Daily Digest

Daily Digest - January 11

Monday, January 11, 2010, 11:00 AM
  • 2010 Food Crisis for Dummies
  • Time for Fed to disprove Plunge Protection Team conspiracy theory
  • Bludgeoned Commercial Real Estate Has Begun To Entice Chinese Bottom Feeders
  • Obama Administration Wants to Annuitize 401k's and IRA's - Mandatory "R Bonds"
  • China Ends U.S.’s Reign as Largest Auto Market
  • The Other Plot to Wreck America
  • Balance sheet ties Fed's hands, forecaster says
  • Chris Interviewed on Midweek Politics
  • America's Dwindling Water Supply
  • The end of consumerism - Our way of life is 'not viable'

Economy

2010 Food Crisis for Dummies (Ben Johnson)

If you read any economic, financial, or political analysis for 2010 that doesn’t mention the food shortage looming next year, throw it in the trash, as it is worthless. There is overwhelming, undeniable evidence that the world will run out of food next year.

Time for Fed to disprove Plunge Protection Team conspiracy theory (Ben Johnson)

Charles Biderman, chief executive of TrimTabs Investment Research, is the latest and most credible person to charge that the Federal Reserve and the Treasury (in league with top Wall Street firms) is rigging the stock market on a daily basis.

Bludgeoned Commercial Real Estate Has Begun To Entice Chinese Bottom Feeders (Ben Johnson)

This is a good sign: disastrous US commercial real estate market is finally getting low enough to attract Chinese "bottom feeders." Of course, there will be plenty of bottom feeders or vultures looking for opportunity, both foreign and domestic. But cash-flush Chinese are natural buyers.

Obama Administration Wants to Annuitize 401k's and IRA's - Mandatory "R Bonds" (hucklejohn)

For some reason the Obama Administration is promoting the idea now that there should be some encouragement for Americans to start converting their 401K's and IRA's into annuities, to provide themselves with lifetime income.

China Ends U.S.’s Reign as Largest Auto Market

China supplanted the U.S. as the world’s largest auto market after its 2009 vehicle sales jumped 46 percent, ending more than a century of American dominance that started with the Model T Ford.

The nation’s sales of passenger cars, buses and trucks rose to 13.6 million, the fastest pace in at least 10 years, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. In the U.S., sales slumped 21 percent to 10.4 million, the fewest since 1982, according to Autodata Corp.

The Other Plot to Wreck America

There may not be a person in America without a strong opinion about what coulda, shoulda been done to prevent the underwear bomber from boarding that Christmas flight to Detroit. In the years since 9/11, we’ve all become counterterrorists. But in the 16 months since that other calamity in downtown New York — the crash precipitated by the 9/15 failure of Lehman Brothers — most of us are still ignorant about what Warren Buffett called

Balance sheet ties Fed's hands, forecaster says

The Federal Reserve's bloated balance sheet could become a big liability in coming years if inflationary pressures explode, a top forecaster warns.

"They've created a monster that they don't fully appreciate," said Ray Stone, chief economist at Stone & McCarthy Research and the winner of the December Forecaster of the Month award from MarketWatch. "They have a portfolio management problem."

Stone, 59, was the most accurate forecaster among 44 economists on 10 key economic indicators released in December.

Chris Interviewed on Midweek Politics (video)

Chris Martenson from PeakProsperity.com joins Midweek Politics with David Pakman live to discuss the economy, alternative energy development, green jobs, his transition out of corporate America, and more.

Part I (9 min)

Part II (8 min)

Part III (4min)

Environment

America's Dwindling Water Supply

Scientists have never measured the exact amount of water available in the U.S., but they're concerned enough that they've just launched a new government study to find out.

Experts do agree: Demand is greater than supply. And 36 states face water shortages in the next three years.

Every day Arizona and parts of New Mexico use 300 million gallons more than they get in renewable supply. The extra comes from underground supplies which are not renewable. How much water's underground? When could it run out? No one knows. And clearly that is a problem.

The end of consumerism: Our way of life is 'not viable'

The stark warning comes from the renowned Worldwatch Institute, a Washington-based organisation regarded as the world's pre-eminent environmental think tank.

Its State of the World 2010 report published this week outlines a blueprint for changing our entire way of life. "Preventing the collapse of human civilisation requires nothing less than a wholesale transformation of dominant cultural patterns. This transformation would reject consumerism... and establish in its place a new cultural framework centred on sustainability," states the report.

