By Associated Pres – Re-Blogged From Liberty Headlines
Security forces make no effort to stop the protesters…
Trump tweeted Tuesday that “Iran killed an American contractor, wounding many.” Trump says, “We strongly responded, and always will. Now Iran is orchestrating an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Iraq. They will be held fully responsible. In addition, we expect Iraq to use its forces to protect the Embassy, and so notified!
Trump tweeted from his estate in Palm Beach, Florida, where he is in the midst of two-week plus vacation. He’s been largely out of sight and the tweet marked his first comment on the weekend U.S. airstrikes in Iraq and Syria.
By Reuters – Re-Blogged From IJR
Turkey said on Tuesday it had completed preparations for a military operation in northeast Syria after the United States began pulling back troops, opening the way for a Turkish attack on Kurdish-led forces long allied to Washington.
But U.S. President Donald Trump warned he would “obliterate” the NATO ally’s economy if it took action in Syria that he considered “off limits” following his decision on Sunday to pull 50 American special forces troops from the border region.
The U.S. move will leave its Kurdish-led partner forces in Syria vulnerable to an incursion by the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), which brands them terrorists because of their links to Kurdish militants who have waged a long insurgency in Turkey.
I’ll show you real money. It looks like this:
Those circulating dollar bills, euros, pounds, and yen are DEBTS (notes) issued by central banks to extract wealth from citizens and the economy, dilute the purchasing power of the currency, and nourish the banking cartel.
From Graham Summers:
“The problem of course is once it has done this [created the ‘everything bubble’], the Fed will NEVER be able to normalize interest rates because the entire financial system is now addicted to extraordinarily low rates.”
“… a Fed President stated point blank that the Fed is aware that the entire US financial system is one gigantic leveraged bet on low interest rates…and as a result of this, the Fed is DONE with normalization.”
By Thomson Reuters – Re-Blogged From Newsmax
The United States is expected to designate Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards Corps a foreign terrorist organization, three U.S. officials told Reuters, marking the first time Washington has formally labeled another country’s military a terrorist group.
The decision, which critics warn could open U.S. military and intelligence officials to similar actions by unfriendly governments abroad, is expected to be announced by the U.S. State Department, perhaps as early as Monday, the officials said. It has been rumored for years.
The Pentagon declined comment and referred queries to the State Department. The State Department and White House also declined to comment.
By Associated Press – Re-Blogged From Newsmax
President Donald Trump said Thursday that it’s time for the United States to recognize Israel’s control over the disputed Golan Heights, an announcement that signals a shift in U.S. policy and comes ahead of the Israeli prime minister’s planned visit next week to the White House.
The administration has been considering recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan, which Israel captured from Syria in 1967. Last week, in its annual human rights report, the State Department dropped the phrase “Israeli-occupied” from the Golan Heights section, instead calling it “Israeli-controlled.”
“After 52 years it is time for the United States to fully recognize Israel’s Sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which is of critical strategic and security importance to the State of Israel and Regional Stability!” Trump tweeted.
By Michael Snyder _Re-Blogged From Freedom Outpost
The winds of war are blowing once again, and it isn’t going to take much to spark a major conflict in the Middle East. This week is the eighth anniversary of the beginning of the civil war in Syria, and after the nightmare that the people of Syria have been through, you would think that the Assad regime would be eager for peace. But instead, Assad appears to be ready to go for broke. If Syria can spark a Middle East war that results in the complete destruction of Israel, Assad would be remembered as a hero in the Islamic world forever. Instead of a legacy of civil war and crushing poverty, Assad’s legacy would be one of wartime leader that brought total victory over Syria’s most hated enemy. But of course, such a conflict would be a huge risk because if it went badly the city of Damascus would be completely flattened and the nation of Syria as we know it today would be entirely destroyed. And considering how overwhelmingly powerful the Israeli military is, it would seem to be a very foolish risk to take. Unfortunately, Assad does not appear to be thinking rationally. On Thursday, Syria officially threatened “to attack Israel unless it withdraws from the Golan Heights”. The following comes from the Jerusalem Post…
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.
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.
