All posts tagged Twitter

By Suspicious0bservers

Published on Jan  2, 2014

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Looney Tunes - Photo by Ramon F Velasquez

By Michael Snyder

It is time to crank up the Looney Tunes theme song because Wall Street has officially entered crazytown territory.  Stocks just keep going higher and higher, and at this point what is happening in the stock market does not bear any resemblance to what is going on in the overall economy whatsoever.  So how long can this irrational state of affairs possibly continue?  Stocks seem to go up no matter what happens.  If there is good news, stocks go up.  If there is bad news, stocks go up.  If there is no news, stocks go up.  On Thursday, the day after Christmas, the Dow was up another 122 points to another new all-time record high.  In fact, the Dow has had an astonishing 50 record high closes this year.  This reminds me of the kind of euphoria that we witnessed during the peak of the housing bubble.  At the time, housing prices just kept going higher and higher and everyone rushed to buy before they were “priced out of the market”.  But we all know how that ended, and this stock market bubble is headed for a similar ending.

It is almost as if Wall Street has not learned any lessons from the last two major stock market crashes at all.  Just look at Twitter.  At the current price, Twitter is supposedly worth 40.7 BILLION dollars.  But Twitter is not profitable.  It is a seven-year-old company that has never made a single dollar of profit.

Not one single dollar.

In fact, Twitter actually lost 64.6 million dollars last quarter alone.  And Twitter is expected to continue losing money for all of 2015 as well.

But Twitter stock is up 82 percent over the last 30 days, and nobody can really give a rational reason for why this is happening.

Overall, the Dow is up more than 25 percent so far this year.  Unless something really weird happens over the next few days, it will be the best year for the Dow since 1996.

It has been a wonderful run for Wall Street.  Unfortunately, there are a whole host of signs that we have entered very dangerous territory.

The median price-to-earnings ratio on the S&P 500 has reached an all-time record high, and margin debt at the New York Stock Exchange has reached a level that we have never seen before.  In other words, stocks are massively overpriced and people have been borrowing huge amounts of money to buy stocks.  These are behaviors that we also saw just before the last two stock market bubbles burst.

And of course the most troubling sign is that even as the stock market soars to unprecedented heights, the state of the overall U.S. economy is actually getting worse…

-During the last full week before Christmas, U.S. store visits were 21 percent lower than a year earlier and retail sales were 3.1 percent lower than a year earlier.

-The number of mortgage applications just hit a new 13 year low.

-The yield on 10 year U.S. Treasuries just hit 3 percent.

For many more signs like this, please see my previous article entitled “37 Reasons Why ‘The Economic Recovery Of 2013’ Is A Giant Lie“.

And most Americans don’t realize this, but the U.S. financial system and the overall U.S. economy are now in much weaker condition than they were the last time we had a major financial crash back in 2008.  Employment is at a much lower level than it was back then and our banking system is much more vulnerable than it was back then.  Just before the last financial crash, the U.S. national debt was sitting at about 10 trillion dollars, but today it has risen to more than 17.2 trillion dollars.  The following excerpt from a recent article posted on contains even more facts and figures which show how our “balance sheet numbers” continue to get even worse…

Since the fourth quarter of 2009, the U.S. current account deficit has been more than $100 billion per quarter. As a result, foreigners now own $4.2 trillion more U.S. investment assets than we own abroad. That’s $1.7 trillion more than when Buffett first warned about this huge problem in 2003. Said another way, the problem is 68% bigger now.

And here’s a number no one else will tell you – not even Buffett. Foreigners now own $25 trillion in U.S. assets. And yet… we continue to consume far more than we produce, and we borrow massively to finance our deficits.

Since 2007, the total government debt in the U.S. (federal, state, and local) has doubled from around $10 trillion to $20 trillion.

Meanwhile, the size of Fannie and Freddie’s mortgage book declined slightly since 2007, falling from $4.9 trillion to $4.6 trillion. That’s some good news, right?

