en DoD Admits US Global Hegemony Threatened By China, Russia In "Persistently Disordered World" <p>By 2035, the US could find itself in an environment where Russia or China may match or even exceed the West&#39;s military and economic might in some areas, taking advantage of a &ldquo;disordered and contested world,&rdquo;<a href=""> the Pentagon&rsquo;s research unit said...</a></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>Conflict and war in 2035 cannot be understood by the simple identification of a set of individual trends and conditions.</strong> Instead, the intersection and interaction of many discrete trends and conditions will ultimately change the character of future conflict and illuminate the reasons why the Joint Force may be called on to address threats to U.S. national interests. In fact, conflict in 2035 is likely to be driven by six specific and unique combinations of trends and conditions.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Each of these Contexts of Future Conflict creates a troubling problem space for the Joint Force</strong>. They include:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>1. Violent Ideological Competition. </strong></span>Irreconcilable ideas communicated and promoted by identity networks through violence.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>2. Threatened U.S. Territory and Sovereignty.</strong></span> Encroachment, erosion, or disregard of U.S. sovereignty and the freedom of its citizens from coercion.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>3. Antagonistic Geopolitical Balancing. </strong></span>Increasingly ambitious adversaries maximizing their own influence while actively limiting U.S. influence.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>4. Disrupted Global Commons.</strong></span> Denial or compulsion in spaces and places available to all but owned by none.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">5. A Contest for Cyberspace</span></strong>. A struggle to define and credibly protect sovereignty in cyberspace.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>6. Shattered and Reordered Regions.</strong></span> States unable to cope with internal political fractures, environmental stressors, or deliberate external interference.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Each context includes elements of both contested norms and persistent disorder.</strong> However, their relative importance will vary depending on the objectives of potential adversaries and the capabilities available to them. Dissatisfaction with the current set of international rules, norms, and agreements will cause revisionist actors to make their own &ndash; and attempt to enforce them. <strong><em>Meanwhile, the loss of legitimacy or strength by governing authorities will permit other actors to effectively employ coercion and violence in pursuit of power or to further their beliefs.</em></strong></p> </blockquote> <p><a href=""><em>As RT reports,</em></a> a new foresight report from The Pentagon&rsquo;s research division, <strong>the Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC), warns that within just 20 years, the US and its allies will live in a world where shaping a global order the way they have since the end of the Cold War would be increasingly difficult, if not impossible</strong>.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>&ldquo;The future world order will see a number of states with the political will, economic capacity, and military capabilities to compel change at the expense of others,&rdquo;</strong></span> reads the paper entitled &ldquo;The Joint Force in a Contested and Disordered World.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;Rising powers including for example, <u><strong>China, Russia, India, Iran, or Brazil have increasingly expressed dissatisfaction with their roles, access, and authorities within the current international system,&rdquo;</strong></u> it states.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;Russia will modernize its land, air, and sea-based intercontinental nuclear forces&rdquo; and make use of deterrent operations such as &ldquo;snap nuclear exercises, bomber flights, and strategic reconnaissance overflights into US territory,&rdquo; the Pentagon&rsquo;s researchers predict.</p> </blockquote> <p>The report admits Russia and China are among countries dissatisfied &ldquo;with the current Western-derived notion of international order.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>Russia, China, India, and others, labeled &ldquo;revisionist states&rdquo; in the report, would promote alternate international alliances,</strong> while the West&rsquo;s shrinking resources would also have an impact on Washington&rsquo;s dominance across the globe.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;Although seemingly insignificant today, organizations such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the Eurasian Economic Union could grow as China, Russia, India, and others turn to these multinational groups to reorder international rules in their favor.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;Demographic and fiscal pressures will continue to challenge NATO&rsquo;s capacity and capability,&rdquo; the paper warns.<strong> &ldquo;In Asia, perceptions of reduced US commitment may encourage current allies and partners to pursue unilateral military modernization efforts or explore alternative alliances and partnerships.&rdquo;</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>However, though the Pentagon&rsquo;s report states that &ldquo;no power or coalition of powers has yet emerged to openly oppose US global influence and reach,&rdquo; it claims<strong><em> &ldquo;the United States will operate in a world in which its overall economic and military power, and that of its allies and partners, may not grow as quickly as potential competitors.&rdquo;</em></strong></p> <p>A number of states &ldquo;can generate military advantages locally in ways that match or even exceed that of the Joint Force and its partners,&rdquo; while <strong>American technological superiority &ldquo;will be met by asymmetric, unconventional, and hybrid responses from adversaries.&rdquo;</strong></p> <p>Offering a vision of the world in 2035, the paper says in conclusion <u><strong>it is unclear if the US &ldquo;can be simultaneously proficient at addressing contested norms and persistent disorder with currently projected capabilities, operational approaches, and fiscal resources.&rdquo;</strong></u></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;There may be times when it is more appropriate to manage global security problems as opposed to undertaking expensive efforts to comprehensively solve them.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p>Moscow has repeatedly denied allegations of it harboring global ambitions as opposed to that of the US.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>Russia &ldquo;is not aspiring for hegemony or any ephemeral status of a superpower,&rdquo; </strong>President Vladimir Putin said at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum last year, adding: &ldquo;We do not act aggressively. We have started to defend our interests more persistently and consistently.&quot;</p> </blockquote> <p>Earlier this year, Russia adopted a new edition of its foreign policy doctrine, which mentions a shift towards a multipolar and a &ldquo;polycentric&rdquo; world.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&ldquo;A transition to polycentric architecture should be ideally based on the interaction of leading centers of power,&rdquo; </strong>Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in April. He added however, that he was not sure if that was achievable.</p> </blockquote> <p>*&nbsp; *&nbsp; *</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em><strong>Full Joint Chiefs of Staff Report below...</strong></em></span></p> <p><iframe frameborder="0" height="600" scrolling="no" src=";view_mode=scroll&amp;show_recommendations=true&amp;show_upsell=true" width="100%"></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="800" height="418" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Brazil China India Iran None Vladimir Putin Sun, 31 Jul 2016 02:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 567827 at Turkey Surrounds, Blocks Access To NATO's Incirlik Airbase Amid Speculation Of Second Coup <p>While it is common knowledge by now that the failed and/or staged Turkish coup two weekends ago was nothing more than an excuse for Erdogan to concentrate even more power and eradicate all political and independent opposition, a story that has gotten less attention is the sudden, and acute deterioration in US-Turkish relations. This culminated two days ago when the Commander of US Central Command (CENTCOM) General Joseph Votel was forced to deny on the record having anything to do with the attempted coup in Turkey following pointed allegations from the very top in the local government that the US orchestrated last Friday's "coup", according to a statement released by the US military on Friday.</p> <p>As <a href="">Stars and Stripes </a>reported late last week, the recent failed coup and jailing of military leaders in Turkey could impact U.S. operations there against the Islamic State group, Gen. Joseph Votel said Thursday at a security conference in Colorado. Votel said the coup attempt in Turkey two weeks ago left him “concerned” about how U.S. operations and personnel at Incirlik Air Base will be affected.