• Steve H. Hanke
    02/11/2016 - 16:08
    The burgeoning literature contains a great deal of hype, which validates the 95% Rule: 95% of what is written about economics and finance is either wrong or irrelevant.

European Union

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The Saudis Are Stumbling (And They May Take The Middle-East Down With Them)





America’s leading Sunni ally is proving how easily hubris, delusion, and old-fashioned ineptitude can trump even bottomless wealth.

 
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There Are No Safe Spaces





We're not persuaded that world opinion will ever “make sense” of the Paris attacks. The non-linear rules the day. One thing seems assured: hard-line governments are coming soon. Politically, the West had boundary problems that go way beyond the question of national borders to the core psychology of modern liberalism. When is enough of anything enough? And then, what are you really willing to do about it? The answer lately among the Western societies is to do little and do it slowly. The behavior of college administrators and faculties in the USA these days is emblematic of this cowardly dithering.

 
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The False Flag Link: Syrian Passport "Found" Next To Suicide Bomber Was "Definitely A Forgery"





The already laughable story that the passport of a Syrian refugee had been found next to the bodies of one of the dead terrorists took an even more surreal twist when we learned hours ago that according to both French and US sources, the passport was most likely a fake.

 
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Guest Post: Gold, Oil, & 'Grandmaster' Putin's Trap





It is important to keep in mind that the dollar’s attacks on gold always end the same way – in a painful knockout for the dollar. There have been no exceptions to this rule throughout monetary history, nor will there be this time. Hence the well-known market rule: “Any maximum of the gold price is not the last one.” It would be naive to believe that this golden rule is unknown to that grandmaster of patience, Vladimir Putin, and to Xi Jinping. By systematically increasing their gold reserves, Russia and China are relentlessly moving forward to strip the US dollar of its status as a global reserve currency. America’s standard military solution won’t work in this situation.

 
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A Message to Europe – Prepare For Nationalism





"I really hope I am wrong about everything I wrote. I hope those advocating for positive statements and solidarity will win the day. I hope EU politicians change course before it’s too late. I hope all of those things, but hope is not going to save Europe... Because if not, the backlash against Muslims generally, and refugees specifically, is likely to be sustained and unjustifiably harsh."

 
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France's Far-Right Party Calls For Nation To "Re-Arm Itself", Revoke Muslims' Passports, "Eradicate" Radical Islam





If there is one 'winner' from last night's terrible events in Paris, it is France's anti-EU, anti-immigration far-right wing Front Nationale party leader Marine Le Pen. Having already ascended to the lead in yet another poll ahead of France's 2017 elections, Le Pen came out swinging this morning call for France to "re-arm itself," stating that radical Islam must be "eradicated" from France. She further demanded that border controls be made "permanent" and binational Islamists must be depreived of their French passport.

 
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Assad Condemns "Savage" Paris Attacks, Blames French Foreign Policy





"We said, don't take what is happening in Syria lightly. Unfortunately, European officials did not listen."

 
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EU Commissioner's Dire Warning: "The Only Alternative To Europe Is War"





While the saying goes "good fences make good neighbors," it appears the leadership of The EU is starting to get frustrated with the lack of acquiescence among some of the 'union's' newer or more marginal members. In a somewhat stunning statement, following ongoing and contentious meetings to discuss solutions to the migrant 'problem', EU Commissioner Timmermanns appeared to warn disagreeable member states, "There is an alternative to everything. I believe in EU cooperation because of all other forms in history have been tried to help Europeans get on better, and with the exception of this one, all other forms have led to war - so let's stick to this one."

 
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The European Union Is Disintegrating: Austria Builds New Fence; Germany, Sweden Resume Border Checks





In the latest from Europe's border battles, Austria has responded to Slovenia by building its own version of an anti-migrant fence while Sweden has began checking trains coming from Denmark and removing anyone without the proper papers. Saving Schengen truly is a "race against time."

 
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Frontrunning: November 12





  • Stock futures little changed as Yellen comments awaited (Reuters)
  • Draghi stimulus hint underpins stocks, knocks euro (Reuters)
  • Black Friday's Losing Its Mojo and Retailers Might Be Relieved (BBG)
  • Macy’s Fights Downward Spiral With Bet on Off-Price Backstage Stores (WSJ)
  • Greece Comes to a Standstill as Unions Turn Against Tsipras (BBG)
  • Euro zone production falls more than expected in September (Reuters)
  • Valeant played a key role in building, operating Philidor RX (Reuters)
 
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On The Verge Of The Great Unraveling, Looking Back From 2050





Empires, like adolescents, think they’ll live forever. In geopolitics, as in biology, expiration dates are never visible. When death comes, it’s always a shock. "At the beginning of the great unraveling, in 2015, I was still a young man. Like everyone else, I didn’t see this coming. Today, in 2050, fewer and fewer people can recall what it was like to live among those leviathans... Thirty-five years and endless catastrophes later on a poorer, bleaker, less hospitable planet, it’s clear that we just weren’t paying sufficient attention. Had we been listening, we would have heard the termites. There, in the basement of our common home, they were eating the very foundations out from under us. Suddenly, before we knew quite what was happening, all that was solid had melted into air."

 
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The Refugee Crisis Risks Straining Europe To The Point Of Military Conflict





The EU expects 3 million refugees in 2016. This year, there will be ‘only’ 1 million. Of which resettlement deals have been made for 160,000, and at last count 116 have actually been resettled. The 1 million refugees in 2015 have already strained resources, international relationships and indeed entire governments to such an extent, wars could start just because of that. Add another 3 million, and the chances of a peaceful 2016 in Europe grow terribly slim.. The fact is that Europe risks being strained to the point of military conflict.

 
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Frontrunning: November 9





  • Global Stocks Slip Lower (WSJ)
  • Dollar sits pretty, bond yields rise as Fed bets firm (Reuters)
  • Takeover Loans Have Few Takers on Wall Street (WSJ)
  • Chinese Buyers Seek Dollar Assets as Promise of Yuan Gains Fades (BBG)
  • Banking Giants Learn Cost of Preventing Another Lehman Moment (BBG)
  • Eurozone Finance Ministers Won’t Release $2.15 billion Loan to Greece (WSJ)
 
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Greece May Open Border Fence With Turkey, Accept Refugees In Exchange For Release Of Bailout Cash





Perhaps realizing that another wave of social unrest and failure to obtain creditor cash may well lead to a violent social upheaval, Tsipras seems to be contemplating a Plan B, one which would see Greece accept thousands of refugees destined for Europe in exchange for getting the earmarked cash without any reform.

 
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