http://www.zerohedge.com/fullrss2.xml/article/article/605797 en Mueller Probe Targets Lobbying Firm Belonging To Brother Of Hillary Campaign Manager http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-23/mueller-russian-collusion-probe-targeting-democratic-leaning-podesta-group <p><em>Authored by <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/users/zeropointnow">ZeroPointNow</a>, originally published on <a href="http://ibankcoin.com/">iBankCoin</a></em></p> <p>Tony Podesta and his lobbying firm the Podesta Group are under federal investigation by FBI Special Counsel Robert Mueller in connection with the Russia investigation, three sources told&nbsp;<a href="https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/mueller-now-investigating-democratic-lobbyist-tony-podesta-n812776" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">NBC News</a>.</p> <p>The&nbsp;firm, co-founded by Hillary Clinton&#39;s campaign manager John Podesta,&nbsp;was&nbsp;<a href="http://ibankcoin.com/zeropointnow/2017/08/28/mueller-subpoenas-podesta-group-as-firm-retroactively-files-more-pro-russia-disclosures/#sthash.9CANBpV6.dpbs" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">subpoenaed in late August</a>&nbsp;along with&nbsp;three other public relations firms who worked with former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort during a 2012-2014 lobbying effort&nbsp;for a pro-Ukraine think tank - the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine (ECMU) - tied to former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/10/21/Heather-and-Tony-Podesta.-Journey-to-Mecca-IMAX-Gala-Screening.-Museum-of-Natural-History.-January-13-2010.-photo.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/10/21/Heather-and-Tony-Podesta.-Journey-to-Mecca-IMAX-Gala-Screening.-Museum-of-Natural-History.-January-13-2010.-photo_0.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 273px;" /></a></p> <p>Yanukovych fled from Ukraine to Russia after he was unseated in a 2014 coup.</p> <p>Two of the subpoenaed firms include Paul Manafort&#39;s Mercury, LLC and the Podesta Group, founded by John and Tony Podesta and operated by the latter.</p> <p>Manafort&rsquo;s firm earned $17 million between 2012 &ndash; 2014 consulting for Yanukovych&rsquo;s centrist, pro-Russia &lsquo;Party of Regions.&rsquo; During the same period, Manafort oversaw a lobbying campaign for the pro-Russia &ldquo;Centre for a Modern Ukraine,&rdquo; a Brussels based think tank linked to Yanukovych which was pushing for Ukraine&rsquo;s entry into the European Union.</p> <p>The Podesta group, operating under Manafort,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.politico.com/story/2017/04/paul-manafort-lobbying-ukraine-podesta-group-237163" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">earned over $1.2 million</a>&nbsp;as part of that effort.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>In a statement to NBC, a spokesman for the Podesta Group said the firm &quot;is cooperating fully with the Special Counsel&#39;s office and has taken every possible step to provide documentation that confirms timely compliance. In all of our client engagements, the Podesta Group conducts due diligence and consults with appropriate legal experts to ensure compliance with disclosure regulations at all times &mdash; and we did so in this case.&quot;</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>White House Special Access</strong></p> <p>Visitor logs reveal that Tony Podesta visited the White House at least&nbsp;114&nbsp;times&nbsp;during the Obama administration according to&nbsp;<a href="http://white-house-logs.insidegov.com/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">White House visitor logs</a>, and was said to have had &lsquo;<a href="http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/tony-podesta-had-special-access-to-the-obama-white-house-through-his-brother-john/article/2604290" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">special access</a>&lsquo; to the administration through his&nbsp;brother,&nbsp;John Podesta, while&nbsp;lobbying for various pro-Kremlin&nbsp;interests.</p> <p>During a 2015 interview with CNN&rsquo;s Fareed Zakaria, former president Obama admitted that his administration &lsquo;<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1QAXmf5_EOs" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">brokered a dea</a><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1QAXmf5_EOs">l</a>&lsquo; for the 2014 coup in Ukraine &ndash; all while John Podesta was a West Wing advisor and Tony Podesta lobbied for an organization which opposed the coup.</p> <p><strong>Podesta Group and Russia</strong></p> <p>While Robert Mueller&rsquo;s investigation is primarily&nbsp;focused on the Trump campaign &ndash; having conducted a surprise raid on Paul Manafort&rsquo;s home in July, it will be interesting to see if the Special Counsel chooses to delve into the bevy of documented ties between the the Podesta brothers and Russia.</p> <p>For example, Russia&rsquo;s Kremlin-owned Sberbank paid the Podesta group $170,000 over a 6 month period to lobby against&nbsp;<a href="http://dailycaller.com/2017/03/06/exclusive-dem-super-lobbyist-podesta-got-170k-to-end-us-sanctions-on-russian-bank/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">2014 economic sanction</a><a href="http://dailycaller.com/2017/03/06/exclusive-dem-super-lobbyist-podesta-got-170k-to-end-us-sanctions-on-russian-bank/">s</a>&nbsp;by the Obama administration:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Podesta&rsquo;s efforts were a key part of under-the-radar lobbying during the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign led mainly by veteran Democratic strategists to remove sanctions against Sberbank and VTB Capital, Russia&rsquo;s second largest bank.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The two Russian banks spent more than $700,000 in 2016 on Washington lobbyists as they sought to end the U.S. sanctions, according to Senate lobbying disclosure forms and documents filed with the Department of Justice.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Podesta Group charged Sberbank $20,000 per month, plus expenses, on a contract from March through September 2016. &ndash;Daily Caller</p> </blockquote> <p>In March of this year it was revealed that the Podesta group&nbsp;<a href="http://dailycaller.com/2017/03/07/exclusive-podesta-didnt-register-as-a-foreign-agent-when-he-represented-a-bank-with-ties-to-russian-spy-agencies/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">forgot to register</a>&nbsp;as a &ldquo;Foreign Agent&rdquo; for their work with Sberbank.</p> <p><strong>Uranium One </strong></p> <p>The Podesta group also&nbsp;<a href="https://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/clientlbs.php?id=D000065156&amp;year=2015" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">earned $180,000</a>&nbsp;lobbying for Russian-owned mining company&nbsp;Uranium One&nbsp;during&nbsp;the same period that the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/24/us/cash-flowed-to-clinton-foundation-as-russians-pressed-for-control-of-uranium-company.html?mcubz=0" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Clinton Foundation was receiving millions</a>&nbsp;from UrAsia / U1 interests.</p> <p>Last week, two bombshell reports published by&nbsp;<a href="http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/355749-fbi-uncovered-russian-bribery-plot-before-obama-administration" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">The Hill</a>&nbsp;revealed that the FBI -&nbsp;<strong>headed by&nbsp;Robert Mueller at the time -&nbsp;discovered that&nbsp;&ldquo;Russian nuclear officials had routed millions of dollars to the U.S. designed to benefit former President&nbsp;Bill Clinton&rsquo;s charitable foundation during the time Secretary of State&nbsp;Hillary Clinton&nbsp;served on a government body&nbsp;that provided a favorable decision to Moscow&rdquo;&nbsp;&ndash; a deal which would grant the Kremlin control over&nbsp;20 percent of America&rsquo;s uranium supply</strong>,&nbsp;as detailed by author Peter Schweitzer&rsquo;s book&nbsp;<a href="https://www.amazon.com/Clinton-Cash-Foreign-Governments-Businesses/dp/0062369296" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Clinton Cash</a>&nbsp;and the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/24/us/cash-flowed-to-clinton-foundation-as-russians-pressed-for-control-of-uranium-company.html" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">New York Times</a>&nbsp;in 2015.</p> <p><strong>After Russia took control of the Uranium rights</strong>,&nbsp;the Podesta Group received $180,000 to lobby for Uranium One&nbsp;during&nbsp;the same period that the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/24/us/cash-flowed-to-clinton-foundation-as-russians-pressed-for-control-of-uranium-company.html?mcubz=0" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Clinton Foundation was receiving millions</a>&nbsp;from U1 interests, and after Russia took majority ownership in the &ldquo;20 percent&rdquo; deal (<a href="https://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/clientlbs.php?id=D000065156&amp;year=2015" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">source</a>&nbsp;&ndash; you have to add up the years).</p> <p>the Podesta Group received $180,000 to lobby for Uranium One&nbsp;during&nbsp;the same period that the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/24/us/cash-flowed-to-clinton-foundation-as-russians-pressed-for-control-of-uranium-company.html?mcubz=0" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Clinton Foundation was receiving millions</a>&nbsp;from U1 interests, and after Russia took majority ownership in the &ldquo;20 percent&rdquo; deal (<a href="https://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/clientlbs.php?id=D000065156&amp;year=2015" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">source</a>&nbsp;&ndash; you have to add up the years).</p> <p><strong>Joule Unlimited</strong></p> <p>While NBC reports that Hillary Clinton&#39;s campaign manager and presumed Secretary of State&nbsp;John Podesta is&nbsp;not&nbsp;currently affiliated with the Podesta group and&nbsp;not&nbsp;part of Mueller&#39;s investigation, it should be noted that he&nbsp;sat on the board&nbsp;of Massachusetts energy company Joule Unlimited,&nbsp;<a href="http://nypost.com/2017/07/05/uncovering-the-russia-ties-of-hillarys-campaign-chief/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">along with senior Russian official</a>&nbsp;Anatoly&nbsp;<a href="http://ibankcoin.com/zeropointnow/files/2017/08/chubais.png">Chubais</a>&nbsp;and Russian oligarch&nbsp;<a href="http://ibankcoin.com/zeropointnow/files/2017/08/ruben.png" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Ruben Vardanyan</a>&nbsp;&ndash; who was appointed by Vladimir Putin to the Russian economic council.&nbsp;</p> <p>Two months after Podesta joined the board, <strong>Joule managed to raise $35 million from Putin&rsquo;s Kremlin-backed investment fund Rusnano.</strong></p> <p>Not only did John Podesta fail to properly disclose this relationship&nbsp;before joining the Clinton Campaign, he&nbsp;<a href="https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/4635" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">transferred 75,000 shares</a>&nbsp;of Joule to his daughter through a shell company&nbsp;<a href="http://dailycaller.com/2017/03/26/exclusive-john-podesta-may-have-violated-federal-law-by-not-disclosing-75000-stock-shares/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">using her address</a>.</p> <p>Despite the Russian assistance, the Daily Caller reports that <a href="http://dailycaller.com/2017/10/22/exclusive-podestas-green-company-forced-to-close-because-hillary-lost-the-election/" target="_blank">Joule Unlimited folded</a> shortly after Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 election.</p> <p>In an interview with Fox Business News&#39; Maria Bartaromo, Podesta denied that he failed to disclose his ties, emphatically stating &ldquo;Maria, that&rsquo;s not true. I fully disclosed and was completely compliant,&rdquo; adding &ldquo;I didn&rsquo;t have any stock in any Russian company!&rdquo; in reference to Massachusetts based Joule Unlimited &ndash; with its two Russian dignitaries on the board board and a $35 million loan from a Russian investment fund founded by Vladimir Putin.</p> <p>* * *</p> <p><em>For more, see &quot;<a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-08-20/fbi-probing-firm-belonging-clinton-campaign-chairmans-brother-ties-ukraine-corruptio">FBI Probes Firm Belonging To Brother Of Clinton Campaign Chair For Ukraine Corruption Ties</a>&quot;</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="1200" height="669" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/tony%20podesta.jpg?1508758322" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-23/mueller-russian-collusion-probe-targeting-democratic-leaning-podesta-group#comments Clinton Foundation Corruption Department of Justice Department of Justice Donald Trump presidential campaign European Centre European Union European Union Fail FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation Fox Business Government Grand Croix of the Légion d'honneur Hillary Clinton presidential campaign John Podesta NBC New York Times Obama Administration Obama administration Orders, decorations, and medals Party of Regions Paul Manafort Podesta Group Political campaign staff Politics Politics of the United States President Obama Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections Senate Tony Podesta Ukraine Uranium Vladimir Putin White House White House Mon, 23 Oct 2017 11:35:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 605800 at http://www.zerohedge.com Federica Wilson Accuses John Kelly Of "Character Assassination", Demands Apology http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-23/federica-wilson-accuses-john-kelly-character-assasination-demands-apology <p>Florida Rep. Federica Wilson, called by Donald Trump as the &quot;wacky&quot; &quot;gift that keeps on giving&quot; demanded an apology from White House Chief of Staff John Kelly Sunday, accusing him of &ldquo;character assassination&rdquo; and being &ldquo;a puppet of the president&rdquo; after Kelly criticized her for delivering a tone-deaf speech at a dedication ceremony for an FBI field office in Florida &ndash; a characterization of events that she has vociferously disputed.</p> <p><strong>&ldquo;Not only does he owe me an apology, but he owes an apology to the American people,&rdquo; </strong>Wilson said during an appearance Sunday on MSNBC&rsquo;s &ldquo;AM Joy.&quot; The ongoing feud between Wilson and the White House has overshadowed demands by lawmakers for more information about the ambush early this month that left four American green berets dead in Niger, near the border with Mali. The attack was initially described as an Al Qaeda-organized ambush. But new questions have emerged after it was revealed that the body of Sgt. La David Johnson &ndash; one of the four men who perished in the incident &ndash; was found a mile from where the attack occurred, the <a href="http://thehill.com/homenews/house/356614-wilson-demands-apology-from-kelly-for-character-assassination">Hill </a>reported.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/10/04/2017.10.23teaser.JPG"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/10/04/2017.10.23teaser_0.JPG" style="width: 500px; height: 251px;" /></a></p> <p>&quot;We had four soldiers who died. They have been buried,&quot; she said. &quot;And we need to know why, and we need to know about the special circumstances surrounding [U.S. Army Sgt.] La David Johnson.&rdquo;</p> <p>The feud between Wilson and Trump erupted after Wilson told CNN about a tone-deaf condolence call that Trump made to Johnson&rsquo;s widow two weeks after his death. Wilson described Trump&rsquo;s remarks during the call as insensitive and claimed he appeared not to remember Johnson&rsquo;s name. Trump and Kelly both disputed Wilson&rsquo;s characterization of the call. Since the scandal broke, another gold star family released a recording of their condolence call from Trump to help rebut claims that Trump was being insensitive.</p> <p>Kelly was pulled into the feud between Wilson and Trump when he gave an emotional press conference last week railing against Wilson for criticizing his boss, adding that the grieving process of Gold Star families should be &ldquo;sacred.&rdquo; During his remarks, Kelly said he was &quot;stunned&quot; that a member of Congress &quot;would have listened in on that conversation.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;I would have thought that was sacred,&quot; he said.</p> <p>Kelly also called Wilson an &quot;empty barrel&quot; and suggested she showed her true colors when she took credit for securing &quot;$20 million&quot; in funding for the FBI field office in Miami.</p> <p>&quot;A congresswoman stood up, and in a long tradition of empty barrels making the most noise, stood up there in all of that and talked about how she was instrumental in getting the funding for that building,&quot; he said.</p> <p>&quot;And how she took care of her constituents because she got the money, and she just called up President Obama, and on that phone call, he gave the money &mdash; the $20 million &mdash; to build the building, and she sat down, and we were stunned.&quot;</p> <p>Wilson responded that funding for the building had been appropriated long before she arrived in Congress, and said the feud between herself and the White House had become &ldquo;totally personal.&rdquo; Video published Friday by the Sun Sentinel showed Wilson spent several minutes claiming credit for legislation that named the building for two slain FBI agents, but did not take credit for scrounging up the federal funding.</p> <p>Trump has repeatedly mocked Wilson on Twitter, referring to her as &ldquo;Wacky Congresswoman Wilson&rdquo; and &ldquo;the gift that keeps on giving.&rdquo;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Wacky Congresswoman Wilson is the gift that keeps on giving for the Republican Party, a disaster for Dems. You watch her in action &amp; vote R!</p> <p>&mdash; Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) <a href="https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/922070659093671936?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 22, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>He&rsquo;s also accused her of &ldquo;killing the Democratic Party&quot;...</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">I hope the Fake News Media keeps talking about Wacky Congresswoman Wilson in that she, as a representative, is killing the Democrat Party!</p> <p>&mdash; Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) <a href="https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/921709468055896064?