en "Bucket Economics" For Global Macro Investing <p><em style="line-height: 20.8px;"><span style="color: #800000;">By Chris at&nbsp;<a href=""></a></span></em></p> <p>I was recently sent a research piece by one of my LPs. </p> <p>The piece was from the principal of a well known hedge fund and this particular manager has grave concerns for the US stock market. In the article to clients he laid out all the reasons why fundamentally none of it makes much sense. I can't and won't disagree with the primary analysis.</p> <p>He's not the only one. </p> <p>Many of my friends and colleagues in this industry are saying similar things. In fact, quite a few of my friends and LP's have asked, <em>"Why are you not short?"</em></p> <p>A very good question I'll try explain by way of <strong>"Bucket Economics"</strong> (trademarked). Distinctly different to <em>"Fu**it Economics",</em> which is what you get when you get it all wrong. </p> <h3><span style="color: #008000;"><strong>Reasons to Be Bearish the US Equity Market</strong></span></h3> <p> <a href="" title=""></a> </p> <p> Geez... </p> <p> And this from John Hussman at Hussman Funds: </p> <p> <a href="" title=""></a> </p> <p> These are all sharp smart investors and I've taken just two as a sampling, and they're clearly bearish. </p> <p> While this is taking place in the land of apple pie across the pond we have... </p> <h3><span style="color: #008000;"><strong>A Spanner in the Works</strong></span></h3> <p> Here we see France's risk premium rising. Franco-German bond spreads blow out as the market attempts to come to terms when&nbsp;Le Pen unveiled her party's manifesto (see my article earlier this week on <a href="" target="_blank">this very topic).</a> </p> <p> <img src="" width="550" height="373" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" class="aligncenter wp-image-16394" /> </p> <p> I've written about the problems in Europe till my fingers bleed so I'll not be revisiting it now. Curious or forgetful readers can simply scour the <a href="" target="_blank">site.</a></p> <p>Europe has some serious issues in front of them, not least of which is <a href="" target="_blank">how the euro breaks up</a>&nbsp;and the multiple ramifications both socially and economically. Not to mention how the bureaucrats in Brussels are going to deal with&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">member states refusing to pay debts.</a> </p> <p> In a nutshell, Europe looks a lot worse than the US right now. A LOT worse. </p> <p> Ok, so now let me throw out<strong> why I'm unprepared to short the US stock market.</strong> </p> <p> Here's how I think about it. </p> <p> Capital typically has 3 places to live. </p> <p> <img src="" width="550" height="182" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" class="aligncenter wp-image-16396" /></p> <p>Think of these as investment buckets, where you will keep your investments&nbsp;in the most favourable bucket or buckets at any one time. </p> <p> In a stable goldilocks economy where inflation is neither to high nor too low, where debt is low and manageable, and where faith in currency is not in question we could argue that investors would&nbsp;be OK with the above setup (not trying to be too fancy - bear with me). </p> <p> What about when inflation is rising sharply? How do investors re-allocate? </p> <p> Simplistically, like this:</p> <p><img src="" width="550" height="203" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" class="aligncenter wp-image-16397" /> </p> <p> How about a strong deflationary environment?</p> <p>Simplistically like this: </p> <p> <img src="" width="550" height="192" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" class="aligncenter wp-image-16398" /> </p> <p> Now, let me ask you to consider that as investors we have the entire world in front of us&nbsp;into which we can allocate our investment capital.</p> <p>One thing I've learned over the last 20 odd years in finance is that capital flows are extremely&nbsp;important and have become increasingly important as globalisation has taken hold. As such, <strong>it's not just equities but equities in what country. Ditto bonds and currencies.</strong></p> <p>The ease and speed with which we can allocate capital not only into multiple sectors, but into multiple currencies and indeed countries means that not only do the above buckets apply to the 3 categories listed but they apply to countries and currencies of countries. So cash, for example, can be USD, JPY, EUR, RUB, CNY, and a whole range of others, or a basket of them.</p> <p>So I want to ask you a question:</p> <p>When allocating capital, imagine for a minute you're managing a few billion dollars (as I know some of you are). Now let me ask you where you're going to allocate looking out over the next couple of years? </p> <ul> <li>Europe? Looks to be on the precipice and uncertainty is rising, not falling</li> <li>Emerging markets? Lost $60 billion in December and are typically considered more of a "risk on" trade</li> <li>The US?</li> </ul> <p> A blow up in Europe, which looks more and more inevitable with each passing day, will see capital flee to the land of warm apple pie.</p> <p>This will have to go somewhere, and so much of it will go into treasuries causing the dollar to strengthen and stoke inflationary fears. </p> <p> Much will head into equities too.</p> <p>This too will stoke fears of inflation and the <del>clowns</del> Fed who are way behind the curve already will scurry to catch up, raising rates. Ironically, raising rates will further exacerbate the spreads between US and non-US paper&nbsp;causing more capital to head to the US, creating a self perpetuating&nbsp;cycle.</p> <p>This will actually be highly&nbsp;contractionary for the global economy as it will cause further dollar funding shortages (read my piece on the <a href="" target="_blank">eurodollar market</a>&nbsp;for more on this topic). </p> <p> As the rest of the world contracts, the US will seemingly appear to be the only safe place to park capital. More self perpetuating capital influx.</p> <p>Note that this capital flowing into the US will have nothing to do with US corporate profits and none of this will really have anything to do with policies enacted by the Trump administration (though you can bet your bottom dollar Trump will be sure to take credit for it, misunderstanding what is actually taking place and why). </p> <p> Aaaand so.... </p> <p> Is the US equity market overvalued? Yes! </p> <p> Do I want to be short the US equity market? No! </p> <p> There are many pieces to this puzzle and I don't pretend to know them all or how they will interact with one another.</p> <p>What I do know is that global capital flows often overwhelm any "fundamental valuations" (I never used to think like this as for years I was firmly in the fundamental value camp).</p> <p>I also know is that globally we've never before been so inter-connected than we are today.</p> <p>Furthermore, I do believe that we're rapidly running out of road down which&nbsp;the can will&nbsp;been kicked. Europe first and the consequences of that favour Trumplandia. </p> <p> - Chris </p> <p> <em>"There is only one difference between a bad economist and a good one: the bad economist confines himself to the&nbsp;visible&nbsp;effect; the good economist takes into account both the effect that can be seen and those effects that must be&nbsp;</em><em>foreseen." —</em>&nbsp;Frederic Bastiat</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: 13.008px; line-height: 20.0063px;">--------------------------------------</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Liked this article?&nbsp;<a href="">Don't miss our future missives and podcasts, and</a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="">get access</a>&nbsp;<a href="" style="line-height: 20.8px; font-size: 1em;">to free subscriber-only content here.