A huge global trade war is on the horizon, regardless of whether Hillary or Trump wins the election, as the Obama administration's own protectionists are on the cusp of a “Pyrrhic victory” over China. In 2011, the US put huge tariffs on Chinese-made tires (to the detriment of consumers and the auto industry). China responded with anti-dumping tariffs on GM.
We previously introduced the Gotthard Base Tunnel, the longest and deepest tunnel in the world. The 35 mile long tunnel which cuts underneath the Alps helps remove natural barriers to trade and tourism, and is undoubtedly a testament to Swiss precision engineering. However, as Bloomberg reports, the tunnel that was 17 years in the making and had workers on three shifts working around the clock to build, was built primarily by foreigners... with only 14 percent of the workers from Switzerland.
With the US closed for Memorial Day and UK markets also offline, overnight volumes have been weaker than normal on little newsflow. The main story remains the stronger USD which not only led to the lowest Yuan fixing since February 2011 but pushed the USDJPY as high as 111.50 overnight before paring gains. Europe’s Stoxx 600 is unchanged on poor volume, after earlier rising above the 200 DMA for the first time in 2016. US equity futures were 0.2%, or 4 points higher, currently resting just above 2,101 with the last trading day of May tomorrow expected to push the cash market over 2,100 as well.
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?
It is not a secret that democracy can be used to abolish democracy. It may have finally begun to dawn on the people that Swedish Sweden will soon be lost forever, and in many areas replaced by a Middle Eastern state of affairs, where different immigrant groups (mainly Muslims) make war on each other as well as on the Swedes. There is no country where Islam is dominant that can be considered a democracy with freedom of speech and equal justice under law.
Greece is being destroyed by the EU that it so foolishly joined and trusted. The newspaper headlines are nothing but fluff that provide cover for the IMF to succumb to presssure and violate its own rules. The cover lets the IMF say that a (future unspecified) debt writedown will enable Greece to service the remainder of its debt and, therefore, the IMF can lend Greece the money to pay the private banks. To call the looting of a country and its people a “bailout” is Orwellian. The brainwashing is so successful that even the media and politicians of looted Greece call the financial imperialism that Greece is suffering a “bailout.”
Negative interest rates are all the rage at central banks, a symptom of the deflation that is slowing spreading worldwide. Explicit or not, negative rates have odd and counterintuitive consequences. Imagine the entire banking system trying to stand on its head, and that's kind of how a deflationary, NIRP-driven world will look. Here are three early signs.
Cash is a proxy for the freedom to maintain some privacy in an era of Big Brother repression, surveillance and the suppression of dissent. Ultimately, the war on cash is all about increasing control by eliminating privacy and the freedom to abandon the debt-serf rat-race.
Most critical appears to be the 2 minute interval from 3:27 to 3:29, when according to the Greek defence minister cited by the Guardian, there was a dramatic change in the plane's attitude and direction. It was in this two minute period when the plane made a 90 degree swerve left and dropped from 37,000 feet to 15,000 feet before swerving 60 degrees right and vanishing at 10,000 feet ten to 15 miles inside Egyptian air space.
If geography and demographics have already defined which nations will be attractive to capital and most likely to accumulate productive capital in their domestic economy, and those nations that will struggle due to high costs and low rates of capital investment, in effect Nature (geography) and Culture (demographics) have already picked tomorrow’s winners and losers. As individuals, we may harbor strong biases about which nations we want to see falter and which ones we want to see prosper. But as investors, we must strip away our political opinions and biases lest they interfere with our primary job, which is to preserve whatever capital we’ve accumulated.