Nelson DeMille - The Lion



The Lion


Nelson DeMille


GLENN: One of the greatest fiction writers of our day is Nelson DeMille. He is the author of The Lion, which is on sale now, and I would like to thank Kevin Balfe who runs my publishing division, I'd like to thank him now for releasing the Overton Window just a few days after Nelson DeMille releases his. No, it's good. That's really good. Mr. DeMille, nice to have you here.

DeMILLE: Well, thank you.

GLENN: You bet. I want to talk to you about something because actually we're doing a show, I think next Tuesday, and I'm going to trash your book on next Tuesday once mine comes out. Now I'll tell you, buy his book because it's great but buy it before Tuesday because all of a sudden it's like it goes bad when it sits on the shelf after a week. But you are going to do a show with me next week and we're going to kind of talk about fiction writers and how they can — I mean, it's your job to war game and to take things that are possible and write a story. And, for instance, you wrote a story about — in 2000 about a Libyan terrorist taking an airliner, gassing everybody. After 9/11 they were ready to round you up and say, let's talk about this. Right?

DeMILLE: Yeah. You know, I did a lot of research with the joint terrorist task force here in the city and they said to me — I said, what is the next target in the United States, what is the next target in America for terrorists? And they said, the World Trade Center. And this was in the year 2000. The World Trade Center had been attacked, if we remember, in February 1993 with a truck bomb in the basement. They said, look, they missed and they are going to do it next time. And they said to me — and this is 18 months maybe before it happened — it will be Leer jets full of explosive and gasoline flying into both towers with suicide bombers. That's —

GLENN: You said that to them?

DeMILLE: No, they said this to me. We were sitting in 26 Fed, you know where it is, Glenn, looking at the World Trade Center. It was a year and a half before it happened. They were positive that this was the target because they missed in '93. The bad guys had missed and they knew about the Mideasterners taking flying lessons and they were positive that it was going to be Leer jets full of explosive.

GLENN: Hang on just a second, Nelson. That doesn't help, that doesn't help me at all on the — I mean, I think our government is incompetent and — but I don't think that our government was involved by any stretch of the imagination. But I mean, this shows that they really, they knew specifically.

DeMILLE: Yeah, they knew. It's like anything else. The product is intelligence and here's the product, what are you going to do with it. There was just nobody wanted to use that intelligence. The intelligence people gather it. They don't make policy. And what happened, it was not a shock to me when it happened that morning because I had heard it a year and a half before.

PAT: Wow. Holy cow. And so then, have you ever been called a conspiracy? Because I mean, your job is to piece things together and then write a fictional story on it. But I mean, I do this. You know, this story that I've written for the Overton Window, A — and I'd like to know if this has ever happened to you. As I'm writing it, we had to go back and change things because they were moving at such a rapid pace, they were happening. Have you had that?



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DeMILLE: Yeah. Well, it also happens, and you saw that, when you write a novel and novel can take a year to write and events are starting to overtake the novel. As far as conspiracy, you know, you have to — and as you touched on before, you'd have to think that the government was competent enough to engage in a conspiracy.

GLENN: And then keep it quiet.

DeMILLE: And then keep it quiet.

GLENN: I just don't think that's possible.

DeMILLE: No, but I think there are private people who will and do engage in conspiracies who are maybe a little bit more effective than the government.

GLENN: Which is kind of what your new book, the follow-up here is, The Lion.

DeMILLE: Yeah.

GLENN: It's a guy, and it's weird. We were just talking about this and I said, you know, what are we fighting — what are we doing over in Afghanistan and Iraq? What are we doing? I mean, they are now putting syringes infected with AIDS into these bombs so when we go to find them, they either are infected by hitting the needle or they blow up and now it's infected needles everywhere. And I said, we should get bacon bombs. I mean, you know, you should get a cloven hoof through the head if you are fighting against us. I'm just tired of it. You fight to win or you don't do it at all. And this is really kind of the theory of, one of the characters in this story actually is a wealthy guy and says, let's just go; what are we doing? Right?

DeMILLE: Yeah. I mean, this is — Afghanistan is now the longest war in history as you know and, you know, the war in Iraq is right behind it. And we don't know what we're there for and, you know, I served in Vietnam as you know, Glenn, I served in the same kind of war, this war without end almost. And you say, you know, you want to do your duty. You say, why am I here? Why am I here? I was here in '68. It was already the fifth year of the war. I mean, by that time, I thought, you know, when I got drafted, jeez, the war is going to be over before — and it went on until '73. Why are we there if we're not going to win? You are there to win or you are not there. You have to make that decision.