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 21, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p><span id="cke_bm_69S" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span><span id="cke_bm_68S" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span><span id="cke_bm_67S" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span><span id="cke_bm_66S" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span><span id="cke_bm_65S" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span><span id="cke_bm_64S" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span id="cke_bm_635S" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span><span id="cke_bm_634S" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span><span id="cke_bm_633S" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span><span id="cke_bm_632S" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span><span id="cke_bm_631S" style="display: none;"> </span><u><strong><span id="cke_bm_63S" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span><span id="cke_bm_63E" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span><span id="cke_bm_628E" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span><span id="cke_bm_631E" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span><span id="cke_bm_630E" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span><span id="cke_bm_629E" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span><span id="cke_bm_635E" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span><span id="cke_bm_634E" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span><span id="cke_bm_633E" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span><span id="cke_bm_632E" style="display: none;"> </span></strong></u><span id="cke_bm_70S" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span><span id="cke_bm_71S" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span><span id="cke_bm_72S" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span>Watch the entire AM Joy interview below:<span id="cke_bm_72E" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span><span id="cke_bm_71E" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span><span id="cke_bm_70E" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span id="cke_bm_69E" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span><span id="cke_bm_68E" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span><span id="cke_bm_67E" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span><span id="cke_bm_66E" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span><span id="cke_bm_65E" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span><span id="cke_bm_64E" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/FhhHvo_sBKM" width="560"></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="524" height="263" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017.10.23teaser.JPG?1508755358" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-23/federica-wilson-accuses-john-kelly-character-assasination-demands-apology#comments al-Qaeda American people of German descent Business Climate change skepticism and denial Congress Democrat Party Democratic Party Donald Trump Donald Trump Economy of the United States FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation Florida MSNBC Politics Politics of the United States President Obama Republican Party The Apprentice Trump Twitter Twitter United States Army White House White House WWE Hall of Fame Mon, 23 Oct 2017 11:16:58 +0000 Tyler Durden 605798 at http://www.zerohedge.com World Stocks At All Time Highs After Nikkei's Record Winning Streak; Euro Slides With Spain On Edge http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-23/world-stocks-all-time-highs-after-nikkeis-record-winning-streak-euro-slides-spain-ed <p>In an otherwise quiet session, Sunday's convincing election victory for Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling coalition, which gave it another constitution-changing supermajority, <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-22/usdjpy-inches-higher-japanese-stocks-set-longest-winning-streak-history">pushed the Nikkei to the highest level since 1996, after a record 15 consecutive days of gains </a>- the longest winning streak on record - and sent world stocks to new all-time highs on Monday. </p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/10/21/nikkei%2010.23_1.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/10/21/nikkei%2010.23_1_0.jpg" width="500" height="245" /></a></p> <p>Over the weekend, Japan’s Abe was re-elected and his coalition reinvigorated by an increased share of the vote. Common "hot takes" are that this means: further stimulus for Japan; Governor Kuroda is now more likely to serve another term at the BoJ; and therefore a weaker JPY. On the flip side, just as many argue that <strong>this is simply an extension of the status quo – USDJPY is little changed so far, after rising briefly above 114. </strong></p> <p>That said, it appears that the BOJ's relentless buying of anything that isn't nailed down has started to trickle down: corporate Japan is having its best year for earnings since 2000, with the country getting the most EPS upgrades since 2010.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/10/21/japan%20earnings.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/10/21/japan%20earnings_0.jpg" width="500" height="262" /></a></p> <p>Meanwhile, in Europe an escalation of Spain’s constitutional crisis weighed on the country’s banks. S&amp;P index futures are modestly green, and set for another record high in the cash index, while stocks in Asia and Europe were mixed after an early push higher, on concerns over the outcome of the Catalonia independence crackdown.</p> <p>Still, it could be worse: “At this moment you’ve not got contagion from Spain to the broader European market. It’s seen as a national and localized issue,” said Pierre Bose, head of European equities strategy at Credit Suisse.</p> <p>Among the other key developments over the weekend, Spanish PM Rajoy invoked article 155, in which he plans to dissolve Catalonia government and curb its authority, while he also seeking to call elections within 6-months. Voters in Italy's Lombardi and Veneto regions overwhelmingly voted for more autonomy from Rome.&nbsp; UK Brexit Sec Davis said on Friday that the UK doesn't want a 'no deal' outcome on Brexit, but added that the UK will be ready if it occurs.&nbsp; Markets are bracing for the European Central Bank to signal baby steps away from its ultra-easy monetary policy stance this week and for the U.S. Federal Reserve to hike rates in December.</p> <p>“Now there’s a renewed mandate for quantitative easing, which means a weaker yen and stronger Japanese government bond prices. It also has a significant spillover for other developed markets,” said Peter Chatwell, head of euro rates strategy at Mizuho.</p> <p>In macro, the dollar strengthened while 10-year Treasury yields hovered near 2.40% on optimism Trump is close to pulling off a tax overhaul and may announce the next Fed chief as soon as this week. The Bloomberg dollar index DXY extended gains from Friday when it closed above its 100-DMA for first time since March. Late last week, Trump said he’s considering Stanford University economist Taylor - the most hawkish candidate - and Governor Powell for top job at the Fed, while indicating Chair Yellen remains in the running. </p> <p>“The U.S. dollar is finding fresh yield support on optimism over a deal to cut corporate taxes and the perception that John Taylor remains a strong contender for Fed chair,” Sean Callow, an FX strategist at Westpac told Bloomberg. “The 2.40 percent level remains critical for the 10-year Treasury note, so the dollar is not yet off to the races.”</p> <p>The USD/JPY rose to a fresh 3-month high after Japan’s ruling coalition retained its two-thirds lower house majority in Sunday’s election, ensuring continuity of BOJ’s loose monetary policies; it traded above 114 in the early part of the session, before sellers stepped in to fill the gap. Meanwhile the euro weakened a second day as investors waited for the next big development in Spain, <strong>where Catalan separatists are planning their response after Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy moved to stamp his authority on the region. </strong></p> <p>Major Asia-Pac indices were mixed although Japan stocks rose again by 1%, after the blowout win by PM Abe’s ruling bloc at the snap election. Nikkei 225 (+1.1%) led the region after the ruling coalition gained a supermajority at Sunday’s election, which keeps Abenomics firmly in place and paves the way for possible constitutional changes. Japan’s Topix index also climbed 0.8%, cementing a rally to the highest since mid 2007. Australia's ASX 200 (-0.2%) failed to hold onto initial gains and a mixed tone was observed in Chinese markets, in which the Shanghai Composite (flat) ignored a significant liquidity operation by the PBoC; there were strong gains in consumer and healthcare firms although trading volumes remained thin as investors awaited policy cues from a party congress and fresh data showed growth in new home prices slowed to a crawl in September. The Hang Seng (-0.7%) underperformed on technical selling after it met resistance around 28,500.&nbsp; </p> <p>Stoxx 600 rose 0.4%, powered by the slumping Euroe even as the IBEX 15 once again lagged peers in early European trading, led lower by banking stocks after Spain moved to take full control of Catalonia over the<br /> weekend, while Catalan officials state that they will not follow orders from Madrid and meet Monday to prepare their reply to Rajoy. Elsewhere, major EU bourses have been<br /> oscillating between gains and losses amid quiet newsflow. The biggest losers are Spanish banks, with&nbsp; BBVA down 1.8%, Sabadell down 1.4%, Bankia down 1.2%, CaixaBank down 1.1%. As Bloomberg notes, Sabadell is down 9% since Catalan referendum on Oct. 1, CaixaBank down 10%, IBEX down 2.1%; Stoxx 600 is up 0.5% over same period.</p> <p>Concerns about Spain weighed on rates, with the yield on 10-year Treasuries was unchanged at 2.38 percent, after rising to 2.40%, the highest in more than 15 weeks. Germany’s 10-year yield fell two basis points to 0.44 percent, the biggest fall in a week.</p> <p>London copper traded steady after Chinese authorities reaffirmed that the country’s economy was on track to achieve the official growth target, while a firmer dollar nudged gold down 0.4 percent to $1,275.60 an ounce. Oil prices edged ahead on supply concerns in the Middle East and as the U.S. market showed further signs of tightening while demand in Asia keeps rising. West Texas Intermediate crude declined 0.1 percent to $51.79 a barrel. Gold decreased 0.4 percent to $1,275.31 an ounce, the weakest in more than two weeks.</p> <p>This week is heavy on potential investor catalysts, from the election in Japan to the boiling Catalonia crisis and very different moves toward autonomy in parts of Italy. Away from politics central banks loom large, with a pivotal European Central Bank meeting due and the possible unveiling of President Donald Trump’s pick for Fed chair. Traders will also be watching U.S. growth data and Trump’s efforts to overhaul America’s tax code. U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May is likely to make a statement to Parliament on Monday on the progress of Brexit talks following the latest European Union summit. The U.S. economy probably expanded at about a 2.5 percent annualized pace in the third quarter, restrained in part by the effects of two hurricanes, economists forecast the government to report on Friday. The European Central Bank holds a policy meeting on Thursday at which it’s expected to announce its stimulus plan for 2018.</p> <p>It’s the biggest week for earnings, with Amazon.com Inc., Alphabet Inc., Microsoft Corp., Facebook Inc., and Twitter Inc. set to report among tech names; we also get General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co., Volkswagen AG and Boeing Co. headline cars and planes. Fast food giant McDonald’s Corp., Coca-Cola Co. and brewer Heineken NV join European banks including UBS Group AG, Deutsche Bank AG and Barclays Plc. Today, the key names set to report are Kimberly-Clark, Halliburton, State Street Corp, Franklin Financial Services, NBT Bancorp, Majesco. So far in the earnings season, about 17% of S&amp;P 500 companies have reported results. Of them, 76% have posted better-than-expected profits, vs 73% in the third quarter of 2016. In absolute terms, earnings are up 6%, vs analyst forecast for 2.6% growth in profits.</p> <p><strong>Market Snapshot</strong></p> <ul> <li>S&amp;P 500 futures down 0.02% to 2,573.50</li> <li>STOXX Europe 600 up 0.07% to 390.40</li> <li>MSCI Asia up 0.09% to 167.01</li> <li>MSCI Asia ex Japan down 0.2% to 549.58</li> <li>Nikkei up 1.1% to 21,696.65</li> <li>Topix up 0.8% to 1,745.25</li> <li>Hang Seng Index down 0.6% to 28,305.88</li> <li>Shanghai Composite up 0.06% to 3,380.70</li> <li>Sensex up 0.03% to 32,398.63</li> <li>Australia S&amp;P/ASX 200 down 0.2% to 5,893.96</li> <li>Kospi up 0.02% to 2,490.05</li> <li>German 10Y yield fell 1.6 bps to 0.436%</li> <li>Euro down 0.3% to $1.1746</li> <li>Brent Futures unchanged at $57.75/bbl</li> <li>Gold spot down 0.4% to $1,275.42</li> <li>U.S. Dollar Index up 0.2% to 93.92</li> <li>Italian 10Y yield rose 1.3 bps to 1.774%</li> <li>Spanish 10Y yield fell 2.1 bps to 1.642%</li> </ul> <p><strong>Top Overnight News</strong></p> <ul> <li>A day after his election victory, PM Abe pledged to seek a broad consensus on revising Japan’s 70-year-old pacifist constitution and reiterated there was no fixed schedule for change</li> <li>President Trump is close to pulling off a tax overhaul and may soon select the next Fed chief</li> <li>U.K.’s PM May seemed disheartened, discouraged during a dinner with EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in Brussels last week; she “begged for help,” telling Juncker of the risk she took when giving up hard Brexit plan and asked for a two-year transition period, Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung reports</li> <li>May’s battle to get her Brexit legislation through Parliament hit a new roadblock as the Labour Party threatened to unite with Tory rebels, eclipsing the small victory she brought home from a summit of European leaders</li> <li>Catalan separatists meet Monday to craft their reply to Prime Minister Rajoy after he announced a barrage of measures to stamp his authority on the rebel region</li> <li>Leaders of two regions in Italy’s wealthy north claimed victory in referendums Sunday to demand more autonomy from the state, in a ballot that could strengthen the anti-immigrant Northern League party ahead of national elections early next year</li> <li>Hedge funds are finding betting on West Texas Intermediate crude more attractive again, with total positioning on the U.S. benchmark increasing to the highest in almost a year</li> <li>Catalan separatists meet Monday to craft their reply to Prime Minister Rajoy after he announced a barrage of measures to stamp his authority on the rebel region</li> <li>The U.S. has been disappointed this year at China’s lack of progress in pursuing market-oriented reforms, said a senior administration official, ratcheting up the pressure on the world’s second-largest economy ahead of Trump’s visit there next month.</li> <li>U.S. President Donald Trump Says Facebook Was on Clinton’s Side</li> <li>Apple Sourced 100% IPhone and IPad Chip Orders to TSMC</li> </ul> <p><strong>The major Asian indices were mixed after the momentum from last Friday’s fresh record levels </strong>in the S&amp;P 500, DJIA and Nasdaq Comp gradually dissipated, although Japan remained buoyant after the firm win by PM Abe’s ruling bloc at the snap election. Nikkei 225 (+1.2%) led the region after the ruling coalition gained a supermajority at Sunday’s election, which keeps Abenomics firmly in place and paves the way for possible constitutional changes. In Australia, the ASX 200 (-0.2%) failed to hold onto initial gains and a mixed tone was observed in Chinese markets, in which the Shanghai Comp. (Unch) ignored a significant liquidity operation by the PBoC, while the Hang Seng (-0.7%) underperformed on technical selling after it met resistance around 28,500. Finally, 10yr JGBs were flat with demand dampened amid the heightened risk appetite in Japan and an absence of a BoJ Rinban announcement. Japanese PM Abe’s LDP led ruling coalition won a supermajority at Sunday’s election, as unofficial results showed the ruling bloc is set to win 312 of the 465 seats or over two-thirds of seats in the lower house. Chinese China House Prices YY (Sep) 6.3% (Prev. 8.3%); PBoC injected CNY 110bln via 7-day reverse repos and CNY 90bln via 28-day reverse repos. PBoC set CNY mid-point at 6.6205 (Prev. 6.6092)</p> <p><em>Top Asia News</em></p> <ul> <li>Abe Placed to Lead Japan Through 2021 After Big Election Win</li> <li>China Vows No Return for Shuttered Steelmakers as Curbs Hit Home</li> <li>Deripaska’s En+ Group Targets $8.5 Billion Valuation in IPO </li> <li>Toshiba Sees 110 Billion Yen Loss on Tax Impact of Chip Sale</li> <li>Noble Group Warns of Loss Topping $1 Billion as Vitol Buys Unit</li> </ul> <p><strong>In Europe, the IBEX is once again lagging peers in early European trading, after Spain moved to take full control of Catalonia over the weekend, </strong>while Catalan officials state that they will not follow orders from Madrid. Elsewhere, major EU&nbsp; bourses have been oscillating between gains and losses with newsflow on the quieter side. The 10 year German benchmark had been initially firmer amid the latest Spanish-Catalan developments and reports that 2 Italian regions are also keen on gaining more autonomy. Political instability in the region is also underpinning French OATs, as core bonds benefit from a degree of safe-haven positioning and spreads to the periphery re-widen. However, the prime focus and market driver this week will be Thursday’s ECB policy meeting and the much hyped/eagerly awaited QE tapering announcement. Although much of the early morning gains have been pared given the slight move higher in equities.</p> <p><em>Top European News</em></p> <ul> <li>Catalan Separatists Plot Response to Spain’s Shock and Awe</li> <li>Italy Real Estate Stocks Rise on Report of Budget Measures</li> <li>Spire Rejects Bid From Holder Mediclinic for Rest of Shares </li> <li>U.K. Car Dealers Skid on Pendragon’s Consumer Confidence Warning</li> <li>Linde Drops Tender Threshold, Extends Deadline for Praxair Deal</li> </ul> <p><strong>In FX, </strong>the greenback remains undecisive, as the anticipation of the announcement of the new Fed Chair continues to loom over markets, with reports stating that Powell, Taylor and Yellen are all still in the frame. The DXY trades below 94.00, struggling to find any real direction, with its major pairs seeing the same subdued, range-bound trade. The headline news over the weekend was Japanese PM Abe winning the supermajority, as flows flooded into the Asian stock market, with risk flow causing some selling in JPY. USD/JPY gapped higher, briefly spiking through 114.00. GBP grinded higher throughout the Asian session, however did later run into resistance at around 1.3228 (last Thursday’s high) In turn, GBP tripped through 1.32 to move to a low of 1.3164. Risks continue to remain to the downside with the outcome of Brexit still very much unknown.