Overnight Australia finally admitted it has succumbed to the global economic weakness plaguing the rest of the world when in a "surprise" move, Australia’s central bank cut its benchmark interest rate for the first time in a year to a record low and left the door open for further easing to counter a wave of disinflation that’s swept over the developed world. The move sent the local currency tumbling and local stocks climbing. Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Glenn Stevens and his board lowered the cash rate by 25 basis points to 1.75 percent Tuesday, a move predicted by just 12 of 27 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. The announcement has, not surprisingly unleashed havoc across FX markets and broadly pushed global mood into its latest "risk off" phase.
The US, in its own decline, is showing this same self-destructive tendency. The worse things get, the greater the inclination of the citizenry to say, “Carry on, everything’s fine.”
Think back over the last 10 years - how different was your life in April 2006? While you may think your daily existence is largely the same (maybe the kids are older or you’re married now, but that about it…), consider what was actually different about your life in the spring of 2006:No iPhone;No Facebook (unless you were in college at the time); No Twitter; No Instagram; No Kim Kardashian; No Uber; No iPad.
"One of the things that we have been doing is spending a lot more time positioning our missile defense systems, so that even as we try to resolve the underlying problem of nuclear development inside of North Korea, we're also setting up a shield that can at least block the relatively low-level threats that they're posing right now"
The recent failure of North Korea’s missile tests reaffirms the deficiencies of its ballistic and nuclear programs. Perversely, it also increases the risk of an imminent greater destabilizing behavior.
One way to deal with bouts of projectile dysfunction is either to launch even more ballistic missiles, or just to call in a thousand of your country's top cooks and have them make comfort food for you.
...it was "a firey, catastrophic attempt at a launch that was unsuccessful."
Human progress has been three steps forward, two steps back. That a non-fringe candidate of a major political party in the United States can call himself a socialist constitutes a leap backward. That it can happen after a century of socialistic horrors: impoverishment, ruination, tyranny, war, and tens of millions dead, bespeaks not just deadly ignorance and delusion, but depravity.
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.
How is it that so many smart people came to believe things that aren’t true? Krugman, Stiglitz, Friedman, Summers, Bernanke, Yellen – all seem to have a simpleton’s view of how the world works. They believe they can manipulate the future and make it better. Not just for themselves… but also for everyone else. Where did such a silly idea come from?
"...And that is how Kim Kardashian gets elected president."
The changes afoot today are causing a shift of wealth the magnitude of which promises to be one of the largest in human history.
In a story that itself seemed like it may be an April fool's joke, the WSJ writes that China’s official Xinhua News Agency has issued a warning on its viewpoint commentary microblog that antics over April Fool’s Day - a tradition it was first exposed to only in the late 1970s when it gradually opened up to foreign cultural influence - are "inconsistent with core socialist values" and at odds with Chinese cultural tradition.
While Brazilians are angry and tired of their economic hardships, they are also incensed at the country’s history of corruption, which now includes a massive presidential scandal carried out by politicians and lobbyists during the current and previous administrations. This misconduct has given residents of all walks of life enough incentive to take their demands to the streets. Mainstream media has covered the major protests overtaking the streets of Brazil at the outset of an apparent political revolution, but few discuss the problems that have been brewing for decades in South America’s largest nation.
"The United States must choose! It’s up to you whether the nation called the United States exists on this planet or not.”