en "From Nukes To Terrorism": Battered Investors Flee Risk For Safety Of Bonds And Gold <p>The global risk-off mood accelerated overnight on Trump "stability concerns", coupled with fallout from the Spain terrorist attack and lingering North Korea tensions, even if the VIX is off its latest highs, trading just above 15. Investors fled into German and U.S. Treasury bonds and bought gold for the third day in a row, as the appeal of such top-notch assets grew further due to a deadly attack that killed at least 13 people in Barcelona.</p> <p><strong>"In a week where we started by worrying about nuclear war, markets have quickly moved on from this, with yesterday's weak session more of a response to fears that Mr Trump's strategy for the economy and business is falling apart and later the terrible terrorist attack in Barcelona," </strong>is how DB's Jim Reid summarized the week's psychedelic events. </p> <p>Concerns that Trump’s stimulus is in peril spiked following speculation that his top economic advisor, former Goldman COO Gary Cohn, was set to resign roiled markets on Thursday until reports that he’d opted to stay on board steadied the ship, however heightened terror fears added to the risk off sentiment after at least 13 people died when a van plowed into pedestrians in Barcelona. The terror attack was a reminder of lingering geopolitical risks, with nerves still raw after last week’s escalation of tensions on the Korean peninsula.&nbsp; </p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="500" height="281" /></a></p> <p>USD/JPY dropped below 109.00 and EUR/JPY 128.00; EUR/USD and GBP/USD both run upside stops as USD weakens across the board. Core fixed income markets rally, curves bull flatten with 10Y bund yield falling below 40bps. Spot gold hits YTD high just below $1300/oz, while a strong close for Dalian iron ore futures once again lifts China industrial metals. </p> <p>ING Bank analysts predicted the dollar would remain pinned near current levels, at the expense of the yen. "Tail risks such as geopolitics, protectionism and the unwind of easy central bank money all provide valid reasons to remain cautious in chasing risk," they told clients. "Dollar/yen continues to capture this nervousness and could move down towards the 109.00 level."</p> <p>European stocks tumbled, with Spanish shares leading losses, as two Spanish terrorist incidents added to investor worries about U.S. policy chaos under the Trump administration.&nbsp; The Stoxx Europe 600 Index dropped 1% percent, reducing the weekly rebound to just 0.3%. In the US, S&amp;P futures were largely flat while Asian dropped with the dollar on rising US political turmoil. Gold, yen and oil gained despite another weekly increase in US shale production. Credit spreads widen, iTraxx Crossover touches widest level seen during North Korea troubles.</p> <p>Travel and hospitality shares led the 1% drop in the Stoxx Europe 600 along with banks, while industries across the board were caught in the downturn. Spain’s IBEX index dropped more than 1 percent. Equities fell from Tokyo to Sydney earlier after the S&amp;P 500 Index on Thursday tumbled 1.5 percent, its second-biggest drop for 2017. The VIX soared higher for the second time in one week, while core bonds across the euro region advanced. </p> <p>In Asia, Japan’s Topix fell 1.1% at the close, down 1.2% over the week, while Australia’s S&amp;P/500 Index ended 0.6% lower. The seemingly impervious to anything, including nuclear war Kospi index ended barely changed 0.1 percent lower. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 0.6%.&nbsp; The MSCI Asia Pacific Index lost 0.5 percent, paring gains for the week. </p> <p>“The terror attacks in the U.S. and Spain just add to all the other geopolitical mess,” Simon Quijano-Evans, a strategist at London-based Legal &amp; General Investment Management Ltd., said in a note to clients. “At some stage that is likely to culminate into a more extreme market reaction.”</p> <p>In rates, yields have fallen in recent days following the ECB comments and amid the dash for defensive assets, with 10-year Bunds at a one-week low of 0.41 percent while 10-year Treasuries traded just off one-week lows hit on Thursday; 10Y Gilts fell one basis point to 1.075%. <strong>The turmoil also benefited gold, with spot prices for the metal rising 0.4 percent to the highest in more than two months </strong>and on track for its second week of gains.</p> <p>Brent crude futures rose 0.35 percent, rising off three-week lows hit on Thursday as the dollar continued to weaken and signs appeared that supply is becoming tighter in the world's biggest energy consumer, the United States.</p> <p>Today's data include August Michigan consumer sentiment. Deere, Estee Lauder, Foot Locker and Ascendis Pharma are among companies reporting earnings. </p> <p><strong>Market Snapshot</strong></p> <ul> <li>S&amp;P 500 futures down 0.01% to 2,427.25</li> <li>STOXX Europe 600 down 0.9% to 373.47</li> <li>MXAP down 0.5% to 159.06</li> <li>MXAPJ down 0.6% to 522.83</li> <li>Nikkei down 1.2% to 19,470.41</li> <li>Topix down 1.1% to 1,597.36</li> <li>Hang Seng Index down 1.1% to 27,047.57</li> <li>Shanghai Composite up 0.01% to 3,268.72</li> <li>Sensex down 1.1% to 31,438.75</li> <li>Australia S&amp;P/ASX 200 down 0.6% to 5,747.11</li> <li>Kospi down 0.1% to 2,358.37</li> <li>Gold spot up 0.4% to $1,293.58</li> <li>U.S. Dollar Index down 0.07% to 93.55</li> <li>German 10Y yield fell 1.9 bps to 0.407%</li> <li>Euro up 0.1% to $1.1738</li> <li>Brent Futures up 0.3% to $51.17/bbl</li> <li>Italian 10Y yield fell 1.8 bps to 1.737%</li> <li>Spanish 10Y yield rose 10.4 bps to 1.543%</li> </ul> <p><strong>Top Overnight News</strong></p> <ul> <li>European Union officials accepted the U.K.’s request to delay the start of the next round of Brexit talks to enable British officials to have time off on Britain’s Aug. 28 “summer bank holiday,” according to two people familiar with the plans</li> <li>Yellen speech at Jackson Hole confirmed for Friday, Aug. 25 at 10 a.m. New York time, topic will be financial stability; Draghi speech same day at 3 p.m. New York time</li> <li>Trump: advisory council for infrastructure will not move forward, according to a White House spokesperson </li> <li>China govt. to further limit outbound investments in foreign property, hotels, sports and gambling</li> <li>Barcelona: five suspected terrorists killed by police; Islamic State claims responsibility</li> <li>Five suspected terrorists killed by police following Barcelona attack </li> <li>China home prices rise in 56 cities vs 60 prev as property market cools</li> <li>Energy Capital Is Said to Plan $5.5 Billion Calpine Takeover</li> <li>Ping An Undervalued Even After 50%-Plus Gain, President Says</li> <li>Gap’s Old Navy Chain Keeps Retailer’s Turnaround Hopes Alive</li> <li>Roche, Sanofi May Move on House Democrats MS Drug Price Probe</li> <li>Guangzhou Auto Says No Plans to Buy Fiat Chrysler: Reuters</li> <li>Fed’s Kashkari repeats there’s no rush to raise rates; </li> <li>Kaplan urges<br /> patience, would like ’more progress on inflation’ before next hike</li> <li>JPMorgan Hires Chen From Deutsche Bank For Senior China Role</li> <li>James Murdoch to Donate $1m to Anti-Defamation League: Yahoo</li> <li>July U.S. Total Video Game Sales Up 19% to $588m: NPD</li> <li>Gap CEO Says Gap Brand ‘Stable and Steady,’ Not Yet Satisfying</li> <li>Bunge Expands Soy Crush in Brazil, Cites Long-Term Positive View</li> <li>Holidays on Hold as Bond Market Defies Usual August Slowdown</li> <li>Quants Deliver Swift 10% Gain on Iron Ore From New BNP Model</li> <li>Five Suspected Terrorists Killed After Twin Attacks on Spain</li> <li>Elliott Is Said to Signal Backing for $6.3 Billion Stada Buyout</li> <li>Merkel Jeered by Immigration Foes in Biggest Campaign Unrest Yet</li> <li>Applied Materials Machines in Demand as Data Use Explodes </li> <li>ROST Boosts FY EPS View, Midpoint Beats Est.; Shares Rise 8.4%</li> </ul> <p><strong>Bulletin Headline Summary from RanSquawk</strong></p> <ul> <li>European equities enter the North America crossover amid yesterday's terror incident and further turmoil in Washington</li> <li>JPY has been the main beneficiary in FX markets with macro newsflow otherwise relatively light</li> <li>Looking ahead, highlights include: Canadian CPI, Uni. Of Michigan and Kaplan</li> </ul> <p><strong>In Asian trading, all major Asia-Pac indices traded in negative territory </strong>as the risk averse tone triggered by terror incidents in Spain and resignation rumours related to Trump's chief economic advisor Cohn, rolled over to the region. ASX 200 (-0.56%) dampened from the open with the largest weighted financials sector leading the declines as all big 4 banks traded with firm losses, while Nikkei 225 (-1.18%) exporters felt the brunt of the safe-haven flows into FY.&nbsp; Hang Seng (-1.08%) and Shanghai Comp. (+0.01%) also mirrored the global risk averse tone, although downside was stemmed in the mainland after the PBoC switched to net weekly injection in its operations vs. last week's drain and as participants mulled over the latest property price data which suggested the effectiveness of curbs to cool the over rampant sector. 10yr JGBs were marginally higher with mild support seen amid the negative backdrop in global equities, while the BoJ were also in the market for JPY 1.05fin of JGBs with maturities of up to 10yrs.