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American Survival Newsletter:
Combining the World of Finance, Health & Politics 
7/8/201 6  

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Edited by Alfred Adask
Friday, July 8, AD 2016
Between Friday, July 1 AD 2016 and 
Friday, July 8, AD 2016,  the bid prices for:
Gold rose 1.7 % from $1,341.90 to $1,365.40
Silver rose 2.5 % from $19.76 to $20.25
Platinum rose 3.6 % from $1,057 to $1,095
Palladium rose 2.0 % from $604 to $616
Crude Oil fell8.4 % from $49.28 to $45.14

US Dollar Index rose 0.7 % from 95.64 to 96.27

DJIA rose 1.1 % from 17,949.37 to 18,146.74
NASDAQ rose 1.9 % from 4,862.57 to 4,956.76
NYSE rose 0.5 % from 10,515.80 to 10,571.80
S&P 500 rose 1.3 % from 2,102.95 to 2,129.90

"Only buy something that you'd be perfectly happy to hold
if the market shut down for 10 years." --Warren Buffett 

"If the markets shut down for 10 years, what investment would you dare to hold-- 
other than gold"? --Alfred Adask

Tragi-Comic Greece Illuminates "Austerity"

by Alfred Adask
Reuters wrote in May ("Euro zone:  more time needed for Greek reforms"):
"Euro zone finance ministers will not meet on Thursday and need more time to discuss Greek reforms that would unlock new loans, signaling significant differences remain between Athens and its lenders on bailout targets."
"Signaling significant differences?!"
What they're signaling in this "never-ending story" is that Greece will never be both willing and able to repay its existing national debts-and neither side wants to admit that truth. 
What they're "signaling" is that the EU creditors refuse to face reality:  Greece is bankrupt.  Therefore, Greece should be allowed to file for bankruptcy because it can't possibly repay its existing debt.   Greece should be allowed to rebuild its economy without repaying existing EU debt obligations-and also without going deeper into debt. 
What they're "signaling" is the creditors' refusal to admit that "what can't be paid, won't be paid".
"Athens and its EU/IMF lenders aimed to reach an agreement this week on reforms needed to conclude a key review of the country's bailout progress that would unlock funds under a multibillion-euro bailout package it signed up to in July."
What do they mean by "bailout" and "bailout package"? 
They mean that Greece (which is technically bankrupt and can't possibly repay its existing debt on its own) should be allowed to borrow more funds from "somebody".  Funds from these new "bailout" loans will be used to repay existing debt due on their old loans.   Greece will be "bailed out" by allowing it to go deeper into new debt in order to seemingly repay the old debt that Greece already can't possibly pay.
Does that make sense?  Isn't it like sending good currency after bad?
Isn't it obvious that if Greece must be allowed to go into more new debt to seemingly repay its old debt, it's just a matter of time before Greece will need to go even deeper in newer debt to seemingly repay its most recent bailout package.
Under these bailout packages, Greece may never stop going deeper into debt.
Somebody needs to face the truth.  Greece can't pay its existing debt.  It won't be able to repay additional, newer debt.  Greece is bankrupt.  There's no point to allowing or forcing bankrupt Greece to go even deeper into debt.
"Greece and its creditors have agreed on a package of reforms worth 3 percent of its economic output-but still disagreed on contingent measures, to be implemented only if needed, to make sure the country reaches agreed fiscal targets in 2018."
The creditors are predators; the Greeks are parasites.  The creditor-predators loaned Greece more currency than Greece could ever hope to repay.   The Greek-parasite debtors borrowed more money than they could ever hope to repay.
Now, they're locked in a deadly embrace wherein both are trying to exploit the other.  Creditors want Greece to agree to be their debt-slaves and repay 3% of their GDP to the creditors each year.   Greeks want more free loans ("contingency measures, to be implemented only if needed")  that they'll never repay in full. 
It's a lose/lose relationship where both sides, refusing to lose more, will ultimately lose everything.
A pox on both their houses.  