</p> <p><em><a href=""><img src="" width="500" height="333" /></a><br />Army Gen. Joseph Votel, commander of U.S. Central Command</em></p> <p>"Turkey of course …sits on an extraordinarily important seam between the central region and Europe,” Votel said at the Aspen Security Forum. “It will have an impact on the operations we do along that very important seam. Obviously, we are very dependent on Turkey for basing of our resources…I am concerned it will impact the level of cooperation and collaboration that we have with Turkey.”</p> <p>Yeni Safak, a daily paper known for its loyal support of Erdogan, even reported retired Army Gen. John F. Campbell, former commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan, was the mastermind behind the attempted overthrow. However, the paper also reported White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest called the allegations against the general unsubstantiated. </p> <p>Votel said Thursday that the United States was “continuing to work through some of the friction that continues to exist” following the failed coup. He did not elaborate. </p> <p>The general did say some of the arrested Turkish officers worked with U.S. personnel to coordinate airstrikes against the Islamic State group. “Yes, I think some of them are in jail,” Votel said of certain key Turkish military liaisons. </p> <p>As a result of the coup attempt, U.S. air operations were temporarily suspended and the Turkish government cut power to Incirlik.</p> <p>The diplomatic spat continued on Friday when comments made at an Erdogan’s rally once again blasted Votel for criticizing Turkey’s&nbsp; post-coup attempt purge saying "Who are you? Know your place." Erdogan went on to hint once more that the United States planned the failed government overthrow bid.</p> <p>To this Votel again responded that "any reporting that I had anything to do with the recent unsuccessful coup attempt in Turkey is unfortunate and completely inaccurate," Votel said. He was responding to an interpretation of comments made at a think tank in Washington, DC by Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accusing Votel of sympathizing with the coup plotters.</p> <p>* * * </p> <p>Meanwhile, Turkey's war of words against the US escalated on Friday, when <a href=";utm_medium=short_url&amp;utm_content=bNTh&amp;utm_campaign=URL_shortening">Turkey's authoritarian despot Erdogan condemned </a>the West for refusing to show solidarity with Ankara, accusing NATO 'allies' as being more concerned about the fate of coup supporters than the survival of Turkey are not friends of Ankara. Erdogan blasted the West for criticizing the massive purge of Turkey’s military and other state institutions which has seen 60,000 people detained, removed or suspended over suspected links with the coup and for cancelling 50,000 civilian passports which many worry is but a prelude to an expansion of the reign of terror inside the country. </p> <p>"The attitude of many countries and their officials over the coup attempt in Turkey is shameful in the name of democracy," Erdogan told hundreds of supporters at the presidential palace in Ankara. </p> <p>"Any country and any leader who does not worry about the life of Turkish people and our democracy as much as they worry about the fate of coupists are not our friends," said Erdogan, who narrowly escaped capture and perhaps death on the night of the coup.</p> <p>As <a href=";utm_medium=short_url&amp;utm_content=bNTh&amp;utm_campaign=URL_shortening">Sputnik notes</a>, the statements come in response to US National Intelligence Director James Clapper’s statement on Thursday that the purges were harming the fight against Daesh in Syria and Iraq by stripping away key Turkish officers who had worked closely with the United States.&nbsp;</p> <p> "My people know who is behind this scheme… they know who the superior intelligence behind it is, and with these statements you are revealing yourselves, you are giving yourselves away<strong>."&nbsp; The remarks come at a troubling time only one day after over 5,000 protesters yelling "death to the US" marched towards NATO’s critical Incirlik Air Base </strong>which houses between 50 and 90 US tactical nuclear weapons before security officials successfully dispersed the raging demonstrators.</p> <p>* * * </p> <p>Which brings us to today, and the news that NATO's critical Incirlik Air Base was hours ago completely blocked off by Turkey, with all inputs and outputs to the Adana base having been closed according to Turkey's Hurriyet among <a href="">rumors of yet another coup</a>. </p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="500" height="375" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As the Turkish Minister for European Affairs, Omar Celik, tweeted moments ago, this is just a routine "safety inspection", although it has not stopped local papers from speculating that a a second Gulen-inspired coup attempt may be underway.&nbsp; </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="tr">ADANA'day?m. ?ncirlik veya Adana'daki ba?ka yerle ilgili bir s?k?nt? yok. Genel güvenlik de?erlendirmesi de yapt?k. Herhangi bir sorun yok</p> <p>— Ömer Çelik (@omerrcelik) <a href="">July 30, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><p>Hurriyet has raised concern that the closing may be tied to an attempt by the Erdogan regime to prevent a second coup attempt.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Video: Situation outside <a href="">#Incirlik</a> airbase in <a href="">#Turkey</a> where police have closed entrances &amp; exits <a href=""></a></p> <p>— Syria Ceasefire (@Syria_Ceasefire) <a href="">July 30, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><p>Some 7,000 armed police with heavy vehicles have surrounded and blocked the Incirlik air base in Adana used by NATO forces, already restricted in the aftermath of a failed coup. Unconfirmed reports say troops were sent to deal with a new coup attempt.</p> <p>Hurriyet reported earlier that Adana police had been tipped off about a new coup attempt, and forces were immediately alerted. The entrance to the base was closed off.&nbsp; Security forces armed with rifles and armored TOMA vehicles used by Turkish riot police could be seen at the site in photos taken by witnesses.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en"><a href="">@Brasco_Aad</a> These heavy dump trucks are being made ready to enter <a href="">#Incirlik</a> Air Base (are they trying to close it?) <a href=""></a></p> <p>— Brasco_Aad (@Brasco_Aad) <a href="">July 30, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Some of radical islamist twitter users telling people to break into the base and kill everybody <a href="">#Incirlik</a> WARNING! <a href=""></a></p> <p>— osman istanbul (@dertliosman33) <a href="">July 31, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><p>Indeed, the massive presence of armed police supported by heavy vehicles calls into question the Turkish government's official line that the lock down at the Incirlik base is merely a "safety inspection."?</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="tr"><a href="">#Tatvan</a> derken<a href="">#incirlik</a> üssünde ola?anüstü hareketlilik.<a href="">#PÖH</a> giri? ç?k??lar? tutmu? tetikte bekliyor. <a href=""></a></p> <p>— Levent Tekin (@Levent_Tekin) <a href="">July 30, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><p>Local media has focused on the base after the failed coup in Turkey occurred the night of July 15. Although the main scenes of the events were Istanbul and Ankara, Incirlik was shut down&nbsp; for a time by local authorities shortly after the putsch, and several Turkish soldiers from the base were deemed by Turkish officials to be involved in the overthrow attempt. </p> <p>The lockdown at Incirlik follows a massive wave of protests on Thursday when pro-Erdogan nationalists took to the streets yelling "death to the US" and called for the immediate closure of the Incirlik base. Security personnel dispersed the protesters before they were able to make it to the base.</p> <p>And while there has been no official statement from US armed forces stationed at Incirlik at this time, the situation continues to develop in front of the air bBase as more heavy trucks have been dispatched to surround and block access to the critical military facility. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">PHOTOS: Multiple municipal truck arrive at Incirlik base in <a href="">#Turky</a> - <a href="">@nighttides</a> <a href=""></a></p> <p>— Conflict News (@Conflicts) <a href="">July 30, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><p>It is unclear if Erdogan is naive enough to think that he can out-bluff and out-bully the US and keep Incirlik hostage until he gets Gulen repatriated by Obama on a silver platter, a <a href="">hostage "tit for tat" we first described two weeks ago</a>. If so, one wonders, if he is doing so alone, or with the moral support of others, perhaps such recently prominent enemies of Erdogan as Vladimir Putin. Recall that <a href="">just over a month ago </a>Erdogan publicly apologized to Putin for downing the Russian Su-24 fighter jet in November, and called Putin "a friend."</p> <p>Finally, at least as of this moment, it appears that theairspace around Incirlik is closed.