Monday, February 3, 2014

FUK-U-SHIMA: "Intensely Apocalyptic" - 50 Reasons We Should Fear The Worst From Fukushima!

February 03, 2014 - JAPAN - Fukushima’s missing melted cores and radioactive gushers continue to fester in secret.




Japan’s harsh dictatorial censorship has been matched by a global corporate media blackout aimed—successfully—at keeping Fukushima out of the public eye.

But that doesn’t keep the actual radiation out of our ecosystem, our markets … or our bodies.

Speculation on the ultimate impact ranges from the utterly harmless to the intensely apocalyptic .

But the basic reality is simple: for seven decades, government Bomb factories and privately-owned reactors have spewed massive quantities of unmonitored radiation into the biosphere.

The impacts of these emissions on human and ecological health are unknown primarily because the nuclear industry has resolutely refused to study them.

Indeed, the official presumption has always been that showing proof of damage from nuclear Bomb tests and commercial reactors falls to the victims, not the perpetrators.

And that in any case, the industry will be held virtually harmless.

This “see no evil, pay no damages” mindset dates from the Bombing of Hiroshima to Fukushima to the disaster coming next … which could be happening as you read this.

Here are 50 preliminary reasons why this radioactive legacy demands we prepare for the worst for our oceans, our planet, our economy … ourselves.

1. At Hiroshima and Nagasaki (1945), the U.S. military initially denied that there was any radioactive fallout, or that it could do any damage. Despite an absence of meaningful data, the victims (including a group of U.S. prisoners of war) and their supporters were officially “discredited” and scorned.

2. Likewise, when Nobel-winners Linus Pauling and Andre Sakharov correctly warned of a massive global death toll from atmospheric Bomb testing, they were dismissed with official contempt … until they won in the court of public opinion.

3. During and after the Bomb Tests (1946-63), downwinders in the South Pacific and American west, along with thousands of U.S. “atomic vets,” were told their radiation-induced health problems were imaginary … until they proved utterly irrefutable.

4. When British Dr. Alice Stewart proved (1956) that even tiny x-ray doses to pregnant mothers could double childhood leukemia rates, she was assaulted with 30 years of heavily funded abuse from the nuclear and medical establishments.

5. But Stewart’s findings proved tragically accurate, and helped set in stone the medical health physics consensus that there is no “safe dose” of radiation … and that pregnant women should not be x-rayed, or exposed to equivalent radiation.

6. More than 400 commercial power reactors have been injected into our ecosphere with no meaningful data to measure their potential health and environmental impacts, and no systematic global data base has been established or maintained.

7. “Acceptable dose” standards for commercial reactors were conjured from faulty A-Bomb studies begun five years after Hiroshima, and at Fukushima and elsewhere have been continually made more lax to save the industry money.

8. Bomb/reactor fallout delivers alpha and beta particle emitters that enter the body and do long-term damage, but which industry backers often wrongly equate with less lethal external gamma/x-ray doses from flying in airplanes or living in Denver.

9. By refusing to compile long-term emission assessments, the industry systematically hides health impacts at Three Mile Island (TMI), Chernobyl, Fukushima, etc., forcing victims to rely on isolated independent studies which it automatically deems “discredited.”

10. Human health damage has been amply suffered in radium watch dial painting, Bomb production, uranium mining/milling/enrichment, waste management and other radioactive work, despite decades of relentless industry denial.

11. When Dr. Ernest Sternglass, who had worked with Albert Einstein, warned that reactor emissions were harming people, thousands of copies of his Low-Level Radiation (1971) mysteriously disappeared from their primary warehouse.

12. When the Atomic Energy Commission’s (AEC) Chief Medical Officer, Dr. John Gofman, urged that reactor dose levels be lowered by 90 percent, he was forced out of the AEC and publicly attacked, despite his status a founder of the industry.

13. A member of the Manhattan Project, and a medical doctor responsible for pioneer research into LDL cholesterol, Gofman later called the reactor industry an instrument of “premeditated mass murder.”

14. Stack monitors and other monitoring devices failed at Three Mile Island (1979) making it impossible to know how much radiation escaped, where it went or who it impacted and how.

15. But some 2,400 TMI downwind victims and their families were denied a class action jury trial by a federal judge who said “not enough radiation” was released to harm them, though she could not say how much that was or where it went.

16. During TMI’s meltdown, industry advertising equated the fallout with a single chest x-ray to everyone downwind, ignoring the fact that such doses could double leukemia rates among children born to involuntarily irradiated mothers.

17. Widespread death and damage downwind from TMI have been confirmed by Dr. Stephen Wing, Jane Lee and Mary Osbourne, Sister Rosalie Bertell, Dr. Sternglass, Jay Gould, Joe Mangano and others, along with hundreds of anecdotal reports.

18. Radioactive harm to farm and wild animals downwind from TMI has been confirmed by the Baltimore News-American and Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

19. TMI’s owner quietly paid out at least $15 million in damages in exchange for gag orders from the affected families, including at least one case involving a child born with Down’s Syndrome.

20. Chernobyl’s explosion became public knowledge only when massive emissions came down on a Swedish reactor hundreds of miles away, meaning that—as at TMI and Fukushima—no one knows precisely how much escaped or where it went.

21.  Fukushima’s on-going fallout is already far in excess of that from Chernobyl, which was far in excess of that from Three Mile Island.

22.  Soon after Chernobyl blew up (1986), Dr. Gofman predicted its fallout would kill at least 400,000 people worldwide.

23. Three Russian scientists who compiled more than 5,000 studies concluded in 2005 that Chernobyl had already killed nearly a million people worldwide.

24.  Children born in downwind Ukraine and Belarus still suffer a massive toll of mutation and illness, as confirmed by a wide range of governmental, scientific and humanitarian organizations.

25. Key low-ball Chernobyl death estimates come from the World Health Organization, whose numbers are overseen by International Atomic Energy Agency, a United Nations organization chartered to promote the nuclear industry.

26. After 28 years, the reactor industry has still not succeeded in installing a final sarcophagus over the exploded Chernobyl Unit 4, though billions of dollars have been invested.

27. When Fukushima Units 1-4 began to explode, President Obama assured us all the fallout would not come here, and would harm no one, despite having no evidence for either assertion.

28. Since President Obama did that, the U.S. has established no integrated system to monitor Fukushima’s fallout, nor an epidemiological data base to track its health impacts … but it did stop checking radiation levels in Pacific seafood.

29. Early reports of thyroid abnormalities among children downwind from Fukushima, and in North America are denied by industry backers who again say “not enough radiation” was emitted though they don’t know how much that might be.

30. Devastating health impacts reported by sailors stationed aboard the USS Ronald Reagan near Fukushima are being denied by the industry and Navy, who say radiation doses were too small to do harm, but have no idea what they were.

31. While in a snowstorm offshore as Fukushima melted, sailors reported a warm cloud passing over the Reagan that brought a “metallic taste” like that described by TMI downwinders and the airmen who dropped the Bomb on Hiroshima.

32. Though it denies the sailors on the Reagan were exposed to enough Fukushima radiation to harm them, Japan (like South Korea and Guam) denied the ship port access because it was too radioactive (it’s now docked in San Diego).

