The Hurricane Cometh

I’ve been in Florida during hurricane season before, so this isn’t quite my “First Rodeo”; however…

This is my first hurricane as a Florida Homeowner. Until now it’s just been “One car and a suitcase” and were it necessary, I’d just pack my bag, hop in the car, and bug out. Now it is different.

I’ve got a house to worry about, several cars here (2 not in the garage) and a 20 foot truck load of “my stuff” in the house now, that I can’t move out of harms way.

The track yesterday had a projected Cat-3 hurricane aimed right at me. (Day before was Cat-2). Today it is back down to Cat-2 and most of the Spaghetti Graph lines go a bit north of Tampa. I’m hoping the trend to further north continues for a couple of more days… But the winds graph shows high wind over most of Florida, so even a near miss is a mess.

In the mean time, I’m doing my first ever Hurricane Preparation. So far my list includes:


3 Flats of bottled water, one already in the car.

Car (all wheel drive wagon) full of gas.

Packing 2 “bug out bags” today for spouse and myself. Ready to leave on Monday if needed.

Food for a few months (mostly canned or plastic pouches – water proof).

Emergency Generator (a bit small at 1 kW) inside cement block garage.

Gasoline for the Generator with it ( about 4 days of modest usage ).

Watching the projected paths / timing at least 2 x a day.

To be Done:

Walk the yard and put anything not tied down into the shed, that is.

Put anything we really care about (that would not do well with 6 inches of water on the floor), into a big plastic tub and tape it shut, and / or up high in a closet or on a table / counter.

Figure out how to cover the windows and get supplies. Prep the install materials and do the install on Monday or so if needed.

Find critical documents (like house deed, insurance papers, birth certificates…) and put them in a waterproof pouch in the Go Bags.

Plan the escape route (dependent on hurricane path, so likely need 2 or 3 contingent plans).

Plan a “hunker down” shelter in place strategy if Bug Out doesn’t look good (one interior bathroom has a tub and is 2 walls in each direction from the outside, so the most likely “safe room”)

Put some food supplies and emergency cooking kit (water boiling too) in both the car and the safe room.

Get some kind of first aid kit put together.

Find our foul weather gear (hoping it is here and not in California…)

Make sure the cell phones are charged, and the car chargers are in the car.

Then just keep a vigil on the projected path and act accordingly.

Any ideas on what I may have missed appreciated.

This discussion started here:
with some information from Ossqss about window covers and such along with my first cut of a prep list.

I’m getting my updated track, strength and timing information from here:

NOAA has an overview of the whole ocean here:

Other graphs for Ian here:

Any more useful links also appreciated.

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Posted in AGW and Weather News Events, Emergency Preparation and Risks, News Related | 84 Comments

One Is Interesting, 2 Is A Problem

Two different car traders saying cars are not selling at auction. This is bad

Cars at auction between dealers are sold at prices way lower than you will ever see at retail. My Dad traded some cars this way for a while. (he had worked in car sales before). When repossessions and trade-ins sold at wholesale “dealer to dealer” are not moving, retail is toast.

The implication here is that recent interest rate rises along with price inflation and job loss has folks just not buying cars, so dealers are not buying them, even at wholesale auction, and that means banks are going to have a lot of “inventory” on their books when they would rather have the “bad loan losses” gone and be re-lending the money. But they aren’t. All around not good.

First it is cars. Then it is houses. Then it is businesses. Then the economy augers in.

I’m in the middle of this right now as I’m trying to get a different tow vehicle to take loads of stuff from California to my new home. While the major problem is just that pickups are going for crazy high prices due to low availability (new or used), it is also clear that the market is all out of joint from interest rates and an economic halt. Some cars are very cheap, while pickups are crazy high (since new ones are not available, drying up the used market as folks are not trading in the old ones.)

So what do I make of all this?

Fuel costs are rising incredibly as the Gang Green Policies put reserves out of reach of production.

The Fed has been punting interest rates up at a crazy rate. What is it, 3 x 3/4% in a row (in a market where 2 x 0.25% is prone to apoplexy)?

Ford, GM, and others have announced going 100% EV (so why in hell would anyone invest in oil production and refining with a 30 year payback, and why would a dealer buy used petroleum cars for resale? Also why would folks with gas or Diesel trucks trade them in for unobtainium EV trucks?)