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Looks like airspace around <a href="">#Incirlik</a> is closed <a href=""></a></p> <p>— Serbo-Canadian (@SerboCanada) <a href="">July 31, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script> <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="1200" height="900" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Afghanistan Iraq national intelligence Turkey Twitter Twitter Vladimir Putin White House Sun, 31 Jul 2016 01:47:48 +0000 Tyler Durden 567830 at Waiting For The Other Shoe... <p><strong><em> Drop.</em></strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="424" /></a></em></p> <p><em>"If a shoe drops in a forest of liberal media, will anyone hear it?"</em></p> <p><a href=""><em>Source:</em></a><strong><em><br /></em></strong></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="680" height="481" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Sun, 31 Jul 2016 01:30:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 567826 at Whose Lives Matter? <p><em><a href="">Submitted by Salil Mehta via Statitiscal Ideas blog,</a></em></p> <div dir="ltr"> <p>In our&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">prior article</a> we exposed that <strong>a murdered Black had a 90% chance of being killed by another Black</strong> (8x the rate of Whites being killed by another White).&nbsp; And a murdered Black had a 10% chance of being killed by police (usually Black police, and anyway it is at a high 2.5x the rate of Whites).&nbsp; We integrated recent popular academic research (some of which I peer-reviewed), and lastly we noted that<strong> for every 10 Blacks killed by police, 1 police was killed by a Black.</strong>&nbsp; We intend to explore these trends further, since after that article we saw more shooting deaths of police in Baton Rouge (and less covered by the media were deaths in Kansas City and Austin and just now in San Diego, plus this week near-deaths&nbsp;of&nbsp;multiple officers in both&nbsp;Indianapolis and Jefferson Parish).&nbsp;The debate about the &#39;killings&#39; statistics between predominantly Blacks and police has brought up in the recent political conventions.&nbsp;<strong> It&rsquo;s also worth noting from the onset that this all appears to be a system that has gotten out of control.&nbsp; </strong></p> <p><strong>Police are ubiquitous in low income neighborhoods, and in these neighborhoods Blacks are killing disproportionately.&nbsp;</strong> This summer in particular is going to set records going back more than a decade (even if you remove mass terrorist shootings from the time series). There is a lack of social service safety nets for these multitude of&nbsp;decent Americans, and instead <a href="" target="_blank">the government&#39;s Lottery</a> is ironically&nbsp;a disgraceful sponge drawing away from these communities that need assistance most.&nbsp; I helped some of their neighborhoods rebuild, with economic assistance provided during the TARP bailout program.&nbsp; But now attaining lethal weapons is simply too easy.&nbsp; Blacks should know better, and the killings of these courageous public servants needs to stop.&nbsp; Innocent Americans are needlessly becoming victims with the idea that police lives don&rsquo;t matter.&nbsp; <strong>They don&rsquo;t matter to the point that the Black Lives Matter (BLM) -per the words of one of their three leaders- is now pushing to defund the police altogether.</strong>&nbsp; And White people certainly shouldn&rsquo;t feel somehow guilty because a small fraction of them are crowded into the Top 1%.&nbsp; The rest of the White communities are going through as difficult a time as well, but just not as violently. &nbsp;Given our last article gained 90k reads, and &gt;275 social media engagements, this follow-up seemed necessary to present a broader case (taking in comments from both sides) than merely the grim murder statistics that provide bad optics for Blacks.&nbsp;<strong> It is my hope that we learn from these most violent statistics, since this is also where data (difficult to come by) is just a tad easier to manually assimilate.</strong></p> <div>There is plenty of information circulating that homicides of civilians through some methods has gone down (<a href="">our blog</a> has discussed this as well).&nbsp; Overall police deaths have gone down (but through all means, including common causes such as simple working accidents or vehicle crashes).&nbsp;<strong> In the chart below we see that for the specific case of cold-blooded shooting of police to death, so far in 2016 this has gone up by about 60%, versus the YTD levels in previous years.</strong>&nbsp; It goes up, even as the month of July is not yet over.&nbsp;It goes up even if we don&rsquo;t count the Dallas and Baton Rouge killings at all.&nbsp; And it is nearly a 1 standard deviation event, implying that recent killings are either purposefully too high in response to BLM, or because we simply have a rise in disobedient killings anyway, and likely both.&nbsp; Disturbingly, the police are the only sub-population being killed at an increasing rate over time!&nbsp; <strong><em>And while in recent years about 55% of these murders were done by Blacks (who represent 13% of the U.S. population); and in 2016 this surged to a goliath three-quarters of police murdered by Blacks throughout 2016.&nbsp; This evidence of the uptick in police being killed by Blacks is statistically significant at &gt;95%.</em></strong></div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div><a href=""><img src="" style="border-width: 0px; border-style: solid; height: 354px; width: 599px;" /></a></div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Such a spike in police being killed is enough discourage otherwise good, decent Americans from taking up this noble public service.&nbsp;</strong> We all rely on the police at some point in our lives.&nbsp; We ask them to work in our most dangerous cities, and they are mostly good officers (of course a few bad ones well).&nbsp; The anecdotal shootings of Blacks that are edited and glorified on social media are still terrible tragedies and bad optics for communities that feel the police are intervening in their progress to live a healthy and productive life.&nbsp; <strong>I do agree that black lives matter.&nbsp; Most Americans should agree with that as well.&nbsp;</strong> There are many, many&nbsp;extraordinary ones among our colleagues, friends, and -in my case-&nbsp;my students.&nbsp; <strong>But they also agree that over time&nbsp;so too matters the lives of everyone else, including children, vulnerable women, police and everyday Whites in the same tender socio-economic status. &nbsp;</strong></p> <p><strong>We live in a country where there is too much overall homicide</strong> (nearly 6 thousand annually).&nbsp; And <strong>at the racial intersection we also have Black officers more likely to shoot Whites than White officers are to shoot Blacks</strong>.&nbsp; But behind all of these statistics we all must work together and have a clear sense of responsibility to each another.&nbsp; <strong><em>We share this country, and rise and fall together.&nbsp; With hope, we will spend more time brightly raising each other up as fellow countrymen, rather than finding it easy to speak hateful words&nbsp;of one another (which then slides into killing one another).</em></strong></p> </div> <p>&nbsp;</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="641" height="297" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> TARP TARP.Bailout Sun, 31 Jul 2016 01:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 567825 at One Month Later - Brexit Post-Mortem <p><a href=""><em>Submitted by Alasdair Macleod via,</em></a></p> <h2 class="Strapline"><span style="text-decoration: underline;">It is a month after Britain&rsquo;s surprise vote to leave the EU.</span></h2> <p class="RichText"><strong>A new Conservative Prime Minister and Chancellor are in place, both David Cameron and George Osborne having fallen on their swords. </strong>The third man in the losing triumvirate, Mark Carney, is still in office. Having taken a political stance in the pre-referendum debate, there can be little doubt the post-referendum fall in sterling was considerably greater than if he had kept on the side-lines.</p> <p class="RichText">This article<strong> takes to task the Treasury&rsquo;s estimates of the effect of Brexit on the British economy</strong> and Mr Carney&rsquo;s role in the affair, then <strong>assesses the actual consequences.</strong></p> <h2 class="Strapline"><span style="text-decoration: underline;">The Treasury&rsquo;s economic weapons of mass destruction</span></h2> <p class="RichText"><strong>One of the Treasury&rsquo;s models predicted Brexit would cost each household &pound;4,300 every year. </strong>There were at least two things wrong with this prediction. Firstly, it was presented as if it was a loss of net income, in other words the business profit or wages the average household would lose. The estimate was nothing of the sort, it was the Treasury&rsquo;s estimate of the loss of annual GDP divided by the number of households in the event of Brexit.