Tag Archives: NATO

Bits and Pieces – 20171020, Friday

 

Commentary: After publishing my last commentary, Bits and Pieces – 20171013, Friday, I came across this video by Gordon T. Long: UnderTheLens – 09 21 17 – OCTOBER – Coming “Nationalization” of Markets. It subsumes my comments with the exception of the scenario of how the Fed might take over the US stock market. In the 26 minutes, he does a much more thorough job of documenting how central banks globally are the dominant players in many capital markets such as sovereign bonds, and are rapidly becoming the dominant players in stock markets.

In the case of stocks, where their “printed money” has gone is a puzzle. If they print a billion dollars and buy a billion worth of equities in the market, the money goes into the accounts of the sellers. What do the sellers do with it? Do they use it to ‘walk the market higher’ isolating the new money in the market or do they take it out and move it into the economy causing inflationary pressures?

Already, in some sovereign bond markets, there is a liquidity problem, Investment funds and pension funds have traditionally used sovereign bonds as a a stable, low-risk component of their portfolios. These institutions are finding that they can’t get the bonds they require because the governments are mopping them up. The other problem is that these are not free markets and proper risk and price discovery simply can’t happen. Given the global history of sovereign defaults, particularly by the top economies, a zero interest or negative rate sovereign bond is simply not pricing in the real, if small, risk of a sovereign default. With central bank taking over ownership in these markets the risk of default is rising because so far, current monetary policy is proving to be a one way street.

Bits and Pieces – 20171013, Friday

Commentary: Here is an argument why there will be no market crash this fall. Although the precursors for earlier crashes have been equaled or exceeded, the Fed will intervene to prevent one from happening.

Here’s the background. The Swiss National Bank has bought $80 billion in US stocks: The Swiss National Bank Owns $80 Billion In U.S. Stocks — Here’s The Catch. The Bank of Japan currently owns 44.7% of all JGBs (government bonds) issued: Japan JGBs held by BoJ. The ECB has been buying large quantities of sovereign debt but also corporate bonds ($1.4 trillion euros as of Feb. 2017: An update: Sovereign bond holdings in the euro area – the impact of QE). Zero Hedge reported that Janet Yellen, in addressing the House Finances Service Committee, noted that the Fed by its charter cannot buy stocks but congress can easily change this: Janet Yellen On The Fed Buying Stocks: “Maybe In The Future, Down The Line…”.

Bits and Pieces – 20170818, Friday

Commentary: I have commented briefly in the past about the evolution of retail in North America and the impact on urban development. Small town, even small city Ontario has seen its municipal core hollowed out and decay as small retailers vanished to be replaced by big box retailers and shopping malls on municipal outskirts where roads allowed access from a wider  dispersed population of suburban and rural dwellers. The collapse of shopping malls has been well documented in the US over the last year in particular. This corresponds with the collapse of the bricks and mortar retailers who are approaching or who have entered chapter 11. As an example, read: State of Retail: JCPenny Plunges, Now a “Penny” Stock; Amazon to Blame?

This week a new a new phase has been recognized as the end point of this process: Battle of the Behemoths, and Amazon and Walmart Battle for Retail’s Future. We have seen reports of towns in fly-over America where the Walmart has closed leaving citizens with no local source of products, especially food.

Bits and Pieces – 20170810, Thursday

Commentary: Martin Armstrong’s computer model has picked Aug. 12-13 and Sept. 11-12 as two key dates when a Korean conflict may begin: North Korea – Beware August 2017. That makes this weekend critical. There is more below that shows the growing tensions. George Friedman thinks there will be war but offers his thinking on NK behaviour: North Korea, Nukes and Negotiations. Finally … US “Confirms” N.Korea Has ICBM-Ready Nuclear Warheads, North Korea Responds To Trump Threat, Says It Is “Seriously Considering” Pre-Emptive Nuclear Strike On Guam, and Trump Threatens North Korea With “Fire And Fury Like The World Has Never Seen Before”. Which side makes the first move?

Some folks are beginning to look at the cost of a war with NK. Since the extent of the destruction cannot be known in advance, one can identify impacts while not being able to estimate them accurately. Read: How A Renewed Korean Conflict Is Going To Be Felt Around The Globe and “Under Any Analysis, It’s Insanity”: What War With North Korea Could Look Like.

Late comentary provides insight into one of the preferreed options: Pentagon Unveils Plan For “Pre-Emptive Strike” On North Korea. Most parties agree the a negotiated settlement would be the preferred option of them all.

I thought summer was supposed to be the quiet time when everyone went to the beach. The fall should be a doozy.

