http://www.zerohedge.com/fullrss2.xml/feed en Photos Emerge Of 10 "Active Militia Teams" Securing The US-Mexico Border http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-28/photos-emerge-10-active-militia-teams-securing-rio-grande-river <p>With 1000s of illegal immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border every day (<a href="http://bigstory.ap.org/article/storms-knock-down-us-mexico-fence-arizona">perhaps even more now some of the border has been washed away</a>), the <a href="http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2014/07/28/feds-secretly-dump-hundreds-illegal-immigrants-in-tennessee/">government quietly dumping them in Tennessee</a> (among other places), and current (recently constructed border protection infrastructure already breaking down), it appears the American people are taking matters into their own hands. <strong>Photos showing dozens of members of militia groups on the U.S.-Mexico border</strong> carrying semi-automatic rifles and wearing masks, camouflage and tactical gear provide one of the first glimpses into the group&#39;s activities on the border. The groups, including <strong>Oathkeepers, Three Percenters and Patriots</strong>, began recruiting and organizing more than a month ago and recent Facebook entries provide more color on their perspective: <strong><em>&quot;You see an illegal. You point your gun dead at him, right between his eyes, and you say, &#39;Get back across the border or you will be shot.&#39; ...We are not worried about an &#39;International&#39; incident.&quot;</em></strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>It appears the American people is growing frustrated as the government&#39;s inaction... or in some cases action...</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><a href="http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2014/07/28/feds-secretly-dump-hundreds-illegal-immigrants-in-tennessee/">As Fox reports,</a><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;"> the Obama administration recently released 760 illegal immigrant children to sponsors in the Volunteer State without any warning</span></strong>, the governor charged.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>There was not so much as a text message or tweet.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&ldquo;It is unacceptable that we became aware via a posting on the HHS website that 760 unaccompanied children have been released by the Office of Refugee Resettlement to sponsors in Tennessee&nbsp; without my administration&rsquo;s knowledge,&rdquo; the governor wrote in a strongly-worded letter to President Obama.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Office of Refugee Resettlement says sponsors are typically a parent or relative who can care for the illegal immigrant child while their immigration case is processed. All sponsors are required to undergo background checks.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It&rsquo;s also unclear why the ORR is handling the children &ndash; since they are illegal immigrants and not refugees.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>It&rsquo;s been the Obama administration&rsquo;s standard operating procedure to release the illegals into states without notifying local or state government officials.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>And the <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>current government-provided border protection infrastructure is already breaking down</strong></span>...</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>An unusual amount of rain that ravaged parts of southern Arizona also <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>knocked down 60 feet of the rebar-reinforced steel fence that divides the U.S. and Mexico.</strong></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2014/07/20140728_militia.jpg"><img height="302" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2014/07/20140728_militia.jpg" width="460" /></a></strong></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The storms began Friday in Sonora, Mexico, and resumed Saturday night until Sunday morning, when debris from the Mexican side of the border traveled through a wash and piled up against the border fence. The fence, just west of the Nogales-Mariposa Port of Entry near Interstate 19, <strong>stood between 18 and 26 feet high and extended at least 7 feet underground.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>...</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The fence was built in 2011. It is constantly monitored by agents because smugglers and others who attempt to cross illegally routinely try to breach or knock down parts of it.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;It had a lot of water behind it, and it just pushed the fence straight down,&quot; said John Hays, floodplain coordinator for the Santa Cruz County Flood Control District. &quot;If you&#39;re fencing is tight enough to catch debris, it basically becomes a dam. It&#39;s not meant to withstand those loads of water.&quot;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Hays said the <strong>fence appears to have floodgates, but they did not open</strong>.</p> </blockquote> <p>So a number of locals have taken the challenge upon themselves. <a href="http://m.chron.com/news/local/article/Photos-show-border-militias-moving-across-Texas-5647487.php">As Chron reports,</a> <strong>photos showing dozens of members of militia groups on the U.S.-Mexico border </strong>carrying semi-automatic rifles and wearing masks, camouflage and tactical gear provide one of the first glimpses into the group&#39;s activities on the border.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Members of the militia groups, who say <strong>they have 10 active &quot;teams&quot; along the state&#39;s southern border</strong>, are seen at campsites, walking along the Rio Grande River, pointing rifles and pistols out of frame and flipping off the camera in the photos obtained by the San Antonio Express-News.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>A spokesperson for the group provided the photos under the condition that members&#39; faces be blurred because of fear of being identified by &quot;cartel and gang members.&quot;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>...</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>The groups, including Oathkeepers, Three Percenters and Patriots, began recruiting and organizing more than a month ago</strong>, as national media outlets began focusing on an influx of Central American immigrants illegally crossing the border, including more than 50,000 unaccompanied minors.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>...</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Some Facebook comments from members of the militias indicate the groups are not fearful of using force.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;(Rules of Engagement) is if in fear of bodily injury, weapons free, if fired upon, return fire. Real simple,&quot; member KC Massey posted along with a photo on Facebook. <strong>&quot;We are not worried about an &quot;International&quot; incident if they shoot at us.&quot;</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In an interview with the Express-News, Chris Davis, commander of the militia&#39;s &quot;Operation Secure Our Border: Laredo Sector&quot;, who is seen in some of the photos, said members would <strong>secure the border in a &quot;legal and lawful manner.&quot;</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>However, in a since-deleted 21-minute YouTube video of Davis, he said: &quot;How? <strong><u>You see an illegal. You point your gun dead at him, right between his eyes, and you say, &#39;Get back across the border or you will be shot.&#39;&quot;</u></strong></p> </blockquote> <p>State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, denounced the militia groups in a statement, saying &quot;pointing guns at children solves nothing.&quot;</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&quot;<strong>Local law enforcement and federal border patrol agents have been clear. The presence of these outside independent militia groups does nothing to secure the border; it only creates an unsafe situation for law enforcement officials that are protecting our communities.