• Bruce Krasting
    12/18/2014 - 21:42
      The one thing that Jordan can't do in this war is appear to be weak.
  • Capitalist Exploits
    12/18/2014 - 19:25
    The oil price drop is a big problem - not just for Russia, or for the other over-levered emerging market currencies that stand to be traumatized by a rising dollar, but ultimately even for the US...

Estonia

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US Tanks Are Rolling Across Latvia





Having grown used to images and clips of "Russian" tanks rolling through Ukraine, crossing borders, and generally creating havoc, we thought the following clip was of note. With NATO and Russia rattling sabres ever louder, the site of a trainful of American tanks passing through Latvia will, we are sure, do nothing to calm both sides.

 
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Oh, Portugal!!





It has been centuries since the Portuguese last dominated the world's seaways, but in glancing over recent headlines one would be forgiven for thinking that their pirates are still running around. With the economy still reeling from the effects of the devastating financial crisis in 2010-11, Portugal has been rocked by a series of corruption scandals which go to the very core of the political and financial establishments. Portugal's economic divergence relative to Europe’s core is striking; it has even been overtaken by an average of the newcomers that joined the European Union in 2004, many of which are former communist countries. This in spite of Portugal receiving billions in structural reform funds from Brussels for almost three decades now – a process which is still ongoing. So how did this significant underperformance come about?

 
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US Army Sends 100 Tanks To Eastern Europe To "Deter Russian Aggression"





The ink on Barack Obama's Chuck Hagel termination letter hasn't dried yet but already the US president's new, and seemingly far more hawkish advisors, are having their warmongering presence felt. Case in point: the Eastern European theater of (Cold) war, where Military.com reports that the new Army commander in Europe plans to bolster the U.S. armored presence in Poland and the Baltic states and keep rotations of U.S. troops there through next year and possibly beyond to counter Russia. Lt. Gen. Frederick "Ben" Hodges, who replaced Lt. Gen. Donald M. Campbell  earlier this month as commander of U.S. Army Europe, said the Army was looking to add about 100 Abrams tanks and Bradley Fighting Vehicles to the forces in Eastern Europe.

 
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"Europe Is Under Threat By Russia" George Soros Warns The EU To Take Action, "Freedom Isn't Free"





The legendary Hungarian-American investor, George Soros, told Handelsblatt that the European Union and euro currency zone could unravel if member countries can't agree on a unified response to Russia's aggression in Ukraine. "Wake up Europe," he chides, adding that Western economic sanctions against Russia, which are limiting the ability of Russian businesses to obtain financing on the global market, are a necessary evil, concluding "Freedom sounds like a free good, but you have to be ready to defend it."

 
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In Historic Shift, NATO-Member Poland Is Moving Thousands Of Troops To Its Eastern Border





In the first sign that, just in time for winter, the tentative European jawboning alliance against Russia is collapsing (since the "costs", sanctions and other economic means inflicted upon the Kremlin ended up backfiring and pushing Europe into a triple-dip recession instead), earlier today Poland announced that it will move thousands of troops toward its eastern borders, i.e., Ukraine, in what AP dubbed a "historic realignment of a military structure built in the Cold War."

 
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Somone Really Needs To Explain To Europe What "Austerity" Means





Remember Europe's "austerity", or rather,as we dubbed it, fauxterity? Of course, how could you forget: after all everything that is wrong with Europe is blamed not on government corruption and the complete lack of reform, enabled so gloriously by Goldman's custodian of Europe's money printer who would do "whatever it takes" to mask Europe's sad reality that without reform the continent is doomed, but on the intolerable, insufferbale imposition of hated, loathed austerity on Europe's insolvent nations. After all, how on earth are they all supposed to get out of their debt-induced depressions if they have to, gasp, cut their debt! So yeah, we get the propaganda. What we don't get is whether everyone in Europe is completely incapable of reading simple numbers, is atrocious at math, or simply doesn't understand the definition of austerity.

 
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How To Start A War, And Lose An Empire





"...the American scheme of world domination through military aggression and unlimited money-printing is failing before our eyes. The public has no interest in any more “boots on the ground,” bombing campaigns do nothing to reign in militants that Americans themselves helped organize and equip, dollar hegemony is slipping away with each passing day, and the Federal Reserve is fresh out of magic bullets and faces a choice between crashing the stock market and crashing the bond market. In order to stop, or at least forestall this downward slide into financial/economic/political oblivion, the US must move quickly to undermine every competing economy in the world through whatever means it has left at its disposal, be it a bombing campaign, a revolution or a pandemic..."

