en Islam In The Heart Of England And France <p><a href=""><em>Authored by Denis MacEoin via The Gatestone Institute,</em></a></p> <ul> <li>&quot;There are plenty of private Muslim schools and madrasas in this city. They pretend that they all preach tolerance, love and peace, but that isn&#39;t true. Behind their walls, they force-feed us with repetitive verses of the Qur&#39;an, about hate and intolerance.&quot; &mdash; Ali, an 18-year-old of French origin, whose father was radicalized.</li> <li>&quot;In England, they are free to speak. They speak only of prohibitions, they impose on one their rigid vision of Islam but, on the other hand, they listen to no-one, most of all those who disagree with them.&quot; &mdash; Yasmina, speaking of extremist Muslims in the UK.</li> <li>&quot;Birmingham is worse than Molenbeek&quot; -- the Brussels borough that <em>The Guardian</em> described as &quot;becoming known as Europe&#39;s jihadi central.&quot; &mdash; French commentator, republishing an article by Rachida Samouri.</li> </ul> <p>The city of Birmingham in the West Midlands, the heart of England, the place where the Industrial Revolution began, the second city of the UK and the eighth-largest in Europe, <strong>today is Britain&#39;s most dangerous city. </strong>With a large and growing Muslim population, five of its electoral wards have the<strong> highest levels of radicalization and terrorism in the country.</strong></p> <p><strong>In February, French journalist Rachida Samouri published <a href=";seen=6&amp;m_i=lq4ElcN94po6ejRQ0PicfPqH7qrjIQnbx1uP_U9kRRvdx4mKcUMZmNT3japCFQOZBq4JzmUGzjmADS9n5B5JPh" target="_blank">an article</a> in the Parisian daily <em>Le Figaro</em>, in which she recounted her experiences during a visit there.</strong> In &quot;Birmingham à l&#39;heure islamiste&quot; (&quot;Birmingham in the Time of Islam&quot;) she describes her unease with the growing dislocation between normative British values and those of the several Islamic enclaves. She mentions the Small Heath quarter, where nearly 95% of the population is Muslim, where little girls wear veils; most of the men wear beards, and women wear jilbabs and niqabs to cover their bodies and faces. Market stalls close for the hours of prayer; the shops display Islamic clothes and the bookshops are all religious. Women she interviewed condemned France as a dictatorship based on secularism (<em>laïcité</em>), which they said they regarded as &quot;a pretext for attacking Muslims&quot;. They also said that they approved of the UK because it allowed them to wear a full veil.</p> <p>Another young woman, Yasmina, explained that, although she may go out to a club at night, during the day she is forced to wear a veil and an abaya [full body covering]. She then goes on to speak of the extremists:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&quot;In England, they are free to speak. They speak only of prohibitions, they impose on one their rigid vision of Islam but, on the other hand, they listen to no-one, most of all those who disagree with them.&quot;</p> </blockquote> <p>Speaking of the state schools, Samouri describes &quot;an Islamization of education unthinkable in our [French] secular republic&quot;. Later, she interviews Ali, an 18-year-old of French origin, whose father has become radicalized. Ali talks about his experience of Islamic education:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&quot;There are plenty of private Muslim schools and madrasas in this city. They pretend that they all preach tolerance, love and peace, but that isn&#39;t true. Behind their walls, they force-feed us with repetitive verses of the Qur&#39;an, about hate and intolerance.&quot;</p> </blockquote> <p>Samouri cites Ali on the iron discipline imposed on him, the brutality used, the punishment for refusing to learn the Qur&#39;an by heart without understanding a word of it, or for admitting he has a girlfriend.</p> <p><strong>Elsewhere, Samouri notes young Muslim preachers for whom &quot;Shari&#39;a law remains the only safety for the soul and the only code of law to which we must refer&quot;.</strong> She interviews members of a Shari&#39;a &quot;court&quot; before speaking with Gina Khan, an ex-Muslim who belongs to the anti-Shari&#39;a organization One Law for All. According to Samouri, Khan -- a secular feminist -- considers the tribunals &quot;a pretext for keeping women under pressure and a means for the religious fundamentalists to extend their influence within the community&quot;.</p> <p>Another teenager of French origin explains how his father prefers Birmingham to France because &quot;one can wear the veil without any problem and one can find schools where boys and girls do not mix&quot;. &quot;Birmingham,&quot; says Mobin, &quot;is a little like a Muslim country. We are among ourselves, we do not mix. It&#39;s hard&quot;.</p> <p><strong>Samouri herself finds this contrast between secular France and Muslim England disturbing. </strong>She sums it up thus:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&quot;A state within a state, or rather a rampant Islamization of one part of society -- <em><strong>[is] something which France has succeeded in holding off for now, even if its secularist model is starting to be put to the test&quot;</strong></em>.</p> </blockquote> <p>Another <a href="" target="_blank">French commentator</a>, republishing Samouri&#39;s article, writes, &quot;Birmingham is worse than Molenbeek&quot; -- the Brussels borough that <a href="" target="_blank"><em>The Guardian</em></a> described as &quot;becoming known as Europe&#39;s jihadi central.&quot;</p> <p>The comparison with Molenbeek may be somewhat exaggerated. <strong>What <em>is</em> perplexing is that French writers should focus on a British city when, in truth, the situation in France -- despite its secularism -- is in some ways far worse than in the UK.</strong> Recent authors have commented on France&#39;s <a href="" target="_blank">growing love for Islam</a> and its <a href="" target="_blank">increasing weakness</a> in the face of Islamist criminality. This weakness has been framed by a politically-correct desire to stress a multiculturalist policy at the expense of taking Muslim extremists and fundamentalist organizations at face value and with zero tolerance for their anti-Western rhetoric and actions. The result? Jihadist attacks in France have been among the worst in history. It is calculated that the country has some <a href="" target="_blank">some 751 no-go zones</a> (<em>&quot;zones urbaines sensibles&quot;</em>), places where extreme violence breaks out from time to time and where the police, firefighters, and other public agents dare not enter for fear of provoking further violence.</p> <p><strong>Many national authorities and much of the media deny that such enclaves exist,</strong> but as the Norwegian expert Fjordman has recently <a href="" target="_blank">explained</a>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>If you say that there are some areas where even the police are afraid to go, where the country&#39;s normal, secular laws barely apply, then it is indisputable that such areas now exist in several Western European countries. France is one of the hardest hit: it has a large population of Arab and African immigrants, including millions of Muslims.</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>There are no such zones in the UK, certainly not at that level. </strong>There are Muslim enclaves in several cities where a non-Muslim may not be welcome; places that resemble Pakistan or Bangladesh more than England. But none of these is a no-go zone in the French, German or Swedish sense -- places where the police, ambulances, and fire brigades are attacked if they enter, and where the only way in (to fight a fire, for example) is under armed escort.</p> <p>Samouri opens her article with a bold-type paragraph stating:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&quot;In the working-class quarters of the second city of England, the sectarian lifestyle of the Islamists increasingly imposes itself and threatens to blow up a society which has fallen victim to its multicultural utopia&quot;.</p> </blockquote> <p>Has she seen something British commentators have missed?</p> <p><strong>The Molenbeek comparison may not be entirely exaggerated.</strong> In a <a href="" target="_blank">1000-page report</a>, &quot;Islamist Terrorism: Analysis of Offences and Attacks in the UK (1998-2015),&quot; written by the respected analyst Hannah Stuart for Britain&#39;s Henry Jackson Society, Birmingham is named more than once as Britain&#39;s leading source of terrorism.