"Habits that are firmly set – from where people live to what they eat – will all need to be altered and in many cases simplified or minimised... From Earth's perspective, the American or even the European way of life is simply not viable."

20 Comments

saxplayer00o1's picture
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Re: Daily Digest - January 11

(Reuters)

""We are ... talking about actions right now to jump-start job creation," White House Council of Economic Advisers Chairwoman Christina Romer said on CNN's "State of the Union.

"You don't get your budget deficit under control at a 10 percent unemployment rate," she said.

Beating back unemployment will be a key yardstick by which U.S. voters will measure Obama's success in November congressional elections and will go a long way to determining his own long-term political future."

""After enduring the most brutal year in the history of Bay Area public transit systems, train and bus operators are barreling down a track toward bankruptcy."

BART has lost $32 million in sales tax revenue in the past 12 months, and it has seen $129 million in state subsidies disappear in the last three years.

The problems of rising costs, vanishing state subsidies and declining tax revenues are shared by all 28 of the area's transit agencies. Without fundamental changes, they project a cumulative budget shortfall in 25 years of $8.5 billion, and a capital projects deficit of $17.2 billion.

In other words, as a report by the regional Metropolitan Transportation Commission concluded, their current track leads to bankruptcy."

Update: CNBC: “I Guess You Can Use the Word Ponzi Scheme”

"At their peak, these roaring engines of economic activity employed hundreds of thousands of people, mostly well-paid union members on the assembly line and white-collar engineers in windowed offices above the factory floor.

Those 128 plants had a payroll of 196,000 workers at the time they closed. Today, only 36,500 people work at those sites that have been redeveloped, and at only three of the revived plants does the number of employees match or exceed the number in their carmaking past. The rest are concrete prairies or steel behemoths waiting for reuse or a wrecking ball, most without any real prospects for new use."

.................4A) LaHood: Auto bailouts were a good investment Undecided

"DETROIT (MarketWatch) -- U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood kicked off the Detroit auto show on Monday by telling reporters that the government's commitment to the car industry was "a good investment of taxpayer dollars." He said that the Tea Party protesters, slated to voice their disapproval of the federal aid to automakers outside Cobo Hall later in the day, are failing to see the big picture. "This industry would not be seeing the bright future it's seeing today if it weren't for the government's involvement," he said."

"About one-quarter of metro Phoenix's rentable office space, or nearly 20 million square feet, sat vacant at the end of 2009, according to Phoenix-based Cassidy Turley/BRE Commercial - formerly Grubb & Ellis - the Valley's largest commercial property broker. "

"A customer walks into a high-end retail store and inquires about the most expensive item in the shop. Initially, he balks at the asking price.

“Is that the best you can do?” he asks.

“That depends,” says the store owner. “Can you pay cash?”

“What difference does that make?” asks the customer.

“Well,” says the owner, quickly scanning the store before leaning in close and whispering: “If you pay cash, I’m not going to charge you the sales tax.”

Unfortunately for the store owner, the customer is really an undercover investigator with the state Department of Taxation and Finance. The merchant will soon learn this when the investigator returns with a search warrant from the local district attorney’s office, authorizing a search for the true business records, the ones not reported to the IRS."

"A new report that reviewed 200 years of economic data from 44 nations has reached an ominous conclusion for the world's largest economy: Almost without exception, countries that are as highly indebted as the United States is today grow at sub-par rates.

The report, "Growth in a Time of Debt," was written by two respected academic researchers who recently published a thick book on eight centuries of economic crises.

The study by Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff - well-regarded economists from the University of Maryland and Harvard University, respectively - found statistical breaks at different points in the relationship between a country's national debt and its gross domestic product. GDP is the broadest measure of a country's trade in goods and services.

When a nation's debt exceeds 60 percent of its GDP, its growth rate slows precipitously, the study found. When that ratio exceeds 90 percent, nations' economies barely grow, and can even contract."

"By my count of the state's WARN (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification) Act figures, we're looking at approximately 7,700 layoffs in the Bay Area and Northern California in the next couple of months. The number does not include companies with fewer than 100 employees, which are exempt from the act, as are most companies planning to lay off fewer than 50 workers. The number could also change, either way, as more employers covered by the act give the mandated 60-days notice of planned layoffs, or if some of the listed layoffs have already occurred. "

(tech/ticker on Yahoo Finance News)

"We never thought we'd be buying companies like AIG, we never thought we'd own parts of General Motors," he tells Aaron in the accompanying clip. "The government's never done these things before."

