Signs of the Times

Economic Issues

Economic trends have a strong influence in shaping the development of national and international affairs. Prophecy students are expecting the emergence of an End Times world government which will not necessarily be led by the United States. The troubled world economy will make people willing to accept the control of a governmental system or even a benevolent dictator who appears to have the ideas and influence to improve the situation.

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Insight From 2011 In Review: The Year In Prophecy
Insights from 2009 In Review - The Year In Prophecy
Insights from 2008 In Review - The Year In Prophecy
Commentary: The Connection Between The Economy and Prophecy

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Economic Issues
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Significance of the Economy in Prophecy

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Mark of the Beast
New World Order

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IMF chief warns world economy risks ‘lost decade’

Nov. 9, 2011 - The head of the International Monetary Fund warned that rich nations must help struggling nations during this economic crisis or the global economy may experience a "lost decade."
Christine Lagarde told a financial forum in Beijing that European plans to bolster a rescue package for Greece were a “step in the right direction”, but that the outlook for the world economy remained dangerous and uncertain.
Ms. Lagarde was in China at the time and had just spent time in Russia trying to get them to use some of its petro dollars to boost bailout funds for the euro zone. So far the so-called BRIC nations, comprising Brazil, Russia, India and China, have contributed via the International Monetary Fund, but have not wanted to invest directly for Europe’s financial rescue.
Source: Globe and Mail

Significance of the Economy in Prophecy

Vatican Calls for Oversight of the World’s Finances

Oct. 25, 2011 - A report issued by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace proposed an overhaul of the world’s financial systems, and a supranational authority to oversee the global economy. It claimed that the marketplace has run amok because of a lack of democratic and ethical principles.
Source: New York Times
The Vatican’s Radical Ideas on Financial Reform - TIME
In 2009 Pope Benedict XVI issued an encyclical Caritas in Veritate in which he argued that there is “an urgent need of a true world political authority” to address problems of economic inequality both within and between countries.

Connecting the Dots: A Handbook of Bible Prophecy

Doom Street: Stocks Walloped in Worst Quarter Since '08 Financial Crisis
Oct. 1, 2011 - Blue chip stocks plunged about 1,500 points during the third quarter of the year. The market is responding to "a stalling global economy, political gridlock and Europe's deepening debt debacle." This is the greatest quarterly loss since the financial crisis in 2008.
Source: Fox Business

Shares fall sharply on Federal Reserve warning
Sept. 22, 2011 - The US Federal Reserve has reacted to continuing bad economic news by unveiling a stimulus plan - dubbed Operation Twist - designed to help stimulate the flagging US economy.
The Fed will sell about $400bn (£260bn) of short-term bonds and buy longer-term debt. Buying bonds pushes the price up and lowers the interest rate, or yield.
The president of the World Bank, Robert Zoellick commented on the situation, saying that the world's economy "is in a danger zone." The Dow Jones index dropped 2.5% yesterday and all major European stock markets dropped sharply.
Source: BBC

World Markets Plunge on Fears of New US Recession
Sept. 6, 2011 -
Any troubles in the world's largest economy cast a long shadow over the markets, and a report Friday that the U.S. economy failed to add any new jobs in August caused European and Asian stock markets to sink sharply Monday.
Source: NewsMax

Stocks sink Friday on fears of U.S. recession, bank problems
Aug. 19, 2011 - U.S. stocks opened lower this morning, following yesterday's decline and overnight losses in world stock markets. The key issues are fear of another U.S. recession and concern about the health of Europe's banks.

In the U.S. the number of people filing claims for unemployment benefits rose to 408,000 last week, an increase of 9,000 from the week before. Other economic indicators are also weak.

European bank stocks tanked Thursday as fears mounted about their exposure to the region's spiraling debt crisis, which has dragged on for nearly two years and resulted in a string of sovereign bailouts worth hundreds of billions of euros.
Source: USA Today

Wall Street Plunges Amid Euro, Economic Fears; Dow Dives 4%
Aug. 18, 2011 - The Stock Market opened in a dive today with blue chips plummeting more than 400 points in the opening hours of the day.
A report on Thursday by The Wall Street Journal saying the Federal Reserve is very concerned about major European banks facing significant funding difficulties rekindled those fears. The Fed was also worried that the crisis on the other side of the Atlantic could spillover into the U.S. banking system.
Source: Fox

Stocks Bounce Back Following Steep Retreat as Traders Await Fed Decision
Aug. 9, 2011 - After a 634 point freefall yesterday - the sixth worst trading day in the Dow's history - early trading today showed a strong rebound. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 113 points, or 1%, to 10,922, in just minutes.
The markets were in free fall on Monday, every component in the benchmark S&P 500 index closed in the red, and volatility surged 50% as Wall Street had its first chance to react to Standard & Poor's downgrade of American debt.
Traders were evidently capitalizing on the depressed stock prices, but are also eager to hear the Federal Reserve's monetary policy statement later today.
Source: Fox Business
Yesterday: Carnage on Wall Street: Dow sinks 634 points as panic rules - First Post
Dollar to Be 'Discarded' by World: China Rating Agency - CNBC
Dow Ends Day Down 634; Worst Day for Stock Market Since 2008 - ABC
Gold Hits New Record High Above $1,700 - CNBC

