en Don't Show President Trump This Chart! <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>This won&#39;t help US-China relations... </strong></span>Despite international sanctions aimed at curbing the country&rsquo;s nuclear activities, <strong>North Korea&rsquo;s economy grew by 3.9 percent in 2016, which is the highest growth rate since 1999</strong> (6.1 percent).</p> <p><a href="" title="Infographic: North Korean Economy Growing Despite Sanctions | Statista"><img alt="Infographic: North Korean Economy Growing Despite Sanctions | Statista" height="428" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p><em>You will find more statistics at <a href="">Statista</a></em></p> <p><a href="">As Statista&#39;s Isabel von Kessel writes, </a>according to figures released by the Seoul-located&nbsp;<a href=";boardBean.rnum=1&amp;menuNaviId=634&amp;boardBean.menuid=634&amp;boardBean.cPage=1&amp;boardBean.categorycd=0&amp;boardBean.sdt=&amp;boardBean.edt=&amp;boardBean.searchColumn=&amp;boardBean.searchValue=" target="_blank">Bank of Korea</a>&nbsp;(BOK) on Friday,<strong> growth rates were the highest in the sectors mining and manufacturing (6.2 percent) as well as electricity, gas and water supply (22.3 percent).</strong> These sectors account for almost 40 percent of the total nominal GDP. Also, exports rose by 4.6 percent amounting to $2.82 billion year-over-year.</p> <p><strong>Since 1991, the South Korean bank has been releasing data on North Korea every year,</strong> using basic data on production quantities supplied by relevant institutions, including South Korea&#39;s Ministry of Unification and the National Intelligence Service.</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="730" height="465" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Bank of Korea Business national intelligence National Intelligence Service Nominal GDP North Korea Republics South Korea South Korea's Ministry of Unification Unification World Sun, 23 Jul 2017 02:30:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 600282 at Is This The New Media Normal: Manufactured News For Hire? <p><a href=""><em>Authored by Lee Smith via,</em></a></p> <p>Donald Trump, Jr. appears to be the latest figure in President Donald Trump&rsquo;s inner circle to be caught in the giant web of the Great Kremlin Conspiracy. Trump the younger said he was promised dirt on Hillary Clinton, but that all he got in his June 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer was an <a href="">earful</a> about dropping the Magnitzky Act, which sanctions Russian officials involved in the death of a Russian lawyer who was killed in detention.</p> <p>If the Trump, Jr. meeting is just another chapter in the Beltway <em>telenovela</em> about Trump selling out America to the Russians through an ever-changing cast of supposed intermediaries - come back, Mike Flynn and Carter Page, we hardly knew ye - <strong>it sheds valuable light on the ways and means by which the news that fills our iPhone screens and Facebook feeds is now produced.</strong></p> <p>You see, the Russian lawyer - often carelessly presented as a &ldquo;Russian government lawyer&rdquo; with &ldquo;close ties to Putin&rdquo; - <strong>Natalia Veselnitskaya, who met with Trump, also worked recently with a Washington, D.C. &ldquo;commercial research and strategic intelligence firm&rdquo; </strong>that is also believed to have lobbied against the Magnitzy Act. <u><strong>That firm, which also doubles as an opposition research shop, is called Fusion GPS</strong></u> - <strong><em>famous for producing the Russia dossier distributed under the byline of Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence agent for hire.</em></strong></p> <p><a href=""><em><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 313px;" /></em></a></p> <p>Steele&rsquo;s report, a collection of anonymously-sourced allegations, many of which were said to come from &ldquo;high-ranking former Russian government officials&rdquo; - i.e. not exactly the kinds of people who seem likely to randomly shoot the shit with ex-British spooks - detailed Trump&rsquo;s ties to Russian officials and strange sexual obsessions. Originally ordered up by one of Trump&rsquo;s Republican challengers, the dossier circulated widely in D.C. in the months before the 2016 election, pushed by the Clinton campaign, but no credible press organization was able to verify its claims. <strong>After Clinton&rsquo;s surprise loss, the dossier became public, and it&rsquo;s claims - while still unverified - have shaped the American public sphere ever since.</strong></p> <p>Yet <strong>at the same time that Fusion GPS was fueling a campaign warning against a vast Russia-Trump conspiracy to destroy the integrity of American elections, the company was also working with Russia to influence American policy</strong> - by removing the same sanctions that Trump was supposedly going to remove as his quid pro quo for Putin&rsquo;s help in defeating Hillary. Many observers, including the press, can&rsquo;t quite figure out how the firm wound up on both sides of the fence. Sen. Chuck Grassley wants to know if Fusion GPS has <a href="">violated</a> the Foreign Agents Registration Act.</p> <p>As the founders of Fusion GPS surely understand, flexibility is a key recipe for success - and the more room you can occupy in the news cycle, the bigger the brand. After all, they&rsquo;re former journalists - and good ones. <strong>Fusion GPS is the story of a few journalists who decided to stop being suckers. They&rsquo;re not buyers of information, they&rsquo;re sellers.</strong></p> <p>***</p> <p><strong>Fusion GPS was founded in 2009&mdash;before the social media wave destroyed most of the remaining structures of 20th-century American journalism&mdash;by two <em>Wall Street Journal</em> reporters, Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch.</strong> They <a href="">picked up</a> former colleagues from the <em>Journal</em>, Tom Catan, and <a href="">Neil King, Jr.</a>, who were also well-respected by their peers. When the social media wave hit two years later, print media&rsquo;s last hopes for profitability vanished, and Facebook became the actual publisher of most of the news that Americans consumed. Opposition research and comms shops like Fusion GPS became the news-rooms&mdash;with investigative teams and foreign bureaus&mdash;that newspapers could no longer afford.</p> <p><strong>As top reporters themselves, the principals of Fusion GPS knew exactly what their former colleagues needed in order to package and sell stories to their editors and bosses.</strong> &ldquo;Simpson was one of the top terror-finance investigative reporters in the field,&rdquo; says one Washington-based journalist, who knows Simpson professionally and personally, and who asked for anonymity in discussing a former reporter. &ldquo;He got disillusioned when Rupert Murdoch took over the <em>Journal</em> because there was less room for the kind of long-form investigative journalism he thrived on.&rdquo;</p> <p>And now, says the journalist,<em><strong> &ldquo;they&rsquo;re guns for hire. They were hired to dig up dirt on donors to Mitt <a href="">Romney&rsquo;s campaign</a>, they were <a href="">hired</a> by Planned Parenthood after a video exposing some of the organization&rsquo;s controversial practices.&rdquo;</strong></em></p> <p>Besides Russia, Fusion GPS has also worked with other foreign countries, organizing campaigns and creating news that furthers the aims of the people who pay for their services&mdash;<strong>using the fractured playing field of &ldquo;news&rdquo; to extend old-fashioned lobbying efforts in a way that news consumers have been slow to understand.</strong></p> <p>Fusion GPS, according to the company&rsquo;s website, offers &ldquo;a cross-disciplinary approach with expertise in media, politics, regulation, national security, and global markets.&rdquo; What does that mean, exactly? <em><strong>&ldquo;They were <a href="">hired by</a> a sheikh in the UAE after he was toppled in a coup and waged an information war against his brother,&rdquo;</strong></em> one well-respected reporter who has had dealings with the company told me.<strong><em> &ldquo;I believe they seeded the New Yorker story about the Trump Hotel in Azerbaijan with alleged connections to the IRGC. They may have been hired to look into Carlos Slim. It&rsquo;s amazing how much copy they generate. They&rsquo;re really effective.&rdquo;</em></strong></p> <p><u><strong>Yet it is rare to read stories about comms shops like Fusion GPS because traditional news organizations are reluctant to bite the hands that feed them.</strong></u> But they are the news behind the news&mdash;well known to every D.C. beat reporter as the sources who set the table and provide the sources for their big &ldquo;scoops.&rdquo; The ongoing transformation of foundering, profitless news organizations into dueling proxies for partisan comms operatives is bad news for American readers, and for our democracy. But it is having a particularly outsized effect on reporting in the area of foreign policy, where expert opinion is prized&mdash;and easily bought&mdash;and most reporters and readers are only shallowly informed.</p> <p>***</p> <p>For the past seven years, I&rsquo;ve reported on and written about American foreign policy and what I saw as troubling trends in how we describe and debate our relationship to the rest of the world. What I&rsquo;ve concluded during that period is that the fractious nature of those arguments&mdash;over the Iran Deal, for instance, or the war in Syria, or Russia&rsquo;s growing role in the Middle East and elsewhere&mdash;is a symptom of a problem here at home. <strong>The issue is not about this or that foreign policy. Rather, the problem is that the mediating institutions that enabled Americans to debate and decide our politics and policies, here and abroad, are deeply damaged, likely beyond repair.</strong></p> <p>The shape of the debate over the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action illustrated this most clearly. The Obama White House turned the press into an instrument used not only to promote its initiatives, but also to drown out and threaten and shame critics and potential opponents, even within the president&rsquo;s own party. Given the financial exigencies of a media whose business model had been broken by the internet, mismanagement, and the rise of social media as the dominant information platform, the prestige press sacrificed its independence for access to power. If for instance, your beat was national security, it was difficult at best to cross the very few sources of power in Washington that controlled access to information. Your job depended on it. And there are increasingly fewer jobs in the press.