en The Real Non-PC Reason We Celebrate Thanksgiving <p><a href=""><em>Submitted by Judy Thommesen via The Mises Institute,</em></a><em>&nbsp;</em></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em>[Every year at Thanksgiving-time I resurrect a column written by a fellow teacher, Kent Dillon, about the real reason we celebrate this holiday.<strong> It is a story no longer told in the textbooks because it is thoroughly unPC, and undermines the idea that government is the solver of all problems. </strong>We were teachers, as well as part of the crew, at The Flint School, a private, academic boarding school aboard two large sailing ships, and we used the world as a campus. Kent wrote this for the students&rsquo; parents 45 years ago, so they would know what their children were learning and experiencing.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Thanksgiving Day was a special day aboard the ships and we actively celebrated it as the birth of private property and the demise of collectivism. Our celebration wasn&rsquo;t one of sleeping in or playing games with each other. We celebrated by working a specific task until completed, and then, when tired and hungry, we sat down to a huge feast of fresh cooked turkey, dressing, pumpkin pie, and shared camaraderie.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Even now in 2015, I can tell you that those Thanksgiving Day dinners of turkey, pies, and all the trimmings, after a day of meaningful labor, are still the tastiest I have ever eaten. </em>]</p> </blockquote> <div class="body-content"> <h4><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Thanksgiving Celebrated as the Birthday of Free Enterprise</span></h4> <p><em>By Kent Dillon</em></p> <p><strong>The celebration of Thanksgiving is a celebration of plenty and appreciation of the abundance that has characterized the free enterprise, individualistic, capitalistic systems of the US. </strong>This why America grew into the most productive, highest standard of living area in the world. The Pilgrims had arrived in what is now Provincetown, Mass., on November 11, 1620, but it was late in December before they finally settled in Plymouth. In the words of Gov. Bradford,</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>that which was most sad and lamentable was, that in 2 or 3 months time half of their company died, especially in January and February, being the depth of winter, and wanting houses and other comforts; being infected with the scurvy and other diseases, so as there died sometimes 2 or 3 of a day, in the aforesaid time; that of 100 and odd persons, scarce 50 remained.</p> </blockquote> <p>They spent their first winter building houses so that they could move off the <em>Mayflower</em> and by March all settlers had left the ship.</p> <p>Scurvy and fever had taken their toll, as by then 15 of 18 wives had died as well as 19 of 29 hired men and servants and half of the 30 sailors. When the <em>Mayflower</em> departed she left 23 children and 27 adults behind, but not one Pilgrim returned to England.</p> <p>The Pilgrims had placed all their food and provisions in what they called the &ldquo;common store&rdquo; which was set up on the socialist principle of &ldquo;From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.&rdquo;</p> <p>As spring came they began to farm and by October took in their first harvest which went to the common store. It was a time to be thankful for their very survival. They had spent 67 days on the Atlantic with 132 people aboard a ship that was 128 ft. long, and survived to establish themselves and reap a harvest.</p> <p>In November of 1621 the ship <em>Fortune</em> arrived with more than 30 new settlers, mostly young men. They apparently brought &ldquo;not so much as a bisket-cake&rdquo; with them, thus providing another drain on the common store for the coming winter. The future looked bleak as food supplies ran out and the &ldquo;planned socialist&rdquo; community began to starve again. The common store was practiced for a second year. The harvest was poor in spite of the added manpower and the colonists starved in the ensuing winter dramatically demonstrating once again that collective ownership in a socialist economy was unworkable and could not keep them alive.</p> <p>Richard Grant in <em>The Incredible Bread Machine</em> writes,</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p class="indent1">The experience of the first Plymouth colony provides eloquent testimony to the unworkability of collective ownership of property. In his history of the Plymouth colony Governor Bradford described how the Pilgrims farmed the land in common, with the produce going into a common storehouse. For two years the Pilgrims faithfully practiced communal ownership of the means of production. And for two years nearly starved to death, rationed at times to &ldquo;but a quarter of a pound of bread a day to each person.&rdquo; Governor Bradford wrote that &ldquo;famine must still ensue the next year also if not some way prevented.&rdquo; He described how the colonists finally decided to introduce the institution of private property:</p> <p class="indent1">&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;[The colonists] began to think how they might raise as much corn as they could, and obtain a better crop than they had done, that they might not still thus languish in misery. [In 1623] after much debate of things, the Gov. (with the advice of the chiefest amongst them) gave way that they should set down every man for his own &hellip; and to trust themselves ... so assigned to every family a parcel of land. This had very good success; for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been by any means the Gov. or any other could use, &hellip; and gave far better content. The women now went willingly into the field, and took their little-ones with them to set corn, which before would allege weakness, and inability; whom to have compelled would have been thought great tyranny and oppression.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p class="indent1">Reflecting on the experience of the previous two years, Bradford goes on to describe the folly of communal ownership:</p> <p class="indent1">&nbsp;</p> <p class="indent1">&ldquo;The experience that was had in this common course and condition, tried sundry years, and that amongst godly and sober men, may well evince the vanity of that conceit of Platos and other ancients, applauded by some of later times; &mdash; that the taking away of property, and bringing in community into a common wealth would make them happy and flourishing; as if they were wiser than God. For this community (so far as it was) was found to breed much confusion and discontent, and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort. For the young-men that were most able and fit for labor and service did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men&rsquo;s wives and children, without any recompense. The strong, or man of parts, had no more in division of victuals and cloths, than he that was weak and not able to do a quarter the other could; this was thought injustice&hellip;&rdquo;</p> <p class="indent1">&nbsp;</p> <p class="indent1">The Colonists learned about &ldquo;the wave of the future&rdquo; the hard way. However, once having discovered the principle of private property, the results were dramatic. Bradford continues:</p> <p class="indent1">&nbsp;</p> <p class="indent1">&ldquo;By this time harvest was come, and instead of famine, now God gave them plenty, and the face of things was changed, to the rejoicing of the hearts of many, for which they blessed God. And in the effect of their particular [private] planting was well seen, for all had, one way and other, pretty well to bring the year about, and some of the abler sort and more industrious had to spare, and sell to others.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p>The Jamestown colony in Virginia had similar experiences as they started under the same rules:</p> <ol> <li>&nbsp;They were to own nothing.</li> <li>&nbsp;They were to receive only as much food and clothing as they needed.</li> <li>&nbsp;Everything that the men secured from trade or produced from the land had to go into the common storehouse.</li> </ol> <p>Of the 104 men that started the Jamestown colony in 1607 only 38 survived the first year and even those had to be marched to the fields &ldquo;to the beat of a drum&rdquo; simply to grow food to keep them alive in the next year. Captain John Smith writes after the common store concept was abandoned:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>When our people were fed out of the common store, and labored jointly together, glad was he could slip from his labor, or slumber over his task he cared not how, nay, the most honest among them would hardly take so much true pains in a week, as now for themselves they will do in a day. &hellip; We reaped not so much corn from the labors of thirty, as now three or four do provide for themselves.</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>The Thanksgiving we celebrate is for the success of the Pilgrims after establishing property rights and free enterprise as that event laid the foundation for the growth of America.</strong></p> <p>Were our Pilgrim and Jamestown colony forefathers to wake up from the dead and look at the graduated taxation (from each according to his ability) and welfare programs (to each according to his need) we have today they might offer us a lesson in history by simply quoting Goethe, &ldquo;Those who do not learn from the lessons of history are doomed to relive them.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>No longer do the textbooks mention the effects of the common store and the continued starvation until the system of free enterprise and private property was established.</strong> Don&rsquo;t you wonder why the idea of the Great American Experiment is a forgotten concept? And why the writings of de Tocqueville are a &ldquo;forgotten analysis&rdquo; in today&rsquo;s education? As Americana moves into the &ldquo;planned socialist economy,&rdquo; those who have moved our country in that direction have made sure that the early lessons of the &ldquo;police state&rdquo; force needed to maintain Jamestown&rsquo;s social plan (Captain John Smith&rsquo;s guns) and of the starvation and death that resulted from the lack of motivation inspired by the &ldquo;common storehouse&rdquo; have been eliminated from our children&rsquo;s instruction.</p> <p>Thanksgiving isn&rsquo;t just a break from work, a time to stuff ourselves with turkey, dressing, and pumpkin pie, <strong>it is a time to remember the <em>true</em> significance of the holiday, and pass on the lessons from our forefathers to our children who won&rsquo;t learn these lessons in school, and thus must learn them elsewhere.