</a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: 13.008px; line-height: 20.0063px;">--------------------------------------</span></p> Apple Bond Bond Business Deflation Economy EuroDollar Global Economy Goldilocks Inflation Investment John Hussman None Risk Premium Trump Administration Twitter Twitter US Federal Reserve Sun, 19 Feb 2017 23:20:55 +0000 Capitalist Exploits 588590 at 'Rogue' Border Agents Resist Trump Orders, Continue Obama's 'Catch-And-Release' Policy <p><a href=""><em>Authored by Brendan Kirby, originally posted at,</em></a></p> <p><strong>Some border patrol stations have been slow to carry out President Donald Trump&rsquo;s <a href="">immigration enforcement executive order</a> and instead have continued former President Barack Obama&rsquo;s <a href="">&ldquo;catch-and-release&rdquo; policies</a>, according to a union official.</strong></p> <p><strong><a href=""><img height="339" src="" width="563" /></a></strong></p> <p>Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, told LifeZette that he <strong>raised concerns Thursday with U.S. Border Patrol Chief Ronald Vitiello. </strong>He said he is confident that issue soon will be corrected.</p> <p>But Judd said as recently as Thursday, some border patrol stations were still releasing border-jumpers, often without even issuing notices to appear in immigration court hearings. Obama&rsquo;s policy was to release anyone claiming to have been living continuously in the United States since before Jan. 1, 2014, if they did not have criminal records or active warrants.</p> <p><em><strong>&ldquo;We&rsquo;re still walking people out the door,&rdquo; Judd said. &ldquo;The catch-and-release policy is still in place in some sectors.&rdquo;</strong></em></p> <p>Judd said it was a minority of sectors that have been resisting Trump&rsquo;s new directives. He laid the blame at the feet of U.S. Border Patrol managers, not front-line officers.</p> <p><em><strong>&ldquo;This is not the administration&rsquo;s fault. This is Border Patrol&rsquo;s fault,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;It varies from sector to sector. Some sectors still are operating under the Obama administration&rsquo;s policies. And that&rsquo;s troubling &hellip; It&rsquo;s just been very willy-nilly.&rdquo;</strong></em></p> <p>Asked about the status of Trump&rsquo;s marching orders, Customs and Border Protection spokesman Carlos Diaz wrote in an email to LifeZette, &ldquo;CBP has worked towards implementing the measures mandated by the Executive Orders since they were signed.&rdquo;</p> <p>Judd said some managers have been waiting for specific written guidelines to filter down from the Department of Homeland Security. He said he considers that unnecessary since the president&rsquo;s executive order is crystal clear. He said anyone apprehended by border patrol agents should be turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement authorities. That agency and immigration judges are charged with deciding whether someone should be deported.</p> <p>Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies, said she was not aware that the president&rsquo;s executive order had not been fully implemented three weeks after he issued it.</p> <p><em><strong>&ldquo;It actually surprises me. But if that&rsquo;s the case, certainly the administration is going to need to look into that if they&rsquo;re going to be undermined,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;That&rsquo;s got to be nipped in the bud.&rdquo;</strong></em></p> <p>Vaughan, a former U.S. Foreign Service officer, said it often takes time for new policies to be fully embraced. This especially is true during the transition from one administration to the next, she said, because the outgoing administration often has promoted managers who agree with its policy goals.</p> <div class="midpoint">&nbsp;</div> <p>She noted that Obama, himself, faced bumps in the road on the way to implementing enforcement directives mandating a lighter hand. She said union officials enforced the letter of their collective bargaining agreement requiring training before new policies are adopted.</p> <p><em><strong>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s not unusual for people who are in disagreement with change to dig in their heels and take a stand,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;I certainly saw that at the State Department where implementation of law and policies could differ based on the views of different managers and different posts.&rdquo;</strong></em></p> <p>Joseph Guzzardi, a spokesman for Californians for Population Stabilization, said it was disappointing that some border patrol officials appear not be onboard with the new policies.</p> <p><em><strong>&quot;It would be surprising to me because Border Patrol has been hugely in support of Trump when he ran,&quot; he said. &quot;I have been down to the border and talked to Border Patrol agents and got the clear impression that they were eager to enforce immigration law.&quot;</strong></em></p> <p>Judd said he expects a &quot;compete change&quot; after his conversation with Vitiello but added that the policies already should be fully implemented.</p> <p>&quot;It should not have had to be me who informed him,&quot; he said.</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="563" height="339" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Barack Obama Borders of the United States Center for Immigration Studies Department of Homeland Security Department of State Donald Trump Government Immigration to the United States Mexico–United States border National Border Patrol Council Obama Administration Obama administration Politics U.S. Foreign Service U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement United States United States Border Patrol United States Department of Homeland Security Sun, 19 Feb 2017 23:20:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 588578 at Fukushima Aborts Latest Robot Mission Inside Reactor; Radiation At "Unimaginable" Levels <p><a href="">Two years after sacrificing one robot</a>, TEPCO officials have<strong> aborted their latest robot mission inside the Fukushima reactor after the &#39;scorpion&#39; became unresponsive </strong>as it investigated the <a href="">previously discovered hole where the core is believed to have melted</a>.</p> <p><a href=""><img height="318" src="" width="490" /></a></p> <p><strong>A &quot;scorpion&quot; robot sent into a Japanese nuclear reactor to learn about the damage suffered in a tsunami-induced meltdown had its mission aborted after the probe ran into trouble</strong>, Tokyo Electric Power company said Thursday. <a href="">As reports, </a>TEPCO, the operator of the Fukushima nuclear plant, sent the remote-controlled device into the No. 2 reactor where radiation levels have recently hit record highs.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>The &quot;scorpion&quot; robot, so-called because it can lift up its camera-mounted tail to achieve better viewing angles, is also designed to crawl over rubble inside the damaged facility.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>But it could not reach its target destination beneath a pressure vessel through which nuclear fuel is believed to have melted because the robot had difficulty moving, a company spokeswoman said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&quot;It&#39;s not immediately clear if that&#39;s because of radiation or obstacles,&quot;</strong> she said, adding that TEPCO is checking what data the robot was able to obtain, including images.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>...</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The robot, 60 centimetres (24 inches) long, is made by Toshiba and equipped with two cameras and sensors to gauge radiation levels and temperatures.