GLENN: You can't fight these things half ass.

DeMILLE: Right.

GLENN: I mean, I don't understand how people don't get it. Now, in The Lion, the lion comes back and he is going to build a truck bomb.

DeMILLE: Right.

GLENN: And did you — I mean, how many blocks does it — what is it, 25 blocks that it blows up?

DeMILLE: You know, I based this on the Oklahoma City bombing and this is, you know, the regular — I don't want to give the formula away on the air but it's ammonium nitrate and blasting caps and that type of thing. And again when I was doing research and the people at 26 Fed have been pretty forthcoming and anonymously but I said, you know, what's the next thing? And they all said this is — and we all know this. They said a car bomb or a truck bomb in Midtown Manhattan.

GLENN: That's what we had here in Times Square.

DeMILLE: That's what we had here in Times Square. It didn't go off but we're forgetting about it. But had it gone off — and this is illogical because it's a fairly easy thing to do, been done all over the world. Glenn knows it's been done in Baghdad and it's been done in Jerusalem.

GLENN: How big of a bomb do you need for 25 square blocks?

DeMILLE: I had a, gosh, like a 70 foot trailer, tractor trailer. I made the super bomb. This was not the van of the kind that went into the World Trade Center in '93. This was like 40 or 50, 55 gallon drum barrels full of sodium — ammonium nitrate and the soap and the other stuff that they use.

GLENN: Do you believe that that can be done, Nelson?

DeMILLE: Yeah, sure, absolutely it can be done. I mean, it's a fairly simple bomb to make once you have the ingredients. And it would level about 20, 25 blocks. Without giving away my plot, it's planted in lower Manhattan where it's going to cause massive destruction to Wall Street and the whole financial district.

GLENN: What do you think, what do your sources tell you and in your research and everything else, do you think we're headed for another major terrorist? What do you think is the next?

DeMILLE: I don't know about major but, you know, they have been expecting — my sources, a lot of them are retired now because I started doing this research like 12, 13 years ago and some of these people were not totally forthcoming with me and now retired. It's funny, retired people tell you a lot more when they are working inside the organization. They are all saying car bomb. They are all saying — and they have been saying this for years. And so when it happened in Times Square about three weeks ago and the bomb did not go off, again I wasn't shocked. I was — you know, and they are saying why didn't this happen seven or eight years ago. It's not that difficult to do. Are we very lucky or are we very good? I don't know.

GLENN: Have you, have you done any war gaming in your head of the current situation on what this government does or what's going on in the Middle East? I mean, I think the Middle East is being set up. I think Israel is being set up right now.

DeMILLE: Yeah.

GLENN: And I also think the media's doing a great job to set up another Timothy McVeigh. They have been working on that one for about a year. What happens to us, Nelson, if we — I mean, what's happening to us?

DeMILLE: Well, you know, first of all we're not engaged in the war on terror, if you haven't noticed.

GLENN: Yeah.

DeMILLE: I think, you know, a president — and it could have been Bush and, you know, any president — should have had the moral courage to go before congress and say we need a symbolic declaration of war on terrorism. And when we say that and they say, well, there's no country, we can't declare war on — of course you can. It's a symbolic act. You say maybe Bush should have done this. Symbolic declaration from congress, making everybody stand up and be counted.

GLENN: Yeah.

DeMILLE: In saying we declare war on terrorism. And then all the nonsense that we're getting in the mainstream media that this is not really a war on terrorism, you don't have that anymore because congress has stood up. And nobody's asked congress to stand up. Ask them to stand up, they are going to have to stand up and vote one way or the other. Are we at war; are we not at war.

GLENN: Yeah. Otherwise they just, they can play it any way they want.

DeMILLE: Exactly.

GLENN: They can be for it and against it, then for it and against it on the polls.

DeMILLE: Right.

GLENN: It's a nightmare. All right. The name of the book is The Lion, Nelson DeMille. Buy it quickly this week. Buy all of the copies this week because then there's another book coming out on Tuesday and Nelson's going to crush us. Nelson DeMille, The Lion, available in bookstores everywhere.