</strong></p> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="259" height="214" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Mises Institute Testimony Turkey Thu, 26 Nov 2015 14:30:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 517093 at Oil Jobs Lost: 250,000 And Counting, Texas Likely To See Massive Layoffs Soon <p><em>Submitted by Charles Kennedy of <a href="">OilPrice</a></em><a href=""></a></p> <p>Crude oil just capped off a third straight week of declines, as WTI nears the $40 per barrel threshold. Goldman Sachs is once again raising the possibility of oil dipping into the $20s per barrel.</p> <p>That spells more pain for the energy sector. Many companies have already slashed spending and culled their payrolls, but the total number of job losses continues to climb.</p> <p>According to Graves &amp; Co., an industry consultant, oil and gas companies have laid off more than 250,000 workers around the world, a tally that will rise if oil prices remain in the dumps.</p> <p>“I was surprised it’s gotten this far,” Graves &amp; Co.’s John Graves told <a href="">Bloomberg </a>in an interview. In an eye-catching statistic that highlights who exactly is bearing the brunt of the downturn, Graves says that oilfield service companies account for 79 percent of the job losses.</p> <p>Still, upstream E&amp;P companies are also being substantially squeezed by another plunge in oil prices. According to an <a href="">analysis </a>by the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers, a new round of layoffs could be underway in Texas, for example. The Texas Alliance predicted that the first drop in oil prices last year would lead to 40,000 to 50,000 layoffs in Texas. But the renewed drop since the end of the summer could force many more cuts. Right now, the group is putting a conservative estimate at 56,000 job cuts so far, but they say the real tally is probably higher.</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="639" /></a></p> <p>Beyond oilfield services and E&amp;Ps are not the only ones feeling the heat. Pipeline companies are also starting to lay off workers as well. Last week Enbridge <a href="">confirmed </a>that it was laying off 500 workers and leaving 100 positions unfilled, according to the Financial Post. The job losses account for about 5 percent of Enbridge’s North American workforce.</p> <p>Fellow Canadian pipeline company TransCanada says that it will be issuing pink slips as well. While TransCanada confirmed that it would cut payroll, it declined to put an exact number on how many people would lose their jobs. TransCanada, reeling from the rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline, is struggling to get several major pipeline projects through the permitting phase, although it just won the <a href="">go-ahead </a>to build a large natural gas pipeline in Mexico.</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="836" height="890" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Crude Crude Oil goldman sachs Goldman Sachs Mexico Natural Gas Thu, 26 Nov 2015 13:55:33 +0000 Tyler Durden 517092 at "The Redcoats Are Coming!" Britain Moves Closer To Launching Anti-ISIS Airstrikes In Syria <p>Now that France has officially joined the party in Syria in an effort to avenge the 130 people who lost their lives in Islamic State’s brazen assault on Paris, the odds of World War III have increased exponentially.&nbsp;</p> <p>Sure, The Kremlin has for now instructed the military to treat the French as “allies” and for the time being, Moscow’s pilots are writing “<em>For Paris</em>” on bombs, but as Tuesday’s “incident” between Turkish F-16s and a Russian Su-24 makes clear, <strong>crowded skies are dangerous skies, especially when there’s a significant amount of ambiguity surrounding what everyone is up to in Syria on a day to day basis.&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>Now that Russia <a href="">has deployed</a> the S-400s to Latakia and placed the Moskva guided missile cruiser equipped with S-300-like systems off the coast, anything that even looks like a threat to Russia’s air force will be “destroyed” and that, as <a href="">WaPo noted</a> on Wednesday, <strong>“has the potential to create headaches for Turkish and other aircraft in a U.S.-led coalition that are carrying out a separate airstrike campaign in Syria."</strong></p> <p><strong><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="417" /></a></strong></p> <p><strong><img src="" width="600" height="430" /><br /></strong></p> <p>So, to the extent that the Paris attacks served to thaw tensions between Russia and the West, <strong>Turkey’s decision to shoot down an Su-24 means it was one step forward and two steps back.&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>Now, it appears the already crowded playing field is about to get more cramped as David Cameron, following up on comments made during meetings with Francois Hollande, <strong>is pushing British lawmakers to approve RAF strikes on ISIS.</strong> As <a href="">Reuters reports</a>, <strong>the PM “told lawmakers on Thursday it was time to join air strikes against Islamic State militants in Syria, saying Britain cannot ‘subcontract its security to other countries’”.</strong></p> <p>This is the second time Cameron has sought Parliament’s approval for strikes in Syria. He lost a vote in 2013.&nbsp;</p> <p>This time around, the stakes are higher and the circumstances have changed. ISIS has proven resilient thanks in no small part to, i) what looks like a <a href="">deliberate effort</a> on the part of The Pentagon to avoid hitting Islamic State’s oil convoys, ii) the CIA’s continued support for the various rebel groups that have, for the better part of five years, ensured that the country remains completely unstable, and iii) support from Turkey, the Saudis, and Qatar.&nbsp;</p> <p>"It is wrong for the United Kingdom to expect the aircrews of other nations to carry the burdens and the risks of striking ISIL in Syria to stop terrorism here in Britain," Cameron said.&nbsp;</p> <p>In a testament to how close Britain is to joining the fray, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn will reportedly not use a party whip to influence MP’s decisions. "In these sort of issues of conscience it is better to allow MPs to make their own minds up," John McDonnell told BBC.</p> <p>"I don't think this is a country that lets others like the French or the Americans defend our interests and protect us from terrorist organizations - we should contribute to that effort,” Finance minister George Osborne added, underscoring the perception that Britain’s military prowess is but a shadow of what it once was.&nbsp;</p> <p>Cameron played down the idea that striking ISIS in Raqqa would increase the extent to which the group targets Britain. "He told MPs <strong>the UK was already a target for IS</strong> - and the only way to deal with that was to 'take action' now," <a href="">BBC reports</a>, adding that The Foreign Affairs Committee has said they'll be "no military intervention without a "coherent international strategy" on tackling IS and ending Syria's civil war."</p> <p>Yeah, well good luck on that. There are two "strategies", one pursued by Russia and Iran, and the other by the US, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar. Moscow and Tehran will simply destroy anyone and everyone battling the Assad government and that includes ISIS, while the US and its regional allies will continue to fund the FSA and, indirectly al-Qaeda while covertly doing what they can to ensure that strikes against ISIS don't cripple the group's ability to remain operational and effective in Syria and Iraq. France, frankly, is just flying around aimlessly dropping bombs wherever the US tells it to which is precisely what the UK will end up doing should they decide to get involved directly.</p> <p>The problem here is that France and Britain are just bolt-on air forces. Unless and until the US decides to drop its support for the programs and countries that are arming and financing the FSA, al-Nusra, and ISIS, adding more planes will do nothing to aid in the fight against terror and will only make the airspace more crowded, making it even more difficult for the Russians to determine who is who and which planes represent a threat and which ones don't.&nbsp;</p> <p>Finally, note that the tensions between Turkey and Russia will make the ongoing discussions in Vienna unbearable for Moscow and Ankara which means that any "progress" on a "political solution" probably crashed and burned with the Su-24 that went down near the Turkish border on Tuesday.</p> <p>* &nbsp;* &nbsp;*&nbsp;</p> <p>Meanwhile, in Aleppo...</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en"><a href="">#Russian</a>-made T-90 equipped with active Shtora anti-missile system seen in Aleppo <a href="">#Syria</a> <a href=""></a></p> <p>— Michael Horowitz (@michaelh992) <a href="">November 26, 2015</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="601" height="359" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> France Iran Iraq Reuters Saudi Arabia Turkey Twitter Twitter United Kingdom Thu, 26 Nov 2015 13:24:29 +0000 Tyler Durden 517091 at Global Stocks Rise; US Traders Gives Thanks For Higher Equity Futures <p>While US floor markets are closed for the Thanksgiving holiday (equity, rates and energy futures are open until 1pm Eastern), Europe and Asia (as well as US equity futures) were busy rebounding overnight on strength in the commodity complex following yesterday's news that China's metals producers have asked for a wholesale government bailout or the "<a href="">QEmmodity</a>" as we have dubbed it, for the first time since 2009, which together with news that China would soon start arresting "malicious metal sellers" has provided a push for commodity prices across the board.</p> <p>Even if China does bailout its metals producers, some wonder if it is worth it: "Any policy support from the government and smelters, including the reported investigation on short-selling, subsidies to smelters or joint production cuts, will be short-lived forces and won’t change the bigger picture of a market glut. Prices may be impacted temporarily" said Qi Ding, Beijing-based analyst at Essence Securities</p> <p>Carrying over the Asian momentum, Europe’s Stoxx 600 is up 0.83% with autos, primarily Volkswagen, and basic resources outperforming, real estate and media sectors underperforming. Copper, nickel, zinc gain as China’s suppliers plan to meet this week to weigh response to price rout pushing copper and aluminum up by 2.2% and 1.5% respectively. Oil halts gain after three days. </p> <p>The Euro remains near 7-month low vs dollar as investors speculate about the ECB's potential stimulus expansion next Thursday, and whether one will even come now that the EUR is where Draghi wants it to be without having done a single thing.</p> <p>The rest of the day will be fairly light in terms of data, however highlights will come in the form of potential comments from ECB's Linde and Visco.