</p> <p><strong>In commodities, </strong>WTI and Brent crude futures slightly firmer with prices aided by another drop in the Baker Hughes rig count, showing a 3rd straight weekly loss. Gold decreased 0.4 percent to $1,275.31 an ounce, the weakest in more than two weeks.</p> <p><strong>It is a fairly light start to the week for data </strong>with mostly second tier releases including China property prices data for September, Eurozone consumer confidence for October and UK CBI business optimism and total orders data for October. Perhaps the most significant event will be a likely statement from UK PM Theresa May to Parliament on the progress of Brexit talks following the EU summit.</p> <p><strong>US Event Calendar</strong></p> <ul> <li>8:30am: Chicago Fed Nat Activity Index, est. -0.1, prior -0.3</li> </ul> <p><strong>DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap</strong></p> <p>The main event of the week is undoubtedly Thursday's ECB<br /> blockbuster meeting where DB currently expect a cut in purchase at the start<br /> of 2018 from EU60bn per month to EU30bn and for this to be confirmed for<br /> 9 months. The consensus seems to have migrated lower towards EU25-30bn<br /> over the last month and from a 6 to a 9 month extension. However with<br /> reinvestments expected to be EU15bn per month on average next year, this could<br /> yet lead to a number at the lower end of expectations if the ECB focus on this.<br /> Our rates strategists think an explicit mention of gross purchases from the ECB<br /> could be quite hawkish as it would acknowledge the reinvestment issue that<br /> would naturally keep policy looser if they recycled all proceeds. </p> <p>Another hawkish signal could be mention of an explicit end date for purchases<br /> but this is not expected at the moment. Nevertheless our strategists think the<br /> current market pricing of the first rate hike being pushed back to early 2020 is<br /> too far. They think it’s more likely to be between Q2 and Q3 2019. Elsewhere for<br /> credit investors it’s unlikely they'll explicitly mention the specifics of the CSPP/<br /> PSPP split but we think there's a good chance that when the data comes through<br /> in early 2018 it will show no or limited CSPP tapering relatively to PSPP. </p> <p>The one thing about highlighting this as a blockbuster meeting is how much is<br /> already priced in? We've had a number of credible yet unconfirmed press stories of late detailing quite specific behind closed doors ECB discussions. So a lot has<br /> been flagged and we may have to have a deviation from the above (e.g. an end<br /> date to purchases or rolling in reinvestments to the tapered amount) to make<br /> a big impact. </p> <p>Also in terms of the impact on rates, the US seems to be a bigger swing factor of<br /> late. Bond yields seemed to have gone up and down like a yo-yo since Warsh's<br /> name was first seriously mentioned with regards to being Fed Chief c.3 weeks<br /> ago. The range has been less than 20bps for 10 years over this period but Warsh<br /> and averagely hourly earnings sent them first higher, before CPI then sent them<br /> lower before serious mention of Taylor last week and the passing of a budget at<br /> the Senate late on Thursday night sent them back towards the top of the recent<br /> range as we ended last week. Indeed Friday saw core 10y bond yields from<br /> around the globe jump by 5-7bps (UST: +6.6bp; Bunds +5.7bp; Gilts +5.3bp)<br /> while changes at the 2y part of the curve were more modest at c2-5bp (UST:<br /> +4.6bp; Bunds +1.5bp; Gilts +2.2bp). 10yr USTs have consolidated for now and<br /> kicked off the week fairly flat in the Asian session. </p> <p>Turning to the weekend news now. In Spain, tensions have increased. At a press<br /> conference on Saturday, Spanish PM Rajoy formally invoked the Constitutional<br /> power from Article 155 and outlined a range of measures to retake control of<br /> the region, including: i) seeking to dismiss Catalan President Puigdemont and<br /> his cabinet, ii) dissolving the Catalan parliament with plans to call new regional<br /> elections within 6 months, and iii) assume control of the regional police force and<br /> publicly funded media outlets. PM Rajoy noted "no government in no democratic<br /> country can accept that the law is ignored". In response, Puidgemont said "the<br /> Catalan institutions and the Catalan people can't accept this attack" and El<br /> Confidencial reported that Party leaders in the Catalan Parliament are scheduled<br /> to meet today to discuss next steps, with suggestions that Puidgement is<br /> considering a formal declaration of independence with calls for an election this<br /> week. On the other side, the proposed measures by PM Rajoy requires approval<br /> from the Spanish Senate, which is expected to meet this Thursday afternoon<br /> with voting on the final measures on Friday (10am local time). </p> <p>For those who missed it, DB’s European economists considered to what extent<br /> tensions around the situation in Catalonia could weigh on Spanish growth<br /> and confidence. While their conclusions were fairly benign absent a serious<br /> escalation, they find it prudent to consider the relevant risk channels and<br /> vulnerabilities were the current situation to weigh on Spanish growth or investor<br /> confidence. </p> <p>Over in Japan’s general election, according to NHK tallies on Monday morning,<br /> PM Abe and his coalition partner have achieved a two third majority win by<br /> securing at least 312 of the 465 seats. The win by PM Abe is broadly in line<br /> with polls in the lead up to the election and could lead to a continuation of<br /> accommodative monetary policy along with potential changes towards higher<br /> sales tax and the approval of gambling resorts. This morning in Asia, markets<br /> are trading a bit mixed, with the Nikkei leading the gains, up 0.93%, but the ASX<br /> 200 (-0.01%), Kospi (-0.03%) and Hang Seng (-0.65%) are down slightly as we<br /> type with the HK market impacted by weakness in property developer stocks as<br /> recent data showed home prices fell last month in cities including Beijing (-0.6%<br /> mom) and Shanghai. Elsewhere, the JPYUSD has weakened 0.19%.</p> <p>Across the pond, President Trump has signalled Ms Yellen is still in the race<br /> for the next Fed Chair, noting “most people are saying it’s down to two (Taylor<br /> &amp; Powell). I also met with Janet Yellen…I really like her a lot”, so “I have three<br /> people that I’m looking at” and “I will make my decision very shortly”. Earlier<br /> on Friday, Bloomberg reported VP Mike Pence and Treasury Secretary Munchin<br /> were advocating Taylor and Powell to Mr Trump. Elsewhere, Ms Yellen defended<br /> the use of QE noting “the US economy is much stronger today than it would have<br /> been without the unconventional monetary policy tools deployed by the Fed…” </p> <p>We should get the announcement by the end of next week on the Fed Chair<br /> appointment. Back to this week, the other main highlights are the first look at<br /> Q3 GDP for the UK (Wednesday) and US (Friday), while the flash global PMIs<br /> for October tomorrow will also be closely watched as ever. Brexit will never be<br /> too far from the spotlight while in China the CPC wraps up and in Germany the<br /> Bundestag will convene for the inaugural session following the election. Earnings<br /> season ramps with 186 S&amp;P 500 companies due to report, including some of the<br /> tech heavyweights, and 107 Stoxx 600 companies. For the full week ahead and<br /> easy to read cutout of all events see our new "Next Week... This Week" document<br /> published every Friday. The week ahead at the end has the main text from it. </p> <p>Quickly recapping markets performance from last Friday. US bourses<br /> strengthened to new record highs with the S&amp;P (+0.51%), Dow (+0.71%) and<br /> Nasdaq (+0.36%) all up modestly. Within the S&amp;P, gains were led by financials<br /> (+1.16%) and industrials, with only real estate and consumers staples stocks<br /> mildly in the red. The latter was impacted by Procter &amp; Gamble which fell 3.65%<br /> post result. European markets were broadly higher, but little changed with Stoxx<br /> 600 (+0.26%), DAX (+0.01%) and FTSE (flat) up slightly.<br /> Turning to currencies, the US dollar index gained 0.47% following the approval<br /> of the US FY18 budget resolution, while the Euro fell 0.57% but Sterling gained<br /> 0.24%. In commodities, WTI oil rose 0.64%, while precious metals (Gold -0.75%;<br /> Silver -1.3%) and other base metals trended slightly lower (Copper -0.53%; Zinc<br /> -0.43%; Aluminium -0.46%). </p> <p>Turning to currencies, the US dollar index gained 0.47% following the approval<br /> of the US FY18 budget resolution, while the Euro fell 0.57% but Sterling gained<br /> 0.24%. In commodities, WTI oil rose 0.64%, while precious metals (Gold -0.75%;<br /> Silver -1.3%) and other base metals trended slightly lower (Copper -0.53%; Zinc<br /> -0.43%; Aluminium -0.46%). </p> <p>Away from the markets and onto the US tax reforms where Republicans were<br /> reasonably upbeat on the various weekend talk shows. The Director of White<br /> House’s office of Management and Budget (Mick Mulvaney) said approving<br /> the tax bill “by December is realistic” and that economic growth “…ought to<br /> be growing about 3% a year”. Elsewhere, Senate Majority leader McConnell<br /> signalled the tax cuts may not add to the federal budget deficit, noting “….that’s a<br /> rather conservative estimate of how much growth you’ll get out of this pro-growth<br /> tax reform”, although refrained from discussing the details of the tax plan as “it’s<br /> going to be hashed out in the open.” Looking ahead, the tax writing committee<br /> plans to release draft legislations by early November for further debate. </p> <p>Back onto Brexit, ahead of PM May’s statement on the progress of Brexit. UK’s<br /> shadow Foreign Secretary Thornberry noted on Sunday that a no-deal Brexit “is<br /> a serious threat to Britain”. That said, UK’s International trade secretary Fox<br /> was more circumspect, noting that “if we have no deal and we trade on current<br /> WTO terms”, which is similar to how the EU trades with the rest of the world on<br /> most cases, then “it’s not exactly a nightmare scenario”, although conceded<br /> that “I would prefer to have a deal, because it would bring greater certainty”.<br /> Elsewhere, Communities Secretary Javid signalled more fiscal spending may<br /> be possible, noting “we can sensibly borrow more to invest in the infrastructure that leads to more housing” and that while deficit is important, “investing for<br /> the future, taking advantage of low interest rates, can be the right thing if done<br /> sensibly….”. It seems to us the momentum is pointing towards more fiscal policy<br /> across the world at the moment. </p> <p>Onto macro data from last Friday which was relatively sparse. In the US, the<br /> September existing home sales was slightly above consensus at 5.39m (vs.<br /> 5.3m expected) along with the monthly budget statement at $8bln (vs. $6bln<br /> expected). Note that our US economists’ bottom-up tally of 3Q inflation-adjusted<br /> output points to less of a drag on the economy from hurricane-related disruptions<br /> than originally anticipated. Hence, they have revised up their 3Q real GDP<br /> growth forecast by 70bp to 2.7% versus consensus of 2.5%. In Canada, the<br /> September CPI was slightly lower than expected at 0.2% mom (vs. 0.3% expected)<br /> and 1.6% yoy (vs. 1.7% expected). </p> <p>In Germany, September PPI was higher than expected at 0.3% mom (vs. 0.1%<br /> expected) and 3.1% yoy (vs. 2.9% expected). Elsewhere, the Eurozone’s August<br /> current account balance was $33.3bln, slightly higher than last month after it<br /> was revised higher by c6bln to $31.5bln. In the UK, September public and private<br /> sector net borrowing were both modestly lower than expected at 5.3bln (vs.<br /> 5.7bln expected) and at 5.9bln (vs. 6.5bln expected) respectively, however, after<br /> adjusting for prior downward revisions of c1bn, this month’s underlying reading<br /> was more in line with consensus.</p> <p>It is a fairly light start to the week for data with mostly second tier<br /> releases including China property prices data for September, Eurozone consumer<br /> confidence for October and UK CBI business optimism and total orders data for<br /> October. Perhaps the most significant event will be a likely statement from UK<br /> PM Theresa May to Parliament on the progress of Brexit talks following the EU<br /> summit.</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="736" height="386" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/japan%20earnings.jpg?1508755956" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-23/world-stocks-all-time-highs-after-nikkeis-record-winning-streak-euro-slides-spain-ed#comments 8.5% Abenomics Abenomics ASX 200 Australia Bank of Japan Barclays Boeing Bond Brexit Budget Deficit Business Catalan independence Catalan parliament Catalonia government Central Banks Chicago Fed Chicago Fed Nat Activity China Consumer Confidence Copper CPI Credit Suisse Crude Deutsche Bank Donald Trump DXY Economy EU Commission European Central Bank European Central Bank European Union European Union Euroscepticism in the United Kingdom Eurozone federal government Federal Reserve Finance fixed flash Ford Gambling General Motors Germany Gilts Government of Spain Hang Seng 40 IBEX 15 IBEX 35 Italy Japan Japanese government Jim Reid Labour Party Mariano Rajoy Middle East Middle East Monetary Policy Money NASDAQ Nikkei Nikkei 225 Northern League party People's Bank of China Politics of Catalonia Precious Metals Quantitative Easing Quantitative easing Real estate regional police force S&P S&P 500 S&P/ASX 200 Senate Spanish Senate SSE 50 Stanford University State Street STOXX Stoxx 600 Topix Twitter Twitter U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission US Dollar Index US Federal Reserve Vitol Buys Unit In Europe Volkswagen Warsh West Texas White House Withdrawal from the European Union World Trade Organization Yen Mon, 23 Oct 2017 10:55:58 +0000 Tyler Durden 605799 at http://www.zerohedge.com Mueller Investigating Podesta Group In Connection With Russia Probe http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-23/mueller-investigating-podesta-group-connection-russia-probe <p style="color: #333333; text-transform: none; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; word-spacing: 0px; white-space: normal; orphans: 2; widows: 2; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;"><span style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; border-image: none; color: #000000; text-transform: none; line-height: inherit; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: lucida_granderegular, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; word-spacing: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: normal; box-sizing: border-box; orphans: 2; widows: 2; font-stretch: inherit; background-color: #ffffff; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;">Content originally published at&nbsp;</span><span style="font: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; border-image: none; color: #1e439a; text-transform: none; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; text-decoration: underline; word-spacing: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: normal; box-sizing: border-box; orphans: 2; widows: 2; font-stretch: inherit; background-color: #ffffff;"><span style="font: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; border-image: none; text-decoration: underline; vertical-align: baseline; box-sizing: border-box; font-stretch: inherit;"><a href="http://ibankcoin.com/" target="_blank" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; border-image: none; color: #1e439a; line-height: 1.2; font-family: lucida_granderegular, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; box-sizing: border-box; font-stretch: inherit;">iBankCoin.com</a></span></span></p> <p style="color: #333333; text-transform: none; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; word-spacing: 0px; white-space: normal; orphans: 2; widows: 2; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;"><a href="https://ibankcoin.com/zeropointnow/files/2017/10/Heather-and-Tony-Podesta.-Journey-to-Mecca-IMAX-Gala-Screening.-Museum-of-Natural-History.-January-13-2010.-photo.jpg" target="_blank" style="text-transform: none; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; word-spacing: 0px; white-space: normal; orphans: 2; widows: 2; background-color: #ffffff; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal;"><img src="https://ibankcoin.com/zeropointnow/files/2017/10/Heather-and-Tony-Podesta.-Journey-to-Mecca-IMAX-Gala-Screening.-Museum-of-Natural-History.-January-13-2010.-photo-300x164.jpg" width="300" height="164" style="margin: 0.5em 0px 0.5em 1em; outline: #72777c solid 1px; height: auto; float: right; max-width: 100%; resize: none;" class="alignright size-medium wp-image-12108" /></a><span style="color: #333333; text-transform: none; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; word-spacing: 0px; float: none; display: inline !important; white-space: normal; orphans: 2; widows: 2; background-color: #ffffff; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;">&nbsp;</span><br />Tony Podesta and his lobbying firm the Podesta Group are under federal investigation by FBI Special Counsel Robert Mueller in connection with the Russia investigation, three sources told<span>&nbsp;</span><a href="https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/mueller-now-investigating-democratic-lobbyist-tony-podesta-n812776" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><span style="color: #0066cc;">NBC News</span></span></a>.</p> <p style="color: #333333; text-transform: none; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; word-spacing: 0px; white-space: normal; orphans: 2; widows: 2; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;">The&nbsp;firm, co-founded by Hillary Clinton's campaign manager John Podesta,&nbsp;was<span>&nbsp;</span><a href="http://ibankcoin.com/zeropointnow/2017/08/28/mueller-subpoenas-podesta-group-as-firm-retroactively-files-more-pro-russia-disclosures/#sthash.9CANBpV6.dpbs" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><span style="color: #0066cc;">subpoenaed in late August</span></span></a><span>&nbsp;</span>along with&nbsp;three other public relations firms who worked with former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort during a 2012-2014 lobbying effort&nbsp;for a pro-Ukraine think tank - the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine (ECMU) - tied to former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych.</p> <p style="color: #333333; text-transform: none; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; word-spacing: 0px; white-space: normal; orphans: 2; widows: 2; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;">Yanukovych fled from Ukraine to Russia after he was unseated in a 2014 coup.