http://www.zerohedge.com/fullrss2.xml/news/italy-miss-gdp-forecast-sees-sub-1-gdp-growth en Stocks Rebound As Europe Ends 3-Day Losing Streak; VIX, Gold, Bonds Slide http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-22/stocks-rebound-europe-ends-3-day-losing-streak-vix-gold-bonds-slide <p>S&amp;P futures are modestly in the green, following gains in European and Asian shares, after the cash index climbed on Monday for the first time in three days as volatility tumbled amid abysmal trading volumes. Meanwhile, European stocks joined an Asian stock rally following three days of losses, pushed higher again by mining shares as Antofagasta rose 5.5%, hitting a 4 year high on strong H1 earnings. Safe havens such as bonds, gold, and the yen declined despite the latest warning from Bridgewater's Ray Dalio who said yesterday he was "reducing risk", although not even he could offset the return of the VIX clubbing.</p> <p>Despite increasingly cautious rhetoric from iconic market investors, traders have again gotten over some of the sensitivity that characterized the past few days following political turmoil in Washington, fresh terrorist attacks in Europe and ongoing tension between the U.S. and North Korea. Nonetheless as discussed yesterday Dalio said he’s “tactically reducing” risk because he’s concerned about growing internal and external conflict “leading to impaired government efficiency” in the U.S., according to a LinkedIn post Monday.</p> <p>Back to Europe, where the Stoxx Europe 600 Index rebounded from the lowest in more than a week as miners and chemical makers led gains across almost every sector. Even with today's rally, the Stoxx 50 is nearly 200 points below Wall Street's year-end consensus target just above 3,600.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/08/12/europe%20target.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/08/12/europe%20target_0.jpg" width="500" height="281" /></a></p> <p>The broad index of European stocks was up 0.4 percent on the day. The surge in European stocks pushed up the MSCI world equity index, which is now up 0.1 percent on the day, its second day of gains after sharp falls last week.&nbsp; The performance comes on the back of strong sentiment towards Europe that saw the euro record its biggest one-day gain in a month on Monday. Though the single currency dipped slightly on Tuesday, it is still around the $1.18 mark which analysts believe might prompt policymakers to consider action.</p> <p>Meanwhile over in Germany, we got another indication that Europe's strongest economy has topped, after the 3rd ZEW decline in a row (August ZEW economic sentiment at 10.0, Exp. 15.0, Last 17.5) perhaps not surprising considering the poor DAX performance in recent weeks. The DAX pared gains to 0.5%, after earlier rising as much as 0.8%, after the Zew showed investor confidence fell more than expected. As a reminder, the DAX has dropped 1.6% so far this quarter, vs 0.2% dip for Euro Stoxx 50, 0.3% fall for CAC 40, and 5.7% rise for FTSE MIB. <strong>Is Germany getting sick again?</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/08/12/dax%20august%202017.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/08/12/dax%20august%202017_0.jpg" width="500" height="333" /></a></p> <p>In Asia, equity markets were mostly higher although news flow was remarkably light amid a lack of central bank speakers and macroeconomic data. Focus was on last night's speech by US President Trump in which he highlighted US plans to continue sending troops to Afghanistan to fight the terror threat emanating from the country. Japan’s Topix index fluctuated before ending the local session less than 0.1 percent higher while the Nikkei 225 fell -0.05%, entering the longest losing streak since April 2016, while the ASX 200 was up 0.42% after numerous earnings, including from BHP Billiton. Korea's Kospi index gained 0.4% while the Shanghai Composite rose 0.1%.&nbsp; Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 0.9 percent, outperforming other equity markets in Asia, on strong earning results. </p> <p>In macro, the DXY dollar index retraced yesterday’s entire push lower as EUR, GBP and AUD all continuously grind lower against USD amid little news. <strong>Dalian iron ore futures close above 600 yuan/ton for first time since March as rally in metals markets extends further. </strong>Italian BTPs sell off aggressively, with some noting summer related carry trades being unwound; UST curve bear flattens with focus on the strength in the USD, Bloomberg notes.</p> <p>The US dollar rose against most Group-of-10 peers amid profit-taking on short positions and as fresh long exposure was added before the Jackson Hole symposium later this week.&nbsp; The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose by 0.3 percent in early trading, following a drop of 0.6% since Friday. Some investors trimmed their short exposure in the greenback after the gauge hit a three-week low on Monday, according to traders in Europe quoted by Bloomberg, looking to add again should the rebound in place start losing steam. Leveraged accounts were also seen adding fresh long positions as they see upside risks into Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s speech at Jackson Hole, Wyoming on Friday. Even as the dollar gauge looks to erase Monday’s losses, the medium-term outlook was little changed. The downtrend this year remains firmly in place, with August’s trading pattern resembling more of a consolidation phase than a significant rebound. Bloomberg’s fear and greed indicator suggests bulls are in control this month, yet the U.S. currency trades just 0.4 percent higher.</p> <p>In China, the offshore yuan closed at the highest since September 16, boosted by a stronger central bank reference rate after the dollar fell overnight. State media cited senior PBOC adviser as saying the Chinese currency’s advance may continue this year. </p> <p>In commodities, London copper echoed moves in China, and rose to a three-year high while zinc held close to its highest level in a decade while nickel logged a fresh annual peak. BHP Billiton, the world's largest miner, reported a surge in underlying full-year profits and said it would exit its underperforming U.S. shale oil and gas business.</p> <p>"Commodity prices are holding firm, particularly base metals," said Sue Trinh, FX strategist at RBC Capital Markets. She cautioned that commodities have mostly firmed "on speculative Chinese investment flow from the wealth management industry, so we question the real demand."</p> <p>In rates, European government bond yields followed Treasuries higher. The yield on 10-year Treasuries gained two basis points to 2.20 percent. Germany’s 10-year yield climbed less than one basis point to 0.40 percent. Britain’s 10-year yield increased one basis point to 1.076 percent.</p> <p>Crude advanced before U.S. government data forecast to show stockpiles fell. West Texas Intermediate crude climbed 0.3 percent to $47.38 a barrel. Gold fell 0.5 percent to $1,285.18 an ounce, the largest fall in a week.</p> <p>Economic data include FHFA House Price Index and Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index. Salesforce, Intuit, Coty and Toll Brothers are among companies reporting earnings. </p> <p><strong>Bulletin Headline Summary from RanSquawk</strong></p> <ul> <li>Soft German ZEW data sees EUR trend lower.</li> <li>Improving risk tone has led EU Bourses higher.</li> <li>Looking ahead, highlights include: US API data, Richmond Fed Manufacturing Data and Canadian Retail Sales</li> </ul> <p><strong>Market Snapshot</strong></p> <ul> <li>S&amp;P 500 futures up 0.1% to 2,431.00</li> <li>STOXX Europe 600 up 0.5% to 374.68</li> <li>MSCI Asia up 0.1% to 159.52</li> <li>MSCI Asia ex Japan up 0.5% to 526.81</li> <li>Nikkei down 0.05% to 19,383.84</li> <li>Topix up 0.06% to 1,596.12</li> <li>Hang Seng Index up 0.9% to 27,401.67</li> <li>Shanghai Composite up 0.1% to 3,290.23</li> <li>Sensex up 0.2% to 31,305.32</li> <li>Australia S&amp;P/ASX 200 up 0.4% to 5,750.12</li> <li>Kospi up 0.4% to 2,365.33</li> <li>Brent futures up 0.8% to $52.07/bbl</li> <li>German 10Y yield rose 1.2 bps to 0.412%</li> <li>Euro down 0.4% to $1.1774</li> <li>US 10Y yield rose 2 bps to 2.20%</li> <li>Italian 10Y yield unchanged at 1.742%</li> <li>Spanish 10Y yield rose 3.7 bps to 1.584%</li> <li>Gold spot down 0.5% to $1,284.90</li> <li>U.S. Dollar Index up 0.4% to 93.44</li> </ul> <p><strong>Top Overnight News</strong></p> <ul> <li>Donald Trump vowed as a presidential candidate to reduce America’s military involvement abroad and quickly defeat Islamic State terrorists. His announcement of an open-ended commitment to Afghanistan to battle jihadists is a concession that as president he cannot meet either promise</li> <li>Provident Financial slumped the most on record as Chief Executive Peter Crook stepped down and the subprime lender forecast a full-year loss and scrapped its dividend</li> <li>BHP Billiton Ltd. is in talks with potential buyers of its U.S. shale assets -- acquired in a contentious $20 billion deals spree in 2011 -- and will delay a move into potash after months of public skirmishes with activist investors led by Paul Singer’s Elliott Management Corp</li> <li>OPEC will have little choice but to extend oil output cuts at current levels when they expire in March, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch</li> <li>Just as the world was put on notice that the end is nigh for the scandal- plagued London interbank offered rate, Janus Henderson Group Plc has started two new exchange-traded notes linked to the doomed benchmark</li> <li>German investor confidence declined for a third month amid concern that the widening diesel scandal and the strengthening euro will weigh on Europe’s largest economy</li> <li>North Korea Says U.S. Faces ‘Merciless Revenge’ Over Drills</li> <li>World’s Biggest Wealth Fund Gains $26 Billion on Stock Rally</li> <li>HSBC Currency Conspiracy May Have Involved 11 Others, U.S. Says</li> <li>Court Square Said to Be in Talks to Buy PlayCore for $1 Billion</li> <li>KKR Is Said to Near $3 Billion New York City Pension Pledge</li> <li>Provident Financial Drops Most Ever After CEO Peter Crook Quits</li> <li>Pratt’s $10 Billion Jet Engine Lags GE by 10- to-1 on New Orders</li> <li>Japan Tobacco to Acquire Philippines No. 2 Cigarette Maker</li> <li>Corporate Bonds Have Plenty of Fans Even After Comedown</li> <li>Trump Adds Afghanistan to Long List of Issues That Defy Easy Fix</li> <li>Broadcast News Misses Ratings Bonanza With Too Little Trump</li> <li>EU Insists on Orderly Brexit as U.K. Battles for Upper Hand</li> <li>Wanda Scraps Central London Purchase as China Toughens M&amp;A Rules</li> </ul> <p><strong>Asian equity markets were mostly higher </strong>although news flow was remarkably light amid a lack of central bank speakers and macroeconomic data. Focus was on a speech from US President Trump where he<br />highlighted US plans to continue sending troops to Afghanistan to fight the terror threat emanating from the country. The Nikkei 225 fell -0.05% while the ASX 200 was up 0.42% after numerous earnings, including from BHP Billiton. 10Y JGBs were lower despite a strong 20Y JGB auction as participants move into the long-end following the well-received issuance, leading to curve flattening. The line was sold with the lowest tail of 2017 and highest cover since January 2014.</p> <p><em>Top Asian News</em></p> <ul> <li>China State Construction Seeks $813 Million in Rights Issue</li> <li>China’s Metal Frenzy Sparks Investor Rush to Smokestack Debt</li> <li>India Fast Food Stocks May Move as McDonald Ends Franchisee Tie</li> <li>Booze Ban in the Home of Baijiu Sinks China’s Liquor Stocks</li> <li>Shares of China Drug Firms Advance as Results Beat Expectations</li> <li>Dollar Demand Drives Yen Lower as Euro, Sterling Reverse Gains</li> </ul> <p><strong>European equities have kicked off the session on the front-foot </strong>(Eurostoxx 50 +0.5%) with all ten sectors in the green. In terms of sector specifics, material names lead the way higher amid positive earnings updates for Antofagasta (+4%) and BHP Billiton (+3.2%) amid positive pre-market earnings updates, subsequently dragging the sector higher. Elsewhere, Provident Financial (-50%) are the notable underperformer amid their CEO resigning, second profit warning and scrapping of dividend. Finally, Fiat (+1.2%) remain supported by ongoing interest from Great Wall Motor. Fixed income markets trade lower amid the apparent<br />return of risk-sentiment to the market with today's sovereign bond-slate once again void of supply. Bunds have somewhat ran out of steam after yesterday failing to target the Aug 11 high with fixed income markets not showing much reaction amid the soft ZEW data release this morning, now awaiting the GE 10yr supply tomorrow. Additionally, some are attributing the pressure on peripheral markets to ongoing speculation about a potential parallel currency in Italy but details are yet to emerge on this front.</p> <p><em>Top European News</em></p> <ul> <li>U.K. Sees First July Budget Surplus Since 2002 on Tax Boost</li> <li>European Miners Climb for a Second Day; Antofagasta Leads Gains</li> <li>Tesco Leads U.K. Supermarket Pack as Lewis’s Revival Continues</li> <li>Millennium Credit Manager Forgash Is Said Departing Hedge Fund</li> <li>What Ails Central Banks May Cure Russia’s Inflation Angst</li> <li>BTP Futures Slip, Bonds Underperform as Strategists Turn Bearish</li> <li>Euro’s Hot Streak May Survive Any Draghi Jackson Hole Jawboning</li> <li>Bank of Cyprus Slumps After Provision Changes Produce 1H Loss</li> </ul> <p><strong>In currencies, </strong>overnight the Asian trading session saw a somewhat risk on tone, which saw JPY and CHF ease off against the greenback with the JPY also consolidating above 109. Of note, large expiries in USD/JPY are set to roll off at the NY cut with lbln at 108.50 and 798MM at 109.00. The EURUSD move above 1.18 had been brief after the currency ran into resistance at 1.1825. Again, it has been a relatively quiet morning with participants eagerly awaiting President Draghi's speech in Frankfurt. Although EUR has extended on losses following the release of soft ZEW data from Germany, with the currency approaching 1.1750.