</p> <p><strong>Market Wrap:</strong></p> <ul> <li>DJIA Futs +62 to 17,864, +0.37%</li> <li>S&amp;P Futs +9.75 to 2.098, +0.47%</li> <li>10 Year 2.23%, Unch</li> <li>Stoxx 50 +41.30 to 3,503, +1.19%</li> <li>Stoxx 600 +3.19 to 384, +0.84%</li> <li>FTSE +42.96 to 6,380, +0.68%</li> <li>DAX +174.77 to 11,344, +1.56%</li> <li>Nikkei + 96.83 to 19,944; +0.49%</li> <li>Shanghai Composite -12.38 to 3,635, - 0.34%</li> <li>HSI -9.06 to 22,488, -0.04%</li> <li>EURUSD 1.0615, -0.14%</li> <li>USDJPY 122.56, -0.12%</li> <li>Nymex Crude -0.10 to $42.94, -0.23%</li> <li>Brent -0.44 to $45.73, - 0.95%</li> <li>Copper +4.45 to 209.35, +2.17%</li> <li>Aluminum +21.50 to 1,481, +1.47%</li> </ul> <p>Looking at regional markets, Asian stocks tracked their global counterparts higher following further speculation of easing by the ECB. This supported the ASX 200 (+0.3%) and Nikkei 225 (+0.5%) with gains in the latter capped by a stronger JPY. There were reports that Apple are to introduce OLED displays in iPhones which saw the KOSPI (+1.1%) index outperform amid gains in LG and Samsung Electronics, as Co.'s are expected to be suppliers of the OLED screen. Shanghai Comp. (-0.3%) was lifted by materials following the rally in prices however later came off highs, while Hang Seng (0.0%) was bolstered by energy stocks after energy giant PetroChina said it will consolidate its Kunlun units, but weakened as European participants came to market. 10yr JGBs tracked the gains in bunds and USTs on the back of the aforementioned ECB speculation, while the BoJ also entered the market to purchase JPY 780b1n government bonds.</p> <p>In Europe, equities have spent the morning is positive territory with volumes across asset classes expected to be light today. Euro Stoxx (+0.9%) have benefitted from strength in material names this morning, while Volkswagen (+3.7%) has led the DAX to outperform (+1.2%) after reports overnight that California have told the Co to assembler recall plans, with hopes being that the fix could be relatively simple compared to first thought and could cost EUR 500m1n, as oppose to the originally provisioned EUR 6.7bln.</p> <p>Amid the light volumes, fixed income markets have been relatively subdued with Bunds flat on the day. Of note, Goldman Sachs forecast USD 2.48bln of equities for sale for Nov after equities outperformed fixed income, with the S&amp;P 500 outperforming U.S. T-notes by +1.52%.</p> <p>FX markets see USD reside in positive territory (+0.1%) amid light fundament news behind the move higher, with the strength weighing on the likes of EUR and GBP , with the former residing around the 1.0600 level and the latter breaking below the 1.5100 level.</p> <p>In commodities, WTI has come off highs reached yesterday, after DoE inventories showed a weaker than expected build (W/W 961 K vs. Exp. 1000K Prey. 252K). Brent is a notable laggard today, underperforming WTI after comments from Libya's NOC suggesting that the situation is better in regards to reopening the El Sharara oil fields. Elsewhere, NatGas has slid in recent trade, as EIA showed stockpiles rising for the 34th consecutive week, with mild weather predicted in the US over the holiday. In early European trade, the USD has seen some mild strength, forcing gold to come off best levels, the yellow metal now trading flat in the session. In China base metals were bid, amid speculation of possible production cuts and reports of a probe into malicious short-sales at Chinese metal exchanges. However copper and other base metals have come off highs overnight, having been weighed by the firmer USD. Iran have boosted the terms of 50 oil and gas contracts, with some potential contracts now extended to 20 years in order to get majors to invest USD 100bIn in projects. </p> <p>And just as China crushed its equity market, so it will do the same for commodities next: Bloomberg reports that China regulators said to investigate <strong>malicious short sellers </strong>at metal exchanges, according to sources. </p> <p>As mentioned, the rest of the day will be fairly light in terms of data, however highlights will come in the form of potential comments from ECB's Linde and Visco.</p> <p><strong>As is customary, we conclude with a wrap by DB's Jim Reid</strong></p> <p>The most notable price action in markets over the last 24 hours was the sharp reversal across risk assets in Europe, as fears of a potential escalation following the Russia fighter jet incident subsided as world leaders tried to calm matters. The Stoxx 600 (+1.38%) closed up near its highs for the session to wipe out Tuesday’s losses, while the Dax finished up a solid +2.15%. The performance in European credit, while tighter, was a bit less impressive with Xover closing the session just the 4bps tighter. The bigger news in credit though involved the headlines on Spanish renewable group and European HY issuer Abengoa after insolvency concerns escalated with the company forced to seek creditor protection (more on that shortly).</p> <p>Meanwhile, in the final session before Thanksgiving in the US, the S&amp;P 500 failed to hold onto very modest gains for most of the session, falling a couple of points into the close which was enough for the index to close -0.01% and just in the red. Unsurprisingly volumes were very light and some 30% below average, while the 7pt range for the index intraday was the second smallest this year. In the oil space, despite more bearish US stockpile data, WTI roared back off the day’s lows (3.5% swing) in the afternoon to finish up +0.40% and back above $43, closing higher for the second consecutive day for the first time since the end of October.<br />The main focus in the US yesterday was the bumper set of data released before Thanksgiving, which all-in-all was a bit of a mixed bag. Before we review that, it’s been a pretty decent start for markets in Asia this morning, seemingly supported by that rally back off the lows in Oil yesterday. There’s been decent gains for the Nikkei (+0.55%), Hang Seng (+0.76%), Kospi (+0.91%) and ASX (+0.33%), while in China it’s been a bit more of a choppy start there but the Shanghai Comp is currently +0.46%. The positive tone is being reflected in credit indices this morning where markets are generally a basis point or two tighter.</p> <p>Back to that US data. There was a positive take away from the latest preliminary October durable goods orders which, boosted by aircraft orders, were up a sharp +3.0% mom (vs. +1.7% expected) with the ex-transportation also up a better than expected +0.5% mom (vs. +0.3% expected). Impressive also were core capex orders which were up sharply last month (+1.3% mom vs. +0.2% expected), with September revised up seven-tenths to a +0.4% gain. Last month was the biggest monthly gain in 3 months, driven in particular by higher orders for machinery and computers. Meanwhile, last month’s personal income reading was up +0.4% which has now helped to lift the savings rate to 5.6% which is the highest since December 2012. Personal spending (+0.1% mom vs. +0.3% expected) was a bit lower than expected. It was hard to get too excited about the latest inflation data where the October PCE deflator printed at +0.1% mom last month and a tenth below expectations, keeping the YoY rate unchanged at +0.2%. The PCE core was also a tenth below expectations at 0.0% mom, which kept the YoY rate at +1.3%.</p> <p>Elsewhere, new home sales were up a solid +10.7% mom (+6.8% expected) clip in October, although the steep fall in September was revised lower still. The September FHFA house price index was up +0.8% mom (vs. +0.4% expected). Initial jobless claims were down 12k last week to 260k and near the recent lows. The flash November services PMI was up a robust 1.7pts to 56.5 (vs. 55.1 expected) which, along with the manufacturing print, helped nudge the composite up 1.1pts this month to 56.1 which would be the highest since April if it stays there. Finally the last read of the University of Michigan consumer sentiment number for November was revised down 1.8pts to 91.3 but still a bit higher than that seen in October and September. The 1y and 5-10y inflation expectations were revised up however, by two-tenths and one-tenth to 2.7% and 2.6% respectively.</p> <p>Accounting for the latest personal income and PCE data, the Atlanta Fed GDPNow model downgraded its forecast for Q4 GDP in the US to 1.8% from 2.3%. The bumper set of releases did little to nudge Fed Funds expectations however with the probability of a December move sitting at 72% which is a tad lower than the 74% we were at 24 hours ago.</p> <p>Back to that Abengoa news. The company’s share price closed over 50% lower yesterday, while its bonds due in March next year (which total €500m) tumbled to a record low 22c from 64c the day prior and as high as 94c earlier this month after a potential white knight backed away from a rescue and injection of funds into the cash-stricken group, raising the prospect of what looks set to be a messy restructuring ahead. The company has taken the decision to seek preliminary protection from lenders as a result and based on Spanish law has up to four months to find a solution with creditors. In the event that no such agreement is reached, insolvency proceedings will commence. Significantly, both Bloomberg and Reuters are highlighting that a bankruptcy by the company could be the largest on record in Spain. It’s worth putting this into perspective relative to the European HY market also. The company has just shy of €9bn of debt and four bonds which are in the Bloomberg Euro HY corporate bond index, making up 0.65% of the overall index. So not a huge amount but at the same time not insignificant and the wider implications are how this would test the overall tone for the HY market. It of course comes at a time where we’ve seen a couple of recent deals pulled in credit markets recently and sparked a bit of concern around the fragility into year end. So one to keep an eye on. It’s also worth noting that the group has a number of other Euro and US bonds outstanding, so may well occupy a bigger percentage in other indices.</p> <p>Elsewhere yesterday, European sovereign bond yields edged lower as 10y Bund yields in particular closed just shy of 5bps lower at 0.470%, while 2y Bunds (-3.9bps) extended their move deeper into negative territory at -0.424% with the one week countdown now on until the ECB meeting. The ECB’s Constancio reiterated that no decision has been made on possible QE expansion yet and that ‘it will be a totally independent decision based on data and information’ but that it ‘will not by itself change dramatically the environment because we have been in this environment of very accommodative policy for long’.</p> <p>With Thanksgiving Day in the US today it’s an unsurprisingly quiet calendar for us today with markets across the pond closed. In Europe the only data of note is the ECB’s credit and money aggregates for October, German consumer confidence and some jobseeker numbers out of France..