</p> <p><strong>Ironically, the seeds of the moral and physical collapse of the American press were planted at the moment of its greatest popular triumph<em> - All the President&rsquo;s Men</em>. Not the book by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, but the 1976 film lionizing the work of journalists whose big story about the Watergate break-in and cover-up was based on information provided by a government official, who steered their reporting until he brought down the President of the United States. </strong>Oh sure, have it your way, Mark Felt&mdash;aka &ldquo;Deep Throat&rdquo;&mdash;was a whistleblower, a man of conscience serving the people he protected for decades as a federal agent. But he was also a man who wanted to become Director of the FBI, and became furious at Nixon for snubbing him for the top job. In other words, the hero of this epic tale was an embittered law enforcement official who instead of going public with what he knew about a crime, manipulated a vital American institution, the free press, to pay back his boss, while the reporters manfully withheld that information from their readers.</p> <p>This is to take nothing away from the sedulous and detailed reporting of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. But the lesson of Watergate has been imprinted on two generations of journalists, and<strong> it was only a matter of time before it was raised to the level of a virtue in the Obama years&mdash;if you want to break real news, you need to ingratiate yourself with the mid to high-level officials who are in position to leak it to you. <u>And then, the bottom fell out of the news business.</u></strong></p> <p>Try to imagine what it&rsquo;s like for recent graduates from the country&rsquo;s top journalism schools when they first hit the Washington happy hour scene. It&rsquo;s their first time out with their senior colleagues, their mentors&mdash;whoever still has a job. Everyone is three drinks into the evening and bragging about who&rsquo;s closer to some deputy assistant secretary at the Pentagon, or the scheduler for the vice president&rsquo;s chief of staff.</p> <p><em>Gee, </em>the apprentice reporter thinks to herself,<em> in my &ldquo;Sociology of the Fourth Estate&rdquo; seminar at Medill, my favorite professor told me that as journalists, those who help provide the free flow of information necessary for the electorate to make choices about how we live at home and influence others abroad, we serve the American people. And now you&rsquo;re saying that what we&rsquo;re really doing is advancing the interests of certain bureaucrats against their rivals in other bureaucracies. So we&rsquo;re political operatives&mdash;except we get paid less. Much much less.</em></p> <p><strong>The news media is dead broke. </strong>Print advertising is washed up and all the digital advertising that was supposed to replace lost revenue from print ads and subscribers has been swallowed up by Facebook and Google. But the good news is that people will still pay for stories, and it&rsquo;s an awful lot easier to bill one customer than invoicing the 1,500 readers of your blog. The top customers for these stories are political operations.</p> <p><strong>There is no accurate accounting of how many of the stories you read in the news are the fruit of opposition research, because no journalist wants to admit how many of their top &ldquo;sources&rdquo; are just information packagers&mdash;which is why the blinding success of Fusion GPS is the least-covered media story in America right now. </strong>There&rsquo;s plenty of oppo research on the right, but most of it comes from the left. That&rsquo;s not because Republicans are more virtuous than Democrats and look for dirt less than their rivals do. Nor conversely is it because Republicans make a richer subject for opposition research because they&rsquo;re so much more corrupt. Nope, it&rsquo;s simple arithmetic: Most journalists lean to the left, and so do the majority of career officials who staff the federal government. There are more sounding boards on the left, and more sources. It&rsquo;s not ideological, it&rsquo;s business.</p> <p><em><strong>Thus, most of Fusion GPS&rsquo;s contracts seem to come from the left&mdash;except for its most famous project, the Russia dossier. Before it was passed on to the Democrats, it started on the right, when one Republican candidate&mdash;thought to be Jeb Bush but never confirmed&mdash;hired the outfit to amass damning material on Trump. From humble beginnings, it has taken on the shape of a modern-day legend.</strong></em></p> <p>Plugging in various members of the president&rsquo;s circle as possible accomplices&mdash;including his former national security adviser Mike Flynn, Carter Page, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Trump&rsquo;s son-in-law Jared Kushner, and now Donald Trump, Jr.&mdash;the narrative has led the news, print and broadcast, nearly every day for seven months. The Great Kremlin Conspiracy has fueled the energies of the anti-Trump resistance and turned obscure twitter feeds into folk heroes. More importantly, it has helped obstruct the legislative and political agenda of an administration that has had no shortage of big problems of its own making without also being the target of what has turned out to be most innovative and successful campaign of political warfare in recent memory.</p> <p><u><strong>The Trump-Russia story has frequently been likened to Watergate, a specious comparison since the latter started with evidence of a crime and the former with publication of an anthology of fables, pornography, and Russian-sourced disinformation put together and distributed by partisan political operatives.</strong></u> The salient comparison is rather in the effect&mdash;it has the same feel as Watergate. And <em><strong>it&rsquo;s taking up the same space as Watergate&mdash;and that&rsquo;s because comms shops-for-hire like Fusion GPS have assumed the role that the American press used to occupy.</strong></em></p> <p>***</p> <h3><u><em><strong>Brickbats and Bouquets</strong></em></u></h3> <div style="float: right; margin-left: 15px; width: 150px;">&nbsp;</div> <p><em><strong>On Wednesday, three major news organization published variations of the same story - about the line of succession to the Saudi throne.</strong> It seems that in June the son of King Salman, Mohammed Bin Salman, muscled his cousin Mohammed Bin Nayef out of the way to become the Crown Prince and next in line.</em></p> <p><em>It&rsquo;s a juicy narrative with lots of insider-y details about Saudi power politics, drug addiction, and the ambitions of a large and very wealthy family, but<strong> the most salient fact is that the <a href="">New York Times</a>, <a href="">Wall Street Journal</a>, and <a href="">Reuters</a>&nbsp;published what was essentially the same story,</strong> with minor variations, on the same day&mdash;not a breaking news story, but an investigative feature.</em></p> <p><em><strong>In other words, these media organizations were used as part of an information campaign targeting Riyadh, for as yet unknown reasons. Who&rsquo;s behind it?</strong> Maybe an opposition research shop like Fusion GPS, or a less formal gathering of interests, like Saudi opponents foreign and domestic, as well as American intelligence officials.</em></p> <p><em><strong>It&rsquo;s certainly embarrassing to be played for the sucker and see what you likely assumed was a scoop break in two other outlets the very same day,</strong> and some of the bylines involved are capable and talented journalists. But it&rsquo;s perhaps worst for the&nbsp;New York Times, which was compelled to run what amounted to an article-length correction the next day, under the headline,<strong> &ldquo;</strong>Saudi Official Who Was Thought to Be Under House Arrest Receives a Promotion.&rdquo;&nbsp;On Wednesday, the&nbsp;Times&nbsp;reported that&nbsp;Gen. Abdulaziz al-Huwairini had been put under house arrest by a faction loyal to Mohammed Bin Salman.&nbsp;On Thursday, the Times reported that he was in fact named head of a government body overseeing domestic security and counterterrorism issues.</em></p> <p><em>Still, the Times published what was far and away the best piece of foreign news reporting this week, Tim Arango&rsquo;s July 15 <a href="">feature</a>, &ldquo;Iran Dominates in Iraq After US &lsquo;Handed the Country Over.&rsquo; &rdquo; It&rsquo;s a terrifically well-reported and well-written piece explaining how the administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama are both to blame for bungling one of the costliest and most controversial foreign engagements in American history.</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="1422" height="742" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> American intelligence American people of German descent Barack Obama British intelligence Business Christopher Steele Competitive intelligence Donald Trump Donald Trump FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation federal government Fourth Estate Fusion GPS Glenn R. Simpson Google Iran Iraq Mass media Middle East Middle East national security New York Times Pentagon Politics Reuters Rupert Murdoch Russian government Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections Russia–United Kingdom relations Salient Selling Out America Television The Fourth Estate Twitter Twitter United Kingdom–United States relations Wall Street Journal Washington D.C. White House White House Sun, 23 Jul 2017 02:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 600283 at Venezuelans Are Now Paying 1000 Times More For US Dollars Than They Did In 2010 <p>The<strong> hyperinflationary-hell </strong>in Venezuela&rsquo;s currency is deepening as a crippling dollar shortage and a threat of&nbsp;oil sanctions <em>(amid President Maduro&#39;s attempts to rewrite the constition to maintain his grip on power)</em> <strong>take their toll on the economy.</strong></p> <p><strong>Venezuela&rsquo;s Latin American neighbors urged President&nbsp;Nicolas Maduro&nbsp;to refrain from actions that might exacerbate the country&rsquo;s political crisis</strong> in a disappointment to some regional governments that favored more direct and forceful criticism. <a href="">As Bloomberg reports,</a> Mercosur, South America&rsquo;s largest trade bloc, <strong><em>called on &ldquo;the government and the opposition not to carry out any initiative that could divide further Venezuelan society or aggravate institutional conflicts,&rdquo;</em></strong> in a joint statement issued at the end of a summit in Mendoza, Argentina. Member countries&nbsp;Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay&nbsp;were joined by Chile, Colombia, Guyana and Mexico in signing the statement.