By Sputnik – Re-Blogged From Info Wars
After losing ground in Syria and Iraq, terrorist group sets sights on the West
In early 2017, French jihadist Jonathan Geffroy was captured by the Free Syrian Army as he tried to flee Syria with his wife and two children. In September 2017, he was extradited to France, where he was accused of “criminal conspiracy in connection with a terrorist enterprise.”
- An unusual set of circumstances is enabling Israel to scale up attacks against Iran in Syria and risk a broader confrontation in the process.
- As Israel raises the stakes in its conflict with Iran, it will look to lock in U.S. security commitments in the region for the long haul.
- The White House’s decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal is a long-shot bet on regime change at odds with U.S. attempts to reduce its military burden in the region.
- Russia’s bark is often worse than its bite, but it will retain the clout to narrow the scope of U.S. and Israeli ambitions against Iran.
BY John Rubino – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com
For most Americans the geopolitical/financial crises of the 1970s happened so long ago that they’re about as relevant as the Revolutionary War or the Reformation.
But for seasoned citizens who were around back then and paying attention, the similarities to today are becoming both eerie and scary. Consider:
By Daniel Greenfield – Re-Blogged From Freedom Outpost
It’s really not that complicated.
But President Trump’s Syria strikes have reopened the debate over what defines his foreign policy. Is he an interventionist or an isolationist? Foreign policy experts claim that he’s making it up as he goes along.
By Robert Spencer – Re-Blogged From Freedom Outpost
“Europe will be Muslim.”
That fact is fairly obvious to everyone at this point, and that is likely why the May government in Britain is moving so swiftly to persecute and destroy all resistance to Sharia and Islamization.
The British authorities see the writing on the wall, and well they should, because they wrote it.
Re-Blogged From Stratfor
- The Syrian civil war is heading in a new direction.
- As various operations in Afrin, Idlib and Damascus play out, the front lines of the Syrian civil war will become more static.
- Despite a decrease in major offensives, the presence of so many foreign powers with intersecting interests heightens the risk of violence.
(NAZEER AL-KHATIB/AFP/Getty Images)
By Robert Spencer – Re-Blogged From Freedom Outpost
“We say at every opportunity we have that Syria, Iraq and other places in the geography [map] in our hearts are no different from our own homeland. We are struggling so that a foreign flag will not be waved anywhere where adhan [Islamic call to prayer in mosques] is recited.”
Apparently, Erdogan means at the very least the recapture of all the lands once held by the Ottoman Empire.
That’s not just Greece, as in the article title below. That’s also Bulgaria, Romania, Yugoslavia, Algeria, Syria, Iraq, Israel, Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, and more.
With the start of a new year, we once again examine the state of the global jihadist movement. Shared from Threat Lens, Stratfor’s unique protective intelligence product, the following column includes excerpts from a comprehensive forecast available to Threat Lens subscribers.
In some ways “the global jihadist movement” is a misleading phrase. Rather than the monolithic threat it describes, jihadism more closely resembles a worldwide insurgency with two competing standard-bearers: al Qaeda and the Islamic State. To make matters more complicated, grassroots extremists have been known to take inspiration from each group’s ideology — and, in some cases, both.
(SALEH AL-OBEIDI/AFP/Getty Images)
By Michael Georgy – Re-Blogged From Reuters
Iranian protesters attacked police stations late into the night on Monday, news agency and social media reports said, as security forces struggled to contain the boldest challenge to the clerical leadership since unrest in 2009.
Videos on social media showed an intense clash in the central town of Qahderijan between security forces and protesters who were trying to occupy a police station, which was partially set ablaze. There were unconfirmed reports of several casualties among demonstrators.
In the western city of Kermanshah, protesters set fire to a traffic police post, but no one was hurt in the incident, Mehr news agency said.
Re-Blogged From Stratfor
Russia’s growing prominence in the Middle East was on full display Dec. 11 when Vladimir Putin visited three key Middle Eastern countries in one day. The Russian president followed a surprise trip to Syria with a quick stop in Egypt before ending his day’s travels in Turkey. He met with his presidential counterparts in all three countries, and the economic deals, military agreements and political settlements he discussed highlighted Russia’s role in the region. While Russia has its own reasons for bolstering its relationships with Syria, Egypt and Turkey, it also benefits from being visible where its regional rival, the United States, is not.
