The US aircraft carrier, CVN-71, USS Theodore Roosevelt is currently on its way out of the Persian Gulf, leaving just the LHD-2 Essex Amphibious Warfare ship group to defend the Persian Gulf and more importantly, leaving the hotly contested middle east without U.S. carrier-based air support for the first time in years.
Iranian forces backed by Russian air power have officially begun the assault on Syria's largest city. A victory at Aleppo would effectively restore the Assad government just weeks after Moscow began bombing runs from Latakia. As Reuters notes, "the assault means the army is now pressing insurgents on several fronts near Syria's main cities in the west, control of which would secure President Bashar al-Assad's hold on power even if the east of the country is still held by Islamic State."
"He told me, 'Your worst enemy has achieved this right to enrich. It's a right to enrich now that your friends are going to want, too, and we won't be the only country,'"...
Credit Suisse has released a reported titled "Client perspectives: lost and bearish" in which it lists the 12 bricks of the global wall of worry and adds that "this is the first time that we have come across so many people who say they are completely 'lost' in the current environment." So, to help out those who just have to be in this market yet share the same total confusion, here is BofA listing what the two key trading camps in the market: "the consensus" and "the contrarians" are doing.
There is no time to lose. Russia is on the march, in unison with the emboldened and enriched Iranians, thanks again to our president. Putin and the ayatollahs know they will enjoy only another 464 days with this president and that none of his likely replacements will be so complacent and flexible, to use his own term. We should therefore expect that they will want to make as much hay as they can while the sun reflects off of Obama’s insouciant grin.
Whatever the efforts of that expansive corps of intelligence analysts (and the vast intelligence edifice behind it), when anything happens in the Greater Middle East, you can essentially assume that the official American reaction, military and political, will be “surprise” and that policymakers will be left “scrambling” in a quagmire of ignorance to rescue American policy from the unexpected. The evidence, after all, is largely in. In these years, for what now must be approaching three-quarters of a trillion dollars, the national security state and the military seem to have created an un-intelligence system. Welcome to the fog of everything.
Central banks are fearful and unwilling to normalize but artificially high valuations across asset classes cannot be sustained indefinitely absent fundamental global growth. Central banks are in a prison of their own design and we are trapped with them. The next great crash will occur when we collectively realize that the institutions that we trusted to remove risk are actually the source of it. The truth is that global central banks cannot remove extraordinary monetary accommodation without risking a complete collapse of the system, but the longer they wait the more they risk their own credibility, and the worse that inevitable collapse will be. In the Prisoner’s Dilemma, global central banks have set up the greatest volatility trade in history.
As has already been discussed at length, once the economic sanctions imposed by the U.S. and the European Union on Iran begin to be lifted next year, there is going to be a surge in the already oversupplied global crude oil markets. Although the surge in crude oil markets could further worsen the global supply/demand gap, Iran could present a new source of competition on other crucial fronts too, especially in the gas markets.
"I can tell you that as for China's warships, for example the Liaoning, whether it has gone to join, for this issue, as far as I know, there is no such plan. At this time the Liaoning is in a phase of carrying out technical training and military exercises."
"As allied countries wouldn’t tolerate arms shipments to groups affiliated with al-Qaeda, Turkey definitely can’t accept weapons aid to groups linked to PKK."
"The big battle preparations in that area are clear. There is a large mobilization of the Syrian army ... elite Hezbollah fighters, and thousands of Iranians who arrived in stages in recent days."