The endgame of communist rule in China has begun, and Xi Jinping’s ruthless measures are only bringing the country closer to a breaking point...
"The amount a state needs to expend on guard labor is a function of how much legitimacy the state holds in its population’s reckoning... Why spy? Because it’s cheaper than playing fair. Our networks have given the edge to the elites, and unless we seize the means of information, we are headed for a long age of IT-powered feudalism."
To some, gold is merely a tradition; to others, such as the first secretary of the North Korean embassy in the capital of Bangladesh, it is one of the easiest ways to smuggle $1.7 million. Or at least should have been on paper. Instead, what happened on Thursday night when Son Young-nam landed in Dhaka on a flight from Singapore, carrying a ridiculous amount of physical gold and hoping to get through customs without a glitch due his diplomatic status, things went downhill fast after Young-nam's baggage was searched and almost 27 kilos, or 59 pounds, of gold bars and ornaments were recovered.
It has been a while since we have seen the USDJPY rampathon push US equities higher, so in a day dominated by central banks (first the BOE momentarily), and then the ECB's much anticipated announcement of the actual QE launch at the Draghi press conference at 1:30pm CET (taking place, ironically enough, in the place that was the blueprint for the Eurozone's capital controls, Cyprus), it only makes sense that after weeks of stage fright, the USDJPY algos reminded the world they are alive and well, and proceeded to ramp the key FX pair above 120, even though the currency that everyone will be talking about today is the Euro, hugging 1.10 as of this moment, but the real question is what happens after Draghi gives the asset buying green light: has all of Q€ been priced in already in FX, and will the EURUSD resume its surge higher, or is parity next stop?
"In retrospect, Obama’s intervention in Libya was an abject failure, judged even by its own standards. Libya has not only failed to evolve into a democracy; it has devolved into a failed state... As bad as Libya’s human rights situation was under Qaddafi, it has gotten worse since NATO ousted him."
While Obama desperately tries to stick to his now crushed "Nobel peace prize winner" image, by not succumbing to an all-out land war in the one nation where his progressive "pacifism" brought him fame (and according to some, the presidency), namely Iraq, the rest of militant, "interventionist" US foreign policy is rapidly starting to resemble that waged by the most brutally rabid, neo-con Republican leader. Case in point an absolute stunner reported minutes ago by the WSJ, according to which the White House has decided to provide pickup trucks equipped with mounted machine guns and radios for calling in U.S. airstrikes to some moderate Syrian rebels aided by American B-1B bombers!
"So why do I stay? Why do any of us continue to put up with the gut-wrenching, soul-sucking, misery-drenched, demoralizing existence that is America today?"
The world has begun to devolve into two distinct factions. The imperialist actions of the American Empire in the Middle East and Ukraine have pushed Russia, China, India, Brazil, and Iran closer together regarding trade deals; transacting commerce without using the USD; oil and gas pipelines; and military cooperation. Totalitarian regimes are known for using foreign threats to distract the populace from domestic suffering. As a matter of fact, all regimes use this tactic. When the global economy rips apart at the seams due to the debt saturation, world leaders will attempt to blame other countries for their dire circumstances. Foreign enemies are good for business. Ask our Nobel Peace Prize winning President. War is inevitable.
"I’m optimistic about the future of Russia. I was optimistic before this war started in Ukraine, which was instigated by the US, of course. But in any case, I bought more Russia during the Crimea incident, and I’m looking to buy still more. Unfortunately, what’s happening is certainly not good for the United States. It’s driving Russia and Asia together, which means we’re going to suffer in the long run - the US and Europe. Another of the big four Chinese banks opened a branch in Moscow recently. The Iranians are getting closer to the Russians. People are starting to reexamine the propaganda that comes out of Washington. Even the Germans are starting to reassess the situation."
When Ukrainian army officers came to the Ukrainian village of Velikaya Znamenka to tell the men to prepare to be drafted, they weren’t prepared for what happened next. As the commanding officer was speaking, a woman seized the microphone and proceeded to tell him off: “We’re sick of this war! Our husbands and sons aren’t going anywhere!” She then launched into a passionate speech, denouncing the war, and the coup leaders in Kiev, to the cheers of the crowd. What she did is now a crime in Ukraine: the only reason she wasn’t arrested on the spot is that the villagers wouldn’t have permitted it.
The ultimate enemy of a revolution is not the oppressive government it is attempting to overthrow, but the general population it is trying to 'free'.
The threat posed by cyber war to our increasingly complicated, technologically dependent and vulnerable financial institutions, markets, banks and indeed deposits becomes more clear by the day. Fail to prepare ... prepare to fail ...
The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing, and becomes nothing.
Update: The United States Central Command's (CENTCOM) Twitter and YouTube accounts, attributed to pro-Islamic State (IS) hacking group "CyberCaliphate," has been celebrated as a massive achievement among IS fighters and supporters on Twitter.
Another day, another escalation in the conflict between supporters of the Islamic State and western powers, in this case the Twitter account of the US Central Command (@Centcom), which appears to have been hacked, and where compromising tweets revealing details about military members and potential conflict scenarios involving China and North Korea, are being sent out in real time.
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