Is the economy headed for a double-dip recession?
Aug. 8, 2011 - There are mixed signals about the economy. Congress passed a compromise bill to deal temporarily with the debt ceiling problem, but it wasn't enough to keep Standard & Poor's from downgrading the U.S.'s credit rating. As a result, the Dow Jones industrial average took its largest decline since late 2008, falling 513 points.
But Friday's employment report, which showed that the economy added a better-than-expected 117,000 jobs in July, helped ease concerns that another recession is around the corner. In response, the Dow posted a mild gain.
Source: USA Today

Dow Sinks 500, Worst Day Since Dec. 2008
Aug. 5, 2011 - Apparently reflecting fear of unstable European markets and dissapointment over the US Government's handling of our own debt crisis, investors dumped stocks.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted 512.76 points, or 4.31 percent, to close at 11,383.68 ... The last time the Dow dropped more than 500 points in a single session was in Dec. 2008.
Source: CNBC
Sell-off Wipes $2.5 Trillion Off World Stocks - NewsMax

40% expect Obama to punish public over debt-ceiling battle
July 26, 2011 - A Wenzel Strategies poll taken July 16-18 indicates that 54.4 percent of the population believe the nation's fiscal situation should be fixed with cuts in government spending, 21.4 percent say the debt ceiling should be raised so President Obama can borrow and spend more money, and only 16.6 percent think taxes should be increased.
4 in 10 believe if the debt ceiling isn't raised, President Obama will punish the public with the way he allocates the hundreds of billions of dollars available.
Source: WorldNetDaily
Boehner: Obama 'Wants Blank Check . . . This Is Not Going to Happen' - NewsMax

World warned over Greek debt crisis
July 21, 2011 - At an emergency meeting of the 17-nation eurozone European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso warned that leaders must find a solution to Greece's debt crisis.,
"Nobody should be under any illusion: the situation is very serious. It requires a response, otherwise the negative consequences will be felt in all corners of Europe and beyond," he said.
Source: Al Jazeera

Debt ceiling crisis: another day without resolution as the clock ticks
July 21, 2011 -
The political dance over the US debt ceiling crisis continued Sunday with the possibility that top lawmakers could be summoned to the White House, although no meeting had been scheduled.
If Congress and the President can not agree on a plan to deal with the debt limit crisis and a plan to stabilize the US economy by Aug. 2, the government will not be able to pay some of its debts.
Source: Christian Science Monitor

Obama May Call Lawmakers to Camp David
July 14, 2011 - Saying that he had reached his limit, President Obama “got very agitated” and left the meeting with lawmakers yesterday, ending their discussions of how to solve the debt limit crisis.
Obama told the lawmakers they have until tomorrow to decide whether they can reach a deal to cut the deficit or settle for a way to raise the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling before U.S. borrowing authority expires Aug. 2, two Democratic officials said.
Meanwhile, Moody’s Investors Service warned that the stalemate could jeopardize the U.S.’s credit rating, and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke predicted that if the country does not raise the debt limit it will cause a “huge financial calamity.”
Source: Bloomberg

US rating drops from "stable" to "negative" - US Stocks Plunge .

April 18, 2011 -Standard & Poor's changed its rating for the U.S. Government from "stable" to "negative," indicating that the country's fiscal profile may become "meaningfully weaker" than that of other major countries if policy makers can't tame the budget deficit.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 226, or 1.8%, to 12113 in mid-morning trade as all blue chips lost ground... with energy and industrials taking the hardest hit.
Credit analyst Nikola G. Swann explained, "We believe there is a material risk that U.S. policy makers might not reach an agreement on how to address medium- and long-term budgetary challenges by 2013."
Source: Wall Street Journal
Standard & Poor's Warns It May Downgrade U.S. Credit Rating - Fox

GAO Details Billions in Federal Waste

Mar. 1, 2011 - A report from the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) reveals hundreds of billions of dollars in waste.
"Go study that (report). It will show why we're $14 trillion in debt," said Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla. "Anybody that says we don't look like fools up here hasn't read the report."
The GAO cites 33 areas with "overlap and fragmentation." For example, the Defense Department could save up to $460 million by "broader restructuring" of its "military health care system." Additionally, the GAO found duplications in responsibilities. The report illustrates this by pointing to the nation's biodefense efforts. There is no one individual responsible for oversight of the billions of dollars spent annually in this field and there is no plan for post-attack coordination despite the fact that a 2010 federal commission gave the U.S. a "failing grade" in its prevention measures.
Source: Fox

Middle East turmoil threatens vicious economic cycle

Feb. 11, 2010 - Protests and unrest in Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan, and other Mid-East countries are creating a toxic financial environment. Businesses and banks are closed by the protests, food and fuel supplies are disrupted, and investors are fearful about the future of the area.
Since mid-January, credit rating agencies such as Moody's have downgraded the sovereign debt of Tunisia, Jordan and Egypt. On Tuesday Moody's changed the outlook on Jordan's foreign currency bonds to negative from stable, citing "fiscal and economic downside risks.
Source: CNN
Global Stock Exchanges Are Headed for Major Consolidation - CNBC

Republicans set down marker on spending: $2.5 trillion in cuts

Jan. 21, 2011 - Conservative Republicans have proposed a "first step" plan that would cut federal spending by $2.5 trillion over the next 10 years.
Republican Study Committee (RSC) Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said Thursday that the RSC will be using the plan as a “marker” in the fight over the continuing resolution that will fund the government after March 4.
Source: The Hill

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