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Archive for December, 2009


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LINK to the Largest and Dealdiest Earthquakes by Year since 1990, found

HERE

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Matthew 24: 7
Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8All these are the BEGINNING of birth pains.

Romans 8:20
For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. 22We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.

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Rather than just rolling on the floor laughing and enjoying ourselves Church, let’s fast and pray for  protection, joy, and strength for our  brothers and sisters to stand up under harsh persecution in China.

About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.
{Acts 16:25}

Wednesday, 02 December 2009 10:41 AM EST Compass Direct News

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Bypassing the court system, China arbitrarily sentenced five more leaders of the Fushan Church in Linfen City, Shanxi Province, on Monday, this time to re-education labor camps for two years, according to China Aid Association (CAA).

A Chinese court last week sentenced five house church leaders to three to seven years in prison after they were arrested en route to Beijing to file a complaint about an attack on their church, according to the advocacy organization. The five leaders sentenced to labor camps this week were accused of “gathering people to disturb the public order” after they organized a prayer rally of 1,000 people the day after military police and others attacked their church members and building on Sept. 13.

Pastors Yang Rongli (left) and Wang Xiaoguang, shown In this image released by China Aid Association, were among 10 house church leaders sentenced to prison or hard labor in recent weeks.

In what CAA termed “an arbitrary administrative sentence by the Public Security Bureau enacted so the leaders would not be ‘required’ to go through the court and prosecution system,” China delivered the verdicts to church leaders Li Shuangping, Yang Hongzhen, Yang Caizhen (wife of Pastor Yang Xuan, who was sentenced to three years of prison on Nov. 25), Gao Qin (also known as Gao Fuqin), and Zhao Guoai.

“Yang Caizhen was seen being beaten severely during an interrogation,” CAA said in a press statement. “Having had one of her front teeth knocked out during a beating, and fasting and praying during her detention, Ms. Yang is reported to look very fragile.”

The church leaders, the latter four women, were arrested on Nov. 11. They had helped to organize a prayer rally after the Sept. 13 attack on the Fushan Church branch congregation in Linfen, when some 400 uniformed police and civilians bearing shovels, batons, bricks, iron hooks and other weapons had beaten members of the church who were sleeping at the nearly finished factory building used as a worship site.

With several Fushan County officials involved in the attack, more than 30 Christians were seriously injured among the 100 Christians who were hurt, CAA reported. According to the Epoch Times, a church member’s relative obtained a license to build the shoe factory and was allowing the group to meet there, as the church was growing too large to meet in homes and the building could hold up to 400 people.

As Chinese authorities had kept the families of Gao Qin and Zhao Guoai under tight surveillance, CAA relied on church sources to confirm their sentences to labor camp. The organization said family members had confirmed the sentences of the other three.

“Linfen house church Christians continue to be monitored by Chinese military police, including neighboring Golden Lampstand Church (Jin Dongtai) in Linfen City,” CAA stated.

The organization said authorities violated Chinese law by refusing to provide family members of the prisoners with copies of documents notifying them of the sentences.

All 10 of the Fushan Church leaders plan to appeal their sentences, according to CAA.

“To arbitrarily send five innocent citizens to labor camps is in direct violation against the international human rights covenants and norms the Chinese government has signed and even ratified,” said CAA President Bob Fu.

The five pastors previously sentenced were arrested on Sept. 25 without a warrant, according to CAA. Yang Rongli was sent to prison for seven years for “illegally occupying farming land” and “disturbing transportation order by gathering masses.”

She and four other pastors were sentenced on Nov. 25 at the People’s Court of Raodu district, Linfen City, Shanxi Province. Yang’s husband, Wang Xiaoguang, was handed a sentence of three years on the charge of “illegally occupying farming land.” Cui Jiaxing was sentenced to four and half years, and Yang Xuan to three and half years, on the same charge; Zhang Huamei received four years of prison for “disturbing transportation order by gathering masses.”