*   I've said before-and continue to say:
1) Let the EU creditors admit that: a) they were at least stupid (and at worst, predatorial) for lending more currency to Greece than Greece could ever hope to repay;  and b) they are therefore partially responsible for Greece's insolvency-and, therefore, write off most or all of the remaining Greek debt.
2) Let the Greek government file for bankruptcy and admit that if they want to rebuild their country, they'll have to do so on their own productivity, with their own sweat and hard work, but without signing up for additional debt. 
Neither side wants to face the truth.  Both sides want to exploit the other.  To helk with 'em both.
*   "A swift, comprehensive deal would also pave the way for talks on debt relief, which Athens hopes will help restore investor confidence  and convince Greeks that their sacrifices are paying offafter six years of austerity." 
1) The EU creditors and Greek debtors have sought a "swift, comprehensive deal" for SIX YEARS without success.   If they haven't found one yet, they aren't likely to do so in the foreseeable future. 
2)   "Debt relief" means that Greek debtors want permission to write off more of their remaining debt (after already writing off at least half of the original debt).  The EU creditors are refusing to write off the balance of Greek debt and are insisting that the Greeks repay the remainder.  It's reasonable for the creditors to want to be paid.  But, it's unreasonable for those creditors to expect a bankrupt Greece to repay all, or even most, of its remaining debts.
3)   Q:  Why is it important to "restore investor confidence"?
A:  So some new fools can be found to "confidently" lend more currency to Greece-which bankrupt Greece will, again, never repay without further bail-outs.     
4)   "[C]onvince Greeks that their sacrifices are paying off"?!
"Sacrifices"?  What "sacrifices"? 
All the Greeks are being asked to do is to pay their debts.  Where's the "sacrifice" in that?  
(It's illuminating and even a little scary to see that, in our debt-based monetary and economic world, debtors are being conditioned to regard the repayment of their debts as a "sacrifice".  If payment of legitimate debts is really a "sacrifice," why should any debt be repaid?)
*   As things stand now, the Greek people are being left to wallow in "austerity" while they wait for some "confident investor" to lend them the additional currency they think they need to pay off their existing debts.
But what, exactly, is "austerity"?
A recent article by the AFP (Agence France-Presse) entitled "Greek no to austerity a 'sublime act of resistence':  PM" can help us understand "austerity".  According to that article, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras recently Tweeted that:
"Debt-laden Greece's rejection exactly a year ago of austerity measures proposed by international lenders was a sublime act of resistance. 
" The 'No' of our people was a sublime act against the euro bigwigs promoting austerity but also against the establishment which wanted to stifle the country."
Last year, the "sublimely" courageous Greek people voted by 62% to reject "austerity".  Bravo!   (If we can believe PM Tsipras, this "sublime rejection" should go down in history as just as heroic as the Battle of Thermopylae .)
However, just one week after that vote, the same PM Tsipras (who is currently praising the Greek people's vote as a "sublime act of resistance") was allegedly "forced" (in his own "sublime act of surrender"?) by EU creditors to sign a new bailout agreement to avoid bankruptcy and to accept further austerity measures."  Boo!
And what is this "sublime act of resistance" all about?  Well, ultimately, the modern Greek heroes voted to not pay their bills
Makes me laugh. 
I'm not here to defend the EU creditors, but I fail to see anything "sublime" or heroic in voting to not pay your legitimated bills.
Politicians are the same everywhere.  Shameless.
Today, Greek PM Tsipras praises the Greek people's "sublime act of resistance" that he, himself, betrayed in A.D. 2015-just one week after that "sublime act".
Tragedy?  Comedy?  I choose to laugh.  But I understand why others choose to weep.
*   "[Last] May, Greek lawmakers voted in favour of more spending cuts and tax hikes. Greece urgently needs the next tranche of bailout money to repay big loans to the European Central Bank (ECB) and IMF in July."
In the previous paragraph, we see the practical essence of "austerity".   Austerity means that the government will impose "spending cuts and tax hikes".  Why?  "To repay big  loans".
In the final analysis, "austerity" merely describes the time when a debtor is required to pay his debts.
