Argentina: Heading for Another Bond Default

Argentina: Heading for Another Bond Default

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Argentina may soon stop paying its debts and stiff its creditors as President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner tightens her grip on the economy.

Already Argentina stands accused of rigging its national inflation number, which allows it to underpay investors in its inflation-linked bonds. In 2001, Argentina fired its statisticians and began reporting inflation rates that consistently seemed low. Foreign mistrust was compounded by Argentina’s decision to seize control of Spanish-owned oil producer ypf sa earlier this year. This has impaired the nation’s ability to borrow money on the international market.

It has also ignited a rush to get money out of the country before the government seizes it. To combat the number of investors pulling their assets out of Argentina, politicians have imposed strict currency controls. This has only increased people’s desire to expatriate their wealth.

Facing capital flight and a frozen bond market, Argentina has resorted to printing currency to pay its bills. This has caused the Argentine peso to plummet in value and send real inflation rates to more than double the official 9 percent.

But there is always a cost to stiffing your creditors. On October 20, de Kirchner ordered Argentina’s navy to abandon a frigate that was seized by Ghana on October 2. A Ghana court ordered the seizure due to Argentina’s 2001 default on $300 million in debt, which is now owed to U.S.-based investment firm Elliot Management. The Argentine Frigate Libertad was in Ghana on a training mission.

As Argentina’s economy has continued to deteriorate, the de Kirchner government has focused on populism and has ramped up its rhetoric about retaking the Falkland Islands from Great Britain, instead of proposing real solutions to its problems. Expect more of it.

Israeli Attack on Sudan Exposes Iran’s Links With North Africa

Israeli Attack on Sudan Exposes Iran’s Links With North Africa


Israel bombed a weapons factory in Khartoum on October 24, according to the Sudanese government and anonymous government sources cited across the media. The attack appears to be a resounding success for Israel, but it also risks accelerating the drift of Sudan and Egypt towards Iran.

Britain’s Sunday Times reported that eight F-15I fighters bombed the factory on the outskirts of Khartoum. “This was a show of force but it was only a fraction of our capability—and of what the Iranians can expect in the countdown to the spring,” it quoted a defense source saying.

The Times reported that Mossad uncovered close links between Sudan and Iran. They claim that in 2008, the two nations signed an agreement allowing Iran to build and operate a weapons factory. A large number of Iranian experts were sent to the factory, where they worked under the supervision of Iran’s revolutionary guards.

The missiles manufactured here “could be launched towards Israel from either Sudan or from the Sinai Peninsula,” an Israeli security expert said. “They pose a direct threat.”

The strike appears to have been successful, but in the aftermath, Sudan isn’t changing its relationship with Tehran. An Iranian navy task force docked in Sudan on October 29. Iranian state media reported that the ships left Iran last month and were on a mission “conveying the message of peace and friendship to the neighboring countries and ensuring security for seafaring and shipping lanes against marine terrorism and piracy.” Sudan’s military said that the ships’ presence represents the strong ties between the two countries.

The attack also exposes a growing relationship between Egypt and Sudan. Sudan’s rulers are part of an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, so it’s no surprise that they get on well with Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi. Morsi used part of his maiden speech to the UN to praise Sudan and encourage the international community to come to its aid. Sudan “has not received the support it deserves,” he said.

Since the attack, Morsi has vehemently supported Sudan over Israel. He telephoned Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir to condemn the “Israeli aggression against Sudan.”

At the end of August, Wikileaks published e-mails it says came from Stratfor showing that Egypt had reached an agreement to operate a small airbase in Sudan in 2010 to prevent Ethiopia from building a new dam on the Nile. Since then, Ethiopia has unveiled plans for an even bigger dam. Stratfor writes that “Even direct military action by Egypt cannot be ruled out,” but emphasize this is the least likely option. Egypt would first try to coax or cajole Ethiopia away from the project through diplomatic pressure or by supporting anti-Ethiopian terrorist groups, Stratfor says.

The project forces Egypt to maintain a close alliance with Sudan so it can keep maximum pressure on Ethiopia. Rather than distance itself from Sudan after the attacks, Egypt will rally around its southern neighbor.

The Sudan-Iranian and Sudan-Egyptian ties will evolve into a regional alliance between North Africa and Iran. This alliance will ultimately, and perhaps violently, draw in Ethiopia.