33. The Reagan sailors are barred from suing the Navy, but have filed a class action against Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco), which has joined the owners at TMI, the Bomb factories, uranium mines, etc., in denying all responsibility.

34. A U.S. military “lessons learned” report from Fukushima’s Operation Tomodachi clean-up campaign notes that “decontamination of aircraft and personnel without alarming the general population created new challenges.”

35. The report questioned the clean-up because “a true decontamination operations standard for ‘clearance’ was not set,” thereby risking “the potential spread of radiological contamination to military personnel and the local populace.”

36. Nonetheless, it reported that during the clean-up, “the use of duct tape and baby wipes was effective in the removal of radioactive particles.”

37. In league with organized crime, Tepco is pursuing its own clean-up activities by recruiting impoverished homeless and elderly citizens for “hot” on-site labor, with the quality of their work and the nature of their exposures now a state secret.

38. At least 300 tons of radioactive water continue to pour into the ocean at Fukushima every day, according to official estimates made prior to such data having been made a state secret.

39. To the extent they can be known, the quantities and make-up of radiation pouring out of Fukushima are also now a state secret, with independent measurement or public speculation punishable by up to ten years in prison.

40. Likewise, “There is no systematic testing in the U.S. of air, food and water for radiation,” according to University of California (Berkeley) nuclear engineering Professor Eric Norman.

41. Many radioactive isotopes tend to concentrate as they pour into the air and water, so deadly clumps of Fukushima’s radiation may migrate throughout the oceans for centuries to come before diffusing, which even then may not render it harmless.

42. Radiation’s real world impact becomes even harder to measure in an increasingly polluted biosphere, where interaction with existing toxins creates a synergy likely to exponentially accelerate the damage being done to all living things.

43. Reported devastation among starfish, sardines, salmon, sea lions, orcas and other ocean animals cannot be definitively denied without a credible data base of previous experimentation and monitoring, which does not exist and is not being established.

44. The fact that “tiny” doses of x-ray can harm human embryos portends that any unnatural introduction of lethal radioactive isotopes into the biosphere, however “diffuse,” can affect our intertwined global ecology in ways we don’t now understand.

45. The impact of allegedly “minuscule” doses spreading from Fukushima will, over time, affect the minuscule eggs of creatures ranging from sardines to starfish to sea lions, with their lethal impact enhanced by the other pollutants already in the sea.

46. Dose comparisons to bananas and other natural sources are absurd and misleading as the myriad isotopes from reactor fallout will impose very different biological impacts for centuries to come in a wide range of ecological settings.

47. No current dismissal of general human and ecological impacts—”apocalyptic” or otherwise—can account over time for the very long half-lives of radioactive isotopes Fukushima is now pouring into the biosphere.

48. As Fukushima’s impacts spread through the centuries, the one certainty is that no matter what evidence materializes, the nuclear industry will never admit to doing any damage, and will never be forced to pay for it (see upcoming sequel).

49. Hyman Rickover, father of the nuclear navy, warned that it is a form of suicide to raise radiation levels within Earth’s vital envelope, and that if he could, he would “sink” all the reactors he helped develop.

50. “Now when we go back to using nuclear power,” he said in 1982, “I think the human race is going to wreck itself, and it is important that we get control of this horrible force and try to eliminate it.”

As Fukushima deteriorates behind an iron curtain of secrecy and deceit, we desperately need to know what it’s doing to us and our planet.

It’s tempting to say the truth lies somewhere between the industry’s lies and the rising fear of a tangible apocalypse.

In fact, the answers lie beyond.

Defined by seven decades of deceit, denial and a see-no-evil dearth of meaningful scientific study, the glib corporate assurances that this latest reactor disaster won’t hurt us fade to absurdity.

Fukushima pours massive, unmeasured quantities of lethal radiation into our fragile ecosphere every day, and will do so for decades to come.

Five power reactors have now exploded on this planet and there are more than 400 others still operating.

What threatens us most is the inevitable next disaster … along with the one after that … and then the one after that …

Pre-wrapped in denial, protected by corporate privilege, they are the ultimate engines of global terror. - Eco Watch.


GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Intensified Activity - The Indonesian Government Raises The Status On Another 19 Volcanoes To Alert Level, Second-Highest Category!

February 03, 2014 - INDONESIA - The government has raised the status on another 19 volcanoes in the country to alert level — the second-highest category — in the wake of the Mount Sinabung eruption in North Sumatra that killed 16 people on Saturday.




Besides the 19 new additions, three volcanos have been on high alert status since last year. They include Lokon and Karangetang in North Sulawesi and Rokatenda in East Nusa Tenggara.

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) issued the raised status on Monday for the 19 volcanoes, which are scattered across the archipelago, but has yet to call for the evacuation of populations living nearby.

The 19 volcanoes are Kelud, Ijen, Bromo, Semeru and Raung in East Java; Lewotobi Perempuan in East Nusa Tenggara; Ibu, Gamkonora, Dukono and Gamalama in North Maluku; Soputan in North Sulawesi; Sangeang Api in West Nusa Tenggara; Papandayan in West Java; Dieng in Central Java; Seulewah Agam in Aceh; Talang and Marapi in West Sumatra; Anak Krakatau in Banten; and Kerinci in Jambi.

Indonesia is among the world’s most seismically active countries, situated on the Pacific Ring of Fire, an arc of volcanoes and fault lines encircling the Pacific Basin. The 19 volcanoes are among about 127 active volcanoes in Indonesia.

Mt. Sinabung has been sporadically erupting since September.

Though the alert level for the 19 volcanoes had been raised, Sutopo called on nearby residents not to panic.

“Volcanoes erupt in stages, they won’t suddenly erupt. Their activity can be categorized from normal to waspada [alert] to siaga [high alert] to awas [danger, the highest level],” he said on Monday.

He said that the BNPB was now keeping an eye on Mount Kelud, whose status was raised to alert following intensified volcanic activity.

The BNPB decision to raise the status of Mt. Kelud had triggered panic among local residents.

Local officials in Kediri have issued a warning to people living close to Mt. Kelud to stay outside a 2-kilometer radius set by the The Center for Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation (PVMBG).

On Saturday, at least 16 people were killed and three others severely injured due to pyroclastic clouds emitted by Mt. Sinabung.

Previously, the volcano’s ongoing eruptions had claimed the lives of 31 evacuees from various illnesses such as depression, asthma and hypertension.

Rescuers had to halt operations due to fears of further eruptions. Currently, the evacuation zone is between 5 and 7 km on the southeast slope of the volcano.

Sixteen villages had to be evacuated following the eruptions.

Meanwhile, responding to the BNPB report, Coordinating Minister for People’s Welfare Agung Laksono called on people living close to the volcanoes to remain calm.

“[The raising of the alert status] is to raise awareness among government officials and members of the public so that they can anticipate the worst from the early stage,” Agung said as quoted by Antara news agency.

Agung said that the population in a disaster zone should heed government instructions to evacuate in the event of a volcanic eruption.

“We ask for cooperation from residents. If the local government decides to evacuate their neighborhood they have to follow the procedures,” Agung said.

The country has been battered by a string of natural disasters in recent months.

Authorities in a number of disaster-prone regions have been warned about the potential for worsening disasters, including landslides and floods, due to heavy rains nationwide.