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&quot;Scorpion&#39;s mission is to take images of the situation and collect data inside the containment vessel,&quot;</strong> TEPCO spokesman Shinichi Nakakuki said earlier.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;Challenges include enduring high levels of radiation and moving on the rough surface,&quot; he said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Radiation levels inside the reactor were estimated last week at 650 sieverts per hour at one spot, which can effectively shut down robots in hours.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p><a href="">This is not the first robot to become disoriented</a> under the extreme stress of the Fukushima environment...</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>The robot sent to inspect a reactor&#39; containment vessel at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant stopped responding three hours into the operation.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" style="width: 600px; height: 325px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>TEPCO hoped to take a look inside the vessel containing one of the three reactors, which underwent a meltdown in the 2011 nuclear disaster.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>A group of approximately 40 workers sent the remotely-controlled device, <strong>allegedly capable of withstanding high levels of radiation,</strong> into the vessel at 11:20 a.m. The robot stopped functioning after covering two thirds of the route at approximately 2:10 p.m., according to the Tokyo Electric Power Co.</p> </blockquote> <p><a href=""><em>But as Michael Snyder recently noted</em></a>, <strong>radiation inside one of the damaged reactors at the Fukushima nuclear power facility has reached an &ldquo;<a href="" target="_blank" title="unimaginable">unimaginable</a>&rdquo; level according to experts.</strong> Because so much nuclear material from Fukushima escaped into the Pacific Ocean, there are many scientists that believe that it was the worst environmental disaster in human history, but most people in the general population seem to think that since the mainstream media really doesn&rsquo;t talk about it anymore that everything must be under control. Unfortunately, that is not true at all. In fact, PBS reported just last year that &ldquo;<a href="" target="_blank" title="it is incorrect to say that Fukushima is under control when levels of radioactivity in the ocean indicate ongoing leaks">it is incorrect to say that Fukushima is under control when levels of radioactivity in the ocean indicate ongoing leaks</a>&ldquo;. And now we have just learned that the radiation level inside reactor 2 is so high that no human could possibly survive being exposed to it.</p> <p>According to <a href="" target="_blank" title="the Japan Times">the Japan Times</a>, the level of radiation inside the containment vessel of reactor 2 is now estimated to be &ldquo;530 sieverts per hour&rdquo;&hellip;</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>The radiation level in the containment vessel of reactor 2 at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 power plant has reached a maximum of <strong>530 sieverts per hour</strong>, the highest since the triple core meltdown in March 2011, Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc. said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Tepco said on Thursday that the blazing radiation reading was taken near the entrance to the space just below the pressure vessel, which contains the reactor core.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The high figure indicates that some of the melted fuel that escaped the pressure vessel is nearby.</p> </blockquote> <p>It is hard to find the words to convey how serious this is.</p> <p>If you were exposed to a radiation level of just 10 sieverts per hour, that would mean almost certain death. So 530 sieverts per hour is simply off the charts. According to <a href="" target="_blank" title="the Guardian">the Guardian</a>, <strong>this recent measurement is being described by scientists as &ldquo;unimaginable&rdquo;&hellip;</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>The recent reading, described by some experts as &ldquo;unimaginable&rdquo;, is far higher than the previous record of 73 sieverts an hour in that part of the reactor.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>A single dose of one sievert is enough to cause radiation sickness and nausea; <strong>5 sieverts would kill half those exposed to it within a month, and a single dose of 10 sieverts would prove fatal within weeks</strong>.</p> </blockquote> <p>And the really bad news is that there appears to be a 2 meter hole that was created by melted nuclear fuel <a href="" target="_blank" title="“in the metal grating under the pressure vessel in the reactor’s primary containment vessel”">&ldquo;in the metal grating under the pressure vessel in the reactor&rsquo;s primary containment vessel&rdquo;</a>.</p> <p><a href=""><img height="253" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p>The following comes <a href="" target="_blank" title="from Bloomberg">from Bloomberg</a>&hellip;</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>New photographs show what may be melted nuclear fuel sitting under one of Japan&rsquo;s wrecked Fukushima reactors, a potential milestone in the search and retrieval of the fuel almost six years after it was lost in one of the worst atomic disasters in history.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc., Japan&rsquo;s biggest utility, <a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" title="Tepco presentation">released</a> images on Monday showing a grate under the Fukushima Dai-Ichi No. 2 reactor covered in black residue. The company, better known as Tepco, may send in a scorpion-like <a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" title="Toshiba">robot</a> as soon as February to determine the temperature and radioactivity of the residue.</p> </blockquote> <p>If that isn&rsquo;t frightening enough, one Japanese news source <a href="" target="_blank" title="is reporting">is reporting</a> that this melted nuclear fuel &ldquo;has since come in contact with underground water flowing from the mountain side&rdquo;&hellip;</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>The melted fuel has since come in contact with underground water flowing from the mountain side, generating radioactively contaminated water every day</strong>. In order to dismantle the reactor, it is necessary to take out the melted fuel, but high radiation levels inside the reactor had hampered work to locate the melted debris.</p> </blockquote> <p>If this disaster was just limited to Japan, the entire northern hemisphere would not be at risk.</p> <p>But that is not the case.</p> <p>Most of the nuclear contamination from Fukushima ended up in the Pacific Ocean, and from there it was literally taken around the rest of the planet. The following was reported <a href="" target="_blank" title="by PBS">by PBS</a>&hellip;</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>More than 80 percent of the radioactivity from the damaged reactors ended up in the Pacific</strong> &mdash; far more than reached the ocean from Chernobyl or Three Mile Island. Of this, a small fraction is currently on the seafloor &mdash; the rest was swept up by the Kuroshio current, a western Pacific version of the Gulf Stream, and carried out to sea where it mixed with (and was diluted by) the vast volume of the North Pacific.