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And Then There Is Everything Else: Summary Of All The Ignored Conflicts And Crises Around The World

Tyler Durden's picture


Since the centrally-planned market is so broken it no longer has the capacity to evaluate and respond to any geopolitical threats and shocks, here - lest anyone think that with the S&P a hair away from all time highs there is nothing to worry about - is a summary of all the simmering, and in some cases, searing and/or scorching geopolitical conflicts and other tensions around the world.

From Guy Haselmann of Scotiabank

A Litany Of Tensions

Geo-political tensions have ratcheted up a notch recently and are likely to stay elevated throughout the year. Although geo-political risks always exist, those tensions seem particularly elevated compared to the last several decades. They also now come at a time when financial risk assets are priced for economic perfection and when the world has never been more globalized with extensive interconnected supply chains. This note will provide a non-comprehensive list of some of those tensions without going into extensive detail on any of them.

President Obama said yesterday in Tokyo that the islands in the East China Sea disputed by Japan and China are covered by the US-Japan defense treaty. He is the first sitting US president to acknowledge them as part of the defense alliance.

  • The comments generated strong criticism in China.
  • Three days ago, PM Abe sent a traditional offering of a small potted tree to the Yasukuni Shrine to celebrate the annual spring festival. 168 members of parliament also made a group visit to the shrine yesterday. These gestures infuriated China and Korea who believe that Japan is making attempts to paint Japans’ brutal wartime behavior in a more positive light.

Hamas and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) signed a pact to form a unity government within five weeks to prepare for elections within six months. Both Hamas and the more radical Islamic Jihad will join the umbrella PLO. Israeli halted all talks.

  • This move undermines extensive efforts by John Kerry to broker a peace deal. Israel denounced the deal and PM Netanyahu said Abbas (PLO President) turned his back on peace. A PLO spokesman blamed “Israeli intransigence” and “American bias” for the breakdown of peace talks.

Ukraine ordered several more “anti-terror” operations to retake a few eastern cities occupied by pro-Russian forces. The move is partially motivated after forces found the dead and apparently tortured body of a city council official. Several road-blocks were destroyed and seven pro-Russian militants were killed. Ukraine’s interim PM said that the red line has been crossed and called on the US and Europe to support his actions and to do more.

  • Russian officials have responded by launching military exercises on the border. Desiring a Federalist state, Russia has been accused of trying to dispute elections set for May 25,

The war in Syria which began as a revolt against an oppressive regime has morphed into a sectarian war and global ideological conflict. The world is so divided that UN negotiators haven’t even been able to even agree on getting emergency supplies to desperate civilians.

  • The UN estimates that 9.3 million Syrians are in need of humanitarian assistance due to limited access to basic services including health care, water and sanitation. The  UN is also investing new claims of chemical weapons use.
  • The South Sudan is also in a downward spiral. Some are suggesting that last week’s massacre has similarities to what unfolded into Rwanda in 1994. The UN peacekeeping base in the Sudan has swelled to 22,000, creating a public health crisis.

Catalonian President Mas has vowed to bring a referendum on independence from Spain in November – two months after Scotland’s independence reference (Sept 18). Catalonia accounts for over 20% of Spain’s total output.

  • In addition, the EU parliamentary elections on May 22 are expected to show gains by extreme parties.

Some other areas of tension: Thailand, Nigeria, Turkey, Venezuela, Ivory Coast, Bolivia, South Africa, Argentina, Brazil, Tunisia, Yemen, Libya, Iraq, Lebanon, Bahrain, Algeria, Pakistan, Moldova, Cyprus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Greece.

Recent policy changes matter: Fed ending QE; China confronting credit bubble; Japan increasing its VAT; various foreign central banks hiking rates.

Other areas of concern: extreme weather; pollution; cyber-threats and cyber-crime.