</p> <p style="color: #333333; text-transform: none; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; word-spacing: 0px; white-space: normal; orphans: 2; widows: 2; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;">Two of the subpoenaed firms include Paul Manafort's Mercury, LLC and the Podesta Group, founded by John and Tony Podesta and operated by the latter.</p> <p style="color: #333333; text-transform: none; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; word-spacing: 0px; white-space: normal; orphans: 2; widows: 2; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;">Manafort’s firm earned $17 million between 2012 – 2014 consulting for Yanukovych’s centrist, pro-Russia ‘Party of Regions.’ During the same period, Manafort oversaw a lobbying campaign for the pro-Russia “Centre for a Modern Ukraine,” a Brussels based think tank linked to Yanukovych which was pushing for Ukraine’s entry into the European Union.</p> <p style="color: #333333; text-transform: none; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; word-spacing: 0px; white-space: normal; orphans: 2; widows: 2; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;">The Podesta group, operating under Manafort,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.politico.com/story/2017/04/paul-manafort-lobbying-ukraine-podesta-group-237163" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><span style="color: #0066cc;">earned over $1.2 million</span></span></a>&nbsp;as part of that effort.</p> <p style="color: #333333; text-transform: none; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; padding-left: 30px; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; word-spacing: 0px; white-space: normal; orphans: 2; widows: 2; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;">In a statement to NBC, a spokesman for the Podesta Group said the firm "is cooperating fully with the Special Counsel's office and has taken every possible step to provide documentation that confirms timely compliance. In all of our client engagements, the Podesta Group conducts due diligence and consults with appropriate legal experts to ensure compliance with disclosure regulations at all times — and we did so in this case."</p> <p style="color: #333333; text-transform: none; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; word-spacing: 0px; white-space: normal; orphans: 2; widows: 2; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;"><strong style="font-weight: bold !important;">White House Special Access</strong></p> <p style="color: #333333; text-transform: none; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; word-spacing: 0px; white-space: normal; orphans: 2; widows: 2; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;">Visitor logs reveal that Tony Podesta visited the White House at least&nbsp;114&nbsp;times&nbsp;during the Obama administration according to&nbsp;<a href="http://white-house-logs.insidegov.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><span style="color: #0066cc;">White House visitor logs</span></span></a>, and was said to have had ‘<a href="http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/tony-podesta-had-special-access-to-the-obama-white-house-through-his-brother-john/article/2604290" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><span style="color: #0066cc;">special access</span></span></a>‘ to the administration through his&nbsp;brother,&nbsp;John Podesta, while&nbsp;lobbying for various pro-Kremlin&nbsp;interests.</p> <p style="color: #333333; text-transform: none; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; word-spacing: 0px; white-space: normal; orphans: 2; widows: 2; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;">During a 2015 interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, former president Obama admitted that his administration ‘<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1QAXmf5_EOs" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><span style="color: #0066cc;">brokered a dea</span></span></a><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1QAXmf5_EOs"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><span style="color: #0066cc;">l</span></span></a>‘ for the 2014 coup in Ukraine – all while John Podesta was a West Wing advisor and Tony Podesta lobbied for an organization which opposed the coup.</p> <p style="color: #333333; text-transform: none; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; word-spacing: 0px; white-space: normal; orphans: 2; widows: 2; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;"><strong style="font-weight: bold !important;">Podesta Group and Russia</strong></p> <p style="color: #333333; text-transform: none; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; word-spacing: 0px; white-space: normal; orphans: 2; widows: 2; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;"><img src="https://ibankcoin.com/zeropointnow/files/2016/11/TonyPodesta02-300x240.jpg" width="300" height="240" style="margin: 0.5em 0px 0.5em 1em; height: auto; float: right; max-width: 100%;" class="alignright size-medium wp-image-2092" />While Robert Mueller’s investigation is primarily&nbsp;focused on the Trump campaign – having conducted a surprise raid on Paul Manafort’s home in July, it will be interesting to see if the Special Counsel chooses to delve into the bevy of documented ties between the the Podesta brothers and Russia.</p> <p style="color: #333333; text-transform: none; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; word-spacing: 0px; white-space: normal; orphans: 2; widows: 2; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;">For example, Russia’s Kremlin-owned Sberbank paid the Podesta group $170,000 over a 6 month period to lobby against<span>&nbsp;</span><a href="http://dailycaller.com/2017/03/06/exclusive-dem-super-lobbyist-podesta-got-170k-to-end-us-sanctions-on-russian-bank/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><span style="color: #0066cc;">2014 economic sanction</span></span></a><a href="http://dailycaller.com/2017/03/06/exclusive-dem-super-lobbyist-podesta-got-170k-to-end-us-sanctions-on-russian-bank/"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><span style="color: #0066cc;">s</span></span></a><span>&nbsp;</span>by the Obama administration:</p> <blockquote style="color: #333333; text-transform: none; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; word-spacing: 0px; white-space: normal; orphans: 2; widows: 2; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;"><p>Podesta’s efforts were a key part of under-the-radar lobbying during the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign led mainly by veteran Democratic strategists to remove sanctions against Sberbank and VTB Capital, Russia’s second largest bank.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong style="font-weight: bold !important;">The two Russian banks spent more than $700,000 in 2016 on Washington lobbyists as they sought to end the U.S. sanctions</strong>, according to Senate lobbying disclosure forms and documents filed with the Department of Justice.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Podesta Group charged Sberbank $20,000 per month, plus expenses, on a contract from March through September 2016. –Daily Caller</p> </blockquote> <p style="color: #333333; text-transform: none; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; word-spacing: 0px; white-space: normal; orphans: 2; widows: 2; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;">In March of this year it was revealed that the Podesta group<span>&nbsp;</span><a href="http://dailycaller.com/2017/03/07/exclusive-podesta-didnt-register-as-a-foreign-agent-when-he-represented-a-bank-with-ties-to-russian-spy-agencies/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><span style="color: #0066cc;">forgot to register</span></span></a><span>&nbsp;</span>as a “Foreign Agent” for their work with Sberbank.</p> <p style="color: #333333; text-transform: none; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; word-spacing: 0px; white-space: normal; orphans: 2; widows: 2; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;"><strong style="font-weight: bold !important;">Uranium One </strong></p> <p style="color: #333333; text-transform: none; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; word-spacing: 0px; white-space: normal; orphans: 2; widows: 2; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;">The Podesta group also&nbsp;<a href="https://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/clientlbs.php?id=D000065156&amp;year=2015" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><span style="color: #0066cc;">earned $180,000</span></span></a>&nbsp;lobbying for Russian-owned mining company&nbsp;<em>Uranium One&nbsp;</em>during&nbsp;the same period that the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/24/us/cash-flowed-to-clinton-foundation-as-russians-pressed-for-control-of-uranium-company.html?mcubz=0" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><span style="color: #0066cc;">Clinton Foundation was receiving millions</span></span></a>&nbsp;from UrAsia / U1 interests.</p> <p style="color: #333333; text-transform: none; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; word-spacing: 0px; white-space: normal; orphans: 2; widows: 2; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;">Last week, two bombshell reports published by&nbsp;<a href="http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/355749-fbi-uncovered-russian-bribery-plot-before-obama-administration" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><span style="color: #0066cc;">The Hill</span></span></em></a><span>&nbsp;</span>revealed that the FBI -<strong style="font-weight: bold !important;"><span>&nbsp;</span>headed by</strong>&nbsp;<strong style="font-weight: bold !important;">Robert Mueller at the time -</strong>&nbsp;discovered that&nbsp;“<strong style="font-weight: bold !important;">Russian nuclear officials had routed millions of dollars to the U.S. designed to benefit former President&nbsp;<span class="rollover-people">Bill Clinton</span>’s charitable foundation during the time Secretary of State&nbsp;<span class="rollover-people">Hillary Clinton</span>&nbsp;served on a government body&nbsp;that provided a favorable decision to Moscow</strong>”&nbsp;– a deal which would grant the Kremlin control over&nbsp;<strong style="font-weight: bold !important;">20 percent of America’s uranium supply,&nbsp;</strong>as detailed by author Peter Schweitzer’s book&nbsp;<a href="https://www.amazon.com/Clinton-Cash-Foreign-Governments-Businesses/dp/0062369296" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><span style="color: #0066cc;">Clinton Cash</span></span></em></a>&nbsp;and the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/24/us/cash-flowed-to-clinton-foundation-as-russians-pressed-for-control-of-uranium-company.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><span style="color: #0066cc;">New York Times</span></span></a>&nbsp;in 2015.</p> <p style="color: #333333; text-transform: none; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; word-spacing: 0px; white-space: normal; orphans: 2; widows: 2; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;"><strong style="font-weight: bold !important;">After Russia took control of the Uranium rights,<span>&nbsp;</span></strong>the Podesta Group received $180,000 to lobby for Uranium One&nbsp;during&nbsp;the same period that the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/24/us/cash-flowed-to-clinton-foundation-as-russians-pressed-for-control-of-uranium-company.html?mcubz=0" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><span style="color: #0066cc;">Clinton Foundation was receiving millions</span></span></a>&nbsp;from U1 interests, and after Russia took majority ownership in the “20 percent” deal (<a href="https://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/clientlbs.php?id=D000065156&amp;year=2015" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><span style="color: #0066cc;">source</span></span></a>&nbsp;– you have to add up the years).</p> <p style="color: #333333; text-transform: none; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; word-spacing: 0px; white-space: normal; orphans: 2; widows: 2; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;">the Podesta Group received $180,000 to lobby for Uranium One&nbsp;during&nbsp;the same period that the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/24/us/cash-flowed-to-clinton-foundation-as-russians-pressed-for-control-of-uranium-company.html?mcubz=0" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><span style="color: #0066cc;">Clinton Foundation was receiving millions</span></span></a>&nbsp;from U1 interests, and after Russia took majority ownership in the “20 percent” deal (<a href="https://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/clientlbs.php?id=D000065156&amp;year=2015" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><span style="color: #0066cc;">source</span></span></a>&nbsp;– you have to add up the years).</p> <p style="color: #333333; text-transform: none; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; word-spacing: 0px; white-space: normal; orphans: 2; widows: 2; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;"><strong style="font-weight: bold !important;">Joule Unlimited</strong></p> <p style="color: #333333; text-transform: none; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; word-spacing: 0px; white-space: normal; orphans: 2; widows: 2; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;">While NBC reports that Hillary Clinton's campaign manager and presumed Secretary of State<span>&nbsp;John Podesta is&nbsp;<em>not</em><span>&nbsp;</span>currently affiliated with the Podesta group and&nbsp;<em>not</em><span>&nbsp;</span>part of Mueller's investigation, it should be noted that he&nbsp;sat on the board&nbsp;of Massachusetts energy company Joule Unlimited,&nbsp;<a href="http://nypost.com/2017/07/05/uncovering-the-russia-ties-of-hillarys-campaign-chief/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><span style="color: #0066cc;">along with senior Russian official</span></span></a>&nbsp;Anatoly&nbsp;<a href="http://ibankcoin.com/zeropointnow/files/2017/08/chubais.png"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><span style="color: #0066cc;">Chubais</span></span></a>&nbsp;and Russian oligarch&nbsp;<a href="http://ibankcoin.com/zeropointnow/files/2017/08/ruben.png" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><span style="color: #0066cc;">Ruben Vardanyan</span></span></a>&nbsp;– who was appointed by Vladimir Putin to the Russian economic council.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="color: #333333; text-transform: none; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; word-spacing: 0px; white-space: normal; orphans: 2; widows: 2; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;"><span>Two months after Podesta joined the board, Joule managed to raise $35 million from Putin’s Kremlin-backed investment fund Rusnano.</span></p> <p style="color: #333333; text-transform: none; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; word-spacing: 0px; white-space: normal; orphans: 2; widows: 2; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;"><span>Not only did John Podesta fail to properly disclose this relationship&nbsp;be</span>fore joining the Clinton Campaign, he&nbsp;<a href="https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/4635" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><span style="color: #0066cc;">transferred 75,000 shares</span></span></a>&nbsp;of Joule to his daughter through a shell company&nbsp;<a href="http://dailycaller.com/2017/03/26/exclusive-john-podesta-may-have-violated-federal-law-by-not-disclosing-75000-stock-shares/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><span style="color: #0066cc;">using her address</span></span></a>.</p> <p style="color: #333333; text-transform: none; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; word-spacing: 0px; white-space: normal; orphans: 2; widows: 2; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;">Despite the Russian assistance, the <strong>Daily Caller</strong> reports that <a href="http://dailycaller.com/2017/10/22/exclusive-podestas-green-company-forced-to-close-because-hillary-lost-the-election/" target="_blank">Joule Unlimited folded</a> shortly after Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 election.</p> <p style="color: #333333; text-transform: none; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; word-spacing: 0px; white-space: normal; orphans: 2; widows: 2; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;">In an interview with Fox Business News' Maria Bartaromo, Podesta denied that he failed to disclose his ties, emphatically stating “Maria, that’s not true. I fully disclosed and was completely compliant,” adding “I didn’t have any stock in any Russian company!” in reference to Massachusetts based Joule Unlimited – with its two Russian dignitaries on the board board and a $35 million loan from a Russian investment fund founded by Vladimir Putin.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/lIhJHAGgidY" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe>&nbsp; </p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; border-image: none; text-align: center; color: #000000; text-transform: none; line-height: inherit; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: lucida_granderegular, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; word-spacing: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: normal; box-sizing: border-box; orphans: 2; widows: 2; font-stretch: inherit; background-color: #ffffff; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; text-decoration-style: initial; 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word-spacing: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: normal; box-sizing: border-box; orphans: 2; widows: 2; font-stretch: inherit; background-color: #ffffff; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-numeric: inherit;">You<strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; border-image: none; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: baseline; box-sizing: border-box; font-stretch: inherit;">Tube channel</strong></a></span></span></span></span></p> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-23/mueller-investigating-podesta-group-connection-russia-probe#comments Clinton Foundation Department of Justice Department of Justice Donald Trump presidential campaign European Centre European Union European Union Fail FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation Fox Business Government Grand Croix of the Légion d'honneur Hillary Clinton presidential campaign John Podesta NBC New York Times Obama Administration Obama administration Orders, decorations, and medals Party of Regions Podesta Podesta Group Political campaign staff Politics Politics President Obama Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections Senate Tony Podesta Twitter Twitter Ukraine Uranium Vladimir Putin White House White House Mon, 23 Oct 2017 10:42:16 +0000 ZeroPointNow 605797 at http://www.zerohedge.com For The First Time In 26 Years, US To Put Nuclear Bombers On 24 Hour Alert http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-22/us-put-nuclear-bombers-24-hour-alert-first-time-26-years <p>The unexpected decision by President Trump to <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-22/trump-revises-sept-11-executive-order-recall-1000-retired-pilots">amend an emergency Sept 11 order signed </a>by George W Bush, allowing the Air Force to recall up to 1,000 retired air force pilots to address what the Pentagon has decribed as "an acute shortage of pilots" caught us by surprise. After all, this was the first time we have heard of this particular labor shortage - perhaps there was more to this executive order than meets the eye. Indeed, a just released report may help explain the reasoning behind this presidential decision. </p> <p>According to <a href="http://www.defenseone.com/threats/2017/10/exclusive-us-preparing-put-nuclear-bombers-back-24-hour-alert/141957/">Defense One, </a><strong>the US Air Force is preparing to put nuclear-armed bombers back on 24-hour ready alert, a status not seen since the Cold War ended in 1991. </strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>&nbsp;</strong>That means the long-dormant concrete pads at the ends of Barksdale Air Force Base's 11,000-foot runway — dubbed the “Christmas tree” for their angular markings — could once again find several B-52s parked on them, laden with nuclear weapons and set to take off at a moment’s notice.