Wednesday, April 27, 2016

IDF: Hezbollah Preparing For War, Economy In Decline - Apple Reports Massive Revenue Decline, Dollar Panic Selling Coming

IDF commander: Hezbollah preparing for war, just like in 2006

An IDF battalion commander stationed on Israel’s border with Lebanon on Wednesday said the Hezbollah terror group’s recent activity was “reminiscent of what they did before the Second Lebanon War.”

In an interview with Channel 2, Lt. Col. Eliav Elbaz described how Hezbollah was “obsessively” monitoring Israeli soldiers from across the border.

“The other side is obsessively gathering [information] about everything happening here, everything our security forces [are doing],” Elbaz said.

“Right now they’re up to their necks in the war in Syria, but we still see them walking around” and scouting the Israeli positions, he said. It’s “reminiscent of what they did before the Second Lebanon War,” he added.

The IDF officer said soldiers were training constantly and on high alert. “We are preparing for war. In the event of a war, they will have a lot more to lose,” he warned.

In the summer of 2006, Israel and Hezbollah fought a war in Lebanon that killed about 160 Israelis, most of them soldiers, and nearly 1,200 Lebanese, including several hundred Hezbollah fighters, according to the Israeli army.

Hezbollah has deployed thousands of fighters to prop up the regime in Syria’s civil war, and some analysts say that has limited its ability to carry out an attack against Israel.

Earlier this month, the IDF’s deputy chief of staff said the Lebanese group’s improving capabilities deeply concerned Israel. Major General Yair Golan said that could result in “full-scale war,” including a harsh response from the Israeli military.

Defense officials are concerned that an Islamic State affiliate operating near the Syrian border with Israel has acquired chemicals weapons and may be planning to test them, Channel 10 news reported Tuesday.

The report said officials believed the Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade, a terrorist group affiliated with the Islamic State and based on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights, may have recently gotten its hands on chemical weapons which once belonged to the Assad regime.

Israel is closely monitoring the organization, and believes it may be planning tests of the weapons’ capabilities.
The Channel 10 report noted that the group was not currently concerned with Israel and was not directing offensive efforts against it, being preoccupied with fighting other groups in the Syrian civil war. Any chemical weaponry in their hands was thus not considered an immediate threat to Israelis. But officials fear this may well change in the future.
The Islamic State’s possession of chemical weapons has been a major point of concern among Western governments.

A senior Israeli official on Wednesday said the IDF would strike an Islamic State-affiliated group operating near its border with Syria if there were any indication the jihadist group was testing or using chemical weapons.

According to a TV report on Tuesday, Israeli defense officials are concerned an IS offshoot based on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights may have recently acquired chemical weapons which once belonged to the Assad regime.

“Israel will not allow a terrorist organization like the Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade to equip themselves with this type of capability,” the unnamed official told Channel 10 news Wednesday.

“If we see anything resembling experiments or other signs indicating operational capability of chemical weapons, Israel will not stand by — we will act to thwart such capabilities,” he said.
The report noted while the jihadist group was preoccupied with fighting other factions in the Syrian civil war and was not currently concerned with Israel, officials were closely monitoring the group, fearing it may be planning to test the weapons’ capabilities.

Earlier this month, the group reportedly mounted a deadly gas attack against Syrian troops at a besieged eastern airbase.

On March 9, a suspected IS gas attack on the Iraqi town of Taza, south of Kirkuk, killed three children and wounded some 1,500 people, with injuries ranging from burns to rashes and respiratory problems.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry announced that the US will provide advanced weaponry to bolster the ‘moderate opposition’ against the Assad regime, despite both countries claiming that their focus is on countering Daesh.
On Tuesday, the Turkish Foreign Ministry announced that the US has agreed to deploy advanced rocket launcher systems in southern Turkey next month, with a focus on eliminating Daesh in northern Syria “in a more efficient way.” The Pentagon has not confirmed Ankara’s claim.

The Turkish ministry statement claimed the US would dispatch the M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), a truck mounted rocket launcher used by the US during the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2010, the system was suspended from battlefield use after a defect led to the killing of 12 civilians in Afghanistan.
The announcement lends credence to fears that the rockets will be turned against the Assad government. Turkish officials state that the long-range rockets will allow them to support "moderate opposition" forces, purportedly against Daesh.

Corporate revenues in the United States have been falling for quite some time, but now some of the biggest companies in the entire nation are reporting extremely disappointing results.  On Tuesday, Apple shocked the financial world by reporting that revenue for the first quarter had fallen 7.4 billion dollars compared to the same quarter last year.  That is an astounding plunge, and it represents the very first year-over-year quarterly sales decline that Apple has experienced since 2003.  Analysts were anticipating some sort of drop, but nothing like this.  And of course last week we learned that Google and Microsoft also missed revenue and earnings projections for the first quarter of 2016.  The economic crisis that began during the second half of 2015 is really starting to take hold, and even our largest tech companies are now feeling the pain.
This wasn’t supposed to happen to Apple.  No matter what else has been going on with the U.S. economy, Apple has always been unshakeable.  Even during the last recession we never saw a year-over-year decline like this

Apple today announced financial results for the second fiscal quarter (first calendar quarter) of 2016. For the quarter, Apple posted revenue of $50.6 billion and net quarterly profit of $10.5 billion, or $1.90 per diluted share, compared to revenue of $58 billion and net quarterly profit of $13.6 billion, or $2.33 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. As expected, the year-over-year decline in quarterly revenue was the first for Apple since 2003.