Bits and Pieces – 20170806, Sunday

Commentary: Things get interesting in the Democratic camp: Sorry Joe Biden And Eric Holder, Obama Just Picked His 2020 Candidate And It’s Not You. I can’t imagine that Hillary has thrown in the towel in her quest for righteous affirmation and glory. Biden has made it clear in the past that the world would have been saved if he were president. Saunders is getting old but with the revelations of the backstabbing job the DNC did on him, this cranky old man may not go quietly into that good night of that boneyard of American political ambition. And maybe Americans are not ready for another black president – Obama II.

Stay tuned for the next episode and in the meantime stock up on popcorn. You may need it to survive on if that crazy and mercurial leader with his ICBMs and nuclear bombs tries to launch a preemptive first strike on someone or everyone (Shall We Fight Them All?). Oh – I wasn’t referring to Kim Jong-un.

 

WWIII: I had stopped reporting most of the news I see on NK since the US pulled back its carrier strike groups. But here’s a thoughtful question so we don’t forget the issue: North Korea or Iran…Where Will President Trump Attack First? The Iran option is interesting because not a lot is reported on this front apart from incidents that Ron Paul notes.

This article confronts the issue head on: Militarization Of Scandinavian Peninsula: Time To Ring Alarm Bells. Snippets referring to stockpiling US assets in caves in Scandinavia have appeared from time to time but this article puts it all together.

It has been noted that trade wars and economic sanctions can be a precursor to kinetic wars. As such, Trump’s threats of a global trade war that keeps popping up may finally be implemented: Trump To Launch Trade War With China On Friday, Beijing Vows Retaliation and Russian PM: “The U.S. Just Declared Full-Scale Trade War On Russia”.

Trump’s myopic idea that reversing the trade deficit will make America great again will be found to be a much more complex issue and one that the attempt to fix may bear too high a price. To understand why, read: Winners And Losers When Trade War Breaks Out Between The US And China. The latter article shows what articles are most involved in the trade deficit, namely computer and electronic technology. True, the US could bring this onshore but ask yourself how? George Friedman provides his analysis of possible Russian response: Russian Sanctions: The Kremlin’s Response.

Corporate America, driven by market forces, moved production offshore. Corporate America will only reshore (I know, it’s not a real word but it’s been used before) if it is economically necessary. I don’t think that it could be forced to by legislation. Large tariffs would have to be imposed on electronic components made offshore to make their manufacture here attractive. However, $5000 iPhones aren’t going to make the public happy. Also, in reshoring new infrastructure has to be created. Abandoned factories are not suitable. New facilities have to built and these will be highly automated. The Chinese are already moving ahead with extensive automation (Apple Manufacturer Foxconn to Fully Replace Humans With Robots). These new factories are not built in a week so tariffs will have the immediate effect of increasing prices in the US while any offsetting price advantage under a tariff regime to local manufacturing will take years to realize.

Finally, George Friedman published a piece today which is centered on the role of nuclear weapons in geopolitics beginning with their development and use in WWII: The Terrible Magic of Atomic Weapons. Of note in this article is the use of economic sanctions by the US as the action that precipitated war with Japan.

Canada Corner: I have earlier covered the woes of Canadian mortgage broker, Home Capital Group. This would be a couple of months ago and the sky did not fall in although the fundamental problems remain with HCG, leaving it crippled and probably operating on a day-to-day basis. Here’s a more in depth look at the company intended to capture the reference and provide bedtime reading for insomniacs only: Exclusive: How the Home Capital Sausages Were Made.

Canada’s economic migrant problem: Quebec Is “Close To Its Limits” As Refugees Flood Across US-Canada Border.

Having just bought and sold a house, I am aware of the amount of money that flows into Ontario provincial government coffers – lots. There is a land transfer tax paid by the buyer and HSt paid on all services including legal and the realators’ commissions. A drastic drop in prices or a slowdown in sales means a significant loss of revenue for the government. For context: Toronto Housing Market Implodes: Prices Plunge Most On Record.

Climate: Ever since Climategate broke in 2009 there have been a number of incidents of researchers and particularly government agencies such as NOAA and NASA misrepresenting and falsifying climate data. A recent criticism noted that every time data is adjusted to make current data consistent with earlier data sets created with different instrumentation and methodologies, the adjustments are always in the warming direction. The latest example comes from Australia: Australia Weather Bureau Caught Tampering With Climate Numbers. Also: Major correction to satellite data shows 140% faster warming since 1998.