</p> <p><em>Top Asian News</em></p> <ul> <li>Malaysia GDP Growth Beats Forecasts as Economy Expands 5.8%</li> <li>After Alibaba Bonanza, Manager Said to Plan New Asia Hedge Fund</li> <li>Company Founders Find Fighting Back Has a Cost in India</li> <li>Japan Stocks to Watch: JT, Kyoei Steel, NGK Insulators, Tosoh</li> <li>Iron Ore in China Ends Week With Bang as Demand Seen Holding Up</li> <li>Ping An’s Tech Push Undervalued by Investors, Ren Says: Q&amp;A</li> <li>Conflict With Infosys’ Founders Prompts CEO Sikka to Quit</li> <li>U.S. Equities See Further Outflows, Europe Sees Inflows: BofAML</li> <li>Falling House Prices in Shenzhen Don’t Bode Well for Steel</li> <li>Kingsgate Surges as Thailand Lifts Gold Mine’s Suspension</li> </ul> <p><strong>Across European markets sentiment has soured </strong>with the Eurostoxx falling over 1%, sector wise the losses are broad based with travel stocks among the worst performers following yesterday's terror attacks in Barcelona. Financials also taking a hit this morning after reports that banks are being sued by the FDIC over the Libor-rigging scandal. Flight to quality flow keeping EGBs afloat, the German curve is slightly bull flattening while the 10Y yield is approaching 0.4%. Peripheral debt spreads wider with the Italian 10Y yield edging higher.</p> <p><em>Top European News</em></p> <ul> <li>Commerzbank Early Retirement Offers Accepted by Almost 40%</li> <li>City of London Only Sign of Brexit Weakness, Kingspan CEO Says</li> <li>Straumann Stopped Share Sale as Investors Wanted Bigger Discount</li> <li>Sistema Requests Break in Hearing After New Documents Submitted</li> <li>Czechs Move to Strip Election Favorite of Immunity Before Vote</li> </ul> <p><strong>In currenices, </strong>JPY firmer across the board amid the fall seen across equity markets and as such USD/JPY is eying 109.00 to the downside, while support in the short term is situated at 108.70-80. USD softer against its major counterparts, EUR and GBP higher by 0.25% with the later making a move to breach 1.29. However, the backdrop of Brexit continues to weigh on GBP/USD and curb the upside. CAD: Today will see the release of the Canadian CPI figures where expectations are for a slight pick-up in inflation. Although, a miss on this could see USD/CAD make a push through 1.27. </p> <p><strong>In commodities,</strong> safe-haven commodities supported with gold prices moving to intra-day highs. Elsewhere, the softer USD also sees crude prices ticking up as Brent crude breaches USD 51. Another day of gains for base metals, Zinc rising near 2%.</p> <p><strong>Looking at the day ahead, </strong>in the US, the University of Michigan sentiment index (94 expected) will be released. Further, the Fed’s Kaplan will speak again today.</p> <p><strong>US Event Calendar</strong></p> <ul> <li>10am: U. of Mich. Sentiment, est. 94, prior 93.4; U. of Mich. Current Conditions, est. 112.9, prior 113.4; U. of Mich. Expectations, est. 81.5, prior 80.5 <ul> <li>U. of Mich. 1 Yr Inflation, prior 2.6%; U. of Mich. 5-10 Yr Inflation, prior 2.6%</li> </ul> </li> </ul> <p><strong>DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap</strong></p> <p>In a week where we started by worrying about nuclear war, markets have quickly moved on from this with yesterday's weak session more of a response to fears that Mr Trump's strategy for the economy and business is falling apart and later the terrible terrorist attack in Barcelona. </p> <p>The S&amp;P 500 (-1.54%) fell sharply for its 2nd worst day of the year with the VIX surging 32.5% to 15.55, the fifth highest close of the year. We've now gone through last week's 'fire and fury' lows. The hits kept coming yesterday with speculation that Trump's key economic advisor Gary Cohn was about to resign sending an early US session shock to markets. He is seen as the glue holding Trump's pro-business agenda together. The fears are that if he goes you take a further step back from tax cuts and deregulation. Notably the VIX moved from just over 12 to nearly 13.74 in 25mins as the news swept through the markets. The story was denied and markets calmed a little but sold off sharply into the close as the shocking news broke from Barcelona that terrorists killed 13 people as a vehicle rammed into pedestrians.</p> <p>This morning in Asia, markets are following the negative leads from the US and are lower. The Nikkei (-1.33%), Hang Seng (-0.71%) and Chinese bourses (c.-0.2%) are all down. Elsewhere, the annual military drills between US and South Korean troops starting Monday seem to be having little impact on the markets, with the Kospi down 0.20%.</p> <p>Now onto the ECB minutes. They noted that “concerns were expressed about the risk of the (Euro) overshooting in the future” and that policy makers discussed making “incremental” changes to their forward guidance. Later on, Draghi told reporters that the incoming data confirmed the strength of the Eurozone economy, but on inflation “we need to be persistent and patient, because we’re not there yet…” and “a very substantial degree of monetary accommodation is still needed for underlying inflation pressure to gradually build up”. Members have retained their pledge to the asset purchase program and Draghi noted later that “the last thing that the council may want is an unwanted tightening of the financing conditions”.</p> <p>Given the focus on the Euro and Draghi, DB’s Mark Wall has just published a report highlighting the spectrum of Draghi’s comments on the exchange rate since becoming the President of the ECB. Draghi will speak at the Jackson Hole meeting but is not now expected to set expectations for the timing of a decision on QE. That said, Mark argues that Draghi’s view on the macro should be no more cautious than he was back at the July ECB council meeting.&nbsp; <strong>Across the pond, the Fed has confirmed that Yellen will speak on the topic of financial stability at next week's Jackson Hole symposium.</strong></p> <p>Back to the market’s performance yesterday. US equities have all weakened, with the S&amp;P (-1.54%), the Dow (-1.24%) and the Nasdaq (-1.94% and marking the third largest daily decline in 2017). Within the S&amp;P, all sectors were in the red, with the financials hit harder (BAC -2.27%; WFC -1.69%), in part as nervousness around Cohn hit the sector as he is expected to help deliver tax cuts, an easing in bank regulations and drive bond yields higher. European markets were also down, the Stoxx 600 fell -0.6%, with all sectors excluding utilities in the red. Similarly, financials were also more impacted, with large banks down -1.5% to -2.5%. Across the region, the DAX (-0.49%), FTSE 100 (-0.61%), CAC (-0.58%) and the Italian FTSE MIB (-0.89%) all fell.</p> <p>Bond yields also fell in both US and Europe, with the UST10y down 4bps and core European yields down 2bps. Across the region, the decline in bond yields were fairly uniform at the long end of the curve, with bunds (2Y: +1bp; 10Y: -2bps), Gilts (2Y: -1bp; 10Y: -2bps) and OATs (2Y: +1bp; 10Y: -2bps) all lower i yield even if at the 2y part of the curve, changes were a bit more mixed, but little changed. This morning, UST10y has reversed a little, with yields back up 1.6bps. </p> <p>Turning to currencies, earlier in the day the USD had strengthened against the euro, with EUR/USD down as much as -1%, but the aforementioned developments in the US saw the dollar retreat and allow the Euro to close down -0.4% for the day. Elsewhere, Euro/Sterling and Sterling/USD both dipped 0.2%, while the US dollar index finished +0.1% higher for the day. In commodities, WTI pared back from three consecutive days of losses to be up +0.7% yesterday. Precious metals were little changed (Gold +0.4%; Silver -0.5%), while industrial metals increased on the back of traders speculation of tighter supply (Copper +2.3%, Zinc +4.6%, Aluminium +2.5%), although some of the gains were offset this morning.</p> <p>Away from the markets and the Gary Cohn story, tension continues to grow in US politics and may add to doubts on Trump’s pro-growth reforms. Republican senator Corker has told reporters that “..the president needs to….move away beyond himself…move to a place where daily he’s waking up thinking about what is best for the nation.” Further, another Republican senator Scott said “what we want to see from our president is clarity and moral authority.” Elsewhere, Trump was also busy himself, twitting “publicity seeking (Republican senator) Graham falsely stated that I said….such a disgusting lie.” and that Republican senator Flake is “toxic” and a “non-factor in the senate”.</p> <p>Elsewhere, the German Constitutional Court has raised concerns that ECB’s public sector purchase program (PSPP) might violate the prohibition of monetary financing in EU law. The highest German court has referred the complaint to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) for "preliminary ruling". DB’s Boettcher does not expect an ECJ decision on the motion before Q1 2018. This could push a final verdict by the GCC into late 2018, thus into a period when we expect the ECB to have progressed on winding down QE.</p> <p>Before we take a look at today’s calendar, we wrap up with other data releases from yesterday. In the US, data was mixed but broadly in line. The July industrial production was a tad lower at 0.2% mom (vs. 0.3% expected), whilst manufacturing output fell 0.1% mom (vs. 0.2% expected), with the 3.6% mom decline in auto production (the third consecutive monthly decline) being the biggest weight in the month. Elsewhere, the Philadelphia Fed business index was higher than expected at 18.9 (vs. 18) and the July conference board leading index was in line at 0.3%. Employment indicators remain solid, with initial jobless claims at 232k (vs. 240k) and continuing claims at 1.953m (vs. 1.955m). Across the pond, UK’s July retail sales was higher than expectations at 0.5% mom for exauto (vs. 0.1% expected) and 1.5% yoy (vs. 1.2%). Elsewhere, the Eurozone’s July inflation was in line at -0.5% mom, while the final inflation reading was unchanged at 1.2% yoy (core inflation). The French unemployment rate edged down to 9.2% in 2Q, meeting market expectations.