I think that this announcement by Apple is waking a lot of people up.  The global economic slowdown is real, and we can see this in iPhone sales.  During the first quarter, Apple sold 16 percent fewer iPhones than it did during the same quarter in 2015.  This is the very first year-over-year quarterly sales decline for the iPhone ever.  Here are some of the specific sales figures from the Apple announcement…

Once these numbers hit the wires, shares of Apple immediately began to plummet during after-hours trading.  In fact, USA Today is reporting that Apple has already lost 43 billion dollars in market value since the annoucement…

Shares of Apple are getting hit roughly 8% in after-hours trading, tumbling to $96.67. They closed in regular trading at $104.35, or down 0.7%, putting them down 0.9% for the year. The downward move in after-hours trading means the company shed $43 billion in market value based on after-hours trading.


Meanwhile, shares of Twitter are crashing in after-hours trading after the social media giant also announced very disappointing results.  The stock has now dripped below 16 dollars a share, and the company continues to lose tremendous amounts of money
For all its other travails, Twitter is unprofitable. It narrowed its loss but still recorded a loss of $79.7 million, or 12 cents a share, compared with a loss of $162.4 million, or 25 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter.

When is it finally going to sink in for most people?  The global economy is slowing down significantly, and the next global economic crisis is already here.
Of course the oil companies are feeling more pain than anyone else.  According to CNN, the crash in the price of oil has cost the 40 largest publicly-traded U.S. oil producers 67 billion dollars

American oil companies are drowning in a sea of red ink.
The crash in crude oil prices caused a stunning $67 billion in combined losses by 40 publicly-traded U.S. oil producers last year, according Energy Information Administration research. And the bleeding is expected to continue at least early this year for many.

The greatest debt bubble in the history of the planet is starting to implode, and this time the central bankers and the politicians are not going to be able to put the pieces back together again.
But just like in 2008, the vast majority of the population will not recognize the warning signs until it is way too late.

Economist John Williams has long predicted the $16 trillion in U.S. dollar assets held outside of America will be sold in a panic. 

We have the waffling of the Fed and the beginnings of the perception that the economy is in serious trouble, which generally would be negative for the dollar.  We have started to see selling pressure on the dollar.  It has been inching lower.  It’s down year to year now. . . . The selling is going to intensify, not only with large central banks, but with corporations that will be beginning to dump their Treasury holdings. . . . Nobody wants to be the last one out the door when you have a panic like this.  It’s not a panic yet, but the potential certainly is there.”

Williams also says, “The dollar will blow up, and when I say blow up, it will collapse. There will be panic selling of the dollar, and that will intensify the inflation.  The problem is they don’t have a way of avoiding it.  If they could somehow get the economy back on track, they would have some room to work, I think, but the economy has never recovered.  That’s being seen now in these revisions.  

At the end of this week, we are going to see bench mark revisions to retail sales. . . . So, you are going to see some downside revisions to the retail sales.  You already have it with industrial production, and now you are going to have it with retail sales.  We are very close to turning negative with the first quarter GDP . . . We are in a recession now, and they would be inclined to call it that once they get a contracting GDP, and everything else is beginning to show that. . . . You are going to see a formal recession declaration not too far down the road.  It hasn’t happened yet, but it will.”

The economy is turning down rapidly.  We have a new recession.”

Williams says it is not a matter of if, but when, there is panic dollar selling. Williams says the Fed would try to slow it down.  Williams explains, “The Federal Reserve would step in and slow the pace to make it not appear like a panic.  If you start to see a panic selloff (in the dollar), that’s a real bad sign.  It means they are losing control of the system, and I think that is coming.  The initial effect on the system for people living in the United States, as the dollar crashes, you will see inflation beginning to surge, particularly from oil and gasoline prices.  Those effects will begin to spread in the system.  It will change the way people look at things and will start the process that will eventually be a hyperinflation.  

The Fed does not have a way out of this circumstance.  They have backed themselves into a corner.  They have been keeping things reasonably stable, but they can’t get things going in the economy. . . . The economy is in terrible shape.”



ally said...

I wonder if Bibis redline is about to be crossed? Things could escalate very quickly if so....

Scott said...

Yea, you aren't the only one wondering about that.....sooner or later I believe he will have had enough - when the time is right

WVBORN56 said...

It seems like I have been thinking that for the past two years we had arrived at the time of our departure. All the signs were converging. Things were building to a big crescendo...and yet we are still here. God it seems had a bigger crescendo in mind! It surely seems the balloon is about as big as it can get before it pops but we just never know.

I have been reading a bit about a potential Pentecost rapture. There is a good video by Gary Stearman out there for anyone interested. There are some pretty compelling reasons to think this would be a good fit for the departure of the bride. Not date setting but it certainly made some good points.

Sandra said...

Hi WVBorn, do you have the link for the video.

I agree the time is ripe for our departure.

Thanks Sandra

WVBORN56 said...

Sorry Sandra I don't but it was also on YouTube and called The Pentecost prophecy by Gay Stearman. Try googling that. Someone also had emailed me the text which is available out there to. Maybe go to his website?