christ Jesus our Lord. For more, please see:

And I would encourage you to find a local church and speak to the pastor concerning salvation. For a good biblical overview, I suggest reading Genesis 1–11, the Gospel of John, the book of Romans, and then Revelation 21–22. This will give you a good overview.

Help keep these daily articles coming. Support AiG.

I found this to be an excellent aritlce found on the Answers In Genesis Website.  Thanks to Ken Ham for his Creation Ministry, and to Bodie Hodge for this Article.  Please visit their website at http://www.answersingenesis.org


The Biggest Crisis in America

March 10, 2009

There is an economic crisis in America, but it is not our biggest crisis.

The Associated Press today released some numbers from americanreligionsurvey-aris.org

a national survey on religion in America.

Here are some of the numbers.

  • 15% of the respondents said they have no religion. An increase from 14.2% in 2001, and 8.2% in 1990.
  • Northern New England Surpassed the Pacific Northwest as the least religious Region.
  • 34% of Vermont reported that they have no religion
  • The numbers of Americans with no religion rose in every state
  • Mainline Protestants dropped from just over 17% to 12.9% of the population
  • 30% of married couples did not have a religious wedding ceremony
  • 27% said they did not want a religious funeral
  • 12% of Americans believe in a higher power but not the personal God at the core of monotheistic faiths.
  • 1.2% said they were part of new religious movements, including Scientology, Wicca, and Santeria
  • Evangelical or born-again Americans make up 34% of all American adults and 45% of all Christians and Catholics.
  • Muslim Americans grew to 0.6%

Our biggest crisis in America today is a spiritual crisis. Christians have no where to look but into the mirror when looking at these statistics. If we were at lest discipling our own children these numbers would be increasing for Christ.

Until we take seriously the commandments of God, the economic crisis doesn’t really matter.


Sinking Sand

March 9, 2009

As the Financial Tsunami makes landfall it is destroying everything within its path.  It is taking homes, mortgage companies, banks, investment companies, automobile manufactures, small businesses, large businesses, jobs, and anything or anyone else that has built their future on the sinking sands of debt.

wave-hitting-rock

“Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:  And the rains descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not:  for it was founded upon a rock.  And every one that heareth these saying of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:  And the rains descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: And great was the fall of it.” Mathew 7:24-27

In the area in which I live a large home builder just went out of business.  They cited the current economic environment was too tough for them to survive.  It’s true, the present economic environment is very difficult for home builders or anyone else involved with real estate to survive.  However, just a few short years ago they were making money hand over fist.  Their sales were booming and people were building a lot of homes.  What happened to all of the money that they earned when times were good?

I’ll tell you where it went.  It went to banks in interest payments.

This builder, like many other large builders, operated from a “stay in debt business model”.  It was working from the “microwave worldview” that it must be the biggest builder in the nation, right now!

They used debt to acquire land to be developed into building lots.  They used debt, in the form of a business credit line, to ‘ready’ the land for homes to be built.  They used debt to build spec. homes to be sold.

This type of operation is understandable (although risky) for a new start up business with a limited amount of cash.  However, for many builders and businesses there is no plan to get out of debt, and to operate the business debt free.  When profits are earned they are spent on bonuses, and dividend payments.  Interest paid to the bank is simply another category on the expense side of the ledger.  Sinking Sand.

The travesty of the whole thing is that’s what is taught in most business colleges today.  The students are not taught the pit falls of debt.  Debt is taught as a cost to do business.

It is more then just bad news for this builder and its employees.  There are many people who will suffer the consequences of the builder’s debt.  The towns in which land was acquired is now in questions.  Will this land sit empty with no use for several years?  What about the customers that were in the midst of building a new home; will their home be completed?  What about other companies (landscape companies, roofing companies, etc…) that became yoked with this builder; will they have to go out of business too?

I am not trying to pick on this one company, but I am using them as my example of how most businesses, large and small operate.

Debt kills, it destroys, and it enslaves.

With this in mind, think about these statistics.

  • About 43% of American families spend more than they earn each year.
  • Average households carry some $8,000 in credit card debt.
  • Personal bankruptcies have doubled in the past decade.
  • Consumers owe nearly $2 trillion. (not including mortgage debt)  That’s $18,654 per household

The current national debt is $10,964,973,383,260, and growing.  (Just in case you need to know that’s nearly $11 Trillion!)  It continues to grow at an average pace of $3.71 Billion per day.


At every level of our society (Government, Businesses, Households) debt continues to grow.  It there any wonder why

Thailand Tsunami Destruction

Thailand Tsunami Destruction

we are facing judgment?  We ignore the warning from God about debt and then we pray for blessings.

Make no mistake about it, the Financial Tsunami has made landfall, and only God knows how far it will go.  When it finally does recede we will then begin to see the destruction that it has brought forth upon our land and upon the world.  What an opportunity for the Truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.