Today's Zero Hedge Articles in Audio Summary. "Morons. Because that is what America's for." Everyday 8-9pm @ New York Time.
The ECB has $15 trillion in loans outstanding to Europe. They claim a $4 trillion balance sheet based upon not counting guaranteed loans by various nations and by not counting contingent liabilities. This is the same scheme that is used for calculating the debt to GDP ratios of the countries in Europe. If a loan, a debt, is guaranteed by a nation or if the liability is “contingent;” it is not counted. This, of course, does not mean that possibility of having to fund or write-off something is not there; it just means it is not counted. Do not disregard or minimize the recent announcement by Germany, Finland and the Netherlands that was joined twenty-four hours later by Austria. The funding nations in Europe placed a line in the concrete when they rejected assisting legacy issues and loans. This group of nations vacated, in this one statement, all of the pleas and demands of the periphery countries that had lined up for aid and ever-more aid relying upon the pledges of the solidarity of Europe and they got an answer, a very Germanic answer which is not, I am quite sure, what they wanted to hear.
Today's quote of the day award goes to...
- AHMADINEJAD SAYS SITUATION IN IRAN `NOT SO DIRE'
- AHMADINEJAD SAYS IRAN ECONOMY `CERTAINLY BETTER' THAN U.S., EU
The irony of course is that absent the trillions in fiat created out of thin air by the "developed world's" central banks, and the destruction of the purchasing power of their populations, he would be absolutely right. The bigger irony is that the Iran is by far winning the global race to debase, with its currency hitting a new record low of 26,500 vs the USD just yesterday, and has lost more than half of its value in the past year. Needless to say, Iran's epic ability to destroy its currency with such utter disdain is making central bankers around the world green with envy.
What is interesting about this discussion by the Washington Institute For Near East Policy, a Neocon (Globalist) think-tank, is that its primary purpose is not necessarily to debate the current political elements of the Iranian question. They aren't contemplating the viability or morality of a war with Iran. Instead, they are attempting to devise strategies by which the government could CONVINCE the American public and the world that a war with Iran is the "right thing to do", even if it means fabricating their own justification. For them, the war is a forgone conclusion, and they will do anything to make it a reality.
They All Share One Thing ...
The first concern of the Emir of Qatar is the prosperity and security of the tiny kingdom. To achieve that, he knows no limits. Stuck between Iran and Saudi Arabia is Qatar with the third largest natural gas deposit in the world. The gas gives the nearly quarter of a million Qatari citizens the highest per capita income on the planet and provides 70 percent of government revenue. How does an extremely wealthy midget with two potentially dangerous neighbors keep them from making an unwelcomed visit? Naturally, you have someone bigger and tougher to protect you. Of course, nothing is free. The price has been to allow the United States to have two military bases in a strategic location. According to Wikileak diplomatic cables, the Qataris are even paying sixty percent of the costs. Having tanks and bunker busting bombs nearby will discourage military aggression, but it does nothing to curb the social tumult that has been bubbling for decades in the Middle Eastern societies. Eighty-four years ago, the Moslem Brotherhood arose in Egypt because of the presence of foreign domination by Great Britain and the discontent of millions of the teaming masses yearning to be free. Eighty-four years later, the teaming masses are still yearning.
Liquidity, Fund Flows and Technicals matter now. Fundamentals, Dow Theory and the real economy, not so much.
Ahmadinejad may well be playing the same long game as Osama bin Laden:
We are continuing this policy in bleeding America to the point of bankruptcy.
Osama bin Laden
And they may succeed (although those who believe that war is a stimulus that can end a depression will surely disagree — as Antal Fekete has noted, Western governments may look to a new hot war in the middle east as an opportunity to exit an economic depression that they cannot control). But for Ahmadinejad and Iran, it may come at a huge, huge cost — a long painful invasion, ending in death in the street or on the gallows. Neoconservatism — and Obama and Romney are both to lesser and greater degrees neoconservatives — is a violent utopian ideology that seeks to force the entire world — by whatever means and at any cost — to conform to American foreign policy imperatives. As America should have learned a long time ago — and as Ahmadinejad may well soon learn — needlessly pissing off violent utopian ideologues creates blowback.
