Another Bubble Pops: Price Of Farmland Suffers First Annual Decline Since 1986

One of the bigger asset bubbles in recent US history has nothing to do with stock, bonds or commodities, and unlike the real estate bust of 2007 (which has since rebounded only for the ultra-luxury segment), barely batted an eyelid during the Great Financial Crisis. Curiously, it was not until early this decade that the institutional money even noticed said bubble, something he discussed in October of 2010 when we profiled TIAA-CREF’s investment in this particular asset class. We are talking of course about farmland.

And yet, like all other bubbles – be they the result of retail euphoria or central bank rigging – this one too must come to a close, and as the WSJ reports, the first crack in the farmland bubble are appearing, after farmland values declined in parts of the Midwest for the first time in decades last year “reflecting a cooling in the market driven by two years of bumper crops and sharply lower grain prices, according to Federal Reserve reports on Thursday.”

Fourth Turning: The Shadow Of Crisis Has Not Passed – Part 4

Submitted by Jim Quinn via The Burning Platform blog,

In Part One of this article I explained the model of generational theory as conveyed by Strauss and Howe in The Fourth Turning. In Part Two I provided an overwhelming avalanche of evidence this Crisis has only yet begun, with debt, civic decay and global disorder propelling the world towards the next more violent phase of this Crisis. In Part Three I addressed how the most likely clash on the horizon is between the government and the people. War on multiple fronts will thrust the world through the great gate of history towards an uncertain future.

War on Multiple Fronts

“The risk of catastrophe will be very high. The nation could erupt into insurrection or civil violence, crack up geographically, or succumb to authoritarian rule. If there is a war, it is likely to be one of maximum risk and effort – in other words, a total war. Every Fourth Turning has registered an upward ratchet in the technology of destruction, and in mankind’s willingness to use it.”

Visualizing The World’s Greatest Fears

What are the greatest fears by country? Throughout the world, people are concerned about very different things – from inequality to AIDS and from nuclear war to religious hatred…

By region, North Americans and Europeans are generally most fearful of inequality. However, each other region had their own number one perceived fear. Africans, not surprisingly, were most afraid of AIDS and other diseases. South Americans were most afraid of nuclear warfare and Asians were most afraid of pollution and environmental concerns. Lastly, people in the Middle East were most concerned about religious and ethnic hatred.

Culture and history also makes the fears of specific countries to be more heightened. More than half of Lebanese people (58%) fear religious and ethnic hatred the most. 49% of Japanese people most fear nuclear weapons. In Spain, where 51.4% of youth are unemployed, it is not surprising that 54% of Spanish people fear inequality the most. Spain is also where the fear of inequality has grown the fastest – it has increased 27% in the last seven years.

ISIS Breaches US Military Advisers’ Iraqi Base

Just as we warned hours ago, it appears the capture of a nearby town was not the endgame and, as The Wall Street Journal reports, A group of Islamic State militants penetrated an Iraqi air base where U.S. military advisers are training Iraqi forces, the first time attackers have gotten beyond the outer perimeter of an Iraqi base being used by American trainers.

Second Thoughts On US Official Gold Reserves Audits

Submitted by Koos Jansen via BullionStar blog,

This post is a sequel to “A First Glance At US Official Gold Reserves Audits”.

What is not often covered in the media or blogosphere are the audits of the US official gold reserves stored at the US Mint, which is the custodian for 95 % (7716 tonnes) of the stash – nowadays also referred to as custodial deep storage,