Bits and Pieces: Just so you don’t fall asleep on the European banking sector, read: Europe’s Banking Dysfunction Worsens. Since the 2008 banking crisis in the US that threatened to bring down the global financial system, European banks have not significantly repaired their balance sheets. Bank failures in the Mediterranean states are regular. At some point the entire system will fold. In the meantime, you can get a sense of the state of things from this article.

It’s funny that when NATO holds exercises, there is no response in the media: Russia, Belarus Joint Drills Used As Pretext for NATO War Preparations.

While the Democrats agonize over allegations of Russian hacking of the election (whatever that means) their own manipulations starts to come to light: California has 11 Counties With More Registered Voters Than Voting-Age Citizens: Registered Voters 144% of Eligible.

Bits and Pieces – 20170715, Saturday

Cyber Warfare: Maybe it wasn’t the Russians: New Research Shows Guccifer 2.0 Files Were Copied Locally – DNC Not “Hacked By Russians” and New Evidence Says DNC Hack an Inside Job, Not Russia Related.

WWIII: Turkey’s realignment continues: Turkey “Turns Away” From NATO, Buys Russian Advanced Missile System For $2.5 Billion. They still seem to be playing both sides. This article follows along the path of the ides that thew US was one of the initial proponents and supporters of the EU: Unite and Rule: EU As NATO’s Auxiliary Economic Alliance.

The American Empire (AE): All the more reason for the AE to install a puppet that they can control, in Damascus: The New Silk Road Will Go Through Syria.

Climate: Climate alarmists need not worry their pretty little heads: Nature Unbound IV – The 2400-year Bray cycle. Part A.

Worth a read although many of you already know this: Research Team Slams Global Warming Data In New Report: “Not Reality… Totally Inconsistent With Credible Temperature Data”.

Canada Corner: I see no way to correct this other than a broad reset: “Canada Is In Serious Trouble” Again, And This Time It’s For Real. Sorry to take away Justin’s punch bowl but: IMF Rings The Alarm On Canada’s Economy.

The only contexts that the following makes any sense is in terms of Islamic appeasement and extreme progressive posturing: Canada’s Multi-Million-Dollar Pay-Out To A ‘Foreign Terrorist Fighter’.

Bits and Pieces: A masterful player, knowing that he has the Europeans by the balls, squeezes again: France Agrees to Pay All Costs for Turkey to Sign Paris Climate Accord.

Here’s a question for you, if Catalonia votes successfully to succeed and a new civil war erupts, will the Luftwaffe intervene as it did in the last Spanish civil war: Catalonia to Move to Referendum October 1st to Break From Spain?

Trump continues to have problem with loyalists from the Obama administration embedded in the bureaucracy. It takes time to find and sack the thousands of people involved: Exclusive: DOJ let Russian lawyer into US before she met with Trump.

Keep in mind that these are the early days of the development of software of this nature: New Software Fakes Video Of Former US President Barack Obama. With Photoshop we gained the ability to manipulate still images to create new images that are indistinguishable from reality. Now we can no longer be assure that a video we see is a real image scenario. When voice synthesis reaches the same level we wil be t the point where all news must be treated as fake news – synthesized propaganda. Note to all governments: we are almost there.

Here’s an interesting note on the silence of the UN on human rights abuses in Venezuela. It lines up with a similar silence by Pope Francis which I have commented on in the past. The article also makes a connection with Agenda 21: Is This Why The UN Human Rights Council Is Silent As Venezuelans Die Oppressed Under Socialism?. Weaving into this theme is the following of which I’m confused. I thought that this brand of geopolitics was what our communist pope supports: Vatican Press Lashes Out At Catholic Trump Voters, Calls Steve Bannon “A Supporter Of Apocalyptic Geopolitics”.

Bits and Pieces – 20170610 – Saturday

Commentary: Trump is right about NATO: the Europeans, particularly the Germans have been riding on Uncle Sam’s coattails. Britain and Russia have one thing in common, their major wars over the last 2 or 3 hundred years have been with the French and the Germans. Merkel’s EU has been playing hardball over Brexit. Britain should form closer ties with Russia and leave NATO since their adversary is the EU, meaning France and Germany.

Here’s an interesting prediction. I follow the site King World News. Reading past Eric Kings habit of being stuck in the superlative mode of everything, he interviews a few people that I consider reliable. One is Andrew Maguire of whom he published a most recent post on June 9. Maguire states that in exactly 26 days from “today”, a dramatic event will take place in the metals market repricing gold higher. The problem is King doesn’t explicitly state when the interview occurred so “today” remains a bit elusive.

