The Dollar is Central to the Next Crisis

By Alasdair Macleod – Re-Blogged From GoldMoney

Introduction And Summary

It is now possible to pencil in how the next credit crisis is likely to develop. At its centre is an overvalued dollar over-owned by foreigners, puffed up on speculative flows driven by interest rate differentials.  These must be urgently corrected by the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan if the distortion is to be prevented from becoming much worse.

The problem is compounded because the next crisis is likely to be triggered by this normalisation. It can be expected to commence in the coming months, even by the year-end. When flows into the dollar subside and reverse, bond yields can be expected to rise sharply in all the major currencies. There will also be a number of other unhelpful factors, particularly rising commodity prices, the timing of the Trump stimulus and trade tariffs pushing up price inflation. Coupled with a declining dollar, price inflation and therefore interest rates are bound to rise significantly.

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #328

Brought to You by www.SEPP.org, The Science and Environmental Policy Project

By Ken Haapala, President

An Experiment – Testing the Core Hypothesis of Climate Models: The reports of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) contain a morass of hypotheses, guesses, that are often untested. All too often the IPCC leadership dismisses challenges as meaningless or of little importance. For example, when the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4, 2007) declared that the glaciers of the Himalayan Mountains would melt by 2035, the government of India challenged this assertion. It was brushed aside.

Then the government of India hired geologist Vijay Kumar Raina, a glacial expert, who reported some glaciers are advancing, others are retreating, and nothing is out of the ordinary. According to reports, this glaring fault was also brushed aside:

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A Submerging Global Economy

By Egon von Greyerz – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

Many emerging markets are now turning to submerging markets as country after country is experiencing falling economies, currencies and stock markets.

The currency is often the best indication of a country’s economic health. Just look at these six currencies submerging into obscurity:

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Apocalypse, Or Not?

By Alasdair Macleod – Re-Blogged From Silver Phoenix

Members of the American libertarian movement, particularly extremist preppers, are often associated with a belief that a complete breakdown in society is the only outcome from government economic policies and will lead to complete social disintegration. At the centre of their concerns is monetary destruction, with other issues, such as the erosion of personal freedom and the right to bear arms, important but peripheral. They cite history, particularly the hyperinflationary collapses, from Rome to Zimbabwe, and now Venezuela. They draw on Austrian economic theory, which fans their dislike of government and their expectation of total chaos.

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“The PetroDollar Matrix”

At the forefront of the media’s attention today is Russia. We’re not really sure why, (well, of course we are) but it seems that Russia has become the new boogeyman. Everything is Russia’s fault. I’ve even heard rumors that the National Weather Service has plans to blame Russia for all the confounded rain in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic this summer. We know – right away you’re thinking this is going to be about Russia but it’s really not. It’s about what the media isn’t telling you. It’s why (we believe), Trump’s Tweets, Ivanka’s Sweets, Russiagate, the left’s hate, the right’s hate (aka, establishment theatre) are all taking the headlines while a very disturbing trend is left in plain sight. It’s the 800-pound gorilla in the room during any discussion involving economics and geopolitics, but nobody wants to talk about it.

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Turkey Is Not Contained

By Michael Pento – Re-Blogged From Silver Phoenix

During my last appearance on CNBC, before I was banned several years ago, I warned that the removal of massive and unprecedented monetary stimuli from global central banks would have to be done in a coordinated fashion. Otherwise, there would be the very real risk of currency and debt crises around the world.

However, coordination among central banks is not what is happening. The Fed is miles ahead in its reversal of monetary stimulus, as it has already raised rates seven times; with two more 25bps rate hikes in the pipeline scheduled for later this year. It has also avowed to sell off two trillion dollars’ worth of debt off its balance sheet–while the rest of the world’s central banks are far behind in this monetary tightening course. This has led to a significant increase in the value of the US dollar.

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Turkey’s Detention of Pastor Andrew Brunson Prompts U.S. Sanctions. What’s At Stake?

Re-Blogged From Stratfor

The Big Picture

The distance between Turkey and the United States has been growing as each pursues security and economic imperatives at the expense of the other. In our annual forecast, Stratfor mentioned that U.S. rival Russia would use its “deepening ties to widen Turkey’s rifts with NATO and with the European Union,” just one of many stressors taxing the U.S.-Turkey relationship.