</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>“This is yet one more step in ensuring that we’re prepared,” </strong>Gen. David Goldfein, Air Force chief of staff, told the publication in an interview during his six-day tour of Barksdale and other U.S. Air Force bases that support the nuclear mission. “<strong>I look at it more as not planning for any specific event, but more for the reality of the global situation we find ourselves in and how we ensure we’re prepared going forward.”</strong></p> <p>Quoted by Defense One, Goldfein and other senior defense officials stressed that the alert order had not been given, but that preparations were under way in anticipation that it might come. That decision would be made by Gen. John Hyten, the commander of U.S. Strategic Command, or Gen. Lori Robinson, the head of U.S. Northern Command. STRATCOM is in charge of the military’s nuclear forces and NORTHCOM is in charge of defending North America.</p> <p>Putting the B-52s back on alert is just one of many decisions facing the Air Force as the U.S. military responds to a changing geopolitical environment that includes North Korea’s rapidly advancing nuclear arsenal, President Trump’s confrontational approach to Pyongyang, and Russia’s increasingly potent and active armed forces.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/10/21/nuclear%20bombers.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/10/21/nuclear%20bombers_0.jpg" width="500" height="229" /></a></p> <p>Goldfein, who is the Air Force’s top officer and a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, <strong>is asking his force to think about new ways that nuclear weapons could be used for deterrence, or even combat. </strong></p> <p>Quoted by Def One, he said that “the world is a dangerous place and we’ve got folks that are talking openly about use of nuclear weapons. It’s no longer a bipolar world where it’s just us and the Soviet Union. <strong>We’ve got other players out there who have nuclear capability. It’s never been more important to make sure that we get this mission right.” </strong>During his trip across the country last week, Goldfein encouraged airmen to think beyond Cold War uses for ICBMs, bombers and nuclear cruise missiles.</p> <p>“I’ve challenged…Air Force Global Strike Command to help lead the dialog, help with this discussion about ‘What does conventional conflict look like with a nuclear element?’ and ‘Do we respond as a global force if that were to occur?’ and ‘What are the options?’” he said. “How do we think about it — how do we think about deterrence in that environment?”</p> <p>Asked if placing B-52s back on alert — as they were for decades — would help with deterrence, Goldfein said it’s hard to say.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>“Really it depends on who, what kind of behavior are we talking about, and whether they’re paying attention to our readiness status,” he said.</p> </blockquote> <p>Meanwhile, various improvements have already been made to prepare Barksdale — home to the 2d Bomb Wing and Air Force Global Strike Command, which oversees the service’s nuclear forces — <strong>to return B-52s to an alert posture.</strong> Near the alert pads, an old concrete building — where B-52 crews during the Cold War would sleep, ready to run to their aircraft and take off at a moment’s notice — is being renovated.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Inside, beds are being installed for more than 100 crew members, more than enough room for the crews that would man bombers positioned on the nine alert pads outside. There’s a recreation room, with a pool table, TVs and a shuffleboard table. Large paintings of the patches for each squadron at Barksdale adorn the walls of a large stairway. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>One painting — a symbol of the Cold War — depicts a silhouette of a B-52 with the words “Peace The Old Fashioned Way,” written underneath. At the bottom of the stairwell, there is a Strategic Air Command logo, yet another reminder of the Cold War days when American B-52s sat at the ready on the runway outside. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Those long-empty B-52 parking spaces will soon get visits by two nuclear command planes, the E-4B Nightwatch and E-6B Mercury, both which will occasionally sit alert there. During a nuclear war, the planes would become the flying command posts of the defense secretary and STRATCOM commander, respectively. If a strike order is given by the president, the planes would be used to transmit launch codes to bombers, ICBMs and submarines. At least one of the four nuclear-hardened E-4Bs — formally called the National Airborne Operations Center, but commonly known as the Doomsday Plane — is always on 24-hour alert.</p> </blockquote> <p>Barksdale and other bases with nuclear bombers are preparing to build storage facilities for a new nuclear cruise missile that is under development. During his trip, Goldfein received updates on the preliminary work for a proposed replacement for the 400-plus Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles, and the new long-range cruise missile.</p> <p>“Our job is options,” Goldfein told Defense One's Marcus Weisgerber. “We provide best military advice and options for the commander and chief and the secretary of defense. Should the STRATCOM commander require or the NORTHCOM commander require us to [be on] a higher state of readiness to defend the homeland, then we have to have a place to put those forces."</p> <p>And now that the US is preparing for immediate nuclear war readiness, all it needs is a provocation, one which a world which has never been more on edge over a stray tweet, may have little difficulty in finding... </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="710" height="325" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/nuclear%20bombers.jpg?1508715831" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-22/us-put-nuclear-bombers-24-hour-alert-first-time-26-years#comments 2d Bomb Wing Air Force Air Force Global Strike Command Barksdale Air Force Base Boeing B-52 Stratofortress Global Strike Command Military Minuteman III National Airborne Operations Center National Register of Historic Places in Bossier Parish, Louisiana NORTHCOM Nuclear warfare Nuclear weapon Pentagon Politics Reality STRATCOM Strategic Air Command Strategic Air Command U.S. Northern Command U.S. Strategic Command United States Air Force United States Department of Defense United States Strategic Command US Air Force US military War Mon, 23 Oct 2017 10:39:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 605788 at http://www.zerohedge.com Here Is The IMF's Global Financial Crash Scenario http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-22/here-imfs-global-financial-crash-scenario <p>Hidden almost all the way in the end of the first chapter of the IMF's <a href="https://www.imf.org/en/Publications/GFSR/Issues/2017/09/27/global-financial-stability-report-october-2017">latest Financial Stability Report</a>, is a surprisingly candid discussion on the topic of whether "Rising Medium-Term Vulnerabilities Could Derail the Global Recovery", which is a politically correct way of saying is the financial system on the verge of crashing. </p> <p>In the section also called "<strong>Global Financial Dislocation Scenario</strong>" because "<em><strong>crash" </strong></em>sounds just a little too pedestrian, the IMF uses a DSGE model to project the current global financial sitution, and ominously admits that "<strong>concerns about a continuing buildup in debt loads and overstretched asset valuations could have global economic repercussions" </strong>and - in modeling out the next <span style="text-decoration: line-through;">crash</span>, pardon "dislocation" - the IMF conducts a "scenario analysis" to illustrate how a repricing of risks could "lead to a rise in credit spreads and a fall in capital market and housing prices, derailing the economic recovery and undermining financial stability." </p> <p>* * * </p> <p><em>From the <a href="https://www.imf.org/en/Publications/GFSR/Issues/2017/09/27/global-financial-stability-report-october-2017#Chapter One">IMF's Financial Statbility Report</a>: </em></p> <p><em>"<strong>Could Rising Medium-Term Vulnerabilities Derail the Global Recovery</strong>?"</em></p> <p>This section illustrates how shocks to individual credit and financial markets well within historical norms can propagate and lead to larger global impacts because of knock-on effects, a dearth of policy buffers, and extreme starting points in debt levels and asset valuations. <strong>A sudden uncoiling of compressed risk premiums, declines in asset prices, and rises in volatility would lead to a global financial downturn. </strong>With monetary policy in several advanced economies at or close to the effective lower bound, the economic consequences would be magnified by the limited scope for monetary stimulus. <strong>Indeed, monetary policy normalization would be stalled in its tracks and reversed in some cases.</strong></p> <p>The Global Macrofinancial Model documented in Vitek 2017 is used to assess the consequences of a <strong>continued buildup in debt and an extended rise in risky asset prices, from already elevated levels in some cases</strong>. This dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model covers 40 economies and features extensive macro-financial linkages—with both bank- and capital-market-based financial intermediation—as well as diverse spillover channels.</p> <p>This scenario has two phases. The first phase features a continuation of low volatility and compressed spreads. Equity and housing prices continue to climb in overheated markets. As collateral values rise, bank lending conditions adjust to maintain steady loan-to-value ratios, facilitating favorable bank lending rates and more credit growth. As discussed, leverage in the nonfinancial private sector has already increased over the past decade across major advanced and emerging market economies. In the scenario, a further loosening in lending conditions, combined with low default rates and low volatility, leads investors to drift beyond their traditional risk limits as the search for yield intensifies despite increases in policy rates.</p> <p>As presented earlier, market and credit risk premiums are close to decade-low levels—leaving markets exposed to a decompression of risk premiums. Thus, the second phase begins with a rapid decompression of credit spreads and declines of up to 15 and 9 percent in equity and house prices, respectively, starting at the beginning of 2020. This shift reflects debt levels breaching critical thresholds, prompting markets to grow concerned about debt sustainability, while risk premiums jump, aggravating deleveraging pressures. </p> <p>As risk premiums rise, debt servicing pressures are revealed as high debt-to-income ratios make borrowers more vulnerable to shocks. The asset repricing is moderate in magnitude, but is broad-based across jurisdictions and leads to a tightening of financial conditions. Flight to quality flows reduce long-term bond yields in safe havens and raise them in the rest of the world. Segments with higher leverage and extended valuations are hit particularly hard, leading to higher funding costs and debt servicing strains.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/10/21/IMF%20crash%201.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/10/21/IMF%20crash%201_0.jpg" width="600" height="651" /></a></p> <p>Underlying vulnerabilities are exposed, and the global recovery is interrupted. Figure 1.30 summarizes the main impacts and spillovers:</p> <ul> <li><strong>The global economic impact of this scenario is broad-based and significant, about one-third as severe as the global financial crisis</strong>. The level of global output falls by 1.7 percent by 2022 relative to the WEO baseline, with varying cross-country impacts.</li> <li>The severity of the economic impact on the United States is cushioned by stronger bank buffers, milder house price declines, and more monetary policy space compared with other advanced economies, despite relatively high equity valuations. The Federal Reserve reverses interest rate hikes during the second phase of the scenario, cutting the policy rate by 150 basis points to 1.75 percent by 2022.</li> <li>The euro area suffers a larger output loss because the policy rate is at the effective lower bound and—as a result of renewed financial fragmentation—term premiums rise in high-spread euro area economies. Government debt ratios climb because nominal output is lower and debt service costs are higher for these economies.</li> <li>Emerging market economies are disproportionately affected by the correction in global risk assets. The flight to quality prompts outflows from their equity and bond markets, putting pressure on currencies and challenging countries with large external financing needs.</li> <li>Corporate and household defaults rise on the back of higher interest costs, lower earnings, and weaker growth. Default rates do not breach global financial crisis levels but return to levels consistent with prior cyclical peaks. Firms in some euro area countries and China with excessive debt overhangs are more sensitive to the increase in credit costs. Household leverage and high house prices in Australia and Canada make these economies more&nbsp; susceptible to risk premium shocks.</li> <li>Higher credit and trading losses, in turn, reduce bank capital ratios to varying degrees worldwide. Banking systems in advanced economies are healthier compared with the precrisis period, while leverage is less of a potential amplifier. Chinese banks suffer outsize declines in capital, but strong policy buffers could be used to mitigate the financial and economic impacts.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Emerging Markets Would Suffer a Retrenchment in Foreign Capital Inflows</strong></p> <p>Drawing on the above scenario, the potential for emerging market stress due to pressures on portfolio inflows is examined in more detail, including by taking into account the likely reduction in these flows from Federal Reserve balance sheet normalization (as discussed earlier).</p> <ul> <li>During the first phase of the scenario, portfolio flows to emerging market economies are supported by rising investor risk appetite. This partially offsets the drag on portfolio inflows from US monetary policy normalization observed during 2017–19. As a result, there is a (net) reduction in portfolio inflows to emerging market economies of about $25 billion a year, compared with $35 billion under the baseline (Figure 1.31, panel 1).</li> <li>During the second phase of the scenario, the asset market correction triggers a more rapid retrenchment in capital inflows to emerging market economies of about $65 billion over the first four quarters, in addition to the projected reduction of $35 billion in inflows associated with continued Federal Reserve balance sheet normalization. The combined effect results in a reduction of portfolio inflows of some $100 billion during the first four quarters of the correction (and about $65 billion during the subsequent four quarters).</li> <li>At the country level, the associated portfolio inflow reduction during the first two years of the shock to global risk premiums ranges from 1.6 to 2.3 percent of GDP for the most affected countries (Figure 1.31, panel 2). Such a reduction is likely to lead to an outright reversal of portfolio flows, at least during some quarters, considering that the decompression of risk premiums is likely to be more rapid in some periods than in others (rather than unfolding at a steady pace as depicted in this exercise). </li> </ul> <p>The buildup in external financing pressures could be particularly challenging for countries with large and rising projected current account deficits. For example, Colombia, South Africa, and Turkey have projected current account deficits in the range of 3 to 4½ percent of GDP in 2019 (Figure 1.31, panel 3). Moreover, <strong>emerging market currencies would come under pressure, limiting space for monetary policy to ease. In turn, higher domestic interest rates would affect firms’ debt servicing capacity, hitting those with still high levels of corporate leverage and increasing risks to weaker banking systems</strong>.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/10/21/imf%20crash%202.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/10/21/imf%20crash%202_0_0.jpg" width="600" height="555" /></a></p> <p>Emerging Market Policies In emerging market economies, policymakers should take advantage of current favorable external conditions to further enhance their resilience, including by continuing to strengthen external positions where needed and reduce corporate leverage where it is high. Deploying policy buffers and exchange rate flexibility would help buffer external shocks, while improving corporate debt-restructuring mechanisms and monitoring firms’ foreign exchange exposures would lower corporate vulnerabilities. Advances in these areas would leave these economies better placed to cushion any reduction in capital inflows that may occur from monetary policy normalization in advanced economies.