</p> <p>Looking at the day ahead, the German PPI’s will be out as this note is published, then the Eurozone’s June current account stats and construction output data are due. In the US, the University of Michigan sentiment index (94 expected) will be released. Further, the Fed’s Kaplan will speak again today.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="800" height="450" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Anti-Defamation League ASX 200 BAC Bank of Japan Bond Brazil Business CAD China Chrysler Conference Board Consumer Sentiment Continuing Claims Copper CPI Crude Currency DAX 30 Deutsche Bank Deutsche Börse Dow 30 ECB Economic growth Economy Economy of the European Union Equity Markets Euro European Court of Justice European Union Eurostoxx Eurozone Eurozone FDIC federal government fixed Foreign exchange market FTSE 100 German Constitutional Court Gilts Hang Seng 40 IBEX 35 Index Initial Jobless Claims Jim Reid Kospi Michigan MSCI Asia Pacific NASDAQ NASDAQ 100 Nikkei Nikkei 225 North Korea People's Bank of China Philadelphia Fed Philadelphia Fed business Precious Metals S&P S&P 500 S&P/ASX 200 Senate Shenzhen STOXX Stoxx 600 SWIFT the University of Michigan Topix Trump Administration U.S. Dollar Index U.S. Treasury Unemployment University Of Michigan US Dollar Index VIX White House White House Yen Fri, 18 Aug 2017 10:48:32 +0000 Tyler Durden 601894 at Caught On Tape: Spanish Police Kill Five Terrorist In Separate Terror Plot <p><strong>Update 2:</strong> The explosive belts worn by attackers killed by police in the Catalan resort town of Cambrils were fake, the Spanish region's head Carles Puigdemont told local radio station RAC1 on Friday. A suspected Islamist militant drove a van into crowds in Barcelona, killing 13 people on Thursday, and police also said they had killed five attackers later that evening in Cambrils to thwart a separate attack using explosive belts. Puigdemont said bomb experts had now confirmed the explosive belts were duds. </p> <p>* * * </p> <p><strong>Update: </strong>The police force for Spain’s Catalonia region says its troopers shot and killed four suspects and wounded a fifth in a resort town south of Barcelona to “respond to a terrorist attack.” The regional police said in a tweet that they are investigating whether the Cambrils suspects were wearing explosive vests. Its officers planned to carry out several controlled explosions. The force says it is working on the theory that the Cambrils suspects were linked to the Barcelona attack, as well as to a Wednesday night explosion in the town of Alcanar in which one person was killed.</p> <p>Subsequently, the police said the fifth suspect shot in the resort town of Cambrils has died and six civilians have been injured. Police earlier Friday morning had said four suspects had been killed in the town south of Barcelona during a police operation to “respond to a terrorist attack.” </p> <p>* * *</p> <p>Spanish police have shot and killed four people while carrying out an operation in response to what was reportedly another terrorist attack in a town south of Barcelon . </p> <script src="//"></script><p>The regional police for the Catalonia region said on Twitter early on Friday that officers are in Cambrils, a seaside resort town about 100 kilometers (62 miles) from Barcelona, where they are dealing with a "possible terror attack." </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="und">L'operatiu policial a <a href="">#Cambrils</a> provoca retencions a vies properes a a <a href="">#Tarragona</a> <a href="">#AP7</a> <br />DEMANEM PACIÈNCIA DAVANT SITUACIÓ EXCEPCIONAL</p> <p>— EmergènciesCatalunya (@emergenciescat) <a href="">August 18, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><p>Videos capturing the shooting and the immediate aftermath were distributed on twitter:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="es"><a href="">#Cambrils</a> terroristas abatidos. <a href=""></a></p> <p>— alejandro ruiz (@alexruiz300) <a href="">August 18, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="es"><a href="">#Cambrils</a> ni tranquilo puedes estar.. <a href=""></a></p> <p>— Nick LG (@NickLG13) <a href="">August 18, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><p>The military operation was announced around midnight local time, when the Catalonia emergency service tweeted: "IF YOU'RE NOW IN £Cambrils avoid going out. Stay home, stay safe. Police operation ongoing." </p> <p>The service urged people in the town not to go out on the streets.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">IF YOU'RE NOW IN <a href="">#Cambrils</a> avoid going out. Stay home, stay safe. Police operation ongoing</p> <p>— EmergènciesCatalunya (@emergenciescat) <a href="">August 17, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><p>As <a href=";utm_source=Twitter&amp;utm_medium=AP">AP reports </a>citing Spain's <a href="">RTVE</a>, regional police troopers killed four people and injured another seven. The broadcaster added that the police suspected they were planning an attack in Cambrils just hours after a van swerved onto a pedestrian promenade in Barcelona, killing 13.</p> <p>It also adds that <a href="">according to police sources</a>, <strong>"the terrorists carried explosives attached to the body</strong>." The broadcaster said the suspects tried to carry out a similar attack to the one in Barcelona.</p> <p>Which begs the question: has Spain become the focal point of another suicide bombing terrorist cell?</p> <p><em>Developing.</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="450" height="271" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Cambrils LG Province of Tarragona regional police Spanish police Twitter Twitter Twitter War Fri, 18 Aug 2017 09:40:31 +0000 Tyler Durden 601889 at Democratic Missouri Senator: "I Hope Trump Is Assassinated!" <p>A Missouri state senator, Maria Chappelle-Nadal (D-University City), has landed herself in a bit of hot water with with the U.S. Secret Service today after <strong>posting, then deleting, a comment on Facebook which read, "I hope Trump is assassinated!"</strong>&nbsp; </p> <p>Unfortunately, as Chappelle-Nadal should have learned at this point in her life, the internet never forgets and the <a href="">St. Louis Post-Dispatch</a> managed to get their hands on the post:</p> <p><a href=" - Maria 1.JPG"><img src="" style="width: 450px; height: 625px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Asked about the comment, Chappelle-Nadal later told the Post-Dispatch that she was just "frustrated" and didn't really mean it. </p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>"I didn't mean what I put up. Absolutely not.<strong> I was very frustrated.&nbsp; Things have got to change."</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>That said, and again a lesson Chappelle-Nadal probably should have learned at this point in her life, the Secret Service tends to take threats on the life of the President seriously and has already confirmed they're investigating the situation.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>The U.S. Secret Service is investigating a Facebook post from Missouri state Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, D-University City, in which she stated: "I hope Trump is assassinated!"</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>The U.S. Secret Service's St. Louis field office "is looking into this," the office confirmed.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Kristina Schmidt, special agent in charge, told the Post-Dispatch that "hypothetically" in such investigations, agents try to "determine intent, to determine if there was a violation of federal law. If there is, then we refer it to the U.S. Attorney."</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>"Our primary goal is to determine if there is intent and meaning behind it,"</strong> Schmidt said.</p> </blockquote> <p>Meanwhile, Chappelle-Nadal told the Post-Dispatch that her comment was posted in response to "concerns that I am hearing from residents of St. Louis."</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>In an interview, Chappelle-Nadal said her comment stemmed from frustration over the events in Charlottesville, Va., over the weekend, in which a white supremacist protester allegedly rammed his car into a group of counter-protesters, killing a 32-year-old woman.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"I put that up on my personal Facebook and I should not have," Chappelle-Nadal said. <strong>"It was in response to the concerns that I am hearing from residents of St. Louis.</strong> I have deleted it, and it should have been deleted, but there is something way more important that we should be talking about."</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Chappelle-Nadal said that in the wake of Charlottesville, <strong>"there are people who are afraid of white supremacists, there are people who are having nightmares. there are people who are afraid of going out in the streets. It's worse than even Ferguson."