</p> </blockquote> <p>We don&rsquo;t know if there is a connection, but it is extremely interesting to note that fisheries up and down the west coast of the United States are failing because of a dramatic decrease in fish populations. Just check out the following excerpt from a story <a href="" target="_blank" title="that was posted on January 18th">that was posted on January 18th</a>&hellip;</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker today determined there are commercial fishery failures for nine salmon and crab fisheries in Alaska, California and Washington.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In recent years, each of these fisheries experienced sudden and unexpected large decreases in fish stock biomass or loss of access due to unusual ocean and climate conditions. This <a href="" target="_blank" title="decision">decision</a> enables fishing communities to seek disaster relief assistance from Congress.</p> </blockquote> <p>Things are particularly bad <a href="" target="_blank" title="up in Alaska">up in Alaska</a>, and biologists are &ldquo;stumped&rdquo; as to why this could be happening&hellip;</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>In 2016, the pink salmon harvests in Kodiak, Prince William Sounds, Chignik and lower Cook Inlet came in <a href="" target="_blank" title="woefully under forecast">woefully under forecast</a> and stumped biologists as to why.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>The estimated value of Kodiak&rsquo;s 2016 haul was $2.21 million, compared to a five-year average of $14.64 million, and in Prince William Sound the ex-vessel value was $6.6 million, far less that the $44 million five-year average</strong>. The total state harvest was the smallest since the late 1970s.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Although state biologists weren&rsquo;t ready to declare a cause for the poor pink salmon performance, the Commerce Department press release attributed the disasters to &ldquo;unusual ocean and climate conditions.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p>Further south, it was being reported last month that <a href=";sl=es&amp;tl=en&amp;;sandbox=1" target="_blank" title="millions of dead sardines">millions of dead sardines</a> are washing up on the shores of Chile.</p> <p>I could go on and on with a lot more examples like this, but hopefully you get the point.</p> <p>Something really strange is happening in the Pacific, and a lot of people believe that there is a link to Fukushima.</p> <p>Not too long ago, I wrote about how the elite of Silicon Valley are &ldquo;<a href="" target="_blank" title="feverishly prepping">feverishly prepping</a>&ldquo;, but the truth is that all of us should be. If you need some tips on how to get started, you can find my prepping book <a href="" target="_blank" title="right here">right here</a>. Our planet is becoming increasingly unstable, and the Fukushima nuclear disaster is just one piece of the puzzle.</p> <p>But it is definitely a very important piece. The nuclear material from Fukushima is continuously entering the food chain, and once that nuclear material gets into our bodies it will slowly irradiate our organs for years to come. The following is an excerpt from an absolutely outstanding opinion piece by Helen Caldicott that was published <a href="" target="_blank" title="in the Guardian">in the Guardian</a>&hellip;</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Internal radiation, on the other hand, emanates from radioactive elements which enter the body by inhalation, ingestion, or skin absorption. Hazardous radionuclides such as iodine-131, caesium 137, and other isotopes currently being released in the sea and air around Fukushima bio-concentrate at each step of various food chains (for example into algae, crustaceans, small fish, bigger fish, then humans; or soil, grass, cow&rsquo;s meat and milk, then humans). <strong>After they enter the body, these elements &ndash; called internal emitters &ndash; migrate to specific organs such as the thyroid, liver, bone, and brain, where they continuously irradiate small volumes of cells with high doses of alpha, beta and/or gamma radiation, and over many years, can induce uncontrolled cell replication &ndash; that is, cancer</strong>. Further, many of the nuclides remain radioactive in the environment for generations, and ultimately will cause increased incidences of cancer and genetic diseases over time.</p> </blockquote> <p>Are you starting to understand the gravity of the situation?</p> <p>Sadly, this crisis is going to be with us for a very, very long time.</p> <p><strong>According to <a href="" target="_blank" title="Bloomberg">Bloomberg</a>, they are not even going to start removing melted nuclear fuel from these reactors until 2021, and it is being projected that the overall cleanup &ldquo;may take as long as 40 years&rdquo;&hellip;</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Decommissioning the reactors will cost 8 trillion yen ($70.4 billion), according to an estimate in December from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. Removing the fuel is one of the most important steps in a cleanup that may take as long as 40 years.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The unprecedented nature of the Fukushima disaster means that Tepco is pinning its efforts on technology not yet invented to get the melted fuel out of the reactors.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The company aims to decide on a fuel removal procedure for the first reactor during the fiscal year ending March 2019, and to begin removing fuel in 2021.</p> </blockquote> <p>A lot of people that end up dying as a result of this crisis may never even know that it was Fukushima that caused their deaths.</p> <p>Personally, I am <strong>convinced that this is the greatest environmental crisis that humanity has ever experienced, and if the latest reading from reactor 2 is any indication, things just took a very serious turn for the worse.</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="490" height="318" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Alpha Congress Containment building Department of Commerce Energy Environment Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Japan Meltdown Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry Nuclear and radiation accidents and incidents Nuclear meltdown Nuclear Power Nuclear power Nuclear reactor Nuclear technology radiation Scorpion's mission Three Mile Island Tokyo Electric Power Company West Coast Yen Sun, 19 Feb 2017 22:50:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 588577 at The "Russia Scare" Coalition: ISIL's "Useful Idiots"? <p><a href=""><em>Via The National Interest,</em></a></p> <p><em><strong>Victory by the &#39;Russia scare&#39; coalition will limit America&rsquo;s ability to fight ISIL, complicate efforts to win UNSC support for tough enforcement of the Iran nuclear deal and give China more leverage over both Moscow and Washington.</strong></em></p> <p><a href=""><img height="343" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p>The turmoil surrounding Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn&rsquo;s resignation and wider allegations of links between President Donald Trump, his campaign and Russia seems to have made a strong impression in Moscow. Many there had already calibrated initially unrealistic expectations after Mr. Trump&rsquo;s initial weeks in office; recent events have tempered even these more limited ambitions.<strong> Hopes have long faded that Washington would become a Russian ally in Syria, pursue cooperative military action against ISIL, or delink the conflict in Ukraine from the wider U.S.-Russia relationship.</strong></p> <p>Still, until recently, sober voices on Russia&rsquo;s television talk shows were a clear minority. Arguing that Russia would have to demonstrate its commitment to working with the United States through concrete actions, and that Moscow could not seek a new beginning while continuing to deny its involvement in the fighting in the Donbas and to engage in dangerous close encounters in the air and at sea, was unpopular. <strong>In the last few days, however, the optimistic view that Trump will simply &ldquo;deliver the goods&rdquo; to Russia has largely disappeared.