</p> <p class="RichText">A second wrong should be equally obvious. No economic model is capable of predicting an outcome without subjective inputs. This is why garbage in produces garbage out. One can even goal-seek specific answers by feeding assumptions into an economic model. One suspects this was the principal basis of what the press dubbed &ldquo;Project Fear&rdquo;. There were in fact two Treasury models, the first one described above, which is meant to predict the medium to long-term outlook, and a second which predicted an immediate recession in the event of Vote Leave. This is the Treasury&rsquo;s VAR model, which uses statistical analysis to measure and quantify the level of financial risk. The simple assumption, with no basis in evidence, was that Brexit would amount to an economic shock half as great as the 2008 financial crisis, lasting for two years.</p> <p class="RichText"><strong>Combining the output of these two models allowed George Osborne to threaten us with an economic disaster if we didn&rsquo;t vote Remain.</strong></p> <p class="RichText">An important point that seems to be lost on government economists when making their forecasting assumptions is that we all quietly get on with making a living, very successfully if we are left alone by the state. It is when they interfere that things start to go wrong. Furthermore, they are convinced we need national trade deals, and appear incapable of understanding that we manage far better with free trade.</p> <p class="RichText">We will not digress into why using economic models can never work, and instead note the abuse of its own models by the Treasury. An independent paper by Professor David Blake <a href="">published by the Cass Business School</a> exposes the intent in the Treasury&rsquo;s approach, some of which is repeated here. He even goes so far as to describe the published outputs as &ldquo;dodgy dossiers&rdquo;, a phrase that was first used to describe the cooked-up intelligence report that led us into the last Iraq war. It is as if the purpose of the Treasury&rsquo;s economic assessment was to threaten us, to pursue the Iraq analogy, with non-existent weapons of mass economic destruction.</p> <p class="RichText"><strong>Professor Blake&rsquo;s findings are damning, but they were less widely read in financial circles than the Treasury&rsquo;s forecasts, which were almost always accepted without question. </strong>The Treasury forecasts were then given added impetus when Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England, took the unusual step of intervening in the political debate. Claiming that the Bank has a mandate to warn us of economic threats, he gave the Treasury forecasts unwarranted credibility in the foreign exchanges and international financial markets. Though he denied his intervention was political, there can be no doubting that that was the effect.</p> <p class="RichText">If Britain had voted to remain, there would have been no immediate problem for the markets. Ahead of the vote, sterling rallied in a growing belief the referendum would be in favour of Remain, because the bookies odds said so. Instead, the vote went the other way. There can be little doubt that the markets reacted as sharply as they did on the basis of the Treasury&rsquo;s dodgy dossiers, and the added spin given to them by Mark Carney&rsquo;s warnings.</p> <p class="RichText">In the event, sterling immediately fell over 10% and markets worldwide took a big knock. A run developed on UK commercial property funds. But the most important event, in terms of the Bank of England&rsquo;s mandate, was the collapse in sterling. It went against the Bank&rsquo;s stated mission, &ldquo;to promote the good of the people of the United Kingdom by maintaining monetary and financial stability&rdquo;.</p> <p class="RichText"><strong>Mr Carney&rsquo;s intervention was a gamble for Remain that failed to pay off. The evidence that he was caught up in the Treasury&rsquo;s deceit has now emerged, with markets rapidly regaining their poise, apart from the sad exception of sterling. </strong>The Monetary Policy Committee on 14 July decided that no further economic stimulus is required. In other words, both markets and the Bank are now signalling that Brexit does not have the consequences for the UK threatened by the Treasury, beyond a 10% sterling devaluation. And that would most likely not have occurred if markets were not preconditioned to think Brexit would be a disaster for the currency.</p> <p class="RichText">If it wasn&rsquo;t for the sensitivity of his position,<strong> one would have expected Mr Carney to resign his post immediately</strong>. But the replacement of a central bank governor is never hurried, being managed in the interests of market stability. Therefore, Mr Carney might quietly arrange for his early departure.</p> <h2 class="Strapline"><span style="text-decoration: underline;">What happened to the Brexit recession?</span></h2> <p class="RichText"><strong>One month on from the referendum, there is no sign of the Treasury&rsquo;s VAR model predictions coming to fruition.</strong> London is teeming with people, many of them foreign visitors, spending money in cafes, restaurants, theatres and other visitor attractions. The country roads are still jammed with caravans, tractors, tourists and white vans trying in all their productive mayhem to go about their business. <strong>Wimpish businessmen dithering over trade and investment plans are being forced to get on with life,</strong> and it should be noted that turncoat Remain supporter, GSK, this week announced a massive new capital investment programme, one of several such announcements in recent days.</p> <p class="RichText"><strong>Our long-abandoned trade friends in the Commonwealth are keen to talk to us, as is China. </strong>And who can forget President Obama&rsquo;s threat when it came to negotiating T-TIP with the EU? <strong>Well, we are no longer at the back of the queue, but at the front of the line. </strong>Only this week, it was announced that our American friends will shortly be able to enjoy fine Welsh lamb and prime Scottish beef again for the first time in twenty years. Suddenly, everyone, with the exception of the EU, wants to engage with us about trade. A dyed-in-the-wool bureaucrat, Michel Barnier, has been appointed to represent the EU Commission in the Brexit divorce. He is expected to talk tough, and make any agreement with the UK hard-won. Good luck to him, when the opportunities and everyone&rsquo;s focus have moved elsewhere.</p> <p class="RichText"><strong>The scientific community, which warned us about the loss of important subsidies and cooperation on European research projects, is now backtracking.</strong> The President of the Royal Society, says he sees no evidence that European funding bodies are discriminating against British research projects. Professor Nick Donaldson, of University College, London, points out that &ldquo;money is pouring into the research and development pipeline, but new products are not getting to market, because of the expense incurred through the EU&rsquo;s Active Implantable Medical Device Directive of 1990 (Letters, Daily Telegraph, 26 July). At last, we will be able to set our own rules in this and other matters for the benefit of ordinary people.</p> <p class="RichText"><u><strong>It must be extraordinary, to anyone who was sucked in by the Treasury&rsquo;s forecasts, how quickly markets and the economy have recovered their poise.</strong></u> Mainstream economists are confounded. Again, we must refer to Professor Blake&rsquo;s paper. He points out that Greenland&rsquo;s economy grew rapidly when it left the EU in 1985, and Ireland&rsquo;s trade with the UK was unchanged by her exit from the sterling area in 1979. Both these outcomes are wholly inconsistent with the Treasury&rsquo;s assumptions. He also points out that the model on the Treasury&rsquo;s input assumptions would predict the UK is better off joining the euro, and that every country in the world would be better in the EU. Tell that one to Donald Trump.</p> <p class="RichText">It is worth reading his key points, if not Professor Blake&rsquo;s paper in its entirety. <u><strong>That the Treasury got is so wrong tempts one to think there was another agenda, perhaps stuck in the mind-set of the post-war geopolitical establishment.</strong></u></p> <p class="RichText">More immediately, there is the obvious problem that the EU&rsquo;s economic and financial trajectory is a genuine crisis, and that the whole project is liable to collapse.<strong> If so, Britain remaining in the EU would have amounted to a sacrifice of Britain&rsquo;s relatively free trade values in the interests of the EU&rsquo;s lemming-like self-destruction.</strong></p> <p class="RichText"><strong>There is, of course, every possibility that the British government will screw Brexit up.</strong> The signals from the establishment are mixed, to say the least. The state-controlled Royal Bank of Scotland and its NatWest subsidiary is preparing its business customers for negative interest rates on their deposit accounts. Many economists, immersed in the beliefs of the neo-Cambridge school and with the Treasury&rsquo;s forecasts still uppermost in their minds, desire further cuts in interest rates and even helicopter money.</p> <p class="RichText">We cannot know what the future holds, particularly when governments attempt to micro-manage their citizens&rsquo; economic activities. <strong>There is no evidence that compels us to argue that a British government and the Bank of England are much better than any other Western government and central bank</strong>. Nor can we assume that an escape from the EU is an escape from their group-think.</p> <p class="RichText"><strong>We do know with reasonable certainty, on the balance of firm evidence, that if the British or European economies tank, it will have nothing to do with Brexit.