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.
Where did Europe's Q3 weakness come from? It was broad based and pronounced led by Germany, the currency area’s exporting powerhouse, while Italian economic growth also eased. There were fresh contractions in Greece, Finland and Estonia, while Portugal’s economy stagnated.
For once, the overnight session was not dominated by weak Chinese economic data (which probably explains why the Shanghai Composite dropped for the second day in a row, declining 1.4%, and ending an impressive run since the beginning of November) and instead Europe took the spotlight with its own poor data in the form of Q3 GDP which printed below expectations at 0.3% Q/Q, down also from the 0.4% increase in Q2, with several key economies rolling over including Germany, Italy, and Spain while Europe's poster child of "successful austerity" saw Q3 GDP stagnate, far worse than the 0.5% growth consensus expected.
"Defeated isn’t the right word. The right word is annihilated.”
Analyst Warns Of Turbulence: "Geopolitical Dislocations Could Result In Key Resource Supplies Disappearing"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 10/31/2015 21:10 -0500
Instability pervades the entire system, encompassing everything from financial markets to social safety nets. And while it is easy to ignore the seriousness of current events because stock markets remain at record highs and mainstream pundits continue to toe the recovery line, the fact is that an unexpected and seemingly minor event could well send the entire world into a tailspin.
With EURUSD having crashed to a 1.09 handle, some would say Draghi's work is done (in terms of crushing US corporate revenues) but there is a bigger problem for the ECB head. The market has already entirely priced-in a cut in the ECB Deposit Rate (in fact is already pricing in even more - at -35bps, from -20bps) which may be an issue as two ECB governors have come out today, jawboning investors not to expect more easing soon. This has sparked a reversal in EURUSD and risk assets are rolling over...
Much of the political thinking about violence in the United States comes from unfavorable comparisons between the United States and a series of cherry-picked countries with lower murder rates and with fewer guns per capita. This is, in turn, supposed to fill Americans with a sense of shame and illustrate that the United States should be regarded as some sort of pariah nation because of its murder rate. However, politically, historically, and demographically, the US has little in common with these nations.
There are two parties to robbery – the taker and the takee. We have seen what happened to the victims. They are too busy picking through trash bins to go to the Walmart website. But what about the takers? They are busy too – lobbying… eating foie gras and caviar… and offering to save the world with increasingly radical monetary policies. It is time to undo the Fed’s control of the financial system. Let takees get the interest they are entitled to. And let the takers get what they’ve got coming to them.
"In the nuclear arms race, the acronym was MAD—mutually assured destruction—which kept everything nice and tidy. Here you have the same acronym, but it’s ‘mutually assured doubt,’ because you can never be sure what the attack will be." Fortunately, the US has the most advanced operations and the NSA is "the crown creator of cyberespionage." Which is great. Unless they're spying on you...
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.
As Foreign Policy reports, "the new plans, according to the senior defense official, have two tracks. One focuses on what the United States can do as part of NATO if Russia attacks one of NATO’s member states; the other variant considers American action outside the NATO umbrella. Both versions of the updated contingency plans focus on Russian incursions into the Baltics, a scenario seen as the most likely front."
"Countries need to put aside geopolitical ambitions [and] direct or indirect use of terrorist groups to achieve goals that include regime change, in order to counter the threat of Islamic State. Elementary common sense responsibility for global and regional security demands the collective effort of the international community."
Banks in the US and Europe are trying to develop a cashless transactions system. The concept is to establish a comprehensive ledger for a business or a person that records everything received and spent, and all of the assets held – mortgages, investment portfolios, debts, contractual financial obligations, and anything else of market value. There would be no need for cash because the ledger would tell you and anyone you were considering a transaction with how much is available and would be transactable at any specific moment. This is not a dreamy idea. Blythe Masters is leading a new business effort to develop a universal cashless system. Not only is she gathering significant investor interest, but the Federal Reserve and various US Government agencies have become keenly interested in the potential usefulness and efficiencies of a universal cashless system
"The opening of the new units will feed an artificially created confrontation. [This is] the logic of the Cold War. It runs counter to genuine interests of the European and regional security." - Alexander Grushko, Russian ambassador to NATO.
Chinese Intervention Rescues Market From 2-Day Plunge, Futures Red Ahead Of Inflation Data, FOMC MinutesSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 08/19/2015 05:37 -0500
With China's currency devaluation having shifted to the backburner if only for the time being, all attention was once again on the Chinese stock market roller coaster, which did not disappoint: starting off with yesterday's dramatic 6.2% plunge, the Shanghai Composite crashed in early trading, plunging as much as 5% in early trading and bringing the two-day drop to a correction-inducing 11%, and just 51.2 points away from the July 8 low (when China unleashed the biggest ad hoc market bailout in capital markets history) . And then the cavalry came in, and virtually the entire afternoon session was one big BTFD orgy, leading to a 1.2% gain in the Shanghai Composite closing price, while Shenzhen and ChiNext closed up 2.2% and 2.7%, respectively.