The pastors were arrested by Shanxi Province officers of the Public Security Bureau (PSB). Fu characterized their trial as a farce, saying the case demonstrated a deteriorating state of religious freedom in China.

Yang Rongli and Wang Xiaoguang had led the Fushan Church, part of a 50,000-strong house church network in Linfen and the surrounding villages, for more than 30 years.

The Beijing PSB has misrepresented the demolition and attack on the Linfen branch church as a response to a “violent uprising,” Fu said.

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Ahh, the book of James.

It can be on of the “Legalist’s” favorite  Epistles in the New Testament.

And for the proponents of “Grace alone”, it can be the one book that they wish wasn’t actually in the Bible, even as Martin Luther remarked that the  Book of James was, “a right strawy epistle“.

I maintain and believe that ALL the Words of God uphold one another,  supporting each other and giving insight to each of the other statements and doctrines of the Bible,  and so let’s take a look together to see what the Book of James teaches the Body of Christ regarding GRACE and HOLINESS and GOOD WORKS.

Are Holiness and Good Works NECESSARY for salvation?

Consider the following Scriptures:

James 1:12 —
Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has BEEN APPROVED {or PASSED THE TEST}, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him

James 1:15-22  —
Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when SIN  is accomplished, it brings forth DEATH … and in  knowing this, we must be “quick to hear, slow to speak {context is, regarding this topic of ‘works’ and staying pure in the midst of temptation}  … putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness in humility receive the Word implanted, which is able to save your souls.  But PROVE YOURSELVES DOERS of the Word, and not merely HEARERS who DELUDE themselves”

James 1:23
“For if anyone is a hearer  of the Word and NOT A DOER, he … has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was”

James 1:25 —
But one who looks INTENTLY {focused, concentrated, engrossed} at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and ABIDES {continues in, remains in, lives in, dwells in} by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an EFFECTUAL DOER this man will be blessed in what he does
{This verse does not state the forgetful doer will die and go to hell, but does teach  the one who does NOT DO what the Word states will not be blessed}.

James 1:27 —
“Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this:  to visit orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself UNSTAINED by the world
{Does this Scripture state that by good deeds AND ‘keeping oneself unstained by the world’ one has a pure, or correct,  religion   VERSUS   being self deceived, thinking one is religious, and not actually being saved at all?}

How about  James 2:14, 17 —
“What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has NO WORKS?  CAN THAT FAITH SAVE HIM?  … Even so faith, if it has NO WORKS, IS DEAD, being by itself

James 2:19-20 —
“You believe that God is one.  You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder.  BUT are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith WITHOUT WORKS IS USELESS?”

James 2:22-26  —
“You see that faith was working WITH HIS WORKS, and as a result of the WORKS, faith was perfected   … You see that a man is JUSTIFIED by WORKS and NOT BY FAITH ALONE.  In the same way was not  Rahab the harlot also justified by WORKS … For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also FAITH WITHOUT WORKS IS DEAD.”

And forging ahead, we see in Chapter 4,

James 4:4 —
You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God?   Therefore whoever  wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an ENEMY OF GOD.”

James 4:7-11 —
Submit therefore to God.  Resist the devil and he will flee from you.  Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.  CLEANSE your hands, you sinners; and PURIFY YOUR HEARTS, you double-minded.  Be miserable and mourn and weep …. humble yourselves … Do not speak against one another ...”

James 4:16-17 —
… all such boasting is evil.  Therefore, to one who knows the right thing TO DO and does not do it, to him IT IS SIN.

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Okay.  These are very strong Scriptures which a Legalist can hold up and take a stand stating that it is indeed BY WORKS with faith that one is saved.

But again, lets look at all the intent of the entire New Testament, so that we will correctly be interpreting what is taught in this letter.

FAITH.