Nope. The excesses just moved to a new agency. The “other” federal mortgage bank, the Federal Housing Administration, now is originating 20% of all mortgages in the U.S., up from less than 5% in 2007.

Student debt, also spurred on by government guarantees, has also boomed, doubling since 2007 to more than $1 trillion. Altogether, total debt in our economy has grown from around $50 trillion to more than $60 trillion since 2007.

So don’t be fooled by this irrational stock market bubble.

Just because a bunch of half-crazed investors are going into massive amounts of debt in a desperate attempt to make a quick buck does not mean that the overall economy is in good shape.

In fact, much of the country is in such rough shape that “reverse shopping” has become a huge trend.  Even big corporations such as McDonald’s are urging their employees to return their Christmas gifts in order to bring in some much needed money…

In a stark reminder of how tough things still are for low-income families in America, McDonalds has advised workers to dig themselves “out of holiday debt” by cashing in their Christmas haul.

“You may want to consider returning some of your unopened purchases that may not seem as appealing as they did,” said a website set up for employees.

“Selling some of your unwanted possessions on eBay or Craigslist could bring in some quick cash.”

This irrational stock market bubble is not going to last for too much longer.  And a lot of top financial experts are now warning their clients to prepare for the worst.  For example, David John Marotta of Marotta Wealth Management recently told his clients that they should all have a “bug-out bag” that contains food, a gun and some ammunition…

A top financial advisor, worried that Obamacare, the NSA spying scandal and spiraling national debt is increasing the chances for a fiscal and social disaster, is recommending that Americans prepare a “bug-out bag” that includes food, a gun and ammo to help them stay alive.

David John Marotta, a Wall Street expert and financial advisor and Forbes contributor, said in a note to investors, “Firearms are the last item on the list, but they are on the list. There are some terrible people in this world. And you are safer when your trusted neighbors have firearms.”

His memo is part of a series addressing the potential for a “financial apocalypse.” His view, however, is that the problems plaguing the country won’t result in armageddon. “There is the possibility of a precipitous decline, although a long and drawn out malaise is much more likely,” said the Charlottesville, Va.-based president of Marotta Wealth Management.

So what do you think is coming in 2014?

Please feel free to share your thoughts by posting a comment below…The Economic Collapse


By Adam C

The power has gone out. A state of emergency has been declared. Phone lines are down. Your teenage daughter is halfway across the city watching a movie with her friend. As you frantically dial her cell phone number, you start to panic as you hear a busy signal – a sound you haven’t heard since the late 1980s. What do you do?

For most people, being out of touch with their spouse or loved ones is a terrifying prospect. In some respects, our terror is rooted in the fact that communications technology has grown to the point where we can instantly and painlessly communicate with people all over the globe. Most of us have multiple ways of reaching our loved ones – all contained within a cell phone, which is now much more than just a simple telephone. Still, even the most routine “emergency” can erase all the technological leaps we’ve made. It doesn’t take much to down cell phone lines – certainly nothing as dramatic as an EMP, nuclear strike, or terrorist event. Phone lines can be downed by mundane and non-newsworthy events like heavy snowfall, torrential rains or even plain old equipment failures. What this means is that you have to maintain a method of emergency communications with family members and loved ones, a foolproof method of communication that works even when conventional routes don’t. Here’s what to do:

1. Make a plan. First of all, you need to lay out a plan for your family members, just in case. Your plan needs to spell out exactly what will happen during an emergency, to include the following:

  • What is expected of them in an emergency? Should they call in? Radio in? Head home? Make sure you clearly spell out what the family member should do – or what you will do during an emergency so everyone is clear on the plan.
  • When will the plan be activated? Preset a time after an emergency event that the plan will be put into motion. For example – if something happens, the family member will wait exactly one hour to resume communications. If communications are non functional after that hour, he or she will head home. Make sure each family member has an idea of how long the commute might take.
  • Where will each family member go? Is there a rendezvous point? Will everyone head home if communications are down? Go to a secure area? Stay put? Spell out the plan exactly.
  • Who will take action? This part of the plan will delineate who will take action. For example, if communications go down, mom will pick the kids up from school, while dad will come home from work.