</p> <p>One conclusion that stands out is that terror convictions have apparently doubled in the past five years. Worse, the number of offenders not previously known to the authorities has increased sharply. Women&#39;s involvement in terrorism, although still less than men&#39;s, &quot;has trebled over the same period&quot;. Alarmingly, &quot;Proportionally, offences involving beheadings or stabbings (planned or otherwise) increased eleven-fold across the time periods, from 4% to 44%.&quot; (p. xi)</p> <p>Only 10% of the attacks are committed by &quot;lone wolves&quot;; almost 80% were affiliated with, inspired by or linked to extremist networks -- with 25% linked to al-Muhajiroun alone. As the report points out, that organization (which went under various names) was once defended by some Whitehall officials -- a clear indication of governmental naivety.</p> <table align="center" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" style="margin-bottom: 5px; max-width: 600px;"> <tbody> <tr> <td style="max-width: 600px; border: 1px solid black;"><img border="0" height="404" src="" width="600" /><br /> <p style="font-size: 82%; margin: 4px 6px;">Omar Bakri Muhammed, who co-founded the British Islamist organization al-Muhajiroun, admitted in a 2013 television interview that he and co-founder Anjem Choudary sent western jihadists to fight in many different countries. (Image source: MEMRI video screenshot)</p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p><strong>A more important conclusion, however, is that a clear link is shown between highly-segregated Muslim areas and terrorism. </strong>As the <em>Times</em> report on the Henry Jackson Society review points out, this link &quot;was previously denied by many&quot;. On the one hand:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Nearly half of all British Muslims live in neighbourhoods where Muslims form less than a fifth of the population. However, a disproportionately low number of Islamist terrorists &mdash; 38% &mdash; come from such neighbourhoods. The city of Leicester, which has a sizeable but well-integrated Muslim population, has bred only two terrorists in the past 19 years.</p> </blockquote> <p>But on the other hand:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Only 14% of British Muslims live in neighbourhoods that are more than 60% Muslim. However, the report finds, 24% of all Islamist terrorists come from these neighbourhoods. Birmingham, which has both a large and a highly segregated Muslim population, is perhaps the key example of the phenomenon.</p> </blockquote> <p>The report continues:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Just five of Britain&#39;s 9,500 council wards &mdash; all in Birmingham &mdash; account for 26 convicted terrorists, a tenth of the national total. The wards &mdash; Springfield, Sparkbrook, Hodge Hill, Washwood Heath and Bordesley Green &mdash; contain sizeable areas where the vast majority of the population is Muslim.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Birmingham as a whole, with 234,000 Muslims across its 40 council wards, had 39 convicted terrorists. That is many more than its Muslim population would suggest, and more than West Yorkshire, Greater Manchester and Lancashire put together, even though their combined Muslim population is about 650,000, nearly three times that of Birmingham. There are pockets of high segregation in the north of England but they are much smaller than in Birmingham.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The greatest single number of convicted terrorists, 117, comes from London, but are much more widely spread across that city than in Birmingham and their numbers are roughly proportionate to the capital&#39;s million-strong Muslim community.</p> </blockquote> <p>Hannah Stuart, the study&#39;s author, has <a href="" target="_blank">observed</a> that <strong><em>her work has raised &quot;difficult questions about how extremism takes root in deprived communities, many of which have high levels of segregation. Much more needs to be done to challenge extremism and promote pluralism and inclusivity on the ground.&quot;</em></strong></p> <p>Many observers say Birmingham has failed that test:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&quot;It is a really strange situation,&quot; said Matt Bennett, the opposition spokesman for education on the council.<strong><em> &quot;You have this closed community which is cut off from the rest of the city in lots of ways. The leadership of the council doesn&#39;t particularly wish to engage directly with Asian people &mdash; what they like to do is have a conversation with one person who they think can &#39;deliver&#39; their support.&quot;</em></strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Clearly, lack of integration is, not surprisingly, the root of a growing problem. This is the central theme of Dame Louise Casey&#39;s important report of last December to the British government. Carried out under instructions of David Cameron, prime minister at the time, &quot;<a href="" target="_blank">The Casey Review: A review into opportunity and integration</a>&quot; identifies some Muslim communities (essentially those formed by Pakistani and Bangladeshi immigrants and their offspring) as the most resistant to integration within British society. Such communities do little or nothing to encourage their children to join in non-Muslim education, events, or activities; many of their women speak no English and play no role within wider society, and large numbers say they prefer Islamic shari&#39;a law to British law.</p> <p>Casey makes particular reference to the<strong> infamous Trojan Horse plot, uncovered in 2014, </strong>in which Muslim radicals conspired to introduce fundamentalist Salafi doctrines and practices into a range of Birmingham schools -- not just private Muslim faith schools but regular state schools (pp. 114 ff.): &quot;a number of schools in Birmingham had been taken over to ensure they were run on strict Islamic principles...&quot;</p> <p>It is important to note that these were not &#39;Muslim&#39; or &#39;faith&#39; schools. [Former British counterterrorism chief] Peter Clarke, in his <a href="" target="_blank">July 2014 report</a> said:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&quot;I took particular note of the fact that the schools where it is alleged that this has happened are state non-faith schools...&quot;</p> </blockquote> <p>He highlighted a range of inappropriate behaviour across the schools, such as irregularities in employment practices, bullying, intimidation, changes to the curriculum, inappropriate proselytizing in non-faith schools, unequal treatment and segregation. Specific examples included:</p> <ul> <li>a teachers&#39; social media discussion called the &quot;Park View Brotherhood&quot;, in which homophobic, extremist and sectarian views were aired at Park View Academy and others;</li> <li>teachers using anti-Western messages in assemblies, saying that White people would never have Muslim children&#39;s interests at heart;</li> <li>the introduction of Friday Prayers in non-faith state schools, and pressure on staff and students to attend. In one school, a public address system was installed to call pupils to prayer, with a member of the staff shouting at students who were in the playground, not attending prayer, and embarrassing some girls when attention was drawn to them because girls who are menstruating are not allowed to attend prayer; and</li> <li>senior staff calling students and staff who do not attend prayers &#39;k****r&#39;. (<em>Kuffar</em>, the plural of <em>kafir</em>, an insulting term for &quot;unbelievers&quot;. This affront reproduces the Salafi technique of condemning moderate or reformist Muslims as non-Muslims who may then be killed for being apostates.)</li> </ul> <p>Casey then quotes Clarke&#39;s conclusion:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em>&quot;<strong>There has been co-ordinated, deliberate and sustained action, carried out by a number of associated individuals, to introduce an intolerant and aggressive Islamic ethos into a few schools in Birmingham.</strong> This has been achieved in a number of schools by gaining influence on the governing bodies, installing sympathetic headteachers or senior members of staff, appointing like-minded people to key positions, and seeking to remove head teachers they do not feel sufficiently compliant.&quot;</em></p> </blockquote> <p>The situation, Casey states, although improved from 2014, remains unstable. She quotes Sir Michael Wilshaw, Her Majesty&#39;s Chief Inspector, in a letter to the Secretary of State for Education, which declared as late as July 8, 2016, that the situation &quot;remains fragile&quot;, with:</p> <ul> <li>a minority of people in the community who are still intent on destabilising these schools;</li> <li>a lack of co-ordinated support for the schools in developing good practice;</li> <li>a culture of fear in which teachers operate having gone underground but still there;</li> <li>overt intimidation from some elements within the local community;</li> <li>organised resistance to the personal, social and health education (PSHE) curriculum and the promotion of equality.