</strong></p> <p><strong>As Soviet media used to say, this is not accidental</strong>. <a href="" style="text-decoration: none;" target="_blank"><span style="text-decoration: underline;">According</span></a> to Western news reports, the Kremlin has encouraged Russian media to scale back their coverage of America&rsquo;s new president and his administration. While President Putin&rsquo;s press spokesman Dmitry Peskov has denied any such instruction, Russia&rsquo;s media have in fact redirected their attention to other issues, giving scant air time to Mr. Trump&rsquo;s comments about Russia during his latest press conference and to separate meetings between Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford with their Russian counterparts. That said, Mr. Peskov may not have been involved in issuing directions like this&mdash;though such a directive could come only from Russia&rsquo;s presidential administration.</p> <p>Since Russian President Vladimir Putin has been more pragmatic than euphoric in his personal statements about Mr. Trump and U.S.-Russia relations, diminished enthusiasm in the Russian media may serve primarily to manage expectations more carefully. <strong>Nevertheless, if reduced enthusiasm slides into suspicion and belligerence&mdash;which can easily become mutually reinforcing&mdash;any window of opportunity in U.S.-Russia relations could close rapidly.</strong> Russia&rsquo;s Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin has already complained about a statement by Defense Secretary James Mattis that NATO should be open to dialogue &ldquo;from a position of strength&rdquo; by touting Russia&rsquo;s military capabilities. Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu similarly criticized the Mattis comments. Some in Washington and in Moscow likely hope that exchanges like this will slow or prevent efforts to cooperate.</p> <p><strong>Those in the Congress and the media who seek to browbeat Mr. Trump over his purported Russian connection may well accomplish this and may thus have cause to celebrate their political and public relations victories. But any such triumph will be short-lived;</strong> as President Trump observed, a &ldquo;business-as-usual&rdquo; Russia policy would only help him politically. Getting tough on Mr. Putin would quickly disarm his critics and enable the White House to pursue other priorities without the ballast of a perceived Russian connection. Yet, victory by the &ldquo;Russia scare&rdquo; coalition will limit America&rsquo;s ability to fight ISIL, complicate efforts to win UN Security Council support for tough enforcement of the Iran nuclear deal, facilitate Russian support for Iran if Washington opts for military action, and give China more leverage over both Moscow and Washington. <strong>That innocent Americans might die as a result of these developments seems untroubling to those who view recognition of strategic priorities as a sign of defeatism. Mr. Trump should not be shy in making this point.</strong> Should these be the consequences of the enduring U.S.-Russian hostility they advocate, the president will be able to point to today&rsquo;s accusers as <em>de facto </em>protectors and enablers of both ISIL and Iran&rsquo;s ayatollahs&mdash;and as &ldquo;useful idiots&rdquo; providing support to Beijing&rsquo;s superpower ambitions.</p> <p><a href=""><img height="339" src="" width="600" /></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="609" height="344" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Business China Congress Dmitry Peskov Donald Trump Iran James Mattis Politics Politics Rex Tillerson Rex Tillerson U.N. Security Council Ukraine Vladimir Putin White House White House Sun, 19 Feb 2017 22:20:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 588575 at Barclays: "Equities Rushed To Price In The Reagan 1986 Tax Cuts Before Crashing In 1987" <p>With concerns rising that the market has gotten well ahead of itself over the practical reality of Trump tax cuts - most recently <a href="">voiced by Goldman </a>which over the weekend said that "<em>we are approaching the point of maximum optimism and S&amp;P 500 will give back recent gains as investors embrace the reality that tax reform is likely to provide a smaller, later tailwind to corporate earnings than originally expected</em>" - Barclays decided to look at one of recent history's most notable tax regime changes: the Reagan tax cuts.</p> <p>What it found was interesting. </p> <p>First, the market wastes no time in factoring in any to corporate taxes and according to Barclays calculations, corporate tax cuts get 85-90% priced in very short order. As an example, Barclays points out that the Reagan 1986 tax cuts showed that equities price in the benefits quickly. Perhaps too quickly. </p> <p>There were some other notable similarities between the current tax-regime transition and 1986, namely "the oil collapse and growth cycle were also issues in 1986." In any case, a harbinger of the current market rally driven by Trump tax cut hopes, "<strong>the S&amp;P 500 rallied 40% pricing in the tax plan before it was really even implemented in July 1987.</strong>"</p> <p>The S&amp;P then infamously crashed in October of 1987, for a variety of reasons, one of which, Barclays suggests, was the rapid pricing in of the Reagan tax cuts. In fact, seen this way, the infamous Black Monday crash may have been - in addition to all the other noted catalysts - a very vivid example of "<em>sell the news</em>."</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="500" height="301" /></a></p> <p>There was also good news: for those who survived the 30% drawdown, though the post-1987 period was marred by the crash, S&amp;P 500 EPS actually rose 55% compared to 1986 levels. Barclays foresee a similar dynamic likely playing out whereby the market multiple prices in the first order effects of a tax plan very quickly, once known. </p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="500" height="307" /></a></p> <p>One could perhaps add that the market has already priced most of the tax cut without even knowing the details. On the other hand, Barclays notes, second order effects such as rates and growth will also affect the multiple. Two notable difference between the Reagan and Trump tax cuts, as the level of government indebtedness - far greater now than it was 30 years ago - and the Fed's tightening cycle, which for the time being are seen as bullish although inevitably the market will realize that tighter financial conditions inevitably lead to lower risk prices.</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="772" height="464" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> American Presbyterians Barclays Barclays Business California Clan Barclay Conservatism in the United States Economy Reagan tax cuts Reality Ronald Reagan S&P 500 Tax United States US Federal Reserve Sun, 19 Feb 2017 21:48:15 +0000 Tyler Durden 588583 at Senate Intel Committee Orders White House To Keep All Records For Russia Probe <p>The "Russia hacked the US election" is getting its second wind.