</p> <p><strong>In commodities, </strong>WTI and Brent crude futures trade higher, paring back some of yesterday's losses which were in part triggered by the resumption of operations at the Deere Park refinery OPEC/Non-OPEC JTC reportedly sees July production deal compliance at 94%. (Newswires) However, this appears to be very much at odds with recent numbers produced by IEA, stating a compliance level of just 74% Kuwaiti oil minister said that OPEC will discuss ending or extending cuts at its November meeting. He also noted that OPEC is still working to push oil stocks below 5-year average. Elsewhere, the risk-appetite has taken the shine modestly off gold prices while Chinese iron ore futures were seen higher by over 5% during Asia-Pac hours.</p> <p><strong>Looking at the day ahead, </strong>the FHFA house price index and Richmond Fed manufacturing index are due. Onto other events, the ECB’s Vice President Constancio speaks on inequality and the distributional impact of macroeconomic policies</p> <p><strong>US Event Calendar</strong></p> <ul> <li>9am: FHFA House Price Index MoM, est. 0.5%, prior 0.4%; House Price Purchase Index QoQ, prior 1.4%</li> <li>10am: Richmond Fed Manufact. Index, est. 10, prior 14</li> </ul> <p><strong>Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap</strong></p> <p>Well I hope some of you in the US saw the solar eclipse yesterday. Here in the UK we had our own solar eclipse and instead of it only lasting 3 minutes it lasted the whole day. It was a total eclipse by thick, gloomy and generally foreboding cloud! One would have to say that clouds continues to hover over financial markets at the moment without necessarily unleashing heavy precipitation. There was a lot of chatter in the market yesterday about what Jackson Hole will bring. On balance I would say investors are much more set up for a non-event than they were 1 or 2 months ago. The general feel is that recent events (softer inflation and softer sentiment in markets) will ensure that both the Fed and the ECB will tread carefully. That likely implies that a non-event (or dovish comments) will have limited impact on the market whereas evidence of tighter policy relative to expectations from either could lead to a bigger reaction. As we said yesterday don't forget Mr Draghi's speech at the Lindau symposium in Germany tomorrow. If he is going to&nbsp; say something market moving this week it might be there rather than stateside.</p> <p>Ahead of these events, US equities were mixed but little changed on light volume yesterday. Both the S&amp;P and the Dow edged up 0.1%, while the Nasdaq dipped 0.05%. Within the S&amp;P, the real estate sector was up +1.07%, but gains were largely offset by losses in other sectors including energy and financials. European markets broadly softened, with the Stoxx 600 down -0.40% alongside the Dax (-0.82%) and the FTSE 100 (-0.07%). Elsewhere, the Vix fell 1.1 points to 13.19. </p> <p>This morning in Asia, markets have broadly strengthened. Despite North Korea warning that the US / South Korea will face “merciless revenge” for its annual military drills, the Kospi advanced +0.40%. Elsewhere, Hang Seng was up +1.04% on solid company results and the Nikkei up +0.07% as we type.</p> <p>Back to yesterday and following data last week that showed Germany’s economy grew 2.5% yoy in 2Q, the Bundesbank was relatively upbeat overnight, noting “the strong economic upturn in the German economy is expected to continue in 3Q, with industrial output probably continuing to play an important role, thanks to a substantial expansion in exports..." That said, these comments seem to have little impact on bunds as bonds remain well bid. Yields fell modestly in both US and Europe. Core European bond yields were down 1-2bp across the curve, with bunds (2Y: -1bp; 10Y: -2bps), Gilts (2Y: -1bp; 10Y: -2bps), and French OATs (2Y: -1bp; 10Y: -1bp) all slightly lower in yield while UST 10Y (2Y: -0.5bp; 10Y: -1bps) yields also dipped yesterday but have largely reversed the move in Asia this morning.</p> <p>Turning to currencies, the USD dollar index weakened 0.4% while the Euro/USD had a solid session, up 0.5% yesterday. The Euro is now back above last week’s level and only c0.6% away from the CY17 high of 1.1870. So we've cleared levels from last week before the ECB minutes noted that “concerns were expressed about the risk of the (Euro) overshooting in the future”. Elsewhere, Sterling/USD was up 0.2% and the Euro/Sterling was up 0.3%.</p> <p>In commodities, WTI oil fell 2.4% following an OPEC meeting that ended yesterday with no decision on the future of supply cuts. Iron ore continued to increase for the third consecutive day (up c9% in total), following reports of stronger Chinese steel demand. Precious metals were slightly up (Gold +0.6%; Silver +0.3%) and base metals broadly strengthened with Copper (+0.6%). Aluminium (+0.6%) and Zinc (+1.4%).</p> <p>Away from the markets and onto the looming US debt ceiling limit issue, both the US Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and S enate majority leader McConnell believe it will be lifted. Mnuchin noted "everybody understands, this is not a Republican or a Democrat issue, we need to be able to pay our debts", while McConnell said "there is...no chance we won't raise the debt ceiling....America is not going to default.."</p> <p>Elsewhere, the UK government has published two more Brexit position papers (a total of five expected this week), reiterating that the country wanted the “freest and most frictionless trade possible” and would seek to preserve existing rules on confidentially.</p> <p>The latest ECB CSPP holdings were released yesterday. They bought a lowly €0.8bn last week which compares to €1.1bn, €1.54bn, €0.79bn, €0.72bn, €1.43bn over the previous five weeks. These continue to be weak summer influenced numbers and this week's equate to an average of €160mn per day (vs. €351mn/ day since CSPP started). The CSPP/PSPP ratio was 9.6% (previous weeks 11.4%,12.8%, 8.1%, 6%, 10.4%) which is below the average since the April taper begun but the average since this point of 12.7% is still higher than the pre-taper ratio of 11.6%. So the evidence is still in favour of CSPP having been trimmed less than PSPP since April even if there have been some softer weeks of late. As we’ve discussed in recent weeks the ECB probably did a little front loading ahead of the summer to account for summer credit liquidity being worse than in govt. bonds. We’ll have a better idea of where things stand in September.</p> <p>Before we take a look at today’s calendar, we wrap up with the other data releases from yesterday. In the US, the Chicago Fed national activity index for July was lower than expected at -0.01 (vs. 0.10 expected), although the weakness was partly offset by an upward revision to the prior reading. The three-month average stands broadly flat, suggesting an economy growing at around its implied trend. Elsewhere, Canada’s wholesale trade sales for June was in line at -0.5% mom. In the UK the Rightmove house price index (which measures asking prices) fell 0.9% mom in August but remained up 3.1% yoy.</p> <p>Looking at the day ahead, the ZEW survey on economic expectations for the Eurozone and Germany are due. Then the UK will release various data including: the July net private sector borrowing and July public finances data as well as the CBI full volume of total order book balance. Over in the US, the FHFA house price index and Richmond Fed manufacturing index are also due. Onto other events, the ECB’s Vice President Constancio speaks on inequality and the distributional impact of macroeconomic policies</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="580" height="304" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/trader%20monitors_0.jpg?1503399535" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-22/stocks-rebound-europe-ends-3-day-losing-streak-vix-gold-bonds-slide#comments Across the Curve Afghanistan API ASX 200 Bank of America Bank of America BHP Bloomberg Dollar Spot Bond Bundesbank Business Business CAC 40 Capital Markets Central Banks Chicago Fed Chicago Fed national activity China Copper Crude Currency DAX 30 Debt Ceiling default Deutsche Börse DJ Euro Stoxx 50 Dow 30 Economic growth Economy Equity Markets Euro Stoxx 50 European Central Bank European government European Union EUROSTOXX 50 Eurozone federal government Federal Reserve Finance fixed FTSE 100 Futures contract Germany Gilts Gold Spot Hang Seng 40 Henderson Index Italy Japan Jim Reid Kospi Market economics) Merrill MSCI World NASDAQ NASDAQ 100 New York City Nikkei Nikkei 225 North Korea North Korea OPEC OPEC Organization of Petroleum-Exporting Countries People's Bank of China Precious Metals ratings Ray Dalio RBC Capital Markets Real estate Renminbi Richmond Fed S&P S&P 500 S&P/ASX 200 SSE 50 Stock market index STOXX Stoxx 600 Topix U.S. Dollar Index U.S. Treasury UK Government US Federal Reserve US government Volatility West Texas Yen Yuan Tue, 22 Aug 2017 10:59:46 +0000 Tyler Durden 602089 at http://www.zerohedge.com Bill Blain: There Is A "Last Days Of Rome" Feel To The News These Days... http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-22/bill-blain-there-last-days-rome%E2%80%9D-feel-news-these-days <p><em>By Bill Blain of <a href="http://www.mintpartners.com">Mint Partners</a></em><a href="http://www.mintpartners.com"></a></p> <p><strong>Blain’s Morning Porridge – August 22nd 2017</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <em>“”Forty-two,” said Deep Thought, with infinite majesty and calm.… ”</em></p> <p>I’m wondering if I’ve stumbled into a parallel universe after coming back to the office yesterday. Its too damn quiet out-there! Everybody else is apparently still on holiday. It’s scary. Every headline is about thin markets or how markets have shrugged off last week’s sell off.. (what about next week’s?) There doesn’t seem to be anyone actually at their desks… That’ll change… </p> <p>This week? Since no one is out there.. I can say what I like.. It’s no wonder news flow noise is being magnified out of proportion.. </p> <p>It used to be the summer was the right time for big Jackson Hole style gatherings – safe on the basis holiday markets weren’t paying much attention. Central bankers/economists/investors and other influencers could gab and pontificate without upsetting anyone. But today.. well maybe there are just too many journalists, bloggers and other market parasites just desperately keen to make sure folk are acting upon their supremely <a href="http://nypost.com/2017/08/22/mnuchins-wife-unleashes-instagram-fit-after-backlash/">important insights into what Stephen Mnuchin’s wife </a>was wearing during his visit to Fort Knox and what it means for global asset prices. </p> <p><strong>There is a “last days of Rome” feel to the news these days…</strong></p> <p>But some stuff is still well worth thinking about, so I have to comment on a great Bloomberg Article this morning: “<a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-08-22/the-unintended-consequences-of-quantitative-easing">Unintended Consequences of Quantitative Easing</a>” by Jean-Michel Paul. </p> <p>Regular readers of the morning porridge will know I’ve been deeply suspicious about QE since Day 1. I’ve been writing about the dangers of QE and asset price inflation, for years. Cassandra like, I’m probably right to be concerned, but was anyone listening? </p> <p>THEY ARE NOW! </p> <p>The end of QE is now very much “of the moment”; central bankers around the globe are finally waking up to the threats and understanding just why Normalisation is now so critical. That is what the real sub-text at Jackson Hole will be about this week.. although I doubt we’ll hear much about it.. its just too scary.. </p> <p><strong>Can you imagine how global market sentiment would react if a phalanx of Central Bankers were suddenly to admit.. “Er.. we’ve just figured out we’ve profoundly broken the global economy through unforeseen financial asset price inflation, while negative interest rates have killed capitalism and destroyed the underlying processes of market based economies?” </strong></p> <p>Believe me... <strong>that would not go down particularly well…&nbsp; </strong></p> <p>I’ve long argued it’s the unintended consequences of QE, aka: massive financial asset price inflation, that are storing up enormous trouble for the future – including breaking the current financial system. Mr Paul points out the value of “investible assets” (broadly parallel, I suppose, to what I call “financial assets”, ie bonds and listed stocks) has grown by 40% from $350 trillion to $500 trillion since 2008. He notes the real assets behind these numbers have barely changed… meaning we don’t have $150 bln of new airports, planes, roads, ports, factories, etc actually visible. </p> <p>But that cash has to be somewhere… </p> <p>The reality is simple. In 2008 the global economy just about crashed and burned. It was saved because Governments (the Authorities) poured aid into the broken financial system at enormous expense to tax-payers. Following the crisis, sage politicians announced they would never, ever, never again give tax-payer cash to bankers or financial markets. </p> <p>Yet, subsequently, while trying to financial engineer recovery and financial stability, what they did was pump massive amounts of cash into the financial system. <strong>At what point did they not figure out that would 1) create massive inflation, and 2) build up enormous future tax obligations as central bank balance sheets expanded like balloons (hold that vision). </strong></p> <p><strong>What has QE created? Massive Financial Asset Price Inflation </strong>– <strong>which is just as pernicious and damaging as any other form of inflation eating away real value. </strong>In fact, it’s causing untold additional unintended consequences – including a massive explosion of wealth and income inequality. </p> <p>Paul notes in his comment that financial asset inflation is killing the processes that drive Capitalism. <strong>We see that in the end of “creative destruction” and the number of Zombie Companies held together solely on low rates. A massive Credit Bubble – what? You never spotted it? </strong></p> <p>Massive Financial Asset Price inflation has not been matched by consumption – in fact low rates have made us all poorer at a time when inflation could be set to jump from the unreal financial asset world into the real world of real assets! <strong>Prices are going up and people can afford less – That is what you might call a sell signal!