Feb 8, 2021

Selling America Short

The website Reddit has caused a great deal of excitement in the public financial markets. The social media site caused several heavily shorted stocks to soar in price, forcing hedge fund managers to suffer huge losses. Melvin Capital, which saw losses from its short positions quickly pile up, was forced to get an emergency loan of more than 2 billion dollars from another hedge fund, Citadel.

At first glance, it appears to be a story of the little guy getting the best of Wall Street fat cats. After a few days, the incident is just more evidence that the financial markets are rigged by the rich and powerful.

The 52-week low for the GameStop company is $2.57. After Reddit users began buying the stock, it rose from the $20 range to a high of nearly $500 per share. This is an insane price level for a company that is almost certainly headed for bankruptcy.

The AMC Entertainment Holdings company is involved in the theatrical exhibition business. The company owns, operates, or has interests in theatres. Because of Covid-19, AMC’s stock has traded as low as $1.91. During the buying spree, its stock ran all the way up to $20.

Short squeezes result when short sellers of a stock move to cover their positions, purchasing large volumes of stock relative to the market volume. Purchasing the stock to cover their short positions raises the value of the shorted stock, thus triggering more short sellers to cover their positions by buying the stock.

When you short a stock, the most you can make on your trade is 100%. Your losses are unlimited if the stock rises dramatically in price. If someone shorted GameStop at $20 and closed the trade at the $483 high, they have to pay out 24 times their original investment.

The Reddit crowd then tried to create a short squeeze in the silver market. In early morning trading last Monday, the price of silver was pushed up to $30. Shares of silver miners surged, and retailers of bars and coins around the world struggled to meet demand.

The ruckus began after posts on the Reddit message board urged investors to buy physical silver. One post encouraged the buying of iShares Silver Trust (SLV), an exchange-traded fund whose shares represent ounces of silver sitting in a vault.

This would force the fund to create new shares and buy silver to back them, exposing a shortage of supply and pushing prices up, said the post under the headline “THE BIGGEST SHORT SQUEEZE IN THE WORLD $SLV Silver 25$ to 1000$.”

The problem with buying SLV is that it is likely backed by paper silver contracts that can be created at will. If the price of SLV is driven up past the spot price, the trust can create new shares by buying the physical metal.

Some people promoted the idea of purchasing Comex futures and demanding delivery of the metal when their contract came due. The exchange has changed the rules, which now allow it to settle any contract in cash only. To suppress the price of silver, the Comex increased the margin requirement to $16,500 per contract from $14,000. The increase means those who want to trade silver futures will need to put up more collateral to ensure they can meet their obligations.

The GameStop surge may have caused a few hedge fund managers to spill their coffee when the stock traded in the hundreds. The stock quickly tanked once people realized the company is likely to go the way of Blockbuster. I’m sure there are some hedge funds that shorted like crazy when it hit $480. Now that GameStop is way down, the hedge fund folks are probably out shopping for a new Rolls Royce.

I don’t have a problem with someone taking a short bet against a company. I think it becomes destructive when hedge funds use it to devalue whole industries. Many firms have gone under because they could not raise capital in the market or get a loan because their stock price was too low. We have a deficit in several key metals because big banks have sat on their prices for years.

I know we already have plenty of indications that we are living in the end times. This massive greed on Wall Street is just one more example of the depravity that is the lead-up to the last days.

“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also . . . No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon . . . But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:19-21, 24, 33, KJV).

— Todd


There’s Method to the Madness

I’m in agreement with my close friend and colleague in Bible prophecy commentary, Daymond Duck. I read where he wrote in effect that he really would like to move away from things surrounding the evils of the political, societal, and cultural war today and deal with strictly Bible prophecy study. But all of this is so closely related to where this generation stands on God’s prophetic timeline that, for the moment, at least, I, like Daymond, must deal yet again with these matters.

It is all maddening to those who still retain rationality while observing the things going on. It’s maddening because thinking from the other side—the side that wants to change America from the nation founded upon Judeo-Christian principles to one along the lines championed by Marx and Mao—seems to have lost all sanity in their plans to force us into compliance. This, we have alluded to before, is because, as Paul points out in Romans chapter 1, their rejection of God has caused development of the collective reprobate mind of verse 28.

Evangelist Mike Gendron correctly assesses a large part of the American populace turning their backs on God.

