Ashani Shanket; the coming Apocalypse & even Armageddon
"Ashani Shanket" ie "Distant Thunder (in Bengali: অশনি সংকেত; Oshoni Shongket) is a 1973 Bengali film by the legendry Indian director Satyajit Ray. In "The New York Times Guide to the Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made", the film is set in 1943-44, when the British made famine struck Bengal. London cornered the civilian food supply for its armies, while the people starved .Five million people died of hunger in misery. The story takes place in a small village during the World War II. The famine affects the lives of the families in different ways.
Gangacharan, an educated Brahmin settles in the village with his wife Ananga. He decides to teach and conduct religious ceremonies in exchange for food .The distant World War II changes the village. Gangacharan is only little more informed than the villagers. He knows that Japan has taken over Singapore but he has no idea where it is. As a few airplanes disturb the peaceful sky, the word goes around that the war will result in a scarcity of rice. The price of rice soars as the traders hide their stocks to make huge profits.
To survive, the villagers are reduced to animal-like existence, forced to beg for food. Gangacharan, shrewd and stingy, has managed to keep himself supplied with food but it did not last long. It depicts the true, naked reality of human caprice, selfishness, undue advantage of dying men and women (and their honour) finally; the villagers leave in search of food in silhouettes. The screen is filled with a statement - "Over five million died of starvation and epidemics in Bengal in what has come to be known as the man-made famine of 1943."
Ray uses color to contrast between the Nature filled with life and lushness and gradual slipping away of life from the people. They are dying despite a good rice crop. The film begins with an image of Ananga in a pond with her hand projecting out of water like a water lily.
The film is not about the famine but the events leading to it at a micro scale. Instead of rotting dead bodies, what we see is the changing life and the behavior of the villagers.
There are very clear signs of the coming collapse of the world economic system, which has been dominated since WWII by U.S.-led North. A US led order of disorder of illegal invasions ,bombings ,killings, raping ,looting and destroying one country after another .In 21century it continued with Afghanistan and Iraq . It is still going on in Syria, Iraq, and Ukraine with collateral damages, from Libya, almost to the whole of North Africa and the belt of countries south of Sahara. This is without counting earlier terrible war crimes level damage in Vietnam, Cambodia and, Laos and for that matter a host of other countries in Africa and Latin America.
The neoliberal policies which have been aggravated in recent decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall have spread misery and hell on earth. Even beyond the havoc with the mother earth ,in the atmosphere , space and underground, even cyberspace .US has become like the Indian mythological demon Bhasmasur, which destroys whatever it touches.
That the Keynesian model of capitalism with inbuilt mechanism to topple over is on course if not towards an outright disaster. Like whistling in the dark, US leaders and its corporate media have been proclaiming lately that Washington's problems of energy have been resolved as result of production of gas and oil from shale. Temporarily .It is at best like heroin, which gives you temporary feeling of a high, but destroys the nervous system and thinking. The underground, its water and other resources are poisoned and earthquakes are triggered .Diseases like cancer spread.
Following statements by US leaders and its media India's corporate pressitute and pressigolos and even by people who should know better regurgitate. Former Indian diplomats are brought on everyday on India's celebrity and triviality obsessed TV channels, full of verbal abuse, screaming and shouting. Repeating the canard that USA has found a long term solution to its energy problem and even claiming that Washington does not need the energy resources of greater Middle East or Central Asia. It is absolute rubbish.
The precipitous fall in the price of oil is cited as a proof. However, the truth is a quite different, especially after the recent meeting of four energy producers, including Iran, Saudi Arabia and Russia. The fall in energy prices will trip and shut down shale gas uneconomical below $70 or so. It brings in unemployment, loss of purchasing power et al . In fact the fall in energy prices is a sure omen of the coming down turn.
Yours obediently has been writing since 2000 about the failure of current economic system, exploitation through globalisation poor and weaker nations and to transfer their wealth to USA and West Europe (Post USSR collapse up to $ One trillion was transferred from Russia to the West).
I am reproducing below two articles on what really the fall in the prices of oil means. It reminds of the time just before September 2008.