For example, suppose a man decides to take a second honeymoon with his wife.  He's going to max out his credit cards and spend $25,000 in July to take a first-class vacation to Tahiti.  No expense spared.  He and his spouse will have a fabulous month of July.
But, come August, when he returns home and even before he and his wife lose their Tahiti tans, the bills on his credit cards will start coming due. 
July may've been a fabulous, credit-based vacation.  However, August (and perhaps several months or years into the future), will be dismal as the "honeymooners" struggle to repay the credit-card debt they rang up in Tahiti.  They won't be able to go out for dinner.  Wife can't go shopping.  Husband can't afford a lousy six-pack of beer.  They can't afford the gas needed to drive themselves to work each day and therefore find themselves riding the bus.
That's "austerity".  It's the dismal time that inevitably comes after you've gone into debt and you're forced to tighten your belts in order to repay your debts.
That's all "austerity" really is:   It's the time when you're compelled to pay your debts.
Sometimes, austerity is short-lived and almost unnoticeable (like when you buy a new flat-screen TV for $2,500).  Other times (like when you pop for the $25,000 Tahitian vacation), the resulting austerity can be long-term and painful. 
The bigger the debt, the deeper and more painful the resulting "austerity". 
*   Austerity is the natural consequence of any debt.  Austerity follows debt as night follows day. 
Love And Marriage is a song first popularized by Frank Sinatra in the 1950s.  To paraphrase that song:
"Debt and austerity, debt and austerity,
"Go together like a horse and carriage. 
"Dad was told by muh-ther,
"You can't have one without the uhh-ther."
 Politicians would have us believe that "austerity" is some strange, unpredictable and unjust phenomenon.  Politicians would have us believe that we can have endless debt ("free lunches") without ever suffering a period of austerity (paying for those lunches). 
But they're lying.  They seduce us with the promise of free benefits that government can magically provide without ever having to pay for. 
The truth, however, is that "austerity" merely means debt-payment and therefore "austerity" follows debt like carriages following horses.
*   Again, the bigger the debt, the deeper and more painful the inevitable period of austerity when the debt must be paid.
If a nation lives on credit (debt), that lifestyle will inevitably lead that nation to a period austerity (depression) when, one way or another, the debt must be paid.
The United States government is the biggest debtor in the world.  The National Debt is at least $20 trillion (official estimate).  It may be $100 trillion (John Williams at  Including unfunded liabilities, the National Debt could be over $200 trillion (Congressional Budget Office & economist Laurence Kotlikoff). 
That means that the U.S. (being the world's biggest debtor) is heading for the world's biggest and most painful period of austerity. 
Love and marriage.  Horse and carriage.  Debt and austerity.  It's inevitable. 
*   Living on credit inevitably brings individuals, governments and nations to periods of austerity.  Credit inevitably runs out and debtors are forced into "austerity" (less benefits and more taxes) as they try to pay their bills.
The moment America embraced the idea of a "debt-based" monetary and economic system, America condemned itself to one day suffer an extended period of austerity.
*   If you would avoid austerity you should first avoid going into debt. 
If the U.S. Constitution had a balanced-budget amendment that limited government to spending only whatever revenues it acquired each year (and therefore, never borrowing to go into debt), the National Debt would never have grown into trillions of dollars.  If we'd had a balanced-budget amendment, we wouldn't be staring down the barrel of the world's most painful period of austerity.
 But, seeing as we have gone deeply into debt, the only other way to avoid austerity (paying our debts) is to somehow cancel or repudiate those debts.  That means restructuring, bankruptcy, police state, revolution and/or war (kill the creditors).
*   Unfortunately, government can't cancel its $20 to $200 trillion National Debt without also destroying the value of the correlative debt-instruments (U.S. bonds) that are being held by the American people and global investments as paper assets
If government canceled the National Debt it would also thereby destroy somewhere between $20 and $200 trillon in paper assets.
Can the U.S. or global economies withstand the loss of somewhere between $20 and $200 trillion worth of paper assets?   They cannot.  If $20-$200 trillion in paper assets are suddenly "disappeared," the U.S. and global economies will collapse into a "dark age" of austerity.
If we try to pay our massive National Debt, we'll go into austerity as we tighten our belts in order to make good on decades of debt.