</p> <p>One day <a href="">after Reuters provided further </a>details of the ongoing FBI probes - of which there are now reportedly three - into activities that are generally classified as the Kremlin's hacking of the US presidential election, the Senate Intelligence Committee has likewise escalated its probe into Russian interference, and is requesting that agencies preserve all materials that could tie into the committee's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. </p> <p>The Associated Press reported Sunday, citing a congressional aide, that the committee had sent formal requests to more than a dozen organizations, agencies and individuals, including at the White House, requesting the materials related to the probe into the Russian meddling be preserved. The intelligence panel's chairman, Richard Burr (R-N.C.), and vice chairman Mark Warner (D-Va.) sent letters out Friday, according to the AP. </p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="500" height="281" /></a><br /><em>Richard Burr </em></p> <p>On Thursday, Senate Democrats wrote the White House and law enforcement agencies seeking assurances that they were preserving all materials related to contacts individuals associated with President Donald Trump had with Russians. Those letters asked for confirmation that the White House, FBI and Justice Department had instructed their employees to preserve all materials related to any contacts Trump's administration, campaign, transition team — or anyone acting on their behalf — have had with Russian government officials or its associates.</p> <p>"I think they're going to do their job. And they have to do that. Those are things that Richard Burr and that team have to do," White House chief of staff Reince Priebus said Sunday, a day after the disclosure by the congressional aide.</p> <p>"That doesn't mean that there's anything there. It just means they need to do some things that satisfy their committee, that they've looked into something. And then they can have meetings behind closed doors that they always do in the Intel Committee, and then they'll issue a report," Priebus told NBC's "Meet the Press."</p> <p>Also on Sunday, Priebus denied that members of <a href="">President Trump's campaign had contact with Russia before Trump's victory</a>. </p> <p>“We don’t know of any contacts with Russian agents,” Priebus said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday, one of three appearances on Sunday political shows by the White House chief of staff.</p> <p>"The New York Times last week put out an article with no direct sources that said that the Trump campaign had constant contacts with Russian spies," Priebus also said on Fox News Sunday. "I can assure you, and I've been approved to say this, that the top levels of the intelligence community have assured me that that story is not only inaccurate but it's grossly overstated."</p> <p>Last Friday, FBI Director James Comey on Friday met with lawmakers from the Senate Intelligence Committee behind closed doors, amid ongoing rumors of alleged contacts between members of President Trump's campaign and Russian officials. The committee members and Comey spent nearly three hours Friday afternoon in a secure room in the Senate basement used for classified briefings. Lawmakers refused to comment upon existing the meeting. Burr called the meeting "just a normal classified briefing."</p> <p>The committee is investigating Russian interference in the U.S. election, including probing any contact between campaign officials and Russia.</p> <p></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="640" height="360" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> American people of German descent Business Department of Justice Donald Trump Donald Trump Donald Trump presidential campaign FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation Federal Bureau of Investigation Fox News James Comey Meet The Press Mike Pence New York Times Politics Politics of the United States Reince Priebus Reuters Richard Burr Russian government Senate Senate Intelligence Committee Trump's administration United States United States election interference by Russia White House White House Sun, 19 Feb 2017 21:35:37 +0000 Tyler Durden 588584 at The 10 Biggest Leaks Of The Trump Presidency <p>Following <a href="">Trump Chief of Staff Priebus&#39; comments earlier</a>, it is clear,<a href=""> as Axios notes</a>, President Trump&#39;s <strong>biggest problem has quickly become a leaking administration</strong>.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">The real scandal here is that classified information is illegally given out by &quot;intelligence&quot; like candy. Very un-American!</p> <p>&mdash; Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) <a href="">February 15, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><p>Here are The Top 10 Leaks so far...</p> <div class="js--toggle-brief "> <ol> <li><strong>The &quot;National Guard roundup&quot;: </strong>The AP published a story this week on a <a href="">draft Homeland Security memo</a> that would call up National Guard units to round up illegal immigrants. The administration quickly denied it was considering the idea, but someone leaked that memo.</li> <li><strong>That dossier:</strong> CNN reported that Trump and Obama were briefed on documents that included scandalous allegations about Trump and his connections with Russia. BuzzFeed then published the unverified dossier.</li> <li><strong>T</strong><strong>orture executive order draft: </strong>Only days after the inauguration, a draft of an executive order started circulating detailing plans to reinstate the CIA&#39;s &quot;black site&quot; prisons and using Gitmo for detainees. It&#39;s uncertain where this came from, and nothing has come of it since.</li> <li><strong>Religious freedom executive order draft: </strong>Another draft executive order was leaked by an unknown source. The order would let private companies choose not to cover contraceptives for their employees and to speak out &quot;on moral or political issues from a religious perspective,&quot; without losing their tax-exemption. Many feared an order like that would lead to discrimination of the LGBT community. Turns out, Ivanka and Jared <a href="" target="_blank">helped keep Obama&#39;s LGBT orders in place. </a></li> <li><strong>His conversation with Australia: </strong>An official <a href="" target="_blank">told the NYT </a>that the call between Trump and Australia Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was heated and had an abrupt end.</li> <li><strong>His conversation with Mexico: </strong> Dolia Estevez from Forbes reported that<a href="" target="_blank"> sources from both sides told her</a> that Trump threatened to send U.S. military to Mexico during his &quot;friendly&quot; phone call with President Nieto.</li> <li><strong>The raid in Yemen: </strong>Military personnel <a href="" target="_blank">leaked information about the raid in Yemen</a>, which led to the death of a Navy SEAL. They accused Trump of not having the proper intelligence before signing off on the raid.</li> <li><strong>Gen. Flynn&#39;s phone call: </strong>Weeks after the FBI warned the Trump administration that then-National Security Advisor Michael Flynn talked about Obama&#39;s sanctions during his call with Russia in December, the information was leaked to the press, which ended up with Flynn forced resignation.</li> <li><strong>The insiders: </strong>Republican Senator John McCain told reporters on Tuesday, &quot;It&#39;s a dysfunctional White House, and nobody knows who&#39;s in charge.&quot; Others have told journalists, including our Mike Allen about the <a href="" target="_blank">&quot;borderline chaos&quot; </a>of Trump&#39;s administration, Steve Bannon&#39;s growing influence, Trump&#39;s dramatic process for selecting his SCOTUS, etc.</li> <li><strong>Contact with Russia: </strong>Then last night, several news agencies reported on more <a href="" target="_blank">contacts between Trump and Russia.</a> The story was sourced to officials within the administration.</li> </ol> <p>Of course, Trump is not the first president to suffer from leaks, <strong>Obama had major leaking problems too.