WHAT DO THEY KNOW? WHY ARE SO MANY OF THE SUPER WEALTHY PREPARING BUG OUT LOCATIONS?

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A lot of ultra-rich people are quietly preparing to “bug out” when the time comes

by MICHAEL SNYDER | END OF THE AMERICAN DREAM | JANUARY 28, 2015

A lot of ultra-rich people are quietly preparing to “bug out” when the time comes. They are buying survival properties, they are buying farms in far away countries and they are buying deep underground bunkers. In fact, a prominent insider at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland says that “very powerful people are telling us they’re scared” and he shocked his audience when he revealed that he knows “hedge fund managers all over the world who are buying airstrips and farms in places like New Zealand”. So what do they know? Why are so many of the super wealthy suddenly preparing bug out locations? When the elite of the world start preparing for doomsday, that is a very troubling sign. And right now the elite appear to be quietly preparing for disaster like never before.

The insider that I mentioned above is named Robert Johnson. He is the president of the Institute of New Economic Thinking, and what he recently told a packed audience in Davos is making headlines all over the planet…

    With growing inequality and the civil unrest from Ferguson and the Occupy protests fresh in people’s mind, the world’s super rich are already preparing for the consequences. At a packed session in Davos, former hedge fund director Robert Johnson revealed that worried hedge fund managers were already planning their escapes. “I know hedge fund managers all over the world who are buying airstrips and farms in places like New Zealand because they think they need a getaway,” he said.

But he didn’t stop there.

In a separate interview, Johnson admitted that “very powerful people are telling us they’re scared” and that the elite “see increasing evidence of social instability and violence”. You can watch video of the entire interview below…

Wow.
And Johnson is not the only one saying these things.

The following quote comes from the Mirror…

His comments were backed up by Stewart Wallis, executive director of the New Economics Foundation, who when asked about the comments told CNBC Africa: “Getaway cars the airstrips in New Zealand and all that sort of thing, so basically a way to get off. If they can get off, onto another planet, some of them would.”
Of course not all elitists are planning to jet off to the other side of the globe.

Some are planning to go deep underground when things hit the fan.

For example, there is an underground decommissioned missile silo in Kansas that has been transformed into luxury survival condos by a real estate developer. The following is from a Wall Street Journal article about those condos…

The so-called Survival Condo complex boasts full and half-floor units that cost $1.5 million to $3 million each. The building can accommodate up to 75 people, and buyers include doctors, scientists and entrepreneurs, says developer Larry Hall.

Mr. Hall, who lives in a Denver suburb, bought his first missile-silo site in Kansas in 2008 and completed construction in December 2012. A year later, he says, the development had sold out. Work on the second security compound—the one where Mr. Allen bought a unit—is under way, and Mr. Hall says he is considering additional sites in Texas and elsewhere.

As former nuclear missile sites built under the supervision of the Army Corps of Engineers, the structures were originally designed to withstand a direct hit by a nuclear bomb. At ground level, they can be sealed up by two armored doors weighing 16,000 pounds each. Mr. Hall added sophisticated water and air-treatment facilities, state-of-the-art computer network technology and several alternate power generation capabilities.
Other wealthy individuals are turning their current homes into high tech security fortresses.

Those that are involved in providing these kinds of services have seen business absolutely soar in recent years…

Wealthy families across the country are shelling out millions to protect their loved ones from intruders, natural disasters or the apocalypse as home security goes increasingly sci-fi.

Companies that provide concerned homeowners with futuristic gadgets – and a priceless peace of mind – have revealed the growing demand of costly bunkers, passageways, panic rooms and recognition software.

Chris Pollack – president of Pollack+Partners, a design and construction adviser in Purchase, New York – told Forbesthat, while security has always been important for the wealthiest clients, the spending on home security has noticeably grown in the past five years.

And the options available on the market are like something from a Bond film.
For much more on this, please see my previous article entitled “Why Are So Many Wealthy People Building Futuristic High Tech Security Bunkers?”

So why are all of these wealthy people so alarmed?

Well, the truth is that they can see what is happening.

They can see that millions of people are falling out of the middle class. They can see that society is breaking down in thousands of different ways. They can see that anger and frustration are rising to unprecedented levels. And they can see that things are likely to boil over once the next major economic crisis strikes.

Even though the economy is still fairly stable for the moment, signs of increasing economic suffering are everywhere. For example, the Los Angeles Times is reporting that homeless encampments are rapidly spreading throughout the Los Angeles area…

Over the last two years, street encampments have jumped their historic boundaries in downtown Los Angeles, lining freeways and filling underpasses from Echo Park to South Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, a city-county agency, received 767 calls about street encampments in 2014, up 60% from the 479 in 2013.
We live at a time when almost everyone is getting poorer except for the elite. The top 1 percent now have close to 50 percent of the wealth in the entire world, and each year wealth becomes even more concentrated in their hands.

The elite know that eventually a breaking point is going to come. Those that are smart don’t want to be around when that happens.