</strong> Unfortunately, the vile rhetoric of my opponent inspires misguided efforts,&quot; said Van de Putte, who is running against state Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, for lieutenant governor.</p> </blockquote> <p><a href="http://m.chron.com/news/local/article/Photos-show-border-militias-moving-across-Texas-5647487.php"><em>See more images here...</em></a></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2014/07/20140728_militia2.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2014/07/20140728_militia2_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 400px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2014/07/20140728_militia1.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2014/07/20140728_militia1_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 901px;" /></a></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2014/07/20140728_militia3.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2014/07/20140728_militia3_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 450px;" /></a></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2014/07/20140728_militia4.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2014/07/20140728_militia4_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 400px;" /></a></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2014/07/20140728_militia5.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2014/07/20140728_militia5_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 450px;" /></a></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2014/07/20140728_militia6.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2014/07/20140728_militia6_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 338px;" /></a></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2014/07/20140728_militia7.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2014/07/20140728_militia7_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 901px;" /></a></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2014/07/20140728_militia8.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2014/07/20140728_militia8_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 338px;" /></a></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2014/07/20140728_militia9.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2014/07/20140728_militia9_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 400px;" /></a></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2014/07/20140728_militia10.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2014/07/20140728_militia10_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 450px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://m.chron.com/news/local/article/Photos-show-border-militias-moving-across-Texas-5647487.php"><em>See more images here...</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="1705" height="1136" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20140728_militia2.jpg?1406590092" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-28/photos-emerge-10-active-militia-teams-securing-rio-grande-river#comments Mexico Obama Administration President Obama Tue, 29 Jul 2014 03:36:40 +0000 Tyler Durden 491922 at http://www.zerohedge.com Asset Forfeiture – How To Steal Americans' Hard Earned Cash With Zero Repercussions http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-28/asset-forfeiture-%E2%80%93-how-steal-americans-hard-earned-cash-zero-repercussions <p><em>Submitted by <a href="http://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2014/07/28/asset-forfeiture-how-cops-continue-to-steal-americans-hard-earned-cash-with-zero-repercussions/">Mike Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg blog</a>,</em></p> <p>Almost exactly one year ago today, I published a post which went on to&nbsp;become extremely&nbsp;popular titled:&nbsp;<strong><a href="http://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2013/08/07/why-you-should-never-ever-drive-through-tenaha-texas/">Why You Should Never, Ever Drive Through Tenaha, Texas</a></strong>. If you failed to read it the first time around, I suggest you take look as it provides a good outline of just what is at stake when it comes to this destructive and abusive practice increasingly utilized&nbsp;by police departments across these United States with zero repercussions for the offending officers. In last years article I noted that:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em><strong>In a nutshell, civil forfeiture is the practice of confiscating items from people, ranging from cash, cars, even homes based on no criminal conviction or charges, merely suspicion.</strong></em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><strong>This practice first became widespread for use against pirates, as a way to take possession of contraband goods despite the fact that the ships&rsquo; owners in many cases were located thousands of miles away and couldn&rsquo;t easily be prosecuted. As is often the case, what starts out reasonable becomes a gigantic organized crime ring of criminality, particularly in a society where the rule of law no longer exists for the &ldquo;elite,&rdquo; yet anything goes when it comes to pillaging the average citizen.</strong></em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><strong>One of the major reasons these programs have become so abused is that the police departments themselves are able to keep much of the confiscated money. So they actually have a perverse incentive to steal. As might be expected, a program that is often touted as being effective against going after major drug kingpins, actually targets the poor and disenfranchised more than anything else.</strong></em></p> </blockquote> <p>While this epidemic of law enforcement theft is problematic throughout the country (see these egregious examples from&nbsp;<strong><a href="http://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2012/05/22/the-war-on-cash/">Tennessee</a></strong> and <strong><a href="http://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2013/10/07/how-the-irs-seized-35k-from-a-michigan-grocery-store-with-no-warning-or-explanation/">Michigan</a></strong>), it appears Texas has a particularly keen love affair&nbsp;with the&nbsp;practice. Not only did last year&rsquo;s story take place in Texas, today&rsquo;s highlighted episode also takes place in the Lone Star State. This time in a town of 150 people called Estelline, which <strong>earns&nbsp;</strong><span style="color: #4e4e4e;"><strong>more than 89% of its gross revenues from traffic fines and forfeitures.</strong> In other words, from theft.&nbsp;</span></p> <p>Here&rsquo;s a little background on this particular story. From the <em>Armarillo Globe News</em>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><div> <p><em>The city of Estelline is reviewing its police procedures after Hall County authorities reached a $77,500 legal settlement with an Azle woman who alleged officers illegally seized more than $29,000 from her pickup and kept $1,400 of her cash.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><strong>Fry, who was parked just past a speed limit sign in the tiny Hall County town,</strong> stopped Dutton that November evening for traveling 61 mph in a 50-mph traffic zone. Fry, the city&rsquo;s lone police officer, asked to search Dutton&rsquo;s pickup, but she refused. The officer then contacted Jolly, who drove &ldquo;Kilo,&rdquo; a drug sniffing canine, to Estelline about 30 minutes later, according to court records and deposition testimony.</em></p> </div> </blockquote> <div> <p>So the cops set up a speed trap and then use it as an excuse to illegally confiscate citizens&rsquo; property. Kill two revenue birds with one stone.</p> <div> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div> <p><em><strong>Fry told Jolly he thought he smelled raw marijuana in the pickup and that he thought Dutton was acting nervously. The drug dog &ldquo;hit&rdquo; on the vehicle and the officers found more than $29,000 inside Dutton&rsquo;s purse, still bundled in bank currency wrapping.</strong> Dutton told officers she didn&rsquo;t do drugs and denied having any marijuana in her truck. She told officers the cash came from a recent property sale, and no drugs were found during the search.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><strong>During the stop, the Memphis police chief reportedly contacted Dutton&rsquo;s two sisters, who confirmed her account that the money was received from a recent real estate transaction.