</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>So, if we understand the logic flow correctly, Chappelle-Nadal apparently figured that killing President Trump would rid the world of hate groups and simultaneously address all of the concerns of her constituents in St. Louis?</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="757" height="498" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Donald Trump Maria Chappelle-Nadal Nadal Politics of the United States Rafael Nadal Shooting of Michael Brown St. Louis Post-Dispatch Summer Olympic Games Tennis U.S. Secret Service Fri, 18 Aug 2017 09:30:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 601872 at "Let's Blow Up Mount Rushmore" Says Vice <p>We may have hit peak media crazy here. A prominent online news publication says, &ldquo;Let&#39;s blow up Mt. Rushmore.&rdquo;&nbsp;No, this is not al-Qaeda&#39;s &quot;Inspire&quot; magazine or the Islamic State&#39;s &quot;Dabiq&quot; propaganda publication - it&#39;s Brooklyn based Vice News.</p> <p>On the same day a <a href="" target="_blank">barbaric terror attack</a> takes place in Barcelona, resulting in 13 deaths and 100 people injured, the popular liberal news org known for its edgy investigative approach and stylistic &quot;cooler than thou&quot; appeal to millennials tweeted out an article which <strong>advocates for blowing up Mount Rushmore.&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>Vice initially titled the article, authored by Vice Senior Editor Wilbert L. Cooper, as follows:</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 500px; height: 460px;" /></a></p> <p>After fierce online push back on a day there was a literal terror attack unfolding across the Atlantic, Vice hastily deleted the tweet and changed the article title to the toned down, <a href="" target="_blank">Let&#39;s Get Rid of Mt. Rushmore</a> - this time with an editor&#39;s note at the bottom of the page attempting to explain the change:&nbsp;</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em>Editor&#39;s note: The headline and URL of this story have been updated. We do not condone violence in any shape or form, and the use of &quot;blow up&quot; in the original headline as a rhetorical device was misguided and insensitive. We apologize for the error.</em></p> </blockquote> <p>Rhetorical device? The content of the article still supports destroying America&#39;s most celebrated and iconic historic monument dedicated to American presidents. The author literally states he is &quot;onboard&quot; should there ever be &quot;a serious push to blow up Rushmore&quot;:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>With the president of the United States basically justifying neo-Nazism, it seems unthinkable that we will ever see a day <strong>when there is a serious push to blow up Rushmore and other monuments like it</strong>. But if that moment ever arrives, I suspect I&#39;d be onboard.</p> </blockquote> <p>Cooper further (not so) eloquently calls for leveling the whole place, and presumably all monuments devoted to past US &quot;cults of personality&quot; (as he calls them):</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Demystifying the historical figures of the past, pulling them off the great mountain top back down to Earth where they shat, farted, spit, pissed, fucked, raped, murdered, died, and rotted seems like important business for this country. As long as we allow those men to be cults of personality who exist beyond reproach, we&#39;re never going to be able to see them for all of their good and all of their evil.&nbsp;</p> </blockquote> <p>Disturbingly, the call for leveling such monuments is contained in the conclusion of an article with <strong>repeat references equating President Trump with neo-Nazis</strong>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Trump and his white supremacist cohorts believe the reverence some Americans have for these statues is simply respect for history, and that tearing them down is tantamount to ripping pages out of a textbook.</p> </blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Timestamps. I should probably just take the rest of the day off. <a href=""></a></p> <p>&mdash; Stephen Miller (@redsteeze) <a href="">August 17, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><p>Ironically, the article does acknowledge the truthfulness of Trump&#39;s recent words that we are headed towards a dangerously iconoclastic slippery slope set to end in the demolishing of American history. But the Vice article at the outset essentially says... yes! Let&#39;s do just that:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Donald Trump says removing confederate statues is a slippery slope that could get out of control. Maybe he&#39;s right&mdash;would that be such a bad thing?</p> </blockquote> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 500px; height: 457px;" /></a></p> <p>And if a private citizen said &quot;let&#39;s blow up Mount Rushmore&quot; and published an article which seriously explored destroying the site - an article which was clearly &quot;pro&quot; dynamiting the monument? It doesn&#39;t take much imagination to know who would come knocking if this were anything but a <a href="" target="_blank">$5.7 billion news organization</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="1013" height="728" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> al-Qaeda Black Hills Donald Trump Donald Trump Films Great Sioux War Rushmore South Dakota Twitter Twitter United States Fri, 18 Aug 2017 09:23:45 +0000 Tyler Durden 601888 at Greeks Trust Putin Most Relative To Trump, Brits Undecided <p><strong>Around the world, few people trust Russian President Vladimir Putin to do the right thing when it comes to international affairs. </strong>A global median of roughly one-in-four (26%) say they have confidence in the Russian leader. However, as <a href="">KeepTalkingGreece reports</a>, <strong><em>Greeks love the Russian President; much more so in fact than US President Donald Trump.</em></strong></p> <p>According to a survey conducted by <a href="">PEW Research Center</a>, <strong><em>only in three countries surveyed do majorities express a favorable opinion of Russia: Vietnam (83%), Greece (64%) and the Philippines (55%).</em></strong></p> <p><strong><em><a href=""><img height="888" src="" width="400" /></a></em></strong></p> <p><strong>Doubts about Putin&rsquo;s handling of foreign policy, however, do not necessarily coincide with perceptions of Russia as a security risk. </strong></p> <p>Across 37 countries, a median of 31% describe Russia&rsquo;s power and influence as a major threat to their country &ndash; identical to the median percentage who say the same about China, and similar to the median share (35%) that sees America&rsquo;s power and influence as a large threat.</p> <p><strong>Europeans are particularly harsh in their assessment of Putin, with a median in Europe of 78% expressing a lack of confidence in the leader.</strong> In the U.S. and Canada, few are confident in Putin&rsquo;s global leadership, with more than three times as many people disliking Putin as liking him.</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 400px; height: 1498px;" /></a></p> <p><strong>Faith in both leaders is high in South Africa and India while Australians, Canadians, and Brits just about trust Trump over Putin.</strong></p> <p><a href="" title="Infographic: Global Confidence In Trump &amp; Putin | Statista"><img alt="Infographic: Global Confidence In Trump &amp; Putin | Statista" src="" style="height: 285px; width: 400px;" /></a></p> <p><em>You will find more statistics at <a href="">Statista</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="534" height="280" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> China Donald Trump Donald Trump Government Grand Croix of the Légion d'honneur Greece India Pew Research Center Politics Politics Politics of Russia Putin Russia under Vladimir Putin Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections Vladimir Putin Vladimir Putin Fri, 18 Aug 2017 09:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 601893 at Republican Senator Corker Calls For "Radical Change" In The White House <p>Tennessee Republican Senator Bob Corker has just unloaded on President Trump as he spoke to reporters...</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&quot;<strong>I do think that there do need to be radical changes. </strong>The President has not yet been able to demonstrate the stability nor some of the competence that he needs to demonstrates in order to be successful. <strong>And we need for him to be successful, our nation needs for him to be successful. </strong>It doesn&#39;t matter whether you are republican or democrat. We need for our president, the world needs our president to be successful.&quot;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;<strong>He also has recently not demonstrated that he understands the character of this nation. He has not demonstrated that he understands what makes this nation great and what it is today. </strong>He has got to demonstrate the characteristics of a president who understands that.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>And without the things that I just mentioned happening <strong>our nation is going to go through great peril.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;<strong>We should hope that he inspires, that he does some self-reflection</strong> that he does what is necessary to demonstrate stability, to demonstrate competence, to <strong>demonstrate that he understands the character of our nation and works daily to bring out the best in the people of our nation</strong>.