A specter is haunting Washington, an unnerving vision of a Sino-Russian alliance wedded to an expansive symbiosis of trade and commerce across much of the Eurasian land mass - at the expense of the United States.
We are by no means experts at identifying instances of fire caught on camera under low illumination conditions, but the following compressed 3 minute video from the official Tepco YouTube feed (where 1 second of the clip represents 20 seconds in real time) showing the Fukushima nuclear power plant between 8:00pm and 9:00 pm last night, and particularly the segment 1:16 into the clip and continuing for about 30 seconds (or about 6 minutes in the real world), certainly looks disturbing.
In the first case of its kind, US Attorney General Eric Holder has broght charges against five Chinese military officals on charges of economic espionage and other offenses related to computer hacking of US nuclear power, metals, and power industries:
- *FIVE CHINESE MILITARY OFFICERS CHARGED BY U.S. WITH ESPIONAGE
- *JUSTICE DEPARTMENT SAYS CHINA HACKERS PENETRATE U.S. COMPANIES
- *DOJ SAYS ESPIONAGE TARGETED WESTINGHOUSE ELECTRIC, U.S. STEEL, ALCOA, SOLARWORLD
Holder added that the "range of trade secrets and other senstivive business information stolen in this case is significant and demands an aggressive response."
The mainstream media may have long forgotten about the Fukushima tragedy (as it certainly goes against the far more popular and palatable meme of a Japan "recovery" courtesy of Abenomics) but that does not mean it is fixed or even contained. Quite the contrary. As a rare update from Japan's Jiji news agency reminds us, on Friday radiation at five monitoring points in waters adjacent to the crippled Fukushima No. 1 power station spiked to all-time highs according to the semi-nationalized TEPCO.
The Nuclear Core Has Finally Been Found … Scattered All Over the World
Age-old myths and fantasies about turning stuff that was worthless into gold. Alchemists leaning over their cauldrons of bubbling brew in the dark recesses of the dungeon of some mythical castle somewhere unknown to mankind. Well, perhaps not so unknown and not so fantastical.
Last September, Japanese PM Shinzo Abe told Olympic dignitaries in Buenos Aires in an address that helped Tokyo win the 2020 Games: "Let me assure you the situation is under control." It would seem, just as he 'assured' his people that Abenomics would 'fix' Japan, in the case of Fukushima, he lied. As Japan Times reports, the manager of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant has embarrassingly admitted that repeated efforts have failed to bring under control the problem of radioactive water.
Public Service Annoucement: The Most Likely Armageddon Threat … Preventable for a Small Amount of Money
As he visited clients around the nation, JPMorgan CIO Michael Cembalest noted a number of questions repeated... why can’t the US spend more on infrastructure? why can’t the US spend more on worker retraining? why is less money being spent on training, employment and related social services? why is energy spending falling? The answer, ne explains below, to all these questions is the same: these categories are declining since they are being squeezed out by the inexorable rise in entitlement payments.
- US, Russia talks fail to end Ukraine deadlock (AP)
- Russian forces 'gradually withdrawing' from Ukraine border (AFP)
- Turkish PM Erdogan tells enemies they will pay price after poll (Reuters)
- And Goldman arrives: Credit markets open to Argentina for first time in years (Reuters)
- Regulators Twice Failed to Open GM Probes (WSJ)
- Bad loan writedowns soar at China banks (FT)
- Investors Breathe Life Into European Banks' Bad Loans (WSJ)
- Euro zone inflation drops to lowest since 2009 (Reuters)
- Yellowstone National Park rattled by largest earthquake in 34 years (Reuters)
While Naftogaz (Ukraine's gas pipeline operator) states that all gas transportation from Russia to Europe is running normally, Bloomberg reports that Russian natgas exports to Europe are declining. Shipments are down over 4% from the prior week and also lower to Ukraine. This 'adjustment' follows increased sanctions by the West as Medvedev's notable statement this morning that Ukraine owes Russia $16bn. Furthermore, Gazprom has cut its Diesel output by the most in 7 months... and just to rub some Black Sea salt into the wound, NY Times reports that Russia's asking price for natgas to Europe is soaring.
The situation with Russia should give investors and traders a reason to brush up on their history, as current events take root in things that happened 50, 100, and 200 years ago. To understand this, can provide perspective, during an information war, where it's not easy for some to separate facts from beliefs and propoganda (on both sides). The relationship between US and Russia has always been interesting, as we shall explore.
The cultural divide
Now that the non-fighting and the Crimean annexation is over, all that's left are cheap words and hollow threats.
- UKRAINE TO REMOVE MILITARY FROM CRIMEA TO MAINLAND: PARUBIY
- UKRAINE TO FORTIFY MILITARY ON EASTERN BORDER: PARUBIY
- UKRAINE TO STRENGTHEN SECURITY AT NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS
- UKRAINE TO SEEK COMPENSATION FOR RUSSIA SEIZING ASSETS
Meanwhile: U.S. PREPARED TO IMPOSE FURTHER COSTS ON RUSSIA, CARNEY SAYS. Costs - drink!
Globalization is certainly at the heart of what it means to become a trading partner with another country. I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine. But, what happens when the itching continues or the scratcher starts scratching himself in an unlikely place rather than where he’s supposed to?