And we got a few clues about what things might look like what that time comes from the recent “snow scare” in New York. Frightened consumers wiped out supplies of bread, milk and eggs within just a few hours. People started to take advantage of one another, even the journalists seemed like they were on the verge of panic, and virtually the entire city shut down.

All of this over just a few snowflakes.

So what is going to happen when we have a real crisis?

If the elite are preparing to bug out, it is hard to blame them.

I wouldn’t want to be right in the middle of a volcano when it erupts either.

Life is about to dramatically change, and signs of the coming storm are everywhere.

I hope that you are getting prepared for what is about to hit us while you still can.

ISIS & Japan agree on hostage swap, Japanese journalist to be freed ‘within hours’

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Japan and ISIS have agreed on an exchange of journalist Kenji Goto, held hostage by the Islamist militants, for Sajida al-Rishawi, the Iraqi woman who killed 60 people in a 2005 Jordan bombing, a senior Japanese diplomat said.

Japanese Deputy Foreign Minister Yasuhide Nakayama added that “good news” is to come soon on the situation.

The country’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, called the abduction “an utterly despicable act.”

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“I have instructed all ministers to work together for the early release of Mr. Kenji Goto,” Abe told journalists on Wednesday, AFP reported.

A Jordanian government spokesman has also said that Amman is prepared to free would-be suicide bomber Sajida Rishawi if its pilot is freed in return. However, the deal did not appear to progress throughout the day.

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Al-Kasasbeh, a first lieutenant in the Jordanian Air Force, was captured by the Islamic State in late December as his plane came down during an air raid by the US-led coalition.

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Goto, a freelance video journalist, went missing in Syria in October 2014. He went there to try and rescue another Japanese hostage, Haruna Yukawa.

Yukawa was beheaded by Islamic State militants last week, and a picture of Goto holding a photo of his countryman’s head was then released.

On Tuesday, a video uploaded to the web by the jihadist group was comprised of an audio message by Kenji Goto, and a picture of Goto, dressed in an orange jumpsuit, holding a portrait of a Jordanian military pilot, Muadh al-Kasasbeh.

On the same day, Goto’s mother, Junko Ishido, made a public plea to save his life.

“I can’t think of anyone besides Prime Minister Shinzo Abe who can negotiate with Jordan. As a mother, I sincerely hope that Kenji can once again set foot on Japan,” Ishido said.

Initially, IS was demanding $200 million for Goto’s release, but then decided to swap him for Al-Rishawi.

S&P downgrades Russia’s credit rating to junk

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US-based credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s has cut Russia’s sovereign rating to BB+, leaving it below investment grade for the first time in a decade. Moscow termed the decision “overly pessimistic.”

“The downgrade reflects our view that Russia’s monetary policy flexibility has become more limited and its economic growth prospects have weakened. We also see a heightened risk that external and fiscal buffers will deteriorate due to rising external pressures and increased government support to the economy,” said a statement from the agency.

The ruble fell from 66.3 to over 69 per dollar. As it experienced downward pressure through the early hours of Monday, the Russian currency has now fallen by over 8 percent since the previous trading day.

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Russia’s Finance minister Anton Siluanov said S & P’s move was “overly pessimistic, and did not take into account the strengths of the Russian economy.” Among its advantages he listed Russia’s considerable foreign currency reserves, a positive balance of payments, and low levels of state debt. The official urged investors to “avoid dramatizing the situation.”

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In contrast, in their breakdown, S&P analysts drew up a bleak future for Russia’s economy, which is predicted to shrink this year.

“We project that the economy will expand by about 0.5% annually in 2015-2018, below the 2.4% of the previous four years,” says the report.

It blames both the “structural problems” of Russia’s economy, and the cycle of Western sanctions and counter-sanctions imposed since the succession of Crimea from Ukraine last March.

“We see this muted projected growth partly as a legacy of a secular economic slowdown that had already begun before the recent developments in the Ukraine. It also reflects a lack of external financing due to the introduction of economic sanctions and the sharp decline in oil prices.”

The fall in credit ratings makes it more difficult for Russia to borrow money on the international markets, and may have wider ramifications for its financial system. Russian companies, both state-owned and otherwise, may struggle to repay their loans, while many investors without a remit to speculate in risky conditions may withdraw from the Moscow stock markets.

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The government may have to step in to rescue key national corporations. The Russian Central Bank has promised to inject 1.2 trillion rubles (US$18 billion) into the country’s banking system to steer away from a full-fledged crisis.

“Credit ratings are meaningless in a situation when the international capital markets are closed off to Russian companies,” said a statement from oil and gas giant Rosneft, one of the companies targeted by sectoral sanctions adopted against Russia in the summer over the escalation of the conflict in Ukraine. Majority state-owned Rosneft insisted it was feeling “confident.”

Russia’s Central Bank announced last week that in its internal assessments it would ignore any ratings issued by the Big Three Western ratings agencies – Standard & Poor’s, Fitch, and Moody’s – that were issued after March 2014.