</p> </blockquote> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 560px; height: 284px;" /></a></p> <p>Corker&rsquo;s comments come a day after he appeared in Knoxville and declined to rebuke Trump for his statements about the violence that erupted in Charlottesville, Va., over the weekend.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&ldquo;I did not see them (Trump&rsquo;s comments),&rdquo;</strong> he said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;I don&rsquo;t see a lot of television, I apologize &hellip; look, I respond in my own way. My comments are the ones I focus on and <strong>I think the media does a plenty good job and has plenty of panelists on and others giving editorial comment about other peoples&rsquo; comments and mine</strong>.&quot;</p> </blockquote> <p>Watch the full interview below...</p> <p><iframe frameborder="0" height="315" scrolling="no" src=";show_text=0&amp;width=560" width="560"></iframe></p> <p>Separately, the <a href="">IJR quoted a GOP aide </a>who said that &ldquo;It&#39;s just frustrating to be constantly reacting to his sh*t.... The president has torched whatever political capital or moral authority he ever had,&rdquo; he said, adding that &ldquo;he is uniquely incapable of political leadership. If we get tax reform done, it won&#39;t be with his help. It&#39;ll be in spite of him and his vortex of incompetence and destruction.&rdquo;</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="696" height="353" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> American people of German descent American Presbyterians Bob Corker Bob Corker Business Competence Donald Trump International reactions to the United States presidential election Politics Republican Party Tennessee United States White House Fri, 18 Aug 2017 08:56:07 +0000 Tyler Durden 601870 at European Stocks Have Never, Ever Been This Cheap Relative To American Markets <p>European stocks are offering the <strong>biggest discount on record relative to U.S. peers</strong>, according to one metric.</p> <p>Members of the Stoxx Europe 600 Index are trading at 1.8 times the value of their assets, almost half that of S&amp;P 500 Index constituents, the largest gap since Bloomberg started tracking the data in 2002.</p> <p><a href=""><img height="283" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>World-beating gains in U.S. equities since the bull market kicked off in 2009 has widened the distance between the two, <strong>while recent volatility has also rendered its derivatives the&nbsp;most expensive relative to Europe since August 2015&#39;s China deval collapse...</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 316px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>However, it appears Europe&#39;s macro surprise data is rolling over and catching down to US macro surprise data...</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 316px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>And perhaps worse still, EURUSD is rolling over (just as it did in 2013), ready to catch down to its rates-implied level, crushing USD-relative returns...</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 298px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>But of course, it&#39;s what happens next here that really matters...</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 317px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Yellen and Draghi next week in Jackson Hole may hint ath whether this is the end of the beginning or the beginning of the end.</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="1160" height="547" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Business China Deutsche Börse Draghi Economic data Economy Index Mathematical finance S&P 500 STOXX Technical analysis Volatility Volatility Fri, 18 Aug 2017 08:15:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 601892 at Brexit Britain And Trump America: A New "Special Relationship"? <p><a href=""><em>Authored by Henrik Choy via,</em></a></p> <p><strong><em><em>Can common enemies and threats keep Britain and the United States together for decades to come?</em></em></strong></p> <p><em><em><strong><a href=""><img height="363" src="" width="600" /></a></strong></em></em></p> <p><em><strong>British prime minister Theresa May&rsquo;s narrow victory in the<a href="" style="text-decoration-line: none;" target="_blank"> 2017 general election</a> has earned her the reputation of a &ldquo;<a href="" style="text-decoration-line: none;" target="_blank">dead woman walking</a>,&rdquo; given that her <a href="" style="text-decoration-line: none;" target="_blank">failure to win</a> a Conservative majority in the House of Commons has drastically <a href="" style="text-decoration-line: none;" target="_blank">slimmed her chances</a> of executing her party&rsquo;s manifesto. Across the Atlantic, President Donald Trump is facing domestic and international problems of his own. </strong></em>Faced with polarization in both their parties and respective countries, Trump and May face uphill battles to achieve their political agendas. Appealing to the more nationalist and populist elements of society, Trump and May have entered uncharted territory by promising to tackle issues in ways that differ from their predecessors. For decades, Britain and the United States have been bound together in a unique relationship through their common vision of a world they wish to create, the external and internal threats they share, and the personal relationships their leaders have developed. <strong>Today, the changing mood in both Washington and London is forging an unusual new chapter in this long standing &ldquo;special relationship.&rdquo; Trump and May face an uncertain future, but they can still look back to see how their predecessors maintained the Anglo-American special relationship during the tumultuous and transformative years following World War II.</strong></p> <h3><u><strong>1941: A Grand Vision</strong></u></h3> <p><strong>Coined in 1946 by British prime minister Winston Churchill, the term &ldquo;special relationship&rdquo; between Britain and the United States describes a bond born out of common cause in defeating the fascist powers in World War II.</strong> Since then, it has endured strain and a cyclical reinvigoration of mutual understanding and commitment. While the origins of this relationship precedes World War II, it was solidified in 1941. That&rsquo;s when Churchill and President Franklin D. Roosevelt came up with eight principles that were to promote world peace and spread democracy worldwide: the<a href="" style="text-decoration-line: none;" target="_blank"> Atlantic Charter</a>. These principles, with a general emphasis on Wilsonian style self-determination and economic liberalization, would act as a foundation for the Anglo-American special relationship well into the twenty-first century. World War II left a power vacuum that the North American superpower quickly raced to fill at the encouragement of the exhausted Brits. Under the guidance of the Atlantic Charter, both Britain and the United States utilized their power and influence to create the United Nations and develop other international organizations based on the liberal Western democratic vision of the world. The Soviet Union and its allies challenged this vision, creating a common threat against which the United States and Britain could consolidate the anti-Communist bloc under the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.</p> <p>In addition to pursuing a common cause, British and American leaders developed personal bonds that were crucial in the early days of the special relationship, as demonstrated by Churchill and Roosevelt. Away from the war maps and professional public atmosphere, the two men had their personal bonding moments, such as when the president accidentally<a href=";pg=PT98&amp;lpg=PT98&amp;dq=churchill+roosevelt+bathroom+moment&amp;source=bl&amp;ots=cX4jtoEuex&amp;sig=S9v54wf8wSr_MtjCtcfeFk6wtjc&amp;hl=en&amp;sa=X&amp;ved=0ahUKEwj-zY-arrnUAhVIyT4KHd_WCJYQ6AEIPzAH#v=onepage&amp;q=churchill%20roosevelt%20bathroom%20moment&amp;f=false" style="text-decoration-line: none;" target="_blank"> walked into</a> the prime minister&rsquo;s room in Washington to find him naked shortly after showering. The joyful Brit assured the embarrassed Yank that he had nothing to hide.</p> <p><strong>The close-knit relationship was not always smooth, as disagreements erupted early over how to honor the principles of the Atlantic Charter. </strong>On one hand, Britain was very reluctant at first to grant independence to its colonies, while the United States appeared idealistically hypocritical with its increased military involvement in Vietnam throughout the 1960s and 1970s. The Suez Crisis of 1956 represented the low point in bilateral relations, when Prime Minister Anthony Eden&rsquo;s decision to<a href="" style="text-decoration-line: none;" target="_blank"> send troops</a> to Egypt along with French and Israeli forces angered President Eisenhower. Unlike his predecessor, Eisenhower did not have the best <a href="" style="text-decoration-line: none;" target="_blank">relations</a> with Churchill during World War II and was suspicious of British colonial interests after the conflict ended. The Suez Crisis demonstrated that the former general had had enough of dealing with British politicians, angry that his counterparts in Westminster had not given him prior notice of this military venture.