Celente believes the bailouts have just postponed a depression -- not prevented one: "The hand may change but the game doesn't change." "

"PHOENIX -- Arizona state legislators go back to work Monday in an attempt to battle the nearly $1.5 billion dollar deficit.

"The February school payment we can't make, February payroll there's no money there," said State Treasurer, Dean Martin.

Martin said unless the capitol buildings are sold before the end of the month, there will be no more money meaning, "If they continue to issue checks without having money from the sale of the buildings, I have to bounce them."

That's because Martin said spending has increased double digits during the first two years of the recession, while revenues were dropping at the same rate."

"In Riverside County, Calif., the nation's 11th-most economically stressed county, unemployment dipped slightly in November. But that was due mainly to seasonal hiring by retailers -- hiring that didn't extend past the holidays.

Likewise, unemployment in counties in Arizona and Nevada, two states hammered by the recession, also dropped in November -- but only because they lost jobseekers who moved away or gave up hope. Once people stop looking for jobs, they're no longer counted as unemployed.

"Our rate isn't going down because the economy is improving," said Jered McDonald, an economist with the state of Nevada, which has lost about 2.5 percent of its work force since September. "It's going down because people are either too discouraged to look for work or they're actually leaving the state.""

"Chris Tuffey, head of Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa debt capital markets and head of high-grade syndicate at Credit Suisse in London, said: "Frankly, any one bank that isn't a primary dealer in these markets wants to be one."

Debt issuance from European, UK and US governments this year is forecast to more than triple to a record $2.7 trillion from $708bn last year, according to a Deutsche Bank report published last month. "

"The probability of the UK facing a downgrade in its AAA credit rating is “more likely now than it has ever been”, Neil Woodford, chief of investment at Invesco Perpetual, has warned, according to a report in The Daily Telegraph, London."

"The US military commander for the Middle East and the Gulf region has confirmed that the United States has developed contingency plans to deal with Iran's nuclear facilities. "

"Gen David Petraeus, head of Central Command or Centcom, did not elaborate on the plans, but said the military has considered the impacts of any action taken there."

.................14A) US preparing military for possible Iran conflict

""We've looked to do all we can to ensure that conflict doesn't break out there, while at the same time preparing forces, as we do for many contingencies that we understand might occur," Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said during an appearance at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy."

"The ripple effects of job losses in Arizona continue: Unemployment-insurance taxes paid by Arizona businesses will rise an average of 50 percent in 2010, which could further stall hiring.

Without the tax increase, and a loan from the federal government, the state trust fund used to pay out unemployment benefits would be empty within months.

The increase translates to about $50 per employee for the year, bringing the average annual per-employee cost to about $146. For a company with 250 employees, the annual cost of the unemployment-insurance tax will rise to $36,400 from about $23,800. "

"Now that the game of Quantitative Easing is supposedly nearing an end (yeah, right), the criminals running the Obama Administration want to annuitize 401k’s and IRA’s by creating MANDATORY “R Bonds.” Oooo, R Bonds! That sounds exciting and cool, got to have that! The average American, though, and they know this, doesn’t even have a clue that the word BOND actually is just another word for DEBT. And why do you suppose that the Administration would like to force your retirement savings into DEBT? Why that would be to finance their wild and out-of-control deficit spending, of course. Is this going to be a good thing for Americans at this time, while interest rates are at ZERO? NO, there is no worse time to invest in bonds than when interest rates are artificially at zero. As rates snap back higher, bonds will fall in value. This is yet another fleecing and yet another reason why Americans should support our plan for Freedom’s Vision. It would absolutely put an end to all such nonsense."

(Here is an article about what he refers to)

"Jan. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Pacific Investment Management Co., which runs the world’s biggest bond fund, said the Bank of Japan may need to sell yen or buy long-term government bonds in “unlimited amounts” to combat deflation."

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Re: Daily Digest - January 11

As a licensed financial advisor, I can say that the idea of a forced IRA/401k annuity by the obama administration is such a terrible idea.  Anyone that is sucked into it will feel the pain of higher interest rates in the future along with depletion of purchasing power of assets due to inflation. 

Over the long term (thousands of years), gold has held it's value.  All fiat paper currencies didn't...why are people so ignorant.

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Re: Daily Digest - January 11

The "2010 Food Crisis for Dummies" article / blog may be a bit sensationalist with its language, but there is a lot of good information there.