What is the  Bible’s definition of FAITH?
Bible Faith is defined as,   when one hears the Word of God, one believes it at face value and acts upon it as though it were  absolutely true, even before one sees, feels, or experiences its Truth in the natural realm.
Example:

Christians do this  for  Salvation.

a)  We’ve HEARD  the Word preached that Jesus died for our sins,  then we
b)  BELIEVE the Word is True,   then we
c) STATE with our mouth that we believe the Word is True,    and  CALL ourselves Christians,   then we
d) ACT as Christians for the rest of our earthly days (or so we should do so, as I am revealing in my HOLINESS studies)

This is FAITH with ACTION.
Or, as James teaches, Faith with Works.

2nd Example:

Abraham is our Old Testament example of the exact same principle.

Abram
a) HEARD the Word / the Promise that he would receive a child,   he then
b) BELIEVED the Word / Promise was True,   and so
c) CALLED himself “Father of Many Nations” or “Abraham” even before having the Promised child.

d)  Then Abraham SHOWED that believed so strongly in God’s Word / Promise, that when asked to sacrifice that one and only Promised child, Abraham did not disobey God’s request but tied Isaac to the altar and raised the blade to kill him.  Abraham WALKED OUT his faith.  Abraham showed  ACTION with his faith.  Abraham DID what God requested.


And I believe this is what James is teaching the Body of Christ regarding FAITH WITH ACTION  or WORKS

I believe the Book of James shows us that actual Christian FAITH is always a VERB.

True Faith will always be acting out, or  always  revealing itself, or always  doing some good work or revealing  some Biblical fruit.

I do not see FAITH taught in the Bible  as a one time action which is never to be used, or exerted, or revealed  ever again.

Not a one time faith  which says, “I prayed the prayer of salvation 10 years ago and so I am saved” but then has never changed its lifestyle or outlook on life since.

It seems to me, throughout the New Testament, that our FAITH will continually show itself to outsiders, by walking in a lifestyle that is written in the Bible.

For if we truly BELIEVE in the God of the Bible, and if we truly BELIEVE in the Bible itself, and if we truly BELIEVE  the passages which tell us that God judges  unrighteous acts, or that “without holiness NO ONE will see the Lord” {Hebrews 12:14} then we will have a reverent fear of God and desire to walk in the holiness or good works that we are told to walk in, to be sure we are pleasing to our Father.  If we  have FAITH that His Word is True then our FAITH will  spur us on to the holiness and good works outlined in the New Testament.

Therefore, I believe the totality of the Book of James, along with every other New Testament Book,  teaches the Body of Christ that if we TRULY BELIEVE God’s Word / Promises, we WILL HAVE ACTION.   We WILL perform GOOD WORKS.  We will walk in GOOD DEEDS.  We will walk in HOLINESS.

So James isn’t teaching that our Good Works or Holiness SAVES US but he IS teaching Good Works or Holiness WILL ACCOMPANY THE SALVATION EXPERIENCE.  It just will.  Because we will BELIEVE God at His Word that we must be doing such.

Thank You, James … the half brother of Jesus, who grew up in the same household with Jesus,  listening to Jesus’ wisdom and teachings … thank you for teaching us what salvation should look like / what salvation really means.

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All
“Scripture  taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE(R).  Copyright (c) 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation.  Used by permission.  http://www.Lockman.org”,
unless otherwise noted


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Four Other Topics  Found in the Book of James:

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The Coming of the LORD

Praise the Lord.

James 5:7 reminds us —
“Therefore be patient, brethren, until the COMING OF THE LORD … You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the COMING OF THE LORD  is near.  Do not complain, brethren, against one another, so that you yourselves may not be judged;  behold, the Judge is standing right at the door.

This is the focus of this Blog  …  The Coming of the Lord!

And here in the Book of James we see Christ’s Return mentioned again, as the writer encourages his readers to WALK IN HOLINESS or GOOD DEEDS.

Reminding ourselves to keep looking for Christ’s Appearing, reminding ourselves to keep  our eyes open  looking for the Return  of our Lord in the sky, WILL encourage us to keep our “hands clean” and “our hearts pure” {James 4:8} …  afterall, who wants to  be “caught” in sin / committing sin / continuing in sin / living in sin, when He Returns for us.

So be encouraged saints!