If we try to repudiate our National Debt, we'll also repudiate trillions of dollars worth of U.S. bonds.  The resulting loss of trillions of dollars in paper capital will collapse the economy and thereby plunge us into austerity.
Either way, austerity is coming.  Bet on it.
*   The Greeks are in austerity now. 
Why?  Because they dove eagerly into debt and never imagined that, one day, they'd be required to repay that debts.  They thought they could just keep borrowing more currency to repay the previous debt-after all, that's what America does, right?
After six years of "austerity," the Greeks have learned nothing.  They're still trying to borrow another "tranche of bailout money to repay big loans to the European Central Bank (ECB) and IMF in July."  They still think they can avoid "austerity" by going even deeper into debt.
Dey be dumb.  They don't understand that austerity is the natural and inevitable consequence of debt.  Go into a little debt, you get a little austerity.  Go into big debt, you get big austerity.  The bigger the debt, the bigger and more painful the austerity.
*   If Greeks be dumb, we're no smarter.
The U.S. should've hit its "austerity moment" no later than A.D. 2008.  However, unlike the Greeks (who have no central bank of their own), the U.S. was able to avoid that austerity by means of QE (Quantitative Easing) which allowed government to go even deeper into debt to postpone the austerity that the previous debt would otherwise have required.   (Since A.D. 2008, the government has more than doubled the National Debt to avoid the "austerity inevitability".) 
Nevertheless, sooner or later, the government's ability to live on more credit and go ever-deeper into debt will end.  Then, we'll no longer be able to use our Master Card to pay off our Visa to pay off our American Express.  At that moment, the debt will actually have to be paid rather than rolled over, and Americans will suffer the same sort of austerity currently seen in Greece (or Venezuela). 
Debt and austerity are as closely linked as the head and tail on a coin.  Y' can't have one without the other.
America has enjoyed the high life based on big-time debt.  We had our trip to Tahiti.  Hope you enjoyed it.
Soon, however, America will be called on to pay its debt.  Whether we pay or don't pay that debt is almost irrelevant.  Either way, when the debts come due, we will suffer a correlative, big-time austerity. 
Buckle up.  

Doug Noland
Weekly Commentary: Sovereign Market Dislocation and Derivatives Turmoil
Seven UK mutual funds thus far have halted withdrawals and/or taken significant write-downs on fund asset values. Combined fund assets are about 20 billion pounds. Back in June 2007, it was the implosion of funds managed by Bear Stearns with about $20 billion of assets that set in motion the collapse of the mortgage finance Bubble. To be sure, bursting Bubble dislocations would have been less destructive had "Terminal Phase" excess not run roughshod throughout 2007 and well into 2008.
When I criticized the Fed's reflationary policies back in 2009 - and initially warned of the emergence of the "global government finance Bubble" - the focus of my concerns was not hyperinflation or a dollar collapse. My worry was the likelihood for massive global fiscal and monetary stimulus to foster a systemic mispricing of "finance" - securities prices and Credit more generally. From this global macro perspective, the outcome has been my worst-case-scenario. Actually, policy measures and attendant pricing distortions have been far more extreme than I could have imagined.
Japanese 10-year JGB yields ended the week at negative 0.29%. German 10-year bund yields closed the week at a record low negative 0.19%, and Swiss yields were a record low negative 0.69%. French 10-year yields ended Friday's session at an all-time low 10 bps. The Netherlands saw yields drop to zero. U.K. gilt yields sank 10 bps to a record low 0.73%.  And despite stronger-than-expected job gains, Treasury yields closed the week at a record low 1.36%.
Italy, with three Trillion of sovereign debt measured at a problematic 135% of GDP (and growing), ended the week with 10-year yields at a record low 1.19%. Mario Draghi's "whatever it takes" has had a most profound impact on Italian yields (down about 500bps since the summer of 2012). Yet despite collapsing borrowing costs, Italy nonetheless runs persistent budget deficits. And while the ECB has thus far succeeded in keeping Italy solvent, the same cannot necessarily be said for Italy's troubled banking industry (see "Italy Watch" below).