</strong> Jolly, according to court records, then called an experienced local criminal investigator, who advised that officers did not have enough evidence to justify Dutton&rsquo;s arrest. After consulting with Jolly, Fry arrested Dutton, who was held overnight and bonded out the next day.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><strong>&ldquo;The city of Memphis claims they destroyed their copy of that recorded interrogation. The city of Estelline says they didn&rsquo;t make any such video or audio recording of Dutton&rsquo;s roadside interrogations</strong>; only Memphis did,&rdquo; court records show.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><strong>In a deposition, Estelline City Manager Richard Ferguson said the city, which has about 150 residents, had no written drug dog policy, no written arrest policy and no established forfeiture policy.</strong> The city also maintained no written records of past searches or seizures, yet traffic fines and forfeitures made up more than 89 percent of its gross revenues in fiscal year 2012.</em><em> </em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><strong>&ldquo;We vigorously defended the lawsuit and believe that both Chief Jolly and former Officer Fry as well as both of the cities did nothing to violate Ms. Dutton&rsquo;s constitutional rights, but recognizing the uncertainties of continuing with litigation, all the parties agreed <span style="text-decoration: underline;">that a settlement was in their best interest</span>,&rdquo;</strong> Reno said. &ldquo;<strong>The city of Estelline City Council is reviewing their current policies and procedures and exploring whether to adopt a new policy and procedure manual with respect to the operation of the police department.&rdquo;</strong></em></p> <p><strong><em>&ldquo;I feel that I was roped, corralled and branded and put out to pasture as a felon,&rdquo; she said.</em></strong></p> </blockquote> </div> </div> <p>There is so much wrong here I almost don&rsquo;t know where to begin. This one case highlights so many of the destructive practices happening in the U.S. today, it is as if this tiny Texas town serves as a microcosm for so much that is wrong with America. Let&rsquo;s start with the drug dog.</p> <p><strong>Americans are increasingly becoming familiar with their Constitutional rights, particularly the 4th Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable search and seizure. Cops don&rsquo;t like this one bit. </strong>Whereas in the recent past most Americans might simply allow a law enforcement officer to search his or her car upon request, many more citizens are likely refusing such intrusions. This is where drug dogs come in to provide &ldquo;probable cause.&rdquo; The problem here is that many drug dogs are signaling a &ldquo;drug &nbsp;hit&rdquo; when there are no drugs present. This provides a convenient excuse for any officer to search any car at any time.</p> <p>A great example of this practice was&nbsp;demonstrated in the&nbsp;<strong><a href="http://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2013/07/05/extremely-powerful-video-happy-4th-of-july-from-a-police-state-checkpoint/">July 4th video of a police stop in Murfreesboro, Tennessee,</a></strong> which has over 5 million views on YouTube. Once it became clear to the officer that the citizen who was pulled over knew his rights, the cop brought out a police dog that signaled drugs as an excuse to search the vehicle. No drugs were found. So either something is wrong with the dog, or the whole practice is a bullshit excuse for fascism. You know where I stand.</p> <p><strong>If you think that example is just a one-off, think again.</strong> One of the most horrific instances of non-leathal police abuse last year was&nbsp;<strong><a href="http://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2013/11/06/how-a-routine-traffic-stop-in-new-mexico-turned-into-a-nightmare-of-torture-for-david-eckert/">the story of David Eckert</a></strong>, the New Mexico man for whom a routine traffic stop turned into a nightmare of torture, including multiple&nbsp;involuntary anal probes. The police dog that &ldquo;sniffed drugs&rdquo; and kicked off the entire episode <a href="http://www.kob.com/article/stories/s3210356.shtml#.U9aGfdyRYpG">wasn&rsquo;t even certified to sniff for drugs</a> in the state of New Mexico at the time. His certification expired two years earlier, but that didn&rsquo;t stop local police from using it to harass and torture state residents.</p> <p><strong>The second major problem is officialdoms&rsquo; chronic &ldquo;destruction of evidence&rdquo; once&nbsp;it gets caught behaving criminally.</strong> Nothing epitomizes this more than the ridiculous <a href="http://dailycaller.com/2014/07/22/lois-lerners-hard-drive-was-scratched-then-shredded/">destruction&nbsp;of hard drives</a> pertaining to the ongoing IRS scandal. In a similar fashion, the city of Memphis in the above story &ldquo;<em style="color: #6f6f6f;"><strong>claims they destroyed their copy of that recorded interrogation.&rdquo; </strong></em>How convenient. I&rsquo;m sure the &ldquo;dog ate my homework&rdquo; excuse doesn&rsquo;t work too well for the plebs when the IRS comes&nbsp;after you. Once again, the &ldquo;elite&rdquo; and their henchmen (like cops) can get away with anything, while the citizenry is increasingly &ldquo;guilty until proven innocent.&rdquo; Even when they are proven innocent, the guilty parties in officialdom, Wall Street, or corporate America are never, ever&nbsp;held to account with prison sentences, which would serve as the only real deterrent to serious&nbsp;white-collar crimes.</p> <p><strong>This brings us to the third point. Settlements. Settlements are what people in power are increasingly subject to once their criminality has been exposed.</strong> The absolute worst case scenario is a settlement, which does nothing to deter bad behavior. In fact, as many others have also noted, it actually encourages it. A Wall Street employee at a TBTF firm&nbsp;who knows the worst thing that will happen if he gets caught is his employer will pay a fine, will be incentivized to commit as much fraud as possible. The rewards are a lifestyle worthy of a Medieval king, while the punishment is a slap on the corporate wrist. They will take that trade any day. Unsurprisingly, when it became clear the cops in the above case would lose at trial, they merely&nbsp;&ldquo;settled.&rdquo;</p> <p>Now here&rsquo;s the worst part about these &ldquo;settlements.&rdquo; As you might expect, nothing changes systemically. The bad practices continue undeterred. For example, despite the fact that the city of Estillene has&nbsp;&ldquo;<em style="color: #6f6f6f;">no written drug dog policy, no written arrest policy and no established forfeiture policy,&rdquo;&nbsp;</em>the most they have committed to is: &ldquo;<em><strong><span style="color: #6f6f6f;">Estelline City Council is reviewing their current policies and procedures and exploring whether to adopt a new policy and procedure manual with respect to the operation of the police department.&rdquo; </span></strong></em><span style="color: #6f6f6f;">So in the face of a gross violation of a resident&rsquo;s constitutional rights, the local police department&rsquo;s response is basically &ldquo;we&rsquo;ll think about it.&rdquo;</span></p> <p><strong>Finally, there is just the gross incompetence.</strong> Although&nbsp;the police department admittedly has no written drug dog, arrest or forfeiture policy, there is a little something called the Constitution of the United States of America, a document with which the police department appears entirely unfamiliar. What about the fact that the police corroborated her story with her sisters at the stop, and were even&nbsp;told by a local criminal investigator that they did not have cause to arrest her, yet they still went ahead and held her overnight.</p> <p><strong><u>Most importantly, what if she didn&rsquo;t have the wherewithal to know her rights in the first place? What if she didn&rsquo;t fight back? What if she didn&rsquo;t initiate a lawsuit?</u></strong></p> <p><strong><u>Would we even know? Do we even care?</u></strong></p> <p><em>Full article <a href="http://amarillo.com/news/local-news/2014-07-21/panhandle-speed-trap-settles-suit-over-missing-cash">here</a>.