Having been 'snubbed' by the new Saudi King Salman, it appears the uneasy relationshipo with our 'allies' in The Gulf is ebbing. In what the State Department will, we are sure, just brush off, Politico reports that the king of Bahrain has apparently also snubbed President Barack Obama, preferring instead to attend a horse show with Queen Elizabeth.
"The head of Germany's Bundesbank ripped into the European Central Bank on Thursday, saying emergency funding for Greek banks broke the taboo of financing governments and it was not up to central banks to decide who was or wasn't in the euro zone," Reuters reports.
Breaking: 5 #Iran Revolutionary Guard boats fire across bow of Singapore-flagged cargo ship, ship fled to UAE waters, no U.S. on board
— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) May 14, 2015
Want to know where the USD is headed? Call Riyadh!
Germany throws its support behind a Greek referendum on euro membership while Putin invites Athens to join BRICS Bank. Meanwhile, Yanis Varoufakis has a plan for resolving Greece's debt problem — and he imagines the ECB chief is terrified of it.
- Amtrak train in Philadelphia wreck was traveling at twice speed limit (Reuters)
- The engineer has no recollection of the crash and “no explanation” for what happened (WSJ)
- Taliban claim attack on Afghan guesthouse that killed 14 (Reuters)
- Chicago’s Junk Rating From Moody’s Puzzles Investors (BBG)
- House votes to end spy agencies' bulk collection of phone data (Reuters)
- Wesley Clark: The Penny-Stock General (BBG)
- AOL’s Armstrong to Leave $213 Million Richer After Verizon Deal (BBG)
If you want to know where social Marxism (collectivism) is headed, this is it: the labeling of individualistic philosophies as dangerous thought crimes and tribal communities as time bombs waiting to explode in the face of the wider global village. They desperately hope to conquer the world by dictating not only national boundaries and civil liberties, but the very moral code by which society and individuals function. They wish to bypass natural law with fear, fear that the collective will find you abhorrent and barbaric if you do not believe exactly as they believe. Individualism will one day be the new misogyny.
Looking for signs that the country's largest asset management firms believe a market meltdown may be on the horizon? Look no further than Vanguard and several other large ETF providers who have set up billions in credit lines with banks to guard against the possibility that a wave of redemptions could wreak havoc on illiquid credit markets.
There was some confusion what caused the fallout between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his defense minister, Hyon Yong Chol. According to Reuters Chol was charged with treason, including disobeying Kim. According to Bloomberg, his offense was more trivial: he fell asleep. The defense minister "was captured napping in video footage of the event late last month." Whichever one is true is irrelevant, but one thing is certain: nobody will ever be caught napping at official events ever again because Chol was executed in front of an anti-aircraft gun at a firing range.
Artificially low prices for the metal have forced mines to close in recent years. Supply may not be able to match increasing demand in the coming years.
- Obama, McConnell missteps undercut trade pact in U.S. Senate (Reuters)
- Bears Beware: Rout Puts Investors on Wrong Side of Central Banks (BBG)
- U.S. Set to Rip Up UBS Libor Accord, Seek Conviction (BBG)
- Greece’s Creditors Said to Seek EU3 Billion in Budget Cuts (BBG)
- Amtrak train derails in Philadelphia, killing at least five (Reuters)
- Oil glut worsens as OPEC market-share battle just beginning (Reuters)
- China Stimulus Aims at Restructuring Trillions in Local-Government Debt (WSJ)
As reports surface that Greece tapped IMF funds to repay the IMF, and as Christine Lagarde and company express their reservations about participating in a new Greek bailout program, the end appears to be nigh for Athens. According to Bloomberg, Europe is now drawing up the dreaded "Plan B", which just three days ago, supposedly didn't exist.
Just days after Japanese PM Shinzo Abe leaves Washington (having stepped up his nation's military assertiveness), The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Secretary of Defense has asked staff for military options in the South China Sea (as we have detailed China's land reclamation efforts): U.S. MAY USE MILITARY TO CONFRONT CHINA IN SPRATLY ISLANDS DISPUTE: WSJ Having ironically commented on China's "bullying," it appears Nobel-Peace-Prize winner President Obama is preparing for an even bigger objective, amid China's rising threat to USD dominance (with Yuan liberalization and AIIB success).
Moments ago, in an embarrassing setback for the president, Senate Democrats in a 52-45 vote - short of the required 60 supporters - blocked a bill that would give President Barack Obama fast-track authority to expedite trade agreements through Congress, a major defeat for the president and his allies who "say the measure is necessary to complete a 12-nation Pacific trade deal that is a centerpiece of the administration’s economic agenda." But don't count it out yet: the WSJ cites Mitch McConnell who told reporters shortly before the vote, which he expected to lose, that “This issue’s not over" adding that "I’m hopeful we’ll put this in the win column for the country sometime soon.”
Thursday, in a long-awaited opinion, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York' three-judge panel ruled that the NSA program that secretly intercepts the telephone metadata of every American was illegal. It’s now up to Congress to vote on whether or not to modify the law and continue the program, or let it die once and for all. Lawmakers must vote on this matter by June 1, when they need to reauthorize the Patriot Act. A key factor in that decision is the American public’s attitude toward surveillance. Given the vast amount of revelations about NSA abuses, it is somewhat surprising that just slightly more than a majority of Americans seem concerned about government surveillance. Which leads to the question of why?