For more information on this growing alliance, read our new special report “Libya and Ethiopia in Prophecy.”

As Western Sanctions Bite, Iran Seeks Greater Trade With Egypt

As Western Sanctions Bite, Iran Seeks Greater Trade With Egypt


America’s weak-willed response to the rising threat of radical Islam is only pushing Egypt and Iran into each other’s arms all the faster!

During the third U.S. presidential debate, Republican challenger Mitt Romney lauded the “crippling sanctions” the Obama administration has imposed on the Iranian economy. Rather than dragging Iran back to the nuclear negotiating table, however, these sanctions that both American presidential candidates seem so proud of could end up hastening the development of an axis of terrorism between Iran and Egypt.

Under current Western sanctions, Iran’s monthly inflation rate is now approximately 70 percent, meaning everything becomes twice as expensive every six weeks. This represents the Middle East’s first-ever bout of hyperinflation.

To combat the effect of this hyperinflation, however, Iran is not even considering compromising on its nuclear program. Instead, the Iranian minister of commerce, industry and minerals has invited his Egyptian counterpart to visit Tehran at the earliest opportunity to discuss the possibility of boosting trade between their two countries. On the Egyptian side, a delegation of officials has already discussed strengthening bilateral economic cooperation in general and in particular the exporting of citrus fruits to Iran in exchange for Iranian apples and kiwi fruit.

In addition to getting much-needed fruit and foodstuffs from Egypt, Iran is also in negotiations to sell crude oil to Egypt, Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi was quoted as saying by the Iranian Students’ News Agency (isna) in September. The European Union imposed a total ban on purchases of Iranian crude in July, so the possibility of redirecting oil exports to Egypt represents a major opportunity for Iran.

All in all, the director of Iran’s Interests Section in Cairo estimates that the volume of trade between Iran and Egypt will increase fourfold by 2013, according to a Tehran Times article published on October 23.

Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry has been writing for 20 years that Egypt will ally with Iran to form an axis of terrorism identified in the book of Daniel as the king of the south. America’s weak-willed response to the rising threat of radical Islam is only pushing Egypt and Iran into each other’s arms all the faster. For more in-depth information of this subject, read the cover story of our October/November issue of the Philadelphia Trumpet,Egypt Unites With Iran and Fulfills a Bible Prophecy.”

Draghi Supports German Plans for Super-Commissioner

Draghi Supports German Plans for Super-Commissioner

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European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said he supported German plans to create a European commissioner with widespread powers over national budgets, in an interview with Spiegel published in English on October 29.

A fortnight ago, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble suggested the creation of a super-commissioner who would be “feared around the world.” This man would have the power to veto the budgets of eurozone nations and would be one of two EU commissioners authorized to act without the agreement of his colleagues.

When asked about the proposal during his combative interview with Spiegel, Draghi announced: “I am fully in favor of it.”

“Governments would be wise to seriously consider it,” he said. “I firmly believe that, in order to restore confidence in the euro area, countries need to transfer part of their sovereignty to the European level.”

This comes from the man of whom Spiegel asked: “Would it be wrong to call you the most powerful man in Europe?”

As Trumpet columnist Ron Fraser has pointed out, Draghi represents the view of the Catholic Church in Europe. If both Germany and the Catholic Church want this new super-commissioner, there’s a good chance it will happen.

The holder of this office could easily oust Draghi from the position of “most powerful man in Europe.”

A History-Making Storm—With a Valuable Lesson

A History-Making Storm—With a Valuable Lesson

NASA GOES Project Text: NASA/Rob Gutro/flickr

It’s been called the “perfect storm,” a “Frankenstorm,” a “superstorm” and the “storm of the century.” On Monday morning, the outer arms of Hurricane Sandy were slamming a 1,000-mile stretch of America’s Eastern Seaboard.

According to meteorologists, there is no known precedent for this history-making monster of a storm. Coming just days before the election, and with billions of dollars’ worth of damage already sustained, Sandy has the potential to change the course of history in America.

The timing is not accidental. In a year already characterized by strange and abnormal weather, there is a critical lesson that America should be learning from its disastrous weather.