</p> <p><strong>International condemnation of the&nbsp;Maduro government&rsquo;s plan to rewrite the country&rsquo;s constitution to maintain its hold on power is gathering pace</strong> after the U.S.&nbsp;said&nbsp;it would impose sanctions on Venezuelan officials if Maduro goes ahead.</p> <p><a href="">As we noted earlier in the week, </a>The Trump administration is mulling over <a href="">sanctions </a>against senior Venezuelan government officials, and <strong>additional measures could include sanctions against the country&rsquo;s oil industry, such as halting imports into the U.S.</strong>, according to senior Washington officials who spoke to media.</p> <p><a href=""><img height="311" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p><strong>The goal of the sanctions is to prevent the Nicolas Maduro government from having things its way at a July 30 election for a Constituent Assembly that, the U.S. administration believes, would serve to cement Maduro&rsquo;s power and turn Venezuela into a &ldquo;full dictatorship.&rdquo;</strong></p> <p><strong><a href=""><img height="288" src="" width="600" /></a></strong></p> <p>The Constitutional Assembly vote was proposed by the government as a means of tackling the political crisis that Venezuela slid into last year, after the election of a new parliament where the opposition had a majority that put it at odds with the government. <strong>A Constituent Assembly can rewrite the country&rsquo;s constitution, and many observers see the move as an attempt to strengthen the current regime&rsquo;s hold on power.</strong></p> <p>After months of often violent protests, the opposition has now called a 24-hour national strike after conducting an unofficial referendum that, Al Jazeera <a href="">reports</a>, suggested <strong>overwhelming opposition to the idea of voting for a Constituent Assembly and equally overwhelming support for transparent parliamentary elections.</strong></p> <p>And as protests escalate and international pressure builds, the black market price for dollars in Bolivars has gone vertical.<strong> In fact, Venezuelans are now paying 1000 times more for a US dollar than they were in 2010...</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img height="383" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Visualized a little differently, <a href="">as Bloomberg notes,</a><strong> the black-market rate for the bolivar traded weaker than 8,700 per dollar for the first time,</strong> according to on Friday, compared with the official rate of around 10 and a more widely used alternative rate of 2,757.</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 420px;" /></a></p> <p>In fact,<strong> the last 3 months have seen the currency collapse by 30%</strong> as the hyperinflationary endgame of socialist utopias once again ends in bloodshed and a nation torn apart...</p> <p><a href=""><img height="381" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As AP reports,<strong> thousands are gathering in the Venezuelan capital for a march toward the embattled nation&#39;s Supreme Court in an escalating push to stop President Nicolas Maduro from proceeding with his plans to rewrite the constitution.</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>The opposition is calling on frustrated Venezuelans to take to the streets to support a slate of Supreme Court judges appointed by the National Assembly on Friday but quickly rejected by the government-stacked court.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Organizers hope Saturday&#39;s protest in Caracas will be one of the largest before a scheduled July 30 election for a special assembly to rewrite Venezuela&#39;s charter. Maduro is facing mounting international pressure to cancel the controversial vote.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Nearly four months of anti-government protests have left at least 97 people dead, and thousands more have been injured or detained.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p><img alt="" src="" style="width: 599px; height: 314px;" /></p> <p><strong>National guard troops in Venezuela&#39;s capital have launched tear gas at protesters,</strong> clouds of white gas and rows of officers on motorcycles are blocking the demonstrators in Caracas.</p> <p><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 349px;" /></p> <p>The violent protests ate instigated from both sides (pro- and anti-Maduro), <strong>alleged supporters of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro stormed the opposition-controlled Venezuelan National Assembly</strong> in Caracas earlier this month, injuring several journalists and law makers in the process.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe><br />&nbsp;</p> <p>In a <strong>move aimed at proving a vision of a possible post-Maduro government,</strong> Bloomberg reports that <strong>Venezuela&rsquo;s opposition-controlled National Assembly swore in 33 Supreme Court judges in a largely symbolic move </strong>as it protests President Nicolas Maduro&rsquo;s plan to rewrite the constitution.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>The existing Supreme Court,&nbsp;appointed by a previous assembly that supported the ruling socialist regime, has been the focus of&nbsp;protests&nbsp;over the past four months. It has sought to limit lawmakers&rsquo; power, and pre-emptively ruled today&rsquo;s Congress session null. The standoff between the rival groups of jurists is likely to increase institutional instability in the country.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;The National Assembly has taken this important measure to signal the future of the country and to have a court that serves the people and not a political party,&rdquo; Julio Borges, president of the National Assembly, told opposition deputies and spectators assembled in eastern Caracas.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&ldquo;There won&rsquo;t be true democracy until we have a strong court. A court without political colors, and where all Venezuelans are equal before the law&rdquo;</strong></p> </blockquote> <p><strong>About 7.5 million opposition supporters rejected Maduro&rsquo;s plan in an unofficial referendum Sunday, and 24-hour strike paralyzed the country Thursday. </strong>The opposition is <strong>building on momentum as the July 30 vote </strong>to name members of a constitutional assembly vote approaches.</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="722" height="420" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> 2014–17 Venezuelan protests Americas Brazil Congress Constituent Assembly Constitutional Assembly Maduro government Mexico National Assembly Nicolás Maduro Nicolas Maduro government Politics Politics of Venezuela post-Maduro government Presidency of Nicolás Maduro Supreme Court Trump Administration US Administration Venezuela Venezuelan government Venezuelan National Assembly in Caracas Venezuelan protests Sun, 23 Jul 2017 01:30:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 600278 at How Will The Empire End? <p style="text-align: left;"><em style="line-height: 20.8px;"><span style="color: #800000;">By Chris at&nbsp;<a href=""></a></span></em></p> <p style="text-align: left;">It was back in the early 1800's that the&nbsp;Brits left the sodden, miserable shores of their murky island, grabbed their trumpets, tucked their trousers into the socks, and began conquering the world with the&nbsp;<strong>cunning use of flags.</strong></p> <p style="font-size: 13.008px;"><strong>&nbsp;</strong><img src="" width="700" height="415" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" class="aligncenter wp-image-16801" /></p> <p style="font-size: 13.008px;">Like all good conquerors, they had a backup plan in the event flags didn't work - guns, which - as it turned out - work bloody well.</p> <p style="font-size: 13.008px;">From about 1815 to 1915, our tea-drinking friends were so successful in this endeavour that the soggy little&nbsp;island in the North Atlantic had turned nearly a quarter of the globe red at its peak.</p> <p style="font-size: 13.008px;"><img src="" width="599" height="320" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" class="aligncenter wp-image-16779 size-full" /></p> <p style="font-size: 13.008px;">They were, of course, not the first to embark on empire building.</p> <p style="font-size: 13.008px;">Ahead of them is a long list: the&nbsp;<strong>Babur Empire</strong>, lasting from the 17th to 18th century and spanning Europe and Asia. Then there was the "Golden Horde"... the&nbsp;<strong>Mongols</strong>, who at the height of their reign, incorporated over a quarter of the worlds land mass.</p> <p style="font-size: 13.008px;">Let's not forget&nbsp;<strong>Pax Romana.&nbsp;</strong>The empire lasted 500 years and at its height extended into Africa, Europe, and the Middle East and bullied about a quarter of the world's population. All impressive in its own right.</p> <p style="font-size: 13.008px;">The structure was a familiar one. Tried and tested. The state provides security (military) to ensure stability and enforcement of legal contracts. And while this cost a lot of money, in return the vassal states pay taxes to the empire.</p> <p style="font-size: 13.008px;">As long as the taxes exceeded the costs of keeping the restless natives in check things were golden. As we know this math didn't last forever for any of the empires, including the Brits, who (under increasing costs and decreasing revenues) lost their shiny empire, put away their flags, trudged back to the pub to talk about the weather, and became plumbers.</p> <p style="font-size: 13.008px;">During their conquering reign, however, they gifted large swathes of the rest of the world common law principles (used to this day) and lessons in how to be&nbsp;frightfully polite (not used to this day). In return, the rest of the world gifted them actual cuisine which is why today we don't starve when visiting the soggy island. Without it, I assure you, the place would be completely empty of visitors.</p> <p style="font-size: 13.008px;">What is fascinating is that the collapse of the British empire ushered in modern nation states as we know them today.