</strong></p> <p>What’s the solution? </p> <p>Don’t know. </p> <p><strong>I suspect we’re into completely uncharted waters here. </strong>The central bankers know we need to normalise and rebuild the broken structures of capitalism and market based economies, without it becoming too apparent they are so broken – <strong>which would cause financial panic… On the other hand the cure might prove as painful as the self-inflicted injury of QE </strong>– analysts who assume a gradual slow steady normalisation of real interest rates will not prove impossibly painful may be kidding themselves… </p> <p>Arg! It’s all so Bleak. </p> <p>I have to start reading happier stuff in the morning… </p> <p>Which is why I come back to Stephen Mnuchin and his wife..<strong> I, for one, will giggle when the&nbsp; whole Trump thing implodes, but I don’t reckon its as important as some folk think.</strong>. Washington will carry on indifferent to whatever fool sits in the office. Cynical and dangerous view.. but checks and balances and all that.. </p> <p>But folk hate shocks and uncertainty… Which is why what what Mnuchin’s wife was wearing matters.. The rationale goes something like: We’re all doomed because it turns out one of the saner members of the Trump cabinet has married a “let-em-eat-cake” Marie-Antoinette without enough common sense to STFU. (Unfortunately… although I’ve never heard of her before, apparently his wife, Louise Linton, is a famous Scottish Actress… Really?</p> <p>Enough.. back to the day job!</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="950" height="462" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/nero%20fiddle.jpg?1503397250" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-22/bill-blain-there-last-days-rome%E2%80%9D-feel-news-these-days#comments Asset price inflation Business Economic bubbles Economy ETC Financial capital Financial crises Financial crisis Financial markets Global Economy Inflation Investment Macroeconomics Market Sentiment Money Quantitative easing Real Interest Rates Reality recovery Tue, 22 Aug 2017 10:23:25 +0000 Tyler Durden 602088 at http://www.zerohedge.com Trump Unveils New, Dramatic Afghanistan Strategy: "We Aren't Nation-Building Again, We Are Killing Terrorists" http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-21/trump-unveils-new-dramatic-afghanistan-strategy-we-arent-nation-building-again-we-ar <p>In a widely anticipated national address, President Donald Trump on Monday announced that he will not pull out U.S. troops from Afghanistan, saying he’s committed to a new strategy aimed at winning the nation’s longest war, now in its 17th year. Admitting that his "original instinct was to pull out" of Afghanistan - Trump's core campaign pledge was to reduce US intervention in offshore conflicts - Trump effectively admitted he had been wrong, and said he’s arrived at three "fundamental conclusions" about America’s core interests in Afghanistan:</p> <ul> <li><strong>U.S. "must seek an honorable and enduring outcome" in which American troops "deserve a plan for victory"</strong></li> <li><strong>The consequences of a rapid exit would be "predictable and unacceptable</strong>" adding that "a hasty withdrawal would create a vacuum that terrorists, including ISIS and al Qaeda, would instantly fill, just as happened before September 11"</li> <li><strong>The security threats U.S. faces "are immense"; and "we cannot repeat the mistake in Afghanistan our leaders made in Iraq."</strong></li> </ul> <p>Trump also promised to the soldiers gathered for the speech that "One way or another, these problems will be solved. I am a problem solver. And in the end, we will win."</p> <p>In other words, Trump is unveiling a dramatic, new offensive in Afghanistan, only instead of giving details on troop deployments, specific dates, or what the definition of victory would be, Trump will keep the details of the new involvement secret, and that "<strong>conditions on the ground, not arbitrary timetables, will guide our strategy from now on.</strong>" </p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>We will not talk about numbers of troops or our plans for further military activities. Conditions on the ground, not arbitrary timetables, will guide our strategy from now on. America's enemies must never know our plans or believe they can wait us out. I will not say when we are going to attack, but attack we will. Another fundamental pillar of our new strategy is the integration of all instruments of American power, diplomatic, economic, and military, toward a successful outcome. Someday, after an effective military effort, perhaps it will be possible to have a political settlement that includes elements of the Taliban and Afghanistan, but nobody knows if or when that will ever happen. America will continue its support for the Afghan government and the Afghan military as they confront the Taliban in the field.</p> </blockquote> <p>Trump also defined what a victory in Afghanistan would mean:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Our troops will fight to win. We will fight to win. From now on, victory will have a clear definition — attacking our enemies, obliterating ISIS, crushing al Qaeda, preventing the Taliban from taking over Afghanistan, and stopping mass terror attacks against America before they emerge. We will ask our NATO allies and global partners to support our new strategy, with additional troop and funding increases in line with our own. We are confident they will.</p> </blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">President Trump: "From now on, victory will have a clear definition" <a href="https://t.co/WWDLK93V4z">https://t.co/WWDLK93V4z</a></p> <p>— NBC News (@NBCNews) <a href="https://twitter.com/NBCNews/status/899804131660931072">August 22, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script><p>Taking a quick detour into domestic politics, Trump said that "the young men and women we sent to fight our wars abroad deserve to return to a country that is not at war with itself at home. We cannot remain a force for peace in the world if we are not at peace with each other."</p> <p>However it was all about Afghanistan:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Ultimately, it is up to the people of Afghanistan to take ownership of their future, to govern their society, and to achieve an everlasting peace. We are a partner and a friend, but we will not dictate to the Afghan people how to live or how to govern their own complex society. <strong>We are not nation building again. We are killing terrorists.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Well, that and Pakistan, which has now been thrown into the terrorist "melting pot" fray:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>The next pillar of our new strategy is to change the approach in how to deal with Pakistan. We can no longer be silent about Pakistan's safe havens for terrorist organizations, the Taliban, and other groups that pose a threat to the region and beyond. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Pakistan has much to gain from partnering with our effort in Afghanistan. It has much to lose by continuing to harbor criminals and terrorists. In the past, Pakistan has been a valued partner. Our militaries have worked together against common enemies. The Pakistani people have suffered greatly from terrorism and extremism.&nbsp; We recognize those contributions and those sacrifices, but Pakistan has also sheltered the same organizations that try every single day to kill our people. We have been paying Pakistan billions and billions of dollars, at the same time they are housing the same terrorists that we are fighting. But that will have to change. And that will change immediately. </p> </blockquote> <p>And, in a surprising twist, Trump also brought in India to the mix:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Another critical part of the South Asia strategy or America is to further develop its strategic partnership with India, the world's largest democracy and a key security and economic harbor of the United States. We appreciate India's important contributions to stability in Afghanistan, but India makes billions of dollars in trade with the United States, and we want them to help us more with Afghanistan, especially in the area of economic assistance and development. We are committed to pursuing our shared objectives for peace and security in South Asia and the broader Indo-Pacific region.</p> </blockquote> <p>Oddly enough, zero mentions of China, almost as if Trump is telegraphing the new US "axis" in South Asia. </p> <p>Finally, speaking like a polished cog of a well-greased neo-con/military-industrial wheel - note that Lindsay Graham loved every word of tonight's speech - Trump warned "Terrorists, take heed. America will never let up until you are dealt a lasting defeat. Under my administration, many billions of dollars more is being spent on our military. And this includes vast amounts being spent on our nuclear arsenal and missile defense. In every generation we have faced down evil, and we have always prevailed."</p> <p><strong>In conclusion, Trump may not be able to get approval from Congress to pass his domestic spending agenda</strong>, <strong>but at least he is about to spend "billions" to continue a war that started 16 years ago and will surely never end, and make shareholders of defense stocks even richer.</strong></p> <p><em>Full transcript below (via NPR):</em></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>*&nbsp;&nbsp; * &nbsp; * <br /></em></p> <p><strong>President Trump</strong></p> <p>Thank you very much. Thank you. Please be seated. Vice President Pence, Secretary of State Tillerson, members of the cabinet, General Dunford, Deputy Secretary Shanahan and Colonel Duggan. Most especially, thank you to the men and women of Fort Myer and every member of the United States military at home and abroad. We send our thoughts and prayers to the families of our brave sailors who were injured and lost after a tragic collision at sea as well as to those conducting the search and recovery efforts.</p> <p>I am here tonight to lay out our path forward in Afghanistan and South Asia. But before I provide the details of our new strategy, I want to say a few words to the service members here with us tonight, to those watching from their posts, and to all Americans listening at home. Since the founding of our republic, our country has produced a special class of heroes whose selflessness, courage, and resolve is unmatched in human history.</p> <p>American patriots from every generation have given their last breath on the battlefield - for our nation and for our freedom. Through their lives, and though their lives were cut short, in their deeds they achieved total immortality. By following the heroic example of those who fought to preserve our republic, we can find the inspiration our country needs to unify, to heal and to remain one nation under God. The men and women of our military operate as one team, with one shared mission and one shared sense of purpose.</p> <p>They transcend every line of race, ethnicity, creed and color to serve together and sacrifice together in absolutely perfect cohesion. That is because all service members are brothers and sisters. They are all part of the same family. It’s called the American family. They take the same oath, fight for the same flag and live according to the same law.</p> <p>They are bound together by common purpose, mutual trust and selfless devotion to our nation and to each other. The soldier understands what we as a nation too often forget, that a wound inflicted upon on a single member of our community is a wound inflicted upon us all. When one part of America hurts, we all hurt.</p> <p>And when one citizen suffers an injustice, we all suffer together. Loyalty to our nation demands loyalty to one another. Love for America requires love for all of its people. When we open our hearts to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice, no place for bigotry and no tolerance for hate. The young men and women we send to fight our wars abroad deserve to return to a country that is not at war with itself at home. We cannot remain a force for peace in the world if we are not at peace with each other.</p> <p>As we send our bravest to defeat our enemies overseas, and we will always win, let us find the courage to heal our divisions within. Let us make a simple promise to the men and women we ask to fight in our name, that when they return home from battle, they will find a country that has renewed the sacred bonds of love and loyalty that unite us together as one.</p> <p>Thanks to the vigilance and skill of the American military, and of our many allies throughout the world, horrors on the scale of September 11, and nobody can ever forget that, have not been repeated on our shores. But we must acknowledge the reality I am here to talk about tonight, that nearly 16 years after September 11 attacks, after the extraordinary sacrifice of blood and treasure, the American people are weary of war without victory.