Bottom line is that a great shock is being pushed into the car / transport business and The People are not buying it (or the cars); so the sector (and with it the economy writ large) is shuddering to a halt.

Not exactly a surprise as that is the GEB Goal. But… For now, what do we do?

I’m putting about $400 a week into “things of value” (presently food stores; but with “other stuff” to follow at about $1000 / month if possible. Gold, silver, land, “real goods” as time, storage, and effort allow.)

I’m never buying any car newer than about 2008 “going forward”. Just too much crap in them, and not at all interested in an EV at this point.

Expecting to get stocks, bonds, real estate, and more at dirt cheap prices in about 1 year as the economy collapses (EU going a lot farther a lot faster, with PPI, Producer Price Index, up about 40%/year or more right now, so CPI, consumer price index, to go ballistic early next year in the EU) Looking at strategies to preserve the $ value in the face of an 8% Government inflation rate – closer to 15% real (so things like shorting stocks & bonds, buying TIPS – Treasury Inflation Protected Securities, precious metals, etc.).

But that the banks are not selling distressed assets (priced too high at auction), and the market is not clearing for used / repo cars… well that argues strongly for “collapse in early stages”. Watch for falling real estate prices, contracting GDP, and overall monetary decline in value in keeping with the Real inflation Rate (not the nominal government numbers). Eventually real estate will go back up in value, but only after the price bubble collapses and the market clears. Usually about a year to 18 months.

That folks are letting go of their cars is bad enough; but that brokers are not buying the inventory at prices that the banks loaned on; well that’s very bad as is indicates the Bank Loan Desks are already compressed and it will only get worse as higher interest rates and Government Mandates put them further under water. This will ripple back upstream to the car makers, their employees, and more. At a slightly slower and slightly delayed timing, the same thing ought to show up in the housing market. I’m already seeing “For Sale” signs staying up a long time on local houses; where 6 months ago they were selling the same day they were listed.

Hang onto your hats, it’s going to be a bumpy ride and the roller coaster is just pulling out of the station.

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Posted in Economics - Trading - and Money, Emergency Preparation and Risks, News Related, World Economics | 6 Comments

Russia Mobilizes – What does it mean?

From the Very Much Double Plus Un-Good department… Putin has announced a “Partial Mobilization” of the regular military. But what does this mean?

I saw this coming on other sources, but the first confirmation of it was on the BBC this morning when I checked YouTube news. So I decided to go straight to the RT source for what they were saying. (FWIW the BBC correctly reported the “partial mobilization”, modulo the presenter saying 30,000 while the chyron at the bottom was saying 300,000 troops… but then went into a long tirade about how this was all evidence that Putin was losing Putin’s War and the Great Ukrainian Army was rising victorious!!! or some such bilge, but I wasn’t paying attention at that point as it was all clearly spin and crap “positioning”.)

The bottom line / only real news being Putin is mobilizing a bunch of experienced military to do what’s needed now, and newer less experienced recruits are going to go into some intense training to assure they are up to the tasks to be given them. Everything after that is either spin or speculation.

My guess is you will get two Spin Orientations out of this (and not “top spin” vs “bottom spin” – this isn’t physics…). The West will spin it as “Glorious Ukraine is WINNING and Putin is scared, panicking, and desperate, so calling up the reserves as his army is depleted and dying!!”. Russia will spin it as “The Evil West is out to destroy and partition Russia as they did the USSR. We are not just fighting Ukraine, but the entire force of NATO as they are attempting to destroy us. Our victory in Ukraine is near, but we need to also, now, stop NATO.”

Of those two, I think the truth is closer to the implied Russian Spin, but much closer to a middle ground of: “NATO / USA / EU / UK did, in fact, violate agreements not to move NATO closer to Russia; and they did fund and create a Color Revolution in Ukraine to put in place a NATO friendly corrupt government. Russia waited 9 years while Rump Ukraine shelled the Donbass killing Ethnic Russians, then when it was intolerable to have a NATO Ukraine killing Russians, Putin took action. This action was going pretty good until the NATO members shoved more money and arms into Ukraine than the entire military budget of anyone but the USA… Russia has continued to do OK, but it is time to recognize that this is no longer a war of liberation of Russians in Ukrainian Historically Russian Territory: it is now a full on war with NATO (though presently a proxy war using Ukrainian men + hired guns).”