</p> <p>However, capital outflow pressures could become more significant if there is a severe retrenchment in global risk appetite, as in the scenario described earlier. Such pressures should usually be handled primarily with macroeconomic, structural, and financial policies, although the appropriate response will differ across countries depending on available policy space (see IMF 2012, 2015, 2016a). Where appropriate, exchange rate flexibility should be a key shock absorber, but in countries with sufficient international reserves, foreign exchange intervention can be useful to prevent disorderly market conditions. In periods of stress, liquidity provision may also be needed to support the orderly functioning of financial markets. Capital flow management measures should be implemented only in crisis situations, or when a crisis is considered imminent, and should not substitute for any&nbsp; needed macroeconomic adjustment. When circumstances warrant the use of such measures on outflows, they should be transparent, temporary, and nondiscriminatory and should be lifted once crisis conditions abate.</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="551" height="311" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/IMF%20crash%20scenario%201.jpg?1508701388" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-22/here-imfs-global-financial-crash-scenario#comments Australia Bond Business Business cycle China Corporate Leverage default Deleveraging Economic bubbles Economic crises Economy Emerging markets Federal Reserve Finance Financial crisis of 2007–2008 Global financial system Great Recession Housing Prices International Monetary Fund Market Conditions Monetary Policy Money recovery Risk Premium Systemic risk Turkey US Federal Reserve Volatility Mon, 23 Oct 2017 09:43:50 +0000 Tyler Durden 605777 at http://www.zerohedge.com Germany: Full Censorship Now Official http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-23/germany-full-censorship-now-official <p><a href="https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/11205/germany-official-censorship"><em>Authored by Judith Bergmann via The Gatestone Institute,</em></a></p> <ul> <li>Germany has made no secret of its desire to see its new law copied by the rest of the EU.</li> <li><strong>When employees of social media companies are appointed as the state&#39;s private thought police </strong>and given the power to shape the form of current political and cultural discourse by deciding who shall be allowed to speak and what to say, and who shall be shut down,<strong> free speech becomes nothing more than a fairy tale. Or is that perhaps the point?</strong></li> <li>Perhaps fighting &quot;Islamophobia&quot; is now a higher priority than fighting terrorism?</li> </ul> <p><strong>A new German law introducing state censorship on social media platforms <a href="http://www.spiegel.de/netzwelt/netzpolitik/facebook-gesetz-behoerden-nehmen-viele-soziale-netzwerke-ins-visier-a-1170820.html" target="_blank">came into effect</a> on October 1, 2017.</strong> The new law requires social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, to censor their users on behalf of the German state. Social media companies are <a href="https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/10123/europe-censorship" target="_blank">obliged</a> to delete or block any online &quot;criminal offenses&quot; such as libel, slander, defamation or incitement, within 24 hours of receipt of a user complaint -- regardless of whether or the content is accurate or not. Social media companies receive seven days for more complicated cases. If they fail to do so, the German government can fine them up to 50 million euros for failing to comply with the law.</p> <p><strong>This state censorship makes free speech subject to the arbitrary decisions of corporate entities that are likely to censor more than absolutely necessary, rather than risk a crushing fine. </strong>When employees of social media companies are appointed as the state&#39;s private thought police and given the power to shape the form of current political and cultural discourse by deciding who shall be allowed to speak and what to say, and who shall be shut down, free speech becomes nothing more than a fairy tale. Or is that perhaps the point?</p> <p>Meanwhile, the district court in Munich recently <a href="http://www.pi-news.net/eilt-sechs-monate-haft-fuer-pi-news-autor-michael-stuerzenberger/" target="_blank">sentenced</a> a German journalist, Michael Stürzenberger, to six months in jail for posting on his Facebook page a historical photo of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, shaking the hand of a senior Nazi official in Berlin in 1941. The prosecution accused Stürzenberger of &quot;inciting hatred towards Islam&quot; and &quot;denigrating Islam&quot; by publishing the photograph. The court found Stürzenberger guilty of &quot;disseminating the propaganda of anti-constitutional organizations&quot;. <strong>While the mutual admiration that once existed between al-Husseini and German Nazis is an undisputed historical fact, now evidently history is being rewritten by German courts. Stürzenberger has appealed the verdict.</strong></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="338" src="https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/pics/2863.jpg" width="600" /><br /> <p style="font-size: 82%; margin: 4px 6px;">A German court recently sentenced journalist Michael Stürzenberger (pictured) to six months in jail for posting on his Facebook page a historical photo of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, shaking the hand of a Nazi official in Berlin, in 1941. The prosecution accused Stürzenberger of &quot;inciting hatred towards Islam&quot; and &quot;denigrating Islam&quot; by publishing the photograph. (Image Source: PI News video screenshot)</p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p><strong>Germany has <a href="https://www.welt.de/politik/deutschland/article162840532/Maas-droht-Facebook-und-Twitter-mit-Millionenbussen.html#Comments" target="_blank">made no secret</a> of its desire to see its new law copied by the rest of the EU, which already has a similar <a href="http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-16-1937_en.htm" target="_blank">code of conduct</a> for social media giants. </strong>The EU Justice Commissioner, Vera Jourova, recently <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/sep/28/eu-justice-commissioner-resists-calls-for-legislation-on-online-hate-speech" target="_blank">said</a> she might be willing to legislate in the future if the voluntary code of conduct does not produce the desired results. She <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/sep/28/eu-justice-commissioner-resists-calls-for-legislation-on-online-hate-speech" target="_blank">said</a>, however, that the voluntary code was working &quot;relatively&quot; well, with Facebook removing 66.5% of the material they had been notified was &quot;hateful&quot; between December and May this year. Twitter removed 37.4%, and YouTube took action on 66% of the notifications from users.</p> <p>While purportedly concerned about online &quot;hate speech,&quot; one EU organization, the EU Parliament, had no qualms about letting its premises be used to host a convicted Arab terrorist, Leila Khaled, from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) at a <a href="https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/patrick-goodenough/feted-european-parliament-palestinian-hijacker-rejects-terrorist" target="_blank">conference</a> about &quot;The Role of Women in the Palestinian Popular Struggle&quot; in September. (The <a href="http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/en/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32017D1426&amp;from=EN" target="_blank">EU</a>, the US, Canada, and Australia, have all designated the PFLP a terrorist organization). The conference was organized by, among others, the Spanish delegation of Izquierda Unida (United Left) as part of the European United Left/Nordic Green Left bloc in the European Parliament.</p> <p><strong>In the UK, Prime Minister Theresa May also <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/sep/19/theresa-may-will-tell-internet-firms-to-tackle-extremist-content" target="_blank">said</a> that she will tell internet firms to tackle extremist content:</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&quot;Industry needs to go further and faster in automating the detection and removal of terrorist content online... ultimately it is not just the terrorists themselves who we need to defeat. It is the extremist ideologies that fuel them. It is the ideologies that preach hatred, sow division and undermine our common humanity. We must be far more robust in identifying these ideologies and defeating them -- across all parts of our societies.&quot;</p> </blockquote> <p>Prime Minister May keeps insisting that &quot;these ideologies&quot; are spread &quot;across all parts of our societies&quot; when in reality, virtually all terrorism is Islamic. Meanwhile, her own Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, has <a href="https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/11130/uk-free-speech" target="_blank">refused</a> to ban the political wing of Hezbollah. Hezbollah&#39;s hate speech, apparently, is perfectly acceptable to the British authorities. So is that of South African Muslim cleric and hate preacher <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/07/07/Islamist-preacher-who-cited-Nazi-comparison-of-Jews-to-fleas-speaking-Palestine-Expo-event-in-government-building/" target="_blank">Ebrahim Bham</a>, who was once an interpreter to the Taliban&#39;s head legal advisor. He was allowed to enter the UK to speak in the Queen Elizabeth II Centre, a government building, at the &quot;<a href="https://www.palestineexpo.com/" target="_blank">Palestine Expo</a>&quot; a large <a href="http://www.breitbart.com/london/2017/05/31/uk-government-hosts-europes-largest-jew-hate-event-allegedly-linked-terror/" target="_blank">Jew-hate event</a> in London in July. Bham is <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/07/07/Islamist-preacher-who-cited-Nazi-comparison-of-Jews-to-fleas-speaking-Palestine-Expo-event-in-government-building/" target="_blank">known</a> for quoting Nazi Propaganda Minister Goebbels and saying that all Jews and Christians are &quot;<a href="https://antisemitism.uk/antisemitic-hate-preacher-permitted-to-enter-the-uk-for-palestine-expo-despite-caa-providing-information-to-the-home-office/" target="_blank">agents of Satan</a>&quot;. Meanwhile, a scholar such as Robert Spencer is <a href="https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/11130/uk-free-speech" target="_blank">banned</a> from entering the UK, supposedly on the grounds that what he reports -- accurately -- is &quot;Islamophobic&quot;.</p> <p><strong>The British Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) also recently <a href="http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/hate-crimes-social-media-crown-prosecution-service-home-office-prejudice-a7903166.html" target="_blank">stated</a> that online &quot;hate crimes&quot; will be prosecuted &quot;with the same robust and proactive approach used with offline offending&quot;.</strong> The decision to treat online offenses in the same way as offline offenses is expected to increase hate crime prosecutions, already at the highest recorded level ever. Prosecutors completed <a href="http://www.cps.gov.uk/news/latest_news/more_hate_crimes_prosecuted_by_the_crown_prosecution_service_than_ever_before/" target="_blank">15,442 hate crime cases</a> in 2015-16.</p> <p>Jews in Britain, who have experienced a dramatic increase in anti-Semitism over the past three years, are frequently on the receiving end of hate crimes. Nevertheless, their cases constitute less than a fraction of the statistics. In 2016/17, the CPS prosecuted <a href="https://antisemitism.uk/cps-announces-it-has-prosecuted-thousands-of-hate-crimes-but-it-has-yet-to-prosecute-more-than-two-dozen-crimes-targeting-jews/" target="_blank">14,480 hate crimes</a>. According to the <a href="https://antisemitism.uk/cps-announces-it-has-prosecuted-thousands-of-hate-crimes-but-it-has-yet-to-prosecute-more-than-two-dozen-crimes-targeting-jews/" target="_blank">Campaign Against Antisemitism</a>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&quot;we have yet to see a single year in which more than a couple of dozen anti-Semitic hate crimes were prosecuted. So far in 2017, we are aware of...<a href="https://antisemitism.uk/prosecutions/#2017" target="_blank"> 21</a> prosecutions, in 2016 there were <a href="https://antisemitism.uk/prosecutions/#2016" target="_blank">20</a>, and in 2015 there were just <a href="https://antisemitism.uk/prosecutions/#2015" target="_blank">12</a>. So serious are the failures by the CPS to take action that we have had to <a href="https://antisemitism.uk/caa-launches-first-private-prosecution-after-cps-fails-to-act-first-hearing-tomorrow/" target="_blank">privately prosecute</a> alleged anti-Semites ourselves and challenge the CPS through <a href="https://antisemitism.uk/after-13-month-legal-battle-caa-wins-landmark-high-court-case-against-director-of-public-prosecutions-over-non-prosecution-of-neo-nazi/" target="_blank">judicial review</a>, the first of which we won in March. Last year only 1.9% of hate crime against Jews was prosecuted, signaling to police forces that their effort in investigating hate crimes against Jews might be wasted, and sending the strong message to anti-Semites that they need not fear the law... Each year since 2014 has been a record-breaking year for anti-Semitic crime: between 2014 and 2016, anti-Semitic crime <a href="https://antisemitism.uk/crime/" target="_blank">surged</a> by 45%&quot;.</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>Almost one in three British Jews have apparently <a href="https://antisemitism.uk/cps-announces-it-has-prosecuted-thousands-of-hate-crimes-but-it-has-yet-to-prosecute-more-than-two-dozen-crimes-targeting-jews/" target="_blank">considered leaving Britain</a> due to anti-Semitism in the past two years.</strong></p> <p>British authorities seem far more concerned with &quot;Islamophobia&quot; than with the increase in hate crimes against Jews. In fact, the police has teamed up with Transport for London authorities to <a href="https://www.standard.co.uk/news/crime/campaign-against-antiislam-hate-crime-launched-across-london-transport-network-a3659351.html" target="_blank">encourage people to report hate crimes</a> during &quot;National Hate Crime Awareness Week&quot;, which runs from October 14-21. Transport for London and the Metropolitan Police will hold more than 200 community events to &quot;reassure communities that London&#39;s public transport system is safe for everyone&quot;. The events are specifically targeted at Muslims; officers have visited the East London Mosque to encourage reporting hate crimes.</p> <p>Last year, London mayor Sadiq Khan&#39;s Office for Policing and Crime (Mopac) <a href="http://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/mayors-office-policing-and-crime-mopac/governance-and-decision-making/mopac-decisions-206" target="_blank">announced</a> it was spending &pound;1,730,726 of taxpayer money policing speech online after applying for a grant from the Home Office. Meanwhile, Khan <a href="http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/jun/7/sadiq-khan-grilled-by-piers-morgan-for-inability-t/" target="_blank">said</a> that he does not have the funds to monitor the 200 jihadists estimated to be in London, out of the 400 jihadists who have so far returned to the capital from Syria and Iraq. (He also implicitly admitted that he does not know the whereabouts of the jihadists who have returned). When <a href="http://twitchy.com/gregp-3534/2017/06/07/piers-morgan-rips-mayor-sadiq-khan-over-keeping-london-safe-from-jihadists/" target="_blank">asked</a> by the journalist Piers Morgan why the mayor could not have them monitored, Khan <a href="http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/jun/7/sadiq-khan-grilled-by-piers-morgan-for-inability-t/" target="_blank">answered:</a></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong><em>&quot;Because the Met Police budget, roughly speaking, 15 percent, 20 percent is funded by me, the mayor. The rest comes from central government. If the Met Police is being shrunk and reduced, they&#39;ve got to prioritize and use their resources in a sensible, savvy way.&quot;</em></strong></p> </blockquote> <p>When Morgan asked what could possibly be a bigger priority than, &quot;people coming back from a Syrian battlefield with intent to harm British citizens&quot;, Khan <a href="https://twitchy.com/gregp-3534/2017/06/07/piers-morgan-rips-mayor-sadiq-khan-over-keeping-london-safe-from-jihadists/" target="_blank">did not answer</a>. <em><u><strong>Perhaps because it is hard to admit in public that fighting &quot;Islamophobia&quot; is now a higher priority than fighting terrorism?</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="594" height="278" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20171022_german.jpg?1508735903" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-23/germany-full-censorship-now-official#comments Abuse Antisemitism Australia Behavior Crimes Discrimination EU Parliament European Parliament European Union Fail Gatestone Institute German court German government Germany Hate crime Hate speech Hatred Hizballah Home Office Human behavior Injustice Iraq Islamophobia Law Met Police Metropolitan Police Racism Reality Social Issues Taliban Twitter Twitter UN Court VeRA Mon, 23 Oct 2017 09:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 605795 at http://www.zerohedge.com Visualizing American Soft Power In Europe http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-22/visualizing-american-soft-power-europe <p>Buns and burgers are the epitome of American soft power. Although many Europeans these days are more than a little weary of where America is currently headed politically, <a href="https://www.statista.com/chart/11518/foods-people-from-selected-european-countries-want-to-see-more-of/">Statista&#39;s Dyfed Loesche notes </a>that this skepticism doesn&#39;t seem to extend to the kitchen.</p> <p>As&nbsp;<a href="https://daliaresearch.com/blog-europeans-food-trends-burgers" target="_blank">Dalia Research</a>&nbsp;has found out, <strong>Germans have the munchies for buns &amp; burgers and even such culturally cagey people as the French seem to soften a little with a patty in a bun in mind</strong>.</p> <p><a href="https://www.statista.com/chart/11518/foods-people-from-selected-european-countries-want-to-see-more-of/" title="Infographic: American Soft Power | Statista"><img alt="Infographic: American Soft Power | Statista" src="https://infographic.statista.com/normal/chartoftheday_11518_foods_people_from_selected_european_countries_want_to_see_more_of_n.jpg" style="height: 428px; width: 601px;" /></a></p> <p><em>You will find more statistics at <a href="https://www.statista.com/">Statista</a></em></p> <p>This development probably is closely tied to the craft-burger scene which has made American fast food seem less of an industrialized assembly-line sort of cuisine.</p> <p>What America hasn&#39;t been able to do by force it has achieved through the export of its open for all culture, most notably music and food.<strong> Buns &amp; burgers have conquered more hearts and minds than tanks and guns ever could have.