Investor complacency is extraordinarily high. This is due to several factors: equities are near all-time highs; credit spreads are significantly compressed (yield-seekers); the VIX lumbers along at historic lows; EU sovereign rates and spreads are near historic low levels; and central banks continue to make out-sized promises of  over-accommodation.

Investors have been asking for over a year “when is the ideal timing for paring risk?” The answer in my opinion is now (the time has been now since January). Crowed trades (due to QE), risk-asset over-weights, lofty valuations, central bank policy pivots, important upcoming elections, compromised market liquidity, and elevated geo-political tensions, collectively suggest that market volatility is set to rise and investor complacency is ill-advised.

“How many times can a man turn his head pretending he just doesn’t see?” – Bob Dylan

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Thu, 04/24/2014 - 20:35 | 4693327 Flux
Flux's picture

So this site really is a one-note Greek tragedy, isn't it?

Thu, 04/24/2014 - 20:41 | 4693348 Fukushima Sam
Fukushima Sam's picture

We do have gold and silver and lead.

Thu, 04/24/2014 - 20:44 | 4693358 johngaltfla
johngaltfla's picture

Add Jordan to the list...two days of fighting thus far this week and increasing in violence:


04.24.14 19:50 ET BREAKING NEWS: Heavy Gunfire, RPGs in Jordanian City of Ma’an – Military to Intervene
Thu, 04/24/2014 - 21:10 | 4693428 Keyser
Keyser's picture

I'm just trying to figure out which will happen first, the market crash or WWIII... Whichever happens first, the second will follow closely... 


Thu, 04/24/2014 - 22:04 | 4693573 johngaltfla
johngaltfla's picture

WWIII is good for business: Population reduction = Profit!!!! Slavery!!!! Tyranny!!!! Banksterism Supremacy!!!!

Thu, 04/24/2014 - 20:46 | 4693362 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

I prefer to look it as a "the sky is falling site".

Very strong on effects.  Weak on causes. 


Thu, 04/24/2014 - 20:58 | 4693400 Skateboarder
Skateboarder's picture

The sky that keeps on falling. When will the blanket unite with the bed?

Thu, 04/24/2014 - 21:08 | 4693425 Redneck Hippy
Redneck Hippy's picture

Causes are all due to deviously clever conspiracies, generations in the planning. Only George Soros knows all of it.

Thu, 04/24/2014 - 21:13 | 4693437 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

I kind of like conspiracy theory.  It explains many things, but they can't all be true.  That way lies madness.

The New Yawk, New Yawk baggage is very heavy, and a sorry, depressing way to look at the world, but then, most folks wouldn't like Mule Creek, either.

Fri, 04/25/2014 - 00:39 | 4693938 vie
vie's picture

Good thing the conspiracy theories don't have to be true to know the official story is bullshit. ;)  For instance I know the official story of flight MH370 is bullshit, knew it from the first I heard it.  Every military worth it's beans around the world should've known where the plane went down, not like it's a stealth bomber or anything...

Interestingly dogmatically believing what the goverment tells you is a lot like religion, while conspiracy theory is a lot more like science... come up with a theory, look for evidence to support or disprove it, see if it stands up to opposition, improve theory, rinse-repeat.  Science of course is infalible!  Conspiracy theories on the other hand... are only for people who think the NSA is monitoring them... 

Thu, 04/24/2014 - 21:12 | 4693435 Keyser
Keyser's picture

Doom porn... Plenty of potentional causes just waiting for a black swan... Like dousing yourself with gasoline and performing a juggling act with flaming torches... 

Thu, 04/24/2014 - 20:51 | 4693378 Berspankme
Berspankme's picture

yeah and I've pretty much had it with my fucking neighbor too

Thu, 04/24/2014 - 22:21 | 4693627 edotabin
edotabin's picture

"So this site really is a one-note Greek tragedy, isn't it?"

Yes, it is destruction porn at its finest. If you can't see some truth to it though......

Thu, 04/24/2014 - 20:40 | 4693335 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

From Guy Haselmann of Scrotumbank.  Strangely, no mention of the role of central banks in the world's turmoil.