</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="195" height="222" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20140728_conf.jpg?1406581899" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-28/asset-forfeiture-%E2%80%93-how-steal-americans-hard-earned-cash-zero-repercussions#comments Corporate America Lone Star Mexico Michigan Real estate Testimony Third Point Tue, 29 Jul 2014 03:11:41 +0000 Tyler Durden 491921 at http://www.zerohedge.com Is This China's QE? http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-28/chinas-qe <p>Shortly <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-21/spot-china-liquidity-crisis">after we exposed the real liquidity crisis facing Chinese banks recently (when no repo occurred and money market rates surged)</a>, <strong>China (very quietly) announced CNY 1 trillion of &#39;Pledged Supplementary Lending&#39; (PSL) by the PBOC to China Development Bank</strong>. This first use of the facility &quot;<span style="text-decoration: underline;">smacks of quantitative easing</span>&quot; according to StanChart&#39;s Stephen Green, noting it is &quot;deliberate and significant expansion of the PBOC&#39;s balance sheet via creating bank reserves/cash&quot; and likens the exercise to the UK&#39;s Funding For Lending scheme. BofA is less convinced of the PBOC&#39;s quantitative loosening, suggesting it is<span style="text-decoration: underline;"> more like a targeted line of credit</span> (focused on lowering the costs of funding) and arguing <strong>with a record &quot;asset&quot; creation by Chinese banks in Q1 does China really need standalone QE?</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><u>China still has a liquidity crisis without the help of the PBOC... </u></strong>(when last week the PBOC did not inject liquidty via repo, money market rates spiked to six-month highs...)</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2014/07/20140721_china2.jpg"><img height="318" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2014/07/20140721_china2_0.jpg" width="600" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>And so the PBOC decided to unleash PSL (via BofA)</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>The China Business News (CBN, 18 June), suggests that the PBoC has been preparing a new monetary policy tool named &ldquo;Pledged Supplementary Lending&rdquo; (PSL) as a new facility to provide base money and to guide medium-term interest rates. Within the big picture of interest rate liberalization, the central banks may wish to have a series of policy instruments at hand, guaranteeing the smooth transition of the monetary policy making framework from quantity tools towards price tools.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>PSL: a new tool for base money creation</strong></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Since end-1990s, China&rsquo;s major source of base money expansion was through PBoC&rsquo;s purchase of FX exchanges, but money created from FX inflows outpaced money demand of the economy. To sterilize excess inflows, the PBoC imposed quite high required reserve ratio (RRR) for banks at 17.5-20.0% currently, and issued its own bills to banks to lock up cash. With FX inflows most likely to slow after CNY/USD stopped its one-way appreciation and China&rsquo;s current account surplus narrowed, there could be less need for sterilization. The PBoC may instead need to expand its monetary base with sources other than FX inflows, and PSL could become an important tool in this regard.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>&hellip;and a tool for impacting medium-term policy rate</strong></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Moreover, we interpret the introduction of the PSL as echoing the remarks by PBoC Governor Zhou Xiaochuan in a Finance Forum this May that &ldquo;the policy tool could be a short-term policy rate or a range of it, possibly plus a medium-term interest rate&rdquo;. The PBoC is likely to gradually set short-term interbank rates as new benchmark rates while using a new policy scheme similar to the rate corridor operating frameworks currently used in dozens of other economies. A medium-term policy rate could be desirable for helping the transmission of short-term policy rate to longer tenors so that the PBoC could manage financing costs for the real economy.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Key features of PSL</strong></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Through PSL, the PBoC could provide liquidity with maturity of 3-month to a few years to commercial banks for credit expansion. In some way, it could be similar to relending, and it&rsquo;s reported that the PBoC has recently provided relending to several policy and commercial banks to support credit to certain areas, such as public infrastructure, social housing, rural sector and smaller enterprises.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>However, PSL could be designed more sophisticatedly and serve a much bigger monetary role compared to relending.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>First, no collateral is required for relending so there is credit risk associated with it.</strong> By contrast, PSL most likely will require certain types of eligible collaterals from banks.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Second, the information disclosure for relending is quite discretionary, and the market may not know the timing, amount and interest rates of relending.</strong> If the PBoC wishes to use PSL to guide medium-term market rate, the PBoC perhaps need to set up proper mechanism to disclose PSL operations.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Third, relending nowadays is mostly used by the PBoC to support specific sectors or used as emergency funding facility to certain banks.</strong> PSL could be a standing liquidity facility, at least for a considerable period of time during China&rsquo;s interest rate liberalization.</p> </blockquote> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Some think China&#39;s PSL Is QE </strong></span><em>(via Market News International reports),</em></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Standard Chartered economist Stephen Green says in a note that reports of the CNY1 trillion in Pledged Supplementary Lending (PSL) that the People&#39;s Bank of China recently conducted in the market smacks of quantitative easing. He notes that the funds which have been relent to China Development Bank are <strong>&quot;deliberate and significant expansion of the PBOC&#39;s balance sheet via creating bank reserves/cash&quot; and likens the exercise to the UK&#39;s Funding For Lending scheme. CDB&#39;s balance sheet reflects the transfer of funds, even if the PBOC&#39;s doesn&#39;t.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The CNY1 trillion reported -- no details confirmed by the PBOC yet -- will wind up in the broader economy and boost demand and <strong>&quot;sends a signal that the PBOC is in the mood for quantitative loosening,&quot;</strong> Green writes</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The impact will depend on whether the details are correct and if all the funds have been transferred already, or if it&#39;s just a jumped up credit facility that CDB will be allowed to tap in stages.</p> </blockquote> <p><u><strong>But BofA believes it is more likely a targeted rate cut tool</strong></u> (via BofA)</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>The investment community and media are assessing the possible form and consequence of the first case of Pledged Supplementary Lending (PSL) by PBoC to China Development Bank (CDB). <strong>The planned total amount of RMB1.0tn of PSL is more like a line of credit rather than a direct Quantitative Easing (QE). The new facility can be understood as a &ldquo;targeted rate cut&rdquo; rather than QE.</strong> We reckon that only some amount has been withdrawn by CDB so far. Despite its initial focus on shantytown redevelopment, we believe the lending could boost the overall liquidity and offer extra help to interbank market. Depending on its timespan of depletion, the actual impact on growth could be limited but sufficient to help deliver the growth target.