Last year, Elliott Management's Paul Singer highlighted "one risk that stands way above the rest in terms of the scope of potential damage adjusted for the likelihood of occurrence" - an electromagnetic pulse (EMP). As Michael Snyder previously details, our entire way of life can be ended in a single day. And it wouldn’t even take a nuclear war to do it. All it would take for a rogue nation or terror organization to bring us to our knees is the explosion of a couple well-placed nuclear devices high up in our atmosphere. The resulting electromagnetic pulses would fry electronics from coast to coast, and, as PeakProsperity.com's Chris Martenson explains, the country is extremely vulnerable to an EMP...
During “normal times” – an economic growth phase accompanied or generated by rising systemic leverage – central banks have incentive to promote nominal growth and inflation, which make banking systems profitable and their free-spending political overseers happy. In such times, commercial banks have fiduciary responsibilities to shareholders to constantly increase their market values, which they do by expanding their balance sheets. Now that economies are highly leveraged, extinguishing debt would require banks to reduce the sizes of their loan books, which would shrink their market values. Thus, it seems economic policy makers never have incentive to promote debt extinguishment in the banking system, regardless of economic conditions or prospects.
The system is corrupt… and dangerously dysfunctional. But why does no one say so? Opinion makers such as Paul Krugman and Larry Summers misunderstand intentionally. But who speaks for the next three decades? Everyone wants more credit, more inflation, more bubbles, more subsidies, and more special privileges. Who’s on the other side of the trade?
The first step in any 12-step imperial-overstretch recovery program would involve accepting the fact that American power is limited and global rule an impossible fantasy. Accepted as well would have to be this obvious reality: like it or not, the U.S. shares the planet with a coterie of other major powers -- none as strong as we are, but none so weak as to be intimidated by the threat of U.S. military intervention. Having absorbed a more realistic assessment of American power, Washington would then have to focus on how exactly to cohabit with such powers -- Russia, China, and Iran among them -- and manage its differences with them without igniting yet more disastrous regional firestorms. But for any of this to happen, American policymakers would first have to abandon the pretense that the United States remains the sole global superpower -- and that may be too bitter a pill for the present American psyche (and for the political aspirations of certain Republican candidates) to swallow. From such denialism, it’s already clear, will only come further ill-conceived military adventures abroad and, sooner or later, under far grimmer circumstances, an American reckoning with reality.
Curious how and why the US is "boosting" US GDP by selling over $4 billion worth of weapons to Israel, Iran and Saudi Arabia, ostensibly to provide these countries with protection against ISIS (the same ISIS, incidentally, which a leaked document last week admitted had been effectively created by the US)? Simple: by first "losing" a billion dollars worth of Humvees so that, drumroll, ISIS can be the best-armed "terrorist" force in the middle east, a force whose mere presence will demand billions in subsequent military orders from the US military-industrial complex by all those who are threatened by ISIS.
There is always a way out for Greece. But at what cost?
A non-bombastic look at the week ahead and a number of key events in June. These could set the tone for Q3 and beyond.
"The supply of oil continues to build," warns the CEO of one super-tanker fleet, and "all of this oil needs to go somewhere," which is why the surge in super-tankers to a seven year high strong suggests all is not well in the world's hopeful 'demand' picture. With charter rates up a stunning 57% in the last few weeks with millions of barrels being stored on ships is another indication that the oil glut is yet to dissipate (and in fact, as Bloomberg reports, is getting worse - with almost half a billion barrels of oil in transit to buyers at the start of June, the most this year). With OPEC's meeting around the corner, a sudden realization of this rising glut may send prices plummeting once again.
The ‘war’ word is being increasingly heard internationally as the U.S., EU, Russia and China adopt provocative postures over various disputes including Ukraine and in the Pacific. War with the U.S. is “inevitable” if the U.S. involves itself in the dispute which has arisen over the Spratley Islands in the South China Sea according to China's state controlled newspaper the Global Times.
In Part 1 of “The New Silk Road,” we examined the China’s plan for rebuilding the Silk Road, stretching from Europe to Asia. In Part 2, we look at currently proposed projects, and geopolitical rivalries that could stall and hamper progress. Until very recently, it was widely assumed that the US would lead its western allies in a campaign against the Russian/Chinese deal to develop the Silk Road, but events have been reversing with remarkable speed.
Another day, another Clinton Foundation related scandal. In the latest expose by International Business Times’ David Sirota, we learn about the explosion in weapons sales to certain nations during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State. Billions of dollars in sales went to autocratic regimes notorious for human rights abuses who donated generously to the Clinton Foundation. Should we be surprised? No. Should we be outraged and disgusted? Absolutely. Of all the Clinton scandals, the following is the most dangerous to peace on earth.
"Under Clinton's leadership, the State Department approved $165 billion worth of commercial arms sales to 20 nations whose governments have given money to the Clinton Foundation, according to an IBTimes analysis of State Department and foundation data."
"Beijing has not yet declared a formal air defense identification zone (ADIZ) over the South China Sea, unlike the one it established over part of the East China Sea in 2013, nor could it today enforce such a zone effectively with its current fighters. However, with its reclamation activities continuing, and the Obama Administration apparently having decided to challenge China’s claims, the US and China are now potentially closer to an armed encounter than at any time in the past 20 years. Here are three ways the US and China could go to war..."