 

See 2018 Annual Forecast

See Middle East and North Africa section of the 2018 Annual Forecast

What Happened?

On Aug. 1, the United States sanctioned two Turkish government ministers in response to what Washington views as the “unjust and unfair” detention of Andrew Brunson, an evangelical pastor who has lived and worked in Turkey for two decades. Turkey’s government has promised to retaliate.

How Did Turkey and the United States Get Here?

The sanctions on Turkish government officials because of Brunson’s detention represent the culmination of increasing tension between Ankara and Washington. For months, they have disagreed over issues as wide ranging as Turkey’s demands for the extradition of Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen, Turkey’s relationship with Russia and its threats to the NATO alliance, Turkey’s history of flouting Iran sanctions, conflicting U.S.-Turkish policies in Syria and more.

What Do These Sanctions Mean for Turkey’s Economy?

The economic sanctions themselves are largely symbolic — they only affect the two ministers’ personal finances — but their imposition is just one of many external factors wreaking havoc on its economy and contributing to the further depreciation of its currency, the lira. And Turkey has a history of exacerbating domestic economic strains with its foreign policy decisions.

 

The sanctions on Turkish government officials because of Brunson’s detention represent the culmination of increasing tension between Ankara and Washington.

 

In part because of the country’s flagging economy, there has been an unusual coalescing of its many feuding political parties. Now that Washington has implemented sanctions, all the parties can join together to blame the United States for Turkey’s economic woes.

What Do the Sanctions Mean for American Businesses in Turkey?

Turkey’s legal system, its recently expanded counterterrorism laws and the current hypernationalist political atmosphere give Ankara license to crack down on anything that it deems a security threat. There is a strong possibility of increased harassment of U.S. travelers and businesses, as well as a disruption of business operations for companies with U.S. ties.

What Are the Foreign Policy Implications?

The United States and Turkey maintain the largest and second-largest militaries in NATO, respectively. A serious rift between them would result in disruptions and confusion within the NATO alliance. This would be a boon for Russia, which would welcome a less cohesive NATO. Moscow could use the potential disruptions — especially in the Black Sea — as an opportunity to break down Turkey’s traditional role as NATO’s southeastern flank against Russia. The Kremlin may also decide to shift more of its forces to its western military region to face off against NATO in Eastern Europe.

The United States is also traditionally the largest arms exporter to Turkey, so damaged relations between the two could drive Ankara toward alternative suppliers. And given the two countries’ interconnectedness in a number of defense industry areas, a U.S. cancellation of arms deals with Turkey (seen in the U.S. threat to cancel F-35 fighter shipments to Ankara) could result in significant short-term defense disruptions that would affect the many countries involved in the F-35 program.

A serious rift between the Turkey and the United States would result in disruptions and confusion in the NATO alliance as a whole. This would be a boon for Russia, which would welcome a less cohesive NATO.

Furthermore, a schism could damage U.S. interests in the Middle East. The harm would be particularly evident in northern Syria and northern Iraq, where Turkey could be even more proactive in undermining the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), as well as the Kurdistan Workers’ Party and its allies in northern Iraq. This approach would clash with U.S. efforts to emphasize the defeat of violent extremist groups like the Islamic State by maintaining a stable SDF presence in Syria and a stable environment in northern Iraq. The United States could also potentially lose access to its air base in Incirlik, Turkey, though it has enough alternative basing rights in the Mediterranean and the Gulf region to mitigate such a loss.

One final negative implication for U.S. policy in the Middle East could involve Turkey’s refusing to enforce U.S. economic sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program. Some of those penalties will be reapplied on Aug. 6 and Nov. 4. Turkey is likely weighing two competing imperatives. It needs to protect its fragile economy, which could not withstand additional external shocks from more U.S. sanctions. But it also could choose to trade with Iran in order to poke a hole in U.S. efforts to limit Iran’s economic activity. For this type of retaliation, Turkey would need to rely more on its fair-weather relationship with the European Union, which is currently in a fairly positive place.

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