In West Java, the PVMBG advised that people living in landslide-prone areas in Ciramba and Mekarmulya subdistricts, Cikalong district, Cianjur, should be relocated.

In Jombang, East Java, 14 people were buried by a landslide on Monday. Seven bodies have been recovered, while the other seven remain missing.

In Semarang, a landslide displaced 32 families from the Tangkil Baru residential complex in Sukorejo subdistrict, Gunungpati district, whose houses were destroyed.

Last week, sections of the Java’s northern coastal highway were inundated by floodwaters causing a major traffic disruption.

In East Java, the flooding disrupted traffic from Situbondo to Surabaya.

The flooding also inundated a section of the northern coastal highway connecting Semarang and Jakarta, causing massive traffic jams in some areas.  - The Jakarta Post.



GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Landslide And Giant Boulder Destroys Building In Italy - Another Massive One Misses By Inches! [STUNNING VIDEO+PHOTOS]

February 03, 2014 - ITALY - Capricious Mother Nature destroyed a building with a giant boulder in northern Italy, with an even bigger boulder missing a three-story farm house by a just few inches, stopping right at its main entrance.







According to Italian newspaper Il Corriere della Sera, the landslide happened in the village of Ronci Termeno, in South Tyrol.

The rock that stopped right in front of the house is 5,650 cubic feet. Geologists and emergency crews are still evaluating the risk while clearing the ground.


WATCH:  Here's a look at the video of the aftermath, taken with a quadrotor drone:




Judging by the giant boulder which was already resting on the field, this hasn't been the first time this has happened.

Here are some more pictures:







- Gizmodo.



GLOBAL ECONOMIC MELTDOWN: U.S. Stocks Plunge On Poor Factory Data - Dow Jones Industrial Average Drops 326 Points!

February 03, 2014 - WALL STREET, UNITED STATES - Stocks were battered on Monday, with benchmark indexes falling through key support levels after a disappointing factory activity report, heightening concern about the economy before Friday's monthly jobs report.


Trader on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Monday, where the Dow dropped sharply
after disappointing factory data.  BRENDAN MCDERMID / Reuters


The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 326.05 points, or 2.08 percent, at 15,372.80.

The S&P 500 fell 40 points, or almost 2.28 percent, to 1,741.89. The Nasdaq declined 106 points, or 2.6 percent.

Stocks had wavered ahead of the report from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) which said its index of national factory activity fell to 51.3 last month, to its lowest level since May 2013, from a recently revised 56.5 in December.

"The ISM for manufacturing was among the weaker numbers we've seen for quite some time, versus expectations. What was also concerning was among the components, the new orders number was weak," said Andres Garcia-Amaya, global market strategist at J.P. Morgan Funds. Unlike other components, the one for new orders can't be explained away by the severe winter weather, he said.


WATCH: Stocks plunge on global growth concerns.



"I think a report like this scares people ahead of the payroll number on Friday," Garcia-Amaya added.

"The number was much weaker than expected and the market is very sensitive at this point to thinking that the Fed has started the policy normalization process too soon," said Barry Knapp, chief market strategist at Barclays Capital.

The dollar edged lower against other global currencies and the yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell 2 basis points to 2.629 percent.


WATCH:  Stock market plunge, what it means for the economy.



Crude futures fell 68 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $96.81 a barrel; gold futures jumped $19.30, or 1.6 percent, to $1,259.10 an ounce.

On Friday, U.S. stocks closed deep under water, with Wall Street recording its worst month in more than a year and first monthly loss since August, as investors compiled a list of worries that now include emerging markets. - NBC News.


SOLAR WATCH: Big Sunspot 1967 And High Solar Activity - Mass Sunspot Unleashes SEVEN M-Class Flares; THREE Coronal Mass Ejections Are Earth-Directed! [ Spectacular Video Of Aurora Explosion Over Sweden]

February 03, 2014 - SUN - Solar activity reached high levels yesterday with SEVEN M-class solar flares and THREE coronal mass ejections (CMEs).

Almost all of the explosions were produced by monster sunspot AR1967, shown here in a Feb. 3rd photo taken by Karzaman Ahmad of the Langkawi National Observatory in Malaysia:




The THREE coronal mass ejections produced are on their way to Earth.

AR1967 is wider than the planet Jupiter and its primary dark cores are big enough to swallow Earth many times over. The scale of the thing makes it an easy target for backyard solar telescopes.

"I used an 11-inch Celestron telescope with a Thousand Oaks White Light Filter," says Ahmad. "The sunspot is stunning and shows very interesting structural details even through a small telescope and whitelight filter."


Sunspot 1967 (Monday) - SDO/HMI


The spot, which has the energy for X-class flares and is growing in complexity all the time, has caused NOAA to update their estimate of the likelihood of further action.

AR1967 has a 'delta-class' magnetic field that harbors energy for strong eruptions. The growing complexity of the region has prompted NOAA forecasters to boost the odds of X-flares to 50% during the next 24 hours and an 80% chance of M-class over the same period. Because AR1967 is near the center of the solar disk, any eruptions will be squarely Earth directed.


The active region remains potent, with a strong Delta magnetic formation and could produce a strong solar flare
within the next 24 hours. Due to the now perfect geoeffective position, any coronal mass ejection originating
from 1967 would most likely be directed our way. To the north, sunspot 1968 is currently stable,
but will remain a threat for an isolated M-Class event.

Anything produced by AR1967 is going to score a direct hit on Earth over the next 24 hours.

The worry with multiple CME’s is that their speeds will vary, and they do not always arrive in the order they were thrown off. One can overtake another and arrive early, or two or more can arrive in a very short space of time. Getting into a situation where two arrive at the same time can greatly potentiate their effects.

CME DELAYED: A CME expected to sideswipe Earth's magnetic field on Feb 2nd did not arrive on time. A new analysis by NOAA forecasters suggests it will reach Earth on Feb. 4th instead. The late arrival could spark minor geomagnetic storms and auroras on Tuesday.

MUST-SEE AURORA MOVIE: "We are enjoying one of our best years ever," reports Chad Blakley, an aurora tour guide in Sweden's Abisko National Park. "So far we have seen auroras on 29 out of the 31 nights we have looked. Last night was extra special. The sky exploded in color and I was lucky to capture the phenomenon with several different cameras from multiple angles." 

WATCH:
Auroras in Abisko National Park February 1st, 2014

 


- Space Weather.



GLOBAL ECONOMIC MELTDOWN: Precursors To A Global Financial Collapse - Financial World Shaken By 4 Bankers' Apparent Suicides In Just One Week?!

February 03, 2014 - GLOBAL ECONOMY - The apparent suicide death of the chief economist of a US investment house brings the number of financial workers who have died allegedly by their own hand to four in the last week.




50-year-old Mike Dueker, who had worked for Russell Investment for five years, was found dead close to the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Washington State, says AP.

Local police say he could have jumped over a fence and fallen 15 meters to his death, and are treating the case as a suicide.

Dueker was reported missing by friends on January 29, and police had been searching for him.

A Sheriff’s spokesman said investigators learned that he was having problems at work but did not elaborate.

Jennifer Tice, a company spokeswoman declined to comment, however said, that Dueker was in good standing at Russell.

“We were deeply saddened to learn today of the death,” Tice said in an e-mail on Friday. “He made a valuable contributions that helped our clients and many of his fellow associates.”