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Elsewhere, Casey notes two further issues in Birmingham alone, which shed light on the city&#39;s Muslim population.</strong> Birmingham has the largest number of women who are non-proficient in English (p. 96) and the largest number of mosques (161) in the UK (p. 125).</p> <p>For many years, the British government has fawned on its Muslim population; evidently the government thought that Muslims would in due course integrate, assimilate, and become fully British, as earlier immigrants had done. More than one survey, however, has shown that the younger generations are even more fundamentalist than their parents and grandparents, who came directly from Muslim countries. The younger generations were born in Britain but at a time when extremist Islam has been growing internationally, notably in countries with which British Muslim families have close connections. Not only that, but a plethora of fundamentalist preachers keep on passing through British Muslim enclaves. These preachers freely lecture in mosques and Islamic centres to youth organizations, and on college and university campuses.</p> <p><strong>Finally, it might be worth noting that Khalid Masood, a convert to Islam who killed four and injured many more during his attack outside the Houses of Parliament in March, had been <a href="" target="_blank">living in Birmingham</a> before he set out to wage jihad in Britain&#39;s capital.</strong></p> <p>It is time for some hard thinking about the ways in which modern British tolerance of the intolerant and its embrace of a wished-for, peace-loving multiculturalism have furthered this regression. Birmingham is probably the place to start.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="563" height="296" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Abaya Al-Muhajiroun Arab culture Britain's Henry Jackson Society British government Clothing France Gatestone Institute Gatestone Institute Henry Jackson Society Islam in the United Kingdom Niq?b None One Law Park View Academy Park View Brotherhood Purdah Religion Shari'a Veils Wed, 26 Apr 2017 06:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 594287 at Hillary Clinton Explains Our 'North Korea, South Korea, China' Policy <p><a href=""><em>Authored by Gaius Publius via Down With Tyranny blog,</em></a></p> <div style="margin: 0 30px;"><em>&quot;We don&#39;t want a unified Korean peninsula ... We [also] don&#39;t want the North Koreans to cause more trouble than the system can absorb.&quot;</em></div> <div style="margin: 0px 30px; text-align: left;">&mdash;Hillary Clinton, 2013, <a href="" target="_blank">speech</a> to Goldman Sachs</div> <p><strong>Our policy toward North Korea is not what most people think it is. </strong>We don&#39;t want the North Koreans to go away. In fact, we like them doing what they&#39;re doing; we just want less of it than they&#39;ve been doing lately. If this sounds confusing, it&#39;s because this policy is unlike what the public has been led to assume. Thanks to something uncovered by WikiLeaks, the American public has a chance to be unconfused about what&#39;s really going on with respect to our policies in Korea.</p> <p><em>This piece isn&#39;t intended to criticize that policy; it may be an excellent one. I just want to help us understand it better. </em></p> <p><strong>Our source for the U.S. government&#39;s actual Korean policy &mdash; going back decades really &mdash; is former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.</strong> She resigned that position in <a href="" target="_blank">February 2013</a>, and on June 4, 2013 she gave a speech at Goldman Sachs with Lloyd Blankfein present (perhaps on stage with her) in which she discussed in what sounds like a very frank manner, among many other things, the U.S. policy toward the two Korea and the relationship of that policy to China.</p> <p>That speech and two others were sent by <a href="" target="_blank">Tony Carrk</a> of the Clinton campaign to a number of others in the campaign, including John Podesta. WikiLeaks subsequently released that email as part of its release of other Podesta emails (source email with attachments <a href="" target="_blank">here</a>). In that speech, Clinton spoke confidentially and, I believe, honestly. What she said in that speech, I take her as meaning truthfully. There&#39;s certainly no reason for her to lie to her peers, and in some cases her betters, at Goldman Sachs. The entire speech reads like elites talking with elites in a space reserved just for them.</p> <p><em><a href=""><img height="856" src="" width="600" /></a></em></p> <p>I&#39;m not trying to impugn Clinton or WikiLeaks by writing this &mdash; that&#39;s not my intention at all.<strong> I just want to learn from what she has to say &mdash; from a position of knowledge &mdash; about the real U.S. policy toward North Korea. </strong>After all, if Goldman Sachs executives can be told this, it can&#39;t be that big a secret. We should be able to know it as well.</p> <h3><u><strong>What Clinton&#39;s Speech Tells Us about U.S. Korea Policy</strong></u></h3> <p>The WikiLeaks tweet is above. The entire speech, contained in the attachment to the email, is <a href="" target="_blank">here</a>. I&#39;ve reprinted some of the relevant portions below, first quoting Ms. Clinton with some interspersed comments from me. Then, adding some thoughts about what this seems to imply about our approach to and relations with South Korea.</p> <p>The Korea section of the Goldman Sachs speech starts with a discussion of China, and then Blankfein pivots to Korea. Blankfein&#39;s whole question that leads to the Clinton quote tweeted by WikiLeaks above (my emphasis throughout):</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>MR. BLANKFEIN: The Japanese -- I was more surprised that it wasn&#39;t like that when you think of -- all these different things. It&#39;s such a part of who they are, their response to Japan. If you bump into the Filipino fishing boats, then I think you really -- while we&#39;re in the neighborhood [i.e., discussing Asia], the Chinese is going to help us or help themselves -- what is helping themselves? North Korea? <strong> On the one hand they [the Chinese] wouldn&#39;t want -- they don&#39;t want to unify Korea, but they can&#39;t really like a nutty nuclear power on their border. What is their interests and what are they going to help us do?</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Clinton&#39;s whole answer is reprinted in the WikiLeaks tweet attachment (click through to the tweet and expand the embedded image to read it all). The relevant portions, for my purposes, are printed below. From the rest of her remarks, the context of Blankfein&#39;s question and Clinton&#39;s answer is the threat posed by a North Korean ICBM, not unlike the situation our government faces today.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>MS. CLINTON: Well, I think [Chinese] traditional policy has been close to what you&#39;ve described. <strong>We don&#39;t want a unified Korean peninsula, because if there were one South Korea would be dominant for the obvious economic and political reasons.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We [also] <strong>don&#39;t want the North Koreans to cause more trouble than the system can absorb</strong>. So we&#39;ve got a pretty good thing going with the previous North Korean leaders [Kim Il-sung and Kim Jung-il]. And then along comes the new young leader [Kim Jung-un], and he proceeds to insult the Chinese. He refuses to accept delegations coming from them. He engages in all kinds of both public and private rhetoric, which seems to suggest that he is preparing himself to stand against not only the South Koreans and the Japanese and the Americans, but also the Chinese.</p> </blockquote> <p><u><strong>Translation &mdash; three points:</strong></u></p> <ul> <li>The U.S. prefers that Korea stay divided. If Korea were to unite, South Korea would be in charge, and we don&#39;t want South Korea to become any more powerful than it already is.</li> <li>We also don&#39;t want the trouble North Korea causes South Korea to extend beyond the region. We want it to stay within previously defined bounds.</li> <li>Our arrangement with the two previous North Korean leaders met both of those objectives. North Korea&#39;s new leader, Kim Jung-un, is threatening that arrangement.</li> </ul> <p><strong>It appears that China has the same interest in keeping this situation as-is that we do.