Re-Blogged From worldview.stratfor.com
- The Iranian threat is pulling the once-clandestine relationship between Israel and Saudi Arabia into the public eye.
- But there are other factors encouraging the two countries to work more closely with each other, including their legitimacy at home and abroad.
- As Israel and Saudi Arabia move into uncharted territory, both risk exposing themselves to pushback and new dangers.
Re-Blogged From https://worldview.stratfor.com
- In the regional competition between Saudi Arabia and Iran, Lebanon is the most recent proxy battleground.
- Iran’s political and security connections in Lebanon mean Saudi Arabia will have a hard time countering its influence there.
- Saudi Arabia can wield some financial tools to try to pressure Lebanon, but Iran has the means to cushion some of the impact.
(FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP/Getty Images)
By Rebecca Keller – Re-Blogged rom https://worldview.stratfor.com
For nearly a year the world has worked to adapt to recent changes, both real and perceived, in U.S. foreign policy. But as the globe responds to the new priorities of its only superpower, Americans themselves remain divided over how best to engage with their surroundings.
Much like the members of the European Union, each of America’s states has its own needs to fulfill. Technological progress has given some states an edge in pursuing their goals, but it has also left behind regions that were once among the most prominent forces in U.S. politics — including the country’s flourishing breadbasket, the American Midwest. And as the socio-economic gap between different parts of the country has widened, so have their policy preferences.
By design, political discourse and debate are woven into the very fabric of American governance. But rarely do rifts among states spill into foreign policy and global issues in a substantial way. That may not be the case for much longer, however, as U.S. President Donald Trump’s populist appeals attract strong allies — and even stronger opponents — to the White House.
Re-Blogged From Stratfor Worldview
(NAZEER AL-KHATIB/AFP/Getty Images)
Weeks after Turkish forces started to deploy in large numbers along the border with Syria, adjacent to the province of Idlib, Ankara appears to be on the verge of launching yet another significant military operation into the war-torn country. Unlike Operation Euphrates Shield, which targeted lands occupied by the Islamic State, the upcoming operation into Idlib will be directed toward lands occupied by Syrian rebels. As befitting a convoluted conflict such as Syria, Turkey’s advance into Idlib will be assisted by other Syrian rebel groups trained over time by Turkey in neighboring Aleppo province. And according to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s latest statements, they will be supported by Russian aviation. Continue reading
Re-Blogged From Stratfor
Tempering Trump Policy: Ongoing federal investigations and intensifying budget battles with Congress will make for another distracting quarter for U.S. President Donald Trump. But these disruptions won’t mitigate the rhetoric of White House ideologues, or broader speculation that the United States is retreating from the global stage. The reality of the superpower’s role in global governance, of course, is far more complicated. Meanwhile, the administration’s more extreme policy initiatives, particularly on matters of trade and climate, will be tempered at the federal, corporate, state and local levels. And though the United States will maintain its security alliances abroad, it will also generate enough uncertainty to drive its partners toward unilateral action in managing their own neighborhoods.
Sparks Fly in the Middle East: Qatar’s standoff with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates will persist throughout the quarter amid intensifying battles among regional powers’ proxies across the region. More visible competition within the Gulf Cooperation Council and growing distrust between Turkey and its Gulf neighbors will reveal the weaknesses of the White House’s strategy to conform to Riyadh’s increasingly assertive foreign policy in an attempt to manage the region. The risk of clashes among great powers is also on the rise in eastern Syria: As Iran works to create a land bridge from Tehran to Damascus and the Mediterranean coast, Syrian loyalists and U.S.-backed rebels are racing toward the Iraqi border, all while Russia uses the Syrian battlefield to jockey with the United States for influence.
A Stressed but Stable Oil Market: As Saudi Arabia’s young Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman continues to amass power, much of his focus will stay fixed on preparing for the initial public offering of Saudi Aramco in 2018. Part of that plan entails preserving a deal on production cuts among major oil producers in hopes of keeping prices stable amid climbing output in the United States, Libya, Nigeria and Kazakhstan. Compliance with the agreement will hold through the quarter, but it will slip toward the end of the year as signatories begin to craft their exit strategies.