Mike Dueker (Still from YouTube video/Russell Investments)


Dueker joined Russell Investment in 2008. He wrote for Market Outlook financial services publications, forecasting the business cycle and the target federal funds rate. He is the creator and developer of a business cycle index that forecast economic performance published monthly on the Russell website.

He was previously an assistant vice president and research economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, and is ranked in the top 5 percent of published economists.

Over the past two decades he wrote tens of research papers mostly on monetary policy, according to the bank’s website.

His most-cited paper was “Strengthening the case for the yield curve as a predictor of U.S. recessions,” published in 1997 while he was a researcher at the Federal Reserve.

“He was a valued colleague of mine during my entire tenure at the St. Louis Fed,” said William Poole, the bank's ex-president. “Everyone respected his professional skills and good sense.”

Dueker held an undergraduate degree in math from the University of Oregon, a master’s degree in economics from Northwestern University and a Ph.D. from the University of Washington.

Streak of bankers’ deaths

Dueker’s apparent suicide was the fourth among financial experts in a week.

A 58-year-old former senior executive at Deutsche Bank AG, William Broeksmit, was found dead on January 26 in his home after an apparent suicide in South Kensington in central London.

The next day, January 27, Tata Motors managing director Karl Slym, 51, was found dead on the fourth floor of the Shangri-La hotel in Bangkok. Police said he could have committed suicide. Mr. Slym was staying on a 22th floor with his wife, and was attending a board meeting in the Thai capital.

Another tragic incident occurred on January 28, when a 39-year-old Gabriel Magee, a JP Morgan employee, died after falling from the roof of its European headquarters in London.


The offices of JP Morgan in the Canary Wharf district of London (Reuters/Simon Newman)

 While creating fortunes, City and Wall Street jobs are notorious for extra-long working weeks and huge amounts of stress. In a move to ease the tension some of the world’s biggest lenders like Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Credit Suisse have been telling junior staff to take more time off.

Some European countries like Belgium and the Netherlands have reduced the working week from 40 to 30 hours without damaging their economies, while in Germany an average worker puts in 35 hours a week and is the world’s fourth largest economy. - RT.



GREAT DELUGE: Three Dead In Italy As Floods And Snow Cause Widespread Damage - Europe Deluged With Exceptionally Bad Weather!

February 03, 2014 - ITALY - At least three people have died as heavy rains continued to hit central and southern Italy three days now. The heavy rains and floods have not only caused deaths but also power cuts, road obstructions and other damages.





Confirmed dead were two women and a seven-year-old girl believed to have been stuck in their car as it got swept along by waters of the floods. They have yet to be identified.


WATCH:  Bus plows through flood water in Rome as heavy rains slam Italy.




The Rome Jewish community are currently racing against time to protect the Spanish Synagogue and the Rome Jewish Museum from the swollen Tiber River. Volunteers have worked to place sandbags and protective sheets to prevent water coming in at both institutions which are located below street level.

"There was a risk that manholes would explode or even that the Tiber would burst its banks," Fabio Perugia, community spokesman, told the Rome Jewish community news site.

The institutions hold a number of valuable relics, "important items such as manuscripts from 1300 and precious vestments."

Weather experts have said more rains could be expected in the coming days and could worsen already dangerous conditions.


WATCH:  Exceptionally bad weather causes misery in central Europe.



WATCH:  More bad weather forecast as Italy struggles with floods and snow.




The Tiber river has already overflowed in several areas.

The floods have created widespread damage such as the large crater found in the town of Capena near Rome.


WATCH:  Rivers dangerously high as rain lashes Italy.




Prensa Latina reported the existing weather conditions have affected other European countries. Heavy snowfalls in Slovenia have caused power cuts, leaving 10 per cent of the total population without electricity. - IBT.



GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Global Volcano Report For February 3, 2014 - Major Updates On Kelud, Sinabung, Fuego, San Miguel, Ubinas, Tolbachik, Sakurajima, Suwanose-jima, Tungurahua, Dukono, Kilauea, Kavachi, Shishaldin, And Popocatépetl! [PHOTOS + ERUPTION SUMMARY LIST]

February 03, 2014 - WORLDWIDE VOLCANOES - The following constitutes the new activity, unrest and ongoing reports of volcanoes across the globe, courtesy of the Volcano Discovery.

Kelud (East Java): The alert level of the volcano was raised today from 1 ("normal") to 2 ("Waspada", "watch") on a scale of 1-4. During the second half of 2014, a strong increase in seismic activity and a 5.5 deg temperature increase of the crater lake water had been detected.


The new lava dome of Kelut volcano in November, 2007

The number of shallow volcanic earthquakes rose from averages of 1-2 per day to approx 10 per day during 20-31 Jan and climbed to more than 100 events since the start of February alone. This might indicate a shallow intrusion is taking place and could lead to a new eruption. VSI recommends not to approach the crater within 2 km radius.


Earthquakes at Kelut volcano during 2014.


The last eruption of Kelut was in Oct-Nov 2007, when a new lava dome grew within the crater lake.


Sinabung (Sumatra, Indonesia): The activity has not much changed, but continues to show an overall decreasing trend. No significant explosions or pyroclastic flows seem to have occurred over the past 2 days.


Number of seismic events by category until January 31 (VSI)


VSI published a graph showing the seismic activity until 31 Jan, which indicates that the number of seismic events related to the rise of new magma (hybrid earthquakes and tremor) has generally been decreasing over the past weeks. This corresponds to what can be observed visually (when weather permits clear views).


Fuego (Guatemala): Yesterday (February 1) evening's INSIVUMEH report suggests that activity at the volcano increased. 16 explosions were observed with ash plumes up to 1200 m height and a new lava flow on the upper southern flank headed towards the Ceniza canyon.

Many of the explosions produced moderate to strong shock waves that caused vibrations in nearby villages. Incandescent material was seen ejected to up to 200 m above the crater and produced abundant avalanches on the crater slopes.

After a short peak of activity, the volcano has been calmer today (February 3). INSIVUMEH reported weak explosions with ash plumes rising to 600-700 m above the crater, but does not mention any lava flow.


San Miguel (El Salvador): The volcano has not erupted again, but shows increased signs of unrest. Since late January, the volcano's seismic activity has been rising significantly. MARN detected a swarms of earthquakes at very shallow 1 km depth beneath the SW flank, while a smaller number of quakes occured at approx. 6 km depth beneath the summit of the volcano.


Tremor amplitude at San Miguel volcano over the past weeks (MARN)


Scientists believe that this reflects internal pressure increase, which in turn could be the result of new intruding magma. In other words, a new eruption at the volcano in a near future is a scenario that should be taken into account.


Ubinas (Peru): Two small earthquake swarms occurred in January, the latest bulletin of the Peru's Geophysical Institute (IGP) reports.


Seismic activity overall during January (IGP)


The first one happened between 8-9 Jan, and the second and stronger one on 25 Jan. In addition, bluish degassing (SO2, an indicator of the presence of magma) was observed.


Seismic swarm on January 25, 2014 (IGP)

However, IGP mentions that these signs of unrest are still weak and could be the result of increased ground-water infiltration and not likely mean a new eruption of Ubinas is nearby.