</strong> That is, they want South Korea (and us) to have a Korean adversary, but they don&#39;t want the adversary acting out of acceptable bounds &mdash; coloring outside the lines laid down by the Chinese (and the U.S.), as it were. Clinton:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>So the new [Chinese] leadership basically calls him [Kim Jung-un] on the carpet. And<strong> a high ranking North Korean military official has just finished a visit in Beijing and basically told [him, as a message from the Chinese]: Cut it out.</strong> Just stop it. Who do you think you are? And you are dependent on us [the Chinese], and you know it. And we expect you to demonstrate the respect that your father and your grandfather [Kim Jung-il, Kim Il-sung] showed toward us, and there will be a price to pay if you do not.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Now, that looks back to an important connection of what I said before. The biggest supporters of a provocative North Korea has been the PLA [the Chinese People&#39;s Liberation Army]. <strong>The deep connections between the military leadership in China and in North Korea has really been the mainstay of the relationship.</strong> So now all of a sudden new leadership with Xi and his team, and they&#39;re saying to the North Koreans -- and by extension to the PLA -- no. It is not acceptable. We don&#39;t need this [trouble] right now. We&#39;ve got other things going on. So you&#39;re going to have to pull back from your provocative actions, <strong>start talking to South Koreans again about the free trade zones, the business zones on the border, and get back to regular order</strong> and do it quickly.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Now, <strong>we don&#39;t care if you occasionally shoot off a missile. That&#39;s good. That upsets the Americans and causes them heartburn, but you can&#39;t keep going down a path that is unpredictable</strong>. We don&#39;t like that. That is not acceptable to us.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>So I think they&#39;re trying to reign Kim Jong in. I think they&#39;re trying to send a clear message to the North Korean military. <strong>They also have a very significant trade relationship with Seoul and they&#39;re trying to reassure Seoul</strong> that, you know, we&#39;re now on the case.</p> </blockquote> <p><u><strong>Clinton ends with a fourth point:</strong></u></p> <ul> <li>From the U.S. standpoint, the current problem is now on the Chinese to fix.</li> </ul> <p>Clinton:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>So they want to keep North Korea within their orbit. They want to keep it predictable in their view. They have made some rather significant statements recently that they would very much like to see the North Koreans pull back from their nuclear program. Because I and everybody else -- and I know you had Leon Panetta here this morning. You know, we all have told the Chinese if they continue to develop this missile program and they get an ICBM that has the capacity to carry a small nuclear weapon on it, which is what they&#39;re aiming to do, we cannot abide that. Because they could not only do damage to our treaty allies, namely Japan and South Korea, <strong>but they could actually reach Hawaii and the west coast theoretically, and we&#39;re going to ring China with missile defense</strong>. We&#39;re going to put more of our fleet in the area.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>So China, come on. You either control them or we&#39;re going to have to defend against them</strong>.</p> </blockquote> <p>The four bullets above (three, and then one) give a very clear definition of longstanding U.S. policy toward the two Koreas. I think the only surprise in this, for us civilians, is that the U.S. doesn&#39;t want the Korean peninsula unified. So two questions: Why not? And, do the South Koreans know this? I&#39;ll offer brief answers below.</p> <h3><u><strong>The &quot;Great Game&quot; In East Asia &mdash; Keeping the Korean &quot;Tiger&quot; in Check</strong></u></h3> <p>South Korea is one of the great emerging nations in East Asia, one of the &quot;Asian tigers,&quot; a manufacturing and economic powerhouse that&#39;s lately been turning into a technological and innovative powerhouse as well.</p> <p>For example, one of just many, from <a href="" target="_blank">Forbes</a>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>Why South Korea Will Be The Next Global Hub For Tech Startups</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>American business has long led the way in high tech density</strong> or the proportion of businesses that engage in activities such as Internet software and services, hardware and semiconductors. <strong>The US is fertile ground for tech start-ups with access to capital</strong> and a culture that celebrates risk taking. Other countries have made their mark on the world stage, competing to be prominent tech and innovation hubs. Israel has been lauded as a start-up nation with several hundred companies getting funded by venture capital each year. A number of these companies are now being acquired by the likes of Apple, Facebook and Google. Finland and Sweden have attracted notice by bringing us Angry Birds and Spotify among others. <strong>But a new start-up powerhouse is on the horizon &ndash; South Korea</strong>. [...]</p> </blockquote> <p>In other words, South Korea has leaped beyond being a country that keeps U.S. tech CEOs wealthy &mdash; it&#39;s now taking steps that threaten that wealth itself. And not just in electronics; the biological research field &mdash; think cloning &mdash; is an area the South Koreans are trying to take a lead in as well.</p> <p>It&#39;s easy to understand Ms. Clinton&#39;s &mdash; and the business-captured American government&#39;s &mdash; interest in making sure that the U.S. CEO class isn&#39;t further threatened by a potential doubling of the capacity of the South Korean government and economy. Let them (the Koreans) manufacture to their heart&#39;s content, our policy seems to say; but to threaten our lead in billionaire-producing entrepreneurship ... that&#39;s a bridge too far.</p> <p>Again, this is Clinton speaking, I&#39;m absolutely certain, on behalf of U.S. government policy makers and the elites they serve: <strong>We don&#39;t want a unified Korean peninsula, because if there were one, an already-strong South Korea would be dominant for obvious economic reasons.</strong></p> <p><strong>As to whether the South Koreans know that this is our policy, I&#39;d have to say, very likely yes. </strong>After all, if Clinton is saying this to meetings of Goldman Sachs executives, it can&#39;t be that big a secret. It&#39;s just that the South Korea leadership knows better than the North Korean leader how to handle it.</p> <p><em>[<b>Update:</b> It&#39;s been suggested in comments (initially <a href="" target="_blank">here</a>) that Clinton&#39;s &quot;we&quot; in her answer to Blankfein&#39;s question was a reference to China&#39;s policy, not our own. I&#39;m doubtful that&#39;s true, but it&#39;s an interpretation worth considering. Even so, the U.S. and Chinese policies toward the two Koreas are certainly aligned, and, as Clinton says, &quot;for the obvious economic and political reasons.&quot; (That argument was also expressed <a href="" target="_blank">in comments here</a>.)&nbsp; I therefore think the thrust of the piece below is valid under either interpretation of Clinton&#39;s use of &quot;we.&quot; &ndash;GP]</em></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="220" height="147" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> American government Ancient Rome Apple China cloning East Asia Finland Gaius Genealogy goldman sachs Goldman Sachs Google Israel Japan KIM Liberation Army Lloyd Blankfein North Korea North Korean military Nuclear Power Politics Prosopography Publius Roman gentes semiconductors South Korean government US government West Coast Wed, 26 Apr 2017 02:35:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 594286 at China Launches First Domestically-Built Aircraft Carrier <p>Exactly one day ago, <a href="">we reported </a>that "<em>China's first domestically built aircraft carrier will soon launch in Dalian, Liaoning Province for drills and trial voyages</em>, putting to the test proprietary technology meant to further Beijing's expansion in the South and East China seas."</p> <p> A dock at the Dalian shipyard was being filled with water Sunday the local press reported, in preparation for the launch. The Chinese-made vessel is expected to enter service around 2020, joining China's first and only aircraft carrier, a refurbished Ukrainian vessel known as the Liaoning.