- China carrier a show of force as Japan tension festers (Reuters)
- Draghi Rally Lets Skeptics Dump Spain for Bunds (Bloomberg)
- China’s Central Bank Injects Record Funds to Ease Cash Crunch (Bloomberg)
- Obama warns Iran on nuclear bid, containment 'no option' (Reuters)
- When Would Bernanke’s Successor Raise Rates? (WSJ) that's easy - never
- Italy's Monti Downplays Sovereignty Risk (WSJ)
- Portugal swaps pay cuts for tax rises (FT)
- Madrid faces regional funding backlash (FT)
- Berlin Seeks to Push Back New Euro-Crisis Aid Requests (WSJ)
- Race Focuses on Foreign Policy (WSJ)
- China Speeds Up Approvals of Foreigners’ Stock Investment (Bloomberg)
While oil prices have slid in their ubiquitous post-QE manner in the last few days, they remain notably elevated amid growing tensions in Iran and central bank largesse spillovers. These short-term fluctuations, however, pale in significance to long-run implications of peak-oil and whether it exists or not. From cost implications to technological innovation and demand destruction and supply constraints, the feedback loops of oil prices over time provide vicious and irtuous cycles for the global economy as we know too well. This brief clip provides all the color we could need on the matter of fossil fuel dilemmas and the diverging opinions of Astenbeck's (ex-Phibro) Andy Hall and Goldman's Michele Della Vigna provide the depth.
Iran Accuses German Siemens Of Sabotaging Its Nuclear Plant As Turkey Sends Heavy Weapons To Syria BorderSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 09/22/2012 21:54 -0500
It seems you can't turn your back on the Middle East for more than a few minutes without something going bump in the desert. Sure enough, a few shorts hours after we reported that the leader of Iran's Revolutionary Guards is certain war with Israel is coming, here comes Iran again with the stunning admission that none other than German industrial conglomerate, and occasional maker of nuclear power plants, Siemens was reponsible for "implanting tiny explosives inside equipment the Islamic Republic purchased for its disputed nuclear program. Prominent lawmaker Alaeddin Boroujerdi said Iranian security experts discovered the explosives and removed them before detonation, adding that authorities believe the booby-trapped equipment was sold to derail uranium enrichment efforts. "The equipment was supposed to explode after being put to work, in order to dismantle all our systems," he said. "But the wisdom of our experts thwarted the enemy conspiracy." Expert wisdom aside, what is stunning is not the ongoing attempts by everyone and the kitchen sink to terminally corrupt the Iranian nuclear power plant: after Stuxnet one would expect nothing less than every form of conventional and "new normal" espionage thrown into the pot to cripple the only peaceful argument Iran would have for demanding nuclear power, which by implication would mean that all ongoing nuclear pursuits are geared solely toward aggressive, military goals, of the type that demand immediate military retaliation by the democratic superpowers. No, what is stunning is the implicit admission that Germany's, and Europe's, largest electrical engineering company, has been not only quietly transacting with none other than world peace (as portrayed by the MSM) enemy #1, Iran, but instrumental in its nuclear program.
After the financial debacle caused by a thieving and uncontrolled Thug-elite (banksters, Wall Street, moneyed interests), helped in part by a society ready to be courted by its very own ugly greed, this time in real estate, one would think the electorate would have economics as the prime, if not the sole focus when casting a ballot in this next presidential election. And that would entail castigating politicians, or parties, who could be justly blamed for such debacle and for embracing globalization without a viable plan for those Americans who would be left behind without living-wage jobs; while rewarding politicians, or parties, who offer a reasonable way out, not just of the present mess we are in, but of the impending uglier mess which looms in the horizon. But that would be taxing reality in a nation which has failed to charge Wall Street criminals, for the most part Republicans; in a nation where Bill Clinton, the godfather of American globalization, continues to be held in high esteem by a clueless Democrat party.
Even as the popular ADHD affliction is preoccupied with who paid what taxes, and whether this poll shows that guy on top or this one, until tomorrow when they flip providing even more meaningless chitchat opportunities, everyone appears to have once again lost sight of the big picture, which is that two US ships continue full steam ahead toward Iran, namely the CVN-74 Stennis aircraft carrier which has crossed the Pacific ocean and is now a week away from its target, and the LHA 5 Peleliu big deck amphibious warfare ship, where they will join two other aircraft carriers and the LHD 7 Iwo Jima as summarized by the graphic below. Why is US naval presence in the Gulf soaring to a concentration not seen since the last Gulf war? The head of the Iran revolutionary guard may have an idea. From Reuters: Israel will eventually go beyond threats and will attack Iran, the commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards was quoted as saying on Saturday. "A war will occur, but it's not clear where or when it will be," Jafari was quoted as saying on Saturday. "Israel seeks war with us, but it's not clear when the war will occur."