The Essential Survival Secrets of The Most Vigilant…Most Skilled…Most Savvy Survivalists in the World!

The idea behind the plan is that in the event of an emergency, the family goes into a pre-programmed mode, their training takes over, and they execute the last instructions they were given. This may sound like a revolutionary idea, but it’s the way armies have been operating for centuries in the absence of instant communication.

2. Think of alternate communication. Make sure your family knows which method of communication will be used, and in what order. For example, the first line of communication is cell phone, followed by text, followed by….you get the point. This will ensure family members know how – and more importantly where – to look for emergency messages from loved ones. Also, think of alternate communications, unconventional methods of communicating with loved ones, such as:

  • Text: Text messages require far less bandwidth than phone calls, and even when the ominous “all circuits are busy” recording comes on, texts will still work as they operate on a parallel network to cell phones.
  • Email: Don’t discount sending e-mails during emergency situations as a valid method of communication. Email servers are located globally, and it’s unlikely they will all be dead at the same time. But where do you get internet access if cell phone service is dead? Oftentimes, WiFi service will still be up and running, since the cables used for hard wired Internet operate on different networks than cell phones. For most WiFi, you don’t even need to be in the building to access the service.
  • Social Media: Social media is similar to email in that it is hosted on a network of global servers which gives it amazing redundancy and fault tolerance. It’s easy to post Facebook or Twitter messages to your family members as a backup to the backup in case of an emergency.

Okay, so none of these methods work, and your cell phone is dead as a doornail — no texts, no email, no social media. What now? Here are a couple alternate methods to try:

3. Phone Booths: Yes, they still exist, and most of them are on landlines, which are inherently reliable; most landlines have been operational for nigh on 80 years. There are even apps online that tell you where phone booths are located. Make sure you carry change for that purpose.

4. HAM Radio: If the situation has gotten really nasty, ham radio is a great solution. Not only can your average five watt handset achieve 10+ miles of range on flat ground, using a repeater, a ham radio can reach halfway across the country. Tell your family in advance what frequencies you can be reached on, and what times you will be listening (eg. every hour on the hour, every quarter hour, etc.). Also, make sure and carry a repeater guide for your area with you rather than relying on the programming in the radio or even data stored on your cell phone.

Communicating with your loved ones during an emergency doesn’t need to be difficult or scary. With a little pre-planning, you can feel safe and secure even when others are panicking. – Off The Grid News

Luxury Yachts

By Michael Snyder

Did you know that 40 percent of all American workers make less than $20,000 a year before taxes?  And 65 percent of all American workers make less than $40,000 a year before taxes.  If you work on Wall Street, or have a cushy job with the federal government, or work for a big tech firm out on the west coast, life is probably pretty good for you right now.  But the truth is that most Americans are not living the high life.  In fact, most Americans are just trying to figure out how to survive from month to month.  For many Americans, making a choice between buying food for your family and paying the light bill is a common occurrence.  But if you don’t live in that America, hearing that people actually live like that may sound very strange to you.  After all, if everyone around you has expensive cars, the latest electronic gadgets and million dollar homes, the notion that America is in the midst of a very serious “economic decline” may seem very bizarre to you.

On Wednesday, the Dow hit a brand new record high, and Wall Street celebrated.  Since the financial crisis of 2008, stocks have been on an unprecedented run.  The top performers in the market have not just made millions of dollars – they have made billions of dollars.  Luxury apartments in Manhattan and beachfront homes in the Hamptons are selling for absolutely astronomical prices, and it seems like life in the good parts of New York City is one gigantic endless party these days.

Meanwhile, life is quite good down in Washington D.C. as well.  The wealth is spread more evenly, but on average the D.C. region actually has the highest standard of living of any major U.S. city.  The reason for this is the obscene growth of the federal government.  Over the past couple of decades, the U.S. government has ballooned in size and so have government salaries.  During one recent year, the average federal employee living in the Washington D.C. area received total compensation worth more than $126,000.