Dancing Around the North Korean Crisis: The limits to China’s cooperation in sanctions against North Korea will become clearer as trade talks between Beijing and Washington head for a rough patch. Pyongyang’s nuclear and weapons tests will continue to fuel friction in the region, though they will not increase the chances of U.S. military action this quarter unless the North Korean regime can demonstrate a credible long-range missile capability; an achievement that is probably still at least a year away.
Europe Buys Time While Russia Airs Its Dirty Laundry: A likely electoral win for Germany’s moderate forces and early reform successes in France will reinvigorate calls to take advantage of the prevailing calm on the Continent to revamp the European Union. Doing so, however, will expose the many fault lines festering in Europe as each camp proposes a different vision for integration. And with a wary West on guard against Russian cyberwarfare and propaganda campaigns, there will be little room for substantive negotiation between Washington and Moscow this quarter. At the same time, a burgeoning protest movement will keep the Kremlin’s hands full at home.
CONTINUE READING –>
Re-Blogged From Eagle Rising
BUDAPEST, Hungary — When other countries welcomed refugees with open arms, Hungary decided it was time to eradicate illegal immigration at any cost.
The country succeeded, but that success damaged relations with the European Union in the process.
Hungary’s second border fence has just been completed in the southern town of Asotthalom. The 96-mile long, 14 ft. tall double-line of defense doesn’t look too intimidating from a distance. Go a little closer and you’ll notice several layers of razor-wire capable of delivering electric shocks, cameras, heat sensors and loud speakers ready to tell migrants they’re about to break Hungarian law if they as much as touch the fence.
Re-Blogged From Stratfor
Russia is no stranger to terrorist attacks. But for the past four years, the country (beyond its restive North Caucasus region) has been free of the kinds of large assaults that have periodically rocked Europe and the United States. Then on Monday, an explosion ripped through a subway train in St. Petersburg, killing 11 people and injuring nearly 50 more. (A second device was reportedly found and dismantled at a nearby metro station.) Russia’s Investigative Committee quickly declared the incident a terrorist attack, and media outlets across the country have proposed different theories to explain who staged the attack and why. Though some scenarios are more plausible than others, each comes with its own set of consequences for the Kremlin and the country.
By iPatriotRe-Blogged From
President Trump is right. Remember the “Welcome Refugee” banners the Germans waved just two years ago? Well, read what has happened.
Hospitals are overwhelmed by Refugees and cannot continue to provide care for taxpaying Germans:* A female doctor has stated that German hospitals are struggling to deal with the number of refugees. The doctor, who wished to remain anonymous, wrote to the press back home in the Czech Republic, to express her shock at the “unsustainable” situation which she says is now affecting the medical care received by taxpaying Germans. Continue reading
By Jeremy Frankel – Re-Blogged From iPatriot
Article I of the Constitution gives the power to create and pass laws to Congress. However, Presidents have the power to sign executive orders, which are meant to give laws more specificity and to enforce existing law. However, when Presidents abuse this power, executive orders can become despotic, and the President can become a potential dictator. For example, former President Barack Obama abused his executive authority by frequently signing executive orders during his eight-year tenure, such as executive amnesty (which he had previously called “unconstitutional”), climate change regulations, and his seizure of millions of acres of state lands. The potential abuse of executive orders shows their negatives.
But now we have a new President in Donald Trump. Despite how dangerous executive orders can be, Trump’s only recourse to reverse Obama’s disastrous legacy is to implement executive orders of his own. Amazingly, Trump is using the pen and phone Obama left for him to reverse course and keep his promises. His orders have included reinstituting the Mexico City Policy, which bans federal funding of international abortions; withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP); imposing a hiring freeze for the federal government other than military, inevitably shrinking the government’s size; and easing the “regulatory burdens” of ObamaCare, including fiscal burdens such as taxes or penalties for individuals, health insurance companies, and others.