</p> <p>Nowhere is this more evident than with the war in Afghanistan, the longest war in American history - 17 years. I share the American people's frustration. I also share their frustration over a foreign policy that has spent too much time, energy, money, and most importantly, lives trying to rebuild countries in our own image instead of pursuing our security interests above all other considerations. That is why shortly after my inauguration, I directed Secretary of Defense Mattis and my national security team to undertake a comprehensive review of all strategic options in Afghanistan and South Asia.</p> <p>My original instinct was to pull out, and historically I like following my instincts. But all my life, I have heard that decisions are much different when you sit behind the desk in the oval office. In other words, when you are president of the United States. So I studied Afghanistan in great detail and from every conceivable angle. After many meetings over many months, we held our final meeting last Friday at Camp David with my cabinet and generals to complete our strategy. I arrived at three fundamental conclusion about America's core interests in Afghanistan.</p> <p>First, our nation must seek an honorable and enduring outcome worthy of the tremendous sacrifices that have been made, especially the sacrifices of lives. The men and women who serve our nation in combat deserve a plan for victory. They deserve the tools they need and the trust they have earned to fight and to win. Second, the consequences of a rapid exit are both predictable and unacceptable. 9/11, the worst terrorist attack in our history, was planned and directed from Afghanistan because that country by a government that gave comfort and shelter to terrorists. A hasty withdrawal would create a vacuum that terrorists, including ISIS and al Qaeda, would instantly fill, just as happened before September 11. And as we know, in 2011, America hastily and mistakenly withdrew from Iraq.</p> <p>As a result, our hard-won gains slipped back into the hands of terrorists enemies. Our soldiers watched as cities they had fought for bled to liberate and won were occupied by a terrorist group called ISIS. The vacuum we created by leaving too soon gave safe haven for ISIS to spread, to grow, recruit and launch attacks. We cannot repeat in Afghanistan the mistake our leaders made in Iraq.</p> <p>Third and finally, I concluded that the security threats we face in Afghanistan and the broader region are immense. Today, 20 U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organizations are active in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The highest concentration in any region anywhere in the world. For its part, Pakistan often gives safe haven to agents of chaos, violence, and terror. The threat is worse because Pakistan and India are two nuclear-armed states, whose tense relations threat to spiral into conflict, and that could happen.</p> <p>No one denies that we have inherited a challenging and troubling situation in Afghanistan and South Asia, but we do not have the luxury of going back in time and making different or better decisions.</p> <p>When I became president, I was given a bad and very complex hand, but I fully knew what I was getting into. Big and intricate problems. But one way or another, these problems will be solved. I am a problem solver. And in the end, we will win. We must address the reality of the world as it exists right now, the threats we face, and the confronting of all of the problems of today, an extremely predictable consequences of a hasty withdrawal. We need look no further than last week's vile, vicious attack in Barcelona to understand that terror groups will stop at nothing to commit the mass murder of innocent men, women, and children.</p> <p>You saw it for yourself. Horrible. As I outlined in my speech in Saudi Arabia, three months ago, America and our partners are committed to stripping terrorists of their territory, cutting off their funding and exposing the false allure of their evil ideology. Terrorists who slaughter innocent people will find no glory in this life or the next. They are nothing but thugs and criminals and predators, and, that’s right, losers. Working alongside our allies, we will break their will, dry up their recruitment, keep them from crossing our borders, and yes, we will defeat them, and we will defeat them handily. In Afghanistan and Pakistan, America's interests are clear.</p> <p>We must stop the resurgence of safe havens that enable terrorists to threaten America. And we must prevent nuclear weapons and materials from coming into the hands of terrorists and being used against us or anywhere in the world, for that matter. But to prosecute this war, we will learn from history.</p> <p>As a result of our comprehensive review, American strategy in Afghanistan and South Asia will change dramatically in the following ways: A core pillar of our new strategy is a shift from a time-based approach to one based on conditions. I’ve said it many times, how counterproductive it is for the United States to announce in advance the dates we intend to begin or end military operations.</p> <p>We will not talk about numbers of troops or our plans for further military activities. Conditions on the ground, not arbitrary timetables, will guide our strategy from now on. America's enemies must never know our plans or believe they can wait us out. I will not say when we are going to attack, but attack we will. Another fundamental pillar of our new strategy is the integration of all instruments of American power, diplomatic, economic, and military, toward a successful outcome. Someday, after an effective military effort, perhaps it will be possible to have a political settlement that includes elements of the Taliban and Afghanistan, but nobody knows if or when that will ever happen. America will continue its support for the Afghan government and the Afghan military as they confront the Taliban in the field.</p> <p>Ultimately, it is up to the people of Afghanistan to take ownership of their future, to govern their society, and to achieve an everlasting peace. We are a partner and a friend, but we will not dictate to the Afghan people how to live or how to govern their own complex society. We are not nation building again. We are killing terrorists.</p> <p>The next pillar of our new strategy is to change the approach in how to deal with Pakistan. We can no longer be silent about Pakistan's safe havens for terrorist organizations, the Taliban, and other groups that pose a threat to the region and beyond.</p> <p>Pakistan has much to gain from partnering with our effort in Afghanistan. It has much to lose by continuing to harbor criminals and terrorists. In the past, Pakistan has been a valued partner. Our militaries have worked together against common enemies. The Pakistani people have suffered greatly from terrorism and extremism. We recognize those contributions and those sacrifices, but Pakistan has also sheltered the same organizations that try every single day to kill our people. We have been paying Pakistan billions and billions of dollars, at the same time they are housing the same terrorists that we are fighting. But that will have to change. And that will change immediately. No partnership can survive a country's harboring of militants and terrorists who target U.S. service members and officials. It is time for Pakistan to demonstrate its commitment to civilization, order, and to peace.</p> <p>Another critical part of the South Asia strategy or America is to further develop its strategic partnership with India, the world's largest democracy and a key security and economic harbor of the United States. We appreciate India's important contributions to stability in Afghanistan, but India makes billions of dollars in trade with the United States, and we want them to help us more with Afghanistan, especially in the area of economic assistance and development. We are committed to pursuing our shared objectives for peace and security in South Asia and the broader Indo-Pacific region.</p> <p>Finally, my administration will ensure that you, the brave defenders of the American people, will have the necessary tools and rules of engagement to make this strategy work and work effectively and work quickly. I have already lifted restrictions the previous administration placed on our war fighters that prevented the secretary of defense and our commanders in the field from fully and swiftly waging battle against the enemy. Micromanagement from Washington, D.C., does not win battles. They are won in the field drawing upon the judgment and expertise of wartime commanders and frontline soldiers, acting in real time with real authority and with a clear mission to defeat the enemy. That is why we will also expand authority for American armed forces to target the terrorists and criminal networks that sow violence and chaos throughout Afghanistan.</p> <p>The killers need to know they have nowhere to hide, that no place is beyond the reach of American might and American arms. Retribution will be fast and powerful. As we lift restrictions and expand authorities in the field, we are already seeing dramatic results in the campaign to defeat ISIS, including the liberation of Mosul in Iraq. Since my inauguration, we have achieved record-breaking success in that regard. We will also maximize sanctions and other financial and law enforcement actions against these networks to eliminate their ability to export terror. When America commits its warriors to battle, we must ensure they have every weapon to apply swift, decisive, and overwhelming force.</p> <p>Our troops will fight to win. We will fight to win. From now on, victory will have a clear definition. — attacking our enemies, obliterating ISIS, crushing al Qaeda, preventing the Taliban from taking over Afghanistan, and stopping mass terror attacks against America before they emerge. We will ask our NATO allies and global partners to support our new strategy, with additional troop and funding increases in line with our own. We are confident they will.</p> <p>Since taking office, I have made clear that our allies and partners must contribute much more money to our collective defense, and they have done so. In this struggle, the heaviest burden will continue to be borne by the good people of Afghanistan and their courageous armed forces.</p> <p>As the prime minister of Afghanistan has promised, we are going to participate in economic development to help defray the cost of this war to us. Afghanistan is fighting to defend and secure their country against the same enemies who threaten us. The stronger the Afghan security forces become, the less we will have to do. Afghans will secure and build their own nation and define their own future. We want them to succeed. But we will no longer use American military might to construct democracies in faraway lands or try to rebuild other countries in our own image. Those days are now over. Instead, we will work with allies and partners to protect our shared interests.</p> <p>We are not asking others to change their way of life but to pursue common goals that allow our children to live better and safer lives. This principled realism will guide our decisions moving forward. Military power alone will not bring peace to Afghanistan or stop the terrorist threat arising in that country.</p> <p>But strategically-applied force aims to create the conditions for a political process to achieve a lasting peace. America will work with the Afghan government as long as we see determination and progress.</p> <p>However, our commitment is not unlimited, and our support is not a blank check. The government of Afghanistan must carry their share of the military, political, and economic burden. The American people expect to see real reforms, real progress, and real results.</p> <p>Our patience is not unlimited. We will keep our eyes wide open. In abiding by the oath I took on January 20, I will remain steadfast in protecting American lives and American interests. In this effort, we will make common cause with any nation that chooses to stand and fight alongside us against this global threat.</p> <p>Terrorists, take heed. America will never let up until you are dealt a lasting defeat. Under my administration, many billions of dollars more is being spent on our military. And this includes vast amounts being spent on our nuclear arsenal and missile defense. In every generation we have faced down evil, and we have always prevailed.</p> <p>We prevailed because we know who we are and what we are fighting for. Not far from where we are gathered tonight, hundreds of thousands of America's greatest patriots lay in eternal rest at Arlington national cemetery. There is more courage, sacrifice, and love in those hallowed grounds than in any other spot on the face of this Earth.</p> <p>Many of those who have fought and died in Afghanistan enlisted in the months after September 11, 2001. They volunteered for a simple reason: they loved America and they were determined to protect her. Now we must secure the cause for which they gave their lives. We must unite to defend America from its enemies abroad. We must restore the bonds of loyalty among our citizens at home, and we must achieve an honorable and enduring outcome worthy of the enormous price that so many have paid.</p> <p>Our actions and in the months to come, all of them will honor the sacrifice of every fallen hero, every family who lost a loved one, and every wounded warrior who shed their blood in defense of our great nation.</p> <p>With our resolve, we will ensure that your service and that your families will bring about the defeat of our enemies and the arrival of peace. We will push onward to victory with power in our hearts, courage in our souls and everlasting pride in each and every one of you. Thank you. May God bless our military, and may God bless the United States of America. Thank you very much. Thank you.