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Re: Daily Digest - January 11

Can They Do That? How You Get Screwed at Work

http://www.alternet.org/story/145035/can_they_do_that_how_you_get_screwed_at_work

Many employers now conduct extensive investigations into prospective employees. If you've ever been arrested, you probably won't get the job, even if you weren't found guilty. If your credit history is spotty, it can cost you a job, even if the job has nothing to do with handling money. Other employers turn down people because of their driving record, even for jobs that don't involve driving. And even if your background is spotless, you can still lose your job because the information broker gets you mixed up with somebody else with a similar name.

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Re: Daily Digest - January 11

Hi Everyone,

I'd just like to thank Jeanine at the Daily Digest-- and everyone else who took the time to say thanks on Friday and many other times -- for all your kind and generous words. It's very much appreciated. I sincerely thank you.

I came here because of Chris's 'Crash Course.'  I stayed and continued learning because of the wealth of information available due to the ongoing efforts of everyone here--including Saxplayer, Davos, members of the CM team who take time out of their busy lives, working behind the scenes to keep this site up and running, and each and every person who contributes to the Daily Digest.

We each have our own special gifts and talents, and IMHO, we all have something valuable to contribute or share. It only takes a minute or two, to send in a link and an excerpt from an article you find interesting, and chances are, if you find it interesting, so will many other people. I think it's a great way to support Dr. M and everyone here who strive to make this community all it can be.

Pinecarr, I nominate you for the position of 'Head of the Welcome Committee.'  Embarassed These are serious issues we are discussing and the information can be overwhelming at times, not to mention, stressful and even downright depressing. So, to me, Pinecarr, your authenticity, unpretentiousness, friendly nature, upbeat attitude, support and encouragement, enthusiasm for learning, and willingness to share, all make you one of the most valuable members of this entire community. You are a team player and a joy to be around. I'll miss you.

Jeanine, thanks for your patience in having to translate my occasional emails due to my 'word-finding' difficulties caused by SLE and APS. After just a few days of bedrest, my communication abilities have already begun to return. I'm sure I'll find some interesting articles to submit when I'm feeling better.

A special thanks to all who continue to contribute on a regular basis. I look forward to your articles--as do all of us here-- each and every day.

All the best,
Melissa aka M.W.

 

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Re: Daily Digest - January 11

1) Fitch Sees Threats to U.S. Rating

"Fitch Ratings affirmed its AAA rating on the U.S., saying a ratings change is unlikely soon due to the dollar's role as a global reserve currency and the demand for U.S. Treasurys by foreign investors.

Amid rising concerns among investors and criticism from the Republican party about a ballooning budget deficit, Fitch's big support to the U.S. comes with a caveat: the U.S. government faces medium-term fiscal challenges in the light of growing debt and falling revenues. "

"Fitch added that the U.S. external debt burden, its current account deficit and the high share of non-resident holdings of government debt "increase the potential for volatility in U.S. asset prices if foreign investors were to become concerned about public debt sustainability or risks to the credibility of the monetary policy framework." "

"Politicians are taking bolder actions to influence monetary policy, signaling that the global financial crisis may end up reining in the independence of many central banks.

In the past week, a policy standoff prompted Argentina's president to fire the country's central-bank chief -- who was reinstated the next day by a court order. In South Korea, the government sent a political official to a central-bank policy meeting for the first time in a decade. Officials at central banks including the Federal Reserve say they worry that similar political challenges are heading their way."

"Jan. 11 (Bloomberg) -- The Federal Reserve will ask a U.S. appeals court to block a ruling that for the first time would force the central bank to reveal secret identities of financial firms that might have collapsed without the largest government bailout in U.S. history.

Bloomberg argues that the public has the right to know basic information” about the “unprecedented and highly controversial use” of public money. Banks and the Fed warn that bailed-out lenders may be hurt if the documents are made public, causing a run or a sell-off by investors. Disclosure may hamstring the Fed’s ability to deal with another crisis, they also argued. The lower court agreed with Bloomberg."

 

.............This one is for Bernanke and the bankers.

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Re: Daily Digest - January 11

BBC interview with Eliot Spitzer:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/business/2010/01/100111_spitzer_av.shtml

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Re: Daily Digest - January 11

Excellent videos with Chris, thanks for posting the links.

DavidC

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Re: Daily Digest - January 11

America's dwindling water supplies. LOL

No one ever went broke underestimating the stupidity of the American people. Millions move to a p lace with no water then wonder why there is no water. The American SW is a desert it does not have enough water or food to supply the population that is there. We the sheeple will be called upon to bailout idiots who live in areas that rely on huge inputs of energy and external sources of water.