Thu, 04/24/2014 - 20:41 | 4693347 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

no relation to David Hasselhoff.

Thu, 04/24/2014 - 20:48 | 4693363 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

They do share the common theme that they are both actors and regurgitate scripts for public consumption and entertainment.

Thu, 04/24/2014 - 20:49 | 4693375 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

I have no doubt at some point this guy Hasselmann was rolling around on the floor bombed dropping a hamburger.

Thu, 04/24/2014 - 20:53 | 4693384 SilverIsMoney
Thu, 04/24/2014 - 20:56 | 4693394 Robot Traders Mom
Robot Traders Mom's picture

The 'Hamas' and 'Islamic Jihad' things are getting old. I know the folks at Scotiabank aren't in a position to discuss those pesky Israelis, but at minimum, they don't have to spread government propaganda...

www.TopTheNews.com #Truth

Thu, 04/24/2014 - 21:48 | 4693524 Tortfeasor
Tortfeasor's picture

Do you ever feel embarrassed that your avatar and name are dated by like two years?

Thu, 04/24/2014 - 21:11 | 4693432 A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

Why did the 'pollen vortex' not make the list...........??

Thu, 04/24/2014 - 21:13 | 4693438 Ness.
Ness.'s picture

So what you're saying is those aren't double-crested cormorants flying around my property, those are actually black swans?  Dumb luck, that.

Thu, 04/24/2014 - 21:17 | 4693451 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

Mmmmm, nope.


Thu, 04/24/2014 - 22:12 | 4693597 Sambo
Sambo's picture


The headline has an error... it is not just India, but the USA & the erstwhile USSR. The big fat armed_nuclear_to_the_teeth USA which has been doing this since 1946. It is good that people like Desmond Tutu are supporting this lawsuit.

Thu, 04/24/2014 - 22:16 | 4693606 Sambo
Sambo's picture

The military industrial complex wants a nuclear world war.....and they may succeed in bringing about one in the next 5 to 10 years. Are these guys Satan's children or what?

Thu, 04/24/2014 - 22:45 | 4693694 AdvancingTime
AdvancingTime's picture

I feel we been lulled into complacency by the extraordinary actions taken by central banks and governments over the last six years. Have these actions really worked or merely masked over major flaws and problems?  By not demanding the right kind of growth and by throwing money at problems we have only delayed and added to festering issues that face us in the future.

In what most of us view as a fast moving world many people have come to think if a financial crisis doesn't occur today or in the next few weeks it is simply not going to happen at all. More about how many investors have become far to complacent in the article below.


Thu, 04/24/2014 - 22:47 | 4693697 SilverIsMoney
SilverIsMoney's picture

Why are people so hellbent on saying there will be a Nuclear War? If we were smart enough to avoid it in the 1950s and 60s I think it's safe to say it won't happen. We all understand now the true ramifications of the radiation. What is the point in nuking the planet? The people who could press the button would have no one left to steal from...


Dresden style firing bombings... sure... billions dead in WW3? Sure... but what's the point in destroying the planet with nukes?

Thu, 04/24/2014 - 23:25 | 4693805 Emergency Ward
Emergency Ward's picture

Today we have a group of out-of-control freaks in charge with a World Domination Complex who might be arrogant and foolish enough to push the button (believing they would survive in secret bunkers).  We haven't had this much nuclear paranoia for fifty years.  There must be a reason.

Thu, 04/24/2014 - 23:09 | 4693776 youngman
youngman's picture

I think there is so much gaming going on in the markets..that real world events do not matter anymore...the game is the daily moves...the world moves mean nothing...even if a war broke out I think not much would happen as the die is cast for an upside in the market...the Fed wants higher stock prices and that is what they will get...

Fri, 04/25/2014 - 04:18 | 4694091 Nobody For President
Nobody For President's picture

I think you are right, until something 'big enough' freaks out the algos and everybody including the TBTF,s heads for the doors at the same time.


