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by Terry Weiss, Money Morning
They've generated billions for investors over the decades. But according to Warren Buffett's latest moves, the party is winding down for three of America's best-known - and widely held - cash cows.
According to the most recent filings, Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-A) is trimming its positions in Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Procter & Gamble (PG), and Kraft Foods (KFT).
Why has the Oracle from Omaha begun to unload these iconic shares?
Buffett is notoriously optimistic when it comes to American stocks, especially when it comes to their prospects in the long run.
"If a business does well, the stock eventually follows," he once famously said.
But selling is selling. And Buffett is Buffett. So there's a reason he's reducing his exposure to these superior cash businesses, each of which yields more than 3% right now.
We won't know the reason, of course, until his widely-read letter to shareholders is released in late February. But new research released last month suggests Buffett-level optimism may be difficult to sustain.
to see the full investigation which uncovers an incomprehensible financial crisis facing average Americans.
This critical documentary first aired in mid-July, reaching hundreds of thousands of viewers overnight. It has since gone viral.
The research panel, which has presented its startling economic findings to the United Nations and 16 world governments, have uncovered a dangerous pattern - one that threatens the way of life for hundreds of millions of Americans.
This pattern, according to Chris Martenson a global economic trend forecaster, and internationally recognized expert on the dangers of exponential growth in the economy, isn't based on probability. It's a mathematical certainty.
"We found an identical pattern in our debt, total credit market, and money supply that guarantees they're going to fail," Martenson said. "This pattern is nearly the same as in a pyramid scheme, one that escalates exponentially fast before it collapses."
Martenson points to the U.S. total credit market debt as an example of this unnerving pattern.
"For 30 years - from the 1940s through the 1970s - our total credit market debt was moderate and entirely reasonable," he said. "But then in seven years, from 1970 to 1977, it quickly doubled. And then it doubled again in seven more years. Then five years to double a third time. And then it doubled two more times after that.
"Where we were sitting at a total credit market debt that was 158% larger than our GDP in the early 1940s... By 2011 that figure was 357%. It's unsustainable."
Dr. Kent Moors, one of the world's leading energy experts, who advices world governments on energy matters and serves on two State Department task forces on energy, also voiced concern over what he and his colleagues uncovered.
"For a long time, Americans were led to believe that we lived in an age of perpetual prosperity... that everything would continue to grow exponentially," Dr. Moors said. "But now we are realizing that this was just an illusion. This pattern clearly indicates a coming global financial catastrophe, the likes of which, the world has never seen before."
Dr. Moors warns this type of unsustainable road to collapse isn't limited to just the economy.
The work of this team garnered such attention, they were brought in front of the United Nations, UK Parliament, and numerous Fortune 500 companies to share much of their findings. to see a sample.
"Most frightening of all is how this exact same pattern keeps appearing in virtually every system critical to our society and way of life, like our energy, food and water systems " Dr. Moors said.
According to Martenson, these systems could all implode at the same time.
"Food, water, energy, money. Everything," he warned.
The video documentary, filmed by an Emmy Award winning director, provides hair-raising details, including eerie charts and graphs, to show exactly how this unnerving pattern seeps into these systems like a virus and causes them to collapse.
Keith Fitz-Gerald, one of the world's leading experts on non-linear trends in financial markets, and a lead investigator for the documentary, says governments around the world are responsible.
At one point, Fitz-Gerald even calls out "the idiots inside the Washington Beltway and their "co-horts in Europe"
"If our research is right," says Fitz-Gerald, "Americans will have to make some tough choices on how they'll go about surviving when basic necessities become nearly unaffordable and the economy becomes dangerously unstable."
"People need to begin to make preparations with their investments, retirement savings, and personal finances before it's too late."