The recent attacks in Paris evoke strong emotions for many people, but investors need to look through those feelings to the short, medium, and long-term implications. We believe Paris may mark an important turning point for Europe and the global business cycle... but for different reasons than you may think. There is a chance that the slow disintegration of Europe will drive more capital onto US shores, boosting valuations and fueling a blow-off top in the US equity market; but beware global shocks and take any rally as a chance to get defensive.
In the aftermath of last week's dramatic events in Turkey, one would expect that the "democratic, humanistic" western countries would at least issue a harsh condemnation of Erdogan's behavior. That won't happen: instead, the European Union will pay Turkey $3.2 billion to help it stop the flow of refugees to Europe from the conflict in Syria, 2.2 million of whom are currently in Turkey and to prevent Europe's worst refugee crisis from getting even worse.
The successful completion of the Balkan Silk Road would lead to a significant sum of European trade being profitably redirected towards China and other booming non-Western locations like India and Ethiopia. The US fears losing its position as the EU’s top trading partner, knowing that the slippery strategic slope that could soon follow might lead to the rapid unraveling of its hegemonic control. The inevitable New Cold War clash that this represents and the extraordinarily high stakes that are involved mean that the Balkans will remain one of the main flashpoints in this dangerous proxy struggle, despite the hierarchical switch of its multipolar protagonists.
If the end justifies the means, and we make sure there never is an end to this, then arms will continue to be traded, profits will continue to be made, and lies will be told till no-one can tell up from down, since all means are justified until the end of time. That this leaves us morally utterly rudderless then becomes just another one of those justified means. Anything goes.
They sell sex for a piece of bread – so to say – “in order to eat or cover basic needs and extra expenses as they have no money,” The Times and Lazos on The Times claim. “80% of prostitutes in Greece are Greek women aged 17 to 20”. The price for sex has dramatically decreased from €50 euro for 60 minutes down to “€2 for half an hour.“
It's almost game over for Puerto Rico. The commonwealth is racing to restructure some $72 billion in debt and next week, Padilla will need to decide between a partial default on a $354 million bond payment and ensuring that the government can continue to provide basic services.
In a move that ends a weeks-long political stalemate, Portugal's President Anibal Cavaco Silva has named Socialist leader Antonio Costa PM. Due to Costa's alliance with the Left Bloc and the Communists, many worry the stage is now set for a showdown with Brussels, the IMF, and Berlin.
This is a commentary which should never have needed to be written.
According to The Times, EU leaders are holding "secret" meetings to discuss the future of Europe's cherished Schengen Agreement which allows for passport-free travel within the bloc. As one unnamed diplomat put it, "the current system is simply not working."
Obamaworld is gone. We live again in an us-versus-them country in an us-versus-them world. And we shall likely never know another.
Instead of Listening to Idiots Talking Their Book ... Let's Fact-Check the Myths
- French, U.S. Troops Enter Mali Hotel as Gunmen Hold Hostages (BBG)
- Top suspect seen on CCTV in metro during Paris attacks (Reuters)
- Paris Attacks’ Alleged Ringleader, Now Dead, Had Slipped Into Europe Unchecked (WSJ)
- Global shares march on as alarm bells ring for metals (Reuters)
- European Stocks Rise With Asian Shares as Zinc, Ringgit Advance (BBG)
- World leaders arrive for summit amid heavy security (Reuters)
One more time: It’s not Paris, Greece, China, Ebola, Fed rate-hike or not, etc... Nothing matters but OPEX...
The Fed has conditioned investors to ignore fundamentals, valuations, and the business cycle. As a result, we are in another bubble that will burst as all bubbles do.