[NOTE: Transcript may have been edited to enhance readability - audio archive includes full segment as it was originally aired]

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Can you remember the economic crisis of 2008 and how you felt when the news broke that Lehman Brothers had collapsed? I have found an economic threat that everyone needs to be aware of, so you can prepare yourself in case we see another 2008 type collapse. I am going to present the evidence to you and I urge you to verify everything and to form your own opinion.

What is that threat?

It is a bank called Deutsche Bank. They are by far the most dominant bank in Germany which is the world's fourth-largest economy. In 2018 they had €2.08 Trillion worth of assets and the second-placed bank (DZ Bank) had €506 Billion worth of assets. To show you how dominant this bank is, they have more assets than the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th sized banks combined.
When we review a business there are three key parts to analysis:

  • Market sentiment
  • Business numbers
  • Technical Analysis

Market Sentiment

Deutsche Bank has a long history of potential scandals including going all the way back to World War 2 and dealing in Nazi gold. Below are five recent stories which have increased the negative sentiment around Deutsche Bank.

  1. In 2007, they purchased a portfolio of loans worth $7.8 billion and purchased insurance from Warren Buffets Company. It was discovered they did not set aside enough capital to cover any potential losses. Over the course of the ten years, they lost $1.6 billion, and when they sold the loan they did not update their financial statements to include the big loss
  2. The Panama Papers are an ongoing investigation looking for many things including offshore tax havens. These investigations have resulted in several heads of state resigning including in Iceland and Pakistan. Last November, 170 police raided 6 different offices in Frankfurt looking for evidence of money laundering.
  3. Estonia is a small country in Eastern Europe. It has a population of 1.3 million people and a GDP of €26 billion. In January, it was discovered Deutsche Bank got involved with a Danish bank called Danke Bank and processed over $230 billion worth of cross country payments (including from Soviet Russia) through one bank in Estonia.
  4. There have been rumors of issues with Deutsche for a while now and one of the solutions put forth was a merger with a bank called CommerzBank. The leaders of both companies met and they even got support from politicians. In April, news broke that the merger talks had failed because over worries the risks and costs would be too great.
  5. Last week in France, Investment banking boss Garth Ritchie and others were arrested in France over illicit tax transactions.

Business Numbers

Deutsche Bank is already struggling as they are losing staff, losing market share, and bonuses are expected to be down at least 10% and further rounds of cost-cutting to come. Now imagine the impact if business costs start going up.

The banking industry works in a very simple way. They raise funds through large bonds at low-interest rates and then sell those funds to business and individuals thru products like loans and credit cards at a higher interest rate which results in a potential profit.

Earlier this year, Deutsche Bank tried raising money through several bonds. They paid 180bp (basis points) on a two-year bond and 230bp on a seven-year bond. Let me put this in context for you. There is a small bank in Spain called Caixabank which paid 225bp on a five-year bond and one of the larger banks in Spain, BBVA paid 130bp on a five-year bond.

  • How and why is a small bank in Spain getting a better deal on bonds than a huge bank in Germany?
  • Why is a large bank in Spain getting a bond 100bp cheaper than a German bank?
  • What does the market know that we do not?

Stock Price

Deutsche is also missing revenue projections which further hurt the business ability to survive and prosper. As you can imagine all of this news has a deep and lasting impact on its stock price which is in deep trouble. Before I share the stock price, I need to put this into the context of the market and the industry compared to the big economic crash of 2008. Below you will see a chart of some banking stocks from around the world with their peak price prior to the 2008 crash, the low of the 2008 recession and the price today:

As you can see from the above chart the banks in America have recovered from the 2008 recession by anywhere up 375% and JP Morgan has not only recovered its price in full but is constantly setting new high's. Ireland went bankrupt and had to be bailed out by the EU/IMF following the 2008 crash and even our national bank has more than doubled its price since 2008. The worst performing bank I could find was Societe Generale which has issues but is still hovering around its 2008 low price levels.

Now let's put that into the context of Deutsche Bank. Not only has the stock not rebounded but it is over 65% below its 2008 low at $6.75.

Technical Analysis

When you are dealing with the stock market, you also have people who study pricing through technical analysis. Experts look at things like FIB sequences, trend lines, and support levels. Support levels are a key metric for a stock failing because are looking to find where it will find support and potentially bounce higher.