</p> <p style="font-size: 13.008px;">In 1960 the Prime Minister of Great Britain, Harold Macmillan, delivered a famous speech known as the "<em>Wind of Change"</em>&nbsp;where he discussed this:</p> <blockquote style="font-size: 13.008px;"><p><em>“One of the constant facts of political life in Europe has been the emergence of independent nations… Especially since the end of war, the processes which gave birth to the nation-states of Europe have been repeated all over the world…&nbsp;</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>&nbsp;</em>&nbsp;<em>Fifteen years ago this movement spread through Asia. Many countries there, of different races and civilization, pressed their claim to an independent national life. To-day the same thing is happening in Africa…</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>&nbsp;</em><em>In different places it may take different forms, but it is happening everywhere. The wind of change is blowing through the continent… Whether we like it or not, this growth of national consciousness is a political fact. We must all accept it as a fact.”</em></p> </blockquote> <p style="font-size: 13.008px;">You may have noticed that all of the power structures mentioned above were centralised structures. Top down - like a pyramid, with the wealth accumulating at the top.</p> <p style="font-size: 13.008px;">Even the emergence of individual nation states were and are really just "<em>mini me's"</em>&nbsp;of an empire structure, which is to say centralised. This all made perfect sense in the industrial age where commandeering and controlling costly infrastructure was critical. Things such as railroads, canals, mines. Today, we live in a different world, which I'll come to in a bit, but first...</p> <h3>Drawing Parallels With Today</h3> <p style="font-size: 13.008px;">Just as each empire has finally succumbed to the gravity of unprofitable ventures, today we have much of the developed world labouring under similar problems.</p> <p style="font-size: 13.008px;">Europe, the poster child for socialism, has a structure whereby member states in the EU contribute to a centralised bureaucracy and receive a number of benefits in return. The problem is the math doesn't work.</p> <p style="font-size: 13.008px;">Across the ditch, our American friends have much the same issues. A top down structure, centralised... and ever increasingly so.</p> <p style="font-size: 13.008px;">Today, however, the gravity forces at work are due to a setup where those in power will actually cause the demise of this structure. Let me show you how.</p> <p style="font-size: 13.008px;">Today, the costs and losses of the empire (I'm using the term loosely here to include the nation states of the world but in particular the US and EU) are socialised. Like an insurance policy,&nbsp;<strong>the costs are distributed across society. The rewards are, however, privatised.</strong>&nbsp;They don't accrue to the state... and this is very different from how the Romans or Genghis Khan ran things.</p> <p style="font-size: 13.008px;">Lobby groups and big business push for policies and privileges that will benefit their chosen industry and/or business.</p> <p style="font-size: 13.008px;">In turn, the state tilts the playing field in their favour. This comes at a cost, and that cost is a cost to the state, not the industry being favoured.</p> <p style="font-size: 13.008px;">When enough of this happens... like now, for instance, then the finances get all wonky. What's ironic is that the revolving door between Wall Street and the White House is parasitic on the state, which in turn is a parasite on the citizenry.</p> <p style="font-size: 13.008px;">Parasites can be fed and maintained up until the point where they kill the host. The Cheneys, Gores, Bushes, and Clintons of this world don't siphon funds directly from the treasury like our friend&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Mugabe</a>&nbsp;and his ilk. They just do the same thing via companies and charities. It provides a cloak to true intentions... but the results are the same. A math problem which reaches breaking point.</p> <p style="font-size: 13.008px;">This is a problem not just for the US and Europe. It's a problem for the nation state structure, which is more buggered than an alter boy in the Vatican.</p> <p style="font-size: 13.008px;">This is because the centralised structure of not only running a country but doing business at every level is being destroyed.</p> <p style="font-size: 13.008px;">The vast majority of real wealth in the world today&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">involves intellectual property,</a>&nbsp;and in the information age... which is where we find ourselves living in today, this matters a great deal to centralised structures.</p> <p style="font-size: 13.008px;">Consider that, for the first time in history, individual companies are worth more than the most modern large governments of the world. It is a consequence of an ongoing unstoppable trend towards decentralisation, and it promises to bring us an entirely different empire that will follow the existing one.</p> <p style="font-size: 13.008px;">While it's easy enough to see that the empire won't last... what replaces it will, I believe, look distinctly different to yet another centralised nation state. This I'll deal with in some other article, but one thing I'm confident in is that the distribution of wealth isn't likely to change. Pareto's principle is well defined and consistent. What changes are those at the top and those at the bottom. For today's article, let's ask the question of what... or how this empire succumbs.</p> <p style="font-size: 13.008px;">Will the catalyst be the massive bond bubble breaking? And yes, boys and girls...<strong>&nbsp;it is a bubble.</strong>&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em><img src="" width="700" height="379" class="wp-image-17418" /></em></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>US 10-year, German Bund 10-year, UK Gilt 10-year</em></p> <p style="font-size: 13.008px;">The philosopher Nietzsche noted:&nbsp;<em>“In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups,&nbsp;it is the rule.”</em></p> <p style="font-size: 13.008px;">Or will it be some military fiasco?</p> <p style="font-size: 13.008px;">Qatar, North Korea, Russia, South China Sea, Syria escalating and drawing in more participants.</p> <p style="font-size: 13.008px;">Or something else?</p> <h3>Question</h3> <p style="font-size: 13.008px;"><a href=""><img src="" alt="Wow Poll 17 Jul 2017" width="600" height="176" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em><a href="">Cast your vote here</a>&nbsp;and also see what others think awaits us</em></p> <p style="font-size: 13.008px;">- Chris</p> <p style="font-size: 13.008px;"><em>"</em><em style="font-size: 13.008px;">A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within."</em><span style="font-size: 13.008px;">&nbsp;—&nbsp;Ariel Durant</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: 13.008px; line-height: 20.0063px;">--------------------------------------</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Liked this article?&nbsp;<a href="">Don't miss our future missives and podcasts, and</a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="">get access</a>&nbsp;<a href="" style="line-height: 20.8px; font-size: 1em;">to free subscriber-only content here.</a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: 13.008px; line-height: 20.0063px;">--------------------------------------</span></p> Bond Capitalism Centralisation China Economic ideologies Economy Empire Europe European Union Middle East Middle East Nation state North Atlantic North Korea Political ideologies Politics Socialism South China Structure US Federal Reserve Wealth White House White House Sun, 23 Jul 2017 01:29:35 +0000 Capitalist Exploits 600289 at CIA Chief Warns: WikiLeaks Is Plotting To "Take Down America Any Way They Can" <p><a href=""><em>Authored by Jason Ditz via,</em></a></p> <p>CIA Director Mike Pompeo remains<strong> inconsolably hostile toward whistleblower organization WikiLeaks,</strong> insisting they are a &ldquo;non-state hostile intelligence service&rdquo; and are <strong>plotting to&nbsp;<a href="">&ldquo;take down America any way they can and find any willing partner to achieve that end.</a>&rdquo;</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img height="292" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p><strong>Hostility to WikiLeaks has been a mainstay in the US government,</strong> as every administration faces the prospect of their covert misdeeds becoming a matter of public record, to their general embarrassment albeit rarely to the end of any meaningful reform.</p> <p><strong>President Trump had a positive attitude toward WikiLeaks during last year&rsquo;s campaign, declaring &ldquo;I love WikiLeaks.&rdquo; </strong></p> <p>Pompeo insists he doesn&rsquo;t feel the same way, and that US intelligence agencies need to find ways to fight the organization.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;I don&rsquo;t love WikiLeaks,&rdquo; Mr. Pompeo said Thursday.</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>Pompeo argued that the US needs to use the Espionage Act much more in going after leakers who aren&rsquo;t actually foreign spies,</strong> though he stopped short of openly endorsing Espionage prosecutions against journalists for reporting on the leaks.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;You said that we have to recognize that we can no longer let Assange and his colleagues the latitude to use free speech values against us,&rdquo; New York Times columnist Bret Stephens asked Mr. Pompeo.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&ldquo;What does that in your mind imply, legislatively or operationally? Should we be enforcing the Espionage Act much more?&rdquo;</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>&ldquo;Yes,&rdquo; </strong></span>Mr. Pompeo responded without hesitation.</p> </blockquote> <p>When <strong>asked if publishers and journalists should be prosecuted for using state secrets,</strong> Mr. Pompeo answered:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;There&rsquo;s an old aphorism that says that the law is entitled to every man&rsquo;s evidence, and I&rsquo;ll leave it at that.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p>Mr. Assange did not respond privately to requests for comment Thursday but reacted to Mr. Pompeo&rsquo;s latest claim in a series of tweets.