</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="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/trumpdonaldthree08212017getty.jpg?1503366032" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-21/trump-unveils-new-dramatic-afghanistan-strategy-we-arent-nation-building-again-we-ar#comments Afghan government Afghan military Afghanistan Afghanistan Afghanistan–Pakistan relations Al-Qaeda al-Qaeda American military China Congress Contemporary history Donald Trump Donald Trump India International relations Invasions of Afghanistan Iraq Islam Military history by country national security NBC North Atlantic Treaty Organization Organized crime Pan-Islamism Politics Politics Reality recovery Saudi Arabia South Asia SWIFT Taliban Taliban Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan United States military War War in Afghanistan Washington D.C. Tue, 22 Aug 2017 09:46:46 +0000 Tyler Durden 602078 at http://www.zerohedge.com Mnuchin Visits Fort Knox, Says "Gold Is Safe" http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-21/mnuchin-visits-fort-knox-says-gold-safe <p>Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had a busy day today: shortly <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-21/are-markets-sleepwalking-debt-ceiling-crisis-mnuchin-issues-another-warning">after warning once again that a US debt ceiling deal has to be done by late September </a>or else the country would run out of cash and suffer a technical default, roughly around the <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-08-21/mnuchin-hints-at-keeping-carried-interest-break-for-some-firms">time he hinted that Trump may keep carried interest tax </a>breaks for some firms that create jobs (while eliminating it for hedge fund managers), the former hedge fund manager and Hollywood producer paid a rare official visit to Fort Knox to check out the nation’s gold stash on Monday, while - as Bloomberg put it - keeping an open mind for future film projects.</p> <p><strong>“I assume the gold is still there,” </strong>Mnuchin told an audience in Louisville, Kentucky some 40 miles north of the biggest U.S. Bullion Depository (except of course for the foreign gold stash at the NY Fed).<strong> “It would really be quite a movie if we walked in and there was no gold.”</strong> It's unclear if Mnuchin was envisioning a comedy or a drama.</p> <p>After the visit, Mnuchin who was the first US Treasury Secretary to visit Fort Knox in nearly 70 years, <strong>"<a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-08-21/mnuchin-to-visit-fort-knox-assumes-america-s-gold-still-there"><em>playfully</em></a>" </strong>reassured Americans the treasure was still secure. </p> <p>“Glad gold is safe!” he wrote in a post on Twitter.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Thanks to <a href="https://twitter.com/usmint">@usmint</a> staff for hosting at <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FortKnox?src=hash">#FortKnox</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/USBD?src=hash">#USBD</a>. First <a href="https://twitter.com/USTreasury">@USTreasury</a> Secretary to visit since John Snyder in 1948. Glad gold is safe!</p> <p>— Steven Mnuchin (@stevenmnuchin1) <a href="https://twitter.com/stevenmnuchin1/status/899727624594903040">August 21, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script><p>Mnuchin, whose action-film credits include ‘‘Mad Max: Fury Road,” “The Lego Batman Movie” and “Suicide Squad,” <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-08-21/mnuchin-to-visit-fort-knox-assumes-america-s-gold-still-there">according to Bloomberg</a>, said that he would be only the third secretary of the Treasury to go inside the vault since it was created in 1936 by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.</p> <p>“We have approximately $200 billion of gold at Fort Knox,” said Mnuchin. “The last time anybody went in to see the gold, other than the Fort Knox people, was in 1974 when there was a congressional visit. <strong>And the last time it was counted was actually in 1953.</strong>”<strong></strong></p> <p>Which is why the American public is so lucky it can take the word of a former Goldman partner without any trace of doubt...&nbsp; <strong><br /></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="600" height="282" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/gold%20ft%20knox.jpg?1503370433" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-21/mnuchin-visits-fort-knox-says-gold-safe#comments Debt Ceiling default Finance Gold Kentucky Knox Matter Mnuchin NY Fed Steven Mnuchin Surnames Twitter Twitter U.S. Treasury United States Bullion Depository United States Department of the Treasury United States Secretary of the Treasury Tue, 22 Aug 2017 09:39:33 +0000 Tyler Durden 602085 at http://www.zerohedge.com One Statistics Professor Was Just Banned By Google: Here Is His Story http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-21/one-statistics-professor-was-just-banned-google-here-his-story <p>Statistics professor Salil Mehta, adjunct professor at <a href="http://sps.columbia.edu/applied-analytics/master-of-science-in-applied-analytics/faculty/salil-mehta">Columbia </a>and <a href="https://scs.georgetown.edu/programs/375/certificate-in-data-science/faculty-bio/4120790/salil-mehta">Georgetown </a>who teaches probability and data science and whose work has appeared on this website on <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-25/dow-hits-20k-best-day-7-weeks-investors-dump-dollars-bonds-protection">numerous </a><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-04-14/active-managers-underperformance-one-130000-years-event">prior</a> <a href="https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/08/21/secret-service-cant-pay-agents-because-trumps-frequent-travel-large-family/529075001/">occasions</a>, was banned by Google on Friday.</p> <p>What did Salil do to provoke Google? It is not entirely clear, however what is clear is that his repeated attempts at restoring his email, blog and other Google-linked accounts have so far been rejected with a blanket and uniform statement from the search giant.</p> <p><em>Here is what happened, in Salil Mehta&#39;s own words.</em></p> <p><strong>Don</strong><strong>&rsquo;</strong><strong>t do a googol of evil</strong></p> <p>Freedom is not free unless corporations who exert a large influence in our lives believe in our well-being.&nbsp; I am a statistics professor and understand that there needs to be reasonable standards to control a large social network and make sure everyone is able to enjoy it freely.&nbsp; Invariably people disagree (we all see this), but some principles, such as simply showing probability and statistics with the sole hope of educating others, should be acceptable and in the middle of the distribution.&nbsp; I am for a higher standard, and a higher purpose.&nbsp; There is great care that I have taken to make sure that people treat one other well, admit faults, and present math and probability education to a wide audience.</p> <p><strong>On Friday afternoon East Coast Time by surprise, I was completely shut down in all my Google accounts (all of my gmail accounts, blog, all of my university pages that were on google sites, etc.) for no reason and no warning.&nbsp; </strong>A number of us were stunned and unsure, but clearly we know at this point it wasn&rsquo;t an accident.&nbsp; Here are some examples commented from best-selling author Nassim Taleb, and they have been retweeted by government officials, and the NYT and WSJ journalists.&nbsp;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Even his email was disabled by Google. <a href="https://t.co/Zj9g9MpKzr">https://t.co/Zj9g9MpKzr</a></p> <p>&mdash; NassimNicholasTaleb (@nntaleb) <a href="https://twitter.com/nntaleb/status/898851771384176640">August 19, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p><span id="cke_bm_565S" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span><span id="cke_bm_566S" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span><span id="cke_bm_567S" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span><span id="cke_bm_571S" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span><span id="cke_bm_572S" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span><span id="cke_bm_572E" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span><strong>My ads-free blog itself is a probability theory site, with 27 million reads and has somewhere near 150k overall followers.</strong>&nbsp;<span id="cke_bm_567E" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span><span id="cke_bm_566E" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span> <span id="cke_bm_565E" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span>It&rsquo;s been read by Warren Buffett, Elon Musk, Nobel Laureates, multiple governments, celebrity athletes around the world, deans of many universities (on the syllabi of same), and a number of TV news anchors.&nbsp; So it&rsquo;s been a great boon for Google to be noticed so kindly by essentially a charitable site promoting math education.&nbsp;<strong> What great people from all corners of the world and at all levels who can enjoy Google, until it suddenly died Friday afternoon.</strong></p> <p>My background is clean, and without a political or social agenda.&nbsp; I am not promoting any specific viewpoint.&nbsp; I teach probability math and that&rsquo;s it.&nbsp; Have worked with both the Obama administration and advised on polling statistics for the Trump campaign, am an adjunct professor at three top universities, an editor of the peer-reviewed journal of the American Statistical Association, and wrote a best-selling statistics book (all the proceeds of which I gave to charity!) <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Statistics-Topics-Salil-Mehta/dp/1499273533">https://www.amazon.com/Statistics-Topics-Salil-Mehta/dp/1499273533</a></p> <p>The NYT has a popular print article this weekend and they cited my Google blog, but alas it not links to an embarrassing malfunction, for many to see: <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/19/business/the-stock-market-has-been-magical-it-cant-last.html">https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/19/business/the-stock-market-has-been-magical-it-cant-last.html</a></p> <p>This doesn&rsquo;t look good.&nbsp; <strong>Now instead of mathematics, reporters have turned to this latest circus nightmare from Google as an example of how they are compounding bad decisions on good people anywhere and at any time.&nbsp; </strong></p> <p>Can they not differentiate me from an evil person?&nbsp; Can they not see the large and reputable people and institutions that have relied on my work?&nbsp; Do they have better people who can coach them on how to make decisions with much better taste and finesse?&nbsp; What&rsquo;s next, all CEOs and professors and politicians are going to be shut down from social media whenever it is least expected?&nbsp; Overnight hi-tech lynching squads are a thing of the past.&nbsp; We can&rsquo;t have kangaroo courts and hope to lead with moral authority.</p> <p>There is a lot of energy being spent right now thinking about how this happens to your best customers, just like that.&nbsp; <strong>Fear is running wild about who is next and on what other social media platforms</strong>.&nbsp; Have used Google for 11 years with no issue.&nbsp; Have driven enormous free traffic to your products and properties.&nbsp; But now that&rsquo;s been severely damaged as the trust/reputational value has been crushed, and I have to re-emerge quickly elsewhere and deal with this fall-out.&nbsp; I have many students, family, coworkers, etc who typically send me e-mails each day and all of it is vanishing with a kicked-back &ldquo;user doesn&rsquo;t exist&rdquo; error.&nbsp; And that&rsquo;s totally unacceptable.&nbsp; Through my many companies have business accounts on different social media and have no issue getting a marketing line, but one needs to know who they are dealing with and not treat them this badly.&nbsp; <strong>The wrongs here are not being done by me.</strong></p> <p>Again, a math site.&nbsp; An academic site that you can see from the various header tabs of the archives (<a href="http://web.archive.org/web/20170518181653/http:/statisticalideas.blogspot.com/2012/11/statistical-ideas-website.html">http://web.archive.org/web/20170518181653/http://statisticalideas.blogspot.com/2012/11/statistical-ideas-website.html</a>).&nbsp; These are applications of formulas and shouldn&rsquo;t be subject of limitations of free speech.&nbsp; A lot of great people like it.&nbsp; Hopefully Google needs to take huge step back and reexamine what went wrong and how the product could be better for others going forward, so that they and all of us grow well.&nbsp; People&rsquo;s faith in democracy is on the line.&nbsp; Faith that technology companies are looking out for our good first.</p> <p>I have followed their common &ldquo;appeal&rdquo; form but no response for three days.&nbsp; Also connected with one of the VPs over the weekend and it still takes time until receiving this today!&nbsp; Just more of a reflection of how cold a company can treat someone very poorly: without any information, and lack of ability to move forward in their life (can I get real reasons if any, can I get advance notice, can I get my contact list back from gmail, and why are university properties unrelated to my blog shut down?)&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>We are going to be looking back on this time in Google&rsquo;s history and those of other social media and know that they have done some very immoral and confusing things, and it has hurt their public reputation with decent people who wanted to grow into the next future with them</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/08/12/google%20bar.