European Union

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Competing Gas Pipelines Are Fueling The Syrian War & Migrant Crisis

Don’t let anyone fool you: As we have detailed since 2013, sectarian strife in Syria has been engineered to provide cover for a war for access to oil and gas, and the power and money that come along with it.

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How Europe Will Pay For The Refugee Crisis: Higher Taxes For The Rich

Europe's handling of its refugee crisis has led to much criticism and left even more to be desired, but until now Europe's general population was largely on the side of the misplaced migrants who are trying to reestablish their lives away from the daily horrors of the middle east, all in the name of a Qatari gas pipeline. That may soon change as Europe realizes the influx of tens of thousands of refugees will result in a dramatic surge in public costs, costs which have to be footed by someone. That someone will be the general population (with the wealthy targeted at first) courtesy of even higher taxes.

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Frontrunning: September 10

  • Compare: S&P 500 Futures Advance After U.S. Stocks Ignored Global Rally (BBG)
  • And contrast: Global Stock Rally Grinds to a Halt (BBG)
  • And be very confused: Global Stocks Lower on U.S. Interest Rate Uncertainty (WSJ)
  • Hilsenrath: Fed Wavers on September Rate Rise (WSJ)
  • Time for more QE: Abe Adviser Says Next Month Good Opportunity for BOJ Easing (BBG)
  • Brazil downgraded to junk rating by S&P, deepening woes (Reuters)
  • Kiwi dollar tumbles after New Zealand cuts interest rates (Reuters)
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Europe Unveils €780 Million "Compulsory" Refugee Quota Plan

As WSJ reports, "the European Union on Wednesday proposed redistributing 160,000 refugees across the bloc and speeding up procedures to send back those who don’t qualify for asylum, in a bid to improve a stuttering response to the largest wave of migration on the continent since the aftermath of World War II."

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Buiter: Only "Helicopter Money" Can Save The World From The Next Recession

"We believe a global recession scenario has become the most likely global macroeconomic scenario for the next two years or so. Helicopter money drops would be the best instrument to tackle a downturn in all DMs. We expect to see QE #N, where N could become a large integer, as part of the monetary policy response in the US and the UK, and QEE2 in Japan." 

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Frontrunning: September 9

  • Global stocks rally as investors scent fresh stimulus (Reuters)
  • Japan's Nikkei 225 Rises 7.7% for Biggest Gain Since October 2008 (BBG)
  • China's Stocks Advance for Second Day Amid Stimulus Speculation (BBG)
  • Abe Pledges Corporate Tax Cut as Investments Slump (BBG)
  • U.S. to shift 50 staff to boost office handling Clinton emails (Reuters)
  • Chinese Premier Li Keqiang Says China Doesn't Want a Currency War (BBG)
  • One Thing China Got Right (BBG)
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"The World Is Running Low On Interventionist Ammo" SocGen Warns "China Is The Dominant Black Swan"

When it comes to crisis, SocGen notes that there is an abundance of case studies; and against the backdrop of the uncertainty shock delivered by China and the subsequent market tumult, market participants have been looking to the history books for clues as to what could happen next. While individual crises create their own risks, SocGen warns, the overriding risk  is that markets are taking less comfort today from the idea that central banks may step in with further QE-style liquidity injections to save the world.

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ECB Bans Media From 'Behind-Closed-Doors' Speech To Hedge Fund Managers

Fool me once, shame on me; fool me twice, shame on you; fool me a third time, you must think we are all just idiots!! Following The ECB's Benoit Coeure "internal procedure error" where he leaked the imminent actions of the central bank to a group of well-heeled hedge fund managers - who proceeded to dump EURUSD ahead of the announcement, The ECB has decided - in all its arrogant wisdom - to decamp to Luxembourg to speak, once again, to participants in the world of high finance behind closed doors. The media aren’t invited (though the ECB will publish some prepared remarks from the board members.).

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Frontrunning: September 8

  • Sure, why not: China Rebounds as Trade Data Disappoints (BBG)
  • Oh, that's why: China's Stock-Rescue Tab Surges to $236 Billion, Goldman Says (BBG)
  • Can't make this up: German finmin says must avoid reliance on debt, cenbank stimulus (Reuters)
  • Stocks rise after contrasting China, Germany trade data (Reuters)
  • Euro zone second-quarter GDP revised up as Italy grows faster (Reuters)
  • Brent oil rises on European, Chinese data; oversupply weighs (Reuters)
  • Corporate Prosecution Deals Headed for a Legal Test (WSJ)
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Ron Paul On Promoting Democracy With Bombs, Drones & Guns: The Neocon Complicity In Europe's Refugee Crisis

While the media focuses on the human tragedy of so many people uprooted and traveling in dangerous circumstances, there is very little attention given to the events that led them to leave their countries. Certainly we all feel for the displaced people, especially the children, but let’s not forget that this is a man-made crisis and it is a government-made crisis.

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Meanwhile In Brussels, Farmers Take On The Riot Police With "Hay Cannon"

As events unfold that have to be seen to be be believed in Belgian capital Brussels, European farmers - protesting plunging food prices, blamed on Russia's food embargo, which was retaliation to Europe and US sanctions - are demanding EU intervention to bail them out. What was originally a parade of tractors quickly turned violent as farm equipment rammed police barricades and police released tear gas and water jets in response to the farmers unleashing their "hay cannon." Boomerang anyone? "EU farmers are paying the price for international politics...There have been hundreds of suicides as a result of disastrous agricultural policies."

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Exorbitant Privilege: "The Dollar Is Our Currency But Your Problem"

There is no better way to describe the international monetary system today than through the statement made in 1971 by U.S. Treasury Secretary, John Connally. He said to his counterparts during a Rome G-10 meeting in November 1971, shortly after the Nixon administration ended the dollar’s convertibility into gold and shifted the international monetary system into a global floating exchange rate regime that, "The dollar is our currency, but your problem.” This remains the U.S. policy towards the international community even today. On several occasions both the past and present chairpersons of the Fed, Ben Bernanke and Janet Yellen, have indicated it still is the U.S. policy as it concerns the dollar. Is China saying to the world, but more particularly to the U.S., “The yuan is our currency but your problem”?

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Italy Is "Willing To Temporarily Suspend Schengen" In Response To Refugee Crisis

Europe's refugee crisis just took a dramatic turn for the worse, and strikes at the very hear of Europe's Shengen customs union which has allowed borderless travel within Europe for decades. As Bloomberg reports, the Italian Province of Bolzano in Northern Italy said in a statement that it agreed with the Italian government on request by German Federal State of Bavaria by "communicating a willingness to restore border controls at Brenner and temporarily suspend the Schengen agreement."

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Frontrunning: August 28

  • Stock Halts Added to Monday’s Market Chaos (WSJ)
  • Fed Up Investors Yank Cash From Almost Everything Just Like 2008 (BBG)
  • Drop in Stock Futures Signal Halt to S&P 500's Relief Rally (BBG) - at least until the BOJ ramps USDJPY up again
  • Hacker Killed by Drone Was Islamic State’s ‘Secret Weapon’ (WSJ)
  • Greece's Syriza to win election but face setback, poll shows (Reuters)
  • Puerto Rico Spends More Than $60 Million on Debt Restructuring (BBG)
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