• Tim Knight from...
    09/19/2014 - 20:15
    I was originally going to title this post "Jackie DeAngelis Must Die", but I thought she might take it the wrong way.

Israel

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Key Events And Issues In The Coming Week





In the US, retail sales on Friday will be the main data release. In addition, Congress will return from its 5-week recess on Monday and will likely keep their focus on Syria this week. Finally, San Francisco Fed President Williams (who does not vote on FOMC policy this year) will speak on Monday. Last week, Williams argued that the FOMC should maintain its focus on the unemployment rate, despite its limitations. After Friday's employment report saw the unemployment rate drop again due to falling participation, this issue is likely to resurface. The Fed's communication blackout period begins on Tuesday so Williams will be the last FOMC speaker before the September meeting ends on the 18th.

 
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The Market Implications Of Middle East Turmoil





The conflict in Syria is very complex, given the country’s diverse ethnic mix and the influence of foreign powers. This implies a high risk of a further dramatic escalation of the conflict, with negative spillovers into the broader region. Short term, UBS notes that the response of the Assad regime to a potential military strike will be crucial, while a key question for the medium term will be whether state structures can be preserved in Syria, so that contagious chaos can be avoided. UBS sees the impact on the international economy comes mainly via risk appetite and oil prices. Should the conflict be contained, the global economic fallout should be limited. However, the worst-case scenario of a regional spread of hostilities, involving Iran, Israel or the GCC, would be a lot more damaging.

 
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Goldman's Quick Answers To Tough EM Questions





As most know by now, over the past month or so, pressure on the currencies of EM deficit countries has intensified again. Goldman's EM research group, however, remains negative on EM FX, bonds, and even stocks suggesting using any strength, like this week's exuberance to add protection or cover any remaining longs.  Central banks in most of these countries have become more active in attempting to stem pressure in the last two weeks. But with a Fed decision on ‘tapering’ looming, investors have also become more cautious and are now focused on the parallels with prior crisis periods. In what follows, Goldman provides some concise answers to the questions on the EM landscape that we encounter most often, confirming their longer-held bearish bias.

 
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We Have Officially Jumped The Shark: Al-Arabiya Reports Another "Gas Attack" By Syrian Regime





So totally unexpected:

SYRIA GOVT FORCES SHELL QABUN, DAMASCUS WITH GAS: AL-ARABIYA
AL-ARABIYA CITES UNIDENTIFIED ACTIVISTS -
so the same CIA-trained, al Qaeda funded, Qatari mercenaries?

Actually it is surprising: the odds were today's false flag would take place in Iran to get the Israel card in play. Apparently nobody was dumb enough to assume the government would go with two false flags in a row in the same place. And now bring on the 1000 YouTube clips of "undisputed proof."

 
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The Soap Opera Plot Thickens: Iran Plots Revenge If US Hits Syria, According To "Intercepted" Message





We have not seen the YouTube clip that will serve as "incontrovertible" evidence of the following, nor is there any indication that Iran is actually aware of the NSA and that it intercepts every form of electronic communication (and when such communication is not available, one is made up), but since we have no reason to doubt the US government or its pristine, best intentions with or without YouTube clips, it is only obvious that the latest development in the Syrian/Iranian/Qatari/Saudi/Israeli soap opera is definitive proof that a US attack must happen to punish not only evil Assad but the just as evil Iranians, who dare to contemplate retaliation in the case of the latest defensive US war of aggression.

 
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Guest Post: 10 Chemical Weapons Attacks The U.S. Government Doesn’t Want You To Know About





A couple of weeks ago we highlighted the fact that declassified documents analyzed by Foreign Policy proved that the U.S. government knew about Saddam Hussein’s egregious use of chemical weapons and in fact we helped him be more effective in their deployment. Well unfortunately that’s just the tip of the American chemical weapons iceberg. From white phosphorus and depleted uranium (DU) usage in Iraq, to secret radioactive tests in poor black neighborhoods within the U.S. itself, the list is pretty horrific. While one might be able to say that this is the reality of war, then what the heck are we doing entering a civil war in a country where chemical weapons are being used that poses no threat to us?

