North Korea

The Nuclear Arms Race Is Back: Russia Furious As US Launches European Ballistic Missile Shield

The United States' European missile defense shield goes live on Thursday almost a decade after Washington proposed protecting NATO from Iranian rockets and despite Russian warnings that the West is threatening the peace in central Europe. As a result, Reuters notes that "Russia is incensed at such of show of force by its Cold War rival in formerly communist-ruled eastern Europe where it once held sway. Moscow says the U.S.-led alliance is trying to encircle it close to the strategically important Black Sea, home to a Russian naval fleet and where NATO is also considering increasing patrols."

Will Turkey Become An "Islamic State"?

As we recently hinted, concerns are mounting that Turkey is headed toward Shariah law implementation as the Presidency is consolidated, and particularly given Parliament Speaker Ismail Kahraman’s comments that secularism should be taken out of Turkey’s new constitution last week, moving it instead to a "religious constitution."

Obama Reveals Plans To Build A "Missile Defense Shield" Around North Korea

"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"

Why North Korea's Failed Missile Launch Matters

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.

The Scourge Of Socialism

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.

America's Imperial Overstretch

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.

Was The Panama Papers "Leak" A Russian Intelligence Operation?

If this was the work of the CIA, it was an extremely sloppy and obvious hit job. On the other hand, if this was the work of Putin for the purposes of blackmail, it’s one of the most ingenious chess moves I’ve ever seen played on the global stage. If this theory is correct, it’s the worse case scenario for American citizens. So if Putin is behind this, and does have the goods on the U.S. elite, not only do we not get rid of the these corrupt oligarchs, we now have to live with them in an even more compromised state than they were before.

The Future of Money

The reason is that banks understand their core reason to exist is threatened by peer-to-peer, decentralized payment platforms and currencies. If payments no longer need to be routed through a centralized trusted institution, then one core function of banks disappears. If peer-to-peer lending and securitization becomes easier and cheaper due to the blockchain, then banks' function of allocating capital also vanishes.

"Unprecedented Leak" Exposes The Criminal Financial Dealings Of Some Of The World's Wealthiest People

An unprecedented leak of more than 11 million documents has revealed the hidden financial dealings of some of the world's wealthiest people, as well as 12 current and former world leaders and 128 more politicians and public officials around the world.  The data allows a never-before-seen view inside the offshore world — providing a day-to-day, decade-by-decade look at how dark money flows through the global financial system, breeding crime and stripping national treasuries of tax revenues.

Frontrunning: March 18

  • Dow's Freakish Bounce Makes Investors Whole, Can't Erase Doubts (BBG)
  • R.I.P. Dollar Rally as Dovish Fed Spurs Worst Slump Since 2011 (BBG)
  • Global Currencies Soar, Defying Central Bankers (WSJ)
  • Oil hits 2016 high above $42 on production and demand outlook (Reuters)
  • The U.S. Is Exporting Its Oil Everywhere (BBG)
  • Hillary Clinton’s Allies Launch Plan to Undercut Donald Trump Now (WSJ)