Follow the Words and encouragement  of the writers of the New Testament to keep yourself from sin, so that when Christ appears to take us home, we will not be “ashamed” at His appearing   {1 John 2:28}

Hallelujah!

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Once Saved Always Saved?

Does the Book of James make any mention that such is true or false?

Consider the Scripture:

James 5:19-20 —

“My brethren, if any among YOU strays FROM the Truth and one TURNS HIM BACK  let him know that he who turns a SINNER from the error of his way will SAVE his soul  from DEATH and will cover a multitude of sins.
{What I see taught in this one Scripture is that one CAN fall away from,  or turn away from,  their salvation, for in talking to the BRETHREN, James says  YOU, meaning a BROTHER  can turn away.   Then James goes on to state that this person has returned to the state of being a SINNER, as James no longer calls him a BROTHER.  I believe this one Scripture supports the doctrine that one can indeed fall away from, or turn away from, their salvation / loose their salvation.}

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Below are the Scriptures which  support that by  GRACE ONLY are we saved
{as I supply in my other Holiness Studies}


Consider the following Scriptures:

James 1:18 —
“In the exercise of His will He brought us forth {or gave us new Birth} by the Word of Truth
{thereby showing by GRACE and God’s will we are saved, not by WORKS}

James 2:10-13 —
“For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all {of breaking all the law} …  mercy triumphs over judgment”
{The context here is that we are all law breakers, but mercy will triumph to those who show mercy … and it is MERCY that God has poured upon us by putting the punishment of our sins upon  Christ  — 1 Peter 2:10, Titus 3:5}.

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Finally, keep giving!

James 5:1-6 —
Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries which are coming upon you …. you gold and your silver  … will be a witness against you … It is in the last days that you have STORED UP your treasure … pay of the laborers … withheld by you … and the outcry of those who did the harvesting has reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth.  You have lived luxuriously on the earth …
{The “good work” needing to be done in these particular Scriptures is the giving of money to missionaries / gospel workers who are doing the harvesting for the Lord versus  HOARDING by people who have money.   Just thought I’d remind us rich Westerners of the Lord’s teaching that we should be giving and not hoarding or spending only  on ourselves}  🙂

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The dividing of Jerusalem?

Is it predicted in the Bible?

Yes, the dividing of Jerusalem was prophesied by the prophet Joel,  at which time God warns that the dividing of Israel’s Land is the reason why God will be judging the nations:

Joel 3:1-2 —

1“In those days and at that time,  when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem,  2I will gather all nations  and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat.a There I will enter into judgment against them  concerning My inheritance, My people Israel,  for they scattered My people among the nations  and divided up My land.

God goes on to warn through  the prophet  Zechariah, that all who choose to “come against” Jerusalem will bring  woe   or “injury” upon themselves:

Zechariah 12: 1-5 —
1This is the word of the Lord concerning Israel. The Lord, who stretches out the heavens, who lays the foundation of the earth, and who forms the spirit of man within him, declares: 2“I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling. Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem. 3On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves. 4On that day I will strike every horse with panic and its rider with madness,” declares the Lord. “I will keep a watchful eye over the house of Judah, but I will blind all the horses of the nations. 5Then the leaders of Judah will say in their hearts, ‘The people of Jerusalem are strong, because the Lord Almighty is their God.’

The above Scripture verses, along with the latest EU statement that a dividing of Jerusalem is to be considered, are all signs that the End of This Age is  coming upon us.

As I have stated in other Posts, the End is not here yet but the Stage continues to be set!

Look up Church ….
And purify yourself for Christ’s return!
Our redemption is even closer today!

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Haaretz Exclusive: EU draft document on division of Jerusalem

The current holder of the rotating European Union presidency, Sweden, has put together a draft document calling for the division of Jerusalem between Israel and a future Palestinian state and implying that the EU would recognize a unilateral Palestinian declaration of statehood.

Haaretz has obtained a copy of the document (below) that has sparked criticism by Israel, which claims that such a move would further harm the chances of renewing the Mideast peace process.

