Over the course of the past four weeks, Russia has captured the world’s attention with Moscow’s “unexpected” intervention in Syria’s protracted civil war. For those interested, we present the following infographic which endeavors to outline “everything we know” about Russia’s deployment in Syria from sorties flown out of Latakia, to overflight denials, to cruise missile strikes.
On the heels of the nuclear deal and Tehran's ground operation in Syria, Iran is stepping up efforts to prove that contrary to Western rhetoric, it is not in fact "isolated." According to the country's economy minister, Iran is now set to join the BRICS bank and step up its cooperation with Brazil. This is symptomatic of Washington's waning ability to exert American influence on global affairs both political and economic.
The signs of regime change are everywhere. From embarrassment by Russia's success in Syria to China's creation of its own 'World Bank' and SWIFT alternative, the trend of de-empirization are growing, but tonight's news that Washington will sell oil from its strategic reserve in order to meet budget constraints and avoid default (as China takes advantage of low prices to build its own reserves) is simply stunning in its analogy of the shifting world order.
There are two general schools of thought amongst noted contrarians and libertarians regarding China’s overriding objectives. One school has it that China is very much a part of the One World Government philosophy and their primary goal is to acquire a more powerful seat at the IMF. Having done so, they will settle in and be content to be one of the leading jurisdictions that run the world collectively. The other school suggests that China means to become the most powerful nation in the world - to replace the US in every way as the world’s dominant nation. And that’s the case here. The world’s most powerful (and most oppressive) political/economic power structure has begun to go under the bulldozer. Its replacement will hopefully be a better one.
Complacency seemed ready to set back in, with Glencore stock recently rising as high as its recent equity offering price of 125p. And then today we noticed that not only is Glencore's CDS back above 700 bps, the widest it has been in three weeks, but that another mining company has fallen into the market's crosshairs, this time Belgium-based (with Zurich HQ) Nyrstar NV, Europe's largest refined-zinc producer, whose stock crashed the most since its initial public offering in 2007, while it bonds tumbled to a yield of 19%, suggesting a default may be imminent.
“In an as-yet unreleased statement circulated to the BBC, myself and others, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), which has shaped much of global drug policy for decades, call on governments around the world to decriminalise drug use and possession for personal consumption for all drugs.”
History may eventually decide the "New World Order" started on September 28,when Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Barack Obama had a 90-minute face off at the UN in New York. Irrespective of spin – “productive” according to the White House, “tense” according to a source close to the Kremlin – facts on the ground accumulated almost immediately.
Until Putin’s speech the world was intimidated by the Washington Bully. Resistance to Washington brought swift retribution. In the Middle East and Africa it brought economic sanctions and military invasions that destroyed entire countries. In France and other US vassal states it brought multi-billion dollar confiscations of bank net worth as the price of not following Washington’s policies toward other countries. Other countries felt powerless in the face of the arrogant hegemonic Unipower, which from time to time replied to noncompliance with threats. President Putin of Russia brought all that to end on September 28. He stood up before the world in the presence of the overflowing hubris of the hegemon and belled the cat.
Whatever the efforts of that expansive corps of intelligence analysts (and the vast intelligence edifice behind it), when anything happens in the Greater Middle East, you can essentially assume that the official American reaction, military and political, will be “surprise” and that policymakers will be left “scrambling” in a quagmire of ignorance to rescue American policy from the unexpected. The evidence, after all, is largely in. In these years, for what now must be approaching three-quarters of a trillion dollars, the national security state and the military seem to have created an un-intelligence system. Welcome to the fog of everything.
The phrase “crossing the Rubicon” has stuck for more than 2,000 years, signifying a risky and dangerous point of no return. This week, the United States government crossed the Rubicon. In a fit of complete arrogance, a federal judge ruled that he has ‘jurisdiction’ over one of the biggest banks in mainland China, Bank of China (BOC), and demands that the bank turn over financial records to his court.
"The data are positive for the probability of the yuan getting into the SDR basket. It shows that the so-called devaluation in August, which wasn’t massive in value, hasn’t driven people away from using the yuan."
"Today the US government has admitted that it was their airstrike that hit our hospital in Kunduz and killed 22 patients and MSF staff. Their description of the attack keeps changing—from collateral damage, to a tragic incident, to now attempting to pass responsibility to the Afghanistan government. The reality is the US dropped those bombs. The US hit a huge hospital full of wounded patients and MSF staff. The US military remains responsible for the targets it hits, even though it is part of a coalition. There can be no justification for this horrible attack. With such constant discrepancies in the US and Afghan accounts of what happened, the need for a full transparent independent investigation is ever more critical."