</p> <p>Fast forward just 24 hours, when moments ago the People's Daily reported that <a href="">China has officially launched </a>its second aircraft carrier -- and its first domestically built, in Dalian on Wednesday morning</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en"><a href="">#BREAKING</a>: China launches its second aircraft carrier -- and its first domestically built, in Dalian on Wednesday morning <a href=""></a></p> <p>— People's Daily,China (@PDChina) <a href="">April 26, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><p>The new carrier, the first domestically-built one, was transferred from dry dock into the water at a launch ceremony that started at about 9 a.m. in Dalian shipyard of the China Shipbuilding Industry, <a href="">according to Xinhua</a>.</p> <p>It is China's second aircraft carrier, which comes after the Liaoning, a refitted former Soviet Union-made carrier that was put into commission in the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy in 2012.</p> <p>In a <a href="">statement, </a>China's Ministry of Defense's announced that China's second aircraft carrier launching ceremony was held at the China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation Dalian Shipyard this morning. Fan Changlong, member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and vice chairman of the Central Military Commission, attended the ceremony and delivered a speech.</p> <p>More, <a href="">google translated:</a></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>The ceremony began at 9am with the majestic national anthem. In accordance with international practice, after cutting the ribbon, a "bottle throwing" ceremony took place. With a bottle of champagne broken ship bow, two sides of the jet ribbon, the surrounding ship with a whistle, the audience sounded warm applause. The aircraft carrier moved out of the dock and towed the dock under towing traction.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The second aircraft carrier by our own development, started in November 2013, in March 2015 to start the construction of the dock. At present, the aircraft carrier main hull to complete the construction, power, electricity and other major system equipment installed in place. Docking is one of the major nodes in the construction of aircraft carriers, marking China's independent design and construction of aircraft carriers to achieve significant results. The next step, the aircraft carrier will be planned for system equipment commissioning and outfitting construction, and a comprehensive mooring test.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Navy, China Shipbuilding Industry Group leadership Shen Jinlong, Miao Hua, Hu asked Ming, as well as military and other relevant departments of the leadership and scientific research personnel, cadres and workers, representatives of officers and soldiers to participate in the ceremony.</p> </blockquote> <p>For those who may have missed our original post, here are the full details of China's first domestically-build aircraft carrier.</p> <p>The new ship, like its predecessor, will be conventionally propelled, as opposed to nuclear-powered, and feature a sloped flight deck known as a ski jump for aircraft takeoff. It is somewhat smaller than the Liaoning, with a displacement of around 50,000 tons compared to around 67,000 tons. The SCMP notes that "from the successful refitting of the Liaoning in 2011 and its commission a year later, China spent just five years to produce the 001A."</p> <p><img src="" width="500" height="334" /></p> <p><em>China's first home-built aircraft carrier awaits launch at a Dalian shipyard</em></p> <p>Around 200 visitors and reporters gathered in Dalian on Sunday, expecting a launch ceremony to coincide with the 68th anniversary of the Chinese navy's founding. The scaffolding around the ship, temporarily named the Type 001A, was removed and the deck was cleared, Shanghai-based news portal reported, suggesting that the launch date was getting close. However, experts said tidal conditions yesterday were not conducive for a launch to mark the navy’s birthday, and expected a ceremony to take place in the next few days.</p> <p><img src="" width="500" height="276" /></p> <p>According to SCMP, the new vessel is designed to have more space for aircraft than the Liaoning, by some estimates letting the ship hold as many as 36 fighter jets, or 50% more than its predecessor. While the new carrier "differs little from the Liaoning as far as outward appearances go, its operational capabilities are vastly superior," Chinese military expert Liang Fang told state-run China Central Television.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_start">&nbsp;</div> <div class="quote_end">&nbsp;</div> <p>Commentaries published by party mouthpiece People’s Daily on the PLA Navy anniversary yesterday said a strong maritime force was crucial.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“Facing the increasingly complicated maritime security and sovereignty struggle, a strong navy is necessary to protect &shy;national sovereignty and maritime rights, overseas interests and take part in international cooperation,” one of the opinion pieces said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Another commentary said the nation’s aircraft carrier fleet had participated in training in the western Pacific last year, and that the launch of a new carrier was a sign that China was mastering &shy;naval technology.</p> </blockquote> <p>Nonetheless, military observers said the launch of the new carrier represented only modest progress in China’s military modernisation, given the technological gap &shy;between the PLA Navy and its most powerful rival in the Asia-Pacific region, the US Navy, which currently has 10 operational, nuclear-powered Nimitz-class carriers, which carry around 90 aircraft and helicopters and have a crew of 5,000 each.</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="500" height="331" /></a></p> <p>The new vessel is expected to operate mainly in the South China Sea alongside the Liaoning, which in December held its second set of exercises in the contested waters since entering service. Adding another ship would enable an aircraft carrier to remain present there while the other is in for maintenance. This arrangement, combined with ports and airstrips China has built on man-made islands in the sea, aims to give Beijing aerial supremacy over a region it considers central to its national interest and to curtail U.S. activity there.</p> <p>According to <a href="">Nikkei</a>, future Chinese aircraft carriers are likely to be built faster now that the country has amassed the design experience and technology to bring the first vessel to launch.</p> <p>Confirming this, work on a second Chinese-made carrier has already begun. The vessel probably will employ a steam catapult to launch aircraft, retired Maj. Gen. Xu Guangyu told Chinese media. A third vessel which has yet to begin production is expected to use nuclear propulsion, eliminating the need to resupply fuel. Work on escort vessels and submarines for a carrier strike group is also underway.</p> <p>Quoted by SCMP, Hong Kong-based military analyst Liang Guoliang said that with the launch of the Type 001A, China would still only have two carriers, with the new ship requiring two or three years before it was put into full service. He noted that the US has 10 carrier strike groups, with at least four deployed in the Asia-Pacific region.&nbsp;</p> <p>“The US navy has 9.5 million tonnes of shipping, while China has just 400,000 tonnes, or 4 per cent of the US capability. The US also has different kinds of carrier-based fighters, including its advanced carrier variants of the F-35 fighter ... while China just has the J-15,” Liang said. “Meanwhile, the US has more than 200,000 marines, while China is just trying to expand its force to 100,000.</p> <p>“I think the Chinese military should realise that there are still huge gaps in both hardware and software between the two countries’ maritime capabilities.”</p> <p>They probably do, which is why corporate espionage in the US is likely to intensify in the coming years as China rushes to cover the technological gap. And as China scrambles to catch up to the US fleet of aircraft carrier, it has also shown an eagerness to cover shortfalls in its submarine fleet: <a href="">as reported on Friday</a>, China is currently building the world's largest submarine facility, which when operational later this year, will be able to build as many as 4 subs at the same time.