By Andy Sutton & Graham Mehl – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com
Despite the arrogance, hubris, and lying (obviously – its election season!), we have never seen a cycle that has be more absent in terms of policy details worthy of analysis. Outrageous claims about job creation, making America strong, and so forth are issued, but there is no substance. We have tried on numerous occasions to find enough specifics to even perform cursory analysis and it is just not there. It is very reminiscent of Nancy Pelosi telling America in 2010 that if they wanted to read the healthcare bill they had to pass it first. This is what passes for economic jurisprudence in the Republic the founders gave us all those years ago.
Rest easy good friends, this is not an article about the election. Andy said he’d rather watch goat races in Antarctica and frankly we think many people might be inclined to join us rather than hear another word about the election. We have long stated that this country will not rise from the ashes by the presence of a single person at the top, but rather from the millions below. That’s where the power is.
Nearly a year ago, Luke Rudkowski of We Are Change reminded us that it had been a year since journalist for Press TV Serena Shim was apparently murdered for exposing the Turkish government’s assistance of ISIS. However, what Shim had been reporting on concerning Turkey and Syria was dubbed as a “conspiracy theory” by many, but has now been proven to be factual.
Just to remind everyone about Ms. Shim, take a look at the video produced by Rudkowski.
By David Haggith – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com
Wars and rumors of wars are now filling the headlines as listed below with the most immediate top-level rumors of war being created by Russia among its own citizens.
Rumors of wars directly from the Kremlin
As tensions between the US and Russia have reached their highest since the Cold War, Russia denounced American duplicity last week and asked its own citizens whether they are ready for a nuclear attack. The Russian government cautioned people to know where their nearest bomb/fallout shelters are and know where their gas masks are in a drill that involved 40 million Russians. The Russia defense ministry explained to the public how the government would run under military control in the event of war. Russia deployed additional nuclear missiles in response to the US missile shield in Eastern Europe and tested new intercontinental ballistic missiles. Not bad for a week’s news. (ABC News)
(Note: If pictures/videos don’t display, please go to link at bottom of page. -Bob)
We now know that the Chelsea bombing and other bombings suspect Ahmad Khan Rahami was trained in Afghanistan and slipped the eye of the intelligence. Investigators first identified Rahami Sunday afternoon by identifying him through a fingerprint. The cell phone on the pressure cooker device was also found.
A man who described himself as a childhood friend of Rahami told the Herald the suspect had made a life-changing trip to Afghanistan two years ago.
“At one point he left to go to Afghanistan, and two years ago he came back, popped up out of nowhere and he was real religious,” friend Flee Jones, 27, said of suspect Ahmad Khan Rahami. “And it was shocking. I’m trying to understand what’s going on. I’ve never seen him like this.”
By Andy Sutton & Graham Mehl – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com
Anyone who has read this publication for any length of time knows that topics range from mainstream to the totally uncovered stories. As we look out not just across the economic landscape, but across the world in general, we are seeing an alarming increase of serious situations that are receiving little or no coverage at all from the western media. Thankfully there are hundreds if not thousands of reliable people who chip in with analysis and stories of their own on some of these topics.
We’ll start out by saying there many, many more uncovered stories, but these are the three we feel could be game changers in the near to medium term. We picked these three themes because, in terms of magnitude, they will have the biggest impact on the world if they continue on their present trajectories. Given the length of each analysis, we are going to break this into a three-part series.
PART 1 – Russia: Tensions, Turmoil and Western Hubris
By Anthony Watts – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com
Shale Revolution Changes Everything
How the Shale Revolution Has Reduced Geopolitical and Price Risk
Opec was on the verge of claiming victory over its North American rivals last night after its strategy of squeezing out the shale industry by flooding the markets with oil appeared to be vindicated. The oil producers’ cartel said that falling prices would force lower production from its rivals by the end of this year, with American and Canadian producers particularly affected. –Marcus Leroux, The Times, 19 January 2016
When oil prices tick up, thousands of profit-seeking investors make individual decisions
By bill Holter – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com
What happened last Wednesday deserves another look because I believe it marked a huge pivot point and very few are even talking about it. Last Wednesday the Fed raised rates one quarter of a point but that was not the big story. The big story was the about face the U.S. did geopolitically!