The same goes for people living along the coasts and in flood plains. If you ever wonder why   your insurance is so high take a look at where idiots continue to build. 

In Florida the wealthy have managed to live in high rise condos on the coast and every person who pays any kind of insurance pays a premium for them to have that privilege.

There was a time when people lived in harmony with nature. That time has past but is now rapidly returning. Civilizations grew up where there was fertile land and plentiful water. Small bands of nomads inhabited deserts.

This has all been made possible by cheap energy and government subsidies. 

I can here the rooster crowing the chickens are coming home to roost.

I suggest everyone look seriously at your local ecosphere. 

Also watch the video Blue Gold. It is not for nothing the big banks and 

corporations are taking over water.

 

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Re: Daily Digest - January 11

Make no mistake, if either the US or Israel bombs Iran, it'll be WWIII....

For starters, Iran has a couple of hundred Russian Cruise Missiles that fly at mach III six feet above the sea, taking evasive action right on approach of target, and it could sink the entire US fifth fleet in the Persian Gulf, no sweat.....

If that doesn't start something big, well I'm damned if I know what will...

Mike

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Re: Daily Digest - January 11

FWIW, Dr. Chris got a shout-out from Kunstler in his weekly diatribe today:

JHK wrote:

Six Months To Live?  By James Howard Kunstler   on January 11, 2010 7:04 AM

The economy that is. Especially the part that consists of swapping paper certificates. That's the buzz I've gotten the first two weeks of 2010, and forgive me for not presenting a sheaf of charts and graphs to make the case. Just about everybody else yakking about these thing on the Web provides plenty of statistical analysis: MISHTHE AUTOMATIC EARTHCHRIS MARTENSONZERO HEDGETHE BASELINE SCENARIO.... They're all well worth visiting.

That's some fine company!

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Re: Daily Digest - January 11

I want to thank Melissa for some fine work (get better!), Saxplayer for his incredible daily efforts, as well as Ben, Huckleplayer, Nickbert, Claire, Robert, Davos, Mooselick, Atlas, Pat, E.S., Lauren, Robert, Pinecarr, Dorrian, nncita, and everybody else who has contributed to the DD in prior weeks. 

Thank you!

I have several sites that are on my 'daily tour' for news and have been for years and I am proud to note that the tenor, quality and composition of the news links found here has made the DD my top daily stop.  And I am not just saying that like some proud parent talking about their child.  Well, maybe I am, but if so I am completely blinkered - the DD is a gem. 

 

 

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Latest Predictions for the Fourth Turning

Latest Predictions for the Fourth Turning

 

From Neil Howe's Blog (Lifecourse Blog):

In our book,  The Fourth Turning, we describe the cycle of American history in terms of “Turnings” We are currently in The Fourth Turning, the Crisis, which arises in response to sudden threats that previously would have been ignored or deferred, but which are now perceived as dire. Great worldly perils boil off the clutter and complexity of life, leaving behind one simple imperative: The society must prevail. This requires a solid public consensus, aggressive institutions, and personal sacrifice.

Here are some trends we have been monitoring as we enter the new year:

Mr. Howe's post is too long to post here but worth a look.

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Re: Daily Digest - January 11

Thanks for the kind words, Swt Melissa!  You too, Chris; I am honored to be mentioned amongst such fine company. 

Swt Melissa, I'm glad to hear you're starting to feel better after getting some rest.   I really do home we continue to see you, around the threads.  Come out and play!

Chris, I agree that the DD is a gem!  When life gets too busy to surf  the web, I know I can fall back on the DD to keep me in touch with a lot of what's going on.  Hmmm....sounds like resilence:)

Gotta go keep my New Year's resolution (to the trainer bike!!)

best,

pinecarr

 

 

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Re: Daily Digest - January 11

Federal Reserve earned $45 billion in 2009

"Much of the higher earnings came about because of the Fed's aggressive program of buying bonds, aiming to push interest rates down across the economy and thus stimulate growth. By the end of 2009, the Fed owned $1.8 trillion in U.S. government debt and mortgage-related securities, up from $497 billion a year earlier. The interest income on those investments was a major source of Fed profits -- though that income comes with risks, as the central bank could lose money if it later sells those securities to reduce the money supply. "

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Re: Daily Digest - January 11

 

http://market-ticker.denninger.net/archives/1842-Geithner-Must-Go.html

Listen closely to Ratigan on MSNBC (at about the 3:30 minute mark).  "What one blogger dubbed 'The Christmas Eve Taxpayer Massacre.'"