To read this full article, click HERE

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Revelation 3:18 —

14“To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:

These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. 15I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.

19Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. 20Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.

21To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

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The below News Article does not tell of Martyrdom in Israel, but the threat of such.

But persecution and hatred by the world is to be expected, for those who call themselves Christians.

13Do not be surprised, my brothers, if the world hates you
{1 John 3:13}

18“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. 20Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master.’b If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. 21They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me.
{John 15:13-21}

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Jerusalem, December 14, Interfax – The Holy Trinity Cathedral of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem was vandalized early on December 11.

‘Death’ and ‘Death to Christians’ were written in Hebrew in large red letters near the cathedral altar and ante-church, the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission said.

A statement was made to the Jerusalem police.

There have been threats to clerics of the Russian Orthodox Church and other Christian confessions before, the mission said. The hooligans said that Christians must leave Jerusalem before they are massacred.

Read Original Article HERE

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North Korea has devalued its currency by 100 to 1, Kim Sue-young at the Korea Times is reporting.
Original Article found HERE

Sue-young writes:

A North Korea watcher said Tuesday that Pyongyang’s reported revaluation of its currency was aimed at increasing the wealth of the nation and beefing up state-run companies.According to reports, the secretive state suddenly removed two zeros from the nominal value of banknotes Monday to curb inflation and black marketeering. The adjustment was the first in 17 years…

“An individual is reportedly allowed to exchange up to 100,000 won (about $86) for the new banknotes,” said Park Hyeong-jung, a senior research fellow at the Korea Institute for National Unification (KINU). The measure negatively affects the middle class who possess the North Korean currency and only benefits those who have foreign currency, he told The Korea Times…

A North Korean foreign trading official based in China reportedly said the reclusive state set the exchange rate as 100 to 1 and accordingly, the old denomination of 1,000 won is replaced by the new 10 won. According to North Korea’s fixed exchange rate before the revaluation, a U.S. dollar was equivalent to 135 North Korean won.

“Black markets in Pyongyang have turned chaotic as people rushed to convert the local currency into Chinese yuan or the U.S. dollar,” the official was quoted as saying by Yonhap News. The new bill will likely be put into circulation from this Sunday, according to a report.

This truly is an old trick to screw those holding large sums of cash. Now they will have to turn it in at the new rate to get the new bills, which, of course, will buy a hundred times less of foreign currency at official NK currency exchange counters.

Take notes. This could be the U.S. years down the road. First will come exchange controls and the end to fluctuating exchange rates, and then the devaluations will come.

UPDATE: WSJ reports that the devaluation has triggered chaos, according to news outlets in South Korea that specialize in obtaining information from the North, as people rushed to banks and offices of the ruling Workers Party to get information, make exchanges or trade existing North Korean won for euros and U.S. dollars.

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Four Reasons Why Hyperinflation Hasn’t Hit the U.S. Economy…Yet

By Keith Fitz-Gerald
Chief Investment Strategist
Money Morning

Everything we know about classic economic theory suggests the U.S. economy should be experiencing Zimbabwe-like hyperinflation right now, thanks to the nearly $2.2 trillion the U.S. Federal Reserve has pumped into the system.

But we’re not…yet.

Classic economic theory says that money supply can be used to stimulate the economy and our central bankers seem to agree. That’s why they’ve pumped more than $1 trillion dollars into the economy, engineered countless bailout bonanzas for zombie institutions, put Detroit on life support, and delivered a bunch of financial Band-Aids to the trauma ward – all in a desperate bid to make Americans feel better about the global financial crisis.

To their way of thinking, the trillions of dollars have been a success. That’s why any meeting of the Group of Eight (G8) nations looks more like a mutual affection society with central bankers anxious to claim credit and backslap each other in congratulations for having avoided the “Great Depression II.”

But by taking the Federal balance sheet to more than $2 trillion from $928 billion 2008, they’ve created a situation that should have resulted in an epic inflationary spike to accompany the 137% increase in liabilities.

Yet that hasn’t quite happened.

