A society that is given the option to protect itself is not a fearful society, it is a prudent one. The victims of Paris were never allowed the option to protect their lives, nor were they fortunate to have armed defenders present or trained combatants to stop the attack before it reached them. People need the opportunity to secure their own safety since, as the past twelve years has shown, the State will fail them.
The Western media will tell you that Gazprom cannot afford to cut Turkey off in retailiation for Ankara's attack on a Russian warplane. While that may be true, it's important to remember that Turkey's fallback option when it comes to replacing lost supply is Iran and under the circumstances, it seems exceptionally unlikely that Tehran would be willing to make things easier on Erdogan.
Some have suggested Vladmir Putin's first retaliation for the Turkish shooting down of a Russian fighter jet would be to cut off gas supplies (which represent 57% of Turkey's supply). With Russia Defense Minister stating that the "downing of the Russian warplane is a 'hostile act'," adding that the defense ministry is "devising a set of measures to respond to the incident," it seems taking the 'nuclear option' of cutting off 20% of Erdogan's entire energy supply would be a strong first non-lethal non-World-War-3-starting step.
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.
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."
"An unmanned military underwater vehicle rigged with explosives was spotted on the seabed in the vicinity of the Nord Stream gas pipeline in the Baltics on Friday, Swedish media report."
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.
It will become clearer, fast, what an awful mess Brussels and Berlin have created here, because with winter approaching more refugees will fall victim to the conditions under which they’re forced to live once they’ve entered Europe. Which, in their own eyes, will still be preferable to the conditions in their homelands. And then what will we do, when dozens start dying from cold and diseases? Send in more police and military? This is a road to a very bleak nowhere.
Tomorrow morning Mario Draghi is widely expected to if not announce an extension, or expansion, of the ECB's QE program, than to at least jawbone sufficiently, and push the EURUSD lower from its recently anchored level in the 1.10-1.20 range. But what are the specifics of Draghi's announcement: will he merely expand the monetization limit per security, as he did in early September, will he increase the universe of eligibile securities, or will he simply extend the maturity of the non-open ended QE from September 2016 to some indefinite date? The following list, courtesy of Bloomberg, summarizes what the sellside universe believes Draghi will unveil in just under 12 hours.
After several purported incursions into Turkish airspace by Russian fighter jets, Ankara is "irate" at Moscow and now, tensions over Syria threaten to undermine the two countries' energy relationship. Thus, the Nord Stream line to Germany - the capacity of which is set to double - has now become more important than ever for Gazprom.
"An invented excuse about the suggested threat coming from Russia is possibly just camouflage used to disguise the plans to further expand NATO toward our borders."
"Germany's domestic intelligence chief warned on Sunday of a radicalisation of Right-wing groups amid a record influx of migrants, as xenophobic rallies and clashes shook several towns at the weekend."
Neoliberal economics is blind to reality and serves to justify the destruction of the economic prospects of the Western World. It remains to be seen if Russia and China can develop a different economics or whether these rising superpowers will fall victim to the “junk economics” that has destroyed the West. With so many Chinese and Russian economists educated in the US tradition, the prospects of Russia and China might not be any better than ours. The entire world could go down the tubes together.
"The influx of migrants is not going to abate. We want to stop people crossing."
Great companies like Hewlett-Packard are now being run not by adult professionals but day-trading punters. Carly Fiorina was one of the latter. She excelled at mastering her flash cards and pitching financial bubbles from the time of the misbegotten Lucent IPO, to her campaign for the Compaq acquisition, to her final days at Hewlett-Packard. What she didn’t excel at was learning a single thing that qualifies her to be President of the United States - not the least of which is humility. Fiorina needs to shut-up, sit down and flush her flash cards. The furtherance of liberty, prosperity and peace are not what Torquemada’s do.