</strong></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="293" height="163" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Bank of England China Donald Trump Iraq Ireland Monetary Policy President Obama Recession Royal Bank of Scotland United Kingdom Sun, 31 Jul 2016 00:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 567823 at This Canadian Oil 'Ghost Town' Is For Sale <p>In a shocking example of the fallout from low oil prices coupled with years of easy-money-enabled malinvestment, the <strong>collapse of Canada&#39;s non-conventional oil production has forced a northern Alberta oil-boom-town to be put up for auction</strong> including 1200 person accomodation work-camp, hospital, gym, running track, and waste-water treatment plant.</p> <p>After years of invincibility, the inevitable happened:</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 317px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><u><strong>And that has simply imploded the once &#39;boom&#39; oil towns of Alberta.</strong></u></p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 369px;" /></a></p> <p>After 55 years in business, <a href=";utm_medium=social&amp;">Ritchie Brothers says</a> <em><strong>&quot;nothing really comes close in sheer physical size to this unique asset we&#39;re selling by private treaty: a 1,200-person workforce accommodation camp located approximately 50km north east of Peace River, AB, Canada.&quot;</strong></em></p> <p>Imagine a camp the size of a small town, but with<strong> all the modern conveniences of the big city</strong>: full-service dining, medical clinic, modern living suites, bar/lounge and recreation suites, and wireless internet.</p> <p>This work camp has a fully-equipped gym complex complete with <strong>indoor running track, squash courts, weights and aerobic equipment. </strong>The camp even has its<strong> own power and utilities system. </strong>Take a virtual tour in the video below.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe></p> <p><u><em><strong>The ghost-town - constructed by ATCO in 2013 - is divided into several complexes, and three wings of living areas with 1,232 fully-furnished executive-style rooms.</strong></em></u></p> <p>Here&#39;s an overview of the camp layout.</p> <p><figure><img alt="An aerial view of the entire camp complex." src="" style="width: 601px; height: 313px;" /></figure><br /> <ul style="list-style-type:none"> <li>A. Core complex</li> <li>B. Gym complex</li> <li>C. Living areas</li> <li>D. Waste water treatment plant</li> <li>E. Backup generators, utilities and more</li> <li>F. 3 external luggage storage containers</li> <li>G. Security trailer (office/kitchen/toilet/storage-furnace room/septic tank)</li> <li>H. Electrified fence line around the perimeter of the workforce accommodation</li> </ul> </p><p>The fully-equipped, professional-grade kitchen and dining facility located in the core complex is capable of catering to all 1,232 hungry residents in just 1.5 hours!</p> <p><figure> <p><img alt="The fully-equipped, professional-grade kitchen in the work camp for sale at Ritchie Bros." src="" /></p> <p><figcaption> <p>The fully-equipped, professional-grade kitchen</p> <p></p></figcaption></p></figure> </p><p>Plus, the complex also features a commissary, training areas &amp; offices, medical bay &amp; treatment rooms, the bar/lounge area, and rec room complete with golf simulators, pool tables, table tennis, foosball and more. &quot;Roughing it&quot; doesn&#39;t even cross your mind in this camp.</p> <p><u><strong>Some photo highlights of the camp.</strong></u></p> <p><figure> <p><img alt="The gym complex with 200M indoor running track, squash courts and more" src="" /></p> <p><figcaption> <p>The gym complex with 200M indoor running track, squash courts and more.</p> <p></p></figcaption></p></figure> </p><p>&nbsp;</p> <p><figure> <p><img alt="The bar/lounge area with pool tables" src="" /></p> <p><figcaption> <p>The bar/lounge area with pool tables.</p> <p></p></figcaption></p></figure> </p><p>&nbsp;</p> <p><figure> <p><img alt="One of the executive-style rooms in the living areas of the camp for sale at Ritchie Bros." src="" /></p> <p><figcaption> <p>One of the executive-style rooms in the living areas.</p> <p></p></figcaption></p></figure> </p><p><u><strong>Camp available for immediate sale and removal.</strong></u></p> <p>*&nbsp; *&nbsp; *</p> <p>Who would buy such a massive item? Any billionaire preppers out there looking for an all-in-one habitat for their own private army in the middle of Montana? Or perhaps Angela Merkel is looking for a self-contained refugee shelter?</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="952" height="585" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Sat, 30 Jul 2016 23:55:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 567814 at In 50 Years This Has Never Failed To Trigger A Bear Market <p><a href=""><em>Authored by Jesse Felder of,</em></a></p> <p><strong>It&rsquo;s earnings season once again and it looks as if, as a group, corporate America still can&rsquo;t find the end of its earnings decline since profits peaked&nbsp;over a year ago. </strong>What&rsquo;s more analysts, renowned for their&nbsp;Pollyannish expectations, can&rsquo;t seem to find it, either.</p> <p>So I thought it might be interesting to look at what the stock market has done in the past during earnings recessions comparable to the current one. And it&rsquo;s pretty eye-opening. <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em><strong>Over the past half-century, we have never seen a decline in earnings of this magnitude without at least a 20% fall in stock prices, a hurdle many use to define a bear market.</strong></em></span></p> <p><a href=""><img height="350" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p>In&nbsp;other words, buying the new highs in the S&amp;P 500 today means you&nbsp;believe &ldquo;this time is different.&rdquo; <strong><em>It could turn out that way but history shows that sort of thinking to be <a href="">very dangerous</a> to your financial wellbeing.</em></strong></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="232" height="142" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Bear Market Corporate America Sat, 30 Jul 2016 23:40:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 567817 at Soaring Chicago Gun Violence Amid 'Toughest Gun Laws' Crushes Clinton Narrative For More 'Controls' <p>In continued defiance of the Democrat narrative calling for stricter gun laws, <strong>Chicago&#39;s homicide problem just keeps getting worse despite gun laws that are already among the most restrictive in the country</strong>.&nbsp; If fact, even the <a href="">New York Times</a> described Chicago&#39;s gun laws as some of the &quot;toughest restrictions,&quot; saying:&nbsp;</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Not a single gun shop can be found in this city because they are outlawed.&nbsp; Handguns were banned in Chicago for decades, too, until 2010, when the United States Supreme Court ruled that was going too far, leading city leaders to settle for restrictions some describe as the closest they could get legally to a ban without a ban. Despite a continuing legal fight, Illinois remains the only state in the nation with no provision to let private citizens carry guns in public.</p> </blockquote> <p>Data compiled the <a href="">Stanley Manne Children&#39;s Research Institute</a> revealed that homicide rates in Chicago increased to 18.81 per 100,000 in 2015 vs. 17.64 in 2010, a 7% increase.&nbsp; That&#39;s compared to a 6% decline for the United States overall for the same period and over 4x the national average.&nbsp; In fact, at 18.81 homicides per 100,000, <strong>Chicago would be ranked as the 201st most dangerous country out of the 218 countries tracked by the <a href="">United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime</a>.</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img alt="Chicago Homicides" height="87" src="" width="500" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="US Murder Rate" height="151" src="" width="500" /></a></p> <p>Perhaps even more shocking is the disparity in homicide rates by ethnicity.&nbsp; African American homicides increased 19% between 2010 and 2015 vs. 8% for Caucasians and a 2% decline for Latinos.&nbsp; Data revealed that <strong>African American homicide rates were eight times higher than Caucasians in 2005, 16 times higher in 2010, and 18 times higher in 2015.</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img alt="Chicago Homicides By Race" height="180" src="" width="500" /></a></p> <p>Homicide rates were the highest among young people with the highest rates experience among 20-24 year olds at 64.28, a 48% increase in 5 years.</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="Chicago Homicides by Age" height="373" src="" width="500" /></a></p> <p>Finally, despite some of the most restrictive gun laws in the country, 87% of homicides were committed with firearms, up from 79% in 2010.&nbsp; So how could the city that has the toughest gun laws in the country, laws described as the &quot;closest they could get legally to a ban without a ban,&quot; also have some of the highest gun-related homicide rates?&nbsp; <strong>Could it be, that criminals looking to use weapons for violence have a lower propensity to follow laws</strong> and that by banning guns you&#39;re really just taking them out of the hands of law-abiding citizens that wouldn&#39;t have used them for violence anyway?