But my interpretation could be just as wrong as any other. “Truth is the first casualty of war” and there’s just no way any of us will get “the truth” out of any news service anywhere in the world. All the participants have a huge motivation to lie and propagandize to the maximum extent.

So what do we really know?

Well, what is RT saying? (I’ll intersperse my comments with their text. Note that I’ve never seen RT overtly lie the way western media does. RT tends to a more subtle “lie by omission” and the occasional “bend & spin” on the presentation but where the facts are provable. So tease out the facts and avoid the spin…)

21 Sep, 2022 06:13

Russia to begin partial mobilization – Putin

The measure will apply to members of the reserve forces and those with military experience

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a partial military mobilization during an address to the nation on Wednesday morning. He said the Defense Ministry had recommended drawing military reservists into active service as the country faces a protracted conflict in Ukraine and Donbass.

The measure is sensible and necessary under the circumstances, Putin said, considering that Russia is fighting “the entire Western military machine” in Ukraine. He has already signed an order for the call-up to start immediately.

BBC & The West are (will) spin this as “Putin is losing in Ukraine”. Russia is presenting it as “Russia vs The West” with the implied “that has invaded us dozens of times from before Napoleon to the Nazi invasion and the NATO / WEF attempt to destroy us with Oligarchs when the USSR collapsed.”

IMHO reality is somewhere in between. My best guess is that Putin was hoping for a quick capitulation of Ukraine on the issue of former Russian areas, and when NATO stepped in with an incredible flood of arms and money, had to shift to a new paradigm of “NATO trying to destroy Russia” (which it sure looks like is what NATO / WEFies are doing…).

So now we enter the period of “Testing Wills”. We find out if Biden (and whoever is pulling his strings), the EU, the UK with new King & PM are willing to continue feeding $Billions per week into Ukraine, and what happens when the cold hits without Russian Gas & oil; vs. Putin & The Russians, which are willing to go to WW III or at least to the brink of it. Putin is saying he’s ready to use Nukes, if needed as this is an existential threat (and it is, IMHO). Is a cold and hungry WEF destroyed EU / UK that ready? Or perhaps it is just that The West will be happy with a little W.W. to kill off the 90% of “useless eaters”…

I’m not seeing evidence that either side is going to back down until things have moved much further against one or the other of them. So my conclusion is just to “prepare for the worst”. I’ve mostly moved to about as far away from any war risk as one can get, and I’m busy rebuilding my “prep” stores. Up to about 5 months worth now. Still need to get a “whole house” generator installed and a few hundred gallons of fuel… but in a “winter war” I won’t need A/C and can live on the Honda portable that I’ve got.

My “best guess” is that nothing drastic happens until after the November Election in the USA and a good layer of snow is on the ground across Ukraine & Russia. If anything, I’d plan on a “Christmas War” with an outside chance of a “Thanksgiving War”. Those are my target dates for “prep ready and everything out of ground zero Silly Con Valley” anyway.

The move will see the armed forces draw on military reservists only, and those who have completed national service, the president added. He promised that they would be provided with additional training, along with all the benefits due to people involved in active duty.

Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu revealed some details about the mobilization in a separate statement on Wednesday. He said the ministry wanted to call to arms some 300,000 reservists, or just over 1% of Russia’s full mobilization potential.

So it’s 300,000 troops with experience. And with 99% still in reserves. Full pay and benefits (with a strong Ruble and plenty of gas & food too…)

Putin has accused Kiev of backing away from peace talks with Moscow, which he said it had done on the instructions of its Western backers. Instead, the Ukrainian government has doubled down on military action, he said.

“After certain compromises [with Moscow] were reached, Kiev received a de facto direct order to derail all agreements. More weapons were pumped into Ukraine. The Kiev regime deployed more gangs of international mercenaries and nationalists, military units trained to NATO standards and under de facto command of Western advisers,” Putin said.

So Putin is (IMHO correctly) seeing this as a big NATO operation playing Satrap Rump Ukraine as a proxy in a NATO vs. Russia conflict.