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><u><strong>Relending/PSL to CDB yet to be confirmed</strong></u></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The reported debut of PSL was not a straightforward one. The initial news report by China Business News gave no clues on many of the details of the deal expect for the total amount and purpose of the lending. With the limited information,<strong> we believe the lending arrangement is most likely a credit line offered by PBoC to CDB. The total amount of RMB1.0tn was not likely being used already even for a strong June money and credit data.</strong> According to PBoC balance sheet, its claims to other financial institutions increased by RMB150bn in April and May. If the full amount has been withdrawn by CDB, it is equivalent to say PBoC conducted RMB850bn net injection via CDB in June, since CDB has to park the massive deposits in commercial banks. We assess the amount could be too big for the market as the interbank rates were still rising to the mid-year regulatory assessment. The PBoC could disclose the June balance after first week of August, we expect some increase of PBoC&rsquo;s claims on banks, but would be much less than RMB850bn.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><u><strong>Difference with expected one</strong></u></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In our introductory PSL report, we argue that the<strong> operation has its root in policy reform of major central banks</strong>. However, we do not wish to compare literally with these existing instruments, namely ECB&rsquo;s TLTRO or BoE&rsquo;s FLS. Admittedly, the PBoC has its discretion to design the tailor-made currency arrangement due to the special nature of policy need. However, the opaque operation of PSL will eventually prove it a temporary arrangement and perhaps not serving as an example for other PSLs for its initial policy design to be achieved. According to Governor Zhou, the <strong>PSL is supposed to provide a reference to medium-term interest rate, which is missing in today&rsquo;s case.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><u><strong>The focus is lowering cost of funding</strong></u></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>We have been arguing that relending is a Chinese version of QE.</strong> Although relending is granted to certain banks, but there is no restriction on how banks use the funding. However, we believe PSL is more than that. The purpose of CDB&rsquo;s PSL has been narrowed down to shantytown redevelopment, an area usually demands fiscal budget or subsidy in the past. Funding cost is the key to this arrangement.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Indeed, the PBoC has been working hard to reduce the cost of funding in the economy since massive easing is not an option under the increasing leverage of the economy. </strong>A currency-depreciation easing has been initiated by PBoC to bring down the interbank rate. Since then the central bank carefully manages the OMO in order to prevent liquidity squeeze from happening. On 24 July, State Council and CBRC have introduced workable measures to reduce funding cost of small and micro-enterprises.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><u><strong>Impact of the lending</strong></u></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>PSL is not a direct QE, but there could be some side effect by this targeted lending. </strong>PSL to CDB means the funding demand and provision come hand-inhand. Targeted credit easing by nature is a requirement by targeted areas demanding policy support, which could be SMEs, infrastructure or social housing. In this regard, it is not surprising to see more PSL to support infrastructure financing. In addition to the direct impact on those targeted areas, we expect the overall funding cost could benefit from liquidity spillover.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><u>Market reaction</u></strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Since the news about PSL with CDB last Monday, we have seen a rally in the Shanghai Composite Index. </strong>However we believe multiple factors may have contributed to the rebound in the stock market including: (1) better than expected macro data in 2Q/June and HSBC PMI surprising on the upside leading to improved sentiment; (2) The State Council and the CBRC have introduced measures to reduce funding cost of small and micro-enterprises; (3) More property easing with the removal of home purchase restrictions in several cities. PSL could have contributed to the improved sentiment on expectation of further easing.</p> </blockquote> <p><u><strong>Since as we noted previously, China&#39;s massive bank asset creation (dwarfing the US) hardly looks like it needs QE...</strong></u></p> <p>As Bank Assets exploded in Q1...</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2014/07/China%20total%20bank%20assets.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2014/07/China%20total%20bank%20assets_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 435px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>dramatically outpacing the US...</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2014/07/China%20vs%20US%20total%20bank%20assets%20Q2.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2014/07/China%20vs%20US%20total%20bank%20assets%20Q2_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 457px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><u><strong>Unless something really bad is going on that needs an even bigger bucket of liquidity.</strong></u></p> <p>*&nbsp; *&nbsp; *</p> <p><strong>So whatever way you look at it, the PBOC thinks China needs more credit (through one channel or another) to keep the ponzi alive.</strong> Anyone still harboring any belief in reform, rotation to consumerism is sadly mistaken. One day of illiquidity appears to have been enough to prove that they need to keep the pipes wide open. The question is where that hot money flows as they clamp down (or not) on external funding channels.</p> <p>Notably CNY has strengthened recently as the PSL appears to have encouraged flows back into China.</p> <p>*&nbsp; *&nbsp; *</p> <p>The plot thickened a little this evening as China news reports:</p> <ul> <li><strong>*CBRC ALLOWS CHINA DEV. BANK TO START HOUSING FINANCE BUSINESS</strong></li> <li><strong>*CHINA APPROVES CDB&#39;S HOME FINANCE DEPT TO START BUSINESS: NEWS</strong></li> </ul> <p>Thus it appears the PSL is a QE/funding channel directly aimed at supporting housing. CNY 1 trillion to start and <strong>maybe China is trying to create a &quot;Fannie-Mae&quot; for China.</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="827" height="600" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/China%20total%20bank%20assets.jpg?1406601938" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-28/chinas-qe#comments BOE Central Banks China Credit Line Monetary Base Monetary Policy Quantitative Easing Standard Chartered Tue, 29 Jul 2014 02:45:40 +0000 Tyler Durden 491920 at http://www.zerohedge.com Israel Destroys Hamas Media Broadcast Outlets In Massive Explosion - Live Feed http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-28/israel-destroys-hamas-media-broadcast-outlets-massive-explosion-live-feed <p><strong>Operation Protective Edge entered its 22nd day on Tuesday</strong>, as Israeli ground forces continued their incursion into Gaza following the government rejection of a cease-fire draft proposed by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry over the weekend. Earlier in the evening, Haaretz reports the Israeli Air Force struck Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh's home in Gaza and then Reuters notes that<strong> Hamas said that its broadcast outlets, Al-Aqsa TV and Al-Aqsa Radio were also targeted</strong>. The television station continued to broadcast, but the radio station went silent.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2014/07/20140728_OPEdge_0.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2014/07/20140728_OPEdge1.jpg" width="600" height="334" /></a></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2014/07/20140728_OPEdge2.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2014/07/20140728_OPEdge2_0.jpg" width="600" height="399" /></a></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2014/07/20140728_OPEdge3.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2014/07/20140728_OPEdge3_0.jpg" width="600" height="401" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Tonight in Gaza...