From the Wall Street Journal (Giovanni Legorano): "In Italy, 17% of banks' loans are sour. That is nearly 10 times the level in the U.S., where, even at the worst of the 2008-09 financial crisis, it was only 5%. Among publicly traded banks in the eurozone, Italian lenders account for nearly half of total bad loans."
In a more normal market backdrop, Italy's finances would today be in crisis. Surging sovereign yields and failing banks would have forced harsh but needed financial, fiscal and economic structural reform. This should have transpired years ago. These days there is perhaps some tension, but there's no burning crisis in Rome. Prime Minister Renzi, while politically weakened at home, can use his government's vulnerability to wield impressive power in Brussels and Frankfurt, especially post Brexit. After all, Italy could rather easily bring down the European banking system. Indeed, the Italians today hold sway over the euro currency, and Renzi knows he's playing a strong hand.
July 6 - Reuters (Isla Binnie): "The difficulties facing Italian banks over their bad loans are miniscule by comparison with the problems some European banks face over their derivatives, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said... Speaking at a joint news conference with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, Renzi said other European banks had much bigger problems than their Italian counterparts. 'If this non-performing loan problem is worth one, the question of derivatives at other banks, at big banks, is worth one hundred. This is the ratio: one to one hundred,' Renzi said."
On the back of talk of EU concessions (further flouting of rules) on bank bailouts, Italian banks rallied 9.7% Friday (w-o-w plus 2%, y-t-d down 53%). Despite Friday's 3% rally, Germany's behemoth Deutsche Bank ended the week down another 4.4%. Deutsche Bank has now lost almost half its value this year. And I'll assume Renzi had his mind on DB and a few other major German and French banks with his claim that derivative issues are 100 times larger than Italian loan troubles. Italy's problem loans pile is gargantuan, yet I reckon the Prime Minister could be onto something.
By this point, there's a prevailing numbness that has enveloped the markets. The extraordinary passes almost as the typical and familiar. One can only say "incredible" and "amazing" so many times - and for so long. The naysayers, well, they've been bloodied into submission. And while tired debates remain fixated on "bull vs bear", "expansion vs recession" and "inflation vs deflation", global markets are in the midst of a phenomenal development with momentous ramifications.
Global sovereign debt markets have wildly dislocated, with a concerted yield collapse unparalleled in history. At the same time, there are literally hundreds of Trillions of interest rate swaps, swaptions and myriad sophisticated derivatives and derivative trading strategies - comprising by far the largest market in the world. Hands down it's the murkiest. Still, extraordinary moves in yields, various spreads and yield curve structures ensure that there are enormous (and rapidly growing) embedded gains and losses lurking throughout the derivatives marketplace. Wonder where?
It's also worth noting that the Japanese yen, another heavy-weight in the derivatives universe, gained almost 2% this week, pushing y-t-d gains versus the dollar to 16.6%. Ominously, Japan's TOPIX Bank index was clobbered 6.4% this week, boosting 2016 losses to 41%.
Market dynamics may appear virtuous, but there's a strong case to be made for an especially vicious cycle. The labyrinth interest-rate derivatives complex operates with near-zero transparency. But we can posit some educated top-down assumptions: As we've witnessed repeatedly, especially since 2012, heightened systemic risk spurs more QE. This additional QE fosters "front-running" speculative buying in sovereign debt markets (cash and derivatives) backstopped by aggressive central banks.
QE, meanwhile, completely fails to contain expanding systemic risk. "Whatever it takes" instead exacerbates market speculation, volatility and uncertainty. And having painted themselves into a corner, central banks effectively cling to one weapon to counteract instability: More QE. So it reaches the point - the point we're at today - where acute fragility incites a vicious combination of more QE, short covering, speculative front-running and safe haven buying. There's simply a rapidly expanding quantity of "money" chasing a hastily declining supply of bonds.