Tolbachik (Kamchatka): On 31 Jan, KVERT finally lowered the Aviation Color Code of the volcano back to green, as the volcano has been calm for a while and shows no more signs of unrest that new activity could be likely in the near future.

At the moment, "only" 3 volcanoes in Kamchatka are at elevated status: Shiveluch (active growing lava dome) and Karymsky (strombolian-vulcanian explosions) at orange, and Bezymianny (possible weak lava extrusion) at yellow.


Sakurajima (Kyushu, Japan): The volcano's typical small to moderate vulcanian-type explosions have been occurring more frequently again, and now appear to average 1-2 per day. Ash plumes regularly reach 10-12,000 ft (3-3.6 km) altitude.


Suwanose-jima (Ryukyu Islands): Explosions have become less frequent, but still occur from time to time. This morning, an ash plume from an eruption could be seen on the webcam. VAAC Tokyo estimated the height of the ash plume that drifted SSE at approx 3 km altitude.


Ash eruption from Suwanose-jima this morning


Dukono (Halmahera): The volcano continues to produce frequent ash plumes detected on satellite imagery. Most likely, these originate from strong strombolian-type explosions.


Kilauea (Hawai'i): The eruption continues essentially unchanged. Since 2 days, the inflation-deflation cycle has turned to deflation and the Halema'uma'u lava-lake level dropped several meters.

At the middle east rift zone, the Pu`u `O`o vent continued to feed the Kahauale`a 2 lava flow which was active to the northeast.


View of the lava pond in the NE spatter cone of Pu'u 'O'o

Spatter cones on the floor of Pu`u `O`o crater displayed persistent glow with the northeast spatter cone hosting an active lava pond of about 15 m diameter.


Kavachi (Solomon Islands): What could be a small steam plume above the submarine volcano is visible on the latest reasonably clear satellite image from 12 hours ago. It does not look as if the volcano has breached the surface (yet).


ODIS / Terra satellite image last night showing the eruption site with the discolored water
and perhaps a small steam plume


Shishaldin (United States, Aleutian Islands): AVO still detected elevated surface temperatures at the crater on the summit, but a clear webcam image from 31 Jan showed no steaming from the summit area. The volcano remains at Aviation Color Code YELLOW.


Popocatépetl (Central Mexico): Activity at the volcano has remained unchanged and weak. Only few (less than 10 per day) and generally weak emissions of steam, gas and minor amounts of ash have been recorded. Weak glow is visible at the crater at night.


Glow from Popocatépetl's crater at night


Tungurahua (Ecuador): A strong phase of activity (a paroxysm) occurred yesterday afternoon, with a series of powerful vulcanian explosions, that produced an ash plume surpassing 40,000 ft (13 km) altitude, heavy tephra fall and pyroclastic flows to up to approx 8 km length.


Strong explosion at Tungurahua and a pyroclastic flow this morning

Activity began to increase at approximately 17:00 (local time ). At 17h12 and 17h32 (local time), two moderate-sized explosions occurred that generated ash columns that rose approx 5 km above the summit, and partial collapses of the column produced pyroclastic flows that descended about 500 m in the north-eastern and north-western flanks.


Complete Earthquake list (worldwide) for February 3, 2014.



Volcano Activity Summary for February 3, 2014:

Currently erupting:

Ambrym (Vanuatu): active lava lakes in several craters (updated 14 Aug 2013)
Batu Tara (Sunda Islands, Indonesia): strombolian explosions, ash plumes up to 500 m, extrusion of a small lava dome with rockfalls (updated 16 Aug 2013)
Cleveland (Aleutian Islands, Alaska): sporadic small (phreatic?) explosions (updated 6 May 2013)
Colima (Western Mexico): explosions and lava flows (updated 19 Jul 2013)
Dukono (Halmahera): thermal anomaly, probably small explosive activity in summit crater (updated 2 Feb 2014)
Erebus (Antarctica): active lava lake in summit crater (updated 21 Jan 2012)
Erta Ale (Ethiopia): active lava lake in northern pit crater, active hornito with intermittend flow in southern crater (updated 11 Jan 2013)
Fuego (Guatemala): strombolian explosions (updated 3 Feb 2014)
Gamalama (Halmahera): ash eruptions since 17 Sep (updated 17 Sep 2012)
Grozny (Iturup Island): fumarolic activity (updated 3 Apr 2013)
Heard (Australia, Southern Indian Ocean): likely lava lake in summit crater (updated 1 Aug 2013)
Karkar (Northeast of New Guinea): possible ash eruption on 1 February (updated 15 Mar 2013)
Karymsky (Kamchatka): occasional small explosions, thermal anomaly (updated 22 Aug 2013)
Kavachi (Solomon Islands): no eruption since 2007 (updated 2 Feb 2014)
Kilauea (Hawai'i): lava lakes in Halemau'uma'u and Pu'u 'O'o, lava flows on coastal flat and weakly active ocean entries (updated 13 Aug 2013)
Kizimen (Kamchatka): degassing (updated 22 Aug 2013)
Lokon-Empung (North Sulawesi, Indonesia): small explosions, lava flow? (updated 25 Jul 2013)
Manam (Papua New Guinea): degassing, occasional ash venting (updated 28 Aug 2013)
Marapi (Western Sumatra, Indonesia): occasional ash explosions (updated 14 Aug 2013)
Nyiragongo (DRCongo): active lava lake in summit crater (updated 12 Jun 2013)
Ol Doinyo Lengai (Tanzania): effusion of natrocarbonatite lava inside the crater (updated 8 Jul 2013)
Pacaya (Guatemala): deep-seated explosive activity, lava effusion ending (updated 28 Aug 2013)
Paluweh (off Flores Island, Indonesia): active growing lava dome (updated 12 Aug 2013)
Reventador (Ecuador): ash explosions, occasional pyroclastic flows (updated 30 Jan 2014)
Sakurajima (Kyushu, Japan): ash venting, intermittent explosions (updated 2 Feb 2014)
Santa María / Santiaguito (Guatemala): Santiaguito volcano (Guatemala): lava flow on south flank of dome becomes more active (updated 28 Aug 2013)
Semeru (East Java, Indonesia): growing lava dome, ash venting and small to moderate explosions (updated 25 Jul 2012)
Shiveluch (Kamchatka): growing lava dome, incandescent avalanches, occasional explosions (updated 22 Aug 2013)
Sinabung (Sumatra, Indonesia): growing lava dome, pyroclastic flows, occasional explosions (updated 3 Feb 2014)
Stromboli (Eolian Islands, Italy): continuing lava overflows (updated 25 Jul 2013)
Suwanose-jima (Ryukyu Islands): strombolian to weak vulcanian explosions (updated 2 Feb 2014)
Tinakula (Santa Cruz Islands, Solomon Islands): increased activity at the volcano (updated 8 Feb 2013)
Tungurahua (Ecuador): new eruption since 30 Jan 2014 (updated 2 Feb 2014)
Veniaminof (Alaska Peninsula, USA): effusion of lava flows (updated 16 Aug 2013)
Yasur (Tanna Island, Vanuatu): ash emissions, weak strombolian explosions (updated 14 Aug 2013)

Eruption warning / minor activity:

