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The ‘Grexit’ Issue and the Problem of Free Trade

By George Friedman

The Greek crisis is moving toward a climax. The issue is actually quite simple. The Greek government owes a great deal of money to European institutions and the International Monetary Fund. It has accumulated this debt over time, but it has become increasingly difficult for Greece to meet its payments. If Greece doesn’t meet these payments, the IMF and European institutions have said they will not extend any more loans to Greece. Greece must make a calculation. If it pays the loans on time and receives additional funding, will it be better off than not paying the loans and being cut off from more?

Coming to Terms With the American Empire

By George Friedman

“Empire” is a dirty word. Considering the behavior of many empires, that is not unreasonable. But empire is also simply a description of a condition, many times unplanned and rarely intended. It is a condition that arises from a massive imbalance of power. Indeed, the empires created on purpose, such as Napoleonic France and Nazi Germany, have rarely lasted. Most empires do not plan to become one. They become one and then realize what they are. Sometimes they do not realize what they are for a long time, and that failure to see reality can have massive consequences.

The Ontario Employment Picture: March, 2015 – Continuing Deterioration

The last time we reviewed employment in Ontario was the December report: The Ontario Employment Picture: December, 2014 – Deteriorating. We have heard nothing from the province about jobs created so we suspect the numbers are not good. Let’s dig into them.

In this report we present our analysis of the Ontario labour market component of the total Canadian market using two sources of data from Statistics Canada: CANSIM Table 282-0087, Labour force survey estimates (LFS), by sex and age group, seasonally adjusted and unadjusted monthly, and CANSIM Table 282-0088, Labour force survey estimates (LFS), employment by North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), seasonally adjusted and unadjusted. Data selection methodology is in the Appendix. The data we use is not seasonally adjusted*. All terms are explained in the CANSIM table footnotes and are not reproduced here. Presentation and discussion of the data follows.

The Israeli Electorate “Get’s it Wrong” Again.

Below is part 3 of Paul’s analysis of the Israeli election. We present this essay reprinted by permission of Paul and from The Bayview Review. See the links at the end for direct access to the rest of Paul’s work.

The Dead Heat That Wasn’t.

My local newspaper, the Ottawa Citizen, arrived at our door around 6:00 AM with the latest news from Israel under the headline: “Netanyahu’s Likud and Herzog’s Zionist Union Must Now Get To Work To Try To Form A Coalition Government.” The article begins: “Israel appeared to be headed for weeks of political wrangling Tuesday night after exit polls indicated that the two leading parties were in a dead heat following the parliamentary election.”

“Something Radically New” in the Middle East

Here is an analysis by Paul of the new war in Yemen and the larger war between Sunni and Shia Islam. We present this essay reprinted by permission of Paul and from The Bayview Review. See the links at the end for direct access to the rest of Paul’s work.


Foreign intervention in Yemen’s chaos has dramatically raised the stakes in the Arabian Peninsula, threatening to expand what is already a civil war into a conflict pitting Iran against Saudi Arabia and an Arab coalition. The Saudis launched Operation “Decisive Storm” last Wednesday with dozens of airstrikes in an effort to blunt the advance of Houthi militia and allied army units on the port of Aden — and to protect the last bastion of Yemen’s internationally-recognized President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi… Many analysts were surprised at the speed and scale of the Saudi air campaign, which the Kingdom said would continue until the Houthis — a Shia minority that has swept across the country in the last six months — retreated and laid down their arms. (“Yemen in freefall: How chaos could spiral into all-out regional war,” CNN, March 30, 2015. ) 

A few days ago, the potentates who rule the lives of the people of  Egypt, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Jordan, Morocco, Egypt and Pakistan entered into a pact to eliminate by force the Houthi regime which has been governing most of Yemen – at least, to the extent that anybody has ever governed this lawless corner of Arabia – since the end of last year. The Saudi-led coalition has a so-far-silent partner in the United States, which is assisting with intelligence and logistics.

Harper Blew It – Again

We have been tracking the final days of the Asian Infrastructure  Investment Bank (AIIB) drive for prospective founding members (PFM) (read Harper’s Days Are Numbered). At the close of the application process today, March 31, the approved members and the applicants for membership stand at 53 countries as shown below:

Sam Collins – April, 2015

  • Short-term:
    • bearish
  • Midterm:
    • down
  • Long-term:
    • the long-term trend is bullish

China’s Fragile Evolution

By Rodger Baker and John Minnich

Last week, China’s anti-corruption campaign took a significant turn, though a largely overlooked one. The Supreme People’s Court released a statement accusing former Politburo Standing Committee member Zhou Yongkang, the highest-ranked official thus far implicated in China’s ongoing anti-corruption campaign, of having “trampled the law, damaged unity within the Communist Party, and conducted non-organizational political activities.” In Chinese bureaucratic speak, this was only a few steps shy of confirming earlier rumors that Zhou and his former political ally and one-time rising political star from Chongqing, Bo Xilai, had plotted a coup to pre-empt or repeal the political ascension of Chinese President and Party General Secretary Xi Jinping. Thus, the court’s statement marks a radical departure from the hitherto depoliticized official language of the anti-corruption campaign.

Harper’s Days Are Numbered

If you are anything other than a conservative, your heart probably leapt at the title. Even the odd conservative might suddenly have awakened  from his centrist-induced stupor. However, this is not a prognostication about Conservative prospects in the next election. Rather, it is about the increasing risk of another major foreign policy misadventure by Harper and his government.


Part Two of a Theme: “What’s At Stake in the Israeli Election of March 17, 2015?”

A Goy’s Guide to Israel’s Political History.

Sixty-six years ago, in March of 1949, the first of Israel’s Knesset elections took place.
Most well-informed people at that hour were under the spell of the postwar spirit of liberal utopianism, whose first principle was that democracy was about to break out everywhere as European imperialism collapsed, giving way to nationalism. There was no particular reason, most thought, for Israel to be an exception to this inevitable blessing.

Indeed, there were plenty of reasons to guess that Israel was no closer to accomplishing authentic democracy than any other of the new nations in her neighbourhood. One conspicuous obstacle to Jewish national unity was the deep divide at that time between the secular politicians who for the moment dominated the political scene and the many religious parties who seemed dedicated to keeping the nation disunited over the place of Judaism in public. Certainly, that is what the Arab Hands in the State Department believed; and that is how they spelled things out to Presidents Roosevelt, Truman and Eisenhower.

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