K.Gajendra Singh, 3 December, 2014, Delhi
Guess What Happened The Last Time The Price Of Oil Crashed Like This?…
By Michael Snyder, on November 30th, 2014
There has only been one other time in history when the price of oil has crashed by more than 40 dollars in less than 6 months. The last time this happened was during the second half of 2008, and the beginning of that oil price crash preceded the great financial collapse that happened later that year by several months. Well, now it is happening again, but this time the stakes are even higher. When the price of oil falls dramatically, that is a sign that economic activity is slowing down. It can also have a tremendously destabilizing affect on financial markets. As you will read about below, energy companies now account for approximately 20 percent of the junk bond market. And a junk bond implosion is usually a signal that a major stock market crash is on the way. So if you are looking for a "canary in the coal mine", keep your eye on the performance of energy junk bonds. If they begin to collapse, that is a sign that all hell is about to break loose on Wall Street.
It would be difficult to overstate the importance of the shale oil boom to the U.S. economy. Thanks to this boom, the United States has become the largest oil producer on the entire planet.
Yes, the U.S. now actually produces more oil than either Saudi Arabia or Russia. This "revolution" has resulted in the creation of millions of jobs since the last recession, and it has been one of the key factors that has kept the percentage of Americans that are employed fairly stable.
Unfortunately, the shale oil boom is coming to an abrupt end. As a recent Vox article discussed, OPEC has essentially declared a price war on U.S. shale oil producers…
For all intents and purposes, OPEC is now engaged in a "price war" with the United States. What that means is that it's very cheap to pump oil out of places like Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. But it's more expensive to extract oil from shale formations in places like Texas and North Dakota. So as the price of oil keeps falling, some US producers may become unprofitable and go out of business. The result? Oil prices will stabilize and OPEC maintains its market share.
If the price of oil stays at this level or continues falling, we will see a significant number of U.S. shale oil companies go out of business and large numbers of jobs will be lost. The Saudis know how to play hardball, and they are absolutely ruthless. In fact, we have seen this kind of scenario happen before…
Robert McNally, a White House adviser to former President George W. Bush and president of the Rapidan Group energy consultancy, told Reuters that Saudi Arabia "will accept a price decline necessary to sweat whatever supply cuts are needed to balance the market out of the US shale oil sector." Even legendary oil man T. Boone Pickens believes Saudi Arabia is in a stand-off with US drillers and frackers to "see how the shale boys are going to stand up to a cheaper price." This has happened once before. By the mid-1980's, as oil output from Alaska's North Slope and the North Sea came on line (combined production of around 5-6 million barrels a day), OPEC set off a price war to compete for market share. As a result, the price of oil sank from around $40 to just under $10 a barrel by 1986.
But the energy sector has been one of the only bright spots for the U.S. economy in recent years. If this sector starts collapsing, it is going to have a dramatic negative impact on our economic outlook. For example, just consider the following numbers from a recent Business Insider article…
Specifically, if prices get too low, then energy companies won't be able to cover the cost of production in the US. This spending by energy companies, also known as capital expenditures, is responsible for a lot of jobs.
"The Energy sector accounts for roughly one-third of S&P 500 capex and nearly 25% of combined capex and R&D spending," Goldman Sachs' Amanda Sneider writes.
Even more troubling is what this could mean for the financial markets.
As I mentioned above, energy companies now account for close to 20 percent of the entire junk bond market. As those companies start to fail and those bonds start to go bad, that is going to hit our major banks really hard…
Everyone could suffer if the collapse triggers a wave of defaults through the high-yield debt market, and in turn, hits stocks. The first to fall: the banks that were last hit by the housing crisis.
Why could that happen?
Well, energy companies make up anywhere from 15 to 20 percent of all U.S. junk debt, according to various sources.
It would be hard to overstate the seriousness of what the markets could potentially be facing.
One analyst summed it up to CNBC this way…
"This is the one thing I've seen over and over again," said Larry McDonald, head of U.S strategy at Newedge USA's macro group. "When high yield underperforms equity, a major credit event occurs. It's the canary in the coal mine."
The last time junk bonds collapsed, a major stock market crash followed fairly rapidly.
And those that were hardest hit were the big Wall Street banks…
During the last high-yield collapse, which centered around debt tied to the housing sector, Citigroup lost 63 percent of its value in the following 60 days, Kensho shows. Bank of America was cut in half.
I understand that some of this information is too technical for a lot of people, but the bottom line is this…
Watch junk bonds. When they start crashing it is a sign that a major stock market collapse is right at the door.
At this point, even the mainstream media is warning about this. Just consider the following excerpt from a recent CNN article…
That swing away from junk bonds often happens shortly before stock market downturns.