&nbsp; Just a thought.</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="Chicago Homicide by Weapon" height="802" src="" width="500" /></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="560" height="350" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Illinois New York Times Sat, 30 Jul 2016 23:30:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 567818 at The Olympics As A Tool Of The New Cold War <p><a href=""><em>Via Oriental Review,</em></a></p> <p><strong>The 6<sup>th</sup> <a href="" target="_blank">Fundamental Principle of Olympism</a> (<em>non-discrimination </em><em>of any kind, including nationality and political opinion</em>) seems to be forgotten long ago.</strong>&nbsp; In ancient Greece the competition of best athletes was able to halt a war and serve as a bridge of understanding between two recent foes.&nbsp;<u><strong> But in the twentieth century the Olympics have become a political weapon.</strong></u>&nbsp; Back in 1980 the US and its allies boycotted the games in Moscow as a protest against the Soviet troops that entered Afghanistan at the request of that country&rsquo;s legitimate government (in contrast, the <a href="" target="_blank">1936 Olympics in Nazi Germany</a> were held as usual, to the applause of the &ldquo;civilized&rdquo; world).</p> <p><strong>On May 8, 2016 the CBS program <em>60 Minutes</em> aired a <a href="" target="_blank">broadcast</a> about doping in Russia.</strong>&nbsp; The interviews featured recorded conversations between a former staffer with the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA), Vitaly Stepanov, and the ex-director of Russia&rsquo;s anti-doping laboratory in Moscow, Grigory Rodchenkov.&nbsp; That program was just the fourth installment in a <a href="" target="_blank">lengthy series</a> about the alleged existence of a system to support doping in Russian sports.</p> <p>A few days later the <em>New York Times</em> <a href="" target="_blank">published</a> an interview with Rodchenkov.&nbsp; There that former official claims that a state-supported doping program was active at the Sochi Olympics, and that the orders for that program had come almost directly from the Russian president.</p> <p><strong>One important fact that escaped most international observers was that a media campaign, which had begun shortly after the 2014 deep freeze in Russian-Western relations, was constructed around the &ldquo;testimonies&rdquo; of three Russian citizens who were all interconnected and complicit in a string of doping scandals, and who later left Russia and are trying to make new lives in the West.</strong></p> <div class="wp-caption alignright" id="attachment_14286" style="width: 310px;"><a href=""><img alt="Yulia Stepanova née Rusanova" class="size-medium wp-image-14286" height="199" src="" width="300" /></a><br /> <p class="wp-caption-text">Yulia Stepanova née Rusanova</p> </div> <p><u><strong>A 29-year-old middle-distance runner, Yulia Stepanova, can be seen as the instigator of this scandal.</strong></u> This young athlete&rsquo;s personal best in global competition was a bronze medal at the European Athletics Indoor Championship in 2011.&nbsp; At the World Championships that same year she placed eighth.&nbsp; Stepanova&rsquo;s career went off the rails in 2013, when the Russian Athletic Federation&rsquo;s Anti-Doping Commission disqualified her for two years based on &ldquo;blood fluctuations in her Athlete Biological Passport.&rdquo; Such fluctuations are considered evidence of doping.&nbsp; All of Stepanova&rsquo;s results since 2011 have been invalidated.&nbsp; In addition, she had to return the prize money she had won running in professional races in 2011-2012.&nbsp; Stepanova, who had been suspended for doping, acted as the primary informant for <strong>ARD journalist</strong><a href="" target="_blank"> Hajo Seppelt</a><strong>,</strong> who had begun filming a documentary about misconduct in Russian sports.&nbsp; After the release of ARD&rsquo;s first documentary in December 2014, Stepanova left Russia along with her husband and son.&nbsp; In 2015 she requested political asylum in Canada.&nbsp; Even after her suspension ended in 2015, Stepanova told the WADA Commission (p.142 of the <a href="" target="_blank">Nov. 2015 WADA Report</a>) that she had tested positive for doping during the Russian Track and Field Championships in Saransk in July 2010 and paid 30,000 rubles (approximately $1,000 USD at that time) to the director of the Russian anti-doping laboratory in Moscow, Gregory Rodchenkov, in exchange for concealing those test results.</p> <div class="wp-caption alignright" id="attachment_14288" style="width: 260px;"><a href=""><img alt="Vitaly Stepanov" class="wp-image-14288" height="213" src="" width="250" /></a><br /> <p class="wp-caption-text">Vitaly Stepanov</p> </div> <p><u><strong>Yulia Stepanova&rsquo;s husband is Vitaly Stepanov a former staffer at RUSADA.</strong></u>&nbsp; He had lived and studied in the US since he was 15, but later decided to return to Russia.&nbsp; In 2008, Vitaly Stepanov began working for RUSADA as a doping-control officer.&nbsp; Vitaly met Yulia Rusanova in 2009 at the Russian national championships in Cheboksary.&nbsp; Stepanov now claims that he sent a letter to WADA detailing his revelations back in 2010, but never received an answer.&nbsp; In 2011 Stepanov left RUSADA. One fact that deserves attention is that Vitaly has confessed that he was fully aware that his wife was taking banned substances, both while he worked for RUSADA as well as after he left that organization. Take note that Stepanova&rsquo;s blood tests went positive starting in 2011 &ndash; i.e., from the time that her husband, an anti-doping officer, left RUSADA. With a clear conscience, the Stepanovs, now married, accepted prize money from professional races until Yulia was disqualified.&nbsp; Then they no longer had a source of income and the prize money suddenly had to be returned, at which point Vitaly Stepanov sought recourse in foreign journalists, offering to tell them the &ldquo;truth about Russian sports.&rdquo; &nbsp;In early June he <a href="" target="_blank">admitted</a> that WADA had not only helped his family move to America, but had also provided them with $30,000 in financial assistance.</p> <div class="wp-caption alignright" id="attachment_14291" style="width: 310px;"><a href=""><img alt="Gregory Rodchenkov" class="size-medium wp-image-14291" height="193" src="" width="300" /></a><br /> <p class="wp-caption-text">Gregory Rodchenkov</p> </div> <p><u><strong>And finally, the third figure in the campaign to expose doping in Russian sports &ndash; the former head of the Russian anti-doping laboratory in Moscow, Gregory Rodchenkov.&nbsp;</strong></u> According to Vitaly Stepanov, he was the man who sold performance-enhancing drugs while helping to hide their traces, and had also come up with the idea of &ldquo;<a href="" target="_blank">doped Chivas mouth swishing</a>&rdquo; (pg. 50), a technique that transforms men into Olympic champions.&nbsp; This 57-year-old native of Moscow is acknowledged to be the best at what he does.&nbsp; He graduated from Moscow State University with a Ph.D. in chemistry and began working at the Moscow anti-doping lab as early as 1985.&nbsp; He later worked in Canada and for Russian petrochemical companies, and in 2005 he became the director of Russia&rsquo;s national anti-doping laboratory in Moscow.&nbsp; In 2013 <strong>Marina Rodchenkova</strong> &ndash; Gregory Rodchenkov&rsquo;s sister &ndash; was found guilty and received a sentence for selling anabolic steroids to athletes.&nbsp; Her brother was also the subject of a criminal investigation into charges that he supplied banned drugs.&nbsp; Threatened with prosecution, Gregory Rodchenkov <a href="" target="_blank">tried to commit suicide</a>, was hospitalized and &ldquo;subjected to a forensic psychiatric examination.&rdquo; &nbsp;A finding was later submitted to the court, claiming that Rodchenkov suffered from &ldquo;schizotypal personality disorder,&rdquo; exacerbated by stress.&nbsp; As a result, all the charges against Rodchenkov were dropped.&nbsp; But the most surprising thing was that someone with a &ldquo;schizotypal personality disorder&rdquo; and a sister convicted of trafficking in performance-enhancing drugs continued as the director of Russia&rsquo;s only WADA-accredited anti-doping laboratory.&nbsp; In fact, he held this job during the 2014 Olympics.&nbsp; Rodchenkov was not dismissed until the fall of 2015, after the eruption of the scandal that had been instigated by the broadcaster ARD and the Stepanovs.&nbsp; In September 2015 the WADA Commission accused Rodchenkov of intentionally destroying over a thousand samples in order to conceal doping by Russian athletes.&nbsp; He personally denied all the charges, but then resigned and left for the US where he was warmly embraced by filmmaker <em>Bryan Fogel</em>, who was shooting yet another <a href="" target="_blank">made-to-order documentary</a> about doping in Russia.</p> <div class="wp-caption alignright" id="attachment_14293" style="width: 310px;"><a href=""><img alt="Richard H. McLaren" class="size-medium wp-image-14293" height="168" src="" width="300" /></a><br /> <p class="wp-caption-text">Prof. Richard H. McLaren</p> </div> <p>As this article is being written, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is studying a <a href="" target="_blank">report</a> &nbsp;from an &ldquo;Independent Person,&rdquo; the Canadian professor <strong>Richard H. McLaren</strong>, who has accused the entire Russian Federation, not just individual athletes, of complicity in the use of performance-enhancing drugs.