The world is now in recession at best and maybe flirting with a global depression. This means politicians will do what is best for their national political future and the consequences for the national economy, citizens or business future is of little consequence to them. This also suggests that global alliances will mean little when domestic national politicians are fighting for survival. Here is how the chess matches have turned out so far in the Putin/Obama competition.
The US has been in a cycle of bubbles, busts, and crashes since at least 1995, and more likely since Alan Greenspan became the Chairman of the Federal Reserve in August, 1987. It has become a machine for transferring income, wealth, ownership, and power to the very top. This is not 'the new normal.' This is financial corruption and the erosion of systemic integrity.
Since taking office in 2013, Xi Jinping has been on a mission to root out corruption among the ranks of the Communist Party. Some 1,500 officials have seen their cases publicly announced. All 1,500 are represented in the following excellent interactive graphic from ChinaFile called “Catching Tigers and Flies.”
On Thursday, we got the latest bad news out of Deutsche as Cryan reported what he called “sobering” results for 2015. In short, the bank is staring down a net loss of €6.7 billion for the year, the first annual loss since 2008. "We see further downside risk on litigation – we model another €3.6bn in 2016 - which is likely to necessitate a capital raise."
"China will exert a negative influence on the rest of the world by reinforcing the deflationary tendencies that are already prevalent. China is responsible for a larger share of the world economy than ever before and the problems it faces have never been more intractable...the EU is on the verge of collapse. The Greek crisis taught the European authorities the art of kicking the can down the road, although it would be more accurate to describe it as kicking a ball uphill so that it keeps rolling back down. The EU now is confronted with not one but five or six crises at the same time."
To the extent we believed there might be a shred of honesty and/or dignity buried somewhere in the bowels of the government body tasked with policing the derivatives market, our hopes were dashed on Tuesday when we learned that the Commission’s auditor has withdrawn “nearly a decade” of financial opinions after discovering that the books may be cooked.
In “freedom and democracy” America, the government and the economy serve interests totally removed from the interests of the American people. The sellout of the American people is protected by a huge canopy of propaganda provided by free market economists and financial presstitutes paid to lie for their living. It is unclear that the US economy can be revived. When America fails, so will Washington’s vassal states in Europe, Canada, Australia, and Japan.
While it refuses to admit the abject failure of its gun control program, the Mexican state instead attempts to shift the blame to Americans and has attempted to impose international gun control measures on the US. For Mexican politicians, it's easier to shift the blame than to recognize the fact that neighboring Americans right across the border enjoy far lower homicide rates along side relatively easy access to firearms. (Even California looks like a gun-owner's paradise compared to Mexico.) The Mexican state (and many Mexicans) are unfortunately impervious to these facts, and, many Mexicans still believe that Mexicans will be safer if the Mexican regime tightens its grip even more on firearms, in spite of the spectacular failure of gun control in that country.
More than 50 years after King was assassinated, his vision of a world without racism, militarism and materialism remains a distant dream. Indeed, the reality we must contend with is far different from King’s dream for the future: America has become a ticking time bomb of racial unrest and injustice, police militarization, surveillance, government corruption and ineptitude, the blowblack from a battlefield mindset and endless wars abroad, and a growing economic inequality between the haves and have nots. King’s own legacy has suffered in the process.
Mission Accomplished? The U.S. Spent Half A Billion On Mining In Afghanistan With "Limited Progress"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 01/18/2016 19:05 -0500
The United States has spent nearly half a billion dollars and five years developing Afghanistan’s oil, gas and minerals industries — and has little to show for it, a government watchdog reported today. In fact, the task force spent $46.5 million to try to convince companies to agree to develop the resources, but not one ended up signing a contract.
The last time the major political parties disintegrated, back in the 1850s, the nation had to go through a bloody convulsion to reconstitute itself. The festering issue of slavery so dominated politics that nothing else is remembered about the dynamics of the period. Today, the festering issue is corruption and racketeering, but none of the candidates uses those precise terms to describe what has happened to us. Nobody knows where the shit show of 2016 is leading. The uncertainty around it is helping to sink what remains of the old economy, and one can easily discern a very dangerous set of feedbacks creeping into place.
Three pressing questions about Bitcoin and blockchain answered
There are now more than 100 FBI agents investigating Hillary Clinton. Her denial that she is at the core of their work is political claptrap with no connection to reality. It is inconceivable that the FBI would send such vast resources in the present dangerous era on a wild-goose chase. It is the consensus of many of us who monitor government behavior that the FBI will recommend indictment. If the FBI recommends indictment and the attorney general declines to do so, expect Saturday Night Massacre-like leaks of draft indictments, whistleblower revelations and litigation, and FBI resignations.
For imprisonments, the US really does have no close second: it’s the unquestionable global market-leader, for prisons and prisoners. And this gets us to the market-leader for prisons within America itself, and to the stunning corruption that stands behind it. So, here’s that extraordinary example, and the story behind its corruption, which will provide a close-up view of America’s general corruption, from the top (including the government itself) on down.