Prospects for aggressive rate cuts (and perhaps even "helicopter money") from the Bernanke Fed were instrumental in fueling a spectacular energy market speculative blow-off right into the 2008 crisis. Commodities surged generally, with WTI hitting its $145 all-time high in July 2008. Treasury bond prices made a similar parabolic move, while the huge rally in GSE debt and MBS was instrumental in extending "Terminal Phase" mortgage excesses. Importantly, the risk markets turned tightly correlated. It all became one precarious liquidity-induced speculative Bubble poised to burst.
World markets are in the midst of something on a frighteningly grander scale than 2007-2008. Tens of Trillions of sovereign debt have become trapped in speculative melt-up dynamics, as central bankers, derivative traders, speculators and safe haven buyers all battle to procure precious bonds. And I don't believe it's coincidence that the world's largest derivative players are seeing their stock prices suffer under intense selling pressure. Meanwhile, sinking bank shares heighten market fears, which only feeds the dislocation and reinforces the dynamic imperiling the big derivative operators.
Brexit hit as market dislocation had already attained powerful momentum. A crisis of confidence then engulfed the UK lenders. Moreover, major Brexit-related uncertainties weakened already waning confidence in Italian banks, and European banking (and currencies) more generally. European worries exacerbated Asian worries. And the worse things look for Italian and European banks the more convinced the markets become of additional concerted "whatever it takes" - in Europe, the UK, Japan and elsewhere including even the U.S.
I guess it might have gone either way. Brexit could easily have spurred a problematic "risk off." Instead, a globally super-charged sovereign debt dislocation/melt-up has completely overwhelmed the markets. The disappearing supply of sovereigns and resulting evaporation of yields - coupled with the prospect of endless QE - have led to a generalized risk market short-squeeze and unwind of hedges. This worked to solidify the notion that corporates and EM would now provide the primary source of yield for a freakishly yield-desperate world. And with visions of over-abundant liquidity and ultra-low corporate borrowing costs as far as the eye can see - replete with M&A boom and buybacks forever - it has become possible to overlook a lengthening list of fundamental factors overhanging equities markets.
A couple of notable Friday (WSJ) headlines: "Market Extra: S&P 500 near record highs? Treasury Yields at Lows? Something's Gotta Give" and "Sovereigns Face Record Year for Downgrades." In the face of mounting risk, "money" now floods into the risk markets. Curiously, at least for the week, economically-sensitive commodities, including energy (crude down 7.9%) and copper (down 4.6%), were hammered, especially in comparison to the precious metals.
July 6 - Bloomberg (Taylor Hall and Charles Stein): "It's another record for Vanguard Group Inc. The firm, which has grown to become the world's largest mutual fund manager by offering low-cost investments, attracted $148 billion in new client money during the first six months of 2016, surpassing its previous first-half record of $140 billion set last year... In June alone, about $30 billion flooded into the firm's mutual funds and exchange-traded products."
The Flood goes way beyond equities index products. I suspect flows into perceived low-risk dividend and yield plays have gone from enormous to more enormous. After having been on the receiving end of robust flows for some time, it appears Brexit actually incited greater inflows into corporate debt.
July 7 - Bloomberg (Joe Rennison): "Investors poured money into corporate bond funds over the past week, as demand for fixed rate returns accelerated against the backdrop of global government debt yields hitting record lows. Bond funds had inflows of $14.4bn, with the US receiving the lion's share of $7.8bn."
The Fed's 2007 reflationary policies spurred strong flows into the risk markets - in the face of a horrible risk vs reward calculus. Washington had seemingly transformed the entire mortgage finance complex into a low-risk proposition: "The Moneyness of Credit." When confidence inevitably waned there was an uncomfortably sudden appreciation that safety and liquidity had become major issues. The halting of redemptions in Bear Stearns' mutual fund shares was a major inflection point. Confidence was shaken. It was the beginning of the end. It was, as well, the kickoff for a bout of destabilizing wild and crazy.
Throughout history real estate has provided a convenient bastion for financial innovation and speculation. Why not let retail investors in on the strong returns available in booming London and UK real estate markets, especially with decent yields unavailable elsewhere. Why not transform inflating illiquid assets into perceived safe and liquid shares for the masses - especially with central banks destroying yields for tens of Trillions of debt securities?
