While the USA is busy killing US civilians and terrorists with its drone program, Russia is set to deploy its own Orlan-10 drones in the oil- and gas-rich Arctic region (reportedly to monitor the climate situation). As SputnikNews reports, Colonel Aleksandr Gordeev stated "the drones' task is to maintain impartial control of the situation in the Russian sector of the Arctic." So, passive-agressive? However, Russia also chose this week to release rarely-seen images of a US intelligence satellite which as one analyst notes is provocative (but obscure in its intent other than the growing recognition of US space-based surveillance assets).
"Largely missing from these discussions about the Fed's "exit strategy" is a consideration that perhaps it should retain, not discard, the balance sheet tools," the Boston Fed says, in a new paper advocating the retention of QE as a permanent part of the Fed's tool box. QEfinity may yet become a reality and for the most ironic of reasons: because the Fed is now in charge of promoting "financial stability" something which, as last October's Treasury flash crash proves, is exacerbated by asset purchases not ameliorated.
The lines have been drawn in many police departments: it’s us vs. them. Trust in many departments has been utterly shattered within some communities because the police hold themselves to a different standard than they do the populace. But the recent cases of police brutality are simply a symptom of a much larger problem. Society in the US is breaking down, civility has been lost, and the country is rapidly becoming uncivilized. This extends within and across all of the most important institutions.
Over the past year, special-operations forces have landed in 81 countries.
"I have no way of imagining what the United States will be like in your adulthood and yet I can sense that this country is changing in unsettling ways... Stretch anything far enough and it’ll begin to tear, fragment, break apart. That, I suspect, may be a reasonable summary of what’s been happening in our twenty-first-century world. Under stress, things are beginning to crack open... Though you don’t know it yet, you’re already living in an increasingly lopsided world whose stresses only seem to be multiplying. This has been true for the return of plutocracy...It certainly doesn’t look like the American world I’d want to turn over to you."
"Louisiana faces a $1.6 billion budget shortfall in the coming fiscal year, a result of both plunging oil-tax revenue and the state’s failure to enact adequate tax increases or spending cuts after the economic downturn in 2009. The latest plans would mean an 82 percent cut to the state’s public colleges and universities."
Goldman Gets Cold Feet:"It Is Difficult To Predict How Negative The Market Reaction To Grexit Would Be"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 04/26/2015 - 14:18
"We think that, at the 10-year tenor, the spread between Spanish and Italian bonds yield versus Bunds yield could still widen to around 350-400bp before a policy response is enacted. We stress that the departure of a country from the ‘irrevocable’ monetary arrangements of the EMU would take us into unchartered waters and it is difficult to predict how negative the market reaction could be."
It appears a breach of the White House’s unclassified computer system last year was far more intrusive and worrisome than has been publicly acknowledged. As The NY Times reports, some of President Obama’s email correspondence was swept up by Russian hackers who also got deeply into the State Department’s unclassified system. "This has been one of the most sophisticated actors we’ve seen," according to one official, and while Mr. Obama’s BlackBerry was not penetrated, officials have conceded that the unclassified system routinely contains much information that is considered highly sensitive.
As the Greek negotiations with the eurogroup and the ‘institutions’ show us with intense and increasing clarity, the notion of the euro being a boat to lift all tides turns out to be full-on bogus. Southern Europe’s nations will be either thrown out or allowed to stay only as debt servants. For now, Germany and Holland prefer to keep everyone on board, but that may still change. It would therefore seem like a good idea for Greece and Italy to make their moves while they can. What Tsipras and Varoufakis must accomplish is to make people understand that what Europe does to the refugees, it will do to its own citizens too.
Following the default on major Chinese developer Kaisa this week, and with the continued softness in the Chinese property market, many are asking who's next among the highly-leveraged firms. However, as The Real Deal's Konrad Putzier notes, Kaisa’s default carries significance for New York’s real estate industry. Chinese investors spent $3 billion on New York properties in 2014. Many in New York continue to associate Chinese real estate companies with limitless funds and a never-ending ability to invest... But what if they are wrong?