</p> <p><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/VVIjHVt6ZwE" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Live Feed</p> <p><script height="315px" width="560px" src="http://player.ooyala.com/iframe.js#ec=42Njdmazp8OPIKJRyChESz2RevNqe2aQ&pbid=ZTIxYmJjZDM2NWYzZDViZGRiOWJjYzc5"></script></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Operation Protective Edge by the numbers....</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2014/07/20140728_OPEdge.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2014/07/20140728_OPEdge_0.jpg" width="600" height="455" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.607757"><em>Source: Haaretz</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="571" height="318" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20140728_OPEdge1.jpg?1406600856" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-28/israel-destroys-hamas-media-broadcast-outlets-massive-explosion-live-feed#comments Israel Reuters Tue, 29 Jul 2014 02:29:32 +0000 Tyler Durden 491919 at http://www.zerohedge.com THe SCHLoCK HeaRD RouND THe WoRLD... http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-28/schlock-heard-round-world <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe src="https://www.flickr.com/photos/expd/14586152139/player/" width="607" height="1024" frameborder="0"></iframe><br /> . </p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;">.<iframe src="https://www.flickr.com/photos/expd/14772626295/player/" width="1024" height="742" frameborder="0"></iframe><br /> .</p> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-28/schlock-heard-round-world#comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 02:16:33 +0000 williambanzai7 491918 at http://www.zerohedge.com On Washington's Ukrainian Fiasco: "Who Is The Real Problem Here?" http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-28/washingtons-ukrainian-fiasco-who-real-problem-here <p><em>Submitted by <a href="http://davidstockmanscontracorner.com/my-thoughts-on-pat-buchanans-brilliant-and-incisive-take-on-washingtons-ukrainian-fiasco/">David Stockman via Contra Corner blog</a>,</em></p> <p><strong>In just 800 words Pat Buchanan exposes&nbsp;the sheer&nbsp;juvenile delinquency embodied in Washington’s current&nbsp;Ukrainian fiasco.</strong> He accomplishes this by&nbsp;reminding us of the sober restraint that governed the actions of American Presidents from FDR&nbsp;to&nbsp;Eisenhower, Reagan and&nbsp;Bush I with respect to Eastern Europe during&nbsp;far more perilous times.</p> <p>In a word, as much as they abhorred the brutal Soviet repression of the Hungarian uprising in 1956, the Prague Spring in 1968 and the solidarity movement in Poland in the early 1980s, among many other such incidents,&nbsp;<strong>they did not threaten war&nbsp;for one simple reason:&nbsp;These unfortunate episodes did not&nbsp;further endanger America’s&nbsp;national security</strong>. Instead, in different ways each of these Presidents searched for avenues of engagement with the often disagreeable and belligearent leaders of the Soviet Empire because&nbsp;they&nbsp;“felt that America could not remain isolated from the rulers of the world’s largest nation”.</p> <p>Accordingly,&nbsp;during the entire span from 1933, when FDR recognized the Soviet Union, until 1991,&nbsp;when it ended,&nbsp;the US never once claimed Ukraine’s independence was part of its foreign policy&nbsp;agenda or a vital national&nbsp;security interest. <strong>Why in the world, therefore, should we be meddling in the backyard of a&nbsp;far less threatening Russia today?</strong></p> <p>More importantly, if Ike could invite Khrushchev&nbsp;to tour America and pow-wow with him at Camp David after the suppression of the Hungarian freedom fighters and his bluster over Berlin, what in the world is Obama doing attempting to demonize Putin and make him an international pariah? The fact is, Crimea had been part of Russia for 200 years, and the Donbas had been&nbsp;its Russian-speaking&nbsp;coal, steel and industrial heartland&nbsp;since the time of Stalin.</p> <p><strong>Putin’s disagreements with the Ukrainian nationalists&nbsp;who took over&nbsp;Kiev&nbsp;during the&nbsp;Washington inspired overthrow of its constitutionally-elected government in February are his legitimate geo-political&nbsp;business, but have nothing to do with our national security.&nbsp;</strong>And whatever his considerable faults, Putin is no totalitarian menace even remotely in the same league as his Soviet&nbsp;predecessors.&nbsp;In that regard, Hillary&nbsp;Clinton’s sophomoric comparison of him to Hitler is downright preposterous.</p> <p><strong>At the heart of the matter is the War Party’s desire to punish Putin for pushing back against American interventionism in Syria, Iran, Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East.</strong> For that Washington has now ensnared itself in an ancient ethnic&nbsp;struggle that has roiled Russia’s&nbsp;borders for centuries; and&nbsp;has landed smack in the middle of&nbsp;an attempt by Kiev’s nationalists&nbsp;to violently&nbsp;maintain the “territorial integrity” of a nation who’s boundaries have been meandering all over the map since the middle ages.</p> <p><strong>In that context, Senator John McCain’s call to arm the ruffians, opportunists, oligarchs and neo-fascists&nbsp;who took power in a&nbsp;street level coup in Kiev is downright lunatic.</strong> It causes Buchanan to ask, “Who is the real problem here?”</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>The answer is that it’s not Putin</strong></span>, and that conclusion comes from a brilliant partisan scholar of 20th century foreign policy who is no left-wing pacifist.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><strong><a href="http://original.antiwar.com/buchanan/2014/07/24/is-putin-worse-than-stalin/"><span style="text-decoration: underline;">By Pat Buchanan (via Anti-war)</span></a></strong></em></p> <p>In 1933, the Holodomor was playing out in Ukraine.</p> <p>After the “kulaks,” the independent farmers, had been liquidated in the forced collectivization of Soviet agriculture, a genocidal famine was imposed on Ukraine through seizure of her food production.</p> <p>Estimates of the dead range from two to nine million souls.</p> <p>Walter Duranty of the New York Times, who called reports of the famine “malignant propaganda,” won a Pulitzer for his mendacity.</p> <p>In November 1933, during the Holodomor, the greatest liberal of them all, FDR, invited Foreign Minister Maxim Litvinov to receive official U.S. recognition of his master Stalin’s murderous regime.</p> <p>On August 1, 1991, just four months before Ukraine declared its independence of Russia, George H. W. Bush warned Kiev’s legislature:</p> <p>“Americans will not support those who seek independence in order to replace a far-off tyranny with a local despotism. They will not aid those who promote a suicidal nationalism based upon ethnic hatred.”</p> <p>In short, Ukraine’s independence was never part of America’s agenda. From 1933 to 1991, it was never a U.S. vital interest. Bush I was against it.</p> <p>When then did this issue of whose flag flies over Donetsk or Crimea become so crucial that we would arm Ukrainians to fight Russian-backed rebels and consider giving a NATO war guarantee to Kiev, potentially bringing us to war with a nuclear-armed Russia?</p> <p>From FDR on, U.S. presidents have felt that America could not remain isolated from the rulers of the world’s largest nation.</p> <p>Ike invited Khrushchev to tour the USA after he had drowned the Hungarian Revolution in blood. After Khrushchev put missiles in Cuba, JFK was soon calling for a new detente at American University.</p> <p>Within weeks of Warsaw Pact armies crushing the Prague Spring in August 1968, LBJ was seeking a summit with Premier Alexei Kosygin.</p> <p>After excoriating Moscow for the downing of KAL 007 in 1983, that old Cold Warrior Ronald Reagan was fishing for a summit meeting.</p> <p>The point: Every president from FDR through George H. W. Bush, even after collisions with Moscow far more serious than this clash over Ukraine, sought to re-engage the men in the Kremlin.</p> <p>Whatever we thought of the Soviet dictators who blockaded Berlin, enslaved Eastern Europe, put rockets in Cuba and armed Arabs to attack Israel, Ike, JFK, LBJ, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan and Bush 1 all sought to engage Russia’s rulers.