</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="492" height="312" /></a></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="690" height="420" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Aircraft carrier Asia-Pacific Central Military Commission China China China's Ministry of Defense Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning Chinese aircraft carrier programme Chinese military Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy CPC Central Committee Dalian Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Company East China former Soviet Union Google Kuznetsov-class aircraft carrier Liaoning Naval warfare navy Nikkei Nimitz-class aircraft carrier PLA Navy Political Bureau South China Twitter Twitter Type 001A aircraft carrier United States Navy Watercraft Wed, 26 Apr 2017 02:10:12 +0000 Tyler Durden 594298 at US Destroyer Has Close Encounter With Iranian Vessel in Straits of Hormuz <p>The USS Mahan has to take evasive actions in the Straits of Hormuz today, in order to avoid an Iranian 'fast attack' vessel. The Mahan sounded the danger alarm, fired flares and manned their weapons, but the Iranian cowards tucked tail and scattered before reaching within 1,000 yards of the U.S. destroyer.</p> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>"Coming inbound at a high rate of speed like that and manning weapons, despite clear warnings from the ship, is obviously provocative behavior," said one American official in describing the Iranian actions.</p></blockquote> <p>This is the second time in recent months that the Mahan was put on high alert due to pesky Iranian vessels. Back in January, the Mahan fired three warning shots from a .50 caliber machine gun in order to stop small Iranian vessels from harassing them.</p> <p>The U.S. military said Iranian vessels harassed US warships a total of 35 times in 2016 -- a 50% spike from the year prior.</p> <p>During the Presidential campaign, Trump was livid over the treatment of US sailors, after a swarm of Iranian vessels seized an American riverine, blindfolded the crew, struck the US flag in exchange for an Iranian, and interrogated 10 crew members, while humiliating them on Iranian tv.<br /> <img src="" width="500" height="440" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-67657" /></p> <p>Trump said of the ordeal, “When I see pictures of them with arms up in the air and guns pointed at them, I wouldn’t exactly say that’s friendly.”</p> <p>Trump added at a campaign rally, "And by the way, with Iran, when they circle our beautiful destroyers with their little boats and they make gestures that our people -- that they shouldn't be allowed to make, they will be shot out of the water." </p> <p>Content originally published at <a href=""></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Asia Donald Trump Geography of Asia Iran Iran Strait of Hormuz US military USS Mahan Wed, 26 Apr 2017 02:08:16 +0000 The_Real_Fly 594297 at Russia Ready To Send Ground Troops To Syria: FARS <p>Iran <a href="">news agency FARS </a>reports that according to Syrian military sources, Moscow has informed Damascus of its preparedness to dispatch ground troops to Syria.</p> <p>FARS - which like most US media should always be taken with a gran of salt - quotes the <a href="">Al-Hadath news, </a>according to whose sources Russia has announced that in case of the Syrian army's request it is ready to send ground forces to Syria. The sources said that special Russian forces are prepared to be deployed in regions which are experiencing the most pressures by the terrorist groups.</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="500" height="292" /></a></p> <p>They added that the technical aspects of the plan have been studied and prepared by Russia, saying that the plan can be implemented upon Russian President Vladimir Putin's order after Damascus' official request.</p> <p>A Russian daily reported earlier this month that the country's soldiers are about to shoulder the responsibility of restoring security to the Christian-populated regions during the Syrian Army's imminent anti-terrorism operations in Northern Hama.</p> <p>FARS adds that according to Russian Izvestia, the Russian units will help popular forces in Hama province to restore security to the town of Mahradeh, whose population are mainly Christians.&nbsp; The daily added that terrorists are under the Syrian Army's siege from all directions.</p> <p>There have been fierce clashes between the government forces and militants near Hahradeh since April 4th. "Informed sources" believe that the army intends to complete the siege of the terrorists in Northern Hama to clean the region up to the border with Idlib province.</p> <p>A deployment of Russian troops in Syria may coincide with a deployment of US ground forces to Syria. Two weeks ago, <a href="">Bloomberg reported </a>that Trump's national security advisor, H.R. McMaster was planning on sending between 10,000 and 50,000 troops to Syria. Needless to say, a showdown between thousands of Russian and US troops in Syria is unlikely to have a happy ending. </p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="600" height="350" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> army Eastern Mediterranean Geography of Asia Hama Iran Levant Middle East national security Politics Syria Syrian army Syrian Civil War War Western Asia Wed, 26 Apr 2017 01:49:33 +0000 Tyler Durden 594295 at JD Power Lowers 2017 Auto SAAR As High Discounts "Threaten Industry's Long-Term Health" <p>After a disappointing March for the auto OEM's, a hopeful wall street has set it's sites on a rebound in April with consensus SAAR estimates currently set at 17.25 million, up from 16.53 million in March.&nbsp; Per the chart below, the March 2017 print for auto sales was the lowest in over two years, despite massive incentive spending by the OEMs.</p> <p><a href=" - Autos 3.jpg"><img src="" style="width: 600px; height: 281px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Of course, OEMs didn't bother to adjust production levels to sinking sales which pushed inventory days to the highest March print since 2009.</p> <p><a href=" - Autos 2.jpg"><img src="" style="width: 600px; height: 285px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>But while wall street seems to be in a phase of perpetual optimism, JD Power and LMC Automotive have decided to lower their expectations for 2017 sales and warn that consumer discounts remain high enough to "threaten the industry's long-term health."&nbsp; Per <a href="">Reuters</a>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>U.S. auto sales in April likely fell almost 2 percent from a year earlier, </strong>with consumer discounts remaining at levels high enough to threaten the industry's long-term health, industry consultants J.D. Power and LMC Automotive said on Tuesday.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>The consultancies also lowered their full-year 2017 forecast for new vehicle sales to 17.5 million units, from a previous forecast of 17.6 million.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>April U.S. new vehicle sales will be about 1.48 million units, a drop of nearly 2 percent from 1.51 million units a year earlier, the consultancies said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The forecast was based on the first 13 selling days of the month. Automakers are expected to report April U.S. sales results on May 2.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The seasonally adjusted annualized rate for the month will be 17.5 million vehicles, flat versus the same month in 2016.</p> </blockquote> <p>Of course, as we've noted numerous times before (see "<a href="">Morgan Stanley: Used Car Prices May Crash 50%</a>"), the real story with the auto industry isn't the sinking SAAR levels but rather the growing level of incentive spending required to keep sales from crashing even further.&nbsp; </p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>"While industry retail sales pace remains high, it is being powered by elevated levels of incentive spending which pose a serious threat to the long-term health of the industry,"</strong> said Deirdre Borrego, senior vice president of automotive data and analytics at J.D. Power.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Excessive discounts can help sell new vehicles, but undermine resale prices.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The consultancies said consumer discounts averaged $3,499 per new vehicle sold, the highest ever for the month of April. The previous record was set in April 2009, during the height of the Great Recession.</p> </blockquote> <p>But, auto investors don't seem to be all that worried so we're sure everything will work out just fine when OEM's release April sales on May 2nd.