At the core of global power stands the conflict between the Sauds (and their Sunni clergy) and the Iranians (and their Shiite clergy). One can’t understand U.S.-Russian relations, nor much else of what is happening in the world, without knowing the relevant historical background; and the origins and nature of the Sunni war against Shiia are arguably the most essential part of that to comprehend just how the United States came to back the Sunnis, and how Russia came to back the Shiites, in this war.
Once again, the two major macroeconomic announcements over the weekend came from China, where we first saw an unexpected, if still to be confirmed, increase in FX reserves, and then Chinese trade data once again disappointed tumbling by 6.9% while imports plunged 18.8%. So how did the market react? The Shanghai Composite Index rose for a fourth day and reached its highest since August 20because more bad data means more easing from the PBOC, and just to give what few investors are left the green light to come back into the pool, overnight Chinese brokers soared after Chinese IPOs returned after a 5 month hiatus. Elsewhere, Stocks and currencies in emerging markets slump on prospect of higher U.S. borrowing costs before year-end and after data underscored slowdown in Asia’s biggest economy. Euro strengthens.
"Defeated isn’t the right word. The right word is annihilated.”
Bavarian official Peter Dreier called German Chancellor Angela Merkel to warn her personally of the consequences if Germany welcomes a million refugees, "because Germany now is somewhere at the edge of anarchy and sliding towards civil war, or to become a banana republic without any government. I hope that this threat will have some effect, but knowing the psychological things that Merkel does these days – I don’t believe in it, unfortunately."
After decades of berating Americans for their Constitutionally protected right to bear arms, Europeans are finally starting to wake up. It took over a million Islamic immigrants and violence across their union to convince them, but it appears that they finally get it. Despite how hard it is to attain these weapons in countries like Austria, firearms are currently being sold there in record numbers much like they are in the United States. But instead of the threat of confiscation, this trend is being fueled by the refugee crisis, which as one jounalist warned "something is very wrong here" if Austrians are buying guns to protect themselves against migrants.
It will become clearer, fast, what an awful mess Brussels and Berlin have created here, because with winter approaching more refugees will fall victim to the conditions under which they’re forced to live once they’ve entered Europe. Which, in their own eyes, will still be preferable to the conditions in their homelands. And then what will we do, when dozens start dying from cold and diseases? Send in more police and military? This is a road to a very bleak nowhere.
In the event of a systemic European banking crisis, however, laws could be changed at the stroke of a pen and “bail-in” mechanisms could become fully operational. Also, the comforting guarantee of €100,000 ($100,000 or £80,000) would likely be reduced in such a crisis.
Far from being some trivial problem that can be fixed by pressing "print", central banks operating from a negative equity position face the possibility of i) losing their independence as they have to be recapitalized at the behest of the government, ii) being forced into policy decisions (or, perhaps more appropriately "in"decisions) that they might not otherwise make, and iii) losing the ability to control the narrative, thus heightening market concerns about the loss of omnipotence.
- ECB Haunted by Paradox as Draghi Weighs Risk of QE Signaling (BBG)
- At odds with Republicans, Hillary Clinton to testify on Benghazi (Reuters)
- House tees up conservative plans to raise debt limit (Hill)
- U.S., Russia to Meet at Syria Conference to Discuss Crisis (WSJ)
- Putin Gains Record Support Among Russians Over Syria, Poll Shows (BBG)
- China Plans 2020 Deadline for Dismantling Capital Controls (BBG)
- Nyrstar Drops the Most on Record as Mining Hit by Metal Rout (BBG)
“Adulterous women will be stoned; thieves will have their hands chopped off!"
According to a follow report, it is only a matter of time before far more widespread crackdowns take place within the auto industry where emissions fraud now appears as systemic as that of the global banking sector.
The scandal swirling around Germany's largest listed company had its beginnings in an attempt to crack the U.S. market, the missing link in VW's global footprint. But, as Handelsblatt details, what began as expansion ended in deception (piecing together the events that led up to the scandal, based on the facts as they are currently known).
Neoliberal economics is blind to reality and serves to justify the destruction of the economic prospects of the Western World. It remains to be seen if Russia and China can develop a different economics or whether these rising superpowers will fall victim to the “junk economics” that has destroyed the West. With so many Chinese and Russian economists educated in the US tradition, the prospects of Russia and China might not be any better than ours. The entire world could go down the tubes together.