</p> <h3><u><strong>1980s: Cold War Hawks</strong></u></h3> <p><strong>By the early 1980s, new leadership on both sides of the Atlantic reinvigorated the special relationship in a way not seen since the end of World War II. </strong>President Ronald Reagan and British prime minister Margaret Thatcher both came to power with the intention of reintroducing the old school Anglo-American way of thinking, with an emphasis on free-market capitalism, less government intervention, and a hard-line foreign-policy stance against the Soviet Union and Communism. The two had each other&rsquo;s back in times of international crisis, with the United States supporting Britain in its 1982 war over the Falkland Islands, and Britain allowing the United States to use its airbases during the latter&rsquo;s bombing campaign against Libya in 1986. It was this ability to see eye-to-eye that made it easier for them to cooperate in the struggle against Communism and engage with Mikhail Gorbachev and his attempts to reduce tensions with the West. This would help bring down the Berlin Wall and, eventually, the whole Eastern bloc.</p> <p><strong>For Reagan and Thatcher, their ideological perspectives made them ideal partners but also created numerous disagreements.</strong> Reagan was initially reluctant to support Thatcher&rsquo;s war against Argentina&rsquo;s military junta in 1982, as Buenos Aires was a key anti-Communist ally. In 1986, Thatcher flew to Iceland to convince Reagan to forgo the<a href="" style="text-decoration-line: none;" target="_blank"> Reykjavik Summit</a> due to her fear of the security consequences of nuclear disarmament. Nevertheless, both leaders managed to contain any bilateral dispute that came in the way of the special relationship, which they both needed in order to sustain a hard-line approach against the Soviet Union. Their<a href=";pg=PA71#v=onepage&amp;q&amp;f=false" style="text-decoration-line: none;" target="_blank"> unwavering friendship</a> hastened the end of the Cold War, bringing a new chapter for the special relationship and opening up new opportunities for their successors to implement the ideals of the Atlantic Charter.</p> <h3><u><strong>1990s&ndash;2000s: New Idealists</strong></u></h3> <p><strong>The United States found itself being the world&rsquo;s undisputed superpower in the early 1990s, with Western capitalism attempting to fill the vacuum left as a result of the collapse of the Eastern bloc. </strong>The &ldquo;<a href="" style="text-decoration-line: none;" target="_blank">Washington Consensus</a>,&rdquo; a term coined by British economist John Williamson, was essentially an expansion of the Atlantic Charter&rsquo;s principle of economic liberation. Interestingly enough, it was not the Thatcherites or the Reaganites who brought this new &ldquo;consensus&rdquo; into the twenty-first century, but the traditional left-leaning political parties and politicians who accelerated the transition towards globalized capitalism. President Bill Clinton&rsquo;s &ldquo;New Democrats&rdquo; and Prime Minister Tony Blair&rsquo;s &ldquo;New Labour&rdquo; party revealed their firm idealistic views for a new world order based on the Atlantic Charter, which meant encouraging developing countries to open up their markets to Western capital investments, as well as military interventions (very reluctantly in most cases) to stop the rising power of authoritarian leaders. The most notable foreign-policy issue of the Clinton-Blair years was the<a href="" style="text-decoration-line: none;" target="_blank"> successful intervention</a> in Kosovo in 1999. The joint Anglo-American decision to pressure Yugoslav president Milosevic to end hostilities proved to be the decisive move that tipped the balance against the use of mass violence to achieve political objectives in the Balkans. This active interventionist policy carried over when George W. Bush took over as president. Despite coming from different political backgrounds, the new president and Blair<a href="" style="text-decoration-line: none;" target="_blank"> got along well</a> and bolstered the special relationship as they joined together to fight the War on Terror in wake of the 9/11 attacks. <strong>Their unshakable belief in promoting democracy led to their fateful decisions to invade Afghanistan and Iraq. As the conflicts dragged on with increasing loss of life and money, both leaders faced mounting political backlash for being overly ambitious and perhaps carried away in their idealistic military crusades. </strong>By 2008, the war-weary public gave their optimistic leaders the boot when the housing market crashed and a worldwide recession brought tensions to a boiling point. Bush and Blair left office with controversial scars on their political legacies and domestic populations that today are increasingly skeptical of the global neoliberal economic system and the interventionist military policies they pursued during their leaderships.</p> <h3><u><strong>2010s: Reluctant Partners</strong></u></h3> <p><strong>By the time Barack Obama entered the White House in 2009 and David Cameron took his first steps to 10 Downing Street in 2010, the special relationship was at risk of being pulled apart by dissatisfied populations on both sides of the Atlantic. </strong>These new leaders took measures to resolve the problems that their predecessors left behind, although they had stark disagreements regarding the best methods to tackle them. Starting with the economy, the Obama administration implemented deficit spending to bail out the nation&rsquo;s most troubled banks, acquire debt-ridden assets, and ultimately pull the nation out of recession. Across the Atlantic, Cameron pushed through a series of<a href="" style="text-decoration-line: none;" target="_blank"> austerity measures</a> that gradually reduced Britain&rsquo;s deficits, but nonetheless caused major contractions in the economy. The arduous task of restoring public confidence in the global capitalist system was quickly followed by the problems related to the War on Terror and other matters of foreign policy. Cameron resembled his predecessor more than Obama resembled his, opting for direct intervention where there was trouble. The prime minister took the helm with French president Sarkozy in the overthrow of Muammar el-Qaddafi in 2011, with reluctant support from the Obama administration. It was the crisis in Syria that brought the biggest challenge to both Obama and Cameron and ultimately the Anglo-American special relationship. In August 2013 both governments were ready to use military force in response to Assad&rsquo;s use of chemical weapons. Their plans<a href="" style="text-decoration-line: none;" target="_blank"> fell apart</a> after a vote from both Parliament and Congress shut down the idea, a reminder that the public had not forgotten the long drawn-out wars from the Bush and Blair years.</p> <p><strong>Relations between Obama and Cameron did not improve much. </strong>The Brexit referendum in June 2016 and the election of president Donald Trump in November of that same year saw the end of their administrations and also the end of the world they both knew. As much as Obama and Cameron differed in the best course of action when responding to crises, they both shared the vision that their predecessors had and openly sought policies that promoted democratic values and globalized trade. Their legacies will be saturated with the failure to bring peace to the Middle East, unpopular economic policies that stirred populist sentiment, a divided Europe in wake of the Brexit referendum, the growing scarcity of jobs available for the working and middle classes, and ultimately the end of the Atlantic Charter establishment as we knew it.</p> <h3><u><strong>Today: A New Type of Special Relationship?</strong></u></h3> <p><strong>Where does that leave the special relationship today?</strong> To start off, neither the Atlantic Charter nor any of its post&ndash;1941 evolutions appear to be the guiding principle for today&rsquo;s Anglo-American special relationship. President Trump and Prime Minister May share a vision of the world that departs from the neoliberal policies of their predecessors and focuses more on protecting jobs at home and the public from terrorism. Both leaders are suspicious of twenty-first century globalization, and they hope to challenge this trend by implementing policies that reflect the interests of the nationalist and populist sectors.</p> <p><strong>Economically, Trump and May have already begun pursuing such policies, with the former having<a href="" style="text-decoration-line: none;" target="_blank"> withdrawn</a> the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and<a href="" style="text-decoration-line: none;" target="_blank"> renegotiating</a> the U.S. position in the North American Free Trade Agreement, and the latter having<a href="" style="text-decoration-line: none;" target="_blank"> activated Article 50</a> in March of this year. </strong>We will most likely see a general shift in preference towards bilateral free-trade agreements and away from multilateral ones. This will allow them to pick and choose which nations they would like to trade freely with and also provide more leverage in negotiating trade terms. Both leaders, however, may find it difficult to maintain such policies. May&rsquo;s weakened position following the 2017 general election and the creation of a coalition government with the Democratic Unionist Party may pressure her <a href="" style="text-decoration-line: none;" target="_blank">to compromise</a> on the &ldquo;hard Brexit&rdquo; that she originally sought, potentially leaving the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland as an EU-style free-trade zone. Should this happen, an ideal response would be for both nations to prioritize a U.S.