</strong> Like in 2012, shortly after his re-election, when officials leaked to the New York Times that the then-President had authorized secret cyber attacks on Iran. Or Edward Snowden in 2013, the guy whose name has become synonymous with government whistleblowers.</p> <p><a href=""><img height="297" src="" width="600" /></a></p> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="844" height="418" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> American people of German descent Australia Business Central Intelligence Agency Climate change skepticism and denial Donald Trump Donald Trump presidential campaign ETC FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation Iran John McCain Mexico National Guard New York Times Political positions of Donald Trump Politics Politics of the United States SCOTUS The Apprentice Trump Trump Administration Trump's administration US military White House White House WWE Hall of Fame Sun, 19 Feb 2017 21:20:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 588574 at The AP Asked Trump's Supporters How Feel About His War With The Press: This Is What It Found <p>While vocal critics of Donald Trump, many of them members of the media, saw in Trump's Thursday news conference, Friday tweet in which he claimed the press was the "enemy of the American people", and subsequent Saturday campaign speech, a combative, thin-skinned chief executive who continues to blame the media for the controversies roiling his administration, his supporters saw something else entirely: a champion of Middle America who is taking on the establishment and making good on his campaign promises to put the country first.</p> <p>The Associated Press <a href="">contacted Trump supporters across the country </a>to see how they viewed Trump's latest fued with press. Here are the views of some of those supporters:</p> <p>* * * </p> <p>Richelle Kirk of Logan, West Virginia, watched some of Trump's news conference on Thursday and didn't see any head-scratching comments from the president.</p> <p>"I back him 100 percent," said the 42-year-old stay-at-home mom. "You either love it or get out, is my opinion."</p> <p>During Barack Obama's presidency, her husband was laid off from his coal-mining job, a loss they blamed on Obama's environmental policies. She said they lost a home and "everything we owned."</p> <p>After West Virginia voters resoundingly rejected Obama during his 2012 re-election, "we didn't show our hind ends when Obama was re-elected," Kirk said. So she believes people shouldn't overreact to Trump, either.</p> <p>She particularly agreed with the president when he took credit for an optimistic business climate and a rising stock market, saying Trump is beginning to fulfill his campaign promise to put people back to work.</p> <p>Reporters, she said, "need to leave him alone. He's just doing what he said he's going to do."</p> <p>* * * </p> <p>Kevin Felty of Norfolk, Virginia, said it was the "most impressive presidential press conference" of his life. "Largely because it was so unorthodox," said Felty, 48, who works as a surgical assistant and sells life insurance. "It was hyper adversarial between the president and the press. And yet he was able to control the questioning and the tone and the mood in the room."</p> <p>Felty said the media needs to move on regarding Russia and former national security adviser Michael Flynn. "There was nothing illegal that General Flynn had done at that time," Felty said. "What he did do is make a mistake in not being accurate with the vice president."</p> <p>He also said he believes Trump is trustworthy as president. "He doesn't need the media to chide him to make the right decisions," Felty said. "It's something he's been doing well for decades."</p> <p>* * * </p> <p>Regina Lenoir of Picayune, Mississippi, enjoyed watching Trump's news conference and said the president "looked more relaxed." Lenoir, 69, said she was most interested in the president's comments about the alleged leaks that led to the resignation of Michael Flynn as national security adviser.</p> <p>"We don't know the conversation that happened between him and (Vice President Mike) Pence. Only they know. But the news media gets out there (and) says such and such with no corroboration," she said. "I'm sick of them making up stories. You know, we're intelligent people. We can make up our own mind on whether they're telling the truth."</p> <p>She agreed with Trump's take on how the media has covered his administration and campaign, saying those covering his administration are good reporters but biased. She said if people gave Trump a chance, "he might just surprise everyone.</p> <p>"He wasn't my first choice, but he is my president," Lenoir said. "I think he handled the news conference very well."</p> <p>* * * </p> <p>Joseph Gatlin of Virginia Beach, Virginia, said he did not watch the news conference but heard about the question a Jewish reporter asked Trump about a rise in anti-Semitic incidents around the country. Trump told the reporter to sit down and said it was not a simple or fair question before describing himself as "the least anti-Semitic person you've ever seen in your entire life."</p> <p>Gatlin, who is Jewish and who was born in Israel, said the media needs to move on from "asking the same question."</p> <p>"He's not a racist. He doesn't believe in racism," said Gatlin, who owns a flooring company. "He's not anti-Semitic at all."</p> <p>Gatlin pointed to the number of Jewish people in Trump's inner circle, including his son-in-law and White House adviser, Jared Kushner. He said the media instead should be asking Trump about terrorism and the economy.</p> <p>"I think that it's become ridiculous," Gatlin said. "He wants the serious questions. He wants people to ask him questions that people care about. You can't mention racism in every speech. They're looking at the wrong things."</p> <p>* * * </p> <p>Scott Hiltgen, a 66-year-old office furniture sales broker from River Falls, Wisconsin, said he was glad to see the president push back against the media. He said reporters have no proof Trump or anyone around him did anything wrong.</p> <p>"They're trying to make up a story that Trump worked with the Russians to rig the election," he said. "Now they're trying to make a big deal out of (former national security adviser) Mike Flynn. He was doing what he was supposed to do. He was talking to his counterparts. He was talking to the Russians. He got fired because he lied to (Vice President Mike) Pence. There's no story there. The left media is so excited. They think they took this guy down. No, he made a mistake. He just lied."</p> <p>Hiltgen said he remains squarely behind the billionaire president because he has done what he said he would do on the campaign trail.</p> <p>"He's accomplished more in, whatever, three weeks, regarding the stuff he talked about," Hiltgen said. "That's what people voted for. I can't believe there's actually a politician doing what he says he would do. That never happens."</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="1150" height="667" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> American people of German descent American television Business Climate change skepticism and denial Donald Trump Donald Trump Donald Trump presidential campaign Foreign policy of Donald Trump Israel Jared Kushner Michael T. Flynn national security Political positions of Donald Trump Politics of the United States The Apprentice Trump: The Art of the Deal West Virginia White House White House WWE Hall of Fame Sun, 19 Feb 2017 21:01:53 +0000 Tyler Durden 588562 at "Welcome To Democracy" SecDef Mattis Confirms Military Steadfast Amid White House Chaos <p>Amid implicit acknowledgement of turmoil in The White House, Trump&#39;s Defense Secretary Jim Mattis <strong>reassured the world that the US military was &quot;not in disarray&quot;, but was &quot;holding the line&quot; as government &quot;sorts out the way ahead.