</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="415" height="325" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Apple Bond China Consumer Confidence Consumer Sentiment Copper Creditors Crude Eastern Europe fixed France goldman sachs Goldman Sachs headlines Initial Jobless Claims Iran Jim Reid Michigan New Home Sales Nikkei NYMEX Personal Income Price Action Real estate Reuters Savings Rate University Of Michigan Volkswagen Thu, 26 Nov 2015 12:43:05 +0000 Tyler Durden 517090 at OFFICIAL RELEASE: World Silver Deficits –12 Years Running <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h1 style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0.25em; padding: 0px; font-size: 24px; font-weight: normal; line-height: 1.15; font-family: Roboto, sans-serif; max-width: 90%;"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em><strong><a href="">OFFICIAL RELEASE: World Silver Deficits –12 Years Running&nbsp;</a></strong></em></span></h1> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em><strong><a href="">Posted with permission and written by Steve St. Angelo of SRSrocco Report&nbsp;</a></strong></em></span></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em><strong><a href="">(CLICK FOR ORIGINAL)</a></strong></em></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 1em; padding: 0px; line-height: 22.4px; font-size: 15px; color: #555555; font-family: arial, sans-serif;">According to the recently released Silver Institute 2015 Interim Report, the world experienced annual silver net deficits for 12 years running. This is surprising as the Silver Institute actually reported a small net surplus of silver in 2014.&nbsp;<strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">However, the small silver surplus turned into a deficit when 2014 mine supply and total demand figures were revised.</strong></p> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 1em; padding: 0px; line-height: 22.4px; font-size: 15px; color: #555555; font-family: arial, sans-serif;">If we look at the chart below (using last year’s data), annual silver deficits were reported until 2013 and then turned into a surplus in 2014:</p> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 1em; padding: 0px; line-height: 22.4px; font-size: 15px; color: #555555; font-family: arial, sans-serif;"><a href="" style="text-decoration: underline; color: #000000; line-height: 22.4px; text-align: center;"><img src="" width="643" height="461" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></a></p> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 1em; padding: 0px; line-height: 22.4px; font-size: 15px; color: #555555; font-family: arial, sans-serif;">This was&nbsp;<strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">Chart #48</strong>&nbsp;from&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: #023761; text-decoration: underline;"><em style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">THE SILVER CHART REPORT</strong></em></a>, released earlier this year. Going by this data, the world suffered a cumulative net deficit of 930 million oz (Moz) for the past decade (2005-2014). The annual net balance figure is calculated using data from Thomson Reuters GFMS provided for the Silver Institute.</p> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 1em; padding: 0px; line-height: 22.4px; font-size: 15px; color: #555555; font-family: arial, sans-serif;">The annual net balance figure is comprised by first subtracting total physical demand from total supply. This is their “Physical Surplus or Deficit figure.” They then take this physical surplus or deficit figure and add or subtract net changes in Silver ETFs and Exchange Inventories. The end result is a “Net Balance.” Basically, the annual net silver balance also takes into account the build or decline of Silver ETFs and Exchange inventories.</p> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 1em; padding: 0px; line-height: 22.4px; font-size: 15px; color: #555555; font-family: arial, sans-serif;">Even though Thomson Reuters GFMS reported a small silver surplus in 2014, I knew it was going to be revised lower to a deficit. Why? Because my analysis showed that they overestimated mine supply and underestimated physical investment demand.</p> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 1em; padding: 0px; line-height: 22.4px; font-size: 15px; color: #555555; font-family: arial, sans-serif;">For example, Thomson Reuters GFMS reported 2014 Mexican silver production of 193 million oz (Moz)&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: #023761; text-decoration: underline;">at the Silver Institute</a>, whereas my figures (taken directly from Mexico INEGI) shown in&nbsp;<strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">Chart #8</strong>&nbsp;in&nbsp;<em style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><a href="" target="_blank" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: #023761; text-decoration: underline;">THE SILVER CHART REPORT,</a></strong></em>&nbsp;list actual production at 184.2 Moz. Mexico INEGI’s just revised their 2014 silver production figure to 185.3 Moz.</p> <h3 style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; font-size: 24px; line-height: 1.3em; font-family: 'Noticia Text', georgia, serif; letter-spacing: -1px; color: #333333;"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">World Suffers Consecutive Net Deficits For 12 Years Running</strong></h3> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 1em; padding: 0px; line-height: 22.4px; font-size: 15px; color: #555555; font-family: arial, sans-serif;">If we take the data from the Silver Institute’s 2015 Interim Report and 2014 World Silver Survey,<strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">&nbsp;the world experienced consecutive silver deficits for the past 12 years</strong>:</p> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 1em; padding: 0px; line-height: 22.4px; font-size: 15px; color: #555555; font-family: arial, sans-serif; text-align: center;"><a href=""><img src="" width="643" height="461" /></a></p> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 1em; padding: 0px; line-height: 22.4px; font-size: 15px; color: #555555; font-family: arial, sans-serif;"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">NOTE:</strong>&nbsp;The 2015 figure should read 2015 Est. (estimated). Actually, I believe the 2015 net deficit of 21.3 Moz will be even higher when they revise the data next year. I will get into more detail on this in following articles, but I believe estimated 2015 Silver Bar &amp; Coin demand was under reported by a large percentage.</p> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 1em; padding: 0px; line-height: 22.4px; font-size: 15px; color: #555555; font-family: arial, sans-serif;">That being said, the 2014 small net surplus of 2.6 Moz turned into a deficit of 21.3 Moz due to global silver mine supply being revised lower by 12 Moz to 865 Moz from 877 Moz reported last year, while total Silver Bar &amp; Coin demand was revised higher to 203.5 Moz versus 196 Moz stated last year. These two revisions accounted for the majority of the net -23.9 Moz change.</p> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 1em; padding: 0px; line-height: 22.4px; font-size: 15px; color: #555555; font-family: arial, sans-serif;"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">Adding up all the annual deficits from the period 2004-2015, the world suffered a cumulative shortfall of more than a billion ounces of silver… 1,021 Moz to be exact.</strong>&nbsp;That’s a lot of silver. So, where did it all come from and does it really matter?</p> <h3 style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; font-size: 24px; line-height: 1.3em; font-family: 'Noticia Text', georgia, serif; letter-spacing: -1px; color: #333333;"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">When Do The Silver Fundamentals Matter?</strong></h3> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 1em; padding: 0px; line-height: 22.4px; font-size: 15px; color: #555555; font-family: arial, sans-serif;">This is the question an increasing number of precious metal investors are asking themselves. I know this first hand as this is the question I get emailed the most from my readers. Unfortunately, the fundamentals don’t provide the EXACT TIME when the fundamentals matter, but rather present data about the ongoing TREND that offers us a some important CLUES.</p> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 1em; padding: 0px; line-height: 22.4px; font-size: 15px; color: #555555; font-family: arial, sans-serif;">Here is an excerpt from the Silver Institute 2015 Interim Report on the subject of physical deficits:</p> <blockquote style="margin: 0px 1.6em 1.5em 0px; padding: 15px 15px 1px; quotes: none; color: #666666; font-size: 15px; border: 1px solid #ebebeb; font-family: arial, sans-serif; line-height: 22.4px; background-image: initial; background-color: #f5f5f5;"><p>The silver market is expected to be in an annual physical deficit of 42.7 Moz in 2015, marking the third consecutive year the market has realized an annual physical shortfall.<strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">While such deficits do not necessarily influence prices in the near term, multiple years of annual deficits can begin to apply upward pressure to prices in subsequent periods.</strong>&nbsp;This year, however, net outflows from ETF holdings and derivatives exchange inventories on a year-to-date basis have lessened the impact of the physical deficit, bringing the net balance to ?21.3 Moz.</p></blockquote> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 1em; padding: 0px; line-height: 22.4px; font-size: 15px; color: #555555; font-family: arial, sans-serif;">Remember, the estimated physical silver deficit of 42.7 Moz in 2015 does not factor in the net change of Silver ETFs and Exchange Inventories… which was a net decline of 21.4 Moz (as of Sept 2015).</p> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 1em; padding: 0px; line-height: 22.4px; font-size: 15px; color: #555555; font-family: arial, sans-serif;">Regardless, the important item to focus on in the quote above is the statement, “multiple years of annual deficits can begin to apply upward pressure to prices in subsequent periods.”&nbsp;<strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">What is interesting here (not discussed in the Interim Report) is that net silver deficits have been now going on for 12 consecutive years when we also include builds in Silver ETFs and Exchange Inventories.</strong></p> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 1em; padding: 0px; line-height: 22.4px; font-size: 15px; color: #555555; font-family: arial, sans-serif;">We must remember, the large build in Global Silver ETF inventories (2006-2010) had to come from physical silver supplied by the market. According to the Silver Institute, the total cumulative build in Global Silver ETFs was 569 Moz for the five-year period….. 2006-2010.</p> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 1em; padding: 0px; line-height: 22.4px; font-size: 15px; color: #555555; font-family: arial, sans-serif;">So, where did all this silver come from to supply a 1+ billion oz shortfall over the past 12 years? That is the trillion dollar question. I believe this billion oz shortfall was supplemented from a source known as “Unreported Above-ground Stocks.” While this figure is nothing more than a good guess by various official sources, it has fallen precipitously since the 1990’s.