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/08/12/google%20bar_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 341px;" /></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="520" height="368" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/mehta%20teaser.jpg?1503330663" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-21/one-statistics-professor-was-just-banned-google-here-his-story#comments Alphabet Inc. American Statistical Association Computing Cross-platform software Digital media ETC Gmail Google Google Google China html Nassim Taleb Obama Administration Obama administration Privacy concerns regarding Google Social media Warren Buffett Web applications Webmail World Wide Web Tue, 22 Aug 2017 09:13:22 +0000 Tyler Durden 602045 at http://www.zerohedge.com Norway Removes Greenpeace Ship From Statoil Arctic Drill Site http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-22/norway-removes-greenpeace-ship-statoil-arctic-drill-site <p><a href="http://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/Norway-Removes-Greenpeace-Ship-From-Statoil-Arctic-Drill-Site.html"><em>Authored by Zainab Calcuttawala via OilPrice.com,</em></a></p> <p><strong>Norway&rsquo;s coast guard has removed Greenpeace protestors from a safety zone near Statoil drilling operations in the Korpfjell field of the Barents Sea,</strong> according to a new report in <a href="http://maritime-executive.com/article/norwegian-coast-guard-arrests-greenpeace-ship">the Maritime Executive. </a></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/08/19/20170821_statoil2.jpg"><img height="337" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/08/19/20170821_statoil2.jpg" width="600" /></a></p> <p><strong>The protestors used kayaks to infiltrate a 500-meter exclusion zone around the <em>Songa Enabler</em> </strong>on Thursday in order to attach a large globe to the rig. On it was a statement from environmentalists calling on Norway to end its drilling in the Arctic.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/08/19/20170821_statoil3.jpg"><img height="355" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/08/19/20170821_statoil3.jpg" width="600" /></a></p> <p><strong>Statoil called the stunt &ldquo;illegal and irresponsible&rdquo; before summoning the authorities to remove the protestors&rsquo; vessel, <em>Arctic Sunrise</em>.</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/08/19/20170821_statoil1.jpg"><strong><img height="396" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/08/19/20170821_statoil1.jpg" width="600" /></strong></a></p> <p>On the other hand, Greenpeace Norway argues the coast guard&rsquo;s actions were unlawful.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&ldquo;The Norwegian coast guard doesn&rsquo;t have the right to board or remove our ship,&rdquo; </strong>said Truls Gulowsen, head of the local branch of the environmental group.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;Protest at sea is an internationally recognized lawful use of the sea, related to the freedom of navigation. We are taking action against Arctic drilling in an area where our rights to protest are protected under international law. The Norwegian government cannot unjustifiably interfere with that right.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>So far, the government maintains that it acted within its rights when it removed the ship due to the clear establishment of the exclusion zone.</strong></p> <p>To this claim, the group retorts:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;While Greenpeace recognizes that Norway has the right to establish a safety zone around a fixed offshore installation, there should also be room to exercise the right to protest in a safe and peaceful manner.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p>Environmentalists <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/this-65-billion-oil-opportunity-will-never-be-tapped_us_598c704de4b08a4c247f28bb">continue</a> to&nbsp;<a href="https://thebarentsobserver.com/en/ecology/2017/08/how-400-norwegian-youth-prepare-meet-arctic-oil-drilling">protest</a>&nbsp;drilling in the Arctic and the potential opening of the Lofoten islands to exploration.</p> <p><strong>Greenpeace is suing Norway in a trial set to begin in November, arguing that &ldquo;granting licenses to open a new oil frontier breaches the Norwegian Constitutional right to a healthy and safe environment for current and future generations and contravenes the Paris Agreement.&rdquo;</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="592" height="350" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20170821_statoil3.jpg?1503376095" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-22/norway-removes-greenpeace-ship-statoil-arctic-drill-site#comments Arctic Barents Sea Business CAC 40 Economy Economy of Norway Environment fixed Greenpeace Greenpeace Greenpeace Arctic Sunrise ship case Lofoten MV Arctic Sunrise Norway Norwegian government Politics Statoil Tue, 22 Aug 2017 09:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 602086 at http://www.zerohedge.com Back to Back US Drone Crashes In Turkey Come Amidst Severe Strain Between NATO Allies http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-21/back-back-us-drone-crashes-turkey-come-amidst-severe-strain-between-nato-allies <p>Two United States MQ-1 Predator drones have crashed in Turkey within four days, possibly cutting the Air Force&#39;s operational fleet of drones at NATO&#39;s main Turkish base down to half. This comes at a moment when the future of US drone operations in the region remain in question due to heightened political tensions with the Erdogan&nbsp;government and the uncertain future of the war in Syria. On Monday Turkey&#39;s&nbsp;Incirlik Air Base, which hosts US and other NATO personnel conducting operations over Syria and Iraq, released a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.incirlik.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/1283982/news-release-mq-1-predator-crashed-in-southeast-turkey/" target="_blank">statement</a>&nbsp;confirming the crash of the drone in southeast Turkey at around&nbsp;11:50 a.m. (0850 GMT), with no further details given.</p> <p>Incirlik had confirmed an earlier Predator drone crash&nbsp;just last Thursday (8/17) near the air base. Last week&#39;s&nbsp;<a href="http://www.incirlik.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/1282217/news-release-mq-1-predator-crashed-in-turkey/" target="_blank">statement</a>&nbsp;quoted a US military spokesman as saying:</p> <p>&ldquo;At this time the safety of our host nation civilians and the recovery and security of our asset is paramount,&rdquo; said Col. David Eaglin, commander of the 39th Air Base Wing.&nbsp; &ldquo;Our Airmen train continuously to respond to incidents such as this, and we are working closely with our host nation partners to ensure this is resolved without conflict.&rdquo;</p> <p>Both incidents, which are being described in official statements as accidents, are currently under investigation. While no fatalities or injuries have been reported in connection with either crash, NATO&#39;s 39th Air Base Wing issued a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.incirlik.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/1282249/news-release-update-mq-1-predator-crashed-in-turkey/" target="_blank">notice</a>&nbsp;to Turkish residents indicating that any possible property loss or damage claims could be submitted for potential reimbursement. Photos of the second crash quickly emerged on social media and appear to show a downed drone in a private corn field.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="tr">The <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/USAF?src=hash">#USAF</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/UAV?src=hash">#UAV</a> crashed in ?anl?urfa&#39;s Viran?ehir corn fields. <a href="https://t.co/WR1r0p7Knr">pic.twitter.com/WR1r0p7Knr</a></p> <p>&mdash; Cemal (@Acemal71) <a href="https://twitter.com/Acemal71/status/899604655361097729">August 21, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>After the formal withdrawal of American troops from Iraq in 2011, the US Air Force negotiated the transfer of one combat air patrol unit (or PAC) of Predators to&nbsp;Incirlik. A PAC consists of a total of four drones, which theoretically allows for constant 24 hour aerial operations within a drone unit (one aircraft over the target area, one preparing to take over operations, one returning to refuel, and one in reserve).</p> <p>Though it&#39;s unknown if the Air Force later added additional units, a Department of Defense internal briefing from 2013 indicates that the original memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the US and Turkey to allow a single drone unit transfer took five months to negotiate.</p> <p><em><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/08/12/us%20drone%20crash%20turkey.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/08/12/us%20drone%20crash%20turkey_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 444px;" /></a><br />An unclassified slide from a 2013 DoD briefing on the original deployment of Predator drones to Incirlik.&nbsp;</em></p> <p>Assuming there was a single PAC in continued operation at Incirlik, this means the recent back to back crashes in southern Turkey have, at least temporarily, reduced the fleet by half. This comes at sensitive time for the US which desires to maintain a drone presence at the strategically located Turkish host base. The Air Force has further already planned to phase out the Predator drones, which are set to be completely replaced by the larger MQ-9 Reapers by 2018.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>But it&#39;s the rocky and worsening US-Turkish relationship which may ultimately deal a death blow for future Air Force drone operations out of Turkey.</strong>&nbsp;The two NATO allies are increasingly engaged in heightened diplomatic standoff over official US support for the Kurdish &quot;People&#39;s Protection Units&quot;, more commonly known by the acronym YPG, which forms the backbone of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) operating in Syria. <strong>Turkey sees no distinction between the YPG and the PKK</strong>, which operates within Turkish borders and is designated a terrorist organization by both the US and Turkish government.</p> <p>Last May the US&nbsp;<a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/09/us/politics/trump-kurds-syria-army.html" target="_blank">rebuffed</a>&nbsp;repeat Turkish requests not to move forward with arming the YPG - something widely seen as pushing Turkey into closer cooperation with Russia. The following month American officials announced plans to charge members of Turkish President&nbsp;Recep Tayyip Erdogan&#39;s security service&nbsp;after they were&nbsp;<a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-05-22/turkey-lodges-formal-complaint-over-washington-brawl" target="_blank">filmed attacking protesters</a>&nbsp;outside of the Turkish embassy in D.C. - further harming diplomatic relations.&nbsp;</p> <p>But perhaps the greatest outrage came in July, when Turkish state media&nbsp;<a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-07-19/pentagon-furious-after-turkey-leaks-us-base-locations-syria" target="_blank">leaked</a>&nbsp;the locations of US bases in Syria, putting US special forces personnel and local partners on the ground at risk. A prominent American analyst&nbsp;<a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-07-19/pentagon-furious-after-turkey-leaks-us-base-locations-syria" target="_blank">described</a>&nbsp;the incident as &quot;a F-you&rdquo; which threatened to permanently destroy US-Turkey cooperation in the Middle East. Furthermore, among the general Turkish public anti-Americanism has long been&nbsp;<a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/04/opinion/turkeys-new-anti-americanism.html" target="_blank">on the rise</a>&nbsp;over the past years, and US drones falling from the sky over inhabited areas will not make things any better.&nbsp;</p> <p>With ISIS now in retreat, and with both the Iraqi and Syrian governments looking increasingly confident in terms of regaining their sovereign territory, it is unclear what purpose US drones in Turkey will serve other than to prop up the SDF in Syria.&nbsp;<strong>This is something Turkey already sees as intolerable&nbsp;</strong>- the latest drone crashes could signal the beginning of the end for such operations at Incirlik.</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="740" height="367" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/drone%20crash%201.jpg?1503367867" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-21/back-back-us-drone-crashes-turkey-come-amidst-severe-strain-between-nato-allies#comments 39th Air Base Wing Air Force American-led intervention in Syria Aviation Department of Defense Erdogan government General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper Incirlik Air Base Iraq Middle East Middle East Military North Atlantic Treaty Organization Politics recovery southeast Turkey southern Turkey Syrian Civil War Syrian Democratic Forces Turkey Turkey–ISIL conflict Turkey–United States relations Turkish coup d'état attempt Turkish embassy Turkish government Turkish involvement in the Syrian Civil War Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's security service Twitter Twitter US Air Force Tue, 22 Aug 2017 08:15:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 602079 at http://www.zerohedge.com Europe Is Committing Demographic Suicide http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-21/europe-committing-demographic-suicide <p><a href="https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/10748/europe-muslims-demography"><em>Authored by Giulio Meotti via The Gatestone Institute,</em></a></p> <ul> <li>The Archbishop of Strasbourg Luc Ravel, nominated by Pope Francis in February, just declared that<strong><em> &quot;Muslim believers know very well that their fertility is such today, that they call it... the Great Replacement. They tell you in a very calm, very positive way: One day all this, all this will be ours...