America has become a moral cesspool that is overflowing with ungodliness, unrighteousness and wickedness. Our government has given women the right to murder their babies in the womb, and as a result, tens of millions of human beings have been killed in abortion clinics. Sexual perversions of all types are defiantly flaunted and widely accepted. God’s unique design for marriage was overturned in a landmark decision by the Supreme Court in 2013. Our country has also become the largest supplier of pornography throughout the world. These are all symptoms of a greater evil which is the sin of idolatry (Col. 3:5). Our nation has turned its back on the one true God by worshipping gods of all the false religions (Exo. 20:3). As a nation, we should no longer ask for God’s blessings but instead expect His judgment. “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness” (Rom. 1:18). (Mike Gendron, “Let us not lose heart,” February 1, 2021, wwwproclaimingthegospel.org)

Again, half of the voting population, it is evident from developments since the 2020 presidential election, have observably rejected Heaven’s prescription for living under godly morality. The problems that have burgeoned in the nation’s division are from those who want America transformed and are determined to brutally enforce quickly accumulating executive dictates. Yet those against America as founded blame those of us who want to continue life under the Constitution as framed by men who claimed our rights as God-given to be the troublemakers.

They continue to tell lies through every venue available. Yet their chief cry as of late is that it is those who oppose their lawlessness and godlessness who are telling the “big lie.” The “big lie” accusation by the man currently occupying the White House claims that political opposition in constantly proclaiming the election to be fraudulent is alien in the same vein of Adolf Hitler’s and Josef Goebbels’ “Big lie” against the Jews that eventually brought on the Holocaust and the genocide against Europe’s Jewish people.

The following article excerpt explains to some extent.

[President Joe Biden and his cohorts accuse] President Donald Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz, and Sen. Josh Hawley of a “Big Lie” ; Rep. Mazie Hirono went on Anderson Cooper to accuse the Republican senators of a “Big Lie”; Dominion Voting Systems has alleged a “Big Lie” in their lawsuit against Rudy Giuliani; Jake Tapper has used the term repeatedly on Twitter and on air to describe allegations of fraud in the 2020 election.

Bloomberg explained the analogy in September: “Adolf Hitler and Goebbels, his minister of propaganda, espoused a technique known as the ‘Big Lie,’ which involved repeating a colossal falsehood until the public came to believe it was true.”…

[In his book, Mein Kamf] Hitler charges the Jews with destabilizing society by promulgating a big lie—the narrative that provided a sinister rationale for the detainment and mass murder of the Jewish people.

In the Hitler/Goebbels “Big Lie” analogy flowing freely from the mouths of Biden, Tapper, and others, the accuser would be analogous to Hitler, and the person being accused of lying would be analogous to the Jews.

In other words, the Hitlerian strategy is to accuse one’s enemies of using a “Big Lie” to gain and consolidate control. To accuse your opponent of a “Big Lie” is to borrow a murderous, anti-Semitic slander directly from “Mein Kampf”—and to align oneself with Hitler in the analogy. (Noelle Garnier, “The left keeps accusing conservatives of ‘The Big Lie’—a term invented by Hitler as he prepared to persecute German Jews, TheNationalPulse.com, Rapture Ready News, January 29, 2021)

So, to try to clear up a deliberately convoluted tactic by the present regime in the White House, the administration and their many mouthpieces are accusing those who claim the election was stolen through fraud are evil like Hitler. These rant that to claim the 2020 election fraudulent through illegal mail-in votes and the crooked Dominion Voting System is a Nazi tactic, using a “Big Lie” in the way Hitler employed the tactic.

In fact, it is these leftist operatives who are doing the very thing they accuse their opposition of doing. They are using Nazi-like methods with their “Big Lie” against those who see and report the fraud the left has perpetrated.

So there is method to their madness. All lies are from the father of lies, Lucifer the fallen one. His method hasn’t changed since the time of the Garden of Eden when He told Eve, upon tempting her to eat of the forbidden fruit, “Ye shall not surely die.”

Let us pray that many will turn from the father of lies to the Father of Truth, and be saved from the sin that ensnares them.

Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness; In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began. (Titus 1:1–2)

–Terry

Feb 1, 2021

Food Inflation

There has been a huge rise in nearly all grain prices over the past year. The price for Soybeans started 2020 at around $8.50 per bushel. It now trades around $14.00 per bushel. Corn prices started 2020 at around $3.80 per bushel. It now trades around $4.80 per bushel. With both of these grains in thousands of food products, there is going to be a huge rise in food inflation.

