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.
Genuine economic growth is something you can allow, but you cannot force. If you try to trick your way to it – with phony interest rates, more debt, and cockamamie inflation targets – you will retard the growth, not speed it up. This is obvious, too. But Ms. Yellen is paid not to see it. And in the absence of real growth, the Dow at 18,000 looks vulnerable. It wouldn’t be at all surprising to see a rolling top take shape... with a sharp break in the fall. But here we leave the vagaries of the market to pay homage to America’s Second Greatest Generation.
Containers holding contaminated water at the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant are at risk of hydrogen explosions, The Telegraph reports, with 10% of them found to be leaking. The discovery was reported to the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA), which raised concerns surrounding the potential hazards of accumulated hydrogen building up in the containers warning that "a spark caused by static electricity could cause a container to explode." TEPCO officials reassuringly note that they "think the possibility of an occurrence of hydrogen explosion from these storage facilities is extremely low, since there is no fire origin, or anything that generates static electricity nearby," but this is the same company that a recent IAEA report blasted for "failing to implement adequate safeguards at Fukushima – despite being aware of the tsunami risk."
By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail
May is usually the time when farmers in Japan's Fukushima prefecture - best known for being the tragic venue of the 2011 Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant disaster - plant rice. This year, however, they will be planting something else: an unknown, and quite lethal, amount of radioactive dust.
What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
Having explained to the general public that there was nothing to be concerned about, when an exploding transformer shut down at least one unit of the Indian River nuclear power plant, noting "no danger to public safety," it appears the situation is not as 'contained' as officials hoped. As Sputnik News reports, thousands of gallons of oil that leaked into the Hudson River after the explosion has formed a gigantic oil sheen on the waterway. NY Governor Andrew Cuomo has demanded a probe into the incident, adding that Entergy and contractors will clean up the spill.
And the 'incidents' just keep coming for Japan. Lax safety checks at Kwai Chung container terminal - the only sea entry point for food from overseas - have allowed banned imports from Japan to enter Hong Kong, according to Democratic Party lawmaker Helena Wong Pik-wan. As The South China Morning Post reports, radioactive contaminated food may have been entering the city unnoticed for years because of deficiencies in safety controls on fresh produce since the ban following the Fukushima nuclear power plant incident in 2011.
Vladimir Putin holds his annual live Q&A event where, over the course of more than four priceless hours, the Russian President takes questions from across the country and discusses everything from foreign relations, to military might, to his sleeping habits, to not wanting to be cloned.
- Euro zone bond yields sink to historic lows (Reuters)
- Clinton Foundation to Keep Foreign Donors (WSJ)
- Russia says U.S. forced it to act on Ukraine (Reuters)
- Bankers to China's Rescue (BBG)
- Saudi Arabia Adds Half a Bakken to Global Oil Market in a Month (BBG)
- Valuations of Hong Kong's stock market operator go interstellar (Reuters)
- Switzerland Attracts Fewer Firms as Politics Hurt Business Image (BBG)
It is quite obvious that Russia cannot substitute the West and in particular European countries with someone else. It is impossible for historical and cultural reasons, the abundance of industrial relations, geographical proximity and so on. Moscow can however substantially weaken such dependency through the strengthening of political, military, financial and economic relations with other countries which are friendlier and less susceptible to pressure from Washington. Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) holds a special place amongst countries friendly to the Russian government, and strategic dialogue is being actively developed with it.
Water and energy have a symbiotic relationship. Energy is needed to move water to people and businesses. Water, in turn, is necessary to produce energy. But how much...
We are sure this is nothing to worry about... and Japanese officials will re-iterate that everything is on track but when a snake-like robot sent to inspect a reactor containment vessel at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant dies three hours into the operation, one might wonder just how "contained" the radiation situations really is.
- Nikkei tops 20,000, Europe hits 15-year high (Reuters)
- GE to sell real estate holdings, sets $50 billion share buyback (Reuters)
- Iran’s Middle Class Plans for Life After a Deal (BBG)
- Walgreens to Close 200 Stores as It Expands Cost Cuts (WSJ)
- Hillary Clinton expected to announce presidential run as soon as this weekend (Reuters)
- It will cost $1.5 billion to keep Deutsche Bank Libor Manipulators out of prison (USA Today)
- Police Cameras Bring Problems of Their Own (WSJ)
- Obama says concerned China bullying others in South China Sea (Reuters)
- Investors Revive Appetite for Asian Junk Bonds (WSJ)