"I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that."
With both Russia and Iran seemingly prepared to do what's necessary to ensure Bashar al-Assad isn't toppled in Syria, John Kerry admits that the US strategy of brining about regime change in Damascus is now in serious jeopardy. Speaking from London on Saturday, Kerry attempted to hang on to the “Assad must go” narrative, but in what might fairly be described as the most conciliatory language yet, Washington’s top diplomat essentially admitted that the timetable for Assad’s exit is now completely indeterminate. Meanwhile, Moscow and Tehran are set to hash out Syria's future seemingly without any input from the Americans.
"At the start, China wasn't very confident. The worry was that there was no money for this."
Every dictator knows that a continuous state of emergency is the best means to justify tyrannical policies. The trick is to keep the fictitious emergency from breeding so much paranoia that routine activities come to a halt. Many have discovered that its best to make the threat external, intangible and ultimately, unverifiable. In Orwell's 1984 the preferred mantra was "We've always been at war with Eurasia," even though everyone knew it wasn't true. In its rate decision this week the Federal Reserve, adopted a similar approach and conjured up an external threat to maintain a policy that is becoming increasingly absurd.
For the second consecutive day, Bashar al-Assad pounded ISIS targets across Syria on Friday, serving notice that Russia's stepped up "technical" and "logistical" support may have turned the tide in the country's four-year civil war. With Moscow having called Washington's bluff, Obama instructs Defense Secretary Ashton Carter to liaise with the Russian military while in Tehran, Major General Qassem Soleimani lays bare America's ISIS strategy.
Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem says Syria may officially request the support of Russian combat troops in the fight to take back the country, a move that would pave the way for the Kremlin to overtly declare that Russia has joined the war in support of Bashar al-Assad. Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet with Putin on Monday to discuss concerns that Russia's involvement could end up strengthening the military capabilities of Hezbollah. Lurking in the background: the man one CIA officer once called "the most powerful operative in the Middle East today"...
Well, the "most anticipated" September FOMC meeting has come and gone, and no hike yet again. After the release of the FOMC statement, SPX rallied to a high of 2020, then sold down 30 handles into the close, and another -28 handles at today's open. Why? Well maybe people have finally realized the Fed is absolutely clueless, and that they have been completely misleading.
Yellen was more dovish than expected which is bullish for gold and suggests that the long awaited for bottom for gold may have occurred in early August prior to recent market volatility.
- The bearish dovish Fed: Shares Fall After Federal Reserve Keeps Rates on Hold (WSJ)
- Developed, emerging markets diverge as Fed keeps rates steady (Reuters)
- Yellen May Emulate Taper Template and Raise Rates in December (BBG)
- Russia Raises Prospect of Sending Troops Into Combat in Syria (BBG)
- Rigged markets 1: U.S. Said to Investigate Chicago Trader as Spoof Probes Broaden (BBG)
- Rigged markets 2: Primary Dealers Rigged Treasury Auctions, Investor Lawsuit Says (BBG)
- Rigged markets 3: The Man Who Took KKR’s Stock for a Ride (WSJ)
What was one "one and done", just became "none and done" as the Fed will no longer hike in 2015 and will certainly think twice before hiking ahead of the presidential election in 2016. By then the inventory liquidation-driven recession will be upon the US and the Fed will be looking at either NIRP or QE4. Worse, the Fed just admitted it is as, if not more concerned, with the market than with the economy. Worst, suddenly the market no longer wants a... dovish Fed?
"I do not think there is any need for anybody to panic..."
"There are modern weapons that the regime didn't previously have, be they rocket launchers or air to ground to missiles."
A new study published in the PLoS Medicine journal has found that younger people taking antidepressants are more likely to commit violent crimes.