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em><strong>&ldquo;What sort of America can be &lsquo;taken down&rsquo; by the truth?&rdquo; he tweeted.</strong></em></span></p> </blockquote> <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="712" height="346" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Central Intelligence Agency Cryptography Espionage Government Julian Assange Mike Pompeo National security New York Times Open government Politics Reception of WikiLeaks U.S. intelligence US government Whistleblowing WikiLeaks Wikileaks Sun, 23 Jul 2017 01:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 600277 at "You Afraid Of A Dead Body?" Boys Who Laughed While Man Drowned Will Face Charges <p>In a news story that sounds like something from Mad Max, a group of Florida teenagers who filmed themselves laughing and cracking jokes while a disabled man drowned, and then left the scene without telling anybody, will face criminal charges after all &ndash; but there&rsquo;s a catch.</p> <p>The teenagers, each between the ages of 14 and 16, will be charged with not reporting a death, a misdemeanor offense under Florida law. Authorities initially said there didn&rsquo;t appear to be grounds to prosecute the teens, who were caught on camera mocking 32-year-old Jamel Dunn as he drowned in Cocoa, Florida, according to the <a href="">New York Post.</a></p> <p>The callous crime, which is vaguely reminiscent of the infamous Kitty Genovese slaying in New York City, is indicative of a trend tht has been bothering older Americans since the first signs began emerging in the early 90s. The contemporary breakdown in communal responsibility, fostered by smartphones and digitization of daily life, where violent videos inure children to death and violence. <strong>The boys can be heard in the video discussing Dunn&rsquo;s impending death. One of the boys teased another about being scared to see a dead body, the boy replies &ldquo;I ain&rsquo;t scared to see no dead person.&rdquo;</strong></p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="348" src="//" width="618"></iframe></p> <p><strong>The disturbing footage, recorded by one of the boys, shows Dunn, who is disabled, struggling and screaming for help in the pondIn response, the boys urge him to get out of the water &ndash; &ldquo;Get out the water you&rsquo;re going to die!&rdquo;&nbsp; Another boy shouts. &ldquo;We&rsquo;re not finna help you!&rdquo;</strong></p> <p>The recommended charges will be given to the Florida State Attorney&rsquo;s Office, which will determine whether to prosecute the teens, according to Cocoa Police Chief Mike Cantaloupe.</p> <p>Even if the boys are charged, misdemeanors typically carry sentences of less than a year, leaving the boys free of criminal records, unless they commit more crimes as adults Cocoa Police Department spokesperson Yvonne Martinez said the teens, ages 14 to 16, had The department didn&rsquo;t disclose the number of teens involved, or their names.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&ldquo;He started to struggle and scream for help and they just laughed,&rdquo; Martinez said. &ldquo;They didn&rsquo;t call the police. They just laughed the whole time. He was just screaming &hellip; for someone to help him.&rdquo; </strong>The teenagers didn&rsquo;t stop joking about Dunn when he failed to surface in the water.</p> </blockquote> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;Oh, he just died,&rdquo; said one as the others laughed.</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>The teens left the Cocoa park without notifying anyone about Dunn&rsquo;s death. Three days later, his body was discovered in the pond.</strong></p> <p>&ldquo;<strong>We are deeply saddened and shocked at both the manner in which Mr. Dunn lost his life and the actions of the witnesses to this tragedy,&rdquo; </strong>State Attorney Phil Archer said in a statememt, according to NBC News.</p> <p>Dunn&rsquo;s sister Simone McIntosh started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for his funeral and to help his two daughters.t Dunn&rsquo;s death. Three days later, his body was discovered in the pond.</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="721" height="524" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Cocoa Cocoa Police Cocoa Police Department Cocoa, Florida E.S.P. Florida Florida State Attorney’s Office GoFundMe Law NBC New York City New York Post smartphones Social Issues Television in the Philippines Sun, 23 Jul 2017 00:30:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 600287 at Japan's Shifting Power Alliances <p><a href=""><em>Authored by Nomi Prins via The Daily Reckoning,</em></a></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">I&rsquo;ve just wrapped up a long trip to Japan. And I&rsquo;ve taken away one lesson from all of my conversations, speeches and research: <strong>The rise of nationalism in the U.S. will cause massive shifts in global trade alliances.</strong></span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>One of the main beneficiaries will be Japan. </strong>Now, Japan might not be on your radar, day-to-day, but it&rsquo;s about to play a very important role in the world of Donald Trump.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Here&rsquo;s what I mean&hellip;</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">During President Trump&rsquo;s campaign, he often discussed making &ldquo;better&rdquo; trade deals for the United States with its partners.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Indeed, one of his first executive orders as President on January 23, 2017 involved removing the U.S. from the Trans Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement, or TPP. That agreement originally involved 12 countries including the U.S.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>Now, TPP is left with 11: Japan, Mexico, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. </strong>The TPP&rsquo;s member countries account for 40 percent of global GDP, 20 percent of global trade, and 11.3 percent of the world&rsquo;s population. It will still likely go ahead without the U.S., which will put America at a trading disadvantage.</span></p> <p><strong><span style="font-weight: 400;">However, this offers Japan good news for future trade and projects. Japan is well positioned to benefit both from existing alliances with the U.S. and growing ones in the rest of the world, particularly with China and the EU.</span></strong></p> <p><strong><span style="font-weight: 400;">Another key agreement, </span><a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">called the RCEP</span></a></strong><span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>, also excludes the U.S. but includes Japan.</strong> It represents 16 countries that account for almost half the world&rsquo;s population, contribute 24% percent of global GDP and over a quarter of world exports.</span></p> <p><img alt="RCEP" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-99017" src="" style="width: 500px; height: 373px;" /></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The countries are Japan, Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam. The economic and population growth rates of the RCEP countries far outpaces that of the U.S. and EU.</span></p> <p><strong>This trend of non-U.S. trade alliances is more pronounced than ever for three reasons:</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><span style="font-weight: 400;">First, because of the United Kingdom vote for Brexit last summer, which cast into flux the future trade and capital flows between the U.K. and its trading partners.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The second reason is the Trump doctrine of bilateral rather than multi-lateral trade agreements. Taking the U.S. out of critical multilateral contention during an intense period of international re-alignment means more economic opportunity for other budding alliances as well as a long-term power shift. &nbsp;This would benefit Japan.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Finally, there is the </span><a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">ongoing West to East shift of power</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> and influence. Since the Federal Reserve and its cohorts at the ECB and BOJ embarked upon quantitative easing, or asset buying to bolster the markets, debt to GDP levels in those areas jumped as well. Respectively, they are 90.1 percent for the ECB, 104.3 percent for the U.S., and 250.4 percent for Japan).</span></p> </blockquote> <div class="wp-caption aligncenter" id="attachment_99018" style="width: 596px;"><img alt="Nomi Prins Canon Institute for Global Studies" class="wp-image-99018 size-full" height="350" src="" width="586" /><br /> <p class="wp-caption-text"><em>Nomi Prins delivering a speech to Canon Institute for Global Studies in Japan. Canon is a prestigious think tank populated with former government and central bank officials, and academics.</em></p> </div> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Pushback, particularly from China&rsquo;s central bank, the People&rsquo;s Bank of China, has resulted in the yuan&rsquo;s inclusion into the <a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank">IMF&rsquo;s special drawing right, or SDR</a>. <strong>This is a way of securing currency flows and challenging the world&rsquo;s main reserve currency, the U.S. dollar.</strong></span></p> <p><strong><span style="font-weight: 400;">Japan stands ready to benefit from both its existing relationship with the U.S. and its involvement with China, the EU and other regional agreements.</span></strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>All that said, the U.S. and Japan still represent about 30 percent of global GDP. </strong>With so much in flux worldwide and in Asia, their combined strength and diplomatic ties could prove more fruitful for both countries if translated quickly to real infrastructure building and development projects. These could create long-term demand for knowledge, supplies and jobs.</span></p> <h2><u><strong>New Infrastructure Projects for Japan</strong></u></h2> <p>The last time I was in Tokyo was a week after the U.S. election when I addressed the Tokyo stock exchange. There was much interest from the Japanese as to what the Trump presidency would mean for Japan, particularly in the areas of defense and trade.</p> <p>Six months into Trump&rsquo;s administration, that interest remains acute. In February, President Trump addressed military and defense, saying he is committed to &ldquo;the security of Japan and all areas under its administrative control.