</p> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 1em; padding: 0px; line-height: 22.4px; font-size: 15px; color: #555555; font-family: arial, sans-serif;"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">The CPM Group stated that “Implied Unreported Silver Stocks” reached a peak of 2.2 billion oz (approximate figure) in 1990 and fell to less than 200 Moz in 2014.&nbsp;</strong>This draw-down of unreported above-ground stocks supplemented both the annual physical supply deficits and builds in Global Silver ETFs over the past 35 years.</p> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 1em; padding: 0px; line-height: 22.4px; font-size: 15px; color: #555555; font-family: arial, sans-serif;">While it’s impossible to know how much remaining silver (from unreported above-ground stocks) can be used to supplement ongoing annual deficits going forward, there’s probably a lot less than we realize. Furthermore, the segment of the silver investment market that was impacted the most during the rapid 60% fall in the silver price was Global Silver ETFs.</p> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 1em; padding: 0px; line-height: 22.4px; font-size: 15px; color: #555555; font-family: arial, sans-serif;">As I stated above, from 2006-2010, the net build of Global Silver ETFs were 569 Moz. However, from 2011-2015, the net increase in Global Silver ETFs were a paltry 18.2 Moz. What happened if the price of silver continued to rise 2012-2015? Main Stream investors would have piled into the Silver ETFs pushing up their total global inventories.&nbsp;<strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">Rising Global Silver ETF inventories on top of rising physical Silver Bar &amp; Coin demand would have put a real strain on remaining “Unreported Above-Ground Stocks.”</strong></p> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 1em; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.4em; font-family: Roboto, sans-serif; font-size: 15px;">Even though precious metal sentiment is now probably at all time lows, investors need to realize NOTHING HAS BEEN FIXED in the Global Financial Markets. Yes, it’s true that the propping up of the markets by the Fed and Central Banks has gone on longer than we realized, the unraveling of the World’s Greatest Financial Ponzi Scheme is still on its way.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h1 style="padding: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0.25em; line-height: 1.15; font-size: 24px; font-weight: normal; font-family: Roboto, sans-serif; max-width: 90%;"><em style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><span style="font-family: 'Lucida Grande', Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 20.3333px; line-height: 17.3333px;">Please email with any questions about this interview, precious metals, or to receive these in your inbox&nbsp;</span><strong style="font-family: 'Lucida Grande', Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 20.3333px; line-height: 17.3333px;"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href="">HERE</a>.</span></strong></em></h1> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><strong style="font-family: 'Lucida Grande', Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 20.3333px; line-height: 17.3333px;"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><br /></span></strong></em></p> Central Banks fixed Mexico Precious Metals Reuters Silver ETFs Thu, 26 Nov 2015 10:58:47 +0000 Sprott Money 517079 at Meet The Man Who Funds ISIS: Bilal Erdogan, The Son Of Turkey's President <p>Russia's Sergey Lavrov is not one foreign minister known to mince his words. Just earlier today, 24 hours after a Russian plane was brought down by the country whose president <a href="">three years ago said</a> "a short-term border violation can never be a pretext for an attack", had this to say: "We have serious doubts this was an unintended incident and believe this is a planned provocation" by Turkey.</p> <p>But even that was tame compared to what Lavrov said to his Turkish counterparty Mevlut Cavusoglu earlier today during a phone call between the two (Lavrov who was supposed to travel to Turkey has since canceled such plans).</p> <p>As <a href="">Sputnik transcribes</a>, according to a press release from Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Lavrov pointed out that, "by shooting down a Russian plane on a counter-terrorist mission of the Russian Aerospace Force in Syria, and one that did not violate Turkey’s airspace, <strong>the Turkish government has in effect sided with ISIS.</strong>"</p> <p>It was in this context when Lavrov added that "<strong>Turkey’s actions appear premeditated, planned, and undertaken with a specific objective.</strong>"</p> <p>More importantly, Lavrov pointed to Turkey’s role in the propping up the terror network through the oil trade. Per the Russian statement:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>"The Russian Minister reminded his counterpart about Turkey’s involvement in the ISIS’ illegal trade in oil, which is transported via the area where the Russian plane was shot down, <strong>and about the terrorist infrastructure, arms and munitions depots and control centers that are also located there</strong>."</p> </blockquote> <p>Others reaffirmed Lavrov's stance, such as retired French General Dominique Trinquand, who said that "Turkey is either not fighting ISIL at all or very little, and does not interfere with different types of smuggling that takes place on its border, be it oil, phosphate, cotton or people," he said.</p> <p>The reason we find this line of questioning fascinating is that just last week in the aftermath of the French terror attack but long before the Turkish downing of the Russian jet, we wrote about "<a href="">The Most Important Question About ISIS That Nobody Is Asking</a>" in which we asked who is the one <strong>"breaching every known law of funding terrorism when buying ISIS crude, almost certainly with the tacit approval by various "western alliance" governments, and why is it that these governments have allowed said middleman to continue funding ISIS for as long as it has?</strong>"</p> <p>Precisely one week later, in even more tragic circumstances, suddenly everyone is asking this question.</p> <p>And while we patiently dig to find who the <em>on and offshore </em>"commodity trading" middleman are, who cart away ISIS oil to European and other international markets in exchange for hundreds of millions of dollars, one name keeps popping up as the primary culprit of regional demand for the Islamic State's "terrorist oil" - that of Turkish president Recep Erdogan's son: <strong>Bilal Erdogan</strong>.</p> <p>His very brief bio:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Necmettin Bilal Erdogan, commonly known as Bilal Erdogan (born 23 April 1980) is the third child of Recep Tayyip Erdo?an, the current President of Turkey.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>After graduating from Kartal Imam Hatip High School in 1999<strong>, Bilal Erdogan moved to the US for undergraduate education. He also earned a Masters Degree in John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in 2004</strong>. After graduation, <strong>he served in the World Bank as intern for a while</strong>. He returned Turkey in 2006 and started to his business life. Bilal Erdogan is one of the three equal shareholders of "<em>BMZ Group Denizcilik </em>", a marine transportation corporation.</p> </blockquote> <p>Here is a recent picture of Bilal, shown in a <a href="">photo from a Turkish 2014 article, </a>which "asked why his ships are now in Syria":</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="342" /></a></p> <p>In the next few days, we will present a full breakdown of Bilal's various business ventures, starting with his BMZ Group which is the name implicated most often in the smuggling of illegal Iraqi and Islamic State through to the western supply chain, but for now here is a brief, if very disturbing snapshot, of both father and son Erdogan by F. William Engdahl, one which should make everyone ask whether the son of Turkey's president (and thus, the father) is the silent mastermind who has been responsible for converting millions of barrels of Syrian Oil into hundreds of millions of dollars of Islamic State revenue.</p> <p><em>By F. William Engdahl, posted originally in <a href="">New Eastern Outlook:</a></em></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Erdogan's Dirth Dangerous ISIS Games</strong></span></p> <p><span lang="en-US">More and more details are coming to light revealing that the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, variously known as ISIS, IS or Daesh, is being fed and kept alive by Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish President and by his Turkish intelligence service, including MIT, the Turkish CIA. Turkey, as a result of Erdogan’s pursuit of what some call a Neo-Ottoman Empire fantasies that stretch all the way to China, Syria and Iraq, threatens not only to destroy Turkey but much of the Middle East if he continues on his present path. </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span lang="en-US">In October 2014 US Vice President Joe Biden told a Harvard gathering that Erdogan’s regime was backing ISIS with “hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of tons of <a href="" target="_blank">weapons</a>…” </span><span lang="en-US">Biden later apologized clearly for tactical reasons to get Erdo?an’s permission to use Turkey’s Incirlik Air Base for airstrikes against ISIS in Syria, but the dimensions of Erdogan’s backing for ISIS since revealed is far, far more than Biden hinted.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span lang="en-US">ISIS militants were trained by US, Israeli and now it emerges, by Turkish special forces at secret bases in Konya Province inside the Turkish border to Syria, over the past three <a href="" target="_blank">years</a>. </span><span lang="en-US">Erdo?an’s involvement in ISIS goes much deeper. At a time when Washington, Saudi Arabia and even Qatar appear to have cut off their support for ISIS, they remaining amazingly durable. The reason appears to be the scale of the backing from Erdo?an and his fellow neo-Ottoman Sunni Islam Prime Minister, </span><span lang="en-US">Ahmet Davuto?lu.</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong><span lang="en-US">Nice Family Business</span></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span lang="en-US">The prime source of money feeding ISIS these days is sale of Iraqi oil from the Mosul region oilfields where they maintain a stronghold. The son of Erdogan it seems is the man who makes the export sales of ISIS-controlled oil possible. </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong><span lang="en-US">Bilal Erdo?an owns several maritime companies. He has allegedly signed contracts with European operating companies to carry Iraqi stolen oil to different Asian countries. The Turkish government buys Iraqi plundered oil which is being produced from the Iraqi seized oil wells. Bilal Erdogan’s maritime companies own special wharfs in Beirut and Ceyhan ports that are transporting ISIS’ smuggled crude oil in Japan-bound oil <a href=",-reveals-a-disgruntled-nurse" target="_blank">tankers</a>.