Aso (Kyushu): steaming, occasional ash venting (updated 29 Jan 2014)
Bagana (Bougainville Island, Papua New Guinea): ash explosions (updated 26 Aug 2013)
Bezymianny (Central Kamchatka Depression): steaming, degassing (updated 10 Jun 2013)
Chirinkotan (Northern Kuriles): unspecified activity - possibly lava flows (updated 7 Aug 2013)
Copahue (Chile/Argentina): ash venting (updated 16 Aug 2013)
Dieng (Central Java): increased degassing (updated 28 Mar 2013)
Etna (Sicily, Italy): intermittent strombolian explosions at New SE crater, degassing from NE crater (updated 2 Aug 2013)
Galeras (Colombia): sporadic ash emissions (updated 25 Jul 2013)
Gamkonora (Halmahera): seismic swam, minor ash emissions (updated 27 May 2013)
Ibu (Halmahera, Indonesia): growing lava dome, seismic unrest (updated 9 Jun 2013)
Iliwerung (Lesser Sunda Islands): possible submarine eruption from Mt Hobal on 20 August (updated 20 Aug 2013)
Iwo-Tori-shima (Ryukyu Islands): possible small ash eruption on 6 July 2013 (updated 6 Jul 2013)
Kerinci (Sumatra): seismic unrest (updated 5 Jun 2013)
Ketoi (Kurile Islands, Russia)
Kikai (Ryukyu Islands): steaming at summit crater of Iodake, occasional weak glows (updated 5 Jun 2013)
Kirishima (Kyushu): degassing, alert lowered (updated 30 Jul 2012)
Krakatau (Sunda Strait, Indonesia): degassing (updated 27 Jun 2013)
Langila (New Britain, Papua New Guinea): occasional ash explosions (updated 11 Feb 2013)
Medvezhia (Kurile Islands, Russia): strong steaming, thermal anomaly (updated 17 Jan 2013)
Merapi (Central Java, Indonesia): sporadic phreatic explosions (updated 24 Jul 2013)
Nyamuragira (DRCongo): steaming/degassing from pit inside summit caldera (updated 18 Jul 2013)
Papandayan (West Java): strong hydrothermal activity, increased seismicity (updated 6 May 2013)
Poas (Costa Rica): occasional small phreatic explosions from lake (updated 22 Aug 2013)
Popocatépetl (Central Mexico): degassing, sporadic small explosions (updated 2 Feb 2014)
Rabaul (Tavurvur) (New Britain, Papua New Guinea): weak ash explosions (updated 26 Aug 2013)
Rasshua (Central Kuriles)
Raung (East Java): strombolian activity in summit crater (updated 5 Aug 2013)
Rincón de la Vieja (Costa Rica): small phreatic eruption on 11 April (updated 6 Oct 2012)
Sacabaya (Northern Chile, Bolivia and Argentina)
San Miguel (El Salvador): increased seismic activity (updated 3 Feb 2014)
Sangay (Ecuador): degassing (updated 24 May 2013)
Turrialba (Costa Rica): ash venting, strong degassing (updated 24 Jul 2013)
Ulawun (New Britain, Papua New Guinea): degassing, ash venting (updated 5 Aug 2013)
White Island (New Zealand): strong degassing, volcanic tremor (updated 20 Aug 2013)





FIRE IN THE SKY: Scientists Create Map Of Solar System’s Asteroids - "Rogue" Asteroids Are Actually More Common Than Previously Thought!

February 03, 2014 - SPACE - Planetary scientists from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and European Space Astronomy have created a map of more than 100,000 asteroids throughout the Solar System, revealing the size, composition and location of each asteroid and showing that so-called ‘rogue’ asteroids are actually more common than previously thought.


This is an artist’s impression of the triple asteroid system Sylvia. The two moons, Romulus and Remus, are shown
to be strongly elongated, and composed of two lobes. Image credit: Danielle Futselaar / SETI Institute.

To create the asteroid map, Dr Francesca DeMeo and Dr Benoit Carry first analyzed data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. To avoid any bias in their mapping, the scientists determined that the survey most likely includes every asteroid down to a diameter of 5 km. At this size limit, they were able to produce an accurate picture of the asteroid belt.

They grouped the asteroids by size and composition, and mapped them into distinct regions of the Solar System where the asteroids were observed.

From their map, the scientists observed that for larger asteroids, the traditional pattern holds true – the further one gets from the Sun, the colder the asteroids appear.

But for smaller asteroids, this trend seems to break down. Those that look to have formed in warmer environments can be found not just close to the Sun, but throughout the Solar System – and asteroids that resemble colder bodies beyond Jupiter can also be found in the inner asteroid belt, closer to Mars.


This image shows the location of the main asteroid belt with respect to the planets and the Sun as well as the orbital structure of asteroid inclinations and number density of objects – yellow represents the highest number density, blue the lowest. The structure of the belt is divided by unstable regions, seen most prominently at 2.5 and 2.8 astronomical units. Image credit: F. E. DeMeo & B. Carry.


The new map suggests that the early Solar System may have undergone dramatic changes before the planets assumed their current alignment.

Jupiter may have drifted closer to the Sun, dragging with it a host of asteroids that originally formed in the colder edges of the Solar System, before moving back out to its current position. Jupiter’s migration may have simultaneously knocked around more close-in asteroids, scattering them outward.

“It’s like Jupiter bowled a strike through the asteroid belt,” said Dr DeMeo, who is the first author of a paper published in the journal Nature.

“Everything that was there moves, so you have this melting pot of material coming from all over the Solar System.”

The astronomers said the map will help them flesh out theories of how the Solar System evolved early in its history. - Sci-News.



FIRE IN THE SKY: Bright Flash Arouses Speculation In Finland - Could It Have Been A Meteorite?!

February 03, 2014 - FINLAND - Separate fireball observations early Sunday morning have caused some to wonder whether a meteorite may have landed in Finland. The Ursa Astronomical Association says a meteorite hasn't been recovered in Finland for decades.


A fireball camera recorded a bright flash early Sunday morning in Helsinki’s Pukinmäki district.
Photo: Esko Lyytinen/Ursa


Ursa's Marko Pekkola says that as of yet, there is no certainty whether the flash was the result of a fireball, but the presumption is strong.

"We only see two or three fireballs that bright each year. Finland hasn't collected a meteorite that has fallen to the Earth in over 40 years, so it would be fantastically great to find one," he says.

Cloud lightening or fireball?

A fireball is formed when an object falls to the Earth from space, for example, when a stone the size of a fist reaches the Earth's atmosphere. The flash on Sunday morning was captured by two different fireball cameras, one in Helsinki and the other in Siuntio.

The flash could also have been caused by cloud lightning, but the people at Ursa says it is doubtful because cloud lightning does not usually appear as widely as the light phenomenon observed on Sunday. Observations made in Lohja saw the fireball even more distinctly, as the weather was clearer there. No meteorite search parties have been organised, however.

"A very rough preliminary model suggests a trajectory towards the Porvoo or Sipoo archipelago, but our indications are really so obscure that we can't rely on them to find it," says Pekkola.

Difficult terrain and sparse population inhibit the search

Pekkola says Finland is a difficult country for finding fallen meteorites.

"We have broad areas that are virtually uninhabited and people aren't spending extended periods out and about in nature anymore. This, plus a difficult terrain of marshes, lakes, forests and lots of undergrowth, means that things are very hard to find."

And even if someone found the meteorite, it is not entirely clear if he or she could keep it.