We saw markets around the world convulse on Thursday and Friday. All attention has focused on the Fed rate hike which no doubt was a contributor. How wise was it for the Fed to tighten credit conditions on a system already struggling and burdened with debt? There is no arguing we have systemically moved from the 2008 crisis which is now widely understood as a “credit event”, into an even more highly levered situation. The recovery that never was is now met with a central bank’s policy error.
I believe the “tell” on Friday was a weak dollar. Much of what happened in the markets could have been expected as reaction to the Fed tightening credit conditions …but not a weak dollar. The meeting between Mr. Lavrov, Mr. Putin and John Kerry far overrides anything the Fed could have done or said in my opinion. The foreign policy about face where Mr. Assad no longer “needs to go” and Turkey being ordered to withdraw troops from northern Iraq was astonishing! These statements were followed by Mr. Putin establishing a no fly zone over northern Syria. In another twist, Turkey still maintains Mr. Assad must go and they are refusing to withdraw troops from Iraq http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-12-19/turkey-blasts-breakthrough-un-resolution-syria-it-lacks-perspective-assad-must-go . When in your lifetime have you ever seen anything like this? An “ally”, ANY ALLY publicly denying U.S. will? We all saw an IN YOUR FACE BLACK SWAN but few have recognized it yet!
Russian leader Putin says that US policy , especially regarding the US background support for ISIS, is incorrect. I would have to agree.
He also says (see video below) that a good number (most?) of the fighters/rebels in Syria are hired mercenaries. The US “hired,” trained, and paid them to topple Syrian leader Assad. Now, I’m not saying that Assad is a good guy. But, if Putin’s statements have any truth in them, then the US has (once again) engaged in stupid policy.
Several years ago, ISIS captured the local oil fields and have been generating about a half Billion Dollars a year in revenue. A portion of this money is going to pay a larger amount than the US for the mercenaries, who now no longer support democracy in Syria and Iraq.
A Half Billion in Oil revenues! It seems to me that, with the price of oil very low compared to recent year’s levels, it would be to the advantage of several oil producers to bomb the ISIS oil fields. I expect that there’s a good chance that Russia will do just that. Even though the Obama administration is not on the best terms with Russia right now, I think the oil field bombing makes a lot of sense.
By Bill Holter – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com
This past week, the following article was forwarded all over the internet
http://investmentwatchblog.com/if-deutsche-bank-goes-under-it-will-be-lehman-times-five/ as Deutsche Bank is “all of a sudden news”. Maybe this is a “German thing” with the latest out of Volkswagen? Deutsche Bank is not “all of a sudden”, they have been a derivatives monster for years and were saved in 2008 with part of the $16 trillion the Fed generously sprayed all over the world. The title suggesting DB will be the equivalent of five Lehmans is on the right track but not nearly severe enough. They are tied with JP Morgan as THE largest holder of derivatives in the world. Should Deutsche Bank fail, EVERYTHING FINANCIAL FAILS! It can even be said, “the entire world is Lehman” just waiting for their credit line to be cut 48 hours before complete failure.
By Bill Holter – Re-Blogged From http://www.jsmineset.com
Shock of all shocks, the IMF announced the Chinese yuan will not be admitted into the SDR until at least Sept. 2016. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-08-04/imf-says-more-work-needed-before-yuan-reserve-currency-decision What exactly does this mean? I can tell you the gold community is so shell shocked and fearful at this point, it “must be bad for gold”, right? Going back a couple of weeks, China announced they had accumulated another 600 tons or so of gold to the near panic of precious metals investors. This announcement would be used as another shot at taking price down because the Chinese “don’t like gold as much as we thought”. This was the prevailing sentiment.
I had occasion a while back to compare the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and our other involvement in the middle east, with the Vietnam era.
- Both wars cost our country a fortune, both in our riches consumed by the efforts and the loss of life, limbs, psyche, and American soldiers’ time.
- In both wars, there were corrupt governments which we kept in power. Before we left we knew that when we left, it was a choice between the regime’s collapse or it going over to “the Dark Side.”