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Re: Daily Digest - January 11

Hey V,

You said:

"No one ever went broke underestimating the stupidity of the American people. Millions move to a p lace with no water then wonder why there is no water. The American SW is a desert it does not have enough water or food to supply the population that is there. We the sheeple will be called upon to bailout idiots who live in areas that rely on huge inputs of energy and external sources of water."

Common misperception about Californians; I don't blame you, as I often have trouble finding another "Native"...

Some of us were actually born here, and some of us decided that Harvard had nothing on Hastings, SIO was in a league of its own, and it's nice to be able to wear shorts on Christmas.

Thus, we stay, simmer, and seeth. But don't expect that we won't play a part in what is about to happen in D.C. and on Wall Street, as we've (?)  understood the Gordian orgy between Wall Street and D.C. since the late 80's. You ever wonder who profited--and how--from the '87 crash. You're about to learn, 'cause the Fed is going to Fall; you heard it here first. Call it speculation. Call it hubris. Call it retired Wall Street executives that live all around me in the hills of La Jolla; senile old farts who, in their drunken, old-age dementia, assume that the stories they tell render them some kind of heroes...

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Re: Daily Digest - January 11

Headless

You weRe born there but you do not have to stay there.

You are only able to be there along with other millions because 

LA steals it's water from elsewhwere. My post was strictly in regard to where people choose to live. The DD had an article on water being in short supply. Golf was a game that was born on the links where grass grows naturally. It is unnatural to grow grass in the desert and mother nature will very soon return things to there natural state ie. no grass, no water, and very few people.

I am sure you will play a part in the drama to unfold. I fully expect to see you one day with a pirchfork and I will be right .......behind you LOL

V

ps I would love to play sand golf one day

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Re: Daily Digest - January 11

V,

You're absolutely right about "stealing water from elsewhere," and I blame it all on the Beach Boys and their damn music (20 million people have come out here looking to "land" a California girl): when I was growing up, we got our water from a well and you could hunt quail on your own property. Hell, we had a pool that was 10 feet deep, the walls of which were made of rive rocks, and which we filled up every summer by carrying buckets of water (one-by-one) from that well. 

As for "pitchforks": traded those in; as for being "right...behind" me, good idea, considering what we replaced the pitchforks with.

Bet you didn't know there's an underground  rifle range not 100 yards from La Jolla Shores beach...(amazing what a little stolen wealth of the middle class will buy...)

By the way, don't get the wrong impression: it's not my wealth; I take pride in owning nothing other than what I think I'm going to need in the waning years of the the failed social experiment known as America.

As for wanting to "play sand golf one day,"  it's not as enjoyable as you seem to think it would be; I can attest to that, and so can my older brother--who gets one of my clubs wrapped around his head everytime he distracts me on my backswing...

 

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Re: Daily Digest - January 11
Damnthematrix wrote:

Make no mistake, if either the US or Israel bombs Iran, it'll be WWIII....

For starters, Iran has a couple of hundred Russian Cruise Missiles that fly at mach III six feet above the sea, taking evasive action right on approach of target, and it could sink the entire US fifth fleet in the Persian Gulf, no sweat.....

If that doesn't start something big, well I'm damned if I know what will...

Mike

Mike -

I'll spot you your level of knowledge wrt permaculture, sustainable living and energy efficient construction, but on this..........

The variant of the SS-N-20 SUNBURN cruise missile sold to Iran is not the same variant that is in the Russian inventory.  Iran purchased 8 of these missiles and they range in age from 10 years for the newest to almost 14 years for the oldest.  It is not nuclear tipped, and yeah, it's a nit, but MACH 2.5 tops.

8, as in Eight.  The same number of unopposable digits on a human (unless you are Jerry Garcia, then it's 7 1/2)

Not "hundreds"

The "hundreds" of ASCMs in Iran's inventory are EXOCET like and over 20 years old, with a maximum employment range of perhaps 50 miles.  They do have some slightly newer SS-N-22 YAKHONTs purchased from the FSU (Ukraine if memory serves me correctly) and some Chinese C-802 ASCMs.  MACH .9 tops.

While these weapons do pose a degree of threat, they most assuredly could NOT "sink the entire us fifth fleet in the Persian Gulf, no sweat...."  Most of them don't have sufficient range to engage any of our ships unless they are in the Strait of Hormuz and trust me, we don't deploy Carrier Strike Groups in straits.

I'm not sure where you got your information from but I can unequivocally say that you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.  I've been there, I know. 

But, hyperbole does make interesting reading for the uninformed.

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