"High yield does provide useful sell signals to equity investors," Barclay's analysts concluded in a recent report.
Barclays combed through the past dozen years of data. The warning signal they found is a 30% or greater increase in the spread between Treasuries and junk bonds before a dip.
If you have been waiting for the next major financial collapse, what you have just read in this article indicates that it is now closer than it has ever been.
Over the coming weeks, keep your eye on the price of oil, keep your eye on the junk bond market and keep your eye on the big banks.
Trouble is brewing, and nobody is quite sure exactly what comes next.
US – Saudi Oil Price Manipulation Backlash &
The Inevitable Global War
By Matthias Chang – Future Fast-Forward
3rd December, 2014
Anyone reading the mainstream media will have difficulty connecting the dots
and getting the big picture so as to arrive at the right conclusions. A tremendous
amount of information needs to be collated and analyzed before we get a vague
idea of what have transpired. We need also to analyze the actions of global
leaders and compare and contrast with their published statements. The effects
of short term actions and or policies are additional indications of the ultimate
intentions of the geopolitical players in the overall scheme of things.
The events that have unfolded in the past few weeks have added urgency to
arrive at the right conclusion and to make preparations to face the inevitable
What we are about to confront in 2015 will come as a surprise to many.
We hope and pray that we are wrong in our analysis. We invite you to consider
the facts and take actions accordingly to protect your family.
The stark reality is that global war is looming on the horizon!
We are of the view that the issue is not "If" but rather "when" such a war
would be unleashed.
It has been a difficult decision for us to warn our readers now and not later as
our credibility is at stake. The team at Future Fast-Forward have spent years
building our reputation as a source for independent, objective and reliable
analysis, unsupported by any external funds - absolutely zero external funding
of any kind.
If at this point, you are of the view that the threat of war is a big yarn, stop
reading and move on. But, on the other hand if our past record is any measure
of reliability, we hope you will finish reading this article.
Connecting the Dots
The US is bankrupt and cannot pay its debts Jack Lew in his testimony before the
Senate Finance Committee in October, 2013 told Congress why the Treasury has no
choice but to constantly issue new debt. He said,
―Every week we roll over approximately $100 billion in US bills. If US
bondholders decided they wanted to be repaid rather than continuing to roll over
their investments, we could unexpectedly dissipate our entire cash balance… There is no other plan other than raising the debt limit that permits us to meet all of our obligations."
Lew went on to say,
―Let me remind everyone, principal on the debt is not something we pay out of
our cash flow of revenues. Principal on the debt is something that is a function of
the markets rolling over."
2015 fiscal year began some eight weeks ago and on November 26, 2014 the
US Treasury had to issue over $1trillion of new debts in order to pay off
Treasury securities that were maturing as well as to cover the deficit spending.
As at end October, 2014, the total Federal debt was $17,937,160,000,000 (i.e.
$17.9 trillion) of which only $1,547,073,000,000 are long term bonds that
mature in 30 years with average interest rates at 4.919 per cent.
Some $8,192,466,000,000 of debts were short term debts that mature between 2 to 10
years with average interest rates of 1.807 per cent (source: Treasury Monthly
Statement). Finally, there are $1.4 trillion Treasury bills (maturing between a
few days and 52 days) with an average interest rate of 0.056 per cent.
If the Treasury were to convert the $1.4 trillion bills into 30 year bonds at
existing rates, interest on the debt would increase 88 fold.
It is the rolling over of these short term debts that have caused the Treasury to
issue new debts in the first eight weeks of 2015 fiscal year! And there is just no
way for the Treasury to convert these short term debts to long term debts.
Consequences of Plunging Oil Price
It has been reported that the US and the Saudis entered a secret deal to plunge
the oil price to destroy Russia's and Iran's economy. Today, we have seen oil
price plunged to a four year low, with WTI crude oil at $69 and Brent crude oil at
This is the retaliation by the US against Russia and President Putin's leadership
in the de-dollarisation of global trade, specifically trade in crude oil.