 
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Sweden Deploys Army, Air Force, Navy Near Stockholm Over Reported Damaged Russian Sub; Moscow Denies





Over the weekend, while the world was focusing on the threat of Ebola contagion in the US and around the globe, Sweden's otherwise sleepy capital Stockholm found itself the location of a blitz military operation involving the Swedish Armed Forces, Navy, Army and Air Force, when late on Saturday, Swedish armed forces stepped up an operation -- involving more than 200 men, stealth ships, minesweepers and helicopters -- in an area about 50 kilometres (30 miles) east of the Swedish capital. The operation was initiated on Friday after the armed forces said they had been informed of a "man made object" in the water.

 
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White House Explains Where Your $1.3 Billion Went In Ukraine





Just minutes after Poroshenko's fearmongering speech to US Congress (and in the face of a collapsing Ukraine economy), The White House has released its "fact sheet" to explain exactly how committed (aside from the lethal aid demands - which may or may not be happening as we noted here) to supprting Ukraine the US taxpayer is... On top of guaranteeing $1 billion of Ukraine's debt, a further $291 million in 'assistance' has been flooded in... here's what for...

 
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Meet The New Leadership Of Europe: Presenting The "Juncker Commission"





As reported ealier this morning, here, courtesy of Bloomberg, are the nominees for the next European Commission under the presidency of Jean-Claude "If Serioues Then lie" Juncker, with one from each of the European Union’s 28 countries. Job assignments were announced today by the incoming president, Jean-Claude Juncker of Luxembourg. What do these appointments mean for the European Union? The attached flash analysis from Open Europe should answer most initial questions.

 
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As Fighting Rages In Mariupol, Ukraine Soldiers Say President Would "Betray The Country" If He Backs Peace





"Our artillery has come and is being deployed against the rebels," said the mayor of Mariupol, Yuri Khotlubey. The commander of the Azov volunteer militia, Andriy Biletsky, said his men had regained territory from the rebels in a counter-offensive after they came within just five km (three miles) of Mariupol on Thursday. And while leaders meet in Minsk to discuss peace, "A ceasefire would be a disaster, we would lose everything. By fighting we can resist the invasion and send them back. With a ceasefire they will consolidate and carry on after a while," said Ukrainian soldier Taras.  And an interesting undercurrent has emerged: now the Ukraine army is stronly against a ceasefire, with one possibly leading all the way to yet another presidental coup. To wit: Another Ukrainian soldier who gave his name as Mykola said Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko - who was attending the second day of a NATO summit in Wales on Friday - would "betray the country" if he backed a peace plan at this time.

 
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Russian General Demands Preemptive Nuclear Strike Doctrine Against NATO





While NATO is contemplating its existential purpose in a world where the Cold War has suddenly come back with a vengeance, and the military alliance has found itself woefully unprepared to deal with a Russia which no longer accepts the supremacy of the west (appropriately enough NATO is doing this on a golf course) Russia is also strategizing, only instead of issuing "sharply-worded catchphrases" and hashtags, a Russian general has called for Russia to revamp its military doctrine, last updated in 2010, to clearly identify the U.S. and its NATO allies as Moscow's enemy number one. That in itself is not disturbing: we reported as much yesterday and is merely more rhetorical posturing. Where things, however, get very problematic is that the general demands that Russia spell out the conditions under which the country would launch a preemptive nuclear strike against the 28-member military alliance.

 
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US Equity Futures Soar To Fresh All-Time Highs On New Ukraine "Ceasefire" Which Is Promptly Refuted By All Sides





The comedic value of developments out of Ukraine, especially when it comes to "de-escalation", truly has no equal. Case in point, events from the past three hours, when we learned that there is a new Ukraine ceasefire, there is no Ukraine ceasefire, Putin is looking for a ceasefire but can't be part to a agreement as he is not "firing", NATO is pushing again, Ukraine demands special treatment, the Ukraine rebels were never even consulted on the latest ceasefure, and so on. End result: futures just hit new all time highs.

 
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