North Korea

Britain Doesn't Need The EU To Thrive

The history of mankind is a struggle between the individual trying to retain freedoms and tyrannical governments trying to take it away from him. The EU was created to increase freedoms: the freedom of the movement of goods, capital, and people. As expected, it has devolved into an entity that does just the opposite...

Russia Is Reportedly Set To Release Clinton's Intercepted Emails

Reliable intelligence sources in the West have indicated that warnings had been received that the Russian Government could in the near future release the text of email messages intercepted from U.S. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s private e-mail server from the time she was U.S. Secretary of State. The apparent message from Moscow, through the intelligence community, seemed to indicate frustration with the pace of the official U.S. Department of Justice investigation into the so-called server scandal.

Socialism: Force Or Fantasy?

It all comes down to persuasion versus force. Everything else is trivial. Some socialists say that they are simply advocating “sharing,” and since socialism’s advocates have good intentions, it must be voluntary and beneficial, too. Except that it never is. If it were voluntary, it wouldn’t be socialism, and if it were beneficial, you wouldn’t need force to create it and sustain it. Today’s socialist dreamers think and act as if they just arrived from an alternate universe.

US Says North Korea Has Restarted Production Of Plutonium Fuel

North Korea may have already declared itself "a responsible nuclear weapons state" - disavowing the use of nuclear weapons unless its sovereignty is first infringed by others with nuclear arms - but according to the US State Department, North Korea has restarted production of plutonium fuel, indicating that it intends to pursue its nuclear weapons program in defiance of international standards, and tougher UN sanctions that were backed by China in March.

Frontrunning: June 8

  • World stocks struggle to build on highs as Europe weighs (Reuters)
  • Oil hits eight-month high on disruptions, Chinese demand (Reuters)
  • Hillary Clinton Set for Democratic Nomination After Primary Wins (WSJ)
  • DNC avoids calling Clinton presumptive nominee (The Hill)
  • Trump, Rattled by Critics, Treads Carefully in Victory Speech (BBG)

Hillary Clinton Is The Clear Candidate Of The War Party

Last week, Hillary Clinton gave up trying to compete with Bernie Sanders on domestic policy. Instead, she zeroed in on the soft target of Donald Trump’s most “bizarre rants” in order to present herself as experienced and reasonable. Evidently taking her Democratic Party nomination for granted, she is positioning herself as the perfect candidate for hawkish Republicans.

Frontrunning: June 2

  • Global stocks struggle as ECB and OPEC meetings loom (Reuters)
  • Iran Resists Saudi Gesture for Unity as OPEC Fractures Reappear (BBG)
  • Clinton to blast Trump on North Korea, NATO in foreign policy speech (Reuters)
  • Hillary Clinton Shifts to California as Race Tightens There (WSJ)
  • Puerto Rico’s U.S. Rescue Won’t Come Soon Enough to Halt Default (BBG)

So, You Thought Slavery Was Dead? Think Again

Nearly 46 million human beings are subject to slavery, a new report released this week concluded. According to the third annual Global Slavery Index, which gathers and analyzes surveys conducted by Gallup, the number of people forced into “modern slavery,” or “human trafficking, forced labour, debt bondage, forced or servile marriage or commercial sexual exploitation,” rose from 35.8 million to 45.8 million since 2014 — a 28 percent increase.

Frontrunning: June 1

  • Japan PM delays sales tax hike, puts fiscal reform on back burner (Reuters)
  • Japanese Shoppers Keep Wallets Shut Despite Sales-Tax Delay (BBG)
  • Global stocks limp into June on oil and data slips (Reuters)
  • Euro zone factory growth remained tepid in May - PMI (Reuters)
  • China's factories steadying but weak, hopes for quick recovery fade (Reuters)

The Global Bear Market In Freedom

Americans will be celebrating Memorial Day this weekend, to honor those who fought and died for the values they have traditionally cherished the most as a nation: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The world has changed dramatically in recent decades. The geopolitical situation is much more complex, with rising powers challenging America's supremacy. The intractable war on terror seems interminable. Old foes appear to spring back to life even more powerful than before. And things at home look dicey in terms of politics and economics. As we reflect upon the ultimate sacrifice that others have made‎, it is an opportune moment to consider a very important question: is the US winning the fight for freedom?

If You Think Cultural Fragmentation Is Bad Now...

As technology continues to fragment communication and the spread of ideas, people will continue to pursue their own individual interests with the effect of further cultural divergence. We are heading toward a world where we can build our own echo chambers and shut off anything we find offensive or unpleasant. In other words, if you think that cultural fragmentation is bad now — or that the Trump supporters are suggesting extreme measures in order to reimpose a degree of cultural hegemony - you ain’t seen nothing yet. The decentralization of warfare through the adptation of drone technology and things like 3-D printed guns and bullets means that many skirmishes will likely be fought over this stuff again.

"We Come To Mourn The Dead" - Obama Is First Sitting President To Visit Hiroshima, Offers No Apology

Ealier today, Barack Obama became the first sitting US president to visit the memorial of the American atomic bombings of Japan in Hiroshima, however without offering no apology for the attacks. The trip comes amid Japanese protests over alleged crimes committed by US troops stationed in Japan. "We have a shared responsibility to look directly in the eye of history. We must ask what we must do differently to curb such suffering again," Obama said in a speech at the memorial.

Frontrunning: May 27

  • Oil prices ease from seven-month high to below $49 (Reuters)
  • Wall Street Waits for Yellen Before Taking Off for a Long Weekend (BBG)
  • Donald Trump Celebrates Clinching GOP Delegate Race (WSJ)
  • Trump vows to undo Obama's climate agenda in appeal to oil sector (Reuters)
  • Japan Fails in Bid to Have G-7 Warn of Global Crisis Risk (BBG)
  • Valeant Rejected Joint Takeover Approach From Takeda, TPG (WSJ)

Meanwhile In China, Cow-Collateralized Stock Buybacks

Over the past few years, we have written many strange stories about China's often-ridiculous, perpetually-bubbly, always on the precipice financial system. The story about China's literal "cash cows", however, is by far the strangest.

A Retired White House Correspondent Explains "How Obama Gets Away With It"

At a time when large numbers of Americans say they are fed up with politics and politicians, why is it that the nation’s chief politician, President Obama, seems to skate above it unscathed?  Reporters who criticize or dig too deep are cast by the administration as spoilsports or, worse, cut off from sources. With Donald Trump now the media obsession—and most in the media don’t like him—it is easy to see why Mr. Obama’s performance over the past seven-plus years is still not a major issue in the 2016 campaign. And that’s the way he likes it.