For many decades there has been a race between the birth rate and our ability to produce more food to feed a hungry global population. In the 1940s, a yield of 40 bushels per acre was the average for corn crops. In 2020 farmers managed to get to a record corn yield estimate of 181.8 bushels per acre.

In the past few years, corn crops have suffered an endless series of bad luck events that lowered yields. The past three years that we have completed growing records were all years of decline. The 2020 season is still being counted.

2017 -3.56 %
2018 -1.84 %
2019 -5.02 %

When the final numbers come in for 2020, they will not be good. Last year we had a drought in the western plain states and a massive windstorm over Eastern Iowa and central Illinois.

Grain production will be down in South Africa. This area of the world received lower yields because of too much rain that flooded fields.

In South America there was a lack of rainfall. Soybean production in top-producer Brazil was pegged at 133.00 million tonnes, unchanged from the previous outlook. Brazil’s corn harvest was seen at 109.00 million tonnes. In Argentina, where farmers have struggled with drought throughout the growing season, USDA predicted a soybean harvest of 48.00 million tonnes and a corn harvest of 47.50 million tonnes. The crop yield was so bad in Brazil and Argentina that the government lowered the ability of exporters to send grain outside the country.

Russia is raising a previously announced export tax on the grain from the currently planned 25 euros ($30) per tonne to 50 euros ($60) per ton. Russia, one of the world’s largest wheat exporters, is trying to stabilize domestic food prices with the wheat export levy as well as a grain export quota and a series of other measures after President Vladimir Putin criticized the impact of excessive inflation.

China has had a very bad year in the 2020 growing season. There were drought conditions in the north, heavy floods in the central area of the nation, and the south had grain-munching bugs in various regions of the country. Because China is so secretive about production numbers, it’s hard to get the true picture of Chinese food needs.

In 2019 China had entered into a food war with the U.S, so it reduced grain imports to punish Washington. In 2019 China only used 67% of its annual quota for corn and one-third of its quota for wheat.

Things must be at dire levels in China because that nation’s grain imports soared to record highs in 2020. China bought a record 11.3 million tonnes of imported corn last year, according to General Administration of Customs data, exceeding the annual quota – which was set at 7.2 million tonnes. China also imported a record 8.38 million tonnes of wheat.

The list below shows a year over year increase in China’s imports of several key commodities:

Corn 135.7%
Wheat 140.2%
Barley 36.3%
Sorghum 478.6%
Pork 108.3%
Sugar 55.5%

Another sign that the food situation in China must be very bleak is China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs approved two genetically modified corn varieties from Bayer AG and Syngenta AG for import. The corn strains, MON87411 and MZIR098, are approved for imports for five years starting December 2020. China has also approved several locally produced genetically modified corn varieties.

Several nations have become net imports of large amounts of grain. India’s boom population is soon to become a massive drain on global grain reserves. Last year Colombia made a very odd purchase of 108,000 metric tons of corn. When you realize that France is the only nation in Europe that could feed its own people, you can see how quickly the world can get into trouble.

It is very unusual to have so many grain-growing regions all having a production problem at the same time. In 2021 there is going to be a massive effort to make up for the losses by vastly increasing acreage. If we have good weather, we will have a bumper crop, and grain prices will stabilize.

Last year Beijing sent out a small army of grain buyers to purchase huge amounts of grain to fulfill China’s massive grain needs. This may be the year that they are sent back home empty-handed. Since bad luck has become a permanent fixture in food production, I can only conclude that these events are the lead-up to the great famine that will play out during the tribulation.

“And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine” (Rev 6:5-6, KJV).

“And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven” (Luke 21:11, KJV).

— Todd


God’s Awesome Control

Boy has yours truly been off in his assessment of America with regard to God’s Power to Control events!

At present it seems it’s over for the nation in terms of ever returning to any semblance of that envisioned by its founding fathers. Those who are believers in Jesus Christ as mankind’s only hope are filled with worry and dark expectations for the future. This state of many Christians is somewhat of an oxymoron, or would that be a paradox, or even, possibly, a dichotomy?

At any rate, it smacks of being a contradiction in terms. We look to the Creator of all that is as our blessed hope (Titus 2: 13) and yet we look at our future as full of extreme gloom. As the Apostle Peter might say, “My brethren, such things ought not be…”

I was reflecting back in the nation’s recent history and came across just how naïve I’ve been about the Lord’s ability to shape, move and restrain evil in America and the world.