</span></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span lang="en-US">Gürsel Tekin vice-president of the Turkish Republican Peoples’ Party, CHP, declared in a recent Turkish media interview, “President Erdogan claims that according to international transportation conventions there is no legal infraction concerning Bilal’s illicit activities and his son is doing an ordinary business with the registered Japanese companies, but in fact Bilal Erdo?an is up to his neck in complicity with terrorism, but as long as his father holds office he will be immune from any judicial prosecution.” <strong>Tekin adds that Bilal’s maritime company doing the oil trades for ISIS, BMZ Ltd, is “a family business and president Erdogan’s close relatives hold shares in BMZ and they misused public funds and took illicit loans from Turkish <a href=",-reveals-a-disgruntled-nurse" target="_blank">banks</a>.”</strong></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span lang="en-US">In addition to son Bilal’s illegal and lucrative oil trading for ISIS, Sümeyye Erdogan, the daughter of the Turkish President apparently runs a secret hospital camp inside Turkey just over the Syrian border where Turkish army trucks daily being in scores of wounded ISIS Jihadists to be patched up and sent back to wage the bloody Jihad in Syria, according to the testimony of a nurse who was recruited to work there until it was discovered she was a member of the Alawite branch of Islam, the same as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad who Erdogan seems hell-bent on <a href=",-reveals-a-disgruntled-nurse" target="_blank">toppling</a>.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span lang="en-US">Turkish citizen Ramazan Bagol, captured this month by Kurdish People’s Defence Units,YPG, as he attempted to join ISIS from Konya province, told his captors that said he was sent to ISIS by the ‘Ismailia Sect,’ a strict Turkish Islam sect reported to be tied to Recep Erdogan. Baol said the sect recruits members and provides logistic support to the radical Islamist organization. He added that the Sect gives jihad training in neighborhoods of Konya and sends those trained here to join ISIS gangs in <a href="" target="_blank">Syria</a>.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span lang="en-US">According to French geopolitical analyst, Thierry Meyssan, Recep Erdogan “organised the pillage of Syria, dismantled all the factories in Aleppo, the economic capital, and stole the machine-tools. Similarly, he organised the theft of archeological treasures and set up an international market in Antioch…with the help of General Benoît Puga, Chief of Staff for the Elysée, he organised a false-flag operation intended to provoke the launching of a war by the Atlantic Alliance – the chemical bombing of la Ghoutta in Damascus, in <a href="" target="_blank">August 2013</a>. “</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span lang="en-US"><strong>Meyssan claims that the Syria strategy of Erdo?an was initially secretly developed in coordination with former French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé and Erdogan’s then Foreign Minister Ahmet Davuto?lu, in 2011</strong>, after Juppe won a hesitant Erdogan to the idea of supporting the attack on traditional Turkish ally Syria in return for a promise of French support for Turkish membership in the EU. France later backed out, leaving Erdogan to continue the Syrian bloodbath largely on his own using <a href="" target="_blank">ISIS</a>.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span lang="en-US">Gen. John R. Allen, an opponent of Obama’s Iran peace strategy, now US diplomatic envoy coordinating the coalition against the Islamic State, exceeded his authorized role after meeting with Erdogan and “promised to create a "no-fly zone" ninety miles wide, over Syrian territory, along the whole border with Turkey, supposedly intended to help Syrian refugees fleeing from their government, but in reality to apply the "Juppé-Wright plan". The Turkish Prime Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, revealed US support for the project on the TV channel </span><span lang="en-US">A Haber</span><span lang="en-US"> by launching a bombing raid against the PKK.” Meyssan <a href=";_r=0" target="_blank">adds</a>.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span lang="en-US">There are never winners in war and Erdogan’s war against Syria’s Assad demonstrates that in bold. Turkey and the world deserve better. Ahmet Davutoglu’s famous “Zero Problems With Neighbors” foreign policy has been turned into massive problems with all neighbors due to the foolish ambitions of Erdogan and his gang.<span id="ctrlcopy">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="600" height="342" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> China Crude Crude Oil France Iran Iraq Joe Biden Middle East Reality Saudi Arabia Testimony Turkey World Bank Thu, 26 Nov 2015 03:55:20 +0000 Tyler Durden 517088 at The True Meaning Of Thanksgiving <p><a href=""><em>Submitted by Richard Ebeiling via,</em></a></p> <p>This time of the year, whether in good economic times or bad, is when Americans gather with their families and friends and enjoy a Thanksgiving meal together. It marks a remembrance of those early Pilgrim Fathers who crossed the uncharted ocean from Europe to make a new start in Plymouth, Massachusetts. What is less appreciated is that Thanksgiving also is a celebration of the birth of free enterprise in America.</p> <p>The English Puritans, who left Great Britain and sailed across the Atlantic on the Mayflower in 1620, were not only escaping from religious persecution in their homeland. They also wanted to turn their back on what they viewed as the materialistic and greedy corruption of the Old World.</p> <p><u><strong>Plymouth Colony Planned as Collectivist Utopia</strong></u></p> <p>In the New World, they wanted to erect a New Jerusalem that would not only be religiously devout, but be built on a new foundation of communal sharing and social altruism. Their goal was the communism of Plato&rsquo;s &ldquo;Republic,&rdquo; in which all would work and share in common, knowing neither private property nor self-interested acquisitiveness.</p> <p>What resulted is recorded in the diary of Governor William Bradford, the head of the colony. The colonists collectively cleared and worked the land, but they brought forth neither the bountiful harvest they hoped for, nor did it create a spirit of shared and cheerful brotherhood.</p> <p>The less industrious members of the colony came late to their work in the fields, and were slow and easy in their labors. Knowing that they and their families were to receive an equal share of whatever the group produced, they saw little reason to be more diligent in their efforts. The harder working among the colonists became resentful that their efforts would be redistributed to the more malingering members of the colony. Soon they, too, were coming late to work and were less energetic in the fields.</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="Obama Redistributes Thanksgiving Plenty cartoon" class="alignnone size-medium wp-image-24993" height="198" src="" width="300" /></a></p> <p><u><strong>Collective Work Equaled Individual Resentment</strong></u></p> <p>As Governor Bradford of the Plymouth Colony explained in his old English (though with the spelling modernized):</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em>&ldquo;For the young men that were able and fit for labor and service did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men&rsquo;s wives and children, without recompense. The strong, or men of parts, had no more division of food, clothes, etc. then he that was weak and not able to do a quarter the other could; this was thought injustice. The aged and graver men to be ranked and equalized in labor, and food, clothes, etc. with the meaner and younger sort, thought it some indignant and disrespect unto them. And for men&rsquo;s wives to be commanded to do service for other men, as dressing their meat, washing their clothes, etc. they deemed it a kind of slavery, neither could husbands brook it.&rdquo;</em></p> </blockquote> <p>Because of the disincentives and resentments that spread among the population, crops were sparse and the rationed equal shares from the collective harvest were not enough to ward off starvation and death. Two years of communism in practice had left alive only a fraction of the original number of the Plymouth colonists.</p> <p><u><strong>Private Property as Incentive to Industry</strong></u></p> <p>Realizing that another season like those that had just passed would mean the extinction of the entire community, the elders of the colony decided to try something radically different: the introduction of private property rights and the right of the individual families to keep the fruits of their own labor.</p> <p>As Governor Bradford put it:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em>&ldquo;And so assigned to every family a parcel of land, according to the proportion of their number for that end . . . This had a very good success; for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted then otherwise would have been by any means the Governor or any other could use, and saved him a great deal of trouble, and gave far better content. The women now went willingly into the field, and took their little-ones with them to set corn, which before would a ledge weakness, and inability; whom to have compelled would have been thought great tyranny and oppression.&rdquo;</em></p> </blockquote> <p>The Plymouth Colony experienced a great bounty of food. Private ownership meant that there was now a close link between work and reward. Industry became the order of the day as the men and women in each family went to the fields on their separate private farms. When the harvest time came, not only did many families produce enough for their own needs, but also they had surpluses that they could freely exchange with their neighbors for mutual benefit and improvement.</p> <p>In Governor Bradford&rsquo;s words:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em>&ldquo;By this time harvest was come, and instead of famine, now God gave them plenty, and the face of things was changed, to the rejoicing of the hearts of many, for which they blessed God. And the effect of their planting was well seen, for all had, one way or other, pretty well to bring the year about, and some of the abler sort and more industrious had to spare, and sell to others, so as any general want or famine hath not been amongst them since to this day.