</p> <p><a href=" - Autos 1.jpg"><img src="" style="width: 600px; height: 324px;" /></a></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="615" height="409" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Auto Sales Business Electric vehicles Morgan Stanley Recession Reuters Wed, 26 Apr 2017 01:45:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 594211 at Here We Go Again: Another Futures Fund Is Caught In A "Short Gamma" Trap <p>Remember when the catalyst for the relentless, seemingly inexplicable broad market melt-up in mid-February <a href="">was revealed to be an overeager short-biased hedge fund</a>, which had been caught in a "short gamma" feedback loop, forced to buy more S&amp;P futures the higher the market went? Well, as RBC's Charlie McElliggott writes, the "short gamma" feedback loop appears to have returned as yet another fund is now caught in the same trap, and the market will soon test just what the fund's point of margin call max pain is, potentially taking the S&amp;P to 2,400 - if not far higher - on short notice.</p> <p>As McElligott laments, "It’s awkward to write about this…AGAIN" which however won't stop him from doing just that, and explains as follows:</p> <p><strong>GUESS WHO'S BACK...MORE 'SHORT GAMMA' COCKROACHES, </strong><em>from RBC's Charlie McElliggott</em></p> <p>The same dynamic at play during our last equities ‘melt-up’ is seemingly back ‘in-play.’&nbsp; Remember the hypothetical story on the multi-billion dollar open-ended futures fund which found itself ‘synthetically short’ size SPX due to its strategy where it sells multiple upside calls for every in-the-money long call?<em> Well the macro ‘relief rally’ yesterday reintroduced that very same ‘gap risk’ which this type of strategy hates.</em></p> <p>Well, we are now getting closer to ‘launch’ as the same situation is speculated to be ‘out there’ again.&nbsp; There was some covering in 2330s and 2370s yesterday, while most of the size seemingly sits at the 2400 level<strong>.&nbsp; As the market is sniffing out the upper strikes that such a strategy might be short, there is a self-fulfilling ‘short gamma’ as we push ever-closer to the pain-points.&nbsp; </strong>Of course, today’s +++ earnings run is only further feeding into the anxiety, with strong #’s from CAT, DD, BIIB, MCD etc squeezing futures higher.&nbsp; The fact of the matter is, the closer to actualizing these (short) upper strikes, the more likely we are to see that ‘itchy trigger finger’ on their delta-hedging.&nbsp; <strong>I would keep an eye out on 2380 / 85 levels for possible next ‘breakpoints’ which could induce further forced covering. </strong></p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="500" height="283" /></a></p> <p><strong>If we were to then push onward to / through the 2400 level, then it almost seems the whole market will ‘act short’ simply based on stops</strong>, as SPX / ES would be making new all-time highs, which could set-off ‘buy stops’ from shorts, or potentially drag new longs into the market on the momentum break.&nbsp; This is OUTSIDE of the potential ‘short gamma’ from the above trade(s).&nbsp; That said, the real chunky OI in both SPX and SPY options sits at 2425 / 2450 levels.&nbsp; A break to those levels would see serious ‘short gamma’ pain. </p> <p>Mind you, this is all very relevant in relation to my current view that we are realistically still in the midst of a macro ‘range trade,’ especially in regards to rates / ‘reflation,’ as the commodities complexcontinues to really struggle as Crude falters and the Chinese liquidity driver fades.&nbsp; <strong>My message has been to watch said “reflation trap” then, as there is still significant basis to short “reflation” at the 2.35/40 level—especially with this US data dynamic of ‘soft’ data rolling and ‘hard’ data now biased towards ‘missing.’ </strong></p> <p>Caveat emptor.</p> Crude Economy ETC Finance Financial markets Futures contract Hedge Hedge fund Money Option Reflation Short Speculation SPY World Health Organization Wed, 26 Apr 2017 01:30:40 +0000 Tyler Durden 594219 at Think Tank Reports ISIS Is Falling Apart: "May Actually Lead To More Terrorist Attacks Across The Globe" <p><a href=""><em>Authored by Daniel Lang via,</em></a></p> <p><em><a href=""><img height="323" src="" width="470" /></a></em></p> <p><strong>It&rsquo;s difficult to quantify how much of an effect ISIS has had our collective psyches</strong>. Since this organization started making the news several years ago, we&rsquo;ve been inundated with utterly horrifying stories about ISIS on a nearly daily basis. These people do things that are so wicked, it&rsquo;s hard to believe that they were committed by human beings. Because of that, I suspect that long after ISIS is gone, their organization will be a talking point for decades in much the same way that Hitler and the Nazis are still brought up on a regular basis today.</p> <p>Fortunately, it appears that ISIS is becoming history as we speak. All evidence suggests that the moment of collapse for the ISIS caliphate is rapidly approaching.<strong> In fact, the RAND Corporation recently published a report that spells out <a href="" target="_blank">just how much ISIS has declined</a> over the past few years.</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>The report found that ISIS, also known as the<strong> Islamic State, &ldquo;has lost substantial control of territory and people since 2014 in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Libya and Nigeria,&rdquo;</strong> putting it in danger of losing its state, which it calls a &ldquo;caliphate,&rdquo; altogether.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>But control over territory and people isn&rsquo;t the only thing that makes ISIS a formidable terrorist organization. </strong>The group has recently been focusing heavily on external attacks, some of which are mounted without any direct orders from ISIS leaders.</p> </blockquote> <p>RAND reported that ISIS has lost 57% of its territory and 73% of its population. And much more importantly, polls suggest that their support in the Muslim world is rapidly dwindling. ISIS isn&rsquo;t just a terrorist group. It&rsquo;s an insurgency that tried to carve out a state from Iraq and Syria, and no insurgency could have made it this far unless they had at least some support among the population. Now ISIS is losing that as well.</p> <p>However, <u><strong>this encouraging news comes with a catch.</strong></u></p> <p>It&rsquo;s important to keep in mind that the RAND Corporation is a major facet of the military-industrial complex. So what they think will happen after the caliphate collapses is very telling.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>The group still has enough supporters, though, to be considered a serious threat to&nbsp;countries in the Middle East and around the world. Rand&nbsp;also found that&nbsp;ISIS attacks have shot up in recent months. The data suggests that ISIS &ldquo;has begun to move from an insurgent group that controls territory to a clandestine terrorist group that conducts attacks against government officials and noncombatants,&rdquo; the report said. <strong>This is the model of ISIS&rsquo; predecessor organization, Al Qaeda</strong>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Though&nbsp;it seems that the US-led campaign against ISIS has been successful so far,&nbsp;<strong>ISIS remains a long way from extinction</strong>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;Fully eliminating the threat the Islamic State poses <strong>will require continued American leadership for years to come,</strong>&rdquo; the report said. &ldquo;&hellip;&nbsp;In the short and perhaps medium terms, this contraction in territorial control <strong>may actually lead to more terrorist attacks across the globe</strong>. But over time, the group&rsquo;s capacity to recruit, fund, organize, and inspire such attacks will likely diminish, and its brand may lose its allure if the Islamic State no longer controls territory in Iraq and Syria.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>In other words, the military-industrial complex is licking its chops.</strong> That&rsquo;s because ISIS, <a href="" target="_blank">which is largely a creation of the West</a>, is about to replace Al-Qaeda as America&rsquo;s elusive bogeyman. <strong>Long after their hellish caliphate is dead, they&rsquo;ll be launching attacks on the United States from far-flung lands, which will surely be used as an excuse to decimate our freedoms, and drag us into many more wars in the future. </strong>A lot can happen between now, and when ISIS &ldquo;loses its allure.&rdquo;</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="470" height="323" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Afghanistan Al-Qaeda al-Qaeda Hollie McKay Institute for Science and International Security Iraq Iraq Iraqi insurgency Irregular military Isis Islam Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant Middle East Middle East Persecution of Christians by ISIL Politics Rand Corporation Salahuddin campaign Terrorism War Wed, 26 Apr 2017 01:20:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 594285 at San Francisco Judge Blocks Trump's Sanctuary City Order <p>To our complete 'shock,' a federal judge in San Francisco has just blocked Trump's Executive Order intended to withhold funding from communities that limit cooperation with U.S. immigration authorities.