Out in the San Francisco area, Internet money is flowing like wine right now.  As I wrote about yesterday, top employees of companies such as Facebook and Twitter can make millions of dollars a year.  And if you were lucky to get a piece of the ownership of one of those companies at a very early stage, you are essentially set for life.

And with the Twitter IPO coming up, Internet euphoria is once again reaching a fever pitch.  For example, just check out what a 56-year-old administrative assistant said this week about why she is going to buy Twitter stock

“I’m just buying because everybody’s talking about Twitter,” she said. “I’m just gonna take a chance.”

Is that how we should make our investment decisions from now on?

Just buy a stock because everybody’s talking about it?

That is the kind of insanity that is going on in “wealthy America” right now.

Unfortunately, the gap between “wealthy America” and “poor America” is greater than ever before.

If you live in “wealthy America”, what you are about to hear next will probably sound very strange.

CNN recently profiled a 44-year-old overnight prison guard named Delores Gilmore.  She works really hard, but a lot of times she simply does not have enough money to pay all of her bills…

“The first of the month, I pay the rent,” she said. “The next check, I pay my light bills. Sometimes I won’t pay my rent and I pay the light bill from last month — if they cut if it off. Then I pay the rent the end of the month.”

Her life consists of going to work, taking care of her children, going to sleep, and then getting back up and repeating that same cycle once again…

“I’m not fooling anybody,” she told me. “I don’t have any friends. And that’s sad. … I go to work, come home, take them where they gotta go, if they gotta go somewhere, come back home, lay down, go to work.

“That’s what I do. All day, that’s what I do.”

Sadly, the truth is that tens of millions of Americans can identify with what she is going through on a daily basis.  In millions of families, both the husband and the wife work multiple jobs and it is still not enough.

If we truly did have a free market capitalist system, the entire country would be a land of opportunity and things would be getting better for everybody.  Unfortunately, that is not the case at all.  The following are 21 facts about “wealthy America” and “poor America” that are hard to believe…

#1 The lowest earning 23,303,064 Americans combined make 36 percent less than the highest earning 2,915 Americans do.

#2 40 percent of all American workers (39.6 percent to be precise) make less than $20,000 a year.

#3 According to the Pew Research Center, the top 7 percent of all U.S. households own 63 percent of all the wealth in the country.

#4 On average, households in the top 7 percent have 24 times as much wealth as households in the bottom 93 percent.

#5 According to numbers that were just released this week, 49.7 million Americans are living in poverty.  That is a brand new all-time record high.

#6 In the United States today, the wealthiest one percent of all Americans have a greater net worth than the bottom 90 percent combined.

#7 Household incomes have actually been declining for five years in a row and total consumer credit has risen by a whopping 22 percent over the past three years.

#8 According to Forbes, the 400 wealthiest Americans have more wealth than the bottom 150 million Americans combined.

#9 The homeownership rate in the United States is at an 18 year low.

#10 The six heirs of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton have as much wealth as the bottom one-third of all Americans combined.

#11 18 percent of all food stamp dollars are spent at Wal-Mart.

#12 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the middle class is taking home a smaller share of the overall income pie than has ever been recorded before.

#13 It is hard to believe, but right now 1.2 million students that attend public schools in America are homeless.  That number has risen by 72 percent since the start of the last recession.

#14 One recent study discovered that nearly half of all public students in the United States come from low income homes.

#15 In 1980, CEOs at S&P 500 companies made 42 times as much as their employees did on average.  Today, CEOs at S&P 500 companies make 354 times as much as their employees do on average.  In fact, there are many CEOs that make more than 1000 times what the average employees in their companies make.

#16 U.S. families that have a head of household that is under the age of 30 have a poverty rate of 37 percent.

#17 At this point, one out of every four American workers has a job that pays $10 an hour or less.

#18 Today, the United States actually has a higher percentage of workers doing low wage work than any other major industrialized nation does.