</p> <p>Avoidance of a catastrophic war demanded engagement.</p> <p><strong>How then can we explain the clamor of today’s U.S. foreign policy elite to confront, isolate, and cripple Russia, and make of Putin a moral and political leper with whom honorable statesmen can never deal?</strong></p> <p>What has Putin done to rival the forced famine in Ukraine that starved to death millions, the slaughter of the Hungarian rebels or the Warsaw Pact’s crushing of Czechoslovakia?</p> <p>In Ukraine, Putin responded to a U.S.-backed coup, which ousted a democratically elected political ally of Russia, with a bloodless seizure of the pro-Russian Crimea where Moscow has berthed its Black Sea fleet since the 18th century. This is routine Big Power geopolitics.</p> <p>And though Putin put an army on Ukraine’s border, he did not order it to invade or occupy Luhansk or Donetsk. Does this really look like a drive to reassemble either the Russian Empire of the Romanovs or the Soviet Empire of Stalin that reached to the Elbe?</p> <p>As for the downing of the Malaysian airliner, Putin did not order that. Sen. John Cornyn says U.S. intelligence has not yet provided any “smoking gun” that ties the missile-firing to Russia.</p> <p>Intel intercepts seem to indicate that Ukrainian rebels thought they had hit an Antonov military transport plane.</p> <p>Yet, today, the leading foreign policy voice of the Republican Party, Sen. John McCain, calls Obama’s White House “cowardly” for not arming the Ukrainians to fight the Russian-backed separatists.</p> <p>But suppose Putin responded to the arrival of U.S. weapons in Kiev by occupying Eastern Ukraine. What would we do then?</p> <p><strong>John Bolton has the answer: Bring Ukraine into NATO.</strong></p> <p><strong>Translation: The U.S. and NATO should go to war with Russia</strong>, if necessary, over Luhansk, Donetsk and Crimea, though no U.S. president has ever thought Ukraine itself was worth a war with Russia.</p> <p><strong>What motivates Putin seems simple and understandable. </strong>He wants the respect due a world power. He sees himself as protector of the Russians left behind in his “near abroad.” He relishes playing Big Power politics. History is full of such men.</p> <p>He allows U.S. overflights to Afghanistan, cooperates in the P5+1 on Iran, helped us rid Syria of chemical weapons, launches our astronauts into orbit, collaborates in the war on terror and disagrees on Crimea and Syria.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>But what motivates those on our side who seek every opportunity to restart the Cold War?</strong></span></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Is it not a desperate desire to appear once again Churchillian, once again heroic, once again relevant, as they saw themselves in the Cold War that ended so long ago?</strong></span></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Who is the real problem here?</strong></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="525" height="539" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20140723_infl_0.jpg?1406594286" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-28/washingtons-ukrainian-fiasco-who-real-problem-here#comments Afghanistan Eastern Europe Ford Iran Iraq Israel John Cornyn John McCain Middle East national security Nationalism New York Times Poland Ukraine White House Tue, 29 Jul 2014 02:07:02 +0000 Tyler Durden 491917 at http://www.zerohedge.com China Raids Multiple Microsoft Offices, Media Demands "Severe Punishment" http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-28/china-raids-multiple-microsoft-offices-media-demands-severe-punishment <p>With Chinese state media calling for <strong>&quot;severe punishment&quot; against American tech firms</strong> for helping the U.S government to steal secrets and monitor China,<a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/07/28/us-microsoft-china-idUSKBN0FX0TY20140728"> Reuters reports</a> that <strong>Microsoft offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu were raided this weekend</strong>. Chinese officials declined to give any reasons for the inspections. Whether this is ongoing blow-back from NSA revelations or a <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-18/russian-sanctions-retaliation-escalates-dumps-intelamd-and-now-foreign-cars">back-door Russia retaliation is unclear</a>, but it is an escalation from the ongoing Windows 8 ban. Microsoft&#39;s only response, &quot;<strong>we&#39;re happy to answer the government&#39;s questions.&quot;</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/07/28/us-microsoft-china-idUSKBN0FX0TY20140728">As Reuters reports,</a></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>Chinese government officials have made sudden visits to Microsoft offices in China</strong>, a spokeswoman for the company said on Monday, but declined to give any reason for the inspections.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>China&#39;s State Administration for Industry &amp; Commerce, which <strong>Chinese media reported had made the visits to Microsoft offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu, declined to give comment outside of working hours.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Microsoft has been a focus of anti-U.S. technology sentiment in China since U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden revealed widespread spying programs, </strong>including PRISM, which used U.S. company&#39;s technology for cyber espionage.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In an e-mailed statement, the Microsoft spokeswoman said: &quot;We aim to build products that deliver the features, security and reliability customers expect and <strong>we&#39;re happy to answer the government&#39;s questions</strong>,&quot; but declined to give any further information.</p> </blockquote> <p>It&#39;s not been a good few months for Microsoft in China...</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>The world&#39;s largest software company has had a rocky time in China, including <strong>a call by state media for &quot;severe punishment&quot; against American tech firms for helping the U.S government to steal secrets and monitor China.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Earlier this month, activists said Microsoft&#39;s OneDrive cloud storage service was being disrupted in China.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In May, central government offices were banned from installing Windows 8, Microsoft&#39;s latest operating system, on new computers. This ban appears to not have been lifted, as multiple procurement notices since then have not allowed Windows 8.</p> </blockquote> <p>A spokesman from the State Internet Information Office, cited by the Xinhua News Agency, said in May that <strong>&ldquo;governments and enterprises of a few countries&rdquo; are taking advantage of their monopoly status and technological edge to collect sensitive information.</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="248" height="219" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20140728_msft.jpg?1406594245" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-28/china-raids-multiple-microsoft-offices-media-demands-severe-punishment#comments China national security PrISM Reuters Tue, 29 Jul 2014 01:42:13 +0000 Tyler Durden 491916 at http://www.zerohedge.com Today's Other Anniversary http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-28/todays-other-anniversary <p>As most are aware by now, today is the <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-28/100-years-ago-today-it-began-austria-has-chosen-war">100th anniversary of the start of World War </a>I - the war which was supposed to end all wars, when in reality, in conjunction with the Federal Reserve - which was created just few shorts months prior - it merely unleashed the most deadly series of wars the world has ever seen. </p> <p>What may be less known is that today's "other" anniversary is perhaps just as momentous, if not (yet) as destructive or GDP boosting: on July 28, 2004 is when America got its first glimpse of a political newcomer few if any had heard of previously. <strong>Barack Obama. </strong></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Now looks just a wee bit older. RT <a href="https://twitter.com/TheFix">@TheFix</a>: Ten years ago today, America met a guy named Barack Obama. <a href="http://t.co/N9ZlRDXRTj">pic.twitter.com/N9ZlRDXRTj</a></p> <p>— Binyamin Appelbaum (@BCAppelbaum) <a href="https://twitter.com/BCAppelbaum/statuses/493830244466692096">July 28, 2014</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script><p>Boston Magazine's take:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Ten years ago on July 28, 2004, those Americans who don’t watch national political conventions in primetime woke up to hear about a newcomer to the Democratic political scene: Barack Obama.