Russian forces sent to Ukraine in February have secured a large portion of territory claimed by the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, as well as parts of Ukraine, he said. The resulting front line stretches over 1,000km, the president pointed out.

He warned the US and its allies against ramping up pressure on Moscow. Western nations are openly pursuing a military defeat of Russia, seeking to push the country into insignificance and to loot its natural wealth, he stated.

“Parts of Western elites use every effort to preserve their dominance. That is why they try to block and suppress any sovereign centers of development, so that they can continue to brutally force their will on other nations and peoples, to impose their pseudo-values,” he explained. “Their goal is to weaken, disunite and ultimately destroy our nation.”

Look at that Putin quote. Frankly, I can’t see where he is wrong. We know what the WEFies are up to. We know that Faux Resident Biden is a puppet of these folks (with honorable mention to the CCP buying him). We know the EU “leadership” is not interested in the citizens nor the National Rights of member nations. It sure looks to me like Putin’s view of international manipulations matches my view of them. Color Revolutions and all.

Some senior officials in NATO states have even suggested that using tactical nuclear weapons against Russian troops would be justified, according to Putin. The president stressed that Moscow would not hesitate to retaliate to such an attack with its own nuclear weapons.

M.A.D. is alive and well. This is also in alignment with my general philosophy of “Be The Mirror”. IMHO Putin is not bluffing and is honestly telling The West “You go nuclear, we go nuclear.” That is in keeping with long standing Russian military doctrine on tactical nukes.

Putin also commented on the upcoming referendums in the two Donbass republics and two regions of Ukraine currently controlled to a large extent by Russian troops. The four entities are putting to a general vote a proposal to ask Moscow to accept them as new parts of the Russian Federation, with polling scheduled to start on Friday.

The Russian leader pledged to support the plebiscites in terms of security and said his government would respect whatever outcomes they produce. Russia’s goal is to protect civilians from the Ukrainian government, which had escalated the persecution of its opponents at home and had been using terrorist tactics against people living in Russia-controlled lands, Putin said.

Note too that Putin said:

If the territorial integrity of our nation is threatened, we will certainly use all the means that we have to defend Russia and our people.

Put this in the context of a vote to pull the Donbass into the Russian Federation (making it de facto “Russia”) and that from the Russian POV, Crimea is and always has been a part of Russia since the transfer to Ukraine by a Ukrainian PM was not consummated by a vote of the Duma; any attack on Donbass or Crimea fits this “threat” to the “territorial integrity of our nation”. OUR POV on this does not matter, since it is the Russian POV that will determine if they push the launch button…

So basically this is a declaration to NATO that they can have a full on war with Russia, up to and including nuclear war, or they can let the Ethnic / Historically Russian parts of Ukraine return to Russia and stop trying to destroy Russia in a proxy war.

I have no expectation that NATO members will do anything but stay belligerent and continue to push a full NATO war on Russia. My best guess is that Russia will use the next month or two to prepare and then prosecute Yet Another Winter War with The West.

It will be interesting to see how well NATO equipment performs in a Russian Winter War, especially when they can’t get enough natural gas, gasoline, Diesel, petroleum in general to both keep the citizens warm and industry running. The German economy is already about 1/2 shut down and inflation in the Euro Zone is going way high (higher than in the USA that is already too high). Personally, I’d not enter a war with anyone were my country running on 1/2 fuel and with rampant economic depression with monetary inflation and a currency collapse. But that’s just me, I guess.

For comparison, here’s the BBC:

Russia’s Putin announces partial military mobilisation

Russian president Vladimir Putin has announced a partial military mobilisation in Russia.

In a televised address to the nation, he said this was a necessary step to ensure Russian territorial integrity.

He said the West wanted to destroy Russia.

6 hours ago
BBC News

That’s the whole article. The BBC on YouTube had more in it. I’ll keep looking…

LIVE Putin calls up reservists to fight in Ukraine after losing ground
viewing this page

President Putin says military reservists are to be sent to Ukraine as part of a partial mobilisation of Russian forces
In a televised address to the nation, he said this was a necessary step to ensure Russian territorial integrity
He accused the West of wanting to see Russia weakened and said a threat to retaliate further was “not a bluff”
Western allies responded by saying that Putin’s escalation of the war showed Russia’s military was faltering
The EU and Nato said his rhetoric on nuclear weapons was dangerous
Moscow has also announced plans to hold referendums on joining Russia in parts of Ukraine that are currently under Russian control
The US, Germany and France said would never recognise the results of such “sham” ballots
And world leaders are gathering in New York for a UN meeting – US President Biden is speaking shortly

Note the spin of “after losing ground” and “military faltering” and “dangerous” rhetoric.

