Iran

Don't Think Armageddon, Think "A Thousand Balls Of Flame... And Then Crickets!"

A whiff of World War III hangs in the air. In the US, Cold War 2.0 is on, and the anti-Russian rhetoric emanating from the Clinton campaign, echoed by the mass media, hearkens back to McCarthyism and the red scare. In response, many people are starting to think that Armageddon might be nigh - an all-out nuclear exchange, followed by nuclear winter and human extinction. It seems that many people in the US like to think that way. But most of the recent American warmongering toward Russia can be explained by the desire to find anyone but oneself to blame for one’s unfolding demise.

New Evidence Reveals Iran Evaded Sanctions, Continued Nuclear Weapon Development With Venezuela

New evidence suggests Iran received help from Venezuela with its nuclear program despite a decade of U.N.-mandated sanctions aimed at curbing the rouge regime’s controversial nuclear and ballistic missile programs. A 2009 document obtained by Brazil’s leading weekly, Veja magazine, shows late dictator President Hugo Chavez signing off on the release of funds to help Iran with its nuclear ambitions.

A Kingdom In Turmoil: Saudi Societal Discontent Grows

"Given the current state of affairs in the Middle East, continued Saudi support for extremism and terrorism and increasing Islamic terror attacks on Europe and the US, US/Saudi relations will continue to deteriorate or remain in flux, regardless who wins the US Presidency in November 2016... we are likely to see more societal discontent and harsher responses by the Saudi oligarchy. Some signs are already evident..."

Lots of Smoke Here, Hillary

Prediction: If Hillary Clinton wins, within a year of her inauguration, she will be under investigation by a special prosecutor on charges of political corruption, thereby continuing a family tradition.

Iran Sets Condition Under Which It Would Join OPEC Oil Production Freeze

Iran's oil minister Bijan Zanganeh made the most explicit statement on the topic, when he laid out the conditions under which Iran would be willing to "help other oil producers stabilize the world market."  It was a simple condition: Iran will cooperate as long as it is excluded from the freeze.

With Janet Yellen Just Hours Away, Directionless Markets Wait For A Signal

With Yellen's much anticipated speech just hours away, the already comatose market flatlined overnight in another directionless session, with European stocks and US equity futures practically unchanged, while Asian shares to a two-week low, led by Japan, as investors showed a reluctance to take on risk before Yellen’s speech. The dollar was a tad lower, along with oil which is set for its first weekly drop in a month. 

US Destroyer Fired Warning Shots At "Harassing" Iranian Fast-Attack Ship

A U.S. destroyer fired three warning shots after an Iranian fast-attack craft approached and circled two U.S. Navy ships and a Kuwaiti vessel in the northern Gulf on Wednesday. CNN reports that the U.S. ship fired the shots into the water after the Iranian ship did not leave after a brief radio conversation.

Frontrunning: August 25

  • Stock futures lower as countdown to Yellen speech begins (Reuters)
  • Italy quake death toll nears 250 as rescuers search demolished towns (Reuters)
  • Central bankers eye public spending to plug $1 trillion investment gap (Reuters)
  • Chelsea Clinton Plans to Stay on Board of Family Foundation (WSJ)
  • Bond Traders Are Desperate for Direction From Yellen in Jackson Hole (BBG)

Four More Mega-Banks Join The Anti-Dollar Alliance

Today, four of the world’s largest banks announced a brand new joint venture to create a new financial settlement protocol built on blockchain technology. Deutsche Bank from Germany, UBS from Switzerland, Santander from Spain, and Bank of New York Mellon have joined together to launch what they’re naming the very un-sexy “utility settlement coin”. If foreign banks are able to transact directly with one another without having to go through the US banking system, then why would they need to park trillions of dollars in the United States?