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Democrats hosted their national convention in Boston that year and offered the keynote address to a relatively unknown candidate for Senate in Chicago. On a night with speeches from more familiar faces like Ted Kennedy, the keynote offered Obama the chance to drastically raise his national profile. He succeeded.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The address offered a message of unity with lines like, “There’s not a liberal America and a conservative America; there’s the United States of America.” <strong>His speech presented an “us versus them” narrative that didn’t put Democrats against Republicans but the audience against those who wanted to divide them. </strong>“<span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Now even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us, the spin masters and negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of anything goes</strong></span>.”</p> </blockquote> <p>And how right he was.</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="965" height="582" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/Obama%20then%20and%20now.png?1406596101" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-28/todays-other-anniversary#comments Barack Obama Federal Reserve Reality Twitter Twitter Tue, 29 Jul 2014 01:14:01 +0000 Tyler Durden 491915 at http://www.zerohedge.com Is This How China Will Deal With Its Massive Mal-Investment? http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-28/how-china-will-deal-its-massive-mal-investment <p>There is no doubt that China's massive credit-fueled expansion has created the largest mal-investment boom the world has ever known (no matter how much anticipated urbanization or consumerization one really believes in)... so we wondered, how will they deal with this problem? Perhaps the following creative destruction is necessary...</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/-ejrjCuKL94" width="480" height="360" frameborder="0"></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="529" height="343" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20140728_china.jpg?1406586501" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-28/how-china-will-deal-its-massive-mal-investment#comments China Tue, 29 Jul 2014 00:51:47 +0000 Tyler Durden 491914 at http://www.zerohedge.com US May Send Military Aid To Ukraine; Accuses Russia Of Violating Nuclear Arms Treaty With ICBM Launch http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-28/us-considering-military-aid-ukraine-accuses-russia-violating-nuclear-arms-treaty-icb <p>If the specter of the second cold war descending into outright smoldering status doesn't send the S&amp;P promptly to all time highs, nothing will. Moments ago the White House accused Russia of violating the 1987 missile treaty, in response to a still unspecified ICBM launch, calling the "breach" a "very serious matter." </p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2014/07/spies%20like%20us%202.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2014/07/spies%20like%20us%202.jpg" width="495" height="316" /></a></p> <p>From Reuters:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>In another sign of deteriorating relations between the United States and Russia, the U.S. government said on Monday that Moscow had violated the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces treaty, and urged immediate bilateral talks on the issue.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"This is a very serious matter which we have attempted to address with Russia for some time now," an administration official said in a statement.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"The United States will, of course, consult with allies on this matter to take into account the impact of this Russian violation on our collective security if Russia does not return to compliance," the official said. (Reporting</p> </blockquote> <p><a href="http://bigstory.ap.org/article/us-russia-violated-1987-nuclear-missile-treaty">AP adds</a>: </p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>An administration official says the United States has notified Russia of its determination that it broke the agreement by testing a new ground-launched cruise missile. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive information.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The issue has simmered for a few years, but until Monday the United States had not made the accusation public. Russian officials say they have looked into the allegations and consider the matter closed.</p> </blockquote> <p>And just so it is clear that the US is now picked the "escalation" of the prisoner's dilemma,&nbsp; also moments ago AGP reported that the US is now weighing the risks of aiding Ukraine militarily. Specifically, senior American military officers are discussing the possibility of "providing Ukraine with more precise intelligence that would allow it to target missiles held by pro-Russian forces, US officials said Monday."</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-28/shocking-reason-putin-isnt-worried-about-50-billion-yukos-ruling">From AFP</a>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>But no decision is imminent and some officials are concerned such a move could backfire by escalating the conflict between Ukraine and the rebels backed by Moscow.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"That's part of the discussions," said one defense official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, referring to the possible enhanced intelligence sharing.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"It's all part of looking at how we can help the Ukrainians," the official told AFP. But he added there were risks in providing Ukrainian forces with information that could help them strike at pro-Russian fighters in the country's east.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The New York Times first reported that the Pentagon and spy agencies were looking at sharing more precise, real-time intelligence with Kiev to enable its military to go after surface-to-air missiles blamed for taking out several of its aircraft The White House has yet to hold a debate on the issue among high-level officials, the paper reported over the weekend.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>A second Pentagon official downplayed the likelihood of the move and underlined the dangers involved.<strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>"There's not enough military equipment that Washington could provide to counter Russian influence," </strong>said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>"There's a risk that the more weapons we provide to the Ukrainians, the more Russians escalate and step up their role," the official said.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>For the moment, President Barack Obama's administration has provided only limited intelligence to Ukraine and has avoiding supplying weapons to Kiev.</p> </blockquote> <p>But the moment is about to end.</p> <p>And now, sit back and enjoy as the wealth effect washes over you while halfway around the world the likelihood of war, as was <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-28/shocking-reason-putin-isnt-worried-about-50-billion-yukos-ruling">hinted by a Putin advisor earlier</a>, is looking increasingly realistic, conveniently on the 100th anniversary of the <strong><em>war to end all wars.</em></strong></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="495" height="316" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/spies%20like%20us%202.jpg?1406593983" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-28/us-considering-military-aid-ukraine-accuses-russia-violating-nuclear-arms-treaty-icb#comments New York Times Reuters SPY Ukraine White House Tue, 29 Jul 2014 00:26:04 +0000 Tyler Durden 491913 at http://www.zerohedge.com