Framing this as a loser thrashing about, not recognizing anything from the Russian POV on their history and NATO threats, framing their clear statement of military doctrine as ‘rhetoric’.

It looks to me far more like the BBC is “spinning” things with a lot of emotional loading and like RT is more “just the facts” without the emotional spin (but with selective listing of the facts and ‘spin by omission’ as favorite tools).

So, my conclusion from all this is pretty simple. We’re having a “rock and a hard place” moment.

Rock: Russia is NOT going to just give up and go home. Putin is “in it to win it” and taking the steps needed to assure that. 300,000 more experienced fighters on their way for a “Winter War”, and another million or 2 in waiting if needed. Chewing up NATO resources and Ukrainian men at a fast rate and with very favorable loss ratios. Ready, willing, and able to use nukes if necessary as they see this as an existential threat and as a justified liberation of Ethnic Russians who have withstood 9+ years of shelling by Rump Ukraine and “ethnic cleansing” laws (like forbidden to have their kids taught in Russian).

Hard Place: NATO (EU, UK, USA at least, some other members less committed) conducting a Proxy War in Ukraine are unwilling to lose their Money Laundry On Steroids, have $Billions of Slush Money to skim. Want to put missiles 5 minutes from Moscow, and see this as their best chance to do a Color Revolution in Russia and eliminate one of the 2 big threats to the One World Order (the other being the USA that they have already taken down via a fraudulent election of their Puppet Biden and a buy off of the DNC). The USA is still (barely) in play against them with the November election needing another round of fraud, but under closer watch so will need to be more subtle; and that will impact timing of things, but they very much are pushing to “get ‘er done” with a global “reset” take over inside of one year, max. They MUST do it now, or risk losing it all. So not going to back down.

Something is going to blow up. Just don’t know what.

Will a NATO / WEF “Color Revolution” break out in Russia? My sense of it is no, as many Russians are quite happy with Putin. Then again, this play book is well tuned, so maybe it can be run. Body Bags are a big emotional lever.

Will the Ukraine NATO war have a winner? Maybe. It is a full NATO vs Russia resources war at this point, and Russia has more natural resources, while NATO has some pretty good equipment; but a limited number of Ukrainian Men to feed to the slaughter. I’d bet on Russia winning, but only by a little bit. NATO might pull it off if they can find a way to feed more non-Ukrainians to the grinder. It will also depend to some large extent on how well each does when the snow starts to fall.

Will the EU collapse and fall into chaos as EU Members just can’t stand 20% inflation, no heat, and no industry this winter? That’s also a very possible. A collapsed EU can’t do a very good job of being a Strong NATO Force, so these things interact. We’re in a bit of a Race Condition on the economic war front. It isn’t looking good at all for Germany (the economic core of the EU) as they are already shutting down industries and may have enough gas to stay warm through winter, but not enough to do that and work too. My guess is the EU hangs together, but comes out very ragged and with at least one more nation exiting.

Will the USA vote to dump the Dimocrats in November? Certainly. But that isn’t the question. The question is “Will the DNC vote stealing machine be up to the task of turning a 65% / 35% vote into a 48% R / 52% D ‘win’ on election night?”… and will the citizens notice…

There’s more, but less impactful. Things like Turkey playing both sides of the game. China buying politicians globally (and with ownership of the DNC & Biden) and what will they want / do. Russian gas being sold in large quantity to China with a newer pipeline being added to that. How bad will winter be in Europe. Will the Colorado River Basin drought recover with the monsoons, or will California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, etc. etc. suffer a whole lot of blackouts… right when we might want our Defense Contractors there to have power & lights… Will the WEF succeed at destruction of western agriculture and plunge one side into starvation (‘an army marches on its stomach’ is something they might want to remember while working to starve the NATO side…) etc.

