The current US air strikes in Iraq are unlikely to have a significant impact on defense spending or oil prices, Goldman Sachs writes, unless the scale of the conflict changes considerably. Evidence from past US conflicts that were similar in scale also suggests little impact on confidence and at most mixed evidence of a flight-to-safety effect in financial markets. The exchange of sanctions with Russia - a relatively minor US trading partner - is also likely to have only a modest impact on the US economy. Of course, Goldman caveats, both situations are highly unpredictable; as they expect little reaction to recent events from Fed officials, who have generally not discussed conflicts of this magnitude unless accompanied by other economic concerns, such as a large rise in oil prices.
Traders and market participants are pretty bad at decision making as it is, the last thing they need is inaccurate information via sensationalized and overhyped TMZ Style News reports to base their decision making process on.
There is a standard view of energy and the economy that can briefly be summarized as follows: Economic growth can continue forever; we will learn to use less energy supplies; energy prices will rise; and the world will adapt. The following view of how energy and the economy fit together is very different - it is based on the principle of reaching limits in a finite world.
Futures Continue Levitation On More "Deescalation" Hopes Despite UK Warning Russia Of "Serious Consequences"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 08/15/2014 07:05 -0400
There were headlines for everyone this morning, but especially for fans of what is increasingly known as Russia's "Schrodinger Invasion" of East Ukraine: one which may or may not be happening depending on i) one's point of view and ii) how one is observing it.
The record-breaking outflows in high-yield bonds are not the only indication that the U.S. economy could be on the verge of very hard times. Retail sales are extremely disappointing, mortgage applications are at a 14 year low and growing geopolitical storms around the world have investors spooked. For a long time now, we have been enjoying a period of relative economic stability even though our underlying economic fundamentals continue to get even worse. Unfortunately, there are now a bunch of signs that this period of relative stability is about to end. The following are 14 reasons why the U.S. economy's bubble of false prosperity may be about to burst...
Qatar, the world's richest nation per capita (and awkward home of US central command in The Middle East), has used its wealth to fund Hamas in the Gaza Strip, bankrolls (as we detailed here) Islamists fighting Syrian President Bashar Assad, and backed the Muslim Brotherhood and President Mohamed Morsi in Egypt - before he was deposed. As Bloomberg reports, they have additionally let other extremist groups raise money in Qatar, according to the U.S. Treasury Department - all in an effort to 'support' the gas pipelines that the tiny nation needs to maintain its uber-wealth. Qatar’s support for militants has angered its neighboring conservative monarchies... so, it is an intriguing shift that now, as Bloomberg reports, finds the terrorist-funding-nation mediating between Israel and Hamas to end the Gaza conflict.
This is especially the case in Ukraine where the currency has lost more than half of its value versus gold (see chart above and below). Gold in Ukraine Hrvynia is up 70% since the start of 2014. People who own gold in Ukraine would laugh at you, if you said that gold is not a safe haven. As would people in many countries in South America, the Middle East and Africa.
Having expressed his dismay at President Obama's decision to embark upon Iraq War 3.0, Ron Paul explains "it's a little bit late to salvage all the mistakes that we've made for the past 24 years," adding that he is worried "it will end up with a lot more violence because they are putting more troops in there right now." Simply out, Paul concludes, "the sooner we get out of there the better," as it "jeopardizes our national security and is bankrupting our country... this is exactly what Osama bin Laden wanted."
The Iraq War Officially Begins (Again): US Troops Prepare For Rollout As US Drones Strike ISIS PositionsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 08/13/2014 22:11 -0400
UPDATE: U.S. SAID TO LAND TROOPS ON MT. SINJAR IN IRAQ, ABC NEWS SAYS
U.S. military officials say an armed American MQ-1 Predator drone has attacked and destroyed a mortar position of Islamic militants in northern Iraq. As WaPo reports, the drone attack marks a departure for the U.S. military, which had said previously that drones were flying missions over Iraq only to collect intelligence. No boots hit the ground in the carrying out of this action...
Last week, the barbaric Islamic State seized the vitally important Mosul dam, dramatically impacting tactical options against them and potentially changing the future of the Middle East. When the US coalition forces invaded Iraq in 2003, military intelligence developed invasion scenarios. One scenario included Iraqi forces placing detonation charges at the vitally important dam. If US forces were able to safely secure the dam, then they had a contingency plan to operate it and ensure critically important maintenance. The US quickly discovered the necessity for $27 million worth of frantically urgent repairs. A dam break does not require sabotage. Maintenance failure has the same result.
It’s common for the world’s most powerful country to issue a currency that becomes adopted around the world as the standard for international trade. But whenever that country reaches a point of epic, terminal decline, and especially when it rapidly debases its currency, the rest of the world seeks an alternative. The US has been enjoying this special privilege for decades now. And while these changes never happen overnight, it’s clear that the dollar is quickly losing this status.
The prospect of renewed war has little effect on the public anymore. But in reality, we can’t begin to understand how it feels to live under the threat of bombs and shrapnel every day. As Americans, and Westerners, we are gifted with the option to not partake directly in war, but play the casual observer. Is this really human progress? Have we reached the pinnacle of human existence where men can live comfortably cheerleading for mass murder? Did anybody think to question this outcome of secular materialism before celebrating its benefits?
Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer delivered his first speech on the global economy in Stockholm, Sweden yesterday. Fischer headed Israel’s central bank from 2005 through 2013 and is now number two at the Federal Reserve in the U.S. after Janet Yellen. Fischer’s comments that the U.S. is “preparing a proposal” for bail-ins is at odds with FDIC and Bank of England officials who have said that bail-in legislation could be used today and "I mean today ... "
If the global equity "markets" were in need of a sharp "horrible news is great news" boost overnight, it came courtesy of Germany's ZEW investor confidence survey, which printed at a stunning 8.6, a plunge from the 27.1 in July and far below the 17.0 expected - the lowest print since December 2012 -largely suggesting that a European triple-dip is all but assured. And if that wasn't enough, strong language from John Kerry, assured to fan the flames of geopolitical instability, came hours ago when the US SecState said even more Russian sanctions may be coming. And just to make sure the NY Fed trading desk has to come up with a new narrative is the latest development in the Russian "humanitarian convoy" saga, which as we reported last night, has departed Russia but which Ukraine is now refusing to allow into its country. All in all, it's is setting up to be another super bullish day in the rigged markets for which all that matters is... Tuesday.
Gosh, isn’t that what we spent eight years, 4,500 lives, and $1.7 trillion doing? And how did that work out? The Iraq war is just like the US financial system. The people in charge can’t imagine writing off their losses. Which, from the policy standpoint, leaves the USA pounding sand down so many rat holes that there may be no ground left to stand on anywhere.