William Engdahl correctly observed:
―The strategy is similar to what the US did with Saudi Arabia in 1986 when they
flooded the world with Saudi oil, collapsing the price to below $10 a barrel and
destroying the economy of then Soviet ally, Saddam Hussein in Iraq and,
ultimately, of the Soviet economy, paving the way for the fall of the Soviet
―Today, the hope is that a collapse of Russian oil revenues, combined with
select pin-prick sanctions designed by the US Treasury's Office of Terrorism
For an in depth analysis sees CNS News, Ponzi: Treasury Issues $1T in New Debt in 8 weeks - to Pay Old Debt by Terence P. Jeffrey.and Financial Intelligence will dramatically weaken Putin's enormous domestic support and create conditions for his ultimate overthrow.
―It is doomed to fail for many reasons, not the least, because Putin's Russia has
taken major strategic steps together with China and other nations to lessen its
dependence on the West. In fact the oil weapon is accelerating recent Russian
moves to focus its economic power on national interests and lessen
dependence on the Dollar system.
―If the dollar ceases being the currency of world trade, especially oil trade, the
US Treasury faces financial catastrophe. For this reason, I call the Kerry Abdullah
oil war a very stupid tactic.
More importantly, this strategy has now backfired on the US. Leonid Fedun, the
Vice-President of OAO Lukoil observed,
―OPEC policy on crude production will ensure a crash in the US shale industry.‖
If one needs an example to illustrate the idiom - ―cut off your nose to spite your
face‖, this is an apt illustration!
Several analysts have commented that many businesses are in fact fleeing
shale oil extraction whether due to poor profitability, as in Texas, in the US
Northeast, in Poland; opposition to extraction in England and in Romania… Oil
below $80 a barrel is beginning to spread panic and already drilling has slowed
down and companies are selling assets to bail themselves out as many are
Wolf Richter paints a more detail nightmare scenario:
The US shale oil revolution is bleeding as well. Shares across the board are
getting hit, many of them outright eviscerated. If the word ―plunge‖ occurs a lot,
it's because that's what these stocks did on Friday.
Goodrich Petroleum plunged 34% on Friday; down 80% from June.
Sanchez Energy plunged 29.5% on Friday, down 71% from June.
Clayton Williams Energy plunged 25.6% on Friday, down 61% from May.
Callon Petroleum plunged 18.6% on Friday, down 60% from June.
Laredo Petroleum plunged 33.5% on Friday, down 66.5% from June.
Oasis Petroleum plunged 27.2% on Friday, down 68% from July.
Stone Energy plunged 24.1% on Friday, down 68% from April.
Triangle Petroleum plunged 25.6% on Friday, down 62% from June.
EP Energy plunged 25.3% on Friday, down 54% from June.
The list goes on. Even large oil companies got clobbered:
Exxon Mobil down 4.2% for the day and 13% from July.
ConocoPhillips down 6.7% for the day and 24% from July.
Marathon Oil down 11% for the day and 31% from early September.
Occidental Petroleum down 7.4% for the day and 24% from June. Anadarko Petroleum down 10.5% for the day and 30% since late August.
There is collateral damage.
With increasing amounts of oil being carried by oil trains, the railroads, which
had been trading near their exuberant 52-week highs in large part due to the
lucrative oil-train business, suddenly took a dive on Friday:
Union Pacific -4.9%
Canadian Pacific -8.0%
Norfolk Southern -4.7%
Kansas City Southern -5.1%
Canadian National Railway -4.6%
Burlington Northern Santa Fe, which is owned by Warren Buffett's
Berkshire Hathaway, isn't publicly traded. But if the oil-train business
gets hit, so will Buffett's ―steal.‖
But this pales compared to the carnage in tank-car builders. On Friday, they
Greenbrier -15% for the day, -28% from its September high.
American Railcar Industries -12.9% for the day, -28.3% since August.
FreightCar America -7.5% for the day, -21% since September.
Trinity Industries -11.3% for the day, -36% since September.
The oil price move is already cascading through American industry.
Bondholders are next. The US fracking boom was built with debt, much of it
junk rated. And this pile of debt is now at the confluence of the collapsing price
of oil, high costs of production, and sharp decline rates of fracked wells that
force drillers to continue drilling just to maintain their revenues. It's a toxic mix.
The plunging oil price will also impact on US dollar denominated assets as there
would be less Petro-dollars to be recycled. One of the first casualties would be
the stock market. With less liquidity, oil exporting countries would have to cash
out their investments to cushion short falls in oil revenues. This will add
pressure on the bond markets as bondholders demand repayments instead of
rolling over their investments. Jack Lew will have difficulty issuing new debts to
pay off the old debts that would not be rolled over, as there would be fewer
bondholders from oil exporting countries taking up the new issues.