&nbsp; McLaren was quickly summoned to speak with WADA shortly after <a href="" target="_blank">the NYT published</a> interview with Rodchenkov.&nbsp; The goal was clear: to concoct a &ldquo;scientific report&rdquo; by mid-July that would provide the IOC with grounds to ban the Russian team from the Rio Olympics.&nbsp; At a press conference on July 18 McLaren himself <a href="" target="_blank">acknowledged</a> that with a timeline of only 57 days he was unable &ldquo;to identify any athlete that might have benefited from such manipulation to conceal positive doping tests.&rdquo;&nbsp; WADA&rsquo;s logic here is clear &ndash; they need to avoid any accusations of bias, unprofessionalism, embellishment of facts, or political partisanship.&nbsp; No matter what duplicity and lies are found in the report &ndash; it was drafted by an &ldquo;independent person,&rdquo; period.&nbsp; However, he does not try to hide that the entire report is based on the testimony of a single person &ndash; Rodchenkov himself, who is repeatedly presented as a &ldquo;credible and truthful&rdquo; source.&nbsp; Of course that man is accused by WADA itself of destroying 1,417 doping tests and faces deportation to Russia for doping-linked crimes, but he saw an opportunity become a &ldquo;valuable witness&rdquo; and &ldquo;prisoner of conscience&rdquo; who is being persecuted by the &ldquo;totalitarian regime&rdquo; in Russia.</p> <p><strong>The advantage enjoyed by this &ldquo;independent commission&rdquo; &ndash; on the basis of whose report the IOC is deciding the fate of Russia&rsquo;s Olympic hopefuls &ndash; is that its accusations will not be examined in court, nor can the body of evidence be challenged by the lawyers for the accused.&nbsp; Nor is the customary legal presumption of innocence anywhere in evidence.</strong></p> <p>It appears from Professor McLaren&rsquo;s statement that no charges will be brought against any specific Russian athletes.&nbsp; Moreover, they can all compete if they refuse to represent Russia at the Olympics.&nbsp; There are obvious reasons for this selectivity.&nbsp; A law professor and longstanding member of the Court of Arbitration for Sport, Professor McClaren knows very well that any charges against specific individuals that are made publicly and result in &ldquo;legally significant acts&rdquo; (such as a ban on Olympic participation) can and will be challenged in court, in accordance with international law and on the basis of the presumption of innocence.&nbsp; All the evidence to be used by the prosecution is subject to challenge, and if some fact included in those charges can be interpreted to the defendant&rsquo;s advantage, then the court is obliged to exclude that fact from the materials at the disposal of the prosecution.</p> <p>As a lawyer, McLaren understands all this very well.&nbsp; <strong>Hundreds of lawsuits filed by Russian athletes resulting in an unambiguous outcome would not only destroy his reputation and ruin him professionally &ndash; they could form the basis of a criminal investigation with obvious grounds for accusing him of intentionally distorting a few facts</strong>, which in his eyes can be summarized as follows.</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="556bebba0a44556fb2b1d9b66cb9c962" class="alignleft size-medium wp-image-14295" height="199" src="" width="300" /></a></p> <p>During the Sochi Olympics, an FSB officer named Evgeny Blokhin switched the doping tests taken from Russian athletes, exchanging them for &ldquo;clean&rdquo; urine samples.&nbsp; This agent is said to have possessed a plumbing contractor&rsquo;s security clearance, allowing him to enter the laboratory.&nbsp; In addition, there are reports that Evgeny Kurdyatsev, &ndash; the head of the Registration and Biological Sample Accounting Department &ndash; switched the doping tests at night, through a &ldquo;mouse hole&rdquo; in the wall (!).&nbsp; Awaiting them in the adjascent building was the man who is now providing&nbsp; &ldquo;credible evidence&rdquo; &ndash; Gregory Rodchenkov &ndash; and some other unnamed individuals, who passed Blokhin the athletes&rsquo; clean doping tests to be used to replace the original samples.&nbsp; If the specific gravity of the clean urine did not match the original profile, it was &ldquo;adapted&rdquo; using table salt or distilled water.&nbsp; But of course the DNA was incompatible.&nbsp;<strong> And all of this was going on in the only official, WADA-accredited anti-doping laboratory in Russia!</strong></p> <p>How would something like that sound in any court?&nbsp; We have witnesses, but the defense team cannot subject them to cross-examination.&nbsp; We cannot prove that Blokhin is an FSB agent, but we believe it.&nbsp; We do not possess any of the original documents &ndash; not a single photograph or affidavit from the official examination &ndash; but we have sufficient evidence from a single criminal who has already confessed to his crime.&nbsp; We did not submit the emails provided by Rodchenkov to any experts to be examined, but we assert that the emails are genuine, that all the facts they contain are accurate, and that the names of the senders are correct.&nbsp; We cannot accuse the athletes, so we will accuse and punish the state!</p> <p>To be honest, we still do not believe that the Olympic movement has sunk so low as to deprive billions of people of the pleasure of watching the competitions, forgetting about politics and politicians.&nbsp; That would mean waving goodbye to the reputations of the WADA and the IOC and to the global system of sports as a whole.&nbsp; <strong>Perhaps a solution to the colossal problem of doping is long overdue, but is that answer to be found within the boundaries of only one country, even a great country like Russia?&nbsp; Should we take a moment here and now to dwell upon the </strong><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>multi-volume history</strong></a><strong> of doping scandals in every single country in the world?&nbsp; And in view of these facts that have come to light, is not WADA itself the cornerstone of the existing and far-reaching system to support and cover up athletic doping all over the world?</strong></p> <p>In conclusion, we cite below the complete translation of the Russian Olympic Committee&rsquo;s <a href="" target="_blank">statement</a> &nbsp;in response to the WADA report:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em><a href=""><img alt="image1313008" class="alignright size-medium wp-image-14298" height="175" src="" width="300" /></a></em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>&ldquo;The accusations against Russian sports found in the report by Richard McLaren are so serious that a full investigation is needed, with input from all parties.&nbsp; The Russian Olympic Committee has a policy of zero tolerance and supports the fight against doping.&nbsp; It is ready to provide its full assistance and work together, as needed, with any international organization.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>We wholeheartedly disagree with Mr. McLaren&rsquo;s view that the possible banning of hundreds of clean Russian athletes from competition in the Olympic Games is an acceptable &lsquo;unpleasant consequence&rsquo; of the charges contained in his report.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>The charges being made are primarily based on statements by Grigory Rodchenkov.&nbsp; This is solely based on testimony from someone who is at the epicenter of this criminal scheme, which is a blow not only to the careers and fates of a great many clean athletes, but also to the integrity of the entire international Olympic movement.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Russia has fought against doping and will continue to fight at the state level, steadily stiffening the penalties for any illegal activity of this type and enforcing a precept of inevitabile punishment.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>The Russian Olympic Committee fully supports the harshest possible penalties against anyone who either uses banned drugs or encourages their use.&nbsp; </em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>At the same time, the ROC &ndash; acting in full compliance with the Olympic Charter &ndash; will always protect the rights of clean athletes.&nbsp; Those who throughout their careers &ndash; thanks to relentless training, talent, and willpower &ndash; strive to realize their Olympic dreams should not have their futures determined by the unfounded, unsubstantiated accusations and criminal acts of certain individuals.&nbsp; For us this is a matter of principle.&rdquo;</em></p> </blockquote> <p>* * *</p> <p>Finally, <a href="">Salil Mehta (from Staistical Ideas blog), </a>offers <u><strong>some insightful &#39;math facts&#39; on Olympic Doping - US vs Russia...</strong></u></p> <p><strong>Cheating&nbsp;obviously makes the games unfair.&nbsp; But so too is the implementation of punishment, when it seems apparent that other nations who cry foul&nbsp;are&nbsp;surely dishonest too.&nbsp;</strong> One need to look no further than&nbsp;celebrated American&nbsp;cyclist and cancer activist, Lance Armstrong.