The "Moneyness of Risk Assets" has been a centerpiece of my global government finance Bubble analysis. It was an epic misconception to print "money" by the Trillions, incentivize massive flows (and speculative leverage) into risk markets in order to reflate the U.S. and the world - and then respond to inevitable instability with "whatever it takes" activism and further market manipulation. The Fed and global central bankers have nurtured the illusion that risk markets are safe and liquid (money-like). They have spurred "contemporary finance" and the transformation of increasingly risky assets into perceived safe and liquid securities. Ironically, as the liquidity myth is illuminated in UK real estate funds, a sovereign debt market dislocation ensures "money" floods into potential liquidity traps in risk markets around the world.
Doug Noland is not a financial advisor nor is he providing investment services. This blog does not provide investment advice and Doug Noland's comments are an expression of opinion only and should not be construed in any manner whatsoever as recommendations to buy or sell a stock, option, future, bond, commodity or any other financial instrument at any time. The Credit Bubble Bulletins are copyrighted. Doug's writings can be reproduced and retransmitted so long as a link to his blog is provided.


I recently came across an interesting conversation between two scientists disagreeing with the claim that herbal medicine would be effective based solely on thousands of years of use. It was interesting that these scientists aggressively battled antiquity stating that any claims of benefit from natural medicine is based on anecdotal information and to them was "cut off from reality."  Let's take a look at their criticism of natural medicine compared to scientific medicine.
We are aware that science prides itself on reasonable conclusions based on observable facts or physical and measureable evidence. I began to wonder then if science was admitting that the ancients who observed such things as animals to avoid poisonous plants was in reality a reasonable conclusion based on experience or was it "cut off from reality?" What about the pharmaceutical industry concluding that there was reason to believe (based on anecdotal information) herbs contain substances for health and proceeded to make drugs from them?
The scientists also mentioned that during the pre-scientific age of medicine, when natural therapies and herbs were considered medicine, that puss in wounds was considered a sign of healing. They argue that health required a sophisticated method rather than just observing nature; it requires science.
I personally think that there is good and bad areas in the historical development of medicine. Science was paramount in helping to discover the mechanics and chemistry of the human body. We call it biology. We still don't know everything in this regard. I can remember my grandfather telling me while he was repairing a car that sometimes you need a delicate instrument and not a sledge hammer to do a repair. I often think health falls along those lines where the body needs the gentle power of whole-food nutrition in herbs rather than a toxic pharmaceutical chemical.  Where herbs leave off at the practical limits; medical science steps in for trauma-based care. I call this the golden bridge. Why scientific medicine refuses to acknowledge this benefit is I think influenced by financial profit.
The scientists are quick to point out all the superstition associated with early sources of natural medicine. I'm more inclined to point out that the historical evolution of scientific medicine exhibit underlying hallmarks of superstition, sorcery and alchemy. Dr. True Ott (PhD in mineral science) took the time to research the early sources of scientific medicine. He detailed the historical path of medicine, which involved ancient Babylon, in his report History of Medicine. Dr. Ott's research revealed that the medical caduceus symbol stems from witchcraft and sorcery. Ancient spells with crystals, metals and snakes is the bedrock of scientific medicine and is still used today. For example, powdered rock fillers in drugs, metal (mercury) preservatives in vaccines and snake venom are still in use. It seems that modern, sophisticated science is in reality not what it appears to be. We must keep in mind that Westernized medicine at the turn of the century was promoted as a medicine based on human biology and superior to any other form of medicine. A standardized medicine arose blocking access to natural medicines at every opportunity and promoting the toxic and deadly treatments, which included blood-letting. If we read our history books we learned that President George Washington developed a winter cold and his scientific physicians preformed blood-letting. The President was drained of too much blood and died. Had he been left alone, he most likely would have recovered after several weeks of convalescence. The method of blood-letting is still carried out today by scientific medicine but instead of a scalpel they use a prescription drug called a blood thinner. A popular blood thinner recommended by scientific medicine is the rat poison Coumadin (Warfarin). According to the American Pharmacists Association and, on average 34,000 Americans die each year while taking blood thinners. The new generation of blood thinners are even deadlier, (Pradaxa, Xarelto, Eliquis, Savaysa) as doctors are unable to stop the anti-clot feature of the drugs and patients (just like President Washington) bleed to death.