 
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Guest Post: Calling Off America's Bombs





As the US Congress considers whether to authorize American military intervention in Syria, its members should bear in mind a basic truth: While Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad has repeatedly used extreme violence to retain power, the United States – and other governments in the Middle East and Europe – share responsibility for turning Syria into a killing field. The US government’s misguided move from potential mediator and problem solver to active backer of the Syrian insurrection was, predictably, a terrible mistake. It is time for the US to help stop the killing in Syria. That means abandoning the fantasy that it can or should determine who rules in the Middle East.

 
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Guest Post: Is The US Going To War With Syria Over A Natural Gas Pipeline?





As we asked (rhetorically, of course) over 3 months ago, why has the little nation of Qatar spent 3 billion dollars to support the rebels in Syria?  Could it be because Qatar is the largest exporter of liquid natural gas in the world and Assad won't let them build a natural gas pipeline through Syria?  Of course.  Qatar wants to install a puppet regime in Syria that will allow them to build a pipeline which will enable them to sell lots and lots of natural gas to Europe. If the U.S. is successful in getting rid of the Assad regime, it will be good for either the Saudis or Qatar (and possibly for both), and it will be really bad for Russia.  This is a strategic geopolitical conflict about natural resources, religion and money, and it really has nothing to do with chemical weapons at all...

 
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Asia's Richest Man, Li Ka-Shing, Looking to Make Gold Investments





It is likely that he does, as he is Chinese and was a Chinese refugee who fled to Hong Kong with his family to avoid the perils of war. Refugees who flee from their homeland to start new lives in other countries tend to have a deeper appreciation of and understand the importance of owning physical gold.

 
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Russia Sends Two Marine-Carrying Ships To The Mediterranean





If the direct result of today's surprising and unannounced Israeli missile test was to provoke a response by Russia, the Allies have succeeded. ITAR TASS reports that Russia’s Black and Baltic Sea Fleets’ Ropucha-class landing ships Novocherkassk (150 marines on board) and Minsk (225 marines) have sailed off for the Mediterranean Sea. What was not reported is that the destination of the two marine carrying ships is the sensitive area around Syria already staked out by the US navy. It is implied.

 
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Israel President's Not So Veiled Threat To Assad





What is the best way to avoid a veiled threat? Unveil it.

  • ISRAELI PRESIDENT PERES COMMENTS SENT IN E-MAILED STATEMENT
  • PERES SAYS HE ADMIRES OBAMA'S EXAMINING `EVERY POSSIBILITY'
  • PERES SAYS `ASSAD WILL DISAPPEAR ONE WAY OR THE OTHER'

Truly a great line for any Hollywood action movie, which is what the whole staged conflict in the middle east resembles more and more with every passing day.

 
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Israeli Arrow-3 Interceptor Missile Propaganda Video





Yesterday we presented an amusing propaganda video clip remix of the Syrian S-300 Surface to Air missile. We found it hardly surprising, especially following today's news of a missile test launch by Israel, that there is a matching counterparty propaganda video showcasing Israel's Arro-3 missile interceptor from February of 2013.

 
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Gold Rises Towards $1,400 After Russia Says Missiles Fired At Syria





Gold, silver and brent oil rose and European stocks declined after reports of missile launches in the Mediterranean. Russian radar detected two ballistic "objects" that were fired towards the Syrian coastline from the central part of the sea.

 
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Israeli Missile Test Update





More on this morning's unexpected joint Israel-US missile test launch. From Bloomberg:

  • Israel missile defense organization, U.S. missile defense agency completed successful flight test of new version of the “sparrow target missile” today, Israeli Defense  Ministry says in e-mailed statement.
  • Arrow weapon system’s radar successfully detected, tracked target; all elements performed according to configuration
  • Main contractor of arrow weapon system is MLM of IAI, in conjunction with Boeing, according to statement
  • ISRAEL DEFENSE MINISTER SAYS MISSILE TEST WAS SUCCESSFUL
  • ISRAEL'S YA'ALON SAYS NEW DEFENSE TECHNOLOGIES MUST BE TESTED
 
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