Ben Bernanke—Hero?

Ben Bernanke—Hero?

Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Did a caped crusader rescue the world?

Check out a copy of the latest Atlantic. The cover of the April issue is a glowing picture of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke—“the hero” who “saved the global economy.” Da-na-na-na-na-na-na-na Bernankman!

As steward of the U.S. economy, Bernanke has a few accomplishments. In 2010, the year after the great recession tenuously ended, people who made more than $356,000 (the top 1 percent of earners) saw their incomes rise by more than 11 percent. Bang! The top one hundredth of Americans saw their incomes jump by more than 21 percent. Pow! Ninety-nine percent of Americans saw their incomes rise too—by an average of $80. Zing.

So, the rich are getting richer. And the poor … can afford to eat out two more times per year.

But hey, Bernanke’s job description at the Federal Reserve isn’t to make everyone rich. His job description consists of two main heroics: Promote employment and prevent inflation.

Here’s Bernankman’s own Bernank evaluation of his performance on jobs: “After nearly two years of job gains, private payroll employment remains more than 5 million jobs below its previous peak; the jobs shortfall is even larger, of course, when increases in the size of the labor force are taken into account,” he said on Monday. “And the unemployment rate in February was still roughly 3 percentage points above its average over the 20 years preceding the recession. Moreover, a significant portion of the improvement in the labor market has reflected a decline in layoffs rather than an increase in hiring.”

In summary: Almost four years after the recession, America is still down 5 million jobs. During this time, America’s workforce has shrunk, even as the population has increased. Simply put, more people are not even trying to find work.

Right now, 46 million Americans have at least part of their food bill paid for by the government—one out of every seven. That is an increase of 14.2 million since 2008—2 million more than live in greater Los Angeles. Meanwhile, almost half of all Americans are now considered to be “low income” ($45,000 or less per year for a family of four) or are living in poverty—more than twice as many people as 10 years ago.

Bernankman’s Federal Reserve has been undeniably unheroic in its job of creating jobs—but it has been veritably villainous on inflation.

The purchasing power of the dollar speaks for itself. Since the creation of the Federal Reserve in 1913, the dollar has lost between 95 and 97 percent of its value. Bernanke has only been on the scene of the crime for the past six years, but during his time it has dropped 15 percent on the U.S. Dollar Index. As the dollar has depreciated in value, so have the savings accounts and investments of millions of Americans. Measure the dollar against any commodity and it is crashing in value. The dollar has lost so much value that President Obama recently commissioned the U.S. Mint to look into ways to make America’s coinage out of cheaper metals, but the mint can’t find any! It costs more money to buy even the most inexpensive metal and mint the pennies and nickels than the coins are worth once minted—a consequence of the depreciating value of the dollar.

Bernanke’s Federal Reserve has obviously failed at its two primary missions. And Bernankman let his recession detector run out of batteries—or something. The chairman of what is possibly the most important financial institution in the nation charged right into the most severe economic meltdown since the Great Depression—and didn’t see it coming. Zoink!

Even after the real-estate bubble popped—and everyone could see it—Bernankman still had the audacity to say that the housing market going down in flames was basically under control and that the subprime market was contained. Less than five months before the recession he touted the strong economy and strong global economy.

Then—bam!

Four years after the crash, here is what Bernanke told the Atlantic he learned from it all: “Everyone failed to appreciate that our sophisticated, hypermodern, highly hedged, derivatives-based financial system—how ultimately fragile it really was.”

Right. Besides the fact that lots of people, including the Trumpet, were blaring warning sirens, what has the heroic Bernankman done since? Has he really learned a lesson?

Nothing has changed. Except that a few new regulatory agencies have been created. Nothing fundamental has been fixed. There were regulators before the crash too, and they also failed at their missions. And why would any small-time regulator try to go against the tide and try to prevent the crash when the biggest regulator of them all, the Federal Reserve, not only wasn’t saying anything, but was actively fueling the bubble?

As analyst Mike Shedlock asks, “[W]hy should any credit be given [to Bernanke] when we can say without a doubt the Fed caused the global economic crisis in the first place?”

So where are we today, four years into Bernankman’s heroic protection of our financial city?

Out of thin air, Bernanke has created and spent trillions of dollars to “prop up” and “stimulate” various aspects of the economy. The U.S. federal government, not to be outdone, has borrowed and spent trillions more. They have doubled down on more of the exact same things that caused the economic crisis in the first place.