&rdquo;</em></p> </blockquote> <p><a href=""><img alt="Big Goverrnment Bureaucrats Thanksgiving cartoon" class="alignnone size-medium wp-image-24996" height="198" src="" width="300" /></a></p> <p><u><strong>Rejecting Collectivism for Individualism</strong></u></p> <p>Hard experience had taught the Plymouth colonists the fallacy and error in the ideas that since the time of the ancient Greeks had promised paradise through collectivism rather than individualism. As Governor Bradford expressed it:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em>&ldquo;The experience that was had in this common course and condition, tried sundry years, and that amongst the Godly and sober men, may well convince of the vanity and conceit of Plato&rsquo;s and other ancients; &mdash; that the taking away of property, and bringing into a common wealth, would make them happy and flourishing; as if they were wiser than God. For this community (so far as it was) was found to breed confusion and discontent, and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort.&rdquo;</em></p> </blockquote> <p>Was this realization that communism was incompatible with human nature and the prosperity of humanity to be despaired or be a cause for guilt? Not in Governor Bradford&rsquo;s eyes. It was simply a matter of accepting that altruism and collectivism were inconsistent with the nature of man, and that human institutions should reflect the reality of man&rsquo;s nature if he is to prosper. Said Governor Bradford:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em>&ldquo;Let none object this is man&rsquo;s corruption, and nothing to the curse itself. I answer, seeing all men have this corruption in them, God in his wisdom saw another course fitter for them.&rdquo;</em></p> </blockquote> <p>The desire to &ldquo;spread the wealth&rdquo; and for government to plan and regulate people&rsquo;s lives is as old as the utopian fantasy in Plato&rsquo;s &ldquo;Republic.&rdquo; The Pilgrim Fathers tried and soon realized its bankruptcy and failure as a way for men to live together in society.</p> <p>They, instead, accepted man as he is: hardworking, productive, and innovative when allowed the liberty to follow his own interests in improving his own circumstances and that of his family. And even more, out of his industry result the quantities of useful goods that enable men to trade to their mutual benefit.</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="Small Government Thanks Thanksgiving Cartoon" class="alignnone size-medium wp-image-24992" height="227" src="" width="300" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><u><strong>Giving Thanks for the Triumph of Freedom</strong></u></p> <p><strong>In the wilderness of the New World, the Plymouth Pilgrims had progressed from the false dream of communism to the sound realism of capitalism. </strong>At a time of economic uncertainty and growing political paternalism, it is worthwhile recalling this beginning of the American experiment and experience with freedom.</p> <p>This is the lesson of the First Thanksgiving. This year, when we, Americans sit around our dining table with family and friends, we should also remember that what we are really celebrating is the birth of free men and free enterprise in that New World of America.</p> <p><strong>The true meaning of Thanksgiving, in other words, is the triumph of Capitalism over the failure of Collectivism in all its forms.</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="290" height="217" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Corruption ETC None Reality Thu, 26 Nov 2015 03:30:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 517083 at If "Everything's Awesome" Why Did Aussie CapEx Just Collapse By The Most In Its 30 Year History <p>Day after day, the &#39;stability&#39; in the stock &quot;markets&quot; (specifically in AsiaPac) is posited as &#39;proof&#39; that China is &#39;fixed&#39;, the worst is over in EMs, The Fed can raise rates, and massive monetray policy manipulation of market signals had no mal-investment consequences. Well all of that utter crap just got obliterated as China&#39;s right-hand-man in the credit-fueled commodity boom bust - <strong>Australia - just saw its business capital expenditure collapse 20% YoY - the biggest drop ever, accelerating the crash in business spending to 11 quarters</strong>. As Goldman warns, this exposes significant downside risk to any forecast for GDP recovery in 2016.</p> <p><strong>Recovery? Spin this into recovery!!</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img height="312" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>As Goldman Sach details, </em></p> <p>For consecutive quarters, Australia&rsquo;s private capex report was weaker than expected across the board &ndash; <strong>highlighting the risk of an outright contraction in domestic demand in 3Q2015 and a disappointing recovery in growth through 2016.</strong> In particular, we note a -9.2%qoq decline in capex in the quarter (BBG consensus: -2.9%qoq), and further sequential deterioration in the FY16 investment intentions component of the report. As it stands, the data speak to an ~-20% contraction in capex in FY16 which &ndash; even assuming better capex trends outside of this survey &ndash; appears completely at odds with the ~-7% decline in investment forecast by the broader consensus (Consensus Economics). Today&rsquo;s data highlight that domestic demand likely contracted outright in 3Q2015 and the downside risk to the RBA&rsquo;s forecast recovery in GDP to a +3.0%yoy pace by end-2016. If growth continues to fall short of expectations as we fear, the prospect of RBA rate cuts remains a very real one.</p> <p><u><strong>Private capital expenditure, Septquarter: -9.2% qoq, -20.0% yoy (Bloomberg consensus: -2.9% qoq, GS: -4.0% qoq);</strong></u></p> <p><strong>By Component:</strong></p> <ul> <li>Machinery &amp; equipment (MEI): -8.2% qoq, -12.7%yoy</li> <li>Building &amp; structures (B&amp;S): -9.8% qoq, -23.6% yoy</li> </ul> <p><u><strong>Private capital expenditure,2015-16Intentions (4thestimate): -19.7% (down from -18.8% 3rd estimate)</strong></u></p> <p>By industry:</p> <ul> <li>Mining sector: -30.6% (from -29.1% previously)</li> <li>Manufacturing: -9.8% (from -8.8% previously)</li> <li>&#39;Other&#39;: -8.5% (from -8.1% previously)</li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;<br /><u><strong>Main Points:</strong></u><br />&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;<br /><strong>1. Today&rsquo;s capex report was weaker than expected across the board, with weaker implications for both investment in 3Q2015 and the outlook through FY16 as a whole</strong>. Looking specifically at the historical data , the headline -9.2%qoq decline in private capex was a far larger contraction than expected (GS: -4.0%qoq; BBG consensus: -2.9%qoq), with weakness equally spread across the building &amp; structures (-9.8%qoq) and machinery &amp; equipment (-8.2%qoq) components. It is this fall in the latter that has the most relevance for next Wednesday&rsquo;s 3Q2015 National Accounts and &ndash; alongside yesterday&rsquo;s weak construction data - is a stark reminder that the unwind of Australia&rsquo;s mining investment boom presents a profound headwind to overall growth.</p> <p><strong>2. Looking at the investment intentions data, the read-though was also to the weaker side.</strong> To be clear, on face value, the &ldquo;raw&rdquo; estimate for FY16 spending increased by ~$4.6bn to $120.4bn compared with the third estimate for FY16. There are several important caveats to this apparent improvement however:</p> <ol> <li><u><strong>Firstly, compared with the fourth estimate for capex spending for FY15, the raw $120.4 number implies a 20.9% fall.</strong></u></li> <li>Secondly, as there is typically a tendency to initially under-estimate in the survey process and therefore almost always a very strong increase in capex estimates at this point in the survey, it is important to adjust the raw numbers using realization ratios. Using long-run realization ratios, for example, has markedly weaker implications &ndash; we note that compared with the third estimate for FY16 (-18.8%), the fourth estimate suggests capex will fall by an even larger -19.7% in FY16.<u><strong> In context, there has now been a sequential deterioration in the FY16 capex outlook over each of the past four estimates</strong></u>, with this deterioration broad-based across the &ldquo;other selected industries&rdquo; (-8.5%) and mining sectors (-30.6%).</li> <li>Finally, putting the ~20% decline in FY16 capex suggested by today&rsquo;s data in context, we note that markedly more modest declines in broader business investment are currently baked into the forecasts of consensus (~-7.0%), Treasury (-7%) and ourselves (GS: -11.5%). To be fair, the capex survey does not incorporate trends in public spending in health and education &ndash; however, fiscal constraints and relevant leading indicators all suggest that the outlook in these sectors is subdued at best. All things considered,<strong><u> this survey appears completely at odds with the relatively modest contraction in investment many are forecasting. </u></strong>For our part, we remain the most bearish in the market on the investment cycle and see the risks to our own forecast as skewed to the downside (For full details on our relatively cautious views on the investment outlook, please see: Detail - Australia and New Zealand Economic Analyst: Ongoing risks to Australian Investment: A Regional Perspective, 17/8/2015).</li> </ol> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;<br /><u><strong>3Q2015 GDP estimate:</strong></u>Ahead of next Wednesday&rsquo;s National Accounts,<strong> today&rsquo;s weaker-than-expected capex numbers require a -20bp reduction in our 3Q2015 GDP tracking estimate to +0.8%qoq. </strong>On face value at least, this is still a relatively solid expansion in activity, but today&rsquo;s update highlights that the headline increase is masking markedly weaker underlying trends. Specifically, with net exports adding ~1.4pts to GDP in the quarter, domestic demand looks on track for an outright contraction.</p> <p>We will revisit our estimate on receipt of the remaining partial data on Monday (profits &amp; inventories) and Tuesday (trade and public demand) next week.</p> <p><u><strong>Monetary Policy:</strong></u></p> <p>Reflecting on the implications of the composition of 3Q2015 GDP for monetary policy, we note that such a large (in part weather-related) boost to growth from net exports is likely unsustainable, yet severe headwinds from the mining capex cycle are expected to remain in place for some time. Indeed, on the RBA&rsquo;s own forecasts, the adjustment in mining capex is only half complete, with ~3% of GDP worth of mining capex to fall out of the growth equation over the coming years.<strong> With the tailwinds from the housing construction cycle starting to fade, population growth slowing and public demand constrained by Australia&rsquo;s public finances &ndash; it is hard to find a sustainable offset to the capex headwind elsewhere in the economy. </strong>While it is true that LNG export volumes will ramp-up over time, the trend has been towards project delays and the shipments will be delivered into a very weak price environment in any case.