This special panel discussion on the economy and related topics featured investment advisor Catherine Austin Fitts, trends analyst Gerald Celente, and consultant George Ure. Currently, the financial system is still being pumped with cheap money, such as $45 billion a month in mortgage-backed securities, and interest rates remain at record lows-- but once those interest rates go back up, the economy will tumble, said Celente. Fitts cited the continued inequality and centralization in the economy as hampering growth, while Ure noted that we're in the bottoming process with the Fed, which is trying to print money fast enough so we don't drop into something like the Great Depression.
While the US continues its behind-closed-doors propping up of the economy, "I still believe we're going to see something like a panic level by the end of the second quarter," Celente remarked. America used to be the land of opportunity, but now the wealth is concentrated in the hands of the few, he added. Globalization is lowering the wealth of the middle class, and the reality is "we're automating or outsourcing jobs, and putting people on government checks," Fitts commented. Ure, who studies cyclical patterns of the economy or "long waves," said right now we're seeing a "war on cash," with a huge effort to get people into an electronic system, where all their transactions and investments can be tracked.
The revelations by Edward Snowden about America's surveillance state has had a depressing effect on US economic growth, as well as inspiring other countries around the world to pull out of the system, Fitts suggested. "We live in a country where the system of creating money has basically been sublet from Congress to the Federal Reserve...and government is wholesale now, in the business of granting different franchises such as in communications and money operations," Ure detailed. "I think the future is with a self-sustained economy," Celente stated, though if the economy slides further down, we may see militaristic attempts to control an unruly populace.
ISS & Russia
First hour guest, space historian Robert Zimmerman commented on how the US' sanctions against Russia might affect activity on the International Space Station. While in theory, the Russians could refuse to transport US astronauts (as well as launch commercial satellites), their part of the Space Station is way behind schedule, and they are dependent on the American side of the Station for power to run the facility. We could reach a situation where the station becomes inoperable and abandoned, and this might lead to the risk of a giant piece of space junk crashing to down to Earth, he cautioned.