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>This was a victory for Abe, who came to Washington to develop a sense of trust with Trump and a solidification of the post-WWII U.S.-Japan alliance.</strong></p> <p>A White House statement confirmed policy continuity, noting, &ldquo;Amid an increasingly difficult security environment in the Asia-Pacific region, the United States will strengthen its presence in the region, and Japan will assume larger roles and responsibilities in the alliance.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>From the standpoint of joint infrastructure projects, there are other, nearer term synergies that are also attractive investment opportunities.</strong></p> <p>Since the beginning of the Trump administration, there have been two official visits between President Trump and Prime Minister Abe. Trump has not been to Japan as President yet but it&rsquo;s rumored that he has a trip planned for November.</p> <p>Meanwhile, the two leaders just met at the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany. Before that meeting, Japan and the EU signed a historic, free trade agreement that will greatly increase trade and coordination between the two regions.</p> <p><strong>This is yet another sign about how eager Japan is to take a bigger position on the world stage. </strong>As the U.S. adopts a more nationalist tone to trade, major trading partners like Japan are looking for more regional capacity building. By diversifying international agreements, Japan could solidify its security while <a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank">re-establishing itself as a reemerging Asian</a> powerhouse.</p> <p>Japan is also eager to get more involved in major infrastructure projects around the world. Just last week, the Japanese government set a new goal for Japan Inc., a network of corporate allegiances supporting construction, labor, and jobs. The goal is to export 30 trillion yen ($268 billion) worth of infrastructure packages by 2020.</p> <p>According to its just-released draft plans, Japan Inc. will seek involvement in infrastructure projects over multiple phases, spanning development through post-completion, providing on-the-ground ongoing operational, maintenance, personnel training and consulting services.</p> <p>Japan Inc. plans are multinational. The group, or its participating companies, could target India to get involved in the development of bullet trains and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations for high-speed rail systems and non-public transportation projects.</p> <h2><u>Japan Emerges in High-Speed Competition</u></h2> <p>Japan, Inc. also launched a competitive move against China for a high-speed train from Malaysia to Thailand. This is a 350-kilometer link project, worth about $14 billion. Winning that, or a portion of that contract, could prove a boon for Japanese construction and engineering companies.</p> <p>The winning company would be responsible for the design and construction of the railway systems, including tracks, power, signaling and telecommunications. The train will have a maximum operating speed of 320 kilometers per hour and cut travel time between the capitals to 90 minutes, compared with nearly five hours by car.</p> <p><strong>But there&rsquo;s more. Japan, Inc. is also angling for the U.S. maglev train project. The initial leg is estimated at $10 billion to build &mdash; the Japan Bank of International&nbsp;Cooperation has offered to pay half of the cost.</strong></p> <p><a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank">Reuters (CNBC)</a> reported on Feb. 3 that Tokyo had proposed an investment package for Trump that could generate 700,000 U.S. jobs and help create a $450 billion market. The proposal was in line with Abe&rsquo;s strategy of promoting Japanese high-tech exports and expertise overseas.</p> <p><strong>Reuters sources also noted that Japan was proposing to invest 17 trillion yen (US$150 billion) in public and private funds in the U.S. over the next decade.</strong></p> <p>Japan&rsquo;s main regional competitor, China, has also been gaining momentum on regional and international projects. Japan has missed some bids there, but it has the opportunity to use its unique favored-nation position with the U.S., and as a major partner in the ASEAN and RCEP agreements, to be well-placed to pick up fresh, lucrative contracts.</p> <p>Topping that all off, Japan&rsquo;s new free trade agreement with the EU will be the third largest in the world. It&rsquo;s expected to benefit both powers immediately by removing tariffs for a number of products, including electronics, sake and tea from Japan.</p> <p><strong>If the Trump administration makes good on its promise to build cooperation with the Japanese, collaborating on infrastructure projects would only further Japan&rsquo;s position in the region.</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="396" height="220" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> 114th United States Congress Asia-Pacific Association of Southeast Asian Nations Association of Southeast Asian Nations Australia Bank of Japan Business Canon Institute for Global Studies in Japan China Donald Trump Donald Trump Economy European Central Bank European Union Federal Reserve First 100 days of Donald Trump's presidency G20 Germany India International Monetary Fund International trade Japan Japan Japanese government Mexico Nationalism New Zealand People's Bank of China Quantitative Easing Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Reserve Currency Reuters Trade blocs Trans-Pacific Partnership Trump Administration Trump’s administration United Kingdom US Federal Reserve White House White House World Yen Yuan Sun, 23 Jul 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 600276 at Man Behind Trump "Dossier" Subpoenaed After Refusing To Testify, Will Plead The Fifth <p>For all the talk of obstruction and interference by the Trump camp, it's neither Donald Trump Jr. nor Paul Manafort who are challenging their scheduled testimony in the Senate next Wednesday, but rather the man who according to many started the whole "Trump Russia collusion" narrative, who is doing everything in his power to avoid testifying next week. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">FUSION GPS head Glenn Simpson won't testify before Senate Judiciary next week, his rep attacks "partisan" hearing and vows to plead Fifth</p> <p>— Manu Raju (@mkraju) <a href="">July 21, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><p>On Friday, attorneys for Glenn Simpson, a former WSJ reporter who now runs the infamous Washington political intelligence firm Fusion GPS - best known for compiling the salacious "dossier" of unverified research about President Trump - told the Senate Judiciary Committee in a letter that their <strong>client was on vacation through July 31 and traveling abroad through August 3, and would be unavailable for next week’s hearing. </strong>Perhaps for writers of opposition research fiction, vacations take precedence over being summoned to Congress.</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="500" height="333" /></a><br /><em>Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson</em></p> <p>As a reminder, <strong>Simpson’s Fusion GPS is the firm which hired former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele, and his London-based Orbis Business Intelligence, to conduct opposition research on then presidential candidate Donald Trump, resulting in a 35-page dossier that was widely shared in political and media circles during and after the 2016 election. </strong>Steele and Orbis are currently being sued in the U.S. and U.K. by Aleksej Gubarev, a Russian tech executive who says he was falsely accused in the dossier of hacking the Democratic National Committee’s email systems.<strong><br /></strong></p> <p>McClatchy News recently reported that Steele filed new documents in that lawsuit. In one, dated May 18, Steele says that he was instructed by Fusion GPS to meet with reporters at various outlets in order to publicize some of the allegations made in the dossier. It has been widely known that Fusion GPS and Steele were in contact with reporters to discuss the dossier. It has been reported that rumors of the dossier were floating around in Washington, D.C. political and journalist circles for months prior to BuzzFeed’s decision to publish it on Jan. 10.</p> <p>Intelligence agencies made the existence of the dossier known to Trump in a January meeting. The dossier contains unverified, hyperbolic and in some cases, disproven, information about Trump’s activities and engagement with Russians. It served as a the basis for many of the ongoing allegations of Trump camp collusion with Russia. </p> <p><em><a href=""><img src="" width="510" height="289" /></a><br />Ex-British spy Christopher Steele was the author of the Trump Dossier, which Fusion </em><br /><em>GPS put together as opposition research by Trump political opponents in 2016</em></p> <p>In any case, Simpson's attorneys asked that their client be excused from appearing, adding that allegations he had failed to register as a foreign agent were "nothing more than an effort to smear him."&nbsp; The lawyers also said that they were "profoundly disturbed" that the hearing had been expanded due to "partisan agendas" to include allegations of Russian meddling in the U.S. election and possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. <strong>The letter also said they were prepared to fight a subpoena and invoke Mr. Simpson’s constitutional right not to give testimony if compelled to appear.</strong></p> <p>According to the WSJ, <strong>the letter explaining Simpson’s refusal to appear cites his obligations to keep his client information confidential and his First Amendment right under the Constitution to engage in political speech and political activity, </strong>as well as his Fifth Amendment reight to refuse self-incriminating testimony, also known as the "<em>I admit I am guilty"</em> option. </p> <p>His gambit did not work however, and late on Friday the Committee issued a subpoena to compel Simpson to testify next Wednesday. </p> <p>Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and the committee’s top Democrat, Dianne Feinstein, in a joint statement said: “<strong>Glenn Simpson, through his attorney, has declined to voluntarily attend Wednesday’s Judiciary Committee hearing regarding compliance with the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Therefore, a subpoena has been issued to compel his attendance. Simpson’s attorney has asserted that his client will invoke his Fifth Amendment rights in response to the subpoena.