</strong></p> <p><strong>Throw in some coke, ketchup and fries and you&#39;ve got some life-time allies.</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="382" height="191" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20171022_burger.jpg?1508726773" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-22/visualizing-american-soft-power-europe#comments Burger Fast food Food and drink Mon, 23 Oct 2017 08:15:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 605794 at http://www.zerohedge.com IceCap Asset Management: "We Are About To Witness The Financial Market Movement Of A Lifetime" http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-22/icecap-asset-management-we-are-about-witness-financial-market-movement-lifetime <p><em><a href="http://icecapassetmanagement.com/">IceCap Asset Management</a>'s Monthly outlook on global investment markets: October 2017, submitted by Keith Decker of IceCap Asset Management</em></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>“Should I Stay or Should I Go?”</strong></span></p> <p>Darlin’ you got to let me know</p> <p>During the 1970s, The Clash pushed rock and roll to the edge. Their hard charging, explosive, and anger-filled style, inspired spiked hair, rocked generations and forced people to question conventional thinking. </p> <p>Along the way, they rocked the casbah. They called London. They got lost in a super market and then they went straight to hell. </p> <p>For many – The Clash was the only band that mattered. </p> <p>For investors, they are more – much more. </p> <p>Today, as investors around the world become increasingly anxious, one of the greatest Clash songs of all time is making a comeback. In board rooms, on trade desks, in living rooms and around kitchen tables – investors everywhere are nervously singing “Should I Stay or Should I go.” Stock market investors are nervous. Housing market investors are nervous. Gold and oil investors are nervous. US Dollar and Euro investors are nervous too.</p> <p>After all, avoiding near-certain losses should be the most important goal for every investor. </p> <p>Yet, the confusion today is that practically every talking and writing head has declared everything to be at extreme risk levels. In reality, everything cannot decline at once – money and capital just doesn’t move that way. </p> <p>Yet, as chaos continues to engulf our world, traditional investment metrics seemingly make less and less sense. </p> <p>And once you understand this all important fact – then and only then, will you be able to ignore the hyperbole, tune out the 24-7 talking heads, and dismiss the irrelevant quarterly commentaries from the big bank mutual funds. </p> <p>For investors, these are exciting times. Markets are on the cusp of some of the most dramatic movements we’ve (n)ever seen. </p> <p>In this latest IceCap Global Outlook, we examine where and why you should be nervous, what to do, and along the way – sing and enjoy the show.</p> <p><strong>The Stock Market</strong></p> <p> What can we say – there’s an awful lot of people out there saying an awful lot of awful things about the stock market. The central theme or reason for these negative views is entirely based upon stock market valuation. This view is of course wrong. And to understand why, first you must understand the background supporting these awful claims. For starters, many who proclaim stock investors are living on the edge, have actually been living on the edge themselves. </p> <p>Many of these bearish investors have shockingly been out of the stock market since the 2008 crash, with others selling out just a few years later. Investors must know that despite the marketing machines, the Hollywood movies, and the internets – many investment managers are simple humans; full of emotion, full of pride, and perhaps worst of all – more stubborn than a goat. </p> <p>Yes, many managers today are not insensitive, objective androids possessing the gift, the ability, the process and the flexibility to change their investment mind.</p> <p><em>Instead – investment managers can be slotted into 3 groups: </em></p> <p><strong>Group 1 </strong>– this manager works for a mega-big investment firm, that is typically a part of an even bigger firm – a bank. These firms are devoid of dynamic thinking. All peripheral visions have been checked at the door. Client money comes in through the same door and then it is always invested the same way, with no consideration of any significant and obvious events on the horizon. </p> <p>These managers have no market view, and if for some strange reason they possessed a market view, the compliance and enterprise risk management departments would sniff it out and exterminate it faster than a speeding macchiato. These firms did not see the tech bubble breaking until it was too late. These same firms did not see the housing bubble breaking until it was too late. </p> <p>And, today these same firms continue to whistle, Disney-themed tunes as the world passes them bye. </p> <p><strong>Group 2 </strong>– these managers were burnt badly by the last crisis and therefore continue to fight the last war. In many ways - these managers are to be commended. They understand risk. They understand how the loss of capital can be devastating for their clients.</p> <p>These managers have really nice intentions. Yet their deepest concerns about another stock market crash has kept them out of stocks during one of the largest rallies in stock market history. </p> <p>These managers are so geared towards another market crash that they epitomize confirmation bias. Every single waking hour, day and week – which have turned into months and now years are spent agonizing over how markets are not correctly priced. </p> <p>The confirmation bias first begins with showing how stocks are more expensive today than they were immediately before the 2008 crash and immediately before the 2000 crash.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/10/21/ice1.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/10/21/ice1_0.jpg" width="500" height="286" /></a></p> <p>And since stocks are more expensive today than compared to immediately before the 2000 and 2008 bubbles, then stocks must therefore be on the verge of crashing yet again. </p> <p>But they haven’t. Another commonly trolled chart shows the VIX or market fear index:</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/10/21/ice2.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/10/21/ice2_0.jpg" width="500" height="262" /></a></p> <p>And since this data point shows current markets are also at the exact same level as they were prior to the 2000 and 2008 bubbles, then stocks therefore must also be on the verge of cracking again. </p> <p>But they haven’t. </p> <p>Next, the stock bears whip out charts showing the deterioration in Consumer Credit, the effect of Stock Buy Backs on Earnings per Share, record high profit margins, lower trending GDP, Donald Trump, Brexit, Marine Le Penn, North Korea, Russia, and the beat goes on. </p> <p>Yet, stocks continue to defy gravity. </p> <p>Then there’s the money printing, zero interest rates, negative interest rates, financial oppression, and the socialized bad debt. </p> <p>And yet, stock markets just won’t go down. In fact, not only will stocks not go down, but they continue to go up. </p> <p>Yes – it’s confusing. But it’s only confusing for those using linear thinking, one-dimensional perspectives, and the refusal to consider that maybe there’s something else a foot. Here at IceCap, we completely agree with this negative assessment of all the above factors. </p> <p><em>Yes, on a stand alone and consolidated basis, a stock market specific focus concludes nothing good is about to happen. Yet – this is the very point that is completely missed by managers in Group 2. They absolutely refuse to even consider for a moment that their analysis of risk is correct BUT maybe the risk will not be reflected in the stock market. </em></p> <p>Throughout all of these negative reports and analysis, one major point is missing – the consideration that all of the risk in the world today certainly does exist, yet this risk lies within a market completely different than the stock market. </p> <p>And since, none of these managers in Group 2 believe a major risk can ever occur outside of the stock market – then it is completely missed and dismissed. </p> <p>Whereas the managers in Group 2 are singularly focused on the stock market, other managers have assessed the exact same global macro dynamics but came to a different conclusion as to where the risk really lies. </p> <p>Which naturally brings us to investment managers in Group 3. </p> <p><strong>Group 3 </strong>– in many ways, these managers are similar to those in Group 2. They also have terrific intentions, possess a laser-like attention to avoiding capital losses, and a strongly held belief that markets can be pushed and pulled into extreme positions. </p> <p>Yet, the difference between the two groups lies in the ability to remain asset class agnostic. Whereas the managers in Group 2 are solely focused on the stock market as being the center of all evil. </p> <p>Managers in Group 3 believe that at different times, any market can be either good or evil. What we mean by this, is that these managers in Group 3 never fall in or out of love with any investment market. Just as there are times to embrace and avoid stocks, the same is true for bonds, gold, currencies and different commodities. When market conditions change, so too will the investment view of these managers. But the key point to understanding this seemingly obvious expectation – and is completely missed by those managers in Group 2; all markets are interconnected. </p> <p>In other words, stock markets cannot move in isolation without impacting other markets. And of the utmost importance – other markets cannot move in isolation without impacting the stock market. </p> <p><em>And, perhaps the single, biggest revelation of all and commonly missed by many – the financial world does not revolve around the stock market. </em></p> <p>Yes, the global stock market is big. But it is dwarfed by bond markets, interest rate markets and currency markets. Walk onto the trading floor of any major bank and you’ll see that over 75% of the floor is dedicated to bond, interest rate &amp; currency trading.</p> <p>The remaining sliver is for the stock market. </p> <p>Believing the stock market is the king of the hill, is akin to believing the tail wags the dog. Understanding this all important point, will help you see the why the conclusion of the managers in Group 2 has been wrong. Whether they realise it or not, all of their analysis has assumed that everything is fine in the bond, interest rate and currency world. </p> <p>The reason for this is quite obvious. For many, the stumbling block today is the fact that during the past 35 years – every market crisis has eventually manifested itself in the stock market. And since few in the industry today have worked beyond the last 35 years, then they inherently believe that every crisis is eventually reflected in the stock market. </p> <p>Here at IceCap, we clearly see that today’s global financial world contains risk unlike anything we’ve seen before in our lifetime. After all, 35 years of accumulated effects of central bank policies, bailouts, fiscal deficits, and excessive borrowings have culminated in today’s rather awkward financial position. Yet, the culmination of these awkward moments, lies in the fact that central banks and their craft have finally hit rock bottom. And in the confusing world of bonds, interest rates, debt and currencies – hitting rock bottom is really the opposite of what you’d expect. </p> <p>It is bad. </p> <p>The reason it is bad, is because when interest rates are falling – the bond market zooms higher and higher. </p> <p>Reality is also true. When interest rates begin to zoom higher – the bond market drops like a stone. And because this stone is multiple times bigger than the stock market, the ripples turn into waves that will gush investors out of the bond market seeking safety. And contrary to every manager in Group 2 – this safety zone will be the USD, gold and yes, the stock market. </p> <p>So, to answer the classic question from The Clash about the stock market – absolutely stay. The ride will be a bit rough, but it will be nothing compared to what is about to happen in the bond market.</p> <p><strong>The Bond Market: It’s coming. </strong></p> <p>And when it hits, it is going to be a doozy. The global bond market is on the verge of doing something never before seen in our lifetime. Of course, the trick to seeing and understanding this certain risk is simply acknowledging the length of your current investment experience. Just because something hasn’t occurred over the last 35 years, doesn’t mean it can never happen. </p> <p>The near-complete lack of acceptance of a bond bubble is partly due in course to the fact that over the past 35 years, the investing world has only ever seen crises in the stock market. To understand why investors see it this way, see Chart 1 below. </p> <p><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/10/21/ice3_1_0.jpg" width="500" height="264" /></p> <p>The chart shows the history of long-term interest rates in the United States from 1962 to 2017. <em>Note how from 1962 to 1982, long-term interest rates increased from 3% all the way up to 16%. </em>During this 20 year period of rising long-term rates, financial markets were a disaster. No one made money. Stock investors lost money. And bond investors lost a lot of money.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>If I go, there will be trouble</strong></span></p> <p>Life was so bad – especially for bond investors, <strong>that by the time 1982 rolled around you couldn’t give a bond away. </strong>If you were an investor or working in the investment industry at the time – you were painfully aware of the bond market and you were schooled to never, ever buy a bond again. </p> <p>Of course, 1982 was actually the best time ever to buy a bond. With long-term rates dropping like a stone over the next 35 years, bond investors and bond managers became known as the smartest people in the room. But, that was then and this is now. There are 2 points to remember forever here:</p> <p>1) What goes down, must come up</p> <p>2) There’s no one around today to remind us of what life was like for bond investors when long-term rates marched relentlessly higher </p> <p>Interest rates are secular. And with interest rates today already hitting the theoretical 0% level – they have started to rise. And when long-term rates begin to rise, (unlike short-term rates) it happens in a snapping, violent manner. Neither of which is good for bond investors.</p> <p><em>Of course, there’s another important point to consider, the rise in long-rates from 1962 to 1982 occurred when there wasn’t a debt crisis in the developed world. </em></p> <p>And since 99% of the industry has only worked since 1982 to today, then 99% of the industry has never experienced, lived or even dreamt of a crisis in the bond market. </p> <p>This of course is the primary reason why all the negative stories about the stock market are alive and well played out in the media – they simply don’t know any better. </p> <p>And this is wrong. Very wrong. After all, the bond bubble dwarfs the tech bubble and the housing bubble. Think about it.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/10/21/ice4.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/10/21/ice4_0.jpg" width="500" height="293" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>And if I stay it will be double</strong></span></p> <p>To grasp why the bond market is on the verge of crisis, and why trillions of Dollars, Euros, Yen and Pounds are about to panic and run away, we ask you to understand how free-markets really work. </p> <p>For starters, all free markets have two sides competing and participating. </p> <p>There are natural buyers and there are natural sellers. The point at which they meet in the middle is the selling/purchase price and the entire process is called price discovery. </p> <p>Price discovery is a wonderful thing. It always results in the determination of a true price for a product or service. However, a big problem arises when there is an imbalance between the buyers and sellers, and when one of the sides isn’t a natural buyer or seller. </p> <p>This is what has happened in the bond market. And this is why bond prices (or yields) have become so distorted; the true price of a bond hasn’t existed now for almost 9 years. When the 2008-09 housing crisis crippled the world, central banks decided they would help the world recover by providing stimulus. </p> <p>The stimulus to be provided was in the form of Quantitative Easing, or money printing.</p> <p>What happened next has long been forgotten by the majority of the market, and is the prime reason why so few today understand and appreciate the magnitude of the stress that has been created in the bond market. </p> <p>When the central banks printed money, they actually used this printed money to buy government bonds. </p> <p>And with central banks suddenly becoming “buyers” of government bonds, the number of “buyers” in the bond market had instantly increased. </p> <p>And with the number of buyers increasing, the price of bonds increased – which caused long-term interest rates to come down. [note that in the bond world, when prices go up, interest rates go down, and vice-versa]. </p> <p>In effect, the global adoption of Quantitative Easing/Money Printing meant the entire price discovery process would become suspended. </p> <p>And with a suspended price discovery process, the real or true price for bonds, has not been seen for 9 years. The big point here, and it’s especially big in Europe – the elimination of the price discovery process has resulted in all countries paying lower rates of interest when they borrow.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>So come on and let me know</strong></span></p> <p>Which, to the average person may seem good. After all, paying lower rates of interest has to be a good thing. </p> <p>But it isn’t. </p> <p>Instead, the manipulation of the global yield curve has created an interest rate environment that has become so stretched, shredded and tattered – that even the slightest hint of an end to this financial nirvana is enough to send investors off the deep end. </p> <p>Case in point - over the last year, we’ve seen the most significant market reaction in the history of the bond world, not once but twice. Yet, the talking heads, the big banks and their mutual fund commentaries, and the stock market focused world have completely missed it. </p> <p>Almost a year ago in November immediately after the American Election, over a span of 54 hours – the bond market blew up. </p> <p>To put things into perspective, Chart 2 shows what happened during those fateful days. Ignoring the why’s, the how’s and the who’s – the fact remains that this tiny, miniscule increase in long-term interest rates caused the bond market to vomit over itself.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/10/21/ice%20chart%202.