The result? A slight economic bounce: some transient jobs and industries that won’t necessarily last. With a price tag of trillions in new debt.

We are right back where we began. Right where we were before the crisis.

We still have the same dangerous “too big to fail” banks with leveraged balance sheets. In fact, they’re even bigger than they were before the bailouts. We still have a market over-supplied with houses and under-supplied with jobs. We have students graduating with record amounts of debt who earn lower real, inflation-adjusted salaries than their parents. We have a trade deficit that is expanding again as we import more than we export. We have a government facing a new record $15.5 trillion debt. We have an additional $20,000 debt per man, woman and child. We have a budget deficit that the Congressional Budget Office says will be $100 billion higher than expected. We have a government that has promised another $61 trillion—money we don’t have—to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security baby boomers who are now starting to retire.

Plus, America may now have a Federal Reserve and a currency facing a credibility issue due to all that fiat money creation.

Kapow!

We still owe the trillions we owed before the disaster. We owe trillions for our failed attempts at fixing the disaster, and we are plunging into a multimillion-person deficit of confidence in the system that is going to be terminal. We have a mass media trying to convince us that villains are heroes and that the global economy has been saved. And we have millions of people who gullibly eat it up.

Nothing has been fixed, and the system is getting ready to fail again.

If we are going to fix the real problems, we need something different than any superhero, real or imagined, can deliver. Let’s start by doing away with wishful thinking and start facing reality.

Morocco: Anti-Israel Rally Kicks Off ‘Global March to Jerusalem’

Morocco: Anti-Israel Rally Kicks Off ‘Global March to Jerusalem’

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Tens of thousands of Muslims held a massive anti-Israel protest in Rabat, Morocco, on Sunday, burning Israeli flags and demanding the “liberation” of Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa Mosque. The rally forced an Israeli diplomat to flee the city, and kicked off the “Global March to Jerusalem,” which is scheduled to culminate this Friday.

The Islamic group organizing the event reported that 100,000 Muslims participated in the rally. Arab media said the protest was spawned by anger at the participation of Israeli diplomat David Saranga in a Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (euromed) meeting at Morocco’s parliament. Morocco’s ruling party boycotted the meeting because of Saranga’s involvement, and many legislators and citizens voiced disapproval of his participation. At the rally, activists waved Palestinian flags, set Israeli flags on fire, and chanted for the freedom of the al-Aqsa Mosque from Israeli occupation.

According to the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth, thousands of Muslims stormed the building after the euromed meeting ended, and Saranga was taken out under heavy security through a side door and to the airport. Rather than spend another night in the Moroccan capital as planned, Saranga immediately boarded a flight to Paris.

The following day, Moroccan media reported that a 74-year-old Jewish man was murdered in the city of Fez. Witnesses said the murderer struck the victim repeatedly in the head with a hammer, and analysts believe the murder could be related to the anti-Semitic frenzy stirred up by the previous day’s rally. The perpetrator fled the crime scene and has not been arrested, according to reports.

Global March to Jerusalem

Protesters at Sunday’s rally also chanted, “A million martyrs are going to Jerusalem,” in reference to the “Global March to Jerusalem.” The march, planned for March 30, is already under way in Morocco and other locations throughout the Arab world, and is heading toward the countries that neighbor Israel—Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt. Protests are also scheduled in the Palestinian-administrated territories, and against Israel’s embassies in major cities all over the globe.

Fatah Allah al-Raslan, one of the march’s coordinators, said it was called partly because many Muslims believe the efforts of their leaders to oust Jews from Israel are not aggressive enough: “The Arab silence on the Palestinian issue is nothing new. It stems from a conspiracy with the occupying power. We do not trust the Arab rulers to free Palestine, but the peoples who still make themselves be heard,” al-Raslan said.

Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh explained on February 24 that the recent uprisings throughout the Middle East have made conditions right for an overthrow of Jerusalem: “The Arab Spring brought the Islamic nation to the threshold of the city of Jerusalem,” Haniyeh said.

The Islamic AhlulBayt News Agency said the march’s purpose is to bring 1 million Muslims “as close as possible to East al-Quds (East Jerusalem),” with the goal of “liberating” the city from Jewish occupation.

