The United States is the number one trading partner for 56 countries, with important relationships throughout North America, South America, and Western Europe. Meanwhile, China is the top partner for 124 countries, dominating trade in Asia, Eastern Europe, Africa, and Australia.
The British Response To Obama "Why Should We Take Advice From A President Who Has Surrendered The World To Chaos?"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 04/24/2016 21:05 -0400
It's not just Halliburton ("What we are experiencing today is far beyond headwinds; it is unsustainable") and Intel (12,000 layoffs amid re-evaluation of programs) that are facing up to a new normal very different from expectations. As Avondale Asset Management notes, having poured over 100s of earnings transcripts, while most CEOs don’t see signs of an imminent downturn, the environment still feels a little fragile. It seems that almost everyone is on high alert for a macro curve-ball...
If anyone was expecting Russia to politely apologize to the U.S. for last week's two "flybys", they would be drastically disappointed, because as Reuters reported overnight, it was Russia who accused the United States on Wednesday of intimidation by sailing a U.S. naval destroyer close to Russia's border in the Baltics and warned that the Russian military would respond with "all necessary measures" to any future incidents.
In an effort to slow Syrian, Afghan, and Iraqi migrants traveling to Europe, many countries are now implementing border controls, a decision that could prove to have significant negative consequences for Europe's economy. As Bloomberg notes, the open border economy supports more than 400 million people, with 24 million business trips, and 57 million cross-border freight transfers happening every single year. Research by the Bertelsmann Foundation asserts that a permanent return to border controls could cost $530 billion of GDP growth from the European economy over the next decade.
Are interest rates low because of the action of central banks or because of unresolved debt deflation?
Since the end of the Cold War in 1991, this country has been steadily bled and slowly bankrupted. We are now as overextended as was the British Empire in the 1940s. Time for a reappraisal of all of the war guarantees this nation has issued since the beginning of the Cold War, to determine which, if any, still serve U.S. national interests in 2016. Alliances, after all, are the transmission belts of war. This is not isolationism. It is putting our country first, and staying out of other people’s wars. It used to be called patriotism.
While Sweden's seemingly self-imposed refugee crisis continues to roil the nation's population, it appears a different and potentially just as problematic social unrest looms. As Gatestone reports, for the last few years, immigration-welcoming Sweden has been overwhelmed with Roma beggars from Romania and Bulgaria who have turned "panhandling into an occupation."
The United States via its Central Intelligence Agency is still delivering thousands of tons of additional weapons to al-Qaeda and others in Syria. The British military information service Janes found the transport solicitation for the shipment on the U.S. government website FedBizOps.gov. Janes writes: "The FBO has released two solicitations in recent months looking for shipping companies to transport explosive material from Eastern Europe to the Jordanian port of Aqaba on behalf of the US Navy's Military Sealift Command."
World military expenditures rose to $1.7 trillion in 2015, an increase of about 1% from last year. According to SIPRI, this was the first increase in global military spending since 2011. Unsurprisingly, the United States earned the top spot by a ridiculous margin, spending a gargantuan $596 billion in 2015 (for which the military industrial complex - the recipient of the funds - is eternally grateful). The US is followed by China, and Saudi Arabia who spent an estimated $215 billion and $87.2 billion respectively.
What’s left for the Empire of Chaos in the Eurasian front is the wishful thinking of attempting to encircle both Russia and China, while both keep actually expanding all across the Eurasian Heartland, shedding US dollars and buying gold, signing a flurry of contracts in yuan and selling oil and gas to all and sundry.
Color revolutions would never be enough; Exceptionalistan is always on the lookout for major strategic upgrades capable of ensuring perpetual Empire of Chaos hegemony. While it ain’t over till some fat man in the Brazilian Supreme Court sings, the whole developing world should be fully alert – and learn the relevant lessons, as Brazil is bound to be analyzed as the ultimate case of Soft Hybrid War.
NATO isn’t just an expensive luxury of the sort we can no longer afford – it is a tripwire that could be set off by a minor border conflict involving Moldova, the status of Kaliningrad, or – more likely – another round of hostilities in Ukraine. Would we start World War III in defense of the oligarchs of Kiev? I wouldn’t put it past them. With his plan – or, rather, inclination – to abandon the old NATO and replace it with some sort of multilateral counterterrorist operation, and his insistence that our “allies” pay up, Trump is forcing an issue onto the stage that hasn’t been seen since the days of Bob Taft.
"We Are Prepared To Fight" - In Dramatic Shift NATO Changes East European Doctrine From "Assurance" To "Deterrence"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 04/01/2016 14:20 -0400
Yesterday, during a briefing in Latvia's capital Riga, NATO Gen. Philip Breedlove said that NATO and the United States are switching their defense doctrine from assurance to deterrence in Eastern Europe in response to a “resurgent and aggressive Russia." Breedlove added that “We are prepared to fight and win if we have to ... our focus will expand from assurance to deterrence, including measures that vastly improve our overall readiness,” Breedlove said following talks with Baltic region NATO commanders.
Amid secular stagnation, the Eurozone's old fiscal, monetary and banking challenges are escalating, along with new threats, including the Brexit, demise of Schengen, anti-EU opposition and geopolitical friction. Brussels can no longer avoid hard political decisions for or against an integrated Europe, with or without the euro.