The U.S. is, in fact, Europe’s enemy - not merely Russia’s enemy. Not merely the truth’s enemy. Not merely democracy’s enemy.
According to The Times, EU leaders are holding "secret" meetings to discuss the future of Europe's cherished Schengen Agreement which allows for passport-free travel within the bloc. As one unnamed diplomat put it, "the current system is simply not working."
At the core of global power stands the conflict between the Sauds (and their Sunni clergy) and the Iranians (and their Shiite clergy). One can’t understand U.S.-Russian relations, nor much else of what is happening in the world, without knowing the relevant historical background; and the origins and nature of the Sunni war against Shiia are arguably the most essential part of that to comprehend just how the United States came to back the Sunnis, and how Russia came to back the Shiites, in this war.
Walker Texas Ranger has a history lesson for you: The murder sprees in Paris may go down in history like the Nazis’ invasion of Poland on Sept. 1, 1939, as the spark that lit the fuse for a wider European involvement in World War II. The impact of ISIS in Syria and Iraq is comparable to Hitler’s annexation of Czechoslovakia and Austria, which caused great concern and condemnation but not greater European revolt."
"I really hope I am wrong about everything I wrote. I hope those advocating for positive statements and solidarity will win the day. I hope EU politicians change course before it’s too late. I hope all of those things, but hope is not going to save Europe... Because if not, the backlash against Muslims generally, and refugees specifically, is likely to be sustained and unjustifiably harsh."
Evidently, voters are in a very bad mood just about everywhere. Unfortunately, they are bereft of good choices in most places. Usually one essentially gets to exchange one bunch of psychopathic looters for another – so it is like jumping from the frying pan into the fire. Very often, things will simply go from bad to worse, as the underlying basic problems are usually misdiagnosed, resp. there is no-one willing to actually tackle them. Investors should pay very close attention to this trend...When the performance of financial markets diverges from underlying social mood trends, it is usually time to be very careful.
Empires, like adolescents, think they’ll live forever. In geopolitics, as in biology, expiration dates are never visible. When death comes, it’s always a shock. "At the beginning of the great unraveling, in 2015, I was still a young man. Like everyone else, I didn’t see this coming. Today, in 2050, fewer and fewer people can recall what it was like to live among those leviathans... Thirty-five years and endless catastrophes later on a poorer, bleaker, less hospitable planet, it’s clear that we just weren’t paying sufficient attention. Had we been listening, we would have heard the termites. There, in the basement of our common home, they were eating the very foundations out from under us. Suddenly, before we knew quite what was happening, all that was solid had melted into air."
Considering the crises facing Europe, the question is no longer: Will the EU survive? It is Orban’s question: Will European civilization survive the century? If the mass migrations are not halted, the rise of nationalist regimes at the expense of Europe’s liberals and leftists is inevitable.
Are we in for another nuclear standoff with the Kremlin?
Once again, the two major macroeconomic announcements over the weekend came from China, where we first saw an unexpected, if still to be confirmed, increase in FX reserves, and then Chinese trade data once again disappointed tumbling by 6.9% while imports plunged 18.8%. So how did the market react? The Shanghai Composite Index rose for a fourth day and reached its highest since August 20because more bad data means more easing from the PBOC, and just to give what few investors are left the green light to come back into the pool, overnight Chinese brokers soared after Chinese IPOs returned after a 5 month hiatus. Elsewhere, Stocks and currencies in emerging markets slump on prospect of higher U.S. borrowing costs before year-end and after data underscored slowdown in Asia’s biggest economy. Euro strengthens.
The cries for going totally crazy are growing louder... the lunatics are running the asylum. One shouldn’t underestimate what they are capable of. The only consolation is that the day will come when the monetary cranks will be discredited again (for the umpteenth time). Thereafter it will presumably take a few decades before these ideas will rear their head again (like an especially sturdy weed, the idea that inflationism can promote prosperity seems nigh ineradicable in the long term – it always rises from the ashes again). The bad news is that many of us will probably still be around when the bill for these idiocies will be presented.
Until recently, the consensus assumed a strengthening of the global economy in 2016. It won’t happen. If the global economic growth manages to reach 3.1% next year, as forecast by the IMF, it will be a miracle. We are close to the end of the current economic cycle. The outbreak of a new global crisis in the coming years is inevitable. The Fed and other central banks are in a dead-end having fallen in the same trap as the Bank of Japan. If they increase rates too much, they will precipitate another financial crisis. It is impossible to stop the accommodative monetary policy.
With oil exports to Europe having slipped from 13% of Saudi's total to just 10% in the last six months, The FT reports, the de facto leader of OPEC has slashed its Official Selling Price (OSP) to Europe in an effort to regain market share. Saudi lowered its OSP for its Arab light crude grade in Europe by $1.30 a barrel for December, taking its discount to the weighted average of the North Sea Brent benchmark to $4.75 a barrel - the largest discount since February 2009... directly going after Russia's customer base.
It was 77 years ago this week that Orson Welles struck terror into the hearts of Americans with his live radio broadcast of the HG Wells classic War of the Worlds. What struck me while watching the PBS retrospective were the similarities between then and now. The gullibility of the masses, the power of fear, the overreaction by the media, busy bodies calling for the government to do something, and the effectiveness of propaganda are all commonalities between that Fourth Turning and today’s Fourth Turning.
“NATO military planning generates confrontational approaches to security issues that in our view should belong to the past. The creeping increase in NATO’s military presence on our frontiers [is] testing [our] patience."