If we use the 9th as “today”, 26 days puts the event on July 5, the day after independence day which falls on a Tuesday. Traditionally, trading falls off during the summer (hence “sell in May and go away”). This year, many traders will also take the Monday off with markets closed on Tuesday. If one wanted to make a move when traders were thin, one might choose the 3rd or the 4th. On the other hand, one might want to schedule a move for the 5th to catch markets as the open and take advantage of the market response on a full trading day. It also might be that the call is bad and nothing happens.

I will bet on a good call although my move a few days before makes things a bit tricky. Here’s the interview: ALERT: Unknown Entity Deletes Portion Of Whistleblower Andrew Maguire’s KWN Audio Interview About A Major Event In 26 Days. If you want to place a bet it should be in by June 30.

Bits and Pieces – 20170606 – Tuesday

Commentary: Home and catching up. Interesting development in the Middle East with: The Shocking Trigger Behind Today’s Gulf Scandal: Qatar Paid Al-Qaeda, Iran $1BN In Hostage Deal. Since Qatar is one of the dominant financiers of terrorism along with Saudi Arabia, will this reduce it to any degree? Also: It’s A “Geopolitical Earthquake”: A Stunned World Responds After Saudi Alliance Cuts All Ties With Qatar. Here’s an analysis of the issues behind this flareup (it’s not terrorism-related): “Forget Terrorism”: The Real Reason Behind The Qatar Crisis Is Natural Gas.

I read two interesting articles today that put me into some exciting thinking. The first is Facebook is Broken, and the second, How to see past your own perspective and find truth. Social media physical networks are defined by the computer science algorithms that are used to build them. The articles point to another class of algorithms that control the content and its dissemination. These algorithms define the social structure of the social media. It is interesting to contemplate that social structure and organization is based on algorithms. What these might have been before the internet is a question that then arises. The role of individual behavior in the algorithms would be a central part to examine (well-defined complex systems).

Bits and Pieces – 20170429, Saturday

Commentary: I’ve been traveling so this is a dated collection of stuff.

The Deep State: Here is an interesting essay on the position of the US military/intelligence complex: Trump has lost control over the Pentagon. On the other side of this is the coterie of Goldman Sachs people that Jared Kushner works with. Finally, there is the oligarchy of wealthy families and corporate America that influence the political process through donations and lobbying. The electoral process is simply a sideshow to placate the masses.

Officials in Kiev and western interests such as NATO and the US Deep State wishing to increase tensions with Russia may follow the Syrian gas attack example with a new Ukrainian offensive hoping to draw Trump into the battle: Major Ukrainian Offensive Against the Rebels Coming Up?. Although Russia has interests in Syria, Ukraine is Russia’s doorstep: think Cuban Missile Crisis.

WWIII: Here is an hour-long interview with Jim Rickards who thinks that war is imminent in North Korea: The Gold Chronicles April 2017 — Interview with Jim Rickards and Alex Stanczyk. I had commented on the dispatch of a US WC-135 “radiation sniffer” plane to Japan. Rickards says the US may have to use tactical nukes to take out North Korean facilities and such a plane may be used to map radiation from nuclear strikes. This remains a top story to watch. And to confirm the timeline of Apr. 25 when the USS Carl Vinson arrives: Trump Considering “Kinetic Military Action” On North Korea Including “Sudden Strike”. And to confirm that this is the day to stock up on beer and popcorn: April 25 Is “Highest Probability” Day For North Korean Nuclear Test China Warns.

Finally, North Korea makes the big threat: North Korea Threatens US With “Super-Mighty Preemptive Strike”. Please, not the “super mighty” one. Maybe just the “slightly mighty” one.

Incidentally, if my earlier posts on the movement of the USS Carl Vinson seem a bit off – and the current announced arrival date is later than I had expected but didn’t comment on – there may have been good reason: How Did the Trump Administration Lose an Aircraft Carrier?

Bits and Pieces: Are the Democrats getting it together: Democrats welcome Bernie takeover?

Difficulties at the frontier of empire. After MOAB, this: Hundreds Of U.S. Marines Headed To Afghanistan. And this is after more troops in Syria and Somalia as recently reported.

To think that some snowflakes have gone deep into debt to buy this kind of college education: ASU Prof Allows Students To Protest Trump In Lieu Of Final Exam.

Keep this one in your back pocket: Obama, Comey Relied On Discredited Dossier To Obtain FISA Warrant On Trump Campaign. I am mystified that Trump has not called some grand inquiry to sort out all this stuff including the large number of sources that I have posted links to on various topics  that indicate nefarious activity towards Trump and his associates.

Preppers Corner: I want to capture this link for myself but you may find it useful to develop your own plan B: What’s Your Plan B?