-UK free trade deal. This has already been put on the table, as both leaders have expressed great interest during the recent<a href="" style="text-decoration-line: none;" target="_blank"> G20 Summit</a> in Hamburg. Such a deal could potentially open up new bilateral deals with other nations worldwide, with an emphasis on the Commonwealth of Nations, such as Canada, Australia and New Zealand, as well as with wealthy developing economies throughout Latin America, Asia and Africa.</p> <p><strong>Common enemies and threats have kept Britain and the United States together for decades. Today&rsquo;s leaders agree that global terrorism is a major threat that has to be dealt with. </strong>Trump and May have pledged to continue the War on Terror in response to the<a href="" style="text-decoration-line: none;" target="_blank"> recent terror attacks</a> that hit Britain. Although Trump himself did not explicitly endorse NATO initially, he has since backtracked from his previous remarks during the<a href="" style="text-decoration-line: none;" target="_blank"> joint press conference</a> with the Romanian president in June, ensuring that the United States will continue to be a major player in military global affairs. Even before changing his opinion, Trump has demonstrated his willingness to use force after his<a href="" style="text-decoration-line: none;" target="_blank"> decision to strike</a> a Syrian airbase in April of this year. While May has promised to increase defense spending, she has a long way to build up her credibility due to the major defense cuts she oversaw as Home Secretary under Cameron&rsquo;s administration. Considering both nations have shaky relations with the EU, they may have little choice than to rely more on members of the<a href="" style="text-decoration-line: none;" target="_blank"> Five Eyes</a> intelligence pact for information, binding the major English-speaking nations closer than ever before.</p> <p>Trump and May appear to have started off well in a long-term partnership, given that they are both struggling to deal with domestic problems and shaky international reputations. <strong>Their suspicions of modern globalization, in particular towards free trade and immigration, will cement their personal bond. But that does not mean they will entirely escape the looming possibility that their shared vision of a post&ndash;Atlantic Charter era may follow up with disagreements.</strong> Disputes regarding<a href="" style="text-decoration-line: none;" target="_blank"> intelligence sharing</a> after the Manchester attacks in May of this year have opened up potential weak spots in the struggle against terrorism, and the pursuit of bilateral trade agreements may not be enough to sustain economic growth in the long run. Trump and May&rsquo;s vision to roll back post-war Atlantic Charter ideals may become compromised should their execution strategies conflict with one another.</p> <p>For the moment however, the current leaders of the Anglo-American partners seem content with one another and will put their differences aside to tackle bigger problems that lie ahead.<strong> May&rsquo;s stiff manner may clash with Trump&rsquo;s blunt character, but their common interests and the threats they face will more than overcome the obstacles in developing a resurgent special relationship. </strong>Their desire to create new economic models, fight global terrorism, and promote democratic values without excessive military intervention will ensure the transatlantic alliance does not falter. If Trump and May are serious about transforming the world, then perhaps it is time for them to fully understand the significance of the special relationship and to realize the potential impacts they could have on a global scale.</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="728" height="441" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Afghanistan Australia Balkans Barack Obama Bond British Commonwealth Cameron’s administration Cold War Congress Deficit Spending Democratic Unionist Party Donald Trump European Union Freemen of the City of London G20 Government of the United Kingdom House of Commons Housing Market Iceland Iraq Ireland Latin America Leaders of the Conservative Party Margaret Thatcher Members of the Order of Merit Middle East Middle East New Zealand North Atlantic Treaty Organization Obama Administration Obama administration Parliament of the United Kingdom Politics Politics of the United Kingdom Recession Soviet Union–United States relations Special Relationship United Kingdom–United States relations United Nations White House White House Winston Churchill Fri, 18 Aug 2017 07:30:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 601891 at Urban Warfare: NATO Issues RFP For Training To Fight In Big Cities With "Dense, Interconnected Populations" <p>Throughout the 2016 campaigning cycle, then candidate Trump frequently criticized NATO as “obsolete” and repeatedly knocked allies for not paying their “fair share.”</p> <p>Then, in a shocking reversal, Trump hosted a joint press conference with NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg, just a few months after moving into the White House, in which he declared: <strong>"I said it was obsolete.&nbsp; It's no longer obsolete."</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>"The Secretary General and I had a productive discussion about what more NATO could do in the fight against terrorism.&nbsp; I complained about that a long time ago and they made a change.&nbsp; And now they do fight terrorism.&nbsp; <strong>I said it was obsolete.&nbsp; It's no longer obsolete."</strong></p> </blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-video"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">"(NATO) is no longer obsolete." <a href=""></a></p> <p>— Salvador Hernandez (@SalHernandez) <a href="">April 12, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Well, it now seems he may have been right in the first instance.&nbsp; According to a new request for pricing (RFP) from NATO entitled, "<a href=";mode=form&amp;id=0797786edaff233a27d85aab8f18e5f8&amp;tab=core&amp;_cview=0">Development of NATA Military Operations In Urban Environment Concept</a>," NATO forces are "not sufficiently organized, trained, or equipped to&nbsp; comprehensively understand and execute precise operations" in modern urban environments.&nbsp; Here's how NATO defines their problem:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Problem statement: <strong>NATO is not sufficiently organized, trained, or equipped to&nbsp; comprehensively understand and execute precise operations</strong> across the maritime, cyberspace, land, air, space dimensions/domains in order to create desired effects in an emergent complex, <strong>urban littoral system possessing a dense, interconnected population.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p><iframe src="" width="600" height="337" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>So why the sudden interest in urban warfare</strong>?&nbsp; NATO's RFP conveniently cites urban population statistics from the United Nations as its justification but that's hardly a new trend so it will undoubtedly leave the cynics among us a bit skeptical.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>Projections by the United Nations indicate that by the year 2035 the world population will increase to 8.7 billion people, an increase of 1.4 billion people, and that most of this growth will take place in developing countries and in urban areas.</strong> Currently 80% of the global population lives on or within 100 km of the coast; this also will likely continue. The SFA1 2013 Report – including 2015 Interim Update Report and the FFAO2 2015 have identified this trend of urbanisation as a potential instability situation for NATO. <strong>The world as a whole passed the 50% urban mark seven years ago.</strong> Estimates are that five billion people live in cities with two billion of these living in slums. It is also estimated that 1.4 million people worldwide migrate to cities each week. Studies, based upon global demographic trends, suggest that an increasing percentage of armed conflicts will likely be fought in urban surroundings.</p> </blockquote> <p>But, irrespective of the motivation, one thing is certain...modernizing an "obsolete" international force is going to be expensive.&nbsp; Perhaps it's <a href="">time for Trump to write up some new invoices</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="813" height="415" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Alt-right American people of German descent Climate change skepticism and denial Donald Trump International security Military NATO North Atlantic Treaty Organization Politics The Apprentice Twitter Twitter United Nations War War on Terror White House White House WWE Hall of Fame Fri, 18 Aug 2017 06:45:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 601886 at The Death Of A Nation <p><a href="">Authored by James George Jatras via The Strategic Culture Foundation,</a></p> <p><strong><em>Every living nation needs symbols. They tell us who we are as one people, in what we believe, and on what basis we organize our common life.