We are very close to a key support level ($6.40) and if the price goes below this level, there is no saying exactly how low the price could go. At least one company expects Deutsche to fall below this support level, as several weeks ago UBS downgraded the stock to a sell order. This news was compounded last Friday when rating agency Fitch, downgraded their credit rating to BBB or two levels above JUNK status.

Other Information

I know you are likely reading this and thinking "this bank must have smart people in charge and surely they have a plan, right?" I am sure there is a plan and while they have kept their cards close to their chest, they have spoken in the past about the areas they foresee having growth for the company – they include business in Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Egypt. Do they strike you as countries which are stable and will offer steady and reliable growth? Do you have to think really hard to imagine how this could go potentially very wrong?

Questions

I believe there is at least a solid case Deutsche is in a LOT of trouble. So what are possible scenarios for the future? I will lay out the key questions below but I must stress that it's impossible to say for sure what exactly will happen. One of the key numbers to remember here is they have roughly €50 billion worth of derivatives.

  • How likely is it that the bank can turn things around and survive?
  • How likely is it the bank continues to run into trouble, its stock price fails and eventually fails?
  • If you think it is likely it will fail, the question becomes what will the fallout be? Who will be affected?
  • Will they be bailed out?
  • If so, by whom? The German government, ECB, IMF, the Federal Reserve?
  • What will the German government think? Some members recently spoke out saying they would block public money for the proposed merger? Will they block funds if it failed?
  • Will other banks be exposed and affected? Will they have to take losses?
  • Will those losses be spread around or will one or more bank be mainly affect?
  • Will this affect the sentiment of the banking sector and cause a panic?
  • If there are issues and it starts affecting the stock prices, what will be the impact on other industries?

Last Question

The last question revolves solely around the banks and the regulators? How secure are the other banks? We all hear about how banks are now put through "stress tests" but how much trust do you put in those results? How much trust do you have in the regulators?

I know this may make me sound like a conspiracy theorist to some but it's an honest question. The Fed is on public record saying they want to keep this economy strong as long as possible. If a bank did not perform strongly in a stress test or even barely failed one, do you think they would report it?

Can you imagine the pressure that body would come under to stay silent? Can you imagine the rhetoric they would face with questions like, "Are you really going to fail one bank? Do you know how many people will lose their jobs if you do that?" Am I saying this is happening? No, but can you really rule it out 100% as a possibility?

I urge you to ponder on these questions, do your own research and find YOUR answers.

Update: The most freaquently asked question I have received from this column / show is how much time do we have to prepare. This is an impossible question to answer, as it could fail tomorrow, next week or might be next year. However I want to provide you a potential date for your diary – July 24th. That is when Deutsche will release their next earnings report and if it comes in below expectations, it could cause a further drop in price casting more doubt over the future viability of the bank.

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Survey: Where do you stand on these conspiracy theories?

Thought Catalog / Unsplash

Have you seen this survey on the most-believed conspiracy theories in America?

It's no surprise the survey has been getting so much attention. The results are actually a pretty disturbing.

Infographic: Belief in Conspiracy Theories in the United States | Statista

I decided to put together a quick survey of my own, with slightly different wording.

Up-vote the ones you agree with and down-vote the ones you disagree with.

I believe Lee Harvey Oswald killed JFK alone. However, I would not be surprised to find out the government sealed evidence that others were involved.

If by "deep state" you mean long-time Washington power brokers who are used to calling the shots and now feel threatened by Donald Trump not listening to their advice or council — yes, I do believe that many people like that are working against him and his administration.

Whether alien bodies are in Area 51 or not, I do believe the government knows more about UFOs than they have told us.

I do not believe the U.S. government was involved in 9/11, but as we know, NSA advisor Sandy Berger was caught destroying documents from the national archives related to both Bush and Clinton. All U.S. administrations have been to close to the Saudis, and the Saudis were involved in 9/11 at some level.

I believe the climate is always changing — it's natural. I would be willing to accept that man MAY play a role in this. But I do not believe in the solutions currently being discussed, nor do I believe the intention of most political activists are pure.

Any talk of the Illuminati provides the true dangers to man's freedom — like very powerful NGOS and men like George Soros — a perfect cover.

The U.S. government has done some horrible experiments on people and land — I also suspect they will do more things in the future. But I do not believe in the systematic spraying of chemicals using chemtrails.

The moon landing was real, but I see a time coming when people will not be able to trust their eyes due to deep fakes.

What do you think?

Let me know in the comments section below.