27 MAY 16 – Executive Intelligence Summary – Forward Observer Shop

27 MAY 16 – Executive Intelligence Summary


The National PMESII section is a break down of national- and regional-level Political, Military, Economic, Social, Infrastructure, and Information events and trends. Appendix: Collection of acronyms and definitions used.

[wcm_nonmember] In this EXSUM…

  • An overview of the impacts of the Brexit vote
  • An overview of the coming recession
  • Radio Repeater Database

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The Brexit

The United Kingdom (UK) is scheduled take a referendum vote on 23 June 2016 on whether or not to remain in the European Union (EU).  According to a daily poll tracker, remaining in the EU tends to edge out the British exit, colloquially referred to as the ‘Brexit”.  It’s a significant time for the EU, which was established in 1993, because the UK’s exit will lead to worsening financial conditions for the EU and could very well lead to its collapse.

Euroskeptics conclude that leaving the EU would be beneficial for Britain, both economically and financially because the EU has rancorous regulation that stifles British businesses.  The EU has also bought into the easy money policies of the US Federal Reserve and Keynesian economics.  And the topic of immigration and the immigrant crisis is also a highlight of the referendum.  The euroskeptics maintain that quotas mandated from Brussels, Belgium, where the EU is seated, is harmful for British citizens.  The UK is experiencing massive problems with a failure of some immigrants to assimilate into British culture (or otherwise adopt another culture aside from their own), and the refugee crisis is causing domestic unrest.  For groups like Pegida, the English Defence League, and others, Brexit quite literally means saving the United Kingdom’s national sovereignty.  For President Obama, who last month warned British voters not to support the Brexit, it means a set back for internationalist policy.  And for Russia, the Brexit means disunity in Europe and the eventual collapse of the EU, so there’s quite a bit of interest from all sides in this vote.

Six years after the US Federal Reserve began its quantitative easing program — printing money to stave off deflationary pressures — the European Central Bank (ECB) began a similar program.  And just this year, the ECB cut interest rates to their lowest levels to date (teetering in negative interest territory) and expanded its quantitative easing program, setting up Europe for short-term stability at the risk of medium- and long-term fiscal cliffs.  Sounds familiar.

As far as indicators go, the UK’s departure from the EU is likely to hasten the financial deterioration of the Eurozone, which will hasten the coming global financial reset.  The UK and Germany are the two financial stalwarts of the Eurozone, and an exit by either one of those pillars will harm the EU’s financial outlook.  I believe that the Euro reset is likely to occur before the American reset, and that’s one of my largest SHTF indicators for the States.  When the eurozone visibly begins its spiral, then we should get serious about expecting the US to follow suit.


The Coming Recession & Long-Term Economic Decline

Building off using the financial collapse of the Eurozone as an early warning indicator for the US, we’re facing a high likelihood of economic recession beginning in the next 12 months.  For the past 100 years, we’ve experienced a recession — three straight quarters of negative economic growth called contraction — every six to eight years.  Our last recession lasted from 2007-2009, and so we’re at the eight-year mark this year.  No one should be surprised if our first quarter of economic contraction occurs this year.  In 2008, we saw that the US recession and collapse of Lehman Brothers lead to global economic disaster, and it’s not safe to expect any difference in effects during this coming recession.  That means that our recession is again going to effect large parts of the world that are connected or dependent on our financial well-being.

But beyond the next recession, the US is still going to experience massive fiscal problems over the long-term due to the inversion of productivity.  One area we’re already seeing the strains of an aging demographic is in the public pension system.  Forget the insolvency of social security, and focus on states like California, Illinois, New Jersey, Kentucky, Connecticut and a number of others that will experience shortfalls in pension funding.  These states are already floating around ideas of cutting pension benefits while increasing pension pay-ins to cover the shortfalls.  This is primarily due to two reasons: the first is the overestimation of market returns and the second is that there are fewer workers paying in.

And this problem is not just limited to the US, but to much of the Western World, and I think it’s part of the reason why most of the West has such loose immigration policies: get workers here by any means necessary who can start paying into social security and public pensions.  Economists have seen these conditions developing for decades, yet politicians have done nothing to avert these future economic problems, some of which we’re already beginning to see.

So the solution really is to identify our future needs now and begin determining how we can mitigate on a local level the impact of national economic ruin.  That might mean secession of solvent states, developing new and stronger currencies, localizing our globalized economies, and/or building resilient communities.  The US Gross Domestic Product (GDP, the measure of economic output) isn’t going to zero overnight, but we do run the risk of resembling places in Latin America with deteriorated economic conditions, some US regions especially more so than others.  And I think the danger is that we inherit that type of economy, because the government’s solution to these problems will be a combination of raising taxes and printing money.

The good thing is that we can identify the downward trajectory of the US economy.  The bad thing is that it’s going to affect us all, and we’re going to have to change our culture and how we live.  Those who can best adapt will fare the best.  The US quality of life is abnormally high for the world, due in part to our relative freedom, the American work ethic, and astronomic levels of natural resources, but also to the unsustainable amounts of debt that’s fueled much of our economic growth. Now for us as a nation, maintaining our freedom, work ethic, natural resources, and unsustainable debt is the difficult part.


Repeater Database

A subscriber let me know about a website called RepeaterBook, which lists known repeater frequencies.  You can look them up by zip code, city, or state, and also see them plotted on a map.  And what’s even better is that if you’re doing Intelligence Preparation of the Community overlays on GoogleEarthPro, the website will allow you to export a KML file of those repeaters.

Beginning yesterday, central Texas has in store about a week’s worth of thunderstorms, so I’ll be on my SDR tuning into those frequencies and listening in.  Go ahead and download the list of repeaters in your area, and listen in during the next emergency.



Mike Shelby is a former military intelligence NCO and contract intelligence analyst. He spent three years in Iraq and Afghanistan and is now the intelligence and warfare researcher at Forward Observer.

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