North Korea

Why Is North Korea Our Problem?

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?

Islamic Radicalism: A Consequence Of Petro-Imperialism

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?

Frontrunning: January 7

  • 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)

Global Stocks Crash After Spiraling Chinese Devaluation Unleashes Worldwide Chaos And Selling

Once China set the Yuan fixing some 0.5% lower, the biggest drop since the August devaluation, all hell broke loose and unleashed a global selling panic after China's stock market was promptly shut down less than 30 minutes into trading, then European shares dropped the most in more than 4 months as Asian equities plunges, as did US stock futures, the dollar weakened against the euro and the yen; crude plunged to fresh 12 year lows. Gold rose.

Frontrunning: January 6

  • Obama, wiping tears, makes new push to tighten gun rules (Reuters)
  • Global stocks hit by China worries, North Korea nuclear test (Reuters)
  • Oil hits 11-year low, Saudi-Iran row cuts chances of output restraint (Reuters)
  • North Korea says successfully conducts first H-bomb test (Reuters)
  • Valeant Planning to Appoint New Leader as CEO Remains Hospitalized (WSJ)
  • Treasuries Extend 2016 Winning Start With Growth Outlook Clouded (BBG)

North Korea Confirms It Conducted "Successful Hydrogen Bomb Test" As "Act Of Self-Defense" Against US

Update: North Korea has confirmed that it has "successfully tested a hydrogen bomb." The test was "an act of self-defense" against threats like the US.

A 5.1-magnitude earthquake detected near North Korea’s nuclear test site appears to have been artificial, according to South Korea’s meteorological service, raising the prospect the isolated regime tested a nuclear device. As Bloomberg reports, the "earthquake" follows North Korea’s threat in September that it is ready to use atomic weapons against the U.S. at any time and that its main nuclear facility was fully operational. The Pentagon is reportedly "looking into" the quake reports.

Pretend To The Bitter End

There’s really one supreme element of this story that you must keep in view at all times: a society (i.e. an economy + a polity = a political economy) based on debt that will never be paid back is certain to crack up. Its institutions will stop functioning. Its business activities will seize up. Its leaders will be demoralized. Its denizens will act up and act out. Its wealth will evaporate. Given where we are in human history - the moment of techno-industrial over-reach - this crackup will not be easy to recover from. Things have gone too far in too many ways. The coming crackup will re-set the terms of civilized life to levels largely pre-techno-industrial. How far backward remains to be seen.

What's Ahead In 2016 - Key Events Of The Next 12 Months

Elections, elections, and more elections is the 'regime change' meme for 2016 but, as Bloomberg details, the key events of the year ahead vary from a California marijuana referendum to Brazil's Olympics, and from Davos to SCOTUS. No matter what, 2016 holds a lot of opportunity for volatility, and without The Fed's safety net, who knows what that means for markets...