Here’s an excellent article that surveys nuclear weapon capability across the globe. It discusses who has them, how many, who are working to acquire them, who have abandoned plans to build them who who have the capability of acquiring them if they choose: The Geopolitics of Nuclear Weapons.

An update on snowflake education: Wellesley College Student Newspaper Endorses Violence Against Unpopular Speech. It is ironic that Wellesley College is producing a class of individuals by their suppression of free speech and alternative points of view, that their dictates would then apply to. I’m sure they would not recognize this as a legitimate argument however.

Canada Corner: Housing market blues: Crashing Canadian Mortgage Lender Bailed-Out By 321,000 Retired Ontario Healthcare Workers and Canada’s Housing Bubble Explodes As Its Biggest Mortgage Lender Crashes Most In History. And here’s the Ontario budget. And here’s text of a letter to the editotr of the Ottawa Sun:

I was wondering how Kathleen Wynne can eliminate the deficit on one hand and add a host of new spending initiatives on the other. Rather than wade through hundreds of pages of fluff and spin, one can find the answer easily and quickly by going to table 6.26 of the budget. The 2017-2018 budget will increase the total provincial debt by $8.7 billion dollars and the net provincial debt by a cool $10.0 billion dollars.

Now I prefer to use the total debt of $341.1 billion because this is the actual amount that we are paying interest on. The Liberals prefer to the use net debt of $311.9 billion because the number is less big. So let’s use net debt. This means the actual deficit is $10 billion dollars, accounting legerdemain aside.

Martin Armstrong talks a bit about his cycle theory: Kim Jong-un The Kid Whose Father Never Spanked – Why 2017 Is The Crisis Year For Korea.

And for your listening pleasure (it’s had 17 million views):

Bits and Pieces – 20170413, Thursday

Commentary: Things are moving way to fast to wait for a Sunday release. And things are getting scary. So put this together.

More information on the deeper strategy in Syria surfaces. It turns out the CIA was plotting the destabilization of Syria decades ago according to this declassified CIA document: 1983 CIA Document Reveals Plan To Destroy Syria, Foreshadows Current Crisis.

And if a strategy works once, try it again: Putin: “Idlib Was A “False Flag” Attack And We Have Learned That More Are Coming”. Add to this another option: Syria Accuses US Of Hitting ISIS Chemical Weapons Depot Killing Hundreds; Russia Sends Drones.

WWIII: On the Korean front, will Trump trump Un: Trump Warns North Korea Is “Looking For Trouble”, Threatens To “Solve Problem Without China”? He could set the Korean peninsula on fire but that could be good for “America first” with Samsung smart phones and Hyundai cars out of the picture: North Korea Threatens U.S. With Nuclear Attack At Any Sign Of Pre-Emptive Strike. That it might not grow into a regional conflict or worse is suggested by a couple of breaking events:  Trump Unexpectedly Calls China’s President To Discuss North Korea and China Threatens To Bomb North Korea’s Nuclear Facilities If It Crosses Beijing’s “Bottom Line”.

The optimal solution might be for the US and China to act together to effect regime change and remove the nuclear threat, hopefully without incinerating Seoul which as I recall is within range of 10,000 North Korean artillery pieces dug into the mountain bunkers. Oh, and this on the Chinese: China Reportedly Tells Military To Be Ready To “Move” To North Korea Border.

Just so you can get a ring-side seat: US May Launch Preemptive Strike On North Korea Ahead Of Nuclear Test. I had to dig back for this: U.S. Air Force deploys WC-135 “nuclear sniffer” plane to Japan to monitor North Korea’s possible nuke weapons tests. But another reason for having such a plane in position that they would not want to signal is to monitor radiation spread if they destroy North Korean nuclear facilities.

Some of the above is 3 or 4 days old but this is hot off the press: Trump May Send Up To 50,000 Troops To Syria. This would be the icing on the cake – nice rich yummy chocolate icing.

And we don’t want to forget all those Afghanis we want to kill while testing the largest non-nuclear bomb (MOAB) ever dropped: US Drops Largest Non-Nuclear Bomb For The First Time On ISIS In Afghanistan. The generals have gotta’ love Trump since he has apparently taken the leash off.

And Trump now finds NATO useful: Trump Reverses On NATO: “It’s No Longer Obsolete”.

Bits and Pieces: There have been suggestions that the Swedish people will become extinct as Muslim immigration takes over the country. Such may be a Darwinian outcome: Sweden’s Largest Newspaper Demands “Ban Men In Cars To Stop Terror”.

Canada Corner: Only in New Brunswick: Why Real Estate Should NEVER be the Majority of Your Portfolio?

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