For years the Trumpet has shown that Bible prophecy says half of Jerusalem will fall violently to the enemies of Israel. In March 2006, editor in chief Gerald Flurry said, “Zechariah 14 contains an end-time prophecy about half of Jerusalem falling to the enemy. … The Palestinians will take half of Jerusalem. They say even now that a Palestinian state must include East Jerusalem, which already is comprised mostly of Palestinians, and the Temple Mount. They want Jerusalem, with the Temple Mount, as their capital.”

The Trumpet has focused on this future Palestinian conquest of East Jerusalem because Bible prophecy says it will be the match igniting a series of explosive end-time events. Mr. Flurry explained (ibid):

The Palestinians could—and, I believe, will—conquer the Temple Mount and refuse access to anybody else. … Such a provocative act could in itself stir Europe to attack and conquer radical Islam. Europe would then control much of the Jerusalem area. Once it establishes that foothold, it will quickly double cross and conquer the Middle East Jews, America and Britain at the same time. This sequence of events will alarm the Asian powers, causing them to think they will be Europe’s next victim. So the Russians and Chinese will unite and plan an attack against Europe (Daniel 11:44-45). At that point, the armies of both these powers will gather in Megiddo (Armageddon) and head down to Jerusalem, where Christ will conquer them and set up the Kingdom of God. So you can see how all of this is linked. The trigger to all of it is the fall of half of Jerusalem. Then begins a step-by-step series of crises that leads to Christ’s electrifying return to this Earth.

Sunday’s anti-Israel rally in Morocco and the “Global March to Jerusalem” that is now under way show that the fulfillment of this landmark “trigger” prophecy could be very near. To understand more, read “Jerusalem Is About to Be Cut in Half.”

Islamists Dominate Egypt’s Constitutional Committee

Islamists Dominate Egypt’s Constitutional Committee

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Egypt’s liberals resign in protest.

Egypt’s Islamists will dominate the 100-strong group that will write the country’s new constitution, after parliament chose the group’s members on March 25. Egypt’s liberals said they would boycott the committee in protest.

There’s been a major shift in Egyptian politics …. At this point, no one can stop the Brotherhood.
Director of Research at the Brookings Doha Center, Shadi Hamid

“We are going to boycott this committee, and we are going to withdraw and let them make an Islamic constitution,” said head of the Social Democratic Party Abou el Ghar. “We are going to continue struggling for a secular Egypt in the streets.”

“We agreed that this will be a balanced committee and it will represent all views of Egypt,” he said. “But as you can see, there is no representation of secular Egypt.” The committee contains just six Coptic Christians and six women.

Members of parliament make up half the committee, with the other half being made up of experts chosen by parliament. Thirty-six of the 50 M.P.s are Islamists, and they also dominate the other half of the committee. Egypt Independent reports that the “Islamists picked their own as much as they could,” and that “[a]ll bankers and businessmen included in the assembly are from Islamist backgrounds, and the bankers work in Islamic banking.”

“The composition of the assembly is not ideal, and things are further complicated by the wishes of the liberals and the leftists in the assembly to withdraw,” warned one of the committee members, political science professor Mostafa Kamel al-Sayed. “This will mean the Islamists and their discourse will dominate further.”

“There’s been a major shift in Egyptian politics,” said director of research at the Brookings Doha Center, Shadi Hamid. “The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces is entering its lame-duck stage. At this point, no one can stop the Brotherhood.”

According to the Egyptian Gazette, the Muslim Brotherhood originally said that 40 members of the committee should come from parliament, and 60 from outside. It then switched at the last minute, so the Islamist-dominated parliament could grab more committee members.

This seems to be a typical pattern for the Brotherhood. First it said it would contest 30 to 40 percent of the seats in parliament. It changed its mind, and ended up winning around 50 percent of them. It shouldn’t be surprising that after saying it would not put forward a presidential candidate, the Muslim Brotherhood is having second thoughts about that too.

Watch as the Muslim Brotherhood takes Egypt in a radically new Islamist direction, just as the Trumpet has predicted for years.

Benedict XVI Starts Off Mexico’s Election Season

Benedict XVI Starts Off Mexico’s Election Season

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The pope may have to lend his alleged political favorites some Vatican-created credibility.