#19 Approximately one out of every five households in the United States is now on food stamps.

#20 The number of Americans on food stamps has grown from 17 million in the year 2000 to more than 47 million today.

#21 At this point, the poorest 50 percent of all Americans collectively own just 2.5 percent of all the wealth in the United States.

So which America do you live in?  Please feel free to tell us what is going on in your neck of the woods by posting a comment below…The Economic Collapse

The sun and moon combined to give places from the Middle East and Africa to the east coast of the U.S. a real astronomical treat on Sunday.

The eclipse was deemed hybrid since it started annular (a “ring of fire” eclipse) and ended a total, according to Meteorologist and Astronomy blogger Mark Paquette.

Central Africa had the best viewing conditions of the eclipse, which was partially visible to those along the East Coast at sunrise.

RELATED: Astronomy Blog PHOTO: Witch Head Nebula Brews Up Baby Stars US Enhanced Satellite

Twitter user @wxrjm took this photo of the eclipse in Hampton, Va., on Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013.

Twitter user @mbrio captured the eclipse in Garden City, N.Y., on Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013.

This eclipse photo was taken by Twitter user @Katie_Plyler on Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013. Astronomy Facebook fan Bobby B. took this picture of the eclipse in New Jersey on Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013. Astronomy Facebook fan Kevin L. captured the solar eclipse in Grenada on Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013.

Graphic by Al Blasko,

Upload your photos of the solar eclipse to @breakingweather or the Astronomy Facebook page.

13 Preps You Can Do in 120 Seconds or Less

Making a duct tape card

by Todd Walker

Kill procrastination now! Here’s 13 things you can get done in 120 seconds or less.

  1. Jot it down. Write down as many ideas as possible in two minutes. No rules. Just get your idea machine running.
  2. Duct tape it. Wrap duct tape around an old store card and place it in your wallet. Now you’ve got an excellent survival tool with you wherever you go.
  3. Give me 20! Hit the floor and do as many push ups (with correct form) as you can in 2 minutes. If you can’t do a single push up properly, do a modified version on your knees and build up to the real thing. Push ups are my favorite form of exercise for convenience.
  4. Stash cash. Sock away a $5, $10, or $20 dollar bill in your glove box or other hidey-hole in your vehicle. Do this as often as possible until you have a nice cache of emergency cash.
  5. Take care of your dogs. Throw a comfortable pair of shoes or boots (and socks) in your car or truck in case of a break down and you have to get home the primal way – hoofing it. Penny loafers and high heels might get you there but won’t be comfortable. Do people still wear penny loafers?
  6. Top off your tank. Get in the habit of filling up your vehicle when it hits the half-full mark. Better to not roll the dice and have enough fuel to get where you’re going.
  7. Replace your batteries. Yep, don’t forget to change out the batteries in your home fire alarm(s) – if they’re battery operated. Okay, two minutes per alarm. ;)
  8. Map it. Take two minutes to outline your route for weekend yard sales. Saves gas and time.
  9. Turn. Off. The. TV. In 120 seconds or less you can decide to stop the misinformation overload and break your mainstream news habit. Read one page of that book you’ve been putting off. It might turn into two chapters before you can stop.
  10. Meditate. I’ve never done a lot of meditation. But I’m seeing the value of being quite and staring at my navel for a few minutes a day. 120 seconds is about all I’ve built up to so far.
  11. Don’t leave home without it. A bandana that is. There lightweight and extremely useful!
  12. Sneak up on someone. Write a quick text to one person just to encourage them. This ties into doing Random Acts of Prepping – which may take a little longer, but worth the effort!
  13. Pay it forward. Please share this list if it added value to your busy life.

Can you spare 120 seconds or less? If so, add some value in the comment section!

Keep doing the stuff,

Todd – Survival Sherpa

Skills For The Apacalypse

Prepography – The Art & Study of Self-Reliance

Andrew’s Note:  I got a kick out of this and won’t even bother commenting on conclusions like swordplay and turning a school bus into a ‘spiked death machine!’