A Short History: The Neocon "Clean Break" Grand Design & The "Regime Change" Disasters It Has FosteredSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 07/01/2015 22:30 -0400
To understand today’s crises in Iraq, Syria, Iran, and elsewhere, one must grasp their shared Lebanese connection. This assertion may seem odd. After all, what is the big deal about Lebanon? That little country hasn’t had top headlines since Israel deigned to bomb and invade it in 2006. Yet, to a large extent, the roots of the bloody tangle now enmeshing the Middle East lie in Lebanon: or to be more precise, in the Lebanon policy of Israel.
America’s grand strategy, its long-term blueprint for advancing national interests and countering major adversaries, is in total disarray. Top officials lurch from crisis to crisis, improvising strategies as they go, but rarely pursuing a consistent set of policies. Some blame this indecisiveness on a lack of resolve at the White House, but the real reason lies deeper. It lurks in a disagreement among foreign policy elites over whether Russia or China constitutes America’s principal great-power adversary.
When it comes to Europe, Greece lost the blame game, and just like the Ukraine civil war last year, became an unwitting catalyst greenlighting Germany's concession to ECB QE, this time it may be Greece that launches the next step in the ECB's master plan: not just QE but more QE. This is precisely what Goldman's Franceso Garzarelli, co-head of macro and markets research, admitted earlier today in an interview on Bloomberg TV, when he said that the ECB "will have to go big" if the situation in Greece worsens and leads to wider peripheral bond yield spreads.
Just when you think things can’t get any crazier, they always do. The Guardian reports on unpublished Troika documents that show Greece is only too right in asking for debt relief. That for the Syriza government to sign what the Troika wants to force them to sign would see Tsipras et al plunge their country into a financial hell hole.
With capital controls already imposed on Greece, some have wondered if this is as bad as it gets. Unfortunately, as the Cyprus "template" has already shown us, for Greece the nightmare on Eurozone street is just beginning.
To summarize: the first revenue drop for the S&P in 5 years, a major downward revision in EPS now expecting just 1% increase in 2015 EPS, a 25% cut to GDP forecasts, a machete taken to corporate profits and 10 Yields, and not to mention double digit sales declines for some of the most prominent tech companies in the world. And that, in a nutshell, is the "strong fundamentals" that everyone's been talking about.
Every quarter ConvergEx's Nick Colas reviews a raft of unusual and less examined datasets with an eye to refining and adding perspective to the more traditional macroeconomic analyses. This quarter’s assessment of everything from large pickup truck and firearms sales to Google search autofills for “I want to buy/sell” shows a U.S. economy that is reasonably strong but growing only very slowly. The chief areas of concern: Food Stamp participation is still very high at 45.6 million Americans (14% of the total population) and indicators like used car prices and large pickup sales are flat.
Is it just election fever, or is Argentina serious about reclaiming the Falklands Islands?
For years there had been speculation, rumor and hearsay that JPM had cornered the US commodities market. Now, finally, we have documented proof.
How do you change the way people think? You start by changing the words they use.
Moscovici who served as French finance minister until 2014 and then became European commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs, used some very colorful language, i.e., the French economic situation was "worse than anyone [could] imagine and drastic measures [would] have to be taken in the next two years”.
Whether, or not, a Greek exit from the Eurozone or a potential debt default is "the thing" that sparks the next major correction in the markets is unknown. Historically, such a widely "known" event is generally already factored into the markets and has much less of an impact when that event eventually comes to fruition. As Art Cashin suggested this morning: "I think China may be more important than Greece. Stick with the drill – stay wary, alert and very, very nimble."
It seems Goldman Sachs' conspiracy theory was right all along...
ECB'S COEURE SAYS ECB IS EVEN READY TO USE NEW INSTRUMENTS, WITHIN ITS MANDATE
GREECE COULD EXIT EURO, COEURE SAYS IN LES ECHOS INTERVIEW
This is exactly what The ECB wanted all along (and their leaders overlords) - all they needed was an 'excuse'. Or, in the parlance of Rahm Emanuel's times, "Let no Greek default crisis go to QE waste."
With the ATMs running dry and lines forming at gas stations and grocery stores, Greeks are understandably restless and have once again gathered en masse in Syntagma Square.