Pope Benedict xvi made his first state visit to Mexico on the weekend and met with President Felipe Calderón in what the Vatican has described as a courtesy visit in the middle of a purely pastoral trip to Mexico and Cuba.

Many political observers have been arguing for months, however, that the pope’s real purpose for visiting Mexico is to bolster President Calderón’s pro-Catholic National Action Party (pan) just as Mexico’s political campaign season kicks into high gear.

“The party closest to the Vatican, the pope and Catholic religion, is the pan,” said political analyst Gabriel Guerra in an interview with a New York Times correspondent. “They would have the most to benefit.”

The Vatican was in conflict with an anti-clerical Mexican government for most of the past century, until the pan came to power in 2000. Now, with elections looming in 12 weeks and pan presidential candidate Josefina Vázquez Mota trailing some 11 percent in the polls, the pope may have to lend his alleged favorite some Vatican-created credibility.

“It’s not a pastoral visit, it’s an electoral visit for the pan,” said Mexican poet Homero Aridjis to a New York Times correspondent. “Benedict isn’t going to cities like Ciudad Juárez,” the gritty border metropolis that has been traumatized by violence. “If it was a spiritual visit, he would go to the places that really need his presence and his ministry,” he said.

Vázquez Mota comes from a highly conservative, private sector guild and has the support of an important coalition of ultra-rightist forces. This coalition is rumored to include the notorious El Yunque, a secret society allegedly wanting to “defend the Catholic religion and fight against the forces of Satan, even through violence” and to “establish the kingdom of God on Earth.”

Regardless of which candidate wins this July’s election, expect Pope Benedict and his Vatican hierarchy to continue meddling in the political affairs of not just Mexico, but all of Latin America.

The European Union and the Vatican will soon join forces in a move that will subjugate Latin America to the power of a revived Holy Roman Empire. For proof of this, read the chapter “Europe’s Latin Assault” in our He Was Right booklet.

Israel Cuts Off Relations With UN Human Rights Council

Israel severed its relations with the United Nations Human Rights Council on March 26.

The Israeli government ended the relationship when the unhrc said it would send a committee to investigate settlements in the West Bank.

Israel has also said it will bar the council’s team from entering the West Bank. It says that the council continues to display an anti-Israel bias.

Israel is becoming more and more isolated. It is facing increasing international hostility, and its relationship with the United States is cooling. This will force the Jewish state to look elsewhere for support. The Bible prophesies that Israel will soon seek help from Germany. This will lead to a betrayal by Berlin, with disastrous consequences for Israel. To understand where the explosive events in the Middle East are heading, read our booklet Jerusalem in Prophecy.

EU Militaries Pool Resources, Reduce Dependence on America

EU Militaries Pool Resources, Reduce Dependence on America

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European militaries try to fix their weaknesses.

EU nations will invest in joint military projects such as air-to-air refueling and field hospitals as they try to save money and reduce their dependence on the United States, defense ministers from across the European Union decided March 22.

Meeting as part of the European Defense Agency’s Steering Board, they signed declarations of intent in these areas and said they would increase cooperation in procurement and research.

“The EU-led nato operation in Libya last year also exposed hardware and technology deficiencies in the EU military,” wrote the EU Observer.

“Gaps in the EU military were already identified in Afghanistan,” it writes. “The former U.S. defense minister Robert Gates last year said Europe’s lack of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance assets rendered even Europe’s most advanced jet fighters useless. In Libya, the U.S. was also instrumental in air-to-air refueling.”

Hence the EU’s decision to develop air-to-air refueling as “a matter of priority,” as the European Defense Agency’s press release says. It is also working to fix its shortcomings in other areas.

The United States is encouraging Europe to become more militarily independent, as it focuses its attention more on the Pacific.

European militaries have a lot to gain from working together. Combined, they have a military budget second only to the U.S. They have the potential to be a major military power if they work together.

Many EU nations want to go much further toward a common military. “The UK is reluctant to go ahead with this, but everybody else wants to, so we should move forward,” said Finland’s Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja earlier in the month (March 9).

As Britain becomes increasingly sidelined, expect EU nations to integrate their militaries much more. Watch for them to continue to overcome their weaknesses—with American encouragement—so they are less reliant on the U.S. This is something America will deeply regret, however. For more on the agenda behind Europe’s military desires, read Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry’s article “The Holy Roman Empire Is Back!