Core inflation – which denotes consumer prices without food and energy costs – has actually decreased from 2.5% in 2008 to 1.5% presently. And that has many investors who have heard the siren call of the doom, gloom and boom crowd wondering if they’re worried about nothing.

So what gives?

Well, there are four reasons we haven’t yet seen hyperinflation:

  • Banks are hoarding cash. Despite having received trillions of dollars in taxpayer funded bailouts and lived through a litany of shotgun weddings designed to reinvigorate the shattered lending markets, most banks are actually hoarding cash. So instead of lending money to consumers and businesses like they’re supposed to, banks have used taxpayer dollars to boost their reserves by nearly 20-fold according to the Federal Reserve. The money the bailout was supposed to make available to the system is actually not passing “Go,” but rather getting stopped by the very institutions that are supposed to be lending it out. Three-year average annualized loan growth rates were 9.6% before the crisis; now they are shrinking by 1.8%, according to Money Magazine.
  • The United States exports inflation to China, which remains only too happy to continue to absorb it. What this means is that low priced products from China help keep prices down here. And this is critical to something that many in the “China-is-manipulating-their-currency” crowd fail to grasp. If China were to un-peg the yuan and let it rise by the 60% or more it’s supposedly undervalued by, we’d see jump in prices here in everything from jeans to tennis shoes, toys, medical equipment, medicines, and anything else we import in bulk from China. Chances are, the shift would not be dollar-for-dollar or even dollar-for-yuan, but there’s no doubt it would be significant. Many economists I’ve talked to privately think 25%-35% is probable. So the next time you hear a “Buy American” extremist, you might want to share this little inconvenient truth.
Sign up below…and we’ll send you a new investment report for free:

“Credit Crisis Report.”

Now before I get a bunch of hate mail about this, let me just say I want to “Buy American” too. I’m all for supporting our native industry and our own domestic job markets. But in today’s world, “made anywhere” is really hard to do and even harder to support. The interconnected nature of businesses and global manufacturing chains, not to mention the payment system, makes that nearly impossible. Granted, perhaps that’s part of the problem, but that’s a subject for another time. The lessons we learned in the 1930s are clear, and they must be acknowledged – protectionism only makes matters worse, no matter how we feel about it personally.

  • Consumers are still cutting back. Therefore, the spending that normally helps pull demand through the system is simply not there. I don’t how things are in your neighborhood, but where I live, people are still cutting back. Indeed, data from the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Federal Reserve Board shows that consumer spending growth averaged 1.4% a year prior to the crisis and is now shrinking at a rate of 0.7%. What this means is that people have figured out that it’s more important to save money than it is to spend it. And, given that consumer spending makes up 70% or more of the U.S. economy, this is a monumental change in behavior that all but banishes the last vestiges of the “greed is good” philosophy espoused by Michael Douglas as Wall Street pirate Gordon Gekko in 1987.
  • Businesses continue to cut back rather than hire new workers. Therefore, wages and wage inflation figures are lower than they would be if the economy was truly healthy and the stimulus was working. This is especially tough to stomach because it means people are still being marginalized, laid off and “part-timed” instead of being hired. And that means that most of the earnings growth we’ve seen this season has come from expense reductions rather than top line sales growth – and those are two very different things. But while this is tough, it’s also helped keep inflation lower than it would otherwise be. Prior to the financial meltdown, job growth averaged about 1% a year over the last three years whereas now it’s falling by 4.2%.

The upshot?

Any one of these factors could change at any time. And that means investors who are relying on the Fed’s version that everything is okay and that the government is managing inflation may be in for a rude awakening.

The only thing the Fed is doing is managing to manipulate is the data, and even then, not very well.

[Editor’s Note: No one knows the Asian markets – or the true nature of the global capital markets – like Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald. For the last several years, Fitz-Gerald has made those insights available to investors via his daily columns in Money Morning and its monthly affiliate, The Money Map Report. Now he’s making those insights available through his new book, “Fiscal Hangover: How to Profit From The New Global Economy,” which can be purchased here.]

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