"The Museum of Natural History would probably offer a finder's fee, but there's no saying if you get to keep a meteorite if you find one," says Pekkola. - YLE.



GLOBAL ECONOMIC MELTDOWN: Imminent Global Financial Collapse - Currency Crisis At Chinese Banks "Could Trigger Global Meltdown;" EU Must Be Able To ‘Resolve’ A Bad Bank In A Weekend; And Is Your Money Safe At The Bank, An Economist Says "NO" And Withdraw His!

February 03, 2014 - GLOBAL ECONOMY -  The growing problems in the Chinese banking system could spill over into a wider financial crisis, one of the most respected analysts of China’s lenders has warned.

Currency Crisis At Chinese Banks "Could Trigger Global Meltdown"
Fears are growing that the build-up of foreign borrowing by the Chinese, particularly in US dollars, is creating
an even greater build-up of risk than that seen before the crisis of 2008  Photo: Reuters


Charlene Chu, a former senior analyst at Fitch in Beijing and now the head of Asian research at Autonomous Research, said the rapid expansion of foreign-currency borrowing meant a crisis in China’s financial system was becoming a bigger risk for international banks.

“One of the reasons why the situation in China has been so stable up to this point is that, unlike many emerging markets, there is very, very little reliance on foreign funding. As that changes, it obviously increases their vulnerability to swings in foreign investor appetite,” said Ms Chu in an interview with The Telegraph.

Ms Chu has been warning since 2009 about the growth of a shadow banking system in China that has helped fuel the credit expansion seen in the country in the wake of the Western financial crisis.

However, fears are growing that the build-up of foreign borrowing by the Chinese, particularly in US dollars, is creating an even greater build-up of risk than that seen before the crisis of 2008.

Figures published by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) in October showed foreign currency loans booked in China, as well as cross-border borrowing by Chinese companies, had reached $880bn (£535bn) as of March 2013, from $270bn in 2009.

Analysts say this figure is now likely to exceed $1 trillion and is continuing to grow, raising the prospect of the potentially dangerous vulnerability of the Chinese financial system to a rising dollar.

“It is very hard to work out the exposures of individual banks to the Chinese financial system, but it seems to us there are some very large numbers on some of the bank’s balance sheets,” said the analyst.

“Without a doubt, that has been on the rise [foreign currency borrowing] and was really starting to grow fast in the latter half of last year and it’s only going to continue. For the time being, it is only a fraction compared to the massive size of the financial sector, but still we’re talking about a growing amount of funding coming from offshore sources,” she said.

“You look at the exposure numbers from the BIS and the Hong Kong banks . .. you’re going to encounter a few [foreign] institutions that are going to have a sizeable exposure to China.”

George Magnus, senior independent economist at UBS, said the Chinese banking system resembled that of Japan during the 1980s in the years leading up to the country’s financial crash.

“If the dollar were to appreciate it could cause problems for those banks that have borrowed in dollars. Anywhere you have a banking system that uses a non-domestic currency, there is a possibility of a mismatch that could cause issues when the value of your liabilities runs away from you,” said Mr Magnus.

The BIS figures show foreign-currency loans are already at a decade high, though the body said there was no reason this should mean there was a “currency mismatch”. - Telegraph.



EU Must Be Able To ‘Resolve’ A Bad Bank In A Weekend
The European Union must be able to wind down a failing bank within a weekend according to Sabine
Lautenschlaeger, Germany's candidate for the board of the European Central Bank. Photo: Reuters


The European Union must be able to wind down failing banks within a weekend, according to Sabine Lautenschlaeger, Germany's candidate for a vacant seat on the European Central Bank's governing council.

"So we need a structure where it is possible to start a resolution on Friday night and to finish it on Monday morning at 1 o'clock because then Japan, Tokyo opens. That is a really important requirement," Lautenschlaeger told a European parliament committee in Strasbourg.

Lautenschlaeger was showing her support for a European Resolution Mechanism and its common fund to the committee.

"I don't have a better solution for you with respect to the structure of decision-making," she said.

Lautenschlaeger is hoping to replace Jörg Asmussen who left the ECB to join Chancellor Angela Merkel's new government.

The European banking union is built on three pillars: the European Central Bank (ECB) acts as supervisor for troubled institutions (the Single Supervisory Mechanism); a resolution regime shuts down failed banks (Single Resolution Mechanism); a €100,000 deposit guarantee protects consumers (Deposit Guarantee Scheme).

It seeks to avoid chaotic meltdowns, such as happened in Cyprus where failing institutions almost bankrupted the country and led to a €10bn (£8.35bn, $13.7bn) bailout loan from the European Commission, ECB, and International Monetary Fund (IMF).

It also aims to prevent billions of euros being ploughed into failed institutions to bail them out.

However, taxpayers in Germany fear that they would be the ones most likely to foot the bill and prop up weak banks in cash-strapped, peripheral eurozone nations. - IBT.]



Is Your Money Safe At The Bank, An Economist Says "NO" And Withdraw His
The Fed policies of Ben Bernanke and Janet Yellen, who begins her term Feb. 1, are making former Harvard
economist Terry Burnham withdraw his money from Bank of America. Photo by Davis Turner/Getty Images.


Terry Burnham, former Harvard economics professor, author of “Mean Genes” and “Mean Markets and Lizard Brains,” provocative poster on this page and long-time critic of the Federal Reserve, argues that the Fed’s efforts to strengthen America’s banks have perversely weakened them. (See our 2005 segment with Burnham below about how “lizard brains” influence our economic decisions.)

Last week I had over $1,000,000 in a checking account at Bank of America. Next week, I will have $10,000.

Why am I getting in line to take my money out of Bank of America? Because of Ben Bernanke and Janet Yellen, who officially begins her term as chairwoman on Feb. 1.

Before I explain, let me disclose that I have been a stopped clock of criticism of the Federal Reserve for half a decade. That’s because I believe that when the Fed intervenes in markets, it has two effects — both negative. First, it decreases overall wealth by distorting markets and causing bad investment decisions. Second, the members of the Fed become reverse Robin Hoods as they take from the poor (and unsophisticated) investors and give to the rich (and politically connected). These effects have been noticed; a Gallup poll taken in the last few days reports that only the richest Americans support the Fed. (See the table.)




Why do I risk starting a run on Bank of America by withdrawing my money and presuming that many fellow depositors will read this and rush to withdraw too? Because they pay me zero interest. Thus, even an infinitesimal chance Bank of America will not repay me in full, whenever I ask, switches the cost-benefit conclusion from stay to flee.

Let me explain: Currently, I receive zero dollars in interest on my $1,000,000. The reason I had the money in Bank of America was to keep it safe. However, the potential cost to keeping my money in Bank of America is that the bank may be unwilling or unable to return my money.

They will not be able to return my money if:

Customers wait in line at the IndyMac Bank branch headquarters
in Pasadena, Calif., in July 2008. Joshua Lott/Bloomberg News
• Many other depositors like you get in line before me. Banks today promise everyone that they can have their money back instantaneously, but the bank does not actually have enough money to pay everyone at once because they have lent most of it out to other people — 90 percent or more. Thus, banks are always at risk for runs where the depositors at the front of the line get their money back, but the depositors at the back of the line do not. Consider this image from a fully insured U.S. bank, IndyMac in California, just five years ago.