</em></strong></p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" /></a></p> <p><strong>This fact seems to be very clear to the current leadership in Russia, particularly to President Vladimir Putin, in restoring and&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">reunifying a country rent by three generations of Red and White enmity to achieve a national synthesis</a>. </strong>With regard to things spiritual, this meant first of all the world-historic reunification of the Russian Orthodox Church, between the Moscow Patriarchate and the New York-based Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. It also meant the rebuilding of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior dynamited by the communists 1931, not coincidentally the recent target for&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">desecration by degenerates</a>&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">hailed by western &laquo;democracy&raquo; advocates</a>.</p> <p>Civic and military symbols matter as well. After 1991 there were those who wanted landmarks of the communist era to be ruthlessly expunged the way the Bolsheviks had themselves sought (in Solzhenitsyn&rsquo;s description) to rub off the age-old face of Russia and to replace it with a new, ersatz Soviet image. Instead, wisdom prevailed. The national anthem adopted in 2001 retains the Soviet melody but with new lyrics (written by Sergey Mikhalkov, who with Gabriel El-Registan had penned the original lyrics in 1944!) &ndash; Lenin and Stalin are out, God is in. The old capital is again Saint Petersburg, but the surrounding district still bears the name Leningrad. The red star marks Russia&rsquo;s military aircraft and vehicles, while the blue Saint Andrew&rsquo;s cross flies over the fleet. The red stars likewise are still atop the Kremlin towers while the&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Smolensk icon of Christ once again graces the Savior Gate</a>. The red banner that was hoisted triumphantly on the Reichstag in 1945 is carried on Victory Day. The remains of exiled White commanders like Anton Denikin and Vladimir Kappel were repatriated and reburied at home with honor.</p> <p><u><strong>I may be wrong, but I would like to think that perhaps Russia took a lesson from what until recently had been the American example.</strong></u> In his Second Inaugural Address in March 1865, as the &laquo;<a href="" target="_blank">brothers&rsquo; war</a>&laquo; was drawing to a close, Abraham Lincoln spoke of the need to &laquo;bind up the nation&rsquo;s wounds&raquo;. In striving to do so, nothing was more important than our honoring the heroes of both the Blue and the Gray, perhaps most poignantly demonstrated decades later in the&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">veterans&rsquo; reunions at Gettysburg</a>. &laquo;Unconditional Surrender&raquo; Grant and &laquo;Marse Bobby&raquo; Lee, &laquo;Uncle Billy&raquo; Sherman and &laquo;Stonewall&raquo; Jackson, naval legends David &laquo;Damn the torpedoes&raquo; Farragut and Raphael &laquo;Nelson of the Confederacy&raquo; Semmes, cavalrymen &laquo;Fightin&rsquo; Phil&raquo; Sheridan and J.E.B. Stuart, and many, many others &ndash; these names belong to all of us. As Americans.</p> <p>To say this is not to avoid the centrality of slavery in the southerners&rsquo; attempted secession or to address the constitutional question of whether they were legally entitled to do so. (Maybe&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">California will have better luck heading for the exit</a>.&nbsp;&iexcl;Adios, amigos!) Nor does it sugarcoat white southerners&rsquo; perception of Reconstruction as a hostile, armed occupation or of the institution of Jim Crow racial segregation after federal troops were withdrawn and the Democratic Party assumed power. <strong>But the fact is that the&nbsp;mythos&nbsp;of North-South reconciliation in a reunited American nation was a foundation of our becoming an economic giant by the late 19<sup>th</sup>&nbsp;century, a world power at the beginning of the 20<sup>th</sup>&nbsp;(at the expense of the decrepit Spanish empire, with the celebrated military participation of former Confederates), and a dominant power after two victorious world wars.</strong></p> <p><u><strong>That America may soon be gone with the wind.</strong></u> The violence at Charlottesville, the pulling down of a Confederate memorial by a mob in Durham, the removal of four monuments from Baltimore (which has one of America&rsquo;s&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">highest homicide rates</a>) under the&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">cowardly cloak of night</a>, and calls for&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">getting rid of many more</a>&nbsp;are simultaneously the death throes of the old America built on one national concept and the birth pangs of a new, borderless, multiethnic, multilingual, multireligious, multisexual, ahistorical, fake &laquo;America&raquo; now aborning in violence and lawlessness.</p> <p><strong>He who says A must say B. When one accepts demonization of part of our history and placing those who defend it beyond the pale of legitimate discourse, one should hardly be surprised when the arrogant fury of the victors is unleashed. </strong>That takes two forms: the nihilist street thugs of &laquo;Antifa&raquo; and &laquo;Black Lives Matter&raquo;, and the authorities (both governmental and media, a/k/a the Swamp) who confer on them immunity for violent, criminal behavior. The former are the shock troops of the latter.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">They&rsquo;ve been at it for months</a>, well before Charlottesville, across the country, with nary a peep from the party that supposedly has uniform control over the federal government.<strong> Our First Amendment rights as Americans end where a black-clad masked thug chooses to put his (or her or indeterminate &laquo;gender&raquo;) fist or club.</strong> To paraphrase&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">U.S. Chief Justice Roger Taney in&nbsp;Dred Scott,</a>&nbsp;loyalists of the old America have no rights which the partisans of the new one are bound to respect. <strong><em>Where&rsquo;s the Justice Department probe of civil rights violations by this organized, directed brutality? </em></strong>(Or maybe there will be one,&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">including looking into George Soros&rsquo;s connection</a>. If not, what&rsquo;s the point of having RICO?)</p> <p><strong>To be sure, the spectacle of genuine racists on display in Charlottesville provided the perfect pretext for these people, but they&rsquo;re not the cause.</strong> Far from forestalling the violent, revolutionary abolition of the historic America (definitively&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">described by Pat Buchanan</a>) by inciting some kind of white backlash &ndash; perhaps in the form of a&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">race war as some of them despicably hope</a>&nbsp;&ndash; the &laquo;Unite the Right&raquo; organizers at Charlottesville have accelerated the revolution. It&rsquo;s a revolution that dovetails with the anti-constitutional &laquo;RussiaGate&raquo; coup in progress against President Trump, who is the last hope for preserving the historic American nation. If he is removed (is he&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">the&nbsp;only&nbsp;one, even in his own Administration, fighting back</a>?) and the nice&nbsp;respectable&nbsp;anti-Trump Republican party is restored, they&rsquo;ll gladly join hands with their Democratic and media Swamp buddies in dragging what remains of America down.</p> <p><strong>If anyone is tempted to think that the new America will be more peaceful in world affairs, think again.</strong> It&rsquo;s no coincidence that the same forces that want to bring Trump down and also redefine our country&rsquo;s identity coincide almost entirely with those who want America aggressively to impose &laquo;<a href="" target="_blank">our values</a>&laquo; &ndash; meaning&nbsp;their&nbsp;values &ndash; on the globe. As I put it almost 20 years ago in a somewhat different context, this fake &laquo;America&raquo; is the vanguard of&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Rainbow Fascism, at home and abroad</a>.</p> <p><strong>No doubt the same terrible sense of foreboding, even worse, must have occurred to Russians in 1920, when they saw their&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">country bloodily sacrificed on the altar of a crazed, internationalist ideology</a>.</strong> Somehow, after paying an unimaginable price in war and repression, they emerged three quarters of a century later still remembering how (as the late General Aleksandr Lebed put it) &laquo;<a href="" target="_blank">to feel like Russians again</a>&raquo;.</p> <p><em><strong>If we fail to avoid the impending long night, will we Americans be so lucky?</strong></em></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="348" height="238" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> American people of German descent B+ Business Charlottesville, Virginia Climate change skepticism and denial Democratic Party Department of Justice Donald Trump Fail federal government First Amendment George Soros Politics Republican Party Russian Orthodox Church Strategic Culture Foundation The Apprentice United States Vladimir Putin WWE Hall of Fame Fri, 18 Aug 2017 06:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 601890 at