Sixth Phone Conversation: Obama Warns Putin "Costs" Will Increase; Kremlin Tells Obama To "Prevent Bloodshed"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 04/14/2014 20:01 -0400
A few hours ago, Obama and Putin held their sixth phone conversation since the fate of Ukraine rekindled the second cold war. As usual, much was said, the generic talking points were uttered, and nothing was resolved nor will anything change.
Ukraine is quickly turning into a Vietnam moment for the US political scene. When will parties in the USA (including Obama camp “progressives”) stop cheerleading for a showdown over this hapless doormat of a faraway nation whose destiny is not entwined with the people of Ohio, Nebraska, Rhode Island, or any of the other fifty states? We have enough to do in our own country to adjust to the new realities of the unraveling turbo-industrial global economy — and, by the way, we are not doing a damn thing to address any of it. Our domestic political conversation at all levels is juvenile and idiotic.
If You REALLY Cared about Climate Change … You Would Stop Promoting Solutions which Do More HARM than Good
For the first time ever in the history of US-Russian relations we are seeing a public debate about a threat of economic sanctions that may have a long-range negative effect on global energy security. The Obama administration acts as if it is guided by a chapter out of an old Soviet textbook on political economy. At the moment, apparently, the sacred dogma of the free market, from Samuelson to Friedman, can be conveniently overlooked for the sake of punishing a sovereign nation. When the head of the most influential state in the world talks about manipulating market prices to punish recalcitrant players, what kind of “global free market” and fair play are we really talking about? After a series of headline-grabbing statements about the possibility of “switching” European consumers over to American gas, the US media hastened to announce the launch of Obama’s oil and gas offensive against Russia. In reality the EU is not currently prepared, neither technically nor in terms of price, to buy its energy resources from the US. It would take at least ten years to adapt even the technically advanced German energy system to work with American gas supply. In a crisis, when it is particularly urgent to see a quick return on an investment, such projects are unrealistic.
While we are sure the men of the world are applauding quietly from the background, President Obama's plan for equal pay is likely to appeal to the females in his audience - especially those who might vote... it is perhaps ironic that the President brings this up once again - and for good reason is the gender pay inequality gap is indeed worsening - when it is the women of America that have regained all their jobs (and then some) since the recession while men have not...
Dispassionate big picture overview.
Is there any hope that we might actually elect a president with the mandate and courage to take down Wall Street instead of kissing its rear end in humiliating obeisance? The 2016 presidential election may be far away to those obsessed with the news cycle, but it's not too early to express one single hope: that we finally elect a president who doesn't kiss Wall Street's rear end every single day for four/eight years running. Either the next president issues an executive order (or whatever it takes) to enact these four administrative rules, or he/she is kissing Wall Street's rear end every single day of his/her administration.
The last year or two has seen a deluge of Fed speakers pay lip-service to watching/monitoring/keeping-an-eye-on potential bubbles... but as yet having found none... That is all except one - Jeremy Stein - who explicitly called out high yield bonds as in a 'frothy' bubble last year... it appears he has grown weary of smashing his head against that wall...
- *FED SAYS STEIN SUBMITTED RESIGNATION LETTER TO OBAMA
- *YELLEN SAYS STEIN WAS 'AN INTELLECTUAL LEADER' ON FED BOARD
Stein plans to return to teaching at Harvard but in his resignation letter noted that more work is needed on the job market and that the financial market needs strengthening.
After the success of Putin's op-ed, Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro has put pen to paper in a NY Times op-ed. Calling for "peace and dialogue," Maduro blames the US government for supporting the 2002 coup and funding the opposition support movements currently. Slamming the US media's biased perspective on his nation's "best [electoral] process in the world," the outspoken leader explains, "the claims that Venezuela has a deficient democracy and that current protests represent mainstream sentiment are belied by the facts. The antigovernment protests are being carried out by people in the wealthier segments of society who seek to reverse the gains of the democratic process that have benefited the vast majority of the people."
Fort Hood Shooter, Three Others Reported Dead, 14 Injured, Obama Says "Will Get To The Bottom Of What Happened"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 04/02/2014 20:02 -0400
The Fort Hood shooting appears to be over, with the shooter reportedly dead of a self-inflicted wound and according to the latest CNN update, three other people dead, and as many as 14 others injured, some in critical condition. Reports of a second shooter are so far unconfirmed. CNN also reports that the name of the shooter is 34 year old Ivan Lopez. The shooting is also said to not be terrorism-related, but instead a "solider on solider" attack.
BREAKING: Obama says he's following Fort Hood shooting closely, US will get to bottom of what happened.
— The Associated Press (@AP) April 2, 2014
According to The White House, 7,041,000 people have signed up for Obamacare (though it's unclear how many have paid as of yet and what the mix of enrolees actually is). While this will be proclaimed as mission accomplished and spun for all it's worth, wasn't Obamacare supposed to reduce the ranks of the 45 million uninsured in America? Still, it seems like a long way to go to meet CBO projections, as WaPo notes, "the CBO and Joint Congressional Committee on Taxation in February projected that 13 million previously uninsured people would gain coverage in 2014." We suspect the President will be over the moon and blame Republicans, Twitter, and YouTube for the number not being higher...
First we had Jeab-Claude Juncker saying it's ok to lie to the people, then President Obama's poster-child for Obamacare who later discovered she was unable to get the healthcare she expected and now following Janet Yellen's apparently 'uber-dovish' "jobs are not plentful" sob story spech yesterday we have more governmental factual inaccuracies. As Bloomberg reports, in her first speech as Federal Reserve chair, Janet Yellen told the stories of three people who had trouble finding work to illustrate her concern about the unemployed -- omitting the fact that two had criminal records that might have influenced employers’ decisions on whether to hire them. As we commented yesterday, "it’s troubling when we have to assume that everything we hear from any politician or any central banker is being said for effect, not for the straightforward expression of an honest opinion."
There’s nothing like a nice cup of reality 'tea' first thing on Monday morning. Periodically, we like to scan headlines for phrases like “record high” or “all time high”... in today's case, the results can often given an interesting big picture perspective of what’s happening in the world.
When one reads stories such as the following report from the FT, in which we learn that former Chinese president Jiang Zemin "has urged the current leadership to rein in an anti-corruption campaign that is proving the harshest in decades and is seen as threatening the interests and networks of some Communist party elders", or said otherwise - his cronies, aside from being utterly speechless at the rapid unravelling of the bizarro world, all one can say is - expect such developments in the US in a few years time, when then former president Obama asks Clinton, Christie or whoever the then-reigning dictator of the totalitarian states of America is, to take it easy on the Corzines of the world.