My push is pretty simple:

I’m putting in place preparations for a 6 month+ “prep” of food, fuel, and “exchange goods”. I’m planning on having at least 1500 miles of “emergency travel” fuel in vehicles. I’m working to get a standby whole house generator in place by Christmas (but not real hard…). I’ve paid off all debts and have no mortgage. I’m about 50 miles away from any likely “ground zero” and about 1/2 mile from a lake for water if needed.

Yes, I expect this NATO vs Russia conflict to “go sideways”. The only real questions I see are “how far and how fast”. I’m hoping it only slowly escalates into about February. I’m planning on it hitting the fan about December 1. I’m praying it resolves with a Ukraine / NATO recognition of Russian History and Ethnic Russian desires before too many more folks die and the actual Russian Military is in Kiev. I know Putin (and Russians in general) are not going to let go of Crimea & the Donbass Ethnic Russians; you don’t throw ‘family’ under the bus. So it will come down to NATO / USA / UK/ EU/ WEF determination to kill as many as necessary to destroy Russia. We’ll find out how much hate is in their hearts, I guess.

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Posted in Emergency Preparation and Risks, News Related | 84 Comments

Watch West Coast Shipping Friday

This video covers the schedules, contracts, issues, and probability of a Rail Strike in the USA; along with the possibility of a West Coast Port strike at the same time.

To say either of these could be a huge mess is an understatement. To have both together would be catastrophic. I suspect the Feds will issue some kind of “back to work cooling off” order, but at best that kicks the can down the road a few weeks. I think it would be very hard for them to make it 2 months and past the election, but I think they will try.

In any case, the issues will not go away and, at best, will return just in time for Christmas…

Main points:

Dock workers are upset about automation and are without a contract now, so have already pushed things out a long ways. Rail unions are very upset about trains growing from 1/2 mile long to 2 miles (and with good reason as they become ever more uncontrollable with that length) while crews have reduced from 4 to 2 (oh, and crew schedules are 100% unpredictable and set at whim of management, leading to a zero home life situation…)

My best guess is that rail will strike. Even if they don’t, shippers are reducing shipments right now to avoid their products being stuck on a siding during a strike. Similarly, shippers have shifted to east coast and gulf cost ports for the same reason. So we have disruption already starting even without a present strike.

Also note that one offer was a 25% wage increase over a few years. Shipping costs are going to skyrocket in any case…

Be prepared for shipping disruption, stock up before Friday. Bulk shipping will be hardest hit (as it doesn’t have much alternative to bulk ships and bulk trains) so I don’t expect an immediate outage of things like TP & bread; but eventually lack of bulk wheat shipping will hit the grain mills… Just sayin’ that the duration of any strike will matter. The longer it goes the worse things will get.

Any company that depends on bulk shipping / rail / Western Ports will take a hit in the short run, and then face significant increase in costs longer term. Invest accordingly…

Commuters, food producers, refineries and others could all be affected if there is a nationwide rail strike at the end of this week.

Members of one union rejected a tentative agreement that their leaders had negotiated with the biggest freight railroads, and three other unions were still at the bargaining table on Wednesday. Two other rail unions. unions ratified deals.

Yes, it’s “socialists”, but they are often in touch with labor unions…

Tensions mount at West Coast ports as dockworkers enter third month without contract
Rafael Azul
30 August 2022

Thursday will mark the beginning of the third month since the expiration of the contract for 22,000 West Coast dockworkers. The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) bureaucracy has kept workers on the job without a contract, in collusion with both the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) and the Biden administration, which is determined to avoid disruptions in the supply chain at all costs. However, there are growing signs that contract talks, which have taken place under conditions of near-total secrecy, have stalled, and frustration is mounting among dockworkers.

Contract negotiations at West Coast ports have a history of slowdowns, strikes and lockouts, and government intervention. In 2002, negotiations deteriorated to the point where the PMA carried out a 10-day lockout that prompted the George W. Bush administration to intervene. In 2014 and 2015, the Obama administration also got involved to end a series of slowdowns and suppress local strikes.

Ideal time to “slow down” or walk out? When rail is on strike and you can claim you are just not crossing their picket lines…

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Posted in Economics - Trading - and Money, Emergency Preparation and Risks, News Related, World Economics | 12 Comments