&quot;</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 520px; height: 254px;" /></a></p> <p>After shrugging off President Trump&#39;s &#39;media as enemy&#39; narrative:</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="290" mozallowfullscreen="" scrolling="no" src="//" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="480"></iframe></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&quot;[I&#39;ve had] some rather contentious times with the press [but the press is] a constituency that we deal with....<strong> I don&rsquo;t have any issues with the press myself.</strong>&quot;</p> </blockquote> <p>The Defense Secretary said Sunday, <a href=""><em>according to The Washington Post</em></a>, that he has been talking with a &ldquo;fair number of military commanders around the world&rdquo; and acknowledged the chaotic nature of Trump&rsquo;s administration so far.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&ldquo;Welcome to democracy,&rdquo; </strong>Mattis said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;<strong>It&rsquo;s at times wildly contentious.</strong> It&rsquo;s at times quite sporting. But the bottom line is this is the best form of government that we can come up with. So, <strong>the military&rsquo;s job is to hold the line, and to hold the line, and to hold the line while our government sorts out the way ahead and our people speak. We don&rsquo;t have any disarray inside the military</strong>, and that&rsquo;s where my responsibility resides.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p>General Mattis&#39; comments come shortly after Munich Security Conference Chairman Wolfgang Ischinger delivers some choice commentary regarding President Trump&#39;s praise of Brexit.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-video"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">It would be a &quot;non-military declaration of war&quot; should Trump continue to advocate against the EU, <a href="">#MSC2017</a> head Ischinger tells DW. <a href=""></a></p> <p>&mdash; dwnews (@dwnews) <a href="">February 17, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><p>&nbsp;</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&quot;Is President Trump going to continue a tradition of half of century of being supportive of the project of European integration or is he going to continue to advocate EU member countries to follow the Brexit example?</p> <p><strong>If he did that, it would amount to a kind of non-military declaration of war. It would mean conflict between Europe and the United States. is that what the U.S. wants? Is that how he wishes to make America great again?</strong>&quot;</p> </blockquote> <p>Last month, Trump welcomed the British decision on leaving the bloc, which caused negative reaction in the European Union with then French presidential candidate Manuel Valls also calling Trump&rsquo;s statements a declaration of war on Europe.</p> <p>Finally, <a href=""><em>as The Hill reports</em></a>, <strong>Defense Secretary James Mattis&rsquo;s influence in the Trump administration appears to be growing</strong>.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Mattis has seen a potential rival for Trump&rsquo;s ear on national security fall to the side in Michael Flynn, the adviser asked to resign this week for misleading Vice President Pence and others about his conversations with Russia.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>And while the national security advisor job sits empty, Mattis appears to be in a prime spot to assert his influence &mdash; something being recognized on Capitol Hill.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;Certainly right now, he&rsquo;s the only one who has the credentials and who is in a strong position,&rdquo; Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) said.</p> </blockquote> <p>Notably, it appears Mattis is <strong>being given the latitude to express his views even if they contrast with Trump</strong>&rsquo;s... we&#39;ll see how long that lasts.</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="520" height="254" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> American people of German descent Business Climate change skepticism and denial Donald Trump Economy European Union European Union James Mattis Mattis national security Politics Politics of the United States Recipients of the Legion of Merit The Apprentice Trump Administration Trump: The Art of the Deal Trump’s administration Twitter Twitter US military War White House White House WWE Hall of Fame Sun, 19 Feb 2017 20:50:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 588573 at NSC Official Fired For Criticizing Trump <p>After the premature resignation of Michael Flynn over his alleged conversations with the Russian ambassador, the Trump administration has made it clear it will not tolerate any dissent within the ranks. Case in point: Craig Deare, who was recently appointed the U.S. National Security Council’s senior director for Western Hemisphere Affairs, was removed from the agency days after criticizing President Trump and senior White House officials, including son-in-law Jared Kushner and daughter Ivanka Trump at a private event hosted by a Washington think tank, Politico <a href="">reported</a>.</p> <p>What makes the Deare resignation notable is that he is not a holdover from the Obama administration, but came to the NSC after Trump's inauguration from National Defense University, where he had served as the dean of administration and was selected for the role by Michael Flynn, who resigned as Trump’s national security adviser on Feb. 13, resulting a state of "controlled chaos" among Trump's top security advisors, and leading in a scramble to find a replacement. </p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="500" height="627" /></a><br /><em>Craig Deare</em></p> <p>According to <a href="">Politico</a>, at a private, off-the-record roundtable hosted by the Woodrow Wilson Center for a group of about two dozen scholars earlier in the week, Deare harshly criticized the president and his chief strategist Steve Bannon and railed against the dysfunction paralyzing the Trump White House, according to a source familiar with the situation. </p> <p>"He complained in particular that senior national security aides do not have access to the president - and gave a detailed and embarrassing readout of Trump's call with Mexican president Enrique Pena Nieto." Some have speculated that he may have been the source of the leaked conversation between Trump and the Mexican president which led to a media furore several weeks ago. </p> <p>According to <a href="">Bloomberg</a>, a second official familiar with the situation said Deare was released from his NSC position but not removed from the U.S. government. He was recruited to the security council, part of the president’s executive office, from the National Defense University and will return to his post there, the official said. </p> <p>Deare’s <a href="">biography </a>shows he’s been on the faculty of the professional military university since 2001. He joined the university’s College of International Security Affairs in 2010 and most recently served as dean of administration.</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="797" height="557" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> American people of German descent Business Climate change skepticism and denial Donald Trump Donald Trump presidential campaign Economy Jared Kushner National Defense University national security National Security Advisor Obama Administration Obama administration Political positions of Donald Trump Politics The Apprentice Trump Trump Administration US government US National Security Council White House White House Woodrow Wilson Center WWE Hall of Fame Sun, 19 Feb 2017 20:25:27 +0000 Tyler Durden 588580 at