Of Layoffs & Riots…

From George Ure of Peoplenomics.com fame:

layoffs2009-02-26

Is “ugly” really the right word? And from the Asia Times we have:

A Planet at the Brink?
By Michael T Klare

The global economic meltdown has already caused bank failures, bankruptcies, plant closings, and foreclosures and will, in the coming year, leave many tens of millions unemployed across the planet. But another perilous consequence of the crash of 2008 has only recently made its appearance: increased civil unrest and ethnic strife. Someday, perhaps, war may follow.

As people lose confidence in the ability of markets and governments to solve the global crisis, they are likely to erupt into violent protests or to assault others they deem responsible for their plight, including government officials, plant managers, landlords, immigrants, and ethnic minorities.

If the present economic disaster turns into what President Barack Obama has referred to as a “lost decade”, the result could be a global landscape filled with economically-fueled upheavals.

Indeed, if you want to be grimly impressed, hang a world map on your wall and start inserting red pins where violent episodes have already occurred.
Athens (Greece),
– Longnan (China),
– Port-au-Prince (Haiti),
– Riga (Latvia),
– Santa Cruz (Bolivia),
– Sofia (Bulgaria),
– Vilnius (Lithuania), and
– Vladivostok (Russia) would be a start.

Many other cities from Reykjavik, Paris, Rome, and Zaragoza to Moscow and Dublin have witnessed huge protests over rising unemployment and falling wages that remained orderly thanks in part to the presence of vast numbers of riot police. If you inserted orange pins at these locations – none as yet in the United States – your map would already look aflame with activity. And if you’re a gambling man or woman, it’s a safe bet that this map will soon be far better populated with red and orange pins. [more

Be honest now: does anyone still think things will start getting better soon? And that “buy and hold” is a winning strategy in equities?

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Putin’s Worried About Something…

Does this seem like it’s coming out of nowhere to you? Is he serious?

putin_dees_smMOSCOW – RUSSIAN Prime Minister Vladimir Putin warned that any attempt to destabilise Russia would be firmly dealt with as the country marked its national day on Saturday honouring the security services.

‘Any attempts to weaken or destabilise Russia, damage the country’s interests and its citizens will be toughly suppressed’ Mr Putin told a meeting of top security officials and spies in the Kremlin Friday night.

Mr Putin, himself a former KGB officer, did not specify who might pose a threat to Russia but the message could be addressed both to Western security services and opposition at home.

As the economic crisis broadens in Russia, avoiding mass-scale social unrest is a top priority for the Kremlin. [more]

Army Planning 4 Economic Collapse

From yesterday’s New York Post, summarized for your enjoyment.

nypost_2

 

US ARMY READY IF THE DOWNTURN GETS OUT OF HAND

Are you afraid that the economic downturn could get out of hand? I mean, really out of hand?

Well, don’t worry.

The US Army War College is on the case – ready to handle “unforeseen economic collapse” and the “rapid dissolution of public order in all or significant parts of the US.”

And you thought we were just dealing with a recession!

knownunknows-pub890_100x130In a report published Nov. 4 – just in time for the holiday season – the War College’s Strategic Studies Institute posited a number of shocks that the country should be prepared for, including unrest caused by the economy’s failure.

The report has a snappy title, “Known Unknowns: Unconventional ‘Strategic Shocks’ in Defense Strategy Development,” and was written by Nathan Freier, a visiting professor at the college. 

Freier lists a number of possible things we should worry about – because we probably don’t have enough of our own – including run-of-the-mill terrorism and the fact that China and Russia could align against us politically and economically.

“Some of the most plausible defense-relevant strategic shocks remain low-probability events,” Freier soft-pedals before going on to scare the hell out of us.

The War College says “widespread civil violence inside the US would force the defense establishment to reorient priorities in extremis to defend basic domestic order and human security.”

Among things Freier wants us to worry about are:
– deliberate employment of weapons of mass destruction,
– unforeseen economic collapse,
– loss of functioning political and legal order,
– purposeful domestic resistance or insurgency and
– catastrophic natural and human disasters.”

[more]