I’ll try to demonstrate. The following is a lengthy excerpt from an article or chapter I believe I wrote around the time of my book The American Apocalypse, which Harvest House published back in 2009.

[Excerpt]

Change that was promised as part of the American presidential campaign leading to the 2008 election of Barak Hussein Obama is rapidly taking on form and substance. Its monstrous reality no longer lurks about in the shadows of diplomatic obfuscation designed to misdirect and divert. I am convinced we are witnessing the emergence of the end-times entity Daniel and John foresaw under divine revelation.

Acceleration of developments in every area of U.S. global interaction brings focus and magnification to the fact that America is being deliberately and masterfully diminished—brought into configuration for purposes of producing governing authority of immensely ominous scope and power.

Prophecy students have for decades puzzled over the fact that smaller nation-states, like Libya, Syria, even Egypt, are mentioned as having prophetic prominence in the Bible. Yet, the greatest super power ever to exist on Planet Earth doesn’t rate even a slight mention, except obliquely, perhaps, in Ezekiel 38: 13, as one of the “young lions”. What happens to the great United States of America that relegates it to a non-player as prophecy comes to culmination?

The church today, and there is but one people within that designation—all truly born again believers in Jesus Christ—is for the most part, deliriously happy within its almost total ignorance of biblically prophesied things to come. The majority don’t know about what is prophetically scheduled to happen to their world. They don’t want to know, and are protected in their ignorance by pastors and teachers who harbor the same attitude.

Those within the church who do know and care are, mostly trepidatious about the prospects for America and the world. The trepidation ranges the spectrum from: the U.S. will suffer total economic melt-down and degeneration into chaos and anarchy that will bring about dictatorship and incarceration in FEMA camps, to America will become so weakened that she will be nuked out of existence by the likes of Russia, China, and even maybe a soon-to-be nuclear Iran.

If I may be so audacious, I will propose the third possibility I believe I see clearly now as the terminus for this once great republic. To be honest, I have suspected this will be the scenario for America all along, and have written of my suspicion in a number of essays.

I believe the change promised by the current presidential administration, as part of that being orchestrated over the past several decades, is at this very moment bringing the U.S. into the foretold union to be ruled by history’s most lawless tyrant. The disregard by this president for the U.S. Constitution, in itself a totally lawless modus operandi, in conjunction with a congress that hasn’t the fortitude to oppose this iniquitous action, is, itself, proof we are in the time of America’s demise and Antichrist’s ascent.

No. I am not saying Barak Obama is the prophesied first beast of Revelation chapter 13. This president is, however, in concert with several administrations previous, and with the help of the many globalist movers and shakers over the past decades and even centuries, complicit in forcing this apex nation into the globalist mold.

The force behind the globalist agenda has been incessantly at work to impress upon the American populace—and the world at large—that the United States is an unjust, even a criminally oppressive state.

[end of excerpt]

Did you get all that? The vast majority of those who were Christians gave developments in the presidential election of 2008 little thought. Those of us who watched what was going on in prophetic stage-setting were thinking America was finished as it was founded.

It is about the same at this very moment. Most are going about their daily, minute by minute lives with little or no regard that America is dissolving before their apparently uncaring gazes. Those of us who still do watch for Him, Who is our blessed hope, are even more convinced with these turn of events that America’s days are likely over as founded.

Both attitudes miss the mark as they stand at opposite ends of the matter. Those who don’t seem to be concerned are being mesmerized by the grand delusion that everything is unchanged and will eventually settle in to the old normality. Those who worry that this time…this time it’s over for our nation are forgetting just Who our God is. That is, we are forgetting the Awesome Power He Wields.

The 2016 presidential election, we thought, was lost. Now the global order would swallow the last vestiges of liberty we enjoyed under the Constitution. That much feared candidate would soon have us in FEMA camps…or worse.

Then the Lord’s Mighty Right Hand clamped down upon the wildly spinning out of control situation. A Make America Great Again reality show celebrity was thrust into the mix and did the impossible. He won!

The next four years were spent in reversing the globalist course, while the proponents of such went absolutely berserk with rage that their plans had been halted. God, in Heaven, had not the least bit of strain in clamping down. He will have no trouble doing so now –when and howsoever He chooses.

“I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else.” (Isa 45: 5-6)

–Terry