The damage is racking up—maybe an astounding $100 billion before it is over, according to one estimate. Sunday night, regulators shuttered the New York Stock Exchange. Then on Monday, they announced it would stay closed on Tuesday too. It is the first time since 1888 that the exchange has been closed for two consecutive days due to weather.

But the exchange is not alone. The streets of America’s financial capital are deserted. Wall Street is empty. The headquarters of the nation’s biggest banks are closed for business. A whopping 375,000 people have been evacuated from the city so far. Schools are closed. New York’s two main tunnels into and out of the city are closed. Grand Central Station is closed. For only the second time in New York’s history, its mass transit system is closed. The first was during last year’s tropical storm Irene. The National Guard is deployed.

New York is not alone either. Sandy is spinning a 1,000-mile diameter swath of hurricane-force winds. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie told people to get out of Dodge. “Don’t be stupid. Get out,” he said. Low-lying areas are already flooding.

Getting anywhere may soon be impossible. Over 13,000 flights have been cancelled so far—with a cascading effect that is being felt across the country. Amtrak has stopped all East Coast services. The governor of Connecticut has closed all state highways, saying, “This is the most catastrophic event that we have faced … in any of our lifetimes.”

The eye of the storm hit the New Jersey area Monday evening—coinciding with the monthly high tide. Storm surges are expected to be at least 11 feet above normal. But New York could get it even worse. As one commentator described it: “Long Island Sound is best understood as a bathtub with drains at both ends. Right now the faucet is on and the drains are clogged. It’s filling up.”

The National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration’s hurricane division says the surge and wave “destruction potential” for Sandy will hit 5.8 out of 6—a new record high that is being powered by the storm’s massive size.

Atlantic City is almost completely under water. “The city’s basically flooded,” said Willie Glass, Atlantic City’s public safety director. “It looks like it’s going to be worse than the storm of ‘62, which was monumental.”

For many of the 50 million people who will be affected, the worst part may be the prolonged nature of the storm—due to its unique meteorological origins. The storm originally began as three separate storms. An Arctic blast of cold air from the north first collided with a normal winter low pressure trough to form an onshore cold front. Now warm-water storm Sandy is headed its way. The hybrid-Frankenstorm that resulted could linger with sustained strong winds for more than 48 hours. A lot of people could be trapped without power for a long time.

And that could lead to unrest of various kinds. If things go bad, “people will be ‘fighting in the streets’ for gas, food,” abc headlined earlier today.

But the thing people should be paying most attention to is the timing of the storm. Watching the violent weather now dominate politics in the news just days before an election should be reminder that there is a higher power.

Yes, President Obama’s response to this storm—or even simply the public perception of his response to the storm—could have huge implications on the national elections. Romney is surging in the polls. The race is close.

Both the Bible and history are clear on this point. Weather, natural disasters, calamities can change the course of history. The Bible says God uses the weather as an instrument of His will. When we see record disasters, God is allowing them for a reason.

That is the lesson of this storm that most people are missing. Gerald Flurry explained in a recent Key of David television program: “The weather upsets in this nation are biblical.”

In an August 29 program, Gerald Flurry warned that the record-breaking weather disasters hitting America are not coincidences, but fulfilled prophecies from the Bible. They are God’s way of “measuring destruction” on America—for its sins.

And it doesn’t matter one bit who America elects as its next president if people are not willing to change.

Mr. Flurry said, “[O]ne political party in the U.S., the liberal political party, will say, ‘Well, if we don’t win this election in the United States, there’s going to be a great catastrophe in this land.’ And the conservatives will say the same thing, ‘Well, if we don’t win this election, there’s a great catastrophe in this land.’ But I’ll tell you, it doesn’t make any difference who wins, there is a great catastrophe in this land, and we must see that or perish. We must see it! God says He will protect us if we respond to Him, individually. But our problems will never be solved by a political party. Never!”

The good news is that, even though it may not seem like it, the record-breaking weather disasters striking America are a sign of God’s love. God wants people to change. He wants people to live happy, prosperous lives filled with meaning and purpose. God wants people to live His way of life. Eventually He will give every person who has ever lived this opportunity, but until then, this destruction is His way of sending correction to a nation that should know better. There is a reason America is being struck with so many natural disasters. And they will keep on coming until everyone learns why.

Yet Another ‘Natural’ Disaster Looms