</strong>”</p> <p>Yet while the vacation-challenged Simpson is afraid of revealing the true identity of his "client(s)" who commission the Trump smear piece, also on Wednesday appearing in the Senate will be Donald Trump Jr. and Paul Manafort, along with Russia sanctions activist and businessman Bill Browder. The Judiciary Committee said Messrs. Trump Jr. and Manafort are providing documents to the committee and are still negotiating the terms of their testimonies. </p> <p>As the <a href="">WSJ adds</a>, in addition to the dossier compiled on Trump, Grassley has alleged that Simpson’s firm has worked with a Russian-American lobbyist on a campaign against a package of Russian sanctions that was being considered by Congress. That lobbyist was present in a meeting in Trump Tower in June 2016 with the younger Mr. Trump. <strong>Grassley has raised questions about whether Simpson’s firm should have registered as a foreign agent for its work on the Russia sanctions</strong>. </p> <p>And while Simpson’s attorney called those questions and allegations “nothing more than an effort to smear him and his firm”, many are curious to find out just who it was that worked with Fusion GPS to launch the narrative that Trump's victory in the elections was the result of Kremlin interference.</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="575" height="319" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> British intelligence Business Business Intelligence Christopher Steele Congress Democratic National Committee Donald Trump Donald Trump Donald Trump–Russia dossier Draft:Timeline of the Trump-Russia Scandal First Amendment Fusion GPS Glenn R. Simpson GPS International relations Judiciary Committee Law Links between Trump associates and Russian officials Paul Manafort Politics Politics of the United States Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections Senate SPY Testimony Washington D.C. Sat, 22 Jul 2017 23:56:48 +0000 Tyler Durden 600263 at The Return Of Eugenics? Tennessee Judge Issues Sterilization Program For Inmates <p>A Tennessee judge is gaining national media attention for his unique incentive offered to inmates upon sentencing: <strong>convicts can undergo a free taxpayer funded sterilization procedure and get a 30 day reduction in jail time</strong>. Dozens have already taken advantage of the program since Judge Sam Benningfield of White County signed a standing order in May which offers vasectomies for men and a less permanent birth control implant, called Nexplanon, for women. Currently, 38 male and 32 female inmates are signed up for the program which the county district attorney is now seeking to get shut down.</p> <p>Judge Benningfield described the arrangement&#39;s purpose as &quot;breaking a&nbsp;vicious cycle of repeat offenders who constantly come into his courtroom on drug related charges, subsequently can&rsquo;t afford child support and have trouble finding jobs.&quot; <strong>The Tennessee Department of Health has reportedly given its approval for the local county program</strong>, which is now receiving fierce push back at the local and national levels, prompting a <a href="" target="_blank">statement</a> from the ACLU, which called an environment of coerced or legally pressured contraception and sterilization &quot;unconstitutional&quot; as a violation of basic individual rights.</p> <p>White County District Attorney Bryant Dunaway has instructed his staff of prosecutors not to enter into any agreement related to Benningfield&#39;s program, and told local <a href="" target="_blank">Channel 5 News </a>that, &quot;It&rsquo;s comprehensible that an 18-year-old gets this done, it can&rsquo;t get reversed and then that impacts the rest of their life.&quot; Local news presented the judge as innovative and benevolent, merely looking out for the community&#39;s interests, yet the endeavor is really nothing new. It actually hearkens back to a dirty little secret of the Progressive Era in America which rarely makes it into school textbooks: <strong>states once forced mass sterilization upon tens of thousands of citizens deemed &quot;unfit&quot; to produce families</strong> in a nation wide Eugenics movement that Hitler himself learned from.</p> <p><strong>Here are some fast facts about Eugenics in America and the Progressive Era:</strong><br /><em><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 500px; height: 380px;" /></a><br />Archival Eugenical Sterilization Map of the United States, 1935</em></p> <ul> <li><strong>The Progressive economists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries saw science as a means of social management and control.</strong> Eugenics (meaning &quot;well-born&quot;) involved societal and scientific intervention to bring about the &quot;fittest&quot; population (as in the Darwinian concept &quot;survival of the fittest&quot;) through various means, including forced sterilization, abortions, euthanasia, and discriminatory marriage laws.</li> <li><strong>Compulsory sterilization programs were established in over 30 states at the height of the Eugenics movement</strong> (1920&#39;s through mid-20th c.) which resulted in over 60,000 sterilizations of often perfectly healthy people. State and mental health boards would evaluate individuals and declare them &quot;feeble-minded&quot;, mentally deficient, or merely capable of passing on bad genes. Prison inmates were often targeted, even petty offenders, as criminality was seen as an inheritable trait. Sometimes unsuspecting people would enter a hospital for simple Appendicitis&nbsp;but wouldn&#39;t figure out they&#39;d been sterilized during their hospital stay until years or decades later.</li> <li><strong>Notable cases include Carrie Buck, a completely normal teenager</strong>, who after being raped at the age of 17 was committed to the &quot;Virginia Colony for Epileptics and Feeble-Minded&quot; where she was sterilized against her will. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. concluded of Carrie&#39;s case that, &quot;the principle that sustains&nbsp;compulsory vaccination&nbsp;is broad enough to cover&nbsp;cutting the Fallopian tubes.... Three generations of&nbsp;imbeciles&nbsp;are enough.&quot; California&#39;s&nbsp;Charlie Follett was sterilized as a child for merely being born to alcoholic parents. California accounted for about one-third of all compulsory sterilizations nation wide, and the state refused to ever compensate Follet, even denying his request for a simple burial plot after he died impoverished in 2012.</li> <li><strong>Planned Parenthood was a product of the Eugenics movement. The abortion provider&#39;s founder, Margaret Sanger, was among the most prominent eugenicists of the early 20th century</strong>, penning popular articles with titles like &quot;The Eugenic Value of Birth Control Propaganda&quot; which argued that this &quot;new weapon of civilization and freedom&quot; could solve &quot;race problems&quot; and result in &quot;racial regeneration.&quot; Racial segregationists tended to see Eugenics as a method of ensuring &quot;racial purity&quot; - indeed what was known was &quot;positive Eugenics&quot; involved laws which sought to prevent inter-racial marriage.</li> <li><strong>Major corporate titans of the day, including the Rockefeller Foundation, the Carnegie Institution, and the Harriman railroad conglomerate</strong> were major funders of Eugenics research labs and committees.</li> </ul> <p><em><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 500px; height: 342px;" /></a><br />Archival photo:&nbsp;Eugenicists used Anthropometry to measure &quot;superior&quot; physical traits. </em></p> <ul> <li><strong>The &quot;American Breeder&#39;s Association&quot; was America&#39;s first eugenic organization (established in 1906), and as the name suggests, viewed humans as cattle</strong>: &quot;strong&quot; and &quot;fit&quot; qualities of human variation were studied in order to promote &quot;good breeding&quot; in humans. Eugenicists used Anthropometry - the measuring and study of human proportions - to establish what superior humans looked like.</li> <li><strong>Sound familiar? Hitler was a great admirer of progressive America&#39;s Eugenics</strong> policies and the Third Reich was <a href="" target="_blank">directly inspired</a> of American eugenic institutions. Hitler wrote in Mein Kamph:&nbsp;&quot;The demand that defective people be prevented from propagating equally defective offspring is a demand of clearest reason and, if systematically executed, represents the most humane act of mankind. It will spare millions of unfortunates undeserved sufferings, and consequently will lead to a rising improvement of health as a whole.&quot; Admiration went the other way too - in&nbsp;1937 the American Eugenics Society issued official statements of praise for Nazi scientists as they attempted to &quot;cleanse&quot; the gene pool.</li> </ul> <p>Tennessee Judge Benningfield&#39;s current program is sure to restart a conversation over Eugenics. While it&#39;s not currently to the point that inmates are &quot;forced&quot; into this arrangement, the catch-22 of <strong>&quot;more jail time or get snipped&quot;</strong> certainly could take us down a very dark and familiar path, a path that today&#39;s progressives and advocates of centralized state social planning would like us to ignore and forget.</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="620" height="348" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Ableism American Breeder's Association American Eugenics Society Applied ethics Birth control Carnegie Institution Carrie Buck Compulsory sterilization Department of Health Eugenics Eugenics in the United States Feeble-minded Health Hitler Racial Integrity Act Reproductive rights Rockefeller Foundation Sterilization Supreme Court Sat, 22 Jul 2017 23:29:41 +0000 Tyler Durden 600288 at Small Town Suburbia Faces Dire Financial Crisis As Companies, Millennials Flee To Big Cities <p>College graduates and other young Americans are increasingly clustering in urban centers like New York City, Chicago and Boston. And now, American companies are starting to follow them. Companies looking to appeal to, and be near, young professionals versed in the world of e-commerce, software analytics, digital engineering, marketing and finance are flocking to cities. But in many cases, they&rsquo;re leaving their former suburban homes to face significant financial difficulties, according to <a href="">the Washington Post.