Wall Street Journal
Iraq Update: Air Force Runs Out Of Missiles, ISIS Controls The Border; Shiite Clerics Threaten US TroopsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 06/22/2014 19:07 -0400
Now that the Iraq proxy war scene is set, and as we reported on Friday, Prime Minister Maliki has become a pawn in yet another middle-east war between the west and the petrodollar (with both Saudi Arabia and the US making it clear Maliki has to go) and Russia (with Putin expressing his full support for the prime minister), events will likely unfold at an even faster pace. Sure enough, even this otherwise quiet weekend, in which the world is supposed to put wars on the backburner and focus on the world cup, is chock-full of Iraq news upates. Let's begin.
Those in charge of regulating the system will lie, cheat and steal rather than be honest to those who they are meant to protect (individual investors and the public)
Yesterday, Ha-Joon Chang exposed the shortest economics textbook ever. Today the Cambridge University Economics professor uncovers everything you didn't know about economics (in 13 simple points)...
With all eyes firmly focused on what really matters (the oil refineries), The Telegraph reports that ISIS has over-run a Saddam Hussein-era chemical weapons (CW) complex. The al-Muhanna 'mega-facility', about 60 miles south of Baghdad, gives the jihadists access to disused stores of hundreds of tonnes of potentially deadly poisons including mustard gas and sarin. The US state department is 'concerned' but "do not believe that the complex contains CW materials of military value." However, as a former commander of Britain's chemical weapons regiment warned, "we have seen that ISIS has used chemicals in explosions in Iraq before and has carried out experiments in Syria." This is likely great for ISIS 2014 Annual Report; but, of course, the other awkward question is: does this mean Saddam did have WMDs (and ISIS found them) after all?
Nine minutes after the release of the new 'most important' data of the year, The Wall Street Journal's Jon Hilsenrath has unleashed a briefer than normal 530 word summary of what "common knowledge" we should understand from Janet Yellen's latest statement. While the Fed is a little less optimistic about the outlook for economic growth in the short-term, Federal Reserve officials nudged up their projections for short-term interest rates in 2015 and 2016 in a modestly hawkish manner. Taken together, the Fed's new interest rate forecasts imply slightly more aggressive credit tightening plans taking shape in the next two years than previously thought.
- Levin Hearing Ups Volume in High-Frequency Call to Action (BBG)
- Ukrainian President Fires Central Bank Chief (BBG)
- Argentina Plans Debt Swap (WSJ)
- Fed Decision Day Guide From Dot Plots To Exit Strategy (BBG)
- World Bank Economist: China May Face US-Style Financial Crisis (WSJ)
- Premier Li says no hard landing for China, expects medium to high growth (Reuters)
- Putin Talks Peace With Ukraine Leader After Gas Pipe Fire (BBG)
- Poll Shows Erosion in President's Support (WSJ)
- U.S. mortgage applications plunge in latest week (Reuters)
- Ex-Goldman director goes to prison, still owes $13.9 million fine (Reuters)
In light of the stunning upset Dave Brat just pulled off against House Majority Leader Eric Cantor earlier this week, many are asking the question as to whether or not we are seeing a genuine political shift against the incredibly corrupt status quo. One thing that is abundantly clear is that any candidate with strong ties to Wall Street will be attacked like a piñata. While the mainstream media likes to talk nonsense about how Brat won because of his opposition to immigration reform, it appears the opposite is true. His winning issue was actually crony capitalism and Wall Street theft. Charlie Rangel has been a U.S. Representative. since 1971 and is currently the third longest serving Congressperson in America. He turned 84 years old this past Wednesday, and was at the center of a tax avoidance scandal several years ago. Of course, if a mere pleb like us were caught avoiding taxes we’d likely face harsh consequences. However, for a crony politician like Charlie Rangel all is forgiven and is allowed to continue to “represent” his constituents... his primary is June 24th.
What US Veterans Say About The Iraq Fiasco: "When I Left In 2009, I Said In 5 Years There'll Be A Civil War"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 06/16/2014 14:55 -0400
With Iraq having succumbed to sectarian violence worse than anything observed in recent history, which accordint to many was merely exacerbated by US neocon ambitions to feed the ravenous military industrial complex, one can easily discard the opinion of all those on both sides of the argument - first those who said a US intervention was critical, as well as those who demanded a pull out. In fact, the only person who has preserved any credibility, and has not been "surprised" by the recent developments - is the man who said to never get involved in the first place - Ron Paul. But what about those who were tasked with implementing US foreign policy, flawed as it may have been: America's veteran troops.
The situation in Ukraine and Iraq have gone from bad to worse. There is the potential for a wider Middle East conflict as the region remains a ‘powder keg.’ Iraq may be the match that sees the region explode into chaos and war - with attendant effects on global oil prices and the global economy.
- Iraq Army Tries to Roll Back Sunni Militants’ Advance (BBG)
- Starbucks to Subsidize Workers' Online Degrees (WSJ)
- ‘Bitcoin Jesus’ Calls Rich to Tax-Free Tropical Paradise (BBG)
- Medtronic Is Biggest Firm Yet to Renounce U.S. Tax Status (BBG), Medtronic to buy Covidien for $42.9 billion, rebase in Ireland (Reuters)
- Oil Topping $116 Seen Possible as Iraq Conflict Widens (BBG)
- Putin Seeks Paris Landmark as Hollande’s Russia Ties Defy Obama (BBG)
- GM Says It Has a Shield From Some Liability (WSJ)
- BOJ’s Bond Paralysis Seen Spreading Across Markets (BBG)
President Obama’s populist, class-warring, shut-out-the-legislature, ignore-the-long-term-consequences romp through every corner of life turned to the education sector. Problems with student loan programs are deep-rooted – thanks mostly to the government’s domination of the market – and were only worsened by Obama’s actions this week. In a better world, policymakers would take a cold, hard look at the effects of federally-funded student loan programs, including the good and the bad. Here are a few such observations that you’re unlikely to hear from your president...
Because drones have done so much for the "we love American exceptionalism" belief across the middle east, the US decided that since last year, secretly flying unmanned surveillance aircraft over Iraq - to collect intelligence of insurgents - would be good idea. The intelligence (and use the term loosely) was share with Iraqi forces but as WSJ reports, one secnior US official admitted "It's not like it did any good," as the rapid territorial gains by the Islamist forces loyal to Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, or ISIS, an al Qaeda offshoot, caught the U.S. by surprise.
Perhaps the 'disruptive' taxi company's name refers to its valuation more than its 'worth' as Uber's dramatic expansion plans to take over the world are hitting a rather large snag in Europe. As WSJ reports, taxi drivers planned to turn a handful of European city centers into giant parking lots Wednesday, protesting the mobile car-hailing service. Uber has been subjected to scrutiny elsewhere, including the U.S. and Canada. But the hurdles have been higher in Europe, where taxi drivers tend to be well organized. The industry is often more heavily regulated, and governments are more willing to actively protect sectors under threat of job losses. Across Europe, as the map below shows, Uber is facing a series of legal challenges; which makes, as NYU valuation guru Aswath Damodaran confirms means the $18 billion number "is likely wishful thinking."
In President Obama's speeches this year, a steady theme has been creating jobs and economic opportunity for Americans. Yet during the more than five years Mr. Obama has been in office, young people have been especially hard-hit by the slow and virtually jobless recovery. On a deeply human level, it's profoundly sad. The message to Obama - "The bottom line on labor: Make something less expensive and businesses will use more of it. Make something more expensive and businesses will use less of it."