&nbsp; The basis of the finding is that only Congress, not the president, has authority to attach new conditions to federal spending.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>"The Constitution vests the spending powers in Congress, not the President, so the Order cannot constitutionally place new conditions on federal funds.</strong> Further, the Tenth Amendment requires that conditions on federal funds be unambiguous and timely made; that they&nbsp; bear some relation to the funds at issue; and that the total financial incentive not be coercive. <strong>Federal funding that bears no meaningful relationship to immigration enforcement cannot be threatened merely because a jurisdiction chooses an immigration enforcement strategy of which the President disapproves."</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>U.S. District Judge William Orrick, an Obama appointee, issued the temporary ruling moments ago after San Francisco and Santa Clara County argued that it threatened billions of dollars in federal funding. The decision will stay in place while the lawsuit moves through court.</p> <p><strong>Ironically, an attorney for the Justice Department, Chad Readler, downplayed the usefulness of the Executive Order</strong> admitting at a recent court hearing that it only applied to three Justice Department and Homeland Security Department grants that <strong>amounted to less than $1 million nationally and possibly no San Francisco funding at all.&nbsp; </strong></p> <p>Meanwhile, for the first time we learn that the <strong>DOJ, at oral argument, also contended the sanctuary cities EO was toothless--merely an exercise of Trump's "bully pulpit"</strong> to "encourage communities and states to comply with the law."</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">At oral argument, DOJ contended the sanctuary cities EO was toothless--merely an exercise of Trump's "bully pulpit." <a href=""></a> <a href=""></a></p> <p>— southpaw (@nycsouthpaw) <a href="">April 25, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><p>But, Judge Orrick disagreed with the scope of the Executive Order saying that it attempts to "to reach all federal grants, not merely the three mentioned at the hearing."</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>It is heartening that the Government’s lawyers recognize that the Order cannot do more constitutionally than enforce existing law. But Section 9(a), by its plain language, attempts to&nbsp; reach all federal grants, not merely the three mentioned at the hearing. The rest of the Order is&nbsp; broader still, addressing all federal funding. </strong>And if there was doubt about the scope of the Order, the President and Attorney General have erased it with their public comments. The President has called it “a weapon” to use against jurisdictions that disagree with his preferred policies of immigration enforcement, and his press secretary has reiterated that the President intends to ensure that “counties and other institutions that remain sanctuary cites don’t get federal government funding in compliance with the executive order.” The Attorney General has warned that&nbsp; jurisdictions that do not comply with Section 1373 would suffer “withholding grants, termination of grants, and disbarment or ineligibility for future grants,” and the “claw back” of any funds previously awarded. <strong>Section 9(a) is not reasonably susceptible to the new, narrow interpretation offered at the hearing.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>...and apparently Judge Orrick didn't think the DOJ's arguments were even "legally plausible."</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="tl">hahahahahaha <a href=""></a></p> <p>— southpaw (@nycsouthpaw) <a href="">April 25, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><p>So, if the DOJ believes that the scope of the Executive Order would only impact $1mm in federal funding and was "merely an exercise of Trump's 'bully pulpit', then <strong>we have to wonder whether the whole thing was just a charade to avoid more "flip-flopping" accusations?</strong>&nbsp; What say you?</p> <p>Here is the full order:</p> <p><iframe src=";view_mode=scroll&amp;access_key=key-8HX1QbwR17r0ATf0vvoz&amp;show_recommendations=true" width="100%" height="600" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="688" height="395" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> American people of German descent Business Climate change skepticism and denial Congress Department of Justice DOJ Donald Trump Homeland Security Department Illegal immigration to the United States Immigration Law Politics Politics of the United States Sanctuary city Social Issues The Apprentice Twitter Twitter United States William Horsley Orrick WWE Hall of Fame Wed, 26 Apr 2017 01:12:02 +0000 Tyler Durden 594261 at Fannie Introduces "Innovative Solutions" Allowing Student-Debt-Laden Millennials To Buy A Home <p>So what do you do when a massive student loan bubble results in crippling leverage for an entire generation of your population rendering them financially unqualified to obtain mortgage financing and their 'God-given right' to a slice of the 'American Dream'?&nbsp;<strong> Well, you simply change the rules to allow mortgage lenders to ignore all that pesky student debt</strong>...anything less would simply be evil and potentially racist, sexist and all sorts of other -ist words.</p> <p>Luckily, Fannie Mae is right on top of the issue and has just<a href=""> released </a><strong><a href="">new rules</a> allowing millennial borrowers to, among other things, simply exclude student loans, credit cards and auto loans that are "paid by someone else"</strong>...wink wink...when applying for a new mortgage.&nbsp; As an added benefit, taxpayer subsidized mortgage loans can also now be used to repay student debt...Hooray for taxpayers!</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Fannie Mae announced new policies that will help more borrowers with student debt qualify for a home loan. <strong>These innovations address challenges and obstacles to homeownership due to a significant increase in student loan debt over the past decade </strong>and provide access to credit for qualified borrowers. The new solutions give homeowners the opportunity to pay down student debt with a mortgage refinance, <strong>allow borrowers to exclude non-mortgage debt paid by others as part of the loan application process</strong>, and make it more likely for borrowers with student debt to qualify for a mortgage loan by allowing lenders to accept student debt payments included on credit reports.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Student Loan Cash-Out Refinance:</strong></span> Offers homeowners the <strong>flexibility to pay off high interest rate student debt</strong> while potentially refinancing to a lower mortgage interest rate.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Debt Paid by Others:</strong></span> Widens borrower eligibility to qualify for a home loan by <strong>excluding from the borrower’s debt-to-income ratio non-mortgage debt, such as credit cards, auto loans, and student loans, paid by someone else. </strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Student Debt Payment Calculation:</strong></span> Makes it more likely for borrowers with student debt to qualify for a loan by allowing lenders to accept student loan payment information on credit reports.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“We understand the significant role that a monthly student loan<br /> payment plays in a potential home buyer’s consideration to take on a<br /> mortgage, and we want to be a part of the solution,” said Jonathan<br /> Lawless, Vice President of Customer Solutions, Fannie Mae. “These new<br /> policies provide three flexible payment solutions to future and current<br /> homeowners and, in turn, allow lenders to serve more borrowers.”</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>You know, because more debt is exactly the cure for millennials suffering the financial consequences of too much debt.&nbsp; </strong></p> <p>But, at least this should help with inflating Housing Bubble 2.0.</p> <p><img src="" alt="Housing" width="450" height="297" /></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="717" height="539" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Business Debt-to-income ratio Economy Fannie Mae Fannie Mae Finance Housing Bubble Loans Money Mortgage Mortgage industry of the United States Mortgage loan Mortgage Loans Personal finance Refinancing Student Loans United States housing bubble Wed, 26 Apr 2017 00:55:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 594223 at