</a></p> <p>Earlier this summer, health-insurer <strong>Aetna said it would move its executives, plus most of technology-focused employees to New York City from Hartford, Conn., the city where the company was founded, and where it prospered for more than 150 years.</strong> <strong>GE said last year it would leave its Fairfield, Conn., campus for a new global headquarters in Boston. Marriott International is moving from an emptying Maryland office park into the center of Bethesda.</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 500px; height: 313px;" /> </a></p> <p>Meanwhile,<strong> Caterpillar is moving many of its executives and non-manufacturing employees to Deerfield, Ill. from Peoria, Ill., the manufacturing hub that CAT has long called home. And McDonald&rsquo;s is leaving its longtime home in Oak Brook, Ill. for a new corporate campus in Chicago.</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;<strong>Visitors to the McDonald&rsquo;s wooded corporate campus enter on a driveway named for the late chief executive Ray Kroc, then turn onto Ronald Lane before reaching Hamburger University, where more than 80,000 people have been trained as fast-food managers.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Surrounded by quiet neighborhoods and easy highway connections, this 86-acre suburban compound adorned with walking paths and duck ponds was for four decades considered the ideal place to attract top executives as the company rose to global dominance.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Now its leafy environs are considered a liability. Locked in a battle with companies of all stripes to woo top tech workers and young professionals, McDonald&rsquo;s executives announced last year that they were putting the property up for sale and moving to the West Loop of Chicago where &ldquo;L&rdquo; trains arrive every few minutes and construction cranes dot the skyline.&rdquo;</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>The migration to urban centers, according to <a href="">WaPo,</a> threatens the prosperity outlying suburbs have long enjoyed, bringing a dose of pain felt by rural communities and exacerbating stark gaps in earnings and wealth that Donald Trump capitalized on in winning the presidency.</p> <p>Many of these itinerant companies aren&rsquo;t really moving &ndash; or at least not entirely. <strong>Some, like Caterpillar, are only moving executives, along with workers involved in technology and marketing work, while other employees remain behind.</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;<strong>Machinery giant Caterpillar said this year that it was moving its headquarters from Peoria to Deerfield, which is closer to Chicago. It said it would keep about 12,000 manufacturing, engineering and research jobs in its original home town. But top-paying office jobs</strong> &mdash; the type that Caterpillar&rsquo;s higher-ups enjoy &mdash; are being lost, and the company is canceling plans for a 3,200-person headquarters aimed at revitalizing Peoria&rsquo;s downtown.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p>Big corporate moves can be seriously disruptive for a cohort of smaller enterprises that feed on their proximity to big companies, from restaurants and janitorial operations to other subcontractors who located nearby. Plus, the cancellation of the new headquarters was a serious blow. Not to mention the rollback in public investment.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&ldquo;It was really hard. I mean, you know that $800 million headquarters translated into hundreds and hundreds of good construction jobs over a number of years,&rdquo;</strong> Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis (R) said.</p> </blockquote> <p>For the village of Oak Brook, being the home of McDonald&rsquo;s has always been a point of pride. Over the year&rsquo;s the town&rsquo;s brand has become closely intertwined with the company&rsquo;s. <strong>But as McDonald&rsquo;s came under pressure to update its offerings for the Internet age, it opened an office in San Francisco and a year later moved additional digital operations to downtown Chicago, strategically near tech incubators as well as digital outposts of companies that included Yelp and eBay. That precipitated the much larger move it is now planning to make.</strong></p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="290" mozallowfullscreen="" scrolling="no" src="//" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="480"></iframe></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;The village of Oak Brook and McDonald&rsquo;s sort of grew up together. So, when the news came, it was a jolt from the blue &mdash; we were really not expecting it,&rdquo; said Gopal G. Lalmalani, a cardiologist who also serves as the village president.</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>Lalmalani is no stranger to the desire of young professionals to live in cities:</strong> His adult daughters, a lawyer and an actress, live in Chicago. When McDonald&rsquo;s arrived in Oak Brook, in 1971, many Americans were migrating in the opposite direction, away from the city. In the years since, the tiny village&rsquo;s identity became closely linked with the fast-food chain as McDonald&rsquo;s forged a brand that spread across postwar suburbia one Happy Meal at a time.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&ldquo;It was fun to be traveling and tell someone you&rsquo;re from Oak Brook and have them say, &lsquo;Well, I never heard of that,&rsquo; and then tell them, &lsquo;Yes, you have. Look at the back of the ketchup package from McDonald&rsquo;s,&rsquo;&thinsp;&rdquo;</strong> said former village president Karen Bushy. Her son held his wedding reception at the hotel on campus, sometimes called McLodge.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The village showed its gratitude &mdash; there is no property tax &mdash; and McDonald&rsquo;s reciprocated with donations such as $100,000 annually for the Fourth of July fireworks display and with an outsize status for a town of fewer than 8,000 people.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p>Robert Gibbs, the former White House press secretary who is now a McDonald&rsquo;s executive vice president, <strong>said the company had decided that it needed to be closer not just to workers who build e-commerce tools but also to the customers who use them.</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&ldquo;The decision is really grounded in getting closer to our customers,&rdquo;</strong> Gibbs said.</p> </blockquote> <p>Some in Oak Brook have begun to invent conspiracy theories about why McDonald&rsquo;s is moving, including one theory that the company is trying to shake off its lifetime employees in Oak Brook in favor of hiring cheaper and younger urban workers.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;<strong>The site of the new headquarters, being built in place of the studio where Oprah Winfrey&rsquo;s show was filmed, is in Fulton Market, a bustling neighborhood filled with new apartments and some of the city&rsquo;s most highly rated new restaurants.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Bushy and others in Oak Brook wondered aloud if part of the reasoning for the relocation was to effectively get rid of the employees who have built lives around commuting to Oak Brook and may not follow the company downtown. Gibbs said that was not the intention.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&lsquo;Our assumption is not that some amount [of our staff] will not come. Some may not. In some ways that&rsquo;s probably some personal decision. I think we&rsquo;ve got a workforce that&rsquo;s actually quite excited with the move,&rsquo;</strong> he said.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p>Despite Chicago&rsquo;s rapidly rising murder rate and one would think its reputation as an indebted, crime-ridden metropolis would repel companies looking for a new location for their headquarters. But crime and violence rarely penetrate Chicago&rsquo;s tony neighborhoods like the Loop, where most corporate office space is located.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;Chicago&rsquo;s arrival as a magnet for corporations belies statistics that would normally give corporate movers pause. High homicide rates and concerns about the police department have eroded Emanuel&rsquo;s popularity locally, but those issues seem confined to other parts of the city as young professionals crowd into the Loop, Chicago&rsquo;s lively central business district.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Chicago has been ranked the No. 1 city in the United States for corporate investment for the past four years by Site Selection Magazine, a real estate trade publication.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Emanuel said crime is not something executives scouting new offices routinely express concerns about. Rather, he touts data points such as 140,000 &mdash; the number of new graduates local colleges produce every year.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&ldquo;Corporations tell me the number one concern that they have &mdash; workforce,&rdquo; </strong>he said.&quot;</p> </blockquote> <p>Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the old model, where executives chose locations near where they wanted to live has been upturned by the growing influence of technology in nearly every industry. Years ago, IT operations were an afterthought. Now, people with such expertise are driving top-level corporate decisions, and many of them prefer to live in cities.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;It used to be the IT division was in a back office somewhere,&rdquo; Emanuel said. &ldquo;The IT division and software, computer and data mining, et cetera, is now next to the CEO. Otherwise, that company is gone.&rdquo;<br />&nbsp;</p> </blockquote> <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="762" height="477" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Business CAT Caterpillar Inc. Chicago data mining Donald Trump Fast food worker strikes Geography of Illinois Hamburger University Illinois June Martino New York City Oak Brook, Illinois Peoria, Illinois Rahm Emanuel Ray Kroc Real estate Robert Gibbs White House White House Sat, 22 Jul 2017 23:03:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 600281 at