The scientific world of medicine likes to stake reputations on how measurable evidence proves scientific theories and makes science transparent and universal. Which means anyone from any country or culture should be able to duplicate the research and get the same results. Lately, we've found this is not always the case with over 50% of the drug experiments being fraudulent. Treating disease with such drugs is the equivalent of what science calls "quackery." Or if you are taking the scientifically approved blood thinners, you have more than a 50% chance of premature death. Makes you wonder what science is trying to be sophisticated about; life or death?
There was once a medical doctor (dentist) who developed the neurological disease (Lou Gehrig's disease). Since he was a scientific doctor he knew there was no cure and he was going to die of his disease. After three years, his family pushed him to try alternative treatments and he went to see a master herbalist. He reluctantly did the therapies and his condition improved. He convinced himself that the improvement it was a normal temporary remission because his medical training convinced him there was no cure. He struggled to accept that it was the natural therapies which enabled him to walk better, improve his strength, ambulate unassisted, drive his car again, no difficulty talking and was able to return to work. Finally he agreed that for this particular disease that medicine got it wrong and that he was reversing his illness with natural therapies. Sometimes it is hard for people who invest years in training, tuition dollars in medical school and have prominent professional reputations to admit that herbs and natural therapies do work.
People who have been through a serious health event and were able to restore themselves with nutrition, natural therapies and herbs become believers. They realize they are more powerful than they thought. They realize not everything they've been told by modern medicine is completely accurate. Benjamin Franklin was quoted as saying, "Half the truth is still a whole lie."  More than ever before, we need to carefully research the treatments recommended by doctors. President Regan was quoted as saying, "Trust, but verify."  When you research treatments most often you find the devil is in the details.
If you doctor is recommending a prescribed medication many times the answers you need lie in the type of question you ask. Getting information on drugs from the doctor can be like talking with government employee; they don't volunteer any information unless you specifically ask. Here are some basic start questions you may wish to use and then dig for more information:
  • Do you have a list of the major and minor drug side effects?
  • Will the drug produce any permanent side effects?
  • Will the drug produce a rebound effect (make condition worse)?
  • Will the drug produce dependency or withdrawal effects?
  • Will the drug hurt any organs, encourage organ atrophy or produce organ failure?
  • Will the drug produce accumulative toxicity and hurt my liver?
  • Will the drug increase my risk of a secondary disease?
  • Will the drug address symptoms only and not the cause of my problem?
  • Do you expect me to be on this drug long-term (one-year) or drug for life treatment?
  • Is there a recall on this drug or an FDA black-box warning on it?
  • If I start this drug and it becomes unavailable is there a replacement drug?
  • Is the drug made in China?
  • If you were me would you take this drug?
Your doctor should have knowledge of the pros and cons on the medications being recommended. If your doctor is not sure of the drug side effects, ask to see the Physician's Desk Reference (PDR) and look for the drug in there. If your doctor does not have the time to answer your questions then there is a patient quota that needs to be met and it is hard to get the answers you will need in the mere ten minutes your doctor spends with you.
I always say that when evaluating treatments ask if it will strengthen you or simply lessen the symptoms and give you a metabolic dependency. Real medicine does not pollute your system with toxins and cause more disease. Real medicine does not give you the illusion of healing with symptom management. Real medicine resolves the cause of the symptom. I found that I can resolve many health issues with organ cleansing (toxin removal) and immune boosting herbs. This will super-charge the system with nutrition and will draw out pharmaceutical residues, heavy metals, radioactive particles, pesticides and more.  For more information on how you can discover your power call Apothecary Herbs 866-229-3663, International 704-885-0277 , where your healthcare options just became endless. Free product catalog and money saving coupons on their website.

Herbalist Wendy Wilson on Herb Talk Live
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The information contained herein is not designed to diagnosis, treat, prevent or cure disease. Seek medical advice from a lincensed medical physician (if you dare) before using any product or therapy. 
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