After "preparing" for over a week, moments ago at 00:31 UTC time, North Korea - which has failed to shock the world with some "news" for over a month when it tested a "hydrogen" bomb which according to experts was anything but - launched a long-range rocket which some say is being used as a cover for banned missile test. North Korea has called the launch an attempt to "peacefully launch a satellite." Japan, however, is not happy as according to initial reports, it flew over its airspace in proximity to Okinawa.
It's a dangerous world out there and these are exceptionally uncertain times. Fortunately, US Defense Secretary Ash Carter is a dangerous man and if you give him $582 million of your tax dollars, he'll keep you safe from sneaky Russians, scheming Chinese, plotting Iranians, unpredictable North Koreans, and bloodthirsty terrorists.
While we may poke fun at North Koreans’ gullibility, frankly we don’t find the idea of ‘hangover-free alcohol’ any dumber or less deceptive than the idea of ‘consequence-free debt’. Or the idea that you can print your way to prosperity. Hangover-free alcohol is pretty silly. But in the West, we believe the biggest lies of all...
The airwaves in the United States were filled with images of sailors on their knees while a US Navy vessel was searched. Unjustified outrage swept the nation. The US Secretary of Defense blamed the incident on a simple navigation error, however a chain of events leading back to 2009 demonstrates the facts are a little more complicated than first appear. The chain of events leads defense analysts to one unmistakable conclusion: Iran has the ability to disrupt US GPS systems.
The U.S. government, in particular, has been overrun by the wrong kind of person. It’s a trend that’s been in motion for many years but has now reached a point of no return. In other words, a type of moral rot has become so prevalent that it’s institutional in nature. There is not going to be, therefore, any serious change in the direction in which the U.S. is headed until a genuine crisis topples the existing order. Until then, the trend will accelerate.
As the towering forces that are prevailing against failing global economic architecture and the pit of debt beneath that structure, as laid out below, it is clear that the 'Epocalypse' - encompassing the roots "economic, epoch, collapse" and "apocalypse" - is here, and it is everywhere. The Great Collapse has already begun. What follows are the megatrends that will increasingly gang up in the first part of 2016 to stomp the deeply flawed global economy down into its own hole of debt.
For imprisonments, the US really does have no close second: it’s the unquestionable global market-leader, for prisons and prisoners. And this gets us to the market-leader for prisons within America itself, and to the stunning corruption that stands behind it. So, here’s that extraordinary example, and the story behind its corruption, which will provide a close-up view of America’s general corruption, from the top (including the government itself) on down.
"Panic is building, most likely setting the stage for a rally, but the missing ingredient here is growth. With analysts cutting estimates at an accelerating rate, increasing China risks and no apparent floor for oil prices, we remain cautious on our near term outlook for stocks."
"... after four long years without any profits growth, the risk is that MSCI World mean-reverts to its original 2011 PE multiple, which would imply a further 50% decline from here. Even decline back to average would imply a 15% drop."
On Sunday, Washington responded to Kim Jong-Un's nuclear sabre rattling by flying a B-52 over South Korea in a show of force that's sure to infuriate Pyongyang. Next up: Ash Carter may be set to send in an aircraft carrier.
South Korea - which Kim Jong-Un says is "jealous" of the North's "H-bomb" test - has resumed blaring anti-Pyongyang propaganda over loudspeakers installed on the two countries' border, a move the North says has once again brought the Korean Peninsula "to the brink of war."
Once, there was a time when Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini and Tojo ruled almost all of Eurasia. And another time when a monolithic Sino-Soviet Communist bloc ruled from the Elbe to the Pacific. As those times are long gone, is it not time for an exhaustive review of the alliances we have entered into and the war guarantees we have issued, to fight for nations and interests other than our own?
The mainspring of Islamic extremism and militancy isn’t the moderate and democratic political Islam, because why would people turn to violence when they can exercise their right to choose their rulers? The mainspring of Islamic militancy is the despotic and militant political Islam of the Gulf variety. The Western powers are fully aware of this fact, then why do they choose to support the same forces that have nurtured jihadism and terroris?
The half-life of the latest "market supporting" intervention by the Chinese government: just about 12 hours.
- China turmoil sends oil, stocks sliding (Reuters)
- China's Stock Traders Go Home After 29 Minutes (BBG)
- Yuan hits weakest since Feb 2011 on fresh low midpoint (Reuters)
- Stocks Extend Rout, Oil Slides on China as Soros Warns of Crisis (BBG)
- China's 29 Minutes of Chaos: Stunned Brokers and a Race to Sell (BBG)
- North Korea Uses Bomb Test to Boost Dictatorship (WSJ)