In the result, the FED would have to launch another round of QE, hastening the
collapse of the dollar as the global reserve currency.
The US cannot impose financial sanctions on countries, especially Russia and
not expect any retaliation. Imposing sanctions is economic warfare, the means
to destroy the target country's economy. And Russia has taken up the
challenge. What shocked Obama was the agreement by Putin at the recent OPEC meeting, in tandem with the Saudis, not to cut oil output to trigger an
increase in the price of crude. This was Putin's chess move against Obama's /
John Kerry's game of Bingo! With one bold move the entire US and EU shale oil
industry is brought to its knees. Though Saudi Arabia was complicit with the US
in its attempt to scuttle Russia's economy, the Saudis are not too unhappy with
the outcome as US shale oil industry's threat of gaining market share has been
neutralised. In the final analysis, it is clear that the US is the ultimate loser, the
victim of its own devious plot!
Ukraine & The Hot War
Whether a glass is half full or half empty is a matter of perception. To the
players that plays Bingo (the glass is half empty), Russia is dependent on EU
for its export of oil and gas and any disruption in the supply (i.e. pipelines in
Ukraine) would result in a massive loss of revenue. Russia would be brought to
her knees and submit to the diktat of the US. Bingo!
A military coup was launched in Ukraine. On the assumption that they have total
control of Ukraine, NATO became arrogant and started to deploy military assets
in frontlines of Eastern Europe.
What was not expected was the speed in which Russia took control over
Crimea and the entire Black Sea. Checkmate!
Given all these setbacks, it is only to be expected that the Zionist Anglo-American
war party would lash out in frustration and indulge in reckless
provocations not only against Russia, but China and the other members of
BRICS. But, this kind of hubris has not gone down well even with hard core
establishment figures such as Doug Bandow, a former Special Assistant to
President Ronald Reagan. It pays Obama to give some attention to what he has
―…Nor is Moscow threatening any core U.S. interest. The Obama administration
objects to Russia's support for Syria's Assad regime, but former Secretary of
State Hillary Clinton once called the Syrian president a reformer. Attempting to
overthrow an important though illiberal Arab barrier to Islamic radicalism has
proved to be a tragic mistake. No wonder President Putin refused to follow
Washington's inconsistent lead.
Moscow demands respect and focuses on border security. But allied behavior
post-Cold War—expanding NATO up to Russia's border, dismantling Serbia,
treating Georgia as a military ally, holding open the possibility of NATO
membership for Kiev, and trying to pull Ukraine away from Moscow into
Europe's economic orbit—has consistently ignored or threatened Russia's
interests. It doesn't matter what Washington (and Brussels) intended. What
matters is what Russian officials perceived Washington (and Brussels) to
―The principle danger to America comes from hubris, the conviction of U.S.
elites that they have been anointed by God to run the world and their assumption that the rest of the world wants to be run by them. As a result,
Washington constantly foments hostility, generates chaos, exacerbates
conflicts, attempts social engineering, and makes other nations' battles its own.‖
The Dangerous Game of Chicken
Subject to further confirmation, it has been reported that following Russia's
decision at the OPEC meeting not to cut oil output, Obama gave notice to
Russia that the US would launch three (3) SLBM towards (but not at) Russia's
far eastern pacific region to demonstrate US's annoyance.
In response, President Putin has ordered over 2,000 top military officers to
report for duty at the National Defence Control Centre. This command
headquarters built in 2013 is also the control centre for Strategic Nuclear
Forces. Russia has also completed the construction of 5,000 bomb shelters in
Moscow. This is therefore indicative that Russia is prepared for an all-out global
war by the US and NATO.
That this danger is real is obvious from the comments made by President Putin
when he was quoted as saying,
"No matter what our Western counterparts tell us, we can see what's
going on. NATO is blatantly building up its forces in Eastern Europe,
including the Black Sea and the Baltic Sea areas. Its operational and
combat training activities are gaining in scale."
No country in history has been successful in invading and occupying Russia.
It would be foolhardy for the Zionist Anglo-American war party to embark on
such an adventure.
But, given the imminent collapse of the US economy and the demise of the
dollar as the global reserve currency, it would be naïve of us to think that the
war party would just give up their power. They will fight to the bitter end even if it
entails a global war!