…and Nostradamus

In Predictions for 2010 and in the two yearly almanacs preceding it, I warned that the Great Global Recession foreseen for 2008 would be followed by a two-year probation period where systemic flaws in the world’s economic systems must be corrected. If there was not the political will and intestinal fortitude to do so, there would then be a new economic crisis by the autumn of 2010. In its worse case scenario, the crisis will bring about an inflationary global depression the likes of which has not been seen since brownshirts with swastika arm bands harangued the huddled lines of the unemployed in post-First World War Germany.

In April 2010, the government of Greece, faced with a debt percentage to GDP of 112.6% and a budget deficit four times the allowed limit of the EU, running nearly 13% of GDP, squealed for a bailout that may add up to hundreds of billions of Euros from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

Then came a real May-Day alarm: The sound of 11 million Greeks squealing in pain from Athens imposing severe austerity measures to pay for the bailout loan by financially “butchering” public sector wages pensions, salaries and throwing out a drag net on a citizenry used to playing in the national pastime of tax evasion.

The first week of May 2010 saw the Greek people go to the streets in violent demonstrations with banks set on fire. Images of social order unraveling on the streets of Athens sent world stock exchanges plummeting as investors anticipate Greece may be the first of more PIIGGS to be financially skinned and slaughtered. PIIGGS is an acronym for Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, Great Britain and Spain — those member nations of the European Union who after a decade of overspending are poised to fall into a catastrophic debt crisis:

Fears of a widespread destabilization of the Euro zone caused wild trading on the Dow Jones on the first Thursday of May which at one time experienced the biggest point single-day decline history (-998.50) before rebounding to close at a nasty if relatively positive shot in the financial shorts of -347.80. Fears grow that after Greece, Portugal with a debt as percentage of GDP running at 77.4% tied to a budget deficit of GDP at around 10% is next. Then a debt bomb rains on Spain, which presently chains it GDP to a 54.3% debt and 11.25% budget deficit.

America has its pork barrel government spending. Could Europe be in deeper swine dip, tossing more meager emergency reserves like pearls before PIIGGS?

There is no federal reserve in the European Union. EU bank pockets may not be deep enough to rescue many more PIIGGS beyond Greece. The runaway debt of these “Greeced” PIIGGS is hard to catch, and with Europe being America’s largest export market, there will be a direct impact on its fragile jobless recovery this summer. World economic recovery will stall in the hot and angry streets of Lisbon, Madrid and perhaps even Rome and Dublin, even, indeed, Great Britain. I predicted that this recession could threaten a breakup of the European Union back in the end of 2008 when I documented the following on page 41 of Predictions for 2009:

“The Europeans took America’s lead of bad habits and made them worse. The European Union has no federal reserve. All the economies trade in euros but are still identified in the nationalist construct. This construct if not ended in 2009 could cause Europe to suffer deep recession, even depression before any other region…

“My prediction: The threat of a breakup will happen, but in this crisis, the European Union, being closer to depression’s future than anyone else, can be the first to take the next hard step towards super-nation status. The path of European Union is the way of the future for all nations. It is the bridge to a transnational civilization prophets have foreseen enabled after many crises and false starts by the midpoint 21st century. The concept of the super-nation will be tested in this crisis to create a European federal reserve and at last move beyond national economic models into a European Model.”

Since Europe was his home and his prophecies are Euro-centric about the world, what did Nostradamus (1503-1566) foretell, if anything, about future economic debt bombs going off? Moreover, what clues to cochon, porc, pourceau are insinuated in the Renaissance French of his quatrains and prophetic letters of a seer of Salon-en-Provence, who loved to hide clues in animal metaphors?

In Century 3 Quatrain 69 of Les Propheties, pigs and lads rhyme and imagination flies:

Grand exercice conduict par iouuenceau,
Se viendra rendre aux mains des ennemis:
Mais la vieillart nay au demy pourceau,
Fera Chalon & Mascon estre amis.

Grand army led by a young lad,
It will come to surrender itself into the hands of the enemies:
But the old one born to a half pig,
He will cause Châlon and Mâcon to be friends.

Classical legend tells us the city of Milan derived its name from the discovery of a creature that was half pig and half sheep. Napoleon Bonaparte occupied Milan in the 1790s while still a young general in the Revolutionary Wars. Mâcon and Châlon were in Burgundy. Perhaps they are a synecdoche for France in general.

There is a half-pig man described in a prophecy about air fleets in 1 Q64 who speaks and chants on invisible waves of air. He is believed to be Nostradamus’ attempt in the 16th century to describe radio wave conversations of a pilot in the 20th or 21st century whose face is half covered with the “snout” of an oxygen mask. In 1997, I introduced a possible link to the porcine airman to this prophecy:

“[The] old one born to a half-pig could be the son of an airman. This places the temporal window from the 1940s onward for the father. The son, being old, one could add seventy years for the old son and sight this event for the 2010s.”

When I review the above passage 13 years later, I am reminded that the Italian Fascist Dictator Benito Mussolini was a pilot. Nostradamus called him “Duce” for his nickname, Il Duce (the Duke) He wrote about Duce’s death in Milan (6 Q31), where his body was crushed in a metaled cage (3 Q10). Mussolini was shot by Italian partisans in 1945, his lifeless body was crushed and broken by an angry crowd who strung it upside-down on the burnt cage of a bombed-out gas station in Milan.

It may be that Nostradamus sees the airman’s successor if not his literal son as the old one born to a half-pig, a double entendre for airman and Milan: the scene of the airman’s death. There is no old son of Mussolini in Italian politics but Milan has a favorite “son”, the current Prime Minister of Italy, Silvio Berlusconi (1936-). He is the longest serving Prime Minister in a century, making him a significant target for Nostradamus’ roving inner eye.

Berlusconi is not an airman but a master of the airwaves. This purported member of the Masonic neo-Fascist party, P2, built a television and media empire earning a net worth of just under $10 billion as Italy’s third richest man. He also co-founded Mediolanum, one of Italy’s biggest banking and insurance groups. With all the legal troubles Berlusconi weathers, his banking connections to the European bank bubbles is significant — made especially so by Italy being the second “I” in PIIGS.

Italy’s debt percentage of GNP is the highest in the EU, a whopping 114%! One would hope its budget deficit of 5.3% of GNP might save it from Greece’s fate. If not, then what this Italian leader born from the half-pig city, this media mogul, possible bubble-banking banker, does surrender is something more than an army but a collapsed Italian economy.

I said in 1997 that Nostradamus hint of an old son placed as future successor to Mussolini would be in his 70s when this prophecy comes up for fulfillment in the 2010s. Berlusconi will be 74 this September.

In my own predictions (see predictions for 2010), I date a new global financial crisis in the autumn, possibly in October, a month after his birthday.

What would the economic collapse of Italy and the other PIIGGS look like?

Century 8 Quatrain 28 may give us the answer to a future we can and must avoid:

Les simulachres d’or & argent enflez,
Qu’apres le rapt au lac furent gettez
Au descouuert estaincts tous & troublez.
Au marbre escripz prescript intergetez.

The imitations of gold and silver will become inflated,
Which after the rape [or robbery] are thrown into the fire,
After discovering all is exhausted and dissipated by the debt,
All scripts and bonds are wiped out.

John Hogue

(06 May 2010)

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