Thu, 04/24/2014 - 23:39 | 4693836 TheRideNeverEnds
TheRideNeverEnds's picture

There is much ado about nothing.   The situation is quite simple really, here let me sketch you a picture.




                                        --             --

  ##~>>e-minis=>            --     Moon       --

                                        --             --


Fri, 04/25/2014 - 00:11 | 4693895 401K of Dooom
401K of Dooom's picture

Tyler, thank you for covering all of the other stories that are happening in the world.  The MSM refuses to give us the news stories that are occurring because they do not want to let the "O" one look like the idiot he is.  Maybe we can ask the Japanese nicely an they will let us use the Asimo robot as our new president.

Fri, 04/25/2014 - 02:10 | 4694042 danepol
danepol's picture

"Some other areas of tension: Thailand, Nigeria, Turkey, Venezuela, Ivory Coast, Bolivia, South Africa, Argentina, Brazil, Tunisia, Yemen, Libya, Iraq, Lebanon, Bahrain, Algeria, Pakistan, Moldova, Cyprus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Greece." 

I don't know about the rest, but I live in South Africa. Sure we have no shortage of problems but they are social and economic in nature and not a source of "tension" in the context implied by this report. Let's add the US to the motley collection of "tense" nations in order to make better sense of it.

Fri, 04/25/2014 - 03:30 | 4694084 X_mloclaM
X_mloclaM's picture

Thailand, Nigeria, Turkey, Venezuela, Ivory Coast, Bolivia, South Africa, Argentina, Brazil, Tunisia, Yemen, Libya, Iraq, Lebanon, Bahrain, Algeria, Pakistan, Moldova, Cyprus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Greece

Aren't troops also in Somalia, DRC, Mali / Niger

Fri, 04/25/2014 - 05:02 | 4694171 The Navigator
The Navigator's picture


If you own a car or house, you have an insurance policy to cover the unthinkable.

But when it comes to other unthinkables (WWIII, dollar collapse, end of Petro Dollar), many scoff at preppers holding silver, MREs, ammo, or a rifle safe with rifles and hand guns.

It's a matter of extrapolating - if a banking collapse were to occur, what should I hold? Au/Ag or junk silver versus FRNs?

If a EMP hit and pumps at gas stations stop working, should I have some stored fuel at home, with a small generator?

Insurance isn't a policy held in your fire safe - it's prepping where you know you can take care of yourself and your family in an unhinkable situation.

Fri, 04/25/2014 - 07:17 | 4694388 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

Well said.

Fri, 04/25/2014 - 06:04 | 4694277 Element
Element's picture



"Three days ago, PM Abe sent a traditional offering of a small potted tree to the Yasukuni Shrine to celebrate the annual spring festival. 168 members of parliament also made a group visit to the shrine yesterday. These gestures infuriated China and Korea who believe that Japan is making attempts to paint Japans’ brutal wartime behavior in a more positive light."

Contrast with this:

" ... Was there a rule then that said you shouldn't bomb, shouldn't kill, shouldn't burn to death 100,000 civilians in a night?  Lemay said, if we'd lost the war, we'd all have been prosecuted as war-criminals - and I think he's right!  He, and I'd say I, were behaving as war-criminals. ..."
The Fog Of War, Robert S. McNamara, former US Secretary of Defense.

He admitted that he, and the head of a US airforce, were clearly war criminals.

Not one of these yapping hypocritical countries that keep pointing their finger at Japanese atrocities is innocent. Every one of them was responsible for massive war crimes. And since when are the children responsible for what was done by entirely other generations?

It's been 81 fucking years since the events of 1933!

Frankly the Japanese people of 2014 have every right to tell all of China and Korea to shut the fuck up and get over it. China is just a bunch or propaganda hyper-stimulated whining bitches who want no rivals anywhere, to their exertion of military power. Well tough tits China, you have geopolitical rivals for neighbors, and you'll just have to get over that as well.

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