&quot;</em></strong></li> <li>Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán just warned against a &quot;Muslimized Europe&quot;. According to him, &quot;the question of the upcoming decades is whether Europe will continue to belong to Europeans&quot;.</li> <li><em><strong>&quot;In the coming 30 years, the number of Africans will grow by more than one billion people. That is twice the population of the entire European Union... The demographic pressure will be enormous. Last year, more than 180,000 people crossed in shabby boats from Libya. And this is just the beginning. According to EU Commissioner Avramopoulos, at this very moment, 3 million migrants are waiting to enter Europe&quot;.</strong></em> &mdash; Geert Wilders, MP, The Netherlands, and leader of the Party for Freedom and Democracy (PVV).</li> </ul> <p>This week, yet another Islamic terrorist attack targeted the Spanish city of Barcelona. As it was for many years under Muslim rule, it is, therefore, like Israel, land which many Islamists believe they are entitled to repossess.</p> <div class="itemprop_articlebody"> <p>At the same time, far from Spain, elementary schools have been closing, shuttered by the state after the number of children dropped to less than 10% of the population. The government is converting these structures into hospices, providing care for the elderly in a country where <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jun/30/japan-census-over-65s-record-27-population-immigration" target="_blank">40% of the people are 65 or older</a>. That is not a science-fiction novel. That is Japan, the world&#39;s oldest and most sterile nation, where there is a popular expression: &quot;<a href="https://www.worldcrunch.com/world-affairs/ghost-cities-demographic-lessons-from-japan-to-china" target="_blank">ghost civilization</a>&quot;.</p> <p>According to Japan&#39;s National Institute of Population and Social Security Research, by 2040 most of the country&#39;s smaller cities will see a dramatic <a href="https://www.worldcrunch.com/world-affairs/ghost-cities-demographic-lessons-from-japan-to-china" target="_blank">drop of one-third to one-half</a> of their population. Due to a dramatic demographic decrease, many Japanese councils can no longer operate and have been closed. Restaurants have decreased from 850,000 in 1990 to 350,000 today, pointing to a &quot;drying up of vitality&quot;. Predictions also suggest that in 15 years, Japan will have 20 <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/24/world/a-sprawl-of-abandoned-homes-in-tokyo-suburbs.html?_r=0" target="_blank">million empty houses</a>. Is that also the future of Europe?</p> <p><strong>Among the experts in demography, there is a tendency to call Europe &quot;<a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/china-looks-like-japan-europe-is-next-2016-6?IR=T" target="_blank">the new Japan</a>&quot;.</strong> Japan, however, is dealing with this demographic catastrophe with its own resources, and <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/05/04/not-welcome-japan-refuses-99-percent-refugee-applications/" target="_blank">banning Muslim immigration</a> to the country.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&quot;Europe is committing demographic suicide, systematically depopulating itself in what British historian Niall Ferguson has called &quot;the greatest sustained reduction in European population since the Black Death in the fourteenth century&#39;&quot;, as <a href="https://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2017/05/catholic-lite-and-europes-demographic-suicide" target="_blank">George Weigel</a> recently noted.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Europe&#39;s Muslims appear to be dreaming of filling this vacuum. The Archbishop of Strasbourg, Luc Ravel, nominated by Pope Francis in February, recently <a href="http://www.valeursactuelles.com/societe/larcheveque-de-strasbourg-evoque-le-grand-remplacement-85816" target="_blank">declared</a> that <strong>&quot;Muslim believers know very well that their fertility is such today, that they call it ... the Great Replacement. They tell you in a very calm, very positive way: &#39;One day all this, all this will be ours&#39; ...&quot;.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>A new report by the Italian think tank <a href="http://www.breitbart.com/london/2017/07/20/report-immigration-crisis-causing-unprecedented-shift-in-italys-demographics/" target="_blank">Centro Machiavelli</a> just revealed that<strong> if current trends continue, by 2065 first- and second-generation immigrants will exceed 22 million persons, or more than 40% of Italy&#39;s total population. </strong>In Germany, as well, 36% of children under the age of five are being born to immigrant parents. In 13 of the 28 EU member countries, <a href="http://www.mercatornet.com/demography/view/the-decline-of-europe/20097" target="_blank">more people died than were born</a> last year; without migration, the populations of Germany and Italy are expected to decline by 18% and 16%, respectively.</p> <p><strong>The impact of demographic free-fall is most visible in what was once called the &quot;new Europe&quot;, the countries of the former Soviet bloc such as Poland, Hungary and Slovakia, to distinguish these from the so called &quot;old Europe&quot;, France and Germany. </strong>Those Eastern countries are now the ones most exposed to the &quot;depopulation bomb&quot;, the devastating collapse in birth rate that the current-events analyst and author Mark Steyn has called &quot;<a href="https://www.steynonline.com/7981/the-biggest-issue-of-our-time" target="_blank">the biggest issue of our time</a>&quot;.</p> <p>The <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/02/world/europe/despite-shrinking-populations-eastern-europe-resists-accepting-migrants.html?_r=0" target="_blank"><em>New York Times</em></a> asked why, &quot;despite shrinking population, Eastern Europe resists accepting migrants&quot;. The shrinking demography is precisely the reason they fear being replaced by migrants. In addition, much of Eastern Europe has already experienced being occupied by Muslims for hundreds of years under the Ottoman Empire, and are all too well aware what would be in store for them were they to come there again. Aging countries fear the antipathetic values sure to appear if there were a replacement by the current young foreign population.</p> <p><strong><em>&quot;There are two distinct views in Europe today to consider [regarding the decline and aging of the population]&quot;, <a href="https://visegradpost.com/en/2017/06/22/hungary-birthrate-versus-immigration/" target="_blank">Hungary&#39;s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán recently said</a>. &quot;One of these is held by those who want to address Europe&#39;s demographic problems through immigration. And there is another view, held by Central Europe &ndash; and, within it, Hungary. Our view is that we must solve our demographic problems by relying on our own resources and mobilising our own reserves, and &ndash; let us acknowledge it &ndash; by renewing ourselves spiritually&quot;. Orbán just <a href="http://www.foxnews.com/world/2017/07/22/hungarys-leader-border-fences-will-stop-muslim-migration.html" target="_blank">warned</a> against a &quot;Muslimized Europe&quot;. <a href="http://visegradpost.com/en/2017/07/22/orban-the-question-of-the-coming-decades-will-europe-belong-to-europeans/" target="_blank">According</a> to him, &quot;the question of the upcoming decades is whether Europe will continue to belong to Europeans&quot;.</em></strong></p> <table align="center" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" style="margin-bottom: 5px; max-width: 600px;"> <tbody> <tr> <td style="max-width: 600px; border: 1px solid black;"><img border="0" height="400" src="https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/pics/2709.jpg" width="600" /><br /> <p style="font-size: 82%; margin: 4px 6px;">Hungary&#39;s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán recently said: &quot;Our view is that we must solve our demographic problems by relying on our own resources and mobilising our own reserves, and... by renewing ourselves spiritually&quot;. (Image source: David Plas/Wikimedia Commons)</p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>Africa is also pressing Europe with a demographic time bomb. <a href="http://www.breitbart.com/london/2017/06/02/wilders-europeans-danger-replaced/" target="_blank">According</a> to Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong><em>&quot;In the coming 30 years, the number of Africans will grow by more than one billion people. That is twice the population of the entire European Union... The demographic pressure will be enormous. One-third of the Africans want to <a href="http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---dgreports/---dcomm/---publ/documents/publication/wcms_541211.pdf" target="_blank">move abroad</a>, and many want to come to Europe. Last year, <a href="http://www.unhcr.org/news/press/2017/2/58b458654/refugees-migrants-face-heightened-risks-trying-reach-europe-unhcr-report.html" target="_blank">over 180,000 people</a> crossed in shabby boats from Libya. And this is just the beginning. According to EU Commissioner <a href="http://greece.greekreporter.com/2017/03/23/three-million-migrants-waiting-to-cross-into-greece-says-eu-commissioner-avramopoulos/" target="_blank">Avramopoulos</a>, at his very moment, 3 million migrants are waiting to enter Europe&quot;.</em></strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Eastern Europe is thinning out. Demography has even become a problem for Europe&#39;s security. There are fewer people to serve in Europe&#39;s military and social welfare posts. The President of Bulgaria, <a href="http://www.novinite.com/articles/57585/Bulgarians%27+Meltdown+Recognised+as+National+Security+Threat" target="_blank">Georgi Parvanov</a>, has, in fact, called on the country&#39;s leaders to attend a meeting of the national Consultative Committee entirely devoted to the problem of national security. Once Eastern European countries feared Soviet tanks; now, they fear empty cradles.</p> <p><strong>The United Nations estimated that there were about <a href="https://www.ft.com/content/70813826-0c64-33d3-8a0c-72059ae1b5e3" target="_blank">292 million</a> people in Eastern Europe last year, 18 million fewer than in the early 1990s. The number is equivalent to the disappearance of the entire population of the Netherlands.</strong></p> <p>The <a href="https://www.ft.com/content/70813826-0c64-33d3-8a0c-72059ae1b5e3" target="_blank"><em>Financial Times</em></a> had called this situation in Eastern Europe &quot;the largest loss of population in modern history&quot;. Its population is shrinking as has no other before. Not even the Second World War, with its massacres, deportations and population movements, had come to that abyss.</p> <p><strong>Orbán&#39;s way -- dealing with a demographic decline using the country&#39;s own resources -- is the only way for Europe to avoid Archbishop&#39;s Ravel&#39;s prediction of a &quot;great replacement&quot;. Mass immigration will most likely fill those empty cradles -- but Europe will then become also just a becomes a &quot;ghost civilization&quot;; it is just a different kind of suicide.</strong></p> <p>*&nbsp; *&nbsp; *</p> <p><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>APPENDIX</strong></span></em></p> <p>Romania will lose 22% of its population by 2050, followed by Moldova (20%), Latvia (19%), Lithuania (17%), Croatia (16%) and Hungary (16%). Romania, Bulgaria and Ukraine are the countries where the population decline will be most severe. <a href="http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/opinion/2012/06/14/poland-aging-and-the-economy" target="_blank">Poland</a>&#39;s population is estimated to decrease by 2050 to 32 million from the current 38 million. Nearly 200 schools have closed, but there are enough children to fill the remaining ones.</p> <p>In Central Europe, the proportion of &quot;over 65s&quot; increased by more than one-third between 1990 and 2010. The <a href="http://budapesttimes.hu/2011/04/10/demographic-time-bomb-went-off-long-ago/" target="_blank">Hungarian population</a> is at its lowest point in half a century. The number of people fell from 10,709,000 in 1980 to the current 9,986,000 million. In 2050, there will be fewer than 8 million people in Hungary; and one in three will be over the age of 65. Hungary today has a fertility rate of <a href="http://hungarianfreepress.com/2017/05/25/hungarian-action-plan-seeks-to-dramatically-increase-birth-rate-by-2030/" target="_blank">1.5 children per woman</a>. If you exclude the Roma population, this figure drops to 0.8, the lowest in the world -- the reason <a href="https://visegradpost.com/en/2017/06/22/hungary-birthrate-versus-immigration/" target="_blank">Prime Minister Orbán</a> announced new measures to solve the demographic crisis.</p> <p>Bulgaria will have the <a href="http://www.novinite.com/articles/170130/Bulgaria+Will+Have+World%27s+Most+Rapidly+Shrinking+Population+in+Next+35+Years+-+UN" target="_blank">fastest population decline</a> in the world between 2015 and 2050. Bulgaria is part of a group that is expected to decrease by more than 15% between 2015 to 2050, along with Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Hungary, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Romania, Serbia and Ukraine. Bulgaria&#39;s population of about 7.15 million people is estimated to fall to 5.15 million in 30 years -- a decline of 27.9%.</p> <p>Official figures show that 178,000 babies were born in <a href="http://www.balkaneu.com/romanias-birth-rate-lowest-wwii/" target="_blank">Romania</a>. By comparison, in 1990, the first post-Communist year, there were 315,000 births. <a href="http://thedubrovniktimes.com/news/croatia/item/109-shrinking-croatian-population-cause-for-concern" target="_blank">Croatia</a> last year had 32,000 births, a decline of 20% from 2015. The depopulation of Croatia could come to more than 50,000 people each year.