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/10/21/ice%20chart%202_0.jpg" width="500" height="313" /></a></p> <p>Yes, a +0.7% increase in the US 10-Year Treasury market yield created chaos, havoc and over $1.7 Trillion in losses around the world. </p> <p>We’ve spoken before how we had meetings the day after with the world’s largest bond manager and they described the previous few days as registering an 8 out of 10 on the holy smokes scale. Let that sink in. </p> <p><strong>This +0.7% increase in long-term rates caused this bond behemoth to go down for an 8-count. Folks – this is not reassuring.</strong></p> <p>* * * </p> <p><em>Much more in the full presentation below:</em></p> <p><iframe src="https://www.scribd.com/embeds/362309486/content?start_page=1&amp;view_mode=scroll&amp;access_key=key-tUg7nu3I9NjCZVp3tt8F&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="781" height="446" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/ice1.jpg?1508715105" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-22/icecap-asset-management-we-are-about-witness-financial-market-movement-lifetime#comments Bond Bond Business Central Banks Consumer Credit Corporate finance Donald Trump Economic bubble Economy Finance Financial markets Fixed income Futures contract Housing Bubble Housing Market laser Market Conditions Market Crash Money None North Korea Quantitative Easing Reality Risk Management Short Stock Stock market Yen Yield Curve Yield curve Mon, 23 Oct 2017 08:13:28 +0000 Tyler Durden 605787 at http://www.zerohedge.com West Eyes Recolonization Of Africa With Endless War; Removing Gaddafi Was First Step http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-22/west-eyes-recolonization-africa-endless-war-removing-gaddafi-was-first-step <p><a href="https://www.rt.com/op-edge/407332-gaddafi-west-sirte-recolonization/"><em>Authored by Dan Glazebrook via RT.com,</em></a></p> <div class="article__summary summary ">Exactly six years ago, on October 20th, 2011, Muammar Gaddafi was murdered,<strong><em> joining a long list of African revolutionaries martyred by the West for daring to dream of continental independence.</em></strong></div> <p>Earlier that day, Gaddafi&rsquo;s hometown of Sirte had been occupied by Western-backed militias, following a month-long battle during which NATO and its &lsquo;rebel&rsquo; allies pounded the city&rsquo;s hospitals and homes with artillery, cut off its water and electricity, and publicly proclaimed their <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/libya/8728752/Libya-crisis-Rebel-leaders-hoping-to-starve-Gaddafi-stronghold-of-Sirte-into-submission.html" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">desire to &lsquo;starve [the city] into submission&rsquo;</a>. The last defenders of the city, including Gaddafi, fled Sirte that morning, but their convoy was tracked and strafed by NATO jets, killing 95 people. Gaddafi escaped the wreckage but was captured shortly afterward. I will spare you the gruesome details, which the Western media <a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-otXNR9a4CKM/TqFjPVyKdOI/AAAAAAAAAyw/NXQVi_qAlTg/s1600/Gaddafi+in+UK+Media.jpg" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">gloatingly broadcast</a> across the world as a triumphant snuff movie, suffice to say that he was tortured and eventually shot dead.</p> <p>We now know, if testimony from NATO&rsquo;s key Libyan ally Mahmoud Jibril is to be believed, it was a foreign agent, likely French, who <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2210759/Gaddafi-killed-French-secret-serviceman-orders-Nicolas-Sarkozy-sources-claim.html" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">delivered the fatal bullet</a>. His death was the culmination of not only seven months of NATO aggression, but of a campaign against Gaddafi and his movement, <a href="https://www.amazon.co.uk/Destroying-Libya-World-Order-THree-Decade/dp/0985335378/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1508492423&amp;sr=1-2" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">the West had been waging for over three decades</a>.</p> <p><strong>Yet it was also the opening salvo in a new war - a war for the militarily recolonization of Africa.</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/10/22/20171022_africa.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/10/22/20171022_africa_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 303px;" /></a></p> <p><strong>The year 2009, two years before Gaddafi&rsquo;s murder, was a pivotal one for US-African relations. First, because China overtook the US as the continent&rsquo;s largest trading partner; and second because Gaddafi was elected president of the African Union.</strong></p> <p>The significance of both for the decline of US influence on the continent could not be clearer. While Gaddafi was spearheading <a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/8000761.stm" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">attempts to unite Africa politically</a>, committing <a href="https://www.modernghana.com/news/430695/1/africans-will-remember-gaddafi-for-one-important-a.html" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">serious amounts of Libyan oil wealth</a> to make this dream a reality, China was quietly smashing the West&rsquo;s monopoly over export markets and investment finance. Africa no longer had to go cap-in-hand to the IMF for loans, agreeing to whatever self-defeating terms were on offer, but could turn to China - <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-spain-politics-catalonia-election/spanish-government-aims-for-january-regional-elections-in-catalonia-psoe-idUSKBN1CP0SB" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">or indeed Libya</a> - for investment. And if the US threatened to cut them off from their markets, China would happily buy up whatever was on offer. Western economic domination of Africa was under threat as never before.</p> <p><strong>The response from the West, of course, was a military one. </strong>Economic dependence on the West - rapidly being shattered by Libya and China - would be replaced by a new military dependence. If African countries would no longer come begging for Western loans, export markets, and investment finance, they would have to be put in a position where they would come begging for Western military aid.</p> <p>To this end, AFRICOM - the US army&rsquo;s new &lsquo;African command&rsquo; - had been launched the previous year, but humiliatingly for George W. Bush, not a single African country would agree to host its HQ; instead, it was forced to open shop in Stuttgart, Germany. Gaddafi had led African opposition to AFRICOM, as exasperated US diplomatic memos later revealed by WikiLeaks made clear. And US pleas to African leaders to embrace AFRICOM in the &lsquo;fight against terrorism&rsquo; fell on deaf ears.</p> <p>After all, as Mutassim Gaddafi, head of Libyan security, had explained to Hillary Clinton in 2009, North Africa already had an effective security system in place, through the African Union&rsquo;s &lsquo;standby forces,&#39; on the one hand, and CEN-SAD on the other. CEN-SAD was a regional security organization of Sahel and Saharan states, with a well-functioning security system, with Libya as the lynchpin. The sophisticated Libyan-led counter-terror structure meant there was simply no need for a US military presence. The job of Western planners, then, was to create such a need.</p> <p><u><strong>NATO&rsquo;s destruction of Libya simultaneously achieved three strategic goals for the West&rsquo;s plans for military expansion in Africa. </strong></u>Most obviously, it removed the biggest obstacle and opponent of such expansion, Gaddafi himself. With Gaddafi gone, and with a quiescent pro-NATO puppet government in charge of Libya, there was no longer any chance that Libya would act as a powerful force against Western militarism. Quite the contrary - Libya&rsquo;s new government was utterly dependent on such militarism and knew it.<br />Secondly, NATO&rsquo;s aggression served to bring about a total collapse of the delicate but effective North African security system, which had been underpinned by Libya. And finally, NATO&rsquo;s annihilation of the Libyan state effectively turned the country over to the region&rsquo;s death squads and terror groups. These groups were then able to loot Libya&rsquo;s military arsenals and set up training camps at their leisure, using these to expand operations right across the region.</p> <p><strong>It is no coincidence that almost all of the recent terror attacks in North Africa - not to mention Manchester - have been either prepared in Libya or perpetrated by fighters trained in Libya. </strong>Boko Haram, Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, ISIS, Mali&rsquo;s Ansar Dine, and literally dozens of others, have all <a href="http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/how-the-wests-war-on-libya-boosted-boko-haram/15009#.WenUWUuGPEY" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">greatly benefited from the destruction of Libya</a>.</p> <p><strong>By ensuring the spread of terror groups across the region, the Western powers had magically created a demand for their military assistance which hitherto did not exist. They had literally created a <a href="http://www.middleeasteye.net/columns/western-foreign-policy-protection-racket-2036865486" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">protection racket</a> for Africa.</strong></p> <p>In an excellent piece of research published last year, Nick Turse wrote how the increase in AFRICOM operations across the continent has correlated precisely with the rise in terror threats. Its growth, he said, has been accompanied by &ldquo;increasing numbers of lethal terror attacks across the continent including those in Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d&rsquo;Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, and Tunisia.</p> <p>In fact, data from the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism at the University of Maryland shows that attacks have spiked over the last decade, roughly coinciding with AFRICOM&rsquo;s establishment. In 2007, just before it became an independent command, there were fewer than 400 such incidents annually in sub-Saharan Africa. Last year, the number reached nearly 2,000. By AFRICOM&rsquo;s own official standards, of course, this is a demonstration of a massive failure. Viewed from the perspective of the protection racket, however, it is a resounding success, with US military power smoothly reproducing the conditions for its own expansion.</p> <p><u><strong>This is the Africa policy Trump has now inherited</strong></u>. But because this policy has rarely been understood as the protection racket it really is, many commentators have, as with so many of Trump&rsquo;s policies, mistakenly believed he is somehow &lsquo;ignoring&rsquo; or &lsquo;reversing&rsquo; the approach of his predecessors. In fact, far from abandoning this approach, Trump is escalating it with relish.</p> <p><strong>What the Trump administration is doing, as it is doing in pretty much every policy area, is stripping the previous policy of its &lsquo;soft power&rsquo; niceties to reveal and extend the iron fist which has in fact been in the driving seat all along.</strong> Trump, with his <a href="https://www.usnews.com/news/best-countries/articles/2017-07-18/the-us-is-losing-the-battle-for-influence-in-africa" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">open disdain for Africa</a>, has effectively ended US development aid for Africa - slashing overall African aid levels by one third, and transferring responsibility for much of the rest from the Agency for International Development to the Pentagon - while openly tying aid to the advancement of <em>&ldquo;US national security objectives.&rdquo;</em></p> <p>In other words, <u><strong>the US has made a strategic decision to drop the carrot in favor of the stick. </strong></u>Given the overwhelming superiority of Chinese development assistance, this is unsurprising. The US has decided to stop trying to compete in this area, and instead to ruthlessly and unambiguously pursue the military approach which the Bush and Obama administrations had already mapped out.</p> <p>To this end, Trump has stepped up drone attacks, <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/17/somalia-bomber-was-ex-solider-whose-town-was-raided-by-us-forces" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">removing the (limited) restrictions</a> that had been in place during the Obama era. The result has been a ramping up of civilian casualties, and consequently of the resentment and hatred which fuels militant recruitment. It is unlikely to be a coincidence, for example, that the al Shabaab truck bombing that killed over 300 people in Mogadishu last weekend was <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/17/somalia-bomber-was-ex-solider-whose-town-was-raided-by-us-forces" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">carried out</a> by a man from a town in which had suffered a major drone attack on civilians, including women and children, in August.</p> <p>Indeed, a detailed study by the United Nations recently concluded that in <em>&ldquo;a majority of cases, state action appears to be the primary factor finally pushing individuals into violent extremism in Africa.&rdquo;</em> Of more than 500 former members of militant organizations interviewed for the report, 71 percent pointed to <em>&ldquo;government action,&rdquo;</em> including <em>&ldquo;killing of a family member or friend&rdquo;</em> or <em>&ldquo;arrest of a family member or friend&rdquo;</em> as the incident that prompted them to join a group. And so the cycle continues: drone attacks breed recruitment, which produces further terror attacks, which leaves the states involved more dependent on US military support. Thus does the West create the demand for its own &lsquo;products.&#39;</p> <p>It does so in another way as well. Alexander Cockburn, in his book &lsquo;Kill Chain,&#39; explains <strong>how the policy of &lsquo;targeted killings&rsquo; - another Obama policy ramped up under Trump - also increases the militancy of insurgent groups.</strong> Cockburn, reporting on a discussion with US soldiers about the efficacy of targeted killings, wrote that:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em>&ldquo;When the topic of conversation came round to ways of defeating the [roadside] bombs, everyone was in agreement. They would have charts up on the wall showing the insurgent cells they were facing, often with the names and pictures of the guys running them,&quot;</em> Rivolo remembers. <em>&quot;When we asked about going after the high-value individuals and what effect it was having, they&rsquo;d say, &lsquo;Oh yeah, we killed that guy last month, and we&rsquo;re getting more IEDs than ever.&rsquo; They all said the same thing, point blank: &lsquo;[O]nce you knock them off, a day later you have a new guy who&rsquo;s smarter, younger, more aggressive and is out for revenge.&rdquo;&rsquo;</em></p> </blockquote> <p><a href="http://bostonreview.net/blog/alex-de-waal-assassinating-terrorists-does-not-work" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Alex de Waal has written how this is certainly true in Somalia</a>, where, he says, <em>&ldquo;each dead leader is followed by a more radical deputy. After a failed attempt in January 2007, the US killed Al Shabaab&rsquo;s commander, Aden Hashi Farah Ayro, in a May 2008 air strike. Ayro&rsquo;s successor, Ahmed Abdi Godane (alias Mukhtar Abu Zubair), was worse, affiliating the organization with Al-Qaeda. The US succeeded in assassinating Godane in September 2014. In turn, Godane was succeeded by an even more determined extremist, Ahmad Omar (Abu Ubaidah). It was presumably Omar who ordered the recent attack in Mogadishu, the worst in the country&rsquo;s recent history. <strong>If targeted killing remains a central strategy of the War on Terror&rdquo;</strong></em><strong>, De Waal wrote, <em>&ldquo;it is set to be an endless war.&rdquo;</em></strong></p> <p><strong>But endless war is the whole point.</strong> For not only does it force African countries, finally freeing themselves from dependence on the IMF, into dependence on AFRICOM; <strong>it also undermines China&rsquo;s blossoming relationship with Africa.</strong></p> <p><strong>Chinese trade and investment in Africa continues to grow apace. </strong>According to the <a href="http://www.sais-cari.org/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">China-Africa Research Initiative</a> at John Hopkins University, Chinese FDI stocks in Africa had risen from just two percent of the value of US stocks in 2003 to 55 percent in 2015, when they totaled $35 billion. This proportion is likely to rapidly increase, given that <em>&ldquo;Between 2009 and 2012, China&rsquo;s direct investment in Africa grew at an annual rate of 20.5 percent, while levels of US FDI flows to Africa declined by $8 billion in the wake of the global financial crisis&rdquo;</em>. <strong>Chinese-African trade, meanwhile, topped $200 billion in 2015.</strong></p> <p>China&rsquo;s signature &lsquo;One Belt One Road&rsquo; policy - to which President Xi Jinping has pledged <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-silkroad-africa/china-pledges-124-billion-for-new-silk-road-as-champion-of-globalization-idUSKBN18A02I" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">$124 billion</a> to create global trade routes designed to facilitate $2 trillion worth of annual trade - will also help to improve African links with China. Trump&rsquo;s policy toward the project was <a href="https://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21727089-donald-trumps-adviser-has-gone-his-ideas-stick-around-future-bannonism" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">summarised by Steve Bannon</a>, his ideological mentor, and former chief strategist in just eight words:<strong><em> &ldquo;Let&rsquo;s go screw up One Belt One Road.&rdquo;</em></strong></p> <p><em><strong>The West&rsquo;s deeply destabilizing Africa policy - of simultaneously creating the conditions for armed groups to thrive while offering protection against them - goes some way toward realizing this ambitious goal. Removing Gaddafi was just the first step.</strong></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="790" height="399" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20171022_africa.jpg?1508725673" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-22/west-eyes-recolonization-africa-endless-war-removing-gaddafi-was-first-step#comments Africa African Union Agency for International Development al-Qaeda China Gaddafi family Germany Government Gulf of Sidra International Monetary Fund John Hopkins University Muammar Gaddafi national security North Africa North Atlantic Treaty Organization Pentagon Politics Politics Reality Sirte Somalia South Sudan Sub-Saharan Africa Testimony Tripolitania Trump Administration United Nations United States Army University of Maryland War Mon, 23 Oct 2017 07:30:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 605792 at http://www.zerohedge.com