</p> <p><strong>Overall, we remain concerned about the growth outlook in Australia. </strong>Notwithstanding, a reported improvement in surveyed business conditions, there is nothing in today&rsquo;s update to comfort the RBA that this is translating to anything concrete on the investment front.<strong> In turn, we see material downside risks to the RBA&rsquo;s forecast reacceleration in GDP growth to a +3.0%yoy rate by the end of 2016. To the degree growth continues to fall short of the RBA&rsquo;s expectations, the prospect of further easing will remain on the table.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Charts: Bloomberg</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="966" height="502" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Aussie Australia B+ China CRAP fixed Monetary Policy New Zealand recovery Thu, 26 Nov 2015 03:13:12 +0000 Tyler Durden 517089 at The Future Of Cannabis <p><strong>The recreational cannabis industry is changing fast, and the last few years have been a blur for investors observing the space.</strong></p> <p>More people today believe that cannabis should be legal than ever before, and famed investors like Peter Thiel have already made giant bets on the future of recreational cannabis.</p> <p>Here&rsquo;s five facts you need to know on the fast-moving industry:</p> <ol> <li><strong>Recreational cannabis is already legal in four states and D.C.</strong> It is also available for medical purposes in 20 other states, as well as Canada. Viridian Capital Advisors, which provides research to the cannabis sector, estimates between 6 to 13 states will legalize recreational usage by end of 2016.</li> <li><strong>Legal cannabis was a $700 million industry in Colorado last year. </strong>In 2014, Colorado retailers sold $386 million of medical cannabis and $313 million for recreational purposes. The two segments of the market generated $63 million in tax revenue, with an additional $13 million collected in licenses and fees.</li> <li><strong>Stocks in the sector have boomed over the last two years.</strong> The Viridian Cannabis Index, which covers 60 publicly traded cannabis companies in the United States and Canada, was up 77.5% in 2013, 38.4% in 2014, and 23.6% in 2015 Q1.</li> <li><strong>Total legal cannabis sales have sailed in recent years</strong> With $1.6 billion in sales in 2013, it is expected to increase to $3.5 billion in 2018, which is good for an expected 17% compound annual growth rate.</li> <li><strong>Nearly half of U.S. states and all of Canada now have access to medical cannabis.</strong> That includes 23 states (148.6 million people), 1 district (0.7 million people) and Canada (35.2 million people). That&rsquo;s 52% of the entire population of the United States and Canada.</li> </ol> <div style="clear:both"><a href=""><img src="" style="border-width: 0px; border-style: solid; height: 4603px; width: 600px;" /></a></div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The landscape of the cannabis industry is quickly changing. More jurisdictions are turning to legalization of medical and recreational cannabis, and the growth story behind the industry is just beginning for investors.</p> <p><a href=""><em>Source: Visual Capitalist</em></a></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="271" height="219" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Tax Revenue Thu, 26 Nov 2015 03:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 517082 at Russia Says Turkey's Attack On Jet Was "Planned Provocation" As Ankara Moves Tanks Near Syrian Border <p>On Tuesday evening, we <a href="">took a close look</a> at the circumstances surrounding Turkey’s decision to shoot down a Russian Su-24 near the Syrian border. The incident was the most meaningful escalation in the conflict to date and marks the first time a Russian or Soviet plane has been downed by NATO since 1953.</p> <p>The pilots ejected, one of whom was shot in his parachute by FSA-affiliated Alwiya al-Ashar militiamen who subsequently celebrated over the body. <strong>About an hour later, the FSA's 1st Coastal Brigade used a US-made TOW to destroy a Russian search and rescue helicopter, killing one Russian marine.</strong></p> <p>For his part, Vladimir Putin called Erdogan a backstabber and proceeded to accuse Turkey of flying the black flag of ISIS and funding the Islamic State cause by facilitating the sale of illegal crude.&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="" width="581" height="410" /></p> <p>Miraculously, there were no further escalations overnight, but as we outlined in detail on Tuesday, something doesn’t add up about the story Ankara is telling. According to a letter Turkey sent to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the 15 members of the UN Security Council, the Russian warplane, flying at 19,000 feet, “violated Turkish national airspace to a depth of 1.36 miles and 1.15 miles in length for 17 seconds.” If you do the math on that, it means the Su-24 was basically flying at stall speed.&nbsp;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Journalists: Learn to do basic maths. Look at Turkey's statement to UN: 1.15 miles / 17 seconds x 60 x 60 = 243 miles/hour = 391 km/hour</p> <p>— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) <a href="">November 24, 2015</a></p></blockquote> <p> Here's how we summed up the situation:&nbsp;</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><em>It's important not to forget the context here. Ankara is fiercly anti-Assad and in addition to being generally displeased with Russia's efforts to support the regime, just four days ago, Turkey summoned Russian ambassador Andrey Karlov over the alleged bombing of Turkish villages near the border.&nbsp;</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Of course Russia wasn't just bombing Turkish civilians for the sheer hell of it. It's likely Moscow was targeting the very same FSA-affiliated Alwiya al-Ashar militiamen who shot and killed the parachuting Russian pilot.&nbsp;</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><em>In short, it looks like Ankara saw an opportunity to shoot down a Russian jet in retaliation for strikes on Turkish rebel fighters who are operating alongside anti-Assad forces.</em></strong></p> </blockquote> <p>With that in mind, note that on Wednesday, Sergei Lavrov (not known for holding his tongue or even for observing any semblance of diplomatic decorum) accused Ankara of conducting a pre-meditated strike. <strong>"We have serious doubts this was an unintended incident and believe this is a planned provocation,” </strong>Lavrov said, after a meeting with his Turkish counterpart&nbsp;Mevlut Cavusoglu. Lavrov also said he would back a plan to close the Turkish-Syrian border.&nbsp;"I think this is the right desicion. I hope President Hollande will tell us more about the issue tommorow. We would be ready to consider all measures that needed for this [closing the border]. By closing the border we will basically thwart the terrorist threat in Syria," he said.</p> <p>Russia also said the Syrian army (so, Iran or Hezbollah) had retrieved the second pilot who is now "alive and well." Here's how French ambassador Alexandre Orlov summed up the situation in an interview with Europe 1 radio: <strong>“One on board was wounded when he parachuted down and killed in a savage way on the ground by the jihadists in the area.</strong> The other managed to escape and, according to the latest information, has been picked up by the Syrian army and should be going back to the Russian air force base.”</p> <p>Note the difference in the way Russia and the US describes the FSA. For the US, they are a "moderate opposition group," for the Russians, they are "jihadists." Considering they are allied with al-Qaeda, and judging from the gruesome videos released by the group on Tuesday, you'd be forgiven if you're inclined to go with Moscow's characterization.</p> <p>Meanwhile, <strong>Russia is set to deploy the S-400s.</strong> "Russia also said Wednesday it would take new measures in Syria to protect its aircraft, deploying powerful S-400 anti-air missile systems, which have a range of nearly 250 miles, to Russia’s Khmeimim airbase in northwestern Syria," <a href="">WaPo reports</a>, adding that "the airbase is located a little under 20 miles from the Turkish border, and <strong>has the potential to create headaches for Turkish and other aircraft in a U.S.-led coalition that are carrying out a separate airstrike campaign in Syria."</strong></p> <p>These are of course the same S-400s which the <a href="">Western media claimed</a> were already at Latakia earlier this month - a contention Russia denied at the time. Whether or not they were there is now immaterial - they'll be operational from this point on. As a reminder, here's what the systems look like:</p> <p><img src="" width="600" height="1413" style="max-width: 100%; height: auto; color: #1e439a; font-family: 'Lucida Grande', Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 13.3333px; line-height: 17.3333px;" /></p> <p>What seems clear (as noted above and as discussed at length on Tuesday), is that Turkey is keen on protecting&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 20.8px; font-size: 1em;">Alwiya al-Ashar</span><span style="line-height: 20.8px; font-size: 1em;">&nbsp;and other anti-Assad forces operating near the Turkish border. Indeed, Sergei Lavrov said as much in a press briefing on Wednesday. "[The] q</span>uestion arises whether Turkey is defending Syria area to protect rebel infrastructure," Lavrov said at a press briefing in Moscow on Wednesday. </p> <p>Indeed, Ankara looks to be stepping up its military presence near the area where the Russian plane was shot down. <strong>"</strong><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.3em;"><strong>Turkey has moved 20 tanks from west of country to southern province of Gaziantep,</strong> bordering Syria, and increased number of F-16s flying patrols along border to 18 as of yesterday," state-run&nbsp;</span>Anadolu Agency said today. Here's a visual that shows you where Gaziantep is in relation to Aleppo and to the Su-24 crash site:</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="321" /></a></p> <p>The logical next question to ask here is how prepared Turkey is to defend FSA positions because it's only a matter of time before the IRGC and Hezbollah invade these areas on the ground and when that happens, you can expect Ankara to cry genocide against Syria's Turkmen miniority. What comes after that is anyone's guess.&nbsp;</p> <p>In the meantime, Lavrov says Russia "is not going to war against Turkey," but remember what <a href="">we said last month</a> when Turkey shot down a Russian drone: "For now, it appears as though The Kremlin is going to take this one in stride, but that may be "strike one" so to speak, meaning NATO might have one or two more pot shots it can take before Erdogan gets a slightly less "neighborly" call from Moscow."</p> <p>Tuesday was strike two. &nbsp;</p> Crude Iran Turkey Vladimir Putin Thu, 26 Nov 2015 02:52:32 +0000 Tyler Durden 517037 at