• Some of the investments of Bank of America go bust. Because Bank of America has loaned out the vast majority of depositors’ money, if even a small percentage of its loans go bust, the firm is at risk for bankruptcy. Leverage, combined with some bad investments, caused the failure of Lehman Brothers in 2008 and would have caused the failure of Bank of America, AIG, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, Bear Stearns, and many more institutions in 2008 had the government not bailed them out.

In recent days, the chances for trouble at Bank of America have become more salient because of woes in the emerging markets, particularly Argentina, Turkey, Russia and China. The emerging market fears caused the Dow Jones Industrial Average to lose more than 500 points over the last week.

Returning to my money now entrusted to Bank of America, market turmoil reminded me that this particular trustee is simply not safe. Or not safe enough, given the fact that safety is the reason I put the money there at all. The market turmoil could threaten “BofA” with bankruptcy today as it did in 2008, and as banks have experienced again and again over time.

If the chance that Bank of America will not return my money is, say, a mere 1 percent, then the expected cost to me is 1 percent of my million, or $10,000. That far exceeds the interest I receive, which, I hardly need remind depositors out there, is a cool $0. Even a 0.1 percent chance of loss has an expected cost to me of $1,000. Bank of America pays me the zero interest rate because the Federal Reserve has set interest rates to zero. Thus my incentive to leave at the first whiff of instability.

Surely, you say, the federal government is going to keep its promises, at least on insured deposits. Yes, the Federal Government (via the FDIC) insures deposits in most institutions up to $250,000. But there is a problem with this insurance. The FDIC currently has far less money in its fund than it has insured deposits: as of Sept. 1, about $41 billion in reserve against $6 trillion in insured deposits. (There are over $9 trillion on deposit at U.S. banks, by the way, so more than $3 trillion in deposits is completely uninsured.)

It’s true, of course, that when the FDIC fund risks running dry, as it did in 2009, it can go back to other parts of the federal government for help. I expect those other parts will make the utmost efforts to oblige. But consider the possibility that they may be in crisis at the very same time, for the very same reasons, or that it might take some time to get approval. Remember that Congress voted against the TARP bailout in 2008 before it relented and finally voted for the bailout.

Thus, even insured depositors risk loss and/or delay in recovering their funds. In most time periods, these risks are balanced against the reward of getting interest. Not so long ago, Bank of America would have paid me $1,000 a week in interest on my million dollars. If I were getting $1,000 a week, I might bear the risks of delay and default. However, today I am receiving $0.

So my cash is leaving Bank of America.

But if Bank of America is not safe, you must be wondering, where can you and I put our money? No path is without risk, but here are a few options.

1 Keep some cash at home, though admittedly this runs the risk of loss or setting yourself up as a target for criminals.

2 Put some cash in a safety box. There is an urban myth that this is illegal; my understanding is that cash in a safety box is legal. However, I can imagine scenarios where capital controls are placed on safety deposit box withdrawals. And suppose the bank is shut down and you can’t get to the box?

3 Pay your debts. You don’t need to be Suze Orman to know that you need liquidity, so do not use all your cash to pay debts. However, you can use some surplus, should you have any.

4 Prepay your taxes and some other obligations. Subject to the same caveat about liquidity, pay ahead. Make sure you only pay safe entities. Your local government is not going away, even in a depression, so, for example, you can prepay property taxes. (I would check with a tax accountant on the implications, however.)

5 Find a safer bank. Some local, smaller banks are much safer than the “too-big-to-fail banks.” After its mistake of letting Lehman fail, the government has learned that it must try to save giant institutions. However, the government may not be able to save all failing institutions immediately and simultaneously in a crisis. Thus, depositors in big banks face delays and defaults in the event of a true crisis. (It is important to find the right small bank; I believe all big banks are fragile, while some small banks are robust.)

Someone should start a bank (or maybe someone has) that charges (rather than pays) interest and does not make loans. Such a bank would be a good example of how Fed actions create unintended outcomes that defeat their goals. The Fed wants to stimulate lending, but an anti-lending bank could be quite successful. I would be a customer.

(Interestingly, there was a famous anti-lending bank and it was also a “BofA” — the Bank of Amsterdam, founded in 1609. The Dutch BofA charged customers for safe-keeping, did not make loans and did not allow depositors to get their money out immediately. Adam Smith discusses this BofA favorably in his “Wealth of Nations,” published in 1776. Unfortunately — and unbeknownst to Smith — the Bank of Amsterdam had starting secretly making risky loans to ventures in the East Indies and other areas, just like any other bank. When these risky ventures failed, so did the BofA.)

My point is that the Federal Reserve’s actions have myriad, unanticipated, negative consequences. Over the last week, we saw the impact on the emerging markets. The Fed had created $3 trillion of new money in the last five-plus years — three times more than in its entire prior history. A big chunk of that $3 trillion found its way, via private investors and institutions, into risky, emerging markets.

Now that the Fed is reducing (“tapering”) its new money creation (now down to $65 billion a month, or $780 billion a year, as of Wednesday’s announcement), investments are flowing out of risky areas. Some of these countries are facing absolute crises, with Argentina’s currency plummeting by more than 20 percent in under one month. That means investments in Argentina are worth 20 percent less in dollar terms than they were a month ago, even if they held their price in Pesos.

The Fed did not plan to impoverish investors by inducing them to buy overpriced Argentinian investments, of course, but that is one of the costly consequences of its actions. If you lost money in emerging markets over the last week, at one level, it is your responsibility. However, it is not crazy for you to blame the Fed for creating volatile prices that made investing more difficult.

Similarly, if you bought gold at the peak of almost $2,000 per ounce, you have lost one-third of your money; you share the blame for your golden losses with Alan Greenspan, Ben Bernanke and Janet Yellen. They removed the opportunities for safe investments and forced those with liquid assets to scramble for what safety they thought they could find. Furthermore, the uncertainty caused by the Fed has caused many assets to swing wildly in value, creating winners and losers.

The Fed played a role in the recent emerging markets turmoil. Next week, they will cause another crisis somewhere else. Eventually, the absurd effort to create wealth through monetary policy will unravel in the U.S. as it has every other time it has been tried from Weimar Germany to Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe.

Even after the Fed created the housing problems, we would have been better of with a small 2009 depression rather than the larger depression that lies ahead. See my Making Sen$e posts “The Stockholm Syndrome and Printing Money” and “Ben Bernanke as Easter Bunny: Why the Fed Can’t Prevent the Coming Crash” for the details of my argument.

Ever since Alan Greenspan intervened to save the stock market on Oct. 20, 1987, the Fed has sought to cushion every financial blow by adding liquidity. The trouble with trying to make the world safe for stupidity is that it creates fragility.

Bank of America and other big banks are fragile — and vulnerable to bank runs — because the Fed has set interest rates to zero. If a run gathers momentum, the government will take steps to stem it. But I am convinced they have limited ammunition and unlimited problems.

What is the solution? For you, save yourself and your family. For the system, revamp the Federal Reserve. The simplest first step would be to end the dual mandate of price stability and full employment. Price stability is enough. I favor rules over intervention. We don’t need a maestro conducting monetary policy; we need a system that promotes stability and allows people (not printing presses) to make us richer. - PBS.