</p> <p>When the <a href="http://www.radio.cz/en/section/news/government-approves-family-policy-to-boost-eus-lowest-birth-rate" target="_blank">Czech Republic</a> was part of the Communist bloc (as part of Czechoslovakia), its total fertility rate was conveniently close to the replacement rate (2.1). Today it is the fifth most barren country in the world. Slovenia has the highest GDP per capita in Eastern Europe, but an extremely low fertility rate.</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="217" height="131" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20170820_tolernat_0.jpg?1503369400" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-21/europe-committing-demographic-suicide#comments Ageing Birth rate Bulgaria Central Europe Consultative Committee Councils Czech Demographic economics Demographics of Europe Demography Eastern Europe Eastern Europe Europe Europe's military European Union European Union France Gatestone Institute Germany Human geography Human overpopulation Hungary Institut national d'études démographiques Islam Israel Italy Japan Japan's National Institute of Population and Social Security Research Latvia Lithuania national security Netherlands New York Times Niall Ferguson Party for Freedom and Democracy Poland Population Population decline Romania Slovakia Social Issues Ukraine United Nations Tue, 22 Aug 2017 07:30:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 602084 at http://www.zerohedge.com Petition To Label Antifa A "Terrorist Organization" Reaches Critical Milestone http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-21/petition-label-antifa-terrorist-organization-reaches-critical-milestone <p>A petition calling for the White House to officially brand the Antifa movement as a terrorist organization has reached the threshold of signatures necessary to compel the Trump administration to reply, according to <a href="http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/petition-asking-trump-to-recognize-antifa-as-terror-group-reaches-threshold-for-white-house-response/article/2632088">the Washington Times</a>. <strong>The petition received its 100,000th signature around 8 p.m. Eastern Time on Sunday. Though it had 30 days to reach that goal, the petition did so in less than a week.<span id="cke_bm_756S" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span><span id="cke_bm_755S" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span></strong></p> <p><span id="cke_bm_757S" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span>The petition contends that Antifa deserves the terrorist designation <strong>because of its &ldquo;violent actions&rdquo; in cities like Berkeley, Calif, and Charlottesville, Va., as well as its &ldquo;influence&rdquo; in <span id="cke_bm_757E" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span>the killings of police officers.</strong><span id="cke_bm_758E" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/08/19/2017.08.18antifa.JPG"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/08/19/2017.08.18antifa_0.JPG" style="width: 500px; height: 277px;" /></a></p> <p>The <a href="https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/formally-recognize-antifa-terrorist-organization-0">full text </a>of the petition is below:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;Terrorism is defined as &ldquo;the use of violence and intimidation in pursuit of political aims&rdquo;. This definition is the same definition used to declare ISIS and other groups, as terrorist organizations.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>AntiFa has earned this title due to its violent actions in multiple cities and their influence in the killings of multiple police officers throughout the United States. </strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>It is time for the pentagon to be consistent in its actions &ndash; and just as they rightfully declared ISIS a terror group, they must declare AntiFa a terror group &ndash; on the grounds of principle, integrity, morality, and safety.&rdquo;</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>If the petition is successful, Antifa would differ from other terror groups in one unique respect: Antifa isn&rsquo;t an organization, so much as a blanket term for far-left protesters known for their violent battles with right-wing groups, as the Washington Times explains.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;Antifa is short for anti-fascists, and the people involved are generally extreme leftists known for their face-offs with right-wing activists, including recently in Berkeley, Calif. <strong>Antifa counter-protesters made an appearance in Charlottesville, Va., last weekend and clashed with white supremacy and neo-Nazi groups protesting the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue.&rdquo;</strong></p> </blockquote> <p><strong>Antifa demonstrators are typically marked by their preference for black sweatshirts, and for wrapping dark bandannas around their faces.</strong> However, there&#39;s at least one reason why the White House might de-prioritize the petition: The urgency surrounding the violent clashes that have erupted between demonstrators at various right-wing rallies and events involving conservative speakers has quieted somewhat after Saturday&rsquo;s gatherings in Boston, which were largely peaceful.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/yOlKDEdUwao" width="560"></iframe></p> <p>As the Times notes, President Donald Trump has criticized what he calls &ldquo;alt-left&rdquo; groups that instigate violence at public demonstrations. Trump&rsquo;s use of &ldquo;alt-left&rdquo; has widely been interpreted as another term for Antifa.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&quot;What about the alt-left that came charging at, as you say, at the alt-right? Do they have any assemblage of guilt?&quot; </strong>Trump told reporters at Trump Tower on Tuesday.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;What about the fact that they came charging with clubs in their hands swinging clubs? Do they have any problem? I think they do. That was a horrible, horrible day.&quot;</p> </blockquote> <p>Though the president&rsquo;s hostility is an encouraging sign, petitions that have taken aim at other protest groups since Trump took office in January have mostly fizzled, <strong>like a petition to label Black Lives Matter a terrorist group.</strong><br />&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="916" height="508" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017.08.18antifa.JPG?1503322552" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-21/petition-label-antifa-terrorist-organization-reaches-critical-milestone#comments Alt-right Anti-fascism Antifa Black Lives Matter Donald Trump Donald Trump Pentagon Politics Politics Trump Administration United States War White House White House Tue, 22 Aug 2017 06:45:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 602031 at http://www.zerohedge.com What Would A U.S. Civil War Look Like? http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-21/what-would-us-civil-war-look <p><em><a href="http://oilprice.com/Geopolitics/North-America/What-Would-A-US-Civil-War-Will-Look-Like.html">Authored by GIS/Defense &amp; Foreign Affairs&#39; Gregory Copley via OilPrice.com,</a></em></p> <p><strong>Yes, there is a civil war looming in the United States.</strong></p> <p>But it will <strong><u>not </u></strong>look like the orderly pattern of descent which characterized the&nbsp;conflict of 1861-65. It will appear more like the Yugoslavia break-up, or the Russian and Chinese civil wars of the 20th Century.</p> <p><strong>It will appear as an evolving chaos.</strong></p> <p>And the next US civil war, though it yet may be arrested to a degree by the formal hand of centralized gov-ernment, <strong>will destabilize many other nation-states, including the People&rsquo;s Republic of China (PRC).</strong></p> <p>It may, in other words, be short-lived simply because the uprising will probably not be based upon the decisions of constituent states (which, in the US Civil War, created a break-away confederacy), acting within their own perception of a legal process. <strong>It is more probable that the 21st Century event would contage as a gradual breakdown of law and order.</strong></p> <p>The outcome, to a degree dependent on how rapidly order is restored,<strong> would likely be the end, or constraint, of the present view of democracy in the US.</strong> It would see a massive dislocation of the economy and currency. <strong>It would, then, become a global-level issue.</strong></p> <p>Humans mock what they see as an impulse toward species suicide among the beautiful lemming clan of Lemmus lemmus. In fact, these tiny creatures have a societal survival pattern which seems more consistent than that of their human detractors. <strong>The pattern of human history shows that civilizations usually end through internal illness rather than at the hand of external powers.</strong></p> <p>It is significant that the gathering crisis in the United States was not precipitated by the November 7, 2016, election of Pres. Donald Trump, and neither was the growing polarization of the United Kingdom&rsquo;s society caused by the Brexit vote of 2016.</p> <p>In both instances, the election of Mr Trump and the decision by UK voters for Britain to exit the European Union were <strong>late reactions &mdash; perhaps too late &mdash; by the regional populations of both countries to what they perceived as the destruction of their nation-states by &ldquo;urban super-oligarchies&rdquo;.</strong></p> <p>The last-ditch reactions by those who voted in the US for Donald Trump and those who voted in the UK for Brexit were against an urban-based globalism which has been building for some seven decades, with the deliberate or accidental intent of destroying nations and nationalism. It is now crystallizing into this: urban globalism sees nations and nationalism as the enemy, and vice-versa.</p> <p><strong>The battle lines have been drawn.</strong></p> <p>The urban globalists &mdash; the conscious and unconscious &mdash; have thrown their resources behind efforts to avert a return to nationalism, particularly in the US and UK, but also in Europe, Canada, Australia, and the like.</p> <p><strong>Urban globalists control most of the means of communications [is this new &ldquo;means of production&rdquo;; the 21st Century marxian dialectic?] and therefore control &ldquo;information&rdquo; and the perception of events.</strong></p> <p><strong>&ldquo;Nationalists&rdquo;, then, are operating instinctively, and in darkness.</strong></p> <p>There is little doubt that the US, despite the evidence that economic recovery is at hand, could spiral into a self-destructive descent of dysfunction, dystopia, and anomie. The path toward a &ldquo;second civil war&rdquo; has significant parallels with the causes of the first US Civil War (1861-65). Both events &mdash; the 19th Century event and a possible 21st Century one &mdash; saw the polarization of a fundamentally urban, abstract society against a fundamentally regional, traditional society.</p> <p><u><strong>In some respects, it is a conflict between people with long memories (even if those memories are flawed and selective) and people to whom memories and history are irrelevant.</strong></u> Equally, it is a conflict between identity and materialism, with the abstract social groups (the urban populations) the most preoccupied with short-term material gain.</p> <p>I have covered the US for 50 years, and my earliest view of it was, a half century ago, that its populations would inevitably polarize into protective islands of self-interest, surrounded by seas of unthinking locusts. <strong>What is ironic is that the present islands of wealth and power &mdash; the cities &mdash; have come to represent short-term materialism, as cities have throughout history.</strong></p> <p>But what is interesting is that, despite the global attention on the political/geographic polarizations occurring in the US and other parts of the Western world, there has been a reversion in other parts of the world to a sense of Westphalian or pre-Westphalian nationalism. The fact that &ldquo;the West&rdquo; may have ring-fenced Iran, Russia, and so on, with sanctions and other forms of isolation may well be what ensures their endur-ing status.</p> <p><strong>They have avoided the contagion of globalism.</strong></p> <p>Russia, indeed, recovered from the Soviet form of globalism in 1991.</p> <p><em><strong>An urban globalist &ldquo;victory&rdquo; over Trump and Brexit would trigger that meltdown toward a form of civil societal collapse - civil war in some form or other - as the regions disavow the diktats of the cities. That would, in turn, bring about the global economic uncertainty which could impact the PRC and then the en-tire world.</strong></em></p> <p>But such a conflict - physical or political - could, equally, lead to a victory for nationalism over globalism, and to the protection of currencies and values. <em><strong>We have seen this cycle repeated for millennia.</strong></em></p> <p><em><strong>It is the eternal battle.</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="285" height="155" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20170821_civil.jpg?1503368891" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-21/what-would-us-civil-war-look#comments Anthropology Australia China Donald Trump Donald Trump European Union European Union Globalism Humanities Iran Meltdown Nationalism Nationalism Politics Politics recovery Thought United Kingdom War Tue, 22 Aug 2017 06:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 602083 at http://www.zerohedge.com