&nbsp; Mr. Armstrong won 7 consecutive Le Tour de France races (beating standing records by four Europeans who have won 5 times each).&nbsp; Instead of questioning this extraordinary achievement as a statistician would,&nbsp;people all over the world&nbsp;quickly idolized Mr. Armstrong as an American role model!&nbsp; He&nbsp;was engaged to singer-songwriter&nbsp;Sheryl Crow,&nbsp;and received major sponsorships from Radio Shack and United States Postal Service.&nbsp; Only after all of these too-good-to-be-true attainments did we&nbsp;disgracefully come to terms with the true&nbsp;connotation of the title of his best-selling book (<strong>It&#39;s Not About the Bike</strong>).&nbsp; Let&#39;s take a closer look at the Olympic performance&nbsp;of every <strong>winter</strong> competition in history, and see if the host country&#39;s accomplishments should be considered too-good-to-be pure.&nbsp; For these cold Olympics, could we have had a chance for other host countries, such as&nbsp;Russia&#39;s <strong>Cold War adversary</strong> <strong>the&nbsp;United States</strong>, to have engaged in more short-sighted &quot;Lance Armstrong&quot; moments, or have had any of a number of other deceptive violations that have been previously overlooked by the broader public?</p> <p>We begin by looking at each nation&#39;s&nbsp;total medal count score in each of the 22 Winter Olympics ever held, both as a non-host (in <span style="color: blue;"><strong>blue</strong></span>) and as a host (in <strong><span style="color: red;">red</span></strong>), if applicable.&nbsp; <strong>All raw data is freely available <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">here</a>.</strong>&nbsp; In the first games in (France 1924) 49 medals were awarded, but by the most recent games in (Russia&nbsp;2014) the medal count had blossomed <strong>6 fold</strong>, to 295.&nbsp; So each game&#39;s&nbsp;country medal allocation has been&nbsp;rescaled&nbsp;out of&nbsp;295.&nbsp; Additionally nation adjustments were made to make them comparable across time without losing much impact since rarely did any of these countries host under&nbsp;a former break-off territory.&nbsp; As examples, the Soviet Union is now aggregated under Russia,&nbsp;and East and West Germany are consolidated under Germany.</p> <p>We see that there has generally been a nearly 11 medal count gain for the host country in their performance while hosting, versus during the games on either side of their host games.&nbsp; For example The United States (U.S.)&nbsp;in 2002 won 34 medals (43 when rescaled), while in 1998 and 2006 the U.S. won rescaled scores averaging 24 between those two years.&nbsp;<u><em><strong> Was&nbsp;something mischievous afoot that allowed the U.S. to win 10 additional medals (nearly 40% more) in their host year of 2002?</strong></em></u></p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 298px;" /></a></p> <p class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">And that&#39;s actually one of the least suspicious of the U.S. host game performances!&nbsp; In total there have been 11 host&nbsp;nations, and statistics decomposition allows us to see a rather&nbsp;shady pattern for Americans relative to Russians:</p> <ul> <li class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"> <p><strong>U.S.</strong>, and Norway hosted a total of 6 times.&nbsp; And on average earned <strong>17 more medals</strong> during their host years.?</p> </li> <li class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"> <p>France, Germany, Japan, and Switzerland have hosted a total of&nbsp;8 times.&nbsp; And on average a little less of an advantage, scoring <strong>9 more medals</strong> during their host years.?</p> </li> <li class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"> <p>Austria, Canada, Italy, Yugoslavia, and lo and behold <strong>Russia</strong> have hosted a total of&nbsp;8 times.&nbsp; And on average scored <strong>just 2 more&nbsp;medals</strong> during their host years.</p> </li> </ul> <p class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><strong>This is a worrying pattern for some countries for sure, namely the U.S.&nbsp;</strong> But we&#39;ll explore the information further below so that we can see if there is other information we can learn about&nbsp;abnormal hosting nation advantages that&nbsp;augment the case for President Putin crying foul.</p> <p class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 403px;" /></a></p> <p class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Now in the global heat map above we show each of the 22 host nations only, and show what the average medal &quot;enhancement&quot; has occurred during their hosting.&nbsp; On the most equitable side we have Yugoslavia, a country which generally earns 4 <strong>fewer </strong>medals while hosting, versus at about the same time when they are not hosting.&nbsp; Russia on the other hand generally earns 4 more medals when hosting, versus normal.&nbsp; <em><u><strong>But the U.S. (while&nbsp;contently finding fault with everyone else) somehow takes the gold, literally, with out-of-control home country bias of nearly 20 more medals when hosting, versus normal.</strong></u></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="951" height="513" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Afghanistan France Germany Greece Italy Japan New York Times Norway Switzerland Testimony Sat, 30 Jul 2016 23:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 567820 at Hedge-Fund Handouts: Hillary Clinton $48,500,000 - $19,000 Donald Trump <p>Hedge funds are playing a far bigger role in 2016 than in past elections - and, as <a href="">The Wall Street Journal reports</a>, <em><strong>Hillary Clinton has been the single biggest beneficiary</strong></em>.</p> <p><a href=""><img height="60" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p>The lines around what constitutes a hedge fund aren&rsquo;t always clear in the data, or in the financial industry. But the numbers are stark. The top five contributors to pro-Clinton groups are employees or owners of private investment funds, according to federal data released last week and compiled by, the center&rsquo;s website. <strong>The data show seven financial firms alone have generated nearly $48.5 million for groups working on Mrs. Clinton&rsquo;s behalf.</strong></p> <p><strong>The total for Donald Trump: About $19,000.</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img height="538" src="" width="493" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="">The Wall Street Journal notes</a> that Mrs. Clinton&rsquo;s big haul from hedge funds also reflects the topsy-turvy politics of this election. In the 2008 campaign, hedge funds contributed just $14 million to Democratic candidates and groups. And amid criticism that Mrs. Clinton has cultivated close ties with the finance industry, her campaign has emphasized her plan to confront Wall Street.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&ldquo;Hillary Clinton has the toughest plan to reform Wall Street, clean up the abuses&hellip;and close the carried-interest [tax] loophole that benefits hedge funds,&rdquo; a campaign spokesman said.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>That said, to many on Wall Street, the Democrat in this election is the safer bet.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Still, some Wall Street donors are reconsidering. </strong>Cliff Asness, co-founder of AQR Capital Management, contributed to Mr. Rubio. But he wrote in a RealClearPolitics blog post in March that he found it harder to dismiss Mr. Trump after the death of Mr. Asness&rsquo;s father, who was a Trump supporter. &ldquo;So I&rsquo;m still #againsttrump, but with a bit more confusion, and a bit more willingness to listen than before,&rdquo; he wrote.</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>Last month, hedge-fund billionaire John Paulson co-hosted a fundraiser for the Republican nominee at Manhattan&rsquo;s Le Cirque restaurant, along with SkyBridge Capital&rsquo;s Anthony Scaramucci and others.</strong> Mr. Paulson, whose Paulson &amp; Co. manages about $13 billion, had earlier given to groups backing Republican hopefuls Mr. Bush and Scott Walker.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Mr. Scaramucci said hedge-<strong>fund managers were making a mistake by directing their political contributions to support Mrs. Clinton.</strong></p> <p><strong>&ldquo;The hedge-fund community has been wrong about a lot this year,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;You can add this to the list.&rdquo;</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>We leave it to Senator Snaders to conclude...</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>&quot;Can you really reform Wall Street when they are spending millions and millions of dollars on campaign contributions, and when they are providing speaker fees to individuals?&quot;</strong></span></em></p> </blockquote> <p>Indeed Bernie, but hey, none of that matters now that you have endorsed her, right? Hedge fund managers are well known for their glee in giving away money and expecting nothing in return.</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="60" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Cliff Asness Donald Trump Finance Industry John Paulson None Wall Street Journal Sat, 30 Jul 2016 22:35:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 567812 at