Asia’s Dilemma: China’s Butter, or America’s Guns?

By Rodger Baker – Re-Blogged From Strafor 

Flying into Singapore’s Changi Airport, one is struck by the fleet of ships lined up off shore, the tendrils of a global trade network squeezing through the narrow Malacca Strait. Singapore is the hub, the connector between the Indian Ocean, South China Sea and Pacific. Since the late 1970s, with little exception, trade has amounted to some 300 percent of Singapore’s total gross domestic product, with exports making up between 150 and 230 percent of GDP. Singapore is the product of global trade, and the thriving multiethnic city-state can trace its trade role back centuries.

Globalization Faces Challenges

By John Browne – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

For much of the second half of the 20th Century, and even into the new millennium, “Globalization” was the dominant theme used to describe the drift of the world economy. It was widely considered both natural and inevitable that the world economy would continue to integrate and that national boundaries would become less constraining to commerce and culture. And with the exception of the eternal “anti-globalization” protesters, who robotically appeared at large gatherings of world leaders, the benefits of globalization were widely lauded by politicians, corporate leaders and rank and file citizens alike. But a casual glance at the world headlines of 2016 suggests that the belief in globalization has crested, and is now in retreat. What are the consequences of this change?

International trade has existed for millennia. But few modern historians would characterize the trade caravans that crossed the Himalayas and the Sahara as sources of international conflict. Rather, they are widely seen as a useful means to bring goods that were plentiful from one region to other regions where they were scarce. Along the way, routes like the Silk Road in Asia created a great number of positive secondary benefits in culture and politics. But relatively modern developments such as ocean-going sailing ships, modern navigation, and steam and diesel power, have greatly increased the size and scope of trade. Globalism was also boosted rapidly by technological advances in communications, including intercontinental jet travel, fax machines, satellite telephones, the Internet, real time money transfers and massive investment flows to international and emerging markets.

Continue reading

How Trump Can Realign American Politics

By David Stockman – Re-Blogged From Stockmans Contra Corner

It’s actually pretty easy. At an apt moment very soon, Trump should offer Governor Kasich the VP slot and Senator Cruz the vacant Supreme Court seat.

Such a grand bargain would not only clear the primary field and quash any backroom hijacking of the nomination by the Washington GOP establishment; it would also permit each man to play his highest and best role at this great inflection point in the nation’s history.

That is, Donald Trump’s job is to destroy the Republican/Neocon establishment and bring working class America back into a modern version of a McKinley-style Republican Party. Ted Cruz’ task is to spend a lifetime bringing strict constructionism back to the high court, thereby helping to restore constitutional restraints on a leviathan state that fundamentally threatens personal liberty and economic freedom and prosperity in America.

And, yes, there really isn’t much for a washed-out, me-too Republican pol like Kasich to do at all. Except to get out of the way and exercise his apparent talent for preacherly uplift as America’s eulogist-in-chief at foreign state funerals.

Continue reading

Has the Fed Ever (Accurately) Predicted a Recession?

By Peter Diekmeyer- Re-Blogged From http://www.sprottmoney.com

In a recent survey not a single major central bank could provide an example of an accurate “a priori” recession forecast. The silence from the Federal Reserve, European Central Bank, BOE, BOJ and the Bank of Canada is deafening.

Precious metals investors rely heavily on economic projections when deciding where to put their money. But there’s something fishy in the land of mainstream forecasting. The US economy is now in its seventh year of recovery; however, Fed officials project growth as far ahead as the eye can see.

The Fed isn’t alone. Despite the fact that the US economy contracts for two consecutive quarters every six or seven years and is on schedule to do so again soon, not a single major central bank is forecasting a US recession as its baseline scenario. Why is that?

A miserable forecasting record

The Fed’s lousy forecasting record is well known. The US central bank completely missed predicting the 2008–2009 financial crisis and ensuing recession. Worse, it has consistently issued over-optimistic projections since then. Less well known is the fact that the US central bank appears to have never accurately forecast a recession before the country was already in one.

Continue reading

The Litigators Of War

By Jeffrey Lewis – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

`Let the jury consider their verdict,’ the King said, for about the twentieth time that day.

`No, no!’ said the Queen. `Sentence first–verdict afterwards.’

`Stuff and nonsense!’ said Alice loudly. `The idea of having the sentence first!’

`Hold your tongue!’ said the Queen, turning purple.

`I won’t!’ said Alice.

`Off with her head!’ the Queen shouted at the top of her voice.

— Lewis Carroll, “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”

Continue reading