It said that all credit ratings given to Russian companies and banks will now be at the discretion of the board of directors of the bank. The regulator will assess whether or not the ratings made after March are accurate. The decision came after Fitch and Moody’s had downgraded Russia’s sovereign debt to just above junk status.

Moscow and Beijing announced their intention to create a rival rating agency to S&P’s, Moody’s, and Fitch later this year. The two countries are already partnered through the Universal Credit Ratings Group (UCRG), which was set up in Hong Kong in 2013 and already encompasses the most respected agencies from both countries, as well as the US-founded Egan-Jones Ratings Company. The new agency may be an expanded version of UCRG, which is still predominantly used by internal Chinese investors.

Russia’s foreign currency reserves stand at a respectable $380 billion – the sixth biggest in the world – and sufficient to finance any immediate obligations. But the Russian Central Bank has been forced to burn the money keeping the ruble afloat, and budget shortfalls due to oil prices may also have to be covered from the coffers.

Jordan ‘ready’ to swap jihadist bomber for pilot held by ISIL

Jordan has said it is willing to hand over an Iraqi would-be suicide bomber – if a Jordanian pilot captured by the so-called Islamic State is freed, according to state television.

A statement read out on air quoted the government as saying that if Lieutenant Muath al-Kasasbeh was freed, it would release the female jihadist.

Several hundred people including the pilot’s relatives protested in Amman on Tuesday urging the authorities to meet the extremist group’s demands.

The 26-year-old pilot, who comes from an influential family, became the first prisoner from the US-led coalition to be taken by ISIL when his plane came down in Syria.

The Jordanian statement made no mention of the Japanese journalist Kenji Goto, who has been held by the militants since last summer.

ISIL has threatened to execute both him and the Jordanian pilot imminently unless Amman frees the woman convicted over a bombing that killed nearly 60 people.

In Japan demonstrators gathered outside the prime minister’s residence calling for the reporter’s release.

Shinzo Abe has condemned a video purported to come from ISIL containing the threats as “despicable”, saying Tokyo will not give in to terrorism.

Border Surge Likely Again In 2015, Data Shows

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NEIL MUNRO
White House Correspondent

The flow of Central American migrant families across the Texas border is continuing at almost the same level as a year ago, according to newly released federal data.

In the last three months of 2014, 7,468 Central American migrants crossed in family units, down only 12 percent from the 8,511 migrants who crossed during the last three months of 2013, according to the federal data.

The late 2013 flow was the vanguard of roughly 60,000 adults and children who crossed in so-called “family units” during the 12 months up to October 2014. That “family unit” inflow occurred alongside the much-publicized inflow of 60,000 children and youths.

Since last summer, White House officials have made deals with Mexico and other Central Americans countries that are intended to block the northern flow of migrants. The continued flow across the border suggests those deals have not succeeded.

The continued inflow is also a warning sign for Republican leaders, who are rapidly pushing a new border security bill that only adds 48 miles of fending to the 2,000-mile border but doesn’t do anything to end President Barack Barack Obama’s catch-and-release policy toward Central American migrants, say critics.

The bill also calls for improved technological surveillance of the border and a better visa tracking system, and for more active duty officers and agents on the border.

The leaders’ bill is slated for a quick markup as early as Monday Jan. 26, and a floor vote on Wednesday, Jan. 28.

The continued inflow of family migrants suggests there will be another border surge starting as early as March, said Jessica Vaughan, policy director at the Center for Immigration Studies, a group that favors low-scale immigration.

But the Central American governments want their poor citizens to migrate to the United States, the Mexican police are too corrupt to stop the cartel-managed surge, and Obama will likely repeat his 2014 policy of allowing the migrants to apply for asylum and work permits, Vaughan said.

GOP legislators “will look foolish if they pass this [border] bill,” because it won’t stop Obama from welcoming the next wave of migrants, she said.

GOP leaders are “completely squandering all that public trust that worked so well for them in the election … and they’re willing to toss that away in the expectation that the Mexican government and the administration will solve [a 2015 surge] for them,” she said.

By July 2014, polls reported that up to 57 percent of likely voters opposed President Barack Obama’s immigration policies.

The steady flow of family groups — typically a woman and one or two children, mostly girls — however, has been disguised by the top-level attention given by the White House and the media to the cross-border transfer of children and young adults.

The children and youths are accompanied by coyotes to the U.S. border, where they are handed over to U.S. border police for transfer to their relatives who are already living illegally in the United States.

In 2014, the flow of roughly 60,000 youths was equal to the flow of families.

But the flow of youths has fallen by roughly 85 percent during the last three months of 2014, prompting White House officials to say they’ve regained control of the border.

The federal data showing the continued inflow of adults and children is backed up by a report from a charitable group on the border.

“The numbers increased a lot this past month, almost to 100 every day [last week],” Sister Norma Pimentel, executive director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley according to a Tuscon Sentinel report from Dec. 2.

“They have hope that they have a chance at a better life here. … It doesn’t look like it’s going to end any time soon,” Pimentel said.